Volume 11 of Aphrodite's Garden: 1990-1991 February-January  work & days: a lifetime journal project  














Very full volume. Adventures following the release of notes in origin. First section of part 1 taken from a small travel notebook written in Toronto for the Pleasure Dome show. Part 2 a remarkable summer, Rob, Louie, garden creation. In part 3 a philosophy of math course with Andrew Irvine at UBC. Louie goes away to South Africa for 6 months. In part 4, Australia for the Experimenta 1990 festival in Melbourne. In part 5 Christmas dinner at the Mills' house, working on philosophy of math, apply for an Explorations grant for a garden video.

In this volume I don't transcribe long sections of thinking about mathematical and other forms of representation because at this point it is unresolved.

Notes: Sowa on speech rhythm, Jane Harrison, grain film, ovulation signs, herb garden design, Boehme, Traherne, philosophy of math and science, Bruce Chatwin and Diane Bell on the dreamtime, Eva Pierrakos Pathwork of self-transformation, Rowen's story about the egg, miscellaneous language notes, Bellugi, Luria, Howard Gardner and others on math as a form of intelligence, Korzybski, Von Neumann, Piaget, Langer, Joanna Field A life of one's own, Darkness at noon, Henry Handel Richardson Australia felix.

Mentioned: Maureen Paxton, Cheryl S, Anne Dyck, Paul Epp, Luke Waidman, Rob Mills, Kim Sterelney, David Tasch, Louie E, Jam Ismail, Rowen, Ingrid Harris, Oliver Hockenhull, Larry Resnick, Ray Jennings, Barbara Pratt, John Tietz, Phil Hanson, Bill Castell, Robert MacLean, Joyce Frazee, John Guri, Rhoda Rosenfeld, Mary Epp, Laiwan, Josie Cook, Janeen (Postman) Vanden Berg, Gerald Student, Dave Stevens, Diana Kemble, Sandy Rodin, Esshin, Richard Kerr, Gary Gust, Mary Epp, Willie Matties, Peter Konrad, Bob Sarti, Eric Erickson, Michael Voskamp, Lis Rhodes, Takao Nakazawa, Jonathan Pollard, Holly Devor, Arthur and Corinne Cantrell, Patricia Churchland, John Anderson, Tina Keene, Robert Nery, James Kalish, Peter Tyndall, Roy Kiyooka, Pat Mills, Leah Rosling, Norman Swartz, Libby Davies, Elizabeth Grey, David Rimmer, Jack Wise, Muggs Sigurgierson, Tony Gordon-Wilson, Mike Kaiser, Stewart Andrade, Bradon Zrno.

Individualism and content, notes in origin show at Pleasure Dome, Phil Hoffman river, Philly Lutaaya, Tienson and Smolensky on connectionism, EH Young Chatterton Square, Pickering Roses, Orfeo ed Euridice, Virginia Woolf, Lacan, Journey in Ladakh, Eileen Garrett, Amnesty International, Enviromental Youth Corps, Rossini Petite messe solonelle, Gleick Chaos, Strauss Last songs, Wittgenstein, Godel, Cantor, Street legal, Andrew Irvine's philosophy of math class at UBC, HD, Le Guin, Cloud of unknowing, Wallace Stevens, Knowledge Network interview, ABC interview, Baillee All my life, current, Trapline, Hoffman river, Rhodes Pictures on pink paper, Renny Bartlett Dula, Josie Massarrelli No.5 reversal, David Wright Deafness: a personal account, Janet McNeill Tea at four o'clock, the Gulf War.

Queen Street in Toronto, the Rockies, Hong Kong Café, Sandy Cove, Strathcona Community Garden, Chinese United Church, Commercial Drive, Powell River, Musqueam Reserve, the Vine Restaurant on 4th, Bombay Sweets, Terang, St Kilda, Horseshoe Bend in the Little Desert, Victoria Hotel Dimboola, Bairnsdale, Wimmera River, Royal Botanical Garden in Melbourne, Orbost, Snowy River, Flinders Alley, Collins Street, Swanston Street, Hawks Avenue, Crab Beach, the Mountain Highway, Prieska in South Africa, Niew Bethesda.

 20 February 1990

When we came out over the last of the Rockies and caught up with a front, for maybe two minutes the plane was fighting to stay up. I was staring down at the clear land of the foothills confused by the confusion of its motion and by the turbulence of fear - they were the same thing for a while.

Anywhere down there, it's millions of stubble stalks, rose bushes, rock piles, grouse burrows, mouseprints.


Last night on Queen Street, dirty ice makes the streets shabbier, paying for things at a grocery counter, had my back turned looking in a hubcap mirror, absorbed, turned around, found the man amused, laughed, he laughed too, but more than that was his look, was it really that? Check again, yes - young Chinese face with a beautiful complete taking-in gaze. An amazed moment.

Phil's movie. It's a turn-on, love in the afternoon, warm shallow tea-colored river. One squeak of a woman's voice during a commotion in the boat. Lots of pure intuition. That means something precise, it means you're noticing a lot of things and you know you're noticing them but it takes more screenings or more time to know what to call them. Like the something that happens when the frame moves from water to include enough distant-enough bank so that there's a jarring little leap from being the space implied by reflections and being the space implied by trees reflected - they're moving at different rates at the shoreline - no, see, I haven't got it.

