started from an e-mail I wrote this morning

My early morning consisted of more cold pizza, updates from the uprising in Turkey, and stark wonder at the absolute disaster area my room has turned into. What is your place like?  Mine looks like I've kept the motor running. I tore it apart before my trip, unable to find something, (plus my coat rack fell down just as I was leaving, taking a shelf with it), returned to the mess, then threw a party, then left town again, and now I'm sitting in the middle of it, overwhelmed. I've put on some music and managed a shower, but now I'm shuffling things around, unable to see an end to the jumble. Piles of books, paper, and electronics all over my desk, a strange miscellany of taxidermy, teacups, and laundry everywhere else. I've been sleeping in a small cocoon of pillows, as the majority of my bed has been turned into a stuff sorting table.

Now I'm tucked in at Kyle's place, situated in an entirely different cocoon of pillows as I write and he tinkers with red velvet waffles with cream cheese sauce. I'm checking mail, writing snippets to people, arranging the pieces of my life into an immediate future. He has just explained to me that red velvet is just a prettied up chocolate, though he doesn't understand why. I returned that the red is to make it sexy, to show it's chocolate that's ready to mate. My music from earlier is still playing. The buttermilk I brought over has gone into the batter. Kyle is making chocolate truffle coffee in time to the tapping of my keys on the keyboard. There are two teenage girls at the kitchen table, quietly in recovery from whatever they were up to last night.

I feel like I'm borrowing someone else's domesticity. I am the house-cat, rock and roll purring, a gray and black creature come in from the cold. I can't express how much I wish I had this myself.

with a warm, profound affection


Kyle is one of the people in my life who has influenced me the most in the past year, encouraging me, picking up when I’ve fallen, and always inspiring me with his brilliant, infectious good nature, continually reminding me that the world is not always a fight, that to strive can be to succeed, and that sometimes everything really is all going to be alright. I’ve only met him once in person, (though it’s in the game plan to do so again, and again, and as many times as I can), when he and Jennifer were in Seattle for a wedding, and it felt like a gift to be with them, not only to finally visit, but to witness their incredible and utter devotion, one of the most perfect things I have ever been blessed to see. They are beautiful together, enchantment multiplied, and the light that shines off them is blinding. It is my great and fervent desire to one day be so happy and I will forever adore them for leading the way, showing what it possible, and thriving.

Congratulations you two, I wish you well and I love you, even from all the way over here.


Chocolate fashion show.Swiss chocolate knife.Chocolate pie chart.

A group of us went out on Friday evening for Kyle’s birthday at the glorious Sutton Place All-You-Can-Eat chocolate buffet. It was wonderful. The weekend isn’t over and already I want to go back.

Today, however, Kyle’s birthday celebrations continue as he hosts Sunday Tea, (a local institution I’m proud to say it still going strong, five years later), as “the conjoined twin of a birthday potluck celebration with a film.”. Nicole and David and I are going to head over together, bringing rented copies of two of the most ultimately amazing movies I know, Strings and Sukiyaki Western Django, to be the evening o’clock entertainment.

If you know Kyle, you are also invited.


Long nights spit out like toothpaste into an unfamiliar sink. She looks up, enamel, black tile, an older building. Wooden floors. Tall doorways. Stained glass. A dragon in the next room, sitting on the couch, warming his hands on a sweetened cup of bitter tea. White walls. Cold windows.

Her hands float up to her hair, straighten some curls, frame her eye in the mirror. She peers through her hands, brought together in a symbol she found in a photograph on the internet – fingers curled, first knuckles together in a twin arc, thumbs stretched, touching underneath – the childish shape of a heart. Her certainty shakes. She lets it.

