he came closer while I was being pushed away

I am left by the side of the road, a fugitive leaning silently against a wall as I listen to his truck drive away. I’m tired, he said, of being the one who always has to be strong, and in that moment it was like he had wrapped me the most beautiful gift even as I crumpled, destroyed by the echo of those words leaving my own mouth, over and over again. I wanted wings, then, to furl around him, great feathery things, mythical and incredible, powerful enough to erase pain, the better to protect him from the world. Pinions that scraped the ceiling. Instead my arms found him, found him and held him, while a part of me shattered, horrified, against the promise that I would never be that person, as I resisted the sour memory of times that should never have been.

And so, standing in the street, solitude, the desire to howl down the moon. Anger at myself, at the past that robbed me of what this could be. Such a gift should mean more to me, I should be thrilled, yet here I am, incapable of carrying it, too weak to shout, too weak to even speak, too beaten down. Years of inequality choking me, I rest against the wet cement blocks of an anonymous warehouse office and try not to hate. If such a treasure had been presented to me a few months ago, I would have been beyond grateful, filled to the edges with joy, a flower in bloom. It was the only thing I wanted, just for myself. I would have been able to cradle it, this admired jewel made of fire, but now feels too late. Instead I have been broken. The devastating distance I tried so hard to survive has finally claimed me for its own.

something caught in the throat, like a feather

I found out second hand, when you cheated on the girl you were fucking behind my back. She came to me, crying,
and asked what she had done wrong.
She didn’t know that we lived together, that you and I spelled a mutual m-i-n-e.
All she knew was that I was her friend.
I considered the satisfaction of throwing your things out the window then,
the meticulous movie moment of exploding chaos, socks spiraling to the street, books flapping their pages like miraculous paper birds attempting futile flight.
I had your childhood pictures and birthday cards from your sister.
Your special keepsakes in a box you had brought with you all the way from Australia, all the way from when you were born.
Perhaps it would be raining, when I did this Hollywood thing, this burst of scripted anger.
Even in August, it rains here a lot.
Your letters would get wet and the ink run in the gutters. Your jeans would soak through and become too heavy to carry.
Enough water and you would have nothing left with to remember your mother.
I thought about these things, and the mess, and the shouting, wondering if it would be satisfying, if I would feel absolved from your crime,
and I whispered a statement to the empty room, claiming it, before saying it to her,
and somehow, to you, rich with disappointment, I am sorry.

And now, once more, a drawer. What’s inside? This time I do not know. Clothes, a toothbrush perhaps. It is a mystery contained, hard-edged. A simple pull on the handle and the secret is out, but I do not want to look. The idea makes me flinch. It is terrible how small I am in your absence.

I do not wish to be reminded, nor read again the topography of your things.

I think the Boy would have liked it there.

One hand fumbling under my skirt, pulling the fabric up, cinching it tight. Unexpected, yet perfectly typical. I’m glad I didn’t spend the night, though I had been considering it. (Plenty of places to sleep, many of them unmolested, a vague promise of breakfast.) I’ve been almost naked in that kitchen, fishing in the cupboard for a glass after a shower. Part of me knows that part of me belongs. I’ve been talked about in every room.

Cigarettes, beer bottles, black velvet curtains in every doorway – the place I fell asleep wearing the head and skin of a bear – the bed made of sticks, the bed made of stone. Rarely do I feel absolved, yet in this case, it’s beyond any retraction. There is no reason to ask, there is no longer any breakdown. How we always had a pillow that was mine. Always the brightest flowers. The rejection close to shame. I considered the smell of fire and smoke still in my hair as we stood there in the street, bodies pressed together, waiting for my ride home to finish her goodbyes, feeling tired, (indifferent), and unable to remember what it felt like to be in love.

I am still smiling randomly on the street, I am trying not to wear my memories thin

the sound of your absence
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

It’s been discovered oral sex leads to throat cancer.

I wear a pin that carries a last kiss from a common name on the lid of my eye, around my neck coils a scarf that brought my fluttering wings back to life, my wallet is camouflage for how much I still love him, it lives in my witty black bag, the stain of two infidelities. I am armoured, the only one who can break my heart. Pieces and parts, twisting my hands in the sink, water running red, the lesson of a clothed walk through life. Things, how little of them are mine. Of course I want more, to have their voices rise with mine again, to create a rhythm of easy conversation, the happy patina of bitten tongues and worlds beyond words, but these are what I have; the way I wear my pocket watch on my wrist and cradled in the palm of my hand, my ear against the door of the sky, my permanently borrowed hat always the word No. There is no cavalry.

