Saturday, 18 August 2007

It rains today

Music by Jason Sweeney
(in memory of Tanja Liedtke)

Saturday, 11 August 2007


Is it easier, when starting something, to think about how it might end? "Finistere, to tear it down, start again, think about the love..." (Saint Etienne)

End of the line.
End of the family line.
End of the boy.
End of the track.
End of one train working.
End of the conversation.
End of some rope you hung.
End of a party.
End of the 80's.
End of the 90's.
End of the year.
End of a long hallway.
End of a movie.
End of tears and whining.
End of the bed.
End of everything you love.
End of Oh Inverted World by The Shins.
End of televised transmission.
End of The Chrysalids.
End of the world.
End of a summer holiday,.
End of your life.
End of applause.
End of a strange sickness.
End of a boring song.
End of a series of rituals involving blood.
End of an unhealthy obsession.
Ends in darkness.
End of fame and celebrity.
End of a sentence.
End of a dark trail through a dense forest.
End of a laughing fit.
End of one heart breaking.
End of blood flow.
End of your street.
End of a fucked up situation.
End of a good idea.
End of awkward sex.
End of a cigarette.
End of a bottle of whisky.
End of Australia.
End of the classic Beach Boys album, Pet Sounds.
End of influence, derived thought and art terrorism.
End of intimidation.
End of a show that never was one.
End of the night.
End of high school horror.
End of innocent giggles at the back of the bus.
End of autobiography.
End of privacy.
End of your sweet goodbye.
End of a sharp knife.
End of a gun.
End of a metal bar.
End of a baseball bat.
End of your so-called career.
End of adolescence.
End of hip activist culture.
End of youth and laughter.
End of the program.
End of sham marriages.
End of heightened sexual performance.
End of showiness and bravado.
End of closeted existence.
End of existence.
End of the road.
End of water.
End of a storm.
End of winter.
End of a heat wave in Adelaide.
End of that endless cold stare.
End of a flight from Europe.
End of your ongoing presence.
End of toxic waste and useless material.
End of denial.
End of a loveless relationship.
End of a friendship that was going nowhere.
End of a fight.
End of a country, a town, a city, a village.
End of the independent spirit.
End of apparent endless supplies of alcohol and party drugs.
End of Marguerite Duras.
End of a ghost story.
End of the Mardi Gras parade, 1996.
End of a long night of affection.
End of Canadian hospitality.
End of the affair.
End of a dream.
End of a bad dream.
End of your infuriating silence and harsh demands.
End of an epic ballad.
End of an overture.
End of a diminished chord.
End of a minor arrangement.
End of a verse which meets a chorus and moves to a bridge.
End of pop star life.
End of a job well done.
End of cash flow.
End of your coat dragging through the mud.
End of a long hard day at the office.
End of all energy supplies.
End of water.
Ends of the earth.
End of your patience.
End of your nerve.
End of a lease.
End of community spirit.
End of a dedication.
End of a telephone call that should never have been made.
End of credit.
End of general assumptions of guilt.
End of my generosity to you.
End of Derek Jarman's film The Last of England.
End of a nightmare.
End of a spool of film.
End of the ocean.
Ends of your fingers through my hair.
End of this deluded spiritual quest for enlightenment.
End to a night of desperate pleading.
End of somebody else's story.
End of The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths.
End of a painful interrogation.
End of being a spectator sport.
End of your first speaking part.
End of falling down.
End of falling in love.
End of your fist slamming into a concrete wall.
End of the word cunt-face ringing in my ears.
End of regret.
End of a children's play.
End of a full moon.
End of good versus evil.
End of living for nothing.
End of car ride to the middle of nowhere.


Thursday, 26 July 2007

Are Memories Made Of This?

I fell in love once, with a broken boy who fell off the wall and hard as I tried, much as I wanted to, I couldn't put the pieces together again. Nothing quite describes the particular agony of loving someone to the point of desperation in the vain hope that some of that energy will break through the fortress around their heart, mind and soul. Some of you will know what I mean. Some of you will have lost someone to the realm of darkness that is intense melancholia. I believe the experience of living with this darkness is as mystical, mythical, magical, painful, surreal and beautiful as it is pathological. I willingly got lost in that darkness, looking for the boy who needed love, craved love, desired to be loved but the forest was dense, the river too deep to cross, and I was not the one who could pull the sword out of the rock and save the day.

I don't fit in.

I never did.

Maybe you don't either. Or maybe you have loved someone who lives in that parallel world where one is constantly in a state of intense melanchoy or intense euphoria. A heightened sense of reality. Or: a chemical imbalance in the brain. Listen to what the Good Doctor has to say. Take your pills now, one by one, yum, yum.

Mad, Bad, Beautiful, Luminous.

He was.

Dying all the time. Crying all the time. Lying all the time.

And me asking Why all the time?

I wanted to believe I was his saviour. The arrogance of youth, the romance of self-destruction. I was the one who poured the wine and drank to the Good Times and picked up the mess in the Bad Times.

Okay, I admit it. Sometimes I was the Bad Time. Like everyone who loved him, I too wanted to shake him so hard that he would just snap out of it.

