sometime off-topic blog by Inchiki
2011 plog archive
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christmas micro novella - Escape From Quomboin - an outline
I suppose I should get this down quickly. Impressions don’t last long, especially when they are wholly imaginary. Not that everything that I am about to write is imaginary. In fact, some of it is as solid a truth as this chair I sit on. And anyway whoever said that the imagination could not be the truth has never visited the source of their imagination.
My name is – well I’m not going to talk about that. I grew up in Quomboin, the heir to my dead mother’s fortune, which was locked up until I married the girl I had been promised to – the elite and beautiful Laura Marx. She was and is the scion of the other great family of Quomboin. I will tell you all about her and the marriage later.
My mother’s enormous mansion dominates the town of Quomboin. It rests on the brow of a hill and can be seen from all aspects, and I have never been inside it. Tall and dark and beautiful – like my mother – it used to be a nunnery. My mother died when I was born, so I only know she was beautiful from the photo I have of her. The concept of ‘father’ has no meaning these days.
When I was young I used to live as a street urchin in the ancient tunnels that underlay the town, as I had no access to the family fortune. This was the first contact I had with the mafia that ran the city. Again there were two clans – the Arofusto and the Cappa. The Arofusto were in charge – they controlled the coffee trade and ran the police force and were prominent in the town council. The Cappa were the underlings but they had their informers everywhere. They dealt mainly in tea. I became a dealer for the Cappa when I was about eight.
Being a member of the Cappa gave me a certain authority among the other urchins. For the tea and coffee trades were the primary units of currency in Quomboin. I would conduct my trades in an abandoned factory in the bad part of town, near the railway, where all the interesting people lived.
My unit of currency was the Darjeeling blend, that which had the fine aroma of Muscat with a bitter finish. I sold this in one ounce bags, using an antique pair of brass scales, to measure it out. All the other boys used to come to me for their fix. I was rich, for an urchin, but it was a dangerous life.
One day I was riding down a road to my supplier, he lived in ‘the oaks’ estate, a derelict region of town with unsealed roads and packs of wild dogs, when I was ambushed. A group of boys pounced on me as I got stuck in a deep muddy puddle in the middle of the road. Fortunately, my girlfriend of the time was following close behind and raised the alarm. Every one of those boys was shot or drowned in front of me by the Cappa gang, at my request.
When I was 16 or 17 it was necessary to lead a more respectable life so I abandoned my trade in tea and applied for a job in the government. Here I met Gabrielle, she was Jewish, and part android. I used to correct the bias on her transducers for her. We started a strange and exotic affair which lasted many years.
In government I had an insight into the forces that ruled the world. It was often necessary to disguise my Cappa origins, although the old network often helped me in discrete and unexpected ways. One day Gabrielle mysteriously disappeared. My search for her led me into the bowels of the system. Finally I found her records of her imprisonment. The charges against her were obscure, I feared that I may be implicated and gave up the search.
Laura’s father invited me on my 21st birthday to visit him to speak about my marriage to his daughter. He ran an art gallery in town, really a front for some kind of unspecified activity, and was an important person among the Arofusto. However I suspected that he had connections to the Cappa as well. It emerges that he knew my mother well, even intimately. It is arranged that Laura and I are to be married in one month, when I will be given the key to my mother’s mansion and assume an important position among the Arofusto.
At work, Gabrielle reappears but I find when I open her panels that she has been re-wired, re programmed. She makes the old approaches but I fear that she has been placed close to me to expose my Cappa origins. It is necessary to murder her.
I am introduced to Laura but instantly recognise her as an android. I challenge Laura’s father about this. He says we are all androids. takes me to my mothers mansion and shows me a Cappa text. It reveals how the Arofusto are an invention of the Cappa to disguise the fact that they are running everything. The Cappa have everyone micro chipped. It was all my mother’s plan and I am set to inherit everything upon marriage to Laura, which will be the trigger for some unspecified revolution.
Driven by memories of Gabrielle I hack into the systems back at work and seem to find evidence of what Laura’s father has described. I also find a description of the close shave I had when I was younger and the boys attacked me and it seems I was being monitored continually. I come up with a plan.
