Monday, September 27, 2010

kate holden

is awesome.

that is all.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

so anyway

so anyway. I have been absent for some time. Struggling with the new book, wondering how the Vagina project can become the Sister project, generally feeling insecure about my work - no surprises there. But I am excited about talking with Kate Holden ('In My Skin' and 'The Romantic') at Avid Reader on Tuesday night. I can see so many parallels with our work and I am quite excited and a little nervous about meeting her properly. I said a passing hi at the Text Publishing party but now I will get to have a proper face to face beer with her followed by a very public chat about writing sexual memoirs. For some reason the idea of this has made me feel nostalgic for writing about sex. I have been struggling with the sister stuff. I have to admit it is much easier for me to write about sex than for me to write about sisters. I have such a complicated relationship to the idea of family. Somehow writing fiction seems more revealing than writing memoir. This meeting with Kate makes me want to get back to the easy stuff, the bodily joy of skin on skin.

I dreamed about a vagina the other night, not my own, someone elses. The dream was quite graphic, a pubis,shaved so the fine hair was cropped to a little line. there was a strong smell, but not unpleasant. The hair was light brown with a reddish tinge. There was a taste and texture in the dream and I woke up wet as I am rarely wet. I was itchy in my skin.

I am inundated, busy with work and the NYWF coming up next friday. It will be my birthday. It has been 2 years since I finished that first draft of Affection. I feel like I have been running ever since.

Tomorrow I will sit and talk about writing about sex with Kate Holden. On Tuesday I will sit and talk about writing about sex in public. Now I am in the mood to read sex, write sex, have some, although that is something out of my control. Maybe Furious Vaginas will take up where it left off. Keep my sister stuff for my weekend novel scrawling. Keep my sex stuff for the web. Who knows. I make no promises.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


she only remembers your name because you are absent. There is a lesson in this, about absence and the heart. It is a cliche but it can be used over and over and we will never tire of it. I am too constant in so many parts of my life. I am the thing to be taken forgranted or overlooked. And yet it is so hard to be strong and distant and uninvolved. Hard as beginning or sticking to an exercise programme or a diet. In a handful of days I have re-learned much. Be absent. Be distant. Remove yourself from the picture and they will start to notice you.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

playground scrap

So she leaned over and pulled her earings out of her ears. The sudden violence of the act astonished me. Our other friends had fled, and I barely liked her enough to stay, but that was my thing - protector of the poor; defender of the indefensible. Me by her side now and those girls too tall and mean for the both of us, belittling her accent. I had nothing against her accent, but she was a little annoying when you engaged her in conversation.

The sudden violent act was an unexpected outcome. We were used to bullying and teasing, some loss of property, a thick shove in the chest. This was a different thing. This was both surprising and bloody. Her ears dripped blood onto her school shirt, not much, but enough to bring the group of us to the attention of the bystanders. My sister included.

My sister who refused to glance in my direction if we were in company. My sister who would either deny our familial bond or shove me off the path with more force than the grade ten girls.

My sister who now stepped into the small circle of violence and she was small and tough and no one dared cross her and the grade ten girls stepped back.

Damage done. No way to take away the pain and the blood, and yet I will always remember the look on my sister's face. Unmasked anger. My defender. My protector, just for that minute.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

hate and love

I am not sure what I want to say about sisters. I am not sure if sisters are important in the scheme of things. We move on in our lives and we think of each other rarely. There is no day to day care. We are barely in each others thoughts. Then one day when things are at a low, I know I should be seeing you, touching base with someone who understands how hard it has been right from the start. You share my sense of guilt. The overwhelming guilt. You share my frustration and my anger and my sadness which is thick and terrible all the ray back to the root.

I hate and I love. You hate and you love. There is very little between us in the end.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The sisters in Tasmania

She saw now that the couple at the next table had left a single oyster untouched. She wanted it. Suddenly. She wanted to stand up and walk over to their abandoned plate and eat that last oyster. She wondered why they had left it. She calculated the cost of a plate of them. That oyster was the price of a bus fare. Sometimes at the end of the week she walked to work because she didn’t have the bus fare. Lucy licked her lips. Tasted salt.

She noticed the little cracks in the makeup, tiny little lines at the corner of her sister’s eyes. Lucy often felt that she was getting old, which meant her sister was getting even older. Somewhere under that makeup was skin as tired and patchy as her own. Her sister was thin now, but she was large once too. A fat girl squeezed into this tight new body. It was good to see Rachel looking so fit, but Lucy couldn’t help feeling that they were the same, despite their differences.

She smoothed her skirt down over her legs. For some reason, sitting here with her sister made her self conscious. People would be comparing them. They were obviously related, the same round face, the same short legs, the same accent, almost but not quite English. They had both overcompensated for their accents, stretching their vowel sounds, mimicking an Australian drawl.

