Tuesda y.

[OE.Tiewesdaeg (rendering
L. dies Martis), f.
genitive of Tiw, name of a
Teutonic deity, identified
with the Roman Mars.
Tiw : - OTeut. *Tiwoz,
cogn. with L. deus god,
Gr. genit. Διός of Zeus
(cf. Skr. dyāus).] The third
day of the week.
a …z
(4th edition)
14/8 /41 (5/2/08. 14/8/41 (no 9) (12/2/08. ¤ rrl¤zd onle rsntle twozr tuzda - ¤ woz
born @th ndv thwk nth ☼da)).
The Room
at the root of every secret is violence
the trunk is supported by fear
the branches are lies
the leaves are tears
*
brave men dont have secrets
*
the most dangerous secret is the one everyone knows
because by not disclosing it everyone becomes complicit
*
the silence of conspirators
a hidden depth in the glance
a veiled thought
a wary step
a shrillness in the voice
*
in time a secret shared by all becomes
- a code, a belief, a legacy, a culture
*
what in the beginning was worn as a cloak, after it is embroidered, becomes a frock
coat or a dinner jacket
*
if everyone in a room shares a secret together they are conspirators
*
everyone in a room can have the same secret without knowing that his neighbour
also has it
*
they may be too frightened to ask
they may be too ashamed to ask
*
you get better at keeping secrets with practice - from yourself too
*
secrets are known differently
*
if everyone except one has the secret they all must keep silent in case the one finds
out and informs on them even if they only imagine him for they may not know if he really exists, for if he
does they have no way of knowing that he does, nor does he have any way of knowing that they have a
secret
*
you can choke on a secret
2
The House
in the house of secrets
the walls are thick
there are shadows to hide in
a garden to cry in
*
in the house of secrets
only the master knows
that everyone knows the secret
*
a house of secrets is full of silences
full of echoes
everyone whispers
*
in the house of secrets there are many passageways
the walls have ears
*
in the house of secrets
only the master can see
into every room
*
the house of secrets is ruled by fear
*
public laughter - hidden tears
*
the night of the soul
*
in the house of secrets there is
only one masterkey
*
in the house of secrets
only the master knows
how many rooms
*
in the house of secrets
there is a room so hidden
even the owner can't find it
*
a divided house cannot stand
3
The City
secrets divide, those who have from those who have not, the few from the many
- that is their purpose
*
a person alone cannot hold a secret, at least two or three must share it
*
secrets are dangerous - the thief hides the stolen goods
*
the keepers of secrets are the complicit
the users are the conspirators
*
the conspirators are brave though perhaps evil
the complicit are cowards and silent
*
the emblem of both is the mask
*
secret knowledge is much sought - those who seek it had better be careful
*
intention precedes the secret - the secret itself is only a pretext
*
can you keep a secret
*
the guardians of the city have the secret
*
the purpose of jargon is to make knowledge secret
*
a secret can be - hidden, buried, kept, guarded, owned, stolen
*
the purpose of universities is to invent jargon
the purpose of theologians is to invent jargon
*
what is conceived in secret is performed in public
*
everything that is hidden will be made known
4
Masks
the first mask divides into two - the intention from the face, the face from the execution, what is
hidden from what is presented, what is owed from what is given, what is felt from what is pretended,
what is said from what is meant
*
masks can multiply a man by hiding other masks
*
according to Shakespear - the world's a stage and every man an actor,
some say he invented personality
*
you are a master of disguises
I slash through them
as through so many sheets of tissue
and still I dont see you
you have shuffled the deck so well that
king, queen, jack, joker
you yourself dont know who you are
*
" ... we are difference ... our reason is difference of discourse, our history the difference of
times, ourselves the difference of masks ..." (Foucault)
*
masks are used by the puny to make themselves look fierce
and by the violent to make themselves look mild

*
those used by the weak are grotesque and comical
those used by the powers of evil are bland and smiling
*
a wolf in sheep's clothing
*
masks slip - good photographers catch the moment
*
with practice you will notice that they slip often
*
Elias Canetti ("Crowds & Power") claims that the urge to unmask is the search for
the one behind the many
*
it is a dangerous practice - you might be terrified by what you find
*
the habit of looking behind the mask is only another way of seeing, but take care
- the world of archetypes is not for the faint hearted
*
the insane do not wear masks - thats how you know
*
masks, though they may be worn with pomp and ceremony, are nevertheless woven with lies
*
a veiled thought
a hidden depth in the glance
the reassuring smile
*
kiss of betrayal
kiss of complicity
*
kiss of dishonour a ... z art @
5
1/10/96 ( Port Germein (no 58)). …. Port Germein is a couple of hundred kilometers
south (27/5/05. mor like 60) of where we were yesterday, near the head of the Spencer Gulf. The
long pier is just about all its got; its there because of the king tides that you get at the head of a
narrowing gulf. It has a special significance for this journal today as its only the second time Ive been
here, the first time, if my memory serves, was on another trip I did to the Flinders Ranges and is in
the very first week of entries I made in the journal. So, it was the beginning of quite an enterprise that
with a bit of luck will fill a few more exercise books before the kids throw it out with the other rubbish
they inherit when we die. Oh, yes, I had forgot – Port Germein has a great sunset: that & the pier &
the peace of the place is why we came here for the night. We ate tea at the start of the pier watching
the setting sun and then walked to the end & back (3ks) as it sank out of sight. There were two guys
fishing at the end. Then we went to the pub, a real family affair with only 4 or 5 people including kids
at the bar, and had a couple of drinks. Helen rang the boys again to tell them where to find blankets
for the Blansjaars. Then we walked the pier end to end & back again in the dark for good measure.
Its curious how the barking of the town dogs carries across the water right to the pier’s end.
11/5 /99. A very brief summary. I am in Port Germein. I had a tomato, an orange and an
onion confiscated at the border. I found a parrot on the road and plucked its feathers for Helen. It was
a beautiful mulga parrot. I found a very interesting cemetry that Helen would love to see and
photographed it. That set me off: I’m fotographing things in decay. I think I have death on my mind.
But I ate another great hamburger (at Burra service station) and I did sleep well, if dreamfully, last
night. Tried to get through to Helen after a few beers at the pub, but there was no one at home at
7.30. The big surprise is that I have neighbours in the spot next to where I had earmarked for the
night. This is the same spot me and Helen stopped at on her birthday (23/5/05. c Danyo Reserve
p 1) last year when we were coming home from the Gawler Ranges. They are two very nice kids
from Apollo Bay, going to the Flinders Ranges. I also can report that I am definitely getting onto an
even keel emotionally. There is nothing like the road to settle me down. My plans for Lake Gairdner
might change however as from the Danyo reserve through to here its bone dry. There was no rain
recorded last month in north west victoria and it looks much the same here. When H and I went to the
Gawler Ranges last year it was like a garden. I think it will be the opposite this time. I notice also that
this is the time of year for prickles.
17/8 /99. Drove out of the area exhilarated by the discovery. I’ll probably be back in the
vicinity before the trip is out and certainly with Helen in the last two weeks of september. But I want to
finish the tape (23/5/05. titld IMPOSSIBLE SPACES. Vaidas, hoo iz leevn 4 lithol& on th weeknd, iz
takin a kopi 2 giv → rEaIiMmOuNnTdAaSs az a prznt ← me) in the bucket dredge north of Leigh
Creek because of the acoustics there. Going there has been one of my main aims all along – that’s
why the recorder and instruments. Finished a film – shadow shots of me and shots of old stone
buildings. Before getting to Jamestown picked up a few feathers from a galah that had just been
knocked down. Rang Helen گکحخغعفפעתקغشت ۵ چی . I told her I was going to use her poem (23/5/05. Joseph
Epe Jamhambon (30/5/05. th name, varius pntagrams, & a pkchr of a ship r chizld ↓ rok on th 4shr
in wot had bn th gOs of th Rozelle lun@k sylum) (c 13/8/01 – 25/8/01 p 12 (28/5/05. its a beautful
1 so I rpeet it: In 1889/Joseph EPE Jamhambon,/stranded on the shores of Bedlam,/ carved himself a
graceful ship of stone/and intricate stars/to navigate by,/and in his spiralling mind/launched himself away
from the iron cove/into the boundless sea//pray for him/that he found a true course,/a clean wind/and a
landfall somewhere that he felt was home. (Part 5 of the Rozelle quintet, July/August 99))) on the tape.
From there I went onto Wirrabarra for the world’s greatest pies of which I had two, and also a cup of
real plunger coffee. The pie I recommend is steak and kidney. As I was eating I glanced at my feet
and there were neat little feathers lying about. It turned out a bird had been killed there by a cat.
Between Wirabarra and Port Germein where I am for the night I came across a Boobook owl that had
been killed this morning. More feathers; wont know where to put them soon.
25/1 /00 (t¤tl: 25/1/00 (no 6) (27/8/07. *td m¤ prkts v outs)). Linda (c/o Brunswick
St. "Alimentari") is responsible 4 me having 2 write this account. She's the girl in the photo (27/8/07. 1v
thsetv fotoz wchr uzd4 thkuvrov thrjnl). My wife, Helen, is sensitive about me being proximate 2 girls less
than 1/2 my age (unless they're my daughter Kate who with her partner Jock is slumming it in the U.S. of
A.) so I had 2 provide an explanation. This is more or less what I told her except that its represented by writing.
Of course I could have destroyed the evidence but I had promised Peter Homes 2 send him copies of the
6
shots 2 pass on 2 a friend of his who was looking 2 paint a portrait of someone like me (Peter said a lot of
things) 2 enter in the Archibald Prize comp. The shots were taken in the Bocadillo bar (Brunswick St.)
where I had drunk only 3 sangrias for the night 1 of which had been bought 4 me x Peter.
I start the story in the morning because I want it 2 be credible & when I told it 2 Helen I felt that a
proper build up was required. The problem is that its true & truth, though everyday, is unconvincing because it
lacks the coherence & flow of fiction.
We had only been back a couple of days from our trip 2 the mid-north coast of N.S.W. & Helen was
back at work. I got up later and rode the bike 2 the paper shop. Janet Lalor spotted me as she drove past &
waved. The Lalors live (28/8/07. uzd2) in the biggest house in the street. Later as I was riding out again 2 do
some shopping I glanced up just in time 2 catch sight of Jim Lalor out of the corner of my eye speeding by
waving a hullo from his much bigger car. As I rode through the shopping centre I heard a loud "G'day John"
from someone who always calls out 2 me but whose name I don't know. I think his kids went to primary school
with mine. Hey! I thought, I'm home, this is Ivanhoe, back in the groove. A good feeling.
Later I'm riding in 2 town 4 lunch. Most days I eat at Nam Lung's (where a meal costs $5.00 on
average); on thursdays from 12.30 - 2.30 I'm at Stalactite's where Chris, the waiter, is teaching me 1 greek
word a month (EFHARISTO, TI KANIS? POS ISE? JIA SOU...). He's promised 2 put 2gether a cassette of
rembetica 4 me before he takes his family back 2 greece 4 good in a few months time. I'll miss his good
cheer. It takes me 40 minutes 2 get in 2 town. As I ride I'm thinking how I'll answer the letter from Saulius
Varnas. Saulius has sent me (19/1/08. 18/12/07 ) 2 x 90 minute tapes of music: things with a latin
influence x Eric Dolphy; the latest recording x Marty Erlich's 'Dark Woods Ensemble'; 4 pieces x
Keith Jarrett. He's a mathematician in Adelaide. He says we should get 2gether 4 a week of walking around
Burra in autumn (the Heysen Trail goes through there). He liked my x-mas card cut out from a beer carton
& mailed with a fake stamp. He's got it on his desk & says his work mates ("colleagues"?!) can't believe that it
got through the mail. The fact is most people I sent cards 2 in Melbourne think I hand delivered them. (Who
the hell do they think they are!). That's coz the're not post marked. I must find out why not. What's got me
thinking is the claim x Saulius (22/1/08. 18/12/07 ) that he's lost interest in filosophy bcoz it has no
practical consequences 2 his life. (Must tell Michael Zelankovic). Saying that 2 me is like waving 1 red flag
at a bull even though I don't no what 'filosophy' is supposed 2 mean. Its as if he's sayin he's lost interest in
wonderin or Bin amazed. & if he means it why has he gone 2 the trouble of puttin in that heavy duty quote x
Keith Jarrett? "" The music on this recording represents a participation in process, a way
of remembering ourselves (not our personalities) and as such is also an expression of
what is essential from the center of music, and what is changeless ... these pieces - not
written, rehearsed, thought out, sketched or arranged - 'come up' in the middle of four
distinctly different concerts ... Process is swifter and more accurate than thought, and
prefaces every thought we have ... Our society has shown its priorities quite clearly:
surfaces. So it is no surprise that centers hold no interest. And yet, whether there is
interest or not the lie of surfaces, of styles, of disposability, is a lie. Whether or not we
believe in depths there can be no surfaces without them. And whether or not we change
clothes or personalities these are not what we are responsible to. Not when we sit alone
in a room with only ourselves, not when we wish to participate in and understand
creation."" I'm thinkin I'd like 2 get stuck right into the matter of surfaces and depths in a really long
'filosofik' letter only problem is I haven't got the time. I'm in Melbourne 4 only 2 weeks B4 heading off to
N.S.W. coast again on a snorkling trip & am not managing 2 fit in even obligatory visits. Not visiting the
singing group at Edis's who according 2 Saulius has a new Louis Sclavis CD that I might like. Still haven't
caught up with Andrew Saniga hoo claims 2 have been used & abused x me for the purposes of art but has
forgiven me. Denis Spiteri is itchin 2 show me the bits that were edited out from Cinema Paradiso which
he's imported specially from Europe (etc.) (etc.)
What I'd really like 2 tell Saulius is that I reckon Derrida might be right when he claims that these
basik dualities (divisions) like inside/outside, live/dead, surface/depth are based on common sense observations
of tangible objects & may have no applicashion in diskushion of matters outside the material world of objects,
in other domains such as politiks, effiks or discourses on human nature. Not even mutch applikashion in
sofistikatid sciences anymore 4 that matter. Surfaces & centers or depths imply each other notionally, as all
opposites do, & human nature nor musik 4 that matter may not work that way even though it may B the only
way we R capable of talkin about it coz of the way language works. They may not be susceptible 2 B. in
divided or understood by an applikashion of that kind of ordering. & anyway what is musik? or humin nature?
Foucault claims that abstrakt notions sutch as humin nature R inventions of the ruling classes & priestly casts
7
2 further their interests. Nietzsche (5 konsekutive konsonants!) makes the same claim about morality. 4 a
frank diskushion of 'humin natcher' I refer u 2 a very illuminatin D bate between Foucault & the 1&only
Noam Chomsky which u should find in 'Foucault and his Interlocutors' edited x Arnold I.
Davidson, published by The University of Chicago Press. I lean 2 wards Noam Chomsky on this
1. 4 though it may well B that although 'humin natcher' is purely notional how is it different 2 an idea sutch as
'gravity' which is also an abstrakshion but has proved itself so valuable in fiziks? On the ovver hand again, it
may B as with the simple dualities of Derrida, a false justifikashion 2 say that coz a method works in science
(world of objikts) it also works in the investigashin of a differink domain - humin B havier. Very konfusink. I
also highly recommend Foucault's 1derfil essay 'Nietzsche, Genealogy, History' in
'Language, Counter-Memory, Practice' published x Cornell University Press. Jorge Luis
Borges has a nice spin on the problim of opposites implying (even necessitatink) each other in a short story
called "3 Versions of Judas" where hee, or someone else on his behalf, argues that Judas should be the
real hero coz without the Btrayal the krucif-x-shin & resurrektion could never have takin place yet Christ
gets all the kredits & glory whereas Judas has 2 bear the burden of not only his eternal guilt but of B in the
objekt of Drision by generashins of Roman ·holics.
Sutch were my foughts as I woz ridin 2 Nam Lung's 4 lunch, & that there woz Buckley's (27/8/07.
← nth tem lrst s@rda wn Gymnorhina tibicen Cygnus atratus) chance of findink the time 2 write the
letter 2 Saulius that I wantid 2 so its a good fink that in the brief ♪ I'll B sending him I kan refer 2 the presant
akount which I'll send him later. It will also add kredibility 2 the eksplanashin I gave Helen coz when she is
typink it she'll ♪ there R details here I hadn't menshioned before; not 2 speak of subsequent E vents.
Chris waved as I road past the window of Stalactites & the waiter of Nam Lung otomatikally
brought me a spoon & fork instead of chopstiks even though I hadn't been in 4 5 weeks. After a meal of
kantonese style noodles I woz krossink Lonsdale street on the way 2 the state library 2 see if I could find
Bas Salt hoo works (or pretends 2) there & had promised 2 lend me sum CD's from his kollekshin of kuban
pop wen I bump in 2 Dave Harris go in the opposite way. Dave also works (or pretends 2) in the liabry but
didn't no hoo Bas Salt woz. I asked him if he'd got my x-mas kard which he 2 had assoomed I had hand
delivered. I sed I needed 2 find some 1 hoo works in the P.O. coz I wanted 2 no how the letter sortink
machinery worked. Why weren't they stampin my mail? "R u kumin 2 the meetin on jewsday?" he arsed. He
woz referrin 2 the get 2 gether of 'konkrete' poets & mail art types on the 1st jewsday of each month at a cafe in
Richmond. "See ya there" I said & walked on thinkin how like a villige Melbourne kould feel at times.
1 hundred yards (kan u tell my age? - nothink is seekrit) down the rode I stop to shake hands with Tony
D'Urso, the brother of Sandra (Alessandra) hoo is (27/8/07. woz) the wife of 1 of my sons, (& a relo)
Joe (28/8/07. hoo resntli madus →2 gr&pairnts wth r☼ namd Elliot ← thgrek4 Elijah menn ·v GOD
← thhebru ELI)! Tony like Helen is a skooly & shood have resumed work 2 day. He tells me his kontrakt
has ekspired. I invite him 2 the B.B.Q. I'm havin on sunday. I am feelin a bit strange. The peeple I no R mikst in
A mong 3,000,000 other peeple; I'm meetin them 2 eezily. I am thinkink of sumthink Warren Burt had said.
Warren Burt is 1 of the jewsday poets. He wears T-shirts with paradoksikal things writ on them & I had
picked him 2 B an akademik or komputer nerd, perhaps a mathematishin. Instead he turned out 2 B a
kompositor & P formants R tist. He had sed that if a knew neibour moves in u don't knock on his door, intro
juice yourself & make him welkom. The kool way of doin it woz 2 buy a tikit 2 europe & you'd meet him in the
lounge at the airport or in U rope. Heed no, hee travels a lot. The point he woz makin woz that these things R
nothink ekstraordinary, just your normal koincidents. Tchantz events, thay hapin all the time, & he gave an
eggzample that had hapind to him from that verry day. Borges disagrees. He says: "Chance - cept there is no
chance; what we call chance is our ignorants of the komplex mashinary of causality ..." (from 'Seven
Nights', pub. New Direktions Books). I favour Borges. 2 dismiss an unusual event with a word such as
koinsidents or tchants is surely a cop out. The feelin of normality kums not from any eksplanatory power sutch
a word has but merely from the frekwency of its use. The hidden ajenda is 2 konvints us x these turms that
normality is banal in spite of our ekspeeriants that it is ekstrordinerry. That is what I woz thinkin. I speek ownly
4 myself.
I woz also finking that at the poets meet nekst jewsday I'd have 2 eksplain 2 Frank Osowski (& may
B 2 Leonie 2), hoo had wunce claimed bangin the table as if he reely, reely meant it that reality doesn't x ist,
why his name wozn't in the pome in the program of the show (27/8/07. thrjnl blurb ¤ ' (no 3 nm¤ nthlji):
"They Know Not What They Do" (jc)
They dont no why they're here. Ben Monder never arsed Lee Konitz why he's ere & he never arsed
Max Johnson neither. Ben Perowsky never arsed Dave Douglas nor Chris Potter. Ben Street never
8
arsed Roswell Rudd, Clark Terry nor Jimmy Guiffre. None of them nose why is ere or why they aint
playin jAZz or when they became bent, or how. For Gods sake why? Why me? To what purpose? Why here in
New York? But THY WILL BE DONE (jc) (ow you say it in ewish?). They don't no coz it woz all arranged by
Barney McAll hoo aint ear neither & hoo never arsed Billy Harper or Dewey Rodman for permission
coz he's in far away ozzieland (were ze kangaroo hop & ze kookaburra larf) in absentia & he aint playin jAZz
neither. & slave piano no not why its in NY nor why Neil, Rohan, Michael & Dunny brought it to ear from
melbourne & sydney of ozzieland & kassel of germany & edinborough of scotland & aukland of new zealand &
is takin it to LA nor why it is or isnt playin jAZz nor hoo master nor hoo slave nor hoo to arse. Frank Osowski
dont no why he woz arsed coz hes from ozzie too but he woz. Thay is all gunna find out but coz thay is in NY,
the big COMPUTAR, the CENTAR, giant NODE, where all domains of humin konshoosness konverge.
A ... Z )
in New York put on x Danius Kesminas & Mike Stevenson. Frank had gon 2 the gallary on the
strenth of me tellink him he woz in the pro gram. The fakt is Danius & Mike had edited him out (22/7/08.
got ths nth ÷ Frank ys d: “LOOPS: a report (22/7/08. dont rmm rt, ma mist thme10) to the
Axle concrete poetry group meeting by Frank Osowski ¶ In Nov/Dec 1999 Frank Osowski
eyeballed New York museums and art galleries; also, he intended to rendez-vous with
American poets to publicly read current American, and Melbourne-based AXLE group’s
artists’ work. ¶ By coincidence, and quite independently, a group of Victorian artists
were performing a series of concerts titled Slave Pianos; where words and sounds
created by John Cage, Tony Oursler, Yoko Ono etc were musicalized. ¶ Hearing of Frank’s
intended voyage, AXLE’s John Zizys suggested that reading the poetry at, or even in the
vicinity of, the Slave Pianos concert, could result in an interesting loop involving
Australian and other artists. ¶ Frank explains: “The concerts took place but, alas, the
readings did not. Still, the loop resulted …¶ On my way to a Slave Piano concert billed
Anti-Jazz, the vibrational liquid of improvisation, I stopped at an art gallery where
massive diaries relating to the works by Peter Beard were on display. ¶ In the margin of
one of these diaries had been penned, in 1972, the inscription: George Weyerhauser –
President and Chairman, Weyerhauser Col, Tacoma, Washington, USA. ¶ In 1972 I worked
at the ANZ Bank’s Melbourne data processing centre; at the time ANZ had purchased
computers similar to those in use at Weyerhauser’s and I was acquainted with the to-
and-fro between Weyerhauser and the on-the-learning-curve ANZ. ¶ In the early to mid
seventies, the Symbionese Liberation Army, with the help of Patty Hearst, was engaged
in bank robbery. ¶ Subsequently, in the mid eighties, I wrote the Patty Hearst Suite for
piano.” ¶ Returning to the 1999 New York expedition, while inspecting the New York
Public Library’s collections, Frank happened across a book titled Icanchu’s Drum, an
Orientation to Meaning in South American Religions (Author: Lawrence E. Sullivan. Pub.:
Macmillan Publishing Co; 1988) ¶ In Icanchu’s Drum, under the section headed
Language, the Negation of Sound; Sound, the Undoing of Language is stated that “the
relationship between sound and language is a negative one in several ways. Sound is
always meaningful and whole. Speech threatens that integrity by fracturing the sound so
that meaning is parcelled out one syllable, one word, one spoken idea at a time. Sound,
a presence that is always meaningful, can be fractured by human language in such a
way that a person can even use sound to “speak nonsense” (p.284). ¶ The Patty Hearst
Suite, as a direct translation of literary text (speech) into sound, examines the relation
between sound and language; interestingly, this Suite is not wholly dissimilar to some of
the sophisticated works presented at Slave Pianos. ¶ John Z’s loop turned out far more
convoluted than originally envisioned.”) & seein as I m an anti copyright krusader (Dum-Dee
Klarijo P lees A void 2 miks good feel new-age tork + bad vibe old-age legal tret) I have 2 kop it sweet. They
did a pretty good job of r' it in uther ways 2 B ing totally oblivious 2 its vizual aspikts. Wunce up-on-a-time,
Frank (27/11/07. sore, m8, but ¤ woznt abl 2uz th ← th (The Life of the Buddha) tranzl8d →2 yi
æ (uzn hebru lfrbt) x yor dad (S. I. Osowski (r boodst munk)) bkoz H ÷nt re4m@t →2 Word), in
medi-evil days, there woz no sutch fing as kopyright. People wood have larfed if u had told them that words,
dreams, pomes, songs or knowlidge kood B owned, let alone tradid. Now everyfink is being divided into little
pieces, labilled so it kan B klaimed. Minds R B ing deskribed, kwantifide & distribitted along normality kurvs.
Soles R B ing kalibrated. Bodees artikoolatid. Bodees & seks R administred x medikos & owned x govirments.
Thoughts, speshally thoughts a bout diks, fannies, bums & lips R owned x preests & shrinks. Its the long term
9
direkshin of westirn sivilizashin so that wee kan B re arranged. Good B havier kan B precisely re warded with
$s, bad B havier eggzaktly punisht. All in the interests of E fish int produktion. In the 3rd millenium the gratest
rewards will B re served 4 those new men hoo aksept responsibility 4 self administrashin of societees D mands.
They will gladlee deevide themselves in 2 pieces & re arrange themselves as re kwired 4 the needs of industry.
Teechers, gurus, pairints, meedia, assortid doo-gooders & well-meening othoritees will B klose at hand with
plentifill advise. Artists will sell their soles 2 B part of the aktion. In musik masheen rhythms will kompleet the
processis startid x the metronome. The yewsis of langwadge will B kodified, othorship defined x publishers and
invites to writers fest-Evils. That's why, Frank (& Leonie 2 but off course), I'm aginst kopyrite, gallurees,
othorships, & the hole shabang. These kould have been my thoughts as I mountid the steps of the State
Library of Victoria knowing full well that on a day when the laws of probibility had been suspended Bas
wood B (or pretend 2 B) there. I also thought nekst jewsday I must remember to bring the komplete skull of the
Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus Pacificus) which I had picked up on a beach north of Coffs
Harbour for Tony Pigallo.
I realize that this account of 'A Day in a Life' is getting long winded but then truth can B awkward.
For the benefit of those who wish to get it over & done with & so as 2 proove that I'm not lieing, here is my
journal entry for tuesday 25/1/00. Verbatim but with the addition of the quotation marks: "Back in the groove,
Helen to work and me into town on the bike to Nam Lung for cantonese style noodles. I am 4 k's overweight
and right off my best cycling form but it felt great. Met heaps of people: Dave Harris crossing Lonsdale St., Bas
Salt at the library, he lent me a CD and will lend me more on thursday; Tony D'Urso, Sandra's brother whose
contract is over and he's hanging out for work, I invited him to the B.B.Q. next Sunday; Frank Lovece in the
library who said we should get together; a whole group of others that I knew from when I worked there. Boy,
how social can you get but then it's my home town! Bought pow at Nam Lung's and filo pastry pasties at
Garance's in Brunswick St. ... Tonight I'm going to "Improvised..." if its still on. Yes, right back in the
groove. Clouds on the horizon: my knees are definitely dicky; am worried about what feels like the start of a
pseudomonas fungal infection in my right ear (the one not operated on) with a major snorkelling trip coming up
in one and a half weeks time. Rang Bill Sinclair, he'll catch up with me this or next thursday; haven't seen him
for 20 years or so I think. Joe & Sandra popped in looking very cheerfull".
What do you reckon? Does the journal entry lend or not lend support 2 Foucault when he claims that:
"It establishes that we are difference, that our reason is difference of discourse, our history the difference of the
times, our selves the difference of masks." ('The Archaeology of Knowledge', Pantheon Books,
New York, P131).
Sints I woz there so many years ago there's bean almost a holesale turn over of starf but as I walked in 2
the main room I notid that both the libarians manning the desk were familiar. I peered in 2 the dark recesses B
hind where the attendints lurked. They had spottid me and were cumin out 1 after the other 2 shake me x the
hand. "Johnny, the teacher!" yelled Max the cleaner. I walked over 2 the lady libarian hoo looked evin more
desikatid than I remembered her. " Do you know if Bas Salt is in 2 day?" I asked. "Yes, its a kind of rock" she
replied looking konfused. "Just like a libarian" I thought. "Sebastian Salt. Is Sebastian Salt in 2 day?"
An attendint I knew hoos name I can't remember sed he woz just round the back on the fone. & there he woz,
dressed in a black suit as if on a gig at the casino, cumming out with a hand in his front pokit pullin out a CD.
'Contrabasso con Amore', musik 4 double bass and pianner. Bas plays the double bass himself. He
promised 2 bring the kuban stuff 2 Stalactytes on turdsday. He said he wantid 2 see my fotos from new years
night. I had sed I was plannin 2 sit up 2 my nek in water in a tropik lagoon, far from the maddink krowd, on the
north coast of N.S.W. with Helen drinking ekspensive wine prior to crawling back in 2 the womb 4 the 3rd
millenium. As it turned out it woz rainin & we drank the wine sittin in the van 6 k's out of South West
Rocks by the bank of the Macleay river with the radio on. I rekorded the grand event x taking fotos B 4 &
after midnight with the date facility on by holding the kamera at arms length & pointin it back at us from
various angles. It woz Joni (of J&J PTY.LTD.) hoo had put me on 2 this tekneek but no doubt he's got it from
his bruvver Andrius hoo is a fotogriffer. Bas confirmed that he had seen Andrius fotogriffing that way. It
worked 2, the fotos cum out verree unposed. I promised 2 bring the album 2 Stalactytes. Just then Frank
Lovece appeared with a book slip (pretendin) in his hand. "Jus a minit & I'll sea ya out front for a smoko. (so
what's new). We must have a tork." He sed he'd had a letter from Kate a few days back & that a frend of his
had a stone kutting job for Jock if he were 2 B cumin back soon. I arsked him if he'd got my card & wether the
fake stamp had B een postmarked. He hadn't even noticed the stamp woz a fake or 4 that matter that the quote
by Artaud on the card titled "Holy Silence" (11/11/07. 23/5/00 rftr thpom The House) woz the same
one that years a go he had given 2 mee. How yew kan fail!
10
I'd add E nuff & @ 2.30 woz headin hoam were my chantzes of findin anno nimitty were mutch better
coz the boys wood stil B sleep inin after a hard nite. Pass in the Trades Hall I spied the 2 gayguys that H & I
(not F n L) no from wen wee met them in the Bocadillo years a go. I meat gay & guy B out twice a year
(29/8/07. Monday 3/12/01) so it woz natcherly that I'd meat them 2 day. U shirly I stop 2 tork but I'd had
it with farmilier faces 4 1 day speshirly as I D B likely 2 bum P in 2 more of them 2 nite @ 'Improvised
Tuesdays' nor what ever it now cauls it self. & I woz look in forward 2 a quiet sangria or 2 in the even ning
@ Bocadillo Bar tho E van ther anno nimitty woz not komplete as Barbara Zira, the owner, had tort
science 2 my dorter Kate wen she woz @ school.
Even though I was sober the whole time I am not altogether clear about the exact sequence of events
which culminated in the photos. Nevertheless, Linda, read this part carefully if you would so that if Helen
rings you up you are able to confirm the substancial accuracy of this version of events which probably already
diverges in some details from what I told her next morning as I cant remember exactly what I said. As she is
typing this she will be wondering about discrepancies. Did, for instance, I tell her that I asked you to "lean
closer and look dreamy" or did I say "lean forward show some cleavage" ? Did you reply "no way" or did you
say "no later" ? The photos are of no help as they wont be developed for another month when this will have
been well and truly typed as I've still got 30 shots on the roll. At exactly what turn in the conversation did I ask
Peter Holmes to write down his name and address? Did I hand his card (27/8/07. uzd nth←pajv thrjnl) to
you for your particulars or did he hand it to you? When was it that I gave my name, home phone and mobile
numbers to him?
As I remember it was a scattered sort of evening, unexpected connections were being made or
suggested. I had come back from the Planet Cafe because 'Improvised ...' had been cancelled as the room
where it takes place, upstairs, was being renovated. I can't remember, Peter, whether you started the
conversation before or after that. I do remember that at the beginning you were an art historian but later it
seemed you had become an art student at La Trobe. I was name dropping but surprisingly we could find no
one in common, not at first anyway. I must admit that next day I asked Danius Kesminas (13/2/08. ← ←
Phnom Penh wr ♂ dun r HIP HOP RAP rz wth r4mr Khmer Rouge prprg&st d DJ zr prtv rprjkt korld
POL POP, bast nth 44v POL POT.) whether he knew of you. Danius who lives totally within the archive
(ART which has long since abandoned any representational pretensions and justifies itself solely in terms of its
own narrative and the avant garde, its organ, that is forever probing, crossing and recrossing the limits as it
seeks to create new spaces in turns folding over itself to probe inside its own navel or spiralling away into non-
existence. And with the AVANT GARDE a repetition of the process with its own organ, or an eye perhaps,
examining its own arse. Mirrors reflecting each other back and forth in a play of infinite repititions. Minor
artists never tire of looking at themselves.) Danius assures me that he knows every art historian in Australia
and I believe him - but he hadn't heard of a Peter Holmes. I put in the bit in brackets for you Peter because
I remember you said you were into the philosopy of art and theatre production. What a coincidence that was for
as it happened I had a little essay/poem I'd written called ART right there with me in my pannier. Those magic
words 'gallery', 'art', 'New York' hung in the air between us, illuminated by neon lights. You said you had
gallery space available. I said I could have done with some a year ago coz I had a mail - art project that had
been gathering dust in a a box hidden in a cupboard but recently I had sent it off to a gallery in france to get
rid of it. I tried to explain that I didn't need galleries, only to do stuff to entertain friends. Then you said
something about visual ecstasy and I said what a fluke coz I've written a commentary on Simone Weil's use
of the term and you volunteered that she was a modern mystic and I thought shit we occupy overlapping
domains coz how many people in Brunswick st. on a jewsday night have even heard of Simone and you
said that what you do is have correspondences with people and I said that's exactly what I tell people I do, or
long winded conversations, and I said I just happen to have a set of essay/poems on related topics from a visual
project in the form of an album that cost me $500 to put together that I done in May of last year called
'Meditation on Lake Gairdner' which consisted of over 200 photos and these little pieces I give ya
because I had brought them tonight in case Ren Walters (who has promised to give me a CD of his stuff) was
playing at 'Improvised...' coz I'd like to interest him in doing a piece of music that would do justice to the
crazy intensity I was going through when I done it because I went from dark dark to brilliant white on the lake
where I walked for 9 hours on the salt surface on the first day of my 1&1/2 week long vigil and its brilliance
annihilated the darkest night even when I shut me eyes becoz I done that first 9 hour walk without wearing me
sunglasses on that shimmering surface and what I'd like to talk Ren into doing coz the last time I heard him he
was making great musik, continuing to travel deeper into new metaphysical terrain that I felt might parallel
what I was doing in the album which I'd like him to see at my place (& his partner, who is spanish and
explained to me the meaning of 'duende' and is interested in the flat country of the interior) so he could see how
11
that visual poem moves from dark dark to excessive brilliance and then back into shadow, a more muted
darkness, so that if a piece of musik maybe called 'Meditation' or 'Lake Gairdner' or some combination
like 'Meditation on Lake Gairdner' to connect it in a specific way to my project which is also called
'Meditation on Lake Gairdner' so as I say if a piece of musik were to do justice to that trip it would
need to have only a very simple 3 part structure or maybe its not possible for me to explain the intensity of that
event to someone who's never been to Lake Gairdner by himself in that way.
Yes, I think that's how it went Peter ... and then you suddenly stopped in the middle of a sentence,
thrust out your arm sighting over your thumb, with the words: "that profile, that profile".
I think it was then that you first mentioned your portrait painting lady friend who was going to enter the
Archibald Prise. I remember that I said what I was interested in was not my portrait or your friend, not
unless she was beautiful, under 20 but over 18 and had the disconcerting habit of painting in the nude, but in
someone who knew how the postal system worked. And amazingly, but it shouldn't have been on a day when
the laws of probability had been discarded, it so happened, you said, that this desirable lady artist used to work
for Aust. Post.
Somewhere in amongs that Linda and her friend came in and sat down on the stools at the window next
to us.
I am konfewzed A bout the rest. Perhaps the 3rd sangria did affect me after all. Mee & yew, Peter,
established other konekshins, sum of them tracible tho I havint done it. I liked the 1 A bout your eks-partner
having the same rare sir name (& I hadn't promptit yew) as sum 1 whoo cood wunce-A-pon-A-time all most
have B cum a frend of mine. Did yew say your former partner, whose name woz Kristina has a sister livin in
Banksia St. witch is kwite klose to were I live in Locksley Rd.? How did the jewillry shoppe what we cood
see A cross the road get in 2 the konversashin? Eggzaktlea 1 week later, yes jewsday (Ivanhoe --- Nam Lung ---
city 2.30 --- Ivanhoe --- poats meat --- circle game) eve ning (1/2/00) I met its owna in the Bocadillo Bar
('Improvised ...' is still not on as revonashins at the Planet R not finisht) & am lendin him A nother spy
book ('The File - A Personal History' x Timothy Garten Ash. Harper Collins Publishers.)
I'll drop it orf at Wayne's shoppe 2 day on my way in 2 Nam Lung's (eksept I 8 at Babka's coz it woz 2 hot
2 ride furver) 4 luntch. Did I promise 2 ave a meel at Linda's rest-o-rent, the 'Alimentari' ? I rode past it last
nite on the way 2 the Bocadillo, it looks O.K. I kan ree member tellin all A bout how the profils of 2 of my
kids were 'spotted' in the street & how both were torked in 2 spendin heaps of $s at designated studios havin
foto-folios done of themselves so that they cood urn eve-N more $s in the fewtcher as stars of stage, screen &
krazee-kat-work.
But yew still kept insistin on how wonderfilly suited my profile mite B 4 your nude artist frend 2 N tar
in the Archibald Prise. It woz then that I dived 4 me pannier 4 amazinly, I just hapinned 2 have a kamera
with me & 2 save yew havin 2 go 2 the trubble I woz able 2 take 5 shots of my mug (a couple of witch in
kloodid Linda) there & then x using the method given 2 mee by Joni (of J&J .PTY.LTD,) & witch I had
yewsed so suksessfilly to fotogriff Helen & mee on noo year's nite evin dough I mite have B een tipsee then 2.
Your sudgestchin, Peter, that I also take a full frontal woznt 2 smart coz with the kamera only at arm's lenth
from my face (evin with the red-eye facility on) I wood have FUCKENWELL blindid meself.
Anyway, that's the end of the explanation though not the story. I hope Helen is kind enough to type it
while I'm away snorkelling in Jervis Bay. I will send or personally deliver copies to most of those mentioned
by name especially to Linda at the 'Alimentari' where I'll have a meal as promised. I will certainly send a
copy to you, Peter, and if you want the photos leave a message on my mobile. The invitation to have a look at
the "Meditation on Lake Gairdner" album is still on and thanks for an interesting evening.
*
One thing I would like cleared up. I have a memory from a life time ago of teaching a kid by the name
of Peter Homes. It would have been either at Thornbury H.S. or Merrilands H.S. If that kid grew up
he'd be about your age and height, Peter. Should you have attended either of those schools, leave a message,
we'll compare notes.
23/5 /00 ( Port Germein (no 58)). On the way home @ Port Germein. (14/5/05. I
ddnt put in jrnl ntreez frdi 12
th
– thrzdi 19
th
. Think I fnsht th poem The House (c DANYO RESERVE p
1) @ Port Germein on th way thru @ th start of th trip: (5/2/08. The House …. (pom ( 14/8 /41)
dletd) …. a …z art @©) (10/11/07. nthrjnl logo th c nth © woz +). Just saw in the sunset. Earlier at
Port Augusta rang Helen at school and told her to expect me on Thursday. She says حخخغعفפעתקغشت. At
Port Augusta I tested out a Southwark Black Ale and a Southwark Dark Stout. New discoveries &
12
they are good. Earlier at Mt Ive station I dropped off the 4 poems to be handed on to Joan Andrews.
Her husband is a nice bloke, easy to talk to. The spot I left in the morning where I’d spent the last few
days (60ks north of Mt Ive) is a national park & has fresh signs inside it to say so. Even though they
are not on the road these signs make a visitor secure in the knowledge that he is not on private
property. Very soon the word will get round to the 4x4 and the trail bike clubs and they’ll go berserk
here. Lake Gairdner is the easiest of the large salt lakes to get to once you know how and I was told
at Mt Ive (2/6/05. chainjd ownrz) the national parks don’t even forbid driving on its surface. Soon
there will be tyre marks everywhere, & litter. Apparently parks officers only come to the spot about
twice a year. Everything is getting destroyed by technology. Especially night things and things that
are hard to define, like beauty, space, silence (10/11/07. “Soon silence will have passed into
legend. Man has turned away from silence. Every day he invents machines and gadgets
that multiply noise and distract man from essential life, from reflection, from spiritual
immersion. Motor-car, airplane, radio, atom bomb are the latest great victories of
progress. Man today has nothing essential to do, but he wants to do this nothing with
speed and superhuman noise. He wants to be distracted, and fails to suspect that the
robot who now holds the reins is driving him to the meaningless. In the midst of all the
horn-blowing, howling, screeching, thundering, crashing, whistling, gnashing and
chirping, he feels confident. His anxiety is calmed. His inhuman emptiness grows like a
monstrous gray plant.” - ¤ = tz x Artaud). The barn owl is a metaphor for the destruction of the
other world by man’s craving for the rational (31/5/05. rGaAiImToAnd thinks thr iz a need 2 find good
rguments 2 knvins sum ppl not 2 trchr – az if thei wood lisn. Th rguments of thoz hoo rgue 4 trchr r a
sham.), the explainable and only what can be spotlighted. If the barn owl is any indication many
things will be destroyed before people are even aware of their existence let alone their destruction.
Oh yes, this morning I woke up with ice on the roof of the car. Nonetheless I havent felt cold even
though I am not using the grey blanket to put on the sleeping bag. It also occurred to me that Dan
rang Joe to get a loan from him & fair enough; that’s the price you pay for being a big earner. I’m
going to make a point of not finding out. Joe will learn.
20/6 /00 (t¤tl: 20/6/00 (no 7)). (27/8/07. ns¤dv thkuvr paj vthrjnl thr woz rpom x H:

In the beginning 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 threescore years and ten
Must run
And all our effort all our lives
Is only to find
Its unknown shape and meaning
helenz )
The most obvious way to begin is to quote my journal entry from this morning: “Last night I rode (45
mins, one direction) to Litho House for the singing. It seemed an important event in the history of the twists and
turns of ‘traditional’ lithuanian singing in Melbourne as I was instrumental in shifting the location of the
sessions from Edis’s place to Litho House. Called in on Danius’s on the way. He was rugged up in front of the
pot-bellied stove almost in the dark. Outside the immediate circle of the stove the studio is freezing in winter.
We talked about the Fluxus exhibition at R.M.I.T. in which he, Mike Stevenson & Co are taking part on the last
day. Told him that my mail-art stuff from the Gulf trip was going to be shown by Adriana Cozzolini in Menton
in france in february of next year. Then went on to Litho House for the singing – but it was locked up and no
lights were on inside. No one had informed me. Perhaps its a kind of leave-taking. At such times it can be hard
to tell if its they that leave you or you that leave them. Anyway I suspect its the end of something: the singing
into which I put a lot or more importantly the people I sang with, to whom I sang harmony. I wont write any
more about it here since as I was riding home I thought I should give a fuller account of it by way of a ‘story’
titled with a date to link it to my 25/1/00 story.” (Yes, it certainly feels like a goodbye! 11/7/00). “ Now for
something completely different: yesterday Helen brought home a picture of Dan she had pulled off the internet
which you can get from the file of models listed by his management agents F.R.M. The picture is from his
13
promo card (see journal entry 5/4/00). Goes to show that modern technology allows you to track people down
even when they make a point of being incommunicado. Beware the internet!”
I can put it into a larger context, especially for librarians (my wife Helen is one) by listing the books I’m
reading. The Earth Dwellers – Adventures in the Land of the Ants by Erich Hoyt touches on the
notion of superorganisms, an idea that waxes and wanes with each new generation of entomologists. I wonder if
people acting in groups as families, tribes, societies, or as members of organizations are analogous to ant
societies. Do people have different personalities (ways of connecting) as members of large groups to the way
they are as pairs? Do they have different ways of transferring knowledge in those two cases, different memories,
different needs, different imaginations? Is the way of behaving or remembering in a group independent from the
way we behave singly? How are the kinds of knowledge of the individual transferred to the systems of
knowledge of the group; if it is? Do the secret lives of individuals become the public face of the group by way
of its prejudices, codes, religion, culture? I dont suppose ants have all the answers but you’ve got to start
somewhere. At the same time I’m into the third volume of Robert Musil’s The Man Without Qualities
where many of the same questions are tackled with no reference to ants but with a special emphasis on marginal
personal experiences of the kind that infatuated as we are by the heroic achievements of science we like to
suppress in ourselves, or forget, or pretend they never happened, or they happen to us but no one else, or that
they have little or nothing to contribute to our well being, or that they are insane. In fact there is no way of
telling whether kinds of knowledge described by Musil, for which I can personally vouch, are only marginal or
the common property of humanity, for knowledge that is widespread (ways-of-being) may not be admitted to by
people even to themselves if its unfashionable. I am also reading On Certainty, the last musings of the
inimitable Ludwig Wittgenstein. I can understand it while I’m reading it but the problem is that every
time I resume it it makes no sense unless I go right back to the start again. At this rate I may never finish it.
Anyway I’ve just about had enough of Wittgenstein. I agree that we cannot use language to go beyond its own
realm and that much, perhaps most, of life is lived outside it but I think Ludwig fails to realise what Foucault
sees so clearly which is that language is always expanding its realm, pushing its borders continuously further to
new limits. We cannot imagine the end point of that journey – it has given us science and literature; what else
can it give? I would suggest too that the domain of language expands at the expense of other regions in which
our life is acted out; its the price we pay for progress. I suppose science fiction writers are doing their best to
give an answer to these issues. In between reading the above I’m also into Georges Perec’s Species of
Spaces and Other Pieces which you can buy quite cheaply ($14.95) in the Penguin edition at Borders in
Chapel Street, St Kilda. As you probably don’t know Georges Perec was a leading member of the OuLiPo
(OUvroir de LItterature POtentielle) group of writers and mathematicians interested in word games and the use
of formal constraints in literature. His piece-de-resistance is a 300-page novel La Disparition (A Void in the
english version) which contains not a single letter ‘e’, a harder thing to do in french than in chinese. I’ve got it
on order in the translated version. I am not sure what the OuLiPo writers hope to achieve by such artifices but
Georges Perec is a bloody good writer and perhaps out of respect for him I too considered what constraints I
could put on this piece of writing. Its what I was thinking about as I was riding back in the dark and cold from
the aborted singing session at Litho House. Maybe, I thought, writing gives shape to the disorganised jumble of
impressions that is me by its struggle against whatever it is that wants to silence me. Maybe its the product of
the intention to give form to chaos. Maybe its the effort to expand consciousness, especially my consciousness;
my effort to control the mute forces threatening to overwhelm me, my control over others (especially friends)
and the world. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! So then I thought I’d give it the title 20/6/00 because that would give the
story a shape by having certain consequences such as restricting it to the events of one day or so but at the same
time formally connecting it to my story 25/1/00. And I could use a front page of a panel of photos taken on the
day as I did then. And every 6 months or so I could write another true story in the same format to make a set and
people could collect the set and someone could publish it and make me famous. You can’t ask for more shape
than that, or internal tension generated by constraint, except I realised I hadn’t taken any photos yesterday, and
the opportunity never presented itself today either. So much for Georges Perec and the OuLiPo group. But at
least, dear friends, I am hoping that this overview of my reading provides you with a background to the events
of the night which will help you see them through my eyes and give you an insight into the reasons for my state
of confusion.
Fact is there is a heap of connections between this story 20/6/00 and the other 25/1/00 without the
imposition of any additional constraints. I can prove it by quoting yesterdays entry from my journal which
luckily is short:
“ Caught up with Frank Lovece and Walter Struve at the library then with the owner of Ocean Grange in
Victoria St. Means I continue to hand our heaps of stuff; soon I’ll have to run off more of it. At least its cheaper
than mailing it. Sent a Dog Scoop card to Mr. U. Karklins and one to F. & L. Osowsky.”
14
It so happens that the owner of Ocean Grange, a grand old mansion with its own jetty, accessible only by
boat on the ocean side of the Gippsland Lakes is a rich type I met only for the second time yesterday in the
chinese eatery I’ve started frequenting and I gave him a copy of the 25/1/00 story without knowing that by
today he would be in 20/6/00. Whats more I’ve been to his house at Ocean Grange, a place hardly anyone has
heard of, all of 45 or more years ago when I was still a new arrival in this country and couldnt speak the
language properly. Small world, and maybe everything is connected. Frank Lovece is named in 25/1/00 and
Walter Struve (6/11/07. gotr % ←♂ ystrda ← Offenberg njr··e ( Monday 7/7/03)), though he isnt,
is on the credits to the MEDITATIONS ON LAKE GAIRDNER album (28/8/07. no 5 nth nthljeov m¤ '
(12/11/07. 30/4/05 (no 57))) which 25/1/00 is partly about. Though I didnt know at the time Mr. U.
Karklins of Australia Post Security & Investigation Service was already investigating my mailing methods
before Helen had finished typing the story. You could say he was there in embryo as the story was also partly
about my concerns with Aust. Post. One person who wasnt mentioned but could have been is the guy who
carries the ‘Bad Jokes’ sign in Brunswick St. and charges you $1 to tell him a worse joke than he can. He
stations himself opposite the Bocadillo Bar where I’m going in an hour or so (its tuesday & I’ll be going to the
Make It Up Club too) but I had forgotten about him. I’ve given him the story (as I will this one) and he’s
wondered why he’d been left out. Dredging my memory I seem to recollect that he might have been in the street
as usual and it may be that there simply wasnt a ready opening for him in the story. I regret the omission. He is a
far more important person to Brunswick St. than Adrian Rawlins ever was and Adrian Rawlins had a statue
erected to him there. While on that topic I’d like to digress a little to point out to the council that The Boxer
(bless his soul in heaven) also deserves a statue, more than Adrian ever did. It so happens that unbeknown to the
average member of the cappuccino set parading up and down Brunswick St. in silly clothes that the Bad Jokes
man is also a chess master and is at present still away in europe where he has recently taken part in a major
chess tournament in Amsterdam. From there he is kind enough to have promised to post two letters for me: one
to Mr. U. Karklins of Australia Post and one to Adriana Cozzolini of france and italy (although as I rewrite my
first draft to make it legible for Helen to type I’ve just received a card from Adriana today dated 15/6/00 in italy,
Baiardo and she makes no mention of it. Today is friday 23/6/00 and Helen and me will be going out to the
Bocadillo Bar and if he is back from europe I’ll be able to ask him why not. I had half expected to see him on
tuesday (20/6/00) night. If I had I would have put it into this story. Apparently he’s put up a notice in one of the
cafes saying The Bad Joke Man has retired. Hope he means only temporarily while he’s away in europe). Yes, it
has to be obvious to blind Freddy and his dog that everything is connected even without the ones obviously
manufactured by me. Let me assure readers of this story who are not actually in it that the details are true. The
pursuit of truth is far more important to me than the exercise of mere writerly skill. I wholeheartedly agree with
Baudrillard that glib writers and film makers are further from reality the more realistic they appear to be. Truth I
suspect is awkward, contradictory, bitsy and unbelievable. It doesn’t hang together or flow very well and is
always being corrupted and degraded by that cruel tyrant time. Not worth paying for. Things that get put
together by magic and will power exist as if by fluke against the trend of play to soon fall apart into their
constituents – bodies back into dust, ideas into the waste paper bin.
As I was saying I was riding along at night towards Litho House (Errol St. North Melbourne, hangout of
the litho diaspora) in a strange mood, partly of anticipation because I like to sing (9pm and I’m now writing in
the Bocadillo Bar, Barbara Zira has just brought the first sangria) and because I was somewhat responsible for
the change of venue. More importantly because I love (for want of a better word since its been gutted by
generations of poets, writers, psychiatrists and other assorted liars) some of the people I sing with. Also though I
know that everything is connected I also know that the connections, particularly of friendships, are made from
the finest of fragile threads. (She’s just brought the spanish hamburger). But mostly I was in a strange mood
because I was riding in a different space, a parallel space, displaced from the norm by only a minor warp but
distinct so that other riders occasionally passing in the night were fractionally distorted, and I was riding light,
effortlessly, less affected by gravity or in a field of decreased gravity. The main cause of this state was probably
that I was still under the influence of a dream I’d had the previous night which was not so much visual though it
had that component but a dream of a state, or an experience of a state, a way-of-being. What I had seen were
people in the street going their different ways and at their allotted tasks that so absorbed them but I was seeing
them from a different space, near but far at the same time. The dream consisted mainly of the experience
(Barbara has just brought the 2
nd
sangria its 9.40 and I might be late for the Make It Up Club) of that space, a
visceral experience in the deep regions where it counts below the diaphragm where the kinds of knowledge not
understood by brainy scientists have their source and abode. That was the state I was in and perhaps am much
of the time for it would explain why things dont seem to matter very much, why whatever happens seems as if it
was meant to happen because as you review your life you see that everything was already there, as seed, in the
15
beginning. You didnt know it then of course but now you find that things are as they were meant to be and its
best not to interfere. Que Sera, Sera as the song says and effort only gets in the way of the workings so its best
just to relax and admire. And praise. Maybe that was the mood last night, or do I only remember it that way
now? Strange but not very strange I would think. Not as strange as the girl I knew for whom the events of the
day only repeated what she had already dreamt the previous night. I suggested that she imagined she had
already dreamt them but there was no way of telling and in practice it made no difference. Today I remembered
how one of my sons when he was still in primary school had invited the whole class to his birthday and not a
single kid turned up. The shock has remained with him to this day. As I was riding to the singing session I could
have been heading for a similar disappointment because no one else turned up. But it wasnt like that – because
of the dream.
But who cares! Its all a kind of grandstanding, self-promotion (28/8/07. Monday 18/6/07 (no
67)), the excuse being that you’re here only once so you might as well be loud. (I’m back from the Make It Up
Club, its 11.45 and I’ve got my 3
rd
sangria. At the Planet they’re renovating the ground floor now so there’s
another parallel with 25/1/00 when they were doing the upstairs.)
After talking to Danius I ate a chinese meal at a place on the opposite side of the road from the Litho
Club. When I finished at 7.45 I walked across to the club but no one else was in evidence and there were still no
lights on inside. I tried the door but it was locked. The singing had been supposed to start at 7.30. So I went to
the pub opposite the old town hall and drank a pot of beer. There were some short stocky guys there who looked
like italians but spoke another language. I occupied myself wondering what language it was but to no avail. At
8.15 I tried the club door again. Rang home to say I might be back early but more because I didnt know what to
do with myself then drank a glass of red wine in a yuppy (frequented by gays) bread-shop-café near by. Went
back to the pub where I bought a stubby of Abbots Invalid Stout to-take-away and walked over to the club once
more. There was a single feeble light on in the foyer! I tried the door and it opened. Took the bike inside and
lent it against a bench. Listened. Called out. There was no one about. Could hear what sounded like dance
music with thumping and an occasional crash of cymbals coming from upstairs. It had an oriental ring to it and I
surmised it must have been carrying through the wall from next door. Tried various doors into the foyer but all
were locked except the one into the toilet on the landing half way up the stairs to the 1
st
floor. Eerie. No
explanation. No one about. Had the light been programmed to switch on automatically? Perhaps the door was
unlocked from the start but I hadnt tried it properly on the first two occasions. As it was anyone could have
walked in just as I had. The credit union has an office directly off the foyer and has been burgled before. No
wonder if this is the usual level of security.
(I’m back at home and its 1am. So now its no longer 20/6/00 though nothing has changed in the
meantime. I’ve just had a snack of macadamia nuts, toasted bread with crushed garlic spread with honey and
butter, and a persimmon. I’ve poured myself a shot of Anise, an Italian liqueur which is 40% proof and
normally used to put a kick into very strong black coffee. Here is the remainder of my journal entry for the day
even though it was written after midnight):
“Spent a good fraction of the rest of the day writing the story 20/6/00. Made a point of writing part of
it at the Bocadillo Bar because I wanted it to represent what I was doing instead of what I was inventing. Time
to hit the sack.”
The trouble with writing is that words can never capture the moment. They describe and inevitably nail
down experiences that are floating and shapeless. Besides, written language is linear: those small structures are
arranged in order across the page and read in sequence (while we were away I’ve decided I’m going to write an
essay on this; 9/7/00 (14/2/08. nvrdd)) whereas experience is felt in different spaces all at once. If you try to
capture and make still what can only exist in motion you destroy it. Experiences are strong because of their flux,
because they hold and buffet you in strange swirling currents like waves colliding in an ocean. Thats the
paradox of writing, the dilemma every writer has to confront. Nevertheless I press on.
(Its saturday 24/6/00 and I resume the transcription; I’m packed for 2 weeks of travelling with Helen
starting tomorrow; I’ve responded to Adriana’s card by sending her a copy of my mother’s book; I’ve given a
copy of the A-Z Travel Guide to North Central Australia and Queensland (27/8/07. no 2 (t¤tld:
GULF TRIP) nth nthljiov m¤ ') to the girl in the newsagents. The Bad Joke man again wasnt there last
night. Helen nominated that I should finally do the overseas trip I’ve been soul searching about for years. She
suggested I should start it in Menton in february and be away for a year (27/8/07. bt uv 4gotn th@, hune!
(28/8/07. given my personality, I know I never would have suggested that amount of time. Wishful
thinking!)). Problem is I’m only prepared to go if I can avoid being a tourist – but how? I hate dilettantism.)
I am in Litho House, Errol St. North Melbourne by myself and everything is silent. Except now and then
I hear people talking as they walk by on the footpath outside the foyer doors. I look over to see if its some of the
other singers come late but its just passers by. I go upstairs to the toilet and grope in the pitch black to switch on
16
the light. Later down in the foyer again I do a tour of inspection of the wall decorations. They consist of a mix
of carved sculptures, some geometric, some fantastically contorted depicting suffering, linen hangings with
patriotic poems and songs woven into them, pictures of medieval grand dukes representing the heroic antiquity
of the lithuanian tribes. The overall effect is clean, rather bare, almost clinical, certainly kitsch. I wonder what is
the cause of this barrenness of the imagination. Am I seeing an example of how constrictions on the
personalities of individuals, perhaps self-imposed, are being translated into the cultural aesthetic values of a
whole group? Is the way a community expresses itself in the choice of its symbols and decorations a reflection
of the hidden lives of its members? I stand in front of one of the linen hangings, a long one. It has the words of a
song in block letters woven down its length. The song is Lietuva Brangi Mano Tevyne (Lithuania
Cherished Soil My Homeland). I am reading the words as I sing them sotto voce but I know them off by
heart. Then I sing louder, every verse to the end of the song. There is no one to hear.
The foyer is L shaped so that the half of it around the corner is not visible from the main door. It is dark
here as the single light is in the front section. Up against the wall completely invisible in the gloom is a
comfortable armchair. I unscrew the stubby of Abbots Invalid Stout I’ve been holding all this time and sit back
in the armchair. I am looking at one of the traditional symbols carved in wood on the opposite wall which
catches some of the light from the front part of the foyer. The symbol is shaped rather like the letter E laying on
its back with the points facing upwards (4/3/08. h·tz - ). It is called Gedimino Stulpai (The Columns of
Gediminas). Gediminas was one of the grand-dukes. This decoration is solidly constructed out of timber beams
some 15cms wide by 4 cms thick and covers an area of wall about 8 ft. wide by 5 ft. high. It is polished or
lacquered a glossy light brown. It is ugly. Its uncompromising geometric prongs make me think of the arms of
the swastika. I can’t take my eyes off it. I am in a meditative mood, sitting in the dark, drinking my stubby very
slowly. About half the face of the Stulpai is incongruously covered by shiny brass plaques each of about 3 x 4
inches inscribed with the name of a dead lithuanian, always male. I wonder who these men are. Are they
community notables? Are they people whose families have given donations? Are they members of some
organization of lithuanian patriots? Is my father’s name there? I think its probably not there as he was not one
for organizations. But I can’t see from where I am as the light is not good and I dont get up to check (23/2/08.
¤ ♪st 2da m¤ frthrz nam zth 3
rd
↓ thlst nth lft. 5 ●s lor ¤ ♪ thnamv rmajr hooz ··shnd nth DVD
dokoz ¤ don8d → th♣l¤re rfu wks rgo zth ♂ nchrj vr ltho TDA unit rspnsbl 4 ··e kskushnz v==).
Then I notice that on the middle prong, the tallest, near the top is another symbol. Symbols on symbols!
Marriage of symbols. This one is the cross, I mean the christian, the Jesus Christ cross. Its a plain, unadorned
(Christ has risen!), solid looking white cross and it occurs to me that if you bent the arms it would look even
more like the swastika than the duke’s columns. Flanking either side are the letters A, A also solid in white.
Can’t be Alcoholics Anonymous, I muse, but I can’t think of anything else they could mean (1/3/08. 2da ¤
rgan. A ´ A = AMŽINA ´ ATILSI = ETERNAL ´ REST). I peer about the shadowy foyer and sure enough
against the wall in the corner is another cross but life size and massive as if it might be made from railway
sleepers. It too is polished a glossy light brown. Salve for the conscience? How they must need to keep
reminding themselves of their piety, I think.
What is said in the discussion you have with yourself is only a part of the story, small part at that. Most
of your experience is in the body, in the hard wiring if you like. Words are the final expressions of your physical
habits, the way you flex your muscles, constrict your stomach, tension your shoulders, the ebb and flow of your
adrenalin. They are only the bubbles on the surface, easily forgotten; dissipate into thin air. But the knowledge
in the body acquired by the sum of your life is with you always. Its hard earnt – your way-of-being. If I am to
describe to you who I was as I sat in the gloom slumped in the couch, holding a stubby, contemplating the
symbols with which some lithuanian emigrants and their descendants clothe their identity by giving only an
account of the conversation I conducted with myself I would be barely scratching the surface. For everything
that I saw in front of me was being sifted through the grid of my body, or character if you prefer a vaguer word,
or past history should you really want to get controversial. So you see why an accurate description is
impossible. Yet I persist in the endeavour against the odds. I continue this exercise in self publicity trying to
draw you into my way of seeing.
Its impossible for you to see the decorations on the foyer walls through my eyes without some
knowledge of a preoccupation, or obsession some accuse, that has held me in its grip for several years now. But
instead of listing articles, rehashing debating points, or trying to give you an idea of the thousands and
thousands of words I’ve written on the topic (enough for a book) I am going to jump forward in time to my
journal entries for august 19
th
and august 14
th
. I’ve been planning them for some time and they are meant to
round off in a couple of pages that long enquiry.
17
19
th
/aug./41 is the day (29/8/07. twozr tusda) I was born in Kaunas the capital of prewar lithuania and
the 14
th
of august is the day that Colonel Vytautas Reivytis, head of the Lithuanian Police Department under the
occupying german forces issued Secret Order No. 3 - to count, gather, detain and “transport” jews. If we are to
assign a particular day for the beginning of the holocaust in europe then this is probably it. Here are the bare
facts. The leader in the baltic region was General Fritz Stahlecker commander of Einsatzgruppe A. Colonel Karl
Jaeger was in command of Einsatzkommando 3 whose area covered lithuania. On august 1
st
1941 some 90% of
lithuanian jews were still alive. By december 1
st
of the same year two thirds of them (137,000) were dead
according to Colonel Karl Jaeger’s report. The rest (40,000) were in the major ghettos of Kaunas, Vilnius and
Siauliai where most of them ultimately perished. In no country in europe was a higher percentage of its jews
murdered in as short a time. Here I must digress a little. The capacity for murdering large numbers of humans
even without recourse to gas ovens is extraordinary. A former N.K.V.D. officer had claimed that at Katyn a
single executioner labouring with a pistol and elbow-length gloves killed most of the 4000 polish officers that
were the victims of that exercise by the communists. In lithuania the most bloody day was on oct. 29 when
10,000 jews were shot in one day in the 9
th
Fort in Kaunas. The executions of ordinary jews in the countryside
was most speedily carried out by S.S. Lieutenant Joachim Hamman’s Rollkommando. This highly mobile unit
travelled from one rural district to the next supervising the executions (and taking part) of the jews that had
been collected (or had assembled) as a result of Secret Order No. 3 issued on aug. 14
th
. According to Lieutenant
Joachim Hamman’s own estimate some 77,000 persons were executed in less than 8 weeks though some
historians dispute this, putting the figure as low as 60,000. The Rollkommando consisted of a dozen germans
and some 60 lithuanians who in turn were commanded by Lt. Bronius Norkus. The normal rotation of personnel
means that the total number involved in the unit would have been somewhat greater. In all, those directly
involved in the slaughter of jews throughout lithuania during the holocaust consisted of some 100s of germans
and some 1000s of lithuanians. These lithuanians and further 1000s that were responsible for the execution of
Secret Order No. 3 were mainly drawn from the 20 police battalions numbering somewhere between 8.3
thousand and 13 thousand men.
The above will be my entry for august 14
th
. For my birthday on the 19
th
I’ll enter a more general
‘historical’ overview, the final assessment or verdict so to speak, for from then on I intend to put the topic aside.
Here it is, or something like it.
The murder of the jews of lithuania was initiated by the germans. It was supervised by a small group of
several hundred germans with the active support of thousands of enthusiastic lithuanians with the tacit
complicity of the bulk of the population and significant sections of the educated classes many of whom were
outstanding in their failure to raise objections (though some did). The main cultural legacy of expatriate
lithuanians like myself was to inherit the suppression of the knowledge of the facts. This purposeful evasion or
collective amnesia has been so effective that those of my generation, even when born in lithuania and where
both parents are of lithuanian origin, know nothing of the facts I’ve just outlined. The expatriate communities
were guilty and still are of being accessories after the fact. They are guilty in the true sense of the word at a
cultural level for they hid the evidence (like hiding the body) and gave shelter to some of the perpetrators. By
and large they still deny both the guilt and sometimes that the events even happened. Sometimes they say the
victims were at fault. There is a move now in lithuania among historians to sheet the bulk of the blame for
collaboration in the murders onto the 8.5 – 13 thousand members of the 20 police battalions. I see this as a
convenient exercise in scapegoating as they know very well that most of these men ended up overseas (though
without becoming members of the expatriate ‘communities’ I would think) where their descendants also are.
The men themselves are dead in most cases. I see a community to be an organic whole with all its branches
bearing some responsibility for its actions. The members of the battalions had wives, sisters, mothers and
fathers who tried or pretended not to know. The wives etc. had friends to confide in. The educated classes
collaborated in teaching their children a history that bore no relationship to the events, and still doesnt. I see
these so called ‘intellectuals’ who continue to distort or hide the facts, even from themselves, as more
blameworthy than the barely literate peasants who did the shooting and who were surely insane. For me its time
to leave what took place 60 years ago behind. To continue is to risk being haunted.
It goes without saying that as I sat in the hush of the foyer holding what was by now an empty stubby
none of the material I’ve just outlined entered into the conversation I had with myself. But you can be sure it
was there in the gut, in the way my hands twitched. And it remains there whatever decisions I come to; some
things can’t be digested. But on the surface in my mood of self-absorption I was more likely to be savouring the
strange sensation of being alone on a winter night when I expected to be fooling around singing with a group of
friends. Now only two days later, as I write, I am no longer sure what I remember and what I’m inventing. Thats
memory for you. It is disintegrating even as it is being excavated and is being replaced moment by moment by
new memories which themselves disappear like phantoms as they are exposed to the light. By these small steps
18
which give our identities an illusion of continuity we end up somewhere completely different to where we were
at the start but still believe we are seeing the world now as we did then. I have no memory at all of leaving the
foyer. I know I didnt think to ring anyone to tell them that the front door was unlocked. Only a few days earlier
I had suggested to Helen that we transfer some of our money into the credit union (Talka = Help) but now I’m
not sure if we should. I can’t remember what I was feeling on the ride home anymore (though I may have when
I started writing). Perhaps I had that special queasiness in the pit of the stomach, or wherever it sits, when you
imagine your friends may have dropped you. I’ve been through it before. No doubt I wondered why no one had
thought to inform me of the cancellation. But mainly, dear friends, I think I just enjoyed the ride home for no
doubt I was still under the influence of the dream I’ve told you about. I am now as I write. I seem to remember
that I’ve already interpreted it for you. Things are as they are meant to be. A review of my past seems to support
it (unless I have a curious relationship to time). If I have done my last impression of litho peasant singing its
because its time to move on. I would have had a fun night singing but this way I had a really important night
and it has led to this story which continues on. It means I should be spending more time writing or staying at
home on monday nights reading the mountain of books that I’ve recently accumulated and that I’m itching to
get into: Joseph Roth’s Radetzky March; Victor Pelevin’s Life of Insects; The Magician of
Lublin by Isaac Bashevis Singer; a huge tome by Alexander Zinoniev, The Yawning
Heights, given to me as a present by Saulius Varnas who claims its one of the best reads of the modern era;
and many others. (And now, 9/7/00, I find that Peter Murphy (28/8/07. e¯d ← Vilnius 2da), an
underrated local writer, has left a copy of his Black Light (isbn 0 7256 0229 5) at our place while we were
away.) Perhaps I should be doing more trips. In a few days I’m going away for a couple of weeks with Helen.
Maybe after that I should do one to the interior, to Lake Gairdner or another one of the salt lakes (Lake Eyre has
water in it this year) and write a whole set of mail-art (Arte Postale) letters to Adriana Cozzolini (28/8/07.
Monday 7/8/00). Living as she does in a picturesque hill town in italy in summer and spending her winters
in Menton on the french riviera she may find the goings on in the remote desert inland of an eccentric australian
born in lithuania somewhat entertaining.
(Its thursday 22/6/00 and I’m on my way to Stalactytes where I’ll be from 12.30 – 2.30 as per usual
where Kate might catch up with me. I’ve pulled up by the bike path in Brunswick to check the message bank on
the mobile. There is one from Helen sent at 8.40 this morning saying that we havent seen much of each other
this week and that she is really looking forward to going out tomorrow night to the Bocadillo Bar. I’ve just rung
the library but she’s at a meeting for the next hour. We havent ‘seen’ each other because I’ve been concentrating
on the story. I wanted to tell her that I’m also looking forward to going out on friday and that though we havent
seen much of each other we’ve hugged each other in bed at nights and that on sunday we’re heading off
together for two weeks to a string of beautiful beaches on the south coast of N.S.W. I’ll ring her again from
Stalactytes).
As for the writing of history – also let it be. Who cares what historians do. Recently I read a history of
south america Memory of Fire by Eduardo Galeano written entirely from the perspective of the
murder and exploitation of the native indians. I bet it hasnt made an iota of difference. They wont return to hunt
naked in the jungles because the jungles themselves will be gone. School kids in australia are finally being told
that the aborigines did once live here after all and were massacred. It wont bring them back, the dreaming is
over. Lithuanian historians may yet own up to their complicity in the murder of the jews but the rabbis will
never again dispense judgements with the wisdom of Solomon in the schools and synagogues of those ancient
centres of hebrew learning in Kaunas and Vilnius. And dare I say that if a chapter on the dispossession of the
palestinians is inserted into the history books of israeli school children it wont return Jerusalem back to the
arabs. All that will happen will be displays of public sorrow on TV, shedding of hypocritical tears, signatures on
empty documents, the cluttering up of the countryside with memorials and ugly monuments.
Everything passes. The only certainties are death, change, and renewal. Perhaps the purpose of history is
to produce an illusion of continuity. We try to overcome corruption and decay by pretending that there is some
kind of underlying constant which we like to call truth so that we can stand on a stable platform to launch
ourselves into a glorious future. In the face of everything disappearing: moments … memories … friendships …
lives … we seek immortality by inventing a past that we like to believe has always been and continues to be
there and a future where we will deposit our traces by way of children or reputations. The purpose of history
may be to overcome the flux of change by inventing spurious reasons for optimism. Perhaps its best after all
that we learn ‘counter’ histories based on ‘counter’ memories as Foucault would put it (& Robert Musil well
before him) for to look back is to dwell on death.
I have been interested in how groups of people be they tribes or nations store their memories or invent
them and how they hide them from themselves; how political those memories are and how they are used in
statements about group identity. No less interesting, my friend, is how we can hide our individual memories
19
from ourselves, a process just as political in the struggle for development between the different rooms that
constitute the house of our personality. And perhaps thats how it should be for if we are doomed to be divided
into compartments it may be better if the doors to certain rooms are forever kept shut and even the existence of
the rooms themselves be forgotten to language. For if we were able to look into them it would be too terrible
and make us cry all the time. Better that we live in sunny rooms so that we can look out of the windows with
confidence into a bright future.
Its the end of the story. On the way back in the rain from Stalactytes where Kate did put in an
appearance and I did get through to Helen in the library I called in on Danius Kesminas again. Drops of rain
were leaking through nail holes in the roof of his studio home. He asked me what had happened on monday
night so I read out to him the first page of the draft. (With Helen about to start typing (9/7/00) it occurs to me
that I might as well confess to you, as I did to Danius then, that I called in on him only because I wanted to
connect this final paragraph with the beginning of the story. However he did ask about the monday without
being prompted, as he himself pointed out to me.) He’ll find out the rest when I give him the completed product
in a month or so. I’m repeating myself, completing circles, each one a bit different to the last.
Phew!!!
(27/8/07. Hz pom nth ← kuvr:
History and words
Ephemeral as smoke
Siftable as ashes
Malleable as copper
And as easily tarnished
As full of meaning as a shout
On the wind
So of our little history
And our hard wrought words
We may have to accept
Nothing may be left
But a shrug
And a sigh

helenz)
8/8/00 ( 14/8/41 (no 8)). Today belongs to St John Mary Vianney (Confessor 1786 – 1859)
according to my Saint Companions … He was the parish priest of Ars near Lyons in France. He submitted
his body to severe flagellations and austerities for the 40 years he was there. He did it in a spirit of penance and
expiation on behalf of his parishioners who were addicted to drink and an inordinate craze for dancing when he
first arrived. He opened an orphanage for destitute girls called “La Providence” which was later turned into a
school and widely copied in France. He said that “those who are guided by the Holy Ghost can see things and
that is why so many ignorant people are more knowing than the wise.” It soon became known that the new
Rector could read mens hearts, had supernatural knowledge of unconfessed sins and of things to come, and his
prayers miraculously healed the sick. The village of Ars was miraculously transformed morally and spiritually
and people came from all parts of Europe and even America to lay their problems before the Saint. Five extra
bus lines had to be started and a special ticket window opened in the Lyons railway station for pilgrims. In
twenty years the number of pilgrims totalled over two million. The Saint was always friendly and patient
though for 40 years he did not permit himself either sufficient sleep or food. Besides, he was for years
tormented by diabolical manifestations which were also witnessed by the villagers. Towards the end of his life
the French government honoured him by creating him a knight of the Legion of Honour.
I am camped in another of my hideaways about 20ks short of Burra. I am on the edge of a property
called ‘Worlds End Station’. Its 4.30 pm and I’ve just had a doze to counter the effects of the 3 stubbies I drank
while I was driving here from Morgan (on the Murray River) where I had a large breakfast/lunch of bacon and
eggs. When I got here I had a second meal too so I’ve really pigged out. Earlier at Waikerie I checked the
message bank on my mobile. Helen is home sick with a cold and Kate is over for a few days. There is a letter
from Adriana Cozzolini covered in stamps, pictures of mountains and other stickers. I’ll write one to her
tomorrow which I’ll post in Port Augusta so that it gets to her before I get home to read hers. I rang home from
Morgan but the house was empty. Then I inadvertently rang Joe’s mobile as he was having lunch at work
(website design). Finally left a message on Helen’s mobile. Found an Adelaide Rosella (Platycercus elegans
Race flaveolus) not far from Morgan and plucked some of the feathers even though the bird was badly
damaged. Tomorrow I’ll send a few to Gabba; it will give me an excuse to elaborate on the reasons for the
20
attitude I’ve taken to the litho singing. This is the plainest of the rosellas being predominantly green and yellow
and is also known as the riverine rosella as its normally found along the major river red gum waterways. Its
very quiet and private here in mallee scrub as I sit writing in the car and I suppose I have to return to the main
topic, however reluctantly, and which I’ve been putting off, as its difficult to know how to tackle any of the
issues involved.
Joachim – Yahweh prepares! For all I know most christian names have a hebrew meaning but in a quick
browse through the Saint Companions… I’ve so far found only the single one to be stated. It could be that
Joachim was a common name for germans of fighting age during the second world war and if so then there
would be nothing unusual for a person of that name to be a principal in a major massacre as there were many of
them throughout the five years of the war especially on the eastern front. That a person with a name with such a
definite hebrew meaning is a leading murderer of jews I find somewhat surprising. It would be stranger still if
enquiry showed that Joachim was not a common name. Certainly its not as common as Karl or Fritz; but then
I’m no expert. However, it is my contention that the middle of august 1941 in lithuania marks the very
beginning of the holocaust. I say that because Secret Order No. 3, to count, gather, detain and “transport” jews
was issued by Colonel Vytautas Reivytis on the 14
th
of august. I am not an historian nor am I prepared to
interest myself in detailed analyses of archival material so I’m relying on the work of others and hope than any
factual material I use is treated as needing to be questioned. The first record of children being executed is the
next day, on the 15
th
august. It can’t be conincidental. Over the previous year the jews of poland were being
rounded up into ghettoes and SS Lieutenant Joachim Hamman’s Rollcommando had already been active in that
operation for six months but women and children were not being executed. In lithuania too prior to mid august
jewish men were being shot en masse. But from the 18
th
to the 22
nd
of august 1600 jewish children were
executed in one district alone. While it was predominantly men that were being executed the murderers could at
least pretend to themselves that they were ridding the german empire of communist criminals. But after the 14
th
when women, children and the aged were being comprehensively slaughtered no such delusion could be
maintained by even the most insane. That is why I find the change that took place mid august 41 so completely
beyond comprehension. That is why it can be said that the holocaust began in the 3
rd
week of august in lithuania
in 1941. When they shot children the executioners knew they were murdering innocents. For that change to take
place there must have been a verbal order accompanying Secret Order No. 3 explaining its full meaning. It
would not have been anything unusual for a secret verbal order to be given. Much of what happened during the
holocaust was ordered in secret or the documentation later destroyed. The perpetrators knew the evil of their
actions from the beginning. If there was a secret verbal order accompanying Secret Order No. 3 it was perhaps
(dropping the atom bombs is also a contender) the most evil single act of the 20
th
century. So how ironic that the
name we most associate with its initial execution is Joachim – Yahweh prepares. An even more ominous
possibility occurs to me. Should there be some obscure hebrew sect in existence claiming that an ancient
prophet has taught that a time would come when terrible calamities would descend upon the chosen people and
that then the dead would be raised from their graves prior to the final judgment I would think that the name
Joachim would not be easy to dismiss.
15/8 /00 . The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary. The Gospels do not state the names of our
Lady’s parents but ancient traditions, which go back to the middle of the second century, give them as Anna or
Hannah (“grace”) and Joachim, and declare that their daughter Miriam (Mary) was born in answer to a prayer
when they had long been childless. Today’s feast is our Lady’s principal feast, and is believed to have
originated in the 5
th
or 6
th
century. Both the Western and the Eastern Church share the universal belief in Mary’s
bodily assumption into heaven, which was already stated by St Juvenal of Jerusalem at the Council of
Chalcedon in 451. This age-old belief has, in the Holy Year 1950, been officially declared by Pope Pius XII to
be a dogma of the Universal Church. Nothing is known with historical certainty as to where or when the
Blessed Virgin died. Jerusalem is most commonly credited, but Ephesus also claims the distinction from the
tradition that Mary accompanied St John there. The year of her death is also uncertain, and is variously placed
from 3 to 15 years after our Lord’s Ascension. In place of the reflection given in the Saint Companions I
put in my own: the first record of children being executed in the holocaust is on this day in 1941.
Left at 9.00 and got back at 5.00. Earnt a blister. Used up a roll of film photgraphing footprints
including a set of camel prints that headed west and into the water. Its unlikely they would try to cross water so
I guess they were made in soft ground before the water covered them. Found a couple of salted dried out
scorpions the length of my index finger and cut one out of the mud it was embedded in but by the time I got
home the tail had broken off. What look like yabbie holes all over the lake bed are made by spiders who must
be able to seal themselves off in airtight compartments when the lakebed is covered with water. They seal off
the mouth of the hole with a silken cloth. Found the skin and skeleton of a rabbit I would have liked to
21
photograph but had used up the film by then. Might try to follow my tracks back to it tomorrow but it would
take at least three hours to get there. Just used up the first uni-ball but have brought plenty more. Poured the
coffee. Forgot to mention yesterday that the main reason this spot is so completely private is because to get to
the track that takes you here you have to go from the back yard of Mahanewo, and without instructions from
the Mannings you wouldnt find your way. Thought I was going to get myself into time problems through a bad
miscalculation while I was on the lakebed but at 4.00 spotted the car from a sandhill through the binoculars so
was able to walk to it on a compass bearing. When I was walking along the waterline in surreal surroundings in
the middle part of the day I thought this is how it must have felt to walk along the shore of the Sea of Galilee
then remembered that there were fish in that sea (I’ve only read the bible once) and realized it was probably
more like walking along the shore of the Dead Sea. This led to a train of thought which can be summarized
something along these lines: the idea that chubby faced theologians (often dressed in black) of the kind that
discuss religion and the nature of god (who or whatever he is and even if he needs to be invented) on television
or on radio panels with people like Philip Adams (also dressed in black) know more about god (for he may
depend on being invented) than a fisherman, or a mother wiping the brow of her sick child, or a surfer riding a
wave, or a soldier dying in someone elses war is preposterous (even a bit nauseating).
12/9 /00 ( 7/9/00 - 16/9/00 (no 10)). Left the key to H’s car in the mail box for the tow
truck driver because I didnt want to be late to meet Walter in the library foyer but he didnt turn up. No doubt he
was at the big demo where after lunch at Hong Kong I went also. Spent the whole arvo there but only met 2
people I knew. Kate was there fotographing also but I never saw her. Found it all very interesting. Agreed to
meet Barry Mate for lunch on friday. Letter from Adriana Cozzolini. Make It Up Club. Egle rang from Sydney.
By pure chance she met two litho tourists one of whom was taught at uni by our uncle – Vytenis Kabaila.
(28/8/07. Completion of Tuesdays from folder 1. (nos.1-16 of anthology)).
28/11 /00 ( 27/11/00 - 7/12/00 (no 17)). Headed off about 9.30 for a stroll along the
river. Put in a container of water (1 litre) besides the 3 oranges in case I decided to go up hill. Saw a large
eastern water dragon on a log on the bank. Then went up to get a view of the surrounds. It was hot & sweat was
pouring off; felt weak on the steep section & stopped ridiculously often. Perhaps its the accumulated effect of
all the alcohol I’ve drunk over the last month (29/8/07. hvbn dr¤ now 4 6 weks (6/1/07. munths) & ys, ¤
m mproovn rbit ( Monday 7/8/06 (no 67))). In the end it didnt take long to get to the top of the ridge on
the western side of the river (incidentally this is inside the southern boundary of the Alpine National Park at the
camping area where Traralgon High School have their adventure camp; both yesterday & today I am here by
myself though I suspect the place is heavily used at times) after first going through eucalyptus scrub then
through casuarinas in meadowy grass with many flowering everlastings. Only mad dogs & englishmen are said
to go out in the noonday sun & I kept thinking that I wasnt an englishman. The urge to climb mountains when
you dont have to is apparently a relatively modern phenomenon having come at the same time as the romantic
age with its celebration of individualism & the age of science with its emphasis on the glory of what can be
achieved. I suppose I wanted to be a conqueror & in fact from the ridge you get a very comprehensive view &
understanding of the surrounds. Walking north along the ridge is easy & in the distance you can see a high
mountain with an unusual peak that looks like a medieval fortification. If you left at the crack of dawn it just
may be possible to get there & back in a day with the reward of having great views on both sides. Besides the
everlastings there were beautiful mauve orchids that grow in clusters & several varieties of yellow orchids &
the normal abundance of small blue & white flowers. I could have spent all day on the ridge except I want to
write on a big topic & thought I should get back early enough to make a start today. On the way back going
down off the ridge a different way my legs started to turn to jelly. Useful to know because it means there is no
point in pushing hard up steep hills because it may be harder to get down. Got tangled up in scrub at the bottom
before I got to the river. Had eaten the oranges & drunk my litre of water & it was hot. Lay in the water to get
the core temperature down & the sting out of sunburnt shoulders (wearing a shirt when youre sweating like a
pig & trying to catch the slightest breeze doesnt make sense). Back at the car at 2.15 had a lunch of two minute
noodles after another session in a deep pool. Also had some slices of salami & the second of the two strawberry
mangoes I had bought yesterday. Then had a nap. Now I’m going to have another dip in the pool. Its 4.15 & I
still feel dehydrated. Also I think I’m trying to put off writing about the big topic. Yes! I’m going to write about
god himself or itself. (I notice that my chinese stick on tattoo, meaning ‘celestial’, on the left wrist has all but
come off with the sweating). I had the idea once that I would like to write a set of short essays on 3 letter words
& did write one titled Art (29/8/07. no 1 nth nthljiov m¤ 'n). 3 letter words tend to be big in meaning:
who, why, sex …. & of course god (though not as big as even shorter words perhaps. I have an essay by
22
Norman Malcolm in Wittgensteinian Themes on the meaning of ‘I’. Also the David S. Ware
quartet have written a terrific tune called Flight of ‘i’).
According to the census most people say they believe in god but I dont hear the topic come up for
discussion among the ones I mix with. It seems we reckon it should be left to the experts such as the religious
(priests, rabbis etc) & the theologians or media commentators (eg Phillip Adams) or the very rich. I dont have
any of their qualifications. In fact I have no more authority than an ordinary person to broach the topic. Some of
my friends probably find it uncool, others may see a desire to discuss it as an indication of impending madness
(mad – another good 3 letter word). My problem is I dont know what the word means. I dont know what the
people who say they believe in god mean by that unless they mean they believe in going to church when told to
& listening to what priests say. Nor do I know which particular definition of god the disbelievers are referring
to since there seem to be about as many different ones as there are people prepared to give one. Or do the
disbelievers disbelieve in all possible gods even the ones they havent heard of or which are outside the range of
their imaginations? Borges (I am embarrassed at referring to him so often) in a short essay that is called
Someone to Nothing if I remember it rightly outlines how god who in the old testament had the attributes
of a human being (esp. a king) & was known to get jealous, angry & vengeful (eg. with adam & eve for eating
the fruit off the tree of knowledge of good & evil) under the onslaught of two thousand years of theologians
(beginning in the first century) became no more than an abstraction: principle of love, authorisation of law,
immanence in all things, eternal love, evolutionary thrust, alpha & omega, beginning & ending. I am not sure
that Borges isnt simplifying somewhat: the “I am that I am” that moses heard from behind the cloud sounds
awfully abstract to me (& I suggest the very opposite to the even more abstract idea (but what does abstract
mean?) of the buddhists all factions of whom agree on the necessity for denying the ‘I’) (also worth noting here
that according to Borges, Martin Buber proposes other translations into english of the hebrew words
from behind the cloud). William James in his Varieties of Religious Experience summarises
interesting practices some of which involve sacrificing the incumbent god to make way for the next one. The
greek gods lived elsewhere but had human proclivities in superabundance. William Blake believed that god
had a human form. The japanese believed (& some still do) that their emperor is a god & the roman caesars
came to believe that they were gods though not all citizens of rome agreed (especially not the christians). There
are men in india & indians (& a korean) in new york whose followers believe they are gods (a former devotee
of one of these wants to sue him for sexual abuse). (29/1/01. Some believe god is an architect or
engineer.(30/1/01.The very notion of design is dependent on a prior knowledge that we done those things; what
people point to as example of design in nature is characterized not by a similarity or analogy to our simple,
clumsy & ugly constructions but by seamless continuums ie. by difference to what is designed.) Others say god
is someone who made (what do they mean by the word ‘make’?) everything from nothing though it is
impossible to conceive of a theory with less evidence to support it.) I used to use the word in conversations with
myself. In trying to explain why I behave as I do (especially the travelling). I used to say to myself that I was
searching for god (to others, so as not to appear uncool, I’d say I was searching for beauty). My inclination was
to search in places where there were no people, in bushland or desert, in derelict stone churches in the wheat
belt of south australia, in swamps populated by tortoises & snakes. On some still nights when the water was
made brilliant with a silver sheen from the moon & with phosphorescence in the breaking waves I’d be walking
(maybe between the Yerung River & Pearl Point or between Corringle & Petmans Beach in East Gippsland)
along the beach at midnight thinking how inconsequential everything was by comparison. & to this perception
I’d attach the word – god! Most people who go hiking & bushwalking have similar experiences & they too are
inclined to bandy the word about or to use some parallel term such as ‘the great spirit’ or ‘nature spirit’ (being
influenced maybe by the language of red indian chiefs of north america). A person I met recently who has just
come back after 8 years in lithuania where he claims to have set up the lithuanian national airline says that
when he used to go into the forest there (with his little tent) he felt the ‘force’. I think he meant the force of his
tribal ancestry. He tells me there is nothing like it & I should go to find out (& since I refuse to dismiss things
outside my experience because I have had experiences which others have dismissed because they were outside
their experience maybe I should (29/8/07. & rfu y·· l8r ¤ dunt & nvr fowndt)). My problem with the use
of the word ‘god’ to describe these intuitions is that I dont see how you add anything to the experience by
adding the word. Why not keep it simple & just stick with the experience? Of course if I wanted to use my
experiences as a lever to influence Helen to let me go on more trips (or to give an extra ambience to my
journeys, or to make myself important), I’d say I find a sense of god in the vicinity of the dry salt lakes of
central australia, or on tropical beaches north of Cape Trib. or traces of him in ruined churches around Burra in
S.A. Then how could she possibly not allow me to travel as much as I wanted! I’d tell her I’m getting closer but
probably need to check out places of worship in india, or rome (29/8/07. wdunt 2gthr ( Journal ♪♫ Italy))
or jerusalem or mecca or where people go on pilgrimages or where holy men are said to live. How could she
23
refuse to let me go if it was really god I was after just as I was getting warm too? (29/1/01. Though she could
say “go look in a supermarket there are 30,000 items in a large one.”) The truth is I dont know who or what god
is or even who he is meant to be seeing as the experts are all in disagreement. Its tough enough looking for
something that is meant to be hard to find (exercises have to be followed, indulgences bought, churches
attended, booze avoided (29/8/07. ¤m doont), unnecessary clothing worn) never mind trying to find
something when you dont know what it is youre supposed to be looking for. So I’ve abandoned the use of the
word in my conversations with myself. (Also people who read my stuff may notice I’ve got rid of the word ‘art’
from my logo. Its no longer a…z art @© but a…z @© (29/8/07. th c nth © fasd lft wch th ÷nt doo so ¤
us2 't n x ). The reason for the change is the realization that since the sponsors have taken over the word it
has become trivialized. Big business & the institutions have succeeded in cornering the meaning. You serve the
one who pays you.)
A bit of trivia. This morning I sprung another cockroach in the car, one of the smaller, pale kinds
(american I think theyre called) that can become a nuisance. Also, the deep pool in the fold of the mountain Ive
been taking dips in is gouged out in red rock of the same variety you get on the coast at Saltwater Creek &
Merrimbula in N.S.W. & on the Malacoota side of Shipwreck Creek. It may be called ‘Merrimbula Formation’
& apparently is very old (whatever that means). Its reddish. Maybe I should visit those places on the trip. Its
been a hot day but just now there was a flash of lightning & thunder. Some scattered big drops are hitting the
car which means I have to shut the windows of the van but its still real hot inside. I seem to have lost my head-
torch. How could I have done that, I hardly ever lose anything? (29/1/01. I remember now – I burnt it on my
trip with Paranoia (see story 4/10/00 – 5/10/00). That trip cost! but it was worth it. It shows how the
meaning you assign to an event depends on how it fits in with your world view, the whole system.
(Wittgensteins ‘bedrock’). If you show a person a sheet of 100 dots & tell him that 50 can be joined up to make
a shape a sex maniac will draw an hour glass while a homicidal case will draw a machine gun. Science works
like that too. The same piece of info can have entirely different meanings according to the theory used to
explain it. We choose the theory that connects the most facts most elegantly with the least number of unknowns
(ie. laws, principles, causes, forces, & other occultisms).).
5/12/00. I’m still on the Wonnangatta River (whose water empties into the Mitchell that flows
through Nicholson near Bairnsdale into the Gippsland Lakes) about 35ks from Dargo on the Crooked River Rd.
I did call in at Dargo yesterday for a beer & a chat. There are two very impressive pubs that look as if they get
quite a bit of tourist trade; not on week days I was told by the young blonde barmaid who was there by herself.
There are shops with café signs out front. The place has a boutique look about it in a ‘how green is my valley’
setting. The most noticeable thing however were the walnut trees which grow in every yard, by roadsides & in
paddocks. It may be the walnut capital of victoria. They have a walnut festival when the place is jumping with
tourists at easter to coincide with the picking season. Its 8.10 am & I return to my main task.
Lets go back to the example of a passage of writing where each new sentence changes the meaning of
what came before. Meaning works as a whole which is greater than the sum of the parts. History can be viewed
as a book written with new chapters being added. Historians love to recreate former periods by peeling away
the subsequent chapters or sentences & by immersing themselves in the writings & relics of the age they are
studying. Its the stuff of historical novels & a favourite of tv drama. But we can’t imagine the past because we
are made of those sentences & those chapters that we try to peel away. We only recreate through the
perspectives of the present. The words we use to describe it no longer have the meanings they had then. That
applies also to the sayings of the teacher gathered together in the testaments & to his use of the word god. I
think if it were not for the experience I’ve described (30/8/07. Monday 4/12/00) I would not have been
able to attach the importance to the nazarenes teachings that I do. I am too much aware of the impossibility of
history to wish to use it for present example. Experience is paramount as far as I’m concerned. Perhaps
knowing that I am a sceptic is why the comforter came. It doesnt mean that I’m ready to throw away my
intelligence when considering the teachers sayings but it may help to explain why I try harder to extract
meaning from them. His sayings (& his example even more so) are dense with meaning. Maybe he had such
knowledge of the wellsprings of behaviour that he was able to use metaphors & analogies that are at the source
of it & hence less subject to the corruption of time. His claim that if you ask you receive has exerted a changing
dynamic over me for years. At first you ask for everything, then you discover you already have it but didnt
know, then as you become convinced of the truth of the claim you stop asking. Its like that with many of his
teachings. As I wrote earlier on the trip my amazement at the depth of meaning I progressively find in them is
reason enough for me to accept the prophet as the greatest of men yet if my intelligence were the only measure
I wouldnt accept those sayings I dont feel I understand which is most of them. Because I am a sceptic I dont
accept claims that violate my intelligence & without personal experience I would have simply put most of them
24
in the too hard basket & forgotten them. In the same way I would have eventually put aside the prophet himself
for what is the point of being told all sorts of things that dont mean anything if understanding is the measure. If
you dont understand you dont know how to apply to life situations which are always immensely complex.
However these days I am inclined to be accepting of confusion. Since I dont dismiss claims that are outside my
experience or I cannot disprove & since I dont validate claims except through experience it means I live in an
unstable world where the proportion of what I know is very tiny compared to the sea of unknown things I tread
water in. I have few certainties & many questions but I am surrounded by people who know a lot & are always
telling me what I should do. I have lost the habit of thinking what should be or telling others what they should
do. I am happy if I am able to avoid their prescriptions. Dodging the should-dos is like negotiating a minefield.
I am often in a state of amazement at the possibility of new things. Nature provides me with examples of
transformation & I marvel at the thought that even if they had the intelligence of humans grubs could not know
that they change into butterflies or cicadas. I marvel at the possibilities I can imagine & am grateful at the
contribution to them made by great writers such as Borges, Foucault & Wittgenstein. Many people who do
much good in the world are nourished by the nazarenes words without the benefit of my experiences or my
privileged & spoilt lifestyle. They must have a better, more direct, simple way of understanding than is
available to me. In particular I feel sure that the poor & the ill, especially in institutions, have such access. As I
ride my bike past Ozanam house in North Melbourne at meal times I see crowds of derelicts who by
comparison to the vacuous expressions of accountants & clergymen look as if they have stepped straight out of
biblical times. I bow my head, I praise, I thank.
Went back through Dargo where I talked to a guy in the pub whose great grandfather who owned a
small holding next to a rich mans property somewhere near Melbourne (Scorseby?) & was the rich mans horse
groom has the distinction of having unloaded a consignment of hares & sparrows for his employer which are
the ancestors of the current population. He also says he was personally responsible for surreptitiously spreading
the rust that attacks blackberries to his own property before the department officially released it. Example
counts …. The road rises steeply out of Dargo in a grade thats as long as the one I descended down Marathon
rd. but its not as steep & its sealed. Now I’m back on the plateau (4.00 pm) in a forest of silvery gums. After a
walk I might continue higher into the snow gum territory towards Hotham. Yes, the writing is definitely the
purpose of this trip & perhaps the task I’m best suited to. Here is the saint of the day: St. Sabas (Abbott
Confessor 439-532). Sabas was a young nobleman of Cappadocia who travelled to Jerusalem and after
spending some years in the desert, settled down to a life of great austerity under the guidance of St. Euthemius.
Near the brook Cedron he later established the great Laura Mar Saba, which still flourishes. Here the monks
lived in separate cells somewhat like the Carthusians today. Six other houses also owe their foundation to his
zeal. In 491 St. Sabas was ordained to the prieshood, and three years later made archimandrate of the hermit
colonies in Palestine. By setting an example of scrupulous observance of the rule, he was able to bring about a
much needed reform in their discipline. He was also famed for his charity towards the poor. A valiant champion
of orthodoxy, he twice travelled to Constantinople to influence the Emperor against Monophysite, Nestorian
and Origenist heresies, and as an old man of 90 interceded with Justinian on behalf of the Samaritan rebels and
obtained their pardon. St. Sabas is revered as one of the founders of Eastern monasticism. His relics, which
were stolen by the Venetians, are still venerated in St. Mark’s basilica (29/8/07. Wednesday 6/6/07 (no
69)) at Venice. Reflection: “Man is born to labour, and birds to fly” (Job 5,7) …Now I know were Malcolm
Fraser got his “life wasnt meant to be easy”. I’m skipping the walk & driving: a big black cloud has formed
overhead & the grumbling of thunder is becoming constant …. 5.40: stopped for the night about 60ks north of
Dargo, 11ks short of the Hotham/Bright road. The forest along the road has been particularly attractive with
many inviting tracks leading into it & green parklike verges that are easy to drive onto. I’m in a patch of snow
gum just near a saddle where there is a picnic table & from which you can see across valleys to Hotham ski
village & snow on top of the mountain. I drove through a hail storm & its raining a bit now so I might as well
settle down with Joseph Roths Right & Left.
13/2 /01 ( 13/2/01 - 26/2/01 (no 18)). (29/8/07. ns¤dv thkuvr paj vthrjnl thr woz
rpom ' x me:
I am a sailor
in the eye
of a storm
and in this stillness
I listen )
25
Its 5.15 & I’ve stopped at a boat ramp near Marlo for the night. Yesterday evening Helen sent me off
with a half bottle of De Bortoli ‘The Noble One’ 1998. It was a surprise & I only twigged when I entered the
bedroom (at the Ivanhoe house) & saw the pair of crystal wine glasses on the window-sill above the bed. The
room was perfumed by a gardenia from the garden put there the previous day. How rich can you be! Earlier I
had dropped in on Joe who says he might be shifting back home before I’m back & earlier still I had had tea
with Kate (15/3/01. not Kate the philosopher who works at the Eaglemont newsagency on saturdays) at the
Hong Kong & a beer at a thai type bar across the road from Stalactytes. Before that I chanced on Frank Lovece
sitting outside the State Library on his tea break & as he does so often he left me with something to chew over.