It is the wedding day. I manage to steal a car and break into the Arofusto church, grab Laura and escape through the tunnel network that I know so well. We emerge at an overflow on the edge of Quomboin. I have programmed everyone’s microchips to download knowledge of the whole conspiracy.
We run to Laura’s father’s gallery which is nearby. He is peculiarly sublimely happy. He says the plan has worked just as it was supposed to, then he kills himself by crushing himself into a painting with a huge mechanical press. Laura turns into a paper doll. Outside everyone seems to be behaving normally. I see Gabrielle and wonder if I have reprogrammed myself.
Inchiki 22 12 11
Diversity, it's all about diversity.
I feel like I remember too much, my memories are so many, so confusing. I am one of those people who spends their life staring into space trying to make sense of everything they have seen. It's getting worse as my head fills up, i am drowning in it. Weed has the amazing ability to make the past and future dissapear, maybe that is why it is so relaxing. We still end up staring into space, but absorbed in the moment instead.
Slight wine headache, insects in my eyes obscuring my vision. Mars rover 'curiosity', heh. I would have sent lots of little rover insects that could repair each other when they got broken.
Darjeeling is drinking well today. I have finally weaned myself off compulsory milk in tea. The Europeans applaud. hah - the Europeans! Mess they're in.
"Dear friends, life is much too confusing, I must end it. Hello". (this is a quote from a leunig cartoon). We have lots of ducklings at home, the place looks like curly flat. I do prefer the old, slightly strange curly flat, with whirlpools where people seemed a bit lost, not the sappy modern versions with angels everywhere. I find it easier to believe that the lonely version could actually exist - populated by batchelors and spinsters, maybe. There is a truth hidden there, loneliness is happiness. Or Looniness is happiness.
I cannot write another line without a coffee.
Inchiki 29 11 11
Lunar and solar eclipses occur in cycles called saros cycles. The next lunar eclipse on 10 December (visible in Australia) will be Saros 135. I like to imagine that at the moment of eclipse we arrive at a moment of synchronicity with all the other eclipses in the cycle, like some wormhole opens as the future and the past aligns. The first penumbral lunar eclipse in this cycle occurred april 13 1615, the first partial eclipse in july 1777, and the first full eclipse on nov 7 1957. The cycle will produce total eclipses until July 06 2354, finishing at last in 2877.
I wonder what the world will be like in 2354.. sometimes i have dreams that seem to be about the future. Driving overland on Mars, along dusty straight roads, enormous cars with pressurised insides. Ski slopes - i don't know why i imagine ski slopes. The earth covered in city, with wildernesses inbetween, like parks. Space elevators of a sort - i imagine some kind of foamy material, lighter than air and high tensile strength, creating huge structures that spider into the sky. Zeppelins, flying cars, artificial intelligence, all that. I would like to think people have become more humane, gentler, cerebral. But that is a forlorn hope - maybe. Won't the school playgrounds always be a ruckus? Maybe there won't be schools.. access to all humanities knowledge will at our fingertips from birth. Having all the answers demands a new religion - I don't know what it is - some mix of philosophy, poetry, and pragmatism. The age of space adventure must come at last - I can't wait for this. The great emptiness awaits - but we can remain connected to humanity down the wire. What will humanity mean after contact with other alien cultures? What if they are human too? I wonder if some kind of technology assisted meditation technique will unlock deeper connection to each other and other worlds, perhaps conquer death, or keep it at bay. If so then our sense of being alone will be banished forever.
Meanwhile, president Obama arrives in Australia today, just outside where I am working at the ay-arsey. The wall street protests get rounded up - not the last we will hear of that, i suppose.
Inchiki 16 11 11
Sold our little speck of a ka on the weekend. glad to be rid of it and the expense of keeping it on the road, but felt a pang, as it was our first car in Australia, and i remember strapping little Rowan into the back seat when he was just a bean. He helped me wash it yesteray proclaiming that its new owners would find it to be 'splendid!'. which they will.
