to sleep on the heart side now


I haven’t been here much. The other day I went through old bits of paper and found a whole heap of stuff that doesn’t exist anywhere electronically. That’s for a very good reason, mostly. I had been looking for this one for a while though. So I typed it out. It brought back 12 years ago pretty much good as new. I think I was crying a bit at the end of it. It wasn’t even wince-crying. (Not the usual Jesus that’s bad slimy cloying shameful destroy-it-quickly-and-be-done-with-it crying/whimper.) It was like I was hovering above myself. No, it wasn’t like that at all. That makes it sound like The Lovely Bones or something. It was more like a giant smack in the face, but in a sort of nice way.



ST KILDA dream sketch                                                               for Caroline

to sleep on the heart side now


To sleep   on the heart side


To find  the other half

of this Manichean world:

snapdragons & snow-


…………………………………………………… . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    .   .   . . ….    . .    .   .   .   .   .   ..   ..   

To sleep    on the heart side


To unreveal THE THOUSAND

SORDID IMAGES that constitute

your soul

To rewind the old   granular movie

of mizzling days    gone by

                                                            The ceiling flicker




………………………… . . . . . . . .   .   .   .   .  . .   ….      .    .    .   .  ..   …   ….    . . . . .    .   .   .   . . .

                                                                        To sleep      perchance to dream



ST KILDA (un)true-life skit                                     Melbourne, July 1998



 dear caroline     I write you a postcard (it has pink flamingos & palm trees & a traffic light sunset)

You are in your space    staring at a stretched canvas  /  empty easel  dreaming of bagels & lucky breaks  (I am dreaming of lucky strikes & just out of interest   how can anything be lucky if it is broken? Oh    wishbones are & fortune cookies can be     but nothing else comes to mind)

dear caroline  the next door neighbour doesn’t like us singing showtunes    I saw him by the Teflon rollergrill in the 7-11 & he asked if I was a bit-part in some fuckedup musical  (& chortled like all truly funny people do when taken aback by their own hilarity)  & I said   funny you should ask   I’m actually writing the great American novel    (& felt all shit at the horrible untruth of it all    holding my sugar donut like a dumb trophy   like it was the western frontier   or something) & he said   yeah   you do sound a bit American

dear caroline    we didn’t win the lottery this week     sorry

dear caroline     I am now writing on the back of the lottery ticket (in really small writing) I have just made a shopping list of wishes:

  1. I hope that you can sleep tonight
  2. I hope that I end up writing something before I leave
  3. I hope your paintings of suburban housing estates are working out okay
  4. I hope funnyman goes out this evening so we can do porgy & bess

dear caroline     I have just made up a skit for us    no    well it really happened to us yesterday when we found the stiletto in the gutter on the way back from the milk bar    the scuffed strappy thing outside the delights of delores massage parlour    no one told me Cinderella was a slut   I guess it hit 12 & she got a pimp & not a pumpkin    I guess she ended up on the wrong side    of town   unable to write the bestseller unable to paint the perfect poster unable to sleep on the heart side       now

In the skit we’re walking along    trying to find money on the footpath & weighing up the nothingness of everything    the everythingness of nothing   & I’m telling you how my next project is going to be entitled 101 ways to fuck yourself in the head without genital assistance   &   you’re not really listening because you’re too busy looking down at the cracked concrete for the miraculous flash of a gold coin     & then we find the magic slipper      the silverlined whore’s shoe &

We sit down for a breather & a lucky strike    we try on the shoe  & IT FITS (conveniently we both have the same sized feet)

It’s our prince charming jackpot   our lottery ticket to ride    it’s the coin we never found   landed

sunnyside up       it’s snapdragon & snowdrift city

& I sing sweet caroline    the good times never felt so good   in my best neil voice   (& funnyman is bystanding & not finding it funny)

& we live happilyeverafter    just like Cinderella did

in (un)true life


ST ALBANS postscript                                   Christchurch, October 1998

 Caroline           I write this        although I know            that words        don’t work

I write this                    although I know                        all your images are mizzled

your easel    gone now              the hysteria of the heart side annulled

& you tiptoe the borderline of binary oppositions

light & dark /ecstasy, nightmare                         bridging both & feeling neither

just watching the worlds revolve

like the old women we may one day become    as they              gather fuel

                                                                                                           in vacant lots


p.p.s. I have rearranged my room in accordance with advice from feng shui experts so that my creative energy can flow more freely     & I still haven’t written the great American novel


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