Communicator, cooker, drinker, poet. Grew up in a mining town, wore a hard hat.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

wedding poem for my uncle

the architecture of them

In November the prairie winds howl with memories
of winter and the voices of a thousand wheat creatures
make speeches about loneliness on Wild Rose Ridge.

In November he admires the design of her smile, traces
the slope of her spine with a gentle hand and finds her eyes
fighting bright in the darkest parts of night on Wild Rose Ridge.

In November he recalls the marquetry of her spirit by the glacier
lake, the youthful embrace, amidst dancing leaves, of his
now wife and he is rich with the promise of life on Wild Rose Ridge.

In November great structures of timber and glass cradle the child
soul of spring and the smothered whispers of two score ten bear
witness to the perfect architecture of them on Wild Rose Ridge.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

it seemed as though i would give up

and somehow, through some measure of fate, i'm here. sitting at an open window, typing.

the store was a mess of things: cloth,
shelves and earrings, brightly
coloured relics of a decade made more
than broken and the man behind what would
have been a counter asked if we were
sisters. we weren't and admitted so.
the virgin soap, he said, makes you sweet
and young again. mah girls, he said. you'll
have to come back.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

best hamster picture ever

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

not quite right.

the divide between my dream life and my waking life is beginning to collapse in on itself. things have happened but other people haven't lived them. my speech is slurred and my eyes are tired. i know that i'm not right. not quite right. crooked, you might say. or crazy.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


is the silence. and nothing is as complicated as it could be. it isn't hot or cold, late or is, simply. i am sitting on a fire escape, the bars are making lines on my white legs. my blog entries are getting progressively worse. i have nothing to say and everything to confess.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

so sayeth the west wing

president bartlet and mrs. lanningham reveal, during an interaction in the fourth season, that if you're the president of the united states you can choose any number of paintings from the national art gallery and have them hung in your office. how cool is that? i'm salivating. what kind of president would choose a pollock, i wonder. i'm not sure that they even have warhols in the national art gallery, but if they did, would any president elect borrow one to hang? my guess is no.

there is the kind of art, as far as i'm concerned, that makes movements: creates them. art that does something unusual and is worshipped by those who toil, wreckless privately, smothered by themselves. can you believe internationl klein blue?

art: what an empty handful.

Friday, August 11, 2006


i was moving and sorting through old journals, as i do when they're unearthed. i came across a particular entry and it struck me. hard.

Sept 6, 2003

I am at camp and I need to vent because he doesn't love me. My back is beginning to sweat. The wasps are flying aroudn the orange juice that I stole from the dining room. I feel like a wasp. I linger around him , hoping to smell his smell. Laundry detergent. But I know if I get too close he'll swat at me with a few looks and words and then I'll have to sting him and then I'll die. I don't want to be in love with him. I miss him desperately. I know he is a beautiful person.

The CD I'm listening to makes me think of walking to work in Ottawa. It reminds me of Josh and of parliament and of the heart and crown and of Graeme. I don't know if it was a summer that I would like to be reminded of.

Somebody hid diamonds under the waves and they're glistening now. I want to go swimming but it's not hot enough yet. My skin isn't melting yet.

I guess writing is sort of like playing the piano. I'm out of practice. Who has time for this kind of thing anyway? Maybe I'm senile. Maybe that's not the right word. Maybe I'm fat and unattractive. Maybe I imagined that I was thin and beautiful and desirable and all of sudden, thanks to that asshole, I hate myself.

that was the last entry in the diary (the only one I recall using for any lenght of time) i bought the day after we first slept together, the so-called asshole and me. he's not an asshole at all, actually. his only sin was honesty. sin enough, i guess, at our age. for symmetry, here an excerpt from the first:

18 December 2002

Today I bought a journal. I have so much to write, I do not know what to say. I saw a book in Coles of Kurt Cobain's diaries and maybe one day someone will publish this because I will be famous and they will care. Claire says that she wouldn't write most of what she does in her journal if she knew someone would read it. I am not sure I care. I slept with ... last night. No, I've slept with him before. I had sex with him last night...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

karen kain dances like a war fairy

if you have ever taken an art class you will remember what it is to be asked to draw a person without lifting your pen from the paper. remember that and imagine a dancer, a woman with breasts and spirit, moving her limbs, muscles strained.

i have a book of her. a coffee table book stolen from a dusty pile in my mother's house. the photos are black and white, all of them. karen's hair is tucked neatly into a bun. her legs are longer than measurement. and the pictures are simple, plain. a woman dancing. why then, is it so erotic, so moving, so interesting to see her on a glossy page?

