writing in gaps
between people and peoples and ages and lands, 

ec0re/gen: an untextbook
(in three parts, forthcoming)

precursor works
i. on origins of birds (and beyond)
ii. precursors to learning to learn ambiguity’s nature
iii. precursors to dys-u-topias: ambiguity’s ontonlogies or ec0re/gen

i. on origins of birds ( and beyond )

Picturing: Ghosts

Julianne Lutz Warren

(prose poem). 
Minding Nature 8(2)
(May 2015)


I. to raise a ghost: to cause it to appear (Oxford English Dictionary).To get this perspective,
you must have wealth or wings.

II. The soul or spirit, as the principle of life; also ghost of life. Obs. exc. in phrase to give up (†earlier to give, give away, yield up) the (†one’s) ghost: to breathe one’s last, expire, die.

Three hundred-and-ten-million
years ago,

birds and humans shared
a common ancestor.

Take for evidence: we,
in rhinestoned skins,
recognizing ourselves
in feathered ones
recognizing themselves
reflected in      mirrors, and,
of course, in    beings
teaching and taught
to sing,                     pitching ahead

as remembering.

Two million
years ago,

Peregrine falcons, like
animated pollen
wind dispersed
from the family tree,
braved, keen-eyed,
unnamed Earth,           plunging
into shaggy tundra, tropics
bronzed by dusk,
erupting sea islands
adrift from skyey plain
to forest-spiced cliff,
and, at that time,
in Africa, lived
a chewingmachine,
shady cousin of humanity,
whose strapping jaws outgrew
an appetite for everything,
leaving no survivors.

Our hominin ancestors,
on the other hand,

moved on with two feet,
crunching termites with
small canine teeth and
fleshy tongues sucking
flower buds nourished
infant brains, who grew
to wonder at shiny things,
at their own wonder, and
to dream of giraffes,
of running so fast,

Two-hundred thousand
years ago,

our species emerged. Lenape,
who first arrived on this hilly place,
called it their word,
“Mannahatta,” where
generations of Peregrines
had hatched from
sturdy-shell eggs laid
in shady rock crags
above the river
that flows both ways,
“Shatemuk” —
“Waiiiiik!” [1]
    the falcons scream—
through air,
bulleting faster than the coming Express
to talon-catch—slower birds
on wing—
now late Passenger
pigeons, Mourning doves,
Black-crowned night
Blue jays,
White-throated sparrows,[2]
                        who learned first to sing,
still, in boreal’s summer,[3] conduct
midnight sun soul                to city
in dark mid-winter,
notes sparkling like
spruce tree lights
jazz      ing
with silver trumpets
in Central Park.

III. ghost-land

After other races vanished the Lenape
with their words, they renamed the place
“Central Park,” where
marshy blueberry thickets
grew in sea-salt air—     but not much longer—
over creek-gurgling schist, feeding
fed Raccoons and Meadow voles,
potato-famined Irish pig farmers
and German gardeners, in a free Black village
with three churches, and their school’s
Holy children wore cloth shoes
with leather soles. Red maple
leaves turned
red in fall and fell
then,      greened again in spring      overhead
trees’ clapping boughs the very                     stars
re-constellated in tune with the
mappists’ imagination—     grid lines
glittering gold on clear nights,
as subway lines
carrying creamy-stockinged fares
to plays at
the Century Theater
between 62nd and 63rd Streets
on Central Park West.

The theater’s greatest success was
Eleonora Duse, who, in 1923, aging,
one year before her death,
happily exited gloomy Europe,
sailing to New York, where
she acted Mrs. Helen Alving’s part
in Henrik Ibsen’s


[Muffled laughter of a young woman and man in another room.]

MRS. ALVING:  [Looks to the wall.] We are all of us ghosts. [Wrings her hands.][ELEONORA DUSE peers out the window, noticing the manner of people walking in the park. She thinks gratefully about the youthful innocence of a nation virgin to the horrors of invasion.]

ELEONORA DUSE:  There is something so buoyant. [Looks in the mirror hung on the wall, affixes her charcoal-wool hat with a crystal-head pin.]

IV. Philos. the ghost in the machine: Gilbert Ryle’s name for the mind viewed as separate from the body

Egg yolk is the color
of Peregrine toes, feet
of sleek-bulk
like a man wearing
well-fitting, four-fingered
leather work gloves
with long black nails,
smooth                sharp
as a saber tooth
hooks winged prey.
A darting bill-bite      severs
cervical vertebrae; he
delivers the plumy-puppet
meal to his mate.
Clutch to clutch three
dangle-dance in mid-air
to mooring ledge where,
three into one,
she plucks and tears
flesh and eats,
between wails
as he takes her back,
flapping wings,
but for one nuzzling thing,
talons drawn in.

Dark-artery breasts
turn brooding menace. Strangely,
as it appeared, the remedy
for bug-vectored disease
and crop pests was
feathered phantom
meat salted with
war-borne technology.

First swimmers
in original seas—
mute hearts—
slick out
of warm
flecked shells,
suddenly, a slight
barb’s breadth
too-thin for

V. the ghost walks (Theat. slang): there is money in the treasury, the salaries are forthcoming.

The steel-girded, masonry
Century Theater,
as it was widely recognized,
had “deadening acoustics.”

