and shouting under a starless sky
and shouting under a starless sky
Thursday March 7, 2019
From a text message
Earlier today the damn weather forecast never said nothin’ about no snow. No rain in there neither and somehow we had both, now didn’t we. Nobody spectin’ a downfall or downpour or whatever. Nobody out dressed thinkin’ it’s back to winter out here. Not after all them sunny days we got. We was laughin’ cuz Spring was tryna tell us it was ready. Yesterday I saw all them robins scurryin’ about too so what’s up with that! It got me real angry when the man opened the door for me this mornin’, saw the skies and said, “Just miserable. And you haven’t got an umbrella?” Wanted to punch his rich little mouth right offa him. I said, “It’s snowin.’” with a hook in my voice that told him I was it was feeakin’ news to me too.
Wednesday February 20, 2019
The First Morning
snow falling like confetti and all the beautiful people are out walking walking moving through the upside down globe sparkle like the rare diamond that you are wink at the beautiful person so sure so clear so blue skied so freckle and bloom
have i seen you before do i know you where are you from where are you going hey could we please may we please hey wait slow down slow down slow here we go here i am i feel this good when i’m around you
i feel beautiful in this city especially when i’m open-faced clear-faced no more hiding
snow falling like confetti
and we fall again and again
friendships and bluebell babies and penmanship and tacos on the corner
Tuesday December 18, 2018
From an email
In the dark of the season
Longest day approaching
Train in the distance
Barrelling with purpose
Barrelling with direction
There is no place else to go
You say that you want to take long baths
Play the piano
Listen to CBC radio
Of course you do
Let go of the past
The winter says
Biting my earlobes
And reaching below the ice
Let go of what is no longer
All we have is now
Thursday December 13, 2018
“You’re a mess, Robbie,” Val shivers and zips her coat up past her chin.
“Jesus, it must be minus twenty-five – ” Rob looks up at the sky.
“Don’t ignore me!”
“I’m not, I’m just sayin’…” They stand there for a full minute, Val stamping her feet to get feeling back in her toes.
“I am a mess, but it’s okay… Like, I don’t usually let my life get messy, right? When have you ever seen me like this?” He makes a good point.
Val’s cheeks are turning bright red. “I just think that you should talk to someone, a counselor or something. You might even be able to find something subsidized?”
“Thanks. Yeah. I’ll look into it.” Rob pushes his hands further into his coat pockets. He feels something round.
Tuesday December 11, 2018
We fall in love over fish and chips, fingers slimy from fries, mayo and ketchup and coleslaw understanding the language of our kisses better than we do. We make love in the kitchen, the oven door a handle of acrobatic inspiration, opening and closing, opening and closing. We walk the long way to the store for avocados, eggs, kimchi, orange juice. We sing in the shower together, soaping each others’ bodies with a tenderness that transcends time. We dream together, for one another, about each other, bodies cocooned in flannel sheets and pillows tossed on the floor.
Tuesday October 9, 2018
Stephen A. Waite
We play Monopoly lying on our stomachs on the carpet
in front of the woodstove. Mom is out for a cross
country ski. We just filled our bellies with hot
chocolate, more than we’re allowed to have, more than
is good for us, but that’s okay. You put another
log into the mouth of the stove, and I jump up
because there are sparks, and fire is brave.
You know how to turn the damper. You know how to
be the banker. We hear Mom banging her skis on
Tuesday June 12, 2018
From a quote by Muhammad Ali
Walking through the snowy trails in big boots. Snow pants making steps feel strange and belaboured, intentional, my Mom, sister and I trudge across the beaver ponds. Many separate ponds connected by banks of shore, each trek took a similar shape – elation at the cold air biting my cheeks and feeling so warm in my pink jacket and pants, white boots and pink scarf that could be pulled up to make a hat. Joy at the rush of the endorphins – being with my family out in the ponds, especially after spending hours inside playing cards by the wood stove. And then hatred – too tired, too far, too long, too hot, need to pee, “I hate this!”, tears sometimes, fights sometimes. “See that cardinal there! Look, Sash, over there by the pointy pine! See the red?!” “Oh my gosh look! Look at what the beavers did to that tree!” Eating snow.
