in the old blogging days, there used to be regular haiku around these here parts.
last night, while at the mcg, i was finding it hard to concentrate on the game. i was reminiscing in a blasphemous way about the geelong footy of the late '80s and early to mid '90s, about how it seemed more exciting (a certain ablett factor?), more thrilling, more watchable.
it was a beautiful, balmy night. i have never been at a night game in short sleeves before. the showers held off, and i was more enamoured by the circumstances than the game.
we were sitting near a lot of dog fans, and while i don't begrudge success for certain victorian teams (western bulldogs, st kilda, even hawthorn) it was a little annoying when they were chanting their bulldogs thang.
i took photos of my old man with his little spiral notebook, jotting down the scores at the end of each quarter. that's another difference to the old days. back then, he had his quad-colour bic biro, and each colour represented a quarter, and he would meticulously record not only the goals and behinds, but at which minute mark they occurred. he would have those notebooks somewhere, i'm sure. but now the game's too quick, i guess, for him to keep doing that. you blink and you miss something. but still, gary the younger is a joy to watch. the way his speed bursts out of him.
the only real negative of the night were the seagulls. at first, they were lovely; circling high in the dark sky well above the grandstand's roof line. but then, later in the game, they had descended and were either in flocks just above the players where the ball's trajectory followed, or in clusters on the ground. i just don't get why they do a night final. well, i do. but it's wrong.
the person who invents some kind of inaudible sound system which to gulls is a banshee wail, and scares them off - you know, like shop keepers install outside their doors to keep teenagers away at night - will be a wealthy, wealthy person.
haiku for the cats
my nirvana is tapas
at movida, yum
before the finals game.
gulls flying at night
in the black mcg sky
full of poesy.
the balmy night air
soothes my soul for the present
yet i am disturbed.
for i know that soon
i will have to join the crowd
and decide a course.
do i catch the tram
from the seething, close platform?
or do i walk on?
i walk towards lights
my boots are not well-fitting
i struggle on, yeah.
i come to the stop
i have to wait for my tram
it does take an age.
i wait at the stop
wearing my hat of victoire
soon i will be home.
i collapse a'bed
my balls of feet are flaming
yet again, shoe shit.
the cats have won, true
but should i have stayed at home?
and watched from plump couch?
so comfy and inviting
no shoes necessaire.
* * *
to other matters. i am a list person. i can't help it. and probably my list with the greatest longevity is one i've had going for maybe 20 years or so. it's a list not on one piece of paper, but on many bits. scraps of envelopes, post it notes that have lost their stick or been torn carefully in half, bits of newspaper white-space.
this list is of books that have been recommended to me, that i have seen in medical clinics all over the place, or that i have seen in book shops but not bought for one reason or another. books i have read about in articles, in reviews, in interviews with authors i admire, or more recently online.
all are books that i want. books that i can't even remember why i want them; while sometimes there is the isbn and publisher details, sometimes they are just a title and author floating in space, without any note about what it was that made me write it down.
this is my list, going back years:
goodbye to all that - robert graves
brewer's doctionary of modern phrase and fable - adrian room
an imaginary life - david malouf
cherishing our daughters - how parents can raise girls to become confident women - evelyn bassoff
the historian - elizabeth kostova.
vampire story set in istanbul.
a passionate marriage - jonathan schnarch?
libby/elizabeth southall - book about being in the tsunami. (heard her interviewed on radio - she also lost her daughter a few years before in a tragic way, the girl catching the tram in melbourne to dance class in prahran, and her "friend" killed her through jealousy. what a life for this poor woman. loses her 16 year old daughter, then survives the tsunami. there is no god.)
maranatha et in arcadia ego - by a bunch of holy grail researchers.
i LOVE holy grail stuff.
food - a history, by felipe fernandez-armesto
the boy with the striped pyjamas - someone boyne?
animal speakL the spiritual and magical powers of creatures great and small - ted andrews
god on a harley - joan laidig brady
chapters - candice carpenter
a woman of substance - barbara taylor bradford
the enigma of japanese power - karel van wolferen
the holographic universe - michael talbot/tolbert. also noted here the celestine prophecy - this is a really old note.
ogilvy on advertising - david ogilvy
blonde - joyce carol oates
falling angel - william hjortsberg (this is the book that the old movie angel heart was based on, according to the credits of the movie. this is one of my oldest leads that i've tried and failed to find.)
the power of gold: the history of an obsession - peter l. bernstein
as i lay dying - william faulkner
a fine and private place - brian matthews
isabelle the navigator - luke davies
reading the muslim mind - obviously i would have been interested in reading this when i was married to a muslim mind, and trying to work it the fuck out.
turkey unveiled: ataturk and after - nicole and hugh pope
how to really love your child - dr ross campbell
sasameyuki - junichiro tanizaki
shayou - osamu dazai
oriental carpet design: a guide to traditional motifs, patterns and symbols - prj ford
norwegian wood - haruki murakami
women and sex - nawal saadawi
embraced by the light - betty eade
the physician - noah gordon
the perfumed garden - william heinemann (i may have managed to get this one, can't remember)
la nuit du serail - prince michael of greece (another i have tried to find, and failed.)
in the name of a dead princess - nora someone.
life in istanbul at the time of suleyman the magnificent - robert montran
the koran - a abdulla yusuf ali (i have managed to find this one)
women of sand and myrrh - hanan al-shayk (i think i have this one)
honour and shame: women in modern iraq - sana al-khayyat
beyond the veil: male-female dynamics in muslim society - fatima mernissi
two queens of baghdad - nabia abbott
aisha - the beloved of mohamma - nadia abbott
sultana - prince michael of greece
price of honour - jan goodwin (i think i have this one)
ayesha - james morier
anastasia: the riddle of anna anderson - peter kurth
millennium: a history of the last thousand years - felipe fernandez-armesto
snowdon, the biography
the books list is the longest, and it is my life's work to try and acquire them all. now with modern technology and a credit card, it might be easier. also, i've just gone through the places where all the separate lists have been languishing these many years, and put them all together. into one big list in a plastic pocket. and i will work through it, and try to find them.
but sublists have emerged: songs that either must be ones i can sing for karaoke or ones i want to dance to at my 50th birthday party?
is this love - whitesnake
i was made for loving you - kiss
sweet dreams - eurythmics
modern girl - james freud
tusk - fleedwood mac
into the wild, with sean penn
secrets and lies - rec by "me moom" and watched recently. really good, pretty depressing.
if only - recommended by a student at an english school
drowning mona - bette midler
a simple twist of faith
the road home
whatever it takes - teen movie
doco - taxi to the dark side
yol (the road) and the herd - by yilmaz guney
* * *
one final, last scrap of paper that i have carried with me since 1994. in ukrainian, the name and address of a young girl i met at a pension we were staying at in marmaris, turkey. she was 11, and she was so beautiful. long, blonde hair, nut-brown skin from the turkish sun, long-limbed and friendly. we "made friends" even though i was a woman and she a girl. she was staying there with her mother, and also her brother. she told me one day, in halting english, that she had a sickness, and pointed to her throat. i slowly worked out that she had become sick from chernobyl, and after marmaris that year, we exchanged letters between australia and ukraine a few times.
now, all these years later, i wonder if she still walks the earth. i can't throw away that piece of paper.
just thinking about her makes me teary. sweet katya.