Saturday July 14, 2018
overheard at Genavie’s house
I need this before I can do this I need the house to be cleaned the old milk to be taken out the practice of preaching
I need many things
before I can be enough
I need the light on
the story told
the writes written
I need the glory of the coming of the Lord
I need my medicine
drip drop in the throat before I can sleep
I need my mom to come
back to come back for me to not leave me here without saying goodbye
I need to watch Annie and pretend that my chance will come too
sing a little while I scrub the bathroom
tell you all the counters I’ve wiped and counting
counting to remind myself I am here and they are comig back
that they haven’t forgotten me
that I am enough
I need my medicine
Wednesday June 6, 2018
Amani Bin Shinkansen
I miss a city that knows how to be a city
I think about subway platforms and rats and random conversations with a stranger at the laundromat
I want a city that doesn’t stop living when the snow hits
When the festival is over
I want a city that knows how to make things
Reaches into its pockets and turns lint into lightening, paints the sky magic
I miss a city that celebrates life in the streets with food and music and dancing
I need a city that doesn’t have any height restrictions
If I am going to fling myself off of a building, then let it be a big one
I want the me I am when summer kisses city on the sweaty mouth
I want to kiss it on the mouth
Friday October 13, 2017
Holy balls I can’t hear out of my left ear and I am not even mad. I thought I would be devastated if I lost my hearing but I’m fine. I think that’s what happens when you get older. When the real things matter. Anyway I’m not even bragging just trying to make peace with the things that are out of my control. Been cleaning more these days. Been organizing everything I can. They say it’s best to organize things that don’t have a heart beat. Cause you can’t control anything with one but sometimes you still need to put things in their perfect order. I’m upset that Lara is sick. She won’t tell me how bad it is but I know she’s been going to the doctor’s office more and more. At first I thought she was just pregnant. That would have been a whole different jar of worms and I think it’s safe to say now that a baby would not be the solution.
Tuesday September 12, 2017
Binaural Beats & Healing Sounds on YouTube
I believe that some horoscopes are life changing and I’ve read them. I know they exist.
I am confused, however, that I can read something, understand it, find it moving, and then not be moved by it. I don’t know why putting perfect phrases, keys to the universe surely, into practice is so damn hard. All you have to do is realize your worth, allow your heart to express itself, decide what it is you’d like to do, and then do it. These are the simple steps laid out and yet I read them, but won’t remember them. As if I never saw the answers in the first place. As if I have to take the test day after day without having studied the material. Some days I am always guessing. Water? Do I need water? Do I need to flip an egg? Scramble it? Fresh air? Do I need to use the bathroom? Do I need to stretch? Vomit? Be so mean to all the good things? Do I need to cry it all out?
Sunday September 10, 2017
from a text
I know I’m inching fufther away from myself when I can make sure I send you a writing prompt but I will go the whole day without writing a single word for me. And I think long and hard about what I’ll suggest to you. What I hope is something that gives you a reason to write. Because I care that you aren’t writing. I care that you must write. That the bones of your body only feel warm when you do. I know this sensation too. Cold bones. The feeling of your bed being the scariest place to end the day. When sleep takes more from you than it gives. I have been shivering these days. And I do not want to turn on the radiator because it shouldn’t be this frigid in my home. It shouldn’t be this removed from skin. I don’t remember how to fix this but I do know that it always comes back–which means it always goes away first.
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.
Tuesday May 16, 2017
from an interview wth Ingrid Michaelson
She barely ever wore dresses, mostly skirts.
She was great at piecing things together or
Seeking only and ever comfort as
resitance, and I can understand
when you feel like it
is missing from your earlier drafts
And no shadow has touched her lids
and no jewelry rescued from the discount bin
Monday May 15, 2017
AJ: Jesus fucking Christ, Tannis, will you close your gaping mouth for even two fucking seconds?
TANNIS: Why are you being so fucking icy with me? What did I fucking even do?
AJ: NOTHING, JUST SHUT UP.
TANNIS: I’m going to go ahead and assume you need me to sit with you but you are too afraid to admit that you’re fucked up because you know that when you put it to words, it automatically becomes true, but just so you know, I have a teeth cleaning appointment in 2 hours so my support for you is going to be limited.
*shuffle,silence, deep breath
TANNIS: Oh when the saints…go marching in…oh when the–
AJ: Okay, okay, I’m fucked up.
Monday April 17, 2017
Somebody once told me that in order to trust myself I have to get good at naming what I need out loud. It makes sense-you can’t heal what you don’t admit is broken-but you can’t admit what needs love if you’re too afraid to hear the answer.
I can think back on multiple occasions where I had a sense inside but I was nervous to seek out a second opinion. I wish that we could have talked about it. I wish there was more time to shed light on every single issue because there is still so much I cannot even see. Bodies, for starters: mine and yours; separately and together,
the image we project of the skin we choose to believe we’re stuck in…
Thursday March 16, 2017
Age Of Bronze Betrayal
Hold me like the sun is going down for the last time–
like the nights are long
like the mornings are extinct.
Keep me alive under a dead moon–
under a baren sky
under a hurt wing.
With one hundred hands you will know enough
how to close the door without waking me
how to prepare a tea without asking me
how to teach my skin what it’s worth.
