blackmail press 40
Teresia Teaiwa
first published issue 36

The fecund people - Andy Leleisi'uao 2014
porirua market with susanna and jessie, 2009

too early in the morning for jessie
but she manages to smile
we go to market in porirua
to bring kanaky closer

susanna loves the polynesian music and the bustling brown
breakfast is donuts from patelisio’s stand—five for a dollar
we get tea, milo, coffee from the māori guy selling his boil-up
beef on sticks from a malaysian stall
we sit, eat, sigh in unison

noa and jessie giggle at a street preacher—thin young pālagi man
susanna recounts emails recently received
a nephew has died
he had taught her how to plant yams
had given her hope for the next crop—next generation

let’s try a rhizome theory of revolution:
tuaine asks “what are you doing here?”
and i say “this is home”

at porirua market we buy vegetables and fruit, fish, flowers
yes, cash passes from hand to hand
and we do drive back to wellington
but this is a kind of pilgrimage
and we show devotion to the
shouldertoshoulderbustlingbrown and theblareofzipso
that can bring kanaky closer

past struggles worth each bead of brine each bloody tear
because here you can meet bernard narokobi
who wrote his country’s constitution
and is as humble now as he was when he wrote it

so we think of yams even as we purchase red potatoes
for this rhizome theory of a revolution that will not be commodified
but humanized and realized in the next crop—next generation

jessie and noa giggle
their mothers smile
not too early: on time