Kong Versus the New Dogs

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2020

I saw them first, the dogs
with the eyes gone white,
eye muscles taught with fright
and hunger til they plinked, snap, flapped back
and couldn’t get back
the right way

I saw them at steel turnstiles
teeth bared at nothing,
nothing I could see, look locked on
at anything that didn’t turn back,
show its belly,
tails bristling, breaking brittle, little knuckle cracks
almost
like a laugh
just like in the history books

and I ran

charging, screaming past words, fighting like an ape,
powerful, King Kong pulling back the jaws,
taking in the claws, fresh wire shooting black to cover the scars
whatever

and I stomped them down and threw them downriver,
cracked their backs and watched them sink, slack,

breathless and done for
now and forever
and they’re gone

no not really

Big Red Dog

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2018

It’s dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat dog eat dog

up there and the last dog is massive,
pained with the weight of it, outstrained
and bleeding out, impassive.
Red seeping through and thickening the mane,
a Clifford of sin,
breathing breaths so deep to tear the skein,
stretch the skin.

One day blood will pour down redwood bark,
tons of it,
pour through the scratches and rain down thin

’til the ground is filth and the skies are clean
and the seas are filmed, filtered red
like the backs of breeching sharks
and the wings’ll be all too heavy to reascend –
unsolemn silence will smother the holes we open up –
and when no-one comes to help
no-one will cry again.