Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Dale for a day

Its time. The next Dale for a day will hopefully be written by Superman. We'll see what he says.

Maga

So now I'm writing about reading about Gemma writing about Justin on her blog in Frankie page 88. It took me a while to track the latest issue of Frankie down, sells fast that one.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

I am allergic to my dressing gown

I tried flapping it around and then putting it in the drier. I tried superheating it on top of the heater. I tried steaming it in the shower but still the explosive cat terrifying sneezes come one after the other. I am propelled backwards with flailing arms. I have stumbled into the fridge, the housemate, the wall, two doorways and three chairs. This is not ideal.

I am clawing at my face, tearing at my eyes, pushing pointed scratching sticks down my throat. I am cold and miserable and my legs are thrown in the air with the force of each sneeze but this is not what I wanted to talk about. I want to smoke. I want to push out air and watch it unfurl. I want my living breath made tangible.

I want to stride across roads and throw down my cigarette lit and glowing under the feet of a stranger. I want to flick it in your face, press it to your arm, hold it to your eye. I want to screen reason and dim lights. I want to stop sneezing long enough to think about this properly.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Console

I have pinprick burns all over my face, I'm not that used to cooking anymore. Grizelda fled The Peach and headed west for some Parramatta action. Grizelda should watch out, I think Parramatta is one of the places Spencer is going to edit out when he reconfigures the world into Spenconia. Queensland of course will have to go, I'm hoping the Bank Hotel will vanish from King St one day but Spencer says he's just thinking about the big things at the moment, like Queensland and everything between Bowral and Canberra and Canberra and Melbourne. Canberra gets to stay because it is odd enough to be interesting.

With The Peach to myself I should have rolled twelve fat joints and sat around in my underpants licking chocolate off the carpet but instead I cleaned everything, telephoned my mother and washed the cat's bowls. In a mad fit of non-thinking I decided to make felafel, this is where my brother phoned and said he was looking for some food to eat. I wore an apron but failed to protect my face from hideous and invisible hot oil droplets. The felafel was delicious but still my brother and I set out on a mission to the pastizzi cafe. The pastizzi cafe was jumping, not a spare millimeter of room. Full mouths, warm bellies and pots of tea were stacked like puppies in a basket. A man with a guitar and woman with a double bass were playing Eleanor Rigby in a corner. I love the pastizzi cafe. If I was a restaurant I would marry it.

My brother announced, in the island cafe over coffee and cigarettes, that he is odd and that he is going to embrace his oddness. His announcement made me quite proud. I took a meditative moment to stir the vanilla through my coffee and lick down the paper on my cigarette. I was going to say something important but Spencer appeared from around the corner and reverse moonwalked over to the table and sat down. Madam Squeeze followed shortly after walking her long narrow walk and smiling for England.

The remains of the day was spent submerged in surreal conversation, this is when I discovered that "Long Way to The Top" has the following chord progression ACDC, that The Eagles waged a soft rock war Toto and that Spencer can moonwalk sideways as well as backwards. We sipped at hot chocolates then walked around in companionable formations hunting down records and staring at lamps. I came home full, tired and holding a can of L&P in one hand and a cd called Mondo Exotica; Fifites Lounge Music in the other.

I'm wondering if I should have dipped my feet in paint when I first moved here. I'm wondering if its possible to trace back every step or zoom out into space see what shapes I'm making walking around here on earth. I have a feeling that I'm writing my own name.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Blow up the pokies; the years will condemn

Now not everyone likes The Whitlams, in fact I'm pretty sure I don't like them but if you're thinking about the geography of sound and I'm thinking about the geography of sound, then I don't think I can entirely ignore them, not even if I want to.

I was crossing borders today driving out of the city until I could see the flat hum of the horizon. Dropping in on Superman at his Mum's house I drank a hasty cup of tea at Emu Plains, conscious all the while of a container full of chocolate pastries waiting in the car for Rita's oven. I'm no pastry chef and my hands were still sore from rubbing the skin from hot hazelnuts straight out of my oven. I was worried something might happen to them in the car so that when I baked them in Rita's oven the middles would run out and the pastry shells burn to a crisp. No such in-car-pastry-disaster occurred and Rita pulled them brown and ready from the oven about an hour later but I've lost my train of thought.

