As a performance poet living in Aotearoa/New Zealand, I deny the provisional rhetoric of the famous Englishman W.H.Auden who claimed that “Poetry makes nothing happen.” On the contrary, poetry makes everything happen. My poems seek to enact states of being, to put you in the moment, whatever that moment may be.

My first poem has neo-Marxist tendencies. It is a poem about identity politics, but is not necessarily an endorsement of any fashionable position; rather it is a subtle interrogation of possibilities. Maybe the dramatic monologue of the poem is being recited by someone through whom the idioms and slogans and textures of contemporary English, as heard in the New Zealand media or in the street or in the jail, are being channeled or ideologically recycled. Alternatively, maybe there is no-one positioned behind the text and the voice has been arrived at as a series of echoes from “what is out there”. Or again this maybe a standardised incantation that has learnt from the traditions of Maori and English literature and oratory. It also presents itself, or is presented by me the poet, as an address to the powers-that –be, so as to speak for the damaged, the absent, the unspoken-for.

My second poem is a saga of the landscape of the southern part of Te Wai Pounamu/South Island, seen from the perspective of a wild air current personified as a deity. It is also a lyrical celebration of the freedom of the open road and of big sky country.

My third poem is a phantasmagoria on the transition from the colonial to the post-colonial and the neo-colonial. It is about the struggle against alienation, the struggle to belong in a South Pacific/Pasifika which has a bloody history. It is also about the anxiety of the global condition, or globalisation, and its industries, from cuise ship tourism to mineral extraction and plantations.

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