Sunday, March 27, 2016
From a flyer
Holly grips her Minolta like an infant and looks at me, checking the light on my face, squinting her eyes. I’ve never done this before and I feel sick with nerves.
“Are you having second thoughts?” Holly asks. Her Australian accent still catches me off guard.
“Yes, I guess I am,” I say, looking at my feet. My toenails need trimming.
“You aren’t going to get my feet in the shot, are you?” I scratch my thigh and then my balls. It’s a nervous habit. Holly catches me and then laughs.
“Good!” She says, snapping a series of photographs. “I’m glad you’re relaxing.”
Monday, January 18, 2016 at Harvest
from an e-mail
I wouldn’t say no to you becoming a seagull and riding a wind pattern West. Because that’s what you need. Because your wings are achy from underuse.
I would kiss your feathery cheek and whisper, “be safe.”
I would watch as a feather fell into the water and I would strip off my clothes and run in even though it’s cold out now and I would catch the feather in my teeth and carry it to shore.
I would wonder when I saw other seagulls in the weeks to follow if perhaps it was you or a new friend.
Saturday December 12, 2015
from a wine cork
When I opened my eyes and looked out the window, though, I
jus’… I lost it! I mean, all those little squares a earth an’ shit! An’ snow, all that white an’ the little cars and the little houses and my Ma was all, “What the fuck the matter witchu?!” But, I, I… We’re tiny, man. I know I’m a XL guy, but, like, we’re all this big.
I don’ know if I believe in God or what, man… I seen some
fucked up shit go down an’ I wonder about if this God would
really let that all happen… If this God is cool with Dad’s
runnin’ out, an’ kids bein’ hungry an’ on the street because
their Mama’s sellin’ themselves in their bachelor apartment,
like… Is that the God you want?! Is that the fuckin’ God
that everyone is prayin’ to? That’s a fucked up God, man.
Tuesday December 23, 2014
from The Telegraph
December 22, 2014
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, today I’m here to tell you about a man. He’s not a hero. He’s not a villain. He’s a man. A simple man. A man who often forgets to drink enough water. A man who shovels the driveways of everyone on his street before the sun’s even risen, before anyone knows that it’s snowed. Before you is a man that’s been dealt a tough hand, a hand that has begged more of him than our hands have begged of us. I want you to close your eyes. I want to think of yourself at twenty three. Maybe you smoked cheap cigarettes. Maybe you were in love with your first real girlfriend or boyfriend. Maybe it was the first time you didn’t get home for Christmas… I want you to think about how you dreamed then, how you felt about war, how you liked your coffee.
Saturday December 20, 2014
from a pamphlet about the pipeline
There are 32 million tonnes of ideas in her head
She weaves them together when she’s sleeping
In those moments between waking and sleep
Sleep and waking
In those times when things are watercolour and soft
She finds one about empathy and she attaches it to another about betrayal
She uses red wool
Spun in a time before time
Spun by fingers that know things minds cannot
She finds an idea about her family
And she casts it out into the water
Digging her toes into the sand
Waiting for it to come back to her
She’s ready now
Saturday December 13, 2014
Top 10 London
When you go to New York, you can see a musical. It’ll be your first one. Make sure you wear a really nice something something. They can tell you’re a tourist but you don’t want to give us Canadians a bad name, right? A good place to start is Phantom of the Opera. Something by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Masquerade! Paper faces on parade! Masquerade!
If I were feeling stronger, I’d go with you, but I don’t think I’m up to that city anymore. The first time I went, Marjorie and I took a bus. It took over fifteen hours. At the border they sent dogs on and we were so scared our fingers were shaking. Someone on that bus had dope in their bag and the dogs went crazy, barking and panting. Marjorie almost fainted. But… We made it. And when we had a drink at the Waldorf Astoria I turned to her and said, “I never want to go home.”
