blackmail press 26
Serie Barford
New Zealand

from: Angipanis of the Abanimal People - Andy Leleisi'auo
Serie Barford is a performance poet of Samoan, Celtic, Scandinavian and Algonquin Indian ancestry.  She was born in Aotearoa to a German-Samaon mother (Stunzner/Betham/Leaega of Lotofaga and Fulu/Jamieson of Luatuanu'u) and a palagi father.  She has worked as a school teacher and is now involved in the field of Community Education in Waitakere City and lives between Aotearoa and the Loyalty islands.  She writes whenever she can and was recentrly published in Whetu Moan, Niu Voices, BMP17, Snorkel, Poetry NZ, Tinfish 16/Trout 13
Glazed with Shellac

my body’s glazed with the powdered wings of cicadas
mixed to a satin lacquer with methylated spirits

I dance with the imprints of summer songs
create potent shapes in unexpected silences

deflect curses from peacock feathers
with the suggestion of well-veined wings

retrieve desirous hearts from hollow gourds
with a tongue long enough to curve into my nostrils

collect secrets stored in mascara wands
where once upon a time (not too long ago)
a chemist mixed coal dust with petroleum jelly
so his sister could catch her dream boat

and did you know a garfish ate your ancestor’s eyes
(that’s why his offspring have green bones and spawn in shallows)
or that obsidian is the black stone of light born of fire?

have you ever held a chunk of its brilliance in your hand
felt the heat and glare of lava and sun seep into you?

you cold thing you!

and has a neighbour ever whispered over a corrugated iron fence
‘that truth don’t change – just the people who knows it’

and have you ever wondered why your mother annihilates
ice cubes with her eternally yours engraved diamond ring?

it fashions heat from her hand into an impromptu laser beam
that strikes the cubes until they cut through like soft butter

melt and run all over the sink instead of stacking like rocks
in the whisky tumblers your father hands her?

and do you wonder why the moon appeared larger to the ancients
and why she’s slowly distancing herself from Earth?

now there’s kai for thought

what will happen when we all un-cycle?
when once in blue moon becomes never?

and do you know some instruments have private voices
as muted as floss dislodging shreds of succulent pig
from teeth planted in wide bone-sucking jaws

and have you ever seen the eye of a hurricane
splintered by guitar reefs from a metallica concert
or flown between islands like a well-kept family secret?

huh - didn’t think so!

and have you ever been glazed with shellac?