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The Little Review
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Poem for Friday and Local Lambs


Goat
By John Kinsella


Goat gone feral comes in where the fence is open
comes in and makes hay and nips the tree seedlings
and climbs the granite and bleats, through its line-
through-the-bubble-of-a-spirit-level eyes it tracks
our progress and bleats again. Its Boer heritage
is scripted in its brown head, floppy basset-hound ears,
and wind-tunnelled horns, curved back for swiftness.
Boer goats merged prosaically into the feral population
to increase carcass quality. To make wild meat. Purity
cult of culling made vastly more profitable. It's a narrative.
Goat has one hoof missing—just a stump where it kicks
and scratches its chin, back left leg hobbling, counter-
balanced on rocks. Clots of hair hang like extra legs
off its flanks. It is beast to those who'd make devil
out of it, conjure it as Pan in the frolicking growth
of the rural, an easer of their psyches when drink
and blood flow in their mouths. To us, it is Goat
who deserves to live and its "wanton destruction"
the ranger cites as reason for shooting on sight
looks laughable as new houses go up, as dozers
push through the bush, as goats in their pens
bred for fibre and milk and meat nibble forage
down to the roots. Goat can live and we don't know
its whereabouts. It can live outside nationalist tropes.
Its hobble is powerful as it mounts the outcrop
and peers down the hill. Pathetic not to know
that it thinks as hard as we do, that it can loathe
and empathize. Goat tells me so. I am being literal.
It speaks to me and I am learning to hear it speak.
It knows where to find water when there's no water
to be found—it has learned to read the land
in its own lifetime and will breed and pass its learning
on and on if it can. Goat comes down and watches
us over its shoulder, shits on the wall of the rainwater
tank—our lifeline—and hobbles off
to where it prays, where it makes art.

--------

Another from this week's New Yorker.

I had a nice Thursday -- I got to have lunch with perkypaduan, who is back in my area for a few days, and wander in the mall with her before coming back to my house so I could pimp her into the joys of the Eleventh Doctor since she's been deprived of BBC America. My major purchase for the day was a flash drive at Hot Topic for Adam (which he needed anyway), shaped like a penguin. He was quite pleased with this, though he was also pretty distracted because he had found a caterpillar on the way home from school and was trying to film it on his new camera, plus my mother was coming to pick him up and take him shopping for a suit to wear to my niece's Bat Mitzvah in a couple of weeks since he has completely outgrown the suit he wore to his Bar Mitzvah last year.

In other news, my basement TV/VCR not only died but destroyed my Madonna videotape in the process, wah. I read the news, which is really too depressing to talk about (Gulf of Mexico oil nightmare, Arizona bigots, Alabama bigots, British scandal over "bigot"). In the evening I watched both parts of Next Gen's "Birthright" so I can review it tomorrow, plus FlashForward, which had lots of Janis and Olivia and that's really all I demand from an episode -- plus the fact that Annabeth Gish recruited Janis makes me happy, though I really, really wish Janis had not been for sale in the first place; I don't think she's going to be a villain in the end and I like that she's complicated, that she's not "the lesbian" or "the pregnant woman" or any of the stereotypes she could be slotted into, but I really would like to see her do something heroic, since Mark and Demetri are being set up as the major heroes of the series.

And baby bobcats make me smile. I had other things to say, but Firefox just crashed so I am just going to stop and hit save before I lose anything else! Here, have some photos of sheep and lambs who live on the farm behind Lake Whetstone:















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