Tuesday, September 30, 2008

coming to the central question

The central question was not as difficult as one might think. I struggled with the idea of of my unabashed carnality - a term that I have stumbled upon and quite like. I have turned the compost of my sexual adventures until all the colour and shape has mulched down and run together and there is nothing left but the bland monochrome of sex and more sex. Perhaps you have yawned at the endless parade of cock, cunt, pubic hair, orgasm, vibrator, animal, vegetable, mineral and blah blah blah ad infinitum.

It's all about sex, I tell them. It is all about fucking. But of course it has never been about fucking. I sit in the bland room with the woman who is helping me to sift through my errant thoughts and I know that it is not about sex. Sex has never been particularly difficult. There is no conflict there. My fucking has been easy and indiscriminate and since monogamy set in there has been little to write home about.

So at the heart of it is the idea of home, the leaving of it, and the coming back.

Even this seems too much to reveal in such a public forum. More exposing than the endless chatter about masturbation and penetration. The clean and easy disrobing that I have become used to, and comfortable with.

I had a dream once and it stuck with me. I was crawling upstream along a river with barely enough water in it to drown a child. Still the trip was arduous. I dragged my body through a trickle of ice and at the end of it there was an orange glow. A telephone booth. I would reach it eventually, but first there was the slithering upstream on my belly, my frozen elbows cut and bleeding from the rocky river bed.

I knew that when I reached the telephone booth I would call home. I wondered if I had enough change for the call. I couldn't stop to check or I would loose ground, I just continued to creep upstream, one exhausting heave after another when perhaps I could have stood and taken the few steps across the riverbank without much trouble at all.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Maybe our friendship has now gone beyond the sex chatter, which is a shiny veneer, like the new Laminex the kitchen guy showed us. And maybe we have traveled beneath this and now we are in that impossible void underneath where my skin is peeled off and there is nothing at all inside.

All facade scraped clean.

And maybe now you will realise that I bore you as terribly as I bore myself.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Brother

Sometimes I wish I had a brother, and of course there might have been a brother. I wonder if we would have overstepped the line, lying, twinned in our tangle of arms, a little question mark of hips and chests and knees tucked up and touching each other. I long for the damage that we might have done to each other. I long for the comfort.

Not having a brother, I can miss the potential complications that come with mismatched genitalia.

My sister and I did not have the kind of relationship where genitalia could be talked about. My sister and I were a tangle of cat arms and cat legs and when we hissed at each other bruises flared up on my pale skin like a bouquet.

If I found this twinned other, this male version of myself, I would want to fall into some kind of awkward romance, but I know that I would be more likely to find fault in the mirror image of myself.

For now, without the possibility of a brother looming in the distance, you will have to do. I make you a part of myself even if you are not. There are tell tale signs but I choose to ignore them.

You will disappoint me. This is what you say and it is true. I am disappointed from the outset because one day you will walk off into your life and one day I will find some other not-brother to replace you with and we will never come home to share Christmas or birthdays or graduation parties.

Still, for now there is the invention of all the transgressions we might have shared. And I find a little thrill in them and a sadness too for the way it might have been but was not.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


When you took my word and used it, out there, for everyone to see I was elated. This one thing. This little moment, amplified. So how then would it be on the other side of this kind of attention. The oceanic swell of my words, turned endlessly in your direction. This is just how I am. I have seen it more times than I remember. My unconditional attention. My odd half-care, half-love. My outpouring is greeted by the roll of the eyes. I am tolerated. You are tolerant.

But I have picked you for the moment and I am a small dog with a fast jaw and I will not be shaken off easily.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Saying and Undoing

When all is said and done there is quite a stack of things piled up on the 'said' side of things and not so much 'done'.

Things have become reversed. There was a time when I said nothing and it was all about the body and the things that it might say in the absence of speech.

It is not as if I am completely inert. I am still prone to running into the ocean fully clothed. I will climb down to the river and get mud on my shoes. I have raced out on the kayack in the thick dark without a light. I ride and ride and ride some days just to clear my head. I am still in my body and in the world in a physical way, but I say 'I love' and 'I long' and 'I would like to' and it is all talk. A great big heap of talk because I will not follow through with my body as once I would. But I still fall in love. And when you write what you did, you make it difficult for me to maintain a discreet distance.

I love my ever-constant boyfriend with a passion that is unfathomable, therefore this gnawing love that cannot be named is piled up with the heap of things that are said and left undone.


