Sunday February 17, 2019
Nature Is Strong
Say hi to my monkey
She comes around when things feel clunky
Begging me to return to the key
The constant truth inside of me
She’s asking for play and to leave behind structure
Cause forcing her to climb is like stealing her love for freedom and spontaneity
Wondering if she’ll ever have the chance to be left alone to be
Exactly who she sees in me
Say hi to monkey I’ve kept her caged I didn’t want her to choose cause I was too afraid
How will she make me look if I put her in charge?
Will my friends stick by me if my play bone grows large?
Will the ones that I choose, choose me back if I’m happy, no sadness here just one laughing monkey?
If when they asked how I am I said good when I was, instead of looking for reasons why things aren’t enough, could I let myself smile even when I think I could do more? Isn’t that the key to this self-locked door?
Say hi to my monkey cause I’m bringing her along, sometimes she makes me dance, or break out in song
She’s the younger self I’ve been trying to pin
Say hi to my monkey, now I’m letting her in.
Friday February 15, 2016
From a quote by Voltaire
Nothing can be said most days. Body decides without meaning to and we hear the real truth anyway. What do you say when a tree calmly screams at you? Are there words? Are there instructions? What do say when the Big Dipper is so clear? Do you say that, The Big Dipper Is So Clear? Do you say say you’re sorry at a celebration of life memorial?
Wednesday February 13, 2019
from a text
Salesman sells the bed
well says that’s where it’s
comfy cozy and did you see?
It’s big enough for three..
We say we ain’t looking for a bed that fits more
just us we and our four feet
that’s what we like to do
salesman sells the bed by sayin’ you’ll regret it if you don’t try
So we go home right away
and try to conceive
We were happy with our elbows
meetin’ in the middle space
our noses in each other’s mouths was our funny
But salesman’ got us thinkin’ when he was sellin’ us that bed
That we could have a spot for two or one for three instead
Monday February 11, 2019
Left my heart on the beach with the tide out
Sun dippin’ low givin’ glow to all the good neighbours
Those clouds, man, did they drink
I drank too like it might be my last sip and I swirled it there in my mouth, painting my tongue a kind of magic
Bear’s hands were holding the cups and I have the good eye so I took all the photos, freezin’ my hand skin as offerin’, trade, holy sacrifice
And then the red x pinged off the horizon and splashed us both diagonal, split us both in two cause then more of us could witness
Bear’s mug clanked my mug and we two stepped with the teasing foam as it came knocking on our boots, kissing at our toes
Sunday February 10, 2019
a Morrison’s Moving poster
It’s a dark room and you are sitting in it. All around it, waiting for something. You’re feeling a tingle of surprise and expectation. You will never fully get what you think you’re going to get. You are ready. All of you in your collective readiness is current. Is consciousness. You and all your pockets touching, phones buzzing or quietly, you and all your friction, candy wrapper anticipation blows the floor out of quotidian thought. You are all in the dark waiting for something. And there’s magic in that. It’s connection in the wings, it’s about to happen and we’re all a part of it. You and me and all of us in this room, gathered to share a thing with some other humans at the same time, while breathing. We remember to breathe, feel, in groups. We know the power of persuasion. We say yes.
Saturday February 9, 2019
From a voicemail message
I miss you. I’ll start by saying that. I’m listening to an old tape of you snoring. I used to hate you for it when we shared a room. Recorded you one night to show you just how loud it was. Now all I’m wishing for is to hear you breathe again. I wouldn’t care if it kept me up this time.
I’ve been thinking about you lately. Someone asked how I was doing as if it hasn’t been a lifetime since you left. I fucking miss you every day. Maybe I should have said that. I said, Things are good for me. And they are, you know, most days. I’m working so much you’d be real proud. Wish you could see how much better my chops are now.
Anyway, I know you’re with me so I’m not here to whine. Send me a rumble when you think of it.
Friday February 8, 2019
from a Wordplay call out
In the middle of the night it starts to rain. We can hear it pitter patter on the rooftop. You had asked for that. For more rain. To hear it tapping off the wood of the cottage like that makes us both better. This is a quieter night than some of the others. It is easy to fall back to sleep and dream. I wanted it too: more rain; more reminders of living.
Wednesday February 6, 2019
From Charqui’s flyer
I want to be one of those craft brewery types! The ones who set up kegs at events even though they’re awkward to lift for a body my shape-you know, arms not as long as my legs, like a regular human body.
I want to be the kind of woman who wears a toque to dinner and either after or before tests a new brew for our seasonal tap. I want to know what it’s missing and what fries would be best served with it. I never understood the complexities of someone with this life. They always seem to know much more about patience and slow and laid-backness than me.
I don’t really want to wear a toque to a restaurant but I want to know about beer! People with friends who know about beer seem happy overall: not much to hate or hold on to, fun loving, always drinking together, or going on brewery tours. I wonder how easy it would be to infiltrate a group of brewery besties…is it as simple as wearing my toque to dinner? Is it as easy as drinking beer and not saying a word about it? Then maybe I would naturally pick up what they know and they would be welcoming because the more beer and the more people drinking beer the better.
Once a woman I wanted to be friends with asked if I liked beer then planned an entire brewery tour. In one night! It broke my heart that I like it as much as that.
Monday February 4, 2019
It’s the seconds in between two very different things.
Before you decide, you have to know beside which two things you stand. Here, an example, and one for me that I can articulate, could be the same or maybe similar for you.
I stand here and likely always, before a Love choice and Delay choice.
There is nothing cheeky about me saying this now even though you might know me as someone who smirks in her sleep, protecting herself against what is absolute. I mean all of this. No sarcasm. No holy joke.
A Love choice is something that will only add to existing Love, creating more, or creating more opportunities for Love to be made. They are decisions that contribute, heal, help, celebrate, cleanse, trust..
Delay choices are simply the ones made out of fear of the existing love leaving the immediate experience.
