A special memory I would like to share with you…

He was truly delightful and made me giggle a lot, but mostly I was awestruck by his performance, watching from the wings. His old mate Rudolf was there too and I met him, but I did not understand the significance of that until this whole event was a distant memory.

I sometimes tell people I grew up on the stage, but they can’t picture what I mean until I share with them the odd memory such as this. It is possible to be both very open with people and deeply secretive. I am.

marcel-bipObviously he inspired my blog photo. More importantly this memory represents something about me that I have never let anyone mess with. It is elusive, it is not “on-call” nor greatly on display, but it points to my very essence, to what has proved consistent throughout the years. It lives at the wellspring of my joy.

As a small child, I discovered one of the best ways to guard something intangible is to never let it descend into the realm of language, whether it be spoken, written or thoughts/mental dialogue. I can mention this now because, like a tree that has already grown, I have already taken form.

Everything about me that deviates from this natural course is merely a performance in some way related to survival. Do not judge your inconsistencies. After a couple of years of investigating “the shadow” and allowing it to come into the light, as it were, I can honestly say that it was/is chock full of really good stuff. After the initial shock and displeasure, I find it is the place where so many wonderful, unique and heartfelt aspects of me are born, live and die, only to be reborn again.

If, even for one minute, you’ve ever thought you have spare parts to who you are, things that could be improved about your basic nature, I beg to differ. You only have things that could be discovered and embraced about your basic nature. Everything else is just a performance.

Obviously I am not composing a Dummies Guide to Being A Conformist in this life.



Taking a pi break

Got a quick story for you. I shared this with a great friend who laughed a lot, but the thing is… most of the people I communicate with seem quite peeved by this story.  So now I have to share, because that seems an odd response to something I find delightfully funny. Feel free to share your joy or disgust in the comments…surely there’s something for me to learn here…perhaps?

I’ve actually been quite ill – some kind of infection. Nearly over it now. On Friday I read up on how the antibiotics are supposed to work and decided that I needed to be still for an hour after taking each one so my body has the resources available for a full scale attack. Being still, yeah right!

I started thinking about pi. Someone mentioned it on TV the night before. Jewish guy we rescued from destitution years ago used his ability to recite pi to 14 places as part of his argument for why jews are genetically superior. My friend Greg can rattle off pi to 12 decimal places.

I recalled that 22/7 was a representation of pi – something I was told in school, but I ran the numbers in my head and quickly discovered it’s completely wrong. So I looked up the decimal representation.

Ten minutes later I have memorised pi to 27 decimal places. I thought that was enough considering I was supposed to be relaxing. What can I say other than it’s an intriguing number/concept?

An hour later in the shower I was reciting pi however, after the 27th number I found myself saying – “and the last three numbers are 279.”  As in, to round up to 30 places.  Cracked myself up.

Thus far I have no use for this info. I will laugh even more if I do find a use for it.



Story #1: Accidental Empathy

I wrote this story 22nd July 1995 with the title Story No. 1 (pretty original huh?) It was inspired by images from the media at the time.

This man comments on the sanity of the woman who drowned her children. He would be the best person to ask in this situation, given the tense, victim-like dishevelment he portrays. He is wearing glasses and he appears to struggle with the load he carries on his shoulders.

“I try not to see,” he thinks. “I became a psychiatrist to find the truth! How can I declare the rationale for one woman’s actions, when she personifies my pain and I hers? I wear her anguish, her misunderstanding and her guilt. She commits the crime in such a real and tangible way that I envy her. I envy her freedom of expression. We cannot harm the children, the innocents, the newborn and as yet unformed ideas, dreams and goals. Just as I murder my own self and every truly creative thought, dream or ideal__”

He blinks. “Too much analysis has gone into this life of mine. She represents that one true desire that was born of pain and sublimated beyond all recognition. I question my life at this point, when I, once again, determine someone’s sanity based on their decision to act.”

The American media are very interested in this case. The people have an opportunity to voice their objection to breaking the rules. The media seem to be very attracted to the public demise of individuals who are driven to express their disharmony without the benefit of acceptable options.

“The news is rarely ever good these days. The news doesn’t rejuvenate and uplift us, give us hope for our lives. I am a man who has studied intensely, the reality of the mind and human behaviour; yet I am not left with any more tools or particular human advantage than this woman, and pure chance separates our destinies.”

“I have children, two sons, beautiful boys and I would never contemplate their death by my hand. I don’t see my sons often enough. I work hard. Their mother is wonderful, I love and need her in such a way that I can’t even begin to communicate with her. We don’t get much time to talk. I work hard for my family.”

“There is no room for changes in this life – not for me, for my colleagues, my squash buddies, my patients or my family. There is a delicate balance, an unstable equilibrium to maintain. To upset this balance with nothing more than a desire for change, a desire to act, is futile and merely causes chaos and crises such as these. I cannot act upon, merely accept and live with this runny nose, this aching back, my crippled toes and immobile sternum – for that is my lot and who am I to question – to judge?”

