Wednesday April 3, 2019
The Human Elements of Psychotherapy
David N. Elkins
Earlier there was a chance to take the regular route home (a shortcut I had found a few years earlier to maximize the usage of my time), and a fork in the rode that would lead me to the water. I almost went the usual route, the reliable path, the pace I had already established. But something (water) caught my attention. It had “been a minute” since I had visited (a phrase my students taught me. ‘A minute’ could mean a week, a year, a while. All very fascinating) and I was more drawn then decided. I saw all of the neon shorts running and it seemed like a good idea even though it would add 4-6 minutes to my commute home, depending on the abundance of runners, and other stoppable fixtures in nature. Immediately I was drawn into a labyrinth. Upon my exit I saw a seal up close. Wild!
Thursday February 21, 2019
remember the days your legs could keep up with your mind
remember your mind could outsmart your whole body
your body could surprise you
now you have to beg your thoughts to slow down and stop screaming
you’re waiting for an old fashioned kind of goodbye
begging your legs to take you off running
please, feet, carry me one more step, one more step
Monday January 28, 2019
Cab driver is talking my ear off on the way to the airport. It’s 3am, he must be lonely. I am leaving this city and I’m not going to look back. Do I tell him that? Do I say, listen, I tried my best, I worked hard, I made out with a stranger on my softball team? I don’t know what else I could have done. Maybe committed to the white walls in my apartment, hung a plant or two on the balcony. I never did end up going to the Indian place I said I wanted to try. Do I say, listen, some cities don’t fit the way you think the way expensive shirts get donated to Goodwill when they don’t slim your shoulders as promised. Do I say, I am too tired and angry and mad at myself to talk to you right now?
Wednesday December 26, 2018
Mom tells me about the shingles that people my age are getting. Chicken pox she says, we used to have chicken pox parties, can you believe that?
They seem to know things then that we don’t anymore. I say stress can cause it, it happened to my friend.
My mother nods and her eyes light up, yes yes stress can cause it and other things, can you believe that?
Some assumptions keep us rotting in our skin when the torture becomes self-inflicted. The brain knows how to protect its team by sending warriors to build walls that block out the worst case scenario. The blood still pumps through the highway of the body, alive in the channels sending it this way and that.
Monday December 17, 2018
overheard at YVR
I’m worried that soon I will be alone. All these years of keeping up with every friend and staying in touch. It’s dwindling now. I either hate the people I used to love or they’ve forgotten about me. Usually I hate them because they’ve forgotten about me. Let the relationship fizzle out. I stopped contacting everyone and that’s all it took I suppose.
Soon I will be all alone. I will talk to myself. I will call my family on the weekend. I will not need the people who think they’re better than me or more woke than me. I already find myself angry. Quietly seething at some. I don’t trust the ones who lie to themselves. And I won’t miss them when they’re gone. I don’t have that bone. It wouldn’t do any good anyway.
Sunday December 9, 2018
Tulips for Barbara
Ann E. Michael
Under the brush of this season
there’s a fire spreading across
You know it
I know it
Soup won’t help and neither
will twinkle lights
Sometimes there are times
when we have to fall deeper
into the unknowing
than we ever thought
where purple and blue
make a new colour
where blood vessels
carve rivers in new bodies
held in old bodies
held in tree hollows
Sunday November 18, 2018
Overheard at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
I told them when you were gone I smoked your weed. This time when you are gone I’ll clean the house and have a personal party. I’ll try on all my clothes and take a photo of the good outfits. If my hair looks right. I told them when you were gone I fell asleep on the couch. That will probably happen again. No chicken wings this time since you threw away our grill. I believed you when you said it didn’t work anymore but I wished I had tried it out myself.
I told them I did not cry and I did not cry over you. I will cry this time over me and that is the beauty of you being gone. The writing songs as soon as I wake up, the sleeping on your side of the bed. The silence will be all mine. I told them when you were gone I ate ice cream and that will probably happen again too. And I’ll miss you. And I’ll wish you were coming home soon. And I’ll wish you had never left. And I’ll watch a bad movie that I wouldn’t want you to know about.
Tuesday November 13, 2018
A Decade’s Difference
Whenever we talk I am reminded that I am a lucky heart. No Silver linings, we don’t mind the dark clouds. You need them to have the ones you want anyway. And replace clouds with the word of your choice. Thoughts. Moments. Times.
You can make the hurt feel like a flower-every year it dies and grows back again and the pretty doesn’t stay gone. Remember. And I will remember this about you. How often your socks strike up a poem in me. The way you do not hold a grudge. I think all the breathing is curing things. I think all the time spent with our legs hugging is healing.
Wednesday October 31, 2018
A quote from Pasquale Cusano
The evening comes earlier and earlier
You aren’t sure if you like that darkness
Especially since the dusk highlights
The lonely and the lonely highlights
The evening comes earlier and earlier
And the hands of winter tickle your
Back as you watch the crows fly west
As you think about the seasons
And the sunset and how long it’s been
Since you called your sister
The kettle boils and everything
Is a little bit better with a cup
Of peppermint tea
A big spoonful of honey
You decide not to turn on the TV
You’re tired of the sound of
All of the voices
The evening comes earlier and earlier
This season so close to the time change
So close to losing an hour
How does that work?
