Sunday January 27, 2019
I move to Alaska because I want to live at the end of it all, where the road meets the horizon, where the sun feels like a star and it doesn’t rain as much as it does here. I’m twenty seven and I don’t know my ass from my mouth, but at least I’m not afraid like everyone else is, afraid to leave home. “Home” is a word that feels strange in my mouth, foreign, like “Barcelona” or “beloved”.
I’m sorry that I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye. I know that was a long time ago, but I never stopped thinking about you. Riding bikes around the track at St. Mike’s, shooting the shit, pretending we were big shots. Alaska takes a part of your heart when you’re there for long enough. A part of my heart that’s shaped like you. P. I’m better now than I was then, in almost every way.
Friday November 16, 2018
My mother is beautiful
in the thickness of grief
bless her ravaged heart
People don’t talk
about how it smells
(salty wet acidic)
about how it looks
about how it feels in the bones
(heavy empty ragged)
I awaken with clenched teeth
and a prayer between them
sweat on my forehead
in my womb
Tuesday September 18, 2018
Candy Cap Magic
It’s a shot to the knee
not the heart
The heart would stop
The knee would keep screaming
What are you supposed to do without your knee?
Get good at reading
Get good at writing at the bar with another beer
You’re never going to be better than this
keep your tab open
a shot to the liver to
keep the knee from reminding you it’s there
Bring a book and black out all the lines that have you in them
turn the pages into a diary of the wasted major organs
the wasted time and delusions
all those prayers to the wrong god
all that for nothing
When they tell you you’re meant to be more
it’ll be too late
Tilt your head back and chase the bottom of the glass
You would lick it clean if your tongue were long enough
If you were good at something
The knee isn’t dead
the heart is sick
the throat is never dry
Wednesday August 8, 2018
I sleep in your bed when you’re away and I toss and turn and have nightmares about people breaking into your apartment because I’ve done something wrong in a past life to ruin the trust you have in me. On a different night I dream of having to find an outfit for prom. 13 years later and I wonder what I have accomplished since then. Still trying to fit in. Still worrying if I will be perceived by them as I perceive myself. On the night with the nightmares I am landlocked to the bed. I can’t rise. I can’t wake up. Sleep paralysis plays a slideshow of disturbing footage and I’m not allowed to leave. I’m not allowed to leave. Your bed used to be softer. I think you gave that one to our parents. I think your heart full of tenderness gives everything to everyone. I’m sorry my body heavy with jet leg and self-doubt can’t ease into the gift. You’d be sorry if you knew it was hard, and it shouldn’t be hard. It should be soft. You’re sleeping on the cold ground right now and I pray that your bones aren’t wet all the way through. I hope you’re sitting on the garbage bag instead of a damp log. I hope you find peace in the stillness of the wilderness. You impress me. Someone who knows when to say yes.
Monday July 16, 2018
Quoted by Rumi
the water of this wears me
this sweat and longing and heartbreak
and love and trust and dreaming and collision
there are less edges to my loving now
that we sleep naked in the glory and mud
i set the same intention a million
times over set the timer for five minutes
as a marker that maybe then i’ll be
ready maybe then i’ll be healed
the words help they always do
the forest helps it always does
water helps it always
the fluid nature of love
can’t be explained can it
just as you can’t explain
the etches on the walls of
beating in my mouth
fireworks in the aeorta
ventricle to ventricle
we reach towards
Tuesday May 22, 2018
From an apartment garbage bin
It is as good as bringing Jesus back from the dead
comes with a message and a couple lessons
a few good hugs and whistle tucked at the side of the mouth
Heart strings pulled and twirled around the finger
A lightness of being in a room together without all that unknowing
It is a pulse after a flat line
a dream after insomnia
a hope caught in the wind long enough to blow a kiss at it
The body starts up again after rest
after laying down on the track and wishing
The body breaks free from the wire and builds a blanket fort instead
something soft to land on
something easy enough to lay all the weary and weighted
The sun sets in the sky drawing heat to a close
The shadows paint the city in all their perfect silks and blues and pinks
Thursday, April 19, 2018
A List Of My Utopias
I can recite her laugh lines by heart
in the quiet night I hear her in my rib cage
I saved a couple of her voicemails
when I want to visit with her again
in the dead of winter
when speaking half in english, half italian, half french, my skin knows story
sometimes she sings and I know where I got it from
and where she must have gotten it from
that alone would connect us
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Mary-Beth gets a chicken
and she loves her with
all her heart because that’s
what a chicken does
to a person
You wouldn’t think it
but it’s true
They are bringing
chickens into senior citizens’
homes to help fight all
Mary-Beth lets Fiesta
(That’s her chicken’s name)
sit on her shoulder while
she is playing checkers with
Anthony and Robin
Fiesta helps her heart beat
to more music than ever
and she also helps her win
Saturday April 7, 2018
Megan Fennya Jones
Some audiences don’t snap for poems about joy
if the joy is coming out of certain bodies
You could say you love your body and they will
say that it’s because you never had to struggle
You could say you like yourself and they will
wait for the moment before when you didn’t
I have been grateful in front of the wrong people
Gave my full heart and let the light open the room
and still it was not the right place for it
it did not compare with all of the other sadness
Makes you wonder sometimes if you have enough
pain to even be a poet
if you have enough of anything at all
If you want to sing the love song for your loved song
you will have to wait until there’s a
space in the programming
You can’t try to be joyful after someone else has wept
it will make you look like you’re bragging
like you’re the enemy
and some audiences will call you undeserving
of a ten
Friday, March 2, 2018
Ashtanga Yoga Primer
Baba Hari Dass
On my mind like a wind chime
blowing in the night
Playing a song so sweet
You are who I think of when I can’t get to sleep
You are who I know I need
Raindrops carry the ease of you
On my rooftop I have felt the drum
You are who my heart knows is the one
You are who my heart knows is the one
In the faces in shower tiles I see yours
In the gravel roads I’m travelling on
You’re the smile in my bowl of soup
the wisdom in the moon
You are who I was supposed to meet
You are who my dreams told me to write
You are who my eyes were built to see
You are who my heart knows
Tuesday December 19, 2017
From Not That Kind of Girl
It made me feel so much better to go outside and be in the rain and the peek whisper of sun and to feel the nibble of cold on my cheeks and to be splashed by a car turning and then I was at the water’s edge and that always makes me feel so much better but when I feel good the very very best I cry then too because you know what my heart is the open doorway or frame my heart is the door frame there isn’t even a door there the door was taken a long time ago and sold in an antique store to someone who really needed it who needed that oak protection
Friday November 24, 2017
Love knocks you around
Especially when you’re young
You throw yourself at every blue eyed Casanova
Love scoops you up
Carries you for awhile
And then drops you
Sound of a cracking egg
Sound of a sizzle
Sound of morning
Love requests nothing
That’s not what you’re used to
Love laughs loud
Love grabs you hard
Hand on the small of your back
You’ve never been touched like this before
You’re breathless putty
Wednsday September 6, 2017
Yours Is This
It feels like I have been here before
in this moment between Mars and Monday
you are here too like a cup of water
or a good pencil
We chose this space and this timeline to wander together
I know your hands less than I should
You will likely forget mine when I die
Of course I can’t pretend that I won’t
All true things have death attached
And still I hope you don’t go first
Unless your body could use the rest
in which case I will keep my arms strong
so I may hold your last breath
the last time your body builds a memory
I will be the softest bed you ever had to leave
Tuesday September 5, 2017
Hello, I say to her
tender teeth and Milky Way.
