Stu Hatton


Your dependence on the language
of others absents you from worrying
over abstractions, yet your thoughts
don’t quite fit you, & you overstep
your skin.
                   The cloud of givens provides
just the right amount of heat,
making for a convalescent zone of
suburbs, ring-fenced & colonised
by drinkers. Ergo a culture depicted
as 80,000-seater arena or as a godless
computer made out of bricks.
                                                      I tell you
what, I’ve seen people line up for
secondhand cake & a cup of hair,
watched them re-bury the dead
in the ladies’ lounge. Oh they were
very friendly & open, manic
talkers, though the last thing you
want to do in the evenings is be
on the phone. These are words
someone else had said, or might
say, though they come from
an unlikely source. You’ve got
a degree, you can figure it out (!)
though it’s none of your business,
& you shouldn’t be working
          Sign me in, lead me to
the hoaxes, the hoaxers (for
it is they who shall outlive us).

night, thoughtlessness, & the low-level operative

‘The night’s a dire witness’? No,
wait, the night is not a person
(yet), although it may be that you
decide to be someone else for the evening.
This is the time when some are trying
to spin down from the work-day, clouding,
misplacing themselves somewhere in
the lounge, forgetting to have sex.
But even when the wall is the floor,
it’s difficult to step off the bright discus
of the newsfeed.
                              The point, I guess, isn’t
to abort or avert (the eye, the mission,
the mind). Is it to envisage a mission or
game that blooms in the dark yet involves
no induced comas, nor brawling for coins?
The eye, well … who doesn’t have an eye
for eyes? And was it Goethe who said
‘Beauty is not entirely useless’? The mind,
though, seems steep with nextness,
standing like half a chair. Or there’s
a kind of skysickness.
                                         It’s getting late to
build a temple, or even a language. You
begin where you can, though spilt intel
clogs the pores of the borders. Sadly,
you haven’t read enough to be granted
admittance to these grey silos, where you
are housed like a memory, spread piecemeal
across racks & cells of fragment-data.

cui bono?

Sleeper cell lurks a pixel away, beneath a swinging, naked lightbulb—but how is this even possible? CCTV-rich environment, this neck of the city. Apparently the fools are indoors, wearing thermal ski-gloves.
              The watchful. Rangefinders lock on, gleaning patterns in crowd formations. Street theatre, security theatre, violent mob theatre. It makes for a massive file. Check the display: question-clouds drift over every face in terminal four.

Debt: a luminous sphere of plasma held together by its own gravity. Here the blood theme bodies forth. The convulsionary.
                                     Surveillance grid’s find-&-replace. Camera’s built-in loudspeaker rebukes offenders in a child’s voice: ‘No foraging!’ The handlers have their own coat of arms & flag. You really wouldn’t want to deal with this straight off the plane. The narratives are restless.

Apparently the fools are indoors, getting tipsy on olive oil. What if they set out purely to make a few bob? The perps having bounty-hunted their way to the capital.
                                                                                                           Yet there were no sightings. Speak of such things only under cover of noise, while masked or wearing reflective fabrics. There are outliers who don’t want to be seen stepping through the centre. You, too, are soluble. What has ever been in your possession?

A rumour of sunlight is trending. Apparently the fools are indoors, betting on these battles. Yet another who outwardly craves bear hugs & carcinogens.
                                                                                          What doesn’t add up may add down? That which finds a new home in its new name. A darkness taking less time to reach you than light. And like a true realist, he had merely covered his tracks. The necessary changes having been made, an embargo date for interloper virus #5 has now been agreed.

Outlining the asphalt body with damp chalk. A framing plot. The local lip-reader hides behind his pint of bitter.
           A publican refusing to admit that miracles never happen in the off-season. The lovers of leaving have arrived, greeted by a sign saying nothing. That off-duty copper rarely speaks of his concerns, allows himself to drink clear of vigilance, & the recent setbacks. Rain hews closer, wondering who to work for. Figure 1.2 shows the blast area, craters, the deceased eyewitnesses.

Stu Hatton was born in Boston, England, and moved to Australia in 1986. He works as a freelance editor, and in mental health research at the University of Melbourne. He occasionally blogs at http://outerblog.tumblr.com, and has published two poetry collections: How to be Hungry (2010) and Glitching (2014).
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