The Other Side

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My mate phones me from the other side.

How’s it hanging? He asks.

Oh, you know. A little left of centre.

All our conversations begin this way.

How are things with you? I ask.

A bit up in the air, he chuckles.

We take a while to get around to things.

You still with that woman?

Nuh, I say. We had another stoush. You found anyone up there?

I’m in no hurry, he says. You know that old saying: Once bitten …. Besides, I’ve only been here six months.

Don’t go climbing any wonky ladders, I say.

Don’t worry, he says. There’s no light bulbs here.

So what’s the weather like? I ask. Up there?

Heavenly, he says. Heavenly.

 

Tethered

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A writer disappears into his books.

It is a familiar story.

And a familiar paradox.

If a man does not disappear into his books

They will not be written.

A judicious voice says, a balance must be struck.

But we are talking Creativity.

It is in the same category as Love and War.

If a man is to write a million words

Then he must disappear into his books.

He will not always be available.

Marriages will strain, children be neglected.

A woman can disappear into her books too

But not as readily.

Maybe she is more tethered to the world.

Maybe that’s it.

the ‘Think Position’

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I have had a good think about this.

What is the best position to have a good think?

My first thought was of Rodin’s sculpture,

You know the one, the naked male figure hunched

over in deep thought usually displayed in public.

Nude thinking in public especially on a cold stone pedestal

does not appeal to me. Does it to you? Apart from the fact

It would lead you in hot water with the law, possibly

Not a bad thing if you were out there naked on a cold day.

There must be a better, more private way, I thought.

My favourite ‘think position’ is to throw myself on the bed,

head on the pillow, close my eyes and let my brain take over.

I am looking for some modern day Rodin to sculpt me

in this position, preferably not nude, and immortalize me

in public, a possible title being ‘The Prone Thinker’.

 

What is your favourite ‘think position’?

Almost Normal

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Reading about Roz Chast’s parents in her cartoon memoir

‘Can’t We Talk about Something Pleasant?’ makes me feel

Almost normal. I do know how to use the toaster,

I can change a light bulb, open cereal packets neatly

so it doesn’t look ‘as if a raccoon had tried to get into them’

AND I was comfortable using the new stove after only

six months. Compared to them I’m a genius.

 

Meeting the Parents

But I do ‘walk around with my feelers out’ like her old man

and ‘get distracted by interesting words thereby missing

the larger point of what was being said’. And I am a fast eater

like her mum. ‘Stop gobbling your food’, I was told as a kid,

[and am still told from time to time].

 

I’m only on page 30 of this 230 page memoir but I’m enjoying

meeting the parents. It’s like meeting me in a book.

 

  • what book are you enjoying at the moment?
  • Have you ever ‘met yourself’ in a book? how did it feel?

Here’s Another Nice Mess You’ve Gotten Yourself Into

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after deserting me for a few days

my editor has a change of heart

and decides to return.

Yay! I say to myself.

Says he’s been reading my posts, and how I’ve been floundering without him.

You’ve pulled three posts in two days, he says. You’re sinking.

I know, I say, hanging my head in shame.

Look, he says. It’s no good fighting it. We’re a team. Conjoined twins if you like.

Like Laurel and Hardy? I suggest.

He smiles.

Same arrangement? I say.

Yes, he says. You write. I clean up the mess.

Even the Stinkers

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Most people think of stars when they think

Of infinity

Or grains of sand

But I think Adam Sandler,

All the films of his I haven’t seen

And all those I have

Even the stinkers like ‘Little Nicky’

I want to see again and again

and again.

There are so many.

Almost as many as the stars

and the guy’s still making them!

But as Jim Croce says, ‘there’s never enough time

To do the things you want to do,’

It’s just not funny.

 

  • what’s your favourite Adam Sandler film?
  • what’s one you hate?
  • when you think of infinity, what comes into your mind?