contemplating a curse

Bewilderment and sorrow, that simmering concoction, like the aftermath of a murder or the first realization that roses have thorns. I pause, uncertain, blindsided again, memories stirred up, silt from the bottom of the dream-jar. My hands begin to move again, measuring out words, a confused reply, drained of the smile I had been trying to communicate. It is sunny outside, sweetly bright for the first time in a week. The sky is finally open. I had tried to share, some silly self-mockery about depressive dinosaurs and poetry, but the conversation flipped in their beautiful mouth. An invocation of sharp stones, a sudden grappling hook to the chest. Changeling child, fierce, erratic. I remember this, the sound of the crack as my ribs pulled apart, so true it felt like I should carry the scar on my skin.

Those cruel fairy woods are a dark place, laced with private, uncanny paths that I cannot follow, paved with accusation and marrow deep mistrust. I am left behind. The ways in are a mystery. Those roads too foreign, too strange. All I can do is apologize, blindly, astonished, and reach out as they vanish. Perhaps I am capable of some last, impossible action that might save things, a spell, a sacrifice, a gesture in the air, but whatever is needed is not something I know. Too soon, too late, they are gone. The door between us has shut. I am still a moment longer, waiting for what? Inspiration, a cascade of light, even partial understanding, but I close the computer still wondering, wandering among ghosts, no wiser than before.

Outside, at least, the sun continues to shine.

“Listen”, the line says, “I never dreamed I would learn to love you so.”

Love is Like Life but Longer from Poppy de Villeneuve.


From Portuguese – Saudade. According to Wikipedia:

“…a feeling of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which is lost. It often carries a fatalist tone and a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might really never return.”

Photographs of you make my heart hurt, as if I miss you the way I’d miss my second self lost in an accident, as if my heart is no longer a gift, but only a muscle slowly closing and unclosing with a strength too small to taste, too unhappy to sing, a shout in a room that will never be heard. This is a funeral, a year as hungry as an empty highway, a broken radio, days numbered, months stretching into false dusty infinity. Every morning I wake up the same way, watching for reality, waiting to be. I was there, where were you?

She opens her bitten, rose-petal mouth and rain drops spill out. She opens her cloud blinded eyes, now the colour of steel locks, and the sound of torn paper falls from the air. (Your city is still carved in the nape of her neck.) Walking out of sunshine, a stolen, wilted flower in her hair, into life the texture of bone, there was something about his smile, eyes always as bright as unexpected lightning, something about his body standing cynically by the side of a road, that was held sharply enough to slice through glass.

There are certain roads I hesitate to step foot on, the same way I try not to look down your street, as waves of pain constrict my soul, as I resent your vacancy, your undeserved intrusion into my life. Memories float to the surface, all wax on water, like bruises swollen with a tender, fierce regret. Should I have come out swinging? It was unnatural how fast you turned, changling child, honey tongued fairy fire, a shape-shifter in the clothes of a friend. You were faithless, even as I relied on you, a star that burned a dirty hole in my trust, the deep-language reason my laughter started to feel so much like lying.

One of the Family has fallen on tough times and sincerely needs our support!


Hey everyone, Ink Tea’s in trouble!

Friend-family Cole, who I love very much, has been having a damned hard time surfing the warm industry this year. In spite of desperately trying to find income, job hunting like mad, and generally being as responsible as a human can, she’s reached the point where she has no more unemployment benefits, no job, and very little in the kitchen, an untenable situation, one she’s helped me rise from in the past.


I am an Arts Administrator, photographer, and writer, based in Minneapolis, (or, alternatively, in Starving Artist land), trying very hard to get work. I have been unemployed for over a year now, in spite of lots of office skills, lots of experience, and lots of mailed resumes. I was one of the two Best New Spoken Word Artists of 2009 in Minnesota’s Urban Griots Spoken Word Awards and represented Minneapolis at the 2009 Women of the World poetry slam in Detroit. I also teach poetry to immigrant children.

I will print photos from my flickr account at your discretion, do headshots and portraits, write poems for you, make mixed tapes for you, scrub your kitchen floor, or make you a delicious vegan dinner, if you can help me pay my rent and student loans off.

Here is her Etsy, where my favourite is her Sponsor a Roll of Film program. If you’re feeling more direct, her Paypal address is inktea at Please help if you can!

it takes one to know one

bOINGbOING: Tales from the Underground Economy

Stayed up late last night talking to a friend down by Savannah. Once I found where he was on Google maps, the soft hint of an accent he’s always had clicked perfectly into place. Deepest, darkest Georgia. I don’t know very much about it, past what I’ve read in books like Midnight In The Garden Of Good and Evil, but the little red arrow put him directly in the middle of pretty much nothing. Marloe. There was a named road nearby. A road. Singular. One.

