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Michelle Guest
New Zealand

Enigmatic blue on a weekly basis Andy Leleisi'uao
Enigmatic blue on a weekly basis - Andy Leleisi'uao
Michelle Guest is a graduate of Whitireia Polytechnic's Diploma in Creative Writing, and prior to that worked as a high school English and Drama teacher. She is now freelance writing and editing, eagerly and nervously awaiting the birth of her first child. Her and her man Ben live in Moa Point, Wellington, where both were raised.

Collecting People

I threw a party and
lots of people came.

They drove in cars
walked on buses
sailed in droves
flew on bicycles
taxied in hearses
hitched on horses
and jumped on backs.

There was Bobby talking non-stop
people had to -
and say 'Excuse me but
I need the bathroom.'

Lucy was laughing with glee
red-faced, she held her
and breathed heavy

Moe was there too. 'I know'
said she, said
'I know what the time is'
sideways glance
across the room.

Here's Jessie!
Crawling, drooling
putting on the eyes
for the boys
who dart on, 'gotta go!'

Comic relief: Angela.
A default saleswoman, one-lined
selling jokes, not knives
a beer, a cigarette
'gotta light, mate?'

Havoc sporting collar up
a suitcase consisting of:
valium, flick-knives, teeth
foolish entrepreneur
grand reputation.

The collection danced
upside down, whirling
through doorways, banging
between legs, spangly
along each others' necks
down in the basement, booming
and out the door late.

And at the next party
there will be one more.

Living in Auckland is like waking up at a stranger's house
with a hangover and missing the last bus home

it's like waking up with a hangover
freezing cold
meatworks in your skull
catching the bus with rotten makeup
and bare feet
because one of your heels broke last night.

it's like dumping your boyfriend
but he keeps coming over.
Your flat mates go Oh yeah
what's the deal with that?

It's like never being heard,
or your best friend shoving
a dead bird under your pillow
when you're ornithophobic.

Living in Auckland is like ducking when you hear rubbish men smashing tin at five in the morning

it's like waiting in a queue with a rash

it's like sitting in a crowded bar on Ponsonby Road
when you're mute.