More puzzling than 
a hearse parked outside

the supermarket 
is this keypad on

the driver's door. 
You can picture how

it got here: 
the pallbearers losing

their grip, the driver 
padding his body—

The key?! The key?!— 
like somebody checking

he’s still there. 
For now, nobody is

behind the wheel. 
And in the deeply

tinted window 
at the business end

of the carriage, 
you can’t see beyond

your own reflection 
before you disappear

through yawning 
glass doors.

On the other side 
you spot somebody

in a black necktie. 
He’s holding a basket.

Behind him 
the frozen meats.

‘Shopping’ appears in Brent Kininmont’s first collection of poetry, Thuds Underneath (Victoria University Press, 2015). The poem, which previously appeared in Sport, is one of several in the book that are located in Japan, where he has lived for two decades. He is originally from Christchurch, and his work can be found in a range of local publications, including JAAMLandfalltakahēTroutTurbine, and Best New Zealand Poems in both 2009 and 2011.

Kininmont comments: "'Shopping' is drawn from an encounter outside my local supermarket in Tokyo."

Poem source details >


Victoria University Press author page
Interview at NZ Poetry Shelf