He reckons the story of the fall, which he calls the fall into history, is really the story of the birth. He says that
knowledge of good & evil is what man is about & that it would have been boring before that. Without
‘knowing’ you wouldnt have been able to praise or criticize or condemn. He has a point: wandering about
starkers in the garden of eden but in total innocence subsisting on a diet consisting mainly of fruit (30/8/07. z
¤m doon now th@ ¤m ofth GROG) lacks appeal. I’ve been thinking about it on the way without gaining
any clarity. There is a problem in there somewhere. I’ll ask Frank to elaborate when I get back. (14/3/01. & I did
catch up with him yesterday at Brian Maclures 60
th
birthday at the check club where Walter & Denis Spiteri &
Roger Smith & Andrew Hollis & Don & heaps of other people I knew also were but above all Vic Fleming
whom I havent seen for years & promised to hopefully meet again at Brians 70
th
& where the music was
supplied by none other than Basalt himself & Co & where no major philosophic solutions were possible as it
was too noisy though Frank did his best to shout something between puffs of a cigarette but the only bit I got
was how when he was in italy his friend Gianfranco Baruchello (whose book How to Imagine I read
last week) gave, not lent but gave him $300 (this was in the 80s when it was worth a lot) because he was broke
& because someone had once given him (Baruchello) $300 when he was down.) I also continue to mull over
the card I found when me & H. got back 3 weeks ago from N.S.W. Its signed Chogyam Trungpa & it
says: “Our vast collections of knowledge and experience are just a part of ego’s display ,
part of the grandiose quality of ego. We display them to the world and in so doing,
reassure ourselves that we exist, safe and secure, as “spiritual people.”” I’ve finished my
stubby (3
rd,
which I needed to become vague after the road accident I was at an hour & a half ago) & a school of
little fish jumped out next to where I’m sitting on some concrete steps going down into the water (Brodribb
River). Its 6 pm & I’m going to have a bite to eat. I’ve spent a night here before with Helen. I remember there
were plenty of mozzies then but they are not here now, nor people … Before I started eating a 4x4 utility truck
arrived pulling a boat full of what looked like drum nets. It turned out to be an eel fisherman & what I presume
to be his son. There are 19 commercial eel licences in Victoria he explained after I told him I’d spent time
talking to another eel fisherman at Curdies Inlet in Western Victoria years ago. He knew the man. They all know
each other & there are feuds among them as in any other ‘family’. It was nice talking & they excused
themselves for disturbing me when I told them I’d be spending the night here. The eels are mainly exported (the
guy at Curdies told me all of his went to Sweden),some frozen some smoked. Apparently the very fat ones I
used to call congers that we got in the Latrobe River when I was a kid & thought were rubbish are the most
prized by the chinese in Melbourne & for export. My sister Egle’s godmother, Mrs Eskirtas, used to serve up the
ones her son Vytas caught when we lived in Sale & I used to hate them. The amount of flesh on one was no
more than on a normal 1 inch thick eel I could catch in Lake Guthrie (or that you can buy in the Victoria market
now) the rest being pure fat. Mrs Eskirtas is dead now & her son lives in tassie. I met her daughter Roma at
litho house a week ago. Returning to the card I quoted … I havent been able to get it out of my mind. I admire
the buddhist point of view & have been wrestling with that problem without being able to resolve it. But it
seems to me that life itself is an expression or irruption of ego from inanimate matter. Am I doing anything
different by mailing out my observations to a small number of friends & acquaintances than the writer of the
card is doing by sending it to me? … I might as well describe the accident now. From Bairnsdale I took the
road through Bruthen instead of the one through Lakes Entrance because I heard on the radio that a tanker
carrying liquid gas had turned over opposite the Nowa Nowa hotel & the road wouldnt be open till night time.
As I was approaching Newmerella I could see a semi on its side blocking half the road with the cabin which
was a right old mess in the depression by the road. This must be the day for semis going out of control I
thought. There was rubbish scattered across the road & a guy from a truck on the other side was kicking some
of it away. As I was passing the overturned truck I spotted a person (or a body) lying in the long grass about 4
yards to the side of the mangled cabin so I pulled up about a 100 yards further along & came back to see how he
was. He was in awful shape with what looked like busted legs & his eyes were strangely starey. Then he let out
a moan of extreme pain. I didnt know what to do & the bloke kicking rubbish off the road was behaving as if he
wasnt aware of him. Later I asked the guy on the road if the ambulance had been called & he said they called
26
one five minutes ago. All I could think to do was to keep telling the one in the grass who kept letting out
agonizing groans at intervals that help would soon be there. I suppose a woman would have held his hand or
tried to reassure him but I kept walking away bewildered & coming back again to say help was coming. Only
then did I notice another guy lying on his back a few yards further. He was very still with blood on his lips &
neck but then lifted his head & looked compus mentis. I told him also that help was coming & asked him how
he was to which he said his back was in pain & I said to him to keep lying perfectly still. I told him his mate
was in a lot of pain, hoping to distract him I think. He said that he was the passenger in the truck & had been
relaxed at the time of the crash & I could tell he was afraid his back was broken. I didnt think the analgesics I
had in the car were appropriate as I was expecting the ambulance & police to arrive at any moment. The other
guy who was the driver was lying on his side & every now & then would groan as if he was dying. The bloke
kicking rubbish off the road was staying away. Then another car arrived from the direction I had come & a well
presented middle aged person with a thick accent that might have been dutch or german started making his
presence felt. He seemed to project himself as a sort who takes charge in a crisis except he wasnt doing
anything coherent. At first I thought he was a doctor but he kept clear of the guys in the grass. Then he asked if
anyone had a phone so he could ring the truck company whose name & phone number were written on the
truck! Finally after about 10 minutes the fire truck, police & an ambulance were all arriving together from the
Orbost direction. (12/3/01. Just been talking to a neighbour, Kevin Crowther, across the road at 88 here in
Melbourne & he tells me that he was entering Orbost with a delivery of meat as he does every tuesday
apparently just as the ambulance etc were leaving for the accident site. That means he was travelling the same
road only 15 minutes ahead of me. He also had taken the detour through Bruthen. He’ll find out for me if the
dead man was a local from Orbost.) By now a few cars had banked up on either side of the accident. A
policeman asked the nearest guy in the grass whether there had been only one person in the other vehicle to
which to my surprise he was able to reply that there was only the driver. It was only then that it dawned on me
that this was a two vehicle collision. Head on. The other, a small utility truck, was so completely mangled that I
hadnt seen it separately from the cabin of the truck. A ghoulish instinct made me peer into the mess & I could
see a body which had become part of the wreck. It was only a piece of meat, something from a horror movie,
the head split open like an egg with brain spilled out like a large pancake over the back of his neck. At least his
death would have been instant. After taking my name & address the police allowed me to leave. I had been the
second arrival at the scene but hadnt witnessed the accident. As I was walking to my van I noticed some cooked
prawns scattered among the debris on the road. I suppose that one of the drivers had been shelling a prawn at
the moment of impact. I went into Orbost to get a couple of stubbies & decided to come here, closer to people,
than the spot I had meant to go to in the bush near Corringle Creek. A bunch of italians have come to fish off the
pier & they are stamping their feet to keep the mozzies away. I’m a sitting target – time to call it quits.
20/2 /01 . In the popular imagination the sub-conscious (& to a lesser extent the common
subconscious) has become as real as the soul was to the medieval christian or the spirit world to jungle
dwellers. It may be that it has replaced them & serves similar purposes. It is almost as tangible. I saw a sci-fi
movie where the entry to it was through a tunnel. More commonly it is depicted as a sort of dark space where
bits of ideas, grins, screaming heads, snatches of memories (esp. of first love) fly about in a haphazard manner.
Other versions have them pressing forward out of the dark as a crowd & then receding back into it. Whereas the
soul was often depicted as glowing or radiating brilliant beams of light the subconscious is almost always a
dark place. Partly thats because some of the things that live there happened in the dark. In movies naturally
there is an over representation of murderers, prowlers and other things that go bump in the night, not to speak of
early experiences in bedrooms of incest, abusive uncles & mothers de factos. Our capacity to expunge (or
disguise ) horrible memories fits in with the idea of pushing them back from the half light into the total
darkness. A more serious reason is the belief we hold (subconsciously?!) that it is deep down somewhere near
the centre of the head where no light can penetrate through the overlying layers of the conscious brain. The soul
was bright because it was the natural dwelling place of god and goodness (though I have seen paintings of
penitent souls that were smudgy) and also because its outer surface coincided with the skin which is the part of
us most exposed to the sun. (its warming up & I’ve moved to one of the lounge chairs among the ti-trees). The
main reason however is the almost universal belief (or habit of depicting or imagining) that dreams come from
the subconscious & since we dream in the dark of night it is natural to conclude that they emerge from a dark
place. My own dreams on the rare occasions that I have them are very bright & I believe they happen at the
moment I am waking or going to sleep or in a half state between the two. Those states might only last moments
(how do you measure dreams) but if I’ve been in half a dozen of them during the night it can feel as if I’ve been
dreaming on & off all night. It would be pretentious of me to nominate where they come from: the humidity or
other vapours in the air; Helen putting her arm (or leg) over me; a disturbance of the electronic circuit boards by
27
me turning over or catching my breath; residual muscular tensions (particularly in the gut) from things that have
happened or I’ve seen during the day; disturbance caused by loud digestion or acid in the stomach (ie what I’ve
eaten); all kinds of imbalances that take place in the body when things are not fitting together properly in the
surroundings; from sleeping with my feet higher than me head; from the knowledge that all is not right out
there?? Borges believed that nightmares were visiting demons. I am inclined to agree. If you are being visited
by them I suggest a change of location may be the answer; they tend to be territorial. Avoid cemeteries & places
of murder especially where children have been murdered. If necessary relocate to the countryside. Even small
changes of location can help as some of them operate in tiny spaces. Try sleeping with your head higher than
your feet or best of all in your partners arms. I go further than Borges & am prepared to claim that all dreams
are visitors except I dont know who or from where. Why at night? Well it may be that we are more receptive
then, that weve let go a bit, that we are not being assaulted by the demands of work, hustle & bustle of city
traffic, deafeningly loud music, social & domestic chores. As I’ve said I can’t tell if I dream a lot or hardly ever.
Scientists who study sleep say that dreaming takes place during the entire period of what they call rapid-eye-
movement which is during a minor fraction of the night. They make the claim without a skerrick of evidence.
They wake people up during times of rapid-eye-movement (when also electrical activity in the brain can be
shown to be more like it is during waking hours) & people say they have been dreaming. But if people are
woken up during the time of regular rhythmic electrical activity which scientists call deep sleep & occupies
most of the night they dont say they have been dreaming. All this procedure shows is that people dream during
the moments they are being disturbed when it takes place during time of rapid-eye-movement. It is an
unwarranted inference to say they dream when they are not being disturbed (woken, shaken) during REM.
(strictly speaking it doesnt even show that, for the states of dreaming & saying you are dreaming may be very
close to each other). It would be more accurate to say in these cases that the dream has been caused by the
scientist or from the disturbance caused by the scientist, or at any rate, has come from the outside. If dreams are
visitors then here the visitors are scientists. It is not significant that they arent in the dreams of the subjects
being tested: the world of dreams has a different relationship to perceptions than waking life (interprets them
differently?). Coleridge is said to have dreamt an entire epic poem (Kublai Khan I think) & written it
down as soon as he woke up but by the time he got to it had forgotten the ending. (I think he experimented with
opium too). I have also got out of bed to write down in entirety poems I had just ‘dreamt’. In my case always
short ones. It is a common experience among writers. It does not provide circumstantial evidence for the
subconscious. I dont know where the poems come from. The ancient greeks said it was from one of the 9 muses
which is just as plausible but for me, for reasons I may try to explain some day, more plausible. If I am to stick
strictly to the facts I’d have to say I dont know though I suspect more from the ‘outside’ than the ‘inside’ if a
requirement is placed on me to make such a distinction. At any rate I am inclined to believe that they come
together in the instant before getting out of bed, in a state of heightened awareness. I suspect that to be the case
for a long poem like the Kublai Khan also because there is no reason why we should apply notions of linear
time to these moments. I also find it far more credible to view the ‘eureka-I’ve-got-it’ experience of scientists
and particularly of mathematicians in this way rather than to call on the services of the subconscious by
claiming that efforts to solve the problem have been bubbling away in its shadowy recesses all along. I know
from personal experience that there are times (and not just moments) when those electronic circuit boards buzz
along not once or twice (2
nd
pen has just run out) as fast as normal but 1000 times faster – much too fast for
writing or dictation, so its lost, what a pity.
Time for the daily saint (I dont want to leave it till the evening because low tide is late in the arvo & I
want to be in the water then under the Michael Lerner Lookout & I like to hit the sack when the sun sets.) I
have to comment because I can’t help being aware of it but have you noticed how big a part sex plays in the
lives of the saints. I mean in a sort of reverse way ie, they either had none, or didnt admit to it, or flogged
themselves (to mortify the flesh), or renounced it, or only started becoming saintly (30/8/07. ¤v ®t thgrog
soz nt2 risk bkumn 1(19/1/08. stl oft)) when they left it behind, or were virgins from the word go. I can’t
help thinking that the healthy young males among them who sometimes joined or were put in orders almost in
childhood & who we must presume woke up with normal bladder induced erections most mornings must have
spent a good part of their waking life thinking about it or countering its evil effects. (13/3/01. & what about wet
dreams & the visits from the lovely Eros that usually precede them; they probably thought she was a
manifestation of the devil; wonder if in their celibate imaginations she had exaggerated sexual parts?) Maybe
thats what mortifying the flesh was all about – countering guilt. Could it be that over a thousand years of this
imbalance sex became coupled with self-flagellation? Some “proud post-modern queers” who keep me well
informed of modern practice tell me that there are people who cannot have an orgasm unless they are being
whipped (they also inform me of all kinds of practices they call sex but which I would name differently). Is it
conceivable that B & D (which I used to think stood for bums & dicks) is a relic, a flotsam that is inherited
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from the celibate rulers of the christian church. Apparently Fr. Pio belonged to an order that carried a symbolic
scourge & there is reason to believe that he spent a lot of time in self flagellation. I am anxious that my
observations arent misunderstood. That these intense men & women functioned within a world where they were
taught to believe from childhood that sex and the body were the horrible seats of evil & still achieved what they
did only adds to their stature. But I can’t help but feel sorry for them because I see them as the victims as well
as the heroes of the church they swore obedience to which later accredited them with official sainthood. It
seems to me that the celibacy of the church hierarchy must have led (& does) to a huge distortion & perversion
in matters relating to sex which would only be intensified by the fact that over all that time it was (& continues
to be) hidden from view. Things that are hidden dont disappear, they grow larger, change shape, and continue a
vigorous life in disguise. Now its really time for the saint, its nearly lunchtime. St. Margaret of Cortona
(Penitent 1247-1297). A Tuscan peasant girl of exceptional beauty, Margaret was seduced by a nobleman who
promised her marriage, and lived with him for nine years until his sudden and violent death shocked her into a
realization of her scandalous life. She resolved to make amends by life-long penance and mortification. After a
three year probation the Franciscans admitted her to theThird Order, and her little son was brought up by
charitable women and later became a Franciscan friar. Under her confessor’s guidance Margaret advanced in
holiness and cared for the poor and the sick throughout the 24 remaining years of her life. Our Lord repeatedly
granted her revelations and mystical favours. “I have made you to be a mirror for sinners”, He told her on one
occasion:”You are the way for those in despair; the most hardened will learn from you how willing I always am
to show mercy and save them!” (punctuation is by Mausolff & Mausolff – a…z @ ( 28/11/00 )). St Margaret
founded a convent of Poor Clares, a confraternity of our Lady of Mercy, and a hospital for the poor at Cortona.
She became especially famed for her ability to make peace between enemies, and for converting hardened
sinners. So numerous were the latter that her confessor once complained that he could not “clean out so many
stables”; but Christ instructed St. Margaret to remind him that he was rather preparing suitable dwelling places
for Him in penitent souls. After 29 years of penance, of trials and temptations, she was assured by our Lord,
Who called her “My daughter”, that all her sins were forgiven. As the morning of February 22, 1297, dawned
the soul of Margaret passed into the unveiled presence of God to receive the reward which she had so earnestly
striven to gain by her life of penance. She died, as her biographer states, “with a jubilant heart and an angel-like
countenance”, and to this day her body has remained incorrupt (30/8/07. ¤d l¤k 2 th@!). The Feast of St.
Margaret is celebrated on February 22
nd
. Reflection: “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits;
who forgiveth all thy iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases.” (Psalm 102, 2-3).
6.40. The diving was ok though the water wasnt nearly as clear as at Goalen Head. The underwater
scenery was beautiful as you would expect on such a rocky coastline. But there was something wrong. From the
beginning I could tell how heavily that stretch of coast was impacted by people from the absence of abalone. I
suspect that the proliferation of the purple sea urchins is caused by them moving into the vacated ecological
niche. I saw none of the large fish I normally take for granted in my favourite diving spots. Then I realized what
it was that disturbed me – I hadnt seen a single blue groper, not even a juvenile one. That means spear
fishermen, heaps & heaps of them over many years. It was dead water. I did something I’ve never done before.
My normal practice after exploring a patch of water is to put on my sandals & pack & carry the flippers &
goggles in my hand while I walk to the next spot in my wet suit where I take off the pack, put on the gear &
dive in again. At one pool I dived in flippering hard to get past the shore swell when I realized I still had me
pack on – with the two oranges, car keys, wallet, watch etc. inside. It may prove that Janet Le Good & Adriana
are right to call me a philosopher though I prefer to consider myself a reporter. From ancient times philosophers
are known to be the sort of people who walk about so deep in thought that they bump into things or step into
ditches (Peter Murphy is a philosopher) & I think quite seriously that the best definition of a philosopher is that
he is that kind of person . & I was deep in conversation with myself. I’ll give a report on it in tomorrows entry.
10/4 /01 ( 7/4/01 – 18//4/01 (no 19)). Lets play a game, do a thought experiment. Imagine
that god is a vase. The vase is one of those classical ones that the ancients used to transport olive oil or store
wine. It has a curved handle on either side & bulges in the middle before narrowing to a waist, then widening to
a solid base. The girth is circled by a simple pattern. These kind of vases or urns were quite common & I saw a
couple recently at the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition at the Melbourne gallery. But the one we are imagining is an
only one because thats the main attribute of god. There are no other vases (or anything else for that matter.)
Then it shatters into shards & fragments because it can no longer contain its loneliness. (Veteran performance
artist, Frank Lovece, tells me his first film short was called ‘The Broken Vase’). Now suppose that each piece,
some no more than specks others big enough for a bit of pattern to be discernable, is or represents or becomes a
human being, one of us. All human beings are fragments of the broken vase. The idea is not novel, mystics over
the ages have suggested versions of it. Those of us who discerned a bit of the divine pattern on ourselves could
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join up with other matching ones till we formed a line or a part of a square or oblong & we could marvel at out
beauty & importance. “The Divine Pattern” we might sing. We might even look down on the myriad shards,
which because they came from the hard clay of the handles or the base are too tiny & fragmented to be arranged
into the simplest pattern or pair. & of course there are pieces that are dangerously jagged & pointy so that they
shouldnt be even in the vicinity of others no matter that the base & handles were the most important part of the
original. We could imagine, for the sake of the thought experiment at least, that most of the fragments not just
the patterned ones had some notion of their divine origin. It may be that they could sense a common polarity in
their elemental structures, or a radiation frequency dated them all to the moment of the original disintegration.
& suppose that over the ages the combined efforts of the greatest minds among us with the help of libraries,
universities, laboratories finally manage to trace out the shape of the original vase. The prospect then arises,
given adequate leadership (popes & such) even if only in the distant future, of reassembling the vase. Now here
is the point of the thought experiment: would god, if he had any say in it, want to be reassembled?
Its 6.10pm & I’m about 35ks from the homestead on Oakden Hills Station. (for details see story
14/8/41). There were four people at the homestead when I arrived. Andrew MacTaggart, the owner (under a
truck), his son James & two danish backpackers in the workshop. The backpackers were probably here because
they were broke. They had been told of the station by a danish exchange student who was here jackarooing a
year ago. A bit of hard work wouldnt do them any harm but I suspect the MacTaggarts are softies. If it rains & I
get bogged Andrew promised to come & get me. I arranged with James to leave a note at the house so he knows
when I’ve gone & told him in which of two spots (about 10ks apart) he could find me if there is no note in a
weeks time. Once again I’ve been given a map of the property so I shouldnt get lost. As I left, Andrew who like
most station people is a jack-of-all-trades, was about to prepare a meal for the four of them (Penny his wife is
away). I’m off to watch the sunset over Island Lagoon.
17/4 /01 . Easter is over. I am thinking about the great prophet from nazareth. He came from a
tradition of holy men whose habit was to converse with god. Forgetting that the all powerful one had no need of
a language & being alone didnt have the opportunity to learn one they implored him in hebrew (with the
exception of Job, some say). They sustained themselves with memories of seas being parted, manna raining
from heaven, a mighty hand writing in the sky. All their talk & righteousness did not prevent the emperor Titus
from destroying Jerusalem or the 6 million from being murdered. The nazarene was the second last in that
tradition for there was still muhammad to come, who however, conversed with the one god in arabic. You could
leave it there … but I can’t. I remember the nazarenes greatest prophecy: that when all else was gone his words
would remain. & here I am 2000 years later writing about them & on the dashboard of the van I have a copy of
the bible to ward off thieves. I dont know what it means …. We know things because we’re made of them. So
one day I’ll go & lie down in the shade of a scrubby tree on some dry grass & sand with a pool of muddy water
nearby …. Plucked feathers from a frogmouth which must have been killed not long before dawn as it hadnt
begun to stiffen. They are defenceless against cars because they get blinded by the headlights…. That was
somewhere near the turnoff to Waikerie which I managed to miss & just made it into Barmera before running
out of petrol ($45, the most I’ve ever paid to fill up). Stopped by the “beautiful Barmera Lake” for a bite to eat
…. Back in Victoria. Rang H. from Murrayville. She didnt sound well, she had a cold. Ben had stayed up
during the night & had a bad morning too. The dog next door barked all night. I said I’d be back in the arvo &
suggested we go out for tea …. Have stopped at a stock dam about 30ks south of Walpeup on the road to
Patchewollock.
14/8 /01 ( 13/8/01 – 25/8/01 (no 23) (18/1/08. & ← DANYO RESERVE (no 53).)). I’ve
had breakfast & am a bit shivery as I write sitting on the back bumper with the sun just clear of the scrub
shining directly at me. The aim of the trip is to clarify a few trains of thought by writing them down. I want to
terminate these incessant discussions I’ve been having with myself for weeks now – as I ride my bike, as I lie in
bed; it doesnt stop even when I’m eating. My interest is not the truth (I leave that to the owners) but what can
be said clearly. The last thing I did before heading off yesterday was to take out the maps of the Flinders
Ranges I had put in the van a few days earlier to replace the maps of western N.S.W. I had put in before that.
Fact is I’m still not sure where I’m going (it could be a metaphor for my life – except that it is my life). I’ll
make up my mind definitely tonight though I reckon it will be Lake Gairdner & the Gawler Range. I dont want
to plan ahead as I want to be open to chance influences & hope that such an attitude helps me be less structured
in the writing. My birthday at the end of the week puts me in a mood to review habits, get rid of excess
baggage. (Kate gave me a stone inkwell & a calligraphy brush; Ben, Dan, and Joe who are all living at home
now wont know about it even though I’ll be giving them this piece of writing which they wont read; my mum
gave me a maroon jumper (30/8/07. wch ¤ lost nlithl& ( Monday 22/5/06)); Helen gave me the best
present I’ve ever got or known anyone else to get: a foldout booklet she made titled the A-Z of a …z listing all
30
the attributes she claims me to possess which are so extravagant that they would make a saint blush with
embarrassment (I only smirked inwardly)); last week at the monthly mail-artist meeting in a café in Richmond
Lloyd Jones (6/9/01 who is putting on a production on nothingness & loss of self with a cast of over 20) &
Warren Burt (back from lecturing in the US of A and traipsing around the entire world) sang an aria to a
Guisseppe Verdi tune for which they improvised the words along the lines “His birthday is coming soon; Your
birthday is almost here (etc)”; the government of Victoria is giving me a seniors card which allows me
concession rates on trams & trains. (30/8/07. wn ¤ trnd 66 rlir ths munth ¤ gotr Commonwealth Seniors
Health Card wch gvzme chep mdkashn, chepr W, & knsshn fairz nth GHAN æ)) One habit I’ve already
rid myself of is going to galleries (not even the slightest disrespect intended to the two very fine ladies who own
galleries that are on my mailing list). I’ve been going to them because it seemed as good a way of mixing with
friends as any other & I also wanted to support some efforts but I’ve noticed that we always talk crap in that
environment & its influence is so pervasive that we still talk crap in the pub afterwards. However I’ll make an
exception for the show Kate says shes putting on in october (30/8/07. ♀ hz1 nkst munth). I’ve even
considered getting rid of the reading habit but Basalt, who is reading Montaigne, told me that Montaigne
(who read a lot) says that Plato says that we shouldnt read too much so as not to clutter ourselves up with the
memories of others. Then he introduced me to Vasco Popa who is truly a great poet. Here is an example
(from memory hence maybe made up):
it was the poor who invented sex
so that men with their long iron keys
could open womens copper locks
without paying silver shillings
Then a book I had ordered through Borders Count Julian by Juan Goytisolo (Juanita, have you read it?)
which had been recommended to me by Frank Lovece arrived & it turned out a really good read – I knew I was
in the presence of a sophisticated mediterranean. So I’ve brought a book with me on the trip in case of a rainy
day: The Shadow of the Sun, latest by Ryszard Kapuscinski. I’ve read everything Kapuscinski has
written (Gyrai! how about returning my copy of Soccer Wars) & I take my hat off to him – he was a
traveller. However I’ve discarded (I here put on notice) my self appointed role as literary mentor to several
people on the mailing list. I’ve never met anyone whos read a book that I’ve mentioned but because of that role
friends of mine are forever recommending books for me to read. & I usually do. But I can’t keep up any longer.
I quit the job but not reading altogether. It would be unfair to expect anyone to read my handouts if I didnt read
at least a bit (or pretend to). Its 9.30 am, the sun has risen in the sky & warmed me up & I’m feeling better
already. Just about time for the road. First I have to eat a tomato because there is a fruit fly inspection point a bit
further along a few ks this side of Pinnaroo. Its usually manned during the day. Yair, I am feeling better. I am
buoyed by the thought that what I share in my DNA with the fruit fly & the worm is greater than how much I
differ from the chimp & the gorilla. Recently I read that 30% of my DNA coding is the same as a bananas
(Helen who once summed me up as a ‘low tech high maintenance sort of guy’ would agree). As the bushranger
said: when you live live in clover, coz when youre dead youre dead all over … 3.45. I’m at my spot near Worlds
End for the night. (7/9/01. Lance Morton of Morton Shoes in Ivanhoe is the only person who gets my stuff that
knows the area. He has camped at Worlds End Creek where it runs through Burra Gorge about 5ks from here).
The fruit fly station wasnt manned & there was discarded fruit spilling out of the bin. Bought oranges &
tomatoes at Waikerie the citrus centre of australia. Got 3 stubbies in Morgan where I was told there was real
weather being forecast to arrive tomorrow & last till the weekend. Thats serious because you can’t go into the
Lake Gairdner Gawler Range country in my van if its wet …. I write because I feel a pressure to write & if I
succeed in saying what I want to I feel a sense of physical release. These sensations are as tangible as seeing or
hearing but not in the precise way that can be measured (not yet anyway) so some may not value them. I do.
Because of the release I am inclined to believe that my task (should there be such a thing that I am meant to do)
is completed when I finish a piece of writing. I run off a small number of copies (100 or so) to mail & hand out
because I want at least one other person to hear me (the girl across the road in West Melb says she writes poetry
for herself) but I know that at least several people can hear what I have to say. Thats an enormous privilege for
a writer (for in the transaction the writer is always more privileged than the reader). I dont know if what I say is
of importance. I dont belong to any organization that pays me to lobby nor do I give allegiance to any
identifiable group. Readers of my stuff can be sure that what I write is unauthorized. I know that if anyone is
meant to hear what I say they will. The lack of effort I put into distribution (I enjoy it) & the ease with which it
can be ignored ensures that it can do no harm. If its not heard its not meant to be. With my obligations & my
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limitations clearly determined I tread whatever path has been laid for me (if there is one) with a light step. That
its not signposted makes it easier.
21/8 /01. I am sitting on the box on a still morning (9.00) warmed by the sun. What a difference it
makes! I’ve been forced to do most of the writing inside the car. Earlier I examined the edge of the water in the
lake which unlike the previous mornings was still over 100 yards away, but creeping in silently. The reason for
the difference is that the wind was stronger yesterday & didnt drop till well into the night. I’ve set alight my
rubbish in a hole in the ground. Later when its cooled down I’ll pick out the sardine tins & silver paper to take
out of the area. I’ll be moving to a new spot when I stop writing. Tonight in Melbourne at the Make It Up Club
John Grant will do one of his improvisations on the keyboard for my birthday which gives me an excuse to give
it a plug. Yes! At the Make It Up Club. The best in freeformance-improvised music. Local, national &
international new & old school, electro & acoustic, rock & turntable counter-revolutionary-extreme-noise-
pleasure. Every Tuesday Night @ 8.30 PM !! Upstairs @ The Planet Café 386-388 Brunswick St. Fitzroy. Ph
9417 – 1389. Enquiries : Ph/Fax 039480 – 0056. Makeitupclub @ yahoo.co. uk.http://go.to/makeitupclub and
guess what, so you wouldnt get the impression its behind the times the Make It Up Club has a brand spanking
new website. Includes: Artist info, Video, and Chat. Wow. & more … www.makeitupclub.com But seriously
folks, it is the very best venue for improvised music that you can hear played on a regular basis in Melbourne.
Great musicians some with international reputations and even better ones without can be regularly heard
playing to tiny but discerning audiences which they sometimes outnumber for only $7/$5. For this negligible
price in surroundings exuding ambience you can take in names like Tim O’Dwyer, Ren Walters, Dave Tolley
(who one day may do an improvisation in memory of Joseph EPE Jamhambon), Mark Shepherd, David Brown
(my favourite) (6/9/01. CD launch tomorrow), Mark (can’t remember your other name, mate) (6/9/01.
Finsterer), Warren Burt (who has not yet promised to do a major composition dedicated to Joseph EPE
Jamhambon), Unamunos Quorum (watch for their new CD), the inimitable & sometimes hugely loud Tom
Fryer (6/9/01. off to europe again: Amsterdam, Berlin, sweden & those kind of places), including of course
John Grant himself, who is FRAZZLE (synth threesome) & whom I wont be able to hear do his thing for me
tonight because I am right here & I had to make do on my birthday & the other mornings I’ve been here with a
couple of very minor twitterings well before dawn by a pair of singing honeyeaters (Lichenostomus virescens)
one of whom came to the acacia that overhangs the van while I was lying in bed & gave the old rust heap a very
careful inspection. I had better tell you who Joseph EPE Jamhambon is. He is the man who signed the dozen or
so etchings in the sandstone on the shore of Iron Cove just outside the walls of what used to be the Asylum for
the insane in Rozelle, Sydney. That is the name under several of the etchings, which range in width from 3 – 6
ft., some of which are dated 1889. No one knows who the name belongs to & presumably it is made up by a
former inmate of the Asylum. The etchings are of ships, what looks like an air balloon, pentagrams & various
other symbols. They resonated more deeply than anything I’ve seen in a gallery. No one values them, people
walk on them, one day theyll wear away. But it will take a while as theyve been there over 100 years already.
There is no border erected to protect them or plaque explaining their significance because they were carved by a
madman. Maybe its best like that. Members of asylums dont belong to the same world as the lobby groups do.
They belong in its reverse, if anywhere. I have photographed the etchings & Helen made up an album-book of
the photos & five poems she wrote in honour of asylums & their inmates. I would like to fix his name in the
joint memory & encourage others to contribute to the project. Not because Joseph EPE Jamhambon asked for it
(but he did give the name) but because we should. Here is Helens keynote poem from the album:
In 1889
Joseph EPE Jamhambon,
stranded on the shores of Bedlam,
carved himself a graceful ship of stone
and intricate stars
to navigate by,
and in his spiralling mind
launched himself away from the iron cove
into the boundless sea
pray for him
that he found a true course,
a clean wind
and a landfall somewhere that he felt was home.
3.15. The meter is reading 210ks since leaving Iron Knob. I’m on the road that goes past Yardea station, about
10ks west of the homestead. Its a nice spot behind some scrub only a couple of hundred yards off the road.
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There is a rocky fold in the hill nearby from which a creek starts. Like all creeks here it flows only during
heavy rain. I climbed up the hill & walked along the top from where I could see the station track me & H went
up for about 5ks to spend the night (& guess what, honey, I could even see the dam I took a foto of you in) after
getting permission at the homestead. That was a few years ago. As I knocked on the door of what was a kitchen
or living room I could hear the radio going & the ball was just about to be bounced for the A.F.L. grand final. It
was the year the Crows beat the Kangaroos for their first grand final victory ever. The owner came out looking
flustered & when I asked for permission to drive off the road onto his station tracks he waved his hand & said:
“anywhere, anywhere” & ducked back inside. If he ever catches me on his property I’ll remind him…. 4.50. the
gauge reads 251. That includes a few ks inspecting side tracks off the road. There are heaps of good places to
camp. I’m parked for the night at a spot next to a creek I’ve stopped at before for several days with H. (thats
where you were knackered from walking all day & we found the only water right on top of a rocky outcrop). A
few assorted notes: There are a lot of ‘28’ parrots (Barnardius zonarius) in the area. On top of the hill back
along the road there is an attractive metre high grevillea in flower; also saw Mulga parrots (Psephotus varius)
up there. Looking down saw a two trailer cattle truck going east – the third vehicle I’ve seen since Iron Knob.
The shoes you got for me, honey, (Naot brand polyurethane sole, thick cork inset to accommodate shape of the
sole of the foot, plenty of air room around the toes, double gauge leather without layers of synthetic lining,
$175) are great, havent worn anything else.(7/9/01. Lance has ordered in another pair for me. Cost price? mate)
Saw a hairy-nosed wombat. I’m on Mt. Everard Pty. Ltd. lands – they own a string of stations here; a couple of
years back the manager gave me permission to drive around on the tracks. The good start to the day didnt last -
its windy, cold & cloudy.
25/9 /01 ( 22/9/01 – 1/10/01 (light type by helenz; heavy type by a … z @) (no
24)). Didn’t have breakfast in anticipation of a meal in Yackandandah, but had a coffee & paper-reading at
Beechworth after a short shopping expedition at the supermarket. Then a tour around the town, made necessary
by rain. Found a good shop selling handmade books from Nepal & cheap beads – spent $7.00. I have no
resistance. Then on to Yackandandah for lunch at the “bottom” pub, followed by coffee & cake (me)/sausage
roll(John) at the bakery – on rainy days you have to behave like tourists. Both towns are beautiful & very
comfortable. After a break from driving to do some writing we are now in an ironbark–box forest in a very
secluded track off a track & it’s pelting down while we get a small evening meal ready. Here is a poem about
our experience at Lima Creek Falls:
from the carpark
that didn’t exist
to the falls
that couldn’t be found
we walked along a narrow track
with obstacles
to climb over or
crawl under or
skirt around
listening to cockatoos
shouting a warning
or a welcome
washed with a breeze
full of perfumes & smells
between silent trees;
in the distance
hearing the grace note
of water falling in veils
over rocks we never reached:
our two hour metaphor for life
This way of travelling is very peaceful & calming, as the usual speedy rhythms of my working life slow down
to the sort of pace that allows the important things – companionship, the appreciation of warm sun, the fresh air
& green earth – to be savoured. Last night we had no frogs to serenade us, but some young hares & their parent
were feeding in the grass along the track edge. John snuck up on one & caught it for inspection & then let it go.
I cant be bothered analysing the various positions that can be taken on this war so here is a grab bag of
disconnected comments. There is a symbiotic relationship between terrorists & the state: terrorists need
the state so they have something to target – the state grows stronger by needing to limit individual
freedoms in order to combat them. If it wants the state can monitor all individuals requiring them to
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report on mobile phones as an alternative to the old fashioned passport. This would allow the state to
check the locality of anyone at a given time by retrieving info from a computer databank. Avoiding
detection by using someone elses phone wouldnt work as the same computer technology that is used to
recognize faces can be even more successfully used to recognise voices because every voice has a unique
timbre. My guess is that the method would already be in use by US intelligence. In spite of John Howards
claims that our intelligence services & the US share their info freely we do not understand (though we
help with joint facilities) how the US monitors individual phone conversations: thats why before we
allowed a singapore company to buy Optus we had to ask the US govt whether we would be
compromising their intelligence operations. The US president can listen to any world leader talking to his
wife, including ours, but John Howard wasnt able to listen in on Bill Clintons hot phone sessions with
Monica & never will be. The biggest single change since the last war (this is the 3
rd
) is in the relationship
between man & technology: we are becoming smaller & more dependent on ever larger & more complex
& more integrated technologies. Our lives are increasingly at risk from system malfunction or sabotage.
Aeroplanes are becoming bigger & faster & carry more fuel. Single buildings can house more people
than a medium sized city. Poisons are becoming more widely used by farmers who spray them from the
air. Hugely toxic poison waste products are stored in ever bigger complexes of tanks sometimes close to
city centres or rivers (remember Bhopal). There are more & more larger & larger tankers transporting
poisonous materials & extremely explosive liquid gases (dont park them in narrow lanes please, & I
notice they dont observe the 100k speed limit they are supposed to). & so it goes on. A time will soon
arrive when high school kids will be able to pull info off the internet that will allow them to contaminate,
with poisons that cannot be filtered out, entire reservoirs. Last year a single individual in the phillipines
released a computer virus that did $100 million worth of damage & we are being urged by our banks to
switch to the internet. As this dependence increases we will become more & more vulnerable to terrorist
attack. & it is increasing at an exponential rate. To win this war the terrorists need do no more than wait.
It is essential that the circumstances which lead people to be prepared to kill themselves to kill others be
removed because even without their acts of suicidal terrorism we are on the point of blowing ourselves
up. The solution of ‘draining the swamp’ as one american leader suggested will not work. It would
involve total subjugation & humiliation of the muslim world & produce untold numbers of would-be
suicide murderers. The crews of the two aeroplanes that toppled the towers do not hold the distinction of
having knowingly murdered the largest number of innocent individuals in a single event. That distinction
is held by the crews of the aeroplanes that dropped the bombs on Hiroshima & Nagasaki.
23/10 /01 ( 22/10/01 – 2/11/01 (no 26)). Had a good nights sleep in contrast to the last
time. Got up finally after an hour or so of raucous bird calls (interspersed with a variety of more melodious
tinkling) made by the large numbers of corellas that roost here. Yesterday at sunset as I was sitting on a picnic
table reading Paul Austers The Invention of Solitude I was being covered by flying ants. The corellas (just
noticed that I havent brought my bird ID book so I cant give the scientific name) were going full bore then too.
Its 6.30 am. Here are a couple of quotes from the second part, The Book of Memory:
““Jeremiah: “Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But
the Lord said unto me, say not I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee,
and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak … then the Lord put forth his hand
and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy
mouth.”””
And
““The prophet. As in false: speaking oneself into the future, not by knowledge but
by intuition. The real prophet knows. The false prophet guesses. This was Jonah’s
greatest problem. If he spoke God’s message, telling the Ninevites they would be
destroyed in forty days for their wickedness, he was certain they would repent and thus
be spared. For he knew that God was “merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.”
“So the people of Ninevah believed God and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth,
from the greatest of them to the least of them.” And if the Ninevites were spared would
this not make Jonah’s prophesy false? Would he not, then, be a false prophet? Hence the
paradox at the heart of the book: the prophesy would remain true only if he did not
speak it. But then, of course, there would be no prophesy, and Jonah would no longer be
a prophet. But better to be no prophet at all than to be a false prophet. “Therefore now,
O lord, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live”.
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Therefore, Jonah held his tongue. Therefore, Jonah ran away from the presence of the
Lord and met the doom of shipwreck. That is to say, the shipwreck of the singular.””
(Here is my journal entry from last wednesday: Lunch with Frank Lovece. Then bought a couple of
books by Paul Auster (The Invention of Solditude, The Music of Chance) on his
recommendation. Met Susie Wall (23/10/01. former neighbour at 101 in Ivanhoe) as I was going into the shop.
Saw the ‘rice field’ event in the city square and said hullo to 2 of the participants who turned out to be people
who get my writing. Had a look at the exhibition in St. Pauls Cathedral. Had two beers in the Spiegeltent: what
a good feel place that is. Back in Miller st. met Helen (after a shower) for our usual love in. Tea with H at
Threshermans and then I rode and she drove back to Ivanhoe . A terrific day really.)
8.45 am. After breakfast continued reading The Invention of Solitude. Yes, Paul Auster is
grappling with the mystery or meaninglessness of what he calls “the nature of chance”. He is subject to the
same kind of unlikely occurrences that I have described (that me & Frank were discussing on wednesday for
hes had them too as have many others (including Warren Burt) and some say you should ignore them) and is
equally bemused. My writing project since the beginning of last year started out as a commentary on this very
experience and it continues to be one of its main preoccupations. I stopped reading with only a few pages to go
to the end of the book because it started raining a little & I thought Id find a town to read a newspaper. From the
picnic area I took the road along Misery Creek till it came out of the forest onto a minor sealed road along
which I headed north. Having passed a dirt road to the left by some hundreds of yards I turned around on a
whim & took it & only minutes later came out at a very beautiful, old, secluded cemetery off Dales Rd. called
Staffordshire Reef Cemetery. I know where I am because I stopped here last year on my trip with Paranoia. I
am somewhere not far south of Linton where I should be able to get the paper. There is a place near there called
Devils Cauldron where I also called in & thought it interesting but was too agitated (& on the run) to explore.
Now I will be able to have a better look. Could it be that the paths weve taken remain with us outside
awareness. Perhaps thats what we are – an index of them. Now Ill finish reading the book. I interrupt the
reading for another quote. Auster is quoting Leibniz:
““Since all is a plenum, all matter is connected and all movement in the plenum
produces some effect on the distant bodies in proportion to the distance. Hence every
body is affected not only by those with which it is in contact, and thus feels in some way
everything that happens to them; but through them it also feels those that touch the
ones with which it is in immediate contact. Hence it follows that this communication
extends over any distance whatever. Consequently, every body experiences everything
that goes on in the universe, so much so that he who sees everything might read in any
body what is happening anywhere, and even what has happened or will happen. He
would be able to observe in the present what is remote in both time and space … A soul,
however, can read in itself only what is directly represented in it; it is unable to unfold all
at once all its folds; for these go on into infinity.””
Completed The Book of Memory. A terrific read; good to compare notes. Thanks Frank, thanks Paul
Auster. Cant resist another quote by Auster, from Heraclitus :
““In searching out the truth be ready for the unexpected, for it is difficult to find
and puzzling when you find it.””
10.30 Im still at the cemetery, its raining & Im about to head off; probably to get the paper at Linton. …
At a crossroad at the corner of the cemetery I turned about & took the minor road. This must be the rule, I
thought, I have the habit of choosing the lesser road. But I wasnt recognizing the surroundings though they
were very attractive & I could see good spots to camp at or investigate. When I came to a bigger sealed road I
drove up it because I could see a church in the distance & thought it meant a town. But that was about all there
was. The church was not in use except by a white goose in the front yard. So I went back to a minor sealed road
continuing on from where I had come into the bigger one. It took me to where Im writing now – The Devils
Kitchen which I had incorrectly remembered as The Devils Cauldron. … 2.45. Im in the pub at Skipton, quite a
nice town that I havent seen before. Bought milk, a sausage roll, filled up with petrol, checked the message
bank (1 message left by Kate 12.00 yesterday saying to be happy & not worry about the kids), got the Age
which Ive just read (long piece by Edward Said & an excellent article by Dr Robert Wolfgramm of Monash
Uni, & even a pretty good one by Gorbachev). Outside its raining. There was a very agitated peregrine falcon in
Devils Kitchen & I could see its nest. Didnt go into Linton because I was seduced by roads with names like
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Happy Valley rd. & Dreaming Hills rd. All beautiful country of small hills, rich pastures & scrubby forests.
Drove past a sign saying Caution Collapsing Mine Shafts Under Road. You can go virtually cross country here
along very minor lanes. Didnt come out on the hightway till just east of Skipton which is on the way to
Hamilton along the Glenelg Highway. Oh yes, when I bought my first pot of beer at 1.40 I was the only person
in the place & it was the first beer pulled for the day. Im onto my third & last pot now & there are four people
behind the bar (criticising Kim Beazley). There was no one in the Little Hard Hills Hotel at Enfield either
yesterday evening when I bought the stubbies … 5pm. Stopped at Streatham Streamside Reserve for the night.
Had tea. Am about to start reading Austers The Music of Chance. This is a very nice little reserve in a
neglected, ordinary sort of way. The picnic tables are rotting out. The noise of the traffic nearby is not bothering
me & will probably stop later. The town which is surrounded by fields of canola has a store but what looks like
a pub appears to be closed. The river which is flowing well is bordered by red gums. I can hear a golden
whistler nearby & in the distance magpies & a butcher bird … Rang H from the booth outside the store. Dan
answered the phone. Hes spent the day boozing at Kierans place. Then talked to H: everything is fine; shes
taking Vi out to a film; its raining in Melbourne.
30/10 /01 . The americans, that means we seeing as we are unconditional allies, will never be
able to walk away from pakistan. Pakistan is not an ally. Its status is closer to that of an occupied country. Imran
Khan who has a serious political profile there & who belongs to one of the important families claims that the
pakistani government was threatened with being bombed back into primitivism if it didnt cooperate. If he is
correct & there is every reason to believe that he should know then the rest of the pakistanis probably also
know. The extremist element, a substantial minority before, are probably already enjoying majority support.
The intelligence service (which created the Taliban) is likely to be the most extremist element in the country &
is probably already doing its best to hide their nuclear bombs because they know we cannot afford to leave
them there. Should Geoffrey Blainey still be of the opinion that this is not a war I draw his attention to the $400
billion (aust.), the largest defence contract ever, for new aeroplanes just passed by the U.S. congress. What are
these planes for, america already rules the skies? They can only be for bombing ground targets. I suspect a new
age of colonialism is being anticipated, even more vicious than the last, in which death from the skies will be
rained on those who dont cooperate. Worlds End 9.15 (8.45 S.A. time) …. Wirrabara 1.05. Here is a scenario.
The side of enduring freedom will support the Northern Alliance because it represents the interests of a
minority tribe, is run by homicidal warlords & is hated through most of afghanistan. This will ensure that it can
govern only with massive support from outside i.e. us & the U.S. In return they will allow the U.S. military to
keep several bases close enough to the borders of pakistan that a rapid aerial response is possible to destroy
pakistans nuclear capability if need be. It would allow the U.S. to get out of the 3 bases it now is using in
pakistan & say it is not interfering in its internal affairs. But whatever turns out to be the case we have not even
a small influence on choice of alternatives because weve given our support unconditionally. It may be that we
should & aways would have supported the U.S. but why did we have to do it in a way that would totally
exclude us from influencing policies? Have any other countries given their support unconditionally? Its a huge
& gratuitous abandonment of sovereignty. What worries me even more than that John Howard did it (without
consulting parliament) but that our journalists & intellectuals are letting it pass virtually without comment. Are
the battles that were fought for freedom & democracy so far behind us that we no longer know the meaning of
the words? Dont people understand the dangers of an arbitrary assertion of executive power? That unless it is
restricted by constant use of democratic procedures & vigilance the executive arm always reaches for more
power? It seems that our much trumpeted individualism & spirit of independence was no more than a bit of
posturing. Afghanistan is big & we could also have bases in the south & west of it to contribute to the bombing
of iraq (a certainty I reckon) & if necessary iran. & that would only be the beginning. But long before then the
entire muslim world will be seething with hatred for us, including our immediate neighbour indonesia. I hope I
am wrong!… (18/1/08. ← Port Germein (no 58).) Port Germein (3.00). Finally got through to H at work.
Rang her from Burra. Neither Ben nor Dan had bothered telling her that I had rung yesterday & the day before
though I asked them to. Shes fine. Went out with Kate last night who is applying for a job in east timor though
she has already applied to enrol for a dip. ed. course. Rang my mum who didnt sound as bad as Egle had made
out. At Wirrabara I paid $14 for 2 pies, a jug of plunger coffee, & a fruit juice. I think they are getting too pricy.
Down here by the foreshore (picnic table under shelter on the esplanade) its like it always is: the peace is
overpowering. A jittery person couldnt exist in a place like this. In the bright air & still conditions the gulls are
sounding particularly shrill.
(29/8/07. Completion of Tuesdays from folder 2. (nos.17 – 26 of anthology))
12/2 /02 ( 7/2/02 – 22/2/02 (no 28)). At last was able to get into normal mode. Left
Mystery Bay at 9.00 for a walk north along the coast. Its very pretty but then it all is around here. Mostly I was
36
within the Eurobodalla Nat. Park. In the forest backing the beach there is a variety of waters: frog holes,
swamps, lakes. At the first patch of water I came to just as I was thinking it was a likely spot for a snake a huge
black one spotted me & coiled down into a hole that took it under a derelict concrete water tank. The next snake
I disturbed was dozing on the track over the low dune to the beach. It was about a foot long, a browny slatey
colour, except for the head which was almost charcoal. The two colours were separated by a precise ring the
colour of sand. Some of the ponds had large congregations of frogs of a variety that sound like engines being
revved. For the scientifically minded the rise & fall in the volume of sound from such gatherings is caused by a
sine wave effect, the same effect that causes an occasional larger wave in a sea that is otherwise fairly even. At
one of these there was another black snake, 3 to 4 feet long on a spongy green carpet of tiny violets enjoying
the sun. It wasnt at all disturbed by me wading about nearby. Ive probably seen hundreds of snakes (30/8/07.
but th1
st
¤ snaks m8n woz ths y·nrolv grov n·ASSISI ntalia ( Wednesday 16/5/07 (no
69))) & can assure Carl Jung that I have not inherited a primeval fear of them or of spiders. I try to be sensibly
cautious. They dont seem to fear me much either. Once as I was putting away the binoculars I saw a tiger snake
eying my bare ankle from about 6 inches away. Ive stepped into the coils of a giant king brown & all it did was
move aside a bit. (In pubs in the inland grown men have been known to argue about whether a particular snake
is a king brown or a mulga. Relax fellas, theyre the same snake but I cant give you the latin name coz I havent
got my book with me). A lady at a tourist resort, who maybe was annoyed that someone who didnt quite look
like a dinky-di aussie was presumptuous enough to talk knowledgably about snakes said to me once,
accusingly, that in a lifetime of bushwalking all over australia she had never seen one. How is one to understand
that? I think I know – someone was lying. Every headland I came to can be accessed by a 4x4 track but I met
no one. There were no footprints on the beach. I turned around at the Handkerchief Beach picnic area. That
was at 2.00 but it took me only 1½ hours to get back walking straight along the beach on a low tide. Ive driven
over to it because its pretty here. There is a stream of translucent water with some deep spots in it flowing
strongly into the sea. It drains Nangudga Lake. There is a caravan park a k. away but it should be quiet as the
road that brings you here from the highway is unmarked. Its the spot for me. The sign says no camping. When I
arrived there was an elderly couple wading in the river trying to net poddy mullet & a young couple in the sand
at the waters edge. He was dressed in jeans, elastic sided boots & a cowboy hat & she was lying beside him
starkers. He was playing a guitar & trying to sing snatches of a song. Sometimes shed lean over to turn a page
of sheet music for him. I get that sort of thing all the time. Its my kind of country. In fact it is my country. There
is a sign saying that dogs are allowed on the beach. A couple with a little girl came in with 2 grown dogs & five
pups. One of the grown dogs was the mother. I got to pat the pups. (Consolation prize for not having been
allowed to tickle the pussy? - helenz) Ive got a great spot to park the van now that the musical couple are
gone. Its out of sight in a stand of casuarinas just near the rivers edge.
19/2 /02. People have an easy notion of themselves as separate individuals. Some imagine they
are unique, or isolated like islands. Yet as we look at ourselves in a mirror, making slight rearrangements to our
clothing, turning our head a bit for a profile, patting down a stray hair, every change we make is an adjustment
to the way others might perceive us. & we have no way of knowing how they perceive us except by having
learnt it from them: from what they have said; from their glances; from their body language, the way they have
wanted to be near us or moved to another seat. It is interesting that we are the only animals that use mirrors.
When a bird sees a reflection of itself it attacks it as a rival. When we see our reflection we are viewing it with
the eyes of others. In the privacy of our bathroom we are not alone. Because we are accustomed to the
inside/outside metaphor it is tempting to believe that we are alone at least in our thoughts as if they were
hidden in the back half of our head. But every thought & every single word with which we do it has been first
put there by our culture, taught to us in constant practice by the same people we try to impress as we view
ourselves in the mirror. Our consciences, arenas for heroic moral struggles with which we like to credit
ourselves (for what could be more personal?) are an inventory of all the things we have been taught are right &
wrong by word & by look by our parents & various agencies that have sought to influence them with their
moral authority. Much of it takes place when we are quite young: there are many books weve forgotten weve
read. Perhaps the most important have been the examples set by people weve loved & admired. None of the
influences are lost because they are traced into our bodies (our organs, muscles, nerve endings, brain tissue) as
its living memory. That is what memory is. The bodies they are traced in are a memory of the species. Those
weve loved always remain with us but so does everyone else.
… From about 11.30 to 4.00 I spent checking out where the tracks went. First I said goodbye to the two
surfboard riders who had come in after dark yesterday while I was trying to find my way back in the maze of
tracks on Jamison Point. They had invited me to share a meal with them but I had eaten earlier. They were on
their way home from Tassie to Woollongong. I was mightily surprised to find them with their tent pitched about
37
5 yards from where I am. This is a terrific spot now that I am used to it but not as good as the one on the other
side of the point on Lake Tarourga. A couple have been camped there for a month. There are many private spots
there & they suggested I come over but Ill keep it for another time, when its empty. A kilometre further there
used to be a large koori camp but only one permanent dwelling (caravan etc.) remains discreetly hidden at the
end of a few hundred yards of bush track. I nearly blundered into it & am glad I didnt as there are dogs on the
place which the couple say theyve been hearing at night hunting kangaroos of which there are scores. Their
browsing keeps the grass on the point under control. Found a huge mud crab claw which I left with the couple
(theyre from Pascoe Vale). Walked up the track that goes past Lake Brou to the beach up to where I had parked
me car a few days back. There is a horse track that intersects with it & I followed it past another small lake to
the southern shore of Lake Brou. On firm ground like here horse tracks are great to walk on. This one probably
goes all the way around Lake Brou as there is a horse place in Bodalla which advertises adventure hikes. The
track probably starts & ends there. The car clock says its 5.00 pm. Im spending another night here.
I find it gratifying that my slightest tremors, the shaking in my hands, my agitations & indecisions are
ripples of competing claims of warring factions in society. I am an intersection of many such ripples, eddies &
rivers, as is everyone else. It means that when I have to decide where my allegiance lies between contending
claims of good & evil all I have to do is look. Its so easy a child can do it. I try to be aware of the discourses
that find expression through me but I also know that the more fundamental they are the less I am capable of
bringing them into view or language – because I am formed of them. It pleases me that I do not require a
special education devised by Plato that would send me searching for answers in a celestial hyper-space.
…8.45. I am writing this addendum by the aid of my head lamp sitting naked in the van. If there are any
ladies among my readers look the other way as you read on. I got back to the van late because I noticed there
was a public phone here in Potato Point & finally managed to get through to H for a long conversation which
exhausted the chip card & all my small change. Everything is OK except she is buggered from looking for
nursing homes to add to the list. Most of them are lousy. Even this time I had trouble getting through coz Dan
was on the net at first. Back in the car I lay back starkers, coz its warm & humid, & felt what I straight away
knew was a tick in me crutch (mea maxima culpa). That was the penalty for walking along the horse trail.
(3/3/02. a penance in advance it seems – helenz). Despite poor eyesight (x3 (30/8/07. now x 3½ (& x 1 4
dstns eg. 4 B))) & gnawed down fingernails I was able to pull it out with a sigh of relief that it wasnt in a
more inconvenient spot, most of which I then checked out. However as I lay down again, hugging myself for
company, I felt another one a bit under & to the back of the left armpit. He was more tenacious & difficult to
detach as I couldnt get a proper sight of him & wasnt going to get out to use the side mirror in case I copped
more as the front of the van is nosed into bushes. Im getting back into bed now & hope I dont have to add to
tonights entry (just as the head lamp is losing power). Ive thrown the two critters into the bushes out the side
door that Ill be getting out of in the morning so theyll be waiting for me.
16/4 /02 ( 15/4/02 – 26/4/02 (no 29) (18/1/08. & nsrt(s) * ← DANYO RESERVE (no
53).)). 7.50 am. I would like to leave these issues behind & do some substantial walking when I get to the
Eyre Peninsula. Thats why Im writing about them now. Last year after I finished the entries for the story
13/8/01 – 25/8/01 where the last entry was written at a beach a bit east of Cactus Beach (I had mistakenly
called it Cactus Beach) on the western side of the peninsula I continued on for another 3 or 4 days driving along
the coast south to Port Lincoln then north to Port Augusta. Its a great coast, particularly the western side & Im
itching to get to know it better. Its an example of desert meeting ocean, the exact opposite to the tourist mecca
in north Queensland, Cape Tribulation, that some of my readers may know, where jungle comes down to beach.
Continuing on from where I left off yesterday: it may be that Hs efforts contribute to Vis will to live &
encourage her to accept medical procedures that prolong it. Then Vi makes H miserable by complaining what a
lousy life shes got. The increase of one is the diminishing of the other. No one can give themselves credits for
choosing a win-win outcome as any sensible person would do that. But if you choose to increase yourself
perhaps you should do it accepting the responsibility of decreasing another & if you decide to help someone
else only accept credit for the choice if it has decreased you. Another thing that has been bothering me is a
traditional hasidic legend/story that was told to me by Alec Drummond at the Make It Up Club *(2/2/05. woz
thr gain ystrdy. FRtYoEmR woz playn guitr.) a couple of weeks ago. “There are always 12 Tzadikim
(Righteous People) on earth – only 12. They maintain creation through their
righteousness. If ever there’s less than 12, creation will end.” Thats how Alec told it & he wrote
it down too. It bothers me because I smell a con. Linguistic considerations alone make me suspicious. Why 12?
The thing about numbers is that we have practiced the actions they represent. Numbers constitute exact
synchronisations by people across cultures since the most ancient times, since the beginning of money
economies in fact. Further refinements have led to mathematics which is a major component of modern
38
scientific technology. So it is legitimate to ask why not 13 or 11 or 7 or 3 (30/8/07. r10 ( Monday
4/7/05)) Tzadikim? (28/4/02. The same consideration applies to the 144000, or whatever it is, that the jehovas
witnesses claim is the number that will be saved). However we havent practiced at recognising righteousness
nearly as much. What is practiced as good in one culture can be seen to be very, very bad in another (worth
reading Alfonso Lingis on the sexual practices of the Sambia tribe in new guinea on this). And we havent
practiced at all at recognising a “Tzadikim” since if there are only 12 we are not going to have met one. There
are different orders of language side by side here & I suspect that what is vague or meaningless is meant to gain
credibility by being placed next to what is exact. Its a standard trick. & since we cannot know the Tzadikim
ourselves I bet our knowledge of them comes from middlemen wearing long beards (to denote seniority, access
to antiquity, & that they are male) & outlandish clothes (maybe all black, or purple vestments, or capes (but in
india they sometimes wear nappies to show how emaciated their bodies are from ascetic & yogic practices) &
strange head gear. Every conman knows that the outfit is 90% of the act. Yet I see humble depressed looking
women wheeling their mothers about in supermarkets or with a retarded son in tow (& I think this guy is in his
50s & his mother is in her 70s & they live in a housing commission flat & shes had him in tow all her adult life
& hes whining & carrying on & not at all grateful) dressed drably & with no claims to any kind of special
knowledge & no one to listen to their story. Perhaps creation depends on the existence of very many such
women in our suburbs rather than the very few possessors of special righteousness. In spite of my suspicions &
having cast doubts on the role of cosmic brokers I have to admit that I take up the offer of the great teacher,
jesus of nazareth, that if we ask in his name he will intercede on our behalf. I have asked & I hold him to his
promise – otherwise what he said isnt true. Alec wrote down another story that I find acceptable. ““An
unlearned Jew wanted to pray but didn’t know the prayers. So he recited the Hebrew
alphabet & said “Hashem (“Lord”) you put the letters in the right order.”” This is a bit like
the palestinian whose ancestral home is being bulldozed & as he walks away he gestures at the sky & calls out
“Allah Akbar”. Time for the road: it will be interesting to see if I can start the car …. 3.35. I always get to this
spot at Worlds End after drinking 3 stubbies that I buy at Morgan (2 Southwark Bitter & 1 Coopers Stout). The
first rise I go over on the Morgan-Burra road that gives a view of the Lofty Ranges in the distance gives me a
huge lift. I turn left off the road into an easy to miss lane about 18ks this side of Burra. I am being accurate for
the benefit of Lance Morton who knows the area & gave H a $65 cut on a pair of Naot brand shoes that are the
most comfortable shes worn. This spot is not to be confused with the Burra gorge spot which is off the Eudunda
road closer to Burra. The lane is about 2 ks long & its completely private here except for the one night the
kangaroo shooters were working when I was here with Saulius Varnas. (there are a lot of flies today but). At
Morgan I got into an argument with some blokes in the pub who were complaining about the water rights
agreement just signed between SA, Vic & NSW. They were ropeable & just loved getting stuck into me as they
picked me for a Victorian straight away. I wasnt sure how tongue-in-cheek they were. Then I had trouble
starting the van to leave. Im in shorts on a beautiful arvo. I expect its more likely to be too hot than too cold in
the coming weeks. I am driving the van on its last trip. When I get back Im getting a new one. Everyone says it
should be a 4x4 (20/5/02. But today I bought a short wheel base Toyota Hiace tradesmans van for $30000 with
the trade-in). My next major disagreement with H will be when I try to talk her into going away on a holiday
with me. We are very experienced at them & do them well. They have been a central activity on which weve
hung our togetherness. I would like to go away to distant parts of the country for months at a time in winter. A 4
or 5 week trip would also give us some scope to explore new places & if I were in her situation Id think it was a
reasonable compromise (30/8/07. wr → NEov NSW nthvan n3weks . Viz ° now & Hz rt¤rd). But at the
very least we should see our way clear to go away for 2 weeks at a time. Vi must take some responsibility for
the choice she makes to accept blood transfusions. If we do not accept responsibility for our choices we devalue
our capacity to make them. For mine, the capacity to choose is integral to my dignity (a christian sect has a
similar attitude to blood transfusions as I do; perhaps they are the jehovas witnesses; must find out their
reasons). I understand that when blood supply decreases the diminished oxygen level in the brain may cloud
judgement. There is a program in every cell that wants it to survive at any cost. Cells survive & multiply in a
culture in a test tube if given the chance. I am trying to clarify my attitudes while possessed of a clear mind in
the hope that the blind programming of the cells doesnt override my judgement in such a circumstance. Also I
think we should not overestimate our responsibility for others. We are very small. If we take on tasks which are
too large we may become so engrossed in our failure to achieve them that we become incapable of the small
things more suited to our abilities. Some may attempt large tasks because they take themselves too seriously. If
there is a god let him have his way.
a tombstone on a cliff
says
39
here lies a man
crushed by a wave
a cairn in the desert
says
this man
was betrayed by the sun
in a cemetery
in a suburb there is
a large tombstone
with the words:
here lies the body
of a dearly departed and
distinguished citizen
deeply mourned by his
loving wife, children
and grieving relatives
may his soul
rest in peace
23/4 /02.
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
*
I made my move at 3 am. The mouse had been active from the moment I got into bed. I dozed fitfully
listening to his antics. After I jerked him off the sleeping bag he subjected me to an example of berserk
behaviour running frenetically up & down & round about with scrabbling feet for minutes. It sounded as if he
was climbing up the sides & tearing about on the ceiling but that must have been an illusion. On one occasion I
thought I heard him down the back at the same time as I heard a noise beside me. Were there two of them? I
ignored various gnawing noises as all the food items were out of reach but they did worry me because though it
seemed unlikely I wondered if it was possible for him to gnaw through one of my 2 water containers.
Eventually he settled down to making steady rustling noises in what had to be the rubbish bag. There was an
empty sardine can in there, a squashed milk carton & a few greasy items that would have whetted his appetite
but provided little of substance. I like my own company & the various experiences I have when Im in half sleep
& finally decided Id had enough of him. So I put on my head torch stealthily & peered over the back seat into
the plastic boxes where my gear is. The rubbish bag was conveniently in the top open container & I could hear
rustling inside. With a quick snatch I clasped the top shut. I felt it jump inside. To make sure I had him I held
the bag up to see if there were any holes gnawed in the bottom. There werent. So I leant out of the sliding door
which I had left open hoping hed leave of his own accord & dropped him still in the bag a couple of yards away
from the van. I shut the sliding door so he couldnt hop back in & was pleased to hear the occasional rustle
through the window. It felt good to settle down into a silent car & I realized with relief how much of my
attention had been taken up by him. Some time later it seemed to me I heard a rustling inside. Then more. Then
there was the characteristic scrabble of tiny running feet. It was either another mouse as there may have been
two in the first place or it had found its way back in (along the steering column? through one of the rust holes?).
40
This morning I carefully emptied out the contents of the rubbish bag for inspection before returning them &
putting it back in the car. As I was having breakfast I heard the bag rustle, then again. & then for the first time I
saw him properly, noseing about at the base outside the bag trying to get in. He darted back under the seat but
then came out a few more times. He must be getting hungry & thirsty. Hed have a better chance outside but if I
tried to grab him hed be too quick for me.
*
Im at a spot on Baird Bay about 15 ks along the coast northwards from the village. At Baird Bay I tried
the public phone again but it wasnt working. I wasnt going to ask the rich guy to use his as I had a hunch he
wouldnt have liked me to though I would have offered to pay. There are no shops or other facilities there except
a small caravan park with newly built toilets for travellers. About a kilometre north of where I am there is a
family camped so Ive come back to here so as not to crowd them. Their kids go out at night to shoot rabbits for
the dogs. There are a couple of boats moored nearby that belong to professional fishermen. They are greeks &
have gone back to Adelaide for the greek easter. Ive stopped because I want to pass a couple of comments on
things Ive written. I realize that a reader might easily get the impression that Ive got it in for religious
hierarchies & other mediators, particularly theologians, for what they claim to be gods word or as in the case of
Karen Armstrong of her interpretation of the meaning of the language of the ‘mystics’. But Im not criticizing
their existence. If there is one thing that I know it is that we are a single creature & it may be that the various
hierarchical structures including financial, aristocratic, institutional, the bureaucracies, government etc. are its
skeleton. I do not want to live in a chaotic society. What I am doing in the case of the religious is clarifying
their role as middlemen so as to hold them accountable for what they say & to the interests that they are
supposed to serve. The decision by the christians to have a church government made up of celibate men is a
historic one. The mystics are remarkable for how little they had to say on sex (including muhammad who had
many wives) but the celibate men have said heaps. In the case of christians its almost as if it became their
central preoccupation. It is worth asking how it happened & what purpose it serves. Karen Armstrongs views of
the nature & place of the language of the mystics is hostage to her understanding of distinctions such as
inside/outside, mythos/logos, metaphysical/literal all of which she uses to reinforce each other. The greatest
thinkers of the age are finding those distinctions unsatisfactory. Foucault wracks his brains wondering what it is
that we do when we use a metaphor (the way to analyse the divisions is to ask what uses they serve; who
benefit from us accepting the distinctions) while Karen blithely jumps in as if its obvious. None of the great
mystics would agree that they were merely telling imaginative stories that would make it easier for people to
make sense of their lives in hard times. The notion is ridiculous. People didnt throw away everything they had
to follow them around because they told a good yarn. The buddha & his monks didnt spend their lives traipsing
from city to city, muhammad go to war, & the nazarene get crucified in the belief that what they said were
figments of their imaginations. Karens answer is that they understood the mysterious power of the imaginative
world which after all is responsible even for science (& it is at this point that the contradiction in her position is
patent). Bull! When I say that we are a single creature (I gave explanations in 13/2/01 – 26/2/01 though its
obvious) I make no distinction between the world of the imagination & the practical world of political events
or between metaphysical & literal – the consequences are the same in all of them.
*
Im behind the dune of a very beautiful beach a bit north of Point Labatt. There is a colony of australian
sea lions that you can view from the top of the cliff at the point. Normally Im not much for tourist spots but I
was impressed. I counted over 100 of them through the binoculars lying about like maggots spread out sparsely
over a large area of red rock. Apparently its the largest aussie mainland colony of them & they are very
endangered as are other sea lion species around the world. These are the seals where the males grow to a huge
size & can weigh up to 400 kilos. You have to go round Baird Bay to the western side of it to get here. It is
australias only endemic seal. For a distance of some 13 ks the land on the peninsula is about to be sold off in
250+ acre lots so access points to great beaches like this one will be closed off. Apparently issues of public
indemnity prevent land owners allowing access I was told by some people who were fishing. Its 6.00 & there is
no one here now. There is a change on the way which I hope doesnt bring much rain as Im itching to do a walk
north along the beaches & south along the rim of the cliff from Point Labatt towards Cape Radstock. There are
thunderstorms about. Tonight Ill be setting my rubbish bag trap again. The mouse must be getting very hungry
& thirsty. Id like to turf him out to give him a chance. A guy with teeth like hes got should survive almost
anywhere.
*
41
there was
a man in the suburbs
who prayed that he be
a sailor
and his mind became
an ocean
shimmering fishes were
its cells
then he knew that life was
governed
by the surging of the waves
12/8 /02 ( 11/8/02 – 21/8/02 (no 30) (18/1/08. *…* ← DANYO RESERVE (no 53).)). *I
am retracing a very regular path. The willie wagtail I am listening to is probably the same bird that was
chirrupping the last time I was sitting here writing on a tuesday morning warmed by an early sun. There is
plenty of condensation in the van as I didnt raise the pop-up because it was so cold. I notice you can get
condensation on the aluminium frames of the beds. The bed felt just as roomy & comfortable as a standard one
at home. That was the idea when I designed the interior: to first make sure I was capable of a good nights rest
(& H too when she is here). I consider it to be the single most important component in the preservation of my
equilibrium. The standard campervan you see on the road (often being driven by an old codger like me) is an
attempt to imitate a little room: carpets, sink, fridge, stove, microwave etc. etc. They are wired up for 240 volts
so that you can run the appliances by plugging into mains power in caravan parks (they also usually have a
second battery). The beds in them are too narrow or too awkward to get in & out of. The room doesnt work as
well as the one at home & in the caravan parks you are more crowded by neighbours than in the suburb you left
behind. The appliances & the cupboards weigh a ton & make the vans very sluggish & the owners reluctant to
take them into difficult terrain for fear of damaging expensive equipment. Ive never been in a caravan park even
when I travelled with five kids. My gear is stored in compatible plastic boxes which are light & can be left
behind if not needed. They fit snugly under the beds. Unlike the campervans which carry water in large marine
tanks cut into the side panelling of the van mine is in plastic containers of which I take only as many as I need. I
have a good spot for a jerry can of petrol which would extend my range by 180ks. On the bed I have a swag
with an extra mattress inside it & I lay a sleeping bag on top of it. If I want to I can roll the lot up & put it
outside to sleep under the stars. I toyed with the idea of getting a 4x4 but reading in the paper last week that one
car in three bought new in Melbourne is a 4x4 convinces me that Ive made the right decision. ….* Its 12.35 in
Loxton S.A. in the very peaceful park that runs along the river Murray starting from the end of the main street
where I stopped to buy buns, one of which Ive just eaten (with prosciutto, tomato & onion). A few more things
about the van. The pop-up roof is made of fibre glass & adds about 8 cms to the height which means I have to
be careful as in the Nissan I have been in the habit of squeezing in under a branch or pushing through
vegetation. I dont think it would take much to puncture it. A favourite spot under an overhanging branch of the
only shade tree by Lake Gairdner is no longer (22/8/02 Lake Gairdner. Managed to squeeze under but have no
room to lift the pop-up.) available to me. On the other hand you can drop the section between the two front seats
forward & there is a compartment there in which you can exactly lay 9 cassettes side by side in a single layer or
18 in two. I think this gadget was made with australian conditions in mind as the top of the container has two
stubby holders indented into it.
For though Up and Down I could with Rule and Line,
And Is and Is Not without I could define,
I yet in all I only cared to know,
Was never deep in anything but – Beer.
Omar Khayyam
Ive tested them: a stubby in a standard rubber holder fits in precisely so its firmly held in place. Not
particularly useful to me as Im in the habit of holding one between me legs & drinking it quickly. The ashtray is
good for coins, not one of those deep narrow jobs you cant get your fingers into properly. It was pointed out to
me a few days ago that the radiator is in an exposed position where it could get punctured by sharp twigs that
42
scrape along the bottom of the car when I drive on tracks which have bushes growing down the centre strip.
When I get back to Melbourne Ill have to get Boss Aluminium to fix a bit of a guard in front of it. Incidentally,
the VW 4x4 van which I considered first has a huge muffler strategically under the middle of the floor just
where it could get knocked off on a rock. It also has an 80 litre petrol tank in a very exposed position. Their new
vans are not as high off the ground as the old ones were. I think they are designed with icy conditions in mind
rather than for rough road situations (but I suppose theyd be OK on sand). An indication of how wrapped I am
in this vehicle is that I know its rego number already; Ive not learnt it with any car Ive owned before. …. 4.40
(Melbourne time) at Worlds End (there is a Worlds End in London too. The now deserted locality near here that
is called by that name was peopled by miners from england. Worlds End Station took on the name so that it
wouldnt disappear from the area). I bought 3 stubbies at Morgan & filled up with petrol. It looks as if Ive been
getting 9ks/litre since Murrayville. A few ks out of Morgan on the Burra road a policeman waved kindly at me
as I passed doing only 90ks/hour on a speed track. He was hiding behind a bush with a radar gun & never saw
the stubby I was holding between me thighs. Signs are proliferating: there are two just before you get to my
turnoff: one is for accomodation units in Burra 20ks along & the other says: “Your Dog Licence is Due Now”.
*
I notice a ‘coincidence’ of the kind I like to comment on. One of the 9 cassettes Ive taken is Kurt
Weills The Seven Deadly Sins (Ive also taken the Three Penny Opera which I much prefer). (A car
has just driven by! Thats never happened here before. Its probably the local landowner checking that I wasnt
rustling sheep. He drove to the gate at the end of the track a couple of hundred yards away & came straight back
past me without stopping although I was standing by the side. (23/8/02 Lake Gairdner. Or it was an impatient
courting couple from Burra. Or someone wanting to shoot up.) He had probably spotted my tyre-marks off the
highway). Among the jottings Ive collected over the last couple of weeks & have also taken with me in case I
want to use them in the writing I have a picture of a person drawn by Frank Lovece (with whom I had lunch at
Stalactytes last week where he confided that the eyes of the waitress who was serving us (lamb souvlaki washed
down with imiglikos) reminded him of the eyes of someone (I forget who) in a particular painting by Leonardo
da Vinci) on which he has arranged the seven mortal sins in order from feet to head according to where they
belong in the body. The arrangement was his invention to help him memorize them (30/8/07. ¤ snt ♂m r÷d
← SAN GIMIGNANO vr @ov inferno x Taddeo de Bartolo ← thduomo ( Wednesday
23/5/07)). At the feet he has sloth, lust is at the crutch, gluttony in the belly, anger at the level of the heart (H
says it belongs in the spleen). He has tentatively placed avarice near the neck between anger & envy which he
has next to the eyes (but H reckons it belongs below anger near gluttony because you want to accumulate &
digest more than you are able to), & he has put pride right at the top of the brain (the diagram shows a sort of
pudding shape that might represent the frontal lobes). When I hurriedly picked out the cassettes on sunday night
I had no thought of Franks schematic depiction & I dont even like the piece of music. (Perhaps the process that
took place just before I reached for it was similar to what happens just before a thought (which in my case
usually consists of me talking without moving my lips) or it might even be the same thing. The knowledge of
the though comes when you are talking, or writing, or drawing or have chosen.) What amazed me about Franks
schema is that it can be no fluke that the arrangement comes so naturally. (23/8/02 Lake Gairdner. By an
equivalent move some place thought (or in the case of many scientists even life itself) in the head.) Whatever
the reasons given by churchmen to explain their deadly effects the hidden agenda of the 7 is that they are
designed to cover the entire body. You couldnt wiggle your toe in bed (let alone anything else) or have a stray
thought without being constantly reminded of them & their prohibitions. It was like them hopping right into bed
with you (from their perspective vicariously). I dont suppose anyone pays much attention to the 7 now but I was
taught them in school plus a whole host of littler ones which were called venial for which you only went to
purgatory (where you fried for hundreds or thousands of years) instead of hell (where you were incinerated for
all eternity (16/11/07. Monday 1/10/07)). (Ive just realized that the car that drove by must have been
alerted to me from the highway by the brightness of the fluorescent light Im writing under. Hmmm.) Its 8.05 &
time for bed. Goodnight.
19/8 /02. In an essay titled On Moderation Montaigne cites the example of the feasts of
the persian aristocracy whose wives once the wine had begun to flow would leave to send in the palace girls so
that they would not be subject to the exuberance of their husbands libidos released by wine (2/9/02. Or their
bad breaths and furry tongues – helenz). He also cites (among other similar examples) the devoted wife of a
french nobleman (or king?) who provided him with her prettiest maid when she was unavailable. Taking my cue
from him I am passing a few comments on sex though I do it with reluctance since it is not central to my
interests. I feel the necessity to do so because a huge amount of commentary on it is in circulation much of it
43
evading critical appraisal by being implicit in social practice, advertising codes, clothing fashion etc. There are
many authorities too who claim expert knowledge of current & traditional practices, of natural laws or in some
cases of gods preferences. (24/8/02 Lake Gairdner. & it is a fierce & acrimonious debate for he who gains
ownership of sex owns a lot. I put my money on the state. The question is who owns the state?) If uncommitted
people like me do not express their observations then the marketplace in these opinions is cornered by others. I
qualify my brief comments with the admission that apart from having read Foucault & the chance observations
by people such as Montaigne I am totally uneducated by the vast literature specific to the area. Even articles in
newspapers & magazines fail to hold my attention. Increasingly explicit sex scenes in movies make me squirm
with discomfort. I dont know how to account for it unless it has something to do with the way they portray it. It
has almost nothing to do with my experience & I wonder if the directors know what theyre on about or are
simply repeating what earlier directors have done but more graphically.(2/9/02. I suppose that like any art genre
movies are mainly a system of self-reference.) So I offer these comments out of genuine ignorance relying
solely on experience. I hope that people who know better subject my observations to the same rigorous
standards of scrutiny as they subject their own. Montaigne advises moderation in sexual behaviour without
indicating why though he probably (I cant remember) quotes the ancients in support. Classical greek thinkers
also preached moderation as they did in all areas (except courage). It is not obvious to me that this is anything
other than the natural tyranny of the norm over the extremes. Normality always rules & it can do without my
support. My experience is that hours spent daily in sexual activity is not too much. For an insomniac it is
conducive to good sleep without recourse to sleeping pills. For certain people who are inclined to get possessed
by repetitive ideas which go round & round finding no solution until they lay down deep grooves that interfere
with good living it may be that prolonged sex erases the grooves allowing fresh starts. There are zones of
pleasure that are only reached with prolonged activity, then other still more unexpected zones. I am not aware of
an end to the progression & am of the impression that most people dont know of its existence though in india
there are probably whole sects devoted to its investigation. Above all I cant think of a better way of being close
to & sharing with a partner. I have never lived alone having gone straight from the home I grew up in to the
home I shared so I am unable to imagine & I think for me it would be awful, the situation of people who live
alone. I think its a malicious (& at the least inconsiderate) imposition on them by the legacy of the churchmen
that some of them may feel guilty about exploring the full extent of the consolation that the pleasure derived
from their own bodies can offer them. Making prohibitions in this area is like hitting people when theyre down
& when they are not affecting anyone else. The guilt some of them feel is a source of power for prelates & is an
added burden to the insensitive derision, prevalent in society at large. It probably no longer happens but when I
was a kid at a catholic school children were taught that it was sinful to masturbate (23/8/02 Lake Gairdner. I
recommend it not only in class rooms but lecture theatres & especially during sermons; also in staff & board
meetings, to just pass the time, in front of the telly, in bank queues, on international flights ….add more to the
list according to preference ……….) Because a lot did anyway it conditioned them to associate pleasure with
secrecy which may or may not be a bad thing but more significantly I think it is possible that some who were
more religious than others ran the risk of being conditioned to associate pleasure with the performance of an
evil act. Such an association has the potential to lead to unacceptable behaviour in susceptible individuals. We
should examine the extent to which church teachings (inherited from different cultures in bygone eras when the
earth was underpopulated & where the survival of tribes hung by a thread because of constant warfare so that
the spilling of seed could be seen to be an unforgiveable waste)(2/9/02. As if wanking is a solely male
prerogative – what about us girls? Those repressed priests must have had a good reason to justify
abstinence by the ladies – perhaps the idea of a woman having pleasure without a man was too much to
bear – helenz.) have contributed to the connection between pleasure & infliction of pain that some (if one is to
believe the movies) people appear to experience. Another matter. In my lifetime there has been a revolution in
the amount of sexual intimacy that is acceptable for display between couples in public (& also in advertising,
billboards etc.) That means that many who are deprived of partners cannot avoid being constantly reminded of
what others take for granted. There may be more of these people than we realize. Besides those whose
opportunities have been limited by modesty & natural shyness there are those who are physically incapacitated,
who are emotional outcasts, who are not attractive in a fashion conscious society, whove just been unlucky, who
have lost partners in old age & no longer have the confidence to search for new ones, and many others. It seems
to me a cruel world that it finds it easy to rub salt into their wounds. I say this even though as a youth I & a
partner were berated in front of onlookers by a severe, eagle-eyed matron for having overstepped the bounds of
decency in public. I no longer think she was wrong to do it though I wouldnt. (But the old lady who used to spot
people with binoculars having a leak over the side of the boat moored hundreds of yards off shore when I was in
the Hobsons Bay Yacht Club & ring the police who felt obligated, though they hated it, to come out in response
to the complaint is a different matter.) I disapprove of public displays of too much physical intimacy for exactly
44
the same reasons I disapprove of the display of wealth. I do not want to live in a society which is insensitive to
the interests of the needy & those with burdens; but I think were heading that way. (2/9/02. Just as well you go
out to the desert to do all that wanking coz no one but the wombats & camels can see you at it & feel
deprived – helenz). (3/9/02. What I have to cop for the free typing! Youre jumping to conclusions, honey.)
*
As the world gets overpopulated & even if it doesnt as individuals in wealthy countries find it necessary
to make increasing & unsustainable demands on its resources I can conceive of a society where same sex
couples are seen to be morally superior to mixed ones, especially those that have more than 1.8 children. It may
be happening already & none too soon. Churchmen should have no trouble finding suitable quotes from the
great ‘mystics’ to lend authority to a new status quo – they never have in the past other than moving too slowly.
*
The linkage of pleasure to evil (or even just to bad) is a truly remarkable phenomenon & needs to be
carefully investigated because it runs counter to the most basic indicators in the biological kingdom where pain
warns of malfunction & pleasure denotes activities that are healthy for the organism. We ignore the foundational
blocks on which we are built at our peril. There is no evidence of such a contrary linkage in the entire animal
kingdom. For that reason the verbal mechanisms by which it is underpinned should be carefully examined.
What is the intent of the linkage? It is worth pointing out that the main commodity the clergy have to trade with
is: The Good. It is certain that the notion of Good cannot exist (not even the word) without its opposite Evil for
it depends on it for definition. In this way the clergy have a vested interest in it. Without it they lose their
influence. It is to disguise the conflict of interests that they had to invent the devil.
It is inconceivable to me that anyone can get pleasure from doing something that they believe is evil & I
have never met a person in whom I have suspected such a capacity. But if such people exist, & I doubt it, it is
linkages that run counter to basic biology that should come under scrutiny. I also recognize that there is a
possibility that the capacity to forgo our selfish pleasures for the greater good might be at the core of our
humanity: responsible for our creativity & our noble capacity for self sacrifice. It can be argued that children &
isolated people should be trained for these propensities by forgoing (or feeling guilty about) the pleasures of
masturbation, but I dont. If our civilization destroys itself (or life on earth) the argument will sound laughable.
The jury is out. (I hope that I havent upset the refined sensibilities of several ladies & a couple of old gents that
read my stuff: Im following the precedent set by the Cynics & also of Rousseau.) (23/8/02 Lake Gairdner. A
memory surfaces (or is formed) of a dear, now departed devout italian lady, whose name I wont mention out of
consideration for the feelings of her relatives, who had a dozen kids & used to boast that her husband had never
seen her naked. She had horizontal slits closed by button down flaps, in appearance like pockets, sewn into the
fronts of her nighties which she only undid when necessary.) (25/8/02 Port Germein. The way we regard sex in
western society is under review. The belief that its main purpose is to multiply is being replaced by an attitude
that the primary task is to provide pleasure. The shift is inevitable & necessary on an overpopulated planet.
Developments in technologies will ensure the human race no longer depends on it for survival. It is a difficult
transition. In the process the nexus with love may be broken though I see a reverse possibility. It is important
that people of good intention are not prevented by diffidence & insecurities from influencing opinion.
Otherwise the agenda will be set by the requirements of the movie & television industries & those whose only
qualification is that they are the loudest.)
*
I left at 11.40 & was back at 4.20. Walked south east up a creek that drains into the lake till I got to the
track I drove in on & walked back briskly along it as there was a bit of cloud building up & I was worried that I
hadnt put in the rain shell. I couldnt remember how big the loop that I drove in on was & I also mistook the
water tank at which I had come out on the track for another one so I thought I had further to go than I did. Got
quite flustered & even trotted for a bit in agitation which was a stupid thing to do. (3/9/02. See what all that
overindulgence does to the finer faculties of clear-sightedness and ratiocination? Thats why the ancients
opted for moderation & why the pope warns that if you do it too much youll go blind – helenz.)
24/9 /02 ( 21/9/02 – 3/10/02 (Cursive by helenZ; plain by a …z@...) (no 32)). Waking up
in a country lane looking out at trees & sky hearing lots of birds certainly beats waking up to an alarm
clock or the rubbish truck in Melbourne . Todays major town was St. Arnaud, another gold-rush place, but
the substantial buildings mostly date from the turn of the century. Apparently they opened a botanic
gardens here in 1901 which was established with help from the Melbourne one. It had lots of exotic trees &
many flower beds, a lake & arbours. It still exists, but at a more pedestrian level & there are plans to
restore it to its former glory. Had a coffee at the “Country Café” for $2.50 per mug while we read the
paper. Prices here are normal & not so tourist inspired as in Maldon. Housing is cheap too, $32000 for a
45
weatherboard with 2 bedrooms, in good condition. There seemed to be heaps of little kids about, so its
obviously not one of those dying towns we’ve seen in the Mallee & Wimmera where the major industry is
the old folks home. Kept to our westward route as much as possible, & discovered 2 great lanes – the first
bordered for a while by an irrigation canal, & the second, where we are now, by a lovely reed covered
stream where we’ve heard frogs. The Grampians are quite close enough to see some rugged detail. We
intend to circumnavigate them & investigate little towns on their outskirts.
For mine the best times are the mornings & evenings at our campsites. Yesterday as we lay in
my bed (both beds are strong enough to support the weight of 2) we watched tiny bats through the
window hawking for insects against the evening sky. When the first one came out it was still quite
bright & by the time it became too dark to see there were over a dozen of them. These bats are
smaller than the largest moths & in the past Ive put several into a matchbox. They live in hollows in
old gums. Long ago I was cruel enough to release one (or maybe 2?) into the dome of the state
library & it made news years later when its desiccated body was discovered during a book shift. We
take our time getting up in the morning. Why hurry from a perfect spot at the end of a lane in a stand
of large eucalypts when youre not going anywhere in particular? I woke up first this morning as I
usually do. After listening to the bird chorus for what seemed like hours I opened my large volume of
the complete essays of Montaigne for the first time since before the last trip. I try not to wake up H
unnecessarily but she woke & interrupted my reading. Later I prepared for breakfast by heating up 2
cupfuls of water on the Trangia metho heater for our morning drink. Breakfast for me is muesli & for H
2 Vita-Brits. Later H warmed up another cupful of water for a morning wash which just about finished
our supply (one 2½ gall. container). We filled up at St. Arnaud. Also called in at Marnoo for a short
stop at the recreation reserve & a walk along the creek. (see story 22/10/01 – 2/11/01 pp 5&6).
The spot we are at is not far from Mt. Zero (we turned into here from a minor 1 lane sealed strip that
goes to Horsham) & somewhere in between is the Melbourne/Adelaide highway (22/10/01 –
2/11/01 p 4). The stream we are next to is actually flowing a little so there wont be problems with a
wash in the morning.
1/10/02. My 60
th
birthday (16/11/07. Monday 1/10/07) & the day was perfect – beautiful
weather, beautiful countryside & my (almost) life-long companion to share it with. This trip is my birthday
present, as we havent been away together since September last year (16/11/07. Monday 24/9/01) .
There was a mist this morning which cleared as the sun got hotter, & the bee-keepers in the nearby field
were up early to check their charges. After breakfast we headed “cross-country”(i.e. seeking out side
roads) to Harrow for the newspaper & a hot shower at the Johnny Mullagh Memorial campgrounds and
caravan park ($2 each payable at the store). The hot water was lovely (though it was bore water, so I
didn’t manage to get much of a lather up) but the damp towel wasn’t so pleasant. We must remember to
bring a towel each next trip. John got first dibs on it because he doesn’t have as much hair as me to dry,
having adopted his usual convict cut for the trip. Then onto Balmoral where we read the paper in the
nicely decorated (with footy memorabilia) pub where the proprietor imports her coffee from Melbourne.
Then to Cavendish, exploring a fantastic, picture-perfect lane leading into the Mt. Dundas Reserve on the
way. It was a real treat, bordered on one side by the reserve with its natural bush & on the other by green
pasture dotted with massive trees. The track was of deep brown gravel with a centre strip of jewel green
grass. It was virtually only the width of the van plus about a metre on each side, so you felt you were in a
tunnel going through the bush. We had to stop & retrace it when we got onto slightly higher ground & it
became sandy. Now we are camped in a lane off one of the roads just south of the Grampians, on our way
to Dunkeld tomorrow. It, too, is idyllic in a more open, less treed way. Our encounters today were first with
a farmer taking sheep from one paddock to another on a buggy, accompanied by 2 small kids, a wife in a
vehicle, & a very smart sheep dog. He was friendly & keen to chat & was interested in how we were
travelling. He said he met a couple from Sydney a while ago who did the same kind of trip – that is
avoiding highways & major towns & keeping to the “real country”. He told us of some good roads for
scenery. The second encounter was in the Johnny Mullagh park with a young woman staying in a caravan
with her shearer “hubby”. They were from Western Queensland (originally Quilpie) & had come south to
look for work, as apparently things are really crook up there – theres drought & the rivers are on their last
legs. She was a very pleasant, open person who must feel quite lonely as her husband works a 70-hour
week during the season, and whose ambition is to get back onto the land. The third encounter was with a
clearly irate tiger snake trying to get across the road, after we left Cavendish, which was nearly run over
by a 4x4 in front of us. We stopped to let it finish the crossing – its neck was flared and its head ready to
lunge at your ankle, so we didn’t venture out to get a better look. It quickly slid off into the grass at the
verge. It was probably quite shitty because it was hungry – it may well have just come out of the winter
hibernation. It was luckier than its relative we saw hit by an oncoming vehicle just a bit further on.
I nearly had reason to regret talking to the cocky for ½ hour yesterday with the engine idling
because when we got to Natimuk we discovered you cant get petrol there as the servo has shut
down for good. Thats pretty unusual in a town as big but the explanation is probably that it has
become a dormitory town for Horsham (22 ks away) (as for instance Koroit is for Warnambool etc. ).
46
Today we had 2 more lengthy conversations with the engine idling: when in rome do as the romans
do & when you talk to a cocky if you expect to retain his respect you leave your engine running.
When we passed the property of the bloke we talked to yesterday there were chooks with chicks &
ducks with ducklings & a group of junior roosters having a great time in deep dust wallows in the
verge of the road while the boss rooster strutted about keeping an eye on the hens. This morning
while in flagrante delicto H looked up out the van window to spot 2 bee-keepers through a parting in
the mist checking their hives only a few hundred yards away. Tonight were cracking a bottle of Rose
Petal & Honey Wine produced by Fruit Ballad Country Wines of Quaama, N.S.W. (on the south coast
(02) 64938382, & www.fruitballad.com.au) which Ive brought (& a glass) for the occasion. Reading the Age
at Balmoral I notice that Janet Le Good (of Charles Smith Gallery) is featured with her dog Jack (aka
The Boss) doing something in connection with the Fringe Festival. So I tore the pic out to stick in the
journal when I get back. On sunday 22
nd
I tore out a photo of Dave Harris (30/8/07. 2da ¤ snt♂m
rkpeov Monday (no 67) zr e¯ @@ch··t) mucking about with Kellys helmet in his work as a
conservator. Thats 2 out of the very limited number of readers who get my stuff whos mugs have
featured in the Age over the course of the trip. Not bad, huh! Time to crack the bottle. Im looking
forward to sipping this very elegant drop with H sitting on the back bumper (aluminium, wrap-around,
fashioned by the boys of Boss Aluminium in Ringwood) surrounded by the ranges of the southern tip
of the Grampians to the warbling of magpies & the bleating of sheep.
12/11 /02 ( 11/11/02 – 20/11/02 (no 33)). I am writing this on the shady verandah
(today is a total fireban day with temperatures predicted to reach 35C before an evening change) of
the Mountainview Hotel at Whitfield at 1.40 pm. There is a little ferny stream trickling past the front of
the verandah with a tin scultpure of a man holding a fishing rod over it. I am sipping a full bodied King
River Estate merlot that cost $6 for ½ glass. If I felt like it I could buy an “Eye fillet wrapped in
prociutto w bean salad & skordalia” for $25. (skordalia: mashed potato with garlic, lemon & parsley).
A board on the front of the pub says: “La Dolce Vita. 16
th
& 17
th
November. * Come to the King Valley
& enjoy a weekend of Mediterranean & new release wines, great food and warm hospitality. * Ask our
Friendly staff for More info.” This is a very salubrious pub situated on what is known as the Gourmet
Trail. There is a couple at the next table eating a gourmet meal. He is wearing expensive looking
mocassin type shoes on bare feet & she has tear drop gold earings. She is inclined to pass comment
on the food they are eating with her mouth full. She holds her fork so that it is sticking directly forward
in the direction of her arm as if to make it longer & is stabbing delicious looking morsels (which I can
smell from here) as if with a spear & carrying them to her decorously pursed mouth with a delicate
flourish. Just heard her say “nuh! didnt like that”. Now Im drinking a Pizzini 99 Shiraz which also cost
$6 & it has my approval. I can see a road sign pointing up the King Valley saying “Wineries : Pizzini 2,
Dal Zotto (6), Chrismont (8)”. In the other direction a sign says its 4ks to Avalon Vineyard. My mileage
gauge is reading 69ks since I filled up with petrol at Mansfield where I also bought a map of the
district between Mansfield & Bright for $10 & read the paper in a bakery where I ate a sausage roll. I
feel nackered as I couldnt sleep last night as it was too hot in the sleeping bag & too cool out (not in
the habit of wearing clothes in bed). By the road from Ruffy I saw a caramel coloured baby bunny but
it ran away when I switched off the engine. Soon after there was a koala crossing the road & I was
able to stand close for a good look before it shimmied up a tree. Got to Mansfield via Yarck & a road
called Spring Creek Road. Forgot to mention yesterday that since me & H were at the Hughes Creek
Camping Reserve only a few weeks ago a car body has been dumped right on the edge of the creek.
On the way here I stopped at the Power lookout, 3ks off the road, for a great view of the upper
reaches of the King Valley. The lookout is named after Harry Power who was known as the
gentleman bushranger (in the 1870s) because he never killed no one & was courteous to ladies
(though he took their coach horses.) He had a hideout nearby where his horses were watered from a
spring. As a teenager Ned Kelly (whose grandparents lived down in the valley) helped look after them
& also partnered Harry in a few of the holdups. Harry Power was born in ireland in 1819 & like a lot of
his fellow countrymen must have possessed the gift of the gab for after spending most of his adult life
in prisons on his final release in 1885 he was employed as a tour guide on a museum prison hulk
moored in Port Phillip Bay of which he was the star attraction. He died in 1891 after getting drunk &
falling into the Murray river. (four 4x4s with the sign ‘Village Taxi’ on the front & ads for Tooheys New
beer on the side have just pulled in. Apparently there are another dozen of them about to arrive &
they have been ferrying Geelong Grammar school kids to their adventure summer camp at Timbertop
(where Charles of Buckingham Palace once spent a term)). Anyway here I am in a privileged part of
47
Victoria & I think I might get drunk. (I have just bought a 10oz glass of genuine german Becks beer
for $3.50 & it is constantly sending little bubbles of carbon dioxide from bottom to top as a real good
beer is supposed to according to a litho guy (Gintas Kekštas) whom I was showing around the
Flinders ranges last year (23/11/02. See 22/10/01 – 2/11/01 p 16) with Saulius Varnas (20/11/02.
Whose comments on my pieces have been: didnt have time to read it; boring; read the entire piece
and have wasted my time; trivia; dont send any more. So Im sending this one.) & who had spotted
that the ale (bet it has the same root (saxon) as the litho word for beer ‘alus’) pulled at the Blinman
pub which we were drinking wasnt doing it & he also told us that the lithos were producing a real
good german beer under licence which they were selling back to the krauts. Those lithos!) I think Im
beginning to get into the groove. It may be that Melbourne is one of the two most liveable cities
(though Jokie X Wilson of San Fransisco (& a writer) who gets my stuff may dispute it preferring to
put San Fran ahead) in the world but if I stay there too long I start going crazy. Regardless that I lead
a spoilt life of pampered indolence. Here is an example of the kind of existence I lead for the
edification of Jokie, & I ask you mate, can you do better even in San Fran? Over the last few weeks
Ive been going to the Spiegeltent (tent of mirrors) which was here for the Melbourne festival & is now
on its way to the Edinburgh festival. Ive been going there because of the good feel of the place
around 2 o’clock each day (when they have been playing portuguese blues sung by a woman with
whose voice Im in love (16/11/07. Cesaria Evora)) buying a glass of Stella Artois beer for $4.50 &
taking about an hour to drink it while reading a story from Granta magazine. Its been a kind of daily
prayer I explained to someone. After the first couple of sessions the guy in charge of the bar refused
to take my money saying the drink was on the house as he had noticed that I was a regular. I have no
idea why I have been singled out like this but have not pressed the issue not wishing to look a gift
horse in the mouth. At the same time last year I wrote one sentence in praise of the tent but I only put
out 100-150 copies & the chances of the barman having got hold of one is just about zilch & even
less that he would have read it. Do you get your drinks free in San Fran mate? Last Friday I got drunk
there at a saving of $4.50/glass. (just bought a stubby of carlton draught for $3.50). I have to try to
finish off this story as H asked me not to come back with too big a typing job but its hard when youre
drunk. It may have been a simple case of mistaken identity but I was inclined to look for explanations
that were more far fetched. I remember that the previous week I had tipped a busker (the little fat guy
who plays the inprovised drum equipment in Swanston st.) for the first time in years. I only did it
because I had come across a quote from the sermon on the mount (the greatest of all sermons) in
the newspaper which reminded me that you should always give alms. I had been neglecting the duty
because of the difficulty I had in telling the difference between the genuinely needy & those with
expensive drug habits. Then I remembered that only the day before the Spiegeltent started supplying
me with free beer I had tipped a beggar inside the gate of the St Francis church (I checked the dates
in the journal) on the corner of Elizabeth & Lonsdale sts. I dont know why I was going in there but I
sometimes do. The beggar was accosting each person in turn & the lady in the silk shirt entering
ahead of me simply said an emphatic “no” before he even had a chance to open his mouth. He
looked at my face as I passed & said nothing. That happens to me: H says they see into my heart &
realize its flinty. There was a service on in the church & I was there at the moment when everyone
looks around & shakes his neighbours hand & I done it too. But I remembered that no one was
shaking the hand of the guy begging outside & then I remembered the sermon on the mount again. I
also wondered whether my habitual meanness was finding expression in the cast of my face. So as I
walked out I gave him my silver which he took like he was expecting it. I explained all this last
tuesday at the ‘poets’ (where I had arrived drunk because I had gone to a litho cup day do earlier
where the beer was free because the barmaid had disappeared with the box for payments & so you
had to pour your own) & Leonie Osowski said that there is a sign out the front of St Francis permitting
authorized begging. Lloyd Jones was also at the ‘poets’ & told a story (which I dont believe as I
spotted question marks in his eyes) of the beggars in front of a church in italy whom he was
suspicious of & found out had permission from the church to be there in exchange for giving up 50%
of their collection. (14/11/02. A couple of days later I went back to St Francis to look for the sign but
didnt find one. The same beggar was nearby in front of the catholic bookshop dressed like me in
shorts & thongs. Saw him get $5 off a tourist. I asked him if he was ‘official’ & if any of his take was
for the church. I thought he said something about “saints trustees” but I may have misheard. When
he asked for money I said another time as I didnt have any change. He got real stroppy then & said
“give it to me right now” & directed me to the door of the shop to change a note.) I had met Lloyd only
a few days earlier outside the Spiegeltent when he had come out at the first intermission from an
48
italian avant garde show called Genesis & he talked me into sneaking in for free by talking to him as
we went in at the end of intermission because the theatre was half empty. This was a show that cost
$40 a ticket to get in. He said he had an opera buff friend who only went in to shows at intermissions.
