blackmail press 32
Rebekah Burgess
New Zealand

Moka's Utu - Penny Howard
Rebekah Burgess lives in Whanganui. She is a journalist and a previous contributor to Blackmail Press. She blogs her poetry here:
Knives of darkness

It’s just a habit, really, the sadness
crawl into safe sheets that slice
you into pieces of nothing
to talk about.

The neighbour of the white house (A love note, of sorts)

And so we danced with the awkwardness of strangers
clinging to our limbs, bodies, like nettle. Doesn’t everyone dance
in their living room? He was incredulous to my reply.
The stunted don’t. The ones who come home and watch
the idiot box.

And so we danced with the awkwardness of strangers
stopping our freedom; stunting creativity.
Our jackets, flung on the couch. My body,
now more bare, afraid to move, lest he should see
my curves.

And so we danced with the awkwardness of strangers
who needed a little more oiling with rum.
The fortification would have, somehow, saved
the embarrassment of clumsy steps known
only as stepping to the beat.

And so we danced with the awkwardness of strangers.
And so we kissed with the passion of lovers.
And so he flew, the next day, to Venice. I flew
too, into passion clouds.

And so I dream of the next dance, not an awkward
jig of strangers, but a graceful glide between friends.

A sorry poem to keep Aa because I love him so much that the hearts’ (brake)

The lack of thereabouts
(and whereabouts) and other stories
of the Enid Blyton type
(tinned sardines in oil on crackers
before relationships got complicated).

It was the night (or the morning after)
Aa and I screamed at each other
and I got angry
and to this minute
(he saw it)
I still don’t know why.

And he wanted to take away
his speakers
but the speakHER
was cracked and warped
or fucked.

The honesty
OF (You?)

BUT I am still learning
to talk and walk
around ex’s (not crutches)
You (I) love.

Would never forget
(I’d hope)
about their important part in my

BUT change
and management
must be

Falling apart

Is this the end?
Now that I can’t even say
how my week was
without the strain icing
my voice.
I don’t detest you,
but wanting you was
never meant to be
like this.
Why can’t we just pour
a little whisky into the cracks,
fill them up
with fleeting promises.
There is nothing I desire more
than a treacled “I miss you”.
my head is chattering,
a mindless, scathing rubble.
Impossible to turn away.
I lie, cannot help it, I cry, you run.
I fight, I huddle, flatten into the ground
and get stood upon.