Gillian Roach – The Brilliantine

Roach LE Aotearoa NZ P&W April 2023

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Live Encounters Aotearoa New Zealand Poets & Writers April 2023

The Brilliantine, poems by Gillian Roach

The Brilliantine

Presenting myself to your hands
I understand you will choose how brilliant
I am to be, according to budget. I agree
the cheaper kind of brilliantine, heavier oiled,
not lacquer, another thing entirely
as the spirit dries leaving reason cemented.
We do not choose this course, you make me
shine, not set.

Do we gel? The answer is not translucent
therefore, I suspect not. Your power
to curb what I bring, disorderly, wet hands
forming a light mucilage, I want
nowhere near yet suffer. Although I fear
the residue, the claustrophobic stickiness
you swear it has a high degree
of dispersion.

I submit, brittle and eroded, to your hands
to be given body or, at the least,
lustre. Do not offer me your speedy set,
quick drying absent water. Body, once invoked,
cannot rest in plasticisation, will buck and furl
beyond control – split and frizz.
Honour our contract, body and shine,
no setting.

Stay In Your Lane, Shazza

A time I was helped lost her hotel.
That’s folks, lol! Out being at home,
a Saturday night on the town
how we roll of practice from folding
laundry on instead of out.

Celine Dion, last Arena, with my seats
and thoroughly, unfortunately,
towards the show the middle next to me
(not helped by her) just preloading.
After a couple, the comments from!

We attended Fleetwood. Was well worth it.
Beers in spark, enjoy the band, f@kd after 3.
Party by myself, my dog, I’ve to prove it
A punch up, them. The Queen was dancing
(drunkenly) dealing with the get home
from drinking.

Random sloshed older, jump on my haha.
I feel everywhere, when are getting too pregame,
those concertgoers, security for “teetering”.
Were denied entry” them, at Athletic park
… the disaster concert! Almost every time
are an excellent up women Sort!

I don’t know women who would six60
for a Fleetwood Mac. Maybe keep up
with off her face? Another friend sent
growing older disgracefully
as middle aged am a problem.

Cut up poem using found text from a Facebook thread on a Stuff article:
Middle-aged women identified as big booze problem at Dunedin concerts, Sep 19 2019

A Cold In My Kidneys

Every morning for the past 700 days I have woken
with the glimmerings of a sore throat.
My mind is scattered, I find it hard to focus. Walking
helps. Caffeine. Sugar. Reality TV.
They are cleaning up at Parliament grounds. The lawn
resembles ‘a rubbish dump’.
Heather forgot to set an alarm this morning and it was too dark
to walk so I have come home.
A Burmese cat wound around my ankles as I waited. A cyclist
called out ‘Good Morning!’
The kitchen clock ticks. Ticks. Birdsong embroiders
the cicada drop-cloth of dawn.
Despite the ache in my lower abdomen, I drink coffee.
I was going well, you know.
Emma has Covid 19. Ashleigh nearly burnt down
the kitchen in the new flat.
I just put earrings in. Plain studs. Keepers. A pinching
sensation like young adulthood.
At Parliament grounds they are cleaning up. My brain scattered is.
You know I was going well.

© Gillian Roach

Gillian Roach is an Auckland poet and fiction writer, and a founding member of the Isthmus Poets. Her work has been published in Landfall, Takahe and the Poetry New Zealand Year Book.

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