As South Tank Farm, As If a House
Homophonic translation of the section titled “6.1 South Tank Farm (Site 5001)” from “Hydrogeological Study Report, Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal,” a technical report co-authored by Fritz Carlson and Joerg Schaller in February 2005, on behalf of CH2M HILL, a civil engineering company contracted by the Department of Defense. The italicized represents untranslated strings of text.
The tank farm is a stain. When is it instead a disco ball. When is it a soft love leaving no trace. When sixty-four million gallons of Luso mineral water ready for deployment at the final breath of a storm. Where a tank farm once pressed its fuel ask: what do we hold to the ground and how do we take it back.
Reportedly, it was common practice to use fuel to wet the soils under large field-assembled tanks in order to compact these soils to provide a level ground for building the tanks. Historic activities at the South Tank Farm included burying sludge next to the access ports of the tanks that was generated during tank cleaning. Since these tanks held AVGAS before 1982, the sludge contained high levels of tetraethyl-lead (TEL), as well as TPH and BTEX. Numerous spills are known for the site. According to Liquid Fuels personnel, not all contaminated soils could be removed and an unknown amount was spread during the massive earth-movement activities that were required for the reconstruction.
Reportedly is common practice. I used to live at the south end of Rua da Graça. If I (reportedly) walked forward north for one mile I would stand kid-arms-out before a tank as massive as King Kong. If I at eight (reportedly) had shit fall slick out my shorts on Av. Paço do Milhafre, how long had the stain tied to concrete what I had wasted out of an inability to hold. What love a child realizes. What size the waves collect themselves. If you count each leaving shore what still exists, what waste mapped to the soil (reportedly) grows: as dust, as cancer.
The Main Gate Shivers at Dawn
Homophonic translation of the section titled “6.2 Main Gate / 5 Hydrant Area (Site 3001)” from “Hydrogeological Study Report, Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal,” a technical report co-authored by Fritz Carlson and Joerg Schaller in February 2005, on behalf of CH2M HILL, a civil engineering company contracted by the Department of Defense.
Wide the proximity; tired the fences
who love such ruined field; abandoned
the fuel as a system of fuel who instead
bit into volcano-washed earth;
this area at dawn:
light east from the fuel-like ocean
enters a field of grass like fuel,
is collected from a site, covers
so very much of what is so
very hard to see.
A line shows maximum reach of the area of the base, and Main Gate
lets us in as it expels a vanishing ink. Contamination is observed with
concentration we forget to hold
at the sound of booming aircraft,
the heft of what leaks, the force
of a lung as it shoves out what
it doesn’t need. A yawn is possible,
but who is ever fully awake.
Caught in the fence is a light that won’t touch the soil behind it, transferring only
shadow as a network of chain-links, as a phantom of enclosure. We have provided
pathway for contaminants but
come on, what area ever is fully
contained. Fuel is a dawn, is a
burning through the body
as it wakes.