Published in Overland Issue 210 Autumn 2013 Uncategorized The owl of Lascaux Fiona Hile I imagine you chopping the heads off eel catfish blossoming from the underside of fir trees tangling with the pneumatic branches of the law wasted pornographic observations instilled as the capital of excess profanation. The political task of your right to capitalism remains slipping through the shadow of, the potential for the transformation of a polity huddled like a worthless slave in the bed of speech. Destitute poppies, my spoken limbs are available for prophylactic conveyance. These poor hands, they quiver thus: trouble my protrusions and turn my paint to flesh. In lieu of actual declension The cyclical head wants lopping, the imagination bears the loss with patience, declares all allegiance to a merciless conclusion sweeter than the listing of the earth’s difference from itself. I gave you a book and you wrote in the back of the book: Infiltrated by the idea of prose, barking like an owl in the gaping insignia roseate and plastic like a flower whose rebel yellow rooftop does belie the tonsured alleyway that calls and calls, you a hungry fish in the paranymph squatting in the underlit paragon of the vestibule. Cowering within the molecules of discontent, you squander yourself, as bleak as beauty. Hells of quivering delight came upon me like a fever of illness the dream of our sure demise, in lieu of your wedding day and death, you signalled to your erstwhile friends – deliver me now from unbearable enjoyment for I have defaulted on the body and slivered the slipstream slipshod indifference my rapid firebrand torment Afterwards, the ring of coin striking the footpath was all that distinguished the nuptial meaning of the body from one in which all of my limbs were filled with the sighs of devils And all of my eyes were scoured for the love of voices In certitude I ravished a series of little miracles, basically rays that I apprehended by means of my internal arms and chest experienced as the ever loving tongue lashings of thousands of immature nematocysts whose propulgations fulminated in what I like to think of as formalised doses of seabather’s eruption. What followed was the thin gruel of the underside of the law in which confining the child’s body came to mean doing justice to polymorphous mental disturbances. Bringing up the bodies meant leaning heavily on the family vernacular, tickling tepid swans fleeing from the still night swarms of eels wreathing indecipherable symbols, tenderising the opened stomachs of cows gleaming undercover sea bass flopping onto concrete mosaics of slo-mo turtles. Erupting. Blue plastic tubs. The little bridge spans the brown tributary, trays of women setting wrinkles of bright chillies in the cellular geometry. Of the letter, the cubicles were filled with a misty stench. Mouths closing over libraries of flesh like molluscs finding a rock. Pretending entrail windings of oozing bedsheets, busy with the mock horror love affair of rioting dismemberment. Your avatars, my pipe cleaner, are strangely moorish, striding through the rainbow denizen, tripwiring the narcoleptic fuselage, your addiction to welding. What stake do you bed in the semblance of Celtic excision? Populate the body and explode it with liquid nitrogen. Streak of neo-formalist, sensual as pylon. Dredge the retina of the cave still blindly saturated, the history of love seized as a thread through the spine of the eastern king prawn. Mother’s valuable abstract painting metamorphosed into fading photograph of suburban rooftops. Woman lifting morsels from bloated fecundity. Objections against this or that conception of the rejection of several further outmoded deliverables embodied in the garments and preoccupations of certain quasi-mythological personages. Ecstasy, prostration, and every ornamental semblance Encounter each announcement as if from material apparitions intent on believing long after you have ceased. I gave you a book and you wrote in the back of the book: All leaves are withered, all bark is peeled away What starts with a tickle ends by bursting into flames The Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets is made possible by the support of the Malcolm Robertson Foundation. Fiona Hile 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 Fiona Hile 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. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 27 January 2023 Cartoons In attacking us, they bring us together Sam Wallman 'What these bosses don't understand is that in attacking us, they bring us together.' (Paddy Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Svitzer Rally November 2022) First published in Overland Issue 228 24 January 202325 January 2023 Aotearoa / New Zealand The end of the politics of care Giovanni Tiso The daily spectacle of televised briefings was not unique to New Zealand, and it may simply be the case that Ardern thrived when given the opportunity to speak to the public directly—in other words, that she was better than others at it. Alternatively, we could say that her rhetoric found in the pandemic the ground on which to turn into concrete action. Either way, the benefits we derived in terms of lives saved from the remarkable extension of that social license are literally incalculable.