nicholas nicola etchings

Welcome, below in the PDF file are the NOTES & APPENDIX that directly relate to the main hard copy narrative of L.I.S.A. Please go to the top file which was updated in February 2012. The other file below it has been kept on for archival reasons.Enjoy. Nicholas.

 P.S. However, it should be mentioned that the NOTES need to be a little updated and will be done so in the near future.

 P.P.S. The Appendix will also need to be updated but over time it is possible that it will be reviewed and additional information will be provided. Yet what is already on the webpage is essentially the 'main body' of the Appendix.

*I hope it is possible to save and download the PDF file non gratis onto your computer or reading device so this text can be better read at your convenience. All the best. Nicholas.

** RAW TEXT: Note how there is below the PDF file some notes and some of the appendix text. However, the PDF file is preferable to read as the text on this webpage is not uniform in its font size due to technical difficulties beyond the control of the author. Apologies. I've chosen to leave it on anyway despite a lack of optimum presentation for those who are not fussed and don't mind reading it this way anyway. Nicholas.

 The file directly below was added February 2012. It is the latest update. Hope it works otherwise go on your SEARCH ENGINE to Smashwords L.I.S.A Notes and Appendix. This version can be downloaded on other formats such as kindle and epublish and is also non gratis i.e free.  However, I consider the file that can be downloaded on this page is most like what would be found on a normal paper page as the Smashwords form involves making  changes to the format to suit e-book requirements.  Yet, is still good to read on your kindle or epub screen, Thank you for considering to look at the notes and appendix. 

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L.I.S.A Notes & Appendix to main novel..pdf L.I.S.A Notes & Appendix to main novel..pdf
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Vicky. 1.Michael is referring to a passage in Virginia Woolfe’s To the Lighthouse.



Lisa & Melissa.  1.From William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence.

Karin. 1.K.D. Lang did once very generously autograph an A4 photo of a ‘rain class’ of special education students presented to her by the author.

Night. 1. The next Berries goalkicker was the great El Masri. 2. Marc Chagall.

John Singer. 1.John Singer is the central character in Carson McCuller’s novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

Celestial Fire. 1.William Blake. 2.Alan Ginsberg.

Master. 1 Including 150 Australians who fought in northern Russia (one won a VC)..2.A leaflet Master obtained from the Community Resource Centre in Bardwell Park. 3. Another German language police show that Master also likes is Derrick

4. Master had once quipped after taste testing some home brew beer that such sheds could be used to alleviate the so called ‘refo plague.’ Instead of abandoning refugees onto other Pacific Islands like Nauru. The shed was also a ‘refuge’ for Frank the possum (named after Frank Arok – a former Socceroo coach; after Frank would scarper down a tree when no one was looking and steal a slice of bread at the barbecues in Master’s spacious, native tree backyard).

The Dowie. 1. The old hand would be of the opinion that because of being continually oppressed the Aborginal people found themselves on the bottom rung of European society with all the dysfunctional social/domestic problems often associated with underclass disadvantage; thus the need to dramatically reverse the social slide to fully restore Aboriginal society to its pre-European integrity.

Ilias. 1. Ilias by Jim Sakkas. Australian Vogel Winner. 1987. Allen & Unwin.     

Charon.1.Reference to the boatman of the underworld who transports the recent dead over the waters of the River Styx to Hades.2.Cronus is the Titan God of Time during the Golden Age who usurped his father Uranus to control the whole cosmos. He ate his children so they would not overthrow him according to prophecy;however,Zeus wasn’t devoured (Rhea, Zeus’s mother switched him with a rock). Zeus commanded the Olympians who fought a ten year war with Cronus who was forced to bring up his swallowed offspring. Cronus & the other Titans lost & were put in the deepest pit of Hades known as Tartaros. Zeus was now the new divine master.

Cat. 1.A negro slave parody of the Lord’s Prayer. 2. From Jerusalem (Chapter 2) by William Blake. 2. Jimmy Driftwood is famously known for his rendition of The Battle of New Orleans. The author gratefully stayed with this very hospitable man and his extraordinary wife for a few days at Timbo, Arkansas in 1986.

Last Judgement.1.This strange event was witnessed by the author and eight others at Mt. Sinai ‘around Nov-Dec 1985’. 1.Look at T.S.Eliot’s Burnt Norton in The Four Quartets.

Alcmeon.1.Uriah was the loyal warrior who King David - after sleeping with Uriah’s beautiful wife Bethsheeba and who he still wanted; being pregnant to him - conspired to have Uriah placed in a dangerous situation on the battlefield so he would die at the hands of the enemy. (It could be intimated – but in a different way - that Lisa is another  ‘Uriah’). Michael would mischieviously consider – following Isaac Asimov’s axiom – that violence is always the first act of the incompetent on the competent.

Macksville. 1. This milk bar on Parramatta Rd with a sullen, brooding mysterious proprieter; his stony silence reminding one of the god Hades sitting, looking out at the passing world beyond from his suburban Underworld; its confectionery advertising unchanged over 40 years.    

Freedom of Choice. 1. President Eisenhower coined the phrase ‘the military-industrial complex’ as a warning that the combined power of the  U.S. military and the corporations could become a threat to democracy; this has certainly been evidenced in many third world countries.



Return of the Progidal. 1. Adora’s Cafe.

Ancient Greece.1..A pause.“Did I ever tell you that Cat and I saw the Pope going down Oxford Street in his Popemobile? I think he was following the same course as the Mardi Gras.‘I shook your hand at Assisi!’yelled Cat.”Michael raises his hand.“Look at this hand Mickee-boy! It has also shaken Nelson Mandela’s hand at St. Mary’s Cathedral!” A grin.

 “Cat the name dropper!” laughs Lisa. 2.Michael’s uncle would also always say: “You stupid silly thing!”” “Quick & lovely!” & “Down the guts!” For pinballs going straight pass the flippers as well as: ‘Everyday is Christmas in Australia.’ In reference to it comparitively still being the lucky country compared to so many other less fortunate places on this Earth. (However, he could be like Cronus ‘eating’ his children (as well as his wife) with his bad temper; On those occasions when it was demanded he stop shouting Michael’s uncle would state – as suggested in the main narrative - that he was not yelling but merely ‘giving advice’ which was something that would stick in Michael’s mind when he would watch on the news how it was reported that the United States was sending more military advisors to Vietnam or to some other third world country – not invaders or soldiers – but ‘advisors’). Michael also remembers his uncle as a man who would often break out in Greek song; echoing the ‘racial memory oral tradtion’ of his ancient race. However, as a ‘suburban Empyrean’ one may regard Michael’s uncle as a veritable Zeus ruker of his ‘suburban Mt. Olympus. The heavenly abode of the Hellene gods.

American Future.1.To the author’s knowledge a statement made by Humphrey Bogart in the movie Casablanca. 2.On the early June Queen’s Birthday long weekend 3.pinnies is a suburban colloqioul abbreviation of pinball machine/s. Michael also remembers from this time of his boyhood the occasion when he was accused by his primary school teachers of cheating in an exam. He had to see the Prinicpal and answer such questions as who invented the steam engine locomotive. (George Stephenson). As a son of migrants Michael’s teachers had low expectations of his academic ability. The Principal was convinced this ‘stupid student’ was actually quite intellectually able and was promptly moved from 4D to 5B for the next academic year.

Achilles. 1. Thus Michael was impressed to see images screened onto the roof of this arch when Brian Eno lit up the Circular Quay foreshore including the Opera House and Museum of Contemporary Art with his ‘Luminious’ light show.

A New Sirius. 1. Henry Moore considers this work as a Hades like ‘death head’ whereby the individual faces the horroe of not a natural death but a ‘technological death’ by way of the modern instruments of war e.g. nuclear warfare. Erch Neumann proposes this idea inThe Archetypal World of Henry Moore where he also considers the archetypal mystery idea of humankind is the darkness of the ‘night sea journey’ of the sun and the rebirth of consciousness back into the light which psychologically is also Lisa’s archetypal journey. I’m reminded of how at the Stonehenge Rock Festival, 1982 how a frenzied crowd - all over and amidst this stone human construction - with raised arms worshiped the sun when it appeared from the clouds.2.Some other reference material about the installation as read by Michael talks of a man named Raftapolous who was nicknamed by his workmates with ‘Homeric wit’ Crafty Rafty who as Paul Carter states was like Odysseus who knew ‘all the lurks’:  (Paul Carter, The Sound In Between, 1992, p. 179). 3 Michael is aware that on the way down they have passed the Print Room where by appointment Lisa and he could come back another time to ‘heavenly view’ original William Blake images.

Forgotten Hero.1. Michael was almost as pleased as when he won a work Melbourne Cup sweep; while a teachers aide. (“Shocking!” He said it would be one of the more unique, exciting, life memories he would cherish on his deathbed. Only nearly overtaken by winning the sweep again the next year when Americain won).

The ‘Disappeared’. 1. This extract based on a radio documentary heard on Radio National but unfortunately for the present have no record of it’s title or when it was played; it is at least assumed it was on Hindsight.  

Mother Earth. 1: Canto XXIX of Dante’s Inferno  which amongst other stark images speaks of sprawled crazed bodies in a ‘dark valley’ suffering from an itching that could find no relief no matter how much they dug their nails into each other’s flesh to do so.  Dante speaks that not even those in Aegina who died of the plague would have endured as badly. (It is said that this race of people were born again from ants).                               

The Tropicana Cafe. Darlinghurst.1. Cat has read a poem attributed the Japanese master poet Nijo Yoshimoto. (1320-1388).

The Great Subconscious. 1. Panimaro ’93. Pet Shop Boys.

Lilli Pilli: a reference to the Siev X whereupon over 350 refugees drowned. Michael had seen Billy Bragg at the Roxy Hotel. Glebe on the same night as this tragedy.

Osiris.1. See the Appendix under CAT for further reference to this barbeque in the chapter The Great Judas. 2. See the Appendix under Michael’s paragraphs for the same reference to the Phoenician Club in Phoenicia. 3. Larry Norman a 70s American evangelical rock’n’roller who sang Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music? Produced the album I’m Only Visiting This Planet. 2.Roger East was the ‘sixth journalist’ in East Timor killed (after the Balibo 5 had been summarily executed). It seems apparent at the time that the Whitlam government (and well may we say the Fraser administration that soon followed as well as other later Australian governments) turned a ‘moral blind eye’ to the murders of its nationals and to the massacres of East Timorese. 3. The light brown vinyl summer sleeping bag purchased off a Manchester hippie for £8 at the 1982 Stonehenge Rock Festival is another precious item from this early travel period.

Chiron the Centaur. 1.Lisa has made a reference to the signature lyrics of Deep Purple’s Highway Star.

The Myth of Er. The Myth of Er is in reference to the story that can be found at the end of Plato’s Republic about a warrior who returns from the world at the whim of the gods after death. In the novel the Myth of Er references a lengthy meditation in which Cat mainly considers – through the prism of Ancient Greek myth – what Gregor experienced on his journeys.

1.To look at Medusa - whether she was alive or dead - meant being mesmerised by her and turned into stone. a thousand snakes writhed from Medusa’s head, these former strands of hair were kept alive by  her horrid psyche. This Gorgon was the only one out of the three vile creatures that was mortal; once a beautiful woman  Medusa  was  turned  into  a  monster  by  Athena who was indignant of her physical liaison with Poseidon in one of her temples. Perseus was the son of Zeus and Danae who was impregnated by the thunder god in a glittering golden shower while she was still imprisoned in a bronze subterranean chamber. Danae had been encased by her father Acricus of Argos when the Delphic Oracle had prophesied that her yet to be born son would kill him. Eventually, mother and son would be placed in a chest by Acricus and thrown into the sea. Danae and Perseus were washed ashore at Seriphos where the king was love struck by this  single  mother,  while  the  young  warrior  son  was seen as an obstacle. Feigning a wedding to another woman, the king asked for wedding gifts, and gave Perseus the impossible task of obtaining Medusa’s head as a trophy. King Polydectes would have thankfully believed  he would  never see this protective son of his true love again. Perseus went off to the three old witches known as the Graeae who were the sisters of the Gorgons. Their mother was Ceto who was both wife and sister to the sea-god Phorcys. (Phorcys had also fathered the nymph Thoosa who would mother Polyphemus by way of Poseidon. With Hecate the witch god he also sired Scylla who was a sea nymph who Glaucus fell in love with. Glaucus was once a man who was transformed by eating a magical sea grass on the shore into a minor sea god. Yet,  Glaucus had no  power to gain the affection of Scylla who was a sea nymph who Glaucus fell in love with. Glaucus went to the enchantress Circe for a love potion but she fell in love with Glaucus who resisted her advances. Circe thus went off to the channel between Italy and Sicily where at a rock pool - shaped like a crescent moon where Scylla swam - she threw poisonous herbs into the water. Scylla turned into a sea monster with six snakes with dog heads protruding from her upper body. Along with Charybidis the Whirlpool they would in these straits either suck ships to their doom or devour the crew as sailors tried to avoid one or the other horror. Six of Odysseus’s men would be killed by Scylla who especially despised the Ithacan due to his new-found friendship with Circe. (Ulysses knew of the tragic fate that awaited six of his men – although he did not know which six – so thought it best to keep the information of this horrific but unavoidable, brutal destiny from his crew). Medusa, Scylla – two of Phorcys’s beautiful offspring who were tragically fated to become horrible malevolent forces; Phorycs – the son of Pontus the Sea and Gaea the Earth – considered to be the sea as evil was also known as Phorcus the Intrepid.In contrast Nereus - another son of Pontus and Gaea and born early in the creation of the world as seen by his greybeard - was just and kind. In the Aegean this ‘Old Man of the Sea’ would often leave his sea cavern to help sailors and provide friendly advice. Nereus’s wife was Doris and one of their fifty daughters - who were known as the Nerieds - was Thetis the mother of Achilles. Another benign sea divinity was Proteus the son of Oceanus and Tethys who was also known as an Old Man of the Sea. He would shepherd Poseidon’s seals and could see into the future and always spoke the truth. However, he would always change into different animal shapes to avoid this task but would give up the deception if the seeker of truth and the future was courageously persistent.). The three grey haired sisters only had one eye and one razor-edge tooth between them and Perseus grabbed the eye as it was passed from one hag to the other. It would not be given back until the location of the lair of the Gorgons was spelt out to Perseus. Although their eye was returned this resourceful intruder still obtained from these elderly shrews a dark hat that rendered him invisible, a magic satchel, and winged sandals, which could make him fly. Following misty, dark paths that were littered with many statues that were Medusa’s previous victims, swift invisible Perseus reached his ghastly goal. Perseus stealthily carried out the execution with a sickle given to him by Hermes. From Medusa’s sliced neck emerged Pegasus the flying horse and Chrysaor a male warrior holding a golden sword, both had been fathered by Poseidon. With Medusa’s head in the bag Perseus was chased by the other two Gorgons but escaped from these mangy dragon-like beasts by riding Pegasus Coming across Atlas’s kingdom Perseus asked if he could rest but the giant Atlas who feared this son of Zeus may steal his golden apples refused him hospitality and in turn exposed by the sight of Medusa’s head was transformed into a mighty mountain - which on its back still rests the earth and heavens. In a desolate Ethiopia Perseus came across and saved Andromeda from a sea monster sent by Poseidon who was as equally outraged as the Nerieds by Andromeda’s mother’s remark who had stupidly said she was more beautiful than these sea goddesses. (Mention should be made of the seven Pleideas who were the daughters of Atlas and Pleione: Alycone the Queen who warded off evil storms was seduced by Poseidon and most likely gave birth to Orion’s father; Asterope akin to a twinkling star; Celseno who was swarthy; Electra akin to bright shining amber and it is thought that the Greek word electron is derived from her; when static electricity was discovered in 600 B.C. by Thales of Miletus the use of the term probably came from the name Electra. It should also be noted that Electra was  the  name of  a daughter  of Agamemnon and Clytaemnestra  who  along  with  Orestos  killed  her mother  and  her lover  to  avenge  the  death  of  her  father; Maia  the  Great  One, the  eldest and most beautiful of the Pleideas, seduced by Zeus to give birth to Hermes; Merope the eloquent and Taygete the long necked. Pleiades is in reference to the star cluster of that name and the word plein means to sail and it is said the star cluster’s conjunction with the sun in spring and to its opposite in autumn marked both ends of the sailing season in Ancient Greece. There is also mention of the word pleaos ‘full’ which means many in its plural form that can relate to a star cluster and also to peleiades  ‘flock of doves’ the seven sisters were metamorphised into this bird and flew to the stars). Intending to torment the land this behemoth would instead devour Andromeda as a worthy sacrifice; she was chained to a rock on the insistence of an oracle to the king. Perseus freed the princess - and once the tough-skinned marine creature was defeated - married Andromeda. Medusa’s head was placed on a nest of seaweed beside the sea while the wedding proceeded and this sea grass was transformed into coral. It had been the case that  when Perseus flew over Libya each blood drop from this severed head landed in the desert to create new snakes. In Seriphos Polydectes was maltreating Danae who did not love him so Perseus on his return revealed the head of Medusa to turn this corrupt king into stone. The helmet and the satchel were given to Hermes, and Medusa’s head was placed on Athena’s shield. Danae and Perseus headed back to Argos where on the way Perseus competed in funerary games at Larissa where Acrisus having left Argos to avoid his grandson was unwittingly in attendance and was thus accidentally killed by a discus thrown by his unknowing inescapable nemesis. However, the fated grandson chose not to take over the throne of Argos and went to the kingdom of Tiryns where he founded Mycenae and from his family of the Perseids Hercules, also fathered by Zeus – disguised as the husband of Alcmene - would become it’s most famed son as portended when as a baby he killed the two poisonous snakes an envious Hera had sent to kill him. It was also on this outing to South Head that Cat told the others about Demeter the vegetation goddess who looked for her daughter Persephone with two torches after she was kidnapped and taken by Hades to his underworld. The earth went barren while Demeter continued her search. It wasn’t until Helios the sun god who could see everything from his great height spoke to Demeter that she found out what happened. Picking flowers while playing with the daughters of Oceanus - who is the circle waters that surround the world - Persephone saw the narcissus placed in the ground by Gaea the earth mother for Hades - the ‘God Who Receives so Many’. As Persephone unwittingly plucked these flowers a chasm opened up and the god of death emerged to seize Persephone whom he loved and who he would marry in the Underworld. Crops no longer grew, animals stopped breeding and death came to humanity. A wildly grieving Demeter went to Zeus and demanded that he make Hades return her beloved daughter. The lord of Olympus said this could only occur if Persephone  had  not eaten anything in the land of the dead. However, Persephone had eaten  a  fruit  seed  which  Hades  had  slyly  given  her.  Fortunately,  a  compromise was reached whereby Demeter would go back to Olympia to restore the earth’s agriculture while Persephone would return to the surface at spring and go back to hell at the time of the harvest just before winter. Persephone’s movements would reflect the hibernating and regenerative qualities of the earth’s four various seasons. Cat added that a source of this vegetation myth is Eleusis near Athens where there was a performance of a religious ritual which represented how a corn goddess would go beneath the world after the harvest at the start of the summer months personifying how collected corn was stored under the ground to escape the blistering heat of the sun which could leave the bare earth dried out. Keeping the corn away from these furnace conditions helped to retain its life properties.

2. Revelations 2:6 which talks of the Son of God (there is the revelation image of Jesus Christ with a sword coming from His mouth) saying that it is in the favour of the church of Ephesus that it hates the Nicolatians and their customs which God also does not tolerate.

3. In what seems rather ironic to him in the present context Gregor finds himself viewing MARK 9:33-50 in which Jesus asks his disciples that to be considered great and as ‘first’ one must put themselves last and serve others; and to welcome a child is equal to welcoming the Saviour. Gregor also learns that if someone casts out demons in Christ’s name this person is not to be stopped for if ‘one is not against us he is for us’. To give someone who is thirsty a cup of water in Christ’s name is to not lose one’s reward in heaven. For those who cause a little one to sin it would be better if they threw themselves into a lake each with a rock tied around them rather than be cast down into hell. Cut off the hand that makes you sin for it is better to live life crippled than be eternally damned where one will be ‘salted with fire’. Once reading this passage consider also Isaiah 66: 22-24.

4. “Semele was also the mother of the more well-known Dionysus who was also fathered by Zeus. She was the daughter of Cadmus. A Phoenician who was the founder of Thebes, which would one day have Oedipus as its king. He was the brother of Europa who had been taken away by Zeus to Crete when he disguised himself as a bull and approached Europa who was swimming along a seashore. Europa somersaulted on the laidback bull’s back. Zeus took Europa by sea to Crete where as a man he fathered Minos and Rhadamanthus to her; their mother taught them how to leap Zeus as she had done and it became a revered skill amongst Cretans. Although the brothers squabbled as to who would rule Crete Minos was to become king.a

 Minos  was  a  just ruler. Along with his brother, Rhadamanthus, Minos would become judge over the  dead  in the  Underworld; they  would  choose  both the punishments and where the dead would go according to their deeds and misdeeds achieved on this earth. Aeacus  was  the  third adjudicator of this lordly triumvirate that would direct the eternal

destinies of mortals; he was a pious man who would sire Telamon, the father of Ajax the Greater and Peleus, the father of Achilles. Zeus was also Aecus’s father and his mother was the nymph Aegina which was the name of the island he ruled.* On Aegina Aecus’s people were wiped out by a plague but Zeus repopulated Aegina by making new people out of ants. It seems a Greek word for ants is ‘myrmekes’ which explains why this new race was called Myrmidons who according to Homer were ruled by Peleus  and Achilles. Aecus, who convinced  the  gods  to end a drought on mainland Greece, is worthy to share with his half-brothers their prodigious judicial duties in Hades. Yet, this is all a digression from considering Semeles and Dionysus.As I said Semeles’s father was Cadmus who was encouraged from giving up his search for his sister Eurydice by the Delphic Oracle. This esteemed seer had Cadmus follow a cow for where it lay down he would found Thebes. Hera was said to be ‘cow eyed’ so these animals were held in high regard.” Cat lifts back his cowboy hat. “Cows may allude to female, maternal  universal  forces  while  bulls  correspond to this creation’s male aspects. Zeus is meant to be ‘broad-faced’. I imagine like Taurus. Yet, as I have mentioned earlier Semele - the daughter of Cadmus - was the mother of Dionysus. At last, we come to the main subject in this broad overview of ancient legend.” Cat grins. “I often wonder if the gods had me as Ovid - who wrote Metamorphosis - in a previous life. Zeus slept with Semele and Hera, insufferably jealous, disguised as a human, convinced Semele to ask Zeus to visit her in his full godly splendour. This king of all the deities reluctantly visited this mere mortal – who at most could only hope to become a minor earth goddess - as a massive bolt of lightning. Semele was vaporised. However, the unborn child was saved from the ashes was still fiercely jealous made Ino and her family become insane.  Ino’s husband was killed by Zeus. The melancholy thunder god placed Dionysus in his thigh. After his birth, Dionysus was handed into the care of Ino, who was a sister of Semele. Yet, Hera who his  son  and  Ino drowned herself in the sea with another son.” Cat glimpses a pensive Lisa - who is staring down at Melissa - from the corner of his eye. “Yet, there is some hope in this tragedy as these two were both transformed into sea divinities. Thus Dionysus was given over to the nymphs of  Mount Nysa where it is said he was named and where he first cultivated magnificent vineyards. With a band of followers, Dionysus travelled throughout Europe, Asia and to India - where I am certain his wild spirit is still instilled in the Bollywood musical – those who accepted him were blessed  with  wine and those who  despised  him were driven hysterically mad. Those who doubted his divinity bullied Dionysus, but he overcame all his foes.  In Thrace, Lycurgus  chained  the  bacchantes  and satyrs as he had rejected Dionysus. Dionysus from the clutches of Hades. Disconsolate with life, Orpheus was absent from this world in both mind and spirit as he walked with a Thracian band of Dionysian women known as maenads. So the story goes this distraught figure would preach about the Dionysian mysteries and what he saw in Hades. Indifferent to all other women, these wild maenads finally turned on our sad musician when his apathy led him to ignore some orgiastic rite they were performing.” Cat’s knuckles go white as he tightens his grip onto the white wooden rail. “Perhaps Orpheus knew what he was doing for these Dionysian ‘whores’ were angered and tore him to shreds; these jealous, murderous creatures would be turned into oak trees but not till after they had thrown the head of Orpheus  into  the  water   where   it   was   heard   yelling  out  ‘Eurydice!’”

4a. It is said Zeus influenced his ascendency to the throne by sending Minos a white bull from the sea but it is also speculated that Minos asked Poseidon to send him a sacrificial victim to assure his right to rule. It was the sea god who sent the bull. However, it was such a fine animal that Minos did not have the heart to kill him. For a while, Minos was unable to have sons due to Zeus’s displeasure in not carrying  out  the sacrifice. Every woman who slept with Minos died due to a poison in his body placed there by Zeus. Not until Procris came to Crete - after her fallout with her husband Cephalus caused by the goddess Dawn who loved Cephalus  - and formed a  woman’s shape for Minos to sleep with and draw the poison out. Minos would give Procris a magical spear and hound with which she gave to Cephalus and they were reconciled. However, a jealous Dawn would trick Cephalus to kill Procris who the hunter had mistook as wild game hiding in a bush. Nevertheless, the original situation of ‘lethal sex’ with Minos possibly enabled Poseidon to have Minos’s wife Pasiphae fall in love with the bull by which the Minotaur was produced from their union; a monstrous creature who had the head of a bull and the body of a man. Daedelus, an inventor from Athens who had been exiled to Crete for throwing his nephew pupil Talos off the Acropolis, thankfully Athena saved him and turned him into a partridge - Daedelus feared that Talos, who had invented the potter’s wheel and the saw, would grow in stature over him – was commissioned by Minos to build a labyrinth that would imprison the Minotaur. I should also note that Daedelus was famed for his many mechanical devices and moving sculptures which had to be chained down; they  may have been the first robots as it was said these figures could also make themselves.It was Daedelus that made the fake cow which fooled Minos’s bull to impregnate Pasiphae. Minos deeply  mistrusted  Daedelus  so  he  too was  imprisoned  in  hi s labyrinth.  As it was Daedelus  gave  advise  to Adriane who would give Theseus the thread that would help him to make his way through the labyrinth to kill the Minotaur who had demanded human sacrifice to him every seven years. As we know Daedelus would famously escape from the labyrinth with his waxed wings in which he lost his son Icarus. Minos with a great fleet tracked Daedelus to Sicily where he had gone to live after not having the heart to go back to Athens without his son. In the Palace of King Cocalus Daedelus would  be  boiled  to  death  in a torture bath he invented. Although another legend has it that Daedelus, who was loved by King Cocalus’s daughters because of the beautiful toys he made, helped to plot Minos’s death and it was he who was boiled. I prefer the first version as Daedelus, who was revered as a craftsman by the Greeks, with a divine touch like Michelangelo, is to me a horrendous creator. Cadmus had to kill a dragon which had killed his companions who were fetching water - for a ritual in the sacrifice of the cow to Athena - from a spring the beast was guarding.  Athena had him sow half the dragon’s teeth into a field while the other half she kept for Areetes the king of Coletes, who would give them to Jason the Argonaut. Cadmus watched a harvest of warriors rise up from the ground. Dadmus threw a stone into the middle of this phalanx and in the fighting that ensued only five sown men survived and these Spartoi would build the citadel Cadmea and become the ancestors to the noble class of Thebes. Zeus gave Cadmus, Harmonia - the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite  - to marry; every divinity was at hand to attend this wedding and at the end of their rule Zeus transformed this regal couple into snakes to take them to Elysium which is the Isle of the Blest. Cadmus is to be noted for introducing the Phoenician writing script to the Theban Boeotians as these letters would form the foundation of the Greek alphabet.

5.The following extracts were originally included in the Myth of Er chapter.

a. “The gun emplacement is from World War II.” remarks Cat. 

    “Do you think it was ever used?” asks Lisa.

    “The Japanese actually had midget submarines attack Sydney Harbour.” states Gregor. “An elderly woman I know in Glebe told me as a girl she heard shells from the mother submarine whiz over her auntie’s place and land in the golf course.”

 “Would have just been down the road here in Dover Heights.” remarks Cat.

 “She is a very interesting woman who let’s us have our Guatemala human rights meetings at her place.” continues Gregor. “About eight people – including Caterina – turn up every second Wednesday; there is always a very good selection of tea and biscuits to have after the formal proceedings. Most of us had travelled on a ‘road to Damascus’ in Central America to become involved. The President of our little committee is a Guatemalan lawyer who escaped with his family from the death squads. ‘Victor Hugo’ works now as a cleaner.  Our host is involved with the theatre, she helped to set up New Theatre in Newtown; was a documentary film maker for a waterside union and used to live a bohemian life in Kings Cross. Still is a bohemian. A ‘grand woman’ who really inspires us to see that if we reach our eighties we could, even then, still live full, engaging lives. You ought to meet her Cat.”

b. Everyone has a go including Melissa. Yet, no one can offer an explanation to this phenomenon regarding the echo.

 “Lifeline has its phone number here.” Michael is examining the white railing that runs along the cliff top.

