“Complications” by Nigel Hinshelwood

Nigel Hinshelwood


When I mentioned how good the succotash was,
Neil died of complications.
If you recall, telephone’s the game
where you whisper a phrase or sentence
into someone’s ear, and they whisper
what they understand you to have said
to the next person in the line, and so on
and so on until everything’s fucked up.
None of that was very helpful for Neil,
but it explains why Andreas looked up hopefully
and said “The supple grasses played Monopoly
har har he organized your flibberty-gibbet.”

When I said “Now there’s a capital idea,”
everyone but Neil agreed. Neil had other
ideas from which no capital ones had managed
to escape, if we were to believe Neil.
Can I tell you how difficult it is to get people
to believe a dead person? Talk about complications.
If you were a dead person, you wouldn’t believe
me either. And who would eat your vegetables?
When someone whispers in your ear, you’d better
listen carefully. Neil says to pass it on.

from Rattle #17, Summer 2002