Monday, 21 September 2015

Moon Landing

A photo posted by Bonny (@grandmastattoo) on

I've been thinking about:

Personal Space
Ingrained from childhood and mindlessly sacrificed in certain spaces according to social contract. Pressed up against you on the tram. Negation and participation.

Safe Space
With fibrous walls, never as big or as small as they need to be. Mandated and regulated. Safer.  Safe for me. Maybe not for you. Hopefully not forever.

Personal hellscapes and paperwork. Pressures. Physical weaknesses and rotting teeth. Addressing self-loathing and all the shades of blood. Leaving well enough (me) alone. Extending the heart to envelope another. Opening doors into private rooms. Does this make sense to you? It does to me.

Bury me radioactive on the moon.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Pictures From a Disposable Camera 2013-2014

East Brunswick Club in December

What I think is the bus trip from Wangaratta to Melbourne

From a picnic in a park in Melbourne

Pants on the head because he's not out of bed

Rooftops from the foodcourt at Richmond Ikea

Richmond Ikea tram stop

Monday, 11 May 2015

A Poem for the Teenage Girl at My Tramstop in the 'Helen of Troy' Jersey

Helen of Troy is captain of the softball team.
Her name is printed on the back of her jersey,
white transfer letters on stripes of black and blue.
The modest crowd can build up quite a roar
when they find themselves chanting her name.
She wears black leggings under her uniform
every single day
something tight, to keep her held together.

Phone footage of the fight made its way online,
then to the principal,
to her parents,
to every one in school.
Even in the grainy footage
you could still read her name,
so they punished her just as much as them,
even though
it had never been her fight,
not really.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Sugar Cubes

When I was little I had several appointments a year with a variety of specialists. Heart, bones, eyes, teeth; doctors and their students examining me through lenses and tubes, x-rays and adult hands. I would get the day off school and sit around at my parent's work. If Mum was taking me we'd go across to the supermarket to get lunch. My regular meal was a jelly cup and a sandwich, shaved ham and iceberg lettuce on white bread, with a grinding of salt and pepper. Despite being entirely empty calories I did have one for the first time in years a few weeks ago and it remains an excellent sandwich. If I stayed with Dad we'd go to one of the various cafes in Southbank. He had his regulars, and I am always wary when I feel that I visit the same cafe and order the same thing too often. 

On my birthdays my parents or my grandmother would take me to the city to visit either the art gallery or the museum. The art gallery in Brisbane is one of the things I miss most (and I would love so much to get up there now for the David Lynch exhibit). I've been feeling nostalgic for Brisbane a lot recently; I miss the sun and the beach and the houses in the suburb I grew up in. I even, to an extent, miss the weather. I lived in the same house for about 12 years. I miss some of the people - not all. 

There was a cafe in the middle of the Queen Street Mall which used to have sugar cubes on every table. I don't know which cafe it was or even if it's still there, and I don't know if I ever went there more than once or twice. I just remember being enamoured with the grainy white cubes in the little pot. I think I had probably read about them in some novel about swotty English school children or other. 

For some reason a couple of months ago I had a mild fixation about sugar cubes. This happens. I realised I hadn't seen them anywhere in ages. I looked for them at the supermarket, but was unsuccessful. Every cafe with boring paper packets of sugar was a disappointment. I happened upon artisan sugar cubes on Etsy, but wasn'tquite prepared to drop $30 for handcrafted, pastel coloured, doily shaped, rose flavored bit of sugar (my loss). 

Last week I went to a cafe in Emporium with a friend. There were little white pots on the tables with shiny pairs of miniature silver tongs. Cue irrational excitement. Both brown and white sugar cubes! Sugar cube tongs! Sugar cube bowl thingies! It took enormous levels of self restraint to only drop a single sugar cube into my coffee, instead of just piling them in, one after the other. I was taking photos of the sugar cubes while my friend tried to tell me a story. Thankfully she understood and shared in my enthusiasm.

