posted on October 5, 2008 at 8:50 pm

whatever it was that i wanted to say
i well n truly forgotten
go for a drive to a strange part of town
i get lost in this huge city
the car takes me on n on
through unknown streets
past gardens and houses
i walking down this path
a green river on one side
kingfishers drying their wings in the trees
people go past…ordinary people
the houses emanate their stories to me
i stand in front of a house
the black windows stare back like empty eyes
i make my mind a blank
i stand there
an empty vessel
who am i?
i couldnt say
i am the repository of all the houses emanations
and my memory brings em all back
the long gone children
the cats buried in the garden
father and mother return from their somewhere
2 days before christmas a long time ago
see by the fashions and the hairstyles
yes this is old australia
but its like a place i saw in pittsburgh
all overgrown and shabby
the weeds have broken through
the cement is all cracked
little stones lie around all dishevelled
the river flows like peak hour traffic over its oozy bed
the path is rough on my bare feet
bees nibble at the clover
the house regards me
why does it try to keep its stories to itself?
ah says the house
its in its hoarse woody voice
that i hear in my ghostly heart
no no go away says the house
closing its doors and groaning its boards
you have never lived here appears in my mind
i empty my head as much as i can
i pour out all my own cherished memories
so i can fit this house
and this hot morning
and all the people and the cats
and its so close to christmas
christmas when it meant something someone whispers
i can hear the piano
theyre banging away on the piano
an old time song
a song from when even i was a child
they stand around drinking beer and shandies
and cups of tea
and the cats lie in the laundry to get cool
and the mother fusses round the kitchen
and the father sits smoking silently on the porch
a train shudders by nearby
rattling and vibrating into the hazy distance
and magpies and willy wagtails land on the garage roof
the choko vine breaks out into fleshy green leaves
and curls around the pipes and lattice work
and butterflies float across the summer like
a calendars pages
and a boy sits in his room
with his playboy magazine
transfixed by all that pink flesh
and by those inviting dark places
and it seems life is going on elsewhere
someplace else across the sea or in another time
where money flows and people drive sleek cars
and the women are all spilling out of their costumes
and they are free with their voluptuous kisses and souls
and the women on the page all speak to him
and through him to me
and through me to you
you there who are watching me watching him watching them
the women say things like
hiya bigboy couldya show a lady a goodtime?
hello handsome….why dont you come over here n get ta know me
and they move on the pages
and they wriggle and they wink and they cajole
and he sees their hollywood boudoirs
with the pink satin heart shaped cushions
and the t-bird parked in the drive
and the lady smokes kent menthols
and her name is sharon black
and she comes from bingle, iowa
he reads her measurements
wow 36 24 36 like a phone number to jesus
or something
in her room where its always evening
with all the latest stuff too
a portable record player
and air conditioning
and the tv is in colour sometimes
and the lady drops nembies
and owes her agent downtown 43 dollars
and her agent sits in his office
with his hard hustles n high blood pressure
extracting his cut
calling in some big favours
cos he’s digging in his desk
looking for some document
and bob mitchum said he’d call but he never did
and he ran into manny at canters
and he was having breakfast with judy g soon
and that very day
elvis flew into town
rolling down the runway
just like a real king
and he was instated in a hotel
where the manager bowed n scraped
and the bellboys said oh wow
golly gee will you sign this photograph
and the king says
and he generously spends some time with em
as he waits for his white limousine to arrive
and the boys chatter on
but his mind is on the milkshake joint across the road
and i keep getting pulled n unravelled as i go on n on
i stand back and concentrate
my empty mind refills itself
a flood of thoughts comes rushing in
not my thoughts
i wonder who thought these thoughts
so long ago
the house is empty now
the weeds prevail
the letterbox is full of spiders
and childhood comes to an end
and then

32 Responses to “digression”

  1. avatar
    matt davison | 5 October 2008 at 10:14 pm #

    And then ….Telepath??

  2. avatar
    MEM | 5 October 2008 at 11:39 pm #

    who’s the one
    w/ the distressed meaning?

    who’s the one
    w/ his past undone?

    who’s the one
    w/ the complex feelings?

    i ask you who is the one?

