Affection

 

The oxygen of hope governs me like a queen temptress. On her shiny days  I soar. Like a silly giddy kite I go up. I am her slave just like everybody else. I am a giggly kid on an ice cream wave.

Supermoon. Some said it was the biggest in 45 years, some said 68. I sat under a large fig tree to watch it rise. Surrounded by hardened cow patties and fruit with oozy seed brains that had fallen from it’s branches. And clumps of fuchsia thistle, and big stones which had rolled down from the road and settled in little divets made from cow hooves , the grass swayed in a lazy dance. I was with a group of friends and each one was as undistressed as the other, it was a beautiful clear afternoon with a pink marshmellow sky. We were sat on a mountain, the one each of us hillbillies were lucky enough to call home, and we were looking out at the ocean in the distance, out at the curve of the bay, out at Julian Rocks, out at the most easterly point of terra australis waiting for this great big thing to present itself. There was pisstaking and chatter, beers were cracked and the darts were shared around and I sat looking out breaking up a blade of grass between my fingers, I could not find their simple peace. I could not appreciate the simple splendour of being alive and no outter worldly spectacle, no matter how big or how bright or how beautiful was able to get me there. My mind was devil red and scratched up, hacked at with ferocious biro and bolts of carnivorous gash.  We all went back to a backyard that stretches out down to the creek where water trickles under a cool and quiet canopy and crays with great big blue claws hide under fallen camphor leaves and we lit a great big fire. I sat in my own silence for a while and then I left.

Ashing into the empty tin of a tea light candle in bed with warm white wine leaning against my side,  a foggy head and not a person in the world to consider, I was at the complete mercy of my own hedonism and self destructions. I listened to John Martyn. I touched myself over my latest crush or a past lover or a stranger without a face and then fell asleep in the most comfortable clothing I was able to scrounge out in the lamp light, my hair knotty and putrid with fire.

Sometimes I have to set an alarm, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’ll have not a single plan for days ahead and I will get lost in the sheer vacance of that. I’ll awake and panic and finish last night’s joint and boil the kettle but then forget to drink the tea. I’ll dust the ash off all the surfaces and brush the dead moths and gecko shit off the pillows and find where the rats of the night have got in and play some music. Lately it’s been a lot of jazz, I like the unpredictable nature of it, no melody to follow and nothing that can slime you into melancholia. I’ll walk around my house stoned and do whatever I feel like. Free as fuck. I am it in its epitome with no obligatory undertones no matter how hard you dig. Existence purely for thyself. But when I actually really think about it, it frightens me. The sheer vacance of that. It’s limitlessness. Just unobstructed distance between me and the fat wet horizon.

A woman unloved is condemned to infinite head humming. Her own perceptions of the world played over and  over giving her no break from herself.

Advertisements

S. Rebels

 

This thing, this thing in my room I call it my day bed. We, when you and I were together or at least when we were allowing ourselves to be in front of each other, we called it The Starlight Lounge.

I invited you into it each time, into The Starlight Lounge. Under the orange dim of dotted lights I bought from Bunnings I liked to smoke, I liked to smoke cigarettes repetitively while you were there next to me, and I liked it even more that you would say nothing about that.

If we had spent too much time apart, like a week for instance it would take some time. We’d talk about what we had done over those seven days. I’d tell you of the fights I’d had with my loved ones in that time, about me and my mum or me and my sisters and you would say, you are always fighting.

My cards, these cards in this pack I pull out in threes in front of me at my neighbour’s they are meant to be my guidance. I don’t know whether I believe it or not, truly I don’t. I know the me in the city, the me then she would have never believed, but the me now in this place, well I just don’t know. But these cards, they are called The Sacred Rebels and they tell me I am an agitator and it’s never malicious, the disturbing of the peace thing, I can just see truth.

One time you got up from The Starlight Lounge to get us more wine, and somewhere in doing that you got lost. You stood at the top of the stairs just talking and talking even though you’re not much of a talker. Then you moved to the doorway and talked some more. I just sat on The Starlight Lounge under the orange lights from Bunnings smoking and smoking, just seeing you.

See the thing is these cards, when you pull three of them out in front of you you feel like the you you felt when you were a little girl and there was this guy up in the clouds watching over you and everything was gonna work out just fine.

Butterflies

mooooooon

Is it strange to fear you’ve grown too strange? As if there was a precipices once and you stepped over it. I went out walking and had that exact thought while I counted dead butterflies along the tide line. Butterflies have been everywhere lately, cream confetti creatures fluttering tirelessly in the air making the blue look bluer and the green look greener and the purple jacaranda blossoms psychedelic. And here they were dead, drenched in the sand, their wings holey and castrated. How strange I thought. And then I thought some about the word ‘too’, how when used in conjunction with an adjective how it never tends to means anything good. Like describing a piece of fruit is too ripe for instance. “She is too strange”, I said out loud to the dead butterflies to test it out. I wondered what then if you had indeed stepped beyond that precipices. You can’t exactly climb back into an aeroplane once you’ve jumped from it can you.