Rich in pleasures. The camera sticks at an enthralling place. He has to pry his way off it.

Saturday 10th March

Connectionist nets mean the cloud comes right into me if I stop with it.


Woke to a wide bright Saturday. Skid row streets stinking, brilliant, empty, high. Let out into the street, so happy to be in the old city, my loved downtown. A beautiful old pruner at the pawnshop for two bucks, wrapped steel spring and leather catch, oiled old iron, bright crescent beak.

Breakfast in the Hong Kong Café, fried egg and bacon sandwich at the counter, face to face with one of the smart old waiters. Reading seed packets.

7 April

After some morning work I get from the post office a long cardboard box, light enough to be carried on the bike basket, lengthwise between the handlebars. Inside is a black bag, heavy plastic, with three bundles, five each, of roses with ancient names. I plant, with a wheelbarrowload each of rotted leaves: Blanc Double de Coubert, r.primula of ferny, scented leaves; Lichtkönigen Lucia; Zephérine Drouhin raspberry-colored and scented for a post; Lordly Oberon; Celsiana clear pink with golden stamens; Königen von Danemark; r.ptericantha with vicious translucent red thorns for the north.


What is the issue between them and me. What I really think is, some kind of politics. As if: if thinking is like logical language, then men are superior. If thinking is brains sparking, then men are not so different from women and animals. Pat Churchland arguing for coevolution is like the smart woman begging to have her category let in.

Saturday 14th

When the paper was written I went down in the still-sun to quick plant the last five. Such a day. The herb garden has a scent like maple flowers. I think it's the eglantine leaves. And it's poplar balsam time.

Moved Lichtkönigen to come up from the other side of the gate and mix with jasmine offincinale. White Moss where it was, one end of an angle with Blanc Double that encloses two yellows, r.primula and Graham Thomas. Souvenir de la Malmaison by the angelica where it can spill onto the gravel. Lovage behind White Bath and opium poppies aside of it. Constance Spry on the second east front post and Roseraie de l'Hay in the dark, at the end of that row where it can sprout up intense enough to peg the corner. And Reine Victoria with other fat pinks in the west bed.


The new roses growing beautiful leaves.


With Joyce after a week only. An oddly intimate session this one, saying with sparks of tears that I'm afraid the inner life will never come back. We make sure we're understanding each other. I say it includes landscape. She sees right away that it does.

When I said I was afraid it would never come back she said slowly "Oh, I see!" I don't know what. I said when I was a kid I used to see that people weren't there, and that made me think it must be easy to lose. She said that was true.

What was soft, near and airy in the session was (partly the time of day, one in the aft) having her see, having her company in those few things I need to say: she said, "You weren't recognized. You did all that and nobody recognized it." About how hard school is.


A restlessness like being hungry, and it is being hungry. It's lonely. For people to be personal with me, fond, funny. Or maybe it's addiction. It's addiction in the way it wrestles with itself. "I'll refuse to phone him." And then phones him. Tries to find an attitude. Imagines that it can stick to it. Turns away from sitting here at the table and working, because it's uncomfortable. Eats. Goes to have (I put away the TV) a nap. All right: addiction.

3 June

Martins were pecking in the pool excavation, dipping and carroming over the marsh. I brought Louie to see the wonderful beautiful rose bush down by the compost. Dark green hard perfect leaves, bit of a blue light on them. Shell pink single flowers quite boxy when young, very very beautiful bunches of fringed crossed little buds. It's holding up a bramble, racing it. A huge pile, perfectly healthy. Bramble flowers coming out too.

Broom's just finished blooming.

A good quartered rose hidden by the entrance, grown large before we saw it. Smells wise and is not bland. Firethorn powdered over with bloom falling about. Notice it comes out with the roses. Paeonies too.

Excited this morning. St Teresa's room was the net settled into a crystal - global energy minimum. Why I've wanted slow cooling and wide fluctuations. [This is Patricia Churchland.]


Stood at a corner in the orchard path, by the bees and apple trees and nut trees and fast-growing grass and valerian towers and oriental poppies sprung up out of my soil given to fruit trees and the martins excited by darkening land and fading sky and told Louie about the soul cooling slowly. An instinct I know she has too.

Last week in the night in my bed with the phone I sang her I'm a pil-grim and I'm a stra-a-nger I can ta-rry I can tarry / but a while because she was there in her place upstairs from Jam's, the place with the wonderful sight, thinking to call a taxi after she hung up, put her boxes in it and depart.

I was her age when I had my last night at Eton Street in that neighbourhood and where she's moved is here, up the street.


Woke with the solar on and writing. Hm so is that kicking in finally I said, squirreled away under the light in the blue room.


The colors in black. Do you make it shimmer? someone said in a dream, if the colors could be colors over the black like self-lit clouds of gnats. Looking for faint lines of sound to curve down the stepped invisible trail. "We don't always have to talk about anxiety." Anything can be taken in the dark.


