Wednesday September 13, 2017
Overheard at Bump n’ Grind
Last night I thought I’d woo you with a sage butter walnut sauce
in my dreams the slick pasta would make you hard instantly
then you’d fuck me on the counter top
taking breaks to slurp back another slippery noodle
Last night I made a sage butter walnut sauce
I should have grinded the nuts more
I should have put fewer in
You ate three bowls and we didn’t fuck once
You asked why I wasn’t talking
I said these walnuts are killing me
it really wasn’t funny
I told you sometimes I’m not sure how deep this
You interrupted me then, the first real thing I’d said
to tell me how much you liked the sage
I guess dreams really do come true
Sunday August 27, 2017
I found a home on a shape shifting cloud
hung up my dreams
put away my human skin
You could say that this one is mine now
here all the time
even the angels know my name
When I look down I can see it all
The places I used to burrow into my own flesh
trying to find a tunnel to an alternate reality
the shops I stole from
Candy, jackets, a single tampon
the secret leafy groves where I asked for forgiveness
And without warning I was shooting upward
my body buoyed by the possibility of knowing something sweet
Saturday August 26, 2017
from a business card
“I think we should buy the warehouse like we talked about.”
“With what money, exactly?”
“Your money. I know, I know–”
“It’s not really my money, you know that right?”
“Well, he left everything to you so whose money could it be?”
“No, obviously, but it doesn’t necesarily feel right to spend it all on an abandonned building because you have a good idea.”
“I am not trying to make you do anything you don’t want to do. But think of what it could be: A place where artists come to create, where they can put on their own events, where we can host classes. Come on, it writes itself.”
“It’s not that easy. I have to make sure I’m using his money for the right thing. This feels like a lot of work.”
“Everything in this life is work. Look, I know I’m asking a lot of you, but you know me. I wouldn’t be suggesting it if I didn’t believe in it. And you have been floating since he died-”
“Am I not allowed to be sad?”
“Of course. Of course you are.”
Monday August 21, 2017
from an email
My head wants to cry and my eyes won’t let it happen. The woman beside me smells like cupcakes. The light is too bright, the windows are too open, and the woman beside me who smells like cupcakes is describing the dream she had about the big house and the sunroom. I do not picture big comfy chairs where my skin can sink. I see a pool warm enough for these cold August nights. I see a kiss on the temples where the pain likes to sit. The woman beside me who smells like cupcakes is gone and I am thinking about her dirty skirt and how terry cloth clothing always feels like the wrong kind of summer.
My head wants to pour out. Wants my eyes to get a bath. Maybe that’s what it will feel like from now on. Maybe that’s what happens after you stare directly at the sun taking the only break she ever gets.
Thursday August 10, 2017
The Lonely Planet Bali and Lombok
I scooped up the sea in my hand and drank at the thought of you.
“I wish you were here” might be carved into my belly.
Yesterday, the croon of the waves kissed my shoulder blade the way you used to. It’s nice to be touched by your memory when you are far away. I gave my salt right back to the source. We laughed a little at the impermanence of things that never belonged to us in the first place. our dreams, on loan from the sky and the breeze and the gentle hereafter.
Wednesday May 3, 2017
Devices On Standby
I remember writing letters to my future self
I made it pretty clear that by 24 I would be married just like my mom
that I would have dated a man for at least 6 years before the wedding
that I would have met my husband in high school
that my first love would be my only
I thought it was a pretty good model
today is my parents’ 37th anniversary
and they are still happy
I told myself I would be a gymnast and/or a lawyer and/or a children’s author
(.5/3 if you’re counting)
I don’t remember if I had factored in life being any different than how my 10, or 12, or 17 year old self imagined it to be
I am 30 now and I am not married
I have dated a man for 7 years
and I met him in university
(1/3-if you’re counting)
I am a writer and/ or poet and/or artist
I am not like the letters said I’d be
but I am happy
Monday April 10, 2017
from the sign on Mac’s Convenience
Jenna turns 19 and buys her first lottery ticket
she’s going to open up her own hair salon with those sitting hair dryer hoods and everything
The banner flapping in the wind says “$1.6 million in prizes!” and Jenna needs to go after any chance that presents itself
she phones Zach from the parking lot and tells him that she just got a sign from God
Zach tells her to buy two tickets because he feels lucky for some reason too
Zach always feels lucky when he’s spending Jenna’s money
Thursday March 9, 2017
From an email
When you sleep, you dream in black and white. You aren’t sure if everyone does, or if it’s just you. Often, you dream about wild horses. They are running across deserts, through rivers, over mountains. You rarely see yourself in your dreams, and when you do, you are wearing a cape. When you dream about Stella, or your father, they look like younger versions of themselves. They laugh more in real life.
