Somewhere in the cut & blow-wave

Kristen de Kline

Somewhere in the cut and blow-wave
           I have hidden a thread of girlfriends
thrown away mail from Undisclosed Locations
           slipped out of the Court House 
stolen a vehicle
           rammed a cop car
been sectioned at Regional Hospital
           burst into flame

While you stand there running your gloved fingers
           through my hair
ask about my husband
           how long we've been married
don’t you notice I never use a pronoun?
           spit out obscenities like a shock jock:

Somewhere in the suburban salon
           two silver spoons
one stint at the disorderly house
           three admissions to Sunnyside
four grams of speed
           have been flushed
out of this narrative
           deleted from the backstory
                  as I listen to my hairdresser’s plans for the weekend
                         why Fountain Gate is better than Chadstone
                               her last trip to Kuta
                                  the anti-vaxxer hubby     
                                        don’t you just hate those words?

Somewhere the massage chair is set to vibrate
            all my life I have tried to play at being   normal
my neck straining over the backwash basin 
            straight-acting       white bread       picket fence 
staring up at the exposed ceiling beams twisted lights
            law abiding        John A Citizen
as my hairdresser slags off dole bludgers African gangs vegans lefties

Oh God pour me a drink

Somewhere in this sequence
           the hairdresser sprays MUK 
through my crown
           splashes fire-engine red 
on razored sides

I have broken           down

      we have come                  undone

I have burst into flame

Kristen de Kline writes poetry by night and lectures Criminology by day. Their poetry appears in a range of publications including Backstory, Other Terrain, Pink Cover Zine, Press: 100 Love Letters, Guide to Sydney Crime, MAD Poetry Anthology, Australian Poetry Collaboration, Hermes, Have Your Chill and Project 365+1. Kristen’s debut collection Lawless was published by Girls on Key in 2021.



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