Saturday, February 28, 2009


Something so sweet about that new sex, that awkward fumbling, that unskilled vague reaching in the general direction. Something exciting about the near misses, wondering if he will find your clitorus eventually, wondering if she will ever put her finger right inside you, wondering if, at the end you will spit or swallow. The nervous laughter, the embarassment of incompetence. I will look at this young kind of sex with nostalgic fondness. I will long for it because I will never again be in this position. This safe sure sexuality. This workmanlike satisfaction, sure orgasms, this lack of insecurity, this easy abandon.

I look at photos of them, all the baby love, new sex, blossoming bodies in terror of each other and I long to go back there, to the beginning of it all. Like reading The Virgin Suicides for the first time, coming to it fresh and green and full of wonder.

Friday, February 27, 2009

back back back

They are all back. They are all bodies, variously beautiful and different. They are all people who have touched me and run, a game of tag, a hide and seek with me still counting. They are back and we regroup, slowly, and with great effort. I have found something in their absense and I will not let this go, but it will change. It will become less urgent. It will find it's natural place and I will settle into the idea of chastity. They are back and perhaps this takes the pressure off. I am distracted by the flailing of other swimmers. Still I hold your han in the churn of the wider ocean and we remain afloat, together. We remain together. This is my hope for it. This is what I need from it. Together but sparate and without the need for all this sleep-destroying angst.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


You are back and there is no conversation about it yet. It is unimportant now. I have moved on and on again. I feel so tired that it seems possible that I have changed my ways. Certainly I have no energy for random anger and sex is a thought I cannot finish. Strangely I have the energy to care, a warm love, and a gentle sense of regret. The ones I love. This small handful of nice things, little birds warm in my palm. I love you. I say it and I know it is true. I love you and we share history and that firey torment of my erratic sexuality has been paused. You will be glad to know this. I am in sleep mode. I am a slow winking light like that little glow at the front of my laptop, a closed shell, but with a heart still beating.

hiding behind the tree

some girls, she says are just so pretty and sweet and shy that they do not threaten men. They just stand there and boys chase them. They are to be chased. She says that if she and I were to stand behind a tree waiting to be chased, we would still be standing there when we were 60. Girls like us who know what we want and ask for it. Girls who seem to frighten men. She nods to me as a fellow frightener but I am not so certain that this is true. I am too easily coerced.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

No will power

We do not change. We are born with what we will have throughout our lives. When I was a child I would struggle to maintain my rage. I would be excluded from a game or would remain on the sidelines when team sports were played, and yet, if the same sporty girls needed help with an assignment I would be there for them, grudgingly, but there.

I am not really into you, they say, while they are inside me. Some kind of post-coital confession, and I feel sad. The sex was always fine, good, excellent at times. I would think, that is it. No more. I will never put myself in this position again. I would practice the word "no" and then, when the time came, I would be unable to utter it. Another chance. I will always give them another chance. I will not learn from the mistakes of the past. I will bound towards the foot that has just kicked me. I'm sorry, I will say, I didn't mean to protect my ego at the expense of yours. This is my fundamental nature.

Monday, February 23, 2009

small concerns.

All done with love. How did this happen so suddenly. How is it that I sat within touching distance of you and was not overwhelmed by your scent. This thing gone stale perhaps, the scent of unwashed sheets and a general emotional listing towards decay. Still I love you in a different way. Always this love that is less fierce, this care for you. I care for you. But the sex was not there the last time we met and there is no longer the same kind of urgent longing. I am not wet when my knee touches yours on the bus. I do not want to bury my head in your neck. I look at your lap, your morning-glory buried beneath the taught sheet and I do not want to press myself against you. I want nothing but to make you coffee and hug you when you are sad and to chat, often, and honestly. How did this happen so quickly and will it last. Will I be sad if it lasts. Will I be lost and lonely alone with my small world and it's ever so small concerns?

drunk and responsible for a blog

Drunk and let loose on a keyboard. The terrible temptation to post. The rampant honesty that comes from one too many wines. The awful, awful self-deprecation. The sensation that I am not of or for this world. I stand at a little distance and I hear myself say 'I am frightened that I will be judged. I write about sex and I am not sexy'. I say this and I know that it is a terrible thing to say. I am indeed sexy. Close your eyes, open your ears, step away from the everyday mundanity of what you expect and I am here. Look at me I am here, drunk perhaps, sad perhaps, rejected perhaps but really, here I am behind that big fuck you that I am holding up to the world. Hiding here. Me. Here. Now. Why don't you see me? I am naked to the world. I am the best you will get.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

320 Days of sex

for 320 days I have written about sex. Some of it bad, no doubt some of it average, some of it only vaguely related to the act. I have spoken of love more often than I would have liked. I have become romantic. I have lost myself in my idea of 'other'. I have forgotten that sex is about sex. I have mixed myself up with the idea of longing. That falling in love feeling that is impossible to replicate.

