Memory Forms: Ruin

Reading Soundtrack: Rainfall at Friday Harbor, November 2021

Dead Crabs Beyond the Dunes

                Seaside, Oregon

Hear the coast crash monotonous

like foam fluttering behind the storm.

It is night now and the red glow of signage

beckons us along streets slick with rainwater

and whatever gets carried along an ocean’s surface.

Hear that coast crash mesmerized or mesmerizing.

With a gut of fried fish we hold ourselves up

and stumble along with minimal beams,

flashlights working while the rain works still,

glasses fogging up before fully coated in water.

What greets us beyond the black dunes this evening?

Orange and yellow crabs, thousands of them.

The shells unmoving, the sand and water within unmoving.

I can almost see their faces. I can almost watch their pincers.

I can almost scuttle alongside them back out to sea,

the neon faded out as the watery depths become.

Touch Real Dinosaur Bones

                Dinosaur National Monument

Hours later we’re staring at long, winding roads

                that just

                                don’t stop

                                                for us.

Back in the glass cage,

                bones of strange beings



Calming effect.

                Laced nature.

                                Turning up the volume

                                                and speaking volumes.

I imagine the gasses of suffocation

                and being in this wondrous space

                covered in worlds only imaginable.

The Park Service created a taxonomy of experiences

their icons undeniably hip, keeping me from thoughts

of murder and contagion, of disruption and that ceasing echo:

                & Plants & Animals

                                and the recognition of a single leaf

                & River Canyons

                                and the embodiment of oxbows and whitespace

                & Ancient Cultures

                                and representation of thinness and jewelry

                & Geology

                and the streaks that are simply that: streaks

                                and striations

                & Paleontology

                                and fullness of teeth, predatory, spooking

                & Homesteading

                                and the simplicity before the struggle, with windows

Touching the dino bones, I drone on and on about

distraction and denying my experience: the norm.

                But there is something about history.

Moments within spaces condoning and allowing.

Containers             for containing       this.

                Structures              for instructing

                                in ambience.

To think this is how I feel, thinking back,

along a bumpy road to Echo Canyon,

                along a way that can lead

                                to the next extension.


                what do the bones think?

                                What do the collections


The poems above were written in Winter 2021 and revised in Spring 2021.