Friday, November 4, 2011

A guide to perfection – Kevin Ireland

A guide to perfection – Kevin Ireland

you complain of your body
and make out a detailed list
of what you call your worst deformities

you start at your toes and proceed
to ankles and knees bottom stomach
breast lungs jaw eyes hair skin

I reply that this is vanity:
you must have been inspecting yourself
too closely and with too much interest

low self-esteem is not aware
of how to turn this way and that
to show ill-favours quite so prettily

you wont agree: for far too long
you have denied your glamour: you won’t
undress your eyes – and so I threaten

to hold you in the circus mirror of my mind
and by distortion warp you straight and show
how neatly blankly coldly perfect you could be

O'Sullivan, V. (Ed.). (1979). An anthology of twentieth century New Zealand poetry. Wellington: Oxford University Press.

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