Sunday February 12, 2017
Overheard on the 4 bus
Tommie was rocking her newborn baby in her arms and humming gently when the telephone rang. She stopped suddenly but decided to keep going so Alex wouldn’t wake up again. She didn’t seem to mind the noise but the motion, or lack there of, she’d definitely notice. Tommie hadn’t been expecting a call or any visitors. Nobody seemed to come around these days. People weren’t too interested in seeing her after she took off without telling anyone. They didn’t understand that she needed to be far away from it all when she delivered. They didn’t want to know why she couldn’t just ask for help. Alex yawned in her arms but stayed asleep. The telephone rang again.
Sunday June 19, 2016
I’m standing at the microphone and I can hear my own breathing inside my head, but everything else in the room is perfectly still. I am ready. I am prepared. I am under water. I feel true calm. I hear the speaker bellow out a long word in slow motion. I hear every single part of his word. I see every single part of his word. I take a deep breath and I pause. The silence is back. My focus is razor. I repeat his word, his multisyllabic and challenging word and I spell it back to him, punching. each. letter. It is good to be good. I am floating. I am waiting. The sound of the auditorium floods back to my ears and there is thunder. There is pulse. I am lifted.
Saturday June 18, 2016
All My Puny Sorrows
Caught me in the middle of ‘researching’ various porn sites and I got mad at you for barging in unannounced. Kendra, you said, I live here. Do I really have to announce anything? I was embarrassed, obviously, that’s why people get defensive and upset in the first place, but I was not about to tell you that.
Listen, Matt, I don’t think a text or a phone call is a very big inconvenience just to tell me you’re on your way or that you’re 5 or 10 minutes out, or that you’ll be disturbing me and just wanted to give me a heads up.
Disturbing you? You asked.
Yes, I told you, or disrupting the flow.
I didn’t know there would be so many arbitrarily chosen rules popping up when you moved in.
I’m just saying we share the space and it’d be nice to be aware of each other.
Fine, Kendra. You said. You were on your way back out the door. I’d like all parties present to be informed that I am, ANNOUNCING, that I am leaving for the night, and all parties present can go back to being a huge dick for no reason, by herself.
Monday June 13, 2016
The Martian Chronicles
I don’t have words right now
not for the pain
for the other stuff
I have alien feelings
something is in me breaking
as we speak
I would ask for
to go home early
from all of this
try my lungs out
call to the wild but
there’s a scientist
waiting to take
my blood out
and I think
she owns me or something
Because my thoughts don’t feel
like mine anymore
like nothings floating
and bobbing up for air
now and again
she tells me
and I assume she means
My arm is her best friend
is her guilty pleasure
she looks at my dancing
with fluorescent sparks shooting out
of her eyes
getting ready to keep me
from jumping out of
and into the world
beside this one
I tell her
They have much more
star-dust because it’s a destination
Not a curse
and I know now
shuffling around while this
thing is in me
because I use
Sunday June 12, 2016
Bye Judy and Good Luck
Madelyn had stepped out onto her porch, dimly lit, a few mosquitoes, joint lit. No sweater, it was good to feel cold every now and again. Not impossible cold. Awareness-making cold. She glanced down at the stain on her yellow cable knit T-shirt, pulling the base of it down and out to examine the damage, to survey the crime scene. They had been screaming like Tasmanian devils; running up and down the house so feverishly and never-endingly causing the whole house to vibrate. Madelyn didn’t know if the love she had for them was enough to keep her from hating them when they were like this. She thought she might have to take notes and keep watch on their behaviour with the cycles of the moon. She picked again at the orange-red blotch of defeat on her top. She picked again. She swatted away a mosquito.
Tuesday June 7, 2016
Ellen told Brody she wouldn’t be joining him on the hike this year but she didn’t give him much notice. She had been holding off on saying anything until she knew for sure if she could or not. Brody didn’t think to ask if there was a reason. He focused on the fact that Ellen bailed on him so last minute and he had already put his money down. Brody sent a lot of passive aggressive messages telling Ellen that he wished he could “find a way to make some much needed cash asap–life is so unexpected, you know?” Ellen didn’t have the heart to tell him what was really going on in case he decided not to go all together. The last thing she needed was her best friend giving up something he had looked forward to every year just to stay at home and offer some unwanted pity. Ellen toggled between telling him the whole truth, and avoiding anything but.
Monday, December 21, 2015
Overheard on Gerrard St.
R. never tells me she’s a surgeon. I find out from a process of elimination. After spending a third night in her bed, no sex, just cuddling and laughing at the strange sounds my stomach makes when I’m falling asleep, she gets a text and says she needs to take off for a few hours. “Sleep,” she insists, “I want you to stay.” I feel strange in her bed without her, smelling her cocoa butter smell.
After two weeks of this, and finding strange, comfortable, clog-like shoes in her gym bag, and seeing how tired she is and how much she knows about my concussed skull, I realize. We’d agreed not to talk about what we do, but this, this was something.
Saturday, December 19, 2015
from the back of matches
There’s a level of discomfort that follows a perfect moment. It’s perfect until it’s not, fading into something hard to sit in. That second after the joint decision to bask in the glory of said perfect moment is made up of tiny doubts, fears, deep-swimming insecurities-or truths that we usually find more grace to disguise. I think it comes from wanting the next moment to be as good as the one before but it can only be anything close if it were the exact same moment and no two moments can be replicated no matter how badly we want them to be. So I guess it comes down to choices. Going left or right directly after the experience of tiny perfection. Does it live in us as a thing we both just know now, or does it change every moment after it by being so tightly clutched that we start to live in debt of that particular instance? Trying to pay it back forever.