I am never the object of desire, not yours or anyone elses. I am the overlooked. I am the undervalued and the sad fact is that I am the first to undervalue myself. This thin skin an open mouth to suck the goodness out of life. This hard-working, hard-loving, streak of forward motion. This insect that hovered before you, hoping to be longed for and netted. This me, that now launches off into the rest of my wild ride, disentangling myself from mediocrity.

If I were outside myself. If I were single. I hope that I would reach out when I saw myself passing, ablaze and erratic and head-long into the night. I hope that I would overlook the physicality which I have to admit is a poor package. I hope that I would spot myself and catch myself and reel myself in because I am a feast. I am a particular mix of flavours that will never be repeated. I am a once in a lifetime degustation.

And if you didn't move quickly, then it would be too late, because, already, I am gone.

Norman Creek

Once upon a time, the time, the time I have written about. We are talking about the time when I would do whatever I thought before it occurred to me not to do it. The spontaneous time of my life. The time before promises, when the only rule was to try to be nice and kind and inclusive. Upon this time, once, I would have taken my kayak down Norman Creek, a bottle of vodka thudding in the fibreglass hull, an evening gown trailing in the foetid water. This was the time of evening gowns worn willy-nilly as if they were shorts and tshirts, making every dull moment an occasion. Evening gowns in vacant lots, evening gowns in derelict houses, evening gowns in kayaks.

I didn't own a kayak, but Norman Creek would have been my favourite destination. I love it even now, with it's overhang of weedy branches, the houseboats, the creak and groan of wood settling against the mouldy dock. I love the rank smell of it, the animal reek, the idea of rats and bats and fish grown ugly and gorgeous from the chemical runoff from city streets.

I kayak now and I know that once I would have settled up against that jetty where the man sits, a paperback crack-backed in his lap, his trousers too short, his hair out of fashion. I would have slipped up onto the dock and told him that I was from nowhere and being no one I could easily take him in my mouth and suck him, there on the dock but only with the promise of a splintered tumble at the end of it. Back then in the once upon a time I carried condoms in my purse. It would have been an evening bag with sequins and a little notebook to draw in. Oil pastels wrapped in greaseproof paper, but the condom would be coloured sepia despite this. When I put it in my mouth and edged it down the stranger's penis, gently metering it out with my lips, I would taste the colour of it, the smell of linseed oil mixing with the smell of damp and hidden flesh, that wormy sex smell, that reedy creek odour that I love so dearly.

I long for the once upon the time because of sweet freedom, but here and now I have the sudden urge to survive, and back then there was a recklessness that flung me into the arms of danger, flirting with eternity.

Now, here, I have the kayak for comfort, and the creek still waits and so too the man, who at one point I might have undressed so casually and carelessly and after, paddled on. All potential still exists and I can rub up against it, a half kiss, a chaste passing, a paused moment when we lie in the same bed or wave to each other, him from the dock, me from my kayak, and then the oar dips and I move on towards home. Towards the great solid rock off my life that might drown me if I kick it, out of my kayak and into the water.

A touch and a wave and a half kiss and I remain safe in the present, with my once upon a time dragging slightly like a rudder, steering me away from shallow waters, sharp rocks, and the wake of the City Cat which might unseat me if I approach it from the wrong angle.


now things have changed I am dusting off my pornography. Next time, when the mood takes me you will not be enough. Next time I will be alone with this as I was always alone. You were an illusion. You were nothing but smoke and mirrors. This is my hand, my cunt, my sticky sweet viscosity. This is all for me and by me and I am reclaiming it now. You did not want it, do not want it and it is a loss that you will not mourn.

Gone now. mine now, selfishly hoarded. This damp pleasure, this thing which is for me alone.