He’s wrought of mixed signals, sliding shades of affection and neglect which don’t add up. The smell of his soap. Her heartbeat. An iron-work of conflicting opinions, kissing like he carries a new bastard disease of self-reference, wit, and deflection. Short brown hair. No eye contact. A thousand words in a picture that breaks her framed ideals. Attraction built instead of found. Panic filled breath, though her panties are balled up in her purse already. Feet cold on the tiles. (Uncomfortable echoes of explosive scenarios from younger relationships, feeling exploited). The scalpel of self-examination. Her motivations are an underground factory of facts conveyor-belt punching out hurt confusion. Very little he says matches up with what he does. She doesn’t know why these steps are being taken, but what she lacks in reason, she makes up in loyalty. There is very little new under this son.

They stood at the bus stop, both consciously skipping their friend’s gathering for opposite reasons. One feeling too welcome, another feeling not welcome at all. “I would have thought you were imagining it, but I noticed it too.” “I cornered him at the party, asked him what was wrong. He said there was nothing. In eight years, I think it’s the first time he’s ever lied to me.” Her thoughts embraced her absent friend, (his fingers so deeply entwined in her ribcage she would love him forever), even as she felt like her words were a disappointed betrayal.

As they stood close, defensively, against the suffering neighbourhood, she kept up a monologue, quiet like a gentle run of dirty water. Memories, sad and unpleasant in retrospect. “How did you grow up?” A hungry childhood, social friction, hotel rooms. He nodded, implacable, in a way she found welcome. “I read the bible fourteen times, no one ever steals the things. They just sit there in the otherwise empty drawers, collecting dust and lonely people.” Anecdotes, wry short stories, a battered flow of narrative ornamented with sober, dry laughter, breakdown asides, and serious expressions. Later, sitting, her legs swung unselfconsciously under the seat.

I cycled past my father’s apartment last week. He has a giant poster in the window, an image he’s sent to me. I almost went and knocked on the door. I stopped, looked, put one foot on the ground. I don’t know why I stopped the same way I don’t know why I kept going. Instinct, impulse. Either or. He lives much closer to me than I thought. Near enough that no matter what, we’re on the same bus-routes, we share the same corner store.

“There was a woman named Ha there who showed me Samurai movies and fed me Korean fried chicken as I sat on a stool in the hotel kitchen. I ate all they had, the hotel had to buy more the next day, and I ate all of that too. I was a starving little thing, so bright and blonde and tiny you’d barely think I could walk, but I was always hungry. I remember my parents would go without sometimes so that I could have food. I lay in bed next to my mother and heard her belly grumble, five years old, listening and knowing that I had a sandwich and she had not. It’s made me a little neurotic about food. (Hell, I’m an adult now and I’m still so poor I’m starving to death.) I don’t like eating alone or cooking only for myself. And I can’t eat in front of someone without offering them any. In fact, I’ll put it off, go hungry for hours, rather than eat in front of someone who won’t have anything themselves, because it was greedy to eat alone, it meant you were depriving someone else.”

we could build a comfier version

“Who’s got the ball…I’ve got the ball..”.

In a bit of a gravestone triumph, I’ve got reliable work in the week upcoming, but only because a friend’s mother has caught thick with cancer and, as she flies north to take care, her absence creates empty shifts at the Dance Centre. I’m going to be spending next Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings there. Time will go by slowly. Visitors with, say, cupcakes, juice, bags of frozen vegetables, cheesecake or turkey sandwiches and especially delicious books will be met with especially slavering open arms. Bonus points for [CENSORED-edt] with red.

More on Baudrillard.

For those who like philosophy, there are two plays coming you should take a gander at, (not to, if you have a goose you want to abandon somewhere, I suggest my freezer. furthering the thought I should have scrounged more food earlier):

Kyle! As! Miami Vice!

