from Book 1: Love Poems in Western Line (VUP 2011)
LOVE POEM FOR VAL
Val, lately you are resplendent
in your ideology.
I see you cycling across an intersection
with an orange basket
the sun bright on your hair.
Val, lately you wear black
a lot and laugh through your nose.
Words march out of your mouth
in tight formation.
LOVE POEM FOR
A QUEER BOY
Your tummy hangs out of hot-pants.
A new freedom propels
you around the room.
May you be lucky tonight.
May you be happy tomorrow.
May your tummy rest
in the small of a beautiful back.
LOVE POEM FOR
A FELT-TIP PEN
Pete said 'I love felt-tip pens.
I want to marry a felt-tip pen.'
And then there was a smudgy drawing
of him beside his smiling bride.
I first posted an Airini poem I said her poems had 'enchantment' - and I believe her new collection Western Line (VUP) holds true to this. Her poems enchant because they are enchantments, and curses and love poems and prayers and fables and fairytales.... I kid you not. This is a book packed with people Airini has blessed and cursed and written a fairytale about.
Look here we have Val and 'a queer boy' and Peter who loves 'felt-tips' - each one resplendent in their own way. There are many more of these short love poems - as I'm writing this, I see that Helen Heath posted some of them a couple of months back as part of Tuesday Poem. Funny how we both fell on the love poems.
Airini's poetry breathes as she breathes: a woman who watches the world up close and loves the 'queer' people she sees in it and their queer little ways (even as she's cursing them.) Who else could write with love about a tummy hanging out of hot-pants and give it a future tucked into a beautiful back? There is a series of poems called 'Travelling with Us' at the end of the book about people seen on a Wellington train - but I'll save one of those for another day.
Here's a link to another post from me on my friend Airini and the poems in her award-winning first collection Secret Heart. She really is one out of the box.
For more Tuesday Poems click on the quill in the sidebar here or click THIS.