“... poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives.”
... 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.
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.