Monday, July 17, 2006

6. Natural History

I've posted this before but out of sequence. So here it is, the sixth part of my as-yet-untitled sequence:
1. Hotel Peninsula
2. Daylilies
3. Clear Wrap
4. Visual Sense
5. Galapagos

6. Natural History

I've come to change my mind about Americans. Am sitting in the American wing at the museum...

This is the dinosaur mummy, fossilized thing
of mesozoic flesh, tendons and tubercles
bumpy as birds’ feet. The cladogram labels
the features of Charles Sternberg’s find in Wyoming.

This diorama of the black mountain gorilla,
conceived by Carl Akeley who loved Mount Mikeno
and buried himself there, is backed by that volcano.
The tutsan tree, the pendant bedstraw, so real! Ah,

the Yakut Shaman! Slipping into a deep trance
to free this sleeping woman captured by demons.
A faithful record based on Waldemar Jochelson’s
description of a true tobacco-influenced dance.

Here’s the American wearing his bible belt
below protuberant waist, his nonflammable flag
flying above him. The precision of that price tag!
And see, this life-sized cast, his hero, Roosevelt.

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