Things We’re Not Going to Talk About is finished.
It has been for a year, I just didn’t bother announcing it.
I’m making this a place for ideas and rushed thoughts and notes. I’m working on something new.
I just finished a thing for Wellington Zinefest. Maybe I’ll tell you more about it.
Finished work lives here now.
"But have you seen the new digs?" C asked,
talking about the National Library,
on a bench, in the sun, in Autumn.
I hadn’t at the time but I have
since then. She told me she sat there
all morning hoping to see him.
She could only afford one coffee,
so she drew it out across three years.
"Three years," H said,
"I’ve spoken to him once or twice
about her. He said he’s fine now.”
C would ask me now and again if I
ever saw him here or there.
I never did not once,
which is odd for a city built
on faces I’ve seen somewhere before.
"R called it an exhibition of
ugly furniture.” I told her.
"Is that reason enough to stay
away?” She asked.
"Is that reason enough to stay?"
"The city", P told me, on Nairn Street,
in Summer, “is transient”. Trans-i-ent.
From Latin. Across. To go. It doesn’t
ebb or flow so much as shake
its furled brow, tense its curled lip,
and blow its burnt toast smell
(roasting coffee I’ve been told)
in your eyes. “It gets under your
skin if you let it” P said she was in a rut.
"But I wasn’t waiting for him," C said,
"It’s nice in there, I swear."
Three years nice.
Long enough to let your coffee go cold.
C quit smoking to save some money.
"Variations on the same theme,"
B would say if he were here.
H would call it insufficient
if she were here.
I picked up a book from Nairn Street,
in Autumn, wasn’t invited in for tea,
boxes blocked my view of the hallway.
P said she was in a rush.
R talked about the Maori lady
who guarded the Old Digs.
Now she sits on that green couch
in the lobby, as much a fixture
as the McCahon on the wall.
I felt the bench through my jeans,
stood up and said I was thirsty.
C said she knew a place.
Anna was kind enough to sit with me at Auckland Zinefest, and Design Assembly were kind enough to photograph the event.
Here’s Anna, an entire month after the fact because I am useless and sorry.
It’s been ages.
A real long time indeed.
I made you something, though, with my friend Anna.
Consider it an apology for my unexplained absence.
It’s called This Place is Eeek.
It’s a short examination of a dying city. How we have talked about it, how we talk about it now, how we leave it, and why we stay.
You can get it at Auckland Zinefest on the 27th of July.
And there will be reprints of issues 1 - 4 of Things We’re Not Going to Talk About.
I am the friend who will ignore you for six months then open a conversation with a favour.
How have you been?
I hope you’re well.
I’ve been okay, I just haven’t really been making anything recently. I’m trying to fix that.
My friend Anna approached with an idea for a zine, but we need YOU to contribute.
It’ll be a collection of maps.
We’re asking each contributor to give a short list of addresses in Wellington or Auckland that have some kind of significance. As well as a one or two sentence explanation of why that address has personal importance i.e. “This is the place where that party was when Sean pissed his pants” or “This is where I met my dad for the first time” or “Student flat - we all got stoned and played playstation for 8 months.” Or whatever.
All totally anon. We’ll only publish approximations of addresses for privacy.
You wanna do it?
Given how unproductive I’ve been for the last half year, and given that I don’t see myself emerging from this rut any time soon, I’d rather not commit myself to a concrete release date, but we’re aiming to have it finished around July/August.
This the closest thing I have to a photo of myself/my stall at Zinefest.
You can see my arm in the top corner.
It was a hoot.
Still plenty of copies left at Matchbox (166 Cuba St) and online.
Photo credit: Ben K. C. Laksana