Where I Go: The Biting Cold of Open-Water Swimming

When the Ocean Temperature Plunges in the Winter, There’s Nowhere to Hide

I’m alone in my Brooklyn apartment on a Friday night, and I’ve decided I don’t want to live anymore. It’s November 2019, and it’s the third time this year I’ve arrived at this dead-end; maybe the third time’s the charm. I can’t stop crying. I don’t do drugs but wish I did. I haven’t had a drink in two years, but the memory of single malt scotch plays on repeat. I’m fluent in the use of various weapons but have no guns, just a drawer filled with sharp culinary knives …

The Wave

The wave a moving gray ridge
curve from the gray horizon and
pelicans, gray too, glide just
over its forward slope sight I
never tire of from the water
I …

Song of the Humming Drumlins

I got to get, to get, to get—no
to return the ice cubes I found
in my pocket to the freezer.

Time passes: closets, mirrors,
laundry, arguments, secret
hiding places. Bottom …

The World Below the Brine

The world below the brine,
Forests at the bottom of the sea, the branches and leaves,
Sea-lettuce, vast lichens, strange flowers and seeds, the thick tangle,
openings, and pink turf,

Killing Time with the Fishermen of Santa Monica Pier

Photos of the Anglers Who Hang Out Beneath the Ferris Wheel, Take in the Ocean Breeze, and Wait for a Bite

On the lower deck of the Santa Monica Pier—below the Pacific Park solar-powered Ferris wheel, Inkie’s Pirate Ship ride, and oceanfront West Coaster—there’s a quiet community of fishermen and women.

Many …

You’ve Never Seen the California Coast Like This Before

Laura Plageman Photographs the Pacific, Crumples Up Her Prints, Then Photographs Them Again

A craggy rock emerges in sharp relief out of the ocean. Swarms of birds descend into crashing waves. A blue sky of clouds resembles a crumpled piece of paper, discarded …