Once upon a time I was sitting on a toilet lid in a locked cubicle, striped school uniform with mango skin and earlobes heavy with pearls the size of albino gorilla nipples and a big bright long blond pony tail. Headphones were in my ears, a discman on my lap. Lunch time was long enough for the whole In Utero album by Nirvana to play through with time left over to play some songs twice. My heart would swell so big listening to it it felt like my heart was leaking all through me sometimes and the alive it made me feel was a sensation I began to thirst hungry for. I’d play certain songs over once they were done just to gulp down some more, like straight from the orange juice in the middle of the night, the fridge light glowing you all up and you have to catch your breath after.  I wasn’t a warped child, a satan child, but I wasn’t like the ones on the other side of the bathroom wall. In Cobain’s voice I poked through the veneer past all the pastel, my hand was held. It was so honest because he was so strange and out of all my encounters in those sixteen years this was the one that made me burn like I was on fire for the very first time.

That’s when my relationship with strange really began. Is it cereal box to say he was strange, so strange but it was the most sense anyone had ever made? In Cobain I saw my big heart reflected back at me, I saw my displaced body, a soul too sensitive for this world. I was got and that is important always, it made me fall in love with him. He was my medicine and my God and my teenage crush. And he couldn’t do it, he couldn’t survive, that’s how big his heart was, Pisces boy dead at 27.  But he gave into strange didn’t he, he let his noncompliance shine and I think that is the only thing that can possibly make death something beautiful. If you live unapologetically as yourself, exactly as yourself, even with your struggles and your weird bits you do win in the end. Because the world that rejected you suddenly becomes inspired by you. Which just shows what a silly place it was to begin with. You weren’t the weird one.

For me no one has the Godness of someone who has lived in their complete truth and revealed their cuts in some form of honest expression.  Because for the human race to survive narrative is essential. Narrative is what binds us all together, through the visual and sound and scripture, the centuries, the decades, a thread woven through the floods and the ice and deserts barren, your great grandmother to your great granddaughter and well beyond her. Sharing our honesty in some form of expression it is as frightening in this world as it is vital to the continuation of human existence. Not everyone can do it and it’s got nothing to do with artistic ability, it’s about braveness. I’ve come to notice there are two sorts of people in this world, sensible voyeurs and people who live like they are on fire.

I wanted to envelope fearful fearlessness like he, I would have done anything sat on that toilet lid to have all that arrogance or reckless abandon right there and then. I wanted to be at that point where I could be like fuck this, this place is fucked, I only want to be apart of this, this, this and this, not that, that or that. But only age and weariness gives you that kind of reckless abandon. I wasn’t yet ripe enough. I was young, I was pretty, boys would scratch my name on desks with compass points. I could have been the perfect adornment for any successful man’s arm, I could have turned out to be one of the enviable with my clothes ironed and pleats straight, my mum haircut and my big shiny Prado that never broke down, a bathroom with black chrome taps, I could have just given myself to the pull of the current it would have been so easy. I could have been palatable eternally. I chose strange.

It took some time, the full metamorphosis took time, fearful fearlessness and counting suicide butterflies on the tide line took time. I have contracted all the reckless abandon you could poke a chicken drumstick at and I’m still not done. I am uno, I am un, eins, itchi, satu on an echoey plight. I am on a train headed straight for the great firey red horizon and I’m the driver and the only passenger is me.  I’m a berry in the brush that looks like it could be poison just as much as it looks like it wouldn’t be. I am a spiky roll of the dice. Some days I feel beautiful to be a fire child, some days I don’t. Some days I am so frightened, I get so frightened that I’ve taken it too far like the precipice, the aeroplane they are all distant behind me and I’m falling, falling, falling. No one is more of a danger to themselves than the butterflies who drift off course.

I heart kebabs

 

The rockstar played and everyone threw their hands up in the air to play on their phones. Two things in that moment occurred to me simultaneously – one, when you get famous enough you can crap on about anything and people will listen, and two, collectively we must miss out on complete years of existence because of these retched devices.

A fluffy haired girl in front rubbed her curls in my face, they smelt like pears. When I was done I walked outside and stuffed my cigarette butt in the coin slot of a Telstra payphone then descended the pilgrimage to Abra Kebabra. I met a balding man by the name of Paul as I stared deeply into a big tray of grey lettuce through the glass. Paul was Melbourne but wanted out. I told Paul I didn’t like humans and he asked me which ones. I exclaimed all of them! I wanted to scare Paul, not because he was balding, but because I just wanted to order my kebab in peace. Paul was not scared, Paul was apparently fascinated by me, he followed me outside like a duckling.

