“A willow deeply scarred, and somebody’s broken heart”


After Rick was a no show yesterday after work, I tagged along with Sam to a game of pool. A friend of his leaving town. Let’s get together. Celebrate. Yaletown, home of the tax-bracket enabled. Thread count, thread count and pool halls with clean floors and flat tables. Prettier people, better teeth, nicer shirts. Barefoot, I walked in and looked around. I made a three, not enough for another set. I looked around and wondered. I should be at the hospital. I should be finding busses, climbing hills, breathing sterilized air. Pressing twelve, the elevator button lighting red under the pressure of my finger.

Massive Attack – Teardrop

Matthew, Sam’s actor friend from L.A., was paired with Francois, a SFX make-up artist from Montreal. They were the cats. Graceful, fun, the polished easy flirts. In this situation, the social strata lattice-work puts them on top. I barely exchanged words with them, but species calls to species. When it was time to leave, I railed a little at Sam, as if by sheer force of will I could change his community DNA into something that would be helpful to me, some sort of chaperone who was in on the game, but he was left behind. A secondary player, uninvolved in the double-meaning conversation of glances and inconsequentialities. When it was time to go, I railed and gave up. I gave in. Francois left first and I followed, confident I would find him on the corner. We drifted out like smoke. Matthew would follow. This is all part of the scene. Leaving behind everyone else in such a way they don’t think there’s more of a party. Tag, you’re it crowd.

Media Banned from Red Light District.

Now I’m in the clothes Francois’ was wearing yesterday, low slung dark blue jeans and a long sleeve black shirt with ZERO written on the front, (my mind is now pronouncing it “zehro”), that I stole from the hotel room floor while he was sleeping because mine had been too spattered with chocolate and strawberry juice to wear to work, wondering how to create a break in my chemical fall-out refusal to go back to the hospital. I know I went playing pool out of avoidance. I agreed to hang out after out of avoidance. It’s clinging Monday depression like a wall, thick and cloying, turning my thoughts away, making me think twice. I went in Monday needing to feel cared for and walked out feeling like I’d been shot. Not his fault, I didn’t say anything. I never can. It’s not my place.

That’s part of the problem, same as it always has been. It’s like the business card that Atticus threatens me with. Jhayne Holmes: Awesome Mistress.

singing you’re one of my only friends who knows my love

Good morning to the new lunar year. On the Chinese calendar it’s my year, the year of the Dog.

The roof of my mouth feels lightly of electricity. Yesterday was falling backward, a door opening accidently, opening onto a room full of people I never see and don’t think about often enough. I have a new ring, a silver thing like the branch of a mother of pearl tree. I have eyes too open to see sleep properly. The parade through China Town was extremely beautiful. Ray and I bought explosive paper twists, you throw them to the ground and they spark and bang. I fell in love all over again every time I dropped one to the pavement. I took a slew of incredibly colourful pictures, but I will upload them later, when I am not rushing against the time I need to be at work.

She retrieved a clove cigarette from her purse and put it to her lips. I hurriedly offered her a light with my lighter.

“I want to sleep with you,” she said.

So we slept together.

-Haruki Murakami

This General Motors Futurliner was one of only 12 such vehicles ever built. They were introduced in 1940 as part of GM’s “Parade of Progress,” spun out of the 1933-34 World’s Fair, themed “A Century Of Progress.” There are nine known Futurliners that have survived. Three are in operating condition, including this 1950 model which sold at an auction last week for US$4,320,000.”

  • Vintage UK electronics ads.

    The day before yesterday, I felt like terrible company. Saturday night I simply crashed. Blearily I answered the phone a couple times, tried to wake up enough to get myself together enough to go to dinner with my friend, failed, and finally closed my eyes. There was a knock on the door a little past midnight, Andrew and Ian to pick up some electronics pieces, and a bit later, Matthew to tuck me in, but no one stayed and I fell back into uncomplicated darkness, tangling my ferret in my hair and forgetting to dream.

