Tuesday May 10, 2016
I told him how I feel and he said nothing. Well that’s not entirely true, I suppose, he did say “Ciao.” Like I said, you can call me sometime other than for Halloween and he said, Okay, ciao. With this weird sliminess that I wasn’t expecting from him. And he never did call me. And then he stopped coming for brunch. And I swear he came to that terrible restaurant too many weekends in a row for him to not have had an ulterior motive. And once he helped me clean behind the bar when we were understaffed and I got slammed. He manned the glass-washer. And he made me a couple coffees. And when I tell him to call me, he says, “Ciao”? I guess part of me wondered if I was supposed to learn the “don’t assume shit lesson” because I assumed he liked me. Because he acted like he liked me. He tipped huge. He asked me for opinions on his flooring. And he introduced me to his friends? He even came to eat at the new shitty restaurant I was working at after I left the first one.
Monday May 9, 2016
from a text
-I don’t want to have to tell you again that I’m keeping them to put salad dressing in. Fucking salad dressing for when I decide to make a salad for lunch and need a small container. To transport the dressing.
-Why can’t you just put it in on of your glass jars?
-Because they’re too big. You don’t know how heavy my bag is.
-Okay fine. You’ve got an answer for everything.
-Because I have a perfectly good reason why I’m keeping them. I thought it through, it’s not like I am collecting them because it annoys you.
-It really does annoy me. Everything you keep–
-Let me keep what I keep.
-Okay. You keep what you keep.
-But seriously they should be thrown out. They’re one time use. For travelling soy sauce.
Sunday May 8, 2016
overheard on the 2 bus
By the time I have to decide whether I’ll go and visit Tracey in the hospital, I’ll probably know if Tracey is even still there. Last time I heard from Tanya that Tracey was fighting with her tubes and didn’t want anything “touching her blood”. I told Tanya I would come and relieve her but I didn’t end up going because I am actively avoiding the hospital. Tanya told me not to come if I don’t want to be there but Tina thinks I’m not pulling my weight. She says if I’m not going to come relieve them I should at least give 24 hours notice. Tanya had someone just in case I decided not to so everything was fine and Tina doesn’t scare me. Tina calls me everyday and so I make sure it goes to voicemail. She likes to give all the gory details like “Tracey only has a few good days left” and “you better show up for her” or “Tracey vomited in her sleep because her intubation wasn’t done right”.
Saturday May 7, 2016
from a chef magazine
Let’s discover our soft spots
Our don’t touches
Our yes love this
Let’s discover our truth’s truth
Our hard lost youth
Our who’s who
Tell me about your day dreams
I’ll tell you about my nightmares
Tell me about your battle wounds
I’ll tell you about my big scares
My empty jars
My catch this
Let’s discover the good and the bad
The moments we never had
The memories that make us sad
The language that holds us together
Wednesday May 4, 2016
From the back of a pamphlet
Dreaming something big
Holding on to secret secrets
Picking daisies making chains
We are forever of the earth
Got our back packs filled
With beach rocks
And honey sticks
Talking a lot
In the moments between
Silence and acceptance
About the dreams
That will become truths
That will become our future
In the sand
And we braid each other’s hair
And each other’s heart strings
And we tie knots around the wisdom
That keeps us dreaming big
Thursday April 14, 2016
overheard on Arbutus
I want you to beg me to stay when I tell you I’ll be sleeping at my mother’s place tonight. I want you to get on your knees and apologize for being a dick so I can forgive you and then apologize for being a dick back to you. I’m angry but I won’t be later but I don’t know how to turn this thing around before later is later. I feel like I’ve pushed all your buttons and there’s no easy rewind let’s pretend that never happened one to press. Why don’t you come with one like that? I am at the door with my overnight bag and I want you to throw me a banana if you’re not going to try to keep me from going. Let me know you still care about my potassium intake even when we’re hating each other. Even when you’re secretly glad that I won’t be sleeping beside you tonight to remind you of this stupid fight we both engaged in when we were both enraged about the thing we won’t remember in the morning.
Wednesday April 13, 2016 at Platform 7
from the update installation screen
For the first time in a month of coming here, the man with obnoxious voice and even more obnoxious ponytail is not working in the cafe that I am borrowing as my office. I don’t mean to say I miss him-I don’t- but I’ve come to expect him and now things feel a bit off.
I spilled coffee into my laptop bag, and into my laptop keyboard, and onto my table, and into the self-deprecating narrative that I’m the kind of person who spills liquids on all the things that should never get wet.
