Petroleum Poetry

Poetry broadsheets made for Into the Proofer are still available!

This is a limited edition broadsheet of the poem “Remember when your dead bodies…
letterpress printed with gold ink on black paper and a blind emboss of macroalgae (seaweed) from Biscayne Bay in Miami.

15 x 11 inches, edition of 56 printed at Extra Virgin Press.

Please let me know if you’d like to purchase one for $35 by contacting

Remember when your dead bodies
rained down to the ocean floor?  

I was waiting for prokaryotes to spoil me
to be caressed by underwater aerobics
and dissolve in their incantations.  

And then  


My muddy cushion tickled by your corpses
We were blanketed
Panini pressed to the gooey core
heated weighted 
waxy kerogen chrysalis  

And then   

into the proofer
hibernating for the rise.  

Looking for the window of possibility
Heavy hearts dissolving into a new form  

So much had to go right for us 
to become one another
Oozing through the acne pocks
Accumulating power with time
Shoving water out of our way.  
Whose room is this  that holds us liquid?

I’m working on a chapbook of poetry about petroleum. I began writing these poems during the pandemic in 2020.

In the meantime, please read a meta/mega-poem written in collaboration with GPT-2, an open-source neural network AI that was retrained on a small text dataset of my writing from a forthcoming collection: It’s All Coming from Outside the Container Place

The folder poem documented in the video below compares an oil barrel to a computer folder. Both are icons used as metaphors to evoke an outdated material reality.

A computer folder graphical user icon is designed to look like a manila folder that used to hold paper in filing cabinets. This form of organization is becoming obsolete as many data infrastructures are increasingly paperless. Similarly, even though the economic industry still measures crude oil in barrels, actual barrels are no longer used to contain and transport oil. This poem shares a history and cultural significance of the oil barrel through the nesting structure of computer folders.