I had told him that I dont go to paid cultural events believing that the best things are free. & I was right
as it turned out to be a lousy show. I seem to have drifted off here & H is going to kill me for all this
typing but the point is that the very next day ie. on wednesday last week I was in Carlyle st. in St
Kilda buying ‘pelmeni’ (which are meat dumplings that lithos call kaldūnai but eat with a different kind
of sauce (fry chopped up bacon & chopped up onion (separately) & mix with milk & sour cream)) & a
rye bread called ‘naroch’ which is the tastiest rye bread you can get (I was put onto these delicious
ethnic foods by Mykolas Kozlovskis (an expert in healthy eating) at litho house) & then I went across
the road (eastwards) to the smallgoods (delicatessen) shop that sells a terrific garlicky homemade
snag that is just nice on the naroch bread (especially followed by a nip of vodka) & yes, the point is
that after I paid for the sausage exactly in coins & was browsing at the other goods in the store the
shop assistant reached past the new customer at the counter with a $5 note & said thats yours. I took
it but then checked carefully in my wallet & reminded myself of the transaction in the rye bread store
earlier & realized that the 5 bucks could not possibly be mine so on the way out I called over the
assistant & gave it back to her. But the other shop assistant wouldnt have a bar of it & insisted I keep
the money so I did. Well thats about it & Ive cut the story short. Thats life for you in Melbourne town –
the most liveable city in the world & Im nevertheless glad to leave it behind. Its 5pm, Im drunk, Im
getting another stubby (Abbots stout) & heading up the road towards Moyhu but turning off to a little
reserve (near Edi Cutting Camping Area) where I hope to have privacy for the night & maybe even a
dip in the river (King). …. I was mistaken, this spot is just out of Whitfield & its called “Gentle Annie
Reserve. Fees apply. Pay at the Camping Office” except Im not going to & its the same river & I
nearly rolled the van into it & after I drink the stout Ill have a dip. Sorry honey! ….. 7.00 Gang-Gang
Cockatoos (Callocephalon fimbriatum) are flying in to roost in a large river gum nearby. Flock of
Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicolles) are circling overhead. The wind is picking up …
19/11 /02. Some months ago I had one of those ‘eureka’ experiences that people in the
unhealthy habit of wracking their brains sometimes get. It was to do with the word – time. Together
with Luis Borges Ive been preoccupied with it all my life like a child that becomes obsessed with an
insoluble puzzle. Naturally Ive read, reread & forgotten everything he has written on the topic. He
went so far as to suggest that it was the central problem of philosophy. (A friend of a friend of mine
has spent 20 years compiling a review of notions of time (yet to be published). Ill pass this piece on to
him for comment.) Then quite unexpectedly, I think it was on a trip to the Eyre peninsula, the issue
resolved itself for me & I felt like saying to him, had he been alive “Luis, you wasted it writing all those
essays. You should have stuck with the short stories & poetry.” & its as if a pressure has been
released for my life has been an effort to find solutions to like puzzles & maybe should I succeed I
might be left without purpose & waste away. On second thought I dont think I would. I would continue
to be sustained by amazement at what I find. So I would like to say to Luis that no solution to any
puzzle can ever tip the balance between the tiny island of what we know & the sea of the unknowable
in which we swim. People dont believe it when you tell them that. Socrates never stopped saying that
he didnt know anything & yet he was convicted of perverting the morality of athenian youth. To this
day the fashion among philosophers is to say that his claims of not knowing were only a rhetorical
device. I feel quite confident that he meant what he said. But no matter what you say people hear it
from their own perspective & read into it whatever suits them. When they discuss the notion of time if
they start with the question what is it, which they invariably do, they have already lost it for to ask it
like that is to make an assumption in the very first sentence that there is another space, an invisible
world apart from the one we are in, where we search for elusive entities which may or may not exist.
The hope that we might find something in a parallel domain is quite strange for if you cant see it what
chance is there of finding anything in it? & so people debate whether time flows or ticks or goes
backwards or is cyclical & its like debating how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. The problem
isnt taken away if they say that what they are talking about is a notion or an abstract idea or a
concept for these words are only an attempt to disguise, a code for a belief in, the same invisible
world. All that is needed, & it is breathtakingly simple, is to ask what is it that we do when we use the
word. For it is in common use & we have no trouble understanding each other when we do it. It
becomes a matter of observing human practice. The main thing we do when we say ‘time’ is hold
something that repeats itself next to something that is changing. So we compare (hold side by side)
49
the repetition of the years to the greying of the hair, the wrinkling of the face & the stooping of the
back. We measure a dynasty by the number of kings. The size of a desert by the number of days or
moons its taken to cross. A tribe measures itself by the number of generations & so we have history.
Then we write chronicles & draw time lines. Days measure months, months years, years lives, lives
the passing of tribes & kingdoms. Poets & historians sing its praises. Scientists make agreements to
make ever more accurate comparisons, more precise synchronisations, but it is still an elaboration of
the same process. To say then that time is something other than what we do, existing in an imaginary
space where it may continue on after we are gone, is very strange indeed. The confusion comes from
mistaking the individual for all of humanity. When one of us goes nothing much changes but when the
human race departs it will be the end of time ….3.15. Im out of Bemm River on the road to Pearl
Point at a spot I always stop when Im in the area. Im surrounded by a flock of yellow tailed black
cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus funereus) that have settled in the banksia (integrafolia) wailing &
cawing. Dont know why Im feeling a bit low. After leaving Lake Tyers (16/11/07. me & Vaidas wr thr
wnzda & thrzda ths wek – kort & 8 2 fl@C) I drove into Orbost mainly because I wanted to speak to
H live to tell her Id be home by friday, a week earlier than I had said. Couldnt get through to her so
left a message on the mobile. I always get bad vibes in Orbost. Bought petrol (it spilt) & paid $3 for a
mug of coffee that was tasteless (they know city slickers are idiots) & read the paper. I think I read it
to make myself scared. I detect craziness in the public mind. Legislation is mooted to allow the arrest
& interrogation of people who are not under suspicion of having committed a crime (both major
parties are going to agree on this). Recently a bunch of indonesians all over the country had their
doors busted down by special police for nothing. People write insane, strident letters to the editor. A
few weeks ago when a couple of welders on the outskirts of Sydney started a fire that burnt down a
dozen houses every newspaper initially reported it as deliberately lit. Paranoia is in the air & if this
tinder dry forest along the east coast catches alight this summer which is likely, chances are Al
Qaeda will get the blame. Whats more they (if they exist) are likely to claim they done it coz thats how
this game is being played out. From Orbost I drove on to Bemm River where I bought a pot of beer in
the pub & 3 stubbies to take away (Im drinking one now). Got through to H from the phone outside
the pub & she confirmed Ben, Joe & Kate (whom she is seeing tonight) are fine & that there has been
no email from Dan (in Paris) (24/11/02. But now in Palm Springs for a fashion show, it seems) which
means hes fine & that Michael is OK & that Vi is fine too. That covers the territory so I suppose I
should be too. Maybe a stroll to Pearl Point will put me in order. But first Im having another stubby
(Abbots stout) & a bite to eat.
(29/8/07. Completion of Tuesdays from folder 3. (nos. 27- 33 of anthology))
25/2 /03 ( February 24 (no 34)). Its 10pm and Dan has just rung (reverse charge)
from the airport, almost 24 hours ahead of his flight. He sounds OK but only has 2 euros 2 his name.
10.30 rang again & this time he was rambling on. Rang again at midnight so H told him shed b
leaving the phone off the hook till 8.30 am when she would b able 2 put some money in2 his account.
He is not well. H got 10 days off from Doig. He pointed out that Dan may not b allowed on2 a flight if
hes thought 2 b bhaving strangely. Therve been no calls from him so far (6.20 pm) so hopefully hes
managed 2 get some sleep. Steven called from FRM 2 find out what was going on. He said he had a
client who wanted Dan 4 a 2 day job in 3 weeks which would earn him more than he has done in the
year in Paris (where I suspect hes hardly earnt anything). H told him he was at the airport & sounded
thought disordered. He gets a job but loses his sanity. I drove to Miller st. 2 pick up my folders of
master copies of 3 years of writing so I could b sure 2 b making accurate references 2 past pieces.
The Canberra emergency line rang 2 say that an embassy person had gone 2 his hotel & 2 the
agency in Paris but had just missed him. Bill Woodlock the neighbour from Miller st. called 2 say he
was getting quotes 2 replace our joint fence as agreed. Chris Barnett called 2 tell H about the
conference & 2 check up on her. We dont want 2 leave the phone unmanned so someone stays in
the house all the time. H spends a lot of time laying on the bed or playing free-cell on the computer.
The incidence of this kind of thing in the general population is 1 in 100 (double for pot smokers) but in
our family so far its 4 out of 7. Each event is as difficult as the previous one. Each is unique so there
is hardly any benefit from experience. I am losing emotional suppleness, the ability 2 respond. Just
feel tired. For Dan its worse.
I begin to think that somewhere
in my past lives
50
I have killed a chinaman
(an old wives saying
to explain a piece of
awful luck or dire consequence).
Since I am an old wife I take these
sayings to heart, though my heart has been
breaking
for a long time.
Speaking of chinamen
there was a custom among peasants
in the olden times
never to brag about their children
or praise their beauty or intellect
because the gods would hear
and do something terrible in their jealousy.
So they said aloud how ugly their children were
or how deformed or simple-minded,
thus averting tragedy.
I wonder what fat old god I offended?
He must have been looking and listening
when I preened about mine,
letting people assume I was some
hotshot earth-mother type,
even presuming to hand out advice
and make judgments on other ways of doing things.
How he must have laughed, his belly shaking,
eyes glittering,
as he set up my downfall.
Does he watch me now as I writhe in despair
watching them as they disintegrate ?
helenz
4/3/03. Its been a big week. Dan seems his normal unrealistic self. Yesterday he
cancelled the appointment with Doig. I think hes OK. The xpense is ours. Ive put off my travelling
plans by another week bcause I might as well get this piece out now. Im still on my way 2 the coast.
dont follow me
along that gentle
gentle road
4get
the sweet & heady smell
of winds
along the coast
4 I think
on just such a day as this
I will catch
an afternoon sea breeze
& drift away
in2 an aimless sea
11/3 /03 ( March 11 (no 35) (18/1/08. & nsrt(s) * ← DANYO RESERVE (no 53).)). The
anatomy of a public disturbance. Let us say u r sitting @ a sidewalk table of a café (actually it woz me
& H on saturday (8/3/03) arvo @ the Time Out café in Federation Square) & u notice, a few tables
away, a waitress in prolonged, agitated conversation with a young (about 20) & ineffectual looking
youth who is holding bundles of newspapers & brochures promoting the peace campaign. It seems
she is trying 2 prevent him distributing his material 2 the patrons but in spite of his unimposing stature
he continues 2 rgue back. Finally the waitress disappears with dtermined stride in2 the café & the
youth continues handing out his material including a brochure that H takes & which I read & note 2 b
a particularly well balanced (& moderate) plea 4 peace & advert 4 4thcoming demos. After a while
51
when he gets a couple of tables further along where an lderly lady buys1 of his newspapers an
imposing & dtermined looking bruiser (probably the manager I think) in the black outfit worn by the
staff comes out of the café & takes up with the peacenik. Once again he is quietly insistent. I note
that this is a public space though undoubtedly Time Out is paying a hefty fee 4 the right 2 have the
tables here & serve liquor. Then I notice that the athletic bruiser dressed in black has taken hold of
the pathetic peacenik by the upper arm & I say in a commanding voice over the top of the patrons @
the intervening tables: take your hands off him, u cant do that, thats illegal, leave him alone, if u want
him out get the cops. It has the dsired effect & after a while the peacenik leaves apparently of his own
accord. Now the bruiser comes over, squats down on his haunches next 2 where I am sitting (H is on
the other side of me) & ngages me, sotto voce (not wishing 2 provide further ntertainment 4 the
patrons), in a sustained accusation over my bhaviour (later H said he looked very upset). His main
point seemed 2 b that I had publicly humiliated him by jumping 2 conclusions over his bhaviour. He
said hed been 2 the peace march (there had been 1 that day) & dmanded 2 know if I had been 2 any.
He said his father lived in the middle east & his mother woz an activist in the womens movement. He
said he was only doing what the manager had asked him 2 do & when I tried 2 rgue back by pointing
out that when people kill *(28/1/05. & trtur) in wars they always say they were only obeying orders he
told me 2 stop lecturing him. Then when I said I admitted I had probably been too sudden having
been affected by a rush of righteous indignation & asked him 2 convey my apologies 2 the manager
he said he didnt give a stuff about the manager & that I had insulted him personally no doubt being
prejudiced by his appearance bcoz he was large (& swarthy?) & shaven headed. & I woz saying thats
ridiculous Ive got heaps of friends who look like u but he kept on & on his face only a foot or so from
mine. I woz trying 2 say that it woz quite possible that I had misinterpreted his actions & yes I had
been too quick 2 get vocal but he kept on as if he woznt hearing me & I woz saying that a very good
friend of mine looked just like him & as I said it looking in2 his face it seemed 2 me that he did indeed
look remarkably similar around the eyes & mouth 2 that very good friend Sebastian Salt (31/8/07.
25/1/00 ) (2 whom I have referred in several of my pieces (see 13/2/01 – 26/2/01 p 1) as Basalt
& who woz partly responsible 4 putting me on2 the essays of Montaigne) who woz teaching english in
Madrid & the bruiser said thats my brother u r talking about. Now it so happens that Basalt is 1 of the
people who actually appreciates my writing & woz on my mailin/dlivery list until he busted up with his
partner (so he drank a bottle of vodka, rode in2 a tree & fell off his bike, threw up over himself, when
he came 2 in the morning his wallet woz gone, quit his job, left for Paris) & left for europe. So its not
surprising that me & the bruiser whose name turns out 2 b Maz (12/9/07. rÆlv weksgo ♂ showtd us
kofe n♂z own nu br nTattersalls Lane) (probably 4 Matthew) nded up shaking hands & even
xchanging pleasantries. Bas is fine, apparently, since scoring a new bird (31/8/07. th· hz + rwa; Bas
rmans nMadrid) an rgentinian sort. I promised 2 bring Maz a copy of my most recent piece. That woz
how the incident nded & me & H dparted 4 home in Miller st., me a bit stunned. Next day I had
arranged 2 meet Jane Crawford (31/8/07. rlso + rwa) who had come back 2 Melbourne from the
KUNSTLERHAUS BETHANIEN (& I take the opportunity 2 pass on a hello 2 Danius & also 2 Mike
Stevenson (31/8/07. 25/1/00 ) whose studio (representing new zealand) is down the passage) in
Berlin at litho house in Errol st. North Melb. for lunch. We talked mainly about writing (she does it) &
what writers do or not. She had come with a box of fotos which included ones of when they had
visited litholand over xmas where they had been joined 4 a couple of weeks by none other than
Basalt himself. It so happened that I was carrying an nvelope in my backpack containing 2 copies of
my last piece bcoz I wanted Maz 2 send 1 of them on 2 Bas in Madrid *(2/2/05. kood eezly hav bn on
th train blown up x th terrrsts, he sez (Danius sed), xpt he took a sikkee th@ day). I woz particularly
impressed with myself coz in that piece of writing, fresh off the press, I dvote an ntire page 2
commentary on ‘coincidental’ events of xactly the kind that my altercation with him had illustrated.
Whats more the piece mentions Time Out café as thats where I had a drink with Vaidas a week
earlier (see February 24 p 4-5). When I xplained it all 2 Jane she suggested I include with the
copies 1 of the fotos of Bas in litholand she just happened 2 have there with her in the box & which
she gave me. As I woz cycling down King st. on me way 2 Time Out with the nvelope containing
copies of my rticle on the back of which I had attached the foto I had stopped @ the lights @ Little
Collins st @ the same time as a car from which Andrew Saniga who is also mentioned in the rticle in
the nvelope (see February 24 p 7) called out I suppose this is one of those coincidences (he had
evidently read the piece) u talk about. I said it sure is but I didnt have time 2 elaborate as the lights
changed. When I dlivered the nvelope Maz suggested we have a talk over a cup of coffee. Ill take
52
him up on it some day. I wrote this ntry in the little park on the opposite side of the highway 2 the
Murrayville pub (from the windows of which I can hear the TV). I have drunk 2 stubbies & will get
another 1 2 take back with me 2 Danyo Reserve 5ks away. I wont dscribe the reserve as I already
have on many occasions (16/11/07. DANYO RESERVE (no 53)). Its 7.10, Im due 4 a feed. Oh
yair, @ Lous in Charlton where I had a bacon & onion hamburger I gave a copy of the rticle 2 Maria
bcoz she asked how Id been. (20/3/03. 11.55 am. I suppose the invasion of iraq by the US, britain &
australia is starting about now. I am @ Lous in Charlton again on the return journey. The dust storm
here yesterday woz the worst Maria had seen & she woz here in 1983 4 the last big 1. The coffee
woz on her & I promised 2 send the writing.)
18/3/03. Yesterday when I got out of the water 4 the last time the sun was dropping bhind
the low range of hills in the west as a full moon rose over a sandhill in the east. As I walked back
along the beach in the gathering dark I was aware of occasional disturbances in the surface of the
water made by a kind of stingray, called a flyaway, that cruises with the action of a bird flapping its
wings just below the surface. Now & again the tips of their ‘wings’ broke through the water. Then I
saw a more ominous shape only 10 or so yards from the shore. It woz the triangular fin of a much
larger animal. It woznt till I heard the wheezing snort that I knew it woz a dolphin. It kept @ a leisurely
pace, occasionally diving @ other times lying motionless, in the opposite direction 2 the 1 I had come
from. So I turned around in2 the sunset glow & kept pace with it. @ times its fin & rounded back were
outlined by the silver surface of the water. A large wake allowed me 2 follow its movements
underneath. I imagined that @ such close quarters it knew I woz there. I wondered what it was
feeding on as I hadnt seen anything. Eventually I turned around as it showed no inclination 2 dpart
from its slow progress westward along the shoreline. When I woz lying in bed later covered only by a
sheet, listening 2 the occasional cawing of a pacific gull, I thought that this woz as good a place as
any 2 finish off the writing. With a bit of luck Im not over the weight limit which requires me 2 use a $
stamp 4 the pieces I mail out. I had left Melbourne disturbed & here I woz on a night without a breath
of movement in the air @ rest next 2 a placid sea. (as I stood up just now (9.40 am) I heard a weird
honking – there are 2 cape barren geese poking about on the rocks xposed by the receding tide
about 80 yards away)
15/4 /03 ( 12/4/03 – 24/4/03 (cursive by helenZ & block by a … z …) (no 36)).
Also I am not nclined 2 see myself as offering an xample 4 any1 coz I have a
poorly dveloped sense of self. (26/4/03. I’m gobsmacked! I’ve always thought that I’ve never met
anyone with such a strong sense of self !) (when I see a flag @ached 2 a car or on a pole in
a yard I think whats wrong with that guy). I agree with Oscar Wilde (1854-1900 in
a letter 2 Lord Alfred Douglas) that “Most people are other people. Their thoughts
are someone else’s opinions, their life a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” I
have no notion of who I am or where I should b going other that Im on a path
(pada) of some kind. I rely on H 2 tell me if Ive bn 2 abrasive or aggressive in
company. I like it that way. Nevertheless it feels as if Ive been allocated a number
of briefs 1 of which is 2 nvestigate the claims of authority. The nazarene said that
our relationship 2 god was as a fathers 2 son. That is 2 b xpected as our notions
of god or whatever authority we replace him with (eg. mammon, xperts,
technology, presidents, pop stars) r an xtension (projection) of the parent/child
relationship in2 the organized life. It is evident that there has 2 b a neurological
prdsposition 2 accept drection otherwise it would not b possible 4 parents 2
raise children. When we bcome adults the same circuitry (undoubtedly more
dveloped in humans than other creatures bcoz of the longer dpendency of the
young on parenting) prdsposes us 2 accept the assurances of our govrnmnts
however prposterous they may b (eg. that we know something bcoz of US
ntelligence but its origins cant b dsclosed in order 2 protect the sources; that
parents throw their children in2 the sea 2 gain ntry in2 a better country). We r
born 2 b led (29/4/03. by the nose & we want it). The complexity of our social
53
organization is made possible only by our capacity 2 accept drection on trust. If
we were nclined not 2 blieve road signs without 1
st
having proof of their accuracy
we wouldnt get from a 2 b. Our leaders skip so easily btween nvoking ‘the people’
or ‘god’ 2 justify their dcisions on our b1/2 bcoz what both words share in
common is that they r being used (usage is all) as a principle of ndorsement
(legitimizing) (worth noting here that though mohammeds verses were nspired by
the 1 god he himself had 2 report them in arabic; & though the god of moses
spoke with a larynx made of sky & air & a smoky breath moses had 2 report the
utterances 2 his people in hebrew). Leaders, b they religious or secular, have 2
nvoke a higher authority not accessible 2 the rest so we do not judge them solely
by appearances or on their record (27/4/03. In the final analysis it is on the basis
of their record in the here & now that we accept their claims of having got it from
the god of out there & byond). But I have learnt 2 dstrust authority. I judge the
claims of such as Howard, Bush, Rumsfeld, Sharon, Arafat, Hussein, Blair, Osama
solely by how they look & what they do (which are closely related) & by how
many WMDs they own. Walked a little way along a track on the hill we spent the night on down to
some old gold diggings and someone’s ex-holiday shack (newish and unfinished) (27/4/03. I reckon
it woz bilt by the rmy blokes practicing their survival skills). They were going to face
the one-room place with local stone and had one wall completed when they must have got their marching
orders from the State Forest authority. A bit further away was a grotto they’d excavated from a rock wall,
big enough for two people to stand up in. Then on to Stanley, through a stretch of burnt forest in the hills.
Things are greening up already though – the surviving trees are covering themselves from the ground up
in a layer of soothing leaves, and there were tree ferns (vivid emerald) along a stretch of exposed creek.
“Under the spreading chestnut tree, the village smithy stands” and “Oh, chestnut tree, great rooted
blossomer” (a jelly bean for all those who can identify the authors) are the only lines I know featuring
chestnuts, brought to mind as we passed through Stanley (16/11/07. ntf uwr r nwa!) and surrounds,
which must be the chestnut capital of Victoria. They were everywhere – as commercial plantations, street
trees and ornamental garden specimens. You wouldn’t starve in Stanley. On to Myrtleford where we picked
up the paper and then to Bright along its highway avenue of glowing autumnal trees. Just out of Myrtleford
John spotted a walnut tree growing close to a fence, which allowed him to repeat his previous larceny
outside Stanley which also has a few walnut farms, in slower and less furtive fashion, and to indulge his
childhood memories of walnut hunting around Sale. I hadn’t realized how prolific walnut trees were, or
what the fruit even looked like on the tree. As it was drizzling rain, we stopped at a plastic-bag full and
then had to hunt down some nutcrackers in Bright (none at the supermarkets (x2), $6.95 at the “Country
Collectibles” shop, and our choice , $2.50 at the el cheapo shop selling assorted junk). Had coffee and
read the paper at a café off the main strip which was full of cars and tourists, and then headed to the main
pub overlooking the clocktower war memorial for John to do his entry while I read the murder mystery I’ve
brought along. Now we are at the Lake Buffalo dam where we’ve settled for a meal and the night. The
walnut tree tempted us yet again on the way, so we’ve filled up a second, larger bag. Foraging for food is
very satisfying when you don’t have to and there is plenty of everything else for when you get sick of the
stuff you’ve collected. We used to do that in Forrest when we holidayed there in autumn and the numerous
apple trees along the verges in the area were loaded with fruit nobody but us seemed bothered to collect.
The tree by the way was close to the bike path running between Bright and Myrtleford which is the old
railway line. The station at Eurobin has been done up as a stopping point along the way.
22/4 /03. People rgue bout meaning: a terrorist might b a freedom fighter;
what is ethnic cleansing 2 some is xpulsion & genocide 2 others; refugees might
b illegals. Sometimes a person gets in2 his head that he has the right meaning
even though every1 else blieves otherwise as if it xists in an ideal space 2 which
he has access while others do not (rather than in the here & now where meaning
is fought over & contracts signed). 2 say that u r right (have the truth) & every1
else wrong is the height of hubris & there is a saying that those whom the gods
wish 2 dstroy they 1
st
make mad. Meaning cannot b separated from flesh & blood
bcoz language is an xtension of our physicality, the process by which we function
as social beings (our way of connecting 2 the 1 body). It is 2 b xpected &
54
necessary that @ the level of the social being meanings r in dspute bcoz it is by
the process of 4ging agreements that it grows. @ the level of cooperation btween
the organs of our ndividual bodies their functions have already bn dtermined
though there 2 there r grey areas & occasional changes take place. @ the level of
@oms & the 4ces that govern them we find almost perfect synchronization. We r
the nventors of meaning not its dscoverers. It is the special power that makes us
rulers of the world & puts in2 our h&s the capacity 2 dstroy ourselves, a power
the rest of the animal kingdom doesnt possess. Those who lay claim 2 the
knowledge of truth might do better 2 ngage in shaping it rather than dscovering
or rvealing it. But it may b that they have no option as evolution (who knows why)
may have prdsposed some of us 2 function in alternate areas of the brain. 2
dsconnect yourself from the process of 4ging meaning is 2 also dsconnect
yourself from the social task. Should it b though that the meanings we r shaping r
leading 2 the dstruction of our civilization the capacity (even prdsposition of
some) 2 roam in dsolate terrain like the solitary beasts might nsure the survival
of the human species. Kiandra > Mt Selwyn > Cabramurra > Tooma. A really great day! It started
with a beaut walk along the Eucumbene River(let) and ended on top of a ridge where we have a 360º view
of high mountains as far as we can see and at our feet a beautiful valley with the tiny town of Tooma at its
centre and scattered farms from which woodsmoke is rising. Mt Kosciusko is visible far to the south with a
crown of cloud – its quite breathtaking. It feels good to be away from Thredbo, which is a touch too
manicured and managed, and to be in “real” country where there are few tourists. John woke (from cold) in
the night to hear a dingo yodelling - it was an eerie sound he says. There was frost on the ground and the
van but we breakfasted with the sun on our backs and did a 2 hour walk along the river which is a
designated trout stream. Just off the road which crosses the goldfields we came across 2 serious fly
fishermen who were togged out in vests with multitudes of pockets, plying their rods hopefully. It shows
that we live in a virtual reality world already, without the help of any computer program, when 2 intelligent
young men can believe they will catch a fish big enough to be legal in a spot where every hopeful angler
will have tried their luck this easter break. A walk ½ k further on would have given them a chance at a
decent sized trout because John saw one, but it seems that once you don the appropriate costume your
brain stops functioning and you enter fantasy land. Still, they seemed quite happy to be there. On the road
out, we discovered the old Kiandra cemetery where 47(known) bodies rest on a slope overlooking a little
valley. 19 of them died between birth and 3 years, 15 died of respiratory illness, 1 committed suicide,
between 1867 and 1920 (approximately). Many more, some Chinese, were buried in unmarked or lost
graves. Most of the Chinese were exhumed and taken home to China. Cabramurra was a great town – high
at 1488 metres a.s.l. and brand spankingly modern and well appointed as you’d expect a Snowy Scheme
town to be. We read the Sydney Morning Herald and had coffee at the general store-P.O./restaurant.
Everything was normally priced as it’s a company town and a working one at that. There were lots of
photos along the walls of the store of the early days of the Snowy scheme, including one of 2 workers, one
of whom was a dead ringer for John’s dad, who didn’t work there but who did his compulsory 2 year
migrant employment as a boiler attendant in the Sale Hospital. On the road from Cabramurra down the
mountain towards Tooma we saw a black brumby grazing by the road. A dingo and a brumby in one day is
pretty impressive, but then we got the Aussie hat-trick when we had to stop for a troop of drovers taking a
motley crew of cattle (herefords, highland longhorn shaggies, brahmas and plain old blacks) along the
verges for agistment – its really, really dry here still, with pastures almost completely browned off. At the
Tooma pub we were the only customers – the barmaid was watching an American soap on TV and outside
the cockatoos were complaining loudly. John wrote his entry on the front verandah with the journal
balanced on a bar stool and his glass of beer on a ricketty chair. It was real and lovely. We decided to take
the higher unsealed road out of the valley which should take us to Tintaldra on the Murray near Corryong
(which isn’t) and came across this eyrie with the gasp-making view. Though we are camped on the side of
the road, we don’t care as the traffic will no doubt be light and the surrounding vista is too good to pass
by.
3/6/03 ( 3/6/03 – 12/6/03 (no 37)). 3.05pm. Im @ the same spot by the side of a
gravel road me & H spent the night of 24/4/03 on (see 12/4/03 – 24/4/03) bcoz I wanted 2 bgin @ a
btiful place (Vic Roads Country Directory: map 62 @ 1.9 x C.8). The road is called Old Gobur Rd
& the nearest towns r Merton & Yarck. Ive just bn talking 2 the owner of the hills on either side, Tom
Jones, who saw us here then when him & others drove through the gate Im next 2 on a fox
eradication program. He says only 1 or 2 cars drive past a week if th@. The property is called
‘Brilliant’ & hes givn me prmission 2 walk about if I want. Hes travelled in inl& australia 2 various
55
places I know & is nfatuated with it bcoz it looks so diffrent. I promised 2 send him a copy of the
writing. His address is Yarck 3719. I am writing sitting on the clothes box @ the foldout table on the
lee side of the van (as the breeze is chilly) 2 the sound of the curious music of chewing, burping,
mooing & peeing as several of the black bullocks we were watching tearing around the last time have
come 2 look me over. I think their days of frisking & crazy accelerations r over as they r already
looking bulkier. You would b mpressed with the change honey over the ntervening 5 weeks as the
hills r vivid green & the creek I crossed is running over the road & there are field mushrooms @ my
feet (Tom says hes never seen so many) …. Ive ntrrupted 2 have a couple of buns of turkish bread
with prosciutto, tomato & spanish onion. The feeble sun has gone bhind the hill. Some galahs have
come 2 roost in the gum tree towering over the van. Tom Jones drove by heading north in the
direction of Merton. Ive noticed there r bullocks of dffrnt ages in the paddox & the 1s which have
come 4 a look now r much younger than the previous lot & they r practising their head wrestling &
capering about. They can sprint uphill 2. Zorca with whom I woz talking yestrday evening @ the
“exclusive preview of the magnificently restored DOMED READING ROOM” of the state library (the
subject of the main poem I put out last year in a set titled IN MY FATHERS HOUSE (16/11/07. no
31 nth nthlje vm¤ OPERA)) @ a function 2 which I woz nvited by Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, Chief
Xecutive Officer & State Librarian (yes, Adriana, I mix in them kind of circles) would have bn
mpressed by all these mushrooms. She tells me she cant distinguish a horse mushroom from a
yellow stainer which surprised me as otherwise she is much better nformed on the subject than me.
We were quoting John Cage (who said there r old mushroomers & bold mushroomers but no old bold
mushroomers) @ each other & both of us have poisoned ourselves 2 the xtent we thought we might
b about 2 kark it but Ive done better as when I woz a kid I also poisoned me mum who survived after
a night of swooning fits & staggring about. Zorca tells me that she would like 2 live 2 140 (unfair as its
double the biblical 3 score & 10) but 1 of the mushrooms she most njoys eating is the 1 that is most
easily confused with a death cap. It occurrd 2 me later th@ the real topic of our conversation woz
ndeed death & 4 me, who has had more than a fair innings, it may b time 2 rsume my former nterest
of xpermenting with mushrooms. I know now where 2 get the best info. @ the function (which I
@ended with Kate (not 2 b confused with Kate of Eaglemont C/O newsagency, via Noel & Ivan (of
the Eaglemont sprmrkt), who is Smart but will b Perera on the 3
rd
of january & who accuses me of
doing 2 many head miles but agrees that the ‘coincidences’ I like 2 write about have nothing 2 do with
the mathmatical variety (where events r dfined so as 2 b xactly comprable; Blaise Pascal would b the
1
st
2 agree) & who did not have a copy of 12/4/03 – 24/4/03 though I had given an xtra 1 2 Noel &
Ivan (as per usual) (18/6/03. this morning under terrorgation Noel confessed th@ he never passed it
on) 2 pass on 2 her) my daughter) I met Alec Drummond (16/11/07. met ♂m 2da) who it turns out
woz rsponsible 4 a major ¯rt (arte-postale) xhibition @ the media xhibition centre years ago. Th@
woz in connection with a Campaigne 4 Ntrnationl Coopration & Disarment (CICD, founded in the 50s
& in turn 1 of the founders of People 4 Nucular Disarment (PND)). The collection is available 4
viewing as it woz donated 2 a uni or some such nstution. I am telling u these things Adriana Cozzolini
(presidente dell’associazione culturale franco-italiana (association culturelle franco-italienne)) 2
mpress u with the quality of the type of person I knock about with but the truth is when I sent u the
collected (17/6/03. mostly by Andrew Saniga but also by Danius Kesminas & Sebastian Salt) works of
the project which I done on a trip 2 the Gulf of Carpentaria & which u xhibited du 15 Fevrier au 9
Mars 2003 in your 4 eme Exposition Internationale “Mail Art” (del esposizione dedicata all’arte
postale) in Menton on the french riviera I woz barely aquainted with th@ niche of the avant-garde
practice or th@ it traces its lineage back 2 Dada nfluences or th@ the term mail-art woz 1
st
coined by
l’artista americano Ray Johnson in 1962. Thank u for the info. I am sure my motives were closer 2
those of Mallarme, Picasso, & Matisse who were doin it b4 any1 had thought 2 call it rt. In fact I no
longer think of myself as any kind of rtist finding the word 2 have bcome soiled by overuse & have
dleted it from my logo. & yet I feel xtremely chuffed 2 have bn the face of australie wthin your
nternational xhibition where u presente aussi un apercu des etonnantes echanges “Mail Art” en
Australie, ou les objets les plus divers s’envolent par la voie Postale …. I am boasting 2 every1 about
it & even think I dserve the honour 4 if truth b known, Adriana, most of my friends would rather b in
Paris or New York or Berlin or 4 gods sake Vilnius, anywhere xept australie whereas I travel the
minor byways of this country (17/6/03. but hav just dcided 2 get litho citznship so my kids can travl
easily in the EU should they ever b able 2 affrd it) in a state of bmused ntoxication. I notice in the foto
u sent that the cards which r vsible accur@ly rpresent my nclinations. Most were written in pubs. I
can c 1 cut from a VB (most popular beer drunk in ozzie) carton; a set of pub coaster cards (I seem 2
56
rmember that the Royal Mail Hotel 1 woz from Booligal where our famous poet Banjo P@erson also
got drunk); I can c the 1 with the recipe 4 a Pina Colada cocktail (much drunk by tourists north of
Cairns but if u ask 4 1 in Melbourne the barmaid is likely 2 give u a strange stare & if u ask again
shell go out back 2 get the manager); I c the stamped bean-pod which woz sent from Kurumba on the
gulf & which I didnt xpect would get through; & I notice thers 1 sent from Hungerford which is 1 of the
places Tom Jones said he went through on his last trip (& which has featured in an issue of the french
geographical journal) …. Am interruptin 2 boil up a cuppa on the metho heater…. The ntry is getting 2
long. H has asked me not 2 burble on & Im wondring how long it takes 4 the flouro light, which is very
bright, 2 fl@en the b@ry but I still havnt thankd u 4 the btiful scarf u sent 4 H. She wore it the very nxt
time we wnt 2 the Bocadillo Bar where Peter (who writes poetry & short stories) failed 2 notice it whn
he brought my sangria. Victoria (joint owner) also did not commnt when she brought the sardines but
Paul (whose sense of humour has bn sharpned by the fact his father has bn married as often as
Mickey Rooney & who keeps his money “perfectly legally” in a US account 2 evade the taxman (but
not a US girlfriend) & who as chance would have it grew up on the corner of Locksley rd & Maltravers
rd. only a few 00 yrds from our place (bt hd lft b4 we came 31 years ago) & who when H pointed out
2 him (when he told us the other day his surname is Brickhill) th@ his namesake had written 2 books
which bcame films of iconic fame, The Dam Busters & The Great Escape, told us Paul
Brickhill the writer now dead woz his uncle his fathers brother) whom Ive mntioned in a prvious
piece & who had popped in 4 a chat said it would have done justice 2 Zsa Zsa Gabor (who got
married almost as many times as Pauls dad said H). I dont know if its Hs style cing as she usually
wears jeans, but I think its btiful & if she stops wearing it I will. & thank u 4 the xtravagantly lavish
commnts u make about my writing (16/6/03. Just as Ive dcided 2 make it undeciphrbl). I cope well
with praise. I hope your health (“so…so…”) mproves & your pacemaker rmains faithful & u put on
many more xhibitions 4 Menton. Back here in australie my 1
st
stop after leaving Melbourne @ about
11 woz @ Ian Liddells place in Whittlesea. Ian gave me the magnfcnt picture of his gr&father leading
a team of 13 draughthorses (4 rows of 3 & 1 lead horse) I nlcude with the notes. I woz Ians nglish
language teacher in high school & now he is a gr&father (whch I aint (1/9/07. m now but!)).
Afterwards I had a lunch of rissoles & veg ($8.50 + $2 = $10.50 + $2.60 4 a pot of beer) on a table
made out of a keg by the stove @ the Flowerdale hotel. Goodnight.
10/6 /03. 9.40am. Another bit of rportage on rsearch caught my eye. Apparently a
geneticist in the US has shown we share 95.5% of our genentic code with the chimps. This is up from
the prvious estimate of 94% or some such. What diffrence does it make? What if he found we were
99.99% the same or only 30% the same? Has anything changed now we know we r more similar
than we thought b4? A lady I once knew used 2 look meaningfully @ me & tell me we were no diffrent
2 animls. She had read a book called The Selfish Gene by Lyall Watson (12/9/07. Richard
Dawkins wrote it) who coined the word replicators 2 dscribe people & xplained everything from why
blondes prfered rich men 2 why doctors married nurses (they used 2 thn) by the dtermination of our
genes 2 survive. U can talk like th@ if u want 2 but it means uve overlooked nearly everything we do:
our books, our music, our rligions, our cities, aeroplanes, nucular weapons, our poetry, our capacity 2
dstroy ourslvs. The fact is within the animl kingdm chimps r more like cats & dogs or elephants or
b&icoots than they r like us. Even if it is only 0.000001% of the genetic code which is rsponsble 4
language it has wholly seprated us from the rest of the animls. We can xamine the liver, heart, brain
& the other organs which constitute us without getting the slightest knowledge of what a person does.
We cannot know the shape of an organ or what it does from xamining the cells of which it is made
unless we already know the organs role. The most careful xamination of the ½ doz or so elements
which make up cells doesnt give us the faintest hint th@ they can b rranged in2 a cell. (a brown
falcon (Falco berigora) perched on a twig of a dead bush is keeping me under obsrvation; its a btiful
still day; flies). If u want u can say we r 100% like the chimps bcoz we r composed of the same few
elements. But we r as diffrent as r our appearances & practices. @ every new level of orgnization in
the genealogy of the human body the components which go 2 make up the nxt level show a greater
range of dffrnces among themselves. We can view each other as a play of dffrnces. What chance is
ther thn th@ if we in turn r the components of another levl of orgnization, of a greater whole (prhaps
in lnguage) th@ we can hav any notion of it? Can an @om conceive of a cell? or a cell imagine a
pancreas? can a finger or an eye or a nose imagine a human being? ….. 4.08. Maude @ a pcnic
table in the weir park. Id 4gotten 2 mention that on sunday not far from where I camped I drove past 3
feral pigs. They trotted off without being overly concerned. This morning I left @ about 11.15 & drove
57
2 the Cobb highway. In the time I woz @ the ruins (sunday evening – tuesday morning) 3 cars had
driven past. All these roads have tracks going off thm 2 windmills about 6 of which wer vsible from
wher I woz parked so u can drive a few 00 yrds along 1 of these as I did & park nxt 2 it. I realize now
it makes better sense 2 park by the main track bcoz with so little traffic u get enough prvacy & it
gives a chance 4 some1 driving by 2 stop 4 a ch@. Even owners rnt prpared 2 come out 2 u if u r 00s
of yards away as it makes them appear nosey. I njoy talking 2 people & they like 2 have their
curiousity satisfied. Strictly speaking the right 2 camp by the road only xtends a chain (22 yrds – ie a
cricket pitch) either side so u should ask prmission if u go on2 1 of the windmill tracks which r private.
Drove south along the highway past Booligal & when I drove past One Tree (17/6/03:
in my desert
there is a single tree
tree of life
desert birds perch
in its branches
their calls echo in silence
there are no visitors
all is wilderness
flat to the horizon
nothing needs doing
just lie in the shade
gazing past branches
into a deepness of sky
one day men will come
with axes
chop down the tree
and scatter the birds
then
there will be a burning sun
in silence
) again Id done a full circle. Back in Hay I woznt able 2 get a ptrol cap from the Toyota dealer but did
get The Age from the newsagent. Mainly 4 the footy stats. Rmembrd 2 check the mobile b4 I got 2
far out of Hay & there woz a message from H left ther on sunday evening. Shes fine. She caught up
with Kate who is in a very postive mood having bn givn top marks by her suprvisor. He advisd her 2
apply 4 schools 4 non-mainstream kids like @ Swinburne & 2 put herself down 4 VCE xam
correction. Joe & Tony r loading up her new computer with various programs which theyve pirated. H
rang mum 2 wish her a happy brthday. Shes rsigned 2 having 2 giv up driving after the stroke.(a huge
flock of wood swallows & galahs have taken 2 the air & r twitterin & doing aerobatics overhead whch
has set off the watr birds squawking). B4 H finished talking the b@ery on the mobile conkd out & I
havnt bn on the road long enough 2 rcharge it so Ill ring from the booth outside the store 2night. She
said every1 else woz OK 2. Though she hasnt cn Joe & Ben, Dan vsits thm all the time. Down here
its a prfct, cloudless, still evening. Later Ill go down 2 the pub 4 a beer & try & catch H b4 she leaves
2 vsit Vi. Then Im getting 2 stubbies & going down 2 the rvr bank 4 the night mayb, honey, 2 the
same spot we were stuck in … Rang from the pay fone in the pub as the 1 in the booth outside the
store is out of order though it had bn working earlier 2day. H is getting her eyes (12/9/07. getn r·ad
($4000) now (but I’ve still got my own teeth!) tested on friday. Dan (1/9/07. ← rtkl n2daz The Age (A2
Culture & Life p 13): “Stephen Bucknall of model agency FRM, whose most booked male
model is also in his mid 30s (but he can look 22), manages one of Melbourne’s most
successful male catwalkers, Dan Zizys, a lean, intensely beautiful boy-man with a
sharply angled, whiskerless face and wide pillow lips. “But, we’re going to take him off
58
the books for a while, cut his hair, and get him into the gym,” says Bucknall. It’s time to
lob Zizys into the mainstream where his beauty may, or may not, give him an edge over
the lean, masculine mass.”) reckons hes heading 4 the US in july (18/6/03. 4 3 months (work
visa) & then hopes 2 hav an rrangement with a jap agency 2 go ther 4 6 weeks). Told H 2 tell them
(ncluding Kate) 2 catch me after 12 @ litho house if they still want 2 go 2 the footy on sunday. @ the
pub we dscovered we were all (3 others ncluding the little guy whos a pie supporter) practiclly the
same age.
1/7/03 ( June 28/29 (no 38)). Port Germein →Stirling North → Hawker → Wilpena Pound
→ 10ks out, just past the turnoff to Buneroo Gorge (where the road is closed). Went to Wilpena to see the
new visitors’ centre (flash new building, National Parks info and a large supermarket cum souvenir store
(where I got a tasteless capuccino out of an automatic dispenser and sent a postcard to mum). The Pound
camping ground is strictly regimented with designated areas for school groups and buses, those requiring
electricity and those happy to fumble about in the dark. I remember it about 10 years ago when everyone
just jostled for position and there were no marked areas for vehicles or tents. However the more people
go, the more need there is for structure and control. When we were there then I remember remarking how
the ground was becoming like concrete and the grass was disappearing. Rather than be touristy (we aspire
to being proper bushies) we headed out of Wilpena for a more private spot, where we promptly got
bogged. John wasn’t paying attention (having his pre-dinner stubby) and neither was I (gawping out the
window at the scenery) when we drove into a slightly lower spot, aiming to park between 2 callitris pines
to get a bit more cover from the main road about 300 yards behind us. As it had rained previously, the
front wheel immediately stuck in the soft ground. It took about 1½ hours to get out – we piled little stones
behind the back wheels and used a handy sheet of almost flat corrugated iron lying in the creek bed
nearby – and about 3 “goes” before John was able to get onto higher ground. We decided to stay here
rather than go back to Wilpena, so have had our evening meal and are hoping that it doesn’t rain too
heavily overnight. The price you pay for not wanting to be one of the crowd. It woz the back
passnger wheel th@ dug itslf in deepst aftr the nitial failure 2 rverse out. The
mbrassmnt if we had stayd boggd woz caused by us not having a prmit 2 b in the
park @ all shld we hav had 2 b pulld out. Wer taking a risk stayng here 2nght but @
least wer on slghtly hgher ground now & the van is levl so if we hav 2 spnd a day
or 2 parkd while the ground dries out it doesnt m@er. But lets rturn 2 the phlsphrs
& in prtcular Nietzsche. I m nware of anythng Foucault writes about the politics
of ‘truth’ whch hasnt already bn xpressd more elgantly by him. What Foucault
has 2 say about the classical greek truthsayers is better said by Nietzsche about
his masters of truth. Foucault has a habit of insffciently acknwldging the
nfluences on him. His notions of ‘care of self’ or ‘rt of self’ also seem 2 b
derivative. But mayb once a way of sayng somethng nters the language it has an
ndpndnt xistence rgardless of the author. I have made statemnts whch I only
subsqntly found out 2 b idntcl 2 1s made by Wittgenstein. What Nietzsche &
Foucault say about truthsayers is already mplied by Montaigne whn he claims his
book is no more than hmslf. The sayngs of great men r 2 b judged by the
authntcity (quality) of their lives. Though we r all xprssions of the dscourses th@
ntrsect in us it seems only some hav the capacity (is it self knwldge? courage?
smplcity? training? gft?) 2 giv xprssion 2 thm (their prspective). Montaigne is
prtculrly vhment in his condmnation of dshonsty as if it wer the greatest of the
sins. I thnk he mght b rght. Whn we speak ntruthfully language ceases 2 b a
contnuation of the body on whch it dpnds 4 legitmacy. We make further dvisions
in ourslvs whn we knowngly act the part 4 ther is nothng more ntmate than our
body language. If we dvide ourslvs in2 many comprtmnts we nd up not knowng
who we r. (
u r a master of dsguises
59
I slash thrgh thm
as thrgh so many sheets of tissue
& still I dont c u
u have shuffld the deck so well
th@ king queen jack joker
u yourslf dont know who u r
) Then we cant speak the truth evn shld we want 2. I thnk we live in an age wher
we hav acceptd the sepration of words from body. We routinely turn a blind eye 2
lying by the advertising ndustry & the polticians. The frghtnng thng about the
Tampa affair woz not th@ the polticians lied, we know they hav the habit, but th@
so many of us were capable of blievng the lies. The voting mjority were able 2
blieve th@ parents (if they were muslms) mght throw their kids in2 the c 2 drown
so they could gain ntry in2 the country. Its as if we no longer knew how human
beings bhave. I c dangerous times ahead. On occasions I hav bn prssured not 2
speak my mind on contrvrsial m@ers. Being in complete agreemnt with
Montaigne I can assure any1 who reads my stuff th@ compared 2 the violence I
would b doing 2 myself by not saying things as I c thm social acceptnce is barely
an issue 4 me. The rain has set in.
8/7/03. Started the day very early (pitch black, about 5.30 am) with a great flurry when it
started pelting down. It took us about 15 minutes to dress, dismantle my bed, pull down the pop top and
be on the made road. Being bogged once certainly makes your reflexes sharp to avoid a repeat. When we
got onto the made road we discovered that it was completely dry, so the rain must have been very local
indeed. However, in this country of instant clag we couldn’t take any chances. Had a chilly breakfast at
Dingly Dell and then drove through to Hawker where we resumed the coffee/paper habit at the Old Ghan
Railway Station Café. Passed the now (just days old) defunct Pichi Richi Railway at Quorn (apparently the
group who operates it has been bailed out financially once already by the S.A. government who won’t do it
again – foolish as historical railways are a great tourist attraction and Quorn’s economy will no doubt
suffer. Then on a treasure hunt to find a creek-bed somewhere near Mt Bryan which we really liked on a
previous trip but couldn’t find because we didn’t have a detailed map of the area (we’d decided to come to
the Flinders at the last minute to avoid the weather, and only had a general road atlas covering all of
Australia). Luckily, as it turned out, because it really began to pour down as we were about 8ks from the
highway to Burra and it didn’t stop till after we left there. We are now in our spot of 29/6/03 among the
mallees in weak sunshine (it’s after 4 pm) where we are having a very modest meal in deference to the
rich and tasty pie we each had passing through Wirrabara. Forgot to mention yesterday that we saw lots of
mule droppings (though no mules) on our walk, and quite fresh ones too. John also spotted a deposit when
we were exiting the track this morning onto the main road, so they are out and about, but rarely seen.
They are the feral descendants of the original stock used in the mining industry around Blinman (mainly
copper, we think). The Flinders have been marvellous both for their visual grandeur and the peace and
stillness in the spots we found away from the tourist routes. The areas around Quorn, Laura, Jamestown
etc. are also lovely in a softer, less challenging way but don’t give the same reminder that the wilderness
does, of the smallness of people and the easy crushing of their grand schemes. John by the way picked up
his usual stubbies at the Windongaleechie pub, outside Hallet. The word is supposedly aboriginal for wild
dogs drinking at a swamp. Sounds a bit suss to me – like Bringanuthadrinkalong or Cumenavabeer. I
notice whn I signed off on Nietzsche ystrdy I had managed 2 4get 2 mntion his
notion of the ‘overman’ (16/7/03. I c I m losing my memry as I did mntion it on
page 14), the idea he is most associated with in poplar magination. Zarathustra is
the xample of the superior being, a further stage in human evolution. I think with
the concept Nietzsche sold out on perspectivism bcoz it is only from a stance
outside humanity, a godlike stance (the 1 he dsclaimed (b4 he went mad)) th@ we
can speak of superior & nferior or of evolutionary direction. In the perspectivist
viewpoint ther is no measure 2 tell us what is up or down or 1
st
or last. & it may b,
60
as the saying goes, those who r 1
st
will b last & those who r last will b 1
st
. & the
evolution of our civlzation may b heading 4 dstruction. It seems Nietzsche could
not bear (thgh he proclaims the oppsit) the confusion & loss of authorty whch
woz the consquence of the death of the cartesian god. If jesus of nazareth woz
rferring 2 the same god (4 he woz already in powr, long b4 Descartes, in the
hellenic world even b4 Plato & woz the god of the hellenized ntllectuals of the
roman mpire & the middle east; thgh jesus did not speak greek it is ntrestng th@
the only prayer @ributed 2 him, The Lords Prayer (17/2/08. n Frost x Thomas Bernhard
th pantr Strauch: ““Our Father, who art in Hell, unhallowed be Thy name. No Kingdom
come. Thy will not be done. On earth, as it is in Hell. Deny us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us no trespasses. As we forgive none of those that trespass against us. Lead
us into temptation, and deliver us from no evil. Amen. That one works just as well,” he
said.” (19/2/08. what happened to Bernhard and Strauch? (20/2/08. Bernhard kmtd suicide (22/2/08.
rkrdn 2 Morris Lurie hoo 4 →me ♂zhd hepsv pblsht (nvr ·dvu, m8 (won the Patrick White
Award ($25,000) in 2006 which is “a way of acknowledging Australian writers who may not have received sufficient
recognition for their work.”)) & hz vrthn x & O Thomas Bernhard); dunno O Strauch – hvnt gt2 thndv th yt
(22/2/08. @th ndvth (twoz ♂z 1
st
) Strauch goz msn nth 4st nwntr przumble sus¤°.))) is
xtrordnrily similar 2 the Hymn of Cleanthes written 00s of years earlier), the
omniptent, eternl, nfnitely merciful god of the chrstians who commits those who
dsobey him 2 torture by frying thm in hell 4ever (H reckons a lot of the old ladies
in the nursing home r shit scared of dying in case its wher they nd up 4 having
4gottn 2 proply fold & put away their hubbies nderpants or tidy the house etc. )
whn he said he would b seatd @ his right h& I thnk he 2 would b contrdctng much
of his own teaching & such gestures as the washing of the apostles feet. But I
dont suspect 4 a momnt he woz rferring 2 the same god used by the righteous (&
by kings & lawmakers) as a justficatory prnciple 4 the xrcise of powr. The way I
ntrpret the words (4 I hav 2 @ribute some kind of meanng 2 thm) is th@ he would
b vindicated. I think he woz right – his words hav remained.
19/8 /03 ( August 18 (no 39) (18/1/08. *…* ← DANYO RESERVE (no 53).)). *8.40am. I
was awake 4 much of the night again. Its as if a switch was thrown on sunday & now Im agitated. I
worry about the kids. If I didnt discipline myself Id be worrying about them all the time. Or maybe its a
cyclical thing. When I did finally fall asleep I was soon woken because it got so cold. Whenever I
touched against the side of the van it was penetrating through the sleeping bag. I was cupping the
point of me shoulder with me free hand (What were you doing with your non-free hand? Helenz 30/8/03.)
2 stop it chilling. There is a thick layer of frost on the front of the window (facing away from the
morning sun) still. My agitations translate themselves in2 issues about writing bcause I know th@
success in saying what I want 2 dispels them. Ive decided 2 cut back on the fone text style though.
Excessive tinkering with individual words is slowing me down too much & makes the typing difficult 4
H. It constipated the xpression. The xperiment was fun & worthwhile if only 2 find th@ the 4m wasnt
natural 2 me (1/9/07. how rong ¤ woz!). u find out by doing it. @ a meeting of the concrete/visual
poets Tony Figallo once talked about breaking away from “linear” writing & Id like 2 but its got me in
its grip. As if Im meant 2 b there. What Id like 2 do is make the sentences less sequential or if
connected then by some other less rigid method (eg by association or sound) so I could jump about
from topic 2 topic more freely & the whole flow in a more amorphous continuous way, like water over
rocks. It would make it more like I am. (A few days ago when Lance Morton sold me a pair of sandals
4 $125 th@ he normally sells 4 $175 he said “Yesterday is history/tomorrow is a mystery/today is a
gift/& that’s why its called the present”. One of his customers is Ray Parkin who lives in the locality &
was a friend of Weary Dunlop. On the Burma railway they used 2 exchange their sketches & writing
so if only 1 survived the others work would also b saved. Recently his manuscript on captain cooks
explorations in the Endeavour was discovered & published by John Clarke. Hes writing a book on the
meaning of life. Hes 93. When Lance asked him what his secret is he said “ I live today like Im going
to die tomorrow” (so he should @ th@ age)). Making phlosophical statements about (a very large
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hare lolloped by) direct experience (knowledge) is problematic & the temptation is 2 overreach
(3/9/03. I have poked fun @ Neitzsche (c June 28/29 p 14) 4 saying I am god I am god (Vaslav
Nijinsky also said it) after he went mad but I do it with the observation th@ when a whole society acts
in a godlike manner its members, secured by righteousness, fail 2 c the funny side). We forget th@
our perceptions r interpreted by the words we assign 2 them & r given meaning only when others join
us in accepting our language. A couple of days ago I read a book by Chris Hedges (© First Anchor
Books Edition, June 2003. ISBN 1400034639) called War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning. He
has reported on the majority of recent conflicts & writes with passion how war intoxicates & distorts
our perspectives (& how politicians use th@.) I think it does it because in war we join with others
which is the basis of the 4mation of all meaning. (Elias Canetti writes well about it in Crowds and
Power). The experiences of an isolated individual mean nothing b4 they r shared. Since the last trip
Ive also read Neitzsche and the Vicious Circle by Pierre Klossowski (© ISBN 1226443876
(paperback) (printed on acid-free paper)). Nietzsche thought his experience @ Sils Maria of what he
termed “the eternal return” would change the course of history. But the language he used 2 give
expression 2 it was incoherent so it was never shared. Even George Luis Borges couldnt understand
what he was trying 2 say. Pierre Klossowskis explanations r equally incoherent. The requirement th@
if it is 2 have meaning language has 2 b accepted & understood is salutary. I cannot think of a better
example 2 illustrate the classical greek notion of hubris than the story of the last day in the life of
jesus of nazareth who in the morning claimed he would b seated @ the right hand of power & in the
evening wailed “oh god, oh god, (28/8/03. for how would he know it was god?) why have you
forsaken me?” (a rufous whstler (cant give u the latin name coz I forgot the bird book) is chirruping in
the calitris pine next 2 me) …* Danyo reserve via Pinnaroo (the fruit inspection booth wasnt manned)
→ Loxton (where the wild gazanias along the roadsides r in full bloom; got petrol & fruit) → Waikerie
(the ferry across the Murray had a patriotic flag up) → Morgan (stubbies) → usual spot 20ks short of
Burra (just spilt some Coopers stout on the journal). Im dispensing with detailed track notes as Im on
a route Ive described many times. Its 4.50 & a fine day with a very chilly wind. My readers (my mum
reads it) know that 2day is Bill Clintons birthday. He might b reminiscing on Monicas thong. Its also
my birthday. Mum sent a present, a book Berlin: The Downfall, 1945 by Antony Beevor,
Penguin 2003. We were in germany then & she took a train trip 2 prussia 2 reunite with my father just
as everyone else was fleeing west. Ive read about 1/3 of it but left it in Melbourne. Im 62 & I cant
sleep on my back because of apnea & now its beginning 2 affect me when I sleep on me left side.
Sometimes I sleep with me mouth open & dribble. I dribble & drivel elsewhere too. Algis Karazija was
telling me @ litho house he has a Peter Pan syndrome. He feels like a 25 year old. He thinks hes
about 2 score a job as the organizer of the Vilnius jazz festival. I feel old & its as if Ive used up my
credits. Ive got a temporary crown which I hope wont fall out during the trip. (“Uneasy lies the head
that wears the crown”. helenz 30/8/03). Ive got 2 b back in Melbourne on the 1
st
tuesday of next month
4 the replacement (3/9/03. but Walker botched the mould & has done another one 4 free). I told
Bronia (who has the reputation of making the best kugelis in Melbourne (but not as big a reputation
as the litho consul in Sydney, whose name is Šliteris. But Ive eaten kugelis x Šliteris & I reckon
Bronias is better. In fact Ive eaten kugelis (all meals $6) the last 3 sundays Ive been @ litho house)),
whos husband Arūnas (who died from cancer (as my father did) & whose father knew my father from
their airforce days in their youth in litho) is the only namesake I knew in the community th@ he told
me when he put in the original crown they have an average life of 7 years & I think thats about how
long ago he put it in. There r people in Melbourne of litho background who go 2 litho 2 get their teeth
fixed @ ½ the price, pay their airfare & have a holiday with the money they save. Identity is an issue
4 me @ the moment as Im in the process of getting an ozzie passport so I can use it 2 get a litho
passport (2/9/03. all fixed & paid up this morning & I should have litho citizenship & the passport by
end of year & Collingwoods in the finals 2 (1/9/07. rgn)) so I can use it 2 get litho passports 4 me kids
(2/9/03. just a 4mality 4 them now – about $150 each) so when litholand joins the EU next year they
can travel 2 litho (dont need a visa from oz) with an ozzie passport & then use the litho 1 2 travel or
work in europe without the hassle of having 2 get visas or work permits. I think I would be negligent if
I didnt do it as during the last war having the papers whch allowed u 2 travel was often the difference
between life and death & difficult times can come again (they will). I put in this info on my ID 4 the
benefit of me kids should they read my pieces which I give them. I have called myself JOHN
ARUNAS ZIZYS since I was 18 except on my drivers licence where my surname is still spelt ZIZIS
which is how my father often spelt it. On my fathers litho passport issued in 1930 his name is entered
as Vitoldas Simeonas ŽIŽYS but he has signed his name under the ID foto as ŽIŽIS. My mothers
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marriage certificate says she married a ŽIŽIS & that his father, my grandfather, was 1 too. My fathers
naturalization certificate, issued in 1954 in Northcote, has his name as Simonas ZIZIS & in the
associated documentation he entered my name as ARUNAS ZIZIS. I had 2 fill out a form called Form
119 (witnessed by Dr. John Alfred Wall who has known me 4 30 years) & provide heaps of docos 2 a
helpful girl on the ground floor of the immigration building on the corner of Spring & Lonsdale st 2
convince her that JOHN ARUNAS ZIZYS is the same as ARUNAS ZIZIS & Ive been here 53 years &
had 5 kids called ZIZYS. I gave her a statutory declaration (witnessed by John Wall) stating that in
litho the ‘i’ & the ‘y’ r almost the same sound, the ‘y’ being simply a stressed or prolonged ‘i’. A couple
of weeks ago I received by registered mail a magnificent certificate of Evidence of Australian
Citizenship, no. 01555501030, where it says my name is ARUNAS ZIZIS born on the 19
th
August
1941. It states further th@ “I, the Minister of Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, hereby declare that
the abovenamed is an Australian citizen and that citizenship was acquired on 1
st
January 1954”
(Dated 24
th
July, 2003) (Was it signed by Phillip Ruddock? I don’t want to be associated with anyone who
has been officially recognised by Phil the Grim Reaper. As it is I seem to be married to some bloke called
John Zizys who may not exist. Does that make me a bigamist, a widow, a fraud or a spinster of this
parish? helenz 30/8/03). I had 2 get this doco 2 use in my oz passport application because my litho
birth certificate where it calls me ARŪNAS JONAS only gives my family name in plural as son of
ŽIŽIAI. Anyway when I took my passport application 2 the 13
th
floor of the same building with my
newly acquired certificate the gentleman behind the counter said I had answered question 4
incorrectly. This is the question which asks u 2 give your current name 2 which I had written JOHN
ARUNAS ZIZYS. He said there woz no evidence of me being a JOHN (though later he accepted
$155 from my bankcard in th@ name) & he also changed the ‘y’ in2 an ’i’ as I looked on in
astonishment. It became evident 2 me th@ from his perspective I existed only as a bureaucratic
entity & th@ 44 years of calling myself JOHN ARUNAS ZIZYS meant nothing 2 him. In the end we
got over the problem by me signing a form saying that my name had been changed by accepted
usage (he said I was lucky I got it done b4 september 1
st
as from then its going 2 b a more
complicated procedure 2 deter terrorists getting passports in false names) & he promised that the
passport (which will have arrived by my return 2 Melbourne) will be in my name as I & everyone else
knows it: JOHN ARUNAS ZIZYS. 2 complicate matters (I say this 4 my kids) ozzies have always
known me as JOHN & ozzies of litho background have always known me as ARŪNAS. My father was
always called SIMON by ozzies & VYTAUTAS (Montaigne says VYTOLD) by lithos (12/12/08. ¤ ♪st
onle rs le th@ nm¤ frthrz 1
st
prsport sshudn 1930 ♂z namz ' z Vitoldas – Simeonas). He was
born in tsarist days. Under the tsars (from the latin ‘caesar’ (as is also the german ‘kaiser’)) litholand
was administered on their bhalf by the polish administration but by the time my dad was born the
russians were promoting a lithuanian speaking educated class 2 counter polish influence. I am doing
this for the benefit of me kids(You’ve said that already, probably twice – methinks you are protesting too
much. helenz 30/8/03) who when they get litho citizenship will be able 2 vote in their elections (they
set up a voting booth @ litho house in Errol st for the last ones) though they dont even know where
the country is. I have a further piece of info about my origins told me by my father. Its the only thing I
remember as I was too busy being a teenager 2 pay attention 2 him when he talked about his past
just as he was (he told me) too busy 2 listen much 2 his father (who was an eccentric who spent the
latter part of his life travelling by horse drawn cart making unwelcome visits 2 his relatives being
interested & well informed on the history of family members of whom there werent very many. He
lived from the proceeds of selling rush brooms that he made himself & also received a small pension
from the government 4 having been a book smuggler (knygnešys) in the days under the tsars when
books in litho (1/9/07. Monday 12/9/05) were banned. He was a teller of yarns & not particularly
welcome on unexpected returns 2 his home village where he did things like nail up a door & cut out a
new 1 while everyone was away in the fields. When he came 2 Panemune in Kaunas 4 my mother &
fathers wedding the family woke 2 the sound of a tree being sawn down that had been planted @ my
mums birth. He said he was cutting it down 2 mark her new beginning (there is still a tree there th@
was planted when I was born (1/9/07. Melbourne → Kaunas 30/5/04.)). Late in life after the 2
nd
war, he was declared ‘an enemy of the people’ by the soviet authorities & his 12 hectare property
confiscated). My father said th@ his father said th@ the family name is of relatively recent origin
having been started by a traveller who settled. The traveller was known as an ‘ungaras’ (in litho)
which indicates he may have come from hungary. By my fathers day ½ the people in his village were
of the same family name & some in a couple of neighbouring villages. They were loosely divided into
2 branches, the ‘talls’ & the ‘shorts’ but there was no discernable difference in their heights. The
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original ‘ungaras’ may have been a gypsy or a tinker or anyone else who travels. When I told the
story some years ago 2 a litho intellectual (oxymoron), a recent immigrant, he ridiculed it saying it
couldnt be true as ‘ungaras’ is obviously derived from the english ‘hungarian’ whereas the litho word
for hungarian is ‘vengras’. Last week it occurred 2 me 2 wonder where the english word comes from
so I looked up the Oxford dictionary & I find that the medieval latin 4 hungary is hungaria & th@
throughout europe the magyars were known as ungari, ungri, ugri, ungarn etc. It is obvious 2 me that
the constant letters r ‘u’, ‘n’, ‘g’, & ‘r’ & that the litho word ‘vengras’ is also the same word with the ‘u’
having evolved into a ‘v’. My dads story has gained credibility as it is likely that his ‘ungaras’ is an
older version of what in modern times became ‘vengras’ in litho. My mothers family name is KABAILA
& is said 2 b of tartar origin (tartars r asians in litholand but in sweden tortor refers 2 gypsies). There
is a story that it was adopted from the female side of the family as a security measure 2 safeguard
them from government reprisals after the 1905 peasant uprising in russia. The past slips away! Good
luck kids. Oh yes, a couple more items. I think me & my kids (1/9/07. & now thrz Elliot Hansord-
Zizys) r the only ones of that surname in australia & there r none of us in the fone book as my home
number is silent. The greek shoemaker in Ivanhoe once insisted my surname was greek even though
I assured him I knew who I was. Greeks can be like that. Fact is its no more greek than the Bocadillo
bar in Brunswick st is spanish. 6.00pm.
26/8 /03. Id better put in the last of my observations on events in Melbourne otherwise Ill
still b writing about them on the way home. Tuesday 3 weeks ago (5/8/03) was 1 of those swervy
days where the city gets 2 feel like a village. Is it a particular mood (disturbed, agitated) which jolts u
in2 noticing connections which r always there or r u living differently? It was the day Tony F. threw the
wobbly @ the ‘poets’ @ Café Fruscolino in Richmond. Afterwards I rode on 2 the Bocadillo in
Brunswick st where I usually arrive @ 9pm 4 a snack & a couple of sangrias b4 going on 2 a bit of
music @ The Make It Up Club. Tom Fryer was walking past the window & popped in 4 a chat. Events,
as large as any 2 affect our lives, have been raining down on him in quick succession. His mother,
who has been sole carer of his father who is incapacitated by a stroke, has been diagnosed with
terminal cancer. Tom had just come from the hospital. He is an only child. On top of everything else
hes faced with difficult moral decisions about the extent of his responsibility 4 the care of his father &
the task of negotiating the bureaucracies of the nursing home industry. I told him the best rule I knew
4 negotiating moral issues is 2 treat others the way u want 2 b treated yourself (5/9/03. not becoz
others always want the same things u want, though the likelihood of it being so increases as the
issues r more basic, but bcoz if we r 2 b joined in the 1 body it isnt so much a matter of perceiving the
world in the same way as of the decisions (agreements, contracts) we make about rules 2 live by
despite our differences). If u neglect others b prepared 2 b neglected yourself. I think Im prepared 4 it
but Im probably an obsessed person expecting 2 retain the company of my obsessions 2 the end. I
would not want my kids 2 assume a carers role 4 me @ the expense of their own lives. Thats not why
I had them though in 3
rd
world countries it might be the general expectation. However I dont think it
would be excessive 2 expect 1 of them 2 do the necessary legwork 2 locate a decent nursing home
(That’s an oxymoron – helenz 2/9/03.) & then 2 keep th@ bureaucracy under observation & on notice
which is more than most do. An occassional visit might also be in order. My preference is 2 take
responsibility 4 my own exit & 4 the medical establishment 2 b responsible 4 easing pain should I
request it. I think I would like 2 die on my cot in the van parked under a river red gum by a desert
creek bed. I dont believe I have even a minor fear of death & if my hand were 2 b held it would b by H
4 whose future Id b worrying more than 4 my own. The problem is if I was incapacitated by stroke or
some such I wouldnt b able 2 drive out here. Ive drifted off the point. Returning 2 the Bocadillo I
suggested 2 Tom if he found it necessary 2 consult a doctor I recommend Dr Doig @ Ivanhoe clinic
becoz he has plenty of experience in nursing homes, is the doctor responsible 4 Hs mother Vi so Ive
had an opportunity 2 assess him in the role, has a very caring manner according 2 her, is a good
talker & fully explains what he does; & I could have added I suspect him of being a rounded
personality. Also he gets my writing I told Tom. Tom noted he had a guitar student called Doig & I
thought given my aptitude 4 coincidence its just as likely 2 b Doigs son (I knew he had a couple of
kids). The name was Chris & his age was 15. A week later @ the next music night Tom confirmed his
student was indeed the son of the doctor. When Tom left the Bocadillo Victoria (who also gets my
pieces) came over & said the jazz singer who is there a couple of times a month on fridays had asked
her the previous week if she knew who the couple were, meaning me & H, who regularly sit @ the
window as she thought we were the parents of a girl she went 2 school with called Kate Zizys. The
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singers (& pianists) name is Catrina Seiffert. Kate doesnt remember her but H still sees her mother
(who had been a mover & shaker in parent organizations @ the primary school) around Ivanhoe.
Well say hullo next time we see her. Victoria said “small world”. People say it 2 me, I confirm it …Left
@ 10, was back @ 4. Wont go in2 the detailed geography of the walk which was mostly along creek
bed & ridge. Found several pools of clear water so was able 2 wash my hands & face. 1 was deep
enough 4 a full dip had I wanted but it was cold & I thought I might b short of time. From the ridge u
see Mt Patawerta which looks very different from the east than the south from which aspect Hans
Heysen (Walter Struve who has read his letters tells me he was a nazi sympathiser) has done a
number of paintings of it. It wasnt as comfortable walking along the top as a ridge can b as these hills
r made from layers of rock like concentric plates lifted so the protruding edges constitute the ridge. U
keep having 2 criss cross the exposed edges & the ground is covered with loose rubble. The place is
stocked after all as I saw a flock of about 50 sheep but there r far more goats which Ive been seeing
in large flocks each day both in creekbeds & in the hills.The highlight was I did finally see a group of
mules/donkeys. I saw them on the other side far away down in a valley as soon as I reached the
ridge. I got a good look through the binoculars. There were 5 adults & 2 foals. 2morrow I turn around
& retrace my path back 2 Melbourne over 3 days so as 2 b there by Friday 4 our usual weekend tryst.
Time 4 a mug of coffee.
23/9/03 ( September 20/21 (cursive by helenZ; block by a…z…) (no 40)). We are 34ks
out from Hay, 1½ ks along a track which goes to a channel & then runs along it westward into the plains. It
is a glorious spot – peppercorn trees, calitris pine, saltbush, boxthorn and who knows how many kinds of
ground cover (pigface, clover, Austral bugle, pea plants to name ones I know – there are heaps Ive not
seen before) all interspersed with thickly growing Salvation Jane. A pair of kites in courting mode are in
residence, circling the trees slowly. Its like an antipodean garden of eden, except for the flies (they had
there 2) which are out in numbers. Nearby there are some orange sandhills, and small birds are
constantly talking. John has the binoculars out. We had a quiet night behind the Hay railway station as the
wind dropped soon after we shifted from the river (I got really spooked by the falling timber and if they
were twigs falling on the van, they must have been going at 100ks an hour because they were hitting with
really loud bangs). After breakfast (coffee & paper) at a local bakery where the proprietor was in a flap
(sudden influx of people wanting breakfast, sand-wiches, coffee and a phone call telling her that someone
forgot the High School order) we set out along a back road intending to go to Booligal, but found this spot
and decided it was too good to miss, especially with a possible rain band coming through later – if we have
to sit it out, its better here by far than on the side of the road. In this area you can’t drive on unsealed road
if its raining as it becomes like glass, unless you’re in a 4x4 and even then you can have trouble if it really
buckets down. There are a few rabbits here which have escaped the fate of their calici-prone relatives, but
not many – in years before the virus spread you would see hundreds. I’m glad a few have survived – like
the Salvation Jane, they are unwanted immigrants, but they do add life and colour to the landscape –
although no doubt they’ll breed quickly to their former numbers if they are resistant to the virus. I forgot to
mention that I checked my hotmail in Tocumwal to see if there was anything from Dan (no) and was
impressed by the 3 state-of-the-art computers at the Information Centre, now also called the CTC
(Community Technology Centre). Houses in Tocumwal are very affordable, judging from the real estate
agent’s window - &178000 up to $250000 for houses, $90000 for a unit. It seems a nice place too – on a
bend of the Murray, with red gum forests around, 2 supermarkets, a huge model of a Murray Cod, 2 coffee
shops, a nice climate and connected to the world on the www. Like many towns now, it boasts its claim to
fame under the town sign on the roads in and out: “Home of a Paralympian”. Katematite was “Home of a
Stawell Gift Winner” and Cobargo is where “The Legend Lives On”. Don’t know what Hay aspires to –
perhaps “Hay is for Horses”? A few additions 2 Hs nature notes. The pair of black kites
(Milvus migrans) have been the most evident of the birds bcoz they have been
watching us from the same perches the ntire afternoon. On 1 occasion the male
bird landed on the back of the female. The other large raptor in the vicinity is the
spotted harrier (Circus assimilis) which we saw cruising slowly low 2 the ground
over the plains on the walk weve just come from (5.25pm). Smaller birds of prey
th@ I saw r the australian kestrel (Falco cenchroides) & the black-shouldered kite
(Elanus notatus) both of which u get in Melbourne. But the area really blongs 2
the small & medium sized birds th@ chirrup, trill, & warble & Im looking 4ward 2
2morrows morning chorus. I have never seen white-winged trillers (Lalage
tricolor) in these numbers & Ive also seen a few hooded robin (Melanodryas
crecullata) with which they r easily confused & in whose nests the trillers no
65
doubt lay their eggs. The most colourful bird here is the crimson chat
(Ephsthianura tricolor) & Ive been able 2 observe them from close up as they r
common both near the van & out on the plain. (the wind which has been from the
north east has dropped & the birds have gone quiet; the south-ern & eastern ½ of
the sky is dark & ominous whereas the northwestern ½ is broken up with blue
patches; the clouds r moving south & the front will come from the west overnight
I xpect) There r 2 varieties of fairy wrens in the area: the variegated fairy wren
(Malurus lamberti, race: assimilis) & the white winged fairy wren (Malurus
leucopterus, race: leuconotus). A significant addition 2 the sound-scape is made
by the singing bushlark (Mirafra javanica, aust.race: horsfieldi). I wont enumerate
the many other birds (I can hear magpies & butcherbirds; the 2 kites have come 4
a closer look & r floating low above the van) as 2 the best of my knowledge only 2
of my readers r birdos. (just seen a pair of parrots but dont know what kind; Nick
Stevens has been suspended 4 2 weeks & is leaving Port (30/9/03. Nick went to St
Helena Secondary College where I am a teacher-librarian as did Simon Prestigiacomo the Collingwood
player. Hows that – I know 2 famous people!); H is doing the Womans Day crossword; the
sun is setting now: 6.15). Returning 2 yesterday. After she read my entry H
accused me of being mired in the past & gave me a little pep talk on how I should
live in the present. But what does it mean 2 make the distinction? What is the
underlying strategy of it? The pictures whch upset me were taken 60 years ago
but they were displayed on the wall in 2003 by people who know me now & who
were alive then as I was. By doing th@ they affect me now. I ddnt choose 2 see
the fotos (1 of a corpse with a bullet hole through the forehead, flanked by 2
NKVD men). If u want 2 b xact about saying its in the past u say the earth has
gone round the sun 60 times in the intervening period but not only was I on it
both the 1
st
& the last time they continue 2 b the same earth & the same sun only
slightly changed (as Borges would say). Is the underlying strategy of Hs request
a desire th@ I b dislocated in2 parts & perhaps 1 part b suppressed? Would it b
fair 2 ask an historian (Im a bit of an amateur 1) not 2 dwell in the past? Is it
healthier not 2 b an historian?(30/9/03. Perhaps the difference between the professional and the
amateur is that the professionals keep their distance emotionally from the subject matter, and can be
dispassionate reporters, so that they don’t lay awake in turmoil over things they have had no control
over). R historians needed by society? Is history invented? As I was reading the
histories of body counts (like records in a sporting event eg. th@ 80% of all exiles
2 siberia in the years 1948-50 were balts) next 2 the fotos another person on the
way out stopped 2 comment. He pointed 2 an individual in a group foto of
partisans in a forest who he said looked like & could have been his father. His
father had remained 2 fight the soviets while he himself (4 years older than me)
had been brought 2 the west by his mother. His father had died there soon after
being released from siberia as many others who returned did. As we talked it
occurred 2 me th@ our stories could have easily been reversed as my father, bcoz
he had been an officer in the armed forces of free lithuania, had agonized over
whether he was duty bound 2 join the resistance & could have also chosen 2
remain 4 an impossible struggle. I noticed our interpretations of the same
historical material differed by as much as the paths our lives had taken were
different. It is neither possible nor desirable we c the world through the same
eyes but I hope we can agree on rules 2 live by so we can continue our
66
conversation.
28/10 /03 ( October 27 (no 41)). 8.45 am. Im still @ the reserve sitting on the clothes
box in the van as I write bcoz its raining ouside. It started raining lightly in the middle of the night &
hasnt let up. Its been cold & the morning has the feel of winter. After I went 2 bed yesterday a
boobook owl joined the frog chorus. Later I heard a koala close 2 the van. Ive had breakfast (Kellogs
Komplete Muesli) & am drinking a large mug of instant coffee (Smooth & Satisfying International
Roast). The weather means I have no destination, am in no hurry 2 get going, so I might as well put
in a correction 2 my previous piece September 20/21 which I 4got 2 make yesterday. In it on p.4 I
had copied out an ‘I Ching’ reading done by Kate & Joe 2 Hs question whether she would get the
grant (I had written it was 4 $11000 but actually it was 4 $16000) she had applied 4 4 her school. @
the time of the reading done on fathers day we had agreed it gave such an uncompromised indication
of a successful outcome th@ if she ddnt get it the capacity of the ‘I Ching’ 2 make predictions would b
discredited. After I had written the entry (on 21/9/03) I reported th@ H told me she had missed out on
it (bcoz as she told me a couple of days ago the date by whch the government said it would in4m her
of the result had passed with no news) but last friday she came home from school chuffed with the
news th@ she had just been informed she had got it after all. I am anxious 2 have this point cleared
up bcoz though I dont know how u could prove the validity of a method of prognostication (since even
if it were 2 b correct on every occasion it could b a fluke?!) a single false prediction would make it
useless as u could ask a simpleton questions about the future & some of the answers would have 2
turn out predictive. An oracles answers must b either true or obscure but never false if there is 2 b
any value in consulting it. A similar consideration applies 2 the claim by jesus of nazareth th@
whatever u ask in his name u shall receive. A single instance of making a request & failing 2 receive
would discredit the claim. U cannot wriggle out of the situation by saying u can only make worthy
claims or ones of the kind clergymen might approve of bcoz then should any request @ all fail it
could b dismissed as having been of the wrong variety & the nazarenes promise would b made
devoid of power, or even meaning. I have only begged when my pleas have been involuntary (in the
nature of cries) without any consideration 4 their worthiness & I have no proof, 2 date, th@ his claim
is false. The @itude I find appealing is xpressed in a tetrastich which may be credited 2 Omar
Khayyam whch is not normally given in the body of his work but whch introduces the Calcutta mss (1
of the few old manuscripts of his verses in existence.) It is said 2 have arisen from a dream (of
Omar?) in which his mother asks about his future & admonishes him in these words:
Oh Thou who burn’st in Heart for those who burn
In Hell, whose fires thyself shall feed in turn,
How long be crying, ‘Mercy on them, God!’
Why, who art Thou to teach, and He to learn?
Another quatrain sometimes @ributed 2 Omar whch is also relevant & I would b proud 2 appropriate
as my motto (if u nsist, against my xpress wishes, on a gravestone nscription I approve of it though I
would prefer something simpler as 4 nstance the grave of Wittgenstein whch consists of a plain slab
lying on the ground with only the words ‘Ludwig Wittgenstein 1889-1951’ ngraved on it) is the 1 th@
ntroduces the Bodleian mss of his poems written @ Shiraz in AD 1460:
If I myself upon a looser Creed
Have loosely strung the Jewel of Good deed;
Let this one thing for my Atonement plead:
That One for Two I never did misread.
It is still raining & it doesnt look like its going 2 stop. Im heading northwest & staying on bitumen. My
immediate objective is 2 find a good place 2 read the paper … 6.35. On the bank of the
Murrumbidgee in Hay just north of the bridge where I always stop (see September 20/21 p 6). Ive
reactivated my plan of going through Pooncarie. Its windy & warm. Ive gone from winter 2 summer in
½ a days driving. I am parked under overhanging river red gums whch r echoing with the
characteristic, varied calls of noisy friarbirds (Philemon corniculatus). There r plenty of mozzies
about. After leaving the reserve this morning I drove back in2 Ruffy 2 c if I could get 2 read a
newspaper @ the Ruffy Produce Store but it wasnt open 4 business. However the owners were
67
working inside so I was able 2 give them a copy of my last piece of writing in whch the store is
mentioned. I wasnt prepared 2 stop 4 the coffee they offered & went on 2 Nagambie (through
Longwood & Locksley) where I read the paper in the pub we used 2 go 2 b4 we were married th@
overlooks the lake. If u remember its the 1 where the 2 huge mastiffs were & whch always had rabbit
on the menu. Now it has pokie machines with sad, vacant looking elderly ladies sitting in front of
them. It also overcharges 4 poor quality red wine of which I bought 2 glasses. I wont go back there.
Then I drove through Murchinson, Rushworth, Echuca (where I stopped 4 a bite by the river),
Mathoura (where I bought a stubby), Deniliquin, 2 within 20ks of Hay (where I had a nap on a track a
few hundred yards off the road). Now Im going 2 get a stubby of Sheaf stout & on2 the spot by the
old station where we stopped last time as a big wind has sprung up again & Im apprehensive under
the swaying canopy of the red gums.
4/11/03. As Vi was dying a news item appeared claiming the pope was dying. Cardinal
Ratzinger (?) asked the catholics of the world 2 pray 4 him. What would they b praying 4? – that he
die quicker or slower? As far as getting in I would have thought he already had a gold pass. He is
infallible in a dozen languages & probably wrote the catechism so should b able 2 answer any
awkward questions. Why should they worry about him? Dont they have enough of their own dying
from poverty & disease (most of the catholics r in south america & other poor countries) without being
asked 2 pay @ention 2 the supreme pontificator? I doubt if any1 would have thought 2 pray 4 Vi or
she expect them 2. I ddnt but then I only pray under duress (& when I thank 2). Suppose though I
was a prayful, churchgoing type. What could I say? Could I say god should it b true as the jehovas
say there r only 144000 places up there & if they r already taken up please delete 1 of the witnesses
2 let Vi in? She had her faults but she was so good 2 our kids. Or dear god in case your @ention is
taken up by all those catholics praying 4 the pope please remember Vi in the nursing home. If they
take her 2 hospital @ the last moment theyll restart her heart with electric shocks & shell die from
gangrene in the legs. (There r pink cockatoos (Cacatua leadbeateri) about) Who am I, indulged in
every whim, 2 pray 4 her? & she wouldnt have asked. Who am I 2 reason with god? @ the funeral
the beatitudes according 2 Matthew were read by Joe. He used 2 say he was a buddhist & read up
on their books but I dont know if he still does (1/9/07. but ♂ duzr ½ owr mdtashn/da).
The Gospel according to St Matthew Chapter 5
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted
Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled
Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.
When she was preparing the service H told me she was picking out passages she felt were
appropriate 4 Vi. (9/11/03. I actually said passages that spoke to me of mum – helenz) This is part of the
same 1 Dennis read out @ George Joosts service. I suppose some1 felt it was true 4 him 2. She took
it from the bible Ron Heatherington (who lived (& slept with) deformed people & alcoholics & was in
trouble with the law 4 living off other peoples social welfare) gave me after a lift from Broken Hill 2
Benalla where he dropped me off in the middle of the night where I slept with it in my pocket under a
bridge. Im not sure how well these apply 2 Vi. The 1
st
1 ddnt make sense 2 me till I checked it out in
Good News Australia (which is the 1 I now have on the dashboard) where its writen as: happy are
those who know they are spiritually poor. My impression was she fancied she had a degree of moral
xcellence or perhaps xperience whch set her aside a bit. I think its how she was seen by her
neighbours in West Heidelberg. Perhaps it applies 2 the guilt (well hidden & unjustified as she ddnt
have the money) she felt all her life @ not having reared her 1
st
2 children (12/12/07. I was going
through Mum’s old photos on Monday and came across the divorce (nisi) papers for her first marriage to
Walt Wills. The grounds were her desertion of him and the children. Yet all her family knew (including
Dean, her son, then aged about 7) that it was Walt who deserted her, coming home rarely and providing
little if any financial support, to the extent that she had to rely on handouts of food and clothes from her
mother and sister. He was a famous womanizer and man-about-town and the solicitor who drew up the
papers was one of his best friends. Walt virtually abducted the kids from her care one night and took them
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to his mother who presided over a large extended family, where the daughter, Verna, then only about 3,
settled in extremely well, though Dean had difficulty. She could only go home to her mother Bec, ill, worn
out by a long struggle to make ends meet and devastated by the loss of her children. While she was at
Bec’s home, not far from the Wills’ home, Dean used to visit her every day after school despite his father
forbidding him to do so. This traumatized both mother and son, so the two granmas got together and
worked out a plan – mum would go to Melbourne to live with Bec’s sister, Aunty Nell, and Dean would go to
Sydney with Beck and Beck’s partner, Tom Hillier, where they remained until Dean was about 12 or 13. It
was probably the only sane solution to what must have seemed at the time an unjust, horrendous mess).
It may b it prevented her from leaving Noel in case the circumstances were repeated with H. (Perhaps
it refers to her deeply felt idea that she just might end up “down there”.) The 2
nd
1 doesnt seem 2 apply
very well either. I interpret the word ‘mourn’ 2 describe some1 wearing a veil with a sad look sitting in
a pew in a church, or joining a convent. Vis manner was sunny & energetic, she made witty remarks.
Mayb though there was a stool in a shadowy place where she sat sometimes out of sight. (Can’t you
mourn deeply for 2 lost children and a multitude of lost opportunities even while you put on a happy face?)
The 3
rd
doesnt apply @ all. Id give her 0/10 4 it. When I think of ‘meek’ I think of David Copperfield
holding the bowl or a special style of begging adopted by some druggies. Vi was nothing like it. When
she finally did get an opportunity 2 take a small part in community life (in West Heidelberg) she was a
natural leader njoying the exercise of a bit of authority. Meekness isnt an attribute any of us believe in
anymore. U should c some of the resumes written by job applicants th@ H has shown me. (I always
thought of the meek as the downtrodden – the ones who arent born to wealth and privilege, who have to
struggle to make ends meet and make the daily effort to keep trying ). The 4
th
, hungering & thirsting 4
righteousness sounds more like Joe Bjelke Petersen & come 2 think of it she was a fan. He (&
Pauline Hansen) was such a hit with the oldies. (Mum was always sure there was a god – she was often
shocked at my lack of faith ). The 5
th
beatitude doesnt apply. Only the powerful get the opportunity 2
show how merciful they r. (There are small mercies, too – kindness, generosity, patience – given freely
without expectation of reward or acknowledgement) I cant say anything about the 6
th
. Don’t even know
what it means. (Perhaps those who have no malice aforethought?) The 7
th
is about peacemakers & I
think of Bob Hawke & consensus politics, getting every1 2 sit round the table with their ambit claims,
negotiating positions, bottom lines etc. Or of Henry Kissinger & shuttle diplomacy. Cant imagine her
in the company. (Like small mercies, there may be small peaces – letting your kids find some stability or
permanence by letting them go). I think you have 2 agree the total score out of 7 X 10 is not very high
… 5.30. Ive got an entire homestead 2 myself. Its called Tararra & is part of the Scotia Wildlife
Sanctuary whose reception centre is 10ks away in an area behind a high electrified fence & remote
controlled security gates. It is 1 of 12 sanctuaries covering 1½ million acres in total belonging 2 a
private non profit organization called Australian Wildlife Concervancy (AWC). It is °icated 2 the
conservation of threatened species (5 of which r being bred 4 release here ) by putting them in
protected areas after complete eradication of feral species (fox, cat, rabbit). @ 8000 hectares this is
going 2 b the largest enclosed pest free area in australia. For funding the organization depends on
donations, bequests, shareholders & visitors in the very impressive br& new buildings inside the
enclosure where I was told this in4mation & provided with liter@ure by Michelle Connell (Scotia
Sanctuary via Wentworth NSW 2648) who must get very lonely here sometimes in such a remote
outpost with only the manager 4 company it seemed. She suggested I spend the night here @ the
homestead where Im all by myself after I declined the use of their ultra modern facilities in the
compound. Ive got an xcellent tennis court & 4 tennis racquets but am unable 2 play both ends @ the
same time. Ive got hot & cold showers but havent managed 2 work out how 2 turn on the water (after
stripping off in anticipation) in them but did man\age 2 turn it on in the wash basin so Ive washed me
face, h&s & brushed me teeth. Im under the shade of a largish gum @ the front of the main house. Its
a beautiful setting. Im off 2 do a signposted nature walk whch it says takes about 90 minutes….. Had
2 ab&on it & retrace my path after ½ an hour as I lost the track. This venture is br& new & my
footprints were the only 1s on the track whch winds unobtrusively 2 the point of vanishing in the
evening light with shadows slanting across it. I had only taken the nature notes not having bothered 2
even look @ the larger map 2 verify general directions so I went back while I still could c my
footprints. A benefit of travelling without a set itinerary is th@ u bcome subject 2 unexpected, beaut
events such as my present situation. After returning 2 Coombah this morning I topped up with petrol
again & drove south along the highway the 40ks 2 the turnoff west past Springwood station. The 1
st
major intersection is 24ks further where the distances to Renmark, Pooncarie & in this direction r
given in miles. Then I drove this way intending 2 get on2 the Broken Hill - Burra road by going
through Lock Lilly station. The track looked dubious & I passed a DRIFT SAND sign. The occasional
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sign 2 Scotia Conservation Reserve looked br& new but I ddnt know what it might mean. 19ks further
I stopped 2 make enquiries @ Nanya homestead but found it no longer in use though the water was
still on. I had a meal there & inspected the building & shearing sheds. I would have returned there 4
2night if I hadnt been generously offered this whch despite the conveniences is just as private. Scotia
Reserve is 14ks past Nanya & Tararra about 10ks 2 the south. Nanya is also being turned in2 a
conservation project by a university. 2gether with the large Dangali Conservation Park across the
border in SA these places r all joined in2 a very large continuous conservation zone whch most
people r totally unaware of. Its a discovery 4 me. I reckon the Scotia venture deserves 2 b supported
& so does Sir David Attenborough. He reckons its vitally important not only 4 australia but 4 the
planet. Goodnight.
(31/8/07. Completion of Tuesdays from folder 4. (nos. 34 – 41 of anthology))
17/2 /04 ( 16/2/04 – 27/2/04 (no 42)). My back survived ystrdays travl quite well,
honey, though it reminds me of my age. @ least 1 problm is solvd: I can 4get any thghts of travl 2
europ as sitting in a crampd seat on a tern@ional flght 4 hours on nd is out. The week b4 last on
monday (@ the new Transport pub in FedE) Vaidas Žvirblis (who sends my stuff 2 Hilas AKA Boris
Joselovich AKA Borisas Joselovičius who is perfctly fluent in hebrew, litho & russian & though he
teaches college nglish in the city of Nesher in israel has buckleys chance of making any sens out of
this piece of writing) told me a salutary tale about the problms a bad back can cause. He couldnt
sleep on a flght 2 Melbourne a couple of days after SEPTEMBER 11 so fidgetted about & lookd out
the windows nstead. Whn the flght @10dant askd him why he wasnt sleeping he told her about his
back but whn they l&ed in Melbourne airport he was met x SECURITY & a DOG & taken out the RED
DOOR 4 n10sive terrorgation & all his stuff was mptied from his bag (whch was made in bolivia but
bought in a market in germany) & they said his number was up & hed b put in2 jail coz they found
traces of HEROIN & OTHER DRUGS in his bag with their dtector. Finally after getting the names of
all his friends etc. & who was waitin 2 meet him @ the airport - Gintas - a guy came in & said VERY
SORRY it was our mistake we 4got 2 change the filter on the dtector from the previous bust & u can
go home. 2 days l8r whn I was telling his story 2 Andrew Saniga over a focaccia & coffee in Lygon st
in Carlton (yes wev rsumed convivality) he lstened wth mazement coz he had overheard a woman
telling what soundd like the same story @ the Vic Market the previous day. Xcept she was saying it
as if it had taken place just recently. So WHAT IS HAPPENING? R nnocent people being terrorg8d x
SECURITY & then let go on the prtxt of a filter not being changed & this is not being rported x the
papers or hav I heard of the only 2 cases of it happnin in Melbourne x COINCIDENCE (something Im
subject 2). It shows what can happn whn youv got SHAGGERS BACK (2/9/07. r prlbm wchwoz
tmporrle solvd nowr wr ← ← urop x rsudn bowtv IMPOTENCE wr wot hsbn rdale hbt woz rjuist2
rwekle1 (wth 90%v snsashn gon) & onle now rftr 6weks nth wagon m¤ rtrnn 2sum normlte &
thsmornn dun THE POMPEII POSITION ( Journal ♪♫ Italy 20/4/07) 4 th1
st
sins thrip) & why I
cant go 2 europ in my presnt condtion. 8.40 → along the Whitfield/Lake Buffalo rd (20ks) (whch I
havnt bn on b4 & would avoid if wet) → Marshall Ridge Reserve (c 11/11/02 – 20/11/02 p 8)
(wher Im in a littl rotunda blonging 2 the Myrtleford Sportfishermens Club on a spit of l& srroundd x
water. Iv just eatn 1 of the 6 mangoes I brought wth me but need an xcuse 2 stop a bit longer in this
beaut spot on a still morning so Im quoting again from Ernest Gellner the piece th@ Frank
Lovece was quoting 2 me in the s&wch shop: “How is a society established, and a series of societies
diversified, whilst each of them is restrained from chaotically expoiting that wide diversity of possible
human behaviour? A theory is available concerning how this may be done and it is one of the basic
theories of social anthropology. The way in which you restrain people from doing a wide variety of
things, not compatible with the social order of which they are members is that you subject them to
ritual. The process is simple: you make them dance round a totem pole until they are wild with
excitement and become jellies in the hysteria of collective frenzy; you enhance their emotional state
by any device, by all the locally available audio visual aids, drugs, dance, music and so on; and once
they are really high, you stamp upon their minds the type of concept or notion to which they
subsequently become enslaved. The idea is that the central feature of religion is ritual, and the
central role of ritual is the endowment of individuals with compulsive concepts which simultaneously
define their social and natural world and retrain and control their perceptions and comportment, in
mutually reinforcing ways. These deeply internalized notions henceforth oblige them to act within the
terms of prescribed limits. Each concept has a normative, binding content, as well as a kind of
70
organizing, descriptive content. The conceptual system maps out social order and required conduct,
and inhibits inclinations to thought or conduct which transgress its limits …. This is one of the central
theories of anthropology, and until a better one is found, I shall remain inclined to believe that it must
be valid. I can see no other explanation concerning how social and conceptual order and
homogeneity are maintained within societies which, at the same time, are so astonishingly diverse as
between each other. One species has somehow escaped the authority of nature; and is no longer
genetically programmed to remain within a relatively narrow range of conduct. So it needs new
constraints. The fantastic range of genetically possible conduct is constrained in any particular herd,
and obliged to respect socially marked bounds. This can only be achieved by means of conceptual
restraint, and that in turn must somehow be instilled. Somehow, semantic, culturally transmitted limits
are imposed on men.” 10.45.) → Myrtle4d (petrol (33L replaced 350ks); checked mobile: message
from K8 saying th@ the roman lord of medcine had 4 daughters 1 of whom was called Aegle whch
she prnounced Egle (my sisters name) but ther is no relationship; bought paper; cldnt get thrgh 2 H)
→ Bright (got thrgh 2 H. She drove the new car 2 school then had 2 drive home again coz she had
left her h&bag bhind in the xitemnt; Ben is anxious 2 get his h&s on the old 1 ASAP (17/11/07. krashtt
– twoz r'off)) → Harrietville (read the Age wth the help of a stubby of beer @ the Snowline Hotel:
260000 SUSPICIOUS or DANGEROUS people on Australias movement alert list: mayb Vaidas is 1 of
thm) → Hotham Ski Village (toilt) → Dinner Plain → Victoria Historic Site Reserve (in the Cobargo
district (c 12/4/03 – 24/4/03 p 9) b4 u get 2 Omeo; parkd here 4 the night; startd reading The
Authentic Gospel of JESUS x Geza Vermes © 2003 pub x Allen Lane of Penguin Books. It is still
& cool now (8.10) & small fsh (trout!) r jumpin out of the water 4 midges.
24/2 /04. Ystrdy I saw a full size goanna, as long as me, in the camp area wth a blue
tongue lizard whch had bn drivn ovr & lready gon leathry in its mouth. It took a long struggl but finally
aftr using a tree trunk x rubbing the side of its head against it 2 push in bits of squashd lizrd stickn out
of its mouth sideways it managd 2 swallow it whole. Drove 2 the nd of the main beach wher the rd is
now g8d & walkd round the point 2 Honeymoon Beach 2 wher a beautfl holiday shack used 2 st& just
abov the beach on a grassy clearng. Its wher I was sheltrin from drizzly weathr wth some of me kids
1ce whn 2 chrctrs coming along the shor from the far nd of the beach turnd out 2 b Andrew S &
Danius K (2/9/07. 2da met kBrAiŠsKtYiTnEa nth siti hoo 4 ♀ drmt ♂ woz bltd↑ (5/9/07. ¤ 1s drmt ♂
wozr dero) owts¤d thltho♣ nErrol st (12/9/07. wshfl =n H rknz) (12/9/07. What have you got Danius
that makes everyone dream about you?)). They mght b ntrestd 2 know ther is no evdnce of the hut left,
not evn the odd disgardd plank. The hut was built x a prvious lghthouse kpr 4 his wife who had
leukemia. The only sign of its 4mer xis10ce is a species of magnifcent red flowring lily whch has takn
hold in the surrnding scrub & is in flowr now. Nxt I walkd up the rivr 2 the large dune. The bed of the
rivr whch used 2 consist of large xpanses of s& p@rnd x numrous ribbns of watr ccassionly collctng
in2 wide pools covrng most of the rivr bed has chnged dram@ically. Most of it is covrd x a green
xpans of rushs whch hav bn abl 2 spread bcoz of an absence of floods causd x yrs of low rainfall.