I want to know…
Friday, December 18, 2015
Dispatched To The Derwent
Greer reaches down to pull up her knee socks that never seem to stay at the knee. She leans over in her chair disappearing under the table for a moment while Brody shifts in his spot, uneasy about a lot of things, in addition to the fact that Greer is no longer making eye-contact as he explains himself.
Greer’s stupid socks keep bunching in her shoes! That’s why they never stay up, they are being pulled down but her toes or something equally as lame! She lets out a tiny laugh.
“What? What is it?”
Brody doesn’t like unexpected bouts of laughter. He doesn’t like being the butt of anyone’s joke.
“Sorry, I, it’s nothing, really. What were you saying?”
“No, seriously, just tell me!”
“It’s actually not worth repeating, but, I’m fully listening, please continue.”
Brody starts to chew on the inside of his lower lip. He Has created a patch of bite marks, raised to the touch of the tongue, a tiny graveyard of anxious scars.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
from the A&W sign
More often than not do I get to the point where I suddenly remember that I have to eat something before I fall down dead. It’s true. Sometimes I get so engrossed in work and I realize after 7 hours or something ridiculous that all I’ve eaten so far is a probiotic and a couple Oreos. I can’t even think straight when I do this. I start to aimlessly wander around the house from room to room with no real plan or solution. I look in every single cupboard but nothing looks appealing cause all of it looks like it requires work. It’s sad, it happens so much, but I still don’t try to avoid that. I don’t know many adults who have to write “Eat Lunch” on their to-do list just so they actually do it! When I get to the point of fainting or falling apart mentally, the only thing that calms me is envisioning biting down on a huge and messy burger, reeking of onions and dripping a rainbow sauce concoction all over the counter. I suppose I get so delirious that I dream of doing this while standing up? Over the sink? My hunger dreams don’t make sense, really.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
From a Caroline Myss card
I no happy at job
I look for other opportunities
I ask around
I talk to all the bosses
I show skills and personality
I ready for new life
New job offer benefits
I take job
I need help
I need security
Benefits no start right away
Must wait long time for starting
I wait long all day
I wait long all night
I pray fast comes the help
I pray for family
I make sure I no mess up
I make everything perfect
Old job slow
Old job not much help
No go to dentist for 2 years
No go to department store
No buy new underwear
Even when old ones have holes
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Overheard on the bus
That’s what he says to me when I call his cell while he’s at work. He doesn’t want to let anyone know that it’s me. He refuses to use my name. I get it. I don’t want anyone to know either. It’s nice anyway, like he’s happy it’s “me” when he says it like that. Like he’s relieved. He sometimes answers the phone with just a “hello” when he picks it up in the company of others. He leaves quickly enough to go into another room, pretending always that it’s work related or family related, depending who’s nearby. I clear my throat twice, quickly, and that reminds him to adjust his volume. You never know who could be listening for key words or a flirty laugh. I can’t wait to be alone with him and when his volume is lowered I tell him this. He laughs because if he doesn’t he might do something he regrets. I laugh back.
“Were you able to rent the cottage for the weekend? Boys trip?”
“I’m working on it.”
“When will you know? I want to see you…”
“Yup! Let me get back to you, hopefully it all works out, sound good?”
“I miss you..”
“Thanks, I’ll see what I can do.”
Monday, December 14, 2015
From a Google search
Nobody is here to take your coat. Nobody is here at all. They all went home. Sanders said they could go early for Christmas. Sanders told them all they had to come to a unanimous decision. At first Donna didn’t want to go early because she was worried she wouldn’t have enough money to buy her son the snowboard he wanted. She cried for about 30 minutes straight until Lise and Desmond told her they’d chip in to help. They just wanted to get out of there. They were worried that Sanders would make them stay the whole night just cause he didn’t have anyone to go home to. Donna finally agreed and wouldn’t stop saying “thank you so very much. Thank you to the moon and back!”
I’m only here because I was waiting for you…
Sunday, December 13, 2015
In the middle of the night I am shocked awake by your fist bruising my left cheekbone. You have been attacking me in your sleep since September but this is the first time it leaves a mark instantaneously.
I am livid in the moment because I am stunned and confused but I know you don’t know what you’re doing so I don’t wake you up to tell you what just happened like you want me to. In the morning you are concerned about my face and beg me to tell you what you’ve done. I say, it was an accident this time, I know it was. But you don’t believe me. I am not a good liar. You ask me to tell you what you’ve said but I don’t want to upset you so I stick to my guns and say I don’t think you said anything at all. The truth is, you’ve been calling out my name each time but I can’t bring myself to confess that you’re not just remembering your days on the battlefield. Once you yelled that I was keeping you a prisoner. Another time you told me that I didn’t deserve to live.
Tuesday November 3, 2015
Monique chews her gum like she talks. Loud. She’s one of those people that doesn’t have a sense of appropriate noise levels. On the bus, with sleeping babies and little old ladies in plastic hair covers, she’s the one on her cell phone, all shrieks and exclamations. What am I supposed to do? Sit her down and give her some constructive feedback? Is that my role now?