An appropriate word in the given circumstances.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

for Nike

"I am going to Paris where I will be beautiful"

She is more beautiful in this moment than I have ever seen her. It is nothing to do with her strong cheekbones, her large intelligent eyes that are dark and unwavering. It is about a kind of composure that she carries with her. A stillness that strikes me as more beautiful than any physical feature. I had never imagined that I could be beautiful anywhere. Even Paris. I have always seen myself as gnomic. I am not the heroine of the tale. I am the comic side-kick who finds a kind of resolution, left with the love of a dog, or alone. The one who leaves us with a sweet smile, but not the character that moves us. Now, seeing her so beautiful, I wonder if perhaps I have misjudged myself.

Beauty is all about symmetry, they say. Some perfect form of balance, or perhaps something that is almost perfectly balanced, the symmetry thrown into stark relief by the introduction of some small imperfection.

My eye seems to slide off the things that others may consider beautiful. Symmetry does not capture my attention. I am more drawn to the person who feels misplaced. I am attracted to the loners, the overlooked, the undervalued. I like the look of side streets, alleys variously decorated with bright paint sprayed indiscriminately. I like my houses tumble down and my bookshelves a patchwork of spines at a lean.

Perhaps it should be no surprise to me then that I woke up one morning, maybe a week or two ago and found that I was beautiful. Not pretty. Not like the girls who turn heads and who earn free cocktails just by gracing others with their symmetry. I woke and did not need to look in a mirror to know that somehow I had overlooked the obvious.

I am my own tumbledown building. I am the joyful expanse of my own flesh with the marks of age and a life of pleasure worn proudly like any graffiti-strewn alley. I like my own taste, admire it even. No one I know has the kind of perfect match in film and art and literature. I like who I am. I am strangely surprised by this. I like what my body does when I am touching it. I like the skill with which I bring myself to orgasm. I like the way I orgasm, contained and yet abandoned to the pleasure of it. I like that I can find pleasure in the slightest disturbance of the air.

I like myself. How could this be? I barely recognise my relationship to myself. Gone is the stress and worry, my constant assessing and reassessing of my own behaviour. I try on clothes and face a mirror fearlessly for perhaps the first time in my life. I am short and large and odd looking. My face is not pretty and my body is certainly not something to be reproduced endlessly like a photograph of a model or a parade of catwalk beauties each one similar to the next. I am myself and I am beautiful. In my own very particular way. This self-like makes me uneasy, but I am fine with that as well. It is the kind of uneasiness that I can love.

It has been almost a week since I became beautiful and I wonder how long this feeling will remain.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ending with Odilon Redon

I am not certain as to the ending of the story. The story begins sad and then moves through varying degrees of melancholy. It is like the absence of light after a particularly languid sunset, the day bleeding out incrementally, leaking brightness, replacing it with a gathering dark.

A story that is mostly grey needs some kind of uplifting end. That is the rule of contrast. This story that ends badly was barely worth the effort of reading.

There are a handful of days till the proclaimed completion date and I am still toying with possible endings. Some of them are quietly sad, some have the kind of hook that splits you open and spills you out like fish guts. Some of them are sudden and unexpected and inexplicable. All of them are a fade to black and a little white box with the words 'the end' written inside it. All of them close the lid and leave us with our going over of things as in that picture by Odilon Redon that I was going to write about but didn't.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In the Rain

This is what I have become.

I am sitting in a doorway, not a particularly large doorway, not a comfortable one, but it is free from vomit despite a distant urinous fug emanating from the very corners of this place of shelter. I have a 1/4 bottle of scotch. Scotch is not my usual drink of choice, but it was cheap and they didn't have any small bottles of vodka, and it is cold.

Scotch is a drink for cold weather, so I have scotch. It is in a paper bag. The man at the shop gave it to me in the paper bag and I folded the top of the bag down and left the bottle inside as if no one would know that I was sitting in a doorway drinking a 1/4 bottle of scotch if I hid the label from them.

The man at the bottle shop nodded towards the window, acknowledging the rain falling, quick and loud.

"Lovely weather,"he said to make conversation. I was supposed to say something back, perhaps something witty, something to augment his own joke. But I had spoken to no one in so many days. My tongue was frozen up. I felt my heart spring in my chest, a small animal attempting to scramble away from the nice bottle-shop man. Inside I was a panic. Outside I blinked and struggled with my expression, trying to remain impassive. I said nothing, handed the coins across the counter, took the brown paper bag in return.

The rain comes down like this sometimes. It is a tropical phenomenon, this plummet in the heart of summer, tearing the breathless heat apart and hinting at the possibility of ice.

In the past I used to watch the occasional downpour from my window, or run out into it and race back into a hot shower and dry clothes, laughing with the manic energy induced by sudden storms.

Now there will be no shower. Now there will be wet shoes and a slow iciness creeping into my bones. Now there will be nothing but shivering and feeling sorry for myself.

I don't want to cry but thinking about not crying makes my shoulders heave. I take another swig from the bottle.

