Ms K


But we all have our wrong days. 
Like I’ve got my shirt 
tucked in my panties 
and looking out at the CBD 
without coffee 
I’ll forget the stop 
that is three blocks away.  
It’s your basic issues of lifestyle.  
On week nights I take vitamins 
and think of my follicles.  
These walls creak too. 
How about taking a bus 
out to the market gardens 
early when the people are awake 
with hoes raised up 
like they are posing for our photos. 
OK, yes the hoes raised up are like an omen too 
but those hoes are antique.  
Life gets by.  
This feeling of a potbound heart 
rabbits in the lettuce. 
That’s stress.  
It comes down to the health of your 
spine basically.  
Are you smiling at hoe? 
So much more predictable than you think 
like we’re made of paper 
the only thing going for you is this hot 
daddy thing some girls like that 
definitely. Head down to the bar 
and buy yourself a bottle of whisky  
on a good night the girls there 
are the same as me what I’m trying 
to explain is how 
to unwind. My girlfriends, 
we have this thing sometimes, 
when we dance like guys and 
then a guy starts shaking his hips 
and the universe falls apart, you mix whisky 
and Coke and if it’s the primo 
label, you have it with ice.  
That’s all our gland sweat on the tumblers.  
You don’t have to actually taste the whisky. 
What I’m saying is that you can’t expect us to smile 
when you’re a sad sack. 



James Purtill was born in South Africa and has lived in WellingtonPerth and New York. He returned to Wellington in 2009 to complete an MA at the International Institute of Modern Letters.