New verse by Wellington writer Chris Tse.
Selfie with landscape
Let’s unpick what you think you know
about me—what I’ve revealed, what I’ve left
at the door of my favourite wolf, just for him
to make eye contact the next time we pass
in the street. Those stories all had emergency exits,
just like the rules adhered to by poets and liars
that we’ve never thought to record
for consistency’s sake. Sometimes
I look at my face in a mirror and
all I see is a bruised blanket of dusk settling
on an increasingly unfamiliar terrain. I’m a man
who lets trouble back into his life
even though I have razed every highway
to and from that particular story. I’m both
a short breath and an age expanding into
minutes and days to be recycled as fact
by other writers in 100 years. Will they give
weight to my failed desires? Tell the phantoms
I am no vessel for their designs—sticky nights
poured into a vigil. Here’s a true story:
I cut my wolf out of my night scenes
with a dull knife. He did not protest, and
therein lies the pathos. Here’s a status update:
I cut my nails and now I can’t scratch at the dust
caking over my eyes. I’ll take a picture and
show the world what I’m too scared to keep private.
I just want them to like what I’m not.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.