by Stu Hatton
There’s a booklet called Patient Rights which no one has read. Ceiling-mounted cameras raise conversation from its natural pitch by a semitone. Count the kinds of innocuous: white walls, a small set of lies played back to placate. For some of us the timetable remains mysterious, opaque; it approaches the divine. Fluorescent tube flashes code; spasmodic pain. Clipboards held towards white coats, shieldlike. Conspiring to dull us; that’s my theory. Ticking off the codeine. The sharps (syringe, paper clips, knife) stored in micro-lockers. Some inmates bemoan the lack of music. Keys carried by orderlies provide semi-regular percussion. Padded footfalls. The door’s alarmed; red pulsing bulb. When a car pulls up outside we set our foreheads on the glass. We ogle with the sincerity of children. The muscled orderlies arriving to move us on, their strides replicated on the monitors. Such incidents are all we have. Sometimes manhandled, sometimes a needle pierces.
Author’s note: This piece is a remix based on Nathan Moore’s poem “Sharps”, which resulted from a collaborative remix project between Nathan and myself. I received Nathan’s blessing to submit the poem.
Stu Hatton is a poet, blogger and freelancer based in Melbourne, Australia. He teaches writing and editing at Deakin University. His work has been published in journals and e-zines in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and US. He contributes to the poetry news blog dumbfoundry and also blogs at wordyness.blogspot.com.
For more of Nathan Moore’s work at qarrtsiluni, see his contributor tag page.