S@rdi 30/4/05 (Miller st. 4.00pm) Ntrapt az lwaiz x karteezian dualzmz Simone Weil yernz 2 c th O az it iz wen sh iz not thr (2/5.

RrIeVnKeIN hoo kmitd suiside ystrdi had sed (2daiz Age p1) : “I could never imagine the world without me” (3/5. th part of th univers whch woz ‘him-seein-th-O’ woz uneek, iz gon, & knot b mgined x ny1)) so sh not dsterb th silens of hevn & erth x her breethn & th beetn of her ♥. But no1 kan c th O az it iz wen sh iz not thr az w r orl joind (bkoz werdz r pkjz of drkshnz 4 akshnz) & her prezns groze larjr bkoz sh woz a riter. W korz riplz whch ntrsekt. Th mpakt of a singl 4ln leef rv-rbr8s → ndz of th O. It mai b th@ riterz hav spshl rspnsblteez bkoz they r louder so I kntnue wth th ntholj of th titlz I hav h&d out a list of whch I startd kmpilin in ‘29/4/04 – 1/5/04’ (“Thursday 29/4/04. Its ppropria@ I giv a komplete nthlogy of the writing I h&d out whn I strtd th ntrprize in th year 2000 in this piece of writing whch nchractristiclly I m doing in Melbourne (@ Miller st, 12.15 arvo) as much of the m@erial in my 1st foldr was also writtn in the city. Though Zorca (c ‘3/4/04’ p 15) claims th mis4-tune of being my 1 readr I hope a few othrs r ntrstd eg (4 your info, Zorca) : DsOhWaNrEoYn hoo works on me bike in th smallst bike shop (9/5/05. haz shiftd 2 larjr prmsz) in Melbourne in Victoria st (@ 5.7 x E1 covr map) undr th watchful ey of MOODGE & hoo says sh reads my stuff coz sh likes puzzls, & BROcUhGrHiTsON (9/5/05. haz chainjd jobz x 2 sins) @ Parkhill Cellars (10/5/05. I m 1 of thr best kustmrz) (@ 5.2 x D5) hoo may not hav blievd me ystrdy whn I said th@ th search 4 IDEN-TITY is an @mpt 2 SIMPLIFY yrslf (th@s th price & I reckn its 2 hgh) hoo probbly also reads it, & K8 (jus back from the US) † th road (@ 5.7 x D) hoo thankd me (& esp H) day b4 ystrdy 4 givng her our work. Im making ths list in th ordr the itms r in th foldr 2 O off, complete a O x going back 2 the bgin-nng. Here it is : 1) ART (a 3-letter word) (c ‘16/2/04 – 27/2/04’ p19). 2) GULF TRIP (typed x SA&N-rIeGwA (wth hoom I had lunch in Lygon st. ystrdy) from ARTE POSTALE items he rceivd @ Melb. U-ni. whch r now in th possssion of COaZdZrOiLaInNaI @ Florentina in Menton, France & Casa Tagg-lasco in Baiardo, Italie). 3) “They Know Not What They Do” (jc) (writtn 4 a show KEdSaMnIiNuAsS & STEmViEkNeSON did in NEW YORK). 4) OPAL (writ x Ben (4 an Age short story comp.) whch I dstributed). 5) MEDITATION ON LAKE GAIRDNER (an album of ovr 200 fotos & 7 short writtn pie-ces : The Gift (poem); Sleep; Labels; Naming It; Ants; Forgetting (wher I wrote “Remembering and forgetting are reverse sides of one coin” (4 mor on revers sides of coins c ‘16/2/04 – 27/2/04’ p19-)); & Time). 6) 25/1/00. 7) 20/6/00. (wher the histricl m@erial on the holocaust was takn from an rtcl x SUŽIEDELIS (an histrian hoo did rsearch 4 the SIU (Special Investig8ion Unit) in th USA ) whch I do-n8d last sundy 2 th litho library in Errol st (@ 5.2 x D5) (1/5/04. & wher I note wth srprise Hs contrib-ution (bside th typing) had lready bgun as th piece strts wth a poem x her & its a good 1 : “in the beg-inning is the word / as the sperm meets the egg / etching into every surface of the cell / replicating as the cell divides / unique grooves into which / every experience of every second / of our threesc-ore years and ten / must run / and all our effort all our lives / is only to find / its unknown shape and meaning ”). 8) 14/8/41 (wher I mntion th ‘Hidden History of the Kovno Ghetto’ put out x the holocaust museum in Washington & ‘Last Walk in Naryshkin Park’ x rZoWsIe (& so wth th rrival of EeWaErRlS @ litho hous (c ‘3/4/04 – 12/4/04’ p11 & 12) nothr O has bn joind) both of whch (2gethr wth ‘Stetl’ x Eva Hoffman as nothr xampl of how 2 write such a book) I also don8d 2 litho hous th@ day. 9) 14/8-/41 (I used th = title again bcoz I thght th d8 so mportnt. Thes 4 poems (The Room, The House, The City, Masks) r them@clly linkd 2 no 7), no 6), & no 5). I also used lines from thm in an ARTE POST-ALE projct I maild from Murrayville & Burra b4 meetng up wth sVaAuRlNiAuS). 10) 7/9/00 –16/9/00 (alt title WRONG WAY GO BACK (strts wth a poem whch is a favourit of mine (though I writ it) so I rpeat it : “ perhaps it is too pedantic / to discuss // whether object causes motion / or the motion de-fines matter // is it the wind that shakes the branch / or has the branch given life to air // is the flower beautiful / or did perfection form the flower / can you see the dancer / or is the dancer hidden in the dance // does the dreamer dream / or has the dream possessed the man // did the flute produce the tune / or has the tune been waiting for the flute // I don’t really care about the answers / but the spirits that I talk to / all claim in their conceited way / that it is they that speak to me ”. I keep the ROMAN COIN I wrote O in th pocket of the foldr th rtcl is in.) 11) 2/10/00. 12) 17/9/00 & 18/9/00. (I was hyped up! This was the time H calld the shrinks & the cops). 13) 4/10/00 – 5/10/00 (in whch H ncluded her h& writ lettr of pology & promsd not 2 do it again
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(13/5/05. but c ‘16/2/04 – 27/2/04’ pp13-15).). 14) AN ESSAY (x ZIkZ8YS whch I dstrbuted. On the back page I +d : “All pasts and all futures are on-ly reflections of the present.”) 15) 11/11/00 (a set of 6 poems O language whch I wrote ovr 30 yea-rs ago & reused in an npublishd & unpublishbl book lnth FACTION ( 2/5/04. mor fac than fic) titld IN TRANSIT whch I writ O 20 years ago & I reuse th poems again here). 16) 10/1/01 (= applies 2 thes 6 poems O death ; I put thm out in 2000 but used nxt years d8 coz I 1td th binary titl).”). But bkoz ‘29/4-/04 – 1/5/04’ woz lso th 1st h&out (th uthrz r : ‘30/11/04 – 9/12/04’ pp5-12; ‘10/2/05 – 18/2/05’ pp5-13; ‘21/3/05 – 25/3/05’ pp3-13; & ‘2/4/05 – 8/4/05’ pp3-13. (1/5. klkt th O set!)) in whch I nkluded n gzrpt (pp3-10) from my mastrpiece (kkordn 2 H & I gree (1/5. Max Gilliesz wife ddnt)) ‘IN TRANSIT’ it iz pr-opri8 2 put in nuthr 1 here b4 I go on wth th nthlj. So here iz a ferthr dose of th msdvnchrz of Jim Bro-wn, MM, & ‘I’ : “Meanwhile in a parallel universe or alternatively at a different time in our own misera-ble world Jim Brown is or was on his way north to Broken Hill. How different a journey that is or was or could be to my own.¶ We pick him up about half way between Wentworth and the Ana-branch of the Darling river. He is standing by his car swaying slightly in the breeze even though the evening is perfectly still. The stillness in the air is attributable to the location, it being north of Mildura. Coming from the south it is at Mildura, more precisely at the northern bank of the Murray, that the arid inland begins. Suddenly the humidity drops to zero, the sun becomes harsh, colours brilliant, objects are clearly outlined, the air is full of the calls of galahs, the breeze drops. Victorians know these things but I say it for the benefit of the Nips who would do better to see a bit of the station country instead of congregating in controlled environments like Surfers, Ayers Rock and other tourist traps. Jim who is standing with his back to us is wearing a pair of name brand jeans which he has bought for $2.00 at an opp-shop. The fly on the jeans keeps unzipping of its own accord but Jim doesn’t mind because he has no self-esteem. He has always been dressed from opp-shops even when he’d lived at home. His old man, that same worthy who had worn the ‘Vote for Joh’ badge, had been as tight with money as a fish’s arse, and that’s watertight. Jim is rocking backwards and forewards not from the breeze but from the effects of the enormous quantity of grog he’d consumed to celebrate his release from jail. Let us now circle around, while still remaining hidden from view, so that we can observe him from the front. I am taking you with me on this exercise, priveleged reader, to give you an idea of an author’s exhilaration as he stalks his quarry.