TO NAME BUT A FEW
Opaque and pale as tissue paper the sky overlay America.
Everywhere the voices of people saying in a doubtful tone, “But it
didn’t use to be like this, did it?”
And others saying with scorn, “Don’t give me that shit about the
Good Old Days!”
The mental censors rewriting history, not through rose-colored
glasses, but gray ones.
Reading, as you might say, from the top down:
Discarded first and second stages of rockets,
Fragments of vehicles which exploded in orbit.
Experimental material, e.g. reflective copper
Combustion compounds from rocket exhausts.
Experimental substances intended to react with
stratospheric ozone, e. g., sodium.
Very light radioactive fallout.
Aircraft exhaust. Medium fallout. Rainmaking
Mercaptans and other bad smells.
Products accidentally vented from underground
Selenium and cadmium from mine tailings.
Fumes from garbage incinerators burning plastic.
Nitrates, phosphates, fungicidal mercuric
compounds from “compacted soils.”
Oil-derived insecticides. Defoliants and herbicides.
Radioactives from aquifers contaminated by
underground explosions, chiefly tritium.
Lead, arsenic, oil-well sludge, fly ash, asbestos.
Polyethylene, polystyrene, polyurethane, glass, cans.
Nylon, dacron, rayon, terylene, stylene, orlon, other
Concrete and cement.
A great deal of short-wave radiation.
Carcinogens, teratogens and mutagens.
Hormones, antibiotics, additives, medicaments.
Solanine, oxalic acid, caffeine, cyanide, myristicin,
pressor amines, copper sulphate, dihydrochalcones,naringin, ergot.
Mustard gas, chlorine, Lewisite, phosgene, prussic
acid. T, Q, GA, GB, CD, GE, GF, VE, VX, CA, CN,
CS, DM, PL, BW, BZ.
-to name but a few.