Monday, 13 October 2014

She Went To The Poetry Slam Because She Decided To Live Her Life Deliberately.

The most beautiful thing in the past few days was witnessing a huge gust of wind reefing off a veil straight from a brides head during wedding photos on a Sydney pier. For about fifteen seconds that long, white veil flew through the sky just like that plastic bag scene in American Beauty. The bride and bridesmaids were SHRIEKING until it finally landed so gracefully, right in the middle of Sydney Harbour.


Before I got to that point, I had to get the train down to Sydney, change trains, walk amongst throngs of busy people in the middle of the city and NONE of them were my brother. I looked. I look for him everywhere. Just ended up sitting in a cafe having a complete meltdown, listening to Guts Over Fear over and over while I drank a chai and wrote out my poems from scratch on a pad of white unlined paper with a black pen to reassure myself I knew my poems off by heart.

I knew my poems off by heart because they were born in my heart, but one can never be too careful. At this point I didn't care if I won the NSW Final of the Word Travels Poetry Slam - I really did not care. I just want my brother back. It's hard wanting things you can never have. Meeting all of the other poets and organisers on Friday night was truly a privilege. To just even sit in the green room and be all nervous, be part of something, to not know if I was reciting the "right" poem but dammit it was right for me so just do it Eden you've come too far to falter now.

It was a steep learning curve, the ins and outs of "the scene" and the subjective nature of the voting, even though I do love that the five voters are chosen randomly on the night, giving the poetry back to the people so to speak. The utter wankerdom of a specific individual - wow. Purposely psyching people out, except me - I had my foxforce five forcefield up and would not engage. We engaged later and my truth about how much I saw shocked this person, taken aback for only a split second, only as aback as a person loaded with that much arrogance can be taken aback. I had a sore back. If that is how to "win" at things then I will never win. It was a hard wait - twenty poets, all taking turns, all speaking their words. I LOVE WORDS.


I text random photos like this to Dave all night, who was in the audience with some beautiful friends - and it seems, beautiful strangers. "Hon! I'm practicing my poem one more time in the dunny and this is how I feel - as overwhelmed and as full as this garbage can."

And then my name was called, out of the magic hat. Who pulled my name out of the magic hat? My Steve Murphy, one of the most beautiful humans I know who booked his ticket even before I did!

Phenomenally stylish photobomb in the background by the beautiful Styling You ... and thank you Woogsworld for coming too! 

Smiling after I even lost, with Christina from Hair Romance you utter spunk I love you but am actual jealous of all the burgers you and Jim will soon be eating in 'Merica.

And Caroline! And Brooke from Slow Your Home I am SO SORRY for crying on you!

So up I got, on the small stage, the lights were bright which was good because I don't like to look into peoples eyes when I talk about such big things. I did my poem - every single word just so, like I wrote it. I actually can't even remember writing it, all those months ago. But I did it, and I felt people feeling it the same way I wanted them to feel it when I wrote it.


I sat back down to hear my scores - mostly 8's - and I knew I hadn't won. Bitter, bitter tears falling down onto my cowboy boots you stupid idiot don't WANT things and you won't be disappointed! It's just ... all of my energies lately have been focussed on the slam and now? Now I was just unceremoniously dumped straight back into Griefworld.

And Griefworld isn't like Seaworld or Dreamworld. Nobody EVER buys a ticket to Griefworld. There's lots of roller coasters in Griefworld. It has big gates you can't escape, it's not fun, there's a sad gallery of old sepia fading photographs of the people we love, in Griefworld. We have to camp out and live there. You wave at your family, from a distance. Sometimes you can get a leave pass for a day here or there for no reason at all because grief has no logic but mostly, when the people we love the fiercest die? We live in Griefworld for a very, very long time.

An organiser from Alice Springs sat down beside me and I didn't even remember her name at that point but I will never forget her kindness. Laurie May. She rubbed my back! And told me some secrets about slam that made me laugh - she teaches it to kids, she encourages them to write their words, use their voices, that it was more important to be heard than to win. I told her I wasn't crying because I didn't win I just ... really wanted to make the grand final to make my family PROUD and that I missed my BROTHER and this whole past year my family has missed their MOTHER and Laurie May? Well she just kept rubbing my back as my tears dried and told me how incredibly touched she was at my piece and that the whole room felt it and that was enough. And she was right. She told me all the things I tell other bloggers when they get disheartened. She told me things that judges on reality TV shows tell the "losing" contestants.

