Sunday, 20 July 2008

'If you could do anything in the world right now, what would you do?' she asked.

I thought a while.

'I would fuck my way into heaven' I finally replied.

'You're really quite strange' she said with a laugh.

'Am I?' I replied. It wasnt the first time I had heard it said. I never really quite understood what it meant. Surely everything was strange until we got used to it.

'You're not happy, are you?' she said.

'Are you?' I asked.

'Yea, most of the time. Life is what you make it' was her reply.

'I guess I still dont know what to make of it' I said.

'Oh god, you can be so miserable sometimes!' and she gently slapped my arm.

'I find it hard to ignore the injustices' I said , maybe a little defensively.
'I want to believe in happiness and beauty and heaven more than anything but...'

I didnt know how to finish my point, so I didnt.

We sat quietly for a while. She thought about dresses and social occasions. I wondered about why I always took conversations down dead end streets. I never seemed to learn from my mistakes. Like a broken record. I suddenly felt weak, petty and embarrased. I felt myself blush with a sense of self-loathing. I didnt know how it was I had become this way, not when, not why. I was stranded on a desert island with only mirages for company. I wanted to say something funny, something hilarious. I wanted to lighten the mood, bring joy, jump and dance and clap and sing.

We sat there. A chasm between us. It was up to me to cross but I didnt know how. It struck me that I might never find someone I had everything in common with, the thought of being alone forever was suddenly terrifying. The walls were closing in. I had the sudden urge to make a dash for the door and start running.

She looked at me. The silence was dragging on a little too long. I could think of nothing to fill it. I noticed her take a subtle look at her watch. People required constant entertainment. You could not just sit in silence with a person like we could with animals. I wondered why it was like that.

'I think there is a good film on at 9' she said.

The TV was designed for just such moments. To help you avoid life or to save a bored relationship. I didnt tell her this. I just grunted an affirmation.

'What is with you?' she half laughed.

'I just want to fuck my way into heaven' I repeated after a moment.

I noticed a little glint flicker in her eye. It aroused me. I liked that.
I put my hand gently against her neck and stroked it down over her right breast. When I reached the nippled I crossed it slowly. I held her gaze all the while.

'I'd do anything to set us free' I said and I truly meant it.
'It's not so bad' she said as if wishing me to feel how good she felt. But I knew how it ended. I could read fortunes, it had always been a curse. In the end you lose. The last thing you feel will not be pleasure, but fear mixed with pain. I could never shut that out, much as I tried.

I continued to caress her. We warmed to the body chemistry. This we had in common. It was love in the moment. Wholesome and genuine love and there was some kind of salvation in that.

I felt an erection start to build lazily and shifted in my chair.

'So, are you going to fuck me into heaven or what?' she asked, moving her face closer to mine.

I gave it my best shot and maybe we even reached it for a while. We stayed together nearly two years. She had an affair with a journalist and I left. I'd call her up sometimes just to chat but she didnt want to know me anymore. That hurt more than the affair. He'd even tried to pick a fight with me in a bar sometime later. I was about to punch him in the throat but thought better of it. The desire to kill him right where he stood was so powerful it scared me. Instead I just turned and walked out.

Monday, 14 July 2008

3am pass out

The time seems to have been racing of late,
And I am at the end of another night again
Where I find 2am sees me just warming up, but alone.
Wandering home, grab a cab.
Try to talk
To the stranger
That makes no sense to me, and I sure don’t make sense.
Various different toxins working in me
None of which
Seem now to bring me any kind of peace.
Just a hunger
Insatiable hunger

I have tried so many ways to appease this
And it is clear the more I try, the deeper and more demanding it becomes.
Maybe a smoke will cure it. I smoke. But it doesn’t.
Maybe more booze will cure it.
It doesn’t
More drugs, more sex, more food, more fucking ANYTHING!
So long as it is bad for me,
it works for a while.
Then the vacuum returns.
Bigger and meaner.
It is right in here.
Right now,
I can feel it.