Monday February 27, 2017
From a text
Bobby makes Owen laugh, and that’s why
he keeps him around. Some people have
sidekicks and some people have acne
especially on their chins and foreheads.
Bobby has acne. Owen has
They weren’t always
friends, in fact, they used to be sworn
enemies, in the way that
nine year old boys
swear in blood and sticks whittled
with their fathers’ pen knives.
Owen asks Bobby if he wants a turn
with one of his girlfriends. Bobby
doesn’t know what that means,
politely declines. They are sitting
inside the slide in the schoolyard
where they used to go to school,
where they swore in blood,
made statements bigger than their bodies,
bigger than their dreams of the NHL
and running a non-profit that serves
both the hungry and stray cats
Saturday February 18, 2017
Friday Night Lights
When I pray I ask god to give me clarity so I may trust
what I see and be able to know it
I ask to be bypassed by nightmares like I did when
I was a child
twenty years of wishing I wouldn’t see the bad things because
I had glue for brains
terror haunting me like flies twitching on a sticky rope
I ask god to give me clear eyes so I can’t blame inaction
on blurry vision
I ask god to save me so we don’t get caught up in logistics
Tell her I’m tired now of specificty
mainly because it hurts
When I pray I ask for something I can hold on to
something that won’t burn me in the night and leave a scar
Sunday January 29, 2017
Mary Ellen Flora
I wouldn’t say that I’m confused
that’s not how I feel it in the ball
of yarn in my guts snaking up on my tongue
I wouldn’t say that I’m confused
but I am questioning of the evolution
of dreams and reality and present and future
and if it’s enough to do it and do it and
do it and do it and then what if it’s not
Sitting in a circle in stretchy pants
and a grey sweatshirt I was twenty one
and I knew that the reason I wanted to
tell stories was because I felt how
they changed my becoming I was surrounded
by classmates and we spoke why we wanted
to be actors and we cried and we got naked
and we looked at ourselves in mirrors
and we fell in love with each other and with
the dreams and reality and present and future.
Making snow angels in the parking lot I
knew that I was not alone but I was so alone.
Monday November 21, 2016
From an Eastside Culture Crawl postcard
I am going to build you a factory, Johnathan. It’s going to be big and beautiful and on every floor there’s going to be artists making the wildest stuff you’ve ever dreamed of. Pottery pigs and blown glass pinatas and burlesque dance routines by the old folks! All the things you fought so hard for… If we don’t have hope now, when are we gonna? I promise you, by next birthday, you’ll have your factory. And you studio? With the biggest windows and the highest ceilings and walls all white-washed alabaster… You’ll paint when you see in your dreams. You’ll paint the red oceans and the bubbles holding whole worlds inside. You’ll paint it all and we won’t worry about selling anything. We’ll give them away! If you want, of course. You’ll give them away to folks that really that kind of light in their lives.
Thursday November 17, 2016
Walls thin as butterfly wings I know that your ear is there
High on the sky turning red with the possibility
of midnight I know that your ear is there
pressed on the monarch tissue paper
Sigh lifts above the ceiling
lifts us up the only division between us is us
the only difference between us is this
The chrysalis shed
The womb bare
water falling over fingertips
College kids smoke joints outside the window
leave rolling papers on the sill
A queen bee makes a hive around the rebellion
the sex the nicotine the so in love
so in love
I am the queen bee and you are bringing me gifts
Friday July 29, 2016
from a Facebook post
Ever since I started wearing your wedding ring I’ve been having bad dreams, seeing things I’ve never seen before. I wake up sweaty, the sheets soaked, and shaking. I tried to write the dreams down once or twice, but it freaked me out too much, when I went back and re-read it. Molly really really wanted it. I don’t know why you didn’t just give the ring to her. Dad says that because I’m the oldest granddaughter it had some sort of special significance to you, but you never showed that, I mean, I never knew you felt that way when you were alive. To be honest, I didn’t really think you ever liked me. I got a birthday card from you once or twice, but other than that, and Christmas visits, you didn’t seem to care for me or Bill. Molly and Kenneth were another story. I know that you took care of them more when they were still cute and cuddly. It’s not my fault my Mom thought you were irresponsible.
Tuesday June 28, 2016 at Starbucks
I keep having the same dream–that I’m lying in my bed with my eyes closed, asleep, and in my mind’s eye I see fuchsia orbs coming toward me, flickering in the sky then disintegrating into nothing. I am in that paralyzed, meta state where I recognize that I’m dreaming but I can’t wake up or move or change anything. In this dream I always look past the flickering pink and can make out more colours in the distance. Flames. Outside my window the tall tree, the one that the crows perch in and caw in every morning at exactly 4:43, is on fire. The leaves are burning up and they’re going slow enough to wonder if this too shall pass…
In this dream, I scream to you to call 911 and you tell me it’s not necessary. I tell you it is because I can see it from my position and this fire will consume us if we don’t treat it with respect. You rush into the room and the sky outside is orange and red.
