Friday August 11, 2017
I don’t want to hear another excuse,
not another song and dance about why you couldn’t have done all the things you were supposed to. Everything with you is such a production. There’s always a plot twist set during a rain storm. I’m pretty sure you’ve never stopped crying. But you don’t get off without a fight just because you have issues. What’s life if not a giant human issue?
I’m done going out of my way for you. I’m done because I physically can’t take it anymore. I feel bent. I feel pretzeled. You left my kid in he movie rental store! For an hour! With a sticky fingered teenager! There comes a point when this shit is no longer cute. You are far past that.
Tuesday August 8, 2017
Of course the peace comes in small bursts
makes you think you’re truly…happy.
It’s enough to keep you from grabbing a lover
by the throat of his jeans
or flying off the handle that was meant for, what, exactly?
Holding on? There is never enough room for
both sanities to grip tightly.
Peace, yes, and then there is sand in the bed,
and bread crumbs leading this way and that.
Quiet, not to be mistaken for calm, comes
in small bursts too.
It is the almost kiss, the almost landing.
A mosquito from the fifth dimenson
haunting you until it plants a message in your ear
Sunday April 2, 2017
from a text
Cara breaks up with Ian because he always forgets to call her when he finishes work. She doesn’t like that he goes straight to the bar without mentioning where he’s going or when he’ll be home. She’s done having dinner ready for him but still eating alone.
Lydia breaks up with Dawn because she never wants to have sex with her. She doesn’t like begging for it, and she doesn’t want Dawn to feel uncomfortable. She’s done feeling like she’s asking for too much from her girlfriend, whom she loves and lives with.
Greg breaks up with Julie because he cheated on her and doesn’t know how to trust her if he can’t trust himself. He doesn’t want to hide it and he doesn’t want to tell her. He’s done pretending like things are fine when he’s responsible for making things..not that way
Monday, August 29, 2016
I put it there along with other things. I wanted a collection of all the lies I had been telling. In the secret parts of my understanding I like to believe they live in a garden on their own. But they are not thriving in their soil. I don’t water them. I have deep hopes that they don’t need it. The walls of this decision are dried and crumbling. They don’t fall or crack revealing light. They pile on top of the old ones and bury the new ones that were just put there for a second. Now everything is locked up. The idea that this is all I’ll ever be. I am the one languishing in the vault. I am the one wasted. And I only choose to visit the scraps of myself there when no one else is around. Stuck internal, asleep on a mattress that divides all of my bones into unusable groups, and keeps me from attending the day like they all expect me to.
Monday August 15, 2016
Oct 2016 issue
I can’t stop reaching out of my skin and into your kindness
I destroy everything I touch
I want to touch you all over
Tell me again how it is that you’ve chosen me
Don’t tell me about my face
Don’t tell me about my hips
Don’t tell me that you wished for this when you were younger
How we were meant to be
I don’t care for lies anymore
And I can smell them
You are not a magician
None of us are.
If you can bear to ask yourself
All the hard questions
The way I’ve been begging you to
What is it that you see that you need so desperately
Surely not the hole in your stomach I’ve chewed
Surely not the bad days bad nights bad luck bad timing
I do not cast a hook in you
You’re free to swim wild
I don’t want to hear anything
That does not sound
like it’s been dying to come out
Tuesday July 12, 2016 at Starbucks
from a text
I sit on the edge of my nothingness like it’s a cloud and I’m in love with it. I am cotton candy insides and I’m melting away leaving a trail of rainbow guts and tie-dyed blood. There is nothing wrong with my nothingness and for the first time in all the time there ever has been, it is peaceful instead of not. Acceptance of nothingness is a road with bumps and potholes and with poor lighting sometimes but usually free of other travelers because it’s a long one and there is enough room for everybody. There is a space now between yesterday’s pain and tomorrow’s worry and it’s all here all now- all everything I’ve been avoiding- because feelings are attached to beliefs and those things get stuck pretty hard as a system that limits me if I let it. I dangle my feet off the edge of nothingness now like it’s a dream and I’m no longer trying to catch it. No flash photography here to capture it, just smiling into the places that can be so easily filled with words words words.
