it comes around

Christmas paper soggy

from the son lost a few days ago.

She couldn’t throw the present away now,

this time of year was wasteful enough already.

She noticed;

her hands wouldn’t stop shaking,

her stomach wouldn’t stop contracting.

Across the street a different house,

a different feeling.

Two lovers just announced

they’re getting married.


Rainbows lit up across the country

and it was like a loose brick in the wall

had finally slid back into place.

You could feel the energy

but then you hear these everyday conversations…

“You’re a dumb whore cunt, wish I’d never met you way back when.”

“Aboriginals, not half a brain between the lot of them.”

They’re breaking down the mortar

so the erosion doesn’t go away.

I don’t know how to stop it.


It’s important to learn about darkness.

Not so you can find the right way,

just so you can survive.

You can light a little candle

in a circle around yourself,

you can pull others in but only for a short time.

They’ll breathe all the oxygen in

and eventually

one of you will be alone again.


(In the blinding light

of the realisation of my life

I saw you’d gotten a move on

and I hadn’t budged in so long.

It was alright, I was learning to be laid back.)


What is it about the colour purple?

It won’t tell me

if it’s happy or sad,

reminds me of the battle fought

inside my own head.

For years now it’s up and down,

I’ve always managed to keep it down.


(Walking in the dark with my dog,

on a deserted bike path,

I can feel ten feet tall.

I can feel wild and strong.

I see nothing for miles

except the lights in the distance

of the cars going

places they think are more meaningful than mine.)


In the moments of respite

where the only movement is a leaf

falling to the ground

you’ve got to wonder

if you stayed there forever

and let yourself fade away,

would it be peaceful,

would it be a better way to go

than fighting all the way down the line

until you’re too tired and old

to do it anymore?




I see the sadness in people’s eyes

even when it’s not there yet.

I know how their story might end.

Chances are there’s a divorce or cancer in store for them,

and they won’t be able to fix it.


And I look around and realise

it doesn’t matter if you’re the kindest person

on earth or the worst.

Fate pays no heed to that.


And I don’t read the papers much

but I see the headlines on the net

and all I see are ages close to mine

and they’re never gonna rise

and it gets me down sometimes.


And all the animals that walk across the land

get snuffed out quicker than you can say ‘deserve’

and they never get a chance to say goodbye to anyone or anything.

We don’t know what they leave behind

when they disappear.

We don’t know their minds, we don’t know their families.


And this is all the inside of me.

The outside is the opposite and I give it to you

because I don’t want you to

feel what I feel.

It’s crushing, it’s very heavy.

So I want you to smile and enjoy life.

Don’t worry about too much

because there is nothing we can do to make this world right.

Train Trips

Trip 1.

She seemed to have

a nice smile.

I couldn’t see her mouth

but her eyes crinkled

in a way that made me

want to listen to her laugh.


Trip 2.

He was diligently talking business

while watching TV on his Ipad

and looking annoyed at anyone who ventured near him

in the crowded belly of the train.

From somewhere hidden

came an urge to break his nose.


Trip 3.

Pulling off a flamboyant winter style

only those of African descent seem able to,

he was comfortable

with the closeness of the crowd, friendly even.

I didn’t often see that.


Trip 4.

It was a lengthy trip

and I had a lot of time to think,

concealed behind my earphones

and contemplatively silent beneath my hood.


Trip 5.

Somehow the train seemed alive

and I tried to embrace it.

Using the rollicking motion,

the scenes outside

and my own fluctuating mood

I did my best to create the most beautiful sequence of words.

I never even came close to

cellar door.


Trip 6.

To keep him occupied,

she patiently blew bubbles

while he sat giggling in his pram.

It was a moment to grin at.


Trip 7.

Newspapers, daters, haters, screens, screams, teens, make-up, shaken up, dust ups, food, dudes, moods, seats, heat, meat, feet, love, beauty, repulsion, religion, scepticism, politicians, aggression, recession, depression, skin, sin, kin, violence, patience, impatience, intelligence, music, silence, deaf, death, dumbness, blindness, numbness, a caress, sunglasses, Pokémon masters, disasters, headphones, IPhones, IPads, dads, mums, sons, daughters, naughty kids, funny kids, cute kids, lunchbox lids, sad, mad, lads, shoes, losers, winners, grinners, colours, shades, blades, debts paid, fights, lights, tights, bodies, money, honeys, necklaces, familiar faces, strange faces, wasters, junkies, drugs, hugs, kisses, hisses, whispers, swisspers, fibbers, breasts, tests, jests, failure, success, business, less, more, scores, sores, laws, bores, cords, elephant pictures, erotic fiction, varied diction, imagination, the heart of a nation, conversation, action, inaction,  races, braces, racists, tastes, smells, sounds, feelings, dealings, healing, steel, heels, banana peels, pairs, stares, stairs, hairs, solitary cares, dirt, shirts, emotional hurts, nerds, ‘birds’, g force,  g string, of course, sauce, Red Bull, bullshit, dresses, messes, lessons, brains, names, shame, more of the same, men, women, humans, dicks.

There’s nothing you can’t find on a train.


Trip 8.

A train at night is the worst thing.

You can’t even look out the window

without meeting a stranger’s reflected eye.


Trip 9.

You feel like such a disappointment

when you sit down

next to someone who would rather take the trip alone.

Her tweaked mouth told me she’d suffer

my company next to her,

but that was it.


Trip 10.

