The poems of Anatomic have emerged from biomonitoring and microbiome testing on the author's body to examine the way the outside writes the inside, whether we like it or not. Adam Dickinson drew blood, collected urine, swabbed bacteria, and tested his feces to measure the precise chemical and microbial diversity of his body. To his horror, he discovered that our "petroculture" has infiltrated our very bodies with pesticides, flame retardants, and other substances. He discovered shifting communities of microbes that reflect his dependence on the sugar, salt, and fat of the Western diet, and he discovered how we rely on nonhuman organisms to make us human, to regulate our moods and personalities.
Structured like the hormones some of these synthetic chemicals mimic in our bodies, this sequence of poems links the author’s biographical details (diet, lifestyle, geography) with historical details (spills, poisonings, military applications) to show how permeable our bodies are to the environment. As Dickinson becomes obsessed with limiting the rampant contamination of his own biochemistry, he turns this chemical-microbial autobiography into an anxious plea for us to consider what we’re doing to our world -- and to our own bodies.
Aamjiwnaang acid Actinomycetaceae Alcaligenaceae Alistipes Amber Anthropocene Bacillaceae bacteria Bacteroidaceae Bacteroides Bifidobacteriaceae Bifidobacterium Blautia blood boat body Burkholderiaceae burned Canada cancer Catenibacterium cells chemicals cleanse Clostridiaceae Clostridiales Clostridiales Family XI Coach House Books Comamonadaceae Commensalism Coriobacteriaceae Corynebacteriaceae crowd culture defend Desulfovibrionaceae Disruptors door drink endocrine Enterobacteriaceae Erysipelotrichaceae Estrogens feel Flavobacteriaceae forest Genital hair Hand honey Hormone human immune system Incertae Sedis inside intestine Lachnospiraceae Lactobacillaceae Langston live look male brain Mercury messages metabolism metals microbes microbiome Micrococcaceae Mouth ng/g lipid ng/mL night Nose Ontario Oxalobacteraceae Paraben park Pasteurellaceae PBDES PCBS Peptostreptococcaceae phthalate phthalate urine plasma plastic poem Poetry Polybrominated diphenyl ether Polychlorinated Biphenyls Porphyromonadaceae Prevotellaceae problem Propionibacteriaceae Rikenellaceae rivers Ruminococcaceae sequence serotonin serum shit signal smell smoke snow soft Specimen Staphylococcaceae streets Streptococcaceae Streptococcus sugar Sutterellaceae sweat talk tested throat tongue ug/L Veillonellaceae Verrucomicrobiaceae Vitamin waited walking