States of Poetry Series Three - ACT | 'Women's Talk' by Anita Patel

Have you noticed
how the purl and plain of
women’s talk is tangled
and snarled
when a man enters the room?
Suddenly stitches are dropped
irretrievably
in the middle of a pattern
worked on for hours
and the cosy blend of colours
dark and light is
snagged and knotted
beyond repair.
The ropy twist
of mannish yarn
weaves its way
harsh and relentless
into the whispered silk
of confidences,
ruining the rich brocade
of spoken moments
(embroidered daintily
with truth and terror)
and the fine cobweb lace
of lies half told.
No deft fingers
can save the garment now
it falls
in a cambric crush
next to the broken loom –
the last threads hang loose
a ravelment of bombast
and vainglory.

Anita Patel


Published in Block 9

Anita Patel

Anita Patel

Anita Patel has had work published in various journals including Conversations (Pandanus Press, ANU), Block 9, Burley Journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Demos Journal, Mascara Literary Review, and Not Very Quiet Journal. Her poem 'Women’s Talk' won the ACT Writers Centre Poetry Prize in 2004. She has performed her work at many events, including at the Canberra Multicultural Festival, the Poetry on the Move Festival, Noted Festival, Floriade Fringe Festival, and at Word in Hand in Glebe. She was the feature poet for the Mother Tongue Showcase at Belconnen Arts Centre in 2016. She is the guest editor for Issue Two of Not Very Quiet Journal.

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