Hello, hello you humming bird wing
you olive oil drenched skin
you whistling Lilly
I have waited for you.
I have been here being here
and I have been waiting for you.
You found me.
Would you like to stay the night?
I have some things I’d like us to do together if you have some time to rest.
I know how far you’ve travelled,
let me rub your sandy feet.
She is unlike midnight and yet she sits perfect in the sky.
She glows like she’s been drinking from a river cried by the Moon.
Friday April 14, 2017
from a business card
Undress me with your knowing of the type of tear on my cheek. We listen to music loud because words aren’t enough, we need the melody too. And the lyrics talk about how we’ll die, how we all die, how love is light and heavy at the same time and we don’t know if we’ll rise or fall. My heart aches when we’re apart, but I like it too, like she sings, like the world sings. The wisdom of each year, the wisdom to know all that I don’t know, all that you don’t know, the mystery of birthdays and water from eyes.
Sunday December 25, 2016
Overheard in the kitchen
Young one is half laying beside me, nodding off and meeting sleep somewhere in the middle so it doesn’t have to come all that way.
Older one is propped up against the fire place, figuring it out pen in hand or holding space for the opportunity in case it comes knocking.
Fire starter keeps banging on the wood, offering silly comments, and roasting chestnuts even though they’d taste better if we were still hungry.
Happy heart is stuffed into the love seat, smiling at me every time something deserves an eye roll or a gut laugh.
You are on the other side of me, keeping my leg and my spirits up, holding my water and my elbow, lifting more up than you ever could hold in your two hands.
Tuesday December 6, 2016
You are not the first to waste me to
get down to the nitty-gritty and decide
it was too true for you to pass up
but too true for you to love
and since then I’ve been crafting
properly this time
the fight I would pick with you
the argument that I would mount
in my own defense
You are not the first to wonder if
there was any more wounding
you could inflict on the dead
or dying because what is the
point anyway and maybe we should
be less naive with our hearts
and stop offering the bottom half of it
up for dessert
You are not the first
if I am
Saturday August 20, 2016
Heard in a song on Co-op radio
I catch myself believing I deserve better when I grab your hand in the crowded street and you pull away after only a second. I grab your hand as a gesture to show you that in this sea of people, I cling to you. I reach for you. I choose you. I remind you every chance I get that I am proud of you. That I am proud to be with you. That the touch of your skin connects me to the only things in this life that matter. And you might miss all of that if you’re not expecting to see it. If you think holding hands is something to be taken for granted. Or to be done differently, perhaps. On days like this I swim along the shoulders of other people when I think of how lonely it is to love you. How far I’ve pushed my heart into opening and how tired she is from never being cradled back. I don’t think I’m allowed to ask for more. I need so much so much so much.
Friday August 12, 2016
For the third night in a row I have come home from the office and screamed into my pillow-I don’t know how much longer I can take it-I am starting to look forward to coming straight home from work—
I found his lies in the back pocket of his jeans. I asked him why it took so long for him to get lazy. Why now? Because I know he wanted to be caught because he wanted to tell me why and he wanted to tell me it was because of me. So. I asked him and he told me he was no longer happy. As if that’s supposed to erase 4 whole years of loving someone. Because to love someone for four years breaks your heart on the best of days. As if being no longer happy excuses the sneaking around and justifies the betrayal. It is a betrayal because I trusted my heart with him. It is a betrayal because he knew it would hurt me and he did it anyway.
Thursday June 30, 2016
They carve out my heart and gasp and shudder and
someone faints with a small sigh that only
my heart can hear
“It’s shaped like a like a like a like a
it’s shaped like a hexagon…”
They don’t let me hold it or see it or
kiss it they take it away to a room on
the other side of the place
I wonder when I’ll get it back
I wonder when I’ll see it again
Will I see it again?
