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jake brown

this poem is that song

you know the one
it played at that party
before everything changed

your friends told you their secrets
but they told you nothing else

my friends all have tickets to go on planes
the earth will look so exciting
in all its brown squares

this is less of a poem and more of a chain email

i wrote this to remind you that:
friends are everywhere
like car crashes on tv

i wrote this to remind you that:
boys are stupid
but it’s not their fault

there is nothing more awful
than being in love
except being in love
when you have no money

your old friends are living new lives
just acres away!

this poem is a malfunctioning vcr   
flickering childhood dogs
jumping over a fence
again and again

the neighbours' tv programme

A woman is lying in a bathtub and her sister is outside the bathroom.

It could be her mother outside,
but then again the woman outside the bathroom is in modern dress
and there is another more conservatively-dressed woman in the kitchen
who is talking with a conservatively-dressed man in the kitchen
and they are both a lot older than the other two women.

(The man in the kitchen is probably the father,
let’s not get carried away.)

The sister is knocking on the door.

She hears the water running
and is frightened for her sister,
or is panicking because her sister has been doing really well lately
and hasn’t had an episode in at least a week,
or is concerned because no other taps are working
and she needs the bath to save a small swarm of eels,
or is perplexed because they’ve been in a drought for six months
and wants to ask why there is water sliding under the door,
or is excited because she is secretly addicted to bathwater
and no one is around to see her suck the goods out of the carpet,
or she just needs to pee.

The woman lies underwater, completely still.

The kid in the living room exhales onto her nose.
The man in the living room pulls him away
and smacks him for wobbling the image.
He is disappointed that the woman only felt like warmed glass,
or is maybe just disappointed that his breath isn’t as important
as his parents told him it was.

The woman snaps upright with a splash on the lino.
She needed to come up for air. Obviously.

Now both women are drinking tea with the mother
which is probably fine
but she was so pretty when she was drowning
with her garland of floating black loops
and his fish stamp on her face.

Jake Brown is a Wellington-based poet and theatremaker. Last Christmas he merged these pursuits in the BATS Theatre Christmas show The Christmas Detention Centre. He wishes Beyoncé would put Lemonade on Spotify. He is really good at remembering middle names and birthdays.