Sunday February 3, 2019
The Lovely Bones
You invite me to the pool but I think I should be alone now to sink in to myself. I cannot endure other people.
Tonight, however, my love, I have already learned the gift of endurance from you. Here is a chance to meet your appropriate edge, you said without saying. Did you know, Love, that it is further outside yourself than you once believed?
I am being given a choice in this pure calm before the storm: the heavens open and waiting for me to step into the light…
As the wind first hits, we are in a kind of gentle magic. The beach is long and inviting and so we step further and further away.
Soon it is beyond white. The sky seems to hold all of this force in the palm of things. Against this colour of night, the locusts of snow overhead rage through us and our simple jeans.
You stand behind me creating a home; a vortex around my humble body in the face of something so big.
Saturday February 2, 2019
Milo is not talking to RJ because RJ is hugely unreliable. He said he was going to be around for a call after Milo finished breaking up with Bex. RJ wasn’t around because he was at the bar drinking like he usually is, trying to pick up vulnerable women who are suffering from insane amounts of self-doubt. RJ likes being the one who puts them back up on the ledge. He likes being the soft thing they fall into. Milo is even more mad at RJ because he refuses to admit he was wrong. RJ never learned to say he was sorry, or that he recognizes how his avoidance of reality effects the people he says he loves.
Friday February 1, 2019
Orange Is The New Black
I met her the night we dropped MDMA and spoke with sweat and sweet and true and good
I was grateful for the peaks of love that kiss sunlight
So high the only thing we could do was see each other
The time before that we found cocaine on the bump of her key, the public bathrooms at every place we ended up: the bar, the house party, the tennis court, after moving a rustic ladder from the back of my apartment to her’s—wearing heels and dressed ready
We felt like we were made of arms
The same two of us, and deeper,
found a butterfly sanctuary on the day we were decided on being real joy
Thursday January 31, 2019
Each one pointed to a different place of hurt
Here, the wreckage of the heart,
the spot where the rib cage was invaded, break and entering
Here, the spasm of the lower back,
deep breath a kind of torture
Acquitted somehow of all charges
I wanted to ask-Did I do this to you?
Was it by my hand you know this?
I should have asked where else it throbbed, reminded you of your punishable naked
Wednesday January 30, 2019
Richard Christian Matheson
So, it’s three days before the tournament, right. Everyone is freaking out, tensions are high. Nobody wants to lose, team is gearing up to represent ourselves as best as we can. So, we find out that fucking Brian is planning on putting his kid, Heather, in as starting catcher. Girl has caught a grand total of zero balls. Spends her time fixing her mask and trying to get up from a squat.
So all three pitchers, that’s me, Sara, and Cara, decide we’re going to meet with Brian to tell him we think he should start Christine cause she’s more experienced, and this is her last year before she moves up. It would be better for everyone. So we approach him like a flying V-determined. graceful. I’m in the front cause I’m the brave one.
Fucking Brian LOSES IT.
Tuesday January 29, 2019
From a text
I wonder a lot
about the way you sway
the way you say my name
the way you drink champagne
You can say so much with such little pieces of you
I could have asked a better one than Why
It seems we’ve all become experts at that one
How is a good one
When is another
You’re not bigger than the ocean
but you act like it
I have questions about that
About the hours you keep
the thoughts you believe
the stories you yell
Bigger than the ocean
so much smaller than this
Monday January 28, 2019
Cab driver is talking my ear off on the way to the airport. It’s 3am, he must be lonely. I am leaving this city and I’m not going to look back. Do I tell him that? Do I say, listen, I tried my best, I worked hard, I made out with a stranger on my softball team? I don’t know what else I could have done. Maybe committed to the white walls in my apartment, hung a plant or two on the balcony. I never did end up going to the Indian place I said I wanted to try. Do I say, listen, some cities don’t fit the way you think the way expensive shirts get donated to Goodwill when they don’t slim your shoulders as promised. Do I say, I am too tired and angry and mad at myself to talk to you right now?
Sunday January 27, 2019
I think all good things must come to an end sooner than we’re ever ready for them.
Why would we want the good things to end?
It’s hard enough getting the good things to start.
We were never really friends although I believed us to be.
I thought you liked me and I liked you in the same way and we were…good for each other.
It only took a thousand messages left without reply for me to figure it out.
You’re the kind of person who thinks offering yourself is all you need to do.
You’re the kind of person who thinks I would be lucky to receive your invitation to the land of zero follow through.
There can only be room for certain friendships now,
not whatever it is we’re doing.
We don’t need anything from each other and we never did.
I thought I did but then I got to know you and realized the
only thing I need from you is for you to stop pretending like
any of your empty promises mean something.
I won’t be around for that kind of shit anymore.
The next time I might not be as kind about the whole thing.
Maybe if you were as honest with me as I am with you we could save a whole lot of energy.
Saturday January 26, 2019
The Only One She Told
Liar liar pants on fire
Said last time I thrived on dire
Fought my battles walked the wire
Fakery began to tire
All those people believing deep
held me up as the grim reaper
Wished I could have climbed much steeper
But I was a dream-catch eater
Held the wish to drown the mole
We couldn’t take any souls
I swear we tried, we did not know
Then god opened mouth and ripped me whole
Friday January 25, 2019
What to Look for in a Horse
Brett Elizabeth Jenkins
I want to see a person and not make any thoughts up about who they are and what they do and why they’re wearing what they’re wearing. I do make up some thoughts about some
people but mostly I thank myself quietly for being me instead of them. They are busy being them, wearing the shoes they wear, the big bright buttons on their slacks, the cool hat, the stupid shoes. I am not judging. Stupid shoes is not an opinion, it’s a broken ankle waiting to happen. What makes a shoe more stupid than its shape is where that shoe is worn. Managing a restaurant? Stupid. Walking the dog in a rainstorm? Stupid. The person I have no problem with. Or maybe I do. Maybe I’m one judgemental piece of shit projecting my unexamined insecurities on people just passing me on the street on their way to the grocery store. Looks aren’t everything. But it’s what you see. It’s what you notice. I don’t think the flower kingdom is going around saying, here I am, but I’m not just a pretty face, I matter, I’m important. Everyone knows flowers matter but if they self-claimed it they wouldn’t have time to simply live it.
