Monday, July 18, 2011

A Little Munchkin

You look at her and she is a princess dancing amongst fireflies. She spins and they twirl, she leaps and they follow. Like the soft glow of a barely new moon, she pervades you. The twinkle in her eye does not beget her true her. For she does not know who she is. Not yet anyway. But she will, in time. She might take you hand and the warmth will flow into you like a tsunami of want: want of love, want of protection, want of transient attention. And you will do naught, for you can't. You are a whim. Her whim. Her azure will delve into you and you will fight from doubling over with revelation. Her pearls will make the marionette strings pull at your rosies.

When it is enough she will fly. High. She will be a giant a head above you. You are a vessel and she your captain. Through treachery she will not pass, only tolerating the good. There is no room for evil. How could you let there be? Her music will entrance yet ground all. They, and you, can see their, and your, being's reason only through her. She is meaning, and you long for it. To taste purpose is to revile the past. But there is no point because it is pointless. Looking back is pointless. Only now can be true and she is true and what happened before is tainted; memories afflicted by the present belie truth. She is high and flighty. She enraptures all and her joy permeates throughout the hills and sands and they call back to her and she feels it.

There might be another but she is the first. It will always be so. The other(s) will come when they come and they will feel the same. New and glowing. Basking in the warmth like the mid-morning sun reaching for noon. But you won't forget. She won't forget. Her purity will ensure your standing amongst them all. They will know her but you won't let them envy. Nor will she envy them because she knows. You will never leave her or them. You will stay there when sun strays and the night unfolds; when cracks appear and the foundations crumble; and when there's no one else, just they alone, there you'll be. Waiting, like the paragon of protection you long to be.

She must come down soon and she will. With unknowing grace and simplicity. When magenta splashes smoothly across the dying horizon she will reach for you, extending an olive branch of hope and affection. No longer a giant she wants to be small. To be wrapped with love and soothed with a tale. And you'll bring her down softly, showing her the way. She can walk by herself, dance down the path, but still needs something to hold. And you give her that and she takes it and feels fine, as if the world were a constant joy. She is not scared because you are not frightened. Together you find home and she is safe and she knows it.

She finds her Gaia, waiting sagely. And to her she is drawn. To fall into her, to bathe in the warmth again. She comes back and stretches up, wanting to be just tall this time, not a giant. But just like you. Her arms fly around your neck and she squeezes so tight it's almost uncomfortable. But it's OK because it is her. She let's go but you don't. She pecks your cheek, like a chick picking up a seed, and you do the same. Then she captures you and she both looks deep inside you and doesn't. You feel her gazing upon the very essence of who you are, judging you, discerning your worthiness of her love or admiration. But this is just you contemplating yourself. She's far away from thinking about that and you know this but your mind wanders.

'Yuv you.'

'Love you too, Moo'.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Lady and The Boy

Her body is warm. She sucks on a menthol cigarette. Frost or smoke seep from her barely parted lips. A gloomy dawn pervades the cold motel room. No birds can be heard ushering in the rising sun. Only the gentle hum of the bar fridge fights off the oppressive silence.


The lady graced the warm, inviting bar with adulterous intent. A sultry atmosphere dragged itself in upon her wake. Her make up was perfect, her black dress slim, and her scent alluring. If seduction ever walked on two legs, it was she. They told her she was like them. They said she needed it. She thought she wanted it.
He was not alone. He vied for her attention, like a sick puppy. A youthful version of her spouse, the boy was muscular, full of life, and handsome. Her body warmed to the sight of him but it was laced with something. He reminded her of someone. Someone pretty form a story. But her memory failed her.
Luring him took all of a look and a smile and yet the boy considered her a triumph. He bought her a drink and whispered things only a younger man would and she remembered thinking: ‘yes, this is just how it should be.’
She recalled how it felt to have him inside her. Smaller than what waited at home but enthusiastic, a sexual caring she had learnt to live without. He was determined to impress her, as if it mattered, which it did, but not anymore. His eagerness to fuck released countless endorphins.


