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Holocene 2021  •  19 July 2021


By Zac Agius
Content Warning: Alcohol, blood

Doing things methodically

Repeating and repeating

The chaos becomes clear

The unnatural natural

Do this

Do that

Do this again

‭ ‬Do that again

Keep on keeping on and‭ ‬

‭ ‬Keep on keeping on‭ ‬

Change will come‭ ‬

in ways you want

And ways

You don’t

Be with the water and the air

And the grass and the trees and the soil

And the concrete pillars that grow because we plant them

Second nature is still nature‭,‬

I suppose

Deadly tired‭ ‬

‭(‬but I’ve been tired-er‭) ‬

And I will be so‭, ‬again

Drifting and drifting‭,‬

I hear you call

I listen and remember and wish‭ ‬

you can hear me call back to you

‭ ‬

Drifting and dreaming

‭ ‬Drifting and dreaming

Drifting and dreaming

When they strike it is beautiful‭.‬

They come‭, ‬one after the other

Flashing by‭, ‬almost too quickly to catch

When they do not strike it is hard‭.‬

The world becomes harder

The days longer

The music bleaker

And they have not struck for some time now

Enough time‭, ‬that I wonder if they will strike again‭.‬

But if my faith wavers elsewhere it cannot waver here‭.‬

In the new year

In the new year

In the new year‭ ‬

‭ ‬Where will I be‭?‬

What will I be‭?‬

What am I this year‭?‬

The city passes by the carriage windows and slowly turns to bush

The green I crave But where is the blue‭?‬

Surely I will make it to the ocean soon

For now the changing sky will have to suffice

Graffiti thins and disperses and congregates on the train line

I don’t remember there being so many billboards when I was younger

Something‭, ‬something‭, ‬something

It will come if I work hard enough

Write hard enough

Think hard enough

Or is it the easy thinking that works better‭?‬

The water refracts and reflects the speckled blue

The hot coffee warms me‭, ‬but I am already too warm

It is summertime and the rain is always almost here

My handwriting gets worse and better and worse again

The door stays open‭, ‬propped by an old artist’s stool

The hours I spent talking and working and thinking on a stool like that‭ ‬

and probably that stool exactly‭.‬

The plants are growing even if we feel we aren’t

The music plays and we listen

The camera clicks and we smile

Smile wide and the world opens

‭(‬It completes when you smile‭)‬

For that infinitely small moment it completes‭, ‬I smile too

The wind comes through the house and whips at my shirt

My legs

My hair

I am grateful each time

The rain is coming‭, ‬I know‭.‬

The house is leaving and I am staying

Staying and continuing ‭ ‬The year is done and the paintings will leave the walls and the magnets the fridge and

‭ ‬I will retreat to the comfort of the beach to ring in the new year with a

‭ ‬bottle of wine and a beautiful girl‭.‬

‭ ‬The floor is dirty and we will clean it‭ ‬

‭ ‬The lights will come on and then go off

‭ ‬The sun will set and rise again‭ ‬

‭ ‬and if I am lucky I will watch it

‭ ‬That is a free luxury for all‭, ‬but especially the

‭ ‬Poor and lonely

‭ ‬Because we cherish each day or at least try to‭.‬

‭ ‬It is the trying that matters and when you cannot try‭,‬

‭ ‬The knowing that you will try again and it will be good

‭ ‬That’s a riff on an old Hemingway quote‭, ‬who I always seem to come back to‭ ‬

‭ ‬despite his problems

‭ ‬Write a true sentence‭, ‬he says‭.‬

‭ ‬Write it true

‭ ‬The truest‭.‬

‭ ‬Why lie‭?‬

‭ ‬Why do we lie‭?‬

That’s above my pay grade‭.‬

‭ ‬That’s a lie‭. ‬A cop out‭.‬

‭ ‬If anyone has the means to try and decipher an impossible

‭ ‬question it is someone who might call themselves a‭ ‬writer‭.‬

‭ ‬ ‭ ‬We live and lie for love in all its forms‭.‬

‭ ‬Even if it is love of the self

‭ ‬My hand starts to cramp from the writing

‭ ‬It has been that long‭, ‬yes‭.‬

Too long since we’ve known anything‭.‬

The mind warps and fades and comes to‭, ‬for shorter and shorter bursts‭.‬

To be on all the time

To be driven and passionate and alive

To be free

The coffee is warm and‭ ‬‘Me And Your Mama’‭ ‬plays and almost all the conditions are right yet I still feel vaguely suspended in life

A waiting point and I am searching


My mind is learning‭, ‬working‭, ‬training‭, ‬being‭.‬

Why sleep‭?‬

Why do‭?‬

Why be‭?‬

Why do we feel a little more complete when looking at a painting‭?‬

A film‭, ‬a plant‭, ‬a mix of words on paper stolen from a tree that just wanted to grow‭?‬

Just wanted to be‭.‬

Just be‭.‬

Live and breathe and drink coffee and nice Japanese whisky and look at the mountains and listen to the rain and the music and feel the warmth of blood rushing round your body as you run and cherish the pain and be‭.‬

There are things to be grateful for if you only look‭, ‬

You don’t even need to look too hard

Again‭, ‬again‭, ‬again‭.‬

I feel low and uninspired and unhappy

It’s a new year and the tea is brewing but my mind is not‭.‬

No thinking no breathing no desire

Water is not enough anymore

The well has dried and nothing is the same but everything is

And I can’t stop thinking and doing‭ ‬

But I can’t start thinking and doing‭ ‬

The door is closing from the wind and the music is anxious and the tea is bitter

But now the door has swung open and I must jump through before it shuts—

There it goes‭.‬

I have propped it open with the old artist’s stool‭ ‬


let’s try again‭.‬



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