Monday, December 22, 2014


I ain't gonna lie
I ain't never tried
once in my life  
fat and white and high

I can see the strings
I know I'm nothing
but a speck of dust floating by
caught in a sunbeam

stole my wisdom
from the gods kitchen
stove fire light my weed
now I'm tied to a mountainside
low times indeed

and the gulls are comin'
to peck out my eyes
at the end of each
and every night
at sunrise

O can't you hear their wings a-beatin'?
tonight's the night they're gonna eat me
tonight's the night
tonight's the night
I got big things
been promised to me

my life will be
hard enough
to write about 
and interesting
to somebody
outside myself

every morning I awake and
give my chains a shake
rattlin' like two battlin' die
on a losin' stake
halfway up this peak

I see everything
history of humanity's
laid out in front of me
at my fingertips

but I squander it
and still my punishment eludes me
comforting, I guess

to find stability in routine

so here I sit
eyes shot lips split
at the end of eternity

Zeus visits me
and asks me what I'm doing
do I need any help?
huh-- I did this to myself

what did the you do today
was it history in the making
or did you waste your time away

what did the you do today
was it history in the making
or did you waste your time away

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

the stuff of life

what is the stuff of life?
all responses base
to ancient shapes and lines:
a pretty smile upon a pretty face

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Imps on Our Shoulders


Briefly holding out my hand at eye-level and parallel to the ground I watch it tremble despite the heat. Before me is the ice-skating rink, a large dark squatting building with an entrance consisting of two black glass doors and I'm disappointed I can't double-check my appearance in them as my reflection is too dark and blurry. YOU LOOK JUST AS UGLY AS WHEN YOU LEFT shrieks the imp in my ear THAT PIMPLE ON YOUR CHEEK IS STILL RED AND GROWING AND READY TO BURST, HA HA HA. “I'm sexy as hell,” I mutter to myself and push my way inside where a rush of cold, stale air greets me. In one corner stands old timey arcade and game machines: a claw machine, Time Crisis II, Big Buck Hunter, a Terminator-themed pinball machine (helmed by an illustrated Schwarzenegger square-chested and wearing sunglasses), Whack-a-Mole, Air Hockey, and a Test Your Strength striker complete with plastic mallet, waiting. BEST STAY AWAY FROM THAT LAST ONE, HUH? shrieks the imp gleefully from my shoulder and I silently agree. Behind the reception counter on the opposite side lies rows and rows of large wooden shelves filled with plastic white skates. And of course there's the rink itself, centrepiece, white, littered with people of all shapes and sizes circling clockwise in lazy unison. For a moment the sounds from the arcade machines, blings and clacks and lo-fi music and the buzz of conversation and the gentle throb of the dance music emanating from the rink swirl together into a maelstrom of dizzying noise which overwhelms my senses.

Jason and I spot each other at the same time.
Our eyes meet and he grins and waves, beckoning me over. There's so many delicious details about his person that his profile picture didn't and could never show: the small gap in his front teeth. Deep smile lines crowning the sides of his lips. Light brown freckles all over his face. His eyes which are shining and clear. He's absolutely gorgeous. I wave back and I feel a grin form unbidden on my face. We walk to each other and I forget my opening line. He is so beautiful.

“Hey hey,” says Jason, smiling.
“Hi --how ya doin',” I say cornily.
“Good, good...”
A too-long beat later I throw out my arms and invite in a hug to squash the awkwardness. “Oh,” Jason says, not displeased. We embrace stiffly. He is so tiny and light and delicate. I'm tall enough to rest my chin on his head and for a second I almost do. EAGER, EAGER shrieks the imp in my ear, but Jason doesn't seem to notice. The imp seems pleased about something and dances excitedly from foot to foot on my shoulder.

Jason and I step apart and look around at nothing. The noise of the place comes rushing back, nonsense chatter and echoed yells from people skating on the rink. My face is flushed hot but I'm suddenly aware of how cold it is when my breath mists in front of my face.
“It's nice to finally meet you,” I say, “I've been looking forward to this a long time...”
Jason just keeps on smiling and says, “Me, too. I've been looking forward to skating-- I haven't been in a long time.”
“I gotta say, you're slightly different to what I expected,” I mock looking him up and down, “You seem more... chirpy, in person. Online, our conversations are so serious...”
“Oh, am I?” Jason looks down at himself involuntarily. “I suppose I am somewhat serious online...”
Jason looks up and smiles at me, “Well now you can get to know the real me.”
I smile back. For a second I look down but then I look back up again and meet his eye. “Sounds good. Well, let's go get our skates...”
“Okay,” Jason says. I tenderly reach out a hand and put it on his shoulder and spin him towards the reception desk. He doesn't seem to mind but the imp quickly pries my fingers off and shoves my hand in my pocket. YOU'RE SLOUCHING the imp shrieks and I automatically square my shoulders. DON'T FORGET TO SUCK THAT TUMMY IN the imp screeches HE'S BEAUTIFUL AND YOU'RE NOT AND SO YOU'RE GONNA HAVE TO FOOL HIM IF YOU WANT A CHANCE WITH HIM. “Shut up,” I think, but I suck my stomach in anyway.

We get in line behind a small group of teenagers. I turn to Jason and ask, “What size are you? Shoe size, I mean.”
“Um,” Jason bites his bottom lip so fucking cute, “9, I think.”
“So small,” I tease and boast, “I'm, like, 14.”
“Mmm,” Jason smiles.
The line shuffles forward.
“Man,” I say, starting to relax, “Did you ever rollerblade, or whatever, when you were young?”
“Yeah, I did, when I was a kid.”
“You were one of those kids, huh?” I'm not really sure what I mean. “I skateboarded,” I say, “a bit, back in the day. But I never rollerbladed, or rollerskated, or whatever.” Jason looks at me, “So...” What am I trying to say? “So, I'm probably going to be terrible, ha ha ha. My butt is gonna get so wet and cold...”
Jason giggles. SOMETIMES ALL YOU NEED IS A KEYWORD, EH? shrieks the imp.
“That's okay,” Jason says, sultry, “I'll hold your hand so you don't fall over. We don't want your butt to get too cold...”
I open my mouth, close it again. Suddenly I'm aware of a heat in my groin. Right on time we reach the front of the line and grab our skates from the receptionist who is a dude with long hair and a bored expression. We get a key for a footlocker to stash our stuff in. Jason puts in his phone (iPhone, latest generation), keys (w/Mickey Mouse keyring), wallet w/chain (purple and black diamond pattern), and shoes (thin, black and white Converse). I put in my wallet (brown), key (solitary house key) and boots (big, black, steel-capped, heavy). Jason volunteers to hold onto the locker key and stashes it in the back pocket of his skinny jeans.