¶ We see that Jim’s fly is indeed undone and that from it hangs his dick which is huge, or quite small but very active, and which he is holding tilted slightly upwards between the index and third finger so as to get a better view of the head. He has just had a leak and is examining with an abstract interest the end of his prick. On it you should be able to read the words : YOUR NAME. But there is nothing there. Amazing! Dear reader, I see your jaw drop, I see the stupi-fied expression on your face. Do not despair. Like any politician I intend to treat you as an idiot and give a plausible explanation. The truth is you can only read the words when Jim has an erection. The tattoo was done by a lady tatooist. When his dick is in the relaxed state the words disappear into the wrinkles and all that is left is an indecipherable bluish scrawl. ‘But ends of dicks don’t have wrinkles!’ I hear you complain. Well, I can tell you, as an author, that Jim’s prick is covered in wrinkles. It has mo-re wrinkles than John Cain’s forehead (10/5/05. or it kood hav bn (if u rmmbr thoz daiz) Don Chips fais). It may well be one of the most wrinkled pricks in the universe. These are indeed his own thou-ghts as he contemplates his prong. The sad truth is that his youthful looks are more than counterbal-anced by the extremely aged appearance of his prick, a legacy no doubt of the kinds of uses it had unavoidably been subjected to in prison. ¶ No wonder Jim has a poor self-image. As an example earl-ier that day back down in windy Victoria just past Shepparton or was it Kerang or some other godfor-saken arsehole of a place he had stood, swayed I suppose as he was doing now but gazing into the distance while he was having a leak, when he felt an odd sensation in his foot. It was as if one of his feet was in a swamp but at the same time under a waterfall. He looked down and saw that he was ur-inating on his shoe. He had been pissing into the wind. But not to worry, he couldn’t have cared less. That’s the sort of person he was. ¶ I am telling you these things as they were told to me by none oth-er than Jim himself whom or who, depending on whether you went to a public or private school, I had the pleasure of engaging in a long and rambling conversation in a small family hotel in
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Balmain. Jim, who or whom was wearing an Akubra and was shod in a pair of R.M.Williams high heeled ringer’s boots was drunk so I cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the detail of the events. What’s more even if I had felt inclined to go over the story with him I wouldn’t have been able to because the boys made quite a mess of him in the toilet and I wasn’t going to hang around in case I got the blame. ¶ Under the circumstances it may make sense for us to leave Jim for awhile, digress if you like, to that much darker anally fixated character, Mallacoota Man, who implausible as it may seem is at this very moment also having a leak on a remote beach in Gippsland, Victoria. ¶ A huge question mark hangs over Mallacoota Man – will he ever achieve ecstasy? The irony of his life as you know is that it is dog-ged by trivialities. ¶ ‘There he goes again’, I hear you thinking, ‘another one of those pseudo-philoso-phical wanks. The Nature of Ecstasy’. Well I could do, but just for that I wont. I could explain how in classical Greek the first meaning of the word was ‘displacement’. The idea was that you could be be-side yourself with astonishment, fear, or passion. Later it was used to describe states of trance whe-ther morbid or of religious rapture. The key element of this wonderful state, according to the one and only Simone Weil, is transcendence i.e. going or being displaced beyond your normal self. Notice that the meaning of the word has taken a full circle. By this definition eating in restaurants, no matter how fancy or expensive, does not qualify as an ecstatic experience. Besides surely ecstasy is related to an apprehension of beauty and only that is beautiful, according to the inimitable Simone, which we desire without wishing to eat it. The same considerations exclude orgasms. They happen too often, and when sexually aroused people are always trying to eat each other. Drugs do not help as they do not engage all the faculties. Art and music have similar limitations. But what’s the point of going on; I know the topic is boring you. I could more easily hold your attention by expounding on my theory of how the length of a man’s prick is inversely proportional to the amount he paid for his car. I was lucky enough to be able to check this out for myself in Californian bath houses by comparing the attributes of the patrons to their cars parked outside. All of this of course before aids took its terrible toll. Mea culpa. Just out of spite I’m not going to tell you about that either. Instead I’ll go back to Jim or Malla-coota Man both of who or whom are having or have just had or will spend a significant part of their life span having a leak. ¶ To be perfectly frank with you I don’t know who or what or how I’m supposed to be writing about but if its Mallacoota Man, that sinister denizen of east Gippsland, then let’s catch him early in the morning as he is packing some gear in preparation for the end of the world. ¶ Mallacoota Man, or M.M., as I shall on occasions call him is not by nature an early riser but on this as on each other morning during the current hot spell he had been woken up at the crack of dawn by flies crawl-ing over his face and trying to force their way into the corners of his mouth and eyes. You can tell that M.M.is not one of your modern fashionable a la Paddy Pallin style of camper with a nifty little tent with sewn in floor and zips though the tent he has just folded up and is stuffing into a huge sausage bag is just such a one. His own tent, well hidden in spite of its size under a fantastically gnarled and twisted banksia (banksia serrata), is actually a genuine army tent that weighs the best part of a ton, it seemed to him. Nearby, under another old banksia is his peerless eight cylinder Falcon station-wagon, a vehi-cle with a tendency to get rust spots but with an engine whose deep hum was still capable of giving a mechanic an orgasm. It is camouflaged with bracken fronds and forest floor litter. M.M. is terrified that he might be spotted from the air by a zealous park ranger inspecting his domain by light aircraft. His campsite is behind the dunes at the end of a disused track. At a point two ks away where it used to enter a larger track it is marked by a rotting sign obscured by tall grass which reads : Do Not Go Bey-ond This Point. The modern tent M.M. is stuffing into the sausage bag was stolen from a group of hoons who were camped at the last designated campsite at the termination of a four wheel drive co-ast road approaching from the east. M.M. had kept them, their two utes equipped with roll bars, their fishing rods and their enormous supply of food and tinnies under surveillance for the previous four days. Because they were at the end of the road the hoons imagined themselves to be at the end of the world. They did not have the slightest interest in the wilderness stretching away to the west exc-ept in so far as it freed them from inhibitions. They felt free to trash up their campsite in the knowled-ge that no one would find out till after they were gone. They didn’t even notice the daily loss of stubb-ies,
