Tuatara 3: Concepts I Have Shagged

Alice Te Punga Somerville Click to

SomervilleAlice Te Punga Somerville is a Māori poet, scholar, and irredentist. Her primary tribal affiliation is Te Ātiawa but she also acknowledges her links to Taranaki iwi. Her relatives were in the Wellington region before the city of Wellington was there, and she was raised in Auckland; she believes this makes her “urban Māori” both ways. She was raised in Aotearoa, studied in Aotearoa and the US, and taught in Aotearoa before moving recently to take up a position as Associate Professor of Pacific Literatures at the University of Hawai’i – Mānoa.

Took Imperialism home for a shag
And what a long night of tangled sheets that turned out to be:
Nothing approaching the making of love
But a whole lot of gratuitous kinky
That left us both exhausted in the morning.

Had an on-again off-again thing with gender:
Gender gets me horny
Gets me to a place where I’m ashamed to be so desperate:
During the wild ride of fully consenting ravenous limbs
I always forget that afterwards we have to lie there and talk
So I sneak out while gender’s sleeping
Avoid gender’s eye when we bump into each other at the supermarket.

My fuck buddy used to be culture
But culture was pretty needy
So now I’ve got class on my speed-dial:
Class is great – you can tell people whatever you want
About how and why you and class get it on
Don’t need to provide corroborating evidence or paternity tests
Just a nice slow screw in the back of a beaten up car.

Had a one night stand with race
And it was true, what I’d heard from mates who’d taken race for a spin:
Race likes to do it in public
And though I tried to get extra kicks from the fear of being found out
I was most scared of myself finding me there;
Of catching something dirty from race
Waking up with welts and a rash I hadn’t known was part of the deal.

One day I want to settle down;
Grow old with someone the way my parents did,
In a familiar routine,

But for now I’m having way too much fun
playing the field.