AVANT GARDENER

I sleep in late another day oh what a wonder oh what a waste. 

It’s a monday, it’s so mundane, what exciting things will happen today? 

The yard is full of hard rubbish it’s a mess and I guess the neighbours must think we run a meth lab. 

We should ammend that, I pull the sheets back, it’s 40 degrees and i feel like i’m dying. 

Life’s getting hard in here so i do some gardening.

Anything to take my mind away from where it’s sposed to be. 

The nice lady next door talks of green beds and all the nice things that she wants to plant in them. 

I wanna grow tomatoes on the front steps. 

Sunflowers, bean sprouts, sweet corn and radishes. 

I feel pro-active, i pull out weeds, all of a sudden I’m having trouble breathing in. 

My hands are shaky, my knees are weak, I can’t seem to stand on my own two feet. 

I’m breathing but i’m wheezing, feel like i’m emphysem-in’. 

My throat feels like a funnel filled with weet bix and kerosene and oh no, next thing i know they call up triple o. 

I’d rather die than owe the hospital till I get old. 

I get adrenalin straight to the heart, I feel like Uma Thurman post-overdosin' kick start. 

Reminds me of the time when i was really sick and i had too much psuedoefedryn and i couldn’t sleep at night. 

Halfway down high street, Andy looks ambivalent, he’s probably wondering what i’m doing getting in an ambulance. 

The paramedic thinks i’m clever cos i play guitar. 

I think she’s clever cos she stops people dying. 

Anaphylactic and super hypo-condriactic, should’ve stayed in bed today I much prefer the mundane. 

I take a hit from an asthma puffer. 

I do it wrong. 

I was never good at smoking bongs. 

I’m not that good at breathing in.


ARE YOU LOOKING AFTER YOURSELF? 

Are you working hard my darling, we’re so worried, always thinking of you and we just want you to be so happy, keep on going. 

I don’t want no 9 to 5, telling me that I’m alive and ‘Man, you’re doing well!’ 

Have you got some money saved up for those rainy days? 

You should start some sort of trust fund just incase you fail. 

My friends play in bands, they are better than everything on radio. 

Did you see that special on TV the other eve? 

No my TV, it stopped working when we got here (it’s been four years). 

Are you eating? You sound so thin. 

I don’t know what I was thinking, I should get a job. 

I don’t know what I was drinking, I should get a dog. 

Should get married, have some babies, watch the evening news.


BOXING DAY BLUES

I know that I let you down. 

You’re not keen on what you found. 

When’s the funeral, do you want me to come? 

I’m not what you’re looking for. 

My house has an open door. 

You need a lock and a key. 

I love all of your ideas.

You love the idea of me. 

Lover I’ve got no idea. 

Lover I’ve got no idea. 

Lover I’ve got no idea.


CANNED TOMATOES (WHOLE) 

I walk slowly to the store, you don’t live here anymore. 

You used to live round the corner (cigarettes and alcohol). 

Last week I turned twenty four, you don’t call me anymore. 

We used to speak every morning (I was sleeping on the floor). 

I still get the mail for you I leave it at the door. 

Every letter seems a warning, pay your rego by the fourth. 

Monday morning laundry or coffee on the garden wall. 

You’re good cos you’re never boring, you should probably call me more.


DEAD FOX

Jen insists that we buy organic vegetables and I must admit that I was a little skeptical at first; a little pesticide can’t hurt?

Never having too much money I get the cheap stuff at the supermarket, but they’re all pumped up with shit, a friend told me that they stick nicotine in the apples. 

If you can’t see me I can’t see you. 

Heading down the Highway Hume somewhere at the end of June.

Taxidermied kangaroos are littered on the shoulders.

A possum Jackson Pollock is painted on the tar.

Sometimes I think a single sneeze could be the end of us, my hay-fever is turning up, just swerved into a passing truck.

Big business overtaking, without indicating; he passes on the right, been driving through the night to bring us the best price. 

