BooksAugust 20, 2018

The Monday Poem: ‘if I were a queen, I would start wars out of sexual frustration’ by Paula Harris


All week this week we present new verse, to celebrate National Poetry Day on Friday. Today’s poet: Paula Harris of Palmerston North.


if I were a queen, I would start wars out of sexual frustration


I wouldn’t be a virgin queen – obviously – but I would be known

to become incredibly tetchy when I’d gone without for too long.


the lack of a lover – a truly satisfying lover – for more

than a month or two would make me turn to my ornate globe

of the world and point a dark plum-polished fingernail at

some poor unwitting country.


my soldiers – my strong, shining knights! – an equal mix

of men and women, would set sail to fight in my name while

I still lay in my bed alone, so they would have to

fight harder and harder to earn my favour.


I would impose taxes – on salt, on sugar, on

sunshine, on air – to pay for my army (my

glorious army!), to pay for my navy (my heroic

and steadfast navy!), to pay for the batteries required

to keep my vibrators on active duty.


thousands upon thousands would die, the entire galley building

industry would be resurrected (if I’m going to war

then I at least want it to be beautiful), I would have

the best sniper-archers in the world, my empire would

take over Spain, Japan, Thailand, Russia,

Finland, Western Samoa, Greece, Nepal, before setting

my fingernail on Ghana…


I would be a kind and caring queen to all

in my empire – of course – but how I wish someone would

save me all this effort, and fuck me long and

well on a regular basis.


Paula Harris, 2018

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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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