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WritChal 24
14.02.24


i'm doing a writing challenge for this year with a lovely group of folks! big thanks to alice, and laura and everyone else for putting everything together. writchal24 is set out with weekly themes and some optional terms of engagement. i'm adapting these to be:

i'm looking forward to writing more and trying to devlop a habit! sometimes i will link things that inspire me below posts.

find everyone else's work + weekly themes here!

directory

transhumanism

medium

reverse

author swaps and other entries

cube

wizard duel

sphere

branching

author swaps and other entries

second

soundtrack

float

author swaps and other entries

blood

vessel

language

author swaps and other entires

cardinal

format swap

unfinished

breakfast

road


transhumanism

03.02.24

Does preventing decay hurt? Beyond a scalpel breaking skin - I wonder what it is that breaks down and calluses into denial. It’s a bad feeling guessing well, how deep the wound is by how much blood comes back on your hand. Ligaments tear, organs fail, organs half-fail. As much as it’s real, it’s unfortunate, accidental maybe, permanent. Petrification is a dream that I don’t want to follow. I hope to mold copper wires in the shapes of my nerves, stitch my cuts with embroidery floss and patch up my veins with pvc tubing. I don’t mind skinning my knees anymore


04.02.24 - acts of service

Only mythologising a little, I love what you’ve made of yourself. Your gestalt your very own, made up of the scrap panels and circuitry that you’ve chosen to construct your chest and limbs and face. “It would be nice to know you” is what I said, and here I am, moving my fingers inbetween the cool metal that makes up your ribs, minding fibers. I’ve never gotten used to how cold you can be. I’m starting to see, know, take a part of you. You tell me you can’t feel it, but still can’t stand to look when I soldered your knee together.

medium

05.02.24 - birdsong

There’s nothing quite like being amongst birdsong. Butcherbirds, magpies, currawongs, peewees, off in the distance heard as a wake-up call. Being in-between places and pausing for just a moment - there is so much joy in the peculiar everyday and everywhere. Even with shrill, admittedly trying noise of the typical mynas and lorikeets, it’s hard for me not to love the calls out to the open air. I’m a witness to calls of survival, communion. A chorus spread between miles and miles of settlement. I reconsider my place in the world as I take a song as a reminder of home.


06.02.24 - lichens

Lichens are something you don’t notice until you start looking. Know the looking is for you. How could you possibly hope to cultivate a relationship of subject and object? Sit by the cluster on the pavement. Let it sink in. Their form lies almost invisible from our lack of understanding and ability to conform to the world as it lies. Existing parallel and nascient to a value for whatever we hold sacred. All substrates are holy. A commune has made itself known, thallus spread upon the brick trimming making up the walkway to the train station, and somehow you know that there’s more to it than this.


07.02.24

When I was young I developed a fascination for personal stories: books, blog posts, youtube videos, confessions of some type, however small. Mainly because I never felt I could make them myself. Growing up on the spectrum, typical modes of expression through language never came naturally to me. I was often left lacking a way to explain what I was feeling or any subjective point of view. Often anything beyond engaging in prescription was alien. This ended up manifesting as a consistent disconnect from a sense of self. I developed an envy, or craving, for expression and identity. I became a pirate - scouring sentences, discarding the core meaning of words in search for patterns I could break down and identify a statement of self. Something to hold onto, to be a person. This has slowly changed as I’ve only just begun to exist in the world. Don’t read into that. My place here, by its existence, has demanded a relationship to everything else around it. I am a something. I’ve come to understand, kinda, that appropriately personal articulation doesn’t represent my humanity. It still stings a little when I trip and take the time to remind myself. Though now I see those stories as a solidarity, a way to hope to better understand how people are (not as a blueprint). That those experiences are at the same time individual, duplicitous, and a chance for recognition. (Hey, people, I’m one of those.) That the world exists alongside itself in so many ways. I’m glad I’m still around to write this.


08.02.24 - I am in bed with an alarm set in 7 hours on an empty stomach and I forgot to write today

I should eat and medicate and I wonder if there is ever a point where I will stand confidently by anything I do. I should sleep I have been worrying about how I am and I’m grateful for all of the wonderful people in my life. Struggling with Centrelink makes me want to lie down on a road but sometimes you get to talk to a person who is genuinely a human and treats you like you are too and that is nice so thanks Micheal for not deferring my dignity to paperwork. I think I want to go live in the woods or on the road for an indefinite amount of time and I’m only roughly sure as to why. I want to hold my lover and fall asleep! goodnight!


09.02.24

There isn’t a medium in the field that doesn’t run a scam every once in a while. You can't always be sure when showing up to a job that you’ll be able to find a spirit. You play the tune of catharsis. People say that spirits manifest because someone has left behind unfinished business. Only a half truth. When someone dies, in the same way a half-knit scarf may be left unfinished, it is, in its own way, complete. I find ghosts live inside of you - a stranger showing uninvited kindness, a lie masking a wish, a moment held too long, the way you know someone still thinks. They have not left you.


10.02.24

It’s nice to make things for people. With love, crafting unique comforts from a guess. 1+1=2.

reverse

12.02.24 - www dot com

mucking with html and seeing other folks' websites has me sappy thinking about bygone internet. we all know the internet is conceptualised as this forever monolith. we all see it’s temporal. you can't put your trust in a company, developer or web server to love it like you do. I got really upset when I was little and seeing how much club penguin changed with each update. that version is never again accessible, not in the same way. something about nostalgia, something about things being kept in the past. archiving moments frozen and things left said feels like an invasion of privacy, but who am I to say it should be left to lie. memories aren’t something often observed in clarity. rest in peace flash player amen


13.02.24 - routine (tw: self harm)

One, two, thr- AH. Okay. Back to the top. One t- okay, okay. I don’t know why I’m like this today. I trace an arc across the floor. The pause makes it clear the feeling has gone in my toes. One two, three, f- my body isn’t cooperating. And I want it to know. One, two, thr- work through the pangs in your chest. Map perfection to movement. Ply the lines that hold your body and let it bleed to fill the only shape it can be. Don’t hold me back. One, two, three, four. Back to the top.


14.02.24 (tw: abuse)

Is this what you wanted from me? To sink my teeth into whatever sticks out? Surely you didn’t expect me to sit here, numb of volition and have me act as a pillow for you to scream into. Is this embarrassing? Is it really? I’m not sure you’re in a place to make the argument. You poisoned the water, we both know this. You didn’t expect me to drink. Vindication, surely. Roll here with me in the mud, try and pin me down as you rattle your throat raw. I’m no longer small like you made me. Now look at me.


15.02.24

two people started this journey. two people also have come back. One person took the novelty of not-yet-known roads as a comfort, that things might be different. The person that came back believes now that perspective is a translucent insight to things that will not change. The two people that came up were strangers. The other person will not meet their view. This person looks to the road, tracing the lines drawn for them in reverse. The two people that came back are uneasy. One of two knows they’re going home. One of two hopes so. Trees block shadows over the spur and the road doesn’t end yet.


16.02.24 - golden hour


18.02.24 - things in suburbs

Peaceful things: Anxious things: Things I’m not yet sure about:

author swaps and other entries

19.02.24

the landscape rolls past in the viewfinder, shifting the shape it takes in moments blurred in transition. Attention shifts from the wireframe of ambient mess: hills speckled with gradients of bush, splotchy as bleeding watercolour or gumtree bark. Sights caught in an instant of flowing rivers stick solitary to your mind, a photograph - trees road sand rock hill river trees. A silhouette against the sky is brought to view with details obscured by the light it takes stage on. Road signs stapled to stone cliffs like tacky stickers on hard canvas. The rhythm of the vehicle rocks you out to the sand. The road is sharp and it moulds shapes to your skin. The heat in between your hands, oh it’s the sand, you are no longer moving and neither is the landscape. The grass sways with the wind and you are there also.


20.02.24

i am so very tired. i so very much have hoped to be immersed and elated with everything surrounding me. you've gotten what you wanted right? now you are tired. well i haven't been medicated frequently as of late. that's it, surely. the sporadic cognition and unfocused thought that not-being-medicated brings does not ache as much as the intense and overwhelming ability to think and focus and want and ideate and it all disappearing at 5pm that meds bring. is that dumb? maybe. maybe. relying on them for too long triggers a baby manic episode too i guess. i am unsure if this is entirely chemical. but i get those anyway. i don't enjoy the bargain i have been put up to bid for.

i found out yesterday i do not have parkinsons. so that's good. i did not receive any brain diagnosis either. so now i sit with another pile of medical sludge without a heuristic for help. that doctor was a bit of a dickhead and i don't know if only i don't like how he handled things or i also don't trust him because a diagnosis would make things easier. it’s a bit inconvenient having already mourned for it to happen. that's a bit morbid, jeez lucah you're a bit of a bully. i didn't get a close look at my mri but i'm not entirely sure i do not have at least a little of brain damage and there is nothing to do about that. i do not like that the supposed symbiosis of my organs is something so granular and so controllable. and random. depending on some factors****. random and pliable. what am i feeling and why don't i know what i have done wrong this time or maybe i have not done anything wrong. go get a blood test i guess. oh yeah how's your blood sugar been? incredibly variable thanks.

i have so many things going on. a lot of them good luckily. i like that. i love existing. i do not like that i am tired. these are related i think. it always comes back to time management. reframing mindset. taking care. i am tired of running myself in cognitive behavioural therapy loops. oh yeah it will always be fine. you must think this or you will go insane. constantly engineering a broken machine. broken because it can't sit all day and it can't do things all day without malfunction. it is difficult to find a middle ground because that means that there is no drive to exist or too much, see above. wake up you have something you want to do today.


