new zealand electronic poetry centre


Ian Wedde

online works

3.5 To the Korean pug dog

The black metal dogís twin lives
In my twin brotherís house. I like to recall,
Quintus Horatius Flaccus, your deadpan question:
ďWhy does the Muse persist in telling stories
Of the councils of the Gods and such high things

Accompanied by the attenuating sounds
Of my jocund lyre unsuitable for this?Ē
The simple facts are these: I have a brother.
We shared our motherís womb. She died. We shared
Her householdís treasure. This was mostly memories

Because with her great love, my father, she lived 
Memorably in many different places. Now
The household dogs of memory guard her grand-
Daughters in my brotherís house, and in my house
Her grandsons. Except that they, too, have all

Voyaged on. Disconsolate, untwinned for years,
My motherís black Korean pug dog props
My front door open. Sometimes my kids
Come through it and sometimes we remember their grand-
Motherís house of treasures. They roll their eyes

As my lyre goes out of tune. But there is one memory
For which they canít mock their maudlin father,
Nor the vexed gods unstring his lyre: my dauntless
Mother, on a Karnifuli riverboat, tossing
A biscuit tin of piss in the monsoon flood.

© Ian Wedde 

Last updated 16 July, 2001