Naked and spectacular

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A Lucid Failure

This is the text of a performance I gave at the 2015 Melbourne Fringe Festival.  I was intending to produce a play called Lucid, but I failed and instead performed this monologue.  You can also listen to an audio recording of the final performance.

[I enter in smart-casual attire.]


Today I stand before you weak.  But I am not ashamed.  I have been strong before, I remember what it feels like.  I know how to get back there.  But right now I am weak, clothed, civilised.  I have no gifts, no riches, no joy or inspiration to offer you at this moment.  I offer you only a taste of my despair and desolation; my story.

You came here tonight to see something I was unable to deliver.  But perhaps my failure is as worthy of your attention as my success may have been.  You may have come for entertainment; and if so, I apologise.  You may have come for nudity and scandalous displays of humanity, and in this I will do my best.

I have come here tonight to stand before you fully naked, because I think the human body is a work of intense beauty, and that gentleness, vulnerability and honesty are the most powerful ways we can interact.

I wrote an intimate and challenging play, intending to assemble a team to rehearse my convoluted play until we could perfectly replicate it on cue, but I failed.  I wanted to present vulnerability and intense presence in an entirely contrived and artificial form; and I know, it sometimes works, I have seen some great theatre.  But instead, all I can offer you is the real thing.

I'm sorry, I'm just a person.  I'm not a character, I'm not a metaphor.  I am an immense and ancient entity in a delicate physical body.  I can dress for the occasion but nothing prepares me for the world like being totally naked.


Skyscrapers of bullshit

I dare you to challenge me in my intensity.  I dare you to penetrate my intensity with your reality.  I'm not talking about an aggressively emphatic positivity or cynicism or sophistication, I'm talking about the shamelessly awkward and the painfully beautiful and the mystery.

Cos I can do bullshit, I've done bullshit.  It takes a lot of energy but when it works it is wonderful.  But I can never sustain it.  My physical body communicates loudly and clearly with my bullshit body and consistently undermines my illusions.  My physical body is a living aspect of this living world and it flows and cycles with the rhythms of nature. 

I guess sometimes I'm in dream or in entheogenesis or between incarnate lifetimes and - who knows - maybe there I can project realities out into the world, but here I am on Earth, channelling soil and water and air as food through my metabolism, channelling the same food as all the other creatures in this world.

Yes, I live in this contrived world called City, but I'm not confident of its absolutism.  I'm not sure its existence is acknowledged throughout my entire body or throughout the rest of nature.  Are you real, City?  Or perhaps a more pertinent question, can I believe in you sufficiently?  At least sufficiently to participate, to belong, to have a career maybe?  Is it possible to believe that much?  Is it possible to defy what my body communicates in order to participate, to be a part of things? 

The real world calls out to me and my body yearns to dance barefoot on the naked earth and dive into cold rivers early in the morning and to make love under the midday sun until our bums are burned red.  But I am told the city is where it's all happening.  This is where history is unfolding and the future will be made.  This is where the hopeful and the hopeless people have congregated and where they pool their hope and hopelessness, trying to find some revolution or long-term relationship.  I guess this is where it's easiest to project our majestic and pathetic fantasies onto reality.

So why did I come here to City?  To create a beautiful fantasy of bullshit that I can not only believe in but live in?  Or to destroy illusion, break down my own rural bullshit, use the gifts of my primitivism to undermine your urban bullshit of media, entertainment, enforced civility and sterility.

Can we discover each other beyond the divide of our idiosyncratic unrealities?  Surely we're really here, manifest in the same tangible reality.  Can we touch each other in this reality?  Can we trust each other?  Are we brave enough to reveal the nakedness of our undeniably warm fleshy vulnerable bodies?

I don't know what happened.  I was disappointed, I was disillusioned, I was confronted.  I'm afraid my bullshit was penetrated by people with whom I shared trust and whose trust I betrayed.  And now I stand naked and alone, despite my friends and the real love we share, despite these absurd fabrics hanging off my body, despite this blessed opportunity to address you beautiful, gentle and intelligent people.

I don't know whether I'm trapped now in my own bubble of unreality or whether I'm wandering illicitly in the wilderness.  I'm searching for an oasis in the desert, I'm ready for a ray of sunlight to break through the dense foliage, or to come across a warm hut in the dark night, or a body whose scent reassures me and I can breathe in peace for a moment knowing that no fantasy is necessary to sustain a human embrace.



I used to be free.

I guess that doesn't sound remarkable. We're all free, right?

Apart from being wage-slaves, debt-slaves, rent-slaves, apart from the violent and coercive state enforcing its arbitrary laws regardless of our consent, apart from generations of trauma making us terrified of each other, terrified of our own bodies and most terrified of all of being powerful and free.

So, what if that fear were to disappear, would we then be free, or more free? No. Not theoretically at all. Only in practice. It is utterly meaningless unless it is in practice.

What is freedom in our culture? A furniture store. A word abused by the Bush regime to justify imperialistic violence. Not slavery. A feeling of exhilaration and excitement. Ability to travel easily.

Janis Joplin said, “Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.”