I have satisfied this childhood food quest. Now I just need to find somewhere that sells stripy jelly in perfect thin layers like they used to sell in China Town. Or Jenny Craig mac 'n' cheese. Or coffee scrolls. Or honey jumbles. 

Oh dear.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015


I am writing my first real article for a 'real' publication, not a student newspaper or something run by a friend. I got here all by myself. I worry, though, that I will become trapped in a cycle of 'but this is more real', 'no this one, this is it', and never feel like I've actually Made It. And how perfect must this piece of writing be? In years to come will I cringe and regret, or be proud because hey, that was the first one?

I have a modest idea of success, but I still need to pay the bills.

My fringe has grown out a little and become softer, more flattering and feminine. It still traps hot air in the morning and fogs up the inner corners of my glasses. I am a quiet dragon rolling through the mists.

I bought a new lipstick called 'Corporate Femme'. The colour is dark red and the formula is oily and sits like a slick on my mouth.

I made a zine, printed some stickers, painted some coats and relaunched my Etsy.

My feet are no longer stuck in the muck and the mire and I have shaken the mould from my bones. For now, I am dancing.

I write. I bake I draw. The dishes pile p, but this is a good place, and I am here.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Fiction Project: #2 Review Books/Products/Films

You can see the first story in this series in my previous blog post!
This one is the sort of story that you get halfway through writing and become overwhelmed with the fear that you are plagiarising at least one other person. I am sure that the idea itself has been done before, but how closely am I ripping someone else off? I'm convinced that the best joke is something I've stolen from somebody else. For certain the story is influenced heavily by one in Trigger Warning, Neil Gaiman's most recent short story collection. Still, the point of this writing project isn't to produce phenomenal work, merely to produce any work at all. I always find my stories are very heavily influenced by whatever I've been reading or watching at the time, and it can be hard to disentangle myself from those influences. But I'm also convinced everything I write - or think about writing! - is a rip-off of somebody else. That's just the nature of things, I suppose, and it can be good exercise to write in established forms or to try and rewrite existing stories (as long as you're aware of what you're doing and the ethical/legal issues!). Anyway, with that not-at-all encouraging introduction, here's the story!

#2 Review books/products/films 
Dear [Redacted],
I am writing to compliment you on your excellent product, [redacted]. The description on your website said that I would notice results in just seven days, and it was absolutely correct! Already [Redacted] is looking much brighter and seems to have more energy. Yesterday she even managed to get out of bed and go for a little walk down the hallway. I’ve tried everything else I could think of, but [redacted] really seems to work! I will absolutely be recommending you to all my friends.
Dear Sir/Madam
Thank you for your feedback. We are glad to hear you like our product and are recommending it to your friends.
Please find attached a coupon for 10% off your next purchase.
Yours Sincerely,
Public Relations Manager
Dear [Redacted],
I wrote to you a couple of weeks ago now in praise of [redacted]. Unfortunately in the intervening period, I have noticed some side effects that were not included in the product description. [Redacted] certainly has more energy – almost too much! – but the ‘youthful glow’ you described on the website is beginning to disturb the neighbours. Should we discontinue use of the product, or is there something else we can do to counteract it? I’ve already recommended it to so many people, and I’m sure you can understand how embarrassing it will be if I have to retract my praise!
Dear Sir/Madam,
Thank you for your feedback. After consultation with our experts, we must advise that you DO NOT discontinue use of [redacted]. If issues are occurring, we would advise you to close the blinds.
Please find attached a coupon for 10% off your next purchase.
Yours Sincerely,
Public Relations Manager
Dear [Redacted],
This is the third time I’ve written to you about [redacted]. I’m sorry to say that I am now extremely unhappy with your product. The side effects have gotten worse. I won’t go into all the gory details (and they are gory) because surely they must have come up in your product testing (otherwise why are you putting a product onto the market without thoroughly testing it first?) but let’s just say the glowing I mentioned is the least of my problems now. I tried to contact my friends to tell them not to purchase [redacted] but I am no longer able to leave the house, and she’s ruined the telephone. I found the advice in your last correspondence rather flip, so I went onto your user forums to try and find out if any of your other customers have had the same problems. One of them gave me an incantation she’d been recommended and now there’s blood stains all over the carpet. I’ve half a mind to bill your company for the damages but I will be happy with a full refund.
Dear Sir/Madam,
Thank you for your feedback. Unfortunately we are unable to offer refunds at this time, as you have violated the user agreement by combining [redacted] with outside spells. After consultation with our experts, they have recommended baking soda and bleach for the blood stains.
Please find attached a coupon for 10% off your next order.
Yours Sincerely,
Public Relations Manager
Dear [Redacted],
This is my fourth and unfortunately final correspondence. It pains me to have to send such negative feedback, but I want to see your company improve its products and testing so that others don’t have my experiences. Following the advice you sent me I never discontinued use of [redacted], and the results have been disastrous. I should have stopped when she first started exhibiting side effects, but I was so happy to see her up and about! Big mistake. Now she’s gone for good, and I’m afraid I don’t have much time left. Our property’s value has plummeted, what with the terrible smell, and I can’t get the smoke out of the house. I would warn my friends to avoid your company altogether, but it’s too late for them now. I will not be buying [redacted] or any of your other products in future.
Dear Sir/Madam,
Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear that you were dissatisfied with [redacted], but rest assured in the knowledge that we will never lose your support. As you will find, 99% of those who purchase our products become customers for life.
Please find attached a coupon for 10% off your next purchase.
Yours Sincerely,
Public Relations Manager