Today I know where going under is going to. Why it's a poet who goes there. Why she dies on the way out. Why it's grainy.

Around him on all sides lie empty dream shapes, many as ears of grain, as leaves on trees, as sands cast on shore.

Times I've felt I was dying and realized I had. It will risk fear.


Jane Harrison saying when she was old that she'd rather have given her time to languages than to art because language is "a wider, because more subconscious, life."

Religion a confident statement about something unknown. Ritual though can find form not mistaken. "The keeping open of the individual soul to other souls and other forms of life."

Also she said she liked living in a community, ie Cambridge. "It seems to me sane and civilized and economically right. I like to live spaciously, but rather plainly, in large halls with great spaces and quiet libraries. I like to wake in the morning with the sense of a great, silent garden around me."


When light shells are led into light of course they are dissolved.

wind & leaves

"ten years to collect materials and warm my mind with universal science"

the bowing & stirring trees

I was moving very quickly toward a bright shining net which vibrated with a remarkable cold energy at the intersecting points of its radiant strands.

light flickering increased to such an intensity that it consumed and transformed me

which transported me into a formlessness beyond time and space

more than light, a grid of power

Tues 26th

On Sunday after Dennis Yeoman's roses we were lying in each other's arms in the sun. Feeling the way my hand was contacting his head through his hair. "And the placement of this one too," on his wrist unconsciously placed, but conscious.

He came to the rose garden with his hair down. Real honey hair, a warm streaked flow.

Hello Rob said the quite alright gentleman, tall, tho' tilted and slow on new stainless steel hips. A liking from his not really old face, for looking sideways into one's eyes.

1st July

Long Sunday morning in bed with Rob shmoozing. No obvious way to get to come, so it takes a long time. Hard. Hard. Hard. I say, touching his chest and belly. Hard. Laughing cause saying it made him so. I so much love when I have my arms around him, when we are in each other's arms. The glow in the chest, with breasts kissing him. In the end we came together each in our own hands. My left arm is off the edge of the bed, somewhere out there. I come and then in a few seconds I feel a large drop on my fingers. We both crack up while it goes on falling. I haven't done that since I was sixteen he says. He looks sixteen. The whole time was like an open gate, is it a solstice transform maybe, pink and confiding. I licked his little ridge and other things and asked how it was and laughed. He offered to reciprocate, I showed him Jam's in and up stroke instead. Told him what I'd like next time he's in, the pause for an echo, which he did understand.

In the alley tilting my head to kiss him goodbye.

Later in the garden he was watering and could see over the tansy to the bench where I was sitting with Louie talking about getting unsaved. I only saw one anxious glance and that may have been wondering whether to say something about the basils.

She said she was at a missionary camp in the Homelands, fourteen maybe. They were saving the blacks, who had to go along with being saved to get medicine. They were in a circle praying. She shot out of her body to the ceiling and saw the little minister and the little circle of people and knew what they were doing was evil. So she said. And then went along with it 'til confirmation was over.

She was in the garden with me later, working on one of the middle beds. I was in the ditch under the west edge and heard a fireman on their balcony, "John come and look at this." My head shot up, it might have been the tone. The fireman when he saw me stepped back out of sight. "The firemen are staring down your shirt," disgusted and possessive and protective. The way they use it amongst themselves dishonestly to brag to each other that they're masters of the ones with tits, patting each other's cods.

These days at times she has a blazing face.


Saturday early. Woke when the sun touched the poppies at the window. A couple of hours earlier than usual. The air flowing first in, then rapidly out, says the coffee steam over a jar on the sill. Quiet and birdy nearby, a traffic band in the distance. When the air's flowing into the house it passes bare foot or face like a little curve of live touch and I say fresh.

She's a pretty body. So small. Came in the dark and squatted by the arm of the chair stroking my arm - see, that happens sometime, the word gets into the sentence before I've formed the right place for it.

The garden on a day like this, without cloud. Best is the grass, brome, vetch, St John's wort, white clover, all the heights, tipped east.

Two butterflies in flight together so exact and precarious a management of two large sails each.


The pleasure of dealings with working men, their good humor and how brisk and effective these conversations are. We're both so good at what we're doing. I stand accurately in my ignorance and intelligence letting them know how they should explain - battling (talking with Louie abt phone conversations with strangers, how interesting work it is) when I should.

Concrete yesterday. There was the moment I'd called everyone to rehearse and we saw the truck had arrived five minutes early. Muggs ran to guide him. And then the amazing sight of it swaying and lurching very slowly backwards along the road we cut through the grass. The moment approaching. The way it is when the moment approaches that will make it work or not.

I have to take charge and say what to do. "We need two people to be pourers" in a carrying voice. Etc. Like teaching, the first words have to be willed. "What's our best use of you, why don't you take charge of getting the concrete into buckets." "Ron is looking after the vibrator, we need one more person to tamp - we don't? Okay."