Friday, August 04, 2006


before -- pirate themed streetcar party. need i say more? yes. i've showered, blow-dried, moisturized and feel that i'm ready to conquer the red beast. after - it was crazy. we showed up expecting to be the only ones sporting earings, mustaches: pirate costumes. but we were wrong, they were everywhere. we worried, for a brief moment, that there wouldn't be any music on the streetcar. we were promptly corrected: a few men in black pants and t-shirts spun happy hardcore followed by breaks. nick was especially happy about the breaks, as he generally is.

i'm listening to a cd that i used to play when i was in highschool. remembering is so good...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

the ugliest part of town

finch and dufferin: i dare you to find worse. i come up here every now and again for work -- my company has access to a boardroom on alness street. the landscape's unreal this far north. hideous high-rise apartment buidlings, noisy four lane streets framed by stripmalls containing businesses that all look as though they're having a closing out sale. shitty restaurants, bridal shops, a strip bar or two. second floor nail salons and dental offices, bus benches that remind you to call this real estate agent or that personal injury lawyer. it's thoroughly depressing. and accessible only by bus.

Monday, July 31, 2006

it's five hours to august

and the apartment is hot, really hot. i'm listening to schubert's ave maria because someone made reference to it on the west wing, but i really do prefer palestrina. my heart's racing as per usual and anyone who knows me is sick of hearing about it.

the heat doesn't come from the sun, it seems
to come from the sky, the sidewalk, the open
mouths of men and women on telephones talking
about last night, how their employers fucked them

on that last paycheque which won't cover, it
seems, the goddamn hydro bill and it must be
the airconditioner which hums clumsily in the next
room and was purchased to ease sleep but doesn't

care much. and why should it? our sleep is the no
thing, not the nothing, but the no thing, useless
and funny. do you mumble words in your sleep?
toss and turn and hug cotton the way i do, unknowingly.

wanting to be beautiful but instead drooling. do you
wake to find yourself staring at the other one in your
bed? and if only it were the least bit like the movies,
if only i smelled sweet and looked peaceful. i am

a hurricane in my sleep. twisting, kicking in a violent
dreamland of water, which is my favourite, but dirty
always in this hot city. sleep is a heavy hand on my greasy
head and i can't help but crumble and be ugly. i sleep.

Friday, July 21, 2006

in explanation

the blog's going dark for a while. if you read, check back in august. it's too hot and i'm uninspired.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

i'm definitely infringing on copyright

posting this poem, evie christie's. it's too good, i want the world to read it:

That We Could Let the Season Fall

Not so long ago your parents loaded
you into the yellow Dodge -- a meteor
shower made you forget
just how much you hated your sister. The rusted flatbed,

the smell of gasoline and blackness
were a universe. These days you are never
far from pills that keep you three feet
from anywhere, half a mile between thought and speech,

and your mother calls too often for even
you to believe it's okay -- believe
there is a universe, stars ablaze and falling,
burning, settling into darkness. That we could let the seasons fall

around us without recalling the times
we smiled artlessly at the buckled skies
would be mad. Let the scar
beneath your chin remember a hostile winter, a BMX

and flying, books studded with bus tickets,
ash smudged verses, your fervent youth.
Let a voice remind, across cities tonight,
how you hitched Highway 7, out of your village, .357 replica

tucked in your waistband, to meet the world half
way. Now there are cigarettes and weak syndicated
TV, now there is instant coffee, blinds drawn
and a phone that sings from that world you cannot bear to answer.

