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In Russia no one titles their poems
Heidi North-Bailey (Auckland University, New Zealand)



They fly like sparks
hard into the dark room. You listen
because you are there
And because the woman’s hands have held
something violent

They have held a memory and they fling out to you
the way she ripped a goats head off its dead bloated body
How the flesh peeled away and the bones were swollen. You listen because her eyes are darker than her suit

Which falls open
a chasm between her breasts. You listen
because she says in-between times
with a lifted smile
In London there are no rubbish bins

And you listen because you
without your wars, with your soft hands opening and closing on empty spaces
you have noticed this too
and can share it with her
secret in the crowd

And you think,
If you could title a poem
and give it to her it would be this
        In London there are no rubbish bins.



Heidi North-Bailey won an International Irish poetry competition (Feile Filiochta International Poetry Competition) in 2007. Returning to NZ in 2011 after four years in London, she received a grant from the NZ Society of Authors for help finishing her first poetry collection, Things I wanted to tell you. She now aims to get it published.

A writer and freelance editor from Auckland, she is currently studying towards a Master’s in Scriptwriting and Directing for Film at Auckland University. She is working on a screenplay and chipping away at a novel.

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