With one hundred hands can you memorize my scars–
how the thick one reeks of curiosity,
how the raised one is a reward for the brave?
Saturday January 28, 2017
This One Summer
Jillian and Mariko Tamaki
If he asks you what you’re up to or what your plans are, tell him you have a meeting with yourself and that you’ve got to keep it. Tell him that you need to be alone or without him or some space sometimes and do not apologize for needing it. Do not justify or bargain. If he doesn’t like it, tell him too bad. Tell him you don’t care. Tell him if he doesn’t like it, there’s the door. Tell him if he’d rather be with someone who needs only him then he should go right now and try to make a deal with the devil or something so he can find her.
If he decides the movie, or what you’re having for dinner, or the flavor of ice cream then tell him fine but tomorrow not so much. If he decides what you wear, if you’re talking too loud, when you’re allowed to talk about yourself, then tell him that it’s over.
Tuesday November 1, 2016
from a Facebook post
Every time I approached him with my arms out he thought I was going to hit him. It made hugging very tense. It made playful physical contact a struggle. I didn’t know how to convey to him that I was safe. That I wasn’t going to hurt him–that I didn’t want to hurt him. At first it was endearing. I had to compensate for his jumpy disposition. But then it didn’t dissipate. It didn’t quell with work. Eventually I thought, yes he might need me but I need to be touched. I need to be a comfort to him not a cause for concern. How can I be myself when I’m not allowed to act on my impulses? What if not being allowed to hug really is the deal breaker? And so I told him. As gently as I could. That this is me admitting. I’ll stop now but I won’t be staying.
Sunday October 23, 2016
I don’t want money
I just want to be able to buy things
I don’t want money
Yesterday I slept over at Laura’s house
Not a house
Her grandparents invented The Ponytail
or something like that
Something that makes money
I slept in a bed bigger than my
Laura asked if I wanted
to try running away with her
again and I said for once
I would really really like
I don’t want money
I just want to be able to want things
I don’t want money
When Elsie came back from the
bathroom she had devised a
plan for our
She said if I tackled the pens
she would make sure we
had enough paper
to last us for our entire lives
I told her I didn’t know how
to get them
and she smiled sideways
Just show me some charm
And some leg
Wednesday September 28, 2016
I came to the place in myself I always worried I’d find. The part that doesn’t have patience for people who don’t pull their weight, the part that doesn’t feel good about having to remind a group of adult children how to get by. Maybe I should have signed up for this in advance. If I had chosen to help people maybe I wouldn’t hate them so much. If I worked in a place where my help was needed…
I am so disgusted with the hole in my chest that comes from resenting other people. I don’t want to admit it but I need help too. I guess that’s where the pain comes from.
When I was in elementary school, I was often ahead of the class and I cared about school and being great. I was always assigned to work in pairs with the students who didn’t understand any concepts, or who didn’t like being there. When I asked the teachers why I couldn’t be put with someone who was going to work hard and push me to be better, they all told me the same thing: You’re a strong student, you don’t need help as much as they do.
So when did anyone look down at me and think, well there’s some potential, why don’t we try to lift that one up? Why didn’t I ever hear, well she could use a mentor or an opportunity?
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.
Wednesday August 17, 2016
He had been gone for a long time. I think he was fishing with his new wife, Amber. I hadn’t seen him after he left my mother with a hospital bill and a bag of rotting carrots in the fridge. I hoped he and Amber caught all the fish they could carry.
I was mad because of what he did to my mom. I mean even to this day it’s weird to say “did to” as if he did himself to her. He behaved himself to her. He was himself to her seems more accurate. I was mad because he would be so capable of disappointing someone who loved him that much.
I found out this year that my mother was horrible to him too. I didn’t know that before. I guess I needed someone to blame but I needed someone to stay more. I guess I chose wrong.
That’s when he called. He heard my mom wasn’t going to make it and he came home. He came back to what home used to be. He didn’t bring Amber. I respected him more for that. He didn’t bring any fish. I thought that was kind of rude.
Tuesday August 16, 2016
I couldn’t say goodbye because I was worried about what that might have meant for him. What if he didn’t know how not to take things personally? What if he thought it meant I wasn’t willing to be there for him; to drop my life and commitments to be his witness. I said I was sorry. I learned that that’s the best thing you can say. I said I felt for him. I said I loved him. But I couldn’t say goodbye even though I wanted to go. At what point do you interrupt someone who’s grieving to go get yourself a sandwich? At what point is it a good point to make the point that you haven’t said anything aside from the things you’ve already said? I suppose they teach others how to demonstrate power and courage, how to own space, how to claim what is owed, how to say things without offending people because of intentions or something. I didn’t want to hurt him. Isn’t that a good thing? But there comes a moment in every missed goodbye where you stop fully listening anyway and I guess I’m wondering now: doesn’t that hurt maybe even more?
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 August 11, 2016
a facebook post
It’s taken a lot of will power to keep my eyes open and push through. Some days last longer than others. Some days exist only to remind me of how hard it is to get anything done. And if I don’t dedicate myself to it, not every part of me shows up.
I don’t have kids yet but I know that if I did I would understand lack of sleep even better than I do now. I know that. But until then. I have this.
