Archive for the 'Prose' Category



One… two… who knows how many.

I take a breath.  Eight p.m.  Feels like my first breath of the day.
I try to think of nothing.  That’s hopeless.
I take another breath; think of him instead.  Choosing it deliberately feels like a small victory – instead of the thoughts sneaking up on me, slapping me in the face, overwhelming me like a cold dumping wave.


His body hard against mine, shivering in the southern ocean.  Laying my head against his shoulder, legs out behind me – floating seaweed, suddenly wrapped around a rock.
Aware of wanting to drift with the current, not strangle him, not cling.
He is shivering, and every motherly part of me, warm, insulated as women are, wishes I could pass on my heat to him.

Another breath.  The crickets sing.  Dusk brings a chill through the window.

I think of being naked.  Wrapped in a towel, watching him in the mirror; learning the post-shower routine of another someone new.
I dry from the ankles up.  He’s already half-dressed, and I catch myself staring a moment before he does.   His eyes ask of me the same question my mind keeps singing.  How did these worlds collide?

The closest crickets stop, though I hear more in the distance.  I wonder how long before the cold brings months of silence.

An ocean, the river, a shower.  Have we kissed in the rain?  Surely… but I can’t recall.

Night breathes closer, and I find myself wishing for a storm.


Need New Socks

Coughing up my creativity tonight, I feel pulled between places where my heart lies. Drawn to my music into a world of UTAS, paperwork in the pillions piles in my brain, always the nagging feeling that I’ve forgotten something, some sheet I didn’t sign, some unit code written incorrectly. Caught up in the confusion of conclusive cadences and not understanding why anyone but musical archaeologists would want to know about figured bass, I now and then forget the feeling rising up like the gorge in my throat to overwhelm me, that painfully good feeling that the music gives me, soles of my feet telling the earth, guts rising out through my voice. Coming close to sinking, swamped in someone else’s supposedly definitive music theories, my brain swings wildly the other way. Suddenly reckless I follow my pyrate friend to the pub and laugh and drink and steal his hat, but the music’s not grabbing me. I should be studying. Boy clicks his proverbial tongue but is happy to drink with me. I love him – sometimes it feels stable.

They say the first week is hectic but I’ve been here four weeks now and am in no less of a mess. Seems my enrolment changes every three days, Scummylink are hassling me, new job, new songs, moving in two weeks, and of course I am falling behind. What a time to have made a billion new friends who want to take me out drinking. What a time to have songs pushing at me from noisy potholes in my mind. What bad timing to discover deadly beautiful new bands who want to take me out dancing. I close my eyes and my brain doesn’t know where to look – wait, have I forgotten something again? Where are my keys? I thought I had more money this morning!

Late nights always felt so good; early mornings not so much. Gotta drag myself out of bed. Bad time to be falling in love. As I said, bad time to be loving new music. More hours in the day, kplzthx! The internet is confusing, how to make it my tool but not fall into the traps. Popular opinion on MySpace changes from day to day, sometimes it’s cool and sometimes not. I find it rather like a badly put-together Lego structure. I leave and follow my nose, my eyes get me distracted though and in trouble as bookshops are dangerous places. Painful reminder, photography, bitingly beautiful books. One passion put on hold to follow another dream. So many ideas, so little iMinutes. Finally the opportunities and the intelligence are mine, but I know what I wanna do, what I wanna pay ridiculous fees to be Educated Highly on. I Do know what I wanna do. I DO know what I wanna do. I do? Married to my music, god yes I’m in love, but the last girl was less high-maintenance… Photography bites its lip and goes to sit on the shelf. I buy something that makes me feel cold, a novel on the sale table. Ten bucks for the pleasure of owning someone’s words on paper with a pretty picture on the front. Dangerous places, bookshops. Three days later I get a chance to procrastinate a little by poking into the preliminary pages, and poetry taps me on the shoulder. Fuck. It’s like telling one lover you can’t go to their kick-arse show because someone you like better wants you to pay stupid cash for learning the most boring bits about them. Writing sits next to photography, shouting obscene, inspiring things at me from the corner. More distracting than the hole in my goddamnit I need new socks.