“Well, cheers”

Lucy clicked her glass against Rachel’s and tried to smile as naturally as possible.

“Great to see you.”

“Yeah. Great.”

They sipped their drinks and stretched their smiles at each other until they could no longer hold them and Lucy looked back out at a sky that had darkened significantly.

“I knew Tassie would be cold but I didn’t really expect…” she indicated the squalling wind outside the window, the choppy bay, the first spots of rain on the wide expanse of glass.

“You should have brought an overcoat you know.”

“I don’t own one.”

“But you should have bought one. You’ll get sick.”

“I didn’t really think that…”

“You were always hopeless like that.”

“I’m just not used to - look, it’s still pretty warm up north at the moment.”

“Except this is Tasmania.”

“Yes. I suppose.”

They sipped their drinks in silence. Lucy glanced over at the plate with the oysters. She should just order some oysters. But that would be a waste. That last oyster stared up accusingly at her from the next table. She was almost close enough to reach out and pick it up off the plate. It bothered her that humans were so polite about these kinds of things. A bird would have pecked it up and moved on. Any other animal would have taken this opportunity. One lone oyster, some tobasco, some lemon juice.

Lucy sipped her martini and stared out the window in what she hoped would seem like a comfortable silence until her sister shifted and cleared her throat.
“You know, I got someone in last week to do the lawn. I usually do it myself but there are all these little flowerbeds now and it is difficult to navigate the ride-on?”

“Oh. Okay.” Lucy had never seen her sister’s lawn, never having been to her house. She didn’t know that the lawn would be big enough to need a ride-on mower and she didn’t particularly care.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


The love comes at a cost. Sisters love under the gaze of others. We love because if we are kind to each other we are praised by the generation before us. How sweet to your sister you are, how kind. Untethered, it would be one beast against another, a battle for food, space, dominance and the love of our parents. This is what sisterhood teaches us. One of us wins and one of us looses. Wild dogs scuffling. Lions snarling over a kill.

She reaches into the crib and pinches the nose of the sleeping infant. The wild cry startles her and she steps away. She is in a fairy dress, all innocent glitter. she steps forward when the adults come to check. She strokes the babies forehead. Poor little. Poor little. I think she must be sick.

All we need in life is food and shelter and a sister to teach us how to play to win.

good girls

The good girl gets praise. The good girl gets smiles and winks and a treat occasionally like a favoured dog. There is no courage involved being good. No daring deeds, no ethical dilemmas. A good girl follows orders and does so quietly without much fuss. A good girl puts others needs ahead of her own, takes the smallest slice of cake, praises others habitually. A good girl does not need time to make decisions because the best course of action is clear to her from the start, laid out by the family. Yellow brick road of one good deed after another.

It is harder to be the bad girl. It is harder to think for yourself and question what you are told. It takes strength and vigilance and yes, it is exhausting to make every new action a moral decision. The bad girl expends energy on her silent rages. The bad girl grows dark circles under her eyes and deep indentations in her forehead. The bad girl must stand tall against the judgement of the world. The bad girl must have self confidence and commitment.

You are only the bad girl in relation to me. All my struggles towards goodness mark you. I am to blame. Still I make myself more and more good. So good that I can no longer carry the weight of my good deeds. The cracks are showing. I draw the weapon in my brain. I see it's metalic cylinders. I see the bullet that will slip so speedily through one barell or another. I put the imaginary thing to my own forehead. Would a good girl do this? Or would this good girl find some random stranger, let the wound spring of her saintliness snap whilst aimed at someone else. Would the good girl jump into the river where her sin will be washed clean by deep dark? How will this good girl relinquish her mantel. And when she is gone, will you, my sister, be free to take on some goodness of your own?


She learns how to speak Elvish. She has read me The Hobbit and we have moved on to the Lord of the rings. It is true there is a wonderful secret pleasure in knowing a language that only exists in books. A language shared between the two of us and barely anyone else in the world. I am slow to learn. My tongue is thick and I do not have the focus to understand the grammar. Our grandmother knows three languages to speak and several more to read or understand. When I tell this to Karen her mouth hardens to a pencil line of condescension. Even if our grandmother knows twenty languages she is not invited to share in our Elvish. This is something for my sister and I alone.

