January 13, 2009 at 7:45 pm | Posted in writing | 22 Comments
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In the interests of simplification I have decided to do away with one word each day. I shall choose a word each day to put away and never use again and in this way my life will become lighter and easier. The great ocean of language with its infinite directions, tides, texts, undertows, subtexts, overflows and contexts will be reduced gradually to a small pond fit only for late season herons in search of easy frogs.

It surprises many people that I am monosyllabic in person. When forced into conversation I feel like a slow animal laden with a great burden and I often go a whole week without saying anything other than please and thankyou to shopkeepers. Perhaps my peculiarly ornate writing style is an overcompensation for my tendancy to silence.

Now it is time to bring my typing into line with my speaking and by the end of the year there will be over three hundred less words from which to choose. By the end of my life perhaps I shall be down to only a handful. One should hang onto these dreams.

And so, the first word to be discarded forever. I have been thinking about it all day, flicking through favourites like pusillanimous and parsimonious, serendipity and consequence but for this act to be more than empty symbolism it should be a smaller word that I use more often. And I have decided, quite arbitrarily in the end, on the word ‘gravity’.

Some women are standing on the corner.

June 20, 2008 at 7:54 pm | Posted in writing | 24 Comments
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‘Tis a difficult subject on which to be discursive without betraying a certain, hmm, well let me just say that my monogamy has been serial and more a product of laziness than any moral compunction. Despite the quite necessary complexity of my speech (I am quite enamoured of delicacy, possessed of a tremendous respect for the exquisite precision of which the language is capable) I am a simple creature, a male human being and as such require little more than a full stomach and a soft place to devolve in order to be happy.

It rained this afternoon, a sudden storm gone almost before it arrived and now the sun is setting behind grandiloquent purple grey clouds. It is as if I am contained within a generosity of soft light. It is possible to love someone you can not touch when the world is so aligned. Are the gulls heralding morning there, my love? The sea, no doubt, seeks calm.

Language and light, both ways of being touched. I have never slept with a woman with whom I have not fallen in love. That is a simple sentence, like fingertips on a forearm, deliberate and smiling. Slept with, you see. Sex is quite random, dependant on availability but when waking up next to in the 2 am and feeling blessed by some eternal as if an angel has landed to take away all fears,

Long ago I was resigned and resolved to being a constructor of difficult sentences which could not slip by unfelt. I am aware that to be loved by me is an unneeded challenge.
When I was young I could not understand what a woman would want with this, the tugging why of it, but soon learned puppy dog eyes. Now I am older, raggedy and limping. The streetlights struggle in vain to overcome the night. There is the club in which I began my career, entertaining the strippers and the band. What a life. Miles Davis taught that there is a melancholy to love, a permanent yearning. Three legged dog was never as obvious as it appeared.

There is a gaggle of girls available on the corner, secretaries and receptionists. They are so young and the obviousness of my attempts to hide my easy money and my familiarity with the requisite understanding is really just a subtle exercise in revealing them. An aboriginal man is busking the didge. They know me, recognise my admiration for any culture in which the title ‘Aunty’ is the highest attainable.

I am walking home to write about women. It will not be my best work, my darling, but I hope you see in it that my love of the exquisite precision of which the language is capable is actually a longing, an aspiration. And that the light which has fled over the horizon while I was writing these Australian sentences is the same light which is now gracing your soft skin.

teardrop tattoo

May 23, 2008 at 6:47 pm | Posted in writing | 13 Comments
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Suddenly he realised that the idea had been creeping up on him for a long time and leapt fully formed into his front brain like a lakota springing from behind a sofa accompanied by circus music dada diddle diddle dum dum dada, roll up roll up and then it was gone and he was sitting alone in a tatty one bedroom apartment not far from the city, Friday night, drinking whisky with Tex Perkins playing in the background gazing absentmindedly out the open door into the yard where young lovers where giggling under the same moon. There is only one. He had always known there is just one moon but that mundane fact had become imbued with some fundamental wisdom which he could not explain. It is the same moon looked at, mooned over, by everyone each night. And as the moment fades so does his confidence in the thought, in its clarity or depth. The tiger tattoo on the back of his forearm is fading and needs a touch up. He would do it himself but these days he doesn’t trust his hands. They are good enough still for drunken schoolboys wanting skulls and daggers or a breast butterfly for somebody’s girlfriend he could still knock out in fifteen minutes but his days of aspiring to Shanghai are long gone. Kevin used to have a shotgun under his bed, he remembers but is unable to connect that thought to any other. These days he felt less and less in control of his thoughts. Impressions sprang up and dissolved. Dada diddle diddle he thought and my short term memory is becoming embarrassing. Friends forgive of course but it is starting to effect my ability to end my thoughts in a way that completes the idea he began with. The glass is empty but the bottle is not. Haha, that could be a fine song he thinks, and I shall add a line about the moon being the same moon for everyone. Perhaps they will believe I am quoting country music again he says to the empty room. I told you about the first two times I got arrested but not about the third if I remember right. Did you know that trusted longtimers get limited internet access now? Being trusted is easy. It’s all about disinterest, selective deafness, short term memory loss and honesty. All of which can be faked. The lights blinked. “Squires“, he said jangling the keys, “Cell time.”

