all I wanted was to paint us in mythology

wednesday's child
365: day 2

I wrote the rough of this while sitting on a table in the back of the club Mike played in Edmonton, waiting for his fans to disperse after the gig. I want to polish it properly, but feel stuck, so I’m posting it anyway:

Driving West along either street, you will come across too many one way streets. Your head will turn, searching for the butterscotch of centre lines, hoping to find some rhyme to the maze. Instead, the streets will seem to coruscate, shine, and blind you, balefully offering oblivious wrong turns. Undaunted, you will keep driving. The asphalt will become brick, cobbles, cut stone. Red and granite and gray. You will look to the moon to guide you, a sideways glance, as she sits in the passenger seat beside you, as tall as winter, nestled in black fur, laughing, offering perfect directions. You do not doubt her. Her gray eyes are sharper, can survive the tangled city traffic, though in the daylight she is almost blind. Her egg-shell maps are drawn directly on her empty hands, woven from experience and time. In a year, you might find out why, but for now, you do not need to care. You are glad for her company. She likes your scarlet heart, even stained fog thin as it is from travel. She likes your polished voice, how it brings colour to her airless skin. When she shyly kisses you, as loud as paper, she is exactly what you need. From her place in the sky, shaking the tops of trees, sweet as candy, her smile looks like your teeth.


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.”

re-sizing a ring, the pretty follies that themselves commit

The pretty follies that themselves commit

All o f m y words are imper fect, stripped o f grace a nd my ton gue in yo ur mouth, pale sk in bruised u nder make up, lo oking over m y shoulder when y o u say y ou want m e, scare d of inven ted promise s, fiction s aid o n ly to have me fee l better, p liable, running l ike mer cury, hot, lo cked i n the corr ect ional facility of you r arms a nd legs, t he cage o f our in stabil ity, t his madness, t h e frail colle ct call d ial tone o f sex, fu mbling with a bas ic fea r of what ou r life i s like fro m the out side o f this we ak membrane I c all a heart.

the girl from labrynth is the girl from requiem for a dream

Psychedelic Fur
Originally uploaded by Airchinapilot.

Fashionably Late Birthday Party, Saturday, July 15th, Cotton & Second, just off Commercial, BYOB, friends, instruments, sweets, savouries, BBQ-ables, drinks, bubbles, whatever-you-like, appropriately pass it on.

Mike‘s so cutting edge.

The silence was deafening, heavy with threats. To break the quiet, my friend asked, “Alright, what’s the average penis length?” I asked, “Average average or average that I’ve encountered?” “Both,” she said. I did a quick calculation using the wrist of my right hand, quickly marking off lengths from the tips of my fingers. She spit laughter, “Did I actually just see you do that?”

Vladimir Putin kissed a boy ‘like a kitten’.

There was a behalf-of-someone-else marriage proposal in the comments section of my poll post. I don’t know either of the men involved, but it made me smile through my ridiculous sun-burn. Not sure if I’m really marriage material right now, poorly tanned red leather for skin, hobbling around everywhere on my cane and wincing. If I move the wrong way right now, I’m liable to crumple like a burning photograph, clutching at my ruined shoulder or irritable wrist. On the up side, I came home to an answering machine message dismantled into merely someone scatting with the word ‘beep’. I can’t even tell what gender the person is, let alone figure out who I’m to call back. Congratulations mystery caller, you win the Interesting Yet Disadvantageous Communication award. Tonight, it’s a paperback copy of The Fall by Albert Camus. Only trick is, you have to call back and actually leave contact information to get it.

R.I.P. Syd Barret

I pulled out a cheap pink striped restaurant mint. “Wait, no. I have better ones.” My hand dug into my pocket again and emerged with an ouzo ball. “I’m useless for this right now,” she said. I looked at her face, fixed behind the shield of her helmet, looking like a sixties movie astronaut, then at her gloved hands resting on the arms of the motorcycle. “You’re right.” I crumpled the blue foil wrapper off with my fingers, reached up under the plastic screen and placed the candy into her mouth. “Drive safely.”

Vote for the Clowngod.
Then vote for me.

ficlet: not the man you think he’s for

The door opens and a man walks in. (The beginning of a thousand stories.) Tall in a brown suit and tan shirt, his tawny eyes scan the room, glancing off strangers, trying to pick out a face. Dark shoes, no cufflinks, a tie close enough to straight to count. His fingers snag a drink off a passing tray and an intelligent smile slowly finds his face. A girl is animatedly talking at a small table crowded with people, a bundle of personality traits he’d always wanted to meet. He can tell from her coloured hair.

she’s staring up at the building, not certain how she came to be there, because she should have called, but it would have been awkward to say hello in front of people because she is shy of their so called intimate relationship and so she decided she would call as soon as she was alone, but then the bus was there and it would be another twenty minute wait if she didn’t get on as it pulled up to her feet, and then it was her stop out front of his building, and her heart feeling heavy and

At his apartment, she is quieter, tired. Taking her shoes off, she pulls without any of her previous grace. “How many times are we going to do this?” He takes off his jacket, sits down in front of his computer. “As many as it takes.”