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tinnies and assorted tins of food and other items over the first three days. Nor is it surprising that they didn’t. Mallacoota Man had long ago perfected techniques of pilfering small items from the most outlying camps secure in the knowledge that even if they were noticed to be missing the suspicion would fall on other campers or travellers in the direction of civilization. Who would suspect a burglar from the opposite direction – from the brooding primeval forest. On the fourth day when the hoons had driven off back along the road to shoot up some signs M.M. knocked off one of their tents making sure to empty out the contents beforehand, including a wallet stuffed full of $50 notes, as he was no thief. He needed the tent for a new more inaccessible camp to prepare himself for the end of the world. ¶ He had hatched the plan only two nights ago as he was drinking a stubby of Vic Bitter courtesy of the hoons. He had been toying for some time with the notion that as soon as he returned to Melbourne he might volunteer to donate his body to a cryogenic company to be frozen, but before dying, so he could come back in full health to a better future world. I know that all you middle-class Melburnians, my readers, parents of future drug addicts and sperm donors think that this is a fanciful idea but the technology is in place right now. What changed M.M’s mind was the realization that while he was frozen solid the world, all worlds including parallel universes, could end. And he wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. Not that he could do much now but at least he could prepare for the event by setting up a camp further up the coast hidden among the honeymyrtle (melaleuca armillaris) where no one could find him should his present hideout be sprung. The only problem was that the honeymyrtle was infested with ticks which rained down like sawdust everytime the wind blew. He needed a moder-n zip up tent for protection. If he was to get away from civilization, if he was to be truly inaccessible, he was going to have to put up with some inconveniences. ¶ How did you like that? How did you dag-s, mugs, drongos, dorks and perverts go for all that crap about the end of the world? Am I coming across a bit strong? Should I tone it down a bit? All right I’ll rephrase that, here goes : how did all you nincompoops, pollywaffles, gollywogs and woofters like that bit about the end of the world? Did it sat-isfy your craving for the dramatic? Did it fill the void a little? ¶ The reality is that M.M’s motives were hidden from him. Not surprising really as they’re hidden from me and I’m the bloody author. How is a writer supposed to know the motives of a character of his own invention? ¶ Mallacoota Man’s move west may have been more to do with the sunsets. Every evening from a vantage point on the dune M.M. observed one blindingly beautiful sunset after another, each completely unlike the previous one. The sun sank behind a series of headlands stretching away into the distance which changed their colours to different shades of grey, or black, or purple, or rose or pink or gold according to the even-ing. M.M. wished that he’d been an artist. Such sunsets deserved to be seen by more refined spirits than him. His own mind he realized was not tempered sufficiently to contain intense beauty for any length of time. It was his fate to share it with no one. If sunsets like this were the common property of mankind there would be no need for God. Christ would have done better to stay home instead of ris-ing from the dead and hanging from the cross. One night after a particularly beautiful sunset he notic-ed that his immediate surroundings were lit up by a faint but clearly discernable light. To his utter am-azement he realized that the source of the light was his own body which was glowing with an eerie phosphorescence. He had been transformed. From then on he no longer needed to use a torch at night. He threw it away. He could read the directions on a can of noodles or thread a needle by his own glow. As he gazed at the dissolving shafts night after night a conviction grew in him that out there in the west he would find his El Dorado, or Chonda Za, or Xanadu, or Castrovalva or even Camelot or Shangri-La. ¶ In the case of the last one I have to say he was wrong. Shangri-La is not to be found in east Gippsland but, curiously enough, up north in the land of the banana benders which when I went there was ruled by a giant peanut (13/5/05. woz rspktfli berid a few weeks go) and where every cop was on the take. ¶ Oh to be in Shangri-La where fish fly and oysters call out to you to pick them off the rocks, where barramundi cook themselves and the only things you find in the water are frollicking maidens. Shangri-La, where mangoes and pawpaws are free, where everyone eats prawn hamburg-ers and nobody worries about anything. Where if you’re under seventy you wear thongs and board shorts and if you’re over seventy you wear styled shorts, white leather shoes with knee high white socks, have a great tan, look smug, are fat and own
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a boat. Where the Jap tourists are so rich they carry their money in huge pouches that hang over their balls like kilts. Shangri-La where the girls wear g-strings and shave their pubes and where the guys escort those girls when they are not work-ing out with weights. ¶ I didn’t quite get there but I came awfully close. At Surfer’s I saw a boat called Shangri-La. Near Maroochydore I went past the Shangri-La motel. But I wasn’t fooled, I knew the real thing was further north. I got as far as the ferry that takes cars across to Frazer Island. As I stood th-ere in the evening light covered in dust the fourwheel drives were roaring off the ferry and thundering down the road like the eighth army returning home from war. The pace hadn’t slackened an hour late-r. Something told me it was time to turn round and head back down the coast. ¶ On the way back I took in a lingerie parade at a pub in Maryborough, was served by a topless barmaid at Gympie, droo-led over wet T-shirt contestants at Nambour and barracked female mud wrestlers at a league’s club in Maroochydore. It’s not that I was having trouble getting lifts but most of my lifts came from truckies and where they stopped so did I. It was as if they were reluctant to go south knowing that each mile took them further away from Shangri-La. From Maroochydore I walked along a windswept beach to Coloundra where I was enticed to spend the whole evening drinking rum and cokes, which is their fa-vourite drink up there, at an R.S.L. club by the prospect of a dwarf-throwing competition which didn’t start till midnight and finished ten minutes later after only three throws. What a take! Luckily the next day I got a lift that took me straight through Brisbane to Sea World at Southport. ¶ I didn’t see the per-forming dolphins because you had to pay to get in but instead I