The zip code of nostalgia

The zip code of nostalgia

Take me back,
to when  mud flaps hung off cars with one screw year round,
when waking up in the morning was the default,
because the excitement of a new day was too much to contain yourself in comfort,
besides, squeaky spring bases of beds always sunk you down into discomfort.

Take me back,
to when you’d tip toe to the living room,
to turn on a rotary dial TV,
whose clicks you’d try to muffle with your jumper,
so you could sneak in a cartoon or two,
before you loaded up on a sugar and milk laden breakfast.

Take me back,
to when holding your mother’s hand,
walking to school was not uncool,
but squeezing back and forth was a competition,
of who loved who more.

Take me back,
to classrooms where teachers greeted you with cheer,
with the rank smell of sandwiches in the bin lingering near,
an appetiser to get your work done,
so you were allowed to go out at recess,
and breathe the playground bins instead.

Where football on gravel, bloodied knees and palms,
were signs of a game well played, badges of honour,
where you always had at least one fight per recess,
enough to keep you on your toes knowing,
soon your number might be up to test yourself.

Take me back,
to when a nugget was introduced to the world,
and it wasn’t so laced with MSG,
where kids eating them might get fat, but not ADHD.

How about when report cards were hand written,
and words like conscientious were still written,
and ‘shows potential’,
meant you just warded off into a trade and made money,
whilst your friends remained at school,
still trying to sound out words,
still handing in assignments, hand written.

Take me back,

to where carving on desks was in,

words relating your ongoing suffering,

like ‘I’d rather be dead’,
oh that’s right, you can’t,
because the zip code of nostalgia,
is a number of a place in my head.


-shape of me

shape of me

-shape of me

often, I am asked
how do you write

the reality is
I don’t
writing fashions me
moulds this shape shifting identity


I’m corrugated iron railings that have been painted one too many times, lived through one too many genre’s of fashion, layers of paint all peeling through to show the carelessness of BMX bikes scraping up and down the stairs

I’m tiny wood panel floors, made for sliding with football socks on, made for using a screw driver to pry up, made for ringing a mop daily to wipe up the dust of nothing happening.

I’m the porcelain of the bathtubs, two brothers and one sister, because bathing is quicker, all in, all out, until my limbs won’t fit, even alone. Then I have to learn to stand, use my own hands, turn a squeaky, hammering tap handle, wait for pipes to pipe up their muster and be on my toes ready to jump out of scolding water when it comes through.

I’m rusty clothes lines. Spinning in the wind with white singlets and coloured underwear, orchestra of wailing, catching sun rays double time and creating it’s own hurricane of chip wrappers and discarded girly mags underneath, each item racing each other.

I’m Velcro wrap sneakers, three stripes cool on the side, because we have rep as young as five, them mean school yard battles you’d win by just being a notch above by privy of your dad’s weekly cheque.

I’m grazed knees, dripping blood down shins onto white socks, ready for a pull of the ear when I got home for being careless because napisan wasn’t around thirty years ago.

I’m a cheese sandwich toasted atop an element heater with a steel grill, in front of a box the size of a car that belted out through 3 inch speakers the tune of ‘good old dukes’ as we were enthralled every time as two men slid on the hood of a car.

I’m my mother’s fingers carving fruit by hand, skilled carving, measured servings, when fruit tasted like fruit not a plastic synthetic renditions.

Whatever I look at, I can relay a memory I never took for granted,
that I am still grateful for,
that allowed me to grow into this something that knows how to recall,
to write scores,
and to spill it all,
for people to reflect,
remember things, large and small.