I waited in line for the single-stall bathroom for the duration of “Another Day” from the Rent soundtrack because I could hear someone doing a million weird things inside and I didn’t know how long was reasonable to wait before I decided to stop waiting.
Nothing else bad has happened. I don’t think it’s obnoxious ponytail accent’s fault for not being here- I was just trying to connect some dots that don’t need connecting while my computer updates itself and tells me not to shut off until it’s done. It’s done now. It doesn’t take long to restart or update but I always think it will. Maybe that’s a reminder for me when I make excuses for staying married to bad habits…
Tuesday April 12, 2016
from a text
When you ask me for the truth I gladly give it. Not to everyone, but to you, I don’t how not to. I remember sitting with you in a dusty bar a year and a half after first meeting you and feeling like that was the first time I actually got to know you. You said some profound shit and you were as lucid as I’d seen you. I preferred you like that. I wonder if you noticed me opening to you too. If you noticed me sharing more secrets or more weaknesses or more dreams laced in marijuana and vulnerability. We are close now like a weird combination of two unlikely flavours that you avoid combining at first because the idea puts you off, but that no longer surprises you once they’ve been mixed together and tasted and enjoyed.
So now. We’re both here: you in love with someone who loves you even more than you love him, and me in love with someone who loves me for reasons I will never comprehend, and we still have each other when we’re dying or when we’re thriving. You ask me if you think you deserve to be happy. I say yes. You ask me if you made mistakes. I say yes. You ask me if I’m happy. I say yes. You ask me if when the world ends, can we hold hands in a tulip garden. I say yes.
Monday April 11, 2016
overheard on the 99
You tell me you love me like a bazillion times a day and I say it back maybe once? Twice if I’m in a good mood. I wonder it it bothers you that I say I love pizza more than I say I love your lips or your hands or whatever nice shit you say to me. You don’t seem bothered. You seem normal. Not even phased. I assume because you must believe you’re hearing me return your sentiments every time you say them cause otherwise your heart would need mending. And I’m saying you seem fine so I imagine you feel great about needing to express yourself so much and being with a person who needs coffee before speaking to you and who wants to be left alone for the first 40 minutes after returning home. I used to think saying I love you meant meaning it. If you asked me now I’d say it had nothing to do with that.
Sunday April 10, 2016
from an email
Mia and I have plans on the weekend. She wants to go camping and I want to go where Mia goes. So we’re going camping. She says it will be really easy if we just pack a tent in my car and then sleep in cornfields or daisy patches or whatever the fuck she actually said. I said yes. I said, I love camping, and I’ve been camping many times, and I am not afraid of getting caught by police or bears or raccoons or snakes. Mia wears an anklet that drives me wild. It’s a gold infinity rope thing and I didn’t know I liked ankles, but fuck hers are nice. She asked me recently if we could squeeze one more person in the back. I heard myself say yes but my whole body was screaming no. My body was too late to the party. It was distracted by the smell of her ponytail.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
from a text
This cute 17 year old just offered me a toke of his spliff and then told me if I wanted he would buy me chicken wings and show me the place that will change my life. I took a hit and I said “yeah alright” to the wings because I’m no idiot. I think he knew I was older but assumed just by a year or two and not a decade + two but I’m not in the business of walking people through life. If you have a question, ask it, if you think I’m a radiant and sexy 19 year old who will still be taken in by a high schooler’s charms then that’s what you think. Who am I to tell him I’m a little too old for him or that I’m in a relationship? He didn’t ask maybe he doesn’t want to know. Maybe he doesn’t care. I’m not going to be presumptuous. Maybe I’m going to kiss his soft baby lips after he buys me chicken wings. Maybe I’m going to give him my phone number so he can text me how much he needs me.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at Platform 7
from a text
You can find me in the poorly lit coffee shop scratching at my scalp, tiny flakes of dandruff floating into my keyboard as I type a letter to your mother that I will likely never send. I have escaped the confines of our bachelor apartment, spent the $2.75 on a coffee that reminds me that people are dying in places all around me, and have been here since the place opened. Miller is working a double and doesn’t ask me to leave or buy a sandwich. When he sees my crumpled forehead and my dandruff start to pile up in between the space bar and the track pad he knows to keep his distance. I am writing a letter to your mother and in it I am breaking up with you and I am breaking up with her. I am telling her why first so you can’t spin the story. I don’t want her to think less of you but I think she should know the truth. It’s taken a lot of my energy to think of the right words. I already have the right reasons. They’ve been living inside of me as long as your Taco Bell leftovers have been sitting in the fridge, collecting mold, being avoided like the plague.
