Stray Dog


Dull thud, low tremor, bass shiver, ear to the dark ground, listening acutely.
Lobe on Granite, dragging.

The pace of the young boy's breathing jumps and rattles in his rasped throat.
His Lungs: they are jumping and jack-knifing crackling, freewheeling madly in a ferocious and delirious fit as an owl with one wing thrashing venomously across the glinting shards of rock.

He feels the rivers of his mind change course with every ragged and shallow suck of air - the world spins and whirls and dives on the speed of his inhalations, the mad wheezing bellows that are filling with adrenalin. Even now he can the quicksilver fluid leaping through each tributary and juncture.

Willing him up.
Willing him up.

His eyes are black in the silverlight, slippery ink in his iris. Now they focus and pulsate, dilate, expand and tremble.

The shoulder is first. Half frayed and limp like an overcooked drumstick it is pocked and ravaged by gaps where the sinews used to bridge spans like goliath twines of steel singing in the breeze. Some have snapped, the remainders assume a greater load.
The other shoulder slumbers, splintered and black with bruising and ache.

Pistons summoning each other to the strain.
Beckoning, urging, challenging each other over the immovable precipice of inertia that keeps squeezing his limbs flat to the asphalt. His will is a battering ram and in his mind his thoughts are motioning forward in complete unison. His desire is setting movements in place, metamorphasizing his grief and rage into petrol motion.

Left, right, left
his clavicle is relentless in its drive, snaking his reanimated frame laboriously across the ground, a ragdoll, a limp piece of roadkill.

There is blood dribbling from his wrist but he grits his fractured jaw and braces his weight on it. There is a numb crunch and there is numbness where his ulna nerve is swaying in the chill night air. He twists his face into a smile and his ripped up molars jangle and clack like marbles in the loose, wretched pocket of his mouth.

The sight of the boy is too much for the closest one.
Disbelief and horror swim over him, and he runs.

In the boy's heart there is a river of joy coursing through now, a torrent of hope and strength as he revels in his accelerating corporeal functions. Where before only black anguish lay sprawled across him now there is a tingling current of electricity carpeting the entire street.

Now he is up on one knee.
He peers morbidly at the sight of his leg. Someone has spooned globs of flesh from his thigh as if it were a slippery gelatinous tub of mousse. He tests it and the pain is ridiculous and unbearable but he adores it. He sucks in saliva and dried blood and lets out a grotesque and eerie howl. They have all heard him and they can all see that he has recovered, that he is not an end. Nor at one. He is swaying and standing and preparing to walk.

Then he will shuffle, then jog then he will come tearing after them in a galloping dervish of determined zeal.

Still - he notices there is blood in his hair, and a small splinter of skull wedged between the eyelets on his left sneaker. His left leg feels shorter, bloodless. Sinister.

The howl of the midwinter wind between the bluegums outside the parish school is a symphony. The moonlight bathing the road seems as a baptism to him. With grit he slowly shuts his eyes, feeling the blood caked lashes scrape gingerly down into place.

In his perfect blackness he sees white horses pawing at the air.
New foals snorting in the bleak euphoria before dawn.

to be continued maybe
  • Current Music
    Portishead - The Rip
Stray Dog

Coma Peace

Once upon a time when I had to spend a night in Changi Airport (Singapore)
I drank a bottle of Scotch whiskey which I had ripped out of the duty free satchel and smuggled into a water bottle.

Who knows how I didn't get caught and thrown into prison with the bubble gum chewers and other trouble makers.

I was on edge and distraught for various reasons. It had not been a successful trip.
The only thing that could put me to sleep was this song (on repeat).

I remember falling asleep and dreaming that I was napping in a park in San Fransisco.
It was a particular park which I have emblazened in my memory: near the water, in a quieter neighbourhood sloping down gently to the bay. I have a tantalizing recollection of the breeze and how it tasted on my tongue... I can almost relive it at will. I suppose it was one of my closest experiences to a state of bliss, or perfect relaxation, or something cliched like that.

I remember waking up with a foot long trail of drool hanging out of my lips and whiskey stains on my shirt.

I peered out the glass wall to wall windows, half-awake and groggily confused as to how the park got so dark quickly. I peered out at the dazzling string of lights that I assumed to be the city of Johor Bahru across the straits in Malaysia... but on later consideration it might have just been the tail-lights of a pack of Boeings lined up on the humid tarmac.

