• Fiona Hile


Relocation of the Big Prawn


Cutting you loose was always the Big Hernia,

five crustacean manholes and an ocean view semaphore.

Severing yourself at the canticles was the angle grinder’s delight,

guide lines and trophy wives scrapping for a slice of spine.

Upmarket seashells splitting effigies of you,

spraying mantis spilling multiple eulogies in reverse.

Downtown, cranes shrapnel our deep dream

limelight tethered to the countenance of primordial withers.

Hindenburging the Baudelaire was just a serving suggestion,

the dust of syphilitic kings sulphuring the contradictory.

Negativity these days means ‘how to deflect light’,

Gulliver’s Travels ghostwritten by miniature Don DeLillos

sepia the distillation of several small children into Norfolk grog.

I want to swim upstream like a deathwish, through permafrost, to Canada.

Relocation means taking it offshore. So we flush out the interior

and reroute the Pacific. Seared to the pig iron of a new beginning,

we becalm posterity, pop their eyes out on stalks. In the tunnels

of a granite bedroom I wrestle and tug. Misreadings underwritten

by fantasy gambling—the stochastic improbability of this whole

thing being true. Of an evening I thrash out responses to the electric

field, parry the overdetermined placenta of hair, miasma, sweat.

In the absence of fixed references, you avoid me and I prefer it.

Too much proximity fills my holes with lungs. I dissolve to be,

scuppered in the inevitable playlist, half-lunged in the backflip

of the ocean suite pedestal. At reception, the welder’s pen

hustles while I swing, huddled in the roof space

of countries old and lost. Down below, henchmen fiddle

with the drains, swearing like nuns. The new guy severs

a number of feelers, wonders—what fresh apothecary will bleed

this mother’s tongue? An old hand floats to the surface,

joins us at last in the reappearance of our long-lost

juvenilia. The number of relationships formed on the basis

of a single misinterpretation is how the apical resorption

of the skeleton explains a decrease of the kype in kelts.

When the hacktivists come we’ll scrub our hands with lemon,

warm water, blood, Greyhound ourselves senseless on a dirge

bound for Ballina where the complete replacement of your breeding

teeth will make love to the hygienic cruelty of my Titles,

Feedback, Loops. In the hinterland, we’ll build an art

gallery that truly shreds, draft a tell-all sign for the soothseer’s

window in open source aspidistra sans. We’ll feel nervous

about the past and nostalgic for the future, skywrite the word

jukebox in bits of broken. In the cubby of a keyhole winter we’ll say

the right words are hanging from the trees, each one a fruit

of historical strangeness. In September, we will cut down

their bodies, wind their salutations into sheets.




For Love Alone


Never fall in love with the being of the other,

essence is off-limits, stay focused on what’s right,

the hair, the eyes, keep it ethical, grubby mitts

slough the sacred little bit. Be admiring and respectful

of your lover’s many talents. Don’t overwhelm

or emphasise the things they can’t control.

Furthermore be aware that to love without reason

means you’re probably a man. Women want

a handle on the two of the situation. ‘I’m here aren’t I?’

is the mating-call of the tiercel’s rambunctious silence.

Please do not disappear into the absolute of passion.

Fusing yourself to another marks you as a being-for-death.

Freed, in theory, by the potion of a fictional entity, you’ll be

subjected to a series of constantly shifting plot points, the

manipulation of disappearing letters. Did you ever have a name?

It’s lost or, at least, terminally unstable. Always, an uncle,

plotting against you, even as he sizzles in the tar pit of betrayal.

Something about the reality of a father once removed correlates

your lust. Depending on whether you write poetry or prose,

you’ll be poisoned through with pierced luck, be called upon

to decipher yet more ambiguous instructions. White sails,

black sails, honeysuckle and hazel, either way, you’ll die,

targeted by the crumbling hands that loved too much,

the branches of your two lives hopelessly espaliered in mid-air.

At best, you’ll be bored and yearn to move on. At worst,

you’ll write operas that align the internal organs of a genocidal despot

with the ablative tendencies of the twentieth century.

As retribution, you’ll cover yourself all over with a palliative

black flag, try for a new kind of love, one that requires

the removal of certain instruments, abnormal growths, harmful

substances such as those that have come to define you.

Don’t even think about what this will mean for the species.

You were designed to reflect. Evil in its absence will arise.

For now, here comes the lack of a universe, the double of your

senses comported via wuthering contingence. Don’t. Give.

In. Aim for a love as strong as death, a life as weak as light.

Failing that, undergo analysis at the hands of a gold bikini,

resurrect your liver as the superstructural stand-in for a petticoat

that never took. Knowledge contuses the caveated heart,

shrapnels the airconditioned spine. You’ll always never know

you were in love. Female masochism is a male fantasy but if it was

good enough for the mystics: prise scales from leprous gums,

drink hot secretions from human skulls. Assert in an article,

the categories of poetry and the feminine have historically been.

Don’t ‘spit on Hegel’. Eat as many biscuits as they want.

Wander in the night with a bag full of falling. Elsewhere,

be abandoned, left immobile in the dark. Reconstruct yourself

as the indefinite article of an unanticipated need for tissue.