RESPONSE TO JOHN HAWKE’S POEM, ‘THE DEMOLITION OF HOTEL AUSTRALIA’ (READING PATTI SMITH IN A HAILSTORM)

Meredith Wattison

 

I’ve had the ice chandelier installed, the installers, too, are ice; on ice. I sit

beneath it reading a roaming woman’s words, she writes of the mystical nausea

between dreaming and waking. My tiny chiffon hat, a leek-green bromeliad, reluctantly fitted by Seidler with nylons and wire, plunks and plinks; is architecture cocked

for restorers and frothing aspic frogs; Delphic and plangent as hailstones,

John. Snugglepot and Cuddlepie identify as gamine; with Hepburn and Caron. Skippy looks concerned and dismembered. P. L. Travers adopts me. Nick Cave asks Skip

about the Glass piano in the archive. Geoffrey Rush walks through Lear’s storm

soliloquy in a porkpie, walking a small saltwater.

 

Meredith Wattison, poet and essayist, her 6 books of poetry are Psyche’s Circus (Poetry Australia, 1989), Judith’s Do (Penguin Australia, 1996), Fishwife, The Nihilist Line (Five Islands Press, 2001, 2003), Basket of Sunlight and terra bravura, shortlisted for the 2016 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize, (Puncher & Wattmann, 2007, 2015). Awarded the 2017 Gwen Harwood Poetry Prize.

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