Mark Pirie


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After reading Came a Hot Friday, also a film starring Peter Bland, Billy T James et al

Evocations of small town life;
booze, bar, and night-life.
Ronald Hugh Morrieson paints the scenes
and conjures plots deftly.

The race track lingers where the character
sits and places a bet. Always the horses
run past, and there’s a half chance
the protagonist will never be the winner.

On a photo by Ans Westra

[From the B&W series Portrait of the Hutt 1988-89, at the Dowse, Lower Hutt]

By the riverbank
in the Hutt Valley
two girls are sitting
with nothing to do.

Behind them, a boy
on a bicycle with others
walking like they have
something to do.

One or two of them
will have fun and
enjoy the summer sun
but it’s the two girls

you keep your Rolliflex
focus on, waiting for
something to happen
to suddenly burst to life.

You capture it all perfectly.
Youth, boredom, the fuss
of daily life, the way we
lived back in the ’80s.

Blank Sonnet

For Ernest Hemingway


(A reimagining of Shakespeare’s great sonnet, How shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day? Hemingway once wrote a poem called “Blank Verse” which memorably contained no words.

Mark Pirie (b.1974) is an internationally published New Zealand poet, editor, publisher and archivist for PANZA (Poetry Archive of NZ Aotearoa). In 2016, his selected poems, Rock & Roll, was published by Bareknuckle Books, Australia. Other books include a biography, Tom Lawn, Mystery Forward (ESAW, 2018), an artbook Folk Punk (2020), and Gallery (poetry) published by Salt, England, 2003. He is a former founder/editor of JAAM, 1995-2005, publisher for HeadworX 1998-, and currently edits broadsheet: new new zealand poetry, 2008-. Website: www.markpirie.com.
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