The truck driver suddenly thought how to do it with wheelbarrows, our bucket pushers were about to be obsolete, it was going to be a show for men with tools. I was scattering to get plywood but having time to think and decided to stop it and did. "It was going well, why don't we just go on." And they turned around and did it and the bucket pushers got to finish. And then I was up on the form carrying the motor for Ron and able to see. "Add more water" to the mix. The truck jumping. "Why don't we start washing buckets." Get them before they're gone. Joanna thinking and humorous. The pleasure of seeing Louie's keen face in the midst of the line, seeing everything and seeing me too.

The truck driving slowly away through the grass. The Youth Corps lingers. They're high. "Now you know what the nervous tension was for!" I'm high. Tim is high. We forgive each other.


Saturday stopping at Michael's house to invite Rowen, we find them near the kitchen door, Rowen carefully cutting cheese with the cheese slice, Michael standing hatless with a fiddle in dim orange light like lamplight. Their boat finished and holding water in the yard.


We were in a slit in the coastline at Whitecliff. A rock wall brought the water's voices down over us like layers of covers. In the narrow end driftwood crammed. On the damp above, a hanging garden of herb Robert, fern, ivy. Angles and mineral colors and fungal washes and moving white underlight. At times when we were still the rock wall strengthened into a beauty so ferocious (I want to say) that I thought I was in the privacy of the real coast, tho' motorboats and ten thousand cars and fifty thousand white people crazed with buying power were with us.

1st August

The dark blood kimono with white strips and red and green. I wore it in the three-sided mirror and stood and looked. The right profile a woman with jaw and nose lean light sentient creative strong and astonishingly distinguished. Head-on, younger, brown, bright, with a brush of hair rising. Colored and pleased. On the left, the one I didn't like to see, an old woman quite heavy-boned with a flap of skin stretched neck to jaw.


We were in Rowen's room, in electric light, with open window. Louie invented blowing the train whistle out the window to make people think a train was there. Rowen blew twice out the window and turned round skipping with joy.

The day after Whitecliff she was moving and came late. Knocked when Rowen and I were back from the garden. Rowen, go open the door. He's flying down, Louie is that you!


Open Saturday. Strong light in silent sheets. Great space permitting the marks and tracks of sound.

Sunday 12th

Eric is in alliance with Ernie, both of them with Leo muttering against the woman's takeover of concrete technology. Uneasy feeling the way I'm shedding the countering patience with Rob's and Eric's spoilt boy ways, as if I'm farther into the lead than ... than is safe, or defensible, or, I don't know if it's just more than I'm used to. It's Louie making boorish friends unnecessary.


Louie Louie oh Louie arrived a so sexy bundle all for me - I won't hedge that.

When I opened my eyes on the bench, the whole land was shades of blue like faded slide film. Poplars blowing their large leaves blue, with undersides that shd be white, elusive virtual pink. Next time I saw them they were green again. The shape of her touch can give me pleasure like the shape of mine.


It's night still, though nearly five. I haven't said what has been obvious here, the five weeks without rain - extraordinary pump of fire-life into our bodies and plant bodies - and that it gave me my summer body I thought might not come again - springing some days.


As we lie together on the floor there has been accordion downstairs, European fairground music, a lacy line jiggling like the concentrated light lines above water, over laboured lungs of folk.

[We do a complicated pour of the round herb garden pool, base and sides done at the same time] Rob in the midst of the pour. " But I want you controlling the buckets" I say to him, knowing he's seen how badly Anna and Paddy were placing them. He's thinking in the middle of the job, he, Esshin, Thomas, Tim - the men powers. Because I knew I couldn't handle the wheelbarrows I took on the chute, hauling it down, holding it back. Louie too, I know, is thinking somewhere. Tim signals time out, Esshin is down in the floor shoveling to get a level, and then later he's starting to finish it with a trowel while they go on filling the walls.


I can feel her look on my face. She was standing on the lawn in front of the house, with her feet together and head turned, waiting for the postman, in a long white teeshirt. Under it, everyone's classic woman. Round. Heat poured from the brushy gorge. Silk. Slip over the nub.

The herb garden pool standing made and unwrapped.


She likes to malign and she likes to adore.

But the limit is this, she's thoroughly a girl, is it physical even? That the apricot velvet and blooming reaches disqualify her from picking up Chaos with interest.

4th September

We went away [to Powell River] - not like traveling alone, I'd look with gentle wonder at the neatness and spark and soundness of the being next to me - into a hotel room with white curtains, red bedspread, blue windows, our things spread unnoticed on either side of the room - the sort of goodness of time that could be ordinary and also a saving both backward and forward.

Saturday 8th

He smelled of blue flame alcohol and was not jealous. "This is a strange relationship isn't it, I'm not going to discuss it but don't you think it's strange?" "I'd been thinking something like that." "What's strange about it?" "I'm not going to discuss it." Laughing.


This was the morning I took Rowen to school, came back and sat with Louie in the big chair, discovered my body all over was saying oh Louie - reaching for her. I find I know how to stroke and twist and pinch her nipple 'til I see creases between her eyebrows, and come to her beautiful unlabiated slit with so much assurance of welcome.


Wittgenstein says infinity is not a magnitude but a way of talking about unfinished operations according to a rule. If it is not a magnitude the > relation does not work. [Greek w] is not a number. You can't subtract 1 from it and get a number.

