doing things to her that belong to you

Elephant Three
Originally uploaded by anavrin.

Ever speculated on how much of a bad idea something would be, then jumped off the bridge anyway, inevitably changing everything and quietly saying “oops” under your breath, almost as if you meant it?

I’m beginning to think it’s simply how I run things. I can’t escape my name, my natural anthem of love’s disaster. Missing chances to death, walking strong and emotionally detached, I want it to end so much that it hurts bone deep. I feel like a stranger to my own body, to my own needs and choices and liabilities. Upon my breath, Sunday morning I was flying enough to let my impulses die a steady slumbering death, but today, in the smeary hour of midnight, I didn’t bother to keep myself in check.

Wearing myself out with all this sticky importance, I was in my element Saturday, not a visitor. Usually I feel somewhat out of context, a tourist in my own country, but stomping around in work boots and a corset was utterly perfect. This was the first year in five that I was also a visible performer. Pyrotech, dancer, different clothes, different steps. Tiny changes and all smiles. I almost kissed someone when they walked into a room. The partner impulse there and whole, downloaded entire into my frame without thought. Familiar and strange. I almost ruined the edges of my heart.

(Today my feet are criss-crossed with black electrical tape, my answer to the common plaster. In one place, it’s possible to see bone where I wore through my foot. Poor little toes, they will recover, but the body politic, it is not happy.)

I said I was planning on getting a good night’s sleep last night, but subtext occurred instead. I went to bed near five a.m. full of double-meant conversations, explanations slipped between words. It’s been going on all week, all before too. Supportive people, my hand being held, a place to fall to if I need it. It’s terrifying, this encouragement. I’d forgotten what it’s like.

(The mad poet, the awesome-sauce Mike McGee, wants the world to see this.)

I should have and I did enough of a little bit to count for something

Thunder at five in the morning. Thunder as long as my kind of kiss. I have only just sat down in my two foot office, the square at the foot of my bed, and outside, the sky has sung to me in the tones of metal shaken behind a stage or perhaps the sound that old houses use to appreciate the heavy wooden furniture that moves across their floors. Now the seagulls are screaming. Entire flocks of them disturbed by the magnificent cloud drum-roll.

I believe in anything

All day there was the threat of rain. Jay would call in and the weather forecast would give us depressing percentages. Fourty percent, seventy percent. Conner shook his head, Nancy Lee shook her head. All this work for nothing, camaraderie aside. Instead, it didn’t happen. We lit fine. We lit and it was glorious. Dangerous light.

And now with dawn comes the rain. It’s a sweet sound now, welcome, fresh and pleasing. I want to be out in it, while knowing that this is about the best place I’m going to get right now, warm and safe, next to my bed, with dawn beginning and threatening to crawl in with me. It was close to fourty-eight hours long, but still the nicest day I’ve had in a very long time.

pretty typical

pretty typical

the topless wish fairies

The Illuminares Lantern Festival is TODAY.

Saturday, July the 29th.

For those without previous plans, Andrew is collecting people at his apartment for a meet-up.

If you can read this, you’re invited.

Assemble at Andrew‘s place near Broadway and Commercial, between 10am and 1pm.

Call his cell for directions, if you don’t know where to go.

At 1pm they’ll migrate to Trout Lake.

I can’t attend this gathering myself,
as I’m going to be too busy wiring the fire-works,
then dancing for Toot-a-Lute,
helping with the processional,
and maybe being auctioned off,
but I recommend it.

Good people, good fun.

Silliness abounding.

I did it my wa-a-a-a-y

When I was a kid, I wanted a tree-house. I liked the idea of having a little place that was my own, high up, and floored in the cloth bound books I liked to read. I would hang tassels, I would paper with comics and pieces of sari. I wanted to tumble down the ladder in a rush of limbs to a mother waiting with ice-cream. I wanted what the real kids had, only to try. I could see them sometimes, transitory, from the window of the truck I was growing up in as we drove past little houses. Surrounded by trees, always on the highway, these houses, with a gas station at the end of the row that would sell cold things and packets of shrink wrapped pepperoni sticks that my father would open with his teeth. My favourite treat was the Cadbury cream eggs with shiny tinfoil that I would flatten with the back of my fingernail until I could pretend it was tain I’d peeled whole from some antique washroom mirror.

Andrew had a comment published on BoingBoing this week.