“Telstra are thinking of getting rid of the free call service to them.” comments Gregor.

c.“A surfie mate of mine was off Shelley beach at Cronulla when he saw a dolphin nearby make a whirlpool with his tail.” nonchalantly remarks Michael. “These fish got caught up in it and the dolphin grabbed a few with his teeth to eat.”

d. Lisa tilts back her head. “Dan told me according to his mother he has some gypsy blood in him.” The others were then told of Dan’s family folklore which involved a Spanish  sailor  marrying  an  Irish woman  in  Elizabethan  times.  The Spaniard had survived a shipwreck while thousands of his compatriots had died when many vessels of  the  Spanish  Armada  while  heading  home  had  smashed  onto  the  rugged  Irish coastline. Despite their best navigational efforts these particular boats had still drifted uncontrollably in the strong North Atlantic current.

 Cat interrupts by repeating his Japanese haiku about drifting boats. 

 Lisa continues. “One descendent from this Spanish-Irish mix was a great grandfather who fell in love with a village woman when he too was shipwrecked but on an island in the Mediterranean Sea.” A laugh. Lisa looks out to sea. “When he was being picked up  he  had her dressed up as a sailor to get her onto the boat. Dan’s great granddaddy even had her use a flask and tube to urinate over the side to convince everyone she was a man! It’s mainly because of her that Dan has that swarthy look. If nothing else, his whole family background may explain his hot temper.” Lisa looks whimsical. “Maybe she’s out there now…”

 “My dead husband could be!” muses Margaret. “His nickname was Flipper!”

 “40,000 years on my mind…that mural outside Redfern railway station has that big Rainbow Serpent running along the barrier wall…yet what few people know is that the dolphin is apparently the actual tribal totem for this area…” Cat is looking absentminded. “The followers of Dionysus were exhilarated to lose their identity in divine ecstasy.” Hands still on the rail. ‘To the gods our whole bodies are masks. We must clothe our transforming soul with ever new disguises. To reflect continuing change.’

 “Get the best suit that fits!” Cat winds up his yo-yo. “Don’t hire one for $89. Buy one for the same price! Try out our new factory shop in Erskineville!”

e. “Was the Aegean Sea named after Aegina?” inquires a very curious Michael.

 Cat shakes his head. “After Theseus’s father whose name is Aegeus. Although the Greek word for storm is  supposed to be agis. Can you enlighten us…”                        

 “Na…my Greek vocabulary is no good…”

 “You  are  so  useless  -”  laughs Lisa. “ - MICHAEL!” Comes the shout so as to hear the echo in the gun emplacement.

Immaculate Transmutation.1 ‘Looking Glass’ at first glance the reader may think of Alice in Wonderland but Cat is referring to Marcel Duchamp’s seminal work The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors,Even,(1915-23) & is commonly referred to as The Large Glass. To describe it crudely there are brown coloured flat sculptural/machine pieces/drawings (including that of a chocolate grinder) in symbolic relationship to each other between two thin door size rectangle glass panes (with the glass accidently broken in transportation to the Art Museum of Philadelphia) & which essentially obtains  meaning through the title that Duchamp has given to this enigmactic ‘non-painting’. 2.In the Appendix are chapter headings such as The Mind is a Minatour which reference Marcel Duchamp. 3a.Cat also says:“Bob Geldorf you ‘wicked’ Irish son!” 3b. He also thought: ‘Life should be a quest for justice. Always ask the Big Questions.  4. Cat also considers: ‘After four years of atrocity comes the ‘noble scientist’ with his revolutionary theory to give Europeans an opportunity to restore to themselves a blind faith in their own supposed ‘nobility’. 5. See The Mind of God’s Cowboy on the Edge is Nigh in the APPENDIX for an elaboration of the ideas expressed here by Cat.6 Archbishop Romero of El Salvador was assassinated whil holding mass by the right wing death squads for his defence of the poor and for his outspoken condemnation of the violation of human rights during the civil war. These death squads were supported by the United States especially during the reign of President Reagan who also financed the contras in Nicaragua who also killed thousands of innocents. 7.Cat would ask in response to this Pythagorean treatise: ‘one side of an eternal pyramid? Is this universe really a pyramid?’ 8.Cat also surmises: ‘Our brain stays in one piece in the prime of life, to maybe at a later stage fray at the edges and only breakdown all together in the last years.’

Human Readymade.1. See in the Appendix the chapter entitled: Cassandra.2. Cat also thinks:  It is the material evidence of God in  a certain naked state. (Zeus with no clothes: the husband of everything stripped bare). 3. Cat is imitating the Torres Islanders seen on a news item on Anzac Day doing an Aeroplane Dance to commemorate Allied planes that had aided in their liberation. The dancers had all worn headgear which incorporated WWII model planes. I AM A TEAPOT!” he also unduly yells.4. Fluxus (which it is said is from the Latin ‘to flow’) is an avante garde international anti-commerical anti-art, neo-Dada ‘intermedia’ art movement known to the author via the Lithuanian artist George Maciunus (1931-1978) who initiated Fluxus ‘happenings’ in New York from 1961 through to the 70s. Nam June Paik, Jospeh Bueys & Yoko Ono were associated with Fluxus. (It is said Marcel Duchamp had some bearing on Fuxus at the very beginning). Fluxus was not as anti/negative as Dada and it hoped to have a positive social/communal influence. It is said that Fluxus waned as a cohesive art movement after the death of Maciunus although its influence has been long lasting. (For a more comprehensive look at Fluxus further information can be found on the internet). 5. The rose in a measuring cylinder is a replica of an art object by the postwar German conceptual artist Joseph Bueys. Joseph Bueys lived during the Nazi Germany period and served in the Lufwaffe during WWII. National Socialism was certainly a ‘derailment’ of human progress; a ‘national wound’ which Joseph Bueys took into account. It is said that Joseph Bueys stands out with Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol in any dialogue that looks at re-evaulating the role of art and one could say as a consequence also took on a serious re-examination of the ‘social/political/environmental/moral dynamics’ of  western society and culture.  Joseph Bueys is noted for his multiples of his art objects making them more accessible to be collected by a wider audience. (Cat had also yelled out: “Multiple objects for multiple lives!” 6. The same perspective which is used by those street artists who draw on the city’s footpaths with their chalk to inscribe Gericault’s The Raft of the Medusa, Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and so forth and by advertising signs on football playing fields angled in a way that looks easily readable on television screens.

The Burial of the Dead. 1. “MOLOCH!” ‘Far gone schoolyard days when I was always ‘cat-called’ by the bullies grated by my so called ‘eccentric wit.’ Having to try to cope like the other students and teachers  who were verbally assaulted for being ‘different’ or ‘soft.’ The hard-hearted only understand a hard god. Harsh. Unforgiving. Barking out his divine vitriol  on  the  undeserving. Only  valuing  the moral cowardice of the pack. The ‘strong’ must crush the single, powerless ‘weak’.  Loneliness. To grieve inside oneself. A mental erosion. Breathless. Weak-kneed. A persistent throbbing headache as that last scene of humiliation is replayed over and over again in the mind. Wondering how it could have been avoided. Or doing something about it. Yet to only be left dealing with a hurtful, uncaring sarcasm. Piercing. Like a knife stabbing into the heart. Ripping through our shallow civil defenses to strike deep into the core of our self-beliefs. Suffering as if one’s life is fraudulent. The honour and truth of a person crushed under an avalanche of lies. Cat perceived that his only chance of psychological survival was to hold onto who he was especially when the ignorant directly persecuted him. These followers of a foul god who demanded his sacrificial victims for the upkeep of his vicious intolerances. Yes, not to die inside one’s self. Taking on the nickname Cat. Let the light shine. Human compassion. Human understanding. Human dignity. To stand up to being a human being. No longer to be objectified. Maligned. To also deal with a social darkness by looking into the shadows with ‘cat eyes’ to spot thin slivers of the proverbial hopeful glow. To no longer be afraid; to yearn for emotional maturity; in search of a resolution that allows life to keep its meaningfulness. To have moral fibre. To overcome a lack of self-confidence and emotional paralysis that could lead to a life made impotent. To be imploding. Crippled. Prejudice. Hate. Everywhere. Germinating in a world filled with a social fascism in all its well-known vile mutations. Satan is real. A grotesque monster. Callous. Emotionally brutal. Insensitive. Vandalizing not only the body but the mind. Instilling only unhappiness. Harming those who wish no harm. Horrors on the innocent. It is so unfair…there is bitterness….tears…what is desired by every psychological ‘human sacrifice’ to Baal is to be respected. To be left alone. Yet there is the tearing. Of mental flesh. The heart cut out. Stripping away. A human being. To be all bone. For the flies. Vomiting. On a human soul. To be nothing. What you have lived. As nothing. The rich experience of a life made valueless. That you only have value if you cower. Or conform. The gutless prey on ‘easy meat’. Ripping apart. Invalidating. The persecuted not to be known. Only accused. Misunderstood. Stereotyped. Depersonalized.’ Cat knows what it is like to be laughed at; while inwardly in tears. ‘Cruel men. Mocking over the corpse of a soul. Human pain. To cry. Yes. To save yourself.’ “They said the Savior could not help himself...”‘A crown of mental thorns to overcome. Yes. The mocking of Jesus. Laughing. Grotesque. Sneers.Falsely accused.To persecute a human life to feel if every achievement is invalid. A whole life to feel as nought. Without any worth. Integrity. Value. Denied. Yet not to be forced back. Or crushed. Or shell-shocked or broken-hearted. As others had. Cat would always stay on his feet. Flamenco steps. On the footpaths of his life. Justice for himself then for the accomplishment of a social justice.“To have others care. For where is the human empathy for each other and ourselves?”A very small leather bound copy of Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol is always in the back pocket of Cat’s jeans. He taps it.“Defeat the demons!”A tap of the forehead. A swig. “Have courage.” A fist slams the chest.“Stand up for who you are!” Another swig. “Keep your self-respect.”Human Malice. Cat listens to a news  report that states how looters in a flooded city have been sniping at rescuers“The incomprehensible irrationality of human nature…We make Atlantis fall! 2. While looking up at the sky Cat thinks of the first line in Alan Grossman’s (American poet) poem The Woman on the Bridge over the Chicago River which says how stars can be tears that are falling with light inside them – it makes Cat to also consider Lisa.

 3. ‘Even now I can easily imagine his music…it was mystically reassuring at the time for I had just had a ‘near miss’ in Poland: three thugs eyeing me at a tram stop, fortunately two young men appeared out of nowhere. I stood beside them, explained the situation, they were happy to be my guardian angels. My would-be-attackers walked off, one of them shouting out profanities I caught the train to Berlin that very night; however, I had to huddle in a corridor, an elderly man took pity on my prodigal circumstance and had the other passengers in his cabin make room for me.’ 4. In A Perfect Day.

Plato. 1.On the 4th of July, 1918 at Hamel a joint Australian-American offensive was mounted. The infantry were well supported by tanks, artillery, planes and fast communications etcetera to achieve a spectacular success. General Sir John Monash’s battle tactics where all of the machinery of war worked together as one offensive unit was a formidable precursor to what became more infamously known as blitzkrieg by the Wehrmacht at the start of WWII. Monash who was a meticulous battle-planner earned the well-deserved reputation of being the most accomplished general on the Western Front. One of his inventive tactics was to bombard the German trenches with both gas and smoke for several days before a major attack. Yet on the actual day of the offensive only smoke bombs would fall on the German  lines. Conditioned by now to also expect gas the German troops would still put on their cumbersome gas masks which slowed them down while the smoke still provided the appropriate cover for Monash’s attacking troops. This particular conditioning tactic to link a connection between two events where there really wasn’t one fascinates Cat. (It should be noted that it is estimated that up to 102,000 Australian servicepeople had died overseas over the twentieth century).

Brown Eyed Girl.1.From William Blake’s Jerusalem.

Broad and Alien is the World. Rose notes: “BIG ISSUE. Meanjin. Venceremos. RACLA. The Bulletin. Granta. New Internationalist. QUARTERLY ESSAY. The New Yorker. London Review of Books...” Rosie peruses two big bookcases. “Mmmm…here’s a big photo book: One day In The Life of Australia…both collections of a thousand & one movies - books to see and read before we die…”

Havana.1.In the Sculpture-by-the-Sea.2009 was a magnificent, lean ‘Trojan Horse’ made of rust brown machine parts (entitled Subterfuge) on cliff rocks looking over Tamarama.




Paris.1The River Seine. 2. Mat also remarked:‘Go John Saffron!”&“The whole world found out that you’d spotted the great SBS wogball commentator Les Murray at La Vina...”

Nirvana. 1. This proposal was intimated by Arthur C. Clarke the writer of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The Big Sleep. 1.Michael also stated:“I love it when Perry Keyes sings that Johnny Sattler song and he does that take off of Frank Hyde: It’s high! It’s long enough! It’s straight between the posts!” Michael loudly claps his hands. “It was good to see the old bastard speaking at Town Hall - like some Roman Senator - at that huge rally for South Sydney!” Another clap.

Last Exit.1 Who told Michael that ‘hysteria’ comes from the Ancient Greek to do with the terror of a terrible disturbance of a woman’s uterus.

Russian Roulette. 1. Doestovsky faced the firing squad in freezing conditons for hours in a ‘mock execution’ with other members of the Petrashevsky Circle who were liberal intellectuals. Tsar Nicholas 1 had them imprisoned in April 1849 along with anyone else he considered a threat to his autocratic rule after the 1848 uprisings in Europe. After years of harsh exile in Siberia Doestovsky was finally released in 1854. In a leter to his brother this great Russian writer compared these wasted years akin to being shut in a coffin. 2. Cat is paraphrasing Marcus Aurelius which he also does with these other passages but in this first case it is: Marcus Aurelius Meditations BOOK 12. Chapter 30. 3. BOOK 8: 52. 4. BOOK 4:49. 5. Ibid. 6. BOOK 2:17.7. BOOK 4:3 8.* BOOK 5:9. 9. BOOK 6:15. 10. BOOK 6:15.10.Ibid.11. BOOK8: 60.12.BOOK 10:27.13. BOOK 5:27. 14. BOOK 8: 26.15. BOOK 7:49. *In reference to Notation 6 for Marcus Aurelius quotes by Cat: The translator of  the Penguin edition of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations – Maxwell Staniforth – makes the excellent point that the idea the world is always changing and that it is up to us to evaluate the way to view it is also conveyed by William Shakespeare in Hamlet (Act II, scene 2): “There’s nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.’ Yet is more succinctly expressed by Marcus Aurelius who uses only two Greek words and which in a literal sense means: ‘life opinion.’ (See the footnote to BOOK FOUR Chapter 3. Penguin edition. 1964). Cat’s interest in philosophy (especially Stoicism) is very strong – he attempts to listen to All in the Mind & The Philosopher Zone on Radio National every Saturday afternoon (1pm to 2 pm & online).     

The American Triumph. 1.Dante  is  especially  intrigued  by  this  epic  land  for  he  had  promoted  the  legend  that Ulysses had been the first to sight it, for in his travelogue to the Underworld the Florentine had ‘recorded’ that the Ithacan had remarked to him that his men and he had passed the Rock of Gibraltar to tarry in the western ocean for five months to only perish in sight of a ‘mountain shape’ - which was been conjectured by some commentators to be this New World, although the prevalent view is that Ulysses had sighted Mount Purgatory that lies in the Southern Hemisphere. 2. Reference to the author being pleasantly surprised to listen to the Ode to Joy when he turned on Classic FM on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on his car radio.* (A long two kilometre column of 1,000 large human size foam dominos – covered in peace images/messages hand painted by children - along the former path of the wall were toppled over by the likes of Lech Walesa  & Mikhal Gorbachev; more soberly, it should be noted that the 9th November is also the date of ‘Kristalnacht’).

*To hear this Beethoven masterpiece (coincidentally conducted by Bernstein & presumably in Berlin) after finishing a memorable two week casual work stint as an E.S.L Art teacher in a small staffroom shared with three very commendable & witty female work  colleagues

Lost World. 1 Juan Azurduy de Padivio. 1780-1862. A Bolivian female guerrilla fighter. Simon Bolivar. 1783-1830. The ‘George Washington’ of South America; Michael shaking the hand of the Mexican Benito Juaz; Gregor looks seriously at Jose Marti. 1853-1895 who is revered in Cuba like Augusto Sandino is in Nicaragua.

Optic Painting. 1. What Gregor would mean is that after spending so many frustrating moments rushing about in the stifling heat of the vast, crowded Asian Continent, often getting many things only half-done, he learnt it was satisfactory enough for him to just achieve one thing well each day.

A Final Loop. 1. The contents of Karin’s letter which only a few lines were included in the main narrative:‘…I’m off to Mali. From Paris there are direct flights. I am staying at a pensione in Montmare but I hope to spend my last night at this nineteenth century flat filled with antique furniture and old paintings which is the home of this Russian fashion designer that I met at a bus station in Krakow. I found the cafes that were in Before Sunrise and Amelie. I haven’t had the need to go to all the museums as I have been to Paris before but I’m hoping tomorrow to go to this new museum made up of indigenous art, including works from Australia. I want to go to Fontainebleau as a French guy that I met said Wolli Creek reminded him of the forest around there! (I take a small collection of photos from home with me whenever I go away to show people when they ask me what’s Sydney like). It’s late Sunday afternoon and I’m looking out my ‘French window’ to view a glorious sunset. I’ve just come from the Georges Pompidou building where I’ve seen all these reggae buskers. I took a photo of this one singer wearing a large colourful cap that you would really like. I left my ‘flatette’ and in my last week in London I stayed at a community house called Patchwork in Islington. A teacher from my ex-work put me up. Patchwork is three terraces with the dividing walls knocked through and over twenty people live there including a family. Everyone has their own rooms but there are communal living and dining areas and a large kitchen. When I get back my friend is hoping to move into her own place as its time for her to have some more personal space; I may live with her or I may come home. Anyhow that’s all in the future, as for Mali I’ll be spending time in some far away villages, at least try to get off the usual tourist trail. (My travel book says that in the more accessible Dogon areas uncaring tourists will take photos of the villagers although they know there is a strong local belief that a camera can steal a person’s soul). I’m definitely going to see the mosque in the cutting I’ve sent you. Magnificent isn’t it? Apparently it’s the largest mud brick structure in the world. I’m also looking forward to listening to some great music, especially in the side trip to Senegal. You can ask Michael about this but I use to take him to the Haymarket where we’d go up this rickety wooden staircase to this little planked room to see these Afro-reggae bands like Kalabash. All these groovy, well-dressed guys from Ghana used to turn up; yet what I remember best is this lovely hot Sunday afternoon where we came by these Raffrastrian musicians practising under this big tree in the park close to Turrella station. That experience probably gave me the initial desire to go on this trip. We were with a friend of Michael’s who was working in Central Australia. It was her birthday so it was a pleasant surprise. Michael was telling me you are in a lot of pain. It’s a pity to hear. He said the situation gets you all short-tempered but I explained to him that you’ve always been a wildflower! (That’s a compliment! You have a feisty soul!). At least that day down at Circular Quay sounded a joy. In ancient times the Dugong of Mali worshipped the Dog Star Sirius. The tribes of Mali have a belief that God spat out the world in the shape of a human being. They have villages outlined like a person; it’s an interesting idea: the universe shaped as a person…’ P.S. ‘I recently sneaked into a hall like at Hammersmith to see the Oils rehearsing. At this benefit Germaine Greer was on the bill. I have seen a couple of Australian bands like Mental As Anything and The Triffids. There was another guy I saw: Attila the Stockbroker. He was really funny. If he gets to Australia go see him!’  2. Before the letter is carefully placed back in the large yellow Air Mail packet the postscript is again re-read: ‘Many thanks for the photos! Lisa has a good eye! Your shot was good too!’ To reiterate: the Australian silver medallist Peter Norman had supported the two Afro-American athletes by wearing a badge of the Olympic Project of Human Rights who had called for a boycott of the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games by black athletes. Peter Norman – this courageous  unsung hero of Australian athletes - was never given the opportunity to run for Australia again in the Olympics; despite running within all qualifying times. No other male Australian athlete has yet been able to match his success on the field.

Norwegian Wood. 1.It was a relief for Lisa to finally find somewhere to live after splitting up with Dan. Her time doing a house-sit in Rozelle was about to end. Although it would be hard to leave the flatette by the water it was good for the mother-to-be to have her own stable space. The rent was very affordable; which was a great help in a city where home values were greedily on the rise. It was a lovely place; always this crisp golden light in the afternoon; a quiet, leafy street. Having spent a month before the Rozelle house-sit feeling like a drifter in an urban wilderness - spending a few nights in the houses and flats of acquaintances and friends – there was a dread to return to that uneasy situation; despite the friendliness and understanding of most people. As a welfare worker would most likely say there were no steady co- ordinates such as home, job or family to be a psychological anchor for Lisa; with somewhere now to live the coming birth of Melissa now gave her further purpose. There was always an attempt to be a good worker. Never to be slack. It’s a cruel world. As Cat would say: “Look what happened to that poor overworked horse Boxer in Animal Farm who was carted off to the glue factory!” Lisa was an honest, trusting toiler who literally got up on both feet after leaving Dan; working anytime day & night. Certainly, there was the motivation to earn more money before her child’s arrival; there was also a need to fend off  in  a  practical  way a  nagging feeling of being vulnerable; Lisa was proving to be a tireless toiler; willing  to  work  24/7. Thus  Lisa  was  determined  not  to  be  another  Boxer  to also arrive at an equally cruel, unfair fate; there was also the dream of achieving what an acquaintance had done: a single mother herself she had been able to  raise  the  money  for  a  deposit on a house down the South Coast. There was a state government scheme that allowed her to pay off the house at a rate that would only be a percentage of her fluctuating income; there were times when she was unemployed; in between taking care of her son there was steady casual work as a teacher and stints of Sunday night work as a jazz singer at a country pub. Lisa hoped to also raise money for a deposit, if only for a small unit - whether there was an assistance scheme still in existence or not - it was something to aim for and the prospect of leaving Sydney to kick-off a new fresh life spurred her on. However, it would be on the North Coast where she would choose to live. Living with Dan there had been that part-time work as a checkout girl; now there was additional work as a shelf packer; also stints as a waitress; sandwich hand; cleaning; shop assistant and so forth in a variety of work places some of which was the Paris Express on Oxford St; a vegetarian take-away on Cleveland St; La Vina on Parramatta Road; Grace Bros on Broadway; supermarkets in Edgecliff, Surry Hills & Newtown; a couple of ‘garage sales’ with stalls at Rozelle markets; even a few shifts as a ticket seller at the Stanmore movie theatre; cleaning all sorts of educational institutions such as local public schools; UTS, Sydney University; [Lisa always remembers with fondness the middle-aged soft-spoken but grizzly academic who preferred to talk to the cleaners and security people rather than as his colleagues who he felt were less learned on the subject of life and its truly deeper issues. ‘You my dear,” he once said to Lisa - after having what he termed a ‘most refreshing conversation’ on Blake’s The Songs of Innocence & Experience  -  while sneaking a cigarette in a stairwell are for more well read than most of the dried-out, wretched minds that I have to deal with!”] as well as cleaning in some high rise offices in the CBD which in a couple of instances Lisa would also work in the day doing temp work as a secretary – (offices she would nickname ‘hades’ due to the mindless nature of the work, always looking at the clouds hoping she could be one...thankfully Michael gave her a calender with cloud photos which she always took with her to work). Happily, when  Lisa  was  working  at  Citizen  Cane  on  King  Street in Newtown Michael was to obtain an original sixties plaque  of   his   car  which which  had  a  grey  car  with  the  following  slogan on a red rectangle: DRIVE A NEW EH HOLDEN TODAY! Often Michael with Cat would visit Lisa when she worked at an upstairs bar in Kellet Street in Kings Cross. They would play backgammon against a young Peruvian who would regularly beat them; however, Cat stubbornly believed their luck would change – but it never did. However, one night two poets ‘crazy and drunk’ celebrating their performances at a benefit in a local church hall were being far too noisy and  Lisa  quickly  gave  them  short  thrift; the  two ‘happy drunks’ muttering  that  they  were  quickly retreating to a café in Dean St. Although it was not really a threatening situation it revealed a strident no nonsense side to Lisa’s character. “She’s  got  a  strong  spirit.” stated  an  impressed Cat; he was also  fascinated when Lisa worked at the Apostrophe Café in Surry Hills and took the time out to speak to this elderly transvestite who was very religious, immensely glad that someone was willing to look at a photo album of her own life. Lisa was able to organise an exhibition of Gregor’s work with the very enthused young café owner – a woman who amazed Lisa with her immense courage to take any worthwhile risk. A steely determination that had Lisa willing to work seven days a week twenty four hours a day and to save every cent that she possibly could. Yet an innate restlessness led her to continually change jobs which Michael could readily identify with; he once told her of an Indian sub-continent observation that he had come across on TV: a man who could not make any roots in the one place and lived a gypsy life was considered to be born with ‘wheels on his feet.’ Although they would keep in touch Lisa and Michael would also lose contact; however, being of like-mind they more often than not gravitated to the same innercity public spaces: pubs, cafes, shops, cinemas like the Valhalla and Chauvel, street festivals, parties(they both had some mutual friends) beaches etcetera; in 1988 - after a particularly long duration of not seeing each other - they had sighted each other at the Aboriginal rally against the Bicentenary. (That photo of them there with the lead singer of the Oils in the background crowd). Towards the time of Melissa’s birth – apart from her bulging physique - Lisa would have to stop working all together to organise her new life as a mother; thus the frantic desire to work as much as possible while the ‘window of opportunity’ was  still  open  had turned out to be a wise strategy. The new child was to receive her mother’s undivided attention, the sort of maximum emotional care that Lisa herself had missed out on. Lisa had never known her father and her mother  was  totally  ignorant of what Lisa was up to; she did not keep in  touch  and  Lisa  did  not have her contact details. It was assumed her mother lived in Sydney but she didn’t know where. It was only through the obligatory phone calls to her daughter on her birthday and Christmas that Lisa even knew her mother was still alive. As soon as Lisa was  old  enough  to  take  care of herself her mother  – who only wanted to be free from the ‘burden of motherhood’ – had  resorted to totally living her own life. Eventually, after  the birth a parcel with garments and trinkets for the new-born came through the mail  (but  there  was  no  return  address).  It  was  surmised that via the obligatory birthday phone call that Lisa’s mother had made to her daughter’s last contact number re: Dan’s – did she find out about the ‘new setup’ in Lisa’s life. The parcel included a note that stated that Lisa’s mother would come to view the new addition to ‘the family’; but it was only  after  a  couple  more  months  that  this  eventually happened: an afternoon spent at Lisa’s place where her vivacious ‘fifty-something, young’   mother   seemed  mainly  interested to see if  her granddaughter  took after  her (fortunately, she  thought  Melissa  did – as for Lisa one reason as to why she had suffered her mother’s indifference was for being so much like her unknown father); there were exuberant promises of further visits – but these never eventuated. However, other parcels did arrive and there were a couple of more phone calls. Dan was not interested in seeing her daughter – the child was never wanted by him and since Melissa was ‘bruised property’ Dan’s indifferent attitude had only hardened - but he was willing to provide financial help. His pragmatic decision to at least support Melissa’s upbringing and medical care proved to be a godsend when Lisa – despite being on a pension – was dipping into her savings a lot more than she would have liked. Even though Lisa had swallowed her pride and (as well as putting to one side her hostility towards this seemingly callous ‘non-father’) to accept Dan’s money - it was really needed, especially with health costs. (The welfare of her child really did come first). Although there was the prospect of obtaining benefits for childcare that could open the way to part-time work it seemed a priority for now that Melissa be looked after ‘24/7’. After an unexpected large hike in the rent Lisa made the headstrong decision to leave Sydney anyway; in short: the prospect of a more manageable, new life as a mother outside the ‘big smoke’ was still worth trying out; thus the move north.  A move that did seem to bring Lisa ‘heaven on earth’ until rather recently the first ominous signs of ill health… Michael had noted that when it was apparent that Lisa would have to go to hospital she became far more frantic; always wanting to be doing something; not allowing for a static life, suspecting what was to soon ensue; Thus to live intensely. Michael could often feel the fear. The phone calls at midnight: “I miss going to the Hernandez. It was always open. I could leave Cat’s place and go to that café. I could be just like Marilyn Monroe in the Café of Broken Dreams. It’s annoying there’s nowhere around here I can walk off my insomnia. I’d love a miso soup at IKU’s right now in Glebe. Drive me to Aba Pastry in Dulwich Hill, or that late night Pakistani eatery in Enmore, or even to Victoria Yeeros-”

  “NO! Lisa-” The phone was slammed down. As if to exist outside time and space. The world stayed still through these eyes; it was without time because it seemed each day was the same.Time passing in a still world.Timeless. In front of the Archibald Fountain. Theseus pulling back the Minotaur’s head by the horns. Beside a winged Waverly Cemetery white angel looking over the sea. Black Minotaurs on the cliffs. A large carved wooden totem. Next to a row of six foot high angel’s wings - made from corrugated iron - in a park overlooking the ocean.A large wooden horse.A wooden wall. Troy. At Balmoral Beach by the rotunda watching Shakespeare-by-the-Sea. Sprawled on the grass as a drowning Lady Ophelia. DANNY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA. A comically screwed up face with a fist aimed at DANNY on this Darlinghurst Theatre poster. In Erskineville with one of the motorcyclists who had leapt on stage with Harley-Davidsons in a P.A.C.T play of The Merry Wives of Windsor. A birthday brunch for Caterina in the back garden of the Bar Italia. Enjoying the ambience of the Hippo Lounge in Devonshire St. Central Railway. Beside a tiny bubble Fiat with the number plate BIG CAR. Buying sweets with Melissa and Isobel at GEORGIOU’S discount chocolate warehouse on Canterbury Road; in Petersham; looking at the Christmas lights with these same two on the houses in Ashbury. Lisa amidst hundreds of people mingling in an  Erskineville street outside a block of  red brick flats. Michael turns on a cassette which brings to mind this Christmas street party as Lisa meanders to memories that highlight her very feisty nature: “I walked  off  with a French friend of Caterina’s who had returned from the Thai-Burma border; she worked with some French medical group in refugee camps. After a year of living alone this street party felt too big for her also.Caterina and I had met her at that big bookshop on George Street that sold thousands of cheap books and come back to this party on the bus so I’d already got to know her a bit. We went up to this small café on the corner which had these sculptured black bare mannequin heads on display with all these coloured beads on them. While we were talking about Burma I thought of this young journo Michael and I had met at the Town Hall Hotel bragging how on the Thai-Burma border he had encouraged a guerrilla group to attack an army post. Civilians were killed in reprisal. It all made ‘good copy.’ He said. I’d hit him in the abdomen with a snooker cue.  Michael was amused but still he dragged me out of the pub. Luckily, the bouncers thought I’d been touched up. He suggested we go to Sleepers which I wasn’t too happy about as it is always crowded on a weekend night. Yet when we turn up at the front bar we gawk at a man next to us using sign language to communicate to several other men. He says hello to us and find out he’s their teacher and it’s graduation night. Graduation to what I’ve all but forgotten… this guy gave me a small piece of bamboo on an aluminium stand. He had been handing them out as prizes. I still have it and it’s beside the bed now. Michael had spotted a spare table and this prize became an ‘altar’ for everyone to see as they walked pass us to go to the beer garden. We felt as if we could pass judgement on who we would allow to go to ‘paradise’”. A laugh. “Will I be granted the same courtesy?”

