Wednesday, June 28, 2006

He gets to beating his wings while he sleeps it off

To the incessant whirring of the clang bang printer, my arms straining to keep up, I grabbed bundles of newspaper, fluffed them between my arms and stacked them on the palette. 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. Ink stained and numb brained I would walk home to where the cold beer sat silently in the the icebox and drink with the thirst of a condemned man. There was no future, no past, just this moment and another lifetime of it to follow dawn the next day. I was broken, my only outlet was to concentrate on the industrial percussion of the machinery around me. Bang whirr click click bang click whirr. Bang whirr click click bang click whirr. I would write melodies in my head to keep myself sane. I would tap my toes as my arms begged for mercy and always, always, more newspapers would slide down the conveyor belt towards me. LOCAL COUNCIL VOTE FOR CHANGE. LOCAL COUNCIL VOTE FOR CHANGE. LOCAL COUNCIL VOTE FOR CHANGE. I never knew the nature of the change, for there was no time to immerse myself in the journalism, just the headlines. I was with the local council. I was desperately voting for change.

Sundays would arrive after what seemed a lifetime, and fly past with the whimsy of a hummingbird on the wing. I would wake and drink and soak and swear and try to find the passion the drive to use that one day to make a difference. Not to the world, but to me. I started playing acoustic guitar. I would write songs with such lacklustre titles as, What a nice place to be, and, Coming Home. I had nothing to inject, no passion, no voice, too numb for pain and too drunk to suck. The money I earned kept me alive. The job that I worked, kept me undead.

The cycle stretched on and on and on and on...


They sent me to school. Me. They sent me to a school and I was taught not to touch girl's bottoms in the workplace before being sat in front of a computer, having to pretend I knew less than they did. But I didn't, in the end I taught them and they did not appreciate it. Grew afraid of the ripped jean boy and his flashing, biting words and too fast hands. Secretly, over coffees, they would speak in hushed voices and bitter tones. And in public, try their damndest to humiliate me. So I began to be truant, at 27. In the back seat of a car with the hot vapid smoke of marijuana feeding my insecure ideas and creative passion. One time, I disappeared for three weeks and on return, not one question was asked. I simply took my seat at the back of the class and finished three weeks of work in three hours. I was tempted to start smoking cigarettes in class, I was tempted to run my hand gently down the bare leg of the girl beside me. I was tempted to take her to the toilets and take her in the mouth. I was tempted by a lot of things, but in the end, I simply sat and stared out the window and imagined possessing the power of flight. I laughed out loud as I imagined floating out of my seat, acting, pretending I knew not what was happening, screaming HELP ME HELP ME as the roof drew closer and out the window and into the sky I flew, higher and higher until out of sight of the gaping mouths I turned, somersaulted, and pointed my finger and body homeward. Flying and free.

Then when the time arrived and the bell rang and I was still glued to my High School plastic seat, I would walk silently down the corridor and toward the Irish Pub on the corner.


When we started together, the four of us, everything was different. We were in charge. Our destinies were our own and here comes the coke and fancy another beer and tomorrow let's do it tomorrow and oh shit it needs to be done by 5 o'clock this afternoon so let's score some speed.

I was in love. I still miss it. Some days anyway.


Now the horizon stretches out in front of me.

And it lies in wait and something; somewhere out there is a chair with my name on it.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Just call me Angel

How to do this without getting killed?


I wasn't playing Cleudo last night when Colonel Mustard walked in, his normally jovial demeanour drained from his Lily White face. I polished the glass in front of me, for it seemed the right time for such cliches.

And the tale began, his Mustard tale, and he told it to me for he knew that I knew some of the sorts of people that he knew...

How to do this without getting killed?


How to do this without breaking a man's trust.

I write it and call it:

A man with a gun.

[or actually, more like five thousand guns]

A man I know is on the run
he's on the run from
a man with a gun
and he hid and he
at another man's place
and that man well...

he was ignorant of the man with the gun.


A man I know is on the run
he's on the run because
he owes someone
and that someone well
he has a gun

so the man I know
with nowhere to go
and no fucking gun
and no place to run
and needing someone
knocked on the door
of my friend
(from before)
and said,

hey! just moving house do you mind if I crash here for a week or so?

and my friend from before
well of course
he opened his door
and not one week more
(had passed when)
he was held on the floor
by a cold fucking gun
and a man who had come
for a guy on the run
who had left the night before

doesn't sound like much fun.