All alone,

looking vaguely out windows

with a murmured conversation here and there

in your periphery,

one can really take the time to consider things.


Trip 11.

The faces rushing past seem to mirror

the entire social landscape;

people hold hopeful stares in their curiosity

but are not interested enough

to push up

on what is crushing them down.


Trip 12.

Essentially a box

packed full of humanity,

it manages to turn people

into something less.

Everyone would prefer to be strangers.


Trip 13.

Not enough people look through a window

that isn’t framed by an IPhone case.

Maybe for the animals it’s safer that way;

less inclination to destroy the world

if they aren’t seeing it.


Trip 14.

Travelling is simple

until the conductor sounds like a radio wave

and no one wakes you up after termination

halfway home.


Trip 15.

People are interesting

even when they’re not.

I wish I could see inside them

and understand everything.


Trip 16.

A voice so delicate,

it made the train seem like a monster

running us away to grind fragile bones

somewhere dark. Somewhere sounds fall dead

and the only way out is the one you can’t see.

You can just hear that voice

from that sweet face

but it’s all so delicate.

At the same time you hear your salvation in it,

you feel more lost than ever.


Trip 17.

All in all I think kids are becoming smarter

and dumber too.

It’s so jarring to hear advanced vocabularies

discussing such base topics.


Trip 18.

Kids catching the train to school,

hordes of them learning

before they get educated.

Their parents private money

does nothing for them sitting on the floor

at the feet of tradies, the elderly, businessmen, older students, drug addicts, and single mothers.


Trip 19.

They say don’t touch unaccompanied baggage.

Don’t give it back,

don’t take it away.

Alert the staff at the next station

when it’s too late either way.


Trip 20.

I type on my phone,

flick through six different tabs,

addicted like all the rest

but always admiring the singular clear focus

of the train.

If I could have that for one day

every problem that inspires distress,

every distraction or complication,

would fade.


Trip 21.

Every obsession,

everything you can’t get out of your head,

bubbles to the surface of your mind,

punctuated by the stops

and new faces.


Trip 22.

Traces of all the bad scents

find their way through the whole carriage

and without noise, all accuse each other

the same way people scowl inside

during conversation with intolerable

acquaintances they somehow got stuck

taking the ride with.


Trip 23.

It was early,

but getting on to spring,

the sun was up.

I felt my eyes glisten

as I witnessed the kindness of strangers.

I was happy to see it still existed

but sad

because my reaction proved to me

it had become an anomaly.


Trip 24.

On the train you’re as close

to people as you’re ever going to get

and have all the time you’ll ever need

to look at them.

You see the nape of a neck

and a different colour hair on the back of a head

and know they will never be able to see themselves in the same way.

There is a part of them that will always

be more familiar than yourself.


Trip 25.

Sometimes you see things that make your head turn.

Like a nervous man with bandaged legs

wrapped in a hospital blanket.

You wonder.


Trip 26.

In the early mornings before you get on,

the people around remind you of seagulls.

They have one objective.

Their lives revolve around how they will procure

the next cigarette or hit of something stronger.

And it makes you sad.

And it makes me sad.


Trip 27.

Everyone’s knee is shaking,

or their hand is tapping,

or their cheeks are flushing.

We’re all conscious of how we look

or if we’ll say the right things.


Trip 28.

Life is like a train.

People think it’s a line

but it’s a cycle

and it doesn’t stop

just because they decide to step off.

courtney barnett – sometimes i sit and think, and sometimes i just sit


Despite some dreary content you can’t help but want to hang out with Courtney Barnett.

This may be the Victorian’s debut full length album but her talent and sound have already been well established with singles such as History Eraser, Avant Gardener, and Pickles From The Jar. For the majority of this album it won’t surprise with the way it sounds, with a couple of brilliant exceptions. It won’t cease to please her fans either. There’s something very endearing about Courtney’s deadpan stream of consciousness delivery and her elaborate self-critique. The opening three tracks; Elevator Operator, Pedestrian At Best, and An Illustration Of Loneliness (Sleepless In New York) display her energy, dry wit, and way with words. She has a vocabulary but is just as skilled at turning everyday language into quirky phrases. Pedestrian At Best is an early highlight, the writing is superb.

The album covers many topics but the main three would be; consumerism and the environment (Dead Fox and Kim’s Caravan), middle class society (Elevator Operator and Depreston), and Courtney herself (Aqua Profunda!, Pedestrian At Best, and Boxing Day Blues).

Quite rocky throughout with her all ‘aussie’ accent, you think you have Courtney Barnett pegged but then comes along Depreston and Kim’s Caravan. In these two tracks the accent is less noticeable and her voice quite beautiful as she really decides to sing. Depreston is a wonderful song. It’s hard to describe in my inexperience but it feels old and nostalgic from the get go and is best listened to driving around your local towns. There is one particular section of this song that brings tears to the eyes because the image is so relatable and, well, depressing. It will hit home hard for some people. Kim’s Caravan begins and you think the cd has ejected and the radio is on. The opening sounds like a completely different artist, eerie and creepy. Then Courtney’s voice joins in, sad and drained here, hooking you until the end. This song isn’t entirely pleasant , especially when she remarks the Great Barrier Reef has been “raped beyond belief” and “treated like a whore”. Nevertheless you can’t stop listening.

The album leaves us knowing she will probably become quite an admired artist, outside of the mainstream of course, and that it would be very cool to hear her perform a Nirvana cover.

Highlight: Definitely Depreston for me but for new fans, perhaps Pedestrian At Best