Wedding of Cana: it was she who also defiantly said: “In life the only thing you have to do is die; before that it is all choice.” [the paraphrased remark is recorded in Cat’s Book of  Qoutes].

Divine Imagination..1 It should be mentioned in passing that a Sydney astronomer has discovered a meteor crater in Central Australia relying on a Western Arrent Dreamtime legend that speaks of a falling star thunderously crashing into the land.

Mind Negatives: 1.Cat also says:“...did you know that Plato saw her as an actual an ‘eternal force’ who inspires art in us rather than just being another mere mortal producing it? Only Michelangelo has also being viewed in such an awe inspiring way.”

Tralfamadore Dreaming. 1.Lisa is paraphrasing from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five written after the author survived the bombing of Dresden (February 13, 1945) which had no military value & was filled with refugees escaping from the East (U.S strategic war policy from WWII to Iraq relies on airpower as a ‘cost-effective’ way to project its ‘just cause’ of global authority and to realise its ‘just’ goals); while Lisa is in a state of deliurium the following radio snippets are being heard by her to which she is responding too: ‘…in a live conference call to a bomber crew they said today all the bits and pieces came together perfectly…[Lisa’s respose...the bits and pieces in my head are falling apart...etc]...we are a peace loving nation. We care for people. We will drop bread as we drop bombs. As for our resolve: we shall not tirethere is no clean war. Casualties amongst the innocent are guaranteed…please sit down everyone there is a device on board we are turning  around - Analysts state they are a 100% sure there will be a terrorist retaliatory attack; our enemy is working to a master plan…fear, they promote real fear…client states who have provided ‘hospitality’ to the enemy will pay a heavy price…the truth and human rights are the first casualties of any war. There are millions who are starving; thousands daily lose their lives and limbs. It is no wonder many seek refuge by boarding these flimsy boats…over all these years my family has done no harm to anyone and now my grandson is dead…Lumbumba as the Prime Minister of the Belgian Congo desired independence. To be free of the foreign mining interests carving up his country. This anti-colonial stance was deemed a serious threat by the Belgians and the Americans. Lumbumba was demonised as an African Lenin. In the ensuing familiar pattern of civil war and army coup Lumbumba would have pictured again and again in his mind his eventual murderpresently the world ignores the recent deathS of FIVE millin in the Congo OF THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF WOMEN RAPED THERE…we ask people to report anything suspicious…we must uphold the rule of law. We must not return to the shrill witch hunt...’

Fantastic Voyage. 1. Cat had kindly recorded for Gregor: Joanne Lumsden: In the Land of the Northern Lights (followed up by her special on visiting the orangutangs in Borneo). 2. See Mind Volcanoes below in the Cat section.

Sunflower. 1. See William Blake’s poem Sunflower to consider Cat’s full attitude to Lisa as this vibrant, warm colour plant and how it also tires of time.

Lisa’s Tape.1. Mortal Coil references William Blake who used this term.The Siren Song originally sung by Tim Buckley (Lisa is struck by line ‘death by pride’ & becomes more positive); on Space Odysee channel (with its Starry Night icon) via Youtube Lisa would listen to it and to another Tim Buckley song called Starsailor (it should be noted that cosmonauts and astronauts have been referred to as star sailors. Lisa is to be a ‘spiritual star sailor’                                                                                                                                     ). 2..Lisa was thinking: ‘I wonder if it was done by that Iranian director who was arrested while on transit through to the States...







The following insights by Cat from his ‘mindscape’ can be viewed in much the same way one casually peruses through the surviving fragments of a treatise as scribed by an ancient philosopher.  Below are these ‘fragments’ of mainly late night monologues that Cat has in his flat with Michael and Lisa in attendance. This inebriated ‘philosopher’ enters into dialogues with his ‘disciples’ - or thinks to himself - to seek out what for him is reality in the realms of the spiritual; the material; the social; moral and ethical, and the  political (where there is  a major consideration of living under the daunting shadow of the American Republic); Cat is conscious that his speculative ‘ramblings’ follow a philosophical tradition that harks back to Socrates in his last days; to the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius   - and with Lisa in mind – through to the ‘consolations’ provided by Philosophy to Boethius before his brutal end. Other fragments include the responses of either Michael or Lisa to the ‘truths’ presented to them by Cat. These fragments are not considered essential to the main narrative which attempts to focus considerably on Lisa - but for those interested readers this prose is  included in this appendix as in-depth ‘background material’ to the story; for Cat within the narrative is a sort of inner-city seer who does attempt to make some sense of the tragedy which befalls Lisa. Each ‘chapter’ is placed in a way next to other chapters so that hopefully the whole piece can be read as one narrative if the reader chooses to do so. 

  The Myth of Er is a lengthy meditation in the main text in which Cat mainly considers – through the prism of Ancient Greek myth - Gregor’s journeys and what he experienced. The following fragment  sums up the thrust of this chapter:


 ‘Gregor spoke as if he himself had been a prisoner in the Orphic cave of ignorance which Plato had well described. Yet, as it is well known, this cave is our mind. Each departure from this shore has proved for Gregor to be a transmigration of his intellect. Every trip a venture equivalent to Er’s myth, the soul purged through different hells, different heavens, to  prepare for each return to the purgatories of everyday life. Nevertheless, this life may be enriched incrementally based on what is learnt. To stridently walk in daylight, no longer held back by mundane apparitions.’

  Cat holds up a clear glass.

  ‘It is a slow process, to teach the soul, to go from one level to the next, to be educated on multiple realities in an absolute psyche; with jealous gods, on top of Mt. Olympus, marking in dead-end trails, or avalanches, to keep us at some base level, away from a pinnacle where our always rueful human condition may be more insightfully examined, for our just benefit.’


The Good Thief


 The top of another bottle of Jack Daniels is unscrewed. “We must hope friend that Lisa will ascend to heaven like Dan Cooper.”This prophet sculls his whiskey.

“Who is he?” Michael is exasperated; he is scouring Cat’s videos.

 “The good thief who hijacked a Northwest Boeing 727 in 1971. He had two hundred thousand  dollars  strapped  to  his  waist  when he parachuted over Ariel, Washington State. Cooper has never been seen since!” The shot glass is slammed onto the coffee table. “Four parachutes he asked for! The FBI thought this was so he wouldn’t get a dud one yet I know the other three weren’t for any crew members but for the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!”


Social Security


 Cat continues to watch Michael peruse the videos. ‘As for me, in my public service job my  department   had   once   refused  to  demand  back the money that was overpaid to some of our poorest clients. We were stood down for six weeks and sickness and disability payments were stopped’.A mad flash of the eyes. “War Communism! Remember the Kronshdat sailors who fought for liberty in the Russian Revolution! Lenin’s crack troops! When they saw they had only fought for slavery under another name they rebelled! Defended hard but were finally massacred! The just betrayed by the betrayers of justice! Yet I say unto you better to die on your feet than live on your knees!”

Holy U2


 “A downed U2 pilot believes the Holy Spirit - who as a glowing light in the pitch black night - kept him alive in enemy waters! He was blessed for doing his spiritual duty to spy on the godless! Who had also righteously flown missions to parachute angelic advisors who would help freedom fighters liberate their downtrodden nations from the Beast! ALL to only become martyrs for the LORD! (Also consider KGB Colonel Vladimir Vetrov - French codename: Farewell – an ‘angel’ who secretly told the West about the economic vulnerabilities of the Soviet Union - due to burdensome  military spending - helping to end the Cold War).


Economic Rationality


 Yet I and another woman and her wild-eyed kid with the big Mickey Mouse knapsack once got a lift to Glebe off a bus inspector at Central when he saw the bus we wanted to catch did not see us! Alas find me just ten good people for God to save all of us! Who will help the poor! Alas why did they close the Glebe Post Office?’


Philistine Generation


 New music on the stereo. “PURGATORY!” ‘Jimmy Little is singing a Go-Betweens song! King Crimson! No…let’s put on some Kinky Friedman. Bruce Cockburn. Phil Ochs. Lloyd Wrainwright III to drown out this PHILISTINE GENERATION! Black Sabbath’s Paranoid! Those Judases at Politics in the Pub! A Koori woman was explaining to Kim Beazley how she was of the Stolen Generation when a few middle-aged male loud mouthed Labor ‘disciples’ at the very back of the Harold Park Hotel shouted her down by yelling: ‘What’s your question!’”


The Great Judas


“What are you holding in your hand?” asks the same voice who is sitting on the first chair on the left side of Master.

  Michael refuses to answer.

 “Listen Mick-”


 “Give him a go!” announce some of the others.

 “Proceed.” Master waves his hand at his offsider.

  Judas grins. “You’re holding a fork Mick – a knife and fork to hoe into that delicious steak you’re eating. That steak probably comes from a cattle station which employs some of those ‘Aborigines’ and the cutlery you are using comes from the minerals on the land the mining companies are digging up!” Michael recalls a young Aboriginal woman with a forlorn looking elder outside the High Court at St. James. Three black limousines with Chinese flags fluttering from the hoods of each car drives by. Power. Hypocrisy. Remembering when Gregor had told him he was with an Aboriginal female friend in a Cairns pub and two policemen came by and ordered them to leave. Jabuluka! He embarks to tell the others of a David Bradbury documentary it was claimed enough radiation could be released from this uranium site which is in a world heritage park that it could spread to Sydney (and as an aside mentions how at the Nicaraguan benefit at Balmain he heard that Bradbury who had produced the classic documentary on Nicaragua No Pasaran had been refused entry due to the burgeoning overcrowding and ignorance as to who he was by those on the door); considers how from a spiritual point of view the land and its sacredness enhances society’s overall understanding of what it means to be a human being; and motivates each individual of the need to take care of the land and to take care of each other to uphold the sanctity of life. Michael fidgets. “Yeah there’s work for Aboriginals on cattle stations but they had to fight to gain this employment and for the right to gain equal pay.”

  “The Archangel Michael is providing us with the usual theological overview.” dryly remarks Master. 

  “Not having the national interest at heart is definitely un-Australian-” Michael’s temper simmers....”You want ‘Australian’…? That nun who was killed by the Shining Path while helping poor Peruvian villagers was a real Australian! You going to be like her?”

  Cat suddenly looks over at his painting of two women in a pub dancing while they are holding spirits glasses on their heads: a tequila drinking contest. It is a large artwork that he bought off the Dutch owner of the Sanctuary Café. He suddenly glances at Lisa’s awry painting of Kings Cross. “The Mouth of Hell to consume the Unrighteousness!” ‘In a gallery in Darlinghurst the amateurish pictures were over-priced, but, the owner who I still remember had a pencil thin moustache and wore navy blue and white pin striped trousers said lots of ‘human traffic’ walked past his shop. “If you do pictures bring them in.” Yet another little prostitute. A little Judas!’  “Devil hipsters!”‘Chechnyan freedom fighters trace down - through the serial numbers on the Russian fighter planes that bomb their families - the names of the pilots who fly them. Thus the pilots - to protect their families in case they are ever tracked down by the Chechnyans for revenge killings - sand off the serial numbers. God’s enemies cannot be saved from any divine vendetta for their names and serial numbers will always remain exposed to such eternal vengeance!’Cat slams the coffee table with his fist. “We live in the Great Judas! E-X-T-E-R-M-I-N-A-T-E It!” A far away look. “RAGE! RAGE! Oh Johnny O’Keefe: RA-GE!” “Come in spinner!” Cat has a laminex cartoon wall hanging of a Latin woman wearing fruit covered head gear like a Copacabana dancer. A comic bubble beside her shows what she is thinking: Come On! SPIN ME A 7!” “YES! SPIN ME A SEVEN! GOD’S PERFECT NUMBER!” A whiskey is sculled. ‘Ashes to ashes! Dust to dust! We are made of the stars! We should play with the stars! Knocking on heaven’s door!’ Cat puts on Paint it Blue by Living with Robert. “A BLAST FROM THE PAST!” ‘I once helped a fifty something Afro-American woman carry a door through Kings Cross which she was going to use as a table at her gallery opening. I met her out of the blue on the street. It was one of the many inexplicable, strange unexplained moments of my bizarre existence like seeing a bearded woman walking down King Street, she was wearing an old blue singlet and King Gee shorts and I wondered even then what would some intrusive Judas say to her? Or to the one-legged elderly man in Glebe who with his cane is always cursing and lashing out at the world? We are all Judases! We have no right to speak about injustices unless we do something for the poor! What we say will hold no moral sway. All will ring hollow! Yet we often only think of our own security at the expense of forgetting; ignoring; not caring or exploiting the insecurities of others! To think no further than to live within and to sustain our own cocoons! God forgive us for our lack of acts of human kindness! For our hardening of our hearts like Great Pharaoh! Oh Lord we will say we know You but You will say where were you when I was in prison? When I was living on the street? Oh Lord forgive me when I ignored that braided haired Jamaican man in King Street who asked for a coin, who sweetly spoke of the goodness of humanity. (Yes, I had a black angel forgive me on a train when I could not give him a cent. I am still very thankful for the Lord’s messenger who I met outside Aporto’s Portugese chicken place in Enmore Road. ‘Zorro’, long haired and bearded, was riding his Malvern Starr bicycle and his shoulder bag filled with tracts to hand out to the lost souls of King Street fell onto the road. I picked it up risking being hit by a council truck. Zorro thanked me, said he was a follower of the Lord. Praised Jesus; asked me if I knew God. I instantaneously said yes. Zorro inquired if I needed prayer for anything. I told him of the hardening of my heart. Along that desolate windy concrete footpath with bowed head, compassionate hand on my constricted shoulder, I felt the warm, thriving spirit of Yahweh lift the burden of my callousness off my heaving chest! Yes, the kindness of strangers! Yes, I still succour this ‘chance encounter’ with Jesus’s loving active servant). Yet I went with Michael to prison with a woman we met along Darlinghurst Road; her tanned face was all dried up like a prune from over fifty years exposure to a harsh sun and as she stood there in her smart jeans and cigarette hanging from her mouth and flicking her frizzy hair from her face we were told how she wanted to visit her son at Long Bay jail. We drove out and saw him in a white ‘monkey suit’ where there were no pockets in his overalls that were zipped up from the back.“Be a good boy, stay a good boy.”The mother pleaded to her young son.“Do what they say and you’ll be okay…”  

‘Lisa, Michael and I went with Gregor to a Balmain gallery for an exhibition opening of paintings by a woman prisoner who was allowed to attend this special night. Lisa – ‘our prisoner’ - was attracted to a work entitled Moonwalkers. I stood beside her looking at the faceless geometric figures ambling over a sparse ochre field. “You like this one Lisa?”

 “Yeah,” whispered Lisa who faced me. “Cat I’d really like to escape to somewhere tranquil.”

 The two of us took a quiet walk up to the Balmain Watch House where other exhibitions were often held. Outside this sandstone building. Under a crescent moon. Lisa wept.’


Anti-Terrorism Happening


  ‘At the Addison Road Gallery I joined with everyone else stomping their feet and reading out the refugee poems painted on the walls. “A war on error!” I howled out from the press release in which a Vietnamese born artist with her other painter compatriots had stated that the way we maltreat outsiders shows how we also may treat ‘insiders’.


Skull Duggery


  Cat’s large Middle Eastern hubbly-bubbly pipe in the kitchen. “Remember Michael when we searched for one of these! There was that petrol station on Canterbury Road in Bankstown playing and selling all that Arab music!” ‘I  saw a man and woman dressed in old worn-out clothes outside Neeta City in Fairfield. This straggly couple had all of their worldly possessions in two shopping trolleys. Human garbage walking their rubbish on the streets of the Great Society who hoped these two would just disappear into the nearest, largest council bins. The forty-something moustached man, tall and lanky with a cowboy hat was getting far behind the obese woman who was way ahead of him.’  “Wait! Wait!” ‘The man despairingly shouted out in the suburban wilderness. ’“We wait for little gods!” Yet an Asian beggar tells me after I give him a few coins that God is inside of me, that God is inside us all. He added: “Thank you, I will not be forced now to rob your house!”  “A monk once said that the empty space of a begging bowl is sacred because it can be filled with gifts like food or money which is genuinely needed! Yet look what we have done with the sacred! Look! LOOK! The swastika! It meant good fortune! Now it means overwhelming slaughter!” ‘Yes, evil persists when good people do nothing. Michael, Gregor, James and I turned up to the church in Pitt street, whose woman minister was advocating an end to racism, for some neo-Nazis were threatening to disrupt the service. There was only that one big guy who turned up afterwards looking at the parishioners as they left. Michael mentioned he had walked past this church once with Dan who gave his sandwich to an old beggar wearing a storm hat who was sitting on the steps. We went down to the Marigold in Chinatown for yum-cha and Gregor informed us that some of these restaurants were started by enterprising Chinese sailors who were trapped in Sydney due to the Japanese invasion of South-East Asia. However, after the war, even though some of them had married Australians, they were forcibly deported. In this barbaric age I saw outside a chain store while at a sausage sizzle protest that was against the standing down of some of its casual workers, a bald muscly thug, who was walking by, push pass the woman holding up a Green Left newspaper, to grab from a man wearing a fez one of his precious copies of the U.N. Charter of Human Rights. He punched the man, calling him a communist. Oh impotent bystanders! We offer only neon gods for our skulls of death!’ 




The Life of the Party isn’t Money


 “Why so downcast oh my soul?” The video pulpit is thumped. “WE CANNOT SERVE BOTH GOD AND MONEY!”‘Money must serve us…’Another thump. “IF THEN THE LIGHT WITHIN YOU IS DARKNESS, HOW GREAT IS THAT DARKNESS!”


Rings of Fire!


  A thoughtful Cat; almost looking crestfallen - his mind twirling. ‘We wake up…and live…through the day…with our delusions.The philosopher is now more animated; dances a little ditty. “Oh there will be enough rest for all of us when we are dead. The livin’ must arise from their ‘rest’ and keep on living! The Devil has his ways with us but the LORD has better ways! It is a great sin to deny the LORD his lovin’ victory! Damn those who desire a self-gratifying power; who wish upon other people only the end of days for the obtaining of their malicious aims! NO SLOUCHING ON THE COUCH! MAN THE TORPEDOES!ALL HANDS ON DECK! DO NOT BE DOWNCAST OH MY SEARCHING SOUL! LET JUSTICE PREVAIL! OUT DOUBLETHINK!” It was the great Johnny Cash who chose to sing to the prisoners of St.Quentin jail...Yes..we are mortal...we are hurt...everyone .will be the end...a world of dust...sing Hurt...yes...what will I become?’“YES! LET US ALL LIVE LIFE TO OUR FULL POTENTIAL! LIFE OES HAVE MEANING! WE DO MEANINGFUL THINGS! STOKE-IN EVERYONE OF US-THOSE RINGS OF FIRE!”  


Mad Scientist


 Cat stands like a madman in front of his Roy Lichenstein Pop Art poster: a headline above an old craggy face with manic eyes staring out - duplicating Cat’s own frenzied bug eyes – that reads:   WHAT? WHY DID YOU ASK THAT? WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MY IMAGE DUPLICATOR?” A soft drink bottle thrust-fully held up. “WHOOSH! BLAST OFF! FANTA-SY!” ‘Our minds are the fodder of this western celluloid world! Our brains are drained of real life as we sit hypnotised in front of our television sets like doomed kangaroos in front of headlights! I sense streams of thoughts shaped like barcodes in my head! As the DNA helix provides the script to our cells so they may duplicate within us; we have on our television sets other scripts which we may duplicate in our lives. ’ “The picture tube: our image duplicators!” Cat goes over to his goldfish bowl. Madly screams. “EVIL EYES!” Eyes his old sci-fi posters. ‘We are like those poor tragic souls, screaming in sheer dread, thriving, lying, netted in those fish traps, under those towering Martian tripods, waiting to be picked! Their bodies drained of blood! Brutal carnivorous beings! The inhumanity! Our technological advances do not display some heightened sense of a superior moral integrity! The ancient philosophers of centuries past would be aghast. Would recognise the downfall of their own blood drenched empires in the everyday display of the cultural barbarities of this present age.’ A rueful look at his world atlas. “WORLDS OF STARVATION!” ‘Starve or be starved! Cannibals run this planet! We see ‘the fruits’ of ‘their labour’ in the overwhelming exploitation of billions! In the never ceasing massacres! So many lambs! ALL to the slaughter!’  A grimace.  ‘To be sliced!’ A smile. “Quixote’s windmills of the giants are today the helicopter blades of another colossus!” The smile lingers.  ‘Some would call what I say: outrageous-’A frown. ‘Where is the ‘superconsciousness’ that Thomas Manne aspires us to magically reach? We are dumb animals waiting to see shopping ads on digital TV sets! We fill our houses with refuse to keep ‘it’ all going!’ A shaking chin. ‘This obscene, butchering system! Hans Castorp - Manne’s young, hopeful, naïve  hero came down from the alpine mountain to be butchered with so many other frightened men in the trenches! Charred! So many…churned…human beings…like blood corpuscles indifferently wiped out by disease. Greed! Hatred! Jealousy! Gluttony! The seven deadly sins – our sickness! Oh to have love mount the magic mountain top!’


The Eternal Soundbite


What is for certain with our mundane formula-driven ‘creative acts’ is the compilation of cliché on top of cliché. ‘Tie your kangaroo down sport! says Rolf Harris as he walks with three legs and looks down the barrel of a television camera to make you feel like the most valuable person on earth.’ Eyes closed. ‘Life goes on! The ads go on! (As well as the slogans! The headlines!)The news never stops! ’ Another mad look. “EXTENDING THE OLD FRONTIERS!”

Human Perception


Cat rubs his temple. ‘Human inquiry as a mental trick. Deception. Prejudice. Are mental tricks.’ Slapping the top of his head for tremors to pass down to his brain. “BEEP! CENSORED!” Fiddles with a small transistor:  ‘Speaking on behalf of Wendys even though we had to contend that a human finger had been allegedly found in a meal it has only been a simple matter of perception overcoming reality in regards to people’s short-term memories. People still need their sugar fixes. As it was the woman had planted the still unidentified finger to get money out us.’  ‘As desire can succumb over what we know, as if we are ignorant, the clutter of our knowledge also hides truth. The contradictions of our times.’ “Two heads are better than one!”What did Gregor see in Papua New Guinea? A still-born two headed village baby who had died downstream from where there had been mining…human progress at such a cost…dismembered minds…so…at the end…we will believe that the cost of peace is war’. Tinkering with a dog whistle. ‘The Reverend Billy Graham naively allowed himself for a time to be a godly guide to a criminal of human history who thuggishly manipulated democracy so that God would be on the right side for the pursuit of Mammon. Mr. Nixon. The delay of the Paris Peace until you were elected. Vietnam. Cambodia. Watergate. These were your obvious crimes. Less remembered is your large election handout from McDonalds in exchange for lowering the lowest pay scales…’  It is said that if there is no experience of slavery we will never know what is liberty…”  A sardonic laugh. ‘That Chinese man who stopped a tank at Tienemann Square while holding onto his shopping bags! The archetype of this age! Yes, we have to risk ‘taking the blow’ to gain our liberty like that old veteran in OZ who explained to a much younger prisoner how in his WWII generation when the doors of the LCDs came down to land on the beaches men knew they would have ‘to take the blow-’ “To die for this ‘civilisation’!” Trawling with both hands through a dusty shoebox filled with old cassettes. The selected tape is placed into the cassette deck. The ‘prophet’ speaks: CHEAPER EVERYDAY PRICES!  So are the daily wages. MADE IN CHINA!’ Cat goes over to his fifties hand operated juicer to crush a few oranges. Takes note of a TV Soap magazine cover with Ridge and Brooke from the Bold and the Beautiful dressed in exotic Mayan outfits exchanging wedding vows in a jungle. “Oh Taylor! You were such a wise, compassionate wife to Ridge! Why did Sheila have to shoot you! Accursed madness!” ‘Tayorlism as typified from the mass production and mass consumption of the Model T-Ford to the hamburger may have pleased Plato who would possibly see the modern corporation as an exemplary model of his Republic ideal. As to the low wages for all those thousands of teenagers who feel like they are smiling with the proverbial loaded pistol pressed into their backs it would be rationalised as a logical extension of his ‘pragmatic policy of infanticide’ which also seems to be so often glossed over as a ‘minor aberration’ by many of Plato’s modern-day apologists.’“T.V. Reality.”‘The reality was that the pyramids were built over a period of twenty years using an Egyptian labour force based on free men and women. They were well fed with expensive cattle meat and fish. They were also provided with the best medical aid available at the time. These labourers were a privileged skilled workforce which cut the blocks and used ramps to drag the heavy stone blocks to where they would be placed. A mere twenty thousand labourers were used. The technical ingenuity of the Egyptians was such that no more workers were needed at any one time. The lost city of the pyramids found only recently testifies to the privileged status of the people who built the mighty pyramids. The miracle was in the high level of social organisation which produced the first nation-state. The Greeks would not only steal the technical knowledge of the Egyptians but would also surely also take note of their advanced social history. The lost city which lies very close to the pyramids had people buried in their own little pyramid shaped tombs. To aid Pharaoh to reach the heavens also meant that they also would reach heaven. In four thousand years time if the white sails of the Sydney Opera House are still standing will the archaeologists say slaves were used to build them?’  The radio is tapped:  ‘…we round off the news with a story about a granny who had her thirty year old Holden Monaro stolen. It was finally found but trashed…’ ‘…there is no justice…we store up our faith only in what we want to believe - much like misunderstanding or mistranslating many of the statements made by the Egyptians to Solon regarding the whereabouts of Atlantis. We assume it existed somewhere beyond the Straits of Gibraltar towards the Americas rather than in the more probable vicinity of Gallipoli. Yet, we subconsciously believe that our modern world is Atlantis. Humanity thrives on wishful thinking. In our memory is incorporated the suggestion of situations which did not really occur but become as vivid as the recorded memory of real events; yet as we enter towards a state of fatigue – not only as individuals but as a whole civilization - our minds are kidnapped by hallucinations that seem as real as this world appears as a fantasy.’ “I WAS KIDNAPPED BY ALIENS!” ‘I met two scriptwriters in a Cuban restaurant in L.A who said they would scribe about a spaceship powered by metaphors.’  Cat pours the orange juice into a glass. Cat starts twirling on the spot like a Turkish dervish as he delves further into a mental junkyard.  To unite with God! Everything twirls! Atoms. Water. Blood. All turn and circulate!’ “COME IN SPINNER! HIT ME WITH YOUR RHYTHM STICK!” ‘We must hope to turn again! Multifoliate Rose!’“GO THE TIGERS!” ‘Our brains have become mental vacuum cleaners!’  “HELLO SIR I AM RINGING YOU UP FROM MUMBAI AND WE ARE OFFERING OVER THE PHONE TODAY A DEAL OF A LIFETIME!” ‘Life the holiday package! (Read the fine print in your mind!) Our vision is distracted! We all fall down!’ Cat does likewise.


The Mind is a Minotaur


 In the background of these chance spirals by Marcel Duchamp are what appear on first glance to be the vast shaman Nazca lines that stretch out on a desert beside the foothills of the Peruvian Andes. It is realized these outlines are the accidental cracks in Duchamp’s large glass panel The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even which had been seen in person at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The glass of this installation had cracked during transportation. I have always considered this broken glass as containing remnants of a modern Achilles shield.’ Cat glares at Michael. “YES! I SAY AGAIN: We are ‘little bachelors’ compared to Hades!” With his back against the front door of the flat as if to stop it from being opened, Cat stares at Lisa. “Mr. Hell wants her as a nude Eurydice descending the staircase to his ‘wonderland’!” 

Human Bestiality


 ‘This human waste! This human economy! This human civilisation! Psycho world! The Beasts of Bourbon! Flights of fancy; This ‘tribal dancer’ sinks into an armchair and puts a big lampshade on his head.