Enough of a story already...

but my friend who was
held by the man with the gun
is himself not just
your average someone
and happens to belong
to a gang from a song
who I'm sure you can tell
wear the cold beards of Hell.

and this man says, he says to me:

I'm fucking glad I know you.
Because it's people like you who make me think twice before I do anything stupid.

And at the end of the poem
We hug,
and I say:

keep a cool fucking head my brother and
leave the gunning and the running
to those who chose to die by the sword.

Me, I choose to live by the word.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Wednesday Night in June

First read this:

I still knew, as I had a child, that there was something strange about myself. I felt as if I were destined to be a murderer, a bank robber, a saint, a rapist, a monk, a hermit.

Oh fuck me, FUCK ME.


I don't want to repeat myself but I can't help it.
I'm drowning
in words,
they're surrounding me,
enveloping me.

Tonight, I
thought I'd keep my own company.
Thought I'd
sit in my favourite stool
eating my favourite food:


And pasta and wine.


And outside, no lie
the twos and threes really did
stare at me as though
a freakshow
a one man band
a who the fuck would bother

sitting alone,
his food inside,

my book meantime
kept my seat warm with my phone

[who is this Henry or Bret? (EGO)]

and I've already written but I'll write it again...

the waitress eyed my paper not me
eyed my plates
stole my virginity
my bowl

and outside, I thought:


but without it is there still Veal Ragu?


is eating alone a FUCK YOU to the system?

And I can't revolutionise on my own eating at a restaurant
all I can think is
when two people walk past and stare at a guy
who dares eat alone,
that's my fuck you.

That's my revolution.

How fucking lame am I.

In the window a guy ate with his young son. I sat next to him as he ordered, his ignorance paining me. He barked at the owner, THE FISH? FISH OF THE DAY? IS IT BATTERED? I SAID CASCADE LIGHT.

Class comes quietly.

Of course sir, Light.

And later, when I sat outside smoking.
I caught the eye of the son.

And we thought:

[ i am you and you are me and we are...]

'cept i'm guessing he was more Linkin Park than Beatles. So maybe I was wrong, though his eyes said what we all said when sat by an obnoxious parent.


I'm drowning in words, they're seducing me, burning me, teasing me. I need to live a thousand lives to find the words, I need to live a thousand lives to find the expression, but I've got one foot of wax, life, and it's burning.

So I open the valve and let the blood run free.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Moving in line when you look back in time to the first day

I woke at precisely 4.57am this morning and was unable to return to sleep. I switched on the heater beside my bed, got dressed, made tea, drank tea, put on a coat and walked down to Princes Park.

In the morning when the sun comes up and the fog slowly sinks, morphing into tiny diamonds asleep on the grass, is the time to reset your soul. I took off my gloves and ran my hands through the turf. I asked questions of the earth and listened carefully to what it had to say. That is important to me. Other people find their answers in the wind, in a fireplace, floating in the ocean. I find mine in the dirt, or at least, I ask my questions of the dirt.

The answers are sometimes hard to hear.


Last year I found myself a rock, and when I was a rock I pondered the meaning of freedom. But to be honest, I was so busy being a rock that I was unable to apply what I was writing to myself. All I knew at the time was that it was imperative that I was a rock and so a rock I stayed. But this morning when I was listening to the earth it said:

[isn't it time you applied these lessons to yourself first?]

I didn't and don't understand exactly what it meant by that, but I keep the sentence inside me, tucked into the little coin pocket on the side of my heart.


I make my way home and I play ELO's Living Thing.

First is the violin and the tears almost come.

Sailin' away on the crest of a wave
It's like magic
Oh and rollin' and ridin' and slippin' & sliding
It's magic

Tears of joy are a magical fucking thing. The way they lubricate the fucking road to self discovery. The way they wet the whistle and bring out the answers. The way they remind me of mortality and the intransigence of this.

And I open a message and at the end of it is a quote:

In the exact now, we are all, always alright.


If nothing else, I am so happy to be able to FEEL.

It reminds me that I'm only human and keeps the perspective sharp. And there's a world of difference between being down and being wide fucking open.

Monday, June 19, 2006

This land is your land

My friend told me he'd read back over Hell. He said, I don't know what you're doing pulling beers, you should be out hocking stories. It was nice to hear, but hard to act upon when all this has ever been to me is some sort of self-therapy. A way to spill my soul and hope that in the process, in the light, I could teach myself something.

Somedays, it works. Others, I just find myself treading tired old ground.

So I re-read it and see the peaks and the troughs and laugh snidely at myself.

Deriding the days when I seemed to have it all so worked out.

How can positivity be so fluctuating?


Ha. Yeah, 'spose.