Saturday October 27, 2018
recipe for who I used to be
High Horse Happy
Me, as Doormat
Me, as Blessed for Blaming
Something synonymous with yesterday
trial by error
Belief against time
Yesterday before grace,
Me on high horse to
prevent me as Doormat
Dream left lingering
Wednesday October 24, 2018
Time is a thing I do not want as luxury. I have never been very good at using it wisely and who says what wise is except the wisemen.
I don’t want more than my share. Don’t want more than I have in case I can’t treat it properly. And I can give myself more if I say no more. I could say no more. Amy says it could be called NOvember. She’s said no to six things she’s already said yes to. I’m going to start calling it that, myself. Might be a nice way of telling time that I am grateful for what I have and I’m not greedy for more. I will love the time I already get to know. Don’t want anyone thinking this is a one way street.
Thursday October 18, 2018
From a text
I have been reborn so many times
And what is that?
Spirit or dream or science?
Who do I thank for the new eyes,
New hands, new voice?
Do I thank me? Thank me for being here and all the in between?
I am here because of me and yes
I believe that but I believe in
so many things
The power of distance
The strength of a good night’s sleep
A heart ache that takes a year to stop aching
I am nothing and I am time
And a million yesterdays
I thank time for being here
And for being me
I am everything and I am
Science and spirit and dream
Monday July 23, 2018
The Gulag Archipelago
Send me out to the no where place and let me weep there
Water the dry earth with my ache and pouring
I need to be alone, in a place where spider webs take over the sky
Will I continue to decompose when nobody is around
I exile myself before it is too late
Before I am stuck forever in the shape of how things used to be
I banish my lost and force my bones to build something
from the inside out
I am already dreading it
and that is how I know I must
I do not have time to sit and wonder how the world knows me
Give me fields to lay in
to pronounce my epiphany in the echo
Let me know me
Let me know that this is my enough
A care package tied with a strand of my hair
Friday June 29, 2018
I might go into the open field and kneel down, cry into the open sky and calm down, drink from a stranger’s cup. I might tell someone I’ll never see again that the worst thing we can do is throw away the key to the cage we’ve put ourselves in. Forget to get out of our own way and start listening to time as reminder, not murderer. Not weaker than us. Time isn’t interested in hanging out with people who aren’t good at patience. At taking action, at promises. Cause when you say it, then you’ve said it. Once it’s left you, it’s left. And then what? We must?
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
A quote by Eleanor Roosevelt
We can walk into the mouth of our lover with gratitude
and compassion or wake up on the wrong side of the bed
with a vengeance that travels in heat, and ready.
I remember this when I am late to the day after a long
night of bad decisions and I am too ashamed to greet you
in your half way done morning, specific goals set, etc.
I come out with a new tail tucked between my legs and you
stop your structure and stretch out your arms to me,
welcoming, grateful. You say how lucky you are and you
say it with skin and smile before words leave your lips.
I remember this when you are late to the day and I am
awake before you and running and weaving and juicing
and you come to me with the same openness but my first
instinct is to keep running, make you catch up, make
you feel bad. We can walk into the mouth of our lover
with gratitude and patience if we remember how important
time spent gazing at each other really is. We can choose
this in the morning, at night, and in the afternoon. You
do this and you teach me. I thank whoever is in charge
that you do not dole out grades to match the student.
Thursday, May 10, 2018
To The Beach
It was as if time travelled back into the clock and left us there, happy
The only thing we were waiting for was the still frame photograph of our lives once lived
At the end of the day there was a host of us bent over at the hip
hard and fast kiss at the moon, and a thank you brushing the cloud
We have lived here once, echoing like the faint buzz of a ghost pepper bleeding out from the lips
a lasting like this one and we were a donation
a giving of our bodies from one open wound to another
and we did not waver
we did not ask for cotton swabs or for distilled gin
We drank at the quiet like a dream coming home for the first time
We knew aching the way a mother of seven might.
Sunday April 22, 2018
somehow the moment you walked out the door
the clock on the wall sped up twice its usual tick
I am almost sick at how little has happened
in how many hours have magically passed and
the drum of the crows outside my window have
faded into a night that does not need to
I would lie for hours in the bathroom at the
mirror with a false smile and an empty stomach
tell myself a story to keep me busy and away
from that buzzing fridge
I would lie for hours on the bed staring at
the lonely space on the wall where the choices
should go and wonder how I managed to leave
them all tucked in between the books I care
less to read
Friday, April 20, 2018
The Art of Aging
Get here later, take your time
ask the elderly man if he needs
to borrow your elbow while getting
off the plane
bring him to the luggage carousel
and wait for his bags to pop through
the shute so you can help him pull
Be the kindness that I know
Be the patient peace
Let the family of five go ahead
of you in line for the taxi
do not ask your driver to put a
rush on the ride home
Lover, I will be waiting for
your arrival with all the
bounty and welcoming of a midday
I will kiss you like time is
not the enemy
I will be close to sleep but
being closer to you will keep
me rested until we are in each
Stop for french fries if you’re
hungry and bring your bags up
one by one
Do not worry about the clock now
I will be here when you get here
Tuesday April 10, 2018
I think it was a raven, you said it was a crow. Either way we’re both inside the house, close to the maple candied pecans, and not planning on leaving to prove the other one wrong. I love Sundays. You don’t make me put on pants, and I don’t make you put down your gingerale. We argue about which birds are hanging out on our back porch, but we’re not angry. We’re not anything that is not easy. Easy as Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon! We’ve got scrambled eggs and chocolate eggs! We’ve got rich cheeses and no place to be-ses! When the sun sets we don’t miss the day. We say hello to the stars from the couch and we count commercials instead of hours. We put on something more comfortable than before. We’ve earned the night. We rest like it’s the last day before you leave again. And it is the last day before you leave again. We do not waste a second.
