Conversation with My Uncle

the last time we spoke about it you told me
how she had raised the glass high in the air
and poured the beer all over his head
now don't try to tell me that wasn't what you said
or I'm a monkey's uncle

he brought her a cake he bought her a ring
and what did she do when she got those things?
she swallowed the ring and she opened the sash
threw out the cake and slammed the window crash
or I'm a monkey's uncle

don't tell me you were pulling my leg
and now you've decided to pull the other one
when he came home drunk on his nose was a peg
she opened the door and showed him a gun
or wasn't that how the story went

long ago and far away is no excuse
now they're both dead the farm's been sold
he was a bastard she had a screw loose
or at least that's the story I was told
by that magpie in that tree

in the tree out of the tree who's to say
whether the story went that or this way
the good old days are better when they're gone
that's not a magpie I'm sure you're wrong
that's a monkey don't you see

LISTEN to ‘Conversation with My Uncle’ by Murray Edmond

Murray Edmond’s recent poetry books include Walls to Kick and Hills to Sing From: A Comedy with Interruptions (Auckland University Press, 2010) and Three Travels (Holloway Press, 2012). Then It Was Now Again: Critical Writings will be published by the Atuanui imprint of Titus Books in 2014. Edmond is Associate Professor in Drama at the University of Auckland and dramaturge for Indian Ink Theatre Company. Recent shows include The Guru of Chai (2010) and Kiss the Fish (2013). Edmond is also the editor of the online journal Ka Mate Ka Ora: A New Zealand Journal of Poetry and Poetics.

Poem source details >



Ka Mate Ka Ora: A New Zealand Journal of Poetry and Poetics
Auckland University Press author page