Squid

It’s funny how you can have people around, sometimes alot of them, sometimes enough of them to make you feel you have no time to yourself, and you feel alone.

Some people just do life with you but together you’re not really experiencing it. People flock to people like gorgeous cockroach tape, not questioning, just nibbling. We don’t want to feel alone. We scuttle to fill the voids, scuttle under the ovens and into the back of the fridge, we scuttle to find the putty.

I don’t do that anymore. You know I went to a party a while ago and I hardly talked to a person. I just danced. I danced in red pants. To them I was a weirdo. To me they were sheep going to slaughter. I find it sexy when someone can be alone. I find it sexy even if it’s me. I felt sexy that night. By the end four men were sniffing around. They wanted a piece. To them I was alone, vulnerable perhaps, shaking for their pleasure, their very own bird of paradise. To me I just didn’t care, I wasn’t thinking about them, I wasn’t thinking about me, I wasn’t thinking about anything. One approaches me and he goes, “you hate men I can tell.”

“Do I?”

“Yes,  you do.”

The DJ changes the disk, and its a corker. I close my eyes and sway, arms rising like serpents. He stays and waits to think of something to say.

“Why don’t you give me a chance?” He calls into my ear.

Serpent arms are eating up the air, the MDMA has really got me, I’m in the bliss zone.

“Well?” He calls out again.

The beat starts picking up and i’m really shaking, head tilts back, hair like seaweed dancing, lights on my face, I’m grinning like a garden gnome.

“How bout I give you a ciggie instead,” I go.

It’s important to surround yourself with those who together you burn, you’re alight, you glimmer, crack and create heat as well as the comfort. Intimacy for me is that kind of thing. That togetherness. That twin. I live for the moments of togetherness. I float forever to an extent without them. A squid plummeting airlessly in the depths of dark blue. I need some sort of grasp on me, I think we all do. Sometimes it’s good though to chose nothing even when your choices are limited. Settling, settle after settle chizzles us down. Maybe I’m just too tired to fabricate now. Time alone is good. You don’t always have to love, to desire, to output, to  have somebody there for the sake of warmth. Sometimes it’s nice to just be that little squidy. Dancing with no clue where in the dark blue you’re going to.

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Salt and Vinegar Chips

 

A young woman, a young woman one night walked into a bar. She wore white up top and grey on the bottom and a scarf he said later was red but she knew was dark orange. He fixed her a drink, something pretty, something girls like, she took it in her hand, held it up in front of her and said gently “what the fuck is this?” He tipped it down the sink, the pretty fruity chunks and ice clogging up the drain and he reached up for the second nicest scotch on the shelf grinning like a dog’s head out a car window. He wasn’t looking for Audrey, he was looking for Nancy. He was in love.

They sat outside the bar and smoked a cigarette together. This was in a time when the boxes of cigarettes weren’t yet covered in gangrened feet and bad teeth and Bryan’s jundiced face that eats itself more with every durrie you draw. He noticed her pack was a Peter Jackson one, this was another detail he kept close. She remembers his shoes. Black, shiny, Gucci. They were like one of those cars that are driven real noisy down the street to make everyone look. She hated them. She hated them that night, she hated them on the last night, she hated them as she slipped out quietly two years later. If he believed you could tell alot about a girl from what she smokes and drinks she learnt to believe you can tell alot about a man by the kind of shoes he wears.

Some people make a mess and you get tired of cleaning it up and then pretend they are dead and the mess is no longer your worry. Some people make a mess and you get tired of cleaning it up and then pretend they are dead and then you still keep finding more messes even ages after the mourning is finished. The messes keep coming. Keep being found. Messes stuck in her bones. Kookaburras cackle at the same time each night from a barky gum just at the point of the last sliver of clouded mottled light in the sky. They cackle the funny little things, they cackle from a gurgle at the back of their beaks and if you’ve been smoking enough Mary J’s of late you are sure they are cackling at you. Because the Kookies know and you are sure they know. The Kookies know, they don’t have to wonder, someone’s mess will always remain your mess until you dab it up with the mess of another.

Goddess of the Grapes

 

Molly had never been much into fairy tales but she had this fantasy in the night times when she closed her eyes and found with her fingers where it was the warmest. She’d be laying back on a bench with her skirt up revealing her bush and faceless men would line up to take turns entering her with their swords. They’d be all sorts shapes and sizes and she’d be just like Cinderella waiting for her prince, the one that fit the best, and only then when she found him would she cum.

Molly had already slept soundly between Mick and Steven two times. On the first night they sprawled themselves out on the timber floorboards of a furnitureless house in swags that had been to the desert and back again. She fell asleep that night with the street lights peering through the windows in Mick’s arms and woke up in Steven’s.

The next time she slept in between them they’d both climbed through her window in the middle of the night. They’d washed the walls of the house with chlorine and couldn’t stand the fumes so they’d gone over to hers. They’d thrown little stones at her louvers before climbing up the fence and into her quaint little lounge room. Molly had been fast asleep in her bed under a vine of grapes. They climbed into the bed with her, her fruity hair sending them to sleep with smiles on their faces.

Mick and Steven had both fallen in love with Molly a year apart. They both found in her the things that other men could not see. It didn’t stop them from stopping what they were doing though when she climbed up the ladder in her little yellow shorts to paint the skirting boards around the ceiling. They both found the woman in Molly, the way she was delicate and kind and tough at the same time and could drink them under imaginary tables in their furnitureless home with a mug. She’d pirouette through both their minds, round and round when she wasn’t there and when she was they’d gleam in the colour she made. That whole echoey house would become golden and warm, and they both waited patiently for her to make her choice between them.

The third time Molly slept between Mick and Steven was the time she told them she wanted them both to make her cum. With grapes hanging low over them in her bed, the vine Molly had trained into her louvers, they took turns with their fingers. She stroked their cocks while they busied themselves on her and they both spurted hot love for her quickly. They each had a very different way of touching her and she liked that. Her mouth was wet and parted for the little moans and warm breathing that was slowly, softly loudening, and between it all she thought about how much a man reveals of himself in the way he touches a woman, and how nice that is. Steven stroked up her thighs and went straight in with one straight finger, rigid and gentle all at once. Mick’s hands were like an octopus. They went everywhere, enveloping and stroking and rubbing, ducking in and out to keep her guessing and teased good and when she shattered and shook she held onto both of them by their forearms.

To love Molly you have to be a man who is ready to see himself. She has a habit of holding you and holding you up a mirror. Most men will run away and leave her to find the sleepy kitten girls and it got her down. She would never fall in love with Mick or Steven in the end, but love and marriage and prams and babies is inevitable eventually when you are a woman with nurture in your bones. In Mick and Steven Molly would know something better.

Lullabyes in the Bath

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Bush rats scuttle in the walls as I bathe. Through the tapestry of a bodged reno extension. A piece of glass above me covers the innards of a wall bearing the kind of endearment that can’t be thought out or calculated, a perfect fuckup. The rats zigzag grey in the maze of beams, their faces shapeless behind the frosted glass, black eyes censored. The roof sags moist like it could fall through any minute. The damp of the rain always makes it heavy with rat piss. As I bathe, rat piss, but I don’t mind.

A notebook sits in my room fat under a portrait of The King. Stretched, overweight with the stink of your words. Poems if you read them quick, maybe if you read them slow too. But the vague memory of music accompanies them, of acoustic guitar strings being touched and fingers up and down the neck in candlelight as easy as breathing. I read over them when I find them there. You sure paper mâché yourself up so tight.

I snuck another half glass of wine as you visited the bathroom once. The bottle didn’t belong to either of us. I never ever wanted to go to sleep. The wine bottle looked different after I’d emptied more of it and I wondered if you’d notice as the toilet flush faded to a gentle hiss. I put it down beside my leg quickly so you wouldn’t see. I wanted to hang on to the moment, every piece of it until it was just dust on my fingers; intoxication and you. Down the stairs you came towards me, always in a woolen jumper.

Currawongs, the crows with yellow rims in their eyes. They sing outside to the colour bleeding from the sky. Water’s too hot, always so hard to perfect. Skin stings as I uncurl back. Mikey next door is on the blower, the slow of his voice, the deep drawl from years of consumption. It scares the rats and they disappear through a hole somewhere.

Hibiscus and pomegranate scent. Bubbles surround body and my forehead beads. I’m looking out at the black sky not noticing it’d become black. So slowly the transition of colour was that I didn’t notice the afternoon was over. The bathroom has plants and the bathtub is pink and my interpretations as you sung to me  sat so snug within my own narcissism. Over time always the rose lifts. And a new pair of eyes see the world. Nothing is as it was. Reality sets in. The cocaine is out of the system.

Tortured lullabies. In my lounge room you were the answer to prayers. You were there woolen jumper, on a chair, guitar in lap. Candles and red wine, your voice, eyes closed not longing because they were found in those moments and they wished for nothing more.

And I’m not the woman to love, I wasn’t then and I’m not still. You are too beautiful in your need for ache.

