Guys like Gauguin

 
               I
 
thanks, Bougainville
for desiring 'em young
so guys like Gauguin could dream
and dream
then take his syphilitic body
downstream to the tropics
to test his artistic hypothesis
about how the uncivilised
ripen like pawpaw
are best slightly raw
dangling like golden prepubescent buds
seeding nymphomania
for guys like Gauguin
 
              II
 
thanks Balboa
for crossing the Isthmus
of Panama
in 1513
and pronouncing our ocean
the South Seas
hey thanks, Vasco
for making us the underbelly
the occidental opposite of all
your nightmares
your waking dreams
inversion of all your laws
your darkest fantasies
 
thanks for seeing the earth as a body
the North, its head
full of rationality
reasoned seasons
of meaning
cultivated gardens
of consciousness
sown in masculine
orderly fashion
a high evolution
toward the light
 
thanks for making the South
an erogenous zone
corporeal and sexual
emotive and natural
waiting in the shadows
of dark feminine instinct
populated by the Africas
the Orient, the Americas
and now us
 

from Fast Talking (Auckland University Press, 2009), © Selina Tusitala Marsh 2009, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Sponsor this poem

Would you like to sponsor this poem? Find out how here.

Recordings

Selina Tusitala Marsh Downloads

1The Day Amy Died

£0.89

2An explanation of poetry to my immigrant mother

£0.89

3Calabash Breakers

£0.89

4Orange Crayon Stick Figure Man

£0.89

5Anaphoria

£0.89

6Apostles

£0.89

7Fish Song

£0.89

8Black White Desiring

£0.89

9Led By Line

£0.89

10Belief in Jack Kerouac

£0.89

11Unity

£0.89

12Statued (stat you) Traditions

£0.89

13Guys Like Gauguin

£0.89

14Mutiny on Pitcairn

£0.89

15Two Nudes on a Tahitian Beach, 1894

£0.89

16Hawaii - Prelude to a Journey

£0.89

17Tusitala

£0.89

18Cumming

£0.89

19Circle of Stones

£0.89

20Things on Thursdays

£0.89

Books by Selina Tusitala Marsh