Monday, July 17, 2006

the national tonight: a translation

mansbridge: are you guys fucking up the evacuation effort?
mackay: absolutely not. we're completely on top of it.
mansbridge: so there's a reason that other rich nations have already gotten significant numbers of their nationals safely home and we haven't moved a soul?
yeah, there's a reason. well, you see, peter, there are logistical issues...we haven't got a fleet in the mediterranean, we're halfway across the world. we're dealing with big numbers. there are fifty thousand canadians in lebanon.
mansbridge: right, and none of them have been moved?
mackay: well, it's not so much that. the french are on the same continent, dammit.
mansbridge: the french rented ferries from the greeks.
mackay: i don't like the greeks.
mansbridge: is canada backing a cease-fire?
mackay: people should be reasonable. we made a statement. it was at the g-8 conference. we're a g-8 nation, didn't you know. we made a statement.
mansbridge: right, so about the cease fire?
mackay: ever notice that we have the same initials? it's great interviewing with you peter. i love that name.

pinecones versus my new red shoes

pinecones are small, brown crunchy things, not summer
creatures either. some were huddled together today on the
sidewalk and i stepped (shuddered) as they crunched
beneath my new red shoes. they were hiding from
the heat, i think, beneath the shade of some urban tree.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

kensington market

this neighbourhood screams dirty beauty on saturday afternoons. it is a sweaty oasis which defies sunday, which denies sunday, always. it's part of the appeal. and the drippy, hungry tongues of scruffy dogs are a staple here, pink. as are the women.

you can always tell when a woman is on the heels of sex. she smiles wide, has a satisfied glow about her. she is a bit slower than usual, a little more luxurious. she scrapes the sweaty strands of hair from her neck with confidence.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

morning at 592

the street is loud when i sit at my desk. it's seventeen minutes to eight and traffic is at its peak, pigeons coo on the roof near my window and trees everywhere are wilting from the heat. i see my favourite books lined up, in the spaces near to me. a collection of twice-read grisham paperpacks are heaped on the window sill. slivery poetry chapbooks are jammed between hardcover copies of barney's version, sowing the wind, a russian textbook: troika. donations from my mother: rankin, thayer and tanenbaum have been chucked lazily about the place -- i haven't read them.

Friday, July 07, 2006


my sister is a very warm person. forgiving as all hell. she glows and it's not sweat either. i feel myself around her. unjudged and happy. the two of us soak in laziness, leave the apartment only to eat or to rent. we've seen years of television series since she moved in a week ago. i feel as though if we didn't have to earn money or be real people we could luxuriate here together until the end of time. it would be lovely, too. who needs to be thin and successful when you've got take-out and a bosom buddy? a sister and years of ER still to go. hand me the remote. STAT.

this is my friday night

an hour and a half spent feeling sorry for myself, listening to sarah harmer and devendra banhart on repeat, drinking heineken and smoking belmont cigarettes (which can be challenging with a fan blowing at you on high, for the record). a cold shower because the hot water tank simply isn't big enough, followed by a few minutes in front of the mirror with a pair of dull tweezers. squeeze my fat ass into a pair of jeans, fish through my collection of equally unflattering shirts and select one. inevitably get deodorant all over it and pick another. go meet gay friend who has eleven o'clock date but is willing to entertain until then. find some patio, drink a few pints, check cell phone three or four times for missed calls. smoke more cigarettes. stumble home flushed by 1045. check tv guide for anything promising. find nothing. crack open another tall can of heineken, light a cigarette, mix things up with a little ariane moffat and wait for sleep.

of course, that's it

the sky is sticky, my yellow room busier than
ever with the electric fan blowing at things...
there is a salt shaker on the table and it has
nothing to shake at. waiting is unhappy activity.

time would be better in different directions, many
of them. i am sick of navigating flat space, walking
on two feet towards things or away from them.
i am tired of sleeping and waking and eating simply.

doing or not doing, drunk or sober, quitting or staying,
shitting. and that it should be chemical is offensive. right,
i should run, have sex, eat strawberries, feel better? flat
little strawberries with price tags and pesticide jackets.

make of my little life a party, dream travel, look bashful,
wear pretty dresses. it's the heat, of course. my ovaries
to the estrogen parts of my brain. it's the light,
of course, not enough of it. it's my blood sugar, of course.

of course, of course, of course that's it.

