Thursday, 22 September 2011

The very short story of how I became an accidental creepy woman

I telephoned Kirin J Callinan to confirm a few things for the PAN issue #2 launch party. While we were chatting business I thought I'd have a little look at his Myspace page.

It was the kind of thing that could happen to anyone really, staring at a photograph of a young man posing naked with a cat while talking to him on the telephone.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Kate Britton from FBI stopped by and asked me a few questions about PAN magazine. That was quite nice of her really. It's pretty standard interview stuff, literature, red pens, self-loathing, shining beacons.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Clarity and focus - I hear you knocking but you can't come in

Everyone's off the booze, grinding out last cigarette butts on sun-warmed footpaths and walking away home, away from the bar, home to sit down and think out their sins. Fuck that.

It's taken me years to work up to being able to drink three whole beers in one night. It took me years to work up the courage to throw thinking to the wind and ram my head against fogged logic with joyful steps. It's taken me years to work up the stamina to be able to drink not even half what the rest of Slammatown throws down the hatch on an average Wednesday night. Now everyone's staring at me like I stood up in a mosque with a bottle of whiskey in my hand and poured out a blessing to the infidels. Fuck them.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

He's back

Spencer is playing with Damo Suzuki again, tonight in Newcastle, last night here in Sydney, last weekend in Melbourne. This time round Gareth Liddiard from The Drones joined them onstage to add some noise. I was thinking of writing something about it but then I remembered I am lazy.

Here's something I wrote last time Damo was in town, or maybe it was the time before that. I can't remember because my memory is also lazy.

This weekend wasn’t my first time standing in front of Damo Suzuki. I once started a review of Damo Suzuki with The Holy Soul like this: “Damo Suzuki is committed to the emitting of sound. He spares nothing, throwing his whole self into the grand wordlessness of Damo Suzuki's Network experience. He dances like a one-sided Axl Rose, hands gripping the microphone, long hair hanging in dusty curtains. Suzuki is enigmatic yet humble, as though the music moves involuntarily through his body.”

Last night I didn't see anybody going down but I saw a few people swinging

Geoff Lemon, his vest and A.H. Cayley at PPR

Friday, 16 September 2011

Help! My typewriter broke

I need help!

My lovely old typewriter is in need of repair and I can't find anyone in Sydney who can assist me. I spoke with one man but he is in Mt Druitt, which may as well be the other end of the earth from here.

Here is a blurry photo of my old typewriter in action just last week. Anushka was using it to type things for her exhibition at Gaffa Gallery.

If you know of someone please help.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


I have taken up citizenship of Nowhereisland. It is my greatest wish that I be happy here, at last.

Monday, 12 September 2011


The 'horrible' Alan Jones I was talking about is not in fact The horrible Alan Jones. He may not be horrible at all. A case of mistaken identity I believe. Thanks for the correction Tim.

Glad we cleared that up. And now for a delicious recipe.



1. Kill rare panda.
2. Make into stew.

Meeting at PAN HQ

Intern: "So what we'll do is get a performance dragon to come to the launch party and blow up the pile of magazines with dragon fire and then that will be awesome and everyone will be like, 'Did you see that massive dragon? Fucking brilliant.' And then we can just have the bands play and go on as usual. What do you think?"

Editor: (sighs)

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Gumtree - the silent tyrant

I just tried to post an ad for a husband on Gumtree because I told my publicist I would. It won't let me. Keeps popping up with red flashing things saying I am breaching their policy. Who knew Gumtree is such a silent tyrant.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

How Slamma got her weird back

I got my weird back. For a little while there strange things happened to Grizelda while my days sailed smooth and boring. Grizelda was horrified, she thought we might have swapped, for good. Meanwhile back at The Peach I was like a painted ship, then yesterday happened.

It started on Facebook where I had a brief scare that maybe Alan Jones was the man behind the $1000 grant PAN magazine was awarded from the Awesome Foundation. I discovered, after some investigation, that The Horrible Mr Jones came on board after PAN received the grant, as one of ten trustees but I didn't learn that until today.

