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Duration:03:54
Uploaded:2020-06-29
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Laura-Gray Street reads her poem, "Field Study / Search Field".

Laura-Gray Street:
https://www.lauragraystreet.com/
https://twitter.com/rclgstreet

Brought to you by Complexly, The Poetry Foundation, and poet Paige Lewis. Learn more: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/

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Hi, I'm Laura-Gray Street, and the poem I'm about to read is a part of a larger manuscript about textiles, cotton particularly, and I happened to have a process where I would sit down every day and look on the internet for stories and news, and just information about cotton, and harvest, and comb and clean and weave, and all of that. 

    This is a poem called Field Study /  Search Field.

maybe in the first fluff-pocked scrub trees
precursor tufts prickled with coarse hairs

littered through with intractable seeds we'd
find words for the matter at hand the fabric

afoot come to raw fiber washed clean beaten 
on a mat combed into strands to twist into

thread as fine as sunlight she rubbed spider
webs on her arms and hands never tired

of weaving bolts of the commonplace to 
lay over the faces of the dead simple as

rain and wind present as haptic worlds
flitting at the twig ends of our neurons

before we turn merchant and mill so you'd
like to think they who led these vegetable

lambs to the yarn's yawning orifice who
find spandex an intimate tissue between 

arbor and ardor would that there were so
many words for the same blank screen

used to pay tribute and taxes on skinny
seedling stock too much rain the days

infected with root rot unproductive small
cup cotton bra full coverage pesticide news

in Chihuahua Tom Cotton says something 
dumb sign up at Cotton Top this Sunday

to give a rescue pet a home in the fabric
of our lives incorporated cotton dust

and field-dried bract extract in rat lungs
nearby in the same cotton field were found

the bodies of five more tiny brown 
flecks in the fabric are natural leaf stem

and seed remnants not Jennifer Lopez
600 thread count sheets but GMO plants

in the refuge where Bt-sensitive worms
mate with impervious worms to water

down resistance traits victims in this case
were young underprivileged women

workers students the future of sustainable
architecture smells earthy musty abducted

upland plants produce creamy buds that
bloom in a day or two by morning flowers

turn a pinkish hue that indicated pollination
proof has been accepted that they suffered

physical ill-treatment likely sexual abuse
before shedding petals within a week bolls

set as they in the field yellow-white red
then dead eight pink crosses in the field

in the case of Cotton Field the findings we
have determined smallholder farms this

season latest estimates suggest the pattern
and profusion of cellulose growth until a boll

opens fiber is a living cell meanwhile inside
dark confines the factory is manufacturing