Environment

Accessible eco-friendly burial needs diverse marketing strategies and respectful communication. Here’s what you need to know

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Photo by Agata Kaczówka on Unsplash

Death is having a moment in popular culture and academia.

Americans have been burying toxic corpses and high-quality materials underground for the last two centuries, but environmental activists seek alternatives practices that lower the body’s carbon footprint in our inevitable demise. We’ve learned much about decomposition since the invention of embalming in the mid-19th century; we know, for example, that embalmed corpses take over 50 years to decompose, and that graveyards are running out of real estate.

We also know that popular news media and cultural norms need to better address changing, innovative burial trends.

How we can make carbon-neutral burial a goal for more American families? What communities choose green burial practices, and how do we plan ahead? …


Poetry

*Never* skips a beat

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Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

What sort of vile stunt is this
Stubborn struggle to exist
Cold chemicals betray my bliss
With tulips’ wrenching rosy kiss

If femme fatal is femme in vogue
Best we drench that flawless role
Ladies, hoist our sword in stone
Rogue bloodied bodies— mind your own


Poetry

Will learn to tread with care, in time

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Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

One past moon split my fingers
Two past moons wrists were brazed
This blood moon knuckles blackened
I promise I don’t crave the pain

What with band-aids, bleeds and blisters rest assured these hands see all
I’m thankful that we share these burdens
Calloused
Cross-stitched
Ruptured
Raw


Poetry

We’re going to need all hands on deck

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Photo by Briana Tozour on Unsplash

Pumpkin sprinkles, pumpkin pasta, Pumpkin spice and pumpkin rum
— It’s a simple conversation: There’s more pumpkin yet to come

Basic lattes, gourds and pates, Pumpkin bisque and pumpkin cream…

I motion Fall 2020 be named Pumpkin Quarantine!


Poetry

It’s best we begin at the end

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Photo by Ava Sol on Unsplash

Am I Alpha or Omega, poss’bly something in-between? If you ask me on a Friday I’m the best that’s ever been but if you catch me on a Tuesday I’m a spiteful, crooked being. In my home atop the cock’s feet, filleting hearts and jelly beans — I fill a glass, observe the bubbles… I no longer hear the screams. I swear I’m starting my forever every lilac even-ing but bless this house it aches and shivers, barely holds firm at the seams. Lavender soapy bubbles cast me far away to sleep, woozy Alphas and Omegas sending smoking skyward rings. Every one, the house, in tatters. Heavy metals, stranger things. Suppose nothing really matters when we angles lose our wings.


Which type of political environmentalist are you?

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Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

Studying environmental studies at uni is depressing, to say the least.

Some professors greet students with a twinkle in their eye. Others hand out course materials that spell a completely different story: one where humans continue to dig their own graves.

So, who’s right?

Labeling these professors and other scholars of environmental studies proves difficult. They aren’t quite the fabled liberals your conservative parents warned you about. They recognize that drastic changes in world environmental policy isn't likely to happen in our current political climate. Calling my instructors and peers ‘right-wing’ or ‘left-wing’ completely misses the mark. …


Poetry

The captain always goes down with his ship

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Image by ananaszwerg from Pixabay

Backbones litter corporate basements, no time better than the present than to shriek and swear and lament, question Washington’s brittle pretense.
Global South in twilight sunset, while the rest of us fear Serpents — East and West, each quaking tyrant — consumptive, fragile, fading, violent.

A bright tomorrow, frabjous advent from many a blood doubloon spent.
Onward toward a greater torment!
Never mind the mounting dissent.

True, I’m just another client doused in glitter, glory, silence. Treat my shower-heads like hydrants in parched California’s climate. Flippant. Phoney. Fooled. Compliant. Wondering where the hell our time went. Flipping switches, raising sirens. My daily bread the work of pirates.

Heed the downtrodden and strident
And the Pale Green Rider’s trident
Gaia’s scythe and nature’s riot.

May terra firma stand firm — Amen.


Poetry

But we need to talk

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Photo by Remy_Loz on Unsplash

If

Never have I ever started everything I’ve done, would you blame my impulsivity, this thing that I’ve become? If I scribe it in third person then its SHE who makes the grade — SHE is whimsical, maniacal, astronomical, and afraid. SHE arises, spreads her breastbone, takes a breath and takes up space. Weighs androgyny and chemistry and anarchy and grace. SHE’S your average complication — following orders, getting paid. SHE revises, apologizes, resolves to keep resolve in place. Wields possibility and tranquility and ability and mace. The only one and one of millions. SHE’S a ragged renegade. But at least SHE’S up to something, and I think SHE’S glad she stayed.


Student Life

Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly I’ve seen attending an expensive private uni in Los Angeles

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Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

“Ready to hit the town?”

I started university with a small coin purse and little to no living expenses. My food, housing, and education were paid for in part by scholarships and federal grants, so my bank account balance should have been fairly low. Even students expected to go to town now and again.

So why was I running out of money?

I was jealous of my roommate, who I kid you not, came home some weekends with brand-spanking-new Louie Vuitton dress shoes. I was desperate to fit in with my friends, who thought nothing of $40 Lyfts to a weekend destination. …


Student Life

Living with seven other determined demoiselles helped me understand strangers’ wonderfully different lifestyles. Will incoming freshmen learn this when schools enforce social distancing measures?

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Photo by Gemma Chua-Tran on Unsplash

No sooner had I chosen a bed and wished my darling parents goodbye than it hit me. I was finally, finally alone. A college student. My own person. Ready at last to take on the world. To shed the cumbersome quietness of petty high-school-dom and ready to take the reigns of my life by force. To grow.

Some background: My high school was majority white, minority adventurous. I remember one person getting arrested for painting some pointless rock yellow, and we had a few skirmishes here and there. …

About

Cat Baklarz

|Los Angeles| Environmentalist, Writer, Historian of the Weird. I seek to shield this dimension from ruin, or something.

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