Image: @lesserpoints

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.

Kendrick Lamar

 

Disdain sagged in the air heavier than the humidity dripping. I was in a plot of mud at the front of the house, dirty knees and finger nails and shoulders like bread under a grill. He was upstairs on the computer, I knew from the beat that thumped like a headache and the songs that never quite finished before they’d be replaced by another. Somewhere along the line he’d started listening to a lot of that shit. There was a time when all we listened to was Cream and Neil Young and Dire Straits and we’d found this old 45 in a second hand shop with Six Blade Knife on it, and I’d gone down on him for the whole of the B-side.

It made him feel like a man I’m sure. Rap tugged his dick in some way. All the talk of pussy and infidelity and dollar bills. I’d float away into the great abyss when he played it and he’d fuck cocaine girls with big arses in penthouse showers under his eyelids. It was just his way to feel something else, like my thing had become digging rocks out of the garden. We both pretended that the cracking under the earth’s surface and the rush of molten lava oozing and the steam coming from the crater just wasn’t there even though if our eyeballs were cut out and our eardrums were bashed to smithereens we’d still feel every inch of what was happening with all of our being.

Lump

 

We had a cocaine driveway leading to our house, limestone dust and crack rocks and I’ll never lose the sound of your bike’s motor or the tyres along it.

You were never there for the pink, when the blue faded into all kinds of fairy floss and the sea would take on its sheen. You weren’t there when I discovered the track down to the beach that had been worn in by barefooted ladies with sticks carried on their heads and faces beaten by epiduralless labours and a lifetime of foraging in the name of living, the track that lead right down to the seaweed farms.

Walking on the sand towards the horizon each afternoon, our adopted street dog with me, the setting sun at eye level a glowing golden wrecking ball, a sun that only shines like that for postcard photographers in the Sahara dessert, you missed that too.  I wonder whether it was all trepidation as you drove down that path back to me in the dark each night for the lump of coal at the end of the rainbow.

Riverbed

He sits in the front seat of the car the engine silent a hoodie pulled to his eyebrows, his breath leaving fog on the window. I glance back at him from the riverbed, grass tickling my shins, my arms around my knees, my toes in the mud, the sky lilacs and lavenders and pinks. A cow bellows in the distance, a water bird perches on a nearby rock, mullet dance in the air.

I had walked barefoot along the bitumen, little black stones stabbing my feet, the bust bitumen road with potholes and cow grids. It was more sneaking out than storming off, I never stormed out as much as I snuck off, I often dreamed about it too, leaving in the middle of the night with a suitcase full like a black and bruised woman.

The terracotta lay scattered in a thousand tiny pieces on the driveway. The basil lay on its side stunned, its roots clinging to the soil. I had snuck out the back door when I’d heard the smash, climbed a barbwire fence and gone through a paddock before I got to the road. He always had a scowl on his face, always tired, always mad about something.

He finds me like he usually did. I’d forgotten about our argument by this point, forgiven him for the basil. There is something about watching the sky changing colour, about experiencing that last hour as the day winds down and I mean really experiencing it, not with a cocktail in hand, not from a fancy bar with a view but being completely immersed in it, in nature, in the natural way of things. Not a sound other than the animals, the trees whispering, your feet dirty from the soil, the change in temperature corrugating your skin.

“Come home Chloe.”

“Not yet,” I say. “Sit with me.”

“It’s too cold,” he says, not moving from inside the car.

I liked his reliability; that was his charm. I knew I could count on him, I knew he would always be there when he said he would.  It was a good quality, a marriable quality; it was a quality of a marriable man. I am a sucker for a good quality.

The fog on the window distorts his face; he looks like an old man through it. I turn back to the riverbed, mud oozing  between my toes. I watch yabbies salsa in the murky shallows. I can feel his school teacher- eyes supervise me; the heat of them on the back of my neck, they are waiting for me to be done with my hippie shit, be a good wife who doesn’t dye her hair weird and cooks and cleans and never runs away.

It was then if I had to pick a time. I couldn’t have stayed with him if I had known it right then, if my head could acknowledge what my heart knew,  I couldn’t have diligently played the part; I couldn’t have lay beside him each night. I couldn’t have smelled his smell without being revolted by it. But maybe you don’t get revolted by those you have truly gotten to know and love. Perhaps your love just seeps away through the cracks that have formed. It’s a slow process and maybe what is left is just not love. Not revolt, not disgust just not love.

The breeding stars and Southern Cross could’ve been shaped like a cock over us and that riverbed that day and I don’t think he would have noticed.