A hollowness
The hunger.
For what? I don’t know
Sometimes I think it is maybe just life longing to die.
I don’t wish to be morbid
Just ask the question
What is this?
That is never cured in me
and aches, so much, just to be at peace.
This night
At 2.30am
As I sit and type
Into the moment
Alive, really as alive as it gets.
You don’t get more alive than this!
I know,
I have lived.
And time speeds up some more
Reminding me
I have no time.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

the magnetic fields - strange powers
you call it madness
I call it sanctuary

why is life so futile?
she asked me

probably the wrong person to ask
I said

I put on 'Private Investigations' by Dire Straits
pulled a bottle of wine from the fridge, a rose, Oyster Bay

someone banged on the wall from next door.

'TOO LOUD?' I shouted
but didnt move.
If I had heard a response I would have shouted profanities.
sometimes you just got to let the ears bleed.
despite the discomfort of your neighbours.
they'll be ok tomorrow.
but hell, we might die tonight

if it were not for the music
that plays
to save our souls

to save our souls

there's a funny thing


how many times I have laid drunk across my bed vomiting into a plastic bag, thinking


still no one comes.

I been playing that tune for years

'...scarred for life, no compensation, private investigation...'

but I had no answer for her.
nothing that would relieve the part of her that hurt.

maybe you are polar, or just artistic
I finally said

austistic, more like
was the response.

oh you are a dark horsey, ney

I smiled and we chinked our drinks. two lost souls making like it all meant something in that drunken haze. and it did in some little way.

I kept smelling cheap perfume, mine, not hers.
I wondered if I would ever get some class
but I figured not
why bother
why pretend, I am something I am not.
just a hot blooded gypsy at best
and not exactly the romantic kind

it wasnt long before I began to feel the wolf salivating somewhere inside.
locked in his kennel. chained and tethered. like it did any good.
I would never change.
just howl at the moon
and sometimes she'd come play with me
frolic in the wilds
in the heat
in the lust
where we both found it safe
but others often feared.
funny that.
how our wild hearts tame so easily
but some remain wild forever

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

and I told her,

Don't believe that I am an honest man,
there's no solid ground here to build truth on

And she smiled,
and stroked my brow

I stood once in the place where the last of the wild men held off the Romans,
it was where the old ways ended, right there. I could see the fight, I could smell the fire. It was across the water, a place called Anglesey. They were butchered.

What are you on about?
She laughed

I didnt really know how to explain it,
sudden thoughts, random and yet not

I dont know, I said, who I know these things for

Her eyes were blue as sapphire, as corny as it may sound, I could see dreams in them.
That was beautiful to me.
To see that life.

Mine weren't lost, it is just that when you've seen the end of the world through the bottom of a thousand glasses, the wait doesn't seem to appeal quite so much.

Listen gorgeous, I said in the best Sam Spade I could manage. We've got some hours of romance left yet. Why dont I take you somewhere you'll never forget.

She seemed intrigued, I could feel her excitement.

We left the bar into the orange street lights and the rain. Took her car out into the country, I directed her where to go. It was a hill, some way into Wiltshire. High up in the mists it looked out over the world. Lights of cities at night could be seen miles away, a train snaked across the land in the distance, the sound bringing the feeling of sighs. It was beautiful from up here. A cold wind blew, but that just helped to keep the people away. I liked that. We were alone, the two of us. Completely.

You're crazy, you know that
she looked at me, a little confused yet slightly charmed.

Sure I am, kid.
But I knew the magic of that hill, and how it worked;
it moved you, all you had to do was sit up there a while, in the dark.
Things happened up there.

I watched for the signs, that would tell me if we should stay or go.
I pulled out a bottle of Captain Morgan's rum and we took nips til our bellys felt warm.
Two owls hooted in the distant valley and the moon broke through the clouds lighting our shadows infront of us onto the grass.
The mist was light, but better than any Hollow wood movie could have done.
Then it hit,
and I felt her calm upon my arm.
Felt her relax.
Into the place I always had been,
into the mystery

It's beautiful, she whispered.
And it was.
And I knew.

