Creative Writing
Original PoetryEmail This Article Print This Article

In that place the bulls run with streamers in their hair

Christopher Oakey


We come over the edge of language into this

new city, where—

in the season of war we fall predictably

into nonsense—


the nuts of the harvest.



like love,

and the memory of love.


After years in the hills he walked down

into the city, amazed at his own silence.


(How things had changed since the war began.

Where were the flowers that they had planted

on La Rue des Rêves?


Where is the body that he desired with?

And where is she, her identity not yet fixed?)


He stood in awe of a momentary collision,

unable to comprehend its muteness, or the child

rolling toys in the gutter, saying ‘the car that is red


with the car that is blue, and the ghosts lope

deathwards in the shape of caterpillars’.


How much can we

expect him (a thinker of non-thoughts)

to have understood?


He left his angels

in the old regime.


He climbed the

long and fragile slope



night turning into further night,

gazing at a lost and cherished horizon.


In that place the bulls run with streamers in their hair.


(To love them properly

they have to die

and you have to kill them.


And love


in the gutters, drips


from the new city,

and (in)to the sea.


Christopher Oakey is a poet and postgraduate researcher working in Sydney Australia. His poetry has been published in multiple venues, including Cordite Poetry Review, Contrapasso Magazine, and Southerly. His research involves philosophical influences on late modernist poetics.