Marey, Muybridge, Duchamp


  ‘It was...inferred that the visible 3-D world we see through our ‘normal vision’ is merely a shadow of an invisible 4-D universe.’The Y peruses his Book of Quotes.


The Enlightment’s ‘Immortality’


 ‘Yet with the three dimensions that we have it was to be  determined that just as all four legs of a galloping horse would be photographed to see that they really were together off the ground at the same time, just as the motion of bird flight was captured by silver gelatine to help lead us to flying for the first time since the time of Icarus…photography could also be used to capture light itself - for all time - just as living things capture light everyday to continue life…’



  ‘It was insinuated that on the vast glass gelatine plate of matter time produces the particles that form the negative through which light - moved by motion - shines through to reveal us. We are positive shadows.’



 ‘I suffer the same fate as my ‘female namesake’ Cassandra. Apollo you gave Priam’s daughter the gift of prophecy to seduce her into sleeping with you. Still Cassandra resisted so you cursed her that whatever truth she presented to humankind no one would believe her. (True lies!). No one did believe her when she proclaimed Paris through Helen would bring on Troy’s downfall; that along with the priest Lacoon she forewarned that the Wooden Horse would spew out Greeks and destroy the city. Hera, that ever revengeful wife of Zeus would kill off Lacoon and his sons with serpents so the Trojans would go on believing that lying Achaean ‘salesman’ Sinon who said the Greeks had left. After the destruction of Troy, Agamemnon would take Cassandra as her own but his imperial mind would not believe his wondrous slave who prophesised that the king was not returning to peacefully spend the rest of his regal days with his wife – for Clytemenstra would be the instigator of his immediate assassination as well as to Cassandra’s death. The delusions of empires ensnare us.The Y stretches his hand out like the famous Lacoon sculpture as if it his torso and arms are wrapped in snakes; heads towards the window. ‘Also the Athenians and the folly of their momentous imperial expedition to Sicily. Thousands cheered for men in their grand flotilla of tiremes who were only going to their doom. Overconfidence leading to debacle. Arrogance. Pride. Blinding us. Russia 1812; 1941-45. Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq-’ Hands cover Y’s face.  “WHAT IS TRUE?” ‘Yes. Pilate wash your hands.’ “ONLY THAT WHICH IS NOT OF THIS WORLD? IS TRUTH THAT WHICH IS INVISIBLE?”         


Through the Looking Glass

‘I tap the glass. Again.

 Invisible things make this world visible; they are not restricted by a space-time continuum (that may only be one tangent). A labyrinth of dimensions. An ephemeral maze to be negotiated with the only invisible thing we possess: our minds.’Another tap of the windowpane that the Y looks through.‘To trace the invisible universe on a piece of glass. Lisa’s reflection; this ‘positive’ of our ‘bride’. A key that will unlock the latch. (Life is a key! Death the keyhole! At the turning point…that intercourse of no return…will we be exposed to the path that leads out of the Creation?).The window is opened. “We are for now the ghosts of the MACHINE! While the phone companies put up the line rentals within it!” ‘A restriction on human communication.’ More random thoughts. ‘Christo wrap up the world! Expect the unexpected! Our sorrow, our worries and our agonies…IT WILL PASS! To be LIB-ERATED! Happiness is a warm gun sang John Lennon. It is not happiness that really matters but what knowing what is real. Live a life that keeps you on your toes! That stops you from becoming a zombie, a fossil! Yes, the Ancient Greeks found fossils of prehistoric monsters to authenticate their belief in the legends…thus we need living, minds, throbbing with a sense of lateral enquiry, to thoroughly sift through the evidence, to wisely discern what is myth and what is truth…after the endurance of the wilderness comes the blessing…(how can you obtain wisdom if your life is secure, stable,  sterile? SMASH EVERYTHING APART!) I AM an instrument! Of God. Of fate. To have topographies of the universe in our heads to overcome our mortal confusions, to reach eternal resolutions. To be like soldiers who went into hostile territory with maps on their handkerchiefs. Yes, on D-Day the paratroopers had maps on silk scarves. Hallelujah.’ The Y looks at his body. Touches his face.‘I want to know the meaning to all this, yet if there is none to what happens the quest in itself provides a purpose. For what does our increasing knowledge only bring? That everything is the different arrangement of molecules? With chance is eternal return; and the friction point where these two life principles rub furnaces a whole universe.’ The Y thumps his heart. “Immeasurable energy!”


The Mind of God’s Cowboy on the Edge is Nigh


  A video ‘Donny Darko…your ‘imaginary’ Frank the demon rabbit is the darkness…oh for the innocence of Jimmy Stewart’s Harvey the invisible rabbit! The beasts of the world are brought on by our disturbances of the natural order; atomized ants attacking L.A, a nuclear mutated dinosaur that destroys Tokyo. On the train from Melbourne to Sydney I met four Australian surfboard riders who had flown in from Auckland. There was a general strike in New Zealand but they had at least been able to board a flight to Melbourne to head home to Sydney. They spoke of a longhaired, bearded man they had encountered on the North Island; the remaining member of a commune that had ascertained that in a cusp between two ranges they would survive any nuclear cloud that enveloped the world. (New Zealand was seen as the end of the world). His hexagonal house was self-sufficient of energy, he wore sheepskins, tended his own food, tobacco and animals. He also had bows and arrows. This ‘John the Baptist’ was Californian. Yes, when the killer ants arrived from L.A. he would be ready. He’d flown out of LAX to prepare for THEM!  Everyone’s  surfin’  now!  Everyone’s  learning  how!  THEM  will surf!1   Another beer. ‘THEM SURFING! TO BOMBORRA! THE ATLANTICS!’* “At the regional museum in Penrith I saw the exhibition of local U.F.Os where it is known that in the outer west from Emu Plains to Campbelltown there have been the greatest number of extra-terrestrial sightings in the land! More so than in the desert! THEM! Are stealthily preparing for a takeover! The END is NIGH!” Cat screams.A fist.“IT’S AT HAND! Hands on our trolleys! Sex! Death & Shopping at the TAP Gallery!  I  saw  a  large  canvas  of  a  giant  shopping  trolley  filled to the brim with humanity about to go over a cliff edge.

*Some of this text repeated in the main narrative.


God’s Cowboy Rides His Mind


 Cat punching his chest. ‘Ganasha god of beginnings and of learning; wisdom makes us new, I will be a new creature for a new year.’  He puts on his Battle of New Orleans single by Jimmy Driftwood; glances at a photo of Lisa and himself with the wood elephant on her hospital bed.‘When the Great Tribulation comes this ‘God’s cowboy’ will ride into battle seated on an elephant steed!’ He  opens up  the  Book  of  Quotes  to  review  a  ‘Harold  Park  Hotel’  poem  Michael had flippantly expressed an overwhelming interest in last night. It is called Imperial by Laurie Duggan which is about a woman in a Japanese car advertisement who mentions how it has been her life ambition to see the sun set over the Twelve Apostles. “Hey Cat! I really like that! Next time I’m over here with Gregor remind me to show this poem to him!” He closes the book. ‘My apostolic mind is like Einstein’s cloud: under the microscope all that can be seen are maddening dark thoughts while from a distance as the sun evenly shines on me what is revealed - as the shadows clear - is the clarity of my living streams of consciousness.’ He checks in his new ABC NewsRadio diary when it has been arranged to meet again with Michael. After rejecting Three Kings as one of the videos to be seen on New Years Eve it was decided to go next week to see i love huckabees which was by the same director. Yet now on his own when the cricket finishes Three Kings will be watched.


The Mind of God’s Cowboy Revisited


   Cat peruses a Larry Norman Solid Rock Army application form. ‘Yesterday I caught up with Michael. I suggested we meet up at the old Elephant’s Foot. (This pub is now called The Trinity). As we watched cricket fans stroll up Devonshire Street heading to the S.C.G. Test Michael noted the elderly, scrawny vagrant across the road as he kneeled and crossed himself at the bottom of the steps of the church next door to the Actors Centre.“He’s ‘Estragon’ who was at Melissa’s christening…”(Yes, I had also seen him at the Apostrophe Café briefly perusing the books on the grand opening night of Gregor’s exhibition. His prints in those neat wooden frames in the bookshelves, with little lit tea-candles on either side of them. He gave away two of his icon etchings to that sparkling elderly homeless woman who was really admiring them. Delores would be eternally ever grateful).We compared the Battle of Cannae with the Battle of Marathon where similar pincer tactics were employed by the Athenians to defeat the Persians. I speculated that Hannibal must have considered this other miraculous victory as he lined up his troops on that uninviting Roman plain (in this way I always consider Marathon every time I follow the thin blue line that still runs along this city’s streets). At my place the last session of the cricket was viewed. Michael reminisced that the only time he had been to a test match was when Dennis Lillee was in full stride.“Every time he took a wicket there’d be this huge roar. It was like watching the winning try in a Grand Final being scored.” 

 “My favourite cricketer has always been Doug Walters. He was so casual but would always play a big innings in a crisis.”

 “I would have liked to have seen that Aboriginal bowler who took Bradman’s wicket for nought.”

 After some backgammon and pasta we put on the video we had not watched at the end of our private New Year celebration with Melissa, Margaret, Master, Gregor, Teresa, Rosie, Caterina, Isabella and my neighbours. After watching the harbour fireworks we all held up champagne glasses and wished Lisa a happy new year.(I was reminded of the time Michael had told me when he once went with Belle on another New Years Eve to Waverly Cemetery to toast a happy new year to the dead while they both watched fireworks burst brightly over the neighbouring headlands). In the early hours of the morning when most people had either gone home or were asleep Michael and I had picked out from my video collection: Cold Dog Soup, Every Which Way But Loose and The Last Wave. We had watched the two comedies and tonight Michael was determined to see the latter.’


Other Esoteric Perspectives in the Gyrating Mind of this God’s Cowboy


‘Other esoteric perspectives come into play such as ‘hotons’ within particles… ‘…intelligently creating time and consciousness within a mass-energy matrix of gravitons and photons which metaphysically move backwards and forwards across negative and positive time fields. Where a hoton may literally appear in the past, present or future. To be the creator of time. Like a memory or image emerging in the mind, to reminisce on a past event or visualise the future and perhaps help bring it into fruition, or dwell on the synchronicity of a present circumstance with its interplay of apparently two separate events now acting as a meaningful coincidence, like a signpost…(…a sign of god…); all of this interaction maybe in no particular linear fashion, yet together these ‘timeless experiences’ ‘within time’ bring about and unify human action and  consciousness…(…the contours, the symbols of daily life, our language to our experience of being…black holes, hotons and memories…atoms of God…)…Energy. Matter. Light. As waves and particles…Einstein…the Hindu anu…the atom within the atom the essence of an intelligence that also extended into the inherent building blocks  of the largest cosmic body; anu is equivalent to Brahman the wise holy Indian ‘magician’ to which all things owe their existence, as well as the creator to all consciousness in its many forms. Anu, this ancient Vedic term used today to describe a tiny pulsating structure that visually resembles a heart; with ten spirals of electrons as well as other small particles nestled on top of each other; wound within them: tinier spirallas. A dynamic cluster of energy. An Eagle Nebula on a subatomic level. If this anu were to be unravelled it would be a circle, of immeasurable circumference, made of the tiniest dots. An ethereal smoke ring. Beyond all vision. The froth of existence. Trillions of bubbles. Absolutes of nothing as if in a flowing liquid: immaterial energy stranding together a solid reality; like the water on the potter’s wheel, that smoothly allows the creator to mould the clay into any shape. (The form created the signature of the maker’s mind). At every zero point of these creative ‘vacuums’ there may emanate quantum gravity fields each more dense in their energy levels than what is contained in the whole of the seen cosmos.’


Humanity as a Footnote of History in the Wayward Mind of this God’s Cowboy


  We may even be - unfortunately – just a footnote to history if THEM - instead - divide the oceans by using reliable old fashioned Old Testament means; there shall be no military directive from a ‘General Electric’ using nuclear weapons that rely on modern day electronic boards. (Better to buy an old second-hand fridge whose manual operations will last for decades than a new one whose electronics will break down after five years. So says the Lakemba Bangledesh refrigerator man who inquires why do the Great Powers seek to kill when life is already short enough?). It is said the Red Sea could be an Ancient Greek mistranslation of the words ‘reed sea’- some shallow stretch of water - which the Chosen People crossed to escape Pharaoh; yet that cinema Pharoah Cecille B DeMille would concur that it truly was the raising of Holy Moses’ staff that brought on the full force of thy holiest special effects department to have his people saved and drown the godless enemy. Whether it had truly been an outflow of a tsunami that then sucked right back in or a high strong wind making way for a land bridge or an underground volcanic eruption that produced a temporary rock causeway these are all merely the means by which YAHWEH used to bring the Israelites out of slavery and to inflict his wrath upon a godless nation. We are a godless generation and THEM will be the instrument of the Divine Wrath. We must change our  self-indulgent ways and be liberated before it is all too late. It is said that the burning bush through which God spoke may have been a tree that caught on fire in a lava flow whose  ‘holy voice’ is merely the loud crackling sounds of burning molten rock. Yet the higher truth is that YAHWEH – the Great ‘I AM’ - is THE ROCK! The Rock of ALL Ages upon which can be the foundation of our salvation - for all around us is the mental quicksand of this world which we visualise through that inanimate glowing talking box we call television – the LORD will deliver us from THEM! The ultimate miracle will be that THEM shall be vanquished – not us! A holy glory shall be revealed in our minds and this shall be our ‘earthly evidence’ to the eternal immortal might of spiritual faith over a constricted mortal unholy doubt. Trust! As Joan of Arc trusted! As the young actress who played her in the Hollywood film Miracle of the Bells also trusted. The bells rang for three days in the small American coal town in which she was buried! St. Michael took care of her soul and it was he who moved the statues of himself and of Mary to look down upon her coffin at her funeral – not some movement of a rogue rock fissure caused by the rampant coal mining below. St. Michael as Saviour! Oh holy press agent! Frank Sinatra as St. Michael’s priest! Fred MacMurray as faithful loving Hollywood publicist friend! Lee J. Cobb as Hollywood mogul whose big business heart is transformed by the miracle of St. Michael! Who loves God! Who loves his country! Who loves the American Way! He knows the cruel assassin will come! Merciless! Without pity! God’s psychopath upon through whom God’s vengeance has been bestowed upon to carry out! Upon which greatness is made! Upon which great nations are made! Through the ruthless measures they adopt to gain what they want which is  always  much  more  than  they  need! Forever strong and mighty! Nothing shall wither! In countries where no old men will stay around! To cut down the unrighteousness! To raise the Chosen to their rightful glory! To true riches! Taken justly from the riches of a booty undeservedly owned by the heathen! No chains! Except for the wicked! It will be their unfaithful heads that will be decapitated! To be  made  defenceless  for slaughter!  Naked before  the naked power of YAHWEH!Manifest Destiny!It’s  US  or  THEM!  Life as hallucinatory state!Weep! Weep! OH WEEP! EXORCISE THE DEMONS! THE   MOTIONS OF LIFE! GATES OF ETERNITY! OH HOLY END!  Pharaoh    Yul  Brynner   you  watch  out!  Watch  out  Anne Baxter Nefeteri! Watch  out B-GRADE modern mind! Moses Charles Heston will point his staff at the likes of you with Edward G. Robinson as his right hand man! Oh James Cagney! RAT-A-TAT-TAT! ALL YOU DIRTY GODLESS EGYPTIAN RATS! Thus speaketh the LORD! To take another bitter twist let us never forget that THEM come in all guises: a gutsy daughter of THEM! throws a bomb into a medico Huey in Apocalypse Now! Machine guns blaring from flying machine mosqitoes of THEM! For THEM is really in all of us! We come out of THEM! Wagner’s The Ride of the Valkrye! BLARING! FROM THE SKIES! A U.S. Cavalry trumpet of a last napalm judgement! Massacres galore! Fort Apache! In Tie A Yellow Ribbon John Wayne’s cavalry resolutely outwits & attacks the Indians! YELLOW FEVER! Those SAVAGES! HAH! S/LAUGHTER!” There is nothing but sheer madness! In my eyes! At the turn of the 20th Century Yellow Fever was killing U.S. cavalrymen in Cuba! Killing the Spanish before them! Oh colonies of mass slavery! Mosqitoes as instruments of YAHWEH! The LORD scourges! Yet Science saves! Yellow Fever of the body is no more - but a plague of Yellow Fever of the mind still clings on so ever strongly! For THEM with nuclear at least shows that Science - as espoused from the human intellect - can also destroy! Yet the LORD will overcome human wickedness! If He does choose to modernise even use it as His DIVINE INSTRUMENT of JUDGEMENT! THE ALL OF EVERYTHING TO BE DESTROYED! ONLY NOTHING IS PURE! OH! ETERNAL ARTIST WORLD PRESS PHOTOS!”



 One of Cat’s all time favourite films;the poster was in the shopfront; as the photograph was taken it was noted how he would constantly re-run the famous scene when Peter Finch inspired people to scream out their windows how they were as mad as hell.“REALITY TELEVISION – THERE’S YOUR REALITY VISION!-” Cat hollers.“We were down at the Gunnery - now called ArtSpace - across the road from Fisherman’s Wharf staring at Ned Kelly on large screens. Different videos. A different Ned – Neddy – this underworld Sydney crim. The videos would loop back from the end to the beginning – all day. Defying the laws of time of space. Outlaws.(Deatth is obliteration; culture must have human value and with divine reference points).

Cosmic Doubt


 ‘Yet presently even in the heavens there is now a gnawing doubt to even the existence to dark matter although it is supposed that large unseen elements in the cosmic darkness influence, through their gravitaional pull, the movements of the stars. It is considered by the observers of the celestial sky that this phenomenon could now be an illusion. A sleight of hand, a mental trick from the mind of God. The uncertainty of a fixed universe first hinted at by Tycho Brahe’s observation on November 11, 1572 of a super nova brightly collapsing in its death throes, the explosions of a dying star unsettling Aristotle’s and Ptolemy’ view of a symmetrical universe which had the planets and stars revolving in perfect circles within a series of  crystal spheres with the Earth in the centre. There are comets with tails millions of kilometres long so Tycho’s ‘comet’ would have been smashing through these invisible membranes if they ever existed. There was only empty space, with a shift in the centre away from humanity to the sun; as the later controversial discoveries of Copernicus and Galileo would eventually prove. Yet Tycho himself contrived his own mental distortion, for this physical truth was unpalatable to him, from his point of view he envisaged a solar system which had the planets revolving around the sun - as he identified - but then continued to map the sun orbiting the Earth. Yet the sun has proven central – as the ‘holy of holies’ that sustains all life…a fiery sanctuary…for in these times (as we further understand the biology of living matter, while peering down microscopes to view the cells that bind the tissues of life – by which the honeycombed microscopic pores of plant cells reminded Robert Hooke the inventor of the compound microscope in the sixteenth century, of monastery cells - ). 

On A Highway Star


  I go around in circles in my head! ‘Intelligent design. Intelligent anarchy. Pythagorians (five hundred years before Christ, at the same time as Gautama Buddha was transforming southern Asia, they lived in their own community at the bottom of Italy ruled by the The Three Hundred who spread their wise, peaceful governance over the Greek colonies in the west until Pythagoras and forty of his leaders were killed by a mob led by a man rejected by the Order). A big bang. An explosion of innumerable chemical combinations. Spiritual. Crystals. To eventually be music. Movement. Direction. In no straight line. Sound ripples in the air. Brain noise. Cosmic noise. All proof that we do not exist in states of non-existence. Circles. Logic. To feel. (Solid touch). New possibilities. Not just in dream states. (Which are always silent). There are eleven known dimensions on the tiniest levels of the fabric of the universe…our consciousness will survive as an entity at death…what is known as a ‘quantum entanglement’…(our spirit a spiritual version of the ‘island home’ that Christine Anu sings)…Lisa – our ‘lonely star’ - will float, sustain herself while still becoming a part of the eternal sea-’  (…yes, yes I have been through all this before…). 


To be Gone With the Universe


…the Roman Coriolanus who threatened to turn on those who had honoured him for his saving of Rome, yet not enough…human pride can lead to our demise…what is in a name? ‘HAH! THE HUMAN HEART SUCKED INSIDE EMOTIONAL WHIRLPOOLS! SAY YOU LISA SAY: GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD! LISA! MAY YOUR FINAL SCENE BE RIDING OFF INTO THE SUNSET! Not chasing the wind but goING with it!”


Sydney Easter Island


 Cat reviews a photograph taken of Lisa standing in front of a row of large curved metal bulwarks that are each several metres high. These large rusting industrial objects on now unused Cockatoo Island remind him of the huge stone heads on Easter Island. “Oh Crucifixion!” exclaims the prophet.

Holy Devolution


 “Does God exist?” inquires the holy man wearing his cowboy hat “It is a foolish question…” surmises Cat. He stabs the side of his head with his forefinger. “FOR ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!  I know my truth!

Star Woman


 Cat’s place. MY OTHER CAR  IS A BROOM. “Cat picked this car sticker up at the markets. He cheekily placed it above where Lisa slept after she complained that she thought people treated her as if she was a witch.” A folded ABC 630 AM NEWSRADIO sticker inside the envelope. A few ripped out pages from old weekly TV guides. Michael smiles. “While staying at Cat’s place Lisa did come across lots of programs she otherwise may have not bothered with…what’s Cat circled here…Minder, The Royle Family, OZ, Carnivale, Twin Peaks, the Awful Hour and Cracker. Just as well Lisa was a big fan of Northern Exposure.” Lisa with a psychedelic scarf around her head. Pointing at a newspaper  poster. ATHENA STARWOMAN. Wearing other coloured scarves. Hands raised. Legs stretched out. Looking like a preying mantis. Imitating a Bollywood dance. Another young woman. Exotically dressed. Swishing her long auburn hair. The Indian Hour is on Channel 31. “A wild Chicago airhostess. Stayed for a week while Lisa and Melissa were still there. A fun night.”

 “I met Cat at a Beefburgers where he was buying a meal for this Danish journalist who had been robbed in Las Vegas and had hitched his way to Chicago with the Negro hobos on the trains! ‘Hamlet’ had to survive three days before he could catch a flight back to Copenhagen. Says he was going to go work in Beijing. I was sitting on the next table and just joined in the conversation.”

  “She let us stay at her place.” 

  “They got to see Jerry Springer with me. JERRY! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry interviewing a 700-pound man! Whoa! I always take heed of Jerry’s Final Thought. Cat’s such a culture buff – told me that Springer is German for knight –  I even accompanied him to a play about a black cop who was a Vietnam war hero. Said how in ‘Nam he felt sorry for dead Charlie. Shoots this white trash who’d been racially taunting him. Gets all regretful. Afterwards we saw the blues.”

 Cat puts on Bob Marley.

“Tells me how he met two black cleaners in a public toilet. Talks to ‘em while they wash their hands!  They smile, say another Australian was also friendly. They weren’t used to that.” 

“NO WOMAN! NO CRY! Pizza’s ARRIVED! Here’s my pink Medici’s t-shirt given to me when I said they made the best pizza in the world. Although Antonio’s at Bexley North and those wood fire oven places at Haberfield would give it a run for their money! Here’s us three outside a Wendys! Here we are at this American bar applauding comedy skits performed by students of the University of Chicago. I love those stools, the old advertising, the glass, all that whiskey! I’m sticking this photo above my Cabaret Voltaire poster. It has the one and only Vladimir Lenin at a back table seriously ‘analysing’ the Dadaists! There is your true theatre of the ABSURD! Voltaire said we should spend our lives tending our gardens!” Cat flings the photo at Michael. “Your father would agree with that!” Arms thrust upward. “Oh to have pancakes with Canadian maple syrup! At an American diner! Watching the gridiron! Washington Redskins versus the San Francisco 49ers! How I enjoyed listening to crazy theories that JFK will return from the dead as the beast of Revelation and that it’s insurance companies who truly control the world!” Cat holds a Gideons. “Revelations 13.3. I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed and all the world wondered after the beast!” The small bible is tossed onto the sofa. “God bless America! U-2 Devil go ahead and ring up the United Nations! Bullet the blue sky. Outside is America! Go the North Queensland Cowboys! K-19! God Bless those eight Soviet sailors who gave up their lives to radiation poisoning so there would be no submarine nuclear accident so there would be no accidental nuclear HOT WAR!SUBTITLES!TO HISTORY! THE MASTERS OF WAR! DON’T WANT US TO KNOW! SUBTEXTS! SOUNDBITES! THE COMEDIAN BORAT FOR PRESIDENT OF KAZIKHSTAN! Yes! I listen to be informed to: ABC NewsRadio! Radio National! Peter Thompson! Fran Kelly! Radio National Breakfast! The Sports Factor! Remember Alan McGilvray calling the cricket! Star Stuff! Word Watch! Letters from America with Alistair Cooke! Great Moments in Science! The Health Minute with Norman Swann! Geraldine Doogues Saturday Extra on RN! Saturday mornings with The Naked City on FB!! The TODAY Show! Stateline! The Collectors Show! The Jim Lehrer Hour! CNN! BBC! Radio Netherlands! Deutsche Welle! NPR’s All Things Considered! LNL with Phillip Adams! Classical FM! The Goon Show! Grandstand on 702! The Planet with Lucky Oceans will be on after the news bulletin. Today he’s got a collection of West African music-”

 “I AM NOT LUCKY!” screams Lisa. “HEY CAT! When YOU  aren’t around I have a big hit of JJJ, MMM, 93.5 or Nova – Supernova – as I call it.”




  “I say again: Bob Geldorf you wicked Irish son.” laughs the Y in admiration of the Irish rock star who initiated LIVE AID. “We should not spend our lives slinking in the shadows of the world’s history while the all-powerful revel in the global limelight!”2 Announces the Y. A manic laugh. “STRIDER!”1 ‘Yes, like him live by the white wizard’s wisdom!”2  More random mania. The Y screams at Michael. “You are a good friend for like the slave who whispers into the Emperor’s ear you too remind me I am physically mortal! Yet there is the suspicion we have immaterial minds that leads each of us to what is the immortal! That is-” The Y prongs his chest with both index fingers. “WITHIN!” Then outstretches his arms out again to point with both same fingers to the sky. “WITHOUT!” The Y punches his chest. “Ganasha the god of beginnings and of learning whose wisdom can make us new…yes…for me to be a new creature for a new year or in Lisa’s case for a new eternity. Everyone’s  surfin’  now!  Everyone’s  learning  how!”  Another beer. “THEM SURFING! TO BOMBORRA! THE ATLANTICS!* SQUEAK! SQUEAK!” Michael knows what that sound means every time Cat makes it.

“Frankly!” Lisa says tersely as she gathers up some cassette tapes. “I don’t give a damn!”

 Cat exclaims: “To not chase the wind but go with it! To…to…be gone with the universe!

 1. Strider is a reference to the Lord of the Rings character the lone wanderer who will be revealed as Aragorn who will be the King of Gondor to help overthrow the dark lord Sauron. 2.Cat is thinking of Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. Cat again: ‘The day will come when the Age of Humanity will cower and be defeated but it will not be this day! It will not be at the Black Gate of Morder! Live by Gandalf’s wisdom! For we do not always know what will hold good! Or true! Or which path to truly tread!’  * Repeated text.