If you can’t see me I can’t see you. 

More people die on the road than they do in the ocean, maybe we should mull over culling cars instead of sharks (or just lock them up in parks where we can go and view them).

There’s a bypass over Holbrook now, paid for with burgers no doubt, I’ve lost count of all the cows.

There’ll be no salad sandwiches. The law of averages says we’ll stop in the next town where petrol price is down (what do I know anyhow?) If you can’t see me I can’t see you. 


DEPRESTON

You said we should look out further, I guess it wouldn’t hurt us.

We don’t have to be around all these coffee shops.

Now we’ve got that percolator, never made a latte greater.

I’m saving twenty-three dollars a week. 

We drive to a house in Preston, we see police arresting a man with his hand in a bag.

How’s that for first impressions? This place seems depressing.

It’s a “Californian bungalow in a cul-de-sac”. 

It’s got a lovely garden, a garage for two cars to park in (“or a lot of room for storage if you’ve just got one”).

And it’s going pretty cheap you say? “Well it’s a deceased estate….aren’t the pressed metal ceilings great?” 

Then I see the handrails in the shower, a collection of those canisters for coffee, tea and flour, and a photo of a young man in a van in Vietnam.

 And I can’t think of floorboards anymore, whether the front room faces south or north, and I wonder what she bought it for. 

(If you’ve got a spare half a million, you should knock it down and start rebuilding)


ELEVATOR OPERATOR

Oliver Paul, twenty years old, thick head of hair worries he’s going bald.

Wakes up at a quarter past nine, fare evades his way down the 96 tram line.

Breakfast on the run again, he’s well aware he’s dropping soy linseed Vegemite crumbs everywhere. 

Feeling sick at the sight of his computer he dodges his way through the Swanston commuters.

Rips off his tie, hands it to a homeless man, sleeping in the corner of a Metro bus stand.

He screams “I’m not going to work today! Gonna count the minutes that the trains run late. Sit on the grass building pyramids out of Coke cans.” 

Headphone wielding to the Nicholas Building, he trips on a pothole that’s not been filled in.

He waits for an elevator, 1 to 9, a lady walks in and waits by his side.

Her heels are high and her bag is snakeskin.

Hair pulled so tight you can see her skeleton.

Vickers perfume on her breath, a tortoise-shell necklace between her breasts.

She looks him up and down with a Botox frown, he’s well used to that look by now. 

The elevator dings, and they awkwardly step in, their fingers touch on the rooftop button… “Don’t jump little boy, don’t jump off that roof, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you you’re still in your youth, I’d give anything to have skin like you!” 

He said, “I think you’re projecting, the way that you’re feeling, I’m not suicidal just idling insignificantly. I come up here, for perception and clarity, I like to imagine I’m playing Sim City. All the people look like ants from up here, and the wind’s the only traffic you can hear”

He said, “All I ever wanted to be was an Elevator Operator can you help me please?!” ... “Don’t jump little boy, don’t jump off that roof, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you you’re still in your youth, I’d give anything to have skin like you!”


HOW TO BOIL AN EGG

All my clothes in milk crates, I don't sleep for days.

Wait until the letter's red until my bills get paid.

Aw tell me, tell me, tell me, when's it gonna change?

Every morning I feel more useless than before.

Trying hard to see the point in anything at all.

Aw I've been trying, I've been trying really hard.

Pull yourself together.

Pick myself apart.

Nothing lasts for never so be still my bleeding heart.

Aw I've been dreaming, dreaming of a brand new start.

You have a great abundance of axes there to grind.

Remember some people have real problems next time you whine.

Oh hang the washing, hang the washing on the line.

Yeah I've been trying, I've been trying really hard.

Aw tell me, tell me, tell me when's it gonna change.


LANCE JR. 

I masturbated to the songs you wrote. 

Resuscitated all of my hopes. 

It felt wrong but it didn’t take too long. 

Much appreciated are your songs. 