  • my toes went blue on the mountain

    We went up the mountain this morning to watch the dawn. We sang in the car and wore my beaver fur hat. Earlier there were hot dogs, a birthday thing with different people. I brought an incense holder in the shape of a ying and yang together in gray glazed and fired clay. First, however, was Rabbit Hole Day, then work, then home. The lusciously soft plush roses, the isopropynol alcohol, the whipping chemical fire on the back porch was after the sausages came and before we stood in the rain for an hour waiting for the city to rescue strangers from an accidental deathly chasm-trap where a fence fell down on the edge of a construction site, leaving behind a two story cliff on the bare edge of a sidewalk. What a night. I feel like myself again.


    No sleep, of course, but that can wait.

    I was meant to go to Seattle today, drop by the Roq La Rue, but instead I double-booked plans with a friend here and decided it would be kinder to stay. My ferret, Skatia, is looking at me, asking silently when I will come to sleep, and Michael is lightly snoring, somewhat like I imagine a child might when they want their parents to believe them asleep.

    I saved a life and slapped my cheating ex, what did you do?

    New Year 2006
    Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

    &nbsp I fell asleep once in front of tending a fire, an over sized teddy-bear as my pillow. When I awoke, it was startling. My hair thrown back, my feet half under me, the long slender piece of wood I’d used to prod the burning logs poised like a weapon over my baby/bear, I became a flame bronzed sculpture of the classic pose a woman makes protecting her child. Perfectly confident in myself and my action, I awoke the devil’s daughter because the sleeping bear Must Be Kept Safe. I was ready to spring, defend.

    &nbsp I’m a little worn out from feeling like that all the time. I would appreciate respite, a chance even to merely rest aside someone else who is responsible for guarding others, like the two of us together would not have to be quite as alert to ward off danger and so have a chance to relax.

    This is for you, Warren.

    I have been silent here not from lack of content, (quite the opposite), but because my ex-roommate, James, in a fit of infinite wisdom, decided to take my modem with him when he moved out and hasn’t answered his door yet when I go across the hall to ask for it back. Tomorrow I plan on leaving a note. Thank you for the concerned letters. I am not as absent as the internet currently claims I am.

    &nbsp &nbsp My New Year celebrations began as whispers in water. Distant from the occasion, I was swimming through SinCity, (click for pictures), nothing astray from the usual. Dancing, moving, the occasional warm hello. Matthew passed me while I was talking with Sarah and I ran my fingers through his hair when his back was turned, as I used to do. He held me close for a moment, said he was sorry, then walked away.

    &nbsp &nbsp Counting down from five seconds to midnight happened on the dance-floor. The music calmed, we stopped thrashing about and reached out for each other, holding hands with whomever was next to us. There was an announcement of free champagne at the pool table. “Five,” we shouted, “Four.”. We started jumping with every number. “Three. Two.” and at “One”, I put my hands up and threw a prayer. May it all be right again some day. I miss you.
    &nbsp &nbsp Precious Lasilana and I were meant to skedaddle off to the Annex House-party on the heels of midnight, but it didn’t quite work out that way. First there was a brief medical emergency, a friend of ours, incautious with a high-tension social situation, had an anxiety attack and had to be sent to the hospital. Then we lost each other in the morass of black fishnets and too tight corsets. Finally Nick found me, told me that she was outside waiting. First, I thought, say my goodbyes. A hug for Christopher, a faux swoon for Meghan, and a moment being lifted off my feet by Ross, and I thought I was gone, but no. I turn and there he is, that annoying bane.

    I’m going now.
    Ah, I hope you had fun. Good night.
    There is a motion for a hug.
    First you’re going to kiss me for New Years.
    I don’t think I could handle that.
    It didn’t ask you if you could.
    I don’t have a choice in the matter, eh?
    He smiles.
    No, I don’t believe you do. Find us a dark corner.

