MY LIFE IN CLOTHES

Do­minic Hoey — Poet, author, mu­si­cian and youth worker

Metro Magazine NZ - - Contents - AS TOLD TO — AIMIE CRONIN PHO­TOG­RA­PHY — FRANCES CARTER

Poet, author, mu­si­cian and youth worker Do­minic Hoey.

Whenwe were young we were pretty poor, so you just kinda wore what­ever. We used to all swap clothes, me and my friends, be­cause some­one would have the nice jeans, or this or that. But then we all got into sho­plift­ing and so we started dress­ing a lot bet­ter. I grew up in Grey Lynn, be­fore and dur­ing the tran­si­tion, and then got forced out like ev­ery­one else. My par­ents sold their house be­fore the boom.

I got this jacket (01) from the army sur­plus store in Welling­ton two years ago. I was go­ing to Port Chalmers to write my new novel, so I stayed with friends in Welling­ton to break up the drive and they said, ‘You know it can be re­ally cold down there, eh?’ So I went and bought a bunch of ther­mals and this jacket, which has turned out to be my favourite.

It was my sec­ond novel. I went down and did the first draft over two months. I saved up and hired a house. I think it’s best to iso­late your­self when you’re writ­ing a big body of work and just get it done. You don’t wanna go some­where where there is too much hap­pen­ing. I went to New York to write once and didn’t get any­thing done be­cause it’s New York, y’know? Port Chalmers is like the op­po­site of New York.

This is a Drab Doo-Riffs t-shirt (02) and it is ac­tu­ally my friend Saan’s, but I stole it off him be­cause he steals all my clothes. They were an Auck­land band and my mates and I did lots of shows with them when I was rap­ping, even though they are into surfy, punk mu­sic. It’s quite rare to get a shirt this old that still holds its form. Ev­ery time I wear it, Saan looks at it long­ingly, but he’s taken so many of my clothes he can’t say shit.

I was re­ally want­ing to start wear­ing nice shirts and so I went out and bought some, but then I just felt so un­com­fort­able in them. When you wear a shirt, there’s a fine line be­tween look­ing stylish and look­ing like some­one who works in IT. One of my mates wears shirts all the time and he just looks good, and he’s my age. I’m 42 — old enough to wear shirts.

Some­times you see peo­ple in their 50s and 60s, like my dad — he still wears t-shirts and looks great — but think they are try­ing to look young, and I al­ways get para­noid that you don’t wanna be that per­son. I wear this one (main pic­ture) all the time, for wed­dings, awards, when I wanna look nice. I got it at St Lukes mall. Last time I wore it, it was to a play at the Q Theatre, which is nor­mal, but when I wear it in front of my mates, they are used to me dress­ing a cer­tain way, y’know? I of­ten wear it with the chain, which makes me look a bit mad.

So I got given this ring (on chain, main photo) by my ex-girl­friend, who is my best friend now and we work to­gether with ran­gatahi. I have re­ally small fin­gers and it didn’t fit, so I got this gold chain. She got me the ring maybe three years ago and I wear it most days.

Most of these tat­toos are crap I got when I was young. I re­ally like the re­cent one I got of my dog Prince Chilli. He’s a Pomera­nian res­cue dog. I’ve got a pa­poose that I put him in. He loves it. I was on tour with this Scot­tish poet and he said, “You need to get a pa­poose for your dog!” and so I went on­line and was like, “Oh!”. Some­one said to me re­cently, “You’re re­ally nice, but you look so in­tim­i­dat­ing.” I was, like, “You’re in­tim­i­dated by me? I’m, like,

5 foot fucken 6! And usu­ally I have a small dog with me.” You re­ally no­tice dif­fer­ent types of peo­ple will just come and talk to you about your dog on the street.

I was 16 when I got my first tat­too. It was an alien smil­ing face, but it’s cov­ered up. Just bad tat­toos over bad tat­toos. I don’t re­ally like most of these, but I spose I prob­a­bly still would get tat­toos if I could go back; I would just get bet­ter ones. Nowa­days, my friends are quite good tat­tooists, but back then, they were prac­tis­ing on me. When you’re young you get them to be like, “I’m not like you”, and then ev­ery­one gets them. One on my leg is like a fucken 90s monstrosit­y, but ev­ery so of­ten it comes back around.

My best friends Lu­bin and Louisa got a bear sweat­shirt for my 35th birthday.

It’s prob­a­bly the old­est bit of cloth­ing I have. I’m so stoked I haven’t lost it yet. And Tom from Avant­dale Bowl­ing Club and Home­brew gave me this t-shirt (03); it’s sort of tak­ing the piss, but I al­ways get Tintin fans come up and talk to me about Tintin and I just wait for them to read it and say, “Oh, is it jok­ing?”. I ac­tu­ally did re­ally like Tintin when I was a kid.

THIS PAGE— Do­minic Hoey wears this shirt when he wants to look nice. The ring on the chain around his neck was a gift that was too big to wear on a fin­ger.

03 ABOVE— (01) This jacket was bought from an army sur­plus store in Welling­ton ahead of a stint in Dunedin. (02) Friend Saan’s Drab Doo-Riffs t-shirt. (03) The “Tintin and the Tinny House” t-shirt that prompts con­ver­sa­tions with Tintin fans.

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