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(Contains: strong language)
Should we have kissed Monday night?
I don’t know either.
There was a moment, wasn’t there? But then you did and I didn’t and I got in my car and you in your house and silence.

I kissed a guy last year. Well, he kissed me.
I’d been saying how I never knew if people were flirting with me and he said “just to make it clear” and then he pressed his mouth to mine.
Which was nice.
But it was as if that intimacy ripped the top off a shaken coke bottle. His wounds were mine for one hour. In between kisses he told me all the reasons it could go no further than this; last no longer than the sixty minutes before the last bus: bad break ups, sick parents, neuroses. It was raining and we sat under an umbrella and I patted his knee a lot. I told him he was doing fine and that being an adult was hard.
I meant it.

We agreed that, had we met five years earlier, we probably could have fucked without a care. But instead here we were: two adults whose adult lives had swamped us; terrified us back to childish make-out sessions in the rain.

Our breath mingled.
My glasses fogged.
Your teeth stung.
Then I got in my car and he in his sick mother’s house and silence.

Should we have kissed Monday night?
Man, I have nothing – Nothing left to reveal to you. The softest parts of me are on display every single adult day. That bottle has been shaken, that lid off for years.  Maybe that’s it: with nothing left to share we fear that it would be only saliva and we’re not ready to exchange that with our adult mouths and over-thinking adult brains behind.

Let’s crumble from the core, babe. I’ve been to drama school: I can do a spinal roll. I can do an existential one, each vertebra clicking down. And it feels good down there; that change of perspective. Face to knee. Safe. I can stay down there for months. Years. I can walk through cities like that, hands dragging on the ground, hair a strained veil cutting me off from the adult world.

Should we have kissed Monday night?
I have no fucking idea.
Spinal Roll
And the spoken version is here on the youtube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SNVb6…

This was a tough one but I do really like it. 

While you are there, you could even watch my friends and I singing a beautiful, drunk, spontaneous version of Amazing Grace in an empty building. Treat yourself: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV4e52…
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I bumped into a man coming out of the gozleme shop.
He said "sorry", I looked awkward and I knew it was on.
Knew that I was going to marry him.
You know?
It's that certainty, that inescapable truth
When you lock eyes with a stranger on the train and realise you already know exact shape of their tongue.
But Gozleme man wasn't like that. It wasn't a sex thing.
It was a wedding, white and terrifying
Cocktails in jam jars
Flowers from my mum's garden
A seat for my grandma right up near the action where she could see my shock
My 'how did it come to this'

I'm not a romantic
I don't believe in fate
I know we're going to marry, Gozleme Man and I
But I also know we're going to divorce
Badly
Four years in
About four years in.
We'll hate each other for as long as we loved and then, somehow, wake one morning in our separate homes to find that the hatred has disappeared and things
just
sort of
are.
Are fine.
Yeah.
Fine.

Gozleme Man and I will get a drink from time to time
Maybe once every six months
Sometimes our hands will touch across the table and a sort of electric crackle will pass between us
Not that buzz of lust or the spasm of regret
This will be the spark of shared certainty,
As sure as the certainty we both felt outside the gozleme shop back in September 2014
A certainty that we will never know each other again
Not really.

We didn't exchange numbers.
I've forgotten his face already.
But it will happen.
Gozleme Man: a poem of uncertainty
This is a little thing I wrote two weeks ago. I also recorded it to share with friends on Facebook and then, this morning, suddenly decided to share it with you kids. I'm literally wearing a blanket as I record this and, as it was recorded on one of my two nights off this month, I'm looking pretty wiped out but enjoy my depressing outlook on love and marriage: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmXQHU…
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Two days ago a memory crept out of some abandoned back corridor of my brain and planted itself firmly behind my eyes. It is still foggy and there are gaps and non sequiturs but I’m going to write it down and see if it makes any more sense on paper.

I was in Year One. I was playing with my friends Jessica and Jessica. To differentiate them we’ll call them Jessica the Quite Beautiful and Jessica the Not So Beautiful. You’ll see why shortly.