She grows impatient with me. We come back to the lesson each day after school but instead of learning more words I seem to forget a new one every day. The lessons are for her and I am there to watch her learning. I know this, and so I nod when she tells me I am slow. She sets up a Special School in the corner of the yard and instead of Elvish my task now is to tie and re-tie my shoe while I listen to her recite poetry in a language that I have not yet mastered. I am obedient. Still there is a vague unsettled feeling itching under my skin. I know how to tie my shoes and yet I fumble it, miss one eyelet or another leave the laces too loose and let them fall apart under her inspection. She punishes me, and her punishments make her bad and in comparison I am good.
There are numerous examples of good girls patiently waiting for their rewards. I think of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty. Various assorted princesses each one suffering under pressure from evil step mothers, horrible husbands, ugly sisters. The harsher the punishment, the more virtuous I become. At school I am the most obedient of students. I know the answers to questions, I am always first to put up my hand to help the teacher. My sister takes her rage and channels it into evil deeds. She sits in the schoolyard with the malcontents. She is sent to the office once or twice a week. She is surly at dinner, and, afterward when we settle to work on the models together, she sits with her back to us, preferring the company of a book to our stories on reel to reel. We have chosen our sides. She is the bad child. I am the good. We stick to our separate territories and we excel in our polarised roles. Still each afternoon we play the game. I fail the small domestic task that she has set for me. She dishes out new punishments, holding a stone outstretched on the palm of my hand till my arm starts to burn and my muscles cramp, writing out lines in a notebook, I must do better next time, I must do better next time.

We have an alliance. Like all good prisoners and their captives there is a certain care between us. I give myself up to her slow kind of torture and she allows herself to become beastly in her treatment of me. For a while we are close. An equilibrium.

When the family ask her about school she just shrugs. Volunteering nothing. When I am alone with our mother in the kitchen, she puts her arm on the top of my head and draws me closer to her.

“Is Karen okay?”

“I think so.”

“She talks to you about things?”

“Not really.”

“But nothing is wrong? At school? Or anything?”

“No. Everything is good.”

I am blessed with secret knowledge, the hidden moods of my sister are mine to keep to myself or to divulge.

Friday, July 16, 2010

committment to sister

Now is the time for me to commit to this. I remember the sluggish pace of the last book, all good intentions until I forced myself to creep forward publicly each day. Today is the day of my commitment. Sister stuff one day at a time. A slow creep over into real work, headway. Maybe it will get this book written as the last one was written, suddenly, by accident. One tiny sister step forward and revelations revealing themselves at 2am.

This tiny committed step brings you and eye ever closer, my manuscript, my sister, the mirror to myself.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lifted brow

Four new vagina posts have been and will be featuring on the Lifted Brow Tumblr


Friday, May 21, 2010


The way we feel is of the body. Bodily. We take the information in and turn it into some physical affliction. Disappointment becomes flu. Guilt becomes cancer. Anger is a migraine churning the bile in our stomachs. The things we have said to each other heat our flesh till one day we spontaneously combust. The stigmata of the things you said to me dripping fluids from the palm of my hands. And we, sisters, who were once conjoined walk free in the world with the raw flesh of our separation still weeping.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I will never outrun it. It marks the distance between us, and each year this gulf widens. I stand at my side and I peer across and I am reminded of how you drew a line across the middle of our floor. My side and yours. and the distance between you and me impassable. What began in childhood is now thick and heavy and scarred over.

Mostly I forget about you and you forget about me and there is this scab of distance between us. Nice. So long as nothing smashes into the wound, like guilt, the hammer, thumping the wound till it splits and bleeds all over the place.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


My friend needs to be brave enough to write the hardest thing. We can edge around it making craft, we can potter in the shallows making pretty pictures with our words and the ideas will be fine, good enough. But the hardest thing is where we struggle. The harder we struggle the better it will be.

I have settled on my own hard thing and although it hurts to write it, it will be rewarding. Throw yourself into the deep end and if you swim it will be strong and fast and the kind of life-saving swimming that makes a good spectator sport.

I know you don't want to write it, but just do it. Now or in ten years or later still. You will have to come back to this eventually. Do it now while I am standing at your side promising that I will not let you fall.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

good cop bad cop

I am more good than you. You are more resilient. I am more compassionate. You are stronger, incapable of failure, a harder worker and less likely to quit. You are a lone wolf. I am always in search of someone to touch me, not the outside of me, but the inside places, like I can only be happy if someone is beside me with their hand inside my flesh and warming itself on my heart.

We each have our roles that we must play. So this is still that same game, the one you invented with the monopoly board that made me bankrupt, or the one I invented using chess that saw the overthow of the monarchy and the rise of the common pawns. So we have not grown then. Not now. And if not by now, not ever.