k is for me

a proper nest

my sister and i have managed to create a proper nest of our run-down rental. very little floor is visible, bits of food and glasses of water are everywhere. neither of us have worn clothes in days. we are happy here, nested here, but it's going to have to end sometime soon...there's beginning to be a bit of smell.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

when you google "picture" this is the first hit

i saw a prostitute

as i was riding in a taxi cab, on my way home. she was wearing very short pink shorts and i didn't see much else, save for a mane of permed blonde hair. i went to a party tonight, on queen west west, as it's called. that's where i took the taxi from. i don't remember what the venue was called but it was special. three floors: the main one had performances and djs and things, the second was mostly empty, except for a black poodle, and the third was a rooftop patio. there were funny wooden tile things on the patio, pretending to make a dance floor, but they were crooked and dangerous. kind of like me. laugh. dave called me with the inviatation. it'd been a while since i'd seen him. last time was at the art gallery of ontario. milne and gehry. he'd had a long night. i'd had a long day. and he sold a painting tonight! i was so proud, so happy for him. what a feeling to have someone offer you money for your talents and time. sleep is creeping up my spine with soft steps. i shall retire, i think. i worry, but needn't. things are as they are. i am as i am. not much more i can do, but sleep.

Friday, June 30, 2006


an album by ariane moffatt. i like it very much. they were interviewing her this morning on tv5, that's how i discovered it. she was plainly attractive and had a very soothing voice. i would imagine that it's very good crying music, this. but let's not indulge that, shall we?


my sister is coming tomorrow and staying with me for six weeks. my mother warns me that she doesn't wash dishes and watches television endlessly. i am of the opinion that the satellite to basic cable transition will find her being a little more active.

that's us in the picture, at my father's house. luxuriating in our sweats, as i imagine we'll do quite often in the next while. in the background: a painting of a bench with a sign that reads "nacionalizado de fresco" (freshly nationalised) - a daddy favourite. the sofa we're sitting on is an eighties brown curduroy ikea number that he just can't let go of. and on the table, my faithful laptop, source of unendning distraction and portal to the blogging world. oh! and let's not forget the laura secord cream egg, waiting nervously to meet its end.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

a good one

patrice desbiens was born in timmins, ontario and first published in the mid-seventies. if you want to read the english translation, go for it, but it's not nearly as good.

Je me souviens d'une station wagon qui coupe la nuit
qui ouvre la nuit du nord comme un couteau de chasse
ouvre sa proie
Nous sommes tous là
ma mère ma sœur son mari et ses enfants tous
dans cette voiture c'est
Johnny B. Good Leblanc qui conduit son visage vaguement
éclairé par la lueur du tableau de bord
Je suis le seul des passagers qui ne dort pas tandis
qu'on continue avec un océan de vert meurtri de
chaque côté
Ma sœur dort sur le banc d'en avant
la noirceur qui rentre et sort de sa bouche ouverte
La nuit est longue et sans plis
La nuit est longue et sans plis
La nuit est longue et sans plis
La nuit est longue et sans Soudainement
quelque chose déchire le tissu quelque chose bouge
là et
le pare-brise devient un écran cinémascope les phares
de Twentieth Century Fox et Gulf Western éclairant
l'animal l'animal l'orignal en plein milieu du chemin
qui fige et
fixe son destin qui roule vers lui à 60 milles à l'heure
Ses yeux ses yeux ses yeux ô dieu son regard jusqu'à
la dernière minute et le choc sourd-muet de fer contre
Et ma sœur qui se réveille en criant un grand cri
fou et
final comme si l'âme de l'orignal avait passé dans
elle en
mourant et enfin
le silence
le silence de notre silence dans
le silence entre
Timmins et Toronto.

a fountain of sugary fun

david letterman in putting mentos candies in big bottles of diet coke. i'm entertained, and nearly distracted. now if only i could stop listening to wonderall and get on with it.

the world's biggest ball of twine

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

he is a good man and a gentle man

and i am crying now, to the sound of an old song, because we won't speak anymore. i'm quite sure he meant it when he said it. what i remember: his toothy smile, his clammy hands, his blue eyes, his manner. the way he said, "ooohhh, girl..." i swear that he knew the name of every foreign dignitary ever born to this earth. he spoke as though he'd been born in the slums of kingston but was whiter than sudbury snow. and he knew it, too. and didn't care.

