Nacida el 19.03.1968, Christchurch, Nueva Zelanda
Poeta neozelandesa, músico, presentadora ocasional y profesora de escritura creativa. Su abolengo viene de varios tribus maoríes, además de Inglaterra y Bavaria. Su última colección de poesía, waha | mouth fue publicada en el 2014 (Victoria University Press). Reside actualmente en Alemania donde es Escritora en Residencia en Berlín con Creative New Zealand.
Escritora, músico, productora, editora, y profesora de escritura creativa. Su primer libro de poesía, Matuhi Needle, se publicó en Nueva Zelanda y Estados Unidos en 2004, y su nueva colección fue lanzada en julio de 2010. Ha producido dos álbumes de música original uno de solista y otro con su dúo, Taniwha. Además de esto, ella ha lanzado dos CDs de la palabra hablada con grabaciones de campo que ella llama 'poemas sonoros.
mi melliza canta
La manera en que enfocas tu atención en mí
es la manera en que una botella se hace más transparente
mientras el nivel del vino tinto desciende.
La manera en que me tocas levemente mientras conversamos
es la manera en que el río respira dentro de sus peces.
La arena devuelve la canción: Tienes sangre, tienes una voz, tienes
un hombre que al mediodía hace sonidos alegres y ruidosos en el agua.
papel de plata y los manguitos de los rotadores
Del suelo del vestuario sube un olor.
Acelgas frescas y aceite de la máquina de coser Singer.
El engranaje de mi hombro, dijo el fisio, quizá esté calcificado
(el trapecio, el músculo infraespinoso, el manguito de los rotadores).
En Finch Lane, calle abajo, miro las chimeneas.
Imagino los pensamientos de los cazadores que vuelven a casa con las manos
A lo lejos las palmeras parecen una banda esperando salir a tocar.
Traducción de los poemas my twin sister sings y al foil and the rotator cuffs de Hinemoana Baker por Charles Olsen. Son del libro ‘waha | mouth’ (VUP, Wellington, 2014)
said the woman on the bus
like I’ve swallowed a branch.
Is this a new flu?
The bus-driver said
I feel like
I’ve swallowed a hurry.
said the depot manager
I feel like I’ve swallowed
a large white brick state house.
The brick isn’t real
it’s a kind of cladding.
At one corner
a nest of spiders is building.
We the shareholders
said the shareholders
feel like we’ve swallowed a bus – no
several buses, trolley buses
or trams which depend on electricity
for their volition and wave sparking
antennae up at the thick wires
which criss-cross our city
making every suburb
and hotspot accessible
to the motorcar and its
We are a branch
say the fossils
of your family.
dismantling the crane
What is silver? Into this finger-space
the kotuku appears, flying once only
and far – to Holland, the vacated
apartment of your quiet friends
beaded slippers for sale
behind the silhouette
of the Moroccan woman whose feet
have been hurting her all day.
What is lost, here, where there was not
even eye contact, not even
eyes? Here a woman floated half-
miserable above land clutching
a posy – now there are growing
flowers, red with fat, sappy
green stalks and spongy leaves
and beside them the neighbourly
buttercups. Silver has become
hammer and aluminium.
The star in her firmament makes her way
over Rarotonga murmuring
hoki mai, hoki mai . . .
Meanwhile, how can this tui
be so violently black? White
petals could be made of
icing sugar, he flutters his wattle
with his two voice boxes. I sit here
wearing my bottletop, my lips
the dome above me dewy
with condensation. Outside
men in orange vests prepare
to dismantle the crane
its four ropes of chain rise
like snakes from the bed
of a dusty truck, link after link
on and on
until the morning is over.
She walked around a lot in her dressing gown.
When she got cancer she couldn’t say it, the word itself.
Above the doorway was a thing in a frame: close up
it was a large white blob, a black oblong, some triangles
when you moved away, it was a pretty lady
hair done up in a bun.
There is a way to draw a pretty lady, Nanna said
a way to join the eyebrows to the nose, the angle the profile
You don’t need to be looking at it to draw it, Poppa said.
We spent time talking about Hell
a volcano, a bright blue crater lake
eight hundred degrees –
cook the meat off your bones.
We played Scrabble, the Adjective Game
we used God’s proper name
we ate dark silverbeet, and my Poppa said
Hail Mary full of grass
Holy Mary full of grass
the Lord is with Thee.
what the destination has to offer
Like trees, there are rings
in the small headbones of an eel
we count the rings to find the age.
