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Earth Hurts

“the hurt, earth, hurt beautiful” –Valerie Martinez

I can’t quite figure out the syntax of this thing, but hurt Earth, beautiful the Earth, not “the” but Earth. We don’t say “the Shae,” we say Shae. Yes we need homespace and this hurt Earth throbs up to me from the ground. All the barking beds, forks in  lawns (a multi-perforation). On 20th Avenue, plastic cutlery stabbed downward, knives and forks for eating the soil. I saw this.

I’ll be walking, or laying on the porch, bared soles to the wind, and the tree out front will curve down toward me, I’ll feel the tree pulse, pulsing, with love. This hurt Earth beautiful, but not like “you beautiful mess, you hot mess.” Those anthropocentric distractions.

Still and after all of it I feel Earth loving us through her sobbing.

The kids I teach at the middle school resist writing by hand, whine and complain, don’t want so much slow-hand, so much slow. This act is physical: pen paper, arm, and fingers. Their hands cramp with disuse. They live in their brains, in digitized landscapes. Are addicted to their computers. The big belief is that computers will save us, will better us.

I see a real distinction between technology and craft. Technology confronts the world, forces it to do things it wouldn’t do naturally. Craft belongs to a humbler, more ancient relationship with nature–going with the flow.     –Christopher Manes

One can make the case that the constraint of our psyche has turned us into the Earth’s walking wounded. Brian Swimme says the modern condition–alienation and loneliness–comes from unarticulated rage that we have been so profoundly cut off from the larger reality, the universe, the sacred whole.                                                          –Charlene Spretnak

The urban proliferation of anxiety, loneliness, listlessness, etcetera–I have a name for this widespread malaise and it is Earth Hurt.  Earth Hurt. My hurt heart my heart hurts and heavies, heaviness brambles, a thicket, a thimble, a woman named Thumbelina. It keeps going.



The Latin root of the words “corporate” and “corporeal” is “corpus”–the body of a person or animal, especially when dead.

Corporate: an association of individuals, created by law or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members.

Corporeal: the body is real.

Derrick Jensen points out that in the worldview of western civilization, everything is dead, an arrangement of objects: animals, the lesser humans (all of us except you-know-who), forests, rivers, mountains. All objects: to be taken, destroyed, traded, consumed. Produced.

I feel this in my body, in my knowing, but how to start. Unravel this knot with just-right words. It is early March and I am too warm. There is a nest exposed, high in the treetop. In other spots of vision, buds popping. Daffodils. Hyacinth. Soon, tulips. The heat is speeding things up, a cookery, a crock of Davy Crockett, all the hero-worship. How they subdued the land. Davy Crockett was a Leo, proudly burning. The work of flames is to engulf, oil in the gulf, slicking down the feathers and gills. Everything all together.

I am researching the Texas Revolution and the Invasion of Mexico.

Disney brought Davy into 1950’s living rooms. American boys with coonskin caps.

Logic can’t be counted on. A dead kind of meaning-making. Dead like The West was said to be–empty, vacuum the dust to dust, burn the corpus of it all, down and down. Homeland Security border checkpoints.

Connecting the Holes

Rereading Rita Wong’s collection “Forage.” Discovered http://www.ban.org. Basel Action Network–all about the toxic waste generated by our fancy eeel-ec-tron-ics and then DUMPED, illegally, overseas: the Philippines, China, et <retch> etcetera.

Just gets deeper.

Acceptance means saying I will look will not will to bury my head

Juxtapose all this love-living–this sunny porchsit time in May, with Romeo the cat, these songbirds, the hovering bee, 64 ounces of cool clear water to drink. Be

here. Do not begrudge myself

this. And also grieve, also

weep. Also rage

and reach.

Waiting for the Doctor

I am waiting to see a medical doctor. I sit in the windowless exam room. Hard light at the poor people clinic. Had my blood pressure and temperature checked. They weighed and measured me. The effortlessness of placing the hard plastic cover on the thermometer, before inserting it into my mouth. The perfunctory throwing away of it, into the magical garbage can, where everything just disappears, never to be seen again.

All the certainty here, in the clinic, in the structures. Certainty of procedures: the plastic gloves, the hand sanitizer at every doorway, the blood pressure cuffs, velcro, all the disposable goods. We play grown-up, go along with the program, trust the program, believe with solid certainty in the program. This is it. This set-up is real. Not:

We are animals.

That row of shiny coated paper boxes, multicolored vinyl gloves, cabinets with holes cut out for just this purpose: the dispensation of disposable gloves. As if things could go on this way forever. There is nothing beyond the neat, clean edges of this civilization. Nothing doing. The gloves just appear and disappear. The paper, the plastic. Equipments.

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Poet and Tarot Reader, specializing in Water Cartography
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