This is when the fear lets you go
all the troubles of the day no longer have power over you,
where the joy comes back, like your childhood, all at once.

It's freedom baby. That's where it is.

I took out a small blue box I'd owned since I didnt know when, on it was a glittering hollogram, I twirled it in my fingers.
It had stars sparkling all the light of the moon that reflected in its depths,
and I felt her gaze marry with mine in there.
Two owls hooted in the valley,
the mist came in,
and we were gone.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

In the end, I arrived at the ocean

I slipped that jacket over my shoulders, it felt good to be in it again. Security warmed my muscles, I smiled and stared out into the dark blackness of the ocean.

I loved the ocean at night, the fear, you could smell it. Where did it go, out there, our fear, I mean? Seemed like I could feel death itself touching me, a wave crashed loudly and made me jump. When your mind was dead from a day in the city, this was the place to come, hear the roar, stand before nature beating the rhythms of life. A little wake up touch.

The ocean and the mountains, the two places the Machine will never reach. Thank god. We can find our true path to freedom there. It's maybe why we love them. Love to stare at them in a day dream, remembering a feeling our ancestors knew. The concrete cannot block them out, cannot nullify our souls in these places, this is the wild truth.

This is where I have come, to stand tonight, and look out knowing I live just a short walk away, yea, that jacket feels good, like my iron shirt, my chi. I feel it return, into the depths of me. I fucking made it. It was THE road to hell but I fucking made it. Aint nothing gonna stop me now. I thought as a another wave broke and soaked my feet in cold. Except that of course. But I have time, and while I have, its good things I will do.

Monday, 7 July 2008

red umbrella in the sunshine

Took a break through lunch, I was in the city so strolled through Martin Place and sat on a bench to watch the women going by. Think I am falling in love with Sydney. Found myself staring at the sun shining off the tall buildings, listening to a man play some bad spanish guitar, it made me laugh, he was so bad it was comical.
Exactly what was needed.
Things had changed already and I noted it.
I had strolled this street many times on the way back to where I had been staying the past six months, but it was only now I had my own place, finally.
Shit, maybe I was starting to feel at home.

I was beginning to relax a bit, the first time in over a year.
Thought I would love travelling, but I didnt, it made me nervous, insecure.
I almost envied the stupidity of backpackers.
that and their money.
mine had run out.
it wasnt the first time,
but it was the first time I had no rescue.
Had been lost for a while back there, lost inside.
Still, things had turned out ok, as they often did, and I was in a place now,
I had somewhere to shut the door on the world.
light the candles, spill the wine, and listen to classical music.
funny how much we change.
funny how much we follow in the footsteps of others.

A girl walked by, she stood out from the crowd, something about her as much as she was carrying a bright red chinese umbrella and twirling it happily. I smiled at her and she grinned back. Wasnt ready yet to talk to people. Had barely spoken to strangers since being here. I didnt feel comfortable yet, it was starting to happen though. Yea, things were changing. The darkness inside was lifting.
I knew it was going to be alright.
She carried on by,
the guitarist played,
the sun shone,
alone and happy,
that's a good place to be.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

cj bolland - it aint gonna be me
XTC - runaways
I think it is the same for everyone , but the people who could save us are the ones that dont give a shit.
black fingernails, red wine