I am sitting in a doorway drinking scotch from a paper bag. It is raining. My skirt smells old and damp. The pages of my notebook will be curling. My beetling words inside the notebook will be bleeding onto the page. There is a night ahead of me and another day and another night and more again and again and the idea of it exhausts me.

"I've got to find a place" I speak to myself now. The lack of communication has somehow changed my relationship to speech. Sometimes a word will slip out of my mouth. Sometimes a whole sentence. Sometimes I catch myself in the middle of an entire conversation, questions and answers, a heated sparring with myself.

"I'm going mad" I tell myself, tucking my shoes up a step and out of the back-spray of rain.

"I am talking to myself," I say to myself, "and I have to get out of the rain."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

not talking about sex

He doesn't talk about sex. He talks about everything that isn't sex and all the time it is there at the centre of things, sex like a beating heart and him reaching out but never tearing it from the flesh of his polite writing.

I talk about sex. I reach in, blood up to my elbows, all the messy secretions of the act a stain on my reputation. I feel about in the dark body of my life and I find nothing. No beating heart, no heart at all. I emerge from my sexual scramblings and I am holding nothing but loneliness.

This is the difference between the two of us. We talk at cross purposes, but still, we talk, which makes me less lonely and him a small step closer to sex.

sore neck

It hurt, but I didn't want it to stop. They said it might be some kind of virus, a small thing lodged in a gland in the neck. I had felt this way before though, and probably it was the stress of existential angst, of knowing that there really was no point to any of it. The weight of realisation, pressing on my right shoulder.

On the story bridge I glanced to the right and there could have been a truck coming but all I could see was a tiny glimpse to the next lane. I changed lanes blind on my motorcycle and almost liked the thrill of such a risk.

And it hurt. Did I mention that it had been hurting all week? I didn't really complain and no one really noticed.

"Is your neck still hurting?" He asked once in the supermarket and I nodded.

"I'm on the Neurophen."

They took time off work for less than this, a sniffle, or a moment of weariness. I turned my whole body to look at them and I wondered why I was here at all, what with my sore neck and my attitude and my inability to be nice to one more person before the end of a shift.

But I didn't want you to stop, even when it hurt and it made it harder to concentrate. I turned on my stomach and that seemed to make it worse but I wouldn't ever ask you to stop. And I refused to miss out. Even with the throb of it and the tensing of the muscles in my back. Even then, don't stop now. Please don't stop now. It might be days before we have the opportunity again and I find the pain of missing your body is more than a small stiffness in my neck.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

That girl

I counted back.

If I was in grade 12 then she was in grade nine.

She was confident. She taught me to drive a little, but that is perhaps another story.

She said "If I were gay I would be out and proud" and I lay beside her in my tightly wound desire and I stretched out a finger and I touched her leg and maybe she felt it. Maybe she was just pretending to be asleep. And I took my pyjama bottoms off because it was so hot, but we still lay under the sheet and I thought perhaps that one time she touched me too, but I can't be sure. I was pretending to be asleep, and it was such a shy touch anyway.

So we woke in the morning, although I had been awake the whole time and I imagined that her tiredness was the same, taught, longing. But it probably wasn't.

Don't we pretend so many things?

We say that we are one thing when we mean another.

Aren't we such silly human creatures?

And I wonder if she ever thinks about me now, but she has moved on probably, and I wasn't the first person to touch her leg. She had kissed a boy, so many years before I ever wanted one. And it wasn't till years later that I kissed a girl.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Runnin around

All the fucking children
and all the fucking 'she said, he said'
and all the fucking 'I love you's that are never written
or never sent
and all the fucking
'I'd fuck her, or not'
which is just bullshit
because we'd all fuck anyone given the circumstance.
But I still think about him
And he (all those hes and shes) still stubbornly refuses to think about me
which is the way of things
and we are still alive for our one more day
and 'we won't die just yet'
he tells me, only he can't really speak so it is more like charades
this charade
of not loving
when we love and we just won't say we love
and we won't hug much
because I don't hug
so we don't touch
and sometimes we fight
although you say you don't
but we do
we do

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Erotic literature

I must review a book of erotic stories. Some of them are fine. Some of them arouse. Others are flat and cold and full of tricks. All of them are what they are. Stories about sex. It is what I do. What I have become. I hold the manuscript in my hand and I would cry again. I have been crying now for days it seems. I am overwhelmed by the loss of myself. Somewhere, sometime I have been abandoned. There are books on my shelf that mean more to me than anything. There are words that make me whole, and I know now that I will never write like this. I have become a gaping cunt, a shred of pornography, a photograph of tits and arse torn from a page and secreted under someones bed. It is nothing, what I do. It is nothing like the needles of truth I crave. I am pricked by them suddenly in the work of others. These writers that I fall in love with for a moment as I scramble towards intimacy across the jumble of their words. I cannot touch, I cannot love, I cannot write, but I must review this collection of erotic stories and I have nothing much to say at all.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Elissa's House

They key is hung on a long piece of string and slipped up on top of the door frame. Her house is brushing shoulders with the street. The steps up to the door are recessed. You step up from the footpath and then there is a little climb to the door. You can tell that they are all out of the house when the bathroom window is shut. It is like a secret signal. Nobody home.