Jessica the Quite Beautiful, as our (beautiful) leader, organised a competition on the school oval: the boys would race. First prize? They would ‘get’ her. I remember the wording very well. It wasn’t that they would get to be her boyfriend or get a kiss. They would get Jessica the Quite Beautiful. What does this mean for Year Ones? I was second prize and Jessica the Not So Beautiful was third. The three of us sat on our wooden stumps, arranged in order from most to least beautiful, and eight little boys set out on their epic oval run to prove their masculinity.

I remember sitting very straight and upright on my post. I remember feeling Jessica the Not So Beautiful’s misery hitting my back in waves of resentment. I remember the heat. I remember watching that raggedy race.

Did one drop to the ground spontaneously and the others follow his lead? Or did they talk it through as they ran, discussing the magnitude of their task and the poor quality of the prizes on offer. Whatever the decision making process, the tribe fell to the ground just past the halfway mark. They sprawled across the dry grass in the shade of a tree. All but one.

One figure kept running. He was wearing tracksuit pants despite the heat and his gait was even and (in my memory) almost Terminator-like in its determination; arms swinging back and forwards, eyes focused on some point in the middle distance. In it to win it.

“Oh no! Not Zoran! Please not Zoran.” Breathed Jessica the Quite Beautiful.

Zoran was a Bosnian refugee. I remember so little about him that he is almost a cardboard cutout in my memory rather than a real human being. I remember only this race and the tracksuit pants and the day we found him crying behind a shrub. I remember that well. The teacher told us that one of his family members had died in Sarajevo. She told us to be nice to him and I think we probably were but doubt we ever asked him who it was. An uncle? Aunt? Grandparent? Father? Was it his father? I left that school at the end of Year Two and I remember nothing more about Zoran. He is a silhouette in tracksuit pants tearily running towards an unattainable figure.

I don’t even remember what happened when he reached us but I know he didn’t ‘get’ Jessica the Beautiful. I think she declared that the race didn’t count because three boys had to make it across the line. Or perhaps she set him another task more impossible than a lap around an oval. Perhaps she continued to move the goal posts further and further back like a king in a fairy tale trying to find the bravest of suitors for his favourite daughter. Perhaps it kept going for years, long after I left the school. Climb this fence. Climb that tree. Fist fight a Year Seven. Knife Fight a Teacher. Steal a car. Steal a train. Bring me the head of the Governor General. I don’t know.

What I do know is that my perspective is the least interesting. This story should be Zoran’s. Or Jessica’s or Jessica’s. I’m simply Girl Number Two. Neither overtly beautiful nor overly plain. Not the refugee. Not the overly-sexualised daughter of a struggling single mother who decided to give herself and her friends away as trophy wives at the age of six. I was simply the consolation prize. The one who went along with it. And I must have known it was wrong because I don’t think I told my mother about it. I don’t think I told anyone about it until the memory re-appeared two days ago. If a tree falls in a forest, did it ever really fall? If a refugee runs and is forgotten, did he ever really run? If two little girls, roped in as prizes sit silent and stiff-backed, ready to be given away or rejected, did they ever make it off those posts?
Hello lovely deviants, 

I just thought I'd let you know that the podcast I've been working, Audio Stage, on is up and running. It is very much a theatre podcast but the conversation is very engaging and I'd love you to check it out. Our most recent episode with Angela Conquet is my favourite so far and, if you've ever wondered what I sound like, I'm the one that doesn't have a French or Croatian accent and talking about how great wine is at the top of the episode. You can find us on iTunes  or at our website. 

Now, some writing for you:


One day, when I was fifteen, I attended an event ran by an organisation which provided legal aid to asylum seekers. At the end of the talk, I walked up to them and asked if there was anything I could do to help. It turns out there was. A week later my dad took me to their office where we picked up a dictation machine and three cassette tapes. As the lawyer handed them over she paused and looked at my dad. “I hope your daughter is open-minded,” she said. “She is going to hear some very extreme stuff.” And I did.

These were the tapes of asylum seeker hearings and every hearing I transcribed ended with asylum being denied, which was why this group now had the tapes, so as to assemble a defence for a re-hearing. (They could not be called ‘re-trials’ because, apparently, the refugee was not on ‘trial’ despite all evidence to the contrary.)