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Fiction Project: '101 Blog Post Ideas' #1 Run A Contest

Hello friends! Today I am starting a little project to get me writing frequently. I will be posting short pieces of fiction here, each inspired by an entry from this list of '101 Blog Post Ideas That Will Make Your Blog Hot'. I won't be using every single one of them, but there are plenty there! Let's get started:

#1 Run a contest – The flier made it sound easy enough: run the race, win fifty pounds. You didn't even have to come first; just cross the finish line. ‘Everyone who makes it to the end will win a prize!’ Harry needed the cash to pay off the lay-by on his tv and, he reasoned, he certainly enjoyed a leisurely jog now and then (‘then’ being one of those abstract sort of times that we always think about happening but never seems to arrive). So he called the number and got the address of the race track from the automated voice and turned up at the given time.
The address was for a big building in an industrial part of town, a warehouse-looking structure clad in shiny corrugated steel. Spray-painted on the double doors was a large red spiral. The doors made harsh scraping sounds along the concrete slab as Harry pushed them open. He found himself in front of a row of gates set into a mud brick wall, each with a light above it, some glowing red, some green. Directly before him was something resembling a music stand, bearing a laminated sheet of instructions on top of a pile of forms, and a blue biro tied to the stand with a length of string. The instructions were printed neatly in an Arial font, and at the top of the page was a logo of a red spiral in a black box.
‘Please sign the attached form,’ they read, ‘then take a numbered vest from one of the hooks behind you and enter a gate. Available gates are those with a green light. The race will begin at the sound of the horn. Please keep to your lane and move straight ahead. Thank you for your participation and good luck’.
Harry signed a form without paying too much attention to what it said, then took his vest and entered a gate. The light above the gate’s entrance flicked from green to red, lighting the space with a strange glow. The gate was a crude archway, leading to a poorly lit tunnel which appeared to be made from the same mustard-coloured mud brick as the wall. A door made of metal bars blocked the tunnel entrance.
Harry had just started doing some warm-up stretches when the door swung open and a horn sounded. He had been expecting an air-horn, something loud and startling, but this was different; rumbling, primal, called forth from bone and penetrating him like the call of a predator. He began to run.
 As soon as he had left the gate the concrete floor gave way to roughly paved earth and he stumbled repeatedly, knocking into the wall and grazing his elbows. Flakes of mud brick settled on his t-shirt and mingled with the blood from his cuts, forming a paste. After a few minutes of frantic sprinting Harry slowed, a stitch stabbing painfully in his side. He breathed deeply, clutching his ribs, laughing to himself at his sudden fit of panic but unwilling or unable to stop walking.
He looked up, trying to identify the source of light. The roof of the tunnel was surprisingly high, but he could make out what appeared to be shallow bowls of burning oil hanging from chains. There was no sound in the tunnel save for his own panting, and the air smelled like dust and iron.
Harry wondered about the other participants; there had been at least seven other occupied gates when he had come in. He felt a little proud at how fast he had just run, and thought that for sure he must have gotten a decent head start. He decided to pick up the pace a little, determined not to lose his edge; what if there was a bigger prize for coming first? Harry started jogging, humming gently to himself. He continued on for quite a while, pleased with his stamina, noting absently how the floor seemed to be gradually sloping downwards.
There were gaps at random intervals in the wall, tall archways leading to other tunnels which seemed more or less identical to his, but he paid them no attention. He just kept following the path as best as he could, keeping his eyes on the ground so he didn’t trip on the uneven stones.