Friday April 6, 2018
I am not over here laughing at you
If you think I am laughing at you
Not smirking at the thought of you grovelling, not turned on by your comeuppance
The memory of us swells like a song that is trying to teach me something
To ride the wave, go up, come down, stay down, stay down, and again
It is not one of those scores that gives it all away at the outset
You don’t get ahead of it because it keeps changing, twisting, turning, forcing me to touch each tendon, pulling and pressing
The resolve comes after the rise, the fall, after the shift, after the decision
And it is not the kind of music that I can dance to joyfully
It begs of me
Wednesday April 4, 2018
Overheard on the 99
All my friends are having babies and I am more concerned with how good my freaking nails look these days. It’s taken a long time to like my hands. How do you like a hand that squeezes too hard, that breaks the good mugs, that spends most of its time down the front of raggedy sweat pants? These hands have never housed nice nails. These nails have never looked this strong. Some days I couldn’t tell if it was blood underneath them or just ketchup chips. It’s all I can think about because it’s like they belong on someone else’s body. Someone else who, say, might be having a baby. I’m used to seeing chips and tears and skin peeling off where it shouldn’t. They were not the hands that held soft things and kept them soft. They didn’t know how to stay one colour when stepping out into the cold.
Sunday March 11, 2018
James got me a job working the phones at the writing centre after he heard me give an improvised tour of it even though I had only just walked into the place five minutes prior. He liked my spunk and I liked that he needed someone to replace him while he worked out or read a book to his kid over lunch hours on Mondays Wednesday and sometimes Fridays. His wife let him see her during the days because she didn’t want her getting used to seeing him only before bed. She was convinced that’s how you give a child nightmares. I presume she meant when he couldn’t make it at nighttime, as understandably, he sometimes would not. I used to steal pens and post its and I never felt bad about it. I guess I thought James wouldn’t care because I assumed he did the same thing. I felt like a rockstar scheduling students in for their one on one essay appointments. I wasn’t there enough to be invested, but I wanted James to feel validated by his instinct of me.
Friday March 9, 2018
BUNZ Trading Zone
Now that we’ve had all this time
Now that we haven’t spoken in almost a year
Or has it been more
I’m terrible with dates
I think it’s been more
I recognize that this was
always meant to happen
I don’t mean it in a morbid way
but you were supposed to go your way
(Garage sales, cheap candy, BUNZ, ribeyes)
I was supposed to go my way
(I can’t easily classify my own WAY
I’ll leave that task to you)
Sometimes I miss you
when I’m through Chinatown
or laughing at how nastily someone eats
That’s when I miss you
Sometimes I forget about you
and I stopped feeling bad about that
about six weeks ago
Took a really long time to stop
feeling bad about forgetting
Friday March 9, 2018
BUNZ Trading Zone
draw a set of bunny ears on the front and the poofy tail on the back
collect enough flat rocks to draw all animals
cat whiskers and ears on the front
tail on the back
horse braid on the front
tail on the back
you get the idea
the tail goes on the back whenever there is a tail
like a coin
but you won’t be flipping these
they’ll be too heavy
you can skip them if they’re flat
there is room for some funny jokes in there
(cats not really liking the water, for a first idea)
(you can lead a horse to water…)
you can also give these rocks away
as little parting gifts
or put them in the loot bags at your child’s brithday party
they’ll think they’re getting something
like a chocolate
or an eraser
but they will get to display it on their mantle
forver reminding them
that you had time for your kid and then some
who doesn’t want more time
who doesn’t need more time
maybe we’ve jumped ahead and you do not have kids yet
you’re still a kid yourself
you’re still so damn young
scrawl the name of the boy you like on the front
and write your name on the back
throw it into the water
and make a wish
they always go into the water
Thursday January 25, 2018
Some days are harder to get through in terms of schedule and temperature and sadness and homesick and lack of nutrients and muscle aches and a belly that won’t empty. Things move slow like a man swallowing the sea or one who tries to make a clay pot in his guts. The night feels too dark, too short, too long, too distracted. The morning lies its face off about your desirability as a human. Sleep comes at the wrong time. The battery on your phone won’t last when you’re lost. The roads left unmarked shake like the devil’s in them. The eyes get heavy before it’s time.
Sunday December 31, 2017
From a ticket
You get tired thinking about who you can’t be. You buy a ticket for a cross-country train ride. You’ll write. You’ll sing. You’ll buy bad small town coffee. Really, you’ll spend a lot of time looking out the window. Really, you’ll finally stop dreaming about giving birth. You start reading the books you’ve always wanted to read. You start learning survival skills, karate, rock climbing. You have more space now. You call your brother on Sunday mornings and ask about his daughter. It hurts less and less. You aren’t sure about resolutions. You aren’t sure about numbers. You aren’t sure how long it takes for turkey to go bad in the fridge. You think about how you’ll wait however long it takes. You’ve got time.
