Saturday July 15, 2017
No one belongs here more than you.
I throw my phone across the room, breaking the corner and exposing the LCD screen. I am now angry at myself for wrecking a thing I needed. I am always wrecking things I need.
I didn’t want to talk to him this morning in the first place but when he calls my heart double dutches just like it used to so I answer because I am a creature of habit and likely synchronicity.
I don’t know how I choose this terrible mood over all the other moods, but this is the one I’m wearing like a hazmat suit. It’s bulky and oversized and it knocks people over if it gets too close. I even use sarcasm when I can tell I have pierced him. I am nowhere close to okay with that.
Saturday March 18, 2017
I’m not saying that I’m perfect
I’m not saying that
I just remember some things didn’t turn out exactly the way my mom planned
the way my dad planned
that way anyone really hoped things would be
I won’t say I was stupid
But I wasn’t thinking clearly
I was just sort of acting like I knew what was best for everybody
I thought that the entire family’s financial burdens were falling on me because my mom was stuck in her bed too sad to move too mad at herself for all the shit she put us through to go out and get herself cleaned up and get a goddamn job my dad wasn’t around not just because of my mom but because he was really let down as a kid and he never got over that
I’m not saying I’m a bad person because I believe that I was doing what I thought was right at the time but I haven’t made the best choices my younger sister still blames me for not getting into college
my younger brother still thinks that I should have called more adults into the equation
Thursday January 19, 2017 at the VPL
I told myself I’d be married at 24 cause of my mother. She was married at 24 and that felt like the best map I could follow since she has never once said she regretted it. I also said I wouldn’t have sex till I was 24 either case of Jesus. Or the patriarchy. Save my sex for someone who loves God more than he’ll ever love me and believes in owning humans as property? Yeah, what a great fucking idea. I was young then. And committed to Christ (by choice, weirdly, I know). And in love with the idea that I didn’t have to make my own decisions cause life was already going to have too many of those in the first place. I told myself that I would have a child by 28 cause of my mother. She waited 4 years to have one after she got married and that seemed smart, and good, and completely doable. I have missed both of these “destiny numbers”(by choice, I know, I know). Somewhere along the way I decided I could trust myself to lead me through it. Sometimes it’s the worst feeling in the entire world. But it’s better than being married with a bazillion kids coming out of my ears. Age, I’ve learned, is just a number that you get to hold for a year. And then–we let it go, just like everything else.
Wednesday March 2, 2016 at Platform 7
The Comic Toolbox
I am joining a band!
I don’t care about the big hair part! I just want to eat music for breakfast!
I’m big when I want to be, loud when I’m allowed. I don’t like walls, unless they’re made of sounds.
Baby Brae says
And I say
YOU MAY BE TOO LITTLE
NOT LITTLE ENOUGH!-patting my head, chuckling HA HA
I want to tell them I can be what I want!
I am big like a thunderstorm.
I am loud like a parade!
I am going to sing with my mouth open like this:
Swallowing songs and guitars and applause!
BE WHAT YOU WANT!
DON’T FORGET US!
Baby Brae says
I am going to see the world!
I am going to be the sky!
Tuesday March 1, 2016
Hardly slept-hadn’t been since March if I’m being honest. I don’t know if it was the construction or the lawn mowers- working nights make you stop sleeping and forget who you are, what your name is. But-I don’t know if I’m making excuses or whatever-all I know is I was fried. Wasn’t thinking. Maya couldn’t come and get me and that was fine-she said she was tied up at the shelter and some lone wolf told her he wasn’t going to leave unless she shaved his nut sack. I know I shouldn’t have left on my own-should have just waited there at the rest zone until someone could come get me, or some bus route opened up. I don’t like waiting around. Makes me feel like I’m killing time before I die. No in between. I didn’t mean to be so stupid. I didn’t need to drive I just had to get out of there-the smell of the plastic was starting to seep into me, twisting my guts up. Head pounding, all of that- I was just tired.
Friday February 26, 2016
Overheard on Yew St.
You and me
Nothing on our backs…
but the idea…
that we couldn’t….
And the wouldn’t
Gone long and far because
We chose to set it free
But now is
because we chose to give ourselves
over to the truth
So no more lies
If we say so
We can could do-
We can anything:
Until we decide–
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Ciara feat. Nicki Minaj
I have this idea one snowy morning memory clouded but it feels like a good one so I let myself wake up to it. I’m not quite ready for my life. This idea is supposed to help. I want to make a list of all the things I’m saying goodbye to, or goodbye for. I have made a lot of lists about saying hello or, a bunch of arbitrary ‘shoulds’ chosen from the parts of my body that don’t get enough of my positive attention. This one is different. It’s a goodbye list but not for negative things or habits or hurts or harms. It’s all about harnessing inner truth and guidance. I want to be ready for my life.
Someone close to me once told me that we need to thank our enemies. Enemies can mean anything, so I like to think of them as hard bits that have been let in at one time or another, but will be sent off in a joyful way. I think these are the things that go on a goodbye list when I am toasting to all the bad things that have ever grown me shaped me helped me shown me.
Sunday, January 3, 2016
Tilly-Jean names her new rooster Amelia and asks her best friend, Fannie if she wants to come over and parade her around. Fannie loves parading around Tilly’s roosters but the last one was very traumatic as she was shot in the middle of the parade and nobody can really forget the death of a parading rooster.
Fannie tells Tilly-Jean that she will come over only if she promises to avoid the Overly yard and take the Elmsview route instead.
Tilly-Jean tells Fannie that the point of a parade is to SEE Amelia, not keep her hidden. She tells Fannie that she doesn’t know if that’s a fair condition. Fannie doesn’t like seeing death more than she needs to so she tells Tilly that she will not change her mind and to call her back after she has made an educated decision.
Tuesday November 17,2015
from an e-mail
Went to church when I was younger I guess, so I have this really big soft spot for budding Christians. Not the full blown ones, I have no room for those. But the ones who are starting to feel community and straight-edged living are the ones I see myself in. So many of my beliefs were centered around permission and guilt and acceptance and guilt and lying and begging and praying and guilt. Like I was sand being shaken back and forth in an hourglass. Always trying not to be wrong. Always trying to right the wrong. Always being wrong. Always feeling bad for being wrong. But there in the community where we’d raise our hands to the Lord and sway them back and forth while our eyes were closed and our hearts exploded, we felt like pieces cut out of the same felt, glued onto bristol board to form a perfect circle; the poster kids for The Lost.
Sunday November 8, 2015
Okay so I started taking this improv class-that’s what they say, it’s so cool, they don’t even finish the word. It’s every week on Tuesdays and the class is 3 hours long and it is the best thing in my entire life. It’s so funny. People really are hilarious in this class so I never feel like it’s a waste cause I’m always laughing and sometimes till I’m crying and that is the best feeling. Our instructor, Vijestica is a hobbit sized woman and she has a big laugh that starts, I am convinced, in her groin. She’s always snorting and shooting snot out of her nose because she loves to laugh and gets us really excited about our choices! In improv you learn how to YES AND which means nothing is wrong and everything is a good idea and you say yes to the first choice that comes and just keep building on that until you’re really rolling with it all and the jokes just flow and the laughs just follow. Vijestica says this is a safe place to leave the everyday at the door. I am so glad to leave my everyday at the door because working in a cubicle the size of an outhouse in my everyday is actually the thing that might kill me. It’s awful, there’s no silliness or fun, only deadlines and people telling me “nice maroon sweater, Alma,” or “Did you eat my peanut butter tuna sandwich, Alma?” Here, in improv class, we all just smile and tell each other how great and brave we all are.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
from a tweet by the Globe and Mail
I have been wondering if I will ever leave this place. It does not feel like home (never did), and it is starting to weigh heavy on my heart. It sounds like an easy decision but it is not. Nothing is an easy decision for me. I am used to making bad decisions. Maybe staying here this long is one of them. Maybe I am trying to justify something. I think it is hard because I do not know what I want instead. I do not know where is better than here. So I must stay here until I know where there is. Must I not? It does not sound very adventurous of me (well aware of that), but does it not make sense?
