Body parts scattered like jacks across the Cypress hardwood. Three left arms, two right, a foot still in possession of its Achilles, a stocky thigh and the acute angle of a bent knee.
Roughly about $900,000’s worth of damage.
It would have been over a million if the curator at Ablemarle hadn’t collected Lover in Repose on Tuesday.
I put the fire extinguisher down. A ukulele had been my first choice, due to its proximity to my temper (and arm’s reach) but turns out ukuleles don’t so much break plaster as break on plaster. The strings now splayed like drunken manuscript, the third from the top still clinging to the fretboard, hoping for a second chance.
Probably not the only one hoping for a second chance.
The other is enroute from a post-commencement speech at UFL’s College of Fine Arts.
Everyone’s sorry when they’re caught.
Sorry. Sorry. SorrySorrySorry. Sorry. Sorry. SorrySorrySorry. Sorry. Sorry.
SorrySorrySorrySorrySorrySorry SorrySorrySorrySorrySorrySorry SorrySorry.
Overuse diminishes words to sounds, reducing them to mundane rhythms like a clock ticking or photocopier spitting out paper.
If it’s forgiveness he wants he should have paired up with a Catholic or a Buddhist, someone practiced or, at the very least, versed in the art of it. Not a spiritual fence sitter who reads the odd Sam Harris but still gets their palm read at town fairs.
Though, if I were in a bind and suddenly in need of a God, I’ve probably got enough spare limbs now to pull together an albino Ganesh. Their poor old branchless torsos bleeding a layer of fine dust onto every surface in the room, as if we have been left undisturbed for half a century.
Reminding me, this has all become a past.
Not a future together.
And I worry because I can feel dust in my throat, and I wonder if it will travel deeper, eventually finding my heart and render that an antique too. Does it get buried with all of this?
I pick up a confused shard of arm that has landed in a Doc Martin. A mirror-image of my own; the elongated tear-drop of an untoned tricep, leading to a surprisingly delicate elbow; the raised veins on the back of the hand, a detail noticeable only when my body reaches a certain temperature.
It must have been summer when he made that, a hot one.
All the hours you spent studying me.
Did I become work? Was that it?
Was there nothing left to explore?
Sculpture images from:
2nd (above): http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sad_Icelandic_sculpture-2.jpg
Portable Neck Pillow
Available in: Blushing Bagel (currently out of stock) and Misty Eyed.
A constant reminder that you’re travelling alone, the Rest-Max Sleep Mate© ensures you do not breach the designated boundary as listed on your seat ticket. Not even when unconscious.
A passenger aircraft is not King’s Cross as imagined in Harry Potter. There is no seat B9 and ¾’s.
If you have failed to make a significant connection to another human being, condolences, but the likelihood then, is that the warm body next to you is that of a stranger and therefore, not amenable to you leaning your head on their shoulder; in this situation we hope your final destination takes you somewhere tropical with an average temperature of around 37 degrees so you can at least experience the heat of human contact. (May we suggest Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory during the summer months of December – January?)
However, the widely lauded snug fit of the Rest-Max Sleep Mate© does go some way to alleviating the feeling of isolation, commonly experienced by solo travelers. Based on sensory stimulation research as laid out by Temple Grandin, our product has the ability to adjust support around the neck via an adjustable tab thereby mimicking pressure as applied through normal physical contact such as that from a lover or masseuse.
Designed to be easily damaged the Rest-Max Sleep Mate© also functions as a last ditch life coach. The Rest-Max Sleep Mate© will not last forever, in fact, consumer experience details its shelf life at approximately three-four months before the stitching comes undone and the micro-beads spill out like drunken texts to an ex.
That gives you approximately a semester, or the gestation time of a baby chinchilla, to find someone to rest your head on, and with our product’s lucky horse-shoe shape, you’ve already got a gentle nudge in the right direction. Love is in the air - 35,000 feet up in the air!
Rethink the color...?
by Jaye Daed 24th February 2014
Yeah… Blushing Bagel is too light to hide drool. Kind of ruins my image as a budding Fortune 500 exec, walking around VIP lounges with a pillow tie-dyed with spit stains.
Ended up ditching it in a sanitary bin at Narita International.
