I am in my second-year at the University of Auckland studying a conjoint Law and Arts degree. In 2011, I was published in the New Zealand Poetry Society Anthology and my short story was a finalist in the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Awards. In 2012, a different short story was a finalist in the Auckland University of Technology’s Creative Writing Competition.
Mister was never a gambling man. He just preferred the cross-pollination of arrogant races and the tight-lipped “lock my lips and throw away the key” kind of controversy that was a prerequisite in this society. He would walk in three-step, like a waltz, because he knew t-h-r-e-e was a special number and it reminded him of hide ‘n’ seek, counting down three... two...one...
Mister would twirl his way round puppets on light toes, provided the occasional stumble wasn’t too publicised and humiliating. He was hell-bent on perfection, punctuality and performance – the top man for the top job, but soon realised he had put all his chips in too quickly and the stakes were high.
Things went wrong that night.
3. And his lips curled inwards while he spat out profanities you goddamn shit, you know bugger all and I didn’t have an epiphany, no, I just watched as he blew his brains out.
factual ferocity spills
from mouthsbrains fingers received not from the person
at the end of the line
but commuters who
shame the name
shiftingbetween chairs rolling eyes stamping pseudo-intellect
that eventually short circuits
under the pressure of
too many statistics / too many dates
and name suppression becomes a thing of thepast
with 2 degrees of gossip
give me some
filthy 80s pop revival
and watch me chug and choke
on steel kisses and rhododendron
leaves rustle the treetops, we dance jerkily like systematic robots and imagine ourselves in a utopian jungle
trees | shrubs | rivers wild and woolly
and mud that steals your boots
we put Guns n’ Roses to shame
and your air guitar screams squeals with pain as I watch you
impersonate monkeys on hind legs
inhale sharply – grains scar your throat and the sensation burns, burns.
red trickles down the contour of your shoulder, like jam / like sweet pomegranate.
you fall | g r i n d
into the dirt, screams. burrowing your knuckles to create pebble-shaped pools of sweat. and they dance, dance with ritual precision, each with a thyrsus – mad – obsessed – enraptured by the smell of desperation and sorrow. until they reach their crescendo where you tremble and your chest heaves