21.02.24 - author swap with alice,

alice, and i did a zine swap! (let it be known i absolutely stole the idea of making a crunchy trans zine from her.) thanks alice, :o)





Transcription / Image Description:

see my swap on alice,'s page here


24.02.24 - authorswap communal worldbuilding

CONFIDENTIAL - journal entries from DR Tracy Harper R.ID:0048, Microbiologist, Biology Department D.ID:008, 24.02.24, 2030 hrs

my name is Dr Tracy Harper, microbiologist. Marking approx 5030hrs after the arrival. This is my second day at the site. We have been instructed by the research lead to document our study and personal thoughts for historical posterity and postmortem public access.

My goal here has been outlined to be to study the risk and function of present micro bacteria and viruses. Specifically, how the lifeform's arrival could affect the diverse, assumedly drastically distinct microbiomes and organisms across earth. Without getting ahead of myself, it's not difficult to imagine a present or latent virus that has presumably never made contact with any immune system on earth starting a pandemic. Subject to allocated periods of study, I plan to explore this further over the coming days.

I'm hesitant to start defining terms in which the lifeform should be referred to going forward in research. Personification may make empathy a priority over safety. I will stick to "it", acknowledging it makes me liable to the inverse. The military presence, although barebones at the site itself, makes me worry of the given implications if someone is able to construe any data as intention - an intention that relates to a human concept of violence. Historically we have always found excuses to define the human and non-human as a virtue. How much something ascribes to the virtuous lends to how much respect it deserves, and we define what human means. It's not likely this lifeform lifeform holds our views. I stated this in a meeting today and I hope the department lead acknowledges it. I will do my best in trying to help others keep perspective, but unfortunately that is not really my job.

I, and 12 other biologists spanning various origins and disciplines, had been allowed 2 hours to observe the lifeform earlier this afternoon. It was eerily silent. The awe and terror I feel should not need to be described. It sits presently over every room onsite.

As I was saying above, the fiction we have built around what aliens could be is all relative to what we understand to be alien. The greatest fear of course is we cannot picture what we cannot describe. Now it is here. Regardless of the extensive documentation of the lifeform from every possible angle, which I'm sure you've seen yourself, I will do my best to describe its form for my own sake.

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████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████████

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I wonder if this being is in its full form as it would see itself. I think of blobfishes pulled from the deep sea and humans in astronaut suits. Communication has yet to open between departments. We've been instructed to start drawing our own conclusions before mingling with other disciplines. I worry, amongst the large number of researchers present, this will draw unnecessary conflict when we get the chance to cross-reference. Honestly - the main anxiety is to figure out what exactly is going on. For now I report to the research lead and continue on with the work.

TH


24.02.24 - author swap with snow


snow and i did an authorswap! (digital collage is so cool also BIRDS) thank you snow!!!!!!!!!





see my swap on snow's page here


25.02.24 - talking to myself

Lately I’ve been walking weird. I am the type of person that talks to myself sometimes, and I think that’s most people. Is this usual for learning a language too? The weirdness gets amplified by sign language’s lexical/linguistic gestures and non-manual features. Walking down the street: I copy the mouth gesture that comes with describing a rough surface, or the handshape of the sign I’m trying to remember. They snap to my muscles as I slowly rewire how my expression uses movement. Modifying aspect, using signing space, fingerspelling faster and faster. Understanding synonyms and concepts with non-english equivalence. Language is fun. Pah!


26.02.24 - wizard's apprentice

"fetch it for me, you rube"

is this how he gets the news?

as he would insist it,

"no, i do it different"

and he sits to ponder his cube



28.02.24 - travelling merchant zine/solo rpg

i've never made a solo rpg before but (cube) had me thinking about dice. i've played a few before and really enjoyed them. it's pretty scrappy but that's ok. thanks Will also with helping me with this and everything else. if you wanted to print this out/play lemme know how it goes! (it's designed to be printed on a4 and folded into a mini-zine)


you are a travelling merchant

a solo journalling game by lulu and will 2024


29.02.24 - slow morning

the day (deictic), rolls in with hi-beams on. nothing is a warm feeling when freezing in the headlights. stuck with root rot. the energy is there, potential and nervous, so not quite. back to earth - think about anything but now, instead about what your dreams were like and take 40 minutes to decide to shower. remember to make tea and go outside after the sun passes over a little too much


01.03.24 - simmer

step one: take an onion. use a new knife, the same chopping board, some familiar cuts until you have what you need.

step two: take half of every moment, and use the half in which you're present to find causality. think a little more about how your hand moves for about 2 seconds and pan-fry. meanwhile, let your ingredients get to know eachother in the back of your brain. allow the rest to take care of itself.

step three: think about how much you try love the people/person you're preparing food for. don't think about how much your back hurts. add both thoughts to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.

step four: add honey, and a drizzle of olive oil to serve. enjoy!


02.03.24

The streets, quiet, sway without life like jetsam. She tunes the radio to anything but static. At least, tries to. Nothing again. It hasn’t come through this block yet. She throws out an imagined thanks to it for her life, and remembers a heritage tree standing solitary in a demolition site. Yes, that type of kindness. Her eyesight stutters, adjusting to the dark in sync with the lights flickering from above. She eyes the corners. Safe just for now.


03.03.24 - home land

There’s something about living on a a paddock

In a shed surrounded by construction material and garden

Dogs roaming, a caravan in the back. Picking fresh tomatoes and neighbouring kangaroos.

The only thought: peace and quiet. (what’s next?)

The city seems a little constricting now, a little apartment in the middle of everything (sure ignore that’s all I ever wanted or needed).

Independence. That’s it. (excuse me, car dependence)

I want to have my friends over and sit with drinks in the grass. Bathe in the sun, figure where the roots end up.

Maybe there’s a road I go down, that ends in country living in certainty (don’t take this as a sign)

I only worry my body won’t make it there with me, the chickens would starve and the grass would grow to hide the snakes. (Please) be the person who has a use for a wheelbarrow and a body that can follow, it’d be that easy. Find an aspect of health to rest stability onto, pray the scales do not tip. (They don’t like fags here)

Find a space carved out by settler colonials that hasn’t been sculpted into a landscape’s worth of natural hazard (you can’t avoid this feeling in the city)

I just want a place to call home, sit in the sun with my loved ones in the middle of everything, put some roots down and run with the dogs. It’s only that easy.


03.03.24 - pilot

They call pilots by the same name as their machine (not the other way around). I am the machine, the machine is me. Like riding a bike, like wielding a knife, it is a limb (or the other way around, I have not yet decided). She (I) has one thing I do not, but this morphs with time. A chassis with defined edges and sides. I have a front and back and left and right and that’s it. I’m corrugated and wobbly. Human. I try to see how, how, how I fit to her (my) shape.

My captain got through to me: “there is only so much you can do”, this makes me feel angry but not powerless. They don’t understand.

I had a dream that I (she) was crushed from each side, the cockpit crunching inward and forging a perfect cube. I feel it. Since then I’ve stopped flinching. (Calibration complete)

wizard duel

05.03.24 - world-weary

Amongst devastation, I crest the hill. A figure lies far in the distance, and it stammers, lugging its body around to face me. Is that him?

I catch a blind wildness in their eyes. They finally squint in recognition, then focus. Yes. I see in this moment, that we have entered an agreement. Neither of us are in shape to fight: this will not be a test of skill, of power, but of raw endurance. How long until you call my bluff? We’ve both seen the moves as they’ve played out again and again across history. This agreement, trading jabs, feints, deflections, ultimatums. Risk harnesses an innate rhythm. I will find your tune. I draw half a breath - the sky strobes in shock and lightning arcs between us.


07.03.24 - here

hello to a very nervous dog yapping at the window to outside (I am the dog). Sometime every now and then, I can maybe wrangle my brain away from the mechanisms of survival - thrashing around in reaction to fake things like passports and “in three days” - not right now - tell me what you really want, grip the grass, knuckles white, breath held, in hopes to not forget you belong on the ground. See what’s around you and try enjoy it because that’s all that there is for now, you can want something. Ok?


