Merchant Marine, a Poem by James Strauss



Merchant Marine

a poem by

James Strauss




Taconite moving atop the waves,
Lackawanna bound with iron ore pellets,
Marble sphere strewn heaving decks.
Guantanamara plays lost revolution,
The woman’s gone leaving shipless wrecks.
Low tech shoveling over the side,
Huron, Eirie them all,
Bottoms strewn little orange balls.
The union quit,
The wages dipped,
Still bed and board.
Bum boat nuzzles,
Can’t leave the ship,
Nowhere to go.
Black Booster booze,
Three dollar can,
Cheaper than ethyl.
The merchant marines,
A name sounding good,
A job at bottom faint blip.
Sparrowspoint crossing,
One thousand feet,
Vibrating green painted hulk.
The woman and stuff all gone,
All left on shores.
At sea,
Moving slow,
Living low,
On Booster and bunk.

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