‘The soul, the guiding white light. Yet, a bright, blinding light emanates from a picture tube. The television set, that ‘mental net’- A wrinkled forehead.  Cat’s head is filled with more divergent thoughts. ‘From the micro-levels of atomic structure within us through to the many cosmic dynamics around us we are literally balanced on a precipice between life and death. The universe itself has since its inception gone through different symmetries.’The fast breathing visionary. Sucking air. In. Out. ‘Take away the vibrations to reach a stillness. To reach Vasarely’s ‘zero form’ -  a black square on white. Silence. Beyond all  objects. A spiritual form. A single point, amidst the multitude patterns of mirror symmetries. A ‘picture molecule’ to acutely focus on. Ultimately, a nirvana in monochrome.’   “Eternal return…” A familiar book is pulled out.LOOK AT THE STARS AS IF YOU WERE MOVING AMONGST THEM. THE DANCING OF THE ELEMENTS! SUCH VISIONARY SCENES REMOVE FROM OUR EYES THEIR EARTH BOUND LIMITED VIEW! Read Meditations 47. Book Seven!” This book is shut. “Human Pity!” Cat exclaims under his breath. “God’s glories are invisible…”‘The Lord is my shepherd. Who will guide me.’...‘For any physical object to decay is to become ‘invisible’. Nothing is invisible. Death is the clear starting point to our final bodily decomposition, although for the mind, already invisible in insubstantial form, could sustain its existence. Molecules falling apart. Molecules that stay....To make death an illusion. (I think, therefore I am. For if the mind survives the body this is possible).…to always allow an introduction of many new dimensions into our every human life are hidden anxieties, hidden is not formulae...The universe helps to transform us while we live. (I wonder if through what we call prayer or meditation we can change the nature of the world via a subatomic pathway through our minds....the symmetrical lattice of molecules that forms every solid vibrates at such an astounding rate that it can impede particles from moving through it at their maximum speed, thus as the forming brain cools after the first cellular explosions that brought it into existence an incomprehensible multiplicity of neurons are allowed to internally evolve so as to communicate with each other at their swiftest.’...As certain as the good Lord prevailed against the Devil’s tricks and temptations during his forty days; it is in the wilderness that we learn all things‘…’the mind is beyond any human project to measure it…‘As James Maxwell discovered light is an electromagnetic wave; different colours corresponding to the different speed of the vibration of each light wave. From the slow pulsations of red to the furious oscillation of blue...‘Life is a mystery. Our souls. Around each thought a sea of molecules that work like the loose collection of electrons around the inner core of metal atoms’..‘In Indonesia prostitute are called night butterflies..they are maligned though in this conservative society..There is a Checkpoint Charlie in all our minds for a way out or a stop to the diverse thoughts in our minds with so many mental tours of duty or deviance and mental barriers built up or to rip down...all is psychological warfare with struggle for power & survival...mental .Berlin Airlifts with us to deal with and overcome..oh, I proclaim....The Poet versus the Rationalist. Yet a case of the boundless versus the bound.’“The pen…is…mightier…”‘After all, that most famous of modern knight errants Don Quixote disingenuously said: the pen is the tongue of the soul.’...brain plasticity....death is is not a is absolutely ‘nothing’, an individual is dissolved...people who lived a thousand years ago built structures that have lasted until today without the knowledge of the universe that we now have of its long existence…their world was no more than the village green and the awareness of the life of the universe was of it being in existence of only a few thousand years but they had a long term range of life while we have no excuses and we build ugly monoliths, shopping malls that will last no longer than fifty years…civilization is being destroyed by our shopping habits…by our insular short term view of an immediate self interested prosperity…we drive ourselves to death…seeking power for power’s own sake is an immature impulse...the silence…in this modern world we may fear the silence…of being alone with ourselves in a room…the interior self is submerged by noise…behold Lisa who has blissfully gone to the ETERNAL SILENCE!...we are little nickelodeons in the great cinema known as the universe…ego to dictate over others is unjust... this made-up world is stacked up on a pack of lies…spiritual value is moe important than material value…seeking power is only justified if to a good end for all society...a hard act to can be said my mind is my Kalashnikov and I must stay on guard duty to protect civilisation...we must not accept any present injustice and not accept that it is hopeless to overturn it no matter how monumental the terrible situation appears to us for we see how the Abolitionistsfought against what appeared to be a hopeless cause I remember seeing a small protest group against apartheid who everyday stood at Tralfagar Square in London witha sign that said how many days Nelson Mandela was in imprisoned on Robbin Island I thought their cause was unwinnable but we see that Nelson Mandela became President of an apartheid free South Africa we see how East Timor also became free from occupation Ramis-Horta did not give up and there are other examples one must continue to try for it is only self-defeating to say all is hopeless morality is based on the doing not the result... the Muse can leave one for awhile which proves we are human beings and not machines...I have always appreciated Victor Hugo’s divergent explanation of the Paris sewers in Les Miserables...’ “We have turned the Earth into an open sewer!” ’ lie Napoleon are faced with their Waterloos as a changing world outwits their genius ...Artists take Duchamp’s advice and work underground and unknown with no one knowing what you do...the modern art market is akin to the market in the Holy Temple which desecrated this holy sanctuary and defiled the spiritual presence of the LORD for Mammon has taken over and like Jesus Christ who drove out the moneymen the same must be done now to cleanse Art so it may return to its shaman spiritual purity…thus be rid of the art blasphemers for the true artist is not a bureaucrat or a decorator of walls but a spiritual person who has visions of the eternal unseen values of the heavenly paradise …there was Gerard Depardieu as the two-bit night club singer who walked away from his chance to do the big concerts and gain wider fame…the true artist seeks a discourse of genuine humanity with his audience…to not be suffocated by petty dragonian art market rules that enslave the creative spirit and subdue it to mammon with its obscene over inflated prices…so called art that is intellectually vacous…devoid of spiritual quality…a fraudulent, cultural propaganda to verify the overconsumption of the ever growing middle classes…art is joy not investment….the western notion of so called ‘uniqueness’ must be is meaningless but life per se has meaning...what is essential is to live a just life...what is the real point of worldly success?’ The mind ever whirring around the same circles.‘…the idea of a long lasting reforming grassroots social movement like there was with the emergence of the trade unions is more difficult in a more atomized, individualistic modern hyper-capitalist world despite social networking as society is more psychologically apart with individuals more like gas particles rather than together like a solid with the paradox of human beings…like particles…whirring in cyberspace…being brought together…but still whirring…on their own little…puny…axis rather than on a larger social one...’ Eternal, infernal, spiralling downward mind levels ‘…fortunately cyber space can be used on occasions to organise group protest and bring people together shoulder to shoulder in solidarity in real space but more often than not…the default position…is solidarity in trivialities..’ “DOWN, deeper and ever deeper DOWN!”..the status qou…presenting good art to the pimps of the art world is like the proverbial throwing of pearls to swine...falsehoods...’Ever whirring ‘…art market edicts…if the labor Prty had spent more money educating outer Western Sydney then maybe these people if they were more educated would not have such bigoted, narrowminded views on issues such as climate change and refugees…liberate the human spirit not enchain it…community supporting the individual..the inner soul to prevail..indefinite detention without trial…military commissions..kangaroo courts…circumstantial evidence…an image is a icon not a product... magic realism would confound the scientists…Cezanne came across nature’s unity a hundred years earlier…scientists seem amazed by the self-regulatory uniform patterns of nature moving unconsciously between predicated order and chaotic unpredictability. The future remains a surprise.’ Ceaselessly. ‘Yes, the picture tube from which not only captures our minds but from which we also derive too many of our thoughts, dulling our imaginations, limiting the intellect-’The imperfections of the world signify to a Creator for if everything was Perfection then the Universe would only be following a Mechanical Formula the evolution of the planet and the development of every species and of every individual organism including us works within the process of this  universal creative process conversely what is static and is stillness is death.’.Without end. ‘We must continue to reconfigure reality to suit the purpose of our sense of satisfaction in life’s worth.Thus to quantify the mind is presently as incomprehensible as viewing the reality that existed before the creation of this visible mass we call the universe.No projection is possible on a purely scientific level. The human mind is still the exclusive territory of mystics’ “I am the way the truth and life.” A sardonic whisper.




Below are thoughts by Teresa that illuminate mainly on her time in Lithuania, London, New York but do not on first reading relate directly to the main narrative. Nevertheless her insights maybe of interest to some readers who find this character’s experiences and points-of-view rather intriguing.

New York, London


  Natasha, I met her at the New York Port Authority. A huge multi-storied bus depot. A middle-aged, wry, heavy-smoking Russian Jewish émigré who was quick to say that so many Americans could be ‘theatrical’, and so it was little wonder that this ‘land of the free’ had a ‘showbiz empire’.  (Yet she also informed me of ‘a quiet-spoken American’, an acquaintance who had worked in the ‘Peace Corp’ at the very start of the sixties. After a victorious army skirmish, he had gone outside Saigon, with schoolchildren in buses put on by the government, to see the dead guerrillas. One young man had been halved in two through the waist - just like Vietnam. “There’s some American razz-a-ma-tazz for you darling.”). I sat beside Natasha, in an upper level café of this subterranean-like concrete cavern, feeling like she had called me – ‘a bag lady’. My bus cancelled, feeling dishevelled after my delayed flight from London (as well as spending my last night in Europe with a boisterous cousin,  a tube driver who resided in Tufnell Park.1 I was grateful when Natasha offered to take me in, (there was then the dim possibility  I  may  even  catch  a  flight  in  the  morrow  to  Toronto). Her flat was off Manhattan  Island  and  shared it with three Brazilian illegals. They were young men who spent their days doing cash-in-the-hand house painting jobs. In the morning they would drive me to the Port Authority in their white work pick-up truck. With  my  arrival  it  was  decided to put on a party. Our lively dancing in the living room  and  loud  samba  music  rivalled  in  -  its  tiny  way  -   Carnivale.  The illegals seldom   took   the   risk   to   go   nightclubbing   when  they  faced  being  checked  on  by immigration agents. Thus these fellows were use to making their own fun at home. For my benefit they even put on their elegant nightclub clothes and we dimmed the lights to create the right atmosphere. Natasha’s boyfriend even played the bongo drums and we attempted the lambada!  New York boogie-woogie. At dawn I had this magnificent view of the Manhattan skyline. A large orange sun was rising beyond the silhouettes of the skyscrapers whose silver surfaces glistene above the morning mist. Natasha had commented that such a scene was what America was for many people: the imagined silver lining…“Yet, darling, the reality is my three dear comrades live strangely perched on some outer circle, grasping to stay on, amidst this very centre – why, this bull’s eye - of global power.

* New York, London  1. I had to keep this ever strident ‘Gunners’ supporter company until the late hours at a quaint, village-like but busy local pub called The Pineapple; drinking only Guinness, talking about such literary luminaries as Blake, Joyce, Ovid, Beckett, Melville, Vonnegut, Auster, Styron, Heller, strongly debating the pros & cons of an autocratic Soviet Union supporting third world liberation struggles, then it was the cricket, Rushdie’s ‘fatwa’ and the concept of holy war, we had earlier in the evening been to the local cinema to see the film version of Nick Hornby’s Feverpitch with the Arsenal striker ‘impossibly’ winning ‘the big match’ with a spectacular last-ditch goal at the very end of all time…never give up despite all the odds…my host was very amused when I told him of the muscly fifty-something Bielefeld man who would ride his bicycle naked to show off the human form. (I had seen ‘Bernie’ while staying with a girlfriend who lived in one of a few ex-circus vans sited in a disused field, she introduced me to another ‘fraulien’ who had just returned from Esteli that was Bielefeld’s Nicaraguan sister town,  which meant little to me yet was interested to hear how many Nicaraguans wondered why the ‘internationalistas’ abandoned them when the Sandinistas lost office…interestingly, my friend now lives in Fremantle where she works as a nurse due to shortages in this profession here)…we listened to recordings of classical music of the Academy of St.Martins of the Field as I told him of a ‘monkish’ businessman friend in Vilnius who had returned from ‘exile’ in Paris; who chain-smoked his pipe, had an endless supply of cognac and who had a caustic wit which he would really appreciate… (I had  to  put  up with watching Tarantino’s True Romance with him on a large film projector screen in his living room, much better was a dinner party followed by a game of RISK which with all its Napoleonic intrigue and strategy went on to the early hours, almost to dawn…)…nevertheless at 3.00 A.M, in his kitchen, with its huge piles of unwashed crockery, I was told how to make a proper pot oftea…‘the pot must be warmed first’…).


The Centre of Europe


  ‘I visited an international sculpture park in the so-called Centre of Europe. (I had visited a similar sculpture park in the moors of northern England in the vicinity of Bradfield, Leeds Huddersfield). The country road from the highway to this epicentre proved to be a few kilometres so on the walk back I waved down a car. The driver could speak fluent German and I explained to him I was staying at the youth hostel where the very friendly, perceptive  middle-aged owner with long moussy hair and beard was always amazed to meet people such as my self from such far away places. He was very helpful in making my stay comfortable and in fact I had extended my stay due to his warm hospitality. I had  met some interesting people such as two potters from Oregon and a Japanese man who was riding throughout Europe on a motorbike. However, the main purpose of my trip was to catch up with people who knew my family; my grandparents had been Prussians who had escaped to Germany towards the end of the war. My great-aunt in Hamburg had given me a few contacts; a person who had lived in perpetual sadness since the great firebombing of  that city. I had to promise her on my  return to visit a dock area which according to her was the only part of the city that was not burnt to a crisp. One remarkable person that I had met was a youthful accomplished printmaker who worked at the Teacher’s House where the British Council was situated. Hopefully I would still be able to meet up with her for lunch. Where? At that ‘modernist café’ in the Contemporary Art Museum. Yes, the one with the two signs above the bar that says:  I am an artist  I love myself   My driver said he would take me there. He was envious that I came from a country with a temperate climate. It was a usual comment. A rueful smile. He had, at least, lived in the tropics for several months. Cuba.

 “A holiday…business trip?”

“No, no!” laughed the driver. “A military mission, in the seventies. I learnt Spanish,  met Castro, even befriended a Spaniard who had gone to the Soviet as one of thousands of Republican child exiles during the civil war, now he writes to me as he considers  his  chances  of  living  out  his final years in Bilbao. How people, the times, change. As  for  me  I  now  work  for  a  large  foreign  firm.  It is  very interesting to experience capitalism first hand. In my office is an American-Lithuanian manager out here for two years from the mother headquarters.  I am also a manager but while I still have to save a little longer before I get rid of this old car she can easily afford to fly back to Chicago to visit family. When I signed my employment contract I had to agree not to talk about my wage with anyone or I would lose my job. All the staff had to agree to the right of our employers to do this.” A sigh. “It seems so easy to lose my job. Is this what the American leaders mean by ‘freedom’?

  I cringe. Feel uncomfortable. Speak clumsily. “I’m afraid it’s the sort of ‘freedom’ I fear may also come to my country…such American ‘liberation’ makes you realise that there are many ‘snakes in the grass’ everywhere…”

  The driver smiles. “You give me an honest answer but you should not be so hard on the snake who lives in the grass. In Lithuania we revere the green grass snake. It is a gentle reptile. No need to  fear him like all those American rattlesnakes.” A laugh.

  “As a village boy my mother told me when she was hoping to have a child she would leave a saucer of milk for the zaltys. That is what we call our green serpent. We are all pagans in this country. Christianity was only forced upon us from the Teutons six hundred years ago so we still haven’t got quite used to it.”

 “You have so many grand churches.”  

 “Yes, yes, but we still put sunrays on the top of most them. The sun to us is like a milk jug which shines off it’s rays like molten gold. Saule goddess of the sun loves the zaltys. My mother said only a few days after she saw the zaltys and left the milk out for it she was pregnant with me.” Another broad smile. “I have a lot to be thankful for to our little grass snake.”

 “I had an unusual experience the last time I was at the Contemporary Art Museum café –the place with the silver metal and black leather décor. A young artist sat opposite me and drew a black bird on a sepia postcard of the sea. Afterwards, he got up and briefly joined some of the regulars who play chess and then he left. He had black-rimmed eyes, a black-leather coat and was unshaven. Although many of the people who frequent this café have what I call the ‘inner-city look’ he was highly unusual. A modern-day ‘angel-of-death’ at my coffee table. I don’t think I would have that occur too often…”

 “AH! You should meet this this other Australian-Lithuanian woman who I know. Is living here for a few years. Meeting up with family that she has not seen for decades -” A laugh. “Are all you Australian women so beautiful?”

  I jibe how Lithuanian women are far more pretty…apart from going on to briefly discussing other local myths ‘Yes, I know of Perkunas the supreme fire god, he’s on the matchboxes’ - whenever the conversation meandered back to the ‘great geo-politik’ - I realised as I threaded away from the centre of this old world, I was being made aware of the ever expanding universal circumference of another grand continent. Yet, as such historical centrifugal forces spin ever greater, I now wonder about the many others who are being pushed further along to only a darker edge. (Yes, the voiceless are kept muted). Silence. (The Spanish knew that to mention Lorca’s name under Franco was a capital offence. In Nazi-occupied Poland it was also a death sentence to speak of Chopin). Tonight had been a mere enlightened hum amidst the chorus of imperial gloating. Yes, there are human mirages that confirm the Devil’s worldly omniscience.’ 








 Below are a few remarks by Michael - mainly made in conversation with Gregor, Margaret. Lisa or Cat; he is also remembering comments made by friends such as Cat & Gregor. 




‘That Bronte dawn I remember now that group of friends who had made a little Viking boat to send off into the sea the ashes of a friend. They even lit it up. It’s the sort of send-off I would have liked for Lisa.



   ‘When I used to go to the gym there were four television sets. Something different was on each one of them.’  Michael is very drunk; thinking to himself while with Cat and Lisa in Cat’s flat.  ‘These big mirrors on the walls. Guys always looking at themselves! Always this angelic female voice singing with the techno! Spunky women do callisthenics in front of the Opera House. ALL these gadgets to lose belly fat! Sport’s the great thing in this country because only those convicts with fit bodies could survive that First Settlement hellhole! OZ! We are the prison show! The Troy Horse Ducks play the Warren View Hotel mob at Earlwood Oval to see whose gonna win this year’s Blind Bat Cricket Trophy! New Year’s Eve at the Warren View a thin Queen in a wheelchair! She wore a silver crown! There was human dignity! Driving down Brunswick Street in the dark after checking out the curio shops in Smith and Church Streets. Looking at all the cut-outs and props above the shop awnings: different animated winged figures; a big daffodil with scary mouth; an oversize picture frame; a large clock. Listening to the news on 3RRR: a farmer had raised a crocodile since it was a new born and considered it like a son. Felt totally safe. Wait till next week the news guys said to hear if there will be a sad twist to this good feel story. Never forget the time when we pretended the combi had broken down outside Sydney Town Hall so we could pick up my cousin’s sister and her girlfriends knocking off work from McDonalds who in the car all got dressed up like the B-52s lead singer who we were going off to see at the Hordern Pavillion. They looked like the dolls in that Super-8 film my cousin made called Evil Doris. Had him gliding up and down the garden path with his hands flapping. He really knows how to use the one-stop frame. Last Saturday night after a laksa at the Golden Barley Hotel I went up to the Townie to back a trot called Odyssey. It won! A muscly guy like some Cyclops who just got himself a cheap Chinese feed warned me of thieves hiding in the bushes at Erskineville Oval. So I stopped off at the Alexandria Bowling Club to see The Sirens! I saw all these westie women who had just finished with their factory outlet bus tour!’ Danoz ads on late night t.v. “It’s ALL a wasteland! Huh! Let’s go to the Phoenician Club! The Phoenicians were the first to Cyprus!”


Kathe Kollwitz


  While walking to the church for Melissa’s chrstening Michael had seen in the front window of a second-hand gift shop a print of a mournful mother holding a sick child; an inscription in German was underneath.  Michael was flustered by this gaunt image. He recalls that moment while looking at this same image in a 1920s catalogue of Kathe Kollwitz’s work which Gregor had bought in Amsterdam.

Cosmic Ulysses


On the morning that Michael was going to Dover Heights with Margaret and Melissa with Lisa’s ashes he heard on the radio about a deep space probe that was named Ulysses; reflecting about this while listening to Sorbet’s PART Spiegel im Spiegel for violin and piano...




Calm and Crystal Clear


 “Hey Gregor! It’s Neil Murray!” I am well and truly drunk, swishing my VB sword; Singing with the lyrics. “Yes Lisa…there are some things that do happen that we will never understand…lLet’s be calm and crystal clear!”A Dave Warner song. Howling how I really AM just a suburban boy!

Lake George


“In dark places exist monsters!” A sweep of the VB sword. “Short memory! El Salvador!” ‘While passing Lake George I talked about my trip to Canberra with Rigoberta. Gregor glances at the lake and remembers Lake Atitlan. All that travel, for him those times were the glory days. “Sometimes when I sit on the back porch I think of the waterways between Mexico and Guatemala. I hired a boatman who had a motorised canoe to take me through them. We arrived at a village just after nightfall. A soldier appeared from the darkness right beside me as I left the boat. There was a blackout and under this large grass canopy where I had to register entering the country was a platoon of soldiers around a table that was to one side. They were all quiet, staring at me. A lantern stretched their shadows right across the underside of this open roof. I can still feel this sense of foreboding. If I disappeared off the face of the earth that night nobody would have ever known. I met an El Salvadorian man whose hands would not stop shaking. He kept looking over his shoulder while I waited for a bus to a place called Flores. He wanted to leave for Mexico in the morning to find work, to run away from the civil war. My boatman was taking him and a couple of others. Seeing him talking prices with these nervous ‘shades’ made me think he was Charon.”

 “You’d know how this Argentinean homecare worker I met at my aunt’s place must feel. She confided to me that her brother was taken from his university class by a couple of plainclothes policeman. He was ‘disappeared’-”

 “You should feel the spirits of the ‘disappeared’ on these haunted roads in North Queensland.” states Gregor curtly. “Angola is our graveyard’.” Another random thought. “That’s what this Cuban guy told me once. I met an ex-British mercenary in Phnom Penh. Told me how he was working as a mine-clearer. Said it would take a hundred years. Wanted to speak to me because he noticed how quiet I was the night before when all the backpackers were partying in the restaurant of the hostel. I was staring daggers at this long haired, muscly American guy who had borrowed these flashing devil’s horns, who had his feet up on a chair, still wearing his military style sunglasses, beer in hand, cigarette in the other, boasting about the ‘taxi girl’ he’d just been with; a label for these desperate Vietnamese women who had crossed into Cambodia to make good money by sleeping with tourists. A lot of guys considered them like they were cabbies lined up at a rank waiting for the next fare. Anyhow, this ‘loud American’ was like the leader of a conquering army.  A ‘little beast’.  I spoke for a long while with the Brit. He was interested to hear how to me the main street was unrecognisable to what I had seen many years ago. All these new backpacker hostels, many old colonial buildings having been redeveloped with modern facades. A lot of changes had happened to initially accommodate the U.N. peacekeepers but now there’s a rising tourist influx. Although the war seems over, foreign influences are still spurring on other vices. Child prostitution is on the increase. With this guy we got onto the war, then spoke about the international scene, suddenly he clammed up when I mentioned that Cuban guy and Angola. This is when I found out he’d been there as a mercenary. I hate to think what atrocities he’d committed that played on his conscience. I’m pulling over.” Gregor takes out his forty-year old Afga camera and puts it on top of an old wooden fence. He leaves the B-stop open for a minute so as to take a photo of large swirling orange and red clouds softly colliding into each other. It is a peaceful sky. Yet in the ensuing photograph although the camera had captured the magnificence of the warm colours in the twilight sky there is an illusion of a wild gale or cyclone. The reality was something more serene with a smooth warm night blowing against the windscreen. (Is my mind swirling for no reason?).  We had seen the Rembrandt exhibition at the ANG and were backtracking to a pub at Collector to document this large strange mud wall being built by a local artist. The intermittent straggly posts of its unfinished wooden frame clawed upwards to the rising moon like some primal henge to the sky, a ruin of civilisation, a post-apocalyptic signpost. The stark black letters at the gallery cut up on bright yellow boards, old Shelleys drink crates from a gone world (like those fading, peeling advertising murals on old brick city walls) given fresh life as if by magic. Thus, there is still hope, that in some shaman way, we may arise from our self-inflictions.

  Neil Murray is back on. ‘Life is mysterious...where do our dreams go...the Dreaming...?’


It’s All Good


 “Although this bookshop in Victoria St is a small place Cat found some great old art books there. I know he’s recommended it to Gregor. It’s just as good as Darling Street books in Rozelle near the markets. Last time we were there we picked up all this Herman Hesse stuff. Peter Carmenzind. Daemon. Narciss and Goldmund. The bookshop guy was surprised with our selection as apparently Hesse is not so popular now. A pity.”  Visiting a third world bric-brac shop in Rozelle that was sending money to Ethiopia; having been to the opening night party the evening before; seeing the MAHATOLLA QUEENS at Balmain R.S.L; on a sunny tranquil Sunday morning walking along the foreshore by the pier where the Balmain Ferry stopped. A ‘coastal arcadia’ as Michael had called it; having a palm reading with this ‘burly’ gypsy woman in her exotic tent at Rozelle markets; listening to a female guitarist who sang Patsy Cleine covers under the large tree in the back of the Rozelle markets. “She had a sad, beautiful voice. A female Orpheus as Cat put it. It’s all good – that’s what she’d say between songs.” Lisa would also like repeating Cat’s mantra: “It’s not about happiness but what is real.”

Ship of Fools


Michael glances over Gregor’s short story randomly selecting passages that caught his eye such as the following: We looked at the ramshackle shackles as we travelled on the late night bus through the poor barrios of Managua. Every place was lit by a single bulb hanging at the end of a cord from the ceiling. There was just enough illumination for the women I could see through the open doorways and windows to perform their household duties; just enough light for these women and their families to continue living. As well as this:I walked back to the pensione which is nearby and noticed three men in wheel chairs sitting by a Pepsi cafe. I saw another man with only one arm. He and the other crippled men are reminiscent of similiar scenes I had witnessed in Phonm Phen two years ago. One man twirls the wheels of his chair and goes down the dirt road ahead of me. Flicking the page I read my copy of MEANJIN which I had brought from Australia. I was intrigued by an article about the renaming of the Grampian mountains in Victoria to their previous Aboriginal title which was Gariwerd. I read of the Anglo protest and learnt of the importance of geography to a people’s identity, shaped by the stroke of a cartographer’s pen. However, blood had also been spilt, tribal blood in Australia and tribal blood in the Americas. In Guatemala and Peru this blood was spilling today. The sun was past its zenith...Turning the page once more: We place our backpacks in the small room and the middle-aged woman gives us the key. Once outside we walk to the Intercontinental Hotel Managua and catch a taxi to UCA. After a brief dispute about the taxi fare we enter the university grounds and head towards the main auditorium. Inside the crowded hall Rigoberta Menchu is receiving an honourary degree. There are television crews and many solidarity workers from North America and Europe. I remember when Rigoberta was in Sydney three years ago, speaking to small audiences and receiving scant media attention. The microphone is not working so her acceptance speech is hardly audible. It will be so different when Rigoberta again comes to Sydney.  Michael is flabbergasted: to think he had driven this prestigous woman he is reading about to Canberra. I walk outside and recognize Tomas Borge. He is dressed in a red silk shirt, black pants and smoking a cigar. Borge comes over and shakes my hand. Inside the auditorium the crowd is singing an ode to Nicaragua. I then recall that today is the 25th anniversary of the death of Che Guevarra. I consider these three icons of the revolutionary spirit: an Argentinian doctor, a Guatemalan Indian woman and a small, chubby man who is the surviving father of the Nicaraguan revolution. His attire reminded me of an ageing North American folk singer named Jimmy Driftwood. Jimmy,who was in his early sixties, had kindly put me up for a few days when several years ago I had been hitchhiking through the Mid-West on the way to Mexico. Jimmy resided in Timbo, near Little Rock, Arkansas and he always wore a red silkshirt, black pants and a black cowboy hat. However, Jim did not smoke cigars. I once walked into his bedroom to find at least ten pairs of red shirts and black pants hanging on a portable wardrobe. Jimmy’s other trade mark were his large thick brimmed spectacles. This former history teacher’s claim to fame was that he was the songwriter to the ‘Battle of New Orleans.’ However, it was only when Jimmy mentioned that he had known Woody Guthrie did he truly impress me. I enjoyed the hospitality handed out to me by Jimmy and his American Indian wife and by the other folk of Timbo... Michael sees there is much more to read so goes to the end of the story to read a couple of passages as time is pressing.  Life is filled with many multiple choice questions. I met another Vietnam war veteran when I hitched out of Timbo. He was a truck driver with his wife and daughter. The truck driver gave me a lift to the Trailways bus station in Little Rock. He’d been a helicopter pilot during the war and admired the fighting ability of the Australians: “...that’s why I picked you up, when I SAW SYDNEY painted on your little dark blue knapsack...let’s see if I can get you a ride to TeXas on my radiO, 10/4...” The truck driver told me how the Federal government was taxing him out of his business. “SEE aLL those state labels,” he pointed to the side window of his cabin, “they cost THOUSAndS...” We had stopped at a roadside diner and making sure he was out of earshot of the other truck drivers by slowly looking both left and right of our table, he mentioned the name of Ronald Reagan and carefully whispered: “This country”, then he gasped, “is becoming a DictatorSHIP.”


One Day in the Imprisoned Life of a Captive Old Man


 Michael reads from other excerpts written by Gregor that look at the views of an elderly inmate in a concentration camp; the writing was inspired by Gregor’ss reading of Solzhynitzen’s novella One Day in the Life of Ivan Denosovitch; it was reasoned to Michael that what was written was Gregor’s  view of the condition of the ‘underclasses’ to which Michael could identify with Lisa: He picked off a few fleas from his chest and thought...‘there is no beginning and no end...we have allowed the vile likes of men such as Hitler, Stalin and Aniscoscou to rule over us...we fend for ourselves along the stony plains of our own logic where there is only doubt. The complex beauty of nature which reveals to us an inner wisdom and craftsmanship is scarred by our violence. We have also distorted our humanity. There is still some likeness but while there should be harmony in this world there is instead within it and ourselves a burdensome battle between light and darkness’...pausing in his thoughts the old man looked out for a moment through one of the hut’s misty windows. He could see in the night the long barbed wire fences, the dogs, the tall guard towers... “this is the house that man has built Stephen”...‘here in the desert we have made laws for our survival which restrict our freedom. We equate freedom with power. There are legal and moral codes which are stillborn. They do not rectify our selfishness, mistrust and envy. This hard system demands us to repress our positive feelings. We have been hammered and polished down to become unthinking but smooth working mechanical pieces entrapped into serving our cold, unfeeling machine. Our emotional needs have been tossed aside. The law does not serve us but we must serve the law. We should go the other way and aspire to our full living potential. Otherwise we stay at one fixed point and stagnate. We must move on and mature to discover our gifts and explore our creative impulse. Otherwise our automatic lives will only dehumanize us. We go one step lower and say a human life only has value if it helps our moving but dead machine. This is selfish. The system is uncaring. It will turn its back on you at any moment and you will miss out...the most crushing blow is to wake up one morning and discover that you are no longer needed. I was unemployed before the war...many would know what I mean. I hope to prevail against such despairing conditions. I will not base my self worth purely on my labour. Through the most trying hardships, unable to meet my wants and needs, I remained buoyant. This was best for me. I had no status but was faithful to myself. This world prefers to leave you with nothing when your very life has become redundant. Losing your job or being imprisoned in a place like this...makes you painfully aware that this selfish machine which you have tirelessly been upkeeping will turn against you and grind you into the dust. No one loves a burden. To be of no use to anyone is the worst punishment of all. When you get to this raw bottom line of life you realise, that in the wilderness, you have become a wasteful drain on the precious resources of the tribe’... the old man lifted a layer of dry skin from his right thigh.“The crime we committed was to be born.” The old man continued peeling away. “And when we are killed to fix up this mistake, we will hear no cries of protest from outside.”

