Title: Sport 43: 2015

Editor: Fergus Barrowman

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, 2015, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Conditions of use



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Sport 43: 2015

Erik Kennedy

page 232

Erik Kennedy

A Line of Questioning

after Xenophanes

These questions should be saved for later,
when the mood is set,
in a library too lovely to read in,
when the fire is almost out,
but not yet,
and Rifkin’s versions of Bach’s cantatas are playing
like an angel’s nasal hum,
and, for the greater good, we’re drinking
a bottle from
the last cask from a lost distillery
on Islay whence the whisky was true and pure-hearted—
that’s the time for saying:
‘That’s an interesting name. What does it mean?’
‘How old are you now? How old were you then?’
‘Where were you when the war started?’
‘What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen?’

page 233

Imagining Ageing. Reimagining Ageing

The images are all of tortoises
and cactuses, iguanas and dry leaf.
Indifferently, the body moves along,
indulged though being slow and dull and safe,
indulged for being slow and dull and safe.
The wearing years have let the body keep
a funny but acceptable number of teeth.

It’s different when the body isn’t safe.
Serene and indefatigable herds
of grazers graze and graze and outcompete
anything weaker than a bomb with feet.
The closing years have shut the body up.
Pain comes for the first time and fear returns.
The mouth has changed completely and so have the words.