Salome Starfire

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What is the temperature today?

Well it was horribly hot today and like most hot days in Brisbane it is inevitable that I start hallucinating. It is the temperature of nostalgia and escape and tears. Today is the temperature of guitars being played from elsewhere. Today is the temperature of uncertain smiles and vulnerable men. Today men will cry and women will watch them.  Today is the temperature of struggling action and malarial dreaming. Today is the suggestion of something else.

The dragonflies have become miniature helicopters on missions that are completely divorced from my own world. The crows have started collecting information about the people on the ground and then doing surveillance scopes over the houses. There is music but I cannot detect the source. It comes from the crappy plastic fan blowing warm air upon my face, my breath, the crickets, the insects like sticky boiled lollies hanging from brown grass stems. Included in this vista is the sound of the neighbourhood dog barking and growling uninterrupted from the neighbours who live in a bubble cloud of middle-class stupor. There are conversations from people nearby and birds tweeting, chirping, cawing, mawing, all over the sky. The traffic is jammed in the sky around 6.30pm every night.

I think of and X-partner and his brand new sparkling partner on a boat. Complete with music and child.  I think of friends that I no longer have buying land named after themselves. I think of all the drugs. I no longer have. I think of the friends who rarely ask after me and not at all and wonder if they still have great breasts and even better success with their art. I think of boyfriends of friends who are so far off my radar that a close shave isn’t possible. I think of characters modelled on funny British sitcoms who continue being played out. I think of friends being attacked by nature in lands patrolled by scary dykes. I think of boys I’ve lied to because they were liars. I was thinking about the lost cats today and whether they get found, and all the art that never gets seen but stays in people’s houses before they leave brisbane.  I thought today about slender women and how they glide through the heat like knives through butter. I thought about those women who men finally realise in their presence that they love. They must be very beautiful. Men who had no hope or chance of saying so are finally able to say it. I couldn’t help but think about all the wasted shaved legs and pining hours. I think of all the sayings, the wordplays, the references that are of no use now because they were in the context of  relationship that is no longer. Where do these words go? Can they have a grave? Far better a grave to the memories and ideas and words that to bodies, surely? Oh…I guess that’s what I do with my music.

I thought about the diets and the days I wanted to sleep away. I thought of this strange land I’m in. The trees that break into a sweat. Love that is in the ocean but not in the fishbowl.  Thank goodness I smashed that fishbowl and thank goodness a seahorse caught my heart.

The fake tanned girls with racism on their lips. The men who decide who is visible, who is invisible. The women who decide who to be jealous of, who to pity.

I type as the sky darkens and no lights are on in the house except the laptop light. That deception of colour in the sky, the cool wash of blue and the breeze that calls up the spirits of my past. The cheap chimes on the verandah, the sound of helicopters in the sky. The trees become animated, finally the heat subsides enough for me to write without sweating on the keyboard.


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