Wednesday July 6, 2016 at Starbucks
When I touch you; Peter Ilyanov
Behind your kiss I can feel
the thing you’re trying desperately
not to ask me.
Did you do it?
Would you do it?
Do you still love me?
Am I enough for you now
that you’re bigger
than you used to be?
Don’t ask don’t tell;
maybe something I taught you,
maybe something you taught me.
But your lips leak your secret,
parting the seas
every open close pucker and smack.
parts the seas for the truth
or begging me to swim.
I watch you sometimes
from behind my eyes,
searching for meaning
and a reason.
Do I need to answer everything
Have you never looked
for something you need?
Will you ever be enough
Your tongue licks and flicks
all the possibilities of honesty
to the roof
Behind your kiss,
there is a flood coming.
Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies;
maybe something you taught me,
maybe something I taught you.
Tuesday March 8, 2016
The Artist’s Way
In my house we never had enough moments of pure ease–we had some tensions around the dinner table–us correcting dad’s grammar, one little one getting in trouble for skipping school again, the big on getting in trouble for wanting to leave the dinner table to go work on her homework, the middle one getting in trouble for slamming the door earlier.
“Eat what’s on your plate”
“Eat this or don’t eat”
If you don’t eat what’s on your plate, you can’t leave the table”
We couldn’t say we weren’t hungry–we couldn’t say we didn’t want the risotto or the second day fried spaghetti or the chicken scallopini or the veal fettine with lemon and parsley. How could we say we don’t want to eat these good things with you when you get mad at us for BREATHING.
“You should feel so lucky you get to eat like this”
“You should see what the other kids have to eat every night: pasta from a can, tuna salad sandwiches”
“But we like tuna”
“Not for dinner we don’t”
Some moments reeked of attempted ease.
A joke here–him trying to steal a fork full of meat off our plates when weren’t looking–a question about the neighbour’s dog.
Monday, December 14, 2015
From a Google search
Nobody is here to take your coat. Nobody is here at all. They all went home. Sanders said they could go early for Christmas. Sanders told them all they had to come to a unanimous decision. At first Donna didn’t want to go early because she was worried she wouldn’t have enough money to buy her son the snowboard he wanted. She cried for about 30 minutes straight until Lise and Desmond told her they’d chip in to help. They just wanted to get out of there. They were worried that Sanders would make them stay the whole night just cause he didn’t have anyone to go home to. Donna finally agreed and wouldn’t stop saying “thank you so very much. Thank you to the moon and back!”
I’m only here because I was waiting for you…
Sunday, October 11, 2015
An e-mail from The Sun
If there’s a moment like this again, I don’t know what I’ll do. I just don’t know how many more I can stomach. Seriously. It would be nice if Audrey wasn’t so entirely awkward, but she is, so we get moments like the one we just had when we never expected to get them. Everybody here is so full of shit it’s like I can’t escape my own blood. Fuck all of this! Seriously, it’s not working anymore. I can’t be the only one who sees that enough is enough. Or can I? I have big plans, Ramon. I’m not kidding, I’m bigger than this place and as soon as I can get out, I’ll be so far gone. I don’t want to have to defend my lifestyle choices to you, like what are you, my mother? It’s bad enough that Audrey says that shit in front of her, and gets her all riled up, but I thought you were my ally here. Now I know everyone is just whispering behind my back as if I can’t tell it’s all about me.
