States of Poetry 2016 - South Australia | 'Alterations to the little black dress' by Jelena Dinic

A little pin-up
three fingers
above the knees.

Behind the curtain
a dress-up game –
pretty things come undone.

He chalks lines
on raw stitches.
I catwalk.

My body fits the timeless black.
'You can live in it, or die'
smile the lips full of needles.

Do I look a little dead
with black fabric
on bone-pale flesh?

Suddenly in the mirror
I see the last party.
This dress is me.

In the front row
button-eyes watch
a grand entrance into the hand-made hole.

Around a little black dress
the roots of the earth
grow matching belts.

 

Jelena Dinic


Recording

Jelena Dinic

Jelena Dinic

Jelena Dinic arrived in Australia in 1993 during the collapse of Yugoslavia. She writes in Serbian and in English. In 2014 she was a resident at the Eleanor Dark Foundation, Varuna Writers' Retreat in the Blue Mountains. The same year she co-edited the Friendly Street Poets Anthology The Infinite Dirt. Her chapbook Buttons On My Dress was published in spring 2015 by Garron publishing. She is currently the principal of the Serbian Ethnic School where she also teaches the language.