footing

the traffic island is more a boat. i think.

my earphone slippage was a major concern

mid passage. conclusions form in a bubble-

of-time beyond measurement, such expansion

everything i want. across the road my reflection

in the accountant’s frontage caught my eye –

dismissive, fixed his hair. just get on with this.

before, graffiti-lite under the footbridge & every

piece a variation on a theme: what were you

thinking? else, here you are. i’d admire the

coordination but it’s a half-lit afternoon &

liking things doesn’t seem right. so i don’t.

i get a little broken in all pursuits, crossings,

passages. simplicity is my enemy. words et

cetera: internecine. going to lengths to navigate

traffic or arrange flowers, everything is suffuse

with sentiment. if you want it to be. what means

more & what makes you smile. i’m anonymous

pink & yellow buds of light as i’m hand-

delivered into the final mirrored oblong.

narrandera

the world within square frames & rain      over a

lead-beaten footbridge      smell the car heater

smell      take a long hard look at pelicans

riding a log      the lightning white flash

approximately as special as anything

this is a car death of sorts      wallabies

so bouncy is it winter     i’ve budgeted

to suspend animation to resist all

formal logic     i want to drive this car

straight to you      but really

it’s already planned

strategised      the risk

managed: casual

inclement & definite

 

scientific

everything

in the wine-dark evening everything seems like a good idea. even the silly things, the ‘read at 7.26am’ strings-of-thought you can’t undo. i guess if i have one talent it’s ruining things. i fell asleep with the tv on awoke with a start. men fixing the air-conditioning on the roof of the building opposite. there was a bathrobe tho, so i wore it briefly, that at least was good & positive. i thought this to myself as i was wearing it. is everything about the insistence of the ‘I’? i want/feel/need something & this makes it important. it’s selfish & i don’t like it but what else is there.

perhaps it was the bathrobe that made me late.. not stupidly late, no phone-calls and enquiries about my health this time. just enough to walk in mid-discussion & be noticed. i don’t like being noticed. or maybe i do. only sometimes. only with people i’m trying to impress.

there’s a christina stead plaque on circular quay that i didn’t read but walked over. one of our greatest writers. i have an anecdote about reading ‘for love alone’ that i remember every now & then & consider re-telling. this morning i briefly thought i was getting at the meaning of it. see i read ‘for love alone’ but it took a long time. a couple of years i think. i abandoned it a few times, only to keep coming back to it, not remembering the narrative but re-reading, picking it up again, persisting. during the process i told someone how difficult i was finding this reading. he said i was in fact not reading the book, rather than actually reading it. for some reason that annoyed me. it was maybe obstinacy that then made me finish the book. the point is that it’s a beautiful book but at the same time complex, difficult. it really would be easier to not read it. but i couldn’t. and the prose kept occupying me. i’d find myself thinking of something in the book all the time, wanting to talk about it, wanting to return to it. i still do.

last week i realised i still have email subscribers. a handful. what does that mean tho? should i be more conscious of what i’m writing here? i’m not even sure how it works. do you get an email straight away, every time i hit the publish button? or does it happen differently? more to the point tho, are you interested? do you get the email & then immediately click through, disregarding whatever else it is you’re doing? or do you note the email & return to the blog later, at home, lying in bed maybe? or ignore it altogether. it’s probably just too difficult to unsubscribe, not worth the effort. i don’t know.

this is me now. i pick up my girls each weekend & it’s routine. it’s a new version of life. i’m still completely occupied tho. i’m not interested in waiting for/four months.

spatial

romance everywhere or there’s

a chance you just notice things,

like a sheep plague after that

sheep dream. we started to walk

our skin was closer than ever,

a thin veil of atoms the buttress

& i feared this. needlessly. look

 

the fog-slapped street through

a window is desultory. tell me

things. the sun reads my tea

leaves in the car-park it’s

not to find out but. we

can’t know anything.

more

this is my buffer of just one more day. already students have begun introducing themselves, apologising for their eager & early postings. i remember that sort of feeling.

i’ve already told the story of the student looking me up online. it did teach me never to reference real things students have said. there’s professionalism at stake, sure. maybe it taught me never to reference real things that have happened at all? that makes sense. i don’t want anyone to understand. although it’s probably never an act of omission… more a burying. you know what i mean.

i have felt lonely & probably have done most of this whole month just gone. that was to be expected. but it’s a new type of loneliness. i’m not used to this. knowing what you want but not being allowed to act. that’s the most frustrating aspect. i think i was told that once before. ample time to reflect, ample space. i’m emailing people i don’t care about as i sit by the heater, 8pm-ish.

i drove to the lake & sat there for way too long over lunch. wasting time. i took a series of least ten images & chose the best one to post. i pulled the contrast up & slid the warmth to the blue end of the scale. a ‘success’. a pathetic fallacy. a footnote in my personal history of grand gestures. i’d do anything.

wednesday

i stopped to photograph the stars on the highway towards west wyalong & it was silly – i struggled with the controls in the pitch black, couldn’t even recall the settings i’d used previously for this sort of thing. it was so absolutely quiet though & that ends up being the thing to recreate. it was at least fifteen minutes by the side of the road & not even a vague rumble or the distant glow of a single car’s headlights. it’s that unusual lack of sound then that affords the darkness a real presence, like it’s holding you in place. i don’t know.

