A new poem by Jordan Hamel.
When you lose grip and start to drift.
The first thing you’re supposed to do is
steer into it or steer away?
Not all mermaids are royalty
someone needs to audit the ocean
provide cashflow projections
some mermaids are actually
middle-aged accountants named Stephen
dreaming of a land-view holiday home.
I saw a school of Stephens the other day
out of their habitat just talking inhaling IPAs
inhaling each other
tail-stuffed tuxes pleated smooth
I threw water on them they didn’t swim
they just got reeeeally agitated
and invoiced me for their time
I hate my shape when I sit when I stand
when I lie I pretend I’m fused to the bed
I’m nothing but limbs and a face
a memory foam mattress with amnesia
when I walk the majority of shapes I see
are better than mine
why is it so hard to hide in public?
reflective surfaces jump me in back alleys like
This is a stick-up! What’s uglier? Your inside or outside?
I ran a marathon once well…….
sirens offer sailors benign fates
it always seems too good to pass up
Steer into a new future today!
my form is stubborn putty
bemused by pinching and smushing
it somehow expands in the hot and cold?
It is an underwhelming medical marvel
if I poked it would it deflate? what would drip out?
scales bloom inside escaping my skin
melting muscle softening palms
slumping spine impairing vision
I am a mermaid hosting board meetings
and vigils in rockpools no
I am a sailor ergonomically strapped
to the hull for good posture
no I am the captain now
forever seduced by hidden graves
I hear their call
it sounds like a balanced budget
it sounds like comfort
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.