About Sean Crawley

I write short stories, songs, non-fiction and the odd angry letter. Writing happens early in the morning at my desk which is currently located somewhere on the easy coast of Australia.

Why many many people end up voting for unhinged fascists.

Journalist: What are your thoughts on X?

Politician: Well let me say this, X is an important issue and I think there needs to be debate about it.

Journo: But what are your thoughts, are you for X or against it?

Polly: It is a complex issue and we take this matter seriously, and that is why I encourage the whole of the nation to engage and to participate in the dialogue.

Journo: How about starting the dialogue now and stating your beliefs on this matter.

Polly: OK, well we here in government…

Journo: Hang on, the government has been kicking X down the road for the last seven years, what is your position on the matter?

Polly: My position is the government’s position.

Journo: But your government doesn’t have a position.

Polly: Yes we do, we are actively engaged in our communities and having that dialogue.

Journo: But that’s not a position.

Polly: Well in a democracy all voices need to be heard.

Journo: But the public opinion on this matter has been known for years, an overwhelming majority of the population support X.

Polly: Our party has a long tradition of not reacting to the whims of whatever is popular as drummed up by the spurious polls conducted by the media for mere sensationalism. We have principles, we are not a populist party.

Journo: In terms of principles, where do you stand on the matter of X?

Polly: Look, in principle we support the concept of X, but the cost of X to taxpayers is something that needs to be taken into account in any dialogue on this matter.

Journo: So principles are overridden by economics.

Polly: I didn’t say that.

Journo: Didn’t you? What did you say then?

Polly: Look, I have answered your questions and there are others here…, next?

214:264

214:264

Friday 6th November 2020, 4:25am

Too close to call.

While the world waits, for who will get the 270 electoral college votes needed to be President, life goes on and the media needs to report stuff. Stuff for us to consume. We hunger for it. It’s nibblies at the moment while we wait for the result of this “unprecedented” and “most important election of all time[Journo speak]. The main meal is coming. 

There is a lot of wondering. Wondering if the incumbent will leave the White House even if he loses fair and square as decided by the courts. Wondering if he will sign pardons for himself and others between now and January 2021. Wondering what the hell is in store for the US and the world in 2021. Wondering even if the democrat candidate takes the seat, how on earth does America overcome the ugly red blue polarisation that looks neatly geographical on the election outcome maps shown on TV, but as we know, is actually an untidy divide that exists between people who live on the same streets and even in the same families? It’s not geopolitical, it’s personal. The ununited states.

Is the main meal civil war?

My yet to be written novel.

Monday 5th October, 2020

old time

5.23am AEDT (formerly 4.23am AEST)

It’s a public holiday, Labour Day. It’s spring, it’s the second day of daylight saving. Here I sit, wondering how my writing routine is going to react to this arbitrary changing of clocks.

The clock on the fridge still displays non-daylight saving time, ie, one hour earlier than what all our mobile phones and computers are saying. They automatically adjust, algorithms. The clock on the fridge requires the pressing of two buttons simultaneously, thus it stays, for the moment, on the ‘old time’. My watch, which requires several button presses in a unique combination I always forget, was never changed when daylight saving finished back in April, last Autumn. Now it reads the correct time again. See how slack I am?

What is the real time? Let’s just say very early morning, the dark variety. Writing time.

Labour Day? A public holiday to commemorate the achievements of the Union movement? A day to remember the sacrifices of workers? I’m not sure. I could Google it, but I don’t like internetting early in the morning. It takes me away from writing and before I know it, it is not early morning anymore and I have become distracted and agitated from reading the opinions of the world. I lose my creative writing mojo.

Mojo? Sitting next to me on a stool is a big Australian English dictionary. I look up ‘mojo’. It is colloquial for life force. It is also a word from ‘US Black English’ for a magic charm, amulet. I think of Black America, and I wonder if the POTUS has died overnight from COVID-19. I could look it up on the internet, but refrain. I want to write.

Specifically, I want to write my next book, which stupidly I have somehow got into my head, should be a novel. Stupidly, I say, because I now have this massive thing swirling around in my head, let’s call it, ‘my yet to be written novel’. It’s massive and morphing. I have made several starts, none have been sufficiently captivating to captivate me sufficiently. And so this thing, ‘my yet to be written novel’, loiters in my head and stirs up those monkey voices that tell me I am not capable of writing a novel and not sufficiently hard working or disciplined for the task.

Novel? ‘A fictitious prose narrative of considerable length’, (Dictionary on stool, 2020). See what I do in my allocated time for writing my next book? Stuff like this. Slack, eh?

It’s OK. I like to think that I don’t have unrealistic expectations of others and I try to apply the same to my self. Dropping the word ‘should‘ from the self talk vocabulary is a good start. Of course I’m going to struggle to get a novel underway. Of course I will struggle with keeping up the enthusiasm needed to pump out 50,000 plus words (considerable length). Of course I will question at every step of writing a novel whether this ‘thing’ is of any worth, and worst of all, if I am of any worth. It’s OK, I’m getting better at shutting out the monkey voices.