Look, the horror of the individual cases does blur together. The voices were coming from a compound in the middle of a desert via webcam, through a translator sitting in a room in Adelaide with a thick Middle Eastern accent, through a tape recorder and into my ears. I know there were rapes, death threats, dead families, torture and humiliation. What I remember more clearly than the terror was the bureaucracy. We were swimming in it.

“Please place your hand on the Quran and swear – ”

“I can’t.”

“Why?”

“He says to me, ‘you know! You are a Muslim. You tell them!’”

“I’m sorry?”

“He has not washed. He cannot touch the Quran when he has not washed.”

They tried for quite a while, these men in Adelaide, to wash the hands of a man in Woomera but in the end the request proved too complicated for the system and they had to proceed without an oath. He was handcuffed, you see. For the whole five hour hearing. This was not usual practice but he was ‘a trouble maker’.

This exchange has stuck with me for twelve years. The irony of expecting a man to be devout enough to swear an oath on his holy book without taking into account the needs of a devout man. A devout, hand-cuffed man in the middle of a desert. And yes, there were moments of humanity. Moments when men pleaded for their freedom and safety but it was the bureaucratic inhumanity that I most clearly retain.

And in the end, appropriately enough, my job vanished in a cloud of bureaucracy: the group lost access to tapes. New rules dictated that, instead of being given to the defence team, they would be sent to Sweden (I think Sweden, somewhere a very, very long way away) where an accent analyser would determine that perhaps the man came from a town two towns over from the town he said he came from. That he was a liar because his accent told a slightly different story than his words did.

The morning after Howard was re-elected for his third term I went for a walk. I wandered through the suburbs and asked, “Who are the people voting for this system? Do they know? I hope they don’t because what does that say of my countrymen and women if they know and still say ‘do it.’”



This is from a blog post of mine. I post regularly at schoolforbirds.wordpress.com. Again, it is mostly theatre but I've been told (by a non-theatre deviantart friend actually) that it is extremely accessible writing and I have plenty of non-theatre people read it passionately. I do things like grab random audience members straight after a show and interview them about it. My favourite of these resulted in me getting both a young couple and the guys parents talking about a show that involved a man sodomising himself with a microphone live on stage. It was actually wonderful having two generations talk about the show with depth and respect and just a touch of horror. 

This post was in response to a show by MKA: Theatre of New Writing called 'The Grace of Officials'. 
Hello lovely deviants, 

I just thought I'd let you know that the podcast I've been working, Audio Stage, on is up and running. It is very much a theatre podcast but the conversation is very engaging and I'd love you to check it out. Our most recent episode with Angela Conquet is my favourite so far and, if you've ever wondered what I sound like, I'm the one that doesn't have a French or Croatian accent and talking about how great wine is at the top of the episode. You can find us on iTunes  or at our website. 

Now, some writing for you:


One day, when I was fifteen, I attended an event ran by an organisation which provided legal aid to asylum seekers. At the end of the talk, I walked up to them and asked if there was anything I could do to help. It turns out there was. A week later my dad took me to their office where we picked up a dictation machine and three cassette tapes. As the lawyer handed them over she paused and looked at my dad. “I hope your daughter is open-minded,” she said. “She is going to hear some very extreme stuff.” And I did.

These were the tapes of asylum seeker hearings and every hearing I transcribed ended with asylum being denied, which was why this group now had the tapes, so as to assemble a defence for a re-hearing. (They could not be called ‘re-trials’ because, apparently, the refugee was not on ‘trial’ despite all evidence to the contrary.)

Look, the horror of the individual cases does blur together. The voices were coming from a compound in the middle of a desert via webcam, through a translator sitting in a room in Adelaide with a thick Middle Eastern accent, through a tape recorder and into my ears. I know there were rapes, death threats, dead families, torture and humiliation. What I remember more clearly than the terror was the bureaucracy. We were swimming in it.

“Please place your hand on the Quran and swear – ”

“I can’t.”

“Why?”

“He says to me, ‘you know! You are a Muslim. You tell them!’”

“I’m sorry?”

“He has not washed. He cannot touch the Quran when he has not washed.”

They tried for quite a while, these men in Adelaide, to wash the hands of a man in Woomera but in the end the request proved too complicated for the system and they had to proceed without an oath. He was handcuffed, you see. For the whole five hour hearing. This was not usual practice but he was ‘a trouble maker’.