I may have lost the plot a little bit here.
Thursday January 24, 2019
A quote by William Pickens
Lynn was excited to drop her psych classes and start taking theatre. She knew she belonged on stage, or with actors, or in a daydream maybe. She had never done anything for herself in her short life. Both her parents were doctors, one therapist, one orthopaedic surgeon. She was supposed to be a doctor too, and they said the field of medicine is up to her. That was all that was up to her. She started seeing the theatre kids around the halls, wearing black, singing in unison. Lynn didn’t remember the last time she let herself sing outside of the shower. It looked incredibly freeing! Maybe even spiritual. All this time she wished she could tell stories to audiences willing to hear them. She pictured herself being blinded by he stage lights and glowing from the inside out. If she left psych she would have to pay for everything else on her own. Lynn couldn’t wait to start working as a relief receptionist at the ESL centre to finally be in control of her own destiny.
Wednesday January 23, 2019
You can learn a new language at any age. You can learn one in your 20s, in your 30s, up till the day you speak no more. It’s not one of those things on the list that become impossible after celebrating a certain birthday. It won’t be easy, but it won’t be impossible. Some things on the list that become impossible after a certain age are the following: doing the splits if you are not a gymnast, birthing a baby, moving a couch, and pulling all-nighters. I purposefully did not include exact ages because every body is different and there are exceptions to even vaguely set rules.
I know for a fact it is never too late to quit smoking, or cut out certain issue-causing foods, or take up growing pot in your backyard. There is no limit to how much you can surprise yourself in this life— no matter how many stories you make up and believe.
Tuesday January 22, 2019
Love Thy Neighbour
Oh this again. He was trying to welcome me home, I believe. And sell me to church. All the right people, my people would meet me there. All the grace I will know is from Him. Gospel of John. I’m supposed to have read it by now. Maybe everyone knows I’m the kind of person to go running to scripture. Proving in words somewhere that the divine in me is seeing me. I have always been persuaded. I exist there because I liked being the vessel. I liked being the experiment, the data, the pioneer. Tell me what is best and I’m still the one who has to execute. I like being the one who walks into fire.
Monday January 21, 2019
Stories We Keep To Ourselves
I imagine him alive with dark hair covering his tiny little head
He has a perfect face
Maybe a few years from now he’ll need glasses just like you
His dark hair transforms into light hair later like mine does in the sun
You are holding him and cooing in his face and everything is sweet now
I keep him alive by not leaving him
That is my only job
I picture him loving me before he leaves home
Some of them only realize how much has been done for them after they build their bed behind walls that no one can wonder against
He is kind to insects and birds
He is funny because of you and only you
From me he learns how to hum
From me he learns how to weep
From me he learns how to stare into the nothingness past the room and bright noise
You smile extra hard these days
Saturday January 19, 2019
On Why I Must Decline To Receive The Prayers You Say You Are Constantly Sending
Jesus apparently lives in my heart and has never left even though I left him. He’s also quite feminine, the woman tells me, “Read the gospel of John and you’ll see how feminine he is.” I am now the prodigal daughter coming home. I had to leave in order to grow myself and wonder out loud with enough spaciousness to find something. Now I am returning and this is good because I am looking for the truth and that’s where I’ll find God too. She wanted to leave the room while I confessed how I’ve rejected him, or how I’ve felt disconnected, or why. Then I told her I wouldn’t do it if she left and so I made her stay. Maybe she had something to do for ten minutes that really couldn’t have waited and she was hoping I was into counselling myself. But maybe she thought I was strong and wanted or needed the stillness.
Friday January 18, 2019
In The Beautiful Rain
Her eyelids sank, heavy with dust
collected in the creases
Sleep stretched out like a cat before her and she put her hand out to scratch under its chin
The night and all its bigger shadows
loomed in and around, sort of stalking
Her mouth a steady waterfall pointing ground-ward
He, on the other hand warmed up another cup of tea in the microwave
Flipped the pages of his book like punishment
Pushed the bed so far away
Thursday January 17, 2019
The Ghost of a Boy
You could say I manifested it; the end of my first marriage the way it is written. By that I mean death, and not
some fault of our own. We might have stopped trying. Stopped listening. Stopped seeing Love in the reflection of each other. I think we were lucky enough to preserve our relationship before it got so sad we committed any of those aforementioned acts of betrayal. I think those are worse than cheating anyway. Sex is something I can justify as “not personal”. But I suppose you’re right, if I claim to have manifested my late husband’s death. I guess that is a fault of my own I should be less light-hearted about. My intentions were that he would die and leave me while we were still in love. I didn’t know it would happen so soon or that it would work so well. If I believed in manifesting at all (before this) I would have made sure I had pots of money and enough hair product to last my entire lifetime. I would have manifested some inner peace.
Wednesday January 16, 2019
On Becoming A Cat
In the middle of the night I hear you whispering sweet words into the pillow
They’re for me
I kiss you back to sleep
I stay awake wondering about the light dancing across the ceiling
I was tired before this and
now maybe it’s denial
The past few days have felt impossible
Each of our hollow seems to be bouncing off every surface in sight and you might not be rubber but I’m definitely glue
I wonder at the dancing light, the collective sadness seaping into my skin, the way waking up never arrives without a headache anymore
Tuesday January 15, 2019
Notes on Surrender
Petra was a beer lover. She was the kind of person who knew better than to cheers another with an empty glass. Even if she wasn’t thirsty, she would pour herself a sip of something to seal the deal. On the night of Kat’s engagement she had already drank her share before the thing even started. Still reeling from finding her boss dead in the foyer that morning, she knew she would need a little help getting through her best friend’s party.
