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Pollutours Trash Island Excursions: $349.99 by M.W. Irving

Pollutours Trash Island Excursions: $349.99

The hours slap-chugging a microbial path

At a bacterial pace

Across the shrugging ocean’s skin

Has reduced many to choking eels,

Gawping at the brined windows.

We wear our matching overboard survival gear,

Rental included, branding emblazoned,

Synthetic fabric zip-ins of pale green and mint.


Reads in serif font

Coast to coast across every torso.

The rainbow slicks of the spill we saw yesterday

Had a four-and-a-half-star-rating online.

It deserved, upon reflection, only four.

This had better be better

Be worth it.

One among us, whose barf-bag runneth over,

Ventures to shout silently into the chop and wind

To the Guide at the helm

Squinting through the elements

At the rhythmic rise and drop.

Five minutes his lips say,

Five fingers spread.

There’s water hiss between harmonized retching.

All that’s left now is our sour bile.

Cuffs and shoes are stained as our

Breakfasts, topped with froth,

Swirl over the ground to mix

With the rocking of the current swells.

Heads come up from between knees,

Gasping and gulping,

At the inevitable treble-ravaged announcement:

We have arrived.

A slow and stinking march

Brings us above decks.

Then there it is – the great Western Patch.

Trash Island.

There are glints of emerald plastic amongst The bird-boned sludging of prolapsed netting,

As advertised.

Clogged seaweed arteries streak

Heaped gobbets of maggot-pale mats.

It’s a soaking undulator,

Stretching an infected lesion

As far as can be seen.

The photos will be exquisite.

Neck dangled cameras lift and crack.

Lenses twist focus

Onto what the ocean has drawn in arcs

With our shit

The water’s impatient surface

A subway bathroom mirror

In the worst part of town.

Selfies are taken. Fun facts are announced.

“The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located between California and Hawaii, is the largest known trash island. It covers an area estimated to be twice the size of Texas.”

Selfies are taken. There’s a ripple of applause.

“Trash islands are formed by ocean currents called gyres that create circular patterns. These gyres trap and accumulate floating debris.”

Oohs precede appreciative Aahs. Selfies are taken.

“Trash islands are not solid masses, they are concentrated areas of collected loose debris, including plastics, discarded fishing gear, and other waste.”

Selfies are saved for later upload

When slurping expanses no longer swallow signal.

The tour-boat’s motor belches to a phlegmatic start,

Announcing the tour’s end.

So, we shuffle below.

Shortly, the chorus of retching crescendos again.

I leave five stars.


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