Friday, February 18, 2005
the world's biggest blank page
a love letter waiting to be written
feet for ink
we conjure warm thoughts
by inventing a new word for fire every day
you only use the furs from polar bears that died of natural causes
I discover the Ice Palace
your plumes of breath grow larger as we enter
I tell Superman
he'll have to go.
Monday, February 14, 2005
I just fall.
Whenever, wherever you appear. I just fall.
You told me, that every now and again it’s best to stop and take a moment to admit to all the things that we don’t know. Stand on a corner, under a street light, let the night come and wait for your ignorance to fall out of your pockets like spare change. But I never had that much time (or money). So let’s start with what I do know and that is…whenever I see you, I just fall. Literally.
1 grazed knee.
1 bruised elbow.
1 smashed digital watch (old skool backlit LCD).
1 cauliflower ear.
1 small but very painful bump on the crown of the head.
1 chipped tooth.
1 torn calf muscle.
1 broken nose.
2 black eyes.
As if I’d gone to pray to the god of minor injuries and said ‘just give me a little bit of everything.’
The doctor described it as a massive loss of equilibrium produced for reasons his simple sciences could not explain.
Each prescription for another dose of painkillers was another merit badge of adoration. I found myself reading them before going to bed at night like love letters.
By the fourth visit to the clinic I had the doctor leaving the consultation room in tears. I tried to cut a deal with him on a psychosomatic diagnosis but he could tell I was really just trying to make him feel better. Which was true. I couldn’t stand to see him like that. There were fouler forces at play here and he knew it.
It was all in my head, but I didn’t put it there.
Here’s how it happens. You enter the field of vision and it’s game on.
Think of the body as a humble fishing trawler suddenly hit by a wave of biblical proportions. The legs forget what bones are for and that’s when all the sailors in my head simultaneously rush to the starboard side.
Then the colours come. I’m a television set jammed between the stations. But beneath the snow… the colours.
As if a string of Christmas lights has been fed through my skull from one ear to the other, and there’s you grabbing on one end and tugging your Electric Benwai Balls until my eyes are nothing but two peeled boiled eggs.
It’s usually about then the power goes out.
Later at the clinic, the desperate doctor asks me again while his eager interns crowd the door. “Who is she?”
At the Radiohead concert I dialed your number and held my phone up in the air to try and let you know how I felt without making eye contact.
There are fouler forces than nature in this world.
After the concert I checked my messages and found that you’d left a recording of the Spice Girls on my phone.
I still don’t know what that means.
I attempted to break the spell by going to my nearest shopping centre and running really, really fast the wrong way up the down escalator. A crude but hopeful method of reversing time. At the top I didn’t feel any different so I tried running backward down the up escalator. That’s when the security guards told me I had to leave. As if I didn’t already know that.
At night I wear a seatbelt in bed. When sleep comes, I’m assassinating Presidents for you. I’m fully armed and functional. The mohawk doesn’t suit but the khaki matches your eyes. We’re sweeping into nightclubs like computer viruses, rearranging the room so the light highlights all your best angles and then replicating ourselves to cover the dancefloor. A million lovestruck Hugo Weavings cutting the rug at supersonic speed.
At night I sleep beneath a pile of burning Autumn leaves and all this is possible.
By day it’s a different story. I fit my clothes like a bag of unwashed potatoes. I wear knee pads, a bicycle helmet and night vision binoculars as a form of contraception. My doctor is stalking me and my walls are papered with lipstick smudged x-rays and diagrams ripped from a seventies stunt man’s hand guide on how best to take a fall.
Does this seem weird to you?
Does my heart look fat in this?
Now I’m standing on a street corner and I’m searching deep in my pockets to find the one thing I know the least and the best I can come up with is: if two bodies fall in a forest and their lips briefly touch on the way down, does this count as a kiss?
This piece was specially comissioned by the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. It appeared in the catalogue for a group exhibition of several artists titled Swoon. The only brief was the piece had to be written to the theme of Swoon.
Saturday, February 12, 2005
I see us being shot out of a cannon together.
Not the same cannon
but two side by side.
After the initial flurry and shock of being airborne,
we could hold hands
and make bets on the distance we'd travel,
before we run out of momentum.
Giggling, tumbling, grazing skin, coming to a halt,
If you're up for it.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
In the backyard she sits under the washing line staring through her underwear at the muted bush fire sun.
The sun in turn stares at her but curses the flammable nature of the Australian bush for obscuring the view.
“The smoke is getting worse.” You tell her. “Shouldn’t you bring your clothes in?”
“No,” she replies. “It’s better this way. If I run into a bush fire in a dark alley and it smells my clothes, then it’ll think we’ve already met. Bush fires prefer virgins, don’t you know?”
In her lap she holds writing paper and a pen.
“Are you writing a letter?” you ask her.
“No” she says, “While I was waiting for my washing to dry, I decided to do today’s crossword, then I got bored so instead I decided to create my ideal god. These are my top five god concepts. Would you like to hear them?”
You look up at the sky getting darker and redder and you turn to her and say “yes.”
“Okay, here it is,” she says.
1. Must not be flammable.
2. Be available when I’m coming down.
3. Not be warlike, but not be afraid to belt anybody who needs to pull his or her head in.
4. Be available for dinner parties.
5. Must be a good dresser.
“A good dresser is an ideal god concept to you?” you ask
“Of course. How can I respect a god in tracksuit pants?”
“What will you do if the fire jumps the line?” you ask.
“Nothing,” she says while standing up. “All my rooms are temples and I’ve just realised… all my friends are gods. I have nothing to worry about.”
She walks back into the house. You reach down to pick up today’s crossword puzzle hoping to finish it but discover instead that she’s filled every empty square with a tiny flaming love heart.