e x t i n c t i o n p o e m

Truth be told, today's poem was inspired in part by the movie Avatar and the BBC's PLANET EARTH series. After seeing the movie, with it's fierce and confusing message about the environment, I exited the theater and found myself staring out at the parking lot. The strip mall stretched far into the darkness, the cars drove. I felt an intense alienation / dejection.

The PLANET EARTH series caused me to start thinking about the interaction of the film's celebrated camera crews with the environments they were filming. I was reminded of a mad scramble to try and preserve as much as possible a disappearing portion of the world. A treasure hunt, in which the technological productions are the only existence left of the animals they document.

Thus I attempted to script a scenario in which there is a museum tour of nature after the animals have gone. Think of the scene in CHILDREN OF MEN in which the news scroll on the t.v. flashes the message, "The Canadian Goose has been declared extinct."

.E X T I N C T I O N
...P O E M..................


Camouflaged as bush
Intercom pipes
jungle sounds.
The narrator drolls about
migratory habits,
animal and fauna symbiosis,
specialization and weather patterns.
Unstudied behaviors
and abundance.

Thanks to
the cutting edge projection methods
the salvage crews painstaking efforts.
Observe incredible footage;

Monkeys swing and scream.
Boars, frogs, lemurs, leopards
lions, alpacas, foxes, dolphins.
The final procession.
All that has been and ever will be
racing by.

The video’s last animal?
The humble robin.
Tired scowl
as it flits past
pulling a curtain.

“The show is now over.”
Orange lights come up. Ushers point out exits.
Leaving the museum,
everyone a silhouette
the wind blows
dusk a dust
then dark.



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