Competitions are weird.

When it was all over, a woman came up to me and grabbed my hands and thanked me said that she was bereaved from suicide too, her husband took himself away and they had three children and her son was sitting next to her in the audience, tears streaming down his face as he listened to my words so yeah, nah, I didn't "win." But I did something else, whatever that was.

I spoke to a lot of people. Two of my best friends from YEARS ago came to see me but that deserves a post of its own. In the end I just wanted to get out of there so I did, congratulating the winners and scampered off with Dave but we couldn't find the right carpark so we split up to look separately and then I got hit on by two drunk guys - separately - and I felt scared, pissed off that I was scared, sad that I didn't win, and MY CAM IS GONE.

ALL my brain is doing right now is this time last year this time last year so I had to stop looking for the car, sit down under a brightly lit-lampost so my imminent abduction would at least be captured by street cameras, and hope that Dave found the car before the carpark was locked up otherwise we would have had to catch the train home and that really, REALLY would have sucked.

"Have you ever heard the sound of disappointment? It tangles your head like a winter rose. Comes up eager and shining And it likes to leave a scar before it goes." - Eurythmics 

Dave found the car! We drove to Harrys for a dirty street pie because I actually won the bachelor YEARS ago!



The next day was a bit of a nothing day. I wanted nothing. I wanted to want nothing. I hated the whole weekend. I hate this month. I hate some stuff that must be hated. But a beautiful woman sent me a flower garland headpiece which I wore for most of the day for no reason at all and I cut up watermelon and we ate organic blue corn chips in the backyard where the boys set up their own wet'n'wild because the weather is getting warmer, even though a part of me is winter forever.


I am so lucky. I am so lucky. Then Dave explained it beautifully, chomping away.

"Hon." (Chomp) "It's like, you decided to start playing soccer one year and ALL you wanted to do was get to the end to go up against David Beckham and now you're shattered that didn't happen?"

We laughed so, so hard. Because that's just fucking ridiculous. He is so right. There'll be a video of my performance soon which I can put up on my blog, Wordtravels are working as fast as they can to make it all happen.

All that kept popping into my mind - where was Robin Williams Oscar statuette right now? It isn't the hunk of gold that made him amazing - it was how he made me feel, stirred something inside me when I watched Dead Poets Society right after the suicide of my brothers father.

And you know what we did the next day? We took ALL of our beautiful kids down to the Opera House anyway and we watched the grand slam grand final and man, I was so glad to just sit in the audience and not have all that pent-up energy inside me. It's actually quite important for me right now to deal with the hard things that are already in there, needing to come out. I imagined every poet being Cam, telling me all different things, telling the world the words that were inside him that he could never get out and I don't care how delusional that sounds, it was comforting. And if we really ARE all one then it WAS him.

I have something big planned for this blog on Wednesday are you ready you guys? I hope so. And I have something even BIGGER coming up in November so Eden? Settle the fuck down. You can't do all the things.

Max, Me, Tim, Dave, Phoebe-Rose, and soldier Rocco in the front.

I loved how much Phoebe-Rose loved it. I love her. ALL the kids loved it - words. It was all just words. Blown away. The power of our words in a world where so many of us feel so powerless.



I was so proud of them all for coming. In the end, all of the sixteen people up there on stage were good enough to "win."

We ate a seafood dinner and went to the Guylian cafe after for hot chocolate and we laughed and mucked around and it was so late, on a Sunday night.



The saddest thing by far out of everything that happened? A kind person dived in to Sydney Harbour to rescue that brides beautiful long white veil. He swam back with it clenched between his teeth and he was the hero of the whole wedding party and I could not believe how impacted I was. I was so sad! It's not fair that some people get back the things they want. I know that veil probably would have cost 1k in some fancy shop but if I were the bride? I would let it sink and in years to come I would tell bedtime stories to my children about the day daddy and I got married and how the wind blew the veil off and now it sits at the bottom of the ocean and all the fishies swim through it and do pretend weddings and sometimes, on special days? Even the mermaids do too.

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

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