Jake Goetz

Personal locating

it’s about 10am in Pig City
hot lemon water in the yard
a crow cries and i look up for a plane
but only see the blue roaring
furiously   the Aloe Vera’s
grown heaps   it protrudes
like a collection of hands 
grabbing for cheap Nutella 
in France   when 950 gram jars 
were reduced from 4.50 euros   
to 1.41   but this happened 
some months ago (in Paris?)   
i read it skimming through 
the ABC News   and yesterday
Amber posted an article on
the US government lifting a ban
on hunting grizzlies in Yellowstone
apparently the population is
nearing 700 after almost nearing
extinction   Wyoming has agreed 
to hunt 22 bears   Idaho 1
which begs a few questions
but i watched a video the other day   
a man was saying how all the potatoes
in Idaho are sprayed so intensely
with pesticides that the farmers
have to store the harvest 
in giant warehouses for 2 weeks
before the potatoes are safe
to handle   i also recall a comedian
explaining that we’ve lost 
our ability to be humorous 
by relying on technology to tell our jokes
this poem is somewhere between a petition 
and those short marketing videos 
you see on your newsfeed
cute fast and steadfast distraction  
or liberator of information?
a grizzly will kill you if it has the chance
if it cares to 

Morning’s catch 

                 ‘Each tree is introspection’
                                 —Ted Berrigan, LVII (The Sonnets) 

                amidst the Brazilian shade
      of a suburban jacaranda
                       one finds what it means 
                 to be a branch 
anchored to the soil 
      through time   yet forever 
                                 in search of air 
                 feeling the dry grass 
once the fertile playground 
                       of mycorrhizal relations
                  and looking up   
                                    between green leaves
      sky’s blue considered as 
                 an inland river system 
                                  carrying the poem   
                  as the one environment   
                        i can feel Indigenous to     

where in the Bolivian
                 interpretation of my dream 
      it’s as if Pachamama
had offered herself in her sleep
                 waking only so often 
                       to check on her kids 
      distributing pamphlets and
                 collecting donations 
in the form of bushfires and floods
                                ‘a syntax’ she sighs     
                 ‘of crunching leaves
                       caught between a truck’s wheels
 on an ever-widening highway’

                                 the way time is an animal
                 that seeks nothing more 
                                                 than escape
                       and how   confused by the headlights
                                        of our desire  
                 we seek nothing more 
                                 than its containing 

            watching as a spider’s web 
                       shimmers through
morning’s breath   catching the light 
                 catching it 

The sound of a donkey

Lake Titicaca breathes 
      upon the shore
   as if its centre were a lung
            sucking oxygen 
      from Pachamama
                        then passing it on
      to two ducks that waddle beside 
            three donkeys 
      and a wooden boat motionless
                 waiting through days   
         to be pushed and returned 
                     to nature   set free 
      like a teenage kids  
                first acid trip   
knowing for all this 
         is all it is
   all a light wash of waves 
                     can make of change  
     a bottle of Inka Kola 
               waiting to pass down 
     through generations 
         into bisphenol A   
               the way krill eat 
      iron rich algae
                     and whales feast 
   upon the krill only to release 
            iron rich excrement 
      for the algae to again 


            on the shore 
                          an old man chewing coca 
                 lifts his eyes to drink sky’s
      surround-sound blue   
                     before allowing them to fall  
                 like rain into the reeds    
                        laughing at the sound 
                    of a donkey sniffing at his jeans     
      then bending over he picks up 
                 two bottles of petrol 
   and places them inside 
                                 the wooden boat
            then pushing the bow 
   he swings it
            parallel to the water   
         then pushing along the stern
                     wood touches water   
   and again with the bow 
             he’s in completely 
and must only nudge 
                     from the shallows
               to cut through the reeds
         back to the lung 
   tossing eucalypts with each
                     gasp beyond  
            this body of blue water  

            and what is it to be held by this 
as a gull is held by its wings   
      or the sun like a bee  
on the other end 
               of the wind’s imagining 

Jake Goetz currently lives in Sydney's Inner West. His poems have more recently appeared in Rabbit, past simple (US), Several Hundred Fools, Cordite, Southerly and Plumwood Mountain. His first book, meditations with passing water, a long-form poem written about / with / alongside the Brisbane River, is forthcoming as a part of the Rabbit Poets Series in November, 2018.
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