Saturday, December 16, 2017

How it works.

It was at the tail end of the Crowded House job, way back in the '90's, and I'd got a bit sick and tired of chasing Kerry and Bruce up for the money they owed me, and my crew, so I think I'd wrung up that lawyer guy who did the BFM slot and asked him about what I could do. He'd even heard about the video shoot, bein' Auckland is so small, and thought it was all rather funny, if I remember correctly, and that the D12 thing would get things moving for me.

'Cause a D12 is the start of proceedings for bankruptcy against someone who owes you a debt. No piss assing about, no selling the debt to collectors or signing up for small claims, just a good old fashioned quick punch. or actually just the threat of one, to the kidneys to remind folks how it's supposed to be.

I'd even factored in that this video shoot was a total shot in the arm for this fledgling film company and I was somewhat prepared to let them forgo payment for a bit so they could ride whatever opulence came their way but the thing was they'd started rewarding themselves. New stuff, flash stuff, started to appear at the offices they had down town... and that was just plain rude.

And the whole kerfuffle, the whole shebang, me and mine doing the props for pop stars was all built on serendipidity and it ain't a good idea to look that particular gift horse in the mouth.

I'd been with Veer, the mad Indian woman, doing the Pluto cafe thing, which turned out to be a big mistake except it was all kinda fun too. The cafe/gallery was completely in a bad place and shit wasn't movin' at all, and she had high overheads to begin with so that didn't help either with such a risky venture.

But I'd just built a shop down in High St, upmarket suits, shirts and ties for men all super bright colours, Peter Gabriel style, but even a big portion of that dropped into the Pluto hole wasn't enough so Veer told me to get the cafe on TV in the hope that'd swing us into market favour... so I did.

Only Nightline of course but one of the reporters, Peta Mathias's little brother, was one of their reporters and he liked havin' fun and we'd already done a coupla stories for his show revolving around my inner city escapades so I rang him and he agreed to come have a look at the cafe but as TV3 was just over the back of Newton he and his camerman met up with us at the Ground Zero headquarters where I was still kinda based, had my welding gear and shit, and filmed them madmen and me doing a bit of sculpture fabrication right there on Newton Rd... great juxtaposition it was given I managed to borrow a full suit, shirt and tie from the shop I'd built, in fluro colours for the filming down the cafe in Lorne street.

Anyway, the thing was Kerry, who I knew from way back and skating for Edwards, and his men of celluloid had happened to be watching Nightline that night and were in the process of getting the Crowded House shoot and so I was, obviously, the man to build the props for it.'Private universe' was the song... which also kind of fit nicely.

Weirdly, though it isn't, at exactly the same time I'd managed to get the fifteen hundred square feet of warehouse down in Newton, and opposite the Kings Arms, so the deal got done well quick and with three hundred bucks me and just about all the folks from Ground Zero, whom, Felix and Michael, I'd just taught how to weld got stuck in over the weekend to build stuff for the shoot that Monday.

And that was fun, the shoot, as we all got invited down there for the day, even got parts in the video, scored drugs for the band and got stoned with them as well as munched out on all that fine food those types are used to. Paul was my favourite, he was goofy as and lots of fun but the best bit, 'cause despite all the hype film shoots are pretty much to me the absolutely most boring places in the whole of human existence, so after a very long drawn out day the restlessness went a bit frantic and as the sun was setting me, Felix and Scott (maybe Michael and Damian as well, 23 years is a long time ago) grabbed a bunch of broken instruments which included a busted tuba and a saxophone, that's all I can remember, and went out on the driveway, away from all the importance still doing it's thing, and had a weird noise making jam which went on for ages and was really fun and when we finally stopped we heard clapping... so we turned around and there was the band, the world famous trio, applauding us... that was so fucking ironic it was beautiful.

So there I am weeks later, the hubbub had died down and it was business as usual, needing to find cash to fill the holes being presented by silly choices, and these guys were being rude so fuck 'em, I'm doing a D12, I'm lawyering up 'less you fuckers present the cash quick smart... and it worked. Next morning I was down those offices with a cheque for the full amount in my hands but I felt like a cunt... I mean I didn't want to light a fire under their asses but they'd forced me into it so I had water at the ready and felt somewhat obliged to make amends so I looked up, at the ceiling, and had a vision of an artwork so I said I'd build it for them... explain Kerry asked, so I described this contraption which was a big metal circle fabricated from tubing and, totally what later became known as Steampunk, festooned with old tractor headlights... Cool, said Kerry as Bruce hardly even looked up from his plotting.

That particular course set of moments softened I went back to Pluto to let her know disaster was averted for a little and she had me straight back out to my illegally parked ute to shuffle up to Ponsonby to check out a shop, just opened, which I found out later had been built by Virus Mikes builder mate.

I get up there and most probably parked illegally, couldn't help it in those days though it's even harder now to do business in town, and walked into the shop, looked up, and sitting in the ceiling was the exact thing I'd seen in my vision about an hour beforehand and described to Kerry... that's how it works.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

That Cactus trip.

I was 17 and it was a bad Cactus (mescaline) trip. I'd been introduced to acid about two months before, maybe only a month, and I loved the stuff. Had some every second or third day then Barry introduced me to Cactus. There was one up the garden centre, a San Pedro, and he'd go chop some off of a night and do a boil up then you'd drink it, wait an hour, then spew it up... the gates to heaven opened.

Maybe I'd already read Carlos Castaneda by then, or had just started to, or maybe it was later, I had a thing for anything story wise about drugs... I loved them.

So by then it was maybe my third mescaline trip and the second I remember taking it, spewing up, then getting back to my place just as it's coming on and lying down in front of my radio gram to look at the lights... then it was morning. I'd just disappeared, whoever I was, whatever I was just sunk into the experience.

I'd also done that with the hitch hikers guide on acid. Took the trip over a buddies place in Long Bay, but my friends hadn't (had acid) and so they'd eventually gotten tired, went to sleep, and all I had was a copy of the book so when the trip started coming on, I started reading and then it was morning and I was just finishing it when I kinda came to.

Oh but this third one. The Black Power guys wanted to try it so my mate set it up and we all met up at the sergeant at arms to do the business. Patches on the walls and gloomy lights, bravado and machismo... I didn't like it, but I liked tripping. I drank the yucky brew, it's totally horrid, with them, smoked some dope to bring it on, started getting paranoid... it was all a bit too much, so made some excuse I was going to get something from my bike, the trusty little 100cc Honda my dad had given me, and scarpered.

Got home and tried to settle but the morbidity had me. Knew I should spew but for some reason didn't, couldn't, I don't know but I had a fucking bad trip and it just kept getting worse and I was all alone, fucking devil wanted my soul... eventually snuck into my parents room and stole one of my Dads tranquilizers... took that, and I came right. I wandered off down to my mates early the next morning and climbed in his window, didn't want to wake the family, he woke (he told me this later as I remember bugger all) and just left me there sitting giggling to myself and he went back to sleep... his trip had ended far earlier.

Eventually I walked home, about a mile and a half maybe, and preceded to my Mum and Dads bed and slept for three days solid. Poor Mum and Dad. My brother didn't want to tell them the truth, he knew I was going hard on the psychedelics, lovin' it too, so he kinda gave them a story and they all just left me sleeping... for three days solid.

That fucking scarred the shit outta me. I stopped there and then. I didn't know what had happened, except for the obvious, I didn't know how to deal with it so I just carried on and hoped it wouldn't have long term implications... but it did.

Then yesterday I read something about complex post traumatic stress disorder and fuck me, that's what it was. By the end of the twelve page article it was obvious that thats what had actually happened to me. All the stuff those who have that suffered through I had happen to me and didn't even know what it was. I knew it was related to the bad trip and the fear I'd felt during that episode as I'd get triggers and be cast back into self loathing and fear, absolute abandonment... these are all things that were mentioned in the article.

And it kinda made sense. I mean sufferers of Complex PTSD have it all build up over years of trauma but with psychedelics everything is so heightened, so wonderfully or terribly deep and sensitized... well, theres no reason the outcome can't be the same.

The name of the article, and what it's about, is emotional flashbacks and that's what I'd get, some trigger or other and I suddenly be terrified that nothing was real, it was all a dream... similar to Robin Williams Wifes plight in the movie 'What dreams may come.'

But I got through it, I managed it and I figured out, along the way, what was going on, not the whole thing but in increments of each type of fear based reaction, and I dealt with it. Meditation helped alot... I think, I'm not actually sure what I did or didn't do, too much time has passed but it's almost now, being able to look back, and this was kind of stressed at the end of the article, I'm a lot deeper now than I would have been without the trauma.

And that's a thing now. I've read a bit here and there which tends to state that traumatic experience is a precursor to creativity which is interesting because most art is therapeutic in some sense but the tendency is that the person, who undergoes trauma, is deepened somehow, that the acclimatisation to fear sends roots down deeper into the psyche which in turn, I suppose if the conditions are right, can create a bigger more opulent tree. 

