Saturday June 17, 2017
Phil Stutz and Barry Michels
I find myself in the afternoon
but I lose myself every morning
it’s a hunger I don’t feed much
because it will eat whatever it can
find whether I like it or not
and why do extra work
the alarm was set for early o’clock
the day sneaks past me like
it’s trying to keep something
I assume it’s time
I am sure it’s grace
in the bathroom I can
be alone with my family of
I can close the door
waste the water
light a candle
I find myself among the faces
in the shower tiles that have all
begun to look like me
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
from a pencil case
Lana blotted the excess lipstick off with a square of toilet paper, remembering how her aunt Kathy showed her while she was living with her. Apparently Aunt Kathy was only supposed to stay for a couple weeks-a month tops- but things got complicated and before they all knew it, it had already been 4 years. Lana used to hear Aunt Kathy in the early morning when she would get up to shower and get herself ready for her receptionist job. When the water would stop, Lana would crawl out of bed and go sit beside the bathroom door, tapping on it quietly. Aunt Kathy would open the door, scoop her up and sit Lana down on the toilet seat while she did her makeup. Lana would have been two years old. She didn’t say a word, but she watched Aunt Kathy’s every move from the blush to the spacing out of her mascaraed eyelashes with the tip of a safety pin. On some days, Aunt Kathy would even put a little eye shadow on Lana, or let her taste a bit of her vanilla lip gloss.
Sunday, July 5, 2015
Said by Joe
The bathroom floor is covered in dead earwigs and it’s only fitting that earlier Edwin and I overturned a giant rock to investigate an earwig community, business as usual, frantic and overwhelming. Edwin told me how when he was younger he’d keep going deeper into their hub and see just what goes on further away from the light. When he told me that I fell a little bit more in love with him. There was an understanding I guess that wasn’t there before. A glimpse into his young and detailed mind.
I feel like I’ve seen them live a full life, come full circle from under the rock to making their way into this bathroom. They’re not as threatening or disturbing now. They’re just inching to get by like we are: hidden and safe from any distractions or dangers, then fully exposed out in the real world, trying to survive.
Sunday May 3, 2015
I would have been an eighth-grader this year if they hadn’t held me back, if they hadn’t oppressed my rights and made me wait for it, made me beg for it… Graduation. I saw my classmates who I’d been with since the very beginning, since tear-away track pants and Pogs, get up on the stage in the gym in blue and yellow gowns and hats. I heard Davie Bernstein make the valedictorian speech. “Hey Davie,” I said later, side-by-side in the urinal, “Nice speech.” He looked at me sideways and said, “Go suck a dick, Howard.” He tucked his into his stupid dress pants, didn’t wash his hands and left, laughing and talking loudly with the rest of the class. They held me back not because I’m not smart, not because I can’t write an essay or solve an algebra equation. They held me back because I’m not a go-getter. “You’re just not a go-getter,” Mrs. Sherman said, purple lipstick on her front teeth. “We think you’ll do better with one more year in Grade Six. We think you’ll thrive with Miss Davidson.” “Who is this “we”?” I asked, scratching the scab on my right knee. “The faculty, your parents and me,” Mrs. Sherman said, blinking her cow-like eyes quickly, like the question caught her off guard.
Thursday March 19, 2015
from a slide in lecture
The rabbit ran away. Don’t make me say it again… The rabbit ran away. I got nothin’ without that fuckin’ rabbit, man! I don’ gotta show without that rabbit. Clarissa said she saw it run towards the women’s washroom but I’m not gonna be one of those pervs who goes in, meets a lady, and then has to say, “Jus’ lookin’ for my RABBIT…”
Pepple want classics, man. They want the card tricks and the saw and the box and they want the rabbit in the hat. I tried to break out. I really did. That was pretty much all of 1998 for me. You know, hot sauce and table jumping an’ stuff. No one wanted it. I barely got by. Had to borrow money from fuckin’ Bucky.
You think Sting likes singing “Roxanne”? You think he likes it after thirty years of “you don’t have to wear that dress tonight”?! He doesn’t. There’s no way. But, people work hard for their money and when they spend it on YOU, you gotta deliver… You better give ’em what they want.
Saturday December 27, 2014
from Chocolate And Cuckoo Clocks: The Essential Alan Coren
edited by Giles and Victoria Coren
I’m stuck on a train with a surprise murderer from Vancouver island. He’s reading right now, don’t worry. But he just spent the last half hour explaining the plot of his book that he’s trying to get published. He doesn’t have an agent. His protagonist just so happens to be a surprise murderer from Vancouver island. He lives alone. So does his protagonist. He’s a lumberjack. Has access to an axe. Knows how to wield one. So does his protagonist. Captures a traveling circus that’s moving through town. Don’t know how to prove that both of them do it. But his protagonist does. Told me he’d watch my bag while I went to the bathroom. Didn’t trust him. Didn’t go. He doesn’t know yet that I don’t trust him. Too big of a smile trying to reassure me he absolutely will never kill me. I think surprise murderers have to practice that smile. Over and over and over again.
Friday December 26, 2014
Uncle Fred in the Springtime
Her pants are tight. She resents that, but she keeps quiet about it and makes sure no one knows when she unbuttons the top button and pulls her shirt down past her bum. It was a terrible idea to make fudge. She feasted and only had enough left to give it to her mother and her brother for Christmas. Her poor dad said, “Where’s mine, pookie?” And she had no words. She just pointed to her round tummy and felt the colour rise in her cheeks. She ate ham and turkey and left the potatoes but then ate them when no one was looking. She poured gravy on her pancakes and when her brother made fun of her she took them into the bathroom and ate sitting on the toilet.