This moment often comes to mind when I try to crystallize my most vivid archetype of disappointment and destitution. The mirage of Johor Bahru at 4:30am while the vacuum cleaners droned around me in Changi Airport.

If you want to shut your blinds
and drink yourself stupid
and dream for 24 hours about the most peaceful wonderful memory you own

Then hopefully this song might take you there if you
and just let your nervous energy dribble away between the floorboards

  • Current Music
    Mark Kozelek - Down Colourful Hill (live) (little drummer boy version)
East is East

(no subject)

Sometimes I wonder if there were moments when i was 21 that might have defined the course of my life. Moments that I might be wise to relive and redirect if I were granted the chance...

It's against my general philosophy to be so fatalistic, but sometimes the wheels of my mind whirr in that direction.

And it's a

Ten Years Later

It's apparent to me now just how fast a decade passes by.

I am single again, and I am going to back to university.
I have a garden with natives, succulents, exotics, herbs and rag-tags.
I am a grown man with debts and investments and subscriptions and files and insurance.

I'm still unclear as to how I got here, but I'm patently aware that it could be much worse.

A lot of things have happened to me since we last spoke, mostly undocumented and unlauded.

We're both proud and resolute people, with our particular myopia as we gaze ceaselessly at the water passing beneath the collective intersection of our lives.

There are many occasions on which I have held my tongue, and many beautiful truths that i could have shared with you. I could have reached out or screamed out or partitioned my time and chosen to seek you out if I'd made the effort.

But I didn't.

I suppose that one of the signature facets of maturity and mortality is the understanding of how limited your time is, how certain passions and relationships will necessarily slip through your fingers. How you can have your cake, but you have to choose a single flavour, and you can only have it in certain auspicious circumstances.

I hate that.

I want every night to be me at 19 years old in my room with an internet connection and a profound movie on SBS TV, Rage Music TV and a life-altering CD on repeat in my stereo, and the waxy, feathery texture of your letter on my bureau with your wonderous words blazing at me through the ceaselessly unfurling night.

Instead, it's 'late', and I have 'Things' to do tomorrow.

Adult things that will eat into my weekend and remind me of how I have neglected them with my hedonistic, reckless, distracted, lazy ways. Things that will bark for my attention before I can entertain the possibility of relaxation or contemplation before I must necessarily begin work again on Monday morning.


Just for the record, whether you knew it or not, whether I was explicit or circumspect or sheepish or simply too young, I wanted you to know that I loved you:

Madly, unreservedly, desperately, unconditionally, whimsically, specifically, creatively.

And I probably still do.
Whether I admitted it, expressed it, conveyed it, faced up to it, or not.

I listen to all the old tunes now and long to rewind and try it all again.

But I can't,

So at the very least
I can state for the record now (10 years later)
that you are incomprehensibly gorgeous and infinite.
The kind of gorgeous that takes decades to mull over and percolate and suffer through.

And if it is indeed too late for me, and if I am in fact doomed,


then at least I got to see the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, once upon a time,

and at least I was fucking drunk when I wrote this.


That has to count for something.
  • Current Music
    Joan As Police Woman
Stray Dog

No Cheer

Tom Waits - Town with No Cheer
(this is about the region where I live)

Well it's hotter 'n blazes and all the long faces
there'll be no oasis for a dry local grazier
there'll be no refreshment for a thirsty jackaroo
from Melbourne to Adelaide on the overlander
with newfangled buffet cars and faster locomotives
the train stopped in Serviceton less and less often

No there's nothing sadder than a town with no cheer
VicRail decided the canteen was no longer necessary
no spirits, no bilgewater and 80 dry locals
and the high noon sun beats a hundred and four
there's a hummingbird trapped in a closed down shoe store

This tiny Victorian rhubarb
kept the watering hole open for sixty five years
now it's boilin' in a miserable March 21st
wrapped the hills in a blanket of Patterson's curse
the train smokes down the xylophone
there'll be no stopping here
all ya can be is thirsty in a town with no cheer

No Bourbon, no Branchwater
though the townspeople here
fought the VicRail decree tooth and nail
now it's boilin' in a miserable March 21st
wrapped the hills in a blanket of Patterson's curse
the train smokes down the xylophone
there'll be no stopping here
all ya can be is thirsty in a town with no cheer