Had a glass of wine with dad afterwards in Manuka, chatting about his old cars - the customline, the HJ ute. Sad that he sold the ute. I helped him change the engine when i was a kid and learnt all about cars from him. When i was 9 i loved crankshafts more than anything else in the world.
Inchiki 14 11 11
diary of observations
Went to see Papa vs Pretty and The Vasco Era at the ANU Bar last wednesday (26 October 2011). Vasco Era sweated and connected. I really went along for their one song 'child bearing hips' but was in paroxysms through the whole set. I think what appealed to me was Sid's casual apathy, almost boredom which would then flip over to this insane snotty screaming yaw. The AC30 really sings at high volumes too, although it isn't the band's regular amp (Sid's black AmStd strat is exactly the same as mine). I noticed he played fingerstyle and obviously is a disciple of Jimi - well, they finished on their Hendrixey song which has been descibed as a 'Voodoo Child' cover but is more of a tribute song and anyway is just vehicle for shredding which is what Sid did, suddenly sad, serious and focused. Papa Vs Pretty have been correctly described as 'intimidatingly tight' which is really down to Thomas Rawle's genius. He is a slippery smooth performer, if a little bit 80s camp, and whips the arsehole out of the competition - but didn't engage the audience at Canberra. By that time the smallish crowd were drifting off and talking among themselves. So the first few songs were amazing but then they tailed off. There really is no hope for Canberra. If we can't give our support to a young and upcoming but skint band (they said they hadn't had breakfast and were driving back to Sydney that night rather than getting a hotel, poor lads) then bloody Lady Gaga and Pink doing stadium gigs is all Canberra deserves. Anyway, I was deeply impressed - and I still have the wrecking ball in my mind - thanks PvP.
I seem to be battling a melancolia these days. My latest poems over at wardrobe tend to linger on themes of death and suicide. I think i am just getting in touch with my inner reaper. Work has depressed me. But home life is full of little joys - Eliza's first crawl yesterday. Rowan and his pet blue-tongue. Perhaps it is my blood pressure medication acting on my brain. More likely, it's just the overwhelming inevitability of failure, failure, and decay. This mood seems unnatural, but nature is full of failure and decay. In the cycle, this is where fertility comes from. So I am waiting for the wheel to turn on me a little more.
Inchiki 27 10 11
Good to see that the poetry society has a new board.
I have been tooling around with the poem library (link on right) so that it lists all the first lines and is a bit friendlier perhaps. I have left tables behind and although this feels very modern, i'm afraid the css won't work on everyone's screen in perhaps so predictable a way.
What else? weather ballooning. My new favourite thing.
Inchiki 16 06 11
Poetry Society Council
Being distant to what's going on in the Poetry Society with regards the resignation of Judith Palmer and the Board and the apparent disagreements over funding, the wheelbarrow, and all that, has given me a unique perspective on the whole furore.
I like the Poetry society, the Poetry Cafe on Betterton street being my first hang out in london back in 1998 when it was about the only place with internet. This was on a single computer downstairs with a strange mouse. Someone would have to come down and turn it on for me. When i could afford it i'd buy myself a dargeeling tea and a portugese custard tart, and write emails to my wonderful poetic and exotic german lover sabine and friends back home. Later on I went to the open mic night and eventually plucked up the courage to participate.
Being obsessed with wordle at the moment.. i wordled all the 200wd application statements for nomination to the poetry society board to analyse them properly.. here they are
Inchiki dd mm yy
an amusing play around with wordle on my blog Wardrobe in the Cupboard, and the 'ten good poems' page here
Inchiki 24 08 11
Fran Landesman dies aged 83
Heard that Fran had died. I liked her - i wanted to be like her. Reminds me how far away i am from the scene of things out here in the sticks, out beyond even the dreaded suburbs. How can i ever muscle up enough rage out here? Rage to achieve, to be acclaimed, to be despised. Everything out here is in watercolour - washed out, ephemeral, unimportant, parochial, tasteless. I want oil and ink, blood, poison, bakelite and electricity. None of that exists out here in this pleasant sunday afternoon land. RIP Fran - i hope that somehow the world can catch up with you, i hope that we can all find a way to live "free as the air". But it won't be in airy lightweight ghost town Canberra or its environa.