The watr is oftn runnng in a singl narrow channl thrgh the rushs. The great swmmng hole @ the
bottm of the middl of the large dune has dsppeard as its north eastly movemnt ncreasngly blocks the
rivrs exit from the lake & swamp 2 the north. The deep watr now starts rght @ the far nd of the dune
& as u st& on the shor u look eastwds ovr sevral 00 mtrs of lake or deep rivr bed. Soon the exiting
watr will hav 2 find a new course thrgh the forest 2 get around the blockage. (just went 2 the toilt
whch is well hiddn in the bush & found 2 l8 ther was no papr left in the dspensr, nor was ther in the 1
nxt door; ther r gang gangs (Callocephalon fimbriatum) about). Last night as I sank deepr in2 a dark
mood it seemd 2 me I had dceivd myslf in2 blieving I was comng here 2 look 4 papr nautilus shells &
th@ my hiddn motiv (27/2/04. considr how I m x10ding the meanng of the word ‘know’ (ie. the politics
of the move) x claimng now 2 hav known thn wht I ddnt know thn whn I was ther ‘on the spot’ so 2
speak? Do not use a Freudian xplanation.) had always bn 2 com here, as some mght go 2 a church,
2 grieve. I used 2 com here oftn wth the kids & evrywher I go brings back memries of thm as they wer
then. I grieve 4 chldrn who r lost. I grieve 4 my eldst son. I lay 4 hrs in a dark trance unabl or unwillng
2 look 4 words 2 giv xpression 2 it. I use words 2 dssip8 what I know, specially pain. If I could find
thm I would b abl 2 multiply thm & sc@er thm like hailstones (whch melt) or share thm out amng my
readrs, a few words each. As it was I lay wth moist eys (tear ducts bcom leakier wth age) wth only the
roar of the beach in the distnce echoing a misry. @ ntervls thrgh the night a littl kid a coupl of
campsites away would wake up & cry himslf 2 sleep. Grieving is a slf ndulgnce (27/2/04. so who is
grieving, the ’I’ or the ‘self’? What is the str@egy of the divisn? 2 whos ntrests hav I givn in x using a
71
term I was uncom4tabl wth @ the time I wrote it?) & I had let myslf go. A much bettr way of dssipating
it is 2 do practcl things whch r of help 2 a persn as H does. I fell sleep 4 awhile & whn I woke up nxt I
was thinkng th@ wth all the money the ntellgnce services hav 2 spend & wth no obvious targts they r
ndoubtdly linkng up evry conceivabl data bank 2 the plice computr so th@ ther is a capacity 2 drect
plice 2 monitor any designatd group or c@gory of persn thrgh their drivers licences. Prhaps they r
lready testng it out & the cop in Cann River had no bettr reasn 2 pull me up othr than he was spposd
2 familiarize himslf wth the systm on ccassions. Dawn was greetd x a string of very loud liquid bird
calls close x & I rmmbrd th@ lyrebirds (Menura novaehollandiae) had always bn commn in the
campsite → Parkd the van @ the g8 2 the lght-house rd & walkd 2 West Beach whch is the 1 whch
stretchs away 2 Clinton Rocks about 8ks furthr. 2 find papr nautilus shells u hav 2 b the 1
st
1 on the
beach & I was but saw not evn a bit of brokn shell. But it was good 2 walk away in2 a dstnt pristine
l&scape wth no othr footprnts in the s&. Ther wer som sprisingly large dingoxdog prints thgh (as ther
had also bn @ Dock Inlet) whch gave me food 4 thght. Othrwise ther was nothn out of the ordnary:
the ccassnl COCONUT (the lghthouse kpr who had built the shack 4 his wife had managd 2 get 1 2
germn8 & grow 4 awhile) mong the dbris & @ reglar ntrvls carcasses of c birds specially littl penguins
(Eudyptula minor novaehollandiae) wth their chsts torn out. Iv bn on ths beach wth the kids whn
wriggln yellow bellied c snakes wer being washd up aftr a storm & on nothr ccassion a normous
marlin (Makaira indica) whch mght hav bn 4 mtrs long was beachd. ½ way along 2 Clinton Rocks I
turnd round & went back 2 a spot wher u can † ovr 2 the westn nd of the large dune. U walk up a
gradual ncline 4 a coupl of ks till suddnly u peer ovr the top edg & look down the steep side. It still
mazed me & I came down the side wth a nitial frisson of fear. Thn back 2 the campsite along the rivr
bed wher ther wer no frsh ftprints +ed 2 mine from ystrdy & along the coast 2 wher the van was
parkd. In all it took a bit ovr 4 hrs. Now I m back @ the same spot & will 4k out nother $15 (but x
being here I save about $7 on beer) whn the suprvisr comes round. Ovr the last couple of days Iv bn
dstractd x Sigmund Freud & persnal commnt 4getting 2 xplain why I put in the Roberto Calasso quote
about Goethe. Goethes commnts strike a chord wth me bcoz I c the same kind of deafnss 2 wht is
being said in my contempraries as he saw blindnss 2 visual symbolism in his. Language, specially in
ethics, aesthetics, rligion is losing its meanng. It seems th@ historical clamities r ndic8d, prhaps
caused, x a prceding msuse of it. It may b it ndic8s a dsntgration of the consnsus th@ maintaind stabl
social structures. I look about @ polticians, churchmn, communty leadrs & thgh they r talkng loudr &
fastr than evr, & wth the ppropri@ gestures, I dont think they hear wht they r sayng themslvs. As was
the case with Goethe no1 else appears 2 care or evn perceive a problm. Ther hav always bn seers
who hav prdictd apocalyptic futures or the final days. I m in ancient compny. I try 2 loc8 wht it is in my
srrndings whch would ccount 4 my 4boding. Prhaps its only my own death I 4c & m cnfusin it wth the
nd of evrythn. (5/3/04. Beware the self-fulfilling prophesy – helenz).
6/4/04 ( 3/4/04 – 12/4/04 (no 43)). → Dargo (walnut festival on easter sunday) →
Kingswell Bridge (on the Wonnong@ta River but 1
st
we drove 4 or 5 kz furthr 2 wher Iv campd b4 (c
27/11/00 – 7/12/00). Wr@ 8.1 x C3 Map 65). Dargo is a tiny town with a store, a pub, a coffee/tea
shoppe & a winery. The pub is lovely with rough wooden tables and benches in the dining room and an
ourside area which must once have been stables. They don’t get the Age unless someone brings some
from Stratford (we are geographically in the Shire of Wellington, Gippsland (17/11/07. me & Vaidas ®t @
Marlay Point da b4 ysrtda)), so we were coffee-and paper-less today. That caused an early meal, at about
2pm. We’ve been trying to avoid eating too late because there is not much time lapse between teatime
(5ish) and sunset (6.30) which is bedtime as it gets dark quickly after that. So we’ve decided to eat around
3.30 or 4 to give us time to digest. That means only 2 meals a day (breakfast and main meal) which is
good for us after all our indulgence at Ruffy. It is horribly dry here – not a touch of green underfoot and the
Wonnongatta River is a shadow of its former self (according to John, who has seen it in full glory). Still, its
very picturesque, gurgling over stones in a fairly wide, shallow flow between banks lined with willow and
poplar as well as the gums. Europeans came to the area in numbers as a result of the Dargo gold rush. In
1861 over 1000 were living and working along the banks of the creeks and rivers looking for alluvial gold.
The area was called the Dargo-Crooked River Goldfields and Bull Town was the centre. A second rush
occurred in 1865 and about 6 towns sprang up, of which Grant had a population of 2000 or more, with 22
(count em) licenced hotels, 4 banks, a post office, churches, a stock exchange, stores and a newspaper,
the Crooked River Chronicle. Reef mining replaced alluvial mining and the “Good Hope” mine produced
over 47,591 oz. of gold. By 1870 it had petered out and the mine closed in 1916, and with it the residents
of the area dwindled. Now there are a few scattered farms, but people seem few and far between. We had
hoped to have a look at the old gold field at Talbotville (one of the 6 aforementioned towns) but the store
owner at Dargo felt it was dubious unless we had a 4x4. So we’ve come up the Wonnongatta (formerly
Crooked) River valley instead. Wonnongatta Station was famous in the area in the early 1900s for the
72
murder (unsolved) of its manager, who had left the station to vote and wasn’t seen again until his body
was discovered stuffed under a big log. The only police station in the area closed down soon after and the
crime was left uninvestigated. Aftr c@chng up wth Peter the Waiter AKA Peter the TREASURER of
PASMINCO AKA PAPApGeEtOeRrGIOU I went 2 the MAKE IT UP CLUB & heard som of the worst
musik Iv evr bn subjectd 2 & left coz I woz bord SHITLESS. 2 guys wer playn lectronik boxs
(computars) pressin buttns, throwin switchs – a genr whch is particlrly poplar wth nnotiv musikians @
the momnt. If I had known FtRoYmER & Stephanie wer gunna com on l8r I would hav stayd on but.
Thos 2 dudes had no connxn wth the audience whatver. THEY DID NOT KNOW WHEN 2 STOP.
The danger of lectronik boxs as musikal nstrumnts is th@ the way u practice wth the boxs may bcom
your modus oper&i wth peopl. 1ce u could talk abt playn a womn like a violin (or a fiddl) or dream of a
violin morfing in2 1 (saDlAvLaIdor paintd the process); u can grip a cello wth your knees, straddl a
bass wth your legs but now evn lovrs press each othrs buttons or throw the rght switchs. It isnt
nevitabl th@ lectronik muzik turns muzikians in2 robots. I noticd last wensdy whn I was gettn me
sophgus xamnd th@ the nurses & quacks @ the Gastrontrology Unit on the 3
rd
floor @ The Royal
Melbourne Hosptal had the human (& humane) touch & woz bndn ovr backwrds 2 b senstiv 2 p8ients
& they r constntly usin sophstic8d lectroniks 2 achiev their purposes 2. 1 week l8r whn I went 2 the
MAKE IT UP CLUB again the DOORS WERE SHUT. Parently they aint bringin nough trade 2 the bar
upstairs (so says the ownr says Tom). The problm is nhernt 2 the kind of muzik but Tom reckns theyll
srvive & shift elswher. Rturning 2 TAaRnKdOrVeSyKY & ‘Stalker’. Bcoz Vaidas & Brigita r produx of
the soviet educ8ion systm they ddnt pick up a singl 1 of the bibilcal rfrnces whch r centrl 2 the theme.
What is evn mor xtrordinry is th@ the film, Tarkovskys last in the soviet union, got past their censrs.
His mastry of poetic symbolsm in vsual magery was such th@ he was abl 2 cue in the censrs in2
seeing it as a scifi about telekinesis, xtratrrestrials & such. But I dont think it m@rs nor do I suggest 4
a momnt (though it kept me agit8d 4 days) th@ I had a bettr ppreci8ion of the film than Vaidas or
Brigita 4 I again gree with Heraclitus whn he says (Fragment 54, Hippolytus Ref IX, 9,5) th@ “An
unapparent harmony is stronger than an apparent one.” Here r a few mor Tarkovsky quotes 2
flesh it out. He says th@ in the Sistine Madonna Raphael “has concentrated his will on clarity of
thought, on the intellectual concept of his work, and paid the price: the painting is flabby and
insipid.” & “The author cannot therefore reckon on his work being understood in one particular
way and according to his own perception of it. All he can do is present his own image of the
world, for people to be able to look at it through his eyes, and be filled with his feelings, doubts
and thoughts…” & “If there are cinema – goers for whom it is important and rewarding to enter
into a dialogue specifically with me, that is the greatest stimulus I can have for my work. If
there are some who talk the same language as myself, then why should I neglect their interests
for the sake of some other group of people who are alien and remote? They have their own
‘gods & idols’ and we have nothing in common” & “All the artist can offer the audience is to be
open and candid in his combat with his material. And the audience will appreciate what our
exertions mean.” I think Ive driftd off the point.
25/5 /04 ( Melbourne →Kaunas (no 45)). … the ‘Birds’ (Vaidas, Brigita, & dghtr Miglė)
rrive x taxi & pick me up @ 3.45pm. Its 7.18 & wev just taken off in a Boeing 767 whch looks huge 2
me but my nghbour (fathr of greek rigin & mothr rumanian) in th wndow seat says its not large x
komparison 2 ntrn@ionl flghts. He is readn 3/4/04 – 12/4/04 & says he finds it easy. Dinnr is gettn
servd. The 1
st
lessn I learnt was u dont x beer @ the airport coz u can get it 4 0 on th flght. 4 som
reazn Vaidas got us each a stubby of Carlton draught @ $5.60/stubby. On the plane I askd 4 watr wth
me meal then realized I lready had a small serv on th tray. W rrive in Sydney @ 2020 @ Terminl 3.
Wev just xprienced my 1
st
case of air turblnce. Iv bn on 2 flghts b4: 1ce from Sydney 2 Melb. whn I
was a yth & 2 Tassie 4 a gig (2 sing litho songs) O 5 years ago (17/11/07. 23/5/06 ). Wv startd our ↓
in2 Sydney. @ the ntrn@ionl airport: Boeing 447 (300 passngrs) dprts @ 2215 4 Narita/Tokyo; flght
time 9 hrs 20 mins; hot meal & breakfast prvided. I hav a headache in th ↑ & ← of th head whch I find
dsturbn as I nevr get headaches. The book Iv brought is After Such Knowledge x Eva Hoffman
(© 2004 pub x Perseus Books Group. Isbn 1-58648-046-4) bcoz its O mmry & histry. Brigita is readn
I Have Become Alive x Swami Muktananda. Miglė (7 years old) is readn Just Kidding. Sh
gets bord quickly & keeps sayn so. Wv boardd & th hope is ther r nough spare seats 2 scor 4 in a row
so w can lie down…. Iv got 4 seats 2 myslf & a set of lghts just got swtchd off. M drnkn a Bin 50
73
Lindemans Shiraz. Hav poppd a pill 4 th sofagus & takn me shoes off. Eatn a meal & it was OK.
Earlier I lost me pen but had nothr in rserv. I dont dsrv 2 b treatd like this whn much of the O is
mpovrshd. I dont know why Im doing it othr than 2 complete O. (K8 has made friends wth a lady @
the print shop, a lCiHcEeHbOlVaSuKcIh, an rtist hoo has don ← O. Sh is O my mums age. Her fathr
died whn sh was 5 months (b. 6 sept. 21) & whn sh was 2 her mothr took her, her 9 year old brothr
Edward, & a 7 year old sistr ← australia → vsit rl@ivs in russia. Th@ was in 1923 & sh ddnt get out
till 58 years l8r in 1981 whn sh rturnd here. Edward was xcuted during the stalnist purges in 1938.
Her primary language is russian but sh also underst&s “kitchen lithuanian” as sh → ther in 47 & has
gr&chldrn ther still. I rang her yestrdy & said Id c@ch up wth her whn I get back.). My mothr took me
as a 3 year old & my 1 year old sistr Rasa out in 1944 & now Im rturnn 4 the 1
st
time 60 years l8r. Its
12.40 x my watch whch hasnt bn djustd from Melbourn time & Im goin 2 c if I can get som sleep.
Vaidas hoo has th 4 seats in front is w@chn Lord of the Rings…. Tokyo airport. Its hot & Im sweatn in
the rmpits but no1 els seems troubld. 9.15am. Our Aeroflot flght 2 Moscow via Paris (4/8/04. but it
was continuin → Paris ← Moscow) doesnt leav till 12.00. In Sydney a hungrian guy hoos breath
smelt of locohol volnteerd I was ← pol& or @ least ← somwhr in east/central europ. On th flght 2
Tokyo a lady askd whr I was ← & whn I said ← Melbourn sh said I rmindd her of her fathr, a japnese.
I hav no nclin8n 4 my usual rflktiv style of writn. My 1
st
sghtn of japan was while w wer still over th c &
I cght sght of Mt Fuji abov th cloudline in th far dstance. Why is this termnal so hot & humid? Ddnt get
much sleep last nght though I took 1 Temazepam tablet so 2nght Ill take 2. @ 1
st
w thght w mght hav
time 2 get out of th airport 4 a bit so w changed $20 → 1348 yn. But w find w havnt got nough time →
anywhr so weel hav 2 spnd it here. A stubby or glass of beer costs O 400 yn & the same 4 a coffee. X
myslf I would hav bn happy nough 1drn O th termnl wthout spndn anythn. Vaidas says Im stingy.
Ncidntlly Miglė is a bit of a pain grssivly dm&n @ntion …. Aeroflot is 0 like Qantas. Evry seat is takn &
life goes on, time passs quickr. Or mayb its just th@ w r travlln in daylght (wth th sun – Moscow time
is 5 hours earlier). Im up 2 p83 of After Such Knowledge. In it Eva Hoffman is transl8n (c Susan
Sontags (hoos ncestrs migr8d ← litho & pol&) commnts on this word in an ssay in Where the
Stress Falls) mmry → words. Sebalds Immigrants is mmesurably mor powrful. (Im writn in
crampt konditions btween 2 sleepers). In nothr ssay Sontag says th@ Borges liked 2 say (quotn
Browning hoo wrote somthn like “the present is the instant in which the future crumbles into the past”)
th@ every moment of time contains the past & the future, whch makes my claim (c 29/4/04 –
1/5/04 p 2) th@ “All pasts and all futures are only reflections of the present” noriginal. H
reckons T.S. Eliot said it 2. (From Burnt Norton (Four Quartets): “Time present and time past / Are
both perhaps present in time future, / And time future contained in time past. / If all time is eternally present /
All time is unredeemable.”) On tuesdy may 11/04 in The Age p 3 of A3 Simonne Levi-Jameson hoo
owns th ‘Art Sans Frontieres’ gallery @ 715 Rathdowne St., North Carlton, Tel: 93497211 said “I shall
be … always in the present, because once you have resolved your past, its there that you find your future.” Eva
Hoffman says on p74 “Only then can they go on to recognize that the awful events in whose spectral grip
they have lived belong to another time; that the past need no longer live on within their psyches and bodies; that
it is indeed the past.” Th@ th past need not be rtaind in th mmry is true but it certainly livs on in th body
(4/8/04. c Nietzsche (Foucault undrstood him on this )). Othrwise how can u xplain th@ I m on my
way → KAUNAS ? Whn I st8d my version of it (26/5/04. If u r 1drin whthr its true (ie =) or not youv
lready lost th plot. Th point is I like th kumpny Im in. Th@s the only measure.) I had no idea th@
Borges had said much the same yet I hav read all of his prose over & over & I had 2 study th ‘Four
Quartets’ @ Melb. uni. Prhps w hav not ssmil8td th past fully (ie. w rtain a sepr8n from it; a
skreen btween it & us so w can rfer (point @) → it) until w hav 4gottn it – only thn can w
regurgit8 it (pass it; vacuate it; trans4m; n4m) but slghtly altrd bcoz th dffrnce has bn
incorpor8d. (W r headn → STORM & hav bn told 2 FASTEN SEAT BELTS). Iv just realized & Vaidas
konfirms 2day is Wednesday 26/5/04 (2.25 pm MOSCOW time).
8/6/04 ( ŠIAULIAI (no 46) (1/9/07. thnsrts vth ntrez ← Encyclopedia Judaica re
UKMERGĖ & ŠIAULIAI hvbn omtd. (5/12/07. but hv ds¤° 2nkludm so thrjnl owt koodb rrsmbld (
23/10/07 ) ← 7 Days: “SIAULIAI (Ger. Schaulen; Rus. Shavli; Yid. Shavl), city in N.
Lithuania. The Jewish settlement dates from the 17
th
century; in 1701 Jews received
authorization to erect a synagogue. Trade with Germany and the establishment of a
railway line fostered growth and economic prosperity, and by 1847 there were 2,565
Jews in the town. They built large factories, among them the tannery of Hayyim Frenkl
(1879). In 1902 Jews numbered 9,847 (75% of the population); by 1914 this number had
74
increased to 12,000. In 1915 the majority of Jews were, however, exiled to the interior of
Russia. In independent Lithuania, Siauliai was the second largest city, and its Jewish
community, numbering 8,000 in 1939, the second largest in the country. The economic
and social influence of the Jews was widespread; they formed the majority of
manufacturers of leather products – the shoe factory, Batas, was Jewish-owned – and
were involved in the iron and chemical industries, as well as forming a large part of the
force of clerks, laborers, and craftsmen of the town. The position of vice-mayor of the
town was held by a Jew. The Jewish community was outstanding for its organizational
achievements and for its cultural and social institutions. The community supported a
religious secondary school (Yavneh), a Hebrew secondary school, an elementary school,
and a kindergarten, as well as several Yiddish schools. There were 15 synagogues, a
yeshivah, and two libraries. Prominent scholars officiated there, among them Isaac Eiskik
Kaver (*Wildmann) and Joseph Zechariah *Stern. The kabbalist Solomon b. Hayyim
*Eliashov was a resident of Siauliai. Before the arrival of the Germans in World War II,
several hundred Jews had fled to Russia. Of those who chose to remain, several
thousands were massacred by Lithuanians as well as Germans (mainly in the forest of
Kuzhi) during the war. About 5,000 Jews (including 1,500 from surrounding areas) were
interned in a ghetto. There were frequent Aktionen until July 1944, when the retreating
Germans transferred those remaining alive to the concentration camps of Stutthof and
Dachau, in Germany. Of the total number of Jews interned only a few hundred managed
by various means to escape death. The remaining synagogue was closed by the
authorities in 1960; the Jewish cemetery was destroyed and Jews were allowed to
remove the bones of the deceased to the Vilna cemetery. In the late 1960s the Jewish
population was estimated at about 4,000. ¶ Bibliography: A. Yerushalmi, Pinkas Shavli (1958);
Lite, 1(1951), 942-70, 1768-831. [D. Le] ¶¶ SIBERIA (5/12/07. 4 morn juz nsiberia The
Whisperers x Orlando Figes © 2007 pub: Allen Lane, wch ¤ fnsht n ystrda) (Rus. Sibir
(5/12/07. nltho Sibiras)), Asiatic part of the Russian S.F.S.R., extending from the Urals in
the west to the Pacific in the east. The first Jews went to Siberia from Lithuanian towns
captured by the Russians in the Russo-Polish war (1632-34); they were exiled there
together with other prisoners. In 1659 a number of Jewish residents in the “German
quarter” of Moscow were exiled to Siberia. At the beginning of the 19
th
century Jews were
among the convicts sent to Siberia for settlement or hard labor. The latter founded the
first Jewish communities there, e.g., in *Omsk, *Tomsk, Tobolsk, Kuibyshev (Kainsk) in
western Siberia, and Kansk and Nizhneudinsk in eastern Siberia. ¶ Since Siberia was
outside the *Pale of Settlement, convicts continued to constitute the main Jewish
element settling there throughout the 19
th
century. Due to the scarcity of Jewish women
in Siberia at the beginning of the 19
th
century, Jews were allowed in 1817 to buy Kalmyk
women, to make proselytes of them and marry them. In 1826 Jews were forbidden to
settle in the border district of Siberia between the area of Russian settlement and that of
the natives; in 1827 the husbands of Jewish women exiled to Siberia were forbidden to
join them; and in 1836 Jewish women joining their exiled husbands were forbidden to
take their male children with them. In 1834 Jews whose sentences had expired, as well
as members of their families, were obliged to apply for special permission from the
minister of finance to join local merchant guilds, in order to prevent “an undue
multiplication of Jews among the merchant class, and consequent damage to the native
population.” ¶ In 1836 the Russian government, within the framework of its program to
increase the number of Jews engaged in agricultural work, set aside 15,154 desyatins
(409,138 acres) of land in western Siberia for Jewish agricultural settlement. In January
1837 *Nicholas I ordered the curtailment of Jewish settlement in Siberia: by this time,
however, several hundred Jews had already arrived to participate in the project. On May
15, 1837, ordinances were issued “to prevent the immigration of Jews to Siberia, and to
decrease the number of Jews settled there”; these decrees specified, inter alia, that only
Jewish convicts aged 40 and over could be exiled to Siberia, and that even such settlers
should be allowed in the outlying districts of the country only (in the Yakutsk district and
on the further side of the Baikal). The ordinances further required that the sons of exiles
(i.e. those under 18) be handed over as *Cantonists, as well as sons of exiles who had
75
completed their terms of sentence: their descendants were able to be handed over as
Cantonists, or to be removed to the Pale of Settlement before reaching the age of 16. ¶
In 1857, under Czar Alexander II, Jews in Siberia were permitted to join merchant guilds
on the basis of the ….. ¶¶ UKMERGE (Pol. Wilkomierz; Rus. Vilkomir), city in
Lithuanian S.S.R. The Jewish community of Ukmerge is first mentioned in a document of
1685. In the census of 1766, 716 Jews were counted there, and by 1847 their number
had risen to 3,758, the majority of whom were engaged in commerce and crafts,
including tanning. The community of Ukmerge was renowned for its conservatism. M.L.
*Lilienblum lived there during the 1860s and it was there that he began his public career
and literary activity. The community continued to develop and by the 1880s the number
of Jews reached 10,000. A period of decline followed, however, when the town was
bypassed by the railroads which were built at that time. In 1897 there were 7,287 Jews
(54% of the total population) and 6,390 (49%) in 1910. At the beginning of May 1915 the
Jews were expelled from Ukmerge, together with those of the province of Kovno. Some
returned after the war and in 1923 there were 3,885 Jews (37% of the population).
During the period of independent Lithuania (1918-40), Jewish life in Ukmerge prospered.
A yeshivah ketanna (prepatory yeshivah) which prepared pupils for the larger Lithuanian
yeshivot was established and there were also two secondary schools, Hebrew and
Yiddish. The last rabbi of Ukmerge, R. Joseph Zussmanowitz (of Palestinian birth), ranked
among the most prominent Lithuanian rabbis. With the annexation of Lithuania to the
Soviet Union in June 1940, religious and nationalist Jewish life was systematically
destroyed. A year later, Ukmerge fell into the hands of the Germans. On Sept. 18, 1941,
the Jews remaining in Ukmerge, together with those of the neighboring towns, were
assembled in the nearby forest (5/12/07. Wednesday 21/6/06 (no 69) & Thursday
22/6/06 (no 70)) and massacred. ¶ Bibliography: Slownik geograficzny królestwa polskiege, 13
(1893), 534-41; Yahadut Lita, 3 (1967), 303-6 [Y.S.] ¶¶ UKRAINE (Rus. Ukraina), Union Republic
in the southwestern U.S.S.R. At the close of the 16
th
century there were about 45,000
Jews (out of the 100,000 Jews who were then presumably in the whole of Poland) living in
the eastern regions of Poland which were inhabited by Ukrainians. Before the
*Chmielnicki massacres of 1648-49 their numbers had increased to at least 150,000; in
the census of 1764, 258,000 Jews were enumerated, though in fact their number was
over 300,000. In 1847, according to official sources, there were almost 600,000 Jews in
the Ukrainian regions belonging to Russia (the provinces of southwestern Russia -
*Volhynia, *Podolia, and *Kiev; of “Little Russia” - *Chernigov and *Poltava; and of “New
Russia” – Yekaterinoslav (*Dnepropetrovsk), *Kherson, and Taurida), though they actually
numbered up to 900,000. According to the population census of 1897 (the first general
census in Russia), there were 1,927,268 Jews in these regions, 9.2% of the total
population of the Ukraine. The census of 1926 enumerated 1,574,391 Jews in the
Ukraine, subsequent to the detachment of half of the province of Volhnia (the second
half was then within the borders of Poland), half of the province of Taurida, and a small
section of the province of Ghernigov, while several districts of the Don region had been
incorporated into it. The Jews then constituted 5.43% of the total population of the
Ukraine. The census of 1939 enumerated 1,532,827 Jews in the Ukraine (4.9% of the
total). According to the census of 1959, which also included the Jews of the regions
which had passed to Russia after World War II (eastern *Galicia, northern *Bukovina,
*Subcarpathian Ruthenia), there were 840,319 Jews in the Ukraine (2% of the total).
According to this census, which was generally regarded as underestimating their
numbers, Jews were concentrated in the towns of Kiev (153,500), *Odessa (106,700),
*Kharkov (84,000), Dnepropetrovsk (52,800), *Chernovtsy (Czernowitz; 36,500), *Lvov
(24,700), and *Donetsk (21,000). About 80% of the Jews in the Ukraine declared their
mother tongue as Russian, about 17% (142,240) as Yiddish, and only about 3% as
Ukrainian. ¶ Development and Distribution of the Jewish Settlement. The Jewish
settlement in the Ukraine preceded the unification of the area and the formation of the
Ukrainian nation. Jewish settlements already existed on the banks of the river Dnieper
and in the east and south of the Ukraine and the *Crimea in the periods of the *Khazar
kingdom, while ancient Jewish communities were only established in the west, in
76
Volhynia and “Red Russia” (eastern Galicia), in the 12
th
century. Of these the most
ancient was apparently *Vladimir-Volynski. It seems that the “Russia” mentioned in the
13
th
–century rabbinical literature refers to “Red Russia”. These communities absorbed
the Jewish migration from Germany and Bohemia caused by the persecutions and
massacres of the 14
th
(the *Black Death) and 15
th
centuries; later, Jews were drawn to
the Ukraine by the colonizing activities of the Polish nobility that intensified in the 16
th
and 17
th
centuries with the consolidation to the rule of *Poland-Lithuania over the region.
The important role taken by the Jews in the economic sphere in this colonization made
the Ukraine one of the Jewish centers in Poland-Lithuania. The number of the
communities there increased from 25 during the 14
th
century to 80 in 1764. Even the
Chmielnicki massacres in 1648-49 did not halt Jewish migration to the Ukraine and they
played a prominen t role in its economic recovery during the second half of the 17
th
and
18
th
centuries. After the Ukraine was annexed by Russia, according to the census of
1764, about 15% of the Jewish population lived in provinces having communities over
1,000 Jews, while in other provinces – Volhynia, Podolia, Kiev, and *Bratslav – their
proportion was only 11%. The census of 1897, however , shows that 72%of the Jewish
population there were living in 262 communities of more than 1,000 persons, which,
taken together with the communities having more than 500 Jews, meant that 37% of the
Jewish population there lived in towns and townlets in which the Jews formed ….”))).
4got 2 mntion ystrdy th@ Juozas gave me 2 pieces of ambr & 2 littl romantcized piktures of th litho
countryside as mmntoes. Th givn of mmntoes is a rtual whch is 4eign 2 me & makes me feel wkwrd
as Im not good @ prtndn pleasure. …Im leavn 3 ozzie tastes 4 th cleann ladies hoo check out my (th
wind is howln outside) room in my bsence each day. (m drinkn Kvietinis). 1
st
thing Juozas did whn w
cght up wth each othr @ 1pm was 2 take me 2 th site of th jwsh cemtry (8/8/04. here (nxt page) is th
ntry on Šiauliai I fotocopied 2day from th Cylcopaedia Judaica. I also nklude th ntry on Ukmergė bcoz
I mntiond it in Melbourne → Kaunas (c p 6). (12/8/04. Curiously ther is no rfrnce in it 2 th burnn live
of peopl in th synagog an evnt I had learnt O from th ntrduktry leaflt h&d out @ th Gaon National
Jewish Museum in Vilnius whn I went ther (c Vilnius → Melbourne) 2 find out mor O th GREAT
GAON of VILNIUS, ELIJA ben SHLOMO ZALMAN (1720-1797). Also ther is no sggstion Ukmergė
woz 70% jwsh (thgh th Eidintas book says som 6000 jews wer murdrd in a near x 4st x th Joachim
Hamann Rollkommando (17/11/07. 20/6/00 ) in 4 sepr8 ‘aktionen’))). He rmmbrs it as it was & it
features in many old fotos bcoz of its promnnt loc8n. All th@ is left is a paddock whch would (u
should hear th wind howln) hav bn built ovr if th soviet era had kontinued (a sound ffx man could
rkord this 4 a film O th north pole). He says all th jwsh cemtries in lithol& wer dstroyd or llowd 2 b
v&lized, as a rsult of a govt dcision whch was not made publik but known 2 b made tacitly. Th stones
wer used mainly 4 fencin or 4 pavemnts & w found only ½ doz left wth nreadabl nscriptions xept 4 1
on whch w could make out th d8 1701-1965 whch w prsume r th d8s of the 1
st
& last burials. Th lokal
hgh schools fence was made from th stones but th skool was shamed in2 rmovn it aftr ndpndnce.
Then he took me 2 th steps @ th nd of Aušros Alėja whr it turns → th Aušros takas (path) whr they
lead down 2 th park wth th skulptur of Saulės Berniukas & whr th rtainn walls 4 th steps r
konstruktd ntirely from th brokn up head stones from th cemtry. Th bginn of th rtainn wall is
only a coupl of 00 yrds ← th kathedral. From ther w went 2 view th PROVOSLAVU chrch but it
was lockd. Th notice on th door says it only opns 4 th sundy service. Many of th russians of Šiauliai r
also gon & th graves of th russian dead (specially of th soldiers hoo died puttn down th 1863 uprising
undr th brutal leadrshp of genrl Muravjov(as)) r dscr8d or nglektd. Ther is also a sektion dvoted 2 th
russian pilots hoo had opr8d from th Šiauliai miltry airfield whch playd a major role in th 2
nd
war. What
used 2 b a PROVOSLAV chapl had bn burnt out (but th charrd rmains r still st&n) x SATANISTS hoo
hav a follwn here. Th mergence of this kult is probbly in mit8n of th west. W rvsitd th main cemtry as I
wantd 2 mmrize how 2 find th grave of PRANAS KABAILA. Outside th main wall is a sektion of
graves 4 pauprs & nothr 4 non-blievrs. A large headstone 4 a rvolutionry hero (hoo had died in jail in
Smetono times & was subsquently glorified) was dfaced wth graffiti. Then Juozas wantd 2 show me
th grave of lithos most famous flospher from th Smetono days but 4 hoom a monmnt was built only 2
years ago but it was gon. Many othr graves in thE wer also damaged or dfaced also x SATANISTS
(8/8/04. my horoscope whch H read out 2 me from th Sunday Age mag: “LEO July 24-August 23.
Award yourself a medal. You deserve one. You have been through a lot lately. You may or
may not feel that you have handled it well, but given the exceptionally trying
77
circumstances you have been up against, your progress has been truly remarkable. I
cannot, sadly, promise that all pressure will now vanish, but I will confidently predict a
significant reduction soon. A lot of things which have been difficult are about to become
less problematic. To hear how you can start to get a lot more of what you want, call
1900 957 223.”) he said. So ther seems 2 b a curious war in progress btween thos hoo r
dstroyn th past (mostly x nght) & thos who r tryin 2 protekt it (evn in th russian sektion an old
womn was weedn a plot) & 10d 2 th flowrs (mostly old womn x day). I wantd 2 walk O th prizn
gain bcoz Im ntrstd 2 nvstg8 what is near but made nvsibl. As if th rght h& doesnt know what
th left h& is doin. (eg as in what I suspekt (4 I c what I think is vidence of it) is th sekret
domn8n ovr som womn (or childrn) x fathrs in th privacy of th home – 9/6/04) So many lie
ndrground (12/8/04. but ccordn 2 th Eidintas book th rmainn bones hav bn rmovd 2 th Vilnius
cemtry) in th jwsh cemtry (its a large E) nnoticed & 1000 live men r mmured in a red brick M
=y nseen & silent (though Juozas says somtimes u can c wavin rms thrgh th gr8s on th
wndows in th top floor) & its rght in th middl of th city. Aftrwds Juozas nsistd on kookin potato
pankakes 4 us & I pigd out & w drank giras & thn went 2 th kollege whr Janė is 2
nd
in charge & whr sh
was proud 2 show off her office & th facilties 4 th studnts & th library all of whch I found pitfully
nadqu8 & mpovrshd. W went back 2 their place & I went back 2 th hotl 2 get my last 3 pieces of writin
4 thm 2 send off 2 their dghtr in Talinn esp as sh has studied flosophy & I may vsit it on this trip if I
hav time whch I probbly wont. Juozas says th old town of Talinn is evn bettr than th 1 in Vilnius. Thn I
said good x telln thm I felt I had got closr 2 lithol& in a few days spent in Šiauliai than in th 1½ weeks
in Kaunas. Drank a ½ ltr of KUNIGAIKŠČIU with a few pieces of fried rye bread (in garlik) whch u can
get in evry café (like th peanuts in oz pubs) & came home wth a stubby of KVIETINIS (wheat beer).
Got my passs from th safe & paid 300 Lt in cash coz they said their lektronik machine was playn up
(no receipt). Bought me tickt 2 Vilnius this mornn & hav packd coz th train leavs @ 9 am. (nip) Ntnd 2
go 2 bed early aftr w@chn a bit of telly wth a few nips of ČEPKELIU trauktinė coz Im fraid of sleepn
thrgh if I stay up l8 though theyv (no fone in th room) lent me an larum klock whch I dont trust 2 work.
Its like a Melbourn wintr outside (9.30 pm). (nip) (nip) (nip) (u woz rght S&AdNrIeGwA u cant travl
this country without nip, nip nippn).
15/6 /04 ( Vilnius (no.2) (no 48)).. VDA Hostel Prices July August Sept 20 Lt per night.
Prices for one place for one night: from 07.15 to 09.20 (*with a common shower): single ……40 Lt.;
Double ……2-6*-30* Lt. Triple …… 22* - 26* Lt.; 4-5 places room …..18* Lt. All year (prices for a
room) Single …… 43 Lt.; Double ……76 Lt.; Triple ……99Lt. Paying is in advance. Bed sheets rent –
5 Lt per complect. Parking available. (0011) (370) (5) 2120176. doorperson 2120102 (to book).
Checkout time – 10am. Our address: Latako 2, Vilnius. Lietuva. Tel. 2120102; 2120176; fax
2105444. Th@ woz th info on th kard they h& out. 8 a healthy breakfst wth vegies 4 a change.In th
Lietuvos Rytas (17/11/07. m¤ sstr, Egle, e¯d ← Vilnius 2 sa ♀ fechrd nt lrst wnzda) ther iz an rtkl
O a pair of germns (husb& & wife) hoo †d th bordr from pol& on biOs & on their 1
st
nght got robbd &
bashd in their 10t. Juozas had xplaind 2 me th@ travlln in a van th way I do back in ozziel& would b
mpossbl koz b4 th nght woz out youd get a knock on th wndow. In th sports supplmnt in an rtkl O
basktO it sed 250000 lithos had → SIBIRAS but in ystrdys mmorial evnt (16/9/04. c Vilnius (no.1)
p 11-12) th speakr hoo ntrojuicd it had sed 800000 → SIBIRAS. In th ČIGONU (gypsy) TABORE
(whr they liv in Vilnius koz they no longr travl) in a program put on x an rgniz8n kalld ‘Involved’ 2 raiz
th mage of th Čigonu kommnty th kops sprung gypsy womn opnly floggn drugs wthn 100 metrs of th
main nklosure. Th meann of th word TABORAS (he lso told me whr th old jwsh cemtry iz) woz xplaind
2 me x a very suav & rlaxd yng man x th name of STAvNaKiAdUaSsKAS (Dizaineris – projektuotojas
of Ašmenos g. 4-9 LT-2001 Vilnius) hoo has bn in many kuntries & seemd 2 me 2 xmplify th mage of
th ‘new man’. W both hav th habt of walkn O @ random in a new place. I sed in nuthr way w wer @
opp. poles: him a sofstk8d ropean vs me a naïv ozzie. Finally workd out how 2 get a kall thrgh 2 H. I
rang frm th ‘publik’ fone just nside th main doors & gave her th fone no of th lady in th duty room nxt 2
it. H iz missn me; K8s had her wizdm teeth pulld out; verythn els is OK; sh hasnt got my Melbourne
– Kaunas piece yet. Rranged 2 meet taŽuIrŽiYuSs on thursdy @ 12. Th door lady woz telln me how
bad life woz now & how much bettr it had bn undr th kommies. Sh woz kryin (lithos dont kry eazy). Sh
sed no1 1nts 2 listn. Sh sed @ least u kould ndrst& th russkies stealn verythn from us but now our
own hav don it & nyway they r th same mob. Sh has 2 work koz her pnsion is only 300 Lt (uthr old
womn hav lso komplaind 2 me) & faces th threat of viktion. Very1s kids r workn broad & what do u
think they r doin thr sh askd?. I think shs worried O grls bein PROSTITUTES 2 help famlies back
78
home. I went & drank a BRENDIS ALITA (x 100 (of mls I think)) (20/1/08. Monday 14/6/04) in th
nearst kafé 4 12 Lt while I read th ppr gain. Whn I woz havn th huge breakfst in th mornn 4 only 10 Lt
(l@te koffee nkluded) a fashionbl yng lady was feedn a littl lapdog from her own breakfst dish. They
wer eatn th same ham wrappd in omlet az I woz. Oh yes! Whn th studnts r gon in July → August →
Septmbr u kan get kkomod8n here 4 20 Lt/day. They hav 2 rent out th studnt 1/4s 2 raiz $$s 4
rnov8ns. …
22/6 /04. I found my way 2 th Kabailas in Varšuvos g. (9/9/04. c kuvr map of Vilnius →
Melbourne just buv ‘RASOS’ @ bottm rght) thrgh rain. Dspite my best f4ts I woz splashd x a kar . Th
streets of old town wer not dzgnd 4 kars (x th way I did walk O th E & still dont know how th kars get
→ E I look out on) & nlike good old ozziel& th drivers dont slow down & try not 2 splash u. They lso
do their best 2 run u ovr on zebra †ngs. 1ce gain I woz treatd like guest, rl@v, & roylty. I say
k@gorkly – I do not treat peopl howvr klose they r 2 me az well az I m bein treatd. I feel stingy &
mean x komparson (ystrdy on th fone H said th@ th bruthr (Saulius) of JOrNiAmIaTsIS has offrd free
kommod8n 4 me & I havnt evn vzitd him). I woz @ th head of th tabl xpt whn Algis (Rasas bruthr)
(1/9/07. 2daz e¯ ← m¤ mum nSydney: “Dear Arunai, ¶ Sad news from Vilnius: yesterday
your cousin Algis Kabaila (Meilute's son) died from a bee-sting in the neck . After being
stung he rang his son Matas, ambulance was called but he died on the way to the
hospital . If you wish to express sympathy to Meilute and the family, here is Rasa's e-
mail address: rasa.kabailaite@ipc.lt ¶ mama”) woz thr koz he woz @ th uthr nd then & he is
tallr (him & Paul (10/9/04. Paul & Suzette (16/9/04. haznt read Šiauliai koz Paul reads my pieces
(thgh they r sent in both names) 1
st
& dcides if they r suitbl readn 4 her) r kumn ovr 4 a bbq on sundy
@ our place in Ivanhoe, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) hav measurd thmslvs 2 c hoo iz th tallr
KABAILA & Algis wins but mayb Pauls dad (my mums bruthr lso named Algis) woz tallr in his yth & it
is hard 2 say hoo iz th largest of thm thgh it is known th@ whn he is in lithol& my mums bruthr @nds
th ARKIKATĖDRA – BAZILIKA (10/9/04. c no 1 on kuvr map of Vilnius (no.1)) whch is probbly th
largst chrch in Vilnius) & larger (& mayb woz on a hghr chair) & mor mposin than I m. I m a persn hoo
rquires a lot of space & ftn talks ovr peopl & m used 2 @ntion so I m very senstiv 2 komptition. He
sez th grls @ TiFANNY pub r not prostitutes whch goes 2 show how mstaken 1
st
mprssions of a
travllr kan b. He woz proud 2 show me his kard koz he has just bkum a lektrer @ law skool. Iz ther a
Kabaila hoo does not lekture peopl? My mum prhaps less than th uthrs koz sh woz nly a skool
teachr & it iz possbl th@ Pauls bruthr Rimas (though wth multpl ºs, phds etc & an xpert on hertage
arktkture) doznt but I wldnt bet on it. I m ŽIŽYS x KABAILA & az I xamin my tap roots I note th Ks
bristl wth qualfk8ns – 3 prfsors in th medi8 famly but dspite th@ I outtalk th lot koz I talk fastr (thgh @
least 1 is mor ggresiv than me). Meilutė (hoo @ an age whn I do not xpekt 2 b abl 2 get up from a
chair works full time (prof of geol) & has just had nuthr of her txt books (many books publshd x this
side of th famly) publshd) s@ low down @ th side of th tabl & Rasa still lowr & a bit apart (so it is wth
men & womn) on th sofa. L8r whn Algis had left I felt nkum4tabl in my kingly psition & shiftd 2 b lowr
down on th sofa nxt 2 Rasa. W talkd O rl@vs & I kritcized very1. Its my role – they konstrukt, I
dkonstrukt. They want 2 show me verythn 4 free but I guard my space: 2 no avail koz my very mov
is known x TELEFON b4 I think 2 make it & Eglė (hoo had writtn 2 Rasa 2 show me th hill of †s & 2
ntrjuice me 2 th JONINĖS (5/9/07. Monday 14/8/06) fstvl (startn 2morrow & what a great name 4
a book: THE LONGEST DAY (but not as long as a day in th life of Ivan Denisovich x
Solzhenitsin))) had sed on th fone sh hoped Id rmmbrd 2 O my mum on her brthdy on th 4
th
of this
munth but I hadnt evn workd out how th fone workd then & sent a kard a few days l8 whch sh should
hav x now. I talkd silly & so did Algis (w woz tryin 2 outdo each uthr?), Meilutė nevr stops worryin O
her kids but woz lways sensbl & then slurry coz w knockd off a bottl of Čepkelui trauktine & 1½ bottls
of wine, Rasa woz th quietst & summd us all up. Algis is loud, Meilutė tired, Rasa mellow & th famly
dynamiks woz overt & ntens. Ftr 11 Rasa kalld a taksi & kame out wth me 2 make sure I got in az sh
ddnt want 2 b rsponsbl 4 me makin my way home x myslf in th nght undr th nfluence just az I had
made sure sh took a taksi (though sh would hav prfrrd 2 walk) on s@rdy @ a simlar time of nght. I →
a near x bar ATSIPALAIDUOTI wth a DIDELI & s@ ndr an awnn listnn 2 a guitarist (& NB Juanita
(10/9/04. hoo had 1ce tried 2 xplain 2 me th meann of th spansh word DUENDE & haz a xbition on
on 2/10/04 (1 day ftr Hs brthdy) @ 292 Smith st Collingwood) & Ren) & he woz playn koustik & th
meldies wer l@n (not th sual nglsh krap) & I kldnt c his face koz it woz hiddn x a sort of kowl. He had
2 kids helpn hoo wer hassln peopl walkn x wth rquests 4 money 4 th muzikian & az I listnd 2 him
play evr so quietly, & verythn so ndrst8d, & xquizit nuances in th txture of th notes from f4tlss
79
pluckn I realized I will nevr b abl 2 xplain 2 u th meann of th word DUENDE. I gave th largest (I
m stingy) tip I hav givn in europ & az I walkd past I glanced → his face nside th kowl & it woz dark &
strange (mayb south merikan I 1
st
thght) & ugly & I rlized he woz a ČIGONAS …. On the way 2 my
now rglar eatn spot this mornn I met EVrAoNdS hoo with ROMA (not 2 b knfuzed wth rum or th place
whr u lways do az they do) rceiv my writin in their lettr box (h& dlivrd x me) in Melbourn & hoom I
meet @ litho haus in Errol st Nth Melb. I told him I woz goin 2 don8 th Alfonsas Eidintas (c Vilnius
(no.1) p 4) book 2 th litho libery thr & he volnteerd th@ th lithos r in a st8 of dnial O th murdr of th
jws. W kompared our mprssions ovr a prtraktd l@te & he woz mazed x th beauty & kraktr of th grls he
woz seein & th uglness in ppearnce & bhviour of th guys. I 2 kommnt on what I c but it nevr means its
how it iz. Each of us cz dffrntly. Theyv bn 2 tibet & r goin 2 mongolia & many uthr xotik places. He iz
in raptures @ th beauty of lithol&s 4sts sumthn I havnt cn nuff of. I sed Id pass this piece of writin →
thm prsnally l8r in th year @ litho haus. Now Im goin 2 find sumwhr 2 read th ppr. (12.15) Oh yes, I
xchanged hullos wth th INTELEKTUALAS hoo had tickt off th kids 4 sayn BLAT.… Im barely movn
from th spot 2day. Just bn talkn 2 KAaRlAgZiIsJA hoo kame † me drinkn a glass of dark beer in Pilies
g. whr I had settld down finally 2 read th Lietuvos Rytas. (Leif Olson woz wth me & took Algises
partkulars az hiz dghtr iz in or runs a jazz group in sweden & Algis iz th koordn8r of th ‘Jumbo Jazz,
Blues & World Music Festival’. Leif sez he haz just bought Jews, Lithuanians and the Holocaust x
Alfonsas Eidintas az I had rkommndd 2 me x KOmZyLkOoVlSaKsIS @ litho haus in Melbourne.)
He thinks he iz goin 2 Ukmergė on thursdy 2 th place of sum friends of Lelija & Mykolas & I suggestd
if he finds out 4 sure he should kontakt me & well → 2gethr sharin petrl kosts. He sez he iz back here
permnntly & feels az if he has lwayz blongd & duznt miss ozzl& a bit but will b thr 4 6 weeks @ th nd
of th year 2 c his dad & his mum (Aliutė: sstr of L&sbergis th leadr of th party I had votd 4 & new
lithuanias 1
st
prezdnt (woz known az th nly muziklogist prezdnt or th fluxus (10/9/04. last mundy starrd
in an opra brought ← Melbourne x Algis (c Melbourne → Kaunas p 7) staged in th main theatr in
Gedimino pr.(c bottm of kuvr map 2 Vilnius (no. 1)) przdnt))). Prior 2 th@ ftr gettn back here ftr talkn
2 EVrAoNdS I woz lockn th door 2 my room 203 az Leif woz lockn his door (210/211) drektly † th
pssage from mine & w mmedi8ly got in2 konvrs8n & went out 2gthr 4 a drink & a ch@ (Algis had
spottd us from his wndow he sez). Here iz hiz kurrkulum vitae: “Leif Olso n // Drama teacher, theatre director
and translator // Studied drama and theatre in Göteborg Sweden, in Oxford England and in Denmark./ Came in contact with
Creative Drama through Mr Tony Butterfield, Oxford, and has developed those ideas in teaching and theatre work.//
TEACHING DRAM A: .n different levels, mostly age levels 17-20. At present teaching at Västerhöjdgymnasie/t, Skövde,
Sweden where he teaches drama, improvisation, physical theatre and speech. Every year he puts on plays with his
students: Shakespeare, Stindberg among others. // This year: The Tempest, Hamlet and a play by Maxim Gorkij. //
DIRECTING : Since 1970. Mostly historical plays on Swedish medieval history written by himself. Ex “The Saga of
Husaby”, “The Road to Husaby”, both about our first christian king, Olof Skotkonung, who was baptized at Husaby, in 1000.
Leif Olson lives in an area with the most ancient history. Latest production: “The Ballad of Jarl Birger”. Leif Olson prefers
producing plays in the open, or in places not intended for theatre like barns, parks, factories, squares. // Other plays: A
Midsummer Nights Dream, The Lesson by Ionesco, plays by Roumanian/French playwright Matei Visniec, and Israel
Horovitz, some Strindberg plays and plays by other Swedish writers. // Musicals: Godspell, Oliver, Smike, The Beauty and
the Priest, Annie and West Side Story, and a Guilbert and Sullivan opera. // TRAN SL ATING : French and American plays
and poetry into Swedish for example. Queneau: Exercices de Style, Visniec: Three clowns looking for a job, Sarrazac:
Harriet (for Radio Sweden), Hunstad: The Tragical comedy, Brendan Behan: Richard’s cork leg, Dell: Nostradamus, Ritsos:
Ismene, Alexandre Dumas: Christine – queen of Sweden. Some years ago he translated Lettres de Louise Jacobson, a
collection of authentic letters written by a young French jewish schoolgirl from her prison cell the months before her
deportation in 1943. // RADIO : Programmes for Radio Sweden on culture, mostly on international theatre. Leif Olson has
interviewed and portrayed personalities in the theatre world: Roger Blin (who discovered Beckett), Jean Louis Barrault,
Antoine Vitez, Israel Horvitz, Jerome Savary, Tadeusz Kantor, Jeanne Moreau, Derek Jacobi and others. He also gives
regular reports from the Avignon Theatre Festival, and other theatrical events. Presents poetry on the radio. //
PERFORMING : Has performed in several productions and in salons littéraires. Often reads poetry, mostly working with
musicians. Arranges playreadings every two weeks where actors voices and speech are trained. Also: Theatre games,
improvisations to an audience. His voice is also heard in drama and documentary films. // PLANS : to write a play or an
opera about a Swedish princess (Ingegerd) in the 11
th
century who married a Russian king (Yaroslav) and became Sankta
Irina of Russia. Other plans: a play in collaboration with French actors in Pau, Bearn in Southern France. // Leif Olso n,
PI 1211 A, S-53 391 GÖTEN E, Swed en tel OO4 6-51 152 1 33 Mail: lie fol @yahoo.co m (5/12/07. Monday
→ ♂m but e¯ +rs z ° (6/12/07. not °, Hz t¤po. So ystrda ¤ tr¤d leifol@yahoo.-com & urekr! –
twrkt (… ♂z rpl¤: “From: leif Olson (leifol@yahoo.com) Sent: Thursday, 6 December 2007 9:09:07 AM To: john zizys
(arunaszizys@hotmail.com)¶ Hello there, thanks, of course I vividly remember our talks and walks. I hope to
80
come to Australia one day with a music and poetry programme. Keep in touch, yours Leif”)))”. Its 5.45
pm. Im goin out 4 th 3
rd
(or iz it th 4
th
) time & mayb Ill get a bit furthr down th street & get a meal or
evn → walk a bit … Met th 2 womn from Queensl& I gave my stuff 2 ystrdy xept 1 of thm is from
holl&. 8 cepelinai. Bought Čepkeliu trauktine …. 11.45 pm. Met KAaRlAgZiIsJA &
PIKjTuUrRgNiAtIaTE gain az I woz sittn listnn 2 th buskr wth DUENDE hoo it turns out iz 1 of th
pruvians (11/9/04. but c Vilnius → Melbourne) I mntiond in Vilnius (no.1) p (10/9/04. kant find
whr) & he livs in th room nxt 2 mine (10/9/04. Algis had told me so but he woz wrong) ie room 201.
OlLeSiOfN joind us @ th tabl & him & Algis stablshd a konnxion. W walkd back 2gthr past th pruvian
buskr & w tippd him well. Algis & Jurgita ↑ their fl@ & me & Leif → Latako 2, rooms 10/11 & room
203, & Ill probbly hear th pruvian buskr whn he gets back l8r 2 room 201. So I finsh off (10/9/04.
changed me mind) my 4
th
piece of writn (1/week) in lithol&. Hope H is still speakn 2 me whn I get
back 2 oz. 2morrow iz THE LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR (5/9/07. Litho Trip 2 23/6/06) & in th
short nght thr will b much skrewn (10/9/04. its a trdition) but I plan 2 B ALONE.
29/6 /04 ( → (no.1) (no 49)). Just az I woz droppn off Vaidas knockd on th door. He
wantd me 2 meet rEaIiMmOuNnTdAaSs hoo iz nvolvd in all kinds of xprimntl rts (19/11/07. hzr rgulr
munda n¤t gig now nr rtsts d¤v nAušros Alėja) ktivties. Vaidas had bn doin th Os of th bars since th
mornn whn he had missd me bkoz I woz out gettn th shoe fixd. W went from bar → bar. A lokoholik
(fine rtst sum1 sed; sum1 ls threw a packt of fags 4 him; he sed Mallarmé woz hiz hero; he nevr
bought; I skd hiz age bkoz it dawnd on me he mghtnt b much oldr than me – he iz 61 (I had
misheard. Vaidas sez he iz 41 & on drugs 2)) @achd hmslf 2 us then w met him in nuthr bar & he dun
it gain. Vaidas pulld out a bottl of BRENDIS ALITA ← hiz leathr day pack. Brigita rrived.
rEaIiMmOuNnTdAaSs woz talkn non-stop az he iz permnntly hyper. SAMAGONA = SAM GANYT
(russian spelt in litho fonetik) = SAU VARYT (in litho) = HOME BREW (nglsh). Raimundas had bn on
a book x-ng spree: 1 woz a volume of Van Gogs lttrs in russian, nuthr woz John Cage trnsl8d→ litho
x a friend of hiz. Hiz nswrs r nstnt but I dont know if he hears. He jstkul8s. My eyes kept klozin & I 1td
2 put me head down on th tabl like they sed they used 2 do in their service dayz in th soviet rmy whr
they wer lwayz DEAD TIRED. Th rtst bar scene iz not 4 me. @ O 2.30 am Vaidas → me back →
Vilnius st → Laisvės Alėja → bed wth th help of a temazepam 10mg pill but I nly slept a few hours.
This mornn they chrged me 16 Lt 4 fone kalls evn thgh I hadnt got thrgh 2 ny1. It kosts here if u
konnkt 2 a mobile & then mor if u hang on evn whn thr iz no nswr. Th charge 4 me laundry (t-shirt,
long daks, flanno, socks (1 red 1 purpl), ndrpnts ) woz 30 Lt. I sed I kould hav bought it 4 less @ th
mrkt. I dont want thm 2 think I M A STUPID AUSTRALIAN & rch. Vaidas & Brigita r pickn me up @
12 → Nida whch iz a 4 hour drive in hiz dads klappd out kar (no kaps on th battry so Vaidas karvd
woodn 1s) but ftr sayn good x 2 me last nght he went ← bar …. 11.45. read th ppr (Lietuvos Rytas)
in a bar whr th srvietts wer rranged in th tri-kolor of th litho flag ovr koffee & šaltibarsčiai (borsch) wth
spuds (kan hear thundr) @ a totl price of 2.5 Lt + 2.5 Lt = 5 Lt. A 22 year old guy stole kars 2 get back
→ prizn TB klinik. In iran a womn (mn iz mor poltklly krrekt than man) gave brth 2 a frog (woz th fathr
a prince?) (rainn) …. 12.00 (mdnght). Im in Preila on Neringa, th most wstrn spot in lithol& (nip) in th
rmains of what used 2 b a rest/holday home in soviet times. Verythn lmost duznt work & sum things
kompletely dont. Im payn 15 Lt/nght & from thursdy 20 Lt till s@dy then Im goin 2 hav 2 find new
kkomd8n az I reckn Ill spend 1½ weeks here & go back 2 Kaunas on a boat ↑ th rvr whch leavs Nida
(6ks south) on sundys @ 1.15 pm. → short stroll on th konkret 4shor of th Kuršiu Marios & its just like
wintr in Melbourn but its beautful. Im ichn 2 do a lot of → & th journl ntries may hav 2 take 2
nd
place.
Goodnght.
6/7/04 ( →(no.2) (no 50)). (10.00) Showrd, shavd, washd ndrpants & socks. Boy it
feels good aftr a nghts sleep. If u want 2 tortur peopl dprive thm of th ordnry thngs: sleep, food,
space, & friends. Th yanks & brits hav +d a new rfinemnt 2 cvlized bhaviour – if they r arab baddies
(but only if they r th worst of th worst (Rumsfeld)) u make thm masturb8 each othr, sodomize thm,
stack m up naked in pyramids, put womns ndrwear on their heads & fotograf thm wth womn
w@chn so they is SEXUALLY HUMLI8D. Iv dgressd. Ystrdy I 4got 2 mntion th@ I xchanged a few
words wth 1 of th 3 pruvians hoo hav bn playn andean pipes (not so well & wth a very lektronik sound
so sometimes it looks as if they r miming) & selln kassetts x th fountain in Laisvės Alėja. I told him I
frquently heard a group playn th same tunes on pipes @ th mrkt on s@dys in Melbourne, australia.
As I was walkn away (2 use th toilt in th Metropolis hotl 2 whch I claim a rght as a rglar customr) I
realized I had TOUCHED th pruvian on th chest wth th back of me h& & he had LAUGHED (whn I
told him th guy hoo had stayd bhind in Vilnius (c Vilnius (no. 2) p 10 (22/10. & Vilnius →
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Melbourne)) had DUENDE ) all in th space of a 60 secnd konvers8n (wth a stranger) in nglsh. It
dosnt happn wth lithos in Kaunas & mayb not evn in Vilnius if I m 2 blieve KAaBlAgIiLsA (c Vilnius
(no. 2) p 10) hoo tells me if a stranger wer 2 TOUCH him like so in th street he would PUNCH him.
Th@s lithol& (but a ruski will bcom your very best friend 4 life says Vaidas if u 1
st
gree 2 drink yourslf
ndr th tabl wth him) 4 u & I m goin out → streets of KAUNAS 2 savour what could b my last day in th
city of my brth …. These notes r of ncessty in shorth&. Its 5.30 & @ 6 I m due 2 O Egle 2 rrange 2 go
out 4 t. This mornn I was drawn x th sounds of muzik in th drktion of th old PILIS (castl) & ther was a
rhearsl on a sound stage in progrss & I askd what it was O & th lady was very sprized 2 tell me it was
VALSTYBINĖ (st8) DIENA (day) (I kan hear what I magine iz a roplane doin stunts) in honour of
MINDAUGAS th 1
st
litho king hoo unified th litho tribes (but no1 knows what language he (or 4 th@
m@r Vytautas) spoke as th ristokrcy may hav spokn a diffrnt language & may hav bn of a diffrnt race
(eg Samartians)) & startd it all 4 thm they reckn. So ther r no pprs coz its a publk holdy & u shld c
how many litho flags r fluttrn in flag holdrs on priv8 houses & of course publk 1s. On th publk 1s ther r
also som EU flags ie. blue wth a O of stars rprsntn th numbr of EU st8s. I 8 breakfst @ th kavine in
Laisvės Alėja whch plays grungy anglo muzak but makes good šaltibarsčiai (lways servd wth spuds)
wher I had met Arūnas hoo is 1 of th 1
st
Arūnases (c Melbourne → Kaunas p 3) but is a year
youngr than me (c → (no.1) p 5). I was thinkn of th mportnce of doktrs in nstutions of tortur 4
nsurn th ptimum konditions 4 th bad guy (“worst of th worst”) 2 b kapabl of feeln th most ntens
PAIN x bein prvntd from dyin 4 as long as possbl (22/10. thos hoo most value powr will lwayz b
pposed 2 legal suicide 4 // reazns). U can tell I had no ppr 2 read coz of th publk holyday. I thght w
will nvr know what really takes place in iraq (or in zrael) prisns coz th most tortured 1s r lways killd so
they cannt implik8 their torturrs. But th ARAB O knows. Yank (13/10. & I take it 4 grantd th ntllgence
services of middl eastrn arab kuntries routinely tortur in spite of th KORAN sayin priznrs should b well
treatd) torturrs can take komft from th prcednt of Lt Calley (22/10. just heard on the telly th@ 1 of th
Abu Ghraib torturrs (“an all-American boy”) got 8 yrs) hoos pl@oon masskrd 1000 (or ther Os) viets &
hoo spent a coupl of years undr hous rrest as a konsquence. As I was eatn I w@chd 2 yung mothrs
tryin 2 dscplin their 2 dghtrs hoo wer playn chasey in th kavine & hoo paid th same amount of @ntion
2 thm as Miglė pays 2 Vaidas & Brigita. Kids know th@ in times of rapid change th xampl of parents
is worthless. Also it ccurd 2 me th@ som of th old womn kneeln in th street may b 4cd 2 do it so as 2
kontribute 2 th houshold xpnses x sons-in-law hoo drive BMWs. Mong hddn things is th abuse of th
ldrly x nlaws, th threat of violence x husb&s → wives, & ncest. ŠALTIBARSČIAI + 1 (ie ½ portion)
CEPELINAS (DIDŽKUKULIS - & I had thght I had DIDŽKUKUL8D myslf) + 1 BALTOS KAVOS (white
coffee) = 8.3 Lt. 4got 2 mntion th@ aftr th muzikl rhearsl near th PILIS I went back 2 get me mbrella &
it took me 5 mins 2 work out how 2 nlock th front door downstairs but I had no troubl wth th othr 2
doors. Aftr (I hav just paid 220 Lt 2 Daiva 4 3 nghts rent & said I mght O her nxt year if H wants 2 com
wth me if I want 2 com back) leavn th kavine wher I had brekky (got 2 go & O Egle) I went → but Ill
hav 2 contnue l8r coz Im meetn Egle @ th main ntrance of Šv. apaštalu Petro ir Pauliaus arkikatedra
– bazilika in 20 mins…. (8.55 pm ) Eglė just told me somthn what was a real eyopnr: in soviet times
on certain days evry1 in th street had 2 dsplay th hammr & sickl FLAG & u darnt b th 1 persn hoo
ddnt, & if u missd out on th big KOMMO parades u got in2 far mor troubl than if u missd goin 2 skool
whch was komplusotry. It xplains why ther r FLAG HOLDERS (13/10. th ownrs of th Eaglemont
newsagency hav rektd a huge luminium flagpole & fly a flag permnntly) on priv8 houses. Im back
from our very konvival dinnr & ch@. → continuin on from th prvious 1: I went strolln till I got 2 th
ŽALIAKALNIO FUNIKULIERIUS wher 4 50c I was takn up th hill x ZeDuAgNeInČiIjUuSs hoo sends
his rgards (whn I get back) 2 his 82 year old relo KRIjŠuČoIzUaNsAS hoo is rturnn 2 Melbourne on
wdnsdy. Th muzik they wer playn on th Kauno (of Kaunas) funikulierius wer songs x Danielius Dolskis
(13/10. lithos 1
st
standup komik. Died in ’37 so did not nd up in th Kaunas ghetto (c Melbourne →
Kaunas p 9)) rkor° 1929-31 (I can hear peopl singn now ) & it soun° very nostalgik. Then I walkd 2
a large park calld Kauno Ažuolino Parkas (87.5 hektares) & †d & re†d it till I came 2 th ZOO whch I
ntrd 4 6 Lt. It was rainn again. Many of th nimls had barely nuff room 2 mov & th hoovd nimls had NO
GRASS. Som wer KATATONIK. But mayb they dont know they hav gon krazy but just stop breedn. In
som westrn kuntries peopl hav stoppd breedn but they dont think they r krazy. I was thnkn of
GUANTANAMO BAY & merika & FLAGS. From ther I ©d back 2wrds Laisvės Alėja (Freedom
Avenue) 4 1 dideli of red beer but on th way I passd club VENERA (+ an E & an L 2 get a bettr word)
whch is a NAKTINIS KLUBAS DŽENTELMENAMS (night club 4 gentlemen) & in Laisvės Alėja I bght
a flask of Čepkeliu (nip). Oh, yes, @ th ZOO ther wer 2 EMUS (22/10. ystrdy me & Vaidas sor 1
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(Dromaius novaehollandiae) wth chiks near Wanganella (btween Deniliquin & Hay (home town of
Kelly, & Josh, nxt door @ Miller st)) whn w went thr 4 V 2 do sum fshn & 4 me 2 check out sum
brolgas (Grus rubicundus) I had cn a few weeks ago on a trip wth H) hoo must h8 it here in wintr. Its
9.30 & th celebraeshnz 4 MINDAUGAS day r just bgnnin so Im goin out 4 a look-c ….
13/7 /04. Whn he is shiftn a nkopr@iv cow 2 a new spot ftr milkn Egidijus (very kommn
litho name (19/11/07. Monday 18/6/07) says Rita) Mushroom swears in russian (BLAT etc) but I
also heard KURVA whch is polsh & I havnt heard used since D.P. lager (camp) days. Rita says ther is
a diktionry of orgins of litho names & sh will find out what it says O ARŪNAS & O Vaidas so he kan
tell me. Th dlicious piece of SKILANDIS (kindziukas) w got whch has bn eatn mostly x me was made
from Ilonas & Andriaus (of Andrius) own pig. Ftr a good nghts sleep got up @ 10am. Vaidas found a
tik on his belly (I mght hav skr@chd 1 out of me head coz I hav a lump on it) whch u hav 2 take
seriously here as 70 (in oz th quivlnt = 480) die/year from cefalitis (sed Brigita) & many srvive brain
dmaged. (He has just pourd me a glass of 999 coz he lost th bet th@ he would find som mor
mushrms). W don a day trip 2 Molėtai etc. (bgnnn of E of lakes & beautful 4st) koz it woz rainn
steadly whn w got up. @ Molėtai I ovr 8 on fried bread & česnakai (garlik) koz Iv bkum +ktd 2 it. Rita,
hoo is an only child, woz goin 2 2 skools x th time sh woz 8 & woz learnn th piano (whch sh wantd 2
SMASH) & woz xpektd 2 get hgh marks 4 verythn & has now learnt 2 rjct manpl8n. A good word in
litho (sh xplaind it) is IMLUS but it dznt mean xakly th same as sensitiv & it doz not mean u r a taker
as it looks as if it kould. Australia is AUSTRALIA (lithol& is LITVA) in litho fonetik (NB: CH in litho
fonetik makes th same sound as H does in nglsh in th word hut) rus. ČIEM VYŠIE INTELEKT / TIEM
NYŽIE POCELUIJ = KUO AUKŠTESNIS INTELEKTAS / TUO ŽEMESNIS BUČNYS = th hghr th
duk8n / th lowr th kissn. W r ← @ th VIENKIEMIS & th clouds r breakn up. Vaidas & Rita hav writ a
set of rules 2 b pinnd 2 th door 4 peopl 2 observ whn they use th place when he is away in ozziel&
…. Rita has writtn a koupl of poems (sound poems?) 4 me 2 pass on2 LfOrVaEnCkE (15/10. (c
Vilnius (no 1) p 11) wth hoom I had lunch 2day @ Stalactites on greek cnr (Lonsdale/Russell)
wher Nicole iz back ← 4 munth trip O th O O whr sh vzitd ovr 20 kuntries. I told her O GRAIKU
RŪMAI (Greek Palace) in Kaunas (c p1), & gave her my last 5 pieces & told her shes in this 1)….
20/7 /04. V is paintn flowrs (can hear th storks hoo r nearly as big as their parnts clappn
their beaks) on th dress of th BOBA. W r back from Ukmergė wher w bght a bush saw (mitaeshn
made in china 4 6Lt & not as good as th real thng; th seketares w bght ystrdy lastd ½ hour b4 th
spring bustd), a bottl of Čepkeliu (turns out ther r 2 kinds: 1. flavrd x BRUKNĖS (pikd in swampy parts
of th 4st & simlar 2 SPANGUOLĖS whch I think r cranbrries & r lso found in swamps) & 2. Flavrd x
SPANGUOLĖS & MĖLYNĖS (whch r not so ssoci8d wth swamps (th othr berry found in swamps is th
GIRTUOKLĖ (from GIRTUOKLIS = a drunk) whch is ssoci8d wth an rom@ik plant whch givs u a
headake if u r pickn th GIRTUOKLES 4 2 long)) whch Iv bn eatn x th h&ful & whch evry1 says
(Kristina said it) r good 4 your eyes (hence kancel out th ffekts of WANKING) & whch hav bn stainn
my h&s 2 look like th h&s of Kaunas street vndors) kukumbrs, 2matoes, KRAPAI (dill (23/10. whch Iv
takn 2 buyn in Melbourne)) & bread. Chekn thrght our mpties of Čepkeliu I find 0 of thm hav bn flavd
x BRUKNĖS so Ill hav 2 try it out in Vilnius or mayb its what well x in Ukmergė 2morrow. Lso checkd
up on th bus times on thrsdy 4 Vilnius of whch ther r plenty. Hav bn eatn h&fuls of raudonu (red) (doz.
bushs in th yard & u c thm in evry gardn), juodu (black) (4 bushs), & baltu (white) (1 bush)
SERBENTU (currnts) & of AVIETĖS (a rl@iv is found in ozziel& but th fruit of th oz 1 is tastless) whch
grow wild in th yard & I sppose r th 4bears of goosbrries. Th AVIETĖS (..ĖS 4 subjkt & ..Es 4 objkt) r
dlicious & I rkognize th taste wth a partkulr ntmacy (my fathr used 2 crush a grass stalk 2 c if th smell
rmindd him of grasss (th field here is domn8d x a prfusion of white daisies) in his TEVIŠKĖ (wher he
grew up)) whch ndk8s Iv eatn thm of10. What does it mean 2 rmmbr a taste or 4 th@ m@r 2
rmmbr @ all? U kould not rmmbr it if it had ceasd 2 xist in u so it must lways b ther in nuthr
4m (ie trans4md?) so can it b said th@ rmmbrn is a furthr akt of trans4maeshn? –
TRANS4MNG → WORDS. How r w nfluencd x thngs whch r part of us but r thr SILENTLY
(prhps ntntionlly so (ie dsguizd) lmost but not quite vrblized? R w nfluenced mor x knowledge
whch is trans4md → words or x what w know (& its O ·z) wthout words? A coupl of days ago I
rmmbrd a chldhood ncidnt in a village kalld Winzer in germny durin th war whn I woz O 4. I was playn
wth a kid of O 6 on th bank of a fast flown stream wth an mpty suitcase th@ w wer climbn → & ←. I
ddnt like th grmn kid (son of 1 of th 2 sistrs in hoos haus w wer stayn & hoos husb&s wer → @ th
war) hoo had lor° it ovr me so whn he got ↓ I snappd th klasps shut & on an mpuls pushd th suitcase
wth him in it → th stream & he floatd → yelln nside. It was a case of @mptd MURDER but n4tun8ly
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he woz fshd out x som peopl hoo heard him whn th suitcase floatd out from undr th stone bridge 2 th
othr side. I woz kkused x th sistrs but I stayd knfuzed & silnt (nvokn th 5
th
mmndmnt?). It was a dffklt
time 4 me mum hoo had 2 xplain & konvince thm how rdklous it woz 2 kkuse a 4 year old of tryin 2
MURDER their kid. But now I hav rmmbrd it I know they wer rght, somthn I hav nevr told me mum. It
may help xplain my claim whch I kannot rcall havn made but whch my mum said I said a year or so
l8r th@ MY SOUL WAS AS BLACK AS BOOT POLISH. I dont think its an ll2gthr norml thng 2 say 4 a
littl kid & a dscernn DETECTIV (or SAINT?) would hav guessd I had trans4md an @MTD MRDR →
BOOT POLISH. 2
nd
day in a row w had soup. Its 8.55 & th LAUŽAS is lit. Time 4 th Čepkeliu V
reckns.
27/7 /04 ( Vilnius → Melbourne (no 51)). I should hav rmmbrd ystrdy 2 put in th@
strght ftr ŠdNaInUaTsĖ finshd showin th fotos (ddnt let him get on2 th theme of dzigns of ndrgO
bunkrs or kcept a large bundl of llustraeshns 2 take → Melb) Taurius sed th nxt place I sspoze youd b
ntrstd 2 → iz th gravesite of Saulius (ŽIŽYS (ncidntlly Taurius ddnt know hiz kuzn Juozas (c Šiauliai)
spells hiz name ŽIŽIS)) hiz bruthr & hoo he sed would hav liked 2 hav met me (w had krrspon° 4
while). Like most cemtries (but nlike th 1 in Šiauliai) th graves r karefully 10° & thr iz a O ndustry of
flowr & kandl sellrs out frunt katerin 4 a steady stream of peopl kumn 2 pay their rspekts. Th mmry of
th ° (az I sed they r mor recent here) iz of large sgnfkance & th prduktion of PAMINKLAI (esp 4
gravesites) 1 of th main ndustries. Taurius bought 2 kandls & az w kame 2 th gravesite he sed “nu,
Sauliau, Iv brought u your cousin from australia 4 a visit” then he †d (I know he noticed I ddnt
koz he l8r skd me if I woz a blievr & if my fathr had bn 1 & I told him Id viztd mor chrchs in Vilnius in a
week than in 30 years in oz & I kould not b konsidrd an rthdox blievr but my fathr woz @ th nd (thgh
nvr torkd O it (my mum told me))) himslf & lit th kandls. Ftr a brief silence he †d himslf gain & waitd 2
c if I would (whn faced wth such klose skrutiny I kouldnt bring myslf 2 b hypkritkl) & whn I ddnt he sed
lets go now. I mfasize it bkoz I hav bn kkused of bein xsivly prkkupied wth th past but x komprsn wth
th lokl kult of th ° I m a novice …. Th ntrduktry notice @ th jwsh mzeum sed w should rmmbr what
happnd so az 2 b abl 2 prvnt it happnn gain. I doubt if it works th@ way. Th ppsit rzult iz th mor likely.
I gree wth thoz hoo say it iz bettr 2 4get so az 2 get on wth life (turnn → PMINKLAI may help 4get). A
preokkpaeshn wth ° may make it eazier 2 kcept mor of it esp th@ of uthrz & 2 venge. It would b
healthier 4 me 2 4get & Id b bettr kumpny. It just happns I m nabl 2. Praps Im snstiv 2 ghosts (Brigita
woz snstiv 2 th tmospher on th SENKAPIS (c → (no.1) p 2) whr I felt 0 but sh ddnt rmark on nythn
in th ‘old towns’ of Kaunas & Vilnius whr ntire kommnties wer rcently dstroyd) thgh probbly not. 1 of th
4mr ownrs of our Ivanhoe haus kmittd ° x gassn himslf wth karbn mnoxide in hiz kar & it duznt bothr
me @ all. In Miller st Nth Melb sum1 rote on a haus 4 sale a murdr had bn kmmittd thr & it woz
hauntd. If th price had bn low nuff I kould hav bought it (2/11. (Melbourne Cup Day; ‘tuesday poets’
(AXLE) meet (3/11. rode thr in pourn rain & no1 woz thr – think it may b th nd 4 th vzual (5/11. I take
th pportunity 2 thank FltGoAnLyLO) poets); ‘Make It Up Club’) ghosts kan b xorcized x → on
plgrmages, ritual, & offrn sakrfices). But what if it had bn a haus whr chldrn had bn mrdrd or lso
torturd (eg x Myra Hindley & her partnr)? What O if all th chldrn in a M of fl@s & their muthrs &
gr&fathrs had bn mrdrd in th most horribl & prtraktd way? Would u x a unit in it? Lithol& iz like such a
haus & th ghosts here hav not bn laid 2 rest. I dont think I kould x a place in th old town of Vilnius
mung th rcent °. I kanot c how I kould b happy wthout nsultn thm. 2 b abl 2 liv here u hav 2 kloze off
large sektions of your mmry & if I did I would hav 2 b a diffrnt persn – a vakuous kind of persn…. Im
→ 2wards th nd of my stay in lithol& & doin silly things. Gave a tip of 4 Lt 2 a buskr hoo playz th
rkordr az well az it kan b playd. Bought a rus red beer 4 8 Lt & it woz no bettr than any rdnry litho red
beer 4 3 Lt. Sor Vaidas & a guy he iz x-n stuff from → past & w greed 2 go 2 Rimeisiai 2mrrow (→
from here 2-3 pm & Id ← x bus) 2 finsh off th BOBA & I want 2 sumhow symbolkly kut my ties wth
UKMERGĖ (11/11. but I had lready dun th@ wthout realizin whn w put th note in th BOBAs head (c
p2)). Th BARAS I woz eatn @ charged x 3, 4 verythn & I 8 ‘Tikri karaimu kibinai su agurkais’ (‘Real
Karaim Kibin wth kukumbr’) @ 8 Lt or E 2.32. I would hav got mor 4 th muny in Melb. Th guy wth
Vaidas sez thr iz a story th@ in th 17
th
cent a swedsh soldier slashd th pik of th vrgin mary @
AUŠROS VARTAI & woz struk dead x lghtnn. Th@ woz th start of its rput8n 4 bein mirklous (but
whn they rstord th pik l8r thr woz no sgn of th slash mark (he sed)). I spent th middl part of th
day (11-6) prtkulrly pleazntly bein shown O x Rasa. Sh took me 2 th Belmonto kriokliai whr a large
2rst dvlpmnt nkludes an mitaeshn MALŪNAS but th sOn 4st iz @raktiv. Sh told me how whn our
gr&muthr Adolfina (maidn famly name: LEMEŽYTĖ) had th stroke from whch sh died l8r th 1
st
day
ftrwdz sh spoke mainly in yiddsh O how sh had saved a set of kittns (bein brought up x a bitch) ←
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burnn haus (in a yard whr all th hauses wer joind & 1 burnn haus kould set thm all light) in Tryškiai
(2/11. c top left of kuvr map of Šiauliai. Th → ndk8s th@ th jws of th town wer → ghetto in Žagarė
(8/11. take note EeWaErRlS)) & got out just b4 th roof fell in. Adolfina hoo woz not jwsh (2/11 they
wer mrdrd in Žagarė in th masskr of 2/10/41 (c 3/4/04 – 12/4/04 p 12) az dskribed x rZoWsIe in
Last Walk in Naryshkin Park Spinifex Press © 1997 ISBN 187559828) had grown up in a jwsh ¼ &
th story shows how th past is not lost & kan b xpozed. Rasa had a born-gain xprience 4 years ago
& w torkd O what w do whn w pray (make ourslvs small (2/11. hence lso plgrmage, rtual, & skrficial
offrnns)?). Then sh took me 2 a 4st kalld Kalvarija (calvary) whr sum peopl do th st8ns of th † on their
knees. Then → beautful lake of green watr a few ks from th centr (geografik 2/11. c kuvr map of →
(no 2) whr it iz markd az “EUROPOS VIDURYS”)) of urop. On the way back → Kalvarijos g. w
passd thrgh Jeruzalės rajona (E) whch iz spposed 2 hav good vibes so thr r hlth kliniks thr. Sh sed in
choozn a spot whr 2 build a chrch they oftn check 4 th spot wth th best vibes. Sh sez litho kathliks r
spcially dvoted 2 th kult of th blessd vrgin mary. Sh gave me LAUKTUVES 2 bring back to Melb whch
nkluded a CD of litho bird kalls & a book of poems in frnch & litho x a wmn hoo like me had left az a
small chld & kame back (2 Vilnius).
(1/9/07. Completion of Tuesdays from folder 5 (nos. 42 – 51 of anthology))
30/11 /04 ( 30/11/04 – 9/12/04 (no 52) (18/1/08. & nsrt(s) * ← DANYO RESERVE (no
53).)). Melbourne (10.15) → Charlton (hambrgr x Maria hoo sez they had 1drd whr Id got 2) →
Ouyen (stubby) → Underbool (2 stubbies) → Danyo Reserve (6.45 & Iv pord a koffee). Its hot &
humid wth a change due ovrnght. Th books Iv brght r The Rhinoceros Horn & Other Early
Buddhist Poems trnsl8d x K. R. Norman, pub x The Pali Text Society, London (1985), ISBN 0-
86013-154-8 (lent x jZoIsZeYpSh hoo lso got me 2 read th Dhammapada gain rcently & last week
read books lent x DIaCnAdSrTeRaO hoo I rckn iz a klozt buddhst) & Pensées x Blaise Pascal
whch kan b read gain & gain hoo sez in ¶ 563: “It is not possible to have reasonable grounds for
not believing in miracles.” I mght rturn 2 th klaim (18/11/07. Saturday 12/5/07; Sunday
13/5/07; Monday 14/5/07; 15/5/07 ). Mor ndrst&bly in ¶ 606 he sez: “A true friend is something
so valuable, even for the greatest noblemen, that they ought to do all they can to have one
speak well of them and stand up for them in their absence. But they must choose carefully,
for if all their efforts are spent on fools (kkrdn 2 Guru Bob nevr rgue wth 1 az 1
st
they pull u down 2
their levl then they beat u wth xprience) it will do them no good, however well they speak of
them. And they will not even speak well of them if they find themselves on the weaker side,
because they have no authority (this is the key – mine), and so they will run them down in
order to be with the majority.” Met GEORGE-KcOoTnZABASIS (mounts a kase 4 a just war
(sspndn rules of cvlized bhviour (an mnnt US lawyr, Dershowitz, wth a postn @ Harvard or Princeton
rguez tortur of suspkts should b made legl. He haz bn ntrviewd on oz tv & treatd wth rspkt (21/12/04.
in a major rtkl in The Age last weeknd rGaAyImToAnd, while xprssn hiz long windd →← 2 tortur, in th
last ¶, shamefully mtig8d DERSaHlOaWnITZZ point of view. Fakt iz →← 2 tortur iz no mor a m@r 4
learnd rgument than whthr w should or not help a persn njured x th roadside. X th time it needs 2 b
justfied x reaznn (how words fit 2gthr) it iz 2 l8. X ngagin in th dskussion he lready kntributes → tortur.
Th str@egy of dvok8s of tortur iz prcisely 2 4ce u 2 make this knsssion az if th ssue kould b in doubt.)
evn x our very own HojWoAhRnD (7/1. “lying rodent”. U kan giv az much muny 2 tsunami vktms az u
like – it will b gr8fully kceptd but w will not b freed of guilt nor will w or should w b 4givn x arabs,
muslms, & th 3
rd
O 4 our fals motivs in iraq))) (c Vilnius → Melbourne p 2)) hoo gave me 2 ssays x
him: ‘Moore’s Film Cruise Moors Into The Bay of Big Lies’ & ‘Terrorist Barbarians Not At
The Gates Of Civilization But Inside Its Gates.’ I told Con w r lookn thrgh wndows in ppozin
walls @ dffrnt views but w r sittn back 2 back in th same kafé & our koffee iz servd x th same waitrss.
Iv lent hiz book 2 HOaLnLdIyS. On a kmpletly dffrnt note H pointd out 2 me th@ Faulkner had sed
“The past (21/12/04. sum1 els sed: “Time is simply the yardstick of our separation. If we are
particles in a sea of distance, exploded from an original whole, then there is a science to
our solitude. We are lonely in proportion to our years.”) is not dead. It is not even past.”
(21/12/04. & here iz my journl ntry 4 16/12/04 2 pruve it: “ Thursday 16/12/04. “ Dr. Michael
Janson: Have you ever thought what makes a champion sports person? As the Olympic
slogan states: they are stronger, they can run faster, and jump higher. But most of all
they amaze us by achieving the seemingly impossible. The true champions live on in our
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memories as legends. The achievements of true legends are so consistently amazing
that these are recorded in video and replayed time and time again to the consistent
amazement of viewers from all ages and generations. Some have their images cast in
bronze whilst others are inducted into Halls of Fame. But most of all, a true champion
inspires us to achieve our best. How many times do we also dream for ourselves what it
must feel like to stand upon the podium as an Olympic gold medallist or to hold high the
Wimbledon Winner’s Trophy or your team’s Winner’s Cup. (¶) Sporting greats also bring
personality to their sports. Many we love but some champions we dislike. Those who see
their achievements in isolation from their admirers or fail to acknowledge the
psychological support of the cheering crowd, and those who arrogantly believe
themselves to be gods, never achieve sporting immortality as true sporting legends. A
true sporting champion amazes us by their achievements; inspires us to achieve in our
way, but most importantly, despite all their god-like achievements, never loses the
common touch. (¶) Have you ever thought what makes a champion teacher? The
champion teacher has great knowledge, can explain the most difficult of concepts in an
easily understood way, and has the best prepared notes and activities of all. The true
champion teacher has that magic ability to inspire, to motivate, and to captivate our
interest. For many students their champion teacher has the special ability to have a
significant life changing influence upon them. (¶) Unfortunately society does not award
champion teachers with gold medals or induct them into Halls of fame. However many
of us have our own champion teacher who lives on in our memories as a true legend. We
remember that teacher forever, not only for their fine qualities as a champion teacher,
but also for the significant influence that the teacher had upon our lives. (¶) In thinking
about this article for ESSENCE I looked through my old school magazines. I was struck by
the young looking image of my champion teacher, Mr Zizys, standing in the back row of
the staff photograph at Thornbury high school in 1968. He taught me english in years 11
and 12. In 1967, I was in a group of 30 students who were taken to central australia by
mr zizys when there were no made roads and the outback had still not been invaded by
tourists. Mr zizys has been my champion teacher who is in my hall of fame as a true
legend. He will forever be my champion because he inspired me to love the australian
landscape and to express these feelings through using the power of the english
language. (¶) I am sad however, because now I would love to say thank you to mr zizys.
When I was at school I thought he was a great teacher, but I certainly didn’t recognize
what an inspirational influence he was having upon my life. I don’t know if he is still
alive. Perhaps he would be at least 70 years of age by now if he is still alive. There is no
way of finding him either. Its all a bit frustrating now some 37 years later. (¶) to those of
you who have managed to read this article to here, may I encourage you to think if you
have just one teacher who is your true champion. Perhaps you might think about saying
a special thank you to them before it is too late. If you don’t get around to this, then
don’t worry, champions don’t expect big prizes, they are always extremely happy with
something as simple as a medal or a cup. True champions are the ones who live on in
our memories and become true legends because they powerfully inspire us and change
our lives for the better.” Th rtkl woz brght 2 my @10tion x SjTuAlNiIeOtN (1/1. 2 hoom I gave
SwTaRlUtVeErS rtkl O th rgins of th KO kllektion (5/1. named ftr Kurt Offenburg. Walter (hoo tells me
in a lettr I rcievd 2day I should konsidr writin “short stories”) hoo iz rsearchn th kllektion asks I ask my
readrs th@ if ny1 haz nfo or komnts 2 make on KO wood they kum 4
th
.) in th ST8 LIBERRY OF
VICTORIA so it O8s) 2 doors down Locksley rd hooz dghtr Rachel iz a studnt @ Uni High. It iz from
her nd of year magzine. Dr mJiAcNhSaOeNl (4mly JANmKiOlVeIC) iz a vice prncipl @ th skool.
Ystrdy I vztd him & s@ in hiz ffice 4 sevrl hours. It woz hghly motionl. Th nly prson Im in kntkt wth
from Thornbury High iz HAdRaRvIeS (4/1. Dave & me kountd 8 dths of studnts w knew of from their
year (ie 1968): 5 road dths (4 kar, 1 mtrbike); 2 kncer; 1 suicide (?)). It turns out Mile & Dave had livd
in th same street az kids & wer friendz from age 5 & had kmpltly lost kntkt. So I droppd an ssue of th
skool mag → hiz lettr box on me way back 2 Ivanhoe (← Miller st). Dave rang me in th evnn & I
prmisd Id giv him Miles kard wth fone & home & work prtklrs 2mrrow. Showd th rtkl 2
DiaCnAdSrTeRaO (25/12. (1/1. all 5 of our kids: Michael, K8, Joe, Ben & Dan wer 2gthr ndr 1 roof 4
th 1
st
time in 17 yrs) & th day b4 ystrdy 2 LfOrVaEnCkE (1/1. hoo rpeatd hiz klaim th@ w all know
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verythn but hide it from ourslvz & lso made th bzrvaeshn (wth whch I gree) th@ it iz mor dffkult 2
xplain how 2 kkount 4 our feelns of sepr8nss from each uthr than 4 th bvious fakt th@ w r joind in2 a
singl ntity) whn th 3 of us drank l8 in2 a sultry nght ndr th elm tree *(26/1. whr wr meetn upgain 2nght
4 AUSTRALIA day - 2talians & alitho (4 me itz aday of mournn: 1) @th gr8st vilence dun2 dmokracy in
AUSTRALIA in my lifetime whn a kabnt (26/1/05 it was a unilateral John Winston decision (he said it
publicly in th US before he came home) with no reference to anyone. helh&z) dcision tied our 4tunes 2th
US rgardlss of whr thUS had or wood dcide 2take us; 2) though Im not atypkl (of tv viewn & nwsppr
readn vriety but rthr of thkind who haz spent alife travlln 2 many oz lok8ions & speakn2 ppl) patriot I
mourn thway HoWARd & hiz kabnt hav gr@uitsly trnsfrrd a sgnfknt part of AUSTRALIAN sovrnty 2th
US; 3) & I mourn thfakt th@ thAustralian publk l8r ndorsd thsellout in a lektion)) on th krnr of Miller &
Curzon sts (1/1. in wst melb (26/1. 2nght w willb eatn smoked fsh wshd↓ wth beer (Leffewhch (kkordn2
Vaidas) tastes like alitho beer) just az they do in lithl&))) wth hoom (18/1/08. 2da Frank sjstd w rpt th
ksrs¤z) I had lunch 2day. Bought mngoes 2 leav in Miller st 4 th weeknd. Took the van (7/1. klutch
(hope itz not th gearbox!) iz goin ftr nly 47,000 ks so Iv got it bookd → Melbourne City Toyota 4 19/1
az itz still ndr warrnty (3 year) whr they tell me if itz from rdnary wear & tear th warrnty duznt pply. But
I m a kareful (no rkord of wrekn klutchs & gearboxz) drivr & th van duznt karry a big load & duz
mainly long kuntry miles.) (washd) → Miller st wth the bike nside but had 2 ride back (& earlier →
town 4 th lunch) wthout a helmet az Id 4gottn it in Ivanhoe. @ th meetn wth Mile ystrday w greed 2
rzume kontakt (4/1. th surest way of dmythologizin) in fbuary nxt year *(3/2. gota ♪ ← him 2day sjestn
w hav aBBQ (march 6?) wth Dave). Bought a supply of grogs 4 x-mas (25/12. th rtkl x Mile woz my
nxpktd x-mas prznt. It haz gon 2 me head & Im showin it 2 very1. My thanx 2 Dr mJiAcNhSaOeNl.)
@ Dan Murphys & dskuvrd th@ Cascade haz put out a new beer – a white (5/1. called ‘Summer
Blonde’) wheat beer (1/1. on 23/12 Andrea bght us a bottl of CHIMAI beer 4 O $18. Its sed 2 b made
x th Trappsts & last nght I slept like a baby ftr gettn drunk on mor of it bought x me mum az a new yr
gift. Mayb they bless it). Tstd it & its good.) It would hav bn a good 1 2 nklude mung th bzrvaeshns
on past, prznt & future on p1 of Melbourne → Kaunas or 2 put in @ th nd of Vilnius → Melbourne
2 sumrize wht iz probly th main theme (5/1. SwTaRlUtVeEr sez aFnRaAtNoClEe sed “When a
fact is known through the evidence of a single person, it is admitted without much
hesitation. Our perplexities begin when events are related by two or by several
witnesses, for their evidence is always contradictory and always irreconcilable.”) of th
piece. Evn less rlvntly here iz a story told a century ftr Dante x Farid al-Din Attar titld the ‘Simurgh
(Thirty Birds)’. I tell it az rtold x Jorge Luis Borges but trnsl8d ← th spansh (trnsl8d ← rabk or farsi?):
“The faraway king of all the birds, the Simurgh, lets fall a magnificent feather in the
centre of China: tired of their age-old anarchy, the birds resolve to go in search of him.
They know that their king’s name means thirty birds; they know his palace is located on
the Kaf, the circular mountain that surrounds the earth. (¶) They embark upon the
nearly infinite adventure. They pass through seven valleys or seas; the name of the
penultimate is Vertigo; the last, Annihilation. Many pilgrims give up; others perish.
Thirty, purified by their efforts,set foot on the mountain of the Simurgh. At last they
gaze upon it: they perceive that they are the Simurgh and that the Simurgh is each one
of them and all of them. In the Simurgh are the thirty birds and in each bird is the
Simurgh.”
7/12/04. I woz @kd x a pair of pcifk gulls this mornn. Thr nst must hav bn klose x but I
koodnt find it. They swoop down from bhind very klose 2 yor head & skwark threatnnly. I held a
branch buv me head in kase 1 tried 2 pek me. L8r I drove O th nrthrly tip of the park chekn out points
kcessbl x kar but very time I got out Id b hit x a rainy skwall. Its blowin a gale rght now @ Fishermans
Point whr Im parkd 4 th nght x mslf. Thr iz a toilt here. Got soakd →n 2 Carcase Rock on th eastrn
side of Cape Donington but then th sun kame out & dried me out az I ←. L8r gain ftr a feed I did a set
11k → from here kalld Fishermans Loop. I think youd like thez →s honey az theyr fl@ & u kan lwayz
kum out @ good spots on th koast 4 a dip shld it b hot az I magine it sually iz in summr. Hard 2
magine summr th way it iz @ th momnt. I m in mung low twistd gums whch woodnt giv much shade
but r givn me sum prtktion from th gale. Its nly 7.10pm & thr iz still 2+ hrs of daylght but I dont know if
Ill do nuthr → az I wood normlly though th shorline iz very beautful. I dont want 2 get my gear wet
wthout a chance of dryn it b4 bedtime. Im bein kept ndr surveillnce x a blue wren (Malurus cyaneus)
sittn top a low bush nxt 2 me. Its quite nice sittn on th bumpr in th lea of th van ndr th tailg8 watchn th
branchs bein tossd O x th wind & th klouds skudn x. Kant b bothrd readn – specially not O buddhizm
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so Ill opn a tin of ‘Seafood Snacks (28/12. buddhst r not llowed 2 b butchrs or fshmngrs) (in tomato &
basil sauce)’ nstead. Ncidntlly Port Lincoln iz @ th same l@tude az Adelaide. Its prbbly windier &
drier here but.
15/2 /05 ( 10/2/05 – 18/2/05 (no 54)). A change kame thrgh vrnght wth a breef showr.
Its grey. I m xlntly sheltrd but nly 50 yardz furthr lookn out 2 c from th edge of th • thr iz a stif wind &
th c iz choppy. (its spitn so Im goin nside). 2day I had n10d → Dock Inlet (22/2. & I rpeet th@ tho
kademik lit klaimz it haz no outlt → c I hav found whr thr iz 1) th proxm8 setn 4 th hermitz hideout
((19/11/07. ← IN TRANSIT. 2 ths stori nlthoe (transl8d x SaTlRbUiNnGaA) → www.lietuviams.com
& nth serchE nth r¤t laebld ‘ieškoti’ ' in transit) “Mallacoota Man stood up. The possum, bleary
eyed, was sitting on its haunches just in front of him. He unzipped his trousers. He was about to do
something unspeakable, something he had been planning to do for two weeks. ¶ Before you damn
him out of hand, dear reader, consider these mitigating circumstances. He is the product of a pluralist
society in which any traditional value you care to nominate is being actively ridiculed by at least one
organized lobby group funded by the taxpayers. The only kinds of behaviour on which there is
general even if unspoken consensus and which in his case have been reinforced by countless hours
of TV viewing are the pursuit of money, success and self-gratification. It is late at night in the bush,
he knows that there are no witnesses to what he is about to do, and he is not subject to normal social
constraints. His inhibitions have been dulled by alcohol. He is from a working class district and has
not had the benefit of a private school education. He has had a lousy day and a sliver of his tongue is
hanging loose and catching painfully against his teeth. Consider further that he has been the victim of
atrociously humiliating behaviour by this same possum in the recent past. ¶ Have I still failed to stir a
sympathetic chord in a corner of your christian heart? ¶ As I say, he unzipped his trousers, took a
step forward so that he was standing with his legs apart and pissed, pissed copiously, on the
possum. It looked up with an idiotic expression and copped the stream directly on its face. It did not
move from where it was crouched between his legs: maybe it thought it was being showered with
apricot sherry or maybe, as was more likely, it was a retard. ¶ He took a deep breath and with the
ensuing sigh all the troubles of that day left him. He felt exhilarated. He was paying the possum back
in the most appropriate manner. Let the punishment fit the crime. He felt that what he was doing
expressed the essence of the Australian character, he was a patriot even if he did come from a
migrant family. He couldn’t help laughing: the possum looked so stupid. ¶ It is impossible to describe
adequately the horror of what happened next. A number of events took place simultaneously but I
have to list them as if there was an order to them. At the same time as Mallacoota Man burst out
laughing he trod hard on the possum’s tail. The possum emitted a primal scream and came to life like
an uncoiling spring. Instinctively it sprinted up his leg with great thrusts of its powerful hind talons. In
the same instant as it reached his head, his hands which in a reflex action were being thrown up to
protect his face, reached the possum. Mid-note, his laugh turned into a sound somewhere between a
stuck pig and a roar as in the one action he threw the possum away from his face into the night. You
understand that none of these events had a separate existence: the reality was a blur of arms and
fur, a piercing scream or screams in the night, profound silence. ¶ He ran the tips of his fingers
upwards from his knees. He was covered in blood. He couldn’t see because blood was running from
his head down his face. He could tell from the pain in his leg and chest that they were deeply
gashed. Blood was dripping from his chin onto the backs of his hands as he held them over his
chest. He was afraid he might fall into the fire. He couldn’t move until he wiped the blood from his
eyes. It was then that he discovered that his eyes were gone, gouged out. Like Oedipus. ¶ The
sheer horror of that discovery was such that he lost all feeling. An unreal calm descended over him
and he observed himself with calculating lucidity from a vantage point high above. He could see
himself, illuminated by an eerie glow, far below standing between the fireplace and the box. He would
not be able to drive the car. He would have to walk to the road. But it would be almost impossible; his
camp was hidden at the end of a logging track. First he must find the box without falling into the
coals. He watched himself bend down and feel the ground around him till he touched the box. Then
he saw himself take a careful step, extend the other hand to the box and sit down. It occurred to him
that he might be dead. Then the pain returned. ¶ He would never know if the out-of-body experience
had lasted seconds or hours. It had taken place outside time. What he was certain of was that it was
while he was in that state that his eyes were healed for as he sat on the box groaning he moved one
of his eyelids. Making sure that his eyes were closed he gently wiped the thickening blood from the
lids. He opened his eyes: he could see. He picked up the torch and examined his leg and chest. He
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felt his head. These wounds had also healed but he was still a mess and the pain was so intense that
he didn’t feel the scores of mosquitoes he could see standing shoulder to shoulder biting his ankles.
