Friday, 25 December 2009

One porter, one cider and one beer or Christmas Eve in the graveyard

I don't know what he was singing but everything stopped, the bells, the chatter, the wind in the grass. Everything except the backlit clouds stopped a moment to hear his song. We were sitting in the graveyard drinking, we had about twelve people, two guitars and one tambourine, we had beer bottles in brown paper bags and a thirst for howling out songs. It wasn't until I decided I had better go home, after Madam Squeeze and I picked out our careful moonlit way through trees, over fallen grave stones and down a path towards the gate that I remembered there was such a thing as churches.

The big church near the graveyard gates was busting at the seams with the bespectacled and the solemn. We snuck into the vestibule as the congregation rose as one and began singing a slow and ancient song. I had grass stuck on my dress and tinsel sticking out of my hair. I was holding three empty bottles, one porter, one cider and one beer. The stench of cigarette butts coming out of the empty beer bottle would have knocked out a lesser mortal than me but I felt quite sure that while I was happy to sit an old grave and drink beer and sing I wasn't happy to leave the empty bottles there. The song was slow and ancient and though they must have numbered in the hundreds I could hear above their voices that good old racket coming from the back of the graveyard where Spencer was perched on a headstone leading his own small congregation in song.

I sat at the edge of the circle in the graveyard tonight, lying on the grass to sip cider and puff smoke at the impossibly fast clouds moving across skies, trees and moon. Spencer and Madam Squeeze were there, Madam sitting comfortably beside me, Spencer perching up high strumming out songs. The rest of them howled, sang and rattled with their accustomed abandon, some of them waltzing like the possessed in a clearing. I'm not sure what I was doing, you can tell just by looking at me that I'm more careful with my heart, mind and songs. Some us of talked about ritual and the good urge for joining together in grief, joy, love and song. I wasn't quite ready to howl at the moon as the others do but I can tell you one thing, I'd rather be drinking on a gravestone than don my spectacles and stand in a congregation miming the art of music to what should have been a moving and ancient hymn but had instead the eerie effect of guilt, obligation, ironed trousers and isolation.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Be bit merry

Makes things bright.

Some ideas are stupider than others

You can traipse all over this city wearing dark glasses and a green dress and still not find what you are looking for. I suppose it was hormonal but all the people on the bus made me want to weep, this was not listed as a possible side effect.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Yet another author

I was talking to this author at the bar, he was saying "people think who you are when you talk to people and eat food and clean your house, how you behave is who you are but it's not. Who you are is on the page."

I nodded politely until he wandered off. I felt like saying 'buddy you got no idea, I'm not even standing here, this thing you're looking at and talking to and is a fucking mirage, the only place I am at all is on the page, especially right now, in this moment, listening to you.'

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Apple Tragedy in a game of I suppose you know who wrote this

So on the seventh day
The serpent rested,
God came up to him.
"I've invented a new game," he said. 

The serpent stared in surprise
At this interloper.
But God said: "You see this apple?"
I squeeze it and look-cider." 

The serpent had a good drink
And curled up into a question mark.
Adam drank and said: "Be my god."
Eve drank and opened her legs

And called to the cockeyed serpent
And gave him a wild time.
God ran and told Adam
Who in drunken rage tried to hang himself in the orchard. 

The serpent tried to explain, crying "Stop"
But drink was splitting his syllable.
And Eve started screeching: "Rape! Rape!"
And stamping on his head. 

Now whenever the snake appears she screeches
"Here it comes again! Help! O Help!"
Then Adam smashes a chair on his head,
And God says: "I am well pleased"

And everything goes to hell.

It's not a final solution but it is nonetheless a solution

Sometimes there's only one solution and that's to hit the old man jazz scene at The Hero of Waterloo where I'm guaranteed to find Boli, a large group of old men in hats and some of that wandering jazz you only get to hear when the people playing it have been doing it for at least forty years.

Additional note - make that sixty years.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Typewriter vs submarine

There's a very good reason for my radio silence, I think. Lord knows I've pissed off approximately most people I know at one point or another by writing about them. I sometimes do it without a second thought for their good opinion of me because words have always been more important. Everybody knows words are how I make maps of myself. There has been the odd exception where I care a great deal and go to lengths to unruffle, apologise or explain but ordinarily the words will win every internal battle and come out some way or another which is why right now I'm feeling kind of strange.

I have an almost unstoppable urge to turn typewriter and clatter this thing out one black letter at a time only the thing that is stopping me is powerful. This is alien territory like a mountain range without ridges or satellite pictures of the wrong planet beamed straight into my GPS. Gemma tells me the thing is called respect and this disturbs me not a little because always in the back of my head is the idea that I have a great deal of respect for the people in my life but Gemma is usually right when it comes to matters of my brain.

It seems this automatic decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. I'm going to dust off my imaginary submarine and take an ordinary plunge. I will navigate this situation, whatever it turns out to be, with my onboard human tools with no recourse to the atom splitting power of typing. There will be a calm echo bouncing off the shells of privacy and respect but don't misunderstand me, everything else I'm doing will be, as usual, subjected to my incessant reworking with pens.


Thursday, 10 December 2009

Let's think about this

It seems obvious to me. We should all be carrying this fact in our heads, solid as lead, to nod at once in a while if we stop suddenly in the kitchen clutching an unnecessary plate in our hands. There was a time in this city when grief welled greater than reason and there were masses gathering in halls to contact the dead.

I don't know how they carried the burden of uncertainty in tandem with the washing. I don't know how they swept floors and darned socks while all the men were missing and everywhere seemed empty. Growing sons should not be a source of fear but as they came of age they left on boats by the thousand. It was easier to feed a mouth than a memory until spiritualism came to Sydney.

I'm not saying I want to start contacting the departed but let's think about this and maybe try a little experiment. I'll keep you posted.

Just like a house but in a shoebox

He was leaning back in his chair holding his arms out to the describe the length of a shoebox while I sipped solemnly at my snake bite. He said "the way to a man's heart is through a diorama" and then he nodded as if to close the matter but I wouldn't let it drop. If this is in fact true why are there not millions of people all over the world sitting bent over tables busy with scissors, paint and glue? I suppose there is the possibility that he is right and all this time I had no idea which would of course explain quite a few things. I have never once made a man a diorama.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

An absence of disaster and other further doings of Dale R Slamma

So all this time you thought it couldn't be done. You were convinced that one could not shampoo one's hair whilst jumping up and down and dancing in the shower without some terrible crashing consequence occurring. You were wrong.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Hello happiness my old friend

It is possible to be diffused with happiness in a plain and simple way. Essential and humble as a small and favourite teapot taken down from a high shelf and held between two cupped palms.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

I think I need a brain wash

I have decided to give my brain this one chance to explain to me why it woke up at 7:45am this morning, a Sunday morning, after we (my brain and I) went to bed after 3am. I'm wide awake, ready to throw on shoes and run out into the world but I'm not going to. Rational thought tells me I need to rest and drink approximately seven thousand litres of water.

It was never my intention to drink about a bottle of champagne before going to the Excelsior last night but the waitstaff just kept cruising past. There were round and shining silver trays seamlessly floating past my elbow approximately every three minutes with free drinks. I was starving and the food was much slower to circulate than the wine. I was crammed into The Argyle with five million people dressed in sailor suits, formation shark unitards or Hawaiian shirts. The Argyle is one of those divine buildings where the floorboards seem like they're constantly being crossed by the ghosts of convicts but of course they've turned it into a hideous bar for shiny people. It was one of those work Christmas parties that have a budget so large it's frightening. I'm more used to the annual staff lunch where all five staff at a non-profit arts organisation go across the road to a pub and choose the cheapest things off the menu and share one bottle of wine, then go back to work in the afternoon. I wasn't ready for the shock of five million gyrating people in full fancy dress throwing back as much booze as is humanly possible.

I left after an hour and discovered, as I walked along the quay that it wasn't the green harbour swaying in waltz time but me. I made it up three flights of stairs, onto a train and then up the hill to The Excelsior. I arrived with a lilt, a pocket full of miniature plastic sea creatures and a plan. Each miniature plastic sea creature was assigned to a specific person based on strict criteria that made a hell of a lot of sense at the time. One seahorse for Daisy, one shark for Spencer, another shark for Madam Squeeze and the sparkly lilac seahorse for Halogen. Spencer, Madam Squeeze and Daisy hadn't arrived yet so I presented a bemused Halogen with his seahorse then sat down and proceeded to talk such nonsense that several people offered to go and fetch me a glass of water. Three hours and seven glasses of water later I was decidedly more sober and beginning to regret my decision to present Halogen with a lilac sparkly plastic seahorse, Spencer, Madam Squeeze and Daisy are of course more used to my ways and present no problems in the area of miniature plastic sea creature presentation regret.

After I had achieved an ideal state of kind of sobered up I found myself having a real good time. Spencer's band was magnificent, as always (seriously people if you don't own a copy of Damn You, Ra yet then I don't know what you are doing) I had one of those nights where conversation is easy, interesting and free. The music did it's job of providing a reason to breathe. I keep rediscovering how live music builds my bones, kind of courses through me like temporary architecture holding up my ceiling.

Sometimes a drummer just wants to play guitar

Well it's close to 3am. I drank a bottle of champagne in a place where everyone except me was dressed like a sailor. I went across town to see some bands, the bands were grand but what sticks out in my mind is when a small and hideously drunk man calling himself Stanley crawled into my lap and said I shouldn't waste any time then pointed at his friend and winked at me. Now is the time to feel stupid, when I am home and still wearing red lipstick and everybody knows about the crush I have on Stanley's friend. Yep, time to feel stupid.