  • Current Music
    Tom Waits - Town with No Cheer
Stray Dog


When I'm old
I will be a spinster
and i will drink beer originating from some old decrepit 20th century Wisconsin brewery
and i will lace it with archaic polish wodka

and I will spend all my nights at a bar with a stool
that I can reasonably commandeer on most occasions

and I will call all the old dames from my phonebook
with biro smeared phone numbers and zip codes no longer in service

and I'll play Bogart flicks on my holographic wrist-movie-display (they'll have them by that time)
while scoffing at all the hipsters that crowd into the joint
drinking their Jupiter Juice, and Silicon Slingsots, whatever is the fashion in forward times

and I will enjoy the unpretentious life
and revel in my almost-successes
and hilarious failures

and mourn the lost of art of human fallibility
and the sheer enjoyment it can bless us with
  • Current Music
    Tom Waits - Cold Cold Ground
Stray Dog

the tears of san andreas (impromptu for the day we give up and sleep)

We cut our dreams into the epidermis of night
When we sleep, our feet descend into the waters fathomless

A child knows that the ocean is dark and opaque when the sun sinks.
We hold no fear
And pay no wonder

Yet when our lids submerge our eyes- desires sink
and pass under the surface, without clear foresight,

When I dream, I cut little pinholes into the flesh
of summer heavens.
I scramble up onto the the ridge, over the isthmus
and up toward the heavens. All fours
and giddy, the surging passage of my adrenalin
the dazzling iris of Orion
the feel of dunes under my rough and regretful palms
and still I scramble upward.

I smell the winds
blown over from the Philippines,
I hear the world whispering to me
above the throaty gasps of the storm

When I dream I suffocate:
your hair is the Pacific depth,
the lick of midnight,
the dark brine in my nostrils
fluttering against consciousness

When I dream
you are delicately tripping amongst the driftwood
you are a sweater beyond the dazzle of the flames
a bird of paradise washed up on the waterline
a pod of vanilla cracked open and lilting

And I breathe you in slowly
once, and again,
rhythmically inhaling you, your memory and promise

consuming your essence
which my daylight heart dare not
Stray Dog

(no subject)

You can't start a fire

You can't start a fire without a spark

This gun's for hire

Even if we're just dancing in the dark
  • Current Music
    listening to the thrill of years past
Stray Dog

The Ring

I have a ring, this lucky ring.

I had others in the past - a ying yang ring, a spinning ring, a zigzag silver band, a skull, all kinds of unfashionable trinkets.

But now there's just the one - the Ace of Spades.

Sometimes it gets attention, mostly from bartenders who ask if I play poker.

I was talking with a couple of girl friends the other day after my year-long breakup, and I asked what they thought I might change about myself. Straight away the ring was brought up. At the time I took the advice with a little surprise, but not much notice, thinking that my lucky ring was a part of me.

Since then my finger has begun to swell up for the first time in my life. I'm mystified as to the medical explanation, but it can only be a sign. Now, discomfort aside, I want to get the ring off as quickly as I can. It's not simply a matter of growing up and injecting conservatism into my dress sense, I couldn't tell you exactly what the feeling is or where it emanates from, beyond the obvious time-old instinct of ridding myself of something in the hope that it will change things for the better.

It's a feeling of panic, of desperation, 6 months of stress and disillusionment bubbling up under my ring and into the blood vessels of the finger beyond. Rivers of tension flowing into this hotspot, years of frustration and longing building up slowly and surely and ebbing away at the grains of my life, until all I can do is walk around in a dazed mania, longing to cut the metal shackle off and be free.

Lying in the dark it occurs to me that the ring may have actually been unlucky, and I have spent 7 years bound by it

7 year of bad luck
  • Current Music
    TV on the Radio - Family Tree
Stray Dog

too much

if i could kiss you i would.

if I could fuck you i might
if i could love you, make love to you, i would.
if i could even reveal my feelings, my intentions, my sentiments,
i would, i would, i would, i would,

friendship, appreciation, obsession, frustration, sympathy, elucidation, expression, gratitude,
Undefined need.

but i'm not sure you'd understand,
i'm not sure you'd appreciate the thought,
not even sure you remember me.

not honestly sure if it's what I actually want.

There are so many dark
and wonderful things that flit across my tired
clavical when I lie in the dark syrup of night.

Not a pervasive evil,
but good intentions of a flawed and
shrouded form.