He would have to go down to the beach again. His experience in diving for abalone bare-handed had
taught him that sea water was a good anaesthetic. He was in the habit of grabbing an abalone and
with a quick jerk picking it off the rock before it had a chance to attach itself properly. His hands and
the tips of his fingers would often become badly cut by sharp rocks and shells but the pain would not
come till an hour or so after he left the water and by then they would already be healing. This time
the sea would clean his clothes and rid him of the mosquitoes too. ¶ He waded out and dived into
the sea. The water washed over him as cool as crystal and he was instantly healed. He could hear
the waves breaking ahead but could not see them as the cloud cover made the night very dark. A
swell lifted him up and when it let him down again he was unable touch bottom. The water was
turbulent and foamy; it snarled all about him. He knew the danger: it was a choppy sea, the waves
were breaking erratically from any direction, a breeze was springing up. The problem was that on a
night as dark as this the uneven water would not tell him in which direction the shore lay. On a really
dark night even a regular sea can be confusing. It can be difficult to judge whether you are swimming
with the wave in the direction of the shore or at an angle almost parallel to the waves. So when he
was in calmer waters again and could hear that the churning was further from him he peered around
trying to work out if he was between the waves and the shoreline or on the other side of them. The
noise was of no help because the breeze, which was becoming gusty, made it sound as if it was
coming from every direction at once. The surface of the water was calmer now and that, as well as
the fact that he hadn’t touched bottom, inclined him to believe that he was on the seaward side of the
waves. But which direction were they in? You can probably tell that Mallacoota Man was not
inexperienced in this kind of situation. He had swum often at night before. He was attracted to it by
the element of danger, the thrill. He believed that it sharpened his senses and brought clarity to his
thinking. He was not about to panic now. If the shoreline had consisted of low dune he knew that he
would have no hope of seeing it. However in the present case the cove was backed by a line of cliffs
and they in turn by low hills which made him confident that even tonight the coast would be indicated
by a greater density in the darkness. But he hadn’t counted on the rain.The rain began coming down
warn and steady and getting heavier. And now he couldn’t see anything at all. The sound of waves
retreated into the distance. ¶ in the womb of the wave / dead men float / waiting / to be born into
sand ¶ Perhaps we should leave him there. At his best he is a dubious character and this could be
my cue to write him out of the story. Or should we save him? If so, how? ¶ a lighthouse sends / a
beam of light / to guide / the voyager across the sea // but who will take him / past the ports /
past the headlands and the reefs // to the castles in the depths / where the drowning sailors
sing ¶ What I should do is examine his personality a little, reveal a bit of his past, and let you
decide for yourself if he is worth saving. ¶ You could say that swimming at night is foolhardy. You
can criticize Mallacoota Man for becoming addicted to the adrenalin and heightened state of
awareness that the practice brings to him. But in his favour you have to admit that he is not hurting
anyone and he deserves some credit for his physical courage. ………¶ my gentle lord / protector
of children // I am not a child / I am a sailor // in the eye of the storm // and in this stillness / I
listen ¶ ……….I have allowed myself though, to stray from the topic: Mallacoota Man, nocturnal
swimmer and possum hater. He has other faults too. He has been preoccupied for most of his life
with faeces, or more plainly, bogs. His own that is. It’s not easy for me to write about; it’s not a
glamorous topic. As I said before I’d like my mother to be able to read this eventually and I have
already been heavily criticized by my defacto (the same one who calls me a shithead) for being too
scatological. Though few will admit it there is an almost universal interest in the subject.
Psychologists have found that most of us are not capable of flushing it away without at least one
good look at what we have achieved. The interest may stem from our early potty training when
parents encouraged us to take enormous delight in the size of our craps. There is more to it than
empty pride though. In Africa it is commonly said that you can tell how healthy a community is by the
size and firmness of the craps you see by the roadside. ‘Big craps, little clinics’ is the saying in rural
areas. Did you know that the practice over there is to wipe your behind with a round pebble? Its not
easy I can tell you, I’ve tried. It’s not healthy either. How can you be sure the pebble you’re using
hasn’t been used before? That’s why AIDS is spreading through Africa like wildfire. No one believes
me when I tell them; but you think about it. Closer to home, the science of naturopathy has shown
that there is no better cure for arthritis than to be immersed up to your neck in raw sewage. Why do
you think Ezekiel spent ten years lying in cow dung? The fastest growing medical specialty is
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proctology. Mallacoota Man himself had toyed with the idea of becoming a proctologist. ¶ The main
influence that led him to the preoccupation with matters fundamental was his sickly and accident
prone childhood. It meant that he often had to go to hospital. No matter for what reason he was taken
there, whether it was a cut finger or an earache or anything else at all, he noticed that the doctors
always started off by examining his behind. They would clasp his buttocks in each hand, spread them
apart and carefully examine his orifice. Their interest greatly reinforced his already healthy respect
for that part of the body caused by the exaggerated excitement his parents showed every time he
used a potty to do a crap. He can still remember how on those occasions they would jump up and
down clapping like lunatics. In his entire childhood he never saw them so happy again. As for the
doctors, you and I know that what they were doing was performing the anal dilation test to see if he
was the victim of child abuse. Should his sphincter have dilated even once he would straight away
have been put in an orphanage. One of these doctors later went to work in a hospital in England
where she put half the kids of an entire town in orphanages. Hardly surprising then that Mallacoota
Man retained a lifelong iterest in the anus and its products. ¶ It was an interest that manifested itself
in many ways but found its greatest expression in the tremendous satisfaction he got in leaving his
calling card on every monument he came across. By monuments I mean roadside cairns
commemorating explorer’s journeys, RSL monuments, dedication plaques and things like that. Next
time you drive along the Hume Highway between Melbourne and Sydney stop and have a closer look
at a few Hume and Hovell cairns. If you see a great turd on the marble base, it may have been left
there by Mallacoota Man. If it’s just a sloppy mess it means he’d been drinking too much stout. His
proudest achievements consisted of leaving his extrusions on an entire set of cairns. He collected
sets in this way like you or I might collect stamps. He had crapped on every Major Mitchell monument
in Vic. and New South. He spend months scouring outback Queensland till he was sure not a single
Leichart memorial had escaped his omnipotent bowel. Sometimes he ate nothing but oats for weeks
because there were so many monuments to cover. Once a monument took his fancy nothing could
stop him putting his mark there. He had to do the Captain Cook monument at Pt. Hicks at night so
that he wasn’t spotted from the lighthouse. Have a look between the legs of the statue of the
unknown soldier (6/9/07. rlok8d → shrin) in front of the State Library in Melbourne. He waited till 4
am to do that. By the way, he worked in that library as an attendant for three years. ¶ perhaps it is
right that / the custodians of this library / which is perfectly round / should be inefficient //
when it is transferred / into the new building / instead of the perfection of circles / there will be
glass rectangles // and the custodians / of that new library will / be models of efficiency // and /
our most regular customers / from the derelicts home / who come here because there / is a
touch of eternity / in this room // will have nowhere to go ¶ one reaon why / the derelicts will
not go / into the new library is / because it will be carpeted // they are used to hard / and
resonant floors / to them their footfalls / have a hollow ring // they have grown used to that ¶
another reason / why they like / to come to this library / is because it is old // they have no /
community of worship / in this world // but long long ago / somewhere in the past / it was
different // and so if we do provide / them with a service / it is only / that we rescue / the past /
from the present ¶ in the mirror / on the dais at the centre / of the perfect circle / of this room
/ you can see // that the old man at the table / is no younger than the oldest book / the boy on
an excursion / feels the dust along the shelves // all pasts and / all futures are / only
reflections / of the present ¶ have you noticed how frail / the old men are / their hands are
clumsy like the / hands of children / the books that they read / are the books that children read
// books about war / kings / and other lands ¶ and perhaps / some of these old men / have no
future / just as some have had / no past // in this circular tower, / a dead architects / imitation
of a mystery that he / could only faintly glimpse, / these men guard / the eternal present // all
others / must humbly wait / outside ¶ The librarians there still talk about the time an awful crap
was found under the dome next to the dais in the main reading room. No one could believe that
somebody could perpetrate such an abomination without being spotted. Mallacoota Man did that. He
was wearing an army greatcoat and a wig and nothing else when he did it. ¶ I can imagine what
you’re saying right now. ¶ “Drown him, drown him!” I can hear you calling. ¶ “Save him!” cry the
proctologists. ¶ Let’s not be hasty. Let’s get a bit more information before we finally decide. ¶ He
has done worse than decorate the monuments of Australia. In fact, though the Returned Service
Men’s League would disagree, he felt he was paying a kind of reverse tribute to the culture of the
nation. His hobby means that he knows more about the myths that have shaped the Australian
psyche than you or I; never mind that his parents were migrants. He could tell you the exact words
90
on the inscription under the statue of the ‘Dog on the Tuckerbox’ at Gundagai. I bet you couldn’t do
that. Should you go down there to check up be careful not to step on the giant extrusion next to the
tuckerbox just behind the dog. There is unfortunately a darker side to his preoccupation with poop.
He went through a period in his life of full blown caprophagia. He was mad at the time of course,
probably driven insane by the practice of cannibalism. He had become obsessed by the idea of self-
sufficiency. Circularities and closed systems had always fascinated him. That was the appeal of
cannibalism too. He believed that if human beings ate each other, the young ate the old, then forests
would not have to be razed to make pastures for cattle. We could live in harmony with our
surroundings because the human race would constitute a closed system. The idea of eating human
flesh was not repugnant to him as he had been brought up a catholic and been to communion. He
thought of human sacrifice as the ultimate expression of the religious sensibility. There is a fatal flaw
in this scheme which because he was already insane he didn’t spot for quite awhile. The flaw is that
the system is not a self-sustaining one. When the old people get eaten up the young ones have to
starve. It was that realization that made him abandon the eating of human flesh. He is now a lapsed
catholic. However he soon realized, and as I say he was mad by then, that he could achieve ultimate
independence by eating his own faeces like St John the Baptist in the desert. The caprophagia came
after that. ¶ Do any of you, other than the proctologists, still want to save him? ¶ I’ll tell you
something else. Mallacoota Man was a fraud. He purposely encouraged the good citizens of
Mallacoota to believe that he was camped hidden in the bush permanently so as to develop a special
aura around himself. He is indeed the origin of the myth of the wild man of Mallacoota that they still
talk about in the pubs of East Gippsland. But he actually lived in a flat in Melbourne and went down
to his campsite only now and then. He fooled everyone by sneaking into his secret camp the back
way along an abandoned logging track from the Princes Highway. His dishevelled appearance was
artfully calculated. The gullible hamburghers of Mallacoota really believed when he came in to get his
supplies at the general store that he hadnt left the bush since the last time he had come in. Jim
Brown believed it too! Such are the myths that sustain a nation. ¶ Do even the proctologists among
you want to save him? ¶ I will save him whatever you say. I am the author; I will decide. I never had
the slightest intention of taking your advice anyway. It was just a gimmick to get you involved in a
proactive way. I will save him because in spite of his faults I detect a spark of nobility in him. He may
be cranky, he may be repugnant, he may be a lapsed catholic but I admire his obstinate
independence, his capacity to stand aside from the crowd a little. When all you proctologists,
lesbians, transvestites, child molesters, prostitutes, psychiatrists and drug addicts go dancing into
hell together he will still be sitting on his plastic box among the bangalay (eucalyptus botryoides) and
the geebung (persoonia levis) staring gloomily into the coals. ¶ We left him treading water on a pitch
black and rainy night at the mercy of the sea. With no cues to the direction of the shore he was going
to have to rely solely on the powers of the right side of the brain. That’s the side which is the seat of
instinct and is in touch with the common subconscious. If properly harnessed it can help us tap into
cosmic energy. But he was at a disadvantage as his crystal wand was back in the car. Only the high
priests can tap into cosmic energy without a wand and to become one he would have to have done a
full week of training at a cost of $2,000, whereas the wand was only $300. It would have been worth
it though. He considered the options: he would have to transcend his limits. Fire-walking could be
dismissed out of hand. That had been a total waste of money. It’s only application was in a bushfire
emergency and how often do you get caught in a bushfire. Astral travel was a possibility but you had
to be asleep or in a trance and he was afraid of drowning. Reincarnation was a last resort as was
rebirthing. The ‘I can’ course he had done ensured that his confidence remained high. His potential
had been barely tapped: if only he could get into his higher self. The energy transfer lessons might
be of use. He spread his arms out in the classic druid position, trod water and tried to relax. Nothing
happened. He lifted his head and sniffed the air. Perhaps he would be able to smell the direction of
the land. He couldn’t. The aromatherapy sessions had been a waste of time too. Nor was the ‘Past
Lives’ therapy of much help. He tried lateral thinking but was getting too tired and too confused. Still
he didn’t give up. Self-empowerment had taught him never to give up. Hadnt he already been saved
once that day when his eyes were healed during the out-of-body experience. There was one thing he
hadnt tried, and now that he remembered it, it was peculiarly appropriate: dolphin meditation. It was
years since he had done it; one of the very first courses he did at Adult Education. He wasn’t sure if
he would be able to do it now. He turned over so that he was floating on his back. He pursed his lips.
With the rain falling on his face he made little twittering and whistling noises. It wasn’t easy. But it
worked. A flash of lightning lit up the sky followed by a peal of thunder. Then there was another flash
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and another. With each flash the cove lit up like an amphitheatre. He was two hundred yards from
land. He felt strong. He headed for it with powerful strokes like a sprinter. He got there before the
thunderstorm. As he hurried up the track towards his camp he realized the pain in his legs and chest
was gone. He reached camp to a crescendo of lightning and thunder. He examined himself more
carefully. His skin was smooth, the wounds were gone without a trace. Only the rips in his trousers
and shirt remained as evidence of his ordeal. As he crawled into his tent it was shaken by a more
powerful gust of wind and the rain bucketed down. He slept deep, like he had never slept before. ¶
You have to admit that in the West we sadly neglect the development of the right side of the brain.
With the exception of the dolphin meditation which he had done with Adult Education all the other
training Mallacoota Man had done was done privately at considerable expense. Of course it was
worth it. In the East, especially in India, they understand that without spiritual training a man is
incomplete. The diminishing role of religion means that there is no major institution in our society that
does it here. We are the poorer for it. Mathematics, logic and science all reside in the left side of the
brain and it is in this area that our educational institutions excell. Our infatuation with numbers and
logic stems from the fact that they are such powerful instruments in conquering the material world.
Unfortunately in the emotional realm, in the arts, in human relations and in most of our day to day
activities the instruments of science are useless. Compared to the sophisticated Easterner we are
infantile and undeveloped. If we are to live life to the full we must employ all our faculties. If you want
excitement and thrills go swim in a rough sea at night. Or do a cross country hike on a stormy night
through the bush by yourself. That’s when you see real visions and meet the spirits that have always
inhabited this earth. Modern man has closed himself off from most of the activity that goes on in the
world about him. He has restricted himself to cities and houses and the small parts of the globe he
can illuminate with electricity. The world most people live in is sanitized and prepackaged by the
television screen. I suppose what I despise most about druggies is that they are its final product.
They practice their sad deceptions for the sake of powders and coloured pills. The smallness of their
spirit can be measured by the callibrations on a syringe. They think that visions and ecstasies can be
dispensed in controlled doses while they sit like vegetables in their bedrooms. ¶ Mallacoota Man
knows better. He is sitting on his plastic box staring morbidly into the fire. The possum is nearby. It is
sniffing its arse. Mallacoota Man stands up. He unzips his trousers. He is going to do something
unspeakable … ¶ I cant stand it anymore. Surely I didn’t save him just for this? Is he trapped in a
time warp or is he travelling transversely through a series of parallel universes? Is it that life goes in
circles? Are we doomed to repeat our mistakes forever? (26/2. W8 4 th nxt xitin pisode shood thr b
1)) & on whch he woz abl 2 rely 4 frsh watr az he w8d 4 TH ND OF TH · (28/2. I dskuvrd
DIC&ArSeTaRO iz xpktn (2/3. rvewn a nvntree of me frendz I m srprized x how meny (mayb a mjorty)
sens our cvliz8n iz drawin 2 a knkluzion. Praps th nly dffrnce iz th@ I rtkul8 it mor loudly. R w a biast
sampl? If u rely on reedn th pprz & w@chn tely u wood think ppl wer bubln ovr wth nrgetk nthziazm,
jumpn hgh wth joy a la toyota. In tryin 2 dcide whch vew iz mor widezpred keep in mind th@ th
knsumer knmee of telvzion dpendz on ppl rushn O while sad ppl r poor spendrz & r nklined 2 sit @
home mopin or reedn books.) sumthn of th sort; on th way 2 lunch wth him I sor a nmbr pl8: BADAZZ;
Dan rang from Sydney 2 say hel b home on thrzdy az he haz a job here). But its not th day 4
dreemee stroln. I hav brort 2 books on th trip both ritn in ltho whch iz a novlty 4 me. I m srprized @
how eezlee Im reedn th 1 Iv startd. Last week whn I got up in th midl of th nght 2 turn off th smoke
larm beepr & H askt me what I woz getn up 4 I nswrd her in ltho & sh snapt bak “speek nglsh”.
(20/2/05. Justifiably – we have been married for 40 years and we have always spoken English to each other
– it’s a bit late to start doing otherwise now. Also , had the house been on fire, I wouldn’t have understood
the notification.. Helh&z) Th book I hvnt startd reedn iz Laiškai Mylimosioms (Letters to Loved
Ones) x Juozas Lukša-Daumantas pblsht in Chicago 1993 © American Foundation For
Lithuanian Research, Inc. & Nijolė Braženas-Paronetto. Juozas Lukša-Daumantas (10/8/21 -
4/9/51) playd an mportnt role in rgnizin th partzn (PARTIZANU) rzistance 2 th 1
st
soviet kkupaeshn in
40/41 & kntnued in a senior role in th movmnt durin th long (in2 th 50s) yeerz of th rzistance ftr th 2
nd
war whn th last of thm wer fnally huntd down x NKVD units spcially traind 4 th task. He woz a very
h&sm man judgn from th foto on th frunt kuvr of him pen in h& ritin hiz book Partizanai už
Geležinės Uždangos (Partizans Behind the Iron Curtain). He rote th book while in Paris ftr †n th
iron kurtin → west in 1948. While he woz in Paris (keepn hiz dntity sekrt x knstntly changin hiz +rss)
he met Nijolė Bražėnaitė (l8r Braženas-Paronetto of New York) hoo fell ill & spent most of th time they
knew chuthr in a sn@orium. Th klektion of letrz titld Laiškai Mylimosioms r th 1z he rote ovr th
yeerz 48-50 → her in th sn@orium. 2wrdz th nd of th period they mareed & in hiz letrz he of10 rferz 2
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lthol& az hiz 1
st
wife & 2 her az hiz 2
nd
. Durin this time he & sevrl uthrz wer traind x th US sekrt srvice
& prashootd bak bhind th iron kurtin → lthol&. In th same yeer he woz btrayd & kild durin th final push
x th NKVD whch broke th bak of th movmnt in 50/51. Th rcipient of th letrz, Nijolė, iz th twin sstr of
Vida hoo died (c August 18 p 11) th yeer b4 last in Melbourne hoom I rmmbr wth wrmth & hooz
home I uzed 2 vizt az a chld az sh woz a klose frnd of my mum. Vida iz th mthr of
VAIaTnIdErKiUuNsAS hoo sumtimez (28/2. not ystrdy) xs me glasz of red (22/2. did gain on 20/2 but
it woz a vry small glas of) wine @ ltho haus in Errol st Nth Melb. Andrius iz kurntly th chairprsn
(PIRMININKAS) of th mbrella rgnizaeshn (VALDYBA) suprvizn th small but ktiv ltho kmmnty of
Melbourne. Th uthr book titld ir dar valandėlė…. (a little while longer ….) iz lso a klektion of letrz
mostly from lthol&, germny, sberia ritn x Konstancija Bražėnienė (a few in 1947 skrtly passt 2
Nijolė in germny, sum in 56 from Chužyr in sberia, & th bulk ← lthol& → New York & Melbourne from
55-56 whn wth th help of US guvmnt ntrvntion sh woz llowd → merika) & a much smallr no x her sun
Mindaugas (from basez he woz staeshnd @ in eest germny) in 1944. Mindaugas ndured th kndtionz
of a soviet priznr of war jail 4 mmbrz of th germn rmy in Gardinas whr he woz waitn → sberia. He woz
rleest az a rzult of th ntrvntion of a senior NKVD ffcer but x then hiz health woz brokn & he ° in
Kaunas aged 22. Th klktion woz pblshd last year (I just put me h& 2 th bak of me nek & felt what I
mmdi8ly knew 2 b a TICK. Must hav got it whn I went 4 a krap & it puld out eezee koz it hadnt bn
@chd 4 long.) & iz °k8d 2 th mmry of Konstancija & Mindaugas. ISBN iz 9955-545-18-6 © Nijolė
Bražėnaitė-Paronetto 2004. VAIaTnIdErKiUuNsAS had 25 kopeez of th book 4 dstrbution 1 of
whch he gave 2 me mum. Konstancija iz hiz gr&mthr (° in New York wthout Andrius havn met her).
He woz keen 4 me 2 reed it so I got my mum 2 send me her kopee & sh lso sent me th uthr (Laiškai
Mylimosioms). Im 1/3
rd
of th way → ir dar valandėlė…. & findn it prtklrly ntrstn. I m reedn it wth a
sens of ntmacy th@ kums from knowin th famly & reedn O th kindz of evnts whch 4md me & whch r
rsponsbl 4 my prtklar way of vewn histree. Im goin ↓ 2 c how itz on th beech …. It woz drzzln. Im bak
@ Bemm River in th litl park & Iv eetn a bun. Its 1.10. Th park iz kalld Luderick Point Memorial Park.
Th pelknz r stil here & I kan c nuthr 20 or so on a jetee a few 00 yardz way. Thr iz a mmrial th size of
a BBQ fireplace wth a small flag pole nxt 2 it. On a kopr plark it sez : “In honour of the brave men
and women of the district who served their country and who paid the supreme sacrifice.
/ WWI 1914-18 / WW2 1939-45 / Malaya 1948-60 / Korea 1950-53 / Borneo 1952-66 /
Vietnam 1962-73 / Kuwait 1991 / Lest We Forget”. Itz rainn a bit & Im movn on ….@
Nungurner jetee (c 16/2/04 – 27/2/04 p 7). Rang home but H had left erly 4 her talian (22/2. w r
goin nxt yeer (27/2. → ROMA) lesn az sh woz meetn K8 1
st
. Ben nswrd th fone. He sez Dan will b
bak on th weeknd (22/2. not bak yet (howz this 4 a koncidnce: I had nly red 2 linez furthr & th fone
rang: it woz Dan sayn hel b bak 10/3. Hez livn in Bondi & bn on th ·WALK 4 David Jones)). 2day I
drove from Bemm River → Lakes Entrance thrgh stedy drzzl. 8 a piece of whitin & bort The Age @
The Lakes. Red th ppr @ th Metung hotl vrlookn th watr. Th drzzl haz stopt but its grey, & stil. Rturnn
2 th book. Bsidez th letrz it nkludez ( ·· (Manorina melanophrys) r chimin) sevrl trbutes 2 their
riter Konstancija. 1 of thm d8d 1992 iz x Dina Steinberg of Savyon, zrael but itz ritn in ltho so I wont
nklude it. Here iz th 1 x Alexander Gringauz (keen fotogrfr & travlr now rtired) hoo bkame a farmcy &
chmstry prof in New York: “THE RESCUE ¶ On a dreary, dark, cold morning in October, 1943
a bundled up 9-year old boy stood inside the main gate of the Kovno (Kaunas) Ghetto.
He was tucked into a phalanx of men, maybe eight abreast, and what seemed twenty or
more men long. It was one of the many brigades which leave the Ghetto every morning
under heavy guard to do labor on road and airport construction, and then return in the
evening. After what seemed to the boy an interminably long march through the city, the
man on his right took the boy’s hand, pulled him from the brigade on to the sidewalk and
quickly entered a doorway to a house. “Wait here inside” he said, “someone will come
soon to get you.” The man left quickly to rejoin the brigade. ¶ The door had a glass
window through which the boy was able to observe the comings and goings on the
street. The brigade soon vanished. Pedestrians were walking on both sides of the street.
He could also see horses pulling wagons. The scene was interspersed with motor
vehicles, most trucks and occasional cars. Many of the vehicles had Nazi insignia on their
doors and hoods. ¶ The boy waited constantly peering out through the glass portion of
the door. Shortly he noticed a solitary “German” soldier carrying a rifle on his shoulder
beginning to cross the street diagonally towards the door. The boy was suddenly gripped
with fear. He wanted to run but the second door behind him leading into the house was
93
locked. The soldier quickly entered the small alcove, looked down at him and asked: “Are
you Alexander?” They boy nodded. “Come with me”. He took the boy by the hand and
they briskly crossed the street. They didn’t speak again for the longest time. As the
boy’s fear subsided he suddenly blurted out “Where are you taking me?” “To my
mother’s house”, the soldier said curtly. Nothing further was said until they reached their
destination. ¶ They entered the house; an elderly woman came out to greet them. She
smiled stretching her hands out to the boy. “This is my mother”, the soldier said. The
boy felt safe. ¶ The boy was Alexander Gringauz / The soldier – Mindaugas Bražėnas”. Itz
worth notin th@ Mindaugas B woz 18 (18-35 yeer old men → We-rmacht) @ th time. Im goin →
jetee. Ill stay here 4 th nght. Thr iz a foto of a prvious jetee in our famly lbum takn x my fthr in th rly
50s. Then Ill reed a bit of th book (7.10).
22/3 /05 ( 21/3/05 – 25/3/05 (no 55)). W r @ th nd of th Reedy Arm no.2 trak. Our
karz r parkt @ orkwood anglz. I hope I dont hav ny prlbmz getn out. I hav mobile rcepshn & this
mornn got Hs mesj left @ 8 pm ystrdy sayin thingz wer ndr kntrol @ home. Hav tried 2 O her @ skool
but shz not takin th fone. Nuthr solid showr haz 4ced me ← van wth th █ I woz sitn on 2 kntnue ritin
nside. I had n10dd 2 komnt on all kindz of odz & ndz from th last piece (c 10/2/05 – 18/2/05) I put
out & on thingz red & midnght thortz but I m feeln ↓ & bsidez itz orkwood sitn in th van angld sidewize
like this while th mozzeez r DRINKN ME BLUD whch iz prbly al hokolk koz me & Vaidas got drunk
last nght. He had bort a kask of Kaizer Stuhl Soft Dry Red 2 + 2 th botl of Taylors cab sav I had got @
th botl shop in Lakes Entrance coz weed bn runin a bit short on prvious kkazionz he rkond. W stood x
th fire l8 in2 th nght ftr kookn & eetn th 2 fl@hed (1 lrger x ⅓ than ny hez kort b4) hed kort just on
sunset (itz pisn ↓) boozn on & torkn - IN VINO VERITAS (FUK itz reelee pisn ↓). V haznt kort 0 & haz
kum up 2 sjest w hed → Snowy River & try 4 eelz (6/9/07. ltho♣ nErrol St Nth Melb zplann nel~n
komp ““Klubo Ungurys” - fishing competition for largest eel. Prizes for categories
including best fisherman and fisherwoman, biggest eel. Prizes include getting your
biggest catch stuffed by a taxidermist for display at the Club.””). But 1
st
hel hav 2 drain &
dfl8 th rubr dingy (“FISH HUNTER 6 person boat HF 36011” (c 10/2/05 – 18/2/05 p 1)) whch now
th@ w hav testd it I kan tel u wth thorty iz a 2 persn boat. U hav 2 BLOW ↑ 5 dffrnt kmprtmnts 2 nfl8 it
& it woznt eezee 2 row az w had bort TH RONG KIND OF ORZ . Hez gunna hav fun tryin 2 get it →
its █ (29/3. ddnt hav 2 az th it woz kaput from th rain) but Im not goin ↓ 2 c howz he mnagin koz itz
stil pisn ↓ …. W r on th wstrn bank of th Snowy. Thr iz a litl jety from whch V kort a 4 cm long fsh then
lost a hook 2 sumptn big, then hookd a huge eel whch broke th line wen I tried 2 get a net ndr it 2 lift
it out. Dont no what w kood hav dun wth it if wed kort it so Im glad w nevr. W left our ● @ th nd of
Reedy Arm no.2 trak wth sum dfkulty (V in prtklar had a prolbm getn nuf trakshn & I pusht 4 a bit) & C
d → hghway ignorn Humbug rd & not bein temptd x Happy (itz rainn gain) Valley trak. Drank a beer
@ th pub @ Orbost. Drove ← Newmerella (rlier on th way I had shown V th † ↑ 4 th persn I had cn °
in hiz burnt out kar wth hiz brane kuvrin hiz shldrz (c 13/2/01 – 26/2/01 p 2) like a pankake) →
Corringle beech ← here. @ 5.50 (6.25 now) rang home. Ben (29/3. goin 4 hiz ndorst lisens) nswrd. I
1td 2 tork 2 H b4 sh ©d off 4 her talian (H sez Eglė sed th ltho monstry in ROMA whch rentz out
cheep rooms iz staft x nunz hoo only speek kraut (26/3. th preests in chrge r lthoz but)) klas. Thingz r
betr sh sez & I told her Id b home on thurzdy. O yair, last nght wen w wer drunk V woz sayn w shood
take a plane → BLOODYVOSTOK & then † russia x vrious 4mz of transport (but not th 2rst train) →
lthol& ovr a munth or mor & I woz sayn Ill b in th@ seein az he kan speek rus. W (29/3. tried 2 tork
me in2 it gain 2day) r dventurus drunks! Th kask (5 leetr) whch stil haz a kupl of leetrz left haz gon
shapelss ftr st&n in th rain. Mght b time 4 a litl nip of soft dry red.
5/4/05 ( 2/4/05 – 8/4/05 (no 56)). Ystrdy evnn w got torkn 2 th farmr hoo ownz th
prprty sOn this rzrv (Brim Community Park). He iz O our age. Hiz wife ° 12 munths go & in 3 munths
hiz farm (sheep) will hav bn in th same famly 4 100 yeerz. He haz 2 shair farmrz but thrwize hez x
himslf az hiz nly child a dortr hoo did her dip. ed. @ Melb uni O th same time az K8 runz a vry sksfl
grfk dzine bizns in Melb. Sh duznt want him 2 sel up az sh sez sh iz moshnly @@cht 2 th famly
home. He sez th lake nxt 2 whch we r prkt haz bn dry since 1995 but pria 2 th@ he had nevr known it
wthout wrta. It iz fed x Yarriambiack Creek whch iz nusual in th@ it iz a → of th Wimmera rvr (neer
Horsham) & ndz up in th lakes (long dry) O Hopetoun. Bak 2 il papa. H sez hiz werdz “now you
have come to me” may hav bn rfrn 2 ° az just b4 sh ° Vi had sed sh woz tired of waitn & H had
ntrprtd her 2 hav bn rfrn 2 her kumn ° (c Oct 27 pp 12-13). Knsdr th folwn: @MZ → MLKULEZ →
94
SELZ → ORGNZ → HUMENZ → ?. W kan knseev th@ orgnz mite ‘rkgnize’ selz (eg if u njktd th
rong kind (eg hair or livr) → bone marrow they mite b rjktd) but w knot mgine th@ selz mite
‘no’ wot n orgn duz. Humenz hav sum nolj of how orgnz kopr8 or how selz r rranged 2 make
orgnz but it iz nknseevbl a orgn kan ‘rkgnize’ a human bein. In a // way it iz knseevbl th@
shood w b part of a gr8r bein (prhps joynd in lngwj) th lamnt of jzuz of nzarth & il papaz werdz
of gr@itude mght hav bn (or ‘iz bein’ since th kmparsnz th@ knstute time r human) herd & r
kceptd but it iz not knseevbl (givn th skemata I hav uzed) th@ they kood hav known hoo they
wer +rsn & whthr they kood b herd. In so far az w r part of ? (if w r) w knot no hoo w r. It may b
I pas sum obleek kmnts on thez m@rz in IN TRANSIT (I hav nly 2 bound kopeez & hav lent 1 2
DIaCnAdSrTeRaO hoo haz gon on a rkaeljkl dig in china wthout rternn it) so I wil nsert a ferthr long
kwote dskribin th msdvntchrz of th ‘I’ persona (c 21/3/05 – 25/3/05 pp 3-13) wen w get bak 2
Melb. (15/4. So here goze: “Dear reader, what a wonderful opportunity to launch into deep
philosophy. And yet if I were to embark on that course it would not be from a noble desire to further
knowledge but from the baser motive of wishing to put off for a little longer the inevitable necessity of
facing the central issue of my life. Nor can I keep fooling you forever with quaint stories about
possums and the outback. ¶ The fact of the matter is I’m dying: ¶ Oh, death! / where is your sting?
/ in my head I hold a thousand bees / each with a mightier sting than thee ¶ It may take days or
it may take a lifetime but I can’t escape the brutal truth any longer. I am dying of age. My prognosis is
100% fatal. I have been dying from the day I was born and I’m no closer to escaping my fate now
than I was then; if anything the noose tightens. It’s not as if I’ve given in without a fight. For years I
pounded up and down the footpaths of Coburg and Preston in one set of priceless Reeboks after
another. I entered the Big M marathon and had a bash at a triathlon. The quest for immortality has a
price: arthritis in the hip and a compacted disk in the lower back. And I’m still dying. ¶ Assuming of
course that I’m not already dead. There was a time when I could actually feel that my body was
inhabited by someone else. Later I had a recurrent dream that I was in another person’s brain. You
get these problems after a brain transplant. There is unfortunately a real possibility that I am one of
the living dead – a zombie. Simone Weil would like to see a landscape as it is when she is not there,
because normally, wherever she is she disturbs the silence of heaven and earth by her breathing and
the beating of her heart. I see every landscape as it is when I’m not there. Us zombies are like that.
Externally I look just like you or me but internally I am lost; I have no fixed points; I am on shifting
ground and at the mercy of deceptions. I am quite capable of returning your greeting with a normal
show of conviviality. I can give you your hullo’s, your g’days, your how are ya mate, just like anyone
else; because I have made a study of convention. But as I drift apart inside bit by bit like a
dismembered astronaut in space the effort of keeping up appearances can make almost impossible
demands on my memory. My biggest fear is that if the mask slips you may be able by looking into my
eyes discern that I have no soul, that I don’t exist. I don’t mind telling you these things on paper
because that is part of the special relationship of an author to his readers; just as long as I don’t have
to live with the expressions on your faces when you see that I’m dead. The strategy I use is to perfect
an algorithm of a personality to disguise the absence of a real one. The algorithm consists of a quite
limited number of simple behavioural rules which have a very general application. For instance no
matter how inane the drivel that you tell me I always look into your face and reply with the single
phrase ‘that’s amazing’. The upshot is that people are so keen to talk to me that they do not
scrutinize my face. So I don’t have to worry about expressing a wide range of emotions or
remembering the appropriate facial mobility that goes with them. Trivial and unexpected events catch
me out sometimes: like giggling at the news of a relative dying. But I do lead a modest social life with
several articulate though unobservant friends. Not bad for a bloke with a reputation for screwing
sheep, is it? ¶ While on that subject, a Turkish friend of mine tells me that in the village where he
grew up most boys lost their virginity with a donkey; a custom which is prevalent in other parts of the
Mediterranean too. His father assures him that when he was serving in the Turkish infantry in the first
world war the mules that the army used to carry supplies had a habit of always turning their
hindquarters towards any man in the vicinity wearing a uniform. If the Anzacs had known they could
have won the war by driving herds of mules and donkeys into the Turkish front lines. Mind you, the
Turks might have retaliated with sheep and cattle dogs. As it was, the contest was clean with honours
even, except for Simpson who managed to get hold of a donkey. I put that last bit in because I don’t
want to be hauled over the coals by some multicultural watch-dog organization claiming that I’m
biased. I have nothing against foreign customs. They give a cosmopolitan flavour to the inner
suburbs even though I must say it does sound a bit incongruous to hear, above the clattering of
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trams, the braying of a donkey coming from the back of the Anatolian Club in Brunswick Street.
Again, I hasten to emphasize I’m not pointing the finger at any specific ethnic group. After all there is
a long Australian tradition of shearers screwing sheep (why do you think some take so much longer
to shear a sheep than others?) and everyone knows about the drover and his dog….The British have
similar practices, otherwise how can you account for the saying: ‘kicks like a mule’. Think about it.
The Maoris and Kiwis, of course, would screw the leg off a chair. ¶ Meanwhile, as all ot this is going
on, my dear defacto is making me read one book about the holocaust after another, and watch
videos too. Can you imagine that. Here I am unable to prove that I exist, writhing in extremitas of
spiritual torment, trapped in a world of pederasts and leg-screwers, probably dead or at the very least
committing gradual suicide and she attacks me with the full might of the U.S. of A. holocaust industry.
How insensitive can you get. ¶ they say / Hitler’s scientists discovered a cheap method / of
making paper out of Jews // on that paper / some good books were written / but they were
anti-establishment / so Hitler had them burnt // it was / a round about way / of burning Jews //
however / the ashes were scattered in a fertile valley / and from them grew a great forest /
which Hitler ordered to be chopped down / and made into paperbacks // the paperbacks /
consisted of propaganda / so Hitler forced all German libraries / to keep them on the shelves //
the Americans / bombed the libraries / turning them into heaps / of smoking rubble // and if
there is a moral to this story / don’t ask me what it is ¶ I don’t mind admitting that at this
particular present moment in time a nasty situation is developing in respect to our cooperative, loving
and caring, creative relationship. The heart centre, the place of unconditional love and coming to
terms with what is, the yin and the yang of our sensitive, non-sexist, non-stereotyping interface is a
bit wobbly. ¶ “The marriage is over shithead”, she said the other day. “You can pack up your rubber
fannies and go find another place to park.” ¶ We’re still together. It turned out to be just another
domestic. When she said ‘marriage’ she wasn’t kidding. We had a ceremony a long time ago: there
were no documents and it wasn’t official. I was still in jail learning to be a pastrycook and she was an
idealistic social worker. The correction services wouldn’t allow us to get married but we had a
ceremony anyway. It was performed in secret by the Uniting Church minister. The vaginas, a truly
excellent collection from all over the world ranging from top quality rubber whoppers made by the
German sex-aids industry to dainty little self-lubricating plastic Hong Kong specials for the tourist
trade, were a wedding present from the boys in the remand wing. I’ve still got them in a carton under
the bed. ¶ As I was saying, she makes me watch all these holocaust shows when all I want to watch
is footy. I already see so much stuff about the Jews on the telly I might as well be living in Tel Aviv.
Every night it’s the same: a few more Arab terrorists shot up by the Jews. Last night’s terrorists were
disguised as two fifteen year old school girls in full school uniform. The night before they shot a
terrorist through the eye with a plastic bullet who was disguised as an eighteen month old baby. Why
do I have to watch all the holocaust stuff from half a century ago when I can see how the Palestinians
cop it right now. Her answer is that they’re only killing a few every now and then and the rest they’re
just kicking out of the country or burying alive, or blowing their houses up, or keeping them
blindfolded in prisons, or breaking their arms with rocks; which is nothing compared to the six million
or more Jews that were killed. And she’s right. Even if they killed every Palestinian in Palestine it
wouldn’t be as many. ¶ Still, I wish she’d leave the education kick and get back to the sorts of
activities she used to do: strewing condoms in front of visiting American sailors, making NO GLOVE
NO LOVE placards for the Prostitutes for Peace Collective, which she had organized, and so on. ¶ It
started with her changing her name to Naomi Knoflemacher which was a bit of a comedown from
Jedda Honeyant. But as it turns out it was her original name. She is no longer prepared to deny her
past. She reckons man is an historical being. All news to me. It means that I am living with what
might be the only red-headed Jewish Aborigine in Australia. Not very well received by the girls at the
community centre I’d think. Haven’t been seeing many of the boiler-suit brigade around lately. She
herself has swapped her boiler-suit for designer ripped jeans. And bigger changes are yet to come.
There is a jacket and skirt set in the wardrobe. It’s her outfit for the job interview she’s going to. It’s
one of those natty little suits with padded shoulders that all the female executive types wear who
drink cocktails with stockbrokers in New York on the TV ads. The job she is going for is pretty high
powered. She’d have to advise the premier on women’s issues. No surprise that the boiler-suits from
the centre are beginning to avoid us. ¶ I’m wondering if there’s going to be room in this new scheme
of things for me. I’ve been getting a distinctly superceded feeling. Since getting her PH.D. she’s
started hanging around with the other lecturers. I don’t get a look into that social set. Some
mathematics whiz by the name of Heimi Goldstein picks her up in the evenings and off they go for
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another one of those interminable seminars. ¶ “Don’t wait up sweety. Be back in a few days.” ¶ She
always calls me ‘sweety’ in front of others. But she can’t pull the wool over my eyes as easy as that.
Those workshops and conferences have become so regular that she’s home only about once a
week. The smirk on Heimi’s face as he picks her up tells the story. My theory is she doesn’t live here
at all. It’s so long since she’s been here two days in a row I’m not really sure if she’s ever lived with
me. What if she stops paying the rent? I couldn’t afford it out of my sickness benefits. I’d be turfed
out. That’s it: she lives with Heimi, probably always has. She just pays the rent here: I’m a kept man.
There’s nothing that undermines your confidence more than living with a woman who’s on the way up
in the world. ¶ Maybe she visits here only because she’s still connected with the school she started.
She collected the holocaust books and videos for the school library. It’s one of those alternative style
schools run by the collective. It’s not so much that they’re tremendously interested in education but
they applied for a grant and now they have to spend the money. They’ve already had grants for
everything else. I suppose no government can resist an application for funds from an aboriginal
women’s support group devoted to alleviating the lot of battered wives and incest victims. The school
is for their kids all of whom are victims of sexual abuse. They do three core subjects: Women in
Society, an Aboriginal language, and Holocaust Studies. These are filled out with options such as
Personal Growth, Loving Relationship Training, Rebirthing and Hands On Computer Training which
consists of playing games like Pacman. You can tell by the presence of Holocaust Studies that my
dear defacto was already rediscovering her roots when she set the place up. Convincing the boiler-
suits to have it on the curriculum must have been as hard as pushing shit up hill with a stick. Give
credit where it’s due: the educational substance of the course can be attributed entirely to her. Those
boiler-suits are real fruitcakes. There’s one who believes that anything which is longer than it is wide
is a phallic symbol. How’s that for flaky? The only benefit to me is that I get the use of a video
recorder. The school has so much equipment donated to it by industry and various benefactors that
they don’t know where to store it let alone how it works. They have three VCRs and two computers in
a school of seven teachers and five students. They can thank my partner for that; she’s their expert
for submissions and applications. ¶ Meanwhile I have to face the inevitability of death. ¶ At my
back I always hear / Time’s winged chariot hurrying near (Andrew Marvell) ¶ I could block it out
simply by going over to the window and looking down into the quadrangle. There is always some
pathetic little drama being played out down there. I could forget all about Heimi and the smirk on his
face. I could forget Naomi, the centre, the boiler-suits. In fact, I’m not sure if they exist anyway. It’s so
hazy: as if they were figments of my imagination. The trouble with brain transplants is that your
thoughts might not be your own. And yet a dying man must compose himself. A list of priorities must
be drawn up. Certain eternal questions must be answered before the great void swallows everything
up: a task I haven’t finished because I haven’t even begun it. ¶ In the limited time left to me here are
some of the things I’m not going to think about: the laws of life, the time-space continuum, the total
self and the firm inner core, the centre of self or finding the centre of self or any other centres,
psychic healing and inner growth, karma, reincarnation, the phallocentric universe, linear earth
experiences, living in the now even if it’s the only time there really is, letting go and letting it all hang
out, interrelating skills, post traumatic stress disorders, deprogramming, the Young Women’s
Deinstitutional Working Group, Ronald Reagan’s prostate gland (19/11/07. got m¤on 2 w O),
sensitivity training, the one million sexual abuse victims that live in Melbourne, loving and caring hard
core porn, harnessing the power of the universe by using pyramids, psychic flow, the rings around
your anus, the J-curve and the mega learning curve, stop-start situations, stress management
consultants, anything that is on line in house or state of the art, Queensland peanut farmers, estate
agents car salesmen and journalists, the feminization of poverty, clitoral versus vaginal orgasms, the
sex lives of seals worms insects and any thing else that comes up in nature documentaries,
hardware software feedback or anything in a time frame or in mode, different mind sets, aboriginal
land rights, gays lesbians transexuals, the America’s Cup, tycoons, Bob Hawke crying and Hazel’s
facelift, curved space, genetic engineering, steroids, the power or the womb, penis envy, earth
mothers, scrotums, the value of the dollar and the deficit, vitamins, multi-culturalism, Arnold
Schwartzenegger’s sexual appetite, other people’s sexual preferences, how many aircraft carriers
would fit up Bush’s arse, can a souffle rise more than twice, oscars gold logies grammies and Miss
Universe contests, wombats koalas and galahs, whether a tomato is a vegetable or a fruit, the death
of Phar Lap, giant pandas, anything that is quintessential and all bottom lines, which came first the
chicken or egg, cold fusion, biomass, aural sex, the Abominable Snowman, the Pritikin diet, iridology,
self-esteem educational kinesiology, naturopathy and healing hands, Katmandu, whether Charles
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Manson should be paroled, whether its better to look at or focus on things, psychiatrists,
schizophrenics, hookers, needle exchange programs, restaurants, the tourist industry, Rock Hudson,
erections (19/11/07. m wn Om now (28/11/07. wnw mak ♥ tzzf tm¤tb 4 thlrst )), the difference
between a crow and a raven; and I could go on adding to the list practically anything I can think of
excepting of course the eternal verities, the discovery of which is proving harder than I had
anticipated. ¶ TV debates have taught me that prejudice, ignorance, fashion, crass emotionalism,
vehemence, stupidity always triumph over intelligence, careful reasoning, deference to facts, even-
handedness, scholarship, moderation. Cheering and clapping win the day over argument every time.
Which brings us to the pivotal consideration, debated by lunatics in institutions all over the world,
whether truth exists independently as an absolute Platonic entity or whether it is a matter of
consensus. ¶ The broad oulines of the argument were established two thousand years ago and a
spirited debate has raged ever since. In one corner we have the absolutists championed by Plato
who claimed that eternal truths or ideal forms as he called them really exist. The only problem is we
can never actually see them or apprehend them, or for that matter even focus on them, because we
are imperfect. It is our sad lot to glimpse them only as blurred shadows on the walls of our caves. As
we lounge about gnawing bones, scratching our armpits, and screwing our wives without even
waking them up, we infer from the pantomime on the wall that there must be something out there that
casts the shadows: the absolutes, the higher platitudes, backlit by a radiance as brilliant perhaps as
God himself. Pythagoras was of a like opinion with the addition of musical notes and triangles. The
opposition in the other corner is led by Aristotle. He believes that everything is relative. It is all in the
eye of the beholder. Truth is a matter of consensus. Significant support for his view is provided by our
very own Bob Hawke who lends conviction to the argument by shedding bucketfuls of tears. ¶ I don’t
like to boast but I know the answer to the problem already. They’re all wrong: the truths are in fact
generated by the media. I lost my grip on reality for awhile once. I thought men were not rapists, that
women weren’t incest victims, that thirteen year old Palestinian girls weren’t terrorists, that addicts
were also dealers. I actually believed that peace bombs were horrible weapons of war. I was a callow
youth then and hadn’t developed the habit of watching telly fortyeight hours a day. Even before the
days of TV we only spent 10% of our time doing anything, the other 90% was spent inventing all
kinds of plausible explanations for why we did it. That’s the nature of the human animal. Now even
that 10% is spent watching the box. All I ever do is press and release the remote control button. I’m
in action mode when I’m sitting on my arse with my eyes glued to the screen. I don’t have to give
explanations for my actions because that’s done by the telly too. As well as a zombie I’m a media
freak. Pray for me. ¶ the doctor / pulled out my wisdom tooth / and told me / I’d be none the
less wise for it // furthermore, he said / my children will have no wisdom teeth at all: / the
environment of modern man / leaves jaws insufficiently developed for wisdom teeth / nor will
they be any less wise for the absence // but I wonder / how carefully he looked inside my head
/ perhaps there was nothing there / as wise as my wisdom tooth / perhaps that’s what he
meant / I am further confused by the suspicion / that without my wisdom tooth / I lack the
wisdom to understand the situation // even the nurse disturbed me / when she told me that the
doctor / had his pulled out / long ago ¶ I have to make an awful admission. I’m sitting here stark
naked. Picture me from the perspective of the classic out-of-body experience, directly from above. I
am naked and life size. You cannot see the expression on my face because my face isn’t on top of
my head. My right hand is holding a stubby of beer. Next to my right knee is a plastic bucket half full
of yabbies. To my left there is another bucket with a couple of empties protruding from a litter of
yabby shells and legs. On my left lying on the couch is the remote control. My left hand is holding
what appears to be a strip of toilet paper. It is a letter from Naomi Goldstein nee Naomi Knoflemacher
alias Jedda Honeyant. I am reading it. It is one of the low points of my life on earth. The letter reads:
¶ Dear Shithead, ¶ by the time you get this I will be on a plane to Europe. Me and Heimi have
decided to have a honeymoon after all. I will not be seeing you again. Knowing that you
couldn’t get a job as a speed hump I did the right thing and paid the rent six months in
advance. ¶ Good riddance, Naomi. ¶ It was a lie when I said we were still together; I couldn’t face
reality. ¶ Now I ask you to return to your position plastered up against the ceiling looking down at the
top of my head. Notice that next to me on the couch beside the remote control is a very fat exercise
book. It is open at page 156 (20/4. I m kwotn from p156 of 1 of my nly 2 bound kopeez of IN
TRANSIT). It is volume II of my autobiography. I am going to let you read it. Now you can be even
more involved in my life and I can save myself a lot of hard work, as the autobiography is already
finished. All I have to do is get the typist to continue on with the biography from where she left off with
98
the book. So here goes, verbatim. I dispense with the quotation marks. ¶ As I said before I am stark
naked. You see me stand up and you notice that the letter drops from my trembling hand. I walk
slowly into the adjoining room over to the wardrobe and look inside. The natty little two piece suit is
gone. I raise a hand to my head and stand very still as if transfixed by an awful thought. Suddenly I
rush towards the bed spilling beer as I go and dive underneath it. The box full of fannies is gone too. I
stumble back shattered to the main room and get another stubby from the fridge. Notice that my
physique is nothing to brag about: classic ectomorph. I slump down and pick up a pencil and
exercise book. I turn to a page half filled with writing. I am writing the story of my life. Here it is, word
for word, exactly as I am writing it. Again I delete the quotation marks. ¶ The road to madness slopes
down ever so gently. It is not signposted. The steps you take along it are all small. The emotional
storms, dramas, the violence so evident to the bystanders are not indications of insanity but of the
contact that remains with reality. The sane man does not go gently into that good night – but rages. ¶
Meanwhile you walk – I walked – down that gentle path. The path to oblivion ¶ softly, softly goes
the moon / high above the clouds / gently, gently falls the rain / on the sleeping town / silently
the lovers meet / in each others arms // as the breathing of the night / Jesus guards the child
¶ The phantoms of the earth stroke your tired brow, insinuate invisible fingers into your knotted
brain. Their seductive powers smooth away twists of contradiction, unravel the loops of paradox. In
exchange they exact a price: the price is your identity. ¶ I heard a chill traveller / pass by my
window / and his voice told me / to follow // we came to a hermit / alone in the desert / he was
praying / and did not hear us // we passed by a teacher / in a college of learning / surrounded
by students / he could not see us // we came to a pool / of clear limpid water / and saw the
reflection / of the cold still night ¶ To the casual observer you appear more colourful even more
alive than before. Your immediate family find you unpredictable and fear that you may become
violent. Only the most perceptive will notice that your bluster and your erratic behaviour constitute a
veneer that hides the nothingness inside you. He will note that you occupy the same space but less
substantially than before (19/11/07. samz ltzh¤mrz); that your eyes which once were a window into
your soul have become opaque as if to hide an appalling emptiness. ¶ when you die / you don’t
know / that you are dead // people mistake your antics / for movement / hollow sounds / for
words // you believe / yourself in motion / you hear yourself / speaking // people think you still
/ have the same shape / you still smell / the same // and you too / can be convinced / that you
are one person / still, as before // and all around you / the dancers / continue to dance / the
children still / laugh ¶ The phantoms beckon you to join them. You have noticed that at times you
become totally invisible or if visible you have ceased to exist. The difference is academic. By now
you are only a copy of a human-being and it becomes very important to disguise it. Wearing
outlandish clothes, a caftan or wrapping yourself in a flag, makes people notice but it doesn’t take
long to realize that it’s your clothes they’re looking at not you. Their glance goes straight through you
as if you were a pane of glass. Mind you there are advantages to being a wraith. You can hear
people’s thoughts, which is fine, if you like living in an echo chamber. It gets a bit harder when you
start hearing screams and the thoughts of monsters and murderers. ¶ So let us return to my youth
long ago when I thought that women got pregnant by sitting under trees. ¶ As the train pulled out of
the station, the train I had been deposited in by Dick O’Tool after a sleepless night after that final
cataclysmic argument with my father, I knew that I was at a turning point in my life. Some awful
things happen to human beings and I’ve had my share of them. On top of everything else I’ve had
two involuntary sex-change operations. I’ve been struck by lightning (20/1/08. prdkshn!? -
Saturday 24/6/06). I’ve been shat on by a pigeon (20/1/08. & swolod ruropen wasp - 18/7/06 ). I
do not rate my train journey to Sydney along with these, and yet it weighs more heavily in my deeper
consciousness than the others put together. ¶ Why? What was so special about a journey that on
the face of it was uneventful. As I said I knew that it was a turning point in my life; but so what? Many
people can look back at a pivotal event in their life more dramatic than a train trip from Melbourne to
Sydney. It is true that I was dishevelled and in a state of intense confusion. I had not slept for several
days and am unable to say whether during the trip I was asleep or awake. Perhaps there is a
borderline state between the two. My eyes were open and I could see that the other passengers
were trying to disguise surreptitious stares that every now and then they cast in my direction. I
realized that the stares were caused by the fact that I had drawn attention to myself by walking
backwards when I went to the toilet and later when I got a drink of water. The reason was I did not
want to wear out the toes of my shoes. Shoes last much longer if the soles are worn down evenly. I
had already previously caused stirs at the local shopping centre in Coburg by this practice. There are
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other idiosyncracies of my behaviour I could describe which would be equally untrue. An author owes
it to his readers to keep them entertained. I put in the part about walking backwards for a bit of
colour: to set the mood as it were. If only it were that easy to describe what was really going on. ¶
There is a school of thought claiming that certain experiences cannot be described because there is
no language available to describe them. The insights of mystics and the spirits that hermits meet in
the deserts may be so extraordinary that they have no labels in the world of the market place.
Language is after all a product of consensus. There are things I could tell you that you simply
wouldn’t believe: like the time I met God. Not the vague theoretical god of the theologians,
philosophers or other emotional midgets that hang around universities and write books. Not some
animating spirit as described by Spinoza or a Jungian archetype that lurks in the common
subconscious. But the real God: the one that speaks with a voice like thunder and walks on the
waters. So it may be that it is impossible to explain the significance of the train journey. ¶ The more I
think about it the more I am convinced that it would be a futile attempt. The dual hurdle of
experiences that cannot be described and events that you will not believe cannot be overcome. The
journey I was on had no precedents in my earlier life, not even remotely analogous experiences
which with the help of a huge imaginative leap could have guided me through these times. Because
you also have no analogous experiences in your life I know I cannot describe that journey to you. ¶
According to Borges there are events that fall outside the common measure of time. Time is a direct
measure of consciousness. It is a measure of change within the consciousness; a tool weilded by
individual minds of self exploration either of the individual consciousness or the common
consciousness of mankind. It is a description of one aspect of consciousness. Music is another
description, particularly of man’s common consciousness. The creature mankind is outside time as
time is one of its products, used by it to define and explore the direction of its consciousness; and the
direction it will take. Hence time is an act of will. Since time is secondary and consciousness is
primary all eternity could conceivably find expression in an instant of consciousness. So how can I
describe an even that happens outside time? ¶ What I can tell you is that though I didn’t walk
backwards and no one cast meaningful looks at me I was in constant communication with a good
number of passengers in the carriage. Our communication was carried out in silence as it was non
verbal and the casual observer would not even have noticed signs of mutual recognition. The
conversations I was having were by body language (9/12/07. doko ndspla @th STASI museum nth
Runden Ecke nLEIPZIG: “SIGNALS FOR OBSERVATION ¶ 1. Watch out! Subject is coming
– touch nose with hand or handkerchief ¶ 2. Subject is moving on, going further, or
overtaking – stroke hair with hand, or raise hat briefly ¶ 3. Subject standing still – lay one
hand against back, or on the stomach ¶ 4. Observing agent wishes to terminate
observation because cover threatened – bend and retie shoelaces ¶ 5. Subject returning
– both hands against back or stomach ¶ 6. Observing Agent wishes to speak with Team
Leader or other Observing Agents – take out briefcase or equivalent and examine
contents.” ← Stasiland x Anna Funder © 2002 The Text Publishing Co.). The study of body
language is now common place in institutions of higher learning and has become just another item in
the bag of tricks used by school teachers and salesmen to get their message across but in those
days it was understood only by a few foreign scholars and I had to discover it for myself. The
amazing thing was to find how many of us were unknowingly communicating in such a way. For me it
was a discovery of crucial importance because it was the only way I could converse without it being
picked up on the receivers my brothers had hidden about the house and which were in the
possession of the police and the TV crews who were monitoring me. Also since the messages they
transmitted into my brain were and could only be verbal I felt that if I trained myself to communicate
entirely by body language I would be gaining a measure of freedom from their attempts to control me.
Most experts now recognize that 90% of the real communication that goes on between people is with
body language; but at that time I was breaking new ground. I must say, even though it sounds
conceited, that in the sheer number of messages I leant to interpret I was ahead of my time. I took
particular note of minute changes in skin colour and of pupil dilation. When I shook hands I could
gauge skin temperature and detect small fluctuations in electrical conductivity in the dryness or
sweatiness of the hand. I even learned to secretly measure a person’s pulse during the handshake. I
could detect changes in people’s smell in the course of a conversation carried out in body language.
More recently I have learnt to tell which nostril a person is breathing through at any particular
moment. As you may know people breathe through the right nostril when they are thinking
predominantly with the left hemisphere and the left nostril when they are using the right hemisphere.
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The nostril in use makes the higher pitched sound. With training you can learn to pick that up. After a
while you practically become a mind reader. At the time of the journey my knowledge was still
rudimentary and relied largely on hand signals. ¶ A tap on the nose meant ‘you are one of us I greet
you’. Ruffling the hair on the back of your head meant ‘they are all around us pretend you haven’t
noticed me’. A small slap on the thigh with the palm of the hand meant ‘do not speak on any account
in case the receivers pick it up’. Rubbing the ball of your hand against your eye meant ‘they might be
onto us’. Rubbing both your eyes simultaneously meant ‘they are definitely onto us cease all
communication’. Rubbing your balls meant ‘form a circle and drag in the moll’. Rubbing your hands
together in a hand washing motion meant ‘there are no facsimiles in the immediate area but be
careful’. Crossing your legs and tapping the ground urgently with the bottom foot meant ‘warning
there is a transmitter somewhere very close’. Crossing your legs and wiggling the higher foot meant
‘they are transmitting now’. Alternatively it could mean ‘I’m busting for a leak’. Resting your chin in the
palm of your hand meant ‘they are beaming straight at me but I am blocking them out’. Bringing your
left hand to your nose and making an exaggerated sniffing noise meant ‘I have just spotted a
replicator’. Two brief tugs on an earlobe meant ‘there are also aliens here’. And so on. These are just
some ot the signals that were in use then. As it’s become apparent that they could be learnt by
everyone including the replicators, facsimiles, all other kinds of copies of people, and even aliens, it
became necessary to change them. Before body language became a science you could rely on it
being the only true language. Now every salesman can learn little tricks like crinkling the corners of
his eyes when he smiles. If you are keen you can easily practice how to do things like dilate and
contract your pupils by using biofeedback techniques. But I am getting ahead of myself. There were
times when I walked down the passage of the carriage that I was in a frenzy of communication with
everyone around me. At other times the transmitter in my head was going so loudly that the best I
could do was close my eyes, put my head in my hands, and only barely manage to prevent myself
from screaming. ¶ As I remembered it, the realization that the world was divided into real people like
me and into copies of people, was not a sudden one. Flashes of enlightenment have visited me on
many occasions but the knowledge that not all people who looked like humans were genuine came
to me slowly and only after much verification. The further refinement that these copies could be
divided into replicators, facsimiles, simulacra, homunculi, doppelgangers, robots and so on was
gained by communicating in body language with real people. It all happened in those naïve days
when body language could be relied upon to be honest, before the copies of people had learned to
imitate it. My main task was to keep in contact with the rest of humanity against the efforts of the
imitations to overcome and then supplant us. By the time I was heading for Sydney I had realized
that my brothers and my father and even my mother were almost certainly replicators themselves. It
was even possible that they were the leaders of the replicators or somehow connected with their
production. That is why it was so important for them to control me: I was the only one who knew them
well enough, who had a clear perception of how they had betrayed humanity, and who could be a
threat to their plans. I knew that I was not one of them. I knew that I could never return to the house
of my childhood. This was no ordinary journey; this is no ordinary train. ¶ My lifelong mission to
evade and then triumph over the automatons continues today. Bear with me for awhile, innocent
reader, while I try to give a small insight into the magnitude of the task. The stakes are enormous. To
survive, the automatons must feed on the human spirit itself. It is their only food and their only source
of power. They are emotional cretins who dissect, label, manipulate and finally digest the human soul
without the faintest intuition of the breadth, the intensity, the colour, the beauty and perversity, of its
emotional sweep. The penalty for losing the war with the morons, as I shall call them henceforth, is to
become shadowy insipid imitations of human beings ourselves. The reward of victory is the
continued free use of our imagination. The problem is how to tell the real humans from the imitations.
The manufacture of morons is being constantly refined as earlier models are superceded by more
sophisticated ones: ¶ now Im going to demonstrate / how to build a man // the framework is
made / from a petroleum extract / light and strong / no tendency to go chalky as is the case
with bone / nor is it brittle like fibre glass / and easy to mass-produce with available
techniques // it must be assembled carefully / though specialist training is not required, / each
part is numbered / a reasonably intelligent person / can put it together by following the code /
a code book is provided // joints are not a problem / as was the case with metal pins / we use
flexible swivellers / of polyestered wood / there is no corrosion // refinements to the transistor
/ and research on micro circuits / has led to a kidney machine / smaller than a cigarette lighter
/ held to the spine by a powerful electromagnet // the aorta / digestive system / alimentary
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canal / are made from plastic reinforced with vegetable fibre / the colours / are purely for ease
of identification // the wiring is highly sophisticated / with an allowance for error / short
circuits are eliminated by complete insulation // we did have a problem with the heart / though
essentially a pump / present engineering has not produced a substance / which can expand
and contract for a sustained period / without developing molecular fatigue / this is overcome
by using the heart of a pig / an animal of similar weight to man // sexual organs are
immeasurably superior / to anything our fathers dreamt of / university research has produced
/ a new highly sensitized elasto fibre / the whole kit designed / to make it possible for our
model to copulate with himself // vision is controlled by a zeik / programmed minuscule
computer / shutter speed of one in one thousand of a second / automatic adjustment for
lighting and glare / this man can stare into the sun / without damaging his eyes // needless to
say / the memory bank is perfect / fully photographic / stored on micro file // a short wave
receiver / allows communication at all times / static is non existent / there is also a transmitter
/ so he can give as quickly as receive // in the unlikely case that servicing may be required /
the cranium cavity / leaves ample room for access // if he doesn’t suit your taste / the package
deal includes / a reassembly tool kit / at no extra price ¶ The good old days when you could pick
a moron because he didn’t blink when he looked into the sun are over. Nor do they ooze black liquid
when shot; that was never more than TV fiction. The modern moron is made out of human tissue like
you or me and the electronic circuitry has been replaced by real nerve fibre. That is why they are
able to use current bio-feedback techniques to learn such convincing body language that they have
become better at it than us. Hence their tendency to seek jobs in the PR industry. ¶ The man in the
street hasn’t got a chance in buckley’s of picking a moron from a human. But if you have spent a
lifetime at it as I have, with the help of intuition and sharp observation it can be done. I believe I have
developed a kind of sixth sense for picking them. ¶ The key to detecting the morons comes from the
fact that their manufacturers, being aliens, had to base their designs on observations of what
constitutes human beings rather than on any innate sense of what it means to be human. So while
external appearances could be copied perfectly, even to the extent of imitating the infinite variability
of physical types by applying the mathematics of chance and random scatter, personality presented
problems. Their first approach was to catalogue the sum total of human behaviours and portion it out
to various morons by the use of the same random mathematics they had used to vary outward
appearance. The results were so bizarre that they were instantly recognizable. News readers burst
out in uncontrollable laughter at the most inappropriate story. Mothers spanked their teenage
children. People were seen to cry when they won lottery prizes, and so on. The aliens soon realized
that human behaviour was ordered by invisible underlying principles to which they had no direct
access. Their solution was to comb the libraries of the world to find out what these principles were.
From Freud they got the ego, the id, the super ego and the subconscious. From Jung they learnt
about race memory, the common unconscious, the archetypes and the sixteen basic personality
types. From Bernie Neville they learnt about the psyche and its division into Appolonian, Promethean
and Dionysian syndromes. The new model automatons that these efforts led to were very convincing
and are the immediate predecessors of the modern moron. Current morons no longer have to be
separately manufactured. They have learnt to breed in the sexual manner and produce offspring.
That’s why they are sometimes known as replicators. To some of them sex is no more than a Latin
numeral however. It gives them big problems at the best of times and they tend to rely heavily on
books of how to do it. Sometimes they get it all wrong: like screwing armpits instead of fannies; male
morons have been known to screw each other and even cats and dogs for that matter. By and large
though they get by. Rearing little morons again gives problems but they can handle these too with
books. The over-reliance on how to do it books is just one little pointer that can help you to detect
them. I have no doubt that if a book was written on how to blow your nose or how to have a shit
some moron would buy it. ¶ It is worth noting that morons have learnt such subtle human qualities as
spontaneity, imagination, creativity. Careful observation will show you however that they do not really
possess any of these qualities but have learnt rules of behaviour which make them appear to have
them. They actually go to schools where they learn the rules. Consequently their spontaneity is just a
little bit tempered, their imaginations are insipid, their creativity pedestrian. The morons having no
measure by which to judge these attributes, believe that they are extremely well-endowed in them.
They practice diligently at enhancing them. ‘Every day in every way I get better and better’ said
Coué, a French moron. They even practice a form of religion in which they repeat idiotic little
doggerels. Here is one by a moron called Willis Harman: ¶ I am not separate / I can trust / I can
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know / I am responsible / I am single-minded ¶ To the morons, who you must remember have no
sense of poetry, this is a kind of prayer. According to Simone Weil, who is no moron, “What is thus
brought about by thought direction is in no way comparable to the genuine attribute. If I say to myself
every morning: ‘I am courageous, I am not afraid’, I may become courageous but with a courage
which conforms to what, in my present imperfection, I imagine under that name, and accordingly my
courage will not go beyond this imperfection. It can only be a modification on the same plane, not a
change of plane.” Such is the fate of morons. ¶ It may surprise you that morons do sometimes
believe in god. The god they believe in is invariably one of those insipid, simplistic intellectual
constructs as with the university types. It has to be an abstract entity because the only faculty they
really do have in the same measure as humans is a capacity for conceptualizing. They are great at
analyses, verbalizing and shuffling ideas and categories around. They are not so good at vision, very
poor of hearing, weak on inspiration, emotionally constipated and always boring. To give credit where
it’s due their philosophers do recognize that in matters regarding the psyche the abstractions and
theories they believe in are only metaphors of a reality to which they cheerfully admit they have no
other access. Freud’s egos and ids, Jung’s sixteen personality types and so on are seen to be only
models of possible realities. Consequently the morons are able, while preserving the outward
appearances of humanity to be very flexible in behaviour and when necessary ruthlessly
opportunistic. Lack of deeper commitments makes them dangerous adversaries. They can adjust to
the most sterile living conditions simply by changing their set of rationalizations. As our morally
bankrupt civilization hurtles towards inevitable destruction the morons are actually thriving and
threaten to overcome us by weight of numbers alone. What the moron philosophers cannot grasp is
that for them since they have no souls their theories are not metaphors or models of the psyche but
constitute a genuine, and their only reality. The fact of the matter is that they just can’t tell shit from
clay. ¶ Before I go on I will tell you that I know what your’e thinking. Your’e thinking about the
effrontery of a man with a brain transplant and a surgically embedded receiver in his head claiming to
be able to distinguish between real people and facsimiles. The pretentiousness if it! The irony has not
escaped me: sometimes when I feel low I wonder if I haven’t got it the wrong way round. I’ll tell you
about my frontal lobotomy another time. ¶ Back to the journey. My efforts to communicate with my
fellow passengers by hand signals does not explain its importance to me. I was already into body
language before the trip. I put that material in as padding. How can I impress you with the
significance of a journey which lasted an instant or a lifetime while I was neither asleep nor awake or
for that matter either, if I don’t fill up a few pages with writing. I suppose that as my next sighting of
my old man was along the barrel of a rifle it is appropriate I should tell you that it was on the trip that I
first heard Freud’s famous dictum that a man does not grow up until he has murdered his father. No
one actually said those words on the train but I heard them loud and clear as if uttered by a very
large man right in the middle of my head. That’s also of no importance. ¶ What I would like to talk
about is those spirits, those phantoms deep in the earth that were calling me, from whose ever more
insistent embrace no train journey was ever going to deliver me. But you wouldn’t understand. ¶ I
would also like to tell you about my relationship to my surroundings at that time; I mean to the whole
physical world. As the phantoms were taking away my soul the world was rushing in to take its place.
I think the word to describe it is – implosion. But I could talk to you till the cows come home, I could
talk till the last ball of the postponed final test, that has been extended to six days so as to get a
result in case of rain, has been bowled and you still wouldn’t understand. ¶ Have you ever had a
dream that consisted entirely of a rush of sound? One of those dreams where you are in an instant in
the grip of a huge chord played by an organ or orchestra of infinite dimensions, as it the finger of God
was being drawn along the rim of your mind, and you manage to wake yourself up just in time to
prevent the vibration of the notes shattering you into smithereens. Here is another dream. This is a
dream which has no visual imagery nor any sound but consists only of a visceral musical emotion,
which envelopes you in a seductive poignancy as thick as treacle from which you wake up just in
time to realize that you had almost lost your soul. If you have dreams like this perhaps with the help
of your imagination you have some idea of what I mean by implosion. ¶ There is no fence or border
that separates your psyche from the world around you. The chaos of sight and sound, of wind and air
is kept at bay only by an act of will and the grace of God. Should your faith waver for a tiny instant
you will be annihilated. ¶ That was the struggle I was engaged in as the train pulled into Central
Station, Sydney. I came awfully close to losing it. ¶ Meanwhile in a parallel universe or alternatively at
a different time in our own miserable 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….”). Ncidntly the toilt blok here haz kold
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showrz. Durin our mornn daliance H lookt out th wndow & sor a guy leann gainst hiz kar neer the blok
lookn in our drkshn. He woz wern a skarlt rodeo type jakt & a kowboy h@. …→ Antwerp → Nhill (az
w wer havn lnch x th ½ mty lake I lookt ↑ branchz of th red gum & sor 2 frogmouth (Podargus
strigoides)) → Goroke → Edenhope → Langkoop → († th SA/Vic brdr) → a • nxt 2 a pine plant8n O
2kz short of th Naracoorte-Penola hghway. On the way H arkst if I thort thr woz nythn ftr °. Sr10ly thr
iz no life ftr ° coz ° iz th nd of life x dfnshn thrwize w woodnt no wot w ment x °. Lso thr r no ‘thingz’
ftr ° – u kan point @ thingz bkoz they r (w make thm) sepr8 from us. Nor kan u say sumpthn ‘iz’ ftr °
koz 2 say it ‘iz’ (lso a pointn or placin in frunt of the gaze, hence rdukshnst) blongz 2 life & lngwj. Sum
say thr iz singn & harp playin ftr ° & sum say thr r meny verginz & sum say thr iz fire. I m nklined 2
say thr may b a way-of-bein (18/4. but w 4m theez werdz in th · az w no it) (a st8) but I hav prolbmz
wth “iz thr nythn ftr life?” koz th nswr 2 th@ iz ° (bsence of life) & I hope its permnnt.
13/9 /05 (t¤tl: 13/9/05 (no 59)). Foloewn z n kmpleet list of tietlz Iev h&d owt. Th 1
st
26
wer ietmiezd n 30/4/05 so Ie kwoet it n ntierti dleetn th xrpt from IN TRANSIT: “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 (15/9/05. x th plastk bag (16/9/05. Ie hav prpaird n kit just
n kaes but wen I woz tstn it owt 4 fit Ie felt maeb I woz bein przumshz 2 plan 2 xrsiez soe much kntrl
(17/9/05. Wood Ie b vieol8n th nolj th@ Ie m subjkt 2 sumptn > mi? Z it n dniel of xpreensz (c
27/11/00 – 7/12/00) 2 wch Ie hav vowd 2 rmaen faethfl 2 eevn keep th opshn oepn x rtaenn th kit?
M Ie n dsloil servnt? Doo Ie want 2 dsknkt mieslf from n mpertv neerli vri1 els faesz? Wood Ie b dnied
wot I had glimst x mie own kshn? Wood Ie b damd? (17/9/05. Gee, you can tell the Jesuits got you early
– “give me a boy before the age of ten, and I will have him for life” (Loyola, I think))).) mthd) 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 rvrbr8s → ndz of th ·. It mai b riterz (17/9/05. th nli E
Ie lae sum klaemz 2) 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
1
st
foldr was also writtn in the city. Though Zorca (c 3/4/04 p 15) claims th mis4tune of being my 1
readr I hope a few (21/11/07. Monday 22/10/07) othrs r ntrstd eg (4 your info, Zorca (15/9/05.
thanx 4 th jar of pkld mshroomz. I 8 thm n th trip ↑ N wth H)): 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 (21/11/07. nomor – hvbkum rwowzr)) (@ 5.2 x D5) hoo may not hav blievd me ystrdy whn I
said th@ th search 4 IDENTITY 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 (15/9/05. just got ngaejd)
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 bginnng. Here it is: 1) ART (a 3-letter word) (c
16/2/04 – 27/2/04 p 19). 2) GULF TRIP (typed x SA&NrIeGwA (wth hoom I had lunch in Lygon st.
ystrdy (21/11/07. & ystrda)) from ARTE POSTALE items he rceivd @ Melb. Uni. whch r now in th
possssion of COaZdZrOiLaInNaI @ Florentina in Menton, France & Casa Taggliasco 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
pieces: 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 p 19)); & Time). 6) 25/1/01. 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
Investigaeshn Unit) in th USA) whch I don8d last sundy 2 th litho library in Errol st (@ 5.2 x D5)
(1/5/04. & wher I note wth srprise Hs contribution (bside th typing) had lready bgun as th piece strts
wth a poem x her & its a good 1: “in the beginning 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 threescore years and ten / must run / and all our effort all our lives /
104
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 (16/9/05. taeks foetoez) @ litho hous (c 3/4/04 –
12/4/04 p 11 & 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 (15/9/05. whr th plae ‘I ♥ Racism’ x
DAtSoSmAmLyO & BUdSaHvEeLL z showin ← frdae 23 sptmbr → ☼di 25 sptmbr) 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 (21/11/07. 23/5/00 ), The City, Masks) r them@clly linkd 2 no 7), no 6), & no 5). I also
used lines from thm in an ARTE POSTALE 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 defines 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 (16/9/05.
“Constantius I, 293-305 AE Antoninianus. Rev. Constantius stg. r. Receiving Victory on
Globe From Jupiter. S. 3565”) 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
(13/5/05. but c 16/2/04 – 27/2/04 pp 13-15).). 14) AN ESSAY (x ZIkZ8YS whch I dstrbuted. On
the back page I +d: “All pasts and all futures are only reflections of the present.”) 15) 11/11/00
(a set of 6 poems O language whch I wrote ovr 30 years 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 °; 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 1
st
h&out (th uthrz r:
30/11/04 – 9/12/04 pp 5-12; 10/2/05 – 18/2/05 pp 5 -13; 21/3/05 – 25/3/05 pp 3-13; &
2/4/05 – 8/4/05 pp 3-13. (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 propri8 2 put in nuthr
1 here (15/9/05. ie pp 2-11 of 30/4/05) b4 I go on wth th nthlj. So here iz a ferthr dose of th
msdvnchrz of Jim Brown, MM, & ‘I’: “Meanwhile in a parallel universe or alternatively at a different
time in our own miserable 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. ….. ( ذشجنقعط ٣ ذشجنقعط ضئ چ٭گخی ۀ ٣ ضئ چ٭گخی ۀ ) …..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, Mallacoota 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 2
nd
foldr of th ritin I h&d out in 2001 ndr th logo a…z @ © (7/9/07. butwth th c ←): 17)
27/11/00 – 7/12/00 (ksplorn th meenn of (16/9/05. ie uesj) th werd ‘god’); 18) 13/2/01 – 26/2/01
(th longst piece Iv dstrbuted & th 1
st
whr th pajez r nmbrd (H lernt how 2)); 19) 7/4/01 – 18/4/01 (1
of th Lake Gairdner trips); 20) 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; postd th 1z on th mailn list on sept 10); 22) 21 poemz (kuvr is a
pkchr of me havn a leek nkst 2 a COMMIT 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) ndrstood my kspln8nz (0 mistkl O thm) of how w r joind
(2/5. bkoz werdz r praktst 2gthr x mtaeshn & rptshn til they r <d 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 (15/9/05. Letr → dtor ← 2daez Age: “1984 ¶ Scott Parkin was not “arrested” by
the police, he was merely “detained”. He was not “imprisoned”, merely housed in a
centre (at his own expense) where all other inmates were prisoners. He will not be
“deported”, merely “removed” from Australia (also at his own expense) accompanied by
105
two Australian guards. And all because he encouraged “spirited” action by protesters.
Big Brother has surely changed his name to Phillip Ruddock, and the year must be 1984
(16/9/05. lsoe n th lttrz n th saem dae : “Sleepwalking into tyranny ¶ Why am I not
surprised to read that Kim Beazley had been briefed on the Government’s reasons for
American peace activist Scott Parkin’s detention and was “satisfied with the action
taken” (The Age, 14/9)? This country is sleepwalking into tyranny (17/9/05. noet lsoe
(18/9/05. c 10/2/05 – 18/2/05 p 3 ree drm@k vnt n Chapel st) foetoe x John Donegan tietld ‘The
streets of Melbourne’ n The Age n wdnzdae sptmbr 14 p 7 wth th kpshn: “Northcote 1pm. Special
Operations Group and Regional Response Unit police raid a block of apartments on the
corner of Cunningham and High Streets. Detectives arrested several people”)) and few
people seem to care – certainly not the ALP, which is a disgrace as an Opposition and a
disgrace to its heritage. ¶ In Orwell’s 1984, the population of Oceania believed itself to
be free, with only Winston Smith and a few others realising this to be an illusion. ¶ We
must now question more than ever if the freedom Australians believe themselves to
enjoy is becoming similarly illusory. Chris Gymer, Surrey Hills”) . Bob Muntz, Ascot
Vale.”))) 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 good of hmanti.)) in lngwj & how w r
spr8d x th dffrnsz btween th sensz (15/9/05. c 5/4/02 – 26/4/02 pp 13-14)) 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
exchange 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 strangely
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 serve 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 truth is / in glance / and touch / small movements of
body / yea or nay / and the shouting singing / silences between / words)); 24) 22/9/01 – 1/10/01 (my
reakshn 2 sept 11; 1
st
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 palindrome); 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).”. 1s gen 4 sum liet rleef & n rspons 2 popuela dm& Ie nklued
nuther gzerpt from ‘IN TRANSIT’ kntnuen n from whr (15/9/05. p11) I left off n th 30/4/05 pees. Th
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dleeshn (“…..( کژپ ۀۀ ۴ ฅจ ..… (نخغظشكقچ “ ( 2 wordz th nd of it kan b red n 30/11/04 – 9/12/04 pp 7-12:
“Meanwhile, Mallacoota Man is struggling to make it to first base. ¶ He was still muttering through his
teeth when he came to the first headland. Oyster headland he had named it unimaginatively. The
oysters covered the undersides of granit boulders just above the high tide mark. His method of
detaching them was to place one end of a piece of driftwood against the edge of the oyster and hit
the other end with a shorter piece as if with a hammer. In this way he could knock off a dozen oysters
in a couple of minutes. But first he lay floating in a tidal pool as clear as crystal. His appetite had
been suppressed by the effort of pulling the sack but he meant to have a substantial meal. He
intended not to touch any of the tinned food in the sack as it was to be the first instalment of the
stockpile he was going to put in for the last days. He could not be certain of another meal till
tomorrow when he would be returning past these same rocks. ¶ The whole question of eating is a
vexed one. Since the night he became luminous Mallacoota Man’s appetite was poor anyway. Jim
survives on a liquid diet. I am so poor I can’t afford to eat. The guy who gives me the poems is
sustained by inspiration. Besides there is nothing more tedious for a writer than having to break the
flow of a story to tell you what’s for dinner. ¶ When he climbed out of the pool M.M. rested in the
shade of a rock. When he still felt no appetite he went to the sack and came back with a can. The
warm beer was so awful that he was glad of the oysters to get rid of the taste. His judgement told him
that he should eat over a hundred if he was to survive till the next day but a dozen oysters later,
when he could no longer detect the taste of the warm beer in his mouth, he yoked himself to the sack
and set off. He felt stronger or perhaps his senses were getting numbed. It seemed not long before
he reached a blocked river entrance midway between the headlands. He was very thirsty and drank
long and deep like a camel except that he was standing shoulder deep in the water as he drank. This
spot had been investigated by M.M. and he had considered setting up the outcamp upstream. He
decided against it because the occasional backpackers who walked along the coast invariably
camped by fresh water and exploring upstream was an obvious thing to do. His secret camp had to
be away from fresh water. He could store his water in wine cask bladders of which he had several in
the sack. ¶ As he continued along the neck of sand between the sea and the estuary he realized
with amazement that it was only a few yards wide. Normally it was twenty or more. It was obvious,
also, that the level of the river was a man’s height above the sea. The next high tide would breech
the barrier. Mallacoota Man released his grip on the yoke. His adrenalin was beginning to rise. He
would release the pent up river. ¶ There are activities which are profoundly satisfying because they
tap a man’s most ancient instincts. Staring at the smouldering embers of a fire late at night is one.
Digging channels is another. ¶ He took off his poncho and set about the task of digging with an
energy which showed no signs of having been diminished by the morning’s efforts. It came from a
different more primitive source. Using his hand as a spade he scooped with the right arm until it
refused to function though he was not conscious of either fatigue or muscular pain. He did the same
with the left. As the channel became deeper water welled up and caused the sides to collapse into
the bed. So then he dug kneeling down and scooping out the sand behind him between his legs like
a dog after a rabbit in a burrow. When he breeched the last foot of sand between the river and the
sea the surge of water hit him with a force that almost turned him around. He had pulled the plug. In
five minutes the channel became an angry stream too dangerous to cross. It was by luck not by good
planning that M.M.’s poncho and sack were on the further side. In another ten minutes the rushing
stream was as wide as the Yarra and the waves that had build up in it were six feet high. The water
kept pouring out. Where was it coming from? He couldn’t believe there could be so much water
upstream. As he contemplated the torrent making sure not to get too close to the collapsing banks he
was overcome by a tremendous exhilaration. He, Mallacoota Man, a puny human had effected a
massive transformation. A realignment of the contours of the seashore was taking place and he
alone was responsible. He had done a Gorbachev. In his excitement he barely noticed the orgasm
(7/9/07. twdb ntrstn 2no (10/9/07. but not rkrtszm) fsumv thkstrczov sants rkumprned x ORGASMZ
(11/9/07. quote from St Theresa about her visitation from an angel: “I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and
at the iron's point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce
my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of
God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I
could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual;
though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that
I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying.

)). ¶ and so you wonder /
always on the fringes / of some secure and ordered province // you show an appreciation / for
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the natives love of clocks and rules / it is good to show an interest / in the customs of the land
// you listen to them / preach about a restless wind in / an uncharted sea / which they tell you
provides no / purchase for the willing sail // you go away / and add it to your list / of quaint
mysterious native sayings / wondering why / they keep on looking at you sideways / and why
they lock away their daughters and their wives ¶ Though no one will ever know with certaintly it is
probable that it was here that it first occurred to M.M. that the easiest way to release the forces of
nature was to start a bushfire on a day when the north wind was blowing. As amateur psychiatrists
we can attribute his later development as a firebug, paradoxically, to rushing water. ¶ When he
calmed down he noticed that he was sticky with sweat, that the march flies were drinking his blood,
that it was dizzyingly hot and, curiously, that his appetite had returned. He would find food at the next
headland. After a swim in an ocean discoloured by the tannin from the river he flexed his arms and
set off again. He had to labour harder now. Though he could feel the psychological benefits of the
energies just released his body ached. He had the sensation, new to him, of being extremely tired
and very hungry at the same time. He wondered if he wasn’t losing his grip on reality. The
possibilities seemed infinite, potentials untapped. The north wind was gathering strength. Soon it
would be strong enough to blow a dog off a chain. It blew the flies away and sand into his face. On a
day like this he could light a fire to the north of the hoons and they wouldn’t stand a chance. Of
course by the time he was back they would be gone; but there would always be other hoons. In this
mood he reached the next headland a kilometre after which he would be striking off inland to the
hidden location among the melaleucas. ¶ The events that took place then are confused. I intend to
give you several versions. There are arguments in favour of each one yet none is entirely convincing.
M.M.’s parents insist that all the versions are false and that M.M. never existed. ¶ They all agree that
at the next headland he spent a considerable time looking for food. There were no oysters so he had
to make do with limpets, periwinkles and a couple of sea urchins. The sides of the pool were lined
with large abalone but the flesh of raw abs was too perfumed for M.M. A faint nausea had dented his
appetite anyway. ¶ One of the accounts has it that he climbs to a rise on the inland side of the
headland to investigate what is attracting the crows that keep appearing over the edge. As he
laboured along the coast he had noted that the crows were becoming more frequent. Now as he
looks over the heath and plain dotted with dead trees he is confronted with an astonishing sight. The
trees are covered by and the air is full of thousands of ravens. ¶ ‘The ravens are gathering’ he says
to himself. ¶ ‘ah, ah, aahhh’ reply several corvids. ¶ ‘It is the penultimate day’ he moans. ¶ A raven
that is circling overhead answers with a mournful ‘aaaaahhhhh’ ¶ All the stories agree that while at
the headland he sees a dark shape on the beach in the distance at about the spot where he intends
to leave the coast for his camp in the scrub. The shape looks too large to be the carcass of a seal. It
turns out to be a beached whale (21/11/07. 23/10/07 ), its back blistered from sunburn. It is here
that we initially came upon him in the late afternoon having a leak. This is the occasion that unites
him in common purpose, even if briefly and by a writer’s art, with Jim Brown the pisser from the
north. As he is pissing on the whale’s fluke Mallacoota Man sees it blink and notices that it is
regarding him with a look of infinite sadness. At this point Laurie Levy and the entire membership of
the Save The Whale lobby break down into uncontrollable sobbing. ¶ From here on the accounts
begin to diverge. According to one source M.M. was already suffering from extreme nausea and had
broken out into a lather of sweat before reaching the whale. There is also a suggestion that he is
suffering sunstroke or is in a minor state of delirium. As he finishes the leak he realizes that he
cannot remember when he last felt the weight of the sack. The sack is lying at his feet empty! A large
hole has been worn in the bottom. Overcome by a dizzy spell he sits down and holds his head in his
hands. He is on the point of vomiting. There is nothing here to tell us whether he is wearing the
blanket poncho or whether he is naked having forgotten it back at the headland. An instinct warns
him that he may be suffering from dehydration. He has to get water if he is to survive the night. The
water is twenty minutes away where a spring feeds a small pond behind the dunes. This is a spot
with access from the forest known to bushwalkers and sometimes checked out by park management
vehicles. M.M. now has to struggle away from the shoreline and as soon as he is in the lee of the
dunes he is attacked by march flies and now as evening is approaching by mosquitoes too. Another
dizzy spell makes him sink to his knees. He can barely muster the energy to chase away the flies. He
is so weak he would have been hard put to pull a greased stick out of a dog’s arse. But he has to
press on; his life depends on it. There is a walking track that leads over the dunes to the pond. As he
makes it to a small opening in the coast wattle (acacia longifolia var. sophorae) used by hikers to
pitch a tent his bowels let go right in the middle of the clearing. It is not out of sympathy for the
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trekkers with their high tech equipment and little plastic trowels that he sprinkles a thin layer of sand
over his efforts. Further down the track in another clearing he vomits out what he can recognize as
bits of periwinkle in an amorphous gluey mass that he assumes to be the remains of the oysters and
sea urchins. Arthur Koestler claims to have observed an Indian Yogi pull out his large intestine
through his anus and wash it in a river. M.M. wishes that he could do the same with his insides but
that solution is beyond his capabilities. He sinks down again exhausted on his hands and knees
perspiration dripping from his nose. Finally he reaches the soak where he washes his mouth and
cleans his behind by sitting in the pool. This gives him a psychological lift and he pushes a few yards
through the scrub to the source of the spring for a drink of sweet water. Disregarding the danger of
ticks he lies by the soak for a long time and then drinks again, deeply. When he gathers some
strength he returns to the beach side of the first dune to get away from the mosquitoes. He sleeps
fitfully under the dome of a clear night sky. The wind sprinkles him with sand. He will survive. ¶ He
woke with a start when he heard voices nearby. He barely had time to scurry behind a clump of
marram grass when a group of young types appeared over the crest of the dune to inspect the
beach. They had arrived the previous evening at sunset soon after M.M. had left the spring. He
sneaked back along the track and saw with satisfaction that there was a tent in each clearing. They
would discover his calling cards when they rolled them up. But he was not happy: his mission had
failed. ¶ According to this variation he returns to home base in a mood of post-romantic gloom. That
night fully recovered from the ordeal he prepares to cook himself a meal. As he rummages about in
his box of provisions for a packet of two minute noodles that he had got from the hoons he realizes
that he can’t see what he is doing. He is no longer luminous. ¶ I like this account. It has initial
appeal. M.M.’s character is consistent with what I know of him and the story hangs together. If
anything it runs the risk of being too convincing, too logical. Life rarely is. I do not want to influence
you unduly by taking advantage of my priveleged position but I must point out one major omission: it
does not explain the corpse that was found after the bushfire. ¶ In the words of the East Gippsland
Chronicle which ran a full story on the grisly find, the corpse, which was “charred beyond recognition
is believed to be that of the legendary wild man of east Gippsland sometimes referred to as The
Hermit. Though a positive identification cannot be made due to the severity of the burns and the
advanced state of decomposition police confirmed last week that no positive sighting of the hermit
has been made since the February fires. They request that anyone with information as to the hermit’s
background contact them so that dental charts can be traced to confirm his identity. The few
sightings of The Hermit have usually been fleeting ones of him running naked across the road or
ducking for cover into the bush when surprised by a hunter or caught in the beam of a car’s
headlight. It is believed that his food consisted entirely of wild berries and roots of grasses
supplemented by shellfish he found along the beach. On one occasion when a group of hikers
surprised him leaving him without an avenue for a quick escape he is said to have buried his head in
the sand and stayed in that position, refusing all attempts at communication, till the hikers left. A
widow from the district, now retired in Cann River, claims to have spoken to The Hermit at length.
Though she is not prepared to go into detail she said that he had an unfortunate past. Mrs Murphy,
manager of the Mallacoota Information Centre, said his death will be felt as a loss by visitors as
though he was rarely sighted stories of the Wild Man of East Gippsland had become legendary and
added colour to the district.” ¶ A curious twist to the story is provided by a disturbed itinerant brick
layer who turned himself into police in Queensland after reading a one paragraph account of the
hermit’s death in the Bundaberg Mail. Claiming that he could no longer live with a guilty conscience
he confessed to having murdered the hermit, in company with half a dozen other men, and hidden
the body in the forest. If his confession were to be believed M.M.’s last day on earth ended
something like this. ¶ After drinking deeply at the spring M.M. does not go back to the beach but lies
exhausted by the pool. Some time later feeling considerably better he becomes absorbed in the task
of pioneering the male multiple orgasm. For once his guard is down. Several men dressed in rambo
gear some holding beer cans, others rifles, one carrying a bow and arrow appear over the brow of
the dune. They have left their four wheel drives parked back on the service track. They gained entry
to this section of the park by driving round the gate and cutting the management fence with wire
cutters. The sight of the dishevelled hermit perfecting the multiple orgasm contorts their faces into
expressions of disgust. M.M. is busy at his work totally oblivious to the surroundings. ¶ ‘It’s the
fucken hermit’, one of them whispers. ¶ ‘Jesus, what a bloody weirdo!’ ¶ ‘He’s fuckenwell wanking
himself.’ ¶ ‘What a bloody fucken poofter!’ ¶ On a signal from the leader the rambos surround
Mallacoota Man. He stares up at them in blank amazement. A blow from a rifle butt to the back of the
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head ensures that it is with the same expression that he departs this world to meet his maker. The
rambos realizing what they’ve done panic and frantically drag him off by the legs towards the cars,
presumably to get rid of the body somewhere else. When they reach the cars a furious argument
ensues and two of them drag the body into thick scrub by the road. Soon they’re back, panting for
breath, jump into their cars and roar off down the road. ¶ There are three details of this account
which lend it credibility. The first is that the bricklayer’s description gave an accurate account of
where the body was found. The second is that the autopsy of the hermit’s corpse had revealed a
fractured skull. By itself the fracture was not significant as The Hermit, blinded by smoke, could have
run into a tree or been hit by a falling branch. The coincidence makes it more interesting. Once
informed of the confession the Mallacoota police were sufficiently interested to locate one of the
alleged accomplices of the bricklayer. It was from him that they learnt that the bricklayer had a history
of mental instability and that the group had never been within miles of where the body was found.
When the police telephoned Bundaberg that they were not interested in pursuing the case the
bricklayer was committed to a mental hospital. The third aspect, which the police had no way of
knowing, is that the bricklayer and his friends were non other than the same hoons that Mallacoota
Man had kept under observation in the days immediately prior to his ill fated expedition. ¶ It is the
bricklayer’s account that M.M.’s parents are most anxious to deny while at the same time insisting
that their denial is not to be interpreted as an admission of his previous existence. ¶ In death M.M.
generates controversy as he never did in life. The stories of his last day continue to multiply and with
the passage of time to become increasingly embroidered. Yet no matter how fanciful they become
each one contains a grain of truth that does not exist in any of the others. One day I may publish a
collection but they include so much trivia and invention that for our purpose a general review will
suffice. ¶ The more recent accounts lay a heavy emphasis on M.M.’s deteriorating mental condition
as the day progresses. It seems no longer enough that he be feverish or touched by the sun. He is
described as rambling and confused. One version describes him as being out of touch with reality.
Emphasis is put on his conversation with the crows. He is described as repeating weighty phrases
such as ‘final gathering’, ‘it is time’, ‘we have come’, ‘turn on the lights.’ Another claims that he
exhibits symptoms of a powerful central nervous system poison caused by something he ate at the
headland. More realistically there is a suggestion that he could have been bitten by a snake without
having noticed it in the exhausted condition he was in. He was used to a couple of close encounters
with snakes every day and is lucky not to have been bitten before. Some claim that he has always
been insane. ¶ As for his encounter with the whale, no two accounts agree. In one story they
communicate at length by eye contact. Another has it that he gives the whale terminal counselling,
while in a Catholic version he administers the last rites. In one story the existence of the whale is
denied altogether. He is supposed to have signalled to a dolphin out at sea and ridden off into the
ocean on its back. A similar account describes how he rides off on the whale’s back when the high
tide refloats it that night. It is not as ridiculous as it may seem as no evidence of the whale’s carcass
has ever been found. The previous story is an example of a tendency in some quarters to beatify
M.M. It has gained currency among greenies. In it he does not piss on the whale’s fluke. The
inference is that his eye contact conversation has purified him and made him environmentally
sympathetic. Afterwards as he waits for the incoming tide to refloat the whale he wanders about the
beach patting seagulls. When he goes to the soak for a drink he notices several mosquitoes biting
his forearm. Remembering that they are pregnant females, instead of swatting them as he would
have done in the past, he lifts them off individually and gently releases them into the breeze. The
greenies claim that the burnt corpse probably belonged to an executed drug courier. My own feeling
is that the above are not true to Mallacoota Man’s character. The problem is that their adherents
have not known him personally as I do. They do not reflect the complexity of the man. Sure, he seeks
ecstasy, and at times even glows a bit, but if he is to achieve sainthood it will have to be by other
means. ¶ Does the eagle know what is in the pit; / Or wilt thou go ask the Mole? / Can Wisdom
be put in a silver rod, / Or Love in a golden bowl? (William Blake) ¶ I prefer the version where
deranged by snake bite and dehydration he is stumbling towards the pool when he hears voices.
They are the voices of the hikers who have arrived before him and are filling up their water bottles.
M.M. who is hallucinating sees the movement through the trees and creeps up for a closer look. Lo
and behold there are the hoons with their machetes and an esky. M.M. is gripped by rage and weak
as he is he creeps through the bush to the other side of the pool so that he is upwind of them and
some hundreds of yards further on sets the forest on fire by rubbing two possums together. As the
fire roars into life M.M. heads off in the opposite direction cackling like a lunatic. Just at that time a
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southerly change arrives, the fire doubles back on itself and fries the hermit. ¶ Hikers often feature in
accounts of his final hours probably because it was a group of hikers, who, some weeks later,
brought in the poncho that he had made from the blanket. The poncho much bleached and
deteriorated by sea and sand is the prize exhibit in the Mallacoota Historical Museum. Even here
controversy rages. There are those who argue that the exhibit is not a poncho but a tattered
cardigan. Others see in it the remains of a potato sack. A disgruntled tourist claimed that it was a
sock. Some assert that its damaged condition is caused by the teeth of a dingo. The theory is that a
dingo undressed M.M. and dragged the garment through the bush before depositing it on the
seashore. It then went home and played the piano. This theory is used in those versions where M.M.
is not seen to have been either deranged or forgetful enough to have left his poncho behind. ¶ When
M.M. finally reached the whale he was on the point of collapse but the knowledge that his mission
was close to completion would give him the strength to go on. ¶ After examining the dead whale he
did piss on its fluke. He dragged the sack above the high tide mark and took off his blanket. It was a
relief as it had become impregnated with sweat and its weight was a burden. It had done its job:
there was no risk of getting sunburnt anymore and the northerly was keeping the flies at bay. He
noticed that the sack had almost worn through along the bottom edge. He would have to carry it on
his back to the hide-away, afterwards he could throw it away. He swam well away from the whale as
it was already on the nose. He hoped that it would be found soon and dynamited, or in a few weeks
the beach would be made out of bounds by the stench. A sea breeze might even carry the smell as
far inland as his camp. He floated in the water a long time and then sat in the wash of the wave. A
deep calm descended on him: it seemed as if he had released the estuary days ago or only imagined
that he had done it. There was no hurry, the sun was still high. His purpose would be achieved. ¶
From here on there is no point in detailing his every move. The following description should be
enough to take you through to the morning. ¶ After hiding the sack and poncho behind the dune he
returned to the beach and walked the half mile further to where the track led to the spring. When he
returned to where the sack was hidden he was carrying a wine cask bladder full of water. It was
impossible to carry the sack and bladder at the same time so he had to take them to his hiding place
in stages. Behind the dune the heat was stifling but he had to wear the poncho again in case of ticks.
It helped against the flies too. When the tent was up he crawled inside to try it; he had never been
inside a tent with a sewn in floor. Even in the 100% shade of the honey myrtle it was like an oven.
There was no point in hanging around the camp so he went back to the beach to sit in the water. He
returned just as the sun was setting. He couldn’t leave it any later as he hadn’t learnt how to find it in
the dark. He ate; he drank water warm beer and more water; he fought with clouds of mosquitoes.
He detected a bit of cool in the air but the mozzies drove him into the tent. Inside it was as hot as
ever but he fell into a deep sleep. He dreamt he was holding Olivia Newton John (16/9/05. rmmbr
her? Sh sang @ n gr& fienl.) in his arms. She was naked: he had a wet dream. Later in the night he
had to go out for a leak. He was about to unzip the door of the tent which was made of netting when
he saw in the light of his aura that the other side was covered with hundreds of mosquitoes waiting to
get in. Fortunately, among the items he had put under the poncho to form a pillow were a few plastic
bags. Plastic bags are the most useful of all camping items. He used one as a night pot. As he lay on
his side peeing into the bag he felt quite satisfied with himself because he didn’t realize that the
bottom of the bag was split, until it was too late. He was peeing on the floor; he had discovered a
second disadvantage to the modern zip up tent. He was too tired to bother. He slumped back
dreaming of swamps and toilets. ¶ After breakfast he used the sack to wipe out the tent and put the
stores inside. He tightened the sides and surveyed the site. As a permanent camp it had its
drawbacks. There were too many ticks and mosquitoes, not enough air movement. But it was secure:
a good place to hide stolen property. ¶ Back at the beach he decided to call in at the spring again.