And I was free. I had no home. I had no money. I was young and wandering around the stolen continent.

I didn't need money.  I slept outside.  I made friends easily, they invited me into their homes. I always brought food with me to share; dumpster-dived, shop-lifted; rich, healthy, expensive food in abundance for everyone.

You should've seen my body.  I was toned, slim, lithe and strong. I was brown all over from always being naked and my hair was bleached by the sun and swept back by the salty ocean breeze.

I was fiercely intelligent and my thoughts were uncluttered, clear and focussed, communicative. I was intensely present, I fell in love easily and felt everything profoundly and momentarily.

I had nothing but the pack on my back. I had everything I needed and I took what I needed with skill and confidence. I was not careless, I placed respect where respect was due.

As I said, I was free.

What happened? How did I become a clothed and respectable man, with a smart phone and a tram card, my feet sweating in shoes all day, supporting multi-national corporations?

Why am I living in the city, where freedom is at best naïve, at worst a cynical tool of political manipulation?

Why did I give up my values?

The life I was living previously maybe wasn't as free as the one I just described, but it was free enough. I was living on a farm in far-north Aotearoa, atop a hill overlooking the ocean, the harbour and the sandhills across the harbour. I had my own house right by the bush, living with an elderly couple, dogs, pigs, chickens and horses, as well as many wild birds, possums, hedgehogs, rabbits and rats. I didn't pay rent, but helped out around the property.  I could collect food from the ocean, tend the garden and gather from the local fruit trees. I could swim naked, I could invite friends to visit and I could come and go as I pleased. I could hitchhike everywhere easily and in this way meet the locals.  I could write in peace, but didn't, friends wouldn't visit often enough, and I would have love affairs with unwilling German teenage wwoofers. I had all the time in the world to entertain and educate myself with all the cinema, literature and pornography I wanted. I was pretty much free, though unbearably lonely and bored.

But wasn't this the life we were all dreaming of and talking about on the road when we were truly free? When we were wandering around, homeless and empty-handed, always together and always following the sun, weren't we talking about getting our own land; a garden, a supportive local community, clean, stable and predictable? Isn't that what we all wanted?

So, I had an opportunity, I pursued it and I lived that life. I invited others to join me. Some people would stay a week, some longer, but mostly people would say they were coming and never come.

Maybe I should have stayed out there on the road, on the beach, and of course I would be up in far-north Queensland right now, following the sun and my fellow sexy vagabonds. I would find some beauty and I would pursue that beauty. Someone who will let me fall in love with him, someone who will selflessly offer me the opportunity to give him all my love and all the gifts of my love and will accept them graciously.

Actually, that's what happened. Up in far-north Queensland I fell in love with a wildman, a Brazilian, a qualified psychologist interested in the I Ching and the Mayan Calendar. He was my equal, we were born on the same day, one year apart, with only the South Pacific Ocean between our baby bodies. We met at a tribal anarchist freedom gathering in the wilderness and were startled to discover each other, we travelled together for one month and though the separation was painful, our time together was complete and totally satisfying.

You should've seen me, naked and free, living my values instead of just talking about them like we all do now.

I followed my friends' invitation to live with them in a house near Nimbin for a few months. A friend came to visit and brought some other men with him. One of them was just 18 years old, I was 27, and I saw something in him that moved me deeply. I saw, within a scared, slumped and mousy exterior, a being of beauty and luminosity, a huge heart, a latent absorbent intelligence, a young body of infinite potential. And most of all, he had come. He had abandoned his life in Melbourne to come to Nimbin and whether he knew it or not he had come to my house and looked into my eyes and begged me to set him free.

And thus, my life had focus and I had the freedom of something to give. The world was making demands of me that I was precisely and joyously able to fulfil.

I am sick of apologising for my love. I am sick of cowards whose eyes beg me to liberate them with the revolutionary and chaotic impact of my love and who are then too scared to engage with me, who pull back in fear at the moment where they lose control or feel something real.

This one wasn't afraid of me, he wasn't afraid of life. He was nothing and nobody, a blank slate, he was open, he was engaged, he was ignorant, credulous and willing to learn. He was willing to be transformed, he was willing to be shaped. He was free in a way you don't have any concept of.

And I was in love with him. And I had something that he thought was valuable. And I was totally willing to give him everything.

We lived together in a remote valley with 100 people for a month where it was warm all day and night. Most people preferred to wear clothes most of the time, but he and I were perpetually naked, free to be human, to sleep outside curled up together, to make love beside the fire and to dance. We danced like my ancestors haven't danced in thousands of years.

I'm often overwhelmed with the beauty in this world, but nothing and no one compares in the living memory of my huge, hot, blood-pumping heart than the beauty of that man at that moment at that gathering, leaping around naked, in love with every little window of opportunity, his body channelling such incomprehensible beauty that I perceived rays of light emanating from every pore on the surface of his skin.

You should have seen us dance.

Why was he able to dance with such delicacy and elegance?

Because he was given the opportunity, the environment allowed it. Not only did we enter a space where nature accepted and welcomed us, but we accepted and welcomed each other. We created a temporary family of 100 lost souls and we expressed ourselves cos we felt safe to do so. We were free.

