blackmail press 35
Christienne Jauregui
New Zealand

Taipari O Maraea - Penny Howard
I am in my second year at the University of Auckland studying English and Film, TV, and Media Studies. In 2010, my poem 'Call Me Someday' was published in the NZ Poetry Society Anthology. My short story 'Because Absence Doesn't Make the Heart Grow Fonder' was shortlisted in the 2011 BNZ Literary Awards.
Lulamae: Alive, Stuck

Lulamae wants to flee and go lightly:
she wants to wear stockings
that make her legs look like a pair of
celebrated but malnourished
holiday hams
                     because when gluttony is the new black,
                     anything (or anyone) can be meat

She wants to leave behind
red lipstick kiss marks
on serviettes and faces,
on pavements and pillow cases–
because vultures think bread crumbs are passé
    and fattening

That wretched woman who named her Lulamae once told her–
over a bowl of steaming hot bone marrow stew
so packed with fat it was like nuclear waste for poor Lulamae–
that after her fabulously publicised supernova
well suited for the hottest star that lit up Planet Hollywood
                           she should take those Louboutins off,
   wipe herself clean of whore’s dust,
       and come back home

And this gives her more reason
to make a French manicure pinkie promise with herself
about never going back
Not after everything
Not after sitting down for supper across that wretched woman
and her was-band:
the man who was her husband until he sticks his nose out
at the smell of fresh raw meat
Not after losing her baby fat

When Lulamae gets away the last thing she wants to do is eat
When Lulamae ditches the hay the last thing she wants to find is
some place (or some person) that makes her feel at home
because home is where the heart is
                 so she’d really rather be going lightly,

a starving artist’s ever-growing collage

jimi hendrix mix tapes
envelopes that housed love letters
photos of my grand piano taken from my parent’s house
ex-boyfriend cigarette boxes
artifacts in my shitty volvo


a handful of disconnected souls
intimate strangers
poets and musicians
in a strange loft
i was going blah blah blah
and i didn’t want anyone listening
(funny how they were probably not even listening anyway)
but then you see
he pulled out a book and started reading

i think i said something to the effect of
fuck you you fucking fuck

love me

in a hotel room in my coat and hat and gloves
wine was poured
i was perfectly alone
yet perfectly at home
until tears started burning my face

my memories
all stuck up there in my head with scotch tape
i would have pulled each relic down
one by one – remembering the stories –
but i couldn’t stand the idea