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.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009


I have lost all faith but this. It will hold blind corridors, scratches and evidence of fumbling and stumbles into beasts become tall and obvious, when someone turns the lights back on. It will be a small weight hauling down that folded obfuscation. In a corner to the left of my eye I will see something other than that sucking whirligig nothing. When I finish it three bricks will fall and my right arm will push through into something else. When I finish it bones and shattered things will need to be swept away.

When it is done I will pile its pages on the floor and step from them to the next thing, the weight of my step compressing it into sighing perspective. I will nail it to my wall next to the other diminishing monumental things drying like flowers upside down and curious. The second one will rise with the yeast of the first.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009


It should come on wings. Or should it have wings? This is what happens when the edit switch turns off. It should fly in welcome as chocolate cake or hail but I want it to come unbidden and wild as a horse. I want the edges cut off and nothing but meaning to remain. This is why I eat wedding cake icing. The same old problem tempts one to keep a zombie in the garden shed. It can't remember but my face remains the same.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Throw over the tyranny of paragraphs

Tip Penrith Plaza on its side. Seal the entrances and pour in undiluted alcohol, shake. Pour the human contents onto the midnight streets. Congratulations. You have just made Kings Cross after dark. I'm thinking of conducting walking tours for the curious and the insane.