I took two of my mates to the vet the other day.
The Jack Russel came too.
Three of us were on valium.
All except me. I was the designated driver.
Do you mind taking the dog for a walk, I asked, in case he pees in the car?
They shuffled along the street like zombies, Les had taken three, Dave four with a few beers, but the dog’s eyes lit up when he came to a bush on the verge and he lifted his leg the way dogs too —- I tried it once and made a mess — but he was too doped to pee,
He managed in the car though but Les had a pee blanket under him so that was alright.
As we drove Eddie, the Jack Russell, put his head out the window, his ears flapping in the breeze.
That’s so cool, I said. I did that once but the cop who pulled me over told me to pull my head in, it was dangerous.
Dogs have all the fun, Les said, but he was slurring his words.
It was only five minutes into the trip.
It was going to be a doozie.
His stomach feels knotted. Should he, or shouldn’t he? Will he? Once again he flings his frustrations hard into the distance, but they twist and turn in the cold air and boomerang back at him, landing at his feet,
I take my beanie off to Job,
That Biblical figure who had
The patience of a glacier.
Me, I have the patience of a gnat.
I roller-derby my way through life
With predictable results.
Maybe it’s time I calmed my farm
trod quietly through each day,
Just me and my tip-toe heart.
Summer-times I grow feral
Shed my suit of civility
& head into the backyard
Where I pee like an animal
But that saccadic screech
From the crab apple tree
& razor-winged birds flashing by
Threatening life and limb
& certain other appendages
Send me scurrying back
Where I l lift the lid & pee inside
Like polite people do.
You haven’t got your head up your arse
Or in the clouds any more, he said,
But firmly secured where it should be.
Atop my shoulders? I suggested.
But my big brother was right.
I was a dreamy kid but when the hormones kicked in— boy!!
My head was every which way but loose.
It was like a beach ball bobbing along
On choppy waves,
A dog chasing after every rabbit which crossed
I’m still a bit like that but the hormones
Are quieter now
& if I don’t watch it I still find myself
Head up the arse or in the clouds,
A head’s gotta go somewhere.
We drove to the Buddhist temple
A hot breeze blew in
From the north.
Clouds of insects rose
One, a fly, landed on my nose
And would not
I gave it the good old Aussie salute
A few times
To no avail,
Making me wonder whether
One should swat
A Buddhist fly
Or merely contemplate it?
The Buddha looked on.
There’s something about a cold, starlit night that gets me going: the glitter of the galaxies, the pixie dust of the Milky Way, the motherly eye of the moon, the peace, a full stomach. I drift to the back of the yard past the reach of the kitchen light and stand by the lemon tree — I’m told it’s always good to do it there. My flanks begin to shudder as I unzip and I piss like a stallion, throw my head back and neigh.