Dylan wasn’t the nicest guy in the world, but to leave the world lonely, just steps away from the Naloxone?
Monday January 14, 2019
A Poem for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration
Woman beside me: red nails that match her red boots. Noticed a red scarf and sweater too. All red. All showing.
Man beside her: grey coat, grey slacks, grey beard. He’s looking at her.
She’s provbaly reading this.
It was so foggy today the sun turned into a ball of white, outlined as if with crayon. You can drift into road on days like this. You can find yourself dissappearing without trying.
I can’t say I’m doing my best to be seen.
I think everyone in my life is sad right now and only some of them know to include me in that.
Sunday January 13, 2019
A quote by Viktor Frankl
Yesterday my hair caught on fire in front of all the people I didn’t know. I am grateful. Everytime I let a part of me burn I watch myself rise from the ashes and grow longer in the backbone. That, and it’s nice to be reminded that I’m always saved in the 11th hour. My intuition pounds on the door of me and it sometimes takes going up in flames to answer the call.
How can I do more work around hearing the rap rap rap before I turn into smoke? After all, I was right about you, wasn’t I? I knew there was something off about you the first time I saw you blink like that. I hope you never try your hand at poker. Or motherhood.
Saturday January 12, 2019
From a text
It’s been a year and some things are still buried in the yard alongside all the other bodies too cold to touch
I wonder sometimes if you’re waiting for me to wear an apology that doesn’t belong to me on my back—
Maybe thinking it’s owed to you or something. I have to try not to take that on at all because you can’t always get what you want.
It’s been a year and some days I think you don’t notice how much we’ve both changed. Some days feel like I’m right back where I started, eating lies around you to keep you up.
I don’t want to tell you how I really am. What I really think. I’m not sure if you deserve it.
Friday January 11, 2019
From a Christmas card
A garden preened to the high heavens mocks my morning walk to the compost heap left bubbling
I hate these neighbours and their tireless knees
How some people sit like that I will never understand
My mother didn’t meet her green thumb until her 60s so maybe there’s still time for me. Not sure why my father didn’t force me into the earth when I was young and curious. Some life skills I fear I may never own
My garden wouldn’t make sense anyway-a clump of rosemary, a hill of daisies
I have never been willing to look so far ahead into a year
It’s the same pill I swallow when packing my things even if only for the night
Thursday January 10, 2019
Life After Life
I used to want Zia Vilma to be my mother cause she knew how to french braid, and make her own halloween costumes, and turn an old pair of leggings into a choker with a broken heart earring as the pendant.
She was the only one spent time with us, who played cards with us when we were little and begging to sit at table with all the adults.
She lit up when she saw us.
My own mother was a little different than she is now. She used to scream at us more then. She used to whip her eyes shut when she was yelling out all her demons.
I hated that face she made. I was afraid of it. she couldn’t look us in the eye.
Wednesday January 2, 2019
Living the Wisdom of the Tao
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
There’s a man I walk by everyday on my way to the grocery store. He has a different sign all the time but I know he’s asking for help. I’m waiting for the day he transforms from his sidewalk seat to a radiant standing man with a flowing robe. He will smile at all of us with his kind warm heart and say, “Sorry fuckers, don’t have room on this trolley for the inconsiderate.” Then all the people going in and out of Whole Foods will think about things for a minute. And I will be just like them. Because I have ignored him. I don’t even know what he looks like. I feel bad that I don’t want to give him anything so I walk with my head high in avoidance. I am aware enough to know that I am avoiding the aspect of myself that needs help, the one that doesn’t want pity, the aspect that is not making enough money. I am him and he is me and this lesson is a little too late learned for flowy asshole Jesus.
Tuesday January 1, 2019
Comfortable With Uncertainty
The sorrow I’ve been pushing into the deep hole of me has started to itch
It rubs up against the sides of its cage and begs for fresh water
Don’t you know you cannot burry sadness alive?
The clock on the wall clicks more than ticks and I think everything around me is breaking
At dinner the light is soft and golden and everyone is in a perfect mood but me
The air in my lungs escapes before I know what I am saying and the room tunnels into the shape of my hurt
All those years of doing my best and being told to go back to the old me-the one who is better understood by shopkeepers and mothers and fathers and groups of afraid
I feel this pit beginning to take root and I am not sure what I’ll be if I pluck it from the dark mud where it’s been lost
How easy to say Fine instead of Not Fine
How easy to say sorry after the garden has been torn up
I am courageous enough to feel all this and all this that cannot be named
Monday December 31, 2018
The Tao Of Pooh
In the middle of the night I heard a whisper in the sound of my own voice coming from inside my head. It was me, or I believed it to be. I was telling me to breathe and focus and stop focusing and see the white wall and Dear Lord Please, Please. I was telling me to find peace in the stillness. A little voice asked if it was okay if I watched a movie instead. I said yes to myself and began to play a moving picture show of all my choices and all the bread I got to eat. The lobster. The Italian sausage. The night my father and I took a deep look. The movie played and I rewatched it again and again. I told me I could watch it in the morning once I had woken up but the me laying didn’t feel like the me saying was being true. The search had begun for what was. For what was true. Why would inside voice me try to trick outside laying me? What is inside voice me trying to get me to notice or understand or remember forever and ever amen.
Sunday December 30, 2018
When I was nine we went on an overnight camping trip with our church friends. They were church people, not quite friends, to be honest. Jesus thought it would be good for us to be around all the right-hearted youth so we could learn something. I learned something. I learned I could pee in the middle of the night very quickly. I learned that I was a quick night pee-er when my tent mates told me so. I learned that I could walk in the woods and sing at the same time. I learned that some people are better than me because of their relationship with god.
On the last day our leaders gave out awards to the ____est camper. They gave me the award for “happiest camper”. I was thrilled until Julie Perna got “friendliest” camper and I realized that my award was total bullshit.