Now with extra CRUNCH!
by Llong Hawl November 24th 2013
Pretty comfy, but what did you guys put inside it? Those beads – micro bead (?) things sound like my hamster eating rice krispies. Manageable with ear plugs, but seriously dude, too crunchy. I don’t want to dream about the Kellogg’s range in Costco during my shut-eye hours. Dreamtime is reserved for ScarJo (Black Widow Marvel phase) and that hot girl in my DATA SCI class ONLY.
More Reviews: Click Here
Skeleton Beach Backpackers
The sun bobs below the horizon like a sinking coin. The three of us, on the terrace, strangers forcing ourselves to find some common ground before we share a 4-bed-dorm together; before we spit airline issue toothpaste into the same sink and mark our territory with backpack crumpled clothes.
“Let’s play a game”
They wait for me to elaborate.
“Let’s play: How old am I?”
I ask, knowing the answers before they are spoken; yet in the reflection of my beer glass I see the echo of an elderly woman.
Kolmanskop, Namib Desert.
In 1908 a man found a diamond here.
And then there was a town.
But one day, there were no more diamonds.
So, eventually, there was no more town.
Diamonds, town and diamonds, dust.
That’s how it goes in this world.
Something, everything, nothing, bust.
There is not much left to see, unless you know where to look. To the untrained eye, this place is just an over-sized sandbox that belongs to a kid who left his toys out too long in bad weather. Hills of sand inching their way through door jams like impatient tenants, paint curling into fronds of surrender, the roof tiles have given up completely – falling to their death, awaiting burial.
I should have a permit to be here, but I like the feeling of minor league rebelling. Like the kid that sneaks into the back row of the movie theatre without a ticket. No one is getting hurt, it’s just the high jinx of “youth”.
Why should I need a permit anyway?
I have blood. Blood lines, not dotted lines.
My Grandpa, Grandpa Jacks, was a miner by trade. He dragged my grandma, Maribella, here all the way here from Bloemfontein, a city of roses in the heart of an adolescent South Africa. But they came to the party too late to walk away any richer than they arrived. Granny hated it. She grew up working a vineyard. In Kolmanskop there were no trees or shrubs, green was a forgotten color. And the only roses now were the ones on the rim of her chipped Royal Dolton tea set.
Jacks thought Maribella was in danger of becoming ill of mind without anything living around her, so he got her a dog, a Terrier Mix named Dolly, sadly the dog didn’t want to live there either and hitched a ride on the coal train back to Lüderitz a week later.
However it wasn’t until she told him about the fountain that he thought her really off her rocker.
Two kilometers north-west of Kolmanskop.
If you had asked Jacks back then, there was no blooming fountain.
What would a fountain be doing in the middle of a desert?
One of the oldest and driest deserts in the world no less.
Desert madness. It had to be what the miners sometimes talked about under hushed breaths and hunched shoulders. Maribella had taken to wandering and not short distances either. She said she was wandering to pass the time and the more time she had to pass, the further she walked. Until she found the fountain.
But Jacks remained disbelieving, her mind was a suitcase. She must have unpacked this relic from a memory to serve as comfort amongst foreign landscapes. “A fountain with no water supply is like trying to cook over a fire with no flame. Even thinking one out here mad –”
Maribella said the fountain didn’t need water, what flowed from its six heads were scarlet beetles. Ripe and rotund, waiting to be trod, like grapes into liquor.
She gestured to her stained feet one day.
“They are bathed in blood.”
“They are burnt from the sand Mari.”
Jacks ordered her to take him to this fountain hoping to expose her madness and shock her back to reality. Maribella took him. And as he suspected, he saw nothing.
But she did, and so did my mother and so do I.
The catch? If a man can’t see, no one will believe it.
She saw the way he frowned at her. Worry, guilt and self-pity in that crease above his eyes.
Worry, that the woman he loved might be gone.
Guilt, that the choices he made had chased her away.
Self-pity, that he may not be able to raise children with this woman now, not as she was.
She put a hand on his arm, realizing his limitations.
“You look at me that way now. But in the years to come you will see.”
“Me as I am now, always. Like a diamond Jack.”
And so, he couldn’t see the fountain but he did see her as she was, always. Many years after they returned to Bloemfontein and many years after that, as her face stayed the same though his sagged and wrinkled, and succumbed to the god of gravity.
He had to concede as he ran his fingers across her cheek. “My diamond.”