Friday,January 22, 2016
Do I irritate you? Sitting here with a plan to speak every 28 seconds to say something to that will convince you of me?
Halo haze of truth and depth. You see me and I let you. Is that a good idea?
Do I irritate you?
You have to prove to me that you’re not accidentally in love with me.
I demand this of you the way I demand smokers step outside my home before pulling out their lighters.
I need you to tell me, to show me.
The things that confirm you’re not here because you forgot to look somewhere else.
That you’re not too afraid to look somewhere else.
I don’t have to explain why. You want me to. It’s easier.
But pass this test first.
Then you can turn it on me.
Pass this experimental mission and I’ll find my feet.
The earth. I’ll love her again.
The steady and the strong.
You lay kisses on my cheek when I believe I’m doing the right thing.
And my guts betray me.
And my skin starts to lie to you.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
I can’t resist, a list, a timely grouping of newly learned learnings. Here they are, laid bare, and left flat to dry. The wind might pick one up and knock it around, some of them might cling strong to the earth and grow. Who knows? Whatever whatever:
1-You can’t wait for the best thought to come before you think out loud. It’ll never happen. You’ll only confuse yourself if you let them all stay locked in tight.
2-Drying racks are a thing of the organized
3-James Franco has branded himself almost flawlessly.
4-Just because you’re lying doesn’t mean you’re not telling the truth.
5-James Franco’s younger brother does not want to be James Franco.
6-Talking about writing is fear’s way of making sure the truth doesn’t get out.
7-If you write down your ideas exactly when you have them, you’ll train yourself to trust your gut that it’s something worth putting down on paper. You have to build a relationship with yourself before you attack the page: it’s nice to have an ally if going into battle.
Thursday June 4, 2015
She wakes up early in the morning, before the sun does, before the man does. He sleeps like a bear anyway. He wouldn’t notice if the house was on fire. He wouldn’t notice if his testicles were dipped in hydrochloric acid. For the record she has considered both options. She decides on sneaking her babies out without causing any physical pain. She doesn’t want to add to her little ones’ suffering. God knows they’be been through enough. She dresses her sleeping children as best she can. Georgia’s eyes flap open and she knows if she’s to wake anyone, Georgia’s the best one. She loves secrets. She’ll be good at helping her get the other two ready. She doesn’t even worry about the snoring bear. Georgia is quiet but she is curious. She puts her fingers to her lips and smiles with her eyes.
Sunday May 31, 2015
You can’t make fire with rain
STOP with the analogies
Just let me LIVE
I am trying so hard, believe me
Yeah, you’re not a martyr at all
You make me seem so horrible
So fucking horrible
I don’t know who this person you see is, but I swear it’s not me
It takes horrible to know horrible
Why would you say that?
I don’t know
Maybe you resist being horrible
because you are horrible
I didn’t mean that
Please don’t leave
Saturday May 30, 2015 at the Artscape Youngplace Building
From a text to Julia
I was in Halifax when I tried my first piece. Salt water. Perfect Melting New Religion. I bought 6 lbs of the stuff and threw out a pair of running shoes and a flask so I could fit it into my suitcase.
Emmy said, “I would have taken those shoes!”
Taryn said, “you know you can buy that stuff in Ontario too, right?”
But I knew it wouldn’t have been the same. It was like entering a childhood backwards, and experiencing something that was never mine but felt like it was meant to be. Now I don’t go for any old taffy. And why would I? I don’t hate myself for Christ’s sake! Why would I walk if I could run? No scratch that–FLY.
Fridayy May 29, 2015
Intro to Happiness
J. Allyn Rosser
Brooke had that lisp she was self conscious about so she was avoiding esses this week. Her best friend Phoebe told Brooke that she would say all the hard ess words for her until she was comfortable doing them on her own. Brooke wanted to trade with Phoebes, make it nice and equal, so she offered her the small Doritos snack that her dad had snuck into her lunch that morning when Brooke’s mom was putting Leon into his new leg braces. She knew Phoebe didn’t get Doritos snacks in her lunches, just sandwiches that smelled of bananas. Phoebe liked to swing her lunch bag around and she was always bruising the nice yellow bananas her mom packed for her.
