Ecopoetics Along Shorelines


Field Writing Samples (100’s)

June 5, 2018

“I’m eight years old again and I find a little eel in a tidepool on the beach of Orcas Island – I name it Eely and my parents let me keep it in a bowl outside our house. It’s hot out and I tell my grandpa to change the water while I’m gone. Eely dies. I cry. I tell my grandpa, “It’s all your fault!” My parents console me. We put Eely in the water and they swear that they saw him swim away. How cruel am I to capture a living thing and then mourn the loss of its life.”

“I try to remember what it felt like that day but it feels so distant now. Here, with aluminum beneath my fingers, I wonder how I had never noticed it before. Iterations – backspace, right-click, synonyms, backspace. Four years under this roof and now the two items in my bag are a laptop and a cell phone. I want so badly for the sound of keys to be replaced by the crashing of waves; for the carpet to turn to sand; for the brick walls to open up and let in a crisp, salty breeze. I switch to pen and paper.”

“I look down and the only monster I see is me. “All eukaryotic life is monstrous” – is it? Maybe. I ask you but you don’t answer. I kick my feet over the concrete edge and let them dangle below me. A woman stares back at me – distorted by your vibrant ebb and flow and tinted by oil collecting on your surface. Below your surface I see bottles, tires, cement blocks, a bike. Unabashed, you mirror and move with an energy like I’ve never seen. After all I’ve done to hurt you, you still dance at the sight of my face.”

“If you were an animal, you’d be this one – wide-eyed, brilliant, capable of brightening anyone’s day with a single wave. You’d be this one… or maybe the one in the aquarium that we’d visit every year. You remember the one, right? You nod and I wonder if you’re lying.  We’d visit her while grandpa was at work. I’d say “octopus moving” and you’d laugh with the most angelic laugh I’ve ever heard. If you were an animal, you’d be this one – witty and curious, intelligent and fascinating – dare I go on lest I risk adopting this octopus as my grandmother?”

“I come to this place in search of a remedy, or maybe just a chapel. I want to lay here until the tide rises and the healing rhythm of the Sound washes over me, let Her blanket drown me and with my body, my sins. If I bathe in Her holy water, will the Sound absolve me?

I want to plunge into the clear, cold bay, say three Hail Mary’s, plug my nose, and run off of the dock, descending past walls of technicolor life, waving outstretched arms to me as I pass, as if to say, you are forgiven.”

June 1, 2018
Julie Ann

Secondary Questions 5/30

What definition of ecopoetics resonates with you? (with p11 as 5 different definitions)

#1,2,4,5 pointing at the same experience/activity

belonging as dispersal of ego centered agency…belonging as relation

can’t have one strategy without the others

zone of overlap but zones of opposite effect

a diversity of strategies the might contradict

#4 as scientific or poetic or artistic

#5 as interdisciplinarity

What other clues do we have about what makes this ecological poetics?

turbulent flow of poetry

Is there something here that is ecopoetics…goes against ecopoetics?

Initials…claiming each poem

Is agency ego based?

When do they (FP and JK) resonate with various authors?


5/16 TRACKING OPENING QUESTION: Breeching Sovereignty 

June 1, 2018

How can we trace sovereignty through this book (Messages from Franks Landing)?

  • From an imperialist legal/governmental perspective
    • Treaty history
      • refusing to address treaties in Salish: immediate disrespect and reduction of complexity.
      • Using treaties as tools to prevent the costs of war
      • Manifest Destiny
    • Timber harvests, clogging of gravel so salmon don’t have an ecologically sound place to lay eggs
    • Decisions made within the framework of U.S laws were inherently not for Native sovereignty
  • From a Native response perspective
    • Resistance
    • Evolution of communication: choosing of words
      • “Usual and accustomed ground” p. 12
    • expectation of Native assimilation was pushed back upon because of the high regard in which Natives held sovereignty of culture.
    • Response by native people to study indigenous law and become lawyers.
      • Building of hatchery to offset the impact of the dam
      • Moment of the tribe taking something back as an exercise of sovereignty



June 1, 2018

WHY might Rodriguez blur the lines of “edges”?

  • There are so many boundaries: socially, politically, environmentally
  • Many barriers to entry to white societies: physically & imaginatively

HOW does Rodriguez use language to depict the spaces in between boundaries?

  • “The police and the policed”
  • “Alien authority”

HOW does the River sound? HOW is it painted in words?

  • SET-UP
  • but ETERNAL

HOW does Anzaldúa think about boundaries and edges?

  • In-translatable
    • Using words as boundaries
  • Rooted in language/culture
    • Preserved by…
    • Reclaimed by…

May 31, 2018

Tracking “Other Texts” 5/30/18

Expressive Arts Therapy –

Ananzi the Spider –

Spider Webs –

Nasa Esoteric Research on drug effects using Spider Webs –

Gaia Hypothesis –

Etymology of Eco –

See Saws –

Fern Gully –

Exquisite Corpse –

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino –

Alwin Nikolai’s Tensile Involvement –

Newton’s Laws of Gravity –

Einsteins Theory of Relativity –

May 30, 2018

If “I” should always be under pressure, it is the pressure of being part of something much greater, of being under the supernatural weight of a wholly undetermined future. Below us is not only a collection of carbon and time and pressure, but also the narrative of how that past is told. Unless we are miners digging into the earth we have no access to the past, but we do as poets or writers mining and augmenting the narrative of “our” past. WE are under the pressure of narrative, I must act as witness and messenger of my own narrative.

May 30, 2018

Pressure is a physical and mental force. Nature is a living, driving pressure that shapes many individuals “I” part of its larger collective whole. How one individual reacts will directly (or eventually indirectly) affect the other(s) within their respective roles. The present “I” is a result of the past “I” and an influencer of the future “I” bringing out an individual’s growth, becoming the best version of itself it can be. An individual’s evolution constitutes to its adaptive potential and ability to react to change, supporting the idea of community resiliency throughout the book and the entirety of our class.




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