Prose poetry, chapbook, 28 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
The Utopia of the Sealed Sphere is a poem/essay that explores new parenthood during the early days of pandemic lockdown. In the midst of a world that is rapidly shutting down, Martin interrogates the claustrophobia of the nuclear family, the impact of neoliberal attacks on socialized care, and “bad metaphors" for familial self sufficiency. Reflecting on the experiences of gestation and nursing as forms of enmeshment, she expresses longing for collective responses to childrearing and forms of life that embrace entanglements and ties.
The text traces a line through various scientific and political projects invested in self containment: the Biosphere project; closed ecosystems; space colonies; Buckmister Fuller’s “Spaceship Earth”; and the cybernetic quest for a perpetual motion machine. Tying these efforts to neoliberal austerity agendas and the ideology of the nuclear family, Martin hopes for a collective escape from the isolation of parenting in late capitalism.
Also touched on are Jeff Bezos, shrimp orbs, entropy, and online shopping.
Laura Renata Martin is a writer and community college History professor. She has published writing in Hot Pink Magazine, Blind Field Journal, LIES, Radical History Review, and the Pacific Historical Review. Her chapbook, Enemies/Enemigos, was published by Commune Editions in 2017. She also co-hosts a podcast called Office Hours about the politics of higher education in the end times.