Wednesday December 27, 2017
We were all laughing until time ran out. I don’t know why we were so surprised, we practically begged it to hurry up. Now it’s gone and we’re left kissing by the clock in case these moments are our last. You stopped sipping your whiskey. She stopped her favourite hum. The windows waited, and I stopped tonguing the rotten tooth. The silliness tiptoed around us. We couldn’t very well pretend to be fine. We were all just laughing a minute ago, laughing because where did the time go? And then we all knew where it was because it had run out and
it’s easy to feel when it does. Now it’s gone and we’re not sure if we made all the right decisions but we don’t have the luxury of going into it.
Thursday November 23, 2017
Love On The Brain
Larry drinks a macchiato sitting at the bar drawing hangmen on a napkin waiting for Liz to arrive. She’s notoriously late. He’s spoken to her about it twice and each time she says that she’s sorry and that she’s trying to change. Maybe it’s because his father was in the army and if he was ever late for anything he’d get a slap on the side of the head maybe it’s because his father loathed him most of all more than his three brothers and one sister. He fumes. He checks his phone again and nothing from Liz nothing from Liz only the same old time and date and three unread emails he’s avoiding from work fucking Cathy and her meeting notes fuck fuck fuck.
Sunday October 22, 2017
from an Air Canada survey
I’m really good at guessing the time about things. This includes travel time (on foot) and what time exactly I’m going to be starting on the next thing after this first thing is done. I think it has something to do with always managing to glance at the clock (or stove, microwave, etc) when it’s 12:34. Every time. I know a lot of people say they see stuff like this (5:55 or 11:11) but I swear on my life I do. I always try to see if there’s a message in it. It’s 12:34, is there something I’m missing? Is there something I’m supposed to be doing and the clock is giving me a hint? So anyway I guess times and I notice time and I try my very best not to kill time or waste time but to hold time and love time and ask for its forgiveness every now and again. I try but I’m not perfect so sometimes I catch myself killing time and then I feel all kinds of bad about that. I have to think, what did time do to me that I want to kill it so slowly?
Monday October 16, 2017
from a dream
She opens the door and stands back as she gestures for me to enter. The door is covered in cobwebs. I’m supposed to be impressed? She clears her throat and then starts down the foyer. Her heels are click clacking and I imagine what her tongue looks like when she’s disappointed in someone. I don’t want her to see me looking around so I don’t but I clock everything. Listen for grandfather to signal me the hour. Even time is shrouded in mystery here. She brings me to a tiny room and shows me in. She waits at the door while I put down my bag. I think I’m meant to gasp or cover my mouth in honest surprise. She glares at me with anticipation and I’m still not sure if I’m allowed to speak. Suddenly the door slams shut and she is nowhere to be found. I am acutely aware now that she was waiting for me to leave. The lock thuds in the door. I understand how it looked like I was staying. She sealed the deal for me.
Monday June 19, 2017
overheard on West Broadway
Some days add up to zero
the hole of the afternoon
the cave of mid morning
post-its have been scribbled on
and posted but the glue is wrong
and everything flutters to
the ground eventually
Tomorrow’s list has been started
wake up is the hard thing
every other item can be done
if there is enough time
Some days add up to something o’clock
and not enough sleep
too many hours spent wondering how
to believe in scotch tape
and purple marker
instead of the looming possibility
of avoiding it all
Thursday May 18, 2017
if there is a time for watching sunsets, it is now
the sky puts on a show and we are all allowed to love it
you are my walking Cuckoo clock, I always know what
time it isn’t, I’m surprised that it still surprises you
The ad in the subway has an hour glass and the words
The rest is too small to see
I don’t know what it’s for, but it looks dangerous
who ever though to put hours in something so fragile,
and what if it breaks open and we don’t ever
get them back?
if the sky wants to dance, who am I to turn my back
there is time for beauty in this place too
when it is the nourishment keeping us in motion
Sunday April 16, 2017
We mourn each day past with a song-we both cradle our heads at the month changing places, on a mission.
How many nights as children did we spend enjoying instead of worrying we were running out of time?
How many days did we write the date and think just how much can happen in a year?
This time we’ll sing (misty-eyed)
about the seasons; about the natural curve of the calendar
April come she will
April come she will
Monday March 6, 2017
Of course he asks what I’m working on the moment I leave my work to check my Facebok account.
“Nothing really,” I tell him, because saying, “well, I was working on my novel, and before that the pitch for my television show, and before that I was busy securing some income so I was working on that” just sounds like an excuse train. In this very moment, no, I am not doing anything, and at least in this very moment, not doing anything means also not lying. I don’t need Facebook although I tell myself I do. It’s filled with opinions and videos of cats and maybe some event information that otherwise NOBODY would e-mail out. It’s filled with endless scrolling down the lives of others who are also not doing anything right this moment because they are on Facebook too and have posted an article to their wall to make it seem like they are working very very hard.
I imagine him giving me a pittying smile and saying, “oh, yeah, of course you are” with a snide undertown of prentiousness since he’s already been off Facebook for a month and a half. He doesn’t smile at all. He says nothing.
