what goes up...

Monday, December 19, 2005

Transcription: Philip Glass - Piano Music

Philip Glass Transcribed:

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plonk. plonk.
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Blood On The Tracks # 2

BLOOD ON THE TRACKS

The Ne(X)t Wave: A Fiction

Sometimes I ponder the state of music in the future. I am not referring to Mp3 and iPOD devices nor am I interested in predicting the next new genre (acid-techno-roots-folk anyone?) What I am referring to – specifically – is what will our children’s generation think of our music? For this column you will need: some snips, sticky tape, glue and a big person to help. You will also need to suspend your disbelief and adhere to the principles that – in ten/twenty years time – A) there will still be actual stores in which to buy music (I’m talking physical, brick’n’mortar, on a line as opposed to online). And B) the compact disc (or CD) is still one of the main mediums for conveyance of recorded musical expression. Ok, now take the snips and cut a line along your wrist (that’s right, Pink Floyd are apparently reforming!) and use the sticky tape to make a suitably punk-ish statement. With the glue – sniff half of it, put the remainder in your hair. Now, the big person can be told to fuck off! You don’t need their help…you never did when you were chosing music that you thought was cool, or did you…?See, I took a lot from my parent’s record collection. I just didn’t tell too many people at the time. We were slow to get a CD player, and when we did, we gathered around poking and prodding at buttons, marvelling at its ability to skip tracks (“no fastforwarding, it’s unbelievable!”) Yes, the long winter evenings flew by… often to the tune of something from The Most Of The Animals or The Best Of Santana (my folks didn’t replace their record collection, opting instead to revisit former hippie golden-daze – and for just $9.95!) With average taste, and modest selection, they were committed to the idea that CDs were the future (I was slower than most, I still had tapes at highschool; when I say tapes I don’t mean cheap blanks for “making a dub of it” – how archaic that sounds in the wake of CD burning! – I had hundreds of prerecorded casettes, and had to be convinced to trade up to CDs). I started listening to the CDs my parents steadily introduced to the house. The riff to House Of The Rising Sun sent something (shivers possibly? No, too cliché) down my spine. Hearing the jungle rhythms and searing guitar of Oye Coma Va meant something to me. I really liked sixties music (and not just The BeatlesTM ). I dare not tell my friends. I returned to school to write things on my pencil case (and later, my bag) like: Jesus Jones and EMF. It is what my friends were listening to. I might, every now and then, sneak a name in, such as: Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground, Kinks…even, sometimes choosing an album title over a band name, adding an element of mystique. Beggar’s Banquet I scribbled; White Light/White Heat I scrawled; it is unlikely that I made it through Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire) but you get my drift. I was (secrectly) proud of my assimilation. I was blending my parent’s record collection with the influence of my peers; a virtual Lunchtime-DJ, mixing old school beats with modern sounds (oh the irony: nothing from our ‘era’ has lasted). I became unashamed in my absorption of music from the 60s and 70s. I would force friends to listen to the entirety of The Deep Purple Singles (while we waited for ‘Exploding Fist’ to load on our Commodore 64!)
Will my children discover my copies of The Most Of Oasis and later, The Complete Strokes? Will I even buy them? More likely, I will ask my 7-year-old child, if they can fit it in between web-chats with other bratty ‘tweens’, to possibly download a selection of Strokes tunes direct to their wristwatch (also a phone and computer). They’ll wind the hands thrice, and a tiny-CD will pop out from under the strap. I’ll stare confused, as my lovely little nuclear-physisist-in-training drops the minute disc onto a microwave-safe dish and rather than ‘burn’ gently reheats until compatable with vintage 1986 technology. I’ll sit and marvel as I listen to New York City Cops twenty years past its used-by date. And little mr or ms, will be far too busy playing war games online for music. And of course it’s more likely I’ll still be listening to The Kinks (in whatever format) than The Strokes.

Friday, December 16, 2005

STORY: Illuminating Samantha

Here's another of the main monologue pieces from the BLANKing women show (see also: Knowing Lisa) - this one was expertly performed by a woman named Regina Tuzzolino - a fab actress/artist/friend/person - she really gave character to the yarn. I don't know why I wrote this - but I wrote it in a burst with the Knowing Lisa story/monologue and a few others. And so the show was born and kinda "wrote itself" (what a gay thing to say....) Anyway, here's Sam...


