blackmail press 23
Selina Tusitala Marsh
New Zealand

Enigmatic blue on a weekly basis Andy Leleisi'uao
Enigmatic blue on a weekly basis - Andy Leleisi'uao
Selina Tusitala Marsh
Selina Tusitala Marsh is of Samoan, Tuvaluan, English, and French descent. She teaches New Zealand and Pacific Literature at Auckland University.
She is currently completing her first collection of poetry, 'Fast Talking P.I.'.
The development of  Pasifika Poetry is her latest research passion.

Selina recently edited Niu Voices: Contemporary Pacific Fiction 1, Huia Publishers, a collection of short stories and poems by selected Pacific writers and poets.

"My latest research project is the development of a Pasifika Poetry web site, which aims to be a comprehensive one-stop shop for anyone interested in viewing and hearing Pasifika poets performing their work and being interviewed. Check it out at ‘’. Enjoy!" - Selina Tusitala Marsh

Links :

one rises from the rest
takes the chalk
draws seven flat
lines across the board

a hand from the front
row waves is there an A?

the one standing draws a
lower case a over the second line

is there a B?
the one standing slashes one pure
vertical line down the board

there is little method here
and few lines of logic
the one standing informs the class

is there an S? a hoping palm wavers

while there are many twists
and turns there are no ss
only guesses - keep them coming

is there an F?

there are many f-words
muttered to cobwebs holding corners in place
by the one who serves
but lines must be drawn
none with an f over it
in this case

is there an R?

there are many rs

are you in pain?
are you still breathing?
are we going to get through this?

there is one here too

the one standing writes an r
above the last line

is there a C?

there are two
but no one does  

the one standing writes
a c over the first and fourth lines

Solauaouaga: To where the clouds run
For Momoe

pe’a circle-scrape pulu
like mosquito wing-water kissing
leaf to nail tip tearing echoes from cloud

rusty pigs like old
soldiers snout rebel mud
nuzzling ranks of misiluki peel
pak choy and over ripe paw paw
into their mouths

mauga belief shrouds the valley
finely dewed webs
tattooing the space in between
fingers of trees reaching to
where the clouds run
to where the rains lie
to where eyeless figures cling to
banyan breast resting shadowed
limbs lying blue black between roots saluting
the fallen sky

solauauoaga streams through
the valley over
bald wise rocks
shining in their waiting
beneath the white blethering
of river running

they wait
like everyone else
for the Chinese couple to finish
planting green capsicum

they sow in the shadow of those
whose nostrils singed with rubber
burning memory
cutting gum letting scars round
rubber tree trunks

1905 saw banyans planted
as windbreakers
everything stands under their shadow now
even the pe’a
even the son of the first German landowner
even the beauty of his wife