TRIM YOUR NAILS
Leah wasn’t like the other girls.
I usually land the sort of ladies
who write to prisoners.
I could get a bag of them for a dollar.
But Leah —
Go trim your nails, she’d say.
They’re too long.
What’s too long?
Longer than mine.
She didn’t like any talk of the band tour.
She just went to the sink and broke up a lettuce.
Still, in my mind,
and in the pyramid of sluts,
she stood there on the apex
holding a biro
and asking if I needed anything from the shops.
From the verse novella Second-Hand Attack Dog, by Carmen Leigh Keates.
Carmen is one of the artists on the bill at this year's Queensland Poetry Festival. She has recently completed an Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Creative Writing and is currently a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Queensland. Carmen was a guest reader at SpeedPoets in May this year, and you can read her 2010 Josephine Ulrick Prize commended poem, "One Broken Knife" here. Stay tuned, as later in the week I will feature an interview with her.
Catch Carmen at the Queensland Poetry Festival in Torching the Shadows - Saturday 27 August / Shopfront Space / 11.45am