Ship Manifest

by Terry Trowbridge

Ship Manifest

now; I dream that golden ship with all its sails

-Emile Nelligan, Ship of Gold, 56.

  1. On Shipwrights


The imperative now.

Images launch. Last century launch was a computing metaphor.

Earlier last century, launch was a rocketry metaphor for a procedural sequence.

Two centuries ago, launch was a nautical verb.

See also: overload and battery.

This century, launch is a synonym for starting an action.


Launch is not a synonym for beginnings. 

Launching is not latent, not embryonic.

A seed is not a tree. The sapling launches a tree.

A tree can launch a seed.

A seed cannot launch a tree.


A tree is the beginnings of timber.

A tree is not a boat.

Boats do launch.

Boats do journey.

Launch. Journey.

Images launch.


  1. On Charting


The imperative now.


I dream the golden ship with all its sails.

Do I dream the wind that furls them?


Turn me over.

Does the ship capsize?


Publish my manifesto.

Is it only an allegory for my dream?


Dreaming means I am alone.

The golden ship is mine.


Now; I dream.

What is mine is golden.


  1. Keel Versus Mutiny

Now. The imperative now.

This is my manifesto:

the imperative now.

The past is no more.

Dream or launch. 

Dream and launch. 

Dream as launch.