He had a secret weapon, to keep Love at bay like all good fairytales. The Girl who makes love to the Prince will inevitably die because of a curse put on him by the Wicked Witch who shared needles.

Welcome to the Basement, where Love goes to Die.

I embraced him, held him tight and rode the waves of his despair until finally it lead me to the Emergency Room. When you have a 72-hour window to save your own life, things get very real, very fucking quickly. There is no escaping the fact that Hospitals are pathological spaces. Dreams fall apart, and illusions are shattered under those harsh lights. This is where the broken come to be repaired, the moment at which one is utterly bound to one's body. Emergency. Urgency.

The Prince spontaneously combusts, leaving the Girl Who Loved Him standing amidst a cacophony of pain, suffering and of course, sirens. The ominous wailing which cuts through the night, a constant reminder that the Grim Reaper is coming for you and I one day.

Of course, I ran from the hospital. Precious hours thrown away because my heart couldn't withstand the truth. For the next 48 hours, I was in Denial. I did not want to give in to the pathological reality because I wanted to believe in the power of the mythical. Infected with Love, infected with Death. I ate the poisoned apple and I paid the price. You can love, and love, and love a person but it won't always save them. You know how it is with young lovers and their tragedies. Another hour passed, and another.

It was a close friend who came crashing in to my apartment, and drove me back to the Emergency Room. His brother had died recently. Death, everywhere. Mine, preventable. My friend so angry, so very angry with me, pulled me down to the car, my fairytale was shattered, landed back in the Emergency Room.

There is something intensely intimate about having someone who cares about you hold your hand as your world falls apart. His friendship was the anchor that kept me hanging on when I was so close to letting go.

I don't know which hurt more, the series of intramuscular injections that saved my life, or the knowledge that sometimes you have to walk away from the mythical fairytale of Love and into Reality with a capital R. I now have lifetime immunity to the curse of death the Prince carries. I cultivated that in a very pathological way, over the six months it took me to disentangle my emotions, and reconstruct my body chemistry.

If ever I had broken wings, it was then. It was a slow crawl from the darkness back into the light, but eventually I made it.

Now and then you might fall in love with someone whose wings are broken beyond repair, a flightless bird that just doesn't know how to be in this world, at this time.

Love them while you can.

Let it hurt.

Forgive them.

Set them free.

Then start crawling towards the light, and keep going until you find you are flying on your own again.

As for you Lost Prince:

Never forgotten. Completely forgiven.


Monday, 16 July 2007

Dating Failures Part One: Scene from an Italian Restaurant

As far as first dates go, it wasn’t bad really. I mean we had our disagreements, but if one were to tick off a checklist, which of course I did, there was a more than average chance of things working out between us. Adjustments would have to be made of course. No two people are perfect together. He was certainly not. Perfect that is. But it is fair to say his knuckles weren’t dragging along the floor, which is a vast improvement on my taste in men to date. Not sure how I developed a thing for Neanderthal but I am content to blame my public school experiences; you know we learn no manners or etiquette in the wasteland of poverty-stricken suburbia, it’s enough to just survive.

So we ate pasta, drank some red wine, I mean these are ordinary pleasures for extraordinary times – have you noticed the world is falling apart? Lately. Seems like Love is all we have left and that is difficult to find. So he tells me that I look nice by the candlelight, and I say something like ‘thanks, you picked a good drop’. He doesn’t look as nice by the candlelight. What am I supposed to do, lie? There’s a little bit of pasta sauce stuck to his collar, and it’s distracting me, he is losing ground because the longer I stare at the stain, the larger it gets, until all I can see is a clumsy idiot who can’t put food into his mouth, an infant I am going to have to spoon feed. Still these are trying times and I am not yet ready to rule out casual sex, although god knows if he can steer his dick with any more grace and integrity than his fork.

We are sizing each other up. There is no getting around this. Nobody has time to make mistakes in the dating game anymore, as Time pushes on and women cry foul as their reproductive abilities whither. I’m getting a little grey. I think my time is done, which is fine, I’m in my prime, and my focus is on the big O, orgasm.

I’m studying his hands, thinking about that schoolyard equation about hand span equalling the length of the male penis when erect. Of course this doesn’t give any clue to girth, and girth of the penis is almost as important to my mind, as length. He is talking about hopes and dreams he has, something about setting up his own business, which makes me wonder if he can’t take direction from other people. Like from me, later in the bedroom. I already run my own business. My commitment phobia is right out there, on the table. In the past I’ve found this turns a lot of men on. Kind of like how the reverse is true for women—some women go wild for a man wearing a wedding ring because it symbolises an ability to make a commitment. Ironic. The women rarely see that though, I notice.

Over sticky date pudding I am tempted to ask for his views on feminism, but really what I want to know is if he gives oral. Still, the way the sticky date pudding is sticking to his chin turns me off. Why doesn’t he notice? Perhaps he isn’t a details man. Details matter to me. I’ve experienced too many misunderstandings based on missing details. Those little pieces of information like, ‘actually I am married and should have mentioned it sooner’, or my personal favourite, ‘yes, I was arrested but nobody died, it wasn’t murder.’ Sticky date on the chin, mishandled, becomes sticky date on my genitals. Well in a perfect world it does. I don’t think he’s an oral kind of guy though; he seems to be looking for Love instead of Sex because he’s talking about the fate of humanity. We’re all doomed. We only have each other to cling to. Need to re-set our priorities. This litany is beginning to sound like a list of excuses for being a bad fuck. This date needs to end.

