New Wor(l)d

Number 10 in 30 in 30, a series of writing challenges. Over the course of 30 days (sometimes even in a row!), I will draft a post within 30 minutes. This 30-day theme is: News Stories. Today’s writing was inspired by a column about a new word created to capture feelings associated with climate change.

Solastaglia
a loss of identity with a place;
an attack one’s belonging there

Invented for the coming
environmental disaster
(SURPRISE! It’s already here!)
but I hold my breath in the poison air
and wait

For an avalanche of White men
and half an avalanche (a halvalanche) of White women
to pull the word close and
rename their racism
as psychological distress
Running from change and growth and liberation
under an umbrella of self-care.

How many more articles
on the disaffected White man
will be birthed from this one word?

California

Number 9 in 30 in 30, a series of writing challenges. Over the course of 30 days (sometimes even in a row!), I will draft a post within 30 minutes. This 30-day theme is: News Stories. Today’s writing was inspired by an article about increasing fires in California.

She woke in the wake of a nightmare
that didn’t seems to scare her.
A bomb in the distance
The percussion of it through her body
Unconscious – but living – people around her.

These could not match the poison sky
that hovered over the city for
going on two days.

Windows and doors closed against the breeze
the apartment more of a prison than it had been these
five?
six?
months.

Quarantine reigned in the face of the novel virus
and the exhaustion showed in the people
as she made her way to get provisions for the day.

Groups gathered maskless
on the sidewalks for brunch,
their food peppered with ash,
their bubbly conversations
spoken in sepia tone.

They all needed a skip day
from the dying of what was
and the uncertainty of what was to be.

They Sold It All

30 in 30 is a series of writing challenges. Over the course of 30 days (hopefully, in a row!), I will draft a post within 30 minutes. This 30-day theme is: News Stories. Today’s writing comes from an article in the LA Times about a councilman’s efforts for a developer and payments into a PAC connected to his reelection campaign.

What do they tell themselves as the funds flow
to prop up their campaign?
Do they whisper or shout
that it’s for the best?

Compromise
for the greater good
to build a better world
for the little guy?

But the little guy can’t sleep
with the warning lights flashing in his eyes
and the rent coming due
Higher
HIGHER
The landlord eyeing his house
a commodity
a profit
Where the little guy sees
Memory
Home

Did they tell themselves they’ll make it better?
But only if they stay in office
“The other guy, he’ll burn your house down;
I’ll only sell it out from under you.”

Uncork the hole in the dam
that keeps back the flood
and promise the little guy a lifeboat
…tomorrow

Did they notice when all their good intentions
turned to dusty rhetoric?
Did they notice when they bought into the system
and its silent sins?
Did they notice when they started to say, to believe
That’s just the way things are
You gotta play the game to get anything done

But who do they play for?
Because the little guy?
He can’t afford the ticket.