August 25, 2013 § Leave a comment
As the last blanket of night is thrown on this awkward-training-day of a city, the trio of Okcupid fairies settle on my roof, and the music rings out like a trendy emporium:
“All the other women,
Are younger, slimmer, and hotter than you,
That’s why you’re a reject (oh).
And they probably don’t do anything weirdly unfeminine,
Like sports, weightlifting, or, paradoxically, feminism.
And they have all read way more books,
Or way less, whichever is more attractive (these days).
They settle in dazzling fields like spring moths,
Drop Deleuze n’ Guatarri into off-the-cuff conversation as real-world examples,
And giggle because they are actually geishas.
Their shit is together,
Oh their shit is together.
They followed some inborn talent like a Christmas Star,
And it didn’t turn out to be crippling balderdash,
Which racked them like a traitor –
No, it didn’t twist them into a bit of a surly c*nt, really.
Yes, their shit is together (oh).”
(45 minutes of mind-frazzling humming)
Of course the truly schizophrenic part about this is that I don’t have a roof. And the singing fairies I suppose.
May 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
I am having increasingly regular, increasingly intense nightmares about the ocean. Mountainous, icy, hostile walls – moonlit like manganite – dominate and crush me. It is impossible to breathe, gain purchase, or save myself: this is more or less the basis of my terror.
Sometimes in the dream I am waylaid by long channels of sand which turn into houses; cubes elongate, are room after room of strangefamiliar places where I live alone, or with others. There is a beyond, an above and an underneath, and a single note of colour struck throughout – sand. We’re all back on the sand. The manganite wall is roaring down for the burning and the rapes, an army of slick steel at the climax of an epic. Though there above, as I go under, the tarnished clouds are barely moving.
October 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
Heading home, again. And of course, a flood of conflicting feelings re: gender and the humanities.
I will try to explain.
Towards the end of my degree (an epic 14 year affair in which I studied in every arts department save psychology) I started to think: what the fuck did I do this for? I will need some time to write about it properly, but basically it all seemed like this weird mash of progressive platitudes being used for exceedingly conservative purposes, bereft of an underlying logic. I blame the evil sophistry of “postmodernism” for a lot of this, but also it is just the age-old problem of class and privilege, massive over-specialisation, possibly a bit of the Peter Principle, and my own personal temperament which can border on suicidal laziness.
But then I remember why I did it.
In the outer suburbs, where I grew up, I am basically a bloke. It says a lot about traditional gender roles that the absence of a Y chromosome and external gonads make no difference here – the gender spectrum is unheard of in these parts of the world. I have a host of “unfeminine” characteristics which I am now accustomed to going unnoticed, but which become a huge issue when I head home, where gender is the name of THE game, and I’m a bad girl. A weird girl. Not a girl. I don’t want to bitch about particulars, but this is an oppressive force which has influenced so much of my life, politics, and personal habits, such as the need to write. It is why I was one of those first year kids who was in raptures over Foucault. He helped me redefine girl, to work it out for myself with the power of my own intellect before I got into some kind of trouble. It’s worth adding that none of the things I am talking about are actually all that weird: things like reading books not magazines, wearing cargo pants not skirts because I walk or ride everywhere, leaving the house without makeup, not wearing much jewellery (it itches), being absent minded and thus slightly untidy, so on and so forth. Pretty much all of the things I like about myself.
But that was a long time ago. Foucault became what he hated, an incomprehensible libertarian who threw out the baby with the bathwater (though he’s still the only pomo I have time for, mainly because of Discipline and Punish), and I went and studied journalism, an even more baffling discipline where those most suited to the actual profession are probably doomed to fail academically.
Hey at least I wrote.
July 21, 2012 § Leave a comment
Funny after all these years
We still talk like getting in the corners,
And I know you – we grew around each other;
We never seem to touch.
You used to be the one;
Before we made each other colder, loner,
We tried it in the spotlight, squinting –
You used to be the one.
We don’t always have to talk, my
Eyes are on the tiny bits of grey
Which seem so queer and out of place;
I remember your black hair.
We never seemed to touch,
Even when you must have been there,
What is touch, oh what is touch?
I must have known you’re not the one.
July 15, 2012 § Leave a comment
We all become what we hate. I bought a battery operated air freshener. I had to because UNSW has conspiratorially provided me with a room that smells like an old aquarium while charging $2 a go to wash said smell out of my clothes.
Ah, the aquarium. I loved staring at it at mum’s. It took me right away from all this here, like a neural massage with funky evolved bodies. When the neighbours’ cat came into mum’s yard I suggested that she go around and throw as much fish shit as she could dredge out of the aquarium at their car. See, being fish, rabbit and bird people puts us in direct conflict with cat people. Such an act would merely be a logical extension of their clearly outlined and frankly aggressive – in a first strike notion of the term – neighbourhood ethics. Mum says she likes people and wants to get along with people, though, so, whatever. I don’t understand it.
Everybody has somebody. Everybody who matters, right? Here are some choices:
1. Develop a Pavlovian relationship with one or more internet pornography sites.
2. Accept that your romantic and sexual life is, and has long been, a wounded freefall over a late-autumn tundra. Forget it, in the same way you forget that your ambitions as an artist are in largely the same condition, by convincing yourself you never wanted it at all.
3. Have a weird non-sexual relationship with a mutedly despised ex, that involves awkward, loveless co-dependency, raging immaturity and snorkelling.
4. Start a blog.
The air freshener going off is scaring the shit out of me.
June 29, 2012 § Leave a comment
Heartache feels exactly like heartache.
That’s all I can think of. Stupid neuroscience.
June 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
I have hope for my face. The lines I seem to have created are very unnatural looking, and for all intents and purposes appear to be lifting. It has become a full-time occupation controlling what I have come to think of as The Tension. I feel it building and subsiding throughout the day and my rational mind pushes back with all the stability my sense and memory can produce, with the aid of meticulously administered drugs. I have become something of a running expert on anxiety, and can swing by the old doctor who doesn’t mind a feel on my way from work and be home with three types of chemical relaxants before the start of the news.
I have positioned myself mentally outside of the city, in a place that is part my memories of home and part a sanctuary of my own design: a retraction; a learned behaviour I can only be sure I have somehow managed to learn. The action is remote controlled and because of this, I am mildly fearful for my person, and of any physical outcomes.
My room is private as ever but still in there it builds. I madly try to block it out by stuffing my ears with material and putting earmuffs over the top. This looks highly peculiar and I try not to emerge unexpectedly in doorways if my flatmate, who has lived in London and sometimes looks at me as if I am out of my mind, is reading or watching television.
There is an opening or a premiere at Fox Studios tonight and the searchlights beam out over my building, flashing agitatedly across the cavernous sky. When I was growing up I lived near the State prison and whenever an inmate escaped similar searchlights would beam from helicopters overhead into the yards of every home. I can trace it; it was the beginning of The Tension, the fear, the nightmares. So I can’t blame it all on this place: the hum of neuroses bound by earth and water. Or on being born to an institution, a routine of doubts and nerves. And looking at it that way it seems I was destined to be here and to gradually stand unaided.
If a writer must understand symbolism it has been interesting to be in one – a symbol that is – and to understand that everything happens in the shadow cast by its meanings; that the imagination it spawns is far greater than its parts or their sum. It is identity and fear, and like misguided volunteers, we think we sit inside it.