She considers her husband, as she sits at the dresser. She fixes her sweat marked make-up and ties her disheveled hair into a loose and respectable bun.
‘Mistakes are made and cannot be undone, only rectified,’ she told the adulteress in the mirror. Her walk of shame will not occur. She will have none of it. The thought will come and go like a shooting star; a transient figment within her dignified mind.
She glances at the sleeping boy on the bed behind her, still dead to the world. The lady walks over to him and pushes the brown hair back from the boy’s forehead and his eyes open and then wider again. She stands.
‘Oh, such a lovely red scarf.’ She gazes down at him, tenderly. But there is no pity in her. Not for him or herself. Not anymore.
The simple starched sheets cover only his pale legs and flaccid manhood and he makes a small growl of defiance. She slips back into her slim dress and douses her clothes with expensive perfume to cover the night’s decadent scent.
‘You look so cold now, sweetie.’ She crosses the room and pulls the covers over him, kissing his wintry cheek. ‘So pretty.’ She strokes his red scarf and wipes her fingers on the clammy pillow. The lady picks up her pumps and rises and walks out the door. The lady turns only to switch off the lights and watch the light fade from the boy’s eyes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Internet Wanderings 03

  • Have you watched Fry and Laurie's Jeeves & WoosterAnnie Nichol's article reveals how you can take away something valuable from reading P. G. Wodehouse's original tales of outrageous 'indulgence and debauchery'. 
  • Do you love everything written by Cormac McCarthy? I do. And if you do too, Rohan Wilson's The Roving Party is definitely a worthwhile read. Sarah Drummond gives you the low down here. Brilliant Australian writing on both counts.
  • Julia Tulloh observantly shows how Beyoncé’s latest song and accompanying video clip is misleading and misrepresents the actual plight of women globally, despite what Beyoncé wants the girls of the world to think.
  • Was Chairman Mao telling fibs?
  • I'd be up for a little Young Goethe in Love. I wonder if they'll show him witnessing the beheading of Susanna Margaretha Brandt, hmm.
  • Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) claims that he invented 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland', as a whole, as he spoke to Alice Liddell whilst rowing upon the Thames and upon its bank. Alberto Manguel believes its inception lies deeper within the human psyche.
  • Lisa Lebduska blames Facebook for the blatant illiteracy of so many students.
  • How much bullshit do you believe?

That's all for now. Go Red Sox


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Why I Write (as part of NYWM)

So considering National Young Writers' Month is in full swing, I figured I should answer this thought-provoking, honesty-inducing, pride-deflating question: why do I write?

I never really started writing properly, and by 'properly' I mean in the sense of consciously formulating my thoughts creatively (or not) on a piece of paper or computer, whether for fictional or personal purposes, until I was about 19. I was in my second year of an Arts degree at Adelaide Uni and had just picked up English. What came with studying English, aside from the mammoth reading list of 'classics' I received on a semesterly basis, was an urge to read regularly for pleasure (yes, I know, I was a late bloomer, missing out on reading the canon of children/YA authors: Dahl, Marsden, et al). This began with David Gemmell and Raymond E. Feist, two of my favourite fantasy authors to this day.

What I'm trying to get at with this mini rant/tangent is that I wanted to write because I was reading so much. But that doesn't answer the question why do I write? After much thought on exactly why I write I can come up with three main reasons why I put pen to paper often:

  1. Mental Release. I find it therapeutic to write down what is in my head in a little book and   store it away where only I can find it, unless someone else finds it and reads it. I'm not the type of person to have a whole bunch of close friends so writing helps me mentally.
  2. The Challenge. Sometimes I just have this little kernel of brilliance (or what I perceive as brilliance) buried inside my head and the challenge to myself is to put it down in a coherent manner, whether it be a story, an idea, or an opinion. Of course most of the time, once it's out of my head, it's not so great, so I put it in a file and let it rest for a while.
  3. Showing Off. Yes, I'll admit it. I try to show off through writing. I try to emulate authors who use extravagant prose to wow and woo everyone and anyone that reads them. Big mistake, dunderhead! (I come off as pretentious even to myself sometimes). There's a time and place for verbiage and all-the-time is not it! I always hear the mantra that short, concise sentences are best, but Stanley Fish's book told me otherwise just last month! Ah, who to believe!
  4. ......OK, so there's one other reason I write. I really, really, really want to be a writer, which, in a way, I already am because I've written this and you (whoever you may be) are reading it. Hurrah! But seriously, I want to make a living off writing someday, or at least gain some kind of monetary reward for my literary endeavours.
So there, now ya'll know why I write. And you know that I write. But is that enough? Is the way I write enough to make any type of headway in the world of publications and being published? Has my tertiary education (a B.A. in Classics and an Honours English degree) prepared me to face the rigors of intern applications, self-editing, deadlines, rejection letters without feedback, rejection letters with feedback, proposals, and whatever else comes with trying to be a writer? Should I go back to uni and complete a Professional Writing and Editing diploma? Spending another year of my youth studying, adding another $13K to my HECS, being financially worse off than the past five years, all in the hope that it will better prepare me for a life of trying to be a writer? Another parchment on the wall that an editor will hopefully give a fuck about. Perhaps I should do the above degree but, at the moment, I can't. (And, stuff it, I am a writer. I'm going to be published by Blogspot in about 8 minutes. But enough ranting, Horne. Don't be bitter).

