YEN FOR VIET

I once read that Nick Cave started a Bad Seeds song with the words ‘I thought I’d take a walk today…’ because he was feeling uninspired and decided to let his mind wander. What followed is the rambling, ferocious, hysterically brilliant, ‘Oh My Lord’, including this insanely wonderful verse:

“Now I’m at the hairdressers, people watch me as they move past

A guy wearing plastic antlers presses his bum against the glass

Now I’m down on my hands and knees

And it’s so fucking hot!

Somebody cries, ‘What are you looking for?’

I scream, ‘The plot! The plot!’”

So I thought I’d take a walk today…

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PHO VIET

In the back seat, I lean my head back and lightly close my eyes. ‘Faith’s asleep,’ I hear my brother tell my mum. I pretend that I don’t hear him and continue ‘sleeping’. He tosses out an insult to test me; my eyelids flutter but I keep up the ruse. I like being in the car with my family, listening as they chatter and argue in front of me. My mum squints at and questions the GPS on her dash-mounted smart phone while my brother obstinately tells her to go a different way. For as long as I can remember he has sat in the front passenger seat, to avoid getting car sick, while I sit in the back, in my own quiet world, watching as the streets change and the cars flash by.

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PHO PHD

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Or the next day. Or any of the days allocated to me until my time is up. But no one does, right? No one can count on love to last, or their ship to come in, or on their next breath. I may never stand in the icy wind staring up at the Moais on Easter Island, or feel the growl of Tom Waits as he paces across a stage like a caged lion. I may never hear my own baby bellow as it’s forced out into the uncertain world.

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