Monday, January 28, 2013

Part Company

Never part company at a party in the middle of the Go-between's Part company. That's what I did last night, but my cab was waiting. Get-together at Stew and Jen's. Annah, Jen's pal from Bryn Mawr and her boyfriend, were over. They had been tootling around Moab and Arches in a rental. I suggested Desert Solitaire and I saw Matt's eyes lit up and ears prick up from under his jazz hat. Sounds like they had a great trip filled with many visual marvels and vistas. Stew made Shepherd's Pie and he must have thought I hadn't been eating because I kept going back time and time again for more. It was beefy and apparently easy to make, but he would have performed some trick to get those mashed potatoes as fluffy as they were.

We had a youtube marathon and watched an endless succession of life-affirming clips of Antipodean bands and the like (cannanes, lighthouse keeper, go-bees, marc hunter, david kilgour, the chills, et al). Oh and also the Monks, those godly ex-serviceman who sing I Hate You and many other banging tunes.

Annah and I had Christmas together two years ago. She left her post in LA and moved back to Philly. I told Annah I would do my MFA at Temple and come live with her and she said sure! She owns a big awesome house within walking distance of the university. It's feasible after I go to Prague, Istanbul or Budapest that I could end up in Philly only a fifteen minute bus ride from NYC. Another dear friend, Deedee, wondrous woman of Hollywood yore, is moving in with Annah next month. Maybe we could all live happily in Annah's Queen Anne-style mansion. 

Such a great Go-betweens' song, thankfully chase's handwriting is hardly the stuff of innate beauty or elegance or else the song might sting more than it does. I'm less brokenhearted than I was.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


2:49pm and I’m facing the sun on Christmas Eve drinking beer and picking my nose. I blame the dry air for that. The sun is exciting on my face. Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire is a choice choice out here in the desert. Behind me two exciting girls traverse boulder problems.

Josh Treee is brilliant and warm. Sometimes disruptively windy. I am in a tee shirt for some part. Coyotes come onto our site following a covey of quail who have waddled up. Me and kitchens take a long walk with his coonhound Waylon — who bolts into the scrubby wash after a hare. Alas, he comes back and we are able to enjoy some vintage wine Kitchens brought. If the coyotes had gotten his dog I doubt that we would have maintained the jovial mood.

I am eager for contrasting climes. Australia beckons.

Good flight, still airborne. Virgin flight hostesses show the kind of professionalism and courtesy necessary in these times. The food on Virgin is among the worst I ever tast and the movie selection is horrible, but I sleep a lot and I have a very good seat. In lieu of The Fatal Shore, which I leave in Chase's van, I watch Kath and Kim movie on the flight. Unwatchable. Meanwhile, the book I am reading is horribly yoked together by the prurient mind of what seems to me a 16 year-old dickhead fool. He teaches at Boston University. Shame because he’s documenting a fruitful time in Key West’s history, but utterly tainting it with crude anecdotes of McGuane’s sexual exploits. The book is written by a man who plainly can’t right (sic) and mistakes a tumbler for a pint glass.

After having arrived in Melbs.. 

Hope David and Mia don’t mind that I ate the almonds that were sitting next to the guest bed, they will be unable to retaliate once I am back in Flagstaff. It’s a race against time essentially. Lay in bed thinking of a variation on the band Crime and the City Solution after I see they have reformed and are playing shows according to the local street press. Clams and the solution to crime. Not too bad I fell asleep thinking but now I am not too sure. Take a walk in the park with David and Mia. Take my jacket off and sit in an abandoned blue chair. Drape the jacket over the armrest and David takes my photo. Getting up I see a used condom on the ground by my foot and notify him. David says it must have fell out of my pocket. I laugh. The end.

Leave my St John’s at Mia and Dave’s, so I'm hoping that Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire will keep my mind from being infiltrated by the hounds of bad juju. Abbey is an amazing philosopher of life in the red desert country. A calm influence.

Day after Toby and suze’s bbq I am journaling out in the sunny courtyard when a man named Toby comes up behind me and dictates. “The sun was beating down on my neck as I wrote. A gentleman with a hangover walked in and sat down beside me.”

Consume bloody marys and then go and have pancakes with paul Phillipson before he goes to shoot a wedding in country Victoria. Paul’s good. He’s moving to England in April. I told him about my latest idea regarding teaching in Prague and he tells me about the level of hospitality there.

Two days in Loch sport is grand. Beach, good company, dance tunes and tequila and kangaroo visitations. Here's a bottle of vodka I left at Kyle and James' 4 years ago. We had to drink it.

One more trip to the city to see the Jeff Walls exhibition and drink pitchers of cocktails on astro turf, served by barmaids in exquisite Seventies tennis whites who play sparks records, or at least they should. Discuss one of my favorite photos and how I got a new reading from it. Two girls in front of a window in an apartment overlooking the Vancouver harbor on a bleak day. The woman standing has something on her mind but she won’t be able to have it out with the woman on the couch reading a magazine because the magazine is clearly more important.We have all been in this position. It's a great photo with good tension, but really my fav photo is the one of the guy trying to polish his shoes.

Wow, the good times move so fast that I often feel that I don’t have a moment to reflect on the good times that I am having, but times are indeed good, I can confidently say. I have been away long enough that the numbers on a calendar have no meaning for me. I know it is 2013, but I keep forgetting that new year has passed, which is a shame because it was actually one of the more memorable ones.    

Lay in bed on my last day in Melbourne. As the temperature rises, so does my page count of Desert Solitaire. It’s one of the great books. I feel a greater connectedness to the world reading E Abbey. Less likely to internalize my feelings – he is all about externalizing, we should complement the earth, use it, harmonize, the reverse is unease, anxiety. I bike in to see Cat who opened a new shop on High Street across town. I actually pass by Jesse and carla’s and make a mental note to pop back in if I have more time. Cat’s such a sweetie, she doesn’t mind that I am all sweaty, or at least she says she didn’t. May have stunk too. Chaser’s lavender deodorant is not as effective as I would like it to be.

Cat tells me craigie follicles moved to Thailand. I miss him. Cat’s well, engaged and literally has a bird on her shoulder named Milton.

Even though I don’t have time (ha!), I pop into see Jesse because I love him. He was in his underwear babysitting his daughter. We listened to Italian prog in the dark with the cricket on mute.

Francesca and Tom’s party is the dreamy stuff of legend. Rousing renditions, what I hope my funeral might one day be like. New Estate play unplugged it is excellent. Toby sings a Tom Petty song — Shane Falling (“he’s a good boy loves his momma, loves America and coburg too. I grin widely the whole time. It is a hot day (42 celsius). Stay up all night to catch a 6am flight.

A stroll up buzzing Enmore Rd is a good two hour buzz and culminates in a pad thai lunch. The asian food selection here is remarkable and the pad thai I have truly rocks. I return to the flat and snooze and wake up hot and make an iced coffee, the fuel I need to compose these words. Bel arrives eager to see me. She says things that I can relate to such as “It was how I always imagined my life as a woman.” We eat a delicious mango salad at the Vietnamese restaurant from next door.

   Gee, art museums are so pretty

Bel and I have a glorious time in the heat imagining ourselves getting up to no good in Mexico with kris Kristofferson and Dennis Hopper and seeing Francis Bacon at the museum. Sydney has never felt more exotic and well, hot. The entire continent at one point reaches the hottest temperature ever.

Bel discusses whether I will be able to take the delectation of Rocky Road that she will make because she has leftover ingredients to make it however she just wants to be sure that Virgin Air will allow it. She’s a good egg, that bel. Postscript she never did make it. Hahaha.