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Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Long Letters (published poem)

Long Letters

She writes long letters -
fat envelopes with
pages forced to fold,
shoe-horned into my letterbox.

She begins (and then she makes
an aside (briefly commenting
on that and then (meandering again
she finishes somehow and when she does
the brackets stack up like plates in a dish rack )))

She has broken up with the possessive apostrophe,
sick of its demands and fickle nature.
Her colons are cancerous, while exclamation marks
have mated and multiplied, throwing themselves
at verbs, huddling in excited groups.

Recycled writing paper taken
from her bedroom floor:
old homework, sheet music,
ads plucked from windscreens - sometimes
I have to send back a page and say
honey you need to sign this and return it to the bank.

This poem has just been published in the NZ Poetry Society 2006 Anthology, tiny gaps - and yes, I realise that I helped make that book so it might look a little suss, but I didn't get to choose which poems went in and they were all done anonymously anyway so HAH!:P Its also included in my zine, The Knife Thrower's Apprentice, which you can pick up in Wellington from Dandylion and in Auckland from Cherry Bomb Comics. I work in arts marketing when I'm not churning out the stanzas, peeps, anyone picking up that vibe?!



Blogger Lou said...

Never would have guessed Bel... never... (You know that I love that poem, right? Coz you know my thoughts on brackets, right? How a bracket that goes unclosed disturbs me? It leaves me dangling like there's something seriously unfinished in my life... (I used to also have the issue of opening too many and then trying to restructure my sentences so that I wouldn't have to close tonnes at the same time, but you made me feel that that is okay.))

Thu Nov 23, 02:37:00 AM  
Blogger Lou said...

(that was such a cheater comment as none of those thoughts were brackets-appropriate, I just forcedly made them such so as to keep with the theme (this one, however, is totally brackets-appropriate))

Thu Nov 23, 02:39:00 AM  
Blogger Tanya said...

I love this one.

Thu Nov 23, 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Bel said...

Oh you crazy cats... thanks heaps :D

I really enjoyed reading it at the launch - tho obviously you do miss the visual joke hearing it aloud.

I also used my time at the podium to refer the fact that I was the Assistant Editor and had done the layout etc, and how lovely it was meeting the authors finally of all the writing I'd been pouring over.
Because the Editor had neglected to mention the fact that I was involved when she did her introductory speech.
We did have some huge, fucken huge, last minute problems and it looked like the book wouldn't go to print in time after all (the actual final proof came back screwed 72 hrs before the launch) but being snubbed like that felt like a kick in the chest.
I'm so glad Trelease was there. And that I'd already had a glass of wine and that there were more on the way.
On the upside, I did get to met and chat with some of my favourite included poets before we dashed off, so that was primo.

Thu Nov 23, 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Sam Minnee said...

Loving the nested brackets. Of course, the first thing it reminded me of is Lisp:

(defun factorial (n)
(loop for i from 1 to n
for fac = 1 then (* fac i)
finally (return fac)))

Sorry, I appear to have spilled geek all over your blog

Thu Nov 23, 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger Bel said...

Stacked like slaps in your FAHSAY!!


Seriously tho, praps you should check it this book: Are Angels OK? which was released last year in conjuction with a whole bunch of great readings.
Basically they paired up some of NZ's best creative writers with top scientists, thanks to the Royal Society of NZ.
The result was a literary exploration of the curvature of space time, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, dark energy, quarks and other geeky crap like that from a really interesting and unique perspective...

Thu Nov 23, 04:44:00 PM  
Blogger Sam Minnee said...

It's on my list

It's lonely though.

Thu Nov 23, 06:10:00 PM  

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