Stu Hatton


now available as a commemorative, soluble
tablet, the little-maligned heart still
aggressively advertised in these territories
as a fabled always-on camera catching
& tabling everything like a pro
tourist forever queued for those
mother-arms lifting seekers above
the crater-wall to finally glimpse the dead
whose stars once drugged brightest
in the daily tournaments of politeness
& who are said to have been fluent
in several lesser-known arts of sleeping

in the not-too-distant present

Gaffes can range from the not-unassailable to the kind of howler that may never bear reassessment; who knows where on this continuum your cuddles with the official campaign monster will eventually come to rest. Perhaps it’s not too late to somehow channel all the attendant moral outrage to capture the nostalgia vote, but playing the ‘it’s barely a story’ card had clearly backfired.

‘Nothing disappoints like the truth.’ Says who? Not the dignitaries, for they are too sober to speak from the secure compound. The algorithm will grant you their statement.

Nothing much has changed: assorted denials of the present battle it out to seize the top of the building, while a considerable flower of spit dances upon the public waterway. The golden age was all in our noses; the lunch so long it turns into breakfast is a thing of the past. Just look at us now, buying bad art to save fifty bucks!

Now even the all-conquering noon sun is said to have doubts, & half expects to be demoted to some minor ceremonial role.

Okay, fine! I regret & retract my earlier two-footed tackle. All that remains is to concoct a moral panic that will prove immune to parody. Only then will I sleep confidently, knowing full well, o time-honoured enemy, that you prepare for something other than the future.


Having taken on the god gig, you ‘forget
how to forget’, quick to note that

there’s ‘not a lot’ of downtime. Nor can you
resist offering quaint excuses for a sky

(if these clouds lack zest it’s because
you’re ‘highly medicated’). ‘I wouldn’t

do anything that might hurt my
kids’, you add, seeming genuine

(-ish). It seems so much of your oeuvre
came to be misread by on-message fools

who swore they heard the sand singing
and couldn’t fathom omnipotence

as a work-dodge. No doubt they’re
still being gamed by those nifty little

history machines. Nevertheless, some say
you’re not the savant others made you

out to be; you don’t really delve.
A soft touch? Debatable … but

your answers suggest you may be
depressed. Since your death

you’ve been dying all day, all night,
or else feeling separate. Shall I pass you

your ear trumpet? Haven’t been
much of a talker of late, have you?

Why leave the voicing to others,
indeed? The day will surely come

when you encounter an unknown
error—some tangled wormhole

tied to the stars’ algorithms?—&
still you have the front to claim

your most chancy poet is waiting
in the wings, yet to be born.

Stu Hatton is a poet & editor based in Dja Dja Wurrung country. He has published two collections: How to be Hungry (2010) & Glitching (2014). Sometimes he posts things at outerblog.tumblr.com.
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