Big Hair Will Be Everywhere On Friday 3 May

My hair follicles don’t really let me do big hair anymore. But all the same, I’ve got a new poetry chapbook, Big Hair Was Everywhere: Music Poems.

It will be making its public debut in Wellington on Friday 3 May from 6.30-7.30pm, when I’m reading as part of the Pegasus Poetry Series 2019 with Sam Duckor-Jones, Chris Price, and Chris Tse: distinguished company to read in!

I’ll have copies of the chapbook available for $5 – just come and see me before or after the reading. You’ll need to pay cash, and I’ll have change available.

Big Hair Was Everywhere is No. 34 in the ESAW Mini Series. Here’s the cover photo, an alarmingly chirpy picture of me.

And here’s the poem from which the title is taken:

The Home Of Country Music

We spent the first day of the Gold Guitar Awards
thrashing …And Justice for All in Andrew’s flat,
taking turns to lift and flip the vinyl.


We mourned Cliff Burton, killed in a bus crash in Sweden,
and pondered the mystery of new kid Jason’s missing bass.
Metallica’s producer knew shit about separation.


We walked down Main Street to the pie cart. Town
thrummed with the energy of competition, musicians
toting pedal steels down Mersey Street.


Big hair was everywhere, bouffants teased
and primped towards infinity. ‘Simple country girls’
and honky-tonk angels vied for the next available chair


as the hairdressers made their annual killing. Men
rechristened Tex for the occasion swaggered in Stetsons,
ordering Jack Daniels instead of their usual DB Draught.


It meant nothing to us, this frenzy of false eyelashes
and fake tans. We returned to Andrew’s upstairs flat,
dropped the needle on “Blackened” again. Jane,


finishing her pie, rested her head on Andrew’s shoulder.
I was too busy with rapidly cooling mince to be jealous.
I fucking hate this town, I said.

Credit note: “The Home of Country Music” was first published, in a slightly different form, in takahē 89 (April 2017).

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