There was one particular incident. It was late one night at the house in Mangere, the original family home, and a movie came on that started with a wall, a simple brick wall on the side of a building and I was immediately full of dread, full of sense of foreboding and immediately went into my breathing exercises to calm down... it took a while and what ended up being quite a boring movie held no clue whatsoever as to why this dread had engulfed me at its inception (which incidentally, the movie inception, was tinged with for me too except many years later it was, almost recent, and I now understand what the feeling hints at... and am okay with) but I did get a clue at the end, quite a good one too, because the movie had been made in the town of my birth and that wall, that plain old brick wall, was the side of a convention centre in my neighbourhood and one that was across the way from the playground in the school I went to.

That eventually got pay dirt (no pun intended) as I realised we have much deeper connections to places that we know, that places themselves somehow care for us, yet learning their language, even accepting there is a language to place, took me a lot of time to fathom. And so it was almost an impetus to explore, the whole fact of trauma became, even as I didn't know I'd had it, or would admit to it even if I'd known it was a thing, a way of understanding myself and the world I inhabit but not as I'd been told to inhabit but how I needed to inhabit it... as me.

And maybe its that that counts. That even before the bad trip it was all about exploration and possibility and these ideas were already quite well formed as an outlook for me even at seventeen. Maybe that, being out of childhood and into early adulthood, was what allowed me to take on the endevour of not even admitting there was anything wrong but regardless dealing how I could with what happened as a result.

The thing was I'd had experience of terrible fear as a child, not many and not for long, and had a very powerful imagination, which doesn't help, but I'd also been kept away from religion as my father had had the shit scarred out of him as a boy by the Catholics who'd schooled him and he wanted, my Dad, to keep us away from it but then weirdly enough in my early teens I'd been introduced to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and that, as I learned later, had been specifically designed to bring little boys like me back to the good old good and bad dichotomy... it's true, Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and another writer of fantasy novels had all met up at Cambridge or Eton, or somesuch other toff college, and were studying divinity and over late night suppers had decided that the hoi polloi needed being brought back to the fold so decided to write novels for young boys to teach them good and evil... bastards!

So there seems now to have been a genetic disposition ( excuse that use, it could be a psychic disposition... doesn't really matter what it's called so much as a link exists) to take fear on and get beyond it and realise what having a super duper imagination is really all about. Because pretty much at the same time I had my bad trip my Dad also had his own reckoning of sorts where his own fears appeared as outbursts of anger and he sought medical help and was put on tranquilizers.  Dad, you see, loved New Zealand to bits, after Scotland and then Canada, with all the wild and the freedoms and was even getting into yoga and meditation, it was he that taught me the basics of those, and as we know now, is an almost established fact, that when you start doing stuff like this then repressed fears start to come up and with my Dad this would turn into anger at the most inopportune times.

And so it all cedes together, that's mostly what I'm learning, as 38 years later I can also chuck in a whole bunch of past life traumas as well. Except by the time they were revealed to me I was able to identify their meanings, their uses even, within the bigger picture of an on going spiritual awareness because, and now I seem to know this, and in knowing this there is acceptance, that it all has purpose to it, all of this supposed non-connected trauma is connected, and basically we're all in this together.

Yet even as we're all in it together we all have to kind of find ourselves alone, that only we can save ourselves, because in saving ourselves, finding that deep calm within, and finding it by the unique route each of us alone has to explore, we save each other. That is how we are all connected.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mangere Rd chapter five draft

Along a bit from Bob Andersons is the crossroads and many years it took to even know that Kings College was down the end of that road and I remember, God knows when, but I was coming back, as it were, from down the hill and swinging left into Salesyards, that big house on the corner still there with it's thick robust hedge all around and always bursting into the stream, on One of Dads little scooters, a little 50cc gutless plastic wonder without any weight and little feet when, damp one would think, it skidded away under me and no worries, as it slid away free I just picked it up, still chigging, and on again to amble, those things then being an embarrassment I couldn't handle, yet somehow that simple ease was a hint at a rethink.

So that bit, between the railway tracks and up the hill to the crossroads and Otahuhu proper, is one of those places which often isn't as it isn't one and it isn't another, a borderland though not a no man's land. A crossing over place even but even in that there were two almost insignificant landings though spread far apart.

Way back in the skateboard days and it must have been towards the end or maybe even after it I found or refound the guy Chris and he and his mother had a flat down a long drive halfway up that slope... I can't remember much of it, at all, but I know at some stage I got an Australian bush hat, from his Dad maybe and for some reason then easily given away, but it was too big for my head, I have a little one, and so I cut it in half, longways, thonged it back up and, possibly even decorated it somehow... maybe a pre-Crocodile Dundee thing but then, how was this? My sisters friend's father took a liking to it and bought it for a nice sum. I've no idea what might have transpired my sister's friend still too young, 13 - 14 maybe, so maybe that was it. That was the beginning of what ended up as the move to Cook St.