got a whole afternoon for free at a Fat Lady Whale competition held at the council swimming pool. The competition was to raise money for the local Rotary Club. The fat ladies, none of whom weighed less than half a ton, had to float on their backs and do imitations of whale spouts by blowing lemonade out of their mouths. They were helped out of the pool by a swarm of male attendants, for they were not capable of climbing over the edge of the pool by themselves, to be revealed in their full glory wearing bikinis. Then they had to lie quivering on mats with sand sprinkled about pretending to be beached while the attendants would try to roll the-m back into the pool. Later they staggered off, with many a helping hand again, to the changing shed-s where they disappeared through an enlarged door opening to dry off. The next act consisted of the ladies being helped in turn onto a dais where they proceeded to pull out various articles from between the folds and layers of their blubber. From folds in their arms, legs, bellies they pulled out dollar notes, boxes of matches, panties, tablecloths and so on. One lady pulled out a queen-sized bedspread from underneath her boob. Another pulled a paperback novel out from a fold in her neck and then having plonked down on a deck chair reinforced with a frame made from angle iron proceeded to read it. One lady pulled a roast turkey from in between two rolls of fat on her belly and immediately ate it. The winner pulled out from various clefts in her huge form an entire outfit of clothes and then got dressed to the tumultuous applause of the spectators. ¶ As she held her massive arms above her head in a victory salute I burst out in spontaneous cheering. How infinitely superior this was to anything I had seen down south. How pathetic a spectacle the yabbie race at Numurkah seemed by comparison. In case you havent seen it for yourself I am referring to an annual event held, I suppose for the benefit of tourists, where about thirty yabbies numbered with vegetable dye are put in a ring facing outwards around the edge of an inner circle of about three foot in diameter and are expected to race to the per-imeter of another circle five yards wide which encloses the first one. The yabbies which have been brought to the contest in buckets of water by their respective owners invariably die of heat stroke be-fore they reach the outer circle. Most, in fact, don’t even move from the inner one. They are then tos-sed into a cauldron of boiling water with a pile of non-contestant yabbies and eaten by the tourists. Overcome by the euphoria of the big lady whale’s triumph things southern appeared mean and ord-inary to me. The giant Merino of Goulburn and even the Wunda from Down Unda – the giant earth-worm of Poowong, Gippsland – appeared inferior to the giant Pineapple and the giant Banana. ¶ For their grand finale the ladies had to sit on cane toads tied by their hind legs to the centres of stoutly constructed wicker chairs. Each lady was lowered by her elbows until her behind was about a foot above the victim and then dropped screeching and giggling onto the bug eyed toad. When she was lifted up the judges measured the toad to see how
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flat it had been squashed. If the toad had been squeezed through the gaps in the cane so that it hung like rags from the bottom of the seat extra points were awarded. One toad disappeared entirely leaving behind only a tattered leg tied by the string to the bottom of the chair to be discovered after much consternation up the cleft of the fat lady’s behind. Naturally she was awarded maximum points for the event. The special relationship Queens-landers have with cane toads was further demonstrated to me at a road house by a truckie who had given me a lift, when he found one in a load of bananas he was taking south. To show me how har-mless it was he swallowed it live. I didn’t hang around to see if it did him any harm, I can tell you. ¶ To tell you the truth I became a bit jaded by the entertainments, emotionally spent if you like, and was grateful to get a lift straight through Surters though the driver told me I was missing a Beer Belly cont-est at Jupiter’s Casino running simultaneously and in competition with a Big Splash contest at the life-savers club. ¶ By the time I was south of the N.S.W. border I was really homesick and lucky as it turn-ed out to have made it back alive. ¶ A bit south of Smokey Cape (yes, the same one of Captain Cook fame), where the bait costs more than the value of the fish you catch and where you can make more pulling beach worms than cutting down drugs, I tried to sleep on the beach and nearly got run down by a fisherman in a fourwheel drive. There was a run of whiting and the beach was busier than Bou-rke st. at peak hour. I am talking about the middle of the night and in a national park too. That’s the way they do things there. So I decided to sleep in the scrub behind the dunes. There I was in tick land, where paperbarks peel, mosquitoes whine, and under every leaf there is a leech waiting to suck your blood. Everything was soggy from five inches of rain that had fallen during the day and there was a subtle aroma of rotting flesh all around me. No wonder everyone here is so keen on the beach – its too bloody horrible anywhere else. So I went back to the beach and nearly got driven over again. The rest of the night I spent hoofing it south. A few days later I was silly enough to repeat the effort at Myall Lakes, where the entire beach is corrugated with wheel ruts, only to be hit with a half-full tinnie thrown by a yahoo in a dune buggy returning from a beach party. ¶ I did make it back to Melbourne otherwise my analyses of Mallacoota Man’s motives would remain incomplete. ¶ His most plausible reason for establishing a remote outcamp was the necessity for a secure place where to hide stolen property. M.M. had not been a thief in the past, merely a pilferer or a borrower who felt no need to protect himself from the long arm of the law. But as he watched the hoons with growing scorn from his hiding place he decided that his activities were about to take a new direction. He saw them blun-dering about their camp which looked more like a rubbish tip each day. He noted their beer bellies, their bandanas, their stupid Australian army camouflage fatigues, the silly big knives they wore in imitation of celluloid heroes, and he decided that he would become a thief. He would knock off every-thing he could get his hands on belonging to the hoons – not just to these hoons, but all hoons. This explanation suffers from a fatal flaw : M.M’s actions were never guided by logic. ¶ Let’s return to him early on a morning already threateningly warm. Besides the tent and tinned food M.M. stuffed into the bag any camp item that had found a place in his car but had not been used over the previous year : two egg flippers, a blanket, a couple of packets of condoms, several lengths of rope, liquid detergent, a sheet of plastic, a dozen plastic bags, a wheel brace and so on. The last item to be put in was a 6pack of tinnies. The finishing touches were supervised by an eight foot goanna with claws as big as a mans hand which had climbed into the banksia above the car while you and I were on our excursion up north checking out Shangri-La. The goanna regarded him with a look of primeval malevolence but Mallacoota Man, with memories of his encounter with the possum still fresh, was disinclined to try to chase it out of the tree. Finally just before setting out M.M. practiced his crow calls which he did on most mornings as you or I would say our prayers. He started off with the easiest one, the little raven (corvus mellori) with a gutteral, rapid, clipped ‘kar-kar-kar-kar’; followed up with the rich deep gravelly baritone ‘korr-korr-korr-korr’ of the forest raven (corvus tasmanicus); he left his favourite, the Australian raven (corvus coronoides) to the last. This crow is a tenor and it’s high-pitched wailing with the dying final note ‘aah-aah-aah-aaaaahh’ while deeply satisfying usually left M.M. spluttering in a fit of coughing. He then swung the massive sausage bag over his shoulder gave a parting glare in the direction of the goanna and staggered off towards the crest of the dune. ¶ By the time he reached the
