The Resemblance of the Enzymes of Grasses to Those of Whales is a Family ResemblanceLisa Olstein
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Future-haunted and disaster-veering, The Resemblance of the Enzymes of Grasses to Those of Whales is a Family Resemblance inhabits the eerie calm before the storm in which we currently reside, perched on the cusp of climate catastrophe. Loving, furious, hopeful, and despairing in their urgent address, these reports from the field of daily life are populated by animals on the internet, new reports we alternately obsess over and turn away from, and the conversations we keep not quite being able to have. “The Resemblance of the Enzymes of Grasses to Those of Whales is a Family Resemblance speaks not only to the coming apocalypses, but also to our rapidly degrading methods of publicly addressing them—one dog-whistle after another, each less content-bearing, each more purely a form of address, than the one before it,” writes prize judge Shane McCrae. “Planetary collapse is preceded by linguistic collapse. The Resemblance of the Enzymes of Grasses to Those of Whales is a Family Resemblance is a bulwark and a warning against both kinds of collapse.”
AN EXCERPT FROM EP 72
“Monday it’s a report on the impossible future of bananas. Tuesday it’s the story of limes held hostage by cartels. Both still appear on our shelves, but we don’t know for how long. News comes and goes, but fate is a cycle longer to unfold.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LISA OLSTEIN is the author of three books of poetry, most recently, Little Stranger. A new collection, Late Empire, is forthcoming in 2017. She is a member of the poetry faculty at the University of Texas at Austin.