You stare out blankly and whisper to me, you were right…
Saturday May 28, 2016
All I Have To Do Is Dream
The Everly Brothers
Call me mouth filled with peach cobbler
I’ll come running
Call me curlers in, kettle on the stove screaming
I’ll be there
Call me moments before sleep
Or moments right after
Call me as my dreams play on
As my body drifts off to stillness
And I’ll throw on a pair of jeans and show up
Call me when you’re high
Call me when you’re low
When you know you’re wrong
When you need someone to tell you you’re right
When you want to laugh
When you need to cry
When you don’t have a reason at all
I’ll drop what I’m doing to make time
Call me when it’s my fault
Call me when it’s yours
Call me to tell me your crazy dream
Your biggest fear
Your funniest joke
Your most embarrassing moment
Your favourite recipe
Your new discoveries
Your life hacks
Your promises to me
Your promises to yourself
And I’ll come running
I’ll find a way to meet you
Because I know
Without a doubt
You would do the same for me
Monday, April 4, 2016
I have been free before I was alone
I have been seen before I succumbed to the fear
A little heart shaped pouch holds my dreams in it
A little heart shaped pouch holds my truth in it
I’ve been running wild in my imagination
Picking pretty flowers that I can carry with me all day long
I paint up the ocean I paint in a song
The mountains they’ve been calling so I can always find my way back
I am missing my tribe
The heart shaped hearts that I live for
And to the wild women I left behind
Who I fit inside my sacred space
My medicine is abundant and flowing
I can take a sip from my blessings’ cup
And take steps to find myself again in the river when the deep in me craves
to be surrounded
Monday March 7, 2016
from an online ad
If you’re asking then I’m going, going with you, going wherever you go.
I don’t have any bags packed yet but I don’t mind getting whatever I need as we bleed.
Can I borrow your toothbrush? If you’re asking, can I share your knapsack?
I could sing you one of your favourites. You can pick the one. I know you like some feeling kinds, some country, some bluegrass, some sweet sweet soul.
I don’t care if you’re a white-sand beaches kind of thing, a hot air balloon, an air dive off of a mountain kind of heart. I am an open mess of so much yes and so little reservation.
I can curl up small on your back, or lead you hand in hand to a secret place where the pure strength river will never run dry.
Monday January 25, 2016
overheard at PTC
Andie used to be a performer, but she doesn’t tell anyone that now. Whenever she meets someone new at a coffee shop, or the library, she actively chooses not to bring it up or even reference it.
It’s hardest when Andie meets someone who is a performer or also used to be a performer because they tend to be the types that always want to discuss the nitty gritty or the pain or the joy of being in front of a big audience night after night. Her insides are screaming a million curses at the people who act like they’re the only ones who truly understand their lives and as a result, how eccentric everybody else must find them. Andie bites her tongue, trying to remind herself she doesn’t need them to think one thing or another about her, that chiming in with a “Yes, I do, in fact, understand,” or “No, I haven’t always been a florist,” won’t change her life choices or her past or her reasons for saying goodbye to it all. Some nights Andie dreams she is the only thing on stage, crying alongside the most beautiful and haunting violin playing that ever existed.
Monday, January 4, 2016
Overheard at R2 Cafe
There’s a dream I keep having that feels like a lesson I’m supposed to be learning but it is hard to remember in full detail. I wanna be able to recall all the events but it’s like my subconscious is making it hard for me on purpose. Then I get to wondering why my subconscious would wanna make it take so long for a lesson to be learned if it’s important enough to be learned at all in all this intricacy. This dream is even more difficult to understand because it’s in black and white and none of my dreams are in black and white. How confusing. Sometimes I think this dream could just be for entertainment purposes and I’m really not meant to do anything about it but enjoy it. But then there is a code, or what I think is a code, and new letters are revealed each time, and it’s not very enjoyable as I’m always under a lot of pressure to solve the puzzle with the clues that keep changing and I’m really never able to lay back and just watch. So then I wonder if maybe I’ve already figured it out and the recurring part is just a way for me to check my intel.
