I used to see no-one else
Out in the world
My eyes pointed one direction
Limbs wrapped around him like a fur stole
A cat always making contact
Doting and laughing and holding what little I could
What wasn't tensed
Walking too fast
Keeping a distance
Now all I see is everyone else
Hands pegged together
A ricochet of smiles
A tug closer
That's if I notice anyone else at all any more.
I don't seek out eyes
I have nothing to say
So little to offer
An attractive young thing claps eyes on mine
And the look is held
Too long to be casual
In another life I may have been interested
Turned open eyes to open mouths
Blushed in the flattery
But I stare at him like a ghost
A female remnant haunting the streets
Slowly, casually, coolly hurtling towards nothing
Until I'm ready to stare back at someone
Some very faraway day
When I can feel the sun again
Something more than this neverending cold.
August 11, 2017
I used to see no-one else
June 10, 2017
June 5, 2017
May 28, 2017
These buildings are immovable mini-mountains, growing taller with each undulation against the earth. And the people will move into them, "Oh look at my kitchen! See how very shiny and white everything is? I've made it, this is living," until the next rupture of soil under the pummeling rods of metal monsters indents a new cave for cars, and men in high-viz vests erect another massive Lego block on top of it.
There goes your idyllic view of the city, that you only glanced at over a stressed cigarette or to whimsically show off to visiting friends.
Your property value is surely going to drop with that off-white lump in the way.
Ugh, progress. Gentrification. It's disgusting. This used to be a nice area - when my building was the tallest, and I had the clearest view.
May 20, 2017
May 15, 2017
The short sleeve of my clown shirt weakly encircled an arm that swung out declaratively, and my hand took his hand.
He went rigid, centimetres behind me, scarcely able to match my flight-day pace. My hair flowed long and wavy, white blonde onto yellow with soft swatches of pastels in a delightful mess of home colourist failures, and the mermaidesque cascade swung about me as I marched. I remember the feel of it grazing my bicep as I swung my head to look at him, and there I saw a smile of delight, of surprise, of pride. He liked being seen with me. He liked me showing the world I was his and he was mine.
I was going and it was ending. It had to. It didn't work. We tried and we didn't try, but we'd done a shitload of failing.
There was no going forward. Forward would be backward.
But there was love.
The words of 3, uttered, at last, the night before, when we were already over but still couldn't stay apart.
And now I was going, as if just headed away for the weekend. No-one watching us would know - the sight of this panicking, smiling, rushing girl, fingers entwined with the guy in the flanno and work boots moving like the tail of a star, in admiration, in a last wisp of real happiness.
May 11, 2017
It smelled kinda like smoke, but not enough to point a finger at bushfire.
I waited for rain to hit my balcony and regress the dryness of my hung clothes, but no rain came.
I shut the bathroom window, not sure if I was keeping out the cold or the pale haze, whatever it was.
May 8, 2017
Somnambulism - sleepwalking.
In a culture of fear, I watched my fellows slip from hypervigilance to somnambulism, and wondered if they could wake up a little, just for a while, long enough to make the Earth worth coming back to fully.
She said, eyes to a windowed world
The stale cigarette lifted to her lips
May 7, 2017
May 5, 2017
Make-up thick with tonal denial.
Hair choppy, on-trend and unflattering, or layered to the hilt and borderlining the shades of old age Jane Fonda is keeping shapely thighs running from.
Feet kept stilted off the ground by thick heeled boots, as if the small shards of hair all over the floor is a sea of tiny alligators.
These young women are all thin and likely nourished on vegan feedstock, except the transsexual who is definitely prettier than me, and has hairier legs than me.
Funky '80s music lies its way out of a concealed speaker.
And yet, here I sit, getting the same cut as always.
May 2, 2017
And I get to bellow out pure pain in vocal bliss and lyrical confession on those final notes before leaving the audience stunned into momentary silence.
April 28, 2017
"How should I do it?"
"Whatever way tickles your fancy," the store owner says, and the guy's girlfriend giggles.
"Some like to wiggle it around, some like to stick it in."
His pause is filled with the couple's laughter.
"The card that is," the owner adds, a sparkle in his well-twinkled eyes.
She has the dusty rose version of my fake fur coat, limbs of flourish and dancing eyes. Pretty but too bombastic.
I got a relaxed daddy vibe by comparison under my cascades of beanie'd blonde, and maybe she digs that.
One leg hanging over the other, pointed toe, exaggeration of feminine traits.
She is sharing a small mountain of frozen yellow confection with her baseball-capped beau, and I get the feeling I'm on an unwritten menu as their shareable after-dessert dessert.
