Apocalypse Now

by Chad Trevitte

(Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)

The solemn poster charmed my eye at ten:
The tiny choppers in an amber haze
Above a tangled, misty jungle maze
That hid a primal river in its den.
I saw it at sixteen, and even then
The napalm bombast never seemed to faze
Me in the least, but only fueled my gaze —
I overlooked the darkest hearts of men.
Lately I’ve found myself much more inclined
To notice how this sacrificial rite
No longer seems to shed symbolic light
On any savage roots of modern mind.
It’s just another film that screens our sight:
A self-fulfilling myth that makes us blind.

Chad Trevitte lives in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and he teaches composition, American literature, and film history courses at Bridgewater College. He is currently working on a series of film-inspired sonnets.
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Pat Jones
Published 20 May 2010