Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Catalina available at Amazon.

It is


or you can go into a bookshop and order it
by Danny Fahey
published by Dragonfall Press
ISBN 978-0-9852517-2-7

go on - you know you want to - and it would be fantastic for my publisher - a wonderful independant company from W.A.

Go on.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Catalina paperback

So I have the proof in my hand. Catalina is now a paperback!

Lee, the cover is brilliant.

Just need to give it a read for a final approval and then its off to the best seller list surely....

It's a great feeling, holding the book in your hand, smells like a newborn babe, weighs about seven years of your time - it becomes real.


I crossed them proverbial tracks,
walked the bridge, swam the divide,
left the wrong side and sought shelter
in the place of plenty and light.

The cost casts shadows still -
it seems the new home is no home at all;
inside the boy crawls to a corner
and watches shadows play upon the wall,
remembers his beginnings on that side,
hears the screams and feels the hard hand
or the taunts and bullying tricks
of his brothers and school friends – fear makes a terrible bed partner;
works its way into your psyche like urine
trickling across the sheets.

There were the nights when father chased someone
around the entire block, a brother or sister, hitting their ear,
or other nights lying in bed listening to the brewing overspill
of alcohol and far too long working hours.

I crossed over
but the secrets remain and draw patterns
I can never escape
no matter how far I run

but my children
have had no such nights, never felt the belt,
the tongue lash or had to walk a night street
searching for a sister to the sound
of crinkling venetian blinds as neighbours
drank their fill of some other poor sucker’s misery.

My children have no bridge to cross,
no tracks to bother with -
they are the success
despite all my accumulated failures,
they are the proof the climb out of the pit,
despite the scars and injuries, is worth the effort.

Stirring the pot of memories

The jasmine returns, white faced, blush of pink,
the tendrils lacing through my mind,
reaching back into the dark bin of years -

walking along the dirt track in Blackburn,
heading towards the lake – I was
a student of Drama, a  stumbling writer of poetry,
wearing the white cotton shirt, with the three buttons
and large collar, that I dearly loved
and lost, like so many things,
one drunken night somewhere, with someone -

Most likely I woke in the morning and it was gone
without a memory of where or how
as I said

like so many things -

It was the 70’s or perhaps
it was fresh-faced 1980 and drugs were freely shared
without the desperation there appears to be nowadays
or was it just
that I was so much younger then and unaware
of the desperation, thinking it
was just the normal state of being, as if my feet
were always in rich loam, fed
by the rain of new experiences and the feel
of new hands to hold, like roots gripping the earth?

We shared a house in Laburnum,
it had Jasmine -
that’s the trigger, the scent, the pink flowers that haven’t opened,
the ones that have, and your face somewhere,
wrapped in all those tendrils,
the words lost but the ache
throbs still, verdant even after all these years.

We may grow old and we may grow weary
but our memories
are forever ours and, like scent,
remind us of all the chances lost,
the way our lives, like the jasmine’s creeping tendrils,
take us always in search of the light
but, mistakenly, away from it also.

Lost Oedipus

He runs through a forest.
His heartbeat,
his feet,
pound the earth -
tom-toms signaling fear.

Night creeps close;
first stars, like memories,

The rhythm of his feet,
his heart,
his breath,
keep him moving
as sweat,
cold as his father’s words,
berate his forehead.

At the end of all things
he is alone,
his muscles heavy,
the shoes on his feet thin.

The distance will never
be enough.

He runs,
feels the onset of a stitch
begin to unravel
his will to move forward.

He falls,
face down in the earth -
leaves, like leeches, cling
to his skin.

Breathes in the damp,
the dirt.
The weight of this orb
pulls him into her soiled arms;
he will never find peace -
though her embrace
grows familiar
as cold numbs fingers and brain.

In his memory
his lover’s eyes
mother’s dismal
father’s fury -

cycles spinning round
and again.

Light wanders away,
night cradles without comfort.
In his falling mind
he swims
yet drowns -
knows no one will find him
soon enough.

Geoff Hooke's Ubu

Many years ago now I went to see a production of Ubu the King directed by Geoff Hooke - I think it was in a space he operated in Fitzroy (?). 

The thing that struck me about this play was the moment where the actor  playing Ubu absolutely beat the crap out of a  human size ragdoll dummy. It was a brilliant moment of theatre because of the violence unleashed, to the point where we the audience forgot the actor/dummy thing and began to imagine the violence, the pain, the anger etc. It was a brilliant lesson I have never forgotten.

It taught me that imagined violence is so much better than that in so called realistic dramas. To this day,  about 30 years alter, I still tell me students when it comes to death/violent scenes lead the audience to the moment where they imagine it, then stop - their imagined scene will always be better than your acted scene.

It also reminds me of something someone else taught me, I think it was Jenny Kemp, but we are talking about more than thirty years ago here, and that was crying was for the audience, not the actor. I think this is another example of the power of the imagined. As an actor we build the emotion until we are at the brink of tears and stop, allowing the audience to move beyond the brink to their own tears. If we, the actors, cry, what need have the audience? Our job id to lead them to the emotional experience, not do it for them.

Dumb New World

THE cash-strapped Newman Government gave $200,000 to the production company behind Big Brother to ensure the TV reality show returned to the Gold Coast, three months after scrapping the Queensland Literary Awards. 


Forget Brave New World, forget the new education budget, this is the real world - well the real reality world of TV. After all we don't need books, certainly not ones of any literary merit, not when we can have Big Brother and all the cultural and educational cookies that comes with the show.

So glad we have our priorities right.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Peter Gabriel - Mercy Street clip

Mercy Street - for Anne Sexton

Anne Sexton reads...

The Truth the Dead Know

The Journey

It is in the sound of the apparatus, like gods,
they surround him, stare into the heart of him
and murmur a decision about him,  that I feel
my disconnect from the prospect of his death.
I offer silent prayers to these unknown machines.
Every labored breath he takes, I promise another act
I will perform as penance, as payment, a stalling
of the ferry’s price, as if my thoughts are a cat of nine tails,
and I flay my future with this fear of being left fatherless.

On his finger resides a clip, as if he is dangling on a line,
or being dangled; a slim chance that he may yet return
to my shore, open his eyes, cease his ramblings
about a past before I was born and smile again at me,
his last boy - this father of mine fights a battle in a white room
and outside the world is grey but between is the deep abyss.

I have not the words of farewell, sacred or profane;
they got lost somewhere in the journey – I
cannot remember when he held me, or the feel of his lips,
only his chin, rough as sandpaper, and his watery eyes
that smiled at me whenever I found my way home.

I have wandered far, thought I had left him behind
and now I stand at his bedside and realize
he is about to take the farthest journey and I stand here
and try to remember every shattered aspect of us.