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JJ Deceglie
JJ DeCeglie is a 30 year old writer, born and bred in Fremantle, Western Australia.

His work includes the novella the sea is not yet full, the short story collection In The Same Streets You'll Wander Endlessly, the novel Damned Good and his latest work Ennui and Despair.

His next work Princes Without a Kingdom is due out in the coming months.

Check it all out at www.jjdeceglie.com and www.damnedgood.com.au

Read into JJ’s words while in conversation with the Black Rider.

Published in The Diamond & the Thief - March 11

world of the dead (an excerpt)
By JJ Deceglie

This is before. Thought or written before what was just. Precluding the after. Written in winter rainy days with bright wet grass, grey skies and dripping suburban ferns, written in or around plain damp houses, his breath wading in bourbon, planted in this house, his breath, my breath, one and the sameness, making this written in drunken splendour on a working day that wasn’t worked on unless this is work, all he and I know is that it rains, what else can we know, that we ate fried lean steak for lunch with mustard and onions and fresh bread, slugged bourbon, got up late and hated and loved and all the rest, all alone, full of lethargy and self disgust, lost love causing a loss of love, all written and gone now, and still we masturbate, spit seed unheeded, by God if I only before this instant knew all I now know and then I would change nothing. Nothing. Not a single thing, not a particle or atom or the inside of atoms or inside their inside, nothing, nada, because if changed the words spilling now would never have been formed and their formation is testament to the furthering of the lack of a furphy within my being. I write this so as it stains my entire mass and is an irremovable mark to where I am now functioning from, to stand out as if a throbbing cock on the nude map of myself, and to get a chance at the limp version (which I dread), more subdued and calculated I must take heed to call my biological youthful male tick and release that which will blemish this page with a discolouration of spirit spit and artistic panache and just reading over this now is enough, from describing where he and I were in this house alone and reading whilst drunken to this emittance of self I feel the previous dish is enough, that day as it rained pure for some time he stared at that picture in the book he’d bought from the second hand store, shiny and simple, the smell of the book beautiful to him, the best smell almost, just below that of women. Picasso looked at him, he at Picasso, stares at him, gives him nothing, looks deep and almost beyond it, blue upon blue, living alone in this two bedroom hovel with clear windows and wood floors, large blue self portrait, alone and monastic in a artistic bohemian slick. He feels true here. Here with his page to stare at and study. His university grounds to wander, as close as one gets to being in Paris in Perth, this is what he knew or told himself he knew. Leaves the painting on the page a minute, walks outside. Shadows on lawn and driveways caused by the lining of trees and streetlights, the rain sheen and droplets on everything, he can still see the painting with his eyes open, with closed eyes he sees it more clearly. It is a stark smash to the around surrounding him, a shoddy porch and dirty hammock, cement and dirt and patchy grass all wet, French lamplights hinting Montmartre but sprinklers and baked roof tiles bleeding plus painted flaky brick, the university his solace with books and girls and paintings, football in the newspaper and the fill trueness of his weekends, coffee and muffins and hardly eating with all the caffeine and alcohol and his feet are watered as he goes to mailbox with no shirt or shoes on and is greeted by nothing but spiders and the thought nothing works or matters, but he breathes in the scents lifted by rain and morning and will do the same by afternoon, evening and night and makes then his way in and back to his page with copied painting. The long flirtation with suicide begins afresh.