Sunday November 13, 2016
From an interview question
I keep seeing pictures of our future and your
brows are furrowed “So here we are”
I can’t see everything in focus
I see windchimes and mushrooms and candle wax
Maybe you’re calling the new me the one with
more patience and breath that smells like artichokes
Maybe you’re thinking about
the past Now
Soon all this will be forgotten from our minds
but remembered by the elephant hearts
that I cradle like unborn daughters
dreaming in their soft sleep
dreaming this future into Now
Thursday October 20, 2016
from a workshop description
Sat still with my mouth shut
didn’t know if I should breathe
Didn’t want to let it slip out
and seem like I had something to present
I wanted to say more
I sat stiller than I thought I could
Waited till the silence doubled itself before
I let myself exhale
In the space between me getting enough air and you sucking me dry
there is a house.
Nobody wants to live there
It is blessed hot and cursed
I wanted to say more
We wither and die in the shape of our smallest self.
We do not notice how far from the sky we have sunken
But our bones know
And a child who spends two minutes with you will know
And every time we and you and I
hear the words
I’m proud of You
we will all know
And there will not be enough time
Monday June 6, 2016 at Starbucks
Poetry Is Dead Magazine
Issue 01 Volume 05
There wasn’t a whole lot of proof that Ingrid and Raymond were meant for each other.
Ingrid preferred to eat outside, Raymond preferred to eat in.
Ingrid wanted to visit the kids in Vermont, Raymond wanted them to come to the cottage.
Ingrid told Raymond once that she didn’t have any idea how two people who loved each other as much as they did could disagree as much as they did. Raymond told Ingrid once that the only reason why they didn’t see eye to eye was because they were meant to be teaching each other.
Ingrid liked to write letters by hand and send them in the mail. When the two of them were young, Raymond worked overseas for two years and Ingrid asked if he would write to her.
Raymond didn’t like to write much; his penmanship was hard to read and that frustrated him. He told Ingrid that even if he didn’t send her a letter he would send her something and not to worry.
Tuesday April 26, 2016
from a Suburu ad
Got a letter from Marie the other day. It was written on a series of post-its, unnumbered,disordered, and accompanied by a stack of photographs. She sent me a photo of her new belly button ring with a big “SORRY!” Written on the back in red lipstick. Another of her dog, Kate, and her just waking up. She looks happy in that one. She also sent a photo of her and Iris swinging a toddler between them. On the back she wrote “this ones a good one” and I have no idea what or who she’s talking about. Her post-its had her dreams scrawled on some but not all, a list of all of her current measurements, and a haiku about mint chocolate with a bunch of sparkly cow stickers.
Monday April 25, 2016
from a podcast
I don’t want you anymore
Mouth full of corn flakes
Heart full of lonely
Are we going to discuss this
Forehead vein pulsing
Forehead skin wrinkling
We are discussing it
We are discussing it right now
I mean don’t I get a say in this
Whatever you want to say will be too late
I don’t want you anymore
I don’t owe you a debate
You don’t have to be cruel
You’re already leaving me
Eyes cast down
Eyes filling up
I think I’m being very nice actually
Being honest with you is the nicest thing I could do.
Sunday April 24, 2016
from an e-mail
You can’t just tell me you love me once and then that’s it. You’re not in the clear. You have to show me that you love me. EVERY DAY. Because if you break the seal on love and try to hold it in, you are hurting everyone involved. You are hurting me. Don’t tell me that I “should just know” you love me. This is not a stupid video game. Or wherever you got that uniformed point of view. You don’t just say “I love you” and then expect all the perks of being with someone who actually feels loved. DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE ARE PERKS TO BEING WITH SOMONE WHO ACTUALLY FEELS LOVED? You get to feel the sunshine on your skin and wake up to beautiful breakfasts in bed and get tiny songs written for you and get love notes snuck into your gym shoes and get massages and genuine smiles and good gifts on your birthday. You don’t just get to do the first thing and then emotionally disappear!!
Saturday April 16, 2016
Back to Black
I don’t feel right writing this. You’ve been gone for one month. I know you said it wouldn’t bother you if I saw other people once you said goodbye, but everyone else is saying it’s too soon. I met someone. I don’t know if he’s my one, but he’s someone and it feels nice to be with a man that isn’t dying. Your mother is still angry at me. She thinks I am mistreating your memory, disrespecting what we had. But the worst part is, I know I’m not doing anything wrong and I know that when you told me you didn’t want me to mourn you for long that you meant it. I still love you, I always will. I would have died with you if I could have but it doesn’t work like that. I wanted to thank you for being so understanding and trusting and knowing that me dating someone else does not mean I’ve moved on or that I’m okay or that I wanted to be with someone else this whole time. Nobody outside of us can know what we went through and what we talked about and what we decided together. Now all that’s left is my side of the story and no one seems to want to believe me when I say it’s okay that this is happening and you wouldn’t be upset. I don’t know how long I can keep justifying myself in the eyes of your family or my family. I miss you more than life.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at DH Lodge
from a Kitchener Utilities Pamphlet
Elliot sat on the couch digging into her scalp, searching for the patch of raised skull flesh she liked to play with when she was nervous. It was a quarter past four and her eyelids sometimes closed for longer than a blink while she waited up for Marco to get back. He was late. He told her he’d be back at midnight at the very latest. She had called him a total of seventeen times so far and counting. Elliot fingered the bump on her head and started to yank tufts of hair out with her finger nails, pulling slowly and firmly on a few strands from the root to the ends. Elliot thought about calling the police. The pendulum of the old cuckoo clock on the wall swung out of tune.