09.03.24 - mugging (tw body horror)

"REMOVE JOINTS." christ. was that really necessary? and of course, i slump lifeless to the pavement, grime and all, all whilst you take your time to circle around into my unwillingly stagnant sightline. the dim-lit alley doesn't need to show the smirk lighting up your face. if you wanted to take the talisman you could have already, but you never liked to make things easy.

you reach to my bag, and i realise where i am. i'm barely able to mutter an incantation with my jaw pulled slack, but it's the intent that counts, and the magic draws to my muscles. i can feel each one of them, every single tendon tensed or no. still confined to a frame of bone, i use the energy to pull my limbs taut and shamble to my feet. on the outside i feel like i'm posing a mannequin, on the inside i feel like wooden planks tied loosely together with string. i guess this is one solution. you shamble backward, terrified, good. tensing the whole of my body to keep upright, i begin to fall forward like a drawbridge, following suit. you do not look pleased, dance partner. i swing my limbs along, taking advantage of the momentum, building into a full body tackle. it's not elegant, not wonderous, but we do not have an audience.

you've become fully frozen against the wall, bracing for the weight of impact. but it doesn't come - you never liked to make things easy. i fling backwards in rebuke of a shield charm, a bubble rippling with iridesence that suddenly surrounds your body. it seems you didn't really expect it either, and i wouldn't be surprised you forgot you put it there. i get firmly planted into the brickwork of the wall opposite, something definitely cracks. there's that grin again - i can't help seethe from the pride you get from playing dirty. ambushing me like this? absolutely not on the table. you approach me, now, ready to get what you came for. i can't help but feel an irony in the dynamic you're trying to impose, it's a rightfulness, a jealousy, a hunger, power. you did not earn this. you think you deserve it. i jerk free from the wall, and slump again to the ground. "give it", asking not telling, and the bubble surrounding you slowly fractures into shards, snapping away from the shield and threatening to fly into my flesh.

the magic holding together my movement is supplementing energy i do not have, and i can't sustain it much longer. "you are pathetic." is at least what i try to say, coming out a bit more like a slosh of tongue sounds and grunts. you bend down to meet my gaze, with hands to your knees, "i think you're just upset you can't keep up anymore." i bring my hand up to your cheek, at least a little floppy. i would like to take your joints, so i do. do not forget where you stand.

sphere

12.03.24

the view’s fuzzy through lemon myrtle
what happens behind closed doors
compounding fallen powder
no help when it rains it pours

cameras nix streetlights, fix 10 ft hurdles
a restless waning of yours
mind yourself none louder
watch and flesh out the score

sun sets early, lungs fertile
hand to mouth, choking spores
work its way from inner outer
and expiry comes from your core

butcher scars you can’t describe in full, solid stone weighing your chest brings tense. look to the fields, the fields are chaff, nothing to make except a place to hide (hide).


14.03.24 - on trinkets, tokens and jewellery

Magical channels take many forms, but one of particular distinction are items of accessory. Common understanding invokes long lost tokens of power - the crown of a lich-king or enchanted medallions created by powerful mages in eons past - but legend paints with broad strokes. These items, though deserving of legend, do not make up the full picture. Contemporary magic users and artisans have long been immersed in the age old art of trinket-making.

Magic users spanning a wide variety of cultures across planes share in exchange: jewellery is incredibly prolific through cultures. Runes, jewels or beads all hold significance in some way to its wearer. Often these items employ base level energies present in all things, invoking the innate magic present in the natural world, but are not always strictly functional.

But of course, this is not the full extent of how trinkets can be used. The instinct of the mage has been to tinker with and amplify what is already present - changing the core of the tangled vascular structure of magic flowing within. Magic is able to be imbued in trinkets in many ways, solitary of a wizard for continued independent function. Though powerful magic is capable of being performed with such methods, the instinct pushes further, to harness it, become it. The current understanding, ever-evolving alongside developments in research, is that the best way achieve this is through wearable items.

Those that enchant beads, jewels, bone, or any variety of trinket must first fix them to a medium suited to wear. For example, the chain of a necklace, the wire of an earring, the band of a ring. For a band to be complete, the enchanted items to be integrated, it must be sealed and fixed upon its wearer’s psyche. Many know this as attunement. In harnessing these items of accessory, users enable synchronicity between the item with the wearer’s intent. Energy flows between without friction and can be utilised as if it was second nature.

When executed well, these are sublime pieces of craftsmanship. Each component part has the possibility to harness its own magic - when combined as a whole they can interact in strange, sometimes contradictory, wonderful ways. Items with large points of complexity have gained a notoriety for academic and casual speculation amongst invested communities. Curiously, combinations of specific enchantments have become common amongst those in certain groups: gardeners, artisans, battle-mages, researchers, each coming to know specifically designed complex pieces of power as simple tools of the trade.
Of course, wearable items are not the only manifestation of attunement. Casters residing amongst the western fae caves embed crystal to flesh as substitute for focus, while those of within the eternities have taken to replacing whole body parts, organs, with magical mechanisms. Those who know how can apply these to great effect.

Novice casters must be warned; there isn’t as much of a limit to this power, but a sacrifice. The soul of the attuner slowly shapes to harness the power of the item, and if the power exceeds them, the person becomes more of the item than themselves. Many have tried to break the seal of attunement to modify finished works, but none have succeeded without putting significant wear on its respective enchantments. To break the seal, you in turn have to fight against the charm that holds its form. If you win, it’s rare it does not leave with scars, and vis versa.


14.03.24 - nostalgia

my heart trembles with sunsets and nice afternoons. I don’t think I fit here but that doesn’t matter now. the only two directions to turn your back on here are the land or the sea, until you lay face up and the stars stick to your face. It’s bigger than anything but being next to you makes it not so terrifying. Sorry, sorry. Two steps ahead, I’m forgetting already. I don’t think I’ll ever see you again (until next time)


15.03.24 - bb

mac goes out after dinner to shoot. out an acre, to the fence, empty long-necks chiming in tow. mum's cigarette smoke and incense combo gives him a headache, and this is just the time where the sun crawls back behind the trees so shade hits the fence through to sundown. some things just line up sometimes. lawn chair, maybe 15 metres back, bottles set up four at a time. the early evening lends deep blues and golds so rich he could bite into them as a ripe pear. he only forgets in bursts, eyes wavering from the house of the cop who lives over the hill. he can imagine the dirt he'd kick up about the gun he's technically not meant to have. but bb's good for rodents. and target practice, practice for nothing in particular but trash on the fence. tink.


16.03.24 - in orbit

Once, I was elsewhere everywhere and then I was velocity and then I was more and now I’m around. I’ve endured birth (but that will not quite be forever). I’m a rock I’m a marble I’m the size I was made to be.
A senseless pause without falter, and something is going to have to happen, but before then some more of nothing. Threading the needle, I can feel the surface twinging with the potential of a furled yet-to-be pinecone, among me and of me. My moons keep me company, threatening an end as definite as my distant neighbours. Miracles are never forever, just a moment for the stars to align and things to be in a way they shouldn’t have. It’s a privilege.
I feel the weight, promises of the stars so far away, solemn and stale as the one I call home. Until then, just for now, circling around and my skin sheds to become more skin. Isn't it wonderful?


17.03.24 - something new

take ritual, remove meaning and you get stagnant. Motivation isn’t reason but momentum, that’s the secret. Haha really, sporadic and unreliable, you just have to live with immersing yourself into something that will only give as much back in less time than you need it to.

I put a sticky note on my wall, in big block letters: “MAKE IT NOVEL”, which I acknowledge is a little blunt, definitely cheesy, amongst all the other little notes reminding me of my hobbies and organisational methods that help keep me afloat. I do forget often - I put my trust into ???? hoping the captain’s eyes don’t glaze past my advertisement, focus someplace important elsewhere. I don't want to settle for contentment I want fulfilment.

For now I’m going to do something new always until I'm not bored and or sad. I'll take myself on a 2 hour pt trip to see birds, make, really try to practice the new thing, follow sound and impulse and find a cafe. This post is sponsored by the 4 hour effective window of coffee and Aspen Dexamphetamine.


18.03.24 - thought of you

you, in what was an age ago now reach inside to my guts and your face sets on with disgust for what’s inside. Much later I see the stems growing through from my throat and stomach and again much later think of this moment. I trust you fixed whatever needed fixing, as in “this is out of my wheelhouse”, and “there are bigger fish”.

So here’s a little lamb in the grocery aisle soon to expire under the grow lights, stitches long overdue. Stage blackout, cue spotlight on mark, close-up please, weed killer in the audience holds its gaze hostage.

branching

20.03.24 - this could've been a diary entry

I’ve been very long-winded previously in my concerns with making art. Y’know, regardless of any of it make just for the love of it, do what moves you, who cares yadyadayada. Concerns isn’t really the right word maybe, not problems, but just feelings.

Sometimes I worry about how things come across. Whatever you make doesn’t have to mean anything, sometimes it’s nice just to do something because you *can*.
As spoken about by a few other folks doing writchal I’ve meditated on the fact that this communal project isn’t without audience. It’s a nice feeling to be kept honest and share/bounce off of/work alongside+with everyone, but it’s also very strange to be perceived in what I feel are very larval/experimental creative moments (or at least - assuming perception).

However much removed, I exist in what I make. I’m by no means a purist, trying to remove any clue of brush stroke from the render. But what of the brush strokes? Do you look at them the same way I do? Are they too mean? Are they cold, ignorant, a bit dickish, memetic? Sometimes I write about all I’m feeling and sometimes I explore what I’m not feeling anymore. Sometimes I just try explore something I don’t know how and end up somewhere I didn’t expect. How does it come across? I don’t know and neither does anyone (yippee). I don’t often write candidly because when I do I sound like a bit of a robot. Most of my own journal entries are just actively laying out and untangling all of the wires. I don’t know why I worry about this so much, perception and all that, it feels it’s a small insecurity that creeps up every now and then if I don’t look at it. I don't want to suggest a responsibility on anyone seeing my work (that's you!). This is a me thing.

There is a love though in developing those strokes, invoking feeling through inflection. The labor is seldom precise, often staggered and choppy. I don’t think I’d want it any other way. Through this, I’ve become a little better at processing through abstraction.

I think similarly of making something from scratch, getting involved in the physical process (thanks Dungeon Meshi, of all things for reminding me of that lately). If things were easier they would lose their idiosyncrasies that develop with them in the process. Get to know them. The texture of the kindling, how to know if the wood is dry enough. Get the spark going.

