aglimpseof 17 . GAIA’s FLESH


October 2014-March 2015

SOURCE TEXT: The collage text Gaia’s Flesh edited by Sarah Crewe and Dimitra Ioannou


• The poem Gaia Is Gone by Louise Anne Buchler is linked to the words “Gaia.”

• The sound piece Gaia’s Flesh and an Untitled Poem by Alice Hui-Sheng Chang is linked to the words “flesh,” “history,” “geography.”

• The poem Becoming Gaia / a liturgy to accompangy transition by Markie Burnhope is linked to the words “toxins,” “genes,” “contortions,” “textures,” “holes.”

• The video Lijis by Misha de Ridder.

• The artwork Untitled (Landscape) by Lefteris Tapas is linked to the words “My holes, my parasites, my luminosity, my turbulences are oracles.”

• The visual poem Not Without Newsprint by John Morgan is linked to the words “membrans,” “geography,” “turbulences,” “dead.”

• The poem Ventricle by Steve Toase is linked to the words “goddesses,” “fallen,” “heart” from from the source text Gaia’s Flesh. | published March 14, 2015.

• The video Evanescent episodes: arrival and exodus by Caroline de Lannoy is linked to the words “MIraculous MOmentary SAtisfaction,” “We become Gaia” from the source text Gaia’s Flesh.

• The poem Estuary by Ann Matthews is linked to the words “dead,” “trees,” “dandelion fluff,” “turbulent,” “between sea and marsh.”

• The poem Terrible Goddess by Yoko Danno is linked to the words “yesterday,” “swallow,” “living,”  “wind,” “pile,” “human,” “pear tree,” “earth.”

Gaia‘s Flesh
My toxins, my temperatures, my hormones, my precipitations are climatic.
My genes, my blood cells, my organs, my wilderness are history.
My contortions, my breathing, my colors, my mutations are intelligence.
My textures, my membrans, my secretions, my definitions are geography.
My holes, my parasites, my luminosity, my turbulences are oracles.

D.I. (Dimitra Ioannou)

We live in Gaia’s flesh.
We celebrate the weeds, the incects, the gardens in motion (Gilles Clément), the MIraculous MOmentary SAtisfaction (Francis Ponge), the water goddesses, the season of hellebores (winter), the march of buds (Karel Capek), the speckled Italian salamander, the golden Greek jackal…
We become Gaia.

Gaia’s Flesh

Once, this planet had plenty of water
(But that was in the days when all those things
That now belong to a dead language – things such as dawn,
Looks, and smiles – were still portents of things to come)

Tada Chimako, After Half a Century, translated from the japanese by Jeffrey Angles.多田-智満子-Ⅲ

Yesterday I was reading about the reasons for the disappearance of song birds in Germany. The spread of scientific forestry, horticulture, agriculture, have cut them off from their nesting places and their foo
d supply. More and more, with modern methods, we are doing away with hollow trees, wastelands, brushwood, fallen leaves. I felt sore at heart. I was not thinking so much about the loss of pleasure for human beings, but I was much distressed by the idea of the stealthy and inexorable destruction of these defenceless little creatures that the tears came into my eyes.

Rosa Luxemburg: Letters From Prison Wronke, May 2nd, 1917.

Here at the sea’s edge
I have planted my dragon-toothed garden
to defend the porch,
steadfast warriors
against those who protest their impropriety
even to the end of the world.
A fathomless lethargy has swallowed me,
great waves of doubt broken me,
all my thoughts washed away.
The storms have blown salt tears,
burning my garden,
Gethsemane and Eden.

derek jarman’s garden, Thames & Hudson 1995.

Derek Jarman, Prospect Cottage, Dungeness, Kent, UK.
Derek Jarman, Prospect Cottage, Dungeness, Kent, UK.
who raised 
these rocks of human mist

pyramidical survivors
in the cyclorama of space

In the
austere theatre of the Infinite
	the ghosts of the stars
perform the "Presence"

The celestial conservatories
blooming with light
are all blown out

excerpt from Mina Loy’s, “The Starry Sky” OF WYNDHAM LEWIS, Lunar Baedeker, Poems 1921-1922.

                                                                      in tenebris
walking the land between sea and marsh
                                                                      in tenebris
floating the cows like funerary urns
                                                                      in tenebris
glossing the mud as the jewelled head
                                                                      in tenebris
the sea creatures near converse
                                                                      in tenebris
stupid beings crouched
                                                                      in tenebris

From In The Footsteps by Wendy Mulford.

Continue reading


by Steve Toase

Disguised as a wormcast, Sopdet’s heart was fragile.
Ventricles of crumbled soil.
Origami valves pumped
an argot of forgotten
into the air.
He held the heart
in a sweat damp palm.
Nestled against calluses.
For a moment,
he considered its taste.
let the heart
cracked clay beside his feet,
rubbed his hands clean
upon fraying jeans,
and did not hear
the heartbeat,
over worms
masticating the dirt.

Words-links: fallen, heart, goddesses


by Sean Smith

a question, marked
interrobang me, this
this interrogation, me
bang bang, me
in terra

a guesstimate, taken
exclamation we, with
no explanation, we
sang sang, we

a tension, elastic
ampersand be, bliss
this and and and, be
gang gang, be

WORDS-LINKS: guess, 46


by Yoko Danno

               Puffing and panting,

               to the hilltop ascending,

               what do I expect to see

               flat surface of a writhing sea?

I wanted to prolong my stay downstairs a little longer so that she might be finished for good in the bathtub upstairs―a horrifying dream. But instead I hurriedly ran up the stairs to pull her out of the water―just in time―while she was still alive. Who was the drowning woman? My indispensable opponent―a flagpole to fasten my tightrope to?

I was struggling for days to write a poem about a woman―without success. The woman appears in the mirror on the wall from time to time when I look at my reflection and sets my nerves afire. I just wanted to ask her how she had managed to escape from her cocker spaniel and the Spaniard, who she said were untiringly stalking her.

She is a big woman, followed by a lot of friends, but whenever I try to observe her closely the spaniel and the Spaniard appear and form a triangle with her. I usually lose sight of her in the ‘magical’ triangle, utterly lost in the fog. Incidentally, a few days ago I read a mystery in which a murderer is ambushed by the assumed victim.

You know what? However hard you try to flee from your giant or your fellow dog, you can’t, because they’re a part of what you are. If you successfully dismiss them, your whole system would eventually fail―that is my fear. There’s no taming one’s nature except practice―practice―practice. The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain. Whose words?

I feel a current of humid air from the south and hear the calls of birds hurrying home. Cicadas have stopped singing―sign of a storm. Clouds are gathering. The sky will soon be entirely covered without a break―through which I may have a chance to peep into a world beyond, as vast and deep as a madness for flight. Yes, an easy breakthrough is rare.

It is blowing wild, sleet banging on the roof tiles, my old house creaking badly; in occasional flashes of lightning a pair of trees are revealed―the boughs in common, the trunks joined together like Siamese twins, roars of worry howling across the hill, sending shivers up my spine. Visibility becoming poor, how I wish for a clear night!