I find a stick and stretch up with it till it hooks on the string. They key tumbles and I slip it easily into the lock before easing it back onto the stick and tucking it onto the ledge. I have picked a tuft of wild jasmine. A calling card, and I feed the snakey stem of it into the key hole.They will know that I have visited. They will know that I am alive and well and the news of this will travel down the line and they will call off the search, if there ever was a search.

I step into the darkness of the corridoor and my skin is bathed in the dark green of a deep sea dive. The mahogany panels have been lifted from an old steam train. The green stained glass if from a church. The pressed metal ceiling is original, and the rust is sweeping across it like a fungal infection. The house smells like Chris, like linseed oil and turps. The shouse smells like my childhood and I pause for a moment to breathe in the memory and find that I am teary for the first time since I ran away from my life. I drop my clothes in the hallway out of habit. This is what we do, when we enter this house. Clothes in the hallway and then i walk straight out tot he little walled garden and the 8 foot fy 8 foot swimming pool that was once used to wash bodies. The morgue is a home. I know this as I slip over the edge of the pool and feel the brush of fallen frangipani flowers against my shoulders. I am welcomed by the water. I bob at the surface and when I reach out my fingers I brush the place where that one girl was sitting when I bobbed in front of her and eased her legs apart and tasted chlorine and the mushroomy lick of her vulva. My toes tip the place where I was held with my head balanced on the concrete as the man pulled my hips down and strugled to push his penis inside me through the scrape of acid water.

Sex in the kitchen on the table and struggled through on canvass deck chairs. When I drag myself from the pool there is sex under every wet step.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

antithesis of love

So the sex is easy. We have established this.

But all the other stuff. There is all that other stuff. The harm of brushing past someone casually. The chafe of one life against the next. The lack of fit and the insecurities that breed in the crawl space.

The sex is a joy. The eye in the storm. A place to catch our breath.

I should avoid the other kinds of contacts, the conversations that tug at the truth and spill it like guts into the stinking light of day. The friendships that inevitably go bad. The little intimacies that are more about them than us. the interactions that serve only to underline my difference and my freakishness.

But oh how easy is the sex, and how nice and how like the wrapping of a present before it has been disturbed and the disappointment of the gift has been unveiled.

And when you say nothing it is because you have nothing good to say. And when you say something nice it can not be taken at face value. And when you seem to understand it is a misunderstanding. And when I see a mirror in the crowd I am blinded by it.

So give me sex. Easy sex with heads and arms and legs lopped off, just genitals copulating as in porn or photographs by Joel-Peter Witkin. Just give me the honesty of this and take the rest of it away. Take all of the people away. Take me away and leave this. The sex. The easy joy of sex.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I know I'm not supposed to write about you but I did

You are comfortable with our life because you are beautiful. You see me struggling with my errant passions and you shrug and turn back to your computer or to bad evening television or to that podcast you have been listening to. You’ve seen it before, this ugly flailing about, this grasping at intimacy. You would be more concerned perhaps if you weren’t built the way you are, with a tight lean frame and the most beautiful eyes and an incredible eye for structure that you know I find irresistible. When you are erect and naked it is a thing to silence even the most insistent nagging of my insecurities. I am not a slave to beauty but I am not immune to it. I find you are enough to make me wonder why I develop these little irritations that swell like boils under my skin, festering and worrying me until they burst and I see that they were nothing but the kind of love that friends should generally be safe to share. But I am all or nothing, all love or all hate, all life or all death and in my swing between each state of absolute passion I pause now and then and find that I have exhausted myself.

art art art

so it is just art art art. If not a painting then a story. If not a story then a poem. If not a poem then it must be a song. But what of the flesh, the wonderful taste and touch and scent of it. But what of the body when the head has nothing to say for itself. What of my breasts and that place at the back of my neck that I want you to bite down on, but you rarely do. What of that nuzzling into my ear that makes my hair stand on end. Isn't that enough for me? Nuzzle and bite down. I don't know how else to tell you that yes, that is what I like the most. That is what I want from you. When your breath is on my neck then fuck the art and fuck the poetry and stick your fingers inside, no, your whole fist, all the world, because the body is more than just a song, it is the meaning of the universe. Fuck art and God and even my existential angst. Bite down on my neck. Please. Bite down.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Not thinking about sex

I never forget about sex for one moment.