When she asked if she could move in after Kenny decided to move to Alaska, I said, “Sure.” I followed up with an email. “Given that it’s a bachelor, maybe think about finding a place for the New Year?” She ignored it. I re-read it, over and over, resenting her stinky shampoo and her dirty coffee cups in the sink. “I never should’ve said, “maybe”… That’s where I went wrong!”
Friday October 17, 2015 at 49th Parallel
from a text
Carl grabbed the giant daddy long legs with a rubber band and squished it between his fingers. I looked at him with my mouth hanging all the way to the floor.
“What did you do that for?”
“What, it was a daddy long legs!”
“I know what he was, but why did you do it!?”
“It was crawling everywhere. It was going to get into our salad.”
“Screw the salad!”
“Words I never thought you’d ever say…”
“You killed an innocent little thing for absolutely no reason.”
“You would have let him live in our dinner?”
“Yeah. Maybe I would have. It’s not like he was trying to ruin our meal, Carl.”
“Well, what’s done is done. It’s too late for your bleeding heart to do anything about it.”
“Ugh. You’re such a…never mind.”
“A what, say it.”
“Oh my god, Trace, it was a stupid daddy long legs!”
“Tell that to your penis later.”
Wednesday October 7, 2015
It is such a relief that Joe and Kelly are out for the night and I have the place to myself. I’m too old to live with roommates. I’m too old, and too quiet, and too grouchy. I eat a slice of Kelly’s havarti and don’t even feel bad about it. I’m feeling ballsy. I’m feeling free. “I’m gonna take off all my clothes and be naked on the couch!” I say out loud. I wait for someone to object, but no one’s there so no one does. I take off my jeans, and my flannel shirt. I take off my underwear from Zellers, when Zellers was still in business. I take off my bra. I leave on my socks, because our floors are cold. I jump up and down a few times and then go into the living room and sprawl out. I smile. God, I feel so good.
Tuesday October 6, 2015
From a text
The bread is rising in the corner and Penelope is singing the song that she always sings. Burt, her Dad, my Mother’s second husband, rolls a cigarette. Mother washes dishes until her hands start to hurt. “Della? Come help?” I pretend I don’t hear her and it works but only until Burt realizes what I’m doing. He throws his slipper at me and lights his smoke. “Go outside, Burt!” My Mother shouts. Since Wren was born, she doesn’t like him smoking inside. Didn’t seem to matter with the rest of us. Burt grumbles a bit, grabs his slipper and says, “Go help yer Mom.”
Saturday October 3, 2015 at 49th Parallel
A financial website
It’s about weighing the pros and cons, making a full spreadsheet of all the good and the bad and deciding if, after all that, it’s worth it or not. In the past I have made some critical errors when deciding major things. I didn’t use all of my resources the way I should have and I refused to consult a professional. BECAUSE I WAS BEING CHEAP. Cheap with my time and with my money and with my investments because I wasn’t treating my investments as investments but as burdens, WHICH THEY WERE NOT. So that’s the short of it, whether you do it or not is up to you. I can give you a couple examples. Of course I can. This information is not mine to have, it’s ours to share, it’s what makes the world go round, ETC. ETC. Okay so in a column you could put PROS: QUITTING MY JOB and in the one next to it you could put CONS: QUITTING MY JOB. You don’t have to write both titles twice, but for the sake of clarity, now you can understand that you’re COMPARING and CONTRASTING here. That’s very important. So. Quitting. Tell me one reason why that would be a negative thing. Always start with the negatives. It’s better, because if you notice yourself struggling to come up with them, then you’ve probably already made your decision. Then, less work!
Saturday October 3, 2015 at 49th Parallel
A financial website
When I get to your bachelor apartment on the fourth floor it will smell like cat pee and Axe Body Spray. The windows will be fogged. You’ll have just gotten out of the shower and your grey towel will be around your waist. I’ll ask if you’d like a coffee, I’ll offer to get you one from the shop a few blocks away. You’ll refuse twice. You’ll accept. I’ll suggest that we walk there together, that it might do you some good to get out. You will sniffle and pretend that you have a cold. I will know that you’re using again, but I won’t let on. I’ll remind you about Leila’s birthday party on Saturday before I tell you that Dad’s back in the hospital. You’ll be eating handfuls of Shredded Wheat from the box. You’ll act as though you didn’t hear me. You’ll tell me your rent is due and your account is in overdraft.
Wednesday September 30, 2015
A Guinness billboard
When we make promises in bleach
When we dream in silver and gold
When we pinky swear forever and kiss to
seal the deal
The radio buzzes out of range
Your face shadows
An owl calls
I keep dreaming about what I think you want
A blonde with big teeth
A year-round tan
I keep dreaming about what probably won’t happen
instead of what will
The cat is dead in the morning
And you’re out for a run
The first one of the season where
you can see your breath
Sunday September 27, 2015
George F. Walker
James spots me, sitting under a maple tree, eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I watch him in my peripheral vision as he walks towards me.
“What’re you eating?” He asks, plopping down beside me. No one invited him, but there’s not much I can say.
“PB and J.”
“You aren’t allowed to have peanut butter at school! Simon Jenkins is allergic! Didn’t your Mom get the reminder letter?”
“I guess not.”