Friday, February 20, 2009


What I have learned:

You lay out the opportunities. You make space for the impossible to become possible. At the end of all of this, if there is nothing, then there was nothing.

If someone is not attracted to you that does not make you unattractive.

There is little, if anything you can do about the way you look. There is a great deal you can do about the way you feel.

No one gives you orgasms like yourself, nobody.

Great art will always be more permanent than great sex.

Your affection is finite. Choose the recipients wisely. If they do not reciprocate, move on before too much is wasted.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


sex makes you happy. You are happy. Even my stress and bother and the anger that comes from abstinance does not seem to penetrate your glow. I am glad from you. I am sad for me. I am wasting my time with this lack of romance, this dry cold barrenness. This unsexy state of unrequited desire.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

silent sex

'You can't write about the sex we have', he says and so he muzzles me. Instead, I write about desire and longing and sometimes love, which is not my natural state. It seems, that I have been without the actual act of sex since I partnered up and hunkered down but this is not the case. I have bought into the myth that we age into abstinence. My writing is nostalgic. There is a sense of longing. The glory days. The days of sex when now all I have is silence.

There is sex now, even now. Even when the younger ones imagine that it is all games of bridge and tea parties and bare foot bowls. You grow old and you have sex, still, not as often as you would like perhaps, but still, every now and then after much cajoling and mostly with a great deal of joy. One day, perhaps I will write about this. One day when I am sick of adhering to every rule that is set for me. I will do this because we have sex when we get old. My friends who are mostly blinded by the hot light of their youth, could never picture this. I need to draw it for them. I need to step out from behind the coy drapes that you have hung around me. I am not pretty I am not young and still I have sex.

Once I saw it at a film festival, older women making love. Older than me and I was creeping up to the age I am now. I heard the inward breath of the audience, old women do not make love without this kind of frightened gasping from those who see it.

We grow into our silence. We become invisible.

love stuff

Intellectually I know that I am just replicating the idea of falling in love. The drug that replaces chocolate. The hearts and flowers pap that is easy to digest. Comfort food. I fall in love over and over and over and they are just people I admire. Just my friends. Just the people I should be meeting for a beer, a wink and a nod, and if I were pretty and young as they are pretty and young I would fall in love and float on the buoyant current and just drift off into my life. It is my insecurity that anchors me to something that should be easy. I am held down by the idea that I will never be seen in the same light as the pretty girls.

I take a hacksaw to the chain and I am unmoored. I am raging out into a turbulent sea.

I don't want to look at and buy art, I want to paint.

I don't want to go to concerts I want to shriek out into the night.

I will not sit and wait to be picked I have picked myself and I have taken myself in hand and I am romancing and romanced. Champagne for one in the park by the river, a picnic that only I attend, I am taking the time to enjoy my body without the need for your approval. Just me and myself and an evening spent in my own hands.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

the sex I don't have

He opens the door to me and I kiss him, once, quickly, to get this thing out of the way. It is a kiss that will last a second but somehow it does not stop as it should, it becomes a hungry open-mouthed thing that colonises my whole body. A kiss that I feel in my groin, a kiss that I will think about for years.

But of course this does not happen. Nothing happens. That is not the life I am leading and he isn't attracted to me anyway.

We wander out onto the grass and we lie there with the sun on our cheeks and all the sky and it is a small thing to hold hands. Just a simple linking of fingers, but the gravitational force of such a contact sees me rolling onto him and into him, the irresistible merging of flesh to flesh the wearing away of the edges of things, the transgression that leaves us both shaking with the force of such seismic shifts in the solid state of the earth.

But of course this does not happen. Nothing happens. That is not the life I am leading and he isn't attracted to me anyway.

I remove my clothing and slide into the water. I am naked and he is watching me naked and surprisingly he is not repulsed by the thick unlovliness of my body. I am a fact, exposed. I am what I am and I am mostly nerve-endings and quick, passionate responses. I am all mouth and cunt and there is nothing but warm dampness and desire. He reaches a hand, breaks the surface of the water. I am floating within reach. He reaches. I bob into the cup of his palm and let the tide caress me into his hand and into my pleasure.

But none of this happens. He does not desire me not even for a moment. And I do not desire the repercussions of stray fantasies made flesh. I am not that kind of person despite my own nature. In spite of myself, I have become someone else, this dry husk of what I might have been, this puff of dust, this memory, this person who touches the water, fully-clothed, with her fingertip and says aloud that it might be nice to swim.