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crest, hunched over almost double, he knew from the weight of the bag that he had embarked on a major undertaking. The beach stretched westwards until it disappeared in a sea haze. ¶ they watch the white birds stoop through mist and spray / beautiful as a dream / it makes them think that / they are near the sea // they wait / to soak their withered hands / in salty water / once again ¶ Beyond the haze as if floating on cloud lay several headlands superimposed on each other. M.M. knew that between the headlands lay other empty beaches. It was behind one of these, a half kilometre or so into an impenetrable coastal scrub through which he alone knew a path, that he intended to set up an out-camp. He tottered down the dune propelled by the weight of the bag and set off down the beach looking from a distance not unlike father christmas. ¶ don’t follow me / along that gentle / gentle road // forget / the sweet and heady smell / of winds / along the coast // for I think / on just such a day as this / I will catch / the afternoon sea breeze // and drift away / into an aim-less sea ¶ Though he was laden down like a camel Mallacoota Man’s heart was beating with the en-thusiasm of a dog. New beginnings always affected him that way. It may be that he is dangerously nocturnal, it may be that he is repulsively anal, but on the positive side you have to admit that he could be dauntingly energetic. So when his back was aching so much that he began to think he ran a risk of not being able to straiten it again, instead of having a good long rest, he got a stick and used one of the ropes in the bag to tie the two ends of the stick to the neck of the bag so he could pull it like an ox pulling a plough. When his chest could not take the pressure of the stick any longer he pul-led the bag walking backwards. The bag got swamped by waves. By nature secretive, and after all this was meant to be a hidden camp, he was pulling it below the high water mark just above the bre-aking waves so that the drag mark would be obliterated. So it was over two kilometres down the bea-ch before Mallacoota Man finally fell face down exhausted into the wet sand. Nor did he get up when the wash of a larger breaker foamed over him and his bag. He lifted up his head for breath and then dropped it into the sand again. ¶ dreams are made of mist / you wake / and they are gone // so too with plans / which like castles in the air / disappear in the sky ¶ it is said / you can mould minds out of clay // you make bread / out of seed / brandy out of / water // yet / when you make a figure out of sand / the next tide / will wash it away ¶ When he sat up he noticed that the morn-ing was well advanced. A couple of march flies zeroed in, from which he could tell that away from the water twenty or so yards up the beach it was already hot. He pulled the bag onto the dry sand to dry it out hoping that it would become lighter. The side that had been dragging was showing signs of wear. He was about to pull out the six pack from where it was wrapped in the blanket in the neck of the bag when about fifty march flies attacked him simultaneously. By now enough feeling had returned to his mind and body for him to know he was aching all over. The fifty flies dug their spears in. He left the bag and walked into the foam, he kept going without even bothering to undress till the waves broke over him: which was easy to do as he was naked. ¶ the surfers come / to try their skill / they think / that they will test the waves // the wave / that grinds away the rock / knows nothing / of the young or aged ¶ As his aching body luxuriated in the swell clarity returned to his mind. He had for-gotten to put any clothes into the bag. He would have to accomplish his mission stark naked. Unless he walked knee deep in water he would be eaten alive by march flies which the north wind was blow-ing right up to the water’s edge. How he envied the dingo whose footprints near the high water mark showed that it had completed its beat in the cool of the night. He was briefly overcome by a hopeless-ness so profound that he let himself drift dangerously, parallel to the beach. Holding his breath he allowed his face to sink into the water and spread his arms out like a drowned man. ¶ there was / a man in the suburbs / who prayed that he be / a sailor // and his mind became / an ocean / the shimmering fishes were / its cells // then the knew that life was / governed / by the surging of the waves ¶ He lifted up his head, gasped for air, and headed for the shore. He caught a wave that took him into the shallows and sprinted through the foam towards the bag lifting his knees like a sur-fer heading for the finishing line. He had been recharged : he would conquer the hoons, he would reach Zanadu and hold Olivia Newton John (11/5/05. rmmbr her?) in his arms that very day, he would survive the end of the universe by his own efforts; or his name wasn’t M.M. Mallacoota Man. He was going to give it his 120% Ron Barrassi
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(11/5/05. rmmbr?) super best or bust : ¶ let me walk along / the restless shores // the stinging / octopus / gives birth to fragile ships / of gleaming white // where from portugal / a man-of-war / trails his tentacles / through twilight worlds // some are made to dream / others to explore ¶ Barely a hundred yards further he was dry to the delight of the march flies. The sun was burning into his back and he thought of the dead blistered seals whose sha-peless peeling bodies dotted the shoreline every kilometre or so. Another hundred yards and he knew he could not go on any longer. But he was not defeated. Mallacoota Man possessed a creative ingen-uity which he now put to good effect. He pulled out the rug that had been wrapped around the six pa-ck and a steak knife that was attached to the egg flippers and other cutlery by a rubber band deeper in the bag. Standing knee deep in water he cut a slit in the centre of the rug to make a poncho. It was a brilliant idea. Though it was heavy and the wet hem slapped awkwardly against his legs it protected him from the sun and the flies and cushioned the stick against his chest. After awhile he established a steady rhythm like an ox or a draught horse. Hiker’s manuals recommend in these situations that it is advisable to repeat a phrase or a doggerel over and over. If it were possible for us to get up close en-ough you would hear that M.M. was doing exactly that. Through gritted teeth he was mumbling, over and over, the words : ‘the most important day of a man’s life is the day his father dies.’ ¶ On that grim note, now that he’s set on his way, let’s leave Mallacoota Man and rejoin the other pisser, Jim Brown. ¶ My wife (yes! we’re together again) who proof reads everything I write so that she can edit out any-thing from which inferences could be drawn about our sexual practices objects to the way I brought in the part about Jim having a leak and then went on to write about Mallacoota Man. She claims it inter-feres with the continuity of the story. What she fails to grasp is that the connections in this story are not supplied by the flow of time or the historical line of a character’s life but by events. Putting it in an-other way, the links that hold Jim and M.M. together are lateral not linear ones. The generally accep-ted notion, under which biographies and autobiographies are written, that the passage of time gives unity to a life is false. Most of these are a wank which so hugely exaggerate the importance of individ-uals that their stories would be truer if not told at all. Time doesn’t unify a life – it disintegrates it. Eve-nts are turned into memories which are garnished and lied about; the elements of a man’s life are first separated and then the man himself is murdered – by time. People are kept alive in the human family by what they do. ¶ On a late afternoon, in widely separate locations but in the slanting rays of the same sun, Jim Brown and M.M. were having a leak. Jim, a victim of psychological, sexual, economic, educational, domestic, political, gender, social and religious violence, in fact every kind of violence except physical violence, has finished contemplating his prick and slipped it back into its den. That morning he too had set out on a journey. ¶ Jim had woken up sitting slumped in a large dilapidated lounge chair in the front room of a derelict boarding house in Yarraville. It was five in the morning and Jim had slept for only two hours. His nightly blackout meant that he could remember nothing from midnight onwards but experience told him that he would have finished his last can about three in the morning. He had been celebrating his early release from jail a couple of months ago. It was his devotion to study that had ensured he kept his full parole, earned all available remissions, and benefitted from the automatic one third reduction of term that the new government brought in to solve the overcrowding problem. Having started his term as a pastrycook he left the old bluestone pile with a string of letters after his name, and totally unemployable. ¶ He had lived in the half-way house run by the Salvos with a dozen other men. The high turnover meant that none of the blokes with him had been there when he started so it was a tribute to his friendly nature that several of them insisted on giving him going away presents. ¶ A pad of Roadworthy Certificates was a valuable item. When complete it consisted of a hundred certificates in triplicate. With it you could buy an old rust bucket for a few hundred dollars through the trading post and get it transferred and registered by filling in your own RWC. You sent one copy to the rego branch and kept the owner’s and the garage copy yourself. The only trick was to know the identification number of a garage that was accredited to do RWCs. No problem, Jim was provided with a list of these, about three hundred from all around Australia. The book of RWCs had one certificate missing : the one Jim had used to buy his own rusty Valiant station wagon, better known among private school boys as the Wog Tank. The wagon had set him back three hundred
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dollars, money he had saved by not paying rent to the Salvos. An equivalent Holden or Falcon would have cost an extra eight hundred, which explained the school boys’ derision. The engine and the headlights worked, everything else either didn’t or worked only after a fashion. The pad of roadworthies was given to him by a kid who’d got himself a printer’s qualification while doing time for forging cheques. His probation officer had got him a job with the government printer and the kid had put his qualifications to good use straight away. The real value of the RWCs was that they could be used as hard currency, each triplicate being valued at twenty to fifty dollars depending on the crowd you were with. ¶ Similar considerations were true for the pads of doctor’s certificates and doctor’s bills given him by a Maori who’d been with him at Pentridge but was now working as a hospital orderly. These had far more uses and more potential for financial gain than the roadworthies but they were more complicated. Writing yourself a certificate for a sickie was easy, but only any good to you if you had a job. To make money out of the system by making medibank claims or to get on Workcare or sickness benefit you also needed a receipt book, medibank cards that had not been reported lost, doctors’ numbers and a schedule of illness and charge numbers. He had all of these; and an education that gave him the ability to use them. ¶ Another present from the same Maori was a boxfull of syringes of Depo Testosterone. It could be worth a queen’s ransom at King’s Cross, or even more if the syringes were sold one at a time. ¶ The most humble item he was given to start a new life was a second hand electric hair clipper that could be run off batteries, and half a dozen attachable combs. As it turned out it was to become his most useful possession. He charged two dollars, less than half the going rate, for a straight no.2 comb convict cut which took three minutes; there was no end of custom. It gave him a regular tax free and honest income to supplement his unemployment benefit. In the long run it proved more useful than the doctor’s certificates, RWCs and medibank cards put together. ¶ What really gets me about the way the wife goes about her editing is the absence of consultative processes. She goes to the drawer without my permission, gets out the manuscript, gets her double strength black texta marker, and proceeds to obliterate anything she objects to. When she’s finished she throws the manuscript back in the drawer without comment. It can be a word or a sentence or a whole page, in which case she crosses it corner to corner. She pays no attention to the context. A single sentence, if it’s a key one can force me to rewrite a page; a crossed page can mean a week’s work. I can’t understand what she’s so sensitive about. It’s not as if she’s shy or a prude. For our anniversary we had a repeat honeymoon and did it in a different place and a different way every time. Anything sets her off. We found a riding crop that had been dropped in some scrub near a horseriding farm. So we had to do it like horses. And I’m lousy at neighing. When I pointed out after a week that there were still some positions in the book that we hadn’t done she hired a contortionist so I could tell the guys in the pub I’d done it everyway. People can be very strange about the printed word. ¶ Jim Brown had already thrown his belongings, including a cardboard box whose contents I’m not going to reveal to you, into the Wog Tank the previous night. The RWCs and the medical certificates were hidden in the panels. He had already said his goodbyes. All that was left to do was stand up, sway back and forth, examine his hands for tremble, and drift out the front door to the car. It took a while to fit the key into the ignition and a