Though she was not to outlive him, despite her appearance. The generation of she and my mother you see, they only dipped their toes in another world, two feet to be exact. Its power was only surface deep, as mine has been so far…
Though standing in the fountain now, for the second time in my life, and treading the scarlet beetles to a paste, I wonder what will happen if I don’t merely bathe but drink this time?
Fountain image from: http://olddesignshop.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/OldDesignShop_Fountain.jpg
Diamond Mine image from: http://www.miningartifacts.org/Bulfontein_Diamond_Mine_-_South_Africa.jpg
Kolmanskopp image from: http://www.lovethesepics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Kolmanskop.jpg
Terrier Mix image from: http://www.trahernbt.com/images/oldepictwo.jpg
It was as simple as wanting to feel the security of an enclosed circle.
The pursuit of peace of mind that comes with the construction of simple boundaries; the peace of mind that comes with the annexation of mundane interruptions; the peace of mind that comes with a lack of monotonous tasks, tasks, tasks.
Negotiating photocopier jams.
Searching for a parking space.
Choosing between crushed pineapple in juice or crushed pineapple in light syrup.
Removing mosquito corpses from the halogen porch fixture.
Spraying sweat stains with air freshener.
Buying council approved rubbish bags.
-ings. Life was just a collection of inging’s.
And so it was the “ings” in the end. Building, building, building to a tidal wave that would never break, unless he would. The "ings". The reason he chucked in the towel and staked his claim down by the mouth of Lester Creek, between the rabbit hole and the rug of Virginia Bugleweed and Sweet Mint, and strung up that curtain between life and stasis.
Thinking himself a born again wilderness man, believing the skills to live off the land are ingrained, waiting to be tapped; forgetting they were learnt and cultivated and then abandoned, classified redundant many generations ago, in favor of slaughterhouses and indoor refrigeration.
Thinking, if he just knew that bugleweed could be used to treat snakebites, and sweet mint, stomachache and chest pains, he might discover a more authentic self behind this former suit and tied construction.
Thinking, if he sits for long enough inside his camo print Blackfoot, staring out the smoke flap, this entombed knowledge will somehow descend upon him like a runny shit from a passing tree sparrow.
Thinking, if all else fails, he can Google it on the solar-charged, Galaxy S III, hidden under his North Face jacket.
But really, thinking…
You can never quite escape the “ings”.
Not even when doing nothing; itself composed of “ings”: breathing, blinking, beating.
One “ing” spawning another, breeding like cottontails. As breathing begets functioning, blinking begets seeing and beating begets breaking (the most problematic “ing” of all).
Yes, you can never quite escape the “ings”. He knows this now.
Not even here in-between the rabbit hole and the rug of Virginia Bugleweed down by Lester Creek.
Soil Hands: http://www.localfoodcolumbus.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/soil-hands.jpg
Writer's Group Exercise 31/03/2014
We begin with the basic twitch:
Slow, slow, quick, quick.
Slow, slow, quick, quick.
Index , index, ring, ring.
The left hand of Demi Sargis has been performing the foxtrot ever since it was run over by a red Ford Festiva back in the summer of ‘08. She remembers perching on a PVC covered gurney, doctor pointing out the obvious, variations on darkness and shadow, bones splintered and frayed like wet matchsticks.
Her, thinking, “those aren’t marriageable fingers”.
Thinking, “no man going to wanna put a Harry Winston on that”.
Thinking, “that’s another goddamn flaw Imma have to learn to disguise”.
Along with untannable legs.
Along with the absence of thigh gap.
Along with being 3 inches shorter than the shortest supermodel.
The ******* burden of being female.
The doctor says, “you should regain the majority of the dexterity you had prior to the accident, over time, with a good physiotherapist.”
“…You don’t play an instrument do you?”
The physiotherapist is a fundamentalist optimist.
“It’s not until you injure your body that you truly appreciate how it works. We are all miracles.”
“Yes. Absolutely. A miracle.”
“Don’t get Jesus on me. There is no miracle here, just metacarrot - metacootie - metacaramel damage – check the referral.”
“That’s what I said.”
Regis Square. 9pm. Bathed in a waterfall of KFC neon…
At the crossroads of the nightclub district.
Demi Sargis. Shiny, black patent three-inch pumps, now the same height as the shortest supermodel. Flanked by Sal (single) and Terri (attached, but open to negotiation). All eyes on the divining hand.
Slow, slow, quick, quick.
Slow, slow, quick, quick.
Index, index, ring, ring.
