Title: arson Avarua

Author: Janet Charman

In: Sport 14: Autumn 1995

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, April 1995, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Keywords: Verse Literature

Conditions of use



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Sport 14: Autumn 1995

Janet Charman — arson Avarua

page 113

Janet Charman

arson Avarua

refuelling the sweetheart engine
idling as the brick spun into the sash

the interior smashed through with Cook Island colours
a deep couch rising to a brilliant shelf
black rock holding it all together
holding it all apart

departure arrival expat daycare caramel song from the
honest living plunker at the airport
before you know it’s getting hotter
stripping off
the woman in Atiu who’ll take four hundred dollars
for her handpieced tevaevae
vibrating with hymns
hard edged green and yellow
round the islets
the faithful coconut

‘you’ll get a girl to look after your kids
no trouble they love children’

‘please do not use a kitchen utensil to open it
ask at the orifice’

‘key kiwi you come see me? like a job in my factory?’

ant sting in your pants
fingers keepers
hold still for the gorgeous crush
sponging the juices off the bodice
and we’re awash beating up against
waves loosening
page 114 the curve of the collar
inserting the grit in the oyster
and the local wades in with her bucket of flopping fish
caught in crescendo
at the reef
‘don’t wet my plaster cast’
and sensing the ocean on my breath
the parched crab leapt out of its shell
and clamped my lip so it bled
tear tabs hot talk unquenchable fire at the supreme court