Rebecca's Reviews > Decline of the Animal Kingdom

Decline of the Animal Kingdom by Laura  Clarke
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bookshelves: read-via-netgalley, poetry, nature

Bizarre, in-your-face poetry from a 30-year-old Canadian: business jargon, YouTube videos, fast food...and, yes, the animals the title heralds. Many of the poems feature mules and lions, including weird dialogues between a mule and its supervisor / domestic partner / psychiatrist.

With plays on words and a rather sexualized vocabulary, Clarke considers inter-species altruism and the inevitable slide towards extinction. “Project Isabela,” one of the more unusual ones, is structured like a video game, with different players on various levels figuring out what to do about the Galápagos Islands.

Two favorite lines:

“You forget you live parallel to violence” (from “Carnivora”)

“The Tasmanian tiger live-tweets its extinction from the Hobart zoo in 1933” (from “Extirpation”)

Note: According to Clarke’s endnotes, the multi-part mule poem was inspired by Jerry Leath Mills’s essay about dead mules in Southern literature.
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Reading Progress

September 19, 2015 – Started Reading
September 19, 2015 – Shelved
September 19, 2015 – Shelved as: read-via-netgalley
September 19, 2015 – Shelved as: poetry
September 21, 2015 – Finished Reading
September 23, 2015 – Shelved as: nature

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