a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Willa Carroll


Score for the Body as Water Crisis

Ride the river | to the polyethylene sea | catch anemones | by the score | Trouble back upriver | tastes of Teflon & rocket fuel | forever chemicals in our blood | Children of Flint Newark Fresno Reno Milwaukee | please stand up | forgive us the heavy | metals in your every | tooth & bone | God Bless America’s | contamination zones | Children of the earth finish your milk | as chalky algal clouds | pollute water bodies | killing krill & fish by the legion | Cousin leviathan | swallow me into your rank church | humid cavern of flotsam & jetsam | Teach me your wild scores | your famous lamentations


Score for the Body as Wild Processional

Crash the bone house | party of my body | spill the milk of humankind | slick rivers | turning crimson with oil & metal ore | I grieve our reasonable seasons | fires wilding | deluge on the loose | boulders rolling home | You batten hatches for the storm | as I ride the tidal swells | algal cells | raining out the drought parade | Wending in breadlines we taste | germ of the grain | plague of the germ | Let the stunned tongue say | mourning every morning | on these autumn days bright with decay | spores pixelating the wind | fire ants marching on empires of weeds | stars wheeling through their circuits


Score for the Body as Calving Glacier

Hold your hot seat | jagged tongues | polar lobes | I drink from your ablation zones | leaking methane | I touch your lattices | scored with cracks | sheering grinding sluicing | I beg on my knees | halt your manic calving | rewind your ruptures | recall debris from risen acidic seas | oceans swallowing coasts | Mutable beast | resist the sultry air | as your meltwater roves south | shifting the planetary axis | disrupting the Gulf Stream | Carbon dioxide dissolves into the deep water column | stealing ions | corroding the calcium armor of sea snails | & intricate starfish bones | Oh broken chain | begin again

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Willa Carroll is the author of Nerve Chorus (The Word Works), named one of Entropy Magazine’s Best Poetry Books of 2018. Her poems have appeared in AGNI, LARB Quarterly Journal, Narrative, The Rumpus, The Slowdown with Tracy K. Smith, Tin House, and elsewhere. A finalist for The Tomaž Šalamun Prize and The Georgia Poetry Prize, she won Narrative Magazine’s Third Annual Poetry Contest and Tupelo Quarterly’s TQ7 Poetry Prize. Her poetry videos and multimedia collaborations have been featured in Interim, Narrative, TriQuarterly, Writers Resist, and other venues. She holds a MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars and lives in New York City.


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