We had to leave this temporary paradise where a chaotic perfection is so easy and go back out into this world. I wanted to give him everything I had to facilitate the freedom I now knew he was capable of. I wanted to love him with every atom of my flesh. I wanted to lay my body down on his earth so his roots could consume all my minerals. I wanted to sacrifice myself on the altar of his beauty so the scent of my burning flesh would waft up and satisfy the Yahweh in his sky. I wanted to possess him, contain him, consume him so his essence would remain in my body for eternity.

I wanted to keep him for myself and share him with the world, but most of all I wanted him to be free.

I had finally found something... but he wasn't something, he was a person, he is a person.

“Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.”

Were we free together and therefore more free, or did I now have something I didn't want to lose?

I couldn't believe I deserved such a rare and precious jewel, but I knew what I wanted, and I invited him to travel with me.

He said yes.

And then somehow the world changed. Everything I had grown up with that I was supposed to care about, everything I had invested my passion into that failed to satisfy me, everything I had rejected and no longer cared about, all the freedom I had discovered with such grace and ease, that the world really had nothing for me, except the ambient beauty and joy of life itself, all that was gone because now I had found something real.

Many times I had walked out of the stupormarket with a bag full of groceries without paying. I didn't feel guilty. Ever. I rationalised that I am a terrestrial being and like all terrestrial beings I am free to take sustenance from my environment. I did not care at all for the morality that forbade it. I took these gifts out into the wilderness to share with my friends, my lovers and my tribe.

But when I invited this luminous being out into the wilderness with me, and when he came with the same ease that my stolen bag of groceries came, I felt anxious.

I knew that he really is my equal, he is a person, he came willingly and my love for him is pure, as much of a gift as his graciousness and beauty. But also I felt something irrational. I knew I didn't possess him, I knew I hadn't stolen him from the museum, I knew he wasn't a precious diamond that was too valuable for me to get away with, but still I felt that anxiety. I've gone too far. Surely I'm too free. Surely this must be illegal. Surely the authorities are going to come and find us and take him away from me. Surely he will leave me. Surely I don't deserve him.

Freedom camping, hitchhiking, fare evasion and shoplifting are illegal, but it had never bothered me before, and I had never attracted Police attention for these activities before, but now I allowed the paranoia to overcome me, that I couldn't possibly get away with this. And the Police and quasi-police did harass us occasionally, to little effect of course, but still I allowed it to destroy me. I welcomed self-destruction. I demanded and facilitated the emotional breakdown I needed to leave me empty-handed again.

I am sick of apologising for my love. I'm sick of cowards whose eyes beg me to penetrate them with my love and then they're too scared to feel something real.

But he wasn't scared, was he. He let me love him. He accepted every invitation I offered him and then I freaked out cos neither of us had any boundaries and I didn't know how to stop.

How could I give up the only thing in the world worthy of my attention and go back to being lonely and free? Force him to reject me? A nervous breakdown?

I don't know. I have a powerful rational mind but I am fundamentally an irrational animal. I created my own debilitating paranoia that caused me to leave the country. He offered me the necessary lie that he would follow me across the Tasman at a later date but of course he never did.

And then I stepped out of the unreality of the airport into another land, disappointingly familiar, but as tangibly real as the one I'd left. Actually, I was still strong, actually I was still calm and resourceful and I guess I was still free.

Or was I more free now; now that I had nothing more to lose again?

I had homes in which I was welcome, I had a book to write and I had my hilltop paradise to return to. But was I free?

I gave up my hilltop paradise to come to Melbourne, to wear shoes, to engage with money, to write and perform my way into the hearts of the gentle and sophisticated.

Am I less free in this racist Police state, under the cult of Capitalism, surrounded by pollution? Or are we all secretly free in this mess cos we can gather in rooms together, choose how we want to communicate and how we want to interact?

My beautiful friend and lover and companion does not emanate light from his pores or dance like that anymore. He lives in the city and he goes to university. He wears underwear and shoes. He is studying filmmaking cos he wants to express himself like he did when he danced naked by the fire under the full moon with our tribe in the valley.

He chose all this? Is he scared of feeling all that freedom and strength again? Was it too much? Does he have to transform his passion into two-dimensional images now cos it's too much to contain in a body that's not free enough to dance like that?

What about me, transforming the best communication I can contrive into words, into paper, into little sounds I make with my mouth? Do these mouth-sounds make me free? Is this my technique for alienating and abstracting the intensity of experience into a contained and knowable form? Or is this a deeper freedom?

Have I carefully compromised a few superfluous values to be able to create something that communicates with as many people as possible with my utmost integrity? Or am I just going to start getting old now, and slowly withdraw from the world, the freedom, still just an arm's reach away?

I am a delicate flower, rich in colour and scent, and when the light of the sun shines on my body I will open my petals and shine back with everything I possess.

I guess I'm as free as any plant, to fling my seeds across the landscape, to attract birds and bees to my fruits and my flowers. I'm this bursting lunatic, somehow restrained in a human body as long as entropy will allow my heat to be contained in this delicate physical dimension.