I leave the room, hear behind me, “she’s my brothers girlfriend.” remember to write. My surprise is mechanical. Shelter. I rest my head on his shoulder, let the flesh give substance to a ghost, and settle in.

What is passive? This is my kit, the way I wear a skirt, lipstick, stockings, the way I shift my hips against a close explosion or brace my feet when I swing to defend myself. Nothing to be scared of. The angles of these faces, lighting up on a street corner, attached sweetly to my memory, wear quietly. Composers, compositors, blocks of personal mythology, barely attached, like birds fluttering along a wire. I have never laughed so much in my life.

trying to remember the worth of birth control when all I can think of are his unfair hands

Someone has rewritten the words to Gibert and Sullivan’s “I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General” as “I am the very model of a Singularitarian,” with lyrics celebrating the drive to transcend the flesh.

I am the very model of a Singularitarian
I’m combination Transhuman, Immortalist, Extropian,
Aggressively I’m changing all my body’s biochemistry
Because my body’s heritage is obsolete genetically,
Replacing all the cells each month it’s here just temporarily
The pattern of my brain and body’s where there’s continuity,
I’ll try to improve these patterns with optimal biology,
(“But how will I do that? I need to be smarter. Ah, yes…”)
I’ll expand my mental faculties by merging with technology,
Expand his mental faculties by merging with technology,
Expand his mental faculties by merging with technology
Expand his mental faculties by merging with technology.

There’s an MP3 link too.

Today was spent re-arranging the shop I work in, hauling large heavy awkward pieces of pale laminated wood around into hopefully better positions. We need a curtain now. A curtain, a ladder, some screws, and some paint. It’s nice to have carte blanche. I’ve been told that I’m to treat the store as my own, all my decisions will be supported. It’s interesting, like an experiment in culpability. How responsible am I? How capable?

“I’ve listened to your music, seen the way you dress. I trust you.”

I’ve had relationships based on less.

Remember the water? It sprayed like insane rain, kamikaze airborne water trying to reclaim the shore from the sky and bring it back into the ocean. I was so glad you ran through it after me, it felt like a victory. Breakfast, then sitting on damp moss, so British Columbia, so everything about this place that’s sometimes nice. Secrets, so many secrets. I miss you. You’re around and then not, all at once. I remember kissing you, lying with my body pressed against yours on a volcanic outcropping of rock, all soft cliffs and too much ocean view. All those trees. I saw you watching me trip down the path like a child, I watched you smile. How much that meant to me, I’m not sure I can say. It had been so long since I’d felt like anyone wanted me, like I could make someone happy. Therapy for both of us, I suppose. A furtive thing we could call our own. An epoch passed as we climbed the earth.

Evenings like this I wish you were here, free to sleep in my bed, be warm for me in the chill.

My lovers last year, all of them left silver hair on my clothes. Spiderwebs that tied joy down, transmuting me into an alchemist of golden moments, but my last year was longer ago than that. I think of new years in terms of fall. Leaves and seasons changing, halting, freezing. Anything after Hallowe’en is this year, anything before is last. It might be in November this year, my annual transfer from them into now. We met in August, we began in August. The year before last, something new, a man, a burning furnace hanging in the ether, changing my perception of time. Everything counted from the day I took a worried picture that my friend has hung on his wall in Montreal.

This year it might be somewhere in November where it shifts. Before there was my first love returned to me, too poetically pleasing to last or be real. My theater painter, my silly Gavool fool. “Have you met my underage girlfriend?” A genius clown that handed me so gracefully to California (Uber Alles). Flash: tied with ribbons, merry christmas, the light from the window before we moved the bed, a thin string glittering from one thing to another, my decision. LAX = empty regret. Last winter spent in Orange County, adrift in rain and lost without direction. My lovers, before they didn’t trust me, they didn’t tell me until it’s too late.