I'm a whore for a good fake fur.
April 26, 2017
There is not a single thing more I can do about North Korea than worry, and because I'm so good at that I'm bad at it, it's better I don't know, and instead I can listen to Richard Fidler read his book on the Byzantine Empire. All history repeats anyway. Although Emperor Constantine ordered his son and wife executed by horrible means, so might be a few more years before we see those kinda madcap antics come swinging back.
April 25, 2017
My ingredients for Tuesday night placed on the counter - two bottles of sparkling water and too many blocks of chocolate.
No judgement on his end.
"Would you like a bag?" he asks, all chirp and that crooked smile, eye contact at every turn. A dance.
"Yes please," I reply much cooler than he. I'm just there to buy groceries, but to him... he looks at me the way a kid looks at a pogo stick, or, to clarify, he looks at me the way I look at a pogo stick.
Every yes in response to one of my replies is too high pitched, nothing remotely casual. I think I remember feeling like that once upon a time - so enthused and lit up by other people. I look like I still feel that more than anyone on Earth. I think I feel it less. Maybe I used it all up early. But he is still young and enchanted with people, and so I am lovely and return. He's made my scrambled evening better.
I don't know what story he told himself in his head about me - I think we all do when we serve somebody we're attracted to at a shop. I used to work slowly at fast food and give away extra nuggets or taller soft serve cone just because of a thrilling face, so if anyone tells you that attractive people doing get special treatment, that's a KFC and Hungry Jacks tested lie.
I took my bag and wished him a good night, and there was that sidled smile under glittering blue eyes.
I hope he can be this excited over things forever.
April 22, 2017
April 21, 2017
He's going somewhere - not in a hurry, but he knows where. I have this feeling that he's going to the massage parlour, but he's walking in the opposite direction of it.
I'd just strolled past in my usual custom of peeking through the window at the drab wood-panel walls and off-white curtains - so fitting and able to hide the stains of, shall we call it, 'massage fluids'.
And at just the time I know he will, I turn, and there he is stepping through the door of the down-hearted wank palace - his face turning pink and green in the permanent flashing Christmas lights, off to get a Friday night release. I walk on, laughing and keeping my mirthful, judgy disgust to myself and all of you.
April 19, 2017
April 17, 2017
This statement would be confusing to anyone who knows me - an intense mammal prone to fidgeting, touching available textures, interjecting and talking without breath at times.
I listen to something else a lot more than people.
It's like a voice in my head.
It doesn't tell me to set fire to laundromats that didn't give change or bestow any deity-derived powah.
It's always been there, and it's smart. I used to not think it was smart, assuming I was smarter, but I watched it, and I tested it. And over many years, I learned that I was dumb and it was right, but I would be smart if I listened to it.
I'd test it by ignoring it.
It'd tell me 'Don't go that way,' and I'd inwardly retort, 'Fuck you, you're not the boss of me,' and charge down that path only to be met by an aggressive unattended dog or a no-through road.
Sometimes it would be more stern, over bigger things and I'd silence it. It would say 'If your friends go out with their speed on them, the cops will pull them up'. Boom. Happened. I'd tell my friends later and they'd burn me with laser eyes. Why didn't I tell them?!! Well, how could I? Come on, like anyone is gonna buy into another person's intuition. Blind faith is stupidity.
The voice has been right more times than I could count, but as my anxiety has grown over the years it's gotten increasingly hard to discern the sky-is-falling prognostications from the 'oi, Betty, legit shit is going down' instinct. I got real good at recognising The voice as different than my own chattering mind over the years but it's all now a bit of a soup.
I trust the voice mainly because it's saved my life. I think it's three times now, that I know of. Many other times I've listened to Mr. Voice without knowing my alternate ending would have been, but having a frightening sense it's better I not know what would have happened if I'd walked through that shadowy park that night instead of taking the long way around.
One time the voice stopped me getting killed by a crashing car, another it prevented a massive, falling gumtree branch connecting with my skull and turning my spine into a closed accordion. So close, but it started yelling in my head and sounded so serious both times I wanted to see what would go down if I took its orders.
Well, I'm typing this.
Nothing so dramatic today. I like to use the voice often like a cootie catcher - a magic 8-ball - a roll of the dice. Which street should I turn down? I ask it, and it tells me.
Today I did this and passed down a street I walk maybe once a month.