YOLO Bar or Club Isis. Left or right. Which finger ending the cycle of the twitch, sealing their night’s destination. Standing undefeated at a one-hundred percent hit rate. Follow the hand, find a man (see Fig.1):
Fig. 1 'Navigating Attraction within Mundane Scenarios to Avoid Missed Connections'
Yes. Just follow the hand, to find a man.
Tonight it’s Mission Sal.
Suppressing a smirk and raising an eyebrow towards YOLO, she concedes…
Turns out, some of us are miracles.
Manicure Image from:
Writer's group exercise 08/03/2014.
I am lying in an empty bathtub blanketed in the shadow of a man standing at the opposite end in top coat and tails. His pleated gabardine slacks not so much frayed but hacked at the knees, ragged, like he has wandered from the perimeter a bomb blast.
Bagdad Route Irish chic.
But a glance to his wild west handlebar, pomaded into precise fronds and the Kerouac quote just visible in the raised topography of his left foot tell me he’s too hipster to have attempted a tête-à-tête in the Persian sandbox.
His expression is both intense and unreadable; therefore, unsettling. And he is staring at me with such force, I feel myself instinctively flatten my spine against the rigid L-curve of the tub, in a bid to put an extra centimeter between us.
I feel the chill of steel enamel through the thin membrane of my dress. It travels like an up-flowing river to the top of my neck. I shiver, over-sized earrings chiming like timpani’s against copper faucets that bookend my head.
His body triggered into motion by the sound, he gracefully collapses to a low crouch, heels flat in the style of a Korean adjoshi. And I wonder if I was wrong about him.
Perhaps he is well travelled. Seen things. Things other than the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury or the Quinoa section at Whole Foods.
He’s one of those people; those people that play with the fabric of your reality because they don’t obey the role you assigned them.
“Ready?” he asks.
I have sunk a lot of hours into watching K-Drama's this year. I really enjoy them, they're fun to watch.
Having seen a few now, I thought I'd share a few common narrative attributes between them...
South Korea leads the world in themed cafes (cat cafes, board game cafes, design a doll cafes etc...) . I don't understand why this hasn't caught on in the West to the same extent. Probably because South Korea actually has a dating culture where people go out and spend time getting to know one another, in contrast to New Zealand at least, where for most, it involves lubricating your esophagus in half a pint of 42 Below, in a bar where your feet stick to the floor, before you can talk to someone (if, by that point, you can remember who it was you wanted to talk to in the first place and if in fact you can hear each other over the Britney-Pitbull remix).
Anyway, if you find yourself in Seoul, I have a themed cafe recommendation for those who like a little weird with their side of Hot Chocolate.
Princess Diary Cafe
Location: Take Exit 3 from Ewha's Women's University Subway Stop (Line 2/Green line), walk until you spot Starbucks, turn right and look up!
Weddings are a huge thing in Korea. The culture really expects you to get married. In New Zealand, a lot of my friends are married by my age (29) but a lot also aren't, and our society doesn't judge you for it. It's not "mandatory" and we are very open to different ways people want to live their lives, there is no "one way".
Not to say that Korea is intolerant, but that the norm is to get married between 28-35. It is highly unusual not to get married and the pressure to get married is keenly felt by those approaching and within that age bracket. There are a number of reasons for this but that is another blog post entirely.
With an incredibly high percentage of marriages happening here, you can imagine the Wedding business is booming. Hair, make-up, dresses, event halls, cars, caterers, photographers, flowers etc...
But for those that aren't quite ready to walk down the isle, why not visit the Princess Diary Cafe? Here you can try on a Wedding Dress (or a Hanbok - traditional Korean dress), choose short or long, strap-less or high-necked. Prices generally range from about 10,000 (low end) - 40,000 (high end) Korean won (about $9.50-$37.60US/$11.50-$45NZ)
It is mandatory to buy a drink but that is a fairly cheap affair (5,000-7,000won).
There are various props you can pose around with until your heart's content (including cowboy hats, a rocking horse, a piano, tiger ears, tiaras etc...).
It's a great girly day out. But you will also see Korean guys there from time to time with their girlfriends.
One hundred day anniversaries are really popular in South Korea and sometimes boyfriend and girlfriend will dress up in Wedding attire and get a photo to celebrate reaching 100 days in their relationship, 200 days, 300 days etc...
Here are some of my photos of me being my own bride, or as I said at the time "I married myself because I'm so awesome...".
