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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Joseph Ceravolo: What chemicals have we forgotten?


  Permanently Closed Container (Treasure Island) (panorama): photo by efo, 14 November 2010

The morning is warm. A fan whirling
the air. The calm force of tiredness
shows up in everyone's body
chewing, languidly talking.
What chemicals have we forgotten?

The air blows cold
down the northern corridor
the ink freezes in my fingers
no electronics can soothe love.
What chemicals have we forgotten?

...........................................May 18, 1987

Joseph Ceravolo (1934-1988): The morning is warm. A fan whirling..., 18 May 1987, from Collected Poems (2012)

Treasure Island  photo by efo, 1 November 2010

 Bridge to nowhere (holgarama) (Treasure Island/Yerba Buena Island/Bay Bridge): photo by efo, 9 February 2014

Pier 21 (Treasure island): photo by efo, 27 May 2005

Treasure island. Palm-lined drive on the east side of the island: photo by efo, 15 May 2005

Gen Plant, Treasure island (abandoned). What does this plant do?: photo by efo, 15 May 2005

Treasure Island steam generation plant (abandoned): photo by efo, 19 May 2005

Gasoline tank (Treasure Island): photo by efo, 28 May 2005

Gas pump, abandoned filling station, Treasure island: photo by efo, 15 May 2005

Bowl for Health (Treasure Island): photo by efo, 27 May 2005

Aircraft (B-17 Flying Fortress), seen from Treasure island: photo by efo, 15 May 2005

Bay Bridge under construction (Treasure Island/Yerba Buena Island) (panorama): photo by efo, 2 May 2010

Treasure Island No. 9 (panorama): photo by efo, 7 December 2010

Treasure Island No. 2 (panorama): photo by efo, 31 October 2010


TC said...

And in case you've been wondering what might have been stored in those "Permanently Closed Containers"... it's probably not lost doubloons.

The discovery of the adventure-story Treasure Island resulted from a fictional shipwreck. The real-life Treasure Island, a man-made land mass jutting unapologetically into San Francisco Bay, attained its present character as a forlorn remnant -- abandoned by the military, with the remaining bits leased out to mostly low-income tenants who are now haunted by the spectre of "the chemicals we have forgotten" -- in consequence of real events in the South Pacific, specifically a project with the eerily-apt-in-hindsight code-name Pandemonium.

The fake "island" was dumped in its present location for the 1937-1938 Golden Gate Exposition and became a Naval Station in 1941. In 1948 and through the Korean War, a SAC radar tracking facility was in use on the Island.

This aerial view shows TI as the ugly geometrical object on top, with the "natural" Yerba Buena Island seen below. (It's been suggested that Google mapping of TI is conveniently lost in the past, by the way.)

What's lost in space may also be lost in time, but sooner or later history is going to catch up -- even if it's only the personal histories of individual victims.

Treasure Island cleanup exposes Navy's mishandling of its nuclear past: Center for Investigative Reporting / Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, 24 February 2012

Nuclear byproduct levels on Treasure Island higher than Navy disclosed: Bay Citizen, 12 April 2013

This interesting island-tour video by a fellow who grew up on TI and came back looking for his past was made three years ago:

Treasure Island Revisited (2011)



Great efotos -- not to be forgotten.

"Our" Treasure Island -- a long way from the one Robert Louis Stevenson imagined. . .

Wooden Boy said...

He would have seen a good few chemicals through his system by this time: chemotherapy's a blunt instrument.

The clouds look like poison in many of those shots.

TC said...

That may be because they were/are, but if they were/are, would anyone ever know?

And if they did know, would not that knowledge come just a bit too late, as the poisoners of clouds have vanished, much as that former class of visitors known as carpetbaggers?

Particulates travel in clouds. Dust reduces to particulates. When this was suggested by one of the powerless tenants of that poisoned island, the representative of the landowners explained, as of all that stuff lying exposed under foot, "That's not dust, it's mud".

Treasure Island Radioactive Burn Pit: "The definition of waste is... endless."

One report I read toted up the number of people on the Island who'd had to have legs removed, after walking around on that soil. Thirteen.

These reports do not make comfortable reading.

Through which of our bodies have not or will not every sort of chemical have passed?

"Ya just dies and that's that -- that's the average man. Quite often not as quick as people think, Jim!"