blackmail press 33
Annaleese Jochems
New Zealand

Tui 3 - Penny Howard
I’m a full time student working part time in an after school/holiday program for kids. I love poetry.  Currently my favourite poets are Hone Tuwhare, Glen Glenn Colquhoun & Janet Frame. I believe that particularly after our break away from traditional form New Zealand has found a unique voice and place in the world of poetry.
alone and bored

you swear to god there’s mouse
behind your fridge

waiting for a rupture in the silence
you know that this could go on forever

counting the tiny scars on your arms
you miss having a cat


She is in pyjamas
too small         but
they were on special

waiting in line for the
money machine

what are all
these fuckers staring

she takes care not to
make way for a
business woman
& her
brisk, ironed

her bank account
only what was

the screen flickers
laughs at her

do you have any
other requests?


she laughs back
spit flies from
her mouth

tits bounce more
than they should

the thin man behind her
steps back

fuck him

she shoves him aside
with a rubbery shoulder

and stomps on.


you have grown tall, boy
with your hair long
but your bones hollow,

like paper, blue tacked
on a wall
to cover a hole that just happened
when you were angry
and thought
you were right

you don’t understand, not yet

you like to jump off things, don’t you?
send your body flailing
& you come back to us, red, saying
the water’s hard, from that distance

your mother says she remembers, when you needed
her hand to hold your head up

in my family i am the one who ruins things

i light fires on accident, or on purpose           and it takes me too long to put them out

i say the wrong things, and don’t realise until everyone has finished staring at me
and they’re all back to eating their peas

i was the one who got the computer wet,
i didn’t notice fogginess creeping across the screen,
                                                                                          & then i tried to say it wasn’t me

i cover their white paint in smudges
they cover my smudges in white paint

with all the layers
the walls are getting thicker & pushing us all closer together.

in town in your pyjama’s

you sniffed flowers like a queen but
had to hurry away when the florist came
to ask you if you needed any help

on the way home you waved
politely at the cars that were
getting in your way.

to andy

when the calf died his mum stood on the
edge of the hill & went moo &
moo & moo, so we shut all
the windows.

im just thinking about you because i
remember when the cat was put down
and you carried him in a box.

if you were here today, you would be
laughing and that would be okay,

it wouldn’t just be me looking at the
trees sleeping in the distance, and
pretending that i cared about the calf
when i wouldn’t have even noticed
he went missing.