Monday, November 29, 2010

To my dear second daughter,

I know you find it difficult to hear about my love life... but oh well... I need some advice.  My current girlfriend wants to buy a house.  She wants it to be in her name only.  She says she is not ready to live with me yet.  But here's the thing, she wants me to put in money for the house.  What do you think?  Do you think she really does love me?

Your loving father.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

To my eldest daughter,
I am sorry I will not be able to come and see your brand new baby, my only grandson, this weekend.  I am going away with my girlfriend.  I will have to meet the newest addition to our family some other time.  Hope you are well.
Your father.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


everything will be alright. everything will be alright. everything will be alright.
everything will be alright. everything will be alright. everything will be alright. 
everything will be alright. everything will be alright. everything will be alright.
everything will be alright. everything will be alright. everything will be alright.
everything will be alright. everything will be alright. everything will be alright.
everything will be alright. everything will be alright. everything will be alright.
everything will be alright. everything will be alright. everything will be alright.
everything will be alright. everything will be alright. everything will be alright.
everything will be alright. everything will be alright. everything will be alright.
everything will be alright. everything will be alright. everything will be alright.

The Little Masochist


Monday, November 1, 2010

The Forecast

"But there are no hats no scarves for the heart,
just the cold wind that leaves its frosted mark..."
Martha Wainwright – Don’t Forget

The weather forecast appeared as five little square illustrations at the bottom of the screen when she opened her computer. Her habit was to briefly view the forecast before navigating her way through the web of information contained within and channelled through the machine, before starting any work, reviewing any mail, or perusing any articles, blogs, pictures, gossip.

Rain, they said. All five of them. Five little identical squares. Each had a dark indigo background overlaid with a neat arrangement of grey and white clouds, below these the unmistakable linear pattern of rain dots. No yellow circle in any of them, not even a yellow crescent peeking out from behind a cloud shadow. No hint of sun in any of them. Five squares of stormy weather. Stormy days ahead.

She pulled a tiny slip of mucosa from the corner of her mouth between her teeth and bit through it. It would not be an easy week.

Five days without sunshine.

I will pretend it doesn’t matter she said to herself. Because it doesn’t really, does it?

Patience! They said. To heal takes time.

Yes exactly, she said, these things TAKE time. These things TAKE time AWAY from me.

If my life is a piece of string measured in length by time, she said, then these things taking time are just fraying away at the string. And all this sitting and frittering and waiting and whiling away time is turning me slowly insane. Each tick of the clock a step close to the time she could feel normal, but each moment that passed was one that she could never get back. A treacherous tightrope. Waiting and wasting and hoping to heal, and hating the wasting and trying not to lose hope.

So it would be a hard week this week – if those little square boxes were right – hard, because rainy weather made her seasick and lonely. And she was already on the edge of a dark and swilling sea.

If only there were little boxes for her heart. Well it isn’t your heart is it? She thought. It’s your brain that feels all these things. But sometimes the ache seemed so thick inside her chest she questioned the accuracy of science in its understanding of the way humans experience emotion. Perhaps, she thought, there are undiscovered receptors of emotional pain within the pericardium which send signals to the cerebral cortex. Wherever the pain came from, the point is, she thought, wouldn’t it be useful to have a forecast for the week ahead. You might be feeling black and downtrodden and under a bag of cement on Tuesday, but hey look at Thursday, a sudden joy front might bring unseasonal contentedness with warm breezy happiness. By Friday there may be some low mood cover with some afternoon depression, but that would be clearing by Saturday with more joy to last throughout the weekend.

But is it really any use to know? What raincoat, what umbrella could you use for your heart (or whatever it was that stored and created your emotions)?

Do other people get so bogged down with it all, she wondered?

And what are we all actually DOing anyway? We get up. We go to work. We exercise. We eat. We talk. We wait. We fill our lives with things to do to try to make ourselves feel like our lives are actually worth something. It’s all so fucking monotonous all this fucking waiting.

What do other people do while they wait?! She wondered. Are they happy that this is it: This house, this job, this town, this meal, this hour of waiting in the rain?


I still miss you.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

To my second daughter

To My Darling Daughter,
Can you believe it?  I've had  a flip around.  I've realised that having children around you is just the BEST thing!  It makes you feel so alive doesn't it?!  Who would've thought?!  And all those years I regretted having you four!!!  All those times I lamented the loss of my youth to fatherhood. Life's funny like that isn't it.
Your loving father.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


What an amazing thing we take for granted. A fresh, new person. Bloody hell. It’s sad really, we start out all fresh and clean and pure and new, and look what we become: Inside and out we become faded and ripped and torn and dirtied and damaged as we pass through our lives. We lie, and steal, and kill, and hate, and hurt, and waste and envy and hunger. Our skin hardens, our hair becomes coarse and then grey, our eyesight fades, our muscles at first become large and powerful but then lose strength and diminish, we develop wrinkles and sunspots and cancers and ... but what am I doing?! I was thinking about how beautiful new life is.


Into the fire she strides deeper
Her body aching.
In a moment which is at once both fleeting and forever,
She is consumed by the flames.
The heat is unbearable.

There is nothing but fire now
Roaring against her.
She pushes on through it,
The world cracking open,
The flames all around her,
Her small body broken.

And just when it seems
As though everything will be destroyed
By the intensity of the flames,
A sudden gush of water
Bursts through the crack in the soil.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Sometimes I get distracted... I'll start out just looking up a word and find myself half an hour later, engrossed in my dictionary.


There are weeds growing.
I've raked the soil,
I've tilled the land
I've watered and tended and cared,
There are weeds growing.

Oh, the weeds have lovely flowers,
And I might collect a posy,
And the butterflies dance like children, madly,
But still,
They're just weeds growing.