Have you ever been in love with someone to the point where you’re afraid? They meet your eyes and the amount of feeling that shoots in to your blood must betray you, it feels certain, but then they blink and look away. Disaster averted. It’s terrifying, like suddenly discovering you’ve got a red jewel of cancer in the palm of your heart.

I’m selling my old monitor on Craiglist for $50.

The fireworks last night were nice. I led everyone directly to the waterfront, with nothing between us and the show but for water. Blooming explosions of mostly gold, laced with red and Italy’s particular green. Their music choice was a little damning, no match of Denmark’s Abba medley of last year, the cheesiest possible clips of Celine Dion, Queen, & Ennio Morricone, but they made up for it with the intense amount of bang.

After, though, was better than nice, it was magical. Police arrived on horses, with back-up from police boats and helicopters, to clear people from the beach. Horses in riot gear, to be more precise, with little see-thru plastic helmets and shiny reflective socks. Lit only by beacons and searchlights, they came out of the heavy sulpherous smoke like a slowly solidifying dream. It was impossible to focus on them, they were so ephemeral, such perfect phantasmagorical memories come real. They seemed both bigger and smaller than horses are, because they faded in and out of the flashing lights so strangely, so beautifully. The police on top seemed grown from the same dark flesh, details were so randomly precise. A leg would show in stark detail then vanish again into the sand and night. I’ve never seen anything like it. Pristine wonder, approaching.

The Muse Speaks

Let’s Sing a Song!
Originally uploaded by aNNa Munandar.

Since I have some time on my hands I thought I’d like to try an experiment in broadcasting, offering some of my posts as sound files.

In the interest of maintaining my addiction to a warm place to sleep, they’re not going to be free. Instead, I’m offering them on a by donation basis.
(The donation button will ask you which post you would like a recording of.)

  • Do Not Listen to What Anyone Tells You
  • Yes
  • Redemption Songs
  • Love Like That
  • Fit to Break my Heart
  • Knowledge Less Casually
  • This is Your Fault
  • The Heroin of Amber Sparks
  • the fear of being majestically on fire
  • Darling Thomas
  • Questions That Could Save My Life
  • Flint
  • Holy Stones
  • You are my Attraction
  • Dancing on my own Grave
  • Take me for the Hero

  • what have we begun

    they rise
    Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

    Zombies booked for carrying fake WMDs

    MINNEAPOLIS – Six friends spruced up in fake blood and tattered clothing were arrested in downtown Minneapolis on suspicion of toting “simulated weapons of mass destruction.”

    Police said the group were allegedly carrying bags with wires sticking out, making it look like a bomb, while meandering and dancing to music as part of a “zombie dance party” Saturday night.

    “They were arrested for behavior that was suspicious and disturbing,” said Lt. Gregory Reinhardt, a police spokesman. Police also said the group was uncooperative and intimidated people with their “ghoulish” makeup.

    One group member said the “weapons” were actually backpacks modified to carry a homemade stereos and were jailed without reason. None of the six adults and one juvenile arrested have been charged.

    “Given the circumstance of them being uncooperative … why would you have those (bags) if not to intimidate people?” said Inspector Janee Harteau. “It’s not a case of (police) overreacting.”

    Harteau also said police were on high alert because they’d gotten a bulletin about men who wear clown makeup while attacking and robbing people in other states.

    Kate Kibby, one of those arrested, said previous zombie dance parties at the Mall of America and on light-rail trains have occurred without incident. Last fall, nearly 200 people took part in a “zombie pub crawl” in northeast Minneapolis.

    This year Vancouver Zombiewalk starts at 3pm on August 19th at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

    based on a brick of a pillow and a plank of what it used to be like to be me

    She looked all curves and shiny eyes. Posed as woman as a simple cure-all, her body a pill, the waiting chemistry of the word Yes. One word untying every victim of life from the railway tracks. New blood, brooding on the futility of sexual capacity. Those bastards draped in honey-suckle, in ample feeling. Hands with too much strength trapped inside. Drunk on missing lovers, driving to the homes of people they all used to know together, they never had each other biblically, except in her city-block verses and tired dreaming. So she hotly looked at him and thought, I could leave right now. I could walk out that door saying, hey, just don’t call me for awhile, okay?

