Raewyn Alexander: 2 poems

  Raewyn Alexander

  2 poems

  When Everything Broken Speaks
  lonely woman and winter
  When Everything Broken Speaks

A voice from a drain or ditch,
a blank cobweb wall,
whatever nonsense caught you in the first place,
kept grief tangled floating.
Examined our banquet deserted,
open to weather and animals.
Broken sugar roses
dropped into an empty champagne glass.

Faith torn tricked up as fabric,
a quilting exercise to stab.
Remembered a corner or stone immovable;
at least the idea of company.
Meeting myself laughing in a mirror,
invented times of day and who would believe what.

A trek through weeks of bed rest and ice forming,
snowflakes — my entire chest and arms;
walked over where we’d lost it — found nothing.
Zero the most elegant shape, a mouth quite empty.
Destroyed too, bitterly,
so much left unsaid.
In a box of media the truth quite buried now.

Cliches break down art into every day,
waking, cooking, dishes, work, rest, reading…
The way we progress
hearts in pieces and a shattered story,
with the grin moon and sin as plain as disappearance.

  lonely woman and winter

avoiding swerves of questions about posting
but sex balloons from air mail,
and predators live in sad places
draped with happy reputations.
sundry lives piled up in a trap;
such easy moves from that hide of his awards.

lonely woman opened like an abandoned book,
anyone could make that story theirs.
a bus stop relic breathing.
but lonely laughs
full of blue water and pretending not to care,
a décor arrangement for the latest real estate sale.
tells cats secrets as if they’ll keep them,
while pets betray us to anyone with a hand on the fridge.

except for that shark,
you placed it near the joker of the pack.
she’d told you about her guardian animal,
and her mako insisted you weren’t kidding.
drew her into a place where she could see the whole picture,
empty people haw hawing.
looking out for famous as if watching birds;
the echo of past lives dropped and ignored.

next time you pretend you care about someone,
remember how your eyes betray you.
their dark sulk,
the shifty way the furniture in there slides off.

forget you ever met her.
she’d rather have the empty night,
more beautiful than a million tragic lies.


Raewyn Alexander lives in Tamaki Makaurau Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, and has travelled the world. Her novels, stories, poems, and essays often feature relationships, danger, ‘a welcome political rage’ as Bernadette Hall once said, and what happens where Janet Frame said there is ‘the brutality that lurks under a conspiracy of decency.’ Alexander lectures in Narrative Writing at UNITEC, and takes other writing workshops and classes. At times she’s known to act, perform, and make visual art. Her latest book is a 2016 collection of poetry, Our Mother Flew Unassisted, (brightspark books), available on Amazon world-wide. Photo of Raewyn Alexander, above, by her self.


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