This exchange has stuck with me for twelve years. The irony of expecting a man to be devout enough to swear an oath on his holy book without taking into account the needs of a devout man. A devout, hand-cuffed man in the middle of a desert. And yes, there were moments of humanity. Moments when men pleaded for their freedom and safety but it was the bureaucratic inhumanity that I most clearly retain.

And in the end, appropriately enough, my job vanished in a cloud of bureaucracy: the group lost access to tapes. New rules dictated that, instead of being given to the defence team, they would be sent to Sweden (I think Sweden, somewhere a very, very long way away) where an accent analyser would determine that perhaps the man came from a town two towns over from the town he said he came from. That he was a liar because his accent told a slightly different story than his words did.

The morning after Howard was re-elected for his third term I went for a walk. I wandered through the suburbs and asked, “Who are the people voting for this system? Do they know? I hope they don’t because what does that say of my countrymen and women if they know and still say ‘do it.’”



This is from a blog post of mine. I post regularly at schoolforbirds.wordpress.com. Again, it is mostly theatre but I've been told (by a non-theatre deviantart friend actually) that it is extremely accessible writing and I have plenty of non-theatre people read it passionately. I do things like grab random audience members straight after a show and interview them about it. My favourite of these resulted in me getting both a young couple and the guys parents talking about a show that involved a man sodomising himself with a microphone live on stage. It was actually wonderful having two generations talk about the show with depth and respect and just a touch of horror. 

This post was in response to a show by MKA: Theatre of New Writing called 'The Grace of Officials'. 

deviantID

Halohid
Susannah
Australia
I grew up in the driest state in the driest continent in the world and yet my neighbour still watered her concrete driveway every night in summer. I suppose she must have found it soothing; her and the hose and the hot night air.


But this is no way to introduce myself.

I am a theatre director, award-winning playwright and chronic story-teller. I'm a scruffy red-haired hippy and full-time artist. I was a photographer first, then a model and then a photographer again. I shoot self-portraits, am a prolific playwright and theatre-maker and a passionate loud mouth about politics, humane treatment of refugees, gun control, sexual freedom, LGBT youth and mental health. In 2013 I will be completing my Masters of Performance Writing at the Victorian College of the Arts, where I previously undertook Post-Grad studies in theatre direction. Because this is the main part of my work, I post here less than I used to but I love your company here on DA.

I tell stories to anyone who will linger long enough to hear.

Note: I don't tolerate sexist or demeaning comments and will probably mock you publicly if you leave sexually explicate comments. I take my art seriously.

Thank you.

Current Residence: Melbourne, Australia
Favourite photographer: Eckyducky, AlexanderB
Favourite style of art: Contemporary theatre
Personal Quote: 'Keep Left and be considerate' Australian road rules but I think it applies to all manner of things.
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:iconplanetzog:
planetzog Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014
Fabulous Gallery
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:icondraunaturel:
draunaturel Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Happy Birthday to you!!!! :cake:
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:iconanila73:
anila73 Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Hey there! Happy birthday to a beautiful person whose writing posseses enough magic to take me away! :D :heart:
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gerooley Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy  Birthday
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Alembic-Lynx Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Professional Photographer
:party::Happy Birthday :party:
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timemit Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Hey you...have a great day eh ! :iconchampagneplz:
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GabrielBB Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2013
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:icontransparentplz::iconsparklesplz:  :iconhappysunplz:    !!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!   :iconhappysunplz:  :iconsparklesplz:



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ibo007 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
*Birthdays are special occasions and they call for special celebrations.
Let us celebrate you birthday today!
Another year older, another year wiser. Well at least we are growing up to be what you meant to be. Here's to another year of experience.
Blowing out another candle should mean that you have lived another year with joy and you had made this world a better place. Make every day of your life and every candle count.
Have a happy Bday!
;);););););););):):):):):):):):):):):D:D:D:D:D:D
I hope all your birthday dreams and wishes come true.
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gerooley Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for sharing your art. I really appreciate your work. 
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3Eira Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Student General Artist
Very very interesting gallery. You're truly versatile, I admire that. :D
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