Everything this person has written for TUNETHEPROLETARIAT

sensitive torso

Written by

Daniel Horowitz

Brian Eno – Becalmed

I need tea tree oil right now and tea tree oil is the only thing I need. No rest till tea tree oil. I gave away an almost-empty bottle to the people camping in my backyard to keep the mosquitoes away. We didn’t use to have mosquitoes. There’s a crater-sized ditch in our yard where we tried to dig a pool and never finished. Now the bottom’s choked with murky water and mosquitoes breed with fevered purpose. Did you know people who eat a lot of bananas attract more mosquitoes? I know that because for about a month I ate, like, a lot of bananas and mosquitoes went nuts for me, and then I stopped and so did the attention. Also, I read it somewhere.

Sometimes when I lie down I imagine the nerves in my fingers going out like burnt-out light bulbs one by one, and then my hands, and my arms and legs and feet too, gradually all my extraneous senses dropping out like a bad connection. Actually, truthfully I’ve only done that once or twice. I could probably sell it as a new form of meditation, but like, kind of unsettling meditation. That’s very 2013, I’d say. I don’t know where you’d stop, though, with the nerves dropping out. Like are you just a really sensitive torso, or do even your tastebuds fall away? If you get good at it you could stay like that for ages; unfeeling. You wouldn’t even notice the mosquitoes. Or maybe you would and you’d just let them bleed you dry.

I could tell you approximately how many mosquitoes it would take to drain a human body, one bite apiece. If that’s something you’d like to know. But first I think I’ll just lie here for a while. Think maybe I’ll start my own count.

[Another Green World.]

Australia Day

Written by


Nick Cave & Dirty Three – Zero Is Also A Number

I was on the train today with Mum this afternoon. We were coming back from the airport, and our combined fare – one way – was more than $30. I suggested she get a pensioner ticket, save half a fare, but she’s terrified of transit officers so didn’t. Halfway home a policeman got on the train – an actual police officer, not a transit officer. He was checking tickets. He walked past two little old ladies sitting together without even glancing at them; he’d locked on to two Asian teenagers. One had his feet up on the adjacent seat and both had small patterns shaved into the sides of their hair. Mum and I watched the policeman stand over the two boys – I was listening to music so I couldn’t hear what he was saying. He swatted the boy’s legs off the seat, and then called his partner over from the other section of the carriage. He literally called for backup. The other policeman was wearing sunglasses indoors and a bulletproof vest. He walked over and stood next to his partner. Together they blocked off the aisle from the boys in a passive aggressive, claustrophobic, totally unnecessary way. My song ended and I heard the first policeman say to one of the boys, “Are you a pensioner? I don’t think so.” Both policeman starting writing out tickets, ducking dramatically in sync to check the name of the station through the window. They both had guns strapped to their legs, and knives in leather pouches on their belt. They probably had tasers. The second policeman never took off his sunglasses, not even to write out the ticket. They took their time. Must have been a slow day for real crime. When they were done they swaggered past the rest of the carriage – all white, all over 20 or under 7. The first cop glanced at the tickets Mum was holding out on her lap – she’d bought her correct, absurdly expensive fare, and she wanted it known. The cop kept walking. Everyone on the carriage exchanged looks of pity and guilt while the boys muttered “bullshit” and other profanities we all silently agreed the cops deserved. The two little old ladies in front of us moved seats so they were two rows behind the boys; close enough so that they could hear them while they murmured about pity and injustice. The weirdest thing was how everybody else in the carriage reacted; I looked around and eye contact was dodged and shame radiated quietly from every face. I think everybody on that train felt something for those boys – anger on behalf of them and shame for the policemen – and for the small, daily injustice that had occurred before them, and for the fact that they were spared. And they felt something for the day on which it occurred. No different to any day other, really. It was just so typical it was disheartening for those who wanted to believe in it.

At least that’s what I want to believe, about those people.

[Songs in the Key of X: Music from and Inspired by the X-Files.]

What a beautiful state we’re in

Written by

The Kills – Goodnight Bad Morning

“Can you just leave that alone for a minute?”

Eli’s knocking the wooden wing of a broken Spitfire his grandpa gave him against the car door, trying to jam it back into the plane’s body.

“It’s snapped right off; it’s not gonna just stick back on like that. Can you put it down? Please? You’re driving me crazy.”

Eli drops the broken plane bits into his lap. He looks out the window for a minute, rests his head against the glass, exhales loudly, then starts blowing raspberries on the dashboard.

“For Christ’s sake, Eli!”

Eli’s brother pulls the car roughly to the curb and yanks the handbrake. It makes a violent, stuttered groaning sound that Eli hates.


That’s another sound Eli hates. He wishes he was back at his grandpa’s house. Only good sounds live there. Like Spitfire engines, and belly-blown raspberries, and his grandpa’s gritty laughter, as rough and rocky as the untarred road that leads to his house.

The curb where Eli’s brother has now parked the car is smooth. Smooth and sticky. Fresh tar.

Eli’s brother rests his head on the backs of his hands, which are still locked around the wheel. He lets out an exhausted sigh and lets it hang in the small, air-conditioned space between his thoughts and Eli’s. He doesn’t move.

