Rachel Bush

Unfortunate Singer, The

ISBN: 9780864734365

Rachel Bush’s second collection extends the themes of her acclaimed debut, The Hungry Woman.


When the plane trees in Nile Street are lopped chopped
back for winter and dead leaves burn in slow piles,
because she is sad, that voice
which is a chandelier in a dark room
where tall doors open to a leafy garden
is still stopped.

Now when tomatoes ripen and weigh
on each plant, when cicadas on
each trunk and branch and post beat and pulse
and repeat and fill the air all night,
I remember her song, the sound stroked
the timber of the verandah reached
over a lawn, covered the arum lilies. Their petals
were as smooth as the throats of young women.

From The Unfortunate Singer

Praise for The Unfortunate Singer

'While I coolly admired the nervy, cerebral brilliance of Bush's lines I was suddenly ambushed (sorry about the pun) when they also brought a tear to my eye. Great stuff.'
Penelope Bieder

Praise for The Hungry Woman

There is a mysterious quality to Bush’s writing that throws the everyday into high focus and makes it resonate.
Elizabeth Crayford THE DOMINION

A wry sense of humour, often self-deprecating, threads through a beguiling mixture of poetry, diary extracts and short prose pieces, which are firmly grounded in New Zealand.

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