Teik Kim Pok

Theatre-maker, performance artist and A View From Moving Windows writer Teik Kim Pok  has written a poem for the blog!

*Lucerne not Lausanne*

Où venez-vous ?
*
*
*Kuala Lumpur via Hackney *

Où allez-vous ?
*
*
*Leh…uh…loo..Lake Loo San*

This platform, s’il vous plaît
*
*
*Mercy thankyouverymuch*

*…8 hours later…*
*
*

嗨呀!* How come no lake one?*

‘My folks, my sis and I on a train bound for Switzerland from Paris in
1986′ -Teik Kim Pok

If you like his style then why not come to Pop-up Bride (Looking for Insta-Groom)? Pop up- Bride is an immersive performance project taking place at Marrickville Festival on Sunday October 21st that will surely generate discussions about the role of marriage today!

Alternative Media Group of Australia

 

 The Alternative Media Group of Australia talked to Augusta about A View From Moving Windows. Check out the article here.

Miles Merrill

Miles Merrill is the creative director of the literary arts organisation, Word Travels. He is also a writer, performer, facilitator and event co-ordinator who combines poetry with theatre, experimental audio, hip-hop beats, stand-up and, occasionally, political confrontation. This is an extract from a three part group poem that was performed at The Riverside Theatre as part of a Sydney Festival show in 2005.

Train Wars

Photo Credit: Felicity Pickering

Part I

(Imagine us all crushed together on a train moving through the crowd as a clump, leaning when we turn.)

Every morning we form a multi-screen sightseeing machine.

From Home – (All repeating the following line together to a crescendo until Miles turns an imaginary nob) 

To Bossland- where the grey pigs play, living another man’s dream.  (All chanting like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory oohowee oh oooh oh)

In between is a network of clogged veins with a CBD heart.

I am a cell living in a vessel. Pump through the circulatory city on a peak hour vein.

My name stuck in the tracks

Written in the cracks

Rolling in the gap

Sea to city

Wombarra to Bondi

Parramatta to Kuring-gai

past Blue Mountains

I bust from a finger

a spray of blood into the bush. 

(Miles runs from the group as they spread in straight lines throughout the crowd.)

Every morning you ride a serpent

over the bones of buried people

their foreign words float in your ear

Wombarra-Wombarra-WomBombaderry-Nowra

Next Stop.

Ghosts haunt you through familiar suburbs

(Chanting) Baramada Baramada Next Stop.

Don’t these trains chanting place names

mock you?

If sorry is your only reply, guilt is implied.

Every morning a new trial to sleep through.

And here come the grey pigs (I sit and close my eyes)

Want more? Go to Follow That Sound next Friday ( if you can’t come to A View From Moving Windows opening night). Follow That Sound is a tour through the wild lanes and ancient gutters of The Rocks. Spoken-wordsmiths perform and magic happens! 

 

Melita Rowston

Melita Rowston is a playwright, writer and a director. She used to be a painter in Melbourne. She is about to catch a variety of trains through New York, Paris, Budapest and her most anticipated journey – from Dublin to Galway, to haunt a hundred year old stone hut on the Aran Islands and write a play about ships and love. She plans to make a website about herself when she gets back. Melita recently had her play Crushed on as part of New Theatre’s Spare Room Season.

The Experiment

He jerks me into his wet chest, slides his face across mine and kisses me. There’s the smell of his raw leather jacket, weed, beer and the taste of something chemical. Through the tangle of his hair, I can see the red headlights of the traffic on repeat as they plunge down Flinders Street. He pushes me away. The traffic revs its collective engine impatient for the lights to go green. He’s staggering like a rock star, the intersection his stage, but there’s nothing impressive about this performance. I glance at the station clock – nearly midnight.

‘We’re going to miss the last train!’

The chains of his biker boots jangle on the bitumen as he struts before the beast that is the restless traffic. The driver nearest us flashes his headlights. We could be at a disco. He lunges at the windscreen. The driver sticks his head out the window, his face an angry shadow under his baseball cap. Then the lights go green. And that’s when it really starts to get messy.

I try to drag him across the road. He pulls me back into him and growls into my neck, ‘Let’s get knocked up by the traffic. Let’s end it all now in a blaze of glory!’

The try-hard Goths watch us from the shadows of the Burke and Wills statue while Burke studies the map that failed him. The hands of the station clock hit midnight.

The experiment is failing.

We met on the last train to Frankston, as it hurtled past a string of stations from which girls my age had recently been abducted. I was cradling my dog-eared copy of The Female Eunuch and becoming appropriately angry at The Patriarchy. He was slugging bourbon from a Smurfs thermos and staring at the boobs on the front cover. We were both ignoring the guy behind us vomiting into a box of BBQ Shapes. Our knees rubbed against each other as the carriage took the difficult turns. When the train plunged into the darkness of a depression era tunnel, he put his hand on my thigh and said,

‘What’s a eunuch?’

