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Thursday, September 29, 2005

i can't stand it

i can't stand it. you near to me so close i can feel the warmth rising off your skin even though we're at the distance normal people keep from each other. we talk, or rather, you talk and my mouth moves trying to make sounds that seem normal, unlike the slush that is really my mind. i saw your skin peeking out from under clothing, i see your frame beneath the cloth. i force myself to be relaxed, force myself to sit back, to be cool. i'm not cool.

your too skinny arms and your too infectious laugh and voice punctuate the air. - punctuate? puncturing the air with holes, of movement and images. it's too much. to see what i can't have is too much too much too much too much. i feel weak and ill now.

a girl was frying breakfast in my flat. it's not often that a girl will be making breakfast instead of me. she said, let me, and i realised that i'd better. she stood there in the large dress pulled magically from the small bag she carried last night. i watched her. that frying pan isn't going to be the same anymore.

but it doesn't compare, sound of bacon frying and the new feel of morning, to one moment near those skinny arms and the attitude your bare feet take when you are relaxed. like a cat, you licked the sugar off the cake and i died.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

nightmare dream

i dream of a lush green earth, a landscape rolling before me, endless and true. i dream of sleeping under stars when wandering, making do when making one's way. i dream of clothing which, once acquired, is often used, protecting bodies against weather and temperature. i
dream of promise spoken of in seriousness, in which fulfilment means unfurling yourself, and reaching out in both strength and determination, to grasp destiny.

in this world i would sleep under wide shady trees, i would shield my eyes from the sun with a fan to look along the dirt road, i would feel the grass beneath my hand and not wither.

but i already live in a world with lush green scapes, i can already sleep under stars, i am myself a promise unfulfilled, a box of potential unopened.

but anyway

i dreamt of another place last night. of european buildings of brick and stone, wide staircases that accordion upwards, of paintings and precious vases which punctuate the sweeping marble hallways. at one point or at first, i was running around these buildings, trying to get from one door to another, one building to another (so many of these buildings appear separate but adjacent from the outside, but are actually continuous on the inside, especially university buildings, having taken over several townhouses, they often gut them and connect them). some doors were open to me, but other metal grilles were closed, leaving me able to gaze into the rooms and corridors on the other side, but not enter more than my arm. i had a scrap of paper, i was looking for a professor, or a doctor, or an aristocrat. it could have been an aristocrat's house.

then there was a press of people. we wore armour and held steel blades. same place. we had fought our way in the door, now we were crushed up shoulder to shoulder with each other, chest to chest with the household guard. we were a mass of bodies all the way up the stairs, following our leader in his gold armour and helmet to the top. we were shoving and stabbing, pikes waving uselessly in the air unable to come down, all colours and ranks confusingly mixed. shoving shoving shoving. i realised our own duke and leader was, sadly, played by arnold schwarzenegger (or maybe he was arnold schwarzenegger, equally sadly). he reached the top of the stairs before us. it was an ever-so-polite dinner party. lovely dresses, the clink of fine silverware on exquisite china. in the middle of the relatively large but not high ceilinged room, a circular glass elevator shaft, and inside it, part of a rocket was visible. over the twin doors which were open to allow waiters to load things, PRIMITIVE I.

the butler stopped him with a "Sir."

he looked exceedingly out of place, sword in hand, sweaty. "I need to see the Marquis," he said.

meanwhile a table of three young aristocrat girls decided they would not eat what was at their table, but rather take it along with them as a picnic. james dear, they said to the junior butler serving them tea, could you make sure this goes into a basket and along with us on the rocket? certainly madams, he bowed. i shall do it presently.

the Marquis was making his way from the back of the room. a curious light shone on arnie, and right through him. i saw more gold inside of him, simple gold mechanisms of spiral and pendulum and a lot of empty space. he is an android, i realised then. the light shows it.

"Ah my brother-in-law," said the Marquis, straightening his dinner jacket.

"I need to get on that rocket," arnie said. so. arnie is married to the Swiss Countess, the Marquis' sister.

"I have no space left," said the Marquis. "Your wife might give up her seat though."

"I and my wife must be together on it."

"That means I would have to leave someone else behind."

Arnie almost raised his sword. "Very well, I suppose I could remove one of the young ladies from this table." A gasp from one of the three. they were preparing to be outraged when they discovered which one of them it would be. arnie was happier though.

the Marquis was thoughtfully speaking out loud. "It would certainly have social repercussions in our circle, such a slight and at the last moment, but considering these young ladies' rather junior social standing, i suppose it is the lesser of two evils of refusing yourself or leaving someone else behind. Very well." He walked off to continue preparations and dining.

Android arnie, made of gold, turned back to us to tell us to stop fighting.

i personally didn't care who went or didn't. i knew nobody on that fucker of a rocket was going to come back. i just knew. and with a name like that, how could it? baroque patterns and curliques were carved onto the gold plated shell of the rocket, and reflected on the interior wallpaper and handles. how could it ever return.

that wasn't the end of the dream though.

the same or similar building. i am watching a movie, although it is not a movie. it is in a large hall, airy, but not dark. all the lights are on. where we sit, becomes the movie, like a hologram projected all around us. a forest, a seashore, a marketplace. we sit in these places as the actors play out their story of presumably blockbuster proportions in those locations. the story is so unimportant that we are free to wander around the marketplace, though not all the produce can be picked up, nor all the lego pieces played with. i play with a few, trying to make lego work with duplo.

then a pause, and some running around and searching. we have to get back for the movie, it was only an intermission but now we've got too many things to do. i squeeze in time for a haircut but all the barbers are too busy. they offer me a pair of scissors and the option of doing it myself. i take the scissors and stand in front the mirror. my companions are waiting for a shampoo or something. i carefully start snipping in an orderly manner, then grow more vigourous. it becomes uneven, though quite acceptable on the left side. while trying to rescue the weird situation on the right, i notice the lowest row of hair on the back of my head reaches down to my shoulders. i don't remember it being so long. i start on it. measured at first, i cut
furiously close when i don't seem to be getting anywhere (is it growing as i cut it?). suddenly i hold in my hand a clump of it, long, and at the root it looks like or is a row of short soft stingray bones. now for the other side. i cut or pull it off, and to my relief i have the rest in my hand too now. it is also stingray bones at its roots.

i want to get back to the business of finishing my haircut but as i cut i notice that it's getting into my mouth. i try to grab the strands and continue but my mouth is full of hair, i can feel the bristly clumps in my mouth and there's more every second and i am choking on it, choking choking trying to get to the sink to rinse it out because i can't get rid of it any other way.

i suppose i died last night. today is just a dream. with a fucker of a dream like that, there's no way i'm coming back.

good luck

to all the people with tests and trials coming up. keep on going like a boxer getting battered in the ring, like a bird straining at the end of a string, like a runner gasping for breath on a final uphill stretch.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

chips that pass in the night

i want to be lost. i want to be dreaming. i want to be homeward bound. i want to be departing.

in a moment. nothing can happen in a moment. in a moment eyes can meet, looks can be exchanged, words can be almost said. nothing can happen in a moment, and when passed, nothing can be retrieved from the lost moment.

in a moment, nothing can happen - looks can only meet, eyes can only say i wonder who you are, walking across this space of grass everyday, with that same someone beside you, in this early morning, in opposite directions. the nonwords can only say i wonder if you recognise me every day would you know me if we bumped into each other somewhere else, would you know me if we were alone, or walk away like you must every morning? eyes can only say maybe we could talk, i look forward to our meeting our fleeting glance every dawn in which i say nothing but wish i could say a million things, at least once.

we live by moments, each untaken simply disappearing, each ungrabbed only leading to another of the same.

