Tag Archives: extinction

Matheus Schurr

“It all began on a dreary night of November 1816. Whilst Mary Shelley was drawing energy from freak electrical storms and sudden weather changes to build Frankenstein at the Villa Diodati on the shores of Lake Geneva, a family in a small Black Forest village on the other side of the Alps called on Doctor Johann Tritschler to give his medical opinion on the condition of a thirteen-year-old boy named Matheus Schurr. The boy, according to Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, was tormented by dreams and physical ailments: ‘His speech was rapid and loud, his face was pale and with an expression of anxiety, he complained often of violent pains in his body, of headache, sickness, and an inclination to vomit, and he not only trembled when he attempted to move, but had constant convulsions’.”


“Medicine proved ineffective, and over the next few days the boy got much worse; he spoke with a rapidity that showed he had as little control over his tongue as over the muscles of his limbs. However, while the doctor was admonishing his patient to be more quiet and composed, by mere accident he stroked the boy’s face once or twice with his hand, and immediately the wildness in his looks vanished. To his astonishment, the boy became calm and spoke gently, and he discovered that the healing process lay not in the medicine he prescribed, but the hands, especially the movement of the hands over the body without actually touching. After several visits the boy was cured – or he recovered, which of course isn’t necessarily the same thing – and the Doctor reluctantly conceded that the cure might be the ‘existence of an imperceptible agent acting by means of magnetical influence’. Thereafter, with regard to Doctor Tritschler’s casebook, it was consigned to the medical archive.”

“1816 was a dark year. Solar events created prolonged geomagnetic storms, and it is likely they contributed to the climatic mood swings. They may also have contributed to the mood swings of a section of the world’s population: the eminent Scottish scientist, David Brewster, invented the kaleidoscope in that year, and before he even reached the patent office there was mass demand for this brief but spectacular break from the gloom – a demand met through numerous copycat versions. No doubt a coincidence, it was the year the Scottish Enlightenment dimmed and, with the death of Adam Ferguson, the year it was extinguished. It was the year of swift weather shifts from calm to chaos, of blinding bursts and deafening blasts from freak electrical storms. It was the year Frankenstein was born, though he didn’t actually toddle into the bookshops until he was two. It was the year of ‘blood or bread’ riots, of the heavy midsummer hail that flattened crops, of mass migrations and the death of tens of thousands. It was the year the volcanic eruptions of Tambora, on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia, caused cataclysmic climate changes by draping a veil around the Earth. It was the year without a summer.”

Source:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/11/the-year-without-summer/

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It takes a belief

I almost forgot
I wanted to write
this poem
with a J hanging off
the side of my lip
I was out the door
after a cup of coffee
& before the river
evaporated cool
on the way home
you can hear the sound
of the beetles ticking
like gears that move
without touching each other
at sunset behind the hill
the oak leaves waltz
in the desperate hot wind
everything hunting
being hunted
I can count a dozen pine trees
both sugar & ponderosas
that have died & dumped
their carbon for the others
still living, still fighting off
the clock ticking, the invasion
of the weird little clicks that dot
this forest into a dry death
giving more sunlight for the others
that will someday thrive in their place
after I cut them down, burn them, &
once the beetles have had their way
with the sap that doesn’t bleed
well enough to stick around
& stay to see the moon ripen
a global hawk drone winking silently
flying toward Reno like a starlit ghost
& the bellowing cries
of a dying horse for an hour & a half at dawn
a single gunshot & it’s quiet again
a pound of oil
an ounce of flowers
an hour and a half in the crockpot
the water boils off




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The narrator

                                                    What is waiting on
                                                 the other side
                                              for us
                                           waiting
                                        on the other side
                                     for us
                                  is it some kind of
                               scanner
                            that detects it
                          rippling
                       pushing through
                     or did you know
                  did you know already
                it would happen
              it already happened
            like a story
         that crescendos
      right before the alarm
   goes off—the alarm
goes off

We figured it out
  before you were awake
     or even born from luca
         the map is like a song
             to us we know it
                so well
                    we can see you coming
                        from a mile away in it
                           it’s not like we own you
                              but you’re compromised
                                 it’s programmed
                                     like a pattern of blocks
                                         the more you taste it
                                             the closer you come
                                                 you’re right there
                                                     on the brink again
                                                         —right there
                                                              on the brink
                                                                 again




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The faded (Part l)

I hope you have a good day
she says
even though she knows
I’m burning
doesn’t want to look
believe it isn’t happening
You too
I say
ashes falling from the lips
why wouldn’t you
dress up
for this masquerade?
(look at all the fun we’re having)
I lied and said it looks good
after you cut it all away
but the FAS reres
like a snark headcrab
clutching decades
of faces you plaster
as a product
for the advertisements
you eat
passing on the neglect
that was given to you
as a rite