There are some things in life that can only be cured by one Hell of a strong drink. Destroy all rational thought and just find your Peace in the bottom of a glass, amongst the ice. Cold yet friendly, with no respect for the morning. When I write that, I know it's ridiculous, but its inherent masochism warms me nonetheless. When I write that, I know its the last thing on this Earth that I need to do right now, but the thinking of it replaces the action of it, and I feel a little bit...Queens of the Stone Age, a little bit tougher, and a whole lot more able to deal with the day.

I ninja step down the stairs in my socks, heel first then flat out to toe, and make a Honey and Lemon tea. Rock n' fucking Roll.


Every single time I think I can take a fucking rest on this mountain, my feet slip and my hands falter and I have to grip tight or risk losing ground. I guess it's lucky I'm a goat, I guess it's lucky that actually, I have no hands, no feet, only hooves, and this is MY habitat. On the slopes, looking forever up toward the peak.

I have knowledge that I can't share with you, for I cannot find the words, not even in myself. All I have is frustration that some people around can't fucking see what I can see. But frustration is an ugly emotion, and I loathe the beast inside that feels it, so instead I slow my breathing and try to sound it all out here. But nothing comes, just random sentences, each with their own agenda, holistic only in that they fly neutron like around the central core of my ideas.

Anyway, I've got a mountain to climb, and tarrying ain't my thang.


Write now. Right now, I have but one dream. This express town to actionsville, where each day we all hit the ground running, trying to make a NAME for ourselves, trying to be a part of it, competition, status, impressing each other and being impressed...maybe that works for you, and maybe I'm a hermit motherfucker who only comes out at night, in a cloak, a mask, a personality valve, letting out only tiny pieces of the real puzzle...but I think the real world lies far underneath this surface. I think the real world lies in opening a door to fields and snow and ferns and paddocks and green fucker green and you're alone with your thoughts and your thoughts carry weight, not of responsibility, but the weight of BEAUTY. And the wait for peace and happiness.

I respect the decisions that you all make, for they are your own.

And maybe my angst comes from putting off any decisions of my own, day after day of existential philosophy.

And maybe if I'm that fucking desperate for some sort of Home, I should just set about building it rather than waiting for it.


It's a simple construct isn't it?

And I, Pacifist, not Spartacus, with such zeal and passion for a peaceful earth. I, Pacifist, who himself has hated and raged and boiled blood down spider web veins, snaring not living prey but more pain and troublesome chaos, I dared wish for peace when I could not find a forgiving bone in my body.

But I did, didn't I? I did grow, and I did forgive and I do like a surprise, or more to the point, I do like to surprise you all.


Peace first came with a simple sentence and the wall coming down.

Peace first came when I lay down my weapons and everyone did the same.


The sun was quite impatient to join the fray, I could feel the earth move faster all night as the sun spun half heartedly across the northern hemisphere and back to the forest, the valley.

Did it feel disappointed with what it found? When all that remained were two Goats, dishevelled and bacchaniacal, howling primitive songs in ancient modes to the ghosts of the night just passed?

If it was, it said nothing, just slowed its pace and enjoyed the rest of the day.

As did we.


I don't have a point. You want a point? Hmmm.

The point is, History doesn't repeat, we do. And that becomes history.

But if I'm looking for the world to change then fuck the powers that be, I'm going to start to change it right here.

That's where you should too.

How fucking cool you all can be.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


What if there were no narrative to the tale?
No point A nor B.
No plot points or story arcs.
Just moments.


It's a mortality moment. It's the air feeling extra crisp, extra real and the trees swaying from side to side, together like children smiling, dancing a chorus in a school play. And the verdant fur literally rolls out toward you in greeting. You can see it racing to you, its warmth is staggering and all you can do is form a double "OH!" with your eyebrows and your cheeks form brackets to enclose your smile in that moment, that one aside.


That's how you look when the moment comes.


Whenever the moment hits I try to hold the words which come because they always do.

And I never can. And I think that is the hunger to write. To frame that landscape of thought, that cascade of description, that torrent of...


that torment of not being able to find it, that I may express it. But knowing, burning, hurting almost with how fucking INTENSE that beauty behind everything is. So many wasteful words, for wasteful they are if used flippantly. Our language, these words, such power, such fucking power and so wasted and if only I could translate, relate, create. Instead my brain, and my hands my useless damn hands, remains opaque awaiting a diamond tipped bullet of inspiration, right between the eyes like Brando, like Colonel Kurtz says, just before he is murdered.