So I am not myself any more. I am someone else, but I am not sure who that other self may be.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I found a girl who makes me feel good about myself. She makes me want to run and jump onto things and off things. She is someone I want to follow and lead all at once. I have only a passing desire for her but I could develop something more substantial if I put my mind to it. I could allow myself some relief from what I have thrown at myself. I do not feel ugly around her. I feel relieved of some great weight. For the duration of one beer or two I do not judge myself. I would try but fail to shake myself free of what I have begun with other friends, but she is an addition that will bring a welcome perspective. She is part of my armory. She is my sharp weapon against the world. She is all edges and angles and I cannot see my way into a sexual tussle with her without the benefit of some kind of chain mail armour, but I will sleep on it. I will dream. I will whittle away the excess skin and flesh and flab that hides her skeleton inside me. I will settle into her and see how it makes me feel.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I want to run down to the water and swim naked. I want to do this with a girl or with no one and it is better if it is raining or threatening to rain. Best at shark feeding time when there is an edge of threat and an unmistakable excitement. If I am there with a girl I will hug her hips at the crest of a wave, I will tangle my thighs with her thighs and we will not make love but the friction our bodies make against each other is excitement enough. If I am alone I will touch myself boldly beneath the swell and fuck them all if they see me in the moment of pleasure, it is their problem for watching. I am furious today.

I am back to the part of my endless cycle of emotions where I am riding high on anger, knowing that I am being judged by all those cute little cardigan girls who care more about who is looking at them than about what they might say if they are spoken to. I am 40 years old and this means they can all go play their coy little games. When I was the age that they are now they were judging me for my brashness and my honesty and my impolite size and weight, and now, two decades later, they are still judging me and for the same reasons only now we can add that I am old.

The cardigan girls: when they speak it is nothing to listen to, it is vacuous, it is naive and non-threatening for all those heterosexual boys who like that kind of thing. They look pretty though, we must give them that, but I am not anywhere near their subset. I have no point of connection. Winter is coming and I refuse to buy a cardigan.

Also I have given away my jacket that I bought because she looked so pretty in an identical one. I have lost my only two pairs of matching bras and knickers. The brown lipstick that I bought because you liked it better than red, does nothing for me. I can be no one but myself it seems, and you know what? I am fine, better than fine. I am the girl who is swimming alone in the ocean and masturbating under the waves and drawing in her sketchpad and looking hefty but somehow interesting and maybe not pretty, but certainly there is an odd kind of beauty there. I have beautiful eyes, I have a nice voice, I make beautiful art. You can keep your pretty cardigan girls and I will be happy alone with the ocean.

walking home in the rain

This is why married women who are almost forty do not go out to see bands with friends half their age. First there is the odd conversation with the Indian cab driver about the disposal of corpses in which somehow, my body shape is likened to that of both a seal and a dugong. in the time it takes to slide between one suburb and another. Then there is the line-up at the door where everyone is carded except me. Then there is the fact that I have more income than my student friends and it seems morally wrong to let them buy me a drink even though I have already bought them one or two. Then there is this pairing off, this settling into coupledom that will leave me walking home in the now pouring rain when they are all settling into cabs, snuggling up beside each other warm and dry in the hug of intimacy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

valentines day

all that trouble with flowers, double the price and half as special. all the awkward displays of public affection. all the ugly school girls left with nothing to pin on their uniforms when all the pretty girls have been gifted the heart-shaped badges. all that pressure to be loved or to love. all that angst and longing. all the loneliness. the feeling of failure when you do not have sex and everyone else is peeling back clothing and submerging themselves in the scent of one another.

the awkward hug of something irreparably broken. the sadness of things unsaid, kisses bitten back, crushes that have been crushed by rough handling. this flat grey valentine's day. this full stop. this dead thing, overblown and leaking petals onto an unswept floor.

Not talking about the spa bath

You are there.

It is late and I am sleepless and you are there on my screen, a little box with your word there. Hi. And I imagine it is said with a kind of bounce. Just one word but there is a kind of energy about it that makes me think you are grinning. I had decided not to speak with you.

I have decided not to speak with you.


Because we fought.

Did we?