Saturday, 5 July 2008


I’d been about a year living in Bristol when I returned to Oxford and to my old group of friends. I was about 21 or 22, the year possibly around 1988. At that point I was single for the first time since I was 15. I had split up with a girl of 6 years who had been my first love, and my only fiancĂ© to this day. I learnt a lesson there. I hadn’t handled it well and it took me the time in Bristol to start to bring myself back from a bad place. It hadn’t been helped by an acid trip gone wrong at the same time as my life spent in love was degenerating. So, I eventually returned to Oxford and into a shared house with some of my old buddies. Things had changed between us, but I hoped it would improve. They were my school friends but the split with my girlfriend had created some kind of irreparable catharsis in my relationship with my friends, I never really understood it. Bristol had been a hard time, I was alone with my dreams there and I missed company. My longed for dream was that of getting my band going. My band was in Oxford, so I gravitated back there eventually. I should have known it was over for us, but something new had happened to me; I had grown my hair, I had started to get a new confidence and shine that I had never owned during my claustrophobic relationship. Women were finally starting to look at me. I had loved Nick, I know that even more today than back then, but that love had a dark side; it had throttled us both to some extent, we were too young, we both had too much going for us to stay together, but breaking up had been soul destroying and messy, I had been totally devoted to her right up until the end. I didn’t know how to flirt or chase women. I had given that desire up the moment I fell in love with her. Could I have stayed with her forever and been happy? I don’t think so, I think my nature, or maybe even destiny, demanded something else from me. Finally, aged 22, after having slept with only 3 women in my life, I found myself at the crossroads, like it or not. It seemed I was attractive to women, and so I leapt eagerly into the opportunity to become a Romeo. I remember the night it happened, the very moment it began, her name was Alicia.

I was in a pub called the Gloucester Arms in Oxford with my drummer, Dave. We had just bought drinks and I was feeling excited by grand ideas that would never even get close to materialising, big bands dreams, every kid has them, most lose them along the way, it took me 40 years, I always found it hard to let dead horses go. A blonde girl came up to me and pronounced she wanted to fuck me. The look of envy on Dave’s face was something I would soon come to regret, it ruptured our friendship forever and ruined any chances of our band getting together. But this had never happened to me before; women wanting me was totally new. I left with her not long after that. She took me to a big house in the country just outside of Kidlington where she looked after horses, I don’t know where it was, but I felt like royalty that night, I was a vagabond gypsy, on top of the world. She was older than me, she was a hunter, a broken woman in many ways that I understand better now, but had no comprehension of back then. She carried out her promise, but she was too crazy for me. We saw each other on and off for about a month before she cut me off cold and I never heard from her again. I didn’t mind, I couldn’t really get with her trying to horsewhip me, and screaming inanities while bouncing viciously on my bits, then wanting me to beat her. I found it hilarious, but disturbing. I was just a simple country boy still. One of the last times I slept with her, I found a piece of paper under my bed not long after she left. She had been playing the ‘dice game’ listing things to do and then following how the dice rolled. They involved choices between having a picnic, leaving without saying a word, or sucking me off before picking a fight. It was too much for my young mind to understand. I felt I was with a much older woman, though she was only a few years older than me, still she was far more worldly wise and cynical, not to mention kinky. She would laugh at my dreams that I fearlessly expressed at that time. She called them ‘noble but naive’ and she was right. It didn’t hurt me, I thought she was an injured soul, lost, beyond saving. I wasn’t wrong, I just didn’t know I was on that same road. She knew, but she hurt too much to care. She fell for me in some way; one night after she had driven me to a bar in Islington, driving back, she said she was in love with me. I had few feelings for her other than a sort of self-centred pity and she was a fun fuck, obviously. I said she just needed something to hold onto, it wasn’t love, and that was where our relationship ended. I guess she didn’t want to feel again, and I wasn’t someone she could trust, I was starting to rise. She just wanted to control something, or be loved, or cared for in a way I couldn’t give. I felt sorry for her, but I was scared of her too. I thought I could do better, and that she was busted, but the truth was I just hadn’t been broken yet. I was healing from love wounds, but it wouldn’t be long before I found myself hurting, longing, wondering the same. Just another soul stretched beyond repair in the zoo.

