Thursday, September 30, 2010

in absentia


I must apologise sincerely for the lack of posts from Susan's side. You'll note that Stacey has diligently been posting here, while things are all silent on the Melbourne front. I attribute this to my crap internet (capped after 10gb, what is this!) and an unfortunate little thing called 'my final semester at university'.

Further, this weekend I am traveling to Newcastle for a little thing called 'This is Not Art' Festival. Though I recently made the decision to take my laptop (with the view to undertake some study) I feel as if an internet connection will be lacking and any reportage on this event will come via mobilus twitter. If you are, however, in Newcastle, please come find me at Staple Manor on Saturday and Sunday afternoons where I will be helping run a workshop and a panel with my lovely Voiceworks chums.

You must know that I love each of you in a special and individual way and that I am making myself late for my bus to the airport.

With that in mind, I bid you farewell.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Running Like A Stace

Last week I felt so utterly despondent and I knew some measures had to be taken. So, along with booking an appointment for the university counsellor, I decided to go for a run. Running seems easy enough, basically just one foot in front of the other in rapid succession. Anyone can do that. Let's be clear though, I am not a person who runs or is interested in keeping fit, so this was a strange new world for me. A world of sweat and stretching and trackpants.

Firstly, what to wear, and do I even have anything that is appropriate for such an activity? The answer is no, so my mum gave me some trackpants and old running shoes to keep. Thanks mum. Appreciate it. The next thing to organise is the route, and a quick check on tells me I should go up Holy St. Easy, done. Next, should I bring my ipod, and if so, what should I listen to? This prompted me to make a running playlist, which can be found below. The main criteria were that the songs had to:

- have 'running' in the title
- remind me of being in motion
- be really energetic

Lastly, we need to think about stretches. My Dad always says that before you stretch you should warm up your muscles, so I usually jog on the spot for a few minutes. Then I hold each stretch for 10 seconds. Quads, hamstrings, calves, soleus, ankles, shoulders, arms, neck. All that is left is the act itself, so I set out (running).

The first part of the run is enjoyable, and my limbs move as if they are no longer a part of me; a marionette. Then it starts to set in, and my breath gets shorter and my legs protest and my ipod earphones keep falling out. I reach the end of the road and do some more stretches. I am a sweaty mess but I don't care because I figure that's what people who are running look like. I am running again, only my shins are aching and I am choking and I want to stop so I do. Now I am walking, but fast, and I am red in the face and my eyes are fixed on the space in front of me. I start to run again, I run and I run and I forget the world. I stop at my letter box, feeling defeated. I say hi to my flat mate who is in the kitchen. His name is Gary. Then I go upstairs to my balcony and do some stretches. I sit down with my legs crossed and close my eyes. I think of nothing but the wind on my face. I breathe in and out. I am living.

1. Run Run Run by The Velvet Underground
2. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi by Radiohead
3. Wicked Gil by Band Of Horses
4. Runaway by The National (crap song but can't argue with the title)
5. O Katrina! by The Black Lips
6. A.T.T.I.T.U.D by Die! Die! Die!
7. Set Out Running by Neko Case
8. Running Like A Man by Wet Wings
9. Last Night by The Strokes
10. You Are A Runner And I Am My Fathers Son by Wolf Parade
11. Running by Menomena
12. Bullets by Editors
13. Travel Is Dangerous by Mogwai
14. Keep The Car Running by Arcade Fire
15.Sec Walkin' by My Morning Jacket (for when I get tired and start walking)
16. The Modern Age by The Strokes
17. Shyness Will Get You Nowhere by Die! Die! Die!
18. Fall Of The Star High School Running Back by The Mountain Goats
19. The National Anthem by Radiohead

Monday, September 27, 2010

Love me 'til my heart stops

Topic for this week is "short stories". Fictional or real, any topic, just write damn it.

Video theme is "What I did yesterday".

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This week's statement poems

I know it sounds bad but I can really relate to a lot of Sex and the City right now.