There is no voice to the line of text that appears on the screen but I imagine your innocent upward inflection. You seem so keen and quick and gormless. I remind you that you like the only three girls who dislike me.

Oh, I like everyone, you tell me, and I believe that it is true.

Did you see the spa bath? I ask you. If I had stayed the night I might have had a spa bath.

Yeah, you say, me too.

A silence can't be awkward on the Internet. A silence is an indication that one person or another is busy looking up a website, or answering an email or ducking off to the kitchen for another glass of wine. Still, I imagined that the minutes that followed this, empty of conversation were a kind of embarrassed silence. Certainly I filled them with the idea that the two of us might have stripped down to our underwear and eased ourselves into the spa. Twin glasses perched on the sudsy lip of the bath, and talk about the difference between short stories and a novel, the way a story circles around a single thought, the multiple thoughts and voices of a longer work. I am playing the scene out in my head when you type, I am on the phone, and I realise that you would never want to share a spa bath with me, clothed or otherwise. You are much younger than I am. You see me as an elder, someone interesting to talk to but nothing even remotely sexual about it. It is time perhaps to admit that I have developed a little crush on you, despite the way you sometimes annoy me in real life. I know as well that if I keep this thing a secret that it will grow in size and intensity until it becomes unbearable. You are on the phone. This is why there is a gaping hole in our conversation, but suddenly the silence is deafening.

OK then I should go.


yes. Maybe we'll meet in real life again some time.

next week.


Thursday evening?



And then I close my computer and you are gone.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Last night.

You will leave with this girl.

You are single and she is pretty and we did not arrive together and there is no reason for you to be anywhere but here, leaning across this dirty café table scalding this young girl in the blaze of your attention. You are charming. I have been charmed. Now it is her turn to be flattered into wide-eyed adoration. You will leave with her and our other friends will sidle up to their temporary partners and drift off into the dawn. It is one in the morning and it is drizzling, and our flat is less than an hours walk away.

I stand and leave the table unnoticed. The rain comes harder when I am at the first set of traffic lights. There are rivulets of it finding the contours of my cheeks. No one has noticed my departure. This is a game and the teams have been selected and I am here at the edge of things, watching for a while, leaving, finding my way home.

At the venue there were bands and I felt like dancing but they don’t seem to dance anymore, this younger, cooler generation. A night of sitting quietly in corners, the tapping of feet. Every one so young and self-aware and beautiful.

The rain is heavier the further I trudge towards home. My dress clings to my body. The night is reflected in sad, damp puddles that lick at the edges of my shoes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I remember the flattening out of things, the wash that is painted over the canvass. The vivid colours ease back to a sepia. Everything seen at a little distance like looking at an old nostalgic photograph. The teeth of the world are pulled, the talons retracted. I walk out into things and it is as if I am navigating inside a jumping castle. I bounce off life unscathed.

I look at a bowl of fruit now, un-medicated and there is a sudden image of those vivid limes inserted one by one into my vagina. This is an ordinary kind of response. I walk past a tray of peaches and my nipples prick at the thought of my breasts held naked against the sweet fur. This is how I live my life. The world is virile. Everything I touch becomes a part of my need for sex. I am used to it. I see the limes an I feel the quick contraction of my muscles and I walk on without acting on the initial urge. I assume that this is how we all are, struggling moment by moment to keep our sex at arms length.

The antidepressants hid the erotic potential of inanimate objects from me. A peach became a peach. A lime was for squeezing into a glass of water or for cooking. And sex was fine. Possible. Enjoyable. Fine. But each orgasm became a little thing, a cartoon of its true self, perfect in height and length but lacking breadth. I remember the ordinariness of sex on antidepressants. I remember my inability to write anything of any value. I had lost my edge, and with it went my grand passions. I liked and was liked but there was no tragic love or desperate lust, and so I am wary of it now. Perhaps, I think, and maybe, before I break every fragile relationship I value. Before I fire up on a book tour and open my mouth to let the horror of my insecurities vomit out into the world. Before I become paralysed with the terror of this thing that I have longed for all my life and that will finally come true. Maybe I should just take the antidepressants.