Inchiki 23 08 11
i have been thinking about how illusion is weaved into the fabric of our everyday lives. this is apart from the weaving in of dreams and hallucinations - all of which play their own part. I am thinking more along the lines of how we view reality as a distinct and whole thing whereas infact it is suffused with our own misperceptions. Everyone suffers from this blending of the real and the false, this marbling of reality and unreality, but we all somehow manage to get on with it. I have come to the conclusion of late that there is really no difference between the real and the unreal, and that it is anyway impossible to unmix the two.
Reality is connected to the world, but the world is finite. A finite thing has a beginning middle and end (lets assumes it exists in time - lets ignore any question of whether it does really exist in time for now). There is an emotional connection that exists now - beginnings are happy, endings are sad. All finite things are of this nature - it is impossible for instance to have an endlessly beginning thing, an endlessly happy thing. This is the nature of "reality". The whole history of the universe has an inevitably unhappy "ending" when it is viewed as a finite thing. This is the tragedy that emerges from a perception of reality as a finite thing.
However when we begin to weave unreality into reality, a prettier picture can result. Suddenly, happiness - love - can be forever. We can have our cake and eat it too. People never die. The world is endlessly being reborn. This is the truth. All these statements belong to the realm of illusion, unreality - the eternal, infinite. There is a flipside to them - eternal damnation, madness, depression - which we also have to fend off from time to time in our inner lives. One cannot have the one without the other (perhaps it was our flight from this negative aspect which caused us to initially cling to the assurances of the finite world so much?).
Whilst it is well recognised that the unreal holds open a window of possibility for all of us, perhaps as a sort of positive mental attutude that it is good to cultivate, or an inate symptom of the primordial mind (the 'Id'), it is otherwise kept separate from 'reality' in the scientific rational world. This comes about from the day to day practicability of building bridges, passing exams etc, where we are clearly dealing with material, finite things, and far-out concepts like the infinitude of time are useless unless they can be tacked onto the stucture somehow (perhaps through quantum physics or abstract mathematical theories).
But assuming that 'miracles' don't exist (a 'miracle' being a fleeting moment when the infinite can enter into and alter the finite) there is no evidence of an unreality. If a miracle is observed, it must just be some extention of the accepted reality which has yet to be properly explained. It is not evidence of some magical otherness that exists separately from reality.
So apart from miracles, which can be explained away as not being miracles, what is the fact of our day to day life? What does it mean that we live our lives in the shaddow of all these unreal irrational notions in our head? The childlike mind which sees and imagines things that are not there? what do we do with all this unreality? We call reality that which seems.. and what seams there are. fill them with gossip...
The quest for 'proof' does not exist except in the world of the reality. The fantasy sets us free. it can never be proved. This is what makes it infinite and unfathomable. Proof is for dogs and poets. I can't even explain why it matters.
Inchiki 10 08 11
bit of a climate change rant
This came after reading this.
To apparent truth of climate change is so enormous, so terrifying, that denial is a natural human response. It challenges our very way of life and the whole structure of western society which is oriented around the individual. For the first time we need to respond and think as a single organism - but few of the structures of the global community can make us act that way. Cutting back on carbon emissions meaningfully would mean a huge lifestyle change - a drop to a simpler. less energy hungry lifestyle, basically - for each person on the planet but especially those of us in the west. No single government is going to inflict that on its citizens as the citizens will revolt. This is because the focus of power is on individuals, and on individual nation states. Really the focus needs to shift to the human organism as a whole. All governments need to respond as one government as the fact is that dealing with climate change will mean massive economic hardship for a long time, for everyone, until green alternatives really get moving. Every individual would have to suffer for the good of the whole human organism. It is unprecedented. But continuing to act selfishly as individuals or as individual nations is to act like bacteria in a petri dish, choking on our own pollutants until we all die.