We share a cab home. We both know there is nothing more to be said this evening. No Love, no Lust, and just another failed attempt at trying to connect with a stranger you met in a lift at the Office. Seemed like a nice idea at the time, to go and have dinner together and now it’s just an awkward conversation about the weather. Nobody needs to call anybody; we’ll see each other the next day, and the day after. I think it’s time for me to apply for a new job. Take off. The Grey in my life is suffocating me.


Tuesday, 3 July 2007

The Bridge Over Troubled Waters Saved Me From Drowning

Every woman I've spoken to in the Days After What Was tells me that four years without oral sex is ... "reason enough". A peculiar fear spreads across their face, reflected in their eyes as the truth sinks in. Four years. No oral sex. Could this happen to them too? As each white picket of the white picket fence is hammered deeper into the ground, as accumulated debts pile higher and higher, as shiny bright things replace the pleasures of the flesh that were indulged once upon a time when passion mattered. Oh yes, when passion mattered, or indeed, when passion existed.

I knew a man once who loved to pleasure me in that way. He couldn't actually articulate the specifics of the action, it became "That", as in "I like doing That to you." I still had my reservations about oral sex - as in oral sex being performed on me. The clitoris is a delicate thing, tricky to navigate despite it's small size. I mean so much can go wrong can't it? Mine, for example requires a light touch, so I always look at a man's hands, just a quick glance mind you, to assess the potential compatibility of his fingers with my clitoris. Perhaps men look at a woman's mouth with a similar objective: how would it feel to have those lips on my penis? I don't have "fellatio" lips, so it's all in the sucking and licking. These are learned skills; one has to compensate. Anyhow, this man who liked to do That. He was so good at it I changed the way I pleasured myself. This was the Turning Point in oral sex for me. I'd been so indifferent, and even a little embarrassed and uncomfortable with having a man go There to do That up to that point. Made me want to crawl the fucking walls, the things he did to my clitoris. Had to stuff a sheet in my mouth to stop myself screaming and waking up his housemate. It's a bit like discovering you have the capacity to burn DVDs on your laptop after owning it for four months. As in, suddenly a wealth of possibility opens up.

There's nothing quite like coming in a man's mouth.

Mary. Mother. Of God.

When the orgasm is that intense it makes you want to weep, when the pleasure is unbearable, when in the moment of climax you are entirely, utterly shattered, exposed and vulnerable. Oh yes, completely changed my views on both oral sex, and masturbation techniques.

So, four years passed.


Until recently, when I was reminded of the wealth of possibilities.

Boom bada bada Boom.


Monday, 2 July 2007


There we are then. In the walls, under the floorboards, everywhere in this house and there, upstairs, a little of your breathing, a shadow of you left over from some other time before. You are the disappearer. You have some kind of finality about you. Like coming to an end of a book you can’t put down, your reading slows a little, not wanting to reach the full stop of the last sentence. But then again, were you really that compelling? You certainly put me down more than once and it certainly wasn’t a gentle placement on the side board next to the bed we never really shared. I never knew how to read you anyhow. We had one of those thick kind of plots, all messy and going nowhere. And I lost your character along the way somewhere. I guessed you were a pivotal figure in a landscape who, at some unexpected point, was never to return. There you go, off into the deep dark distance, fading out. But this was less classic fiction and more soap opera. Will they bring you back from the dead? Will you return re-born or as the villain in the piece with a unresolved case of brain damage or amnesia. How will this story progress with you and I? How would you like it to end – or even better, to begin again? Will there be flashbacks to our shady past such as the time when you were here and then you were not. It was an intrigue. You were nowhere to be found. I caught a plane to the other side of the world hoping to find you but you were not at the arrivals gate. You were always more inclined towards waiting at the departure lounge. Bags ready and packed. But I don’t give up. I drive out over the flatlands hunting you down, calling various telephone numbers, hoping to find an exit off the freeway that would lead me to your new town, but there was no exit and there was certainly no answer. I took wrong turns off unmarked tracks. These were the kinds of roads you would lead me down. These were the kinds of roads you’d end up dead on. There was an agreement between us that you were not keeping. There was a year of discussion to lead us toward some kind of future. There was a house involved, a dog, perhaps a child, there were walks in the park, trips away, the meeting of families, dinners cooked and eaten, long nights and mornings spent doing nothing. There was remote sex and web cameras when we were apart. Telephone conversations on international call cards between Australia and somwhere far away. Conversations about being the strange one in the family, about living in small towns with redneck values, about violence and running away, about illness and self-harm, about feeling lost, about desire for another world and each other in it and desparately wanting to touch. Conversations about not being able to trust other people anymore. They only make you sad, they only disappoint, you would say. And I would agree. I recollect a time you once told me about, a time when you were convulsing and foaming at the mouth from an epileptic fit, pretty much helpless – and your boyfriend at the time did nothing to help you, he got embarrassed, with you left shaking and choking and wheezing on the sidewalk while strangers stepped over you and some of them stopping to look and only one who would help and call an ambulance, who had to fumble around in your bag looking for some kind of medication – and this guy, your so-called boyfriend was probably throwing back a beer in the club you always hated. Or maybe he was laughing with your other so-called friends and continuing to not care about your dying frothing body on the street. You told me about how your depression is triggered by forgetting to take your pills and your various subsequent suicide attempts. How easy it would be to disappear, you would say. How simple it would be to vanish, to never be seen again, to slowly melt away. And so you did. For two whole years you appeared quite real to me, quite fleshy and tangible. Something I could hold. For two years we had become ‘almost there’. For two years, these small steps to solidity. How easy it is to watch things break apart. And I suppose these steps we took, marks left in the sand, disappear too, out to sea, washed away, off they go. With your shadowy self… a ghost. Your body was unreal.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Hope is the thing with feathers ...