Cake-free and worried about Alan Jones* I headed out the Peach Gate onto the street but bumped head first into a neighbourhood friend of mine, who just happens to be Sam Cutler. Sam was talking about talking to Marianne Faithfull about his upcoming book then he offered me a chapter for the next issue of PAN. I said, "Well, if Marianne likes it then I'll take a look". Which was better than the real answer running around in my head that want a little something like this, "Holy fuck yes! WOOO".  Elegant, I know.

After Sam and I walked up the street just shooting the breeze I hopped on a bus and delivered the biggest bunch of flowers I could afford to my friend Robert at his office, because I felt like it. I can not afford a really big bunch of flowers but he didn't seem to mind.

Later in the evening after attending one of those overly hot and crowded exhibition openings at Gaffa Gallery I headed round the corner to Dymocks on George St. I was pleased to escape the gallery. It was loud as in the inside of a firing cannon and seemed to populated by people I am calling Arthouse Bikies. They were head to toe in shades of grey and faded blue denim. Bikie like patches sewn all over their jackets, there were top hats and walnut smoking pipes and various degrees of greasy lank locks. Seriously, there were hundreds of them.

I knew my friends Andrew P Street and A.H. Cayley** were hanging around at Dymocks. Well P Street was doing one of those 'in conversation with' things with Marieke Hardy about her new book "You'll Be Sorry When I'm Dead". Poor Marieke was sitting patiently behind a table signing books and being talked at by a man calling himself Edwina. 'Edwina' was sporting a balding bob and what appeared to a miniature safari dress two sizes too small. It seems to me that Ms Hardy is a patient and lovely woman.

I wound up with an invitation to dine with A.H.C, APS, Ms Hardy and her lovely publicist Kate. It was one of those restaurants that I can't afford to eat at. Seriously, I owe the A.H.C and the APS quite a bit of dinner money now. It was mildly delicious but hear this Gemma, not worth the money. The company more than made up for my horror at inadvertently spending so much on dinner. I believe I had what is called a lovely time despite feeling awkward for the poor waiter. I'm not sure how it happened but every time he arrived at our table someone was saying 'anus'.

One day later sitting here thinking about it all, inside my new haircut that makes me look like I'm five years old again, I've come to this conclusion. I've got my weird back. Grizelda, who does not enjoy unexpected events on a daily basis, is certainly glad.

* Alan Jones is the enemy of thinking, the enemy of the arts, the enemy of honest democracies and the enemy of me.
** Listen here APS and A.H.C - can we come to some kind agreement? Either you both have punctuation in your names or neither of you do. It is too hard for a fake intellectual like me to remember who does and who does not have a '.' in their name.

Friday, 9 September 2011


I felt like Mrs Dalloway, or Clarissa Vaughn echoing fictionally around on her way to a dying poet with fistfuls of flowers. I went to steal them from gardens but street after street bore nothing but concrete and the bare bulb-ended green things that play flowers in the hot parts of the year. I think its OK to pay for flowers when the poet isn't dying faster than anyone else so I counted out ten gold coins while the cashier held out half an impatient hand.

Five days ago my father bellowed out words like, strident, abusive, arrogant and smirked while my aged aunt thrust both arms back into memory for the right word. 'Bohemian', she said. They called me bohemian, all those relatives in formal dress. I told Spencer and we scoffed over coffee. I'm the least bohemian person I know, here, in the new town, where I have burrowed out a cave room and set a fire in the corner. There are proper curtains and thread counts and cupboard complete with cups.

Some of the others here still drink whiskey out of jars and play the same crackling old records Joe Lynch might have listened to, if he had the money. Now of course there are crates of them on corners every Saturday morning.

I didn't come here to study them, to take down hasty notes in dark corners while they rollick across perfectly stationary floors. I came here unwillingly, rudder locked eastward, anchor gone screaming into the night. I came here in cardboard boxes and settled heavily into daily clockwork risings, for money, only for the money. The notes started small and scrawling, mystifying untranslated rubbings across self-erected tombs of the wildly living. But they have grown.