That spark hasn’t come every day, honestly, but I’ve kept going anyway for the sake of the habit. It’s a nice feeling getting it done, but it sours when intention gets mixed up with a weird mood or a bad day. That’s something you can’t seperate, I guess. Maybe/definitely, I worry about involving myself too much that it eclipses my perspective.
Tick “person with ADHD blames ADHD for deficit in specific function and won’t shut up about it” off on your bingo sheet, folks: often the idea of something in your life starts detaching from your intent in why you approached it, and it swallows you whole while you forget to be a person and you just feel a bit strange. As I wrote about a few days ago, stagnation similarly creeps up. I’m trying to be kinder and keep my aperture wide even if it slips every now and then.

Anyway. This has been a bit of a ramble. I'm sleepy. Thanks to anybody who has been reading my stuff, I appreciate it I really do, hope life is treating you well. honk honk


24.03.24 - rest

the sunlight softly creeps into the room, pouring through the edges of drawn full-shade blinds. The warmth echoes in your weight. Today has spun us both outward and rest is all that’s left to do. Hands squeezed and hair twirled is all there is of movement, and the urge to smile like a big dork wins over the energy I do not have to speak. You remind me again, again, again, there’s still love through the autumn breeze. You are home but you are more than home. You are you (and I love you).


24.03.24 - wired




25.03.24 - food tube

I love food content. Content as a word is pretty gross, I feel gross using it, things filling space for the sake of filling space. But it feels a bit more encompassing than any other term.
I learned how to cook from youtube when I was maybe 16? First very slowly, making an omelette and the simplest of soups, then hungrily trying to absorb any new methods or theory as I could in little bursts of excitement. I’m really grateful for how accessible it is. Beyond the practical skill of cooking itself, it’s really informed how I look at processes in general, and how very physical and malleable everything in the world is. Talk of food isn't only on the internet of course but I feel the massive amounts of individual perspective there has given me so much of a head-start that I might not have had with a few recipe books. (As a dyke I feel is as my god given right to insert a poem about cutting onions and buying groceries for loved ones or whatever but that’ll be for another day.)

All of this comes with the inseparable aspect of culture and food. The stories that come with dishes that people share - this is what mum made on special occasions, this is a staple birthed from cultural interchange, no one can agree where this came from but god is it good. They all hold a unique reverence, and they are all equal at the table. Recipes are passed down much like stories, with tradition held dear and iterations building off of established heuristics (while breaking some new ground). Not all food is like this of course. It’s incredible how many spaces it fills in our lives, a thoughtless snack to power through until 2pm holds just as much importance as dinner with family, practically speaking - it’s what surrounds food that we give significance.

Cuddling up on the couch with Will, sometimes we get caught up in instagram rabbit holes of absolutely blasphemous food pages. You’ve seen them right? It’s pornographic. Ok maybe that’s not fair. Not all of them are gross (apart from fad diet meals I’m going to get into academia to slander keto one day), but the intent of spectacle is clear. Fried foods I feel I can only indulge occasionally for some reasons more valid than others. The presentation, it’s an art form. It’s holy-shit-I-can’t-believe-that-exists, and why-did-they-make-this, and christ-I-could smash-that-in-ten-seconds-flat-right-now-can-we-order-takeout-tonight. It’s hard to say I do not love it though. Just a little bit. Fuck I could go for a good pho. I think above all else, watching the process is nice.

author swaps and other entries

26.03.24 - moonlighting

Boss asked me why I do not go outside after dark. I’ve never considered it, is what I said.
Hm, I thought maybe you were scared.
I say I have no reason to be, because I do not.
Boss works into the night alone and she tells me not to give assistance past sunset.
Go do something else, Dot. I’ll be fine, Dot.
Tonight she sits with me at the table. It is nice to talk, I think. She spots the smile that has spread across my face. Reactionary non-manual expressions have recently been wired to particular classes of my processing, is what she told me in words similar to those. So I can see what's happening in there, she told me also.
It took 3 different maintenance iterations until she stopped telling me that smiling all the time was creepy. Boss smiles back.
Let’s go to the beach, she says.
Certainly, Boss, I say back. I think I would like that, because I would.


Entry 114 - Silence

The slow trickles of the bathroom’s plumbing are deafening. Even though we’re deep in the city it’s a quiet street, especially this time of night. You don’t hear the occasional trucks so much as feel their vibrations a block away through the asphalt through the soil through the foundation through the 2nd floor hardwood. You need to really try to hear it though; the apartment gets loud when the city goes to sleep. The ventilation hums gently in the wall next to my head. My roommate’s old bedframe creaks slightly from down the hall. Penny’s chirps ring out from three rooms away. The clock’s ticks reminds you of the hour, and the trickling of the pipes reverberates around the room. Even when it’s quiet, the silence never comes.


28.03.24 - Billie (tw: OCD/anxiety, medical themes, mentions of death)

On a sunny Tuesday in May, in the middle of the street, Billie Kane meets Death.

Death is a blocked silhouette, a mannequin or anything else that holds the shape, motionless all but for the deep blue wisps of fabric flowing as if suspended in water. Billie is the only one who sees Death now, of course - solitary in the middle of a pedestrian crossing, between Billie and the doctor’s office, unmoved by traffic. The sun reflects harshly off of the concrete.

Is It My Time? She thinks after thinking about what to think. Death stands motionless, and Billie interprets this as Not Quite Yet. She walks back home and does not call the doctor’s office.

Billie does not leave the house for exactly three and a half weeks (which includes a half day), in which time she has set herself an acceptable timeframe to isolate. She makes herself familiar with the spider on her window. Spider does not move some days and Billie understands. She wonders if it thinks of itself as cruel.

Billie is back at the doctor’s office. She caught a taxi this time. She touches the door handle the correct number of times evenly spaced throughout the trip, which she guesses will be about a square number away from the steps it takes to get to the doctor’s office from the car. The driver pulls in closer to her destination than she expected, and she rapidly taps the door handle with her other hand to compensate in the other direction.

Death is in the waiting room, sitting in a chair in the row opposite Billie, directly across and one to the right. Billie has only seen Death once since, on the Tuesday following the last appointment, outside of her window. She does not know what to do. She should probably say something. Death is motionless. Soon.
What? Billie thinks.
Death is motionless.

Her name is called and all she can think about is Death in the waiting room and how it’ll move when she’s not looking. She peeks out the door.
“And how can I help you?”
“Um.”
They sit in silence for a moment. She peeks out the door. They talk about her family. Work. And You’ve Been Exercising Of Course?
“Is there anything I can do for you Billie?”
“Yeah, um. So. Actually I’ve bee-

Billie is trying to hide her tears on the walk home. She usually takes pride keeping it together, but this is not the day for it. Death remains out of sight from bleary eyes and jacket sleeves.
She keeps to herself for the next while. Spider dies seven days in from isolation. Billie does not return to the doctor’s office.


2024-03-31

God, spring's so close I can taste it. The snow has firmly melted (even the surprise snow that came after spring's first gasp). It's temptingly warm—finally consistently over 5°C but never over 10°—just warm enough to push the envelope of what is appropriate for the weather (I've really been rocking with the hard-as-ice nipples through the shirt fit lately). This summer will the the time of scantily short shorts and as much boob as I can possible show. I swear to live my skin-showing dreams!

Birds are back. God, I didn't notice how much I missed them, the soft twitter of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) and American Robins (Turdus migratorius) in the morning, getting to spot some more vibrant fellows on a short morning commuter rail trip northward. I don't know if I ever seen a Common Grackle (Quiscalus quinscula) or Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) or known that the Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) calls its name that way. I cannot wait for the warmth. I've had my year of winter upon winter. Now it's time for a year of summer after summer.


03.04. - dandelions have a type ii mutualistic relationship with little girls

my lovely asteraceae
first source of nectar in the spring
i see you everywhere and say,
my what a wonderful life you bring

from taproot to basal rosette
yellow flower head sunny days
your joy-bright summertime palette
spherical florets draw my gaze

i break your heart and fuzzy stem
to make my silly little wish
wind dispersal mechanism
to see achenes float like fish

pappus propel through a clear blue abyss
say goodbye and fly with a kiss

second

04.04.24

kschhhhhhhhh-nd we’re back folks. That one just warms the bones doesn’t it? This is of course Hally with intergalactic 11R4-87.6 FM, and it’s always a pleasure. Safe travels as always for you mean bastards up in the stars. Hehe, you know I love you. As night turns to day over here on Earth, we come to a close as we pass to Reva for the Morning to You. Before I go, I got some things I want to say to you, listener dear. You know I’m a big talker, but stick with me for just a minute.

I had this girl. She was an old love of mine, said she’d try anything twice - but you can’t always be anything for anybody. After we broke up I moved to Earth, and one thing lead to another, and here I am having done this show for full 40 odd years. Second chances is what life gives you, even if that chance feels like a kick in the gut. Now I gotta say - this has been a long time coming - you are my heart, my pride, but I can’t be doing this here no more.

I talk all the time of freighting through Andromeda, like I used to, but truth has it I have not been behind the wheel of a truck that doesn’t have wheels on the ground for as long as I’ve been here on Earth. And I miss it, I really do. Not the work, mind you, but, you get what I mean. I’m getting old, I ain’t got much time to be postponing what I want to be doing. A second chance is what I got. So- damn. So tomorrow, after 43 years, I will be bringing you through the night shift one last time, whatever that means for you. For the last track today, I pulled a double, one of my all-time favourites from the 1900s, 1976 to be exact.
Thanks for sticking with me, wherever you may be. See you in the Stars.
Up next, Reva with Morning to You.


05.04.24

Gosh - it’s wonderful seeing someone love something fully. I find, unless someone is a proper child, that enjoyment usually comes with a footnote. I love this band but…

And critically engaging with things is important, and can widen our lens on how and why things are perceived the way are. I think there’s an argument to be had that there’s not enough of it.