I pick up a lime and I cradle it on my palm and I sniff it and if it weren't for the painters in my courtyard I would consummate because in this moment this lime is the centre of the universe and if I am not intimate with it immediately I may die. If I were on the drugs it would be just a lime and I would slice it and drink it and that would be the end of it. I am not on the drugs and there is still the relative privacy of the bathroom with its fogged window and its closed door.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

new skin

after this long my skin is a new thing. All the cells that remember your fingers have been rubbed away. This is virgin territory, your hands on my new back. And this new skin I am in is hungy for it. The game I had planned is forgotten in this race to put your new skin on mine and in mine. I am all moist openings and hungry breath. I am no time at all. I am a hurry. No and Not Yet are words that my new lips have forgotten. I take you hurriedly and without pause. You struggle to keep pace with me. I am on my own trajectory and you scramble to stay with me on this afternoon, after so much wait, and with the sunlight filtered through the coy slat blinds licking patterns on our new naked flesh.

The ending

There is no neat ending because I am not the kind of person who is easy with endings. You could make one for me. You almost did. I am the queen of coming in late and getting out early. I leave an untidy mess in my wake. Now I am not sure why it was almost over. I am already forgetting. I have stopped crying. It is a new week.

I have reneged on all my promises it seems. The start of a new week. The crossing of the lines that I had put in place.

Nothing changes. Nothing ever changes. So soon, I will return to talk of sex. Enough with this love stuff. Enough with this terrible emotional rollercoaster. It seems that I have returned to my natural state. Nothing changes and there is no ending.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Long night to come

Another morning. Another dawn edging at the back of the night before. My beautiful boy, my love, in bed and stretching out into the empty space beside him. My absense, because this time, again, I will be awake with you. There is space of course in such long night to interrupt the conversation with the kind of intimacies that I have imagined. There is the potential to stop and kiss and touch and move this into something more ordinary. Instead we talk about books and film and the structure of things. You and I stick to the places where we speak with one voice. You are me for this one night and with this multiplying of my self I become less lonely.

This is not an end. At dawn we part and there is a time for us to stand and hug. I breathe in the tired and happy smell of your neck, your physical self. I am all longing, but now for once I recognise this for what it is. You are my friend and I love you. There is nothing better than this. So what we have will grow and change and become better each time we meet. I go back to my life just a little more enriched with each dawn we find together. You are my friend and I love you, a strong and enduring familial love. In this soon to be dawn we link fingers. You kiss my cheek. It has been another good night. There will be more good nights. I must remember this when I return to my habitual fretting. No love can be enough in itself. I need a multiplicity of loves and yours is particulary important to me. This love that shares my fascination for the written word. The love that reminds me how exciting it can be to read a thing and be moved by it. The kind of brother love that I have longed for all of my life.

Of course there is a little whisper of sexuality between us. In another life this might have ended differently, but here now I can still have you, but in this way, as someone in my life, embedded in it. A splinter that works its way into my skin and lodges there. I grow around you. You become a part of me. This is how it ends.

You go now.

You go now and be happy and thank you for the small opportunity to put you at the centre of my world. Now is the time for it. Now is the death of fantasy and the beginning of the real world dusty with a thin layer of grey drudgery. You go now and find your love. Make love. Share the sex I quietly coveted with your appropriate and available friends. I am making a wall. I think of wasps and the mud and spit and toil that will hide their larvae. Squirmy and delicate I slide inside and seal it up and I am gone now. I am alone with my body and the buzz of my thoughts and the smell of unspent sex is a kind of unexpected comfort.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

don't push me away to make me come closer.

"If you push me away, to make me prove that I will return, then I will not."

He has said this several times and it has troubled me.

"A girl once broke up with me to make me try to win her back. It didn't work. I let her go."

It makes me want to ensure my distance from him. When he says "I will not fight for you" it means "I do not care". If you care, you fight. This is the way with people.

A pattern.

If he didn't have anyone to go and dance with he would ask me. A last resort. Sometimes I would be waiting, dressed, just in case he might call. When he didn't I would light a candle and pretend that I had dressed for dinner by myself. Tofu, soaked in spiced sauce, tears a cigarette.

Then there were the times when I would wait in case something else fell through for her. She would join me in my bed if there were no other offer. I would stay home. I would wait, just in case.

Son now here is a plan. I will wait for no one. I am practicing how to say 'no' in case I am ever asked. I will not wait or even entertain the possibility of waiting.

I have been an afterthought. A fall back position. Sex in a casual kind of way. It is my constancy that is to blame. It is so easy to take me forgranted when I am always there.

