Poetry

Dog and Kangaroo; Slug

Dog and Kangaroo

The big Red,

Dogged by yap

And snap of the kelpie

Makes for

The dam, where

He wades in and turns

In a wallow,

Brown water lapping

His thrust chest.

The dumb dog

Throws itself

In at a gallop—no

Idea of what

It’s getting itself

Into. The man

On the bank

Yells the dog to heel,

But it steams on

With the hubris of

The Titanic, so damned

Sure of its teeth.

The kangaroo

Stands there like

The Baptist—waiting

For the dog

To get to him, then

Thrusts it under

Like a baker

At a bench

Kneading dough. If

The man had

A gun in the ute,

He’d shoot the bloody

Roo, but as it is,

He can only stand by

And curse.

 

Slug

God’s unfinished business, unboned,

unfurred, unhomed—you are merely

something hawked in the throat

and spat out on the garden path—God’s

glob of gob scat, his thick glottal curse.

Such an inglorious be-

­ginning. Mired in the immortal mucus,

how can one hope to become more, how rise

to life’s little occasion? Small dumb

licked lip, what do you think of this? Do you

ever wonder why you were made so

unloveable? Untouchable, side-show freak?

Wonder if another could love you? If

a mother would tell a gorgeous daughter

choose the unlovely one, for he shall be eager

to please—the meek, for it is written

he shall inherit the vegetable patch. Little

brown muscle, look at you clench and move

off to measure the ground with your silver

tapes. Insidious, cunning as tongue

among the vulva, you get to the heart

of the matter—Come, you lisp,

come let us make lace the lettuce, let us lave

the veined skin, lick clean the green plate.

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