MUSEUM OF HOLOGRAMS AND O-
…“What’s with the ‘O’?” asks Stanley.
“Who knows? Same old story. Money, time, an ambition prematurely interrupted. Please don’t let the lack of polish put you off. There’s little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous. And if you’ll follow me, I have something rather special to show you.”
As a man newly in touch with his cultural invisibility, Stanley figures he has little to lose. So he nods and follows…
... And were it not for his dutiful cane, Stanley would have been brought to his knees. Shimmering holograms in emerald green. Holograms of dragonflies with meshlike eyes. Holograms of feathery moths and grayling brush-footed butterflies. Holograms of squealing mosquitos, proboscises swaying, chasing sweat and blood and tears, with hexagonal eyes, compound eyes, that can focus only a few millimeters, but those few millimetres rendered in telescopic clarity. And in the centre of the room, holograms of whirling coins, spinning on serrated edges, spinning atop an encyclopaedic book, the kind that would be a weighty tome were it not made of interrupted laser light. And upon the spine of the book, in a baroque serif font: MONEY IS BARREN…
Not All Treasure is Silver and Gold, Mate…, West Space, 2015.
I asked her if she had a favourite perfume and she replied “Chance, by Chanel.”
When Josie was a boy, and drought was cracking the surface of the land, Josie’s mother would save precious rainwater so they could wash their hair together. Josie’s mother knew how sensitive her son was, but she thought he would toughen up as he grew, so she turned a blind eye to his girlish charades, and she stayed silent as he raided her cast-off stockings, though she couldn’t help pursing her lips a little. Most of all, Josie’s mother hoped that her tender son would grow up to be just like her brothers, who she had doted on, and she prayed he would not take after his father. She certainly admired her husband for his faithfulness, but she feared his temper. She paled when he bullied his children, when he mocked her desires for smart clothes and a fashionable house, or when he beat his sons with flashes of the kill instinct that had served him better in the coastal battles of New Guinea.
By the time Josie had grown to be a lanky young man, the Vietnam War was in full swing. As she waited to hear if the military lottery would summon her to serve her country, she was seized by restlessness. Inspired by the beat novelists she adored, Josie hit the road. She headed north in a second-hand bread van, belonging to a crew of boys who happily made space for her and her beloved typewriter, and who let her brood in silence, which they assumed was the prerogative of a young, self-proclaimed writer…
You Can’t Quite Pin It Down, TBC, 2013.
On my walk last night, I knelt beside a lake, helping Z call to eels and turtles, but none appeared. A thick algae has overtaken the water and a dented sign warns that the lake is now toxic to humans and animals.
Z threw stones and dirt into the water hoping for a ‘plop’ but the water was so thick that only the largest stone made a noise. The rest settled gently into the layers of algae, barely rippling the surface.
A new bamboo railing had been installed around the garden beds, so Z had to wriggle like a slug to grab at sticks and leaves. He decided some were rubbish and rushed off to drop them in a bin. But others (with no logic I could comprehend) were judged special, and he held them out to a young swan, who he has watched grow from cygnet-hood, yelling ‘EAT! EAT!”
The swan was curious at first, and snapped at the sticks and our fingers, but she soon realised there was nothing nutritious on offer and swam angrily away. Z kept yelling “EAT!! EAT!!”, furious his bark gifts had been rejected. The swan was undeterred and paddled off to antagonise a glossy waterhen who had been feeding happily on a patch of toxic weeds.
Christopher L G Hill: Problem Poem, Conical, 2012
DOUBLE OR NOTHIN’
Rover and Mary were not natural friends. She called him Caveman, and not with endearment. He found her bossy, and was irritated by her failure to be swayed by his aesthetic charms. Indeed, her reaction, or I guess, lack of reaction, disturbed Rover at his core, so embedded was he in his face as his fortune...
Of course, Rover’s power emanated, first and foremost, from the value that society placed upon his uncanny physical likeness. However, it was his skill at mimicry, and his cultivated egotism, that elevated mere visual semblance to a performance worthy of accolades and dollar bills. Me, I’m dishonest, and a dishonest man you can always trust – to be dishonest!
But right now, as Rover drifts towards his rendezvous with Mary, he is not in his comfort zone. He’s never stepped inside an art fair. He expected flamboyance and hedonism, brats and sycophants. He’d imagined trading stinging witticisms over free champagne and loose cash...
Not All Treasure is Silver and Gold, Mate…, West Space, 2015.
One of the twins was wrapped top-to-toe
+ iPad casing in transitional, pre-Fall Chanel;
a monogrammed collage in alphabetic beige.
The other twin wore neon neoprene
and a cap embroidered with
I tried to catch their eye(s)
but they were too busy admiring
instagram details of their stall.
A scent-rich woman approached
with fuchsia lips and clouded cerulean eyes.
“You cannot purchase here,” she growled
in a vermouth baritone, “your money is
She flipped open a folio benchmarking
cleanliness: glittering titanium cards,
rainbow-hued holograms, salmon-dip-dyed greenbacks.
Minerva, Spring 1883, Melbourne, August 2014.
FLY BIRDY FLY
From the moment the plane’s doors were closed and bolted, the air re-conditioning system sucked moisture from the passengers’ pores, leaving behind a trace dust of skin flakes that had thickened over the hours to an ashen powder. Rover watched pale flurries burst into the air as the woman next to him scratched at expanses of exposed flesh. He poured the last drops from his pre-mix can into a faux low-ball, then rubbed at his stubbled jaw in a self-aware fashion, mindful that given the public setting, some sort of audience might be appraising him, and hopefully sexually…
...Romy’s prattling has sapped Rover’s thin patience. He yawns theatrically, with excess vocalisation and malicious intent. Rover relishes wielding his professional skills in private situations. He is the kind of low-grade thespian who takes pleasure toying with intimates and vulnerable strangers alike, whipping overbearing openness with ridicule, or subjecting wholesome preaching to abject humiliation. But on this occasion, Rover’s emotive capacity has been dulled by the confines of the cabin, and Romy is unflappable. With a wheezing harmonic punctuating her conspiratorial pitch, she clutches at Rover’s forearm. ‘It seems to be a game, a kind of pick’n’mix [wheeze]. Or a mix’n’match. They used to be pretty subtle [wheeze], almost imperceptible, but they’re getting reckless [wheeze]. It’s like they’re trying to send a message to their followers [wheeze], a rallying call -’…
3-ply presents TRANSIT LOUNGE,
Reading Room, Nothing Beside Remains,
Gertrude Contemporary, 31 July 2014