Lindsay Hill

Sea of Hooks

Fiction from NER 34.2.

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sea of hooks


Of the great Victorian conservatory in Golden Gate Park, known formally as the Hall of Flowers, Christopher Westall’s mother had once said, “This is a place where glass is safe.” For some reason he thought of this first on finding her body, the plastic bag fitted so snuggly over her face. He held her hand awhile there in the cold. It felt reef-stiff. Her eyes were closed. She had somehow managed to tuck herself in quite tightly. Her face was soft, expressionless and tired. No hint of how it had been for her to die, there on the bed in his room, the bed under which he once thought knife-people slept.

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Lindsay Hill was born in San Francisco and graduated from Bard College. Since 1974, he has published six books of poetry, and his work has appeared in a wide variety of literary journals. Sea of Hooks (McPherson & Company, 2013), his first novel, was the product of nearly twenty years of work and the recipient of the 2014 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Fiction. It was composed concurrently with his other writing and editorial projects. These included the production of a series of recordings of innovative writing under the Spoken Engine label, and the co-editing, with Paul Naylor, of the literary journal Facture. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, the painter Nita Hill.