I ate from the sea today and it made me sick.
Cod does not go well with December memories
Of rusted zip shoved hastily down Japanese denim,
Not sewn to end up in such rough hands.
The label says TAKE CARE-
Do not put in a spin cycle.
Do not leave to dry under the covers for a week.
Do not soak in one hour of one day for longer than is necessary.
We create the drawer that must not be opened.
We take a quick stock-list each time that we kick something new in and re-bury the key:
- Blue Cod
- Summer Days of 22 Degrees Celsius
- The smell of Raspberries
- A horse whiny
- Men aged 18-25
Of rusted zip shoved excitedly down Japanese denim,
Not sewn to end up in such greedy hands.
People say ‘isn’t the weather is nice today?’ because they don’t know what else to say. Nod. Return to the covers. Soak for a week.
My girl is a storm cloud. Heavy with the weight of all that she carries she is trembling but still she marches. Forward. She teaches me the meaning of perseverance. She teaches me that taking that quivering lead shell of anxiety around love and opening it to her is not weakness. It is trust and trust is a sword.
My girl is a serpent. She sees that I believe that I am snakelike- un-lovable, deceitful, un-caring. She laughs and tells me to suck my venom dry from the throats of young boys and aim to strike something bigger than them, bigger than her. She is well versed in the fight, her coils are scarred with losses and lessons.
My girl is 7 in the morning. She is the dizziness from getting out of bed too fast. She is fucking unbearable. She is also the pill that you need to swallow to make it through the day; she is also the shock of pink dawn; she is also the yellow door-frame halfway through the commute. You’ve never seen it before but you’d never miss it now.
You told her that /time was constructed/ and she was too young to hear it.
An eye for raw denim, pressed powder, bottom shelf- highest percentage.
Constructed by whom?
/Who but the rulers of the sky who rake their fingers through the clouds and weave the atmosphere into golden nylon
Who have used a thick needle to push and pull that string through your skull
Even when you’re gloriously blank, laid down in crunchy leaves in autumn- drifting off into the spin cycle- listening to songs from days that have died in your legs/your throat/your stomach- do you feel it tugging?
FOR A LIMITED _____ ONLY!
RUNNING OUT OF ______.
I don’t have _______.
I don’t have _______./
An eye for top shelf- highest percentage, pressed cheekbones, raw silk.
You told her that /that nylon string makes a beautiful cocoon to hibernate in until everyone is gone./
Carefully weave thorn-covered vines through the memories that you don’t want, let your fingers bleed, let them cry for your stupidity
I used to look at your sleeping face and imagine a child that I’d never wanted before
Shove the memories down your throat and swallow, may you bleed internally and suffer for months, may you smile widely at your dearest friends.
Don’t compromise yourself again.
A week ago, she asked me:
What does your golden hour look like?
Tell me about the first time that you looked into a downpour and found that you wanted to hold an individual droplet on your fingertip and watch it melt into your skin because that process of not-quite-involuntary-return was so beautiful-
so beautiful that you either wanted to fall in love with or fight and scream at the next stranger who passed you- so beautiful when you see all of those tiny links in the world like bright slashes of starlight- so beautiful when you realise that you’re all alone and unimportant-
A week ago, it seemed vital to respond:
My golden hour looks medical.
I tell her about the first time it seemed like truth had been warped but people still wanted to chop it up into tiny black and white pieces and separate them into old newspaper to be sold for a dollar- buy a wrong, buy a right-
the confusing thing was that nobody knew what right was and what right really was was arbitrary- particularly when it’s the last hour of your life and it’s crucial to stop the bleeding but all of the photo frames in your home are dripping- the nurse sighs and rolls up her sleeves because she’s seen this all before-
I looked back at her. She was disinterested. It began to rain when she left.
He tells me to prise open white bone/ take an axe to an edge of jagged cut snow/ burrow into the ground to hibernate and live
within that line.
His sentences are disjointed/ he’s a rabbit with it’s foot stuck in a trap/ fever’s grip: “I feel like I’m running out of time- I feel like
Can’t physically reach him through a receiver/ but he knows that now we’re looking down the barrel of the same gun/ I can’t speak his enemy’s language,
and he won’t translate.
(This rant should only be imagined under the following hypothetical circumstances: my chemical romance plays in the background, it’s an average college party someone decided to get cheeky with the throwbacks, drunk dude is nodding at what you’re saying but not really listening, you’re on your third cigarette and counting)
Recently, I’ve been looking into natural capital, or our ecosystems, and how we can better include them within today’s economy in order for us to assign value to ecosystems and therefore encourage us, as people, to value them more than we do now.
How we perceive value under capitalism is probably one of our greatest problems. What we value and what we see as ‘useful’ and ‘useless’ defines what is given respect and allowed to thrive. When something is ‘useful’ or valuable to us it is seen as something that can be turned into money, which can be turned into food/clothing/shelter/amassing stuff. An example being, my attempt to learn some te reo Māori (Māori language of New Zealand) by some of my white pākehā/European family members has been seen as a useless attempt/a language that will not be useful for me or anyone else going forward as, in their eyes, it’s not valuable (and will not create cash inflow).
In this way, the way that we value culture, societal groups and our environment (even down to little things like certain food crops) is all linked within this ‘useful = something that brings foreseeable book/monetary value to us’ line of thought. Pre-Christianity and pre-industrialisation, indigenous and/or pagan thought valued the earth, community and family. There was an understanding that in order to keep balance and harmony we needed to listen/pay attention to the tangible and intangible things around us (the seasons, our social bonds) to best create a system that benefits these. However now, we’ve started from the other way. We’ve created a system, that purposefully comes across deeply coded and difficult to understand, that informs how we all live and how our earth reacts to it.
So maybe, ‘natural capital’ needs to not be seen within ‘books’ or economic systems. Our ecosystems should be informing us on how to view value, not the other way around. It is obvious that the shift toward a more sustainable economic system needs to come from within ‘developed’/OECD nations (seeing as we are both: the biggest polluters, ones with the most internationally recognised power (soft & hard) and the nations who drive ‘value’ and ‘capital’ in other nations). But how do you break down a system that the most powerful still believes is working? How do you bring a conversation about valuing ‘being eco friendly’ to people who are working well over 40 hour weeks and just trying to get by? Who is going to create a new acceptable system that will work for our booming populations? Does is start with protest? Does it start with small grassroots communities? Or does it have to begin with policy makers and structural change?