“It’s shaped like a like a like a like a
it’s shaped like a hexagon…”
The doctor wore white but my blood was all
over him and it was purple and blue
magenta and violet
Friday June 17, 2016 at Starbucks
What You Don’t Do
Lianne La Havas
Millie’s coming! Millie’s coming! That’s me yelling from the centre of my happiness–shouting out that my HEART is visiting me in this god forsaken shit-hole of a town! MILLIE IS COMING EVERYBODY SHE IS GOING TO BE HERE IN T-MINUS 1 HOUR CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE BUY THE CAKE AND THE SPARKLERS CAUSE I WILL BE TOO BUSY SCREAMING MY HEAD OFF AND MAKING A KILLER GUACAMOLE THANK YOU. When I told her I didn’t want her to come, that no she shouldn’t take off work, that please don’t worry about me, I’m very much fine just going INSANE, she refused to take no for an answer. Lydia, she’d say, Lydia, Lydia, why wouldn’t I want to come see my favourite sister in her most loathed living location to date? And I’d say, A) I’m your only sister and B) I chose this place, it’s not like they’re forcing me to stay. Millie always says something subtly sisterly like I’ve always wanted to visit Saskatoon! Or just put the two of us in a room and we will seriously run that town!
Tuesday April 12, 2016
from a text
When you ask me for the truth I gladly give it. Not to everyone, but to you, I don’t how not to. I remember sitting with you in a dusty bar a year and a half after first meeting you and feeling like that was the first time I actually got to know you. You said some profound shit and you were as lucid as I’d seen you. I preferred you like that. I wonder if you noticed me opening to you too. If you noticed me sharing more secrets or more weaknesses or more dreams laced in marijuana and vulnerability. We are close now like a weird combination of two unlikely flavours that you avoid combining at first because the idea puts you off, but that no longer surprises you once they’ve been mixed together and tasted and enjoyed.
So now. We’re both here: you in love with someone who loves you even more than you love him, and me in love with someone who loves me for reasons I will never comprehend, and we still have each other when we’re dying or when we’re thriving. You ask me if you think you deserve to be happy. I say yes. You ask me if you made mistakes. I say yes. You ask me if I’m happy. I say yes. You ask me if when the world ends, can we hold hands in a tulip garden. I say yes.
Monday April 11, 2016
overheard on the 99
You tell me you love me like a bazillion times a day and I say it back maybe once? Twice if I’m in a good mood. I wonder it it bothers you that I say I love pizza more than I say I love your lips or your hands or whatever nice shit you say to me. You don’t seem bothered. You seem normal. Not even phased. I assume because you must believe you’re hearing me return your sentiments every time you say them cause otherwise your heart would need mending. And I’m saying you seem fine so I imagine you feel great about needing to express yourself so much and being with a person who needs coffee before speaking to you and who wants to be left alone for the first 40 minutes after returning home. I used to think saying I love you meant meaning it. If you asked me now I’d say it had nothing to do with that.
Sunday April 10, 2016
from an email
Mia and I have plans on the weekend. She wants to go camping and I want to go where Mia goes. So we’re going camping. She says it will be really easy if we just pack a tent in my car and then sleep in cornfields or daisy patches or whatever the fuck she actually said. I said yes. I said, I love camping, and I’ve been camping many times, and I am not afraid of getting caught by police or bears or raccoons or snakes. Mia wears an anklet that drives me wild. It’s a gold infinity rope thing and I didn’t know I liked ankles, but fuck hers are nice. She asked me recently if we could squeeze one more person in the back. I heard myself say yes but my whole body was screaming no. My body was too late to the party. It was distracted by the smell of her ponytail.
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
Wednesday February 10, 2016
When I think of our children, we only have 2, you win, I see one with little curls, one with glasses, and both with big innocent loving smiles. How bad would it be if I pictured our kids frowning? They’re not, though. They’re so happy. They have your heart. They have your never ending optimism and your family first attitude. They have my temper, both hilarious and terrifying. I like that they snarl at things as much as they laugh. They don’t give up when enough is enough. They don’t understand “enough.” Maybe I shouldn’t be proud that they’re miniature versions of a trait I’m trying to eradicate. But I am. Anger is an emotion that creates change, carries it, lifts it up, and shoots it to the moon. I think Alanis said that. The part about anger being the vessel for moving forward.
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Overheard in the Living Room
Honouring our mother we stare deep into our blood with a little wink and a hug saying “we can only go forward now.” Your heart rests just above mine like it was designed to. You came first, you reached up to the sky where you saw endless possibilities and I reached up to you because I believed you were as high as I needed to go. Now we lead each other, honouring our mother, giving her the gift we refused to when we were young.
“Please don’t fight.” “Why can’t you two be kind to each other?” “Tell me, do you treat your friends this way?”
We didn’t know it at the time that we weren’t treating each other like anything but ourselves and we both had a lot of figuring out to do. We threw self-blame and self-hate and self-wondering because we were each other’s mirror and we saw ourselves reflected back through shades of green in a way we couldn’t understand.
I let your heart shift around on mine to find its spot. I keep you there like a stamp of time and a promise of forever.
Wednesday December 9, 2015
overheard at 49th Parallel
Rip me apart
like a Custard Tart
Hold my hands up
in an I’m Innocent
Not Holding A Weapon
kind of way
Make me your mission
but keep me alive
Steal all my
So you can peer inside
Shatter my bones
like an ancient mosaic bowl
that you break to rearrange its pieces
in an order you like better
Crack open my chest
like a safe
without a lock
my beating heart beat for you
one last time
Wednesday December 2, 2015
said by Joe
Time is flying by and I wish he would just look up from that damned banjo of his for a second to notice that I am no longer interested in dicking around. When you meet the person your heart chooses to love and accept and be challenge by on a daily basis, why waste a single minute of that time after you’ve made up your heart to do something about it? I don’t think he believes that I love him and only him. I think he needs me to write it down and mail it in a letter! Maybe that’s what I’ll do, put it on some pretty pink stationary, spray it with my Eau De Toilette, then shove it in an envelope and seal it with a kiss! Telling him, you better hurry up and marry me quick before I change my mind about you, mister!
