Title: Sport 21: Spring 1998

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, October 1998, Wellington

Part of: Sport

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Sport 21: Spring 1998

No Sloth Here

No Sloth Here

Look, I was purring along
quietly in the old Honda
on a narrow South Taranaki road,
100–110 k's per hr, starting to ponder

the question of cyclonic and anti-
cyclonic gloom when this hound
came up behind and began
to tail me, leaning forward, round

every bend for 2 k's muttering
‘Stupid, middle-aged bitch’
until he lost patience & pulled out
edging me — and the oncoming car —
both into the bloody ditch.

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Pushers crack their way through the soft rounded reality of our lives. Don't tell me there is no other way. Don't tell me there is no other language. What is ‘fiscal viability’ anyway? What is ‘a clumsy macroeconomic tool’? Who chose ‘super highway’, ‘getting more mileage out of’, ‘outputs’, ‘through-puts’, & shot puts?

Such words have no shame in them, no diffidence
before the raging stoic grandmothers:

their glint is too shallow, like a dye
that does not permeate

the fibres of actual life
as we live it, now:

this fraying blanket with its ancient stains
we pull across the sick child's shoulder

or wrap around the senseless legs
of the hero trained to kill ———

Adrienne Rich