Beverly Burch on "Psalm of the Glass City"
“Psalm of the Glass City” began when I spent time in Vancouver, BC. I love this city, how its glassiness reflects the surrounding mountains and water, its green space on high buildings, but being there I also sank into what was missing.
The poem is one of a series of Psalms about the sometimes alluring damage humans inflict on the natural world, especially wealthy humans. Imagining the missing wildlife and the disappeared trees seems a necessity when living in a city, as I do in Oakland, CA.
Bay Area cities have turned to glass as well. These psalms are praise songs to what we don’t see or know and they became part of a manuscript about the aftermath of Eden, the afterlife of a fleeing Eve as she enters the contemporary world. This manuscript, The Book of Eve, explores natural destruction, gender relations, and the potential dystopia all our lives seem headed toward.