a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
at Snively Hot Springs, on the Owyhee River, Oregon
Morse code in the sky
feel the air
feel the water
Sulphur stinks only from afar
eyelid hills soothe me
golden sunshine dazzles the bathers
your silhouette, reflected in the stream
steam rises in clouds
lens-shaped drifts in the starship world:
Mars surface, red stink
skunk sneaks over the silver surface.
Antisemitic jokes taint the river.
You, and I, my love, my wife love,
we are not altogether safe here.
They whisper around us.
Why is my hair so short? No cancer, no. The queer.
The queer loft of water vapor, rising.
The air. The water. The natural. The herb
medicine. Pot slinks to my nostril, twitches like a
black-and-white beauty behind the rock.
Whispers, and the queer, and the stars
one and another high up in the sky behind
bald sun dark sun cloud
lost baby bull brays in the road
Petra Kuppers (she/her) is a disability culture activist, a writer, and a community performance artist. Petra grounds herself in disability culture methods, and uses ecosomatics, performance, and speculative writing to engage audiences toward more socially just and enjoyable futures. Her third poetry collection, Gut Botany, was named one of the top ten US poetry books of 2020 by the New York Public Library, and won the 2021/22 Creative Book Award by the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE). Petra’s new poetry collection, Diver Beneath the Street (true crime meets ecopoetry at the level of soil) will appear with Wayne State University Press in February 2024. She is a 2023 Guggenheim Fellow. Petra is Artistic Director of The Olimpias, an international disability culture collective, and she co-creates Turtle Disco, a somatic writing studio, with her partner, dancer and poet Stephanie Heit. She is the Anita Gonzalez Collegiate Professor of Performance Studies and Disability Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an emeritus fellow of the Black Earth Institute.