When he enters the town
Is it Jerusalem?
With thorns stuck sharp in his crown,
spare a thought for his ass.
When he crosses that bridge
all the light bulbs explode
even the one in the fridge,
in a splintering rain.
An atheist half-Jew
and a sceptic too,
I know squat about JC,
but I remember that donkey,
all sweetness and bite.
Bottoms up and etwas Sachertorte all round;
Just a raw carrot for me, said Zarathustra,
from the high moral ground,
sitting there with flypaper
waiting for his ideas to stick.
The first book I ever bought
called Ned, The Lonely Donkey.
That would be Der Einsam Esel in German
the language of Nietzsche,
who made his own sensibility the measure of all things,
and spoke about himself in the name of Zarathustra.
I've always had a thing about donkeys
and so it seems, does Zarathustra
leaves home in search of friends.
Guided by the twittering wisdom of an owl,
Ned tries a number of alternate lifestyles,
until 52 pages later,
Ned, the lonely donkey finds happiness
with Timothy, the lonely boy.
It takes Nietzsche 297 pages to walk off into the sunrise.
You can hear a donkey's hee-haw
over 3 kilometres away
or so they say.
The First World War depended on the mule.
Since then, various politicos have tried
to pin the Aussie values tail on Simpson's donkey,
by the name of Duffy.
Saint Francis, Aesop, Sancho Panza
Winne-the-Pooh, George Orwell, jackets and work
associate all with Equus asinus.
Ditto King Midas of the golden touch
in another myth
Pan and Apollo have a musical play-off
the judge says Apollo's the winner
Midas says no
so Apollo gave him donkey's ears.
Midas tried to hide them under a steep-sided hat
but his barber knew
and his barber knew
he was a chatterbox
so he dug a hole, whispered the secret into it,
and layered earth
over the top.
From this spot within a year
sprouted reeds that murmured:
Midas has the donkey's ear
each time the north wind blew.
Then there's Chesterton, G. K.
with his blood-moon moments
critics say we should understand
in the context of his time
and his time was the nineteen-20s and 30s
and they were nasty times
to be a Jew.
the story of a lonely man.
Jesus meanwhile has got off his ass
and is doing something
with the chickens that count
the horse in midstream
and the fish
in the plentiful sea.
Nietzsche is the man who said
God is dead
Which makes Jesus just another random bloke.
Nietzsche is the man who said
Be an Übermensch
Change the light-bulb, get the joke.
Last night Googling around
I hit the wrong key
missed the donkey
and ended up at Lego For Adults:
How to build a working gun with Lego.
I'm not kidding.
God is dead
but Zarathustra is still talking
the hind leg off the proverbial.
I picture him scrawny and stoop-shouldered,
sharp nose and not much face below.
Nature made her point
then lost interest,
leaving his face to dribble
back into his neck.
His favourite sound is the gasp
as the rubber lips of the fridge door unstick.
He leans into its cold air
and there's his hairy ass …
and the carrot at the wrong end of the donkey.
- 99: BROWNFACESUBMIT NOW with W S Dunn 98: SINGAPORECOMING SOON with A Pang and J Ip 97: PROPAGANDACOMING SOON with M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones