Sunday, May 15, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
The following is a piece of flash fiction that has been published in Verity La. Verity La is one of the best online creative arts journals that I've come across, and it's definitely worth clicking on the link above to check it out.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
She rattles at my window
with the damndest of [c]old [k]nights.
I tell her not just now my love –
the pale wolf, he bites.
She patters me with misery,
she wracks my bones with cold;
she knows not how she wearies me –
a rest, my sweet, I’m old.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Some call it writer's block. I call it a momentary lack of lust for life.
I'm all stone-cold with dust in my mouth; the guy who goes limp with a nipple on his tongue, or the wife with a perpetual headache.
Mr. Hemingway tells me, all you have to do is sit at a typewriter and bleed.
Problem is, I need a transfusion and I don’t have any viable candidates.
I pick up The Angel's Game and flick through it. In that gilded oyster shell of a novel I found a little pearl of wisdom.
‘Inspiration comes when you stick your elbows on the table, your bottom on the chair and you start sweating. Choose a theme, an idea, and squeeze your brain until it hurts. That's called inspiration.’
And so I meekly set bottom on seat and elbows on table, take a firm grip of my brain and wring it. I'm sitting here, bleeding onto the screen, smearing my brain-juice all over it, full of grit and the odd blod clot, and you're lapping it up like a pup at its mother's teat.
Can you taste it? The metallic fullness of the blood as it seeps through your lips and blossoms out over your tongue;the sickening crunch as your teeth grind over a piece of bone and the strangling feeling as my hair slides down your throat, making you gag once, twice and then swallow it whole?
It is now that I think of how I would describe the art of writing.
Writing is fucking.
As I type this, I drag my fingers over your lips, run my tongue along the ridges of your teeth and whisper breathily into you ear. Your eyes, as they scan over these letters, are dusting across the undulations of my skin and exploring every crevice. You are kissing my eyelids as I claw at your back -- you take my throat in your teeth and tear it out with the voracity of a lion lunging at its prey. My blood spurts in to your mouth as you pump your juices - saliva, blood, pus, cum, everything - into me.
Writing is an exchange of bodily fluids, of breath and of fire, of skintoskin and mouthtomouth; I breathe my words into your mouth and you spit them back out at me.
As we roll over, bleeding and exhausted from our rollicking romp, I glance at the clock and realise it's time to go.
You were amazing. I can hardly talk, I'm so out of breath, baby.
Promise you'll come back soon? I want you again already.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
"Then the American insect, the phyloxera, came and devastated them, contributing by its ravages to make the structure of the soil emerge again even more clearly, with the lines formed by the retaining walls that terraced the vines accentuating and shading it, having esthetically the function of geodetic lines marking, giving emphasis and architectonic compass to the splendor of that shore, which seems to descend in multiple and irregular stairways adapted to the soil; serpentine or rectilinear tiers, hard and structural reflections of the splendor of the soul of the earth itself; tiers of civilisation encrusted on the back of the landscape; tiers now smiling, now taciturn, now excited by Dionysian sentiments on the bruised summits of divine nostalgias; raphael-esque or chivalric tiers which, descending from the warm and silvery Olympuses of slate, burst into bloom on the water's fringe in the svelte and classic song of stone, of every kind of stone down to the granite of the last retaining walls of that unfertilized and solitary earth (its teeming vines have long since disappeared) and on whose dry and elegiac roughness, even today, rest the two bare colossal feet of that grandiose phantom, silent, serene, vertical and pungent, which incarnates and personifies all the different bloods and all the absent wines of antiquity."
- Salvador Dalí, The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí, 1942 [p. 128].
This is one of my favourite sentences, not merely because of its proudly absurd length, but because of its richness and lyrical completeness. It is poetry that allows for only one deep breath at the beginning because, semicolons or not, there is no time to be distracted by breathing whilst reading it. Here, Dalí is describing the landscape of the beloved holiday destination of his childhood, Cadaqués.
Landscapes grow from our minds. We colour them and chip away at their bedrock . A landscape is not a physical place, but our experience of it. The one place becomes a different landscape each time we return, literally or metaphorically, in memory or in dreams.
That empty schoolroom we broke into as kids sprouts into a hulking old boarding house, haunted by the ghosts of tortured children, the demonic writing of the murderous headmaster still scribbled across the chalkboards. When we walked past the old mines and felt the dank air coming out, it was like a spectre breathing down our necks. The terror seeps out of it and leaks into the forest around it, turning that fallen tree we climbed across into a gnarled and lonely escape across the creek - or was it a steep ravine?
And when we stayed in that very same place years later on a school camp, we had almost forgotten the time we nearly shit ourselves when the door slammed shut and the wind screamed through the pines. We didn't even realise that we were giggling and talking about cute boys on the same bunk beds that we had decided the ghost children had been strapped to. The pines made us sneeze and the wind made us cold. We threw mud at each other and washed it off in the boring little creek (it was really just a creek). We ran up to the old cemetery and laughed at the funny old names, and we jumped over the cursed grave knowing (hoping?) we wouldn't really fall to our deaths. We sang around a campfire and when the door slammed shut it was because we were locking out the boys that kept throwing fake spiders at us. I wanted to go home. The echoes of our laughter in the hills made me feel strange and lonely.
When I returned years later again, I climbed into the creek and waded the vein of mother earth. I was at peace ofter the clamour of the city and I meditated next to the trickling waterfall. The pines, growing back after the last bushfire, were grand sentinels lining the slopes. I was stilled by the beauty and the smell of smoking campfire. The silence bound me up and slowed me down, and when I walked along the tracks, past the old mine entrances, it made me sad to see the hills so full of holes.
The busy hands of memory edit and rewrite the landscape; change the hue of even the most vivid colour; build mountains out of hillocks; shift things around, splice and dice and meld many places into one. Every revisiting is a tale retold.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
If I could put in a bag all the hours I've spent waiting for you
I'd have time in my pocket to write a letter
and tell you why I don't want to wait any more.
If I could keep all the minutes spent
waiting for coffee and words to percolate
I'd tell you why I can't tell you why I can't sleep any more.
If I had a second for every song that made me cry
I'd put them on your tape and leave it by your bed
so that you'd know why I won't listen to you any more.
But time is like soap
and effort is like dope -
it springs from my hands;
it makes me someone else.
You know that I'll sit and let it slip.