I cannot decide this with the help of anyone else. I am torn in two but I am the only one who can mend the halves and make them whole. I am learning here. It sounds as if I am not but I am.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at Dark Horse
Okay I’m a bit confused. Is it wrong to want to meet her?
No, I don’t think so. It’d be interesting to hear her side at any rate.
I feel like my mind is on a different page than me right now. I’m not convinced.
Then don’t reach out. It’s not like she’s the only one.
But she’s the most infamous!
So ask her.
I don’t know.
I don’t know either.
You think she would even meet with me?
Okay, so then, I’m going to draft a letter.
You’re going to do that now?
Just, I don’t know. Maybe wait till tomorrow?
Why because you think I’m too high?
You’re right. I’m too high.
But tomorrow you’ll be able.
Yeah tomorrow I can edit, though.
Yeah. But draft it in your notebook or on Word or something then.
God bless you.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
From a Baroque to Birdland flyer
Ever feel like you’re not even starring in your own life? Lately I haven’t even been guest starring let alone carrying the whole thing. I’ve been having dreams these past few nights that I’m doing the things, going on the adventures, but it’s not actually me. It’s somebody else, someone else’s face and hands, but it’s not me. I watch another human play my role in my own mind’s film and I’m bewildered about that. Why am I not controlling the action? What am I doing so wrong that someone else has to step in and take over? I think it’s obvious, I haven’t been taking initiative in getting things done. But in my dreams who is this other person? It’s not someone I recognize. Is it my alter ego? My true self? My active mind? My true personality? Is it the me I wish I was? The me I’m supposed to be? The me I will be? The me I am when I’m being honest?
Friday, April 10, 2015
Overheard at W Caffe
I’m always wondering
Where will I go
And if I should carry you
Will I know?
I’m always wondering
What will I be
And If I should stay with you
Will I see?
I’m always wondering
If I am strong
And if I should hold you close
Will I be wrong?
I’m always wondering
What should I say
And if I can forgive you
Would I fly away?
I’m always wondering
Is this the end
And if I can feel you
Will our hearts mend?
I’m always wondering
Can I be great
And will you please free me
Will I be saved?
Sunday February 22, 2015
Nothing But Money
Greg B. Smith
She never had a record until she did and couldn’t say that anymore. She didn’t say it enough, in fact, when she could freely and honestly do it. Now she has to announce that it’s no longer clean, pristine, untouched. She has to tell potential employers that she isn’t legally allowed to drive until 2017 because of a current DUI charge. She’d like to tell them that it wasn’t really her fault in the first place, but people don’t hear excuses when all they can see is “criminal record”. Criminal. That’s what she had become. And again, she wished she would have started more conversations with “I’m not a criminal” because now she isn’t able to identify with anything else. She hugged the woman she got to chatting with in the line at the post office who said to “try to stop identifying yourself with things in this world. Things are not you. And you are not things. Your failures do not define you. Your successes, though we’d like them to, don’t either.”
Saturday February 21, 2015
If I’m ever lonely, I’ll close my eyes and think of that day in April when I see you again. You’ll be ready to get out of the cold you’re trapped frozen in, and you’ll welcome the melting of all your icicles with thawing extremities. We have done this before. We have stood still in our distant lives and breathed in a time difference for months. Now good morning is still good morning, and good night is still good night, but my here is not your here and your here is not you’re here..
If I’m ever lonely, I’ll write you something sweet on the napkin beside my bed, hum the words to music and turn it into a song I sing inside my head to keep you close. You’ll ask if you can learn the chords that go with it so you can play your version on the other side of where I am.
We have done this before. We have loved from far away for days and days and days.
Friday February 20, 2015
from a radio ad at the Dentist
I didn’t want my mother to know but I had been sending sending cheques to her condo once a month and signing them The Canadian Bursary For Deserved Patrons. She wouldn’t take my money if she knew it was me, and my sister tried to send anonymous money to her condo last July and my mother called in a bomb threat. I’ve had to get creative. She’s stubborn and won’t take money directly, but I have two post secondary degrees so I was not going to let that be the end of it. It didn’t matter how she got it, as long as she just got it. Now she’s able to pay off her medical bills without feeling like a charity case or that she’s not able to take care of herself. After Dad died, my mother tried really hard to prove that she could keep up with everything on her own. When she sees the cheque each month, she thinks in some sweet and sneaky way, my father is sending his love to her. Who am I to ruin that image for a woman who gave up her entire life just to raise two little girls with very big dreams.