  3. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 October 2008 at 1:31 am #

    Dog Poo DNA

  4. avatar
    Hellbound Heart | 6 October 2008 at 2:57 am #

    and the memories of childhood become the daydreams of adult life and the reality of senility and old age….
    smells of cooking betroot and corned meat and freshly mowed lawn that dad’s spent two hours mowing….
    the distant rumble of an afternoon storm and the squall and squabble of kids playing outside on the street…
    seeing brutal summer sunlight glinting off the paintwork and chrome of the cars parked in driveways and the tiny rainbows made from innumerable sprinklers in front yards….
    the caress of the fan blowing hot air onto sweaty skin and how your skin sticks to the vinyl couch when it’s mid-summer….
    taste of cold sweet watermelon and home made cordial iceblocks…
    such is summertime childhood in suburbia…
    love always…

  5. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 October 2008 at 3:13 am #

    i remember the days of sunburn,n fruit platters….grand parties,with debonaire gentlemen,n beautiful kind glamorous lights and outside speaker systems ,broadcasting to the garden’s courtyard and pool….i remember my grandfather used to say,”once apon a time,”the clap”was something ya did after a performance!and an ice cream cost five shillings”….and the starfish,loaned the shark a sick-squid.xo;)

  6. avatar
    matt davison | 6 October 2008 at 3:29 am #

    I remember paua fritters starwars iceblocks, jandels and chilly bins…..Oh yeh and ICEHOUSE hits..

  7. avatar
    kat | 6 October 2008 at 4:11 am #


    houses definitely have their own personas so to speak. their own worlds inside.

    i like this one. different and i can picture through your words.

    strange you should mention pittsburgh. thats where my parents grew up.

  8. avatar
    fantasticandy | 6 October 2008 at 6:41 am #

    isn’t pittsburgh where all those zombies come from?

    playboy eh?
    those were the days!

  9. avatar
    eek | 6 October 2008 at 7:14 am #

    Lovely piece today, Steve.

    Any TTB fiends that want to see the pic of the Church SK mentioned yesterday can check out which is a service that lets you read a wide variety of newspapers online. You have to sign up for a free account, but it’s very easy to do. I left a link and more details in yesterday’s comments.

    I think the pic is cute. From the looks on the other guys faces, SK is saying something mighty witty. 🙂

  10. avatar
    kat | 6 October 2008 at 8:34 am #

    very funny andy lol though i guess its true because i am zombie, up at 4:30 a.m.

    will check out that link, holly. thanks.

    &… where is veleska?

  11. avatar
    nickp | 6 October 2008 at 9:37 am #

    I love this post. And I love that I didn’t see it coming.

  12. avatar
    don joe | 6 October 2008 at 9:43 am #

    Nice blog today Steve. Great mental imagery. Thanks to all for the links of late to pix n what not. How are you fairing kate?

    don joe

  13. avatar
    princey | 6 October 2008 at 10:59 am #

    I love this post too sk. Reminds me of that song “childe don’t wander off, the mirror’s soft you’ll fall right thru, there’s nothing to stop u” love it too much!
    Love Amanda
    p.s you looked and sounded gorgeous on telly kevey, that’s for sure!!!!

  14. avatar
    captain mission | 6 October 2008 at 11:21 am #

    the king of king street
    im blessed
    i salute ya

  15. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 October 2008 at 1:31 pm #

    oh,right.g’night? special.

  16. avatar
    matthew | 6 October 2008 at 1:51 pm #

    Wow that was nicely written, it sounded like strings of thought I regularly unravel before deep sleep takes hold… take it easy SK.

  17. avatar
    Anonymous | 6 October 2008 at 1:54 pm #

    It really is too soon to allow the anons back, I think. That idiot from the other day seemed like a nasty piece of work. Totally different in ‘character’ and ‘tone’ to whoever the wag was. I’m convinced it was some vile bastard just out to stir the shit and really wasn’t the ex-wag that’d spouted all those puerile ‘inappropriate’ Music Hall jokes. That guy was tiresome, but the one the other day who was trying to pin it all on some poor schmuck from Sheffield seemed like a really horrible, unhinged asshole. There’s a genuine whacko lurking in these parts, Steve, and I really do think it’s too sonn to let him have another go.
    But I loved today’s blog!

  18. avatar
    verdelay | 6 October 2008 at 2:57 pm #

    We’re always losing.