Wednesday November 25, 2015 at Platform Vancouver
We hear laboured breath, thumping, pausing, groaning, then more thumping, some light twinkling, then a thud.
Mom’s got the Christmas box out and she’s ready to go.
We hear a lot of rustling, then a small shriek, a giggle, and the crash of a thousand holiday CDs hitting the floor.
She’s going to turn this house into a merry one if it kills her. And it might. All that stuff is heavy and mom has always had a terrible back.
My brother looks at me.
“Should we go and help her?”
I don’t respond.
I don’t want to.
“You can go if you want,” I tell him.
“Well why don’t you want to help, too?”
“Because I hate Christmas,” I tell him.
“You hate everything.” He says back, resuming his video game.
Suddenly we hear Rosie O’Donnell’s Christmas album blaring.
“If we help maybe we won’t have to listen to this garbage that Mom likes.” My brother tries again.
Tuesday November 24, 2015
from a poem by bell hooks
It was a very knobby knees sort of pick your nose behind a book kind of pants too baggy in all the wrong places kind of time. Garrett was in love with me and asked me to be his girlfriend at least three times a day.They were very long days sort of strategic routes taken home from school to avoid certain people kind of too shy to say why kind of time. When I told him no the first time I think I was even cruel about it. I didn’t know yet that just because a boy was of no interest to me it didn’t mean he didn’t just use up all his courage trying to be. It was a very young kids playing in the cornfield sort of kiss behind the church before getting called into supper kind of late nights laying on the floor with candles lit listening to Bon Jovi kind of time.
Sunday, October 25, 2015 at the Writer’s Fest Volunteer Lounge
from a write up about Rich Shapero
The valet parked my car this morning and made me wish I had walked. Maybe that will be the last time.Lately I’ve been uncomfortable with paying someone to do something that I can do myself. I was brought up differently. My father lived for the royalty of things. Every special occasion was catered exquisitely. The tables were always covered in silks and golds and exotic fruit and cheese. My father was a simple man, but he loved abundance. I learned from him that if it’s between time or money, to choose time. He used to tell me that my time was worth a thousandfold the amount I would have to pay for it. I never really saw what he meant because we often payed someone else, and as a result were not only abundant in lavishness, but in dispensable time. I never had to want more time. I didn’t know how to appreciate it when I was young, even though he was trying to show me. When he died I noticed myself living like him more and more. I’d pay for private massages, for dinners to be delivered, for my laundry to be folded.
Saturday, October 17, 2015
A Toronto Public Library card
Can I ask you something?
I say this to you right in the middle of a long and delicious make out.
You ask, eyes still closed and hands still wandering.
No, I’ll wait a couple weeks, as you were.
I keep kissing you, a little more preoccupied than before.
What? What? You have to say it now.
You are no longer kissing me. Your hands have found a stagnant position on each side of my face.
Nah, forget I said anything. It was stupid! Where were we?
I shove my tongue down your throat and you reel away from me like I just tried to lick your eyeball or something.
Hey, hey, what are you doing? What’s going on with you?
You’re still holding my face, searching deep into my eyes, hoping to find something better than what I’m giving you right now.
I just wanted to ask you….If you…I wanted to ask you if you ever…fuck…just if you…
I am looking anywhere but your face. It’s harder than I thought it’d be.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Never Been In Love
I throw on the Sam Cooke cause I know that’s the glue that holds us together when we’re tearing each other apart. I let him sing out and I wait before I come near you. I’m not afraid of what you’ll do to me, but what we’ll do to all the love we’ve been keeping safe between us all these years.
You’re on the broken futon with disappointment shooting through your back and a scowl on your face.
“I hate it here” you say. “I know” I tell you. “How many more days–” I bring my finger to your lips to quiet your uneasy mind. Not right now, I say, but with my body. I put a little twist in my hips and I dance beside you and your furrowed brow. Come on, I say, but with my smile, encouraging you to forget your anger for just a second. Dance with me, I suggest to you with my eyes closed, arms overhead reaching for the unknown. I don’t open them until I feel your body sway with mine. The moment of pain between us slowly turning into dust…
Thursday, August 27, 20151
Presence of Minds: The Importance of Active Exploration and Response in Dramaturgy
Christopher Michael Petty
According to the barometer set deep in my stomach, I am gauging that the level of contentment I am experiencing is lower than (if not the same as) the level it was at exactly one year ago today in exactly this very spot. It alerts me that something is wrong and that I am not safe. My body is registering some kind of prolonged trauma and it’s beginning to react accordingly. The spot in my brain where it’s supposed to regulate my mood and my outbursts is no longer functioning. It has shut off, hopefully not for good, but in this moment, it’s very much ineffective.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
from the Canada Arts Council Application Guidelines
During the testing Jeremy looked around the room to gauge the progress of his peers. Amelia had a crooked smile on her face and was scribbling with utmost vigor. Gareth had his boogies in his hands again and was rolling them between his palms, making them long and roll-y. Jeremy glanced at the clock and saw that he had only 29 minutes remaining. He shot back down at his papers and realized he hadn’t don’t much of the exam at this point and would have to hurry. Even still, Jeremy was preoccupied with his beside neighbour and his horizontal neighbour. Did Erin like to scribble tiny hearts where the tops of the ‘i’s should go? Did Reilly smell his fingers like that every day, or just the day after spaghetti night where he gets to chop the garlic and add as much as he likes?