Now that he had a camp in the vicinity he felt that the spring really belonged to him. He always felt
that way about the surrounds of a camp. He sat on the rise above the pool immersed in a day dream.
¶ ‘hey, hullo, how are ya mate’ ¶ The hermit’s head jerked around. For a second time he had been
caught off guard. Behind him stood a freckled faced imbecile smiling ingratiatingly holding a stubby in
his hand. He was wearing army boots and a cotton jacket with about twenty pockets in it some of
which were bulging full. He had a beer gut. It was one of the hoons. ¶ ‘hi, hope I havnt disturbed ya,
dont wanta be rude, wouldnt be the hermit wouldja’ ¶ Mallacoota Man, who is a homophobe, draws
the blanket tightly around him and stands up. He holds out his hand, limply. ¶ ‘jeez, glad ta meetcha
mate, we heard all aboutcha, the boysll be wrapped’ ¶ Mallacoota Man does not reply. He looks at
the hoon with a sad but gentle expression trying to imitate what he imagines was the way that Jesus
111
looked at Judas. The hoon pulls a stubby out ot one of his bulging pockets. ¶ ‘shouts on me mate,
got a feelin youll enjoy this, listen come over and see the boys, they’ll be tickled pink, we got some
snags cookin, can smellem from here, youd enjoy that I reckon’ ¶ The hoon actually puts a hand on
M.M.’s shoulder to steer him in the direction of their camp and leads the way. Every now and then he
turns his head to make sure the hermit is following close behind. Though his face looks like a holy
picture a tremendous hatred has welled up in M.M.’s heart. He looks at the back of the hoon’s head.
It reminds him of the head of his own father. The crew cut reveals a head that is flat and square at
the back, as if it was made of putty and had been lain on too long. ¶ ‘I just come to see where the
track ended, were just up the track, havent got the faintest where we are’ ¶ As the hoon went to move
on M.M. connected with the stubby which hadnt been opened yet. The hoon swayed like a tree. M.M.
hit him again and then again. There was no sound, not even a whisper from the hoon, but he stayed
on his feet. M.M. snatched a piece of wood and landed what should have been a terminal blow but
the branch shattered into smithereens. The hoon sank to his elbows and knees wagging his head
soundlessly like a dog wagging its tail, still clutching the half empty stubby. M.M. grabbed another
piece of wood: it was dry and hard; it finished the job. ¶ So I smote him, and his gore / Stain’d the
roots my Myrtle bore. (William Blake) ¶ M.M. went into action again. He dragged the body by the
feet through the bracken out of sight of the track. First he took the shirt off, it had no blood on it. The
hoon’s crew cut had turned crimson but the only blood that M.M. could see was flowing from his
nose. He pulled off his trousers and his boots and socks. Then he sat down, there was plenty of time.
A look of admiration crossed his face briefly. The hoon had died without a whimper – like a hero. ¶
when youre dead and buried / and at last / you think youve found some peace // now that the /
procession has gone home / and your funeral suit is baggy / with a loose collection of your
bones / you grin / at grieving solemn friends // you may not think it so funny / when you see
the / raven strutting on your grave ¶ Presently he heard the sound of a chain-saw starting up in
the distance. The hoons were cutting wood for the bonfire they would light that night, disregarding the
total fire ban. No matter how hot it was they were in the habit of drinking by a bonfire till the early
hours of the morning. It was the ashes from this fire, which they would neglect to put out when they
left the next day, that started the bushfire. When he walked into their camp to the sound of two car
radios blaring out rock music he was dressed in army boots and a khaki jacket with enough pockets
in it to shame a kangaroo. The hoon lay dead in the bracken by the track dressed only in a blanket. ¶
‘jeezus mate, what the fucks happened’ ¶ ‘nothing, just went for a walk’ ¶ ‘come on Jim, whats the
matter, ya look different’ ¶ ‘you seen a fucken ghost or sumptin, your hairs gon fucken black’ ¶ ‘okay
fellas, maybe I seen a ghost maybe the hermit, not sure what I saw, feelin a bit crook’ ¶ ‘you look
fucken weird man, if it wernt fer yer shirt I wouldntave recanized ya, yer guts gone’ ¶ ‘ill have to sit
down fellas, aint feeling too good at all’ ¶ ‘jeezus Jim, ya look so bloody fucken different, comon tellus
what thehell happnd, ya had a close encounter or sumptin’ ¶ ‘yeh maybe, he was there fuckenwell
wanking himself, his hair was all bushy, I think he mightve been the bloody hermit’ ¶ ‘your hairs
bushy, ya had a crew cut before’ ¶ ‘it was the fright fellas, I feel sick’ ¶ ‘Jims crook boys, I reckon
youd better take it easy Jim mate, ya don’t look yerself atall, well keep ya some snags fer later’ ¶
‘thanks fellas, ill be right in a tick’ ¶ Out of the sand is the water born / And out of water the fish /
And out of beautiful women / Are lovers born. // Out of the sand is the water born / And out of
water brandy / And out of treacherous women / Are brave men born. (Traditional Mexican song)
¶ It was a new beginning; he had made a clean break. Late that night he was relieved to observe that
he was no longer luminous. ¶ Meanwhile in a parallel universe, or at a different time in this fucken
world, Jim fucken Brown is probably still trying to put away his fucken prick into his fucken trousers. ¶
It may surprise that though he looks like a candidate for a course in self-empowerment he is in a
relaxed and feisty mood. The darkies have finally been shaken off. His last injection of Depo Provera
is more than three months behind him when he was still in jail. He cups a hand over his balls: they
are almost back to normal. Out of the corner of his eye he spies a flock of sheep browsing in the
saltbush. ¶ When he was inside before the oestrogen treatment had taken effect he used to lie in his
cell and dream of how on his release he would screw everything in sight. He would root like a Brush
Tailed Phascogale (phascogale topoatafa of the family dasyuridae of the order polyprodonta of the
subclass marsupalia) where I quote ‘copulation lasts several hours and the female actually dozes off
between periods of thrusting by the male.’ He would even have been prepared to put up with the
consequences which in the case of the male is death immediately after intercourse. Or he would
bonk like a Brown Antechinus (antechinus stuartii of the family dasyuridae of the superfamily
dasyuroidia of the suborder dasyuromorphia of the order polyprotodonta of the subclass marsupalia
112
of the class mammalia) where in season and I quote again ‘the males can be seen fearlessly racing
about in search of females. In the course of about 2 weeks each male mates for about 6 hours at a
time at the end of which period not a single male is left alive.’ The information comes from the
Complete Book of Australian Mammals put out by the Australian Museum which Jim had got from the
prison library for his H.S.C. biology course, the very first course he undertook at Her Majesty’s
expense. The oestrogen later made him lose interest in science and the following year he switched to
a literature course. Right now he could feel a resurgence of his natural instincts; he could have
screwed the lid off a bottle. ¶ Jim’s early release had been conditional on him continuing on with the
Depo Provera treatment. But the treatment wasn’t mandatory and as everyone in Jim’s situation
knew there was no point turning up even for the first appointment. Nothing would happen to you. A
year or so later you could send them a letter saying you couldn’t attend as you had to chase work
interstate and were going to a doctor elsewhere. If you didn’t send them a letter explaining your
absence nothing was done anyway. There is a clinic in Bouverie St, Carlton which employs two
doctors one of whom is a psychiatrist, three nurses, a family counsellor, a typist and a cleaner and
which has a list of patients as long as your arm most of whom are ex-cons and none of whom ever
turn up. It is a joke shared between the cons, the staff of the clinic, and a few administrators in the
health department. Everyone benefits: the cons get early release, the staff get paid for nothing, the
administrators get a bigger empire. It is not my intention to stir the possum on the morality or
otherwise of oestrogen treatment; but Jim was no paedophile. He just liked little girls and he was a
natural at bonding with kids. All his relationships were loving and caring. Besides he was non
discriminatory: after a few months in prison he was happy to bond with everyone and everything. The
Depo Provera soon put an end to that…..( کژپ ۀ ۴ ฅจ نخغظشكقچ) ….. The car that pulled up to give Jim a lift
was not much better than the wog tank. The two unshaven occupants were heading north in search
of work as shearer’s cooks and when they saw him by the road in the middle of nowhere and without
an item of luggage they must have recognised him as one of their own breed. They were curious to
know how he’d got as far as this. A lift in the back country usually goes from one definite spot to
another. There wasn’t even a station track in the vicinity. Jim who was still in the grip of a
metaphysical sense of unreality wasn’t sure himself but one thing that he wasn’t going to admit to
was losing his car. He didn’t want them to think he was a fool. ¶ I suppose in retrospect that Jim’s
explanation must appear to the student of history like a flash of creative genius. Its credibility comes
from the fact that it is so implausible that it could not possibly be taken as a deliberate deception. The
cook’s eyes opened wide and they collapsed into peals of raucous laughter. In their hilarity they
nearly drove off the highway and told Jim to grab himself a can from a pile behind the driver’s seat.
He had hit the jackpot. The truth is that far from being a recipient of a divine inspiration he had simply
blurted out the first thing that came into his head. He had parked his old valiant right under a massive
red gum branch and without warning the branch had come crashing down and flattened the car to
within six inches of the ground. Lucky he wasn’t in it at the time. ¶ ‘jeez howdt apn’ ‘dunno just outa
deblue there wasnta breathofair juslike now’ ‘howbig wazit’ ‘huge matehuge fourft across tenton
ormore, oneothose giants thatrun jusabove headhigh, carza riteoff’ ‘butonna still night mate’ ‘ yair
jusoutta theblue I coudnt believt’ ‘thas probly howall them branches yasee get there, button astill
night’. ¶ When they pulled up at Coomba, a roadhouse that marks the halfway point between Mildura
and Broken Hill, the cooks shouted Jim a lunch of eggs and bacon. They were treating him as a
celebrity – a martyr to fate. They told the lonely old couple that ran the roadhouse and a party of
travellers heading south over and over that Jim was lucky to be alive after his car was crushed by a
red gum branch that fell on it on a dead still night. The old couple told the story to every party,
including several couch groups, that called in during the rest of the day. In fact they were still telling
the story ten years later before the old man died and the business was sold. The day following Jim’s
egg and bacon lunch both the Barrier Courier and the Mildura Mail published versions of the story. A
week later it had found its way into the miscellaneous columns of the Melbourne Sun and the Sydney
Morning Herald. ¶ Now all over the country both callow city campers and hardened bushmen are
dead scared of camping under a red gum. And since nearly every inland watercourse is lined by
these giants it means that half the prime camping sites in Australia are treated as off limits. But then
Aussies are silly enough to believe anything: after all this is the country where for years they’ve
believed that you get more badly sunburnt on a cloudy day than when the sun is out. Us more recent
arrivals, the sophisicated Greek and inscrutable Chinese, can afford a private giggle at such
indigenous follies. Meantime the gullible local, without of course having ever seen it happen himself
or met anyone else who has, continues to hold it as an article of faith that on very still summer nights
113
huge river red gum limbs go crashing to the ground without the slightest provocation. ¶ The cooks
took Jim through to The Hill and deposited him outside the cop shop in Argent St. They intended to
spend a couple of days pissing on and playing the pokies. Their generosity did not extend to
financing him to join them in their fun. ¶ a man lies dying / head shattered on the cement road / it
happened at Broken Hill / jagged fracture from the / corner of the lip to the edge of the eye /
the road is washed / by his gentle clotted blood // cover him warm / with rugs and blankets / a
dying man / blessed the road / that killed him ¶ Jim did not want to renew a relationship with the
police. As he strolled along Argent St., a free man without a stick of luggage, he reflected how bleak
and empty it was so early in the evening. This was the main street in Broken Hill. He was not to know
that the nine clubs and the thirty three pubs were abuzz with locals and tourists drinking and playing
the pokies. He wondered if the salvos had a hostel here where he could be put up for the night. He’d
have to look up the phone book. As he was considering the options he noted a glittering sign at the
entrance to the Silver City Workingmen’s Club. At the same time a darkie was being frogmarched
unceremoniously out of the club and left muttering in the middle of the footpath. The darkie looked
from a distance remarkably like Jackie whom Jim had thought he left back at Wentworth. Parked at
the kerb was a car, a bomb, a shagin wagin that looked remarkably like the wog tank. Jim broke into
a run and reached it while Jackie was still shaking a fist at the plate-glass door of the club. In the car
sat a dark woman who looked remarkably like Queen Victoria and two kids with glazed expressions
on their faces. ¶ ‘bin lookin aftait foya boss’ ‘ thanks jackie’ ¶ You can make up the rest of the story
for yourself; that’s if you’ve got any imagination and aren’t already brain dead. If it were my task to
include the minor detail I’d have to tell you what my characters have for breakfast lunch and tea
which in Jim’s case is beer, beer and chips, and beer. I’d still be back on the road to The Hill
describing him having another leak, for make no mistake, Jim strained the spuds, talked to Dicky Lee
and watered the horses far more times than I saw fit to tell you about. He was showing signs of a
future prostate problem. Had I described every such occasion this book would now be 95,000 words
long and in the hands of my publisher (the bastard won’t accept anything shorter). I have no intention
of sacrificing quality for padding. So you’ll have to imagine for yourself how furious Jim was to
discover when he pulled out the ashtray that his kitty was gone. It explained why Jackie was pissed
to the eyeballs outside a pokey club. I cant be bothered describing to you how the neon lit dreariness
of Argent Street echoed to the screeching of Jackie’s woman as Jim dragged her out of the wog tank
by the collar of her floral print. Nor will I regale you with the pointless detail of how he roared away
from the kerb heading east only to discover at Little Topar, half way to White Cliffs, that the two petrol
sniffers were still in the back of the car. You can try to imagine them diving out the back doors of the
tank and disappearing into the night as Jim fumbles furiously for the large spanner that he keeps
under the front seat. Nor need you know how he runs out of petrol twenty miles shy of White Cliffs
but manages to make it by pissing into the petrol tank. I will not bore you with details of how over the
following days he virtually demolished the car to get at the R.W.C’s, doctor’s certificates, the box of
rubber you know whats and various other articles he had hidden in the panels. Instead you will have
to make do with the bare facts: Jim made it to White Cliffs where he turned over a new leaf. Good
riddance citizens of middle Australia and a special good riddance to the finger fuckers of Melbourne.
¶ Meanwhile, once upon a time or never, against all probability and nature, after being locked in
battle with morons, androids and facsimilies and with metal plates and a transceiver embedded in my
head I got off the train at Sydney Central. My situation was hopeless but not serious. My destination
was Balmain where the greenies have taken over the council and the brownies have taken over the
streets.” @ this sgnfknt moemnt Ie must leev u n suspns & rzuem th nthlji of tietlz if Iem 2 kmpleet th
tarsk. Th tietlz of th mastrkpeez n mie 3
rd
foldr h&d owt n 2002 nder th loegoe a … z @ … r: 27) THE
HAT (n lluestraeshn of Stanley Milgrams 6° of spraeshn theeri). 28) 7/2/02 – 22/2/02. 29) 15/4/02
– 26/4/02 (whr I had n mous plaeg nsied th van). 30) 11/8/02 – 21/8/02. 31) IN MY FATHERS
HOUSE (n poem O the doem ruem of th st8 liebri of Vic.; th lluestraeshnz r x Erik Desmazières
(16/9/05. born n Morocco 1948, rseevd n dploema ← L’Institut d’ Études Politiques de Paris n 1971)
whch had bn uezd 2 lluestr8 The Library of Babel x Jorge Luis Borges (pub. David R. Godine.
Boston)). 32) 21/9/02 – 3/10/02 (th 2
nd
2 b jointli ritn x mi & H). 33) 11/11/02 – 20/11/02. Th 4
th
foldr kntaenz th rtklz ritn n 2003 ndr th loegoe a … z… : 34) February 24. 35) March 11. 36)
12/4/03 – 24/4/03 (ritn jointli; 1
st
of 6 peesz lluestr8d n th bak paej wth n Steinberg kartoon (klekt th
O set!)). 37) 3/6/03 – 12/6/03. 38) June 28/29. (ritn jointli). 39) August 18. 40) Sept 20/21
(joint). 41) October 27 (n mdtaeshn n Viez deth). N th 5
th
foldr r th rtklz ritn n 2004 ndr th loegoe a …
z 42) 16/2/04 – 27/2/04. 43) 3/4/04 – 12/4/04 (joint). 44) 29/4/04 – 1/5/04 (1 of th fue ritn n
114
Melbourne & th bgnin of th nthloji of tietlz & th 1
st
kntaenn n gzerpt from IN TRANSIT (klekt n set of
rjnlz & maek yor gr&chlrn $$$z). 45) Melbourne → Kaunas (1
st
of th set of th 7 faemus lithol&
peesz). 46) ŠIAULIAI. 47) VILNIUS 1. 48) VILNIUS (no. 2) (kuvr x KABArIaLsAaITĖ). 49) → (no
1). 50) → (no 2). 51)Vilnius → Melbourne. Th kurnt foldr kntaenz: 52) 30/11/04 – 9/12/04. 53)
DANYO RESERVE (ntreez ritn @ th 1 • oevr n numbr of yeerz). 54) 10/2/05 – 18/2/05. 55)
21/3/05 – 25/3/05. 56) 2/4/05 – 8/4/05. 57) 30/4/05. (nklue° n ths 1). 58) PORT GERMEIN (az
4 DANYO RESERVE). 59) 13/9/05. (19/9/05. 60) Melbourne → Sydney (larst 1 of 2005 (H (l luv ya
darln) z tiepn it riet now); kntaenz the FINAL nstorlmnt ← IN TRANSIT)).Th@s it - njoi.
5/7/05 ( Melbourne → Sydney (no 60)). Currarong → Nowra (shopn) →
Camberwarra Lookout Café (red ppr; kleer day gave prfkt view of Nowra & Jervis Bay) → Mittagong
(ptrl) → Sydney (@ 3 pm; mum iz in good shape 4 a 85 yeer old tho nxt chuesdi sh wil hav a k@rkt
takn from 1 eye & in 2 munthz 1 from th uthr (7/9/07. jst got r·ad); itz 8 pm & sh & H r watchn teli
while Im reedn On Photography x Susan Sontag givn → mi x K8 (21/9/05. rternd it ystrdae); o
yair (nota bene Zorka (hav fnshd th jar of pkld msheez & they wer good – thanx) I 8 BARAVYKAI @ t
(3/10/05. th 1z Vaidas uezz 4 th soops hi maeks 4 us @ th galri n chuezdaez r mportd ← russia (hi
biez thm n St Kilda)) & dskuvrd thei r th same mshroom th talianz korl PORCINI (ystrdi evnn I notst @
th shop thei sel Basa Dory so I rekn Royal Basa, Basa Dory & Pacific Dory r orl th same fsh).
12/7 /05 ( ↑North (no 61)). Urunga (9.00am) ←W → Bellingen (Flamenco dans fstvl n
th 15
th
, 16
th
, 17
th
juli) → (fox ran † th rode) → Dorrigo → Ebor (Robe (c 2/4/05 - 8/4/05 pp 13,14)
spelt ←wordz; @ th tern off → Guyra w wer n a rode (8/9/07. n1½ weks wr →2 th sam E rgn) w
hadnt bn on 4 th 1
st
time on th trip) → Guyra (lamb & potatoe fstvl 18-27 jnuari; red ppr, bort n lowzi
mug of x 2 shot kofi 4 $4.20 & a good hmbrgr (n nuthr shop) wth baikn, unyn, eg etc 4 $5.00 (29/10. n
good hmbrgr @ Burger (11/11. but wie noe fride unyn?) Republic n Errol st Nth Melb (30/10. n ♀ @
lithoe haus (12/11. ths rvo met th nue PIRMININKAS (KA&LrAeDwĖ) f th ♣ KMTEE & 1 f mie reedrz
(SrTiRmUaNsGA), lsoe n th ♣ kmtee, n th pub (Town Hall) † th rode) † th rode hoo nue mie farthr n
Šiauliai O 1935 told mi 2day ♂ woz soe h&sm (8/9/07. Monday 12/6/06) n hiz ueni4m ♂ woz
nknaemd Gustaf Frölich ftr n faemus moovi aktr) Nth Melb kosts $8.50)) → Inverell ((safire siti) shopt
up, stubi) → Warialda (“place of wild honey”) ↑N → North Star (stubi) → Goondiwindi (†d NSW/QLD
bordr @ th Macintyre rvr.) ←W → Toobeah (parkt 4 th nite a kupl of kz out @ a ‘camp & watering
reserve’ 4 stok; m drinkn Carbine Stout whch must b th worst n all of oz but woz th nli 1 in th botl
shop; 6.35pm). 4got 2 mnshn rlier th@ I sor a Red Winged Parrot (Aprosmictus erythropterus).
19/7 /05. Takarakka Campn gO in Carnavon Nshnl Park (Larst S@di HrUeNxT (6/11. got
mugd n Byron Bay n fue daiz goe – had n lot 2 sae) sed DlAeVoInS iz az blak az a ~ & b4 w got up
ths mornn H sed I woz like a ~. Wen I nkwired ♀ sed I woz like a † btween n St Bernard & n
Rotwiler. ♀ reknz ♀ iz goin 2 hav 2 keep a rold up newzppr h&i. I dont no O th@ but I do dmit 2 bein
a PERVERT (26/10. Pervert , v. late ME. [ad. F. pervertir, ad. L pervertere, f. PER-' 2, 3+ vertere to turn.] †1. To turn
upside down; to upset; to subvert – 1656. 2. To turn aside from its right course, aim, meaning, etc. late ME. †b. To divert
SHAKS. 3. trans. To turn (a person, the mind, etc.) away from right opinion or action; to lead astray; to corrupt. late ME. b.
spec. To turn (any one) aside from a right religious belief or system. late ME. c. intr. To become a pervert. late ME. ¶ 2.
They perverted the course of justice 1868. 3. How He [Satan] in the Serpent had perverted Eve, Her Husband shee MILT.
Hence †Pervert a.perverted. Pervert sb one who has been perverted or corrupted; an apostate. Perverter, one who perverts
(a person or thing). Pervertible a. capable of being perverted.). Piks in glossi magz, porno mooveez, TV romps,
Kileez bum, Delta Goodrem getn n ORGASM (26/10. Orgasm . 1684. [ad.mod.L. orgasmus, a. Gr. * δργάσμός,
f. δργάξζν to swell as with moisture, to be excited.] 1. Violent excitement of feeling; rage, fury; a paroxysm of excitement or
rage 1763. 2. Physiol. Excitement in an organ or part, accompanied with turgescence; spec. the height of venereal
excitement in coition 1684. Hence Orgastic a.) plain th piano whch r such tern onz 4 th nrml helthi ozzi ♂ (&
wer 4 mi wen I woz a teen) leev mi kold. My LIBIDO (8/9/06. hztakn r₤n ← kssv lokhol knsumshn
butz slole rkuvrn sns ¤vbn ON THE WAGON (2 munths)) (26/10. †Libidi nist . rare. 1628. [f. L. libidin-,
libidio lust + -IST.] A lecher – 1634. ¶ Lib idino us , a. 1447. [ad. L. libidinosus, f, as prec.; see –ous. Cf. F. libidineux.] 1.
Given to, full of, or characterized by lust; lustful, lecherous, lewd. †2. Provocative of lust, HOLLAND. Hence
†Libidi nosity , lustfulness. Lib idino usly adv., -ness .) rspondz 2 buteful streemz in gorjz & th kkazionl
sightn of th nxpktd vvd berd. (Gee, thanks. Next trip you can take one of those blow up plastic dolls and
I’ll stay home.) Th faisz (& faneez) of magzeen & flm starlts look plastk & their lmpd, soelfl (xpktnt?)
ize look vakuous. Yes! I m veri nromantk & so it seemz iz H.) → E (43kz) → main rode ↑N (61kz)
→Rolleston → NW (70kz) → Springsure (whr I stopt @ a grarj koz I koodnt find whr 2 fil ↑ wth
115
windskreen wiper H2O) ↑N (66kz) → Emerald (Tidy Town 1
st
prize 93); shopt up @ th
SUPERMARKT; red ppr & drank bad kofi & I 8 n hmbrgr; H rang Michael & heez OK (29/10. But when
we got back, he had been given bad news. The following letter, sent to his Continuing Care Team explains
the situation: Manager, ¶ Murnong and Chandler Continuing Care Team, ¶ Dear Mr Foster, ¶ My son ﺱﺫﺊטּמּפֿשּשּׁﭺכּﺗﺰﻉ
has recently informed me that he is required to pay $25 per month for medication to control his chronic schizophrenia.
ﺱﺫﺊטּמּפֿשּשּׁﭺכּﺗﺰﻉ ﺱﺫﺊטּמּפֿשּשּׁ-ﭺכּﺗﺰﻉ ﺱﺫﺊטּמּפֿשּשּׁﭺכּﺗﺰﻉ ﺱﺫﺊטּמּפֿשּשּׁﭺכּﺗﺰﻉ ﺱﺫﺊטּמּפֿשּשּׁﭺכּﺗﺰﻉ ﺱﺫﺊטּמּפֿשּשּׁﭺכּﺗﺰﻉ His government
pension of $580 per fortnight, including rent assistance, was covering his rent. However, the rent has recently risen to
$610 per fortnight. I am currently paying the difference until the possibility of more rent assistance (11/11. but thr znt
eni mor) can be arranged. Michael has no money to pay $25 a month for medication ﺱﺫﺊטּמּפֿשּשּׁﭺכּﺗﺰﻉ.The only way
Michael can have money in his pocket to pay for medication is if he goes to much cheaper accomodation. There is not
enough appropriate accomodation available, as Michael has already experienced. As you probably are aware, many
operators of supported accomodation are primarily concerned with the business not the service. It is my belief,
encouraged by the government through various advertising campaigns, public statements by the Minister etc., that
mentally ill people are entitled to live as safely and with as much dignity as any other citizen and this implies appropriate
and supportive accomodation. ¶ Michael was informed of this potentially deadly change to his circumstances by his case
worker, and had it confirmed by the pharmacy which supplies his medication. This seems to be an extremely irregular,
undocumented and possibly illegal way of informing clients of new circumstances which may have far-reaching
repercussions on their mental and physical health. He did not receive any official, written notification explaining this new
policy signed by you as the manager of the continuing care team. I am requesting on his behalf that such a letter be
forwarded to him immediately, with an explanation of why this change has occurred, and that a copy be forwarded to me
at the address provided on this letter. If I am to be made responsible for the supply of Michael’s medication I will need full
documentation for taxation and any other legal purposes. ¶ May I pose this hypothetical question? Suppose that Michael
had not been able to tell me of this occurrence due to my absence from Melbourne, or death, or hospitalization from a
stroke with subsequent inability to respond (I am 63 and these things do happen) Michael would not have had access to
his medication because he would have had no money. Who is responsible for ensuring that he would have received his
medication under those circumstances? Who should have known that he was unable to afford the medication? What is
the duty of care of your service to provide medication for those people you case-manage who have no money to pay
because they are on a fixed pension which may not even cover their rent, leave alone normal living expenses such as
clothing, toiletries and necessary travel to medical appointments, pharmacies etc.? (7/11. n orl H spndz O $8000/yeer soe
Michael kan liv wth n mnmum f dgnti (13/11. much mor ths yeer koz n mowthfl f teeth needd fixn wch f heed gon n th
waetn list wood hav 4ln out b4 hiz tern kaem n 2½ yeerz tiem)) ¶ I understand that you may have reasons for the new
regimen. You will understand that as Michael’s mother I am the person who experiences the full impact of Michael’s
decline from stability if it happens, and as a result I have a keen on-going interest in his physical, mental and financial
circumstances. I wonder what may happen to all those mentally ill patients who have no-one to monitor their welfare
(7/11. Big Dave (th merkn hooz dad haz werkt wth th dsdvntjd orl hiz lief) woz bak n Miller st 2 pae n vzit larst week. ♂ sez
n th mieti US of A th vraj lief kspktnsi f n hoemls man 1s ♂ z n th streetz z 3 yeerz (O th saem z 4 n polsh dportee →
SIBERIA x STALIN). Bob & Bev (Joez K8eez gr&prnts) sor meni hoemls men n thr 1
st
vzit → New York but 0 n th 2
nd
. Thei
maed nkwiereez but noe1 kood tel thm (r seem 2 kair) whr thei had gon. (12/11. n Melb thei r goen 2 poot em → bordn
hausz 4 th juraeshn f th kmnwlth gaemz.)) when they cannot afford their medication. Perhaps the government can build
more bridges for them to sleep under or employ more policemen to control them (3/11. x shootn sum of em ded) when
they become a social nuisance. ¶ I have asked my solicitor to sign this letter as witness that it has been written. I would
appreciate your keeping it on file in case of future correspondence. ¶ Yours sincerely…. The letter was only sent
because of the run-around I got from Chandler House where numerous phone calls trying to speak to
someone who could explain the situation and clarify Michael’s worries ended in failure. Here is a record,
written at the time, of the rigmarole: Thursday, 22/9/05. Following is the account of my communication with
Chandler and Murnong concerning Michael’s ability to pay $25 per month for his anti-psychotic medication. I learnt of the
issue from Michael when I saw him on Sunday 18/9/05 after 2½ months absence from Melbourne on long service leave.
¶Tuesday, 20/9/05: rang Chandler House to speak to Michael’s case-worker, Glennis, about the issue. Explained my
concern to the receptionist. Told by receptionist that Glennis was sick, but would be back tomorrow (Wednesday). Left my
mobile number and receptionist said that Glennis would call me on Wednesday. ¶ Wednesday, 21/9/05: There was no
message on my mobile so rang Chandler House again. I know that case-workers are very busy and may have
unexpected emergencies to deal with which could delay a call back. Asked to speak to Glennis and was told by the
receptionist that she was on Long Service Leave and would not be back until November. Asked to be put through to
someone who would be dealing with Michael. Was told that Glennis’ cases had not yet been allocated but was put
through to a male who gave me his name, which I failed to write down and cannot remember because by this stage I was
becoming distressed and angry at what seemed to me to be “buck passing”. The man I told of my concerns was
sympathetic but said that it was out of his hands because his level of decision making was not the level on which these
decisions are made. I asked him who I needed to talk to. He told me that Gavin Foster was the director of services and
gave me a phone number (9871 3988) where he believed Mr Foster was working that day. When I rang (Murnong centre)
and asked to speak with him, identifying myself as Michael Smith’s mother, the receptionist put me on hold for a while and
then told me that Mr Foster was on a two day in-service, but would be back at Chandler House on Thursday, his in-
service having been on Tuesday and Wednesday. ¶ Thursday, 22/9/05: Rang Chandler House and asked to speak to Mr
Foster. Was told he was unavailable, but if I left my number he would ring me back. As I was in a public phone booth I
declined the offer and said that I would send him a letter about the issue instead. I then asked for his official title as I
needed to address the letter correctly so that if would definitely find him. The receptionist said that she didn’t know his
official title and that she would put me through to someone who did. I was connected to the message bank of someone
who asked me to leave a message. Since I didn’t know who the person was or if and when she would be of any
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assistance, I hung up and redialled Chandler House, informing the receptionist that the person she put me through to was
unavailable. She then gave me Mr Foster’s official title: Manager, Murnong and Chandler Continuing Care Team,
Chandler House, 16-18 Albert St., Upper Ferntree Gully. ¶ I still don’t know if this title is correct, given the confusion
my simple requests (to speak to someone who knew the facts; to know to whom to direct correspondence) seemed to
have caused. I have written my letter explaining my concerns, and will have it witnessed by my solicitor next Tuesday
27/9/05. I will then send it by registered mail. I know that it will find the location but I wonder whether it will find the person.
If the title is wrong it may sit in an in-tray somewhere until it is covered in dust. Perhaps I will never get an answer.
However I am a determined person and will keep knocking until someone opens up. ¶ Tuesday 27/9/05. Had letter read
by solicitor who was happy to sign it and suggested sending copies to as many organizations as I could think of, including
Tony Abbott and Bronwyn Pike, and to one of his good friends who is local member for Doncaster. Also rang Mental
Illness Fellowship where I was asked to send a copy, and it was suggested I also send a copy to SANE Australia. ¶ So far
I have sent letters to: Gavan Foster of Murnong and Chandler Continuing Care Team; Kevin Andrews (8/9/07. u ned r
long slvr spoon), MP for Doncaster; Bronwyn Pike, State Health Minister and member for Melbourne; Mental Illness
Fellowship; SANE Australia. ¶ Monday 3/10/05. Rang Dennis (Michael’s landlord) about Michael’s $30 per fortnight rent
supplement and mentioned my concerns about the $25 medication fee. He says it has been put in place by Maroondah
Hospital!! ¶ About 5pm Barbara Hocking from SANE Australia rang me – she has heard that another hospital is doing the
same. She was most helpful and gave me more names for my letter list: Christopher Pyne, Parliamentary Undersecretary
for Health, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT who is Tony Abbott’s offsider; Dr. Ruth Vine, Director of Mental Health,
Department of Human Services, 555 Collins St. She also suggested copies for both the Federal and State members for
the electorate covering Bayswater, since they are Michael’s electoral representatives. Have to get on the Internet
tomorrow and find out who they are. She says the federal member is Peter Costello’s parliamentary undersecretary. She
has a meeting with the Democrats on Sunday and promises to bring it to the attention of Lyn Allison who is on a senate
committee inquiring into mental health at the moment. After a few days, I decided to ring the pharmacy where
Michael gets his medication and find out if they knew what was going on. The person who answered the
phone said that it was the hospital that informed them of the change through a flyer which she faxed to
me at my request. It had no organizational name, phone number or signature of an authorizing person on
it, just the news that each script would now cost $4 (Michael gets a month’s supply at a time - wonder
where the $25 fits in.) Her comment was that the whole situation with medication was “a dog’s
breakfast”. She then looked up some paperwork the pharmacy had and informed me that Michael was on
the exempt list! I was pleased to hear that, but also really angry that the case-worker had given Michael
incorrect information which had caused him stress. I also felt foolish as the letters I had sent were factually
incorrect and therefore less likely to be acknowledged or answered. So far I have had one response – from
Kevin Andrews who has passed on the information to Tony Abbott (30/10. n The Age 2day (p16) he sed
“I have perhaps an overdeveloped sense of duty and service, thanks to the Jesuits and
my dad.”) and who promises to inform me of his reply if it happens. I have still (16/11/05) heard nothing
from Chandler House (16/11 but today I received a letter from Bronwyn Pike, Minister for Health: “The Chief
Psychiatrist has responsibility under the Mental Health Act for persons receiving treatment and care for a mental illness
and his office can be contacted by telephone on 9616 7571 if you wish to discuss the matter further. I am advised that the
Chief Psychiatrist is following up on your concerns with Eastern Health and will be responding directly to you.”), not even
a courtesy phone call. It speaks volumes about the shambolic state of mental health services in Victoria
(3/11. but th prpraeshn 4 th kmnwlth gaemz r n shduel & soez th ljslaeshn th@ wil llow ppl 2 b Md &
dsntn pnion 2 b sprst & mor il ppl 2 b put → streets z thei r n th US of A).) & sh had a txt msj ← K8
teln mi 2 reed mi msj bank but I dont no how 2) ↑N & a litl bit ←W (190kz) → Here (w r on th wai 2
Charters Towers & hav kampt in skrub a few kz off th hiway nxt 2 a staishn rode. 0 karz hav gon x & 0
wil durin th nite. Th erth & skrub r tpkli arid but th air streem (← pacifk) iz humid & warm & it iz drizln.
On th wai w drove past a pair of bustardz on th rode verj. It iz a rleef 2 b way from th kamprz & thr
kidz & thr geer.) 4got 2 mnshn th@ H iz limpn 2dai wth th smorlst toze on her rite foot plain ↑ & it
looks like ♀ mite luze th nail on her rite big toe 2 bruzin.
(2/9/07. Completion of Tuesdays from folder 6 (nos. 52 – 61 of anthology))
26/7 /05 ( Tropika - 1 (no 62)). 8.10am @ th ‘early birds coffee shop’ (wer u kan get n
reel good (n rairiti 4 us so far n QLD) x2 (or x3 th prprietr sed) shot) in Mission Beach wch lredi had
kustmrz nt @ 7am. Tz good 2 c H get th HoWARd stuff off her chest (22/11/07. & ns@rda ♀l babl
2vot ♂m (27/11/07. He’s gone! Lost the election and almost certainly his seat. Hooray!)) Tz my bleef
th@ if th ‘koalishn-of-th-wiln’ had bn jnuin n goin → iraq 2 ridtv Saddam & 2 nstorl dmokrasi
(500,000+ troops wood hav bn rkwired soze not 2 dpnd n th trdshnl klonialst mthdv prmotin 1
fakshn V nuthr) w woodnt hav bn so dspized x th muslm & arb O. & wile greein th@ zraelz
ntgriti shood b grnteed x th west (7/12. not th@t woodr shoodb trustd x em) (…6.10pm. bkoz
urope z owin. 2 werk out how much rl@vli th zraileez ow → plastinianz, th plastinianz ow → ainshnt
juze, th yanx ow → redndianz, karmon-ozeez-karmon ow → brjneez: dvide 4000 x th no v yeerz th 1
st
haz dspozst th 2
nd
but 2 werk out how much th ropianz ow th juze 4 th HOLOKORST n dfrnt 4mula
haz 2 b uzed (nsdntli th lithoze hav kalkul8d th xkt no v 000,000,000zv rooblz th rus ow thm from th
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soviet daze)) x alinin ourslvz wth th US kmtmnt wthout n full db8 or n voet ont n oz w hav
nvolvd ourslvz n th midl eestrn & muslm poltkl ajndazv th US & Britn (wth its lgasiov n klonial
parst n th E ) & n thr termz wen thr woz no need 4 us 2 b nvlvd @ orl. I c n The Courier-Mail
th@ Jean de Menezes woznt gund ↓ ftr b-n vrpowrd & held ↓ n th gO z rportd x n wtns but shot x5
(27/7/05. (9am) now thei sai x8: 1 n th sholdr & 7 n th hed) n th “head at close range after he
reportedly ignored a command to stop.” Twood hav bn =i llgl if ♂ had bn n trrrst & kowntrprdktv
z n pprtuniti 2 gathr vdens wood hav bn lost. If w kum 2 rvew our shift → FASCISM ths evnt wil b cn 2
hav bn n sgnfknt markr. Larst nite w left th bote ramp meedi8li ftr setn ↑ bkoz w ds¤° thr woz no wai
w wood b abl 2 rgue our wai outv th no 10ts sine wch woz kleerli rlso aimd @ vanz z u woodnt b abl 2
↑ n 10t n ashfelt niwai. So w drove th 8 or so kz 2 th karparkv th Licuala → wer rlier w had cn a larj
van parkt wth kertnz drorn. Twoz stil thr & faint muzik & drumz wer kumn ← t z w doezd off. Thnt
startd pisn ↓ & stil mindfulv MI DREEM & lsov our neiborz hoo wer kleerliv th vriati hoo sleep orl dai &
plai drumz etc etc orl nite w left @ 12.30am ← bote ramp wer w nue th tied had peekt z w had kwierd
n TIDE CHART durin th dai. 3+ meetr tiedz r sumptn 2 bhold & skairi but w nue w wer saif. I got ↑ @
dorn & woke H not wishn 2 bothr lokl thorteez eevn tho th ramp z dminstrd x THE STATE not th
kownsl. Tiem 4 n KRAP …. (7.15) mucked around finding possible spots to sleep for tonight (found 2),
then went on the Kennedy Track (7.8ks return) which was very attractive, going through a variety of
habitats (jungle, mangrove, beach, rocks) south from South Mission boat ramp to Kennedy Bay, 2ks from
the mouth of the Hull River. Though the day was overcast it was very pleasant. Discovered my toes arent
arthritic, but infested by 2 corns, one on each toe, rubbing together. Got corn plasters at South Mission
Beach pharmacy – oh, the indignities of age! No sign of a crocodile or a cassowary yet. Are they mythical
creatures thought up by Q’land Tourist Bureau for the benefit of giving tourists a frisson of fear? John and I
are weighing up the possibilities of going on a $50/head evening boat trip up a creek which is guaranteed,
according to the brochure, to put crocs on display. We have to work out if that’s cheating. I m drinkn RUM
& KOKE gain & kntnue reedn The Walk wth plezure & wth n sensv th riterz frjlti, soldariti wth hz
vewz, & soro 4 hz prdkmnt & failyr 2 find n ● n th O (& so I rkmnd WrAoLbSeErRt →
KABArIaLsAaITĖ (c Vilnius (no 2) p 10 & Vilnius → Melbourne pp 9-12) n lithol& (kcept ♂
probli haznt bn trnzl8d →2 litho (22/11/07. but ♀ kn m njr·) z shz ntrstd n helpn lesn th prolbmzv
thoezn = situashnz (but praps 4 sum thrz no ● (14/12. c 11/8/02 – 21/8/02 p 11) & thei knot b
helpt ksept x kindnss)). Meenwile Hz reedn NEW IDEA. He can’t get over the fact that I’m a lowbrow at
heart. (2/12. He often asks me why I read mags like this – my only explanation is that it’s a girl-thing).
Fnsht reedn The Walk. I kn c why u rkmmddt → mi, thanx (8/9/07. hz lnt me 2 mor Robert
Walser 4 owr nkst trip (22/11/07. ¤v bkum nowt&owt fan & hv 2 mor nordr thru
www.amazon.com )).
2/8/05. 5.50pm & ^n stedli. Th soundv waivz braikn, ntrmitnt hevi ^, gustsv wind shaikn
H2O off th vrhangn branchz ↓ roofv th van rite thru th nite trigrd meni dreemz 0v wch I rmmbr n dtail. I
woz wuriin O our shortjv drinkn H2O & 1drn O th 10kzv rode ←2 Bramston Beach. But t held up wel
b-n s&i & ftr n → ths mornn w → Babinda. I 1td H 2 c t bkoz I had liektt so much wen I woz heer 8
yeerz goe (7/12. soe now ie kwoet 2 letrz ← GULF TRIP: “DUGONG FACING EXTINCTION
13.09.97. ¶ Doktor, there is an argument going on the radio at the moment, I am told, whether
Babinda or Tully is the wettest town in Australia. Last year it was Innisfail which is between the two.
Doesn’t matter: the footpaths on the main street of Babinda are wide and its all under verandah. I am
writing this at a sidewalk table and should be able to report on the hamburger later. The sugar cane
train cuts across the main street every 5 minutes only 50 yards away. It goes to the crushing factory
which is the main employer here. The factory is huge, a ‘satanic mill’, or something transported or
deposited here from east Germany or Slovakia. I checked it out this morning. It has a main stack
belching out a continuous churning cloud of steam and various other vents in the building huff and
puff smaller clouds at intervals. IT’S BEAUTIFUL. It is responsible for this being a normal town. NOT
A RESORT. Unlike Palm Cove, Trinity Beach, Port Douglas. I havent seen a single person wearing
gym boots with white socks. And there are half-castes here. No town in QLD looks right to me now if
it hasn’t got its aborigines. In bigger towns like Mareeba they occupy the public areas from early
morning and boy have they got style! The sneers on their faces, their resentment of the white man’s
dollar, their enslavement to alcohol marks their faces and their entire physiques with character. It
ensures that their emotional lives are intense and contributes to their beauty. How insipid the
TOURISTS of the RESORTS look by comparison. Coming into BABINDA after a string of pretentious
coastal resorts restores my self-confidence. People don’t stare at me as if I am from another planet
just because I am not neat and clean. Municipal authorities don’t try to hound me into caravan parks
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that in Port Douglas are choked with tourists at $15/night (14/12. now tz $25 4n npowrd siet). In the
resorts the owners of the parks are councillors and they spend their meetings nutting out strategies
to force you into their parks whether you like it or not. There are only 5 of us in a spacious municipal
park here and its FREE. It says you can stay for 2 nights but the guy who puts in the toilet rolls says
you can prop indefinitely. The rolls arent under lock and key. And yes, there is a shower there
although I prefer to use the beautiful stream that runs along one boundary which is running well as
you would expect in the wettest part of Australia; and the water is crystal clear. There is a guy in the
park with his wife and 2 kids and he has a huge gut and I think they might be roadies. A bloke Ive
been talking to has a crippled leg and a cockatoo that talks in his caravan (I thought it was his wife at
first) which is 30 years old and that will outlive him he says but he will pass it on to his granddaughter
in Dubbo, he says, cause she likes it. He had an old navy blue falcon and its UNREGISTERED and
his caravan is held together only by the rust and the peeling paintwork. He cant move for the time
being. He has a dog too. He knows all the free parks (including one not far away near Tully) and he
NEVER pays. You got to respect a guy like that. Last night I was yacking to a german cyclist who had
earlier asked me where you pay to be here. He has been cycling for 12 months around the country
and taken about 3000 photos for his art work. Both of us have spent the morning in the township
checking it out separately but comparing notes when we meet. We appear to share a common
attitude to tourist resorts. I gave him a coconut for his tea last night as he cant carry them on his bike.
(Ive got a weeks supply in the car). He spent a lot of time in ‘A.C. Mellick Draper and Mercer’ which is
a kind of opportunity shop. He is riding back to Cairns this arvo because tomorrow night he is going
to a ‘Midnight Oil’ concert. You should see the pub here; it has a cigarette vending machine covered
in rust and which looks 100 years old. There are two pinball machines; poker machines where you
can play 1c at a time by putting in $1 for 100 credits. Its walls are covered with film promo posters as
old as the ones in the Hollywood Palace (27/11/07. ¤ ' Ot 10/12/99: “CULTURE VULTURES ¶
Well here we are on a week day at 10.30 a.m at the Hollywood Palace, Bridge Rd. Richmond,
and I've got a hamburger ($3.50) for breakfast. ¶ Andrew had said : "Let's meet at the
Hollywood Palace. You know where it is?" I didn't. "You don't know the Hollywood Palace! It's
an institution. Open 24 hours a day 365 days a year. You've got to go. It's a cultural icon. You'll
like it. You want to come too Daniau? You know the Palace." He did. "Course I know it. That's
where if you say don't put any chillies in the hamburger you get nothing else on it except
chillies." ¶ So I examine mine carefully. "Plenty of bacon and plenty of onion" I'd ordered, cos I
love fried onion. The greek behind the counter had not managed to suppress a look of hatred.
Well ... there is plenty of diced lettuce and I find one very tiny piece of soggy bacon but no
fried onion at all though there may be a couple of uncooked slivers mixed in with the lettuce. I
still give it 7/10 cos it is juicy and the bun is toasted. On reflection I think I must've got
overcome by the ambience (mod for mood) of the place and have since marked it down to 3/10.
¶ "The Palace" is classic late 50's not because its been got to by the interior decorators but
because its in its original state. Furniture is a row of wood & vinyl bench seats and tables each
with individual jukebox catalogue attached to pastel blue wall. The jukebox works too. Posters
of a young Elvis with slicked back hair (before he got fat & kinky) and Marilyn in a high wind
(& other poses) are yellowing with age. There are snooker tables out back where the walls are
covered with heaps more pinups. The three of us and one other customer are outnumbered by
the staff (owners?) who are all archetypal greeks. In fact they look more greek than Zorba and
that includes the fat slob who's dyed his hair blond. You probably don't find greeks like this in
Greece, not since the 50's anyway. Apart from the one in a shitty mood behind the counter the
others are sitting about, elbows on tables with their chins cupped in the palms of their hands,
looking infinitely bored; they'd seen it all before. Or maybe they look that way cos they're
finishing off a 24 hour shift. Some music comes on, Andrew points at the flip-catalogue - the
songs are all greek. ¶ When I finish the hamburger and Danius & Andrew finish marking some
exam presentations we head out into the street in the direction of Pinacotheca gallery for more
culture. That's the other reason why we'd come, to check out Faustas's sculptures. We pass a
clothes shop. ¶ "Hey have a look here! Andrew! Get a load of the leopard spot jacket with the
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leather cuffs and hem. You'd look great in that. We should get it for the 'coming out'." ¶ "Petras
has just bought a pair of leather pants. They'd go with them." ¶ "Boy! with the bald pate, the
leather daks, and the jacket he'd turn heads in Chapel Street. Can you imagine it. The boys
drinking wine at the window seats in the bars would be cheering him on." ¶ "They'd be
moaning with frustration." ¶ "He'd love that you know." ¶ "Are they the shiny kind?" ¶ "Don't
know, he never said. Maybe they're brushed." ¶¶ And so we arrive at the gallery. ¶¶ A lady in
black hair and dress meets us at reception. She looks refined, her make-up is cleopatra style.
Perhaps she's a priestess from the temple of Isis. We peer through the doorway into a gothic hall
filled with muted light from high up. The exposed beams of the roof are supported by massive
oak columns. And sure enough, here and there placed about at random on a grey stone floor,
sometimes on pedestals, are assorted ob-jet-darts. We enter in awe, speaking in hushed tones.
Closer inspection of the darts reveals them to be sacred objects of worship fashioned out of
heavy chunks of red hard-wood. A Sarcophagus; Passage of Scripture II & III ( $750 & $3000
respectively) - chunks of wood, finely chiselled in part, interspersed with large sections left au
naturel and covered in mysterious runes put there perhaps by the mythic forebears of slavic,
lithuanian and germanic tribes; a Trilithon (a la Stonehenge); a Goddess, that looks like a
christening font and is the only piece made out of light coloured wood (Stringy bark, $1,800);
there is a Tomb; an Arch, that looks as if it's designed as a doorway into a temple ( in a sacred
grove of ancient oaks?); and more. ¶¶ "Didn't realise he was so religious." ¶ "Yep, he's got
religion alright." ¶ "Ain't christian though, it's older, this is going back to the tree worshippers."
¶ "Yair, spot on. Not a cross in sight here, no angels, no bleeding hearts. No devils for that
matter." ¶ "No nuns, no bishops, no popes." ¶ "Who's the dude with the jug ears. I've seen one
like him at litho house. Taken it apart and put him together again." ¶ "It's the same one. He calls
it India." ¶ "Look at the FN workmanship. It's FN awesome. Doesn't use power tools. It's all FN
done with a FN chisel." ¶ "He's probably in a trance when he's doing these. Singing hymns
while he's chipping away." ¶ "Or FN folk songs." ¶ "What's with the religious bit? He never
talks about it." ¶ "Fell offa horse on the road to Vilnius. Went blind for awhile. Hasn't been the
same since." ¶ "Shhh! We've got a visitor. Look at that FN c… of a prick! What a dickhead!" ¶¶
Sure enough a connorsewer had entered. You could tell he was an art fart by the Dr Who scarf
wrapped round his neck and the jumper with the leather elbow patches. Not to mention the cord
trousers, the beret, and the way he was holding the catalogue. Art farts hold things like
catalogues, cigarettes and wine glasses in a special way with their little finger sticking out like
they're about to stab you with it. ¶ "D'ya reckon that c is a FN fart critic? Faustas may be about
to become world famous." ¶ "Or a FN buyer. That's the FN price list he's got. If he gets FN rich
he might let us stay at his FN place in FN litholand when we go there next year for FN nothing.
He owns a FN house there you know." ¶ "He's leaving. Shit! he didn't hang around very long.
Maybe he's not into FN religion." ¶¶ As we too are leaving Faustas himself appears as if by
magic accompanied by a venerable druid seer who turns out to be his 91 year old grandfather.
He shakes our hands. ¶ "See you Thursday mate. Next week. At Joni's." ¶¶ We're in Bridge Rd.
saying little. Danius heads for the Renault. Andrew's putting on his crash helmet; he cycles to
work. I go back to the Hollywood Palace to read my paper. Marilyn is still ever so modestly
trying to keep her skirt from billowing over her head. I buy a coffee and a fruit juice but can't
concentrate on the print. Thoughts drift lazily, haphazardly. I think about citadels of culture ...
Elvis's hairdo ... temples of worship, sacred and profane ... where can I pray? Someone puts on
a song and it's not in greek. 'Sweet Little Sixteen.' I hear a voice behind me say "Chuck
Berry".”). It has a barmaid who is a bit of a hard tart but she’s still a looker. In the resorts they hire
pretty people who are often foreign tourists themselves or who look as if they have a degree in the
visual arts. There is a BARBER SHOP here, not a ‘hair dresser’ or a ‘hair stylist’. There is a picture
theatre with old fashioned billboards that look just like the one I used to go to in Sale in Gippsland
120
when I was a kid. ‘Con Air’ is showing with John Cage and Nicholas Cusack. Quite a few of the
shopfronts are empty and have ‘To Let’ signboards in them but apparently the towns population is
increasing. Problem is that its only 60ks from Cairns and 30 from Innisfail and people like to drive to
a supermarket for their shopping even though every other kind of shop is here in the single main
street, even a bicycle repair shop which also sells some fresh fruit and has a small lending library of
paperbacks. Its run by a 91 year old woman who still does some of the repairs herself; shes had the
shop since 1948. She has a kid come in for the harder repairs. I think she cant be bothered getting
rid of her old papers and magazines as about ½ th cubic space of the shop is taken up by them and
they are covered in half a century of dust and grime. The guy who runs the hardware shop next door
(one of two in town) assures me she does do business with the cycling kids of the town. I went to the
hardware shop because I had to buy some thin string to hang my pack off the ground on the
Hinchinbrook walk as the very same rodents that gnaw holes through coconuts will also gnaw right
through a tent or a backpack if they can smell food inside. Goannas are also a problem they say. I
am a bit apprehensive as a 7-day pack is my limit and assumes I don’t have to carry water but a
woman I met today tells me that the streams can be dry at this time forcing walkers to carry water on
the way. Maybe I was too ambitious by making my arrangements for a week. They only let 40
campers on the island at any one time and the waiting time can be up to 6 months so I was lucky to
get on at all. For $100 it’s a cheap walk ($20 to parks, $38 for Cardwell ferry, $35 for Lucinda ferry
and back to car at Cardwell). Ive just had the hamburger, mate, and it was huge; $3.70 with the lot;
the bun came from the baker 3 doors away (right next to the sugar cane trainline); I recognized it
cause I bought ½ doz. buns there this morning to replenish my own supplies. I enclose the paper
serviette which came with it as a present for lil chile. Ive underlined BABINDA in red on the map that
is on it. I suggest he keep it for his geog assignment as little kids always have to learn the wettest
towns in Australia. Now tell me, can you think of a better thing to do than eat a truly great hamburger
in BABINDA, with the cane trains choofing by every 5 minutes on a sultry tropical day surrounded by
mountains covered in lush tropical vegetation, and everyone who walks by nodding and saying hullo?
When I told the lady in the clothes shop she said “that’s a nice thing to say”. Or would you prefer to
sun-bake at Palm Cove (tourism is full of ‘coves’) and then have a glass of wine with your gourmet
foccaccia at the beach front boutique restaurant; in the evening, dinner by candlelight overlooking the
‘plage’? This morning I walked right around the outskirts of BABINDA looking at the gardens. I have
become infatuated by the aromas of the tropical jungle (Cape Trib.) and I kept sniffing the flowers
that hang across the fences. If Lyn really does decide to grow an aromatic garden as she said I think
she will be demonstrating that she is prepared to live with a substitute that is awfully inferior to the
real thing. And I guess she knows what the real thing is because don’t they have a tropical jungle in
Sychelles where you guys have been on holidays? Ive changed my attitude to gardens – better than
waste time on an imitation, go to the real thing. Nevertheless I did walk past a grapefruit tree near the
crushing mill and it smelt great as all citrus trees do; I suppose they grow better in Melbourne than
here as its too wet here for them really. There was an elderly woman working in the garden of the
parish church whom I judged to be a nun in civvies as there is a convent nearby and she had an irish
accent. The church and the parish and the convent are called St Ritas. St Rita was an Italian mother
of two sons. When their father was murdered the sons swore to spend their lives searching for the
killer to avenge the father. Their mother prayed that they would not take a human life in vengeance
and they didn’t as both died in the next year or two anyway. So she joined a convent, Augustine I
think, where she spent the rest of her life and where she “saw Jesus often” according to the nun. It
seemed sad to me that the nun should live a cloistered life in the hope of “seeing Jesus” when,
according to her own beliefs, she is going to ‘see him’ after she dies anyway. Or is she not so sure of
the afterlife? The altar of the church is very plain, like a protestant church. I felt grateful to have the
opportunity to pray for everyone but especially (as always) for my derelict and god-forsaken son –
Luke. It is the unfairness of Luke’s situation that has turned Helen into an atheist. God, religion, does
he exist or not, these are non-issues as far as Im concerned. Boring stuff. On the way out I crossed
myself with the holy water from the font; I wanted to physically assert my membership of the
community of worshippers, however oblique or distant it be. Tourist buses do drive down the main
street of Babinda on their way to the Babinda Boulders 5 kilometres away. Q.L.D. is full of tourist
buses. They have sold their souls to that industry. But I guess that tomorrow (or later today) I’ll go
and have a look at them myself. There is a beach to the east of here that tourists also go to. Why do
they find those kind of ‘things’ more interesting than this kind of town? Strange and I don’t know the
answer. Its lucky for me but, and its FREE! ¶ P.S.¶ 1. St Rita lived in the 14
th
Century. ¶ 2. There is a
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‘Hair Stylist and Studio’ for women in the main street (just noticed).¶ 3. There is a sporting and
recreation area (polo club, rugby field, and more) which is very well maintained and provides an
alternative place for me to prop just as I sometimes do in ‘recreation reserves’ in Victoria. ‘Resorts’
are woefully short of such amenities except for the golf course that invariably goes for miles. ¶ 4.
There is a hospital here and a library and an Olympic length swimming pool. Towns of this size hardly
ever have a full length pool I was told. There is probably no amenity missing except a supermarket of
the modern style. ¶ There are some dark skinned asian people here including the family that own the
shop. They might be part aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders. The people in this shop are beautifully
gracious in their manner. Compare that to the Brunswick Street jargon of ‘enjoy’ or ‘bon appetit’.¶ a
…z”. & “15.09.97 McDonalds BEFORE THE FLOOD ¶ Doktore, at the risk of interrupting your
train of thought (but then its so long since I last writ ya) I want you to imagine a tropical night where
the temperature is neither hot nor cold but just ‘shorts and singlet’ right. You are conscious that out in
the night there is a cloud capped mountain overlooking the town – Mt Bartle Frere, the highest peak
in Q.L.D. You are in a main street flanked by wide footpaths covered by a continuous veranda on
both sides of the strip. A hundred yards away or so to your left you can see a group of people, mostly
young (Torres Strait, or Kanaka types) seated at sidewalk tables outside the ‘Snacks and Eatery’
joint. More precisely you are standing in the doorway of the pub. It is BABINDA. You are holding a
stubby of XXXX in your hand. The rain is teeming down. Its perfect except for one thing: its not you
but me that’s out there and I don’t have to imagine it because I was there last night and will be again
tonight. So it goes! This morning I was talking to a guy from Cairns at the free Council run caravan park I am at which
says you can prop for 48 hours but the council worker says it can be forever. Anyway this dude confirmed many of the
impressions Id already formed for myself. The caravan park owners association are trying to close down a similar place to
this 40ks north of here at Gordonvale. Apparently they are good at conscripting the media and local politicians. They target
several of these rest areas each year and if they succedd in closing one then they target the one next door the following
year. The Councils are resisting them and an association of campervan owners is also learning how to mount a campaign.
But the park owners are very powerful here as QLD, especially north of Cairns, is run by the tourist industry. Park owners
often become councillors too. At Gordonvale they were coming into the rest areas with cameras and photographing
everyone there each day and if you were there more than the 48 hours official limit they were taking the photos to the
council officials and demanding that they kick you out. It is worth remembering that these council run rest areas were in
existence long before the tourist industry took over and before the private caravan parks were even set up. Same thing
happens at ends of wharves, favourite propping spots for me. The wharves are usually run by port authorities who build
them and who couldn’t give a shit where you spend the night especially as they are far away in the main city of the region.
But at Daintree village the local private caravan park owner came over and pretended that he had the authority to make me
shift. So as not to rock the boat I shifted to the public area by the council chambers – there was nowhere else (20/12. but
c Tropica - 2). The more of a resort a place is the more this sort of thing holds true – and remember, in Q.L.D. the
forestry admin tell you that you cant camp in state forest, the opposite to the way it is in other states. It is in ways like this
that the tourist industry corrupts whatever it touches. I bet that the week that I am spending on Hinchinbrook Island in the
near future for an all up cost of $100 will cost triple that amount after the fancy resort is built there that the greenies are
trying to stop unsuccessfully (apparently there are dugong in the seagrass that is being damaged by the building). German
backpackers will be more than happy to pay $300 as at that rate it will still seem cheap to them. So it goes! This
morning I went to the roadside ‘serve yourself’ fruit stall where I had bought a paw paw for
50cents yesterday. It was delicious. Ive discovered that tropical fruit has to be eaten soon
after its picked if you are to get the subtle taste. After storage much of the taste is gone
even though the texture is retained. When you come here, try a caimito, especially the
purplish variety. Anyway the guy who runs the stall arrived and he was anxious I try his
bananas as he was interested in my verdict, so I had to eat a plantain banana (starchy,
good for cooking, and the normal one used in Africa etc where they always cook em) then
he got me to eat one of his cavendish bananas (the normal commercial variety here) which
is very sweet and finally I had to eat one of the new goldfinger variety which has recently
come here from Honduras. Then because he didn’t have a small paw paw he gave me a
cantelope sized one which he said was perfect to eat today. He grows all his fruit
organically and wouldn’t take more than 50cents for the lot even though I know he sells the
large paw paws for $2 each. Great for me as I wont be able to take any fruit onto
Hinchinbrook Island because of the weight seeing as my 7-day pack is about as much as I
can carry anyway. That’s the kind of friendliness Ive come to take for granted. What I want
to stress to you, Doktore, is that this is not a case of me seeing everything at BABINDA
122
through rose-coloured glasses simply because I am in a good mood (14/12. but now iem c-n vrithn
thruen glars darkli & 1drn ftz th O r just mi. DRUaMlMeOcND sezn such kaesz flap yor rmz reel farst
& f u flie wae u no yor dreemn.) Every traveller Ive talked to keeps referring to the friendliness
of the people in the town. That seems to be why the others are in the council park here with
me, although the fact that its free helps. Now when I bought a cup of coffee for $2.75 at a
sidewalk table in Port Douglas where each table had a sort of lantern on it the girl there was
very nice too. But youd have to be dead to human values if you couldn’t pick the difference in
the kind of ‘niceness’ and there was no discount. Port Douglas has won the tidy towns award and
private camp accomodation for an unpowered site is $15 and it is not a feel good place for the
likes of me. I don’t cultivate the tidy look so favoured by the Japs at all. Not that the Japs are
highly visible there; they hang out at special resort accomodation within the resort and get
ferried about in buses from which they are not allowed to get off for more than a few minutes
at a time anyway. When they are on the golf course you cant see them because they is so far
away – the course goes on forever. Things are glitzy and cheap in an expensive kind of way at
Port Douglas. So it goes! I have written these notes at Bramston Beach which is a nice spot
but am going back to Babinda tonight because I want another session at the pub and
because I intend to buy a hamburger if Ive got any room left after Ive eaten the paw
paw. I have to eat the paw paw today as tomorrow I am going to Cardwell from where
the ferry takes me to Hinchinbrook and between here and Cardwell (near Mission Beach)
they confiscate all fruit because of the papaya fly controls. Hope they don’t spot the
weeks supply of coconuts Ive got hidden behind the plastic boxes. I don’t know if
coconuts grow south of here. Also tonight from BABINDA Im ringing home to wish Joe a
happy birthday and to talk to Helen. I know they are all together as its his 21
st
. Truth and
Justice! A …Z. ¶ p.s. regards to Rudi, Lynne, and Danny Casminus in case he doesn’t get
the card Ive sent him. ¶ p.s. don’t know if Ill be able to take a walk on the beach as there
is a gale blowing and intermittent showers.”). 0 much haz chainjd & th FREE kownsl kampn
parkz stil FREE. W ddnt → th Boulders or Josephine Falls ← Innisfail bkoz th hevi & kntnuous drizl
maidt mposbl 2 evn c th mountinz. @ Babinda w → th main st & browzd n th op-shop. ← nInnisfail w
rpeetd ystrdeez rooteen dzined 2 filn th dai juern wcht ddnt stop ^n 4n mnit. Red th ppr n n dfrnt kofi
shop wer I paid $4.00 4n x2 shot l@é. Shoptn COLES SUPERMARKT wer, thanx2 th talian nfluens,
u kan get reel SALAMI (cacciatore, veneto, sorpressa) & CIABATTA bred (uthrwiez u hav 2 eet taistls
OZZIOZZIOZZI (14/12. OIOIOI thei showtd) bred 4 ppl wv no teef) wch I bort. Rang mum n Sydney
(ystrdai Joe had sed n KROKODILE wood b n suetbl TOTEM 4 mi; th larst tiem I met him ♂ sed I
wozntn shairer – wotz ♂ on O? but ♂ rkst H 2 pars hiz ♥ → mi) 2 rsk her O her ktrkt praeshn & twozn
big skses. ← Imperial Tavern 4 RUM & KOKE (H x1, mi x4) & 2 plai th POKEEZ. Then → Ella Bay
(7/12. c botm riet kornrv kuvr map @ G) 2 th same ● w wer @ nite b4 larst. Th ^ stopt 4 long nuf 2
low us 2 heet ▲n supe & hav nbite 2 eet 4 t b4t set n gain & drove us →2 th van & tz peltn ▼ gain.
Thingz r getn sogi nside but thrz 0 w kan doo O t & therz x2 mor daizvt kkordn 2 th ppr. Thrz no • n →
Atherton Tablelandsz tz justz ^i ther & koldr. Hz reedn The Anvil of Ice x Michael Scott Rohan
(“a very good and a very powerful writer”) & Im O 2 hav nuthr krak @ YmOaUrRgCuEeNrAiRtZe
Fires tho shz far 2 ‘liter-ary’ 4 mine & mostv her klaskl lluzionz go ↑ mi hed. Oyair, I bort nuthr peesv
SPANSH MAKARL from Pete’s Fish Shop n th kornrv th main stripv (same • z ystrdi) Innisfail & twozn
larj filt & taisti & JUICY like th larst 1. I rkmnd Pete’s Fish Shop 2 th Ov OZ & 2 orl mi reedrs O th O O
eevn tho SPANSH MAKARLz th nli kindv fsh thei serv. Bon apetit.
9/8/05 ( Tropika – 2 (no 63)). It was a busy night at the creek crossing, with 4x4s coming
and going it seemed well into the night. There was even an expedition to retrieve a break-down and then a
tow-truck to take it back into Cape Trib. Then it began to rain lightly at about 7am so we decided to move.
Did a nice, leisurely beach walk between the Kulki NP lookout and a small headland a few ks to the north.
The beach was fringed with a great variety of trees, palms and shrubs, including a native gardenia which is
apparently quite rare. The highlight of the walk was a fight to the death between a juvenile butcherbird
and a slim tree snake which lasted about 10-15 minutes with the bird victorious. Then we headed for PKs
for a coffee over the papers (Courier-Mail + Australian – both full of nothing) and decided to use our return
ticket to make the ferry trip back into ‘the south’. Shared a fishnchip meal at Daintree Village and are now
at the spot near the Poletti Road Bridge we used on Saturday 6/8. It will be nice to sleep undisturbed
tonight. Th domnt larj tri zth quondong (blue), blakied sueznz groe nprfuezion; thbakdrp zv jungl klad
123
mowntnz. Th boochrberd wozn joovniel brown morfvth Black Butcherbird (Cracticus guoyi) &th
snaik woz ndr 3ft long & noe thikrthann pensl. Nuthr berd I sor @th beech wozn Shining Flycatcher
(Myiagra alecto). Ystrdi w sorn Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii) sitnn lktrk powr lienz. Tz
♫♫♪z dskriebd zn “harsh, cackling scream” vs th Laughing Kookaburraz (Dacelo novaeguineae) “raucous
‘laughter’”. Th feri ← → th Daintree rvr kost $16. Sent n kard → Dr SA&NrIeGwA (18/1. c ↑N p 6) @
Melb Uni ← Daintree Vilj (18/1. ← GULF TRIP (c nthlji n 13/9/05): “ESTATE ¶ Everythink in the tropik
north is ace. The Atherton Tablelands smells different – musty sort of, and its beautiful. And I went on a great
little walk through a patch of jungle at Barron River gorge and it was manicured and touristy but fabbo still. +
I had a swim there (etc etc) AND its all for sale. Now I knows you plan to be a big tycoon with lots of places so
here’s your chance but be CAREFUL cause in QLD they is all into child molestin judgin by what I hear on the
radio. Even Diana (I weeps bucketfulls) has not pushed that topic off stage. But John Laws is big here too +
him + his listeners is goin to lock up all of them for ever or if they is let out they will persecute them so you
should be safe in a few years time. Kokonuts is free as they is lyin on the ground everywhere and after some
experimentin I found that the easiest way is to split them open with an axe – it takes about 1 second but you
lose the juice. Getting metho is harder but. At Mareeba (1/2. but ie think twoz @ Mossman) supermarket I
could not find any on the shelves. You have to get it from the checkout counter chick who keeps it under the
counter. AND its dyed bright purple so it would be yucky to drink. But the aborigines who are very clever coz
they’ve been here for over 40,000 years have worked out that you can get the dye out by strainin the metho
through bread. Clever! The Barron River was cold but the ocean near here was so, so warm and the beach is
so, so tropik I think I want to stay here forever. I is parked on the pier in Daintree township and if they kick me
out I’se got other good places to go tonight. Might see ya at Cape Tribulation soon. ¶ a…z.”) . Thrzn jak-fruet
(Durian) tri heer wthn singl fruet nt but n4chn8li tznt riep nuf 4 mi 2pik. Tz srpriezn th@ H 4got 2
mnshnth Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) (20/1. c pik nkuvrmap Tropika – 1 ←↓) w sor
nth jungl nxt2th roed nth wae ↓S ← Cape Trib. Tz our 2
nd
sietnv 1 nth trip. Nth Cape Trib rd ue c n lotv
veeyaklz wch r ↑d @th frunt & bak & lookn bit liek th 1z wiet S-frknz uezd 2 kwl th blaks. Thei r 4x4
2rst busz taekn vri plump & ndvnchrus lookn wiets n dvnchr 2rz ↑N → Cooktown & Cape York. Uthrz
→W 2 th nl& 2 “xpriens th dzert n its n@chrl wild st8”. @th northn tipvth wieldzv Cape Trib w had 1 ftr
nuthrv such dvnchrerz dsterbn owr niet zthei maed th†n † th terblnt Emmagen Creek but heer nli nfue
kz owtv Mossman nli 1 kar haz gon x nth larst 2 owrz. W xpkt n peesfl niet. Ie kan heern x2 orioelz
knversn, nWampoo pjn, & nPheasnt Coucal. Sarilent niet, hoowli niet, orlzpees, orlzkwiet….
124
Chue zdi (25/2. Tuesday [OE. Tiewesdaeg (rendering L. dies Martis), f. genitive of Tiw, name of a
Teutonic deity, identified with the Roman Mars. Tiw: - OTeut. *Tiwoz, cogn. with L. deus god, Gr. genit. Διός of Zeus (cf.
Skr. dyāus).] The third day of the week.) 16/8/05 ( Savannah (no 64)). Savannah Way zth 6shnv
HIGHWAY ONE (4mrli & maeb stil noenzth PRINCES HIGHWAY) btween Cairns&Broome. Wr O
55kz shortv Georgetown →W. Th 1
st
berd 2 korl dorn woz iethr th Australian Raven (Corvus (18/2. ←
13/5/01: the king has died / deserted in a distant land / inside his rib cage / two crows dance /
one that struts and strops his beak / says / I dance like this / to honour death / the other /
shuffles his wings and nods his head / I dance for you / my empty friend / to introduce you to
the night & ← no 21 n nthlji ( 13/9/05): walking down a summer lane / you may not notice /
the shadow of / the crow) coronoides) hooz voisz (11/2. 30/4/05 p 6 & 13/9/05 p 5)
dskriebdn mie z: “high, child like wailing; series of slow notes, with strangled, dying
finish” or th Torresian Crow (Corvus orru) whch hazn “high-pitched series of staccato
honkings, usually rapid but can finish with one or more longer notes; also a series of
harsh, snarling notes, the last note dying away. In the arid zone, also a loud falsetto
stutter” az wr outsiedth raenjvth uthr vrieteez butth ♫♫♫♪♪ ie herd ddnt krspnd 2 iethr dskrpshn. Th
maen berd ♫♫♫♪♪ ie kan h·nowzth ‘ki-owt’ vth Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis).
Rliyr 4 Red-tailed Black Cockatooz (Calyptorynchus banksii) crien n n “metallic, rolling, far-
carrying ‘creee creee’” ♫♫♫♪♪ flue ovrhed & l&dd n n neer-x tree. Double-barred Finch
(Taeniopygia bichenovii) wth thr “high-pitched ‘floating’ nasal ‘tiaah’” & th Rainbow Bee-eater
(Merops ornatus) wthtz “high-pitched chitter” r lso nvidns. Th Bee-eaterzn prtkuelrli komn berd
thrueowtth ↑N but ie havnt n th Red taeld Blak-Kok@ooz (17/2. Cockatoo. 1634. [ad. Malay kakatua,
through Du. kaketoe; app. infl. by cock] The name of numerous birds of the parrot kind, esp. the genus Cacatua, inhabiting
Australia and the E. Indian islands, distinguished by a crest on the head, which can be raised or depressed at pleasure 2.
Australia. (colloq.) A small farmer 1864.) sins ie woz prviusli nth E. Th krokoediel (17/2. Cr ocodil e [ME.
cocodrille, cokadrill, etc., a. OF. cocdrille = med. L. cocodrillus, corruption of L. crocodilus, a Gr. κροκόδειλος. Refash. after
Gr. and L. in 16-17
th
c.] 1. A large amphibious saurian reptile of the genus Crocodilus or allied genera. The name properly
belongs to the crocodile of the Nile (C niloticus or vulgaris); but is extended to other species, and sometimes to all
Crocodilia, including the Alligator and the Gavial. 2. fig. A person who weeps hypocritically or with a malicious purpose, as
the crocodile was fabled to do 1595. 3. Logic. = CROCODILITE 1727. 4. joc. A girls’ school walking two and two in a long
file 1870; also transf. 5. attrib. 1563. 1. Cokadrilles.. Theise Serpentes slen men, and thei eten hem wepynge MAUNDEV. 5. Thence came
the Prouerb, he shed C. teares, viz fayned teares 1623 ¶ Hence Crocodi●-lian, a. †like a c.; pertaining to a c.; belonging to the c. family; sb an
animal of the c. family) ie sor ystrdi woz lmoest srtaenli nJOHNSTONI not nPOROSUS .… 20kz ←
Georgetown x n roki pool x throedsied. Thrzn ♀ Red-winged Parrot (17/2. Parr ot , sb. 1525. [Origin unkn.]
1. A bird of the order Psittaci, or family Psittacidae, and spec. of the genus Psittacus; these are scansorial and zygodactyl,
and have a short hooked bill and naked cere; many of the species have beautiful plumage, and some are excellent mimics
and learn to enunciate words and phrases; hence, much valued as cage-birds, esp. the Grey Parrot (Psittacus erythacus) of
West Africa. 2. Applied contemptuously to a person who mechanically repeats the words or imitates the actions of others
1581. 3. Sea-parrot a. The coulterneb or puffin, so called from the shape of its bill 1668. b. Some kind of fish: see
PARROT-FISH 1666. ¶ 1. A very little wit is valued in a woman, as we are pleased with a few words spoken plain by a p. POPE. Attrib. and
Comb., as p.cage, species, etc.; p.-cry, -echo, -faculty, teacher, etc.; -g reen , a yellowish green like the colouring of some parrots; p. tongue , a
tongue like that of a p.; spec. a dry shrivelled condition of the human tongue in typhus, etc,; - weed , the Tree Celandine, Cocconia frutescens, a
tropical American plant; -wo rk , merely imitative repetition; - wr asse = PARROT-FISH a. Hence Pa● r rot ism , mechanical repitition or imitation
(rare). Pa●r rot ize v. to parrot (rare). Pa●r rot ry (17/2. nold poemvmien: on a sheltered island / underneath
some plastic palms / the parrots of utopia / dressed in vivid green / dance in groups / like
clockwork toys / they nod their heads / and look so wise / that no one dares to criticize (17/2.
On A..Z’s behalf I entered this poem (one of 16 collected together as Bird Suite) into the Josephine Ulrick
Poetry Prize 2006 awarded by Griffith University on the Gold Coast, together with The Old Library
Suite, Language Suite, & Manmademan (20/2. ie hav taekn Hz dvies not2 poottn heer soez not2
darkn thmood (2/8/08. 2goodrpom 2 levowt utt:
now Im going to demonstrate
how to build a man
the framework is made
from petroleum extractive
light and strong
125
no tendency to go chalky as is the case with bone
nor is it brittle like fibre glass
and easy to mass- produce with available techniques
it must be assembled carefully
though specialist training is not required,
each part is numbered
a reasonably intelligent person
can put it together by following the code
a code-book is provided
joints are not a problem
as was the case with metal pins
we use flexible swivellers
of polyestered wood
there is no corrosion
refinements to the transistor
and research on micro-circuits
has led to a kidney machine
smaller than a cigarette lighter
held to the spine by a powerful electro magnet
the aorta
digestive system
alimentary canal
are made from plastic reinforced with vegetable fibre
the colours
are purely for ease of identification
the wiring is highly sophisticated
with an allowance for error
short-circuits are eliminated by complete insulation
we do have a problem with the heart
though essentially a pump
present engineering has not produced a substance
which can expand and contract for a sustained period
without developing molecular fatigue
this is overcome by using the heart of a pig
an animal of similar weight to man
sexual organs are immeasurably superior
to anything our fathers dreamt of
university research has produced
a highly sensitised elasto-fibre
the whole kit is designed
to make it possible for our model to copulate with himself
vision is controlled by a Zeiss
programmed miniscule computer
shutter speed of 1 in one thousand of a second
automatic adjustment for lighting and glare
this man can stare at the sun
without damage to the eyes
needless to say
126
the memory bank is perfect
fully photographic
stored on micro-file
a short wave receiver
allows communication at all times
static is non-existent
there is also a transmitter
so he can give as quickly as receive
in the unlikely case that servicing may be required
the cranium cavity
leaves ample room for access
if he doesn’t suit your taste
the package deal includes
a reassembly tool kit
at no extra price
127
128
)). I also sent in two short stories (xrpts ← IN TRANSIT) of his that I particularly admire: The Mail Run and
The Yabbying Expedition to the Literature Prize section of the same competition (20/2. thr skrtri lostn
ntri fee chk4 $35 (4 1vth storeez (thpoemz wr $22 eech)) & thoe H → ♀r nlstv orlth chk numbrz ♀ nvr
dmtdt & H → ♀ nnuthr $35. W wl chk owr bank st8mnt kairfli nxt munth.). There’s a big financial reward
($10K for each comp.) coming,(? (8/9/07. butt ma hvbn rskam znot evn r ♪fkashn vhoohd1 woz vr snt))
Inshallah! (17/2. but us rtsts doent kairO $$$z ( . Bartleby & Co. x Enrique Vila-Matas, Vintage
2005 (rkmndd →mi x LfOrVaEnCkE)))), the mechanical or servile repitition of the sayings, etc., of others.) (Aprosmictus
erythropterus) neerbie. Ystrdi ie sorn ♂. Ie m2 rmmbr th@ HIGHWAY 1z O 7000kz. Tzth maen
koestl strip riet O thkntnnt & ngr8 faevrtvth GREY NOMADZ bkoz ue kan toen karvn thO wae bkoztz
ld. Fue ♥ drievn wch moestvm doo uekan get O n O x2 munthz but ie thinkn mor snsbl pproech
woodb2 doot oevrn yeer & ←→ sumvth kreek bedzvth kiend wv bn †n sumv wch hav CROCODILI
JOHNSTONII nem. This (nPied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) wch hazn “beautiful flute-
like song” haz l&d @ owr feet & Hz feedn mie SALAMI →t) partvth hiewaez kraktriezd x nuemrus
termiet moundz nth drie gras & free raenjn slim k@lv vrius shaedzv brown but th ♂z (BRAHMIN
(17/2. Br ahmin, Bra hman (brā●min, -măn). 1481. [ad. Skr. brahmana, f. brahman praise, worship; Brahmin is general
in pop use; latterly writers have used the more correct Brahman. (Usu. w. capital B.) A member of the highest or priestly
caste among the Hindus. Also fig. ¶ Other peple whiche ben callyd .. bragman whiche ben fayrer than they to fore named CAXTON. Comb.:
B.- beads , the corrugated seeds of Elaeocarpus, used by the Brahmins and others as necklaces; - ox , a humped variety of the ox. Hence
Brahm inee , a female b. Brah mi ●n ic, - al, - ma ●ni c, - al , a. Brahm i●ni cide, - ma ●ni cide , one who has killed, or the act of killing, a B.
Brah● mi ni sm, - mani sm, the principles and practice of Brahmins.)) r huej (maeb x2 th waetvth ♀z) & neerli lwaez grae
… Hz bn feeln ↓♥d @ th dskuvri ♀ kant →← ngravli nstoeni kreekbedz 4 morthan O 1½ howrz. Ystrdi
♀ thort ♀miet notb aebl2 ← from whr ie sor th KROKODILI. X mieslf ie woodv spent x2 daez @ th ●
so ie kood ↑→← 1 dae & ↓←→ thnxt z ●n KROKS givz mi nhuej buzz. H wureez ♀z krampn mi stiel
but ie kan doo th ←→ trips x mslf. → Georgetown (ptrl) → 150kz W → Croydon (ie bortn hmbrgr
(11/2. ↑N p 15) & H gotn Womans Day. ♀ oevrherd n ♀ travlrv simlr aej sae “I’m getting
desperate. I’ll have to buy a magazine.” 95%v orlth veeyaklz w †d pathz wth nth hiewae r 2rst
vanz. Iem 'nn the Club Hotel n Croydon (11/2. ↑N p 14). Heerz n joek ← Incredible Croydon’s
Bush Telegraph: “A blonde tries to go horseback riding even though she has had no
lessons or prior experience. She mounts the horse unassisted and the horse immediately
springs into action. It gallops along at a steady rhythmic pace, but the blonde begins to
lose her grip and starts to slide in the saddle. In terror, she grabs for the mane but can’t
seem to get a firm grip. She tries to throw her arms around the horse’s neck, but slides
down the side of the horse anyway. The horse gallops along, seemingly impervious to it’s
slipping rider. Unfortunately, the blonde’s foot has become entangled in the stirrup. She
is now at the mercy of the hooves as her head is struck against the ground she is
moments away from losing consciousness when, to her great fortune, the Woolworth’s
manager sees her and unplugs the horse.” Iem havnn 2
nd
stubi (th ☼z harsh owtsied) … →
150kz W → Normanton (O 1,500 ppl ½ brjneez (11/2. ← GULF TRIP: “Normanton 03.09.97 ¶
Andrew, last night as I was dozing in the car on the banks of the Norman River where the biggest
crocodile ever measured was caught just nearby I was overcome by a feeling of how inadequately I
am expressing my perceptions of the places I travel through on the cards I’ve been sending. The
cards lend themselves to attention grabbing ‘short grabs’ and to humour but I feel deeply for what I
see and am overwhelmed by the beauty of the places I am visiting. So I am hitting you with this much
longer effort of disconnected observations; I don’t want to discipline myself or impose an order that
isn’t inherent in the material. Writing this gives me an excuse to sit in various places in the town
(Normanton) and pretend that I am not noticing what is going on around me. There is a life size
model of the largest croc near the municipal offices and it’s a bloody monster – a dinosaur. The
freshwater ones I saw a couple of days ago were impressive enough. Once you get past a certain
line you can’t go swimming at all and I’m north of it. You can’t even swim at the only beach near
Karumba (Port on the actual gulf). People warn you not to sit by the water’s edge, particularly in the
evening. Nor even to walk in long grass bird spotting as you might stumble into a croc’s nest. The
bastards tear out of the water to protect their eggs. All this was told to me by a guy in Kajabbi who
had a plastic leg having lost the original one to a croc while swimming. Actually he told me 2 different
stories in the space of 10 minutes which makes me think he lost it in a car accident; don’t want to be
the only person to prove his story true but. I had to drive on a shit road to get to Kajabbi and was the
only non local in town so I guess I was the only one around to listen to a yarn. I am assured today
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that quite a large croc lives right under the bridge near where I was last night and that he is cheeky
enough to bask on the boat ramp on occasions and can be seen on most days if you search for him.
I am writing this at the railway station which is famous but I wont go into that coz its tourist stuff. As I
travelled north I intersected with the tourist crowd at Longreach, briefly only as I then went west along
the beef road to Winton while the tourists go along the Matilda Highway. Even though one myself I
am avoiding the tourist stream as much as possible and successfully till now. I slept on the river bank
by myself whereas most other tourists here prop at the caravan park at $6/night. I don’t know why I
hate tourists so much. They look dull eyed to me and pasty faced. They ask the locals stupid
educational type questions and believe the lies the locals tell them. They drive 4x4s on sealed roads
towing trailers and collapsible caravans and carrying boats and mountain bikes. The Cloncurry-
Normanton road is being upgraded into a 2 lane track. When I drive off the single lane to allow a
tourist 4x4 full use of the bitumen so that he wouldn’t bust my windscreen most are stupid enough to
still keep one wheel off the edge of the road, even when I signal to them by pointing at the road. Lot
of them are pensioners who are as clean as if they were in the big city. Their need to be clean means
they are dependent on caravan parks for the laundry facilities. Some of the younger ones dress in
army camouflage gear and wear bandanas (esp. pig shooters) or dress up like Krokodill Dundees. I
took the detour through Kajabbi to avoid that crowd but even when I sleep off the sealed road (eg.
Corella Creek 20ks north of Cloncurry (18/2. ← GULF TRIP: “27.08.97 Cloncurry ¶ +Roo! I think that
I is fadin away or at least getting hazier. DON’T worry tho because I am allright. Ive worked out now
that I am livin in a PARALLIL universe. Cept I don’t know what its parralil to. Gunna find out but!
Meanwhiles am havin a bonzer time and still headin N. Regards to the entire faculty. ¶ a…z”)) in
some great spot by a river where I see brolgas etc I have not met a single 4x4 or anyone for that
matter, yet the dirt tracks I take to get there don’t go far. So where are the tourists in the 4x4s? I
figure they are all either in caravan parks or actually burning up and down the highways of Australia
coz I see heaps on the road and I know that they are addicted to all that info junk you get at inquiry
places. The promotional literature advertises ‘spots’ to go to but seeing as in this country those spots
are 100s of ks apart if you try to take them in you’ve got to spend most of your time driving and
paying heaps for petrol. Its good for the economy but encourages them to look at their surroundings
in a particular way. The tourist way of seeing and behaving is initially fostered by television at home
and is compounded by a belief most of us share in ‘education’, the value of the ‘printed word’ etc. Its
almost impossible to get out of that mind set so I am trying very hard and I think successfully. Why go
to Wave Hill to watch birds and a pretty (but not typical) gorge with flowing water when nothing could
be more beautiful than this town itself. The yards are all shaded by mango trees which cast 100%
shade (but are very messy I’m told) but the wide main strip is harsh under the brilliant sun. Can’t find
a shady spot for me car and I’ve got food in it. The three pubs are something again. They really know
about drinking here and the relaxed feel. Windows and doors are all open to the beautiful savannah
night (Normanton is on the transition line between the dry and wet tropics). The town is 70%
aboriginal and many men and women drink from morning. Not unusual to see women wandering the
streets can in hand. They are tolerant to drunks here and I am told there are good relationships
between the races and it feels that way. Aborigines (not called Koories here) blend beautifully into a
tropical night. Many, especially women and kids, are barefoot. Yet a govt. employee at the inquiry
place in Longreach (I was asking where I could get fresh water) told me that Karumba was the place
to go to not Normanton as there are no blacks there because they believe it is inhabited by evil
spirits. This place is not like Wilcannia at all which is the only other aboriginal town I’ve been to on
this trip. Wilcannia, mate, is a hell hole. You don’t leave your car out of sight and there are stones
and sticks on the verandah roofs from fights and everything is permanently boarded up but its still a
must for a photographer. It looks fantastically hard. Danius (20/2. bak ← bin nrtstnrzdnsndonesia
(22/11/07. nownvietnam) nmarch; kort↑ wth Jane (27/2. &gaen thsmornn @th Errol Patisserie (1/3.
2dae torkd2 Stepas) 4 kofi&gosp) hooz lredi bak @ th oepnnv Together @th bird’s gallery larst
week) would love it I think. Kate tells me there are great murals in Mexico but it would be hard to beat
the ones in Wilcannia. They try to keep the kids out of mischief by supplying them with spray cans
but most of the kids seem to be dodging school to lounge about the streets anyway. By the way in
the ‘café’ I am going to now for a hamburger there are two concrete table and bench affairs.
Yesterday one was occupied by four aboriginal kids and the other one had a white guy with a huge
gut lying flat on his back asleep, all in the shade of a large mango tree. There are plants here with
large flowers that perfume the night air. If when I get old I decide to go via alcoholic poisoning this is
one place where I might do it. I suggested as much to Danius. Interested? The weather is perfect
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now I reckon but a bloke nearby reckons the best season is not here yet. I suppose the reason I go
on and on is because others don’t feel the way I do about these places. Helen likes softer
environments. Certain lefty, socialist, arty mates of mine actually hate Australia and accuse it of
lacking ‘soul’. My generation of lithos are so caught up in practicalities that they appear dead to
matters of spirit (26/2. but ie maekn xspshn4 SaTlRbUiNnGaA teechn nglshn nDruskininkai & thrtnn2
transl8 stufv mien → lithoe – nmposbl tarsk ie woodv thort). Besides they spend so much effort
beating their ridiculous litho identity drum (20/2. wth poljeez (21/2. n z iem njewl pasport holdr (
August 18 pp 2,3,4) & hv voetd boethn lithoel& & EU lekshnz (24/2. ← The Age p15 nn rtkl tietld
Subscribe to Australian values (& H sez (ritn nfue weeksgoe): Everyone seems to be asking what it
means to be an Australian these days – Thorpie had a go in the weekend paper and that mealy-mouthed
humbug John Howard is forever telling us what it means and frothing on about our core values (22/11/07.
twoz “core & non-core promises”)– so Ive decided to join the throng, seeing as how I’m really well
qualified to put in my sixpenneth worth (see – how many of youse know what that old Australianism
means?). I was born here 63 years ago and my parents were born here 30 years before that. Their
forebears were English, Scottish and Irish, so I reckon I’m true-blue. And here’s what qualities and
qualifications I believe you need to be one of us: © You live here most of the time © You are a citizen of
the country, either by birth or choice (choice gets you more brownie points, as presumably you’ve looked
around and decided Australia is better than the rest) © You pay your taxes when required to do so ©
You obey the laws (27/2. “There are no tests for Australianness except obeying the law” –
ABtBoOnTyT). And that’s all it takes . That’s all I’ve done all this time. Being courteous and treating
others as you would like to be treated is desirable but not mandatory as long as you abide by the last ©
above. ¶ You absolutely DON’T need the following to be an Australian: C White skin (the original
inhabitants didn’t have this so it can’t be considered essential or even preferable, given the rates of
melanoma some of us suffer) C Christian religious habits/beliefs (the original inhabitants didn’t have this
either, and still had a satisfyingly rich spiritual life underpinned by an intimate and essential relationship
with country) C A flag flying in your front yard, in your hand, on your car/caravan, or wrapped around you
at any time, not even on Australia Day (flags are bits of rag nailed on sticks delineating US from THEM and
promoting divisive tribalism in most instances. If you have to fly a flag, get a nice blue one from the United
Nations) C The ability to sing Advance Australia Fair or know any of the verses or even the tune (no doubt
criminals, terrorists, 5-year-olds in primary schools and most politicians can be trained to do this, so it
means absolutely nothing. I think there’s even a dog who can bark it). Likewise Waltzing Matilda C
Recitations of patriotic verses with your hand over your heart or repititions of the affirmation published
before Australia Day 2006 (see previous point, though obviously the dog can’t do it) C A sprig of wattle, a
spray of gum leaves or any other native flora on your lapel (many true-blue Aussies cannot recognize any
native flora beyond these, and some have made their fortunes from cutting down large swathes of said
flora thus contributing to the distressing environmental damage evident whenever you travel outside the
major urban areas eg. salinity, soil erosion, river destruction, habitat destruction, pollution etc.) C A
fondness for cuddly koalas, kangaroos, emus, echidnas, galahs or any other native fauna (many true-blue
Aussies cannot recognize any native fauna beyond these, and many haven’t even seen these in the wild,
and some have contributed to the destruction of their habitat by the environmental damage mentioned
above) C A capacity to barrack loudly and mindlessly for any Australian sportsperson or sporting team at
any level in any competition anywhere and to make excuses when we lose/don’t win medals, trophies etc
or behave badly like Shane Warne C A belief that Australians are the best, brightest, funniest, kindest etc
(they aren’t because those qualities are personal and individual and human and therefore are shared
around the world by all its people in varying degrees probably along a normal distribution curve) C A
willingness to bury your head in the sand and refuse to discuss difficult and urgent questions such as the
slow undermining of democratic rights, the growing disparity between the haves and havenots, the
demonizing of those who look or behave differently, the loss of national independence by toadying to the
US and the general dumbing down of society so that you are only concerned with celebrities, reality TV
and your immediate personal gratification.) or don’t bother coming here COpSeTtEeLrLO (4/3. is
that Peter Hanson or Paul(ine) Costello?) 's: “A person who does not acknowledge the
supremacy of civil law laid down by democratic processes cannot truthfully take the
pledge of allegiance. As such they do not meet the condition for citizenship. ¶ There are
some beliefs, some values so core to the nature of our society that those who refuse to
accept them refuse to accept the nature of our society. ¶ If someone cannot honestly
make the citizenship pledge, they cannot honestly take out citizenship. If they have
taken it out already they should not be able to keep it where they have citizenship in
some other country.” (25/2. mien: thoetz liekli thr r fuewr bad lorz nn dmkrasi than nn dktaetrshp
eevnn dmkr@k mjorti kan goe badrmad r b sbvrtd x bad leedrz (eg th sntnsnv Socrates). Thr wil
lwaez b sum bad lorz. 2 dsobei nbad lor znot =2 dsobein th ruelv lor. 2 obei nbad lor =z dsrspkt4
thruelv lor. Ue must dsobei nlor ue noe 2b bad (eg jewdshl mrdr, kiln nuthr (kluednn wor), b-in parti2,
131
kndoenn, fsltaetn r b-in kmplst, r faeln 2@mt 2prvnt torchr etc) fue r2b ngood prsn. Uthrwiez
GOOD&BAD luez thr meenn.))) 2 lithoe przdnt Adamkus (22/2. just gotn emael ← Egle 2ltminoe ♀ &
John ( Melbourne → Sydney pp 15,16 & 12/4/03 – 24/4/03 pp 11,12) rhavn lunch wthth GG
& Adamkus (haz rloezn Melb) nCanberra nxt week (4/3. foloe↑ emael: “… we’ve just had a
fascinating weekend on the ‘presidential bandwagon’, including lunch with the GG (a sub-
standard toadying old geezer who isn’t fit to wipe Sir William Deane’s boots!) at Govt House on
Monday – it was a treat to meet Adamkus and his wife and see the litho flag flying in
Canberra!”) hoozn Melbourne n25/2 4n rspshn (23/2. briLgAita sed ♀d maekth przntaeshn fthei
koodnt fiend ni1ls) gvn xth lithoe kmuenti @th old Nth Melb townhorl (ARTS HOUSE) (23/2. ie told
Bronius larst week ie ddnt mxt wth przdnts & such bthei OZ r lithoe butf thr wozn meelv KALDŪNAI
(pelmeni) 4 $7 nn ☼di @ lithoe haus (n Errol st) heed fiend mi thr) (wen ie told H th przdntv the Ov
lithoel& woz → Melb ♀ sed: “couldn’t care less”).) they can’t see what’s immediately around them.
Their kids are preoccupied also with working the identity thing too. They prefer to go to lifuania (28/2.
but nth meentiem iev gon mieslf ( Melbourne → Kaunas; Šiauliai; Vilnius 1; Vilnius (no 2); →
(no 1); →(no 2); Vilnius → Melbourne) &m goengaen soon) to invent for themselves an illusory
past when the things right here they ignore. Is there anywhere in Europe where you can get such
dramatic contrasts as the one between Wilcannia and Eulo, or White Cliffs and Ivanhoe N.S.W., or
Normanton and Hungerford? There was a french photographer in Hungerford recently who took 3
thousand! (20/2. 300z mor liekt ie rekn) shots of the place. She’s picked out 26 for an article that’s
coming out soon in the french geographic magazine. I am sure she would have found Yowah just as
exciting. After crossing the dividing range at Kilmore I’ve been travelling entirely in flat country more
or less the way Burke and Wills did. I recommend it even if much of the road has been dirt and belted
shit out of the car. One of the big divides in Australia which is fast disappearing is the different feel of
towns that can only be reached by dirt to the ones connected by bitumen. Its fast disappearing; there
is only 20ks left to go before Ivanhoe N.S.W. is all bitumen from the south. Soon White Cliffs will be
all bitumen from Wilcannia. Already there is a café in White Cliffs advertising cappuccinos and
gourmet food and I love coffee and the food smelt beaut just like in all the other gourmet places but
hey! you should have seen the size of the hamburger I got at Quilpie and it was delicious for $3.50
(some aboriginal kids just wanted to find out what all the writing was about and tried the automatic
bite too. I showed them the poster which they recognized instantly. One of these kids is proud coz he
goes to the Christian school which is right next to the govt. one I got the poster from). Of the 3 pubs
one is a ‘white’ pub and its v. comfy though they are all great. I saw two very beautiful women there
both of whom work for the pub. The dinners were being brought out by a perfect eurasian girl and the
barmaid was an aussie in her 40s but wow! she had style. Her partner was coloured (you get that
way with race here). Gintas was telling me at the North Star (20/2. woznth krnrv Abotts4d & Provost
sts but haz bn dmolsht & rplaest x uents) he’s doing a trip soon. If he is still in Melbourne suggest he
goes due north: Melbourne – Booroorban (great place to overnight) – White Cliffs – Wanaaring –
Hungerford – Yowah. At the very least he should get great weather. If you decide to accompany him
turn it into a tax deduction by studying gardens. Its amazing how neighbouring towns can have
completely different attitudes and the defiant gardens are defiant + (eg at Yowah, I took a snap for
you). While your at it flash your qualifications at some of the councils and tell em to plant a few shade
trees in the main street for the likes of me even at the expense of softening the visual appeal of the
town. The biggest event here is the race day cum rodeo. The rodeo is organized by the librarian at
the school. She tells me there is no chapter of AA here which says something about the lack of rigid
morality. In White Cliffs there is a single member, Jock, the guy I know from way back. Naturally he is
the president of the branch. There are about 5 different churches here but hardly anyone attends
according to her, though sky pilots of various denominations do come a-visiting from bigger centres.
The churches are no bigger than a room each and are tucked away on the edge of town. I am writing
this in the Albion, the White Man’s pub because I can rely not to be interrupted. I put the Style File on
the backburner till today because it had the potential to take up too much of my attention and I’ve
been spending time in the bush for the last few days anyway. I made an entry today because I
wanted an aborigine for this place and I probably wont be in a predominantly aboriginal town again
on this trip. Lots of aboriginals here are pitch black and some have tribal scars still but I
photographed a lighter guy. His name is Ronnie Barney (38) and he is a stockman. He said: “I was
born in Mornington Island and I’ve lived here all my life. I’ve worked only in cattle all the way up to the
top of the Cape and right back into the Northern Territory. Cattle is all I know and I’ve been
132
horsbreaking.” Later I saw him on the front verandah of the pub (not the Albion) with his wife and he
was crying. In the photo he looks withdrawn the exact opposite to Ian Pike of Eulo, the innovative
date farmer who I found out in the next town (Yowah) is also a councillor. That reminds me, I sent
you a magazine produced by one of the two women that entertained me in Yowah and who also drew
the cartoons. Originally she’s a yank. The woman I photoed there is called Gwen and she contributed
an article. They are very proud of that mag. And it features 43 of the Yowah social set. I put a leaf
inside the magazine so the post may not send it because they may have an attitude to sending
vegies through the mail. Back to Normanton: there is a tragedy going on here and all over
Queensland. The aborigines have been dispossessed and this place is all they know while the Jo
Bjelke lookalike, Ian Pike, is standing tall. Its fucken unfair. You should see the aboriginal kids – they
look so right, so beautiful, so alert and chirpy. A large fraction of them are going to end up
permanently drunk. Just saw a guy here who would have been a knockout for the Style File, a very
black stockman but in bare feet unlike the previous bloke. Someone should really put themselves out
for this Style File idea – it’s got heaps of potential. If I photograph anyone else here it will be a young
aboriginal woman but I don’t dare broach the subject in case someone misinterprets what I’m doing.