I laughed. Because I thought he was being ironic.

I have a rule about trains. If someone talks to me, I pretend I can’t hear. I don’t talk back. I do everything I can to dissuade a chat. Trust me. On trains, the talking thing always ends badly.

He rolled up the sleeve of my flannel and traced his phone number along my arm until I knew it by heart. Surprisingly, I let him. When we came to his stop, I walked him to the door. He stood on the platform and stared right into me. As the train tried to leave, he held the doors open, looking like Axl Rose – but with Slash’s hair. Over the beeping and the shouts from passengers, he pushed a wet five dollar note into my stomach,

‘Here’s your winnings. ‘Cos I bet you won’t call me.’ Large eyes like storm water drains.

As the train pulled out of the station, I watched him walk into a cyclone fence and search for a handle as if it were a door.

A few days later I called him.

It was an experiment, see. I usually spend summer with the blinds drawn. Emerging at dusk when the garage door becomes cool to touch, I paint til dawn or when the Nescafe shakes set in. But the night heat was turning my oils to shit. So I’d taken to the trains on the air-conditioned lines, circling passages of The Female Eunuch with my red pen. ‘Women have very little idea how much men hate them,’ it swam in bleeding ink as he put his hand on my thigh. Yet there was something about those quietly desperate eyes…

I hate Top 10 Summer Anthems. I hate empty summer streets. I hate the way my dark clothes absorb the heat. I hate beach towels slung over balconies and front yards full of cars. I hate waking up on someone’s rumpus room floor listening to heated fumbling from Matt and Sarah or David and Kate. I hate this city in summer. Summer is when psychopaths get restless. I should know, I’ve ended up in the middle of Flinders Street with one.

‘You promised me a beer and a bit of Def Metal, not eternal damnation!’ I scream in his ear. So he collar ties me. And as the yellow clocks tick twelve ‘o’ five, the last train to Frankston pulls out of the station and the police arrive. I wonder if we’ll make the news.

Sometimes when a guy bellows ‘Boobies!’ at The Female Eunuch, I think of him and his dance of death in the disco that was the traffic. He’s there to remind me that I’m no scientist. And I should never ever experiment with talking to boys on trains again.

Marketing Fun at AADA!

Photo credit: Nicole Dimitriadis

Nicole Dimitriadis is to blame for fun with Marketing!
The students at Australian Academy of Dramatic Art are taking it to the next level.

Jodi McAlister

Jodi McAlister explains how trains influenced the play she wrote at age 10: ‘The Six Wives of King Henry VIII: The Musical’. Jodi McAlister is an all-of-the-time academic type, a-lot-of-the-time theatre critic, and occasional playwright. You can find her in many a theatre foyer and on many a Sydney-Wollongong train. This is her post for the ‘A View From Moving Windows’ blog… 

Photo Credit: Jodi McAlister

I’m one of those people who writes on trains. This has turned out to be quite a useful habit: I live in Wollongong but most of my actual life is in Sydney, so I spend huge amounts of time on the train, tapping away at my computer. A lot of the time, what I’m writing is about theatre – nearly all of my reviews are drafted late at night on the long post-show schlep back to the Gong. But trains and writing and theatre have been linked together for me for way longer than that.

When I was ten and my family and I were in England, my parents took my sister and I on the train to London to see Starlight Express. The train journey took about an hour, during which time I was completely unsociable. I didn’t want to hear about the show we were going to see, because, you see, I was writing a play of my own. We’d been to Hampton Court a few days earlier and I’d been terribly impressed by the story of King Henry VIII and his six wives. I determined on the spot that this story was Meant For The Stage and started writing it (on the train) that same afternoon. This was Day 3, this train journey representing a solid block of writing time. I furiously scribbled in my notebook as the train clacked through Chelmsford, Stratford, Brentwood. I was pretty annoyed when we got to London and I’d only just killed off Anne Boleyn.

The Apollo Victoria theatre is huge, cavernous when you’re ten and (then as now) small for your age. Tracks soared through the air, above the audience, impossibly high. Everything was glittering.

“What’s this show about?” I asked my mother.

“A train race,” she replied. “Put your notebook away.”

I was hooked the second the first actors-on-roller-skates sped onto the stage. Starlight Express blew my freaking mind.

But Starlight Express also posed a problem for me: a major one that I had to begin to rectify on the train journey home, tearing pages out of my notebook willy-nilly. “No one ever told me plays had to have songs in them!” I told my parents angrily.