    Shuddering into a more sober awareness, the touch of grass beneath her reminds her of fiction. Stains of umbilical fantasy grabbing at her memories, images of kissing, of improbable situations where she gets to be impressive. Doctors saying, we don’t know how long until she’s leaving, but out of everyone, she’s asking for you. The scream of anniversary panic, not in this life, she thought of carrying him through passageways, his body light as music, until she comes to a door with a red exit light and puts him down as if that was the plan all along. Running from wolves, pulling him from fires. Solid threats she could rescue him from. Gratitude dripping from his smiles, another day blocking the doorway with her body.

    She can put an edge on any word, turning it on the lathe of her tongue to remind him of all the things that he hasn’t given her, treating him like a sarcastic stranger. The verdict, hell to pay. Incredibly, they kept going. Independence a death in the family. It was like the stop-gap job she took in college, steady, with no real reason to leave. It had never been meant to last so long, but it paid the bills, and she kept hoarding his voice in her fantasies. She began to smile as if goodbye was one last joke between them, and she saw instantly how easily he could defeat her. All he would have to do is laugh. Laugh and turn to her and all her certainty would vanish, replaced by his universe. How can you leave someone who implies that black velvet threats are the smallest plant in an undistinguished windowsill garden?

    This was all part of his plan, a map of telling secrets in her dancing. He knew how to pull her hair, how to find her fingertip sounds. Her limited view gave her this, like dust that persists, in spite of the fact that he’d never touched her. It was a game as sharp as the rays of daylight that sent her to sleep on winter mornings. Tall, she thinks, staring fixedly at the ceiling as if there were nothing blocking her gaze from the mirror of the sky. Did I used to like them tall? She thinks she’s stupid and immature, only able to think in boy with girl relationships, unable to conceive of a place where she understands only friends. Fifty ways to leave your lover – by keeping her adoration a secret, by winking uncertainly at a taxi-driver and paying him all the money she could find, by suddenly playing aloof like she was on t.v. Running out of fingers, counting issues instead, so much baggage it’s a matched set.

    don’t let it break your heart

    Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
    Cyanide & Happiness pt 1 @
    Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
    Cyanide & Happiness pt 2 @

    A time-suck directory of 80’s era music videos on YouTube.

    Now that I’m unemployed, I never know what time it is. My watch battery ran out three or four weeks ago, and I never bothered replacing it. The money can be better used elsewhere. I leave the house early enough to guarantee I’ll arrive at interviews ahead of time and when planning trips outside of the house for other ventures, I rely on that strange social habit wherein all strangers must answer when asked the time. Even at home, I’ll be sorting through job advertisements or photographs taken during the day and only realize it’s three in the morning because my friends in Japan pop up on messenger. Like now. Ouch. Yesterday I was worse, getting home at four a.m. and going to bed close to eight. This sleep thing the kids talk about – I’m considering trying it, you know, for the novelty.

    Silly Austrian scientists suggest that sharing a bed with someone temporarily reduces men’s brain power.

    my bed is right here,yes.. yet..

    World Jump Day was a resounding global success. You can check out photos on the Lambda Omega Lambda website under RECENT EVENTS, videos are found here.
    (The Richmond Night Market Excursion and the first Mad Hatters Tea Party went pretty well too, more later).

    Today after I sleep, I’m helping my mother move, (as so should you), and then heading over to Oliver’s to die in a kiddie pool that Veronica set up last night in his front yard, back when I should have gone to bed. You can come too if you want to pack boxes with me and my mum. There will be a skill testing question, maybe to do with accordions, but we can deal with that later, after the sun has fully arrived in the sky above my bed. Until then, amuse yourselves with some lovely charming art, k? Thanks. Notes left on my messenger will be dealt with when I’m not homicidally tired and yes, Amber, I will be calling you back. Nighty night.

    I dream of being allowed to like someone

    Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

    On a bad day I’m a once favourite plaything that someone got dirty. Now they put me back in the box once they’ve seen what they’ve done. Good days aren’t much better. Either way, he smiled when he was sleeping, and the music playing was in synch with the industrial trucks outside. I fell back unhappily dreaming to that moment, notes of piano and large crashing stares, the threatening movement of birds in the sky.

    Thank you Ed for the benediction of tasty dead animals. I was scared to look in the fridge yesterday, for fear that you had brought me half a cow or something.