We read philosophy and cook muscles and talk about the smell of oil paints and I am thinking about sex. We send words through the ether and I think about leaving a voice message, but I don't and I am thinking about sex. I bush past you in a small space and you are dressed the way I like it and I am thinking about sex. You call me for beer-o'clock and you have the smudgy eyes of someone who has been at work and you could be spread beneath me and my hand wet and warm and I should be nodding and responding but instead I am thinking about sex.

I have become attached and it can only lead to disappointment and I think about armour and emotional distance and steeling myself for the fall, but really I am thinking about sex. I am having sex and I am thinking about sex. I am rolling onto my back and hoping that you will not stop for the thudding of the bedhead against the wall and I am thinking about sex. Even after when your breathing has fallen heavy into your lungs I am thinking about the interminable wait for the next time and the next time and the time after that, when we will have sex.

Is there ever a time when I am not thinking about sex? I imagine that there must have been one time, but I am at a loss to tell you when.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thought Crime

Is it a crime to imagine.

I am spending my life sea-sawing between a shrug and a self flagellation as if such things can exist on the same spectrum. A feather and the whole chicken. It was once described as the difference between erotica and pornography, but from where I stand it is all the same but for the want of a bird.

My dreams incriminate me. I spend my mornings wracked by them. By afternoon I am bored of my dissection of fantasy and capable of dismissing the whole thing. By the evening I am dreading the next dream, the next transgression. I have the hair suit ready and the cat-o-nine-tails and my back is red and raw from the beating I have just recovered from, but there is always tomorrow and tomorrow.

I am sorry for my boy and for the current obsession, the lad or lady who I have an eye for. I am sorry for my lewd thoughts and the flirtation and the blah blah boring blah and I am hunkered down and ready for the weight of the world to fall on me but it does not.

"It is just a fantasy" they tell me. "Hurts no one." But I am exhausted by my constant and repetitive transgressions. I am tired by the disappointments that they offer me as I imagine that I might be desired and discover that, to my eternal amazement, I am not.

Their loss, I tell myself, their myopic misunderstanding - as they shrug and tell me about the other women who are foremost in their minds. Yes. I am the shoulder to lean on. I am the gay-best-friend. I am the unattractive receptacle for your hopes and fears, but I am getting disillusioned with my familiar role. I am wanting more than this, just once. Just this once. I want to be the desired as well as the desiring one, and still I know it is too much to ask as I have nothing at all to offer in return.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


So it is play, this laughing of skin on skin. It is not the adult kind of love that you see at the movies. It is all chase and grab and for a time we are too busy catching our breath to put the condoms on at all.

"You don't take this seriously," he tells us and we don't, at least I don't. Later, when we are done with him, I wake from a kind of leap-frogging dream that is all clapping games and sex and nuzzling and they are coupling, the boys, my boys. I watch through barely open eyes as they move on and in each other silently. They are trying not to wake me and I humour them. I am careful not to change the rhythm of my breath, but I watch their seriousness. This is like a love scene in the movies. This is like pornography, the steady, quiet intensity of their actions, the meaningul glances, the serious set of their mouths. It seems like no fun at all, and yet I am aroused by it, this sex that happens when I am not around. If I were to wake we would all be giggling like girls, my boys and I. My sex play. My play. I am here for comic relief. My riotous sexuality.

Some nights I dream that I am someone different. Some solemn beautiful creature with waterfall hair and a body that can not be joked about. Some nights I long for that imaginary self and the awe that I would inspire, but in the morning I will return to myself and I will make them laugh and wrestle and come and that is almost enough for me and almost enough for them too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

recurring theme

This recurring moment of jealousy is a nail in my head. I watched that done once, actually, a nail hammered into a nasal cavity. The audience agape. Then there is trepanning, a tiny drill and all the pressure suddenly removed. I am carving into myself with this migrainous jealous thudding into my own skull. Jealous of her beauty, jealous of his talent, jealous of someone else's success. I hold the hammer in my angry fist and I thump it till I am in pieces. I am waiting for the sweet relief that this must surely bring me, this deconstruction of myself. I tear peices off me like a grieving wife. I thump my chest. I ululate. I take my room apart. I tear my work to pieces. I throw my canvasses out into the rain where they may be ruined. I fling myself out into the danger of the world and watch myself free fall into the biley reek of jealousy. I am not enough for me it seems. I am not nearly enough.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Running Away

When I stopped running I was in a park. Light fell like snow onto the grass. Solid light. This is what I noticed first, the painterly manner of the light. The park was beautiful. The trees were solid patches of darkness. I had somehow run myself out of the world and here I was in a painting by Edward Hopper, an in between place of flat shapes and silence and all the panic drained out and dissipated. It was a perfect summer evening. My eyes were still red and sore from weeping. My chest was still tight. Behind me was the memory of a storm, not a gentle storm, but the kind that rips the roof off a house and flings cars into a flooded street. Sirens, screaming, bodies ripped from the hands of lovers and raced away into the turmoil of a drowning.

