Recently Destined For Landfill

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The Family Eco-Activism PDF, #1

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The Late Hominid Poetics Workshop

Late Hominid Poetics Workshop with Lisa Jarnot in Jackson Heights, Queens
Autumn 2015

Contact Lisa at ljarnot@protonmail.ch for more information

Since December 2014 the Late Hominid Poetics Workshop has met to hash out what it means to be a poet during the end days of Homo Sapiens.

In the winter we studied bacteria, read Lynn Margulis’s What is Life, and fermented vegetables we found on dumpster diving expeditions. We also made a wind turbine and wrote origin stories.

In the spring we learned to make fire with a bow drill and studied Masanobu Fukuoka’s The One Straw Revolution. We foraged for greens with Wildman Steve Brill and daydreamed and did nothing.

In the summer we picked raspberries in Central Park, began to make lists of people in need, and put together plans to help those in need. We read “eco” projects by poets: Lorine Niedecker’s Lake Superior and CA Conrad’s Ecodeviance. We made a bicycle generator and learned about dirt.

This fall we will enter the final season of the Late Hominid Poetics Workshop. The theme is “preparing for winter, harvesting the three sisters”. The class will meet for eight weeks on Mondays, September 28 to November 23, (no class October 12) from 6:30 to 9:00 pm in Jackson Heights Queens. Tuition is $100.

We will study the Dark Ecology movement, forage for mushrooms and acorns, make our own clothing, and build a hydro-electric generator. Poets, non-poets, families and children are welcome. We will write together every week. The schedule is included below:

Sept 28: Autumn Equinox Foraged Dinner with Corn, Bean, and Squash Stew. Suggested Reading: Barbara Kingsolver. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and Peter Singer. The Way We Eat. Writing Prompt: The Three Sisters. (Note: writing prompts are meant to be loose—whatever comes to mind is what you write about.)

Oct 5: Water Workshop: Purifying water, Hydroelectric Generators, Grey Water Systems and Composting Toilets. Suggested Reading: Elizabeth Royte. Bottlemania. Writing Prompt: Water and Me.

Oct 12: No Class

Oct 19: Mushroom and Acorn Foraging Workshop. Suggested Reading: Euell Gibbons. Stalking the Wild Asparagus. Bill Logan. Oak. Writing Prompt: Where I ate and what I ate for.

Oct 26: Acorn Pancake Dinner. View Film: The True Cost (documentary re: the “fast fashion” industry),writing prompt: What I wear and what I wear it for. HMWK: Inventory the clothing and textile footprints around you.

Nov 2: Clothing making workshop and prep for Nov 9 Direct Actions. Suggested reading: David Graeber. Direct Action. Writing Prompt: Us versus Them.

Nov 9: Direct Actions: street and store interventions re: bottled water and sweatshop clothing. Writing Prompt: The Revolution is… (A list poem). HMWK: Write a praise poem for the universe.

Nov 16: Reading Salon. Dark Ecology. Discussion of Timothy Morton The Ecological Thought. Weisman. The World Without Us. Kolbert. The Sixth Extinction. Cronin. The Trouble with Wilderness. [http://www.uvm.edu/rsenr/rm240/cronin.pdf] Christopher Smart. Jubilate Agno. Read Praise Poems.

Nov 23: Foraged Thanksgiving Meal and Conclusions. Share miscellaneous writings generated over the course of the autumn.

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Not Back To School, 2015

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Subway Platform Advertisement, Jackson Heights 82nd Street

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Climate March Weekend, September 2014

From Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle:

   However much we  despise the monstrous serial killer called global warming, it’s hard to bring charges. We cherish our fossil-fuel-driven conveniences, such as the computer I am using to write these words. We can’t exactly name-call this problem, or vote it away. The cure involves reaching down into ourselves and pulling out a new kind of person. The practical problem, of course, is how to do that. It’s impossible to become a fuel purist, and it seems like failure to change our ways only halfway or a pathetic 10 percent. So why even try? When the scope of the problem seems insuperable, isn’t it reasonable just to call this one, give it up, and get on with life as we know it?
     I do know the answer to that one: that’s called child abuse. When my teenager worries that her generation won’t  be able to fix this problem, I have to admit to her that it won’t be up to her generation. It’s up to mine. This is a now-or-never kind of project.
   But a project, nevertheless. Global-scale alteration from pollution didn’t happen when human societies started using a little bit of fossil fuel. It happened after unrestrained growth, irresponsible management, and a cultural refusal to assign any moral value to excessive consumption. Those habits can be reformed.  They have been reformed: several times in the last century we’ve learned that some of our favorite things like DDT and the propellants in aerosol cans were rapidly unraveling the structure and substance of our biosphere. We gave them up, and reversed the threats….
    I share with almost every adult I know this crazy quilt of optimism and worries, feeling locked into certain habits but keen to change them in the right direction. And the tendency to feel like a jerk for falling short of absolute conversion….It’s the worst of bad manners–and self-protection, I think, in a nervously cynical society–to ridicule the small gesture. These earnest efforts might just get us past the train-wreck of the daily news, or the anguish of standing behind a child, looking with her at the road ahead, searching out our redemption where we can find it: recycling or carpooling or growing a garden or saving a species, or something. Small, stepwise changes in personal habits aren’t trivial. Ultimately the will, or won’t, add up to having been the thing that mattered.
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Spring 2014

Spring Chickens, Fires, Candles, Dancers, Dandelion Tea

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