Sand Reckoning

Appearing at the State of the Nation Festival in New Orleans, 5pm Friday, March 20, 2009, a work-in-progress presentation of Sand Reckoning.


Sand Reckoning is a prose poem, spoken and sung, a saga of people and rivers, canals and bridges, levees and outlets, nitrogen, tailings, and coliform spume… a litany of modern “improvements” upon the oldest relationship in the civilized world. It’s a story of the infra-structurists, the genius architects of that vast inflexible network of transportation and commerce, who bent the natural features of the land to the service of unimaginable wealth and national power. Stumbling into the 21st century on the back of this rusted behemoth, Sand Reckoning asks whether we are reconciled to follow in the well-trodden path of least-resistance, or will we forge anew?


McMahon, Michal. “Publick Service” versus “Mans Properties”: Dock Creek and the Origins of Urban Technology in Eighteenth-Century Philadelphia in Judith A. McGaw’s Early American Technology, 1994

Watson, John Fanning. Annals of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania, in the Olden Time, v. I, 1857, specifically the chapter entitled “The Drawbridge and Dock Creek” pp. 336-349

Levine, Adam. The History of Philadelphia’s Watersheds and Sewers