The Design Observer Twenty

Chase Twichell | Poetry

"Negligent Worldicide"

The bear climbed over the mountain, 
and what do you think he saw?
History raging and ravaging, carving up 
the one and only body of the earth, 
the new century already broken into, 
ransacked, roads unsafe, 
war playing in the background, 
infants crawling on the landfill.

The earth was heaven once, and now it's hell.
Since it's already begun to embalm itself,
let's assume that that these are close to
our last words. That's what I meant by urgent.

Oh fuck, I'm going to have to take it
in my arms again. I'm going to have to
love it again, dear corpse of earth,
dear tough-muscled body of the river,
still ignorant of putrefaction,
or the slow downstream parade
of dead beings. I say goodbye
to petals every day. Lilac, wild rose,
poppy disintegrating, one moment
a flower and the next no flower.

Special permission has been granted by the author for Design Observer to reprint this poem online.

Posted in: Arts + Culture

Comments [3]

I like the overall message and images in the poem. What I don't like is the sloppy line endings (unless I've missed a clever underlying structure). It's just not good to end a line with 'to'.
Mark Cotter

I have always understood line endings aren't relevant to the designer when it comes to setting poetry – the poet dictates the structure of the poem according to the intended cadence of the piece.

That is to say the line-breaks play an integral part in how the poem reads in terms of rhythm and pitch.

I'm not much of reader of poetry, so I wouldn't be able to critique the underlying structure here, but given the poet has been published on numerous occasions, I would guess it's a deliberate choice.
John Skinner

That is to say the line-breaks play an integral part in how the poem reads in terms of rhythm and pitch.

Chase  Twichell Chase Twichell has published five books of poetry: The Snow Watcher (1998), The Ghost of Eden(1995), Perdido (1991), The Odds (1986), and Northern Spy (1981). After teaching for many years, Chase resigned in 1999 to start Ausable Press.

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