shall i?

JAMES HATTON

SELECTED WRITING AND ART

CONTENTS

i.POETRY

ii.FICTION

iii.VIDEO

iv.PHOTOGRAPHY

v.FILM


POETRY

standing drinking-in quiet wet afternoon:

standing drinking-in quiet wet afternoon
a cigarette struggling between courgette fingers
more and more and maw to mourn in her
, the wicker coffin lays 
the azure flowers down  
fishbowled in sleek black limousine

houndstooth flooring 
slick with limoncello dreams
of bunting pinned
into cardboard gallery walls

a first love of many walks laconically,
waiting to be seen and involved, further,
absolved of a foreign headache

wakeful bashful broad-minded flowers nod confusedly
small yellow pups with pollen on their muzzles
pointing at each other out of haste
and fear
and too much iced tea
infused by Oklahoman sunshine
and nothing else.

the dog lost itself under the barn
of her shoulder bandage
she's in the pocket of my double-wide trailer,
leaning-to in the plastic rain-sheeting blues

fleeting butterfly wingtip all spangled banner
and purple and new and untuned and hemless

cotton-soft push past unruly queue function
you see a tiny parapet and walk
on the concrete balustrade
gingerly, sipping another sun tea with far too much lemon
wincing, getting bittenkissed ferociously 
by passing breeze and bottle-rocket spasms

left arm

calling-card left on table all embossed
in gothic lettering
brown-blue and pickled walnut down
washed in brine for 48 hours
and patted down before broiling 
on breakfast food interior sleep roadhouse 
selfishly stopping after only 33 hours on the road
in the bathroom the walls sing an off-key pink

attitude 

another shower-head saunters through a barely-open door
and hums in green
a chorus from Appalachia
whose lyrics are far too sad for an evening of tenderness 
popping, as it would, like the thin membrane of a street-peddler's balloon
becoming nothing more than crude outline seething

-ah-

I am standing, drinking in quiet wet afternoon
with more and more and more to mourn
my mouth and ears and feet and horn
fishbowled in that selfsame limousine.

loose leaf gold bond:

loose leaf gold bond
barter pocket kaftan barter
seminole walking slowly backwards
suffering mighty dive-bar homes
wincing into upturned crate
meddling with daughter's heir

flouncing left-wrist-wise on
parquet flooring bounce bounce bounce
wood-idol relief stood indoor shrine
making strafe-pattern baby mobiles
small buttons and dummy bullets

emoji supplicants lining the lino-clad hallway
75 at a 75 at a 75 at a time
in the queue for ice cream and a 
shot of magazine syrup
spilled over trilby brim 
wound around fedora conch
blown inwardly into responsible spikes

what daisy chain drives forth my bike!
elbow puddlings car-windscreen donuts
wiping sugar all over the window crank
she's fumbling with the cassette again
(there's cases all over the footwell) 

throaty limelight fantasies in lime-green dresses swing
in low walls and small perching plastic birds 
with bases for teeth
in-line bills and
drag-racing feathers screeching
burned fluff on tarmac runway 
fucked behind the diner on a thin stem
baking eggs too tiny for strong gusts
cats patrolling base of trunk with leaves all purring and sweaty
looking up and down for nodules 
fixing nitrogen to unearthly beauty 
waving it's chin and howling like an engaged pig
down a wishing well full of paper dollars and children's vacancies

working all that much harder to solicit a bribe 
into taking a course of action that might lead to a safe destination
might mean that the kid slugs air long enough to see the parents drop
might even help to slip them under if the pillows in the nursing home are dense enough 
to block the wrinkled airways while ambivalent siblings post live-stream feeds to Instagram
of gently kicking feet and thin lines of spew falling over Christian-looking bed-linen 
and smart watched all synced to death-alarm party apps with digital reminiscences of tinsel and confetti 
and bushels of dredged pictures all out of era and sporadically marching into a new reality 
where fingers of fresh water push into the ocean to bring plastic fish and dead sea birds
into the living rooms and hearts and minds of the LBJ-Jeneration in and on and with screens
and screens and screens
and 75 at a time we jump into the freezing water
holding a plastic baby above our heads so that it might breathe 
while we go down
waiting for the scuba-lung we bought online to kick in
to 'auto' mode while the fat in our arteries coagulates into the shape of the blue thumb's up
and the light behind the plastic babe's eyes flickers in broken binary
announcing a brave new world.