Wednesday August 10, 2016
Overheard in the Inside house
I won’t ever fully know why
not the colour of the moon that worries me
the one that knocks me dead and vinegar
not the salty lines left lining the walls in the room where you
where you don’t know me
where you don’t see what I think I would see your shoes
where you don’t recognize
me when I’m me. When I’m
not the ache in my chest when
I feel most unseen by you
not the moments of triumph that feel so
if only because the others were mercury and iron
paling in comparison
but I do know
but what I do know in this place
is that I am misery’s companion
by the map of my mother’s tears
and I unchoose myself at the speed of you
Monday August 9, 2016
Take a day trip
remember the road and the smell of the car and the first song playing when you start
Take a trip to a place you’ve never been and take photos
that make you cringe to do in your own neighbourhood
Sing each other your favourite lyric
record yourselves in conversation
forget that you’re recording
lay on the grass
Get a little bit dirty
Take a trip
Leave the disappointing
and pipe dreams
and anxiety dreams
Sunday August 8, 2016
I can’t recall his clothes but I remember his hands and the way his neck smelled. I held him for longer than I would have if it were anyone else. I held him longer than I would have but long enough for him to feel welcomed. I don’t blame him for seeking us out, looking for a safe space to exist among us but not within us. I wanted him to feel wanted. And brave. But also I wanted to reward his bravery. I wanted to include him the way he so desperately needed to be included. The way I so desperately needed to be included instead of just passing. The way I would never have asked for what he asked for even if what he asked for was exactly what I needed. I can’t remember his drink, but I remember his face. And his voice. And his smile.
Monday, July 25, 2016
From a text
Annie calls me from the other room to see if I’m awake. I am. But I ignore the ring. Letting it finish its tune before I toss in bed some more to make it seem like I’m still asleep. Annie hasn’t been sleeping well on the couch, even though she says she has been. She makes sad squealing noises throughout the night but doesn’t remember doing it. I know she isn’t well but I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do. I told Jeremiah about it and he told me he needed at least eight hours sleep to get through his day and if he could sleep on the couch, he would. I told Jeremiah I would sleep on the couch if he would let my sister sleep on my side with him in the bed. He looked at me like I had just swallowed too many blue pills. He shook his head slowly from side to side and said, I don’t know, Lisa, I don’t know.
For the first time I wonder if Jeremiah is attracted to Annie. Or if he is trying to assert his power.
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!
Sunday May 29, 2016
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
According to Elliot, Sharon was supposed to be coming home from work at exactly 5:06pm. We had, according to Elliot, up until 5:00pm to do what we needed to do, and get out before anyone noticed a thing. I told Elliot I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through her things. I didn’t know if I might find some troubling things that I would only realize too late in the game that I wasn’t equipped to deal with what I learned. Elliot told me not to be afraid of the unknown. He said that’s what was making me so paranoid in the first place, and either I suck it up, go in there and be an adult about this, or I could go home and live the rest of my life wondering if I was being lied to. He had a point.
“You sure your sister won’t be home before 5:00?” I asked one last time, secretly hoping he’d say no.
“Marcus, my brother. please,” Elliot started, “Why would I lead you astray? You really don’t trust anybody do you?”
As I was about to check myself for being so caught up in the what ifs, we heard a car pull into the drive way.
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
Friday May 27, 2016 at Poppy Salon
Maggie tells me she doesn’t have time to pick me up from the dentist because she’s too busy cutting the sleeves off of her Van Halen t-shirt and to call someone else, like Mom, or Aunt Isabel. The thing is, Maggie already said she would pick me up and I’m supposed to be having a major mouth surgery that they specifically won’t perform on you if you can’t ensure that someone will be there to drive your drugged ass home. I call Maggie back and this time she answers with one of her character voices.
“Maggie, don’t hang up, it’s me. I need you to put your fucking craft shears down and come get me after this appointment or they won’t let me do it. You can cut your shirt in the car. Or just be here for 3:30 and do it anytime else. Please.”
I can hear Maggie’s eyes rolling back in her head as she decides right then and there to either be a good person for once, or the dick that she usually is.
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
from a recipe in Cowichan Bay
I could live off of shrimp only and maybe some garlic. I really could. I could live off of a lot of things that seem simple like that. I could live off of sunsets and matchsticks. I could live off of olive oil and crusty bread. I could live off of my mother’s laugh and my father’s silly singing. I could live off of silent walks to the beach and quiet crying by the ocean. I could live off of his kisses and his squeezes and his eyebrow scar and his banjo playing. I could live off of people watching and star gazing. I could live off of understanding and connecting. I could live off of summer’s heat and throwing a baseball. I could live off of burgundy pens and graph paper. I could live off of peaches and hot peppers. I could live off of magic and synchronicity. I could live off of curiosity and fresh basil. I could live off of truth-speaking and patio writing. I could live off of my belly soft and my lucid dreams. I could live off of the perfect yawn and the perfect hug.
Monday, March 28, 2016
from some sides
You ask me what I’m not telling you for the second time because my face looks like it’s hiding something from you. I don’t know why I keep saying,
If this were a year ago you’d have stopped questioning, whether you believed me or not, assuming you believed me, assuming you didn’t care to take notice when I said something I mean or when I didn’t.
