A recent, previously unpublished poem by Auckland poet Murray Edmond.
I Loan Jeanette Fitzsimons my Pen on the Plane
She has important stuff to prepare.
I’m just reading Balzac.
A silly story about
falling in love:
a man hides in a woman’s bedroom
so he can watch her undress.
It’s definitely getting worse
in the environment
and we’re flying in an aeroplane
I want to say, “What are we doing,
but I go back to Balzac
drape myself in his wild ass’s skin
where one of the characters says about another character
“She’s more than a woman, she’s a novel” –
you get the idea.
Jeanette used to be Leader of the Green Party.
I’m a Green voter.
She starts to rummage in her bag
says to her husband she had two pens
when she set out this morning.
I realise I have two pens
I can contribute to the cause.
She takes the pen.
“Silly working on a plane”
“better to read a novel.”
I wave my hand
in the air to indicate
something vague about choices
but I can see she
doesn’t get it
my gesture is too wobbly
to fight a cause one has to be quicker
Back to Balzac.
Jeanette plunges into the
Out of the corner
of my eye
I can see my pen
doing its work
for the cause.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.