Next year. New Year, December. My hanged moon, strung up on charming wire, so full before it waned so suddenly. He fell from the sky and destroyed all the tides. I fell down and drowned and my morning star, my most precious thing, my evening dream who surrounded me with words, abandoned me after burning me with a small handful of flame. Hours counted like suicidal moths. Hating how easy I must be. Fifteen people dying in six months. All the ways to count a year. Two jobs gone, three, a night of fire where I finally died. There was no vessel to carry me. When the apple fell, there was no one to capture it, no hand to interrupt its crash to the ground. Everything all at once, so dreadful.

I’m older now, I can feel it for the first time in my life. I see lines inside my face, miniature scars, a map of where I used to live. Pictures from last year, they look too happy to be me, too young and yet, here I am, feeling alright with life again. It took me eight months. It took me a year, a failed one night stand, and a married conductor. It took music and getting away from here, a refreshing life out of the small town. It took the sky and blood and tears and feeling too alone. It was Ryan, it was walking into the water on the night of fireworks and resisting the urge to let my head go under. It was so many things, saving a life on New years, never seeing that girl again. Slapping Matthew, dancing alone, dancing with Kyle. It was myself, finally, and the memories of starry skies that brought me back to me.

Though mostly it was the conductor.
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp the good ones are just like that
“No, my lord, unless I might have another for working-days: your grace is too costly to wear every day.
But, I beseech your grace, pardon me: I was born to speak all mirth and no matter.”

reminders, to love who we can, that fire, and whose feet have walked these streets


It’s strange cycling in the darkness before dawn. The cars aren’t expecting you. They are tired, they are balancing coffee against the ever-present rain. Everything looks like a sad slow song, a woman singing, her heart broken six months before when she came back to find a note taped to the door, “I don’t love you anymore.” My glasses had covered up with rain and the streets reflect like they were made of water, so it feels a little like blindly flying. Sterring myself onto the dotted line, I let go of the handlebars and thought of death, how so many people believe there’s something after, that it’s a door. My hands up, I tilted my head back and let cars slide by on either side. There are no stars here, no souls to carry me home.

The viaduct I was on curves between our two stadiums then arcs above what used to be Expo 86 but is now just leveled industrial area turned into closed off parking lots awaiting miraculous rebirth as condos in time for the Olympics. From bicycle level, on one side you can see water, on the other, the Sun Yat Sen gardens, the beginnings of our thin Chinatown where they filmed the opening of Global Frequency. Late at night it’s usually empty, you cycle along it and feel like the sole survivor of some strange war, but traffic slowly gathers after six o’clock, gaining a crucial morning momentum. Dangerous. There’s no space for anything but a breath between the cars and the cement side guards. I’d forgotten what hours weren’t safe anymore. It’s been so long since I’ve ridden such a strange quiet time on the highway. Traffic lights are still ignored by taxis but joining them are people speeding and people too slow to remember the gas pedal, how it makes the machine roll forward.

I could have touched the vehicle as they’d passed. The wind lifted my artificial hair and it danced, a perfectly timed stunt-driver minute, as cinegraphic as a pearl. I looked back again, up, and bitterly smiled. The only truth in stars are that they might not be there anymore, the light we see is such a shadow, and that they travel.

I looked down after the cars had passed, wondering if they’d even seen me, and quietly said out loud,

“Some people would think that was lucky.”

It’s a strange mood, feeling invisible, feeling like that woman after she smoothly drops to the floor and leans on the door, note in her hand, hurt too dry to drip from her disbelieving eyes.

turn the lights down low, it’s just it makes me feel like I’m in a spaceship

I want an end to my unpredictable crying.

The air is full of tiny birds, wings fluttering too quickly. The tips of them are creaking against the stress like lungs choked with down. A cough and they scatter. There’s nothing to show where they were. Wind does not keep drawn lines, the beloved parabola exists only in our minds as a memory.

Unrelated: walking across a field, a thick flock of seagulls let me walk into the middle of them before taking up into flight and circling me perfectly. How callous I am, I thought, that I have too much science in me to experience this as a holy sign. Instead, I understand the way flocks stay together, what leads them, guides them. I know how to spot the lead bird. I’m not fool enough to pray.

  • Prove Christ exists, judge orders priest.

    I didn’t sleep from Saturday until noon Sunday. I have done more clever things than argue the socio-technological implications of ancient politics and family units until the sun has risen, it’s true, but I was in excellent company and the sun always rises.

