aglimpseof 17 . GAIA’s FLESH

FROM “GAIA’s FLESH” TO “THE EARTH”

October 2014-March 2015

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

CONTENTS

• 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. http://poetrykanto.com/issues/2007-issue/tada-chimako/tada-chimako-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

GAIA IS GONE

Louise Anne Buchler

You wont find Gaia on a yoga mat
downward dog
arse skyward – upside down, fuelled on organic oats and manuka honey
or on the self-help shelf at Waterstones on a two for one deal
where the essential womanhood is spouted from a font like the one you saw in Salisbury Cathedral
reflecting back centuries – along with your face
or in Oxfam, where you discovered a collection of poetry from the 70s for a quid – and displaced like a satellite, sat at Liverpool Street Station wondering why they all dressed like men and spoke of revolution

The only revolution I ever knew was the passing of time, and her hands as rough as brillo pads, cupping my face

You wont find Gaia bent over a toilet bowl
or in the poetry of a man who tells you, you’re a goddess and your cunt a temple – as he woos you with lines he’s written for other women, in other bars, in other cities – cum all ye faithful.
My cunt speaks of rain and damp heat – she is no more sacred than any other – but she is mine.

The only goddess I ever knew existed in a library book – vacant eyed and bejeweled, as a man stood watching me, his cock protruding from his trousers like an angry mute and blind snake.

We all know that Biblical garden of Eden – in all its lush, fertile ripeness was just a metaphor.

Ask the woman at the bus stop with teeth like broken china where Gaia has gone – the last time she saw her was trapped in a crack pipe – spinning out of space and time like a falling star
and now Gaia doesn’t visit anymore
and she spends her benefit money in one go –
because it’s easier to avoid gardens, snakes and temptation.

I am forging my own mythology
Gaia was always such a smug bitch
she can’t be everything
she doesn’t speak my mother tongue.

Gaia’s Flesh

by Alice Hui-Sheng Chang

untitled poem



trace the 			heard
        listen to the 			melting

                                                            from where
young and little
                              is it me?

                      beyond 		      the belonging
           of death
in 				a 	liminal 	          origin

words-links: flesh, history, geography

.

Becoming Gaia

a liturgy to accompany transition

by Markie Burnhope


I mark my skin and toxins

mother ecosystem, gorgantuan
organism, curator of Pangea without borders
the ableism in mountain ranges

I have been rejecting you
and my celestial sisters, clusters
and auroras, glistening like prison keys

for churches: stone, steel
parishes and warehouses

I burn my former’s gestures with his genes

over kindling heaped with his abuses
his aversion to ambulance light and sirens

a moment to forget his name, the date
a catheter routinely forced inside his penis
a surgical gown tied behind his back to make

his incontinence pad visible to his visitors
(they’re making memes of disease as I write this)

I hope to align my mind with my contortions

I have listened to trees
described as bodies bending over
and dismissed these as metaphor
never pressing my palm to your rings of ages

my wheels have rolled
over bright wild flowers
who lay flat, repenting

the gender of air is not
in her stoop to help man tower
towards his cold concreteness
but
in her breath, her breaches

[stay still for a minute’s silence]

so if I wear the fire salamander’s textures

grant me safety and stealth
to slip underneath the water and my health
and find the earth, sleeping
my ears having heard not one
single messiah like her silence

I assign my signature’s eye not dots but holes

John Morgan Not Without

Words-links: membrane, geography, turbulence, dead

Word-link chosen by Ann Matthews for her poem Estuary: turbulent

LIJIS

by Misha de Ridder





Λέξεις-σύνδεσμοι: Οι συσπάσεις μου, οι ανάσες μου, τα χρώματά μου, οι μεταλλάξεις μου είναι ευφυία.
Words-links: My contortions, my breathing, my colors, my mutations are intelligence.

Untitled (Landscape), 2014, 40cm X 36cm, cut paper

του Λευτέρη Tάπα . by Lefteris Tapas



Λέξεις-σύνδεσμοι: Οι οπές μου, τα παράσιτά μου, η φωτεινότητά μου, οι αναταραχές μου είναι χρησμοί.

Words-links: My holes, my parasites, my luminosity, my turbulences are oracles.

Ventricle

by Steve Toase

Disguised as a wormcast, Sopdet’s heart was fragile.
Ventricles of crumbled soil.
Origami valves pumped
an argot of forgotten
names
into the air.
He held the heart
in a sweat damp palm.
Nestled against calluses.
For a moment,
he considered its taste.
Then,
let the heart
fall
into
the
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

Evanescent episodes: arrival and exodus

by Caroline de Lannoy



Λέξεις-σύνδεσμοι: ΘΑΥμαστή ΣΤΙγμιαία ΙΚΑνοποίηση. Γινόμαστε Γαία.
Words-links: MIraculous MOmentary SAtisfaction. We become Gaia.

Ann Matthews

Ann Matthews Estuary

words-links: dead, between sea and marsh, dandelion fluff, trees, turbulent,

Terrible Goddess

by Yoko Danno

Among piles of dust and ashes lie
yesterday’s fireflies—motherfucker,
mother earth, who swallows all
sentient beings—have you ever
thrown up corpses from indigestion?

“I will defy death by setting up
1,500 maternity homes in a single day
in the land of the living,” god retorts
to his wife, the eater of bizarre food,
the multi-faced goddess with centi-legs

Her white hair floating in the air
like dandelion fluff—rootless,
will-less, antenna-less— she goes
sailing with every shift of wind.―
Tomorrow maybe a turn for a new life

“Animals don’t escape to somewhere,
but from something,*” god says. In time
a moonlit pear tree may grow― but for now
he is singing sweet love songs for humans
under the shadow of nuclear umbrellas


*Quoted from “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel