Little eel knows swimming is
a good substitute for the future.
She is the shiver of red hot pokers.
Oh! The mountain powder! she says.

Every day this table changes, bright
pages and rough rubbing dreams.

Something shining rivers through
and fades: no inklings allowed.

Di tells the joke about weighing a pie,
joins the decision queue, no longer
hungry. The machine delivers a coke
can with the sounds of a manufacturer.
My own day windows and purchases.

The eel wrings and scrapes, she flails and
reinstates. Cows engine up the paddock
as we move through bouncing, someone moos
and we call them out, a rove of globes.

Rearing has never been sixes and sevens
only clocking and facing. Elbows and
all other joints praise her
umbrellas and licklicking
a pot for her pito.
She is an aircraft of a thing

a mudflat factory, her feet
kicking in my throat
her fingernails
scratching the membrane of my eye.

We steamed you out, Little Eel.
We screamed and
teamed you out. Now fetch up
like a good grief girl, pinch your
wakeupfullness, it sunnies us.

‘Eel’ was first published in Going Down Swinging #29

GDS is republishing some of our favourite archive pieces online during the current crisis. Got a favourite you want us to share? Let us know on our social media channels, or at – we’d love to hear from you. 

Looking for more reading material? The GDS shop is still open: you can get 40 years worth of writing delivered straight to your door.

And your local indie bookshops need your support right now. If you’re in Melbourne, check out this great map from Alan Vaawerk over at Kill Your Darlings to see who’s delivering near you.