Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cheap Thrills and 500,000 dollar bills

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Ceiling Fan and the Flower Shed Their Petals

Luv Suck

The Lumineux Cafe in Phu Nhuan, where you take your lover and leave sweet-nothings lacquered to the wall with kisses. Oh to be young. As she sucks down the strawberries and cream in her milk tea, he looks at her like she's the ice-cream and he's the spoon.
Lumineux Cafe

No she did not conciously wear a navy checkered dress to match the wallpaper or daisy coloured spectacles to match the daisy's.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

photo story by Misa Vu

My new Vietnamese acquaintance, Misa, took us to a rock bar in Phu Nhuan called Artwork where you get a complimentary glass of ice tea with your gin, unfeigned table service and you can smoke to your lungs desire. Reggae renditions of Jimmy Hendrix s’ Angel ricocheted off the acrylic furniture and deep into my eardrums; the calypso rhythm and offbeat percussion jigged around in my skull as I sat in silent rapture, brainwashed by a seven-string base. I was like a cobra to the flute.

The sky and I are wearing matching dresses

There is a block of abandoned French Villa's that rest in the underbelly of a shanty Vietnamese suburb called Da Lat. It’s infamous for spooky urban legends. Out of superstition, or burning curiosity, or stupidity, we decided to scale the inside of this nine-story dwelling. Clutching the rusted ladder like drowning rats we inched skyward. I have had my share of rooftops, but this, this was a bird’s eye view that could have wrenched my eyes out of their sockets. I stood, wind blowing past my cheek, mouth gaping, willing to fall and become nothing less than an urban legend.


Is my head exempt from baptism
am I too selfish for communism
too free for conformism
too tenacious for dualism
too debased for divinism

Is my head wide enough for Taoism
my void deep enough for Buddhism
my philosophy moral enough for Confucianism

Is it all the same lick with a different tongue
Can I have my cake and not eat just one ?

The Peace Keepers

Those beautiful faces will be training to fly helicopters rigged with 30 rounds of ammunition by the time they have finished school. What a wayward world this is.

Through The Looking Glass, turquoise hues
your eyes filled with hapless blues

Between my hand and yours, unspoken barbed wire
under glossy fingernails
it is us who are emaciated and dire
I hunger
while you swallow fire

Drug pushers
opium pullers

Coffee and condensed milk, condensed streets
to a soundtrack of Ghetto beats
the East and West meets.
Buddhist temple

'Holy place, keep silent'

From the rooftop of my hotel the city spills out in front of me and I see a boundless horizon of rooftops. Slums and ghetto-chic hotels that have sheets and clotheslines dangling from them like decorative appendages. My eyes scan down the wrinkled, sun-spotted faces of the buildings. Below this facade lie cities so invisible that their characters seem like a mirage. Two-legged dogs fetching, toothless witchdoctors selling lottery tickets, children capturing flies for sport, monks running a merchandising stall. And the most magnificent thing; when you smile, they smile back. This is the cheapest thrill known to mankind.

Like a fish, don't tap on the glass because I am vulnerable. Behind rippled steel I see the world but it is blurred. Floundering around in the dark, staring forlornly into a world beyond my depth, a language beyond my native tongue. My fin opens wide and i reach for you and you grab hold. For that moment we are of the same ocean~

The Pastel City

The power line hangs like a noose, foreboding trespassers. Beyond the black coil lies a color palette that has faded. The vividness is no longer apparent but not yet transparent. Pale but not yet invisible. The sun beats down, sucking the hues from the turquoise blues. Hidden beyond the heat’s thirst are millions of forks in the road that lead so deep you loose your way. You vanish. You are engulfed by these pastel cities, swept up in a stream of soft walls and soft smiles that say ‘welcome, you are in my world now.’

An ex-water park now used by hoodlums for shooting up the Yellow Jesus

Walking down the main drag of Vietnam one is rudely awakened by the thick black scars that hang above one's head, no i don't mean the looming omnipresence of a communist government, what I mean is the giant black power lines that pulsate with deadly currents of electricity. Can you imagine how many volts are entangled above your skull! Jesus, I feel like one of my ass cheeks is constantly dwindling on the edge of the electric chair.
After a three hour stop over in Singapore, I am feeling patriotic. The seat belt neon has flickered off I am neck deep in my first Singapore sling at sunset. The sky is candy pink, so is my drink. There are snow white clouds drifting slowly past the plane, bobbing around like ice cubes amidst the sky’s cocktail. “Get off of my Cloud” by The Rolling Stones is playing through my earphones and I’m on cloud ninety-nine. The planes arms are stretched out wide and I want to stretch mine out too because I’m soaring. I have a sick feeling in my stomach and I’m trying to hide my smile because I’m afraid of the French lady next to me feeling suspicious. The plain is hovering over Ho Chi Minh City and there are trillions of little illuminated beads. My nose is pressed against the window like a child and I don’t care about the French lady anymore because this is my affirming moment. Yes. Finally the world is under my heels.

It's The Night Before I Fly to Vietnam. I imagine the air to smell thicker, richer. A mix of humidity, sweat and spices. It will look a different color; the suns hues will be more over exposed than Melbourne. Everything will taste like coriander and basil and chillies. The sound of cars and motorcycles will buzz constantly and there will be perpetual vivacity. The city will be quiet as the day burns away and when the sun begins to set a cool breeze will swim through the streets sweeping a crowd of people with it. We will flood into the streets with butterfly’s in our stomachs because there is no better feeling than being in another country for the first night, it is a confirmation, an awakening to the fact that home is oceans away and wherever you are now, you are a nomad, a vagabond; you are boundless.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Fall
Fleeting Moments,
It is a summer afternoon in Queensland. In the sunshine state you can feel the tongue of every ray licking at your skin. There is a sheath of sweat covering my body. I look out over the veranda of our old Queenslander and the view has morphed. It is like someone has poured a bucket of oil over a landscape painting. My friends are melting into the outdoor furniture like Dali’s clocks. The sun is just beginning to set. Technicolor peach. It is beginning to shower lightly so we all climb over the veranda and onto the rooftop. Steam is rising from the corrugated iron. We are fully clothed, but our inhibitions are nude. Our skin drinks in the raindrops. We look heavenward and for a moment we have the innocence of children; a purity that only rain drops and tears provoke. I think to myself, ‘let me keep this one…’
photo by Freya Esders

Asleep At The Trigger

10% of our mind is used to think,
the intelligent creatures,
seem to be on the insanity brink.
Lennon says, 'Turn off your mind relax and float down stream,'
90% of the brain resides in a dream.
Asleep at the trigger,
how do you feel?
If Descartes says, 'I think therefore I am,'
therefore am I only 10%.