I reach out to you in the darkness of incarnation.

I'm so far from free it used to be terrifying.

Come save me from my isolation for a moment and I'll do the same for you. I guess we can't expect much more than that from each other, but that's enough for now.



I was told my power animal was a rat when someone saw how good I was at shoplifting, walking out openly with a bagful of stuff, finding cosy places to sleep everywhere I went.  But I was never very comfortable being a rat.  It's not very sexy.  I wanted a better power animal.

And one came to me in a dream.  I dreamed that I woke up, got out of bed,  and went outside to find a fox staring at me in calm alert presence before dashing off into the bush.  A fox!  As sneaky and feral as a rat, but also wild and beautiful, with the luminous eyes of a loving dog and the potential for danger or gentleness.

So at our power animal guided meditation this summer I expected to see a fox.  I walked through the landscape I was guided to imagine as it slowly became more vivid, looking around for a creature I could relate to.  I was holding a staff, walking with it, feeling its power, when I suddenly thought of Moses.  I threw the staff to the ground and it became a snake.  I reached out my hand and the snake returned to my hand as a staff.  I had been carrying my power animal with me the whole time, always having that potential in my hand, to transform into a snake.

Sneaky, quiet, passive and yet potentially dangerous; sleek, sexy and close to the earth.  For some it might be terrifying to have a snake slither up your leg, bite you on your ankle or your thigh or your...  For others maybe it's quite thrilling, especially when at any moment, that snake can pull back and I am not a cold-blooded reptile, but a warm body with a pair of luminous eyes that reveal everything about my loving intention.

It was a snake in the Garden of Eden that tempted Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and she ate that apple, and the juice runneth over her lips and down her chin.

The Christians claim that the snake was Satan, the deceiver, but Joseph Campbell claims that in every culture except the Judeo-Christian-Industrial-Economy culture, the snake was always the primary deity of the garden and that Jahweh was a peripheral deity, though clearly trying to make it big, favouring one race over all others and spreading across the world with the power of genocide and agriculture.  Jahweh is still the primary deity of our culture, the atheists worshipping him as ravenously as the fundamentalists.  Jahweh supposedly doesn't exist anymore, but he's the same god of genocide and agriculture, now a secular god called The Economy.

The snake is still the deity of the garden, perhaps, its belly always close to the earth, a deity who is close to the goddess, the mother of all life, who gives the apple to man, Adamah, who is also of the earth, despite his lofty ideas and the strange demonic voices whispering in his head.

I grew up in a Christian Capitalist culture, a member of the chosen people, the pure whites, to whom the planet belonged, as far as the eye could see.  We already had satellite imagery, so we could see the whole planet, and so it all belonged to us, one master race under god, with liberty and justice for sale.

But I ate the apple and after that crude oil milkshakes tasted nauseating and I would argue in the street with evangelical Christians and try to undermine their numb-minded sincerity.  I would argue with evangelical Capitalists in uniforms at train stations, or security guards who kicked me out of my shelter into the rain in the middle of the night, trying to sow seeds of doubt into the idiot sincerity with which they were "just doing their job".  We never know what seeds eventually sprout and grow, but we do know that antagonism provokes defensiveness.

I know I can shed my skin when I need to.  I can leave behind my own numb-minded sincerity and the idiotic culture I've allowed to leak into my psyche.  I can be a rat hiding alone in my little hovel and I can be a snake and eat that rat whole, simply upon deciding to do so.

And here I stand, appearing reasonable and civilised, but knowing that this staff in my hand can at any time be thrown down and I can become a snake.  I can shed my skin, I can change my name, the way I dress, the way I talk, I can become a new person, reborn into a new life.

I can leave behind a life of loneliness, antagonism, moral superiority and freedom, I can refine my words on the ears of the sophisticated until they are sharp and effective.  I can subvert the straight and tense by slithering up their muscular leg and biting them on their ankle, or their thigh, or their...

I can integrate, I can shed my skin, I can give up my values and maintain my integrity.

I can drink chlorine and my thirst will be quenched.

But I yearn for more, I settle for no compromise.  Nothing will satisfy me but total power or total annihilation.

I am who I say I am.  Nothing will come between me and the world but my inevitable death and the reliability of that death reassures me that I cannot take this too far.

I want to drink your semen every morning like a shot of espresso from your ecstatic ejaculation.  I want a new lover every new day.  I want to reveal myself so they all know who I am.

Yes, I shop at the stupormarket now and yes, I keep my myki topped up, but I am not another hetero slave, I'm a fucking faggot shaman, you fools.



Not damaged

I construct elaborate fantasies around sensitive men who have not consented to being cast in my lonely love stories.

I often destroy genuine connections with the unnecessary awkwardness of my impetuous imagination.

Sometimes when I agree to meet someone at a later date I place them in my masturbatory sexual fantasies and mysteriously, when the time comes, they are evasive and don't want to meet me anymore.  Apparently my ability to repel those I am attracted to with desperate intensity is telepathic and reaches across time and space.

I work so hard to be attractive and then spectacularly undermine my own efforts by being a fucking pervert.

