The Visit

Who are you?
Nice to meet you John.
I’m doing just fine.
I’m packing.
I’m going home.
I need to see my parents.
They haven’t called.
Mum is a nurse.
Dad’s an electrician.
The last time?
Must have been…
Hm.
I’m not sure.
Oh, what’s that?
Is that you?
Am I supposed to know who that is?
No, I don’t know.
Why are you here?
Why did you want to see me?
What’s your name again?
John.
Thanks for coming.
I just need to pack.
Hm?
I’m Maria.
Maria…
Yeah, just Maria.
I can’t remember.
Who are you?

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Patriotism

Some might say: “What’s the harm of a little patriotism?” You live in a beautiful country and you should be extremely proud right?

There is nothing wrong in loving the country you live in, but you should love it for the right reasons.

On Australia Day many Australians wear the ‘Southern Cross’ and the classic yellow and green. They get boozed up and parade the streets. It’s a celebration that can (and has quite often) led to disgraceful behaviour. When I was a bit younger, I remember walking with my family down to the foreshore to watch the fireworks. On the walk home a car had hit someone, not fatally but enough to trigger other people climbing aboard the car and banging on the windows.

Only just this year one of my best friends was driving to a party we were at. She was parked at some traffic lights when a group of drunken men started shouting at her and one of them threw a beer bottle straight through her back windshield shattering the glass. She was absolutely petrified and ended up not celebrating that night.

In that respect, I don’t feel proud.

Recently, I was shown a poem written by the great Australian Phillip Adams called ‘I Love This Bloody Country’. It is a sort of parody of Dorothea Mackellar’s poem ‘My Country’ (http://www.dorotheamackellar.com.au/archive/mycountry.htm). Which to me was amazing because only a week earlier I had written something relatively similar. If you aren’t Australian it will be hard to understand a lot of the references, but it’s a well written piece of satire and…well…it speaks a lot of truths:
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/i-love-this-bloody-country-a-heartfelt-poem/story-e6frg8h6-1227000096302?nk=ef412ad6bd7a689d623f441ce1e3751e

Here is what I had written in the style of a diminished hexaverse. It is nowhere as good as Phillip’s but the content is of the same theme:

The Land of Oz-Straya

Our sunburnt country
Is a sight to see.
Vast empty deserts.
Vibrant rainforests.
Secluded beaches.

Just ignore the
‘Bogan’ pride, slight
Racism, and
Tony Abbott.

Who are we?
Pioneers?
Invaders?

Straya!
G’day,

Mate.

I don’t want to seem like I hate my country. It has a lot of faults but it is my home and it’s not all bad. I will leave you with a link to a Joelistics song (Aussie rapper) which presents Australia in a much more positive way:

His lyrics are fantastic, but the video is what makes this memorable for me. A bunch of Aussies were asked to record snippets of things they thought represented Australia. The result was myriad of images that reminded me of the things I think are beautiful.

So Will I

They’ll die, and so will I.

I don’t believe in heaven or hell.
I believe in the great black nothingness
Where nothing will dwell
And nobody missed.

You’ve been in the black,
Like before you were born.
In sleep, you sometimes go back
But you’ll return when you’re gone.

They’ll die, and so will I.

Parents are failing children.
Politicians are failing people.
The decay always sets in.
The outcome is always lethal.

Is it such a bad concept?
Life is an overload on the senses.
But there is a certainty we can accept
In that death will rid us of all pretenses.

They’ll die, and so will I.

We won’t know of our absence.
Our loved ones won’t either.
You won’t be left in suspense.
You won’t be a survivor.

There is a kind of comfort
That a civilisation of division and war
Will leave with the same escort
And be no more.

The leaves on trees and birds in the sky.
They’ll die, and so will I.

A Night In Wandi

On a night in Wandi
There was a man with crazy hair
And a golden beard
His laugh was a match for the blasting music
I discovered he was twenty-one
Only just a man
With wisdom beyond his years
Although we just met
I felt like I already knew him
Like we were old friends
I was drawn to his ‘tell it like it is’ attitude
He was an open person that exuded honesty
Our birthday’s were only two days apart
Although separated by two years
Everyone was dancing, singing and downing drinks
It distracted us from the extreme cold
When the party settled down we all slept in a mess
On the living room floor
As I shivered in my sleeping bag in the darkness
I couldn’t help but glance his way
As he lay nearby
The next morning he left in a flash
Like the piercing sun on our hungover eyes
Something in me knew I would see him again
Now it’s a year later
And we couldn’t be happier
On that night in Wandi
On the freezing living room floor
He was curiously looking back

(Happy One Year M!)

The Road To Success

From some recent conversations with friends, I have found that I’m not representing myself to the fullest during these times. Sometimes, the conversation takes a turn where I feel extremely uncomfortable in, but in fear of causing confrontation I say nothing. I really don’t want to do that anymore. I need to be someone I’m proud of. I can’t do that if I’m not standing behind my beliefs. It’s important to be self reflective because you might unconsciously turn into someone you’re not proud of.
Lately, it seems a few people have been judging those around them based on their level of ‘success’ since leaving high school. They are measuring success based on academic levels, income and living situations. I think success should be determined by how happy the person is, because what’s the point in living ‘successfully’ if you’re not even happy?
Because we might not know these people on a personal level, I don’t think we have the right to say how ‘successful’ they are, because we don’t know their own situations.
To a degree, I was also judged based on my situation, by people who are relatively close to me. I get judged on my field of study in The Arts. People always ask me where it is going to lead, or what the job prospects are when they already know my field is highly competitive. I might not have a definite plan for the next five years, but I do have an idea. I plan to live the way I want to live. One day I might want to do this, the other day I might want to try something else. I’m still figuring it out. The important thing is that I’m happy, and especially happy with who I am. There was a excellent quote from the Daria episode “Gifted” that I watched recently that explains exactly how I feel: “My goal is not to wake up at forty with the bitter realisation that I’ve wasted my life in a job I hate, because I was forced to decide on a career in my teens.”
So I’m going to try and be a better person and just be honest with my friends, starting with this post.

Linger

The glass is too cold in your grasp.
The bartender asks about your day.
It started much like any other day.
You aren’t sure what day it is.
What month it is.
You stopped remembering things like that.
You’re too old to be wasting your thoughts.
It’s hard enough to remember what she looked like.
You lie to the bartender and tell him it’s a good day.
He asks what your plans are for the weekend.
You know where you’ll be.
Forty-two Marlborough street.
You tell him you’re visiting someone.
He smiles and tells you to bring them along to the bar.
You say you will.
You finish your whiskey quickly.
Eighties trance music fills the room.
You know this song well.
The bartender says he can change the music if you don’t like it.
You tell him to turn it up.
The song transports you back to your old place.
In your yellowing kitchen.
You grab her and dance.
You tell her you love her and you mean it.
The bartender asks if you’d like another drink.
You say you’ll have two more.
You ask the bartender if he’s in love with anyone.
The bartender shakes his head.
You tell him he’s very lucky.
You finish your drink and begin to leave.
The bartender calls out that you haven’t touched your last drink.
You tell him that it isn’t yours.

Rough Cut

It’s film fascism! A director-dictatorship!
Leaving behind copy-righted carcasses.
Ignore the camera, baby.
The camera is only a window.
Unless it’s cinéma vérité, which sounds great,
But there is no truth on a screen after being
Mercilessly cut and edited.
Film is the pageant child of truth.
It’s made up with such extravagance but
It’s a poor copy of what it really is.