Oliver, Stephen

New Zealand, (b. 1950)

Transgenic Pigs

  1. The oink is a fugue, baconian
  2. and philosophical. By a corn-cob moon
  3. they snaffle, silvery-hulled backs
  4. adrift & dolphin-arched in the mire. A
  5. litter of stars in the laboratory-bright
  6. sky. ‘PUT SOME PORK ON YOUR FORK’
  7. intones the television commercial. O but
  8. these are no bristle & foam flecked
  9. boars of Arcadian Days, brutally twist-
  10. ing on some Danaan spear-haft, in a
  11. flying rage tearing at ilex roots, or
  12. blasting marble shards with iron-tough tusks.
  13. These are the sleek-lined, chrome-bright
  14. & delicate trottered. These with a call
  15. soothing as a computer bleat, ears
  16. alert as mobile-phones, flesh pliable as
  17. an artichoke, temperament cool as a cold
  18. cut. These, the upwardly mobile,
  19. porcine delicacies, models of dinner-table
  20. decorum. Designer-label pigs, feted,
  21. wined & dined exemplars of taste, accepted
  22. in the most refined of social circles.
  23. These are the well appointed pigs replete,
  24. with a privately funded education bred O
  25. so exclusively for the Export Drive.

 Stephen Oliver. Unmanned. Wellington, NZ: HeadworX (1999).

About the Poet:

Stephen Oliver, New Zealand, (b. 1950) is a poet who has also worked as a newsreader, a journalist, and a copy and feature writer.

Oliver has traveled extensively – Paris, Vienna, London, San Francisco, Greece and Israel. He has worked for the radio ship The Voice of Peace broadcasting in the Mediterranean out of Jaffa, Israel.

He is the author of 17 volumes of poetry, and his writing has appeared in a range of journals and anthologies. Much of his poetry is also freely available online, including his collections, Unmanned, Night of Warehouses: Poems 1978-2000 and Deadly Pollen. [DES-02/18]

Additional information:

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