I need to pause, reflect, and collect myself. The writing pace has been frenzied, as emotions, memories, and ideas surface at rapid-fire speed. As suddenly as the floodgates opened, I find they close—a seeming period of insanity ends, if only momentarily. This is a process of translation, of dictation, and of speculation. What do these strange passages mean, what do they reveal?

"Writing is the destruction of every voice, of every point of origin. Writing is that neutral, composite, oblique space where our subject slips away, the negative where all identity is lost, starting with the very identity of the body writing." Roland Barthes, Image, Music, Text. New York: Hill and Wang, 1977

You think you know us from these words? Are you attempting to decipher who we are, from what we write? What if we are weaving a great deception, what if I have been stealing stories from others and presenting them as my own? Truth has been distorted, and it is fair to say: I do not really know what I have written, I only think I know. It is you, the reader, in the position of power to determine what it all means.


Friday, 22 June 2007

Dear Albert

This love is not wrong.

I am far too young for you I know, but you are my first love, eternal. You are in fact dead, of course, before I have even been born. I fall in love with the ghostly remnants of text you have left behind, and the photographs of you, grainy, faded. Handsome. I think. Barely sixteen years of age, and I am seduced by your text, my heart captured. You are there in my blood, pulsating. Wrapping these texts around myself like a warm blanket on a cold day and this day, Albert, and the next day and many days that follow are cold, practically arctic. I am never quite where I am Albert. This confuses me. I look around me at the sea of faces in the corridor at school, and wonder if any of them actually see me. This is common teenage angst but … I fill this emptiness in my heart with your texts – sentences, ideas, dusty, well-fingered pages, the smell of aged paper, this is the texture of Love, the sexual of the textual. I am Fallen. Not yet Woman, but no longer Girl.

The darkness gathers. Blood leaks. Things swell. My body changes, betraying me and I am transformed by the gaze of others who devour me, strip me, and begin fucking me, all in the blink of an eye as I pass by.

I slip inside the space between the lines and take comfort there while the wolves begin circling.

Oh god yes, this is Love with a capital L.

I am as alone as I will ever be, with only your ghost whispering sweet nothings in my mind. Erotic. This imagined hot breath on my skin, words falling across my bare flesh, each one a tender caress that carries me beyond the pain of growing up.

The Sweet Nothing where I tread lightly, hoping to go unnoticed until such time as I find my place in this world, in this body.

I want to meet you in Paris, sit at a cafĂ© with you, wearing a dress, which is too revealing in the way that certain dresses are on teenage girls. I want to enjoy being too young to know, awkward, and shy as I sit there drinking in every masculine detail of your body, your face, and your hands, which weave the spell of seduction. I want to suck on your cigarette, drink from your coffee cup, curl up in your lap and waste hours upon hours listening to the sound of you breathing. If only. If only you could be my first Lover, but alas we have this entire dimension of Reality between us. I am here, and you are not. Time has not been kind to us Albert, but it doesn’t matter.

At sixteen I understand that I will always, and ever, be in love with words, ideas, and the people who peddle them.

I say again: This love is not wrong.

Where the Lover is absent, words still bring a song of Joy into my heart. This love is enduring. Timeless.


Thursday, 21 June 2007


I called out to the seabirds ‘take me now, I’m no longer afraid to die’.
(David McComb/The Triffids – “The Seabirds” - Born Sandy Devotional)