    &nbsp &nbsp On the back porch, in a tiny pool of space that the smokers have left by the rail, we stand together, quietly examining another with words. “How have you been?” “Stressed, you?” “Maybe worse, hard to tell.” “Yeah.” We hug and something snaps and melts, it’s small, but I can feel it in his spine. Our faces are both buried in hair, in shoulders, our arms are warm. We pull back to see again and abruptly, Richard yanks open the door from inside, “Matthew, Jhayne, sorry, it’s an emergency, you have to come now!”

    &nbsp &nbsp I begin to laugh, because how consummately flawless is his timing. If we were a film, this would be the moment where the music changes. Our heroes interrupted. I kissed him anyway, and then we ran impossibly quickly, hand in hand through the thick spiky crowd of heavily made-up women in towering heels and men in leather kilts and g-strings, all the way from the very back to out front the building.

    &nbsp &nbsp On the ground, propped up by the wall, is an unconscious girl in a green fairy costume surrounded by too many people who don’t know what to do. Immediately, Matthew and I pull off her panicking friends. Lasilana is already there, she had caught them trying to pour water down the girls throat in a poorly thought out attempt at reviving her and now as we arrived, she began holding people back, trying to calm them down, giving us room to work. I took her clammy body from the cold wall, lean her sitting sprawled against my own and tilted her head back against my arm, trying to open a clear passage for air. We get her name, Jennifer, from one of the smeary tear-faced friends and I begin saying her name, pinching her lightly, checking the tracking of her eyes. Her breathing was laboured as I checked her weakening pulse. Matthew gets on the phone with the paramedics.

    &nbsp &nbsp One one-thousand. Two one-thousand. Three one-thousand, feels a little like the counting inside from earlier, but she doesn’t get to four. I switch quickly from her wrist to her neck. Still no pulse. Four is simply not on the agenda unless I do something. Matthew is busy on the phone, almost standing on the street, and I can’t see Lasilana. I assume she’s behind one of the cement pillars calming crowd people, so I go it alone.

    &nbsp &nbsp The heel of one hand in the middle of the chest, between her breasts, the other on top of it. I press down hard, pulling toward me sharply, press down again, again, remembering what to do without any consciousness. She coughs, fiercely gasps, and her eye-lids flutter. Something comes up that was blocking the air in her chest and her heart thuds almost audibly. I count eighteen a minute. The world spins again.

    She is alive.

    &nbsp &nbsp I sit with her body against me, one hand holding her jaw forward, trying to prompt a response from her until the medics arrive. I don’t even know if anyone saw what I did. We interrogate the fiance, find out that she’d only had one drink, but also a pill and a sip of something that might have been GHB, but nobody knows for certain. We can’t find the guy who gave her the drugs to confirm anything, but at that point, it didn’t really matter. His description is fairly generic for a fetish club, he probably left after midnight. If we’re lucky, he was from out of town. In the end, we sent the fiance into the ambulance with her and explained the effects of shock to her friends. Lasilana lit up a cigarette and Matthew and I fell into each other.

    &nbsp &nbsp Again, I begin laughing. “Are you laughing at me?” “No, love.” I take his hand and we begin dancing to the faint music coming through the wall of the club. We’re calm and in control. I am, in fact, for a while. My forehead rests against his chin, then I start crying, just a little, through the smile. It’s a painful fairy-tale moment. Together we saved a life, together we’re singing softly to the music, I never meant to hurt you, together we’re dancing almost as flawlessly as we worked as a team.

    &nbsp &nbsp “Too precious to discard, too painful to keep.” It’s nice, no matter I don’t know how much it’s meant, no matter that I said it first, months ago, the sentiment is appreciated. It sums up so much of my painful year. It casts the right kind of glow to what happens next. He steps back, holds me a step away from him. “I think it’s time.” We’re gleaming, mischievous now. “Are you sure?” “Can’t think of a better time than now,” he says, and I can’t help but agree. There’s tears in my eyes still a little, but my heart must have shone like the moon on fire that moment. I begin to take off my rings and Lasilana approaches, “Would you like me to take those?” She proffers her hand, “Yes, please. Thank you.” I’m so glad.

