I dreamt about Eddie Vedder
again last night—
this morning, my God, such a spring in my step!
Eddie and I went for a walk down the beach
the tide was out and
although I can’t be certain
I think we were in an earthly paradise
he sang to me and I listened and smiled
I was 16 and my 41-year-old knees
did nothing but bend as they should
and the beach didn’t end
and the vortex became visible as a solid
and I sidestepped it
and viewed it from every angle
and the stroke forming in my brain
turned into an ampersand
& Eddie and I are still walking
LISTEN to ‘Evenflow’ by Therese Lloyd
Therese Lloyd is the author of two collections of poetry: Other Animals (VUP 2013) and The Facts (VUP 2018). She has a doctorate in Creative Writing from the IIML at Victoria University, and in 2018 she was the University of Waikato Writer in Residence.
The Facts was recently short-listed for the 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.
Lloyd comments: ‘The poem “Evenflow” borrows its name from the huge hit song by 90s grunge band Pearl Jam.
‘I was living in Paekakariki and I wrote the poem one morning after I’d been for a long walk down the beach. My husband and I had recently separated, and I was finding the adjustment to living on my own confusing and challenging. As I was walking, various songs drifted through my mind, one of them being “Evenflow”. I was struck by how easily I could recall every line from the song, despite having not listened to it in over 20 years.
‘The poem is an attempt to reconcile the fact that despite my age (41 years at the time of writing), I still carry within me that deeply insecure 16-year-old, desperate to be loved and completely unsure of what to do next. Eddie Vedder (the lead singer of Pearl Jam) kindly steps in from my past to act as my non-judging, grungy, romantic hero.’