This past weekend I was attacked by yellow jackets after I hit their nest unknowingly with my lawnmower. The episode included me running through the yard screaming, stripping outdoors to my underwear, throwing buckets of water over my body, and jumping into the shower in my socks and undies, where I poured shampoo on my head in great gobs to suffocate the bees stuck in my hair. If the whole scene hadn’t been so traumatic (have you ever looked down and seen your whole leg covered in yellow jackets?), it would have been comical. Given that the incident took place in the swampy southern heat, I thought it was perhaps Zora Neale Hurston’s ghost playing tricks on me.
Like the term eco-poetics, eco-mapping draws its discursive power from the oikos, whose etymological traces are manifest in both the ecological and the economic. We use itto signify a bio- rather than an anthro-pocentric approach to the complex relationships between cartography and planetary ecosystems. We agree with Donna Haraway that it is the capitalocene, and not the anthropocene, that figures the threat of mass extinction for all biotic and abiotic life.
[Anne Tardos, whose poetry & performances have enlightened us for several decades now, emerges in Nine (BlazeVox Books, forthcoming) as an innovator of new forms that serve as a vehicle for work that incorporates, like all great poetry, the fullest range of thoughts & experiences & makes them stick in mind & memory. The form in question is called a “nine,” the reach & depth of which is described by Rachel Blau DuPlessis in the opening of a powerful introductory essay: “Anne Tardos has invented a form that is a mode of practice and thus a mode of being in language, expressed in this book with a patient excitement.
[On the anniversary today of the Hiroshima holocaust I thought to post a poem of mine written some fifteen years after the event & later performed with the Japanese novelist Oda Makoto and composer Charlie Morrow under the auspices of the Bread & Puppet Theater. The event, “Auschwitz/Hiroshima,” was a dirge for the murders by fire that marked our time and too many times before & after. The Jigoku Zoshi is a Japanese scroll of hells that dates back to the twelfth century.]
When I take an old knick knack from your shelf, a trinket, even one covered in a skim of dust, I might imagine some memory lying under that layer. It is neither my memory nor yours, yet our creative entanglement is moved by the attention, this encounter.