The beauty of inappropriate semicolons.

The evening sun falls gold between the shadows of the trees.  Their elegant fingers across the grass.  If I had the arms and legs of a frog; I would cartwheel between them, dipping my hands in light, fingers tipped with shadow.  Delight… if I were a hundred metres taller; I would reach up and twirl the cotton clouds between my fingers, fingerpaint my body in cool blue.  If I were light as oil I would lay upon the surface of the seas, ripple as they rippled… I would let her touch my skin, one finger from across the world, joined by another, no words needed.  Smudge my paint.  Smear the sky across me.  Teach me how to feel the wind, and don’t ever let me forget.  I’ll teach you how to sing and how to live within your own company, until we are both messy and the colour of the sky.

Smudge my paint.


Night; we trickle in from varied paths, out of the dark into the hall. Murmurs. Laughter. We are here with a purpose; we are here to make music.

It is casual, but not without a tension, an energy. A hidden eagerness to begin. To put out our everything. I am new. I stand at the edge, determined to do my best. This is to be my initiation.

We gather around he, our heart. Our beat. He gifts us with courage. We lift each other up, away from our weariness, to that somehow-energy that comes strongest for the very tired.

A storytelling, a teaching. We learn, we repeat, we memorise, we polish. His fingers pound for us on timeless keys the chords, the remembrance and the forgettance. The music deepens; we have found the groove. The dance swells below our voices. It rises, it covers us, we project it, we have found that place as the song raises to a climax.

We lay ourselves bare. We speak with angels.

“This, long ago, is what was called Church. They found it in the fields. They found it in the street. They sung it out from the deepest part of themselves. We are a reincarnation of their joy, and empathy for their suffering. Hold Church wherever you sing, whatever you believe.”

Silence as the song ends. Inaudible heartbeats become tangible feeling. They ring through the room.

Am I the same person leaving through these doors as when I entered them? There is something new inside me. Something awakened. I have been restless for too long; now home has come to me.

I have found Church.

Night; we trickle in from varied paths, out of the dark into the hall. Murmurs. Laughter. We are here with a purpose; we are here for a feeling. We are here for our Tribe. You are my kin; you, and you. We are sin; we find ourselves clean tonight.

March ’07

Animal in the road

Animal stand in the middle of the road.  Animal growl.  Animal sense.  Animal smell.  Hardroad.  Hard to get out.
Animal feel eyes on him; them, they.  They in cars, either side, both directions, all looking at he.  He, animal, trapped here, no way out.  Hackles rise.  Teeth show.  Claws extend, but nowhere to go.
They look and gawk; he stare.  Sees the sky.  Feels the pull.  Wildcall – from one who knows his name.  
Still rushingwhooshing they go.  Past him.  Looking but not seeing.  Them in machines.  Machine – he knows machine.  Feels to be one.  Some days.
Again heat, again pull, again sky.  Whichway?  He asks.  Wherego?  Either side, same danger.  But freedom.  Possibility of freedom.
Mustchoose.  Muscles gather.  Hair prickles.  Choice made.  Leap into nomore.  Gone – but taking them with me.
Animal end.

February ’07

Under The Rain

She stood in the garden, her eyes blazing as she stared at me.  I couldn’t see what she was so empassioned about.  It was hidden in that proud, tossing head.  She was eating plums – ripe, red plums, imperfect, blemished, but full of giddying juices.

She was giddying.

Barefoot.  Oversized green satin nightshirt.  Wild green eyes and long, random hair.  Standing under the rain, pouring itself onto her head, dripping off her nose, painting her makeshift dress darker, where it was not already stained with ink and plum.  I’d never seen weather so silver and gold.  The rain sang off every leaf and branch and stone, trickled in streams from the edges of the roof, the sun spilling its answer of liquid gold across the paths, dancing through the foliage, melting over the pine bark on the ground.  We stood in the garden and I watched her live among it all.  Watched with love the way she shone.  She sucked at the plum between her teeth with her tongue and stepped her way towards the house.  She walked a dance.  She spoke in songs.  Not singing now; only acknowledging my existence by her generosity in not disappearing into the shining air in a shower of droplets, as I knew she wanted to, and most probably could.

I was grateful to see.

February ’07

Utah and Ani – Part One

“Laws.  The good people don’t need em and the bad people don’t follow em, so what are they good for?”

There’s a certain feeling downtown today, like something’s going to change.  Everyone’s trying to act normal, trying to talk at a normal pace, but failing miserably, or rather, failing excitably.  Their voices either come across as slightly hushed under all that pressure, or overly loud, sort of enthusiastically calm.  This is a small town, with a big pot boiling in the back room.  A really fucking big pot.

“swingin’ their scrotums through the underbrushes”

…the pressure is nearly too much, as they walk side by side through the supermarket.  The air-conditioned environment is slightly chilled, but between them the air sparks with heat, electricity, the almost tangible feelings of desire.  It’s nearly too much – but not quite.  They both know it – he’s almost afraid the people around them can smell it in the air.  They stand in the line.  She rubs her breasts lightly against his arm as she turns around, and smiles a small smile.

“You love this country.  You know you love this country.”

Sweat makes its way over lines, dirt and stubble as he leans into the sunlight.  It’s hard, it’s hot, but this way is the only way.  He won’t walk any other way.  He curses the flies, flicking at them with a hand that’s seen more rocks than washbasins, but even they make up the integrated story that is this journey, his life, his whole dirty, sweat-stained past.  If words were actions he’d have blasted and fucked just about everything in the landscape, but that’s how much he loves it.  Despite the swearing.  Or because of.


This kid spends his time scraping his nails gently over his palms.  This kid watches the glint of the other boys’ marbles as they crash off each other and send dirt into the air.  This kid is thinking something over, thinking hard.  This kid wants to know, not who to tell, but how?  And why?  This kid feels that both inaction and action would be the wrong choice.  This kid may not understand as much as your average grown-ups, but he knows a bit more.  Just a little bit more.

“drummin’ ”

Hips sway to the bass beats, green skirt jumps and twirls around bare legs.  She’s got this smile, eyes closed, like her and the music share this joke that no one else can know.  Like she’s got a promise made to her that can never be broken, a promise of whatever it is she’s wanted most all her sweet little life.  Towards her come grins and compliments, offers of beer and pot and hands to dance with.  She denies two for fear of danger, accepts the most dangerous anyway.  Today she wishes she had the promise of forgetting.  

“You know that name?”

They look at each other with surprise and then back to the toothless grin occupying the face of the man on the corner, offering his philosophies from an oddly clean hand that spends its time carrying around plastic bags.  She opens her mouth hesitantly to try and force some politeness through the surprise, but her husband’s feet are still moving and hers follow, always taught by example to just move on, avert whatever eyes you might be fortunate enough to have.  The old man has none of her surprise.  On the occasion that a pure-minded teenager listened, offered a fleeting friendship, the old man spat and swore and shouted, seeing the sympathy he so hated instead of the open heart he unknowingly sealed up with shock.  He forgot that day and believes himself friendly, and will do so until the next time someone dares to give a shit.

“You know what I’m talkin’ about?”

They call it living a lie, sometimes; but this one is a living lie.  Following music he doesn’t understand, living in a house he thinks he built with his own hands, but he bought it off the builders barely two years ago.  He even has the blueprints.  The music echoes up the clean-ish stairs to the empty bed.  He sits downstairs in the leather couch with a glass of red, reading a book.  He realises somehow over a slow period of four seconds that he’s only looking at the reflection of the lamp on the shiny page.  He blinks and looks up – Elvis is standing there in blue jeans and a plain black shirt.  “I’m not dead,” he says.  “You need to stop pretending now.”  Then he’s gone.

“No matter how New Age you get, old age gonna kick your ass!”

January ’07
Written based on the quotes – from “The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere” by Ani DiFranco and Utah Phillips


This blog is the collection of my poetry and prose, in chronological order from most recent to oldest.

Constructive critique is actively encouraged!

I am usually singing words as well as writing them, and make lots of other art. You can find me & my other art at any of the below links. x





All content on this blog © Rebecca Tilley, 2003-present