Wednesday, 27 August 2014

I Was Here, Motherfucker.


We escaped the mountains and went to Sydney on a Monday night! A poetry event at the Basement, featuring two of the worlds best spoken word artists, Buddy Wakefield and Anis Mojgani. I figure if I'm to burst on the poetry scene, I better study the masters first. These dudes have won multiple world poetry slams.

We had tickets for dinner and the show, got there early so walked around the Opera House to kill some time. I read Dave out a text that somebody sent me saying they think about Cam. I clutched my heart when I read it out, didn't care when I cried.

There's so much to not care about anymore. We stood and just looked at the Opera House just as the sun was setting, she is so beautiful, fancier than Iggy with her backlit toilet paper.



We walked up and down the stairs, milled, stared at her from the pavement and I said, "Hon, I just really, really want to make it to the Australian Poetry Slam grand final here in October. That's all I want."

I don't want much these days. But I'd love the chance to spit some shit in October, the chance to even to look forward to the month of October which frankly should be banned forevermore. Why do we keep repeating months can't we just make new names up? September was the month Cam was born and October was the month Cam died. How many times at school did he sit at his desk and write "15th October" at the top of the page, not ever knowing what would happen, what was coming?

I stood in the kitchen yesterday making myself a pancake - just one. Pulled out a plate and it was one of Cams big white Ikea plates that are stylish but don't fit in the dishwasher properly anyway and I just threw it so fucking hard on the floor it shattered into about fifty shards. Fifty shards of pain. Got another plate out. Ignored the broken plate on the floor fuck this shit. But then what if Dave got home and was all what the hell hon? So I swept it up and put it in the bin and flipped my pancake with Cams flipper and it was a shit pancake and as I was eating it a piece of my tooth came out and I spat it in my hand and I'm all OF COURSE my tooth just broke but it wasn't my tooth at all, just a tiny piece of my dead brothers shattered white Ikea plate, inadvertently cooked in my shit pancake.

Anyway so the other night my favourite part was watching Dave watching spoken word artists.

"Hon, I didn't even know shit like this existed."

We both had steak for dinner. It was beautifully cooked. First up was Buddy Wakefield, who is CRAZY. His words just fell into each other, there was no proper beginning or ending NO RULES! He was all over the shop and the stage and the page. He had this cool T-shirt on saying "Write Bloody" and I really wanted a picture so I took one with the flash on ..


.. and as SOON as I took it he stopped talking, looked at me and said:

"Did you get what you needed?"

And I said YES THANK YOU and he's all, here I'll pose for you so Buddy Wakefield made love to the ground for a while as I walked right up to the stage and snapped photos and everybody, everybody was laughing.


And when he got back to his words everybody was crying, too - and feeling, and experiencing, being amazed and in wonderment. I brought a notebook with me in case I had to write down any quotes and he gave me a brilliant one.

"Cemeteries are the worlds way of not letting go."

The place was packed, Dave constantly in awe of how many people came out in the rain on a Monday night to listen to words. I was so struck by how, instead of propping up my laptop in bed and making Dave watch YouTube videos of Buddy and Anis, we were actually watching them perform live which is a completely different realm of experiencing something. This "real life" business - you can forget how good it is!

Somebody yelled out to Buddy "CONVENIENCE STORES!" And he thanked them, saying there is nothing better for a poet than to get a request. And he performed it. And it was just as incredible as the first time I watched it.




Then Anis took the stage, and while both these guys are American and poets and male - and obviously good friends - they are both completely different. I love them. Afterwards when I met Anis I thanked him for just existing and he signed his book for me and Buddy signed his book for me too and I had to tell him about my brother so I did and he told me that his dad did that too and I said yeah, so did mine and we smiled at each others pain and I walked away, feeling better that both those guys know my name.

I wonder why it feels so good, to have people know our name?



Anis performed Shake the Dust and there was a guy in the audience who had "Shake the Dust" tattooed on his arm. That guy would've freely felt it, hearing it. Can you hear it?



It was incredibly difficult being so uplifted because simultaneously there is always present in me the knowledge that my brother could not, would not be uplifted. So I cried through most the night, and then afterwards Dave and I both decided that Gelatissimo could not possibly be still open but it was!





And me and Dave were a couple of freedom fighters, arse-kicking survivors basking in the moon and the afterglow of a big night all jacked up on poetry and sugar and you guys I found a feather!

IT'S A SIGN!


Technically a lot of feathers, still attached to the dead pigeon on the busy city streets but hey, you gotta grab your signs where you can right? Isn't that what we all do, seek meaning from the aching maw of nothingness? (Dave's all, you're not seriously taking a fucking photo of that?)

Then the parking machine charged us $32 instead of $72 so me and Dave were just high from life right there in the fucking car and I yelled TELL ME A POEM DAVE because we are all poets, desperately writing the pages with our hearts whether we know it or not and Dave said OK HON.

video

I showed that video to Max and he just said - wow, I have NEVER heard dad like that before.

Anis thanked us all for coming out, he hoped we'd all feel bigger than the world the next day because so often the world feels bigger than us and the truth is I didn't but still, his words really meant something.

" .. like my heart dancing precariously on the edge of my finger tips 
staining them as that same high school kid licking his thoughts using his sharpie tip writing: 
I WAS HERE 
I was here motherfucker 
and ain’t none of y’all can write that in the spot that I just wrote it in 
I am here motherfucker and we all here motherfucker 
and we all motherfuckers motherfucker 
because every breath I give brings me a second closer to the day that my mother may die 
and every breath I take takes me a second further from the moment she caught my father’s eye. 

Where do people go when they die? 
What made the beauty of the moon? 
And the beauty of the sea? 
Did that beauty make you did that beauty make me? 
Will it make me something? 
Will I be something am I something? 
And the answer comes: 
I already am 
I always was 
and I still have time to be."

-Anis Mojgani, Here Am I

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Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

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