new zealand electronic poetry centre



P H I L   K A W A N A

Phil Kawana was born in Hawera, Aotearoa/New Zealand in 1965. He is of Ngaruahinerangi, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitāne descent, and his whakapapa also includes Scots and English. Phil is known primarily as a short story writer, having twice won the Huia Short Story Award, and through his critically acclaimed collection Dead Jazz Guys (Huia, 1996). He has been widely anthologised, broadcast and studied, and has performed both his poetry and prose at festivals, libraries and schools throughout Aotearoa. He currently lives in Wellington.

Breeder Boy

Pony-tailed Breeder Boy
with leather jacket
& caffeine-studded eyes,

buzzing off Cafe Girls,
with their funky clothes
and done-that shoes.

Hes window-shopping
to pass the day,
his life lent shape

by glimpses of dreams,
by a face with Hope,
by a meeting with angels.

Breeder Boy unties his hair
and becomes Tribal Herbsman.
There are pinprick burns on his shirt.

And the sun is shining
somewhere beyond this Misty Morning
that is half-Marley, half-Monet, and is passing

slowly into afternoon, easing
into the day like his hands
along the thighs of a beautiful woman

late one night in Lyall Bay.
The soft clouds taste the sky
with candyfloss tongues,

and Breeder Boy smiles knowingly,
slips his fingers into the earth,
and lifts his face to the sun.



Last updated 04 July, 2004