Paris, COP 21, 2015.
An enormous tent with a large foam logo (#COP21) and several bins overflowing with rubbish.
Scenes take place in any order, indeed, some could be simultaneous.
[ i. ]
OCEANIA (a mermaid from the Pacific ocean) enters.
OCEANIA speaks between a large pair of foam brackets.
everything important is in parentheses
the easier to be stricken from an accord
at a later debate
loss and damage
are only really present
when it’s the text of an accord that’s being damaged
when it’s provisions for poor countries that are being lost.
we can’t even squeeze 1.5 degrees into a bracket
such a small number
point five of a degree
1.5 rather than 2
yet if we don’t pledge to stay below 1.5 degrees of warming
will be bracketed.
OCEANIA drops brackets, exits.
[ ii. ]
PIGEON enters with a pair of large foam brackets.
PIGEON shits on the brackets.
[ iii. ]
OCEANIA poses on top of a large foam logo: #COP 21.
OCEANIA imagines a large crew of photographers: many poses.
PIGEON walks by, nonchalant.
[ iv. ]
we’re messengers, us birds
used to interpreting the divine for dummies
and so here we are
in the gaps of this conference
seeking to inaugurate this accord
even if nobody listens to the augurs anymore
because we’re squawking it in so many ways
we’re canaries in the coalmines
we’ve got oil spilled in our feathers
and if that wasn’t enough
we’re getting lost in every direction
not just climate that’s changing
who knows when we’re supposed to be where we’re supposed to be
and so we’re squawking
that fossil fuels are killing us
that climate change is killing us
some of us
enough of us
that we don’t want to gamble on who’ll be flying high in four degrees
but I’ve missed the translation button here
because nobody seems to get my message.
OCEANIA and PIGEON sit in the corner of the tent, eating food from a bin.
Love the cheeseburgers.
I don’t know how they do it.
And the crepes with some jambon.
Have lines snaking for hours for plates stacked with meat.
And then have people
that there’s not enough for everybody
that it’s terrible to have to wait for food
and I want to think that it’s all part of the plan
but I don’t know if I can give that much credit.
OCEANIA and PIDGEON sit beside each other in a corner of the tent.
have you ever go to the point
where you’re not sure
if the tears you’re about to cry
are because you’re so sad
or because everything is so fucked up
that it’s almost funny?
the crying of pigeons is under-reported
if it doesn’t happen on a camera here
I’m not sure that it happens.
OCEANIA pulls some climate ribbons off a tree.
Write down what you what:
you hope to never lose from climate change
what do you write
when climate change isn’t pitched in the future
when it’s already happening
OCEANIA puts the ribbons in her hair, leaves.
PIGEON holds a sign: ‘I am looking for: Birds.’
PIGEON discards the sign, leaves.
OCEANIA and PIGEON drink in the corner.
They say she’ll come.
Not sure I’d bet on it.
And I think she must.
Why would she?
The oldest bird. More dinosaur than bird, they say.
Crocodiles have it right: keep your head under water most of the time.
She’ll know how to survive.
No way to be disappointed then.
Because birds have survived whatever happens.
No islands to fall in love with only to have them leave.
No matter to us what humans need from us.
No islanders to eye up only to have them shipped away.
She’ll come, I’d say.
Mermaids may have the looks, but I’d become a crocodile anyday.
For sure. She’ll be here.
OCEANIA empties out a bag of business cards.
PIGEON eats the business cards.
OCEANIA finds a large pamphlet.
‘Strategies for monetizing risk?’
Not sure even I can stomach that.
It’s about the ways in which climate change can actually be very profitable. Blue bonds. The carbon market. Excitement.
OCEANIA starts to rip the pamphlet up into very small pieces.
PIGEON eats them.
A large foam logo: #COP21.
OCEANIA and PIGEON squeeze into the space in the ‘O’ and cuddle together.
They look out, as if confronted by photographers, refuse to smile.
A large foam logo: #COP21.
OCEANIA starts to stack the letters, making a sculpture, which she slowly fills with debris and other trash, until it starts to look like a reef.
OCEANIA lies down in it, happy.
PIGEON enters, goes to the top, settles.
PIGEON and OCEANIA sit in the corner of the tent.
If princesses can kiss frogs, can mermaids kiss pigeons?
you want to turn into a prince?
isn’t adaptation the answer?
and when I’m a prince
I’ll make up my own charities
and tell people what they can do with my money
which is make more of it for me
because I’ll have a high house and a nice smile
and I’ll order vats of food
just to watch them rot.
I don’t want to kiss anybody
I have a vision of myself
arms spread out and hair spangled
on the surface of a quiet sea
a gentle ray of sun or two