Friday November 27, 2015 at Our Town
The Vancouver Sun
Friday, November 27, 2015
They play the kind of oldies music that I love here. I can’t help but tap my foot and sing along. It’s a crowded place. Not the best spot for open expression of who I am. If my father could see me he’d be so embarrassed at how little tact I have. He always hated when I’d check to see if I had food in my teeth in a knife while sitting at a restaurant. He thought it was classy. I thought it would be less classy if I spoke to someone with spinach hanging from my gums, but no, what I was doing was inappropriate. I couldn’t tell you how many times my dad has embarrassed me just by being narrow minded. I never told him that I didn’t want to be seen with him, even if he told a bad joke, or said that people with dreadlocks shouldn’t work at a housewares store. I even remember one time he came skating with my grade 4 class and fell on the ice in front of everyone. I was 9 and sure, it was a big deal then, but I did not act like I was even a little bit bothered because I bet he was way more embarrassed than I was. In fact now that I think about it I was really just worried that he might have hurt himself and there wouldn’t have been room for anything else…
Thursday November 26, 2015
from the specials board at Our Town Cafe
Dear guy from the Turkish market buying one kilo of sun-dried tomatoes while wearing a safety vest,
You may have just stolen my heart, permanently, and I’m okay with that.
See I was looking for someone new to give it to, after I got it back from the guy I lent it to without knowing. I was tricked into telling him things about me and letting him see a version of me that most people don’t want to see, or shouldn’t see, or…Oh…now I wish I hasn’t mentioned that part at all cause it’s a bit embarrassing…..
Umm….If I hadn’t written this in pen, I would have erased the aforementioned weirdness but because I hate the way stuff looks scratched out, I will leave it in hopes that you don’t actually mind a little oversharing every now and again.
Back to the important matters at hand, guy wearing a safety vest.
I love sun-dried tomatoes so much and to see you buying them in such a large quantity is incredibly heartening. I can only begin to imagine what you’re planning to do with so many beautiful tomatoes. My biggest fear is that your wife or girlfriend or mother sent you here to buy them for the big party you’re announcing your future plans with a woman other than me at.
I wish I could erase that part too.
Thursday November 12, 2015
from the weather network
What you can do:
Actually listen (ie. refrain from thinking about whether or not your lover just texted a sexy picture of their shoulders or what you’re going to have for dinner).
Breathe deep and feel your feet on the floor.
Bring Sleepytime tea and a hot water bottle with a dog on it. Even if there’s a rainfall warning or a blizzard or you really just want to stay in your pyjamas and watch reruns of Nashville.
Stay for a sleepover and rub her back until she’s sleeping even if you are also tired. Wait until she falls asleep and then you can follow.
What you can say:
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I love you.”
“I support whatever choice you make.”
“I believe you.”
Tuesday November 10, 2015 at Brendee’s table
from a student’s short story
Met up with Cheyrl, the psychic, who was really just my friend’s older sister, Talia, wearing a kerchief and staring into lava lamps. She told me she was going to get my life on track, but first we must see the path it’s on right now. I don’t know, maybe Parker was just trying to help, but I didn’t think I needed a psychic to tell me that I was unhappy. Cheyrl laid out a deck of cards with angels on them. She told me to centre my heart’s vision on picking three cards that are spiritually calling to me. I asked her if it’s just a reaction, or do I actually hear something calling me, and if she could please tell it to me straight so I don’t have to get all up in it for nothing.
Friday October 2, 2015 at Liberty Bakery
Richard C. Frances
I’m working overtime and I’m over that.
I don’t have quiet.
I don’t know peace.
I’m too soft for things that are this hard.
I watch my dreams turn into nightmares.
I wake up all twisted in my comforter.
I wake up buried deep in my own grave every morning.
That’s the worst part.
Because I can’t explain it.
Not to you.
Not to me.
Not to anyone.
There’s nothing I can relate this to.
I’ve never died but it feels close to that.
It feels like fighting to stay alive.
But mostly fighting to die.
Time is racing.
I am racing.
I am running from myself.
And running out of running.
Friday September 18, 2015
overheard at Parallel 49
You let me fall asleep on you while you do you and read the newspaper or something
Catch the race or something
Eat a cob of corn or something
I nestle in there onto the soft of your body
Ready to greet sleep
Ready to find ease
And I do this so I can feel your heart beat without asking to
And I can breathe into the space of the folds of you while you carry the weight of me
These are my favourite moments
The world stops for me and continues for you
I die a thousand happy deaths laying there in your middle
And you go on living in the comfort of me lifeless, but content
It’s been one whole year without you and I don’t have a squishy home to lay my head
It’s not the same as it was
I cannot fall asleep on myself and float away
I don’t know where you are
I consider paying an unearthly sum to find you
A flight to the good old days may just cost me ten thousand dollars
Or ten thousand tears
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
from a LinkedIn profile
Ways to live, Days to be, Things to do, Dreams to have:
1.Make a cool plan with a cool hat on and go outside and say HELLO WORLD
2.Drink lemonade through a straw, out of a fishbowl with your eyes closed and your HEART OPEN
3.Wash your body and your lover’s in the lake and use the sunlight to dry YOUR BONES
4.Kiss the next person you see who is wearing a graphic t-shirt UNIRONICALLY
5.Spend a day on your belly watching the ant colonies under the rocks show you HOW TO LIVE
6.Eat an entire watermelon with your hands tied behind your back and don’t let your thoughts WANDER
Friday, August 28, 2015
from the Gemini horoscope in Cafe Astrology
I can feel her calling
Tugging on my heart
Pulling me close to her
Dancing with me till the night’s song is over
And she flows through me like a light
Like a flame
And she gives me freedom like a flight
Like a dream
She brushes the hair away from my ear and whispers the truth so no one can hear
Cause it’s meant for me
And it has to be
This little thing called faith
Calm shore rocky sea
She spins me around before the morning wakes up
Twirls me unfurls me
Spreads me wide for the wind
Friday, August 21, 2015
Overheard at a bus stop
Biddy and me make a pact to bleed each other’s blood and wear each other’s smile. I want to marry Biddy so I can be around her all the time and let her light wash over me and catch me in all the right moments. Biddy plays the violin and when she does the whole world stops. I do all the humming and Biddy plays so I can feel. She tells me that I’m most me when I open my mouth and let my heart sing out. She tells me she can see me growing into the person who’s taking better care of me. She tells me I’m the kind of woman who becomes more beautiful with age and experience and confidence and time. It’s my idea to combine our life force and Biddy smiles with her whole face because she loves all of my grand ideas. She snips a lock of her strawberry blonde curls and wraps it around my finger to remind me that we’ve got each other’s soul close by.