Now you won’t let up and you won’t let me wallow and you won’t let me silently hate you or me if that’s what you think I think I’m doing. I should be grateful that you notice my subtleties now, that you inquire past surface level, that you don’t let me get away with the idea of performing perfect or unbothered or both.
But I guess I am holding on to that a bit so I won’t be held accountable to explain my feelings. To name them.
The only thing I want to say right now is,
Sometimes I don’t think you really love me.
Even though that’s ludicrous. I don’t want to say that to you now because I know how untrue that statement really is. I just want to hear you say
Saturday, March 26, 2016
It’s taking all of Sylvia’s strength not to snip her eyelid skin just to see…
Just to know what it’s like to have a hole to look through when her eyes are closed.
She traces the smoothest part of her face and gathers a fold in the middle with her thumb and forefinger.
She is overcome with an urge so big it starts talking to her..
Nobody cares about the girl with two normal eyelids… ….. …..
Nobody talks about the girl who doesn’t take any risks..
Nobody wonders why the girl without scars has no scars… ……………………………
Sylvia is convinced after the third or fifth hour of debating-daydreaming-conjuring up responses, that it probably wouldn’t hurt much anyway..
She envisions the incision healing quickly.
Assuming it must be pretty resilient skin if it has never been ripped in all her years alive and reckless on this planet….
Saturday March 19, 2016
from a text
If I close my eyes I can almost hear perfect silence. The buzz of the fridge seems to disappear. The beeping of the trucks backing up outside my balcony are muted. I can get centred without going anywhere at all. I’ve been practicing getting zen and doing it under pressure as that’s the most necessary time. Sheila says that if I practice every single day, reaching for meditation every single time I have the urge to call her instead, I’ll really start to form a habit. I think Sheila has a point. You can’t reach zen when you’re trying to make plans to go mini-golfing, or asking someone about knitting. I think Sheila is doing the exact same thing every time she thinks of calling me. I imagine her sitting there on the floor 6 or 7 times a day if she’s being diligent about curbing the urge. I don’t remember the last time Sheila even called me so her approach must be working! If I can get to a point where I don’t even think about how little human contact I’ve had, I’ll call that a success.
Friday February 19, 2016 at Culprit Coffee
Thursday February 18, 2016
Bitty and I found a little cat cat down by the lava house. Bitty’s the one who named it the lava house. I asked Rodney and he told me it was just a sewer. I like when Bitty calls things different because then we have a secret language and it feels like cookies and cream or picking out a splinter from your big toe after limping all day. Bitty picked up the cat cat first and told me she was going to take her home and I said, you mean “him” home and she said, this cat cat can be whoever she wants to be. And I said, yeah, well, I can see his thingy so maybe this one can’t. I didn’t want the cat cat until Bitty said she wanted her. Him. Ugh. But as soon as I couldn’t have him I needed him. More than I’ve ever needed anything. I needed to pretend like it could be her way, like it always is. But that was hard because it was staring to burn inside, like throwing up too much cookies and cream or getting a giant splinter lodged deep into your big toe.
Monday February 8, 2016
from the song playing on the radio
I can hear them singing my sweet song, Alina! Those little chickadees outside my window are humming me a get well song. Can you hear them? Hear them sing my name? Loiiiiiisssss. Ha ha! They’re singing me back to good health. Oh now, listen close, you hear that thumping? The knock knock knocking? Woodpeckers! Rattling out their best wishes for me too! I feel so loved, Alina! When your brother calls tell him the forest is taking good care of me and not to rush over here.
I don’t think he’s coming, ma.
Of course he is! He hasn’t been to see me yet because of all his work, you told me that, but he’s still going to come!
Ma, he’s not. He’s not coming. I’m sorry.
Well did you speak to him? Did you?
Well then I’m sorry but how on earth could you know what he is or isn’t doing?
Saturday, January 30, 2016
When I tell you where my heart lives, I draw a map of its outline in the sand with an arrow pointing straight through it toward the ocean. I say, find me here when I am lost, find me here when you are.
You can rest easy knowing that I will never need you to buy me expensive things. Give me seashells and messages in a bottle. Give me soft splash and softer footprints. Give me calm winds and driftwood walking sticks. I will lay myself bare so you don’t have to go hunting for me. I will be as naked as the full moon making love to the night, and on my skin, a thousand Xs marked to remind you that you’ve found me.
Friday September 11, 2015
from the front page of the Globe and Mail
Life and Arts section
What kids want is to be born into a family that wants them. Then after they’re alive in this world, after they’ve traveled from one distant universe to the one we all share, they want to be held and warmed up, and spoken to very softly. They need someone else to carry their spongy bones for a while so they can rest after their long journey. That’s not asking too much. That’s the least we can do. And after they feel like they’ve been shown a kindness or two, they start to want a couple more things. They want love and they want home and they want patience and they want security and they want comfort and they want ice cream and they want to cry and they want to laugh and they want to shriek and they want to imagine. These and all the other things they want, are the things we can give them. They don’t ask for everything. They don’t need that. We do all the complicating. We do all the blaming.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Back of the Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar bottle
She wasn’t a very good mother, I can say that without even feeling the slightest pang of guilt. Wanna know why? Cause she wouldn’t let me love her. Not even a little bit. She made me call her by her first name. She didn’t want to be a mother, you understand? She didn’t want me at all. She used to send me to school with half used packets of Sweet And Low. And that was it. No PB&J with the crusts cut off, not even bologna and mayo. Sweet and Low, not ever the full packet. And that’s what she expected me to eat. Or that’s what I thought. It took me longer than it should have to figure out that she was trying to get me taken away from her. She thought maybe the teachers would see what she was packing me for lunch and send a note home, a warning, then maybe get a social worker to come and break the door down or something while she was watching Days of Our Lives. I guess every system failed me, cause I was never questioned. Maybe Deena’s first mistake was sending me to a school that couldn’t give a fuck about me either.
