the poetry that matters

Tess Joyce

Tess Joyce's poems were recently published in poetry magazines Four and Twenty, Anatomy and Etymology and Phantom Kangaroo. In 2009 a collection of her poetry was published in India; the book was a collaboration with an Indian writer. She is a British writer but currently lives in Indonesia. She recently contributed to an International Poetry event in Indonesia, What is Poetry, in a small talk with a focus on environmentalism and poetry.

self-help poem

perfect aspect my schemas are active throughout sleep

can continue alteration of belief by repeating thoughts before bedtime

chances of relapse huge / unless persistent will fail

to adjust any deep-roots

danger may unearth anxious feelings if have any incompetency schemas

incapable of feeling positive about poetic sun / moon / eggs

if feelings of anxiety are experienced

might be wise to stop / tackle negative schema first and foremost

i am sometimes capable of feeling positive about this poem

however major cause of relapse likely to be forgetfulness

advisable to write it all down on a post-it note paste it somewhere important

below head metaphorical head



Dayak companion plants, new edition


If you are willing to die at the whim of a cobra king you may have the courage

to find the Lembiding vine.

Soften the heart in a frying pan.

Tabiku Tingang (pitcher plant)

If you’re high on fumes from a chocolate factory delve on in. There are fortresses in this world

worth breaking into. In youth, you cracked windows of an abandoned hospital,

I know. You may drink from the pitcher but there’s no coke inside, just water.


If you have ever jumped into a potato patch you may just find these

red and yellow flowers. Carry a bag blessed by the skin god - the plant can be saved

and rubbed to relieve irritations by the Rangas tree. Chant something

about putty, coats or phones to attract a soothsayer.


Will also cure a rapid itch. The insurmountable itch.





From the roadside I wait and watch IT. I am trapped behind IT as it latches on to me.

I see the devil in IT. Something as committed as the devil.

IT pulls me into a furnace of love:

I will love you if you disobey. Disobey and doubt and doubt again.

I loved IT for not just a second but every day. I still think of IT.

I guard IT. You will never take IT away.

We can be together. Open. Now do you see IT

in potatoes in chickens in strangers or eyes?

IT is as brief as a glance

but as lasting as each chance it gives to see.




not quite a haiku

death of ego is like bread

crumbling into a thousand unwanted pieces


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                                                                                                          April 30, 2012