'The Compliment'

This arrived today.

Tremble is the University of Canberra Vice Chancellor's International Poetry Prize anthology for 2016 and my poem, 'The Compliment' is in it. The anthology contains the prizewinning poem, the runner-up, the shortlist and the longlist. It's a beautiful volume and the poetry in it is pretty amazing. I'm going to be coming back to it a lot, I think.

It's available in print and for free download on the University of Canberra's website

And this is my poem.

The Compliment

'Where are you from?'
There is bloodlust in that question.
I swing my net and offer up
the shortest possible answer
but it's never quite the right kind
of exotic.
And so the hunt begins.
A sharpness
between the eyebrows
a showing of teeth
then the demand to know
my blood and body.
Personhood is not
only skin satisfies
the lust for such trophies,
this collector's desire to stake, 
splay, stuff, and own the objects
of fascination
poisoned wings spread
on pins, unmoving
dead things
displayed on walls
to be called