Marginalia after Lansing / by Matthew Thompson


Today, a monotony of existence extreme,
a blinding sameness that screamed by,
without interruption,
as a chaotic confused nightmare.

And so it went.

Blood-warm and already partially frost-bitten.
Beneath great drunken green waves.


Within seconds,
we were truly unconscious.
Absolute dead dreamless sleep.
Fatal sleep,
freezing death.

A long forgotten feeling, trails off, exhausted.
In all directions is a desolate and hostile, strangely disobedient
Antarctically speaking,
we had spent the day
cutting one another's hair.

(From Alfred Lansing's Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage)



    In related news, Russian scientists successfully reached a subglacial lake beneath Antarctica today after drilling through 2 miles of solid ice for over a decade. The ancient fresh body of water is roughly the size of Lake Ontario and has been sealed off from light and air for somewhere between 15 to 34 million years.