The Ghosteen Cathedral

I wrote this reflection on Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ Ghosteen about a year ago for one of those 300-word column glimpses where you are meant to reflect personally on a record. My choice never got taken up because it was ‘already old’, I was told. I was supposed to choose something more of the moment. Oh well. It’s been sleeping in a computer file somewhere. I still like it. Short and sweet, as they say…

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Tumbling Leaves

It hurts my bones to love you.
It hurts to see the bottle-brush needles
like dried blood on the ground.
It hurts to drive in circles round my suburb
named for ashes on a field…

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America, I Love You

America, I love you: you’re Peggy Lipton in Mod Squad, you’re Patti Smith in the ‘Piss Factory’, you’re Cary Grant and Sidney Poitier, Arsenic and Old Lace and the Lilies of the Field, my grandmother and I watching you on the television, laughing and finding holiness and beauty in a prayer. You’re the fast talk…

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The Magic Hour

Walking the afternoon streets of the Inner West, waiting for that time the American film director Terrence Malick called “the magic hour”. It’s still too early yet, not silver enough by half, but the coolness hints at the night to come, and the promise of the first stars…

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The King is Dead

I remember the legendary chef Tony Bilson walking to meet me in Surry Hills for the first time. Physically he was probably only half the man he used to be. “Cancer,” he said, like it was something to be exasperated by. Then with a hard breath he guided me up the street to a corner café where we spoke for quite some time and with quite some intensity.

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