Saturday November 28, 2015
From an email
Alana has stopped dreaming in colour and can’t figure out why
Maybe ever since she started seeing Rich things have been different
Maybe ever since she started filling her prescriptions and taking her pills
Maybe ever since she stopped eating cheese
Nothing makes Alana more upset then to think of her head as a black and white pod of pain
She feels like Dorothy before the tornado
She feels like somebody who isn’t her
She feels like her imagination is being replaced with something sad
Rich wakes up each morning with obnoxiously detailed dreams
Rich dreams in colour
Rich tells Alana how crazy it all was every single day
Alana used to dream the way Rich does
She used to remember every bit of them and sometimes use them to write her music
She used to look forward to going to sleep
Wednesday September 16, 2015
from an article from Maclean’s
When you sleep you dream in black and white. You shake down gangsters for American hundred dollar bills. You cry out for justice. The people you meet wear hats and gloves, shades of a memory, a memory of whose origin you aren’t quite sure of. When you wake, you’re disappointed by the colours. It’s all more complicated and muddy. It all bleeds, this thing into that thing into this one.
Tuesday September 15, 2015
From a vintage ad for American Cyanamid Company
purple flannel twisted around ankles
my bum against your bum
you said grace
at first i was annoyed
i’m kind of sick!
i really listened
“thank you for this food on our plates
thank you for the love in our home
thank you for thanksgiving”
how you pray in your sleep
how you love in your dreams
how you bless me with your sweetness
Thursday, June 11, 2015
from a staff meeting handout
Take that second to hold your face in the mirror and smile at that beautiful thing that is growing and sharing and developing in front of your very eyes. Such self love is necessary to survive and thrive and achieve and believe. It starts with an appreciation for magic and mistakes, for findings and failures, for dreams and denials. We can love a loaf of bread with every fiber of our being, but when we hold ourselves up to the light we can’t indulge in ourselves the same way. We can not crave it or feed ourselves with it. And we must. We must feed our souls with intense and concentrated self love, the kind that springs eternal when it’s allowed to enter. And though it’s not a vampire and it won’t kill us, it still won’t come in unless we invite it in.
Sunday May 17, 2015
Let’s make a world where everyone has enough
Where everyone has what they NEED
When they NEED it
Where mother’s can feed babies from their breasts and where father’s can sing lullabies
Let’s make a world where trees are our priests
Where forests are our temples
Where dolphins are our recognized and respected sisters
Where computers and labs and scientists aren’t involved in food growth
Where governments champion children, art, the elderly, green space, democracy
Let’s make a world where we celebrate one another’s successes
Where we dive deep for our bravery and bring it to each interaction
Let’s make a world where we listen
With our whole being
Where we stop
Let’s make a world where we dance in the street with strangers
Let’s make a world where anyone can marry anyone
Where love is the beginning, middle and end
Let’s make a world with less cars and more bikes
With less oil and more bio-fuel
With less guns and more sunflowers
With less plastic and more recycling
With less hiding and more showing
Let’s make a world where we are all different
Where we can smile at our complicated understanding about otherness
Where we can remember
Where we can remember
Where we can remind each other
We all come from the same mother
But we need to love her up
Love her down
Love her all around
We need to be more radical in our loving
We need to embrace change
(it’s always here)
It’s always here
We are water
Water is polluted
We are polluted
It’s not complicated
It’s a simple story
Why can’t we understand?
Thank you for your bravery
Thank you for your attention
I made this cake for you
Tuesday May 5, 2015
A Friends of Chamber Music brochure
“It’s a rare chance, Al,” Clare says, painting the big toe of my right foot. “I think you need to go for it…” Her hands are cold and I think about when we met, tadpoles in overalls and baseball hats. “I just can’t imagine going so far away, it seems so extreme…” “You’ll be fine,” she blows on my toes and I laugh, pulling my foot away. “That tickles!” “Don’t jerk around! You’ll mess them up!” She furrows her eyebrows. “What time is the concert tonight?” “I thought you said you’d bought your ticket?” “I…” “Claire!” “I’ll get it at the door!” “You’re just waiting to see if something more interesting turns up. I know you.” “I am certainly not doing that… My credit card was cut off, I, I can’t book anything online and I didn’t want to ask someone to cover for me…” “Shit. Sorry.” “It’s okay.” “I’ll ask again about getting you on the guest list?” “I’m happy to pay…” “I’ll ask again.”
Sunday, April 18, 2015
I’m not sure about this place. I’m not sure about a city where pork is cheaper than chard. I’m not sure about boys in between home and school being stopped and carded and not given explanations and not being given whys. I’m not sure about some women sleeping under bridges and some women wearing jeans that cost five hundred dollars. I’m not sure about sending away the garbage we are too lazy to separate into recycling and compost. I’m not sure about cars. I’m not sure about unsafe bike lanes and people that don’t care about the people that choose to ride bikes. I’m not sure about dumping toxins into Lake Ontario. I’m sure that there’s a connection between the hormones in our dairy and the puffers in the backpacks of our young friends. I’m not sure about gender binaries and public bathrooms. I’m not sure about so many Starbucks.
