Catalogue

This is my response to two things:

1. A commission from my friend Nes who provided me with amazing stimuli in the form of footage of a decrepit botanical garden in Lisbon.

2. Elizabeth Kolbert’s sobering and terrifying reflection on the anthropocene era The Sixth Extinction.

I’m shit-scared about the fate of the planet at the moment and I don’t know what to do with it all. I’m hoping to get more involved with 350.org. I’m also planning to stop banging out apocalypse porn in poetry form sometime soon.

 

 

Catalogue

A catalogue of the things which were lost
This was lost also
A reflexive index of
Self-husking kernels

Redundant taxonomies abound in this abundance
The tropical world connects to our own through the tiniest aperture
We have to train lizards to be our eyes and ears
They dart through the corroded ambitions of architects

Roads become monuments, spanning distances between random points
Yellowed phrasebooks have no purpose
Each word a miniscule drop in the ether
A sleepy wasp twitching its stinger

The stacked future topples its structure
The underhand surgeon unravels the suture
Sensory system formed by microbeads tasting the rotting coral
The sharp tang of oil at the heart of it all

Latticework of hydrocarbons
Misremembered animals and sentient trash
The internet of former things
Objects revealed by the retreating glacier

An incrementally boiled frog waves from the saucepan
The festering hydra thrashes in murky water
Buffalo are killed by dronestrike
Malware riddles the seedbank

Divining scenarios from blasted trees
Or working backwards from rusting farm machinery, partially buried in mud
To reinvent the sickle which swipes at the sheaf
The celebrated food surplus which powered this thought

And we are a yeast which briefly flourished
A butterfly stuck in a corrupted chrysalis
Cataclysm greasers, ceremonial scuffers of lines in the sand
Grappling with a rapidly declining razzmatazz quotient

Slurp! and our system gulps down all possible futures
Gone! The Romans, the landscape features
Empty the heart, and empty the granaries
Press our final flowering in the book of ages

the carousel spins around the volcano
the rituals of wolves are translated for the last time
everything which is capable of being recreated
will become the exact opposite of itself

the prairie is blocked off: a total no-go area
poly-tunnels rear in the wind like unruly dragons
the rockpools will be trapped in
endlessly gnashing teeth of granite

every form will lapse into incoherence
there will be winters without witnesses
when our witless shadows rub themselves out
Out epitaph reads “they paid as they went”