Bill Nelson

Memorandum of Understanding


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14 April 2016

The dogs will find you first. 
Even under the snow
they can smell the fear and sweat
and polypropylene socks.

Your grandfather can smell it too.
He pulls you out by the scruff of your neck.

You are strapped into a pair of skis.
Edward Scissorfeet. Disturbed,
eating a sandwich with metal poles
dangling from your arms.

In his debut poetry collection Bill Nelson steps into John Coltrane’s body and wears it around. He is a turtle disappearing into the sea. He plumbs the depths of business jargon. He takes singing lessons in Berhampore. He takes his grandfather roller skating. Funny, strange and arresting, these poems test our understanding of understanding.

Bill Nelson lives in Wellington. His poems have appeared in Sport, Hue & Cry, Shenandoah, Minarets, The 4th Floor, Swamp and Blackmail Press, and he has worked on collaborative projects with Footnote Dance and City Gallery Wellington. In 2009 he won the Biggs Family Prize in Poetry from the International Institute of Modern Letters. He is also a writer and co-editor of Up Country, an online journal about outdoor pursuits.

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