I was sitting in the mountains, glass of sarsaparilla in hand, chewing on a triumphant chocolate pastry. No, that's not it either. I was driving down the mountains back towards Emu Plains wondering why the horizon was now behind me when it occurred to me it might be slightly bonkers of me to promise Superman I would help him with his odd project that afternoon. You see how I am tired and threads of thought float past each other without hook or knot or woven shape.

This evening Superman and I visited the Olympia Milkbar. I failed to adequately explain the legend, I failed to build in Superman's mind the right blend of curiousity and sorrow. I failed to explain that he should enter with silent reverence because it is everything that needs to be remembered. A cabinet of lest we forget. I am determined to try again, soon.

I dropped Superman at Central Station then headed back through the city to Newtown and Spencer waiting at the island cafe. We drank coffee and hot chocolate. We walked south for pastizzis walking the middle length of Newtown. From Newtown to Newtown crossing atmosphere and memories. Half way through my chilli con carne pastizzi I noticed the conversation was wide open, my words were making sense and I was interested, in everything.

Spencer and I have been talking about the geography of sound. We've talking about locating self through memories of landscape, the effect of place on our work, the people that have turned centuries and lived here throwing bricks and songs and words into our landscape, the one we're sitting in right now.

I'm thinking about the landscape of today and how different parts of me live in Emu Plains, The Blue Mountains, Springwood, Central Station and scattered walking ghosts in Newtown. I'm thinking about the geography of sound and the rain shadows of words. I'm thinking I might need a compass.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Negative Ghostrider the pattern is full

Failed ant farmer

I spent more time than is sensible ransacking the house for drugs. Oh I found some stuff but it wasn't mine and it wasn't what I was after. What I wanted was a Camberwell Carrot. I wanted to do something to my brain but what I found was five millimetres of a stem wrapped in foil with three bits of green leaf so small it was virtually undetectable. I stuffed it in the end of half a cigarette I found in an ashtray then smoked it. Here's what happened. I stayed up way too late watching telly and not doing anything then I ate two forkfuls of cold spaghetti followed by half a spoon of peanut butter. My mouth turned into a bad cafe floor so I smoked another cigarette, in the shower.

There was a time when everybody was always high. There was a time when I could send a text message asking for drugs and almost immediately my lounge room would be full of people, with drugs. I'm not talking vest wearing junkies sitting in the corner facing the wall all night. I'm talking about happy boys with smokeless pipes and insatiable urges for ice cream. Tonight one message went unanswered so I rang my brother and he said yeah he might be able to hook me up if I'm not in a hurry but what he was really saying was no.

I want to drive around in my shitbox car all day. In my pyjamas. I want to get fucked up and ease this dis ease. I don't know where its coming from or what its supposed to be doing. This morning I was happy as a clam watching Boli walk across the stage in his academic gown throwing out the kind of glow that hurts your cheeks and busts your heart with pride. This morning I was walking around my university campus crunching knowledge with my flat shoes trailing years and the sure flag that I did something.

This evening I was sitting in an armchair staring at a virtual chess board spitting with fury at the fuck off metaphor of it all. I know how the pieces move, I know the aim but I'm new to this game. I can see disaster coming but don't know how to stop it. Every move feels defensive and every now and then I see all the gaps in my half baked strategy and just like that I wanted out. Dis ease is sitting in my window. It must be cause there's been a change in the light.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Whole as a pie

That's what my afternoon feels like. I'm sitting here in my track pants eating bread and I couldn't be happier.

God has a handlebar moustache

This was confirmed at the seance Spencer went to on Saturday night. Turns out a seance can freak the fuck out of a fully grown man. Turns out a man can be walking home chased by bats, spirits and demons until he's not sure anymore about anything. Turns out Spencer won't be going to another seance.

