Valyntina Grenier

To lovers who canoe the day 

I keep coming back to that image floating downriver alongside seeds  Seeds that sleeping with the American future/ the age to come/ new something How we stand between us to disappear the plants we seem lost to evolutions airy need to be  just in case Engineering nomenclature would probably disagree is war against wildness We judge wickedness judgment does bespeak feeling the necessity of sweetest wilderness to value multiplicity Lost in destinies our centuries’ rivers long for natural history’s twin den We’d be wise to save gems the implantable useless miraculous new code/ seed I plan once to swallow to shrink life look— how fiercely one for many the new leaf marks 

Grafters grift monocultural lists of genetic engineers They do it to shrink evolutions possibilities say, future open assembly of life quintillions of us biodiversity teeming  Zoology storms genes  The world created us  holds steady risks  this multiplicity  Risks and stringing along not with words though good god the crazy archive that summer afternoon the Ohio in view our planet in nature eccentric by day conveyed the way we ripped up the way we woke the canoe to hang our weight in seeds we balanced laughing in naval architecture each helping keep each other on the river where the metaphor imagines a different story for lovers of nature/ the distance/ the crew we might see again what they are supine in unassailed by always together

 The poem’s initial lexicon was selected from The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan.

In our dream band, on the xylophone:

Valyntina is a multi-genre artist living with her wife in Tucson, AZ. She works with paint, ink, Neon, encaustic medium, recycled or repurposed materials and words. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Fever Dream/ Take Heart (Cathexis Northwest Press 2020) and In Our Now (Finishing Line Press 2022). You’ll find her work in Impermanent Earth, The Journal, Lana Turner, The Night Heron Barks and Sunspot. Find her at or Insta @valyntinagrenier.

Balo, 19th century Mandinka people, Wood, gourd, hide, membrane; L. 86.5 cm (34 1/16 in.).; W. 45.5 cm (17 15/16 in.); Diam. 22 cm (8 11/16 in.) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889 (89.4.492)

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