Thursday May 14, 2015 at Holy Oak Cafe
From a story by Mikal Cronin
About ten years ago I got arrested for shoplifting and it was the best day of my life. I had been taking things that didn’t belong to me for years, for a lifetime even. I would have killed at living on the streets if I had ever had to do that..I don’t know if saying that diminishes it or not, but my skills were unparalleled. I’m not just talking little kid stuff like embroidery floss, or key chains. It was that stuff plus the good hits. I’m talking fancy face creams, high end jewelry, many expensive bathing suits, and a couple electronics every now and again. I was a little thief and I was having the time of my life. I don’t know how I got away with so much of it. Nobody every caught me, I assumed I’d never have to “pay the price”. And then that day I got arrested and had to own up, for the very first time, to what I had been doing. To who I had been. And it made me realize that I am not invincible. That I am not the exception to the rule. Cause eventually everyone has to learn that somehow.
Friday May 8, 2015 at Saving Gigi
I could see he was angry at me-clenched teeth, fist pulsing at his side.
“Is everything okay?” I ask him, test him, provoke him.
“I’m fine,” he says quietly, not looking fine at all.
“Okay,” I tell him, “Let me know.”
I watch as his current anger subsides and he can see me with the soft eyes he first had for me again.
“I’m really scared I’m always wrong and the times I’m so desperate to be wrong, that’s when I’m afraid I’ll be right,” I tell him this with my eyes cast down at the broken green bottle at our feet. “That’s what I’m always feeling.”
He takes me in his arms and exhales into my hair. “It’s okay now my baby. I’m not mad at you. I swear.”
“Okay, good, ” I say, “And just FYI your beard is scratching the shit out of my forehead.”
He releases me.
“Jesus, Tara. Jesus fucking–”
“Don’t be mad,” I say, “I’m sorry.”
Thursday April 2, 2015
She felt a tiny bit bad about it but not bad enough to change.
Add an extra zero here.
Photocopy a signature.
Scratch this out and add that and BOOM!
She’s walking in those shoes she’s been eyeing since Christmas.
She’s picking up the tab at lunch and brunch and happy hour.
Martha wonders what’s changed.
“Where are you getting all these new clothes?”
She whispers because Mr. Boss doesn’t like when they talk about lady things.
Mr. Boss likes it when they keep quiet, keep pretty, keep working.
“Gifts,” she replies, licking an envelope.
It slices her tongue,
the kind of cut that won’t stop bleeding,
that makes her question her choices.
She wraps toilet paper around her tongue in the washroom,
looking at her hands,
wondering when it was that she got so pale.
Thursday March 26, 2015 at Starbucks
From an email
I hate sometimes more than I want to
More than I ought to
More than I need to
It fills me up
Enough to skip my second meal
And try to nap for 25 minutes
Before I have to get somewhere
I don’t like when people refuse to laugh at my jokes cause they have no sense of humour.
I know it does not mean they are wrong or right if they don’t find me funny, but the ones who smile without showing their teeth don’t like to be showed up by someone in front of a group of someones. I guess that shows weakness. I guess that shows emotional unwillingness.
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
Saturday October 18, 2014
from a comment on a photo on Facebook
I was tired from running around the house from my deranged mother. Turns out you tell her to shut up one time and it’s… I don’t know, over, I guess. I should have known better than to run from her. Should have just let her hit me right then and there. The more she runs the angrier she gets, which, makes sense, so it’s my fault. But she chased me up and down stairs, everywhere, everywhere. Finally, I thought, no, I cannot do this anymore, so I surrender. I just threw myself on the floor underneath the dining room table, and I gave up. I think she needed to catch me more than I needed to escape. So I let her hit me a couple times with her wooden spoon. It hurt. A lot. But I guess it was sort of a release for the both of us. Dad had only been gone for 3 days, but those three days without him really felt like more than enough. We both cried while she was whacking me. There was a moment before it ended where it actually felt okay. It felt like something was real again.
