blackmail press 34
Michelle Bolton
New Zealand

spirits of the forest  Vanya Taule'alo
Auckland-based performance poet and spoken word events organizer. In 2011 she was the MC for LIVE @ The Library Bar, and last year was guest poet at Poetry Live, and featured at Rhythm & Verse. She is also the current 5th Tuesday MC at Poetry Live. Michelle performed in Rethink Possible Worlds with The Literatti and toured Melbourne with a team of NZ poets in 2012.
She acted as Going West Poetry Slam‘s coordinator and host last year, as well as the 2nd annual NZ Poetry Slam, a new National Event, as one of its coordinator/emcees. As the writers co-ordinator for The Butterfly Diaries book project due for release later this year, Michelle has a special interest in suicide prevention and is passionate about seeing more community awareness and support for people with mental difficulties.

Bee Poet

Morning shadows
grant permission
to a window's open frame...
a steady kettle drum of footsteps
toward the writing desk...
a handful of trumped thoughts..
echoes in my echoes... room left in head...

Old men wedged
in the crinkle
of my nose to hide
from the children in my brow
- a wing'd kind of distinction
holding too many frowns...

Absent friends
curl comfortably
between teeth and tongue...

My body,
a Bumble Bee flying against physics
- a wing'd kind of ink drop
carrying too many words...

Bees are Poets
- eloquent powerhouses of the mind -
flying into my room
whenever fractured
phrases fly
- clotting slips
from lingered mouth to finger's tips,
diluted and falling
from alkaline turrets
in an open window pane...


Remember the night
we charged like patriots
burning legality
and setting out
to char the greats-
to char the grids-
of those wild campus grounds.
You wore your
dark overcoat,
baseball cap pulled down
hard over your brow;
smile pulled down
hard over your grimace.
We shared some
meaningless joke-
at the time
it meant everything…
Remember passing through
those hippie drum circles
we swooped down on
like poison arrows;
hollering like larks.
You let me see you
as new
as fresh mentality
uninfluenced by what’s acceptable.
You melted into the rain
welcoming its drizzle
like a familiar friend
embracing the cold
for a brother.
I saw your trail-blazing persona
ignite in the smoke
of your intimate taunting
while the drummers continued
their rhythm-less chanted trance…
In the twilight
your angered angle of the world
seemed as justified as
the softness captured
in the pastel gaze
of my 19-year-old face.
Then I realised
our connection,
drawn blindly into sight
I began to
envision the sound
our few fans could make
within the destitute reality that
we may never have any…
But I was your biggest fan
especially that night;
serving with
such absurd gullibility
I cauterised
its inevitable rise.
Never again
was I naïve,
or estranged
from the fun of life’s profanity.
I was only curious
to see more of you.
We could have been closer-
especially that night-
were it not for the distant
resistance pulling
between your shoulder
and my temple.
And yet,
I enjoyed the separation
we shared that night
running as if supported
by the confinement in
one another’s velocity. 

Come Find Me

You are a weathered and whimsical shack in the desert
and I hunger for your shelter…
your rattlesnakes coil in the darkness,
shutters clack in the wind’s subtle skin;
like frail safety locked in the skeleton key-hole
so easy to pick yet you won’t let me in…
Opaque layers frame phrases
of my mistaken lunges at your doorstep…
Your chimney’s stack smokes vague invitations
making me thirst for steeped mugs
of chamomile caresses
yet they cough to a stop
at my knuckles crazed tresses…
Cowboy boots and baseball bats
it seems were not your desert’s
best weapons for suspense…
My car’s seat is a raven’s back
I am with my eyes open
for the first time as my stomach fills
with storm’s billowing clouds
from 4 divine directions…
From the east they come
with the doubtful bat’s flap at my West’s inner lining
in the slow rumble of hunting wolves,
stampeding my desire’s core
while the hands of anxiety reach down
from the North soaring in my lungs
while the south occupies hapless
saints hopelessly blessing my stomach
with the moon’s churning juices…
My eyes become time’s watchdog
as we still haven’t brawled…
The sun goes down and I am reminded:
I’m not so good at this…in the dark…
and before the light of confidence
ceases to dance on my
raven’s clipped wing…
I implore you…
come find me…