Sunday, February 24, 2013

I appear to be sharing a house with Hunter S Thompson*

"And Mescalin. We need more Mescalin"

A recent shopping list;




Toilet paper,

Tonic water

I was going to write something about the recent spate of gibberish from the Canberra Gallery about "speculation about a leadership challenge is hovering above the Gillard Government"** but every time I started to think about it, my hands curled up in a spasm of rage and I couldn't type.

Maybe later.

When I calm down.

*Yes, I know he's dead. Shut up.

** From memory, a hack actually wrote this. Sad but true.

Friday, February 22, 2013

PSF with a happy ending (sort of)

Setting a Migrant Goose Free

Snows heavy in Hsun-yang this tenth-year winter,
riverwater spawns ice, tree branches break and fall,

and hungry birds flock east and west by the hundred,
a migrant goose crying starvation loudest among them.

Pecking through snow for grass, sleeping nights on ice,
its cold wings lumber slower and slower up into flight,

and soon it’s tangled in a river-boy’s net, carried away
snug in his arms, and put for sale alive in the market.

Once a man of the north, I’m accused and exiled here.
Man and bird: though different, we’re both visitors,

and it hurts a visiting man to see a visiting bird’s pain,
so I pay the ransom and set you free. Goose, o soaring

goose rising into the clouds – where will you fly now?
Don’t fly northwest: that’s the last place you should go.

There in Huai-hsi, rebels still loose, there’s no peace,
just a million armoured soldiers long massed for battle:

imperial and rebel armies grown old facing each other.
Starved and exhausted – they’d love to get hold of you,

those tough soldiers. They’d shoot you and have a feast,
then pluck your wings clean to feather their arrows.

(Po Chu-i translated by David Hinton)