this is the sea, for him to have a challenge, I must accept one


Larry, my friend who’s master of Sinister Bedfellows and the Sharing Is For Communists t-shirt, is caught in a bit of a financially worrying situation. As a result, he’s put our book on sale.

(I’d very much like to see a printed version of this eventually. I’m told it’s popular in American libraries, but I’ve only a PDF copy, myself.)

My story was about Shane Koyzan, (teaser: here), who is conveniently performing at the Cultch this Tuesday with all the lovely people mentioned in the flyer stage right. I’m told that I’m to be the official photographer for the evening, which is a task I’m beginning to look on with mounting panic. For one, the plate to my tripod’s gone missing. For another, as my mending is at two months behind, I’m going to have to very hurriedly find some theatre blacks with appropriate pockets. (This is where, simultaneously, one of you feels guilty and someone else laughs). Oh, watch me begin to scurry. while. stuck. at. work. Head, this is the desk.

how to properly put on a kimono.

The feet on the floor above me sound like an amplified heartbeat taken from a terrible new age TV show, as if they’re pushing blood through the building by the mystical power of dance. Heads thrown back, arms out, legs crashing in slow motion, blue waving graphics meant to symbolize something drastically spiritual and unlikely to be true. Either that or they sound like feet and I really should have slept more last night than I did. It’s a fifty/fifty bet.

Part of my mock-panic worry are the miniature New York Times Bestseller hallucinations floating around in the penumbra of most of my sensory input today. I’m not so far gone that I’m seriously considering joining the Project 365 Photo-a-Day, but I am beginning to sift through my pictures, trying to pick what to give to A View In Your Mirror. The idea is to create a collection of self-portraits from people all over the world, artists or no, in the medium they prefer. I fall into the categories presented, I like what they’ve chosen to show so far, but most importantly, (not to mention unexpectedly), I can’t think of any reason not to.

I need to download an MBA into my brain

Weather Canada has issued a snowfall warning for Greater Vancouver.

10-20 cm of snow is expected to fall overnight.

Gregory Colbert clips are beginning to appear on YouTube.

I have a habit of not spending nights home. I fall asleep on couches, at tables, pen still in hand, my head cradled in papers, in someone else’s pillows. My bag, invariably it carries books, my camera, and a small overnight kit. Always carry a toothbrush, always carry something to read, never say no to a free plane ticket. Lately, though, it’s like I’m trying to make up for lost time with my room. I stay up late in my own house, writing at the keyboard, trying to grind a miracle out of my business plan. I delete and re-edit until the original version of my paragraph returns to glare at me from the screen with a malevolent beauty. I chase sentences until I simply have to sleep, frustrated that I don’t have a choice. My regular nights out, Sunday’s etcetera, I think I’m feeling too delicate to be around such a false sense of security.

Yesterday, however, I took a day off. I met Minesh at City Hall, and instead of spending energy in a double-run at the office desks which had already individually thwarted us, we sort of did the whole run, really. Lunch at Tomato, then to the Lennox, (consistently a place to run into people – Ryan first, then Kit said Hello, and my brother Cale and his girlfriend Chloe joined us for drinks), then a movie, then dinner, then staying up until 4 in the morning sharing pretty his and hers things on-line until we fell asleep in front of downloaded episodes of Heroes. We even had the most drawn out argument about who would get to sleep on the couch that I’ve had in years. (We’d previously stood outside for ten minutes, trying to get the other person to go through the door first. Who says chivalry is dead? People who aren’t around stubborn goofs like us, obviously).

Robert Altman died this week.

I remember at some point realizing that it was dark, that all I had to show for the day were some blueprints, and that I didn’t mind as much as I thought I might. It was nice, not having to pour myself into one thing, to rein in my recent obsessive focus and merely be social. Tonight, however, after work… I want this done by Monday. Sleep is for the week.

something new to do because I can

silver sweep
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

Fredo Viola in Concert: turn, download, the glass bed, download, death of a son, download, the sad song, download, the red states, download.

Tomorrow I’m going to make an attempt at Seattle. I have no passport, which may be a problem, but as I wasn’t turned back last winter when I went to live in L.A. so perhaps luck will remain with me and I’ll slip through.

I’m looking for things to do alone, for places nice to visit, interesting to poke at, fun to take pictures of. My only plans are to find a nice place for dinner by the water, to drop in at the Roq La Rue, and maybe lick the EMP. I don’t know if any of you are from Seattle or visit regularly enough to have a recommendation, but any are appreciated. People have only told me to go to Pike Place.

Sinister Bedfellows: Anthology now has an ISBN (978-1-4116-9929-8) and will soon be listed in Books In Print. There will soon be advertising on Something Positive. (Randy Milholland’s designing the ad.)


Sinister Bedfellows: Anthology is now available!

