Saturday, November 27, 2010


Not bad considering zoom was full, the sun wasn't out and the grass was swaying in the wind.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

the end will not be narrated

Curiosity has enormous round eyes and towering pointy ears which perk with interest at all going on in the world. Curiosity is never sated, never stops finding something new to take delight in.

Delight is a fat beam of sunlight curling a a living mobius like an ADHD eel.

Desire has short arms and short fingers. Desire reaches for things just beyond its grasp, but it can see them, it knows with only a little work it can change the position of the world and have what it wants. Desire is never sated, never lets its arms drop, never stops yearning.

Fury is fists and a mouth that never closes and so the roar never ends. Fury is constantly battered and beaten by that which gives rise to it, and as it defeats that which has woken it so it slays itself. Fury doesn't want to die. Fury can't help itself.

I can anthropomorphise character traits till you get bored and stop reading. Hope is a tortoise and fear is an elephant. Resolution is the bug on the windshield that no amount of speed will blow away.

None of these entities want to die. They don't fight back. Most of them don't know they're dying at all. But when I hold them under they don't stay down. I can't keep them down.

What I fear is depression. It's a perfectly rational fear to have all things considered, but I let it affect me in an irrational way. I've cut people out of my life not because they were going to do anything that would send me back there, but because I couldn't trust myself not to use them to send myself there. There are whole countries of conversation I won't visit because they call on memories that may sit next to other memories I don't want to visit. I fear depression and so by proxy I fear all things that may lead to it.

It is only logical that I then cleave to those things which combat it. "Being awesome" is about as WMD as you can get without prescription medication. In this case, the awesomeness is entirely internal. The space my mind occupies is immense and ridiculous and so much bigger than me; I have made it that way. I have made it so that even when my head is full of poison and horror it is still breath-taking and glorious. Everything I consume as thought-food, all the experiences and trials I put myself through, the rewards and punishments I vest upon myself, all of them become architecture, amazingly intricately stupidly illogically whimsically viciously laying out new ground. Be glorious. This is all I need to keep myself alive.

The character traits are my hunters, catching pieces of the world and laying new foundations.

I fear the damage I do to myself by continuing to push on. I fear the damage I do to myself when I strangle my voice.

They're different paths to the same destination. I do not like what I am becoming.

It doesn't matter how I anthropomorphise these character traits, how much distance I put between myself and the violence I wreak upon them. I can build walls of detail, personality and symbolism into their being. It doesn't matter. It makes no difference. In the end there is only me, murderer and victim and crying for both.

Written at 19:54 on 16 August 2010

The Spectacular Failure

It's been over a year since the RSI took hold of my hands.

I will not be defeated, even while I am being defeated, even though I am now defeated. I will not give up. I will not let go. I may have lost, but I will not let there be any winners.

I cannot write. It hurts. I cannot write. It hurts. I cannot write.

I can produce nothing with regularity. Lack of practice makes my voice clumsy and awkward, and my awareness of this adds a self-consciousness that does it no favours. This day and age does not treat the slow writer gently. I did not have the output to make a name for myself when I could take my hands for granted; I have not even half that output now. I cannot reply to my emails with any depth. I cannot blog for fear of squandering my time. I cannot write. It hurts.

Fuck it.

Every time I sit to write and am thwarted by hurt. Fuck it. Every time I find myself not even opening Word. Fuck it. Every time I don't even turn the computer on. Fuck it. Every time I think about picking up a pen and do not. Fuck it. Every time I turn a story over and over in my mind and do nothing about it. Fuck it. Every time I do not act because I'm afraid of the pain and afraid of the damage that comes from being thwarted over and over and over and over and over again.



If these are my rocks then I'll fucking well dash myself to pieces on them. I won't go quietly into the night. I'll take the fucking night down with me.

In the end, I won't be worth knowing. I'll be the bitter scraps of some dream I poisoned deliberately and furiously. I'll hate everyone who knew me as anything else. I'll know exactly what I am, and hate myself for that too.

Written at 19:39 on 16 August 2010

The Quiet Lie

It has been over a year since the RSI took hold of my hands.

There have been moments of progress, which in and of themselves were marvellous things, like remembering to breathe, like warm water on cool skin, like seeing the way out.

These peaks were inevitably followed by their equal in troughs, which were made all the more devastating by those brief tastes of hope, like being snatched by the undertow, like a cold wind across cold water, like walls, walls, walls.

What dies when the pain returns is not simply my ability to exist comfortably in my body, but in my mind. I cannot write. It hurts. I cannot write. It hurts. There are walls, walls, walls.