    “Are you sure? I’m not sure I can do this.”
    “Never more sure of anything. I owe you more than this.
    &nbsp Really you should be giving me a swift kick between the legs.”
    “But then there would never be any children and that would be a shame.
    &nbsp You might want to close your eyes.”
    “No thanks darling, I want to see this one coming.”

    &nbsp &nbsp My hand felt like frostbite. As the snap of impact echoed off the building he put a dazed hand to his face and blinked his eyes. My fingers were imprinted white across his left cheek as if they’d been painted on with chalk. “Now I know why men roll with punches.” Lasilana approached and gave me back my rings, asked if he’d disappointed me in bed. We laughed and said Yes, but that was old news. “Not even with both hands and a flashlight” he said. I felt like we’d just starred in a series of events that had the strange accuracy of a post-typewriter conspiracy.

    “I’ll call you.”
    “That would be good.”

    Then Lasilana and I, we walked out into the night like two vessels setting forth to sea.
    For the first time in a long time, I felt beautiful.

    I’m so tired of being the responsible one. The star in my heart wants to go out.

    A. FOUR JOBS YOU’VE HAD IN YOUR LIFE (all previous jobs):
    1. He sent me a letter
    2. I met him dancing, I was sitting on the stairs
    3. Brought to his theater, we had a friend in common
    4. It was a new place and he was standing by the bar

    1. When I replied, I laughed, he thought I would know him
    2. He tapped me on the shoulder, acted like I knew him
    3. I took him up on a roof, surprised he would not know it
    4. We went home together, though we didn’t know each other

    1. Smiling, we corresponded every day
    2. I was stunned to discover he had a wife
    3. Standing outside his window was so difficult and necessary
    4. In the cab, his english was better than mine

    1. There were happy pictures, and clever sounds, and fun videos.
    2. I kissed him on the cheek and told him to ask permission first.
    3. My lips were hungry and two years later, so were his
    4. His apartment was neat, plants in the window, books in the glass table

    1. I ran home through the park to meet him on-line
    2. We held hands when we walked and strangers told us we looked good together
    3. Curled up on the couch, slowly we curled into each other
    4. I sat on the counter and he explained his red wine

    1. Description sufficed to make my bed less lonely
    2. When I slept over, it was on his side of the bed, not hers
    3. Queen size bed now and we still almost fell off
    4. There was a wide mirror above the bed framed by two guitars

    1. johnny boy – U are the generation who bought more shoes and u get what you deserve
    2. lamb – gorecki
    3. emilie simon – graine de etoile, lamb – gabriel
    4. marvin gaye – let’s get it on

    1. Then the letters came less frequently and I didn’t know why
    2. Eventually I couldn’t deal with the fact he was married
    3. He was so beautiful, but I knew he never loved me
    4. The next morning wasn’t too late, but there was a phone-call

    1. Hurt, I assumed that work was taking his time
    2. Hurt, I broke down, dissolved, died.
    3. Hurt, I tried to tell myself not to believe in illusions
    4. Hurt, I explained to myself that it’s what I should have expected.

    1. Then I finally went for a surprise visit.
    2. He divorced the wife, I took him back, he went away on a trip.
    3. He never calls, so I walk over to his house at night.
    4. Today he called me back, canceled our plans.

    1. There was another woman.
    2. There were two other women.
    3. There might never be anyone.
    4. There’s another woman in potentia.

    1. He never apologized.
    2. I’m fragile too.
    3. Living with little is better than nothing.
    4. At least he’s sorry.

    Secrets are packets of seeds that require fertile ground. I threw his over the bridge he just burned

    I heard the answer before he answered the question. I was right the first time around, when people change, it barely touches their intellect. Where is a notebook to spill into? I don’t have anyone I can call and cry to the sacred with. I don’t have a bastion of whole world at my feet to rely on. That was last year, this is this, the only now I’ve ever had. Too late. I swear into the phone, receiver falling into the cradle, heavier than gravity. His foolish answer, his petty games of justification. Cut. Respect is not a nebulous concept but simple. Unspoken contracts are trust, are the blood and bone of relationships. You don’t bring them with you when you fall, they are there to hold you up.