I found myself in that same Islington bar she took me to 4 or 5 years later when I would unsuspectingly walk into it not long after moving to Mount Pleasant. It was a strange experience to be hit with the recollection like a deja-vu, it cut deep and left me wondering about destiny, and the way we seem to sometimes be delivered to places by people. Things connected up. Alicia had been the one to take me to London, the one to lead me into a new way of being, the one who showed me lust and it’s cruel yet oddly honest bounty. Two years later I had moved up to London, drawn by that same lust. My thoughts were of Alicia that night, I was flying high on drugs and seeing things from another angle. I had been through a lot of tough stuff by then. I was still a Romeo, so I liked to think, really I was just a slut. Things had changed. I was a hunter now. I was hungry for that same virginal shine that was now missing in me, eager to feed on some kind of innocence anywhere I could find it. I was one of the fallen, one of the beaten, one of the hurting, looking for true love, but taking lust instead, yet never getting enough to satisfy that strange, perennial emptiness. Lust was easier; it was colder, pleasurably selfish, it didn’t hurt or leave you vulnerable, and I think I preferred it that way.

I still wonder about Alicia, I seem to see things about her clearer now. I am fonder of her memory, I didn’t realise how much she had been hurt or what that meant, now I do. Now I understand how beautiful she was, kind too, but if I met her again tomorrow it wouldn’t be any different. It’s the romance of the lost moment, reality just never comes close, it would always develop to be an empty disappointment in comparison. But that was were it all began for me, with that girl that night. The magic landed on me and stayed for about 15 years.


I sit now alone in a recently rented apartment in Sydney, I am near the beach and trying to make things come together. Trying to find my little piece of happiness. I am no further in life than I was back then, no closer to love, no closer to making sense, no closer to succeeding in anything much. I have the same money in my bank that I did aged 22. That would be zero. I am pretty sure I have been through all the pains and cynicism that I could ever experience. Been through loves, and lusts, yet here I am still; alone, sighing, wondering at this feeling that lingers on each day, so much entwined in life that it must be an integral part of it. And on those lonely nights as I sip Chivas mixed with water over ice, a nostalgia comes, now that I am too old to use the glitter to attract company on lonely nights, even if I went out looking I know I would find nothing. I am not suffering; I have strength and a philosophical outlook, but I have to admit I miss those beautiful days, miss the magic, miss the Alicia’s that would come save me from the moment that might fall, and does now. I don’t know why I was given that gift or why it was gradually taken away. That’s life, right? It sure was good while it lasted and I made the most of it, knowing damn well it would soon be gone, but it makes no difference, maybe it is worse that I had it. But I have to say I felt blessed for a while, and I am grateful for having been granted that to experience. I took a big bite of the peach, but hot damn if I don’t miss the taste now it is gone.

The brief moments of feeling complete and content come when I am so fucked up I can’t speak or feel pain too much, knowing the fall back down is going to hurt so much more than going without would have done, but still people like me have to hurl ourselves at it, it is just what we do. It’s a cruel life whoever you are, don’t let anyone kid you otherwise. Devil or saint. There is no satisfaction to be had here, I still can’t decide if it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved. To have been high and lived, or never to have lived. Either way it fucking hurts. I keep hearing those words a schoolteacher loved to say; ‘What you’ve never had, you never miss’ and he was right, the old bastard, but knowing that doesn’t leave us anywhere better, does it? Still we hunger, and still we are denied the pearl. One day soon I’ll die and be gone like all of us, it makes no sense, but that’s just how it is. How close did we get to nailing it?

I put the radio on and hunt for a station that works, it’s a new country, I am lost here. I find 106.5 where Richard talks patronisingly with his soft and velvety voice to lost lovers desperate to express their deepest emotions. Love songs play predictably gushing, new and old. Some take me back, some just hit me where it hurts. I sip the 12 year old whisky; the only salve I’ve got to hand, legally acceptable in Amsterdam. And I write into the computer surrounded by cold walls I cannot see through, and never will.

Tears fall upon tears
for all eternity
The damned have their dreams of salvation
but the righteous and good
will live forever
in fear of falling.