As I strolled along, aware of the swooping time and where I'd be late to, but awing at the gardens and windows and porches of the panorama of the street, and avoiding the zoom of errant, excited young children rattling along on their 3-wheel scooters, I noticed a few small items of hard rubbish outside a terrace house. The sink/tray caught my eye - the retro blue shade so appealing. Some poster behind it, and some cricket paraphernalia, nothing of interest. I kept walking with eyes on the small assortment, when I saw the magic words.
THE NEW YORKER
My new favourite words.
The magazine of fresh obsession, my delicious reboot back into literary weaving and biting off nibbles of the world I'd been too exhausted previously to taste. My feelers to a bigger, thinking world. A magazine I knew I couldn't afford to keep buying - a publication I'd have been happy with old copies of. Just like Colbert, it never truly ages even when it loses all currency.
Here was a New Yorker. Leaning against the foot of a fence. Under the fringe of a bush. On a side street. On a dry day.
But not one.
Ten. Ten magazines. Over $150 spent. By someone else. Someone else inspired to read and learn and laugh and feel to the same flavour. Two years of holding onto them, and the day they released them into the wild, I came suddenly foraging. It's like they left them for me. A symbiotic relationship. 'Here you go, stranger, may these words and comics and worlds move through you too'.
They could have thrown them in the bin. But they recognised their value. Past the over-inflated Mag Nation price-tag. They knew.
I picked them up and carried them on my hip, held to my chest, below an unstoppable grin.
The voice had won again.
I showed him, yes.
He said that with the starry scarf I was in a wizard theme.
I humbly agreed - only I don't do anything humbly.
He asked where my wand was.
I told him to wait and I unzipped my fly, stuck my hand down my pants and poked out a warlock finger dick.
This is how you know magic is real.
April 14, 2017
But every time I open the bike room door, there it is - guilting me, begging to be ridden with puppy dog eyes and dust all over its cold white neck.
It stands alongside all the other bikes neglected by their 20/30-something someones who can't be fucked riding them either. It's not a good area for it, people drive crazy escapees in bumper cars around here.
The only solution in this situation is to lock the bike room door and just forget about it. It's gone, like a brown houseplant or a poorly bred child. Goodbye, bicycle. We have some good memory.
Sometimes I walk through the bike room and someone has knocked my bike over. It's not even in the fucking way - it's more like someone is taking a stand by kicking up my kickstand, but for what, I don't know that. Probably the same people who leave the half-eaten burgers in the staircase, and I do mean literally half-eaten - teeth marks intact one year later on a white, dusty concrete step, where there are no rats to rescue it. It's true, all that propaganda about how fast food is so preservatived it doesn't age. It looks as sterile and youthful as the day it slid out of its paper nappy.
Go away. I need more of that perfect climate kind - 't-shirt weather'.
Good Friday is at least quieter, without construction wake-up calls and V8s refusing to stop for trams.
I don't remember which is the chocolate day, but every day is for me. As is my every day no doubt spent courting blasphemy.
April 13, 2017
How glamorously tiring and empty that must be.
This thing, in its entirety, was some sort of part-human concoction, but even removed from the mechanised vehicle, the person would, no doubt, still be classed part-human.
I could not see its face as it lumbered brusquely onto the footpath and barreled through the fair-paced stream of humanity - exposed with Achilles heels and skin and utilised body frames. It managed not to maim or mangle any ahead of it, and it surely would have been an irony for one so unaidedly immobile to immobilize someone else.
April 12, 2017
But I know what I'm like, how I addict to things. It wouldn't be a couple. I'd hate the feel and taste and smell and be hooked 3 days in, decimating my fought-for singing voice, inducing old asthma attacks and bringing back The Scary Cough.
I hate smoking. Almost everything about it is vile and cruel. But tonight I wanted to feel it again.
April 8, 2017
"I'll fuckin' shiv you!" the Aboriginal woman shouts to no-one we can see, no-one who is there.
Keep walking keep walking keep walking.
I didn't listen because I'm a fan, but because he had a story I liked hearing, and gave me some hope for my own creative endeavours, and my own fragile, hopeful self.
April 4, 2017
On the way out I joined in with him, and he serenaded me as I span around and around, and we were in a spontaneous musical.
"People... who need people...." Streissand?
March 29, 2017
He sits and seconds later he's having a screaming match with "Christy" over the phone.
Made me realise how often I see men screaming, and often I catch women walking along crying. Separately.
These little phones can bring so much misery.
March 12, 2017
March 3, 2017
February 16, 2017
I'm typing this with one eye open.
February 10, 2017
What did he mean?
February 9, 2017
Those of us born in the early '80s - we are MILLENNIALS.