I sat on one of the well lit benches and there was a downy light in my lap. I had picked up my satchel before running and there was a book and a pad of cartridge paper and my little box of pastels and a pen. Everything I needed for a while at least. I was a small vessel and I could bob here in the calm waters until some other vessel came along.

I sat until the boiled kettle shrieking in my head had settled. I sipped the silence and felt myself relax into the void. I could stay here, of course, calcifying moment by slow moment. I could spend the rest of my life sitting in glorious silence on this very bench.

I thought about sex. If I were to live here forever on this bench in this park that might have been painted by Hopper, I would need to find somewhere else to have sex.

I had had sex in this park. I glanced around me and found the spot, a place near a tree, on a scratchy bed of leaves. My body remembered the crackle of them, the shill of air on my thighs as the boy flipped up my long skirt and slipped inside me just as quickly. The small half-hearted tussle between him and me. The shrugging into sex despite the fact that it was daylight and there were offices and people readying themselves to spill out from their air-conditioned comfort and into this very park. It was quick and kind of fun although I didn't really like him very much, and I didn't orgasm. I remembered that.

So yes, I could in fact have sex in this park, or in the toilet block or in the shrubbery hugging the fence a little way from my bench. In fact the shubbery could be a place to sleep, I suspected, all snuggled and scrubby and safe. I could sleep in the comfort of crawl spaces, under shrubs, in cupboards, hidden under a bed. This was my preferred sleeping option actually. A water fountain too. There was one just near to me. All the comforts of a house without the rigid trap of walls to ricochet off. No flatmates to watch and judge me. No address to be found at, just a series of comforting spaces with grass and trees and the scent of night jasmine and all this blissful silence.

I looked around me now as if I were inspecting a property that I might purchase. Yes. I thought. I could just stay here.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Understandings and Misunderstandings

So it is easy to misinterpret. There are so many ways to look at a thing that has been said, especially when the thing is turned over and picked at and played with till it is smooth and devoid of its initial context. So please assume I meant it like that unless I specifically tell you otherwise.

The good thing about fucking is that it is not open to misinterpretation. I miss the clean friendships that were communicated in my clean, naked bedroom. I miss the lack of explanation, the easily communicated burn of desire. This other thing, this intimacy of words is complicated. I have not mastered it. I turn away from a conversation and I think maybe my brutal honesty was not clear enough. Maybe there was a hint of subtext when there is no subtext, maybe I should have added subtext to make me seem less shallow, more mysterious.

If only I could remove my skin and press the bloody mess of my organs into your understanding. If only you were me, or in my head, or could see inside me, x-ray vision and all my thoughts cut out and spilled on the ground like dropped fruit. If only this were a world where we could just fuck willy-nilly, the easy communication of the act, the "I love you like this" which leaves no room for the complexities of human emotion.

But it was never like that, was it? It was always 'he said, she said' and a Chinese whispering of hands and genitals and little fish kisses heavy with misunderstandings. So we must struggle on with all of this hearsay and gossip coming from our own mouths and trickling into our own ears and hope that somewhere amongst it all there will be some small connection and we will wake up feeling just fine and potentially optimistic.

shedding clothes

Spring or summer or some such sun-drenched time of year. I smell mock orange and at night there is the crisp white sweetness of night jasmine. I am embalmed in scent. I am heavy as morphine, my lungs filled with heat haze, my eyes filled with the flesh of young women. Shoe string straps, new tans, pillowy young skin opening its new petalled nakedness. On days like today I regret my inability to touch. My senses are filled, but my skin longs to share in the sensual stimulation. I want to brush against people, fill my arms with hugs I want to lay my hand on the shoulders of the young girls and smell the hint of their sugary perfume clinging to my hands. I want to rub fresh sweat against my pulse points. I want to be cradled and leaned against and danced with.

I bump against him and I flinch. My predictable reaction to other human beings.

That time I left without hugging. I wanted to hug, but I held my bicycle between his body and my own, a protective barrier. A sheild. Now I regret.

Still there is a thin breeze and it touches me and it is like somebodies hand and it has the scent of flowers on it. Good as a touch. Good as a hug. I regret the lack of a hug.

