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A Few Short Words

Dense Not Thick

Space

When I think about us I feel more isolated then ever. I see these two lone hands stretching into an abyss, trying of course to grasp each other, so far apart. Sometimes they cling to satellites, clutching until they crush their quarry into orbital debris. Most often they float alone, grazing their surfaces upon that vast satin blackness, reading braille whispers of liveable planets and binary systems that support each other until death, glorious love sick symbioses gasping un petit mort en supernova. When I think about us I think about the horizon and wonder what I’m not seeing.

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Pastime

Sitting some metres away, two table lengths, it’s barely even interesting that they didn’t notice me cutting. They were discussing football, the oval kind. I used a new craft knife, not knowing how much pressure would apply depth to its sharpness scared me. I have often been meek in this way, tender beginnings with irresolute ends. If they had noticed I would have stopped because of them instead of myself. Funny how cowardice has strains, they called it yellow, differing shades. I wanted to see red and couldn’t commit. They kept talking about football, it was barely even interesting.

Ego

I don’t scream and it only feels like everybody is staring at me. The rational part of my brain tries desperately to talk my id off a ledge, says there’s no such thing as spiders living under my skin, but I’m unsure how much I’m willing to trust me and have to check regularly. I don’t peel myself apart and scrub at the itch from beneath, I sit there and don’t. Everybody walks past me wrapped in comfortable realities. If I looked at the ragged stitches of my own I would scream, I don’t and nobody continues to look.

Esteem

I cancelled my date with Ashleigh because I didn’t want to shower. The idea of putting effort into myself on behalf of another person seemed as repellent as the cavalcade of odours gentrifying my being. Easier to keep rotting awhile than resort to self-esteem. I texted to tell her I wouldn’t make it again, I’d had a mild emergency, some family trouble, a soft sell she returned by telling me to go fuck myself with firm creativity. I spent the night wallowing in the pit I’d dug, a bad choice made right, and never did have that shower.

Questionable

The girl asks how old I think she is but that’s not what she means or it is and I’m just reading an under layer that’s asking how old I think she wants to look. It’s a brain trick people don’t know they’re using, maybe a brain tic I think I’m using, so I bet high, gambling on her lust for maturity. I shouldn’t be looking at the slow creep of red flush corrupting her décolletage. She’s beaming at me, ‘People always say I’m sophisticated,’ a real woman with too much sibilance, ‘but I won’t be nineteen for months.’

Fetes

Carnival lights break the night open like geologists smashing geodes while fireworks scream against the skyline, exploding with purpose. I can feel the neon and sulphur settling on my skin, battling particles of deep-fry, grease, and humanity. Dana looks into my eyes and runs her hand down my flank, smiling from that hidden place she keeps. A streetlight corona blooms behind her back, shading her in an ikon’s light. Divine, a thin thread of fairy floss still clings to her lip, an innocent corner vestige of gossamer pink filament. I put my tongue there and feel its dissolution.

Burnt

Jonah keeps a small part of a large fire in a jar on the dresser. He calls it his lust for life but that might be irony, like saying not owning a bed is the reason you get up every day. I’d be wrong to say I understood how the caged passion of a quelled man can fuel anything. I wonder how it keeps burning, if it feeds in the lonely hours. I asked him once, what it eats, and he said, ‘Questions like that,’ quick and cold. I watched the fire flicker and knew knowing no longer mattered.

Miss Blanks: Diary Of A Thotaholic

Article originally appeared on The Music Nov 15th 2017

Diary Of A Thotaholic is not your average Adelaide hills skip-hop or suburban-boi cyphering, this is international grade, female-focused, dis-rap, borderline hip hop erotica from an artist pulling triple duty to rep a trio of disastrously underrepresented community facets.

It would be easy to say Miss Blanks is reading her cues from previous fem-power archetypes, but it would be reductionist in a way that runs counter to the revelrous freedom on show. DOAT basks in its explicit nature but doesn’t rely on it. While it is unabashedly graphic and deliciously brash, none of it feels excessive nor does it court pointless controversy. It doesn’t ask to be a think piece about empowerment, sexual awareness, body positivity or any other topical discourse. Instead, it straight up takes creative parity as a surety. In that regard, Miss Blanks is just doing what the bulk of her ostensibly cis peers have been doing for decades. Let her go, let her keep killing it, those misconceptions should be dead by now anyway.

Miss Blanks has her own tongue pressed firmly to cheek, it’s up to you to throw down this album and consider your own tongue placement.

The Bear Hunt: Fallen On Deaf Ears

Article originally appeared on The Music Oct 13th 2017

The obvious problem with The Bear Hunt’s new EP is that it’s not an LP. Any issue you have beyond that should evidently be with society, because Fallen On Deaf Ears doesn’t actually feel like an EP so much as an open letter to the See You Next Tuesday’s of the world. There’s an unrequited rage seething inside every chord, vocal or otherwise, a furious and frenetic yet thoughtful rhetoric delivered with percussive punch and incisive timing. It’s the audio equivalent of winning an argument you didn’t start and never wanted. Here’s hoping the world keeps sucking enough to get a full-blown album soon.

Weezer: Pacific Daydream

Article originally appeared on The Music Oct 24th 2017

By now you either like Weezer or you don’t, or you did and now you really don’t.

Their eleventh album, Pacific Daydream, sounds suspiciously young, the audio equivalent of a couple kids in a trench coat or one adult band wearing a teenager’s T-shirt. Honestly, the bulk of the tracks feel more like a Weezer musical as written by One Direction, like they were aiming for top of the pops by way of paint by numbers construction and bland overproduction.

Despite a few classic Rivers Cuomo compositions, QB Blitz and Sweet Mary through the middle, the hooks aren’t catchy so much as insidious and you could easily mistake them for any number of one-off festival headline fade-aways that dominate for a crucial week or two before dissolving back into the primordial musical ooze that spawned them. It’s not the sort of sound that usually happens at the end of a band’s lifecycle.

What was once a boyish proto-geek genuflection is now a group of 40-somethings crooning over pyrrhic rhythms about beaches and heartbreak while the world gently burns. The results feel accordingly off-putting, not nearly as vast or grand as the Pacific Ocean, roughly as valuable as a daydream and just as memorable.

Exchange

We bowed below the Meiji Jingu gates, held hands as we threw our wish in tandem yen into the well. I wondered long after if I’d prayed hard enough, revenant or pious enough. Now I look at photos of then, see her absence, and know prayers aren’t answers and wishes won’t build horses. I know it. I have gained knowledge through action, gnosis in practice. I know it. But what I wouldn’t pay to wish again, pray again, wrap the facts in faith again and fling them far as hope can go. What I wouldn’t pay again for love.

Insolvent

Squat in the street with a sign that reads, Bet U $2 U Keep Walking, the kid looks Hollywood homeless, definitely lean but too clean for the gutter, sullen eyed with a certain kind of cunning leering out from under the lip of his beanie. He must be freezing, only wearing a threadbare sweater and denim jean scratchings that seem more like stitch testing for a seamstress. I like your sign, I say, it’s really legible. The kid tucks his knees beneath his chin, folding up on himself and watching me not going anywhere. ‘Double or nothing,’ he says.

Assistance

She’s got one of those out of date names like Claudette or Glenda but I miss it for the lipstick on her teeth. Staring herself, she asks if something’s wrong in the style of spun yarn. I lay a finger to the bruise on my cheek and say I might not be coping. She smiles, sharing that porcelain stain again, and tells me she might have some literature about the possibility of help. I think about practicing origami in school when they still thought an education might help. I tell her I’m grateful and leave her to her teeth.

Desalinate

I can sense a rime of salt caked into the upper rim of my ears. After tears. I shouldn’t cry on my back but I like the way it feels, a milder misery than the wracking hunch or mirror stare manoeuvre. The tears run of course, down my cheeks and into the auricles, crusting, sometimes for days, as though the sandman had missed his mark, wept and moved on. I do feel tired though, which is different from sleepy and accrues an internal kind of crust. I cup my hands around my ears and listen to the ocean die.

Cushion

I tell her I feel like the inferior pillow. Casual, she says, ‘What now?’ You know, the other pillow on the bed that get’s used for everything but cradling your head. The fucking shit pillow, taint and pit mashed into shapes to fit. That’s how I feel in all this, like you’ve decided I’m the one who should mould my skin to suit and should never want appreciation for it. ‘Come here,’ she says, pulling me to her chest. As she strokes my hair I can feel myself soften, supple in supplication. ‘Calm down, isn’t that a bit melodramatic?’

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