Your uncontained movement has opened a new room in me

Poetry, Queer, Sculptures, Uncategorized


Feb 2013

Feb 2013


Tree 2






Tree 6

Tree 5

Tree 4

Tree 3February 2013 – with Sandersons Gallery, Parnell, Auckland
Your abandoned movement has opened a new room in me will explore how we create open and yet private spaces to protect and encourage queer intimacy, identity and play.
This sculpture is a kind of human nest, a shelter which rests, holding onto a tree. Contingent, temporary and fluid, it is a shelter which opens and closes. Buffeted by the weather, it reveals its raggedness at the same time as its beauty. Built in various directions, with pockets, platforms and a myriad of spaces, it explores how we are presenting and finding space for identity at the same time we are creating and living it.

I have these fantasies. They go like this:
I will draw one thing
I will concentrate
I will fit one thing, on one piece of paper
It will be even
You will be able to read it
And as I am squinting at breadfruit and looking for where the shadows lie and what shape they really are, something shifts and I am shoulder against the paper, breathing green. I tell them think of it like falling in love, make your looking obsessive, don’t let go. They look at me like a wild thing, and when she shoves a rubber in fury towards me with her wrist I say YES, THAT! Put that on the page.
And it spreads, and I can’t help myself
It’s like when you write the word bed to me
It’s like when it finally rains here
Something opens anew, and it is not a room, but it feels like home, like remembering perfect sense
Things shift, catch and other, hold, spread and swarm.
She says I can only write by looking sideways and I say yes, they are all contained here, if we can only find trust enough to reach them
I have been called many things in my life. And then lately someone called me a peacock. I only knew from half dreams what they sound like. They made me screech and perform on a street corner, dancing on kerbs and feeling my spin stretch and lift sky proud, shimmering feathers, showing off.
Their butch found my femme, and there was joy and terror in it. Terrified of revealing, showing, wearing skirts which have always felt absolutely like sex to me. Of not being queer enough, political enough. If I care so much about expression and beauty and process and art and I don’t know the right words for anything, but I want to, is that enough? And if I can’t walk in high heels or write as well as I want to or build bridges to you or burn them in fury, is that enough?
And if what I want to do when they tell you ugly things in your ear and threaten you

and block my path is smother them with colour is this enough? And if when they make me fear to walk my own town without a big black coat if all I want to do is make an army of glittery dripping soldiers who flood bigness and love and wash the streets with shiny paths is this resistance enough?

We are in this together
I read you walking and stumbling eyes wide taking it in trying not to trip over curving roots and wishing to fall directly into soft places where hardness grows
Be slammed up against this backless place and push in return

Can we be more flexible?
These things they are my vents

I am looking directly now actually searching
I am looking directly now and there are many
I must create a space with safe open walls and you ask to come in?
Tell me your story
Open your mouth

And I say to you
Ride me home and my hips fit all the way up to my jaw and you say
I am the wind and I made the sound

This is not a note this is a stake
This is not a performance this is as best as I can say

Trust your instincts
Give them their space


You Say


I went to Samoa on a residency.. I wrote things, drew things, there was a cyclone coming…I want to talk about it in poetry.

Your news enters me, and in a rush

I am crying beside this woman who we are often quiet, and when I say how are you she says

I’m fucked. It’s hot.

I cry hot hard and she holds my head

You can’t see from there, but this is a moment of tenderness in days of sickness.

I am trying to be kind.

You tell me of broken bananas,, fleeing girls the trees cut, your house full of water, people, children, the generator beside the lonely rooster charging piles of phones so we can say are you ok are you ok where are you?

Does he cry a little less as they hum to him eight hours a day, and you trying to feed them all

simple meals, you say, my time to be alone is disappeared.

You say, the centre is gone, you say they sat on their roof and watched their house float, you say    she is safe, we picked her up, you say her children are with us, you say he picked up a knife.

I know the knives are long black heavy steel swingers, you say

He picked up a knife, he hit his head, you know the one you danced with, the one in yellow you say

He worked for us for thirty years, you say we had to let him go, you say

It was hard.

I was making a drawing when it started coming and the light changed

I have said the only way I can describe it is that every speck of air was made of water and every drop reflected light, light, light.

Light you wanted to, light you could touch, swallow, breathe.

I have said the only way I can describe it is that the air, was, light.

How I wanted to escape, how I ran, clumsy, how my body knew, packing slowly folding two days because I didn’t want, to not

be onto it.

You say your posts were beautiful, I followed you

And I think of wide eyes driving

all the colours I didn’t expect, didn’t pack for

I thought of green,

But you showed me orange, pink, purple, red like bravery straight out of the tube

I tried to paint they are dusty and when I tell you my stories it is with them on my fingers

I am trying to write a different story.

One where it all happens at once

You say we picked her up, you say

I am trying to feed them, you say

We love your picture

We found it a wall

I think it has enough light