Listening to sad music and looking at a picture of an elephant.

I'm trying to get used to being a whole person.

Eating in food courts by yourself is a surreal experience.

I wonder what it would be like to have something to aspire to.

Listening to my music really loudly so that my new flatmates will hate me.

There are parts of each other that we just can't reach.

Maybe I don't even matter but I would like to.

Harbouring erotic thoughts during my psychological inquiry lecture.

In class my lecturer is talking about the history of Chile and I am writing about feminism in TextEdit.

Standing on the top of WF building thinking vaguely about flinging myself off it but might just go get some thai food instead.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I am tall and awkward


i am writing this in bed
i often write in bed
i also cry in bed
watch tv in bed
laugh at funny parts of shows.

i eat toast in my bed
i sleep on those crumbs in my bed
i have a 100 yr old frame for a bed
my teddy is with me in my bed
there are cushions and a blue corduroy elephant at the end of my bed
i think about you in my bed
i think about when i was in your bed
i think about which way i slept in your bed
i imagine you are holding me that way in my bed
it takes me some time to sleep.

my lamp is at the other end of my bed
i hide my computer underneath my bed
i see the light of it under my bed
a disused trundle sits waiting for a mattress under my bed
i also keep boxes of things there.

Monday, September 20, 2010

First Aid Kit, September 16, Whammy Bar, Auckland

After warming up with a couple of feijoa ciders, Joseph and I sat down in a booth to see Luckless, who I honestly didn't pay much attention to, before endeavouring to see Chelsea Jade and James Duncan next door at the Wine Cellar. I really liked the first song they played about still being cold with the lights on and also a song about mock breaking up. I was standing near the back texting Susie because she is my go-to girl when it comes to matters of the heart. I was also thinking about how people shouldn't loop their music because it feels inorganic. During the end of their set I went into Whammy where Joseph was buying another cider and abusing the bartender for putting too much lemon in. The guy said something about him being like Woody Allen and Joseph was pretty happy.

The show itself was short but lovely, and although I had my mind on other things, I really enjoyed it. I don't know any of the names of the songs, but there was this one song were I felt like everything around me melted away and that the crowd that was stretched out before me felt more like an ocean. There was this other song that had the opposite effect, it amplified everything, and made me feel like I might cry, but I didn't, I just stood there with my eyes fixed on them and bit my lip a little. There were some songs where I was not even paying attention, but simply enjoying their lovely voices being projected around the room. During one song I went to the bathroom, and I saw a really nice message written on the wall. It made me feel like everything was going to be okay, but now I have forgotten it. When I came back out Joseph was sitting down writing statement poems in this exercise book. For their encore they came into the crowd and got everyone to gather around them. We stayed where we were and just listened. After the show I saw my friends Lia and Kiki and I hugged and kissed them several times because they are babes. Then we went out into the cold night, to the over bridge, to the bus, and home to Waterview.

Neighbourhood: Part 2

first aid kit, the toff in town, melbourne, sept 5th

Two weeks ago I went to see First Aid Kit with my friend Zoe. We were on the door because my friend Gemma's husband manages Daisy M. Tully (from Bridezilla) who was supporting that night. Daisy sang really beautiful and mournful songs although I thought that she looped her violin too loudly and it was a bit forceful as opposed to the melancholic she was going for. She performs really intensely too and precursed songs with stories like "I wrote this when my grandfather died. I'm singing it tonight for my grandmother, who we are burying tomorrow". While this was happening, two girls were kissing very passionately in my periphery.

Understandably, Zoe and I needed a break and went to eat some Thai food after Daisy's set. The cups we drank from were embossed aluminum. There was a lot of fussing around with coat checking that evening.

