I could say that I spent last week on the coastline of southern Louisiana, but being down there reminds me that there’s no line on that coast. Instead, we’ve got a watery borderlands into which everything solid slowly oozes. I don’t think of Auden as a poet of the American South, but his lines were rolling around in my head all week —
…the silent dissolution of the sea
Which misuses nothing because it values nothing.
The human struggle down there is all about “use” and “value” — the conflicting needs of the Mississippi, which wants to jump its banks & shift its mouth over to the Atchafalaya River Delta; the needs of the oil & gas industries, who service their off-shore rigs through Port Furchon, which will soon be an island; the needs of fisherman both commercial & sport; the needs of people whose land is slowly reverting to open water. It’s a landscape that looks like a seascape.
More to come…