If Witt is right, not math but metamath or higher math is phantasmagoric, and if that's so, the stronghold of male specialization falls, and it will have been that it was built in the first place because men have too weak a bridge between the subtilized spaces of natural language and the subtilized spaces of symbolic calculation. Witt had the sort of mind, say, women would have if they took on math without assuming their intuition is inadequate to it. I.e. assuming, the way an aristocrat could, that the middle class establishment is fundamentally muddled.

2nd October

With the ugly alephs, I feel revulsion like what I feel hearing an ontological proof - it's licensed squalor.


When I was a child, up until quite recently really, up until I was thirteen or so, I would stop on the street to talk to cats, I'm very fond of cats, I would be stroking them and I'd suddenly have the feeling they were you, and I'd say things that were meant for you. [Luke on the phone]

Sunday 14th

"I love you" sez Rowen. "I love you too" I say politely. "And I love how you look too." "That's very interesting, what do you love about it?" "I was just joking."


Louie talking a long time, in the dark, on the pillow, about the intelligence she has that is no use to her. No use? What would she want it to do? She won't say. I say briskly I can see what it is - not being intelligent is her way to say she hasn't committed herself yet to do it. That's all. While we're talking I'm saying to her, within myself, later I'm going to poke you sweetie, so that, when I do, I find myself very steady. The bodies alongside each other are rolling in the same motion, we have our mouths together in a nearly unconscious way. I'm acting and scanning, not roused but clear, listening to her but not for cues, for confirmation that she's there as much as I, noting how much further we've gone.

It's interesting how my fantasy studies - loving fathers teaching lovely daughters - are inside out. I thought I was learning to be the raptured daughter. What I've learned about being the skillful fucker, is that it is not an excited state.


When I woke at night, in Rob's nest, I thought Practical erotics is the name of the book of all the loves. It would be a coming out like nothing else.

She didn't tell me in Powell River that seeing me walk alongside, wondering how it seemed familiar, she remembered being maybe eight, saying to her mother in the morning that her right leg was stiff and would stay that way forever. "'Why? Did you see another child? Did you hear something?' I walked that way all day. When I was walking downtown with my mother I noticed how people were looking at her not at me." "How were they looking at her?" "They were looking at her with pity and they didn't want to look at me."


The part of the finger finding a smooth walled room under the pubic bone. Now, girl, I have you, I'm going to pattern you, I'm not going to let you thrash. You're going to face the waves steadily one after another slow enough to see the ebb. I know she will and she does. I haven't time to see her face, one instant is all, pulled tight between the eyes, a little face with her living thinking mouth peaked. She doesn't signal and by now I know when she's coming through. That was once.

Then she wanted to do something to me, oh alright I'll take off my pants, but this is going to take too long, it's nice but here is your breast, the skin around the nipple as fine-grained as new, and the nipple to coax, first I have to tease it up, and then I can be quite tough, stroke, pull, pinch, and twist. It's tough itself, sending bolts of feeling into her womb. I know. And her back like a partitioned plum. And her belly a divided pad of muscle laid under the skin. I know what I will find beyond it. This discrete mouth never closed, marvelously silked, I can never say that strongly enough, what I feel about her wetness, what it's like, the pearliness of the fluid. More than that. All I can't say about the fluid trail she produces to invite me. It slides me into a vestibule, a little porch, a circular place, very wet but decisive. I can't go beyond it by accident, I have to decide. It takes a push. Now, Louie. I'm coming in. I might linger, you might not know how far or how fast I'm coming in. But you know I'm here, I'm going to fuck you.

Melbourne 19th

I dreamed the Orpheus film, passages through color and Laiwan's otherworld voice reads words.


What's to say about sitting in a bar in Dimboola, midriff trembling. An ugly bar, carpeted, thickly painted, lino-ed. Between the bar stools and the bar runs a gutter into which cigarettes and trash get tossed. They stand together staring up at the races on telly. Computer must be the bookie. Dripping glasses.

I am five kilometers away from the Little Desert in a bare dry town. Stepping out of the train station door a dry slightly bitter air. Tonight at Horseshoe Bend, at nightfall, kangaroos will come to the Wimmera.

The way yesterday I walked into the state library and there was Simon, as if I'd followed an inaudible tone straight to the only person in Melbourne I can want to speak to. Mary-Lou at ABC asking good questions, when I finish an answer giving a very slight nod to say, Yes, I heard you. "How can there be an erotic film without people in it?" "Well, in actual erotics, at least as I know them, there are no people either."

They say of horses, by Lord Runner out of River Queen.

Victoria Hotel Dimboola, Sunday

The beautiful beautiful night, last night I was there. Perfectly still and wide and clear. As if it went on for hundreds of miles as still as that. The trees resting.

The way each evening the wind stopped when the sun set. Blessed quiet. Birds' voices. And then they stop too. The ants carry on silently all night, crazed things, hinged robots. Earlier nights I heard large footfalls that would have been emus, which look good running. So do kangaroos. The small kangaroo feeding on lowest leaves of a banksia. It saw me and tried to sneak away, did that on all four feet, the front feet/hands so small it's tipped forward into a comic evasive mouse. So evidently trying to move without noise. Then it gave up and just ate.