Friday, 4 December 2009

I wish him well and hope that everything he's worked for comes true

Somebody's paying me to check references for them so I'm sitting in a cubicle two days a week telephoning strangers and talking about other strangers but I'm not saying I don't like it. I like the top down snapshots I'm getting of these people. I like a life rated out of ten for punctuality, reliability, overall performance and their ability to meet sales targets augmented with strange and rambling personal anecdotes. Most of the applicants are young so I end up talking to the owner of the petrol station where they worked in uni holidays, or the president of the sports association where they volunteer as a junior coach. The people I'm telephoning can't wait to have their say, can't wait to rattle off the ten versions of how they're holding hope cupped in their hands for the smart young person they paid to wash cars or set up a straight line of orange cones. I feel like I'm getting a bird's eye view of something here, something I haven't seen before.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The Walk On By

The Walk On By appeared from nowhere. One day I’d never heard of them, and then suddenly they were everywhere. After only months on the Sydney scene they have lined up three international shows. I’ve seen them once before, appearing at in-store at Repressed Records with The Holy Soul. It was early afternoon and the sheer noise of them pushed me out of the record shop and into the street where I watched like a child with my face pressed against the window.

Descending into the depths of Club 77, armed with earplugs, I was determined to sit through any level of noise and see for myself what everyone is talking about. The Walk On By throw out an enormous sound. I snuck around the side of the stage to make sure that I had counted correctly. There are indeed only three of them. Leah Keramea is spectacular on drums. Her head hangs forwards leaving visible a short curtain of hair, the tied waist of a black trench coat and her elbows moving casually as though of their own accord. It is tempting to be jealous of the casual way she smacks out rhythm as though it was easy.

Dave Bourke is almost disturbingly energetic on bass. He seems to have mastered a precise climbing sort of bass line that walks up your bones. If I had any criticism it would be that he somehow sounds too precise, too clean and assured in the middle of such a crashing wall of sound. There was a brief pause while the band switched instruments, Keramea walking to the front swapping her drums for a guitar. She has the kind of presence that makes a crowd lean forward. I have to admit it was the highlight of the set when she started screaming ‘glass you fucking cunt’ into the microphone.

An angry American began walking around holding up a sign “Start a mosh?” There were no takers so in between songs she started yelling at the crowd to stop just standing there watching the band and nodding their heads. The crowd yelled back ‘fuck off’. I guess nobody told her about Sydney and standing around nodding your head. She then borrowed red lipstick and a mirror from some poor woman in the crowd. The American smeared her mouth red until she resembled nothing but a clown.

Frontman Soloman Barbar certainly looks the part all dressed in black with his wild and miraculously vertical hair, pointed moustache and one of those white neck-ties that you tie like a ribbon into a bow. Barbar has a tough job standing in the front with the aim of pulling focus amidst the kind of sound that crashes. It would be easy to forget that in terms of gigs this is a baby band taking its first steps. The Walk On By sound interesting enough to get away with breaking oceans of sound over my earplugged head. They would benefit from a more confident and assured vocal delivery but like I said, this is a new band beginning the hard task of earning their stripes playing in dives and late night bars. I’m all for watching them work their way up to playing in better venues, I think its going to be an interesting ride.

First published on LiveGuide

Monday, 30 November 2009

Pump the brakes bitch

Waking up with a mouth full of half-chewed liquorice pieces at 3 in the morning was not my finest moment. I was still wearing my dress but I had mercifully kicked off my shoes before laying down on top of the covers. I think I undertook one of those weaving walks home where I was throwing one foot out in front of the other with a casual disregard for boundaries such as straight lines or footpaths. It was just me and the cockroaches on Enmore Rd. I used to cringe at the sight of the fat black things scuttling audibly everywhere I went but like the aeroplanes and the out of town visitors it's now just one of those Newtown facts sliding through my brain like GPS.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Turn your snare off

If it's a clay shape then I don't want it, not even if you pushed it into being with aching fingers. Hold out your hands for the cold and moist lump, fold your fingers around the heavy weight and walk silently away.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Better run through the jungle

Today the idea of him has the hit and stick of napalm but tomorrow I plan on wearing a fireproof suit.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

A blanket pinned up across a window will come down in a heavy grey fold if you let slip just one of those pins

I suppose I was seven or eight years old when he told he was a blackberry. I was confused but pleased that he was playing one of his silly jokes with me. I laughed at him and said 'don't be silly you can't be a blackberry because you are a person'. I don't remember how old I was when I found out that he had said Black Beret and not blackberry.

He died last Wednesday, curled up and snuffed out but it wasn't entirely unexpected. I didn't see him crawling towards the long night like some of the others did but I heard the change in the light some years ago. Everybody supposed that she would nurse him down gently until the breathing stopped. Everybody supposed she would pack a small suitcase and be driven across the horizon to the farm but she stayed where she was with that salt wind at her place where she watches the kangaroos graze by the sea. She said she never sees them hop on the sand, they stay clear of the sand like she does.

On Monday there'll be three of them standing hot on the inland blustering dust at the side of his open grave. They'll wear black and swat flies with their funeral programs. The middle child will sob the hardest, shaking her shoulders and frightening her children. The oldest son will be the star of the speeches and the youngest will evoke sympathy with the silent grit-tooth bowing of his head. Three hours north of where she'll be sitting by her sea I'll be swallowed in a building and thinking of her.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Ye gods and far out I was sitting next to a former Rolling Stones tour manager

I was having a relatively normal conversation with the excellent Mr Fenton when I noticed that his shoes were quite shiny. I had a scope around and confirmed that his were the shiniest shoes in the outside area at The Annandale so I asked him if he shined his shoes. You should have seen the look Spencer gave me. Mr Fenton was drinking a beer and looking at me in that quiet and quizzical way he has then gently shook his head. He'd just come offstage after playing a Billy Thorpe tribute for a book launch* where I was plagued by ghosts from the literary set but soothed, after a fashion, by live music. Mr Fenton said his shoes were shiny from use, beer swill and dropped cigarette ash. When I think about it that is the most rock'n'roll way to shine your shoes.

*"Billy Thorpe's Time On Earth" by Jason Walker

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Change your own light bulb

It is clear to me that he desires very strongly to live. The way he watched people dancing is enough to fold you to the floor but people don't seem to watch him properly. Their eyes slide over him slowly taking measurements for memory.

I suppose he is my polar opposite. I am plagued with rude health and stubborn life yet I feel I would throw off the shackles of this life if I could, just shrug out of it like an unwanted cardigan. A situation like this is enough to make me want to change my own light bulb.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Bogans love You Am I

I suppose I am quite lucky that the first time I ever laid eyes on Tim Rogers was upstairs in the band room at The Annandale. He was walking around doing vocal warm up exercises then unexpectedly broke into a fair rendition of  I Will Always Love You. I was sitting on one of those Fender stools that allow you to rotate all the way around quite rapidly. Spencer was standing behind the bar fishing beer out of the ice bucket. I don't know why they have to put beer in an ice bucket when there is a perfectly good fridge. Tim Rogers is taller than me, I always thought he was a very short man but as it turns out he is not. Also his guitar tech smells like coconut and his tour manager has a tendency towards rudeness but then offers copious apologies after the rudeness has occurred. I believe she would benefit from swallowing the Little Book of Calm.

The Annandale is a bit shit really, the floor is never not sticky, the back stairs up to the band room are strange and I always run my arm across the exposed hot water pipe and jump at the shock. The sound tonight was, in places, shocking. I'm going to recommend they stop enticing the Sydney Morning Herald to write stupid articles about their fight with local council and start worrying about being a good venue again.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Flapping at my kitchen wall

I thought if this lament is unending then lord let us cry. I was curled like an old plastic chip packet heated in the oven, inelegantly wetting the front of my shirt with an unrelenting flow of tears when a crow hit The Peach windows with a powerful thud and crumpling of feathers. Some days are wet with soup, tea and tears. Some days demand you walk up and down the hallway or follow the movement of light across the floor. This day I needed nothing more than to have freedom enough to feel.

The bird flew away but I was left stunned with my hands on the kitchen sink, immobile and staring at the place where the bird collided with my glass wall. The phone rang, it was Artboy, I made a silent dash and scramble to pause The Way We Were and shake off my crow-weirdness. Hubbell stood frozen at the end of Katie's hospital bed staring at her as his wife for the last time. I don't know how she stood it. I can see why everybody was going crazy for Barbara Streisand, her hands are entirely elegant and there is something about the way she stands and delivers a line. I talked to Artboy for  hours while I stared at the frozen Hubbell in his Hollywood jacket and Cobra Kai haircut. I suppose the bad man from The Karate Kid was trying to look like Robert Redford but it took until today to work that out. I've never seen The Way We Were before.

A submerged and profound grief rolled in me like a whale in a pool as I spoke to Artboy today.  Talking to anyone else feels like a waste of words but then I catch myself and remember I have my own life now. I have this freedom and joy. I have a house in the city and a media pass. I have friends and a magazine and a small but respectable stack of published work. I have my cat and my desk and I can tell people at parties that I am a Rock Journalist and it is not a lie. I told Artboy nobody ever thinks of Ted Hughes, what it must have been like to live with Sylvia Plath as her illness consumed every corner of his life. I don't know how he stood it.

