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Jo-Ella Sarich

Bad Ghazal

Trying to make our mother mad,

the first deeds that we do are Bad.

Like Cain nursing a matted head,

the first deeds that we did were Bad.

Like a skunk facing its own stink,

Bad confronts itself with Bad

Like strychnine blobs in the primordial soup,

Bad multiplies to make more Bad

And I’ve shouted at my kids again –

I’ll flagellate myself to feel more Bad

So my soul is dull with black ice,

Bad papered over with more Bad.

And, without a frame of reference, Bad

is only, by its nature, Bad

And when the frame dissolves, Bad fills

the space that’s left with still more Bad.

And I don’t know what to do with you,

filling my head with all this Bad

So I’ll leave you in the kitchen sink

where all the dishes have gone Bad.


Jo-Ella Sarich has practised as a lawyer for a number of years, recently returning to poetry after a long hiatus. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The New Verse News, Tuck magazine, The Galway Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, takahē magazine and the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook 2017.

About Jo-Ella Sarich