Now I am gone. I really want a cigarette.

Bach's Cello Suite #4 in E Flat

I listen to the CD you mixed for me a lot. I listen to it and I feel differently when I listen to it. I like the way it makes me feel. Playful and almost happy. Still I play Bach’s Cello Suite #4 in E flat and I suddenly remember who I am. My real self. My unchanging nature.

You have been consuming my stray thoughts. Something must be done with all those messy trails of speculation, my daydreams, my hum of synapses firing. You have tied them up neatly. Now I am working to untangle them from you. It is pointless to bother with the scalding heat of my jealousy, my inability to make myself anything but what I am for you. The ridiculous comparisons in which I am inevitably reduced to something peripheral.

Without you I am frayed, but something inside me is and will remain intact. You will never think about me as someone to be desired because that hard core of me is tuned to Bach’s Cello Suit #4 and you are not. It is a shame that you will not find me and the music beautiful. You miss the subtlety, you are distracted by your youthful dash into tomorrow. Go now. And don’t look back towards me. I will not wave. I will be turned in on myself. Tuned in to myself. I will be listening.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


In this drought I go quietly mad. My skin hardens. I prickle. I flinch if there is the possibility of contact of any kind. I should have kissed the cheek of that lady the other day but I knew that my flesh would have turned to dust and crumbled away from my face. I do not want to see my friends who may want to touch me on my arm or lean against me or say some kind word that will make the tears scrape from my eyeballs like drifts of sand. I am drying out, as in detox. As in the hideous screams of junkies who feel that their bowls have turned to acid.

First there was a period of sensual overload when even a whiff of the right kind of pheremones would turn my sunflower head towards the promise of flesh. Now there is this locking away, this snapping shut. I am all carapace. I will be not be opened without a great deal of pain and perhaps a shucking knife.


so sex is all about the urge for us to reproduce ourselves. The idea that we will live on, genetically speaking, despite the death that is so very close.

The knowledge of that inevitable death creates a kind of desperation. We tear at each other's bodies as if it is the last thing we will touch. We sense the loneliness of the end times and we want to bury our flesh into some one elses flesh. We want to touch life or make life or experience life.

It is a sad and lonely act, this coming together of naked bodies. It is humiliating. We are exposed. We are ugly and clumsy and a little sad.

So this is sex. Tonight. Steeped in melancholy.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

this book

This is a physical thing that I will hold in my hand, put on the shelf, wrap in coloured paper for other people's pleasure. This is a book with pages that smell of new carpet and silence and a jacket that will be matt and cool under my fingers. This will be a solid unchanging fact. I have a book coming out. I have this truth that sits on your shelf and you can read it.

I print out your book. I hold it. I feel the weight of it. I sit your book beside mine on the table. Two thick stacks of paper. Silent as eggs. And this is what women feel when they long for a child I suppose, this tenderness. My hands rest on twin piles of white paper. I feel the words under my fingertips for a moment. I am blind to the imperfections, the disappointments, the inevitable growing out into the world. I am proud of you for finishing this and therefore it follows that I must be proud of myself as well. To have achieved this hard thing that we do with no imminent reward and no punishment. All this long lonely work. A pile of paper that you and I can both be quietly proud of.

no sex ever

tonight I feel like I can hold out.

I saw a girl on the bus and she was pretty in that tanned, honey way that tourists can be pretty. She spoke in an accent. She wore a backless dress. I smelled suntan lotion on her skin and the perfect surface of her flesh made me want to touch her.

I will never have sex again. I will never be touched or touch someone else. I will not do this until the action is driven by desire.

It has been so long since I knew I was desired. I long for that stray glance, the eyes following as you walk by, the double take, the stare that is purposeful and unwavering.

Have I ever been the recipient of that kind of lustful attention? I think back into the void. I am the first one to reach. I am the toucher. I am the one who grabs and drags and removes clothing in a desperate, breathless kind of way. I am the one who lusts.

This has worn me away, one encounter at a time. I put my feet solidly on the ground now and I will not budge. I must be wanted. Sooner or later I will be wanted. Till then I am iced firmly to the shore. Wintering. I will succumb to my own inward turning desires but I will not be moved until the scent of need is thick in the air. I will be the desired one or I will turn to stone and crack off and wash out into the messy wrack and the fickle tide that tumbles it.

setting myself up for the fall

Setting myself up for the fall. That is the state of things. Facing off against the world, all of them on one side of the divide and then there I am. Here. Alone despite the meniscus of friendship and care that I have magnified into something that it is not.

