By Aleksi Kristola, Bachelor in English

The smog
immured as a warning: whoever one day lives here
may in no respect resemble him

to envelop yourself in something
is to relent to it
a stranger passing by
a presence. a storm’s grey eye

in slow structures
stone by stone and cell by cell
the cloud has forgotten
the ritual by which
the house of our life was erected. a mad wind

pure as it was. above you — with you — in you
you open your mouth to laugh and
remember it is now in your head and
its night-work. a satire of life

you remember. the snowfall
and you feel. a swirling presence
and you reach out. your tongue
and all around you. a presence
and no one makes you.
close your eyes
and no one sings you.
and you remember.
the hills
the skies
the whited air
and its grey eyes

Keywords: collage – introspective – nature-as-actor

The Smog documents the sudden realisation of not being the sole actor on the stage; the experience of a human interacting with a product of climate change, a non-human being quite common in cityscapes around the world. It is a ruminative account of the human’s place in this theatre, and employs the technique of collage to juxtapose the human narrative – an experience that could on one hand be described as virginal as snowfall, and on the other as a sensation of becoming prey– with an attempt to give a voice to a hyperobject, the smog. In the end, the work hopes not to muddle the waters of the climate change debate, but instead to travel through abstract means to concrete ends, calling to action, thus also having the aspirations of a manifesto.

Works used
The Snow-Storm by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Echoes by Pink Floyd
One Way Street by Walter Benjamin