blackmail press 35
Mary Jane Thomson
New Zealand

Taipari O Maraea - Penny Howard
Mary Jane Thomson was born and raised in Wellington. She has studied English, Art History, Psychology and Law.

In her twenties she was diagnosed with a mental illness and has since published her first non-fiction book, "Sarah Vaughan is not my Mother, A Memoir of Madness" about her time in Ward 27 in her mid-twenties. It was published by Awa Press in April 2013. Her second book is a prequel, due for publication in 2014.

She has been writing poetry for about 12 years and is also a photographer and loves music. She plays the piano and guitar.

I was deconstructing
I wrote “wanted” on the front of the paper
I drove with a psycho I hardly knew, psycho
The kind of word you use when you’re a teenager and
You let psycho’s tell you which way to go 

All the mean while there are very dangerous things happening in the world
Floods are killing hundreds of thousands of people
But my mind deconstructing is important
Can’t boil noodles and another dead family on the news
Some people watch this peacefully at the dinner table, but I miss the flood;
I stare at it, every day in the paper
Little children with no homes and no mums

My mind deconstructing, I have no capability
What’s your excuse?
Those cigarette packets desensitized you so much you’re no longer shocked anymore
Sight of country drowning not made you sad
Are they not your neighbour?

Good Christian men losing your values
Loves your brother like your own, or were they brown neighbours
What’s your excuse?

I’ve given all my clothes to Red Cross, don’t know why
Felt like it was a good cause
Now I pick clothes off the street


Is anyone thinking between the lines?
Between the cracks, or just signing printed fluid lines
There is a department that does that by someone schooled in

Aren’t you all?
Fine job you have
Fine job you’re doing
Why you want to do it so bad?

Did the Corporation hunt your head?
Seen some cracks, partners up
Getting grip on the Firm while ignoring firmament

Do you think of young, lost, depraved Danny in Afghanistan?
Or do you change the channel?
Eat dinner when that happens
You supported troops going in getting them, now you want them out

Right, back to the cracks
Do you think of destruction?
Do you understand religion?
Has your whole family ever been killed?
Have you watched your wife be raped by soldiers?

In your position I just wonder where the person is who thinks of all these things
In 2012 as an Afghanistan woman, was a Holocaust so bad?
Yet history justifies wars. So ill treatment can be justified too

Who comes to account?
Is Human Rights going to take the United States of America to an
International Criminal Court it is not signed up to?
Do people wonder how they feel?

I haven’t done a degree
I’m not schooled in your departments
I’m just keeping an eye on the cracks
Born in 1983

A Meaningful Life

Oh how you fall once so tall
Chariot driven around the town
Happy with a belly laugh
Life is a joke when everything’s going your way

Trust everyone, briefly so, encounters fleeting
It is a modern time we live in
Can’t keep a man up too long
Time to fall, fall, fall, like Autumnal leaves, at night

Your trusted thieves come in to take you away
Take you off-path, corrupt you
You wake up radically new
Poster ad for something else

Poster ad, for can you remember?
Poster ad for something you don’t understand
Don’t understand, that’s how they want you

Once one of the brightest minds (pop another)
Being dumb-ed down (and another)

Now can’t do simple comprehension
No wonder you had a down fall, brought you low

Not even your books sell
Guess you have pals, used too
Now you ride the showboat held up by a cane