There is a computer nerd in this place (son of a shop owner) so I left the Style File no. with Ronnie
Barney and told him he’d be able to get his pic pulled off the computer by the nerd next year.
Aboriginal stockmen are coming in here (it’s Friday) to cash their pay checks. Every new guy I see I
thinks “that’s the guy I should have fotoed”, but I’m not going to get sucked in by the Style File. ¶ A…
Z 03.09.97 Normanton.”)); iem nth Albion Hotel whr iev s@ 'n b4; nth wae mi&H koodnt dsied 2
stop offth roed nth savana thoe w nspktd sevrl ●s; zw wer nspktnn ● x th Norman rvr 20kz b4 ue get
here 3 Sarus Cranez (Grus antigone) →d riet parst us. Tzth 1
st
tiem iev n Sarus Kraenz kleerli from
kloes↑.) & wr goen2 spndth niet x th KROKODIEL nfstd Norman rvr neer whr ie had stopt 6 (11/2. but
twoz 8) yeerz go. Tzn grasi, priev8 E nth Karumba siedvth brj. Tzn xlnt ● kloes2 town. W 8 t nth old
worf ndr wch n KROKz noen2 liv but w nevr sor him. Rlier w fnsht off owr larst KOKONUT from wch
ie had drunk th MILK ystrdi – n smbolk moemnt ie thort z w r →2 n nue faezvth trip (6.10).
23/8 /05 ( Outback (no 65)). W droev ← Conn O parst floksv Brolgaz & smorl grewpsv
Kori Bustardz. Wr notyet dsnst¤zd 2 theez buetfl ···z dsp¤t thm bin soe komn h·. Stopt x
throed 4 nkrap & nshort → ↑ nkreek bed 2nspkt 4 thloekl · vr¤teez. Uekn dr¤vth 360kz → Boulia
n4hourz nth ld 1 laen (ue must pull r¤t off 4 roed7z) strip & tz kl· moest doo. Doont @ speed zn
snshl partvth m¤ndsetv 2rsts & sevrl sueprbli kwpt 4x4z raest parst. Doent bfoold, frndz, thr not
O2†th Simpson Desert offtrak – chanszr thei woent goe offthh¤wae. 1v thm had “OO-WHOOPI!” 'n
nthbak, nuthr gaevus ntoot n1v thoez ♫ <z yung ♂z l¤k2 nstorl nhotrodz. Needls2sae wr x owrslvz
gaen 2n¤t nfue00 yrdz offthroed offntrak nkrsoe parst th Cawnpore Lookout (whr w fownd manna
↓ hevn nth4mv r¤s biskts struen O nth gO soe wklektd & aetm & thei wr fresh) mung meezaz&buets.
Maeb 10rsoe kz ← throed thrzn roeds¤d ● wth H2O & ntoilt Æ & 3 krvanz hav ®t thr 4 nlongr stae.
T mz toilt Æs r nssnshl ¤tm 4 ··i 2rsts & w spkl8d wthr thr m¤t b ppl theez daez hoo hav NEVR
SH@ ksptn nTOILT & hoo doent rial¤z how eezi tz 2↓ SHIT. ¤ woz 1drn how ··iv m¤ habts rz
dspnsblz TOILTs. Wr O 120kz shortv Boulia. Thnli plais btween Winton & Boulia zth roedµ/pub @
Middleton whr w hadn drink & ¤ gotn xlnt hmbrgr & w spnt sum knsdrbl yarnn2th oewnr. Tz 160kz
owtv Winton & ndowtdli 1vth moest rmoet pubz nOZ. Thrzn s¤n nth worl wch H kopeed & ¤ m¤t
nklued ntheez ¯s zt llustr8s thdfrns btween thwae 2rsts theez plaisz & thloekls doo. H zreedn The
Burning Shore x Wilbur Smith (npotboilr, ♀sez) soe ¤m goen ↑ thn·st buet 4 thvue. (5.25pm)
…. Nsdntli, ldrli maetrnz ← Toorak think 0 O †n thSimpson theez daez: thei → nth saem k¤ndv ½ s
¤z7z w sor goen ↑N ← Cape Tribulation → Cooktown givn 2rsts npaed ‘wildrns xp·ians’ (13/3.
Tropika – 2. p 8). Theez 4x4z wth frunt&r·↑ offth gO rdz¤nd nth saem prnsplz zth r¤ot 7z
thSowthAfrikn plees uezd 2 KWEL TH NIGRZ. (12/3.Here’s the wall decoration at the Middleton pub
headed: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS. There are 3 columns, the first headed QUESTIONS,
the second SPONTANEOUS, the third SERIOUS. Q. Is this Middleton? SP. I hope so. S.
Yes. / Q. Is this all there is? SP. In this street anyway. S. Yes. / Q. How do you live out
here? SP. By breathing in and out. S. Same as anywhere. / Q. Do you get lonely out
here? SP. No. Too many questions to answer. S. Never. / Q. How long have you lived
here? SP. Not long enough yet. S. Since Dec. 2000. / Q. Where do the kids go to school?
SP. Oxford University, Middleton. S. Mt. Isa School of the Air. / Q. Where do you get
water from? SP. A tap. S. From a bore. / Q. Is the water Ok to drink? SP. Provided the pig
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is clean. S. Yes. We drink it. / Q. Is the water Ok for my dog to drink? SP. If he’s not
allergic to pigs. S. Yes. Of course. / Q. What do you find to do here? SP. Repair fishing
trawlers and go whale watching. S. Live! / Q. Where do you get power from? SP. Snowy
Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme. S. Own generator. / Q. Why are the door handles so
low? SP. For when you crawl out drunk. S. Style when built. / Q. Is that a phone box up
the road? SP. No, it’s the Ladies. S. Yes. / Q. Where do you get your supplies from? SP.
Early morning road kill. S. Winton/Brisbane. / Q. How do you get your supplies? SP.
Mohammed Abdul’s Camel Train. S. Road & rail. / Q. Have you got a toilet here? SP. Took
it out before the govt. brought in Govt. Shit Tax (GST). S. Yes. / Q. Do you get many
people in here? SP. You can’t fit many people in here. S. Yes. / Q. Suppose you get
farmers in here at night? SP. Yes, to check out their beer crops. S. Only graziers. / Q.
What do you do for entertainment? SP. Eat out at the Hilton Hotel. S. Make our own. / Q.
Do you get many travellers? SP. You’re it. S. Yes. / Q. What is the building across the
road? SP. Its McDonalds in disguise. S. Community Hall. / Q. What is the monument
across the road? SP. It’s a plug for the Artesian Basin. S. Its self-explanatory. / Q. What
are the holes in the bar for? SP. Shortcomings. S. Early ventilation for the beer./ Q. Do
the mozzies bite around here? SP. Only when they’re hungry. S. After rain mostly. / Q. Do
you make enough to live on out here? SP. Actually we’re subsidized by the IRA. S. Yes. /
Q. Why do they call this place Middleton? SP. To avoid trouble. It’s really Belfast. S.
Named after an early explorer. / Q. Do people still see the Min Min light? SP. Every night
as they stagger out drunk. S. Recent sightings have been reported. / Q. Why is beer so
expensive? SP. Is it? I thought $15 a stubby was cheap. S. Same as most places +
freight. / Q. How far is it to Winton/Boulia? SP. Too far. You should stay the night. S.
170/190 kms. / Q. Do people really ask all these questions? ?!!?).
30/8 /05. To St George for paper and coffee and shopping up, to Dirranbandi (home of the
croaking frog according to the sign outside town) where there were bottle trees growing as street trees, to
Hebel across the border into NSW (goodbye Queensland!) and on to Lightning Ridge “the only place on
earth where the exquisite black opal is mined in quantity” according to the blurb on a free map
we picked up at the info centre. Spent the arvo wandering about the town looking at specimens of the opal
cutters art, writing cards and having a drink at the Diggers Rest Hotel. The town is extensive and has
whole streets of expensive brick houses a la Sydney or Melbourne but is surrounded on the outskirts by
the mines which look like moonscapes. A change is coming through so we’ve camped on the edge of a
track close to the sealed road just in case. Larst n¤t both mi & H had DAENJR dreemz. H drmt ¤ &
← lithol& (m¤t b goen @ thndv feb 2 nsnow wntr (22/3. ddnt, butm goen @th ndv mae, & H zkumn
norgust)) saen ¤m staen nuthr munth, then ¤ & bak gaen saen ¤m staen nuthr munth, then ¤
nevr kum µ @orl. ¤ drmt w wrn n4x4 g¤°2r †n nkrokd¤l fstd rvr oevrn beem x2 nchz w¤d h¤
buvth H2O &t shoodv bn mposbl but w maedt wth gr8 kair but ¤ nue weed hav 2goe ← thsaemwae
& probli woodnt maekt. L8r duern owr mornn ♀x♂ ¤ woz thinkn th@th dfrns ♂/♀ zn x10shn
(komplxfkaeshn) vth dskum4t (wairns, lertns, knshuzns) btweenth snsz (13/3. Its nice to know
you’ve got your mind on the job!). Th ¤ & th doo kmpleetli nrl8d tarsks & fth maed th ¤ goe bl¤
nd (zth poep sez) th ¤ wood hav2 dstroi (or dvors) th 2 srv¤v but whn thei kan werk 2gthr (saemz
true4 th rganzv thbodi) thei cheev nue parad¤mz (eg. konshuzns (23/3. 15/4/02 – 26/4/02 p
13)). Nn rl8d wae thdfrnsz btween tr¤bz, naeshnz, rljnz etc mae leed2 knflkt wchwl dstroi us r →
nue levlzv kopraeshn byond owr mjnaeshn (Teilhardz ‘noosphere’?). FSHZM zfr¤tnd x thposbltv
dsntgraeshn (&v kmplxti) korzd x dfrnsz & tr¤z 2rid usvth dskumf4t x dstroin ppzshn (23/3.
16/2/04 – 27/2/04 p 8). Liberlz hoepth dfrnsz kanb ntgr8d →2 ngr8r O. Thei akt 2gthr zn
rguel8ri meknzm 4

thdvlpmntvth O rgnzm. Th staeksr h¤ & proegrsz not sshuerd. Wr bak ← ♣
whr ¤ hadn b·& H nBundy&Koek & w plaed thpoekeez 1c/ . (8.10pm).
6/9/05 ( Wingdings (no 66)). As we left Ryan’s Cut one of the sea type raptors (Osprey
(Pandion haliaetus)) flew overhead with a sizeable fish in its talons – the only one who had fresh fish
today as John’s quest for a fillet of same was unsuccessful when he had to settle for Hoki (mportd ← New
Zeel&) at Port Macquarie which was poor. Wandered around the port till about 2pm – coffee over paper on
the waterfront (Rydges), garlic bread and drink at a nice pub next door, opshopping in the LifeLine opshop
(black jeans ($9) for him , dark green Calvin Klein’s made in the USA for me ($15)) and a stroll along the
river where a bloke sitting on the grass called us over to ask a question. The question was addressed to
John: "Did you get trapped into marriage?”. John replied that no, he was a willing participant and cited me
as being able to corroborate the fact. I’m a bit slow on the uptake these days and I didn’t think to take
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offence till we’d moved on, or to come back with the retort that I was rich enough and good lookin’ enough
not to have needed to do any trapping. On to Lake Cathie (pronounced Cat Hi) where we checked out
Perch Hole on Lake Innes where the placid waters are fringed by paperbark forest as a possible spot for the
night. A group was playing with a remote-controlled miniature speed boat which made a noise like a
mosquito on steroids, magnified. We went into Lake Cathie itself, strolled on the banks, went to the newly
built shopping plaza and tavern in search of Sheaf Stout and Bundy and Coke and then returned to Perch
Hole hoping that the revheads had gone. Alas, they were still disturbing the peace of the lake with the mini
speedboat and had added a kid on a trailbike. What is it with some males? Unless they are making a
ferocious noise (soupd up car, mega-base sound system pumping, jet-ski, motor-boat, power saw etc) they
can’t enjoy themselves. Some women do it with shrill laughter or un-ceasing loud conversation as if
everyone is rivetted by the stories of their lives. I reckon they are born with the aesthetic gene missing.
Hooray, the noise junkies have gone and its blissfully quiet – you can hear the ocean across the highway
about a kilometre away – and we have the place to ourselves for the moment except for the company of
lots of insects. Speaking of which in the big Port Macquarie Central shopping complex we found a large
handsome green grasshopper sitting on a window. John wore it as an ornament on his shirt for a while but
finally deposited him on a potted palm after he’d hopped off onto the floor where he could have been
stood on. Rang Dan in the arvo as he had left a message on my message bank to contact him – apparently
someone from Hervey Bay hospital had rung his mobile. He’d contacted them and found out we hadnt
been admitted, but thought he’d check with us just to be sure. The guttering at the front of the Ivanhoe
house has been replaced (3/4. but Outback p4, & wv sins dskvrd 2 ruef t¤lz wr bustd) and the
fridge is working (last time I rang it had conked out but Dan managed to get it back on its feet by
defrosting it and thoroughly vacuuming the back). Unleaded petrol at Lake Cathie was 138.9c. ¤ kntnue
wth UESZ & BUESZ. Mor gzmplzv rdukshnst ssrshnz. Sum m 4 vrthn w dooz moetvaetd x slfntrst.
Fue hlp nltl old ·† thsµt yr doont 2maek yrslf feel btr & fue doen8 → thporM rth 1pl8 tz 2 skor
brownee +s r get krdts →2 hevn. But wotvr thei 4 thdfrns btween robn n por wrkrv ♂z longsrvs
nt¤tl··ts r kntrbuetn 2 nnmploi··t rleef rmaenz xktli thsaem. ¤d rthr liv mung sl~ m
hoo gv2thpor thn mung good kmpni drktrz hoo rob thr loil wrkrz 4 thbnftv shairhldrz. Thdfrns
btween SHIT & KLAE rmaenz thoe boeth stk2 yr boots. Simlr k··t kn b maed O
Schopenhaurz noeshn th@ vrthn zn·fstaeshnv ‘will’. Freudz ¤dia th@ ni ntns ktvti (eg chrti
wrkvn nun, th setszmzvn hermt) maeb nsublmaeshnvth 6dr¤v zn nuthr xmplv rdukshnzm. Ue
m¤t jstz eezli maekn kmpleet nvntriov orlth ktvteez m ngaejn & 4 thei r thsaem koz thei r
dun x m. Ue kood 4 m¤ 'nz thsaem k¤ndv bsshnl ktvti zHz reednvth Woman’s Day (leedn rtklz
nth kurnt 1: “JEN CONFESSES – MY MARRIAGE WAS HELL ¶ I wanted a baby, Brad didn’t ¶
He’s been so insensitive ¶ He changed when he met Ange ¶ We don’t talk any more”;
“NICOLE & KEITH – INSIDE HER SECRET ROMANCE WITH THE AUSSIE COUNTRY SINGER”;
“MARK HOLDEN TELLS – I HAVE A LOVE CHILD”) butt duznt maek1 nmor l¤k thuthr. Thmpuls 2
uez rdukshnst moovz nlngwj (gaemz) zn POWR PLOI (♪ how thx-panshnv kndshnz dskr¤bd x
thwrd ‘ILLNESS’ (eg dsizion 2 kmt sues¤d bkumzn ‘dprsv ilns’) nkree-sz throelzvth medkl frtrnti &
vrius gvt jn z) 2 dmnsh thsubjkt butth reezn thei kan sound knvnsn zbkoz tz lso thmthd x wch
w x10d owr reech wn w gree nth prs¤s meennz & dfnshnz wch ma-ek mthm@ks, s¤ns, &
tknlji posbl. But z m reechz owt 2 thmoest dstnt glxeez owr nkreesn d-pndnsn owr labr8
knstrkshnz dmnshz thndvjuel & thrtnz 2 NIOL8 usorl. The good book says “Judge not, lest you be
judged” – I did and I was. The only rationalization I have is that at least reading mag trash is a quiet
occupation and annoys no-one but the intellectual elite among us and they deserve to be annoyed
occasionally so they don’t get too smug.
(2/9/07. Completion of Tuesdays from folder 7 (nos. 62 – 66 of anthology))
23/5 /06 ( Litho Trip 2 (on CD t¤tld: ALL THAT WAS ALL THAT WILL BE)). 6.55am. Shaved
& brushed mi teeth accompanied x th growlz & whines & whistles of th plumbing from which m¤
neighbour no doubt could infer m¤ sl¤tst actions. ¤ notice hi z a smoker zthrz an mpti cigrett paket
in the buckt x th toilt whchz the only place w hav 2 diskard rubbsh. ¤ +d m¤ flaskv Čepkeliu (36%
proof) 2 hiz pakt. ¤ woke up wel b4 6 & hav bagz undr m¤ ¤¤ but feel fit. Herez th breefst sumriov
my moovmnts ystrdi: ¤ spent th v th dae wandrng n Vingio parkas & ¤l do it again zits xpshnli
buetful tho th trashing th@z so much an aspekt ov lithoz tranzishn → konsuemrzm & modernzm z @
t¤mz painfully nvidens. Had a latte (tasteless) wth a sidedishv pikld herring (silke) potaetoes & unyn
(dlishs) nth kiosk. Th park whchz onth western s¤dv th city zhuej – larjr than th Ov old town
(senamiestis) onth eastern s¤d. Itz not frquented x tourists. Oftn u feel zf u r → through nachrl 4st.
Muchvt zboundd x th Neris whchz flowing fast &z w¤dr thanth Goulburn rivr in Vic. A pairv larj duks
(Didžioji Antis (Anas Platyrhynchos)) swam past m¤ feet z¤ stoodn th rivr bank. Saw ♀/♂
Svilikėlis (Serinus Serinus) & ♂ Kikilis (Fringilla Coelebs). (m¤ neighbourz ↑ (7.25)). Th crowz
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(Varna (Corvus Corone)) r ♀/♂. Their varied callz r a feechr ov th park & could b dprssn n hard t z.
Therez a publk toilt there ovth dsgustn O in th gO variety. Th grafiti on th wallz zth saem k¤ndv dvrt
¤zn material ue getn Melbourne. It appears th@ th werd 4 ‘gay’ iz ‘gaidys’ whch meanz roostr in
litho. If ¤ were 2 b n wearn th boxr shorts u gaev mi & whch ¤ hav nm¤ pak 2 uez 4 pjarmaz ¤
wood b per vd 2b loudli proclaiming th@ ¤m gay bcozv th roostrs decorating them. It meanz ¤ cant
use them az it would amount 2 false advertizing n az ¤m irredeamably such a fanv th beauties of
the female 4m. Bs¤dz ue kood get yorslf basht↑ here az men r anxious 2 advertise their ♂ns &
women their ♀ns. ¤ dont think a person l¤k mi hoo l¤ks 2 fun @ waverz & issuesv identity iz
understood or appreciated here (6/11/07. This item is from http://news.bbc.co.uk. - “26 October
2007: Lithuanian mayor bans gay rally ¶ By Mathew Charles BBC News, Vilnius ¶
An annual gay rights conference in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, was attacked with
smoke bombs, after a rally in the city was banned. ¶Over 200 gays, lesbians and
transsexuals attended the meeting. ¶ Delegates inside a local bar found it difficult to
breathe after the smoke bombs were thrown, but had to stay inside because of safety
concerns. ¶ The event was to be part of a week of events organised by ILGA Europe, a
gay rights group based in Brussels. ¶ A press officer for Mayor Juozas Imbrasas told the
BBC the public gathering had been banned because of what she said were "safety
concerns" due to building works. ¶ ILGA Europe rejected the mayor's decision saying no
alternative site had been offered to them and described the ruling as appalling. ¶
Executive Director Patricia Prendiville said "It is a positive duty of the city authorities to
offer an alternative venue to the applicant and they did not do that. ¶ "There is no doubt
that the City of Vilnius used the construction works as a cover."”). Rmmbr the group
‘GAIDŽIAI’ ¤ woz in wth Danius, Andrew & Stepas. We were aware ov th double entendre when w
chose th name (6/11/07. Rko··t ¤ ' @ th : “gai-J ¶ The name cums from the littlanian
"gaidžiai" which translates into: roosters, or cocks (but not pricks), or cockerels, or even
cock-a-doodle-doos. The singilar "gaidys" cums from the same root as "gaida" which
means musical note (or musical phrase). Aint that amazin! Littlania may B the only
country in the free world where those 2 words share a common source; what an indikator
of how profoundly our tribal kultural baggage is derived from de humble village. Thats
why us village lads, the gai-J, get together on thursdays fer a bit o' crowin. & by the way,
in littlanian, the word for "crows" is "gieda" witch also derives from the same ROOT. ¶ in
spite of all dat erudition i detekt a note of mockery in peeples voices when they refer to
us as THE COCKS or even YOU PRICKS. i can handle dat butt wot i really ate iz when
they say YOU LITTLE PRICKS. How wood they know? ¶ there iz a lot of false rumers goin
roun A bout our name. fer in stance ther iz the 1 that rekons da big J iz a reference 2 da
Keating J-curve "...an your at the bottom of it, cept your not goin up ..." they chuckle.
then ther woz the 1 cirkulatin in U.S of A. wot klaimed dat de J reefered 2 da famoose J-
curve ball only Babe Ruth could pitch witch use 2 swerve rite past U & strike U out from
B hind. I hate how yanks boast - so FN crass! Theres bin sum naSty stuff 2, & if U are et
all UNCUMFERTABLE A bout dis topik dont look at de page as U reed wot cums neckst.
sum r sayin dat de GUYS are GAYS. Yes, U erd mee rite! The guys of gai - J are gay
they say. Day meat on turddays not 2 krow (giedoti) but 2 cock - a - doodle - doo & 2
work on da dekorashins fer da float thayve en Ted in da Midsummer Festival in Sydney
witch they r callin the "Gay Jays" (brite pink letterink on deep purple bakGround; long-
hand sKRipt). i catarGORILLAcally (& goD B my witneSS) D-ny dat skurrillARSE rumer. its
bin spred A bout Bi an bald headed dude in leather daks hoom iz suspekted of bein a
SCOUT (i ave a koncept of fair play witch doz knot allow mee 2 eelaborate). i appen 2 no
fer sewer dat ther aint 1 single oMo in de U-PRICKS & more x-actly dat der aint 2+;
wots mor I m konfidant dat da parents (even if thay new) wood back me on dis cos thay
dont even no wot da word meens as ther arnt eny in Littlania & if day ever did katch 1
in de villige day turned im inter kompost fer da potatoe patch. So mutch fer dat crap !!
An udder story do in da rounds iz da ex akt oposit: it say wee aint de U-priks et all but
dat wee iz de LITTLANIAN FOLK (wid da silent L) ENSEMBLE, udder wize known as de LFN
(get it?). well ... taKe it or leaVe it i sez ... could B a gOOd Name fer a politiK Party but i
preefer da COCK - A - DOODLE - DOOS. eenUFf sed ¶ returnin to where I started and at
the risk of lapsin into comprehensibility ever so slightly (out comes the spell-cheque) let
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me tell you a little folk (fok?) tale ¶ WUNCE UP ON DA TIME de village roosters,
otherwise known as the gai - J, wood get up every mornin ready fer the days
work of fornikatink in the hen house. Like any honest labourer theyd be up
early before sunrize cos they knew they had a big day ahead. They woz
brimin with energy & good spirits & zest & good groomin & good looks &
they woz primed fer aktion. But instead of racin into the hen coup theyd 1st
get up on a high pertch like a gate post or a roof gable and they wood COCK
- A - DOODLE - DO. It woz their way of greetin the dawn & also a courtesy
call to the inhabitants of the hen house. They had been doin it exactly this
way like their village forefeathers B for them, fer 100's of years. Fer so long
that sum had forgot why they even done it like that. Until one evil night a
wicked demon (industrializashon? modem times? komunizmas?) passed
over the villages of Littlania and all the roosters were struck dum - they lost
there DOODLE DO'S! They still screwed around naturally but they came
unannounced, skulking about the hen houses of Littlania rude & untidy. But
a very small no of them escaped and migrated to far away Ozzie-Ozzie-Land
famous for its hopping kangaroos and the number of its herograms, and
there they formed themselves (reconstructed? reconstituted? resurrected?
transubstanciated? ) into the: gai - J, dedicated to the revival of ancient
Littlanian chivalries. As luck wood have it they were spotted by a fairy one
thursday night who went about (invisibly of course) tapping each rooster on
its droopy little wattle with her wand. And thats how the gai - J got back
their DOODLE DO'S. ¶ a ...... z”) wthout knowing that here it wood simpli mean – ‘a bunch
of poofs’ (6/11/07. “gai – J ¶ There were nine in the bed and the middle one said roll over,
roll over, so they all rolled over and one fell out. There were eight in the bed and the
middle one said roll over, roll over, so they all rolled over and one fell out. There were
seven in the bed and the middle one said roll over, roll over, so they all rolled over and
one fell out. There were six in the bed and the middle one said roll over, roll over, so
they all rolled over and one fell out. There were five in the bed and the middle one said
roll over, roll over, so they all rolled over and one fell out. Now there are four in the bed!
¶ That's my report on the boy's own singing group since my previous article first
introduced them to the readers of Jaužinios six months or so ago under the title "No
name". At least we now have a name and it has raised eyebrows. The small group has in
the meantime done a very successful gig in Adelaide where we were invited by Algis
and for which we were paid $50. Our total costs were closer to $1000, but that's how it
is in the music industry. We are also getting a huge program together for a gig in Tassie
to which we have been invited by Linas. The program consists of 34 songs in all,
organised into 3 sets. Pity we haven't learnt them - but the titles look great when you
arrange them down the page. We're also doing work in a studio with a view to putting
out a CD and it is rumoured that I am already selling an audio cassette. ¶ We've been
labelled 'exclusive' and fingers have been pointed at us in anger. We've been accused of
breaking up marriages and damaging international relations. Since resuming in the litho
community disguised as a singer I've been introduced to the byzantine politics of village
life. There is only a small amount of power and influence to be shared around and
everything anyone does, however innocently, affects everyone else. Perfidies are
routinely committed and the politics of influence is garnished by long term hatreds and
shifting alliances. Still, its sort of intimate. I suppose you could say there's been a few
tensions among the singers and even the odd explosion.The shit is still airborne and no-
one knows who its going to land on. ¶ The 'exclusive' four, to the best of my knowledge,
consists of Danius (the subtle politician), Stepas (the gun tenor), Andrew (the smooth
one) and me (the loud one). When a couple more roll over I'll be left all by my lonesome
and I don't know what I'll do as the only other group that sings 'village' tried to kick me
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out before I'd even joined up. Or maybe it only seemed that way to me. ¶ That, to the
best of my knowledge, is how it goes in the village. You can expect another report after
the Tassie gig. ¶ Yours truly ¶ a ....z”). We dun a gig (Jonas Rukšenas was DJ) in Tassie undr
that name (6/11/07. “gai - J on tour ¶ As we filed into the Hobart airport foyer on what
was our first overseas gig we were greeted by a large "gai - J on tour" sign held above
the heads of the waiting crowd by Linas Vaičiulevičius. He was the impresario
responsible for inviting us to Tassie and introducing Lithuanian village singing to the
good folk of Hobart. Our support crew of one, Jonas Rukšenas, immediately set about
photographing. Heads were turned, enquiring looks cast in our direction. The hired
microbus in which Linas was to chauffeur us around for the next six days was parked just
outside. It was covered in "gai - J on tour" posters and also smaller flyers advertising the
big event. So it was that right from the start we were catapulted into celebrity status.
Linas told us that earlier in the day ABC radio had played one of our songs, "Palydek
Sesula", in its entirety to start off a program called "State of the Arts" from the demo
tape he had sent them. ¶ It was easter Saturday and the gig was on Monday. We are
urban peasants from Melbourne, our brief was to sing Lithuanian village songs in a
Croatian club in Hobart. You can't get more mixed up than that - or multicultural (9/11/07.
butv kors u kn bkoz vrthn zknktd: eg mab thlitho word daina (song) thru SANSKRIT wth th r^in werd
daena O wch Giorgio Agamben (Profanations © 2007 Zone Books. New York) 4 n p17: “But
it is Iranian angelology that gives the guardian angel its most limpid and astonishing
formulation. According to this doctrine, an angel called a daena, who has the form of a
very beautiful young girl, presides over the birth of each man. The daena is the celestial
archetype in whose likeness each individual has been created, as well as the silent
witness who accompanies and observes us at every moment. And yet the angel’s face
changes over time. Like the picture of Dorian Gray, it is imperceptibly transformed with
our every gesture, word, and thought. Thus at the moment of death, the soul is met by
its angel, which has been transfigured by the soul’s conduct into either a more beautiful
creature or a horrendous demon. It then whispers: “I am your daena, the one who has
been formed by your thoughts, your words, and your deeds.””) perhaps! Besides Jonas,
whose biggest responsibility was to do a DAT recording of the concert, there was Andrew
Saniga, Danius Kesminas and me. Stepas Levickis was to join us on the day. ¶ Now about
Linas: he was our only contact in Tasmania; he organized the concert entirely by himself;
he was our chauffeur; except for our air fares he took all the costs on himself; he treated
us like royalty for the entire six days; he took us out fishing and netting and we ate and
drank gargantuan amounts every day; he has a fridge which is reserved only for beer
and it was stacked so full of stubbies not a single extra one would have fitted in; he
makes great salads which he picks from the garden just before you eat; he is larger than
life and full on about everything. For example, he refuses to have a phone now, but
when he finishes building his new home cum foundry cum studio he is going to have a
phone, computer, internet connection and fax. He is the perfect host; he acts the larrikin
but is as generous and kind as a saint. His brother Ignas and his brother's wife, Wendy,
were also outstanding hosts; so was his friend Annette who put up with us, beer-swilling
peasants, in her impeccably restored period home chock-a-block with antiques, for two
nights. ¶ To give you an idea of how we spent our time here is an incomplete summary
of what we ate on Sunday. Keep in mind that from the time of our arrival at Linas' place
mid-morning Saturday till 2 a.m. Sunday we had done nothing but party on except for
one session of singing practice. We started the day with breakfast flakes and banana
slices while Andrew prepared a huge serve of bacon rashers, fried onions and two eggs
per head on the BBQ around which we spent the bulk of our time while at Linas'. We
washed it down with coffee followed by stubbies of beer and it seemed only a short time
later that we hit the road for Hobart and Ignas' place where the table was already being
set for a banquet. Ignas does not let your glass stay empty for even a minute and Wendy
is just as quick to suggest another serve if she spots an empty plate. So we settled in for
a fully formal three-course meal: three kinds of delicious fish including an entire smoked
salmon, roast pork, chicken, a mix of smoked abalone and octopus pieces etc. etc. .........
All the while glasses were never allowed to go empty. Later after some conversation and
138
more beer to aid digestion out came the wine, salami, fancy cheeses and crackers to
help along what was already a very convivial atmosphere. By now we were all lolling
about with glazed expressions stroking our expanded stomachs. We were experiencing
what Tassie Lithuanian hospitality was all about. Finally after more drinks we headed off
to Annette's place in the inner city. It was only then that we took a stroll around the
tourist precinct by the docks for our first physical activity since our arrival. Not for long
though as we soon settled down in a pub for a leisurely chat and didn't get back to
Annette's place till 9 p.m. where a roast turkey surrounded by herbed baked potatoes
etc. was already waiting for us. Bed time was early because we had to sing next day -
12.30 a.m. Monday it was 3 a.m., Tuesday 1 a.m. and Wednesday 2 a.m. ¶ From our
perspective the concert went well. We sang 34 songs in 3 sets with only a very short
break of 5 - 10 minutes between first and second set and a twenty minute intermission
between the second and third set during which Jonas MC'd a competition for a free
haircut at the Cut Balou hair salon owned by Annette's brother. Jonas' MCing was a
revelation. He was just as good at that as he was at all the other jobs he turned his hand
to: sound engineer, photographer, boatman. He recorded the concert on DAT so we'll get
to analyse it later. We started singing at 7.40 and finished at 10.20. That constitutes a
full concert. We had good applause and held the attention of the audience till the very
end. Later we had plenty of compliments. I spotted Jez Lowe, one of the best known
English folk singers, in the audience. I recognised him because I had seen him at the Port
Fairy folk festival a couple of weeks earlier. ¶ The down side of the event was that Linas
needed to sell 150 or more tickets to meet his costs, but only had 60 paying customers
in spite of his best efforts. Most of the audience consisted of elderly Lithuanians of the
generation born there. It was a privilege to sing for them as their numbers are fast
diminishing and they were responsible for setting up the institutional structures that
have kept the community intact. No-one could have done a better job of the P.R. than
Linas but that's Hobart for you, and let's face it, Lithuanian village singing is not a great
drawcard with an Aussie public. I estimate that after paying each of us $100 Linas'
personal liability was around $1000. Printing the tickets alone cost him $70. ¶ So take
note Lithuanian patriots, and especially any that play the ethnic card for their own
benefit - in the six days that we were in Tassie I never heard Linas even once beat the
ethnic drum but I spotted a great stack of "Mūsu Pastogė" in the corner of his lounge and
it was his own money which he spent to stage the concert for the enjoyment of Hobart's
Lithuanian community. ¶ The days after the concert we spent fishing from his boat. And
did we catch some fish! If only it could always be like that: about 50 flathead, 30 or so
leatherjacket, 3 huge ling, a very large Tasmanian trumpeter, a parrot fish and we
released two gummy sharks. We ate most of them too .... and by the time we headed
back to Melbourne Linas' stubby fridge was empty. ¶ Arūnas Žižys”) but ¤ bet no1 in th
litho community there knew how th werdz uezd here. Seemd a good idea @ th az th crowing of
roostrs is commonly th subject of traditional singing and often the word akts az a symbolv th male
principl in them. How times have changed! I came across a vri beautifully laid out tribute or cemetry
spread over five or more acres to th dead of the german army. An inskripshn sez: “During the
second world war out of 2337 german soldiers who died in Vilnius 1600 rest in eternal
peace in this cemetry. The resting places of the remainder are unknown.” The names,
ranks and dates of the known ones are inscribed on slabs of stone arranged in two rows. In another
part there iz a very moving carving in rock of a lion sleeping with its head resting on a paw.
Apparently it was unearthed during building works and has been temporarily put here. Next 2 it r ritn
the words “DEN HELDEN ¶ DES ¶ WELTKRIEGES.” There is also a very moving carving of a face
in repose @ the foot of the lion. Another inskription elsewhere readz: “DEM ANDEDKEN ¶ DER
RUSSISCHEN ¶ SOLDATEN.” Elsewhere: “1917. In this place there used to be a monument
in memory of more than 2000 buried soldiers of the first world war from germany,
austria/hungary, russia, poland and turkey.” ¤ left the park past a br& nue multi-stori hotel whr
¤ woz n4md th *tn pr¤s 4 n singl room woz $400/dae (23/11/07. mab ¤d ··t 2' 400Lt/da).
Th@ k¤ndv pr¤s znt unusual 4 nstay in a bootique hotel in old town also. But a travl aejnt ¤ vstd iz
advertizing 4 day weekends (airfares & bed & breakfast in city centres) in Prague for A$500 & 5 day
stays (over a weekend) in Paris (** hotels in Montmartre) for A$1000. They hav deals l¤k this for
139
moest cities in europe and also in Turkey. After eating t in a café in Pilies g. ¤ rang Ray V. from a
fone booth opposite the small CERKVE (orthodox, provoslavu) called the Church of St Nickolay.
“The Church of St Nickolay is the most ancient church in Vilnius. Therefore in contrast
with other Nickolai churches it was called “the Great”. Olgerd’s second wife Yulianiya,
the Duchess of Tver, in 1350 built a stone church instead of the wooden one. In 1514 the
Duke Konstantin Ostrozhshij rebuilt again this church completely. During the union time
the church was sadly ruined, only in 1865 it was renewed by Michael Muravyov with the
help of the willing people of the whole country of Russia.” Cerkvės don’t hav pews so ¤ woz
able to st& with m¤ head bowed wthout drawing @10shn 2 m¤slf. ¤ hav a problm in a catholic
church as ¤ feel embarrassed th@ ¤m unable to kneel down with othr devotees as ¤ feel ¤ would
b bhaving falsely as ¤ do not share their kind of intensity. Met up with Ray V. in Pilies g. & he took
me 2 th LITERATU KAVINE off Gedimino Prospektas wher the piano was being played & writerly
types were deep in conversation and beer. Later in the night they really let their hair down apparently.
¤ m¤t drop in 1 evening 2 sample the atmosphere. We went back to old town to his office wher he
gave me two back issues of the glossy monthly (“THE ONLY MAGAZINE CREATED BY AND FOR
THE INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIAN ¶ VILNIUS MONTHLY PRESENTS CONTEMPORARY AND
HISTORICAL LITHUANIA LIKE NO OTHER MAGAZINE”) he produces. ¤ woz specially interested
in issue no. 8, 2005 whch has ‘Jewish Lithuania’ as the main theme and he also gave mi a copy of
issue no. 9, 2005 whose lead article is ‘SIBERIA: the sad story of how one third of Lithuania’s
population became victims of Soviet terror.’ The weathr had turnd mild in the afternoon wch
njuest mi 2 take th long wae back 2 th hotel & woz rsponsbl 4 mi losing th jumpr. Its 9.15 & ¤m going
to the post office 2 mail these notes. Also ¤m taking no.8 of the VILNIUS MONTHLY 2 read over kofi
…. (This letter arrived on the 19
th
June at the same time as Letter 3 (despite being dated 8
th
June from the
Sydney Gateway Facility) because it had been OPENED BY AUSTRALIA POST FOR INSPECTION BY
CUSTOMS according to the bright green plastic tape across the resealed end that had been cut open)….
felt very t¤rd @ t¤mz tho ¤ did vri ltl. d th♫♪ ' so far ftr waiting in th kue 4 ½ nhour. Issue no 8
in a park off Gedimino Prospektas & found m¤slf nodng off @ t¤mz. Bought a flask of Čepkeliu.
Had a beer with pikld herring. Couldnt get bak2 th hotel 2 call H bcoz 1 hell of a ^storm erupted.
Each clap of thunder wood set off a korusv ÷ larmz. Rturnd Issue no 8 2 Rayz office from whr ¤l b
aebl 2 pik it up on mi wae bak2 OZ. Woz Od↑ in nkafé x th^ whr ie got torkn 2 nkuplv rsrvsts. W 4 4
nkuplv hourz & partd wth h&shaeks & xchaenjv naemz. Thei wr krtz¤zn post-modrn rt, & flosfi, &
rampnt kaptlzm wch lithol& zgript x. Thei ern O 88Lt/munth. Thei werk z staejh&z ntheatres in
Gedimino Prospektas. Bort 2 ‘kibinai’ & n ‘cepelinas’ wchz mor greezy food thanz good 4 mi hlth. Bort
2 dtaeld maps vth _ O Ukmergė & Moletai. Whn ¤ got bak heer nnue ♀ @ rception sed ¤d hav2 f
¤nd nue komodaeshn 2moro zn bunchv poles had th nt¤r 7
th
floor bookt out. W got torkn & ♀
chaenjd tak & put mi →2 nroom onth 8
th
floor whr ¤m WITHOUT A NEIGHBOUR. Thisz 1v thbetr
rooms nth hotel ♀ sed & tz nreal mproovmnt on 71A. M¤t reed nbit of Vilnius Monthly Issue no 9
b4 ie hit thsak (9.27pm).
30/5 /06. A curious incident remains with me from yesterday (6/11/07. Monday
29/5/06 (no 67)). I needed to buy nail-clippers, pointy scissors to cut a blister, and elastoplast so I
went to the big Maxima supermarket at the other end of Čiurlionio g.. The checkout woman sed
sumthning I didnt understand and I had to ask her to repeat herself several times. This is happening
often to me even in english as I am fast losing hearing over the last couple of years and am often at
the very edge of my ability. I usually excuse myself by saying Im partially deaf as I did in this case. To
which the checkout lady, of similar age to me, responded by totally ignoring me and remarking to the
woman behind me as if I was non-existent, that from now on they get all kinds of people here like
poles, russians, and even germans. She continued like this, while I protested I was a litho citizen and
had even voted in the elections, never once taking her eyes from the other woman and
acknowledging me only in so far as she pushed the change towards me. I had been mistaken for a
russian for the second time in two days. My very short crew cut which is particularly popular among
russian speaking youths probably contributed to the impression. This is a tourist town which also
contributes to the local habit of making distinctions. There are those others from whom you take
money and us the genuine locals. The opportunity to practice at making the division is one of the
subtle effects of mobility and the tourist industry all over the world. The locals are not very numerous I
imagine and I am conscious of the possibility that my enquiry as to the whereabouts of the jewish
cemetry which I will make later at the tourist kiosk, added to yesterdays enquiries at the Čiurlionio
140
(because he came from the district) Museum, could lead to a whisper that there is a foreigner
wandering about prying into sensitive areas. My paranoia is finely tuned. Albina (says she is
perceived as an exotic oddity – the english teacher from australia) will be round at 1pm so we can
inspect the flat at no.11 Antakalnio g. Ive just had the cleaning lady pick up the rubbish and she has
a strong accent – rus I think. There are large patches of blue in the sky today and Im heading for the
kiosk (9.20am) …. It wasnt open til 10 so I continued on2 th Sveikatingumo & Motinystės (health &
motherhood) parka (park) which is magnificent forest with the Ratnijcia river flowing clear & strong
like a mountain stream in Victoria. It enters the Nemunas near the centre of the city. Coming out on
the main road to Vilnius I noted that the jewish cemetry was marked as being due west into the forest
on the other side and taking a bearing with the compass I found that a faint track led in the direction.
When I spotted a stone (post? marking the spot of a poor persons rmains?) I knew I had stumbled on
the site. But there woz nothing there except a modest monument laid out on the ground consisting of
= with slabs of rock one to three feet in height with hebrew inscriptions in three of the points. On the
biggest one there were also the words in lithuanian SENOSIOS ŽYDU KAPINĖS (the old Jewish
cemetry). That was all I could see – at first at least. I was overcome briefly and muttered “Lord
resurrect them”. I suppose nothing less could appease the memory. Then as I stood in front of the
main slab a cuckoo started calling nearby loud, clear and insistent. When I had 1
st
heard the cuckoo
at the bus stop I noted I had money in my pocket as the saying here is that if you do you will be rich.
But the meaning I had been taught as a child is that it is a premonition or an indication of death. Then
I set about exploring the immediate surrounds in widening circles for indications of the cemetry since
I know that everything leaves a trace. There were hardly any, so few that they are only visible to
someone who searches. In all I found 6 ‘stones’ and some broken rock which only close inspection
indicated it wasnt natural. A corner of a larger slab protruded where a disused track had been graded.
Judging from the faintness of the foot tracks (litho forests are full of tracks inlcuding ones made by
deer) hardly anyone visits though there was a candle holder at the foot of each stone. It may be there
are not even any descendants of the jews of Druskininkai left as in many places of murder in lithuania
there were no survivors. It is conceivable that there are more sites of jewish cemetries than there are
surviving lithuanian jews as most of the small present population of about 5000 are of post war
russian origin. The site is peaceful at least. The cuckoo started up again as I was collecting a bunch
of perfumed drebules (snowdrops I think) which grow in profusion under pines on the surrounding
forest floor. I put them at the foot of the main inscription. I had noticed yesterday that both the russian
cemetry of dead soldiers and the lithuanian partizan cemetry had a single bunch of faded flowers at
the foot of each monument. In Vingio parkas in Vilnius someone had crossed two beautiful huge red
tulips with gold centres at the base of the main monument to the dead german soldiers. I continued
on west through the forest to the bike path and out by the lake back to the small kavine on the main
road where I had a meal of rissoles washed down by a very good beer whose brand name Ive
forgotten. Then I came straight back here, Albina is due any minute ….. Checkt owt th apartment in
Antakalnio g. hoepn ¤d f¤ndn xkues not2 taekt spshli z¤ ddnt wont 2hav n¤tmairz zie had thlrst
¤ woz nr4mr gtoe _ ( Monday 26/7/04). Twoz nxlnt plaes butth - woz tmprli misn. Th@
klncht. ¤m not so obsssv O thpromtnzv COINCIDENCE th@ ¤ ignor thvoisv slfntrst. Thr hapi 4mi
2stae h· but thpr¤s goez↑ x 10Lt from thrzdi, th strtv thsumr holdae zn. Sjstd 2 Albina th@ ¤ giv
♀r tranzlaeshnv Mallacoota Man 2 Vaidas 2 f hi wonts 2 lluestr8t. B4 ¤ lft Melbourne Vaidas
prpoezd w publshn , fundnt owrslvz. Publshn kosts rmuch cheepr h· & Vaidas duz gr8
llustraeshnz. ¤ woznt thueziastk koz ¤ kant m¤slf 'n nlithoe & h· sudnli outvthblue ¤ hav 1v
m¤ storeez nlithoe wth noe f4t nm¤ part. Seemz 2good2btrue &n COINSIDENCE. Albina gaev mi
n2rst broeshr wch sez th žydu muziejus zoepn 2dae but twoznt wn ie chekt. Wnt 2 th Maxima & bort
strorbreez & 2 k¤ndzv graeps 4 7.15Lt. ¤m maeknn •v eetn fruet vri dae 2 maek↑ 4 m¤ klask lithoe
meelz @ th Bebenčiukas (6/11/07. Vaidas nozt koz ♂z x uzt2 liv nDruskininkai). Albina haz bn havn
trubl ds¤dn wthr 2 stae rgoe ←2 Melbourne. ♀z bn doin long →s nth 4st tr¤n 2 ds¤d, maekn listsv
proeznkonz. Thrr mor pportuentz h·bkoz tzn smorlr bubl but ♀r bruthr Rimasz hintn ♀ shood kum ←
& hlp owtnbit @ lthoe haus nErrol st, North Melb. Just wn ♀ ds¤dd 2 ← ♀ woz ofrd 6 munthsv werk
zn 2rst g¤d → EUROPA x ntravl jn nVilnius. ♀z bn h·1½ y·z lrdi. Wil f¤nd owt mor @ 6pm @
Bebenčiukas whr ♀l join mi 4 t juern ♀r braek btween lkchrz @th kolj † throed. 4n short siesta. ….
→d thwstrn skshnvth Nemunas gain. T. ¤ think Albina wilf¤ndt hard2 setl nMelbourne (6/11/07. onli
lrstd rfu munths) 4 2long (8/7/06. Why? Or are you just projecting your own feelings onto her?) thoe ♀
sez wot ♀z lrnt O smorl town l¤f zth@ ♀ duznt wantt. Twoz ntrstn 2 wth wot kloes @10shn th ♀♀
141
runn th eetri wr bzrvn th straenj fnomnonv 2 ppl thei nue kood speek lithoe 2b torknn nglsh zth
langwjv chois (wv nli spoekn nglsh). Thr nli uezd2 sumtn l¤k th@ wth rus & poelz. →d theestrn siedv
thrvr & wotn m¤ti rvr tz h·. ThH2Oz flown eevn hardr than b4. Vrwhr ue → past thoutskirts vthtown
z4st. (9.15pm). Gunna reed nbitv fePrEnSaSnOdAo & hd →bed. Oyair, 4got2 mnshn: Albina gts paed
280Lt/munth, nbsrdli smorl mount wch ♀ suplmnts wth saevnz from wot ♀ ernt teechnn japn. ♀ paez
ngood prt ovt 4 ♀r 2room pprtmnt wch woz bsoluetli mti wn ♀ gott. Thvri 1
st
thing ♀ hd2gt woz
nm@rs wch hd2b roeld↑ & shuvdn 2gthr wth ♀r →2 nrdklusli t¤ni ÷ 2b trnsprtd 2 ♀r fl@. & ♀ sez ¤
doent look rus: mie noez znt big & fl@.
6/6/06. (11/7/06. You have consistently written ‘08’ for the year throughout this letter – so
you missed the import of the ‘06/06/06’ that is the real date for this entry, (thank God). You will be
pleased to know that no beasts, other than the usual ones, made themselves apparent.) Mslaenia: the
curved pipes with hot water running through them which you get in shower/toilets of soviet style
hotels such as the ones I stayed in in Vilnius, th Nemunas in Druskininkai, & the Šiauliai in Šiauliai
where I was last year are called ‘givatukai’ (from givatė: snake) & they really are meant for drying
towels & socks & underpants as I had been doing. Ive become a fan of these institutions: they
provide the bare minimum at rock bottom prices which ordinary people can afford. Its when these
minimal services dont function that you get into trouble. The main problem they all seem to have is
bad soundproofing which is why on my way back through Vilnius Ill check out the accomodation in
the monastery by Aušros Vartai which is said to have walls one foot thick; yesterday when we were
coming here in Rasa’s car (the passenger side window wont wind down, you have to wipe the
windows by hand because the demister isnt on because the generator isnt charging properly & if she
uses accessories the battery gets flattened & she cant start the car) this side of Labanoras I saw a
Šarka (Pica pica) (9/11/07. nnglsh: magpie) which you can find all over lithoel& but its becoming
much rarer; what I had thought to be an owl last night was a cuckoo, Gegutė (Cuculus canorus), I
realized later in the night when they got going properly; its 2.30pm, Im back from Labanoras and my
room is still snugly warm kept that way by the ‘krosnys’ (large clay stove) even though I didnt get up
during the night to close the chimney vent which youre supposed to do after the fire is out to stop the
cold air from flowing back down the chimney and cooling the stone/clay/brick encasing the fire hole;
how my father (7/12/07. Thursday 6/11/03 (no 70) & Sunday 10/9/05 (no 73)) who never
tired of doing water colour paintings (from a foto) of his childhood home in Žeimiu Kaimas (village)
wood have loved and looked after this house and its surrounding sheds! How he would have loved to
have been able to recreate something like this in australia. But the place is going to rack and ruin
because the Kabailas are city people, mathematicians (KaAdBoAmIaLsA wants to study for work in
the financial sector) & intellectuals with no aptitude or tolerance for domestic efficiencies. The tools of
household and farming life (there are two excellent scythes in the main shed) are slowly being
scattered & buried under an accumulation of later junk and several years supply of birch logs are
being allowed to deteriorate for want of being cut. I suspect any effort at maintenance ceased with
the death of Vytenis. The property (it looks to be about 10 hectares) was bought over 25 years ago
from an old widow who got too old to be able to maintain a rural lifestyle in an isolated (snowed in in
winter) house three kilometers by the short cut from Labanoras which wouldnt have much over 100
people. Mind you there are two tiny general stores (from one of which today I bought a pair of socks
(made in lithol&; the last pair which I got in Druskininkai for about 0.80Lt were made in Poland) for
2.40Lt), a bus stop with a daily bus in both directions (to Ignalina & to Molėtai), a municipal building
and a post office, a church, & a resident doctor (something youd never have in such a small town in
OZ). It is typical of what is happening all over the country. The crazy old woman on the next door
property which is hidden in the forest sold half her house to a group of hippies from Vilnius who call
themselves the ‘Lithuanian Indians’ so she wouldnt be in the house by herself the entire time. She
collects berries (blueberries, cranberries) and mushrooms in the forest. A clause in the contract
allows the Indians to take possession of the rest of the house when she dies. Rasa told me a curious
story of an event that happened last week. She and a friend got lost in the forests in the Ignalina area
so they knocked on the door of an isolated house to ask for directions. The answer was a long time in
coming and in russian. When finally the door was opened they saw an old man who looked as if he
might be 100 with a beard down to his waist and brilliantly milky blue eyes as he was totally blind. It
turned out he could also speak lithoe and though blind said he was perfectly capable of explaining to
them how to find their way. He woz one of the ‘Old Believers’ of the russian orthodox faith who at
some stage had been expelled from russia and who are highly respected by the people among whom
142
they have settled; in Labanoras I got talking to DEbVaElIyKsIS who is one of the two carpenters in
the area. He said the largest group in the village are the old women because they outlive the men. I
saw signs on billboards offering to buy any land or houses and pay in cash. First their lifestyle was
taken away now what is left is being bought out. Some of these old women are remarkably supple.
The only person I saw using a scythe was a wiry old bird who looked in her 80s. Saw a woman as
stout as a tub weeding her garden standing bent over without bending her knees with the top of her
head at knee level. Then I saw another old woman without even a hint of a bend in her legs doing the
same: they are the last representatives of a life style which is being swept away. A hotel/restaurant in
a beautifully maintained old two storey wooden building has recently begun business. They charge
60Lt/night. The dining room is as beautiful as the one at Širdelė in Druskininkai so I had a beer and a
dish of silke (pickled herring) with onion & a few small boiled spuds for 9Lt. The foyer and the dining
room are decorated with scores of stuffed animals and birds covering practically every species in the
district. Acquiring these & all kinds of memorabilia is one of the proprietor’s hobbies. The stuffed boar
head is almost as large as the moose head. Both animals are common in the area and the boars are
a big nuisance & feared; saw a notice put up last month requiring everyone to keep all fowl, ducks,
geese & pet birds under roof to protect them from bird flu. The penalty for non-compliance is 5000Lt;
Rasa says the requirement teachers know three languages is no problem as most people already do.
She knows german, english & russian besides lithuanian but not polish though Meilutė is fluent in
polish; she says there are many snakes in the district though she hasnt seen the pale striped (marga)
one which is the only poisonous one; ¤m becoming a bit of an expert on the hole in the ground type
of toilet. They range in style from the narrow hole (about 4" diameter) as you have in the bus station
(6/11/07. sns rplacd x rbr& nu pa toilt) at Ukmergė which is the most disgusting as its easy to miss
and usually has a small mountain range (geologically young and still rising) of accumulated shit
around the rim to the large hole (1 foot wide x 2 feet long) as you get behind the bus stop at
Labanoras. Youd have to be hopeless to miss it but you could easily drop your satchel or glasses or
camera into it and if youre a kid you could fall in (9/11/07. 2 ·· dd ¬ & drownd n SHIT th@ sumr (
Thursday 29/6/06 (no 70))) yourself. The most acceptable (except 4 th cost of 1Lt) are the ones
at the Vilnius bus station as they are porcelain and flush clean after each use; its 4.30 & m¤ roomz
stil warm wchz vdnsv how wl dz¤nd thz hausz r 4 thkndshnz. Boeth ntreez hav vstbuelz 2 leev
boots, shaek ↓ snoe nwntr & hang koets. Thinr dorv thmaen1 (←vstbuel → 2 haus) haz x2 glaezd
glars panlz. Orl wndoez nth haus r x2 paenz wth litl wndoez ue kan oepn nth midl fue wont2 let
frshairn. & tz orl goen 2 rak&ruen. Nsdntli th bst gzamplv sumthn wch lmoest duznt-but-duz werk zth
frij wch haz lost thplug offtz kord. Ue stik th2 bair 2cm lnthsv kopr w¤r →2 thplug hoelz nth worl
2gett2goe. ¤m → laek …. ¤m drinkn nweet b· z¤ norn O smorl ☼td dr¤d ~. Thz rkorld
KUOJOS (mažos) (neišdarinėtos, vytintos). Ystrdi ¤ tr¤d peeln thskinoff & xth ¤d fnsht thr woz 0
lft. Ue x thz nth suprmrkt nth shlfv thingz 2 hvwth b·. Th rus nprtklr ♥m & hv ntrjuest thhabt h·. Thei
r vri ☼ti. Thuthr dr¤d ~ ¤ bort 4 b· r PLEKŠNĖS (išdarinėtos, vytintos). ThKUOJOS rkort nlthoel&
nfrshH2O &th PLEKŠNĖS kum from thboltk . Nth wae → thlaek ¤ parst 1vth ‘ndianz’ werknn nn
long poel przuembli 4 nTP. Thgras woz dr¤ 2dae & ¤ marvl @ thxtrordnri buetiov th4st O h·. Tz
much mor buetfl than eevn O Druskininkai. ¤ fownd plntiov gr8 pr¤v@ •s ue kood kampn xth shor.
Zn OZ ue hv2 1
st
→ thtraks 2 f¤dm. H· 2 thluepnz r 4mn flowr hedz. JOrNiAmIaTsIS sez their not
naetv but wr brort h· 2 groe 4 fodr & hvgon w¤ld spshli x roedsiedz. Nth wae ← ¤ hd ngood
sietnvn Didžioji zylė (Parus major) &vn Kekštas (Garrulus glandarius) but moest ks¤tnli vn Juodoji
Meleta (Drycopus martius) wchz nlrj blak woodpkr wchz vth gr8st mprtns 2th koljiov th4st zt
pekzowt nue Oz vri t nsts 4 uthr ·· , ·· etc 2 uez l8r. W¤l ¤ rmmbr: DEbVaElIyKsIS had 2
baebi KIŠKIAI (w¤ld rabts) wch ♂ letmi p@. Thr rl@vzv TRIUŠIAI (th dmstk8d rabt brd 4 meet wch
hvgon ferln OZ). Nth wae ← prst th ‘lthoe ndianz’ ¤ kood h·drumbeets. ¤ rternd 2 thSODYBA parst
maszv dandilion nflowr & thprfuem vth l¤lak (thei grow w¤ld nsiti & kuntris¤d orl oevr lithoel&)
gaenst ths¤dv thhaus. & ys! Tflt good, l¤k ¤ wozn thr¤t plaes; l¤k ¤ blongd. Goen → thPO
2moroe 2snd thz →Melb. (taeks 1dae → Vilnius).
13/6 /06. “ … I look down on my past life as if it were a plain stretched out
beneath the sun just breaking through the clouds, and I notice, with a metaphysical
shock, how all my most assured gestures, my clearest ideas and my most logical aims
were, after all, nothing but an innate drunkenness, a natural madness, an immense
ignorance. I did not act the part. I was merely the gestures, never the actor. ¶ Everything
that I have done, thought and been has been a series of subordinations either to a false
143
entity I took to be myself, because all my actions came from him, or to the force of
circumstance that I took to be the air I breathed. In this visionary moment, I am suddenly
a solitary man realizing he is in exile from the country of which he has always considered
himself a citizen. In the very heart of everything I thought, I was not me. ¶ … Yes, I am
like a traveller who suddenly finds himself in a strange town, with no idea of how he got
there and Im reminded of cases of amnesiacs who, losing all memory of their past lives,
for a long time live as other people.” – Pessoa. (ibid) (15/7/06. He expresses perfectly what I’m
feeling now)… (8am) … Feel lthrjk soe h·· thbreefst rport: feet got soekt x due nth wae 2th 7stop
@ Labanoras; 4

th1
st
nlithol& ¤♀rd spntaenius singn: O 5 ♂♂, 1 wthn rkordion wr drnkn †throed
fromth 7stop; 7 never dun oevr 60kz/hr orlthwae → Ignalina; nIgnalina got 500Lt, rang Vaidasz
plaes & gotn2 Brigita & got ♀r moeb¤l no., dun sum shopn & bort nmeel & nb·; woz bak@thhaus O
2.30 & hdnnap; nvstg8td thbeevr ÷sl & sOz; →d nth 4st offtrak & lae↓ 4nuthr nap nth4st flor nn prfkt
sumr rvoe.
20/6 /06. Nglorius sumr dae. Th3 baebi storks (Baltasis gandras (Ciconia ciconia)) ntopv
thchmni (ystrdae ¤ kood from nlongwaeowt wthth bnokuelrz thnst woznues) mustb feeln thheet. ¤
hadn dip nth Šešuola wch woz kold 4 nwosh. Rlier nthdae ¤ wosht mi ndrpnts, sox, shortsleevshert
& jeenz. Th ŽVIvR&BbL&ImAI lft @ 3 4 Kaunas & wilb ← x fr¤dae mornn @ thl8st. Thr wilb nheepv
ppl h·x fr¤dae eevnn 4 thJONINES (longst daevthy·) wchz 1vthmoest mprtnt daez 4 2gthrns
(9/11/07. Monday 14/8/06) & bondn nth lthoe kalndr. (29/7/06. I could do with some togetherness
and bonding here – its been in very short supply for 3 months and its pissing me right off – the only
bonding I’m getting is with the fucking keyboard!) Thsmornn ¤ herd Vaidas humn nchuen vwch Brigita
nue thwerdz so ¤ lerntt: “Jau sutemo temela / Nusileido saulala (x2) // Po beržynų
vaikščiojau / Bėro žirgo jieškojau (x2) // Bėro žirgo neradau / Panitėli sutikau
(x2) // Oi panyte panela / Ar nematei žirgelio (x2) // Matyt mačiau žirgeli / Savo
tėvo dvareli (x2)”. Thrz sum good sl¤dn ♪♫. Ftr thei lft ¤ → Lyduokiai 4.5 kz wae 2shop. Flt
good – tz how thloeklz get O kspt m¤ hd g·· & braeks wch thrz ftn doent. Lrst y· Vaidas brort
2 oevr ← Melbourne wch ♂ hd bort 4 $5-10. ♂ rknz thrz noewaenoen ¤ doent look l¤k nloekl
& K8 told mi lrst y· ¤l lookl¤k nloekl noem@rwhr¤goe (7/11/07. but not nitalia Wednesday
16/5/07 (no 69))) & ¤ rekn ¤m lookn mor l¤k nloekl nth thn sum1 vztn ← Vilnius rKaunas nn
÷. ¤m drnkn BLINDOS Tradicinis (Alk. 6,0 turio proc. (% vol.)) 0,51…. 1vth chaenjz nth yard
zth@th larjst treez sOnt, th LIEPOS (doent noe nnglsh), rorl hlthi. 2y·· goe ¤ thort sumvm wr d¤
n. Praps thvri kold wntr woz good4m, maeb kilnoff sumk¤ndv fungs rbug. Thuthr big chaenj zth@
thyrdz tiedier. Thrz nlrj _v neet lorn owtbak. Vaidaz hz kw¤rd nlornmowr & nWIPRSNIPR. Thdaezv
s¤thn rO 2dsp·. Just l¤k thfidl rplaest thKANKLES nkuplv y·z goe thWIPRSNIPR zrplaesn
thLITOVKA orl oevr lithol& but spshli nprksngrdnz. 0 kan rzst thtr¤umfnt mrch vsup·er tknlji. Nbitv
trdshnl tknlji wch koodb i zn loknthdorv thµ. ¤ ÷nt maek↑ m¤ m¤nd wthr 2 taek m¤ prsports etc
wthmi wn ¤ goe n → Ukmergė etc 2moro r2 h¤dm nth µ. Th Lakštingala (Luscinia Luscinia) zz
lowd zvr @th ejvth grdn. Tz kstrordnri nerjtk 4n · noe bigr thnn sparoe but ue nvr t kozt sits soe stil
nn leefi brnch. 7.25 nn hotstil eevnn - 4n kold b·. “One’s life should be so arranged that it
remains a mystery to other people, so that those who know one best in fact no one as
little as anyone else, only from a slightly nearer vantage point. That is how, almost
without thinking, I have designed my life, but such was the instinctive art I put into it
that even to myself my individuality is not entirely clear-cut or precise.” – Pessoa 134
[202] (9/8/06. Imagine what his wife, if he had one, would have made of that – perhaps she stupidly
believed she was truly close to him, when to him she was no more important than anyone else in his
circle. What a fool she must have felt when she found out how much time she had wasted on him.)
27/6 /06. Thei sae, soe sez Brigita, ·· nlithol& stop ♫♪ @ JONINĖS & sumr bgnz. Wthr
4 th@ reezn rbkozv thkrowd thLakštingala (Luscinia luscinia) (Nightingale) ®t ♫♪ nfue daesgoe &
haznt rzuemd thoe moestvth famli hv lft. Wn w maed owr goodb¤z ¤ told Gintas (7/11/07. 2/10/07)
owr dskushnz (eg O thnaechrv s¤ns - r thlorz vnaechr sumtn owt thr 2b dskuvrd l¤k th Oi grael
rrthei nks10shn vourslvz?) hdbn n↑l¤t vm¤ wknd & ♂woz ffuezf 2th ●v m¤ mbrsmnt n♂z klaemz ♂
hd nvr rgued wth sum1 hoo kuvrd thtertri wth lngwj vsuch lgns. Nrguemnt zn uthr  z tzth jerni wch
kownts & x th ue mnj 2 df¤n yor  v dverjnsz uev stablsht wot ue hv nkomn zth jrni knssts ndf
¤nn staebl s¤npoests – greemnts O how 2 uez lngwj. Ystrdae eevnn Vaidas heetd↑ thPIRTI
gaen & @ ☼set wn Brigita & Miglė wr fnsht w took oevr 4 nlong sshn vswetntowt @ 75º (rkordn 2 th
144
·wch maeb folti) ntruptd x3 (¤ soept↓ & wosht nth 1
st
1) sshnz nth springfed Šešuola rvr. …
Rmmbrd 2taek mi Somac pil (antasd) wch ¤v bn 4gtn 2doo thlrst fue daez …. Vaidas zkookn
baekn&egz 4 brkfst …. 12 mdn¤t. Viežbutis Metropolis. Kaunas. Throomz l¤k nswet .
4/7/06. “Jurbarkas Region. ¶ Jurbarkas region situated on the south west of
Lithuania, stretches 70km (43.5 mi) nestled against Father of Lithuanian rivers, the
Nemunas, and occupies an area of 1508 sq. km (582 sq. mi). The region is famous for
renaissance-style castles, manors and their parks, remained fragments of defensive line
of the Nemunas from XIII-XVth centuries, valuable Panemunė landscape, unique cultural
treasures: 24 historical, 35 archeological, 8 architectural, and 3 urban-planning
monuments, 6 manors, 54 inactive cemetries and 89 art-works. Forests occupy 35
percent of the region. ¶ The most famous architectural structures are – the renaissance
style Raudonė Castle (end of the 16
th
century) and Panemunė (on the Nemunas) Castle
(beginning of the 17
th
century). ¶ You can reach Jurbarkas (pronounced Jurbarkas) via the
Old Post Canal from Kaunas, down the old postal trails, along which post was carried to
Klaipeda (Memel) and Karaliaučius (Kaliningrad)… ¶ Jurbarkas is situated on the north
bank of the River Nemunas (pronounced Nemunas) at the junction of three rivers, the
Nemunas, the Mituva and the Imsre. The first time Jurbarkas was mentioned is in 1259 in
the Chronicle of P. Duisburg after Georgenburg (Jurgenburg) Castle had been built at this
location for the Teutonic Knights. In the 14
th
century, Jurbarkas became a royal manor. In
the third decade of the 16
th
century, the Polish king and Lithuanian Grand Duke
Zygimantas the First issued a decree for administering the land of the entire inhabited
zone along the border with Prussia to the Queens. The wife of Zygimantas II, Queen
Bona, was the first to manage Jurbarkas. In 1611, Jurbarkas was granted the Magdeburg
Law and coat of arms, namely three white lillies on a red background. 14,000 people
currently reside in Jurbarkas. The longest bridge over the Nemunas joins Jurbarkas to
Šakiai Region.” (8.55am, notn nthsk¤)… Justz¤ wozgtn kwaentd wth throostrz vRaudone (¤v
bn leevn thwndoe oepn @ n¤ts 4

thkoolair) ¤m leevn. 1.40 @th 7stop. Thsmornn ¤ dd mor
trnsl8n 4 thjaps. Thfrthr hd spnt 3 y·· nMelbourne. ¤ ksplaend 2 thm wotn rleef twoz 4mi 2f¤nd
ppl ¤ kood speek nglsh 2. ¤ gaev ngzmplv m¤ ·n (Savannah) 2th dortr. Tmeenz ¤ nli hv 1mor
sampl (Wingdings) lft. B4 lunch ¤ tr¤d 1s gaen 2O Rasa 2 thank ♀ 4 ♀ kumpni but 1s gaen ♀r
moeb¤l seemz dsknktd. Just l¤k thKabailas ¤ thort – thingz thr bairli werk rnt@orl. Got thrue 2
Brigita 2 tl Vaidas vm¤ whrOs. ♀r rspshn woz vri por & m¤n nli vrj but ¤ ndrstood nuf 2getth
mprshn theidhd ngood nPreila ( → (no 1) 2004 Birželio 29d – Liepos 2d (no 49)) & th@
Vaidas zkrook & runn ntmprchr. ♂z bn vztn doktrz & now hzgon → Rimeisiai. ¤ sed 2tl ♂m ¤ woz
trvln town → town longth Nemunas 4tleest nuthr week. Ystrdae ¤ hd huejli oevreetn bkoz Stasio
mum hd maed 2much 4 m¤ æ soe 2dae ¤ rkst ♀r 2maek mutch ls butt woz stil nlot. ¤ doent wont
2bkum l¤k mniov thloekl ♂♂ but spshli not l¤k th2 kownsl werkrz (sumoez wth noe muslz) hoov
bnwerkn 4 3daez 2bild nsmorl woodn brj oevr ngutr & rnoewhrn· fnsht. Wn ¤ sed goodb¤ 2 Stasio
mum ¤ thankt ♀r & told ♀r ¤ woz leevn f@r thn wn ¤ kaem. B4 th@ ¤ & H & ths mnjd
2gtthrue….
11/7 /06. Tookth 7.507→ Klaipeda (4mli Memel): “Klaipeda was founded in 1252. It
stands out among other cities of Lithuania by its old and rich historical past, and specific
architecture that is common to the cities of Western Europe. Klaipeda is a maritime town
in its apparel and soul. ¶ Klaipeda port is the main part of the town. It is like a big
crossing where inbound and outbound ships meet. The Sea Festival is famous not only in
Klaipeda but all over Lithuania.” Thold town zsmorl but @rktv nn dfrnt wae 2th oldtownv Kaunas
& Vilnius bkoz vth jrmn rktkchr. Th7 took 1owr & 50mns 2 travl 60kz & woz jampkt wth vr t taekn &
ppl pakt →2 th¤l l¤k srdeenz. @th mrkt ¤ taestd nnue gr8 food. Tz nk¤ndv doenut but dubl ths¤z
& nstedv jam thrz bitsv spekt¤p baekn (LAŠINIAI) ns¤d. Ue eett worm & tz greezi l¤k moest
taekwae buns (BANDELIAI) ue x @ storlz. Tz korld BELIAŠAI &z justz dlshs zth KIBINAI ¤ uezueli
get. ¤ rd thppr oevr ngood l@e nn kerbs¤d kafe nxt2th Teatro Aikštė & torowt nreport O th sues¤
dv PRvAaNlUdLaIsS hoo hung ♂mslf lrst weeknd n♂z uent nVilnius. ♂ woz ntheetr drktr vkntmpri
drrmr. 1v ♂z moest sukssfl prdukshnz woz staejd @ thdrrmr theetr nKlaipeda wch ¤ kood from whr
¤ woz reedn. Thrtkl nkluedz npkchr v♂m wch maeks mi 1dr f♂ woznt thsaem persn ¤ torkt2 @th
pub/rstront nLabanoras wth hoom ¤ fownd soemuch rapor (7/11/07. Sunday 18/6/06 (no 73)).
145
¤ 8 ŠALTIBARSČIAI & @ nuthr br nCEPELINA. Kortn7@3.30 → Šilute & woz ← n 2k@ch thlrst
7 @ 5.15 → Rusne. S@ nxt2 th♀ ¤ hdarkst drkshnz from nm¤ wae2 Šilute ystrdae. ♀z werkn nth l
¤bri oevr thholdaez butz studin npoestgrad dgree 2b narkvst. ♀ kn speek nglsh wl & ¤ promst 2put
♀r nmi maeln list (7/11/07. dunt). ♀r naemz MIŠrEūItKaYTĖ & ♀z @ 10 Taikos g. ¶ 99348 Rusnė ¶
Lithuania. ¤ told ♀r ♀r naem kumz ← thl@n wrtz splt thsaemwae & dskr¤bz thsaem plant & th@
thnglsh werd ‘rue’ dr¤vz ←t. ♀ told mi th@ nheebrue tmeenz ‘frnd’. ¤ 1drdftznoen mung lithoez
th@ thwerd KINESA (rkrdn2 KA&SrTeEaRIS (alias diCA&SrTeRaO) (7/11/07. wn ¤ gotbak ♂ 4
thwerd ♂d uzd woz “knesset” (zrale prl··t) - ¤d ms♀rdt)), thplaesv wershp vth KARAIMAI,
meenzn ‘meetn plaes’ nheebrue. ♀ sed tprobli znt. Wn ¤ gotbak ¤ 1
st
wnt 2 x sum b· soetdhv
2kool↓ nth frj. Thn ¤ hdn. nthkanl. Thn Emilia maedmi n t vŠALTIBARSČIAI (wth spudz & nsosj) &
ndrinkv fruetjoos. ♀ lso brort↑ nboelflv strorbreez ♀ hdjst pikt & wosht 4mi 2 eet w¤l ¤m ·n. Tz
8.40pm & ¤m O2krak nbotlv b·. M¤t ternn thB 2 wotsortv shit znthr. M¤t reed nfue paejzv
Pessoa. M¤t goe4n .. L¤fstuf!
18/7 /06. 12.15. T^d nth mornn & now tz 2l8 2doo thn. Bs¤dz thwthr zstil unsertn.
Nths wthr eevn thMETROPOLIS woodb bairbl soe ¤l →2t 4 tmoroe n¤t. Tz vri kwiet & rlaksn
wthowt Miglė. ¤v bn boenn↑ nloekl hstri & persnlteez ← thALMANACHAS. Brigitaz woshn & t¤din.
Vaidasz fnshnof ♂z 3
rd
lluestraeshn & dun nskch 4

th4th. Thei look OK (7/11/07. th t¤tld Briedis
Eugenijus x Vytautas Landsbergis (☼v thljndre Vytautas Landsbergis (v SAJUDYS & vlitho
ndpndns fam) hoo ♂slf zth☼v Vytautas Landsbergis (1v thledrz vth ↑rizn vs thbolshvks nKAUNAS n
23/6/41 (8/12/07. nuthr1 vth ledrz woz m¤ techr (but nvr gotr =) @ ltho ☼da skool ( Saturday
3/6/06 (no 72))) & r mmbr vth lf8d tmpre +mnstraeshn (J. Ambrazevičius) undr thNAZI kupaeshn,
givn thst8s x = vHonoured Gentile (1/1/08. mum 4 thonor woz → ♂z w¤f ( Wednesday
26/12/07)), migrnt → OZ wr ♂ woz ndm¤rd frndv owr m ntil ♂z rtern →LT n1959 (wr ♂ ° n1993)
but hoo nth hurle burle vresnt LT poltks hzbn rkuzdv havn bn nmportnt KGB sp¤ ( www.mediabv.lt ))
woz publshd rlir nthy·). Th ·z tl mi ¤ shood vzt Rumšiške (Lietuvos Etnografinis Buities
Muziejus) wn ¤m nKaunas. Vaidas hoo normli duznt goe → mueziumz rrkmndzm maeks nkspshn 4
ths1. ¤m rl@vli fit ftr ngoodn¤ts sleep & wth nbitvluk wlb soeshbl wth Juozas etc. … Nth pkchr just
fnsht ntrout (♂) wchz n♥ wth np¤k (♀) tr¤z 2 swloet but th♀ z2big & gets stuk ½ wae & thei
hav2liv&swim O wth thhedv th♀ stiknowt ← th¬vth♂. Twood maek ngood lluestraeshn 4 n¤dirov
CAeNlEiTaTsI th@ ♂ & ♀ n♥ wont2 swloe & d¤jst chuthr. (ngreen grrshopr hz l&d nmi rm) Sumvus
rjkt nprtnr wknot fulli d¤jst. Sumvs r4st 2liv wth nndjstbl prtnr. Maeb chldrn sum z nhert 2 ½z wchr
nkomp@bl. (V hz& JOmNaArIiTuIsS & ¤ wl 4 2 n¤ts nth Arkivyskupijos Svečiu Namai @
Daukšos g. 21 (alt. Rotušės 21) mob: 868794524 @ eethr 80Lt 4n roomwthowntoilt etc r 50Lt f¤
shair toilt/bthroom. Thsz nperfkt loekaeshn nth voldtown.) Rgrdn thhstriov Ukmergė (Vilkmergė): z'
x lthoez tzthhstriov thnoeblz & thr ↑r¤znz &v thchrch & preests & moest reesntli vth teechrz & skoolz.
Tintrsekts oenli bleekli wth thhstriov th=z hoo hd thr oen loekl thorteez, kept thr oen rkordz & ' thr
oen hstri …. (11.45pm) M¤ dvnchr nthrvoe woz th@ ¤ swloed nwosp wchhdgot ↓2 m¤ b·
botl. Tstung mi nth _vth tonslz & ns¤d thchst. ¤m f¤n now. @ Berneliu Užeiga wr ¤ jst hd
næ (ptaetoe pankaeks) uekn x n Filosofo kava (dviguba kava su brendžiu ir grietinėle) (ie:
Flosfrz Korfi (dubl korfi wth br&i & kreem) 4 6Lt (nordnri korfi kosts 2Lt, kapchnoe 3Lt). Goodn
¤t.
25/7 /06. ThPOELZ wr gzmplri. ¤ koft morthn th♀ nkst dor. ¤ herd thr waek↑ korl erli
mornn & thei lft with mnmum fuss. M¤ waek↑ korl woz thlornmowr owts¤d thwndoe @ O 7.30 (9
rOn) & got↑ ftr 8 . Juern thn¤t herd nli th3 ch¤m. Thfaktth@ ¤ fael2 h· moestvth howrz showz
¤m sleepn morthn ¤ hd reel¤zd. Nlotv m¤ sleepn znk¤ndv dreem/thnkn juern wch ¤ thnk ¤m
waek… Red Respublika (thrz nrtkl O n82y·old ♀ hoowoz hit x O (vier thflue vth stoev). ♀z rlr¤t
kspt ♀ krnt feel ½ ♀r bodi) @th kavine nValančiaus g. & 8 brkfst @ x2 thpr¤s ¤ koodv paed lswr
(moestli 2rsts & thnue lthoe rch eet h·); dun m¤ lrst → Laisvės Alėja etc & nRamybės Parkas
(Parkvpees) kaempon nkstrordnri monmnt wch hdbn dmolsht n1956-8 & rblt n1994. Thrjnl woz blt
n1930 & tz korld Vytauto Didžiojo M. Tlooks moest l¤kn mmorial 2 soljrz. Tkonsts vn norzi8n
kmbnaeshn vpaetriotk & rljus smblzms. Thrzn pkchr vth lithoe n¤t wth th↑raezd ` sueprmpoezd nth
1 wch domn8s thmonmnt. N4s¤dz thrz th hlmtd (l¤k thNRTSI hlmt) hedvn soljr wth thlithoe ‡ neech
hlmt. N1 s¤d rth werdz ŽUVOME DEL TĖVYNĖS (w d¤d 4 thfrthl&) & nnuthr tsez NIEKAS NETURI
DIDESNĖS MĖILES KAIP TAS JEI PAGULDO GYVYBE, UŽ SAVO PRIETELIUS (noe1 ♥z mor thn ♂
146
hoo d¤z 4 ♂z flow ·). Thst8 ♥z 2honr thoez hoo d¤ 4t. Ppzits lmoest tuchechuthr. Undr th1 nth
pdstl knb n sevrl samplzv †t ``. Ftr th@ ¤ → 2 th Paminkline Kristaus Prisikelimo baržnyčia
(chrch) wr ¤ hdbn ystrdae 2 goe↑ n2 throof (4 3Lt x stairz, 5Lt x lift) 4 nvuev Kaunas. Tz wot ths
chrch zmoest suetd4. Thn ¤ kaem ← nn OO wae thrue Žaliakalnis etc 2oldtown wr ¤ droptnn
ReUgDiIdNiSjKuAsS gaen 2tl ♂ twoznt Robert but Thomas Bernhard hoo woz thorthr ¤ hd rk·
·°. Thn ¤ hdn b·(Baltijos) nth _ & ← hoem. Tz 3pm & 4n SIESTA. @ 5 ¤m kspktd @ Eglez 2
meet wth thfamli …. 9.15pm. ¤ woent goe n2 thdtaelz vwot terndowt 2b nkstreemli good eevnn wth
Juozas & Julė. Julė hz just rt¤rd & thei faes nnue faez nthr l¤f @ thsaem zmi & H hv2 lernt. ¤
promst 2 keepntuch v¤r thntrnet (8/11/07. ddnt) zH zplann 2get knnktd (8/11/07. evn ¤v joindth♣ zu
wlno fyor n ths). Mi, Juozas & wth nlitl help ← Julė drank nbotlv blakkurnt lkr prjuest nKaunas. Twoz
n¤s 2. Twont ® mi hvn m¤ glrsv Baltijos 4n n¤tkap & 2 nw¤nd. Tseemz 2mi th@ thŽIŽYS famli
nKaunas rprznt thvri bst spkts vlthoel¤f. Twlb ntrstn 2 montr owr muechl proegrs. 4 nmmntoe thei
gaevmi nflrsk vStumbrinė (Degtine (ie f¤rH2O @ 40%)) wch ¤l drink wth Vaidas nRimeisiai, probli
2moroe. ¤v nli got 1 v¤lv OPAL chips lft & hv rzrvdt 4

th ŽIŽYSz vVilnius. Hvn nshowr, nb· & off2
<.
1/8/06. Vilnius. ¤ taek↑ wr ¤ lftoff. Brigita & Miglė rpeerd n 4mi 2sae goodb¤. Brigita
woz hapi koz th·woz wrkn. ♀ hd pulldt rprt, dr¤dowt thpeesz oevrn¤ & rrsmbldm nth mornn. ♀z
good th@ wae. V droptmiof @th 7® n♂z BMW (prfrd ÷ 4 lthl& smorl mafia) @ 10 & n7 → Vilnius
woz leevn @ 10.15. ¤ noetd thletrz WC nfrsh w¤t paent & gswot – thrz nbr& NUE ·lsli kleen & sh¤
ni TOILT @th Ukmergė 7® ( 6/6/06 ) ! & ¤ hd jstnuff 2hvn tork2 Dicky Lee & Jimmy Brit b4 th7
lft. Phew! Th♂ sln tkts nth7sed thpr¤s woz 12.5Lt but ♂ woz nmowt @ 10Lt wthowt givn r ts.
Maeb ♂ woz shortv chaenj. NVilnius ¤ tn @ 75Lt/n¤t nth gstµ blongn2 thknvnt Aušros Vartai (
Sunday 25/7/04 (no 73) & 27/7/04 ). Not shor f¤ wont2 rmaen 4 thweek z¤ koodnt sleep larstn
¤t & woz↑ @ 5.30am. ¤ need @leest 2mor ploez 2b kumfi & uekn h· vrithn ← thpasjwae zppl
kum← l8 @ n¤t. Throomz eezi 2keepkool but wth nsk¤l¤t wch oepnz. ¤ wontd2 gathr mi thorts
nVilnius soe 1
st
thing ¤ dun woz x thppr wthth n10shnv reednt sloeli nth kafe nGedimino Prospėktas
wr ¤ x Kunigaikščiu b· & silke. ¤ woz torkn2 nbankrupt rktkt/dvlpr @th nkst taebl ftr fnshn reedn
wn Rita ( Monday 12/7/04 (no 67) & 13/7/04 (no 68) & → (no 2) 14/7/04 (no 50)) rpeerd
soe w wnt 2 th ŠMC kafe nold town 4n korfi. ♀ hz rd thPessoa & givnt ←2 Raimundas. ♀ rkstmi
2prs nth msj → V&B th@ ♀z hdn ← hoem 2 thm¤ti USvA nnfue daez & ♀ wonts 2k@ch↑ wthm
wch ¤ l8r dd thoe ♀ hz thr · no. ♀rslf. 2dae ♀z meetn nyanki frndv ♀rz hooz rsntli pootowt n
vfoetoez vlthoe ČIGONAI (jp z) & ¤ woodnt m¤nd f¤ndnowt wot ♂ hz2sae soe ¤ m¤t meetm
ftknb r^jd. Thn ¤ droptnn VYŠNIrAaUySKAS @ th Vilnius Monthly 2tl ♂m ¤ ddnt wont2 klkt th2
magzeenz ♂ hdgvn mi z¤ woz sikv lthoe hstorkl (thchrch rplaen nkomplks mldi @ 7.45am!?)
kntrvr z (eg holkorst (but ¤ nklued thfoloen kwoet ← nrtkl nssue no 4, 2005 vth Vilnius Monthly x
ZmIaNrGkEaRsIS: “How many of our contemporary citizens know that in summer of 1941
Kaunas municipality prohibited swimming in the Nemunas and Neris Rivers because
there was a high danger of disease from the floating corpses? Most of those bodies were
victims of racist genocide – Jewish Lithuanian civilians”), thprtzn worftrthwor, siberia etc etc) &
lthoe p8riotzm (Rita hdsd ♀ woz sikvt 2) & preokpaeshn wth ¤dntti ssuez. Wot ¤ reeli wont z2
gthoem2 Melbourne & H. (¤v jstbn torkn 2nyank ♀ hooz kum2thfoir 4n smoek. ♀z nmmbrvth
LUTHERAN SYNOD vSouthern Arizona &v Las Vegas. ♀r naemz FElLyLnEnRF. ♀z h·wth 19
uthr luethrnz bkoz nmmrvth synod hdn vzion 2 stablsh nrelaeshnshp wth thluethrn chrchv
lithl&. Theivbn h·2 weeks, travln orloevr, & rgoenhoem2 thm¤ti USvA 2dae. ¤m rm¤ndd vn
stori Gintas (hoom ¤l probli getn tuch wth juern thweek) told mi O how wn nprsn rkst Homer
(vth SIMPSONS) w¤ ♂ ®t goen2 chrch ♂ sed ♂ hdn vzion nndreem nwch GOD sed 2♂m
“doent go to church services, especially on Sundays”.) Howvr ¤ took th no4, 3005
ssuevth Vilnius Monthly 4 sumthn 2 nkafez & bkoz thrz nrtkl nit O jp z: “Over 2, 500 persons
declaired themselves to be Roma/Gypsies in the last census in 2001. Roma live
throughout the country, yet mainly they are concentrated in Vilnius, Kaunas, Panevežys,
Šiauliai and Klaipeda. However small the overall community, it has preserved Romany as
its main language and contains a variety of traditions, with some Roma calling
themselves ‘Lithuanian Roma’, some others ‘Polish Roma’, depending on their past and
language. Some others settled in Lithuania in Soviet time and have links to Moldova or
147
Russia. Most are Catholic, some are Orthodox. ¶ Regardless of Roma diversity, there is
one fate that cuts across the many segments of Roma community. Roma families live
without any certainty of income or employment, without prospects for improved housing,
with many children outside the education system and consequently without professional
training.” Thrz nli 1 Roma nroeld @n lthoe ueni: ♀ wonts 2studi lor. Thsmorl Roma kmuenti maeks
big waevz ztz rkuezdv trafkn ndrugz ( Monday 14/6/04). Nth mag thrr sum fotoez x MI&KrSeYwS
hooz bn teechn fotogrfi nVilnius Academy of Fine Arts 4 thlarst 3y·z ← ♂z 4
th
kumn Rroma.
(8/11/07. sns rt¤tld Baxt ( ♂z ~s¤ @ http://www.andrewmiksys.com/bio.-php)). ♂ m¤tb thfrnd
Rita woz torknO. (th rOn 9) Thn ¤ wnt srchn 4nplaes ←wr ue kn maek cheep &korlz → OZ but
koodnt f¤nd 1. 2dae ¤l rks @ Vilnius 2rst n4maeshn. ¤ f¤nli gotthru2 thKabailasz. Meilutė nswrd
nn vri week vois. ♀ sed KApBaAuIlLA woz vztn 2weeksgoe! ¤l &gaen 2dae 2r^j nvizt 2mroe. 2
gtowt & thppr. …
8/8/06. Had nhuej brkfst. Tz bufae st¤l, kslnt, uekn eetzmuchz ue pleez. Albina sez lthoez
doon 72rz wch ♀ g¤dz rrorgn¤zz n4n kuntreez ftn stuf thr pokts wth tukr 4 thO dae. ¤ nvr dunt,
but ¤m stuft. M¤t taek thgzampl thoe wn ¤m @ thHotel Post nVienna wr ¤ noets thei rlsoe hvn
bufae breki. ¤ woz told thuthr dae thcheepst kupvkofi nVienna zO €3.80. Ths mornn wozth 1st
nnweek ¤ ddnt h· thsingn ← th Šv. Terezos Bažnyčia z¤ laen<. ¤d groen uest2t – th mornfl
muezak vbleetn sheep (9/11/07. Monday 12/4/04). Ystrdae t^d & sum z pord moestvthdae z¤
wnt serchn 2 x npairv shuez. ¤ woz →n nporn ^ wth nsogi foot & thrstvmi woz getn sogi 2 koz ¤
koodnt f¤nd ngood shop & ¤ got lorst. F¤nli ¤ fownd nshop wth ngood slkshn nGedimino
Prospektas & bort npairv goodlookn kumfi blak shuez wch ¤ think rlthr 4 60Lt. But w¤l ¤ woz 1drn
O town ¤ 1
st
lorst thkuvr 2 m¤ umbrlr thn nth evnn thumbrlr tslf soe 2dae ¤ hv2 goe&f¤nd wr 2 x
nnue1. Tz 12.30 & ¤v bn ntruptd x nlong (2½ howrz +) & vri plznt dskushn wthn pairv jrmn doktrz
(shrnks zt terndowt) (8/11/07. nth msusv thwerdz real & reality spshle nrlashn2 ··tl ilns – shrnks
wood doo btr 2 uz thdskrpshn impractical behaviour nstedv “out of touch with reality”)
soe ¤ hv2 rb&n 'n th & goe2& Rasa & maeb evn thppr…
15/8 /06. €1.50 (ætkt ←Schwedenplatz → Spittelau) + €10.50 (ætkt ← Spittelau → KREMS
(“the 1000 year old trading centre and harbour town on the Danube and gateway to
Wachau”) nth DONAU n “The romantic WACHAU – a stretch of more than 35 km along the
Danube valley between Melk and Krems. An enchanting region combining nature, culture
and history.”) + €0.50 (nSHIT (nPISzfre) @th staeshn) + €2.10 (æ → DURNSTEIN ( Thursday
21/6/07 (no 70)) (“famous for its historical city centre. Richard the Lionheart was held
captive here when he was kidnapped on his way back from the crusades.”) wch ¤ mist
bkoz ¤ woz torkn soe ¤v n°↑ @ SPITZ ( 19/6/07 ) (“a late Gothic church and interesting
navigation museum. Also famous for its wine.”) + €1.30 (glrs vw¤t w¤n n Spitz) + €1.00 (glrsv
rd @Spitz) + €8.50 (TRAUBENSAFT (nnlhoklk drnk ←graeps) & nmeel @ Spitz (& nuthr rdw¤n)) +
€1.60 (w¤t w¤n nr HEURIGER nth E (wth nfowntn) xth KIRCHE nth moest buetfl vorl townz – SPITZ
(wmust kum h·nmae ♥ (8/11/07. dunt, butn jun))) + €1.40 (æ → Durnstein) + €3.00 (b· (500) nth
shor vth DONAU @th footvn stairwae wch goez thrue solid rok) + €2.50 (peesvpeetsr) + €3.50 (lrstb·
n VIENNA (WEIN) nFleishmarkt nkst2th rstront wth th3 kanon OO ←thwor gaenst thterks mb°n
thworl) = €55 + €47 (room 503 @ Hotel Post (“Dear Guest ¶ The Hotel ‘Post’ is a *** hotel
in the very heart of Vienna. Already in the old days, very sought after inns stood in the
same location, The White Oxen Inn, for example, and later the London Town Inn.
Important personalities used to lodge here, among them Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,
Josef Haydn, Richard Wagner, Leos Janacek and Friedrich Nietzsche. Operas by the
composers mentioned you can hear today in the Vienna Chamber Opera, which is
housed in the hotel complex. ¶ Today, the Hotel Post offers modern comfort and
Viennese hospitality. Classified as a middle category hotel, it is well prepared for tourists,
business people, art lovers and all other guests seeking the Viennese atmosphere and
hearty hospitality. ¶ As a guest of our hotel you will be living directly in the historic old
town. Most of the inner city sights can be easily reached walking within only 5-7
minutes. These are the St. Stephan’s Cathedral, the Opera House, the Imperial Palace,
most museums, etc. …”) = €102 (ie A$173).
(8/11/07. Completion of Tuesdays from Litho Trip 2 (1
st
draft on CD t¤tld: ALL THAT WAS ALL THAT WILL BE))
148
10/4 /07 (Journal ♪♫ Italy) . (5.10pm) Lft Miller st @ 3pm → Spencer st (↓S †) t^
staeshn. Kort 3.30 Sky7($15 x 2) → Melbourne +port (korfi $3, ´v shrdonae $5.50, stiki taep $2.75.
Waetn 4 + EK 405 EMIRATES AERLINES, BOEING 777-300, konmi → DUBAI dprtn 1920 (1 ®
nSINGAPORE), 15 HRS 50 mins + . W hv ¤l ts † from chuthr. $3.50 4 New Idea mag, $0.45 →
Salvation Army Þ).
17/4 /07. €2,50 (← ystrdae: botlv Heineken b·bort ← ~●) + €17.10 (¬ ¬ & 4 Hz ÷
tolini etc.) + €5.50 (lrj b·& kafe latte nVia Pressede nkst2 wrwr staen nks2 s. pressede CHIESA) +
€4,85 (supermercato: pere 0,24; fragole (gr 50) 1,69; chino 0,41; pane 0,91; formaggio (fiore del
pastore) 1,60) = €30,00 + €80,00 (B&B) = €120 [A$204]. First port of call was the Poste Italiano to send
home the postcards, booklets & info sheets. You take a ticket & then wait. The young woman well before
us in the ticket queue (she was number 16, we were 26) told us to buy envelopes from the nearby
tabacchi so John sped off to do so, but he didn’t buy enough so made a second trip and we still had time to
address them all before our number came up. It was a whopping €17,10 for the envelopes & postage
combined, which I re-imbursed John when I found a Banca di Roma bancomat & used it successfully
(relieved surprise). Walked past the following: L’Arco di Gallieno (Arch of Gallieno), dedicated in 262AD; an
amazing breadshop (Panella: L’Arte del Pane) where bread & pastries & chocolates really were works of
art; the Chiesa di Santa Maria del Perpetuo Soccorso which has an original 14
th
century Greek icon of the
Madonna & Child; the Basilica di Sant’Antonio ae Laterano, the most austere of the churches we’ve seen
as it’s Franciscan; S. Giovanni in Laterano (revisited, as it was not fully taken in on the first occasion);
along the Roman wall; to Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (founded by Constantine’s mum Helen);
gaped at the Porta Maggiore; inspected the Cimiteri Capitolini (Rome Cemetery) which covers a huge area
& is filled with chapelle variously decorated – lots with mosaics of great beauty – and imposingly big. There
seems to be a class distinction: the very rich have very big chapelle, the modestly wealthy have plainer
tombe and the plebs have colombari – wall units of greater or lesser size. Pines, palms & cypress trees
abound, the cypress reminding me of Keats (?) line that they look like “Death’s lean lifted fore-finger”. Its
an astonishing place – a city within a city. There were fresh flowers everywhere, especially in a columbari
we saw devoted exclusively to bambini. Flower stalls are set up on either side of the main gate & marble
workers & undertakers & ornament vendors have premises close by. We ate our lunch in the cemetery &
found toilets there too, as well as a sizeable population of well-fed, friendly gatti. Then into the noise &
bustle again, past the university, into the grounds of the Villa Torlonia near a very expensive looking
English primary school, along Via Nomentana & side streets to Stazione Termini & arrived back at Santa
Maria Maggiore about 5pm in time for a beer & a coffee at Birra Marconi (an Irish pub) to celebrate our
final day in Rome. Some other info: when we saw a bit of the Roman wall in the distance John commented :
“There’s the fence”, & he called the Egyptian stele in the various piazzas “posts” (you can take the boy
out of Australia …). Last night he went to buy a bottle of beer at the internet place nearby & saw a man
with his pants around his knees squatting in the street (the scarcity of public toilets takes its toll on the
SPQR). The weather has been great – cool starts, warm days & evenings & 2 small thunderstorms around
6pm with tonight’s one taking the form of a downpour of quite sizeable hailstones. The umbrella vendors
must have been saying their prayers but I wonder how the homeless person (can’t tell if man or woman –
the haircut looks female but the voice is very deep) who sits permanently between 2 posts near the
tourist information kiosk & the newspaper stand coped.
24/4 /07. €3,00 (´v limoncello & kafe l@e (4H) @ s¤d→ taebl vrsmorlbr nmaen stv
MAIORI @ 3.30pm wn moestv thtown zkloezd↓ 4 thSIESTA) + €1,50 (limoncello) + €1,00 (srmik
limoncello Æ) + €9,69 (vino, chino, Limoncello (70cl 4 €7,19 @ 32%lkO), prosciutto) + €0,70
(piccolo pomodori) + €2,60 (2 biglietti MAIORI →SALERNO) = €19 + €80 (B&B) = €99 [A$168]. A 4
hour walk today from our front door inland to the monastery of San Nicola a Forcelle, the hamlet of
Sambuca, down to Minori along the Reghinna Minor river valley & on to Maiori. It was lovely walking
through the green forestia where the wild flowers are in bloom & the heat of the day was tempered by
dappled shade. The path began with a steep section of steps which gave way to gentler slopes following
the contours of the mountain & then steps again up to Sambuca, along the road for awhile, & then steps &
slopes down to Minori. A section from the monastery down to Sambuca was by mule path. Leaving Maiori
we saw 5-6 men in their 30s & 4os coming down the steps at a trot, each carrying a crate packed with
lemons. They used padding across their necks & shoulders on which the crate was balanced, & were
sweating profusely. Further up we saw a mule with 2 crates strapped either side also transporting the
harvest. It is heavy work. No wonder most of the higher terraces are reverting to nature, & even some of
the lower ones. Since the work is done by the contadini (according to Antonio) the amount of labour
needed to keep the terraces functioning must by daunting at a time when most young people are being
lured into the tourist industry. Higher up round Sambuca & the upper reaches of the river each farmlet
seemed to have at least one mule & one we saw had 3 & an enclosure full of sheep/goats (hard to tell at a
distance). Around Sambuca there were many veggie terraces – potatoes, onions, tomatoes, broccoli. On
the path up into the forestia we saw a dead mole, the first one I’ve seen – it was much smaller than I’d
imagined from reading “Wind in the Willows” – not much bigger than a rat. On the way down we passed a
house where a little dog (chihuahua?) was tied up & 2 cats were roaming free – the dog did his duty as a
149
watchdog , barking frenziedly, but the barks turned to a scream when one of the cats gave him a furious
hiding. We arrived back in Maiori about 2pm to find the town closed down for the usual “quiet time” of two
hours or so, so had coffee (me ) & 2 limoncellos (him) at a bar frequented almost exclusively by locals in
the main corso, but far enough up from the beachfront that most tourists don’t use it. A dashingly attired
man (an artist we discovered) in his fifties with earings in one ear & a scarf flung elegantly around his
neck, with a moustache & beard (rare here) began to talk to us in excellent English about many topics
ranging from the state of the world (lousy), the decadence of youth (zombies addicted to computer games
& porn), the excellence of various drinks (one made from fennel got a gold star) & cuisines (Apulian got a
rap), the break-up with his partner (San Franciscan who wanted him to marry & live in the US – at 54 he
reckoned it was too late for “projects” & as an artist he needed to be free), soccer, Australia, Aboriginal
culture (he was a fan of Bruce Chatwin & of the Aboriginal connection to the land), wine & the curse of
living in a flat at the front of a building in a town where the church bells ring extravagantly. He was
excellent company & the time passed quickly. The aforesaid bells did an outrageous concerto at 4pm of at
least 10 minutes duration to signify the end of quiet time & the beginning of the early evening’s activities.
People appeared in numbers in the street, shops re-opened & life picked up again. The artist told of a
relative who had lived opposite a mosque in Istanbul where the muezzin called for prayers too many times
for the relative’s sanity, so he took a rifle & had a pot-shot at the problem. Sounded like an “artistic” story
to me. Apparently the municipal police have asked for a limit on the chimes but to no avail. Since there are
at least 5 churches in Maiori the bells are here to stay. There are 4 sets of chimes for each hour – one set
at the hour, one set at ¼ past, one set at ½ past and one set at ¾ past indicated thus e.g 4
th
hour: 1 tone
higher, 4 lower = 4.15, 2 tones higher, 4 lower = 4.30, 3 tones higher, 4 lower = 4.45, 5 lower = 5pm. The
artist said that the hour used to be preceded by 4 higher & then the relevant number, which means that
once upon-a-time 6pm was signalled by 4 higher tones followed by 6 lower, a total of 10 altogether!
