posted on October 7, 2007 at 2:06 am

ah hurly burly 5
yes yes
well where were we?
having fled childhood
its 1973
its 2007
its true
its based on fact
its a compleat lie
the east coast of australia
green beautiful warm
and the australian night
black black nights
nights with the 2 terries
nights spent listening to music
listening to the twins
always answering together
so synchronized
whos eldest?
they both laugh
one night we have takeaway sandwiches for dinner
terry goes out in his ute
comes back with 30 bucks worth of marijuana
as soon as you smell that smell
you know youve smoked it before somewhere
you get knocked for six
terry goes outside or a while
his sister lays languidly on some cushions
we listen to theolonius monk
it must be their parents record im thinking somewhere
i sit next to her
just babbling on about anything
she smiles and occaisionally laughs
she tries to teach me how to roll a joint
but my tongue is too dry to moisten the paper
how did these 2 come to possess everything i wanted?
fame wealth glory physical beauty prowess intelligence breeding
so effortlessly at 19
thoughtlessly excellent in almost everything
sometimes i tried to hate them but i couldnt
they were kind
they were generous with themselves
inviting you into all they had
terry helped me with bass
this guy a few months older than me
he lifted up my fingers
and put them back down in the right place
slide up to that note hed say
hed show you again and laugh and help you feel it
i was envious of him
i admit it
i gawked at his looks his talent
his good natured nonchalant acceptance
of his own perfection
if it had been me
it had driven me out of my mind
one day i sat there in his room
i was trying to play the bass
but i had nothing
no rhythm no technique no nothing
just desire
raw obsessive desire
i plunked away joylessly on terrys bass
my short little fingers looking so small against the frets
they travelled round the neck like 2 drunks in a 3 legged race
terrys long fingers ran over the guitar rapid and uncommitted
he could play lovely bass solos
making it sound like sitar or a lead guitar
he had a really great distant look in his eyes too
that distant look i always equate with geniushood
terry looked like that in his room
cross legged on his bed
plucking his fender bass
making small comments
see if can get this harmonic…
he smoked and played
as time grew long
and the tide followed the moons moods
the vietnam war began to end
people were being born and dying all over the place
the world never ran out of ratbags and heroes
the villains were captured punished rehabilitated or executed
new ones were waiting in the wings
here in this house
where i slept on the couch
everything was seeming a long way away
everynight now
we would smoke from terrys 30 dollar deal
and listen to jazz records
erroll garners concert by the sea
coltrane and all that
the house had a real fireplace
and a vaulted roof with huge skylights
it was some sixties architectural triumph
an award winning holiday home
set in tropical garden setting
absolute beach front
everything about them was exactly right
im surprised you like me i’d confess when i was stoned
so are we they said and laughed
youre just so good at everything i’d moan
gentle laughter from the twins
youre only 19 said terry
so are you! i said
you said to them
it was like you wanted to make them aware of something
something that you wanted to threaten them with…
no not threaten
you wanted to warn them
warn them to never grow up and leave this house
warn them to remain in the hurly burly
and how could you never show them
that what was a dreamtime for you
for them was just another day in a holiday
with a bloke they met from canberra
whos chipping in for chips and bread and cornflakes
and sleeping on their couch
in the morning i awake
i still feel stoned and dreaming
i get up and float about this house
look out over the brilliant glittering pacific ocean
stand on the deck out in the back yard
lie in the hammock sipping on a fanta
its real orange juice in fanta i tell them
more of their soft laughter
they turn their heads slowly in this particular way
i try to mimic it still
i wonder how it looks on me
a thousand idiosyncracies i observed them to have
and each one i tried to duplicate
the cadence of their sentences
their lazy beach twang and slang
the way they held themselves
their deliberate movements
their tousled hair
terrys longer than his sisters
and gone a bit woolly from the surf
they both pulled it behind their ears
they seemed not of that century
that twentieth century they were in
in the back garden terrys surfboards
a big one and a little one
the sand shows between the patches of grass
red flowers growing on a trellis vine
a clothesline
with the twins mostly white clothes
hanging in the seabreeze fading whiter still
beyond that the beach
already picnickers and bathers
already flags and lifesavers
already surfers and sunburners
the beach that we never had in canberra
the beach i missed so much without even knowing i did
the glamourous suntanned laissez-faire hippy surfy beach
the people walk around in next to nothing even at the bank
theres motel pools and travelling fairs and blow-ins from melbourne
theres greasy fast food and one chinese and one italian restaurant
theres a couple of bottle shops open well into the long dusk
even when nothings really happening
even on still rainy weeknights and early sunday mornings
even on hot saturday evenings at the pub
there is always possibility
possibility someone new will arrive
possibility of storms
possibilty of violence
possibilty of sex
possibility to get lost here
you could see the ones who stayed on
who tried to live the dream everyday
the palmtree tidal pool hurricanes pina colada dream
they had long ago grown immune to the towns charms
they came n went to their dismal offices
oblivious now to the sea and the air and the holiday being waged
real estate men who came up from the big smoke
a retired doctor
weekenders who no one knows
the raymonds who have always lived here
what is it to me all these details
cant i stop amassing all these details
do i have to know the name and motivation
for everyone in the crowding extras
but every story suggests another hundred stories
here in this time where stories were created
i put on the radio softly in the kitchen
king astrals hit single
a kinda surfy psychedelica
even on this transistor radio the bass guitar pumps n bops
imagine you think
hearing your song on the radio
then youd be happy
then you could have a rest
everything would fall into place forever
invites to parties
special tables in cafes
excuses alibis n justifications
it seemed like the zenith of mans achievement
a song on the radio you played on
all those people listening to you and the lads
how does it feel i questioned him
good he said and shrugged
it doesnt look like you think its that good i say
what the fuck do you want me to do man? he laughs
terri laughs
you idolize him dont you ,steve?
thats all right terry says
somebody has to terri says
they laugh again
envy withers in their laughter
when will i ever learn i wondered

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