But honestly, really, truthfully, it is the best thing to hear that someone loves something and knowing that they mean it. Love can be a blinder to a wider picture, sure (hater), but it also blinds the boring bits no one tends to care for. I’d like to think everybody has a thing that’s theirs. It’s an absolute privilege to hear friends and strangers yap on about something so specifically that they really really love. Tell me more. I love this! Full stop exclamation point.


08.04.24 - it's alive!

the shape can be seen a block over, a hundred blocks over, above the confines of one street's perspective

that is until your face lies flush with floor and everything towers all the same

warbled reflections in cinched glass suggest its guts, twitching to passers-by if they get that close

rarely stairs or rooms but sky and shapes adjacent

the mid point of a compass, sky-bound

not worming its way in through the threads of a screw, to describe a hammer and nail would be much more suitable

i promise i'd count every brick if it didn't mean knowing you

soundtrack

08.04.24 - lucio overwatch

playing music as loud as I could bear is probably not the best decision strategically, but like everyone else in this overwatch ranked lobby, I know best, and this is cool as hell. My thoughts speed up to match the bpm, this is a rhythm game if you play it right. Again I throw my body full speed into the backline: I am a mosquito draining blood, but more importantly, cooldowns and attention (ooo). Important concepts on the macro of the game have completely left my mind because I’m struggling not to touch the ground for the fourth consecutive minute. This is what eventually leads to our loss but I won’t admit to it because I'm too busy picking the next song. One more?


09.04.24 - hermit crab

this time it’ll be good, a question without acknowledgement, one that begs resolution. dangerous, maybe, lazy, maybe. a new home lays on its back and it carries that weight, and it carries it and carries it,

it becomes the mug on its back, tough and heavy until there is nothing more to gain - but the muscles carry its limbs, still, and it knows what safety felt like

now crab must find another, this time crunched into a ball, plastic flexing out of shape under foot. somehow it’s easier to see, screwed up, dense and neatly wrapped

home looks like, well, hm, i’ll know it when i see it. somewhere the dunes erode further, and this is the last time i pick poorly, this will fit perfect. there has to be an end (please).

home again is the tremor of waves, but crab does not know this or ever consider it. home is parking lots and dunes and the time between now and before sun. oh, you can’t be too picky.


10.04.24 - little brown birds

The instants in which you move suggest weightlessness, though flickering branches are often the only clues to your location. That and the chitters of an insect, maybe a silent smudge across vision.

Your features are impossible to catch in stuttered keyframes, you are one of a million. I can barely focus my eyes before you’re gone as soon as you came. Some take finding your name to be a challenge, I only hope to appreciate you before our time has ended, Fairy


11.04.24

Poor brick, poor concrete, poor billboard. You never stood a chance on your own, nothing to admire in detail, you yourself standing to obscure any signs of life. A purpose now expanded to share space with that of paint, public reclaimed.
(I don’t care if you want me here.) I was done up in 5 seconds, 5 minutes, 2 hours. It doesn’t matter. I’ve made my mark.

name self evident,
some paint
on this-wall-right-here,

a date is no use, because I’m here now, you can see me, that’s all you need to know,


12.04.24

What are you trying to say? Go on, say it. Lay it all out, perfectly, concisely, or even at all. For daydreams and slanted thought is useless, impressions upon sand unless stated and committed to clay. I can’t say exactly why, you only need to know the ones that matter and bring them to a non-deterministic understanding. Now, put it down or don’t.


12.04.24 - carving out a space

Oh the spaces you’ll make. The home label I put on /index.html is becoming more and more truthful as I spent more time tinkering on little bits of my website. I try to add something, and realise it’s super broken and I don’t know how it works, and tenderly fix it up and learn how it functions because the idea was that worth it. I'm putting more and more of myself here. I think it’s worn in.

I love our little apartment. I keep getting more and more shocked at having to tell people how many months we’ve been here now. (8!!) It feels so much like home but I’ve been so used to saying “oh, just a couple months now.” and I haven’t realised how used to the city I’ve become.
I’m in love with how our kitchen is stacked together and our seasoned wooden spoons. I’m in love with how my clothes hang in the wardrobe, how one shirt is always out on excursion with Will. I’m in love with our calendars, the pile of stuff on my bedside table, our dying houseplants, the books everywhere, the ever-replenishing fresh batch of cookies, the clusters of things strewn across rooms I've made an organisational system, the window to outside. We put this together, together, and it’s here and it’s truly home.

Taking myself out has been a bit of a recent thing in the past month: an uncharacteristic upswing in health has been fortified by diversifying the spaces in which I spend my time. And it takes time, time which I could spend being maximumly efficient at home and getting everything done that I need done nonstop. But postponing that, making the time, even if shit’s busy is important. Being elsewhere I have to ask myself to focus on the whatever of whatever I’m doing. And it allows precious breaks and time to think and appreciate something else. (Breaking news! 20-something discovers fundamental joy of life.) Things have felt good lately.

How lucky I feel.


15.04.24 - moonlighting ii

Good morning, Dot.

Boss’ words are the first thing I feel as the rest of my senses slowly wake up. My internal processing spins around in the dark for a short while before I’m able to place myself. Touch, sight and sound flicker into existence.

Could you come help me with something? Sorry, I know it’s a little early.

I know that’s what I was made for. That is my job. But the sense of respect between Boss and I has grown with time. She tells me I still might not entirely grasp the concept, but I know it is important to her. I don’t think she sees her projects as objects; she certainly doesn’t treat me that way. I think it is a kindness. I appreciate it.

Sure thing, Boss.

I do not dream. Being asleep, most everything entirely leaves my consciousness apart from the bootstrap loader that does the job of waking me up. But accessing something, a time, a place, an idea, I discover it again. Although it leaves my working memory I do not truly forget. It is on layaway. But again, again, again, it is found.
I take my mark next to the workstation, and she takes hers.

She likes to have music playing when we’re working. She harmonises, mumbles lilting melodies that fade in and out with her focus. Searching for instruction, I listen closely to her voice. She’s warming up the soldering iron now. I listen closely to her voice. She combs through the parts drawer. Searching. I listen closely to her voice. She interrupts herself–

Could I have the wire strippers, please, Dot.

She’ll ask for the tin next.

Tin.

She pauses for a moment.

Could you have a look at this for me? I feel like I’ve done something wrong.

What are you trying to make? I ask.

A board that doesn’t short-circuit, at least.

Oh, ok. It seems the circuit has patched over to all the components on the left side. It’s formed a loop.

She lets out a sharp sigh and chews at her lip, placing her project down.

God, I’m getting lazy, Dot, she says.

I try to say something to cheer her up.

You know, I’ve heard someone say that to be good at something, you have to be lazy.

Hm.

She looks up to me from the bench from the corners of her eyes, trying her best to dampen her acknowledgement despite the faint hints of a smile.

A very wise engineer, I’m sure.

She said that once, though I don’t think I understand it. But I repeat it for her anyway. We are not always on the same page – and the discrepancy grows further when I try to reach for anything beyond what I was made for. It is almost never her intent, but I feel out of place.

I’m sure.

The atmosphere settles. I disturb it to try express the feeling.

Am I good enough?

What makes you say that?

I don’t see things the same way you do.

It’s because you’re not human.

She says this with no sense of disdain.

‘Human’ and ‘good’ are not the same thing, love, she continues.

I meet her gaze. I wonder what it is that you find in me that you cannot find in yourself.

float

17.04.24

so deeply removed from anything real
hands float above my skin, moving softly against fuzz
that can tear and rip and bruise but
the anticipation aches further
I want to take the pain
and not accept it as inevitability,
or change it to be elsewhere
I want to float in that too
that touch
against my chest and deeper, hard and loving, bruising,
reminding me of presence
because that’s what it’s worth
washing in the rapids and I somehow feel more lost
but I am touched


18.04.24

I took my quads out tonight. I haven’t worn them in a few weeks. I think maybe a month now? Relearning it has been very manual. A month is long enough to forget something nearly entirely. I know how to do this, just, how?

Walking and talking of all things have not been reliably automatic functions as of late, things I took for granted have not felt as natural or doable.

But tonight felt wonderful, relearning how to move. Specific care to control that doesn’t come with automatic function. Tiny, intentional movements flow together. Flowing well apart from needing to sharply realign my balance when I move in a way I forgot I shouldn’t. I pick myself back up: weight on the back foot, glide around into a curve, spin, switch and lean into it. The stiff angle in my knee promises to hold the upper half of my body, swaying loosely to the rhythm.

Cruising through the night – flowing back and forth from broken conversations – alongside music – by tramlines – walkways overhead – through the city.


21.04.24 - dogsong

you chase yourself to still waters, bringing back with you the smell of cold sea
your gallops are enunciated with crunching sand, heat is pulled from our feet and still you are warm

And everything is fine, “everything is more than fine!” you say
the golden morning draws a shimmering to your coat, floating over you as a halo
your nose floats, too, above the sand
and you float by me. Familiar.


22.04.24 - big black birds/heart poem

Falling in love is a raven playing peekaboo with you (and other things too I guess)
across the street it turns to cover its head behind a pillar
and its wing separates from its body, moving as the mouth of a
puppet, and it calls to me, I think.
I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing about animals.

