Janis Joplin cries a smoky goodbye
and I turn towards South Head
a wannabe neo-feminist montage
with fast car and wild hair
the red-lit city and the ocean’s
deep maternal belly my new frontier.
I bought the necklace myself
a simulacrum for all girls who get out
before they lose their mind.
Years later I wear it and I’m back
on the road with nothing left to lose.
This poem was awarded First Place (Teacher) for Poetry Object 2015
"I love this short, fierce poem, which keeps all the energy of demotic speech with not a wasted or extraneous word. ‘A wannabe neo-feminist montage’: this is brilliant phrase-making. In little, it reflects the dramatic play of intimacy and detachment in this poem: the speaker’s way of seeing herself from outside even in the midst of the scene; the poem’s way of making an old necklace speak of the interplay between the past and the future. The metaphors, when they come, are at once strange and richly sensuous: ‘the ocean’s/ deep maternal belly my new frontier.’ This poem keeps all these elements in play and yet keeps racing along like a fast car, and is exhilarating."