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The War Reporter Paul Watson and the Mountain Gorillas

From: The Missouri Review
Volume 36, Number 2, 2013
pp. 32-33 | 10.1353/mis.2013.0051

In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Knuckle-walking the slope of a sleeping
volcano, squeezing nettles like razors
to keep from sliding back. Sunrise weaving
light into a canopy of hanging
moss like lynchings. Rows of sapling crosses
stuck in the mud, nailed with aluminum
nameplates. The old lady in the forest
without a man. Boxing Day and poachers
husked her ruddy crown. Digit the sentry
silverback held the men at bay until
his mate could escape. Beating their leaping
basenji into the earth as lances
sliced his side like Golgotha. Head hacked off
for a trophy, hands on sale as ashtrays
for 10 dollars US. A dozen beasts
and Fossey in their graves. In the Clearing
on her shelf. Nature within her inmost
self divides / To trouble men with having
to take sides. A family of gorillas
lounging and swatting, cracking and munching
stems and roots and bamboo shoots. Drowsily
nit-picking in the tweed of their nests. Chimps
will seize you by the throat and suck the blood
from your caverned nose, drag your shattered leg
downslope to Burenge, where a famished
boy gazed into my camera while giving
up the ghost yesterday. While the hooting
silverback closes his eyes like a girl
climaxing, demurely. Grunting, growling
like a ventriloquist with a cold. Pounding
leathered pectorals with cupped palms so pockets
of alarm echo. Then and only then
does he unhinge his human fangs. Nature
troubling men to take sides. Dian Fossey's
corpse beside her gun, almost loaded. When
the upstart male relents, a ball of fluff
with a mesa of afro and black eyes
like the daughter I don't have, knuckle-walks
over to my horripilating legs, sniffs
my cursed camera before somersaulting
into the forest.

Dan O'Brien  

Dan O'Brien's debut collection of poetry, War Reporter, is forthcoming in September from Hanging Loose Press in Brooklyn and CB Editions in London. O'Brien's play about Watson titled The Body of an American is the recipient of the inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History and premiered at Portland Center Stage in 2012. His opera Theotokia / The War Reporter premiered at Stanford University in April. Originally from New York, O'Brien lives in Los Angeles. O'Brien will serve on the playwriting faculty at the 2013 Sewanee Writers' Conference.

Project MUSE® - View Citation
Dan O'Brien. "The War Reporter Paul Watson Remembers the Escape, and: The War Reporter Paul Watson in the Colonies, and: The War Reporter Paul Watson and the Mountain Gorillas, and: The War Reporter Paul Watson Gives the Poet Some Advice, and: The War Reporter Paul Watson Interviews the Negotiator." The Missouri Review 36.2 (2013): 29-36. Project MUSE. Web. 22 Jul. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
O'Brien, D.(2013). The War Reporter Paul Watson Remembers the Escape, and: The War Reporter Paul Watson in the Colonies, and: The War Reporter Paul Watson and the Mountain Gorillas, and: The War Reporter Paul Watson Gives the Poet Some Advice, and: The War Reporter Paul Watson Interviews the Negotiator. The Missouri Review 36(2), 29-36. University of Missouri. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
Dan O'Brien. "The War Reporter Paul Watson Remembers the Escape, and: The War Reporter Paul Watson in the Colonies, and: The War Reporter Paul Watson and the Mountain Gorillas, and: The War Reporter Paul Watson Gives the Poet Some Advice, and: The War Reporter Paul Watson Interviews the Negotiator." The Missouri Review 36, no. 2 (2013): 29-36. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed July 22, 2014).
TY - JOUR
T1 - The War Reporter Paul Watson Remembers the Escape, and: The War Reporter Paul Watson in the Colonies, and: The War Reporter Paul Watson and the Mountain Gorillas, and: The War Reporter Paul Watson Gives the Poet Some Advice, and: The War Reporter Paul Watson Interviews the Negotiator
A1 - O'Brien, Dan
JF - The Missouri Review
VL - 36
IS - 2
SP - 29
EP - 36
PY - 2013
PB - University of Missouri
SN - 1548-9930
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/missouri_review/v036/36.2.o-brien.html
N1 - Volume 36, Number 2, 2013
ER -

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