I look up at the sun. His breathing is audible, kind of amplified with the sound of the water. This is the truth. He was there, once, and smiling, and unafraid. This may not have taken place in the way I might describe, but it was perfect, wherever it was. And wherever it was, he used my name and he spoke to me in whispers. I asked him to lie down there, next to me, at this place, a beach, a lake, a river, and just stay around for a while. I didn’t expect promises. I didn’t expect anything. I just wanted to feel somebody, specifically him, next to me. So, in this story, it will be a warm day and it will take place near a body of water. A river on the edge of town, let’s say. I prefer this to a crowded beach. Yes, somewhere quiet, with a hint of melancholy. He and I decide to bring songs we’ve written and to play them to each other, one at a time, what we have made. He brings his guitar like he always does. All my songs are about him. He knows that. His songs are almost about me but are ambiguous enough for me to imagine that they could all have been written with me in mind. He tells me (in song form) that he thought of me all the time when he was with that girl. He tells me I am ‘three’, as in the third person, always there, even when he’s with someone else. Usually a girl. I am, therefore, a boyfriend of sorts. A boyfriend on the edge. Border boyfriend, that’s me. And to me he is here, and that’s what counts. He brings food and we eat like a couple who’ve taken a picnic lunch, as if this might happen every week, when the sun is out. Let’s go for a picnic, honey, I might say. Good idea, sweetheart, I’ll bring my guitar, he might reply. He doesn’t drink alcohol so I will be spared my own drunken decline in the afternoon heat. We will take photographs of the swans on the water. He will take one of me standing near some reeds. I even think he’d like it if I took off my clothes, or perhaps that’s what I’d like to do. Show him everything. There’s no-one else around, not that I can see. The odd jogger, maybe someone behind the bushes, but I don’t care. I could die happy today, he’s here and I’m feeling good. I could easily be attacked by the crazy person behind the bushes and feel ok, feel content that my work here is done. Because I’m with him and he’s not leaving. At least not for a while. This is a happy moment, man behind the bushes! Don’t spoil it now. But I think my potential attacker can see this too and, well, it’s probably too strong a scene to penetrate, too strong so as to make any intruder turn their gaze elsewhere, somewhere else, to someone else, perhaps even to that young woman across the river who looks lost. Today I am a glad I am not her. I am glad that’s not me, looking all alone on a Sunday afternoon, unsure of where I am meant to be, wandering through the backstreets, ending up there, on the trail by the river, in a city so quiet, under the watchful eye of a lunatic behind the bushes. No. That’s not me. I’m not her. I’m with him, my guitar playing man and he’s looking at me, today, like he wants to kiss me or at the very least hold me and not let me go. He might not say it, but he’s in love. I can hear the birds, they are screeching a little too strongly for my taste. I prefer the wind through the grass. The shadows that play on the trunks of trees. That kind of thing. How the light changes and it gets a bit colder. It has been hours. We’ve not moved from this spot and, yes, I’m still alive and I still feel like this is happening, for real. I observe: he has not left. It is a protective situation, maybe, but I’ve always looked for a daddy. I’m much older but always become infantile by desire. I like to be taken, to not be top, to be led. Where did the day go? Who cares. We decide to walk, he and I - and I notice there are no more joggers and certainly no sign of that lost girl across the river. Someone must have found her and picked her up. I hope she makes it home tonight. As for me, I’m following his lead and he’s taking me to a garden. I just smile and follow. It’s easier that way. Often, I would lean a little closer to him and brush my arm against his. And of course, I want to kiss him still but he once told me that to kiss me would be like kissing his father. So, not being comfortable with the daddy role, I decline and am satisfied with my role as son, as student, as follower. No-one said to achieve this kind of contentment was unhealthy. There is nothing that states happiness must appear normal. And so I grab him from behind and give him a great big bear hug and tackle him to the ground. He throws me off and I fall backwards and I hit my head on the ground but that’s kind of sexy cos it hurts. It’s dark under these trees, I might say, looking up from the ground, a little stunned. Stay down there, he might reply. He’s here to save me, I think to myself. He has this spiritual side and he tells me to close my eyes. I do it immediately. I can feel his hands, not touching my skin, just above it, the heat of his hands near my forehead, that’s there, it’s close enough. Moving across my body. Held there at points. Again, his breathing, but no water now, just the slight movement of leaves and branches. He calls this reiki. I call it sexual by default. I can hear cars from some road nearby. There is a bird making sounds above me in the dark of the tree, a dull and muffled sound. Are you trying to tell me something, small mumbling bird? What kind of message is that you send? Speak up! Sounds like your mouth is full of feathers, little bird. Spit it out! Has someone sent you here, with a message wrapped around your leg? Have you flown across oceans and fields to deliver this now? To send me a sign? A tiny ring of paper that contains the answer that I need? I tell you, bird, it’s not such a good time. But still you make that sound above me, like a cry or a moan. Do not be appalled, small bird, as you witness this grown man, eyes closed, being seduced by this reiki, under this tall tree, flat and dumb on the grass, hypnotised by this man who claims to hold you dear to his heart. Do not tell me that what you see before you is a pathetic scene of a cruel master luring his dog into a trap. It is not true! You’ve got it all wrong. Come down here, birdy! Flap your wings and fly down here, now, close to my face and see for yourself that I am, at this very moment, in a silent and blissful state and then tell me – in your beautiful bird-like way - that this love is not wrong.


Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Boyfriend (02)

Hey ---

You teased me about ass-fucking. So I let you. Laugh at me, go on. It's just a thing ok. I let you. You were my teacher. This is what I remember. I let you do it without a condom. That was fucking stupid. So we stopped. At least for that moment. You suggested cutting. Here's a razor. Oh that old story. Scars all over your arms to prove it. You hated yourself. You were on crystal meth. You were a raver. Still so much younger. Hated your parents. Said you'd kill yourself back in Edmonton, Canada, if life didn't sort itself out. "You won't hear from me again." Are these some kind of last words? You wanted to play rough. You've got the cuts to prove it. Couldn't keep a hard-on without a cock-ring. Something in your blood. Stops the circulation. Our brief moments of immense danger. I let you beat me up. Who is the weak one? I ask for it. The hits and blows. I asked for it. I ironed your shirts to keep you on the waiting staff but I kept you up all night and that got you the sack. You brought me jugs of coke and stuff. You flirted with me on the job. Fuck that turned me on. You said we'd be singing that Rufus Wainwright song on a bridge together in 20 years. Apparently we were destined to meet again. You phoned me in Los Angeles crying. I couldn't save you. You sounded so distant. Waiting for life to sort itself out. We were going our separate ways. I couldn't track you down. Somehow, I lost you.

Still, some love.


Boyfriend (01)

Dear ---

I had an epileptic fit outside a nightclub. I thought you were my boyfriend. You had pushed me around before. You had your life centred around your nightlife friends. We went out together. I was left in the dark. I had an epileptic fit outside a nightclub and you were embarrassed. You had no training in emotional rescue. I was foaming at the mouth and that just wasn't cool. You were attracted to the big lights bright city. Interior boy, you fell inside yourself. I fell onto the sidewalk. I broke my jaw. You put me on drugs when I was nineteen. You put me in pornographic flicks. You sold my body to pay for your habit. You see, he had a habit. Of leaving me on sidewalks. Of pushing me around. Of going off with friends when I didn't know how to act around you or them. You left me to foam. Disappeared inside the club. The bouncers looked down on me shaking. Should they call a doctor? They thought I might be dead. Do we drag him into the alley? Your boyfriend, which I thought I was, was dying out here. Alone with you disappeared and indifferent. My body was a disappointment to you. You fell in love with a dead boy. We had no life together. We struggled to speak about anything. I was never cute, just convenient. I sang a sweet tune but that was never enough. I blame myself. I had an epileptic fit outside a nightclub and you had no training in emotional rescue. You left me for dead. Maybe I could just be dusted like a vampire. But no, I wasn't the bloodsucker. You sucked. Drained and white as a ghost was I. Often around you. Look at these puppy eyes. They adore you. You, such a cruel fucking master. I fell onto the sidewalk and nearly broke my jaw. Split lip and blood. Messed around, shaky, unstable. You were never one for holding on. Or I guess just holding. Just hold me. That is not a question.

Yours ---


Tuesday, 12 June 2007

The Disappeared: Part One

I tripped over an old man today and twisted my ankle. With all the grace and dignity of a drunk being thrown out of a bar I disgorged a string of obscenities. Disappointing, I thought, to have become this lame gargoyle frightening old men on the street corner. Slumped on the steps of a bar (as it happens) I contemplated the fact that I had so much anger inside me, enough to transform me into A Very Unpleasant Woman. The pain became a kind of comfort, the inability to walk reduced me to stillness as I assessed my options, all the while going into mild shock. Is anything ever by chance? I tried to recall my thoughts at the moment in time I tripped. "Suffering" was the general theme, of course, as it seems to have been of late. Self indulgent crap, and I know it. There is muck inside me, black and bloodied muck. A junk yard heap of unanswered questions, each of them beginning with: Why did you disappear? A taxi took me home, I hobbled upstairs to my current dwelling and settled in for the day, and night. Wrapped my ankle in a scarf that was a gift from a man I no longer love. Fitting, somehow, but not sure why.

I am stuck in this silent room, and being pulled deeper into myself, with pain as my only distraction, my only point of focus. And the memory of the look on the old man's face when I exploded in hysteric, obsence, and angry psychosis. "What's happened to the ladies of today?" He might well ask. I did. "What's happened to Grace and Dignity?" In myself. Was there ever? I could write a list of qualities I would like to embody, as an alternative to the monstrousness of my current state. Swing an axe to cut off dead wood and you're going to make a mess. No getting around that. Ghosts haunt me. In the light of my father's passing, I mean this literally now. There's a small child inside of me bleeding everywhere, and time is running out. Will I let her die, or apply salve to her wounds? She's a ghost too. I used to know her well, but she died one day. Well, actually it was more like a slow death. I stood back and watched it happen, growing apart from her as I continued living. She couldn't grow up because she bled out. Her heart it was. Ripped open. I had to leave her behind, I mean, when there is that much pain, that much blood ... death is preferable, surely?

Every now and then she visits me, and I don't like it. She is disruptive. Like a rebellious twin. Like me, but not me. Of me, but beyond me. I want to send her to Heaven, because I think that is where she really wants to be, with her list of unanswered questions. I mean, people have their reasons don't they? Tramping about the room in my scarf-wrapped ankle, I know what it means to disappear, leaving unanswered questions behind. So this is karmic payback maybe? I'm still not sorry I walked out on Scarf Man. The answers to the question of "why?" are so ... complicated. My answers don't matter anyhow, I mean don't we all draw our own conclusions? I am my Father's daughter. How amusing, how very fucking amusing. Well, there is no walking away from anything today.

