Title: Sport 40: 2012

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, 2014, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 40: 2012

Uljana Wolf

page 174

Uljana Wolf

to the kreisau dogs

o the shabby raggle-taggle of village dogs: stub
tails stumpy legs mongrel muzzle at the hedge

yours is the street the dust on the asphalt edge
yours the night resounding in the valley asleep

every echo belongs to you: the flickering kick-
back of din in the hills a hierarchical snarling

a barking and baying: first Herculean then mam-
moth & abating just a chicken to tip you the wink:

whoever can’t perform to order deliver the drivel is
picked off by the pack in wildfire throats the dump

is lost so cry murder etc. survey the world in this
trough master the pathways the people and me—

yours is my scent track my undaunted adventures
yours my calves     out of this shit-hole at last

page 175

postscript to the kreisau dogs

the one who says poems are like these dogs
in the thick of the village caught in their own

echo in the scraping and waiting at half moon
doggedly marking out the territory of language

doesn’t know you—you bellowing hell-hounds
you cassandras of sound in the back of beyond

for behind my back you set out to stitch together
what is word and what is calf into an insolent bite

as if this leg of mine were only a page
and the order of things an exchange:

my boot here still bears the imprint of your
teeth—four prize pinches from that clinch

yes you deserve the verse that comes after
so the world sure dogs poetry     at its heel

page 176


my friend: this is
our pothole love
our border traffic
halting under tongues

our hissed prayer
now stroke my skin
on this ink pad till
the customs come

my friend: or let’s
smuggle perfectly
formed taste buds
gazeta wyborcza and

mint ourselves a mint
in a casual mouth
cavity crammed full
at gridlock

Author’s note: gazeta wyborcza Polish daily newspaper
page 177

kochanie I’ve bought bread

how foreign places bring
conversations about

I recognise them
with my back warm

and eyes closed
in a double bed

but still no model
nor a proper reply

just the sense of
mountain and valley

and how a thing
can join into halves

on a translatable

Author’s note: kochanie Polish for dearest, darling
page 178

the worn out dancing shoes

in a fairy tale
1 soldier dances
12 girls through

i am beautiful
my heart a ballroom
girl chamber girl
a lifetime long

if my father
ach my father
were not
the world over days
the world 1 soldier

in a dream he broke
he twigs of 12 girls
(there was no word
of their legs)

page 179

nursery rhyme

my father
the little trumpeter
gave his blood
for our necks

singing we scheme
keep him in mind
playing we’re
digging his grave

my warder
the little trumpeter
with the brass
at his lips

makes us
when our hearts
break cover
face the music

From kochanie ich habe brot gekauft © kookbooks, 2005. English translations © Karen Leeder, 2012.