Friday, May 25, 2018
Demchanizing Our Politics
I take the streetcar alone to Nathan Phillips Square. It’s the first time I’ve been out of the house in what feels like weeks, but is actually days. Four days. It’s winter, and winter in Toronto is meant for hibernation and not leaving the house. Don’t judge me. I haven’t skated since I was a kid, and I certainly don’t own a pair. I rent some hockey skates for ten dollars and decide I definitely need a hot chocolate. I drink it before lacing up, watching the people go round and round. A few teenagers show off with quick stops and I wonder who might come to my rescue if I wipe out.
Tuesday February 13, 2018
Teachable Moment, 1986
My finger traces the freckles on her thighs and
in between the places there are no windows
there is no bright.
Red jacket and long johns and beeswax on the sheets
and white sage and kettle singing and cat curled at our feet
and Marvin Gaye record spinning and spinning
Muck out to the pottery studio
out beyond the outhouse.
The reassurance of snow.
The dependability of sun breaking through cloud cover after weeks.
Drinking black coffee out of chipped pottery.
Eating honey by the spoonful.
Keeping warm by the space heater.
Hands learning a new language
your hair dirty and perfect
Wednesday January 31, 2018
Back when the lake would freeze solid
or at least it felt like that
or at least I was a child and trusted safety still
We would lace up skates too tight
double layer of socks
double layer of love and comfort
My sister and I
all girlhood glow
all wonder and piano fingers
all stir-fry bellies
all blue eyes
Dancing swirls and future
carving the ice
carving the present
sweaty underneath layers of sweaters
Darkness coming in
over the horizon
across the lake
time to get up
to the house
Friday December 1, 2017
Overheard on the 16
Listening to Karen Dalton and she’s singing about
something on her mind
I smell gingerbread which makes me homesick and nostalgic
December is the worst for that
The windows are sweating and my neck hurts again
I hear the neighbours sneezing
talking about parking
I ache for the quiet of the woods
The darkness makes
everything seem softer but
Saturday May 6, 2017
It was a tough one with all the rain seeping into all my dry
I think it’s safe to say that something was trying to be planted
Something needed care enough to sprout
I used to dread cleaning my apartment when the grey outside made the inside feel dirty
Today I swept up a spider and saluted to her as she crawled away and into a safe place
The light painted my home in a newness that I’ve been waiting for
Everything on the shelves, a choice, a decision, an opinion
Spring has signed the contract, says she can take it from here
I cannot wish for something better than feeling home in the home I live in
I give thanks for the cupboards that hold every envelope, every light bulb
Monday December 19, 2016
from Hello Sacred Life by Kim Krans
I go over to Didi’s house and she makes me watch the fireplace channel. Says it gets cold in there if she turns it off. Says that she needs it on to keep her sane.
I go over to Didi’s house and she makes hot tea that’s so hot it’s too hot to drink even after waiting for hours. Says her tongue doesn’t mind it anymore. Says her bones sing for it now that she’s lost part of her Ship. Says her Ship stays afloat with hot tea steeped just right.
I go over to Didi’s house and she makes me listen to her new poem that she wrote about the sirens.
Says she can hear them in her sleep now. Says she dreams about them as if she was a siren herself and doesn’t know if the wails are coming from inside or outside her heart.
Saturday December 12, 2015
from a wine cork
Shari was very excited about her work’s Christmas party. Last year Abigail Hayes won a gift card to the Wine Rack and everyone tried to steal it or trade the ones they got for hers. Shari received a ticket to Cineplex Odeon as her Secret Santa gift but she had the idea to quickly hide it in her sleeve so when everyone crowded around to see what Shari’s gift was, she showed them an empty card and everyone felt so bad for her that they all started offering her their gifts. The only thing Shari wanted was Abigail’s Wine Rack gift card, but she refused to give it to her because she said it wouldn’t be fair to all the other girls. This year Shari had drawn Abigail’s name and was going to return the Christmas spirit that Abigail bestowed upon her the year before. In her white leather purse, Shari had a card addressed to Abigail, but she didn’t include anything else inside it….