A nightclub, dim lights and a red fish-tank behind the bar. The crowd is helplessly young. Older than they are, the man walks in wearing the same long suit, the same discovering smile. He carelessly pays for a drink with stolen quarters from a laundromat. A girl is dancing to the thunder, clever porcelain hands trying to grasp the sound around her, everything he wants to change about himself. He can tell from her painted nails.

she’s arrived, so it’s pointless to think of calling, and it’s always like this, indecision making her decisions, but she could go across the street to the public telephone, but then she would have to walk past the building to the corner and then she would have to backtrack and that would feel so stupidly inexperienced because of course it’s okay that she’s arrived and why is she calling from the corner, come up, come up

Damp from a shower, she drops to the couch, a towel wrapped around her head. “How did this even start?” He offers her another towel, “You’re dripping on the carpet.” She looks to her pale feet, looks back up and slowly accepts the second towel. “I remember when I loved you.”

Surrounded by pigeons, a girl is sitting on a bench by the water. From a paper bag, she is scattering birdseed. Her friends are laughing at her attempts to have them eat from her hand. Every time they laugh, the birds startle and flit farther away. She does not care, the sun is warm. The girl laughs too. Under a tree, the man in the suit waits with a box camera, the carapace of an enthusiastic black insect. He raises the instrument like a hammer. It chitters when the shutter snaps. With her, he would not have to sleep to dream. He can tell from the shape of her name.

Foxtongue - Writer

Ask me five [inappropriately?] personal questions and I’ll answer them no matter what they are.

Walking down the dock felt natural. Finding no key in her pocket did not. She sighed, unable to understand how she could have forgotten something so simple. It felt like a holiday, being here, sitting on the dirty deck of the boat, as if even stepping foot off of the earth was a reprieve from her day to day life. Uncertain what to do about the key, which was likely sitting on a table an hour away, she looked down at the dirty water, wishing she were somewhere it was possible to swim. She’d love to slip out of her clothing and bravely splash foot first into the ocean, but this water was grimy, covered in a scum of sea-wrack and oil. Instead she looked about, trying to remember if there was a spare tucked away somewhere. Under the plant pot would be too easy, but it reminded her of the small window at the prow. They didn’t lock it, thinking it was too small for anything but the boat cat to crawl through. She stood, balancing against the rock of the craft, and decided it was time to prove herself wrong.

The paperclip guy has finally traded himself a house.

Sunday night, for a lark, Stephanie, her teacher friend, and I wrote a love letter by popular consensus over drinks at the bar at Moxie’s. (I told the bartender what we were doing and he gave me a free drink.) It came out strange. Our three personalities laying out the groundwork for an intimate exchange didn’t create a cohesive whole. I feel like my words sit on the surface of the elementary sentences like oil on water in a tourist shop toy.

foxtongue —

Visually addictive

‘How will you be defined in the dictionary?’ at

My Dearest Love,

When we finally made that connection, you made me forget myself. I looked into those mesmerizing blue eyes and I felt something in my soul change. I felt my sadness slip away, to be replaced by the feeling of light serenity. When I dance with you, I feel transported, as if my limbs were made of silk. Before we were together, I felt like I was sleep walking, but your kiss has brought life into sharp focus.

Somehow we managed to cover all the bases in such a way that I don’t feel like there’s any effective communication. I think part of it is that the three of us have wildly differing needs in our relationships. We’re all three monogamous, but Stephanie is a very strong Men Are Pigs type, and though her friend is a bit more laid back, she also inherently believes that every one of them will cheat on her, while I yearn more for grace than control. My control issues are invisible, cloaked in my absolute trust. My need, instead, is to be essential, but from what I’ve gathered, they’re more concerned with getting regular sex than being necessary. It was an odd realization. I’m not sure what most people expect.

Why did I never notice that Bob Marley was sexy?

Now this is a real opening: She thought, There must be a hundred thousand dollars here. A man attacked me, chocked me, bit my neck, burned my hand, then stuffed my shirt full of money and put a dumpster on me and now I can see heat and hear fog. I’ve won Satan’s lottery.

as if I knew what to say

com asas não se abraça
Originally uploaded by extrapolar.

