The Eater (1992)

Glyn Maxwell

Top of the morning, Dogfood Family!
How’s the chicken? How’s the chicken?
Haven’t you grown? Or have you grown,
here in the average kitchen at noontime
down in the home, at all?

Bang outside, the bank officials
are conga-dancing and in their pinstripe
this is the life! But it isn’t your life
out in the swarming city at crushhour
dodging humans, is it?

Vacant city – where did they find it?
Blossom of litter as the only car
for a man goes by. When the man goes by
his girl will sulkily catch your eye:
will you catch hers?

Snow-white shop – how do they do that?
Lamb-white medical knowing and gentle
man, advise her, assure and ask her:
do you desire the best for your children
and theirs? Well do you?

Take that journey, delight in chocolate,
you won’t find anyone else in the world,
lady, only the man, the sweet man
opening doors and suggesting later
something – what thing?

Short time no see, Dogfood Family!
How’s the chicken? How’s the chicken?
How have you done it? Have you done it
with love, regardless of time and income
and me? Who am I?

I am the eater and I am the eater.
These are my seconds and these are my seconds.
do you understand that? Do you get that,
you out there where the good things grow
and rot? or not?

Learn more about the language of this poem in the
Oxford English Dictionary:

pinstripe