Friday December 11, 2015 at Gene Coffee
from a Facebook post
Hard to believe she hasn’t come back to get her coat yet, it’s the dead of winter! After all these years of doing coat-check, it STILL surprises me that some people don’t think to call the last venue they went to to even inquire about a missing jacket in x size, x style, x cetera. Some people don’t remember how they got home the night before so to them they think their coat could be literally anywhere. But the ones who know for sure they left it at an establishment and DON’T CALL must be very embarrassed about something because they sure as hell don’t want to show their face the day after a holiday party or a bachelorette. I have held one beige coat, size small, trench style belt, for almost 100 years now and still nobody has claimed it. So I have decided that if it’s still hanging in my coat check come the new year, I’m going to take it home. I’ve been eyeing it. And there are cameras in the coat check room so once I even turned off all the lights and tried it ON. Now I know it fits. It would be useful to me. Not just theft to thieve! But! There’s a chance that someone might still come back for it and how awful would it be to have just taken someone’s jacket right before it was about to be reunited with its owner.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at Kitsilano Public Library
A sign in the Kitsilano Public Library
Val wrote an e-mail to her parents because she could sense that they were worrying, even though she was thousands of miles away. “Hi guys!” she wrote, between sips of a mango smoothie. The cafe was crowded with mostly men, and she wished she’d brought a shawl. “I’m alive!” she smiled, thinking of them smiling, her father bent over her mother’s shoulder, the iPad on the kitchen table in front of them. “It’s crazy here. Delhi isn’t what anyone says it’s going to be…” She finished her smoothie and glared at a man staring at her breasts. “It’s beautiful, loud, smelly, closed, open, strange, inviting…” Val left in the Winter and hadn’t said when she’d planned to be back. They wondered, but didn’t ask. “I’m going to travel to Kerala. I want to visit that ashram. We’ll see how long I last.” A man beside her started smacking another man, the one who’d been staring. She saw that her bag was gone, that it was caught between them, that they were pulling it. Val swore at both of them and called to the teenager behind the till for help. The staring man was smaller, but he was determined.
Friday February 6, 2015
Winter is coming
Don’t look so blue
Winter is coming
What you gonna do?
Warmer here but colder too, in the damp way.
In the down to your bones and souls way.
Winter is coming
Don’t look so blue
Winter is coming
What you gonna do?
The crows know how to stay warm.
They caw with full bird breath.
They caw the warmth from the inside out.
Winter is coming
Don’t look so blue
Winter is coming
What you gonna do?
Mama run me a bath and don’t let me out.
Don’t drain the water til it’s morning.
I won’t drown, I won’t fall asleep,
I’m thinking about the Spring.
I’m thinking about the Spring.
Winter is coming
Don’t look so blue
Winter is coming
What you gonna do?
Sunday December 14
Eyewitness Travel London
When we find our way back to the cabin, we’re laughing.
We’re drunk on the highs and lows of love and winter.
When we sit in front of the roaring fire we make jokes about the times we were dumber.
“We weren’t dumb,” you say.
“We were free then,” you say.
You make stew with lamb and sweet potatoes.
I chop wood.
Snow starts to fall and comes down like a dusting of possibility.
The candles burn low.
I peel clementines and toss the rind on the fire.
We’re in Florida for a few minutes.
In the oranges groves of your grandfather’s farm.
Thursday December 11, 2014
from a Nurofen tube ad
There are lights in the trees here. It’s so nice to be around a place that cares enough to put lights in their trees. Really makes you feel like you’ve found a spot worth staying. They assure you with their details. With their simple adjustment of the everyday. No snow yet! Got a bit lucky there. I know, I know, grow up, buy proper shoes. Boots! I know, I know. You would hate how cold it is without even having snow. My ratty sneaks will live to see another week!(or at least that’s what I’ve been praying for 😉 …sorry!)
I’m finally eating vegetables and drinking more water. The probiotics are helping but I still dream of salted caramel hot chocolate. Today I feel less alone than yesterday. Something in the air I guess. Trying to power through, like you said.
Miss and love.