Our resident Official Thinker-Person, Michael, is going to see Socrates on Trial, March 14th at 7:30, at the Chan Center. Tickets are $12, $5 for students. It’s a short run, only two nights, with a talk-back after the show on Thursday. Tickets can be bought at the door, unless you’re a keener, in which case you deserve the woes of Ticketmaster. Go with my blessing. I’m not going to be there, not being much a fan of Socrates, but Michael will be and he is cute and single. Kyle (as seen on the left) will also be going, but he is less single, so not as much a draw, though he does recite dirty poetry about otherkin dragons furries and in return for taking nice pictures of him, he’ll write horrible plageristic things about you and chocolate pudding in Mike McGee’s voice. He’s a dear. Honest. We’re only at war when the dessert supplies run low.

The second play is Bertolt Brecht’s Life of Galileo, running March 29th to April 14th, at The Western Front. Tickets are $20, $15 on discount, $10 on 2-for-1 Tuesday. Mimi is stage manager, our friend Peter New is in the lead, and Sam‘s playing, um, something with a slightly pretentious title that I don’t actually have the power to recall right now. Needless to say, it’s got a good tag-line: He showed us the universe. The church showed him the rack. Despite the cost, I’m going to try and lure someone into going with me on Tuesday. Peter is always clever, and Sam, well, I haven’t seen Sam act in anything in the last year other than films about creepy black and white priests. In fact, I may have only ever seen him play priests*, so perhaps a different sort of cleric will be a breath of fresh air. (This role may not be that different, but suffice to say, I do not expect they have him singing with a kids toy or a crucifix-in-the-eye scene).

Than is dreamed of in your philosophy…

*I lie, I think he was a skinny opera singer in Lady of the Camillas.

better than the night sky in the city

Originally uploaded by mohawk.

Kyle and I went climbing over rocks and under fences yesterday evening to finally get at the infamous devastation of Stanley Park. Those dissenters who have been claiming that the destruction is mild and that our city has been stalling out of some mis-matched version of civic pride are incredibly wrong. On our way to the first fence, we saw a few empty gaps in the forest, but nothing lamentable, true. (Minus one especially kind tree that had always been perfect for branch sitting, feet drifting in the water, a book in hand). However, past the second gate, the path was crumpled, so cracked and pried up like flaking nail polish the bent cement looked pliable. There were huge trees thrown in our way and strange waterfalls spraying from broken pipes at the top of the cliffs. In the gathering dark, muttering and whispering as it was, we had to be careful. The Seawall was so changed as to feel like we were exploring another city, one wrecked and left for dead. The ground was crooked, stones dented or missing, randomly flooded. In the end, we had to run from guards before we reached the end. I want to go back, but closer to the day. Next time, I want to try from the other end, camera in hand. I’ve never seen anything like it.

not what I thought I’d do

Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

Charity Larson’s put up another lovely page of Busted Wonder.

Hands like sand falling through water, a smile too of something the same. Eyes that scratch the ceiling of shyness, colour storm-skirting the edges of decency. Laughter of coffee, small movements ducking the head away. Laughter of hiding like inside a box of perfectly warped glass. Hanging a shot to dry between the lips, watching wrist to elbow, it’s recalled in an instant, the taste of soft intimacy holding hands with polished copper, the mix of colours, the white cream roses cloudily blooming in clear licorice alcohol. Lightning and thunder, the gravity hand of wind in the basement, part of later, not yet.

Pick up the gift, make the liquid vanish. Magic tricks, sleight of nothing up my sleeve. Everything will be alright. A toast to sitting here, a toast to being alive and smiling.

I joined a gamelan earlier, helped them carry heavy instruments to a waiting truck behind the Museum of Anthropology. I joined a lesbian burlesque troop the day before and scheduled the day I begin my fencing lessons.

Now Mondays are Korean Movie Night, Tuesdays are Gamelan, Wednesday will be Ghost In The Shell until we’re done, Thursday have fencing, and Fridays will be the Funk-Motown night starting March 3th at the Waldorf, (the day a group of us are going to watch NightWatch on opening night, want to come?). Suddenly I’m having to peer around corners to find time for taxidermy. Unexpected, this shift of personal physics. I feel domestic, tamed.

