Walleah Press         Famous Reporter 17 (Jun 1998)


Tina Ruusula's 'Carne Vale'

Once upon a time,
we begin with the secular version,
she turned into a pumpkin after midnight.
But you see it's already wrong.
No Cinderella story this.

We proceed to a sacred reading.
She donned the colour and contours
of a fine festival fruit
grown at the tropic of cancer
but it was already Easter,
this was a late, post-Lent carnival.
Those mocking broken teeth like pumpkin seeds
the bald pumpkin skull
those two black sockets like holes
cut in a pumpkin mask
the pumpkin her body,
bones splintered in a swollen bag.

No allegory shapely as an arc
to summarise,
to give sense and substance.
Not her death
that robs my grief of reason
but the manner of her dying:
to see her masquerade as monster fruit
- farewell the flesh like this!
A carne vale gone mad.