Type
Poetry

Maximum Security

Photocopied peaches taste sour in the
afterthought of extricated blue.
The relationship manager’s understudy
is having a bad day. Same fax number
and email but the second penalty always
feels more authentic. Mud flaps flipping
out in the Belanglo jangle of organ-harvest
stand-up or syncopated starlings in the
Treasury Gardens of psalm trees lapping at
the difference between portent and disaster,
one thing and the other leeching you out of
that word you hate, dividing all strychnine
things in two. I want to say I need you but
the way to make friends and to keep them
is to remain independent or at least to say
you’ll appear

Striving up the town hall staircase, rows of
poets and schooners drug you into litigious states
of horizon. It takes bones to make a xylophone,
straggling into the Bedouin-end of Little New
Castle, anthologised by starlings and the sack-limp
starlight of the hystericised palm trees. Love is
just the ‘misassignation of predicates’ though a
member of the wedding in white chisel-toed
patent would suit you, the bordello of the
balustrade wilting to the Middle-Eastern
trance of a delightful Turkish buffet. Leprechauns
these days are all ‘auto-produce’. One family must
die out for another to take its place. Stendhal?
Or the waiter, in a Clean Well-Lighted Figurative?

Back home, a pop song is a problem you can only
solve in utero. A dream as big as a garden only
takes up half the space. In love with the difference
between sleeping and waking, it’s hard not to see why
literature took off. The reality is our backyard’s full
of Cecil Williams and children catapulting concrete
calves and lungs. Come summer we plan to route
our house underground. Architecture for a hidden
life. Your invoice initiates the contract I didn’t know
we’d signed. Credulous citations to appear summon
a three-storey townhouse in the cavities of our one-
man carpark. It’s a plan, it’s a start. It’s a garage
revolution. We’re date-drunk and dropsy in the archives
of potty-mouthed histories traced to the fulcrum of
glittering one-liner blue.

Outside the silo window the hotel hums.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Fiona HIle’s collection Novelties (Hunter Publishers, 2013) was awarded the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry. Her most recent book, Subtraction (Vagabond Press, 2018) won the Helen Anne Bell Poetry Award.

More by