Sometimes I drink and write, and the words come thick and viscous. Sometimes I drink and write and the Toledo steel, the rapier fast slash, parry, cut comes too, but the substance, the depth, is it more or less when in a subconscious duel.

Now I drink tea and laugh at myself for being so serious.

But I never laugh at the beauty of things.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Like sand through the hourglass

I fall down the side of the sand dune, sticking, burning, crusted and red. Above the sun gives selflessly, unaware in its bliss that in fact, its love is killing me. Its light, torture.

I'm in a desert. And the horizon holds no respite, only Arrakis, desert planet...a long, long way from home.

I remember how I got here, I was looking for a sign. I followed a sign and it said: THIS WAY. But that sign is long forgotten and my blind faith in its direction has brought me here. Nowhere.

Stupid sign. Stupid blind faith.

So I lie at the bottom of the dune. A sand angel. And above me are the dreamers, the clouds, made for dreamers and so I dream.

In my dream I take the sand and melt it down and though I have no tools I make glass, I make a mirror and I climb atop the dune and reflect.

And I think, even though I cannot see a sign, maybe someone, somewhere can see mine, and this will bring them to me.

When I wake up, I am in a rainforest, but that's a whole other story.

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Here are the Young Men

Where are the great men? The wise, the learned, the men of deep thought and decisive action. Men who understand the world and its complexities and act with compassion, not force, love, not aggression. Men who do not freeze with fear when faced with a challenge, be it great or small. Why is it that I, small, alone, frightened for myself and for all around me, ask this question when it is I who should take action? I who should lead. When it is I who, rabbit-like, stares unblinking at the cold empty void that seems to cloak so many. I am frozen, and though all it takes is one step, one strong, determined step forward, it is a difficult step. And so I remain, frozen.

Do not for a moment think that I speak of matters of the heart.

Where were my role models when I grew up? A man who fled, a liar and a cheat, before I said my first words, a woman who gave of herself so completely there was nothing left of herself but an empty ghost, another man who faced his internal demons by destroying all that came close. This triumvirate of mentors fed me with lessons which I have spent my whole life attempting to unlearn; my only defense, a sense of self and what I believed to be right. But it has taken its toll. Left a brand deep on my soul, and each day it seems, I project that which I need to survive. Clown, Sage, Braggard, Friend, Lost Little Boy, Man-in-waiting, Seducer, Drunk.

I think

[but that is all inside your mind. escape your mind and take action and THEN you will have defined yourself]

I think

[if I sit here, quiet as I can, no-one will notice me and I can survive another day until nightfall. For nightfall brings release]

I think

[oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck]

I think

[fuck you, there is this weakened side of me that I share, and yet there is strength that you cannot imagine, and that flash in my eye is proof of that. Be warned]

I think

perhaps, too much. And leave action for the heroes.

But it is one thing to write of a reservoir of strength, dam conceited you could say. And another to do such when anonymously hunched behind a pale white screen. Today I have fears to face, and thought to draw strength by writing my thoughts. But the left hand side knows, the left hand side understands procrastination while the right hand side feeds creative compliments. Writing is goal enough, it says, and the Left Side scoffs (!) replying, write when you have achieved, write once you have drawn experience, sketchy though you may feel.

And as the ink dries on the page, oh the traditional ways, I sign off and stand to face my fears.

[oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck]

The good news: It's never too late to do the right thing.

Monday, June 5, 2006

Give a little bit of my life to you.

Just before I walk in through the glass doors I flick my cigarette as I always do. And in slow motion it spirals smoke like milk, like cream, and sped up it cartwheels fireflies and explodes in a firework dance. And the creatures in the grass navigate accordingly. The butterfly floats and the ants shift course and that moment is long gone.

Inside all choice is gone and the sweet surrender of immediacy soothes me. But later, the freeze sets in and all that is left is to ask and ponder and think and search, search, still orienteering after all these years but the compass and map are all inside and what is instinct and what is real?

Deeper still is me. That part that lies beyond reach, and forever unbreakable. This part is so easily forgotten in a day to day routine of up, smile, think, fret, work, laugh, shit, drink. It lies Marianas Trench-like, deep beyond measuring, but always accessible. And access it I do. Every fucking day. And its depth surprises me, and makes me laugh. Makes me pull my underpants high and dance like a fool. Makes me pun in the face of madness. Makes me steal bikes with abandon to see the smile on another's face. Because the trench is always giving, and when the sex machine funk threatens to make you dance with tears, you just got to give.

I haven't much, I own nothing. And oft times, I have to be very selective in my giving, but as long as I am giving to someone, my soul remains strong.

It's a fine line between give and take. Take it from me.