Sunday, November 14, 2010

Warnie Hat

There'll be no post here this week. We're due out of this house tomorrow and still we're having conversations like this:

M: Should I keep this?

Me: Where else are you going to find a Summer of Cricket Warnie hat?

The paint on the walls is so old that I'm not sure whether the brown I'm cleaning off is filth or its natural colour. Large cracks in the plaster, but they were there to start with. The house spider has gone into hiding.

Some friends of ours are launching an album in Melbourne tonight. It's their fourth, I think. Dreampop, with dulcimer and flute and so forth. Nick is a demon on the strings. I'll exert all sinews to be there, but the wall-filth is calling.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

classification of the giraffe

All of my spare time this week has been taken up with packing. I've barely opened a book. I've barely read a thing. Instead I turn on the television. Almost without fail I end up with Rolf Harris telling me about dying penguins. His latest dying penguin is named Tilda. Tilda is a chick too young to swim or feed herself. She still has her fluffy grey waistcoat of down. Tilda screams for food. She is starving. "She makes her unique call," says Rolf. Her father is discovered by the camera some way distant, hunched over in a drainpipe. He has forgotten her. Barely fledged, she risks the ocean. We confidently expect to see her drowned by the next show.

I'm in the middle of Ephemera, which is, oh, boxes and boxes of papers: programmes for old plays, a bus ticket to Narita airport, a paper mask covered with dry mud, a postcard from Chloride, Arizona, a thesis titled Subspecies classification of the giraffe using DNA analysis with particular reference to the Melbourne Zoo population by Rachel Hawkin, and a doggerel poem written years ago while I was playing the aunt in an amateur production of Hedda Gabler.

Hedda Gabler
Wilful gorgon
Went and married
Tesman, Jørgen.

Hedda Gabler
Won't be fair
Hates poor Thea
For her hair.

Hedda Gabler
Hates his aunt.
He says, "Love her."
She says, "Can't."

Hedda Gabler
Winks at Brack
Ruins Løvborg
(He loves back.)

Hedda Gabler
Babe impending
Shoots herself
And that's the ending.

Jørgen Tesman's
Got some brains
In arrear ...

He gets with Thea.

There are ribbons, stickers, pencil sharpeners, a volunteer worker's badge from the Zoo, a letter from L. who is dead (seeing his name I thought, "I haven't talked to him in years. I should --" and then I remembered why), a tight green pincushion surrounded by Chinese figures holding hands, a ball of red wool, a rubber monster that lights up within when you squeeze its stomach, a smiling yellow dinosaur, a paper doll, and a photograph of someone else's cat.