I quickly scarf down the rest of my sandwich and am very grateful to Miranda for including hand sanitizers on keychains in her birthday loot bag. I use my sanitizer with great diligence.
“Wouldn’t you feel so bad if you killed Simon?” James whispers.
Sunday, September 6, 2015
The Soul’s Code
Silver never explains how he got his nickname. I learn his real name after crashing on his couch for three months. He’s finally left the apartment to go and look for a job and I rifle around looking for evidence of who he really is. When I ask him where he’s from he just says, “Here”. When I ask him about his family, he says, “I don’t have one.” “Everyone has a family,” I say, “whether they like it or not.” “Nope,” he says, scratching Kitty’s belly. “You named your cat “Kitty”?” I ask, scrubbing inside his stove. No one’s done it in ages and there appears to have been a whole lot of explosions. “I didn’t name her.” Silver leaves all the windows open even though the temperature’s been dropping steadily since I got here. When I close one he shoots me a dirty look and mumbles, “Gotta let the air in, Sam.”
Monday, August 24, 2015
When I look at your face, I remember my best friend from the 10th grade. I thought I had found my soulmate. Someone who I could talk easily with, be always welcome at her house, be always welcome in her life. I would have done anything for her and I thought she would have done anything for me. We’re not friends anymore, but you and her are so much alike that I can’t tell if it’s on purpose or if I just miss the good things about her and I’m forgetting all the bad. I know you’re different people. I know that. But your laugh is the same and the way you move like a dancer is the same. And the way you hug me is the same. So sometimes I feel like I’ve found my soulmate again: someone who understands me and encourages me and sees me. But then I worry if one can turn sour, maybe another one can do. You might not be cut from the exact same cloth, but in my fear pit lives the defenses that you in fact might be.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Hey Andrews One and Two, quit your yammering. I mean it this time. Whatever you think you’re getting away with, you won’t. I’ve seen kids like you in my day, don’t think you can fool me. It’s not that I don’t respect your attempts, because believe me, I do. But they just won’t work on me. Now you two boys may appear to be just whispering, and probably about who is going to stick that rock up his nose first, but I can see right through you and I know your little game. This is not my first rodeo, so to speak, and you’re not my first broncos! I’ll tell you something, the things kids will do to get out of nap time! There was once an Andrew in my very own kindergarten class. He stuck a pebble so far up his nose he had to go to the hospital and have it surgically removed. Now he missed nap time, alright, but that image is ingrained in my memory for all time!
Friday, August 21, 2015
Overheard at a bus stop
Gimme a smile, Goldie! No, not that fake smile! Give us a truthful, good, honest one! I don’t know why this child doesn’t want to smile – all I do is give her what she wants. She isn’t mine, oh no way. You think I look old enough to be a mother? HA! How a three year old learns how to fake smile is beyond me. It’s her mother. Truthfully, I’ve never met such a wicked woman. I play along, I play along with her strange games but when I go up to my room at night and close the door sometimes I just can’t stop thinking about how she looks at her children. Like they are the carriers of some disease! Goldie vomited on the coffee table while there was company over and she dragged her out by her pigtail.
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Art & Fear
David Bayles & Ted Orland
When you come inside from dancing with the moon and making promises to her that you see the light she’s shedding and the path she’s illuminating just for you, your skin tingles with joy and recognition for the you she knows.
Your skin: The protector of your bones.
She is held together tight with a thousand promises just like the ones you made with your Moon Mother. And you can feel each one alive inside you, making their way down your veins to keep you warm.
You can’t live another way. You even feel tempted to shed the skin you’re in but she hugs your limbs in close and whispers, I’m Not Going Anywhere….I Still Know Your Insides.
If you don’t keep the dancing hot and perfect in your hair, and the pure boundless generosity you feel with every concentrated breath, then you might just live on in a different moment and you don’t blame yourself for that either.
Friday, August 21, 2015
Overheard at a bus stop
Biddy and me make a pact to bleed each other’s blood and wear each other’s smile. I want to marry Biddy so I can be around her all the time and let her light wash over me and catch me in all the right moments. Biddy plays the violin and when she does the whole world stops. I do all the humming and Biddy plays so I can feel. She tells me that I’m most me when I open my mouth and let my heart sing out. She tells me she can see me growing into the person who’s taking better care of me. She tells me I’m the kind of woman who becomes more beautiful with age and experience and confidence and time. It’s my idea to combine our life force and Biddy smiles with her whole face because she loves all of my grand ideas. She snips a lock of her strawberry blonde curls and wraps it around my finger to remind me that we’ve got each other’s soul close by.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
from a tweet by the Globe and Mail
I have been wondering if I will ever leave this place. It does not feel like home (never did), and it is starting to weigh heavy on my heart. It sounds like an easy decision but it is not. Nothing is an easy decision for me. I am used to making bad decisions. Maybe staying here this long is one of them. Maybe I am trying to justify something. I think it is hard because I do not know what I want instead. I do not know where is better than here. So I must stay here until I know where there is. Must I not? It does not sound very adventurous of me (well aware of that), but does it not make sense?
I cannot decide this with the help of anyone else. I am torn in two but I am the only one who can mend the halves and make them whole. I am learning here. It sounds as if I am not but I am.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at Dark Horse
Okay I’m a bit confused. Is it wrong to want to meet her?
No, I don’t think so. It’d be interesting to hear her side at any rate.
