The Bird People in China

The Bird People in China (中国の鳥人) (1998) In this dark comedy, a yakuza is sent into the Chinese boondocks to keep track of a junior executive whose bank wants to ascertain if there’s jade to mine. Takashi Miike directs this anthropocentric fable that becomes a quest for an obscure tribe of Chinese people who have learned how to fly. The truth slowly emerges, which reveals how myth is born of a forgotten past. The screenplay by Masa Nakamura focuses on themes of ecology and the transgressive destructiveness of Western civilization – themes common to Miike’s more violent movies. Obscure and very hard to find, the cinematography sweeps adoringly through China’s Dali City in Yunan, nostalgic for a lost Asian culture.

A bull’s head on a pole, two storks

And an ibis signpost mark

The beginning of language.

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 Traces of human skulls hung

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Skull cults – Göbekli Tepe  – Click for video!

On display at Göbekli Tepe

“De-fleshed, modified, and painted.”

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Or the warrior wolf, buried facing west,

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Stretched beside its gold body armor

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At the base of an Aztec Temple.

 

So completely have anthropocenes

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Buried their violent amorality

Archeology uncovers as art.

As a great nation collapses, its art,

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Like a standing army of faithful soldiers,

Is engulfed by sand or loess.

Even this year, new discoveries reveal

Jebel Irhoud homo sapiens with

Brains elongated and much larger teeth.

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As the sun shifts, so do the colors

Across these tawny valleys marked

By footprints of a vanished tribe.

 

 

No wonder these anthropocenes cannot fly

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Or return to the salt seas from which they crawled

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Unless entombed in metal sarcophagi.

 

The mudslide tells us where to dig:

[FILE – In this Jan. 10, 2018, file photo, a firefighter stands on the roof of a house submerged in mud and rocks in Montecito, Calif. While an aggressive cleanup could mean Montecito will welcome visitors again in weeks, the rebuilding of infrastructure and hundreds of homes will be measured in months and years. It will also offer a chance to re-imagine aspects of a town that has favored slow growth over the runaway development closer to Los Angeles, 90 miles down the coast. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)]

Fossilized, a seahorse’s briny skeleton

Lies next to a schoolchild’s open hand.

[Disposable Poem January 23, 2018]

Dr. Mike


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