20151001 newcastle skyline

almost titled it ‘i’m a fucking travel blogger now!’ but a bit too edgy, yeah. anyhoo.. i like to keep my phone on my left hand side, preferably on a bedside table, charging overnight while i sleep. then it falls easily to hand at 6.30am, when i then thumb through the new material. the right side is no good & if i’m forced to have my phone in such a position it can throw everything out for days. of course i haven’t co-occupied a bed in just on 5 months so it’s hardly ever a problem now. except my daughter zadie snatched the lefthand side just now… so expect nothing good from me for days. i guess you know there was nothing new in the phone this morning. you have this knowledge. lackadaisical in response i google ‘the beach’, work out the quickest way to get to one. i’m going to have an ocean swim (i voice these thoughts to myself inside my head, hearing myself say them), white wine & an expensive hotel room. at least one full day will count as a ‘holiday’. newcastle is just a few hours from wellington so here i am.

oddly i didn’t even realise TINA was on again. (i must have known, though it was effectively put it out of my mind. in fact i remember some promo stuff sent to my work email. i shrugged it off as basically irrelevant to my region. nobody need know how often i shrug off emails in this manner. i save my attention for people that matter.) i haven’t been for a few years but there was a period when i was here every year. i first came when my friend astrid lorange invited me to ‘do something’. it made sense: i was a phd student. doing things is what you need to do. astrid & i knew each by both being phd students, but prior to that, kind of like, poets who put stuff online. i think astrid is the cleverest person i’ve ever met. i haven’t seen her for awhile but gosh i admire her terribly. when i spoke to this artist on the hill tonight he knew of her too & i quickly said ‘is she here now?’ & he said ‘oh no.. i don’t think so’ & i felt myself deflate like a camping mattress. maybe it wasn’t as dramatic as that simile suggests. i exaggerate with this writing. all the time.

but i think the things those years ago that i did were quite amazing really, looking back. i’m usually my own best critic if not my only critic. i put together a collaborative poetry performance involving 12 other poets & got all of them to turn up for it (bar one, fiona wright, her loss yeah?) i presented an academic paper on my thesis & actually felt confident presenting it. still the one & only time it’s ever happened. you know i’m not a confident person. i ache with doubt literally & literarily all the time. later that evening i saw my friend nathan curnow read a selection of ghost poems at midnight to over 100 people crouched in the old lock-up. it was a strange & fizzing & amazing day.

i guess the vibe of that kind of activity came back to me tonight when i marched those two little girls up on another trip to ‘see some art’. there were loads of steps but in the end they had fun. & i met & talked to the projection artist tristan deratz. it brought a lot of things back. & this was only a matter of years ago. i mean, i launched my book here with keri just 3 years ago. facebook reminded me of it yesterday. share your ‘memory’, facebook said. & i capitulated, sharing my memory because damn it if it didn’t remind me of the specific time & place & all the emotions & all that stuff. yeah i know though: it’s gonna bite me on october 17.. no point thinking about that yet. okay i got off track.. the thing was the passionate creation. making work. not working to educate the public, to develop the audience, just doing because you feel it. there’s an importance to this.

i took the obligatory shots of the work on the obelisk & then the one you see above this bit of text, looking back over the newcastle skyline. these final sentences though, they’re just a staid description of actual things i did. no gloss. nothing. but hey remember this? ha.

if i’m not still working on the contemporary online essay i’m at least conscious it’s a thing. or it was. i think it was more popular in 2012. my memory/attention span seems to be shot. it’s alway gotta be clickable though right:

looking backward feels less socially acceptable than looking to the future. if you’re not writing this much of an evening is there nothing to say? i don’t believe it. each time, i think, nothing has happened, there won’t be anything to write about, the thoughts of one human being roaming across a small patch of earth in/during/around one day can’t amount to anything. but then i get a thread & go with it. i assume there’ll be no travel blogging tomorrow. i’m not going anywhere interesting. it’s back to leeton & back to the business end of me. that routine does breed a certain lack of writing. but who knows. maybe i’ll stop somewhere interesting on the way & thoughts will trail off. it won’t be dubbo, i’ve made myself too scared/hurt with the forays, but it’s possible there are other worlds. how many words does my mind have left in it? more to the point: what’s in your mind? it’s occupying me this not knowing.