August 11, 2017

The Have-Nots

I used to see no-one else
Out in the world
With him
My eyes pointed one direction
One solely
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
Turning away.
Now all I see is everyone else
Happy coupled
Hands pegged together
A ricochet of smiles
Shoulders rubbed
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.

A Visit

I dreamed of him
In shadow hours
Light of my life
Holding
Staying
Pulling me to him
No more war or wanting
Just home
Safe home
And I woke too quickly
Coughing
Searched for water
Fever sweating
Closed my eyes to nothing

He was gone.

June 10, 2017

Guarding Lions

Kings that sit at the head of driveways.
Waiting for what?
Sniffing the nothing.
The world darkening and nearing sleep for us.
But for them, a day begins, and the night is their playground.


June 5, 2017

Dylan Record Skips a Heartbeat

He looks at me
With fiery eyes
Bob Dylan repeat
No hard tries
You'd let yourself be followed
Let me be glue
But I step away now
I have nothing to offer you.


Wings of Night

A cleft of sky through weighted clouds
Black wings circling
A winter's night pulls it collar close
Through slitted eyes, watches a day dying.


May 28, 2017

Skyliner

The domestic towers pile up higher and closer to the city, like tourists clustering at the luggage carousel. At the airport, you can't see your case and if everyone stepped back a little, everyone could see, everyone could benefit. But they edge forward, wanting, needing the best view. 

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

Young

You're young
They say
You're young
You're young
You're young
You're young
They say
You're young
You're young
You're young
'Til they don't say it any more.


May 15, 2017

Last Days of Indian Summer

It was t-shirt weather a year ago.

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.

Only, he wasn't. And I wasn't. Within an hour our palms would be parted and so would our mouths and arms and souls.
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.

It's not t-shirt weather this year.


The Glass Is Half Bubbles

The sparkling water in plastic cups
The alcohol in glass.
They really do trust writers not to be rowdy - but we are a breed to turn our violence inwards, I guess.


May 11, 2017

Hazing

The city looked weird.
Something had vagued out its huge perimeters and lay a faded filter over everything.
It smelled kinda like smoke, but not enough to point a finger at bushfire.
Besides, it was the end of autumn.
Could it be fog? When is it foggy through the day?

I waited for rain to hit my balcony and regress the dryness of my hung clothes, but no rain came.
I could find no reason for the world's reduced opacity. Weatherzone would quiet a silently beating mind, but that seemed too much effort, and too capable of ruining mystery.

I shut the bathroom window, not sure if I was keeping out the cold or the pale haze, whatever it was. 
Turning the corner and looking down the hall, I froze.
A foot off the ground and as opaque as the haze, floated a woman.


May 8, 2017

Shlugs

Shlugs shlurp along the ground
Mooshy goosh, rain is found
Slimy slops and silver slicks
Goopy gurps, wet wobbly icks.


Somnambulism

Today's word:
Somnambulism - sleepwalking.
(Som-nam-bue-lizm)
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.


Going, Gone

"I'm leaving"
She said, eyes to a windowed world
The stale cigarette lifted to her lips
She smoked whatever she could find.
"Where?" I asked, meaning, 'Why'?
"Pretty far away," she smiled, a curved consolation
And looked away at nothing
Which is what we'd become.

May 7, 2017

Eternal Struggle

Bloody lips
Taste of death
Spread around
With every breath
Preach to your choir
Ceasefire, a pause
Peace on Earth
And also, OMG Star Wars!


May 5, 2017

Snip Snip

These women have 3 people's-worth of eyebrows on one face.
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.

I sit here in dread. These trendy little darlings of the Syd Road scene are going to snip at my blondes?

The air is dancing with overpriced product scents and the high timbre of all the women, who have, in close enough quarters, adapted to share a single cadence, pitch and cuteness. Black jumpsuits and sharply winged eyes reflect 400 x over in the mirrors, and suddenly I'm in some never-ending tunnel of dark-clad, perky femininity, waiting for my head to land on an invisible chopping block, and for the usual post-cut regret to strand me in my bathroom for an hour here or there over the next two weeks while I fix what I smiled at and paid for.

But I didn't pay for this haircut, so I'll shut up now, and hope history gets sick of repeating itself.
And yet, here I sit, getting the same cut as always.




May 2, 2017

Night Magic

Of the songs I performed at my gig two Sundays ago, one of my favourite was Walking the Dead. It's got some real vocal and guitar drone to it, punctuated by shrieks of the guitar.
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.

