Sunday, September 1, 2019

red pine and Iron

After that post on the view from the boardwalk, I was reminded of a document I had skimmed through but not read: Founder’s Landing Pier Redevelopment Summary Report, by GEI Consultants. Going back to it and reading it, I began to think of it as poetry, which is not an original idea as I once heard about someone having turned the official rules of baseball into poetry, maybe just by re-configuring the lines –

you know,
the way
poets do –

or maybe it was
the way
the words of the rules were spoken,
verbatim but with a certain infusion of poetic
crescendo and
diminuendo

– release –
(anyway)

from fussy officiousness.

So I was trying to read the report as poetry.
Page 6:
The wood core samples tested
were all identified as red pine
(Pinus resinosa).
The surface of six cores contained evidence
of soft rot decay
and pile number 59 contained
a trace amount
of brown rot hyphal remnants.
I cut some words.
Wood core samples tested
Pinus resinosa
Soft rot decay,
pile 59,
brown rot,
hyphal remnants.
What these consultant folks did, among other things—and it’s an interesting report covering a bit of the history, a bit of the present, ideas for the future, all enhanced with maps and images—was to go underwater to take a look at these old pier pilings (definition of pile, plural pilings … a long, heavy timber or beam driven into the ground, sometimes under water, to support a bridge, dock, etc. … *), and all the pilings they looked at were made of red pine, kind of like an old-growth underwater forest. (As I understand it, these pilings were put in in 1855.) Rather than needles or leaves, though, remnants of “hyphal,” which, to me, was a new word. It refers to the stuff that makes up fungus.

Page 7:
The cribbing located in the Spear Dock was also inspected by the divers.
The timber was tested for soundness by pick or awl.
The large crib structure on the west end of the dock is near the water surface.
Due to the top of the structure lying in the ice interface zone,
and potentially being exposed to air,
it has degraded near the surface.
The crib structure from approximately two-feet below the surface was sound.
The timber cribbing structures at the east end of the dock
to Ripley Rock
were sound and in generally good condition.
Iron spikes connecting the timbers were observed to be in good condition.
Definition of crib or cribbing … a structure anchored under water, serving as a pier … *

The Crib is the name of a coffeehouse in town. I was there the other night for some sound: music (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, sitar) and poetry (words, spoken, exposed to air; inspected, tested, picked for all). I did not know these poets and musicians, yet there was a connection, somewhere, I suppose, in the interface zone. Red pine and iron, submerged, surfacing, slightly degraded, a short break for yoga: Now, stand, breathe, one breath, ten seconds.

The report suggests new piers could be built atop the old.


* Webster’s New World Dictionary, Second College Edition.

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