I want nothing more than that which I know is impossible.  I want paradox manifest as flesh and I want that flesh warm and sweetly smelling like man.

I want everything I don't really want and I'm willing to sabotage it to save myself.

I'll sabotage everything I can experience, everything that is gifted to me lovingly, because there's nothing more unattractive than the neediness of another human being.

My mother knew I was a faggot when I was a toddler, finding me fast asleep in the wendy house at kindergarten where the girls had tucked me into bed.  Due to some facile religious idea she half-heartedly tried to discourage me from having sex with men, maybe knowing she would fail.

Less half-heartedly she told me about the man she fell in love with as a teenager and married, pregnant, at 18.  He was abusive and dismissive and didn't live up to the gentle archetype of her loving father.  She would tell me, "A man should never hit a woman.  A man should never touch a woman unless she wants him to." and all the weight of my mother's strength, and all my love and respect and admiration for her fell upon that phrase.  How could the strongest person in my world beg an abusive man not to leave her?

I was told that some men hurt children, doing nasty things that traumatise them for life.  So when I was eight years old and I was coerced by an older boy into touching each other's dicks, and when I played sexual role-play games with my older brother, I was convinced I had been "molested", and for ten full years I believed I was intrinsically damaged, that this damage defined me, and that I could not tell anyone.  I became good at secrets, I became good at shame.

The decade in which I kept this secret was the decade in which I realised that I am queer, alienating me from the primary institution of our culture, while my entire life revolved around the most homophobic environment I have experienced, high school.

Now I am proud to be a faggot and I'm living in Brunswick and what've I got to do but get laid and find love and build trust, right?

Do I even know what the object of all this unquenchable yearning is, beneath the images pornography have burned into my brain, beneath the infantile relationships modelled on Californian cultural propaganda, beneath the cultural norms and social institutions that I am totally incapable of participating in, that are built under the assumption that I don't exist?

I don't want to model my relationships on sitcoms and cartoons and when it comes down to it and I'm naked with another man I really don't feel like emulating that pornography that gets me off so easily when I'm alone.

These models are vapid and homogenous, they serve no purpose in my life.  I feel like a precarious line of text writing my way further and further out onto a blank sheet of paper, nothing to guide me and no one around.

My mother committed suicide within a month of my 21st birthday and so being an adult for me is to be without idols, without illusions and without role-models.

I know what's real when I experience it, I can feel it in my body, I know the difference.

But who's here to match me in my desire, who's here to confront me with my misapprehensions, who will be present with me in the shamelessness of my shame?

Will I be present when someone decides to love me?  Will I defy that love because I know I don't deserve it, or I deserve better, or cos they just want me for my companionship and my human warmth?

I can handle your pain cos your pain empowers me to help you; nothing brings me greater happiness than to see you flourishing.

Nothing generates more heat in my body than the proximity of your body.  This is physical.  I can't help it.

I am falling out of the sky right now and I just hope I land somewhere I am safe to rest a moment, cos this world we've made can be so hostile and dangerous, so gentle and accommodating.


The loving power of attraction

I am a pervert impeded only by my respect for those I am attracted to.  I want to consume them like a delicious meal whose intense scent makes my tummy rumble, but it has to be voluntary.  It's really not fun unless the intimacy is a mutual desire to know each other, to protect and nourish each other.  There's nothing wrong with a bit of exuberant sweaty sexiness when everyone understands and is comfortable with its meaninglessness, but I'm reaching for something deeper.

Why am I sexually attracted to straight men?  Some masochistic desire to deny myself?  Some dangerous idea of a challenge?  Or maybe I know that when a straight man allows me to gently graze my fingers down the tender sides of his torso, or lightly touch my nose to the open pores of his neck in naked embrace, then the purpose of our encounter really is to communicate, to open ourselves, to touch another human being across the tortuous divide of our individual incarnations.  It is not enough for me to find someone whose peculiar fantasies match my own so that we can get each other off pleasantly for an hour or three.  I'm looking for something else, but I'm still letting my sexual desire guide me.

Perhaps our attractions, momentary though they often are, are deeper and more profound than we usually acknowledge.  Maybe our beings are interconnected in ways that we cannot fully know or comprehend.  Maybe beauty is a form of communication, and when someone is beautiful to us they are demanding our respectful attention.

I have the utmost respect for the messages my body sends me, surely the only reliable source of information about how to exist in this world.  When someone's beauty draws me towards him - I don't know why I am mostly attracted to men in this way - I feel an empowering surge of energy, love and focus.  I give this man a focused attention I would not bother with if my attraction had not drawn me towards him.  I try to breathe into the intensity of this feeling, to not scare him away in his civilised vulnerability, and whether I like it or not I respect him enough to not leap on him and consume him like an overripe mango or a stolen block of chocolate.  I look into his eyes and wait to see if he's brave enough to match my gaze.  I move towards him to see how proximity feels.  I want to touch him, I want to talk to him, I want to smell him, but what I want is not important.  What's important is that which moves between us.

