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Gary Langford
New Zealand

Mere & Child - Penny Howard
Gary Langford is the author of 31 books, 10 novels, 12 books of poetry, 4 collections of stories, 3 of drama sketches and 2 textbooks. His most recent are "Lies, Truth and Blasphemy" (stories), Steele Roberts, 20013, "Sohrab (Last of the Giants)", his 10th novel, Amazon Kindle, 2013, and "Unit 6, 3 Quake Road" (poetry), Steele Roberts, 2014. The most recent production of one of his plays is "Lovers", Hutt Repertory Theatre, 2014. Gary is a writer and painter in Melbourne and Christchurch.
Jack Light

Wild dogs cross the countryside into the suburbs.
They christen the days and nights.
Each pack is led by the nightmare of Jack Light.
There is no getting away from this monster.
He has teeth as sharp as a samurai sword.
In folklore he is said to nonchalantly eat us all.
Arms become small ideas in storms of fury.
Reality lies in a forgetful room in the light of the moon.
History begets a mountain range named after him.
Mountaineers uneasily climb the jaw, praying not to fall.
They sense proximity to a gas heart, a gas soul.
A plot is not needed. He is a plot, implanted unto himself.

This is Tyrant’s Day. Hitler refuses to accept his bloodline.
Camps are set up to annihilate those who terrify him.
He dreams to hold fear down in his uniform.
He is an addict to prevent the nightmare of Jack Light.
Stalin is a pugnacious boxer, scarred for life.
He punches out opposition. Not a casual recrimination.
He rolls around in the nightmares of others.
Deep in darkness, he confronts the blinding light of Jack Light.
Pol Pot sets up rows of skulls, neatly marked in screams.
He turns back time to show he knows what he is doing.
Intellectuals are chosen to watch their families put to death.
An uneasy cloud hangs over his head. Silence reigns.

Jack Light invents the cliché, as cheerful as a costly cube.
Translation: you are your own worst enemy.
Extinctions grow like a habit. Sneering is in a storm.
He understands the chemical industry, inventing food.
His measurements help hold us down
While telling ourselves, can’t be healthier.
We are being watched through the invisible eye.
Above all is the changing figure of a giant dog.
The dog is registered to stars, barking them in planets.
Scientific breakthroughs are a small shy prospect.
Whispers are in our ears. I call you. I hold you dear.
Irony is a whimper of space. This is your only sound.

Casting is in a script we never admit to.
Nor do we question the writer, director or producer.
We do not even see our brain is an old compass.
Mistakes are crops to grow under our skin.
We flood at night. Our bed is a ship, pushing within.
The healing room is windowless, doorless.
We believe this is the way, saying so quietly.
For a moment ourselves condemn us.
Age squeezes open all our batteries.
Paradoxically we are held closer than pure belief.
No grief. Ownership is impossible, fraught with spite.
In Aesop’s night there is only Jack Light.