Hot wind blew from the archways, occasionally making a shrieking sound as it blew past. And there was a smell that came on the wind, like farm animals and rotting meat. After a while Harry began seeing things through the archways, just out of the corner of his eyes, like glistening red streaks on the ground or the spectre of an outstretched hand. Something ran in front of him, across his tunnel from one side to the other, a scrabbling, stumbling, human-shaped thing that looked at him with one wide, rolling eye before disappearing through an archway.
Harry assumed they were just trying to find a short cut and was miffed that the others were trying to cheat, and resolved to go faster and try and beat them through sheer skill. Surely the race must finish soon? How much further could it be?
After a while he realised there were footsteps behind him, not just the echo of his own but independent, another participant trying to muscle in on his track. He put on a short burst of speed, sprinting a couple of metres around the long curve of the wall. The footsteps behind him kept their pace. Harry was sweating heavily, and could feel a hot wind blowing behind him. It was thick with the rotting animal smell, and he hoped he would soon be past it.
He tripped on something which rolled out from under his foot, putting his hands out to steady himself and landing palms-first on a small pile of bones. The force of his fall splintered them and yellowed shards stuck out of his palms. He swore, struggling to his feet and pulling out the splinters of bone with his teeth as he kept walking. His palms were slick with blood and the footsteps behind him quickened.
Harry’s whole body ached and his breath was wheezing out of his body, and he wondered if he couldn’t cut a deal with the race officials to take the winnings of anyone who didn’t cross the finish line. He’d have to buy antiseptic on the way home and he didn’t want that coming out of his fifty quid.
Whoever was behind him seemed to be gaining, and Harry realised he hadn’t looked over his shoulder once the whole time. Were they close enough to see yet?
The curves of tunnel were beginning to get very tight. He should have read that form more closely. He felt like he’d missed something important. It was in an ancient language, something he didn’t want to read. Why did he sign it?
He must be close to the end now. He hadn’t heard any screams on the wind for a while. Maybe the others had given up. Or maybe they’d all gotten to the end. Maybe he should have tried cheating too.
Why hadn’t he looked over his shoulder? It seemed a perfectly reasonable thing to do. He hadn’t even really thought about going through one of the archways, even though he might have been able to find another participant. They could have chatted. He could have told them about the tv he was paying off. He might have even made a friend. After all, they weren’t really competing. Everyone who made it to the end won a prize.
The footsteps were very close now. Harry could hear their breath, could feel it like a hot wind. What if he just peeked over his shoulder a little bit? He must be very near the end now, and everyone else was dead. Surely that should win him a little something extra.
The smell was terrible. It was all around him.
Harry turned his head, just a little, just enough. And then he started to run.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Feminist Anthems for International Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day! I've put together a collection of girl power songs, some that get me pumped, some that make me laugh, some that are nostalgic and some that are fairly new. Remember, just because we've come a long way, doesn't mean we haven't still got a long way to go. 

Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill: Bikini Kill and much of the riot grrrl movement have some deeply troubling politics re: trans people as well as being a very white movement, but I'm including this song as a riot grrrrl classic. It's good for getting pumped.

