Poem of the Week - ‘Snakebite with Anecdote’ by Fiona Hile

Poem of the Week

Poem of the Week - ‘Snakebite with Anecdote’ by Fiona Hile

Poem of the Week

Our third 'Poem of the Week' is 'Snakebite with Anecdote by Fiona Hile. ABR's Poetry Editor, Lisa Gorton, introduces Fiona who then reads her poem and discusses it.



Snakebite with Anecdote

Separation Creek is wide and deep, the slip
from rock to pond all jambed enchantment.
We persevere as if all we had to do was try,
the stripped burr of your new accent clinging
like a donkey to our sleek-faced nethers.
The abstract consistencies of the timbered distance
chide the chilled envelopes of sound-patterned skies.
Tell me another story before my petticoats catch fire,
the one about the girl who origamied your ampitheatre,
miscellaneous women unhooking the hinges from your lacquered.
Gift me the shine of the mordant hills now turned veneer.
Dredge a hell inside my heart to keep my eyes ablaze.
The truth is, I love the ranging conferences of the hunkered
night, how the morning eavesdrops on our misted sleep.
At night I wake to the symptom and cure of crumpled lips.
At breakfast, your eyes think me awake, all dream content blanked.
I share this recurrence amongst a number of palatable untruths.
In the corridor we listen to the sounds our babies make when they cry.
I'm glad you got what you needed, you say, but I hear something different.
Tell me what the baby says when it                    . Cold, hungry, lonely, tired.
I dream of waking in a tinder box and know this means.
The tarantula hawk deposits its prey at the mouth of a singular nest.
If her young don't devour my innards, I will see you on the other side.


Fiona Hile's first full-length poetry collection, Novelties, was awarded the 2014 NSW Premier's Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry. Her second collection, Subtraction, will be published by Hunter in 2016.

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