1. Beige calico bag with a texta portrait of a highlighter-pink faced lady hand-drawn (slightly differently) on either side, purchased from an exhibition by artists with a disability at Glasgow’s Tron Gallery
2. White calico bag with a high-heeled boot and ‘Berlin’ roughly screen-printed on it, left at our apartment in Berlin by Sarah and/or Eve, presumably from one of the vintage shops in Prenzlauer Berg
3. Grey ‘Thinsulate’ gloves, purchased at the ‘Trespass’ store in Oban, Scotland when it was raining
4. Ziplock bags. Tons of them.
5. A small purple travel towel, made of that weird microfibre fabric that feels slightly rubbery as it traces over your skin.
6. A neon bum-bag, oddly square-shaped and attached to a sagging elasticised rainbow belt with a clip. The bum-bag features an overly sassy and enthusiastic purple T-Rex, an anxious yellow Triceratops and a suspicious-looking yellow Stegasaurus with ‘DINOSAURS’ printed in the top left corner over an exploding volcano. The bum-bag is stuffed with filters from Paris, ‘Pueblo’ tobacco from Berlin and a sleek metal pocket ashtray that Jordan sent to Glasgow from Muji in Melbourne. The bum-bag cost €0.20 at a flea market in Turku, Finland.
7. Yellow PVC fisherman’s raincoat with elasticised sleeve-ends that are too short for my arms, one pocket on the lower right-hand side and no drawstring in the hood. The yellow raincoat €6.00 at the same flea market in Turku, Finland. When I wore it in the pouring rain in Oban, Scotland my nose got wet and the rain ran down to where the elasticised sleeve-ends were strangling my woollen jumper and soaked it right through.
8. Purple and blue flecked woollen jumper from the good vintage shop in the West End of Glasgow. It’s 100% Shetland wool. Jordan bought it for me when he visitied. It was £10.
9. Blue and white striped merino skivvy with a small tear in the chest. Mum asked if I wanted her to fix it before I left, and I said I’d do it myself. I still haven’t.
10. Navy linen men’s button-up shirt.
12. Massage oil.
14. Nivea moisturising cream.
15. Moroccan hair oil.
16. A Mason Pearson hairbursh Mum got me when I was 10.
17. A spare blue toothbrush. At the moment, my toothbrush is orange. I prefer that.
18. Hot pink Nike pool slides and plain black Timberland thongs squashed together and wrapped in plastic bags to keep the wet in.
19. Navy silk button-up shirt with a huge rip across the shoulder, starting at the armpit.
20. Grey keep-cup with a turquoise band that was my Mum’s before it was mine.
21. Black pleather backpack from Primark.
22. Denim overall shorts.
23. Black jeans.
24. Nixi Killick baseball cap covered in blue, purple, pink trippy patterns, eyes and teeth. Xmas present from Jordan. One of the only baseball caps I’ve ever owned, and definitely the best.
25. Bright orange, blue, striped black and white, silver-hooded patchwork bomber/rain-jacket from the Mauerpark markets in Berlin. I bought it to replace the old raincoat, the silver Topshop raincoat, the perfect raincoat – the raincoat that I left on the ticket machine at the train station when I was on my way to pick up Jordan from the airport. It’s not better or worse than the old one, just different.
26. White high-waisted denim shorts. Jordan says I look like an ‘all-American girl’ in them. Gio says I look like I’ve dressed as the archetype of ‘tourist’. €4.00 from an op-shop in Berlin.
27. Beigey raw silk swing singlet top thing.
28. Pink, purple, orange and gold silk singlet covered in roses and embroidered with little pearly clear beads.
29. Wet black converse, wrapped in ziplock backs with a thick rubber band.
30. Small black t-shirt with the collar cut-out, €0.20 from the kid’s section at an op-shop in Berlin.
31. Mini-skirt covered in palm leaf print.
32. Orange skirt fringed with hessian that looks almost exactly the same as the raw silk shirt, so people always think they’re an outfit that’s meant to go together.
33. Black leather lace-up ACNE wedges that are sort of like summer boots with cut-outs. A key ingredient in feeling cool enough to go clubbing in Berlin.
34. Black silk and linen longline vest with pockets to wear over dresses and remedy the impracticality of women’s clothing.
35. A few pairs of clean socks.
36. Only the sexy underpants left, the really lacey black ones.
37. Three ziplock bags full of dirty washing.
38. Galaxy leggings.
39. Leggings covered in weird collage print that ooks like paper scraps from a kindergarten bin.
40. White crop top covered in a sort of marbled pastel wash of gold, turquoise and pink that is way too short to raise my arms in without showing everyone my bra. For wearing with overalls only. I bought it from a fledgling design label at the Mauerpark markets. I guess they hadn’t thought about people needing to raise their arms in crop-tops much yet.