Thursday November 27, 2014
When the crows call I think about the sun
Going down early now
Hardly been up for eight hours
Kind of like me
Listening to piano music
Drinking black tea
Hoping that the muse will return
Fingers crossed for sunshine
Fingers crossed for tender footed steps
Fingers crossed for a cougar sighting
Saturday November 22, 2014
From a first draft of a screen play
Clementines are out again, see that! Those big ones that fill your hand right up like a baseball! And those tiny ones that you just so easily putt with a golf club! Clementines are out again kid, and you know what that means? SNOW. The snow’s coming soon. When I get a crate of those clementines at the IGA, I save it and I use it as kindling. Best kindling you can find. Better than brush, or whatever they teach you to use at Cubs. I prefer my clementines right out of the fridge. Cold. Better than a beer in a chilled glass! Better than a popsicle!
Saturday November 15, 2014
from a London Transport card
I can see it in your eyes – the fatigue, the woods, heavy on your lids like shadow. You roll a cigarette. You don’t light it. You just hold it, using it like an orchestral conductor. I catch you watching yourself move, in the mirror. When we go out to the store for eggplant and bread, you wrap a scarf high on your face. “Ready for battle,” you say. I can see it in your eyes – it’s better here, but it’s not the best, you’re still dancing in the clouds, high above me, my feet glued to the sidewalk, but moving.
Thursday October 30, 2014
On Directing Film
You’re gonna ask him to marry you? Well, you better be jolly, jolly sure that he’s the one. You better not just know in your nuts, but in your heart, too. Hahahahaha! Sorry. Was that inappropriate? Do you even have a ring? Oh my word! Of course you do. It’s beautiful, honey. It’s really beautiful. He’s gonna look so handsome in that. When your father proposed to me it was the coldest day of the year. Power was out and we were under seventeen blankets, sucking on one another’s noses to keep them from freezing off! He didn’t have a ring or anything but he had his word and I took that for gold.
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.
Tuesday May 20, 2014
The Weather Network
oh there are so many avocado recipes, i’m losing it, i’m losing all my mind fibres! you know, there have been sites dedicated to avocados for a long time now, and i know this, but these recent developments are really something that takes the green things in a whole new level! it’s wild to think you can bake an egg inside of an avocado as if it were a cupcake tray! i love that! my mind bits are seriously exploding and i am going a bit insane wondering when and how and when i can throw a bazillion parties just to make each delectable recipe for my loved ones and theirs! oh my goodness, the summer is really turning quickly into the best time of year for me. it used to be winter, believe it or not, but believe it cause otherwise the story just sort of peters off. it used to be winter because of squash! all squash, so many winter kinds and i got crazy for the soups and the roasted versions. i would have parties at my house all the time, for goodness knows what reason. one time i had people over to watch the Oscars which was fun, and i did a squash themed oscar extravaganza. another time the reason wasn’t as great but people still came over when i invited them for “tupperware exchange” night. any excuse at all to whip out the famous recipes. and this summer is going to be exactly that. i already have a “block party” party and a David Bowie’s greatest tunes tribute night. that one’s going to be a for sure hit. with avocados!
Thursday April 17, 2014
This is the time of year for fiddleheads
Or it should be
If winter would finally melt away once and for all
This is the time that the fiddleheads grow on the banks of the river
Peeking through the moist ground
I’ve heard that if you close your eyes and listen
You can hear the earth opening
They can grow four inches in a day
Fiddleheads taste like asparagus’ illusive cousin
Related distantly to mushrooms
They are my mother’s favourite
She used to steam them
Half an inch of water in the bottom of the pot
Just a few minutes
They should still crunch
She’d spoon a bit of butter
A sprinkle of salt
Fiddleheads are coming
There are no fiddlehead farms
Just foragers who find them
And sell them
Who can make a pretty penny
On those early spring days
When we so crave something from the earth
Close by to where we life
Tuesday April 1, 2014
There’s a cloud on her shoulder, pinning her down, pinning her to her place, which she doesn’t even enjoy. The cloud shakes its grey curls, making her heart ache, making the muscles tense. The cloud’s been there since the early Winter, since her husky got hit by a car, since she put on fifteen pounds, since she told her family she wanted a divorce from them. “Too much all at once,” I stroke circles onto her hand, hoping she’ll see that this will be over soon. Patchy, dry skin, bigger belly, so many new lines on her face I don’t even know her anymore. Bags heavier than bricks under her eyes. “I’m worried,” I hold her hand and it’s clammy, it’s cold, it reminds me of fish before you put it in the pan to broil.