Thursday August 7, 2014 at Kawaii Crepe
from the Wooden Shjips concert ticket
I’ve been sitting here with a patch of dead skin in my hands. I thought you would have noticed that my legs were peeling because some of the shapes looked like your favourite states: Minnesota, Alabama, Missouri. You didn’t say one thing about it, so I kept slowly detaching the snake-like-shreds, trying to keep them as long and intact as possible. Like orange peels. Like the backing of a press on tattoo. I guess I was looking for some attention, or to prove to myself that you cared about me and my well-being. I wondered if you wondered why I had burnt skin to begin with. If you thought to ask and discovered that I scalded my legs in a hot bath, if you’d wonder why anyone would think to take a hot bath in the middle of July. I don’t usually do that kind of thing. It just sort of happened as a result of my endless time alone and my desire to feel like anything but myself. Granted, I did feel a little like Virginia Woolf. I wondered if you’d wonder about that part…
Wednesday August 6, 2014
I think you’ve made a mistake. Surely you could take a minute and think about what you’re doing here? What your “conclusions” will mean for someone. Someone other than you. Buddy wouldn’t have done something like that. I know him, he just wouldn’t have. He wasn’t mean to animals while we were growing up. He’s a bit…special…I know that, but he’s not a murderer.
He was framed. I’m telling you right now that has to be it. Buddy is a good person. He wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t…be able to. I’m not saying he wouldn’t be capable of killing someone, no, I mean if I’m being honest I think we all are capable aren’t we? I mean he wouldn’t be able to leave someone just lying in the street, bleeding to death. He has compassion, that’s what I’m trying to tell you. It’s not like he’s on the hunt for something twisted like that to give him pleasure. He gets pleasure out of collecting flat rocks that sparkle in the sun. Please. I’m begging you, don’t just throw someone’s life away on a hunch. Innocent until proven guilty. You have to at least give him that. All I’m asking is you consider the possibility outside your “irrefutable evidence”. Isn’t that your job’s sole purpose in the first place?
Tuesday August 5, 2014
a quote by Sherlock Holmes
It was unnecessary, really, for them to be so curt with their neighbours. They had, the neighbours that is, up until that point, made sure to smile each time they saw them and to greet them with a tiny wave-usually the small female neighbour did the hand gestures; the small male neighbour liked to nod his head ever so slightly. They hadn’t come over with a casserole or any baked goods out of kindness or welcoming. They simply said hello with their body language and were probably a little too hopeful that they would eventually be met with a similar greeting by the new couple who had moved in just down the hall. They did, after all, share a kitchen wall and a parking lot. When they saw the small female neighbour pacing back and forth in front of her kitchen door, they could tell she was distraught. A hello wouldn’t have been appropriate anyway. They knew exactly what had happened between her and the small male neighbour just moments before. Their shared kitchen wall was anything but thick. She had yelled at him because she had burnt her hand on the hot pan straight from the oven. She had already been having a bad day, and they assumed that was the straw that broke it. She looked up from her puffy eyes, sensing the newly arrived couple’s presence. Hopeful. Always hopeful.
Thursday July 31, 2014
the nestle water bottle
She was PURE LIFE. PURE JOY. I held her for the first time and I DIED. I MELTED. I wanted to stay seated on that wicker rocking chair that didn’t rock anymore FOREVER. FOR HER. She was honestly the best moment of my life. She was PURE LOVE. PURE HAPPINESS. I wanted to build a bubble of warmth and love around her fuzzy little head and hold her until she was too big to want that. That way I could pour all of my undying love into her bubble and feed her with is so she would know how special and worth it and truly unequivocally loved she was. This little thing without opinions of the world yet, without the sadness, the jaded crispiness that comes from getting left behind, or getting told you’re ugly, or getting felt up by a stranger at a sleazy hot dog stand one stupid night in Sacramento. This little thing without pain, and without anger, and without wanting so much that the world seems so unwilling to give. I would have shown her that all she needed to do was sleep there and giggle sometimes and hold my finger. I would have loved her the way I needed to be loved.
Wednesday July 30, 2014
Overheard at Trinity Bellwoods park
My mother used to work for Pasquale. Did you know that? I could have sworn I mentioned that around the first or second date. You know, the way things about your family comes up? That was my thing. That was my party trick! You were talking about béchamel sauce which I internally corrected you as “Beshamella” because if it’s not pronounced in Italian I don’t even want to pretend to care. But she wrote out his cookbooks. He spoke to her in Italian, she transcribed them, and BAM! I am now the sole owner of Pasquale’s perfect lasagna recipe which when I make, is an absolute show stopper. I mean, I could have sworn I mentioned it when we went to eat at Neve Sole and you ordered the bruschetta but you pronounced it “brushetta” and I almost lost my mind about it because how many lame Italian cliche jokes do you need to hear before you actually just NEVER pronounce it in a mangia-cake way?
Tuesday July 29, 2014
She swept the living room floor for the third time that morning. She somehow kept stepping in sand, which she thought she had fully cleaned the day before. She put on The Dirty Projectors and made sure to press repeat every time Impregnable Question came on. It felt like the perfect song to listen as she was feeling alone, yet didn’t want to fall too far into a problematic state. This was after eating the raw cookie dough from the tube and drawing a sketch of a bat wearing a clown nose. Every time her phone rang, she leapt from her sprawled out on the floor position to see who it could be. Telemarketing usually. The occasional scam rewards program from Cruises R Us. She was desperate for any kind of company. Any kind that would require a conversation, the outpouring of her emotions and her opinions, and perhaps a hug that would last at least six seconds to ensure a proper connection was established.
Sunday May 18, 2014
from a writing prompt by Natalie Goldberg
1.I write because if I didn’t I would burst.