The beginning of daylight saving, though occurring in spring, is in many ways the start of summer. I’m grateful I don’t have to do physical labour in summer. Especially since summer is of considerable length – and lengthening. I’m grateful for being able to write, and for the moments of mojo experienced as I struggle with my next book (novel?), in the dark, now twilight, of early morning.

5:55am AEDT

The propaganda of ‘the economy’

 

This is the lie the neoliberals want us to believe:

Schools and workplaces must remain open for the well-being of all. Schools and workplaces are essential for the economy. A healthy economy such as the one we had before the pandemic was good for everyone. Humans who can’t attend school or work will suffer mental health problems. Without school, children will become lazy, undisciplined and dumb, without jobs adults will become lazy, unproductive and dependent on government welfare.

Here are some truths:

Schools and universities have been slowly but surely evolving into training institutions to produce workers that are useful for the economy. Workplaces have slowly but surely been de-unionised for the sole purpose of profit which is not shared with the workers. The economy we had before the pandemic gushed money to the top, the trickle down only kept workers one or two paydays away from defaulting on mortgage payments to the banks or rent payments to landlords. The fear of losing the roof over your head is the main cause of mental health issues arising from lockdowns. Children are naturally curious learning machines and for eons, long before the invention of ‘the economy’, humans have cooperatively worked together to efficiently and creatively meet their needs and wants and solve the problems of surviving and thriving.

Don’t be fooled by the propaganda.

Bricks and Mortar

store-erina-fair

Book Face at Erina Fair, NSW, Australia

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Gnostic Forest at Woy Woy, NSW, Australia

My short story collection, “Dead People Don’t Make Jam”, is now available for sale at two outlets on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia. If you’re a Coastie, or in the region, drop in and support our local Bricks and Mortar retailers – nothing like a real shop.

Front coverback cover

Looking ahead, not getting ahead

tower

Sunday 14th June, 2020

5.58am

It’s raining again. 100% humidity in winter. Mobile phones warn of moisture detected. It’s hard to recall the feeling of that last hot dry summer. The royal commission into the bushfires publishes testimonies of unimaginable horror and analyses of inadequate preparations and responses, yet,  I can’t fully remember or reimagine what it was like, back then. There is the present to deal with; a new set of dramas unfolding. Disease and the economy. Systemic racism being exposed in our institutions. Not even our beloved artists are exempt from this new revision of history and culture. People are massing. Lip service from politicians representing governments that fail to enact the recommendations of repeated inquiries will no longer suffice. Do something, we scream. People now demanding change. COVID -19 a trigger point, the historians of the future will write. The real issues have nothing to do with a biological virus and everything to do with social justice. If the world is not ending just yet, it feels that the era of unfettered individualism has run its course. The “human race”, that ridiculous scramble to “get ahead”, is over. Who do we want to get ahead of? Our brothers and sisters? The other team? Some other state or nation? There is no fundamental right to “get ahead”. We survive and thrive as a society, not as billions of individuals racing against each other. The fires and the droughts and the relentless ocean and the mutating viruses remind us that money and fame, titles and degrees, and beauty and personal health, mean nothing when mother settles the score.

I Protest!

protest

My poem, “Wake Up and Smell the Humans”, has been published in an anthology of poetry of dissent.

Ginninderra Press have just released an anthology of poetry, “I Protest!”

“In these poems of protest and dissent are to be found anger, anxiety, compassion, insight and sharp observation, expressed in the way that is the special gift of poets. There’s humour too, to leaven the more serious poems. I Protest! once again demonstrates the Australia-wide breadth of talent in the ranks of poets who have been published by Ginninderra Press. This is a collection to savour, to ponder and to celebrate.”

The book is available for purchase from the publisher’s website: HERE

Note that Ginninderra Press currently have a 20% COVID discount available.

Interview: Flash Frontier

A big thank you to the editors at Flash Frontier, originally for publishing my flash fiction piece, “Foundation Song”, and now interviewing me about my writing and new book, “Dead People Don’t Make Jam”.

 

Click on the image below to go to the latest edition of their magazine:

FFgulls2

 

Click on the image below to go to the interview:

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Painting by Oliver Jeffers

 

Click on the image below to find my story “Foundation Song”, first published in Flash Frontier in April, 2015:

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Allen Forrest, German Expressionism revisited

So

april sunset

Long Jetty, NSW, Australia, Southern Hemisphere, Earth, Solar System, Universe

 

So

 

So, the world keeps spinning

it hasn’t slowed one iota.

Though the rumbling has subsided,

so say the seismologists.

 

So, consequentially,

due to such spinning,

the sun still rises and yes it still sets.

She never stops moving

either,latitudinally by the season,

or, longitudinally by the hour

 

So, we get out when we can,

to bathe in the reddened light,

and the digital cameras still work

for the moment that is.

 

So, in the light of the day,

when totally lost in the wonder of just being,

when unrushed and unharried,

don’t feel tempted to hug the nearest stranger,

lest you be called a silly so and so.