Tuesday March 11, 2014
the to.night street box
We are more beautiful when we’re writing
When our ink is flowing
When we aren’t thinking about what we need from the grocery store
Or spilling chilli oil on the leg of our favourite black pants
(How can black get blacker with a stain?)
We are more alive when we’re moving
Fluid and fast
Slow and steady
Our bodies know what’s right and what’s off
“Is the apple cider in the fridge off?”
We try to tell our futures in the free evening newspaper
We try to read the stars
Like palms we know and love
Like hands we hold when the cold comes back
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
TTC subway poster
Sometimes she becomes a sloth
Warm computer on her thighs
Cup of lukewarm tea on the windowsill behind her
And she travels
To places she might not get to before she wins the lottery
Mostly other women’s kitchens
Mostly women with children and nice cameras and gardens with fresh herbs
She’s embracing her sloth-dom
She used to fight it
With the “rush” epidemic
With the “yes” curse
She used to fight it
Today she rubs her sloth-body
She slow roasts tomatoes with garlic and rosemary
She let’s the darkness of the setting sun
Pull the brightness from the room where she sits
Where she’s sat
And she let’s the couch hold her
Like a friend
She let’s the screen take her
to islands and mountains and risotto and dragonfruit
Monday February 3, 2014
The Essential Rumi
Rumi tr. Coleman Barks
Oh the nuances of what might happen in an alternate universe
Of what would happen if we spoke and broke and shook and took
This snow-globe keeps spinning and we’re disoriented but happy
He’s been strumming his guitar in memory of Pete Seeger
Even though he’s terrible
Even though he doesn’t know A from C from G
I’ll croon a lullaby so loud that no one sleeps
But the chords he’s trying are drowned out
The real work is done outside
In the drifts
In the squalls
In the acceleration of the afternoon
Frost biting like a puppy
Birds feeding at the side of the house on seeds and jokes
Friday January 31, 2014
The Actor’s Survival Guide
Jon S. Robbins
When I tell you that I have a bladder infection I don’t want you to say, “Gross”. I want you to go to the market and buy cranberries and press juice using your palms. They’ll be dyed red for days but that’s just a sign of your devotion. When I come home after losing my bus pass I don’t want you to laugh. I want you to trudge with me, holding my hand, through the sludge, picking up every chocolate bar wrapper and soggy newspaper, wondering if it’s it. When I tell you that I’m having doubts, I want you to tell me the truth, that you are too, that it’s impossible not to, that we’re signing up for something big and serious. When I say, “Goodnight”, you say “Goodnight”, and in that moment, all is well, in that moment it’s you and me and our stormy future and I’m calm and I love you.
Tuesday January 28, 2014
from a Loblaws receipt
And I would buy so many thermal things, seriously you don't even know. I would spend the $500 on a winter coat that I was denying myself before because it seemed just effing ridiculous if I couldn't even afford to pay my phone bill. I would get the warmest boots money can buy. They would be toasty and stylish. That is the dream. I would buy those hand warmer things and wear them daily and I wouldn't care about the environment because clearly the environment doesn't care about me. It would be a war on the elements and I would be a warrior for warmer temperatures, fighting only for my extremities and my facial features that can't be protected without looking like an extreme bank robber. And with the rest of the money I'd spend it on taxies so I would never have to wait in the cold for a stupid transit system to be 15 minutes later than it says it's going to be and I would be happy. And after saying all that I realize I could JUST LEAVE THIS CITY!! $2000 can get me that right??
Monday January 27, 2014
The Grid Toronto, January 23-30, 2014
If you were to teach me how to knit, you might realize that I have the patience of a toddler. You wouldn’t be as impressed as you are by the words I know. I would drop stitches and curse in ways you thought only truck drivers and prostitutes knew how. You and I, feet tucked under our bottoms, cradled by the couches soft cushions, the hum of the radiator coo-ing us towards stillness, knitting needles clinking together, our balls of wool somehow, magically, not becoming tangled together. When I finally have something to call something, a tiny square without too many holes, you look exceptionally proud. I say, “it’s so slow!” You say, “that’s the point.”