During the summer, when I was strong, confident and full of lusty joy, a young man smiled at me at a festival and I was instantly in love.  I saw him leaping around like a big dumb kid, two metres tall, 19 years old, surely as horny as me.  One day I finally approached him, I gave him a head massage, he relented further into a back massage before we finally spoke.  That night, with my heart pounding and my genitals filling with warm blood, we snuggled together and talked.  He had a lot to share with me and for some reason I was the exact right person to tell.  For hours we talked and I listened joyously in the warmth emanating  from his clothed flesh.  He allowed me to press up against his unspoken but unambiguous boundaries and I was happy to give every particle of love that my attraction provoked.  When the conversation was finished he said goodbye and rushed off into the night.  Though I was still so horny I had to masturbate to relieve the tension, I felt totally satisfied that our connection had been completed, that the mutual moment that my sexual attraction had drawn me into was fulfilled.

Apparently we had a mutual need that his beauty made apparent to me, I confronted that beauty, uncertain of what would be required of me, but comfortable in our mutual ability to see and hear one another's needs and feelings.

So what if I develop a trusting friendship with a straight man with whom I am sexually attracted, whose painful and delicious beauty compels me to give him the attention I would otherwise not bother with?  Is my love real or am I just trying to get him naked?  Will he trust me that my love is stronger and more real than my perversion?  That my respect and desire are totally indistinguishable?  Can we fully embrace each other and what is emphatically real between us?  Or must we fear the confusion of moving beyond the cultural roles that are supposed to define our relationships, as if every needy, joyous and sacred moment we share can be correlated to a series of distinct categories?

I cannot relate to any of these categories, so if my behaviour disturbs you you have to tell me.  To me, every moment of genuine connection is something new, a step beyond a culture that separates with words from the world of experience.  It is entirely unknowable, rather it is tangible, we can smell it, and feel it in our belly.

If we feel safe, if we feel so inclined, we can draw closer together.  We can find a place where the state will not charge us with obscenity and we can enter fully into the surrender of trust and intimacy, whether sexual or emotional or linguistic.  In this moment, my perverse sexual fantasies are profoundly irrelevant, and yet it was my insatiable sexual attraction that drew me towards you initially.

Why do I call myself Faggot or Queer in this lifetime?  "Faggot" comes from the fagus tree, branches of which were used to burn witches or heretics at the height of European theocracy.  At this time "heretic" was indistinguishable from "homosexual" and so it is that faggots like me are the heretics of a culture that seeks to homogenise our diversity.  Even gays are supposed to get married and get mortgages now.

Having failed to destroy homosexuality the theocratic culture we all continue to perpetuate is seeking to draw all faggotness into its narrow bubble of normal.  They tell me my faggotness is supposed to separate me from the luminous beauty of your relative straightness.  I refuse.  I am not gay, the opposite of straight, I'm a faggot, which has no opposite.  Perhaps I'm lucky to not live in a time when the stake is my opposite and burns me at the state as a heretic.  Perhaps for this reason we need not be so brave to reach across the divide and touch each other.

Why do I call myself Queer?  Because my role in my tribe is to queer the straight, bend the rigid and blur the boundaries; to confuse the rational, to embody the ambiguity and to kiss you if you want me to.  I won't tell anyone.


Hot breath and the dangerous ocean

Your body draws me towards you, especially your eyes, emanating depth and mystery.  I am standing upon the beach looking out at the dark and dangerous ocean, taunting me and compelling me to strip off and dive in.  I move towards you simply to hear your voice clearly amidst all this ambient noise, and I can smell your breath, warm and familiar.  I can taste it in my mouth like we're already kissing, but I don't want to impose my hasty intensity on you just yet.  I lean closer because the noise is surrounding us like waves crashing upon our rocks, but somehow this proximity and focus keeps us both dry and it's like I don't even hear that noise.

Nothing has more clarity to me right now than your beauty calling to me softly.  Is that the heat emanating from your body that fills me with warmth right now?  Or is it all that extra blood my heart is pumping to my extremities?  Every waft of rich breath I taste from your speech makes my cock swell just a little.  There is a voice in my head compelling me to kiss you right now in front of all these people, but no, now's the time to listen and see you and discover what common ground we have to stand on.

When we experience what proximity provokes, what is mutually possible in this moment, maybe we can experience each other directly.  But first we have to look each other in the eyes, we have to feel intensely into the reality of the moment, we have to try to speak without hiding behind chatter and culture.  We have to engage with how safe we feel to reveal ourselves, to be vulnerable and pathetic and beautiful and unique.  I want to get naked with you in a profound sense that is not visible to anyone else in the room, but I can't be sure that's what we both want.

Maybe first we have to find ourselves a little island we can share and feel safe, if only for one momentary delightful conversation.  Or maybe in this shared moment we can get naked together in the most basic sense and so start from there, start from the simple tangible undeniably present flesh of our mortal forms, where we can wordlessly touch each other in the terrestrial sensory ocean of incarnation.

In the danger of this swelling, sucking and crushing beach we must navigate between the earth and the divine, stability and chaos, between heaven and hell, the sacred and the profane, flesh and inevitable death.  We can grasp at each other's overwhelming but tenuous bodies before we're inevitably torn apart again in the rip, before we're washed up on the shore or dragged out into the depths.


