Saturday, 29 December 2012

“How do you like my hair?”
        “It’s great” I replied. I had always liked Catherine’s hair. I thought she knew that.
        She looked at me expectantly, but I didn’t know what the expectation was related to.
        One hand rose to her hip. “That’s it?”
        Her agitation grew into the stiffening of her body, the sudden downturn of her forehead; lips no longer digging dimples into her cheeks…
        I clawed my fingers into the corners of my jacket and strained slightly as though that was going to get a better insight into what I was looking for.
        The tension between us began to strike warning blows against the hairs on my neck. My mouth was like a pair of clumsy feet stumbling up a staircase as it looked for some words to consolidate my girlfriend’s own ideas about her hair.
        But it was too late. Catherine threw her bag down on the counter with tremendous force, knocking the flowers in the vase onto the floor.
        “Good thing those are plastic” I quipped.
        “Fuck! You! Bastard!”

For a month – an entire month – I contemplated what had happened and why. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that she had had a haircut, and I knew that she was very proud of it; I just didn’t know what the difference was, and there was, at least at that time, no way for me to be able to tell. Even after scrawling through all her facebook photos, so many of which were action shots with flowing hair out behind her or hidden behind the faces of friends or relatives, I couldn’t see it. Neither could I see all our fancy couple poses. Where were those I suddenly wondered? In an attempt to be anti-facebook (to an extent), I basically deprived our relationship of memorial pics, and certainly, I deprived myself a way to see the past through the present’s changed perspective.
        It suddenly occurred to me, though, as I was writing an article about crowd participation at local gigs, why what had been so utterly boring in my life had also been so utterly boring in Catherine’s life: how women wore their hair.
        There had been a massive resurgence in long flowing hair like it was the 60s and 70s all over again. While a few girls adopted their emo eyeliner and black or punked-up psychedelic fashions, the majority of these girls breaking out of their teens were sporting flower braids in their hair, loose fitting light tops that covered either tight jeans or casual shorts. The biggest standout in my memory of going to see Kora for the Rhythm & Vines warmup gig at the Soundshell in Gisborne (apart from Kora themselves who busted out fatter beats than are generally represented on their albums), was the distraction of so many girls leaning towards some kind of hippy crossover. I didn’t understand it at the time – I was only slightly aware of it (I mean, I saw it, and noticed it, but at that time it didn’t seem so odd). The hippy ‘look’ was something that my parents were a part of and only very briefly reared it’s head through my formative years during the 90s when grunge had its moment in the sun. Here were masses of young girls looking like they were seeking some kind of individualistic statement, yet I had seen something very similar – and for many years – whenever I woke in the morning, whenever I came home, whenever my girlfriend came home. Catherine had represented this throwback fashion before I had even noticed it in others; I guess, to the point where I had begun to take what attracted me to her in the first place for utter and complete granted that eventuated in our combined boredom.
        When she came home that day, I still saw the same woman that I loved on previous days: her hair still framing her face, her clothes still fitting her like rags but exuding their own beauty and warmth. What I didn’t see was the natural wave that had always flittered across her shoulders in frail wisps, straightened and snipped at the ends to sit just above her shoulders; the frame no longer one length but a series of finely crafted steps that made their way from her eyebrows down to the base of her cheeks. And the contextual colour that had gone from a natural brown to a brunette with dark red highlights.
        I wonder (now!) how I had managed to miss all that.
        Never has the statement “When you stop looking, you find what you wanted all along” rung more true. I had been looking for something, didn’t know what it was; gave up and discovered it right there when I realised that the love of my life had gone against the grain of what she was slowly getting swallowed by: Her own individualistic statement being consumed and propagated by those around her.
        For me, as a man not interested in fashion (at least not up close), I wasn’t looking for changes. And if I saw changes, I saw them from a distance, from after a passage of time and in retrospect; when the long wavy hair of a hippy cloned youth stood out as a stark contrast against the tightly clipped highlighted and defined hair of my girlfriend’s.

      - 28-29th December, 2012
        12:26 p.m, Gisborne

Monday, 24 December 2012

I called this song 'Coattails' but it's not really a suitable title. I think.

I got a critique from my father about my new song suggesting if I had put these words here, and not made this part be so long before this part came in then it would be easier to listen to and it would be what you expected. He went on to state that my music is highbrow, or deep. The song he was listening to was pretty damn straightforward, I just had no intention of creating a typical chorus with it, and only having the chorus hook in it once. Maybe that's just a bad habit I picked up from Led Zeppelin, in that they're focus was to make the verses the hook, so naturally that has bled over into everything that I've written.
So be it.