  • Stardust capsule lands with comet dust sample.

    Now you’re gone, leaving echoes of somewhere I used to feel at home. You walked away and I felt such a pain shoot through me, as if there was no such thing as mercy. I know you’re trying and that gladdens me a little, it seems a better place for us than that dire muck of misery that you’d put me in so carefully. I’m scared that when I see her, this her you’ve written about but carefully did not mention, she’ll be wearing something I gave you or I’ll have to see you love her. As serious as rain, it’s the only thing I can think of that could continue to ruin me. It’s stupid because I’m grown enough I should know better. I insist on it. I should be a better stone. You don’t know what to do with me. I hand you the pulsing ball that drives my blood and you drop it. I fall apart inside.

    Delightfully, I had some especially kind partners on the floor to distract me last night, the sort where we take hands and whirl into something highly inappropriate for industrial music. Liam teaches me swing dances, for example, and Jonathan tangos with me in his kilt and big stompy boots. It’s gleeful when he lifts me up above his head and spins. I can feel him laugh through the music. (Note to self, call the man already). See, I’m everything shy of vices, so dancing is one of my only ways to salve this years constant and irritating sense of loss. I feel like I hang myself from my bones and when I move, it might even be with a heavy sort of elegance. Every twist of joint a kindness, a violent whispered argument in the dark behind my closed eyes, sounding like lovers who don’t want to wake the neighbors.

  • Male birth control pill soon a reality.

    Course, my body feels like holy retribution today. Everything aches and spasms. Walking without limping has been a proven impossibility that I’m counting on a deadly hot shower to repair. In fact, I think that’s the next step. Hooray for adventure.

  • Warren’s graphic novel FELL #1 online for free.

  • 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.

    the prospect of suffering

    Toronto is measured now more by time than distance. I leave at six, get there close to midnight. I still have nowhere to stay.

    Traditional News Year’s is coming, as well as another city, and I’ve been considering if it means anything to me. Today as I was cooking my meal for the train, I was trying to tally up my last three hundred and sixty-five days. So far I’ve been instrumental to one divorce and three affairs. Both my lovers this year ran off on me with someone else and let us all find out by accident. I discovered someone else never loved me in return and one that night stands can be frighteningly easy.

    All of it adds up to so very little that it hurts me. It used to be that my passions repaid me in kind. I don’t know what happened or how to fix whatever it is that shattered. Where is the bowl I kept my heart in? The one I used to offer in dreams to passing strangers as an alms cup. I want to think that my soul is racing to find me and that all the time in between is time standing still, but I know that it’s crying for no use. Apologies aren’t coming, I’ve been forgotten somehow. I’ve seen this face before in the mirror, it’s unhappy. At least when I’m not in Vancouver, I don’t have to think, “He’s walked this street.” It’s like changing where I live in my head. There’s a hi-hat hit and a deep thump of bass and the place I was forgotten isn’t inside me anymore. It’s in front of me, on this keyboard, and I’m emptying everything painful into the ether for you to see and read and maybe understand. You’re out there, it happens, just like everyone else. Why did you never call me back? Only the musician ever told me how to find him.

    I see your picture, all of you, any, and I smile with a sting in my ribcage. I lie down my walls and I let you in again like the best kind of refrain. I love you, yeah yeah, baby, let’s do it again. The part of me that marries people is still carrying you.


    There are some basic elements that pain shares with surprise, but I couldn’t tell you what they were right now. I’m too busy trying to open my unfinished business like a dried flower in my mind that’s going to draw me back to Vancouver. All I can find is a job offer, Creative Director of a Friendster-type website, and maybe that I need to pack my things properly. My dream machine is hiccoughing, refusing to process anything that isn’t movement forward. What I need versus what I get. The end of this story has yet to be written so maybe I can fight my way through the ranks of mediocrity with a pen. Ink my skin the same way some people use school to charm the corporation. Electric glass pages, as many as I can collect, strapped to the back of my night time invitations. Writing like lyrics, writing because it’s what we came here for. I want to feel my hand in the hand of the world, keening with me that things have to change to be better, that what we have isn’t enough to live off. There’s too much starvation and not enough education.

    I just might get that tattoo here. Just to carry something with me.