REBECCA HAWKES

Gremlin in sundress

blinded with dandelion gimme a puff of it
gimme an eyelash kiss gimme ringlets
gimme a morsel of raw
vegan cheesecake gimme this day
my daily bliss gimme the creamy
origami of the rose and the honeybee
scritching in her folds gimme sickled
tarsus to whet against latent ovary gimme
pollen somersault buzzy gimme gingerbeer
low alcohol but not no alcohol
you know gimme recreational
toxins and parlour games gimme electrolyte
saltwater to chug like chamomile tea
as you tuck me in gimme bedtime gimme curfew
to flout gimme a truant insolence
and let me call it bravery call me
yer hungerling gimme a gobble
of the pantry gimme soft-shelled sweetmeat
gimme something pretty but with brains
I can crack open gimme salt’n’pepper
tentacle dredged from the abyss and deep
fried gimme hot cephalopod gimme yer cold
shoulder gimme yer murmuring
muffled against my nerve endings
gimme yer tenderness gimme cheesy fries
gimme drunkenness gimme the vomitorium
next door to the buffet gimme mortal clay
with tingle and baby fat to live in
gimme glory gimme eternity gimme yer likings
to make me yer favouritest gimme
a cute burial gimme my own museum
exhibit with a tame scorpion
glowing under ultraviolets gimme violent light
on yer body gimme martyrdom
and scurvy gimme divinity I want all of it nonstop

Image of Rebecca HawkesRebecca Hawkes is from a farm near Methven. She now roams the slopes of Wellington, occasionally painting but mainly ghostwriting PowerPoint slides. She writes poems about flesh industries, human beastliness, and joyous weeds.

Rebecca’s first chapbook Softcore coldsores’ launched in 2019 in AUP New Poets 5, reviving the series alongside collections by Carolyn de Carlo and Sophie van Waardenberg.

She is a member of popstar poets’ collective Show Ponies and edits the online journal Sweet Mammalian. Rebecca was a 2018 Verb x Starling Micro-Resident and is the recipient of the 2019 Ema Saiko Poetry Fellowship.

Rebecca comments: This poem was fun to write because it’s a sincere joke that comes from, like, being a shabby little ball of repressed neediness, expressing ego and want within a culture mildly allergic to ambitious glee or attention-seeking. But the babbling almost-babytalk gives some cadence of permission to be bratty and therefore have a good time.

It’s a selfish poem but I hope one without cruelty – more about clinging to delight. It is also the poem that has gotten me serially informed that “vomitorium” (for the record) actually means “exit” rather than “puking room”, but that meaning doesn’t not work in the poem. Or the easy colloquial misconception may even make it work better, as a bonus joke for hot nerds. I love poems as a form of play and the gimme gimme repetition helps keep this rollicking like a giggly lullaby of hungers.’

​Poem source details >

Links

Rebecca’s website

Photographer credit: Jasmine Chalmers