Friday, July 3, 2015
said by a Valens customer
She said she was an actress
Her heart the bleeding kind
She said she was a change maker
Her heart the bleeding kind
She said she was only half living
Her heart the tortured kind
She said she was only half being
Her heart the tortured kind
She said she was a lover once
Her heart the open kind
She said she was mother once
Her heart the open kind
She said she was an actress
Her heart the beating kind
She said she was a slave to the art
Her heart the beating kind
She said she was unhappy
Her heart the breaking kind
She said she was wasn’t done yet
Her heart the breaking kind
Monday May 11, 2015
Bud’s got more to say now that the whales are singing. His hands are open and he isn’t hitting his head against the wall. “Don’t touch me, Molly. Don’t touch me,” he says, smiling. I massage his palms, the muscles harder than concrete. He spends his afternoons on the porch, overlooking the ocean. When he hears a whale he calls, “Songs! Songs!” He dances and I say, “careful not to get splinters!” He lifts his feet higher. When his mother comes home from work she says, “How was the day?” She pours herself a glass of white wine. She kisses Bud on the forehead and he wrinkles his nose.
Saturday March 21, 2015
from an Indian Proverb
It stops me in my tracks for a second. We can’t keep it, eat it, turn it into fuel and be nurtured by it. We can’t take it with us, weave it into our bodies, make it anything but what it is. It stops me. It stops me in my tracks. When the world is spinning so fast it looks like it’s still..
That’s how it hits me, moves me, like a tectonic plate. I don’t know what I need usually -to remember this. A baby’s laughter, the oil painting of a woman breast feeding her new-born, a warm hug that lasts for at least 6 seconds, the poetry I buy with the currency of my tears. I am energy, I eat energy, I do not eat money. I wear artistic expression. I do not wear money. I think in hearts and hope. I do not think in money.
Monday March 16, 2015
In the window fog she traced his name with her pointer finger and drew a heart around it. Finding herself rereading the same last paragraph of his letter over and over again, she knew she wasn’t going to rid herself of his memory with any ease at all. She stopped herself for an instant, glanced out into the passing world outside her moving train, and came back into the present moment. She had been talking about him as if he had not only left her, but left this earth all together. Then, a tiny ember of hope flickered inside her. He wasn’t even gone, just away. Just away from her. His final words to her,the ones she’d been revisiting each time without effort, were suddenly so clear to her: “In time we fade and in time we’re built anew.”
Sunday March 15, 2015
from Sputnik Sweetheart
Like a ton of bricks falling from the ceiling, right over your bed while you’re in the middle of a good dream. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from the moment of feeling like nothing else was even happening or existing around me. Just hazy, stabbing light, hacking into my every skin cell.
It was shocking to say the least. The motherfucking shock of my motherfucking life. I didn’t see it coming. Maybe I never wanted to see something like that, and in my head I couldn’t even think it was possible. And then all of a sudden I was sitting at my best friend’s hospital bed, holding her hand and keeping her eyelids cool with my fingertips. I don’t know if I said it out loud, but I know for a fact my heart was singing it. Over and over again like a broken, desperate record: Please don’t die. Please don’t die. Please don’t die.
Wednesday March 11, 2015
from an online acting breakdown
It was everything and nothing
She cradled his heart gently in her palm
He unraveled his entire soul at her feet
She held his sobbing head
On her lap
In the dark
He poured out his deepest secrets
To the folds of her jeans
To the softness of her thighs
She waited until he was able
He held tight to her patience like a wounded bird
Monday February 23, 2015
I’ll be there when you need somebody
Hold you close when your heart’s been hiding
I will tell you what is inside my bones
Until you feel safe again again
I’ll be near when your strength is over
Pick up the pieces of your broken soul
I will sing to you until you sleep easy
But what do I do when you don’t come to me
Can I sit alone and wait for peace to be
You don’t always want something that you can see
You think you’ve got it covered
But that’s when I believe
You need me
I’ll reach out even when it’s lonely
On the edge of me waiting hoping
I will stay here all night if I have to
Do it again the next until you feel moved to
let it go and build a home again again
Don’t worry I won’t give up
Don’t worry I won’t let it hurt you anymore
Friday February 13, 2015
Overheard at Great Dane Coffee
Let’s make a list of the places where you live in me
Equal parts below and above the bellybutton
Where you often stick your pinky finger
Amazed at it’s depth
When I put my nose in yours
It smells like summer
A small remembrance of yesterday’s sweater
I collect it
A pillow for a spider
The good luck kind
In the space where we feel
Below the sternum
The solar plexus
That fragile brave hollowness
You live there
Snuggled like a puppy
Curled around yourself
Wednesday February 4, 2015
Shying away from the old heartache song
I don’t take too well to that kind of thing anymore
It hurts a bit in places that I didn’t know I had
So I let that tune play on elsewhere
I don’t tell it to stop cause I know it has to keep going
But I send it some peace so it knows It’s not personal
When I meet grace again, I’ll hum it softly
Maybe I’ll mouth the words
That’s when I’ll be able to have it quietly on repeat in the background
Underscoring my day to day
My dishes in the sink
My clothes on the line
My what ifs, if onlys
My midnight snack of whiskey and war
Monday February 2, 2015
A tweet by @stgramophone
Hunters in the night, we roam open fields, crouched low, weapons poised.
We dance through the movements in the wild, past forgotten, precision amplified.
