Arts Of The Working Class Logo


First the eggshells, then the state.

  • Jun 10 2021
  • Elvia Wilk and Andreas Petrossiants
    are writers and editors who live and rot in Brooklyn.

There are many ways to destroy. Some leave fallow ground and some make soil for sprouts. Some make the world anew while metabolizing the old. To ferment is filthy, wormy, rank, and delicious—so is foment. When the (plastic) bag pretending to hold the world rips apart, you’ll have to find a way to metabolize the loose and endless garbage yourselves. Here is a recipe for a little stinky and fertile heap of your own. A nutritious recipe to learn by heart. Make an omelette; use the leftovers to dissolve the police. 


Your ingredients are your throwaways: skins and stems, cores and scraps. Things that rot. 

NO synthetics or plastics. NO oils or grease. NOthing that milks or bleeds.

You’ll need more crap than one person’s banana peels to get it going: you’ll need to assemble your neighbors’ organics too—the husks of all of SOCIETY :0

For human purposes the goods fit into two categories: GREENS and BROWNS. 

GREENS are wet and nitrogen-rich. And they are sometimes brown (don’t be fooled!) 

GREENS are the humids and the humors, GREENS are veg and fruit, things that once took root. 

BROWNS are dry. Carbon-heavy. Deadwood and paper stock, old leaves and offcuts. 

Your fabric will be full of plastics, papers soaked in grease, rinds plastered with bright stickers. You aren’t perfect and the world is a mess. 

Chop it all. Mix these GREENS and BROWNS, tumble them all around. 

Material boundaries will start to rupture, collapse, and release heat. Cell walls bust like dilapidated shopping centers, contents spill into neighboring lots. 

Wait. Mix. Let it get HOT.

Maximum should be 65C: hotter than Death Valley, hotter than Hope Springs, hotter than Devil’s Anus, hotter than the Cliffs of Despair. 

Zoom in and become the size of a maggot working its way slowly across a fungal metropolis.

Invite the worms to come. Everybody loves bees, but remember the earthworm’s anus! No arms or legs or eyes, just hunger for trash and oxygen. Worms can grow new segments from torn or broken bodies: a new chomping mouth, a new esophagus constricted by pumping vessels, a new gizzard grinding silt, a new intestine mushing, a new anus expelling…

Now sift out the big chunks (avocado stones pink inside) and collect the new-old-new. 

Maybe fruiting bodies are already emerging. 

Now you’ll mix it into the existing groundsoil, now you’ll add your seed. 

When you can’t squat the condominiums, you can still squat to shit on the ground. Like an earthworm, you can sprout two heads from the tail end of the landfill—a soon to be composted history. Langston Hughes: Let us take a knife / And cut the world in two --- / And see what worms are eating / At the rind. (1)




Read this piece in print in the issue 16 "Food Eats the Soul", out now!

    Langston Hughes, "Tired," written 1930, first published in New Masses February 1931 issue.

    Jenna Sutela, Holobiont, video still (2018)



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