Displaced Nature: Multispecies landscapes, mushrooms, and the megapolis

Concentric circles of the local to the larger ripple out from a megapolis like New York. The unnatural and natural are tangled in them…

I live across the street from a garment sweatshop. They make ball gowns and on delivery days dresses wrapped in plastic and bound for department stores are sent fluttering on rope down to the street, six floors below. I’d say they look like birds as they fall but they look like nothing I’ve ever seen so that wouldn’t be true. It is strangely beautiful to watch. The workers are all women. Sometimes there is also a cat that will sit on a fire escape. I never see the women arrive or leave. I wonder if they sleep there from the low glimmer of a television late at night. I watch their labor during the day as I work from my desk. At times we catch one another, co-gazing at the Other. The women smile a little when they see me seeing them, which confuses me as I am conditioned to think of a sweatshop as a place of misery.


[This piece was an invited guest post for Savage Minds. It is a short piece on sweatshops and environmental degradation from the  hyper local perspective of what I can see from my desk at home. In essence it examines the urban wilderness....]