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Live Encounters Aotearoa New Zealand Poets & Writers April 2023
Apathetic Moon, poem by RikTheMost
I want to preface this poem by assuring you:
I am fine…
Well, not fine.
But I’m ok…
Well, not ok.
And the moon?
Well, I don’t want to say.
Or don’t know how to. So…
How are you?
I do care.
I mean, I don’t care if you reply,
If you don’t reply, it’s fine.
Well, not fine,
But it’s ok.
Well, not ok,
Because, of course, I want you to be ok,
Like the moon!
Other than all the flying things, collisions, no water or oxygen, scarred skin,
But the last time I checked, most nights, it is shining…
But it’s fine if you’re not.
Well, not fine…
But it’s ok.
Even if it feels like nothing really is right now, eh?
Have you noticed? Such aggressive lunar apathy!
I mean, don’t get me wrong… I told you I care,
Like I care about the moon,
Even though it’s so far away.
Doesn’t feel like it affects me really.
Still, somehow I am drawn to it,
Every time I look,
Someone could punch it from the night sky!
Punch the light and dark that surrounds!
Punch the gravity from its very guts!
Punch that celestial body to the ground,
And I honestly don’t know how long it would be
Before we truly felt the change of the swell of the sea…
Which is really not fine.
And it is nowhere near okay:
And distance is no excuse.
Because, either way:
The sea is rising right here,
And how easily we forget.
Blame it on the fact that it is so wet,
And we are dry,
Which is fine!
… Until you’re thirsty
… and we all get thirsty.
But there’s a tap – undeniably,
And a filter – usually,
And a glass – don’t remind me,
Which is full – they say,
… and I am drowning in it.
But I can swim.
Though I’m not.
And others can’t.
But they are trying…
And I am tying tired tongue and dehydrated split lips,
Tie-dying the water to try to make it seem worth drinking,
Simultaneously tidying up the tiniest trace of spilt drips
Because the driest of eyes can die in an inch of liquid,
Whilst we watch others space-rock squint through an ocean!
Each treading trembling legs to keep heads higher than the horizon,
Armstrong; we should dive in,
One giant leap made wider when the tide is tsunami-rising,
And we can’t help riding on it;
Catapulting ourselves beyond,
We are all so far above it.
Ground: a distant memory.
Suddenly, zero gravity.
An apathetic moon and
… someone is punching me.
RikTheMost (they/ them) is a queer, non-binary, polyamorous, pansexual, vegan spoken word artist, who spends most of their spare time making homophobes feel uncomfortable. Rik lives in Ōtautahi (Christchurch) and, amongst other things – has been commissioned by the BBC; published by ‘Write About Now’; invited to feature on Sky Art’s BAFTA award winning TV show “Life & Rhymes”; toured internationally; performed at Pride events around the world; placed 2nd three times at the NZ National Slam Finals, represented Australia and Aotearoa on the world slam stage, and served as New Zealand Poetry Society’s Vice-President. They also run the online poetry community, https://www.facebook.com/YourPlaceEvents. https://www.rikthemost.com/