Next time I will. Next time.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Maybe I am wrong

Maybe he is right and music touches closer than the written word. Certainly I feel the pain of this. Of beating my head against the keyboard, honing something awkward and clumsy into something smaller, but still awkward, still clumsy.

140 days of sex and all I have to say about it is that it was done and that I quite liked it. I learned nothing from any of it. I am myself as I always was still the clumsy awkward child hunkered down between the speakers and the music getting closer to it than the thousands of words. 140 days of sex and still I have written nothing that could be called beautiful. Pissing syllables into the ocean.

I want to say 'there is no point to it.' I want to say 'we are, I am so small and mean nothing ultimately'. I want to say 'we fucked and it passed the time and then one day we died and none of it was worth the poetry.' I want to tell you that the words dissolve in the getting on with things, in the hollowing out of mountains, in the rising tides, in the trudge towards the grand destruction. I want to say all this but in a way that will touch you and make you feel that you have come to these ideas alongside me. I want to trick you into thinking that you are not alone when we all are, endlessly and pointlessly insignificant.

But words fail me.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Maybe I slept with Him

I do remember him. I remember that he has a famous name, the same as an actor or a singer or perhaps a playwright. I remember that he borrowed my friend's novel and that he never returned it. I remember that he lived with her for a while and they became friends, the kind of friends who see each other every day till one of them moves on and then not at all.
There is something in his grin that suggests that perhaps we knew each other in other ways. I trawl back through my memory but there is nothing tangible. It is possible of course. It is always possible. I remember that he moved up north and that someone said he was doing well.

"Are you doing well?" I ask.

"Oh yes."

He is doing well.

"So." he says with that same knowing grin. "I'll see you another time." And then he is off.

She tells me that I slept with him and I am sure she is right, but it is a gaping chasm in my memory. I don't remember where it was or how we came to it. I don't remember the size and shape of him or whether it was just the once or a series of meetings.

'The Bone People' by Keri Hulme. That is the book that he did not return to my friend and she was cross about it. He had a famous name, but although my friend reminded me and I said "of course", I have forgotten it again. He is like sand in my memory and a scant few pieces of him have caught in my filtration of our shared history, but nothing more.

Slicing Up Eyeballs

An eyeball he tells me, and I know exactly what he means. It is the texture of it, an egg is almost there, but an eyeball is more visceral. I think of agar agar, wallpaper paste, oyster mushrooms, muscles and oysters and octopus and so many kinds of bottom feeders. I think of sex, the burrowing into, the juice of a cunt or a young coconut, the textures that squeak under your back teeth or that stick to your pallette with an exquisite sensation that might be slightly distasteful.

Eggs and eyeballs and sex and somewhere the whiff of decay. I understand the erotic potential of this perfect combination not just a metaphor but the objects themselves.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


The urge to unveil greater and greater secrets, to expose myself one misdemeanor at a time. Here is a darkened room and a woman hidden in the lack of light. We see her when she chooses to illuminate us. She switches on the light and we see her clothed in many layers. She is swaddled tight in every piece of clothing that she owns. We see the whole package and therefore we see nothing but the outer layer. We wonder about her skin but only fleetingly. Her bones are hidden beneath the surface. The excavation would be laborious.

This is a strange but fascinating striptease. With the light turned up my systematic undressing is available to any casual glance. I leave an invitation to the dance in various venues. My exhibitionist urges see me leafleting the bathroom at the BAFTAs. A writer's festival, a cafe, a bookshop. I slip a note into the kicked and scarred metal grille of a telephone box in London, my own striptease beside the other nudges and winks from various naked, prostrate girls. I drop my notices on a train in the outer suburbs.
I remove the pieces of clothing one by one and when it seems that I am naked, I slip the veil of nakedness from myself like a catsuit and there is more flesh beneath. We will never come to the end of it. I am set to a continuous striptease loop.

There is a scene in a film by Hanneke where a man plays a table tennis machine. The rhythm of his strokes is hypnotic, the hollow clacking of the ping pong ball when he misses. There is a momentary break in the sound of it and it is the pause that we focus on, the relief of a break in what might have been a hypnotic loop of sound.

I think of this as I sit with my computer day by day, a loop of breasts and arseholes and semen and vaginal juices. Sex and sex and sex and sex until flesh itself becomes the disguise that I am hidden behind.

In the Hanneke film the young man glances down from a high window in the building. He glances up once more from a place on the pavement. We are told nothing, but we know that he is imagining the fall.

I glance back at the hundred and something days of sex and sex and sex. I gaze ahead to the empty moments that are left to fill, the evenings when I will climb back into the frame of my high window and turn the light back on and peel off the layers of my nude-suit one by one. My hypnotic rhythm.