Thursday February 19, 2015
from a Facebook post
I thought she was younger than me when I first met her cause of the way she only talked about guys finding her attractive, which party we should go to on the weekend based on which guys would be there..and I mean, yeah, she was beautiful and she obviously had lots of guys interested, but it was the attitude of a 20 year old, and then all of a sudden, I find out she’s 32. It rocked my world. And I’m not an agist, you know? Because when I thought she was younger than me, I was still cool with hanging out with her. And then she was older, and the level of respect I had for her didn’t match anymore. So that’s why we stopped being friends, you know, not cause she’s not nice, cause she is, or at least she was or whatever, but it was me. I couldn’t get past it. I don’t know. It sort of just got inside my head and stuck around. Maybe it was also because she was a self-proclaimed “true artist” and I never saw her create anything.
Wednesday February 18, 2015
The War of Art
We have been at odds, all three of us, since that summer when Jenna decided to strip. We weren’t prudes, Angie and me, we just got angry that she didn’t want to finish college. “It’s to pay for college, you idiots,” I remember Jenna spitting at us. “Well what’s the fucking point of paying for it if you’re not going to keep going?” Angie got pissed at everything, but for once, her anger was justified. We had spent our entire senior year helping Jenna get her shit together. We worked in shifts at her house, Angie tutoring her in Calculus, me practically writing each of her English papers for her. Jenna was a smart girl but she didn’t want to try very hard. Yeah, yeah, likely story; it seems they’re all smart until they’re not. Jenna wasn’t stupid, but she did have a knack for making some pretty questionable life choices.
Wednesday January 28, 2015
Well I went through a phase in my life where all I wanted to do was sell bracelets made out of human teeth. It was a longer phase than maybe I’d like to/should admit. I thought it would be really sweet to market to mothers–you know, Never Forget How Precious Your Child Once Was…
It was a strange endeavour, I know that it was, because you’d have to wait a couple years to get enough good teeth for a bracelet, but you’d have to have permission first and the whole thing. So I sold one or two bracelets. I knew there would be some people interested. And by some I mean…just the two. I don’t know if they bought them out of admiration for the craft or out of fear that if they didn’t I would cast some witchy voodoo curse on them, because honest to God, who collects and then sells human teeth?
Wednesday October 15, 2014
I called him up after, I don’t know, maybe it was forever. Who’s counting, maybe he is. I’m not. I’m not counting anymore. I called him up after a year, could have been two, and I did it so I could hear the way his breath sounds. That’s all I wanted. Nothing more, and I swear it to you because I’m already spilling my guts here so you can trust that all of this is true. I was counting the days, crossing them off on a list like someone who gives themselves a gold star for every cookie they don’t eat, or a chocolate for every day until Christmas. I wasn’t eating my feelings this time because that didn’t interest me. It didn’t feel good to order two pizzas and finish them both without even a single flinch. That was the thing I knew I didn’t need anymore. But I was obsessed with trying to convince myself that I could keep going, one day at a time, without thinking of him. I was in withdrawal, or something equally as lame, and I had a problem. Either I would call him up and tell him all the things I shouldn’t, or count the days that I didn’t but wanted to.
Sunday August 10, 2014
from an e-mail
According to Raymond everyone could hear us in the bathroom, but I’ve learned not to trust Raymond because he gets off on lying and making people believe every thing he says. I always told him he should be an actor because he was so good at messing with people; people he loves, mostly. Part of me wanted to believe that he was just doing that to me this time and that he didn’t even know what Carter and I were doing in the bathroom. Hell, we didn’t even know what was going on. It was just nice to see him; to feel him again. I wanted to be reserved and respectful of his wife. I wanted that and then suddenly there he was, and there I was tangled up in him on the bathroom sink. I wanted so badly for Raymond to be testing me. I employed my best actor smile and told him “we have nothing to hide.” I learned that you don’t ever admit something without having a direct question asked about it first. I learned that hard and fast one night in August-like a baseball coming straight for my face without the reflexes to catch it before destroying my nose, or knocking out a tooth. As I walked back into the crowded room I took a deep breath and looked around.
