DS Maolalai – 5 POEMS

The scavenger.


the table

is on its back.

legs in the air

like a dog playing dead.

and like someone

whos just killed a dog,

I work screws loose,

and ikea bolting. search the box

for the vice-grips

and various allen wrenches,

place pieces of metal

in the upturned lids of jars. the linoleum

gives on my knees. I shift my weight,

searching for scraps

of softness. clink – another one

and the leg comes loose. I’ve watched

documentaries – ants

crawling on a dead cow, collapsing

with high speed photography.

another leg goes – tendons

break with my weight. above me

creepers collapse. you bring me a beer

and tell me the van

is almost full.

you’re ready to go

when I’m ready.







around us

traffic stacks

like cards in a game

of patience.

I am a card,

flipped up

and sliding forward

from one place

to a more useful

one. to the west

the hills

are white and lovely –

it snowed last night,

but didn’t stick

to footpaths. I live in the city,

work outside; sometimes

I think I’m lucky

that every day

I leave.

the hills pile

like white clothes

on laundry day.

I look at them,

bored with patience;

note their creases,

their stains

and grease.





Like little creatures.


words roll a mosey

and stroll down main street.


flit like

little creatures

and slip the quick

away. all those conversations

we had once in the sun,



with glorious yellow

for a moment,


only a moment,

and then dying

and drying,


flying on wind,

paper brown

like blown and broken dandelions.





Why we’ve decided

that we don’t want children:


because as things are

our lives already

are built around

the dog.


making sure she shits

where we want her to shit.

that she sleeps

where we want her

to sleep, and pisses

where we want her

to piss. I wake in the night

when she’s anxious

and take her out.

and it’s always

because of bathroom stuff,

like apples

falling from apple trees.


she rolls about,

flicks her tail

and watches

as I put it in a bag.

my life

made in image

of her life. topiary, bent

around wires, drawn

to uncomfortable






Our life on saturdays.


three o’clocks come

and four o’clocks,

handed about like toffees.

the hour trundles forward,

determined as a turnspit dog.


beneath the clock

and we lounge about

on sofas in our underwear, playing with

the dog’s belly

and with each others

hairs. shifting through tv shows

like someone at a junction

lost in a foreign city

trying to find

their train. we drink beer

from teacups and cups

of tea with the curtains drawn,

cast about for cravings

of something specific to eat.

we loll, purposeless as cattle grazing,

relaxed as cattle, expectant

as cattle.


our life on saturdays

is a vague one,

without interest. you like it

like this. I like it too,

like you.



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