    Losing this, losing that.
    Nothing’s for keeps any more.

    My whole life is slipping away, moment by moment, yours too. From time to time there are flashes – like the ones you showed us today, out there on their own, drifting hither and yon, being caught by open minds in the places where stories can be told.

    I had a thread. I was following it, this thread of mine, but now I’ve lost it again. I don’t know where I am going with all of this.

    Might as well take a seat on an ant-crazed, sunbleached log somewhere out in a hazy Australian afternoon, one that fell deep into my memory when I held a younger soul, squinting amidst the insects and possibilities. Might as well draw back, and breathe out, and submit myself to the undying sun one last time.

    You know how it is.

  19. avatar
    CSTCoach | 6 October 2008 at 3:28 pm #

    that was very prescient. houses do indeed have emanations. so do landscapes. south dakota, of all places, is one of the most haunted places i’ve ever been to in that regard. layer upon layer of superimposed civilizations, worldviews, times,… A palimpsest of sorts. A fractured view.

  20. avatar
    davem | 6 October 2008 at 5:04 pm #

    Christmas as it should be…..except for the heat and absence of a “snowball” with a cherry on the top!!
    Chrimble? I still lurve lurve lurve it. Fambley, a church/kilbey merch treat and all the traditions that missus m keeps running with from her Mum and Mums Mum.
    Bring it on.
    Loving PK by the way!!

  21. avatar
    sergezéni | 6 October 2008 at 5:35 pm #

    And then………..
    It’s just something else.

    Oldness comes with a smile
    To every love given child.


    PS: Sorry by advance for those who visit my new (and blank) blog at the moment, but I don’t have much time to fill up the empty spaces at the moment…!

  22. avatar
    davem | 6 October 2008 at 5:49 pm #

    I’m in Pittsburgh and it’s raining….

  23. avatar
    CAPTAIN BEYOND | 6 October 2008 at 5:55 pm #

    there is a playboy pic of me out there that my Lord only knows, hey did you all here my DM is touring the universe next year…
    Jonny Moondog Smythe

  24. avatar
    kat | 6 October 2008 at 7:38 pm #

    heya sergezeni quoted the red house painters. cool!! makes me want to go listen to the rollercoaser record. think i will.

  25. avatar
    sergezéni | 6 October 2008 at 9:07 pm #

    Yeah, Kat — Kozelek is great! Don’t know what Steven thinks of his music. But, back to oldness/childhood… I think it’s all in the mind. Sometimes, a little detail can make you feel like a newborn child… Other times, like an ancestor…

  26. avatar
    Mr. Argent | 6 October 2008 at 9:33 pm #

    archipomorphism rubs me in all the right places.

  27. avatar
    Miss D | 6 October 2008 at 10:13 pm #

    your last 2 blogs have been gorgeous-it's lovely, as adults to look back through our minds and share memories that mould us into the people we are today. Knowing that we are also creating great memories for our children is also a beautiful thing..your descriptive blog about your homelife and your little ones was pure delight! who needs reality tv when you have children?? They certainly stretch our patience at times but they are pure entertainment..'"The Mighty Boosh"is the best thing on TV in years!!! (Flight of The Concordes too).
    Anyway, I'm glad that evil anon has disappeared from this site- what a horrible piece of work that was!!

    Love & Happiness to all.

    Miss D.XX

  28. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 October 2008 at 3:29 am #

    you cant promise it,can you.

  29. avatar
    kat | 7 October 2008 at 3:52 am #

    roller coaster! but ah ttb is steady. ok, sorry to vent, but…. i got in an argument with my brother tonite on the phone. and it shook me. he tries to be dad and he cannot do that, it doesn’t work. he says the world is crashing. “turn on the tv!” and what am i going to do in my own world of crashdom. well what i told him is i don’t want to know. and i called the girl he lives with morticia. so carol if by a miracle you are reading this, i am sorry. but not wrong. morticia was nicer.

    fambley rambley

    yes it is time for the roller coaster record, followed by painkiller.

    nite all

  30. avatar
    Anonymous | 7 October 2008 at 4:21 am #

    hurry up n answer me.speak english,please?

  31. avatar
    steve kilbey | 7 October 2008 at 4:52 am #

    au revoir por favor

  32. avatar
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