excerpt from “PLASTIC MARTYR”

in my plastic castle i came to singing. i would go for the thunder alone, i said. i said, i wish there was a way to present as neuter / so sometimes i walk around as if
i don’t have breasts, wandering into strangers’ garages and shaking hands and
if everything should be so instant—

i’m going to have a heart attack if i drive like my grandpa so i am / stealing sunflowers, all i want to do is steal sunflowers, burn / the house down, trip the circuit breaker

restless water still sleeps under
lightning struck redwood
grateful for the chance to stare

i’m all yearning heart – looking at lights – what percentage of recycling makes it into bottles – so sick of hiding everything – the possibility that a feeling could grow not weaker, but stronger

& then the sun dropping off the earth like the casual edge of misogyny – the land collapsing as water is siphoned out — three ships hit the wall – freedom, work, and leisure – waste hierarchy – deep-sea drilling platforms that will most likely be abandoned in another thirty years – seismic economic occurrence – some serious junk floating in the high which could at the least disable your boat and sink her at worst – how the word “trash” comes from the 18th-century noun for people of low social standing – 21st-century witch hunt – fracking pads – bunker fuel – the columbia a cesspool of petrochemicals – microfibers released from synthetic fibers – the northwest passage becoming a mass tourist destination – plastic sitting in deep waters, broken down into tiny fibers and embedded in sediment of the most remote places on earth – bioaccumulation – biomagnification – reproductive disruption

terror sextant – quick salve – imperfect edge – vacant purpose-built container ship – large-scale open-pit cyanide heap-leach – weather is important – plastic martyr – i wear my sex like a tide – windswept, confronted – a lake behind a wall

fighting a trash war
in the modern economy of imagination
take a year and find in it an ocean
a desalination plant
a last resort at best

About the Author

Maya Weeks is a writer, artist, and geographer working on oceans, waste, and gender, and capitalism. She is a PhD candidate in Geography at the University of California in Davis. Her dissertation studies marine debris as a form of capital accumulation that disproportionately affects people sexed female at birth. She lives and works on unceded Chumash land.