Go My Own Way, 1977.

I pierce my own ears with an Anzac 
Day badge in the back of the Social 
Studies class, hiding behind the fat 
chick who mortifies her flesh with 
chocolate eclairs. I relate, although 
skinny myself. My friend uses her 
younger brother as a sex-toy. 
I know it’s wrong but 
I join in. I’m excited by Talking 
Heads: qu’est-ce que c’est? 
I deliberately fit out of cliques, 
they like Abba, I go for Punk, 
it’s my aesthetic. I scour the Old 
Testament for Tamar, the fallen 
woman, the whore-by-the-side- 
of-the-road: my patron, my outsider 
sister. My peers plot their pastel 
gowns for school dances and I save 
up for a pair of Doc Martens, black, 
patent. They watch TV and emulate 
Farrah Fawcett. I read and revere 
The French Lieutenant’s Woman: 
the cape, the Cobb, the-staring- 
out-to-sea. I am fifteen. 


Natasha Dennerstein was born in Melbourne into a Russian/Polish Australian family and now lives in Wellington. She has spent many years working as a psychiatric nurse. She is currently writing poetry for her MA in Creative Writing at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University.