27 July 2010

Tuesday Poem: If Looks Could Kill

If Looks Could Kill

When the woman gave me a look
back over her shoulder
I went and crossed the road

it was dark and poorly lit
I didn't want to scare her
and I didn't mean any harm

well, none of us do,
but we're clumsy
we break things and people

that's the way it is
that's the fact of the matter
look, we were made that way

and the most they do is look
but they'd have done with us long since
if looks could kill.

Tim says:I was very affected by Men, a powerful poem by Bert Stern which Tuesday Poet Melissa Shook published on her blog last week. It was hard to find the right words for a comment, so I thought I'd post "If Looks Could Kill" this week instead.

"If Looks Could Kill" was published in my first poetry collection, Boat People (HeadworX, 2002).

Boat People is my first poetry collection. It was published in 2002 by HeadworX, the year after my first short fiction collection, Extreme Weather Events. There are forty poems in Boat People.

Copies of Boat People are available directly from me at the cheap, cheap price of NZ $5.00 plus postage and packing. Please email me at senjmito@gmail.com if you'd like one.

Check out the Tuesday Poem blog for all the Tuesday Poems.


LentenStuffe said...

Excellent work, Tim.

Reminded me of the Brent Staples essay, "Just Walk on By".

Kathleen Jones said...

I'm quite struck by the ideas in this - I hadn't thought what it might be like for a man when a woman feels threatened by their presence, even when no threat is intended.

Helen Lowe said...

Another poem with the sense of authenticity, Tim--we recognise the moment. Thank you for posting it.

Tim Jones said...

Thanks, John, Kathleen, and Helen.

That is an excellent essay, John - thanks for the link.