I was annoyed when they laughed at me. While I know a lot more about theatre now, I’m also glad they didn’t correct me. I still have The Six Wives of King Henry VIII: The Musical, by Jodi age 10, written almost totally on train journeys around England, sitting in a cupboard somewhere, and the ten year old in me is still devastatingly proud of her first play.

I still know all the words to Starlight Express, and even though it’s not exactly hip to be into Andrew Lloyd Webber, it’s still my favourite musical ever. And whenever it comes up on my iPod on one of those long train journeys home – particularly when I’m reviewing a show (whether or not it had songs in it) – it reminds me of everything I love about theatre.

 For more of Jodi’s writing check out her blog Theatre From The Back Seat.

Felicity Pickering

Nicole Dimitriadis and I (Felicity Pickering) have loved reading the posts that have come in for A View From Moving Windows. It’s been a privilege showcasing so many talented writers! The only downside is when it’s come to write our own, we have to write something that could sit alongside posts with such calibre! So here goes nothing…

In cinema, trains are meant to represent sex.

I use to catch the train home from school. We’d sit on the ground at Croydon station chewing Zappos and harassing whoever had Doritos to ‘give us one’.  If a train was cancelled there would be a collective sigh as sixty or so girls decided whether to hightail it to Burwood for an express. The announcement was always followed by an army of tartaned girls in kilts ripping up the stairway. We would have made William Wallace proud, our school principal less so.

My school was fraught with rumours that there was an underground tunnel to the station, that the Old Hall housed a secret passage. The boarders swore they had ventured into it. They would tell us of dirty cement and dead pigeons that watched over the entrance like gargoyles.  The stories made my school sound more like the Kremlin than Croydon.

The train had a different culture to the bus, which was quicker but never as exciting. The train had delays, attempted suicides. The train had old men who took delight in sitting in the door carriages with seats facing the girls. Old men who enjoyed letting their legs spread to reveal a fully exposed set of genitals. I suppose that was some kind of abuse.

The train was exciting because it had boys. Thick waves of Lynx preceded them. Black and white lemmings that stank of douchebag. They spoke loudly about rugby games and competed in front of you. It was always a battle. They spat ‘loser’ and ‘chimer’ at each other, harassed one another and tried to assert their authority. The cool girls would laugh and flirt with them, boast about detentions they’d got. It was always the cool girls who knew boys on the train.

I’d keep quiet. I’d try and maintain normal conversation. I’d try to not look like too much of a nerd but not stand out too much.

One day a boy talked to me on the train. I’d just gotten a Body Shop ‘Born Lippy’ Strawberry Lipgloss for my birthday. This particular lipgloss was very hip at the time. The boy saw it in my pale little hand and exclaimed:

‘I love that lipgloss.’

And with one dirty finger he scooped out all the pink sweet smelling gloss and ate it with his big dopish mouth.

Years later when I was doing film studies at uni, I discovered that trains represented sex in cinema. That trains were meant to be phallic symbols that assumed sexual meaning when going through tunnels and bridges.

Suddenly the train schedule became the path of the pene, charting the big steel phallus’ that penetrated Sydney daily. I suppose Sydney trains are phallic in the way they give life to the city and sometimes they come early, or they don’t come at all.

I don’t think of them as symbolising sex but they do symbolise my first reactions to the opposite sex, mild annoyance and a little bit of repulsion.

A picture of me around the same time.

What I’d look like if a guy tried to eat my lip gloss now. You’ve been warned.

For more info about me check out my bio or my blog

 

Win Tickets to A View From Moving Windows!

Photo credit: Felicity Pickering

Want to win two tickets to A View From Moving Windows? Post us your favourite picture that relates to train travel or tweet us a train or Parramatta related microfiction (story in 140 characters or less). The winners get two tickets to the show! If you tweet the microfiction make sure you tweet it to @aviewfrommoving and use the hashtag #aviewfrommovingwindows .

Here are some of the great microfictions we’ve already received:

Tina Ngo @NgoTina

A sea of blue and white crowd a train, watching them cry over their loss. #winning #microfictions

Andy Pantts @AndyPantts

@aviewfrommoving Icecream hands. Shirt stuck to back. Burnt, pink skin. Crowded trains to the beach. Sand in my bed for months. Summer time.

Chris Comerford @ChrisComerford3

@aviewfrommoving My life on trains is like a Tom Clancy novel – long and repetitive.

Olivia Mayberry @omayberry1

@aviewfrommoving I’d made it to my stop. Unfortunately my bag hadn’t. I watched as it swept past me, the school boys laughing.#microfiction

Can you do better? Tweet it! You can also post a microfiction or leave a story on our facebook page.