Animals & Architecture
i. Bridges & Buffalos
The first buffalo met the first bridge
in the American continent
The first bridge to meet a buffalo
tensed its spine
and sighed little creaks
and found the hooves familiar.
The first buffalo to meet the bridge
wondered at how easy it was
to reach the grass across the stream.
The first bridge to bear the name
of Buffalo Bridge
was built by a man from Ireland.
It was eight feet across.
The first and only buffalo called Bridge was born
in the moment between two centuries.
His favourite things
were the red-striped top of the boots
of the farmer that raised him,
ii. Whales & Movie Theatres
Few whales have been in movie theatres
in the flesh, but many
have had their images projected inside them
and you’d think that on some level
they must be aware of this.
To make a whale-accessible movie theatre
you would need a lot of water
and some very strong glass.
To make a movie that a whale would enjoy
more research needs to be conducted.
Perhaps they would like to see
large swarms of krill, or other whales,
or perhaps they want something novel,
a grassy plain, a mountaintop.
In the hamlet of Whale, in Cumbria, England,
there are no movie theatres.
iii. Zebras & Pipe Organs
They share something between them,
the fragmented verticality,
up, down, up.
I think a zebra could play a pipe organ
if it knew to try,
if we could somehow
impress that this is important.
The cecum organ of a zebra,
located at the end of the small intestine,
hosts symbiotic bacteria
allowing them to better break down cellulose.
The first zebra called Pipe
might be born,
if we make it happen.
The first zebra called Organ
is a harder cause
to gather momentum for.
I wasn’t going to forget
the black and white keys,
and the stripes of the zebra,
lines nested in their opposite,
states defined by their duality.
An alphabet poem after Simon Jeffes.
‘I am the proprietor of the penguin cafe.
I will tell you things at random.’
I am the
auctioneer at the
Baobab Cafe. I will
call you only by your true name. The special:
deep sea artichoke and foraged meat. I am the
exorcist at the
Flying Cafe. I will
grant you subconscious wishes. The special:
holy water and yeast. I am the
instigator at the
Jackdaw Cafe. I will
kill your landlords and other enemies. The special:
loaf and lumps. I am the
matchmaker at the
Naked Cafe. I will
only answer to a cheerful tune. The special:
portable roast and eglantine. I am the
quizmaster at the
Revolutionary Cafe. I will
swallow your food in front of your disbelief. The special:
trials and tribulations. I am the
undertaker at the
Volcanic Cafe. I will
win in the end. The special:
xanthic hues and sensitive medical information. I am the
yes man at the
Zoological Cafe. I will
ask you one more time
before we begin.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ruben Mita is a writer, musician and ecology postgrad student in Pōneke | Wellington. He has been published in journals such as Landfall, takahē, Starling, Sweet Mammalian, Tarot and A Fine Line. He loves fungi, some sounds, and trying to write poetry that plays with overlapping realities.