Thursday May 28, 2015
Overheard at Lansdowne Station
Our work is good when it’s good
And when it’s not
Because our work
is whatever we need to keep going
even when it feels pained and full of punishment
It’s still ours
It’s still ours
Out hands and our hearts
Our hands and our burning bleeding hearts
When we wake from a bad dream
We shake imagination from our backs
Do we listen to what the muse is telling us?
Or do we toss her recklessly to the floor
Where she can’t bother us anymore?
even though it feels secondary
It’s still ours
It’s still ours
Our hands and our hearts
Our hands and our thumping drumming hearts
Say hello to her
pick her off the earth
And tell her that she’s welcome here
Tell her that she’s beautiful
Wednesday May 27, 2015
The animals leave the shores
They pack their things and go
To where nobody knows
But they follow the pull
And when the night falls down
And blankets the day
Wraps it up in a starry shield
Protects it from going away
With the little ones in the armpit of the elders’
With the little ones curled up tight in the heart of the pack
They don’t hold back
From giving them everything that they need
The animals they move along
Trying to chase the sun
Don’t expect anything from anyone
They know they’ll soon be done
documented in the flesh of the earth
are paintings Mother Nature hangs up in her living room
Tuesday May 26, 2015
Tr. By Nevit O. Ergin and Will Johnson
Like the wind, she speaks, she says
Oooh ooh, yes, yes
Calmly without rushing
No goal exists but to breathe in
every single moment
she whispers through my hair
Hums a day song worth remembering
Oooh ooh, yes, yes
And they say go where the wind blows you
And they say if you’re moved travel alongside her
I don’t know where she’s taking me
But I feel cradled in her billowy arms
And I feel welcomed by her carefree smile
Shhh shh, yes, yes
She reminds me to take time
She reminds me to inhale
and stop worrying
and stop worrying
Shhh shh, yes, yes
I’m here for you until you get to where you’re going
And the air is changed beneath me
And the air is changed right through me
Monday May 25, 2015
from a beer tasting
I didn’t want to go to Portland and see all the hipsters wearing their hipster gear and drinking their new hipster beer. I didn’t have a better answer for wanting to stay at home other than I just didn’t want to go, but Reilly was being such a nag about it, asking me a thousand times a day, “why, Elyse, why don’t you want to go? You hiding something, Elyse? You got better things planned, Elyse?”
My God she was such a rat terrier. I guess when you bail on a plan 2 days before you’re supposed to hit the road, people are bound to get weird about shit. I just never really wanted to go from the beginning but I didn’t admit that part out loud when we were all contributing our halves to the housing and the “unpredictable” fund. It doesn’t feel so good saying it now–Note To Self: Always be up front so that I never have to feel whatever it is I’m feeling now, again.
It just saves everybody a healthy dose of disheartened confusion if we all just say what we need at the very moment that we need it. And guilt too. It saves me guilt.
Sunday May 24, 2015
When I’m away
Adrienne and Lara were sitting on the bar stools in Adrienne’s parents’ basement. Only Lara’s chair swiveled and Adrienne secretly wished Lara wasn’t on it.
“I want to talk about sex,” Lara suddenly announced.
“Uhh..I don’t know–”
“I think I have to lose my virginity by the time I’m 16. I have to or I’ll just die. ”
Adrienne was uncomfortable. She had made a pact with her cousin, Tina, that they’d both wait until..well..they were older. They briefly discussed holding out for college.
“Didn’t you hear me, Age? What’s your year?”
“Yeah. Same. 16. Or I’ll just die…”
Lara was spinning around and around. Adrienne watched as her anger grew.
Saturday May 23, 2015
Came into the bedroom and the first thing that made me worry was your smell. You don’t like to shower at night. So why did you smell clean and sneaky and lying and suspicious?
I smelled you with a new nose. A detective’s nose. Unwilling to rest until the case is solved.
The second thing that was cause for concern was your humming. For someone who prefers to whistle. I found it peculiar. I found it unsettling. Your humming was beautiful. That was unsettling too.
I heard you with new ears. A dog’s ears. Unable to ignore the information traveling at a higher frequency right above my head.
