Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

BooksNovember 6, 2020

The Friday Poem: Having a few beers with my mate by Vana Manasiadis

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

A new poem by Greek-New Zealand poet and translator Vana Manasiadis.

Having a few beers with my mate

My mate
you think this is english
but it’s not-english
if it was english you
might expect to
hang at this dash

but instead I’m telling
you that someone will
start yelling. Alotta yelling
happens in not-english
alotta crazy-arse riffing
and banging on about
weird shit. Like if I yell
dog, it’s probably not
the fat lab you’re thinking
of but a stray bitch with
pointed ears & if I yell
mat, I mean the rag rug
you think you’ve stood
on, but you haven’t. My
mate, I’ll break it down
a) not everything you think
is english in english is
english b) this includes
housing – sketchy favelas
labyrinths, a stormdrain &

A
                  Ι
                                Ι

Ι dogs
                  Ι
Ι

I hear ya – weird.
What are they thinking
these random migrants
migrants’ kids, other
not-english grifters with
alotta bad habits like getting
into fights with english?
Mate, don’t pack a sad
·
it’s something like Σκύλλα
down a maze drinking grey
water licking sores. If she
turns her back, english sits
rejected. If she rocks a
row of dekapentasyllables english has a tune-out.
Mate, not-english english
just isn’t into lawns

Get off the grass [you say]
those ΝΟΤ-ΕΝΓΛΙΣΗ are
just bat-shit-ungrateful
for all the help they get
with their english, all the
trophies they’ll get when
they get it. Well, yeah, nah.
My mate, I’ll spell it out –
c) if english is the kennel
then not-english aren’t in it
d) to see them you have to
look away from the kennel
e) it’s hard AF to look away
from the kennel

This pretty much sucks balls for everyone

So here’s some crazy-arse yelling –

!that stray is barking her heads off A-ι-α-ι-α-ι-α-ι-α-α-α-!
!that stray has sprouted tongues & dug out all the bones!
!that Skylla that said this….& became the more bold of the darkness!

Because well dearest my mate don’t
forget that – this poem isn’t even [in]english.

The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed and will open again in early 2021.

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Mad Chapman, Editor
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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