Light at harbor entrance,
the shoreline of occasional rough breaks
where a gnomon casts a shadow
for the plane off Anacapa,
a hint of the season
visible in the pictures,
vessels of increasing draft.
That land plants descend
from water, the black earth
of hearths, of rocks with their
very lives against the sea.
Next you need to pay attention to the conditions
how we are complicit
imprimatur: okeh let’s move there)
breakwater or jetty wall kelp often grows on both
to the coast and to simply carry on
with disinvestment as a discriminatory get outdoors
and live the allegedly decaying state of their neighbor-
hoods. Ocean and Lime of pre-stressed concrete was the
and Lime was the devil-strip row of palms
how we are ignorant
of the waves
and the territories-in-between.
About the light seen through fruit trees grown dark
with rain, through pulp on the broken soil this wind
broadcast in the extremities. Salt carries in storms,
anchors offshore rust from ring to flukes, strongest
of the natural fibers the light of stanchion or shroud:
the body of our landscape marked in chalk or fog.
Billboards: beer bars abut bungalows with verandas
of stone and green coil, with foundation and facade.
Note the white sidewalk barren and wished upon,
thrust in pockets, not even trim lawns as quiet this
ghost day. Breakwater lined on maps in the flattened
harbor, calm ripples across this soft desert coast
while the ocean swells levees, wraps shallow basins
in dark brine, in the countenance of our craft.
Glenn Bach is a poet, sound artist, and educator who lives and works in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. His major project, Atlas, is a long poem that documents his reflections on place, landscape, and our understanding of the world. It has been excerpted in small journals such as jubilat, Otoliths, and Plumwood Mountain. The first book of the poem, Atlas 1, is available here.