Ahem, so I will keep my composure; I will go to my writing group and pick the brains of those who have done the aforementioned diploma, and I will go to writing festivals and pluck up the courage to introduce myself to writers and editors (even to Angela Meyer if I'm sitting along side her again at Dirty Words next year); I will keep on applying for internships; I will keep reading what others are writing and won't get disheartened when I think it's astronomically better than anything I could write; I will email my work to my friends and family, who will probably tell me they love it and that will boost my confidence enough to keep trying; and, most importantly, I'll keep on writing because it's what I do, what I want to do, what I need to do, and what I love to do.

Thanks for reading why these words are here.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Internet Wanderings 02

  • brief review of (the first three episodes of) Chris Lilley's latest series, Angry Boys.
  • Ever thought of creating a list of literature for the budding misogynist? Esquire have. Wankers.
  • And here's a reply to aforementioned misogynistic book list. Brilliant.
  • Did you think we only use 10% of our brain's total capacity? You're wrong, and here are some other bogus brain facts.
  • Is the book dead? (HA!)
  • Chronic Confabulation and Art: how creative types are just downright rotten liars!
  • The Brontë sisters and Branwell (their brother whom I've never heard of) were juvenile sci-fi enthusiasts! Care for a trip to Gondal or Angria?
  • The Oprah Effect and how it has changed the face of publishing...for a select few, of course.
Enjoy! Go Red Sox.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Short Review: No Country for Old Men (film)

No Country for Old Men
Joel and Ethan Coen

Joel and Ethan Coen’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men is a violent, tense and downright disturbing cinematic experience, largely due to the calmly diabolical antagonist, Anton Chigurh (played with evil precision by Javier Bardem).

The film’s protagonist, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong in the desert and chooses to remove the briefcase of $2 million from the scene. Chigurh shortly picks up his trail and a deadly cat and mouse game begins. Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) brings up the rear of the story, always one step behind Chigurh and Moss, dealing predominantly with his own philosophical musings about the coming tide of evil, always feeling out matched. As the story progresses, the true nature of Chigurh becomes apparent and the futility of Moss’ decisions creates an overwhelming sense of despair.

The film’s atmosphere is expertly created through the Coen brothers’ use of sound. They create a sense of emptiness, reflecting the environment of the Tex-Mex border: there is no music save for a mariachi band playing momentarily in front of Moss and a peel of thunder. But what, to a degree, makes the film so unnerving is Chigurh. He is an unstoppable wave of evil. With red-rimmed eyes and Clockwork Orange-esque haircut, he mows down all in his path with tranquil precision and infallible logic (yes, he convinces one character that they must die!).

As their first attempt at an adaptation, the Coen brothers are extremely faithful to McCarthy’s text. In some parts they have just used entire chunks of dialogue from the book. Instead of cutting scenes, out of necessity, they have transformed them to fit within the medium of film, taking almost nothing away from the book.

No Country for Old Men will keep you tense and enraptured, it will challenge your thoughts on morality and logic, and it will show you there is someone as scary as Hannibal. Diabolically entertaining.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Short Review: The Ecstasy of Owen Muir

Lardner, Ring Jr., The Ecstasy of Owen Muir, 1954, Prometheus: New York, 1997

The more pre-1960s America literature I read, the more interested I become. It started with Kerouac, then Bukowski, then Toole. These authors depict a life I could've seen myself living (save for the flatulence of Mr. Reilly and his preference of flannel and cord), if I'd been conceived in the '30s. Leading a semi-bohemian life, traveling from place to place, with no real cares save for penning what's important to me and close friends.

But then, somehow, I stumbled upon a book by Ring Lardner Jr. called The Ecstasy of Owen Muir whilst reading an article, I think. Or it could've been somewhere on a website, or perhaps on some RSS feed; I'm really not quite sure. Nonetheless, what I read intrigued me enough to buy it, straying off my path of buying what I should read (something I need to give up).
Lardner was an acclaimed screenwriter throughout the '40s, winning an Oscar for Woman of the Year (1947; later winning another for his film adaptation of M*A*S*H [1977]). He served time in jail as part of the Hollywood Ten during the McCarthy era. It was during his time in prison the he cultivated the idea for his comic novel.

Owen is a tale of Owen Muir, a pacifist who spends time in prison (just like Lardner) for refusing to serve in the army. He transforms from an overweight, insightful pacifist into a sturdy, athletic, muscular, insightful pacifist, thanks to the labour within the jailhouse (which leads to a slightly disturbing scene with his sibling upon release). After meeting April, his Catholic secretary, he falls in love and converts to Catholicism, overcoming the only obstacle on the path to marriage. Majority of the novel follows Owen's search for justifying his newfound religion to himself and finding his place in the world. In the process Lardner comments on a myriad of ideas and institutions, such as business ethics, advertising, sex, philosophy, racism, and, rather comically, on the failings of the Church (a major reason for the novel being refused publication in America). One chapter sees Owen calculate his indulgences (an utterly ridiculous concept), which come to a grand total of 84 000 years!!!!!! HA! Anywho, I won't spoil the ending, which is initially anticlimactic but upon meditation fits perfectly.

If you're anti-Catholic, or an atheist or agnostic, or care not for religion at all, or are Catholic and would like to see the oddities of your beliefs presented to you, then this novel is well worth the read. It's pretty standard in length (272 pages) and the prose is free-flowing and somewhat elegant. Although the content can get a little dense, particularly during the philosophical conversations. But even a relatively juvenile knowledge of the Church will allow you to follow these easily.

For a novel that's counted in the 'Literary Classics' range, I'm intrigued as to why it's not more popular (well, I suppose in Australia, what institution would actually assign it to a reading list? Probably book club material, at best). Not only is it a great story but, taken with a grain of salt, provides a valuable insight into a very tumultuous point in American history. 


Sunday, May 15, 2011

25 Years and This is What Happens. Word.

Having eaten a very late dinner of vegies, Superfries, and vegetarian faux chicken nuggets, my lady and I flicked over to ABC and found rage was about to start. To our nonchalant delight, 'Fight for your Right' was first off the bat. Not a bad way to start the night's music. Perhaps rage had a old school mix lined up for this end to the working week.
After the clip had finished, a sense of déjà vu pervaded us both. The same hallway appeared on the screen and this extravaganza followed...

I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. Complete and utter absurdity. Magnificence in all its glory.


Review: 'I know karate, voodoo too' - Jail Simmons

Self-labelling his art as ‘sarcastically iconoclastic psychedelia’ (2011), Jail Simmons is a burgeoning 24-year-old artist from the Lower Adelaide Hills, whose art is confronting, disturbing and thought provoking.  He pieces have been sold throughout Adelaide and a full exhibition planned for later this year.

In ‘I know karate, voodoo too’ (a line from Tom Waits’ “Goin’ Out West”), the themes running throughout Simmons’ portfolio are apparent. Feminine representation through the Mother Nature-like figurehead at the piece’s centre and its control of two headless roosters (cocks), serving as her arms, reinforces a recurring matriarchal view of society and woman’s control over man; the presence of blood and skulls signifies the ever-presence of death; and, the most common theme throughout his works, Satanism, is visible from the various pentagrams and the reversed cross at the front of the piece, portraying a strong discontent and opposition for religious sects and institutions.

Simmons’ use of earthly colours, the sandy yellow, stone grey, blood red, and scrub green, are used in unison with pale purples and dull electric blues, creating a seamless integration between the natural and the psychedelic.  

There is a subtle arbitrariness of the content mixed with the symmetry of the layout that shows an artist comfortable with his subject matter and confident in his skills. Admitting that most of his paintings come from ‘visions and dreams’, Simmons ability to portray these dreams on canvas with acrylic is nothing short of impressive. Although it is very ‘I know karate, voodoo too’ is initially very confronting but it forced me to contemplate upon what I was seeing, which is something I appreciate, having to think beyond what is present.

To me, its defining aspect, as well as is with all of Simmons’ work, is how the unreal can be contained and portrayed in a realistic way. To get a real idea of what he is trying to accomplish as an artist just through this work would be a mistake. With viewing his entire portfolio comes clarity. His ability to exhibit himself on a canvas allows you to learn a lot from any one of his paintings, but as a whole, his collection will provide an insight into the mindset of an artist struggling with the real and unreal, with primal urges and civilised tendencies, and with society in general.

View his collection here (not sure if you have to be friends with him or not):

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Weekend Reading (If you're as bored as me)

The Sunset limited was made into a film for HBO (aired in Feb '11). My weekend has been glorified!!!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Just a Few Things

1. I read 'The Sunset Limited' just recently. From memory, some people questioned Cormac McCarthy about the subtitle of the piece, 'A novel in dramatic form' but surely this is just an innocuous formality. (Actually, if I wasn't such a huge fan I'd probably question this too).
But that aside, this work is quite very breathtaking. The entire novel is a dialogue between Black (a negro) and White (a white professor), in Black's apartment. Their discussion centres almost primarily on religion: Black's unwavering devotion and White's questioning of it. I don't want to give anything away so I'll stop here (White's final comments will knock the metaphorical wind out of you!)

2. The Red Sox have started winning! Huzzah! Gonzo hit his first Fenway bomb (it was high time) and Crawford seems to be edging toward the player he's been for the better part of the last decade. We, and I say 'we' because I am a Red Sox Nation citizen :D, are 6-0 against the Angels this season. Fingers crossed this continues tomorrow. Go Beckett!

3. Skyrim is only six months and one week away. I haven't really ever been so excited for something so antisocial! Slowly building up the annual leave so that nigh on a whole week can be dedicated to Northern Tamriel. If it's anything like Oblivion I'll be happy, but it's going to be better and I don't think there's an adjective capable of describing how this will make me feel. OK, that's a little extreme but you get the point. DRAGONS!

4. Night Hag got a sweeeeet review in Timeoff, a Brisbane street press release, for their 'New Tourists' EP. You can find it on their Tumblr here. I'm heading home in June for the anniversary of Jail's birth and to see some fam. Wordies.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Charles Bukowski "Bluebird."

I forget what it was like before I'd started reading Bukowski.

I'm glad I don't remember.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Station to Home

I’m sitting in Central Station only minutes after nine p.m. I’m sitting on the third allotment of benches upon the quasi-deserted strip dividing platforms Two and Three; only Eight and One house locomotives. An eerie silence pervades the entire complex, broken only by 144 sq ft television mounted on the northern wall, adjacent to a gang of vending machines. This colossus softly enforces popular music videos and commercial advertisements upon iPod-less late night station dwellers, a group that includes me in their ranks.
Aside from the various fluorescent lights and green exit signs, only the rolling, illuminated wall mounted ads serve to prevent any extended nocturnal daydreaming; the uncomfortable absence of the familiar hum of train engines provokes one to become introspective.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Forthcoming work

Hello anybody who stumbles across this,

I have not posted any other stories due to the burden that is my English Honours thesis. If all goes accordingly to plan, this will no longer be the case in twenty-three days. After that, it should not be too long until I have something ready to post.

It will be rather longer than 'The Scarlet Paintbrush', so I may have to post it in installments.

I look forward to the feedback that anyone may give once it is up.


P.s. I implore anyone to comment upon 'The Scarlet Paintbrush', if they have any feedback. Thank you.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Scarlet Paintbrush

This is the story of my bench. It is not anyone else’s, only mine. Some people think it is theirs but they are wrong. Please do not forget that it is mine. You would probably do well not to forget that.

It was seven thirty-eight on a Wednesday evening. The air was cooling but still warm enough to be wearing only the necessary garments. The hot, sweltering summer, the alleged scientists at the Bureau had predicted, had not shown any signs of occurring, for the third year in a row. But after another cold, dry winter the midday sun could leave one’s bare skin somewhat singed, if exposed for any length of time.
On this particular night, my sister cooked dinner; it tasted of malice, jealousy and resentment. As I stood at the sink, partaking in the menial task of washing the dishes from the abhorrently unsatisfying meal, the odour of its preparation still clung to every object in the confined kitchen, even myself. The strong scent of the roasted chicken, undoubtedly filled with steroids or other growth hormones, still crept from the open oven; the aroma of garden salads tossed, presumably unwashed and swathed with a concoction of insecticides, was emanating from the ugly salad bowl; and the overpowering stench of the garlic cloves, which she insisted were vital for flavour and health, formed an allied force intent on storming my nose; we both knew they were used merely to infuriate me.
The washing up was tedious yet unproblematic; it took all of fifteen minutes, a length of time I would never get back. As I looked out the kitchen window, my person took on a more serene demeanour, resulting from the soft hues created by the setting sun, which continually splashed my face. The sun was roughly an hour from disappearing beyond the horizon for another night. I pondered whether to take advantage of this picturesque twilight. I often endeavoured to make the small promenade down to Westlands Beach to watch Apollo’s golden chariot retire for another night. I could not stand to be incarcerated in this jail of antipathy for much longer, thus I decided to sit upon my bench until nightly darkness enveloped this Wednesday.