Before I looked up, I knew he was there. Oh so casually I waved, as if my skin had not just contracted. Nervous tension, the reverse of the beginning. If I could have an assurance, wear the confidence in all the places it’s not showing. I hate this waiting. My bitter tongued need for some confirmation. If I put my hand to the air and cup it, I can feel the warmth of flesh pooling there, as if my palm were a flotation device keeping me from sinking down through the floor and earth until I hit a molten sky and evaporate into cinder. Ashes, my face is painted on the inside with ashes. Soft and gray and secret, there was a promise once, a whisper, skin.

what man is there
who claims worthiness
(such things)
yet deflects driven arrows
aimed straight through his holy heart?

Midnight of the Equinox trapped me with dimmed lights and you never held my hand.

at two minutes before I go home

The man I love these days he’s gone so far away that I can’t look outside and point the way, it’s around the curvature of the earth. I want to describe what velvet words I remember, what clawfoot tub memories I have to offer, but I have no music here and am too hurt for silence. Instead I’m caught in lines that I wrote for a poet friend that he’s never heard. ‘you stand, and you look at me, and poems pour out. They slip under my skin and try to take me, licking like letters in envelopes closed.‘ Maybe because there are no letters except in reply to those I send. Maybe because I want to touch him again, feel his breath in his sleep and let him wake up to me, willing and waking, soft and inviting. ‘because when you stand and berate me, when you orate and confiscate the words of a thousand angels, I consider and weight the worth.‘ There’s so many complexities involved, simple ones, which is irritating. Neglect and side swiping kernels of something so close to lying that they’re on more than a first name basis, they kiss. They press lips together and gasp and their hands catch like rough farm hands on the silk of our love letters. Not that I get any, but still. Cliche are cliche for a reason.

because I missed him

Persepolis burnt me to the ground, dark gray marble eyes leading me like paths and stairs to a treasury trap of words. I felt bare, richly carved with splendid relief, “Five years is a rock hewn tomb, too long to be without the silk cotton of skin.” His hair curled as inscriptions do, written to ward off misfortune. “I enjoy the silence,” he said, and he laughed, lambent pearl. My heart was caught in the light of it, a hidden thing suddenly unshadowed, becoming a lantern to hold in my hand. A wet red ruby to guide me to Thoth.

“What is the geography here?” He asked and gestured, his hands describing the arc of mythical heroes. “It is tumbled land, fit for caves and caverns. Happy alone.”

I’m staying in tonight. I have been moving too often for sleep to find me and I wish to be claimed for decency’s sake. Whatever strange endorphin level I have arrived at, it’s not feeling anymore like home.

this is your fault

Gravity plucks
the apple from the tree
easier than any hand
from flesh to divine
it’s all memory
the contest
the days next to water

She spoke quietly, looking out a window that was really a sheet of rain, her eyes painted electric green. “We didn’t have to talk at all. This town, the lights go dim when I press the power button. There’s a gasp, a sigh, and the energy inside collapses. You into me, relationships wearing coats of particles over wire. Tonight I miss you. I remember my name from your voice, how the inflection was different.”

The phone is a bare sliver of plastic, silver and blue-lit from within. “No, I can survive like this. Bare walls aren’t as taboo as an affection lapse. I felt like that bed was a refugee camp, finally I could stop running.” There’s a cup in front of her, slowly being stirred. The spoon is tarnished, antique and ornate with a dipped rose on the handle.

“I don’t know what makes you beautiful. When you reflect off my eyes, my heart eats you as shadow, intrinsic but ethereal, to live off later. Every moment with you feeds me, satisfies hollows inside me which say, ‘we have gone hungry long enough, there is no turning back’. I can’t help myself. Your eyes shone with a light that was devastating. It was converting, a religion of only you and I together in a little nameless room.”

She smiles, a new expression. She looks cut out of time. A glossy magazine spread featuring smooth lines and gray.

“I don’t know if I can explain. I knew I was flaunting something when I came in, that I was changing rules with my behaviour, but I continued onward. Before there was you and I feeling awkward, admit it. I was pushing past and forward. I was right on track until I was derailed by your eyes. Crash and burn and this is love in a manner I’d never encountered. Suddenly I was your salvation. I was every epiphany in the middle of the night over your entire life. You were the metatron and I the heaviest mote of light to have ever been dropped spoken from your lips. You made me think of fire, of flying.” Her long hair has fallen into her face and she pushes it back with one hand as she leans back in her chair, adjusting her skirt and crossing her legs at the thigh. Her stockings are black.

“There’s many nameless rooms, I know, I’ve lived in them, but they were not that one, they were not right there. That was a flowered wallpaper sheath for power in the middle of the night, that was a terrible fire that blazed in the softest little colours. You want to know what I thought? ‘This is permission,’ I thought, ‘for anything I want to do with you. This is something I have never seen before. If I am lucky, I will see it again. There will be no furnace falling from the sky to consume you, there will be no front page accident hurling metal like rain to dash brains into the pavement.'”