There needs to be a higher intelligence that transcends individuals. It would be like the transition to the first eukaryote cell, when it is supposed prokaryotic bacteria handed over personal freedoms and merged into one multifaceted being, the same way that bacteria then through further evolution have combined into a multicellular organism. In political terms, this means UN type world governing structure with real authority over individuals and individual nations, who would hand over certain of their individual freedoms for the greater good of humanity as a whole. A narrowly self serving attitude in an individual or group of individuals would then be correctly identified as a cancer, eating away at the body, and could be dealt with effectively. We are all accustomed to this sort of self serving behavior, it is the great motivator of everything that we do - personal gain. I don't know how we could be motivated to work for the common good - this would have to be worked out. Some sort of sophisticated system of rewards would have to be invented. But there would also have to be strict enforcement to prevent activity that was damaging to the whole. As long as we are living on the one planet, i don't see how it can be any other way.
I say leave the rocket science to the rocket scientists - leave the climate science to the climate scientists. There is still work to do in refining the predictions. The real debate now is how on earth are we going to shift the global power structures sufficiently fast to begin to act intelligently as a single human organism and so save ourself.
I had an idea for a climate change advertisment. Camera zooms in to an ocean world where a longboat floats in the middle of the wide and empty ocean - there is no land anywhere - anywhere at all. A group of a couple dozen adults of all nationalities are sitting around the edge of the boat. There is water sloshing around in the boat, about 6 inches deep, except in the middle of the boat where it is deeper - a bunch of children are sitting in the middle with the water up to their necks, some of the little ones are having difficulty keeping their heads above it. Each person has a vessel in their hands, some have a cup, some have a bucket, some have thimbles. A few of them are bailing frantically, some half heartedly, and some not at all. Meanwhile there is a heated argument about whether the water is rising at all. Some are saying "just bail" others are saying "i'm sure its going down" or "it's not my fault the boat's full of water". A little boy having trouble keeping his head up is passing his thimble to his father saying "please bail daddy" the dad doesn't look too sure about it. fade to black then "Climate Change: we are all in it together".
Inchiki 08 07 11
I wonder why reaching a quarter of a century in age is not celebrated? It is a more meaningful milestone than 40, or even 21 - mathematically speaking. I like to measure progress using primes or harmonics - but there are diminishing returns, after the initial flurry up to about 9.09 (100/11) then there is 10,11,11.1,12.5,13,14.29, slowing down 16.66 (100/6), 17,19,20,23,25,29,31,33.33,37,41,43,47,50 after which there are no more harmonics just primes up to 100. This is fitting, for life is much more intense in those early years, after which we start to graze over things. Memory and imagination begin to paper over what were once opportunities for new experience. Soon every moment is like reliving a jumble of moments in the past, just assorted differently. We don't have to experience anything any more - and we don't wish to, as it presents a challenge to our carefully constructed safe house of ideas.
Inchiki 04 07 11
a war poet
Osama bin laden is dead - strange that it should be strange to feel sad. But Osama was a true rebel, a sage of a kind, and a poet too. And, obviously, a mastermind of mass murder. But his gross failings are also our own. From where we stand, in our nice civilisation where everyone is free, we can't see what there is to rebel against. We don't see how the rest of the world is working to support our lifestyle, and how they can envy and hate us. The world is unfair - and we need to keep it that way if we are to stay on top. We have grown out of touch and can't contemplate a new world order, even when it might be just around the corner. We don't even recognise our own war cries when spoken in the language of the enemy. But every revolutionary has a truth burning in their heart. Even when it is tangled in ignorance or harnessed by a propaganda machine that feeds hatred blindly, each soul has their own truth, their own revolution. You cannot kill the revolution that has to happen. Here are some extracts of Bin Laden's poetry I found on the internet.
I have migrated westward
To a land where flows the Nile
Of Khartoum I love the character
But I was not permitted to reside
So then I traveled eastward
Where there are men of radiant brows
Kabul holds its head up high
Despite the hardship and the danger
Kabul, with a smiling face
Offers all-comers shelter and help
"Why, father, have they sent
These missiles, thick as rain
Showing mercy neither to a child
Nor to a man shattered by old age?
Father, what has happened
So your likenesses are on placards?
Is your redeeming of an ancient house
A crime that cannot be forgiven?"