With our skates on we stagger like sluts in high heels over to the ice. There's a fun in the almost-falling over aspect. My feet hurt already. Once on the ice I promptly latch onto the wall and make it my home. Try as I might I just can't get the rhythm required for forward motion. At most I can push forward about three steps before I start to flail and quickly I'm not having fun anymore. “This was a bad idea,” I mutter to myself. I cling helplessly and watch twelve year olds zoom past me, laughing and doing spins and skating backwards and shit. Jason slows down and skates beside me, though sometimes he can't help himself but to shoot forward away from me thrilling himself with his own speed. WONDER WHAT HE THINKS OF YOUR INABILITY? the imp screams in my ear INEPT. IMPOTENT. INSIPID.Outdated 80's dance music echoes on the ice punctuated by the formless grunts and laughs of the skating crowd. The air is cold and hurts my throat. But Jason, the sweetheart, Jason always turns and comes back for me his cheeks flushed red and grinning a grin filled with teeth and breathing wispy clouds of steam. Sometimes when he scoots suddenly towards me I feel as if I'm a movie camera zooming in on a some big film star, beautiful and larger than life and my chest swells and I catch my breath. His eyes are big and blue and shining.
People drift by us. I stumble and Jason reaches out and holds my hand and for a moment it makes me happy and in my ear the imp shrieks SWEATY HANDS SWEATY HANDS and self-concious I pull away. Jason seems to read this and occasionally instead he leans on me or puts his arm around my waist and when he does I can't help but smile.

“They keep interrupting the music,” Jason complains to me.
“The music. They keep, I dunno,” Jason waves a hand vaguely in the air, “They keep letting it build to a crescendo.”
Jason points at the DJ, fat and goateed, standing on a platform a metre above the ice awkwardly shuffling as if enjoying the pre-made mix, as if even if there was a good groove he would be in any way responsible for it, “Him. He keeps letting the music build to a crescendo, so it gets all exciting, so you get all pumped up, and then he cuts it out to explain a deal to us, or whatever.”
“Ah, yes. I see what you mean,” I say. Jason mutters, “Why even play music?”
As if on cue the DJ cuts the music and informs us, “Hi guys, remember that tonight is 80's night,” he pauses and then deadpans, “A blast from the past. It's also-- $15 a night over the summer holidays if you want to...”
“He's annoying,” Jason says over him, “And I can barely understand him, the sound is blaring so much...”
“Probably something to do with the acoustics of the ice,” dies in my throat, as I'm not sure how accurate a statement it is. The DJ finishes his bit and then the music starts up again, but it's a new song, slower, with synths and a breathy female singer. Instead of blaring the echoing makes it seem chamberly and dreamlike. Jason grabs my hand and says, “Come on!” and drags me off the wall. We hold each other, pressed chest to chest, slowly swaying in time to the music which swirls around us in heady swathes and people divert around us as if we were stones in a stream. DON'T FALL the imp starts chanting DON'T FALL DON'T SLIP DON'T DRAG HIM DOWN WITH YOU but I barely hear it. Jason and I look everywhere but at each other, embarassed, until finally our eyes meet and we smile and our cheeks flush and we continue to dance and that was our first date.


We get our gear (two mini-golf clubs, two golf balls, a pencil, a scorepad) from a smiling receptionist and head onto the course.
Mini-golf. Third or fourth date. The sun beats down on us bright and hot. Underfoot the grass is crunchy and fresh. It's windy and our clothes ripple and the imp gleefully reminds me of the sweat dampening my pits and hands and forehead at every oppurtunity.

In the car on the way over Jason tells me he's only been with one other person before me. Jason tells me it was a big one. Jason tells me they were each other's first and went out for over two years. Jason tells me they only broke up about five months ago, “Maybe four and a half.”
Jason tells me his name is David.

Jason and I walk close, our shoulders occasionally brushing. The imp hangs between us and with its legs pushes Jason away every time he gets close. I'm carrying the scorecard and pencil and we each carry one ball and one club. Hole one is kidney shaped and way too easy: we each sink in two hits. There's a family ahead of us, a dad and two kids. The kids shriek loud and annoying as hell and Dad's smiling but seems somewhat desperate. Jason watches them as I pick my ball from the hole, it's light and plastic and rough and cratered, like the moon.

“He reminds me of my dad,” Jason says, voice low, watching with a strange look on his face. “Taking me and my sisters to, like, fairs and stuff. Whenever we went to see him over the school holidays. He lived in a completely different state, so we had to fly out just to see him. He'd...”
“What state?” I ask, interrupting. I don't know why I want to know.
“He'd always fly us out on the red eye,” Jason continues, “Middle-of-the-night flight. Cheaper for him, but it made us kids awful tired...” Jason looks at me. “Northern Territory.”
“You're telling me,” Jason sighs and runs his hand through his dark hair. “Excitement central. Absolutely nothing to do, there. I remember Dad taking us to some small-town fair, woulda been 'round New Years. Taking photos of us on the Merry-Go-'Round-- I remember him saying he wanted to create some memories.” Jason sighs, harder. “The only memories I have are of him trying too hard to have a good time. And...” Jason trails off.
I don't know what to say. “Uh, so other than that, he wasn't around much...?”
Jason says, “Yeah.”
Jason turns away from me amd says, “I don't know why I'm telling you this.”
“Aw, it's okay,” I smile encouragingly at the back of his head. “It's nice you can talk to me about stuff like that...” I'm hesitant to pursue the topic and truthfully just want to let it go.
Jason turns back and smiles but it's obviously strained. The family clears hole two and Jason and I shuffle over to the felt mat that signifies the starting area. The wind momentarily picks up, cooling the sweat on my skin and despite the heat I shiver. I take three strokes, par. Jason hits too hard on the first hit and the ball bounces against the far wall and rolls all the way back to the starting area.