Doesn’t mean I like you man. 

It just helps me get to sleep. 

And it’s cheaper than Temazepam. 

I under-estimated your intelligence.

A little bit of weed mixed with some sentiment. 

Over-rated films marked ‘XXX’ Come on play it with some tenderness.


NOBODY REALLY CARES IF YOU DON'T GO TO THE PARTY

You always get what you want and you don’t even try. 

Your friends hate it when it’s always going your way, but I’m glad that you’ve that got luck on your side. 

You’re saying definitely maybe. 

I’m saying probably no. 

You say you’ll sleep when you’re dead, I’m scared i’ll die in my sleep, I guess that’s not a bad way to go. 

I wanna go out but I wanna stay home. 

Why you so eager to please? I wear my heart on my sleeve. 

Gets harder in the winter, gotta be a fake or shiver, It takes a great deal out of me. 

Yes I like hearing your stories, but I’ve heard them all before. 

I’d rather stay in bed, with the rain over my head, than have to pick my brain up off of the floor. 

I wanna go out but I wanna stay home.


PEDESTRIAN AT BEST

I love you I hate you I’m on the fence it all depends whether I’m up I’m down I’m on the mend transcending all reality.

I like you despise you admire you what are we gonna do when everything all falls through?

I must confess I’ve made a mess of what should be a small success but I digress at least I’ve tried my very best I guess.

This that the other why even bother, it won’t be with me on my death bed, but I’ll still be in your head. 

Put me on a pedestal and I’ll only disappoint you.

Tell me I’m exceptional I promise to exploit you.

Give me all your money and I’ll make some origami, honey.

I think you’re a joke but I don’t find you very funny. 

My internal monologue is saturated analogue, It’s scratched and drifting, I’ve become attached to the idea it’s all a shifting dream bitter sweet philosophy, I’ve got no idea how I even got here.

I’m resentful I’m having an existential time crisis, what bliss, daylight savings won’t fix this mess.

Underworked and oversexed I must express my disinterest, the rats are back inside my head what would Freud have said? 

Put me on a pedestal and I’ll only disappoint you.

Tell me I’m exceptional I promise to exploit you.

Give me all your money and I’ll make some origami, honey.

I think you’re a joke but I don’t find you very funny. 

I wanna wash out my head with turpentine and cyanide, I dislike this internal diatribe when I try to catch your eye I hate seeing you crying in the kitchen I don’t know why it affects me like this when you’re not even mine to consider. 

Erroneous. 

Harmonious.

I’m hardly sanctimonious. 

Dirty clothes, I suppose, we all outgrow ourselves. 

I’m a fake, I’m a phoney, I’m awake, I’m alone, I’m homely, I’m a Scorpio. 

Put me on a pedestal and I’ll only disappoint you.

Tell me I’m exceptional I promise to exploit you.

Give me all your money and I’ll make some origami, honey.

I think you’re a joke but I don’t find you very funny. 


PORCELAIN

I found you at the store, pretty as porcelain. 

You are worth so much more, than what you’re going for. 

Don’t let them handle you, you better start praying. 

That ain’t no way to be, I got a colour TV. 

I’ll listen a thousand times, you can repeat yourself. 

If it helps clear your mind, it’s just another night.

Call me when you are done, I’ll count my tickets up. 

No need to feel so low, you’re just as low as you could go.


SMALL POPPIES

I stare at the lawn it’s Wednesday morning, it needs a cut but I’ll leave it growing.

All different sizes and all shades of green, slashing it down just seems kinda mean. 

In a way it’s a shame you get away thinking it’s just a game.

Who am I to deny myself a pawn for you to use? At the end of the day it’s a pain that I keep seeing your name but I’m sure it’s a bore being you. 

I don’t know quite who I am oh but man I am trying.

I make mistakes until I get it right.

An eye for an eye for an eye for an eye, I don’t agree with that why can’t we just talk nice? 

