Tuesday Poem: I Would Rather…, by Laurice Gilbert

I would rather…

·         cut my toenails in the dark with a machete
·         slash my wrists and lie bleeding in a puddle of leeches
·         self-diagnose a suspicious lump by looking it up on the internet
·         roll cheese at Coopers Hill, run with the bulls at Pamplona,  swim with the sharks in Shark Alley
·         trek across Central Australia in bare feet and a black crushed velvet Goth dress
·         answer an online dating ad for an outgoing, intelligent and well-travelled professional man with his own successful business
·         visit Liberia without anti-malarial tablets, climb Everest without oxygen, hitch-hike in Afghanistan in a mini-skirt
·         recite poetry naked in Manners Mall on a Friday night in July
·         drink water from the Ganges during a cholera epidemic
·         go back to university to study accounting
·         have the soles of my feet tattooed
than write another funding application to Creative New Zealand 

Credit note: This poem first appeared in Valley Micropress (May 2010), where Laurice Gilbert was the Featured Poet, and is the final poem in Laurice’s first collection, My Family & Other Strangers (Academy Aotearoa Press, 2012). It is reproduced by permission of the author.

You can purchase My Family & Other Strangers for $12 by:

(a) PayPal – linked from this page: http://www.poetrysociety.org.nz/aboutlaurice

(b) Emailing Laurice at laurice.gilbert@paradise.net.nz to get bank account details for direct credit.

Tim says: I went to the launch of Laurice’s collection this past Sunday. It was a warm and fun launch, filled with family and friends, and introduced by a witty slideshow compiled by Laurice’s husband Wally Potts, with well-timed interjections from Laurice. The collection is full of lovely poems about family, and I had decided to ask Laurice if I could use one of them as my Tuesday Poem, when she closed the reading with the poem above. How could I resist?

But, since it’s Christmas, I want to wish a Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to all poets and lovers of poetry; to the frustrated compilers of grant applications and the  inscrutable examiners of grant applications alike; to saint and sinner, publican and publicist; to the long and the short and the tall, and all the ships at sea. I hope everyone has the chance for, and enjoys, a lovely and well-deserved holiday.

The Tuesday Poem: Wonderfully rounds out the year.

8 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem: I Would Rather…, by Laurice Gilbert

  1. Oh, yes! My brain nearly broke trying to figure out how much detail was required, what WASN'T required, whether we were eligible for this or that or whether we could truly claim any Maori, Pacific Island or other cultural links, what it meant by involving the community (did we have a community?) and much more. On the other hand, we did get $6000 worth of funding from two other sources, so funding applications aren't all negative! 🙂

  2. Thanks, Mike and Heather.Mike, congratulations on the funding! I completely deny that anything in this poem relates in any way shape or form to any other funding agency whatsoever, especially if that funding agency is a funding agency I might intend to apply to in future, which I can say without fear of contradiction is the most wonderful funding agency of all.

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