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Fresh Kills Landfill in New York, open 1947–2001, was once the largest landfill in the
world, and visible from space.
Our kingdom is of trash
Trash the crown
of gulls wheeling on the methane updrafts
Trash the throne,
this scaffold of carcass and crust
Out of alley and attic, out of sewer and sluice,
trash creeps among us—
Trash the claw, the moving in darkness
Trash the animal out of place:
the body blown against the fence, the meat that spills over the border
Trash the skin we shed and shed,
and over it grows, and over it grows—
Trash the forest. Trash the reef that whitens the sea,
that drags the sky, that flaps
its baggy wings in the branches of trees
Trash this language
that clutters, that eddies and snags, and whelps
its litter in hoarded places
Trash this mouth that undecomposes
This mouth now waiting to howl
Read other poems from What Nature here.
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In her new book, Danish poet Olga Ravn writes with open love, pity, and compassion for her strange yet familiar creations.
Draconian individual punishment distracts from systemic change and reinforces the cruelest and most racist system of incarceration on the planet.
Our well-being depends on a better understanding of how the logic of labor has twisted our relationship with pleasure.