I tell you nothing as I am revealed, but still i wonder if perhaps I have revealed it all.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


He was shaking.

It was flattering to see him like this, his shy inability to meet the fierceness of my gaze. The blush that started on his neck and raced down his chest. A surprisingly strong chest for someone who spends his life at the computer or locked in a room with a group of boys playing dungeons and dragons. He had that kind of wiry strength that emerges from the veil of clothing as a pleasant surprise. He glanced up at me briefly, gratefully. He seemed surprised to be here with me at all. And there was that shy penis, hiding in its foreskin. An strange new piece of male anatomy that I had never seen before. He shuddered when I sucked on it. He seemed to feel every small movement of my tongue. He eased my head away when I became to fierce in my attentions. His tender shy penis, a pleasant surprise hiding beneath the horror show of 80's clothing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


A Stereotype is: a process, now often replaced by more advanced methods, for making metal printing plates by taking a mold of composed type or the like in papier-mâché or other material and then taking from this mold a cast in type metal.

I am a process of moulding and remoulding

I am a replica of myself presented to the world in a form that is repeatable.

I am not myself and yet I am repeated and repeated day after day in stories that are like the original in all ways and yet, when examined close up you will find that I am not present in the representation of myself. I am not here and no one knows me. I have been 'known' by so many and yet they each have their own distinct and untrue image imprinted on their skin. I am not there and maybe I was never there to know.

It is an unlikely confidant who listens to the secret fears and insecurities. He sees me as I see myself, another illusion perhaps, the gnomic ugliness of my inner monologue twisting the reality into something that others may not recognise.

He knows that I am my own worst enemy, taking the mold, casting, re-molding, the vapid repetition of my sex, a cunt repeated and repeatable like a piece of yoni jewelry made in bronze. I fuck therefore I am. My mouth drips expletives, my body sheds the memories of hands and tongues and penises, a drift that falls in my wake like dandruff, dry and shapeless white noise.

The sex is nothing to me. The sex is sex. It always has been sex. The secret things, the longings and the insecurities, the picking at my own frayed sanity is reserved for those I call upon in the hour of need, a tiny inner circle. One person at a time. Someone who listens to the car wreck of my life, over and over, each head-on collision paring me down to basics. Brain-stem function, knee jerk reaction. My friend. My secret friend. My imaginary friend. Until that friend has watched the traffic accident of my life so often that they bore of their role as spectator. Then they turn and walk away and I am left to my butting against my life, alone and unobserved.

Monday, September 1, 2008


The first thing I bought was a bed. A bed and sheets. I had an image in my head of silk sheets, thick and heavy. Sheets that you could wrap your naked flesh in and have pleasure just from the shrouding. The satin was a concession to my status as a student. The sheets were cheap but they were a bright red and they looked beautiful and felt quite nice until the airlessness of synthetic fibres dragged a fine layer of sweat from my skin.

A bed was more difficult. I wanted something large, some king sized wonder of engineering. I wanted a bed for languid fucking. Something that you could spend months on, a virtual boat of a bed, pillows like marshmallows, smelling faintly of expensive perfume.

Maybe I didn't think it through. I decided on a waterbed on someone else's recommendation. There was the glitz of porno-chic that appealed to me. An excessiveness that suited. I imagined a thousand liquid nights and the delight of a back and forth rocking, a boat tied to the shore, but still caught by a gentle tide, tugging me towards a boundless ocean.

We lay on the bed and the ice cold caught me in the kidneys. I shivered. The thing would take 24 hours to warm up. I was determined to have sex on it despite this, but the positioning was impossible. If you lay on your back there was the issue of the cold. If you knelt there was the impossibility of the waves, each little thrust caught on a tide and magnified in a series of ever larger ripples. It made us laugh. It made us tumble over onto our sides, in this position we took to shivering. We put on jumpers, coats, socks. We made a wooly bundle of our bodies leaving peepholes in the layers through which to touch each other. We spent a joyous time experimenting with the oceanic roll of waves. There was much laughter, but at the end of it all we climbed down onto the carpet, shedding layers of winter woollies on the way and we burned our knees on the old short pile. We lay on the post-coital carpet and I dragged the satin sheets off the bed and they were too hot and made us sweat and gifted me with dreams of abandoned babies, lost to a shoe box in the cupboard. I woke and rolled over onto the hard ache of the space beside him and I told him about the dream and my dissapointment of the sheets and the fact that I had probably spent everything I had on a kingsized bed that I couldn't fuck in.

"We'll fuck on the floor." He pulled me to him and he had the most beautiful clear blue eyes, full of a need for me to like him. I liked him. I lay on the floor beside my waterbed and I shut my eyes tight and I hugged and I wondered if I had finally come home.