Wednesday September 30, 2015
A Guinness billboard
I’ve got issues with the word “blonde” and issues with the word “dreams”. I know that that’s a bit dramatic, but I’m a bit dramatic, so, take me or leave me, you know? I have wanted blonde hair for years. I almost think people would like me more. Not because people like blondes more than other hair colours, but because it’s like I’m in disguise, or playing up the good because it’s not what I was born with. A good friend once told me that I’m more interesting when I speak in accents. He likes my southern drawl, could listen to that all day, enjoys my child-like British, says it’s cute. Hell, I knew I had a problem when he said he’d rather listen to me in my half-assed and terrible Irish. That means, I’m not good enough as is, right? And I should have dreams to change the hair, the voice, the personality. Right?
Thursday May 21, 2015
And happiness is a sailing ship
the ocean strong
the wind fair
gliding across the water
a beacon of hope
a sign of peace
we all tilt our strained chins to the earth
and we sigh
that’s the final taste
that’s the summer sun warming up the frigid ground
And dessert is an apricot tart
the filling sweet
the pastry light
being passed around the after party
a moment of indulgence
a gesture of great care
we all throw our anchored heads back against the sofa
and we laugh
Thursday March 5, 2015
The Fig Tree
“I’m ready for something bigger.” I took a deep gulp of air and I said that to myself. I did. I was, in that moment, feeling very existential. I wanted to know things about myself. I realized I wanted to enjoy my own abilities instead of waiting, forever waiting, for someone else to tell me that they enjoy them. “How is that living?” I exhaled and I said that to myself. “How is it?” If I might, I’d like to paint the scene for you so perhaps you’d see how silly it is too.
You wake up, you dread enjoying your own gifts because you’re afraid someone else might disagree with you or have an opinion about what you’ve made. You make a bowl of quick oats and banana, and you tell yourself internally how bad you are for wanting to spend time doing the things that bring you joy and amusement and pleasure. You clean the dishes and you imagine a world where there is applause for you, but you see it as its own entity and not attached to the doing. Then you put on your jeans and you notice that you don’t ever see the part where you’re actually enjoying your own ability. You can’t envision the perfect happiness that comes from simply doing that thing, and you can’t fathom for even a split second what the feeling of truly expressing and connecting would mean for you.
So you throw on your winter scarf and head out of the house to once again avoid doing what you know your heart bleeds for.
Bizarre, isn’t it?
Monday December 8, 2014
from an interview with Annabel Soutar
I have been telling myself for one whole year that I am good and worthy and beautiful and enough. My life coach told me I should recite these things and try to remind myself that I actually believe them. I started trying to believe them one morning in April of last year because it was the spring or something and things seemed like they were being reborn. I wanted to be reborn. I didn’t want to hate myself anymore. I didn’t want to wish I was born of a different woman and therefore raised by one, believing I was just different and not the me I actually was. The process was a long one. I was not the me I actually was or wanted to be, but the me I had no choice in being. The dead me with crispy hair. The forgotten me with only 5 friends at my funeral. I had a lot of visions that I would never wake up. So I went to her and told her with my blood: HELP.
Tuesday October 28, 2014
from the side of a tper bus
He entered a room filled with mirrors. The instructions said he must look within before he could exit the game. He knew how this worked. A hundred minutes ripping apart all his flaws just to realize he was fine all along and didn’t need to inflict any self harm to find that out. So instead he tried to see what features he liked about himself; starting with the outside to make it easier when he got to the inside.
Decent enough eye shape. Not an almond. But almost. Long eyelashes-like a fawn, or a prostitute. Standard cheekbones (thankfully). One big bottom lip and one almost normal looking top lip. Straight teeth. Really straight. Should smile more. Will note that.
Sunday October 26, 2014
from the early draft of a screenplay
Anja sat quietly in the front seat, not wanting to disturb her father while he was lost. She knew she’d only have a few more calm minutes with him before he lost his temper, and she didn’t want to reduce them by saying the wrong thing, or breathing too loudly. Anja had wanted to go up to the cabin with her father ever since she was a kid, but for some reason they never did things just the two of them. Of course Pat got to do everything with their father, and he’d come home shining like the sun after a weekend alone with him. Anja knew she didn’t have much to say to her father, but always assumed that was because she never got to go on these trips like her brother did. If she had had the opportunity, she would have made herself known. She would have told a few jokes and proven how strong she was, and fearless. It felt like the two of them, finally spending some quality time together, had been driving in circles for at least an hour. Anja wondered briefly if this moment would be enough to bring them closer together.
