Friday, November 24, 2006

where jettisoned turkey timers go to die

it’s days like these when my thoughts are turned to eddying tides of superflux out on our periphery. today I would definitely be remiss if I just went out to make snow angels without saying a word. I might find it equally peaceful adrift in the horse latitudes, and comforting to be greeted by such familiar articles as Air Jordans and coat hangers.

the desert is probably the nearest I’ve seen to being that far out at sea. dry expanses where dragons and owls burrow, ostriches nest and jackals sleep in half-buried truck tires, winged dengue breeds in the water pooled in plastic bags. consulting the wisdom of hobos & trolls who live under the bridge in their cardboard and tar paper; these materials are temporary, transient, passing. but plastics are forever, so we say it with plastics.
word has been coming back that this is the case out there in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre; cuttlefish & prawns frolic like fawns in an enormous trash vortex, where fingerlings and phytoplankton take up residence in Tide with bleach bottles and other flotsam. these things, likewise, take up residence in them; with hungry albatrosses shuttling bottle caps, GI Joes and cigarette lighters across thousands of miles of ocean. teredo navalis shipworms can’t eat through a cathode-ray tube, but they might ride it a few knots to other waters.

surrounded as we are by incessant decay, there may be cause for moderate rejoicing in knowing that we are creating something permanent. and that with the forces of entropy working tirelessly on every molecule, still there are other forces that conspire to guide and gather all this furniture into what Captain Charles Moore has been calling a gentle maelstrom.

…into a Pirates of the Caribbean ride, an entire disneyland the size of Texas, in plastic garbage, immediately animated by tidal power. vertebrate jellyfish run discarded condoms through the filter feeders. flying fish hurtle over mile-long ghost nets drifting recklessly through a haunted forest of autotrophic algae and hockey pads. one creature’s trash is another’s casino.

there’s definitely something pathetically flattering about how they all move in to the bleach bottle bird houses that have fallen from our fingers. here at home the snow is covering everything for awhile.

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