Oh the calamity I wanna go to sleep for an eternity…who am I to deny myself a pawn? 

Oh the humanity I wanna disappear into obscurity…but I’m sure it’s a bore being you. 

I don’t know quite who I am oh but man I am trying.

I make mistakes until I get it right.

An eye for an eye for an eye for an eye, I used to hate myself but now I think I’m alright. 

I don’t know quite who I am oh but man I am trying.

I make mistakes until I get it right.

An eye for an eye for an eye for an eye, I dreamed I stabbed you with a coat hanger wire.


AN ILLUSTRATION OF LONELINESS (SLEEPLESS IN NEW YORK)

I lay awake at four, staring at the wall, counting all the cracks backwards in my best French.

Reminds me of a book I skim read in a surgery, all about palmistry I wonder what’s in store for me.

I pretend the plaster is the skin on my palms and the cracks are representative of what is going on.

I lose a breath, my love line seems entwined with death (could be a spider web)…I’m thinking of you too. 

I lay awake at three, staring at the ceiling.

It’s a kind of off-white, maybe it’s a cream.

There’s oily residue seeping from the kitchen, it’s art-deco-necromantic-chic all the dinner plates are kitsch with Irish wolf-hounds, French baguettes wrapped loose around their necks, I think I’m hungry…I’m thinking of you too. 

I’m thinking of you too. I’m thinking of you too. I’m thinking of you. 

Wondering what you’re doing, what you’re listening to, which quarter of the moon you’re viewing from the bedroom.

Watching all the movies, drinking all the smoothies, swimming at the pool…I’m thinking of you too. 

I’m thinking of you too. 

I’m thinking of you too. 

I’m thinking of you too. 

I’m thinking of you too. 

I’m thinking of you.


ANONYMOUS CLUB

Let’s start an anonymous club, we can sit close in the dark. 

Come round to mine, we can swap clothes and drink wine all night. 

Turn your phone off friend, you’re amongst friends and we don’t need no interruptions. 

Leave your shoes at the door, along with your troubles. 

Let’s start an anonymous club, I’ll make us name badges with question marks. 

Come round to mine, we can swap clothes and drink wine all night. 

Turn your phone off friend, you’re amongst friends and we don’t need no interruptions. 

Leave your shoes at the door, along with your troubles. 

Thank you for cooking for me, I had a really nice evening, just you and me.


AQUA PROFONDA

I saw you in the lane next to me.

You were doing free-style.

Then you switched it around to a little bit of backstroke.

I couldn’t see underneath your swimming cap but it appeared that you had dark coloured hair; maybe it was blonde for all I know.

I had goggles on.

They were getting foggy.

I much prefer swimming to jogging. 

I tried my very best to impress you, held my breath longer than I normally do.

I was getting dizzy.

My hair was wet n frizzy.

Felt my muscles burn, I took a tumble-turn for the worse (it’s a curse my lack of athleticism).

Sunk like a stone.

Like a first owners home loan.

When I came to, you and your towel were gone.


BOXING DAY BLUES (REVISITED)

How was your day?

Mine was OK.

Worked my fingers down to the bone.

How about you, what did you do?

Spent my whole night dreaming of you.

Like a Christmas tree on Boxing Day: thrown away.

Why don't you feel for me anymore?

I'm feeling fine, except the times I'm not.

Why you so calm? I wanna shout.

I wanna rip my goddamn throat out.

Like a Christmas tree on Boxing Day: thrown away.

Why don't you feel for me anymore?

We're just like two icebergs in climate change: drifting away.

Why do you feel for me anyway?


DAVID

If you see me when I’m feeling down, I don’t know if I want you around. 

Don’t want you around…I don’t really like any of your friends, but it’s not that hard for me to pretend. 

Hard to pretend…Come on Davey, let’s go plant a tree.

You bring the spade, I’ll bring the seeds. I’ll bring the seeds…


DEBBIE DOWNER

Tell me when you’re getting bored and I’ll leave. 

