Bill Manhire


The Hour before the Afterlife

Between Russia and the rush-hour
Dmitri is walking.
He dies in the dark, but then he is back
dancing a little, oh

it was nothing at all.
There is somewhere he has been
but not to be told to us—
no, nothing.

He is really Duncan. He is sad.
Don’t even think of it.
Enough is never enough
when the vampire senses blood.

Each time he flies, he turns to ash.
His poetry is quiet like his wings.
He will try to write in haiku
when he understands the seasons.



Bill Manhire recently edited with Damien Wilkins the anthology The Best of Best New Zealand Poems (Victoria University Press, 2010), a selection from the Best New Zealand Poems website. Making Baby Float, a CD with musicians Norman Meehan and Hannah Griffin, is about to appear from Rattle.