from The Den of Ships

Catalogue of Earth Works

one lone serval free roams                        (January Hollywood Hills)

Bengal tiger tracked to death                      (February Ventura County)

waterbirds wash up dead oily                     (March Seal Beach)

Great Blue Heron storm wrecked / wracked
fluffed feathers           a great blue great coat      dead awful     still standing

                                                                    (Winter Storm Belmont Shore Beach)

dead Chihuahua (chee-hoo-uh-hoo-uh) washes up out to sea

                                                                                          and back again
                                                                    (Winter Storm Long Beach)
flames of the port sky shot
                                          orange cone
                                                              riot the sky
                                                                           daytime nighttime unending
(we three see this separate same time)

this goes on for days and days                   (Spring Long Beach)

    RULES OF THE PORT: Pacific engagement: Dislocate the facts: Report:
    SAN PEDRO: Filipino community takes in sailors adrift

SPECIFIC ENGAGEMENT: Rain          dead grebe          dead pelican
dead dog          oil clog          ocean        soft mollusk       gone sun side   up


                        but could only see DYSTOPIA no perfect vision COUNTING
                        the dead no perfect vision no clear field no dream of a
                        BETTER bettor                what we inherit             what do we
                        OUR BROKEN our soil(ed) PURCHASE our
                        empty              endless             BLAH BLAH


Jane Sprague publishes Palm Press. She began and curated the West End reading series in Ithaca, NY as well as the 2004 conference "Small Press Culture Workers." Her poems and reviews are published in numerous print and online magazines including ecopoetics, Columbia Poetry Review, Kiosk, Tinfish, and Tarpaulin Sky (V2n2-3). Recent poems are in the current issues of How2 and Bird Dog. Her manuscript, Halocline, is in circulation; her current writing project is The Port of Los Angeles from which "The Den of Ships" has been excerpted. She lives in Long Beach, California.