I went to meet Henry Rollins tonight. I was hoping for something but the only thing that happened was that three separate people on Glebe Point Rd told me to fuck off then I wound up in a cafe with Spencer drinking coffee and watching his eyes go wide every time he remembered the seance. He said the bat was huge, it flapped right out, right in his face and for days he's been wondering if he knows anything at all. There was a spirit and it wanted him to die. This was before we were walking up some road in Glebe and I noticed something important.

There are things that will revolutionise your life. Things like an electric toothbrush, a tub of pawpaw ointment sticky and good, one nice tea cup just for you or a friend like Spencer. He revolutionsises my life every time I see him. I know he writes a damn good song, he owns that stage, the force of his personality will knock you off your feet but that's not what's important.

I've been talking to Spencer for some years now and I feel like I've only just begun. This man is awake. In other news I just ironed a shirt for the first time in years.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Pumpkin

My heart just stopped. I saw my essay is due on the 26th then I looked again and kick splat it started all over again, my heartbeat that is. My next essay is due on the 26th of May not April but I'm wondering how long roast pumpkin takes to turn my insides into a working not-to-scale model of the Hindenburg in all its gaseous glory. Surely twenty seven minutes is too fast.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Hey window pane

I 'm having a zipper installed with a hook and an eye and a clasp and a line of pearl buttons. I've got window panes. I've mad ticking devices, holes for coffee pots, tampons, pineapples, cushions, telephones and I'm still lined with red velvet.

I might sometimes cry in the middle of your shopping centre staring wildly at a man with coca-cola tattooed across his existence while those double drop doors trap snap open dragging gravity down my thoracic diaphragm but I think I'm going to say no.

I'm standing with a drink in my hand and a phone in the other. I'm writing a message to Superman about a man who should probably be shot into orbit with the dull glow of a satellite cause he'll know what I mean. I'm standing there counting pumpkins and dividing things by six just like I'd have to if I was shopping in China. I'm standing there waiting for food and poking at my upright spine then Elliot calls and he sounds drunk and he wants to see me. He wants to see me now, tonight, now and he's offering to pay for anything. I thought he was in detox, I thought he was safe with his tubes and wires and bleach echoing off cold white floors but he's in my hand and that voice is cutting through red tape.

I said yes, I said are you alright. He said no, he said thanks, he said I need to see you. I should have dropped my drink. He said I'll meet you anywhere. I said come to the house at 7 then I sat at the plastic table screwed into the shopping centre floor. I'm sipping post-good post-mix out of a cardboard cup but I'm not crying yet. I know if he comes to the house that I'll unravel until I'm in his arms and I'm breathing the god damned lime rind stink of his skin.

I've gone ultra flat and Grizelda's staring at me from across the plastic table so I pick up my phone and type out a message. I hold it up to Grizelda and she nods. I'm not going down his rabbit hole this time. These are the days of miracle and wonder with my voicebox flattened and the trap doors open. I'm sending a message using seven words. I won't see you if you're drunk.

This is the part where I'm crying in the middle of your shopping centre sipping post-good post-mix out of a cardboard cup and noticing that I've come undone. So now I 'm having a zipper installed with a hook and an eye and a clasp and a line of pearl buttons.

I'm stitching in ways to stay whole. I'm listening to people beginning to matter who are saying I'm doing the right thing. I might sometimes dance in your own kitchen, I might walk around shooting words at targets in my head. I might spend two days trailing tendrils soaking up your presence but right now I'm sitting in bed smoking my own cigarettes, wearing Superman's sunglasses and rubbing pawpaw ointment into my face and just so you know, I'm feeling fine.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Hours


I went for the art but was hastened away by scenester crap. Superman saved the day with sorbet, I ordered one scoop of fig sorbet in a cup but what I got was crepes with banana, butterscotch sauce and fig sorbet. Things went from disappointing to awesome in three mouthfuls. This was exceeded by a trip to Pentimento where I asked if they had any books on extreme ironing while Superman smiled winningly over my shoulder, no such book was produced, in fact the only thing produced was a snigger but I'm fairly certain that I didn't care and all of that was yesterday.

Skip forwards, chess games and kite flying, pink lemonades, facebook and muesli, steaming mugs and rain. This afternoon Spencer paid a visit and for a short while there The Peach was hijacked by madmen with guitars at their feet, you tube under their fingers and pizzas just everywhere until Spencer had to leave for a seance and the walls stopped bulging with the shock of it all.