After Artboy and the close of one of those conversations that jump syllable to syllable like synapses I finished The Way We Were and moved on Into The Wild. It was one of those stories that Loene Carmen sums up best by saying 'trying to romanticise what a cunt you are'.* He had a kind of Superman syndrome where he took the ordinary troubles of life and wound them so tight around his heart and fists that he was punching everyone, including himself, without feeling the blows. Stopped the beat of his heart because he thought he was only one who heard the noise of it. I didn't notice this about Superman until it was too late and I was interstate and trapped inside a house with his family's Christmas leftovers.

I didn't weep for the man who fled like a child into the wild but I did weep. I wept great heaving soundless sobs while I knelt down to choose movies, I wept as I washed dishes in the sink, spread marmalade on my toast, poured tea from the pot. There was no great sorrow, my mind was on ordinary matters much as it always is. I formatted my new hard drive sitting on the lounge room floor taking care not to tip tears into the keyboard of my laptop. My need for unfettered expression was profound, solid as the foundations of the earth. I suppose it as simple as this, monsoons sometimes happen as far south as Sydney.

* From the album Rock'n'Roll Tears - listen to it.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Soundcheck City

Everyone was checking sound this afternoon as I walked home to The Peach. Notes, the Greek restaurant with surprising concrete walls and the unnaturally shiny counter, were broadcasting broken horn lines and and an arrhythmic sequential tapping of drums. Buskers were unfolding themselves from hardcases, tuning up their old guitars and getting ready for the public disappearance of self into the appearance of sound. The Enmore emitted the classic 'one two tchoo two tchoo' and lost another battle in it's fifty year war to reach the number three.

I was laughing about the preparation of noise as I collected my drumsticks and began another assault on rhythm coordination and purpose. I was thinking of Spencer and how he can make music without notice, music enough to kickstart your heart or bend your neck in rememberance of something you haven't lived through yet. I was laughing at preparation with my joyful anarchic heart until I decided to water the front garden and the door knob came off in my hand. I am trapped in The Peach.

The Peachettes are out of town this weekend. Spencer has gone on tour and just about everybody I know is somewhere else today. I thought about panicking but instead I attended an interstate party at The Hive by telephone. I was passed around the guests like a favour and I believe that I had a grand old time. Gemma was lamenting her yesterdays' drinking as she cooked for the party tonight. Retro was feeling drunk and generous and the whole thing sounded all right.

I was tempted to panic but instead I persisted in telephoning Madam Squeeze. Luckily for me Madam Squeeze decided to sit this leg of the tour out and I knew if I kept calling that I'd eventually catch her between songs in her busking set on King St tonight. She's on her way now to rescue me and I suppose this fact has put one more fear to rest. It seems that when I am locked and alone in my house I will not die and be eaten very slowly by the cat but attend interstate parties by telephone and make pots of peppermint tea.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Screw you German Idealist architecture

I've just washed the last of the dull silver and gold smears from the end of my fingers. I was talking to a person or two while I ran my fingers along the circuit lines. Anne Finnegan grinned at me as my left ring finger made enough noise to pause a gallery's worth of conversation. I don't  know how Joyce Hinterding did it but her drawings were circuit boards that made sound when you touched them.

I've been largely avoiding galleries smaller than the MCA for the last few years. I think it's time the stupid art world got ready for me to make a come back.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Aleksandr Hearst is an interesting young man

I happen to agree with him on this issue though of course I might word it a little differently. I've said it before and I'll say it again:

'This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast and if you cut them down d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?'

Yes Robert Bolt said it first. I am aware of that.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Oh honey last night I saw you at Wu-Tang

Did you know that Dawn Tan has a little online shop?

I love prints. I can afford prints. I will be very happy with my print. I will frame it and hang it on the wall here in The Peach where I will make The Peachettes stand and admire it with teacups in their hands.

In other news last night Wu-Tang Clan performed live at the end of my street. Three underage drinkers were arrested approximately 20cm from my face. One man tried to kiss me and another man said he was going to punch me in the face but then the crowd went inside, Spencer arrived and everything was fine. Wu-Tang Clan aint nothing to fuck with.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

We Buy Your Kids

I ran into Sonny Day on my way home from Mag Nation, I'm visiting that place daily until the new issue of Apartamento comes in. Sonny was opening a taxi door then closing it again after his friend climbed inside, makes sense when you stop to consider the basic physics of doors, Australia and taxis.

I've been talking to Sonny on the phone lately, sent the odd email or two, it was good to run into him and reconfirm that he is a real person and not a distinct set of telephone broadcast tones or a particular arrangement of the alphabet displayed in my inbox. Sonny is in fact kind of sunny despite the beard that can only be described as biker.

I've been talking to Sonny and Biddy about logos* for PAN magazine. They had said they were keen but needed to consider their schedule, which is unbelievably full. I anticipated a lovely but negative answer to the question of making me a logo but as it turns out I was wrong. You could have knocked me over with a dumbo feather as the taxi drove away and Sonny was standing on the street telling me yes, yes We Buy Your Kids would love to work with PAN magazine.

* Please note that We Buy Your Kids will be designing a logo very late this year, they are not responsible for any of the plain things that are up on the PAN website at the moment.


Today Slammaland intersected with PANland when I met Raging Yoghurt for the first time. She ordered the chocolate soup, I had two identical biscuits. If I wasn't so tired I'd tell you all about how smart, stylish and charming she is. I suppose that kind of information will have to wait for another day.

Monday, 26 October 2009

She thought she was chained up, she wasn't chained up but she was definitely dying

I thought well this is just about the worst situation a person can witness so I got out my sketchbook and made a picture.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Sometimes being alive for 100 days is reason enough to celebrate

Since she was born I drew a picture of a teapot and paid somebody to tattoo it on my shoulder in white ink. My life has turned on a sixpence and sped directly into the unknown realms of overwhelming joy, fulfillment and optimism. I'm not saying it's because of her, not even because of the teapot but something is markedly different around here. I have a new and lovely regret founded in the discovery of the 352 bus.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Official capacity

I like surprises that are good. I like editing magazines and writing sentences like "I am putting my fingers in all your pies". I also like being approached by a ski company to write their tweets for them. In the meeting I had to repress the urge to yell about snow and also that I find twitter quite annoying.

The idea of snow excites me. I've seen snow twice now, once I saw a little patch by the side of a road and one cold day it snowed at my Mum's house in Katoomba. It looked like floaty rain or evidence of a malfunction in my brain. I had no idea what was happening and for several long seconds stood at the window unable to comprehend what I was seeing. I think I said to my mother 'there is something wrong with outside, better come and have a look'. We stood in silence for a moment then Mum told me it was snow. I don't suppose that is the kind of thing that a ski company should know about. A person being paid to write for a ski company should have the ability to comprehend snow.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

More surprising than propelling high speed air into your naked armpit

I walked into yet another promising looking boutique in my neverending search to source clothes for PAN magazine's first ever editorial fashion shoot. The woman behind the counter informed me that their lending policy was 'We don't lend', but then she hesitated and asked which magazine I was from.  I told her PAN magazine expecting a blank look but she smiled and asked me what PAN stood for. I said "ponies are necessary but nobody is supposed to know about that". She said "I know about it and I love it". Seems that word is beginning to spread.

Oh and she might be changing her mind about the lending policy. We'll find out tomorrow.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Deodorant that makes you smell

I went to Penguin and was pointed at by Pip Smith which was nice. I was going to talk about PAN magazine but what seems more important right now is my deodorant. I have not always been a fan of the spray-on kind of deodorant, I found propelling air into my armpits too much of a shocking experience and ended up jumping around like a lunatic. I still jump around but there has been a fundamental shift in my thinking. My new and experimental tin of spray-on deodorant increases my naturally occurring body odour in the same way that an amplifier transmits the sound of a guitar. And I like it. I am going to spray again tomorrow and become one of those people that smells just precisely like themselves.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Fine then let's make a deal - I'll give you ten for your eleven

Tomorrow we might talk about the magazine and just why it is called PAN.

Generally my preferred Elvis is Costello not Presley

Well Elvis is something else. He was wearing an expensive suit two sizes too large. He was shambolic yet dapper and he occasionally danced across the stage. Elvis likes stepping away from his microphone, not afraid to strum his guitar and just sing, really let rip like they used to before somebody stuck a cord into a black box and discovered amplification. Once or twice he got a little experimental and made some art noise with his loop machine and pedals. I feel like I'm being haunted by loops at the moment. Everybody wants to stand on stage with a loop machine and make a band of themselves. I think its because we've forgotten how to go solo, almost everyone's plugged into someone else all the time. I suppose it's only natural that they take this to the stage where traditionally it has been lonely or it was until somebody figured out how to multiply one person into the sound of many.

Daisy from Bridezilla played a solo set at Oxford Arts Factory on Friday night, before Spencer's band and then The Mess Hall. I like Daisy, she's grand because she stands like she means it and just fucking sings. The Holy Soul were, as they almost always are these days, better than the audience deserved. I didn't stay to hear The Mess Hall play, I managed to not call Jed Dan and that was enough for me.  Radio Man was buying me drinks, I should have thought to drink something a little more expensive than water but it didn't occur to me at the time. I'm sure I had something else to say but I've forgotten what it might have been.

