Salom, Philip

Australia, (b. 1950)


…the 61st hexagram of the I Ching: Chung Fu – Inner Truth.

…Pigs and fishes are the least intelligent of all animals and therefore the most difficult to influence…

…Now he beats the drum, now he stops. Now he
sobs, now he sings.

…Cockcrow penetrating to heaven.

  1. The ‘least intelligent of animals’?
  2. Tell that to the farmer who has watched
  3. his ego out there/ and inside
  4. squirm as a mad boar eyeballs him
  5. (he can almost feel the cross-hairs)
  6. at the cross way in the race —
  7. then lets him off, feigns left
  8. turns right and accelerates away.
  9. They rip up, charge down pig-paths
  10. on the mud-map of pig free will,
  11. if something’s wrong they get hysterical
  12. on their trotters like Bette Midler
  13. in full shriek. Pigs are like us, they
  14. hold grudges. They are hot, immediate,
  15. fall down among them and you’re
  16. fair flesh: long pig. Not prosciutto,
  17. ham, they’re sashimi eaters,
  18. adding just a little pig urine …
  19. Nude wrestlers, they wallow in lakes
  20. of uk, they love slop but will step
  21. like a prude past food and find slats
  22. to pee through, prim as a great aunt
  23. when great aunt’s were like that.
  25. I’ve seen pigs shimmy and spit, happy
  26. as a pig in wit, laughing like lucerne.
  27. But just try to kill one: the skin fevers
  28. with stink, the air’s a welter, the ramp
  29. fury and slip, they scream high C
  30. ear-split no encore with the clappers on
  31. like a recording session, or ECT.
  32. Brain-cut, but no Verdi — heavy metal,
  33. shit as they die all kick dissonance
  34. slip and blade like pre-CD the needle
  35. pig-stuck and blood-stuck no grave
  36. but blood gurgling out so hot
  37. in drains of glug where flies float,
  38. so pig-easy, so pig-headed, the head
  39. sliced right off … Now its body and its
  40. mind are truly split … On the rack,
  41. so intelligent, comic, its ears hairy.

* from: I Ching: Poems – Improvisations and ironies based loosely on I Ching Hexagrams and Notes

 Philip Salom. New and Selected Poems. South Fremantle: Fremantle Arts Centre Press (1998).

About the Poet:

Philip Salom, Australia, (b. 1950), is a poet and novelist. His poetry works have attracted widespread acclaim. He has published seventeen books – fourteen collections of poetry and three novels.

Salom’s works are notable for their originality and expansiveness and for surprising differences. His writing is distinctive for its metaphoric richness and expansive vision. It is also hugely various from title to title; his creative restlessness extends not only to style but also to conceptual paradigms. Since his first collection, many of his books have depicted imagined worlds or explored conceptually contained sequences.

Salom has taught Creative Writing at Curtin and Murdoch University in Western Australia, then at Deakin University and finally at the University of Melbourne. In 2008 he resigned from lecturing and since then has been writing full-time. He has also performed as a guest writer and lecturer in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Yugoslavia, Singapore and New Zealand. [DES-04/18]

Additional information:

A random image of a pig, hog, boar or swine from the collection at Porkopolis.