We take aim at the heart of time and we shoot, silent bullets, pew pew, into the clock.
Tomorrow, tomorrow, we lament, we celebrate. Yesterday, yesterday, we hang on the wall like a prize.
Keeping it still, keeping it the same as before. We threaten the passing moments with violent accuracy and unmatched speed.
We leave no place for it to hide, no bushes, no blades of grass, no silly wishes left to conceal.
We chew on the flesh of memory until our bellies ache from the midnight devour method.
Nothing is the same now. Nothing is better or worse or either when we don’t let it be.
Sunday January 11, 2015
Held my hand out for you and I waited
Hours went by and I waited
Days turned into butterflies and I waited
Like the night
Like the only moment between us that you wanted to paint
I stood there, facing the light
Hours went by and I tortured myself with thoughts of you
Of your smile
Of your depth
Of your tiny birthmark hidden in the crack of your upper lip
Lifetimes went by and I waited
My arm got tired from holding onto an escaped hope
It had flown away into the wind long ago
My heart got tired from beating for both of us
My head got tired from trying to convince my body to have patience
To wait there for you until you were ready
I left you there with the rain cascading down
All the veins of every heavy hearted tree
Sunday January 4, 2015
Oh what a kindness I have known.
A man with a full heart is a gift, is a treasure. It bleeds generosity, it pumps only gentleness.
Oh what a kindness I have touched.
A man with a deep well is a blessing, is a joy. It fills understanding, it echoes only admiration.
Oh what a kindness I have felt.
A man with open arms is a fortune, is a delicacy. They embrace home, they caress only calming.
Wednesday December 17, 2014
From a Together For London bus ad
When your heart is heavy – take a bath. Fill the tub up high. Soak til you’re floating.
When your stomach growls – eat some almonds. Unless you have a nut allergy. Then eat a honey crisp apple.
When your soul is weary – see a dear friend. Even if you feel like you want to hide your head in a book or a pillow. She’ll be sure to rub your arm just as she did many moons ago.
When you’re questioning your purpose – read an old love letter. I know you’ve got one. Mine are kept on the bookshelf between Rumi and The Joy Of Cooking. It’s fitting, really.
When you talk to God – speak as you do to your feet when they’re walking. With humour. With irreverence. With love.
Wednesday December 3, 2014
A text message
I have those butterfly shakes
The ones that are constructed inside my heart
Born there out of all the leftover love
The love that gets left behind when I squeeze out all my need for you
There’s too much to fit trough the tiny holes
But it still beats for you
And so it turns into the perfect feeling
Of loving and needing and wanting and breathing
And it paints the inside of my rib cage
Lots of reds lots of orange
Wednesday October 29, 2014
Leaves of Grass
Like a rocket on fire and a mission to complete
You go straight for the chest
Exploding it open
Right through to the heart
Pumping life blood
You stare at it with the first quietness you’ve ever had
You watch it thud
You watch it pulse
You fall in love with it
All its depth
And all its power
Your burning mission now over
Your new mission
To hold it
To help it
To protect it
To fix it
You put aside your invasive tools
You throw away your distraction manual
And you wait until it’s ready for you
Saturday October 25, 2014
The back of a room spray
I’ve been feeling my roots being tugged deep down from within me. They reach reach into the ground and spread like a forrest fire on a mission. They dig and they wrap around the rocks below. They hold on tight so no one can pull them up. Not even magic can bring them to the surface, poking through the tops of the earth. I was born in this place many years ago. I know this because my heart sings when it hears the call of home. A singing heart is one thing to hope for in this life. Not all hearts sing. Some whisper. This one of mine likes a quiet hum to start it off, finishing with a lulling chant and a whoop every now and again. I was brought here once and made a promise to return. Threw my coins into the fountains, wished on bracelets and pizza crusts. It worked. I keep coming back. Like a cat through the window left open at night, crawling softly into the bed occupied by a lover.
Tuesday October 14,2014 at Piccolo & Sublime
from a quote from Isaac Asimov
I have been to a place of permanent happiness.
I’ve seen the sun rise and fall while wearing a tutu and performing for the world; a perfect dance, to which no applause follows.
I’ve laughed until my ribs ached, till my belly quaked, till my eyes were blurry, and my face wet.
I’ve kissed a pair of incomparable lips that I want to share with everybody just so I can say I did something good for this sorry world.
I’ve tasted the sea and the earth after a night of their hot and sweaty love-making.
I’ve licked the ocean off my lips and hummed a tune under the water until my heart and the pulse of the waves traded places.
I’ve danced body on body while my youth stayed up late–just so it could pretend that nothing else in this life even mattered.
Sunday October 12,2014
from a gelato advertisement
past. it was then that i saw it. i was afraid. i breathed one breath at a time out of fear of waking it. him. the beast. horror. it was a film. it was made up of my own worst nightmares. i asked my head to stop. to please. it didn’t know how. it had gone too far. present. i am sitting in a cave. the night is loud with silence. i am shivering. i am empty faced, heavy hearted. you only get one try. one attempt to flee. he was growling deep inside himself. it made me awake in every part of me. my bones. quaking. my skin soaked. future. he will eat my softness. he will wound my earth. i will fight to bind him. i will hunt to be unhunted.
Monday September 22, 2014
from Jess’ email to her family
I wanted you to know (ocean air)
That I’m doing some growing
That I’m doing some growing but not away from you
In the distance of Here to There I have laid down tiny cut outs
Of my heart for you to follow
Trace back to me when you need
Or when you can’t sleep
If the letter written in my hand
The one I write for you (mountain springs)
Never reaches you
There will be another route
For you to find your way
Back to me
And this space has a fullness
Because I am making sure I water it
Swelling with the blood that pumps my joy to yours (sky eternal)
A tiny river that you can swim through
If the road around it gets too rough
Thursday September 18, 2014
a Word document
Oh those are the big ones and the best ones and the hard ones and the important ones. Those ones that keep you up at night… “When will my mind grow an extra pair of hands?” “When will my soul sprout wings and soar?” “When will true silence stop breaking my heart?” “When will the truth stop stirring my spirit?”