Illuminating Samantha

Most of the guys say that they just want to talk. That’s it, you know, talk. I mean, alright, yeah, they might put their hand on my knee and glide it toward the thigh a bit, while they talk. But, they’re still there – with me – to talk. They don’t kiss, or even try. Sex is not mentioned, well not directly. They don’t even approach the idea of having sex with me. It’s made clear from the outset that they’re not gonna, you know, fuck me. They might ask me what it’s like – you know – my job. So in that sense they talk about sex. They ask me how many guys I’ve fucked, in what ways, for how long, and where – not location if you know what I mean. Well, it is kinda a location I guess, ha ha, let’s just say it relates more to biology than geography, that’s if we’re going back to school. I know I’m not. I’m never going back. Walking contradiction that one, I mean I wasn’t going when I was there, or rather I was never there when I was going, or, well, you know what I mean…Some of them ask me about women, like other women that do it, if I’ve done it to other woman, with other woman. They talk to me about their wives, even going into sex with their wives, which I presume is part of the issue within requiring my, ah, ‘services.’ Actually I don’t know why I ever said sex isn’t mentioned – cos, come to think of it, that’s pretty much all we talk about. Still, I figure par for the course you know, I mean lawyers gotta discuss the law all day. It’s pretty funny actually, cos I have, ya know, what they would call “client meetings” with a few of their kind. And in our “meetings” it’s them listening and me talking, me laying down the rules, explaining the way it works. And so they’re not – in that case – talking about law and lawyer-shit all day now are they. Lawyers are funny ones. They’ve not often got wives, the ones I see anyway, they’ve hardly got jobs by the state and sound of some of em. Scruffy, dirty-minded unhappy people. I mean the couple that I’ve seen lately, they, ya know, treat me all-nice. They’re kind. But they don’t think about what I think, they don’t figure I’ll say anything or judge them. Ha, lawyer/judge, that’s a laugh.
I listen. I talk. I tell them the truth, all the guys I deal with, I tell em what they want to know; answer as they ask. It’s the hardest part of the job. The part everyone thinks about: the actual practice, fucking and all that, that’s the easy part. You lie there and take it, you take it all, you give a little. I been fucked eight days of Sunday since I was 17. I’m 27 next week, so ten years. It’s no biggie. Always use condoms: no bag you don’t shag, I say. These guys, some of em complain a bit at first, but I always say to them, you’re buckling up before this ride just like you do every other. And then they’re ok. Most of my men though, the men I’ve had in me, they’ve never had a problem with condoms. I carry them, so what’s the issue, you know. They talk most of them, they talk and talk, the ones who want sex talk about it first, they tell me the things they’re gonna do and how they want it and they talk during it. Telling me I’m dirty and how good it is and how great I am and oh god oh god oh god. And, it’s all boring. I’ve had it in the ear you know, so long, so often, well I’ve had it jabbered at me as long as I’ve had it jammed in me. I can’t say I’ve had it in the ear as long as I’ve had it in the rear, cos, well, I don’t do that. It’s just one thing I won’t do. Hasn’t caused any problems really. One guy was adamant that he was gonna do it, I told him he wasn’t, so he played all smooth – agreed before starting that he wouldn’t try it, then tried to take me doggie. I said he’d get a better deal if he let me on top cos you know he’d cum/I’d cum – he’d be happier, I don’t care what anyone says, whores don’t cum that cheaply, ha ha, I mean that both ways. I charge fair, and I am good at what I do, but you’re guaranteed an orgasm from me only when I am on top. I guess it’s good to feel it from that angle, I feel in total control of the situation when I am on top. Underneath I am still the boss, what I say goes, you know about stuff I won’t do and that. But on top I feel good and tight and in control and I cum, baby, I always cum. But anyway, this wanker’s all telling me that he really wants to do it doggie and I’m like nah nah sorry babe not tonight eh. I’m trying to tell him it’s been a rough enough night and that I just wanna fully enjoy it and unwind, myself – you know. But he’s sure he’s gonna do me from behind – one way or another. And I shoulda known he’d force the issue. So I let him, then he’s all holding me hard and after a few jerks he’s trying to edge the snake along the grass towards the ass, right, and that’s when I screamed. I mean not a sexual scream, I fully screamed, I had to. I cried rape, it just came out, I don’t think it was wrong, I mean he was trying to do something to me I didn’t want done. I don’t take it in the bum. I don’t mind how many times I say it; it has to be heard. Anyway, he pulls out and snatches his hand over my mouth saying shut it whore and all this shit and starts trying to twist me back over into his favourite position, and that’s when I grabbed his balls, with my hands, both of em, I mean both hands, but yeah sure I had both balls too and I squeezed. I yanked on those fucking ugly hairy things as hard as I could and he passed out. He completely dropped. His cock fell flat pretty quick and he musta lay unconscious for a bit and while in that state he lost control of his bladder and wet himself, you know pissed all over the place. Some of it got over me, we were in a hotel and no one – it seemed – heard me call rape and scream, and so as I crawled over him and wore some warm splash I thought best to just clean myself up and bolt. I hitched on my skirt real quit flicked my bra and knickers in my bag and buttoned up. As I opened the door I heard him stirring, saw him rolling-to on the mattress, I thought briefly about what he’d do and then decided fuck it, he wouldn’t do anything. I mean I did consider with him coming-to right there that he might chase me back into the room or call up or anything, but I left anyway. And he never did anything. Never seen him since. He had a kid, 3-year-old-girl. And a wife. He was a suit, worked somewhere flash and big and powerful and I thought to myself after that he musta tried taking his wife up the arse and got the red-light on that you know. So he goes to the red-light, district that is, ha ha, and expects he’ll get flashed the green-light on the brown one. No way, not me. Like I say, most other things, you know blowjobs are sweet and I’ll swallow most of the time too. But not the ass, it’s not right. I’m a prostitute sure, doesn’t mean I ain’t got any standards, levels or whatever. I’ve got a kid too you know, yeah she’s 6. Gina, she’s sweet. She lives with her grandmother. My mum takes good care of her and I see her now and then and she thinks I’m her aunty and that her mum died, but that’s ok, we decided that was best. So she thinks I work out of town on business, which, in a funny way – is true, cos I’ve been all over and I mean geographically this time! I’ve done jobs all over the place. But Gina shouldn’t know what I do so it’s better that she thinks I am her aunty, I am a special aunty though, I write to her and tell her stuff, make up stuff I do. And buy her things and we’re closer than any aunty and niece I’ve ever met. I have to stay doing it, got in to it for money of course, quick fix and all that, I was barely just past being a virgin when I started. Had sex twice, kinda, before going pro. One boy fingered me at school and I bled after, so got too freaked to let him stick anything else in me. Then I picked a guy up one night outside a bar. Too young to get in I was, but me and a girlfriend were drinking a cheap cask of wine and this guy told me I looked pretty, I think he thought I was a whore, he woulda been about 26 or 28 or something and he told me to do it at his place, but I took him to mine cos my folks were away. Told him it was mine. He obviously worked out I wasn’t a whore cos he never said anything, but I could tell he did think I was to begin with. I could tell all right. And so that was the first fuck as such, but being fingered and bleeding, which I learned later was my hymen, well I still count that. So once or twice either way, I experienced no pleasure out of it and I’ve learned not to ever since. You know, I started just after I turned 17, and I didn’t orgasm til I was 22, maybe 23. Now I turn tricks when I want how I want and if I wanna cum I will, I hold out sometimes too, cos I don’t want to get to love it any more than I do. And I don’t think I even do. I just know it’s easy to do and always has been, ever since that blood went away when dirty little Pauly Clothier finger-fucked me on the grass behind the cricket practice nets. Since then I’ve felt next to nothing, and if I have I don’t remember, unless I’ve wanted to like it. Some of the guys are nice: like bright and good to talk to and good-looking and I even considered dating this one trick. He was 30, I was 21, and he was regular. Fucked him, always on top, always orgasmed once a week for say two months. And I was tossing up how to ask him and then he never came back. Never saw him, never heard from him or about him, asked some of the other working girls I know, but nah, they didn’t follow the description. I can’t say I had my heart broken, cos frankly there’s not a lot of heart in this trade. Guts. You need guts. But there’s no heart really. The heart can’t breathe in amongst so much deceit, well that’s my theory anyway. In fact that’ll do, that’s my theory on this whole practice.
I’m Samantha by the way, Sam usually. Working name I guess you could say. No one knows though, no one asks…that trick that I said I thought about dating…he knew, don’t know how, but when he left that last time, and I didn’t know it’d be the last time til after a while later, well anyway, when he left, for the first and only time – that time, he said my name. “Bye Sam” was all he said. Not much to hang on to. And now I don’t even remember his.

-fin-

Fat Freddy's Slop

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I must have been the only reviewer in NZ to write a less than positive review of Fat Freddy's Drop's apparently brilliant debut studio album, Based On A True Story. I have no issue with the band - or the record existing. I just don't like it. And I fail to see why these emperor's-new-clothes-wearing faux-boho jazz-trained hipster-elite are on the receiving end of so much praise. Their allegedly relaxed/detached attitude suggests a crafted nonchalance that is very close to arrogance. Well, that's my opinion anyway - and that is, after all what I get paid for: my opinions. I would have gladly given my opinion on the Fat Freddy's album to anyone who was paying, but I was happy to give it to a mag for free (the now defunct Lucid). Here's my thoughts on the Freddy's album. I'll never have an issue with people embracing mediocrity. I just don't want to.

