My poetry hands are pretty arthritic by now, but this Race Relations Commissioner debacle has spurred me to erect the middle finger to scratch something out. Blame Tulia Thompson, my erstwhile Creative writing classmate under the tutelage of Albert Wendt back in the far reaches of time – she has penned this, complete with links to this and Marama’s blog. Race Relations Commissioner poetry contest IS ON.
It’s been five years since I last wrote a poem. Years of editing bureaucratic, legalistic or technical jargon into news-standard English has spectacularly flattened my field of written expression. So tough titties if this shit ain’t pretty.
Joke news from New Zealand
(For Judith Collins & Susan Devoy)
Sent from afar, from worse than nowhere
they emerge from a middleness so deep it drowns
all sound: This army of animals is coming for us.
Dogs prove better drivers
than foreigners who will kill and
eat their own pit-bulls
to fight the state-sanctioned genocide
of cats. But penguins will be the true masters –
their constant migratory waves, their formalwear,
their gleeful feet
stamping on a human face, forever.
The only homo sapiens left in New Zealand
is an unsteady figure, intent
on burglary, with failing visions
of climbing through windows,
Watch her pitch a small missile
at an unsmiling wall,
although it bounces back and
hits her in the head
over and over.
This is our hero. A battler.