In memory of Joseph Bartscherer (1954–2020), BOMB is reposting this interview from 2008.
On why all novels should be nature novels.
On the cannibalization of black pain and how we free ourselves from it.
I like when words fail. It shows we don’t believe / we totally know. Name a plant in a forest // and you think you know it. That name / to a bird or a dog, that sound is a squawk.
I cannot feel my cat’s fur / with my left hand. / Of course / I also cannot feel / my children. with my left / hand. Their throats. I cannot / feel my own body, the soft / candle wax of it. I cannot go where / I used to.
A public cafeteria, the ghost of my heart gorges herself on spent ammunition // The Orlando medical examiner processed each of the 49 Pulse victims apart from the gunman. / Even amid gravitational collapse, surviving atoms couldn’t reanimate with him.
On resisting parasitic invasions—from the poisons in our soil, to toxic masculinity in the psyche.
The recent conclusion of the choreographer’s trilogy, Water Will (in Melody), employs mime, gothic imagery, and a Grimm tale, to consider entanglements of nature, the feminine, and blackness.
The essayist on writing about birds to bridge thematic leaps from fathers to tattoos to cross-continental moves.
The poets on their latest collections, the texture of language, and work that pulls the rug from under us.
The poet on her new collection and what it means to mess with, fuss with, break, and refresh language.
When the sun goes down / The spirits come out / We huff on a pinwheel / And say it spins of its own accord / Rolling out the bins in saturated air / Oiling the slop to ease extraction / Accumulate, hoard, die, repeat
In English the burning city / Hecuba dreams in my hand // Come man with cup / and hard-luck pitch // Upstream the brunch rush / shines upon our heads
An exhibition looks at historical conceptions of nature in the United States.
On occasion of Sniadecki’s current project, A Shape of Things to Come, the two filmmakers trade insights on “sensorial cinema” and working with reclusive desert-dwelling subjects.
The poetics of the microdose.
Yunes were human once. / They nursed babies and baked bread and made love beneath the shade of the willow tree. / Then they were drowned in the bog on the edge of town. / The marshlands kept them flawless. / Their skin tanned tight as a drum skin, sealing their spirits inside like caged dogs.
With Nigella Sativa, we arrive at midnight together, to the intimacy that can come from mass hysteria.
“I love titles that sound good in the mouth.”
The black music of herbs.