Matt Hetherington ~ Five Poems

It, Again

like a child, naturally
you want to make it new

to make it
powerful or pretty

and be done with it
before it’s ready to be free

so you keep it inside
and lord it over it

like you’re the god
that you don’t believe in

Temporary Like America

it doesn’t rhyme with miracle
or austria or shit or luck or failure
it’s as lonesome as a guitar with only one string

oh my lil ol bittersweet juice-sucker
through the racket of your brave sad gladness
hear me typing to ya

and i have to tell you that you did wrong
and cos you haven’t learnt to dig yuhself
you’re as likely to say sorry as a baby, baby

you can deny it later
and pay for it in neverland
when you’re as empty inside as a dead cop’s wallet

everybody knows america is everywhere
but not everyone knows this is nowhere
and you’re like totally like not

not hot not cool not here not there
a simpering goddess sipping gossip
but just before you die

you will suddenly be very young

Some Mothers Do Have ‘Em

they’re always busy taking
calls, making the deal that could break
the cycle of needing
the other guy.
they laugh hard, but even
their questions sound like orders.
they’re there, but looking
elsewhere, as if numbers were mates,
or the future was in the next room.
they talk and drink
around the issue,
making their point as they leave
the room, like putting your seatbelt on
once you’re into second gear,
a quick sandwich on the way.

Heavy Petal

sitting on a road
a silence that can never be loud enough
after the beach each wave returns to the mother

the body remembers what the mind forgets
as naked as a splinter
you keep lapping at it with your fingers

writing in order to listen better
a depth-change
mouths arranged until they don’t fit perfectly

born beautiful
easily distracted
a great deal more laughter required

a fan inside the flames
pain in the mirror of night
in mid-winter they warmed the room with hunger for more love

the wolves’ paws, soft like blankets
the little trained ones don’t need leads
act as if you are cared for

all day felt
as if behind
rainy windows

navigating the void like grief was a ballast
tomorrow, we will be elsewhere

Coming Down with Something

(a cento for / after Stu Hatton)

reversing that wheel, the eye (stir a little p.m into the a.m.)
                       working backwards from
              here where you are sleeping
Chained to the edit.
                     rain-logic a stuttering
                                             falling like a face

your own face for days: an antidote.  Words no longer
                         the entertainment hunt’s
                            and layers.  Imagined
too much (nothing) to notate

the sunroom’s dusty vagaries.  Morning 
                                          under construction: slick,
                   who they pay you to
nurse your caffe forte, practice talking:
                   ‘i like this intrusion’

                            the night-oath milked
the forced door, systems
                                         cannot be unmade
The simplest phrases have their difficulties.

let’s care at least once [?that a glass waterproof] [/whose new
                family.  Become aerial, chaos-bait.  Palpate
                                   the portable ghost-head
Cosmologies, soteriologies.  The death

a seedsman’s garden
(seldom smiling with
what’s said off-air re
Forest of messengers
as a casting of doubt      
I don’t know a word.

is made of paper
              through which nothing leaves
fire to be its student.
       to wriggle free

Such gadgets and tripwires seem the preserves of a younger man.
              these are false portals
                             generous in their incompleteness
         ‘Beyond a certain point, complexity is fraud.’

           By way of finishing the thought
Try pointing towards the undefined.
                                                      moral highchair
of what might be termed ‘ungrounded grounds’
     error of taking the dominant for the universal

now the sun is mighty
        the pale bird in the tree 
                                             a pearl
like a lot of people’
our mouths shaping zeroes.  But come,
                                    be hushing undertow
redolent of quietus.  The 
dew on the garlic olfactory
                      this is an age of prose! So, a
business part unfinished i.e.
                                             too much)			
‘let’s go somewhere
                                                         (memory talks

‘If you’re not reading this for pleasure, you’re not reading it at all.’
                                    skin warmed by the eye
      all borders porous
spilled together
each stood amongst the others’ decrees)

         Rampant hyper-deference.
         no one knows the other:
                                who’s impersonating who
have you a war name?

                                     dud pills you’re not
                                                           a     discard
you carry (some sacred relic),
                  must be drug-code or some such
                                                 you nest it in your hands

                     knowing only the known body,
the morning mopes,
               here we are, suffering in language
                                 (or else sunday cough)
Overly generic comforting gestures trivialise the extent of the other’s 

                                            dulled integrity
                     wants a new form
                                                    a half-pout / making
some fresh, wild ice-comet

whose hallucinations are these?
                  this insomniac
             melted in wine
       might bud in the suburbs.
                         …further heterotopias?
to act a tad skylike (become a believer in birds)


© Matt Hetherington

Matt Hetherington is a writer, music-maker, gourmet Indian chef, soccer nut, bludger, and lover based in Brisbane. His first collection of all-Japanese-related forms [and fourth poetry collection] is ‘For Instance’, published in January by Mulla Mulla Press. Some current inspirations are: Timbaland, Frisky Dingo, Jess, Luce, and northern sunshine.