Name: Iain Britton
country : New Zealand

Iain returns with a submission that  is simply...Perfect! - Editors

We didn't walk in
to view the works of Ralph Hotere
we swept in 
snapped up the obligatory
wines and drink to

his stencilled words
scratched on cardboard &
bits of wood.

The crowd didn't 
shift. They packed
the hollowed hot spots
the squashed flat walls.

One second I was
staring into a beard
another the big red lips
of a furry female 
another at a white glacial
valley scoured out
between a fashionable
tub of tits.

By 8pm 
you were explaining to me
why we all see what
we want to see what
appears to be a cow in a paddock
might really be 
a dirty old man
pissing into a sizeable
pot plant in a corner.

On the footpath two kids
binoculared against the window
peered in as if counting
the contents of an aquarium 
stuffed full of fish.

You blew them bubbles
rather than kisses

& while I was distracted
by the beautiful shape
of an ear close to my nose
a body-gelled chap
slipped between us
through a door
we're convinced wasn't there.


He¹s in this chair
for no other reason
than to be questioned
by men who look and smell
suitably religious
as to turn him into a figure
worthy of purgation.

They prise from him (as if
pulling out his tongue) 
the confession they want -
that on the 4 November 2002
he climbed the highest
sand dune on the beach
took off his clothes
opened his arms and legs
and performed an indecent
act upon the earth.


In the Esplanade
I watch him being chained
to a merry-go-round
'for the salvation of his soul'
then screwed and bolted 
into position.


Everyday children  
will ride him to death
parents carve their names
deep into his skin

and when I'm told 
I'll get rid of him
for the next touched freak -
a chap who took to his wife
with an axe

and she wasn't looking
when darkness struck.


There's a thump
in the sun¹s behaviour.

I feel it through
the window

a brutal

I remain foetalised
on the floor

waiting for you 
to haul me outside

to walk through
the night's gut

for as long as it

I won't hold 
your hand

can¹t stand
that stuff.

In this room
curled up 

like a dog
wet nose to arse

I know of a man
who lives by the sea

he never reads a paper
doesn't have a radio

a tv a car
hates talking.

He lives alone
like me

but I have the sun 
scratching on my roof

the door is just
out of reach

and you won't 


Dust bursts from grass. The
band dread-locked from head
to crotch

pushes the tempo. I'm 
dancing with you 
because it seems to be

what people do
when I look at them
summering to a hot

amplified tune
because today is Public
Holiday Number One

and I'm a young Al Capone
and you¹re my beautiful moll
and if I could

I'd ask that big Maori fella
to help us plant
a Paradise flower

in every garden. We'd
do it together to
get it done more quickly

before the dogs move in
to water them 
because it doesn't take much

to kill off this dazzling
once-a-year display
of golden florescence

or this muscle of music
pumping electricity
into a hot incoherent vernacular.


It's hot. I lie on top of the bed
hoping you will pull me through
the snow so that I can slide
face down into your lap.


In the cold
you dig your nails
across my nerves
dig your tongue
into my head. I
wrap you close 
to my breath.


On this hill
people sunbathe
in their houses

while their gardens 
look after themselves.


In the rain
windswept lovers
listen to winter
tapping at windows.


You go in a hurry
jumping white holes
in the night.


If I promise to turn
on the rain again
press h for hail
restore the wind

will you come back


stick your warmth 
to my lips dig
into me like a 

entangle yourself


until the summer?


Like last Saturday
and the one before
I walk the beaten tracks
of my rooms.

I don¹t miss much. I
can see from here

a fishing boat
stuck in mud

footprints left behind
going out to sea

shadows bogged down
in the sludge
of the estuary.

You arrive and
the Seventh Day Adventists are 
hanging from tree-tops.

It¹s cold all right 
praying on branches
and being religious.

You suggest
dancing something light
and fantastic.

We do. We dance in circles
around the house 
through hollow rooms.

Tomorrow we¹ll light a fire
find the appropriate music

dance like Mr and 
Mrs Mozart 

and watch the saved
falling from trees.