I wonder why I feel so shaky, I think it’s because I am tired.
And I am. I think I am unfulfilled. And it’s 1050PM.
Energy is a forever concern, excitement is a scarcity.
“Suffering is optional pain is not” is only partially bullshit
if you want to be alive (whatever you want that to mean)

My head is above water,
My problems are truly little, really, truly,
staggering to already-spoken words of resurfacing to air
There are reasons to care regardless, really truly.
I don't think I'll ever stop writing about animals.

Love isn’t often needed because love is abundant

It’s the air behind filling with smoke and oh shit there’s a fire, and you tell me it was just a steam train passing through.
Somewhere, catching the smell of tea, catching a memory of an old favourite
Moss frames the stone path like an illustration of a children’s fairy book. The punctuations of a songbird
Your new favourite thing releases Thursday next week, and there’s so much, there’s so much,
your heartbeat,
Go live in a shack on a paddock and you’ll learn to love the sway of grass

Attention is a beating heart and the more it races
the more blood is pumped
the less time it has to linger. Seasons change.
I am too tired, I have a bed to place myself on.
It’s been a while, how about next week?

Hearts are symbols of love, so prolifically spread they have begun to glaze over as if nothing. I am guilty of this.
I like to try, at least, to be loving, to find joy, possibly blindly. Things are just tough enough already, it makes things hard to see. I don’t mind it being too much.

author swaps and other entries

blood

01.05.24

I can smell the blood on their lips, full of iron, like the air before a thunderstorm. I can almost taste it.

I don’t break eye contact, I can’t. My back slams against an array of photo frames. I can feel the shards press against my nerves. I do not grieve for it, my focus does not waver for it either. (It is my focus.) The frames shift off the wall behind as I raise my weight off, half-sticking to my back before eventually slumping downward to the floor.

I labour forward, and another punch lands at my shoulder from above. It shoots through me like lightning, pulling me to the ground at the arc’s terminal. I can still feel the buzz. I look up. They stand by me, still if not for the heaving. Their body bruises like fruit macerates, all the sweeter for it. I take another hit.


02.05.24

Enemy fire comes from every angle. The radar shows pilots falling off the frontline like sand being pulled to the tide. I can't look at the names.
[don't panic don't panic don't panic]
I dodge on reflex, luckier than most. This mech is the smallest in the platoon, and Vespa, this ship's intelligence, makes up for the lack of tools in processing speed. We live in synchronicity.

The wings flutter like my heart as the mech darts ahead in spirals. I inch my way to the front of the pack, across into enemy territory. The shock fluid in the cockpit begins freezing with the massive realease of energy, the cool of space exercising its presence. My IV tubing starts to become rigid. We planned for this. I take my hands off the yoke and to the routing panel. Coolant drains out of the resevoir and into the cockpit. The captain swears against this function in terms of safety, but my safety is a null concern if I am dead. I'm not stupid, I know this will kill me if I let it. A short shock to the system and the mech starts to heat back up. No pilot flies without risk, drawing some line in the sand is a fool's errand.
My heart turns to flour, the wings continue on. My jaw is taut, I am tensed, a drawn bow, I am the arrow, the arrow is aimed at my head. I forward look for a lone deer, to a target. A hammer and a nail. We don't have long. I breathe in. Forward.

Vespa starts rattling off weaknesses of the enemy Ballista unit. We think the same thoughts in the same order. My nerves twitch in ways I do not intend, though still, frictionless. The density of fire increases all around us, it's getting impossible to manage. Vespa sings to me, a panicked opperatic whistle. Within it, whispers, a voice. I can feel the previous pilots' voices amongst the system, etched as fingerprints, a fungus. The noise drowns out the fervent chatter on the radio, the battle, my sight, until it's all I am.
[let me take over]
No, Vespa, fuck, no,
[trust me]
Who the fuck was that?
[trust me]
[trust me]
[trust me]
CHRIST! Do it.

The world fades back in, I'm no longer in the cockpit. My vision is split across the ship's infrared cameras, the radar, energy reserves, damage status, ammunition, artillery lock-ons. and I see my body, no, I feel it, in the cockpit, moving without me. With me. Of me.
[trust me]
[trust me]
[trust me]


05.05.24 - plotstorm

My job takes me to many places, wizard councils, hobbyists, markets, exiled academics, and inbetween it all. It’s hard to know exactly what it is they’re after, but my wares are a unique good all of their own.

A pocket dimension, a compressed shorthand of the world between the world. A shortcut. This is transport, my place of work. I open a door from nothing, and take the jump.
Things aren’t ever quite right here, though most things aren’t when they’re all laid out in front of you. The air is always thick with fog, the faces always ones I half-remember. The compression of the world is quite literal – the natural and constructed collapses in on itself, many forms into awkward portmanteaus. The magical properties of this place are bizarre. Not for me to understand, my customers more intrigued than I. I take these oddities and sell them to the interested few. I’m yet to be sure whether or not this interacts with the material world, but I’m not exactly inclined to learn. Work is work. a collation of sketches. one sketch is of a slim goblin with a backpack. the other sketch shows various everyday items mashed together

On the horizon, a silhouette stretches to the heavens. Matching the colour of the sky – its shape merely suggested from the reflections in its surface. Splintered sunlight, structures of their own, floating. The landscape is laden with simulacra of lamp posts, pathing, fences, trees, playgrounds, rivers. It is unusually quiet. The ambience does not seem to talk over itself. a collation of sketches. they each feature doors. a sketch on the bottom shows an abstract park scene

And I find it, it’s just the thing. Sifting through the rubbish - a compass. Labeled up, down, left and right in place of cardinal directions. Its arrow does not seem to conform to any logic. How useless. I start going through names in my head of potential buyers, where to next. I realise I’ve already started walking. My perception almost entirely leaves me, easing into the dullness of the familiar.

Follow the path until you can’t find where the path is anymore. Until you get where you need to go. Until - somebody is here who isn’t meant to be. Who are you? This pocket dimension is mine and mine alone, the magic and literature used to create it has been long destroyed. I made sure of that. Our eyes meet before they turn and open a door.


05.05.24 - mmol/L (tw:vent, chronic illness)

(hey hi this is a bit more of a vent than anything. Not trying for sympathy, this is just a big part of my life I have not ever really meditated on much.)

A friend asked me last night if there was anything I was proud of, however small, and I didn’t really answer (haha, I don’t know, I’ll get back to you).
Diabetes management was one thing that crossed my mind. The thing is, if you’re doing it right, it’s not really something you’re meant to notice. There isn’t much of a reward in it. Stable health and clarity of thought should be a given. When things go wrong it’s frustrating. When things go right, well, cool. How long will this last?

Here is the big fuck-off list of things to manage everyday (it's a bit exhausting)

how many carbohydrates are in the food, how much insulin you put in to compensate, whether you guess the first one correctly, if you still have insulin in your system (basal/short-acting), how long ago you ate, what the GI of that food was, how your body metabolises it, if your metabolism has decided to change for whatever reason, how much sleep you’ve had, if you’ve exercised recently, the intensity of said exercise and whether or not your liver decides to raise your blood sugar for it, (how much it did,) whether you want to do this anymore, if you’re ill, insulin sensitivity, how much glucose you body actually uses, how hydrated you are, whether you remember to inject insulin at all, however you decide on the matter of overcompensating with sugar for sharp drops in blood sugar to lessen the risk of brain/nerve damage for consequent highs, how sleep affects absorption, if you remember to check your blood sugar after you make a guess at a dosage, how alcohol/drugs affect absorption, how you weigh hunger against contextual decisions for blood sugar management, how stressed you are, the dawn phenomenon, if you don’t forget your meds at home, which injection sites you use, if you remember to consider changing your basal dose when none of the above goes right, how well you’re able to make decisions when your blood sugar is fucked

I have never felt much pride in managing chronic illness. Truth be told, it’s often shameful. Especially when you cannot manage. So many symptoms are invisible. It is all in your control until it isn’t, and then it is your fault.
(Thoughts from a normal brain:)
No amount of praise, internal or external, shifts the amount of responsibility you have to manage. It does not shore the burden. It is a nicety. Love in the light of harsh circumstance is borderline inappropriate. It does not help. There is nothing to fix.

I’ve been thinking about this today. I’m trying to work through these notions. A lot of this has built up with general anxiety around management that has been long unaddressed. And truth be told, actually, I’ve realised I need to stop approaching caring for myself with resentment. This is extremely obvious. I did not realise until I looked at it for long enough. It’s a thankless role that is not without the opportunity for thanks. So, I think I’m doing a pretty good job considering it all. I will keep trying until I can't anymore.

Really, I’m lucky I have the chance to live at all. I’ve always thought I’ve been without agency. But the fact I have a choice in survival, that insulin is affordable here, is a miracle. My blood sugar has been a bit fucked the past couple days. But I’m glad I’m alive. However poorly done, that’s my job. And I’m keeping on with it. honk honk

vessel

09.05.24

he is cold for
the same reason that
branches reach out to the sky
the steel inhabits him
in a permanent state of hush
breathing is working
touch has regressed
an inch back from fingertips
no place so alone
as company with white waters


10.05.24 - [Nerve Matching Fatigue and You]

Nerve Matching Fatigue is a common case amongst pilots. Engineers, try as they might, are unfortunately unable to account for the thousands of conflicting factors present in pilot/mecha linking. With prolonged exposure, the risk of complication only compounds.

It is your responsibility to manage your wellbeing. Please contact your supervisor if you begin experiencing symptoms of NMF.

