Book Review — Decline of the Animal Kingdom

You go with the leopards, and I’ll stay with my lions. It’s a pride thing….

Decline of the Animal Kingdom by Laura  Clarke

Decline of the Animal Kingdom by Laura Clarke is a collection of off-beat poetry. As it turns out, it is even more interesting than I expected. Heavy on the personified mules that seamlessly fill the role of typists and the envisioned revenge of a consumed lobster does not seem far fetched. Animals intertwine into the human world with a coherent personification.

There is a mesmerizing flow to the poems and a near-absurd abstraction to the writing. This all seems to add the fascination. The words roll and flow smoothly if not just to confer a message, but to create a rhythm and flux to the reading. There are times a reader can get lost in the words and trapped in the cadence.

I grew my arm hair in a brick pattern
and smoked against my neighbor’s wall. Camouflage makes me
soulful but reckless e.g. eating cricket pie in plain daylight.
I foraged Tylenol 3s in the underbrush
from the old country, slept alone on fur pelts under karaoke signs.
Followed the moronic koala’s example and spearheaded
evolutionary stomach voodoo, got addicted to one food that’s
really hard to find and grows scarcely on mountaintops. The koala deserves to die like the Madagascar butterfly deserves
to be framed above my toilet…

The words themselves do not make the poetry but its combination with the tempo and pattern of the voice. I will say this is an odd collection of poetry, but odd in the same way as Pink Floyd’s Darkside of the Moon. It strikes a certain chord in the observer that allows reality to be set aside and an alternate world to harmoniously emerge. I found this collection to be incredibly enjoyable to read and a collection that I won’t grow tired of reading for a long tome to come. There is a battle between what is urban and what is nature and other themes. But what makes this so enjoyable to me is that I can get completely lost in the poems.

1 Comment

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One response to “Book Review — Decline of the Animal Kingdom

  1. Sounds great, I’ll have to check it out.

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