blackmail press 27
Selina Tusitala Marsh
New Zealand

untitled sculpture - Shane Eggleton
Selina Tusitala Marsh is of Samoan, Tuvaluan, English and French descent. She teaches New Zealand and Pacific Literature at Auckland University. She has recently had her first collection of poetry, Fast Talking P.I. published by Auckland University Press.

Selina recently edited Niu Voices: Contemporary Pacific Fiction 1, Huia Publishers, a collection of short stories and poems by selected Pacific writers and poets.

Black Islands

(for the artists of the 'Black Islands' exhibition, Okaioceanikart, 2009)

okaioceanikart is blackening
the niu space is blackening
the spirit is always blackening

Malaita is blackening
voices are circling and blackening
the islands have always been blackening
that yellow orange is blackening
words on the page are blackening
songs in the ears are blackening
tapa lines are blackening
Vanuatu is blackening
the cry of the mo’o is blackening
her lips and their sticks are blackening
his charcoal blues are blackening
their beetlenut eyes are blackening
the jaws of sharks are blackening
Ramu Valley is blackening
sandpaintings are blackening
song cycles are blackening
white fire ash is blackening
the pregnant woman is blackening
the birthing woman is blackening
spiralling nipples are blackening
the white man’s blackmail
the black man’s blackwater
blacksands and blackcoral
black mourning and black sorrow
blackballs and blackberries
blackbirders and blackboards
blackest blackfaces
blackfishes and blackfins
blackguarding and blackgums
blackhanders and blackheads
blacklash and blackjack
blacklands and blacklegs
blacksnakes and blacksnails
blackpot and blacktails
blackthorns and blacksmiths
blacklists and blackhips
black claypots and black fishing knots
black blowfish, black croc hiss
black orality, black immortality
black starfish, black tides
black kapkap, black hides
black roots and black dirt
black heavens and black earth

okaioceanikart is blackening
the niu space is blackening
the spirit is always blackening