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Selina Tusitala Marsh

Fugacity 05
Online Poetry Anthology


index


“Statued (stat you?) Traditions”

The ‘Golden Past’
is
Frozen Fast
in
anthro-pological
socio-logical
ethno-graphical
historio-graphical
feminist-epist-o-mological
bio-logical
psycho-logical
audio-logical
edu-cational
environ-mental
human-biological
pharma-co-logical
theo-logical
gyna-co-logical
crimin-o-logical
scientifically
geothermically
          text-booked
          documented
          locked-fast
          bound-cemented
          rock-hard

she wears lei
  around Gauguinesque
    blossoming breasts
          sweeping brown
            round and around
            looping above
            firm flat belly button
              peeking over
                see-thru hula skirt

          (not from her island – but what does it hurt?)

she swings her hips
  with lips
    slightly parted
      lip-stick red
                  with “come-to-bed” eyes
                     highlighted by REVLON
                         black sheen of hair
                           sweeps the air

(come if you dare
 to these mysterious islands”)

frozen in glossy post-card form
  she is adorned
    with dreams
      ready for you / to
        fantasize
        romantisize
        over gorgeous big brown eyes
          gorging thighs

(gorged out eyes from forging lies!)

“Lovely hula hands”
always understands
  make good island wife – for life – no strife
  (no hy-phenated name!)
  always to sing
  island lullaby song
  petals caressing wind
  all night long
  drowning in
  frangipani scent
  dreaming, seeming
  hours spent
  in islands aphrodisiac
    no lack
    no loss
    in these    

“Lovely hula hands”
  always understands
  make good island wife - …

multiplying
  in silhouetted
    still-water of
      rippling
        text and
          image
            history unchallenged
              mystery ‘solved.’

We have evolved
  from Noble Savagess
    to Tropical Princess
      moremore
      fantasize
      romanticize
      mesmerize
      metamorphosize your own image
planted before we shed seeds of ourselves in the Pacific

(and not the seed of Margaret Mead nor the semen of Derek Freeman)

    moremore
    fantasize
    romanticize
    Frankensize
      the monster of you
        into
           our flesh

stitching parts of islands together:

  Solomon beads
    Hawaiian lei
      Kakala seeds
      of perfume spray from Tonga
        Fijian salusalu
          Samoan ula
            Hawaiian hula
skirt

(you don’t wear it that way – but what does it hurt?)

Cook Islands head dress
  and coconut breasts
  from the Marquesas
    (just to please us / and the camera)
“So colourful the way they sit together!”

stat you tradition?
picture post-card / history diagram
stat you tradition?
stat me in you?

Who
 is that Pacific Princess?
  always waiting
    warm bare breasted
      anticipating
        between ‘jungle’ leaves
          waiting weighting
            looking out to sea
              fating the sight of you
                  on the site of me

aaah – moment of ‘discovery’ –

stat you tradition?

the glossed publications
  of island salutations
    ‘Talofa!’ ‘Kia Ora!’
    ‘Bula Vanaka!’ ‘Malo e Lelei!’
    ‘Kia Ora Ana!’ ‘Aloha!’ and
          ‘Have a nice day!’

forever static
forever still
  motion-less
  meaning-less
    not my past
    not my blessed
genealogical
  ‘tis fantasy

& will freeze itself apart
as disciplines crack under heated pressure
of our golden rays
tropical sun melts the haze
  breezed island days
    blow away petrified images of
no-people
no-where
to-disappear

no need
no more
  to hypothesize
  theorize
  or
  romanticize
my tradition is here, within my eyes
  and those of my mother

For tradition
  eludes
  precludes
  concludes
   stasis
tis ‘anti-stasis’

  ever-moving
  ever-grooving
  to beaten drum of lali soothing
  voices in fagogo telling
  tales of old and new

ever-revolving
ever-solving
mysteries of itself
  by itself

ever-growing
ever-knowing
  of itself and other worlds
   incorporating
     investigating
       revitalizing
         unto itself
           indigenizing
             outside selves

Statued traditions
  stun still water
    swimming through
      our son and daughter
        break the surface
         breach the haze
           of cemented tradition
             of Golden Age

till

looking with new eyes
  nothing is left
    she on the post-card
      has Frozen to death.



(previously published in Wasafiri 25, 1997. 52-54)
 




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Last updated 25 April, 2005