Tag Archives: dennis lee


Because Dennis Lee deserves a wider readership, and because I am finishing up a post about decision-making and scientific literacy.


Was a one, was a
once, was a nothing:
mattered and gone. And how cleanly

our floruit will fade into
moteflicker, starcycle, eddies of
gloryfit ex. Where

nothing will
sing of us; build on us; blazon our
hubris & only


floruit is a noun meaning “the period during which a person, school, or movement was most active or flourishing.”

From Dennis Lee’s fabulous 2003 collection un. Which I got today in the mail, and finished today, and sticky-tagged all over. What I love about his apocalypse poems is the way he rips into and reconstructs words that can mean only one thing, that have a heavy emotional evocation without any history whatsoever. Like un itself: not just a removing or destroying but a negating; they evoke skin-crawling horror at what we’ve done in a way that the best environmental prose rarely does.