Only, I didn't play Walking the Dead at the gig. It isn't even finished yet. It's just that playing that night in many ways felt like being in my own dark, greenlit bubble with massive reverb leaving my voice to float like tendrils across the empty carpet and curl around the silhouettes of watching humans, guitar purring and growling (though often awkwardly like a bad cat that wants out of its laundry prison). And in that space, it feels timeless, like it still exists, like I'm still in that eerie, comfortable spotlight. It was dissociative, so I can detach it from its spot on the timeline and move it anywhere and play anything within it.

And I choose to play many songs there, one being Walking the Dead. It's like having a stage in my house, but I have it in my head.

But the more you play a memory, the more you rewrite it, and the tape slowly turns to fuzz.
Then I guess you go make a new memory.




April 28, 2017

Tap That

The young guy goes to pay with his Eftpos card.
"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.


Obey

'Obey the rules'
The rear window sticker says.
I laugh and wonder
 
Which ones? They're all so contradictory.


Sorbélina

Sometimes a girl sits next to her boyfriend, and gives you a manic grin that says, "Shall we swing?"
She has the dusty rose version of my fake fur coat, limbs of flourish and dancing eyes. Pretty but too bombastic.

It's a wintery, indoor night and I'm rugged up and toned down, so she can't see I'm usually a show-pony like her.
I got a relaxed daddy vibe by comparison under my cascades of beanie'd blonde, and maybe she digs that.

Her body language is overt - without words she cannot eat her sorbet silently.
One leg hanging over the other, pointed toe, exaggeration of feminine traits.
She turns to look at me and I look back.

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 won't be going with home with her - this possible blonded doppelganger - but I would go home with that jacket, even if it means peeling it slowly from her lean white arms and tasting her sorbet-sweetened lips.
I'm a whore for a good fake fur.


April 26, 2017

Old News

It's so funny to me that at age 14 or so I wanted to be a newsreader. I don't watch the news now. I actively avoid it. I was like this antenna picking up 50 stations at once while the battery was already low, and when it all melted down, I turned down volumes, tuned things out, and now I try to create as much silence possible - a place of calm and unbias on which to add sound.
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

Sparkling Water

He smiled, mouth twisting to a crooked side. Excited and endearing.
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

Coke Handler

Faced away in the loading dock, 3 minutes later he pushes past the queue to walk out with the 2 litres of Coca-Cola, before the formerly cute checkout guy until his most recent choice of eyeglass grabs the bottle from his hands. 
"No." 
The creature shuffles out to lurk by the entrance and eat chips. May as well throw that Coke out. Who wants to drink from a bottle handled by freshly grubbed dick hands?


April 21, 2017

Friday Night Delights

Camouflage jumper, one & a half stomachs, receding spikes and a vague look of determination as he steps out of his car and walks in front of me.
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'. 

I'm looking at the back of his head and wondering where he is going, and then as if remembering something or realising he has confused the location, he turns around and walks back past me, looking me in the eyes. 
I keep walking in my direction, just walking, walking, obliviously walking, knowing that he will be looking around to see if I am watching him.

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

Up, Down, In, Out

Would anyone bomb the earth
Lying, looking at the sky  
Or with a magnifying glass  
To a patch of grass  
Watching the ants go by?

April 17, 2017

New Walker

I'm a listener.
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.




Warlock 'n' Roll

The singer/guitarist asked me if my top was purple. 
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

Easy Rider

I haven't ridden my bike in a year and I thought that if I didn't look at it it would just go away.
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. 


One day I'll ride my bike again, unless the next lovely person who breaks into my building takes it away from me, my hard-earned rubbish with the wonkily wheel. Maybe they should, perhaps they'd ride it more.


Okay Friday

A grey and heavy, cooling sky, whispering of winter.
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.
The hills are swallowed into the clouds and Melbourne is alone. It's a big entity even in isolation, so maybe it can never be alone, but so many who live in it are. If there are 3 million permanent residents in Melbourne and rising, how many, at some point over this weekend - a weekend stretched out like skin over an aging woman's rich skull - will find themselves desperately skimming a digital feed or swiping left and right in desperation while the world around them is clustered into warm little families?
The dogs howled just now. They must be new. Every day something sets them off and their choir's lopsided melodies fill the concrete streets. They're probably not lonely. 