So now here I sit stretched and warm with tea and cigarettes. Superman's fading lights and thickening time. Self-awareness slips easily from his shoulders while I sit and he strums and sings uncovering songs that were always here. This is a house with songs in it

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

In my mind I still need a place to go

I am not coping with university via correspondence. The online interface is drastically awful and very confusing. There are at least eight separate places, logging in each time, that I need to look at and interact with regularly. I can't do this. Drowning not waving.

The piano has fallen on my head. I was sitting and staring at my textbooks when it dropped. There are piano wires in my lungs and I'm studded through with soundless keys. At first I thought oh its the after holiday blues but then their is that gin-clear shallow water pulling at my feet. I am cold and think constantly of taking refuge in the hot shower. I do not want food, I do not want to stay awake, I can not put away my things. There is no order and I feel ill.

I need a portable academic to come with a ready a mind and typing fingers. I need hot tea and reassurance. Today I need more than I can offer myself. Drowning not waving.

If I pushed the wrong button should I chop off my finger?

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Poured across an ordinary day

Liquid linchpin of coffee spilt, drunk, typed and spoken. Fumbling into morning I made coffee but it was sour and weak and scalding, I handed an apologetic cup to Superman who took it with two grateful hands. Organising my knees back under the doona I cupped my hands around the mug and carved out a small moment of stillness until Superman's coffee made its way out of his cup and onto my expensively laundered doona. It was an easy fumble, a sitting up and pushing backwards tilted nothing and the liquid slips.

The office was silent and cold echoed from wall to wall. Robert was absent and the room bent and flowed around the steam from my small blue coffee cup, the one I found on a fence and washed and washed until I was sure it would be safe. I did not like my job today, the papers spiked like migraines under my fingertips so I welcomed the happy distractions offered via email, text message and the odd outlawed scrabble move.

Gemma drank her fourth caramel latte today but she does not like them. She does not like bitter coffee staining tastes in her world. Gemma was studying, I should be studying. This feels like a mistake, the kind that brings the knife down sharp on your poor finger or tumbles you off the roof onto pavers or scalds across the inside of your mouth leaving days welted and tasteless. I am flailing in this course. I'm holding my long neck up and away from human hands pushing the bridle through frustrated air.

The Peach was dark when I climbed through its thick walls. The tide is still turning, gin clear shallow waters pull across my feet. I'm holding shoes high and loose in the fingers of my left hand, I'm pretty sure I'll need them soon enough. I boiled water in the kettle standing on my toes leaning forward on the kitchen bench to watch the steam curl and stick to the windows. I made coffee sour, strong and scalding then I walked it to the armchair and sat it on a nearby bookshelf.

Dad answered the phone and kilometres clicked into anachronisms. He's made it into the newspaper's social pages, now he can move to Melbourne, he's done his city, but don't all the other men his age have grandchildren? I laugh away the place he thought he'd be by now and the invisible toy cars and miniature train tracks, I sip at my coffee and he tells me the secret is to wear a splash of red, the editors always print pictures of people wearing red.

I'm staring at the pile of textbooks on my bed and looking for Superman's coffee stain. Its nowhere to be found and perchance its a miracle. There's nothing left but the dull thudding need to plow through this work. I'll write your essays, I'll reference your information, I'll warm my face over this coffee and pour myself through another ordinary day.

I blame Superman

I just told him this. It is too late to write anything at all this is because Superman pondered long and hard over scrabble moves before laying down the tiles. There was hot chocolate, an incident with electricity but in the end I lost and it was shameful.

Yes, it is too late.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Sending out an SOS

I need an exorcist or a man standing guard with swords and pistols. I need twelve pallets of concrete and a three mile moat. I need bastions and bulwarks and gun towers. I don't like this invasion.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

I don't like this

I think its hiding in disgust. What a disguise or is it shame or the same dread weight. Standing in the shower I thought I'm diminishing. I feel diminished but unafraid. I want to do all the knee jerk punch drunk western suburbs king hits. I want to send intoxicating emails lined with spurs sure to set everybody running in the right direction. A headlong opposite driven by the apposite.

