a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
What are the coordinates for the geographies of justice? Welcome to this journey, dear reader. Scan the Legend. Your heart is compass. Where does the needle point to? Go there. This is the ancient practice of geomancy recast for our time by the seers within these pages: Divination or foresight by the earth. The art of using various tools to access the hidden knowledge one is seeking; most often by connecting to the energy of the earth.
Thank you verbal and visual artists for the courage of your offerings. (May we make obsolete the word Submission?) Ursula K. Le Guin says “One of the functions of Art is to give the people the words to know their own experience. There are always areas of vast silence in any culture, and part of an artist’s job is to go into those areas and come back from the silence with something to say.”
And from the silence we listened to your stories. They whispered shouted chanted seared sang. What struck me was the depth and heft of the work. The prophetic urgency. In Lesley Heiser’s “Covens” she returns to her grandmother’s house in Scotland to heal from childhood trauma only to find it was a sight where witches were burned. She wrestles hope from despair in the felled wooded landscape: “So that it may only be amidst the trees and the plants and in the mysticism of our own minds that we will ever truly belong.”
Richard Hoffman’s polyvocal docu-poetry sequence “Mundus et Infans” is a tour-de-force indictment of the atrocities inflicted on the world’s children. Jay Buchanan’s “cartography, an elegy” is a stunning multigenre interactive poem that quite literally blinks into The Negro Travelers’ Green Book, a travel guide for “hotels, motels, and tourist homes” in order to avoid the “painful embarrassments [of racism] suffered which ruined a vacation or business trip.”
It has been a pleasure and good labor to work with Alexis and Charles. What a wealth of words and images. During the course of many months and meetings it seemed at times our efforts were in the art of getting lost. Charles suggested we begin with a joke. Levity lifted us — gave us perspective to survey the landscape, the inscape, and the shape that was taking form. Here is the vessel. Partake of the beauty, wisdom, truth.
Richard Cambridge’s poetry, novels, and theatre productions address controversial themes on the American political landscape. His theatre-troupe Singing with the Enemy portrayed the fifty-year blockade of Cuba, and the plight of political prisoners in the U.S. As an “installation artist” he reclaims and alters private signage to inspire public debate. His current project is a collaboration with Swiss musician singer-songwriter George Hennig, writing lyrics for an album to be released in the spring of 2021.