I have stepped on:

I have stepped on
an almost silent rock.

So many times so, that this one
step seems simultaneously in and out of tune

with its slow, long moans

talking

with the tree over head

asking

when will the wind come?

Yawning, I confront a pile of penguin GOO,
wondering fruitedly if the strong branches might beckon the wind

to the rock

over which I have jumped 
to see its eyes
balled into dreaming fists of pure
Manitoban syrup

pounding hell out of Johhny Cakes in the corner of his cell.

Bathhouse John calmly sweeps the same corner again.

Just like yesterday

and yesterday 

and yesterday 

and yesterday

and tomorrow,

ice-pick ready for the birds,

who perch and listen to his low moans about the 
trees and the rocks and the wind, nibbling the dead skin around his toes and fingers

waiting

for a bite of bread and a spoon with which to gather some water from the nearby stream.

The racket from across the sun dims,
the stream-run pebbles deciding that it did not matter if the wind came
so long as the water table stayed upright upstream all night alright.

I have just crossed the stream,
stepping on one of the almost silent rocks.

'Watch it'.

FICTION

The Paper Baby:

	A Paper Baby was born in a town not far from here. In 1643, Abiezer Coppe 
was ranting. Having served time in prison and had his pamphlets burned, A.
Coppe looked for communion. Finding naught but a near-standing tree, he
did loose himself into it, finding a suitable pocket that resembled a
"nether eye". Unbeknownst to Coppe, who walked away satiated, a fine
sliver of wood had become lodged in his manhood. Only microns thick, Coppe
never knew to seek it out. He was, after all, a ranter, not a seeker.
Coppe went on to cop with a fair maiden, with whom he settled, burying his
new wife's gentleness with outpourings of apocalyptic prophecy. Needing no
tree no more, Coppe fathered a number of children, one of whom (his son,
Lodowick) carried the sliver into the next generation. Generations passed in this fashion, each carrier unaware of the migration
that occurred from penis to testicles. Eventually, this sliver (let's call
it "Pog") fused to the sperm-generating portion of one of Coppe's long
distant relations. This man, Mercedes Not-So-Young, went about his life
like many others, soliciting easy sex when it passed his nose. One such
encounter produced a baby. This baby, as you may have guessed by this
point, was not an ordinary baby. This baby was a Paper Baby. Like the
semi-mythic Sun-Dog's that chased the western skies in the Middle Ages,
confusing star-gazers and laymen alike, a Paper Baby carries with it the
illusion of an other: a living ghost, born to live but one or two days. The baby was born on the 3rd of June. Transparent, a tiny heart showed
through on its sleeve. Mercedes and Newgate named him (for it was a
boy-child) 'Hammer' in the hopes of solidifying him and keeping him whole
and new and warm. Paper Babies do not last, however. By June 7th, Hammer
was gone; an origami homage to the human form. Before he left, he told his
Mother and Father the tale of his birth, the narrative having grown like
rings in his wooden consciousness with each passing generation. He spoke
with Coppe's voice, play-acting the carnal act, down to details of the
smell of resin that would not leave his crotch for days after. As dawn
broke on the 7th, his reed-like voice rasping from telling this most
ingrained family history, his toes started to fold. Looking deep into
Mercedes' eyes, Hammer started to chuckle, the folding being akin to
tickling a Flesh Baby. Within minutes, a small boat sat on the table,
rocking gently in the breeze slipping in from the back door Newgate had
left open in the midsummer heat.

VIDEO


PHOTOGRAPHY

CANAN 1 (120mm):

CANAN 2 (120mm):

CANAN 3 (120mm):

CANAN 4 (35mm):

Mushroom Rock State Park: defraction filter (35mm):

inserted ferns 1 (video still & 35mm):


FILM (in collaboration with Mike Davies)

presenting CANAN: Liberty or Life at Traverse Video Festival 2018