Marty Hiatt

in lieu of an apology

you don’t yet know
what i am, that i
am, whether i am
don’t conflate me
w/ yr paltry intra-
mundane idea of me, n
i’m by no means a friend
sending you a missive. i’m
neither human nor angel nor beast
all you have to go on are
the words; you haven’t even
a voice—but for yr own!
i’m chummy as geometry
distant as a probe
warm as a crowbar
straight as a talon
loquacious as a flint.
we short-circuit tog“ether”
from behind gas masks
unsure anything is going on
until a flash from the great
st“eel” pane in the sky
sears our retinas. i’m
reaching out from yr atomic
core; gargling radioactive
sludge; you’re animating
me, the möbius conveyor

our blinks synchronous
in incompossible

by means of a factory

or perhaps a desert flower
they too see the light n lunge
whether we see them
in it or not only
one line one radius in
the sp“here” are we
selling manchester n dying
or kenning such n such a this or
that yet fraying’s a treat
litter of mo“bile”s crunching underfoot
trace scents about the circumference
of the cavity brand the lip
w/ our results or
r“ape” friends for sport

blood has so many jobs to do!
clinging to dented fuselage like
weeds frozen over war
gnawing on shrapnel, aloft
by all means backhoe the idea
only don’t go over. unblinking
petrol drives them to bloom
between spines n blades

the roads were swept clear of offal
in yr honour n the callused slaves
weeping yr soft hands how was remission?
you’ve taken a leap in the dark
but fear not, monsieur prudhomme!
i’ll tear up the joint too
in this endless secret game
whip out my cater“pill”ar
dance upon nothing n
raze by remote control

who cd say who’ll invent the siren
n when it sounds for the first time
how many sedulous players’ll even look
up from their hoe n furrow n p“last”ic cow skulls
let alone know what that
new sound effect means

Marty Hiatt is a Melbourne poet. He released the chapbook Rook's Lair on a Lever in 2012.
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