new zealand electronic poetry centre

Fiona Farrell

online works


Anne Brown’s Song

I first spread my legs
on a London street
and the shillings came easy
put shoes on my feet
(I’ve lain on clay
and I’ve lain on sheet…)
And men with rough fingers
have staked out their claims
and gone off up country
no addresses no names.
There’s gold in my crannies
there’s gold in my crack.
Come miners and diggers
I’m down on my back.
There’s a crack in the ceiling
a draught at the door
my back aches my mouth’s salt
but there’s time for one more.

A nice little bar
with a lamp and a chair
and frosted glass windows
to keep out the air
(there’s a crack in the ceiling
a draught at the door)
and no man to empty
his load in my box
no fingers no breathing
no crabs and no pox
and I’ll pile up the shillings
to keep in the heat
till I lie in the clay
till I lie in the sheet…


From Cutting Out (AUP, 1987)

Fiona Farrell

Last updated 23 July, 2007