Category Archives: literature

Interstitial Podcast

I spoke with the brilliant David Huber of the Interstitial podcast, which you can listen to here: He asked me to suggest 4 books and I had to think on my feet, so of course I suggested the following: … Continue reading

Posted in capital accumulation, empire, imperialism & colonialism, labour, literature, Middle East, political economy, ports, seafaring, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The unbearable deaths of thousands in the deep

And yet these unbearable deaths are borne by those who turn away.  As I am left mute with horror, I shall post these poems which I think speak to the deaths of so many in this watery graveyard: from Salt By … Continue reading

Posted in empire, literature, shipping conditions, the sea | Leave a comment


Silt Stephen Burt Things you know but can’t say, the sort of things, or propositions that build up week after week at the end of the day, & have to be dredged by the practical operators so that their grosser … Continue reading

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A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes: The factory at sea

9 February 2015 20.00 “Going forward and glancing over the weather bow, [… the] prospect was unlimited, but exceedingly monotonous and forbidding; not the slightest variety that I could see.” Herman Melville, Moby Dick For the next few days, we … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Trip, Allan Sekula, capital accumulation, labour, literature, Melville, Middle East, political economy, readings, seafaring, shipping conditions, transport, Travels | Leave a comment

Marsaxlokk-Jabal-Ali: Besotted with the sea

6 February 2015 “For a ship is a bit of terra firma cut off from the main; it is a state in itself; and the captain is its king.” (Melville, White-Jacket – did Conrad plagiarise Melville as I often think … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 Trip, Allan Sekula, capital accumulation, infrastructure, labour, literature, logistics, Melville, ports, readings, the sea | 2 Comments

all subtle and submarine

The Sea is History By Derek Walcott Where are your monuments, your battles, martyrs? Where is your tribal memory? Sirs, in that grey vault. The sea. The sea has locked them up. The sea is History. First, there was the … Continue reading

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the luminous beaches

A Small Invitation By Yannis Ritsos Translated from the Greek by Kimon Friar Come to the luminous beaches─he murmured to himself here where the colors are celebrating─look─ here where the royal family never once passed with its closed carriages and … Continue reading

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Here and there and now and then, a stance.

The Aerodrome By Seamus Heaney First it went back to grass, then after that To warehouses and brickfields (designated The Creagh Meadows Industrial Estate), Its wartime grey control tower blanched and glazed Into a hard-edged CEO style villa: Toome Aerodrome … Continue reading

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Confusion of land

‬ [Untitled] By Octavio Paz, Trans. Muriel Rukeyser At daybreak go looking for your newborn name Over the thrones of sleep glittering the light Gallops across all mountains to the sea The sun with his spurs on is entering the … Continue reading

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nothing was what they said: not safety, not the sea.

Children, the Sandbar, That Summer By Muriel Rukeyser Sunlight the tall women may never have seen. Men, perhaps, going headfirst into the breakers, but certainly the children at the sandbar. Shallow glints in the wave suspended we knew at the … Continue reading

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