As I fell asleep a snatch of a view of a woman with long wavy hair - a faded oval brown and grey - moving away across a desert. After that very faint imprints of faces, half-faces very slight, banksia people.

1st December

Very uneasy after, anguish. Films I love when I'm alone seeing them, are unbearable when I present them. Robert Nery gold line spectacles pronouncing so righteously, sen-su-al. There should not be beautiful images for horrific stories. Why not? Life regained would love the creep of light over a door frame. "This is a very old-fashioned story about the conflict between mind and the senses. We do not have to choose between them!" I exclaim. But how uneasy after. As if I was stupid in my answers.

Robert Nery is finely beautiful to look at and the woman with him persistent. She said, "To be concentrated, does it have to be slow?" "It comes from both ends, when you're concentrated it isn't slow. When you're tense it's slow. You make it slow to get the concentration. The state that makes one want to take images in the first place is that state."

The anguish is the exposure of my loves and meanings to dissent. The bodies get up in the dark and vote against. I was opening the door to them and closing it after.

Their values also are feeling my contempt - I should remember. Seeing the audience arrive, the gross, the red lipsticked, thinking, you'll weed yourselves, it's not for you, you manic smokers.


I saw faces in the audience I could have confidence in - a thin man who nodded, the man with dark hair back who I knew was a writer, the frightened face forward, James Kalish. I went up and talked at the beginning holding myself on those faces. Said they could escape after 17 minutes, to weed out the people who'd make the rest uneasy. Some went out, some came in. Then we went on in the dark one thing after another. I was hearing the voice well enough so I knew they were hearing it, Peter Tyndall I thought was hearing the Hegel. I heard the voice shift (was it in night horizon) as tho' at a point where I had absorbed or matched Jam. A female voice that had taken long reaches without leaving behind girl's love of place and person.

I want to say how I've become a woman who likes young men and is liked by them - my technicians, the train conductors, students. I look at them with a particular pleased openness they feel. It isn't only men and young men but it is mostly. The women's makeup and hair or their boring insistence put me off.

Vancouver 9

The film program. I was frightened introducing it because I hadn't gone through fear and realization before it, I knew I was unconscious in it, of its interpretation. Lying beside Rob last night realizing about Robert Nery and the woman with him, that they might have been in the initiated mind I learned and left behind with them, those people. Why does it have to be slow she asked. Is it appropriate to eroticize torture he asks. Not that they were clear but that I wasn't there to answer them as I could have if I'd prepared rightly. What did that mind know? And how do I not know it now? And what does it have to do with beauté du diable. I was remembering it in the panic and sadness of not fucking, and then having it wide and solid in me gave me cheerfulness back though not sensitivity. It's a state of realizing one's pretensions are covering inferiorities of desire. So the show was saying this is how I like to be fucked. But actually I know that. I said erotic is deep pleasured attention and political is intelligent value. So what was wrong with the show? I am not recovering the feeling, which was a memory.


Came out of yoga in grey morning light and saw a flame standing high over roofs to the south. The house of disorder on Hawks. Neighbours standing on the brick plaza, faces water-swollen from sleep, came out without combing their hair. Who's living with whom, who is friendly with whom. Firemen in wet stiff canvas. A grey-haired man coming from speaking to the fire chief says to his friends "She's still in there. It's finished." Her husband when he arrives from his job walks first to the ambulance, opens the back door, closes it. Stands in his letter carrier hat next to the fire chief both staring at his house. Men on the roof chopping holes, flames still appearing in an upstairs room. He looks the way I think I would - well, that's what's happened.


Coming out into the warm night out of the station at Bairnsdale, dopey on the train and a stranger emerging with people who are being met. I'll just walk out and there'll be a hotel.

The afternoon in Terang, station platform, sitting on a baggage wagon putting on my shoes. Silence when the train is gone, birds and scent. First cross the tracks to the country road, blooming wattle with the smell of a room in London. Main street with an ash tree boulevard down the centre, my first sight of the form of a country town. Commercial traveler's hotel. "A dry ginger please." Seeds in the hardware store, Queensland blue pumpkin. Countryside showing past the houses, pasture, hills. The shops are North London in Sexsmith, ice lollies and barbecue chicken. A library closed except Saturday morning and Tuesday night.

Being so excited that day to be going out into Australia. Thistles and red soil. A part of the country that's so rocky walls have to be made for miles, to clear space for the sheep. Pine rows quite black for shade lengthwise or crosswise or along the ridge of a hill. When the door was open between cars the relief of smelling the land, pine and grass. Coming into Terang looking at a house beyond the tracks, curved zinc roof, water tank, bottlebrush, yard. Like the farm beside the tracks outside of Sexsmith. I say I'll jump off but is there time. Run for bag and boots under the seat, train's moving but not fast, I'll do it. In my red socks.

