Tuesday Poem: Contact, by Tracie McBride

the idea of sex with aliens
might have appealed.

having encountered
your loathsome race,
I am cured
of my deviancy.

with your putrid salty stench,
your pore-pitted skin
oozing at the mere
mention of heat.

with appendages
upon appendages
dangling from your
spongy carapace.

with your tiny globular eyes,
your chaotic, misfiring brain,
and that blind pink parasite
squirming inside your mouth.

It’s enough to turn
all three
of my stomachs.

Credit note: “Contact” was first published in Kaleidotrope, April 2007. It was republished in Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry From New Zealand, edited by Mark Pirie and Tim Jones (2009), and is included in Tracie’s new collection Ghosts Can Bleed.

Tim says: I will be posting my interview with Tracie McBride, a New Zealand poet and short story writer who’s now living in Australia, later this week. I asked her to send me a selection of her poems from which I could choose one as a Tuesday Poem, and although I liked all the poems she sent, I couldn’t go past this one, which is a particular favourite of mine from the Voyagers anthology. Science fiction poetry doesn’t have to be serious!

Tracie has a lot of interesting things to say in our interview: about being a ‘Kozzie’ – a Kiwi-Aussie; about her writing; and about the changing face of publishing – she’s also the vice-president of Dark Continents Publishing. Look out for our interview later this week.

You can read all the Tuesday Poems on the Tuesday Poem blog – the featured poem is on the centre of the page, and the week’s other poems are linked from the right-hand column.