blackmail press 35
Raewyn Alexander
New Zealand

Taipari O Maraea - Penny Howard
Raewyn Alexander exhibited poetry and visual art in May 2011, at Satellite Gallery, Newton Auckland. She put punk rockers on Captain Cook's ship, "The Scavengers and The Suburban Reptiles sailed with Cook on the Endeavour, of course, who else would he have as crew? Then Proud Scum and The Spelling Mistakes were at the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi, naturally." Her latest book is A Bee Lover's Poetry Companion from Earl of Seacliff
not many people know

what happens when
a lady-killer and a femme fatale meet
in a bar
   but they do
argue like glamour puss fight-club rehab

icy rain
wondering what sweetness figures just
or dimple desired
if love catches nearby
dining out on stories like a sky-fall survivor

how she's quite completely here
while also somewhere else
almost as much
dark tree loose marble rolled accents
crows by an electric memorial on rough grass

how many work-outs needed?
a hundred times easily breaking
asking riddles of each other in hospital
De Sitter's cosmos where time's eternally still
an occult mini-death such as a swan princess

but inside the secret room
windowsill and glint watch
the two of them spin their seats cool as DJs
laugh like that again
beginnings pointed twinkling cat wheels

could've missed this like a bus

seen the journey diminish awkwardly
framed in an art film
from beside a simple shelter
at the stop

instead I landed on your table of bets
green smooth as an artificial lawn
whatever we placed here quite plastic
flexible and lasting like wishes

puzzled over and nibbled
what could nourish this inkstand?
rain outside a quarrel
me a traveller who can do addition

some birds a little alarmed
living backwards out loud as I am
impossible things believed bread-and-butter
a deal of silence to read


dentist-pleasing grin
black punctuation hat
fools' gold stories in a saloon playing cards

when I visited from a ship
a fancy cowgirl shuffle
found full hearts and six-gun wits

cyberspace rangers and frontier scribblers
prices on our books in separate hideouts
inventing a campfire for our stories

flinty we're smoke curling away
herds of furious wishes over plains of paper
while you write of deals and losing letters in bars

spurs jingle the desert of a new page
riding this white horse til I drop
out there out there out there somewhere