Poetry Shelf Monday Poem: Chris Price’s ‘Housekeeping’


Of course I never bought
the wedding story

so now a blackbird does
the housekeeping on my lawn:

it costs me nothing but
the pleasure of watching her

turn dead leaves
into tasty morsels.

I don’t have time
to renovate, but still

I want something new
so this plain-purl-cross-

stitch that covers nothing
with seed pearls and

knits patterns of conflict
into tatty blankets

will have to do. This is my re-
production, the curtain goes

up every night whether
the theatre is empty or full.

I want you to sit down here
with me. I can’t wait

for your get up and go.
I fly by night

above the stage
so you don’t have to.

Chris Price

Chris Price is the author of three poetry collections and the hybrid ‘biographical dictionary’ Brief Lives. She has also collaborated with NZ physicists (in Are Angels Ok?), and with German poets (in the bilingual anthology Transit of Venus Venustransit). Chris convenes the MA Workshop in Poetry and Creative Nonfiction at the International Institute of Modern Letters. Her latest publication is the third book in Lloyd Jones’s Kōrero series (The Lobster’s Tale, Chris Price and Bruce Foster, Massey University Press, 2021).

Poetry Shelf audio and photographs from The Lobster’s Tale
Massey University Press page
RNZ Saturday Morning interview
Ian Wedde review Academy of NZ Literature
Bruce Foster and Chris Price in conversation Read NZ

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