Me and Paul ate together, sitting in the gutter side by side, iceberg lettuce spilling over our laps, grease running tributaries toward our elbows, two strangers of the night brought together by a common love.

Speck

 

Bitumen falls out in front like a tongue licking it’s way to the horizon. White painted lines morse code and Springy is singing the Streets of Philadelphia, banksia and gumtrees sway either side. Mirages shake over the tar, the native bush in the rusted dust gets ready for the next fire, the crack of branches break from the drying out when their job in that form is done, they fall, they turn to soil, they feed the worms, they nourish the tree they fell from.

I pass in a flash, 110kms on the long and straight and my tummy drops over the crests. Aint no angel gonna greet me, it’s just you and I my friend.

I had to escape because ‘had’s mean essential and ‘had’s are essential and there were a lot of ‘had’s to be had around this time. Essentially I had to escape because there was no real life in the life I was living. I escaped frequently, my car constantly with a fishing rod in it and a rolled up mattress and I would stagger into a call centre on Monday mornings in the city with grass and the smell of camp fire still in my hair wanting to be anywhere else but there.

If you understood where I’d come from. If you understood the way the earth shook at night when I was curled up in bed from the waves crashing in the limestone caves on the shore. If you understood the blue sea and it being every part of you because you could reach it at the most northern part of the land, the most southern, eastern and western part of the land all in a twenty minute scooter ride from one another. The ocean defined life, it dominated life there. You were trapped if it decided to there. You were dead if it wanted to there.

The men would decapitate pigs on the side of the road and you’d drive over the pig’s blood and have it splattered all over the muffler, the smell of it burning as you reached your grass roofed house, chickens scampering off into the scrub as you kicked your motorbike’s stand. If you understood that Friday afternoons were spent at Coconut’s Beach swinging a 50,000 rupiah note to a bare-footed, sun weathered fella in exchange for a paddle board, and you’d swing 30,000 rupiah in notes to his misso in the warung for a large Bintang, and the fella would carry your paddle board over the sand down to the azure water while you carried your large Bintang in bikinis and you’d climb aboard it on your knees, the Bintang pinched between them, grab the oar and paddle your way out to the horizon.

You’d wait until the water became calm and climb to your feet, your large Bintang balanced between them. And you’d paddle to the floating jetty out by the surf break where boats during the day docked for the Korean tourists that snorkle with life jackets on. You’d tie the paddle board to the jetty and climb off. Smoke a J of mainland bush purchased down in the village that had been hidden in one of the triangles of your bikinis or in the waist band of pants as you sipped the large Bintang, lay on your stomach and watched the fish at the bottom of the reef, the leatherjackets, snapper, striped triggerfish in a flurry of paint-palette blur. And as you’d lay there floating with a whole life under water underneath you the sun would set in the most orange human eyes can handle. It’d turn pink and the bits at the sides would be yellow and fade to lavender and the whole time you’d be sipping from your beer, smoking a joint, rainbow fish dancing in mottled coral underneath, the movement of the ocean rocking that jetty reminding you that you are just a tiny speck in the great scheme of things. But a very fucking lucky speck.

If you understood that when your bike carked it you could roll it into a corrugated iron, peeling paint pavilion where a bunch of guys covered in grease with ripped shirts and thongs on their feet smoking clove cigarettes would tell you: “maybe fix today, maybe next week.”

And then they’d give you a lift home. And you’d hold onto the back of their bike for dear life as they’d cut corners, crunch potholes, zoom through the village around dogs with ribs like the necks of guitars as you try to decipher if they were speaking into the wind to you in bahasa, Balinese or Lembonganese or something somewhere between all three. You’d dismount with a terima kahsi banyak and then shower in a bathroom without a roof, without hot water if there was any water left in the tank, and if there wasn’t you’d text the guy with the truck who’d drive a big yellow drum of it up to you if he wasn’t asleep in a hut with a bamboo floor.

If you understood all this you would understand why I had to escape.

The Shell by Molly Drake

 

Living grows round us like a skin
To shut away the outer desolation
For if we clearly mark the furthest deep
We should be dead long years before the grave.
But turning around within the homely shell
Of worry, discontent, and narrow joy
We grow and flourish
And rarely see the outside dark
That would confound our eyes.

Some break the shell.
I think that there are those
Who push their fingers through
The brittle walls
And make a hole.
And through this cruel slit
Stare out across the cinders of the world
With naked eyes.
They look both out and in
Knowing themselves
And too much else besides.