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Keith Nunes  (email)


About the Poet:

Keith currently resides in Tauranga, New Zealand where he works part-time in a supermarket after quitting newspaper journalism twelve months ago.  His publishing credits include Snorkel 4, BlackMail Press (NZ), Flutter, Vintage Poetry Journal (USA) and Sein und Werden (UK).




I tied a rope to my ankle


With a rope I tied my ankle to the table

The table sits heavy on the floor

The floor is nailed down rigidly

To the foundation dug into

The land around it

The land is not going anywhere




She of the abusive parents


She of the abusive parents

Holds me close

Lest I run and hide out of reach

She is a miracle

To have survived the bastards’ reign

It’s a claustrophobic world for her

Untrusting, suspicious

Wary of herself

Specters jump from paintings

Middle-aged men molest and mollify

They all do once you’ve been harmed

Jagged edges run around family shapes

The abused sister becomes the fire alarm

No one wants to hear

Through the injustice she paints

Boldly, unequivocally

And she loves in torrents

That sweep continents,

Press you against the wall

She is a marvel they will write about




The Native


Tremulous in the barren afternoon

In the rock-hard city

Amid the screeching and shattering

Of brakes and dreams

There is a thriving native

The tree holds in its upturned hands

Another native

This native is also flourishing

In a leafy lane that smells of offshore money

The colourful bird has a head that flicks

Like an out-of-control battery operated toy

Through the window I see the tree as plastic

In these parts nothing is real

I step


From the taxi into the foyer

The doorman is a native of this land

He smiles

“Are you too thriving?” I ask

He closes the glass door behind me

“I believe I am,” he answers and doffs his hat

I am unwell

I don’t belong here

My accent – 40 years is not enough

I ride the elevator

I walk the passage

I lie on the bed

I wish I was a native




At the Bottle


At the bottle

Firm grip

Berryn opens his throat

The bourbon rushes

Like dishwater down a drain

The perverse memories

The sickening, ghostly images

Slide away

The left-side pain is masked

“Hallelujah,” he says

Magre takes the bottle and pours

She is straight-backed, red hair to her waist

Eyelids flickering like breeze-blown candles

A smile permeates her crinkled, beleaguered face


The two of them stare out the window

To the snow

Furniture in the open belching fire

“Ask me if I love you Magre,” he says

“So you can carve me up like a roast.”

“So you can believe the hoax,” he says

The open-legged dawn crosses the room

They split up

She walks

She wonders

In the end she hates