And I, I do not like to fail. I do not like to be defeated. The only person who will judge me is myself, and that alone is too much. That I witness myself turn a piece of writing over in my mind until I must write it. That I watch myself sit, and begin, and stop because my muscles are burning and nothing has been accomplished. I find myself wanting. I am one witness too many for my regular retreats.

Each time I do this, the walls creep a little closer.

Now they are close enough I cannot write.

I will not write.

It is not enough to cease the action. The desire remains, and to keep this division between will and world from destroying me in a different yet still thorough manner I must stifle that too. I must silence my voice.

It is not enough to cease expression. That inner narration remains, and to keep the pent up thoughts from destroying me in a different yet still thorough manner I must sow enough salt that nothing grows, and I have nothing to say.

Do not be an entity that nurses curiosity. Do not ask questions, do not explore your ignorance, do not seek answers. Do not desire. Do not analyse. Do not absorb. Build nothing within yourself. Draw your horizons in close. Fight no battles. Marvel at no mysteries. Be affected by no change in the world around you. Do not affect change in the world around you.

I am vast. The psychological space I occupy sprawls out across the carpet, slips beneath the door and raises itself to the satellites. It is not that I am removing the architecture within this space. I will not be empty by the time this is done.

I am undoing that space entirely. Eventually, I will exist only behind my eyes and between my ears. I will be small, and full of what small pieces are left of me. I will concern myself with grout on the bathroom tiles and the specials on tea and butter on at the local supermarket.

I will not be worth knowing, and by the time this happens, I will not be the sort of person to whom this would even occur.

Written 19:07 16 August 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Dead Mutton Birds of Gibson Steps (and the one that isn't dead yet)

Each austral winter, the Shearwaters (Mutton Birds) migrate to the seas off the Aleutian Islands and Kamchatka. In the austral spring, they travel down the coast of California before crossing the Pacific back to Australia.

