new zealand electronic poetry centre




Karlo Mila

Eating Dark Chocolate While Watching Paul Holmes’ Apology (43-45)

i am sucking on a sante bar / sneaked / bought at pak’n’save
in a cigarette gold wrapper / i remember when you bought
them in dairies / they were stripped and served undressed /
edges worn from the friction / getting down with the
brown / chocolate dust was in the air

i am watching paul holmes apologise for calling kofi annan a
darkie / darkies takes me back to

6 years old / school grounds / see-saws / we won the
war / we won the war in 1944 / mean boys alternating
between catch and kissing and sticks and stones / darkie /
tania got called blackie / golliwog / I remember being
thankful I was pretty and fair / and had long hair / no one
called me manu off playschool or darkie / i was a milk
chocolate glass and a half / half caste / caramello enough to
be safe from bitter dark accusations

tonight paul holmes apologised for calling kofi annan a
darkie / takes me back to

10 years old / sitting on my dad’s stomach / him flat on the
sofa / we’re watching a week night movie / southern
drawls and white sheets / me crying hot wet tears over
black men with hurt in their eyes / what does lynching
mean maka? / my daddy / dark / my feet dangling off his
tummy / me milky brown chocolatey sweet / wanting
to grow up and be the prime minister / or a lawyer like
matlock / make everything all right for darkies everywhere
tonight paul holmes apologised for calling kofi annan a
darkie / takes me back

15 years old / barry /surf lifesaver / washboard abs /
the mattel man / automatic winking machine / ambivalent
crush / half hate / half fetish / blonde frosting in his fringe /
darkies / that’s what he called us / hope you don’t mind
darkies / he said / setting up his mate / flirting on the phone

tonight paul holmes apologised for calling kofi annan a
darkie / takes me back

17 years old / do you think they would ever let a boonga
be prime minister / corey p / dreadlocked bob Marley
wannabe / says to me / mocking laughter / he’s drunk at
three / in highbury / but we never dreamed they’d let an
indian woman be mayor of Dunedin / so let’s sukhi it to
them corey p / we were darkies anonymous then / making
fun of ourselves before anyone else could / revolution in
the bottom of a bong / cutting off our veins to spite our
lives /

tonight paul holmes apologised to the nation

i am 28 / aucklander / jokes about jaffas don’t involve
maoris and minis / just another f-ing aucklander / the
p.i.’s here outnumber prejudice in wide open spaces /
skinheads low key / less closely shorn / too much rugby
league brawn / on the arms of coconuts / i’ve been told
i’m the cream rising to the top / the cream of the crop /
nesian queen / rank and file member of the chocolate
soldier movement / getting down with the brown /

tonight paul holmes apologised

sorry / he said / i’ve hurt my family / i may have hurt
yours /

yes / we scrapped in the car over it / there was yelling / by
the time we got to the end of the mangere motorway / i
was crying / who is this redneck with the big brown
shoulders sitting next me / anti pc / darker than me /
defending freedom of speech / but i don’t want it to be all
right /

/ i don’t want my kids to have stanzas of darkie memories /

sorry / paul holmes said / i could see that he meant it / i felt
sad for him / and happy / i signed the petition to say he
should get sacked / i am a manager in a govt department /
not matlock / not the pm / just a member of the chocolate
soldier movement / melting in the middle



From Dream Fish Floating