Archive for March, 2012


Posted in Uncategorized on March 31, 2012 by Aran

The River that runs through Elevenbridge — like all rivers to some greater or lesser extent — resonates like a plucked string with all those other great Rivers: Time, Styx, Lethe, Jordan & the so on… Each laying down layers of sediment as they go, sliding from out of where and when like a snake shedding its skin. Each layer of sediment that’s shed might grow to bemoan a Side or two or more of its own, and perhaps even coax a Bridge to step upon it. And like all good sediment, Where and When — once anchored — encourage and embolden enough of their fair share of happenings, dreams, births and the aftermath of drownings to carry on, just like always.

Shanghaied, Blackbird

Posted in Uncategorized on March 23, 2012 by Aran


shanghai  (ˈʃæŋhaɪ, ʃæŋˈhaɪ)
vb  , -hais , -haiing , -haied
1. to kidnap (a man or seaman) for enforced service at sea, esp on a merchant ship
2. to force or trick (someone) into doing something, going somewhere, etc
[C19: from the city of Shanghai ; from the forceful methods formerly used to collect crews for voyages to the Orient]



1854, Amer.Eng., “to drug a man unconscious and ship him as a sailor,” from the practice of kidnapping to fill the crews of ships making extended voyages, such as to the Chinese seaport of Shanghai; lit. “by the sea,” from Shang “on, above” + hai “sea.”

Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. 23 Mar. 2012. <>


Historians have stated that although the tunnels exist (underneath Old Town/Chinatown) and the practice of “Shanghaiing” was sometimes practiced in Portland and elsewhere, there is no evidence that the tunnels were used for this (and no evidence for Portland being a center for this kind of practice) –


Blackbirding is a term that refers to recruitment of people through trickery and kidnappings to work as labourers. From the 1860s blackbirding ships were engaged in seeking workers to mine the guano deposits on the Chincha Islands in Peru.[2] In the 1870s the blackbirding trade focused on supplying labourers to plantations, particularly the sugar cane plantations of Queensland (Australia) and Fiji.[3][4] The practice occurred between the 1842 and 1904. Those ‘blackbirded’ were recruited from the indigenous populations of nearby Pacific islands or northern Queensland. In the early days of the pearling industry in Broome, local Aboriginal people were blackbirded from the surrounding areas, including aboriginal people from desert areas.

Blackbirding has continued to the present day in the Third World. One example is the kidnapping and coercion at gunpoint of indigenous people in Central America to work as plantation labourers, where they are exposed to heavy pesticide loads and do back-breaking work for very little pay –

Slow, Slow Tread

Posted in Uncategorized on March 20, 2012 by Aran

Most who live within the many cities that are this single City are unaware of the stance — the timeworn and slow, slow dance — of the Bridges. Small and brief and moving at most along their single-most blindered configuration and orientation. Moving back and forth in a straight line along a small and well-worn daily track. Brushing up far more often than they would ever like to know against others who travel more widely, as it were, but still nowhere near widely enough to truly know; likely traveling these wider byways without consciously knowing how, or even that they do. None ever at all aware of the greater City clustered close and expanding ever around them. All patiently measured by the slow tread of the Bridges along the edges of the River.

Little Wren

Posted in Uncategorized on March 15, 2012 by Aran

She sat
Perched between
Wrist & forefinger,
The little blue wren

Sat up on her wrist,
Looked her in the eye
With first her left
Then her right
Chirping some
Sometimes talking.

I could not make out
what it was they said,
One to the other,
Something small
and private between
the two of them and none

In a blink
The little wren

Drops into the milk-white
Skin of her lady’s upheld hand
Artful pigment blends
upon body’s lines


Skips then hops
From wrist
To elbow
To bare shoulder

To fly
From out her
Left shoulder blade

Off and away
Blink and gone
A fully formed
Fragile and flying bird