I knew a couple once. One I liked. One I did not like so much. The good boyfriend and the bad one. The bad one teased and played and was a little fun but not much really when you think about it. The nice one sat and listened to your problems and talked to you about his life and his love and he was so nice you wanted to listen to him for hours. When the nice one died I never said it but I wondered why it was the nasty one who was left in the world. Then the transformation. I caught up with the nasty one and found that he was a little bit nice after all. Then each time he was nicer and then nicer again. “It’s like I have to become a piece of my boyfriend,” he told me when I pointed out how much he had changed. “I have to take on parts of him when before I could just leave him to do the nice things by himself”

I thought about you then, my sister, and all the things we must be when we are together. The division of labour stamped so clearly on this sibling bind. I wonder if I am like the nice boyfriend only when we are together. Light and dark, day and night, key and lock, one making sense of the other’s attributes and flaws. We stay at a little distance so that I can be part bad and you can be part good. An even balance and these roles that we have a healthy respect for.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Love at First

At first we met in secret places. We were both single and hungry and stupidly young. Clutching at first things, pressing the life out of them as if they were olives. Sweet fruit on our lips. A stain.

We kissed and it was inexpert. In hindsight the kisses were less than special, possibly the worst I would ever have. Love stolen in the lounge room with my sister lurking somewhere close outside. Our hands shook, our tea jiggled in the cups. We pretended of course that we had been talking whilst my mother was in the kitchen. But our fingers smelled of sex and once, or twice our lips would be glistening with the taste of each other when she returned.

This wasn’t the first love but it was close. We practiced swelling up with emotion as we used to practice holding our breath in the deep end of the pool. We pushed and jostled each other because we were still fresh from the schoolyard and its habit of trading aggression for care.

There was that time at the drive-in, all fingers and tongues and damp almost-sex. So close we came so many times. Later, in my room, alone, he paused at the edge of consummation, refusing to go over with me when I was ready to fall.

I took this personally, this lack of penetrative sex. The first crack in the veneer, ever-widening. Weekends with him in my room and this last, unexpected dimension throbbing like a bomb in my ticking chest. Free university condoms perished in a bowl by the bed. It was the end of us.

One weekend he visited and it was all the same but it wasn’t. And then it was over.

There is no such thing as a mutual decision. One heart is broken. It becomes some cruel race to see which one survives and which one does not. I took it all at a pace and moved along without him. I looked back only once, years later. I wanted an answer to the question that remained. Sex, then, finally. Nothing better or worse than any other sex. No startling revelations.

One thing. This, I remember. When we were still shrugging the schoolyard off our clothes. We were just playing, chasing, punching, rolling, till I was tired with laughing and stopped for a moment to rest against a wall. She was there, my sister, always prepared to take one leap further than the rest. A handful of ice and summer and sweat-flesh. He and she rolling on the ground where only moments before he and I had been, rolling.

I stood back at their wedding, witness, called to sign the deed and it was all there behind the awkwardness that had formed over the intervening years. The memory of bad kisses and average love. A history. And me, uncomfortable, within it. She told them all. A speech that dredged up the guilt of hearts broken, tears shed. And set the tone for the rest of it.

I stand near his casket with a complicated mix of everything. I remember that time I made love to a girl on the couch beside him. Him and me in the past tense. The drugs turning him into a shadow of himself.

“Last night? Did I?” and his lazy decompressing nod. This pressed like moths or petals beside the moments when I could not bare to be by his bedside.

“Remember when?” He would ask and I would shake my head, practicing forgetting whilst I left him there and made tea.

“I always loved you.” An echo he would take to the grave.

Now. This confession. There is always one of us who will love more. The lesson that echoes in my brain. A lesson I forget and forget until I will cut my stomach open and tear the guts out of me with my bare hands. Knowing I will never learn. A nail in the head.

“I will always love you. I will always love you.”

Someone take that hammer out of my dumb hands.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

you and my sister

My sister disappears for a moment. She has a habit of disappearing. It is in her nature. We are so similar and yet it is described in different ways. I call you on the telephone and email you and sign in to chat and all of this to tell you I will not be contacting you. If I were my sister I would just disappear, change my email address, change my phone, move house, dig my heels in and become invisible in the manner of chameleons. We both hack and smash our way through friendships. Both she and I are much better on our own. Leave me, I say, go away, never speak to me again, and by this I mean just stay and hold me as tight as you can.

My sister’s phone is disconnected. Her email bounces back to not at this address. We will grow old, she and I, and we will become our ancestors. We will be strong and smart and shut off from the people who loved us best. All this of our own doing. All this because the world we make for ourselves constantly disappoints.

So know now that when I say go, I mean stay. When I say hate I mean love. When I say I would rather be alone I am so lonely that my bones feel like they are crumbling to nothing inside my thin skin which seems thick as armour.

