top of page

'NZTOTSN' (New Zealand, Top of the South, Nelson) is an exploration of place and of non-belonging to a place. This project imitates Adam Warne’s Suffolk Bang. Where Warne writes about rural Suffolk, where he and his family originate, I wrote about Nelson, New Zealand, where I had attempted to settle as an immigrant. In these short poems, as in Suffolk Bang, both place and lyric subject are found in the interstices between apocryphal fragments.

Three poems were published on The Burning House Press Blog, and can be read here. Four poems from 'NZTOTSN' were also published in Kiss Me Hardy, a Nelson-based arts journal, now defunct. Read them below.


More Artists per Capita

no double glazing

where a conservative

dog tied to a post

is dragged into the 21st century

I’m sick, you know

though very angry

at the library which

imagines a garret existence

getting organised

Serial Offender

My heart to pieces where

the wild oats are sown

brother hand

I’ve tarot with Geraldo

in The Wasteland

before he had his coffee

ours the second time

was breath-taking

at home, all the bone-coloured corn


are in the residential

just screaming

people live here

sudden is the driven dust

and the motor vehicles

of a preventable

don’t know the half

O refresh my soul

Craft Beer Depot, immediately


sunflowers are bullshit but

his spirit’s illiterate

and would starve to death

another grubby little bitch

in a sensible fleece

no homeless and

much sunshine

is a damp draughtiness

to perish in

Flesh is a furious shore

Yang Lian

translated by Brian Holton and Agnes Hung-Chong Chan

bottom of page