Just a Girl by No Doubt: 90's nostalgia. Gwen Stefani is a problematic fave re: her continued appropriation of various cultures but No Doubt were a great band.

Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves by Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox: a classic and a bit of a *wink wink nudge nudge* 

Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benetar: this is the greatest music video of all time and I want to know all your favorite parts. It makes me want to go to bars just to aggressively shimmy at anyone who looks at me the wrong way. When was the last time you aggressively girl power danced out of a bar and down the street into the sunrise?

Sister Suffragette from Mary Poppins: more nostalgia. not the most flattering portrayal of suffragettes but damn satisfying.

Girl In A Country Song by Maddie and Tae: disclaimer: I do not listen to country music, but I don't think you really have to in order to appreciate this gem. 

Just One of the Guys by Jenny Lewis: this video has all my faves and is generally gorgeous, plus a great song about ridiculous expectations.

Q.U.E.E.N. by Janelle Monae: 100% flawless

You Don't Own Me by Lesley Gore: for when you just need people to back the hell off

I Am Woman by Helen Reddy: a feminist classic

and if that's not enough for you, here's the first video in nice long a Beyonce playlist, starting with Single Ladies

Keep fighting!

No One Sounds Like Joy Division

Today I went to the Lady Petrova studio sale with a friend. Some ladies I know from Rookie-related activities were there and we had a look in some other outlets nearby. It's always nice to hang out with people who aren't from my main group of friends, especially people who are generally much cooler and more stylish than me - it makes me feel cool by association. From the sale I bought some gorgeous greyish lace with yellow detail and a bunch of floaty fabric with a digital floral print. I'm not sure what I'll do with the lace but I'm thinking of seeing if I can put the floral fabric on the back of one of the vintage denim jackets I'm upcycling.

I've discovered I get a lot less depressed about not having any money to buy beautiful clothes when I shop somewhere that I know is either a) extremely expensive or b) won't have anything in my size, which is the case with Lady Petrova. Still, there were two beautiful capes and a couple of other things I did lust after, but I'm slowly training myself to get better about object envy I think. Maybe it's just because I'm feeling in a vaguely good place about my current creative output? I have a lot of projects I'm either working on or intending to start, I've been writing poetry again and I've been updating this blog on a semi-regular basis.

I found a copy of The Maltese Falcon in a pile of books next to a bin on the way to the sale. There are so many cool things out there if you have the time and know where to look. Factory outlets are definitely the best thing. Ditto hard rubbish. I keep seeing cte furniture but my apartment is already super full.

I went to a big Salvation Army store on my own after splitting with everyone and made a beeline for the records. A guy came up to me and started on a twenty-minute long rave about how hobbies become trendy and anyone can get famous on the internet and you can't find anything good in thrift shops anymore. He kept talking about 80's post-punk and electronica music and was very taken with Joy Division. He told me that no one else in that scene was as totally 100% honest as Ian Curtis, that everyone else had a 10% veneer they put up while he bared everything. Then he told me to check out AlleyTunes Records as one of the few places left that still has a great variety of barely-seen stuff. Apparently the guy that runs it is French and is perfectly happy for customers to sit there for in silence hours listening to records, but that if you act really enthusiastic he can recommend all sorts of music. So thanks for the recommendation, random Abbotsford Salvo's guy. I'm sorry again to hear about the young man who stole your record collection. I think a lot of what you said was bullshit and I definitely didn't want to stand there for 20 minutes listening to a stranger who kept touching my arm, but you were nice enough and definitely an interesting alternative to the usual creeps and randos that invade my space in public places.  

Tomorrow I have to do job applications* and find the will to clean my apartment. I may end up doing art instead.

*I typed 'wishes' instead of 'job applications' and almost didn't notice. What does that mean?

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Dear Patti Smith (Don't Think About the Wunderkinds)

Just keep reminding myself: Patti Smith didn't make it until she was much older than I am now.

But she also worked a lot harder than I do before then.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Untitled Poem

I will be an Amazon,
I will force my self to take up space.
I will be so
and so Wild
I will take up all your air and
drink your blood.