It is all crashing in on me, like a dark and bloody waterfall of memories and stifled emotions. As the room floods with unshed tears I reach out to that dead girl and hold her under, hoping that this time, death will finally take hold and she will be free to go. Leaving me to Move On. This malingering lingering of hers has got to stop, because I don't like the woman I was today, screaming at old men in the street who might or might not bear a resemblance to my Father.


Wednesday, 6 June 2007


Here is a film. And in this film you can watch me very closely. See, there I am, that’s me, crawling around, awkwardly, on the ground like a dog. It’s what I deserve. And I’m lost. You will recognise a forest and it will be dark. Things might be a little difficult to make out. It’s all blurry and night-shot. But I’ve been thrown here. Dumped by a car in the middle of the night by a stranger. There was an agreement. I asked for it. I thought I knew what I was doing. I wanted to know something about pain. About complete abandonment. About fending for yourself. About losing it. About being lost. It’s a survival tactic. With no prizes at the end. And in this film, I’m looking straight at the camera and the guy behind the lense keeps telling me to crawl, keep crawling, on my hands and knees, and tells me to start barking too. I don’t know why but I do. (Barks). I just do what he says. How did I get here? How did I manage to make myself into this slave boy without considering the consequences. So let me tell you a story: it’s about love. It’s about not having it. It’s about wanting to have a sensation that equates with love. Pure love. Have you felt that? Have any of you felt that? Speak now if you can tell me one time in your life that you had that kind of real, untainted, pure love. For something. Anything. This story is about the search for love. To crawl through the dirt like a dog to find some small answer or sign or person, for that matter. And this guy with the camera, well, he’ll do for now. Because he’s documenting something real. He’s capturing an extreme moment of an exchange between two human beings. And I’m happy to take the lowest position in all of this. I want to submit and I’m not saying this story is about submission either. What I’m looking for is not a consensual role-playing scenario – that’s just foreplay. I’m not looking for a story that ends with sleep or post-sex cigarettes. In this story no-one sleeps. No-one eats. No-one indulges in romantic fantasies of the perfect family. Pure love, by nature, is a fucked up place most of us here in this room tonight would only dare to enter. I’m telling you this because I’m not to be taken home. I’m not the kind of man you would introduce to your mother or father. Just like you, I have the face of a killer. Just like you, I’ll probably die some horrible death or be left behind in some hostel with a doctor who might as well just give up. Just like you, I’m on a downward spiral. Like you, I’m on a losing streak. Let’s not pretend. Try, if you can, to just be here for one fucking moment. No winners here tonight. So, I’m not prepared to wait. This story is not about love as you might know it. Pure love is pain. Pure love hurts like fuck. Pure love hates you all so much it wants to wipe every single god-damn one of you out with a shot gun. Sitting in your seats, like that, waiting for me to tell you how it feels to want to do what you might call “bad things”, unacceptable things, unreasonable behaviour. I’m not the kind of person who keeps a home. I’m interested in entering your house, in paying you a visit, sitting you down and showing you this film, of me, crawling through the dirt like a dog.


How Was It for You the First Time?

There is some confusion about my virginity, and specifically, how I “lost” it. Perhaps right now you think you know where this story is going; it’s one of those “I was so drunk I don’t remember” type recollections, right? Or perhaps you are thinking there was more than one fumbling young adolescent boy involved, which might lead to the very brief, but whispered word “slut” passing through your mind. But really, I am talking here about definitions.

How do you define virginity, and what qualifies as the loss of it?

When I was an adolescent, girls around me were sucking a lot of cock, giving a lot of hand jobs, and dry humping—anything but losing their virginity because you know; there was a certain currency in being a virgin. Most girls around me dreamt of meeting The One and getting married, and in those days, it was a given that men only married the virgin, not the whore. It seemed to be generally agreed that “virginity” was directly linked to penetration of the vagina.

But I was coming of age at a time where the concept of penetration of the vagina was complicated by the miracle of modern science, in the invention of the tampon.

Like all Modern Girls I invested in my first box of tampons, assured of the promise of a better lifestyle courtesy of soaking up all that blood, and keeping the process of menstruation hidden from view.

Which brings me to the hymen.

So, once upon a time, the hymen broke upon the initial penetration of the vagina by the hard cock. Ideally, for the purposes of authenticity, there would be blood on the sheets to prove a woman really was, “innocent” and/or “pure”. As a Modern Girl, I didn’t really give much thought to the hymen, because by that time, there was always the chance a hymen could be broken by such activities as horse riding or bike riding, or by the modern miracle of inserting the tampon. The hymen had no currency anymore, as proof of virginity.

Which brings me to the emergency room.

Something went terribly wrong with my first attempt at using a tampon. You know, I followed the diagram, I had the mirror aimed at my crotch, I even had a torch on hand—I mean, it’s a navigation exercise right? And I was so proud, I tell you, for the first three hours of that tampon being inserted.

So in the emergency room, there are a handful of us gathered. One of the few is a Young Man, with his Little Sister. Being a Young Woman I am hyper-aware of young men in general, but certainly of this young man in the waiting room. I focus on being invisible, assuming that my “problem” will remain hidden from view.

Which brings me to my Mother.