The favourite of that, quite long in and sharing with Gary who ended up being the manager of the City, that bar, of many we'd find empty then have to leave as our happy filled seats, and him I'd quite successfully car dealer'd, as in I'd taken his money and disappeared finding my promises too hard to keep yet still thrilled by my ability to play with others money, was when Bobby came back home from Opononi with bags and bags of good weed and we smoked a joint under the watchful gaze of central... the stall being on that corner and by the doors so easy to sun out and be the breeze. At 15 I'd gone all the way up there on my little 100cc scrambler, a Honda and yellow, and it took hours and hours and hours, through Whangarei hoping it was the right way still far too young and shy to ask any, and near nightfall, all the clothes I had on and the sleeping bag wrapped around me, coming over that brow, the big silver sands across the swells, and into that land of plenty.

His grandmother was way up on the hill and she brewed Ginger beer and we went for treks out in the bush with Bobby trying to scare me with Tapu caves and their bones and wild cows and bulls at any time amongst the trees. Then maybe one of my biggest mistakes and leaving without goodbyes or thank yous, the old Maori lady scarring me a bit, she was stern and I'd maybe felt I wasn't allowed, wasn't to be given, my own purse so scanty.

I'd already 15 to 17 made cash from skating, been able to buy things, and while that useless first job as a furniture apprentice didn't teach me anything except those big cold places were horrid as they dragged the chains of our needs across cold concrete floors, the sounds of a hundred staple guns firing a forever that chilled me, merely cutting a hat through and remembering Grandfathers art, his saddlers start in India and ships in bottles made on the back step while Grandma, the two having flown across the biggest sea, still told my father off as if our escape was a disgrace to be chased... it was to leather, and making bags, of all things, led me to Cook St.

From bags to clothes, heavied canvas and hand dyed, I jumped Cook's ship to other shops and ended up on Queen St. The manager, a she in her forties maybe. loved what I did and paid cash... suited me. Then still drinking hard and always stupid and dipped in risk my brother and I, sneaking off to smoke weed we backdoored that shop, seen though by the cleaners, and I nicked a waist up mannequin then back in the office bar, settled into the settee, she joined us for drinks.

And always for the shows, I'd been taught that early, Barry's cousins up from the country how to tempt the coppers then get off scot free, the gift of the gab to be learned willing alongside spanners and crescents... to fix it then bluff it were the medals to be gleaned.

But again though it was great having the police find us in the Pub and talking our way free, too much a nuisance then to even see, it was the aftermath, another older woman I'd not known that politeness was the real gin.

Always I've thrown myself at life and figured recently maybe that's why all my teeth are broken as in the big bites have cracked them all up when long ago I'd heard broken teeth were not being able to get life, not being able to chew it and understand nourishments... somehow though, maybe that was only half of that story.

Further down that road, and a few more decades worth of greated failures with the biggest one almost wasting me, that first real battle as the Rich threw money at me, and crashing into my subconscious and having no idea, I'd done my sulk and I'd got back up, time this one number three, there was a need to settle. Well into being a cowboy I needed a ranch, a stable, some place to sit into and wonder more freely who was me.

Mum then came to the rescue and I'd convinced her to sell up that dingy flat on the truck rd, though not so dingy really but I'd hoped my hope was a hope she might see, and get a house, with land and I'd look after the house and then have some outside for me. And further down this road and left, parallel to the railways tracks, down this street was a beautiful little oasis carefully tended and well loved but just beyond her means. It was tiny but every inch, every corner bright with a found use, and a garage and a shed and gardens all, though, compacted and somehow a little too severe.

But it totally served me as I knew Mum could see I could make that, all that well living, I could do... for her, so it set our bargain i think.

So that part of the road, that between, lived somehow in that and maybe still does and is just before, comes to, the bridge. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mangere Rd chapter four draft

You'd think then as I'm upon this rd, having just started at the monument, that the next significant landmark might be Otahuhu college yet it isn't and I have no idea why though somehow, and I go forward a bit here, to the eighties when I hung out big time with my brothers and his mates and we had that notorious house in Onehunga, 16 Matiere Rd, where the landlord disappeared for a few years so we had it rent free... which isn't really a good idea for a bunch of twenty somethings who enjoy drinking lots of beer, smoking Marijuana just about all the time and riding big, fast motorcycles as quickly as possible all over the places then havin' fun coming up with excuses to get off with a warning when the traffic coppers finally caught you.

But we also had our quieter side too and that was about sunday afternoons playing cricket at various parks, usually one tree hill and often in the field where the archery was because we'd always have it almost to ourselves in those days.

One sunday though we were in Otahuhu at Gary's parents place for some reason and he came up with the idea of having our game in the grounds of Otahuhu college and I still kinda remember that day for it's bleakness... there was something about those grounds I didn't like, don't have any idea what it was and really, because the buildings are so old and made of stone, I should feel an affinity to it, I love old buildings so it's kinda weird I'm really not at all interested in Otahuhu college.

