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Turbine 03
Hinemoana Baker
James Brown
Kate Camp (audio)
Megan Dunn
Jane England
Ian Finch
Ingrid Horrocks
Chris House
Anna Jackson
Tim Jones
Laura Kroetsch
Kirsten McDougall (audio)
Mary Macpherson
Rick Moody
Naomi O’Connor
Esther Quin
Rossella Riccobono (audio)
Virginia Were
Louise Wrightson
Letter From Iowa

Rick Moody

Amine, Amine*

The Pākehā created demand
For preserved heads;
They became fed up with the shortness
          of days.
Cannibalism was prevalent
In those Roaring Forties:
Aake aake, amine.

When our little night-dweller hatches,
It ignores its mother;
Cold can be dangerous,
          If leading to hypothermia
Grab the mandible and pull gently upward,
And use normal precautions around
Aake aake aake, amine.

The Nothingness, the Great Night,
the Intensely Dark Night,
O, God of uncultivated food,
Wrap him in your hair and toss him overboard—
He will take the shapes of birds;
The early mists are melancholy sighs,
Aake aake, amine.

A trip to the supermarket yields
          White bread;
The bush is most impenetrable.
Glowworms that shine brightest
          Are hungriest:
The adult insect does not live long,
Having no mouth;
Aake aake aake, amine.

Land of the long, white cloud—
Geysers, mud pools, dendroglyphs—
The loud sounds are eruptions.
Orientation toward a cash economy
Is not traditional;
Let us go out of sight of land,
And when we have quite lost sight of it,
Then let the anchor be dropped:
Aake aake, amine.

Do you come on the waves of the winds?
Catch the sun with a noose,
Carve fjords in the highlands,
Some unfinished.
Avalanches, earthquakes,
          Floods, droughts,
Aake aake aake, amine.

Obstacles in your way are voices on the water
By light cometh wisdom
After you have set me afloat
          Make your way to the ridges
You have ascended the pinnacle of misfortune,
The longstanding world, the everlasting world.
Old elements are discarded.
Aake aake, amine.

The act of pressing noses has two meanings
Big waves will come up,
The weather will be overcast,
          The fish very timid,
The moon is losing its brightness;
Paddle the canoe to the mooring place
The place of leaping,
Aake aake aake, amine.

*Source: The Lonely Planet Guide to New Zealand; Myths & Legends of the Māori, by Queenie Rikihana Hyland; Tikanga Whakaaro: Key Concepts in Māori Culture, by Cleve Barlow.

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