    This weekend was your last chance to conceive if you want your baby to be born on 6/6/6.

    I knew I went down with the ship when he turned to me with a radiant smile and said, “I’m happy.”

    When his eyes looked at me and the sun caved in like a cathedral.

    I wanted to say, “when you let your hair fall down, rapunzel cried.”

    Instead I turned and walked away, beginning to choke when his hand touched my arm.

    I missed posting on September 11th, which is likely for the best, considering how dour my humour has been today. Now it is September the twelfth, and Ryan’s birthday. I found him a present in my room while I was sorting today. I’m minimizing, paring down my possessions as best I can. I want to be down to one box of miscellany, one of books, a computer, a lava lamp, and my mouse with wings by the next month. The furniture will be dealt with according to piece when the time comes. I want out of here. I’ll post what I find that can be given away. Today I threw out a colouring book from when I was young enough to have a sister still, (I was five, she was four, that story may still end with I never saw her again), and the top half of a musical china clown my father gave me when I entered kindergarten. It used to be that you would wind it and it would play The Lovers Song, sort of an Italian answer to Greensleeves.

    My city is burning. It smells a little like every neighbor I have is smoking a very chemically treated marijuana outside my window, and ash is drifting down from the sky. At first we thought it was a chemical accident, a nasty edged flame burning plastics somewhere by the water, but the internet told us otherwise. Burns Bog has caught on fire. The last time, almost ten years ago, Vancouver was blanketed in ash for two days. The methane-rich peat can smoulder underground almost indefinitely. This is especially nasty, as that’s one of our most protected pieces of wild preserve. It’s rather essential to our local environment. For one, it’s where almost all of our crows live. They commute every morning to scatter over the city and gather every evening to fly back in an immense trail of flapping black. They’re beautiful.

    a cello sweep of not in my bed

    That Swing Thing
    Originally uploaded by Mute*.

    I’m a velvet encased palace today. Bottle green pants, a black tank top, a pale pink tongue. The world is full of girls like me, I just haven’t met any yet. It’s such a shame. Kiss me sky, please kiss me. Tell me that I can learn not to be haunted by that devil smile, that ragtime pair of whispering lips. Desire has been lying to me, telling me that I’m beautiful and I don’t need that right now. This week is set aside for young reactions. The ember burning boy knows I’m the sea and stars, and the memory of that dizzying reaction shall be enough for me. My cup of human kindness was quietly laid to waste with my lover touching someone else’s skin, so now I need to find the will to make another. I’m getting better. It feels superficial, but I don’t know enough yet. I’m still learning. Maybe it will turn out to be easy to rebuild. I can feel focus accruing on me, meshing with my skin. It feels top-heavy, hollow, but I suspect that’s just who I’m going to be right now. A pop song princess, simple, lyrical and confident if shallow from the inside out.

  • women in corsets told to cover up
  • I am no longer infekted, boingyboingy.
  • Thai Artist Bakes Edible ‘Body Parts’.

  • because god doesn’t always have the best god damned plans, does he?

    And so we taste the seeds of sewn discontent. I was out with Matthew this evening. I saw Ryan off at the airport, he walked across the street like a traveler from the old world into the new. Goodbye to everything but a statue of liberty. I told his father that I felt as if we should have tattered his coat, but then thought that it was exactly right just the way it was. This gives me what I need as much as he always does. There was a bomb scare at Metrotown today. play the piano for me. I stood outside and looked up at the black towers, imagining orange billowing out, glass smashing into the sidewalk at my feet.