The Point.

May 19, 2008 at 6:41 pm | Posted in sheer selfindulgence, writing | 14 Comments
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Take a position and articulate it because there is no point in just describing the world through the lens of the self. Everything already describes itself perfectly so your description will always be less than the thing itself. To create you must take a position, you must have some fundamental honesty, something which you actually believe is true beyond description. So you must first take a position, the crane, the dragon, the red kangaroo in the heat of the day snoozing in the shade and still pecking at bits of grass,

“The point of Art is to mythologise the tiny self large enough to scare big ideas into existence.”
Paul Squires. Boing boing,

Continuous Diaspora,

April 3, 2008 at 6:43 pm | Posted in writing | 19 Comments
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Huh? Things either remain the same or they change, there is no inbetween. I got an email from my father today. I haven’t seen him for 26 years, since I was 18. He says he found me on myspace but that doesn’t explain how he got my private email address. I’m sure there’s some prosaic explanation. I got a new job today, too.

I could philosophise on waves of change, or quote Lao Tzu and Nietsche too. I must read King Lear again. I watched young aboriginal dancers in the City today at lunchtime telling stories preserved in movement for thousands of years. They are strong and graceful and will become leaders of their communities, that is their tradition. My maternal grandmother was the first person in her families history to marry a Gentile. My father was a submariner in World War 2. He never spoke about it at all, in fact I remember him as a kind of ghost, physically present but fundamentally absent. I can’t remember a conversation, not one. But memory is completely unreliable.

At university, after the raging protracted separation of my parents, I studied Philosophy and English Literature and became obsessed with the ontological status of fictional characters, the way in which a fictional character exists. The ways in which we are fictions written as a kind of collaboration between the world and ourselves. The connections between all these events are obvious in hindsight, I escaped by proving that I did not exist. I am not English as my parents were. Being an Australian means that you are either an Aborigine, the oldest living culture on earth, or that you are descended from immigrants, exiles, refugees, seekers of opportunity in a farflung corner of the planet.

I should answer my father’s email, I know next to nothing of my personal history, I have no continuity of self. In fact I am trying to publish a manuscript which is built around the dissolution of the self as a moment of connection with the atemporal divine and all the ways that idea is manifest, in love, in mindfulness meditations, epiphanies. I am happy not to know and I have said before that the complete unreliability of memory is a great comfort to me. The truth is, I still have no real desire to be a person,

The Brazilian Dancer (a work of fiction)

March 13, 2008 at 8:52 pm | Posted in writing | 11 Comments
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The first two times I got arrested I told ya about already, he said, looking around the club, well one time I didn’t get arrested and let me just say this, if ya gotta kid at home and he’s easily bored don’t give him too much sugar. I went to see Ian Dury and The Blockheads live at Cloudland. It was a gorgeous Heritage Listed artdeco dance hall on the top of a hill overlooking the Valley. Built in the 20’s, it had a sprung ballroom floor and when eight hundred people all pogoed with the inevitable rhythm of Sex And Drugs And Rock and Roll a wave built up and flew through the floor and bumped under your feet even if you didn’t wanna dance.

Later the Dean Brothers who wanted the real estate pulled it down in the dead of night. They were cronies of the corrupt Premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen whose Minister of Police Terry Lewis was being paid by my employers who are all dead now. I stopped getting arrested after I started working for Fat Hector and fell into complete dissolute disarray. What time is it? he asked looking around the bar, whose turn is it today to offer a little hospitality to the wandering (hic), tell me Antigone, do you know how to samba, i asked her,

The Audition.

February 21, 2008 at 6:04 pm | Posted in writing | 11 Comments
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So, before we can give you the job in which you have expressed such great interest, we need to hear in your own words just why you are applying for it. Travelling pianoman in the cocktail bar on the Queen Mary, well lets just say, the competition is strong.

Yeah, well, the three of them just up and left. It was okay for a while, we had the regulars, never spent much, the girls got bored and drifted off to Mamu’s, down the road. Mamu himself didn’t have anything to do with it, it was some corporate bullshit stole the name, but soon after he and Persephone retired to some tiny island near Port Douglas, so I guess the big fella made sure he got his in the end.

They left enough cash in the safe for me to keep it going for a while. I found a stash of pearls left behind a sofa as well. God knows how long they had been there. But you know, I just don’t understand numbers, as long as its more than I need right now that’s as big as I can count, with the inevitable result. Bootsy got Parliament back together with George and went on tour.

And I just thought, wow, cool ride, never really knew what the hell was going on, walked down to the wharf and I saw you advertising so I thought you might now here they went?

Well, we have several other applicants, with degrees and their own pianos. Perhaps you would prefer a job in security?

Well, security, heh? Yeah I reckon I could swing that, one door closes, as they say,

Yes, and we will be relying on you to keep it closed.

Later, I was pulling on the uniform and I thought, hang on, why on earth would anybody put in me charge of guarding anything? Oh well, who knows, not really my problem,

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