April 13, 2017

Collins Street Strut

On Collins Street, workers earn more money, but they have all around them pricier temptations. Windows glisten with status's promise, with quality, beauty and opulence. 
Is this a cycle to keep them trapped? 
They can't work for 12 years then get out and go live within more slender means, happier and less pressured. 
They live a 'more' life. 'Better.' Always in upgrade, ebbed to the flow of the surrounding trendsetters and white picket teeth Joneses.
How glamorously tiring and empty that must be.


Maiden or the Beast?

It came charging out of the mouth of the shop and lurched towards the heels of the pedestrians, not watching where it roamed and not caring. Its wheels were grey, lower body black, and the rest of it cascaded in tangles of blonde. A decrepid, motionless waterfall that shone with all the illusions of youth and health it did not possess.
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. 

Soon the sparkle of its miscongruent goldilocks was lost to the footpath ahead, and I was left not knowing if it was man, woman, one of the rare few that ticks the 'Other' box, or the kind that would just eat the pen instead. But Dave had seen the beast before, so I knew this wouldn't be my last chance, to glimpse, and try and understand, something that can't be understood.

April 12, 2017

Cigaregrets

Tonight was the first time in years I've come close to buying cigarettes. 

I missed the feeling of smoking. 

The comfortable nothing of it, a thing to do, a strong plume pulling through tightened airways.

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

Late-Night Stopping

The agitated Aborginal woman hurls the green plastic shopping basket across the footpath and continues to fussock through a grocery bag or perhaps woodchips, who knows. 
A mother goes to walk by, pram-first, and I worry for her and the child. 
The mother stops to pull a pack out of the pram and lights a fag. 
Oh, that kid has more to worry about.
"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.
Melbourne.


Porcelain Moby

I enjoyed Moby's autobiography, which I listened to, read by the man himself, for free on Borrow Box. His turns of phrase and cadence were a little addictive and infectious for me. He's this honest, lost, pathetic, loving, hopeful creature who crawled out of poverty and into vices and festival circuits. Something/nothing/something. You could smell the vomit in his stories, see the rats, get an awkward feel of New York and 'cracked' neighbourhoods.
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

Closing Time Serenade

The local supermarket owner, with his better than better prices and cheery misdemeanor, was singing at closing tonight. 
The staff smiled. I praised him. He may have been born in Spain but he was acting Italian.
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? 
He sang it better, if only because he sang it while I danced, in spite of feeling ugly, feeling like shit, feeling self-conscious; we made life a musical for a brief moment, and the street lights never shone so bright.

March 29, 2017

Heartbreak-Dialling

Cute guy walks through tram. Cool clothes. Like that style. What's wrong with this one?

He sits and seconds later he's having a screaming match with "Christy" over the phone. 
Louder and swearier and more exasperated by the moment.
He tells her he's embarrassing himself, but doesn't stop yelling, just escalates. 
He alights, telling his estranged paramour that he's embarrassed himself too much, and walks over to scream in a churchyard into the little flat box pressed to his ear.
 
Oh.

Made me realise how often I see men screaming, and often I catch women walking along crying. Separately. 
The men lash outwards, the women huddle their bodies in drips of quiet tears. 
I never understood the abandon of these people to show emotion so unguarded, until recently. 

These little phones can bring so much misery. 
Were we were more sad/angry before or after them?

March 12, 2017

Bottom Commenter

Someone comments on my cartoon on Instagram. 
I reply a typical quip, basically involving animals having sex in front of Satan.
Proud of my wording, I look at his profile.
He's 12. 
I delete my response.

March 3, 2017

Misty Morning

The cold sprinkle of misty morning
The sickly shades of bamboozled sky
The black wings that carve their way home
The pre-dawn day that's mine, all mine.

February 16, 2017

Twilight Bond Girl

There, in the twilight between sleeping and wake, I wait, so often, and while in my ethereal waiting room, I hear music. Today's aural entrancement was my very own Bond song - 3 distinct instrument parts documented in the recorder on my phone through the weak powers of a sleep-stripped voice. Deciphering apparent mumbles later will begin confused and disappointed, until I hear the strong spine once more, and here, it shall live in the solid world - my Bond song.
I'm typing this with one eye open.

February 10, 2017

Documenting Dream

I just watched a strange but amazing documentary in a dream, and at the end, just before the credits rolled, the director walked in front of me, a takeaway coffee in his hand, he looked at me with a small smile, and said "All small things in the hands of God". I tried to tell him I loved the film but started coughing, and woke up.
What did he mean?