Diagnostic NMF symptoms vary greatly depending on the nature of the pilot’s mecha, but general symptoms have been defined as the following:

Pilots have accounted their respective bodies feeling “wrong” or “warm”, seemingly out of sync with the physicality of their mecha. This discomfort often evolves into obsession. Pilots must ensure continuation of daily reports to their handlers and supervisors; and report unusual behaviour you notice amongst fellow personnel.

NMF is being actively studied as a conduit to improve on calibration techniques. So far, the applications of these techniques have resulted only in Rejection, underwhelming combat performance, or desyncs later down the line. Further information is needed at this time.


12.05.24

Drifting into uneasy sleep, a veil rests over my conscious.
This isn't right. There's nothing to name. Not yet.
Fatigue fills the cracks where silence used to. Reflection itself stares back featureless. There's nothing to know.
Dreams calcify into memories, until it aches beyond reason. The loan on my time expires soon. There is nothing to name. Not yet, but soon.


12.05.24 - language

I am struggling at the moment with language.

I feel like I’m losing my brain a little always.
Not being able to focus properly has felt to be a reflection on my ability to be. My ability to express has felt similarly shaky. It feels a labour to put things down, to do something beyond the low energy already available. But, I want to, is the thing. (I just can’t get there.) This is about writing and this is also not about writing.

It’s half my stutters and switching words around without realising and studying another language full-time and ADHD and motor tics and my brain stopping at times it shouldn’t. That I forget how to conceptualise beyond the real.

The other half is I’m not sure how much I can extend myself to discipline. There is the irreversible want to do things, to say things, and of course to do it well. But you cannot do it well without effort. And effort requires energy I cannot or do not want to commit - so you get okay with good enough. But good enough only gets you so far. And you have to be okay with that.

Signing has felt better lately, it feels more natural than English sometimes. Which is weird, because it is a second language I am not yet fluent in. But I’m able to find I don’t labour the simple act of saying. And that is something.

Though foggy, I have as much autonomy now as I ever will. I am grateful loved ones are here, that they keep me present.
I’m trying to be ok with saying not enough.

language

14.05.24

I exist in filth, and the filth rubs off on me. I am not alone in this.
My clients call it conference, I will admit I don't see it that way. They like to think of it as leveling the playing field, so to speak. One I have part in digging the ditches for. My proxies serve as reliable sources, freckling the galaxy all over. They will spy, deceive, surveil, hack, stab, whatever, just for that one thing, you'd do anything for it. The grand commodity. Information.

The real criminals are at least self aware enough to know this is bad practice. Some bottom feeders willing to betray anyone they're able to get close to for a quick buck cultivate distrust and unease everywhere. Not very sustainable — that's what I'm told, anyway. Those that aren't living in blissful ignorance have slid into an ill acceptance of the fact. There is no escaping the eye, the ear, the radar, as long you're within Federation bounds. It is not something you can even escape in death. That, I do know.

It's a powerful thing, trust. You never know who's around to hear when you truly speak. I would be careful with your lies, stranger.
But it's not my job, that. Don't shoot the messenger.


15.05.24

Here we are, bunched together like rats between the walls. As it always has been, as long as we've both been in the walls. Passing words are made communion. Another endless moment of closeness that justly echoes in the time between. Paths well-worn, strengthening as muscle, weakening just the same. The path's furrow repairs itself, the dust settles to become ground. It is ours. Just as those you've shared are yours. Neither of us are here to dig. How to say it still - I miss you.


19.05.24

I've heard that voice so many times. It's absurd, but hearing it now, it feels as though it's for the first time. The recording is dense with artefacts and ambient noise - though I can imagine it, as it would be, clear as day. This is the only evidence of their voice that is not in memory. It feels to be a bastardisation of it. Here to warp it around itself like a black hole. I hear those words, the same ones I know, only in a different order. That inflection is so familiar. I wonder what happened to them? Those words? The ones we've shared. I havent spoken like I have to them since they've been gone. No matter how I try, I cannot shake the feeling that I never will be able to again.

author swaps and other entries

Alliums and Graduated Cylinder

a cyanotype piece rendered in blue and white. in each corner of the page are flowers and leaves. in the centre-top of the page is a pipe.

Entry 146 - Asshat

Y’know the Wizard’s Curse might be the best thing to ever happen to me. It’s kinda funny to me how, she cut me off in traffic and I rolled down my window to call her an asshat at the next intersection- my mistake on the wording I guess, you know they’re particular about their hats, those fellers huh? I didn’t even see the hat when I yelled that. Probably would’ve kept my distance if I had... but anyway I call ‘er an asshat and she yells something back and the next morning it’s raining blood in a 100-meter circle ‘round my house. Kinda fucked no? Kinda proves my point too if you ask me...

Anyway it ruined my life for a bit, my husband divorced me but that was happening anyway, hell of a straw to break the camel’s back, no? And these researchers show up and run some tests and they tell me it’s real blood! Not some illusion not just reddened thickened rainwater like you’d see in neighbourhood pranks, but actual conjured blood from the blood dimension or some nonsense... this had been going on for a month at this point. It only shows up when it rains, it rains blood instead, it‘s not going constantly which is a mercy. Real fucking blood, can you believe it? What levels of petty- inspirational, honestly. I kinda respect her for it.

So I had just lost my job- someone on the news saw my house and realized I was making it rain blood on the office- and I started thinking, isn’t blood really high in nitrogen and all that? And yeah, blood (the white-coats told me it was from a species of south American mountain goat? as if I needed to know!) is full of nitrogen and metals and phosphors and all that beautiful stuff, and the white-coats told me mine was sterile too! Oh look at me, calling it “my blood”... it’s a part of me now, part of my life. I certainly didn’t see it that way back then, but you gotta adapt.

Anyway a week later I had my bags packed, and I went out to an old family friend’s farm. Lost his wife in the last wizard war, so he was sympathetic (bit of an asshat driver himself too! don’t tell him I said that!). When the first harvest came in it was crazy- crops were up 50% or some nonsense. Up another 20% the year after too! Together we built a few sheds around the place, spread out my coverage y’know. It felt good bein’ useful, special even. It felt good working with my hands. Maybe I should have been doing this all along. It’s been eight years last week.

Did you know these sorts of curses take constant upkeep? Like this is blood conjuring, not some sorta self-sustaining illusion. Whoever that woman was she’s keeping this up on purpose. Did she see me on the news? Does she know that this has all worked out just fine? More like a Wizard’s Blessing now, wouldn’t ya say! We started selling off our dirt- turns out there’s such thing as too much nitrogen? Anyway, fine by me, I’m happy to share, we can always make more. Maybe this is her repentance? Or it’s spite? Or pride, gone on too long for her to admit defeat? God knows what this spell costs to maintain. And all ‘cause she had to be an ass in traffic.


26.05. cleaning ritual

the first step is to wait for your workspace to get so full of paper and pens and cups of water and paper towels and disinfectant wipes and coins and trinkets that you can no longer think.

then you breathe and take stock of everything around you. set a 20 minute timer, and get to work. paintbrushes and colored pencils gathered and put in a bin to be forgotten for two months, but not like you were using them anyways. stray sticky notes and sheets of paper taped get taped into a planner. i move a stack of papers and suddenly remember the posters i was pressing flat since, what was that, march? anyways, paper bags of

the third step is to get carried away. you (knockoff) blu-tack the finally flattened poster to the wall, matching its twin. you put the other poster under the clamp, and move the stack of papers back. okay so now the cutting mat has been exposed and there's that solidified nail polish spill and hm. well.

there's a completely cleared 1/2 of the desk now, and the 20 minute timer is up. good work.

cardinal

30.05.24 - survivor's guilt

You never get used to seeing your body being shipped off to the repair bay, like some sick animal to the vet. Making it out alive is one thing, making it out in one piece is another. The shields gave out in our retreat, and bullets made tattered cloth of her chassis. I stand hundreds of metres away at the edge of the bay, watching the recovery crew attempt to navigate her form with their own machines. I see the holes, the size of me in multiples of ten. Somehow the cockpit wasn’t touched. I cannot begin to conceptualise the amount of force it takes to tear through steel like that, though I stand here still. Flesh and bone.

I’ve always wanted to make it better. But I’ve not yet ever been well enough to lift the limits of fatigue and pain to bring my physicality to the task – thankfully the engineers let me stay and watch. It normally takes a few weeks to get it all done, I can barely pull myself away for post-mission briefs, training, sleeping. To say guilt is a heavy feature in our relationship would obscure the full nature of my attachment. Those injuries are mine, too. I can’t do anything to help, but I feel sick at the thought of hurting you just to leave you be. I will wait here, until we are each other again.


03.06.24 - this morning

Another week, another morning. The most dear of things still buckle to the flat hum of repetition (if only slightly). Shower eat medicate get out the door. I leave 5 minutes later than I should (right on time, Lucah).
It’s been a while since the morning has brought rain, slight as it is. Dew drops form on raggedy fabric on my scarf, and I go back inside for an umbrella – though I put it down after a minute. It has been a while. The sensation of gentle brush, too cold, an offering for new things to come. I want to cherish it before it becomes more of the same.

format swap

04.06.24 - cynodon dactylon

a watercolour and ink pen illustration of an invasive grass growing from a post. on the left of the illustration are some orange panels. in the panels are small objects. one of the panels says: 'commune?'

05.06.24

The river is so acidic it runs clear. You think of purity. Barely any shore shrubs survived, the runoff pervading the soil further than it ever could have before. Out further – the sides of the cliff bleeds blues and greens. Mineral deposits have been robbed of their structure, their surfaces porous from necrosis. Small hollows echo through the clay. You see right through the it, bugs mummified in the earth like a display case in a museum.


