Contemporary Australian Poetry.
wakings by Stu Hatton
When I last spoke to Cocteau by Mark William Jackson
‘The stain of love/Is upon the world’
(William Carlos Williams)
In the love-stained world
day after day stutters yellow
yellow. Aureate, xanthic,
surprising as a giant canary,
you have flicked a switch, love.
Big. Big as loneliness.
At our wedding he cried
and cried. She darkens, shoves
scrambled egg into a child’s mouth.
The joy of having once
been wanted congeals. She spoons
a final mouthful.
Intravenous gold, you
bubble under my skin
like joy, like lust; like blister
and hum. Affection and want slop bright
like fat in a surgeon’s bucket.
Peel back epidermis, dermis: papillary, reticular:
in the stratum subcutaneum nerves
roll and spring
like a clock’s workings: a
token. Love, you are permanent
as the dissolution of duty.
Each egg drops like a lover’s
eye; watches then looks away
catches his glow
and throws back a promise
of sleep-fracturing cries.
F. Scott Fitzgerald invented his.
My epigraph is flipped:
west and east eggs easy over
with all this trampolining.
¡noʎ ǝʌɐɥ ʇsnɯ ı
Previously published in Australian Book Review.
Felicity Plunkett’s Vanishing Point (UQP, 2009) won the Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Prize and was short-listed for a number of other awards. Seastrands (2011) was published in Vagabond Press’ Rare Objects. She is the editor of Thirty Australian Poets (UQP, 2011), Poetry Editor at UQP and a widely-published critic.