Those ones with the capital W and the agonizing honesty. Those ones with the empty lined paper begging to be filled. Those ones with the armour melting at the seams.
Tuesday September 2, 2014
from the English translation of mamihlapinatapai
It was a look. It started out that way at least. He saw her standing in the rain with a broken umbrella at her feet and melting ice cream cone in her hand. She was letting it drip down her wrists and arms. It was sort of beautiful. Like an abstract oil painting of a feeling or a sentiment, captured by circles and lines and bright colours all winding into each other trying to tell a story of life and suffering.
She didn’t notice him there because that would have diminished her moment. She didn’t see anything but the rain falling around her so hard it looked like there was none coming down at all. She didn’t see the look he gave her which came from not his eyes but his chest. A heart beating wildly inside and for something he couldn’t quite explain or express. It wasn’t a quantity he could estimate or a dream he could decipher. It was her in all her perceived loneliness, in all her pain that he was adjusting to. Without moving, careful not to disturb her; careful not to disrupt the catharsis that was forming in his throat.
Thursday June 26, 2014
from the spaghetti package
On her forefinger she wrote HOME and on her middle she wrote HERE. On her ring finger she wrote WHEN and on her pinky she wrote ALWAYS. On her thumb she drew a ❤ and touched each finger to it for the ritual of it all. She had been feeling a little out of sorts lately. Not really knowing who to trust or who to ask her questions. People had the distinct capability of scaring her senseless, even when they didn’t pose any actual threats. She chalks that up to her childhood and almost getting killed in the woods by her two best friends. That happened way before the incident where those two girls did actually kill their best friend in the woods. She wondered sometimes if those girls all knew each other somehow, thinking to kidnap someone they supposedly loved and bring her to her worst nightmare. Lucky girl who died. She didn’t have to think about the entire world coming after her every other minute.
She looked at her thumb again and took a deep breath. Someone taught her to do that whenever she was doubting herself: take a deep breath and just choose love.
Monday June 16, 2014 at
A little bit of me goes a long way
A thing I still remember my mother used to say
Tight braids in the backyard
Baskets filled with tomato red
I would hold onto her promises
And every single thing she said
Because the stars were her favourite
And the rhubarb bush her friend
The nights felt like perfect movies
The days a pretty song without a threat to end
And mama had an angel’s voice
And mama liked to sing
A little bit of me goes a long way
For the mountains and for the King
I didn’t know it then
But I’m sure I see it now
The words she held close to her chest
The softness she’d allow
Were the ones I would keep with me
Tattooed upon my heart
So that I’d never forget the ways
She’d lull me in the dark…
Peace and poems she would strum
Dreams and old ones she would hum
Saturday June 14, 2014
The Toronto Star Website
I looked over at you while you tested out the massage chair we bought off the home shopping channel. You had those stupid blackout sunglasses on and those headphones and that blissful grin. It was such a relief to see you like that after so much recent pressure had been put on you. You were angrier than you might have ever been, and more aggressive toward inanimate objects than I ever would have predicted, but you were also a real gentleman when I was at my worst. When I would yell at the wind for blowing my life around. When I would scream at you for making me decide between keeping my blue punch bowl set or the garage sale vase. I looked at you during the minutes of this activity and saw your gracious and generous heart as you laid there in complete calm and freedom and abandonment for anything but the moment. And I remembered why I said yes to you and why I keep on saying yes to you. Because your kindness is a weapon and I am weak.
Monday June 2, 2014
an Instagram photo
She told me herself she didn’t feel like herself when the rain fell and when her stomach fell
I heard her say it with a faint ringing in my ear
I heard her say it cause I saw her there in the mirror
She was alone and cold and a full-blown ally to the dark side, to the wrong side
She was something that I could only dream about
Or wish for
She told me herself she didn’t feel much like singing when the sun was out
She would be there, crouched in the mud, trying to taste her mistakes
Trying to make a waterfall from her eyes’ outpouring
The earth is a wet and cold place
I heard her say it with a faint longing in my bones
I heard her say it cause I was stuck there inside her ribcage when her heart started screaming
Take me away
Take me so far away from this
And the sky would open with her desperate kiss
And she would lay there holding on to the only thing she knew
Friday March 28, 2014
The Pocket Oxford Dictionary
It started with a 2 hour phone call with my mother on the other side of the country. She was happy to hear my voice and all the things I was doing. Told me once, maybe twice, maybe three whole times that she was proud of me and that she was on my team. I know it’s cause she doesn’t want me to think for a second that I can’t or that I shouldn’t be myself. She wasn’t told those things by her mother. She didn’t get to have her skills endorsed by someone who counts, and by someone who matters…the way she does for me.
I told her I got her strength.
I told her I got her heart.
I told her I got her love for people.
I told her I got her good.
She said she hoped that was true.
And I told her I got her modesty too.
It was one of those phone calls that make you cry more than once, more than twice, more than three whole times in one conversation. And that’s because she moves me with her words so I can move others with mine. And so she can say that I got my love for story-telling from her.
Just like I got her lips.
Just like I got her nose.