Monday May 11, 2015
I called out to an old friend who had come back into my life recently. I called out to her while she still had one foot in my world and one out the door. I wanted her to hear everything before she left.
She turned her head slowly, with an expectant look in her eyes. She could see right through me like I was made of glass. She knew I was in need of her and the way things used to be. Maybe she was in need of me and the way things used to be too. It’s as if in that moment of time-stopping-fears-cast-aside-light-warming-honest-connecting we were transported back to the place where the rain poured everywhere except for directly on us. We were untouchable then and I wanted that again. If not for us, than for me. She was back and here for only moments, maybe not even. She held that daisy chain limp in her hand as if she knew time was a thing one of us imagined some hot afternoon in July.
Sunday, April 18, 2015
On my way to the edge of the world I found myself
one foot over the part where it’s dangerous
too far to come back from
and one foot teetering on the earth beside it
that’s where I was
that’s where I found myself
Melting into my own choices
left alone to face this vastness
and my own devices
but what I found I started to like
what I found I started to love
what I found I started to nurture
cause she was lost before
and she was scared
and suddenly I heard her prayer
and her promise to make time a priority
not to waste or to kill it, but to welcome it
And I was her just days ago falling
Or wanting to
over the edge of the world where I didn’t recognize my own thoughts
My own gifts
nothing mattered at all
Then I took a drive by my old memories
and I conjured up the spirits of my past
asked questions like, oh, do you remember me?
And if you do, can you spare a hope or two?
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.”
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.
Tuesday December 9, 2014
from the MLA research guide
Okay so Jordie got a tablet for his birthday and he says there’s an app for literally EVERYTHING. I believe this cause he’s not allowed to tell a lie or he won’t be able to have KD and hotdogs for dinner and that’s his favourite so he always tells the truth. Jordie says that you can watch yourself in an alternate reality if you really wanted to and see how your face looks and how your mind thinks in a different dimension. He says that if you are ready for it, you can also see others there. Jordie says that in a matter of years we will all have a space brain and a human body but we won’t really need our human bodies cause space brains don’t need anything at all but time and mystery. He said mystery but what I think he meant was magic. He gets those things confused sometimes. Mostly because he thinks they’re the same thing.
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…
Friday, July 4, 2014
a poster at Cafe D’amour
A hundred days even seems longer than a hundred years. I mean, I know it’s obviously not longer. I know that. But it feels easier to comprehend, to grasp, maybe. If I have to explain I’d say because a hundred years doesn’t even seem to exist at all, therefore in comparison to something that does exist (100 days), it seems like less. You know,cause ghosts are infinitely less human than humans–right? If this doesn’t make sense, I apologize. I used to be so good with expression and communication. I guess now that I’ve been doing this for a hundred years…whoops…there I go, proving my point even there! 100 years in declarations, in hyperbole, does not exist at all–the listener understands it and is not annoyed by it as its usage is wildly celebrated, therefore proving that it’s not real. It’s the forever amount of time. It’s infinity. From here to there-from now to 100 years.
Saturday June 21, 2014 at MAKE
a postcard at MAKE coffee+stuff
Hadn’t thought about Missy since last winter when I remembered how much she loved the cold. She somehow disappeared from my life and my mind quicker than she came into it. Them. Both things, in which she was sort of a permanent resident. A fixture. A thing that made me crazy and wild and irrational. She was always going on about getting the right jacket and then just sucking the rest of it up. I told her I had grown up in the cold and ‘sucking it up’ was just not enough. She said if you’re going to complain just move already! And then I understood what everything in the world meant. Something about not wishing for things that are outside of you or wanting things that aren’t in front of you. We choose everything. We choose the temperature we stay in, we choose the people we spend time with, we choose to love or not love someone. We choose to be happy. Missy had that fully realized and she was living it. She chose me one second and the next something else. I’m still alive. I missed her for a while. But I understood that right now is something different from right now every time the second hand on the clock shifts right. Then I thought about getting a really proper jacket and just sliding down some snow hills face first. Cause, you know, choices.
Friday June 6, 2014
A tweet by the TTC
When you have to be somewhere at a certain time and you’re already running late, it’s better always, always, always, to take a cab, stress it out in the backseat for a few minutes, then text whoever you’re supposed to meet and say “In a cab, so sorry” so they know that you are trying your best to be on time, you’re even paying real money to arrive as close to on time as possible, and that you feel bad about making them wait for you so you’re enduring the traffic stress of being in a cab in the first place to make up for it. Do not take the subway because subways have delays and trains get so busy because there aren’t enough to get everyone from point a to point b during the time you need. Do not take the streetcar because you probably won’t be able to sit and then you have to smell everyone’s hair and armpits while people crowd around you, yelling, or pre-drinking, or baby talking. Do not walk and think that when it gets down to crunch time you can just run and beat both the subway and the streetcar. You will get sweaty and you will get tired and you will think you can run all the way but you cannot because you decided that working out was a “rich man’s game” and that you’d much rather eat the whole box of Passion Flakies for breakfast instead of just one or two or none.
