Future

I was browsing through the 30 or so poems I wrote—& agonized over the quality of—on my return to England & this one feels cogent to the circumstances we currently find ourselves groaning under. I have been writing about access to futures through the lens of queer theory and ecology. They share a common problem: both are concerned with closing a certain gap. This is the gap between the inside and the outside, or here and there. This manifests as alterity in queer theory. In ecology, as the erroneous perception that there is an ‘away’. Both these errors contribute to unstable futures. Because we fail to address difference we fail to be properly ecological, that is, properly understanding the symbiotic relationship we have with environments & the things that populate them sentient or not.

There is an ecological strata, a material turn in the matter of the poem. This was the nascent turn toward the object in my poems, which came at a time I was flooding (after a long absence) myself with theory. I think that comes through, in a necessarily aesthetic way…this is poetry after all. But I think it shows that theory functions in an aesthetic form. I appreciate that an appraisal of aestheticized theory is perhaps a heavily subjective niche. Nonetheless, as I find theory aesthetically pleasing, I may as well gaff about with it, as the ontological ruminations it produces are interesting if a little opaque. That’s poetry all over, right?

Future


‘Save us! Save us! Betray us.’
The lithium in our batteries sucked through its carbon cap,
the light turned on us lanced.
 
Making transparency with bone; too unreal to butter us
up with soft entrailed work of the word-a-day-world.
 
We have glow-sticks instead of fireflies.
Cans of meat in gravy, breakfast in a can.
‘Save us! Save…Betrayal us.’
 
The bus moored, train, stranded. Little by little.
Damn our water. England too ancient to last out
the courage of an angry climate: one long whip of a gale;
one long yawn of the weather, once more than infrastructure can stomach.
Fold up & hope the tetrapods hold.
 
The church in armbands, submarines reach it.
The weather is no respecter of traditions.
The weather, no admirer of culture.
The climate emerges evil, scapegoat, pest
we can’t live with, nor live without;
like oxygen, radical, free, everywhere—poison.
 
Colossi beard cloudy horizons, speaking, loud speaking.
I don’t want to see them,—there flooding peripherals, beached & glum
ready to hold sad talks with allegories of themselves.
We will not get to have our say, there’ll be no anagogic fluid
in which we’ll set[tle] the score of sinew & cell.

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