In Melbourne the office and its elevator woman and Flinders Alley with curry and a green store. The early mornings coming up Collins feeling the downtown street-café sheet-glass cosmopolitan amenity of the place - Londonish. The alleys. England in the thirties said Ray. Yes! The cottages are. Suburbs and their trams. Crowds along the rail at a tramstop in the middle of Swanston with flies trying to drink from their eyes and nostrils and the corners of their mouths.

"I'll drive you out, later." I buy food. Am in behind the counter at the grocer's washing out the pineapple and butterscotch containers he's giving me for water. Beautiful Tista at the Victoria Hotel. The wonderful grape vine dressing the verandah. "A dry ginger, please." Then the first people I meet are a black aboriginal who doesn't speak and a redhaired one who says "It's all different now. You used to be able to walk through there with a gun."

Tista brings me past what he says aren't farms, it's too dry. I don't know where the Little Desert will begin, anything could be it. We come to the dip around the hut and it's full of birds. There's the brown Wimmera River. He says parrots. "It's wonderful here." Shows me where the kangaroos will be and where they were.

When I am coming up along the river before dark looking at banksia and bottlebrush, at a distance from the kangaroo plain still, are those figures or not? I have to wait to see them move. I see them run, tail to balance head in their flight, stop behind a tree seeming to think themselves hidden. Stare.

Then fire, burnt food, creeping down the log into the river, washing, wind, flies, cold, heat, boredom, retreat, ants crunching underground under my ear, louder than you'd imagine.


Speak to anyone as to a soul wanting to do its best.

Speak to anyone as to an unknown light that can be questioned.

Speak to anyone as to and from a soul noticing its moment.

Practical and theoretical soul studies.

Wanted to talk about her to Eric. This is what's called missing. When last have I missed anyone. I told Eric I was painting the kitchen because last summer I cooked and ate and talked with someone in it. And, the feeling is, sometime I might again.


There Rob was in the light of my Christmas tree last night folding himself naked down into bed with penis as in cave paintings horizontal and long. I wasn't needing to have it, not at all, evading and going to sleep. This morning, tho', after tea, I say I've been remote and I've been missing Louie, and when he touches my nipples I know I'm there again. I realize tho' it's the time of day Louie phones, if it rings I'll answer. It does. Two minute touch. "It's so hot here it must be snowing there." "It is." What can be done in a two minute touch. "How have you bin?" I say. "I miss you quite a lot." "Are you sleeping closer to the river?" "I'm sleeping by a cliff, the moon is so bright I can walk around."

I go back to the real whole of fucking, have one arm around him in the affectionate way of companions. We go gently and thoughtfully in and along. Long later when I've collected him again and it's after a stop so I'm swelled up with sensitivity (my fantasy is, like a woman with a second husband, who whispers to the brother at dinner, I want you to be slow tonight) I come with so much laughing and blowing he says "Should I call the ambulance?" "You are the ambulance, you saved me."

That, how deep and unknown it got, and the graces of what he does and I do, and yet the stupidity of conversation on the way.

Looking together at the book of space pictures he gave me.

3rd January

Last night digging at Gott. Ironfaced closedness. Gott is anger. It's what I face him with. But when I took him on with feeling and mobile thought he turned into a little boy. Oh nimble mind and feeling please come again the way you were that time. Then I have a new good: transparency. But Jesus got killed, feeling and mobile mind and seeing got killed and even if it resurrected it's 'gone away,' it's become the face of grief. That's as far as I get and then try to investigate the line of pressure between my eyes. A face sleeping on the left and like a shell strained open on the right. Can I wake the left?


I see their damage, I don't feel mine.


What I remembered today about Ed, the feeling of his calculation. A mentat feeling. Not shrewdness. It's hard to recover. A kind of length under the cheekbone and concentration in the forehead. It borders on paranoia. I recovered it thinking of the spirit battle with him. The way he was aware of danger to his (pride) - I don't know danger to what - like someone alert in a knife fight. He's calculating in defense of his wit. It's a dark brightness. It's knowingly alone. What's important is that he comes out able to feel his wit is sharpest and fastest. I defeated him that time. He was feeling, it's a trick, she wants me to let her expose me; and it was a trick. He didn't fall for it but twice he turned and ran. Here it is again, the resolute iron face. He could see certain things, sexual things about women and aggressive things presumably about men. Lived afraid of being taken over by reading but was taken over too by too little reading. A native sharpness he found himself to be, seeing hidden things. Thinking he has to keep that special edge makes him a sitting duck for flattery. He likes the game of leading someone along, feeling his own nimbleness, so far ahead of the game. An unhindered opportunism, he has the wit to see that other people don't exist.


Funny, yes, I'm angry. I ripped the 3 boring sheets across and across. I'm angry because she hasn't sent a letter in these 3 weeks? Why wd I avoid knowing I'm angry? She's more gone than she was. And what else. I'm angry at Jam.

AND THEN AND THEN the phone rings. She was in a train awake all night looking at the changes of mountains. Had 3 letters including the last one. So little time it took her to get to me.

And still I'd like to know more about the night in the train. She went backward because the mountains became smaller, she backed away from them. She kept being tested with offers of a belief that evolution is wiping out people who didn't change quickly enough, whose chemistries aren't susceptible enough to restructure by prosthetic extension. Who are too close to home. And tempted by offers to believe that if whites are crazy the blacks must be sane. And seeing the night texture in flanks after flanks of hills made of grain.