Friday April 3, 2015
The Zurau Aphorisms
Twists the whip
Gets it ready
Practices in the mirror
One, two, Go on three
Takes one for the team.
His own team
He’s the captain and the coach
Today’s the day
The song sings in his head
Right now is the only thing that matters
Checking his watch
Twists the whip
Cracks it in the air
No more practice shots
It’s real now
It’s real life
But he has his weapons
He has his tools
Don’t forget to breathe
He hears his mother’s voice in his ears
Don’t forget to feel
The magic urgency fuels him
It’s exactly as he imagined
Only nothing like he hoped
Twists the whip
Gets it ready
Now he’s ready
Thursday April 2, 2015
A woman staggered into a room filled with people locked in their cages. She was reluctant at first but when she arrived, she decided to follow through with herself.
She glanced around at all the bars, and ropes. Sad. Sad. Helpless. Sad.
She went about her business, gliding from one side of the room to the next, opening jars of jam and tasting her fruit-dipped fingers. She made eye contact with every single one of them. What are they doing here, what do they need? Why. Why. Helpless. Why.
Her freedom made them angry. And their hurt hearts thudded loud for all to hear.
Her self-awareness and self-love made them wish they could turn off their 80% brain.
You Are Not Good Enough. You Must Let Others Win. You Are Not As Important. Don’t Bother Trying To Achieve What You Desire. Forget Your Passions. Kill Your Dreams.
The smell of her lightness was pungent to the lot of them.
Friday February 20, 2015
from a radio ad at the Dentist
your premium won’t increase if you pay your dues and if you pay your dues you’ll be living the good life and if you’re living the good life you’re smelling the fresh air and if you’re smelling the fresh air you’re free and if you’re free you’re flying and if you’re flying you’re an eagle and if you’re an eagle you’re better up than down and if you’re down you’ll sail back up and if you’re up you’ll be in the blue and if you’re in the blue you’re connected to what’s bigger and if you’re connected to what’s bigger you won’t feel the small so much and if you don’t feel the small so much you’ll eat another slice of cake and if you eat another slice of cake you’ll close your eyes and if you close your eyes you’ll see the glow and if you see the glow you’ll know you’re where you’re meant to be and if you know you’re where you’re meant to be you’ll relax and if you relax you’ll see the cumulous clouds shaped like puppy faces and if you see puppy faces you’re doing pretty damn well and if you’re doing pretty damn well you’ll be thankful and if you’re thankful you’ll be present and if you’re present you’ll be so on the highest path and if you’re so on the highest path
Wednesday February 18, 2015
The War of Art
When we found the wreckage
we weren’t sure what we were seeing
Fingers and collarbones
You made a joke about the apocalypse
I ate a chocolate bar
We had sex
The sky was purple and grey
We are in a war
Death is there
And so is the morning
Fires burn low
Bright like when we used to dream about
You’re skeptical of kindness
Tuesday February 17, 2015
Man Seeks God
Tell me a story where we start
“Once upon a time”
Where we end
by the apple tree
With a basket and a lantern
Tell me a story
and I will braid your hair
I’ll take one piece over another
I’ll stoke the fire
Tell me a story
where the truth works
Her mustard magic
Where we only mince garlic
Saturday February 7, 2015
Lets lower the likes and lessen the filters
Let’s flatten the dough into a disk and throw it in the hottest oven
Let’s form a choir that only performs in Senior’s Homes
Let’s take that choir to the tiniest villages and ask if anyone wants to join
Let’s adopt a brother
Let’s drive a car up a mountain and get out and have a picnic that doesn’t involve nuts and does involve double cream brie
Let’s have a shot of tequila at the bar down the street in our pyjamas
Let’s make a movie for no one but ourselves and if anyone wants to watch it let’s let them
Let’s make a record and only release it on vinyl
Let’s screw the Internet
Let’s pickle peaches and pomegranate seeds and pumpernickel bread
Let’s wear shoes until they’ve stepped on every crack and every brick and every grain of sand
Let’s not leave the house when it rains and let’s make a pot of tea so big we could fit in it
Let’s wear the brightest lipstick and tell no one where we got it
Let’s have sex with the Internet and dominate it in the most gentle way
Let’s be wolves in the woods who howl at the moon whether it’s full or waxing or waning
Sunday February 1, 2015
I’ll Keep You Safe
A song by Sleeping At Last
You’ll be an architect and I’ll be an Interior Designer. You’ll wear square glasses and I’ll wear brightly coloured, impractical shoes. We’ll live in a square house that people will walk by and take pictures of and wonder how the roof works, where the rain goes. Mostly we’ll work separately but sometimes we’ll work together and there will be passionate fights and confusing make-up sex. You’ll splurge on high end stereo equipment. I’ll splurge on designer lipstick. When we go out to eat, you always order steak, rare. I sometimes order fish, I sometimes order pasta. We don’t keep it at home, so it just makes sense. You don’t want children and I don’t either. Except this month, when the moon is full and I keep feeling a phantom newborn sucking on my nipple.