I am real

There's beauty fucking everywhere, am I not supposed to desire it?  The beauty tears my heart out and drags me towards it.  This beauty is people.  I want these people.  You.  These people are you.  I want to touch and smell you.

What?  Are you going to call me a fucking rapist?  A pervert?  No.  I'm a fucking faggot.  That's who I am.  And I want to get naked with you.

Forget the pornographic images in your damaged brain.  Forget it.  Here I am.  I'm real.  I have desire.  I am a man.  I have testicles and testosterone.  I have a fucking cock and so does every man. 

Every man has a cock, like me.  But not like mine, your cock is different.  I want to see your cock and meet your cock and taste your cock.

But that's okay if you're not ready.  Let's start with the eyes.  I know I'm full of pain and desire and ecstasy.  I feel my animal body every second of the waking day.  But I think too.  My brain's no fucking animal.  My brain is civilised.  Educated.  I was lucky enough to grow up with the most wishy-washy inoffensive Christianity ever devised, but I got my religion. 

I got my disgusting body and gays like to each other's penises in each other's bums and watch out for the paedophiles.  I got don't get into cars with strangers who pretend to be your parents friend.  I got sometimes you go through a phase.  I hid the shameful secret that I was a sexual being for a full decade 'til I was 18 and it was too intense to contain.

I was told it's not safe here.  Put up your fucking barrier.  Hide behind your fucking cell phone.  Desire from afar like you're in a glass fucking box and go home where you're safe and look at photos on Facebook of real people and project them onto pornographic images of real people and dream of real people while there are real people right through the wall of your bedroom and that person sitting next to you, he's real too. 

And I am real.  I might be intelligent and painfully self-aware and self-obsessed but I'm pathetic and irrational too.  I am emotional and needy and sexy and fucking magnificent. 

I have read poetry to a straight man in the rainforest in the clouds and then sucked his cock 'til he ejaculated in my mouth while it rained on my manuscript. 

I am alive.  I am real.  This hair on my chest is real.  I've earned it.  I have greys in my beard since my six-week emotional breakdown in Golden Gate Park, sleeping amongst the eucalypts, eating shoplifted superfoods on picnic tables by the fake waterfall that needs a pump.

I am real and my fucking horniness is just love made filthy by my filthy fucking culture.  Our culture.  Claim it.  It fucking stinks like shit but here we are, pretending to be above it all. 
Pretending to not be human, not be animals, not be mammalian monsters with cocks and cunts and none of this is crude it's just our language, it's the Anglo roots of our language.  It's not vagina, Latin, it's cunt, Anglo.  This is who we are. 

How fucking weird that I can do this, I can say this, but then here I still am, there you still are, we're both still wearing clothes, neither of us are crying, neither of us are comforting the other, neither of us are recovering from the perversity of the world we've created.

Here we are.  White Australia.  We did it.  Colonisation complete.  A fucking total success, like it never happened.  Like it's always been this way. 

What else did we colonise?  Our children?  Are they civilised?  Are they white?  Will we let the black ones through if they wear clothes?  If they wear clothes.  Will you let me say anything I want, if I wear clothes?  Will you let me get drunk and vomit in the toilet, if I control myself?  Will you let me love you, if I don't touch you, talk to you or look at you? 

I'm not in love with one person.  I walk down the street and there are people everywhere.  They scream, "Come.  I'm beautiful.  Touch me.  Love me.  Talk to me.  Respect me.  I'm here.  I'm real.  I will not reject you."  And what do I do?  I keep walking.  I'm terrified.  I don't know what's going to happen.  I'm not safe here to feel things.  I'm only safe to buy things, to do things, achieve things, get places. 

Connecting with random people on the street, just cos they're beautiful?  No.  That's not how it works.  You know that's not how it works, that's why you keep walking.  It has to be accidental.  You have to be introduced.  You have to have mutual friends.  You have to find yourselves suddenly and spontaneously alone.  You have to act like you don't care and you can't fake it.  It has to be real. 

My entire body is on fire all the time.  I'm sorry for my crude language, my love is anything but crude.  I say I want to violate you and it's true, but I respect you and I'm not doing anything without consent; without joyous consent. 

I'm not doing anything unless I know for sure it's going to positively transform your life.  Cos my love and my passion are the same thing.  My desire to respect you and to smell your dripping cock are mutual companions. 

I'm not crude, I'm not a pervert.  I'm not a sexual fucking predator.  I am me.  I am here.  I am real.  I'm a fucking faggot and I intend to manifest that as fully into my life as possible and into this pathetic religion we call culture. 

I don't know what it's going to look like.  I'm studying the shamans, the pagans, the heretics, the ecstatics, the mystics, the lunatics, the poets and the fucking borderline autistic schizophrenics.

But I'm a faggot.  I have a body, a heart and a life.  I am here.  I am real.



bursting intensity

There is a bursting intensity emanating from my soul.
What is my soul?  That which knows all.
What is my body?  That which is desirous of all.
My body lurches and throbs and pulsates.
It exalts in misery and joy.
And my mind?  It is anxiety; doubt.