Here’s a trailer for Harry Kim’s still-in-progress Dave Choe documentary.

(((awakening in a tiki ballroom))

Kyle and I crept down the familiar black wood stairs behind the bar, “Want to see where I go when I pull my ghost act?”, and came out into the vast industrial vintage kitchen that dominates a third of the basement. I’m familiar with this place, but in the dark, everything looks different, as if the room is religiously slumbering, waiting for a second coming of a sacred pastry chef.

Exiting the kitchen into the hall, where the bar is, to the left is the entrance to a low thatched ceiling Tiki Banquet room, all low slung chairs piled haphazardly and woven bamboo walls, and to the right is the entrance to the Polynesian Ballroom which, when the lights are on, is dominated by a long colourful mural put up somewhere in the late forties, the sort of thing you tend to only see in movies unless you live in L.A. or San Francisco. However, it being somewhere close to two:thirty in the morning, the place was abandoned. In the dark, the mural is ignored in favour of the elegant farthest wall, made almost entirely of black and white glass.

This is what we walked into, the stained glass our only source of light, transforming the ballroom into a warm cavern of a room, dark as unwashed velvet. It was a movie moment, a cinematic young girl’s dream of where she’d lose her virginity.

We were talking about fathers and how they’re different from dads. How I’d had one of each as time progressed and how both of them were eventually terrible. I settled our things, strawberries, alcohol, his back-pack, three layers of our jackets, on one of the black tables scattered around the room as Kyle went up onto the balcony and fiddled with switches until he’d found us an unassuming light. The green carpet glowed.

My head in his lap, his hand in mine, my eyes slowly closing with exhaustion, we talked about the shattered crystal balls that were our childhoods. How our hell-raising had taken entirely different forms. Mine almost entirely after dark and secretive, away from my mother, his open to the point where his mother had to fight to keep him out of special schools. We swung ridiculously between being serious, out-pouring our personal history of hurts, and laughing at the futility of the human race. We both want to leave this place better than we found it. When the ice-age comes, if we’re not colonizing the stars yet, we’ll be standing on the side, waving flags and rooting for the Earth.

If you call it love, we’ll cut you.

She sang to herself, as she waited, about the death of dreaming trees. She was almost asleep, but she still smiled when she heard him singing in reply from the next room. When he returned, he’d found she’d shifted from lying on the couch to lying on one of the shining black tables scattered around the room. His reaction was delightful to her, an outburst of sweet awe-struck vehemence so gratifying that it occured to her that she might take up lying on chilly tables in dimly lit rooms as a hobby for the rest of her life.

we stayed up late but were nourished by light in the gloom.

)when what hugs stopping earth than silent is
more silent than more than much more is or
total sun oceaning than any this
tear jumping from each most least eye of star

and without was if minus and shall be
immeasurable happenless unnow
shuts more than open could that every tree
or than all life more death begins to grow

end’s ending then these dolls of joy and grief
these recent memories of future dream
these perhaps who have lost their shadows if
which did not do the losing spectres mime

until out of merely not nothing comes
only one snowflake(and we speak our names

e.e. cummings

Not ten minutes ago, I was woken up in the Waldorf Tiki Polynesian Lounge by unfamiliar staff members nervously peering over me. “How did you get in here? Where did you come from?” I answered them with an amazing string of surprised expletives and shook Kyle awake, at which point they sighed with relief. At first they hadn’t seen Kyle, because he’d curled up under all my wool hair, snuggled in like a bunny. All they’d seen were two kids, mysteriously asleep in their hotel, with clothing and miscellany scattered all over the ballroom floor.

My life, on occasion, is surprisingly perfect.

If, by some mystical chance, there were no rumours before, now they shall be flying on the wings of crows and angels, fluttering from mouth to mouth through that hotel as fire and laughter.

Written Thursday, February 24th, 2005: “Take comfort that some of the fear is mutual. We are savage flowers, bleeding at the roots, utterly convincing.”