What I find so interesting in this sound poem is that, as in the case of Goldsmith's Java Applet, it is not simply a repeat of the linear text but an artwork in its own right. The choral speaking, chanting, litany-like structure, the total human silence for long stretches, the amazing array of forest, animal, and weather sounds frightening in their clamor: all these have the effect of putting the listener squarely into the scene. . . . Reading the poems, studying the photographs, listening to the soundtrack, and surfing the internet site, I find myself keenly interested in the fate of the kangaroo.
Perhaps this is just another way of saying that the new differential poetry by "differential" I mean a variorum poetry text, no single version of which has priority-- is as instructive as it is compelling. Like Goldsmith's Fidget, which alternates verbal, visual, aural, and kinesthetic images of motor activity and the reaction of mind to body, Kangaroo Virus gives us alternate ways of tackling a given problem. The works in question are not so much intermedia (e.g., word + image or word set to music or recited on film) as produced differentially in alternate media, as if to say that knowledge is now available through different channels and by different means. Such work allows for an unusual degree of reader / listener / viewer participation: it is the reader, after all, who must decide whether to access the 20:00 chapter of Fidget, in which case s/he cannot "read" the other twelve chapters, or whether to "read" linearly by moving from page to page of the written text. In either case, the "reader's" experience frustrates a conventional experience of reading the book.