The Anthropocene: A Poem in Glitches

Mag Gabbert

Dust blown to drifts. Gulls flown too far from the


coast. Extinct words include “skelf” (a giant snow-


flake) and “purfle” (a fabric’s edge). Planet Earth


contains more fake than real flamingos. People in


Holland spend their tulip bulbs like cash. “When I


put down a green, it doesn’t mean grass; and when


I put down a blue, it doesn’t mean the sky” - Henri


Matisse. A few words with time inside: sentiment


centimeter, multimedia. Belgium’s new museum of


strawberries sells jam. According to Yale Scientific,


even humans with wings couldn’t fly. “We choose


to go to the moon and do the other things …” Are


there still more tigers in the wild than kept as pets?


Didn’t polar bears have translucent fur, not white?


Has this world always seemed so insufferable? Why


can’t this word mean a world incapable of suffering?


The newest cell phone is an indestructible cupcake.


Tourists can visit the factory where they will make


any sense. Like mountains that make their own


weather. Like a touch can make its own language.


Headshot: Mag Gabbert


MAG GABBERT’s forthcoming books include Sex Depression Animals, which won the 2021 Charles B. Wheeler Prize in Poetry, and The Breakup, which won the 2022 Baltic Writing Residencies Chapbook Award. Mag teaches at Southern Methodist University. “The Anthropocene: A Poem in Glitches” is a 2023 Pushcart Prize Nomination.