Ghost Ships

by Mr Tezozomoc 15 days ago in vintage

Cancerous Carevels and the Greedy Galleons.....

Ghost Ships

Ghost Ships (Short version)

We find ourselves in the ghostly ships

of the past;

derelict; adrift

and dead like the crew

of the “Mary Celeste”.

The ghostly vessels

of our bodies

astrewn; adrift and deserted;

empty hulls of meaning

and signification.

The derelicts found adrift

in our historical materiality

careening in our

subconsciousness;

decommissioned,

scrapped,

breaking loose of their ropes

and carried away

by the manifest winds

and social waves.

The Fireship of Baie des Chaleurs

lingers like a visual floater

that can’t be shook;

the flaming three-mast

galley that arcs across the

horizon before the coming storm.

But you see the ghostly ships

seem to constantly re-appear

at some intervals like the

Lady Lovibond as a

reminder of our failures.

On August 4th 2020,

the forgotten pulled off

cargo of the M/V Rhosus tanker

blew up half Beirut.

Few of the people

had any notion of the

2750 tons of NH₄NO₃,

aka ammonium nitrate;

that had been sitting in a port

warehouse for 7 years.

These vessels like

the ships of the

past have served

their many uses;

the plunder caravans

of the oceans;

the cancerous caravels

delivering their contagion payloads

on unsuspecting lands,

and ripping the

surface content;

stereoscopically

extracting the geo-flesh

From these new lands, and

loading them on the greedy galleons

of Europe.

Alkebulan, the original

name for what is now called Africa;

in its ancient times meant,

“Mother of mankind” or “Garden of Eden”;

but today it remains the

plunder playgrounds

for the best that Europe

could send, and some,

I assume, are good people.

You see an undisclosed buyer

paid the rough and tumble

Russian Igor Grechushkin

one million dollars to ship

2750 tons of Ammonia Nitrate

from Georgia to Mozambique.

Grechushkin used a windfall;

to purchased the Rhosus, a 27 year old

cargo ship, from Cyprus-based company;

employed Russian, Boris Prokoshev, to helm

the ship and the cargo across the Black Sea,

stopping in Istanbul, Turkey, Piraeus, Greece;

and Beirut.

Running short on cash, Prokoshev,

was sent to Beirut to take more cargo.

Prokoshev found himself in a deadly ship

as the hatch covers sagged under the weight

of the machinery.

But Grechuskin saved Prokoshev from

abandoning ship by failing to pay

the port fee; such was

the dooming of the Rhosus

abandoned by its owner.

As the ship was pirated by the port;

the Rhosus’s captain, chief engineer, third engineer,

and boatswain couldn’t disembark.

These 21st century capitalists

were pawns in a woefully

low-stakes game;

where Grechushkin refused to pay

for his skeleton crew’s food

while the vessel sat in port.

(They survived through the

kindness of local workers.)

He refused to pay

the Beirut port fees.

He refused to transfer

the cargo.

In a word,

he’d abandoned the whole mess

and fled to Cyprus

with $1 million in his pocket.

Four men trapped on the Rhosus;

while she was anchored in Beirut

eventually peddled the ship’s fuel

to pay for a lawsuit against

the Lebanese government.

After eleven months,

they were released

from their floating prison.

The cargo’s original owner,

that had paid Grechushkin

$1 million for the ammonium nitrate

—never claimed it.

But rarely are grifter ships

like the galleon of Chapel Cove;

where buried riches need to be defended,

instead, only banal bureaucracies.

Prokoshev theorized

the Lebanese

didn’t sell their bounty

because the officials

there were so corrupt,

incompetent; that they couldn’t

agree on how to

divvy up the profits.

Several port officials

warned higher-ups

—including the Prime Minister

—about the danger

of leaving the ammonia nitrate there,

and such a sighting was roundly ignored.

As the ammonia nitrate exploded;

a tremendous shockwave gashed

through the city,

destroying half the city.

The Rhosus,

meanwhile,

had rotted at the Beirut dock

until someone had cut her loose.

She drifted north of the port

and finally sank parallel

to the breakwater

opposite the explosion site.

It’s still there; till its future ghostly re-appearance.

Finally,

as the shockwave traveled

you could sight the re-appearance

of cancerous caravels and greedy galleons

of history.

“Four times fifty living men,

(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)

With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,

They dropped down one by one.

The souls did from their bodies fly,—

They fled to bliss or woe!” -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Mr Tezozomoc
Mr Tezozomoc
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Mr Tezozomoc

Tezozomoc is a Los Angeles Chicano Poet and 2009 Oscar Nominated Activist and has been published by Floricanto Press, “Gashes!: Poems and Pain from the halls of injustice”, a collection of poetry, ISBN-13: 978-1951088040, 9/2019.

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