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Clade Song 13

Lake Michigan Sentence Fragments

If no life ring, | DUNEGRASS | as biomonitor of trace | actions on plastics | The sponge Eunapius fragilis | leaving the South Ravine | tiny fibers that break | intra- and intersite variation | herring gull full of straws | Currents and waves | to determine the degree | bottlecap

swash zone | stormwater leaving | nearshore beach | autochthonous in the environment | from polluting | negative for e. coli | formed a frosted crest | some cross reactivity | gull fecal samples | ice chunk | potentially dangerous situations | gull | algae heartier, plankton scarcer

sandy stretches | with oversight of contracts | inlet or outlet | subset of the presumptive isolates | BEACH KEY | enough to desolate fish populations | corpse tackle embedded | pounds of plastic | the beach when it rains | burden on bathing waters | of the Cape Town protocol

(pseudosection) | given the Dock tacit approval | Get this: The bird was | C. jejuni or C. coli. | the ecosystem destroying | for erosion control | gull populations for the presence of | or Devonian age antrium shale | bowfins scurrying | In 1870, the Woolen Mills Dam |

A few miles out on the lake | the flex condition index | that solutions to plastic pollution |fish spine | between sediment physical qualities and tissues | drowning can happen in a | near to the bottom | frozen custard | clean-up | more like an inland sea than a lake | (plastic) creep


Photographs taken at Bradford Beach, Milwaukee, with text culled from local signage, newspaper articles, and phrases composed by the author.

Articles used:

Behrens, Michael. “VERIFY: Is Lake Michigan The Most Dangerous Lake?” WZZM, August 4,

Clark, William. “Lake Michigan Plastic Pollution Poses Ecological and Social Threats.” The Daily
Northwestern. January 27, 2021.

Greene, Morgan. “An Estimated 300 Trillion Invasive Mussels Blanket Lake Michigan. Eradication
May Be Impossible, But Small-Scale Removal Efforts Could Be the Answer.” Chicago Tribune,
August 1, 2021.

Kean, William, and Benjamin Dickinson. A Multiple Instrument, Sub-Surface Investigation of the
Bradford Beach Shoreline in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. UW-Milwaukee Geosciences (2008).

Kinzelman, Julie, and Sandra L. McLellan, et al. “Identification of human enteric pathogens in gull
feces at Southwestern Lake Michigan bathing beaches.” Canadian Journal of Microbiology, vol.
54, no. 12 (2008): pp.1006-1015.

Schoults-Wilson, W. Aaron, et al. “Zebra Mussels (Dreisena Polymorpha) as a Biomonitor of Trace
Elements Along the Southern Shoreline of Lake Michigan.” Environmental Toxicology and
Chemistry, vol. 34, no. 2 (2015): pp. 412–419,.
DOI: 10.1002/etc.2825

Silva, Marcia R.,and Hector R. Bravo, et al. “Effect of hydrological and geophysical factors on
formation of standing water and FIB reservoirs at a Lake Michigan beach.” Journal of Great
Lakes Research vol. 40 (2014): pp. 778–789.

Small, Virginia. “Milwaukee County Expands Vendors’ Control Over Bradford Beach, Allows
Closures of Public Beach for Special Events.” Shepherd Express, August 6, 2021.

Smith, Paul A. “Three Extremely Rare Birds Help Ring in the New Year in Milwaukee.” Milwaukee
Journal Sentinel,January 6, 2022.






Seth Copeland grew up in southwest Oklahoma and currently lives, teaches, and studies in the Milwaukee metro. He is the author of the chapbook Plug in the Mountain (Yavanika Press, 2023) and the cohost of Finally, Poetry. He edits petrichorCream City Review, and its digital imprint Cheshire.