I've been saving my words lately. I've been holding back all effort that doesn't further the future of PAN magazine. I'll stop doing that eventually or maybe tomorrow but right now I'm riding that first wave of excitement just as far as it can take me. I'm hiding pens and notepads under my pillows in case I think of something in the night, I'm carrying two kinds of briefcase, working on three computers and tuning my footsteps to the sounds to the triple tap of magazine. I'll kick this habit at the launch party but for right now please don't wake me from this magazine dream.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

In the morning it would be better if you've gone

Sometimes the very best way to spend a Saturday morning is sitting in bed with a nice cup of tea listening to Bob Dylan's Christmas album and reading Nylon magazine. It helps to make a tiny bubble to stop in for a moment, even if the bubble doesn't really make sense.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Lacquer my tunnel

In case you were wondering why the pictures of trains in the tunnel at Central are so shiny. It is because they clean then lacquer them every Monday night.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

I suppose I should have suspected this

Editing a magazine is a little like herding kittens into a volcano of doom.

[disclaimer: neither the contributors nor the magazine are like a volcano of doom,  the magnitude of my mission is like a volcano of doom.... sort of]

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Salami shower (instead of two kinds of classy)

I was feeling kind of pleased with myself because I was planning on having a bubble bath with the bathroom window wide open. I was going to lie back in hot water and watch the rain. I was thinking of smoking one of those long thin cigars and pouring the smoke from my lungs out the window but then I remembered that cigars are made of tobacco and I quit smoking three months ago.

I changed plans and went with a shower in order to avoid not smoking but I must have made a pit stop at the refrigerator. It was one of those thin flat pieces of salami, the kind large enough to cover a piece of bread. I was holding it curled like a cigar in my teeth while I peeled off my clothes. It was freezing in The Peach bathroom this afternoon, cold enough to hurry me straight into the shower with less than three seconds passing from the removal of my last sock until the hot water hit my face. I turned around to let the water warm my back when I realised the rolled up slice of salami was still sitting in place like a meat cigar hanging out of the left side of  my mouth. Today is the day that I ate salami in the shower and I loved it. I'm doing it again tomorrow.

Kind of like a hoppy sort of sideways moonwalk combined with a running man and also some kicking?

This morning I woke up, only very moderately hungover, and decided that today is the day I learn how to do the Melbourne Shuffle. Clearly the music is horrid and the shufflers seem mostly to be men but what the hell it's about time I developed a new hobby. I briefly considered converting my black pyjama pants with yellow electrical tape and downloading horrible music but on reflection have decided to simply perform Slamma style shuffle to Talking Heads wearing my pony dress.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

It seems to me like this might be the place

Yesterday of course I had twelve tantrums in the rain but everyone arrived at all of the meetings and I believe what I experienced was progress with umbrellas, boots and a magazine. Newtown will in the end deliver what you need whether it's a poetry editor, seven and a half burritos or a permission to reprint something already delivered.

I had thought to sit quietly in a bookshop and lay down one convincing argument after another but as usual I ended pretending to tap dance in the doorway of a Mexican takeaway waving my umbrella and shouting at the rain.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Peter, Paul and Mary seemed to have each other

Everyone knows they've been fucking but not everybody knows that he doesn't know her name. I decided to call her Mary. Last week I heard somebody say 'we lost Mary' and there's not one person in Newtown who looks more lost than her. I was clutching ten records to my chest and walking in the rain when she rolled past me on a bus staring at nothing, not even blank space. I imagine she lets her handbag sag in her lap.

There's no one taller, she's got those toothpick legs hooked on to the end of a floating bone pelvis. Black hair hanging clean and straight. I feel like setting obstacles in her path just to see exactly how much those long legs can step over with breaking their elegant stride. I suppose she looks like a model or something but when you see her in a crowd she seems planted from outer space. I've seen her almost everywhere in Newtown, on buses, street corners, bars, pubs, shops and supermarkets. She is always alone. Last month I saw her picking up teaspoons in Vinnies. She would hold one close to her face, turn it over then put it down again. I never picked her as the type to make off with the silver.

I would have assumed that I had imagined her, conjured out of the viable air space in my head but people talk about her. I'm not the only one that sees in corners and out on the street. I'm going to keep calling her Mary but I think I've decided that instead of watching stand hollow and decorative as a crystal vase I might just walk up to her and say hello.

So why are they saying this isn't true?

Thursday, 1 October 2009

I've lost that and now it's gone

Newtown can turn on you, offer one of those knife-edge shoulder blades poking out of the backs of things. I knew this but I don't think Newtown knew that I would turn on her. I saw Gemma today and she said she thought I'd been turning on Newtown for a while now, figured out the code while I slept by night.

He started out speaking words and those stupid proclamations people utter before they realise what the worst is and that it sometimes happens to you, it made more sense than I'd care to admit. He rotated a hung apple until the worm hole hit the light.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Two seconds at The Hopetoun

I don't believe this is the end. There is a big grief behind this denial. I don't suppose I've talked about it before but The Hopetoun is one of the places where I suddenly looked down and found that my feet were standing just precisely where I always hoped they'd be. The other moment I don't talk about is the two seconds where one turned back birthed a god.

They come out of the crowd at The Hopetoun, the one standing next to you suddenly stops at the end of your sentence to look up at the stage. They might make a vague gesture with their head or nod at someone already scrambling onstage. There's always this moment; they breathe unaware of the accordion push of their lungs. They'll stare then at walls or the stage or their last chance to run for the green backlit EXIT. Here's the part that breaks my heart, the first step after they pivot and leave you standing in the crowd.  Barely head and shoulders above us but it's enough to get a clear idea of where they're coming from and just where we're likely to send them. It's how we spread our legs and birth our gods, forty centimetres off the floor.

Monday, 28 September 2009

There is a rumour

That The Hopetoun is shutting down. It might be best to panic after I find out if it is true or not, and not before.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Ponies Are Necessary

I've had one of those ideas that feed themselves and now I have a London correspondent, a fashion editor and a sex columnist. Some days you wake up feeling slightly tired and wishing the blender worked well enough to blend a banana but by the time you go to bed you're the editor of a magazine. Weird how that works.

There will of course be more details, in the future.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Pre-breakfast meeting sitting in underpants after all the guests have left but I am yet to moisturise, did I mention that my hair looks good?

Newtown cracked last night or it rolled over on the mattress and I saw her in clear light for the first time. I'm not blaming Spencer but he was definitely involved. There were empty houses where there was supposed to be Gypsies and somebody blamed Elvis for Kylie Minogue.  I can't recommend that you do this. Don't take a clear youth with intellect and use them as your eyes. If it weren't for my imminent breakfast meeting with Madam Squeeze I would have airlifted The Peach over three bridges and into the sea. I think the red dust rose up for a reason.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Anti-mashwoman at The Kill Devil Hills

It's the wrong side of midnight and I have to be up at 7, I left before the band finished playing but I'm not happy about it. I started the night out as a civilian but as soon as I discovered that The Annandale has installed soap dispensers in the ladies' toilets I decided to turn my notes into a review (which will theoretically be published sometime soon). I think I'm starting to love The Annandale, I used to think it was adequate with periods of shithouse sound but tonight there was soap and a chair with wheels. I managed to suffer only one mild disgrace when talking to members of bands such as Crow and The Mess Hall. I have a feeling The Annandale has taken pity on me, spread her beer-stained legs and offered me some shelter. I had nothing to do with the poor woman who tripped and fell down the stairs and lord knows if I was going to trip over anyone it would have been a Fenton or two. I had an awkward but passable conversation with John Fenton about kitchen stools and family photographs. He is using a scanner from 2001 but his computer is fairly new. I muttered strangely at Jed Kurzel who was interrupting my note-taking, I had to stuff my pen into the pockets of my jeans to shake his hand. I have no idea what he was saying to me, I was trying to grab the tail of a sentence as it flew through my head. I didn't manage to catch that sentence and I've been mourning its loss ever since. I suppose I should console myself with the fact that both he and I were rocking the double denim but mine slightly more stylish because I had made the addition of a silk tie.

Oh yes and the bands were quite good too.

For those people that like information the bands were:
Loene Carmen (solo)
The Holy Soul
The Kill Devil Hills

Thursday, 24 September 2009

I have a feeling

That pine green will be making a come back in poetry book spines next year. Oh yes, it will be amazing.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

PS or Ra! Accidental in-lift rudeness

Check out my "review" of the instore gig to begin the launching of Damn You, Ra. One of these days I'll sit down and write a proper review, like a grown up, just not today. In other news I have developed the exciting skill of accidental in-lift rudeness.

Dear Woman from Level 4 of that building I was in for a bit today,

I am terribly sorry. I did not mean to repeat aloud what you said when you declared 'god damn' into your mobile phone. It came out of my mouth with no warning at all, I think I was wearing a red dress. I did not mean to make the other ten people in the lift laugh with careless abandon so that their access passes bounced and clacked on their little corporate chests. I can assure you that I was secretly writing poetry while they were thinking about money. I might as well mention they were laughing at me and not at you, unknown woman from level 4. You may be consoled that I felt a kind of burning awkwardness and a little bit like an accidental arsehole as I walked across the beige tiles of your lobby. Later that afternoon Aleksandr considered my conundrum, he said that he didn't think you would take it the wrong way, if you were a person with a sense of humour. I have no idea if he will be right, I don't have that kind of information about him yet but I am slowly learning the contents of his ipod and that he likes to wear my hat. I hope this information will assist you.


Monday, 21 September 2009

Holy Fucking Hell

Here's a thing not to do. Don't go running around town getting drunk on a Monday night with young Aleksandr because he might take you to a bar where a jug of snakebite is real cheap and the backpackers from upstairs come down to race crabs. I have the feeling the light shades were covered in hula skirts and most people were wearing shorts. I don't recall an occasion where I have cheered for a small crab with a number painted on its back, lifting my beer glass in chorus with a dense crowd of international men. My crab was beaten by a crab named "Tradesmen Entrance". I suspect that crab belonged to a group of men wearing bike shorts, rubber truncheons and handcuffs.