 “Why  should  the  English  wish  to help the trash of  the world while the Junkers and  V-2s bomb London every night? Why should German civilians care while the Superfortresses and Lancasters wipe them out in Hamburg and Berlin and firebomb Dresden?”

  The old man tossed the dead skin onto the floor...‘we represent the crowning achievement of our dying civilization, for our cruel oppression shows that man has not even been able to live up to his own feeble sense of right.Failing even our moral consciences and legal apparatus, humanity has fallen into the severest tyranny. Like I have said, the barbed wire fence has become the symbol of our age and upon it we have desecrated worst of all our minds and personalities. Despite our best and noble efforts to live satisfactory lives, a terrible evil still rules over us...when there have been those who have chosen to turn to harmony they have been blocked by a contrived human religion which has nothing to do with love. We condemn our lives to a moralism based on ignorance and which does not save us from our hypocrisy and only produces a society which feels threatened. Thus, we incapacitate each other to live within the short limits which are laid down by our corresponding fears of divine and social judgement which have become the appalling trademarks of our personal superstitions. European civilization vigorously kneels down once a week on hard pews to a hard god in submission to a religious legalism which aims at suffocating the human spirit in much the same way as the rest of our machine. Loneliness discovers fear’...the old man sighed.


The American Future *


  ‘With the thought of space travel on my mind I see with my inner vision a television with static lines scratching across the screen. The sound changes to the drone of bees as the static flashes off the screen to reveal a swarming hive. Much like those nature docos in school science which displayed nature’s social status quos’ a familiar male voice narrates of the aristocracy of the Queen bee.   

 A bed of magnificent red and white roses lining a river sparkling with sunlight, glistening as if reflecting jewels. The bees hover amidst the open petals going from them to the hive.

 Astounded, I have a closer look at this river of light, as if to drink from its glowing waters, the dazzling light temporarily blinds me.  When sight returns the river has become a lake of shimmering stars, with the flowers merging to become a Rose of Light, each sparkling star unmasking its brightness to each reveal a sci-fi image. Deadly Earnest appears from his late night Friday timeslot to introduce old space age, monster and horror films. 

 “A sci-fi paradiso…”

  Flying saucers attacking the major cities of the world, with soldiers, tanks, artillery pieces glowing, vaporising into nothingness;disappearing anonymously in a ray-gun shower of tracer beams.

  A bright flashing death ray fadeout.

  A thousand thousand spinning circles of a thousand thousand pictures. Shirley Temple tap dancing, singing The Goodship Lollypop, which is the New World.    

“Here’s looking at you kid!”1

 My name said out loud through the magic hoop at the end of Romper Room. 

 A divine ecstasy.

 A television suburban goddess smiles.

 A thousand thousand repeats in an all-encompassing make believe world of a television nirvana. All round good guys of an American fantasy parade in front of me. The mind of my generation becomes as one with the divine omniscient mind of Hollywood.

 Eternal film time.

 Pure light.

 A pristine American Future which will outlast even the vision of Dante Aligheri’s Paradiso.

  Screaming naked burning children were surreal to a boy whose world consisted of pinning up coloured drawings in his primary school classroom, prizimg gold stars and ink stamps in his exercise books, listening to Shakespearean plays on record albums in high school English classes, collecting Scanlens footy cards, those big Whacky Plax cards accompanied with chewing gum, buying sea-monkeys by way of the ad on the back of comics, playing Simon says, climbing cubbyhouses, riding his scooter or blue steel billycart,playing stuck-in-the-mud,Lego,Chinese Checkers, Mousetrap or Scrabble, Barrel of Monkeys, Rubik’s Cube,Scalextric slot cars, playing with little plastic toy soldiers or a bug catcher, putting together the face of the Potato Man, every May staying up late on a Saturday night to watch the F.A. Cup final, racing in three-legged, egg-spoon and sack races at school carnivals, drinking free milk given to primary school students in the morning, sitting on one side on the top floor of a school special double-decker bus with all the other high school boys who were trying to tip it over (no surprise they would talk about getting caned at school), making a balsa sailing boat, doing his homework on a laminated desk top with its colourful map of the world which included the vast expanse of the Soviet Union, going to Wolli Creek to look for tortoises or play soldiers, along with Combat inspired ambushes there was also imitating Phantom Agents using pretend starknives and saying only shoot the enemy as a last resort as well as making battle defences out of thin, wooden Coca-Cola boxes in the backyard of the milk bar, wearing superhero outfits, two-tone cowboy shirts, playing junior soccer for the Earlwood Wanderers at Earlwood Oval on Saturday mornings; with the primary school class at little Earlwood Library being read childrens’ stories; watching Walt Disney’s Disneyland at 6.30 pm every Sunday night then later on the ‘Big Sunday Night Movie’ at 8.30 pm, the original B&W Batman episodes, Looney Tune cartoons “That’s All Folks!”, looking also at two dinosaurs on black & white television fighting it out, along with fairy bread, marangs,  enjoying ice cream birthday cakes made from the local Streets factory in Turrella, buying ice cream from Mr Whippy’s van,sucking on or poking his tongue into the hole of Peppermint Lifesavers, eating each chocolate triangle of a long Swiss Toblerone bar, reading On the Trail to Sacremento,John Steinbeck’s The Pearl,Marvel Comics, Prince Valiant, Hagar the Horrible, Lil’Abner, Golden Books, along with WWII battle comic books as well as reading about such war heroics as the Z Force Australian commando raid at Singapore using a boat named the Krait as well as of a British POW escape in The Wooden Horse by Eric Williams;moulding figurines with Play-Doh; putting together model tanks, battle cruisers, planes from Hobbyco with Airfix glue, varnishing driftwood to glue onto a thin wood base in primary school where one also learnt to play the recorder in music class, and with a sharpened pencil (after penning the proverbial short story about what you did in the school holidays) doing cursive handwriting with row after of row of letters on those thick black lined pages; using little different coloured wooden rods to learn to count in for arithmetic; learning half-hitches in the Scouts, playing Battleship as well as Ludo, Monopoly, Cluedo, Twister, Scrabble, Connect 4, dominos and ESP; doing ‘mind over matter’ levitation when five or six schoolboys would only use their fingertips to lift a boy a few inches into the air as he lay on the ground; learning half-hitches in the scouts, letting off big, thick THUNDER bungers on Cracker Night2 or firing off Roman Candles, coming home from the school fair with a shoebox filled with silkworms, cutting the tails off lizards, getting grass bindie-eyes out of one’s foot, watching out for water blue-bottles at the beach, crushing your teeth on lockjaws, eating honey and chocolate crackles, chocolate bullets, Minties, Throaties, Fruit Tingles, Cherry Ripes, Mars Bars,SOS cough drops, Pezs, chocolate freckles, Arnotts JATZ crackers, MacRobertson Chocolates, drinking Cottees green cordial, pavlova, having Bex or Vincents for headaches, rolling Jaffas down the movie aisle, watching it’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World at Earlwood’s Chelsea Theatre seven times, seeing jungle movies which have people being killed by piranhas and quicksand, looking at the railway poster at Bardwell Park train station with the dinosaur eating fare evaders, buying bags of dried apricots from the old man who ran a little health food shop, saying“start at the knees please!”whenever walking into Speed’s Milk Bar when it had the large masonite board cut-out of Yogi Bear, wearing plastic rings that went with the little spoons in candy powder packets, playing with toys inside ceral packets as well as playing Space Invaders which was the new craze overtaking the pinnies,3 watching thin silvr metal spring rings go down the stairs, drinking shandy, Milo or Quik; reading about Hollywood’s stars on yellow Fantales wrappers, having a break with KIT-KATS, buying Yogi Bears,Caramello koalas, Freddo chocolate frogs, musksticks, hundreds of thousands, chocolate Waggon Wheels, Flakes, Pollywaffles,Crunchies,Smarties,Turkish Delights,PK chewing gum, Spearmints, Tic Tacs, Cornetto Drumsticks, Chiko Rolls,SMITH’S Crisps,Twisties,Triple Treats, Paddle Pops, chocolate Gaytimes, Sunnyboys iceblocks, & candy cigarettes from the old Coles with its rows of wooden glass-topped, assorted confectionery & lolly filled cases colourful as the mountains of oranges,apples & other produce forming the fruitscape of a never-never land in the Royal Easter Show’s agricultural pavillion, buying twenty-five cent Allens & Cadbury,Freddo Frog showbags,  enjoying the slides, turning barrels, magic mirrors & spinning wheel at Luna Park’s Coney Island-

 No whizzing shrapnel.

 The Rotor has head and body pushed back against the curved wall with the centrifugal force stopping the young boy from falling; in a big showground tent he wears 3D-glasses so as to ‘ride’ the roller coaster, water ski rapids, drive a Formula-One, snow ski, sky-dive while from the corner of one eye see a friend, wearing a terry towling hat, laugh and prance on the spot while behind her sharply defined body the swift steel twists and turns of the roller coaster make the stomach churn.

   Screaming, just for fun.

   The Cuban Missile Crisis.

   The secret bombing of Cambodia.


   Are not recalled in any empyrean of illusion, by any celluloid duplicity.

 Suddenly on the television is a tongue speaking white self-righteous southern Baptist man holding a rattlesnake in his hands.

 Heaven stained.

 No failsafe.

 Reality passing the point of no moral return.


*Long version.




Below, a few comments by Gregor in conversation with Michael; however, this section is very short as it can be seen that Gregor’s observations have found their way into the ‘meditations’ of the other characters..

Managua Carnival


 ‘We went with Gregor to see Circus Oz for his birthday so he could relive another carnival birthday…a fountain. A huge female mannequin who wore a long flowing blue dress, walking on stilts, surrounded by several children. Cars honking horns at the sight of this female giant who eventually disappeared into the humid darkness. A showman with a shooting gallery which had a row of cut out bachelors; the tin targets each wore different uniforms, all looking towards the centre where there was a plastic Barbie bride in full wedding white gown. Cheap prizes such as Chinese face fans, small shampoo bottles were on display. The small crowd cheered when the only girl, among the many air rifle shooters, shot down a bachelor three straight times. There is no reference to Columbus Day as people envelop their dreams in the vibrant swirling sounds of the carnival...’

Managua  Cyclops


 ‘Finishing our meal we crossed the road and waited outside a bingo hall to catch the bus. I looked back towards where had eaten and thought how my camera was like a weapon invading the cultural space of the societies I visited. (An unwitting Western capitalist mirror use of the camera as a weapn of surveillance by the secret police in Iron Curtain countries). I felt the weight of my camera in my hand and considered how this sophisticated toy symbolozed privilege and accentuated the barriers which existed between myself and those I photographed.’

The Culture of Kick


The melancholia that can overcome Gregor. Always drinking from that Café de Nicaragua Libre mug. Always going up to that Central American solidarity shop in Glebe to buy Nicaraguan coffee and Venceremos magazines. The time spent on the back porch like particles revolving around each other. Yet, it was not an atom being formed, but rather that one would not split. Gregor wondering so much about the old travel days; when letters were sent to him addressed to so-and-so place POSTE RESTANTE. Talk of Nicaragua. Hitching. With an English guy. John. On top of buses. In the back of Sandinista army trucks. Wind through the hair. Life glorious. Despite all the danger. A real adventure. These images the reminder of missed things. Missing people. Bric-a-brac at Gregor’s place. A small stone angel by an Argentian sculptor. Posters. MELBOURNE FRINGE. Postcards. Aussie Rules players being served an espresso at a trendy café. The M.C.G. GREETINGS FROM MELBOURNE. THE CULTURE OF KICK. A lot of this stuff from curio shops in Melbourne. Like that lovely black milk pourer in another photo; yet the white coffee pot being held was from a curio shop on the way to Kings Cross. It’s since closed down. With Lisa so many items stored at Kingsgrove as artefacts to a passing life.


William Kentridge *


Having gone with Gregor to see William Kentridge’s work at the Museum of Contemporary Art and later at the Annandale Galleries. Film loops of a world which is perfect in reverse. Rising balls always caught. Rising books caught from behind. The mistakes of life erased. Gregor is mesmerised. “I saw in Europe in a large blacked-out museum room a tightrope walker on a screen repeatedly falling off a rope between two buildings. Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring was continually playing in the background.”George Milies the first film magician. A Journey to the Moon. Giggling with Melissa when a rocket ship hits the Man in the Moon in the eye.ZENO PIZZA. Surry Hills.Confessions of Zeno. A Trieste man smoking. Promising his wife to stop. Knowing the First World War is at hand. He also cannot stop the world from going up in smoke. A black hole.The centre of the world will tear itself apart. Yet living off-centre. Out of balance. Only able to look on. Or be dragged in. The centrifugal forces of history.  Apartheid. A.I.D.S.A coffee plunger of an executive going pass the bottom of a coffee pot deep down into a mine. History also has a subterranean strata. Gregor snaps out of his trance. “I went to Melbourne to see some puppet piece of his called The Return of Ulysses.” (Time to return).

 *South African Visual Artist    

Surrealist Inferno


 A hundred prints of the Divine Comedy by Dali on exhibition in a prestigious art shop at Circular Quay. ‘Dali ought to have portrayed himself in the Inferno. He supported Franco.’Gregor grimaces.

Gregor’s Etchings


 “Here’s The Angel. Gregor says it’s one of the figures of a famous Russian icon called The Trinity. At the Hermitage he saw a young woman cross herself and pray in front of it; she went into a mystical trance. Sometimes I like to stare at this print and meditate. The one next to it is called Pennies from Heaven. In Indonesia are large ferries that sail between the islands, at one port boys in canoes dive for coins they ask ferry passengers to drop into the water. Melissa and I would go to this shallow pool down the back of Hyde Park and cool our feet in the water. We’d spot coins on the mosaic floor and Melissa would say: ‘from the sky. Tree of Life. At the end of Indonesian shadow puppet plays this fan would be placed to let the audience know that the show was over. Cat says life is a shadow play. This ‘puppet’ hopes there will be a tree of life at the end of her act.” Anu Krakatau is Angry.” It’s the child of Krakatau which blew up and caused a tsunami which killed over thirty thousand people. Gregor’s guidebook reckoned you could have heard the eruption in Alice Springs. Gregor went out to this volcano island on a small boat and you can see the foredeck in the foreground. The volcano was erupting large plumes of black dust into the sky every ten minutes and so a boy on the boat who could speak some English told Gregor that Anu Krakatau was angry. When he was on the island and touched the warm black sandy soil Gregor reckoned it was like connecting with the very centre of the earth itself. A smiling stone face of a Khmer Buddha in Bayon with two pillars from the the Luna Park façade on either side. This one’s called Luna Park it’s what this buddha reminded Gregor of when he saw it. No mouth of hell here. Gregor’s also got this beautiful black and white photo of an old man sweeping a stone floor in the ruins of Ankor Wat as if he is sweeping time. Manjustri Bodhivista of Transcendental Wisdom, this bodhivista is holding a flaming sword to cut through human illusion. In Manjustri’s right hand is a stem that leads to a blooming lotus of wisdom. He’s depicted as a young man to point out how wisdom doesn’t necessarily come from living many years but from seeing right through to the foundations of reality. Shiva the Cricketer at the S.C.G. Gregor was really happy when India won the cricket series seeing it was the underdog. I think those four dervishes dancing and blowing their flutes behind the stands are really great. Apostles of the Universe. I love the halos around these two Twelve Apostles it reminds me of the little halo party Gregor had at his place. The halos we wore were made from package board sprayed with gold paint. Sydney Voodoo, Kings Cross Festival. One of the two women was wearing this flower dress and wrinkled hat with frangipani flowers sticking from it. This woman with the big glasses and frilly dress looked more like an acrobat than another bag lady. I bought one of their magic dancing dolls for Melissa I found out you use a very thin fishing line weaved through a needle eye on the back; the cut-out wiggles when you pull it tight. Here’s a sepia photo of an aerial coffin in Siberia. Yeah they hang the coffin high up on a pole he’s a shaman beneath it. Kangzilla Centrepoint Tower. Looks tiny next to that oversized souvenir; it reminds me of the kangaroo at the end of Channel 7’s transmission when it would pull a curtain down over Sydney, it helps me get to sleep.I really like this big etching of the brick factory chimney stacks over that large hill at Sydney Park;see those two small figurines of an adult and child flying a kite? I can easily imagine they’re Melissa and me.All that open space.I can just feel it go beyond the frame. A cat with bird’s wings, a fish tail and webbed feet. I love this woodcut.Gregor got it off a  friend: she also does prints. It’s called Metamorphosis. An ice crater, a leafless tree birds flying across a grey-blue sky. The birds flew out of the tree as Gregor pressed the shutter. He was on the way to a temple that had a flame that emerged from water. A thin, wisp bearded, thinly dressed pilgrim approaching this Himalayan holy site. I identify with this old man. The back of the heads of two men in a car; the old dashboard can be clearly viewed. These two guys are pilgrims of a sort. Gregor met these two Indian magicians in Byron Bay. They noticed him taking photos with his big Agfa and asked him to go with them to Brunswick Heads. He drove up in their sixties black Valiant where he took photos of their performance. Gregor has showed Michael and I photos of two Indian magicians doing rope tricks, balls coming out of their mouths etcetera…they were from Newcastle…huh, I always think of the the Star Hotel…while he was up north I rang Gregor and had him go and see Blue. They talked about Ian Feaweather. Gregor stayed overnight in Bangalow. He also met this artist in his shop-come-café in Brunswick Heads that I had introduced to Michael. Brunswick Heads is a really nice sleepy old town. We all hope it stays that way. I also wanted Gregor to go to this pie shop in Lennox Head. It sells the best pies on the North Coast. Ulysses and a Siren at Bronte. Gordons Bay. Holiday snaps. Two female street performers outside the Northern Hotel on the main footpath dressed in pink leotards.One is sprawled out in mid-air with her stomach resting on the feet of the two raised legs of another woman lying on the ground. The ‘flying woman’ has her arms and legs all sticking out like a star. An Age of Aquarius shopfront with a Pegasus horse flying amongst the stars. Gregor took that in Nimbin. A guy nearby called out ‘Click-click.’ In a sarcastic way…not very friendly…he wandered if people were sick of tourists; this ‘cosmic looking’ café Gregor walked into had an edgy, violent feel to it. Didn’t bother to stay.  A laugh. He still buys Nimbin cheese. A colour photocopy of a postcard of a nude ‘Mr Universe’ standing on a stone podium in a park. In a north German town called Bielefeld Bernie rides around without any clothes on his bicycle; apparently, he likes the sense of freedom riding naked gives him. Many of the locals love him; Gregor spotted Bernie on his bike at the railway station after hitching from Cologne to meet friends whom he’d met in Indonesia. An etching of a primal statuette of a nature forest flute player; Eurydice Mourns. I like this one of a Grecian woman playing the lute. Sleeping Beauty. A carving of a sleeping long haired woman on a wooden totem. Her hair and clothes flow gracefully down the pole which has small pointy wings on each side. A three-point top struts skywards above her peaceful bowed head.This is my favourite.Gregor based it on a photo he took while passing through a place called Vilnuis after being in Russia. Here’s three more prints.The Creation of the World. Mt. Merapi. Nicaraguan Boy.”




Below are mainly chapters that deal wth Lisa’s life via many of the photos that Margaret and Michael had been looking at; there is no particular order – much in the same way one randomly looks at photos. Many of these chapters were not considered too essential to the main narrative (although that is open to discussion) but all the chapters - as one – should hopefully lead the reader to gain a more in-depth impression of Lisa’s ‘end days’. The photographs are usually interspersed with comments from the likes of Michael, Margaret, Cat, etcetera and - more often than not - by Lisa.

A Real Bob


 A big pile of dishes, helping to wash up after a barbeque.

“You can earn up to two thousand dollars a night. It’s really safe. It’s compulsory for them to wear the proper protection.”

 “I couldn’t just sleep with anybody.”

 “You can check them out while they’re in the foyer. You can tell the girl on reception which one you don’t like. The new girls sometimes get a rough deal – every occupation’s like that – but I’ll look after you.”

 “Na, na.” I say. “I just can’t do it.”

 “You’d be surprised – you get all types…including some really cute guys…what’s wrong with you? With all these rising fees it’s the only viable way for me to do my degree…listen…even mums with the obligatory three kids do it…just think of the MONEY!”

 “Yeah, yeah – I know one – thanks…it’s really tempting but – no thanks!” I think of what Margaret once confided: “I wanted to feed my family. That’s all…you’re always a mother. You have to understand in my day it was difficult for a woman to make a real bob.”


Last Chance


  “It really is our last chance to see these photos together.” remarks Margaret. “Not like last time.”

  “Yeah. Yeah.” states Michael. “It’s hard to believe this is the last weekend in Sydney for you two.”

 “Tomorrow we still have to go to that Marrickville Italian cheese factory to pick up some bulk ricotta. I’ve also made space in the esky for some packets of that cheap red salmon from that other delicatessen. First thing in the morning though is to visit that local fish market.”

  Sitting on a bright red couch to the side of a young man dressed in a green silk gown wearing a red fez with a yellow sash; he is stretched out on the lounge holding a red teacup with his head resting on the lap of ‘his attractive guest.’. On the wall  are thin black vertical lines curling up at the ends into assorted curves. The Beardsley Room. In the adjoining bedroom is a gold framed print of the Birth of Venus by Boticelli. After dinner Michael, Melissa and Lisa were driven to Thirroul to catch the train back. This ‘good samaritan’ who had now dressed up in his forties dark blue pin-striped suit and grey hat took his friends in his old sixties Valiant car to the station. Michael spoke to him about the poetics of Aristotle, this Ancient Greek had remarked that what was feared more by men than facing justice was to face a lack of it. At a rock pool with Master which it was quipped was akin to the waters of Zion. At the bottom of a valley in Royal National Park.

  “It can be walked to from Helensburgh station. Very peaceful. Very appreciated.”

  By a creek on a long bushwalk behind Springwood. Green Hills, Cronulla. Another rock pool on the way to Shelley Beach which Lisa nicknamed the ‘well of life.’ At Wattomalla; looking over the old huts and cliff face at Garie beach in the Royal National Park. There was that one metre  poisonious brown snake sunbaking on a fire trail; we cautiously walked back up the trail and realised we had taken the wrong turn-off; it was jibed the spirits were guiding us to the right way. Another photo at nearby North Ear and Era beaches in front of the shacks and at Burning Palmsand Eagle Rock and the Curramoors along the Coastal walk from Bundeena to Litle Marley and Marley..With Melissa in the water on Michael’s old surf mat. Standing in front of a large photo that consists of hazy bands of high key colours. Lake George.It is an exhibition of digital photos of Australian landscapes at the Addison Road Gallery. Cockatoo Island. Wiseman’s Ferry. Tongue poking out while crossing the river to show off another crisp shiny fruit tingle that is stuck on it.

 “Apart from going to this lovely sandstone hotel there was a local gallery with the artwork of an Aboriginal elder on display.”

 Cat studying these Dreaming paintings.


Legs On the Wall


  Seeing Legs on the Wall abseil on a whole side of the AMA building down at Circular Quay; going to the Observatory to see the  stars of the night sky after having been there in the daytime..

Land of Canaan


 A big yard in front of a fibro house. There is a dark green canvas gazebo with Australian flags tied on the poles. A large family is having a barbeque. On a laminated table are sausages, chops, white bread, tomatoe sauce, fairy bread covered with hundreds and thousands, cupcakes, lamingtons, chocolate and honey crackles, a pavlova and frankfurts. Mixed with the stubbies in the esky are Sunnyboy iceblocks and Cottees green cordial. The men are wearing terry towelling hats. The patriachs have classic beer guts. The youngest kids are in a small plastic pool with a blow up yellow and green kangaroo. In the bit of backyard that can be seen is a tattered vinyl trolley standing as a relic beside a rusting Hills Hoist.  “AUSTRALIANA! That was taken at Brighton-Le-Sands. We’d stop for fish and chips on the way back to La Perouse. Had them beside that monument to the First Fleet. It brought back this memory of going to the Kogarah Mecca where before the start of The Man from Snowy River this pianist on a little stage played the national anthem.”The PAUSE button is pressed. “I’ll never forget my parents and my uncle and aunt proudly going to Circular Quay for the official Bicentenary celebrations.” ruefully comments Michael. “I realised how much they wanted to feel a part of this country. My father even took his binoculars which he only takes to the horses.”

 “Wherever they live people like to feel they belong.” reasons Margaret.


Koori Radio


  ‘We usually listened to FBI but on Saturday mornings we would switch to Koori Radio to hear this elder who had the gruffest voice...”Accentuate the positive. I can move, I can do this, I’m free. I can do what I want to do. No one owes you. Except your family. They each own a bit of you. Don’t worry about the suicidal stuff. Get auntie to help you out. She. Uncle. Love you. Don’t resort to any white stuff. Build a bridge and go over! Know who you are! If you get knocked down pick yourself up. There’s beautiful people to meet after you die but they’re happy to wait. Enjoy. Enjoy…enjoy life.” A laugh. “Hey YOU! The Koori Country Connection. Don’t be backwards in coming forward as my grandfather would say. The Aboriginal populATION of this nATION needs announcers. Look at me I’m not a rocket scientist. In fact I’d blow your rocket up in your backyard! As one of the original members of the Warumpi Band says: music takes you anywhere. I encourage the younger generation to play a few melodies. Enjoy life. So adopt then adapt. Filter out all the rubbish and enjoy the good stuff. The white fella drinks his white wine and has his white whine. We can be better than that. We all know there’s hard knocks waitin’ for us. Life is filled with troubled waters. That’s how it is. Be confident. You are the truth. Enjoy your weekend. We are unique. Laugh. Laugh at your bills. Go get some ice cream for the kids. Enjoy Troy. The poet man. Have a beautiful day. It’s a big city. The buildings go up and up. Where’s the sun? It gets lost in the back streets. There are beautiful people in every nation. All have troubles. The understanding is the answer.’“This guy just raves on in between putting on Aboriginal songs. He says the same stuff every week. I love it. Even here in the hospital I still listen to him.”


Oracle Night


  Reading Oracle Night by Paul Auster in hospital. The cover is upside down. (Beside  it is a children’s book for Lisa to read to Melissa: The Short and Incredible Life of Riley).* “Lisa bought the Paul Auster book at Surry Hills markets on the Saturday before she went into hospital. The cover was stuck on upside down back to front by mistake. A chance event that really amused her.  I went with Cat to have it autographed by Paul Auster at the Chauvel Cinema where he showed his film The Inner Life of Martin Frost; Mr Auster wittingly said when he saw the book that it was like ‘an upside down stamp’.** I have a Granta magazine that has stories from his Little Red Notebook. You should have a look Margaret; it’s about coincidences and the circular way he has met people.  He calls coincidences ‘rhythms’. I can-”

  “I’m in no mood to read…”

  “You will be.”