41. Small tin tea-cup, white, with a blue rim and roses printed on it. €1.00 from a flea market in Turku, Finland.
42. Black empty paperback sketchbook.
43. Eco-brown empty paperback sketchbook.
44. Gold hardback moleskin ripoff filled with half-thoughts, rants, rambles, sketches and mostly lines for poems and stories and dialogue that will never end up anywhere else.
45. Folded piece of paper covered in the words from throwdown 28, separated from the rest of the chapbook it was in.
46. Red high-waisted tailored shorts which do up with a weird series of 9 buttons and a little flap instead of a fly.
47. Cream Neuw jumper with a really interesting textured knit. I accidentally bought the exact same jumper Jordan had bought in black only days before. I’d admired his then, so he still maintains I copied him.
48. Two blue silicone cups that fold down into little discs. I think they are genius for being so compact. Camping crockery is one of my favourite things.
49. Opel hunting knife from Paris. I use it to slice cheese. I would like to cut ropes with it and carve things out of wood by a fire.
50. Waterproof pants still muddy from Kerrera, the island next to Oban in Scotland, all balled up in their little bag.
51. Grey silk sleeping-bag liner balled up in its little travel bag.
52. Black All Saints dress, my favourite thing to wear when I want to be classy and still comfortable.
53. Grey beanie that feels like really excellent quality soft lambswool but who knows, I got it from an op-shop in Glasgow for £4.00 and it doesn’t have a tag.
54. Brown felt sunhat.
55. Pink, blue and white insulated beanie with a pom-pom on top.
56. Folder full of letters that I haven’t sent yet, letters I’ve received, photos and a small canvas with Zyczek the rabbit painted in gold, saying ‘I am not lost’. That canvas is the one thing I need to put in a room to make it my own.
57. Bek’s birthday present.
58. ‘The Yolo Pages’.
59. A calico bag printed with a photo of the inside of Shakespeare & Co.
60. ‘The Birthday Party’.
61. ‘Writing Down the Bones’.
62. Blue box containing the retainer thing for grinding my teeth that I never wear.
63. Green velvet beret-type thing that I never wear anymore but can’t bear to throw away. It’s like the weirdest ‘bohemian painter’s cap’ you can imagine, and some Melbourne lady made it for herself in the 40s and was probably very proud.
64. Pink and grey neckerchief.
65. Hot pink headsock/scarf thing for being a badass outdoors person.
66. Black and brown silk neck scarf that was Mum’s.
67. Blue silk t-shirt.
68. Crazy patterned short-shorts for sleeping in.
69. Black Adidas windcheater that Leyla left in Berlin and I now wear all the time.
70. Black suede jacket that is my first ‘real’ leather jacket, from Berlin. It already has a little tear in the back of the left shoulder, even though I bought it brand new. I don’t know if the tear was already there, or I made it. When I first noticed it, I thought ‘this is why I can’t have nice things’.
71. Black Birkenstocks from Berlin that aren’t exactly the shape of the soles of my feet yet.
72. Worn out brown R.M. Williams that were Mum’s for 10 years or something and she gave to me not long before I left. They’re slightly too small but I still wear them most days.
73. Blue linen dress with little triangle cutouts so you can see my bottom ribs. My favourite.
74. Green and cream flannel shirt from a flea market in Turku, Finland.
75. Grey tailored woollen hoodie with light grey leather pockets, from the Mauerpark markets in Berlin. I bought it off the woman who made it. It’s beautiful and practical and probably the dressiest hoodie I’ve ever seen.
76. Black and white striped baseball crop tee.
77. Silvery grey disco pants.
78. Rainbow patterned button-up short-sleeved shirt. Definitely the greatest shirt I have ever seen.
79. Leotard with a print of Flamingos flying over desert in front of a hot pink sunset.
80. Black woollen cardigan with big fabric-covered buttons that sort of rattle a little when you move.
81. Clear perspex clutch bag that does up with a strip of lavender purple velcro along the length of it.
82. Green and blue Hershel canvas backpack.
83. Molly Nilsson CD, ‘The Travels’ from her gig in a metal shell that felt like an old scout hall in the suburbs of Berlin.
84. External hard drive.
85. External CD drive.
86. Passport, Australian.
87. A pencil case containing purple, turquoise, gold and black eyeliners, black and silver liquid eyeliners, silver glitter eye gel, metallic turquoise liquid eye shadow, iridescent green and blue eye shadows, orange, neon pink and red lipsticks, a sharpener, my Rhino necklace, a packet of Lemsip, two bandaids, a metal military matches box from New Zealand, a black pocket mirror a pair of black feather earrings and a pair of pink feather earrings and a clear quartz obelisk.
