blackmail press 21
Lora Mountjoy
New Zealand

Bio: Grew up longing for wall to wall beige carpet. Still don't have one but I don't care any more.
crossed cultures - special issue
Cats and Dogs

We met on a thin tar road edged with a tumble of blackberries, lake to the left. He spoke first.
-that your cat?
Its a dog actually, a medium sized alsatian but I don’t say that. Instead I say with truth
-not my cat
He finds it hard to believe. I tell him I thought it was his, that they seem to be travelling together. I ask where he came from, he points to my right.
-over the mountain, for the fishing. Got stuck here a few days.
He asks me a lot of questions, how many children I have, what I am doing here. I answer and note his lean brownness, long black hair thin on top, dark glasses. The smooth fist- sized pumice pebble he passes from hand to hand as we talk. He repeats
-not your cat?
-not my cat
We agree this place is peaceful. We agree there is value in peace and we agree to move on past each other.
The air has sharpened up, peace reigns. Cats and dogs.

Looking at the poet from afar

the cultural divide lies
between your education and mine
your familiarity with the marble corridors
my knowledge of earth’s fringes
the lack of dirt beneath your nails
I imagine you sliding
from the beige wall-to-wall womb
into ease and know I don’t know
that you may imagine the same of me
with a storming red childhood
in the back of your head

Featured Artist Fiona Holding