Protect Me from What I Want / Kathryn Hummel

“Of course, one of the worst possible side effects of mixing these two substances is death.”

1. Doggerel does not complete me/ my aching wants an epic

The blood moon disturbed /the selection in my suitcase

2. Lost my place in these rooms/ and in this book

If you can’t choose your scene /consider whether it exists

3. Mourn a fully-formed being/ not an impression

Don’t cut out obsession /from the life-work equation

4. Fight fades like a flower/ if too often uprooted

I guess I’ll be here now /to bring the heads in

5. What happened to the promise/ to turn me inside out with joy?

Oh but to die by our own poison /Let’s be over-caffeinated together

6. You are too good/ for the establishment

Crash is inevitable /through the patriarchy

7. The loss of love involves countries:/ an entire sub-continent

The frequencies of exile /are super sensitive

8. Use nothing in life/ that can’t later be replaced

Tell me what policies to accept /and how to on social media

9. My lapsed synapses are reconnecting/ with every odd new word

Nothing is apolitical if you /interact and perform

10. This boundary allows/ the continuation of my infancy

I’ve zero affection for this city /Can I fuck it and walk away?

11. The problem of moi/ is unsurmountable

I do not borrow the clothes /of people I don’t want to be

12. Always wait till you’re ovulating/ to pack your luggage

Nothing says uncertainty /like a non-refundable ticket



Kathryn Hummel (@katscratchez) is an Australian writer, researcher and multi-media artist constantly on roaming. She is the author of seven books of poems, the latest of which is Lamentville (Singapore: Math Paper Press, 2019), and is part of the editorial team for Australian creative arts journal Verity La. A widely-travelled performance poet and artist-in-residence, Kathryn holds a PhD in Social Sciences and is currently posted in India.  

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