Friday October 10, 2014
I ride my bike to the ocean
Into the ocean
Into a wave that should be surfed but is rolled on and rolled over
I see the starfish that you spoke of
We nod in mutual understanding
(She doesn’t pretend to know)
I’m pedalling like there’s a hill
But there isn’t
There’s a frequency of whale song
But the whale is hundreds of miles away
The biggest predicament is when I can next walk barefoot
Tuesday October 7,2014
From a text from Bec
I’m in Bali! I was greeted by a rat. Normally that would really freak me out, but I was charmed by it! It was actually kinda cute! Monica and I are getting along okay… I might travel on my own for a bit, though. I’m good, don’t worry. I’m healthy. I haven’t been bitten by any snakes. Monica’s “seeing” this guy, Felix, he’s from Australia and he smells like that weird massage lady that used to come to the house… He’s a huge mooch, he tags along everywhere and he doesn’t pay for anything! I don’t get it because Monica made a huge deal when we left New Zealand that she was on a budget and no more eating out and we had to get jobs and… Felix is an ass. I’m sorry but he is. The most awful part is that we have to share a room. The three of us. I feel so gross. They make out until I put my earplugs in and I’m sighing so loud and, like, it doesn’t seem like she is getting the hint! Who knows what they do then. Sorry if this is TMI. I’m really losing it. I want to come home. I don’t know how I thought I could do this for a whole year. My backpack is falling apart. My feet have the nastiest, like, infected blisters… I need a haircut so bad.
Wednesday September 3, 2014
UBC Student Servies website
These places, educational institutions, are funny places.
Everyone shuffling – new shoes, new backpacks, new pencils sharpened and ignorantly poking holes in new pencil cases.
Herds and herds of people, few making contact with eyes, or fingertips, or smiles.
We’ve come here for what
We’ve come here for learning.
We’ve come here to further know ourselves.
We’ve come here for time.
I’ve come here for time.
For this, for words, for understanding of the why and the when and the who has come before.
I catch a glimpse of you,
also feeling like a fraud,
also feeling lost,
clutching your iPhone like your life depends on it.
I catch a glimpse of you and you catch me
catching a glimpse of you,
Confident and alone and one of millions.
Monday September 1, 2014
He keeps clicking his tongue. You know how people do that? It’s hardly a special skill… It’s annoying, really. That’s what it is. It’s annoying. He keeps clicking his tongue and acting like it’s not a big deal to be distracting everyone. I want to shout, “You’re distracting everyone!” But I don’t want to add to it… I don’t want to make a fussy.
He keeps cracking his knuckles. You know how people do that? Drives me absolutely up the wall. And it’s not good for you. It gets air in there and that’s sure to cause arthritis and cancer and probably even dementia. I keep shooting him looks, like, “STOP THAT!” but he doesn’t seem to see them/hear me.
Wednesday August 13, 2014
from a conversation
J. and A. are lying in bed. A. has been attempting to fall asleep for forty six minutes. J. is snoring softly. A. tosses and turns. She finally elbows J.
A: You’re snoring!
J: Arrr –
A: Jason, you’re fucking snoring again…
A: I can’t fucking sleep!
J: Mmmm –
A: It’s like sleeping beside a St. Bernard!
A: Or a pug!
J. chuckles. A. chuckles.
J: You’re cute.
A: You need to go sleep on the couch.
J: What? Why? You’re so cuddly!
A: I have that stupid interview tomorrow and if I’m tired I won’t present well and I won’t get the job and we’ll live in this basement apartment forever and ever and ever –
J: Okay, okay…
A: Thanks. Sorry. I love you.
J. gets out of bed and takes his pillow. He kisses A. on the forehead.
Wednesday July 23, 2014
A Memory Returns
I look at the sky recalling Jem’s face, beside mine, sharing one pillow like two chickens in the coop. His eyes are like the Big Dipper – sparkling and twinkling and telling stories without any words coming out. I go for walks in the forest by the old house, by the house with windows on all sides. Jem used to say he felt like he was in a fishbowl. “No one’s looking!” I’d say. We didn’t have neighbours. The only eyes on us were God’s.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
overheard a Grand Beach
No! It was this big, Mama! It was really this huge! Franklin, stop it! That’s how big it was! I’m the one that held it so you don’t even know! FRANKLIN SHUT UP! I’m telling Mama. MAMA! FRANKLIN! Mama! Franklin is saying that I didn’t know how big the kitten was! That is was smaller! It was a Maine Coon cat! That’s what Aunty said! A Maine Coon! They’re the size of a dog! Even when they’re babies! That’s the truth. Mama? Listen to me! I’m talking to you! Can we can a Maine Coon? Papa won’t even notice that it’s not a dog. He won’t sneeze or have itchy eyes or anything.