Sisters Klara & Johanna Söderberg had just come onstage when we returned from our meal. I was instantly struck by how beautiful they both were, in aesthetic terms as well as musical. They opened with Sailor Song which made me realise the true meaning of 'rollicking' and maintained that level of stunning throughout the whole night. I noticed that Johanna had a particularly compelling way of delivering her harmonies: she tended to open her eyes wide and shake her head to deliver the message of the lyrics. I felt very akin to her, because my face tends to get away from me most of the time. Klara seemed to be the leader and I wonder if she's older than Johanna, because even if she isn't, she seemed like it. They had a weird chemistry onstage and it made me feel a bit uncomfortable because even though the crowd laughed and I along with them, I felt like we weren't sure whether it was truly funny and we were just laughing to help them out. I also feel we may have been a bit afraid of them because they sang so beautifully and in some ways would have done anything for them.

They sang Ghost Town acapella to chilling effect and sang Tiger Mountain Peasant Song like everybody hoped they would. I looked up the lyrics to that song because I didn't know how the chorus started and it goes "dear shadow alive and well, how can the body die". Then I looked up the Fleet Foxes website and found out that the lead singer was only 22 years old earlier this year. While I was at First Aid Kit I thought to myself they reminded me a bit of Neko Case and I really wished I hadn't missed her concert in Australia earlier this year. I also thought they had really long hair and I was worried it would get caught in their guitars. During the encore they stood in the crowd and we all sat on the ground around them. They said they were going to play one of their favourite songs that I can't remember the name of and somebody in the crowd said "is that the one Neko Case covers?" and they didn't know. Which made it even more awkward. I think it was so terrible when they were speaking just because they weren't singing and I never wanted them to stop. I also thought to myself that I wanted to start a band with my sister.

Afterwards they were signing stuff at the merch table and me and Zoe weren't going to wait in line for them until Zoe saw one of their posters and decided she needed one for her room. A girl was wearing a woolen jumper with an arctic scene on it and I told her I liked it. It's nice to compliment strangers. We were at the end of the line and the posters were gone by that time, so we just said to them that we wanted to start a band even though we weren't sisters. Johanna said you don't have to be sisters! And I hope she knew we were just being cute.

Harmony has always been one of my favourite things in the whole world. Seeing First Aid Kit reminded me of how much and awakened me to how truly country my music taste has become. I think I even said something sweeping to Zoe like "this was my ideal concert". Afterwards we went to the Hoyts level of Melbourne Central to see if there were any First Aid Kit posters on the bollards still. There weren't. I had to wait 25 minutes for a train home.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Statement poems


I am really bad at life decisions and to a lesser extent, food decisions.

Talking and talking but never saying anything.

I don't want to be afraid to be lonely but I am.

I had a dream that somebody told me they hated my statement poems.

He is making me breakfast and I am a million miles away.

Caught in a rain storm, our wet skinny jeans stick to our thighs.

At the bus stop the seat is wet but I sit down anyway.

The pages of my book flutter ceaselessly in the wind.

Everybody has their hoods up and so do I.

Raindrops are smudging the words in my notebook.

In my bag I count sixteen bus tickets.

Suddenly after the storm there is sunshine.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Our bodies are pressed together,
my skin on your skin.
Held tight.
There's this warmth that you exude, and
I let it permeate me.
Here in this bed,
this cocoon,
we are impenetrable.

Neighbourhood: Part 1

Topic for this week


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

video post: what am I doing

Avocado is not nature's butter. Butter is nature's butter.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A life

days are just days
because they feel so
when they are stretched out before me

days are just days
but days turn into nights
where i drink wine
and write
and sleep
and dream

days are just days
and this is not a life
it is just time passing,
your body is a clock

days are just days
but they are so much more
with you

days are just days,
a life is just a life

Theres a lemon behind that rock

This week's video post: What are you doing?

self worth

For this topic I refer you to a poem by Diane Wakoski called "I have had to learn to live with my face". I do encourage you to read it all. The whole thing is appropriate, but due to the length, here is an excerpt that summarises how I feel about self worth.