Saturday December 29, 2018
Man’s Search For Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl
I tire of saying certain words
I love you
It’s not on purpose but I know what I hate and I say it now to be clear and not cutting
But I never tire of saying what is bigger than me and truer than you
I say it with the inside of my cheek and the silk of my skin
I say it with the moon bearing witness
with the oven mitts on
with the bathroom door open
I want this
I don’t want this
I tire because the struggle of wanting and not wanting is one of deep diving
There is no around it
To travel down you have to go through it
And deeper still
The pain is exhaustible and yet there is no shortcut
No other way
Friday December 28, 2018
I kissed the person next to me and he fell asleep with the tip of my nose in his mouth
The first time it was funny
The second time we wondered how we ever managed to fall asleep any other way
I dreamt about stealing feathers and magnets from his rich friend
I ached to be as close as possible
He asked if we could sit in our comfortable silence and I agreed
Lately I have been running around the stock in my head and can’t seem to find anything to say anyway
The long laying and breathing is kind of new to us
We usually put on a show to give our bodies permission to entangle
I don’t know what to do in some moments and that is when I shall find his lips instead of searching for answers
From now on I will fill all the unknowing with kisses
Thursday December 27, 2018
The Undiscovered Self
It is dark out
You’ll have to leave soon
I could remain here
I hate leaving the bed before you
Last night you tossed in your sleep
Back and forth, flip the pillow
I know it was probably too hot
The window is broken
I told you that before we turned off the light
You didn’t believe me
I can understand your perspective
It hasn’t been dry out for a while
I don’t remember how long, maybe you do
You always remember the things I don’t
That’s very convenient, by the way
You could be re-writing our
history and I wouldn’t even know it
Wednesday December 26, 2018
Mom tells me about the shingles that people my age are getting. Chicken pox she says, we used to have chicken pox parties, can you believe that?
They seem to know things then that we don’t anymore. I say stress can cause it, it happened to my friend.
My mother nods and her eyes light up, yes yes stress can cause it and other things, can you believe that?
Some assumptions keep us rotting in our skin when the torture becomes self-inflicted. The brain knows how to protect its team by sending warriors to build walls that block out the worst case scenario. The blood still pumps through the highway of the body, alive in the channels sending it this way and that.
Tuesday December 25, 2018
The night before is a blur now,
book-ended by so many sweet sounds
He tells me he admires me
Complex, he says, And damn good at it
I want to thank him for saying that
For putting words to that level of seeing me
I felt sorry the whole damn day
My eyelashes stung like Angel wings clipped at the tip
I can be so difficult to love when I am this repetitive
This growth of heart choosing the only way it knows how
I could say every year gets better
I could make sure I write that down
and read it back one night after tea
Monday December 24, 2018
The Swiss Family Robinson
We bathed in the sun of the afternoon
calling licorice to our tongues
And on the heels of I’ll-see-you-soon,
we dreamt of tomorrow’s hunt
The sky opened up and licked us both-quiet and wet serene with it
We raced through time loops with a quake in our jump, a hop in our stretch
The only thing stopping us from hitting high was the high we felt from feeling it
Those golden shades that painted the night, that painted your skin, we swore by them
as cures to the ails inside of us that we did not stop long enough to notice
I was being reversed by timelessness
And you were alongside the great ravine crossing
My bravest day’s obsession
would lift the platform up a level
We threw our heads back
Sunday December 23, 2018
Milk and Honey
my mouth knows how to repeat the same thing over and over until it loses meaning
until it turns into dust
my mouth knows how to curse the ones I love the most because their mouths say what my mouth could
my mouth eats itself more than it doesn’t
twisting the almost rebellion into quiet
cheek sores, taking up space
my mouth hums the tune of the earth that keeps me grounded when the noise is trying to lift me out of my skin
my mouth coos the sweet-lipped words of admiration and gratitude with ease and with abundance
my mouth remembers being shut violently and told that this is not violence but love and history and justified
my mouth knows a lie like a pang in the gums, a bell dinging endlessly under the tongue
Saturday December 22, 2018
The nothing howls
like a deep seeded pit
writhing in the grass,
burying itself free
from the light touching
The pain lives not in the
not knowing but in
the inventing of what the
unknown might be-
never ever will be
I can hear it too if
I can see the blues and pinks jumping off its bones and into the night
streaking the silence with
What if we never learn to
see the unseen as a gift?
What if the ache builds a
house on its broken back and
boards all the whispered wondering there?
Friday December 21, 2018
when he tries to tell you he doesn’t want you,
maybe that’s his soul speaking about another
place that feels empty
You look like the empty because you are the closest thing to him
You and him standing in the kitchen, throwing words at available skin
But maybe he’s right
Maybe you’re the empty vase
the empty promise
the seat up on a high horse
that you don’t know how to
ride, much less get down from
He might be missing pieces but you are missing parts too:
Thursday December 20, 2018
I don’t know why I can’t just leave him. I love him. Maybe I don’t. I have to love him don’t I? 30 years I’ve lived in that house, am I supposed to suddenly pick up and move? I don’t know why he doesn’t help me. All of our financial problems are because he won’t. I’ve asked him. I’ve tried to ask him but it’s not that easy, Sweetie. Nothing is ever easy for me. You know, I had this dream where I was climbing this huge staircase. These massive spiraled stairs and I was climbing them, climbing them, but I couldn’t go anywhere. And I could see at the top there was this beautiful castle. It was all the way at the top and I was climbing, sweatting, aching, and no matter what I did I couldn’t make it. All I wanted was to reach it and I was stuck right there.
Wednesday December 19, 2018
From an application form
It’s about anger now. I’m about to let the lid off this house and cry to the high heavens.