I need a good horse and a steady horizon. I need strength in sinews and an impenetrable everything. I need clearance for takeoff, twelve canisters of low viscosity oil and a hot exhaust manifold. I'm going to write this across my own sky. Fuck off.

Friday, 11 April 2008

In the morning

Two days ago I went to an exhibition called "Black in fashion: From mourning to night". I wandered freely around the space wishing for shawls and mantles tut tutting myself for packing only stupid floppy clothes and my red clown shoes to wear for the whole holiday.

Tonight I am laying out my own black things in careful layers from socks to scarf. People say I don't need to wear black to a funeral, just wear something clean and tidy, like a wild throwback to the days of children in school uniforms at official functions but I like the ritual. I can do without the weddings and the christenings, I rolled up my prayer mat years ago and lord knows my hair is not a covenant between me and anything but I like the ritual of grief and the standing of us all in rows.

I can't remember the order of funerals I have attended. I remember the ones I was absent from. I remember the man before Artboy that attempted suicide again and again before he finally got it right but I wasn't there in the end. I wasn't standing in my place in that row. I was sitting on the floor conjuring silken memories of golden skin and his impossible height, remembering how I used to lay on top of him and my feet would reach the middle of his shins.

I remember the strange swelling of the Estonian choir at my Grandmother's funeral, the hard ball of centuries coming right in across from that frozen ocean. I remember the old men standing guard for my Grandfather's coffin, their sword hands faltering and the one who fell to his knees in the aisle. I remember my brother staring up at me tear stained and ragged, his eyes wide with the shock of his own grief and my Mother. My Mother sitting at a table with a plate full of tiny sandwiches whispering to herself under her breath and the whole time her face hard and soft and alien.

I remember the ones who should have died but didn't. I remember taking blow after blow with the car keys firmly in my right fist. I should have let him drive. I should have held them out in sacred silence and let Artboy open the portal to my own ritual of grief. Instead I stood like a column with my purpling swelling face under the manic blows of a madman's fist until he ran screaming into the night and the car sat silent in the driveway.

Tomorrow I am an extra. A demonstration of the importance the main players hold in my glass jar. My memories of the man are small and new. He played the piano while I waltzed in his lounge room. We sat side by side on the lounge eating cakes. We shared a cup of tea and a laugh while the cricket droned and he watched and I watched his wife watching him with her glass of juice half way between the kitchen bench and her mouth, then she smiled. He was dying and watching cricket and she was smiling into her juice. She was beautiful standing in her kitchen fixing memories in her head nodding a quiet nod and mending her courage.

I'll take my place in the row tomorrow in my black pressed clothes. I'll drive the distance and sit in silence, I'll curb my rambling mind and leave my clown shoes in the cupboard. This is something that matters.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Clouds are not for treading on

I am home and The Peach has never felt more lovely. Lorikeets are raining merry hell on The Peach Deck and everything feels raised from the ground. Light and air. Melbourne feels lowslung now that I sit in my lofty perch.

Grizelda made me a special sign saying "Welcome Home". She stuck it on my bedroom door with sparkly stickers. The cat looked at me in astonishment as I burst through the front door with my bags stuffed full of dirty clothes and Melbourne things.

I am compiling, in a measured way, a report about my trip to Melbs but one important fact must be mentioned immediately. I can travel by myself without falling into the grip of menacing fear and uncertainty. This is new and solid as an artifact, as solid as the black box recording the absence of Gemma in my daily life. I think of her now wondering if she is pottering in The Hive or sitting on a tram. I wonder what she is wearing.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Melbs a-go-go

Now I love Gemma dearly but her internet is intolerably slow. We have returned from a trip to the northside where I patted Marting Kingsley, that was odd.

I have decided to write a report about my Melbourne adventures and adventures I am having. This morning I bought a dozen eggs but when Gemma opened the box there were only eleven eggs inside. I caught a tram by myself to Brunswick St. I ate something unidentifiable and oh yes I may be drunk.