Saturday March 8, 2014
an interview with Barbara Kingsolver
More like a gun shot
More like a tooth being ripped from warm gums
More than a giant axe to the heart
More like a life being promised to another
More like heart ache with great similes
More like a dream that started off as a nightmare
More like a wish that turned into a threat
More like a canyon filled up with dirty lies
More like a soft spot being crushed with one squeeze
More like the crippling news of somebody’s end
More like the devastating sadness of ruining the last chance
More like the idiotic blindness from staring into an eclipse
More like a harsh word in the middle of a funeral
More like a meteor hitting the same place
More like a story being killed before its conclusion
Tuesday March 4, 2014
The Laramie Project
I would like to start off by saying that one day, yes, I did, at one point, really, truly, fully, and honestly, believe in the good good word. I tend to spiral out into a commentary on the current state of our church when I talk about it, but it should be known that I was a believer. I was more than that even; I was an evangelist. I didn’t know it then, but I was going door to door trying to save everyone I knew who might agree to asking Jesus into their hearts to be their Lord and Saviour. I wanted my friends to go to Heaven. I wanted them to live in a happy never-ending place and be loved by someone so much that it would be wrong to say no. I didn’t know then that I was selling something, or trying to convince people to convert. I just believed it. I really, really did. I would sleep with the Bible under my pillow. It was supposed to protect me from nightmares, of which at the age of 9, I had a lot. It was supposed to prevent me from seeing Jesus’ silhouetted face on my wall, transforming into a laughing demon trying to suck my soul out from the inside of my heart. I have to say that part. Because I feel bad when I say that I don’t believe the Bible now.
Saturday February 22, 2014 at Cherry Bomb
overheard on Roncesvalles
I’ve been following my heart
Like it’s an old friend whom I trust unconditionally and unequivocally.
You know that friend
Who you call when things collapse and you’ve lost all sense of time and morals?
I’ve been letting my heart lead me by the hand.
I find that she often takes me towards strong coffee and sunlight playing through azure stained glass.
Today, she surprised me with shopping on eBay for black boots and paisley dresses.
We’re poor, so I laugh and shake my head and stick my pinky into the jar of almond butter.
We are well worn for our twenty eight years,
We find dead birds on the sidewalk and a sob catches in our throat.
We chase the love that we promised ourselves was truest
Even when it aches
Even when growing pains threaten
And thunderstorms brew heavy.
When I forget that she’s there,
that sweet one,
swollen and ripe like an August peach,
she taps me on the shoulder and hums with a tone that sounds like a cello.
Thursday February 13, 2014
Edgar Allan Poe
And we knew it by the candle light that threatened to disappear
With kitchen slow dancing to a Sam Cooke masterpiece
And a couple loose kisses caught by whoever’s mouth was closest
And we knew it then
And we knew it then
The tile underneath our stocking feet
Inviting us to glide with the movement of each other
And a fistful of tickling hairs brushing across our cheeks
And we knew it then
And we knew it then
The night was our playground, our solace, our cure
Saving breaths for only when we needed them
Not wanting to disturb the peace our hearts had found inside each other’s chest
And we knew it then
And we knew it then
Holding dear those smiling eyes and those fluttering eye-lashes
With a whisper of eternity in the chorus of our love song
And a natural tendency to sink into the only moment that ever mattered
And we knew it then
And we knew it then
Sunday February 9, 2014
Build me an igloo
And I’ll make you a cake
Make me a bookshelf
And I’ll bring you a lake
Weave me a dream
And I’ll give you my heart
Shake out the spiders
And I’ll get a head start
Catch me a star
And I’ll stomp you a path
Listen to my songs
And I’ll run you a bath
Wednesday January 22, 2014.
KINFOLK, Volume 10
She was old and she was young
Not sure which parts were which
Sometimes her bones cracked
Sometimes they didn’t
Sometimes her mind forgot
Sometimes it didn’t
She was a glow
Any age can be
She was dark and lived
But in her face only at times
Other times in her soul alone
She was wise
And she was naive
She gave great advice
But she didn’t know how to take it
Her heart held lullabies
Her heart held broken pieces glued together
Her eyes were deep and lived
And sometimes flickered like someone who had never seen anything before
She was young and she was old
She was living and she was learning
Some days she taught herself something new
Some days she taught someone else to feel loved
Others she wouldn’t have anything to do with learning at all
She was grown
She was new
Tuesday January 7, 2014
Let’s Ride Into The Sunset Together
I’ll be here with you
I’ll be standing by your side
Close enough that you can sense me
Far enough that your independence not be compromised
I’ll be there
Hands in my pockets
Heart tilting towards the Sun
High in the sky
Tickling the snow
Teasing the darkness of this time of year
I’ll be here when you’ve lost your directions to the place you were hoping to go.
I’ll be here with you
Closing my eyes when you don’t want to miss a second and refuse to blink
When you say,
I will always say,
Wednesday December 18, 2013
from the Charles Bradley record
I told him with my eyes and my gentle kiss, blown into the wind so it would follow him home. He heard nothing was expected of him. People can’t hear eye love or wind kisses. It was stupid of me to think he would. When he didn’t turn around, it ruined me for a while. Long enough to break, find the prices, and put them back together again. They were a little jagged and a little mismatched like a puzzle put together by an impatient person, or a cheater. Someone who cuts the edges so they fit the way they “should”. I examined them in the brief moment of loneliness I was in and I decided then and there to give away my poems to the homeless and my romanticism to the food bank. Surely they would need them more than I did. Surely someone in their lives would have a place for misguided ideals and hopes beyond reasonable doubt.
Monday December 9, 2013
from a Ryerson University subway ad
high above the pain and the suffering I left behind, you can see me there, painting the clouds with my smile and my open heart.
nice and red. and soft too, so it’s easy to look at. easy to take in. each one puffs by me, new now from my artwork. the tears up here are bright blue, almost turquoise. it’s nice when the salt mixes with the sweet cotton candiness of it all. i am flying now. i have been here before. my mind is clear like blowing air through a straw and making the objects on the other side move, even just a little. the forecast is not unbearable, or terrifying. it’s calm and predictable but impulsive without being too harsh. i’ve learned to love my new place in the sky. it feels far away from everything i knew, but no one speaks my language and i never need them to. the money, the time, the regrets all seem to float away. they don’t want to get in the way of my flight. they don’t want to hinder my soul from creeping up from its safe place and being exposed right there in front of me. i let out my expectations slowly from the hem of my skirt, and i do this until the string is fine and coiled around itself. below i see, i left it all there for another moment in time.