Tuesday January 20, 2015
from Hairspray Queen
Kurt Cobain Journals
She’s waiting for her Saving Grace at the corner of East and West
The stop light is yellow indefinitely
Cruising back and forth
She’s a scattered ashes kinda train wreck
Taken by the wind
Up up up
Unsure if she’s coming back again
Taken by the rain
Away away away
She won’t quit her crying
She’s waiting for her Saviour on the corner of North and South
Friday January 16, 2015 at Nirvana
from a 2015 calendar
Biggest fear? Mediocrity.
Likes? Snapping (although I’m useless at it). Bacon. Fire. Bob Dylan.
Coffee or tea? Water.
Cigarettes or blow? Pretentious ass.
Shoe size? Nine.
God? Yes! Please!
Bath or shower? Shower.
Train or plane? Bus. (The grimier the better).
Knife or fork? FORK.
Black and white or colour? Colour. Especially green.
Dislikes? Cold. Entitlement. Beer. The Beatles.
Breakfast? Toast and jam.
Thursday January 8, 2015 on the overground
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce
Wednesday January 7, 2015
He decided to open the menswear store because it was what he’d always wanted but been afraid to admit, especially to Liz. When they’d gotten married he’d just started at the bank and he thought it was the honourable thing to do – provide for his wife, pregnant with their first baby. It was a secret then, that she was expecting. Now that Jim and Rebecca were at school and Liz was back at work part-time he sat her down on a Tuesday evening. Jim and Rebecca were at the neighbours working on a puzzle before bedtime. “Liz, there’s something I’d like to talk about…” She looked up from her book, a novel. She read faster than anyone he’d ever met and despite nine years of living together it still made him marvel. “I want to open a store. A menswear boutique. A space has come available on Karthey’s Road. This has been something I’ve wanted to do since I was a boy and I think if I work another year in that bank I’m going to wish I’d blown my brains out.” Liz put the book down on the couch and moved closer to him.
Monday December 29, 2014
Little Lord Love
It’s mine, it’s mine, can I have it, will you give it, it’s mine, I’m behind, can I will it, can I kill it, will you let it, high and set it, a thousand dreams to forget it, it’s mine, all the time, can I drink it, can I sink it, it’s mine, with my name, can I own it, can I show it…
Sebbie had a crazy way of looking at the world. She was cold a lot. In her bones. So she didn’t know when she was uncomfortable or just unlucky. Instead of saying “it happened for the best” Sebbie goes out of her way to say “it happened for the worst”. I don’t know anyone who goes out of her way to say the “worst” of anything, but Sebbie did. She was trying to stay strong and good and alive and alert. She was trying to win the game of life, and by being a bit nutty, a bit realistic, she believed she was doing it. She was never good at sharing. She had a possession problem. She wanted everything to say her name and to have her fingerprints all over it. She wanted to prove she owned something in this life, not that you can take it with you anyway, but in case you could…she wanted it.
Monday November 17, 2014 at Coffee Company
The volcanoes of Central Africa,
The skies of a tiny nameless mountain town in Italy,
The hot springs of Iceland,
The pancakes of Amsterdam.
I can’t live long enough to feel all the feels,
See all the views,
Dance all the out of body experiences.
I am pocketing tiny pieces of it all.
I will tie a bow to their tails and wish them off into the wind when I have enough to tell a story.
When I’m content enough with the new shape my heart has taken, the new form my mind now lives in, the new size my compassion has grown to. There is something magical about it here. Here in the new jar of my human understanding.