The thoughts that run through this man’s head flicker across his face momentarily and though he has already submitted his written report to the court, for a brief instant, he is not quite sure what he is going to say. He is not quite sure what his pronouncement will be.

The end.


“I hate it when you do that. I can’t read you.”

“What does it matter? I had nothing to contribute.”

“But it always happens and I don’t like it,” she said. “It shuts me out.”

“Out of where?  If it helps, I’m not doing anything in particular but I feel kind of weird.”  The fleeting image of a football flies through my mind towards invisible goalposts. “I suppose it’s a response to what you’re doing.”

“I’m not doing anything.”  Continue reading

Murder on the TV

The wine is sweet
Tart richness against
A velvet backdrop

The voice is sharp
Cracked blitheness enshrouds
A silent heartbreak

The room is stark
White coolness surrounds
A seething tumult

The glass is svelte
Clear brightness reflects
A bloodied dreamscape

The hair is strewn
Death’s freshness presents
A lovely nightmare

The face is sad
Love’s braveness amidst
A mortal outburst

Her life is spent
Hurt weakness beneath
A broken mindset

His life is spent
Eye witness compels
A final judgement


From the grace of the deep, easy
Swimming up to the light of nothingness
We care about how we are, guilty

Neglected we flee from the world’s darkness
Love arises from nowhere, crazy
Impossible to control and endless

We scream at the wrong people, empty
Not knowing if we deserve happiness
Sentenced by those we judge harshly…

Banks! Appreciation Society – Life Membership

I am struggling to understand something and I am hoping someone can help.

Warning: This is a rant so it probably isn’t coherent

Today I received a certificate in the mail for Life Membership of The [insert my own name here] Appreciation Society.

The covering letter suggests that I should hang the certificate in my “entry foyer credenza, the fridge or take it straight to the pool room.” and, wait for it… “Also included is your very real, credit card invitation with a limit of [insert ridiculous sum of money for someone who has no reliable source of income]”. In short they want me to apply for a credit card.

Apparently, this is my reward for being with the same bank for 24 years. Thanks. I now wish I had never opened a bank account. You don’t deserve any profits and, let’s face it you probably wouldn’t make any if you didn’t manipulate government policy. You got bailed out during GFC with phenomenal profits that year, I got nothing except for a bout of unemployment.  And now you want me to owe you. I read the letter as, we are so upset that we can’t entice you to take on unsupportable debt after all this time of putting money into our bank, so we are going to hang shit on you instead.

So the very hip, cool and happening marketing department have sent me a certificate announcing that “I LOVE MYSELF” in the hope that it will piss me off enough to rack up mountains of debt.

I do admit that it may not be the fault of the marketing department, it could also be possible that there is a dangerously contagious form of narcissism (otherwise known as “having one’s head up one’s ass”) spreading out of control in Melbourne and the computer caught it.

Fantastic! More Wheels

Here is a bit of an update to Only One Wheel? – a post I wrote almost six months ago… before the poetry obsession.

The Smiling Chinese guy is still beaming away like a new dawn, I’m sure he was born with that smile on his face.

The name of the Other Chinese guy is Peter.  He seems to run the place and he clearly loves to entertain his customers. When I mentioned that I had posted a story about him online, I could tell he was pleased.

“How many wheels on a bus?” he said. “I don’t know…” I replied, “but that’s a lot of Wagon Wheels, I’ll get fat.”  He thinks six, I’m still not sure of the correct answer. We did resolve to count them next time we saw a bus but no-one has bothered yet. We frequently ruminate over the number of wheels on a vast array of vehicles and discuss such earth-shattering topics as, whether a Wagon Wheel is really just a fancy jam sandwich after Peter informed me there was an actual, living, human in the UK who has eaten nothing but jam sandwiches his whole life.

In terms of Wagon Wheels, I mixed it up for a little while and then one day I went back to the standard purchase, two x Wagon Wheels. When I got to the counter Peter looked me straight in the eye and nodded in mock seriousness, “Aah, a bicycle” he said. I paused for a second because I could feel a distinct contrariness rising up inside of me, I guess I was a wee bit bored with all this Wagon Wheel talk. I shook my head slowly and replied “Nah, two unicycles – one for each leg!” I think he might have spluttered. For a short while after that we just looked at each other and laughed whenever I walked in the shop.

Since then we have regularly traded all kinds of brilliant quips, puns and half-failed attempts at humour – the full gamut. He mentions sometimes that his young son likes some of the things that I like and I always say it’s because I never grew up. One day he asked where my reusable shopping bag was and I told him the story of how I lost it. The second visit after that he had a new bag for me to use, along with a new recurring pun and a good laugh to go with it.

This is the story that got me laughing today. Yesterday, a couple of customers came in to buy a bottle of Coke. He mentioned there was a special price available, “You can get two bottles for $6 and, since there are two of you” he told them “your friend should get one too”. So the friend dutifully went to the fridge and returned with a bottle of Fanta. Peter is trying not to laugh as he finishes off with a flourish. “The moment he came back with the Fanta, I looked at him and said ‘Now all you need is a stick and you will be fan-ta-stic!'”