I was worried when he went, moving from Seattle, a reasonably sized city, to the far out edge, vaguely near only a college town, even though he’s a perfectly capable human being. He seems to be finding his niche down there, though. Staying with family, driving the long drive into town once a week. I don’t know how he does it. When he went into the DMV to renew his license, he asked where the nearest cash machine was. They told him, down the street, right at the next lights, left at the next street, there’s a place right there. Which sound like reasonable direction until you discover that those lights were two miles away.

I can’t even imagine. I rely on being in a city. Every time I lived somewhere isolated, by distance, time, and/or money, I cracked around the edges. Depression set in, and endless baking. (Beware if I’m ever making continual batches of cookies. It’s my cry for help.) Getting out was like taking a breath, as monumental as the discovery of a new continent. Moving back to Vancouver saved me every time, though at least one relationship didn’t survive. I didn’t feel alive when I was trapped, or sane or healthy or reasonable. My entire world had become the two rooms I lived in, became my perpetual anger at escapism, became awful and vapid and hell.

Funny, going to bed considering that, when my recent trip back east has left me feeling saved again, but this time from Vancouver.

Los Angeles bans new fast food restaurants in low-income and minority neighborhoods.

seattle scenes

Wind tearing at my helmet, I let it pull my head back and up, as if hands were cradling me, and stare at the star rich sky sliding above my mother’s head as we thrum up the highway North. I know I’m likely cold, blood slowing and a chill setting in, but I can no longer feel it, I’ve been sitting perfectly still for too many hours. My body has fallen into stasis, it’s merely an organic part of the machine we’re riding, one hand locked around the passenger handle, the other braced on the gas-tank, motionless, and it has nothing to do with me. The only things that move are my eyes, as if the edges of my helmet are the edges of a screen and the stars are a hypnagogic film spun out of my memory.

“I’m sorry your girl left you. It’s hard, sometimes.” “This one was the special girl, I liked her even more than I liked sex with her.” “Though I don’t relate to some of the background there, I do understand. Want to know my sad-hearted secret?” “Sure.” “I knew he’d started seeing someone else, months ago, before anyone ever thought to tell me.” “How’s that work?” “He stopped writing me back.”

An old man three tables down keeps raising his tired voice to answer moments of our conversation. We are five slumped at a table which seats four, geek t-shirts and utili-kilts, politics, software, and video games, tired from dancing, hoping for food. Our perfect, tragic waitress, dark haired, pretty, looks over us to him, frowns, shakes her head, and puts the pad away as we order. “Don’t mind that,” the antique sound of a scratched phonograph, “How was your night?”. She’s a friend, warm, kind, and brings us extra whipped cream in the milkshake we split.

When the man stands up and shuffles past us to the back of the cafe, the dim light erases his face, so he seems made of darkness, only the shape of a man inside a worn thrift-store suit.

the day cain slew abel

There’s a graffiti sticker on the cross-walk button at Davie and Jervis that I press every morning on my way to work. It’s a small cartoon man with a hard on and a blank speech balloon. Every day while I’m waiting for the light, I write another message in the empty space. REMEMBER THAT SHE’S IN LOVE WITH YOU. And every day it’s erased by rain. I HAVE A SCHEDULE TO KEEP. Always in sharp blue ink. MEMORIZE HIS FACIAL FEATURES. I feel like maybe I’m waiting to find out which one’s the right answer. THERE MUST BE SOMETHING TERRIBLY WRONG WITH ME. So far, nothing. The next day, it’s wiped clean. PROMISE THE GIRL A GRAND ENTRANCE. I have to try again.


These small moments, tied tight to sailing and dancing and metaphor, these miniature dramatic acts that crash down from the aether to remind us that we live, these in love and hating it, in pain and digesting the chest crushing constriction of too much stress, too much breathing, these times of end times, of just in time, of coming closer, of kissing bitterly or gently saying no moments, these glorious debilitating moments thrown to the bed, to the rain, to the romantics, I either need more of them or I need them to stop. The crashes afterward, it feels like that’s all my life is being constructed from. Alone on a street, I stop and I stare upwards and lose twenty minutes of my life. Again.

what is it you plan to do with your one
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp wild and precious life? ~ mary oliver

Hush, the cars drive by. Shush, close your eyes. No more silence, this is the city. All of our eyes are on the clock, we’re giving it time. Schedules flying. I’m too tired. I haven’t been paying attention. A collection of solitary Man Ray photograph moments. Her tears are made of glass, her eyes are made of yesterday’s favourite songs. Hysteria seems like a waste of time – there will always be a fire in the forest. How else to clear out the undergrowth? Outside there is sunshine.

SHE WANTS TO MATTER. &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp