Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Crutch Woman? Word Woman? Enthusiasm Woman?

Today in the cafe... A customer entered carrying crutches, her broken leg heavily bandaged. "I've been in rehab but I've had enough," she announced to the near empty, early morning cafe. "I had enough of rehab and nurses and the awful hospital food and the vile coffee, so I've escaped. They said I can't go because I'm a public liability, but to hell with them. I'm here and I'd love to have The Dreaded One's Breakfast and do you think you could make me a really nice cup of coffee? Thaaaanks, darlin'.
I nodded, wide-eyed and stunned, because she didn't stop talking. Where was it all coming from? Who was it aimed at? She got a couple of customers who were bemused or amused or just intrigued. One guy looked to be all three of these as he shared some time with her. The look on his face was priceless. He told her a story of his own injury and unbelievably, she stopped talking and listened. When he finished, she nodded and was off again, but she had really listened.
When I delivered her coffee she OMGéd several times very loudly because she was enjoying THE BEST COFFEE EVER! When her breakfast arrived (poached eggs with holandaise, wilted spinnach and mushrooms) I thought she was going to fall off her chair with the outrageous pleasure of it.
"Seriously... SERIOUSLY this is the best breakfast I have had in my ENTIRE life!"
She kept talking and talking and talking. I think she said more in that hour than I say on average in an entire month.
When she paid, she was so grateful. Everything was so beautiful. She took a business card to tell all her friends and she was going to come back and bother us again because she loves the place so much. She spotted my card with the link to my short story collection. She asked if I was the author. I nodded, rendered, as I was, practically speechless. It was her turn to be wide-eyed.
"Reeeeeally," she said in awe. "You're so clever. So talented and clever. I can't wait to read the stories. I can't wait to come back to this absolutely beautiful little cafe. It's been a real pleasure meeting you. You have a beautiful day. Have a really, really beautiful day."
Hands-down, my favourite customer of the day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

She's Gone

Kafka Woman, who has brought so much love and laughter and silly into my life, she has left suddenly and early and unexpectedly, and may not be coming back. I was devastated to hear this news just an hour or so ago. Like, fuck. I'm kind of a hermit. I'm still, after all these lifetimes, kind of shy. Kafka Woman, Loredana, what can I say. She brought out my silly. She made me laugh. I may have cried. I feel lucky to have had our time of hanging out together. It was an amazingly beautiful chance encounter.

Rajasthan sinua, Diego Belafonte. See you soon.

For your interest, anonymous reader, she has a boyfriend, I have a partner who I love with all my heart, it's just an unlikely, pretty intense friendship. One that I will cherish until I am dust.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

An Esoteric Poem For Someone

An Esoteric Poem For Someone

Together, alone,
They said things,
And they said things,
And they said things,
Long into the night.

Jeff Goldblum,
Jeff Goldblum,
Fucking Jeff Goldblum.

No one else was there,
To hear these things they said,
No one else was there,
To witness the friendship that they shared.

Jeff Goldblum,
Jeff Goldblum,
Fucking Jeff Goldblum.

But everyone imagined things,
And so they said things,
And they thought things,
They believed all these things,
That were never said.

Jeff Goldblum,
Jeff Goldblum,
Fucking Jeff Goldblum.

But they made it through,
Not caring what others thought,
And they killed Jeff Goldblum,
Fucking Jeff Goldblum,
Jeff Goldblum,
They killed him until he was dead.

And their thing
Was a cool thing.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Pixel Review, Melbourne 2016


Reviewed by Lee Bemrose

My review request for Pixel went something like this:

“Hey Australian Stage – I'd really like to review this. It looks so trippy that I might not need to take any pre-show acid like I usually do.

Hahaha - joking. This show looks so trippy that it's SCREAMING for pre-show acid.

Joking again. My pre-show drug of choice is actually ecstasy.”

Although in reality my pre-show drug of choice is a glass of chardonnay, there were moments during the show that I felt like I had taken a delicious cocktail containing all of the above. There are many moments of wonderful trippiness.

First up though – the dance element of the show. Breakdance and body-popping are dance styles I've only ever been exposed to via short music clips. It's always seemed a novelty, a slightly freaky gimmick with a backdrop of jerky, thumping, shouty music.

But this is a full-blown, intricately choreographed dance performance showing these forms of dance in (for this writer) a whole new light. The dance in Pixel is real and pure dance; there is nothing gimicky about this performance. It's masculine, it's tricky, there is showmanship, there is strength and finesse... you've seen the head spins and the arm spins and the angular weirdness before, but not on this level. It's break-dancing, Jim, but not as we know it.

So what's different about it? Because the performance is longer than the music clips you might have been exposed to, you have the chance to appreciate the skill involved. Once you get used to it, you see it for having all the beauty of the best ballet.

You might see the word 'breakdance' and associate it with shitty 80s electro synth and drum pads, but here the music by Armand Amar is just dreamy. By turns orchestral, exciting, melancholic, whimsical... if there wasn't such magic going on up there onstage, you could easily close your eyes and drift of into the lushness of the music.

But the magic going on up there onstage... whoa.

Aside from the dance (I forgot to mention that there was the most amazing contortionist who at one stage did a duet with one of the break boys and it was one of the most wonderfully weird and playful modern dance sequences I have had the pleasure of seeing), there was the lighting trickery. This is where the trippiness comes into the thing. You will find yourself wondering what the hell is going on. Obviously it's all technology, but it may as well be magic. They somehow project light onto a... a sheet of magic and the performers interact with the light by... magic so that there's a kind of interactive dance between the dancers and the pixels of light. There are 3d effects that can only be described as... magic.

And it's all happening right there in real life in front of you.

I actually don't know how they achieved some of the visual effects that I saw. But I did love the marriage between technology (or magic, as I like to call it) and the raw and elegant physicality of the human body.

All performers had their moments to shine. Even the roller skate guy and the hoop guy, both of whom I also forgot to mention. Such masculine elegance.

Artistic director, choreographer and all round magician Mourad Merzouki and his collaborators have produced the kind of performance that makes you think, if shows like this are being made now, what are they going to be doing in a few years' time?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Woven Hand, Story And Pictures

This is a new favourite song of mine. It came on today as I was finishing up in my empty cafe. I turned it up loud (I suggest you do the same). It's dark and haunting and really fucking beautiful.

Sometimes at the end of the day in my empty cafe, I just want to stay there with my music and my solitude and I just want to howl at the world because nothing is going right and sometimes I think I'm going to lose my fucking mind. Your petty demands about the temperature of your hot drink... do you really think this is important enough for condescension? Have you seen how others are living in other parts of the world? Have you seen how others are living on your own street?

But it's my job and so I smile (sometimes) and do my job while my mind is actually racing a million miles an hour thinking about every detail of everything, all the shit going on in the world and all the shit going on in my life and all the shit going on in everyone else's life. I think about the people I love and the people I don't love enough and I think about the people who have it so much worse than I do... the customer who is always sick or the customer who is always over-worked or the customer who is worn down by the needs of her family or the many customers who for whatever fucked up reason are just odd misfits who will never know the hugs and the shared laughs and warm friendship the rest of us know.

All this thinking, all this seeing, it wears me down.

Sometimes in the afternoon in my empty cafe I want to howl because everything is wrong.

Othertimes, I listen to beautiful music like this, and I just wish I could drift away into forever.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Thing About Love

She looked at him, and he could see that she was broken. He had been unkind to her, which was the last thing in the world he wanted.

I'm sorry, he said. But the thing about love is that it doesn't die in one place just because it grows in another.

She looked into his eyes and forgave him his clumsiness.

He looked into her eyes and knew that he was the luckiest man alive.


I've lost. It's over. I'm lost. I'm too many things and not enough of one thing. I needed to be one thing. But I was never going to be one thing. I was never going to be good at just one thing. I was only ever going to be pretty good at many things, and I was always going to be distracted by other things. I'm a loser, baby.

This world is too crazy for me. I don't see a happy future for humanity. The greed, the murder, the destruction, the repression... I just don't fucking get it. I don't understand my role in this mess that is humanity, and I think oblivion is a far better option.

There is not enough love. Not enough caring. There is too much hate. Too much greed. Why don't we care more about each other?

Eternal sleep. Now that's a thing.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Proposal

You understand that this is it. We will never see each other again.

Yes, I understand the situation. We won't ever see each other again.

Hand held gently to cheek. Deep eye contact. Long embrace.

But hey, what about this. What do you think of us writing something?

Writing something?

Yeah, you and me, our words and our thoughts and our ideas. Yours and mine together.

Hey... yeah, we could totally do that. Your words and my words and our thoughts and our ideas.

Our story.

Even though we will be a world and a lifetime apart. We could totally do this.

Yeah. Let's do this. Let's make a beautiful, funny and weirdly broken story together.

Let's do that.


Okay then. And... Goodbye.

Goodbye. But we'll be in touch. To tell our story.

Yes. Yes, of course. We'll tell our story.

Kiitos. Love you, see you soon.

Yes, Kiitos. Love you, see you soon.

And that was the last time they saw each other.