I look at pictures of myself as a child.
I looked lumpy, unformed, like a piece of dough,
and it has been my task as a human being
to carve out a mind, carve out a face,
carve a shape with arms and legs, to put a voice inside,
and to make a person from a presence.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A cruel, cruel thing

Things I learnt about love from South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami:

1. The way that you love someone can either save or destroy them.
2. The way that someone loves you can either save or destroy you.
3. Love is not quantifiable, but it is absolute.
4. Sex is a part of love, but it does not define love.
5. Someone will always get hurt.
6. You can love someone your whole life.
7. Love is physiological.
8. You can't help who you love.
9. Love is sometimes like a physical force, it sweeps you away and you can't stop your feet from leaving the ground.
10. Love can make you abandon all logic.

Friday, September 10, 2010

now you know

An idea I have had in my mind lately is 'make your life into art' and this week's topic made me think of it. It's easy enough to take the good that we feel and make it into something, but what about the bad that we feel, how can we make that into "art"? The main thing that we have to do is to be open, be open about ourselves to the world, for our own sakes. So when we find ourselves with a topic like this, it is personal, and not necessarily beautiful or triumphant. All we can say is the sad truths. That we hate ourselves but we don't know how to change. That we are stupid, and pathetic, and afraid. That we have no skills, or confidence, or eloquence. That we are lazy, and lonely, and lacking.

But there are some days where we feel good. We walk down the street with a sense of purpose. We are independent and carefree. We are good-looking and smart. We are kind and loving. We are moral and good. These are the days we try to replicate.

On the other days, we either try to wriggle out from underneath our dissatisfaction, or burrow deep inside it.

This week's topic


Thursday, September 9, 2010

zine review #1

As Stacey mentioned earlier this week, we have decided to start doing videos. That's because we are shamelessly copying this guy Joseph. I've heard he goes alright*. Anyway I apologise for how low the sound is - TURN UP YO SPEAKERS - and the out of sync-ness of my video, but I really can't be bothered fixing it because I'm really hungry, plus in this version you can see the drawings best. At the end when I giggle I am saying "Stacey's got nice boobies"**.

The guy who drew this zine is actually in a pretty cool band called Psuche. I guess the video isn't a review as much as it is me showing you a zine I think is cool. Which is alright really.

*an Australian expression that here means "is a favourable chap"
**a phrase that here means "possesses agreeable breasts"***
***I was actually saying "Sticky is the best"

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Video Posts

Hello lovely readers,

Susie and I have decided to start doing video posts on a different thing each week. This week Susie came up with zine reviews. If you have any suggestions, let us know. In the meantime, here is a short blooper video of me when I was trying to record something earlier. Such a dork.

Blurred Vision

Monday, September 6, 2010


by Edna St Vincent Millay

Sorrow like a ceaseless rain
Beats upon my heart.

People twist and scream in pain,
Dawn will find them still again;

This has neither wax nor wane,

Neither stop nor start.

People dress and go to town;
I sit in my chair.

All my thoughts are slow and brown:

Standing up or sitting down

Little matters, or what gown
Or what shoes I wear.

by the National

by me

tomorrow I will keep busy
and will not think of him.
sending emails can be so serious,
paying bills always grim.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The ache

I was trying to explain to someone
that there is this ache
and sometimes this ache
feels euphoric
and sometimes it
makes you want to die.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sad songs: A Playlist

I won't lie, I think this is the best playlist I've ever compiled. I made it one night when I felt sad, and it's not that listening to sad songs makes me feel sadder, it just makes me feel so good because it suits my mood exactly. And anyway, I like sad songs, because they are often the most beautiful. The same could be said about other things. So this is it:

1) Inside and Out by Feist
2) Evening Kitchen by Band of Horses
3) Skinny Love by Bon Iver
4) Lua by Bright Eyes
5) A Lack of Colour by Death Cab For Cutie
6) Samskeyti by Sigur Ros
7) Nothing Gets Crossed Out by Bright Eyes
8) Lover's Spit by Broken Social Scene
9) Hate by Cat Power
10) Transatlanticism by Death Cab For Cutie
11) Ash Wednesday by Elvis Perkins
12) Jealous Guy by Elliott Smith
13) Such Great Heights by Iron and Wine
14) I See A Darkness by Johnny Cash
15) Life Being What It Is by Kaki King
16) Misread by Kings of Convenience
17) In Corolla by The Mountains Goats
18) Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths
19) Waitin' Around To Die by Townes Van Zandt
20) Sorrow by The National
21) Two Headed Boy Pt. 2 by Neutral Milk Hotel
22) Everyone Feels Like You by Owen
23) Get Lonely by The Mountain Goats
24) Knives Out by Radiohead
25) New Slang by The Shins
26) Vaka by Sigur Ros
27) Bed Abuse by Owen
28) Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now by The Smiths
29) The Seer's Tower by Sufjan Stevens

Fact not fiction

I find myself
thinking about you
in grocery lines
in lectures
at work
at mealtimes
on buses
on buses.
I will be
biting my nails
and gritting my teeth
and checking my phone
and sighing,

Friday, September 3, 2010

Final thoughts on love

Love can make you feel like such a dick.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

passing remark

In scenery I like flat country.
In life I don’t like much to happen.

In personalities I like mild colorless people.
And in colors I prefer gray and brown.

My wife, a vivid girl from the mountains,
says, “Then why did you choose me?”

Mildly I lower my brown eyes—
there are so many things admirable people do not understand.

William Stafford

Annie Hall

I love Diane Keaton in this movie.

My old life

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

100% babes

hold me now

The more that I think about love, the more that it starts to lose all meaning. Kind of like when you repeat a word over and over. The only thing that I know for sure about love is that I feel it. It's silly, but when I try to talk about love I often refer back to films or songs. I feel like they would say it better than I could. When you start a relationship and you begin to feel these 'love' feelings, I think it is best not to tell the other person until you simply can't hold in the words when you look at them. That should be the rule. I am not always so positive about love. It can be very confusing, and horrible, and hurtful. But I open myself up to love always, because I think that it is worth it. I often think that I am pretty lucky to have experienced love and not had my heart completely broken. The truth is, love is everything, in every sense of the word. I don’t care if that’s cheesy.

fictional and far away

Sometimes I recall that bit in Love Actually where Thomas Sangster and Liam Neeson decide they're ready to get the shit kicked out of them by love. Sometimes I think that I’m ready. But I am either not brave enough or haven't decided anyone's worthwhile yet.

I feel slightly existential about this frankly, in a mauvaise foi kinda way. True of all our emotions, we just convince ourselves of what we are experiencing. As our good existential buddy Hamlet said, “there is no good or bad, only thinking makes it so”. For example, I’m not really sure if I love my family, but because they are my family and that’s what I am meant to feel for them, I tell myself that I do. It is just as easy to be jealous of someone and to dislike them as it is to admire and like them.

Anyway I wrote the following in a very obvious attempt to distance myself from the topic.

Love was sitting high up in the trees as I walked home, the sun shining through leaves encouraging my sentimentality, knocking leaves down to me as I strolled. The street was otherwise empty and I could smell jasmine quite strongly walking past the grand houses in my neighbourhood. Love rolled its eyes at me enjoying the spring, probably willing me to be more pragmatic or something. Love nudged the birds and the trees in the ribs and made them all laugh at me for my hopeless romanticism. Love knows I spend too much time walking down pretty-looking-jasmine-smelling streets to get a job or travel or find a husband or save a life or change the world or do all those things that seem truly possible when the sun shines haphazardly through leaves. Love laughs at me with Nature, and Nature quite openly hates me and my disregard for it. They gang up on me in my daily life, make me trip on my baggy pyjama pants, make it rain just after I put my washing out on the line and make the cats scratch me.

I have actually never been in love, which I think is evident, and I don't want to write about it any further I'm afraid.