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You Don’t Miss Your Water (‘Til the Well Runs Dry)

Goddamn the weather was savage at Superior Terminals in Thunder Bay, where we were loading grain and oats.  The rain was relentless and well described the angle of the wind, which howled in off the lake sideways at 40 knots. The temperature hovered just above zero but...

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Big Ships Like Us

Nighttime, the third of November and I haven’t written a word in 46 days.  I have only recently rejoined the ship after a month off in which I had intended to work on my writing and hammer it into some kind of saleable form.  I...

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Here Comes Them Horses

Anxiety is a bear whose breath is always hot on my heels but it was a greyhound that got me.  I was enjoying a mid-morning run when the dog lunged, tore the lead from its elderly owners hand, and bit me on the back.  Some runs are so good they feel almost...

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An Easter Tale/The God Spot/On Nick Cave

“For the beautiful is nothing other than the onset Of what is terrifying. “ Rilke I was eight years old when I killed the family dog on a warm Good Friday in early April.   The night before I’d lain in bed and said prayers in my...

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Everyday is a Tuesday Here in Marble Hell

“They don’t call it Marble Hell for nuthin”, the captain says as we line the ship up for a tie-up at Marblehead stone dock in Ohio. From the wheel I can see white water breaking over the pier where the load rig is situated; at the end of...

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Portrait of the Sailor as an Aging Man

Home on leave,for the fourth such time this year,and the sailor says to a friend that he sees the city,his life in fact,in time-lapse. He has arrivedto the fragrant swellof a leonine Indian Summer,and it is the seasons of course, that are the most obvious darlings of...

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Traveling On

Drummond Island, Michigan, 11km’s In the past few days, as though a switch has been flicked, winter has come to these upper Great Lakes. Overnight the complexion of the sea seemed to change, its pallor darkening by several shades to an ominous inky blue and the sky...

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