I feel like my mind is on a different page than me right now. I’m not convinced.
Then don’t reach out. It’s not like she’s the only one.
But she’s the most infamous!
So ask her.
I don’t know.
I don’t know either.
You think she would even meet with me?
Okay, so then, I’m going to draft a letter.
You’re going to do that now?
Just, I don’t know. Maybe wait till tomorrow?
Why because you think I’m too high?
You’re right. I’m too high.
But tomorrow you’ll be able.
Yeah tomorrow I can edit, though.
Yeah. But draft it in your notebook or on Word or something then.
God bless you.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
sammy’s got the glimma glimma gimme something that tastes like
alphabet alphabet past possessive french class math class biology
coffee spill wipe it up
sammy’s got a hangover smell rum on his breath
his mummy’s got a new lover gasoline under his nails
wipe a tear off sammy’s cheek
lick it to make it go away
down down way down down
sammy’s in the office with a tummy ache
too many timbits
too much ache all the way to texas
Friday, July 24, 2015
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz
I first met Will from an audience. His band was playing at the Horseshoe Tavern and I stared at him the whole set. At the end of the show he smiled at me and my stomach flipped and flopped like a fish out of water. A few months later I saw him at a friends birthday party and I approached him. Someone was singing karaoke, loud, and I had to shout. I played dumb when he told me that he was in a band and acted like I only maybe had heard of them. At the end of our conversation he asked for my phone number and we texted the next few days. We met up for coffee and he was distracted but I didn’t care. I liked him. He kissed me on my porch and told me he was going on tour for three months in a week. We didn’t have a lot of time.
Monday, July 20, 2015
We make a plan to go to the diner for milkshakes.
“No dinner. Just milkshakes!” You text.
“Milkshakes ARE DINNER.” I respond.
I’m already there, picking off my chipping nail polish.
My phone beeps.
“I’m in a crisis.” You text.
“And when in crisis?” I respond.
“A boy like me calls his mother. I’m gonna be an hour late.”
It’s not the first time.
It won’t be the final time.
I order onion rings.
I order a root beer.
You finally roll up in a purple velour tracksuit and red Doc Martin’s.
“Where’s your milkshake?” You say.
“I’m full…” I respond.
“I WANT A STRABERRY SHAKE! HEAVY ON THE CREAM!”
“Shhh – ”
“MY MILKSHAKE BRINGS ALL THE BOYS TO THE YARD!”
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at Valens Restaurant
From a text
I wait for Dany to close the door fully before I utter a single word about Cynthia. I hear the click. Dany waits at the window watching Mitchell get into his car. She makes sure he drives away then she slowly turns around.
“Yeah. Watched him drive off. ”
“I don’t think she’s dead. ”
“Don’t say that. I knew you were going to say that. ”
“Hear me out, Dany. I’ve given this a lot of thought. ”
“I don’t like that she could be alive and wouldn’t tell us. Or wouldn’t even tell her own brother. ”
“That’s just it, Mitch can’t know about her. No one can. ”
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
From a text
“Please don’t be mad at me,” Sydney says, eyes round as fried eggs. “I sorrrrrry!” She wails, throwing her arms around my waist, wetting the front of my dress. “It’s okay,” I say, even though it’s not. “It’s fine, sweetie.”
She’d been painting on the floor and had used one of my grandmother’s bone china tea cups to mix her paint. Acrylic. She’d asked for acrylic paints from her aunt Kim and Kim always obliges, without okay-ing it with us. “Really?” I’d hissed, taking off my party hat. “That shit stains!” Kim had smiled apologetically and said, “I’ll tell her to keep it on newspaper.”
Sydney and I tried to get the paint out of the teacup but it was forever tinged green. “Why don’t you just turn it into a planter or something?” Kim asked. “I liked to drink tea out of it, that’s why!” I said a little too enthusiastically.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Said by Nadeem
she lost her voice on the train tracks
she fell and when she stood
there it was
sizzling on the metal
when the train came
she watched from behind a juniper
the urge to scream replaced with a breath
an open mouth
she lost her voice on the train tracks
she waited and
and waited to see if maybe
in the moonlight
it would resurrect
she fell asleep with pinecones as her pillow
and when she woke
she looked in the direction of her voice
she looked in the direction of the stars
the aurora borealis
there it was
and having more fun that it’d ever had before
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Overheard at grange park
“Here we go,” he says, lifting Jo up. He puts her in her carseat. She isn’t sure about how tight it buckles around her waist. She isn’t sure about the smell of Dad’s breath. “Ahhh,” she says. He kisses her on the nose. “You’re a buttercup, Jo. You’re my little sunshine buttercup.” He closes the door and gets in the front seat. “Like my new hair, Jo?” He asks, checking himself out in the rearview mirror. “Gaaaa,” she says.
Somewhere on the highway, away from the buses and the hum of the city, he pulls over and calls Veronique. “Honey, I’ve got Jo. We’re going to visit your brother.” She hears her mother’s resistance and makes a small coo in solidarity.