I’m not the one who put the chain around your feet. 

I’m sorry for all of my insecurities, but it’s just part of me. 

Envy is thin because it bites but never eats. 

That’s what a nice old Spanish lady once told me. 

Hey Debbie Downer turn that frown upside down and just be happy. 

I don’t ask too much of you, it’s true, and I can’t read your mind. 

Don’t stop listening I’m not finished yet.

I’m not fishing for your compliments.

I’m growing older every time I blink my eyes. 

Boring, neurotic everything that I despise. 

We had some lows we had some mids we had some highs. 

Sell me all your golden rules and I’ll see if that’s the kind of person that I want to be. 

If I’m not happy I’ll be glad I kept receipts.

I won’t ask too much of you, I used to wonder what to wear. 

Don’t stop listening I’m not finished yet, I’m not fishing for your compliments.


DON'T APPLY COMPRESSION GENTLY

Tell me what you’re thinking, what you’re thinking about. 

Tell me when you’re finished maybe I’ll come around. 

Had enough to bring me all the way to the ground, I don’t have to tell you what I’m thinking about. 

You have made your bed, I know better than to sleep in it. 

Better off dead than the hell that will become of it. 

You have hurt my head but I’m not denying that I did not bring it on myself. 

I take pieces of myself from everyone around me. 

I’m not individual enough for you. 

I replicate the people I admire but at least I’m not bitter and sad. 

I may not be 100% happy but at least I’m not with you.


HISTORY ERASER

I got drunk and fell asleep atop the sheets but luckily i left the heater on. 

And in my dreams i wrote the best song that i’ve ever written…can’t remember how it goes. 

I stayed drunk and fell awake and i was cycling on a plane and far away i heard you say you liked me. 

We drifted to a party – cool.

The people went to arty school.

They made their paints by mixing acid wash and lemonade. 

In my brain I re-arrange the letters on the page to spell your name. 

I found an Ezra Pound and made a bet that if i found a cigarette i’d drop it all and marry you. 

Just then a song comes on: “you can’t always get what you want” – the Rolling Stones, oh woe is we, the irony!

The stones became the moss and once all inhibitions lost, the hipsters made a mission to the farm. 

We drove by tractor there, the yellow straw replaced our hair, we laced the dairy river with the cream of sweet vermouth. 

In my brain I re-arrange the letters on the page to spell your name. 

You said “we only live once” so we touched a little tongue, and instantly i wanted to…I lost my train of thought and jumped aboard the Epping as the doors were slowly closing on the world. 

I touched on and off and rubbed my arm up against yours and still the inspector inspected me. 

The lady in the roof was living proof that nothing really ever is exactly as it seems. 

In my brain I re-arrange the letters on the page to spell your name. 

We caught the river boat downstream and ended up beside a team of angry footballers. 

I fed the ducks some krill then we were sucked against our will into the welcome doors of the casino. 

We drank green margaritas, danced with sweet senoritas, and we all went home as winners of a kind. 

You said “i guarantee we’ll have more fun, drink till the moon becomes the sun, and in the taxi home i’ll sing you a Triffids song!” 

In my brain I re-arrange the letters on the page to spell your name.


KIM'S CARAVAN

Watermarks on the ceiling. 

I can see Jesus and he’s frowning at me. 

I see a dead seal on the beach. 

The old man says he’s “already saved it three times this week. Guess it just wants to die? 

I would wanna die too (he said) "With people putting oil into my air but to be fair I’ve done my share guess everybody’s got their different point of view.” 

I was driving down sun set strip (Phillip Island, not Los Angeles) Got me some hot chips and a cool drink, took a sandy seat on the shore. 

There’s a paper on the ground, it makes my headache quite profound as I read it out aloud (It said) “The Great Barrier Reef it ain’t so great anymore, It’s been raped beyond belief, the dredgers treat it like a whore.” 

Drank till I was sinking, sank till I was thinking, that I’m thankful for this view. 