I ran away in the end, made a break for it up the stairs and back out onto the street. I was surprised to find myself on George St and close to Central Station. I was quite sure that my geography took leave at the same time as my senses and that I was located somewhere brand fucking new. I met up with Spencer on King St in one of those same old pubs where the locals are local and the sausage sandwiches are free. Spencer took his time laughing at me for running away and into the night. I guess next time I see him I'll try and explain that sometimes when I find myself somewhere new I just need to run until I stop.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Damn You, Ra

I kept staring at Rusty from You Am I not for any other reason than he is a man that knows Tim Rogers. Spencer told me to stop it then I realised that Spencer is also a man that knows Tim Rogers, not as well as Rusty but still there you go. Next time I might stare at Spencer. I was jammed into Repressed Records like a sunburnt sardine with Newtown's finest unwashed. Today was the first day in Spencer's album launch juggernaut. It was an instore album launch, Spencer and Mr Hunter worked out that if they continued to sell records at the rate they sold during the instore gig then they would be earning 36 million dollars a month. I double checked their calculations, they are correct but the likelihood of this happening is just about the same as me returning to my international modeling career. If it does come true then Spencer can start paying for my coffee. To help my free coffee dreams come true go and buy the album.

For those people who like information the album is called "Damn You, Ra" by The Holy Soul.

Did I mention that I am on this album?

Oh shit! I am definitely going to listen to this every year.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Bill shock or confusion - They charged me to remove my right hand

Look at the knuckles on my left hand. There's bone under that skin pushing pale against my architecture. What a traitor shadow trading with child's wish for aphasia.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

First draft after walking through Central at lunch time with two fans and one man

I could tunnel to America
using sharp facts I want to forget about you
Your Moses hurled me from the mountain
Rained down stones that I swallowed like lead

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

There's lipstick on my microphone

Dear Australian Tax Office,

Your late processing of my tax refund has prevented me from buying a ticket to see Elvis Costello, please register my extreme disappointment and the inevitable uncomfortable listening that I will have to do outside the Enmore Theatre. Happily the theatre is extremely close to my house, unhappily this is not because of you. You will receive no credit for the proximity of my private residence from the above mentioned venue.


It is telling that I am frightening people on buses by grinning like a Cheshire cat despite having to stand outside to listen to Elvis Costello, whom I love and will not be persuaded otherwise, not by anybody. You will not receive any credit for my current state of general elation, sincere happiness or abiding love for Declan MacManus who is an actual songwriter and not just a man who wanders about with a guitar case full of a guitar and an empty heart clutching at three achingly average incomplete songs.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Dear Dawn Tan

Your blog handmade love makes me feel happy, every day and one day, when I have twelve more pots of money, I will buy one of your little paintings and hang it on my wall.

Monday, 7 September 2009

The opposite of thorns on a rose

I want to watch somebody die, see that flat-pack end of them. I've seen the crash, click and climb of most things, spider-legged horses breathing out the last of their tree-strength, a new woman slide out of a torn vagina but not that bitter end. You can blame science if you like, both sides now, I want to discover just why we are supposed to operate as the exact opposite of thorns on a rose.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Dear Anastasia Freeman

Your exhibition* is sophisticated and beautiful, successful on many levels but none more than the personal. I was re-enchanted, or at least I was until I walked round the corner and found myself back on Oxford St in the rain but I can't really hold you responsible for that. Thank you for meeting me in a miniature wedding cake of a building that I misremembered as being slightly blue. You slid out all the possibilities hidden within each work of art, at the going down of the sun I will remember them.

* Thaumaturgy - Kudos Gallery - 6 Napier St Paddo - until 12th September

Thursday, 3 September 2009

We have liftoff

Who would have thought it would be so difficult to explain exactly what I mean when I say I've invented a Little Richard crash helmet.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Interesting study

Curious admixture of a man, he has the correct ratio of shoulder width to visible chest hair but his nose leaves me with the impression of daintiness. He is altogether a different sort of man, one that might attend Oxford University between the wars.

To be continued...

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Microwave is not the same as ultrasound but both will heat blue coloured goo to an acceptable temperature

He said he wanted to put things in my shoes. I was lying face down and he had a good hold of my left heel with his right hand, he massaged his fingers up my heel and across until they were as far underneath an ankle bone as fingers can be. I said "What kind of things? Roller skates, ponies, marmalade sandwiches, dynamite? It's dynamite isn't it? Dynamte!" He scoffed, "Dynamite! Why would anyone put dynamite in shoes?" then told me to lie still and cooperate. I thought about trying to leave because things had shifted from odd and uncomfortable into definitely very painful but he had smeared my left leg with several kinds of goo, first clear, then slightly yellow and finally blue and I thought I might slip over and skid into the doorframe or stain my red dress or something infinitely terrible but as yet unimagined. I tried to ask him what was with the different kinds of goo but every tiny deliberate movement of his freakishly strong arms and fingers sent a shiver of pain so pure and undiluted that I had to switch breathing from autopilot to manual. I endured for as long as I could before calling a halt to proceedings, he said he was just about to finish anyway then he held me down flat while he wiped away the goo with three towels, each one a different shade of blue.

I did not discover what he wants to put in my shoes or why he needs three separate kinds of goo but I am quite determined to find out. I am going to see him again on Thursday.

Little things big Monday night

I've been walking after midnight on my way home from drinking with a friend. I rose up unexpectedly from the comfort of my chair and walked out into the night. I met him at the cafe but we wound up high above King St playing records and sharing a longneck bought with the last loose change we had. He was ripping the filters off his cigarettes and showing me the evidence of something that should be an irrational continent-spanning love but he said it was only a couple of good songs and a photograph of a painting. I would have said write something new and post it south but he'll probably think of that on Thursday and stay up all night to catch the morning post. That will have, I hope, a transforming effect. I walked the back way home ducking under the railway line through Piss Alley. I don't think I've ever seen the streets so empty, nothing but one tourist at a bus stop in an electric-yellow dress and a small crowd mopping floors at Istanbul. I was photographing public garbage bins and private doorways.

It was somewhere between King and Wilson, on one of those big-tree streets that I stooped to snap a pelargonium stem. I carried it home and pushed it into the dirt with the other snapped and stolen plants struggling to grow roots where my arms and its arms have been. I will water the way to remember this night.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

I have a small book that goes to New York without me then comes back again

Most cities hum. NY throbs. The Subway is the circulatory system for this place, the life force. Cars are here for show, most people walk, take the subway or bus, that's why the cars have to make so much noise, to be noticed.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Dear Robert Tuckwell I have decided that seeing as I do not know you it would be imprudent to fall in love or Extract from a letter to Robert Tuckwell

An art museum made out of pink, white and yellow paper run through with shadows cast by a miniature artificial sun. I walked the walls and ceilings until I understood the gravity of the imagined. If I mapped and reduced the trails I leave as I cross and cross this city their bleached and condensed shape might resemble the museum as seen from above. I have maps that will answer your questions. I am not known for my ability to imagine architects or the possibility of confining and redefining matter into space. You have forced mastery over things such as bricks, sand and sunlight. I understand this is something they teach in universities. My desk lies in artificial shadow, light blocked by a drawing and the direction to lay bricks, uproot trees and lock panes of glass in channels made of wood. I might once have thought the word homemaker was something of an insult or a self-remedy for failure. This has revealed more than it should.


Won't somebody scry for Baudrillard? He's plotting a notion to take away my Antarctica. I am loading the torpedo bays with minatures.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

I run with scissors so that I may cut flowers from gardens if they please me

The house on the corner of Alma Avenue is set square and terrifying, the drop from the rooftop enough to reconfigure your idea of broken bones. A vase in the front window displaying a bunch of artificial hydrangeas in white. No furniture is immediately visible from street level. Through one of two narrow side windows, found before a heavily secured door and situated several metres down Alma Avenue, a print of Wheelflower by Margaret Preston can be seen if you stand on your toes. It is an ordinary print and not grand in size or frame. All lights on the upper levels burn bright. Rendered in wedding cake cream and sculpted with plaster replicas of I know not what plants a decorative bas relief spreads above the large front window. The window itself draped with a perfectly white sweep of evenly parted curtains. The function of this house remains unclear.

On the corner of Phillip and Charles streets, as ordinary as ice cream, stands a single-story miniature of the monolothic sculpted cream and coffee terrace. This house appears to be lived in.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Sign, signifier, signified.

I've been reading without my reading glasses, this is because I am hardcore. I am considering this my hard-fought triumph over Sassaure.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009


I own this slow version of Newtown, the one with a slight limp. Everyone is missing so I'm picking up the $1 glasses and holding them to the light in shop after shop to see if any of them will please me. Spencer and the band have gone to play at some damned festival somewhere across the world. I had the idea of writing little notes to be left in people's green rooms,

Dear Placebo,
I hate you.

Dear Tricky,
What are you doing?

Dear Frente,
No really, what are you doing?

Dear Chicks on Speed,
I love you.