Fat Freddy’s DropBased On A True Story
Reviewed by Simon Sweetman

My opinion of this album (which is what a review is, let us remember: just an opinion) is that it is over-rated and dull. I won’t say it’s shit. That’s pointless and lacking in constructive criticism. Besides, it’s of no threat to me - so I’m happy to cede that there are people who enjoy it. Good on you. It debuted at number one in the NZ chart too - so good on them. I have no personal vendetta against the members of Fat Freddy’s Drop (I don’t know them) nor do I have a problem with their fans - apart from stretching hyperbole out in to a shelter from the critical storm (hey, maybe you can all go camping under it at the next Gathering-type event. That’d be neat!)I’m sure Fat Freddy’s Drop are a good live band - especially to people who have seen them. They would make for a sure sedative. To me it’s ironic that dub/reggae/roots - call it what you will - and I’m specifically referring to Fat Freddy’s Drop here - would seem diametrically opposed to prog-rock (as would many of its fans) and yet the opening track, ‘Ernie’ spends five minutes setting up an apparent mood, only to fall short a couple of minutes later having said nothing. That’s a similar approach to Emerson, Lake & Palmer if you ask me. Based On A True Story is lovingly produced, adequately played (but until these musicians actually stretch themselves - hey maybe they should jump on to some of that hyperbole you fans love to tug at? - they don’t deserve to be raved about) and it preaches to a converted audience. But so did the Reverend Jim Jones, right?
This release, as far as I’m concerned, lacks the one thing it supposedly reeks of, soul. Tracks like ‘Cay’s Crays’ and ‘This Room’ are lazy, plodding vamps, masquerading as slick urban-trendsetter grooves. And when, on ‘Ray Ray’, “New Zealand’s answer to Marvin Gaye”, as Grant Smithies raved, one hand on his pen, the other tugging hard (at hyperbole) sings “what’s the world without soul?” over and over - I want to scream back, “this record, Dallas! This record!”

Blood On The Tracks # 1

In 2004 I started writing a column called Blood On The Tracks for a magazine called Lucid. The idea was to just write something about music (anything!). And often it was close to nothing. Like most columns I'm sure, it was done at the last minute - and with little thought. I loved doing it though - it was a shame the mag folded, so I managed to get through 5 columns in total. I'm going to add them here periodically - and might add to them, with little thought and at last minute, naturally...

BLOOD ON THE TRACKS

Nightmares On Wax

I hate adhering to Genres in music. I see the point of it, retail stores need to have some sense of order, but there’s no way all of Miles Davis’ music deserves to be contained under ‘Jazz’ as a heading; nor is it possible to place Frank Zappa…well, anywhere?! Rock? Jazz? Pop? Alternative? Classical? I’ve always favoured a straight alphabetical approach to ordering my CDs. But, with records (actual vinyl LPs) I like them in a big line. I like to thumb through the whole lot before making a selection; I like to unearth rare (forgotten?) gems; I enjoy finding things like my soundtrack to the original Muppets movie and wondering why I’ve hung on to it all this time; and I like to remind myself of certain choices, both wise (the triple-set of Led Zeppelin’s Re-Masters) and downright perculiar (a novelty 45 of a polka band peforming the Deliverance theme of Duelling Banjos as Duelling Tubas; backed with 2001: A Space Polka!?!) Playing a record is a big deal: you flip through, you examine the artwork (and it actually is artwork, rather than a postcard picture) and you might look to see who owned it before you did (with garage-sale, Salvation Army, second-hand-store markings) and then, you’ll - eventually - select an album to play. Records have an aesthetic, which is hard to pin down completely. But there’s something in the crackle, the spin – actually watching the needle push in to the shellac and force a movement – you can’t obtain that feeling from putting a CD into a tray. Records, for me, are all about emotional situations – where I was when I bought it, soundtrack to my childhood – whereas CDs are a convenient space-saver. Don’t get me wrong, I love CDs (and have far more of them than LPs). But I don’t get a thrill out of putting a CD on. A thrill from the music, sure, but not from the format. With vinyl however, you get that feeling that goes beyond analysis, beyond snob-wankery (“the drum solo to Aja was performed in one take, and Steve Gadd sight-read the whole thing!” – SO WHAT!!?) And you can get away with anything on vinyl! If you own MC Hammer on CD it’s just silly, but a copy of Hammer Please Don’t Hurt ‘Em on vinyl is gold! Most collectors would love to consider themselves arbitrators of taste and decency (“hell no, you can’t pick up that New Kids On The Block, not even for a joke…) but so long as there’s a method to the madness, you allow yourself certain concessions (“...alright, you can buy Hangin’ Tough, but only after you have a vinyl copy of Astral Weeks!”) - whether you are a DJ or just a vinyl-junkie you will allow a certain amount of bad-taste in your collection. Sometimes it’s for the sake of irony, but most often it’s simply because you can get away with it. My copy of the hits of Phil Collins peformed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra would have been a great vinyl (well, that’s pushing it) but on CD, it had to be destroyed! I couldn’t admit to owning a compact disc of such drek, whereas I still love playing my vinyl copy of Europe’s The Final Countdown and my picture-disc of Inxs’ Kick – and in fact, did so long before there was any apparent “80s Revival”. I just thought they were funny albums to play – and I’ll passionately defend Kick til I’m er, blue in the face (apologies there to Mr Hutchence!)
I think the thing is, LPs are both a time-capsule and a current living document. Yes, there is new music being released on vinyl - sometimes even exclusively - but there is an amazing underworld of old and unknown music to discover also. The DJ trend of “digging” - trawling through record bins in antique stores - was appropriated from hardened record-collectors. There will always be people digging. And a big part of the joy of buying (or even playing) a record is in the dig. So it stands to reason that you surround yourself with a range of bad and good music on LP. That way, as you make your selection you can feel some sense of pride and assurance in choosing the correct tune for the correct mood. REMEMBER: take your collecting seriously, not your actual collection.
Simon Sweetman is a keen record collector, with 2000-odd vinyls (most of them very odd!) at last count. He has never managed to find Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks on vinyl (settling for the $10 CD version) but has found it in his heart to include The New Kids On The Block in his pile of LPs.

The Ten Commandments Of Music Journalism

This was something I wrote years ago, specifically for the purpose of live performance (it was a reading piece, essentially - but I think it made it in to the pages of JAAM a few years back). The more I do the job, the more many of these commandments seem accurate...


The TEN Commandments of Music Journalism:

1). Be punctual as well as professional. Most of the musicians you will review will keep time about as well as your old grandfather’s war watch. You on the other hand, as it were, must be as consistent and regular as said grandfather’s post-Sunday-Roast bowel movement.

2). Accentuate the positive when and wherever possible. If the nicest thing you can do is say how fine the cover artwork to an album is, then go with that. This may in itself become problematic. If the cover features a dwarf, in underpants, uncomfortably impaled on a sharpened road-cone – make it brief. And to the point.

3). Never say “it’s been done before”. It’s such a frightful bore of a phrase, there are better ways to say it if you must. Please adjust your tone to suit. Saying, “it’s been done before” has, itself, been done before. A hundred times or more.

4). Listen with your heart, but write with your brain. The same can be said for any style, after a while you’ll start to see that it’s not just music that must be dealt with in this way. Never reverse the ratio, and listen with your brain so as to write from the heart – you and your work will be doomed from the start. If that starts getting tricky then, just use you fucking ears to listen. And write with your fucking pen.

5). A free-jazz gig does not mean you don’t have to pay! (And that works on So many levels!)

6). It’s not often what they play but almost always how they play it. For you, the same is true, it’ll never be about what you say; always the way you say it.

7). You will probably not get published in “Downbeat” magazine, if, in your review of a cutting edge jazz gig, you say that the drummer pushed the swing more enthusiastically than a playground kiddy fiddler.
(You will however, get a laugh from me).

8). “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” – which in itself is a negative way of saying something. Consider it nothing. Delete that phrase and write what’s right about what plays. If the musical owner of an album you bagged says, “hey, we put a lot of work into that album, just for you to trash…” Please reply, “you wanna know about hard work? I had to listen to that fucking piece of shit. Certainly took its toll on me and I don’t exactly command a high fee for the things I write. Most of its done for free – For The Love of Music – which turned, rather quickly, to hate as soon as I had to rate your re-cycled riffs and preachy poetic bollix”. But say it politely, I’m sure they’ll understand.

9). Write nice things about people you know. Always. That’s what a friend would do.

10). (The only thing you should hold in common with the musicians, about which you write – and therefore to which, you should both singalong): As soon as it feels like a job…you’ve been doing it too long.

STORY: Knowing Lisa

I wrote this about 5 years ago, I then performed it as a monologue in a show I did at the 2002 Fringe Festival. (Blanking Women - was the name of the show; we performed it twice, just two of us.) The shows were ok, it was a low-key concept, basically just reciting the stories - I made no great efforts towards costumes, staging or anything - largely because I secured full-time work in the holidays leading up to the Fringe, and just ran out of time.
Anyways, I always like this story. It was my attempt at a Neil LaBute-inspired thing (in some ways at least - In The Company Of Men was certainly a touchstone by this point)...


Knowing Lisa

It’s just one of those things I guess, knowing Lisa. She’s a neat person, one of my favourites, but you know, we don’t always get on. It’s nothing unusual; after all she’s a woman. Before you rant and rave and cry sexism, hold on to your pretty panties, I was just about to say and I’m a man! Christ, you know. So delicate! Both men and woman are illogical, love is illogical – hence men and women that are seemingly obvious in their unsuitability ‘hooking up’, getting together, fuck it happens all the time. Lisa tells me that men are obviously stupid and don’t think about the science of their anatomy, otherwise we wouldn’t favour dark sheets. She has – as she often can do – a point. But it’s quickly countered. Women don’t think much of their biological necessities now, do they, I mean they favour white knickers for fuck’s sake, I mean that’s like trying to camouflage dogshit to the neighbours by covering it in gladwrap but still leaving it on the lawn! Fucking hell.
But Lisa’s a good sort. For a chick!
And who am I? I’m Jack. Jack Mason. Yeah, I live with Lisa, we moved in about eight or nine weeks ago, moved in as in ‘sharing the rent’ – I’m not her boyfriend. Fuck that, no way. She fancies me though, oh yeah, you can’t half tell, always arguing and badgering and coming on to me in an angsty ‘screw you’ when-I-actually-do-want-to-screw-you-kind-a-way. I mean she’s nice and all you know, like I said, a real neat person, she’s hard case, makes me laugh. But fancy her? No. Simple. End of story. She does like me though. That I am not imagining. Oh yeah she likes me lots. It’s all over her, not every day o’course. Might as well be though.I met her at work, not my work, her work. She works at a café down the road from my work (ha, I say that like I own the place. Should do, mind you! Do all the bloody work!) What do I do? I sell chainsaws, mowers and BBQs. I’m fucking good mate, fucking good! Sell ice to Eskimos and a fucking freezer to store it in and a fucking ‘chili’ to take to the beach, not that they do that much mind you! Or do they? Like the horny bitch says to Pinocchio: Fuck Nose. Ha, and I bet she’d love it if he lied, you know, tell a lie; tell the truth; tell a lie; tell the truth…anyway, it’s safe to say, before I wander fully off the topic that I am a fucking great grade-A ship-shape spot-on top-dog Salesman. I not only take coals to Newcastle…mate, I make a fuckin’ profit and yeah yeah you know what I’m saying. I’m good. Boss is a complete cunt. Does fuckall, plays golf heaps – he’s no good, I’d thrash him – and generally just fucks around.Anyway, right, I’d bloody had it one day, complete fucking gut’s full so I took a long lunch break and went wandering; stumbled into this café, the one where Lisa works and well, after a yarn, turns out she had a spare bedroom and wanted some rent, so I moved in even though she was clearly hitting on me by offering. I didn’t need to tell her that I was fucked for a place to live and had been sleeping in the back of my van for the past three and a half weeks and showering at the gym, nah, let her have it, or rather, let her think she’s getting it, if you know what I mean.What does she do at the café? Oh she owns it, but she works there too, like works works, she’s like getting my chocolate brownie after I’ve had my fucking fancy-ass coffee. So I can see right then and there she’s a good bitch you know, hard case after we’ve had a yak and all that. So I move in and like I say that was a couple a months ago now or so. And it’s all good.


Knowing Lisa has its ups and downs, like living together and that, you know like I can’t really have a girlfriend cos I imagine that’d just send her over the edge you know. And I’m a G.C when it comes down to it. What’s that? Oh, a G.C? Good Cunt. That’s me man, G.C. Geefuckingsee. So I wouldn’t do it to her you know, what’s the point, saves me money not having a Mrs you know, and I get to hang with the guys and I practically got a woman begging for it in a two-bedroom pad at home! Not shitting ya, I reckon I wouldn’t even need to give it half the fucking nudge I normally need to and I’d have her. I’d feed it to her no sweat, she’d love it, and she’s tidy and all, but nah, no point when I know she wants it. Better to wait til she absolutely needs to have it and til I want it too. When I want it, she’ll fucking need it, know what I mean, and she’ll love it even fucking more.
So I was out in town the other night right, like last night and I went to this bullshit fucking live music venue, I don’t know what the fuck it’s called, sounded bloody Spanish, like some kinda Diego/Wop kinda name. But, ah, the mates wanted to go you know, reckoned there was some kinda crash-hot band playing there or some fucking guy with a fucking gee-tar or whatever. All I know is when I get there, some dork is sitting on a stool with like a bloody primary-school-teacher-stamp-pad and some 80s bloody belt-bag or whathaveyou and he’s trying to stamp me and demand I play like $10 to get in. I mean I haven’t even heard the cunt that’s playing yet – what if he’s no fucking good? Then the guy gives me like some bloody religious sermon about how he’s just doing his job and so’s the dude playing or whatever and blah blah blah and I’m saying mate do I charge you 5 or 10 bucks just to look at a fucking chainsaw? No, I don’t. You can look all you want around my shop. And he’s looking at me through these horn-rimmed focal thingees all queer-like, like I’m the one that’s missed the boat! And I’m trying to get to my point by saying look man, I’m not here to finance the cunt’s album or tour or career or whatever the fuck he thinks he’s doing, I’m just here to look at some skirt and chase a few beers with a few bourbons.Then Lisa bowls over, she’s inside with some of her mates and she slaps a tenner down quick-as and the guy, who was clearly rude-as, stamps me figuring the conversation between us is now over, which is just typical of his fence-sitting-philosophy-student-parents-are-loaded-but-he’s-on-the-dole-and-working-on-the-door-here-under-the-table-whinging-pansy-know-it-all-type. But I’m inside by now, and could give a shit! New Zealand Music Week apparently! My arse! Whoever heard of any decent fucking New Zealand music. What a crock! Paying ten fucking bucks! Ha! I thank Lisa, shout her a drink, but only one mind you, otherwise she’ll be hanging herself by the lightshade if she can’t have me at the end of the night.So then, mid-drink and we’re sipping away and fuck knows where my mates’ve gone but Lisa’s flapping away about this and that and I’m all you know why’d you fucking pay for me and shit. Then she’s all some shit about the guy going out with some tart from her work about him being good. And giving local musos a chance and all and fascinating as it all is to her and to the liberal left and all the drunk spics in this sifty shithole – to be perfectly honest – I am not really listening. I am just thinking mostly. Thinking who does that arrogant wanker up there think he is, Mr Fucking Gee-tar Man. Ha! What a way to bum it through life. I start trying to focus in on what he’s playing cos, you know, I’m here now, and I can play the odd chord myself you know. So I start listening in and this cunt’s all over the place trying to say mystic shit and tune his guitar differently and play blues this and folk that and I think folk that alright! Ha-ha! And I’m pretty funny actually, even after a half-dozen exports and a hippie of vodka!
Then I hear that there was some girl up there reading poems before I turned up and I am thinking people actually pay for this shit? For fuck’s sake! Lisa’s all in my face again trying to say that Tania, I think her name was, was good reading these poems and shit and I am thinking to myself Lisa you are never gonna get fucked by me, except maybe on the rent! Ha-ha, nah, I wouldn’t do that, well, not likely. Lisa’s alright still, you know she’s still a laugh.Then this guitar guy, who’s still fucking going, gets into this bloody blues thing, driving those strings hard and I might not know that much, but like what Paul Simon said about his old partner’s solo career – you know, I don’t know much about Art, but I know what I like! Yeah, huh-huh, well that’s me man, I know what I like, so when this cunt starts cranking on this Muddy-Waters-sounding thing, well, I’m all go eh, I’m up there and I am into it. Two hands up, four-finger whistling, pumping the air, I am all over it all of a sudden and I think fuck that’s alright for ten bucks after I down my last bourbon and fuck off.
Yeah well, I don’t remember terribly much more about that night, didn’t talk to Lisa the next morning, didn’t see her, but had lunch down at her café and this girl’s serving me going on about how I musta really like Carl’s show and I’m like who’s Carl? Then she tells me Carl’s her boyfriend and he played the guitar at the Diego/Wop bar and this girl – ‘Trina or whoever – starts trying to tell me that Lisa’s gone shopping around for a new flatmate and that she’s gotta be the bearer of bad news, doesn’t want to, but that’s how it is. I’m like what?!
So this girl sits me down with a short black coffee and a flat white sandwich and tells me that Lisa’s highly pissed at me cos apparently I burst into her room last night and tried to “get it on with her”. I listen but, you know women, what’s the point right? Fuck. So I just listen and then think whatever, that bitch is just frustrated that I didn’t fuck her so she’s made some story up to counter that, to tell workmates it’s all sweet. It’s no biggie, I still think Lisa’s a good bitch, she’s just a bit messed up, I mean just cos she says “Hi-Jack” does not at all mean she’s gonna get a stick-up! Ha ha, you know, but fuck I’ve been over this, I like her and all but man, fuck, whatever. She’ll come round. I tell ‘Trina this, then tell her I’m back off to work.
I better do something decent tonight like rent a chick-flick and get some gook takeaways or wog-babs or something. If I get that ‘Erin Brokovich’ flick I can kill two birds with one stone. And hopefully get stoned. Perfect, Lisa’ll think it’s a good girlie flick and she’ll fork out some of her stash and I’ll get to perve at Julia Roberts’ tits for two hours, go to bed wasted and whack off. That’s the plan! And between formulating that good plan and sussing out a couple of fine birds on some slender stalks, I’m back at work.
But at work there’s like this angry fax from Lisa, well not angry, it just says she doesn’t want me to live there anymore. And I won’t rip into her and all that, but it looks like I’m moving out, she’s trying to say she’s not into it all, me living there and that after what’s happened. But I’ll tell you what’s happened, I’ve already said it, but I’ll say it again: The bitch is on heat; and she’s hot for me. What can I do? I’d talk it through with her but I am sure she’d just get all flustered and parade her emotions around in fancy-dress calling them opinions and I’d blame the tides for her PMSing on me. And I’d think again how stoked I was for being a strong man and sticking to my guns and letting her work it out for herself, good bitch that she is, that I’m just not interested. So I’ll probably just flag replying to this fax, some people never learn, you know. No more late lunches for this ladies’ man, new café to look for next week and back hard at it, working for some selfish know-it-all prick. But ah, could be worse, at least if I go back to living in the van I’ll be able to hook up with some tart who’s got a nice pad and I can crash there without paying any rent. Cos she’ll feel sorry for me.The silly bitch. Yeah things’ll be sweet, probably better off. It’s a shame though, I’d kinda like to end things with Lisa better, but this was always gonna happen, she’s too much like a guy, all funny and on-to-it and shit like that. So even if I tried to tell her that that was ok, her liking me and shit – no biggie and all that, knowing Lisa, she just wouldn’t get it!


-fin-

Lou Reed # 1

Lou Reed's an interesting one for me. I was obsessed with him at quite a young age - which was quite odd, I guess. Well, none of my friends were in to his music at any rate. And I arrived at him first, rather than the Velvet Underground (of course I worked my way back to them from his solo work). I defended him for ages - and even today, I still own all of his albums; if a new one comes out (even if it's utter kack) I'll buy it. Fuck I even own Metal Machine Music! (I've even played it right through more than once!) But what you realise with time is that the artists with longevity have made plenty of mistakes; that - in some ways - helps them acheive longevity. Dylan released heaps of shite albums - and not just in the 80s - (Self Portrait anyone?) And Elton John went from genius to cheese. Even the guys that had a golden run (Elvis Costello, Prince, Ry Cooder) turned to shit eventually. And like Dylan and Neil Young, Lou Reed had a VERY patchy 70s. Those three all came good at the end of the 80s though: Dylan released Oh Mercy in 1989, Neil Young released Freedom the same year - and to cap it all off, that of course was the year that Lou finally came good again, with New York. After New York he did the previously unthinkable and collaborated again with John Cale. Songs For Drella is a masterpiece. Utter genius. It's uncomfortable in place - tense and moody - and so stripped back. That's why it works. Reed must have been on a roll, cos he followed it a couple of years later with Magic And Loss - it's probably my all-time favourite Reed album, even though it's fucking depressing. I still remember reading a line in a review in Rolling Stone that said "it'll bum you out the first few times your listen to it, but it's worth it". That was so true. (It's probably the only time I've taken something useful away from Rolling Stone). The title song of Magic is my favourite track on the album; and one of my favourite lyrics period. I imagine it playing at my funeral - it has a nice message, a nice ho-hum look at life, realistic and ever-so-slightly pretentious (which is how any look back at any life should be, I reckon). But the reason I want it playing at my funeral (and yeah, sure, why should I care, I won't hear it...blah blah) is because it has one of Lou's vintage/trademark ugly/beautiful guitar solos. Which, if we're in a church (as most funerals are) would sound kick-ass...
Here's the words to it, anyhow.

MAGIC AND LOSS – THE SUMMATION by Lou Reed

When you pass through the fire
You pass through humble
You pass through a maze of self-doubt
When you pass through humble
The lights can blind you
Some people never figure that out
You pass through arrogance you pass through hurt
You pass through an ever-present past
And it’s best not to wait for luck to save you
Pass through the fire to the light

As you pass though fire
Your right hand waving
There are things you have to throw out
That caustic dread inside your head
Will never help you out
You have to be very strong
‘Cause you’ll start from zero
Over and over again
And as the smoke clears
There’s an all-consuming fire
Lying straight ahead

They say no one person can do it all
But you want to in your head
But you can’t be Shakespeare
And you can’t be Joyce
So what is left instead
You’re stuck with yourself
And a rage that can hurt you
You have to start at the beginning again
And just this moment
This wonderful fire started up again

When you pass through humble
When you pass through sickly
When you pass through I’m better than you all
When you pass through
Anger and self-deprecation
And have the strength to acknowledge it all
When the past makes you laugh
And you can savor the magic
That let you survive your own war
You find that that fire is passion
And there’s a door up ahead not a wall

As you pass through fire as you pass through fire
Try to remember its name
When you pass through fire licking at your lips
You cannot remain the same
And if the building’s burning
Move towards that door
But don’t put the flames out
There’s a bit of magic in everything
And then some loss to even things out

Bukowski # 1

I used to love Bukowski - I'm sure I still do; but I can't take his work anywhere near as seriously as I used to (probably a good thing, I'm sure you're not sposed to. Well, at least, I'm sure he didn't...) But whenever a new collection of unpublished poems surfaces, or letters or whatever, I always buy it - even if it takes me longer to get around to reading it than it used to.
Buk was one of the guys who set me off down a path that probably wasn't all that good for me, but I made it out ok. That sounds naff as fuck; but it's pretty much the truth. I'll always revisit some of Buk's poems and stories (if you've only ever read his poems check the book of short stories called "South Of No North" it's amazing!) - here's one of my favourite Buk poems, for now anyway... I think I like it because at his best Buk was incredibly human/e - and casual readers never really got to see that...


Trashcan Lives
By Charles Bukowski

The wind blows hard tonight
And it’s a cold wind
And I think about
The boys on the row.
I hope some of them have a bottle
Of red.

It’s when you’re on the row
That you notice that
Everything
Is owned
And there are locks on
Everything.
This is the way a democracy
Works:
You get what you can,
Try to keep that
And add to it
If possible.

This is the way a dictatorship
Works too
Only they either enslave or
Destroy their
Derelicts.

We just forget
Ours.

In either case
It’s a hard
Cold
Wind.

The Party

It’s one of those
Party’s you never
Should’ve gone to –
You know it, before
You go, in fact
That’s why you do,
Cos these people
Don’t know you
Like anyone
And everyone
They have an idea
Of you
Which, admittedly, is a
Fable you’ve more than
Likely helped to create,
So, tempting fate,
You dispose of a cask
Of wine before 8;
It was rubbish anyway.
And further from nine, you
Arrive, nearer
To ten
When
Some guy, whose name you
Don’t recall,
- Would love to say it’s not important,
But you remember Mrs Wood, that unimportant
Bitch of a schoolteacher – back in standard two,
Mind you, this guy, never
Made you
Stand on the table and recite
Your seven-time-table
In front of your peers…
Anyway
The guy who shall remain nameless
(you settle on it being his parent’s fault – for not naming him)
Appears in front of you
And with a crowd, in full view
Asks you what you’re doing with yourself
You can see the urge to mock
Tattooed on his lips, so you attempt to quip
That you do everything with yourself, it being
The perfect romance –
He chuckles falsely, head held high
You can tell he drinks from a brown paper bag
Worse still, he knows that you drink from the box…
He wants to know more fully
Why he’s three years out
Of university
And you’ve – conservative estimate – perhaps
Got another three to go?
But hey, weren’t you and he together
Back in Pols 110?
His point is laboured,
It’s designed to annoy,
You toy – briefly, falsely – with
The idea of dismissing him quickly
A crowd now well-assembled you
Could “bum him out” bad – imagine it?
Like maybe you could just call him FATbut the obvious notion of a pot/kettle/black
Comeback swiftly silences that…so you tell
Him you’ve never been happier – mostly true –
And know that the last laugh will not go to him
But to you
And if wit fails where liquor succeeds
You’ll resort to the sort of lies once imagined about yourself.
You’ll find a group, who’ll find a way to believe
All and any demented methods of intention to deceive
Basically:
You’ll drink even more, get sore
At what he started to say
And call him gay – to the nervous, naïve laughter
Of those so stupidly willing to comply
But it’s not homophobia
As you remind yourself of certain sentiment and
Clarify for personal record
That you hold nothing
Against faggots
- Especially your own body!

Moving onward and away
Towards next tender prey, you spy
Two prototypes of Wellington’s
Quasi-religious sect:
One male, one female
But let’s not be gender specific – cos hey,
They’re not; belonging to a clone cult of
Fashion androgyny:
They both have horn-rimmed specs,
Plain glass lens/no prescription – you correctly guess
And they won’t eat meat
And they don’t get drunk
And they used to smoke pot before it became passe
And “class a” is cliché
And they’ll have their say about yours, cos if
They wanted your opinion they’d give it to you
In a strictly no-violence, non-threatening sense, cos
They hate all stereotypes, and hate people who judge, the
Two maxims they made before creating their own
Judgmental stereotype of sorts – and of course
They’ve probably got 2 or 3 finished filmscripts in the can
Being that they work in The Aro St Video Shop – which
Places the emphasis on stock – not staff, because if you want
A film from there it is rude to ask
Something you and your mates who – god forbid, used to play some sort
Of sport at school, and maybe some still do – seem to forget.
See they ammend the correct customer spiel – adhering to the
Billy Joel clause meaning as customer, “you may be right” but they have
Cause to reserve the right. In fact their reservations run free, they reserve
The right to act uptight, and several others, the only thing they won’t seem
To do in a list of reservations seemingly running free is reserve the fucking
Film that you want to see, they reserve
The right to have fun, they reserve the right to answer any question they
Think is dumb EXAMPLE: ‘where would Pulp Fiction be in this store?’

‘Well it’s obvious isn’t it?’

“don’t know, is it? just want to rent it…” you say

“well this shop has a policy of not renting videos like that to people like you”

Remember this comes, from someone who hates those who judge…

“what the fuck is that supposed to mean”, you nearly scream

“Well, Pulp is quintessential Tarantino”, the lecture begins, “so we only feel
comfortable letting it out to those who saw it on the big screen where it was
meant to be seen – besides, you have to ask where it is, so you’re not ready for a
film of such art, I think you should start with a movie to temporarily distract the thrill
of devouring popcorn. While you’re choosing, I’ll be over here, reading Pavement magazine…but don’t worry, when you find what you really should have been looking for, ‘I’ll
be back…’” he smugly smirks.

“you mean I have to hire a film I have already seen before?”

“You mean you haven’t seen Pulp ten times or more already”, and the
face gleams from behind the sheen of his ‘see and be seen’ reading exercise

“Of course not! Hire films to watch not re-watch, first and foremost”.

“Oh, you should’ve said you’re a neophyte, mind you I should’ve smelt it
First I guess”, this patronising Fucker continues…”if you want Pulp Fiction
It’s upstairs in the “HE WAS JAILED FOR HITTING SOMEONE WITH
A POOL CUE AT A BAR, BECAUSE EVERYONE’S A CRITIC AND
SOMEONE DIDN’T LIKE HIS MOVIE THAT MUCH, BUT WHAT WOULD
THEY KNOW AND IT MATTERS NOT THAT THE BEST OF WHAT HE’S
GOT, WAS STOLEN FROM MARTIN SCORCESSE WHICH IS REALLY WHAT
YOU SHOULD WATCH, JACKIE BROWN WAS A FLOP, RESERVOIR DOGS IS
A QUIRKY WEE WATCH AND PULP IS THE BEST, AND YOU MUST HAVE
PASSED AN I.Q TEST AT THE DOOR TO GET THIS FAR INTO THE STORE”
Section –

They’re probably actors, these people that work in this Video shop.
They are probably in – or have been in – a play somewhere groundbreaking
Like Studio 77 on Kelburn Parade, but the real reason it was in Kelburn
Was for fair chance that they’d still pick up radio active…
Crucial to compliment their self-styled trendsetter guide!

But all this fantasy bullshit has turned you into a mess – you’re shaking,
Sweating and you’ve spilled red wine down yourself and smoked four
Cigarettes end to end in that wee outburst. And now, the two prototypes
Are staring at you as you look blankly straight through them
And a wave of soberness rolls in, offering to take you away, but you’re
Too pissed to catch on to such a change of tides, and as you slowly – but
Quickly – click, that they are looking at you looking at them,
You think about hiding, but it’s too late
Anyway you came to this party to tempt fate
The male recognises you – and what can you do –
You click too that he remembers you as the “Wannabe Music
Writer” that obviously failed to understand his band
And so what -
Just because you said
You wished they all were dead;
He shouldn’t have taken it so personally…

He goes over to you and you agree
To move towards him, you came out
To insult on a whim and have fun and
Talk shit, and so far you can tick two
Boxes, might as well try for three and
See what fun can be had.
So you tell him not to feel bad for what
You said, you didn’t necessarily want him dead
You were being “controversial” and
Besides there’s little decent music these
Days and all the best guys are dead, so maybe
You were just equating him with Hendrix and Bob
Marley and John Lennon instead?
But he doubts you
And he’d be right
Then you engage – though you don’t want to
But can’t help yourself – in what
Musicians call a fight:

You don’t want to
But you’re fiercely competitive
And you can’t let him win
It’s not to show off assumed knowledge
(Ok, ok it’s not just to show off assumed knowledge)
You figure that you’ve got a point
That, drunk and belligerent, or not –
Deserves to be heard
And besides,

He started it!

So you engage
In a heated debate and it’s purely
Music-wank bullshit
And you want to get out of it
Quick
It’s like animals preening for a prospective
Mate, humans have different rituals, and
Being a different breed yet again, musicians attempt
To prove their own personal knowledge more
Sound than whoever will take them on. You
Have no idea what tangent he’ll take, but you’re
Confident to sort out and pick on his mistakes, if and
When he makes them.
He moots that ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’
Is the biggest one hit wonder of all time!
And with that
You’re sucked in
You can’t let him away
With that
So you tell him a “fact”
That there’s no fuckin way Procal Harum can hold the throne,
No group can beat the feat of what Scott McKenzie
Achieved alone
Backing this up
You argue fervently in favour
Of “(If You’re Going To) San Francisco
(Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair)”
But he
Doesn’t care
And she – the other member of
Wellington’s self-styled, self-assured elite
Arrives
To join in, you of course, stink of gin
And reek of wine, but you’re having a great time
Sprouting Johnny Walker Wisdom all the while
And
With another one near
You relish the opportunity
To poke fun at them both
And you eye the alleyway gap
In a political yarn that she starts, and
It isn’t hard as the occasion presents itself
For you to tease as they state their beliefs –
Collectively – against eating meat.
You say, purely to stir,
That is seems weird…
“What seems weird?” they query rightly, politely –
- “Well,” you slur, “if vegetarians love
Animals so much, why do they eat all their food?”

They leave in disgust at all you’ve discussed, they, of
Course, find you rude.
But just before they go, you get a chance to further disgust
Them both, by pushing two chicken drumsticks in to your mouth,
One in each corner, before beginning to sing
“I am the Walrus’

It goes down like a cup of cold sick, you gurgle and chuckle, maybe
That’s why the Beatles never performed it live? – You thinkSee they weren’t so much in awe of success, just scared of failure.

You bumble and bump into
Two girls
From your old school
They rabbit on and
On
About how they’ve really found
That there’s a shortcut to everything, but
Have learned through some harsh experiences
That it is often best to just do it the way it is presented.
“It’s like my daddy always said”, the less attractive of them starts,
“Why take the easy road that gets harder; why not take the had road
That gets easier…?”

“Why not just get your husband or boyfriend to pay and do everything”,
The more attractive one comments,
But on hearing her comments, she becomes far less attractive
…of course they aren’t actually
talking to youYou never did
When at school
So why change the rules?They are talking
To someone else
In fact with such contrived and selfish views
They’re probably talking to themselves.

“You’re a superficial bitch”, you rather smoothly butt-in.
“Yeah, but that’s just on the surface”, the gold-digging prodigy
Offers, and though you hate her for that, she’s suddenly become
Attractive again…
You feel the need to summarize and to disturb, so you offer your
Words on what the first one started to say…

“Hey look ladies, there’s, ah, more than one way to
Skin a cat…but personally, I’ve always preferred a
Fucking sharp big knife”

It’s obvious; and obviously they leave
Leaving you alone at last
You gasp and take a breath and spit
And crumble the empty cigarette packet
Like you wish it was some pencil-neck’s
Throat the next time he got on your nerves
But you’re too weak to ever do that, or have
Any conviction behind saying that, and you
Curse and cuss, reminding yourself to only lie
To others, never be untrue to yourself, and always
Be kind to your mother
Cos you’re starting to flip out
But there’s more drinks on the table
You stumble and tumble your way around,
Drinking wine from a glass that’s in your left hand,
The bottom is broken; the stem fits inside closed palm
Tapering to a flaky point: mental note, next time crush
Empty smoke pack with right hand, it’s the sort of
Mental note, that even a drunk cunt such as yourself
Understands, but the flecks of blood on your fingers
Exacerbated by the berry of the wine, make you look
Tough, as tough as you want to look, an ambivalent
Cool-charm, doing harm only to yourself…
Besides, you can’t put this drink down
So it’s an excuse, like you need one still, for both you
And the glass, to always stay full…

The best logic you can offer of the night – an ethos
Of sorts – is that it’s not a waste of time if you’re
Wasted all the time, again when you aim word-darts
At the joke’s bull’s-eye you miss
And someone yells loudly,
Calling you a dog on the piss
You bark back that you’re not an alcoholic
If you can lie on the floor without hanging on…

And that is when you fall

(Victim to your own cross-examination)

While you’re down there, face pressed hard on the
Rug, it’s a long time since you’ve been there in that
Position, you have a suspicion that these hairs will
Taste sorta similar, so you lick away at the carpet
Thinking it funny and kinda thinking it’s neat, it’s been
A long time…and now everyone knows…at least those
Still watching, most have ceased to believe that you’re
There…carpet hairs; cunt hairs? Who cares?

Your friends that you’re sure were there, turned
Up with you at least, can’t be found, they’re not here
To see you drown and wallow in self-pitying detail

But back on your feet,
You’re last seen and heard (at least you think you are)
Telling the Women’s Rights Officer of Victoria University
That the last four letters of the word Women spell out
OMEN –you tell her it must be some kind of sign

But bad jokes aren’t all – as you’re later reminded, that you
Confirm former carpet suspicions, lift the blanket of thought
To admit to a hell of a lot of people, who never asked, and never
Wanted to know
That you’re crap in bed -
But so what, you’re only repeating
What you know three
Women to have said
And god knows why
But tonight it works – it’s how you flirt, apparently
As one woman takes a shine
To the awkward truths revealed amidst your lies

You’re forced to think quickly,
It’s not mind-fuck, and if it is just a test
She’s already said she’s happy to take
The practical
Still somehow, some way you’re sure
She’s taking the piss
In best foot forward form of defense
You call her a slut
She calls you a wanker, slaps your face hard
You wear that slap well and tell her she’s likely
To be buried in a “Y-shaped” coffin
You’re lucid and lost and losing more and more
And even losing more and more hope
But you couldn’t have had it with her tonight
- Even if you could have –
It’d be like trying to play pool with a coil of rope

You try for one more joke of the night, saying that
There’s a new drug they made in Auckland or L.A
- called Viagra-Light:
It’s for wankers

The dribbled wine stains, now a river of their own,
Estuaries form from under each arm, not only
Suggest you to be a mess that won’t be capable
Of any more harm, they introduce you more
Efficiently than you yourself ever could, as you
Continue to hunt and find favour forever lost.
These stains seems to spell – in a form of shorthand –
That you’re an obnoxious pissed cunt.

And sure, so you’ve been covering your butt all night long
So you must be bright, a wiser man however, might
Just keep his pants on…

And you’re aware that
People are starting now to tease you
Now that it’s too easy, an irony you hate
To acknowledge as that was your sole
Reason for going to the party anyway,
As you hear one girl, who’s mother was
Most definitely never told to shut up,
State, in her own defiant tone, that
She doesn’t at all know – how people
Like you – can just let yourselves go
You think, fuck: If I had a dollar for
Every time I’ve heard that (and actually
Registered) I’d at least have enough for a taxi home

You’re left wanting one more drink, which
You won’t even finish,
A cigarette to help you throw up,
A keebab to replace what you intend to lose on
The street and all you want to do at this point
Is get home safe and avoid any more shit, as you
Start sobering, enough to realise the error of some
Of your ways –
You want to avoid those two animals that you
Always seem to bump into

But it’s no good
There’s no vision of actually getting home
And no memory as you awake, next to no-one
Then the sun fingers its way in through a gap
In the blinds and casts a shadow of your
Former self,
At first wake there is first doubt as to whether
You even went out
But those two animals have called past again; yep
Sure as there’ll be debt collectors on your trail soon,
Cos you told the dentist to do what a duck can’t and stick
His fuckin bill up his arse, those two animals have called
Again
In fact
You struggle to remember a single night drinking when that mule hasn’t
Kicked you in the head
And that bird hasn’t shat in your mouth!?

First phone call provides first flashback:

Standing on the table
With your pants down round your ankles
You were screaming your seven times table
At some guy who, you hardly knew