Then, the last thing I noticed…the last thing…
Friday May 22, 2015
After I wash my face at night, I don’t really want to see other humans until morning. It’s not that I don’t want them to see my face unmasked, without colours and expressions painted on, it’s more than that. It’s about time and space and holding that for me in a sacred way which for some odd reason at any other point in the day doesn’t feel as possible. Maybe I’m greedy. Maybe I want my born like this, woke up like this, go to bed like this face for me and only me. Maybe it makes me feel closer to the earth and to my mother and to my truth. It’s strange because this ritual has turned me into a monster. One knock at my door and I’m hissing like a cat with her claws out ready to pounce. I can’t say “Nobody’s home” or “Nobody that you will recognize is here”. Though I am good at it, I don’t want to lie. So I answer with my secret night time alone time me time face, and there’s a scowl where my lightness just was, a cold stare where my openness used to be.
Thursday May 21, 2015
And happiness is a sailing ship
the ocean strong
the wind fair
gliding across the water
a beacon of hope
a sign of peace
we all tilt our strained chins to the earth
and we sigh
that’s the final taste
that’s the summer sun warming up the frigid ground
And dessert is an apricot tart
the filling sweet
the pastry light
being passed around the after party
a moment of indulgence
a gesture of great care
we all throw our anchored heads back against the sofa
and we laugh
Wednesday May 20, 2015
from a parking sign
That’s when I’m awake and dreaming about being so much better.
Wishing I had taken out the trash.
Wishing I had eaten breakfast on the back porch.
Wishing I had cleaned my house last night so I could wake up with it ready.
That’s when I spend time thinking about what food I could eat.
How excited I’ll get when I plan a delicious feast.
But really just eat pickled eggplant and chili bean paste from the jar.
And call that a proper meal.
From 9AM-6PM when the rest of the world is out there making a living.
I’m in here thinking about how one day I’ll be making a living.
Instead of making a living now.
Instead of living now.
But there are other dreams too.
Of how tomorrow will be filled with positive and productive and persistent.
How if I can just get through this day.
Tuesday May 19, 2015
A Ripley’s bus ad
believe it or not we’re here now together
you say you don’t want to believe that cause then it’s harder to let it go
but i’m telling you now that we’re here now together
and the harder you push me the farther i’ll get let go
why wouldn’t you just trust me?
when i say i have a heart built for two
when i say it’s like a bicycle and it carries the both of us?
why can’t you allow me to be exactly how i am
without getting scared of endings and losings and assumings
i’ve never been this happy before either
but i’m not running away
and i’m no trying to convince you that this is too good to be true
you have to listen to what your gut is trying to tell you
all those warm fuzzy tinglings?
they don’t exist there for nothing
and those happy pretty songs that you’re humming
aren’t just an accident either
they’re your feelings and they’re your truth
just the way i paint more when i think of your face
and i can’t help but smile when you cross my mind
i know it’s not normal that doesn’t mean it’s bad
you have to believe me when i tell you the truth before it all goes away
before you see exactly how much better us being here now together is
than what you’ll have when it’s gone
Saturday May 16, 2015
Behind Sad Eyes
If you don’t come with me, I’ll toss and turn each night
I’ll hold the space for you to join until you realize that you must
I’ll write you my feelings in haiku and limericks
I’ll dance with someone who may hold me closer
I’ll tease the mind of someone who may enjoy little games better
I’ll eat a tub of peanut butter before the week is through
I’ll take myself to the lake and I’ll be content alone
I’ll pretend you don’t exist until one day you do not
Tuesday May 12, 2015
Almost Unendurable Beauty
I don’t believe you, Brendan, how the hell am I supposed to believe anything you say? Not just what you say but how you say it. You never mean anything.
What are you even talking about, Maggie? I mean things. I mean what I say to you, of course I do.
…Slowly threatening to pop
Because I feel like you’re pulling one over on me all the time. The way you say shit, like “That’s amazing, honey” when things aren’t amazing, or when I’m clearly upset about something and you tell me “well, there’s always tomorrow”. Like what the hell am I supposed to do with fucking tomorrow when today I feel like dying and you can’t even see that?
Sunday May 10, 2015
from a sign at the florist
spit up on the front of this goodwill shirt
i don’t have much of it
so tired i might puke too
i don’t want flowers
i want sex and a steak and in that order
if you really knew the way to my heart
you wouldn’t have given me this creature that cries all the time
and bites my nipples so hard that they bleed
i’ve gotten fatter than i’ve ever been
your gaze like a canon ball
the beauty you once fell for
like the cat
poster on the tree at the end of the street
all stretch marks and cellulite
all frown lines and bags under my eyes
“diamonds” you used to say
twinkle twinkle little star
how i wonder what you are
where you’ve been
i’m not sure about this creature
whether he’ll turn out alright
i’m not sure about how tiny his toes are
puts me off