but we live by moments. each seized and treasured, becoming a shining star. every morning lived in anticipation of the moment, crossing paths, trading looks, fuelling dreams. my heart beat faster every morning as we approached the grassy space.

stairs. railings. a lightening sky. also: grass, a path, bags, a chaperone. wishful glances, and talking to someone but not listening.

then pavement, railings, a midday sky. grass. a path. walking in opposite directions from the morning. the quick glance and pent up frustration of these years, a tense hello. a look of complete recognition. a complementary smile of understanding. we talked, it was easy. we were old friends even though we had never spoken before. i never knew your smile was so electric, i never knew you were so funny. (i hoped i was funny too) we laughed so much. i said good bye like i was certain i would see you again. i never did.

the first time i talked to you was the last time; it's burned in my memory like a meteor. is it sweeter that it was so ephemeral or more bitter? i can't tell.

i want to be lost. because i am dreaming.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

killer be killed

actually i don't like this song so much, and it's so common, but it seems so resonant now that ken has brought it to my attention. it's killing me, she's touching his... chest.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

i miss

you haven't hardly left but i feel empty.

a compass without a needle, a target without an arrow, a mirror without a frame, a turn too quickly passed.

you're right next to me, i can feel you slipping away.

Monday, September 12, 2005

glade is night (and the pits)

the glade looked perfect and lovely. long strands of grass swaying and billowing like water.

we jumped the ledge like an avalanche, throwing our weight down the air like a heavy feather. my smile was like a toothache, i was that happy.

the grassy water was fumes, the smell of crocodile meals and waitresses who hold greasy burgers with one hand. There was no pier, but you stood next to my bike. i was up to the neck in water and obscured by grass, you were dry.

the knife flicked open in your hand, you cut the fuel line and the blue water started spilling out of the artery. i tried to walk, but grass is muddy when wet, sucking on me like an old boot. what are you standing on, i wondered.

you gunned the engine and rode off, a phoenix of flame following the fuel spill. i prayed the water level would rise, so that i could see where you were going. i got my wish - it rose, but i stayed inertia still as the water covered my nose and i sank looking at the wall of grass listening to the distant sound of engine.

the massacre

so a parang is a machete. so smuggling up the cambodian rivers can lead to love. or loss of love anyway. that'll be me one day, wondering why i'm not invited to parties, stealing dogs out of a misplaced sense of animal welfare, smashing bottles over my head to sharpen them. we're the forgotten, the old, the needy, the barely subsisting, and though you see us, you don't see us. get ready, i'll be there outside your ballroom, having drunk too much and wishing i was dead so that i could be alive.

but i'm not there yet of course, because i'm still doing people's dirty work and asking all the right questions which are the wrong questions. have you read the news lately? why is my drawer full of ambulance certs and not my wall, or my wallet? why do other people ride into disaster on the backs of dragons and i sit and observe? who am i to have done so much and so little?

a horse breeder of arabian studs, a security director who imagines headlines, and a man who ran every company he owned into the ground, this is the state of the world today. screw you SUV driving rich white folks who piled up and left and then villified those left to rot in a drowned city.

but i'm no better.

read this

and this

because we're all on our own

but what am i going to do besides sit and write some more?

Monday, September 05, 2005


i'm glad you arrived. after the things i've seen and the reasons i've been in and around hospitals for the past few months, it's nice to have someone like you around.

summer thunder

tightness is relaxedness. sunshine is the precursor to rain. apathy is responsibility. convenience is a necessity. yellow raincoats are for looking at wet gravel (for a long time). making a wine glass ring is surprisingly easy. hula is danger. speediness is slow. tightness is repose.

sunburn is something youth is not afraid of. summer thunder is a place where the countries meet, where distant booms mean many things, where clicks are sometimes clacks, where the heat can rise oppressingly and be as dazing as the storm. my voice lingers in the air like a tense moment.

nothing is busyness.

tightness is restraint.