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 June 24, 2014
I start off by telling him to buy a broom. I say this because we’ve been without one for a week and 4 days and I’ve never been more acutely aware of how dirty floors get. We just keep carrying food bits and street crumbs around with us from room to room, from surface to surface. I tell him that I’ve tried to be okay with transferring the tiny dried up pieces of day to living around with me under my feet. I’ve tried to ignore how much was building up. I’ve tried to pretend it was kind of nice not having to worry about sweeping, and not being a slave to the system anymore. But then one minute on one day, enough is enough. It happens abruptly. The level of ‘here’ up to which I have had the proverbial ‘it’ is above my head as well as his, and though I am not tall, he is, so it is radically different than the moment before when it didn’t matter, or it masqueraded as such. The second thing I tell him to buy is a dustpan. He looks at me with those eyes saying why why why and I answer with mine saying because because because.
Tuesday January 28, 2014
from a Loblaws receipt
And I would buy so many thermal things, seriously you don't even know. I would spend the $500 on a winter coat that I was denying myself before because it seemed just effing ridiculous if I couldn't even afford to pay my phone bill. I would get the warmest boots money can buy. They would be toasty and stylish. That is the dream. I would buy those hand warmer things and wear them daily and I wouldn't care about the environment because clearly the environment doesn't care about me. It would be a war on the elements and I would be a warrior for warmer temperatures, fighting only for my extremities and my facial features that can't be protected without looking like an extreme bank robber. And with the rest of the money I'd spend it on taxies so I would never have to wait in the cold for a stupid transit system to be 15 minutes later than it says it's going to be and I would be happy. And after saying all that I realize I could JUST LEAVE THIS CITY!! $2000 can get me that right??
Monday, March 25, 2013
I hear your voice in my ears like a faint buzz of a distant fly; irritating me while I sleep, while I sit, while I pray. I can’t rid myself of you. The inner battle is a fight I keep trying to win. I can’t win with you: flies are hard to beat. I’m annoyed by how much I care, how much I tend to hold on to stupid things. And there you are, crying your tears, manipulating me into always always loving you. I’m not doing that anymore. It’s a thought I have almost every day, and yet…
The whisper of your staged pain makes me want to burn my own flesh off my arms, my legs. I can’t do this anymore.
The drone of your pre-meditated lies, your idea of making nice or making nice enough. I won’t do that anymore.
Somehow today is different than the one before it. Than the one before that, and so on and so on. Somehow it is bigger and filled with light. Light enough that I can really see you. I can really see your mouth turned up in a smile, but your eyes flickering with rage and jealousy and deceit.
I liked you better in the dark.
I like everything better in the dark.
I will not apologize.
I’m not doing that anymore.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at The Second City Training Centre
Running With Scissors
On those grey days where you just don’t want to get out of bed, I think to myself, dark room, dark walls, and try to get myself back to sleep. I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to do anything that involves other people. I want to sleep and sleep and give back to my body. Give back to my mind and just let it dream all day. Those grey days, the ones where the sky is even lovelier than yesterday, the birds only sing in harmony, and the lawn mower is taking the day off, that’s when me and me find one another after being separated, seemingly all the way from birth, and we hold hands with the idea that We Are Enough. I am enough. To get out of bed to even prepare a cup of soup would be a tragedy. To lean over the edge of the warmth and safety and potential imminent back ache to pick up the tissue that had been left there over night would be a disservice. For those grey days are not grey in colour, but in feel. In texture. In one world where ideas and solutions can’t multiply fast enough. It’s the in between, the place where my mind and body go to have a lie down; a rest. It’s the place where no other colour is invited because it would just ruin everything. It’s that.
So on those grey days, I sleep.