Just try me.

I will be a warrior,
I will crash my ships into your shore
storm your walls.

I will bring it all down,

burn it all down.

I will conquer

Nothing will stop me nothing will stop me nothing will stop me I will be
so big,
so strong.

With metal moulded,
breasts cupped in steel
and ass
in fresh-forged iron.

I will be a fighter,
and a destroyer,
I will tower over the world and
pick it from my teeth.

no sword necessary.

Monday, 9 February 2015


After a disastrous first attempt at going to see Jean Paul Gaultier and the NGV (the hour-long line put me off so I went to David Shrigley instead, which was an extremely dissatisfying alternative), a friend convinced me that it was absolutely essential that I try and make it along. I'm very glad they did, because te exhibition was magnificent and definitely pulled me out of the funk I've been in for the last several days.
 I didn't get any decent pictures of the mannequins' faces - several of them had human faces projected over them, which talked or sang. They were very uncanny valley and definitely cool, although having several in close proximity with overlapping audio was a bit much.
While I generally hate exhibitions that add a bunch of bells and whistles and don't let the artworks speak for themselves*, in an exhibit where clothes and their inspiration were the artworks the NGV dd an excellent job. Each room was nicely tied to the different 'themes' and collections, especially the 'boudoir' section.
There's probably a lot to say about treatment of race and culture in Gaultier's work but I don't feel equipped to say it, especially not without doing an enormous amount of background reading first. I definitely would not trust the NGV the include that sort of critical commentary anywhere in its exhibition materials, especially after their lackluster response when I made a complaint about some racist/sexist commentary on one of the works in their permanent collection.
But anyway, now it is time to look at nice pictures of clothes!

Beautiful details, most of my photos of the Madonnas came out terribly but they were absolutely magnificent. The rich blue and yellow of the traditional Madonna is a really lovely combination and despite not being religious I am - as cliched as it may be - inspired by some Catholic imagery and the aesthetic of the Madonna. Especially the gothier of Gaultier's examples!

v. relevant to some of the things I've been thinking about re. articles shared or penned by Arabelle Sicardi and posts on tumblr about beautiful prostheses and just the intersection of beauty and disability theory in general. I don't have enough disability theory under my belt to opine on this piece at length but conceptually it was absolutely a standout. 

I love the concept of the male corsets and the fan design but wasn't aesthetically especially into any of the examples on display. There was another great example of the fan design a bit later - just quietly blowing my mind.

The punk room was everything

Don't dress for the dystopian capitalist police state you have, dress for the post-apocalyptic biker battle dystopia you want

I didn't think denim could ever look so cool? An outfit for inducing existential crises


This dress was really cool - the 'fabric' is all strips of film. The shoulder pads are the best.

See earlier point about the biker apocalypse. Maybe I just want Tank Girl? yes, that sound right.

This Russia-inspired dress was beautiful and I'm sad my pictures of it didn't turn out. The room it was in had terrible lighting for taking pictures on my phone :/

The other fan man corset - Spanish vibes.


Stunning Madonna dress again. This is one of my favorite pictures that I took.
Basically I now want to bury myself in books about fashion theory and dust off my sewing machine. I'm so, so glad I went and so grateful to my friend for pushing me to go and my boyfriend for lending me the money. It was definitely worth the hour wait it took me to get through the door!

*This is something I get from my mother (hi Mum) and once you notice galleries doing it, it becomes the most annoying thing in the world (looking at you, Canberra art gallery with your super racist set up for Emily Kngwarreye and you, GOMA in Brisbane for putting cow wallpaper under Warhol's Electric Chairs)

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Triumphant Women Dancing Alone On TV: An Evolution

1995: My So-Called Life, season 1 episode 17 'Betrayal'. Song: 'Blister in the Sun' by Weezer, 

2012: Girls, season 1 episode 3 'All Adventurous Women Do' Song: 'Dancing On My Own' by Robyn

2015: Broad City, season 2 episode 2 'Mochalatta Chills' Song: 'The Edge of Glory by Lady Gaga