88. ‘Guru Lyf’ box that Lauren made me before I left, full of jewellery – the goldfish earrings I made, orange and black 70s-style beaded dangly earrings from Paris, faded silver plate earrings, round silver plate earrings, neon and gold disc necklace, shard of quartz necklace the same as the one I bought for Greer, rose quartz ring, black and red USB, Mackintosh designed earrings, the remaining pink and silver resin earring, moulded from a real crystal.
89. Laptop charger.
90. iPhone charger.
91. Camera battery charger.
92. Adaptor from UK to EU.
93. Fujifilm X20 camera.
94. iPhone in a weird cream rubber case that is trying to look like a radio.
95. Neion pink and orange wallet.
97. The special round hairbrush that Jordan gave me when he cut off his quiff.
98. Watch with a white face and a black band.
99. Purple backpack that folds into a pocket until it’s about the size of a packet of cigarettes.
100. Toothpaste, Colgate.
101. Manicure kit with tweezers, nail scissors, clippers and a file. The case was a horrible greyish green colour when Mum bought it in Alice, but she comissioned her friend to paint it so now it’s covered in tiny dot-painted flower patterns. It’s falling apart, one of the side hangs right open like a grin.
102. Black waterproof gloves.
103. A bright green cutlery thing called a ‘snorky’, that’s part knife, part fork and part spoon and has a caribeiner attached to it through a little hole in the plastic.
104. Light pink and grey sort of leopard-print cotton scarf that’s a replacement for the one I left in a taxi, the one Jordan bought in Canberra with a refund from a shirt that didn’t fit that was a present.
105. Black and white halterneck swimsuit with shorts bottoms from Paris that I think looks very 1920s. It’s new, and it still has the plastic sticker in the crotch.
106. Black boyleg bather bottoms from Kmart.
107. Black sports-bra shaped speedo swim top covered with multicoloured crazy shapes, from a bikini set that I didn’t bring the bottoms to. It’s actually for a 12 – 14 year old child, according to the label, and I remember thinking ‘gee, kids are big these days’ when I bought it. Me and Cass got crazy kids bathers from the Carlton pool because they were on sale and magically they fit. My breasts must have gotten bigger though, because now it’s really hard to squeeze myself into the top.
108. Neon yellow bandeau bathers top with a string to tie around your neck. €5.00 from somewhere in Berlin. I bought it when my breasts didn’t fit in the speedo top any more.
109. Black polyester thermals from Kathmandu that used to be Mum’s.
110. White cotton 3/4-sleeve top with thin black stripes that I love-hate.
111. Brown stretchy woollen t-shirt with a sort of bib-pocket thing at the front a lot of people seem to find entertaining and odd. It is the perfect plage for someone who is hugging me to rest their hands.
112. Merkel, the green triceratops backpack that is my best festival buddy. He cost $10 from the Big W kids section in Australia. All of the bits that you hold on the zips are broken and replaced with safety pins or paper clips. He is muddy as. I wrote a poem about Merkel once and how it made me feel to wear a kids’ triceratops backpack, and for a while he was infamous around Glasgow.
113. Green woollen beanie, my favourite. Found on the number 19 tram in Brunswick.
114. Tiny purple woven shoulder bag, perfect size for my passport, wallet and phone.
115. Blistex, in a tub.
116. 4 Felt-tip pens.
117. Metal box filled with charcoal and pencils.
118. 1/3 of a small jar of Vegemite.
119. Drawstring black backpack with a flamingo on it and the words ‘Belly Kids’, from a design store in London.
120. Foldable white and grey AIAIAI headphones.
121. Round tortoiseshell glasses, 0.75+ prescription in a black specsavers case.
122. Square green glasses, 0.75+ prescription in a purple specsavers case.
123. Large neon orange clipper lighter.
124. Large black clipper lighter.
125. Large matte black clipper lighter.
126. Small sky blue bic lighter, all the way from Australia.
127. ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’.
129. Gold wolf (or fox, opinions differ) ring.
130. Amethyst ring.
131. Tiny bottle of DKNY ‘apple’ perfume. The green one. I think I’ve had it since I was 13.
132. Tiny bottle of clinique perfume, who knows what it’s called.
you weigh your words well
place them deftly, set them drifting, inflected delicately upward
not like a question, but like a request.
there is a quiet in you, right in the centre
and you fold in a little at the edges
with dog-eared flicks of the wrist and knees.
we come in blustering, stormy old sunset girls
but you are the delicacy of morning
rolling up from the dark without trumpeted fanfare
an elegant blush of tea-coloured sky
humming at the edge of the world.
2 thoughts on “Two Hundred and Thirty-Four.”
Sarah, I’m a friend of Izzy’s and have been reading your poetry for a while now. It’s about time I let you know how much I admire your work, both your photography and your writing. Your poem from August 24 finally had me snap out of my passivity. Beautiful, is all I can say. The twist at the end is the best literary surprise I got in a long time. Thank you.
Ragna, that’s so lovely of you! Thank you for reading!