But across the road, oh yes, I loved that little shop there. That little corner shop with the workshops out back was absolutely wonderful. It was Bob Andersons place, and I ended up being in standard 4 with his daughter Sandra, though I didn't know her well, and they lived up the road from us in the only two story house I knew of... until you got to Manger Bridge of course, then theres was loads. Bob, Mr Anderson sold bicycles and repaired motorcycles which were tow of my favourite things. I can't remember but it must have been he sold the odd motorcycle too 'cause Dad ended up with little Hondas to go to work on and he must have gotten them from Bob. Those bicycles though... I loved them to bits. I'm not sure if I'd learned to ride in Canada, I'll have to ask Dad sometime, but it makes sense somehow as Mr Anderson, in his shop, had a selection of small American style bicycles, you know the ones, curved elegant frames, bright metal flake colours, high handlebars and banana seats... beautiful.

I'd had other bikes before that as theres a photo of me, with my brother and sister, out front of our house one sunny morning all kitted out to go to school and I had an English style bike it's very obvious I'm proud of.

All those thing together, and I must have been about ten when Dad decided me and my brother could have new American bikes, and he himself, my dad, had the little black Honda ninety with the flared guards and nice little touches of chrome, it all came from this little shop and behind the counter, where Bob's wife used to preside, was Bob with oil and tools and even machines and for me, that was my church, that was the hallowing of life, the true religion I yearned for.

It might have been quite simply about my fathers reverence for machines simply because, like my brother, he had absolutely no interest in understanding the arcane and esoteric knowledge that made them go and do things for us... but me, I couldn't wait to dive in. And Dad must have understood this because even whilst he treated all mechanical things like Gods to be protected in their innocence he stole tools from work, which really ramped up once he got into the storeroom, and filled the bottom drawer with them so I could get into trouble doing what I had to do. And i did get into trouble... quite often actually as even to this day I don't really understand the concept of ownership.

I mean I completely understand respect for things and the passing on of knowledge which flows on from the respect and care of things but ownership itself has always alluded me. That little shop, that glorious and sweet smelling oasis of man stuff was a shrine and therein I knew in my bones it was something that enthralled me... it was Bobs kingdom, as it were, and nothing was more obvious, of course it was.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Mangere Rd chapter3 draft

I finally looked at the map and poor ol' Mangere rd doesn't go anywhere as far as I'd hoped it would... It's starts in the right pace, well, not quite right in the sense that it's starts in Otahuhu but then it hardly even gets into Mangere proper at all, before it starts getting named after personages long gone.

But then again that's Mangere all over isn't it really? That's one of the fundamental things about Mangere, that it's there, almost wholly, to serve other places... that's what the working class are for isn't it, at least in terms of the consumer paradigm we've entered into, boots and all.

And that could very well be the reasoning, or betterly said, and I say betterly because in Mangere, and all over the world in places similar we come up, often, with our own words... the opposite of betterly being worser, which incidentally... is a word. Who would have known... not us, we're just not educated enough but we are... we are educated by ourselves. Our reasoning, our adaption to our environment gives us our way of being, and that way of being is less about rewards bestowed from without and about us defining, with the rewards we can make available to ourselves, what and who we are.

One of the most important, and yet almost totally mis-understood from without, in a sense sits in being tough but while it does reside within a physical toughness, as in being able to do work, it also very much sits in a toughness of spirit allied with what can often be described as native intelligence... which hasn't been described anywhere, though it might be as I'm not so well read, as well as it's understood from within.

But that is the nature of society. That ideas percolate upwards and are sieved through an academic system which in turn tends to colour the perceptions towards the nature of the system looking.

Even in those previous paragraphs, the last two, I'm stating my ignorance except what's important isn't that I'm ignorant, in the sense I'm not willing to research the ideas that make such obvious and possibly to be changed by going up the ladder, nope, what is important is that by stating ignorance, and be willing to stand beside it, that I am willing an intuitive interpretation of where and who I am. I'm not going to go running about seeking to quantify my lack so much as admit that it exists but then look for options within my grasp which could be beneficial.

Mangere Rd then is quite the good example because by not checking, not even caring to check but choosing to stand beside this apparent, now that I have checked, wrong there is a raft of ideas which have become of benefit to my tale as it unfolds. One is the sense that the road was named as a destination from what might be a commercial centre, Otahuhu on the Great South Rd, to a place of providing that centre, and two, that the road itself, as it goes through the place itself, Mangere, gets named, even though it's the same road, after the white men who owned vast portions of it, the claim stackers, which highlights for me, yet again, that our place, our Mangere, has always been at the beck and call of others, us mere flotsam, even dunnage, though I was thinking of the stuff thrown from ships to sink to the bottom that word, dunnage, came to me and is even more apt.

