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this talk of water makes me hungry. The


water is talking. It says take your cattle and
the empty coop down into the lea. Take the
film rushes, take the bowls of barbecue sauce,
the paintings of Clumsy Tom, the slivers of
flint and the slivers of kindling, take them all
to the grove where the naming of living things
takes place on the forge. Bring your eye
protection. Bring banknotes. Leave a space for
the smithy and his daughters.

Its like this this talk of water: the blood


washes off easily. Go naked but seek the
agreement of the others.

The others will agree.

The others too will join you in nakedness.

It makes them hungry. Hunger is a strong
motivating force.

The nest of hunger is not in the canopy. It is
reached without even the aid of a ladder.
Stand on each others shoulders. There are
enough of you.

**

The blood will wash off but it will never talk.


Its tongues are afraid. This is its weakness its
number of tongues, its unqualified husbandry.
If you misstep and fall from the nest of
hunger, sing an enchantment. Pick a charm
from the earth. They resemble uneaten
popcorn on a movie theatre floor. You cant
miss them. Pick the ones without bruisings.
They taste like the sweat you once licked off
the bakers arms. They taste divine.

***

Salt the tip of your tongue if you cannot stop


it cursing. Spike it with tacks. Hammer it with
fish hooks. Chase it on the back of your
favourite kelpie. In a pack of kelpies. Chase it
like the hound it is. Hunt it down the throat to
which it is wed.

****

When we are wed there shall be no banquet.


There shall be no band. We will fire the band
when we burn the invitations. Guests will
guess the venue. For those who succeed there
shall be dancing. For those who fail there shall
be thrashing. On our first anniversary, the
bridesmaids will be required to graze the
grass in the field, to dress themselves in
nonsense and small units of reproduction.

How are you to know? How are you to know
where to gather? How are you to know what
to wear, what to eat, what to wash? How are
you to know?

You will know when you taste your own
thoughts.

This is the book of moose.

Mark Russells (the book of moose) is due out later this year with Kattywompus
Press. Other poems from this work have appeared in Otoliths, gobbet, Lighthouse,
and Streetcake. A sibling chapbook, (the book of seals), is published by Red Ceilings
Press. Previous chapbooks are Saturday Morning Pictures (Red Ceilings, 2015) and
Pursued by Well-being (tall-lighthouse, 2013). https://markrussellat.wordpress.com