Spencer said he'd hide them there for me but in the end I was too drunk when he dropped me at my door and drove away.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

That penguin plays rough or welcome to the zetabet

She said she was twenty-one and I could see that this was half of her problem. She asked me if I was a good writer so I said yes, might as well say yes as no, it was all the same to her. I think she was wearing shorts, with tights, the way I used to wear shorts with tights when I was at high school but she was also sporting one of those haircuts, those Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors haircuts but without the combing, smoothing down and tucking behind the ears. She was dancing with a Greaser girl, Newtown's full of them at the moment. I can't get behind this Greaser girl fashion movement, the men seem to make it work better, they incorporate heavy but short leather jackets into their outfits while the girls have gone mad for white singlets and red high heels while they turn shades of blue and purple in the mid-winter night. If I was going to be a Greaser then I would be a Greaser boy with boots and and socks and a jacket.

The dancing Greaser girl thought too much of herself, even the usually non-judgmental Madam Squeeze admitted this quite freely. They were dancing where the crowd sat not ten minutes before, the young one and the Greaser girl trying their hardest to make sure that every remaining set of eyes turned towards them. I don't care if people dance but it annoyed me that the young one had determinedly sat at the top of the stairs away at the other end of the hall while the writers' read their work. She only appeared in the big room once the crowd had dispersed. She told me that all this writing, sweeping her hand from one side of the room to the other while her cigarette ash fell on the floor, was too self-contained or all wrapped up on itself. She said the ends all finish. I scrawled the letter 'y' on the back of my hand with a piece of white chalk. I nodded at her but I was thinking what kind of idiot doesn't allow a work to be self-contained. I imagined individual letters running loose and wild down King St. Z stabbed A through the heart in a bid to reorder the alphabet.

She snuck down the long hall to listen to a little of Josephine Rowe's final reading of the night, she heard two lines then stomped back down the hallway saying 'AWFUL" in a stage mutter. This is the part where I disagree with her. Josephine Rowe is a fine writer and an astonishing performer. I guess that's why close to a hundred people sat spellbound, leaning forward in the hope of being the one to catch her next word. The twenty-one year old smoked three cigarettes, grabbed her housemate by the arm and marched down the stairs yelling "I'm going to google you!". It sounded more like a threat than a promise. I breathed out only as the top of her head disappeared from view and she stomped out into the street.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Safe as houses

Don't worry about me, safe as a house with no smoke over here. The worst thing that has happened is this; I drank a tall glass of water immediately after I brushed my teeth. I dislike the slide of cold water over the remnants of mint.

I am working on a new project. I have decided to take portraits of houses, with words. I will post the portraits on Safe as Houses, this will be a slow process.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Farewell Phoenix, I hope you can rise again

I watched a train wreck headed straight for Berlin in the dim red glow of The Supper Club. She was staggering on nine inch heels at the very edge of the stage until she fell to her knees with her hair hanging down in an unconscious imitation of shame. The Love Shark cranked at his guitar, he was wearing a striped sweatshirt and some old pair of jeans. I watched her slide off the crash, down the side of the bass drum, with her legs crossed - mock elegant- and hit the floor all the while hitting all the notes she wasn't supposed to. That's when it hit me; she was beautiful. I ceased watching from the outside when she dragged my gaze, with her knees, across the floor.

Spencer snuck forwards to grab his guitar and we made a break for the door. He'd played a solo set, one of those viscous ones casually grabbing at time. The man sitting next to me was gobsmacked. I told him everybody reacts like that the first time they see a song grow legs and stand. He turned towards me to see if I would say anything else so I quoted Martha Wainwright and told him Spencer was stamping his feet to a different beat, like those guys with guitars I've been watching in bars. He nodded like I was an oracle and offered to buy me a bottle of wine. I told him I was pregnant and patted fondly at my non-existent baby, just to ensure that he would go away, and he did.

I walked directly to the bar and bought myself a drink. The barman gave it to me for free, he said "that's your friend on stage now isn't it?", when I nodded he pushed my money across the bar towards my purse muttering keep it. It's the first time I've been recognised and rewarded for being somebody's friend but it was just one of those nights, people walking past me and yelling "Slamma! Hey Slamma!" while I ignored them and Ms Phoenix threw back another apple martini. I was sitting at a table with the bass player from The Walk On By, Ms Phoenix and some creepy man who turned out to be The Love Shark, it was a strange place to be.

She didn't seem drunk until she tried to drink the candle wax, mistaking it for a shot glass. Then she stood and I saw her reel like the world was tipping. Maybe that's how people move continents, they pour wine like water until hemispheres turn supple and a slide down the fat curve of a bass drum lets you wake up in Berlin. Spencer and I snuck sideways to the door as the black-clad security goons descended while they plunged the stage into darkness. That Space Cowboys woman popped up out of nowhere, star-spangled and headed for the stage. She was talking up the band and hollering like a crazed actress as Spencer and I burst out the door and started laughing into the rain.

We were laughing but rattled, I haven't seen someone that reckless drunk since Elliot went to rehab. I witnessed something. It should be simple, a lovely woman and songwriter got drunk but it felt like rock'n'roll got cancelled and instead we all turned Humbert Humbert and watched a dark little Lolita on stage.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

I'll take mine with salt & vinegar

I think Jill Jones has highlighted just one of the problems with the recent recommendation from the Productivity Commission to lift restrictions on parallel importation of books into Australia.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Even Alf Wight was chastised or periodic escape from the Inner West can prevent trench foot

My final frontier is the mid-inner west of Sydney. It's all the same to me, Ashfield, Strathfield, Lidcombe just slide on by, a physical explanation for time between the city and the mountains, a reason for the rhythmic click of trains.

I wandered there yesterday, on purpose. Boli lives in one of these mythical places now, where his rent money buys more space than I remembered to imagine. His house feels new, though it is not, all houses feel new after three years of walking through the ghost haze and sinking crooked facade of the Inner West. He has a basement storage room almost as large as The Peach, he has a tiled laundry, neat and accessible through a full-sized door in an internal hallway. He and Yolde have strung nets from the ceiling in anticipation of a baby.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

And her coat's a second hand one

I like the open hole of possibility, the gap tooth in a terrace row showing horizon where yesterday stood only billboards. She said make a ritual, knock thrice upon something to tell yourself that you're going to bed. I told her I wasn't having any trouble sleeping. I am fond of the unexpected. She advised sleep hygiene nonetheless, leaning forwards and offering templates of ritual, blueprints of oblivion. Her chair swivels smoothly to the right but creaks and offers sudden variations in height when turned to the left. She asked what I did in the final moments of light and movement before the voluntary defeat against darkness. I answered with the destruction of architecture and the raising of eyes through places where buildings should be.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Rarely everage

I've been sleeping with a poster of Barry Humphries. It has big pink letters that read "Rarely Everage". I recently told Spencer about the poster, he just raised an eyebrow and continued to drink his milkshake.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Panhandling public bath canoe sex

I don't like the word 'panhandling'. I feel, very strongly, that it should mean something else, something grand like: inventing something wonderful. I might write a letter to the dictionary.

I overslept this morning, by two hours. I lay dreaming of small overnight fetes and meeting an eligible man in a public bathtub (public the way toilets are with one per cubicle) only to find out that he had been sent there, by Potato who had told him that I was within the normal height range. I told the man that I thought he was a little intellectually dull for anything serious to take place so perhaps he had better hop out of my bath. I don't agree with people who only read romance novels. He said you may not agree with me but you should have sex with me at least once because I am as good as Jeff Goldblum.

I then discovered that I was in Melbourne, had been the whole time, so I hopped on a tram to visit Gemma. I was wearing my pyjamas so I yelled at The Spatula and Grizelda. What had possessed them to not inform me that I was in Melbourne, on a tram and wearing pyjamas? Fortunately I woke up soon after that, after I tripped merrily through pig circuses accessible only by speedboat, almost had sex in a canoe with bath man but was interrupted by his mother who approved of me, galloping down dried out canal beds on a horse in order to save the ocean faring circus pigs. The horse was wearing my old school jumper.

The dream was fast, one of those whirligig visions where I jump morph from scene to scene with full physical sensation. I woke feeling unsure as to whether or not I was on a tram. I have decided to deduct ten points from the part of my brain responsible for that dream.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Give me back my notebook please or I really like it when the haridresser shoves their towel-covered fingers into my ears after washing my hair

I am tired of mysteries. I have no idea if Julia Romeo is a real person/object/monument/pet canary/cigar or if some anonymous person has decided to leave false clues, for kicks. I guess it beats the usual death threats or notes encouraging me to top myself. By the way, have I ever stopped to thank those kind individuals before? I don't think that I have so thank you for taking the time to write me death threats and notes encouraging me to kill myself. It is a very special gesture to take the time to sit down and write somebody a little note but I'll just make one request. Please draw a picture of a pony on the next one. I like ponies.

Spencer said that all artists have a great lost album and that maybe I should consider this mine. That's a fine theory but the contents of that fairly new notebook are most certainly not great. The last time I held my notebook in my hands was at The Townie where I made some vague and drunken notes about how a friend of mine was wishing she could invade men, physically, the way that they invade her, I think. It was hilarious at the time, she was miming actions and thrusting imaginary appendages while Adam Ant sang about Prince Charming on the jukebox and Madam Squeeze and I held our hands above heads in the gesture known universally as 'awkward house'.

Spencer recently beat the world record for distance covered whilst dancing the Adam Ant Prince Charming dance. I believe he made it nearly all the way from The Sando to my second birthday party of the day which was a fair distance indeed. He deserves either a large trophy or a swift slap to the side of the head, I can not decide which would be the better course of action. The second birthday party of the day was held in a secret enclave in the land of square mansions. This wonderland of largeness in architecture is a mere two blocks from The Peach. I sat in an astonishingly comfortable mid-century armchair high on a balcony, with my green pony dress spread greenly across the seat, and stared contentedly at the giant houses whilst sipping on my glass of Jameson.