Dunnage is then the covers across cargo, in ships, to protect that cargo, so oh yes, dunnage is the right word for us given this place to call home yet to be picked up and moved at any time if we are required somewhere else, for a now deemed protection of whatever cargo the masters are moving about.

Being then this tool, this biding place of usefulness in labour and without being able to define direction, being collateral hasn't been a backing unless as unionised, then we've all had to just watch and do what we're told. Therein the watching is what really counts. Watching those with investments to create yeild and seeing how precocious they become, how inefficiencies are looked over from that vantage of owning, and aren't even seen as inefficiency... we watch and have developed against, yet with, the deeming, as above, of our worthiness totally unsuitable to how we might measure ourselves so older ways, it seems, have been our own given allowance.

In that regard then the owners are the predators and we must be wily, learn their ways, keep away from those jaws with the big teeth of law, and maybe this is why it's called native intelligence.

Is that telling enough? It'd have to be really as the whole point of native intelligence isn't about telling, it isn't about adding to a huge pile of already nailed down and trustable knowledge that bets, which aren't really bets at all, only on itself... which it what telling is. It's about knowing that asking the right questions is the real risk and that if those questions aren't right then at least make the suffering make you stronger in some way.

That, if any, would be the point of this book, and I'm loathe to explain why, because again, it's telling, and if theres anything the world needs these days it definitely ain't telling... unless it's a telling off, and let's hope the powers that be get that before it gets to that point.

So me, when this idea for this loomed and cajoled me towards itself, this already will be and I've just to put in the time here tappy, tapping, and hopefully learning the arcane art of grammar... but more likely I'll carry on as I always have just making up my own, having been given this story it is and yes it will be fraught with inconsistency and as cryptic as I can make it... simply because people understand telling, and being told, far, far too much.

We head to an abyss of denial of the human spirit not because we have identified what the abyss is and what it looks like, yes, we've ticked all the boxes to identify what it is etc, fuck me dazed, but have we explored it with our own eyes, our own possibilities of being in and amongst a sense of ourselves trusting what we actually see?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Mangere Rd chapter two draft

Then even if you've defined a beginning, a place to start which might make sense for the narrative yet to be, you do have to go back a little ways previous... it just can't be a furrow cut and adhered to stringently. Well, maybe it could but already now it feels like loose ends, little frayed bits need tying off, macramed even so the knot, the beginning, is at least a decorative in it's shabbiness.

It is that even as I leave Ema's place - and I'd found her still adjusting to the new day but coffee had been brewed so we'd sat out back for a bit and discussed her recent forays into Modern Art, and of note particularly meetings with academics complaining that we, us urbanised poor, seemed to want to see our own mirrors, our own reflections, whilst the academics couldn't see the irony of us having to keep viewing their decided views for us - and come up to the Great South Rd at Dominion Breweries, where it meets Bairds road, there is an echoeing back to pasts and within a year or two of my family arriving here in '69, where dad's inclusion partly, as in outside of work connections, was through Alcoholics anonymous - him being, by then, and to this day, sober as old as I am for I, still hardly able to walk, one morning, picked up an empty beer bottle and, so the story goes, whacked him on the head, as he lay dozing off a hangover, and that was the gesture, that whack by his new son, which decided he would stop drinking - and there was a man, with his family, we used to visit from time to time - and even now I'm here in Otara myself I think I know the house! - and it was, this journey, marked with a leaving, of the outskirts we had, as the hard right was taken at the monument, which surely in my eight year old brain was the edges of something important, that big huge statue of a soldier on a rearing horse, and we, in that little Hillman Husky which was our first car in this new land, would almost completely encircle the statue as the turn was made on the edge of Otahuhu and into a journey through farmlands to the way off new town which was Otara.

Of course, except for the sculpture, none of this had any sense I might make of things for I was interested only in my fathers friends daughter. I was all of eight, as I've said, but had already had quite deep and mysterious meetings of something I knew nothing of with girls - even as all the other boys seemed to abhore these alien, in our midst, creatures I'd already found them utterly beguiling... not all of course, even then I knew the worth of comrades and so adhered to the doctrine as stated, but I'd enjoyed, dived deep, into what, so far as I can remember, were the mysteries of two of those other and grouped, and named, girls. And then there, in Otara, and at that house I can still somehow feel was that house, I'd come across a third one who seemed willing to explore this borderland between the known and explainable, or at least within sheilds trustable, and what was unknown, unfathomable and entirely explorable.

