A Death in Melbourne, Southeast

A Death in Melbourne, Southeast Overwhelmed, Not all at once, But gradually. Its slow demise Borne witness By two thousand eyes. Once aloft With gleaming prow Breasting life’s currents. Oh! The fulgor Of union’s promise! Now slumped And despondent While being eaten From within. Stolen upon With practiced Indifference, Listing ever closer To bed. Pathetic, Wounded, And unloved – Where…

Black Belt

Just over seventeen years ago, I did my first black belt grading and I recently stumbled across an essay that my sensei at the time requested as part of the examination process. Although it in many ways resembles something you’d be asked to write by your English teacher towards the end of secondary school, especially with regard to the title,…

Casting Off

“…the whole apparatus of absolution and forgiveness strikes me as positively immoral, while the concept of revealed truth degrades the concept of free intelligence by purportedly relieving us of the hard task of working out the ethical principles for ourselves.” Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian I recently went to my local cinema here in Melbourne to see Ad…

Doing it for life

I swam in horrible conditions the other day. It was not long after dawn on a mucky Monday morning and big, unpredictable swell, with huge surges of cold, dirty water, was moving me around like so much flotsam. I tried to use my usual landmarks to keep my bearings while at the same time avoiding being swept on to them.…

Renewable

Each day must be begun anew. Sleep is the restorative. Waking is the opportunity. To open your eyes and be able to say “still here, still alive” surely has the potential to infuse you with renewed vigour and appetite for life. Somehow, no matter how paltry your contribution to humanity, no matter how insignificant your squawks and wirbles, you’ve been…

The Pinnacle

What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties. In form and moving, how express and admirable. In action how like an angel. In apprehension how like a god. The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me. No,…

Liver complaint

I wanted to write about Prometheus, but I couldn’t find the right peg to hang him on, so I just ended up feeling pretentious, as if I was secretly aspiring to be outed in Pseuds Corner. I was going to propose that we are all somehow in defiance of the gods, that the wars that rage within us are analogous…

Protection

Protection It’s a fucking racket. This life. This extraction of self. This whip. This lash. This excoriation. This garotte. Putting yourself on the rack. What truth to extract? Relentless interrogation. Examination. Subjection. Subtraction. Negation. Enervation. A skin full of knuckles and rocks, and breaking, crushing things. Shredding. Biting. Spitting. Snarling. Screaming. Roaring. That part of you that tunnels through yourself.…

Not you again!

“This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same…

Wisdom On Buses

Wisdom on Buses A madman broke it down for me. “You’re a late bloomer,” he said, “The best is yet to come. You were a troubled child, A rebel. You liked fine wines And women’s thighs. You set yourself apart, Or were set apart, I don’t know which, And it made you solitary but also Fragile and melancholy. You don’t…