Steven T. Licardi, LMSW is an author, spoken word poet, social worker, motivational speaker, actor, and activist. As a child, Steven was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum that manifested as an inability to emotionally comprehend his own thoughts. Poetry and performance provided him with the language to better understand himself and the world around him. He now uses spoken word to fight for human rights around the world by eliciting empathy and inviting difficult dialogue around complex topics among diverse audiences.
Fracking The Earth wrote her last poem in black ink, spewed through scaffolding, fountain pens erected on her skin. I remember when they used to be spoken. Screamed from the summits of cellulite mountain ranges. The Earth used to whisper hushed narratives to me, confessions stripped naked on golden plains, while the breeze held her anthologies, collecting every stanza into a pool. The oceans were built from each tear she unfolded. Subducted emotions, swallowed down stones in groaning throats, sailing in the deserts. The Earth used to sing to me high praises raised to toast the Sun. Feeling the tug of the Moon, a rapture, a swoon of psychedelics, with the voice of an eagle. A dodo, a swan, a buzzard, a dove, a loon. Healthy hymns huffed in swollen chest, engorged nipples, spires that scarred the sky with words. I remember how her script used to be the clouds. Cumulonimbus cuneiform that traveled, far and wide, like cracks. With the silvery hair of a crone thrown in star-studded face hiding twinkling stellar coyness, the zest of coquettish gaze, The Earth used to seduce me with bitter, winter kisses and a burning, forest fire embrace. Then man plucked the milk from her breasts and drilled holes through her diaphragm, mid-vibrato. They made weapons from her bones, fashioned machines from her flesh, harvested her organs for uses that had no intonation. No harmony, no rhythm, no cadence, no tempo, no syncopation. I heard the Earth’s back broken — a snap, a crack, a gasp of hot air confirming the death of her haiku. Her script became a doodle, smudged, as I picked plastic from her pools. The Earth’s toes curled, an orgasm earthquake coaxed through hydraulic violation. The non-consensual gang rape of her nutrients, pillaged and plundered. I watched the Earth’s snipped tongue writhing on my kitchen floor. K-cup chemical cocktails, we raised a toast to her desolation and poured them down the drain. While her glacial tears melted, agonizing memories gluttonized in rising seas, the Earth wrote her last poem in black ink. A suicidal cephalopod, she willfully slit her tender, tendril wrists, and spilled her black blood, because the Earth would do anything to feed her children.