Sunday, 28 October 2012


I said "I don't fit in here" and mentioned that I can't wait to leave. You looked at me with those gloriously dull ember-burnt eyes and told me that you're like one of those lizards "an Iguana, no - a chameleon" and that you fit in wherever you go. But what I didn't tell you, is that I don't fit in anywhere: everywhere I go, I feel like I stand apart, separated and unbelonging.
        You told me you'd miss your friends. I smiled. I knew that I would miss no one, but I would always remember you and wonder what could have been if things, life, or the world, could have been different; if I hadn't kept my distance in an attempt at protecting myself, if you had been brave enough to throw down the gauntlet and issue the challenge.
        If only. If only your hair wasn't a frame that belies the loneliness behind those autumnal eyes, I would not be struck with a gaze struggling to look away. And I would surely be a stronger man without cursed fear determining the length of every stare.
        But if only is a story, and our lives will part ways - a sunset on the horizon, a twinkling night overhead.
        I may forget others but I'll remember you. Remember me too.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Professional Development: "What's happening outside?"

Drizzleness flaking a wakeful moment
Tendering the grasp of possibility,
Patches wet the ground as fluttering wings
Glide on by.

Brightlyness showers a cloudy moment
Clambering at glass in visualisation,
Splatters set the sound as muttering winds
Slide on by.

- 14/08/12, Hamilton (Airport Conference Centre)

Thursday, 21 June 2012

My story is just like everyone else's:

My story is just like everyone else's

I too fell in love.
I too killed myself just to feel
         something other than this emotion.
I too sought destruction just to feel
         something less vapid and bound
         by confusion.
I too crawled the depths of despair with
         salty and arrogant tears,
         knowing full well my own
         insolence brought me here.
I too walked a maudlin mile,
         questioning and answering, remembering
         and reasoning, dilapidated
         and sauntering and
         squandering the path of acceptance.
I too lost the thread, unravelled
         the ball, let it roll
         uncontrolled down the hill
         without thought.
I too traded good sense just to taste
         something virile and draped
         in smugness.
I too fooled myself just to taste
         something other than quiet devotion.
I too fell in love.

My story is just like yours

Sunday, 20 May 2012

New Poem

I was wandering through a lonely black tunnel
The sound of 'To Live is to Die' ringing in my ears
My thoughts loud whispers trying to be heard.
And yet the distance was bleak, a shadow in the past,
The future's glimmering ghost waving from afar.
Is this, the present, what I worked so hard for?
A labour without recognition,
A depth of expression passed off as folly,
A momentary lapse of consideration
for the artist in the moment
- any moment -
Making do with the muse that presents a pose,
Lightweight though she may be,
Better than none at all.
    This moment captured,
    These words raptured,
    Hangman prose stature.
But as the tunnel grows longer
I notice the darkness itself glimmers,
A call to respond: this song is over.
To live is to create, to die is to be done;
If nobody hears, so the song shall be sung.
Silence be my laughter
An age of pain remembered,
Words still form from this crafter.

- 19/05/12

Rain Poem

Blue Sky you try
To fool me with a cloudless bright,
But past days are remembered
And raincoats will not be surrendered,
Not for you, not for the hope of sunshine
On a day-long tender.
My awareness shall be the defender
And bringer of warmth when the pretender
Clouds over and drops the temperature,
Chilling the arms and legs of innocent bystanders
(Merry their shrieks of concern).
Fingers trace the dial o' heater
Bringing the warm rush of relief - and release!
And the betrayer left to weather the outside like a teaser
- blue sky here, grey sky there -
While inside, the timber walls fill with laughter.

- 17/05/2012

New Poem

Hard task ahead, My
poor children have bled,
Tears are piling up
Alongside the fence.
We reap what we sow
And gain no resolve;
Shape our crook'ed hearts
To raise up new growth.

- 26/03/12

Monday, 30 January 2012

A Scene: Move Me Closer to the Bar

“Your scotch on the rocks with two dashes of coke, sir.”
“Many thanks.”
The waiter made to go but I stopped him, feeling concerned about the solitary position I had taken in the vibrant (but not overly busy) cafe/bar. “This is the first time I have been in this joint you have here. It feels like I may be occupying a space better suited to someone enjoying a meal.”
“Oh no, sir” the waiter replied with genuine refusal. “Relax and chill out” he smiled.
“Ahh, you are kind sir. Nevertheless, I am just a party of one, and if you need to move me then feel free to do so … closer to the bar.”
The waiter laughed as he shook his head.
I didn't get the joke. “I'm serious.”
“Okay” he said, still laughing as he walked away.
After my fifth scotch, the Jazz notes spilling from the guitarist's fingers seemed to mould into a blur of notes flurrying about the air, attacking empty spaces left by the absence of competing voices pausing only for breath and a chance for their lips to covet glass tumblers.
I turned my head as though listening for the all-defining note, that one moment when Jazz transforms itself from scales, chords and modes into a lush forest of experience, a soul cruising ray of light...
A shadow passed across my vision. No, not a shadow – an image. An image draped in trench coats and cool. “Was this the chief of cool?”
“No you bluthering idiot. Put that bloody scotch down or you'll do yourself an injury.”
“It's okay ma'am” I spluttered back. “I'm experienced at this.”
“Drinking yourself stupid; yes, I know. The only thing you are experienced in is making an idiot of yourself. You don't even know who you're talking to.”
“Dame... dame...”
“It's Danne you idiot. Do I sound like a broad? Bloody hell!”