Nobody wants me mad. Wants me dripping instead. Wants me nothing. I was nothing before this. I was very close to needing too much. You made me angry and now it’s about anger. Maybe that was your plan all along. I’m about to give over to it. It’s close to taking refuge in the soft spot of my nice. Nice no longer exists and hasn’t for a long time now. Have you been paying attention? It’s gone. I don’t think it ever was. Naive maybe. Spineless used to be here. You remember, don’t you? Nothing you said ever got a No from me? That was all the fear of being real showing through. Every other time I was real I got the boot. People disappeared like sugar being poured into a hot cup. The taste of desperation gets an addict hunting for her next fix. It’s not about feeding those demons anymore. It’s about the anger, like I said. I couldn’t be clearer. Things are going to change. You will be the first one to see it.
Tuesday December 18, 2018
From an email
The girl downstairs blasts her stereo. It’s new. She never used to blast anything before. She has played Drake and no one else I recognize. It’s past my bedtime but aside from today she’s been pretty good about turning it off by 9pm. 9pm is my bedtime. I’m waiting to see if she figures that out or if a guy leaves her place. That would explain the volume. She’s entertaining. I don’t hear voices. Maybe they’re dancing. I could go down there and throw a stone at her door but this is something my therapist advises against. She says I can take certain things too seriously. I’m being really patient for the reccord. I haven’t thrown anything at all yet. I haven’t banged on the floor like some people would at exactly 9:46pm on a Tuesday. Maybe Tuesdays are her new Fridays because Wednesdays are her new Saturdays.
Monday December 17, 2018
overheard at YVR
I’m worried that soon I will be alone. All these years of keeping up with every friend and staying in touch. It’s dwindling now. I either hate the people I used to love or they’ve forgotten about me. Usually I hate them because they’ve forgotten about me. Let the relationship fizzle out. I stopped contacting everyone and that’s all it took I suppose.
Soon I will be all alone. I will talk to myself. I will call my family on the weekend. I will not need the people who think they’re better than me or more woke than me. I already find myself angry. Quietly seething at some. I don’t trust the ones who lie to themselves. And I won’t miss them when they’re gone. I don’t have that bone. It wouldn’t do any good anyway.
Sunday December 16, 2018
from a text
1) face the fear of getting it wrong
2)integrate bodily functions as warning signs: why am I crying? What is my stomach trying to tell me? Write, woman. Run.
3) deal with the loud emotions instead of
turn down or
stave off or
fight back or
feel weak because of
4) give an open field for playtime and general exuberance, for loud, lift, freedom
5) treat the wound with tough love enough to disinfect it first; smothering it with a bandaid will stop the blood but not the bad attitude
Saturday December 15, 2019
From the Gift Guide in Toronto Life
all the good purses are in the closet, top shelf.
haven’t wanted to wreck them or my shoulder. Alignment guy says I’m out of alignment: one arm weighed down far more than the other, hanging there like a bag of grapes.
I do not want to shrivel up before my time.
I have so much reaching still to do. The best part about it is out of sight out of mind. I am not who I was when I can’t see anything to remind me. I am me now, staring desperately into the reflections of convenience: The kettle, the tea cup filled, the tv turned off watching me instead.
Friday December 14, 2018
From a text
It’s nice that you’re here.
All of us, we, think it’s nice. Nice that you say nice all the time. Nice that your hands are always wet for some reason. All of us, we, are curious about you. We’re all together and then there’s you. We’re all hanging out now. We, all of us, are making a memory. You’ll say it so we’ll just stop you right there-it’s nice. Soon you will be a part of what we do. Soon you will fix the leak in the boiler room. Soon you’ll be prepared to leave the stratosphere that you have come to call nice and never look back.
Wednesday December 12, 2018
The Third Treatise
As I stand here mighty, bigger than you,
I feel the earth holding you up. When the sight of me existing without force
the way you sometimes don’t
makes you stop in your tracks, I see you then, and know you are good. This rain has marked its territory on my skin. I have married and left it now too many times to count. This is how I know about growing. About staying. About you.
Somehow, it is true, you are sacred even if you do not know the meaning of the word. And I know what it’s like to wait for my time to shoot upward; to shed my old season; to take the place of my mother.
Tuesday December 11, 2018
I watch the kid with cat eyes lick his fingers clean
then he shoves his whole hand in his mouth and it’s no longer about grooming
the girl is said to be an angel, piece of cake, perfect
except she’s not as brave as they’d like her to be
reads too many books
is already proving smarter than one of them
I watch the kid roll his eyes at me when I apologize
to him for raising my voice
apologies come in buckets here and he knows they’re not worth their weight
I want to explain that I was scared he’d hurt himself with that knife, that I’m not mad anymore
The girl uses a dictionary to play Hangman
she draws a bunny rabbit instead of someone swinging by a noose
Monday December 10, 2018
there’s a biscuit in our bed
I brought it in here
I’m the culprit sue me sorry
you’re the one who
toasted it first then buttered it
you knew exactly what you were doing
And now I’m to blame for bed-crumbs and for low times
and for weakness
I’m the one we always hang the bad ideas on
but I never used to eat in bed until I met you and
I don’t remember now if it was to forget you or bring you closer to me
you’re the first guy who got me higher than this
I wanted more from you and you were smoking then
I didn’t think you
anything but cool
the first guy who got me high
Sunday December 9, 2018
Tulips for Barbara
Ann E. Michael
There’s this feeling in the air that something’s wrong with me. On the inside, there used to be more of a rumble. Now things are quiet and I’m not sure if they’re trying to be or if they’ve moved on from there. Empty core place? Void where instinct used to live?
Maybe it’s the time of night. The way the light hits the room. The way the absence of sound weighs heavy. I caught myself in the mirror during a deep furrow. It looked like it could have been there forever. The absence of inner voice feels like eyebrows meeting in the middle of my face under someone else’s circumstance. There’s a crunching. A knot.
