Third Nature.

1 May 2018

Sonic boom just flew off the page, leaving a trail of swooning fragments, feather and spore, all sentenced to prosaic yarn. Amid other murmurs, skyglow and cracking statistics, consolations filled dead zones and paragraphs, visible paragraphs, great clouds falling from aircraft, tankers and lorries. Distress tones intimated the massacre of passenger pigeons. Waste was visible from space, not that any but prosthetic eyes and acronyms were there for the money shot. The stain of chemicals ran off into the water table or joined with fatbergs. Niche violence echoed trade winds, while traceries and microplastics drifted into the mouths of plankton. Avatars found signs, fossils even, of prehistoric struggles, and attempted to map the faultlines of coming climate wars. All hail the ancient struggles for oxygen. Depletion was mined for compost. Newly deciphered lichens sang of slow revolutions, of solidarity against humanist pathos and succulent doom. When passenger aircraft first broke the sound barrier, the prospects for bone shaking jeremiads of sheer noise still seemed endless. The sky was no longer the limit it once was. Some subtle diminution of lyric fire was registered by composite wing structures. At supersonic speeds the air was taken by surprise, caught off guard. Cones bled and nightingales ducked. Once bitten, twice shy, third time lucky there was no going back. Identity formation buffered into so many imposed binaries and intransitive verbs, but hurricanes were still given alternating genders. Contrails lingered, bearing witness to the inscription of noise as the presiding tone of human sky. Second nature’s chorus was resisted but also kettled and tortured. Herbaceous borders are an index of lyric charm. Gardeners led the push for human geometry. The formal garden framed labouring peasants and ruminants in the middle distance, which in turn gave ground to distant follies and sheer landskips on the horizon. Picturesque hierarchies announced the pomp and circumstance of private property. Bioproles were unimpressed by heritage signage, but gleaned what they could. Proponents of zero nature and deep ecology tried and then failed to animate the ideology of the concept. Songs of constructed otherness leapt over ancient biology, but the pulling power was with cellular repetitions dragged screaming and kicking into world prose. Trinitite, also known as atomsite, was devastatingly apt. Its scree of human handiwork was harvested for private collectors. Accumulation of mined but unmanageable waste became the default setting. Amid boom and bust, resistance movements gathered reluctant clumps and microbial cells. From each to each met with unacknowledged substrates. Senators of sentience proposed rewilding grammar, but nothing was free and the emergency brake seemed too hot to handle.

 


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