My sister disappears, but if I wanted to I could find her. I could jump a plane and catch a bus and walk a bit with a map and I would recognise her because it would be like looking into a mirror. I also know how it will be, this re-uniting with myself. I will feel guilty. I will feel sad. I have been unforgivably hard on you who do not deserve it. I have said things that no one should say to someone who loves them. I have tried to wreck my bridges and dynamite my foundations and yet, we are still standing, my sister and I. And yet, you are still standing beside me.

I thank you for that.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

yellow plastic

You are pretty constant. An echo of my own voice. Always there and therefore easy to overlook and undervalue. So when you are gone I find I miss you. It is hard to formulate my own opinion without first measuring it against your own. I watch a programme that you would find pretentious and I enjoy it, in a guilty way. I read a novel quickly and in secret because it is not that great, but it is good in the same way that chocolate is good, on the tongue, in the moment, and not so much afterwards. Nothing that I do when I am alone would meet your standards which are higher even than my own. We are hard on me, you and I. We make me self-conscious. We make me know that I could do better if I put some effort in.

A hand reel bobs on the tide and it is yellow and I know you would like that it is yellow, and also that it is just too far to reach from the bank. I saw a hand reel, I would say in an email, it was yellow, and caught in the to and fro of waves just a little out of reach. I compose the email but I will not send it because the word stalkerish comes to mind. It is your word, but I have adopted it, it seems.

I think of the boy who loved me too much and held the memory of me too tight until his last breath. His constancy scared me, kept me distant. And I wonder if I am this to you.

So it is hard, but I keep myself away with my painting and my writing and my less than perfect novels and the rather lame television shows. I walk back down to the river when it seems that I will succumb to the need to contact you. The hand reel has moved a little way but it is still there, lifting up into the curl of white water, disappearing, coming up again as if to take breath. And I want to tell you about it almost more than anything. It is bumping up against the edge and I reach down and I catch it. Just a scratched and stained piece of plastic, no line attached now. Nothing special. I resist the urge to keep it, to put it in a packet addressed to you. I wish I had never pulled it from the river. It has lost all its poetry.

On the way back to my flat I place the little scrap of plastic in the bin at the edge of the park.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

dream sister

I had a terrible nightmare. It was about my sister. I woke struggling to breathe. In the dream the pool was filled with snakes and I was swimming but I saw them and realised and struggled to get out of the water. I was visiting my sister but I spent all the time with these other people. We were about to leave for good and I realised two things. The pool was full of snakes and I would leave my sister there without warning her. She would swim and she might be bitten and she might die and it would be my fault. Also I realised that I was leaving and I hadn't seen my sister much at all. In the dream this realisation made me panic I felt like a weight had landed on my chest and I couldn't breathe. I was trying to three words but it was only a shallow rasping sound. 'My heart hurts. My heart hurts. My heart hurts.'

When I woke I was stillt rying to say these words, trying to wake myself from sleep. Now awake, my lungs hurt like something large has been pushing them flat.

I must see my sister. All the terror of this and the panic that accompanies it is nothing compared to the dream of the snakes and the suffocation.

Friday, April 9, 2010

the sister book

My sister is the issue. My sister has always been the issue. This terrible sad distance. This feeling that it will fail before it has even begun.

I will tell you nothing because everthing will become ammunition in the end. Eveything by the book. my jealous love of you, our competition. The differences between us that feel manufactured. I am the bleeding heart. You, the hard heart. Me with my blank face, you with the perfectly made up mask. We are not so different, we two. We have the same beginnings, the same misplaced hope. The same inherant sadness. The same constant sense of dissapointment rising and falling like a car alarm, unattended. We have a trust issue, you and I. We have a shared guilt.

"I will never call you."

You say this, and I agree because you will never call me.

"Call me if you need me." I say, knowing you will never call. And we are lost to each other in such a sisterly way.

I got it easy or I took the easy path and my road seems somewhat familial. This safe, high, road and the fear of falling I have inherited.

You have your own familial demons and even from this distance I see them resting with you.

So, anyway, I am sorry. I say it, meaningless mantra. I'm sorry I didn't. And the excuses are so convoluted that they swallow the simplicity of the sentiment. I have failed. I have fallen. I have not met thte required standards. The story of my life.

And truthfully? I wanted to and there were all these reasons all these selfish reasons. And so now it is too late.

No atonement necessary. Just this sisterly distance. And I could kick all of it, stamp it to dust. Rage as you would rage. But it means nothing.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


And then I was awake. Just like that, sitting upright in bed and my face dripping with the water she had thrown at it. I touched my pillow, which was damp. There in the early dark she stood with the empty glass in her hand.

"You said to wake you up."

And I had. It was true. I asked for a wake up call and I would have slept in. I would have turned over in my warm bed and groaned and muttered that I had changed my mind. I didn't want to be woken at all. I wanted to sleep.