    It was brought to my attention that I have spectacularly failed to mention that Stephen and I went to the Vancouver Folk Fest last Sunday. Every year for the past seven years, someone has lavishly offered me passes, back-stage, performer, and otherwise. This year it was DK and this year, finally, I not only remembered in time, I had a day free. We met him at the western gate, the one in the middle of the ethnic village of white plastic open tents selling bamboo/hemp/100% pure free-range cotton hippie fabrics, flashing peace-sign LED pins, the essential and required plethora of hand drums, and east indian/african clothing richer than oxygen with colour and glittering threads. The passes he gave us were top of the food chain. Floating through the crowd, we’d come too late for anything but main stage, so we left DK to continue to the other gate and forked off to find food. We had the option of eating backstage with the performers and volunteers, but felt too guilty. Almost everyone else with a CREW pass worked for it, even if only a little. (We missed the super secret little mecca the crew had assembled behind the Tool Tent, complete with an immaculately balanced fooz-ball table and twenty foot hammock, until everything had wrapped, the more fool we.)

    The hot sun made shade prime real estate, so we found some and sat in it while the band that first inspired Bob Dylan took the stage and explained to us with instruments and voices stronger than bombs, in very precise detail, the definition of American folk music. Deciding that Mr. Dylan was made of sterner stuff than I, as the banjos on stage continued to proceed with an overwrought dignity, I got up and walked about, taking messy pictures of the crowd, and successfully tested the efficacy of my special guest pass by half-climbing the sound tower without being questioned. I ran into a few people I used to work with who’s names I wouldn’t be able to remember if you put a gun to my head, who asked me details on stripping down a side stage tent, until I decided it would be simplest to vanish back to where Stephen was dozing with my bag.

    The steady swell of applause broke us and we fled backstage, cutting through to the food tents again. This time we ran into Johnny Fuck, Andrew, who was in charge of the Lantern Parade, Maureen, and the lovely Jess Hill. (If you’ve never been to one of her shows, know it’s higher on my recommendations-of-things-to-do-in-Vancouver list). It was a little like Commercial Drive had moved over six neighborhoods and had comfortably settled in for the night to volunteer. Everywhere there were long ragged skirts, smiling kids with dreadlocks, and people wearing chunky stone jewelry. Middle-aged children still carrying the light for the next generation.

    All Your Snakes Are Belong To Us!

    I had left my jacket in the car, thinking ahead but not all at once. It sounded like some kick-ass music was happening, grooves thicker than industry, as we walked out of the festival, across the bunny fields of Jericho, past the Drum circle, to the impromptu grass parking lot where we had abandoned the car. I was sorry to miss it, as it sounded like it just continued to get better as we came back, but I felt like I wanted to give the market a try, so we wasted half an hour poking at baskets full of five dollar five-wash shirts and tough twists of fiber-femo necklace, and by the time we were back on site, everyone was packing up in preparation for Jane Siberry’s last dance.

    Sunday was Jane Siberry’s last concert as Jane Siberry, as she’s now changed her name to Issa, which means Peace in some romantic sounding language I doubt she speaks. Don’t get me wrong, the ethics she runs her website with are astounding and wonderful, (all of her songs are available as plain MP3s, which means they will play on your computer/iPod and are not loaded with DRM restrictions, and you pay whatever you like for them.), but over the years her music has been stretching thinner, until she stood on stage and asked us why there were roosters in Vancouver as clips of them played overlaid on the sound of running water. Stephen and I sat at the very front, settled with our backs against the fence that keeps the audience from the stage, and I laughed when I realized just how many of the nervous looking volunteers they dragged on stage were familiar faces.

    He left before the afterparty, which turned out to be magical. Walking in, the music hit DK and I like fire sucking oxygen from the air. Ganga Giri was on stage, playing like it was the last time they would ever get to funk out. It was pathogenic. All our free will vanished, replaced by the contagious urge to dance. Outside was just as good, an open space dotted with clusters of folk fest performers jamming together under scarlet tiki torches. In one corner, a man was quietly teaching people to throat sing, and in another there was a fiddle circle that went on for at least two hours. Absolutely fabulous. I told DK that on particularly frustrating nights at home, I think to myself “there is a party just like this, somewhere out in Vancouver tonight, and I don’t know about it.” He laughed, answered, “Isn’t it great?” and we hugged, knowing it was true. There was nowhere more In than that place. It felt like home.