blackmail press 35
Emma Currie
New Zealand

Taipari O Maraea - Penny Howard
Emma Currie I am a 32yr old poet from Christchurch I have been writing for 17 years and have also studied journalism and animal science. Currently I've finished two years at Hagley Writers Institute. I have been published in The Listener, The Press, The International Literary Quarterly, NZ poetry Collection and other journals here and overseas. I published a book 3 years ago, Confessions of A Broken Doll.
My Body

My body is a cocoon of pungent regret
That will turn into a butterfly of knowledge
My body is a hub of nocturnal imagination
Paints my dreams in garish tones and people hues
My body has been left alone too long and is burned to a crisp
It weeps and moans for neglects poker face
My body wraps itself around the heat of the day
To keep the homeless warm at night
My body is an offering, perhaps a warning sign
Take it, or stop and turn back
My body is a vehicle for a soul withered and hunch backed
Seen too much, heard too much, bleed too much
My body was a gift and you chose to abuse it
I followed your lead albeit inside out.


I remind myself
If we lived in third world countries
We’d both be dead.
You picked a star on a dusky night
Closed your eyes and asked God
To bring you a little girl
God granted your wish
Along with pain suffering and deformity
Not to be harsh but to give you what you
Really needed; strength.
Pulling back the covers my Dad
Saw the stars in your eyes and the seed
Was implanted.
Our bodies fought at war with each other
Until you spat me out unprepared and under cooked
She’ll never live they said.

Half Truths

(In memory Leanne Currie 1952- 2011)

When I was three my mother had her hip replacement. She had it replaced with a titanium hand. It sat next to her on the couch, it smacked our behinds, it tugged at her bum length hair. It waggled at small children walking along the street, it gave peace signs to hippies at the park. I painted the nails in chubby handed rainbow strokes.

When I was five I was at the hospital with mum and got trapped in the lift. Mum had said to run ahead and hold the lift, I wasn’t sure how my little hands could ‘hold’ a lift, they were only half the size of mummy’s, but it didn’t look threatening so I walked inside. It laughed mirthlessly and swallowed me whole, my sapling body sliding down the oesophagus like a giant hydro-slide.

When I was 11 I came home and found my mum in bed. She had had a stroke, a stroke of luck. While napping a bird flew in the window, perched on her shoulder and chirruped to the almighty, “give her wings”.

They grew green as emeralds and downy. The girth of peacocks but flight-full. I flung my arms around her neck and we flew to Africa. Perched on a cliff top we watched the savannah below, lions eating antelope. Scavengers circled over head.

Breeds of Depression

She stalks through depression with steel fingered gloves
Red stippled sheaths
Insidious vines wrapped around her throat.
She lies in depression
A bath tub full of feathers, blow me down
Tucked in with bath sheets and
Prescribed cardboard boxes.
She sits in depression contorted in a chest freezer
Between chicken and bread
Blue, blue, blue
I don’t know who I am, she does
Do you?