I noted that at one point all the people on the balcony, except me (of course), are in extremely excellent bands. In fact one of the men I was talking to flashed a tiny flash of annoyance across his face when I asked his name. I could have been imagining it but I suspect it has been some time since somebody asked him what his name was at a party. In this instance the annoyance was probably justified seeing as the balcony I was standing on was attached to the bedroom of his fellow frontman and if I was in that room then I probably should have known what his name was. I suppose I could have told him that I am hopeless at recognising people* but I didn't hence his, possibly imagined, flash of annoyance.

I wandered in to the bedroom occasionally to stare at the unusually blue walls and neat shelves of books, record and cds. The bedroom was close to ideal and for a mad minute I had a strange murdering fantasy where I became the new owner of the ideal bedroom. I dismissed this thought as uncharitable and set about wondering how I could paint The Peach blue. I don't know if that will be possible but one thing is for sure, everything would be easier if I had my notebook back.

* List of people I would definitely recognise if I saw them on the street.
The horse
The Spatula
Madam Squeeze
Tex Perkins
Santa Claus
P of London

But where are the words?

I keep looking at this blog to see if there is anything new on here and then I remembered that I am the one who writes the posts. Stupid of me really, to forget something like that.

Monday, 29 June 2009


I was planning on heading out to the mass moonwalk today just because it sounds too ridiculous to be true but some days in doonas are better than others.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Bloody hell

Spencer P Jones, fresh coconut (sugar with a wood aftertaste), Dave Graney, brass birds, giant cakes. So far, so good.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Double celebrity death day 2006

I was mildly saddened at the demise of Michael Jackson but then I was angry that people were saying that his death upstaged the death of Farrah Fawcett. It is a strange idea, that even your death will be a ratings competition, then I remembered the last Double Celebrity Death Day, 4th September 2006. This is the day that Colin Thiele died and also Steve Irwin. You should go and read Colin Thiele's excellent books despite his death losing the ratings race. If you don't know who the hell I am talking about then start with Storm Boy.

Actually turns out a whole lot of people died today. Sky Saxon and the guy Spencer P Jones said no one was allowed to say anything about because he was too sad.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Mild haunting

I had a thought when I was in the bath but the water washed it away. That's what I call a mild haunting.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

She sleeps while I type, I don't remember agreeing to this arrangement

She said that she was pleased that I was home but then she put on a Rolling Stones record and fell asleep on the bed with a paw across her face. I guess she didn't feel like talking.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Return to Newtown

Any type of happiness will do, even the synthetic kind caused by Mexican stairwells and an old white car. The drum kit was a surprise. I'll admit it was the last thing I was expecting to see as the door opened and the light switched on but there it sat tom upon tom like it had always been purple and covered in polka dots.

I watched diners sip at wine while I emptied my bladder, I suppose they could have seen me, if they had looked up. This is only one of the hazards of Spencer's wonderful labyrinthine house.

Spencer was waiting for me on a public chair one whole block before the cafe where we had agreed to meet. He was giving me a heads up. Said there was an unfriendly patrolling the streets, that he tried to say hello to the unfriendly but that it hadn't really worked. That must be why everyone has taken to calling him the unfriendly.

We sat in the cafe anyway, to prove that we didn't care, drinking tea and hot chocolate. We read through a review of Spencer's latest gig. I took out my pen and gave the review a double tick. Well done Paul Smith from Drum Media, you got it just about right. I was thinking about St Kilda and my discomfort on discovering how easily I slipped into feeling at home. It frightened me to think that home could be where I decide it is and not here where I have always been, give or take a 100km or so.

I've been staying at The Hive where Gemma lives with her books and vegetables and dog. We drank and slept and wandered along the beach. I was in company with writers and the feeling was strange. Up here I operate solo like an undercover agent in a land of musicians. Gemma said it doesn't have to be like that, I can move to Melbourne and find myself surrounded by people who carry small books and many pens. We ate lunch in a laneway and drank cocktails by the river. I stood on one side of the tram stop watching Gemma on the opposite platfrom. I was headed for the airport, she was headed for home. I don't like those moments where loved ones slide in the oposite direction. I am not powerful enough to overcome the mechanical will of a tram. I'll find consolation in aeroplanes, email and three small photographs of Gemma wearing pink washing up gloves safe and happy in the heart of The Hive.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Elemental mendicant

I thought about using a nautical themed fabric for the trim but Madam Squeeze wisely pointed out that the rest of the dress is grass green and covered in pictures of horses, she thought the lighthouse trim might be just that little bit too much. I spent hours thinking the phrase 'elemental mendicant'. I am pleased with how the words sound in my head. I am afraid, quite afraid, that the words might end up being edited out of manuscript. That would be a damn shame.

This might not be entirely accurate but it is lovely

I live in a fancy apartment
Off the Boulevard of St. Michel
Where I keep my Rolling Stones records
And a friend of Sacha Distel

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Travelogue II

The demons have changed their wigs and somebody changed the camera angle but if you look closely you can see that it's the same old village.

Thursday, 4 June 2009


Madam Squeeze said I must have lime juice still stuck in my nose from when I tried to clean my fingers with a piece of lime and it went squirtily wrong but Spencer agreed with me, the mysterious fog descending like a dropped cloth over King St most definitely smelled of lemons. The fog appeared suddenly, as if a switch had been flicked and the whole world went soft focus. It wasn't there when I tripped out of Kelly's after drinking snake bites with the people I call the Psychonannies but it was everywhere when we emerged half an hour later with bellies full of hot soup. At first we were confused, thinking it must be steam from a street cleaner or that somewhere a raging bushfire was being doused with lemon juice.

Spencer swore at the fog in amazement, then he bowed and explained how boy scouts shake hands. We bobbed around like corks in the sea suddenly overjoyed at finding ourselves in a new landscape. I've never seen King St shrouded before. It always snakes the same clear path. I've hung meaning on every lamp post but tonight I was in new territory and I couldn't be happier.

I took the back streets home, losing my way momentarily, every brick, tile and street corner felt vague and unfamiliar. I came across Spike's brother dancing in the middle of the road, his unbuttoned coat billowing like a cloak. He was pretending to be Jack The Ripper but he looked more like that singing chimney sweep from Mary Poppins. He stopped dancing to talk to me but he was hopping from foot to foot. Periodically a happy noise would escape his lips and he'd start dancing all over again. When I walked away he started running down the road yelling joyful words, arms held out like an aeroplane.

I can hear the hollow calling of boats in one of those harbours. The Peach rocks blind and steady on top of this hill. It is warm inside and soft with furnishings but I'd much rather be out there, in the new landscape navigating the footpath like a submariner.

Sometimes I'll shoot like the farmers do

A little bird told me that you love me. I told that little bird that I don't really care.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Reviewinator gets reviewed - surprise!

Ocarina #2 is now available at my online shop.

The zine includes a morse code decoding chart and illustrations by The Spatula.

Here's what Vanessa Berry had to say about Ocarina #2.

It’s important to pay attention while reading this zine, because the words twist this way and that. The stories are heavily visual and interior, thick like thoughts, shooting off in many directions at once. There are constellations to absorb.

Read all of Vanessa's comments here.

Oh and if you'd prefer to trade for a copy of Ocarina #2 send your zine, letter or tiny present to me at PO Box 1003 Newtown NSW 2042.

I write better when you're not here

She spat out 'That's not a very nice thing to say' like it hurt her mouth to have the words form on her soft tongue. She was bristling like a cat and trying to play the wounded card all at once like a confused echidna playing possum. I just stared at her in disbelief. She kept repeating herself as though it would change my mind or render my words obsolete. I stared at her in disbelief hoping that she would become bored and walk away but she was bristling and puffing and demanding an answer.

She was dissatisfied with my explanation that it was a statement of fact and not a judgment on her person. She started yelling 'That's bullshit'. It was here that I stopped her and enquired as to just when was the last time she wrote a work of fiction. She then tried talking kindly to me, trying to coax out what was wrong enough to make me so hurtful. I thought hell no lady, if you think if it was hurtful to say that I write better when you're not here you're going to pop an artery when I tell you that I am trying to ignore you because I am sounding out a sentence for my manuscript in my head to see if the words fit in a way that sounds right to me.

Eventually she went away but now I'm thinking about it on repeat. Why on earth would someone be offended by the idea that I write better when they're not here. It seems so obvious to me. So obvious that it didn't require uttering to be brought to anyone's attention. So obvious and natural that it is impossible to be offensive. Had she secretly hoped to be the one exception to the ordinary rule? It is all very strange.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Purple reign

He was wearing a unitard in ideal purple and I couldn't stop staring. Ever since listerine started advertising their new pruple listerine I have wanted nothing more than be the precise same shade of purple. Standing next to purple unitard man was a woman wearing a dress made out of playing cards but the next woman over, white unitard and swimming cap, was talking to Paul Mac. I stepped carefully down off the wooden pontoon and walked away. Paul Mac was the most famous in the room and if the past is anything to go by then he was in horrible danger of being mildly injured in an unlikely incident caused by me. He wasn't even wearing anything remotely interesting, except for sunglasses, at night. I walked carefully over to Spencer and Madam Squeeze, matching cowboy outfits, and watched the purple unitard man through the small gap in between their giant cowboy hats.

