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
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

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

Me Manifesto

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2017

Here’s a manifesto for the crowd
who’ve come to clap it –
and the rest of you can clock it
between laugh tracks and ad traps
and bulletins and sleep and shifts
in re-tweets and clips –

I’m a strong leader-

That’s basically it. I’m strong, like a bull
and full to the brim with it –
fit and trim, heavy with lustre so
big up my bluster and sing with it –
trust me –

Love me and I will love democracy –
stick with me and maybe
I’ll do something new –
lasso the moon and bring back the past –
lower your taxes too – maybe
whatever it is that you want –

You’ll see –

Some People

by Chris Buchanan
Poetry, 2014
Published in The Bolton Review, issue 1

This is a gay marriage poem and yes
we are shoving it down your throat.
Some people

are making a stink, yelling at you to think
and cringe. We’re on our knees, begging you to vote,
nudging you and slipping you the ballot for legalised
fudging and lady-things with fingering that
you don’t want to learn, just yet, and
asking you to tick it,
shoving it in your Facebook page, picketing
your inbox and sticking it in your head.

And we know you’re okay with the gays. You’ve no fear
if we’re here and queer, and everyone’s used to it
now but now we want you to thumbs-up our petitions.
We’re rubbing our issues on your television
screen, wiping your politics clean with Vaseline
and all because we want some dumb special day,
a ticker-tape parade with our balls and chains
and lips smacked all over it – ruin our lives, as you say,
be our guests, some of us want that, want you to
shake our ring-fingered hands, eat up our cakes
and just say live and let live. Say it’s okay

because it’s you that has to. At the end of the day
it’s still up to you to give us away, to give it up and
let us have our way, leave us free to do
whatever it is we really do behind closed doors,

without your eyes and tuts and paws and more
all over us.

That’s in your hands
and we don’t like it.
We don’t know where they’ve been!
It creeps us right out.

Some people want to get married.