But start at some point we must and for me, the line in the sand, is the monument and I chose that, as an edge, because many years later I found out - and herein it seems I could do research as from what a fellow said even yesterday out at Ihumatao, Peter, that I might be wrong - that the old house, on that corner, was where David Lange was brought up and that man, not necessarily rising above others of us from Mangere, surely did because he became a Prime Minister, and of consequence to me, was that I met him a few times after he'd lost that top job.

On one hand then we have this magic orator, and he was because that's, I hope, how we all remember him. That magnificent voice taking on the world, with such a quick mind that was poetic but also sharp, and that's how we liked to be too and yet he'd taken that to the pinnacle of our land... he came from here, he was as us, and he was heard - I know I for one felt such as that, being heard, wasn't part of any bargain I'd ever heard of, yes, we dreamed of it, that what we all shared as poor folks, though we didn't see it as that and tended towards a bullish working class, fix your own car and concrete your own driveway kind of being - and in being able to speak how could he not be speaking of us?

When I met him then, when I'd passed muster with his electorate secretary Denise Parsons down at the humble offices he kept in Mangere Bridge, and a meeting with him was arranged, I was just a little into my own adventure away from home. I'd tried, I was maybe 32 at the time, making my way in the world and already had tow resounding failures I'd crawled broken out of, one with a landscaping business wiped from the blackboard of commerce overnight by the '87 crash and the second a music shop in Otahuhu, after pulling myself out of debt and deciding to make some guitars, electric, as I definitely still wasn't enough out of the last hole to buy new ones, so I could follow music and ended up - after borrowing a whole bunch of family money to buy an existing shop near the end of it's lease from a bored fellow wanting to do other things easier to make money at - with this shop but was still smoking far too much marijuana and got the lease sold out from under me 'cause I kept putting off going to sign papers... dickhead that I was, then should have grabbed a building across the carpark which was just a little more than I felt I could afford but already felt so out of my depth I couldn't help but shy away from.

See, always connections and pasts going off on tangents... but quickly, I took a house just on the edge of the business district but it had already been sold, that gave me a bargaining chip though, not a great one but at least stuff I could understand, so I did make some cash for the move but ended up badly placed too far away, but years and years later that house, and it's occupier, is known to me, me and this fellow I bargained cash out of, which was the agents fault but he payed, is a genius auto electrician and collector of oddities so we've ended up with a friendship of sorts between us.

So indeed I tried and failed at what I felt were the accepted ways and the only thing left was art, as I'd always drawn - since I was two - so I got into art school, just though not because I wasn't good enough but that they felt I was already too good so I'd had to argue that, yes, I might be able to compose pictures but I had absolutely no idea about how the artworld worked, that it was a foriegn land filled with customs I knew nothing of, and that I needed this year in town, at it's centre, to acclimatise... so that worked, they let me in.

There I was then in town a year or two already with adventures under my belt but had literal veered off, and that was her name, Veer, a woman six years older than me who was a restauranteer, from humble beginnings in Fiji, and I'd ended up in partnership with her, fell into it more honestly without even seeing where it was going and alongside this, well, the excuse basically, she'd had some immigration problems so this was the reasoning to go see Lange.

Theoretically I was a socialist, from my Dads wishing upon the world as musings of how and what could be, and with David being in the Labour Party yet somehow above it, but at the same time having been circumscribed by Douglas and by now, 1993 or so, being in opposition, in hindsight I can see that I'd instinctively seen myself in the same boat, albeit a much smaller boat - a canoe even - but something upon a sea, that required navigation so I'd sought out David to see how those instincts might mesh.

And also, by then, I'd done my mensa test, and passed, so I'm supposing too that I wondered somehow how my possible genius fitted against what I saw as real genius - especially with that almost divine utterance ' I can almost smell the Plutonium on your breath from here.' ( And I'm going to give it to you if you hold your breath just for a moment ... I can smell the uranium on it as you lean towards me!) actual Oxford debate words... memory huh?

If memory serves, which as illustrated above it 'sorta' does, David was, even then, tired. He'd come from us, that place where factories stood and farmlands because housing, and he'd gone out and battled and fought and had returned home tired and possibly even broken already. I didn't see that, I didn't know that, I just saw a hero of us who'd gone out and was able to flame. Yup, hindsights a great thing. It might even create foresight.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Mangere Rd chapter one draft.

Where do we start? The royal we, the cliché? Why not? I'm lucky in a sense I'm not that well read, and that much might become more than obvious as I stumble through this. Already it's nothing like the various speaking in my head stuff that rambling through my brain yesterday when I got to know this idea of actually writing a book. Shit, I've hardly even started and already I've most probably made every mistake imaginable which might comprise lesson one in how to write a book school.