She grinned, but only with half her mouth. A sly curl of the lip. Half smile, half frown.

I wondered what it would take to throw a glass of iced water into the face of a sleeping child.

"I said wake me up, not throw water at me"

"Well," she said "You're awake now. The show is about to start."

I would roll over and go back to bed. I would change my mind. Danger Man was a great show, but 4am was too early. Even Patrick McGoohan could not excite me at this time in the morning. I wanted to curl up and sleep. The pillow was worse than damp, it was soaked through. I tore back the covers and the morning was all ice. My mood was cold and surly. I glared at her and dragged myself to my feet which were numb and swollen with sleep. She wanted me to be mad at her. She wanted me to have woken into a mood. I would sway but I would not fall. I could stand up to my sister. This at least I would do. I could match her sneer with a smile so sweet that she would hate me for it.

"Thanks." I forced the smile wider, "Thanks for waking me," I said.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


We were friends and we were enemies. I fell in and out of favour with my sister by turns. It became clear each morning which it was to be. Some days Emily would wake happy. Some days her hackles would rise at the back of her neck and she would snap and growl at me right from the start. The days of irritation were more than made up for by the good times. There was a joy in being the favoured one. Her approval was rare and that made it a special thing. Occasionally she would have a fondness for one or other of the aunts, but really, I was the only one who could ever reach her. Really reach her. And it felt special.

Not my memories

The following pieces of writing are not my memories at all. They are someone else's dreams and nightmares. I am getting into character. Into her head. Perhaps the resulting book will be something I like enough. So. Something new. Starting now.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

bit more from it

His back teeth ache. A shot of saliva leaps into his mouth and he swallows. He is touching her breast through her dress. He can feel the hardness of her nipple, the way it rises, tenting the fabric. She holds his hand in her own and guides it, slipping his fingers under the low plunge of her dress under the bra and he has her breast in his hand. His hand is shaking. Now that he is aware of it, it is all he can feel, his fingers rattling against her tight nipple, the palm of his hand sweating against the swell of her breath. He grabs at her and she eases his shaking fingers away, her fingers stroking herself very gently, teaching his own fingers how she wants to be stroked. When he has learned this, she lets him take over, he feels her hand retreat and he has her whole breast in his hand and he is moving his fingers back and forth in the rhythm she taught him, feeling the tight bud rub against is fingers as he does so.

Monday, February 1, 2010

a bit from it

When she slides back against him he is startled by it. He feels his body stiffen. His arms lock tight against his chest. His knees are dovetailed planks. He tries to swallow but it is impossible. She is leaning against him. She has shifted so that her bottom is in his lap. He has a flash of the first moment he saw her, the miracle of secret folds and hair and the glisten of damp. He is hard. She nestles closer and he can feel the heat of her skin separated from his penis by a meniscus of fabric. He would be touching her. If she were naked, if he were naked, he would be pressed against her now. She reaches backwards towards him and he is a statue of himself. She almost has to wrestle his hand into her own. She pulls his arm over and around her body and clutches his fist between her breasts. His fist is between her breasts. He is aware for a moment that his breath will be warming the back of her head, moving her hair like grass in a late warm breeze. He would touch her hair, except his hand is a fist clamped between her breasts. He knows what her breasts look like, soft and very round and with brown nipples spreading across them. He shifts his hips closer against her. This is what she wants, he supposes, to feel that he is hard and tight. This is why she shifted onto the feel of it. He pushes it against her, almost a challenge. He has a hard on and it can’t be hidden so it is here. He wants her to know that it is here.

Monday, January 25, 2010


There is nothing left of him but his cock. When he rolls over in bed it is there, pressing against the mattress or else tenting the thin cotton sheet which he uses as a shield against mosquitoes. It is hot this summer. There is talk of climate change, waters rising. The south pole has melted and the water from it hangs in the air around him so that every breath is a thick humid lungful. He sweats and there are different scents on his skin. His hair smells like clothing left too long in the machine. His armpits are sharp as acid. The scent of his shoes precede him particularly after a run. There are these smells, but more than these, there is the scent of his cock.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I will prostitute myself because I am dry. My mouth is a trap for sand and earth lice. My mind is a place where ants forage for meger scraps. My words are leaves, fallen but not yet swept up. I would tear it up and throw it away if it were something tangible, but this is not how the work is now, it is stored electronically, beamed across the continent with the tap of a key. There is nothing to tear and burn and even if I took a hammer to this computer there would be record of it somewhere. Nothing is undone.