Short short stories based on the critically acclaimed photobased webcomic by mckenzee, including authors David ‘Starchy’ Grant, Shawn Scarber, Rob Callahan, Annastasia Snyder, Peter Venables, Matthew Messenger, Maaret W., Jhayne Holmes, Chris Peloso, Colleen AF Venable, Larry Holderfield, Phil Khan, Jody Johnson, Eric A. Burns, Samantha Kyle, David Milloway, MontiLee Stormer, Amy Frushour Kelly, Sarah Lynch-Walker, and Matthew Wood.

You can buy a print copy for $19.99 (US) or join the revolution by downloading the eBook for $5.26.

locking my dreams

Shane Koyczan is my missed arrival. When his curtain called, I was not there. When my opportunity knocked, he was not home. He’s taking a lock of my wool hair on stage with him when he opens for the Violent Femmes at Massey Hall next week.

Laughing on stage, you’re berating me, “Why won’t you be in love with me? You owe me a toast.” Descriptions licking like letters in envelopes closed. Anger measured in minutes and hours and always sweetly winning first prize up on the stage. Darling Sara and I’m always so damned proud. Write, hand, write and I ran after you and held you as your cried. Victories as complex as the sun on your thankful face.

I’m making him a charactor in my entry in the upcoming Sinister Bedfellows Anthology:

I’m in the wrong place, but he’s not. A frieze of clouds over the city, orange light reflecting off wet pavement. This is Vancouver. A pane of glass grubby with too many small town fingers. When dawn comes, the light changes, everything goes gray. I remember his voice breaking in the exact shade of the sky when he told me he’d miss me, like the air he inhaled was an echo.

Hold me, I thought, hold me and protect me with your gift with words. Lift me up to where you are, so that I may look down at my hands too and watch them create lightning and thunder.

Hand in hand, I walked with him into a reflection of all our memories. This was where he touched my cheek, this is where I kissed his roommate and wished it was him. Weird baggage. Every strand of wet grass brushing our ankles is another wish, another significant glance across the cafe at me from him. Wrinkled experiences, creased and nicotine-stained from being kept folded in our pockets, folded and unfolded, pressed flat against tables to be examined like treasured maps to an alchemical marriage. Every six months, on average, he told me he loved me. Every six months for six years.

When he said he was leaving, deliberately slowly, I said I was too. In the shape of my mouth were different chances fluttering away, deconstructed. Our synchronizations were an ode to the opposite of a moth to flame, our lives never available at the same time. The king and queen of ill-timing, he said, frustrated, crowned in fluent poetry. Grieving August versus tomorrow until a hip-hop September. He was touring, I was moving away. Ahead of us was time, new and unused, that we could no longer afford to buy. There would be no following me home across an entire ocean. Dog-paddling would have been the death of him and his arms too thin to fly. Without sufficient concentration, he would have just crashed into an airplane anyway, to show how much he believed in the indestructibility of love, decorating the thin air with orange flames and pieces of melting vinyl seating. He was that kind of guy.

We met long ago, when I still grinding the last edges off being a teenager. There was a show in a shabby semi-legal basement venue on Commercial Drive called The Cavern. I never figured out how I was hired. Our audience sitting in creaky dented fold-out chairs, dark enamel flaking off more every evening, he was part of the wildly rhyming entertainment, waving his hands around, telling it like it was and comparing life to bumper-stickers. I was tech, manipulating video feedback to create psychedelic paranoid explosions of light. However unlikely, something blindly meshed. We enjoyed the summertime flavour in the alley outside the amateurishly black painted plywood door while he smoked and made fun of the dripping red letters that stood in for a sign. The other performers, I still know them sometimes, but never as well. Names fading. Las Vegas pompadours hard like black-jack and legendary Quebecois hockey stories I couldn’t relate to. Girls with guitars singing the same shrinking angel song over and over on little open mike stages.

There was a date once, if you squint. We sat on a playground across from a group of elderly Italian men playing bocci on a long narrow court covered with fine gravel and ate gelato from clear fluorescent cups with luminescent plastic spoons as equally neon bright as the cups, as science-fiction improbable as tampering with the rate of enzyme mediated chemical reactions. Just an afternoon.

Now the only time I see him is in expensive looking interviews on television, cunningly mixed with fluid clips of his glowing performances. They’re so relentlessly polished. I attempt not to examine my reactions too closely. His shirts remain button-ups, but now they’re made of thick coloured Egyptian linen and the buttons are interestingly crafted in the shape of Japanese chrysanthemums instead of round discs of cheap milky plastic. I can see where they’ve tweaked his round face in an attempt to make him look conventionally handsome. I’m not sure if it’s worked. Even pixilated, he looks like a lost tourist. I can still see the blossoming moon through his shotgun glare. It was never a question of trust. We were mythology, as brass bound by story as we were to our relationships.

I watch him, sometimes, when I can, when I remember. I finger the earring I accidentally pulled from his head once, silver like his new buttons, and try not to listen for my missing description.