(Photo: Getty Images/GrayEgg)
(Photo: Getty Images/GrayEgg)

BooksJuly 31, 2020

The Friday Poem: Go North by Gus Goldsack

(Photo: Getty Images/GrayEgg)
(Photo: Getty Images/GrayEgg)

The publishing debut of New York-based New Zealand poet Gus Goldsack.

Go North

I got a little thick about the middle, but I’m not talking waist.
Waste, though, fuck – I’ve accumulated some baggage. Some I picked up more than willingly, garbage in garbage in
garbage in
through my eyeballs and out through my mouth. Toes curled, fingers flying, garbage out garbage out garbage out. But a lot of it attached itself to me in bars, parks, hospital wards, the birth canal, purgatory, the Central North Island.
I’m a magnetized donut and that shit is metal and the switch is on and the bits come flying, and they’re indiscriminate and boy do they stick!

I’m the man that will find you but you’re actually the man
We’re all scared professor but I’m actually the professor
He’s a suave as sin but you’re he, I’m sin
The joker is me, and the joker is actually me.
I don’t wanna hear, I don’t wanna know, except I do, and I do.

Snippet, snippet, snippet, snip it, and we all fall down.

A man likes the buffalo on my wall so I tell him it’s a placeholder, as in a work in progress,
as in just visiting, because that’s the kind of thing I’ve been conditioned to say.
In reality it’s as impermanent as any of the things around it that I’ve never said, or thought, are temporary.
And that’s Food. For. Thought.

And I’m fed, and the thought is:
A man (me) and Amanda, Seattle, witches’ hats and we’re the witches.

And I wanna take it all back to those basics: me and you and a bottle of wine, the world beyond the doorway, the day
beyond the night.

And I’m fed, and the thought is:
Go change your own life, but actually I’m you,

and I’m fed.


Author’s note: The penultimate line of this poem references the brilliant Jean Sergent’s brilliant solo show Change Your Own Life, which both shifted my trajectory and inspired me to sit down and write this.

Submissions to the Friday Poem are welcome and will be open until the end of September. Please send your poems to chris@christse.co.nz.

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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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