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BooksDecember 1, 2023

The Friday Poem: ‘crude public behavior’ by Kate Aschoff


A new poem by multimedia artist and writer Kate Aschoff. 

crude public behavior

I know I could be Paris Hilton’s new BFF / In the Summer mosquitoes find me delicious / Even though I am tall and a team player and have “swimmers shoulders” / Saturday Netball is my least favorite day of the week / Sweating and running around for no reason will never make sense to me / They said our bodies are blossoming, still, my body feels like a bomb about to blow / I got a (bad) feeling / a DJ has got us fallin’ in love tonight / Dizzy at the disco, ready to go home / Find me screaming / When is love staying and when isn’t it?

Strawberry Fare used to be a funeral home / I think about this as I inhale a modest Chocolate Madness / How odd that what used to hold dead bodies / now holds our young ones / as we eat, as we celebrate / 8 years of primary learning / I get asked why I don’t play with the kids in my class, and struggle to explain / Maybe there is no good answer really / I’ll put hot pink laces in my Warehouse rip-off chucks and feel better / Find me singing / what luck it is to be left because of love / not from a lack of it! / What pain it is to be the one leaving!

Why do 10-year-olds have to run cross country? I will come last every time and we all know it before it happens / At summer camp my friend said the only reason I won the water slide competition / was because of how heavy I was / That’s why my young round body / went further than hers / Even though I was already thinking it / I feel windswept, punched away from this place / Find me silently wondering / why my friends always say, love u more! / and why it makes me feel bad / and afraid / A bone about to break

We compare hemoglobins at the combined birthday party / Hundreds and thousands on the ping pong table / Adolescent inertia unlike any other / The only possibility is that I am an alien / and everyone knows / and pities me / Lauren leaves her eaten chicken bones on my desk / as a joke / I go outside so they don’t see me cry / The Shortland Street Drs would never do this to me / Find me savoring the feeling of deleting the 10-year reunion group chat, on the bus home / Find me sacrificing nothing


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed.

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