“You have to follow through, but also be gentle,” I offer helpfully, cryptic. I smile but it fades when Jason says, “Don't tell me what to do.” Each stroke seems to detract not only from his score but his mood as well. Jason ends two strokes above par. Jason is sweating noticably and it gives his skin a glossy plastic sheen and the imp murmurs something to itself. I scratch our scores onto the scoreboard and we continue.

Hole four is the first major hole. The hole is divided into two sections: first, a hill you must putt up which is usually hard enough on its own. On top of the hill is a large green felt lump representing a mountain. The mountain is crowned by a model wheelmill that doesn't spin and is pierced at the centre by a plastic tube tunnel. The tunnel leads downhill to a bend on the other side and then finally the hole. Par: 4.

I bend to set the ball but with in a flash of inspiration instead take a knee. I close one eye and align my club with the tunnel, the model golfer. “Nice and easy,” I mutter loudly enough for Jason to hear, and standing, take a few mock swings. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? panics the imp THIS WON'T WORK.
“Nice and easy,” I say again. I can't help myself and start to smile.
I putt with far more than the required force and the ball flings airbourne off the hill and bangs against the windmill and bounces out-of-bounds metres away. “Ah, shit,” I say at Jason, grinning. The noise attracts the kids' attention and they run after the ball yelling at each other.
“You're an idiot,” Jason says with his arms crossed and his head tilted to one side but I can see his eyes are shining.
“I see you smiling...” I say still grinning.
Not unkindly Jason says “Shut up.”
Inflated by my victory I tease, “I just wanted to give you a chance to catch up.”
Jason tenses and his eyes harden. In a tone as cold as ice Jason says, “Don't let me win. Don't let me win. You have to try and beat me.”
HA HA HA HA HA laughs the imp. “Shit,” I think.

The kids, a boy and a girl with matching blonde hair and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirts bound up to me and shyly hand the ball back. I mutter a thank-you to their retreating backs as they fall back to Dad, who nods and glances somewhat worriedly at Jason and I.
Then I turn to face hole four once more. I can feel Jason watching me and so can the imp who shrieks on cue SUCK IN THAT TUMMY, BOY. I put the ball down and look from the ball to the tunnel and back. I feel mad itchy all over my body. My arm pulls itself back and I putt too softly. The ball slopes midway up the hill, hangs for a moment and rolls back down. I feel a tension on my mouth as I clasp my lips together. I push the ball with my feet and line it up again. My mind is completely blank. I putt again, carelessly. The ball travels up the hill and slots into the tunnel with a vague socketing sound. “Nice,” I mutter, quickly taking responsibility for the lucky shot. On the other side it takes me two more strokes to actually sink the ball. Scared, I ask Jason if I should count the first shot: his eyes have not lost their hard gaze. “Up to you,” he says, and I unhappily scrawl a five on the pad. My head feels way too hot but since there's nowhere to sit I squat on my haunches. WEAKLING the imp shrieks and I stand up again quickly.

Jason steps up. The wind picks up again but fails to be refreshing, the sound all but drowns the noises of the family out so that they seem very far away. “How the hell did they clear this hole so quickly,” I wonder internally and I stand on one foot and lean on my club but it is too small for me to get really comfortable. I face towards the hole but I'm staring intently at Jason and his ball out of the corner of my eye. Grim-faced Jason places his ball and lines up his shot and putts. Like my first true attempt it isn't with enough force and the balls lopes softly up and then back down in a gentle arc. The sun is hot hot hot and the wind is cold cold cold and the two take alternative turns blasting on me without reaching a happy compromise. On his second putt Jason again hits without sufficient force and stupid I open my mouth to give advice but close it again with a small squeak when Jason shoots me a whithering look. STUPID gushes the imp cheerfully clapping its clawed hands together STUPID STUPID IDIOT STUPID MORON STUPID. Jason is muttering to himself as he practice-swings and it almost looks as if the imp's words are coming out of his mouth.
“Damn,” I think when Jason putts up the hill on the third try but misses the tunnel entrance.
“Damn,” I think when Jason misses again on the fifth.
“Damn,” I think when Jason misses on the seventh. The silence is maddening and Jason's face darkens with each stroke and I develop an intense interest in the area of the ground around my feet.

I count through fourteen long, dark strokes. When Jason finally lines the ball up for the fifteenth I quietly say, “You know, fifteen is the maximum strokes per hole.” Jason slowly turns his head to look at me and his face is so foul with anger it causes me to stutter, “S-so, well, you've putted fifteen now... so I won't add any more to your score. In fact, uh, we can just move on if you'd like...”
“No,” Jason hisses, “I have to do this. You have to write my score down.”
“W-well, no” I say, and offer the scoreboard to him though he can't read it at this distance (and I don't dare move closer), “the rules say the maximum is fifteen.”
Jason frowns and turns back to the ball, his body tense with anger. I tenatively walk to him and though Jason seems to tense up even further as I approach him when I say, “Look. At least it can't get any worse,” Jason glances at me and I offer him a smile and he smiles slightly back and exhales and when I see it leave him I realise Jason holds onto an intense and deep anger, not for me or for this game of fucking mini-golf but an ancient anger, perhaps from childhood, something embedded deep within his being. Maybe for his father, or for himself. Jason misses the fifteenth but hits a perfect hit on the sixteenth putt which travels all the way through up the hill, through the tunnel, around the corner and finally into the hole itself. Relieved I gasp and clap and smile, and Jason laughs and looks at me and says, “If only I did that to begin with, I'd have a hole-in-one!” We play through the rest of the course and though I earnestly play worse than Jason on almost every remaining hole Jason never quite overcomes his deficet and I end up the victor, which Jason congratulates me on with a hug.