few splutters for the engine to start. Then he was off, north to Broken Hill, to start a new life. The music was provided by an orchestra of Yarraville blackbirds assembled for the occasion. ¶ Now that I think of it, it was near Tooboorac that Jim pissed on his shoe. A short time later he stopped at a garage washroom to brush his teeth. He carried a toothbrush (10/5/05. last week in Rochester on th wai home from our fshn trip V woz spotd wth hiz toothbrsh stikn out of th top pokt of hiz jakt) in the glove box. Brushing teeth was one of the good habits that remained with him from jail. As his petrol gauge wasn’t working and he couldn’t remember when he had last filled up he got some petrol. Near Echuca he stopped at another garage to wash his face, slick down his hair, and have his breakfast which consisted of two cups of black coffee and a giant size packet of potato chips, to be eaten back in the car. Eating breakfast and washing by stages while on the move was typical of Jim’s mornings since his release. ¶ Half way to Gunbower he realized he had to have a crap and anxiously scanned the roadway ahead for pepper trees. It so happened that the road was bare of any cover and he was lucky to make it into Gunbower without an accident. He screeched to a halt outside a council toilet
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next to the footy ground hoping he hadn’t attracted the interest of the local cop. The doors and bonnet of the Wog Tank, all of different colours, attracted enough attention as it was. He only made it in the nick of time pulling down his pants and releasing a torrent of turd all in one action. It was an impres-sive performance and it occurred to him that he’d better take care or one day he’d cough out his en-tire gut. Then he thought about the elderly lady who’d been disembowled as she sat on one of those aeroplane toilets that work by vacuum suction. Then he discovered there was no toilet paper. Most of us have lived through the same experience without too much inconvenience. The usual solution is to use your underpants and flush them down the toilet. But Jim was not in the habit of wearing underp-ants. Together with wearing ties, peeling spuds, washing hands after a leak, wearing underpants was on his list of useless activities. His practice instead was to buy a new pair of daks when needed for a couple of bucks at an op shop and throw the old ones away. Nor was he wearing a singlet or socks. So he cleaned his behind with his finger and his finger in the washbasin. What’s more it didn’t bother him a bit because he had no self esteem. His journey to Broken Hill took place before self esteem had become important. Nevertheless you have to admit coming as it did so soon after he’d pissed on his shoe it was not a great beginning to the day. If it had happened today Jim’s self esteem would have hit rock bottom and he would have turned around and headed back to Melbourne. ¶ The impor-tance of self esteem is the discovery of the age. Kids do lousy at school because they have no self esteem. Old men molest little children because they had no self esteem when they themselves were little. Lack of self esteem causes girls to become anorexic, men to pump iron and consume anabolic steroids. It’s the main cause of drug addiction, suicide, divorce, incest, alcoholism, wife beating, un-employment, teenage pregnancies, depression, obesity, impotence, frigidity, stuttering and almost everything else you can botch up. No wonder the main helping strategy by the do-gooders industry is to give people plenty of self esteem. All over the country from drug clinic to psychiatric ward the ug-liest and meanest people in Australia sit about in groups telling each other how good and beautiful they are. The process starts in the junior grades in schools when teachers pin up on the board at the back of the class the most boring bits of drivel without any redeeming feature with comments such as : ‘wonderful work Drago’, ‘this is really good Marika’, ‘very interesting Aphrodite’ and so on. If you’re an aborigine the process continues on right through college where they get degrees by quota no mat-ter how many of them are dummies. At the Gippsland Institute in Sale there is a subject in Aboriginal Studies course called Walkabout where no one has ever failed without even turning up. If you’re an aborigine you can get into an engineering course in Canberra without passing maths at high school by getting special consideration. Then you get through the course by getting more special consider-ation. Then you get a highly paid job as a facilitator in the Aboriginal Affairs department with still more consideration. This is what you call getting self esteem through achievement by avoiding achieve-ment. What gets me is that some of these aboriginals are less aboriginal than my defacto and she’s jewish. Look, I don’t want you to think I’m bigoted, it’s not just the abos that are on the gravy train. In the mallee there are (10/5/05. uzed 2 b) towns where everyone works for the rail and they only get one train a week ; it sure is good for their self esteem. Nor is my defacto any kind of example : when they brought in the equal opportunityies act she got quicker promotion by getting a sex change oper-ation. The extra pay does a ton of good for her self esteem. ¶ Jim Brown was of a different breed, from a different age. He predated self esteem. His example showed that you haven’t grown up till you’ve lost your self esteem. Instead of giving in, he washed his finger, bought a couple of stubbies and continued on. The beer flowed cool, like an angel crying on his tongue, his heart was light. In this benevolent mood he pulled up for a family of darkies thumbing a lift. ¶ I use the term ‘darkies’ over the protests of my publisher who reckons he might get sued. He wants me to call them ‘kooris’. I re-fuse to dilute the historical accuracy of the story. To Jim they were known as darkies. These events took place before the powers that be saw it as their legitimate task to control our language by legis-lation. Jim went north before 1984. I have these little tiffs with my publisher. He is also trying to make me spell Mallacootta the same way every time. Bugger him! A famous author does what he pleases. ¶ The darkies wanted a lift a little way up the road. It transpired they were cousins of Lionel Rose and were