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Said it twice
Left the room
Waited to make meaningful eye contact
You didn’t see me
Said goodbye too
Said it with your back to me
So what now
What do I hold onto
Should be enough
To remind me that it’s over
You said goodbye
Said it twice
No lasting happy thoughts
To tricks of the mind
True colours splattered on the walls
For all to see
No hiding them
No covering them up
No pretending they don’t exist
So believe them now
Cause those true colours
Aren’t doing it for me
Aren’t lifting me up
And I know they’re supposed to
Sad songs playing on the radio
Waking up alone
wanting to die
Said it twice
Thursday, June 11, 2015
from a staff meeting handout
Take that second to hold your face in the mirror and smile at that beautiful thing that is growing and sharing and developing in front of your very eyes. Such self love is necessary to survive and thrive and achieve and believe. It starts with an appreciation for magic and mistakes, for findings and failures, for dreams and denials. We can love a loaf of bread with every fiber of our being, but when we hold ourselves up to the light we can’t indulge in ourselves the same way. We can not crave it or feed ourselves with it. And we must. We must feed our souls with intense and concentrated self love, the kind that springs eternal when it’s allowed to enter. And though it’s not a vampire and it won’t kill us, it still won’t come in unless we invite it in.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
from a pamphlet
Taking a road trip in September to a new place a new hideaway a new home and you’re gonna drive and I’m gonna pick the mixed CD and you’re gonna say “look at that view” and I’m gonna take a photo of it in September when the air is still warm and the trees still green that’s when you promised me first and that’s when I said yes I’ll do it I’ll follow you if you lead me to the best parts of me if you show me I won’t be missing anything here or if you just keep loving me the way you do I’ll go with you anywhere and then one day when we’ve seen the world we will curl up in front of the slideshow of our lives and be perfectly content we only have to wait until September that’s when everything good can begin to be born and develop and flourish and nourish and save us
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at Valens
overheard at the ferry terminal
My brother Reid’s eyelashes were so long they used to get caught in his eyes, like a little cow. He hated how they tangled into each other and refused to grow outward. Because of them he always had red eyes as if they had just been rubbed or showing the effects of recreational substance use. Once this got him in trouble with a police officer who believed his red eyes to be a sign of impaired driving. Reid was embarrassed to admit it was because his eyelashes were so long. That answer doesn’t sound real but I swear to you it is.
Thursday, June 11, 2015
from a staff meeting handout
let’s lose ourselves in each particle of sand each blade of grass each small meringue of beauty if you find yourself with a free second breathe in the magenta the azure the forest green
take back the things you don’t need
take back the records you don’t listen to and the photographs of lovers you no longer love
if you’re carrying something heavier than you want
put it down
let it go
check back in a day or two and see if someone’s taken it
maybe it’s on their coffee table now amongst black and white photography books
maybe it’s holding up a tropical plant
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
from a pamphlet
Last night I fried zucchini with garlic and I fed it to you with my fingers. You leaned in and bit my lip and my eyes filled with tears. “Oh no!” You said, “oh no!” You didn’t draw blood. I fed you more zucchini and you put a tiny piece of garlic in my mouth, too.
The night before you’d shaved off your beard and I was so sad but I smiled because I didn’t want you to feel bad. You touched your face like it didn’t belong to you. “Look at my chin,” you said, jutting it out.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
overheard at the ferry terminal
Billy hates making his bed, so he doesn’t. At least at his Dad’s place, where he can get away with pretty much anything. He gleefully leaves his bed unmade, his dishes in the sink and drinks a Sprite for breakfast. “Bye, Dad!” He calls, his father asleep upstairs. He cocks his head at the pink high heels near the door. He waits for a response, until the bus honks and he runs out, the screen door slamming behind him. On the bus, he puts on his headphones, even though Ray wants to talk.
Thursday June 4, 2015
We’re down the road at the Allen’s and we’re drinking sangria and laughing about the sound of Kevin practising the trumpet. We’re eating hot dogs and coleslaw and Mary says, “Lar, didn’t you have something you wanted to say to these guys?” And Larry looks dumbfounded, or struck by this, by what Mary’s said. Your Mom and I have no idea what’s happening, and I’m thinking about whether or not I’ve got mustard all over my face! Finally, Larry says, “We’ve lost everything…” Mary runs inside, her hand over her mouth, stifling tears, and your mother goes, “Mary! Larry…” And I’d never thought about how their names are, you know… So I can’t even help it! I laugh! Larry stands up and pulls back like he’s going to sock it to me and your mother glares at me and I follow Mary, running inside.
Sunday May 31, 2015
down below the tell all tell tale there lives a man who wears a brown hat. it’s a bit too big for him. it sometimes slips down over his eyes (depending on his haircut). when he laughs you might catch a glimpse of the fact that he doesn’t have any eye teeth. it’s okay! he can still eat strawberry shortcake! down below the tell all tell tale, below the man in the brown hat, sits a calico cat, lean through the jowls and plump through the belly and hind legs. she licks herself clean (especially after dinner) and sings sad, edith piaf style songs until she falls asleep again. this is the cylce.