Later Jason and I are sitting on an oval over the road from the mini-golf course, facing each other. The sun has ebbed into its late-afternoon plummet so the heat levels are actually optimal for the still-strong wind to be refreshing. My face has the feeling of being once overheated but is now cooling down. The sun is shining in my eyes and making me squint. The imp, seemingly tired from a long day out, is sleeping fitfully on my shoulder squeaking inhumanly but quietly between restful breaths. The grass is soft under my ass and when for no reason at all I lift a hand I'd been leaning on to look at my palm the white of my skin is criss-crossed with the pink hatches of grass imprints. “I'm cold,” Jason says and I notice his skinny arms are covered in goosebumps. Wordlessly I stand and as if in a daze walk around behind him and sit down with my legs spread, enclosing Jason in my lap. “I'll block the wind with my body,” I explain to Jason, who nods very slightly. Somehow this also allows me to put my arms around his torso and pull him even closer. His skinny arms rest on mine and feel smooth despite the goosebumps. HE'S NOT LIKE YOU the imp notes but his heart isn't in it and he barely shrieks YOU HAIRY FUCK before turning over and falling back asleep. Jason and I sit against each other for minutes, just breathing. I can't help but smell his hair and look at the nape of his neck and though I feel calm and content there is a whirr of activity just under my conciousness and I become hyper aware of Jason's weight and warmth pressing against my crotch. My dick slowly swells and I am not ashamed to minutely press it into him. A small but sharp intake of breath informs me that Jason has felt me, and he later tells me that it made him too get hard under his denim jeans. But for now it is enough to just sit together and we rock on the grass and in the wind and I press small wet kisses into his neck and just above his shoulder blades. At one point Jason murmurs guardedly “I want to take this slow,” but I don't pay him any mind.

The sun sinks further and further and it gets darker and darker and colder and colder. Finally Jason stands and without a word begins to walk to his car; I watch him in a kind of shock before quickly standing, adjusting my erection so it isn't noticeably jutting out in my pants, and running after him. We reach the car at the same time and get in. Jason's head is turned away from me and I watch him for a few long seconds. “I was,” I say, stuttering slightly, “I was, uh, hoping for a kiss, actually...” I chuckle nervously.

Jason turns and looks me in the eye and says “Okay.” And then we kiss so much that when we finally stop the sky is black and the car windows are entirely blanketed in fog.

Jason is an amateur photographer and carries an overpriced camera around his neck everywhere we go, taking shots only when, he says, “the light is right,” which typically occurs late in the afternoon when the light is soft and waning. On a thousand dates we go to all the cliché places: we go to the arcade and play laser light games with clacky plastic guns (Time Crisis II, Point Blank, a generic dinosaur shoot-'em-up being our favourites) and horde the piss-yellow prize tickets with intent to someday trade them for the too-big Magikarp plushie on the wall behind the counter (at last count we reached 28 tickets out of the required 7,500). We take drives going nowhere talking and joking all the while. We go on endless walks through parks and nature trails and the like. We eat at fancy restaurants, we eat at fast food joints, we zap and eat boxed frozen pizza in my oven at home. It quickly becomes evident to me, and Jason agrees when I mention it him, that it doesn't really matter what we do or where we go as long as we are together. We watch television at my place; Jason insists on watching and rewatching Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Audrey Hepburn movies whilst I'm on an animated binge; The Simpsons, The Ventures Bros., Disney films.

“David had a big TV,” Jason says when we're half-way through
Aladdin, cuddled together on the couch. The Genie is explaining the rules of his magic wishes to Aladdin and the gang. I tear my eyes from the screen and look at Jason and say, “Big?”
“Big,” Jason says his eyes looking straight ahead, “Thing was huge. It was, probably, four times as big as your one...”
I'm silent a moment and the imp chuckles on my shoulder.
“It's okay,” Jason says and turns to me, placing a hand on my arm and smiling, “It doesn't really matter,”
Jason says, “It was just fun to watch stuff on a screen that big, that's all.” After another beat Jason offers, “I love you.”
“I love you too,” I reply automatically, and fall silent. We turn back to the screen. Our hands rest in each other's. I stop watching and instead notice a large crack in the plaster of where the wall reaches the ceiling.
The imp says nothing but bites down, hard, on my ear.

We go to a fair and in the sideshow alley, laughing, fail utterly at the plastic crossbow range, the plastic BB gun range, the Try Your Luck rip-off games, the rip-off claw machine and the rip-off coin machine. We don't win a single prize between us. At the BB gun range Jason mentions that David once won him a giant blue teddy bear at a similar fair and the imp, using its fanged mouth hangs and softly swings from my ear which makes my face contort in pain. We ride the Ferris Wheel and get lucky when our carriage comes to a halt at the very tippy top. We look out over all the lights and the crowds and rides and our fingers entwine and we rest our heads together and the world is quiet. We watch fireworks. We go to comic book stores and book stores and go shopping for clothes. We go to the cinema no matter what movie is playing and mix our store-bought Maltesers with the overly expensive cinema popcorn.

We're taking a typical long walk on the beach when Jason intimates out of nowhere that David “has a big dick,” but reassures me that “it doesn't matter,” because “he typically-- didn't last longer than a minute.”
“...Big?” I ask.
“Big,” Jason says matter-of-factly.
There's a pause and I can't help but ask, “...Big...ger?”
There's another pause. Jason hesitates and then confirms, “Bigger.”

The imp, its jaws clamped on my ear, grabs my face with its pointy needle claws and begins to frantically hump my cheek and I think I feel a small trickle of blood ride down the side of my face but Jason doesn't mention it. It's so distracting I barely hear Jason say, “I love you, though. I just want to be honest with you. About anything. And everything.”
“I love you, too,” I say robotically. I say, “Thank you.” This last emission disturbingly makes the imp convulse violently against my cheek before finally coming to a rest.
The sand squeaks underfoot, rubbed by our heels and the sun reflects off the sea in a thousand broken fragments. Jason oohs and lifts his camera to his eye and contorts his face with the effort of finding the right frame and seagulls circle overhead like vultures and try as he might Jason can't seem to get the shot he was after and I watch all this sullenly with my mouth downturned.

We're at my place and for whatever reason Jason is hot, too hot, even though it's a mild 23 degree afternoon and figuring aloud that “Heat rises!” I drag my mattress off the bed frame and let it flop to the floor with a loud harrumph and hurriedly spread the blankets across it. Jason lies down and I lie down and it's soft and we start talking and we're hardly aware of what we're talking about, talking like we don't know what's going to happen next. Jason is looking at me and I am looking at him and soon we are leaning in towards each other and the minutes melt away and though somewhere in my mind I'm aware of the gentle darkness of my room and of our physical location on the mattress on the ground it feels as though we are floating through space, idly drifting between patterned stars. Jason's kiss is cold and timid at first and though his lips look a little thin on his lithe face against mine they feel full and wet and lovely. At first Jason keeps pulling away from me, expecting me to finish (he tells me later David would only kiss him for seconds at a time) but I keep on pulling him back, hungry for more, more, more and soon our tongues are clashing together and our hands travelling all over each other's bodies and we are each breathing hard through our noses, breathing out warm mmms into each other's mouths, the vibrations of which cause even more dreamy tingling sensations. Jason climbs on top of me and keeps kissing me and his dark hair falls on my face and we rub against each other and I feel lightheaded and high and when I look at him I see a gentle face with eyes full of tender love and if the imp is saying anything I cannot hear it.

Jason is driving me home after another fun day out and on the highway the light is so beautiful it's as if we're inside one of Jason's photographs. There aren't many other cars on the road and since for some reason we're not listening to music like we usually do the gentle thrum of the car engine and of its tires on the road are the only sounds we hear and it makes me feel like Jason and I are floating in our own little bubble far, far away from the bustle of the real world. The air, the space around us has a warm yellow tinge and the trees and lightpoles and fences we zoom by blur as if gone over by a paintbrush dipped in water. Every edge looks soft and it makes me think of a dream I once had. I feel happy and I sense the appreciation of this light is a gift given to me by Jason and just as I go to share these sentiments with Jason he misses the turn we needed to take. Swivelling my head I keep my gaze on it as it shoots by.
“We should have gone down there...” I say happily. Jason with his head down his eyes sharp and his arms rigid straight gripping the wheel of the car at 10 and 2 doesn't appear to hear me.
“We missed a turn, my lovely,” I say tenderly, squeezing his left thigh. “I guess we gotta take a U-turn somewhere...”
“No, we didn't,” Jason says tonelessly.
“We did...” I turn my head unconciously in the direction of the missed turn but it's already far gone, “Um, umm, the 19, right? That's what we usually take to get to mine...”
Jason shakes his head, frowning. Jason says, “I always turn at the red windmill. I haven't seen the red windmill yet; so I haven't turned.”
I'm suddenly aware of how stale the air is inside the car and long to open a window.
“Maybe...” I say and squeeze his thigh again. I offer, “Maybe you missed it? Because I'm pretty sure...”
“Don't touch me,” Jason snaps, and for a long, sad moment I look at him with my hand still resting on his thigh. I lift my hand off of his thigh and cross my arms and the imp on my shoulder starts giggling nonsensically.
“You missed the turn,” I say.
“No, I didn't,” Jason insists.
“You gotta make a U-turn and go back.”
“You don't tell me what to do,” Jason hisses through clenched teeth. Jason looks beautiful when he's angry. Something about the way his frown sharpens his forehead and brow and how his lips purse into a tight kissy pout and how his eyes glare and seem almost overfilled with passion. His cheeks flush red and give him this sexy glow. I'm watching him and his reflection in the driver side window and for a second
I think I fucking see another imp on Jason's shoulder, jumping up and down and clapping its thin arms and pointy hands above its head and it freaks me out so much I start and some unintelligible utterance falls from my mouth and I look away and when I look back it's gone.
I put a hand under my chin and glumly look out the window; the light is shining more lovely than ever but its brilliance now irks me.
SOON IT'LL FADE the imp whispers hoarsely in my ear WATCH IT GOING TO WASTE.
“We gotta turn around...” I say softly, in a sing song voice. I don't know why I do this. When Jason, successfully goaded, screams it's high pitched and wide-mouthed and piercing: “YOU. DON'T. TELL. ME. WHAT. TO. DO.”
I flinch automatically and when he's done I uncross my arms and put my hands on my lap and then I scratch my ear and then I don't know what to do with my hands.
YOU'RE SWEATING shrieks the imp YOU'VE BEEN RELAXING TOO MUCH AND HAVEN'T BEEN SUCKING YOUR TUMMY IN. My heart is beating real hard all of a sudden and the bloody thumping in my ears mixes with the sounds of the car on the highway to become almost deafening.
Jason mutters something. Jason glares, staring straight ahead. Jason says, “and I'm sick of it. I'm sick of you. David...”
I groan over Jason saying “...always told me what to do...”
“Aarrghhhh,” I growl, “for fuck's sake. Fucking
look--” I press an angry finger against the window, “we just passed over the fucking Murray River. You know that's past where I live, Jason...” Jason isn't saying anything, still he's staring straight ahead and his knuckles are whitening on the wheel. Louder I say, “Jason. Jason!” I look at him and he's fuming and I sense in him again an almost omnipresent rage, a stomach acid burning up his insides. A terrible rage at his life and at his self. I give up with a loud sigh and for a while we just drive.

I nurse my frustrations by thinking of quips and barbs to throw at Jason should he pipe up again, part of me hoping he'll start some shit and part of me hoping he doesn't. I stare out the window and watch the light slowly ebb away and as it gets darker and blacker it gets colder and I break out in goosebumps. When the sun finally fully sets a full half hour later I'm so caught up in my own thoughts I almost miss Jason softly saying, “I'm sorry,” and when I look over at him I realise though there was something sexy about Jason when he was angry it was a demonic sexiness that contorted his face. The power and hot rage turned something inside me on for whatever reason but what I was now looking at was the
real Jason. The real Jason is soft and tender and gentle and the real Jason is truly beautiful. Feeling tears welling in my eyes I lean over in my seat and kiss his soft cherub cheek over and over and over and over and over until Jason exclaims “Hey!” and playfully waves me off. “I'm trying to drive here!”
I wipe my eyes and smiling say, “I'm sorry, too.”
“Thank you,” Jason says, gushing, “Thank you so much. I'm really sorry. I don't know what happened, what came over me...”
“It's okay, it's okay. It's not your fault,” I say, relieved, “...Where are we, anyway?”
“Yeah...” says Jason, and we each look around. “I think we're nearly at Bunbury by now...” Jason says, and our eyes meet, “Bunbury! We drove all the way to
Bunbury for no reason?!” I say and we both laugh at the absurdity.

Jason turns the car around and we drive back to my place, it's a long drive but we share it with laughs and talks and more kisses on cheeks and I forget about the cold and the imp shrieks something like
YOU'RE UGLY WHEN YOU CRY but it just wants attention and I ignore it.
As we pull into my driveway I sigh and I can't stop looking at him and I say, “You're beautiful, you know that? You're fucking beautiful.”
“I'm not,” says Jason, smiling.
“I love you.”
“You're wrong.”



“This is a shot of my sister,” Jason says, showing me the photo on his camera's screen, “sometime in the afternoon. Not quite sunset. It was down in our garden, actually. It's got an almost, magical texture, to it. Like The Secret Garden, you know, the movie.”
“Mmm,” I'm saying, feeling like I wanna stomp his camera to bits, “I like the angle. Like it looks up at her, and yet she's looking up, too. Like she's lost in thought...” I don't know what the fuck I'm saying. “Yeah,” Jason says, not listening, looking at his photo, “It was like 5pm. The light is beautiful around that time.” I'm thinking, I know, I know.
Jason shows me a picture of a city by a river, “A reflection,” Jason says, “The duality of the city, and of life. Reflected in the water.”
BUT WHICH IS THE IMAGE, WHICH THE REALITY? the imp shrieks sarcastically in my ear and I have to turn a giggle into a polite cough.

Jason looks at me and then tells me “David has an eye for these kind of things,” and despair washes over me. Despair is a strange, lonely sensation, that makes you feel sick in your stomach. Despair is the opposite of hope, despair is exclusionary. It makes you feel out of place, like you don't belong, it is a sense of
wrongness and displacement. The world is meant to be a certain way but it isn't and there is nothing you can do about it because you are simply wrong, just wrong. And that is the meaning of despair. As if on cue Jason starts talking on a different tack, all the while flipping through the gallery of photos saved on his camera which I finally figure out must have been a gift from David. Glancing over his monologue I pick out certain keywords. Love. Relationship. Commitment. And then Decision. Openness. Honesty. And finally, a new one: Polygamy. BUT REALLY HE HAS JUST SAID DAVID. DAVID. DAVID.Jason finishes his prepared statement and looks up with me with an expectant smile which seems to me like the saddest thing I've ever seen. I realise with an itch that I'm at a crossroads and I feel paralysed by the weight of the decision. Though Jason intimates otherwise I can't help but agree when the imp says YOU HAVE TO SAY YES OR YOU WILL LOSE HIM.


New Year's morning.

Knock knock knock. Jason.

I open my front door and then my arms and Jason falls into me. It's a quiet morning and for a moment we share it in peace. Birds chirp mindlessly in a tree near my house. Somewhere a car turns down a street and drives away from us, the sound fading into nothing.
Finally I say, “So,” and lead Jason inside with a hand on his back, closing the door behind him, “How did it go?”
“Good good good...” Jason says, looking around at nothing, “We talked. He gave me... well it doesn't matter. A book. One of my favourites. I lost my old copy, actually, David lost it...”
I step forward and kiss him. I don't know how much I wanted to. Maybe it was just to shut him up.
“Ah...” Jason sighs and looks at me from armslength with an eyes-crinkledsmile, “That felt nice.”
I smile awkwardly and embrace him again. I don't want to look at him. “You know,” Jason says into my chest, “I don't feel weird, at all, you know? Seeing him this morning and now seeing you. I feel fine, about it. I feel good.”
I don't know what to say. “Okay.” I can't even process how I feel about it. The whole thing feels like a blur. I say, “That's good.”

Later, we're cooking nachos, well, really Jason is. It's a simple procedure and I watch him do it. We talk, tell jokes. I look at Jason's hands and at his neck. Jason is slender, pale, beautiful. This was our New Year's plan, to eat nachos and watch The Grinch, Jim Carrey prance around in a stupid green costume, because we never did for Christmas. I had been looking forward to it, not thinking about David at all. Really. But now Jason is here and something feels off.

On a tray and sheet of aliminium foil Jason spreads a layer of corn chips. Then a layer of cheese shavings and then a layer of salsa (mild). Repeat. On about the second cheese layer Jason gets a phone call. We don't look at each other, just at his jean pocket. Before he even pulls it out to see who could be calling Jason says, “I need to take this,” and walks into another room. I stand still a moment at a loss of what to do. I look at the half-made nachos and it unlocks some awful feeling deep inside my stomach. The imp says nothing but I can feel it smiling.

I follow Jason and stand in the doorway and look at him. He gives me this look that says, “Really? Zero privacy with you?” and brushes past me and walks outside some distance into the backyard. Through the screen door I watch him pacing, throwing his hand about, ducking tree branches. “He's angry,” I tell myself, “which is good. But he's also not hanging up.” I'm straining to hear him but I can't make out any words. I about face and walk back into the kitchen. I'm wishing wishing wishing hoping hoping hoping David has screwed it up somehow, or is screwing it up right now. My heart is beating hard. Nervously I start another layer, chips, cheese, salsa. Typical-- my layer is the worst, is scrappy, messy. My stomach acid burns my in gut.

I don't know what temperature to set the oven to. I don't, I can't even put any thought into it, my mind is entirely blank. My heart is still hammering. I don't know what temperature to set the oven to. I pivot back to the garden and open the screen door. “Jason,” I desperately half-whisper. “Jason.” After a beat and a blink he looks up at me, his face isn't furious but it isn't happy. “What temperature do I set it at...” he can't hear me. I whisper louder, confused, “What temperature do I set it to. The oven.”
“I don't know,” Jason hisses, “Two hundred.” Jason turns away from me, head cocked, phone pressed against his ear. I feel all of two inches tall. I close the door carefully behind me and reenter the kitchen. My saliva is bitter in my mouth. I shove the nachos in the oven and set it to two hundred degrees and light it. It must have taken all of five seconds but I didn't think far enough ahead and now I don't know what to do. I pick up a tea towel and put it back down. I watch Jason some more in stolen glances. I know he doesn't want me watching him.

“I hate him I hate him I hate him,” I say under my breath, “Fuck off fuck off fuck off hang up hang up hang up. Come on.” There's nothing for me to do. My hands itch. I sit in the living room and wait.

Finally Jason comes in. “I had to take the nachos out,” I say, my lips turned so firmly downwards they're making my cheeks ache, “They were gonna burn. And now they're cold.” As I say that I realise I could have left them in oven with the flame turned off.
Jason distractedly says, “I don't care. We'll have them cold. Let's watch the movie.”
There's a pause.
“Well...?” I feel so fucking helpless.
“Well what.” Jason makes me ask, “Well what did he have to say?”
Jason flashes another look at me, eyes ablaze, “Don't ask me questions like that. It's between me and him.” I'm thinking, I thought we shared everything, I thought we were honest with each other, I thought this is what you wanted, “He doesn't like that I'm with you. He wanted me to stay with him. He doesn't understand.” I'm thinking, Yes, he's pushing Jason away. Pushing him away to ME. Jason sighs. “Come on.”

We walk into the living room. I fumble with the DVD, get it out the case, shove it into the player. The nachos are cold and tasteless, the cheese set hard. We stare a hole through the TV. I don't think either of us see the movie. Just the wall behind it.


We're in Jason's car... and we're driving somewhere, forever, and we're listening to his music, his music that is our music, and is my music. We're listening to Silversun Pickups (but only Carnavas, we don't like Swoon as much) and Fitness Forever (some French band Jason likes). We're listening to Yeasayer, and we're listening to Best Coast, and that is our favourite, and when the song is over we do a little acapella duet together, Jason singing in good pitch
When I'm with you, I have fun, yeah when I'm with you, I have fun and we're laughing and I'm singing out of key Yeah when I'm with youuuu, I have fuuuuun, yeah when I'm with youuuuuu I have fuuuuuun and I'm drum-drum-drumming away on my knees, keeping time and doing leg-snare rolls when the silences call for it, and we're laughing and it's so much fun and I love him so much.

I look over at Jason and I lean over and I kiss his cheek, and it's soft and smooth and warm and so I kiss it again, and again, and again, and again, so much that he's laughing, and blushing, and asking me what I'm doing, but I just tell him that I love him and he says “I love you too,” and I'm happy. And we're listening to The Measure [SA] and Vampire Weekend and the Aladdin Soundtrack (Prince Ali is my favourite) and we listen to Island In The Sun by Weezer over and over on my behest because it makes me happy and we're listening to Explosions In The Sky and Modest Mouse and the light is blinding, and brilliant, and soft, and beautiful.

Whilst I know it's a formality at this point I can't help but cry and cry and cry and tears burst out of my goddamn face and I try swallow them down in wretched gulps. Jason leaps up and says “Oh, oh, oh,” and puts a skinny arm around my shoulders. It's a horrible moment. Even through the sadness I find Jason's touch and tone comforting and that makes me feel worse, because I know he's already gone. Everything is gone, already, so soon... our in-jokes and memes, the habits we formed together, all gone. All the trivial knowledge about him I mentally banked. Jason's birthday is April 30th, Jason hates Thai food, Jason's middle name is fucking Mallory...
Later Jason stands up and starts getting dressed. Jason quickly glances in the mirror and sneers and says, “Ugh, I hate my thighs. I have wide hips. My hips are too wide.”
I watch him and glumly mutter, “That's not true.” Jason's body is lissom and his skin pale and I realise again how very small he is. TAKE A GOOD LOOK CUZ IT'S THE LAST TIME YOU'RE GONNA SEE HIM the imp shrieks and I sullenly agree. I know I'm never gonna see Jason naked again. He is so very beautiful. I watch him and the corner of my lips are heavy on my face and weigh my lips unhappily down, down, down. I don't say anything when he pulls his jeans over his legs and zips them up and I don't say anything when he pulls his shirt over his head and I don't say anything when he does his jumper up and I don't say anything but just watch when he looks around himself for his things. He picks up his bag and for months afterwards I will find little trinkets, remnants of Jason he left behind, a shirt here, a sock there. We embrace but there's no warmth to it. Jason says, “Well, see you later,” but we won't meet in person again. Jason turns and I watch him walk out of my life into a sunny afternoon.

Long after he leaves I keep repeating his name aloud and hearing the familiar distort and in my ears become alien through repetition. “Jason, Jason, Jason. Jason. Jason. Jason. I remember the first time we held hands, I remember walking through a fair with you, some people stared, but that was okay because we were together. Jason. Jason. I remember us being cheated by the coin pusher. We were always that one coin away from winning big. I remember the smell of the dirt and the sweat of the crowd and ducking behind a tent to make out. I remember the softness of your lips. Jason. I remember...”


Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Monday, August 11, 2014

scrapped chapter/scribbles

I sit down down at the dining room table. I see Jason's body lying face down in the kitchen. I sit at the dining room table with my head in my hands and stare at Jason and the space around him. I watch the sunlight play across the linoleum, dust motes hanging in the air. His hair seems to slowly bob, moved by some unseen breeze. A thousand sounds from the outside world-- birds singing, car engines, construction starting up somewhere. I sit motionless and look and listen and think and breathe.

