Kerri Shying is a poet of Wiradjuri and Chinese family, publishing across many journals and anthologies.
She is the author of a bilingual pocketbook of poems “sing out when you want me”,2017, Flying Island Press, “Elevensies”, 2018 Puncher and Wattman and “Knitting Mangrove Roots”2019, Flying Island Press.
Kerri held the Varuna Dr Eric Dark Flagship Fellowship for 2019 for her current collection ‘Know Your Country” 2020, Puncher and Wattman, and was shortlisted in 2017 for both the Helen Ann Bell Prize and the Noel Rowe Award.
Kerri has been convenor of Write Up for 5 years, a free arts/writing group for people living with disability.
She lives with disability in Newcastle, NSW with her famous dog Max Spangly.
Kerri is a nominee in https://theaspireawards.com.au 2020, an activity of the Human Rights Commission, for disability activism in the arts.
Here’s some Elevensies from “Knitting Mangrove Roots”
saw his hands stimming over lies and thought it’s good you’ll be gone soon those buckled bulbs for fingernails the giveaway of a heart about to blow the eloquence of illness
far surpassed the itchy dogs that fell limping from his mouth
nothing he said worth a dollar on the open market no exchange rate for who’d pay some stories ought to die those names for things rubbed out in the sand the beginning it was the word
why can't you whisper it to me has it got to be this shout from one day to the next every sinew pulled up hard each movement effort to caress what ails the
buttress on a falling wall with sticks
is how i see my mind these days one more pill in the phalanx that wheels across the week this skirmish or another there is no battle just a little less nothing can be won
someone mentioned relativism in a tv show and i thought that’s about as café as the conversations get if you aren’t working maybe if you are pissed you get a chat to live
in the revolving door of commerce
the life social that’s the glitter the edible gold in your champagne stand here and watch the yearly immigration like koels the cab doors slamming at 2am we raise them then they go
cream blossoms take a drench beside the house the lotus pond refills a season grows we have no thought to name the fifth among the too cold too warm
here where people of the just-enough-land
pride themselves on common ground this anomaly unsettles like the lady doctor speaking in the house today answer best to turn your back and go the other way
three o’ clock all i’ve had is one cup of coffee soy milk i try to imagine eating the fridge is full so full the door fights back listen to my tongue stinging a rebuke go on eat your tea
beside my heart i hear the acidness of hollow
space pause if i have grown to like the gnaw my juice on flesh my spine a pinion to the bed go now hear the lettuce see the ham all wrapped in calico boil rice at least it’s the anxiety of pain i tell myself you don’t have to make a meal of it
drought is in our faces now the sea the blue distraction no help from the dusted wind i hear the back door slamming like a drummer why not rub it in where did we think
the topsoil of the country would stay
not a drink to wet it down roots so far forgotten they are frailer than a thought death lasts longer the whole place is on the move still we can’t modify a thing until our nostrils cake
Some covid-19 poems; us lot had to isolate more and for longer but had more experience of isolation. Maybe we did better?
jam your hands in your pockets of your suit at the lights
I wanna see your arse-peach tight against woollen superfine
business men come back with the right slits shroud hips
zoom has let me down I'm ready for the show
whether 8am or midnight lately have been calling for attention where none is due no bus to catch and still the call to regimen a stump jump plough persistent hooks the tender lobe skin skull bindings
lacking that flying buttress others
strain against demands that ping in on the minute insistent spruikers human potential what a movement what a trip to nowhere sells you a police hat and cuffs says here arrest yourself
emperor of nothin in the land of nowhere
quaking in our boots by the billboards gather too much too late wickedness and words that change directions like the swallows of that facebook viral video
we all sought to marvel lost to hard work holding out for images seated in the deckchairs with one hand full of helium balloons fantasy of forward upward sky-high imaginings of riches
what's deserved is never what we get yesterday I swapped a metal headband and a floral garland for three large lemons at a table up the street they were out of lemonade I fresh out of coin the true transaction that we met