Magazines #6

The Age

The Age: Melbourne daily newspaper
The Age: Melbourne daily newspaper

'Hello darling,' is the enjambed title of Fiona Hile's poem, published in the 'Life and Style' section of The Age (Melbourne's daily broadsheet) last Saturday. This is what I want poems to say to me. At least on Saturday morning. A bonus of being a poet in Melbourne is that the newspaper publishes a weekly poem (selected by poetry editor, Gig Ryan): that week's poet's chance to reach beyond their usual audience. I had a sense that I'd made it (though the underground has many mansions) when I first published in The Age. People read the weekly poem that may never buy a poetry book. They even cut them out.

This is Hile's first appearance, but she has Wordsworth, O'Hara and Merrill in her 'evening bag' that I can see. The poem is halved by dialogue aka citation. The first quote appears on line 11 of a twenty-line poem; a second frames the poem by ending it. This condensery (or 'sparkler that never goes out') calls from its bottom left-hand corner, to the prose of lit. news, event and bestseller lists. Sure, I wish the poem had more space, that it took up more space in the reader's mind, that it squirted wheatgrass in the reader's eye.

Buying grass is on the narrator's mind. It's one of those weekend activities apparently for the green-impoverished urbanite. It's not cheap. And is opposed by plutonium: post-plumis (not plumeism)= paspalum v plutonium. Hile's poem makes those big things - like Coffee and Sex - seem like small details in a network that contains really big things: 'Terror. Anxiety. Courage. Justice' ('Sunless Wonder's all.) And of course, 'love'. Truth-severing love as Hile's citation has it (citation being close to caution). Yet not capitalised because not abstract? This is philosophy then - not science (but Globalism Warming means more capitals). Some of you may read this on Saturday morning, opening up your ritual Jacket 2 webpage. As couples stumble over commas this weekend, try reading a poem without coffee in your hand - are you that kind of Wonder?

Hello darling, by FIona Hile