  A small full four-sided bookcase that swivels on a round stand with the following books in view:

Introduction to LUCRETIUS. A.P.Sinker. The Ambassadors, Henry James,The Art of Rhetoric. Aristotle. That Eye the Sky. Tim Winton. The Master and Margarita. Mikhail Bulgakov. The Sorrow of War. Bao Ninh. The War of the End of the World. Mario Vargas Llosa. The Shape of Time. George Kubler. In the Land of White DeathAn Epic Story of Survival in the Siberian Arctic. Valerian Albanov. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Alexander Solzhenitsyn. The Intellectuals and the Masses. John Carey. From the Holy Mountain. William Dalrymple.The White Album Joan Didion. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams.Blue is the Colour of Heaven A Journey to Afghanistan. Richard Loseby. Remembrance of Things Past. Marcel Proust. Les Miserables. Emile Zola. Tess of the Durbevilles. Thomas Hardy. Darkness At Noon. Arthur Koestler. Being and Nothingness. Nausea. Jean-Paul Sartre. Les Enfantes Terribles. Jean Cocteau. No Other Life. Brian Moore. Apocalypse – The Book of Revelations. Jacques Ellul. Black Sun - Depression and Melancholia. Julia Kristeva. Metamorphosis. Ovid. The Persian Expedition. Xenephon. Phaedo. Timaeus and Critias. Plato. The Homeric Hymns. The Odyssey. Illiad. Homer. The Divine Comedy. Dante Alghieri. Memoirs of Zeus. Maurice Droun. Aeschylus – The Oresta. Euripedes The War Plays. Ted Hughes.  Hell Laziness: Why Hard Work Doesn’t Pay. Corinne Maser. Disability in Australia - Exposing a Social Apartheid.Gerard Goggin & Christopher Newell.The Rise and Fall of Athens: Nine Greek Lives. Plutarch. Selected Writings. Hildegard of Bingen. Julian. Lincoln. The End of the World – interpreting the plague. Joan Acocella. The Golden Age. Gore Vidal. The Name of the Rose. Umbero Eco. The Hobbit. The Lord of the Rings. J.R.Tolkien. Homage to Catalonia. Down and Out in Paris and London. George Orwell. 2001 A Space Odyssey Arthur C.Clarke. We Yevgeny Zamyatin. Agony and the Ecstasy. Lust for Life. Irving Stone. Cry, The Beloved Country. Alan Paton. Illias. John Sakkas. My Place. Sally Morgan. The Track to Bralgu. B. Wongar. Unbranded. Herb Wharton. Sing for Me, Countryman. Neil Murray. Creative Suffering. Paul Tounier. The Great World. Johhno. David Malouf.Brighton Rock, Monsignor Quixote. Graham Greene. Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Eugene O’Neil. In the Blue House. Meaghan Delahunt.One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez,  Nova Express. Western Lands.William.S. Burroughs.Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doye, Midnight Cowboy.James Leo Herlihy.Selected Poems.Ana Akhmatova. The Death of Artemio Cruz. Carlos Fuentes. Cosmos. Carl Sagan.The Wild Girl. Michele Roberts. Girl With A Pearl Earring. Tracy Chevalier. Wind, Sand and Stars, Antoine De Saint-Exupery. Mindfield. Gregory Corso. The Secret Meaning of Things. Lawrence Felinghetti.  The Clown. Heinrich Boll. War & Peace, Anna Karenina, Resurection. Leo Tolstoy. Iron Earth, Copper Sky. Yashar Kemal. The Bridge over the Drina. Ivo Andric. The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Thornton Wilder. Afluenza-When too Much is Not Enough. Clive Hamilton & Richard Dennis. The Magic Pudding. Nprman Lindsay. Meetings with Remarkable Men. G.I. Gurdjieff. Life and Fate. Vasily Grossman. Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston. Fortunate Son. J.H. Hatfield. Midnight in the Garden of Good And Evil. John Berendt. To Kill A Mockingbird. Harper Lee. Billy Budd Herman Melville. The Tortilla Curtain. T. Coraghessan Boyle. Tortilla Flat. East of Eden. Of Mice & Men and Cannery Row. The Grapes of Wrath. John Steinbeck. The Man with No Qualities. Robert Musil. Reaching Tin River. It’s Raining in Mango. Thea Astley. My Brother Jack. Clean Straw for Nothing. George Johnston. And the Ass Saw the Angel. Nick Cave. Sanctuary. William Faulkner. A Trip to the Light Fantastic: Travels with a Mexican Circus. Katie Hickman. Under the Volcano. Malcolm Lowry. Wide Sargossa Sea. Jean Rhys. The Place at the Coast. Jane Hyde. To the Lighthouse. Virginia Woolfe. Fever Pitch Nick Hornby. Unreliable Memoirs. Clive James. The Transformed Mind. Dalai Lama.What’s the  Matter with Liberals? Thomas Frank.Freedom from the Known.Jiddu Krishnamurti.As I Crossed A Bridge of Dreams: Recollections of a Woman in Eleventh Century Japan. Lady Sarashina.Knulp.Siddhartha. Steppenwolf. Narziss & Goldmund. The Glass Bead Game. Herman Hesse. Catcher in the Rye. J. Salinger. Lord of the Flies. William Golding. The Wine of Youth. Ask the Dust. John Fante. The Big Sleep. Raymond Chandler. Pulp. Dangling in the Tournefortia. Charles Bukowski. Solitudes – Crowded with Loneliness. Bob Kaufman I Apologize for the Eyes in My Head. Yusef Komunyakaa. Selected Poems. Dylan Thomas. Less than Zero. Bret Easton Ellis. Peter Camenzind. Herman Hesse. The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald. Last Boat to Astrakhan. Robert Haupt. The Lost Steps. The Kingdom of this World. The Chase. Alejo  Carpenter. Slaughterhouse Five. Kurt Vonnegut. Paradise. Abdulrazak  Gurnah. Of Love & Other Demons. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Wonderful Fool. Shusaku Endo. Invitation to a Beheading. Vladimir Nabakov. The English Patient. Michael Ondaatje. Residence on Earth. Pablo Neruda. Poem of the Deep Song. Federico Garcia Lorca. Selected Poems. Paul Eluard. Inspector of Tides. Streets of the Long Voyage. Michael Dransfield.Indeed I Love, Halina Poswiatowska. Death in Midsummer. Yukio Mishima. The Road to Oxiana. Robert Byron. Color & Meaning: Art, Science & Symbolism,.John Gage, The  Fallen. Juan Marse. Novel Without a Name Duong Thu Huong. The Fig Tree. Arnold Zable. The Bone People. Keri Hulme. Sophie’s Choice. Darkness Visible. TideWater Morning. The Long March. William Styron. The  Unbearable Lightness of Being. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. Milan Kundera.Thinkers of the Jungle.Orangutang Report, G.Shuster,W.Smits,J.Ullal, Utz. Bruce Chatwin. Queen of Love. Rosie Scott. The Women Who Live on the Ground. Lee Cataldi. Lyrical Campaigns. June Jordan. Seasonal  Adjustments. Adib Khan. Selected Poems. Joseph Brodsky. Collected Writings. Willem de Kooning. Metamorphosis.Franz Kakfa.All the Pretty Horses,The Crossing, Cities of the Plain, Blood Meridian,Suttree.The Road,Outer Dark,Cormac McCarthy.The Tin Drum.Gunter Grass.The Doors of Perception. Heaven & Hell. Brave New World. Aldous Huxley. Hard Travellin’. Kenneth Allsop. Vernon God Little.D.B.C. Pierre. Postcode. Wayne Swan. The Seal Oil Lamp. Dale Ardmond. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Luis Bunieres. Captain Dimitros. Nicholas Kyriacos. Komninos.Komninos.The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Planet of the Apes.Pierre Boulle. Last Temptation of Christ. Report to Greco. Zorba the Greek. Nikos Kazantzakis. The Golden Bough. G.J.Fraser, Three Penny Opera, Mother Courage and Her Children .Bertolt Brecht. In  the  Human  Night. Peter Bakowski. Mexico City Blues. Jack Keroauc. Asphodel, That Greeny Flower & Other Love Poems. William Carlos Williams.Selected Poems. Rabindranath Tagore.Howl. Alan Ginsberg.The Four Quartets. T.S.Eliot.Battle for the Mind, William Sargent, Ancient Evenings, The Executioner’s Song,The Naked and the Dead. The Fight, Norman Mailer. Carpenteria, Alexis Wright.Narrow Road to the Deep North.Matsuo Basho. Suicide. Emile Durkheim. Snow. Orhan Pamuk. Pride& Prejudice Jane Austen,Hunger Knut Hamsen Thirst for Love .Yukio Mishima. The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith. Thomas Keneally. Dirt Cheap .Elisabeth Wynhausen. Nickel and Dimed. Barbara Ehreneeich. Quarterly Essay Beyond belief :What Future for Labor? John Button. Tibetan Marches. Andre  Migot, Ilias Jim Sakkas, Blue Highways A Journey into America., William Least Heat-Moon. Full Bloom the Art &  Life of  Georgia O’Keefe. Hunter Drohjowska Philp. Mephistopheles, Faust. Goethe, Stasiland, Anne Funder, Art and the Creative Unconsciousness, The Archetypal  World of Henry  Moore. Erch Neumann. Birth of Tragedy. Nietzche.The Devil in the  Modern  World. Jeffrey Burton Russell. VOODOO in Haiti .Alfred Metraux. Reflectons on the Revolution In France. Edmund Burke. Fear and Trembling. Soren Kierkgaard. Waiting for Godiot, Malone Dies.Samuel Beckett. Requim of A Dream. Last Exit to Brooklyn.Hubert. J.Selby, A Fortunate  Life. Albert Facey.  Long Night of  White Chickens. Francisco  Goldman. Days of Hope. Andre Malraux. Moveable Feast For Whom the Bell Tolls.The Old Man & the Sea. Ernest Hemingway. Death of a Salesman. The Crucible. Arthur Mille,r. Gardens:An essay on the human condition. Robert Pogue Harrison. Spanish  Civil War,Stalingrad, Berlin::the  Downfall, Antony Beevor.On Photography, Susan Sontag, King Rat, James Clavell. Marcel  Duchamp  The Portable  Museum the  making of  the Boite-en-valise de ou par. Inventory of an Edition, Ecke Bonk, Henri Matisse.Hilary Spurling. Empty Phantoms.Interviews and Encounters with Jack Kerouac.Edited by Paul Maher Jr. Stonehenge Decoded Gerald S. Hawkins. Black Mass. Apocalyptic Religion and  the Death of Utopia. John Gray. The Wreck of Western Culture - Humanism Revisited, The Western  Dreaming, John Carroll, Dhammapada  translated by Juan  Mascaro  Meltdown  Ben  Elton  The Angel of Grozny. Inside Chechenya. Asne Seierstad. Russian Diary. Anna Politkovoskaya,Where  I’m Caling  From, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?  Raymond Carver  From Millet to Leger  Esays in Social Art  Histroy. Robert .L. Herbert. At The Same Time. Susan Sontag.Here On Earth.Tim Flannery. Picture This. Joseph Heller. Kandinsky  language  of  the  eye Paul Overy. Women  of Troy Euripedes. Marcel Duchamp. Ocatvia Paz The Soccer  War, Ryszard  Kapuscinski, The Happy Life. The Search for Contenment in the Modern World..Quarterly Essay. Davd Malouf. True Tales True Tales of  American   Life, Mr  Vertigo, Hand   to   Mouth, The   Red   Notebook, Timbuktu,  Moon   Palace, New  York  Trilogy,  Paul  Auster.

 “Many of the books belonged to other people. Most of the classics were lent to her by Cat. As you know the other shelves were also full.”

 “It wasn’t really a matter of reading all of them was it…” remarks Margaret.

 “Na…just that all those books made Lisa feel she wasn’t forgotten. Cat once said to me that these books would sometimes have also provided Lisa with more support than all of us; he reckoned we - at times - would have seemed as useless and infuriating to her as Job’s friends. I know that what Lisa mainly did was read a lot of poems. You can’t see it in this photo but do you remember that framed Charles Bukowski poem that Cat lent to her? The one above the bed? CRIME & PUNISHMENT. About Dostoevsky. “That tough son-of-a-bitch.”1 Lisa loved that poem.” A wistful grin.

 “Lisa also spent her time organising these photos.”

 “Her bedside was like an office. There’s that Rubik’s Cube she liked to play with;  ‘See Mick how all the ins and outs of life finally do connect up...’ she would say…sometimes when I visited Lisa it was as if she was keeping me company rather than the other way around. Although having said that I know Lisa always looked forward to seeing you Margaret. She was saying to me once -  how as you couldn’t be her mum - you were like an aunt. Yet, one evening she had a bit of a fever and was mumbling that you were her mid-wife. I was thinking Lisa was remembering Melissa’s birth but I realised it had more to do with you helping her to face up to…”

 *By Colin Thompson & Amy Linat.  **This occurred after the author showed the said book to Mr Auster.

Atlas Groans


  Holding up a headline. FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BRAVE. Corina Morariu dealt with her leukaemia to reach the doubles final. Lindsay Davenport stayed as her partner. Loyalty. That matters to me.” Lisa slowly slides her right hand along the side of the hospital bed to touch Michael’s free hand which is on the bedspread.  “She started to keep a lot of newspaper clippings and that’s because that apart from always staying up late at night listening to music there was also a lot of tuning in to overseas news programs which she got into the habit of hearing while staying at Cat’s.” Michael looks grim. “Trouble is the news sometimes made her more depressed. Would be so withdrawn next morning wouldn’t want to speak at all…”

  “Like the weight of the world was on her shoulders…was that it Michael…suffocating her…?”

Trivial Pursuits


“Luckily Mick I was able to quickly wipe off the chocolate QUIK Melissa spilt on Cat’s Dame Edna Everage coffee book. It’s such a classic – like his old battered blue Trivial Pursuit box and that huge video collection…”

 “You’re right.” says Michael. “As for me I have a soft spot for his GUMBY picture book - The Authorized Biography of the World’s First Clayboy!”


Horror Movie Right There On My T.V.


 ‘I’m lucky what I saidCat is in today with a portable TV which has an in-built VCR…he bought it on the cheap at Cash Converters…I’m freezing…I’m dying…as well a a big pile of videos for me which he just scooped up before leaving his place…I grip this bed…life is a dream. I don’t want to wake up…he’s put on Dr Who…there he is with Leela in an underworld…I am in my own underworld…both trying to sneak into the Oracle’s hideout hiding under a white sheet while sitting in a mine trolley…Cat tells me it is just like Ulysses and his men who hid under sheep to escape from the Cyclops…for me there is nowhere to hide… I am told that this series is about a quest just like Jason’s…there is always the happy ending in Dr Who…I look at Cat speaking…seems like a dream…I would much prefer to be watching Augustus, there he would sit in his wheelchair at the beginning of OZ always ready to sweep away all our illusions…thrown over the top of a wall by the police to be left paralysed…betrayed by his own ‘brothers’…huh, this guy with the Rafrastarian look…looking beguilely at you down the camera with his hands clasped in front of him…elbows on disused legs…keeping only to his wits to survive in that ‘rehabilitation’ hellhole nicknamed Emerald City…I’m listening to you Cat…yes, Greek myths…Augustus gave us his version of Orpheus…a beautifully sincere…love struck…supernatural musician who was ultimately dealt a pitiless end by the gods…my end, to be the same…no matter what anybody says…Cat was right when he yelled out death never sleeps…Cat shouting how Cervantes was right to say that death does not even wait for us to have our final say…Augustus intimates the same thing as he mentions the many, varied indifferent ways the inmates will brutally die by each other’s hands without any chance of saying any last word, famous or otherwise…a hole in the wall. A reverend, although scandalised by the temptation of mammon this prisoner was still a fervent man of faith and he now dies, slowly, holed up in between two walls, by a jilted, malicious follower.  The devil cast out sought his unholy, sly revenge. Cat was entranced, as the entombed fallen preacher clasped unto his dying breath those famous words: “…although I walk through the valley of death I shall fear no evil…”…I suffocate…my death is evil…I will…gasp…oh God, there is the horror…’

 “Hey Lisa!” Cat cheerfully holds up a video. “We’ll have to watch this episode of Mythbusters some time! Do you know more rain lands on you when you run instead of walk? That water does stop bullets? They also show how salsa can be used to breakdown prison bars!”



Mind noises. Mental spam. Fast forwarding a video to see that Cat has taped scenes from some old movies such as Frank Sinatra as an ill-fated U.S. Army officer in a WWII train prison escape; switching to Sinatra talking to a boy where there is a restaurant called The Garden of Eden in the background; Jerry Lewis buying products for an old woman who wants one of everything that is advertised during the commercial breaks on her television; “…when the moon hits your eye/like a big-a pizza pie…” Dean Martin singing That’s Amore. “PADDYCAKE!” Bob Hope & Bing Crosby carrying out a typical comic routine - confusing the big baddie who has found them out - to save their lives; Abbot & Costello asking: whose on first!; ultimately there is a scene of Mickey Rooney - as the Atomic Kid - a publicist claims he survived a H-Bomb explosion in the American desert because of the peanut butter he was eating; curious to look at another video - while continuing to speak to Michael on the phone-it feels like stumbling onto a ‘holy of holies’ for such apparently random recorded visual bites intimate so closely to Cat’s cluttered prophetic frame-of- mind:


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“Canterbury has scored eighteen points in eight minutes! Talk about a resurrection-


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 “Neal Cassidy who was the inspiration for Jack Kerouac’s larger-than-life Dean Moriaty had - along with his wife - Caroline both taken an interest in the writings of the religious psychic Edgar Cayce who claimed that it was possible to believe both in Karma and Christ. Prayer and meditation could develop your psychic abilities by which we could discover meaning to our psychic hunches; talk with the dead; read auras; dream the future and enter into retro-cognition & psychic examinations of previous lives-



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 “These sunglasses  are specifically curved to angle out those light waves which normally impede clear vision. Fishermen, racing car drivers, mountain bike riders, tennis players, snow-skiers, water-skiers, board-riders, outdoor sportspeople in general ALL claim these sunglasses give them the edge! These sunglasses will bend to the contours of your face so you’ll forget you are even wearing them! Great style! They WILL improve your vision! They will NEUTRALISE 83% of unnecessary atmospheric light. We GUARANTEE that they will not scratch or crack for the first twelve months! Ring now and these glasses that normally cost HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS will ONLY COST YOU $39.95! THAT’S RIGHT! SEEING IS BELIEVING: $39.95-



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 “This Mexican shaman who looks more like a plumber is highly recommended in Mexico City to exorcise your house of unwanted ghosts-

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 “We will be visiting a man who has a scanner which allows people to look at their auras;



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 “A plastic bag in India is a poor person’s briefcase-





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“The Cremaster Cycle by Matthew Barney will premier on Sunday February 8 at Melbourne’s ACMI Cinemas. Matthew Barney’s mythic vision of human development is to us - according to the Guardian’s Jonathan Jones - what T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland was to the Western world in the early 20th century. Jones portends that after watching this five film series you may feel like J.A. Alfred Prufrock lingering in chambers of the sea…Till human voices wake us, and we drown.”-

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  “Gore Vidal who claims that the Zero attack on Pearl Harbour was no surprise to FDR dubs his country the United States of Amne.

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  “Strange lights were seen from the space shuttle moving very quickly in a zig-zag direction in the earth’s atmosphere-

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  “In Sweden on April Fool’s Day it was announced that black & white televisions could be converted to colour by stretching a nylon stocking over the screen. Actually when colour television did come to Sweden it was on April One-

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   “Only in the Cold War were there ‘good refugees’-



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  “The secret services under the Putin government are being accused by Boris Berevosky – a former oligarch now in exile in London – of manufacturing the bombing of Moscow apartments in which over three hundred people have died so as to have an excuse for further incursions into Chechnya. NTV the independent Moscow television agency which alone has criticised the Chechnya campaign is being closed down. Putin’s manageable democracy means a manageable media which only suits the Kremlin-


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 “Flamenco dancing originally arose from Indian gypsies who had made their way to Spain centuries ago-



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  “The Mardi Gras has made a very welcome return to its political roots with several social issue floats including one called the Tamphobia. Here is Miss Reconciliation-





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 “In this Woody Allen clip we see an Ancient Greek priest burn offerings to the gods. He and his military escort look up at the sky to hear an answering machine state that Zeus is not at home at the moment and could you please leave a message and he will get right back to you followed by a thunderclap- 


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“The core of the earth is as hot as the surface of the sun. We can dig a tunnel three kilometres deep into the north-east of South Australia’s crust to find rocks hot enough to use as a source of electricity-


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  “Many Aboriginal leaders hold fears that the government’s legislative proposal to the Aboriginal Land Act is a Trojan Horse-

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 “Frisbee competitions where people play in games with rules similar to netball have become a fad in Europe. Frisbee training videos are in big demand-

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 “A checkout girl has married her husband at the supermarket as many of her co-workers were unable to have time-off. The happy wedding couple met via the internet-


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  “In the Japanese anime film Patlabor 2 the point is succinctly made between two police characters that an unjust peace exists where first world prosperity is based on the economic suffering of others-


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  “The Flight of the Phoenix is the 1965 movie of how a crashed cargo plane is used by the survivors to make a new plane to escape their hopeless predicament. Hardy Kruger plays the Teutonic model aircraft designer Heinrich Dorfmann who methodically works out a way to salvage the wings and fuselage segment for this demanding project. The cantankerous pilot Captain Frank Towns is played by James Stewart an actor who during World War II actually served in the Air Force and flew in bombing missions over Europe. He became a Colonel and was awarded several bravery medals that include the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Croix de Guerre. In 1959 he retired from the Air Force Reserve as a brigadier general. However, what is more ironic in relation to this film is that one of his favourite past times was making model aeroplanes with his good friend Henry Fonda. It is tragic that in real life a stunt pilot Paul Mantz died in this heroic film of severely flawed men surviving insurmountable odds to stay alive...there is also the odd fact that Johnny Cash was a sort of radio morse codebreaker signaller in Germany for three years in the fifties and ‘spotted’ the first Soviet jet bomber flight-     

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 “In this Woody Allen clip we see an Ancient Greek priest burn offerings to the gods. He and his military escort look up at the sky to hear an answering machine state that Zeus is not at home at the moment and could you please leave a message and he will get right back to you followed by a thunderclap- 



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 “A man who was holding fifteen people hostage in Amsterdam as a protest against wide screens for television has shot himself after releasing his captives. Unfortunately for him it seems he had occupied the wrong building because Phillips had recently changed its premises-


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 “In tonight’s Global Village we will start with a story that involves an African tribe that at the end of the working day gather in a circle & joyfully perform a happy dance then we will look at a Paris art commune known as the Roundhouse & which has hosted many art luminaries including the likes of Chagall…our last story will be about Columbian youths in Cartagena who frequent an innovative dancing school as a way of dealing with the trauma of a 40 year internal insurgency in their beautiful country-



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  “Derrida talks about the ‘psychic archive’ when considering the inner life of a human being-



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 “Families in Indonesia have to send their children out to work says an Indonesian woman human rights unionist who has turned down a fifty thousand dollar human rights prize from Reeboks. She says it would be better if Reeboks improved workers wages and conditions in countries such as Indonesia and Mexico. In Indonesia a daily wage is only one dollar eighty cents and activists who have protested for higher wages have been raped and killed. The woman activist says that up to seven million children are no longer at school having to go and find work for their families. They are part of a lost generation-


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 “William Yang by referring to different personal objects and two large digital screens provides his audience with a meditative overview of his life with the Tao philosophy of Lao Tze Tung being the one unifying thread through this very human montage which covers anything from a North American Indian dream catcher given to him in Canada to a large pan used as a bird bath in his Arncliffe flat-  




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  “In Iran the conservative religious forces are trying to usurp the parliamentary reformists. As this power struggle goes on a democratic mullah points out that power is like  water: if it does not flow it stagnates.


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 There was a chimpanzee called Nim Chimsky who was named after the famed linguist Noam Chomsky and was the first primate to learn American sign language. However, the most unusual chimp would have to be Oliver who regularly walked upright and would socialise with people. Oliver drank coffee and beer, smoked cigars lounged on a sofa and watched television. He would even go to the kitchen himself to make his own cuppa and take it to his den. All in all Oliver was just another regular guy. However, when Oliver made sexual advances on the wife of his carer he was sold and now lives in retirement in Texas-


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  “Tonight we will show on Mythbusters how goldfish do have long-term memory and not the proverbial three-second attention span. That you really can get struck by lightining if you are on the phone during a storm. Also with the sinking of our tugboat the Mythtitanic we will find out if you can get sucked into the death-dive of a sinking ship. Folklore says that the cook on the Titanic was high up in the air on the stern as it descended towards the water. When it finally went under he said that all he did was step into the sea like getting out of an elevator to then later be picked up by a lifeboat-       


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  “Sanctuary houses similar to those in North America to hide refugees are being suggested-



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  “There was another demonstration outside the School of the Americas. This institution which has trained many of Latin America’s military leaders has simply had a name change-



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 “At the Nicholson Museum at Sydney University there can be found Ancient Greek Cypriot pottery with the swastika symbol in reverse- 

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 “Susan George who has written several books on global capitalism and world hunger believes that these days the ‘bastards have gone too far’. In her eyes under the Republicans the U.S Constitution and democracy is being dismantled piece by piece-

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 ‘Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie who as goodwill ambassador for the UNCHR states that the West – and this includes Australia – are like a beach couple who totally ignored a dead African refugee man whose corpse had washed up on the Mediterranean shoreline. They kept sunbaking just like a cold-hearted West keeps ‘sunbaking’-

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 ‘Youthful 48 year old accomplished Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya was gunned down in the elevator to her apartment block by a hit man. Although Anna Politkovskaya knew she would one day be the victim to a contract killing she refused to let up on her courageous criticism of the Putin government’s incursion into Chechnya and the atrocities being committed by Russian troops on the whole civilian population. It seems a whole generation of people there – from many diverse national groups including local Russians - has had to pay with their lives for the brutality being carried out by the few on both sides of this ‘callous equation’-


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 In Pisa 100,000 candles are lit up for one night every year this spectacular Luminari is in celebration of Saint Rainieri

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 “Today’s Tale of a Suitcase is about a Dutch man who grew up in colonial Batavia. When the Japanese invaded he was interned with his parents; they died while he went to Japan to work as a slave labourer-



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 “A child suffering from asthma on a country property has died because the boy’s family could not get assistance due to its faulty home phone. An increasingly privatised Telstra had failed to quickly fix it-


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  “In medieval Spain the Jews who had converted to Christianity to avoid persecution would eat pork publicly to appease their persecutors yet inside their own homes they would observe their old faith-


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   “I’m Toni Collette and I’m here to let you know that In Greek mythology Prometheus stole the secret of fire from the gods and revealed it to mankind. To punish him every morning the gods sent an eagle to claw out his innards. The same fate can await a careless entertainer. Joe Dulce was from the U.S.A. An obscure fringe artist but it is for a lethally infectious novelty song that he will never be forgotten or forgiven.”

  “What’s the matter  with you aye! Gotta no respect! Whadda ya think you do! Why you look so sad. It’s a nice a place. Shaddup You Face!” 

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  “It is said that Aborigines could speak up to five languages and were thus very receptive to learning new tongues. It has been claimed that the Aboriginals who lived around Bennelong Point could gain a basic comprehension of English within six months-    


The Kingdom of God is a Child.


  Melissa with the arm of the Sesame Street cookie monster around her shoulder while on a rocking car ride after earlier in the day having seen Inspector Gadget in the ABC shop at the Queen Victoria Building; Mother and child had rushed from the Mary Martin bookshop in York Street to see Inspector Gadget on time; afterwards having a $5 All you can eat buffet at the Chinese Lantern in York St; clutching a newspaper article of a baby orang-utan with a bandaged arm. “I showed this picture to you Melissa.  Wouldn’t give it up until it was time for you to go to sleep. The baby had been wounded when her mother was shot by poachers. The poor thing looks so worried. Melissa you have real empathy.” Michael looks over at Margaret. “Cat once told me that William Blake said that the Kingdom of God is a child. I think I know now what he means… ”

Black Cat, White Cat


  Singing about whether one will be missed when another is sober; to be remembered when the other is not overcome; the Deborah Conway lyrics are recited by Lisa with a soft, chilled voice; this stalwart performer had become Lisa’s favourite since seeing her recently at a free The Rocks night market concert.

 “On invisible wings, even fools can fly, for dreams are made of water, and clouds are made of sky!” Cat has interrupted Lisa with this ditty that is by a cabaret group called Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen that included Rubber Man who could fold his body and limbs like Gumby.

 “Hey Cat,” smirks Michael, “that from that gypsy movie Black CAT White CAT or Underground?”

 “No, my friend. Not at all! It is froma far more sublime, eloquent underground that is of the mind!”



  Trickling from behind a Gordons Bay etching stuck up above Lisa’s hospital bed (as mentioned: there are many pictures) is an unexplained  red liquid substance that has mysteriously appeared.  Cat considers it is a stigmata; a sign of  Lisa’s ‘sainthood.’ Michael think sit maybe the remainder of some melt iceblock that somehow has ended up on the wall but deep dpwn also prefers to accept Cat’s interpretation. 


That Eye the Sky


 At an exhibition of a friend of Michael’s who was exhibiting at the Jewish Holocaust Museum in Darlinghurst. Amidst exhibits depicting the doomed were abstract paintings which were magnified sections of a kitchen scene with a cabbage and coffee saucepan painted by her grandmother who had also perished.Life extinguished The funeral of a mate of Cat’s who had died well before time; mortal decay  had accelerated in a body cursed by naively experimenting with a drug cocktail as a  schoolboy. ‘Little John’ the dux of the school, all-round sportsman and gifted pianist had a body that was bloated by medication to fend off the schizophrenia and cancers eating at his body. His heart could not take it anymore and in his young thirties finally succumbed to this one night of youthful indescretion. Lisa hovering near to the coffin as a pianist played Nick Cave’s the Mercy Seat as a last requim. To imagine a deathly immersion. Eyes shut. Warm sunshine.  Restful face. In contrast to any intimate space a memory of the vast expanse of a warehouse in Redfern covered in red sand. A police four-wheel drive. At a production of Dead Heart sitting with the rest of the Thursday night budget crowd experiencing the unearthly vastness of the central Australian desert in niner city Sydney. At the Alce in Wonderland bookshop at Alce St Newtown run bu the part-time truckie who is a big fan of Jack Kerouac. Theatre at a wharf. Another large cavern. Another large audience. In this warehouse space an Australian-Greek Opera. A large hills hoist glowing with flourescent tubes attached to the main pole and wire supports. Thre women in long flowing dresses with song sheets in their hands sing beside this glowing suburban totem. Waking up.Picking up up a publicity pamphplet of this show in the bedside drawer. To Traverse the Water…experimental music theatre that expresses and explores the human condition in all its frailties and strengths…themes as broad as the international impact of AIDS to the thwarted genius of an individual…the intimate is expressed through the vast. It is the relationship between the wider reaching conditions of all people and the individual experience that provokes the paradox of an intimate experience within the large public arena of opera.   Alone Playing solitaire as the tape whirs.

St. Michael.


  An old postcard of St. Michael’s monastery off the Brittany coast in northern France; Michael had ‘lent’ it to Lisa during her first week in hospital. Flipping it over.  ‘St.Michael’ it was a really good idea of yours to have a car parked in that side-street off Flora St. near the airport and then catch  a taxi there and back to International. It’s true, I was told by my family who dropped me off that the taxi fares did turn out to be much, cheaper than the greedy amounts you have to pay for airport parking. I go to have a proper farewell. Ta! Karin X.”