Saturday May 10, 2014
A 2013 calendar
These are the important numbers in my life:
1) 13-good luck and baseball jersey number
2) 20-birthdate and baseball jersey number
3) 1-the easiest, loneliest, and baseball jersey number
4) 0-the number of bones I have broken
5) 5-the number of minutes it takes to write a pocket-sized story
6) 2-the number of siblings I have and care about
7) 1270-the number of unread e-mails in my inbox
8) 2-the number of couches I own and hate
9) 33-the number of pairs of shoes I own
10) 16-the date we decided to try again
11) 12:34-the time I always seem to look at the clock
Thursday April 23, 2014
Locked In To Life
Keep pushing, keep moving, keep trying trying trying.
Don’t believe you’re stupid. Don’t believe that because nobody believes that and you don’t want to give them any new ideas about it.
Yeah, it’s hard.
And yeah there will be lots of crying.
(With you, there’s always lots of crying. Get used to it.)
And there will be lots of laughing.
(With you, there’s always more laughing than crying. See?)
But there will be no regrets.
You don’t have time for those.
You don’t even have enough time to call your mother.
Or send that postcard to your boyfriend.
Or apologize to your inner person for being so damn-self-deprecating on a daily basis.
You don’t have time for that stuff.
So you most certainly do not have time to wish you did it differently.
The universe can be cruel.
I know that. You know that. Everybody knows that.
But it can also be kind.
So be a little nicer.
Be a little less quick to place the blame.
Be a little less okay with believing you’re mediocre.
Even when you forget how to spell “Disappointment” without an electronic device correcting you.
And even when you convince yourself you can’t do simple math in your head when trying to tip the server.
Be a little more confident.
Because you’re here.
Because you’ve made it this far and because if you didn’t want to be alive, you just wouldn’t be.
Saturday March 15, 2014
from a web series break down
I come home early from work and don’t tell him, don’t call him, don’t surprise him that I am. I see he’s sleeping on the couch, the News blaring without him even flinching to notice. I never want to see him like this because it makes me feel old, and it makes him seem young. Today’s his day to have the house. We agreed on it before. I told him I wouldn’t be home till 8 or 9, and he said, come when you come! I think coming at 6 is too early for the plans we agreed on and I’m not mad at him for sleeping. I’m glad he is. I just wish I didn’t have to see it. It’s not something I can explain much better than that. But it doesn’t work for me, so I think tomorrow I will come home when I’m supposed to, after he’s had a chance to rest from his long day of lifting. He starts much earlier than I do. 5 AM. I would think if he didn’t nap during the afternoon he would be a zombie by dinner, so I know he does it for me. Especially when he waits for me to come home every night so we can eat together. He doesn’t have to do that, but I think it’s nice that he does.
I don’t want to take away from his day and his time, so I quietly make some crackers and cheese in the kitchen and sit down to the computer. I see the tabs that are all open: Global Tv, Life Hacks, How to get American Netflix, Best Banana Bread Recipes, and Hard..Harder..Hardest.
Monday January 6, 2014
I have so many goals. I write them down. I check things off. I make extra boxes for things. I put obvious list items down. I do this so I can check them off. “Watch Porn” is not a goal. But it gets a check mark a lot easier than “Get Life Together”. Then it tricks my brain. There’s a bunch of checks. Hey! I must know how to accomplish some things! Like when you put a fiver in your tip jar. But it’s your money. It just helps indicate that tips are welcome. And people follow it. People need to see guidelines. And then they comply. So that’s my list. That’s my everything really. Just one day at a time. “Get Over You And Your Good-Looking Haircut” is a tough one that doesn’t ever seem to get a check. It gets a lot of attempts at that. It gets half strokes. It gets erased lines. It’s not the easiest thing to achieve. But it’s my skinny jeans purchased before I’m the size I need to be to fit in them. Like a big overarching goal. And one that motivates change. “Wake Up” gets a check mark every single day though. Now that’s consistency. And success.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
from Julia’s refrigerator magnets
We could hold hands in the night and go steal flowers from our neighbours’ lawns. We can sneak around in the dark and talk about which houses look like they belong to serial killers. We could stay up late and talk about our fears and our theories and our disbeliefs even if we disagree. We can make a reservation at a restaurant and leave before we order because we just don’t have time for bad food anymore.
Not with you dying.
We make those little moments count now. We make them laugh and dance and sing while we hold them and nurse them and tell them there are no monsters in their closets.
We could drink only aged vintage and things you need crystal for. We could lay in bed all day or all night with the AC blasting so we can still feel each other’s skin without sticking.
Sunday February 17, 2013
To The Actor
A lot of things are great. Want to hear a list? I’m good at making lists. It’s all about the punctuation…
A List by Addie Pierce
Number 1) Elbow joints!
Number 2) Surprises!
Number 3) Collective sighs..
Number 4) Family bbqs!
Number 5) 20 extra dollars!
Number 6) The boneless chicken bites from KFC!
Number 7) When young people marry old people and then their house have to be post modern.
Number 8) Peanut butter sandwiches with the crust cut off and a note in my lunch! Or a lunch in general!
Number 9) Counting to 10!
Number 10) Wishing that it took less time to think of some really really great list items.