    I left him, my Matthew, on the train almost after midnight. The presence of my thought, I could feel it beginning to sink into the skin of my heart. He left me, I left him. They’re words. I’m afraid a part of me will always be waiting. It’s a good fear, the flee-fight reaction that bolts me upright in unfamiliar beds. He stood in front of me and I looked a little closer. His hair is longer but the mannerisms are the same. He quotes instead of knowing how to speak. He tears my world apart. I was waiting for a miracle, and then the end days came. Before we began, it was timing that did us in. Timing and his youth holding so tenaciously to places that I haven’t seen in myself in years. It will take a long time to forget how to hurt, but as I’m sorry that there’s no simple things to say, I’m also wanting to be glad that I’m not as shallow as I sometimes suspect. This year has been good to me in perhaps that respect. I know that my motives are exactly as I perceive them to be. I’m young and think love is paramount, and I like it that way. There is a deathgrip on substance standing over illusion, and my version of romance savours simple facts and dedication. It’s as it should be, no matter how much pain it’s been giving me. Strawberries are what the young should live off, what we should carry closer. Bite the sun or you’re simply taking up space the rest of us could be using.

    We eventually sat on the stairs of the courthouse, just like everyone else does here. It’s a place to have it out in privacy without taking the other person home. There’s darkness shrouding everything and yet enough light to see by drifting in from nearby buildings. There’s skyline to stare at, and water, and trees. Details that capture the eye and allow the conversation to wander. It’s important, that wander, that description into meta that creates an emotion check, that creates the proper distraction to bring things closer. Often what I said wasn’t much, but was hurtful. The truth is my weapon, it cuts like nothing else can. It was understood, the depth of my attack describes the enormity of my reaction. It’s not being volatile, it’s reining back what I want to do, what I want to say. There’s been too much waiting to find these things out, I can cry again. Forgiveness will come for some of the things, though likely never all of them. Deception is a big red button, the distrust bomb waiting to annihilate everything that went before. I go through my days deriving optimism from pragmatic descriptions of the present. It’s not positive, but it’s enough to live off. It’s enough that I can still put my arm in his to walk down the street. I can adjust.

    I’ve said before that there are no heroes for me to follow now, but I want to say that I can draw figures on my soul instead. I can draw lines of respect and honour, I can steal voices that speak wisdom and inscribe lessons inside my body with them, I can learn and I can be holy and I can be more than the literary definition of the ghost inside deux ex machina. However, it’s going to take time. More time than has passed, for this wound shattered my sacred into dust. Against usual expectations, not mine, but I’m sure some of yours, more contact will help me. My anger is at betrayal, at falsehood, at taking me with him when he fell, when his wings were wrenched from his back by a picketing god. Grabbing the root by the stem is the first step to preparing a salve. My flight can be returned to me. My depression is action based, an ocean of reaction that I can eventually drink.

    Seven days of respect for seven days of disrespect is better than trade, you’re coming out on top.

    At the airport
    Originally uploaded by kickass karen.

    Across the bridge I saw a plane landing in water traveling the same speed as the traffic we were caught in. I said nothing, uncertain as what there was to say. Slide. Water. It was all one movement, as if you could feel it as a weight on the tongue. Part of my mind curled up, another unfurled. The sky was a glyph, something I could concentrate with the sound of rain. Weight one into the other, like bodies trying to find pleasure in pressure, and I could be free for a moment of his name. Instead inside my hands lay the bitter slice of pylon into wave, the contact moment when what was weightless gains momentum. The back of my eyelids was crusted with salt, barnacle spit, the erosion of steel next to the beach. I didn’t blink.

    Where are you here? A box. Retrieve your history or I toss it into the ocean.

    We were intending on going to Wreck to watch friends spin fire in their skins, but it was shut down by nine o’clock. A cell phone call warned us off those endless stairs in the dark. Isolated yet together now, modern world moments that make me happy like brief flashes of green velvet light behind a door I’ve lost the keys to. I’m going to have to force it soon, this walking asleep is getting to me. There’s signs that say this is just another coping mechanism, one on the other side of black depression. This afternoon I cried mid-sentence. Suddenly I discovered my words were broken, my language seized up irreparably, caught on the edges of my teeth and mangled into sheds of dignity that quickly fell away, dissolved by the pressure inside my eyes. There was no thought, just shaking.