In a room full of strangers,
in which we have shared proudly with honesty and openness,
I want to engage
but I am ignorant of how to chatter
and forget which face I'm supposed to be wearing.

I want to grasp you in my hands,
forcefully, gently, tenderly.
I want to look you in the eye.
Our arms wrap around, our chests move together, our eyes close
and the room does not exist.
Together we leave space-time and enter instead the aura of each other's bodies.
For an eternal moment we rest in the peace of togetherness.

This familiar feeling.
I know this smell.
Perhaps this is how it felt before we were incarcerated in our individual bodies.
Perhaps this remembrance of peace can only be fully experienced together.
Even two so-called strangers in a room full of people
can transcend time and space, anxiety and alienation,
for one imperfect moment that we can't entirely commit to,
but that we defiantly attempt and share.

Like every morning, we wake up in our own body
with the infinite potential of what to do,
who to be, how to move through space and time.
Alone in my body all day
I try to find ways to communicate,
to reach across the veil of my tortured intellect,
to reach humbly across my throbbing passion,
to step out of the divine moment, to look at it,
to calmly observe with my damaged, lonely and fierce mind,
to laboriously translate the keenest subtleties of my observations into something I can share,
to step into a pre-planned space, an organised moment,
overwhelmingly populated by stunning, terrifying, delicious, intoxicatingly intense, brittle, gentle and pretentious fellow humans,
and to re-enter that long-ago moment,
that I was too self-conscious and civilised to experience
but which I now recreate, as best I can,
inside out,
in which, this time, I am not alone, I am not isolated,
because every thought, every emotion, every vibration
is a word coming from my mouth
and these beautiful humans who I am too scared to talk to and touch
are listening to me, are hearing and understanding and appreciating.

Regardless of their clicks or lack-of-clicks I can feel them hearing me and knowing me and loving me
and I can beg them,
with all the desperation and desire that I'm too scared to express,
to violate me, to consume me, to desire me, to grasp for me.

I'm full of love and I know my stupid useless boundaries.  
I respect your boundaries all too well,
but I want to violate them.
I demand you confront me with your desperate intensity.

Maybe right outside the door there is concrete and carbon monoxide and paranoia and uniformed minions of institutionalised violence.
But we have found something,
flimsy and linguistic though it is,
and here we are,
another night,
having manifest another moment,
having emanated an atmosphere of safety and inclusion
amidst the unbearable pulverising insanity.
And here we are.
My god,
here we are

We make sounds with our mouths and this somehow means something.
It’s not just cultural cues,
it is something else.

The world out there is made up of something,
something creating little prisons of meaning.
"You are under arrest," they tell us, and we are hypnotised.
We are hypnotised by the slogans of soft drinks, life insurance, socialists and multinational charity organisations.
We call it advertising and shrug it away.
In the past they called it black magic, the curses of petty tyrants, jealous witches and greedy merchants;
spells of weaving, spells of binding, spells of concealment and diversion.

So what the hell are we doing, gathering in rooms,
carefully composing and projecting delicate combinations of words?
Casting new and better spells to embed ourselves deeper into the illusion?
Surrounding ourselves in an unlikely new cushioned dogma to protect us from the world we refuse to understand?
Or are we spell-breakers?
Are we perhaps not creating a secular new age religion of inclusion and globalisation?
Are we instead destroying illusion,
undermining the pious and politically correct,
ridiculing each other's petty projections and then hugging each other's warm healthy bodies?
Are we destroying the linguistic and ideological infrastructure that caused our parents and our grandparents to give up in despair?
Is this real?
Am we really destroying the barriers that have divided us for centuries, since our villages were invaded and colonised?
Can I stand up here and speak to you and destroy the generations of violence that allowed us to invade and colonise this land?
Have we always been this powerful?

So we refuse the hypnotism, and then what?
We're still in this room, the weeds are only just pushing up through the concrete, only a few national economies have collapsed.

I found my rural paradise and I lived there in peace for years.
I understood; and I spat in the face of patriarchy.  I healed myself of paranoia and got bored of anger.
I stopped reading the news though I still cared deeply about the fate of our silly little species.
I lost faith not just in domesticity, authority and entertainment,
I lost faith in hope, I lost faith in startling global upheaval, I lost faith in the all levels of human organisation.

My mother died and of course I grieved the life of the human whose frail body formed the foundation of love my entire terrestrial existence is based on,
but then I found myself
fully present in my body.
I felt into my body and found it to be strong and beautiful.
I felt into this warm self-regulating masterpiece of sensitivity and strength.
I turned 30 and I found greys in my beard and I discovered I was hornier and more confident than ever.

I go to the best possible places, where the humans are loving and free, and I look around for one whose eyes engage my own, whose beauty calls out to me across the room, I approach him, I wrap my arms around him and together we transcend time and space for a wonderful imperfect moment.

Listen to audio recording of my performance of this poem at Voices in the Attic, Ferdyduke, Melbourne, 2015-05-12.