Sienese Paradise


   Outside a prestige print shop at the Quay. Images by Chagall. Miro. Picasso. Kandinsky. A Rembrandt. An etched Christ lowered on the Cross. Lisa touches the window. Smiling beside reprints by Giovanni di Paolo. Dante and Beatrice leaving the Heaven of Venus and heading towards the sun. Dante and Beatrice looking directly at the light of God. An infinite bright point. Surrounded by golden rings which are the orders of the angels.   “In any cosmos I  imagine myself as a star surrounded by the main orbits of Michael, Melissa, Margaret…Gregor…Cat…Master…Caterina…”


A Bridge too Far


  The last rush of the Super 8 Central Australian film. Port Augusta. An Aboriginal woman singing a gospel song in a church. A young family in a living room. Zooming in on an Impressionist painting hanging on the wall of a bridge over the river Seine.

  “I would have liked to have seen Paris…” 



 Mother and daughter on either side of a life size black statue of a cheeky satyr - almost hidden amongst the foliage - it also is at the Opera House entrance of the Botanical Gardens. Laughing.

Christmas Kanga


  Melissa wearing gigantuan plastic oversized toy sunglases is standing beside a six-foot red kangaroo with little flashing lights in a plastic tube that goes around its edge that Master had bought at Reverse Garbage.

Christmas Cowgirls


  A smiling Lisa with her arms around a laughing Melissa looking up at Michael’s camera; mother and daughter are both wearing red Christmas cowboy hats with white fluffy rims. “Lisa found those at a two-dollar shop in Ashfield Mall.”


Sierre Leone Evening


   A community hall in Marrickville filled with local African émigrés. Graceful, eldely women wearing colourful costumes. Apparels to human dignity. Musical items. A film shot down by Cooks River with young African actors. Have been watched.  Teenage girls crowd around a cheerful Melissa who is being held up by a female teacher who has taught them English. Melissa grabbing the long curly black hair of the woman who empathetically holds her; A smile; despite everything these girls had gone through they were all so full of life. Very feisty. (One teenage girl is holding dearly her own baby son). Lisa had liked them immensely; these people had revitalised her. It can be understood how life with all its supposed cosmic origin had begun in Africa.  Yes, to be of the cosmos.


John Hegley


  Camden Town markets. An old theatre in Hammersmith where Karin had gone to a third world benefit. On the back of this photo Karin had written it had reminded her of those big African and Latin American nights at Paddington Town Hall. A little A5 size collection of poems by John Hegley.Very witty cabaret! Just like God’s Cowboys!’ The black & white front cover has Blake’s The Ancient of Days holding a pair of big glasses; also a linocut illustration of Blake’s mad Nebuchadnezzar on all fours under a poem about someone losing their glasses.

A John Cooper Clarke Leaflet


 ‘Remember when we went and saw him at the Sydney Trade Union Club? I loved it when he did I Married an Alien from Outer Space.


Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star


  Melissa’s hand in the hand of a Vietnamese girl outside a mobile repair shop in Dulwich Hill. (Michael was there to get his mobile phone fixed off the Vietnamese girl’s father for less than half the price for what the mobile phone company was demanding). Melissa and her new friend are singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as they watch this female accordion player from the café next door plays this tune; as she serenades patrons who are seated on the footpath.  A cheerful blonde hair woman with a large floppy hat and is wearing an ANTAR Sea of Hands t-shirt gives both Melissa and Vietnamese girl a big hug after their impromptu ‘performance’. “Funnily`enough,” remarks Michael, “I met up with her again recently at a ‘Murray concert. In fact, she was good friends with him and was putting him up in Sydeny. She was a very friendly, hospitable person; thought I was Melissa’s father.” A laugh.  “She’d asked me if I had seen those Aboriginal dancers doing their version of Zorba the Greek. I had. Apparently these guys are now famous in Greece. All the cafes screen their dancing which they can get off YouTube. That’s the internet - Margaret.” There had also been talk of working as a teacher’s aide: mentioning Family Night where such newly arrived students to this country would bring their parents or guardians with food from their countries to the school hall. The night organised as an official welcome to being here; afterwards dancing to hip-hop.   Another one of Michael’s typical distant looks.

   “You thinking again Michael...?” muses Margaret. “In your own Dreamtime...”

  “ know something Margaret I once heard that Aboriginal people think that when stars twinkle they are actually talking with each other. It’s also believed that when you see a shooting star it can be a sign that a person has been re-incarnated. Melissa and I’ll be looking for one for now on the night sky...all that dark space up there...the Aborigines make constellations from that too...not just from the stars like we do....”


Flight of the Phoenix


 A photo of Lisa and Melissa at Beaman Park beside Cooks River marvelling at a remote controlled model plane buzzing high up in the clear blue sky. Michael remembers that crisp early Sunday morning walk where Lisa found the energy to venture all the way to Tempe.


Silver Lining


  Along with these images was the one photo that was deeply cherished: one of the buskers along the Quay wharves was another man who also did not speak and was dressed in silver robes with a silver wreath around his head; in front of him was a silver altar which had roses and a silver toaster that was used as a money box. This silver god would give children little lollipops as they came up to him and in turn money would be dropped into the toaster as an offering of thanks for this ‘blessing.’ After an old bearded Aboriginal man made some positive comment to the silver god - coaxed by her mother - Melissa shyly approached the shining being to be joyously given a lollipop which was rubbed down the side of her arm; then something rather unusual happened when the silver god bowed down and pulled a small silver robe out of a bag and wrapped it around Melissa; more so than this was the silver wreath placed on her head.  Michael looks at the photo of Melissa robed in silver standing beside the busker in similar garb and holding a bunch of red roses in one hand and a silver plastic buccaneer sword in the other. On the far right of the photo, steadying herself on the wharf railing is Lisa looking very proudly at her ‘little goddess.’


Lisa’s World


Garage sales, markets, op shops, second-hand furniture stores, factory outlets. Street festivals. All big favourites. “Melissa you will have a lot of stuff due to your mother being a magpie; like that white seashell toilet seat. That red plastic carton holder you always use Margaret to pour the milk was bought by me at Surry Hills markets. Yes, you remember them from twenty years ago and still don’t know why such a useful thing ever went out of fashion. If your emember Margaret -  a lot of nights after you first arrived and could regularly baby sit Melissa - there was the chance for me - when the body was willing - to see a lot of music mainly at the Excelsior, Sandringham, Lansdowne and Evening Star; also going down to the Caringbah Inn for Dave Warner. He was really wild and threw a beer glass on stage. One Saturday night Michael and I even went as far as the Mona Vale Hotel to see the Angels. Michael  shaking his head. Saying I was always so frantic. No static life. Yes - I am  a collector of milliseconds.” ODYSSEY JEANTOWN. Enjoying the ambience and majestically sittng on the sofa of the Hippo Lounge - at Devonshire St. Central Railway - admiring the black and white photo of Zulu woman in an African frame with pointy brightly coloured triangles and then eyeing the rest of the stylish African décor;  Going to Sideways Café at the back of Dulwich Hill; at another café in Stanmore; having cheap pasta in a friendly Newtown Italian restaurant on the second floor; on a humid night amidst the simple décor looking down at the goings on in King Street; at the Fifties Fair at Rose Seidler’s House in Wahroonga; the Winter Solstice Festival at Katoomba;feeding the ducks at Burwood Park; at a buffet at the NOVOTEL holding up the discount offer on the back of a supermaret receit; watching Paris Green at the Sandringham on a Monday night; looking at the Power Plant installation art at the Chinese Gardens during the Festival of Sydney going to the Tivoli to the see the Hoodoo Gurus; seeing sci-fi films at the Annandale Hotel; where we also went to a memorial concert for Alan Ginsberg as well as listen to Damien Lovelock one night rave on about his off-beat suburban upbringing; laughing as Ron Qantock comically opens his sister’s exhibition ‘Sticks’ at the Addison Road Gallery; at the Hopetoun Hotel that day for the Melbourne Cup; going to the Seymour Centre to see Johnathan Harris the Dr. Smith of Lost In Space and shaking hands with the robot;  watching from the porch of the Haberfield Rowers Club a blistering sun turning the white hulls of the boats-in the river below - all golden; always willing to frequent the waterways and parks around Drummoyne, Haberfield, Balmain and Rozelle; fish & chips at Bronte; by the memorial for the New South Welshmen who went to fight in the Boer War on top of Observatory Hill, a spot where it had been ‘family friendly’ to see the fireworks over the Harbour Bridge on a previous New Years Eve; watching on pay tv with Master the West Indies slog the Aussie bowlers for six and listening to the 702 ABC Radio commentary; exploring the undulating ridges around Mt. Bowen; a Spring walk to the Carrimoor cliffs in Royal National Park on one Remembrance Day; going out to regional galleries such as at Campbelltown, Hazelhurst in Gymea - sitting in the big garden – and to Fairfield viewing these Uruguyan drums; driving back to B.Js in Glebe for dinner; viewing Frank Gohier’s tongue in cheek Country & Western paintings – SUPERSIZE ME FOR AN EXTRA 5C ; looking at Armando Buitron’s indigenous Ecuadorian images of poor peasants in Newtown;looking at art from Western Sydney at Olympic Park, liking a painting of a railway seat at Fairfield station; going for a quiet drink at the Harold Park Hotel on a rainy evening to surprisingly come across a fully packed COMEDY NIGHT of NIGHTS! starring  many big name comedy acts; going to the Side-On Café to see third world solidarity films; at the ROOMIES ARTSPACE exhibition in Hut 43, Addison Road to see the many paintings and drawings done by the so called ‘street people’ of the city who through no fault of their own have been pushed towards the margins of society (Lisa acutely recognising how they have regained a common sense of human dignity and self-respect - duly deserved - through their own self-expression); at a reading of the Poets Union at the Gallery Café in Annandale; having ‘Asian’ at the LILAC CAFÉ in Glebe; going off to the Marrickville Bingo Hall on Addison Road with Margaret for a Sunday afternoon flutter and winning a few dollars; listening to Bernie Hayes and Perry Keyes at the Rose of Australia in Erskenville on a Wednesday night; helping Melissa feed the joeys and koalas at Featherdale Wildlife Centre; watching the old Arab outside a pizza place in Harris Park, before going on a bus tour of historical indigenous resistance from the Riverside Theatre to Liverpool to then see an Aboriginal urban play; also having visited Macquarie’s House reminiscing about a primary school excursion to the same place; returning to the South Coast to see Michael Gow’s AWAY! At the Jamberoo hall; at the Basement marvelling at the jazz fusion guitar work of Michael’s cousin and reminisicing when it was a cheap venue to go on Sunday nights in its pre-renovated days; thinking of the time Deborah Conway had played when there had only been a small crowd of about thirty people for a late show; going to the exhibition opening at the studios in Lennox Street at Newtown; at the Mexican Day of the Dead party at the South American Hut in Addison Road with all the large skeleton figurines and coloured paper cut-outs of skulls; walking through Hyde Park when there were poster-size photos of Sydneysiders hanging on banners - looking with Melissa at an evening shot of Turkish football fans in Auburn cheering at an outdoor screen as a Turkish player scores a World Cup goal. Never keeping still. One Saturday night to be at some retro fifties dance at Redfern R.S.L to only end up at 1. A.M at the Seabreeze disco by Tom Uglys Bridge at Sylvania; at Frank’s pizza place in Clovelly; seeing The Hippos at the Bridge Hotel; Brazilian samba at Darling Harbour; at an accapella refugee benefit night at this old stone-brick church at Darlington; thus remarking about the Café at the Gates of Salvation and Voices of the Vacant Lot; dancing to the cover band with those two Afro women singing Walking on Sunshine at the Epping Hotel; at a gay and lesbian dance at Rockdale Town Hall, bopping with Caterina to the Pet Shop Boys song Go West. A laidback night. A Canterbury Tale: yelling out CANT-A-Berries! with Michael at Ian Roberts the ex-Manly-Warringah player who was up on the stage as a special guest. Noise. Pulsating. Silence. Sacred Ground. The top of a church tower. A cemetery below. A stonewall and park. An old woman who was a church warden had taken Lisa and Michael to this sacred height. Talking about St. Stephen. Gravestones. Listening to the birds while being told that there were also unmarked graves underneath the park. The tombs now lay up against the stonewall. The anonymity of death. Thus to be living intensely. As if to exist outside time and space. The world stayed still through these eyes; it was without time because it seemed each day was the same.Time passing in a still world.Timeless.Waiting for Godot. Michael saw this play.

 “Max Cullen was very comic. He helped to make the play like a pantomime that worked well with the incidental music. I also saw him in The Tempest. He was Caliban. Magical. I once went to an exhibition opening of his paintings. In Paddington.”

  The same days stay. In Michael.  “We saw the Bangarra Dance Company. A program was sent to Karin. She always liked going to Belvoir Street.” Looking over the wide stretch of water from the Abbotsford boat club while having a sunset dinner. Calling it Swan Lake. At an outside table of the Oyster Bar situated on the walkway to the Opera House. Enjoying the harbour view. Thinking of that short film night at Elkington Park in Rozelle. Viewing Casablanca at Centennial Park. That other time being there for a Bob Dylan concert. Picnicking outside the area cordoned off for the concert so with hundreds of other ‘gatecrashers’ who watched Dylan perform without having to pay. Walking off into all this uninhabited dark space amidst the trees. At the fringe of so many people. Joy. At the margin…to watch Before Sunrise on that enormous screen which emerged from the water along the harbour foreshore. Peering back inside. “Yet, I guess intimate gatherings are my speciality. Recollections of open space. Intimacy. Two opposite dimensions that had to co-exist to obtain serenity.  So often it being the case of one dimension rather than the other: seeing that one-woman play in the tiny attic of a small café in Cleveland St; at the Cat & Fiddle pub in Rozelle seeing that ‘underground theatre’ in a small stifling basement. Four actors using their powerful voices to express the loves that they craved. Four agonised utterances all at once echoing the despair that Lisa had felt in Michael’s car that night…it was a release to ascend to the main level, like Dante heading up to the surface from the lowest infernal level. Air. To breathe.

 The Gadflys playing.             

 “Let’s dance Mick! While I still can!”

  To be lost in the crowd. To seek anonymity.              

  Watching Michael red to Melissa at bedtime William Blake’s Cradle Song of sweet dreams forming a shade (perhaps a reference to Beulah, Melissa to be happy in the silence as moon beams fall onher head and that she has ‘sweet dreams’ of ‘pleasant streams’. That day in Marrickville helping to renovate a house that belonged to friends of Michael’s. Painting flowers on the two former shopfront windows while listening to Sinead O’Connor. Meditating. Lost in the very long queue at Darling Harbour that had lined up to see the Dama Lama. Suddenly feeling cramp in the backseat of Gregor’s Peugot on the Anzac Bridge while hundreds of bicyclists of Critical Mass reduced the traffic to a crawl. With Michael and Master watching the Brisbane Roar win the A-League Grand Final at Suncorp Stadium scoring two equaliser goals in the last minutes of exta time to force penalties against an unlucky Central Coast.(For Michael it was only topped by the Kiwis beating the hot favourites South Africa in an ensuing World Cup Cricket quarter-final and the Socceroo’s morale boosting 2-1 surprise upset win over Germany in a friendly on German home soil).Talking to that old Greek couple playing backgammon on the little front porch of their terrace in Redfern. How contented they looked. Offering Melissa a sweet after we said hello. Watching the truckies rolling large silver beer barrels into the den of the pub nearby. Later trying to peer into that closed shop with the large CAMERA LUCINDA sign. Playing bolle at the Thistle and Castle; listening to the musicians jamming with their Irish instruments in the front bar, just like at the Harp. That Chinese family in Tempe offering us green tea on the way home from Cleveland Street after Michael had stopped to help them jump start their car. Looking at the large traditional landscape Chinese paintings in the long narrow living room, done by the father. The sanctuary of empty space on those uncluttered canvases.

 Objects floating in space. As Gregor explained to me one time - on the backporch of his place - Kandinsky considered that shapes near the top of the canvas seemed lighter to him.

 “Like they could be falling apart.”

 While closer to the bottom the same shapes seemed more dense. Constrained. Heavy.

















In the Acknowedgements under the title ‘small type’ visual pieces are mentioned; below are some of the other types of visual pieces that can be viewed/’scanned’ in full in context in the longer ‘Directo’s Cut’ experimental ‘online’ version of the manuscript:






********************************************************************************* ‘That’s  all  folks!  Hurry on down to Hardees where the burgers are charco-broiled! Footballs! Meat pies! Kangaroos & Holden cars! Daihatsu not so squeezy! One day you’re going to get caught with your pants down! Ring now the next ten minutes to get half-price! SATISFACTION GUARANTEED! MONEY-BACK  GUARANTEE! BUY  ONE  RECORD  IN NEXT  TEN  MINUTES  GET YOUR FREE



HEY SERA SERA!  HEY SERA SERA!  HEY SERA SERA!  HEY SERA SERA! HEY SERA! ********************************************************************************************************


This advertisng slogan visual piece goes on for one and a half pages and relates to ‘Performance Space that can be found in a section called Cat in the notes.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////// MINDTRANSMISSION/////////////////////////////////////////////////////

HE1327 with it’s low iron content is the oldest star ever discovered & was found by a 24 year old female German exchange student in Australia consider not the content but the process a lyre from Ur is replicated with cedar wood from the region by a British harpist bemo madness Ron Barrassi remembered as coach who famously resurrected Carlton from dead in 1970 Grand Final with passing game Spiegel music tent Greek island of Kefalonia maybe Homer’s Ithaca where Odysseus resided once cut off by sea channel now filled with rocks over the millennia $3000000 for 30 sec SUPERBOWL ad debt stress 300,000 to lose homes  truckies  recover  truck under ice Nikipediai wafer thin laptop in Bogotá after seeing Of Mice & Men Gregor saw off-duty


This mind transmission visual piece goes on for several pages and relates to ‘Human Perception’ .  


here is The Angel Gregor says its one of the figures of a famous Russian icon called The Trinity at the Hermitage he saw a young woman cross herself & pray in front of it she went into a mystical trance sometimes I like to stare at this print & meditate the one next to it is called Pennies from Heaven in Indonesia are large ferries that sail between the islands at one port boys in canoes dive for coins they ask ferry passengers to drop into the water Melissa & I would go to this shallow pool down the back of Hyde Park & cool our feet in the water we would spot coins on the mosaic floor & Melissa would say from the sky Tree of Life at the end of Indonesian shadow puppet plays this fan would be placed to let the audience know that the show was over Cat says life is a shadow play this puppet hopes there will be a tree of life at the end of her act Anu Krakatau is Angry Its the child of Krakatau which blew up & caused a tsunami which killed over thirty thousand people Gregor’s guidebook reckoned you could have heard the eruption in Alice Springs Gregor went out to this volcano island on a small boat & you can see the foredeck in the foreground the volcano was erupting large plumes of black dust into the sky every ten minutes & so a boy on the boat who could speak some English told Gregor that Anu  Krakatau  was  angry     

sThe black rows and white type go for many pages and is related to ‘Mind Negatives.’


Looking out the window: “A CAT-ASTROPHE!”In Mona Hatoum’s MCA exhibition Over My Dead Body we see a row of toy soldiers entitled Horizon and other toy soldiers placed in the shape (of Ben Casey’s famed sign for those baby boomers) of Infinity. In some of her more provocative photos there is one of her stamping a footprint with UNEMPLOYED over the footpaths of Sheffield, not stopping until the actual number of stamps reaches the same number as those human beings on the town’s so called scrapheap.’ [BOOK OF QOUTES}. We end Asia-Pacific with some clips from a very innovative Asian video exhibition presently on at the Australian Centre of Photography. Mirror Worlds. In the brochure we read: ‘Counter-terrorism, consumer subversion and visual mischief. Mirror Worlds presents the work of eight artists who reinvent the world and play havoc with reality. ’Reference is made to cyberpunk author William Gibson who in his recent novel Pattern Recognition coined the term ‘mirror world’ to reference human objects which may appear different but still serve the same purpose. e.g. dial tones, electrical plugs have their ‘twins’ in other parts of the world. What is also mentioned is mirror matter theory which proposes that our world of matter even mirrors an anti-matter – ‘dark matter’ - world which we can only detect through its gravitational effects on whole galaxies, stars, planets as well as down to individual microscopic particles. It begs the question: which world is more realAs this exhibition intimates: it is something which even ancient mythology considered where mirrors were also used as devices to help open up our comprehension to alternative realities – Narcissus staring at his own reflection in the pool to eventually die best serves as an apt warning to present-day,self-indulgent ‘misconstructions’ on reality. So we come to the consideration of the mirrors in our modern world, reflecting not only populist political realities but also populist consumer mythologies-


   The tape arrives at a tower with a silver sphere at the top which bends out of the way of an oncoming airliner. There is an aerial shot of a giant hand placing a car below it into an empty car park spot. This visual trick is followed by an assortment of other video collages such as a man who is wearing a beanie who first with an apple is then bouncing a red ball and appearing to glide up a wall as if he is flying in defiance of Newton’s laws of gravity As the camera zooms out it is seen that this scenario is happening on a portable TV. The viewer is especially intrigued by another clip which has a man getting out of a bed parallel to the bottom of the film frame to walk into a split screen behind him. In the left half is a large alarm clock at the back of a long empty room which the man turns off and as he returns to the foreground he bends over into the other half of the split screen to turn off the portable tv to then light a cigarette and move a pawn on a chessboard; back to more silhouettes of jet airliners bouncing off a tower (one turns into a missile after passing through a tower), exploding into jigsaw pieces, stopping beside different towers or fading away.

 “In Shensu twenty six people a day lose their limbs in industrial accidents.”


 Staring into the void. A mind as a video tape. ‘There’s nothing wrong with me! There’s something wrong with you!” I shall trust no one’s judgement other than my own.  Pointing generally towards a window. As if in silent seering conversation with the outside world..‘…yes yes Rahab a prostitute who hid Joshua’s spies in Jericho she was worthy the universe is our eternal womb a storm prevails outside a storm in my mind King Lear yes he went insane when the public claims of loyalty to him were proven to camouflage private treason the ‘good tyrant’ had his world turned upside down and in this topsy-turvy upheaval of the natural order his mind was unhinged the genius of Shakespeare to reflect the inner turmoil of a king with a mighty storm yet our society also faces a similar holocaust we will fall into madness MAD colour a radiation wavelength affects us second wind is willpower absolute power must be dispersed do not allow oppressed to become new oppressors War & Peace star Tikhonov dies 81 on AWAYE! Aboriginal open air play in Fitzroy muslim designs on surfboards at Casula NRL Indigenious All Stars play NRL All Stars picked by public Aboriginals had war cry to rival NZ Maori haka AFL indigenious players recruited by Kevin Sheedy do much for social cohesion life force yoga means union George Monbiot alwayswrites interesting Guardian articles CIA secret rendition domestic flotsam on Bondi cliff mistaken as installation 5,000 trapped Australian soldiers die in night at Fromelle worst Western Front Anzac loss Corporal Adolf Hitler there Guantamo Bay an illegal archipelago acid rain first environmental harmful symptom of carbon economy Tamils marooned on Oceanic Viking IEDs  HBO Films 50 years ago volunteers given exotic South American poison to stop breathing to test CPR landline phone rip off rents NT no speed limit debate B.U.G.A.U.P. graffiti campaign against cigarette billboards true protest Amparo means protector young Nietzche found Shopenhauer’s then obscure book in bookshop liked it boxing and chess Alistair Cooke’s weekly Letter to America Geraldine Doogue interviews Damien Lovelock on football on Sat morn RN Late Night Live Phillip Adams hosts talk on bankruptcy of 8th largest economy in world it is California Paul Keating when still unknown visited John Lang Christmas tree farm Nov 28 solidarity Latino fiesta Petersham Town Hall Trojan Horse was echo chamber cyberspace is also that due to high speed internet access it too can be Trojan Horse I hear on car radio on way to former Bourke Street bakery now in Marrickville German female bank manager helps poor clients transfer money from rich accounts camels invade NT town person can survive in outer space for about 10 seconds before going unconscious won’t die for up to a minute breathe out in this situation 2001 portrays this more accurately than most sci-fi films skype was invented by Estonian octopus uses coconut shell cups to protect itself from predators sea organism can go through wire mesh reconfigure itself like something out of Terminator bacteria Paul the psychic octopus who picked all World Cup winners in South Africa including the winners Spain socialize Sean Choolburra is an Aboriginal comedian a larrikin hero role model for his people Woodstock American liberal revolutionary ideals corrupted by imperial power human rights activist Helen Bamber shocked how in this consumer society concerns of asylum seekers not considered people in Belsen stayed there until 1960 they had nowhere to go nuclear fusion is essence of life Baghdad is to Americans what Moscow was to Napleon Aboriginal smoking ceremony Japanese space beer French security man stolen millions of euros he was guarding disappeared a national hero FA Leeds 1 Man U 0 Mars Rover lasting years Eureka Stockade Robbin Island ANC prisoners took football played seriously Lucretus argues why fear death when you will not exist to allay ancient fear of suffering in underworld the professor said on Classic FM that sadness leads a person to see things a lot more clearly than when happy great souls leave a lasting influence meditation Thoreau saw how deathbed one may not grasp life due to worrying about death Switzerland chose in a referendum to use money  gained from Nazis who stole the wealth from victims placed in Swiss banks  be  used to top up nationsl GNP rather than hand money over to be used for international humanitarian causes alleviate global poverty a television show about the powerless having power a woman who was one of Australia’s first taxi drivers in ‘70s had to put up with men getting out of her cab refusing to be driven by her won  $100,000 on Hot Seat Milionare saying German e-boats were torpedo boats her daughter said she deserved money had hard life Victor Gruen made first shopping mall Latino woman in Wahington had  baby daughter said had died in house fire but mother thought she was kidnapped at five year olds party was able to get hair samples of child she thought her daughter after DNA was proven her daughter had been taken away in housefire was alive so was happy reunion and mother’s faith was rewarded Moby Dick was a commercial failure in Israel are automated elevators so Orthodox Jews don’t press buttons on the Sabbath which is work modern political idealism involves imposing a perfect system on society and getting rid of what is wrong this also means of disposing wrong human beings who are imperfect for the systemMcMansions an unknown Napoleon just missed out on going on La Perouse’s ill fated South Pacific voyage in Sydney people turn on their headlights to warn other motorists of police in the vicinity to catch motorists doing anything illegal while driving rows of surfboards in surfboard exhibition at Casula Powerhouse with Islam designs sprayed onto them Golden Aussie comic revolutionaries! Austen Teychus! Norman Gunston! Kath&Kim! Mavis Branston! Aunty Jack! Sandman! Chris Lilley! Vince Sorrenti!John Saffron Reg Reagan !Sam Ketovich! Bazza Mackenzie! Rodney Rude! Ron Quintock!John Clark! Will Anderson! Roy&H.G! Strop! Luigi the Unbelievable!Graham Kennedy! Always for the underdog! undermining television! O Auntie Jack will tear your bloody arms off! Go for the jugular! William Cooper of the Aboriginal League protested against Kristalnacht with protest letter to Melbourne German consulate dispossesed understand suffering people’s oppression much of world did little deforestation should stop first no animal in nature is homeless many people are listen to cricket on ABC 702 with sound down on Channel 9 watch inspiring rapid fire century by West Indian captain Chris Gayle watch last WI wicket fall with inconclusive edge dogs scared on NY Eve poor Ancient Greek philosopher proved to  materialist peers could make money if he wished bought olive presses before bumper harvest then sold them at profit due to high demand but preferred a life of philosophy gorillas under threat due to fighting in areas where they live for minerals used in mobile phones Shane Wartson & Simon Katich both stranded at same pitch end of neither seemingly willing to give up wicket for other bizarre looks like individual self-interest above mateship universal kitchen design principles make appliances interchangeable just have one electric motor & add-ons Australia 7-67 at tea NY SCG Test  vs Pakistan Australian hardwood tough Tolstoyian view of history Melbourne Big Christmas Sing in Melbourne people walk around singing Christmas Carols crawl it is a curse to be favoured by the gods for they can easily also turn against you if you displease them we know the future we will die but what do we with such knowledge but pretend otherwise deny our mortality drinking glasses shaped so hands won’t warm wine or liquor fingers be below actual bowl that holds liquid we live in world of no craft but cheap commodity reality doesn’t meet expectation to misread reality to seek him here they seek him there Scarlet Pimpernel Luisitania Admiralty coverup helped Great Britain coax USA into WW1 civilian lives expendable Michael Moore is secretive Marx never took up Engel’s offer to visit factory Marx’s caustic mind thought essence of human life was struggle Picasso harsh to females his weeping women Homeric sacred rage demographics as well as psychicgraphics marketing plays on emotions reading listening involves imagination modern technological communication devices seem to blunt the mind from Gap on NY Eve see fireworks from harbour down rest of waterways annual 30 year released cabinet papers big sculptured rock at Big Marley the beach in Royal National Park road toll new skateboard rink opens in Kabul success with young Japanese breed transpaerent goldfish national parks is one American good idea Royal National Park listen to haunting melancholy Beatles ballads timeless culture should lead to eternity Tracy is her name seahorse a symbol of power and strength associated  by  ancients  with  Poseidon  and  he  would  give sailors a safe passage to the underworld-


The above two sets of heavy type of internal monologue/s form part of a series of insights/observations by Cat that runs on and off for a few pages in Vanitas  & then Video Mind.

MIND CHANNEL WHIRL in the notes under Lisa also normally run for several pages.







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