She drove me there. And being the mild hypochondriac I am, and she having grown up in the Dark Ages of menstruation both of us felt it best to bring my problem to an emergency room. They interview you, at the front desk, to establish the magnitude of your “emergency”. Bless her; my Mother had been attempting to be discreet on my behalf but-

“I’m sorry, could you speak up please, what is the problem with your daughter?”
“Oh she has a tampon stuck in her vagina.”

No longer invisible. It begins with the Little Sister of the Young Man:

“That lady has something in her gina!” (Giggles)
“Shut up, it might happen to you one day.”

Yes, well, now it’s awkward, what with my Mother and I sitting in the waiting room, my vagina suddenly front and centre in the collective imagination of the handful of people waiting to see a doctor.

Which brings us to Catholicism.

In the examination cubicle the Lady Doctor asks me a few perfunctory questions. Name, age, and ailment—all seem quite ordinary. Then I am laying spreadeagled on the examination table, with Lady Doctor shining her own torch into my crotch.

“Oh, it’s your hymen. The tampon is caught on your hymen.”

The hymen, my hymen is sort-of-broken. As though the last vestiges of my virginity are hanging on despite the disruption of the tampon. She removes the offending modern miracle from my vaginal vault, and then asks:

“Are you a virgin?”

Yes, I tell her, figuring that the lines of definition are still pretty clear.


Oh? I’m not sure why she seems disappointed.

“Are you Catholic?”

No, I tell her, wondering when I can put my underpants back on.

“Oh, well I think it’s important that I perform an internal examination.”

At the age of seventeen, I had not been one of those Modern Girls sucking cock and giving hand jobs, in fact I had not even kissed a boy.

Which brings us to vaginal penetration by a medical professional of a minor, using a set of forceps, in the guise of performing a “necessary” pap smear.

Illegal, I am told later, what she is doing. At the time it’s just all one big blur of pain and confusion. However amidst this, I found myself thinking that at least I now knew what to expect “when I lose my virginity”. I lay on the examination table, my feet in those stirrups, and documented the pain; the feel of having my vagina expanded by the forceps, and thought “losing my virginity will be less painful because a penis isn’t this large.”

Which brings us back to my problem with definitions.

Looking back, I wonder if my fascination with Catholicism began in that examination room.


Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Wooden Desks

I want to talk about wooden desks for a moment. The kind you imagine yourself being fucked on. I don’t know whether it’s the books on the bookshelves by the desk, or the desk itself, or perhaps even the lover engaged in this fantasy scenario with me. Maybe it’s the intersection of intellectual and sexual attraction merging to such degrees that the space in which a simple, appropriate conversation on the psychology of intimacy is taking place suddenly turns into a heated erotic exchange. I’m not sure but I am certain that there are times to share these fantasies, and times to keep your mouth shut, or typing fingers still. It only takes a few words to slip and slide into the cyber-oblivion of lost connections, and failed intimacies. We exist only in so far as we construct ourselves via text. Words, sentences, textual utterances … we rely on linguistic accuracy to get our meaning across, and whilst as far as wooden desks go I suspect my meaning was very clear I feel the failure of text to represent my underlying meaning. I am now the recipient of Warm Regards. This is a difficult game, this Getting To Know You game. Fraught, this cyber-realm in which we attempt to be genuine despite the fact that we only have two tools to work with: memory (of what was, of each other), and text. Oh yes, and silence. In this silence, as opposed to other silences in my life, I am haunted by images of the wooden desk, the books, and now, of course in the sexual fantasy I am standing alone in the room, my skirt hitched up, waiting … but nobody is there. Which makes me question my own desires. Had I really wanted to be thrown over this wooden desk, like a pliable object of desire? An object. Am I? As in, am I casting myself in the role of “object”? In this empty room, draped across the highly polished wood of a man’s desk, the worth of his life’s work scattered about the room, on shelves, in folders, and loose papers I have to ask myself what I am doing there, sans underpants. I lie on the desk, feel that smooth, cold, hard wood underneath me and close my eyes to try and decipher this silence at a deeper level. Life is full of fateful choices. Each moment of a conversation is a fateful choice: what do I share, when is it right to share this detail or that detail? Somehow I have translated my admiration for what a man has achieved in life, his passion, the ways in which he is making choices that matter to him and to others … I have translated this into a desire to be fucked by him on this wooden desk. It’s a genuine physical desire, but it’s also a deflection of real emotion. Oh yes, that. I’m in trouble. I’m stuck on this desk. It’s all complicated. I’m scared of him finding me here, half naked, exposed like this. I’m getting cold, lying here. Am I allowed to even be here, in this room? It’s an impressive room of a very impressive man who I know has better things to do with his time. And what am I offering? Can there be any sort of deeper connection between us on this desk, his desk. I don’t know. I want to be real, but these emotions … are they real or not?
I don’t know.
I don’t know.
I really, really don’t know.
Is sex the easy option for what can take place on this desk—the opening up of body, but not of heart and mind? Obviously it’s time for me to get off the desk. I think we’re starting from scratch. We are post-sex, and perhaps pre-intimacy?
I don’t know.
I don’t know.
I really, really don’t know.