Two poems by Ivy Alvarez

GUHIT NG PALAD

 

Close to when everything began, a Chinese palmist read my fortune. Something drew me to her stand at the night market, the Hong Kong neon glow pushing back the stars. She took both my hands in her own and spoke, the man next to her an interpreter for us. She pressed the mounts, traced the folds, bent my fingers. Scratched my bracelet lines, slid fingers along the back and nails of mine. Under heaven’s wheel, I could feel the future laid out before me (though I immediately discounted the babies). There in another country, a traveller for a little while, an adventurer still uncowed, eager to know the world, her own terms.

 

Filipino idiom meaning fate; destiny (literally, line of palm)

.

.

 

GASGÁS ANG BULSÁ

 

Slip your hand in the slit. It barely fits: a set of keys, a phone, a lipstick, a fist. No money here. No room for it. I dream of capacity, capaciousness, rapaciousness, infinity, make room for me and my paraphernalia, regalia, the size of Australia in my dresses and jeans. My skirts can take it. Hide my secrets from the hobble-de-hoy. Slap you away. Not today, mister patriarch. Not today.

 

Filipino idiom meaning spent heavily (literally, pocket is bruised)

About the contributor

Ivy Alvarez
Ivy Alvarez’s poetry collections include Diaspora, Vol. L (Paloma Press 2019), The Everyday English Dictionary (Paekakariki Press 2016), Disturbance (Seren Books 2013) and Mortal (Red Morning Press 2006). Born in the Philippines and raised in Australia, she lived in Wales for almost a decade before arriving in New Zealand in 2014. https://www.ivyalvarez.com/

Related Articles

New Poetry by Linda Collins

Linda Collins was shortlisted for the Hachette Australia Trans-Tasman mentorship (2018) and long-listed for New Zealand's national flash fiction award the same year.

2 poems by Julie Manning

Julie Manning’s work was shortlisted in the Peter Porter Poetry Prize (2020) and longlisted in the VC International Poetry Prize (2019).

Nautical Poetry from Julian O’Dea

COAST HOUSE where the sea gives the landa sloppy kisswith the rising tide,beachcombers and souvenirs,the washed-up, the empty shell,displaced, yellowing palms,bowing bamboo, sagging shadecloth;and inside,pre-loved,...

1 COMMENT

More Like This

Otherwise Occupied. by Richard James Allen

OTHERWISE OCCUPIED You think I am not listening  but I am just not listening to you I am trained to keep listening ...

Two poems by Gail Ingram

New Zealand poet Gail Ingram teases and delights us with her vivid imagery and playfulness with words as she peels back layers of our culture, challenging us with her implications.

2 poems by Denise Teresa O’Hagan

Denise Teresa O’Hagan’s poetry is published in Fast Fibres Poetry Five (2018), Fresh Ink anthology (2017) and elsewhere.

New poetry by James Walton

The author of The Leviathan's Apprentice 2015, Walking Through Fences 2018, and Unstill Mosaics 2019.

2 poems by Beth Spencer

Beth Spencer was winner of the Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award (2018) for The Age of Fibs, Her books include Vagabondage (UWAP, 2014) and Things in a Glass Box (FIP, 1994).