Thursday November 13, 2014 at Higher Grounds
from a Palazzo Di Varignana ad
I’ll give you the key to the luxury
Guard it with your life
Take it to bed
Hide it at night
Under your pillow where your hands stay warm
I’ll give you the kisses and the questions
The moon doesn’t judge
I’m not the one you’re after
It makes me think about mud
There’s a trap under the slick
There’s a leak under the sink
I’m not sure what to tell you
Except the sky is blue and the snow isn’t here yet so
I’m trying to find the right words but it’s hard
You compare success to success but it’s not like that
It’s more cyclical
The things I can count on are a handful of beans
A handful of promises and wishes and the ocean
It’s still colourful
It’s still water
It’s still morning
It’s still changing and concrete and sand
Take it to bed
Hide it at night
Under your pillow where your dreams stay warm
Tuesday September 9, 2014
I am not in the realm of realism, she said, I dream in technicolor and all my thoughts have pretty vines growing on them the way side streets do in Rome. Rome is not even real, she said, it’s built on someone else’s stories, on someone else’s bravery. She stood there a moment, head cocked to the side-deep thought crossing all around her face. Her eyebrows danced a curious routine before she looked back up and winced. I am not in the realm of realism because I choose to be in Rome, she said, where men have perfect faces and women seem more beautiful when they’re angry. A place that I made up, she said, that someone made up before me, cannot be real at all. Her eyebrows calmed down and her face softened instantly. This world, she said, can only exist in my wildest imagination.
Tuesday September 2, 2014
from the English translation of mamihlapinatapai
I woke from a dream that was worse than the ones that I used to have
When nightmares reeked heavy
And my mother was sleepless for a whole year too
You were there
With the two of them
The women you desire
The women who desire you
The women you would be with if you hadn’t chosen me
Am I the only one that has that list?
The women you would be with if you hadn’t chosen me
Should I be ashamed of it?
Should I store it under the mattress
In the drawer by the stove that only I open
Buried in the sand for another woman to find when the tide goes out
My stomach in my throat
My throat in my mouth
Tears and gulps
You’re not home yet
You’re on the bus
I imagine you
Travelling closer to me
The one you’ve chosen
I imagine you
curling against my naked body
I imagine you
I imagine them
I see myself
Laughing like a crow
Sobbing like a beluga
Your key in the lock
Sunday June 22, 2014
from an email
This was something I’d asked myself already today. Already this morning, and again this afternoon, if I’m being honest. I’m trying to be honest, I guess that’s the whole point in asking that same question over and over again. DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES? And when I answer I look myself right in the eye (you know mirrors were invented for self-motivation? Look it up, I swear) and I answer, in that moment, in that second, YES, NO, or DAMN STRAIGHT. Sometimes, being honest is the hardest thing because you have to look deep inside yourself and assess every single thing that’s going on with you, that makes you feel good, that makes you feel bad, and really truly dissect if you’re happy, and willing, and ready, and able. You know? Like all of those things have to add up to the proper sum and if they don’t, well, hey, at least you know the truth. At least you’re not faking it for anyone else and the lie that you tell will come back to bite you in the dreams. I know this from experience. I live out my truths while I’m awake, so I don’t have to deal with the lies I tell myself when I’m asleep. It’s worked, so far, and that’s why I ask the question. It’s not even specific. I just know in every moment, every second, what it is I’m wondering about and if I have what it takes to do it.
Saturday May 31, 2014
overheard on queen st west
So I met Brendan’s new girlfriend on Saturday night, cause I accidentally got dragged out to a bar and had to put on high strappy shoes. Tamara said it would be good for me to get out of the house and stop telling myself I was being productive if all I was really doing was reading old e-mails that Brendan sent me while I was in Ottawa last fall. I told Tamara that they were beautiful expressions of love and youth and she didn’t have to understand. She didn’t understand or care to, so instead she kidnapped me with a tube of bright red lipstick and forced me to wear eye glitter. So we’re waiting at the bar and it’s as if I had a sixth sense that it was him, and I looked to the door and Brendan was walking in with a tiny little tanned girl on his arm. She was wearing a ball-cap and had big hoop earrings. She was pretty. She was smaller than me. I adjusted my skirt and told Tamara that I had to leave. No, she told me, I’d have to stay cause I was here first, it was my home field. Then of course, me trying to avoid him for the first 20 minutes made it more awkward when he actually came up to me with his tiny new arm piece in tow. The first thing I said was, I hate this bar! It’s filled with insecurities and perfume designed by washed-up celebrities. Brendan laughed but his little toy didn’t. I was relieved that at least she wasn’t funny too.
Wednesday May 21, 2014
there was a lull in the crowd as we waited for jenny to get the courage to go up for open mic night. it was her first time, so she was nervous, but i’ve never seen jenny like that before. she puked in the ladies’ washroom right when she got there and she drank a whole pint of beau’s–after the whole puking incident. we started calling that move the ‘puke and purchase’. she somehow didn’t pass out, but was still so nervous that she wasn’t being herself. i whispered to her via text-message “girl, what are you doing, it’s going to be fine <3." and she text-yelled back "I AM DYING RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW". so the crowd was all waiting for the next act, and it was really clear that the mc for the night, who did a lot of standup comedy, was even feeling a bit awkward at this point. he didn't even know if he could make fun of her, probably because a) the crowd was doing that enough and b) he must have understood. finally, after waiting way too long, jenny popped up from her chair, her ukelele clutched to her chest. the crowd booed her. she looked like she was going to sit back down. so i instinctively stuck my index finger right up her butt-crack. "GO" i hissed.
