Ode to Sweet Valley High

Landfall 205, Autumn 2003


High School taught me that blonde is the colour of bitch.


Thanks for that year of torment in 1989

Libby and Elizabeth

I’ll never forget your

Two sets of owl-like eyes

Your pastel tongued-cruelty

Your thin dissolving smiles


And as for you Fleur Ford

Your leopard print bikini

Was a stern reprimand to all my ass could never be

At thirteen I wouldn’t have dared believe I’d eventually fuck your boyfriend

And I guess some small part of me still wonders

If it was as mechanical and meaningless for you as it was for me.


Amber, my nemesis

Your cold blue stare will always remind me of the Alien Queen in the mini-series V

Especially the scene where she devours the live hamster

She too had a powerful personality.


Tell me

Was it the year of the slut?

When Shona Jackson’s boyfriend bought her that bottle of Poison perfume

By Christian Dior

Expensive and adult

The colour of jealousy

It symbolised all the sex we had never had

And spread through the fourth form like a disease


Elizabeth and Jessica from Sweet Valley High

Popping out of book covers like two mocking cuckoos

Telling lemon yellow lies

“Who’s afraid of Virginia Andrews?” they cackle and coo.


Their names are my High School anthem

Their frozen faces my emblem of perfection

Their tanned hides

My blue lagoon.


What ever happened to Western Heights?