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From Counter-Desecration: A Glossary for Writing Within the Anthropocene*

archive: a place is an archive of its own ruins. A place is the archive of trauma as fact. It happened here. The ships came by to pick up people, their cargo and the people hauling cargo. The Pacific is our trauma and our desire. The rim is everywhere there has been a war to get caught up in—always carrying the officer’s status in the body—always involved in the closed-door domesticity of empire. Your daily commute through it, or your tourist visit to it, or your wrong turn leading to it, or your binding obligation to stay in it may be a document of the place’s ruin. You can sense the bodies that passed through the place before. Flown above. Eaten tunnels through. Exposed the brick and fuel spills. Paid out. Locked down. The body knows more than the curatorial eye of the drone or the tight porn shot. Or the preservation’s weak references, the developers’ biopolitical commitments to life. Ruins and remains post-disaster is a place of present presence, neither past nor futurist. “Which by now have turned into ruins.” “He was there to collect the past.”

azhigwa: now is not a time for grief or silence. the earth spits forth its seeds; new life germinates in even the narrowest crevices, the waters surface and rush. azhigwa is to breathe time, to thread one’s hands through the atmospheric filaments, there, on the branch. a dissimulation of birds. ask them to tell their story. it is not pretense or deceit to survive a catadysmk extinction, listen to their songs. this note, how it trills beside the next. azhigwa. we are torqued and bleeding. already. we are to bring (a person) to (the) earth. To cost the earth. Earth almond. Earth art. Earth artist. Earth auger. Earth bag. Earthbaking. Earth-bank. Earth-based. Earth bath. Earth battery. Earthbedded. Earth-beetle. Earthbind. Earth-bird. Earth-blinded. Earthbob. Earth-bottom. Earth-bred. Earth-built. Earth-burrower. Earth car. Earth chestnut. Earth-child. Earth closet. Earth coal. Earth connection. Earth-conscious. Earth-convulsing. Earth-creeping. Earth current. Earth dam. Earth-damp. Earth day. Earth-delving. Earth-destroying. Earth-devouring. Earth-dimmed. Earth dog. Earth-drake. Eartheating. Earth-ejected. Earth-embracing. Earth-fed. Earth-flea. Earthflea-beetle. Earth-floored. Earthflow. Earth fly. Earth-foam. Earthfold. Earth fork. Earth-friendly. Earth girl. Earth-glacier. Earth god. Earth goddess. Earth-hauling. Earth history. Earth hog. Earth-holder. Earth-hole. Earth hut. Earth-incinerating. Earth inductor. Earth ivy. Earth lead. Earth leakage. Earth life. Earth-line. Earth loop. Earth-lord. Earth-louse. Earth-made. Earth-magic. Earth-maker. Earth-measure. Earth-measuring. Earth-moon. Earthmoss. Earth-mound. Earth-mouse. Earth movement. Earth-noise. Earth of alum. Earth of vitriol. Earth-oil. Earth orbit. Earth-orbiting. Earth pea. Earth-piercing. Earth-pig. Earth pigment. Earth pillar. Earth plane. Earth-planet. Earth plate. Earth-pole. Earth-power. Earth-puff. Earth-refreshing. Earth resistance. Earth-rind. Earth-roofed. Earth-rooted. Earth sack. Earths-amazing. Earth satellite. Earth-scraper. Earth sculpture. Earth-sheltered. Earth sheltering. Earth shock. Earth-shrew. Earth shrinkage. Earth sign. Earthslide. Earthslip. Earth-smell. Earth-smelling. Earth smoke. Earth soul. Earth-spider. Earth spike. Earth spirit. Earth spring. Earth-sprung. Earth-squirrel. Earth-stained. Earth station. Earth-subduer. Earth-surface. Earth table. Earth-threatening. Earth throe. Earth tilting. Earth time. Earth-tint. Also calling to (the) Earth. Earth to Earth. Earth-tone. Earth tongue. Earth-treading. Earth tremor. Earth-turned. Earth-vexing. Earth-wall.

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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.