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visiting some more of Lionel’s cousins in Cohuna. The male darkie, who every now and then would pick his nose or scratch his arse, showed the final signs of kikapoo juice poisoning. His eyes were watery, his skin puffy, and there was a sullen expression on his face. The juice in that area con-sisted of a mixture of metho, flagon sherry, beer, brasso and bootpolish. His speech was so slurred that Jim had to ask him to repeat everything two or three times. He handed him the other stubby and pointed to the opener hanging under the dashboard. The darkie’s wife, who was built and looked like a dugong, wore a floral cotton print dress in imitation of the Queen of England. She was prematurely aged from being screwed under too many peppercorn trees. The kids were dull eyed and their hands shook from sniffing petrol. ¶ our hearts are stone / our love / sand / our dream an opal / our spirit air // our search is food / we are rain / we are flowers / we are seed // we stared at the night / till our skin turned black // we are night ¶ At Cohuna the male darkie whos name was Jackie directed Jim to a group of shanties on the edge of town and disappeared into one of them while indicating to his family to remain in the car. He was back almost immediately mumbling something about the cous-ins having gone. Jacky got in and sat down next to Jim as if they were all members of the same fam-ily. Amazing what a shared beer will do. A garbled conversation established that the cousins, it was not clear whether they were Lionel’s or Jacky’s, would probably be at Lake Boga. You’ve guessed it! They werent at Lake Boga , nor were they at Swan Hill. Nor did either Jacky or his woman give a hint of wanting to part company with Jim. As they entered Ouyen Jacky’s face lit up, he slapped his thigh and called for Jim to pull up. He was going to shout everyone a beer. This was a development that Jim could handle; except when they arranged themselves around a couple of tin tables in the beer garden Jacky, after ostentatiously rummaging in his pockets, turned his eyes up with the wondrous discovery that he had forgotten to put any money in them. The shout was on Jim, and a couple more after that. Back at the tank there was only small change to add to the rest of his kitty in the ash tray. By the time they crossed the New South border Jim knew that he had achieved full membership of the family. At Wentworth he pulled up of his own accord. He would shout Jackie and the dugong a beer. He gave the kids a few coins to go and buy themselves some petrol to sniff and the three of them went into the pub. He brought a set of glasses and a jug as if he meant to settle down for a wh-ile. Jackie and the dugong brightened up so they almost looked human. Jim could tell they were mi-ghtily pleased. But he had to go to the dyke first. No sooner was he out of sight than he headed for the door. It was his usual way of parting company with undesirables. As the Tank accelerated from the kerb he caught sight of the two kids returning from the milkbar. He didn’t relax till he was right out of town. Another thirty miles closer to Broken Hill he heaved a sigh of relief and pulled up for a leak. That’s where we first waylaid him, remember, examining the end of his prick. ¶ Meanwhile, Mallac-oota Man is struggling to make it to first base.” But 4 now lets leev him thr & rtern 2 th nthlj. Theez r th titlz of th mastrkopeez I hav in my 2nd foldr of th ritin I h&d out in 2001 ndr th logo a…z @ O: 17) 27/-11/00 – 7/12/00 (ksplorn th meenn of th werd ‘god’); 18) 13/2/01 – 26/2/01 (th longst piece Iv dstrbut-ed & th 1st whr th pajez r nmbrd (H lernt how 2)); 19) 7/4/01 – 18/4/01 (1 of th Lake Gairdner trips); 2-0) 13/5/01 (7 poemz; 1 of thm iz a fvort of mine : the local alley cat / one eyed prowler in the night / was killed this evening / by the headlight of a car // with the silent instinct / of generations of his kind / he writhed and cartwheeled / into a neighbours yard // to die / or to enter another one / of his nine lives // perhaps / the curtain of night has / been rent / to admit him finally // into the paradise / of prowlers); 21) 19 berd poemz (no titl uthr than a pkchr of a ‘berd man’ on th kuvr; pos-td th 1z on th mailn list on sept 10); 22) 21 poemz (kuvr is a pkchr of me havn a leek nkst 2 a COM-MIT NO NUISANCE sine;1 of th poemz (lso uzed in ‘IN TRANSIT ‘) mai b th nly linez I mite b rmmbrd (1/5. koz probli no1 (5/5. (Murray rivr on Gunbower Island) ystrdi I told V (w wer on th Loddon rivr O 15ks ↑ of Serpentine) hardli ny1 reedz my ritin & hiz rply woz Iv probli got fewr reedrz than I think) nd-rstood my kspln8nz (0 mistkl O thm) of how w r joind (2/5. bkoz werdz r praktst 2gthr x mt8shn & rpt-shn til they r bedd in our neurlj (3/5 w do not elekt known liarz 2 b our leedrz (Bush, Blair, Howard (5/5. th most sinikl in hiz nolej th@ we knot bair 2 much realti)) 2 rword thm 4 their past lize but bkoz w r prpairn 2 akt dspkbli in th future & w want 2 make sure they wil tel us w aktd rluktntli wth honor & deesnsi 4 th
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good of hmanti.)) in lngwj & how w r spr8d x th dffrnsz btween th sensz) 4 : my wife / tells me that her cunt / is getting old // but as / my cock / has only one eye / it hasnt noticed / the difference); 23) 13/8/01 – 25/8/01 (whch kntainz 1 of th most butefl poemz I hav ritn : I am a flea in the fold of a camels ear. I listen to the talk of merchants & camel hands. We travel by night guided by stars. We have stopped at a caravanserai called earth. The merchants ex-change fine carpets for jade, worked silver for gunpowder, incense for silks. They have been travelling so long that some of them no longer remember the cities of their birth or the wives & children they left behind. Rumour has it that the cities are buried in sand & the wives have aged or left. Some say that if we were to return even if the cities were still there & the wives were washing at the same fountains the merchants wouldnt recognize them because they themselves have changed. They have become used to dancing girls with seductive glances, the soft music of eunuchs, plush carpets in sumptuous halls. One of their number overcome by nostalgia turned around his camels laden with the rewards of his enterprise determined to return to the hanging gardens of his youth. We never saw him again but a beggar at the gate tells a story that he says he heard from the mouth of one of the brigands that caught up with him in a bleak desert & cut him down. He says (some say the beggar was one of the ones standing around) that as the merchant sat on the ground leaning forward among the rolls of silk & spices scattered about from a fallen camel, supporting himself with a jewelled hand in the sand while the other clutched his neck to staunch the blood gushing through his fingers, his last words were : “In this desolation these silks & these jewelled hands look strange-ly beautiful.”. I woz hapi wth th kmpnion poem on p16 2 : I am a flea in the fold of a camels ear. I listen to the talk of merchants & camel hands. I ask questions. We travel at night guided by stars. We have stopped at a caravanserai called earth. I ask what is language? why death? who? I dont receive answers. We have been travelling forever. The merchants have retired to the seraglios with girls that wear ringlets & laugh. The camel hands are standing about fires cooking & arguing. They are boastful & tell lies. Everything seems as it always is but this time I sense that we are nearing the end of the journey. That we are about to turn around. I sense it through my feet in the camels sweat. I note the twitch in its ear. I dont know if we will find our way back. The gods who hide their faces from me in the questions that I ask know that I ser-ve their obscure purpose. I am loyal. I am ready. I know that they love me. (1/5. lso on p16 thr iz a gr8 poem x H : words / are swords and shields / hessian and velvet / acid and balm / but tr-uth is / in glance / and touch / small movements of body / yea or nay / and the shouting sing-ing / silences between / words)); 24) 22/9/01 – 1/10/01 (my reakshn 2 sept 11; 1st piece I put out ritn jointli x H (1/5. duz th typin of em orl & I thank u huni) & me); 25) 10/11/01 (7 poemz; note the pal-indrome); 26) 22/10/01 – 2/11/01 (I think th kuvr foto of th sine END HOTEL (th WEST @ th top had faidd out) woz taikn @ Gulnare in SA (btween Burra & Port Germein) & th sine iz prbli stil thr).

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