This cool and pleasant corner of the earth, where
due to lack of sleep, too much exercise and cornered
by salivating dogs, the fox expired
in a fury of blood, viscera and fur.
Then the hunt retired to a mouldy drinker
where the hunter-poet carried on
finding ways to spin that incident in the Uni Bar
with the sniffy Yank reviewer who thought his poems
lacked a sense of tragedy, despite their darkness.
Perhaps travel with a permanent hangover & a split tooth
or a torn hand skinning Irish rabbits inside out
are indifferent things, so unworthy.
One can, however, write of why you write -
from a lack of loving ourselves
as mother once said, back in our rural childhood.
Being helpful in a Drover's Wife way
she dabbed at his skinned knees.
Then Dad's advice:
A good left hook'll do the trick. (Florence, 16th Century).
Such bragging, those wild images of passion
the lecturer can't explain, or why the country
needs more horses and bullies, all armed for a siege.
Adam Aitken teaches creative writing and theory at the University
of Technology, Sydney. Romeo and Juliet in Subtitles, his third
collection of poems, was shortlisted for the South Australian Writers