States of Poetry 2016 QLD Podcast | 'Quetzalcoatl' by Sarah Holland-Batt

Tuesday, 28 June 2016 15:15

In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Sarah Holland-Batt reads her poem 'Quetzalcoatl' which features in the 2016 QLD anthology.

 

Quetzalcoatl

 —for Vera Pavlova, in Mexico City

On the bus to Teotihuacan, we turn
a new god's name on our tongues

like a charm, jagging past
cinderblocked hills

chocked over the motorway,
grey pixels stacked so high they merge

with the smoked white Mexican sky—
then a guitar player in the aisle

begins a song whose only familiar
word is corazon, we move on, billboards

graffitied Narco Estado scream by,
and I think of the jostling in the plaza

last night during the Ayotzinapa strike,
candled light salving poster faces

of the missing, and wonder
whether there is a god

who bothers to bless those who travel
on buses, not only those who scale

blunt steep steps of pyramids
where the world bends to an untenable angle

as if to say, kneel, human,
your heart isn't enough—

give me your life.

Sarah Holland-Batt

'Quetzalcoatl' appears in States of Poetry - QLD. You can learn more about States of Poetry and read the full anthologies here.

Read Sarah Holland-Batt's biography in 'States of Poetry - QLD'