Monday May 19, 2014
from insurance papers
I’m gonna go to a real nice school and learn how to cut all the nice ladies’ hair. I’m going to give them high status looks and sophisticated styles. Then they will tell all their friends that they know a girl who will make them look like a star. A real movie star. I have to get a couple clients. Then I’ll show them my skills and they will see I love cutting hair so much and they will come again to see me when they need an up-do or even just a blowout for a business meeting. I’ll give them my card and say okay this is for you, you’ve been a very good customer. And they’ll tell me I was the best they ever had in their life. In their life! They’ll repeat that part cause it’s important. And they’ll walk out smiling with love cause they look so nice and they feel the way they look. So first I have to find the right school. The right school for the right kind of hairstyles.
Saturday May 17, 2014
from a button
They were real in love like
Dreams left on the pillow
Like hope floating in a glass jar beside the bed like
skin on skin on skin on skin
And they had each other
And they had the moon
And they were all the world could think of
And they didn’t mind one bit
They were real in love like
Hot breath in the shower
Like finger traced laugh lines
Like mediocre soft eggs turned into a
And they had each other
And they had the lake
And they had their wishes even if they had to keep them in a drawer
And they didn’t mind one bit
Cause oh they were real in love like
Fireworks in January like
Silence in the understanding like
Two spiders with a promise
Monday May 12, 2014
A short story by Ben Mauk
Oh yeah I was flying, it wasn’t a dream, I really was.
You can bet on that kind of stuff.
The stuff that feels real but isn’t.
The stuff that you wish was fake, but can’t be.
I once flew in a dream and oh yeah, it was magical.
I was able to get myself off the ground with a couple of good and happy thoughts the way Mary Martin taught me.
I went searching for someone I shouldn’t have been searching for.
He comes up a lot.
Sort of in my mind the way a fly buzzes in your ear, flies into it, out of nowhere.
You try to swat it away.
I do. I try to swat it away.
He comes up a lot.
He comes up so much.
Those are the times the empty feeling of guilt doesn’t haunt my sleep, or my waking states.
Those are the times the guilt doesn’t get to penetrate because I earned the free pass.
From loving him all those years.
From jumping off a tall building and landing in my own heart.
So I see him when I’m not expecting him.
And sometimes I tell him all my secrets even though he already knows them.
I don’t know how he knows but he knows.
He feels the same way about me, sometimes finding me in my dreams too.
And we meet there with a bow tied around the moment so no one tries to unwrap it and waste it.
Tuesday April 22, 2014 at iDeal Coffee
A plaque beside a photograph
You ever get that feeling you wanna run away? You ever get that itch, but it’s inside you and to get it scratched you gotta bust out?
I been saving, baby, I been saving. I been saving my money since last year, since we were back home.
I got $15,000… Over $15,000… $15,213.
I’m gonna find us our own house. None of this sharing a room with other people. How are we supposed to really love eachother? I’m tired of listening to Jerry snore!
We’ll keep it so clean. Our home. You won’t have to work or nothing. Maybe we can have a goat and some chickens!
Wednesday April 2, 2014
The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
When Lee was a kid he used to sleep walk into our parents’ bedroom every single night and scare the shit out of them. I mean, I’m laughing about it now, and even dad is, but mom never got over it. She used to think he was going to murder her in her sleep! I’m laughing right now just thinking about it. Just thinking about Lee walking down there like a zombie, and just standing there over their bed. He could have chosen dad’s side, but he always went to mom’s and she was a light sleeper. He’d stand there, and his eyes would be wide open, and he’d lean into her, and just sway back and forth! I’m dying it’s so funny. I’m so SO relieved he never did that to me. I wouldn’t have made it! And now me and my dad, we laugh so hard at my mom, who every night would beg my dad to lock the door so she could sleep, but would lose, and would have to get woken up by Lee’s big bulgy sleep-wake eyes! Then one night, I know, this is so bad, but she locked the door without telling my dad, and Lee slept walked into the yard and stared at her through her bedroom window! It’s so bad, you can’t even write this stuff. Mom was so scared. She didn’t like being left alone with him even in the day time because she thought Lee was possessed by the devil! She made my dad take him to a sleep clinic to see why he had the urge to only stare at her.