I should pull them up by the roots, discard them,
But I keep them pressed and flat and perfect,
A memory of the times
There were weeds growing.

The big old oak's not bothered
It's roots are deep and strong,
It does not concern itself with
The fact that
There are weeds growing.

There are weeds growing.
But I will not weed them out,
I like the thorns and butterflies and scattered seeds,
Nobody needs know it.

Dogs and Lambs

Dogs viciously attack their fence lines
Protecting their territories and salivating over carnivorous thoughts.
Lambs wander to the slaughter houses willingly,
Seeing the murder,
But pressing on regardless.
The smell of blood sends the carnivores into states of fervour.
The docile lambs bleat pointlessly.
Down the way,
Cutlets are wrapped in in plastic and sold in supermarkets
For $11.00 per kilo.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Tree

There is a tree in the back of the garden you may be lucky enough to see.
Its little flowers so blue and lovely are always open to me.
There have been times when I have not watered or cared for my little tree.
But its roots are strong and its branches are sturdy, it never needs pruning.

Way up the back past the trees and the roses is where my lovely tree grows.
Neglect and tempest have never destroyed it but the scars on the branches do show.
So bring your fairy lights, hang them upon it along with the nest of a dove.
See how much lovelier that it grows now when you nourish the soil with love.

It flowers in spring time, it bears fruit in winter, it pleases me all the year through.
It shades me in summer, it's golden in autumn,

My tree is you.

The Encounter

A short story.

 i'm not sure if i've finished... i think i want to continue a little more at the end... to tie up some lose ends...

“Claire! Come on you’ve been in there for hours!”
“Okay! Okay! I’m nearly done!” She calls out above the drumming water of the shower.

And then “...shit!” quietly to herself as she runs the razor over her knee slicing off a neat slither of skin. Bright red blood streaks away with the falling water revealing the tiny white slice in her knee. “Shit, shit, shit!” Shaving and hurrying are not good companions.
She turns the shower taps off and wraps herself up in two towels, one for the body, one for the hair.

“Bathroom’s free Anna!” she calls as she exits through a cloud of steam.
“Shit your knee!” Anna says to her as they pass in the hallway.

There is a streak of blood running from Claire’s knee right down the front of her shin. She dashes into her bedroom and attacks the shaving wound with a box of tissues. She looks at the clock. Five thirty two. That’s okay. Still plenty of time. She presses play on her stereo.

Right so what to wear? She hates this bullshit. Why she’s agreed to go on this date she’s not quite sure. Anna and Jacob and their bloody meddling. Oh but it might be fun, or so Anna keeps telling her. She goes over to her wardrobe but catches sight of herself in the mirror. Her leg is a mess.

She sits on the edge of her bed. She starts to reach for a tissue from the box on her bedside table but changes her mind and opens the top drawer instead. She knows she shouldn’t, not now, but she does anyway. She reaches in and grabs the small metal framed photo of her and Pete from that last summer before chemo.

Read the rest of the story here .

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Twisted Factory


The two of them, unlikeliest of pairs, came together. One soft and pink and fresh and new, innocent, laughing, talkative like; the other dark and viscous, full of treacle and self importance and youthful arrogance, exotic, shallow, moody. A bizarre couple, an asymmetrical match. But a series of coincidences had them meet, had them spend time together, had them fall into a sort of giddy affair, twisted the iron bars of common sense and reason, sculpted those iron bars, twisted them out of shape, created the union. It was a strange union, and everybody thought it, everybody knew it, even the pair. The iron wrought and strained, forever groaned under the tension of the twisted union. But there they were the unlikeliest of pairs.

In a small town, in a small home, in a small street the pair became a family, no a factory. The iron wrought and strained and groaning became a slightly wonky factory that churned out slightly wonky products. And we were the products. Slightly wonky products from the slightly wonky factory, the unlikeliest of pairs, the twisted union.

At first you couldn’t see how twisted and irregular the four products were. After all, inside the factory everything was wonky, so there were no even lines or smooth-swinging hinges or perfect square edges with which to compare.

But four wonky products we were, and so wonkily we entered the world. Not quite straight or steady or sure. Looking sort of ok, if you blurred your eyes, but on closer inspection – uneven stitching, missing screws, hems to high or too low, thoughts too dark or too dim. There we were, the wonky products, walking with uneven gaits, thinking with uneven thoughts, trying to balance on the walkways of the world. Behind us we left signs, fallen bolts, threads, screws, signs that things weren’t quite right, that things could, if circumstances allowed, come disastrously undone. But the factory loved us, wonky as we were.

The foundations of the factory, that unlikeliest of pairs, continued to groan and strain and warp even more as time passed by, and soon their products entered the world, their job was done. The factory emptied. But an empty factory out of work begins to disintegrate. Damp decays, rust corrodes, dust rots. The iron wrought and fraught and twisted and groaning, decayed, corroded and rotted, and finally it fell apart.

The factory was gone. Six wonks remained: The two decayed, directionless foundations, one anxious wonk, a masochist, an angry wonk, a childlike thing. All struggling and warped and twisted and trying to fit into the world which surrounded them, suffocated them.

But the whole world is wonky. And these wonks at least were loved. The world is filled with lost and lonely, hurting, hurtful, angry, lazy, wasteful, stupid, ignorant, selfish, ugly, sinful, struggling, hoping, hating, harming beautiful creatures with all sorts of gaits and all sorts of wonks. The trick is, if you can’t smooth it out, and you probably can’t, to learn to live with your own particular wonkiness. Hate it if you will, because you sometimes you will, but learn to live with it, because you’ll be wonky until the day you fucking die.