    The face is solemn, driven. The features cut from a cool blue slate. Blue rose pastel lips like precisely smeared wax. The beard tinged blue just so slightly amidst its orange brown cuts the face sharper, it is brilliance. Body all huddled in the huge dark coat outlined in black and set in the right hand corner. The blue of the coat and the blue of the background a contrast set. Behind him the blue of summer’s evening sky just before it’s turns to night, his coat instead the black blue of night, a contrast like warm ocean and bitter cold sea, his background Paris’ evening bohemia, but his hovelled here self wrapped deeper in dark blue with eyes determined, sober, features still with devil shaped black eyebrows and darkly hair mop, the coat collar right up to his chin, only revealing his face, drawn and handsome, blue hue of white night skin, his face is the illumination between the contrast of the blues on the canvas, the smudged haphazard warm strokes of the outside behind him; and the strict frost capture of his coat that warms him, disciplines him, makes the artist of him. Sep admires him. Is drawn to the moment on the page. Feels the mood of this piece feel him. Leads directly into this stream. The writer. Character. Blur. Blurred. This release. This stream. Everything a cut or shot from somewhere in his head and existence. An excuse to go on living. The resonation of mind strumming same and same again within. Afternoon shadows on drying brick and grass, drinking bourbon, smoking cigars, Miller on the table in Paris in poverty and Picasso in front of me in the same place with the same problem and I’m still here even with the words written and about to boom and be read by a thousand or more or less and yet all I’m on about within and around is an excuse to live beyond what is dished up to me, beyond all that is this affront façade that greets me with a swift kick in the chest each day. They say night is for sleeping, well then day is for dealing with sleeplessness and reading while drinking and smoking cigars and hunting bookshops and cinemas, making eyes with girls and staring at Picasso here in front of me while I’m alone attempting something new and he is only twenty and blue and discovered at UWA art library and stared at there too (along with the small broad hipped married blonde of pond size wonder blue eyes who knows paint, artists and sex so well), the Spaniard visioned on hard in a bohemia existence that I long for in aching struts, large self portrait in blue my portrait in blue afternoon of this world and universe for he is me I swear and forever onward this is my mirror shot of the movie life film, our gazes the same determination of intense art seeking life seeking truth seeking life seeking reason seeking an excuse or excuses (a hopeful balloon) to go on living. And yet I still seek self-approval on the field of fearlessness too, as well it throbs in me as if still a child, and if not for the ankle crunch and strung tight back of upper leg pinging straddle internal bands my prayerful utter commitment would be a stoic throw forward with the flight of the ball every time it was required a week, man courage dreams and hard written words would come of it and still may but instead right now I have willed this free flow jut scribble switch first person to third maybe fourth or fifth invented a new dimension all while rehabilitating and reading and this work is getting a feeling of being crazier and more inspired than the other and thus may be even more of an underneath read manuscript turn novel.

    He then has European travel flushes (hardly sleeping and reading unkept in the Paris bookstore), has football dreams all simple (oh to win a Brownlow), misses girls he knows probably don’t miss him (candlelight imagined torchbeams), drinks more (Kerouac is dead), puffs the nub of the cigar while making coffee (I can do whatever I please whenever it pleases), sips it while looking out the window at light rain floating earthward (nothing works or matters…which may work), dresses and goes for a walk.

    Seeing her just happened somehow. Caught him blind. At the art library, the beginnings of winter, he was looking at painting and girls, as was his way. He had no job at that moment, no pride drove him that way, instead he intended on being a writer, hard and cut and simple. He’d viewed great paintings in Paris and Florence and London, others in Europe as well, but just as summer died out and winter strolled up he had pangs for them and thus ended up here. He could walk there now. The university was his. It had only been his recently with the move out of home, he walked the place each day now and felt it was good for him. The hurt of before less potent. He eye wandered back and forth from his pages to girls and back and forth and then again and studied and wrote down notes and then again and girls and loss and paintings and this place so clean and white and busy with university loveliness of important books and sweet girls and all of these paintings pressed in gloss for me to view and life seems here, right here, just here, without anything else that will invade and take over, without the fact that Christ must have had erections and that distress of the substance of my words coming soon to others and what the values of others should mean to me and whether Balthus meant for me to think sexually of this girl and this cat again adds to the play of it and it is brilliant, overt and innocent and bright and awful, and soft words broke into his mind, words not his, from over his shoulder, lips near his ear, hair on his shoulder brushed gently, honey syrup smell in his nose, if you like that I can tell you of others, just as great and engaging, he turned and caught her face, her eyes her expression’s main feature, bold blue glass with lashes like many long stringy thorns, you’ve seen me around here before yeah, she breathed the language, I have he said, you’re in that study room over there every day, he thought quickly short petite hipped girl woman with long straw blonde hair, I knew she was sharp, so do you want another to study, yes he said, I need another as I’ve worn out this, that can never be exhausted, it’s sex goes on forever, see how the light shines between her legs, how her face doesn’t seem right, the cat playing suggestive games with you, she pointed with delicate slim hands, milk blue with skin and veins, he is the best at making us not know what to think, at bringing the battle between urge and control together, Sep listened hard to her, didn’t speak or want too, there is a good book on him over here, she moved over hidden between shelves, he saw her skirt held up by her hips, the skin between that and her button-up shirt short sleeve shirt, she came back, here try this, I will, can you tell me of others, one at time I will, she smiled for the first time, knelt down and stole his pen, she took his hand as if leading a child and wrote on it, Fischl – Bad Boy, after writing it she pulled it to her and reread her writing then pushed it over and showed him, he noticed her wedding ring, said nothing on it, find it and know it and I’ll speak to you another day, I will he said, and she walked away, leaving him with another problem.

And so he’s here trying to scribble out all the uneven insanity soul that resides within his mortal cage, giving it form in words; his pulsing live prison of muscle and sinew, of skin and stubble, of mucus and blood and cum. He’s here, trying to start, trying to find a place to ignite the dynamic that will rip through the entirety, wipe it out, and finally give him solace, give him slumber. This is his complete chance at undoing, to knock it all down line by line and to restructure it, same materials, a new view, new ideal and idea, from innards to out. And he just doesn’t care anymore, can’t find the emotion button, nothing clicks as it once did, and he’s through with writing some sort of literature, now, as he always tried, as he always wanted, it’s only about him, it’s only human, only legend. He answers every shouting rabid scream that ever beat against his insides, that’d ever given his spirit a clothesline, ever attempted a Judas stab turn. This. This is just it. A start. Typewild written scrawl, fragments and tearouts, first person, third person, fourth person, Jeremy DeCeglie in every version. This is what he thinks, what he writes. He dreams as he writes, as he sits in that empty university library so lovely and inspiring, comfortable smell of books in surround, the river with it’s yachts on water as calm as an ironed blue brown sheet just a walk away, sweet sun making sights through windows vivid and bright, clean and forever there, as only the Australian sun can, he dreams, he knows; He’ll be read one day. Discovered. When right now is far off and instead of trying desperately to write, he is nothing but a writer, when he understands no more than he does right now, but only has a new perspective. Maybe he’ll have accepted it all, maybe this need to smack and slap and stomp will have left him and he’s just a schoolteacher, that’s all, maybe he’s not a writer at all, though maybe that’s what qualifies him best to give shape in word form this bound paperstack. To souls, he says in his mind, let them eat each other if they want, just let them. And fuck them if it’s too much he mumbles, fuck em.


I’ll tell you right now, straight off, in the first sentence of this mass of words, that that may be all this weight in your hands will ever be. I know before I even start, before the ink dries on the page from my pen, that this will be a luscious jumble of juicy words, of ideals, truths, memories, forevers and nevers, and I apologize for absolutely none of it, I applaud it all and proudly put it on paper. I sling slang my giddy way through page after page and look back over the ruins of it all and wonder if I ever wrote a single sentence. This but a pile of everything I’ve known, tried to know, wanted to know, known and lost.     And I’m only at the beginning I’ll admit, no Kerouac just yet, no Proust, but I’m starting a legend of my own, a tale leading through my mythic meanderings, the memory of forever will never slowly leak from my wounds. And if it’s a little ambitious publishers of the world, too much for the business side of things, forgive me and fuck you, I’m only a young man.

    I’ve forgotten more precious words than I’ll ever write down.

    I once heard some saying. It said that time somehow moves faster as a big life event motions toward you, as it looms over ready to spill onto your pages. That anticipation skews time. It’s true. My last month in Australia, at home in Fremantle, zoomed by in a glued together mass of last times, sorry farewells, annoying packing, damned organizing and god awful advice taking. It was a sprinted chunk that saw me mostly float over all that other stuff while basking in the pre-sadness state that comes right before you actually miss something. That nostalgic way in which you miss home while you’re still there, noticing things you’ll miss before they’re really gone, rich words spoken between brothers, your father’s look and laugh, the way the sunset makes your front yard glow and the downright balm of the evening air in the Australian summer, how it feels swilling in your youthful lungs. I once heard another saying, someone shouted the slogan at me, it spoke of following the light…Maybe there is no light.

    He read through all the previous from the bold print onward, wondered what he had meant and knew he still meant it. That was just the way of expressing it a few years back, where the progress was. Writing always had two flows through him, double edge slits that could dismember his rich writing limbs, one was the lasting glow of a streak he left behind him whilst trailblazing this lame literary defunct scenery, being who he was in words the ultimate method of living for him, in sync with language since birth and coughing up phrases with ease, unstoppable and true and living through the night, the other side, the flip, was one of despair, of total obliteration of existence, the writer leper huddled and sick, penis dropped off, teeth falling out, the knowledge of the chance at anonymity, of unimportance, of slipping into nothingness or less, of the down shot of others into the realm of diluted diarrhoea, and with the sudden choke on the neck of his life came feelings of nausea, as if he’d been forced to drink someone else’s urine, to swallow a shot of stranger cold cum, rusty cans in his stomach and gooey ink in his gut, the disbelief in his words and these time’s rejection too much, poison travelling in his veins and back to his heart, the weight of what everyone else was doing hurtful and the same as what everyone else was doing and he doing this because he felt called to do it and those words before a step taken in the journey and this all a write step and who will challenge those past and admit to it bar me, I thrust forward, leap out, fight all the awful despair and dejection that comes with it, that has already been fed into me and can be never bled out, from the rooftops of this city I fucking scream to the world, I monster it, I beckon it, I hurl my books freely from up high and hope they clunk you in the head and snap you out of the shit you’re in, I cry fuck you and thank you in every available language, I ask you to let me be judged not on what I owned or earnt, who I knew or fucked, where I went or hovelled, but by the courage of the words I wrote and spoke, by their relevance and lucidity, their newness and grit, by their importance in years to come.