Elizabeth Morton’s Wolf: ‘Wolf goes to suburbia’

9780994137821.jpg

Wolf, Elizabeth Morton, Mākaro Press, 2017

 

Elizabeth Morton’s debut collection is a mysterious, eye-catching, sound-catching read, with piquant detail and a poetic net that catches all manner of things – the light and the shade. I was particularly drawn to the opening sequence of poems featuring Wolf. Wolf is ‘a critter of humanity’; he is an outsider, an outcast, living on the edge and off scraps. The writing is assured, pungent and rich in atmosphere. I love the way Elizabeth deliberately slows things down, like a raconteur, so the art of the storyteller infuses the poetic line. As a reader, you pay attention to the amassing detail that startles and shines. I also like the way the lower-case letters that precede full stops is like a little hiccup or start on the line. It shifts the fluency and is akin to looking at a view where things pop in the corner of your eye.

 

Wolf goes to suburbia

rubbish bags hunch in
deathrow orange. yogurt pots
tickle the gutter pit.
newspapers suck asphalt.

like everything else,
Wolf is a shambles –

hide all a-scab with
the nippings of fleas.
skull abuzz with the
echoes of home-

the belchings of elk,
the titterings of muskrats.

today Wolf is a critter
of humanity.

where gophers whistled
trucks now vroom.
where hornets rattled
traffic lights now click

into the emerald of his
mother-world.

Wolf mouths his way
into a rubbish bag.

the yellow night
covers him like a rash.

 

© Elizabeth Morton 2017

 

Elizabeth Morton is a poet, fiction writer, and reviewer from Auckland. Her poetry and prose are published in New Zealand, UK, USA, Australia, Canada and online. She is the feature poet in the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2017. Her own poetry collection, Wolf, was published by Mākaro Press (2017). In 2013 she was winner of the New Voices Emerging Poets competition. She was shortlisted for the Kathleen Grattan Award (2015) and was, twice, 2nd place in the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Competition (2015, 2016). Her flash fiction was selected for the international anthology, The Best Small Fictions 2016.

Side-projects include: collecting obscure words, penning bad rap music, studying the brain, and exploring the coastal rock pools. She likes to write about broken things, and things with teeth.

 

Mākaro Press page

Emma Shi’s review at The Booksellers

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s