In 1930, after a mere
twenty-two years running,
the unprofitable Beaux-Arts
venue was razed.

In its place,
the Century Apartments raised luxury
again, despite the Great Depression.
The building towers Art Deco-confidently
as a well-lit, homey cliff, welcoming prosperity
restored with Peregrines, captive-bred
and released, safe from DDT,
an abundance of
rock doves to eat, yet,
with few sheltering
for nest scrapes.

Window ledges,
fresh laid eggs—
breast-sturdy shells regained—
to lashed-up wind and rain,
elliptical geometry

to rolling, and—
not sturdy enough for this—

so many feet,
on crowded sidewalks
pancaked with chewed up gum,
and      cast off plastic bags
float east
across the street
to flap from trees,
most spookily at night,
in Central Park, where
black nannies                charged
with white babies in strollers

VI. Sc. ‘A piece of dead coal, that instead of burning appears in the fire as a white lump’ (Jamieson).

In the spring of 2014,
a parking lot magnate
and his wife,
a gravel-filled box
to the brick outside
their 32nd floor
Century Apartment

Two obsidian-eyed
nestlings fledged,
according to
landmark law,

That fall,
building management
said breeding ground
for predatory rebels
from that high ledge,
to which the parent birds,
quiver (again) quenched,
maintain fidelity.

The following week,
in September,
on the day of the parade,
this announcement:
Appreciating the burning irony,
John D. Rockefeller, Senior’s
also philanthropic heirs—living
the oil magnate’s hope for,
in his own words,
“efficiency in giving
so that wealth may be
of greater use
to the present and
future generations”—
inspired by a movement of
that future’s fiercely
present “Y”s
—will divest from
their corporate legacy,
aiming to keep carbon,
good as gold, unburned,
in the ground.
It is                                          “schizophrenic,”
their spokesperson said,                                   to maintain “investments
undermining our grants.”

For all time,
as far as we can see,
the laws of physics say,
greenhouse gases
in the air—
carbon atoms with
two “O”s—
sucked hard
by        sun-flecked plants
long dead      (some
chewed to flesh)
pressed to Earth
in quickoil breath
fossil           haunts
spiriting             again
into the air—do
concrete,                soured sea,
crystal ice,
and naked soil,
the ecosphere

the human species—          we running matters
high on
ridged   fat-rich
brains—        full of a certain ingenuity,
now live in a different time
on a different planet that
need new names—for
a self-made      mirror of ourselves
mirroring ourselves shading
fierce green fires,
of glimpses
dimming, and
not dead.

VII. Television. A displaced repeated image on a television screen caused by a duplicate signal travelling by a longer path.

To blame the world,
is to condemn ourselves.

VIII. ghost-dancers

September 21, 2014:
People’s Climate
south on
Central Park West@ 62nd and 63rd.


A Peregrine falcon
is perched
on the high ledge
too far overhead
for those on the street
to notice. No human being
knows what that bird
is seeing.

Of the 400,000 people
on the ground,
over 50,000 are the Millennials,
the original human generation
born tongue-first      singing,
“climate justice, now,”
into a shrinking   or is    it      an      expanding       world,
whose clenchedteeth
dreams glimpse the stellar                                                                      Cosmos
with scientific wonder,
giraffes, and,
whose members know,
in surprising, complex detail, that
to celebrate                            Earth—
each and every other tangled other—is
to exalt
our                   human selves
pitching ahead

counting down . . . [4]
                                    as remembering
silence . . . [5]
and a swell of voices.[6]

The young paint themselves pink, green, black, gold—
if you are old, they may paint you, too—and
dance buoyantly, music-footed gripping
shards of glass and oily pavement.
Resist not to resist. We will sweat
for as long as light lasts—
suns or moons. See your self
reflecting in others’ eyes
recognizing you likewise
as the mirroring other.
Flip that silvery drone
in pale clouds overhead,
but know the birds,
the extinct ones, too, even
their songs—Get
carried           away,
artery-red, bare-breasted, sometimes
clapping hands or
clasping hands or hand-like
limbs, being wide-awake, re-named
on the barren inside’s edge,
snatching               that ghost
of a chance.

ii. precursors to learning to learn ambiguity’s nature



Hopes Genius: Ten Mirrors of Ambiguity

The Land Institute: Ground Breaking: Agriculture in the Ecosphere
July 22-24, 2018
presented in Salina, Kansas.


Novel Cities: A Revolution of Generativity

Minding Nature 7.1: 27-35
January 2014


How is nature critical to a 21stcentury urban ethic?:
Becoming city, in five short acts

Center for Humans and Nature at the American Museum of Natural History
New York City
October 8, 2013

iii. precursors to dys-u-topias


ambiguity’s ontonlogies or ec0re/gen

one’s dystopia is another’s utopia
just transition, re/generative hearings

One Minute with Julianne Lutz Warren on
“What we can learn from other species and what does that mean for us?”
“Questions for a Resilient Future 2013,”
Center for Humans and Nature at the American Museum of History,
(released March 17, 2014)

Panel with Brooke Hecht (moderator), Carol Gould, Robin Kimmerer and Kathleen Dean Moore,
“Questions for a Resilient Future,”
Center for Humans and Nature at the American Museum of History
New York, October 8, 2013.