2.I write because the dream doesn’t sound real when it’s not on paper.
3.I write because my pores need release and I’m never getting enough of that.
4.I write because I like the way my mind looks in ink.
5.I write because I’m dying to be heard.
6.I write because I’m dying to be understood.
7.I write because I tell myself I must.
8.I write because I enjoy painting with words.
9.I write because I hope someone will rescue me.
10.I write because I hope someone will find my thoughts and fall in love with them.
11.I write because I love telling stories.
12.I write because I hate being interrupted.
13.I write because I can’t lie to myself with a pen in my hand.
14.I write because life is fast and I’m trying to remember the best version of myself.
15.I write because in a world filled with stimuli, my only refuge is my word.
16.I write because I want to be quoted.
17.I write because if I didn’t I’d watch too much TV.
18.I write because I think my personality is better on paper.
Sunday March 30, 2014
Westjet In-flight magazine
I’m happy to report that I’m leaving. I’m leaving this town. I’m leaving my job. I’m leaving my life. I’m leaving my rotten running shoes. I’m leaving my favourite tree in the city. I’m going. I’m going to a new place. I’m going to be happy. I’m going to start over. I’m going to find a human I can love more than myself. I’m going to dye my hair the colour of autumn.
I’m learning. I’m changing. I’m growing. I’m committing. I’m living.
It took a long time for me to decide.
Mostly because I hate flying. I hate waiting. I hate the pressure building in my sinuses. I hate the people who bring their uncomfortable babies. I hate the idea of having to sit in an aisle seat and get my elbows bashed in by someone named Darla or Emmanuel.
Saturday March 29, 2014
from a tweet
She made sure she had lots of band aids in her pockets. She hated those blisters she got every time she had to walk for a little longer than usual. She wasn’t holding on to any of that gauze. It was a waste of time. It didn’t stick to her skin. She tried. The real issue was re-learning how to walk so her shoes didn’t rub because she couldn’t afford new ones that didn’t rub which would have fixed the problem perfectly. It was all about the pressure. And the angle. And the weight. And the other stuff. The other other stuff. She didn’t want a blood pool in her heels just because she was in desperate need of an ice cream cone.
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.
Thursday March 27, 2014 at The Arts And Culture Centre in NL
from The Pillowman program in St St. John’s NL
I had a moment of desperation when the zipper on my jacket busted. And I was standing in a wind storm. And you were far away from me. And I couldn’t even call you if I wanted to. That’s when I knew that if I didn’t have you, I would have, cheesy as it sounds, nothing. You were around whenever I needed you to be. And I didn’t hold on tightly enough because I didn’t think I had to. You did everything right. And I didn’t understand what that might have meant until I was left searching for some semblance of your spirit. I went through every old purse, hoping I had a photo of you somewhere. Why didn’t I print any photos of you? Why didn’t I do that? I should have known better. When your phone crashes or your computer explodes, you realize how many things you should have backed up. I should have backed you up. And I think I mean that figuratively and literally cause if I had just reminded myself of how great you were, and stood on your team every chance I got, I wouldn’t be left wishing for anything. Because I would still have you. You would be right here. And I would have someone to hold me.
Wednesday March 26, 2014
Atlantic Business Magazine
of course there are spilled secrets all over this place. you think i don’t know that? I know that. I know everything about this place. when i was little i used to run this place. you’re laughing but you don’t understand. i was in and out of room corners and closets and hiding everywhere. nobody knew where to find me and i was damn good at staying hidden until i knew no one was watching for me to come out. that’s how i learned about everyone and everything because i got real good at keeping my mouth shut and my ears wide wide open. i got good at breathing with my mind and not with my lungs. i know about each wall plastered with its tiny mosaics of truth and shame. i know about mom trying to hide the pistol and about dad shouting out for annabell, my sister before he went and not me. i know more than you can possibly imagine. and everyone knows one thing or two, but not me. i know each fold in each sheet like it was my nanny, i know each speckle on each mirror like my own shadow. i could fill rooms of books with what i know here. and that’s why i’m so hell bent on leaving now. not that anyone would stop me..not anyone but the secrets. they whisper to me when i sleep. they haunt my dreams like nightmares that are made up by crazy men in their libraries. only they’re real. they’re so real they could kill me just by being in my head. i have a song i sing right before bed so i don’t hear them. i had to invent something when i was young to make sure they didn’t.
Tuesday March 25, 2014
The New Yorker
Feb 17, 2014
You’re mad at me again because I left the stove on for the second time this week. You think I have dementia and you say this to me when you see it’s happened twice. I tell you it was an accident, I have a lot on my mind. I say, I’m not 90, you know. And you don’t laugh at this. You don’t laugh one little bit. I’m sorry, I say, I’m really, truly sorry about doing that, and you don’t say anything which I know is always worse.
You’re not well, Marissa. You tell me that with your head down, sort of shaking it in a “no”, sort of shaking slowly like a really disappointed “no”. I’m fine, I say, and try to force a smile. You leave things around sometimes! I tell you that and you get real angry again. You don’t like that I’ve compared my “dementia” to your carelessness. It’s a different kind of carelessness. It’s more about leaving the back door unlocked after you take out the recycling. It’s more about you forgetting to use a coaster. It’s not life threatening. That’s what you tell me. I argue that the door thing most certainly is, but you’re not having it. This is about my mental health…
You just say my name sometimes like I’ll know what you mean.