Friday December 7, 2018
Taking Your Child to Work, When Your Job is Making Theatre in The New York Times
He looks like Rob Lowe and I want him to choose me. The way a director is supposed to choose a young actress to be his muse. I want him to choose me because he looks like Rob Lowe and his passion for theatre makes me wet just thinking about it. He could be my biggest achievement but even if I could have him I wouldn’t tell anyone. I’d keep him all to myself. And during rehearsal I’d be professional with him but tease Andy in the green room. Heating both stones. As soon as everyone goes home, we’d be going at it in the wings, breathing hot air into each other’s ears and necks. Then he’d take me home and prepare monologues for me to read to him. I’d perform for him in the living room while he sips on bourbon and looks blissfully intoxicated by the rawness of my delivery. The heartbreakingly honest portrayal.
When I wake up he’d already be gone.
Thursday December 6, 2018
From a tweet
Nanna is recovering from her drinking problem. The first time dad found out was when he caught her swigging eggnog from the carton. Chasing it with a bottle of rum. “Just getting into the Christmas spirit” she said. Dad said she had been drinking for years and nobody ever knew how bad it was. She didn’t act like a drunk. But her liver couldn’t lie. She was in the hospital and everything was supposed to change. Her diet, her salt intake. Turns out she had diabetes too. She couldn’t live the way she was living if she wanted to live at all. She didn’t know how to stop at first. Said she would drink on Sundays if the lord asked her to. Said what kind of celebration is it if the blood of Christ goes untouched the whole day?
Wednesday, December 5, 2018
The morning is the time you roll into me and whisper sweet affirmations in my ear. They’re so sweet it’s the only thing keeping me from slapping you for waking me up before my alarm. And yet I love it. I love those little groans or little sighs. The hot air on my neck. The warmth from your skin. The perfect placement of our knees.
I do not whisper affirmations to you but I’m busy remembering my dreams. Poems I wrote in my sleep or lines that snuck up on me in the quiet. I am hoping they are part of me by now but by now you are part of me. I think I’ve learned that before.
We don’t have to prove our love in these moments. The bed is love and we are love and the heat is love. I am convinced that in the oven we share, baking cookies of history and comfort and light (using terrible metaphors for what it is we’re doing), nothing more needs to happen.
Tuesday December 4, 2018
Fall Is the Last Season of the Year
I don’t want to say she had a pouty mouth but I guess that’s what she had.
Made it look like she was always trying to seduce her Cheetos.
Somebody in London once said that she was so beautiful some man
harassed her at the grocery store and she had to stop shopping alone.
All because of her face. I know a woman that beautiful and she once told
me that she never wanted that kind of attention. She never asked for it.
So the woman in London–even her friends talk about her perfect
face when she’s not around. They forget what else she’s good at, or which
jokes she’s told. They all wish they could be her. And she’s there wishing
she didn’t have to be. But no one would understand if she threw back a drink
one night and told everyone that she was tired of being beautiful. They would
all pause dramatically and stare at her, drinks in mid lift, until she broke out into
hysterical laughter. She’d see that she wasn’t getting through and remember
that beauty is not the right kind of sadness to have.
Monday, December 3, 2018
Virginia Suk-yin Ng
I thought I would be married by 24. Like my mother. She was a married woman in her early twenties and 6 years later, me. I was there too. I think it was different back then. We all do, I’m pretty sure. I don’t know if my mother thinks I should be married by now or if my dad has an opinion about it. A few aunts have made the mention but outside of that nobody seems to care about me one way or the other.
Some people have been divorced twice by my age. Just saying. I don’t know, I never got a toaster for any of my commitments. Not a good luck on your career shift! Or a wow you’ve been writing for a long time, here’s a nice pack of pens!
Where was the congratulations card when I celebrated my 11th year of not shaving a single hair off my body.
Sunday, December 2, 2018
Conversation Across Languages
We’re talking a lot
The space between us
is nothing and
We have always
Big or invisible
Madness or dark
You’ve asked the
and I wonder if
I have lied in answering
I promised you I’d
be honest but nothing
is everything and
it can get a little
is ongoing and some
days the words do
all the talking and
some days the belly-
The snail inside the
belly unwinding and
folding back in on
Saturday, December 1, 2018
Is It Possible to Love a Ghost?
Had to get my
ass down to the
I took you with
me and didn’t
have to ask
where we were
You always do
And that is the
it all and under
I had been
talk about the
of the ocean
but you have to
to the waves
You have to
Face the ripples
Be ready to
In my last city
I did not have
in my backyard
the way I do here
I could have
swallowed all the
right pills and
travelled to the
island once every
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Two Truths and a Lie
Okay number one is that I pick my nose. Nothing exciting about that, nobody cares, everyone does it, and the only people who think it’s bad are parents to toddlers who are embarrassed of everything they do. Once I said that I do it in a job interview and the whole room fell in love with me. I knew not because I did it and they do it but because I said it and had no shame.
Number two is that I sometimes watch Grey’s Anatomy even though it’s no longer good or fun, and I still cry my eyes out every time. I watch it when I need to turn off my mind completely. I don’t care about the characters when I’m not watching. I don’t tell anyone I watch it. It’s a boring thing about me. Now you know.
Number three is that I can sit in silence for a long time with my back in a weird position. Not on purpose like a life model posing for painters. Not like a Yogi who is meditating or a regular person who is meditating. Like a person who finds a position and then doesn’t move even though the spine is probably breaking. It’s just a thing I do.
Wednesday November 28, 2018
I Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind
she comes in with a bit of a pulse in her scarf, a few minutes late of course, the bit of bird shit still on her boot.
The ladies spot a chicadee and point her into the right room, tossing his jacket into the stroller, checking in.
