IN EXTREMIS [+ video] by Neil de la Flor

In Extremis

By a rock the Egg lights up out of that sound
of wind. How does the Bay’s Paradise above
my baby bird shake its head? Does your small heart

beat like a cricket’s? What’s cuckoo-doodle-do
in a million languages? I’m told you chirp
uncontrollably for me. My little tor-

quatus, I have lost control of the weather.
In a moment it will begin to rain. One
day you will fly into thunderclouds. Debate

the importance of jet streams, the aurora
borealis? You will be hounded by suck-
ing winds that are howling winds. And what if you crash

into too many things? A see-saw? Little
humans? What will my bird say to those tiny
In case of emergency, eject?



I just spent the day photographing plastics pollution in, on and around Biscayne Bay. (See image below.) As I left Legions Park, which sits on the Bay, I noticed a warning sign posted, “Pet Waste Transmits Disease”. Fines range from $50 – $500. However, there were no signs posted in regards to air, land or sea pollution, which I found odd considering we actually eat the food that comes from the sea, land, and air. Pet waste makes good fertilizer. Humans seem obsessed with the waste of other species. Not our own.


Neil de la Flor’s publications include Almost Dorothy (Marsh Hawk Press, 2010), winner of the Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize, Facial Geometry (NeoPepper Press, 2006), co-authored with Maureen Seaton and Kristine Snodgrass, and Sinead O’Connor and her Coat of a Thousand Bluebirds (Firewheel Editions, forthcoming 2011), co-authored with Maureen Seaton and winner of the Sentence Book Award. His work, both solo and collaborative, has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Barrow Street, TriQuarterly Review, Pank, Prairie Schooner, Indiana Review, Court Green, among other journals. He can be reached at and blogs at

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