Mayhem Literary Journal is generously sponsored for 2019 by Te Whare Wananga o Waikato, The University of Waikato
issue 5

october 2017

issue 5 - october 2017

body/hair - Maria-Teresa Corino

On your skull, precious brain casket
Plenteous hair is glory.

Your face: a contested border zone.

Below, hair is animal, sex, sin
Inferior races, soul-less females, the dirty, the dumb.

Though even the hair on your head offends many gods:

Shave it like Buddha, cover it up like Mary (you have to like pale blue)

Or come with me on a hairy little ride.

.......
....
.

Take the merkin, pussy peruke, down-under rug:
In the days when men liked their women bushy

A working girl could be blonde for Tom and ginger for Harry

Or cover up the pox she got from Dick.

-- but now Word tells me there’s no such word as merkin.

I must mean merlin – the magician that shows and hides
Or marking –  map of Tassie if you’re an Aussie, the hair that marks the spot
Or jerkin, getting closer – all some of us need to see for a happy ending
Or merkid – frolicking child mermaid, brushing her hair

Or the shame of those too young to sprout a cover
For what they need to sell

Or marlin – yes, proud, muscular, hard to catch, hidden.  Go fishing if you dare.

I digress, but I’ve long loved the merkin.

A large black Halloween beard is an exuberant merkin,
Under something skimpy and frilly at parties.

Being of a cantankerous feminist bent, it’s a favourite outfit of mine
And it hides my own hair -- I’m far too feeble to show that.

Furry rollercoaster, fluffy punctuation

1970s: I have to give my mother leg waxes on the kitchen table
- this goes onto the list of things to never make my own children do.
1980s: swimsuits cut from labia to waist.
1990s: the rise of the metrosexual - men discover pain, and post-wax acne.

The twenty-first century, everyone goes Brazilian

Clear-felled cunts, smooth sacs and silky cracks:

Every last hair plucked for men who like women who look like little girls

And Peter Pans who never never want to age.

.......
....
.

Pubic topiary
Body hair ripped out by the roots, shaved, shaped, tinted, bejewelled – vajazzled:

Catch your screams behind your teeth and imagine
Rekindled fire in your lover’s eyes

As he or she finally gets to fuck Barbie or Ken

Or a very naughty fairy.

Hairy rollercoaster, fuzzy punctuation

1970s: pre-internet porn – beaver and split beaver in the pages of men’s magazines.
1980s: legwarmers exactly cover the hairy part of my legs.
1990s: boy-leg swimmers, I never need to trim again.

The twenty-first century, stick-on pink merkins on YouTube.

.......
....
.

A fine line of dark hair climbs up a smooth belly:
I’m entranced, follow it with lips and fingertips

Soon after, she leaves me.

Boys become bushrangers, lumberjacks and patriarchs
Bewhiskered, muttonchopped, or at least permanently stubbled

I wonder, do they still wage war on fur south of the chin?

Eurovision, a glamorous Austrian drag queen wears my merkin on her face, and wins.

I take advantage of a long winter
And the devotion of my beloved
To see how long my armpit hair can grow:

About five centimetres, fine and fluffy as the first hair on a baby.

I stroke it at night, two small nestling cats
I can almost hear them purr.

Summer comes:
I shave off my furry friends

Victims of fashion.
.......
....
.

Contributor's Note

Maria Teresa arrived in NZ from Italy via Australia. She’s been an under-age winery guide, flight attendant, broadcaster,blogger, cookbook writer, & almost a lawyer. She's doing postgraduate English/Writing Studies at the UoW, attempting to understand chickens, see lots of New Zealand, & maybe one day get paid to write.

 

This product has been added to your cart

CHECKOUT