"It is a world of criminality, my son
Where children are, like cattle, slaughtered
Zion is murdering my brothers
And the Arabs hold a congress!
They are America's henchmen
Blinded and devoid of vision
This, by your Lord, is a major brand
Of shame to be recorded
A treachery being pieced together-
Is our defense to come from traitors
I swear by God the great
That I shall fight the infidel!"
Tomorrow, William, you will discover which young man [will] confront your brethren, who have been deceived by [their own] leaders
A youth, who plunged into the smoke of war, smiling
He hunches forth, staining the blades of lances red
May God not let my eye stray from the most eminent
Humans, should they fall, Djinn, should they ride
[And] lions of the jungle, whose only fangs
[Are their] lances and short Indian swords
As the stallion bears my witness that I hold them back
[My] stabbing is like the cinders of fire that explode into flame
On the day of the stallions’ expulsion, how the war-cries attest to me
As do stabbing, striking, pens, and books
What other jihad poetry is out there i wonder? is this the only truly subversive poetry being written today? (shame then it isn't very good).
Inchiki 14 05 11
I am in love with Autumn. I wish to stroke her long hair and smell the scented essences there. I would like to become hopelessly entangled there, helpless, abandoned, deliriously happy. My old life passing like a slow river underneath, one thousand yellow leaves riding on the surface, the torn pages of all my diaries. i would hang upside down like a dead body, all my pockets empty, having found liberation at last in the hair of my autumn lover.
Inchiki 18 04 10
i find an old diary of letters in the boot of the car which is full of water after wet weather and a leaky seal. piecing apart the submerged pages in the sink i uncover lives from 1994.. inane chat among friends at school in curly blue and pink biro. inundated with images from japan it is overwhelming to see how many people have been washed away. what if life could rise again from the water, as words rise from their inert pages.
Inchiki 13 03 11
March already. Forkword slips down the lists in search engines. Poems appear in dribs and drabs. I fight off a minecraft addiction, get a few pieces published in BMA, listen to Pond Frond. At work, conquer rounding errors in the National Partnership Agreement, drink cappuccino, change my shoes.
I am a big fan of Demonseeds and the interesting breeding programs that they support. They are just one small subversive component in the slightly disjointed (pardon the pun) efforts that are being made to change the legal status of marijuana. it annoys me that critique on the war on drugs is so muted in this country. i miss the colourful splashes of pro-weed sentiment that occur through much of the uk media and in public discussion over there. I have enjoyed the free air of amsterdam and similar places, and can't help but feel that the fears about marijuana over here are hopelessly overblown. Perhaps i'll join the HEMP party.
The weekend before it ended i visited the National Gallery's "space invaders" graffiti/ street art/ zine exhibition to peg an accidental to the strings, noting that julian fleetwood's canberra zine was pegged to a string already - a neat job too i might say julian. whether that sort of thing can ever belong in a gallery is the obvious question - i had the peculiar sense of a space turned inside out, or outside in, rather. banksy has a lot to answer for. i wonder if more hip aspects of canberra are slowly bubbling to the surface of the australian conscious .. though i can't help but notice the very word canberra sticks in the throat of anyone from any scene at all in australia or the world or the universe. that's why i prefer queanbeyan, which has problems, and so is cool, is real. queanbeyan is a town made of brick and wood, in contrast to the concrete and glass of its larger neighbour.
i spent some time looking at the asia pacific collection, particularly the early indian hindu and buddhist icons. There is an large bronze shiva dancing within a wheel, and a very early stone carving of the buddha in meditation. These statues resonate through time as messages from an ancient and spiritual culture.
Eliza grows strong and fat on mummy's milk. she's a funny little baby. together we have explored the small hours, her tiny body tucked under my arm as i pace circles in the kitchen.
Inchiki 08 03 11
2011 - ten good poems
This site has been up and running in some form for five years now, so i've decided to put up a short collection of ten good poems i've written in this time. My writing style has changed a lot as i continue to experiment, and i think, matured. However i've still not found my true voice yet. I wonder what the next five years will bring?
view 'ten good poems'
Inchiki 12 01 11
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