Kate Jessop • Dog

A young man comes to terms with his sexuality and confronts his bully in his home neighbourhood of Merton (London).
Specially commissioned for the Southbank Festival of Neighbourhood 2013, adapted from the poem by Richard Scott.


‘Make some room for yourself, human animal.’
Julia Hartwig

Sick with longing to be led by men
I stripped in the scrub
rubbed mud through my hair and sharpened my teeth on a rabbit’s bone.

I itched against brambles, ripping birthmarks, veins,
tore the human from myself
as night flickered open and shut like a nursery door

till I was rancid, meat-tongued, ready to love my master
but he laughed, spat half-breed,
then bruised my haunches berry-black with his already blood stained willow.

He fashioned me a muzzle from nettle and briar, kept me
silent, restrained
under the noted Roman oaks of Wimbledon Common . . .

but I bit free, grew wild in the coppice watching his red theatre;
runt after runt
beaten beneath the bone-white blades, the russet canopy.

I wore my blood like warpaint, gorged fat
on wolfsbane,
barked to the bald moon my dithyramb of hate

but he shut his yellowed eye behind weather
as I shimmied up drain pipes
through polite appointed bedrooms to savage my master . . .

I ate his heart, coiled like an adder,
right out of his chest;
left soil-black paw prints on the carpets of Merton.

Richard Scott


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