The Threatened Cloning | Essay | Chicago Reader

The Threatened Cloning 

(W.B. Yeats contemplates biotechnology)

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Twisting and twining in the unraveled skein

The thymine cannot find the cytosine

Genes pull apart; the fibre will not coil

Sheer entropy infects the ordered pool

The bloodline is confused, and all around

The line dance of the chromosomes goes wrong

The worst is science fiction, while the best

Is pharmaceutical monopoly.

Surely some aberration is at hand.

Surely the Threatened Cloning is at hand.

The Threatened Cloning! Soon as I coin the phrase

A doctored photo from the Weekly World News

Muddles my thought: perched in a rack full of tabloids

A shape with human body and the head of a lamb

That stares back, though pickled inside a jar,

Deluding the mass mind, while all around it

Pose models with their insolent navels bared.

I try to look away; still I have seen

How seven million years' genetic drift

Might change to chaos in some incubator;

Now what life form, already past recall,

Stumbles towards Seoul, Korea, to be born?

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Tom Chalkley.

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