Keep in mind I did purposefully choose the poofiest dress I could find for comedy's sake and this is not what I would choose to wear if I did end up getting married at some point.
Will I get married? The future is wide open. I'm open to it happening, I'm open to it not happening. If it's right, it's right, if it's not, it's not. I'm ok with whatever journey I take. I have a good life.
And let's be honest I have some quirks that make it a pretty hard task to achieve...
1. I have a resting bitch face.
2. I'm not the most social person so guys don't really get much of a chance to meet me, or me to meet them. (ie. I avoid clubs, pubs and most parties like the plague and yes, this resulted in me being unofficially labeled the "weird girl" through high-school and college - thanks...).
3. I'm quite a difficult person to get to know past any superficial level.
4. I'm shy.
5. I'm travelling.
Put those all together and you get: HELLO SOLO! : |
So at least I got to wear the poofy dress once, thanks South Korea. x
P.S. special thanks to my friend Kirsty who was my long suffering photographer on the day!
I have a small apartment. When I say small, imagine a room the size of your lounge with a bathroom attached. That's it, this is where I live.
Small apartments don't allow the person that lives in them the luxury of collecting things - the mainstay of capitalism. Buy, buy, buy.
I like this because I actually don't like to have a lot of stuff. I don't like clutter. (Note: that doesn't mean my apartment is tidy). A lot of stuff is a lot of stuff you have to get rid of when you're travelling. So instead of buy, buy, buy - every few months you shed, shed, shed.
I'm currently spring cleaning notebooks. Compiling together ideas, getting rid of indecipherable scribblings and post-its I can't read or that no longer have relevance.
One of my notebooks was a designated "writing exercise" notebook. The exercise was, choose three words at random (from this box which you can buy here) and write them into a super short story.
Here are the ones I thought worth recording somewhere before throwing out the notebook...
1. The King had become so enamored with his own image that he ordered his bust be embossed not just on all coins, notes and royal stationary, but on all children's kites as well. So, when they looked up, they would see his face in the heavens and remember, he was a King ordained by God.
(Words: King, kite, God)
2. He was a strange lad they said. A strange lad indeed. An interior designer by trade, but his current fixation with the hue of nude severely limited his client base. Before, his inbox had been jammed with requests for his expertise, now, it was christened only by lottery scams and automated newsletters for products he didn't own. But, he was not worried. Like all things, history would repeat itself, fashion was circular. He bided his time. Nude would have it's day.
(Words: lad, nude, time)
3. Show me hell. I'll show you a bee pollinating with poison: ruined roses, pathological pansies, deformed daises.
(Words: show, hell, bee)
4. In the time it had taken to pop off for a quick slash, the sun had decided to dip below the horizon. It was dark and Don had forgotten his torch. The only way he could now find his way back to the tent was to follow the irritating, tone deaf hum of his third wife Belinda
(Words: hum, torch, tent)
5. In Cydian mythology, each human soul is thought to reside in the heart of a 100-year rose. Evidence of this garden of "stone roses" has never been found but scientists suggest certain volcanic or geo-thermal activity could have resulted in phenomena, giving flora and fauna a rigid appearance - much like what occurred half-way around the world in Pompeii at the time.
(Words: rose, soul, time).
6. The furry-tipped spay is a tiny Scottish bat that likes to live in small dark places. In 2003, it was recorded that a mischievous colony of splays, that had been evicted from a recently demolished council flat, had taken up residence in the hide bags of the Royal Dragoon's bagpipes.
(Words: furry, bat, flat)
Creating Character Quirks...
in which I found a collection of weird sketches of characters I made up...
1. Soshanna always matched her nail varnish to the color of her boyfriend's credit card, so whenever he saw it in her hands, it was if she was made to spend his money.
2. Basalt always pulled his belt in one notch too tight. It was uncomfortable, and after a big meal, even painful, but this was his punishment. A physical reminder of losing something important to him, so he could never forget and never let it happen again.
Various ramblings from characters I have yet to write into anything...
"I only miss you as much as I allow myself to"
"I miss my imagined version of you"
Crown image from:
Nails image from:
Wrote a micro-play. What is that? A really, really short play. Too short to stage. Too short to earn any money from. A useless play? Maybe. Why did I write it? Felt like it. Seemed like a good enough reason. It's called Holy Nemo.
Download it if you want to read it (it's only about a page).