We don’t even have the words to describe what is happening in the Gulf right now. To call it an oil spill doesn’t even come close: this is to an oil spill what gushing arterial bleeding is to sliced capillaries. And we don’t really know what the long term effects are going to be. Capitalism is a system that says that corporations get to take the risks BP took which led to this disaster; they get to impose these risks on communities and ecosystems, a fundamentally anti-democratic and unjust situation.
Elizabeth Kate Switaj grew up surrounded by water in the Puget Sound area. Her first first book of poetry, Magdalene & the Mermaids (Paper Kite Press, 2009) reflects the sense of interconnection with the ocean she first developed there.