In storage, one cardboard box filled with photographs.
I know one grey envelope contains: Peppy, full name Peppermint,
Aged 2 or so, inspecting one minuscule ball of black kitten fluff,
Two weeks old, soon to be Nemesis, by name if not by nature.
In storage, seventeen wooden crates, marked by year, filled with:
Concert programs; tickets; Neil Finn’s blue biro from the last
Split Enz concert in Sydney; diaries; a collage of my father and mother
From when I was five; a poster for the band Itchy Feet (starring one
Tim Freedman), pink and black, pulled from a telegraph pole
Near the Tivoli; high school essays about Trotsky and the Cheka,
Mao Zedong and the cultural revolution, and the floating of the dollar;
a blue folder covered in black pen and a blonde serious moonlight David Bowie
Covered in contact; the initial artwork for my first ‘novel’, The Cat Lady,
By Rosanne Bersten, aged 10 or so, the full draft of which
Nigel Wilby, teacher, never returned.
On an abandoned LiveJournal, 4,799 comments on
who knows how many posts, broken links to pictures
once stored elsewhere, last post dated 2006, a poll
On what journals should continue and where
Answered by pseudonyms that echo ephemeral:
qamar, ozgenre, anthologie, azahru, daisynerd.
Probably poems, definitely stories and tall tales,
Half-hearted attempts at essays and impassioned polemics
Railing against capital, class and corruption.
On a server whose domain name has expired:
Directory after directory of low-res JPEGs,
Originals who knows where, and gifs with names like
Redball.gif for fancy lists; a two-part archived HyperCard stack —
Interactive project about HyperText, written in 1993, couldn’t
Fit it onto one floppy, don’t ask; an essay about sites of resistance —
Specifically, the WEF protest on September 11, 2000, before
S11 became 9/11, complete with: a list of all graffiti found on site,
Video interviews with Afghani anarchists and the first hints
Of the headlong dive I will later take into Moreiras and Zizek;
A hypertext poem about minstrels and mischief, started as
An exercise to show Melbourne Uni students how to code
And completed as an ode to three people I’d fallen head over heels for:
A fire dancer, a mask-maker and an astrophysicist with a Ducati —
What can you do in the face of all that but write poetry?
In various boxes, scattered who knows where: video and audio tape,
Of, in no particular order: me, on Good Morning Australia, aged 17,
My first personal revolution; my voice, arrogant beyond belief, aged 8,
Reviewing a series of books on ABC Radio for the Year of the Child;
Me, wearing far too much make-up, stepping off a purple Vespa
In Newry St, Fitzroy North, taking off a helmet and shaking my hair out
Like a parody of a shampoo ad (intended for a showreel pitch; tragic);
Me, in an ABC panel show, arguing for cyborgs and wings; me, uni student,
Occupying the Vice-Chancellor’s office and my proud mother recording the news.
Somewhere in all of this is a life. How you stitch it together into this now,
I have no idea. How do you collect it, lay it out, curate it into a seamless self?
In storage, one cardboard box. It is delicate. The negatives are fading.