I can't get a grip on St Kilda. Not yet. The bay is unexpected, everything has it placed to the side where as Sydney stares at its harbour like a television.

There was beer and some kind of oil infused bread at the pub where I sat chatting with Gemma, Rupert and Martin. Imagine I put links there.

Yesterday I sat in Gemma's frontyard plaing cards and eating cake while Gemma had a garage sale. Its like a hive this builiding. This is what I will now imagine when I think of that Louis Macniece poem, thigh over thigh in the hive of home.

Things are becoming disjointed. I am outof context and unsure of the sound of my footsteps. The red in my hair is fading and these shoes are meandering down a new street every day. There are some things I am sure of but these are small. I am sure that I need my hair. I am sure that I do not like covers bands. I am sure that I like the curtains hanging numb in my bedroom. I am sure that I miss my cat.

It smells of salt here, in waves, and Gemma stands like a monument. There is no doubting the force of her existence. Where I am staying, in this happy hive, is a stone's throw from cake shops. I don't just mean a shop that makes bread and some crap cakes. This is art. This is serious art and I do not think I will ever eat anything except kugelhopf ever again. Nothing but kugelhopf and cigarette smoke shall ever pass these lips. This is my decree.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

I just got a newsletter from Omo

Maybe they think my clothes look dirty. I can't think why else I would receive a newsletter from Omo. In fact my clothes are being washed right now, in the incomprehensible European washing machine. After that they will need to go in the drier or is it dryer? Not a good idea to pack wet clothes.

Gemma sent me two hand drawn maps and step by step instructions on how to get from the airport to her house. The instructions are exactly right and include notes on where I might become confused and why for example "If you are still standing at Spencer St station looking at Bourke, 'left' will actually be 'right'" and the excellent "You will get off the plane at Avalon. You will be confused , becuase Avalon will appear to be a giant paddock with a shed and a runway. This is normal. This is Avalon."

So I will dry and pack my things. I will ignore the clawing fear. I will take as many hats as I want and I will try my best to have a fabulous time.

When I come back I will be very busy and important. I am going to a wedding the next day, then a zine fair on Sunday afternoon in Wollongong (I'll wait until I get back to be frightened about driving to Wollongong by myself - unless anyone wants to come to Wollongong for an afternoon with me?). I am probably behind in uni work but I haven't checked. That can wait too.

So long Sydders, I'm off to Melbs.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Fuckwits? I rather think not

Creamboy was the initial winner of my dinner competition, the judges declared it so, I would have picked a different entry myself. I phoned Creamboy and after some discussion he decided that he would graciously allow the runner up to attend the dinner because Creamboy is a vegan and the menu did not cater for vegans. I had (and still have) no problem with this.

I left this information out of the announcement because I am The Captain of My Blog, sorry, I just like saying that. Several people commented and it seems that Creamboy has taken these comments as personal criticism which in my opinion is ridiculous for several reasons:
  1. People did not know who they were commenting about,
  2. People did not know exactly why the offer of dinner was declined,
  3. I was clearly not angry or in any way discombobulated about it.
Come on now Creamboy, don't be a brat.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

But I threw out my suits!

I am staring at a suitcase and wondering what to put in it. I am going to Melbourne to see Gemma and Melbourne. I haven't travelled by myself since I was fourteen. My parents had a habit of sticking me on aeroplanes for solo holidays, this is how I developed my complete and beautiful fear of travelling anywhere at all unfamiliar by myself.

I distinctly remember sitting on an plane by myself when I was eight years old not knowing where I was going or who, if anyone, was meeting me at the other end. I'm sure that someone must have told me but I could not remember. I sat with my small bear on my lap and my notebook in my left hand swinging my feet and staring at the clouds thinking I am nowhere. This is the feeling that happens when I'm on a different bus from usual or driving to an unfamiliar place. This is the feeling that amplifies when a day loses direction or I sit down to think about the future of my life.

I have opened and shut the suitcase three times. Once I put hats in it then took them out again. I put a tube of toothpaste in the suitcase. I took that out again too because I needed to clean my teeth.

This is a journey I need to make.