Monday, December 18, 2006

Forkhead (2006)

(After David Lynch's Lost Highway)

There there. You’re tired. Stressed. Have collected no victories. All your curfews. Even the sax hasn’t let you out. Of the house. But I’m there right now. Call me.


This must be super-rare, but the first time I saw Lost Highway I was stoned. Foreseeing a headfilm, I’d shared a preparatory J outside the Astor Theatre. Finding my seat, I found myself quietly toasted.


Forks in the road, in the head. Highway by night; snaking lights. Lost in forks.


An ancient book on the art of feigning death. Unquenchable book.


From early in the piece I had Fred Madison figured as a fellow forkhead. A real channelsurfer. My suspicions were confirmed (bigtime) when he forked into parallel identities, Fred Madison becoming Pete Dayton becoming Fred Madison becoming, etc.


More questions than answers: He wears black or black wears him? Who’s tailgating who? How would he hide his body around himself, resurface out of the corners of her? Whaddayou mean, “What?!”


The phone’s ringing. (Again). Odd,


Hello… pick up?


LH was on a double bill with Dead Man. Lynch’s film came first, with its rapid eye movement. The good confusion. By the time it was over I had little energy left for Jim Jarmusch’s film… in my sleepwatching was left to ponder whether LH could equally have been titled Dead Man.


Sleep is not entertainment. Broadly speaking. Ink runs in drawers. The woman who isn't a doppelganger. (Where is she?)


Plant cameras in the dark, rich soil. Houseplants that require no natural light. (Pupils dilate). Footage blooms in the night.


We’ve met before, haven’t we? This is one of those movie quotes I always quote 'in character'.


Impossible to say the story's over. Just as it’s impossible to say, “The story’s over there.” Still, despite everyone’s best intentions, the story may be put to rest with a clich√©. A time-marker. The post-film cigarette, with its rush of switching back to some kind of


“David! Shit! I think you left the gate open!”

As published in Sein und Werden, Spring 2009 (online edition).

Sunday, December 17, 2006

rock & roll (2006)

“Look out honey ‘cos I’m using technology”

– Iggy Pop, from The Stooges’ Search & Destroy

In there,
____-the unpretty of my head, there’s
-_the rock and roll,
prehistoric cave!!! furs, sweat & bone-piles!!!
__Iggy imping like a grin made flesh,
_______deadpan screams,

“We’re driving sex machines
_-we have many gears to go
we’ve had many years

____In Uniform !!!

___-You got nothin'
on today
___-let’s get nothin'

______-on today !!!”

Iggy imping like a grin made flesh
___cuts some lust,


____she’s not so hot
______-on record /
___spectacular live

______________she so young
____________& empty

want her bad
& want her bad
__-want double meaning
____want triple meaning

She's happening to me

___(watch me die)

She's closer than a drug.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Melbourne (an ode) (2006)

Melbourne so cruel in your coolness Melbourne
so cool in your cruelty / ok that’s a tad
harsh but that makes two of us my dear oh
dear you can’t wear that oh boy you can wear
thaaat boy you must be feeling festive / Melbourne
stars strung over your streets your fruitsellers
some of the best in a tight situation a girl
in tartan skirt short
but not slutty walks ahead clearly excited
highfives the VB streetsign above the bottleshop oh
Melbourne is that you? / sometimes heroic enough
to flash a bit of underbelly a little flabby but don’t
open any more gyms don’t close any more
public housing Melbourne
your mystics are lazy & need somewhere to live
when the street kicks them out in favour of paying customers
who wouldn’t know why or which gutter poses to adopt
for looking at the stars

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

35th Montsalvat Festival of Poetry & Song

The 2006 Montsalvat Festival of Poetry & Song took place on Sunday the 10th of December. Montsalvat is a picturesque artists' colony situated in Eltham, 26 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD. For more info on Montsalvat, check out the Wikipedia entry.

My wife Monica, our good friend Lisa Dempster and my good self made the long trek out to Eltham on a day when the temperature reached 42 degrees celsius! Lisa did a reading just after 1pm, as part of the University of Melbourne's section of the program, which was organised and MCed by Kevin Brophy. Lisa bucked the trend by reading a short story rather than poetry, and later in the day was treated to mock derision from several poets for her efforts! ("Don't talk to her, she writes prose!", etc.) Her reading was captivating, and I was also impressed by several of the poets in the group, including Ed Moreno and Francesca Haig.

Other highlights throughout the day included bill-topper Geoff Page, Dean Frenkle's harmonic overtone singing (which held me totally entranced), and the charismatic Dublin poet Iggy McGovern, who won the audience over with entertaining poetry interspersed with colourful anecdotes. Admittedly I didn't get to witness all of the poets I wanted to, as there were clashes in the program, and to be honest listening to poetry for 8 hours straight is a tall order! Thankfully there were art exhibitions, a book stall, vegetarian delicacies, good company, and the beautiful surrounds of Montsalvat to break things up! Plus quite a few of the poets listed in the program didn't make it out to the festival, no doubt owing to the oppressive weather conditions. Thankfully a cool change came through around 4pm.

At around 8pm I read three poems
as part of the "And beyond..." reading, which was devoted to the memory of Melbourne poet Patrick Alexander. I read Inscriptions, which I dedicated to Monica; cashed; and How to be hungry got its first public airing. Thanks to Nick Powell for agreeing to MC the session at the last minute!

All up, it was a brilliant day and night. You can count me in for next year!