Poetry by K. A. Hays
Carnegie Mellon University Press, February 2022
The poems of Anthropocene Lullaby move from the micro to the macro, from dragonflies to galaxies, from the intersecting forces of climate change, capitalism, and digital technologies to intersecting anxieties of selfhood and motherhood. These lyric and prose poems track change: underway and inevitable, personal and impersonal, generative and apocalyptic. The title poem sets in motion some of the collection’s concerns:
Dear Anthropocene, dear flush of spine & thumb.
The last, maybe. Last flush / flash?
A window unit hums
& goodbye, vertebrates.
Goodbye to us, the seas high, the sun
in the early days of spine & thumb,
was it slower? Less rise,
more cool? I ask you
for the truth.
The dead of other epochs breathe with me,
but I’m becoming all too flush
with screens, a host
the dead flash through my face & cells,
I’m flush with them, my mind hums
with what was once their heat.
They remind me:
a lullaby repeats.