Sunday Aug 3, 2014
from a Pembina Hwy sign
Of course he left me. I was impossible. I smoked too much. I drank too often. I woke up late. I forgot to dust the underside of chairs, or books, or picture frames. I refused to water our one and only basil plant. I watched it die a slow death everyday by ashing into its pot. I left the TV on throughout the day. I only took long hot showers. I got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup stains on the couch, the bed, and the wall in the front foyer. I coughed up phlegm and spat it into drinking glasses that were next to me. I dog eared every page in every book he loved. I scratched his DVD player so it no longer worked. I took the car out to the border just so I’d have something to do. I never filled up the tank for when he needed it. I chewed my nails and left the ripped bits on the kitchen table. I swore in my sleep. I never ever thanked him.
Of course he left me. I was impossible. I wanted him to go. Sometimes better people are out there beyond the comforts of “love”.
Tuesday May 27, 2014
Maybe it’s because a butterfly is currently sitting on my knee, or because my baby brother got accepted into med school, or because my older brother just flew his first plane by himself. Maybe it’s because life keeps astounding me and I can’t keep up with how good it all is. I broke up with Massi because he was begging me to move to Milan and live there with him while he relaunched his sculpting business. He called it a business so I would feel more secure in moving my entire life to a place I’d have to completely start over. New bank accounts, new driver’s license, new language, new food, new government, new phone plan. Not to mention Massi was a busy man and I’d see him probably 3 times a week if I was lucky. He told me saying no was an admission of defeat for our relationship and for my existence and he said it in such an Italian way that I almost believed him. But he was wrong. I was not giving up on me. I was giving up on the idea that I needed to please someone else. And so maybe it’s because for the first time I’m living independently. Maybe that’s why I’m so happy.
Saturday April 25, 2014
Revelation Must be Terrible
Right when you think it couldn’t get any better, that’s when the world steps in and reminds you that you’re a part of it. A part of the magic, the memories, the moving, the making, the creating, the loving, the living, the beauty of it all.
So you have to leave room in those kind of moments. Leave room for the world.
Dance with your arms outstretched and your eyes closed so you can let the world slide in and dance along side you. So you can feel alive today, tomorrow, and everyday.
Because what a better body guard.
What a better way to say, Yeah, I think I need to keep myself good because I’m a part of the bigger picture.
The world doesn’t have to be in the shape of a globe, in a blue and green Earth Day costume.
It’s just the gold flecks and the negative space between you and life. It’s everywhere. It’s not a circle. It’s not an object you can hold.
It’s big and getting bigger.
It’s got to hold a lot of love so it just keeps expanding.
And when you notice its presence, when you make way for your happiness to braid its way into your skin,
you won’t need something tangible to prove it all to you. Tangible no. There is no need.
It gets very positive around you when you start to breathe deep and choose love.
It gets very spiritual very fast and there’s no slowing down because the good keeps procreating with itself and causing more opportunities to be great.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at Starbucks
The Dentyne Ice Subway Poster
Trent was a bit of an overachiever. He worked very hard at everything and always had the least amount of fun possible when doing things. He started out as a controlling child, and no one ever led him in any other direction, so he became a controlling teen, then a controlling young adult, then a controlling full adult. He didn’t seem to mind that none of his friends ever lasted more than 4-6 months. He was not interested in forever friends. He was interested in his forever future. Trent once chewed a stick of bubble gum for over 6 hours because he wanted to prove that it could be done. No one was competing against him. He wanted to win all by himself and for himself. Trent knew how to centre his mind and ensure that even if it were an uncomfortable circumstance, he would be able to persevere. He practised meditating more than anyone he could think of because he wanted to be a master. He wanted to be a master of literally everything imaginable. He meditated so hard sometimes he would miss meals, miss weddings, miss important things in life. Trent considered “importance” relative anyway. Who is to say what’s really important?