Apparently wiser heads prevailed & now it is as described above. At 7pm the frenzied carillion from 4pm is
repeated, with the extra chimes required. This morning we asked Antonio about economico B&Bs in Napoli
& he was immediately on the job, helpful & obliging as always, of finding one, consulting an English
speaking girl & together they found us a place for €70/night. The girl is a local who works in Milan which
she doesn’t like – expensive & the people colder (Michela on the Roma-Napoli train said the same thing
about the Nord-Sud divide). Once again we have been the recipients of unasked for kindness. While we’ve
been here 2 little dogs watch us from the terrace above at breakfast, & the woman in the flat diagonally
opposite gives us a friendly wave. It has been a great week. I even managed the 317 steps up tonight with
some ease, overshooting one of the right-hand turns we make, surprising myself as usually I’m looking for
it as a sign of deliverence.
1/5/07. 2dae NAPOLI → SULMONA. Rfue daezgoe rftr wochn thfaethfl stroekn th v
S.GUISEPPE MOSCATI (prof mdsn & kann¤zd n1987 ( Friday 27/4/07 (no 71)) H ksprst ♀r
rgret @ nt pzsn nl¤k faeth &th kum4ts th@t ofrz. Tmaeb th@ nnksplaenbl heeln zmor nksprshnv
thfaethv thprsn heeld thnv rpowr pzst x thsaent (rth powr vth mdir 2 kre8m) – praps tz w¤ thproft ←
NAZARETH woz nth habtv 4 “your faith has healed you”. Tmaeb th@ 1s thwerd getsO
thpowr2heel zn®bl. ¤ ♪s th@ zm aej sum  2bleefs stablsht nch¤ldhood zf mor reesntli stablsht
nuerl strkchrz dsntgr8 2 kspoez thrlier ndrl¤n 1z. ¤ f¤nd m¤slf nkreesnli nth habtv rpeetn thLords
Prayer ½ rsleep @ n¤t l¤k r·tra. Howvr m¤ l¤fs jerni hznt →me 2 yernn4 thfaeth vthdvowt but
rthr nth →← drkshn. Fth lngwjzv thrljnz rrdvlp··t (kstnshn) vth dvoeshnl nstinkts (zlitrchr zv rz kr
¤z) thei ÷nt prv¤d me wth rrfuej zm¤ trsk z2 st&as¤d 2ko··t nthm (thndrl¤n strukchrz
r’grammar’) - ¤ KNOW IT. (9.20am) … €5,80 (÷fe l@e & limoncello (lrst) n Piazza Bellini) +
€4,00 (sl¤sz ptzr margheritta & birra (Peroni 33cl) eetn n rstoenbnch n r15th snchri rchwae
(thnskrpshn nth worl reedz: “Questo Palazzo nel secolo XV appartenne ae De Capua e vi
visse Costanza di Chiaramonte regina di Napoli moglie di Andrea di Capua gran conte di
Altavilla gran protonotario del regno, ultimo di sua Stirpe il Principe Bartolomeo Salvo’re
Carlo III alla battaglia di Velletri lo storico edificio con affeschi del de Mura. Ebbe nuovo
splendore di vita eo attraverso le ruine della guerra, I Marigliano del Monte ne
custodiscono il geloso retaggio. ¶ Qui, nel 1701, congiurarono, per riscattare la patria,
da secolare Tirannia che aduggiava l’intera penisola, Tiberio Carafa, Gaetano
Gambacerta, I De Sangro, I capece e lat congiura detta di Macchia fu soffocata nel
sangue. Dall’alba dell’idea Italiana furono nobili spiritidi immutabile fede fino a Pio
Marigliano del Monte, educato fra queste mura, do lore seme germinando stirpi de eroi
pronti ad immolarsi.”) 2kmpleet thNAPOLI ksp·ins) + €17,00 (l8 n¤t æ nSULMONA: birra x2,
aqua minerale, margherita ptzr, nspek, porcini & formaggio bruschetta) = €27 [A$46]. Farewell to
Napoli, hello Sulmona. The train trip (5 hours) was excellent: 2 carriages, not many people, comfortable
seats, toilet, & wonderful scenery. There was snow on the highest peaks & ridges & little towns climbing up
the lower slopes, some with remains of castles, towers etc. There were many long stretches of ‘bush’ in
the higher areas with exposed rocky crags. The proprietor of the Albergo Salvador came to collect us at
the station when we phoned him (a girl showed us how to use the phone card: you break off a corner, but
150
at first we put it in upside down so it took a few goes before we got through). The room is fine with an
ensuite & breakfast is provided. After registering & putting our stuff in the room we walked about 1k into
the town centre to have a meal & a drink. It is cooler here & we put on extra gear. There’s still snow on the
higher peaks. It seems a very nice town & we’ll explore tomorrow. Buona notte.
8/5/07. €50,00 (B&B (throom wrw hd æ znth @ x M.C. Escher. ←thtr♠ ue ANVERSA
DEGLI ABRUZZI nth botm r¤t ∟ (· n1929 ←E (girone) @th 4
th
swich← naemd rftr Escher))) +
€4,00 (x4 ÷toliniov CASTROVALVA (n1950 thad nmaeshnv 300 & x1955 thrwr nli 7 loeklz lft. Chy·
300 dsndnts just ←thBOSTON E meet 4 æ. Thrr O 100 CASTROVALVA dsndnts nMELBOURNE ·
·iov hoom rrl@vz vth ♀ hoo oenz thB&B & moestv thuthr µµzv CASTROVALVA. Oenli 25 m liv h
·per·ntli now.)) + €3,00 (1,50 x2 biglietti (7) CASTROVALVA → SULMONA) + €16,40 (8,20 x2
biglietti (æ) SULMONA → TERNI) + €3,00 (~● (magp¤z ↓ kroez)) + €0,90 (pzr pane) + €8,56
(supermercato: pane 0,33; pecorino 2,97; salami ventricina 1,80; pere 0,87; chinotto 0,40; uva (←
CHILE) 1,26; vino 0,31 x3 = 93 4 25cl x3) = €85 [A$145]. Walked in the warm sunshine on the path
signposted to Frattura 4 hours away over the range for about 40 minutes & as it was steepish & I’m
inclined to be wary of my hip & knee I stopped at a handy sitting spot & John walked on to discover a
substantial bowl-shaped area where once sheep must have been pastured in numbers & a view of the
snow-capped range underneath the high pass leading to Frattura. We passed a beautiful expanse of wild
cyclamen growing in the shade on the way up. Left Castrovalva about 12.30 & walked the switchbacks at a
leisurely pace. Stopped in a shady copse at the bottom to wait for the bus when a ute driven by a bloke
our age drove in, had a chat to us in broken English & then stretched out in the driver’s seat for a snooze.
The bus driver was the same one as yesterday so was ready to pick us up. At Anversa degli Abruzzi a big
group of primary kids was waiting for the bus. They were filing on nicely when one of their teachers got
the bright idea for half of them to get on through the rear door. That meant that they had to squeeze past
the kids who’d got on at the front in order to validate each kid’s ticket. It was an amusing rugby scrum for
a while. Once on the way again the two boys in the seat in front of us struck up a converstation in English
which they said they had been learning at school for 5 years. They did well too. One of them had a zia in
Sydney. We felt at home in Sulmona because we knew where things were. Organized a double room at the
Opera Barbara Micarelli, via G. Quatrario 33 ph. 0864 51622, for €37,00. We had seen this advertised on
the internet the first time we looked for accomodation here but as it was listed as “Opera Bar. Micarelli” I
thought it was a room over/behind the Opera Bar owned by Signore Micarelli & discounted it as probably
being too noisy! It was only when we got to Sulmona’s excellent tourist office & got the accomodation
listings that I realized the Bar. was an abbreviation & that the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of the Infant
Jesus were unlikely bar operators. The 1
st
floor room has twin beds, an ensuite & use of a kitchen. A small
balcony overlooks a garden with a lovely pine tree. It’s small but spotless & very comfortable, & the hot
water works. It’s right in the Old Town. The sister who speaks English is away for a few days in Assisi, so
we muddled along with a rapidly speaking Italian nun of middle age with friendly & encouraging smiles
from an elderly one. Checked the internet at the alternative site from the last time where we were
overcharged badly (€3,00 for ½ hour) – Kate got us up to speed with the news from home & John was
happy that Collingwood beat Adelaide courtesy of www.real-footy.com.au . Got the train tickets to Terni:
€8,20 each – less than the €10,00 taxi fare from the station into Sulmona Centro – ½ hour walk. One of the
big advantages of travelling light (1 backpack each under 6kgs & 1 shoulder bag each) is that it is far
cheaper to get to & fro as well as being more manouvreable on buses & trains. The downside is we are no
fashion plates & we only have our 1 pair of scarpe divertente. Said hello to the ozzie who is looking after
the South American shop – she said she visited her brother in Metung when her kids were little & thought
it was beautiful.
15/5 /07. Sins ASSISI zdskr¤bd (thhrp muezk (wch *td @ 7.30 jst zw kl¤mkst!) zstil
goen now @ 9am) n1vth maps whv zth ♥l&v 1chn spirtuelti tz rproepr8 ¤ prs rfue mor ko··ts
nmirklz. T mz st^j 2b rskn (thoe ¤ dd) 4m wn twoz JZZvNazrth ♂slf hoo ·dowt th@ GOD lrdi noez
vrthn b4 ue rks. Nuthr konskwns vkseptn thnoeshn vsueprn@chrl powrs zth@ unls ue (rsum1ls) r npr
¤r kmuenk8shn wth GOD ue must rlsoe kspt thposbltiov eevl powrz & DEMONZ. Thn howd ue noe
(kspt x thr deedz jujd x yor norml faklteez nth vrdae K) thsaents wernt dsg¤zd DEMONZ, mpostrz,
& frordz? Owr vrdae faklteez gvus ampl pruef vth gzstnsv faek ksprts & shrltnzv vrik¤nd (zth hosptlti
ndustri dsg¤zd zkonvnts & monstreez?) soe m¤ dv¤sz – BEWARE. Thsorsov orl thprolbmz nth
dskushn z‘gram@kl’ ( Wittgenstein) – ue ÷nt hv nlngwj 4md x us nnaechr (wr prtvt!) 2b kaepblv
stepn owts¤d vtslf & rmaen meennful. 0 knb 4 O thsuepr (sueprr) n@chrl wthowt v¤l8n rgreed
meennz. Thprt krnt grsp (nkumprs) thO. Thkompoennt krnt noe thmcheen. THE SUPERNATURAL IS
A CONTRADICTION IN TERMS … (hrp muezk hz ®t (9.50am)). Despite his words John seems to have
a deep faith in the ability of the members of the religious orders to provide him with answers to his
pressing needs – in Sulmona he asked an elderly nun how to use a phone card, in Assisi he has asked
another nun where the supermarket is, & the novice Franciscan brother (just arrived from the U.S.) serving
at breakfast, how to get to Siena. Perhaps he thinks that if they have a hot-line to God they should know
how the world works. However in no case did he get the required information – just strange looks. (nkst ?
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zwr2gt CONDOMZ (FRANGERZ nstr¤n) …. ¤ rnt 4 th@ kstrordnri eevnts (eg. pjn hovrn oevrC),
sudn kuerz, STIGMATA (thPOVERELLO hdm) ddnt hapn bkoz ¤ hvnoe ksp·insvm. Butf ue rs¤
n thm2 spsfk ·greez (ie nchrl/sueprnchrl; ths K/uthr K; reel K/nreel K; K/lluezion etc)
nstdv 2th brord klrsv th nnoen (straenj; rair, nks¬d, mst·ius etc) ue ngaej nn ↑li poltk akt
wth knskwnsz nths ohsoereel K nwch sumr winrz & uthrz luesrz. Fth ruelrz rth bn~reez
vsuch ‘gram@kl’ jgripoekri thae r2b jujd xth st&rdz wjuj ruelrz &f thae rnt ↑2thmrk thei shoodb
dpoezd – but prhps thae lrdi hvbn: jujd & fownd wantn bansht 2rkorna vth hosptlti ndustri.
Meen thK rushz → 2tz konklueshn (rrnue berth?) & HOOKAIRZ!? ¤ juj thrljnz xth st&rd vth rt thei
nsp¤r; xth kwaltiov thr gooruez, preests, teechrz, mrstrz etc; x thvzjz vth dvowt – nt x thmirklz
@rbuetd2 (rklaemd x) thm …. A much cooler day & much improved feet. Breakfast was ample & as we
strolled from about 10.30 – 1.00, finding a travel agent which sold bus tickets to Siena – an Oz couple we
met yesterday had told us it took 3 trains (2 changes) to get here from Siena, so we weren’t looking
forward to it – the bus solves the problem & takes only a couple of hours compared to most of the day
using the trains. Had to come back between 1 & 3pm to change clothes as it began to warm up & I dozed
while John wrote. Strolled to Piazza Matteotti to check out the bus that goes to Santa Maria Degli Angeli
where the Siena bus departs; to the Porta S. Giacomo to see if there were tracks into the countryside; to
the Porta Perlici (ditto – there are: 4ks to Eremo delle Carceri where S. Francesco used to walk to retreat
from the world, living as a hermit in the caves there); to the Rocca Minore; to the Roman amphitheatre
(now a restaurant using the open ground as a garden); to the alimentari to get provisions for tea; to the
guesthouse to eat them. Assisi is a lovely town – bigger than Spello, with wider streets; but dominated by
its grand churches, if feels less like a real town than any of the ones we’ve been in except Castrovalva. It
marries the spiritual with the secular not too successfully really. There are very many nuns & brothers &
there are lots of shops selling crosses, holy pictures, embroideries etc. etc. , & the constant stream of
tourists makes for a carnival atmosphere (school kids on excursions add to the noise & clamour). The few
who sit in the churches in prayer or contemplation are swamped by the “passers through”. John asked the
secretary here if there was a sister house in Siena & she loaned us a book “Bed and Blessings in Italy: a
guide to convents and monasteries available for overnight lodging” by June & Anne Walsh (Paulist Press,
N.Y. 1991 ISBN 0809138484) in which we found a convent in Siena. €3,50 ((← ystrdae eevn) + ¤
skreem) + €0,30 (doenaeshn → I anno domini (lavora di Silvano giombolini) just owt th← wrwr
staen) + €0,50 (toilt n·basilica san francesco) + €22 (7biglietti x2 ASSISI → SIENA) + €4 (2 sl¤
szvptzr @ dubl thnorml pr¤s) + €6,78 (← alimentari 4 t) + €2,00 (ornj drnk & korfi 4 H) = €39 [A$66].
22/5 /07. Lrst n¤t nSIENA nthOv nflues v··i saents (SAN ANSANO (p8rn san
vSIENA), SANTA CATERINA (paetrn santaov ITALIA & orlv EUROPA; nth alma domus whd slept
lmoest wthn rech vth owtstrcht vth st@chue onorn ♀r & w hd d owton thnaroe stret n· th · wr ♀
hd 4ln oevr wnth DIAVOLO poosht ♀r; ♀ orlsoe bor thSTIGMATA) & SAN BERNADINO (I.H.S;
faemd precha)) ¤ woz rflktn nlngwj & ¤ jot↓ ths bref ♪ nSAN GIMIGNANO (paetrn – SANTA FINA)
b4 ¤ 4gt. Nuthr waev saen th@ langwj zfowndd (4md ←) nr baesv m@r (fzks, kmstri) spaeshl
ks10shn, , & th@tzr frthrn vth b¤oljkl proess z2 sae th@ IT HAZ CONSEQUENSZ. Tm@rz
how w sae thngz bkoz thwae werdz knb uezd & rmaen kmprhnsbl zlimtd x thr orjn. Echvus
maeksr kntrbueshn 2th 4maeshnv menn (nstrukshnz 4 kshnz) &f folshood f¤ndz tzwae →2
menn tz multpl¤d r1000fold runtl tz radk8d. Praps tz w¤ Montaigne h8d l¤n soemuch.
Thkonskwnsz vl¤n rorlwaez flt nthbodi bkoz lngwj zn fizkl proess – IF IT WR NOT TWOOD HV
NO CONSEQUENSZ ….Arrived in S.G. about 9.35am after a comfortable bus trip just before the first
deluge of tourists. There was a mixup with meeting the woman whose B&B we are renting, so that John
had to get info/help from her neighbours, one of whom rang her on a mobile – she was held up in traffic.
The room is small & the bathroom is across the small vestibule so she reduced the rent to €50,00/night
(originally €60,00). It is perfectly comfortable & as clean as a new pin. After settling in we wandered about,
taking a road out of town on the recommendation of the owner’s daughter who spoke English (the senora
speaks only Italian) but it was hot & the road had no shade & no exits into greenery, so we gave up &
came back into town. Sat in the main piazza to tourist-watch for a while over a gelati, had a coffee in the
next square, discovered there is a walk in the area by reading the map & got it from the tourist info place
to do within the next couple of days. Found out the cost of biglietti for the municipal museo complex
(reduction for pensioners – will have look tomorrow). Paid to get into the Duomo – frescoes by Taddeo di
Bartolo (1396) of the horrors of hell, a chapel to Santa Fina painted by Ghirlandaio, a San Sebastian by
Guzzoli & new testament stories by the school of Simone Martini. It’s a very plain duomo on the outside
but the inside packs a punch. Back to the residence for tea (we’d done our supermarket shopping at the
Co-op just outside the walls after we arrived). We are sharing the building with a Brazilian doctor (the
senora was thrilled to inform us) & 3 other Australians, none of whom we’ve seen. John is short of sleep,
perhaps because his phsical activity is severely reduced by the state of his ankle. He is also suffering from
urban overdose & is pining for some green trees, birds (15/8/07. jstnow H fowndowt w¤l GOOGLN th@
thglosi blak · nr kaej wch mprst & ntrtandus somuch nSIENA ( Monday 21/5/07 (no. 67)) zr Hill
152
Mynah (Gracula religiosa) & small animals (gatti & cani excluded). He bought some cartolini of the Hell
frescoes to send to Andrea etc. € 2,80 (ptzrsl¤sz x2) + €11,85 (koe-op supermercato nSAN
GIMIGNANO (“A BRIEF HISTORY ¶ San Gimignano stands 334 metres above sea level on
the site of a small Estruscan settlement dating from the Hellenistic period (Third to
Second century B.C.). Its history begins around the Tenth Century. It takes its name from
the canonized Bishop of Modena who in the Sixth Century saved the town from Totila’s
invading hordes. It developed considerably during the Middle Ages thanks to the Via
Francigena which runs through the town, and there was a remarkable flowering of works
of art, adorning churches, palaces and monasteries. When in 1199 the town became a
free commune, ridding itself of the Feudal ties to the Bishop of Volterra, it began its
impressive growth as an urban centre. It fought against the bishop and neighbouring
communes, but suffered from internal strife, splitting into two factions, followers of the
Ardinghelli (Guelfs) and the Salvucci (Ghibellines). The terrible plague of 1348 and
subsequent fall in population dealt a severe blow to the trading economy of San
Gimignano. The deep crisis led the governors of the city to declare their submission to
Florence in 1353. This, though, did not help the city of S.Gimignano which in the
succeeding centuries suffered considerable decline and neglect. However, the beauty of
the town and its artistic and architectural importance, have led in recent years to an
excellent economical and cultural revival. (TOWERS: of the original 72 medieval towers,
only 14 remain).”)) + €1,80 (sl¤svptsr) + €2,50 (kwr frzante & Birr Moretti 33cl)) + €4,00 (jlrte x2) +
€1,25 (÷toliniov 5 vth °li sinz) + €7,00 (biglietti x2 →2 thduomo) = €27 [A$46].
29/5 /07. Had our final long breakfast conversation with Claudio, the manager of Albergo
Esperanza, who told us that many gypsies in Firenze are from the former Yugoslavia & are deemed to be
refugees which entitles them to €30,00 per person per day (25/11/07. ¤ dont blevt) & free gas, electricity
& water. They also have priority for public housing. He says the children in the family are brought into the
Centro Storico by their parents each day to pick pockets. If they are caught by the police there is no
punishment, but the police have to return them to their parents & give them a warning. Apparently the
police got sick of ferrying the kids back to home base as they simply return to the beat as soon as the cops
leave, so the cops now turn a blind eye to the criminal activities. They don’t go to school & any that get
sent to religious houses for a stint by magistrates simply nick off. They live in makeshift “barracha” but
drive expensive cars. They don’t pay tax. Africans are here as illegal immigrants & have no hope of
citizenship yet, as the law in Italy at present confers citizenship only by right of blood, not by right of
property ownership or of being born here, so even 2
nd
generation Africans are still stateless. There are
political movements to alter the constitution so that citizenship comes with being born in the country or
having lived in it for x number of years. He says the Africans are becoming less law-abiding as they see
the gypsies getting away with illegal activities. He says there are political parties at the local level who are
secessionist because the central government will not/cannot adress issues of immigration & the drain on
the country of the South. These parties have just won local elections in Milan & Verona. There is a similar
party in Firenze where the communists are still strong & are supportive of existing immigration policies.
Italy is possibly another Yugoslavia he reckons, with deep divisions so the immigration issue is a huge
problem. He thanked us for being good listeners & we thanked him for giving us an insight into the country
that most tourists don’t get (10/11/07. ♂ 4 Hitler hd thr¤t ☼ushn 4 jpcz). Arrived at Hotel Patrizia &
left our packs (check-in is at 1pm) to investigate the Brancacci Chapel in S. Maria del Carmine, but it was
closed on Tuesdays (Masaccio had frescoed it & its world famous apparently). On the way I saw a traffic
cop throw his arms wide in an operatic gesture of frustrated exasperation when a driver went through a
red light. He didn’t do anything else. In Melbourne it would have occasioned much whistle-blowing &
probably a ticket. Crossing the bridge to get to S. Maria del Carmine we saw what looked like a gigantic rat
eating bread that someone had thrown out on the footpath along the riverbank for the pigeons. After the
initial amazement we realized it couldn’t possibly be a rat & a passing Italian told us it was a “costoro”. It
is the size of a small beaver, but with a tapered tail instead of the paddle-shaped one beavers have. It is
aquatic & has a fine set of white whiskers like an otter. A German couple said they occur in Germany but
have largely been shot out as they damage the stonework along rivers by burrowing & that their pelt was
used for fur coats. We saw them again later in the afternoon. The Italian said they eat wood. We’ll have to
check them out on the internet (16/8/07. See Monday 25/6/07). Handsome geese & lots of mallard ducks
& some egrets were also frequenting the river which is flowing much more strongly after yesterday’s rain.
Visited Santa Maria Novella which, like Santa Croce, has many treasures: Giotto’s crucifix, Masaccio’s
Trinity, Ghirlandaio’s frescoes in the Tornabuoni Chapel & Lippi’s frescoes in the Strozzi Chapel, as well as
16
th
century paintings by Bronzino & Vasari among others. There is also a beautiful Botticelli painting of
the Nativity over a door which is easy to miss. Went to the station & got our ticket to Venezia using the
Fast Ticket machine which was efficient & painless, found a cheap Conad supermarket just near the station
so bought our stuff for tea, & then spent a few hours wandering on the other side of the river among
“normal” streets where we had a caffe e latte sitting down for €1,00 each in a caffeteria on Borgo san
153
Frediano which runs from Porta san Frediano, the old medieval town gate, with massive iron studded
wooden doors still intact & the remaining bit of medieval wall attached. The hotel we are in has groups of
young people staying & a South African we met coming in mentioned that the noise level can be high. On
the way back we saw a modelling shoot on the groyne that crosses the river & watched for quite awhile.
Besides the 2 models – an excessively thin girl & a strapping young man – there were 15 others (3 camera
people, a hair stylist, a clothes stylist (an artistic young man in silver shoes & yellow-rimmed sunglasses),
2 wardrobe handlers & 8 others whose tasks weren’t obvious but who spent lots of time talking to each
other & into mobiles). In the ¾ hour we watched only one quick session of photos was taken. It was very
interesting because it is Dan’s world & it gave us an idea of what it entails. Dan reckons a shoot is boring
& I can see why – lots of standing around & very brief flurries of action. The weather was better than
yesterday but there were intervals of solid rain. According to the paper we saw in the caffeteria it’s on the
improve & the temperature tomorrow is predicted to be 25. John’s calculations show that this week has
been the most expensive week of the trip, costing A$1432, reflecting a) higher food & accomodation
prices & b) tickets for churches & museums. We’re in the costly phase of our travels as Venice & Vienna
are also expensive cities. €200,00 (4 4n¤ts B&B (ie 80x4= 320 – 120 (paed rlir) = 200 (paed ← Hz
krdt÷)) + €0,01 (4 Oli @ nth santa maria del carmine wrwwnt 2 rfaemus chapl buttwoz roeptof.
Wgnord thrkwst2 offerte A 4 th“Anime dell PURGATORIO” prfern 2brgaen wthth diavolo (duznt
taek long nFIRENZE 2f¤nd proof th@ thsz wr thKAPTRLST konmi bgan)) + €5,00 (biglietti x2 →2
chiesa santa maria novella) + €1,30 (4 ÷tolini & 1 Oli @) + €60,00 (blyti x2 FRENZIA →
VENEZIA 4 1/6 @ 8.37am rr¤vn 11.28am paed ← Hz krdt÷d) + €2,00 (panini wth prosciutto) +
€19,00 (supermercato: t stuff, dentl flos, pantil¤nrz) + €2,00 (÷fe lrte x2 n·thporta san frediano)
= €289 [A$491].
5/6/07. Spent the day on the water – took the no. 42 ferry from San Zaccaria which did a round
right around the main island & then to Murano where the glass blowing industry is based, where we had a
picnic sitting on the steps next to a canal. Back on the no. 42 & got off at Guidecca Island where we
strolled, had a brief kip (him) in a small park, used the internet & then shared a fish meal (1 fillet of fish, 2
prawns, 2 small octopus & a large crustacean shaped like a prawn with a long tail which had less than a
mouthful of meat in it, a small salad , about 8 grilled slices of eggplant & zucchini, some fairly stale bread
roll , a ¼ litre of white wine & a bottle of Pelligrino frizzante) for a grand total of €37,50! Worth doing once
for the position – overlooking the Canale della Guidecca onto Dorsoduro. Hopped on no. 81 ferry which
took us from Guidecca to the Grand Canal. Got off at San Zaccaria, watched the mouse puppet (see
Monday 4/6) briefly, bought a gelati & arrived at Venexia abut 8.50pm. A very pleasant day though I lost
my cardigan on Murano – the first loss of stuff so far. On Murano we went into a church where a
Confirmation had just taken place – the family was dressed as for a wedding: smart suits for the men,
evening dress for the ladies & the little girls involved all carried posies of flowers. The church is graced
with a Tintoretto & a Bellini, the latter missing as it is on loan to the “Durer in Italy” art exhibition in
Firenze. On Sunday we had seen the Chiesa of Santa Maria del Rosario or the the Chiesa dei Gesuiti which
is decorated by Tiepolo & Tintoretto among others. Tomorrow we’ll have a go at the Basilica of San Marco.
Many churches here are part of the “Chorus” set-up whereby you pay for a ticket to visit them – giving it a
miss as they cant be better than what we saw in Siena & Firenze. Giudecca (17/8/07. “Giudecca's name has
uncertain origins. The easiest explanation refers to the settlement of a Jewish community: two synagogues existed, and a
stone with a Jewish inscription in the area near the Zitelle was found. But this explanation does not convince scholars: more
reasonably, the name may come from "zudegà" (judged) that refers to a sentence issued in the 9th century by which land
was allotted to rebellious families banned from Venice and then recalled from exile.” (http://www.giudeccavenezia.com/)) is
quiet & restful & the supermercato is very cheap by Venetian standards – a litre of tavola rosso is €0,49 &
1½ litres of fruit juice is €0,95 (compare historic centre €0,80 & €1,25 respectively). It was great to see the
islands (or a small selection of them) & see the normal shipping (ferries, work boats, ocean liners) coming
& going. Venice’s ferries are smaller & more frequent than Sydney’s & a day ticket (12 hours) for €13,00
each was quite economical for a day spent toing & froing (an hourly ticket costs €6,00). Howver Sydney
ferries can boast a much more beautiful setting I reckon. Venice’s special claim is its small canals &
stepped bridges & its skyline of domes , towers (at least 2 leaning) & palazzo rooflines. Along the Grand
Canal one palazzo stood out for me – its façade was decorated with mosaics worthy of the duomo & the
late afternoon sun fell on the gold backgrounds making them dazzle. €6,00 (÷fe lrte & ÷poocheno @
tavola) + €26,00 (12 howr biglietti x2 → 4orl VENEZIA publk H2O trnsprt) + €4,00 (pane, ÷ne,
4mrjio ← sprmr÷to nMURANO (isola) 4 lunch nsteps x÷nrle) + €2,00 (sprtzbtr nGIUDECCA (isola))
+ €2,50 (~· nGIUDECCA 4 ½ howr (kmpaird 2 €4 nth main isola)) + €37,50 (t nrbr nth GIUDECCA
isola 4shor lookn † → DORSODURO gzakli † ← thbr (nkst2 GESUATI chiezr) w s@n n☼dae) +
€2,00 (jlrti nthwae hoem) = €94 [A$160].
12/6 /07 (Journal ♪♫ Austria). Finished off our exploration of this part of the Alps with a
walk back to Möserer See by a slightly different route. Saw some horses & a single cow & a few big-horned
sheep & some fallow deer in a private “zoo” but the big thrill was 2 squirrels (one on the way out, another
on the way back) – speedy, bright eyed little creatures with tufted ears & fluffy tails. One was quite curious
about us & would have taken food if we’d had any. Three large crows kept an eye on us for awhile & there
154
were mallard ducklings on the See. Ate a delicious Tirol dish of cubed potatoes, onions, ham & spek fried
up & topped with a fried egg – our cholesterol count must be considerably upped. Followed by sharing a
Tirolean hot sausage with bread & sauerkraut after an interval during which we did the crossword in the
Herald Tribune John bought at the station this morning after we got our tickets to Salzburg. It was very
relaxing at the See, & the weather held off till the late walk back to Seefeld, though it wasn’t drenching
rain. Luckily the other supermarket was open to pick up the makings of a light meal for tea. I have
seriously overeaten in the last few days as the breakfasts here are generous (2 buns each, meat, cheese,
jams, coffee, juice & an egg if desired, & black bread too) & the restaurants are located at regular small
distances along the walks. It may explain why so many of the tourists over 40 are overweight – the big
glasses of beer help too. Two girls from England we met at the See (one of whom had Italian parents from
Ravello & Tuscany) said their hotel seved a 6-course meal for dinner, though they were small courses. We
suspect the big breakfasts help to pile on weight – Italians don’t eat breakfast much (a quick espresso on
the way to work with a cornetto perhaps) & they seem to be not overweight as a population. The more you
eat, the more you want to. By the way, Dürer painted a scene near Mösern, looking down the valley of the
Inn which he included in a self-portrait now in the Madrid Prado. €63,30 (~ts x2 SEEFELD →
SALZBURG paed ← Hz krdt÷d) + €2,30 (Herald Tribune - owr 2
nd
nuezppr ovthtrip) + €1,20 (¯
stamp) + €2,50 (stikr wth krstov TYROL & SEEFELD 2 ndof ¯ntrez 4 thsE) + €23,35 (l8 æ nrstron
oevr n Möserer See) + €7,33 (sueprmrkt stuf 4 t) + €4,80 (Weissbier (0,51) + t) = €105 [A$179].
19/6 /07. 7am start (to think it was routine for us at the beginning of the trip; now its usually
8.30/9am) so we could catch the 8.30 bus to Salzburg to catch the 10.10 train to Ammstetten to catch the
12.12 train to Melk to catch the 12.59 bus to Spitz! The changeover in Ammstetten was finely tuned – only
5 minutes to change platforms but we made it. Spitz is a very pretty village surrounded by terraces of
grape vines (like Maiori with its lemon terraces) & it has much more atmosphere than either Seefeld or St.
Gilgen as it has winding streets & stone houses, some with old frescoes, on different levels. Like them, of
course, it is exceptionally clean & well-kept. It’s quieter, not having either a lake or mountains to attract
tourist hordes (Durnstein (23/8/07. John kept referring to it as Rumsfeld and for ages I thought it was its
real name until I looked at the map) is the major tourist town in the Wachau & takes care of that) so the
feel is very relaxed. We are settled in at a lovely B&B run by Christine Brunner called 1000 Eimerberg,
3620 Spitz, Marktstrasse 3. Tel. 02713/2334 Fax 02713/30054 www.1000-eimerberg.at email:
info@1000eimerberg.at . 1000 Eimerberg means “the hill of 1000 grape-buckets”. Its not far from the town
centre. The town was one of the earliest settlements in the Wachau (Celts, Romans, Carolingians) with a
documented history beginning in 865AD when the Bavarian Abbey of Niederaltaich was granted ownership
of the land then known as Spitzum. UNESCO has named the Wachau as a world heritage site & its easy to
understand why. By the way, the Danube isnt blue but a greyish green & its flowing strongly. We saw a
marker for 2 flood levels, one in March & one in August 2002 which were ceiling high in the verandah of a
riverside building. Pigged out at the pub near the river – I tried out traubensaft (grape juice) at lunchtime
(a bit like apple juice – its often drunk as a spritzer with water, but I had it neat) & at dinner time at the
same pub had an alcohol-free beer which looked & tasted like the real thing. John had a local white wine &
then the alcohol-free beer & then a weiss beer. Sez John the alcohol-free beer tastes better than the low
alcohol beers in Oz. I liked it because it quenches thirst better than sweet drinks & it takes me longer to
finish it. For dinner we had 2 shared dishes – potato dumplings filled with ham & sauerkraut, followed later
by the farmers dish of fried potatoes/bacon/onion topped with fried egg & served with coleslaw in horse-
radish sauce – both very tasty & reasonably priced. The main church here is late Gothic/early Baroque & is
decorated with many gilded wood carvings of saints & has some fine stained glass windows topped with
pictures of grapes & flowers. The war memorial is a statue of one soldier leaning over to help a wounded
comrade, not nearly as impressive as the ones of the Salzkammergut, as it implies that war creates
heroic/morally superior acts. €2,30 (Herald International Tribune) + €296 (B&B x6 @ Sonnhof
nST. GILGEN) + €57,50 (~ts x2 SALZBURG → MELK) + €8,60 (7~ts x2 MELK → SPITZ) + €5,20
(Weissbier & Traubensaft) + €1,00 (mapvworks) + €4,71 (sprmrkt stuf) + €1,20 (prtzl shaept bun) +
€26,00 (sloe æ @r pub (Spitzerl) † throed ← thDonau) = €403 [A$685].
26/6 /07. Depart VIENNA Schwechat ¬port ¬EK128 (Emirates Airlines) @ 1530 (non-
stop: 05 hrz 25 mins) → Arrive DUBAI International ¬port @ 2255 @ terminal 1 on Airbus Industrie
A330-200 (economy). … (11.45pm @ DUBAI ¬port) Due 2 depart – DUBAI International ¬port ¬
EK404 (Emirates Airlines) @ 245 (one stop (SINGAPORE): 15 hrz 45 mins) → MELBOURNE
Tullamarine A @ 0030 (28
th
June) @ terminal 1 on Boeing 777-300 (economy) … €0,80 (Oi @z x4 ) +
€0,80 (2x ÷dz 2 ndof VIEN jrnl ntrez) + €225,00 (B&B x3 @ Hotel Post (Mozart staed thr)) +
€12,00 (7~ts x2 → ¬port) + €2,30 (Herald International Tribune @ VIENNA Schwechat ¬
port) + €3,00 (The Guardian @ VIENNA Schwechat ¬port) = €244 [A$415]. … & herz thf¤nl
rkowntn zpromst ystrdae: nTOTAL oevr 11 weksov thtrip wspnt A$13,187 @ navrjov A$1199/wek (ie
A$600 ech) ie thtrip kost echvus O A$6,600 ksluedn th¬fair → & ← vO A$2,800 (nkluedn nsuerns
etc) ech ie A$9,400 woz th O kost /prsn. Moestv owr kosts nMELBOURNE rkontnuen µhold
kspndchrz rgrdlsov wthr wr thr ornot but tz fair 2 sae (¤m gsn) th@ w ech woodv nkerd prsnl livn
155
kspnsz fw hd staed nMELBOURNE vO A$2,400. Soe dduktn th@ ← owr trip kspnsz givz nTOTAL
/echov A$7,000 th@ w nkerd 4 th11wek TRIP →← EUROPR (itrlir 8 weks, ostrr 3 weks).
18/9 /07 (River ♪♫). MELBOURNE (O 10.30am; C tolwa) → Rosedale (hmbrgr 4 ♂, 3
dmsmz 4 ♀) → Sale (krfe ovr n thport) → Lakes Entrance (basa ~4 ♂, flak 4 ♀) → pknk E @ ndv µ
→↓→ Burnt Bridge (2/8/08. For all of you who have been paying attention, some of the fonts have
changed in size and character because the rotten computer’s Windows operating system got corrupted
somehow and the machine had to be re-imaged. When I reloaded Word, some of the fonts disappeared.
Since this one is my signature one I paid $US20 to download it! Bugger!!) rd. (··e ·♫♪♫ rm¤nd me
wr ntn Italia, mozez).
25/9 /07. SYDNEY (mum 4 Rasa hzbn ON THE WAGON O zlongz ¤hv; rkrdn2 H n¤thr
Ben nor Dan tuch lkhol wch menz wr rmov wowzrz n zK8 hzbn ON THE WAGON sns fbure & Joe
dznt mb¤b koz ♂z rBoodst; Peter Blansjaar (hoo hz 5 prprtez now ( Wingdings 10/9/05) & hz ‘rt
¤rd’ @ aj 35 2pla thshairmrkt) rlso duznt ´koz ♂z rhlffrek) → Buladelah (kofe x2 ($8.80) & pprz;
ptrl) → The Tallest Tree in NSW (Eucalyptus grandis (flooded gum)) → Forster (shpt @
thsprmrkt) → The Great Lakes Sailing Club Picnic Area (nth Booti Booti National Park wrw 8 t
th☼↓ ovr Lake Wallis) → SMITHS LAKE (4thn¤t; thrr Australian Brushturkeys (Alectura
latham(25/10/07. ♥ tht¤tlv Marks - A Conga Line of Suckholes)i) h· – 2vthm r 1drn O nth
4shor s&!!; rSouthern Boo (Ninox novaeseelandiae) hz *d hootn nth branchz ovrC).
2/10/07. Otrip →2 GRAFTON vO 180kz 2 stok↑ wth spl¤z. Nthwa whd owr 1
st
tiff (dsgre
··t) vth trip but 2ndrst&t ud hv2hv bn mared 40+ y·· so ¤ wont tr¤ 2ksplan. Wbort spl¤z 4 O 6
daz. pprz & drnk korfe (x3 shot lrte 4 me) nstorik SOUTH GRAFTON. Wn wwr fotgrfn rs¤n wornnv
magp¤ @aks r · ®t & ofrd2 givus r simlr s¤n ♀ hd @ µ.So w folod ♀ 2 ♀µ rfu kz wa & now whv
r gr8 @ s¤z s¤n wch redz LOOK OUT! MAGPIE ATTACK ZONE pootowt x National Parks & Wildlife
Service N.S.W. Wot r ripr dkrashn 4 rCollingwood (Magp¤z) (Gymnorhina tibicen)) sportr (nlthl&
th@db th ŠARKOS) – twl tak pr¤d vplas nth ·tlpes @ µ nMiller st. West Melb. Thn w dun owr
shopn nth sprmrkt nGRAFTON propr & thn s@ nrpub drinkn lmnl¤m&btrz & etn æ vTbon stak @
$5.50 ech. Now wr ← @ owr · nth bankvth mgnfsnt Mann River. Tz r worm evnn rftr r daov 33°
(GRAFTON) & th☼ hz ↓ but nstdv → str8 2< zw uzurle doo ¤ tak thprtunte 2 thank ŽVgIiRnBtLaIsS
4

th e¯ ¤ rcevd ← ♂m rÆlv weks b4 w→ nth trip: “Arunai, cia Gintas.¶ Ka tik Lietuva laimejo
pries Kroatija. Yes …Tai va. I am overjoyed …. Dar esu overjoyed, kad tu, my dear friend
nusipirkai ta Hofstadterio knygute. As freaking hope that you will find it an honest to god
tour de force, kaip kad ir as. ¶ Dar ka norejau pasakyti, kad labai patiko tai, ka tu rasai.
Tikrai labai. And what I find personally most engaging and endearing it is your warmth
and humanity. I think you don’t have to write in riddles as you do, your writing stands on
its own, no problems. On the other hand I understand that there is a section of your
readers that has to be considered also. ¶ I absolutely congratulate you for your amazing
talent as a writer and as a human being. ¶ All the best. See you back in Litho or in Oz
probably. ¶ Cheers. Gintas.” Thanks m8 – yor r·vf¤n ntljns, ndpndnt thinkn, & kslnt juj··t. Zr
' wth 20 rz @ most (25/11/07. Monday 22/10/07) ¤ lap↑ vre aklad ¤ get (26/11/07. ¤ rshur
m¤ rz ¤m kapblv kopn wth · fam, *dm, bjkt dmrashn, wershp, & slbrt st8us wth humbl modst,
grace & dkorum (27/11/07. nt2··shn dgnet – butvkors!). (1/12/07. ♪ thspin ntopk prv¤° x Harvey
Pekar n Ego & Hubris © 2006 Random House)) & ¤ ♥d th litho/nglsh patois (2/11/07. Monday
(2
nd
edition) (no 67a) 8/10/07) vth e¯. ¤ hvbn nflunst xt nths trip 2 pootn nkazionl ntre n¬
nglsh (eg 27/9/07 & Monday (2
nd
ed.) 1/10/07) butn “…” mrks 2 mfs¤z 2 rz tz how ¤ uzd 2'
not how ¤ ' now. But u nvr no, habts kn chanj, th“…” mrks ma kumoff 1 da.
9/10/07. KINGS PLAINS NATIONAL PARK (→← the falls) → (50kz) → INVERELL
(pprz, korfe) → (v¤r Ashford; 85kz) → Limestone Caves (Eastern Bentwing (ndanjrd) & Eastern
Horshoe b@s) → (8kz) → KWIAMBAL NATIONAL PARK (Macintyre Falls; dun th4 short →s;
→ (8kz) Lemon Tree Flat fre _E (H zgtn ♀r ·chudorf x r bornold gezr hooz kum ovr th nabrn _
s¤t); thnfo nth ← thVisitors Guide: “Park Features ¶ Set in the rolling farmlands of the
New England Tablelands and North West Slopes of NSW are two excellent national parks.
Here you can camp and swim at rugged river gorges, and get a feel for the past by
156
exploring native woodlands of a kind that once covered much of the region. Kwiambal
national Park is 90km north of Inverell and Kings Plains National Park is 47km north east
towards Glen Innes. ¶ Kwiambal (pronounced Kigh-am-bal) is a fairly new national park,
on the junction of the Macintyre and Severn rivers. It has spectacular river gorges, huge
granite boulders and a rolling landscape of rugged hills. The nearby Limestone Caves
have rare bats and some limestone formations. You can camp, swim or fish at Lemon
Tree Flat on the banks of the beautiful Severn River. There are picnic facilities at the
scenic Macintyre Falls and Limestone Caves. The park protects the special wildlife of the
ironbark - cypress-pine woodlands. Kwiambal is a great place for bushwalking. ¶ Kings
Plains National Park is a rocky woodland best known for its still pools and seasonal
waterfalls. It is an important conservation area, protecting mature old ironbark – cypress-
pine woodlands. This is a park for self-reliant visitors, especially those interested in
plants, birds or exploring the bush. Most years the woodlands come alive with
wildflowers and birds in spring. There are no marked walking tracks and intending
bushwalkers should bring topographic maps. You can walk down beside the rocky Kings
Plains Creek to falls that flow after rain. This park is a peaceful haven, with a small picnic
area and two camping areas beside Kings Plain Creek. There is a 50m walk from the car
park to the main camping area, which has tables and toilets. Toilets and other visitor
facilities are planned but not yet ready at the vehicle-based camping area. Campers
should bring their own water and firewood. § European History ¶ Explorer and botanist
Allan Cunningham rode through this area in 1827 and found Europeans already settled
on good grazing and farming land, with others still looking. An 1848 map of the Inverell
district shows that the grazing property ‘Eena’ included what is now Kwiambal National
Park. The Kings Plains National Park was once a small part of Kings Plains Station
established in 1838. ¶ The Limestone Caves were mined for bat droppings called guano,
a low-grade fertilizer. These guano deposits were worked on and off through to the
1960s. Limestone was also taken from the area. Lime was made in a kiln on nearby
‘Iona’ station, with the limestone heated for 90 hours to remove water and turn it into
lime (3/1/08. One of my paternal great grandfathers (James Robinson) was a limeburner living at
Chinaman’s Flat near Maryborough when he married (1862) my great grandmother Honoria Skelly
(22/7/08. Honoria’s mother Ellen Skelly died in an accident reported on the front page of the Dunolly &
Betbetshire Express and County of Gladstone Advertiser of Friday June 29 1888: “A shocking accident occurred at
Bowenvale shortly after 8 o’clock on Monday night. An old couple named Skelly were returning home from Dunolly in a spring cart, when the horse
shied, and running over an embankment threw them both out of the cart. Mrs Skelly was picked up insensible, Mr Skelly sustaining severe bruises to
his shoulder and hip, but was able to follow the horse, which ran away. Mrs Skelly, however died before a doctor could reach her. An inquest was
held and the following verdict was arrived at: - “I find that on the 25
th
day of June, 1888, at Timor, the deceased, Ellen Skelly, died from concussion of
and haemorrhage into the brain caused by being accidentally thrown from a spring cart”. On the same page is the following report:
“Found Drowned. Timor, Sunday. Two boys, named Clifford and Ballantine, picked up a parcel near the edge of the Bet Bet Creek this afternoon,
and noticed a body in the creek. Information was given to the police, who had the body taken out, when it was recognized as that of a widow named
Mary Walsh, residing at Timor West. The deceased left home on Wednesday last and attended the funeral of the late Mrs Skelly on Thursday. It is
supposed that she left Timor at eight o’clock on Thursday evening for home, and getting off the road, the night being very dark, walked into the creek
at the spot where the body was found. …”) who lived at Bet Bet nearby & who was unable to write, so left her mark (x)
on the marriage certificate. Her father Thomas Skelly was also a limeburner (5/7/08. Further information
from a relative just discovered (Yvonne) on My Heritage website is that “Thomas Skelly had a brother also in
OZ - Convict Laurance/Lawrence SKELLY who came on the MANGLES after his trial in Dublin for Highway Robbery
(23/7/08. Trial date 12
th
July, 1827, City of Dublin Court; 2
nd
June 1828 (29/8/08. Today I discovered from
the Society of Australian Genealogists website database “NSW Tickets of Leave 1810-1875” that his trade
was “errand boy”) shipped out, 11
th
March 1833 Ticket of Leave; prisoner number 28/878; 11
th
September
1834 Certificate of Freedom from NSW. Described as born in 1810, 5ft 2 in., dark freckled complexion, dark
brown hair, dark hazel eyes, scar & mole on left cheek and marks from scrofula under right jaw. By 1849
he was in Melbourne. Buried 4
th
May 1875 Footcray Cemetery, grave 193). He died in Footscray after choking
on his niece Margaret Allen nee Skelly's roast mutton lunch !!! I have the inquest record for that (23/7/08. which she
gave me today. Here is the inquest detail: “3
rd
May 1875. Proceedings of Inquest held upon the body of Lawrence Skelly at
Footscray. Received at the Crown Law Office May 4
th
1875. PROCEEDINGS BEFORE CORONERS. INQUISITION. Colony of Victoria to wit: An
Inquisition for our Sovereign Lady Queen Victoria, taken at the Plough Inn, Footscray in the Colony of Victoria aforesaid, the third day of May AD
1875 in the thirty eighth year of the Reign of our said Lady the Queen, before me, David Purdie Maclean, Gentleman, a district Coroner of our Lady
the Queen for said Colony, upon the view of the body of Lawrence Skelly then and there lying dead upon the oaths of [12] good and lawful men of
Footscray in the said Colony ….” There were 3 depositions, from his nephew-in-law, from a previous employer, Sir
Thomas Bent (member of Parliament and Mayor of Brighton whose statue stands today in Brighton
(22/11/08. ÷ 2daz The Age: “He was a town councillor and state premier so crooked his
name was felt a euphemism. In Parliament, suffering from advanced syphillis, he would
157
stop suddenly mid-speech and cooee half a dozen times, sing Ben Bolt in falsetto, recite
a few lines composed on a train, and make remarks about the shape of his fellow
parliamentarians’ heads. It is said “he suffered less from ideas than from mental
spasms.” ”)), and from the doctor called to treat him, James Morton. Bent’s deposition mentioned: “He was
in the habit of taking a little drink and swallowing his food in large pieces – I have frequently spoken to him about it but he said that having no teeth
he was obliged to take it in that way”. The doctor said: “I … saw the man lying dead and on putting my finger down the throat I got up a piece
of mutton now shown to the jury – the mutton was firmly impacted (? – spelling unclear) in the gullet nearly two inches down. the piece of
mutton is about triangular in shape, three inches in its largest side - and about two inches and a little over at the base - and about half an inch thick
and would weigh about two ounces.The body was that of a man about sixty five or seventy and had no teeth. The man died from suffocation”. The
jury of good and lawful men of Footscray “do say upon their oath that he was accidentally suffocated whilst attempting to swallow a
large piece of mutton”). Thomas appears to have been a "watchman " in NSW c1828 and said that he came on the RED
ROVER. Thomas and Ellen bought land in Timor on the Bet Bet creek in c1858.” At last, a convict forbear!)). In the
1850s wagons unloading supplies at Inverell would come to this area and get a backload
of lime for the building industry in Armidale. ¶ White cypress-pine and other timbers
were logged and milled in the Ashford district from about 1898. Although widespread,
logging was selective, and Kwiambal National Park includes areas of pristine woodland,
never logged. White cyprus-pine is a valued timber, attractive and hard-wearing and
now used mainly for flooring. ¶ After 1910 many Chinese people in the Ashford district
were employed to work on tobacco share-farms. Although tobacco was tried as a
commercial crop as early as 1890, it was not a great success until the 1940s, when
Ashford became the main tobacco-growing area in NSW. For many years tobacco was
grown along the Macintyre and Severn rivers on properties which now form part of
Kwiambal National Park. No one grows tobacco commercially in the area today.”)
16/10 /07. _E (Warrabah National Park; Namoi River) → (86kz, v¤r MANILLA) →
TAMWORTH (ptrl & H2O; pprz & kofe; nfo ) → (186kz v¤r Nemingha, Dungowan, Nowendoc;
Thunderbolts Way) → _E (@ Woko National Park nkst 2 CH2Oz vth Manning River 14kz ←
Thunderbolt(1/11/07. Wednesday 17/10/07 (no 69))s Way ie 34kz ← Gloucester (tzr lrj ·
ikurd _E @ $5/C/n¤t (wnvr pad @ Warrabah @ $3!) but thrz no1 h· ksptus).
23/10 /07 (10/11/07. ← th~: “It is possible that Tiw could have been the original
and oldest of the gods worshipped by the Anglo-Saxons and other Germanic peoples. In
his oldest guise he was called Tiwaz, and was regarded as the Sky Father, and was
probably venerated alongside the Earth Mother, whom together may have been
worshipped in a cult of sky and earth. Slight evidence of this is when we find the line,
'Earth I pray and sky' in an Old English charm, that was recited to bring fertility to the
land. ¶ Tiwaz was at one time the all-powerful god of the Germanic peoples, but he was
eventually overtaken and dethroned by another god, and amongst the Anglo-Saxons
Woden seems to have done the dethroning. But Tiwaz or Tiw didn't disappear; was
merely relegated to a 'lesser' role, that role being one of the war god. In this role he was
worshipped and invoked during times of war. His symbol, the Tiwaz runic symbol, has
been found stamped on weapons, giving further evidence of his role as the war god.
Tiw's name can also be found in the second day of the week ,Tuesday. The Romans
called Tuesday dies Martis or day of Mars after their own war god. So when the Germanic
people accepted the Roman week, they replaced the Roman war god with the Germanic
one, which gave us Tiwes-daeg or the day of Tiw, which became the modern English
Tuesday.” (11/11/07. www.wikipedia.com says Tyr is the Norse version of Tiw: “According to the Edda, at
one stage the gods decided to shackle the wolf Fenrisulfr (Fenrir), but the beast broke every chain they put upon
him. Eventually they had the dwarves make them a magical ribbon called Gleipnir from such items as a
woman's beard and a mountain's roots. But Fenrir sensed the gods' deceit and refused to be bound with it unless
one of them put his hand in the wolf's mouth. Tyr, known for his great honesty and courage, agreed, and the
other gods bound the wolf. Fenrir sensed that he had been tricked and bit off the god's hand. Fenrir will remain
bound until the day of Ragnarök. As a result of this deed, Tyr is called the "Leavings of the Wolf".). ¤ kntnu
wthth ksplnashnz ← ystrda stil @th sam pknk tabl (bh¤nd thdun n· Meringo Point) zystrda & wrwr
@ nth 1
st
wek ( Wednesday 19/9/07 (no 69)) vth trip. Wv dun rO (sum m¤t 4 wv fownd ‘closure’
uzn rhorbl ynk wrd nsp¤rd x rdz¤r 2kntrol ( October 27 6/11/03 (no 41))). & ¤ rpt, z¤ 4
ystrda ¤ wood ( Monday 22/10/07), th 1
st
thing wl doo wnw →µ, b4 kntnun wthth Tuesday
158
kmplashn wlb 2+ thmundaz ← ths trp 2 th1z lrd klktd nMonday (no 67) & shood ne1 want2 m ¤l
rkp (2
nd
æn) 2u nrekwst zn @@ch··t nr e¯. U wont no 2 rks but ntil rftr th ‘pblkashn’ v Tuesday
(x thmdlv nkst y·(11/2/08. but¤gottowt nfbure)) vwch ths mawlb thf¤nl ntre (4/1/08. tznt but). Wot
¤ f¤nd prtkulrle s@sf¤n wthth ¤drv +n thrler dazv trip ♪♫ 2th lrd ‘publsht’ Days (Days of the
Week ? 7 Days ?) b4 kompletn wotvr Day tz wr wrknon zth@ xth wget2 pootowt Sunday (@th
r8v 1 Day /y· th@tb n2013!) thlrst ntre vth l8st ænz vth 7 Days wlb ← THE SAME WEEK. Howz
th@ 4 ngzmplv CLOSURE! Thplezure kumz ← thrt~l nachr vt 4 nth ‘rl K’ 0 zvr klozd kspt l¤f x °. R
frthr mazn knskwns vth mthd bkam rparnt 2me onle ystrda: wn orl 7 Days rvalbl r r wlb abl x
DISASSEMBLING 2 REASSEMBLE thm →2 th4m@ vech vth rjnl owts (17/1/08. 2da ¤ rerl¤zd 2
m¤ mns rgrt th@ tznt tru 4 th2 owts t¤tld DANYO RESERVE (no 53) & Port Germein (no 58)
wchr thmslvz kmplashnz ← prvys owts & kntan ntrplashnz madn 2005 wn theiwr °owt – thr4 nth
fuchr Days (*10 wth Wednesday (no 69)) wnvr ¤ hv 2vrzionz vth sam da ¤l uz thl8r1. (18/1/08.
& krkshnz 2 rktf¤ th prblm (5/2/08. kspt nth kas v3 stsv pomz ° owt wthowt rd8 nth t¤tl ie: 19·
pomz (no 21); 21 pomz (no 22); IN MY FATHERS HOUSE (no 31)) hvbn mad 2 th bstv m¤ rblt n
Monday (3
rd
edition) (no 67b) & nths Tuesday (no 68))) + →2 thndvjul trip ♪♫ wch hvnvr rp·d z
owts (ie Litho Trip 2; Journal ♪♫ Italy; Journal ♪♫ Austria; thez ¯ntrez wch ¤v just t¤tld
River ♪♫; & ne fuchr trip ♪♫ (11/2/08. eg X-mas 07 ! (2/4/08. & YORKE PENINSULA) (11/6/08. & ° )
(13/10/08. & dr¤ cunt )) 2b +d 2 l8r ænzv thDays) - l¤k 1v thoz TRANSFORMERS wch knb
chanjd ← ÷ →2 soopr· ←2 ÷ rgan! Onle thmost °k8d rz onn vre lrst æn (think how much theyd
be worth!) wlb abl2 rchev TRANSFORMATION rsumn, vkors, thK hznt n° x 2013, H (25/11/07. ♥yr –
thanks) zstl , & ¤m O 2kmplet thprojkt … → (62kz v¤r TUROSS (wrw ° hump← wal nth bch)) →
NAROOMA (pprz nbotµ ovr n lak; ptrl) → (35kz) → BERMAGUI (b@rd ~ ← Co-op) → (104kz) →
Nullica River mouth (7kz prst EDEN; 4 æ) → (238kz) → LAKES ENTRANCE (ptrl) → (16kz) →
NUNGURNER (4shor rzrv off Loop Rd 4 thn¤t).
18/12 /07 (X-mas 07). ¤m @ owr  x thkrek O 1k owtv Tatong @ 5pm nm¤ slo O O
wa → SYDNEY 4 x-mas. ¤v s@ 'n @ ths pknk tabl b4 – EeWaErRlS & rZoWsIe got r··shn thn
(1/1/08. Saturday 10/4/04) & 1s rgn tha f¤nd thr wa →2 m¤ trp ♪♫. ¤ ddnt plant th@ wa. ☼da
b4 lrst r vnrbl mmbr vth Melb ltho kmunt rkst me f¤ hd d rZoWsIez Last Walk in Narishkin Park
O thmaskr nŽAGARĖ bkoz, ♂ 4, th@s howt hapnd orl ovr LT. ♂z th 1
st
· vm¤ pairnts jnrashn 2hv
4t so ¬le 2me & ♂z r· hooz pnyn ¤ rspkt (¤v brort r ♂ lnt me – Letters and Drawings of
Bruno Schulz (hooz Street of Crocodiles ¤ d nth wknd)). Wn ¤ got2 owr Ivanhoe µ ystrda
vnn ¤ fownd r DVD d→ me x sVaAuRlNiAuSs (1/1/08. Friday 2/11/01) vdoko flmz kl n 2b
bastn hthr2 krt rk¤vl mtril nth LIETUKIS GARAGE nsdnt wch tookplas nKAUNAS n1941 rfu daz
ftrth jr·z launcht thr 2
nd
· wor r☼lt nrussia (oprashn BARBAROSSA). Tso hapns th@ th 1
st
?
EeWaErRlS rkst me wn ♂ 1
st
rp·d @ lthoµ (♣) nErrol st Nth Melb woz O th LIETUKIS GARAGE
vnt. Fotoz vth nsdnt hv fchrd nvre doko vth SHOAH nLT ¤v n nt2··shn n Elie Wieselz . Wn ¤
get←2 Melb ¤l thdokoz Saulius d →me & thn don8 thDVD → ltho♣ l¤bre wr EeWaErRlS kn
chktowt (2/1/08. nglsh nrashn valbl) shood ♂ mak nuthr p·ns thr. ¤ f¤ndt kuryus th@ EeWaErRlSz
& rZoWsIez pathz † chuthr nths nths Ostanshl wa, zkordn2 Earl, thav metchuthr nth rl · off th 2.
So tz wrjoind x HIS nwaz w dont vn rrl¤z. Rfuwksgo ¤ dskuvrd th@n +m¤rd frnd vm¤ pairntz
woz posble r ↑rankn KGB oprtv ( 18/7/06 ) b4 ←2 LT & th@ ♂ mustv non nuthr frnd vm¤ pairntz (&
m¤ ltho lngwj tchr @ ☼da skool ( Sunday 4/6/06)) rlrd ←n LT ztha both hd nyr rolz nwot thlthoz
korl thPARTIZAN ↑r¤zn vs th r 10 soviets but wot thjuz korl th KAUNAS POGROM (th LIETUKIS
GARAGE nsdnt woz prtv thz vnts). 1 woz rwr° th st8usv = jnt¤l (10/1/08. but twoz ♂z ♀ hoo gott,
pairntle) w¤l thuthr woz nvstg8d (4/1/08. ljdle) x OZ thortz 4 posbl prtspashn (19/1/08. m¤ persnl
ksprins zth@ ‘gvn truthz’ rptd x 4 nth LT kmunt r uzule ntru. Th onle krdbl sors ¤v ·4 ♂ wz ntrvud
x th SIU onle zr krktr wtns. (5/2/08. ddnt rp·nth lstv (4offth ←vth truk) suspkts) POGROM. In case
Im accused of being mired in th past (1/1/08. 23/9/03 ) its worth owt th@ H @ least can no
longer as ♀ has caught the genealogy bug & is ngajdn dgn↑ some murky (10/1/08. Definitely murky.
My mother always maintained her father was John Joseph Kent, born in England, who served in WWI as a
lighthorseman. However, on her birth certificate her father is registered as William Richard Clemes, born in
Mitcham, Adelaide on 7/4/1886 to Emily Clemes . I couldn’t find any marriage certificate for Kent and
Rebecca Olive Mason, mum’s mother, but did find a marriage for Clemes and ROM, dated 1908.
Furthermore, there were 2 deceased children of the marriage before mum’s birth in 1915, William jnr, born
159
1907 and died 1909, and Olive Annie, born 1912 and died at birth or was stillborn. So they were very much
a family unit it seemed at the time. However I couldn’t find a death certificate for Clemes snr or any war
service record on www.awm.gov.au for him. I did find one for Kent, under Joseph John Kent, profession
butcher, which showed he served in the 10
th
Infantry Battalion, enlisting on 14/8/1914, embarking
20/10/14 and returning to Australia on 22/3/1918. He was wounded 3 times and discharged as medically
unfit due to vision impairment on 8/4/18. The studio portrait in my mum’s photo collection of a soldier in a
foreign land (the back of the card says “carte postale”) shows a man with a walking stick seated at a table
on which his helmet rests: is this Clemes or Kent? Today there was a news broadcast about a footie player
who changed his surname from his mother’s to his father’s when his own son was born, and it struck me
that might have been the case with Clemes, as his mother had married a man called Palmer a year after
William Richard’s birth, so he must have grown up with this man as either his biological or step- father. So I
looked up William Richard Palmer at the Australian War Memorial site and there were 2 of them, but one
set of dates matched exactly: date of enlistment was 7/9/1914 and age was 28 years 5 months! His
occupation was quarryman. However, while Kent distinguished himself with woundings, Clemes got
syphilis in Egypt and was discharged 18/10/1915! The 2 were remarkably similar in height (Kent 5’6½”,
Clemes 5’8”) both had blue eyes, both had a chest measurement of 35”, but Kent had fair hair while
Clemes had black hair and Kent weighed 122 lbs while Clemes weighed 149. The man in the picture seems
most likely to be Kent, as he is slim and the stick indicates walking problems (Kent was wounded in the
thigh, the neck and the foot). His mouth and eyes are very similar to mum’s. As mum’s birthday was 25
th
July 1915 her father is most likely Kent who left on 20/10/1914 from Adelaide because Clemes who also
embarked on the same day, departed from Hobart where he must have been billetted or at least taken
some time to get there. According to those dates, conception must have occurred in the week prior to
Kent’s embarkation. Both men enlisted as single men, yet Clemes was still married to Rebecca, and in
Kent’s records an unknown woman claiming to be his widow successfully applied for his service medals in
1968. In mum’s recollections, Kent is supposed to have died in a mine cave-in in Broken Hill where he went
sometime in the period 1920-1924 after problems with drinking made him volatile and he left the family.
(12/1/08. Checked out S.A. marriage & death registers in the State Library today and discovered Kent
married Mabel Evelyn Coulter 19/3/1925 in Adelaide and died at the suburb of Brompton 14/10/1950. Who
died in the mine accident? Or was it a made up story to explain their father’s continued absence to mum
and her sisters?)) stuff ♀rslf (1/1/08. 4/11/03 ) (1/1/08. a poor comparison - you could use it only if I was
so involved with the massacres of the aborigines by the settlers that I lost my equilibrium. The genealogy
is more akin to a pleasurable minor mystery the solution of which is of no emotional import. (2/1/08.
Oyair. So w¤ spnd somuch & $$?) (2/1/08. Because it gives me pleasure (3/1/08. nolj zr k¤ndv plzur
(5/1/08. rlef?)? (4/1/08. bt now th@ ¤v lost ntrst nth f8v th== vLT ¤m gtn orl ths mtril. R wk l8r mum
ofrd 2lnd me r O auschwitz & Eglė hz ofrd 2lnd r huj ♀ bort lrst y· nKrakow O th Vilnius
Ghetto.)))). Cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) have perched themselves on high branches on three
sides & hv spnt thnt¤r screaming @ everythn ¤v 'n.
25/12 /07. Thsz thpsj ← thb¤bl 4 @ thKŪČIOS. Trænle tz 4 x thyungst mmbrv thm
but bkoz Louis z2old 2b ko·d·d & thnkst yungst, Lukas Diego @ 1 y· & Elliot @ 5 munths, ÷nt 4
yt twoz 4 x Rasa snr (Rasa jnr z@ ♀r ♂frndz pairnts plas nscotl& 4 x-mas) – (Luke 2, 1-20): “1.
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus,
that all the world should be taxed. ¶ 2. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius
was governor of Syria.) ¶ 3. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. ¶ 4.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the
city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of
David:) ¶ 5. To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. ¶ 6. And so
it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be
delivered. ¶ 7. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling
clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. ¶ 8.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over
their flock by night. ¶ 9. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of
the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. ¶ 10. And the angel said
unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to
all people. ¶ 11. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is
Christ the Lord. ¶ 12. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in
swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. ¶ 13. And suddenly there was with the angel a
multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ¶ 14. Glory to God in the
highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. ¶ 15. And it came to pass, as the
angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, Let
us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the
160
Lord hath made known to us. ¶ 16. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and
Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. ¶ 17. And when they had seen it, they made
known abroad the saying which was told them concerning the child. ¶ 18. And all they
that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. ¶ 19. But
Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. ¶ 20. And the shepherds
returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as
it was told unto them.”
11/3 /08 (YORKE PENINSULA). At Tiddy Widdy Beach in the carpark near the boat launching
place (not a ramp but soft sand) for the night. We left the Coorong (our usual spot near the entrance to the
barrages) about 8am to avoid the heat. S.A. is having a record hot spell (a full 9 days of temps over 35° in
Adelaide & ranging up to 43° elsewhere e.g. Port Augusta and no change expected till next week (if any))
which made the decision to leave Robe with its cool winds difficult. However we decided to risk it because
we’d exhausted the possibilities around Robe. Lake Albert at Meningie is well below the level we
experienced last time we were there, with the swimming spot next to the jetty in the main street park now
just sand. The water is unreachable as it has retreated & exposed a wide stretch of soft, deep mud. The
Coorong before Meningie looks bleak & devoid of birds. Coorong → Narrung (ferry) → Tailem Bend →
Murray Bridge (shopping) → Palmer → Tungkilla (instant coffee at the pub to read the papers) →
Williamstown (very attractive old town) → Gawler → Two Wells (soft drink in the pub where 2 old blokes &
the bar girl (who reminded me of my cousin Kay Gabriel from Adelaide) extolled the virtues of the Yorke
Peninsula) → Port Wakefield (battered fish (old & dry) at the fish shop on the highway) → Port Clinton →
Price → Ardrossan → Tiddy Widdy Beach in search of a spot for the night. Exploring a beach track disaster
struck as we tried to turn around and our back wheels dug through the surface into loose sand & we were
well & truly bogged. As we walked towards the beach in the hope of finding a fisherman with a 4x4 to pull
us out we came across a 4x4 on the track also in strife. It had its passenger-side front wheel in a deep hole
and its driver-side rear wheel about a foot off the ground. The driver, a chef at the Ardrossan hotel-motel
who has only been here a week was going fishing but had run aground. He’d sent his son to get help. While
we were commiserating, a 4x4 arrived with the son, who had door-knocked the first place he’d seen a
likely vehicle in the drive. The knight in shining armour was Mick Ryan who got the bogged 4x4 out in no
time flat by reorganizing its gears. Our van proved more difficult as it was bogged so low it was hard to
get at a place to put on the tow rope – it took about ½ hour but he finally pulled us out. The chef has
promised him a free meal at the pub & John & I will give him a bottle of wine when we go to his house for
coffee tomorrow morning at his invitation. Like Blanche du Bois, we are grateful for the kindness of
strangers. Mick also suggested the spot we are now in as a private, pleasant one for overnighting, though
he reckons the forehore has lots of brown snakes & death adders! (when I go for a pee in the small hours
I’ll be alert about where I put myself). Gotr txt msj @ ARDROSSAN ← K8 2 4 th ichn n♀r hair woz
korzd x 000zv l¤s. *td n A Sorrow Beyond Dreams x Peter Handke. H nt gt rspshn n♀r
mob¤l (Nokia) h·(2/4/08. dd l8r bt).
18/3 /08. Gym Beach (ovrn¤t _ @ th thYORKE PENINSULA) ¬ MARION BAY
(ptrl; H2O; red; W Joe nth mo ¤l: Rusling (2/4/08. dun ♂z sholdr rgan &z owt4 thy·) kkd 6 golz
nth prkts m@ch nTassie; Elliot hz teth (x2); K8 4 2Michael nth W & thal vzt nth weknd; H Wd Dan:
fashn wek wnt wl, Benz OK; H Wd Michael: ♂z ur ln; H Wd Dennis - ♂l kep n¤ n♂m; ¤ gotr
txtmsj ÷ K8 2 sa ♀ hd rdzrstrus CRT da takn rPE klrs @ Morwell HS; nth p· & rlong ch;
The Advertiser (AFL 08 liftout) & The Australian (ful sumreov 15 da ☼wav (now ovr) wch ¤m
pastnn) @ the MARION BAY tavern wrw pad thAUSTRALIAN RECORD PRICE 4 x2 - $10.50!!
mad ÷ H2O ÷ MARION BAY Desalination Plant; ADELAIDE tmp chrz =rn th☼wav: March 3,
35.4C; March 4, 35.7C; March 5, 37.9C; March 6, 38.5C; March 7, 39C; March 8, 39.8C; March 9,
40.2C; March 10, 40C; March 11, 38.3C; March 12, 39.2C; March 13, 40C; March 14, 38.6C; March
15, 37.8C; March 16 39.7C; March 17, 40C.;·d nth nuz twoz r 1/3000 y·evnt) ¬ INNES
NATIONAL PARK: Stenhouse Bay ¬ Cable Bay ¬ Inneston Historic Township ¬
Pandalowie Bay ¬ Surfers Campground (10 _s¤ts; wr thnle 1z h·; ddnt pa th$5 fe).
25/3 /08. TIDDY WIDDY BEACH (3kz +Sv ARDROSSAN nth GULF ST. VINCENT, YORKE
PENINSULA, S.A.) ¬ (v¤r Port Wakefield, Two Wells) ¬ GAWLER (ptrl; ort The
Australian & The Age!) ¬ (v¤r WILLIAMSTOWN) ¬ MT. PLEASANT ( pprz, x2, πx2) ¬ (v
¤r PALMER; nthwa ¬MURRAY BRIDGE ¬2 r gal nkstr gustv wnd ÷ travln ¬÷ luowt thpoptop
evn tho twoz (& rmand) fxt+ x 4 staz koz thfrunt r¤t sta hd n nkorktle renstorld wn thknvs slev
woz rplast onle rÆlv munthsgo (@ rkostv $850) so now tznt uz l (2/4/08. fkst ndr wr e ystrda) so
whv2 ÷ 2 Melbourne evnf Michael hdnt n hosptl¤zd; ad thingz gon 3z: 1
st
wgot s& ogd (
161
11/3/08 ), thn w punkchrd rt¤r ( Monday 24/3/08), & now wv rund owr poptop) ¬ KINGSTON
S.E. (~ shop ® @ 4.15pm) ¬ owr pr¤v@ _ · 12kz W÷ vPENOLA (where we spent the evening in
pleasant conversation with Pascal, a young Frenchman from Toulouse, newly arrived (3 weeks) in Australia
to work as an agronomist with the Coonawarra wine company at Penola. He turned up about 7pm to do the
set walk in the Conservation Park and left about 10pm, not having started it as we talked instead. He and
his partner have been working, travelling (Italy, Chile, now Australia) for the last 10 years. The
conversation ranged from philosophy (“why travel?”) to travellers tales. John gave him a “Monday” CD,
exchanged email addresses & promised to send on “Tuesday” (2/4/08. dunt, & foto) and “Wednesday”. It
was strange that the only person we have met in the Penola Conservation Park has been a Frenchman.
Merci, Pascal, for une jolie evening.)
22/4 /08 (° ). ¤m t @ Simpsons Gap nr ® . ®10 Alice Springs onli longnuf 2gt
prvziond 4 1½ weks, W µ, & vzt th nfo wr ¤ ort r utfl pakjd setv maps 4 $44 wr t4 kl·li th@ u
kn h· ut wn ¤ got h· ths¤n 4 th plas zopn onli 5am – 8pm. M¤t hv sum x+n 2do fth jr
kumz O (tz 7pm now). Thrr 2 uthr grups rakn thlor nth sam wa. Th1z n·me r 4 jr· kdz ÷
MUNCHEN hooz vre = ys ( a·· me) xkus zth@ ¤ 4 n zrlowd h·. Nth wa ¤ prst r lrj d
nu s¤n nth µ proh 10 th rngnv lhokol & PORNOGRAFY:
An australian Government Initiative ¶ WARNING ¶ PRESCRIBED AREA ¶ NO LIQUOR ¶ It is an offence to bring, possess, consume, supply,
sell or control liquor beyond this point without a liquor permit or licence. Maximum penalty: ¶ $1,100 – 1
st
offence ¶ $2,200 – 2
nd
or subsequent
offences ¶ $74,800 and/or 18 months jail for supplying/intending to supply over 1,350ml quantity of pure alcohol in liquor to a third person. ¶ It is not
an offence to directly transport unopened liquor through a Prescribed Area provided you can clearly demonstrate your destination is outside the
Proscribed Area ¶ The Liquor Act (NT) as emended by the Northern Territory National Emergency Response Act 2007 (Commonwealth) ¶ NO PORNOGRAPHY ¶ It is an
offence to bring, possess, supply, sell or transport certain pornographic material beyond this point. ¶ Maximum penalty possession: ¶ $5,500 for level
1 material ¶ Includes Category 1 Restricted and Category 2 Restricted publications X18+ films, unclassified publications that would likely be classified Category 1 Restricted, unclassified films that
would likely be x18+ and probibited advertisements. ¶ $11,000 for level 2 material ¶ includes films, computer games or publications that are Refused Classification or are unclassified
but would likely to be Refused Classification. ¶ Maximum penalty supply: $11,000 – supply less than 5 items ¶ $22,000 – and/or 2 years jail for 5 or more items. ¶ Classification (Publications,
Films and Computer Games) Act 1995 (Commonwealth) ¶ For further information, contact the Australian Government’s Northern Territory Emergency Hotline on
1800 333 995 (24 hours/7 days). ¶ A COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT INITIATIVE.
(1/6/08. Love that collective punishment touch – I seem to remember from my Latin that the word
Decimate means the execution of 1 in 10 as punishment for mutinous legions in the Roman army. We
havent progressed all that far, have we?) Lukkli ¤m stil ON THE WAGON ut th ¤m n z
Gombrowicz’z Pornografia - so ma ¤l hv2 h¤dt. N dntli 1v thjr· kdz 4 MUNCHEN old town
znt much kmpaird2 thk¤ndzv old townz w nITALIA (13/6/08. koz twoz hevli d =rn WW2). Th4 jr
· kdz ÷ MUNCHEN r: David Cesmeci (davidcesmeci@gmz.de); th e¯ 4 th3 ♀♀♀z (a.loleen@web.de).
Tha r trvln 4 O r y· so sum nxt y· ¤l ¬ thm ths '. Simpsons Gap zO 25kz W÷ vAlice: tz th 2
nd
vth kssz rlong th West Macdonnells 2 thLarapinta Trail ÷ Alice. Tz 8.00 & ¤v just ·d
thuthr ¬owt so now thrz onli me & thkdz. Tznt ¤dl ztha r l¤kli 2 ur nn ¬2 thn¤t & tha r vri
klos zthsz rsmorl da vztrz . ¤v kum orl ths dst & ¤m mor rs ktd thn ¤ wood nVic. Alice
Springs znt rkn¤z ÷ wn ¤ uz2 kum h· 40 y·· rgo: tz r majr 2rst town now wth hepsv kafez &
lrj sprmrkts & morls. Th orjnez r th knk10 thred 2 thprst z¤ rmm rt - th♀♀ sit O ngrups l¤k
unndlz & th♂♂ 1dr O amlsli; th dfr n th@ th♀♀ uzt2 thin l¤k stiks, now tha r f@ & nolongr
drst nragz. Just okkrd 2me th@ m¤ ' wont ¬2 thkdz zt wl ¬2 thr junk¯ koz thr komputrz wont
rkrn¤z m¤ e¯ +rs. t ¤ wont xchanj namz koz hooz gunr kept 4 12munths nr ip. ¤ woodnt.
Sotgoz.
29/4 /08. @ Serpentine Gorge da vztrz  (j¤ SPIRIT SERPENT livz nth pool &
gorj *10 1½ kz frthr). W÷ 2 Counts Point nth rjtop O 7+kz (ie 15kz ¬÷). Woz rmazd how ezli t
¤rd & dze ¤ got n ^ . ¤ woznt l¤k ths nth SCALA nth AMALFI kost lrst y·. Ma ¤ ned
rfu s nsertd l¤k Rasa & Joe hv. Thvu ÷ thtop z rli & u getr tv brez t no w¤ldl¤f. Lft
@ 8.30 & woz ÷ @ 2.00. Thn ¬ 2th pool (3kz ¬÷) 2 wosh soks & shert & evn ravd thj¤
SPIRIT SERPENT 4r kwik ll .. Th Larapinta Trail zxlntli mapt & mantand, so much so, tz tr
sutd 2 mpruvn fitns thn2 s@sf¤n therj 4 dvnchr. Rmm r th utfl & fre pkchr maps nitrlir & orstrir, w,
wr th µµ wr mrkt orl rong - ¤ prfrd thm 2th prfktli aku & vre n4m@v maps nth Larapinta Trail
kit 4 wch ¤ pad $44 @ thu· n Alice. =rn æ ¤ woz vztd x rSpiny-cheeked Honeyeater
(Acantagenys rufogularis), Singing Honeyeaters (Lichenostomus virescens), Grey-headed
Honeyeater (Lichenostomus heartlandi), Red-capped Robin (Petroica goodenovii), & r♀/♂v
Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullata).
162
6/5/08. @ Parks n  Ormiston Gorge. Thsznt r g n  & ¤ hd onle 2 na rz lrst
n¤t ( t tz chokrz 2n¤t). Rfta ☼+ thr woz r konsprr v s¤lns twns - l¤k nt 4n O °. ¤ woznt
long n< wn ¤ · svrl dst DINGO ~ howlz smlr2 r a z waln. Thn thrwr klosr 1z ÷ N7××
drkshn. Wotr utfl ♪♫♪ 2slep2! Nth °vn¤t thr woz rsuddn huj kmoshn – r kworl twn wot ·° l¤k
O ½ dozn DINGO ~~ r¤t nth . 4 O 4 2
nd
z thr wozn rsort··tv ylps, skremz, snrlz & walz – r
verit a v ms¬st&nz – thn ° s¤lns ^d rgan. Wl b4 ☼^ tha gretd thrprochn da wth rrptoirv mor tr
ænl mornfl waln & howln. 0v th sowndz tha mad rzm d r~z brkn nth sl¤tst …. 2da ¤ lft @ 8.30 &
woz ÷ @ 4.00. 1s rgan r grown no vPainted tails (Emblema pictum) watd pashntle w¤l ¤ dd m
¤ lorndri & bathn nr dwndln pool. Flusht rflokv O 100 Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Diamond
Dove (Geopelia cuneata), th smorlst nOZ, zko··nth  & nth rvr<<. =rn thdaz ram n ¤
vztd Bowmans Gap wchz dskr¤< nth lt chr zr long : 1-2 days return. Twoznt z spktklr z¤ hd
w tm¤t ,dfntle rgap ^+ th^jz rthr thn rgorj, t ¤ woz rwr° wth r v 2 fertv DINGO ~~. Thr
prnts & vre dfnit tralz nth rvr<< r vriwr & 4me thr przns zth most dstnktv chr vth Ormiston
Gorge prk. ¤ flt s ong nth orl da pro le koz ¤ woz a 2kool+ npoolz wch ¤ dunn n4
rkazionz. 1s thdanjr v ☼strok zrmoovd ¤m a 2 orl da zn thprst kspt ¤m pthtkle fe ¬ ^ .
13/5 /08. Trephina Gorge (East Macdonnell O 80kz ¬E v Alice Springs). Spnt
9.00 – 4.00 n krek<<. 1
st
¤ ¬ 2th uthr s¤dv thgorj wr th orjnlz mploid ¤ thPrks hd dsk dt
¤ doon welez nth s& nthr 4 t¤r uggi O thbnd owtv s¤t vth 2rsts. Lrst n¤t ¤ woz w vth gorj
zr chrch & tz 1v thsak s¤ts 4 th2rsts & nodowt woz 1s 4 th s** vth orjnl Prks *f hoo rth 1
st
orjnl ♂♂ ¤v n nmploi··t. Tmad me 1dr O thklam ¤ th♂ hoo wth ♂z kdz woz oggd nth
krek< ( Saturday 10/5/08) th@ 50% v orjnez n Alice wr mploid. Alice zfullv orjnez so w¤
dd ¤ onli 1 ♀ nr jo (nr kafe). Ma most vm r O thmetr4ikl nd nth gorj doon welez nthr guvt spl
¤d uggez. Ma tha dont kair O 2rst sak s¤ts (13/6/08. rth@s wn tha ® n orjnl sak s
¤ts). 1s ths woz thrz now tha get thr jo ske=l ÷ thC jr hoo u kn et yr ottm $ zw¤t (ystrda
Aurelie 4 fyr namz Mohammud u wont get rgood jo n la elle f ce). Rfta u prsowtv thgorj th 1
st
2
kreks wch ntr thman krek d^ th Mordor Pound (ys u r¤t) 2th ¬E & ¤ spnt th 1
st
½ vthda n ^+
ech krek< til ¤ woz prvntd ¤ thkrk s mlrlukr skru wch choks^ ··e krek<< nth dzrt ^
jz. Thuthr rezn 4 ÷ 2 wozth i* nth spur vme lft hel. ÷@ ¤ swopt ¬2 th ust kroks & t
thman krek ¬÷ th gst gostgum (Eucalyptus papuana) nth nt¤r Macdonnell Ranges. ♀
Crimson Chat (Ephthianura tricolor) & ♀/♂ Varied Sittella (Daphoenositta chrysoptera) nth man
krek<; th2 thorn ills u rlwaz rYellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa) & Inland
Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla apicalis). @ rkfst ¤ took svrl mor fotoz vth Grey Shrike-thrush
(Colluricinela harmonica) stln m¤ tukkr. W¤l ¤ woz hvn m¤ . nthman pool nth gorj 2 w¤poff
thswt rkuml8d =rn thda thRed-tailed Black Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus banksii) hd2 wat pashntli
4me 2fnsh b4 tha kood hv thr drnk.
20/5 /08. Lrst n¤t ¤ hd + na rz: r ♀/♂v mdlajd ♀/♂z shairn rlrj Maui . Tha wr noizi
& ¬ muzak tl rfta mdn¤t. ¤ w ··e m kum2 thez plasz 4 thdr¤vn, th , & 24 thav n2
thplasz tha nth nuz & nth TV. Lotv th2rsts doon thkanyn rim dont evn , rif tha doo dont tak, th
2th utfl pool nth Garden of Eden wchz 1v th^l¤ts vth …. Ma thmost mport ned nl¤f z2
nth wl s¤n d rod r µ 2gthr wth vri od ls & 2 a 2knfrmt 2yrslf & hv thlangwj 2shairt
wth uthr m. m krav th s¤n & thlangwj & sum t zthr trsk 2 prv¤dm. Thrz rs¤n nth prk san
u shood drnk 1 l vH2O vri owr nr - f¤ evdt th@t men ¤d hv2 karri 7 l z vH2O nstedv m¤ 1 l
+ 2o jz! …. Rulz, m want rulz, z··e zpos - wch 2w¤p yr rs wth, wn 2 æ r pork, hoo 2
FK & hoo nt – stuff l¤k th@. & wot us wood powr ft ddnt fkt havyr? ….. Spnt thO da ram n. 
&  thdomz, ¬ & ÷ & ^ & + & krvassz, & ys, ¤ dd f¤nd m¤ own GARDEN vEDEN wth m
¤ own pr¤v@ pool wr ¤ wosht rwa thswt, & . nakd (nr ·r v4 t rele nm¤ ¬p koz tz how
¤ woshm). ¤ nvr n no appl r vnolj n¤thr t thr wr lots&lots v cycads (13/6/08. aka zamias)
& uthr xo s¤dz yr norml rvr red gumz (Eucalyptus camaldulensis). ¤ hv æ nth ☼+
pknk  rgan n· thkanyn (7/6/08. s¤n: (14/6/08. ÷r foto ¤ took)
163
PARKS AND WILDLIFE SERVICE NORTHERN TERRITORY. ¶ From a Crack to a Canyon ¶ The south
wall follows the main crack (or joint) from which Kings Canyon was formed ¶ 1. Wind, rain and
floodwaters widened and deepened this crack in the Mereenie Sandstone. It reached down to
the softer Carmichael Sandstone, which now forms thr rubbly lower slopes of the canyon. 2. As
the Carmichael Sandstone eroded, it undercut the upper sandstone. Blocks, some larger than a
house, sheared away and tumbled down. 3. Over millions of years, Kings Canyon was formed.
The circular markings on the south wall were probably formed by the release of stress when
the Mereenie Sandstone cracked. ¶ White stains on the cliff face are the droppings of birds of
prey and mark their perches. Look for the Peregrine Falcon which might be seen cruising the
cliff tops. It dives like a bullet to knock unsuspecting birds out. ¶ WATARRKA NATIONAL PARK.
) ® &m stan thn¤t hopn th^jr (rdoo u pr jr?) wont ·ch mi nth mornn. ¤m pad^ ($13.50) @th
rzort (10kz rwa) t ¤ dont l¤kt thr. So ¤m kchrli pan 2hv rgood xkus nt2 sta thr: fth jr nalz me ¤l
4 th r t pruvz ¤ spnt thn¤t @ thrzort . Thrz nuthr h·. ¤ et ♂ nvr pad. Tz r hor feln wn
sum1 zg10 rwa wth morthn u r.
27/5 /08. Ovrn¤t offth Stuart ^wa 48kz +S v Glendambo n·th=mrst nx2 thdrlkt H2O
towr (÷ thdaz vth ) (¤v ¬ ¬ rlongwa +S n2daz & rpropr8li wak2 m¤ 1
st
^° da novr rmunth;
nl¤k lrst th ( Monday 21/4/08) ddnt ¤ =rn thn¤t - m¤ t¤r mrks ovr thr padd r
ndster d) ¬ ¬ ( 4 Pimba s¤n nth rod 4 Telstra Digital Service Next 25 kilometres so ¤
pulld^ & hdr long 4 2 H manle O th s szv n=rn th nkomp vth hosptl dlnz re Michaelz zurz, &
r^jd wth Joe 2¬2 th e @th MCG ns@rd) ¬ ¬ Port Augusta ( & The Australian; p l:
37 l z @ 163c/l ie $60.38 4 300kz = 12⅓ l z/100kz) ¬ ¬ Stone Hut (thsz wr th st π
akri norlv OZ (1/7/08. Wednesday 23/9/98 & 9/8/00) hz relo·d2 ie 7kz S+v Wirrabara so ¤
ort rstak&ppr π 4 $5.50 & twoz dlshs; th d nu prmsz r much thn 4 (13/6/08. m¤t rw,
w, 2¬thr & æ r π 4 yr brthda)) ¬ ¬ (v¤r Jamestown, Hallett, Burra) ¬ ¬ Red Bank
Conservation Park (4 thn¤t; ¤v ; Frank, thTATTOOD SKITSOFRENIK wthth ovrs¤z KNIFE, zstl
h· ( Friday 18/4/08); thrz n ^ nth ds kt & thrr rO now & tz kold; kntnun 2 rtklz ÷
Granta: The Magazine of New Writing: 100 & mgetn wle ord wth th@ mans m stuff – dont
w ¤l ¤nt nimor (13/6/08. ort 101 t); poo10n thrmann oil (Mobil Super Early Model
25W-60) lft nth 5 l kntanr ¤v n karin ÷ Coober Pedy ( Monday 21/4/08); …. ¤m nth da
pknk  & Frank z t nth l  O 1k rwa. Z¤ woz rushn mi tth ♂ kam ovr xuzn ♂mslf 4 ntrudn.
♂z nr pnshn. ♂ 4 ♂ h8s m & sos¤t & ¤z 2rvoid orl kntakt. ♂ woz ¤n ♂z uttr bst 2 wl ·rd
& plez & sk °. Sumv ♂z fzkl ·rzmz rm¤n° mi vBen. ¤ kood tl ♂z 4v ☼i n woz mor am
shn thn xp·i . ¤ rk··° r· O 35kz ^N & gav ♂m rmap 4 wch ♂ woz x mli (ovrle) gr8fl. Thrz r
gras & vulner t O ♂m wch maks me nkshus 4 ♂z wlfair & smpthe 2 ♂z f4ts 2 f¤nd rv¤r lterntv 2
normalt. ♂ 4 ♂z onli n ÷ h·4 thlrst wek havn n rwa nth men t ¤m nkl¤nd 2ds ev ♂m. ¤
ddnt let ♂m 4 mor persnli O ♂mslf koz ¤ ddnt wont ♂m 2 kmprm¤z ♂z slfstm ¤ kon dk10
th pkchr v♂mslf ♂d projktd lrst w met. ¤ wsh th st 4 ♂m t f·thwerst.
2/9/08 (dr¤ cunt ). MELBOURNE (lft @ 10.45am; rprt÷ wshn 2vzt thCentral
Goldfields wair ♀r gr8gr8g d♀/♂ Thomas ( ruthr vth notorriyus h¤wa♂ ( 9/10/07 )) &
Ellen Skelly livd & °° & ♀r gr8g d♀/♂ Honora (1v thSkelly dor z lokli) & James Robinson
wer ♀+♂ & livd & Nana (Margaret Dryburgh Robinson) woz H hz lft th ¤10ri vth p nt¤rli ^2
me zf ♀ hznt n n std so wn lrst n¤t ♀ 4 ♀ woz gon 2W Michael 2da 2chk how ♂ wnt wth ♂z
dok z r···t 2rjust ♂z CLOZAPINE dosj ¤ w th p (& ma fuchr ps) woz °. t ths mornn w
mad w zuzhul - & twoz gr8, & thverjz vth ^wa r r¤t ylo wth sowrso z & wottlz & orlz wl) ¬ ¬
Clunes (wr ¤v ' thz ♪♫ nth O’Hara’s Café Bakery ovr & rΠ ech. 2.30pm) ¬ ¬ (v¤r Talbot
wrw ) ¬ ¬ 4thn¤t ndgra° skru O 5kz W÷v Amherst. Tz 6.15pm, kold & reze.
9/9/08. Port Germein (w mak w vrida – zt slfndul♂? zt snful? zt r prz ··t v°? zt good
4m¤ bludprshr?) ¬ ¬ Port Augusta (oil, p l, showrz; sprmrkt - $100; & pprz; % ¬ Joe,
Michael; maps @ u; H · Michael hooz OK) ¬ ¬ 4thn¤t b¤ thSturt ^wa O 45kz ^Nv Port
Augusta (wr rÆlv 100yrdz off ¬2 thskru t vz 2th prsn ; wr 75yrdz ÷ th , & thH2O p
¤p (÷thMurray ¬ Woomera) zjust thuthr s¤dvt; ¬÷ thru thskru rlong r fns : White-
164
fronted Honeyeater (Phylidonyris albifrons) & m¤ vri 1
st
evr (©) vrBlack Honeyeater (Certhionyx
niger);(on our walk John was giving me some helpful hints about finding your way in the bush. It has
become a matter of some importance since his blood pressure problem & associated headaches have
come to light. My navigating abilities are woeful – I can get disoriented almost instantly – and there are so
many variables at play (whether its sandy or rocky country (for tracing your footprints back), whether its
sunny or cloudy (to use the direction of your shadow), working out compass bearings) I think its too late
for me to learn. John has an uncanny feel for direction & so much practice at negotiating his way off track
that it would require 40 years (the time he’s spent honing his skills) to catch up. Perhaps I should carry
flares.))
16/9 /08. My heart stopped racing today after coffee, paper & a little shopping at Roxby
Downs (a large mining company town of about 4000, extracting copper, nickel, uranium & gold from a vast
low-grade deposit at Olympic Dam, & enjoying all amenities – a big modern supermarket, area
school/TAFE, swimming pool, info/community centre/library etc. (1/11/08. yor ' mornmor l¤k mi (xpt 4
thspln t) - ¤m havn 2chk wthr yuv klozd ()!)) where a message from Kate assured me I hadn’t left the
oven on at Miller St. That ended a saga of horrible imaginings that had started sometime after Port
Augusta, well out of mobile range, when 2 successive news items on the local radio station of the ABC
mentioned houses in Adelaide going up in flames. I idly wondered how they’d started – someone left the
iron on, or the toaster, or the oven …. Had I turned the oven off after cooking our Monday evening meal? I
thought so, but I couldn’t really remember (it was the first time I’d used the oven at Miller st.) & as the
thermostat is busted, the oven gets really hot, perhaps hot enough to make the surrounding wooden
cupboards start to smoulder, & then burst into flame, & then set the whole house alight & then the next-
door neighbours’ houses on both sides as well. No wonder I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings
when John chided me on a walk one day. Horror of horrors, the house would be gone & with it the
computer & all the hard copies of John’s writing since he started, including his early journals of trips!! I
kept telling myself I was being ridiculous – we would have noticed a hot oven before we left, but then
again we mightn’t have –aargh!!! My only choice was to wait till Kate arrived in Melbourne on the weekend
& tell her/ask her/get a message from her. So when we got into mobile range at Pimba & Woomera I rang
her straight away. She hadn’t been to Miller St. !!! So I asked her to ring Joe & ask him to drive over (on his
birthday too) to check, which she did and he did & that’s how my heart stopped racing today in Roxby
Downs. 2n¤t wr justoff r ak th@ no1z gon 2uz nr GIBBER PLAIN O 17kz owtv Andamooka
(wchz 30kz owtv Roxby Downs) ovr thndls v* † thdr¤ ☼t <v Lake Torrens. Wr nr ak wch rfta
O 5kz owtv Andamooka zdzgn8d 2 4x4. Tzz s¤lnt zt kn get. No nskts, no ·♪♫. Thonli sownd ¤
v ·d zth sownd thsl¤t rez maks nmi ··. Tz NEVER NEVER LAND - m¤ numrus r wlkum 2
vztus h·. Rlir nthda @ Roxby Downs w repro d & owr O spndn 4 thda z$210. ¤ ·Egle - ♀z doon
zwl zud xpkt rfta r 2½ hwr oprashn ¤ thtop nuroserjn nSYDNEY; = ÷@ werk Oct 2. Nth wa h·
¤ got thch 2klosli wot wr ¤thr Rufous Fieldwren (Calamanthus campestris) t thtal md
2long, or ma Chesnut–rumped Heathwren (Hylacola pyrrhopygia) t wch woz owtv tz j. Tz vri
x¤10 4mi z¤v nvr ¤thr vm 4. ☼¬ r¤t now @ 6.10. Tz vri stl - ¤ w twl frezn 2n¤t. H2O
z♂10^ nth Trangia (metho ♂ ) 4 …. The tasts orfull – tz thtown H2O w fld^wth @ Roxby.
23/9 /08. Gawler gg National ® (N^v Wudinna nth Eyre Peninsula, S+v Lake
Gairdner & W÷v Iron Knob (W÷ vPort Augusta); wr @ ® · n· Stone Dam O 5kz ¬Ev ®
n ÷ Minnipa). Wok @ ☼^ 2th ♪♫v ·· ¤ hdnt ·d 4. Twoz kold t am w6 (“ st v thda” H
4) woz wrm. Wv n stoni krek<< & roki rgg orl da – H zlegsorr. Aprt ÷frsh H2O ntanks @ thn
÷thS+ ¬2 th® thrr no r··itt xpt EE set rs¤d 4 0v wch wrn 2n¤t. Th☼ z+ ovr th
now @ 6.15pm & wr O 2hitth< 2doo r itv . ¤m kon10un wth Soul and Other Stories
¤ Andrey Platonov 1889-1951 hoo “was the ☼ of a way worker. The eldest of 11
children, ♂ gan work at the age of 13, 1
st
in an office, then in a factory, and finally as
an driver’s assist . He gan pu shing poe and articles in 1918, while studying
engin·ing. Throughout much of the 1920s ♂ worked as a l& reclamation expert.
tween 1927 and 1932 ♂ ' ♂s most poli~ally controversial , some of them 1
st
pu ished
in the Soviet Union only in the l8 1980s. Other were pu ished but subjected to vicious
criticism. Stalin is reputed to have ' “scum” in the margin of the “For Future Use” and
to have 4 to Aleksandr Fadeev (l8r secretary of the '' Union) “Give him a good ting –
4 future use.” =ring the 1930s Platonov made several pu ic confessions of error, but
went on ' only marginally more acceptable to the authorities. His ☼ was sent to the
Gulag in 1938, aged 15; ♂ was released 3 years l8r, only to ° of tuberculosis he had con
165
acted there …. [Platonov] ° in 1951, of tuberculosis caught from ♂s ☼ ….”. 4 ¤ uzr C
& H uzzr klipon – LED powrd ¤ lthym .
30/9 /08. Lake Gilles (just rfta ☼^ 4 æ rnu ·(©) - Chestnut Quail-thrush
(Cinclosoma castanotus) ( Thursday 18/9/08)) ¬ ¬ Port Augusta (sprmrkt; p l & oil (1l
/3000kz); pprz & ; got maps ÷ RAA; ·Joe, Egle – vrthn OK; ¤ ort nuthr ♀/♂v shortz @
noppshop koz th1z ¤ go10 Kimba r2good 2wair h·& ¤ wont 2kepm 4 EUROPA nxt y·(1/11/08.
wr owr OZ $ onli ¤¤ 50 €c now); showrz @ BP p l stashn; ¤ hd rdosv ig@ jit ) ¬ ¬
Port Germein (lmonl¤m& i , grlk red, & rechrjd @ pu ; nth junkshop wr H
ort The Mouse and His Child ¤ Russell Hoban @ $2; j¤ off thjt; how ··i
hv ¤ '10t^ ( Port Germein (no 58)) nth ¤v d & ° owt!?; tz r utfl evnn z··i 4
& th & MOZZZ rstl h·!! & ¤v jst rVariegated Fairy-wren (Malurus lamberti) n·th ; th r
® ntown zfull wth alrz t¤tld Ultra Adventure etc t wr h· ¤ owrslvz wth 10001000v
MOZZZ; H · K8 - ♀z f¤n; thrzr sv·wthr wornn 4 2moro nth =).
7/10/08. Twozr frezn n¤t @ · s¤t nth Birds Australia Gluepot Reserve nth mallee O
65kz N^v Waikerie. ¤ wont ' mostv th·· w . Ddnt rGrasswren nth Grasswren , 1vth 13
dzgn8d nth rzrv, t 2vth3 Chesnut Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma castanotus) w =rn thda. @th
xl ·h¤d (1v5 nthprk) ovr n nlv8d H2O off dz¤nd 2prvnt grazn nmlz (spshli gots) uznm ¤ woz
a 2klosli numrus Yellow-plumed Honeyeater (Lichenostomus ornatus), r♀/♂v Purple-gaped
Honeyeater (Lichenostomus cratitius) & Brown-C° Honeyeater (Melithreptus brevirostris) (wch
¤v nvr 4 (©)) rlso nlrj nos. Ntfr ÷th H2O off nuthr d nu ·(©): White-browed creeper
(Climacteris affinis). R· r wmet +v¤zd us 2skp Broggys Hole ztha hd 0 thr erlir nth am & 4
wr wkood f¤nd r dns st&v Spinifex (Triodia scariosa) wr whd rch 2 Striated Grasswren
(Amytornis striatus) wch ¤v n vri ken2 sns ¤ m¤ 1
st
rn vth Amytornis groop, thDusky
Grasswren (Amytornis purnelli), nm¤ lrst p 2th MacDonnell gg ( Wednesday 14/5/08).
Th· woz O 15kz rwa & w spnt O 1½ hrz n 4m & w 3vm!! (©) Onli rfli t & f¤hdnt lred non wot
tha woz ¤ woodnthv non th@ tha wr Rufous Fieldwren (Calamanthus campestris) (
Wednesday 17/9/08) rth Shy Heathwren (Hylacola cauta) xpt ¤ thOstan vd (ie thTriodia
scariosa). Wl th@st 4thda - x¤10 4 ·oz t prt orn 4 H (not so – it was me who spotted all 3 of the
objects of desire before he