Wednesday May 27, 2015
The animals leave the shores and all that’s left is the ebb and the flow
The sun slips like a salamander behind a cloud
Peeks out when the time is right
Five hundred ways to say “thank you”
And ten thousand ways to say “love”
The animals tread water when they’re lonely
and whisper comfort in a language we’ll never understand
Morning comes with the butterfly lightness
The animals stretch awake
Reaching for fresh water
Sunday May 17, 2015
I uhh…I made this cake for you. I’ve never made a cake before but I made this. Or like, I tried to, I guess? I mean. Yeah. A cake! For your birthday. And I know your birthday was like, a month ago. But I wasn’t confident enough to try making a cake then so, I didn’t give you anything and I wanted to, but I was embarrassed so I just pretended that you didn’t have a birthday at all so that you wouldn’t..uhh.. not get a cake from me. I also pretended that not even wishing you a happy birthday alongside not making you a cake was an okay thing to do. It wasn’t. It’s weird, it was just what I decided to do. Uhh…You don’t have to eat this even. The cake, obviously. It might not be edible, actually, because I didn’t taste it and I didn’t know how to taste it without wrecking it so I just took a chance and thought, maybe I’ll taste it first when we’re together so in case it’s bad there will be someone there to warn you. So if you want we can do it that way, or I can just stop talking now so you can stop wishing this was a different moment in your life and not the one you have to be in.
Sunday May 17, 2015
Let’s make a world where everyone has enough
Where everyone has what they NEED
When they NEED it
Where mother’s can feed babies from their breasts and where father’s can sing lullabies
Let’s make a world where trees are our priests
Where forests are our temples
Where dolphins are our recognized and respected sisters
Where computers and labs and scientists aren’t involved in food growth
Where governments champion children, art, the elderly, green space, democracy
Let’s make a world where we celebrate one another’s successes
Where we dive deep for our bravery and bring it to each interaction
Let’s make a world where we listen
With our whole being
Where we stop
Let’s make a world where we dance in the street with strangers
Let’s make a world where anyone can marry anyone
Where love is the beginning, middle and end
Let’s make a world with less cars and more bikes
With less oil and more bio-fuel
With less guns and more sunflowers
With less plastic and more recycling
With less hiding and more showing
Let’s make a world where we are all different
Where we can smile at our complicated understanding about otherness
Where we can remember
Where we can remember
Where we can remind each other
We all come from the same mother
But we need to love her up
Love her down
Love her all around
We need to be more radical in our loving
We need to embrace change
(it’s always here)
It’s always here
We are water
Water is polluted
We are polluted
It’s not complicated
It’s a simple story
Why can’t we understand?
Thank you for your bravery
Thank you for your attention
I made this cake for you
Tuesday May 12, 2015
Almost Unendurable Beauty
My son makes pancakes shaped like faces – “That’s amazing, honey.”
My wife wins an award for her azure quilt – “That’s amazing, honey.”
Chris bikes all the way to Whistler – “That’s amazing!”
My mother calls and says that she’s won the lottery – $10,000! “That’s amazing, Mom.”
I shake the mud from my boots and wonder what my wife has made for dinner. I ask. “Spaghetti and Meatballs,” she says, looking at my dirty cargo pants like they might give her an yet unnamed disease. I french kiss her. “That’s amazing, honey.”
Monday, April 27, 2015
from Hopelessly Hoping
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Do you remember those days we would show up to a concert wearing almost the exact same thing? I don’t know if you got a kick out of it but it was one of my favourite things. Did I not tell you that? I loved when we’d dress alike because it meant we were spending a lot of time together and our styles were merging because that’s just what happens when people are connected by heart strings. I liked most how it was unconscious or subconscious or whateverconscious because that was more proof that we weren’t even trying to be similar, we just were. Anyway, I guess all that to say I miss it. I miss you. I don’t even know where I am half the time and I’ve realized lately it’s because you’re not here anymore. You used to anchor me to the earth; to myself. I knew more about the world when you were around. I knew more about magic and wonder and rushing out of the house just to meet you at whatever corner so we could talk about writing or the painfulness of falling out of touch with ourselves.
Monday, April 27, 2015 at Kafka’s Coffee
from Hopelessly Hoping
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Her mouth says she’s lost but her eyes say something else, something in a language where tongues and lips aren’t involved, where it’s goosebumps and eyelashes.
It’s been ten years since she spoke to her sister.
The margarine was left out and now it’s a tub of yellow paint. She wonders about rubbing it on the dry skin on the soles of her feet. She wonders about putting it on the wall in the bathroom – could use a fresh coat of paint.
She cancels her subscription to People magazine because she’s tired of the buzz and the dresses and the pictures of strangers babies.
Monday March 30, 2015 at the TPL
The BC Arts Council website
I have never been so nervous! I’m sweating behind my knees and I’m gassy like a bagel on a cow’s hip. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? BECAUSE I CARE WAY TOO MUCH?? IS IT MY FAULT? I just want them to like me. To accept me and recognize me for my efforts. I think that’s a normal human thing to want. But this is big. It’s not just like, oh, you didn’t gain approval, it means, oh, you didn’t get funding, validation, encouragement to continue trying, etc, etc. I’m fully aware of the competition. I don’t want to be the kind of person who competes with the people out there who compete in these things for sport. But can a nobody compete against his or herself? Can this be turned into a positive somehow? I can’t think, I just want this. But did I do enough work to earn it? I don’t know, I’m sitting here waxing ridiculous to a bunch of overly medicated rich people who all equally believe that their kid deserves this over me.
