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The liquid tin light of early morning is already a soft corrosion by nine & the ghosts

Are breaking open on the river.

You capstan. You gunwhale.

You that green wound clicked off at dawn.

I used to see their bodies as cartoon or part of the ungreat chain of despoilers

Yet now they are solid little spectres of a dwindling narrative

Tire-haloed bows & a hull of salt, yanking the tired barges across inlets, estuaries, arterial passages

Empty or pale with cremains, dieseling their engines of the afterlife

Beneath the black 19th century dream.

You funnel. You Bollard pull.

You pushboat of the ephemeral end.

This poem, incorporating a tugboat lexicon, is from Riven, a manuscript that is merging in part with a collaboration with Karen Moe called TUG.

The river photographs and video editing are by Catherine Owen.
The tug and boat detail pictures are by Karen Moe.

Phantomnul is set to appear in Radar, an online multimedia magazine from the US in 2014.