Eli can see his back rising and falling a little and tries to imagine his own lungs underneath it all. He imagines lungs punctured by Spitfire artillery. He imagines his grandpa’s lungs, heavy with tar and tumours.

Staring, Eli waits for his brother to move. He doesn’t. Eli opens the car door and steps out onto the sticky, tar-slicked gravel. He leans down and presses his hand against the wet ground, but it doesn’t depress and leave an imprint like his brother showed him with wet cement. Eli crouches down and examines the granules of tar-choked gravel at his fingertips. He scrapes at it with his fingernails and pulls up globs that ooze underneath. The tar is thick like molasses and Eli’s hands are covered in it when he clambers back into the car.

Eli crawls as near to his brother as he can get, trying not to get tar on the dashboard. Eli wraps his arms around his brother’s torso and presses his hands into his chest, leaning his small body against his brother’s back.

For a moment Eli’s brother doesn’t move, and neither does Eli. Slowly, Eli’s brother lifts his head off the steering wheel and takes Eli’s hands in his own. Then he feels the stickiness.

Eli’s brother looks from the open car door and the mangled strip of gravel to the broken Spitfire pieces on the passenger seat, and lifts Eli’s hands off his chest. The small black handprints on his shirt rise and fall with every breath.

Eli blows a gentle raspberry against his brother’s neck.

“We’ll buy some superglue on the way home,” Eli’s brother says, and then he starts to cry.

[Midnight Boom.]

Like rotten fruit soaking up the sun

Written by

Kira Puru & The Bruise – Apple Tree

“You know who you remind me of?” she asked.


“I dunno. I guess you don’t, really. That’s just always something I imagine myself saying.”


I didn’t know what else to say. She was always full of these odd little things; I don’t think she even needed a response. But maybe she did.

“You remind me of something, though,” I tried.

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah. But I can’t remember what.”

“Well, aren’t we just fine together.”


We were okay together. Sometimes great, but never consistently. Depending on how much we’d been drinking. We did like to drink together.

She offered me another cigarette. I’d already accepted the first offer so I guess I couldn’t say no. I guess I didn’t want to say no. I don’t know. I liked her company. You felt like you were picking up a conversation that was already underway. With her you could sometimes skip beginnings. I think we both appreciated that.

She had a birthmark that covered most of her right hand. She called it a port-wine stain. I’d stopped noticing it a long time ago. She said she could tell a lot about a person by their first reaction to it. She liked when people asked her outright what it was, because if they ignored it, it was usually because they were a little disgusted by it and didn’t want to deal with it, according to her. She had one whole red finger, which I guess was pretty strange if you thought about it for a while. What I liked most about it was how it changed colour when she was cold. It turned from red to purple, from the outsides first and then all the way through the core. The best was when it was cold around the outside but the centre was still pink. But you didn’t really see that that much.


“If I told you you reminded me of my brother, how would that make you feel?” she asked.

“Not that weird, I guess. Why should it?”

“Should it?”

“Not really.” I paused. “Depends which brother.”

She laughed and said, “Which would you prefer? I can probably guess.”

“No one’s like him.”

She dragged delicately on her cigarette and exhaled. “True.”

I looked around. Everyone else had gone inside.

She stubbed out her cig and beat me to it. “I guess we should go inside.”

“I guess.”


So we went back inside.

[When All Your Love Is Not Enough.]

Sting us out of silence

Written by

Sparklehorse – Cow

That was the summer my father and I found ourselves painting headstones in silence, sitting on scorched marble graves of souped-up genteels in the Catholic section, furthest from the cemetery gates.

We bought the enamel paint special, even though it was only the day after Christmas and the town had all but buried itself ‘til mid-January. Red dust covered everything; we shimmered in the heat. Our fingers were swollen and restless and straining for delicacy as we wedged the bristles in between the Gothic crevices of each inscription. In Loving Memory. We wiped away smudges and clumsy edges with methylated spirits, dazing ourselves on the warm fumes. We cleaned our brushes in Nana’s favourite mug. We said nothing to each other.

I wore Breton stripes and an Akruba hat — a pretentious city-slicked hipster. Ants crawled into our shoes and stung us out of silence. They’d made a nest underneath the grave; the surrounding earth was collapsed in one or two spots and ants streamed around the dusty cavities. You couldn’t see what was down there. You didn’t want to.

Now and again my foot would slip into one of the holes. Sometimes I’d accidentally kick it in deeper, if my heel was resting on the edge and caused the soil to rupture further. I always yanked my foot away as soon as I felt the dirt crumble – half because of the ants, and half because of something else.

Words were spoken, eventually. It started with ant-stinger swears, then conversation tumbled past. We were burnt and thirsty; the ice between us turned to ash and dust among fake plastic flowers – the only kind that lasted here.

The enamel was like tar on the sun-bleached tombstones. It glistened in chiseled rivulets and half absorbed, half reflected the light that would one day erode it. This day, though – the day after Christmas, flanked by false roses – our words would withstand.