msb ~081 Out of range

Out of range   

Out of range: poems by Nick Drake
‘Out of Range’, by Nick Drake

Nick Drake’s powerful ClimateCultures post offers elegant object lessons in our Anthropocene derangement.

A light bulb looks back to our before (“the guttering candle, and the dish of oil / to thread the eye of a needle, read / or cast shadows on the walls”) and its after (“when with a quiet tick / the luminous spell of our filament broke / you cast us off; and now you wish / a light perpetual and free”), advising us in our bright exile: remember the banished constellations, “the antiquated powers of the moon.”

The plastic bottle charts deep time in its making (“generated from dark matter in a split / second to join the silent masses … waiting / in the moonlight of the fridge / for you to drink down our short / stories of ancient waters”), and its unmaking into nanoparticles in ocean waves: “we will survive all the brief histories / of your unsuccessful flesh.”

The fatberg uncovers our shadow mass lurking in “the empire of the upside down / beneath the illusion of floorboards, parks and streets”; an accumulating, accreting, sclerotic non-flow of “chip fat, cold shits, dead paints, hate mail, grease / used wet-wipes, condoms, nappies, cotton buds / paracetamol, toenail-crescents, needles, hair.”

Some truths you cannot simply flush away.

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