regardless i still take away one image, one with the camera poised flat on the car roof, a thirty second exposure. later, when the levels are pulled up slightly the stars are tiny perfect baubles, & with the saturation emphasised, each takes on its own distinct colour. blues, yellows, reds. i feel like i can now see something my eyes couldn’t & it’s really pretty. this missed prettiness probably happens all the time. anyway, so it’s not the most impressive image but i kind of like it & i make it my facebook background image. it has a minor impact, 5 likes i think.

why do i need to recreate something in order to experience it fully? why the requirement for acknowledgement? words, words. hey i could have simply been in that cloistering darkness & quiet, underneath the milky spread of stars. i could have just experienced that. i did, i guess, but i also capture it to share. here & there. it’s a proxy for turning to someone & looking into her eyes – a moment shared then acknowledged with no exterior art. i remember ben lerner writing about some kind of dental procedure in his novel. the drugs put him in state of bliss, & he is certain that this state of perfection is only possible because he won’t remember it at all. of course he remembers it. & we should have known, i mean, it’s in the book. the conclusion he comes to is that what he experienced could not have been perfect. is this the only conclusion?

i was going to delete my skype account, some kind of digital burning, but it’s now the platform violet & i use. she calls me every night at the same time. she’s wonderfully suited to it, prattling on, never stopping to wonder whether she has anything interesting to say. she wanders around, showing me where she is, the things she has. it’s a communicative routine that pulls at the heart after-the-fact. i even took a screenshot, knowing i’d look back on this. courting sentimentality. maybe i’ll read back over these words. feel these feelings. if i can remember everything it’s not perfect, right?

being in the moment feels important but it’s also elusive. in one of samuel beckett’s novels (not sure which, i’m citing things from memory, i’m sitting in front of the heater right now & it’s too nice to move) his character ponders the different ways that he might walk around a table & through a room. the many routes & options are pondered at length & you basically experience all the different ways one could walk across a room. it takes pages & pages. you might say beckett is boring the reader, but i felt (or at least i think i felt – it’s been a while) like he was immersing the reader in the experience of being paralysed by options. there’s a miranda july short story where she conjures up the same feeling – she places herself in the centre of a room, narrating a sense of being unable to move from one spot.

i’m not sure where this is leading. i was also just thinking about samual beckett being the most noted intellectual to ever play first class cricket. that’s not really relevant though… i think maybe this ends with me trying to get out of bed in the morning. i get the feeling of options bleeding into paralysis. why get up at 6 when it could be 8? there’s no real difference, no imperative to action. besides there’s a tricky & interesting mixing of shadows as the dark turns to the early light grey. this is the real crisis i need to be documenting via image. i make up my mind to sleep with the SLR on the other side of the bed. or do i, i don’t know, it’s hard to tell.

things nobody cares about

my efforts to improve the keyless entry experience for passengers, to hit it hundreds of metres away unnoticed, to never be caught fishing in my pockets again / email as a multi-modal artform – the contemporary usage of passive-aggressive tone combined with a non-subtle CC / how super fast i can run! / the overall impression of my instagram feed: activity for vibrancy & humanity + landscapes for colour variation, the sense of place, i think / green eyeshadow / favourite sitting spots – the seasonal variation of the house & its best inner-locations / back-channel gossip / the amount of pillows i can arrange on my bed, the patterning & complexity / mayoral quirks / smiling vs :) / sunset studies, then night sky clarity, how nice it is to make out the milkiness of a galaxy / scrappy attempts at finding that space, a solo calm / petty competitiveness / emoji art / poems about what she’s wearing / failing to keep my mind off these things nobody cares about / the books i’m reading / social plagiarisation / a herbal tea bag over my left eye / nail polish & the cuticle re-growth, so cute / my cake making plans / lists of personal things

28 past

a double helix some wispy dna

driven into the edging / tarmac

to bike path to dirt reminders

of liminality / signs are perfect

equilateral triangles cast from

behind / perfect shadows to

disassemble underfoot /

naming things / verbless

& un-joined / running

breathing occupying

space

journalism

one week. mostly it’s the sounds that impress, the rumours of events that gather import as they travel in the empty house. a slammed car door. the bin wheels on concrete, a rumble that could mean anything. low voices pass in the night only one wall away. sure i was alone in that housing commission unit, that time. it was a long way back. maybe it’s the remnant of danger resurfacing. the way sound could & did mean something a little more. a break in; a stabbing; strangers at the door. it’s the flipside of peace-&-quiet, the sudden ruptures breaking a calm surface. mostly though it’s nothing. a deliberate nothing. i watch parks & recreation & read. i sleep without a reference point, without consideration, soundly. if the girls worry they don’t show it & also, if they’re resilient there’s little evidence. this is simply is the way it is. ours is a weekend life. the potential for alternate courses perhaps only exists later, in retrospect, when you’re older. had this happened / et cetera / the assignation of blame. objects remain obscenely ordered. silly. the plush toys static & a dearth of dishes. the cat trails me, knocking over mantle-piece-pieces. she paws at the frosted shower door, meowing for nothing. it angers me but i forgive pretty quickly. so much for personal qualities. she’s just lonely for that rough affection, now curtailed. i talk mainly into this void & i guess it’s ok.

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