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Pliny’s lizard

Jane Blaikie

 

The history of love, shit, and the lizard also waits to be written.
– Dominique Laporte, History of Shit

_
It’s not so much Dave’s lost control
as the toilet can’t be reached in time –
the pissy misses and logjam-fronted
poo tsunami making History of Shit
a clear choice for the bedside table
_
Deliberately dense he calls it.
Myself, with a streak of Tawa, say
don’t those French theorists like to
smell their own stercus, stecore,
cloaca maxima
_
But it’s the retelling of Pliny’s advice
that wakes me in the night perhaps
because of the cool quiet light
now in Dave’s light blue eyes
_
For unrequited love, says Pliny,
take a lizard, drown it in your piss.
Would the shame of cruelty be enough,
the lizard’s dying eye, its frantic claws –
distaste at one wantonness shifting
to another, the spell broken, pain gone.
It’s selfish and stupid to take dying
as rejection. Isn’t it

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://4thfloorjournal.co.nz/past-issues/4th-floor-2016/contents-2016/jane-blaikie/plinys-lizard/