a notable failure

by Stu Hatton

During that cruel year,
thinking himself a writer
he began drafting his apologies.
He was doomed, though, to fall in
with those for whom the world itself
is unremarkable.
The poems fail, he thinks, because
no one will keep quiet
while the rest of the household sleeps
he fritters his time.
The few others he sees, he
carefully avoids.
And yet he would go to great lengths to be insulted.
Walking by the old school, for instance—
   who said he shouldn’t repeat himself?—
someone’s (the wind’s?) crowning remark:
   slamming another unseen door.
As to his methods
he dared not chance
even the most cryptic of hints.
Venturing into town, only
to be jeered at, his argument unhorsed
by a timely burst of vernacular.
At least the lockdown meant
   his supposed old friend
was less likely to turn up to accost him:
‘Admit it: there were endless preparations
   for your so-called
“sudden, uncontrollable urge”!’
He could foresee the river. Descent. A rock
that matched his head.
He would put up no kind of fight.

Poet biography:
Stu Hatton is a writer and editor. He was born in Boston, England, and now lives on Dja Dja Wurrung country in Campbells Creek, Victoria, with his partner and their two sons. His work has featured in The Age, Best Australian Poems, Cordite Poetry Review, Overland and Southerly. He has published two poetry collections, How to be Hungry (2010) and Glitching (2014), and is currently preparing a third. He is also working on a series of essays that seek to contextualise and interpret songs; the first of these is on ‘Enola Gay’ by OMD.

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