because the sun cannot last

Remember how to drive. Pull out into weekend traffic. Pull out onto the Ring Road. Pull out into rain, and rain, and rain, and rain, and rain. Cannot see the road. Cannot see the side mirrors. Rain, and rain, and rain, and the spray of cars on water. Watch the traffic ahead lift off. Cannot see the hill they climb. Turn the music up louder. Louder. Cannot pull away from Nine Inch Nails long enough to start driving playlist. Rain, and rain, and rain. Hairy moment. Rain. Louder. Hairy moment. Rain. Repeat. Pass Geelong. Follow the Princes Highway to Colac. Still cannot pull away from Nine Inch Nails. Pause at Information Centre to confirm road still open. Still cannot pull away from Nine Inch Nails. Leave the Princes. Chase the 155 down through the Otways. Rain, and wind, and rain, and wind. Too fast on the corners. Water bottle rolls off the seat, side to side in the foot well. Clouds, and wind, and clouds, and wind. Cannot see the drop offs to either side. Cannot see the ranges and valleys. Cannot see the corners as they come. Louder, louder, louder. Free of the old trees and old ferns. Down the hills to the coast. The sea enraged. The coast eats ships. The wind and wind and wind pushes the car. Repeat that song. Take these corners too fast. The cliff tops charcoal from back burning. Ash in the air, smoke on the tongue. No sun seen today. Port Campbell. Five minutes too early for reception. Overpriced cup of tea around the corner. Watch skinny boys come out of the surf. Flash of fish-white buttocks out of the wetsuit. The kitchen hands come out to watch the derby. Milk and butter and a bottle of cider at the supermarket. Hostel is new. Hostel is clean. Hostel is warm, bright, not at all the setting of a slasher movie as the other backpacker joint. Sharing dorm with a chopper pilot. She defies gravity every day. This borrowed car is heady freedom enough. Back out with the last of the light. No music. Loch Ard Gorge. Herbie the Camera out. The wake of fire. Girls stopping their parents to emulate me in the ashes. Down to the gorge. Herbie freaks out in low light. There is no colour. The wind pushes me over. Hands too cold to be steady. Ears ache. Face numb. Retreat. Sit on bunk bed. Choose to read. Choose between two books. Cup of tea. Comfy couch. Warm room. Read. Old comfort. Old delight. Pause. Heat soup. Butter bread. Warm full belly. Cider. Book. Surrounded by tour group. Make my own quiet. Content. Bed. Listen to the wind, the rain, the sea and sky. Wake. Listen to the wind, the rain, the sea and sky. Wait. Doze. Wake. Listen. Wait. Doze. Wake. Listen. Wait. Doze. Listen. Wake. Shower. Downstairs. Warm porridge. Cup of tea. Book. Couch. Read. Listen. Rain at forty-five degree angle. Read. Hostel empty. Read. Warm. Quiet. Read. Warm. Quiet. Read. Rain. Wind. Rain. Wind. Warm. Quiet. Read. Rain stops. Car. Too fast on the corners. Clear air. Loch Ard again. Walk to Sherbrooke River. Photos and photos and photos. Ears ache in the cold. Hands clumsy. Nose running. Lichen. Flowers. Leaves. Grass. Succulents. Distance. Wind. Wind. Wind. Prickles. Water. Tussocks. Trees. Decay. The river is fat. The inlet an apoplexy. A froth of sour milk. Pale air. Waves immense. Vengeance. Foot stuck in clay. Distracted by ant carrying birdshit. Slip on wet rocks. Cannot feel face. Watch the violence. Wait. No silence. Alone. Need toilet. Walk back. Vow no more photos. Break vow. Break vow. Break vow. Break vow. Break vow. Break vow. Stop at Broken Head. Waves dash so high. The wind carries the spray up over the cliff top. A bird taunts me. Break vow. Break vow. Break vow. Cannot feel fingers. Car. Stop at 12 Apostles. Toilet. Ponder hot drink. Too tired to wait in line. Sit in car. Sandwich of leftovers pilfered from last night's tour group. Apple. Popper. Watch tourists in carpark. Drive. Gibson's Steps. Wind roars at me. Shoves me. Deafens me. Takes my face. Creep down steps. Dead mutton bird at bottom of cliff. Take photos. Given funny looks. Turn around. Snap shots of sea. See shore covered in dead mutton birds. Many photos of dead mutton birds. Sea foam lifted and spun in circles. Like plastic bags in a parking lot. Photos of dead birds. Bottle without message. Photos of dead birds. Dead birds. Dead birds. So many dead birds. Turn and walk away. Live bird next to stairs. Leave live bird alone. Blow back up cliff. Sit in car. Wait for shakes to stop. Drive. Stop. Photos of the wake of fire. Cold. So cold. Drive. Past Port Campbell. First Scenic Lookout on left. Trail head for Discovery Trail. Bugs. Flowers. Stamen to end all stamen. Cliff tops. Wind. Alone. Howl. Unheard. Scream. Lost. Sky swallowed. Spent. Turn around. Go back, down, down, down. Buy milk, hot chocolate, some chocolate-vodka alcopop thing. Shower. Core warm. Cup of tea. Book. Couch. Blanket. Read. Chuckle. Read. Finish tea. Make soup. Butter bread. Read. Read. Warm belly. Make hot chocolate. Spike hot chocolate. Book. Couch. Warm belly. Warm blood. Finish book. Lose quiet space. Bed. Rest. And. Sleep. Wake. Rain. Doze. Wake. No rain. Dress. Pack. Check out. Porridge and banana. Cup of tea. Car. Petrol. Drive. Great Ocean Road. Too fast on the bends. Through Lavers Hill. Through the Otways. Through Apollo Bay. C119 at Skenes Creek. Stuck behind slow driver. Pollute the air with obscenities. Past. Play chicken with the laws of physics on the slopes and bends. Grass parrots play chicken with me. Turn the music up. Turn the music up. Between leaving and arriving. Moving. In control. Free. Equilibrium. Stability. Strength. Breathe. Some semblance of exhilaration. Any excuse to accelerate. Overtake. Overtake. Overtake. Turn the music up. The earth regained. Some semblance of determination. Some semblance of hope. Until the sun comes out. Until the Princes Highway. Until a glimpse of the city. Until the traffic crowds in. Until traffic lights and stop signs and roundabouts and cut offs and car horns and road works and the roar of a different world. Until returned to this life. Until this.

The sky was furious. The sea was furious. The cliffs and the bruised beaten life upon them an implacable wrath. The battery never ended. The howling and roaring beyond sound. The world conspired to be my state of being, and being in that turbulence took the turbulence out of me. Spent. For a moment, I could see a future. For a moment, even the present was okay.

Not enough. Not enough to bolster me. Moments are, by definition, only moments. There are days and weeks and months of this life to come. Sitting here at my desk, there is no wind and rain, only people, I hear people. Perhaps if I'd had longer I could return properly replenished.

But. Why. Why should this wisp of wholeness I find on the edge of the continent be used on you. This cycle always ends with my retreat. Incoherent and disintegrating. Retreating, fleeing and flying from you. Finding some quiet eye in the storm to stand in. To remember how to breathe. To- to come back and have you wear me down again. Flay me raw with kind words, harsh words, no words at all. Until I retreat. Again. And again. And again. Why must I spend the quiet I fight for on wading into your world again.

Why is the price always mine.