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The Monday extract: ‘Keats is Dead so Fuck me From Behind’ by Hera Lindsay Bird

New verse by Wellington writer Hera Lindsay Bird

Keats is Dead so Fuck me From Behind

Keats is dead so fuck me from behind

Slowly and with carnal purpose

Some black midwinter afternoon

While all the children are walking home from school

Peel my stockings down with your teeth

Coleridge is dead and Auden too

Of laughing in an overcoat

Shelley died at sea and his heart wouldn’t burn

& Wordsworth……………………………………………..

They never found his body

His widow mad with grief, hammering nails into an empty meadow

Byron, Whitman, our dog crushed by the garage door

Finger me slowly

In the snowscape of your childhood

Our dead floating just below the surface of the earth

Bend me over like a substitute teacher

& pump me full of shivering arrows

O emotional vulnerability

Bosnian folk-song, birds in the chimney

Tell me what you love when you think I’m not listening

Wallace Stevens’s mother is calling him in for dinner

But he’s not coming, he’s dead too, he died sixty years ago

And nobody cared at his funeral

Life is real

And the days burn off like leopard print

Nobody, not even the dead can tell me what to do

Eat my pussy from behind

Bill Manhire’s not getting any younger


Photo courtesy of Rachel Brandon. Read more poetry from Hera Lindsay Bird here. Read an extraordinary interview with Hera Lindsay Bird by Steve Braunias here.


Hera’s debut poetry collection Hera Lindsay Bird (Victoria University Press, $25) is launched on July 14, and will surely be the biggest-selling and most talked about poetry book of 2016. It will be available at Unity Books.

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