Do not trust anyone, because at the end of it there is no such thing as unconditional love. It all comes with strings, flapping like laces in a reedy wind. I stumble and right myself and stumble yet again. But at the end of this I will be standing here. Me against the world, As luck would have it, I am someone that I know I can rely upon.

The sense of panic


You pop up for a chat as if it is any ordinary night. It is any ordinary night but it has changed and it is different. I am unsettled by the way the angles have shifted. It is my sight that has changed, not the world, but this evening I view it differently. It is all mismatched, there is no grey, the shading has disappeared as if the world has been scanned and put through photoshop and now it is all stark edges, odd angles. It has become a trap that I must struggle out of. It is full of damage, lurking, the slow poison of a life metered out one day at a time.

Nothing will change. I will keep bouncing between bliss and panic, and the panic is too much to bare.

This is a chemical imbalance in your brain, I tell myself. This will pass, but there are other voices nipping at my consciousness. You will never change. You will always come back around to this. You are useless in the scheme of things. You will hurt your friends. You will hurt your lover. You must hurt yourself.


And then there is you. I imagine that your voice is smiling, a little bounce in the word. A cheerful tone that has not a single care. I am at once irritated by this and calmed. you are a constant. You are there somewhere, talking to me or not and either way is a comfort to me.

Oh Hi. I say and it sounds like nothing has changed. It sounds like I am in the world and content with it. You are breezing into a typhoon. I feel barbed and dangerous and perhaps there should be a warning light blinking, pointing out the jagged places.

I am having a rough night.

That is too bad. But you know it will be better in the morning.

Yes. But it is not the morning yet.

We talk until morning. We do this because I want nothing better than to up and storm out into the night. I want to hang off the bank of the river, tipping towards water, weighing up the possibilities. I think of pockets full of stones, I think of the plummet. I think of the possible damage of usually benign objects. I think of this and then you are there, distracting me with questions about William Faulkner, Delillo, Steinbeck. You drag me back to the places of joy that I have settled into briefly. You remind me of my passion for art. We talk about painting. We talk about our need for new voices, we talk about the joy that comes with each new thing completed and how we can never linger in that special and perfect place for long before we are caught up in the undertow which drags us towards a new project.

You are me, I tell you, you are my brother, my twin.

There is, of course the age difference.

You were taken away at birth and kept in suspended animation for so many years. You are the gift to the next generation, but you are of my blood.

It only seems this way because you hear my voice as if it was your own voice. It is the Internet. This is how things translate on the Internet.

I am calmer now, I tell you. I think perhaps I can sleep.

Good night, my friend.

My friend.

I am overwhelmed by a sudden rush and there is no word for this. This is not a wave to a friend, this is a tidal wave of emotion. This is like sex but also more than sex or not exactly sex but, from the way my body responds to it, it might be sex if I squint or place my hand between my legs. I have no way to express what I am feeling and I tell you this.

You say, Things will be fine in the morning.

It is morning now and things are a little better. The sense of panic has settled into a mild wash of grey. Day is coming. Day will be a better place. I know that now.

Goodnight my friend, I tell you, and thank you.

Monday, February 2, 2009

fully aware.

I allow myself to be seduced. It is not a seduction of the body, although my body responds as it often does, finely tuned to the methods of the seduction, responding to the kind words or the whiff of intimacy with random contractions and a ripeness that seems to burst through my thin skin.

This is not the ordinary thing, an affair, a jealous parting, a ripping and tearing at each others bodies. This is a seduction of minds and my heart reluctantly follows where my head is straying, into the fantasy of this intimacy which will one day ease back into it's easy place of friendship.

I have an uneasy relationship with the idea of love. I like the clean separation between the heart and the groin, and yet when love and sex becomes entangled I lose my ability to walk straight and calmly out into the world. My mind cycles around in a feedback loop. I am deafened by the shriek of care and sex rubbing against each other.

You stand, confused watching me as if I were a catherine wheel, vaguely tethered mid air by the tenuous safety of old string. Half pleasure, half terror. Some day in the very near future I may tear free of my moorings. Then perhaps you will run away.