Drank till I was sinking, sank till I was thinking, that I’m thankful for this view. 

We either think that we’re invincible or that we are invisible but realistically we’re somewhere in between. 

We all think that we are nobody but everybody is somebody else’s somebody. 

Don’t ask me what I really mean, I am just a reflection of what you really wanna see so take what you want from me. 

So take what you want from me. 

So take what you want from me. 

So take what you want from me. 

So take what you want from me. 

Satellites on the ceiling, I can Jesus and she’s smiling at me. 

All I wanna say is…


ODE TO ODETTA

I sing high, you sing low. 

I swing by, and you’re not home. 

Oh, oh, O-detta won’t you come home. 

I sing plain, you sing pretty. 

Everything you say sounds easy. 

Oh, oh, O-detta won’t you come home.


OUT OF THE WOODWORK

I was busy underwater seeing how long I could hold my breath. 

A drowning flower caught my eye and I had to come on up for air. 

Just because you’re older than me, doesn’t mean you have to be so condescending. 

I still see the same things that you see, I’m a little shady on my history. 

I am normally pretty forgiving but only if you are. 

She’s so easy. 

I noticed you stopped talking to me, now you’re talking to me all the time. 

Do you know you’re no good at listening?

But you’re really good at saying everything on your mind. 

It must be tiring trying so hard, to look like you’re not really trying at all. 

I guess if you’re afraid of aiming too high, then you’re not really gonna have too far to fall. 

I am normally pretty forgiving but only if you are. 

She’s so easy. 

Climb aboard the wagon when it comes on through. 

Jump up on your horse and tell me how’s the view. 

Look over my shoulder when I talk to you. 

Where’s the more important person in the room?


PICKLES FROM THE JAR

I say dance, you say dance. 

I say France, you say France. 

You’re from Adelaide, I’m from Hobart. 

I say Hugh, you say Grant. 

I say pot, you say plant. 

You’re from Adelaide, I’m from Hobart. 

We couldn’t be more contrary if we tried. 

Oh, chalk and cheese, we rarely see eye to eye. 

I am dumb, you are smart. 

We are fifteen years apart. 

You’re from Adelaide, I’m from Mars. 

I say ooh, you say aah. 

I am careful, you like scars. 

I like pickles from the jar. 

We couldn’t be more contrary if we tried. 

Oh, chalk and cheese, we rarely see eye to eye. 

I say You, you say Am I. 

You like mornings, I like nights. 

I’ll love you till the day I die. 

You say Christopher, I say Walken. 

You love, I love Christopher Walken!!! 

I guess at least we have got one thing in common.


SCOTTY SAYS

In my wallet is a photo of you. 

The day we split I ripped it in two. 

Stuck it back together with glue. 

Tear my posters down from the wall. 

Don’t wanna worship no dead heroes. 

Everything I owned I sold. 

I got lost somewhere between here and there, I’m not sure what the town was called. 

In my pocket is a bottle of blue. 

Drink it when I’m feeling misconstrued. 

Don’t like the taste but I like the overview. 

I made a lot of money in my days. 

Spent it all on the current craze. 

I don’t see no need to save. 

I got lost somewhere between here and there, I’m not sure what the town was called.


THREE PACKS A DAY

I'm down to three packs a day of Mi Goreng I can't explain it.

Can't wait for you to go away cos i just crave that meagre taste yeah.

Boil it up, water in the saucepan.

In a cup, drink it from a silver spoon.

That MSG tastes good to me, i disagree with all your warnings.

And it can't be true that they use glue to keep the noodles stuck together.

Two minutes seems like a life-time.

Burn my tongue, patience is a virtue.

I'm down to three packs a day,

I sneak away to find a kettle.

I withdraw from all my friends and their dinner plans, I'm sick of lentils.

Boil it up, water in the saucepan.

In a cup, drink it from a silver spoon.

It's no good, it's no good, you say it's no good for you.