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.