Ukraine 1986: pathways





New Mexico, 1945: the boneshaker’s children






Nagasaki 1945: afterwind





Hiroshima 1945: 700 mg









“M U T A T I O N S” used Hay Kranen’s PHP Markov chain text generator to defamiliarize and scramble a year’s worth of my notes on nuclear power and the effects of atomic weapons, as well as two quotes from Hiroshima survivors Keiji Nakgawa and Michihiko Hachiya:

“Oh heavy rain… come and wash away… all those sad things… and the black threads that binds us to the Atomic Bomb…”  Keiji Nakagawa, Struck By Black Rain, Vol. 1, Chap. 2: The Black Thread

“It seems I was in Tokyo after the great earthquake and around me were decomposing bodies heaped in piles, all of whom were looking right at me. I saw an eye sitting on the palm of a girl’s hand. Suddenly it turned and leaped into the sky and then it came flying back towards me, so that, looking up, I could see a great bare eyeball, bigger than life, hovering over my head, staring point blank at me. I was powerless to move. I awakened short of breath and with my heart pounding.”

Michihiko Hachiya, survivor of the Hiroshima bombing, a dream

Most of this information and nuclear terminology came from the following sources:

Barad, Karen. “No Small Matter: Mushroom Clouds, Ecologies of Nothingness, and Strange Topologies of Spacetimemattering.” Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene, University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

Brown, Kate. “Marie Curies’ Fingerprint: Nuclear Spelunking in the Chernobyl Zone.” Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

“CDC Radiation Emergencies | Glossary of Radiological Terms.”, 29 Apr. 2019,

Comar, C L, and U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Fallout from Nuclear Tests. Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Division Of Technical Information, 1967.

Glasstone, Samuel, et al. The Effects of Nuclear Weapons. Washington, U.S. Dept. Of Defense, 1977.

Hera, Stephen C., et al. Expert Judgment on Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Sandia National Laboratories, Dec. 1991.

“NRC: Measuring Radiation.”, 2017,

Shevchenko, Vladimir. “Chernobyl: Chronicle of Difficult Weeks.” In The Glasnost Film Festival, 54 mins.

USSR: The Video Project, 1986.

U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Office Of Information Services. Nuclear Terms: A Glossary. Oak Ridge,

Tenn., Usaec Technical Information Center, 1974.




C. Samuel Rees is a Pennsylvania-born poet, teacher, and MFA candidate with the New Writers Project at the University of Texas in Austin. He subsists on a steady diet of eco-theory, weird fiction, and horror movies. His work has appeared in Sonora Review, The Shore Poetry, Frontier Poetry, Bat City Review, Rust + Moth, Grimoire Magazine, and elsewhere. Selections from Bomb Pulse, an ongoing series of poems exploring lineal, national, and personal culpability in U.S. nuclear history and atrocities, appeared in Issue 13 of Territory.