Friday, April 10, 2020

It's Still April

... and although we are ordered to stay at home, spring breaks through occasionally... there was snow on the ground this morning, but the sun is trying to warm things up a little. We'll move beyond 40 degrees in the next days like we did a few days earlier. The flowers are starting to fill in, here and there. And because we're shut in, and the weather's turning, so many people are out walking, running, riding... so many dogs and kids. It's nice to see. Sometimes I wonder what all of those so many more people than I usually see do when there's not a stay-at-home order. Parents with kids probably have other activities and things that keep them busy. Dog owners have jobs and more tightly knit schedules. So in a way it's a nice break, for some. If for a moment it's possible to forget the terrible. If only for a quick moment to rest away from knowing what others who don't have this break, who have the virus, who are caring for others who have the virus, who are staffing the auto repair shops and grocery stores so some of us can be at home... what they are dealing with now, and the fear that we all have about how long this will last, how many we will lose, what life will look like on the other side.

April is also poetry month. And here, I offer some pieces that are not exactly poetry but that are born of poetry in a way, from a project-in-process about another simultaneous and related kind of continuing catastrophe...

Geology is a mode of accumulation, on the one hand, and of dispossession, on the other, depending on which side of the color line you end up on … [we must] resist framing this epoch [Anthropocene]  as a “new” condition that forgets its histories of oppression and dispossession...

--Yusoff Black Anthropocene (3)


If I looked different and was still myself I would want to do things in the world, go places, experience the quiet and calm that being away from traffic noise in particular can offer. As the climate apocalypse heats up literally and figuratively, we will all eventually have to fight for spaces out of the way in the woods, near the water, fighting off everyone from everywhere else coming here, to the great lakes state, great lakes great times, because it will be the best place to live out the climate disaster years in peace, and by then we might be out of the resources needed to perpetuate the noise anyhow, won’t be able to drive cars, run machines, industry will slow to a halt. And it might get crowded, the rural spaces diversify, conversations turn to everyday survival, movement slackened. I think about how it might get real quiet, without the blast of progress barreling forward, a turn back to simple humanity, something to look forward to, the quiet of the apocalypse.


In campaign season advertisements roar, shout, clamor. TV, radio, internet cacophony. Billboards, mail flyers, my computer with the sound on mute shouts images, headlines, memes, ads purporting, contradicting, claiming, promising, fear-mongering. Millions and millions spent on accumulating environmental and cultural catastrophe instead of just spending the money to fix anything except military, border walls, and corporate tax breaks. Maybe one of them will fix something. If we could have a moment of true silence to get us there.


Frank Luntz, a Republican consultant, once said: “There’s a simple rule. You say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and you say it again, and then again and again and again and again, and about the time that you’re absolutely sick of saying it is about the time that your target audience has heard it for the first time.” Luntz has been active on many (dis)information campaigns and is the author of the book, Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say It’s What People Hear.


Koch headquarters is in Wichita, Kansas. The state of Kansas held hearings on evolution. Whether to teach evolution in school or teach something else. The other side. Is there another side to evolution? Like is there another side to climate change? get opposing views to be fair. But the opposing views are totally made up. Or Leave stuff out. Or are only about religion, which isn’t part of public school curriculum. Or whatever. How did we get here? It’s like a Talking Heads song. Played on Kansas News. In reverse. Satanic messages. Like evolution. A backward big bang. Kochs love Kansas. Probably suicidal over the newest Kansas NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) that focus on fact-based, scientific processes and practices, and hands-on doing. The more people know the harder it is to control them.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

from the Annotated Apocalypse Project


A girl, a planet, an apocalypse

Annie Dillard’s million tiny apocalypses
under the microscope, a lens into a world

Beckett’s nuclear arsenal of language
not play, I’m serious

Make a treaty, break it
the earth suffers

like dominoes: one species after another, or simultaneous
weather, and resources

Break it: the earth is where we live
like pigs in fragile houses
brick also crumbles

especially brick made in contemporary
capitalism: cheap ass shit
built to sell, decay, disperse like a cloud
cumulus raining into landfills