Sunday January 5, 2014
Suzuki GS 500 Haynes Manual
You’ve lined our walls with bulletin boards
You’re tacking up picture of waves and tigers
Of three speeds and Rumi poems
I’m afraid that when I get home tonight
There’ll be cork board over the windows
And you won’t be able to see me coming
You won’t know what it’s time to put the kettle on
And simmer the soup
It’s those cold days of the year
When really we should be hibernating
You’re clipping words from books you used to love
And I’m trudging through slush hoping for a rainbow
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
from Phil’s Original BBQ storefront
I’d been craving baked beans for a whole week. I couldn’t bring myself to buy the crappy, canned kind that we used to take camping and heat up over the fire. “I’m going to make baked beans from scratch!” I proclaimed to no one other than myself. Ben was reading about weather patterns on the sofa, a cup of miso broth steaming on the window ledge behind him. He’d gotten a cold playing ultimate frisbee in the snow. “I’m going to make baked beans from SCRATCH!” I say again, this time for him. “Hm,” he grunts, sipping his broth and turning the page. It’s a long process. First, I soak the pinto beans overnight. Then, I simmer them on the stove for an hour. Then I prepare the mixture of tomato paste, molasses, caramelized onions, maple syrup, vinegar, salt and pepper. Next, I stir the sauce into the beans and pour the mixture into a casserole dish. Finally, I bake it for six hours, stirring it all only once, after hour three. Around seven, Ben emerges from his cumulous clouds and hail storms, and asks what’s for dinner. “Another two hours til the beans are ready, honey,” I say, “have a snack.” “The what?” Says Ben, perturbed that I’m not his mother. “The baked beans! I’m making baked beans from scratch.” “Wow…” he replies. “Why would anybody do that?”
Wednesday December 18, 2013
from the Charles Bradley record
When I get to your house, I stop, my feet drowning in slush. I don’t feel worthy of the curb, of the elevation. I see you through the window. You’re holding your son. He must be three now. He has your hair, your curls. I imagine he has your eyes, too, and your nose. He has her mouth, though, at least that’s what I see, when I close my eyes. You raise your boy up, high in the air and he laughs, you laugh. My heart drops and hits the slush. I catch it and put it back where it belongs, or where it used to be. I’m not sure where it will go next. Your Christmas tree looks right out of The Nutcracker, all lights and ribbons and silver and gold. It’s bigger than my apartment. I walk closer and closer and closer, sinking into the snow. When I get to the window I push my face up against the glass. I cross my eyes. You see me and your face pales. You put down your son and whisper something in his ear.
Saturday December 14, 2013
Guinness Black Lager streetcar ad
There’s a man living in the bus shelter at the end of my street. He has a chair, a recycling bin filled with an assortment of papers and Tim Horton’s cups and a yellow blanket. As it gets colder, I find myself thinking of him when I unlock the door to my warm apartment. When I walk by him, I avert my eyes and then feel guilty. I regret not bringing him a tangerine or a sandwich. Leftovers. Last night, coming home from a late shift at the restaurant, I rounded the corner and forgot about him. Then I heard a voice. Singing. I peeked in the bus shelter and he was sitting in his recycling bin, the yellow blanket draped over his head. I paused. I smiled. It started to snow. Big, fluffy, feather flakes. I thought about his toes. I thought about the socks in my drawer that I never wear because they don’t allow my feet to fit into shoes.
Monday November 25, 2013
The front of the bill from Rogers
I watch the fish sleep. I think about losing – teeth, love, mind, race, art. The fish swims to the back of his bowl. Losing respect, losing faith, losing generosity. My mother used to talk about how she would steal cigarettes from her family’s housekeeper. She was twelve. She’d smoke them out the window. Losing innocence. My friend has met a man that sparks her tips, lights her eyes. Losing loneliness. His mind keeps going back to running into that old friend in front of the bookstore on Bay Street, no matter how much he tells it to stay here, at the dinner table, with me. Losing perspective. The sun rises later, sets earlier. Losing light.