Friday February 28, 2014
the Cocoa-Shea Butter container
Before the worship and the punishment
Before the sacrifices and the indulgences
Before the fast food and the slow food
Before the fake stuff and the right stuff
You were a thing that needed almost nothing
You needed love
You got love
You needed water
You got water
You needed nourishment
You got nourishment
Somebody made sure you got what you needed because your needs were not bigger than you
Now they are
Now there’s a thing called “chocolate”
One called “wine”
One called “on sale”
One called “tomorrow I’ll be better”
The colorful images telling you now what you need
To be happy now is harder
It’s very very hard
We have to sift through the things
The things called “cars, goals, comparisons, delusions, medications, drugs, fantasies, corruption, impatience”
If we sift we might find a shirt that looks good on
Like a second layer of skin
Meant for wearing and being very happy
Wednesday February 12, 2014
the bag of ketchup chips
You crave to be in the middle
in the spotlight
in the memory of many
in the hearts of many more
you crave to be in the centre
in the moonlight
in the laughs of many
in the arms of many more
you get what you want, that’s a fact
you ask the universe if it does complimentary gift wrapping
you want to untie the bow on all your presents from the anniversary party
of your dreams and reality meeting at the park and kissing on the mouth
you get what you want, that’s a fact
you crave to be in the photographs
in the perfect moments
in the history in the making
you crave to be in the love letters
in the words of many
in the nightside table drawers of many more
you crave it all
and you get it all
you’ve charmed the world with your wit and your generosity
and you knew that was all you ever really wanted
Wednesday January 29, 2014 at Saving Gigi
God Loves Hair
I had to revert my eyes. I had to force myself to think of things that deliberately grossed me out: polenta, mushy polenta, rice pudding, candy corn, creamed corn, any corn, vomit, cat vomit, parsnips, cigarette butts in water, sidewalk hork, discharge, eye gunk on a man, unroasted pig ears, food stuck in a beard. I was worried that if I even enjoyed him for a millisecond I was going to cum. I blame it on not getting my lady mane stroked in over 4 months and the first naked penis to make my acquaintance just so happened to be beautiful and maintained and directly in front of my eyes. Or my vag. It really could have been in front of either.
Monday January 27, 2014
January 23-30 2014
Oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah
That's the point
You count them out and you go oh yeah but you say as many as you feel are necessary for the understanding you've just developed
Four sometimes five
Oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah
Extra yeah extra oh
For those moments when you just need to keep going on that track you started on
I've been punishing you with my absence
I'll admit that now
Haven't been responding to your messages or your needs or your calls or your smoke signals
Didn't really care if it was urgent or of it was life threatening
Didn't care at all
And so I saw your reach outs
And I ignored every last one
Cause you're a bad friend
And when you realize it all
The pieces falling where they should
The puzzle coming together
You'll do it
You'll say it
You'll go oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah
I have been terrible
I remember now
Saturday January 11, 2014
from the floss threader package
Start by giving away all your earthlies. You know, items of belonging, possessions, feelings. Yeah, feelings. You won’t get to take those with you when you go! I just know. I JUST KNOW. How are you supposed to feel anything in an alternate reality, or universe, or afterlife? Doesn’t it just make sense that there will be a new set of systems to adapt to and follow? What, you think whatever you have right now is the only thing there is? Wonderful! Leave that behind too. I’m talking about states of being, I’m talking about emotions, I’m talking about anything that sets you back in life (ie: feelings and emotions. You with me now?). We won’t need anything so learn now to part with them. Learn now to not desire them. Learn now to be above them. That is how we achieve ultimate happiness. We don’t need anything of the sort. No earthlies. Not even other people. I know that seems difficult for you to comprehend. No people? What is that? It’s better. I’m telling you.
Monday November 25, 2013 at the Starbucks at Queen and Bay
The American Express Ad
The Wifi connection page
We deliver all the things! To your front door, your back door, your wherever’s most convenient door! We even do it when you’re not looking! When you’re not home! Like crazy people wearing ski masks in the dark! Just kidding! We don’t own ski masks! But we do creep around a bit. But only so it doesn’t disturb you! Only so you can rest and relax and watch your family show with your family, in absolute peace! We know about the family show, yes, but don’t be alarmed! Every family has one. It’s an easy thing to know about a person. We also know that you were saving those frozen pizza shells in the freezer for a special occasion and when it finally came, you wouldn’t eat them because “someone” forgot to buy the proper “melting cheese”. We know about that because don’t fool yourself! That one is more common than you think! The uncommon things you do are the common things we know about. We know because we’re human beings! Human beings are connected by the root, by the guts, and by the throat on most days! Those feelings are not new. Someone somewhere has had them before. That’s a wonderful thing! Your cheese problems are not rare! You are! But the experience is shared! Don’t you see? It’s not meant to trouble you! It’s meant to free you! I am you and you are me and we are we are we are we! Say it with me! I am you and you are me and we are we are we are we. Whatever you need! You can call us and we’ll know exactly when, where and why!