Why did no-one tell me?!! I've never drawn on Groucho Mark eyebrows or hunted down gunt pants in a mothballed St. Vinnies - I don't feel okay with this classification!
And to make it worse, I graduated the exact year that it was generalised millennials would graduate - 2000.
I didn't surf the web until I was 13! Gen Z, aka, 'The Naturals' should be Millennials. We already got enough slop being called Gen Y.
Sure, I could ignore labels and go on living my life in my usual self-designed fashion, but my inner-contrarian rises up! Like a phoenix from the ashes of a thing that has ashes in it. Currently-known Millenials are wearing the same fashions we lived through in the '90s - this doesn't work! Cast wider this generation thigh gap! Keep your Flume chai latte vegan Tinder top-buns away from me. I'm going over here to yell at kids to stay off a lawn I'll never be able to afford thanks to the Baby Boomers.
February 6, 2017
The guest on the ep I'm ingesting today was paraphrasing Billy Connolly, telling me that the scruff man once said that there's plenty of room at the top - the middle and bottom are overcrowded.
February 5, 2017
It's 4pm, too hot, then rainy, and people are overhung and unsure if they want to go out.
I soundcheck, and start playing to at most 8 people - including me. Nerves shake my voice and stick my fingers to a concert ukulele neck, but I sound good.
The courtyard slowly fills. Silent faces watch, some listen in delightful rapture. I like seeing people rendered powerless by the strike or sail of my voice. Sometimes I sound like Alannis, sometimes like Jeff Buckley, sometimes like Lana, sometimes like me.
But the longer I play, despite those watchful eyes and hearkening ears, applause disappears. Not because they don't like it - they're distracted talking.
Now, I'm a shitfuck who also talks, but god almighty my hands slap together the instant another artist's song ends. A five second lag and obligatory clap is disheartening as fuck when you just kicked the dick out of an intimate song. Aural wallpaper. Background sound.
I cracked out the kazoo for the first time since I played in Berlin, this new one is purple, matching my recent theme of excessive purpleage.
When my set was over ten songs later, a German woman came up and praised me - riveted she was, noticibly into it the whole time, and her Lou Reed partner loving my song selections. She wanted to know when my next gig is, and judging her enthusiasm, I think she'll really come.
I don't like playing to near-empty rooms. I'm not dying for attention either - performing is a very dissociative act for me.
I want to see fingers tapping. Heads thinking. Humans feeling. I want to give everyone more than what they paid for or expected.
But for now I relish the challenge of warming up a Sunday afternoon room, asking people to slow down, shut up, listen, by playing something I think they may like, meeting new people who are just as excited about music, and occasionally remembering - holy shit, I'm living my dream.
February 3, 2017
"Totally! Today I have to record a voice-over targeting children with the words:
'Conflict started when people chose to do things their own way rather than God’s way. Through this journey of discovering peace, it will become clear that following God’s path is best.'
So in one fell swoop I get to brainwash children into unsustainable beliefs that will only help to unravel them in growing years, AND pay one day of rent! Thanks God."
January 23, 2017
January 12, 2017
This needs to become the standard.
January 11, 2017
I can prove it: Who are the Beatles?
Now reward my impossible youthfulness with all kinds of copy/paste sentimentality and monetary notes dropping out of cards I'll never read.
I in return shall eat diebetising foods, listen to Nirvana but at considerate volume, and do online quizzes about what breed of a houseful of cats are best suited to eat my face.
January 10, 2017
I realised today I can listen to myself sing now and just take lessons from it. I can have one of my voice-overs play in a room full of people and not cringe. It's just a sound byte, a measurement stick for where I was at when it was recorded. I take little mental notes to help me adapt, and only cringe if I'm really disappointed in my performance.
January 9, 2017
I stretched and bounced around and romped off at any roadside stop - finding rocks to jump on or rises to climb to see what was on the other side. I think it was in Denmark I started to walk through the mazical garden, I remember my hands were sticky from food (though I don't remember what), and I heard a bird whistling in 3/4 time.
I've never heard such a thing.
I stood in wonder between the green, and realised - this is how those classical composers came to own the time signature.
They heard it from a little bird.
We are made of our worlds as much as we make them.
January 5, 2017
Do you think there's a way to change it if you are?
Or do we have to stay in lies to be part of the game? Is it better to drink to Kool-Aid to be with those you love, or be real and riddled with flaws and always alone? Is it better to really be true with yourself and empty than emptied by another, or settling for someone who will take your shit, be kind, and never set your world on fire?
Every single option sounds like a midlife crisis waiting to happen.