Later she tries to convince another mother that her kid’s coat was not his coat.
she is told by the instructor or care giver that her kid slapped a girl in the head. That no needs to be firm and understood
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Erica Chidi Cohen
you wouldn’t forget it if you posted a reminder above your desk or on your fridge
maybe you need to post a reminder on the place you put reminders
no shame in needing some help
we all need each other
it’s not a secret
we are each other
(might want to write that one out in bold marker so it pops)
but the woman says she will pray for me and when I say good cause I could use it she says, you might want to try praying yourself you know
like she’s lived double my lifetime or something
I roll my eyes at how obvious it sounds
I used to pray all the time
I guess she’s not wrong
I did pray myself out of a fatal car crash once on the highway
I remember how fast I was going and how little control I had
I didn’t know how stupid I could be until that moment
jesus’ name soared out of my mouth as high as I soared in that 96 toyota
Saturday, November 24, 2018
Braving the Wilderness
Our mission is to meet ourselves at the centre of our longing and stand with our arms open. Welcome the longing. Welcome the life that you know is for you.
And it sounds like perfect bullshit.
The answer of knowing is inside us…
The impossible questions have justifications there.
Am I supposed to flit off into the Wild pulse of my heart and find the truth?
Am i the only one who needs to visit that spot? Everyone else seems to be there already, sipping from the special cup.
Our mission is to stop going on missions. Stop believing the voyage will save us. Stop thinking that one size fits all. Our spirits are tired. They don’t want to travel all that way.
Not when they’re wobbly. Not when they’ve been beaten down for being big in the first place.
Thursday November 22, 2018
In the years before this one
Tiny beliefs were planted in the
fertile pockets of our earth
And twigged things sprouted forth
bearing the ugliest fruit imaginable
Somehow the farmers convinced
the people to eat the ugly fruit
They might have used something violent like the deepest kind of lie
They might have thrown god somewhere in there to be safe
And inside every body that ate the wrong fruit grew a hole that hurt so much it needed to be filled
The people with bellyaches were desperate to put something in the place of the void
They tried eating whatever they could to stop the empty
The limbs of small children at first
But that wouldn’t do the trick
And then someone heard from someone’s uncle that self-hate takes up a lot of space…
Wednesday November 21, 2018
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley
Take me out to dinner
I say this to me
me says this to me
take me out of this house
and into the world
Order something delicious!
I say this to me as
if I might try to save a few
dollars like the last time
I had this conversation
Take the good out and let
the world see it so they can
see themselves the way they need to
It is not easy
It could be easy
Leave the house! Leave the house!
I say this to me when I have tricked
myself into believing that
inside will keep me from breaking
But it isn’t like that
I could lie and say I’d prefer
to stay inside where it is safe
but the truth is that is where
all the breaking happens
It is not safe indoors with all
the mirrors and all the couch
not asking me to leave it
Take yourself on a walk
I say this to myself when my body
feels like it has forgotten
how to move
Smell the fresh mountain air!
That’s why you live here!
I say this to myself when I catch
a bead of sweat pooling in the
This is today’s sweat in yesterday’s
sweater and this does not keep
I say this to myself so I can hear
it in the voice of someone
higher than me
Tuesday November 20, 2018
Look at Miss Ohio
There’s an idea floating in the air
one you planted maybe so I would hear it
Something about success being mere moments away
as if to say that it isn’t already here
I could always do something more
now that you’ve gotten me thinking about it
I have to ask you though,
do you think I will only be successful after
I climb to the highest rung of the ladder?
Am I not already a success?
Being thoughtful. That’s good work too.
Or perhaps the ladder is of your making.
I won’t be climbing that one, for the record.
Up is not the place I’m trying to get.
I’d rather go in. Go deep. Go bravely.
It could be that you have my best interest
at heart and that you see my potential
but I do not wish to be known for what I could be
if the circumstances allow
I want to be known for the love I am showing myself today
The one I keep risking in a world where they tell you
it’s for the best but when you do it they try to
take a rung out from under you
as if you were climbing up up up just like them
I know I have fallen
But I have learned more on the way back up
than I ever thought I would
Monday November 19, 2018
from a blanket tag
I see you in photos now and you look happy. Not sure if we are both acting like things never happened between us. Unresolved things. I might be waiting for an apology that isn’t coming. I think you are too. It’s enough to wring me weak in the gut, whispy like a dandelion after losing a fight with the wind. Twisted into a knot attached to thin air. I do not believe I am wrong. Which is to say that you are not right. I’m not used to this imbalance but here we are, holding our ground in case someone tries to build a fence on it. Or maybe we did that. I don’t know why we would when the open field was clearly a better place for both of us to meet.
Sunday November 18, 2018
Overheard at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
I told them when you were gone I smoked your weed. This time when you are gone I’ll clean the house and have a personal party. I’ll try on all my clothes and take a photo of the good outfits. If my hair looks right. I told them when you were gone I fell asleep on the couch. That will probably happen again. No chicken wings this time since you threw away our grill. I believed you when you said it didn’t work anymore but I wished I had tried it out myself.
I told them I did not cry and I did not cry over you. I will cry this time over me and that is the beauty of you being gone. The writing songs as soon as I wake up, the sleeping on your side of the bed. The silence will be all mine. I told them when you were gone I ate ice cream and that will probably happen again too. And I’ll miss you. And I’ll wish you were coming home soon. And I’ll wish you had never left. And I’ll watch a bad movie that I wouldn’t want you to know about.
Saturday November 17, 2018
From a text
I’ve got an Italian family waiting for me at the table and they’re excited to see me. My mother will make her new favourite thing: date walnut cookies. Some will have chocolate chunks. Some will be overcooked and she will be the only one to notice. Most will fly off the table before I get there. I have to hurry, one month until we’re all laughing. Until my brother tells the same story he’s told for years. Until my sister makes a very good family photo on her fancy camera. There will be clam sauce because I am coming home and my mom knows it’s my favourite. There will be crab legs and the best mushrooms on this side of the world. My father will say, this smells like a happy home. And it will be. We have a lot to talk about. A lot of food to praise. I’m going to stop eating now to prepare. Italian families don’t trust a person who refuses food. They won’t believe you if you say you’re full anyway.