'Plagiarism Dreams', a new poem by Fiona Hile

We met at the end of the party
when all the lights were fouled
with drink and even the self-titled
Ouzo Animal was yawning in protest
at the Bacchanalian revel in which
no member is not drunken. I sipped
soda water from a cracked glass,
refrained from removing my jumper
while a twelve-year old Bob Dylan with a voice
like Hank Williams stood silently in the corner
stirring vinyl motes with his fingertips,
a younger more cherubic version of you,
Prince Valiant or some other slender
sword-bearer infiltrating the childhood
of your celebrated prettiness preparing you
for a lifetime of repetition and inaction
till your appearance in the space between
the bar and our oversexed pinball machine
conjured foxes, chickens and all the abjured
mythologies of early twenty-first century
mating games, obliterating the desire
for friendship that skulks behind the false
advertising of every sexual advance.
It’s only men who think that they and women
can’t be true, a self-serving dialect delivered
by an absent emperor, your king in waiting,
so charred, so easily bruised. Poor Scorpio
clichés of speech overcome in me
and reinstituted as a kind of structure.
The possibility of being immortal is something
I will have to give up on. Scattered to the pigs
in the rent-free cage conversing in a language
that is not so different from the one you deride.
In which all the worlds tetrahedron and give up
on the cause of the Frisky Mothers of Bullaburra
now entwined, night squad of rabbits waiting to chew
your stumps to cavities in an externalized display
of waking fictions. I decay and suffer a mannish twinge.
The first of the plagiarism dreams reclaims my heart
with false dice. All behaviour is suspicious.

Fiona Hile

Fiona Hile

Fiona Hile's first full-length poetry collection, Novelties, was awarded the 2014 NSW Premier's Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry.

Published in February 2014 no. 358

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