So yeah, being not that well read means I can use loads of clichés and be none the wiser whereby it's the alarms goin' off in your head, that I'm outclassed by my own sense of possibility, and not in my own.

But, as this stuff did kinda form in this bone encircled idea thingy, my brain, it was somewhat difficult to know where to start, and it wasn't as I have, now I actually get down to tappy tappy, one particular point in time did make a kind of sense.

Facebook. It was a facebook post and one of my liked pages, NZ gardeners, felt like a quite reasonably, and potentially paradoxical, spade stuck in the earth to start this particular hole... I did say clichés were goin' to feature.

It was a photo of Comfrey and someone asking what it was. It's very similar to Borage, a favourite of mine already growing wild here where I am, and people did, in the post, suggest it was Borage, but then it got interesting when some clever Harriet mentioned that Foxglove was also involved... therein my ears perked as it them made a trinity and I love the trinity. Well, I'm jumping forward a bit as with the mentions of Foxglove I went googling and found it as a strong, yet potentially dangerous, heart stimulant... brilliant, and heres the trinity bit, that we have Borage which stimultates the kidneys, and to an extent the liver, and Comfrey which is great for our bones then, low and behold, here comes Foxglove to aid the heart... wow, I'm sold, I'm putting my name down, and her what enobled the faith, the clever Harriet, she mentioned a book - and twas even a NZ written one - called companion planting... and I've even some money so 'can I find it available for the day's adventure, can it appear as the flung spear to start this day?'

And yes it was as I then googled the book and one copy, it's now (as I did this) 8.45 in the morning, at timeout books in Mt Eden. They don't open 'til 9 but theres the phone number on the website but maybe someones there earlyand I'll be able, as in right now, get this nailed down, sorted, put to bed.

'Cause what enthused me, made a silly bugger Sean sense, was that I'd had dealings with timeout in the past, even the way backs when I was having fun in town and running about like a lunatic building stuff, when a designer had found me and wanted me to do some work so I pretended I was really busy and might not be able to do the work for them so they had to pay me a thousand bucks up front to enable me to fit them in... so they did, but then something happened whereby someone else ended up doing the work so they asked for their money back and I'm like fat chance (politely though) but how about this chair?

What then also made this really interesting, oh sorry, it worked and they took the chair in lieu, was that this particular piece had gone down, with some others, to Otahuhu Hard Chromers where there was this really neato chap in charge, who was a chemist, and he'd copper plated and chromed a few of my other bits but he'd said these ones were too jagged, too dangerous, to be put into the rubber lined tubs they drop shit into for the miracle of chrome plating... but he did have a retarder solution he'd made up and he could paint them in that to at least keep them rust free for a little while.

Now, decades later, this stuff which went under his wondrous solution is still essentially rust free, well not totally, but it, this coating of whatever he used, has completely defied what is the normal result of steel, not laden in oil, being served up to the elements whereby it just wants to start rusting straight away and go back into the ground.

Going back again a few years after this I'd gone back looking for this fellow but he was in Prison, for a hinted reason I can't actually say, and the new owner, a quite garrulous chap in a certain type of South Auckland doesn't need to be spoken 'take heed' speak relayed to me... stop looking!

Anyway, that's how it is for me. When with one little facebook post theres this almost avalanche of association comes in so I know, deep down in my yet to be Foxgloed heart, that this is where the fun for today will be. All the stuff is coming in and creating a big and shining pointer about where to start forgetting anything actually makes any sense.

This though, this meandering collection of odds and ends, got me into the car and into Mt Eden, and I think I'll come back and fill some of this out later, once other connections are made, but for now, I got to Mt Eden, got my book and then wandering back to the car I finally, as I passed them by on the way there, though I had gone into the shop but... again anyway, noticed the baskets out the front of the charity shop and there, being lit up this time round, past, was a tablecloth, blue and cheap it was, which had been made in 1998 for a Fijian Police convention and that's just got to be the sort of ironic stuff my old friend Ema, who is Fijian and an artist, is going to be able to use.

And that my friends is what started, allowed, the idea of this book. That piece of blue cloth screen printed for some gathering way back in the past and on an Island Ive never been to, yet has associations I can grab, got me, after I'd returned home and decided I was going to take my chainsaw to Ihumatao, which is a whole other story, to drop off this fabric to Ema, at her house within an Olympics athletes javelin throw of the Dominion Breweries headquarters on the corner of great South Rd and Bairds, and so almost force me, the route to unfold, to go the way to Ihumatao from The Monument, next to the old house where David Lange was brought up, and not incidentally his brother who've I've also ended up meeting and enjoying the company of, all the way across the backbone of Mangere, which, as I drove told me, in no uncertain terms, that this book, though here I am at the beginning of it, wants written... Mangere rd.