February 9, 2017

Shop at the Generation GAP

I have something bad to tell you guys.
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

Room at the Top

Listening to my favourite new podcast (though it's not new, I'm new to it, so maybe I'm its favourite new listener?), and it's all about creating stand-up comedy, interviewing comedians.

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. 

Gosh I like that. It's a sentiment shared by screenwriting.
Creatives assume, 'As long as I write better than Sharknado, I'm a shoe-in!' When the truth is you gotta be better than the best. That shoe has more fancy footwork ahead of it to get in any good door.

February 5, 2017

A Girl With a Kazoo

Playing first at Woodies can be difficult.
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. 
Kazoo, ukulele and scatting all in one song - pretty hard to top that manic pixie dream girl combo.

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. 

I wish I'd been playing second slot again, got the bigger crowd.
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

God Help Them

"Voice-over! My, that must be a glamorous, perfect job!"
 

"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

Young AF

Ugh, I'm moving into a higher age group in drop-down menus. 
Like how Disney keeps getting copyright length extended, I shall petition to maintain my chronological point belongs in the 'young hotstuffs' age region, and will be declined because I used the phrase 'young hotstuffs'.

Alien Muppet Friend

I think I just realised that most people are pretty weird and I'm good at making them all feel comfortable and normal, and the big difference is my weirdness is often not tolerated or accommodated by others. Most humans are not so good at placating or adapting. Either they don't know to or don't care to. Even laughing comments from friends of "You're a freak," or "You're a Muppet" are pretty insulting and show a resistance to adapt or make another person feel comfortable. Anyone who doesn't think or act like you is odd. Wrong. Weird. And I find that attitude weirder than anything. You can best challenge people's beliefs and behaviours when you meet them on a middle-ground first. How can you pull someone to your side of the line if you don't understand them? And how can you have friends like and trust you if you make them feel like an alien? It seems to me that those who default to that rigidness must secretly feel most alien of all.

January 12, 2017

Hey Blondie

Men who yell at me from their cars now gets yelled at back, but with a scowl, swear words, and shaken head
I don't know how long it'll take 'til one of these guys comes after me but I'm sick of being yelled at like a stray dog. 

Tonight was lurid eyes and "Get in the car". 

Literally 10 seconds later, another car with two guys yelling at me. 

The best part is they look really surprised when I tell them the fuck off, and then, do you know what they do? They act like a victim. 
When they ask what they've done wrong like a pathetic, simpering piece of hair-coated excrement, I tell them "DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS".
This needs to become the standard.

January 11, 2017

Single and Ready to Mangle the Last Years of My Youthfulness

Yes, it's my birthday today - I'm 21!

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

The Sound of One Vocal Cord Strumming

It's funny how we all grow up hating the sound of our own voices. Don't assume a singer or voice actor is exempt - we start putting our stuff out there before we become fully okay with our true sound.

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. 

I guess I stopped linking my voice to my sense of real worth. It's my tool that undergoes constant calibration, experimentation, and risk. 

There simply is no other way to get what you want.

January 9, 2017

Made in Danemark

I didn't see much of Denmark. It was grey both times. The bridge was tall and cool. On the opposite way I took the ferry and the sea and sky were frigid concrete, but on the way back we did stop in at a roadside stop, and it was lush and landscaped like nothing here.
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

Gut Scraper

It seems like everyone ended the year in a happy relationship while I wound up with my guts scraping on the floor through the souls of my feet. Do you ever look at everyone else in their functional lives and think you're just too different to be one of them? Like they hold a secret or are too genetically different to hold that much in common with you? Like no matter how much you try to change it, and fake it, and take shit until there's no room for air, you just never get there? That no matter how kind or valuable or embracing you try to be, you're not wanted or needed anywhere on Earth? That things like being loved back by someone who sees you truly, being part of a family, these aren't for everyone and you might be in the 'aren't' pile?
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.

January 1, 2017

Happy New

A grey, smudged city, blurred out in real-time, pre-set rain filter, agloom, aglow, the suburbs hazed below, the shrill blast of football lights, a cold that bites the skin in sheer mist, a midsummer day like an English springtime, an invitation to snuggle up on the couch with a cushion. Long socks, hot dinner, a movie, on new year's day.