Saturday, July 20, 2013
A sign for Bow Valley College at The Calgary Airport
turn your passion into french fries. greasy and burnt, or crispy, or undercooked. you can do it. trust me. it’s easy. you just plunge them in hot oil and then forget about them, or forget you had them in the first place. might be better. then serve them up with some spicy kind of aioli like a roasted red pepper thing, or maybe use dill, i don’t know. it’s up to you: they’re your dreams. or they were, i guess. i don’t know, i’m no expert. you could put them in a nice bowl so they still hold the illusion of being worth something, or just throw them on a piece of “fancy” wax paper so everyone knows how cheap you really are. how much you’ve settled. how many bad choices you’ve made and are now either dealing with slowly, but surely, or completely denying. maybe they’re reminding you of who you really are and you don’t know if you like what you see, or if you’re even wrong about this stuff anymore. You don’t need to stick around to see if anyone’s enjoying them, all squishy, or broken, or sopping wet. nobody cares, because nobody is going to have to eat them but you. or not eat them. just let them go cold sitting out on the counter all night and hope that an under the sink rat doesn’t become and on top of the sink rat and devour every single last one.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
A Poison Tree
But I meant it. I was furious. I had a reason for yelling, for stealing all your money, your things. Those stupid possessions. That’ll teach you to choose them over me. To prioritize materials. I am a HUMAN BEING. And so, yeah, I took your cell phone and I drowned it in the bathtub. Took it in there with me when I was reading Rumi. He has some good ideas. I have some of my own. You wouldn’t have noticed. Not like you look at it every 2 seconds. Oh wait. You do.
I’m not sorry. I do not feel bad about cutting holes in all of your pants’ pockets. Or poking them in all you polo shirts. What did I do so wrong? Want your attention? Right. I guess I should feel some remorse, then. Pity. I’m surprisingly fine, however, so I guess there goes that. Guess I woke up with a lot less baggage and a lot fewer second place ribbons. You could have avoided it all. I will never forget the look on your face when you saw that rock through your precious new lap top screen. Priceless. Like your RELATIONSHIP was supposed to be. like I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE.
For a millisecond I thought about stopping.
Friday March 1, 2013 at Second Cup
A Canadian Passport
I want to fly around the world and then decide who I’m supposed to be. My mother did this and she came out alright with lots of beads and insight. She knows things that I wouldn’t want to know. She holds her head high and talks about stone carving. I could care less about casting or stone carving. I don’t care about the battle between them. I don’t mind if it’s slow moving, I want to be in control. I don’t even need to touch down on foreign land, just flying around in my mind’s eye is enough. I’ll get a passport valid for travel in all countries. That would be the best thing. Then nothing would stop me from getting to the gold. At the end of the rainbow or something like that. It’s a dream world I’m flying around. I can go anywhere in this hot air balloon my brain has reserved. My mother can be worldly. And I’ll just have a broadened imagination.
Generations after me will then be able to choose which path they take. Neither is right and neither is wrong.
Make their own path too, go ahead. The only wrong answer is doing nothing.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Knew this guy from high school. He said he always wanted to become a doctor, or a medic, or something like that. I never saw the use in science classes or math. I assumed I would never be anything close to smart since I didn’t care about anything that proved one was. This guy I’m talking about, we used to have these debates. Mostly about God, and philosophy, funnily enough. We competed for grades but we were in completely separate systems. How could calculus ever be a thing to compete with Lit? It couldn’t. And yet, somehow, he was convinced that I was going to be a problem for him. Like I said, I never expected to become someone you’d associate with smart. I should mention now, I guess, that I am in fact a doctor. The guy from high school? He’s the manager of a Danier Leather and he hates his life. I hated math and science, and then one day, I just decided I didn’t want to hate them anymore. It sounds over simplified, but if you knew me you’d understand. I just get it. I get a lot of stuff so it just depends on what I want to get. Then it’ll be good. I love my practice, truly. I can’t picture myself doing anything else now. Back then the only thing I thought I was going to be was a bright pregnant teenager who taught her future children about bad choices.