Eva Gerretsen

Mudlarking (2020)

Stones bear no names because
all are equal under thickly clustered nothing

So when I pick you up
a find
likely untouched
defeated but alive
I am unable to tell what you are
I kind of sink back and describe you all to myself

I call you something perverse under my breath
For lack of anything better to do

And we sink down together
The mud stringing from my heels as I walk down a shell-path
Holding you gently but firm to my chest

About this work

Based on a collage poem Eva Gerretsen made out of scraps of National Geographic magazines, this poem is about ecology and language. Gerretsen was also thinking about mudlarking, a practice common in London in the 19th century in which kids would traipse through the mud looking for odd bits to sell. The word ‘mudlarking’ sounds great, the history is muddy af.


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