Sunday, November 17, 2013 at Dark Horse Espresso Bar
The Art of Listening
A polaroid picture with “Winter 1979” written in black ballpoint pen in the bottom left corner. There are fingerprints all over it, thumbs mostly. It shows an eight year old girl in a pink snowsuit. Her boots are too big, but we can barely see them. Her toes are cold. She’s standing beside a very large snowman. There is no way that she could have reached the head. He has cherries for shirt buttons, arms made of a broom handle sawed in half, eyes made of small grey rocks. He doesn’t have a nose. His mouth is a string from her mittens, unravelling bit-by-bit. She’s smiling. Her left arm disappears behind the snowman. She’s trying to embrace him, she’s trying to pose with him like an adult might, with their brother or spouse. Her hood is pulled tight so we can’t quite see that she has black hair.
Friday, April 5, 2013
It was colder than we’d ever thought it would be. It was colder and damper. The kind of cold that sneaks into your insides, your lungs and your marrow. The kind of cold that’s hard to get out. The kind of cold where you cross your fingers for a bathtub, or a fireplace, or a hot radiator to sit by. There was only the sound of the wind. It might’ve been lonely, but we were there together, Papa and me, and there was nothing lonely about that. He’d grown up on this tundra, with this snow. I’d always wondered why he was sad, the sadness heavy in the air around him, coming out of his mouth. It was because he missed the ice, he missed the sky. “You won’t like it here,” he’d said on the phone, so many times. “I will! I will!” I’d said. “You’re there,” I’d thought.
Monday March 4, 2013 at R Squared
Griffin. Not sure why you’re in my head today. Here we go.
Had curly hair. Dark. Looked dirty. Remembered his big teeth always big and smiley. Curly, curly hair. The first boy I had met with curls. Griffin wore green and blue wool sweaters for picture day. interacted with him? Can’t recall. His winter boots, black, Velcro. His hat, big, popply, also green and blue like his sweaters. He is a Mr. Potato head in my memory–putting clothes on him and facial expressions to help me paint him. Had a lisp. Had a lisp that didn’t bother anyone. Had a lot of G.I Joes. Always making smashing noises with his big teeth, big lips. BOOOOKERSSSHhHHHHH. Small and quiet. Griffin. Last name out the window hanging on a clothesline, flapping in the wind. Never had a last name, maybe. Never had a first one either. Griffin is the name of a furry forest animal. Like a bear. Or a squirrel. Griffin the squirrel. His big teeth always big and smiley like a squirrel. This squirrel smiles. Not all squirrels do. Friends with him only in winter. Climbing the snow hills together. Were we friends? Never know.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
the poem The Confession
There’s a chill in the air, it’s getting cold. Weather is changing. It’s getting cold.
A hundred people were standing in a line that wrapped around the street corner. They were waiting to see The Great John Abbey. Famous, perhaps, for something big. We don’t know. We just know we love him. He was visiting the local library on 5th. He was said to be coming at noon on a Tuesday. He didn’t show up, and the people, bundled in their winter bests, just waited there. I walked by a couple times, had to buy bread, and then go back out again for milk. I noticed the first time, the people were all in great spirits. On my way back home some of the children who had been standing were now being held by their parents or older siblings. The second time out some of them were huddled closer together, presumably to stay as warm as possible, and on my way back home, they were all swaying in time to a music-less song. Just swaying, back and forth. Swaying a dance that looked choreographed. They didn’t speak. They just waited there in each others’ silence. It was odd. It was calming and odd.
I was more shocked at that than I was at the fact that they were standing there long after noon with a hope so big, just to see a man who would never come.
Saturday, December 29, 2012
This morning, mug of peppermint tea brewing, she decided to venture out rather than in. Usually she meditates and ruminates on trust and bank statements and reincarnation. Today she stepped into lined brown snow-boots and pulled on a parka that used to belong to her father. The sleeves were too long and the fur on the hood looked a little bit like a cat caught out in the rain but, it was her favourite. It was still snowing. A storm had come in off the Lake and was, perhaps, finally winding down. She closed the door quietly so as to not wake the sleeping Boyfriend. She began to walk, mug in mittened hand, steam rising ferociously towards the sky, and found herself at a small park that she would sometimes come to in the summer (when the apartment got unbearably hot) and swing for awhile to feel the breeze. Now, the swingset was covered in snow and the only visible sign of children playing was a tiny forgotten stripy mitten.