The Last Surrealist

In a Second Life temple of lens
the last surrealist dresses in meadowsweet 
goldenrod, milkweed; a disco ball bra

topped with an imperial telephone hat 
dictates the autobiography of a tattoo: 
Confess to yourself that you

would die if you were forbidden to write.
The last surrealist adds a joke, a gag
a black liver bag; adds a gag, a joke

a Hitler-youth Pope hand-printed 
on a wealth victim’s sequined hospital
smock, a veil of lace surgical gauze

draped across a novocaine cheek 
above a neck adorned by heart-shaped 
candies on edible string.

The last surrealist in a blown 
condom bubble dress with matching 
Grand Piano issues directives

to her little monsters: Forget Grey Lynn. 
Forget New Jersey. Unlock the gates 
to the adventure playground.

On a black chaise-longue a teacher and 
a merchant banker sit, ear buds in, sound 
down, a single bare bulb illuminates

their hand-held HD camcorders fixed on stock
figures scrolling across the Blackberry 
in the palm of the last surrealist.

Harvey Molloy is a writer who lives in Wellington. His poems have appeared in various journals and magazines, including the New Zealand ListenerLandfallPoetry New Zealand, JAAM, Snorkel and Takahe. His first collection of poems, Moonshot, was published by Steele Roberts in 2008. He is now working on his second book of poems.

Molloy comments: ‘The poem is about a Lady Gaga-like figure. I kept seeing Lady Gaga’s blank veiled face on the back of Wellington buses. She was on the cover of Mindfood magazine. I was intrigued so I started to read about Gaga and found out about her remarkable Japanese tattoo of a line from Rilke. I kept returning to the Welsh myth of Blodeuwedd: what if Blodeuwedd made herself not out of flowers but out of images? What kind of self-made avatar would that be?’

Poem source details >



Harvey Molloy's website