Anna Jackson


For some reason

This was when all the people
I was painting had vegetable
bodies—carrots and turnips,
root vegetables.  Even I
started wondering
what I meant
by them, especially
the post-card versions
I was sending out to friends.
Not being able to draw
bodies very well,
getting stuck
trying to make the hands
and legs look right,
isn’t interpretation.
And when I wonder
what it is that God
can’t draw
to have to make our
capacities to manipulate
and also to escape
so stunted,
well, what sort
of a turnip is that
for a thought, what
is it I can’t really think
to have to end up so
theological all the time?



Anna Jackson lives in Island bay, Wellington. She lectures on American literature at the University of Victoria, Wellington. Her latest collection of poetry is The Gas Leak (Auckland University Press, 2006), three narrative sequences about the Gothic undertones of family life, the gaps and ghosts of it.