I once performed an awkward intellectual swan dive into purple, covering every spare space in daubed patches of mixed pigments trying to create the perfect purple. I interviewed everyone from colour consultants and historians to church curates in an attempt to understand the historical significance of the colour. Years later I sat spellbound while Tony Robinson smashed molluscs and watched it ferment into a stinking dye. He had a more difficult time than I did with my pots of blue and red pigments sitting precious as gemstones in neat rows on my studio floor. I had forgotten about that strange and experimental month until I found myself greedily eyeing advertisements for listerine. Tony Robison came closer than listerine did to my long forgotten ideal hue but it seems my personal ideal purple is subject to change.

Trotting home from the shops with my new bottle of ideal purple made me indescribably happy. The bottle was sitting on top of my other shopping (underpants and plums) inside a purple shopping bag. It took me two days to break the seal on the bottle. On the third day I scrubbed myself clean, washed my hair, brushed my teeth, climbed into my new purple underpants then ripped off the plastic seal and measured out the correct amount in a medicine glass. As I swished the strange burning but pleasantly minty liquid around my mouth I experienced the incredible sensation that if this is as good as it gets then I couldn't be happier.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Batten down the hatches

Spencer said I should lay low for a while. At first I thought laying low meant shutting things off, crawling back into confined spaces but I was wrong. Laying low means long afternoons writing longhand, drinking coffee and milkshakes with the people who mean the most. It means chipping at walls to find calm spaces. I'm subsiding into a lit room lined with books and one uncluttered desk. There is space in here for everything that matters like new words scrawled on lined paper and tea and sandwiches on a tray. Laying low means shutting out the bullshit and digging foundations for the things that are good. It seems strange that I didn't notice how all of this was already here in The Peach.

Sometimes it takes an outside hand to bring me to a halt. Sometimes it takes a kind voice to tell me to stop kicking. Sometimes it takes a plane crash to notice the drop in altitude. I'm just glad that this time all it took was a ham sandwich, observatory hill and a telephone booth.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Like a good whore or a pet canary

I thought she said "You have a thylacine imbalance". I immediately imagine all the tigers crouching in my left leg. She isn't talking to me but that didn't deter the tigers.

Monday, 25 May 2009

An incomplete photographic survey of the mantlepiece in my library

The owl used to be electric blue.

Reading zines by daylight

I'm thinking this would be better with a sandwich. Egg? Cheese? Vegemite? These are my choices. I already ate the last of Grizelda's salami when she was on a wine tour. I ate it greedily, on toast, letting the grease run down my fingers. I was hungover and in the house alone but now she's back. I confessed to eating the salami but failed to buy anything new to put on a sandwich.

I have a new pile of zines, all but one written by my zine hero Vanessa Berry. The odd zine is by Maddy Phelan. It is tiny, sealed in an envelope covered in stamps. It will be a shame to break it open.

My new pile of zines is high, disordered and slippery. I carried them home in my 70's Goldenman briefcase. The briefcase lived in my mother's garage forever without anybody using it until it moved into my cupboard. The inside is an uncomfortable red.

I have shuffled the zines into chronological order and placed them in piles in my customary sitting position on the bed, facing the pillows and above them the window and the street. I feel like the whole operation would be better with a sandwich and a cup of tea. I will blow my nose, put on a cardigan and walk the length of the hall to the kitchen.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Basted, wasted and soaked or free things and how I got them all in one Friday night

Free wine:
The Spatula's friend Gior arrived wearing space tights from space, a fancy dress and a trench coat. She was carrying an expensive bottle of wine. I was fortunate enough to be standing in the hallway holding an empty wine glass.

Free dinner:
Torrential was the general consensus so The Spatula and Gior ordered food to be delivered. They asked me to join them but I declined for economic reasons. They ordered extra so that I could eat with them. Lovely girls.

Free joint:
The Spatula laughed as she pressed play on the stereo then passed me a lit joint. Waving smoke away from her face she said 'here have some'.

Free entry to The Holy Soul & Crow!:
Spencer sent me a text message saying 'If you can brave the rain I've put your name on the door list".

Free albums:
I arrived just as Spencer climbed up on to the stage and began one of the best sets I've ever seen him and the band play. When he finished he unplugged his guitar, held it vertically like a vase until he reached his guitar case then stashed it side of stage. He walked down the steps into the crowd and pulled a cd out of his pocket for me. David Thomas Ghost Line Diary and Leonard Cohen 92nd St Ny Feb 1966. Oh yes indeed.

Free beer:
Inside the gig I met the lovely Sonny Day from We Buy Your Kids for the first time. He said "Hey are you Dale Slamma?". I said yes so he bought me a beer.

Free tequila:
Squeezing into the crowd to watch Crow I wound up standing next to Spike. He asked me what I had been up to lately. I said nothing at all. He leant down and dragged me over to him by gently draping one of his enormous arms around my shoulder. He yelled "I don't believe you", then made me to talk properly to him and explain every little thing. He said "that deserves a shot", pointed at a chair for me to sit on then bought me tequila.

Free ride:
Spencer drove me home through the pouring rain. I was drunk, happy and at ease. We drank cups of tea, ate chocolate and talked until 3am.

Free happiness:
I dont' think it was because of the free things but I was most definitely happy. Good food, friends and music. The universe poured small kindnesses and cheer, measure for measure with the torrents of rain, upon my own small head. For this and the sight of Crow on stage I am truly grateful.

Bubble etc

I knocked over an elderly lady. I did not stop to see if she was alright. This is because I was running through the MCA with my hands over my face. I was sure that if I took them away the unexpected and powerful tears would spray devastation across the gallery taking countless lives and smudging art. That was a chance I wasn't prepared to take.

It is possible that I have done three particularly stupid things. None of these were on purpose. One was after I dyed ten metres of bookbinding thread earsplitting purple whilst drinking a concoction of rum, vodka and lord knows what else. The Spatula concocted it. She assured me it was good and not lethal. The other stupid thing was not at all my fault. It was more that I reacted to the stupid thing by running through an art gallery full tilt than by doing something to begin with. I do not ordinarily run in art galleries. I was holding a briefcase. I was wearing a beret. I don' think those details are important.

Vanessa Berry was in the lift. I looked at her and remembered that I am an independent person. I wonder if she has this effect on everybody.

It is possible to have a verbal accident

Nam Le said David Foster Wallace was unfailingly brave. "An incomparable mind lashed to a mighty heart." I don't remember where to put my punctuation I guess that means I have a comparable mind.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Drunk but it's windy outside

You think I wrote whore on a coaster but I really wrote 'I am Roget's whore' which doesn't mean anything. Two bottles of wine and the wind couldn't reach inside my coat. I'm pretending to be a writer. Don't tell anybody.


Yesterday I photographed a public umbrella drying machine then tried on wedding dresses and diamonds. I told the man in the shop that I invented the all-in-one cat worming tablet. He believed me.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Tissues - made from trees - a renewable sustainable resource (when managed correctly)

Walking around The Peach purposefully in ugg boots and my Grandfather's dressing gown has permanently altered my perspective on life. If it is cold I dress in warm things. I am allowed to do this. Oh yes. I will not be defeated by a combination of snot, rain and temperature.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Friday, 15 May 2009


I've been hauling this phrase around Australia. It describes everything. Flat, wide and blue.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Glass hammers and the pleasures and perils of time travel

Returning from 1952 I hit a touch of turbulence and made a pit stop outside Nuremberg. It was decided amongst the locals that their cheese was in all ways superior to all French cheeses. I declined to taste the cheese and was cast out of space and time, I did not know the German word for lactose. Fortunately Spencer, Madam Squeeze and I had already made plans to visit Penrith which exists outside of space and time. My brother was there in a tuxedo playing the trombone with a glass bottle of cola at his feet. The band leader, noticing they were outside of space and time, had instructed them to remove jackets and ties. It was a casual affair. Shops with literal names were visible from all windows. Spencer was momentarily relieved. Last week he walked in Thaitanic expecting a pleasant ocean cruise but came away with chilli and lime stuck between his front teeth. It is important to note that Gareth Liddiard plays an important part in this tale.

I reconfigured the flux capacitor by wiring it directly to the Eye of Harmony. We reappeared at The Annandale where Gareth Liddiard sat perched on a stool. He began strumming at an acoustic guitar. The room fell silent and the crowd tilted their heads and set back their shoulders. You need to brace for this music or you will come undone. I tilted and braced but the onslaught was thorough. We all know he works with the geography of sound but I wasn't expecting such a terrible revelation. I've been hitting things with glass hammers.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

He was also wearing a paper hat on his head and one over each shoe

He said "this might be easier if I take off my gown". I paused to let him take off his gown but I wish he'd left it on. It felt like it had a really high thread count.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Drink until your gums bleed and the cake rises

I didn't think it would be a problem until the fourth long swallow hit the back of my throat in a poisonous wave. I stood frozen to the spot, bottle of gin vertical and clamped between my lips. I had a vague notion to tip myself upside down and run the clear contents back into the bottle but gravity and handstand peristalsis are in constant opposition.

I walked past a bottle of gin while I was baking a chocolate cake. I got the notion to pour it down my throat so I did, not all of it, but enough to make a difference to the appearance of my shampoo. I'd never noticed that the moment before I mash the handful of shampoo onto the top of my head is a beautiful one. My shampoo is opaque and iridescent. A melted handful of mother-of -pearl more lovely for being unexpected.

The gin still tastes like poison, after the potatoes, after the cake so I washed my sheets and washed my hair. I brushed my teeth until my gums bled like Mary but my eyes remained dry. Tomorrow I'll try something different.