Saturday, 23 August 2008


Long stretch of blue denim, brown cardigan knitted by my mother and a clean t-shirt that says "Adelaide". I've been measuring my legs again and they are the same length they were last week and the week before last. I've tied a small rectangular tag to my left big toe. I will clean my room as though I was dying.

I am the one steady thing today, the world rocks like a boat or perhaps its seismic, continental drift. I'm feeling tectonic again and a little like building a small house for chickens. I want straw and feathers, clucking, eggs and a reason for gumboots. I lay flat on my bed with my toe tag and my imaginary chickens. My mother phoned and asked if I was dead yet. I told her no but that she should keep hens, five hens.

I once knew a chicken called Mrs Hitler, she was mean and would peck at my small fingers. I cannot recall the names of the other chickens, Arthur was the rooster. We ate Henry the younger rooster. I watched as he was held down flat on a tree stump near the back of the garden near the tangelo tree, his head lopped off easily enough then he ran around the garden a little. I don't remember being frightened.

I once named a doll Mrs Gorbachev, inspired by Mrs Hitler the chicken. This memory is closely associated with ballpoint pens. My Grandmother was able, the year I acquired Mrs Gorbachev, to return to Estonia for the first time since arriving in Australia. She told me they did not have ballpoint pens, elastic knickers or stockings in Estonia. She would say "Ete foot, goot sildrens", eat food good children. I told her I didn't have a ballpoint pen or stockings either, my mother gave me a look then barked suddenly "Mama! No vodka for the children".

I am dizzy or rather I am still but the world rocks around me. I am traveling through time and wishing for eggs in the palms of my hands. I have seven ballpoint pens, twelve pairs of knickers with elastic, three pairs of stockings and one electric blanket. This inventory is incomplete.


Ron & Rita said...

Oh dear. This post remind me of a joke about a guy who gets very drunk, stumbles into bed, passes out, and dreams that he dies and gets reincarnated as a chicken.
All is well, he pecks away at worms and scraps, happy as can be, until he gets this feeling of fullness that builds and builds inside him, almost unbearable, until "pop!" - he lays an egg! He feels such satisfaction and relief, and then it starts to build again until - "Pop!" This feels great - what a great life, reincarnated as a chicken! Eating worms and laying eggs!
And then he gets woken by his wife screaming, "You drunk bastard, you're shitting the bed!"

Dale Slamma said...

Oh dear.