Walking across a whole morning with the single purpose of flowers information came to me. Neighbours appeared at my gate on the telephone to Marianne Faithfull, lay down chapters of books for my magazine,  the radio spoke with the voice of real friends, in song and story. Two people left for Spain with guitars and tour dates, Spencer and I spoke about which shirt he should wear in Paris. I said purple, he said he'd wear whatever he liked but the point was he's leaving for another overseas tour. The point is I'm sitting in my window looking out where the snow would fall if the world ever flipped and we had a chance at crisp and even.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Sausages save artist from afternoon of self-loathing and unproductive sighing

You know those days when you get out all the assorted notes and pencils for all of your projects, spread everything around on the desk and the table and the hallway floor and the bed and then can't manage to add anything useful to any of it? I was having one of those days until I remembered sausages.

 Now I am having one of those days where you have sausages for lunch.

The future of writing by Google?

This is a test. Google has introduced something called 'Scribe', which will apparently make suggestions as I write. I will write whatever comes into my head, and accept whatever suggestions 'Scribe' makes. Let's see if that room full of monkeys theory can work.

More than a dozen years ago and I have to say that the first and second portions of the first and second portions of the first and second portions of the first and second portions of the first and second portions of the first and second portions of the first and

Ok. That's enough. I typed, 'More', with the intention of beginning with the following sentence. More often than not there are minotaurs and a fish that floats above everything. I hadn't finished typing 'More' when Google 'Scribe' presented it's first suggestion. The suggestions came quickly, word after word with no further input from me. 'Scribe' wound itself into a loop quick smart. I will try one more time, this time typing out my whole original sentence.

More often than not there are minotaurs and a fish that floats above everything. I saw a man in the world of art and industry of choice for children with food allergies and intolerances which is still in awe of the power supply clock signals just as quickly as good as keep my eyes glued to the surface of the substrate and hormonal changes are being made to develop a plan to save the world. 

After I finished the first sentence 'Scribe' had no suggestions until I typed a letter. Quite often 'Scribe' would wait until I chose one letter and then it would carry on for three or four words together.

I am not sure why but 'Scribe' angers me. There is little art in my handwriting and typing has been easy since word processing began but the one thing that has remained is that the writer chooses the words. I choose the words. I suppose I could surrender and laugh and think of this nothing more than a novel way to compose a cut up, an involuntary return to Dadaism or one more thing to take the strain out of remembering to type out conjunctions. But I'm not going to surrender. This is my alphabet, to do with as I please.

In case you were wondering I haven't gone insane. I am aware this a tool that can be turned on, or off, or ignored altogether. It isn't going to change the words pouring thick or becoming elusive and transparent but still something sticks with me about this. I think it is the suggestion that automated prompting can improve what ought not to be improved in this way. Writing is thought made visible and I want it to be original to the author, unique, unprompted by the pen itself. An exact explanation of my revulsion remains elusive but that is my fault, my fault that I am unable to make clear a shifting and newborn feeling and I prefer that it stays that way. At least until I figure it out. I would not like 'Scribe' to choose how I should say this. It feels like there would be thieves among us.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

A Slamma family wedding weekend

Raw data in non-chronological point form:

  • Percentage of relatives I despise yet remain polite to - 2%
  • Cousins who explained to me the reason for all the wog food at the after party at his house was because his family were all wogs, before blinking drunkenly and saying, 'Oh, you're my cousin' - 1
  • Cheeses eaten that cost more, per cheese, than my weekly rent - 9
  • Belly aches due to eating too much cheese - 3
  • Languages spoken at various after parties and dinners - 6
  • Languages I understand - 1.75
  • Big W catalogues read aloud to me in a mixture of Creole and French at the dinner table - 3
  • Divorced parents who arrived simultaneously at my brother's house, where I was staying - 2
  • Relatives who sang Johnny Cash songs - 8
  • Instruments my dad played at the after party - 2
  • Relatives who suggested my cowboy boots were an inappropriate choice and did not at all go with my formal dress - 1
  • Number of people who approached me in the DJ booth and asked me to change the song - 17
  • Number of times I complied with song-change requests - 0
  • Aged Aunts who cried mightily whilst filming proceedings - 1
  • Radiantly happy cousins who floated back down the aisle with their new husband - 1
  • Balloons popped in anger by delinquent cousins - 1
  • Amusing witty asides made by my father - 35972
  • Hours spent in the company of relatives - 20
  • Bushranger shows filmed in my hometown watched on my return to The Peach - 1
  • Overall success as rated by the bride - 100% and I suppose that's the one point of raw data that actually matters.