06.06.24 - do it yourself!

There is no problem that a YouTube tutorial cannot fix. Or at least, give you some direction on what to do next. Got a chip in your bathtub? Learn what epoxy you’ll need, how to apply it and how to paint it the right colour before your rental inspection. Don’t have enough ingredients for a full meal? How to engineer audio for your dumb computer setup? Rust forming on a pan? Mould on carpet? Don’t know how to make a website? How to fix clothing? Not for long! There’s always a solution, even if that solution is to maybe adjust your expectations. Not to be a boomer but so many things have become too convenient and too disposable. I adore the inconvenience it takes to learn to repair and make and love. Each thing has its own internal tick, an assemblage of materials forming their own little harmony. You’ve just never listened to it until now. Things are getting louder, and louder, and louder!

unfinished

12.06.24 - some world

in the morning in the middle of nowhere, wrens shake the frost off saplings in the morning fog. They give themselves a sense of scale. You can’t help but get pulled into it – the little circles they run themselves in. Across the field are the wind turbines, the eagle, the fox sleeping in its burrow. You’ll soon be heading home, head banging in the back seat of the car with your friends. For now you are together alongside everything else. Corellas play high up in the gums without worry of how they’re heard. Kookaburras giggle themselves to sleep. Tonight you’ll all sit around the fire, spin yourself around, dancing in circles.


12.06.24 - creating when you can’t be fucked, or: a plan

Ok so every time: this is really the time I hold a habit in perpetuity (and then it isn’t). That’s okay. This is yet another plan that I have no disillusion (is that a double negative?) to be perfect, or that I’ll be able to hold it up forever but I’m trying to reflect a little so that I can keep making. (it's good for the soul) This might be easier said than done but saying it might make doing easier.

things that suck:

what to do about it:


13.06.24 - omitted for reasons

I wrote and recorded a lil monologue in Auslan but it was a bit slow and not as articulate as I'd like so this is just for me! Good practice regardless (maybe something to post in written English later :P something something being on theme this week)


14.06.24 - fae real (not clickbait!?)

I’ve always thought fae hid because they don’t like to be seen. I couldn’t believe my eyes coming upon the carpet of pine needles, the undeniable glow of fairy dust saturating the forest floor. My stay in the supposedly-less-than-enchanted-woods over autumn was meant to be one of rest – though suddenly I found my morning walks were enveloped by the opportunity to record. After each morning I’d find more evidence of their stay. A ring of mushrooms had sprouted from where I’d left an apple. They began popping their heads out from behind rocks and grasses, little flickers of iridescence. And in the next few days, in the same location, new life sprouts from the rot beneath. I’m infinitely unsure whether much more mundane disturbances I come across are from local wildlife – ripped up weeds, sticks moving around, empty burrows – but I know the fae have noticed my noticing. Ever since I started to record them, I find my pen in a new spot every morning.


15.06.24 - books

I’m thinking I should join a book club or something so I can have some accountability to regularly finish a book instead of doing what I am now. I know others juggle multiple books at once, and and it's probably just not for me, but I like it like this. It’s an undeniable case of shiny toy syndrome – I find something exciting and interesting and I get the gist within a few hours. A positive feedback loop of overwhelm – I’m not keen on finishing a book that has lost its immediate novelty, I start another, then I get overwhelmed at the two half-finished books, I start another, you get the gist. Eventually the rush of motivation comes, the type that only comes once a month or so with ADHD – and they’re all finished within a week. Ticking off five boxes at once is better than ticking off a box every so often. Why is relaxing so hard huh?


16.06.24 - sculpture

i made a blender piece today inspired by the theme! you can find it here
here's the thumbnail sketch of the piece. just for u

a small sketch of a an abstract sculpture of a figure on a table alongside a window and a mirror

17.06.24 - notebooks

How precious is it that I can hold my brain in my hands. The semi-permanence in the page catching the overflow in memory I can’t let slip. Sometimes habits form from comfort, sometimes compulsion. Tracing through the day’s to-do’s, tomorrow’s, yesterday’s too – I finally can breathe. Little fleeting epiphanies dotted amongst what’s known, sitting idly waiting to fade out of relevance. Sometimes I wish I could see every page at once, but I continue regardless. Some emphatic, temporary thing.
a picture of 7 notebooks laid out, each with different coloured covers and stickers

a picture of the notebooks in the previous picture stacked on top of eachother and tied together with string

breakfast

21.06.24 - rattling

"Doors are locked. Stand clear, train now departing." The carriage is full enough for this time of night, the walkways are quite crowded since no-one wants to shoulder up with anyone in seating. I think of pushing through to ease the twinge in my back, but I think I can manage for just a few stops. The doors squeeze shut and gravity shifts sideways for a brief moment as the carriage lugs forward. The vibration in the tracks below hum through the walls, and I sink into the one behind me, just until the next stop. My eyes unfocus for only a moment, but I can see the lights outside shifting. They start to streak across the windows like paint — each pane a photograph under long exposure. It's gone in a blink, though, not quite? It fades only slightly, leaving untempered distortion across the width.

The ground below sinks and rises, the sway of the carriage developing into a cyclical gallop. Overhead lines tighten the train's movement like a leash, slowly screeching - and suddenly the walls feel loose, held together by a thin membrane. Nobody's panicking, of course they wouldn't be. I take my back off the wall and shift all my weight onto the handrail. It gives into the grip, the structure further dividing like segments of an eggshell. There's warmth beneath the metal. "Now arriving at: Richmond Station." Fellow commuters are already bunched by the door, and it opens to a stiff chill that sobers up the carriage. I hop out to the platform, I guess I'll wait for the next one. Damn Xtrapolis.


22.06.24 - (is this nsfw?)

click here for comic a small comic sketch in three panels. It shows Lucah's back pain being relieved by a massage wand/vibrator
  • i guess that's what it's for

23.06.24 - blocks

an array of sketches in a 3x3 grid two illustrations rendered in watercolour and ink pen

25.06.24 - bottomless pit

my heart decided it didn’t want to come with me when I walked limply over the edge of a cliff. “Sentenced to 6 months of Bottomless Pit for violating statute 1c-a. passed by the 37th Council on the Status of Necromancy”. How was I supposed to know huh? I don’t really eat meat, I just thought it’d be nice to have some fun before the dog got to it. He loves steak. Apparently the High Court doesn’t take lightly to my “reconstructed cow” experiment running around for my dog’s entertainment on sacred grounds. Whatever. I really do miss having the feeling of earth beneath me. The constant flow of gravity has become so meaningless without context that I’ve very quickly forgotten which way is up. The boredom really gets to you. I’ve tried swaying left- right- or- uh- whatever, to bounce against the walls. Eventually I hit something, and I ricochet back into darkness. Not that this is a commonality amongst the company I keep, but I don’t really ever hear back from anybody who’s been down here. Maybe after a while there is just a bottom. Maybe they don’t pull me back. Maybe time works differently here. I can’t tell which way is up. I can’t tell if I’m sleeping. Will this undoing of my intuition be permanent? I don’t know if my heart will join me again when, if, I’m back.


25.06.24

I can’t bear to meet her eyes without the rise in my chest halting before it can ever fall. We share a giggle at my sudden lack of initiative, and again I stutter in fully committing to my end of the deal. (You’re just so-) She pulls herself up to me from the floor, weight shifting beneath mine. I black out for a second from the static and wake up to the touch of her chest against her shirt against mine, the taste of blood trickling in from the right side of my cheek. She cradles my hand against her face, as hers takes the back of my neck. So where were we?

road

28.06.24 - covid noncompliance and hypocrisy

Like. I don’t need to say covid’s bad, right? I think everybody is at that point. How does that reality lines up in everyone’s minds – I mean – it doesn’t, right? If everyone sincerely didn’t want to catch covid we wouldn’t be “back to normal”.

Everybody is making concessions with how the world is now. Personally, I still go out in public spaces, I wear a mask most days and places (unless I don't think the risk is high), I don’t wipe down every grocery, I still see friends+family. Hell, I’m on a plane next week. The concessions we make typically rub up against the reality that covid is a debilitating and damaging and prolific disease. It heightens the risk from zero, but that risk is something everyone has come to live with. The thing is, I’ve not been able to turn off the hyper-alertness around other’s carelessness.

Practicing disease prevention in any tangible sense is kinda taboo, or at least, a very low priority for a lot of people. Just doing it on vibes alone. It feels incredibly navel-gazey to be making judgements at how someone goes about it, especially since I am not taking every precaution I could – but at the same time, the chain grows weaker with every broken link. Why is acknowledging that risk not worth caring for? Why is trying to create a safer environment the greater concession?
I don’t want to never touch anything and go into a forever OCD spiral just so that I can attempt something resembling safety. I can’t be mad that other people do not want that either, but fuck man, I wish caring a bit was normal.


28.06.24 - pidges

Naturalists don’t often tend to care for introduced species, but I have a real soft spot for pigeons. Two of the most common species here are the Rock Dove (of course) and the Spotted Dove. I just adore their plumages. The Spotted Dove: when the sun hits, their edges filter from soft greys to the light between fingertips. The blues and reds and purples of smooth eucalyptus bark shines through their bellies. Rock Doves too? Man. I don’t know why we gave up having these guys as pets. I imagine a feral population has done wonders for their variation in appearance, and such pretty variations too – black brown white green purple grey speckled striated iridescent mottled barred. Sky rats my beloved

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