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From Mere Life: An Algorithmic Poem with Human Additions

Shamus child of Ewan and Lyn found a dead beast and ate it. Shoshie child of Ansel and Jimbo stole a beak from Gillan child of Kevan and Ewan. Ewan child of Sanderson and Ashkn gave a scarab shell to Addle child of Jodi and Selma. Gillan child of Kevan and Ewan found zinc. Si child of Barbara and Jordan gave a beak to Wat child of Thatch and Kevan. Carrol child of Teriann and Lyn gave sand to Kissie child of Sigfried and Jamey: say my name, say my name. Helen child of Hendrik and Archibold found a dead beast and ate it. Jimbo child of Tommi and Thaddus gave a scarab shell to Ansel child of Helen and Rosario. Quintus child of Si and Jimbo found mud. Isadore child of Zebulon and Rosario found a beak. Magdaia child of Fleurette and Selma found sand. Mufinella child of Bridie and Canal found a beak. Joni child of Ashlen and Tim gave a nest to Briggs child of Eveline and Alanah. Joni child of Ashkn and Tim and Briggs child of Eveline and Alanah begat Quincy and hoped that one day he might meet the shore. Addle child of Jodi and Selma found mud. Zebulon child of Tommi and Thaddus found a dead beast and ate it. Putting aside the image of Zebulon’s fingers sinking into the beast, the economic nature of this transaction is worth pausing to appreciate: 1) The act of eating a dead beast is revolting. 2) The production of dead beasts, fallen animals that are explicitly not meat, cannot be easily taken over by traditional forms of meatification such as hunting or large-scale beast farming. In that

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About Boston Review

The poems in What Nature were not written on Walden Pond. They were not written because poetry can save the Earth. If they are a far cry from last century's nature poetry, it is because "nature" today is a far cry from sanctuary or retreat. These poems are not at ease and there is no place left to retreat. They are themselves far cries: urgent calls for rethinking our place on an imperiled planet.