Creep (2014)
Creep (2014)

BooksJune 3, 2022

The Friday Poem: ‘Water Features’ by James Brown

Creep (2014)
Creep (2014)

A new poem from James Brown’s forthcoming collection, The Tip Shop.

Water Features

He’d lied to me so often, I no longer believed myself.
Did I really enjoy a late-night bath with candles?
Isn’t that a lot of trouble to go to by yourself?

Listen to your body, people say.
My body seemed to be saying ‘Okay. Sure.
I can go with candles.’

Listening shows you more than looking.
Sometimes darkness is essential as oil – if you buy into
essential oils, which aren’t, but isn’t all life just marketing?

If you can’t sell yourself to yourself, how can you … etc …
which sounds like desk-top calendar advice written by someone
who’s maybe dabbled with candles and a water feature,

but who’s never been near going under,
who doesn’t realise that baths are actually small boats
taking on water.


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are welcome and will be open until 31 July 2022. Please send up to three poems in a Word or PDF document to

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Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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