Each bone too small for tweezers
my cousin plucks one up
stuck to a bead of silicon
on the end of a wire.
He is putting his bones under the microscope.
He can tell you what they’ve been eating.
They go to Sāmoa to breed
he tells me, probably Sāmoa
or somewhere with water
so deep it crushes the sperm
and eggs from their bodies.
They die then
and the tiny glass eels
make their way from Samoa
back to the same river
in the Horowhenua.
Salt, fresh, salt, he says.
The opposite of salmon.
I threw out the clock
the rubbish is ticking.
people are making alarming discoveries
about the secret online lives
of their loved ones, the daughter
and the cyanide, the no-reason.
Our dishes smell of flyspray
I wash them while the flies circle
the same flies that have flown
the rooms of this house
in formation for weeks
two zizzing pairs.
Or perhaps they are
different flies every day
away from my gaze
middle-aged state servants
in a timeshare, bored
with what the destination has to offer
through the mangroves
bitching at each other
they can’t settle
they should have gone
to Sāmoa instead.
our children have run away to fiji
Once a month you ask Where have the children gone?
They’ve gone to Fiji. Our children have all
run away to Fiji. Where are they now, all our precious
pronounceable children? One is standing beside the remnants
of a Taukei taxi stand. Coral Sun speeds past her and a bitch
dragging her teats in the dust. Our children have run away
to Fiji and when they get there they make entirely
different noises. This one used to sound human, like a laugh
now there is more of a yawn to him in the mornings
a knock, a vernacular; a measurement known mainly to those
who live in America or Australia. But they were so human to us!
Now they are so much more, so much has changed.
Oh, this child! On display like a giant clam at the Suva markets,
the most coveted, the sweetest parts the most colourful,
the intimate mucous. Her name is dirty, a filth not
of her own making. Where did she run away to? Surely
not here, surely not under the towering coconut
palms, waiting to be the one in seventeen, her skull
cracked by the dropping cannon balls, nothing
at all has changed. This child is slicing up
the giant clam, tossing sea grapes. Well
she is and she isn’t. That is certainly her hand
holding the knife, making the portions small
enough, dicing, then using the blade to push
the white, shining cubes aside. That is most definitely
her silhouette against the window, her head turning
to the cluck of the gecko, turning off the fan
saying I’d rather have the heat than the noise.
What is it there, right in front of her? That same
vast sea, the barking sewer, the yellow
indigenous hibiscus, the sewing,
the woman who collects things and sure enough
one day they do come in handy: sulu in lacquered
pink and blue, lotions for softening the skin
which smell of tiare and frangipani, green
coconut flesh a glossy white jelly once a day.
Our children travel to Fiji on one another’s
tongues, rugged up against the altitude
relaxing into the heat of the concourse
at the other end. The brother-in-law drags
around like a motley dog, he wishes he hadn’t come,
tries to forget the mangrove between her legs, the way
all poison enters the body through the skin or the mouth,
watches through the magnifying glass of his dive mask
the slow fish living their economical lives, all sprees
are killing sprees. Just who is in charge of our children here?
In twenty years ivy will tension the walls
of Suva Grammar and St Joseph’s, this one dressed
like the parrot, talks like the parrot, who does he
think he is to be standing with his arms raised?
And her – she acts like she has no relatives, wait
till her father hears about this, we will throw her
up in the sky, she is a good soldier, a good
soldier, our love moves towards her, around
her neck. But our children – so puzzling. So much older
than they are now, they cast their light on us and it falls
in beads and seashells, in eight-legged battalions.
Here it is more like a vehicle. Where are our children now
and are they sleeping? Watching this green bird
the size of a starling that sounds to us like a car alarm?
Soaking the seaweed that looks
for all the world like a pile of human hair
and watching it set, white, in the lolo?
This one is a river named after himself.
This one got drunk and went swimming in the aquarium
at the Trade Winds Hotel. This one
is still a child, and it’s been such a long day
he’s been getting an early night
waiting to swim, swimming for hours
learning to snorkel, finding the bird’s nest
saying all the words at once
sobo, isa lei, ota, umu
tulou, oi lei, vinaka vaka
levu sara, and now he is tired
this child is so tired he can’t dance
to the Fijian mariachi band playing
Waltzing Matilda and Under
The Boardwalk. In the stiff chair
under the fan he falls asleep
a slow metronome
above his plate of papadums.