Stu Hatton is a Melbourne-based poet who keeps himself out of trouble by working on various projects at RMIT University, and as an editor for indie publisher Vignette Press. He also teaches professional and creative writing at Deakin University, where he is completing an MA. Stu was awarded an Australian Society of Authors mentorship in 2006, and considers himself very fortunate to have Dorothy Porter as his mentor. In his spare time he facilitates an online writing forum for drug users through the international harm reduction website Bluelight.
The radio sniffling some song out, and
its candy glare seduces us, drawing
conversation to the fringes, as cigarette
ash rains from the wound-down windows,
the car idling with us like a lover’s sleeping face.
Queuing up in the drive-thru we feel itchy,
as if we’re watching lottery balls land
while chewing our tickets; like a mobile
chirping at the back of the theatre, we’re
crying outto be muted, forgotten, satisfied.
We bin the cups & wraps, waste more cigarettes,
then drive . . . through a streak of green lights
that flick to late amber, past sullen drivers
tapping fingers on steering wheels,
windscreens snatching warped ghosts.
And the zebra crossings stripe under us,
as the radio station goes off the air, and
we are handed over to the silence, as a
speed camera gets another dumb picture,
its diamond flash dribbles off the car.
Potrait of Ledong Qui
Fuelling the party
is a man from Manchuria
with lampshade hat −
in his worker’s bag
a bottle of 60% baijiu
with Chinese characters
partying on the label;
one shareable shot glass;
a fishbowl jar of aniseed beans
soaked grey like fishbowl pebbles;
and a bag of sunflower seeds
which he says are to be eaten
“like a bird eats”, and remaining true
to his word, leaves seedhusks
strewn to mark his perching –
41 amongst late-twentysomethings,
dignified in specs,
wise old man of the East
(he laughs at this!) −
he in turn fuelled by
poetry, philosophy, psych-jazz −
he in turn
turned by great turnings.
He crashes at ours, contributes $2
to the cab, leaves a note marked 9:15am
saying thankyou, and that
the day has greatness to be had.
Note: ‘baijiu’ = a variety of Chinese white liquor,
usually between 40-60% proof, in this case distilled from sorghum.