Is it that my girl soul comes and goes freely now? Says: I'm leaving for the winter, I'm going to the other end of the earth, but I'll be back. And travels at a window in a compartment. I saw that. Moon only at the edge of orange pink dawn, as they come to farms and towns. But in the dark end of the night the bulks of the mountains rotate past with the immense smoothness of their mass, accelerating with perfect evenness as their nearest side comes toward the center of the rectangle, and there a speed faster than light, which gives the immense armature of racing threads of light no time to attach themselves at the eyes, so that they cross and fall. (Seeing what happens - why not - because this is philos images and other fantasies and not - but yes it is - girl soul at a window the only one awake - traveling traveling south away from the sun away from wild Africa to an opulent rim. Okay enough.


What did I see. There were books of Australian women painters, four sisters. A book of paintings, rust reds, a hill in gullies. The last one a woman at a window, curls of vapor fabric blown back off her body. In between, I don't remember, but the wonderful completeness and invention of my picture book dreams.

And then at the end of the dreaming, I think, the sight so much admired of a fox­red woman walking away - probably her - copper red hair, brown coat and longish skirt, russet ankles probably, so glossy - Copper Woman, not that I think of it - a conductor from head to shoulders, (sez breath) is how the images come to be.

Help me to understand, I say, and I promise not to take credit. But help me to know how not to.


Electric body work in bed last night. Knowledge coming about teaching next week. I think, look what it gives me, it works on my tasks while I do other things. I say thank you. I go further, I say, I'll hug you. And do (not with my arms) and then what happens is a smile starts to break on my mouth - really it is as if my mouth is pushed from inside. And then, see it wants to go further, it's wanting to laugh. Aloud. And does. I keep watching how much is it wanting to laugh, more? And then I am lying in a glow of sorts but wondering, was it laughing at me? Or glad to be (so socially) appreciated?

Other things I tried. A pang in the breast. I say let's go for the five vertebrae in the upper middle of the back. A pouring warmth up the arms and neck. Then the diaphragm comes on. I'm wondering whether digestive enzymes are in there too, being cut off. I feel I shd be digging in between the vertebrae with gold-light fingers, digging quite hard. There's some alarm as if a large wave is threatening. When I go to the toes I feel it immediately in my neck. More to know there.


What's rust red. I thought too, cypris (kyprios).

Copper oxide the color of thistles in red ground.

Pennies to Aphrodite.

Cun nung knowledge, cunnan to know, to be able.

Cupa tub, cask. Cunt isn't in the dictionary.

Morning of 12th the rust-red woman, flowing at the end. Two days later an early period.


Something I do have. On the bus remembering how much I like to read the journal now, that it's a voice so close to me in any kind of turn. Not impressive and not a woman's.

What I think about Louie is that I trust her sanity. When I think of what could happen the next thing I think is that whatever happens she'd be willing to know and she could know what to do to go on. I think that at moments like coming past the doctor's office on Hawks or standing in the bathroom.

I am always willing to know but I often only know how to go on alone. I know my gladness is a danger to me. Not yet as much as it could be. Feeling uneasily observed as I say this.


It becomes difficult to see. I don't know how to describe it. Sometimes when there's a certain kind of joy it's like that. Everything is there together around my face. Every stone I could have picked up. In all the red colors of brown. Might make it to where we cross the river again before the light goes. We do and cross in darkness. [Louie writes]

In bed last night the sense of anguish as being squeezed from both sides, especially the skull. I move around seeing what'll happen electrically. Once, from feeling the second outermost toe on the left foot, a light electrical wave, that was blocked as soon as I knew it - not more than I would want to bear, the blocking was only startled reflex.


Today in a room crammed with Chinese business students Ari the Neck (a wrestler) tries out loud talk to his friend. But I've met that irritation before. He's put himself in the opponent position in the room and that means I'm in place to be his opponent too. I say, before he's aware I'm looking at him, "I have something to say to you, right in front of me - you. It's not really appropriate to be talking out loud in a class, it's distracting to the other students and it's distracting to me and ..." (by now I'm wondering whether this is enough but it's marginally out of my control since I turned it on) " ... it makes you look bad." His friend grinning embarrassed. I go on but there has been a cost, a slight fright or shock that I have to cover. But the class is good, as a first class. Half of them have spoken by the end. I love myself for how I can do that, make a live unfrightened room.

Fri 25th

Iraqis pumping oil into the Gulf. The way Saddam Hussein is using what's to hand and bewildering the Europeans who think he'll wage a European duel. He doesn't have to defend the prestige of rationality. At school yesterday came upon Andrew saying to Ingrid, "All my advisors have told me to be sure to steer clear of anything Eastern or New Age," and I smiled, we all laughed. And I'm thinking of it since - the community defending itself from what could change the terms or the style of talk to something they're unequipped for.


Connectionism says to me that what we give time to builds itself into our brain, anything we think is thought in that abacus. And dreaming is a projection of the structures made.

tigers, elms, apples, roses, water and gold