I go through the mundanities of murder, the tidbits of the terrible. What I could do with Jason's body. Constructing my alibi. Formalities. I wasn't concerned, to tell you the truth. When I'd woken up this morning I hadn't planned to kill Jason, and now that he was dead, I hadn't planned to deal with it. Maybe it was something he said, or a way he had looked at me, I don't know. I didn't feel anything, as is customary at this point. When you get it all out there is nothing left. So I sit and think.

I don't know exactly what Richard says, but it's enough. My face is flushed and hot, my skin goes prickly, covered in a thousand stabbing needles. Maybe he's insulted me, taunted me. No, I don't like that-- maybe he's insulted Jason, yeah... Objectified him. Turned him into a prize to be won, and claimed him as his own. Jason, helpless, fooled, stands off to the side, mouth open, hands limp. I draw my arm back and throw my fist at Richard, pivoting my hips and shoulders to add weight to the punch like I was taught in 5th grade Taekwondo class and it explodes in his face, breaking his nose and covering my fist in blood. Maybe there's even a spurt, a splash of blood that pops from his face and flies in a perfect arc like in a Sin City comic. With just one powerful punch Richard falls to his knees, sobbing, begging, snot and blood running down his face. Coolly I glance at Jason and offer to help Richard up. Or, no, no, I'm calling triple zero, “Hi, I need an ambulance, my-- friend has broken his nose...” and sensing that I'm distracted Richard can't help but make a desperate go at me, flinging his body up at me from the floor, fingers outstretched and face twisted, contorted, a devil out of hell. And, of course, I slap him down, I don't even break a sweat. I raise my leg and bring my boot down, a terrible hammer of justice, this time knocking him unconscious. Without missing a beat I cock my head and resume talking into the phone, telling the lady our location and Richard's injuries. Jason rushes over and joins Richard on the floor but he's looking at me, he's a little horrified and angry but he's turned on too, impressed, and I look at him and I don't say anything, ignoring him and that turns him on more and in my head I'm screaming Fuck you fuck you fuck you fuck you

Seconds dragged minutes dragged hours. My ass gets sore sitting in one place. Occasionally I crack my knuckles and think about Jason. My hand, always at groin level, brushes my dick through my jeans and I think about Jason, his neck, his stomach, the little hairs leading down from his belly button, his dick, short and thick in girth and stench, that mix of saliva and sweat and semen that emanated from his pubic hair. I miss him, I miss that, already, though I knew I shouldn't. It is quite silly and unfair to, when you think about it. This is my dream I had.

We finally arrived at the docklands, somewhere on the fringe of Fremantle. A nice area, clean, deserted (everything is closed on Sundays), full of new shops and the sweet salty smell of the sea. It is sunny but windy, so we alternate between freezing and thawing out as we walked along a white concrete path under large trees. For a while nobody says anything, and if I turn my head right and look out onto the ocean I can pretend I am alone, taking a leisurely stroll by the sea with my hands in my pockets. The cawing of gulls, the gentle throbbing wash of the waves is calming, and I feel at peace until I turn my head back and remember who I'm with. We're walking shoulder to shoulder-- Jason, the shortest, in the middle, a strange half smile on his face, his gaze fixated forward. Richard seems uncomfortable, he keeps scratching the back of his head and looking around nervously. Neither of them acknowledges me looking at them. Eventually we stop at a speckled grey concrete bench. Jason and Richard sit down while I, not wanting to make either of them shift over, pace back and forth in front of them.
I look out at the ocean horizon, the sun bounces off the water making me squint. “Nice day,” I say to nobody, who don't say anything back.

Despair washes over me. Despair is a strange, lonely sensation, that makes you feel sick in your stomach. Despair is the opposite of hope, despair is exclusionary. It makes you feel out of place, like you don't belong, it's a sense of wrongness and displacement. The world is meant to be a certain way but it isn't and there's nothing you can do about it because you are wrong. That is the meaning of despair.

Jason and Richard are talking-- well, mostly Jason is giving a speech, with Richard chipping his monotone “Yeah”s and “Mmm”s but I can't hear them. Glancing over their conversation you can pick out certain key words: Relationship. Love. Decision. Breaking. Friends. I'm looking around, searching for something to focus on. A fishing shop, with dead fish lined in frozen rows in the window. Bug-eyed and awful. I like fish, I like their movement, the slow careful hovering into quicksilver darting, effortlessly moving through three dimensions. Like aliens, hanging in space. Jason hates their eyes, and their smell, and their taste. I don't really like their faces all that much, expressionless, and those damn glass eyes, I just like their movement. They seem free. I'm thinking about how darting fish are animal and kinetic and alive and looking at the store fish they are product and marketable and dead and I feel even more nauseous. I become aware that I am scratching my arm when it starts lightly bleeding.
Jason finishes his prepared statement-- the looks he exchanges with Richard at certain points tells me they'd already run through the script together. Jason looks up at me with a sad, expectant smile. I feel like crying and whilst I know it's a formality at this point, I can't help it and tears burst out my goddamn face as I try to swallow them down in wretched gulps. Jason leaps up and says “Oh, oh, oh,” and puts a skinny arm around my shoulders. It's a horrible moment. Even through the sadness I find Jason's touch and tone comforting, and that makes me feel worse, because I know he's already gone. Everything is gone, already, so soon... our in-jokes and memes, habits, gone. All that trivial knowledge I have mentally banked: Jason's birthday is April 30th, Jason hates Thai food, his middle name is fucking Mallory...

Monday, August 4, 2014

05/08/14 Brand Name Coffins

our debts were there before our births
we own no land or horses--
to breathe is to consume, to waste--
to use up--
we shuffling corporate corpses

for their causes--
we sullen forces--
we're born and then we suffer--
we're born and then we suffer

we feel the whip crack 'cross our backs
our chains we hear them rattlin'
"that's life" the billboard sighs and shrugs--
and smiles sweet--
and stifles thoughts and actions

we live plastic--
static; placid--
then lie in brand name coffins