So I know I cannot write it and I also cannot stop. I have nothing but this wasted opportunity. Without it I am not held to the world. I am dry, but I can lube up my cunt and fake my orgasm for all who will listen. Hear this sweet acceleration of breath. See the pulsing which I mimic with the tug of my muscles. Even my eyes ca roll back and my neck snap tight. And the words that spill out of my cunt-mouth can arouse the millions who truck through me.

All this from the sad recline of the couch I cannot lift myself up off. I have plummeted and I have dragged all potential stories with me. There is nothing that you do not see on the surface of my skin. I am a bag of stretchmarks and lesions and boils. I am a little constellation of moles and a burst blood vessel. I am thick flesh with a generous deposit of fatty cells. I am some hair, some fine lines marking out a frown. I am the prostitute and I am open for your business.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I paint my nails red. I do this to match my lipstick. I wear lipstick because, sometimes there are nice things said when I wear it. I have bought a red dress and I feel pretty in it. These small things to cling on to. Perhaps when I hold my fingers up to the light and see the light sparkle on them I will forget the trip to Meyers, the 17 different pieces of clothing, none of which came even close to fitting, the back view and the side view and the moment when I thought I would have to call a sales assistant or tear the dress completely.

I concentrate on the gentle little strokes of the nail brush, and although I never wait till they are completely dry, it only causes damage to the very tips of them. Mostly they are just a nice shade of red. I wear lipstick and nail polish and I put on the red dress although I know that he will not notice any of these things. They make little difference. I am still the woman who could not fight her way out of the tailored dress. I am still the one in the side view, the back view, the front view, which I am at least more used to. I feel a little prettier, although he would not use that word if pressed. Not pretty. Not beautiful. But then he is not so shallow. He likes to sit across a table from me and talk about books. He likes it when I am not so serious or self conscious. When I abandon myself to laughter. The straight-man who comes out with the occasional one-liner. He likes me then. He likes me. And maybe this is enough.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Like and love

I don't remember why I thought I liked him. Now, with so much time elapsing every day, I don't remember. I must remind mysef of this when the next one comes and the one after that. We do survive it and then, when it is gone, we are confused. I don't remember why I liked him with that kind of breathless, sleepless passion. I don't remember why my body turned towards him like a flower. I do remember that he was there for me at times when I needed it. Not always, but on a few select occasions. I remember our shared taste in movies, our conversations about books and philosophy. I remember his ability to find me funny when I am not known for my humour.

I know about the next one. I know why I like him. I like him for his loyalty and his intelligence and most of all his care. He tries to say things that will make me feel better. Sometimes he fails. Still, he is always willing to try to keep the friendship safe and for this I love him. One day I will look at him and I will wonder what that was all about, that gnawing regret, that endless self-hate which is based merely on the fact that he will never want me in that way. The cycle is about rejection. I have learnt this. Finally I have learnt.

This time I will keep him for the things I like. This time it will not end as it has always ended, torn between what I will do and what I would want to do and smashed against the unweildy rock of what he would refuse to do if he were asked to anyway.

This time I will keep the things I want. I promise. Just wait and see.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

self conscious

People will read this. Not many, but a few. This is a new way of looking at it all. I write and sometimes it is with that same reckless abandon, that late night, all alone frantic writing, the kind that is too raw and too real and yet the kind that you might recognise yourself in. Sometimes I post in that same breathless moment. Yes. This is how it is. Press Publish Post. And then a momentary relief because I have been honest with it.

But things have happened in the interim. People I do not know have come up to me, on the street, on a ferry, once in the foyer of a theatre. People have added their spin to what I have said, they have identified with me, placed themselves where I am, feel a sense of ownership for feelings that I am barely aware I have.

I write a post and press publish and I take a step back from the screen. I see the people reading this, I put myself in their place, I see myself through their eyes. I re-enter the site. I find the post. I press delete.

This is a new thing for me, this odd self censorship, this taking back of what I have just said.


I am jealous that she has written the book about jealousy before me. I am jealous because it seems so natural and she got in first and I will be seen as a follower and not a leader.

I am jealous because that girl has lost so much weight and looks so much better and if I lost that much weight I would look so much better and I could have started my attempt at the same time but she got their first and now I am furious.

I am jealous because they all have so much more humour than I do, and yes, I know Cormac McCarthy is absolutely humourless and Cormac is the man, but seriously, I imagine I could at least be Jeffrey Eugenides, or Don Delillo for christsake, although Lorrie Moore is just a tad forced and I would hate to develop my humour as she has done.

I am jealous because they can all have conversations that are light and airy, probably referencing figures from popular culure and television shows. For this reason they are more entertaining.

I am jealous because I look in the mirror and see fat girl who is absolutely humourless and that fat girl is slaving over a book that will never be particualarly good and she knows it.

