memphis flood

Tributaries (from the upcoming digital chapbook Re:construction)

If it keeps on raining, the levee’s gonna break

The townspeople all pray to be saved  

And the runoff drains into open graves

Levees kicked down by a foot of rain a day


The buildings on Beale Street form a new bluff

Some run up north and some just stay and get drunk

Drowning in whiskey and watching the water rise

Looking their lovers in the eyes across the river, 60 miles wide


Holding onto grandma’s wedding rings and a few old family photos

As the whole town drops to a watershed stroke

Bullets and beans are traded for hooch, opium, and coke

Men carve felled trees into boats, bloated corpses float


Conducting an orchestra of deafening thunder and struggling cries

Setting electric sculptures against a soul-swallowing sky 

Sitting on the roof of a farmhouse, watching fish and furniture pass by

Dipping toes in the water and singing hymns of the endtimes

URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED  
FLOOD WATCH  
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MEMPHIS TN  
347 AM CDT SUN MAY 17 2015  
 
...FLASH FLOODING POSSIBLE THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH MONDAY ACROSS  
MUCH OF NORTHEAST AND EAST CENTRAL ARKANSAS...THE MISSOURI  
BOOTHEEL...MUCH OF WEST TENNESSEE AND PORTIONS OF NORTHWEST  
MISSISSIPPI...  
 
.MOIST AND UNSTABLE AIR WILL CONTINUE TO COVER THE MIDSOUTH  
THROUGH MONDAY. UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCES WILL INTERACT WITH THIS  
ATMOSPHERE THROUGH MONDAY. IN ADDITION...A COLD FRONT WILL SLOWLY  
APPROACH THE REGION FROM THE NORTHWEST AND MOVE INTO THE AREA  
MONDAY. NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WITH HEAVY RAINFALL  
WILL OCCUR. FLASH FLOODING IS POSSIBLE IN THE WATCH AREA. THE  
FLASH FLOOD WATCH MAY NEED TO BE EXTENDED TO INCLUDE MORE OF THE  
MIDSOUTH IN LATER FORECASTS.  
 
ARZ008-009-017-018-026>028-035-036-048-049-MOZ113-115-MSZ001-007-  
TNZ001>004-019>022-048>055-088>090-171700-  
/O.NEW.KMEG.FF.A.0005.150517T1700Z-150518T2300Z/  
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.OO/  
RANDOLPH-CLAY-LAWRENCE-GREENE-CRAIGHEAD-POINSETT-MISSISSIPPI-  
CROSS-CRITTENDEN-ST. FRANCIS-LEE AR-DUNKLIN-PEMISCOT-DESOTO-  
TUNICA-LAKE-OBION-WEAKLEY-HENRY-DYER-GIBSON-CARROLL-BENTON TN-  
LAUDERDALE-TIPTON-HAYWOOD-CROCKETT-MADISON-CHESTER-HENDERSON-  
DECATUR-SHELBY-FAYETTE-HARDEMAN-  
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...POCAHONTAS...PIGGOTT...CORNING...  
WALNUT RIDGE...PARAGOULD...JONESBORO...HARRISBURG...BLYTHEVILLE...  
WYNNE...WEST MEMPHIS...FORREST CITY...MARIANNA...KENNETT...  
CARUTHERSVILLE...SOUTHAVEN...OLIVE BRANCH...TUNICA...  
TIPTONVILLE...UNION CITY...MARTIN...DRESDEN...PARIS...DYERSBURG...  
HUMBOLDT...MILAN...HUNTINGDON...CAMDEN...RIPLEY TN...COVINGTON...  
BROWNSVILLE...ALAMO...JACKSON...HENDERSON...LEXINGTON...PARSONS...  
DECATURVILLE...BARTLETT...GERMANTOWN...COLLIERVILLE...MEMPHIS...  
MILLINGTON...SOMERVILLE...OAKLAND...BOLIVAR  
347 AM CDT SUN MAY 17 2015  
 
...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM NOON CDT TODAY THROUGH MONDAY  
AFTERNOON...  
 
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MEMPHIS HAS ISSUED A  
 
* FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF EAST ARKANSAS...NORTH  
 MISSISSIPPI...SOUTHEAST MISSOURI AND WEST TENNESSEE...  
 INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS...IN EAST ARKANSAS...CLAY...  
 CRAIGHEAD...CRITTENDEN...CROSS...GREENE...LAWRENCE...LEE...  
 MISSISSIPPI...POINSETT...RANDOLPH AND ST. FRANCIS. IN NORTH  
 MISSISSIPPI...DESOTO AND TUNICA. IN SOUTHEAST MISSOURI...  
 DUNKLIN AND PEMISCOT. IN WEST TENNESSEE...BENTON...CARROLL...  
 CHESTER...CROCKETT...DECATUR...DYER...FAYETTE...GIBSON...  
 HARDEMAN...HAYWOOD...HENDERSON...HENRY...LAKE...LAUDERDALE...  
 MADISON...OBION...SHELBY...TIPTON AND WEAKLEY.  
 
* FROM NOON CDT TODAY THROUGH MONDAY AFTERNOON  
 
* NUMEROUS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL OCCUR. RAINFALL AMOUNTS  
 WILL TOTAL BETWEEN 2 AND 4 INCHES...LOCALLY MORE.  
 
* HEAVY RAINFALL MAY LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. HEAVY RAINS IN SHORT  
 PERIODS OF TIME WILL RESULT IN QUICK RISES IN WATER LEVELS ALONG  
 AREA CREEKS AND SMALL RIVERS. THIS WILL ALSO RESULT IN FLOODED  
 ROADWAYS AND LOW WATER CROSSINGS IN AREAS THAT RECEIVE FLASH  
 FLOODING.    
 
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...  
 
A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD  
TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.  
 
YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION  
SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.  
So I'm home.

And I have now seen how high the creek is by my house and oh my god.

I know. I live on relatively high ground and last year we were fine - but this isn’t last year and holy shit that creek is so high.

Of course, it was higher last week. That should be comforting, but not really.

And big fucking shocker - the schools most likely to be affected by the flood are the ones in the poor parts of town.

I did see a vulture on the way home and also some geese, including a gosling. So there’s that.