Monday March 30, 2015
The BC Arts Council website
Ladies and gentlemen, theys and theirs, it is of the utmost importance that you understand that this is a highly competitive, adjudicated process. Not everyone will succeed. In fact, look around you, look at the over-plucked or unkempt eyebrows and the chapped lips and the waxy moustaches… Only a handful of these toenailed toes will make it onwards. This is not to dissuade you. This is to INSPIRE YOU! This is to set you FREE! Competition is the fire in your loins or loinettes! It’s the rumble in your belly (and not from burrito night!) It’s setting your mind to something with the whole-hearted belief that YOU CANNOT FAIL! (But you can. And you most likely will. Always allow that littttttle voice in the back of your head that says you’re a loser to taunt you and judge you and keep you in check.)
Thursday February 19, 2015
from a Facebook post
She’s a super creative super babe and she wants us to call her Ginger. Not her name, by birth, but who gives a shit about that anyway? She eats rice cakes for dinner, slathered in Nutella and bananas. I think she’s super on to something really magical. And, and! When she sees something she thinks is cool she says, “Nifty…” Didn’t you think that world died with “Radical”? It didn’t! She never makes a fuss if anyone stubs there toe or something and she only really says what, like, needs to be said, you know? She doesn’t say useless shit. And she’s like, capital H “HOT”. So… I’m gonna see if she, like, wants to be friends, because, really, I mean, I have nothing to lose. And everything to gain! Her! Her… I have her to gain…
Monday February 9, 2015
The House Girl
It begins like every other day. Maggie licks my face until I moan and roll out of bed. She runs down the stairs and I open the back door to let her out to pee. Then I go, in the downstairs bathroom. I let her back in. I fill the kettle with water. Mike is still sleeping and the boys are playing in the room. They whisper breakfast orders. “Granola! French toast!” Mike’s on the night shift so he sleeps til at least two. I get the boys dressed and…
I’m sorry. I just realized that I still have my wedding ring on. Isn’t that strange? It’s been… nine months and I’m still wearing my God damn wedding ring.
You know it’s bad when two police officers show up. One? It’s probably something with the car being in the wrong place, or there’s been a weirdo hanging around the playground again. Two?
I don’t remember which one said what. I don’t remember what I said, or if I said anything or…
Friday October 17,2014
12:18pm at Kafka’s Coffee
Advanced Italian Grammar
Who even wrote these stupid poems? These asshole poems in my notebook in my fucking handwriting? Who wrote this one about losing their sanity, and their youth, and their feeble attempts at fitness? WHO WROTE THESE IDIOT POEMS!? I’m gonna just go ahead and rip out these pages because this is BULLSHIT. I’ve been impersonated. Someone has pretty much pretended to be me, gone into my private notebook (where I write private things like, my grocery list, and notes for, like, school and occasional rants about a certain messy desk in my apartment that does not belong to me) and written shitty poems? What, is this a joke? Not funny. No one is laughing. Oh… You’re laughing? Well, you have a sick-ass sense of humour. Screw you. STOP LAUGHING. Who wrote these nasty poems?!
Thursday October 16,2014 at Trees Organic Coffee
from a Sandwich board at ITIT
Addicted to the thrill of the spotlight, or, the stoplight, changing from red to green and you’re off. Maybe it’s the same thing – spotlight and stoplight – maybe it’s the same glow that gets you tingly and feeling the most alive.
I’m quieter and slower and more partial to slow cooker soup and candlelight. I get a thrill from finding the most incredible recipe for stewed peaches, and I’m excited by the fact that I’m going to have to wait until next August, when peaches are in season again, to make it. You’ve stopped rolling your eyes at this part of me, you’ve started putting your arms around it, and breathing in it’s caramel smell.
Saturday October 11, 2014
from Julia’s notebook
Please answer the following questions and return them to me at your earliest convenience. Thanx.
Do you hold tension in your jaw?
Do you clench your teeth?
Do you drink enough water?
Do you eat too much sugar?
What are your thoughts on Yerba Mate?
Do you smoke?
Are you breathing all the way to your anus?
Are you having enough sex?
Do you pop your pimples?
Are you scared of the forest at night?
Are you lonely?
Do you steal?
Have you called your oldest friend on her birthday?
Are you making enough money?
Why do you make what you make?
Do enough people know who you are?
Are you good at what you do?
Are you on the right path?
Are you on any path?
Is there a path?
How much does the book you need most cost?
Are you spiritual?
Are you partial to pens or pencils?
Is there a flagpole you could raise a flag on?
What would your flag say?
Friday February 14, 2014
A subscription letter from Bon Appetit
All Alfie wanted was a birthday party with helium balloons that he could suck on after everyone had left. He would record himself reading sonnets with that high-pitched duck-y voice. “I’ll mail out invitations and everything,” he thought to himself. And he did just that. He bought special blue paper at the art store and cut out hearts. He carefully wrote each persons name. He was inviting John, Sean and Terry from the office. He was inviting Kofi, the barista from the coffee shop on the ground floor of the building that housed the office. He was inviting Kathy, Vanessa and Penelope from his meditation class at the YWCA. He didn’t know anyone’s address so he planned to deliver each invitation by hand. That thought made him a bit sweaty.
Friday, August 30, 2013
A Lie of The Mind
He wants me out
Told me so over slices of cantaloupe and prosciutto
After we made love for the first time in weeks
After we discovered that there is never a good enough excuse
And I agree with him
There is nothing perfect between us, just electric, which is different, and we’ve learned to understand what that means
Electricity doesn’t equate love, or happiness
He wants me out
Made it very clear that he was serious
That he wasn’t willing to put his naked self on the line for me or for us “just to see”
That he wasn’t ready to let me in