I am jealous because when you say goodnight to me I see your little light stay on in a different tab as you are saying goodnight to other girls. You said goodnight to me first. Goodnight, see you round, and saved the best until the last. I watch your little light lingering and lingering and all their little lights, your other chat friends and because I was dismissed first I feel insignificant. Because of this five, ten second delay I imagine it is because I have not lost all that weight as she has done, or because I am humourless when they are not humourless. These tiny little details, these sharp nails I gather to drive into my forehead, one by one by one.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Perversity - dolphin

Just a link on facebook. Who knows if any of this is true. I imagine the guy who wrote it sitting in his room, maybe stoned, maybe giggling. He says 'dolphins' and the word makes him laugh so much he snorts. Not having had much to do with dolphins I have no idea if his description of their genitalia is correct. Perhaps this is all fantasy, a dolphin penis is not so long, a dolphin's ejaculate is not so spectaculary delivered that it might cause a human damage. I read the part about a female dolphin and the contractions of its muscles in orgasm and it seems real because we know how muscular a dolphin's body is, but there is no way to know if this man is merely taking the piss. Love them, he says, show them care and love and every word he writes takes me closer to the idea of sex with a dolphin. I remember my encounter with a dugong, the soft muscled place on it's belly, the way it rubbed it's stomach along mine, it's flippers firm in a hug around my waist. And so it seems real, this dolphin love. And there are moments where I feel a stirring reading it. The idea of the muscular contractions, the penis edging inside. The strangeness of the coupling. The idea of the animal's consentual participation. All of this attracts me to the idea. I read the web page and the images settle in me. So maybe it is a lie. Maybe he is laughing at us, the man who posted this, but here I am still wondering.

Perversity - kissing

The stuff of poetry. The idea that every kiss will be like a movie kiss represented by stars and fireworks, a beating heart, a flush to the skin. But each kiss is just a taste of another person's body, we guage their pace and rhythm by the force of their lips and tongues. We imagine slipping other parts of our bodies into theirs. We play this out with the clicking of our teeth, the pressing of our tongues. This small slug of desire let loose in one another's mouth.

Most kissing isn't movie kissing. Most kissing is a confirmation that we are not in sync but even then we could find some common rhythm that is different to our own. That one time, though, that kiss of rhyme and meter and the poetry of the act was spread open for me. One kiss and my lips were sticky with it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Perversity - kissing like waking

He kissed me. It was not the first time I had been kissed but this was new. Lip to lip as usual, no special tricks, nothing fancy but the combination of the softness of his lips, and his gentleness transformed the act into something that was not localised in my mouth alone. No tongue at first, just a full-lipped gentle touching of skin to skin. This new thing. This kiss that was nothing like the other kisses. This seemed less about sex and more about a conversation, a communication of one person's style and pace and needs, delivered by the barest breath. This new thing that tugged at a soft place in the centre of my chest and when his lips opened just a fraction, the wet touch of a tongue, the string tugged lower still. Deep belly tugs. Like nothing. Like more than sex could ever be.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Perversity - kissing came next

why is sex about the mouth. The lips. They say, her lips, and they are talking about her vagina. A wet smile of pink flesh opening wide. Anais nin writes a story about a woman who uses lipstick, traces the outline of her lips, a wet mouth buried in a cloud of pubic hair. She looks up and smiles and her cunt smiles, wide and red, twin mouths, but which one to chose. The same grinning, welcoming sentiment echoed by her actual lips, covered in lipstic, opening wetly and closin. A penis could come into either mouth. We have twin kisses and double penetration.

And so here I am again, leaping for the point of things too quickly, greedy for the finale and forgetting about the pleasures of the overture. Perhaps this is why I did not discover kissing until too late. The hot ball of desire is wound deep in my belly and this has always been the way for me. While other little girls kissed their pillow, I wrapped my legs around it and kissed it with that other mouth, the lips that I could never speak with, the ones that knew no language but sex. Kissing was for fairytales. Kissing was for sleeping girls, a heart-starter, like a shock used for the sad or the comatose. Kissing was not in my repertoire and often I turned my head and let the kisses fall on my neck where they would be wet and feirce, for I was awake before the shock of it could be applied. I was always wired for it. My nether lips hungry. I saved my lips for sweet smiles and clever words and kissed very little if at all.

So why all the poetry? Why all the hearts and flowers and the idea that a lack of kissing would lead to a kind of emotional death. Why the need for romance. What is a kiss and why do we lean towards it with such fervour. Today is the first day of my exporation into this. French kiss, kissing booth, eskimo kiss, the germs passed back and forth, cold sores, consumption, killed by a kiss. The whole hot mouth to mouth thing. I wonder why? kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss.