Published: I Was Here

A couple weeks ago I submitted a short story to Chart Collective’s I Was Here project.

The deal was they were asking for anonymously submitted 300-character-max stories about real things that had happened in the Melbourne CBD. 50 stories would get picked and put onto posters that would be stuck up around the city as part of some This Public Life festival of landscape architecture or something.

So this week I was doing a bit of story stalking after being sent an email with a map pinpointing the 50 stories. Since the stories were anonymous nobody was contacted to be told if they got picked or not, so I was checking out the two posters placed in flinders lane, near where my story was set. I found the two posters, one on the notice board at the City Library:

And one in a shop window in the Nicholas Building:

Neither of them were mine, so I figured I hadn’t got in.

Anyway I was stewing over this a little, enjoying the stories that had made it, but also rueful that mine, which I thought was cool and appropriate, didn’t get picked. Then it occurred to me that Chart Collective didn’t have the monopoly on putting stories on posters, and further that it would be an easy thing to put together some kind of bootleg I Was Here poster and stick it up myself. Maybe even crash the #IWasHereMelb hashtag with a photo or two on Instagram.

So there I was, bodged-up knockoff story poster in hand, heading down Bourke St at lunchtime to get the sucker laminated (it was raining a little) when I idly checked my Instagram and saw this:

That’s my story on the left there.

The photo was tagged AC/DC lane, which was two minutes’ walk from where I was. So I hoofed on over, after tagging the chart kids with a photo of my now-superfluous bootleg…

…only to walk from one end of the lane to the other without spotting my story. I quickly oriented myself by triangulating Lemmy and the big red moustache and realised that my story had already been posted over. Such is the fate of ephemeral urban literature experiments, I guess.

Undaunted, I made some quick modifications to my bootleg, stuck it over the poster stuck over my story and flagged down a lovely passer-by to ask for a quick photo of me and my story.

All in all a lunch hour well spent.

Thanks to the Chart Collective for this cool little project, and thanks also to Sheryl Allan, whose story my story appeared beside before both became part of Melbourne’s self-perpetuating palimpsest.

You can check out other stories from the project by following #IWasHereMelb on Twitter or Instagram, or visiting the I Was Here website for a map of all 50 stories.


Poet. Author. Beard. Husband. Dad. Four chickens. Dog. Cat. I can sometimes fix my lawnmower.

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Posted in i would like to recommend these people's writing, people who are nice enough to publish me, short stories
One comment on “Published: I Was Here

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Quelle Grammage!
only a fan of 2/3s of the folk in this pic but mesmerised by the story @angustrumble relates below it. . . . I watched last evening’s general election coverage (ABC, natch) in the company of a high Commonwealth official, among others in an undisclosed location, whose name, it soon emerged, may not appear on the electoral roll for reasons of national security. I confess that gave me a bit of a thrill. Canberra: Bless! However, it was also fascinating, extraordinary, in due course to witness that person’s several mobile phones evidently going bonkers, and the measured plans, contingencies, forecasts, blue books of an entire federal bureaucracy duly (one presumed) shredded, turned upside down, just like that. Nothing at all was said, I should emphasise. One simply observed the body language, which was moderately graphic. Whichever way you look at it, this has been an astounding personal victory for Prime Minister Scott Morrison. He believes in miracles, the sexy thing. Pre-polling methodologies in this country, meanwhile, have quite obviously met with serial unforced error on a colossal, epic scale. Who would ever pay them good money again? On my way home, I collided with the (ex-)campaign manager of one of the independent ACT Senate candidates who was alone, drunk and in despair. The campaign manager, that is, not the candidate. This was at about half past eleven on the corner of Jardine and Eyre Streets in Kingston, right next to the rubbish tin, you know, the rectangular green one. He told me he wanted to burn everything down, which was worrying enough, but then he suddenly hurled his mobile phone into the gutter—smashed it to bits—and staggered off into the night. I found myself wondering: Who would touch politics with a barge pole? I should add that this frightening encounter left me, literally, picking up his bits and bobs, then dutifully popping them in the bin. Responsible, me. Back home, I had a cuppa and played patience. I’m not kidding. . . . #Repost @angustrumble with @make_repost
A chance op shop encounter with this Death Liger Lion of Chaos duelmasters card case has done NOTHING to help my attempts to not buy one of this sucker’s namesake toys on ebay. #duelmasters #deathliger #deathligerlionofchaos #metalasfuck #toys
Thursday morning tableau
They come up after rain. I often wonder how they feel lying under the ground at right angles to their purpose. #chewton #railspike
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