Erotics of a nuclear summer

Photo by Gareth Damian Martin

by Diana Damian Martin

One: Taxonomies

An ecology of passions.

A moment of silence.


An ecology of histories of writing that have not yet been connected.

An ecology of memories of histories of writing that have not yet been connected.


A cough, muffled by flowing petrol.


An ecology of re-enactments: Fusco, Bergvall, Ahmed, Zambrino, Solnit, Bennett, Bellamy, Nelson, Kraus, Acker, Sontag, Didion, Davis, Stein, Loy, Lorde, Barnes, Duchamp (Suzanne), Fitzgerald (Zelda).


A floating painting of Ophelia, swallowed by rising sea levels.


An ecology of encounters that keep attempting to make themselves public.
An ecology of private encounters.


An ecology of whispers, of silent transfers of emotion, of touches, of sorts.


A stain, on the floor, melted plastics everywhere.


An ecology of movements to and across, of cues and stained clothes, of sighs and smiles.

An ecology of frustrated notes, of rewrites, of re-readings, of doubts, of ifs.


A torrential downpour deep into your heart.


An ecology of digital noise, broken images, fractures and appropriations.
An ecology of not remembering anything quite right.

An ecology of not loud enough for that moment.


A flock of birds in total disarray.


An ecology of suits standing onto a podium of falling letters.

An ecology of uncomfortable thoughts for an audience of one.
An ecology of not enough time. Or a timeless ecology, I’m not sure.


A series of oozing, doughy, sticky messes at the edge of the bed.


An ecology of highly conceptual, theoretical threads of thought that get tangled up in a huge auditorium with no spectators.

An ecology of highly conceptual, theoretical threads of thought that stand aimlessly on suspended phone lines and keep getting accidentally electrocuted.


A series of extinctions.


An ecology of undiscovered collaborations, taking the form of a series of octopuses mid-dive.

An ecology of Ancient Greek women.


A series of bright flashes and extreme heat, then orange dust.


An ecology of small scale disasters.

An ecology of memories that cannot be translated once you shift your place.

An ecology of memories that have left the cue and have now disappeared totally.

An ecology of cosmic political parties.

An ecology of uprisings that wave over the future.


A memory of the future, of sorts, all contorted and hard to decipher.


Two: Landscapes


Summer is in ruins; in the eroded trees of Aricia, on Omu, where the three silver women stand guard from the edges of mountainous rock overlooking empty valleys.


I have been looking for summer; electric rays buzzing on my skin, the tips of my fingers floating in air, the dew, wet on my back, the cooling of water, the sharpness of the body immersed. Sometimes, I watch the fire burn into your eyes and I with it, and I wonder, what kind of summer is this; a nuclear, isotropic, electric melt.


Summer is in ruins, like the eroded, broken figure of a sculpture floating up, waves of contorted skin, muscles shaped for desire, angled neck towards an absent face, a drowned torso devoid of its history.


I have been looking for summer as it holds onto the tips of my lips, on the edges of my ears, I’ve been trying to catch it in the air as it touches my face, on my feet, against cold stone, in light fabric that gently sticks to my skin, I’ve smelt it in the warmth of yours, its hazy orange, lights flickering in the air like a destroyed Monet.


Summer is in ruins, hiding in the forest, trapped under the sea, steam dancing on the edges of waves.


I have been looking for summer, trapped behind a full, hazy moon, cold spells of rain drenched the green jungle outside of my bed. I’ve tried to find it in the pixels of heat trapped on the sides of windows, dripping down from the shower, hiding behind your sweaty palms, lost at the entrance to the city, in the silence of the flying leaves, like cadavers of global meltdown.


Summer is in ruins, naked in time, waiting for the river to pass, for the green to dry, for the moistness to disappear.


I have been looking for summer in ripeness, in memories of balance, in skies that don’t melt onto the pavements and light that trickles slowly, softly, not the electric buzzing of this endless orange, thick with the dust of nuclear waste, thick with the pools of yellowed petrol, drying on feet and washed on the beach.


Summer is in ruins, wraps itself around bodies that search it, captured in endless photographs of green and smile, eroding in sighs and in-breaths.


I have been looking for summer in the endless corridors of this vast museum, trying to find it in contortions of the bodies captured mid-movement, against dried drips of paint that layer meanings, in materials that catch light or heat, in the steps of those who pass by here to wait, to see the change, in the corridors where no one goes, by Titan and Venus and Diana, in the spaces of absence


Summer is in ruins, cordoned off, melting into heat, dissolving into beautiful memories of bodies that gather to celebrate it.


I have been looking for summer in catalogues, in book descriptions, in brief narrative preludes and short breaths of air, in photo albums and dusty exteriors which I can re-set, like a future dream ready to take shape but out of control. I no longer know where summer ends and light begins, when my body fades into the memory of all sculptures I’d encountered aiming their gaze at the sun, in hands holding moments of brief relief. I no longer know where summer ends and heat begins, and in this neon, I find the contours and edges of a breeze, perhaps a faint smell, settling my shoulders back down.

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