he watched me while i was slept, he said, more than once. i watched him sleeping many times, too. he was a cute sleeper. made me a picnic once at runnymede station. drank vodka with me in high park. sat next to me at matriculation and made me melt. he hurt me tonight, though, walking away without parting words. fair enough he didn't give them to me. i probably didn't deserve them.

he is a good man and a gentle man. i will not be angry because it is not best. i will be sad, instead.

in some grand procession of ignorance

to tease out the truth in something takes a long time. it is difficult for everyone, but particularly hard for me, i think. imagine that ideas were paintings. if you were me, you would feel as though you were an inch from the thing, your body pressed close and casting a shadow, your proximity preventing you from making sense of the small pocket of colour on which your eyes were fixed. there would a wobbly memory of something similar you had once observed, under the same conditions. you would recall, without intention, the sound and tone of the other voices you'd heard. the voices that sounded most like those of your parents, of your first love or of a favourite teacher would be remembered best: their patterns speech, their choices of words, their taste. amidst the commotion you would do your best to piece together an understanding. you would appeal to the voice you respected most for guidance: you would swallow foreign impressions, unfamiliar sentiments. you would strain with your own eyes to see more or more clearly and you would fail. but amidst the commotion, the conviction of your borrowed words would be enough to find you passing the test, moving on to the next piece in some grand procession of ignorance, burdened with the definite guilt that some young thing might hear your voice trustworthy.

sweaty apartment sunday

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

relegated to the IT room

there is a cpu humming very loudly next to my head. two green apples next to my laptop are the only organic things in sight. i hate being relegated to the IT room. clement, the small chinese computer man, doesn't speak to me or smile. he likes keeping the window open so we can hear the lovely sound of traffic from finch avenue but he insists on drawing the blinds so that the only light in the room is fluorescent. i'm staring at my green apples and thank god they're such pleasing colour. the walls are grey, in here. so's the carpet. so are the cubicles. grey, all of it. grey, for heaven's sake! the man in the office next door keeps birds, because it's a marketing company, and people in marketing are quirky like that. the birds chirp and chirp and at first it was endearing but i'm just about ready to kill them now. the quirky marketing man also has an axe and several knives sticking out of his door, as though someone had tried to break in. it's a quirk thing. i have fantasies about using those knives. don't turn your back on me, clement.

Monday, June 26, 2006

afternoon anxiety

my mustard stained legs and body a wrapped sweaty
pretzel typing away in frantic heat and hearbeat
commercials and cigarettes swirling mad colour
storms unpredicted and mean in their acute
emptiness torture porcelain responsbilities, woes
cracked and left to steep in soft ash powder

shit and shit and shit and failure tempts
knocking at the animal door loud pounding
echoes tremble my hands and quake my life
aspiring to nothing but tomorrow and the next
happy breath

Saturday, June 24, 2006

pat methany group - first circle

there is clapping at first, a few scarce notes and then, after long moments, a voice. no words, only sounds and promise. believe, reader, that we can truly make promises. he will smile in confirmation as you shrug in resignation, my father. rich proletarian methods drop into seemingly inadvertent, but altogether natural, chords of terribly deliberate genius.

and he sits, listening to it all, caught up in his heart. blue eyes wide with pink skin around, smiling stubble and remembering us as children. when we pulled at his worn shirt, tugged at his hands, begged to show him the fruits of days.

working hard to work hard, he is. breathing deeply as though in exercise, meters from a gentle , spotless, vegetarian kitchen.

he knows, but he's had years to know. i am a muddled person. grow me up? i don't know, couldn't possibly know...but i want, i try, i am upset.

he is not near and he seems never to be so. the inequality keeps him busy. the lost years.
the workers and his work.

how i would like him to be happy! truly happy...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

that, believe it or not, is me

in the backyard of my grandparents' old house, since sold, in edmonton. that's their garden and the sandbox of my youth. it was a great sandbox. i learned to bake there. donated by my grandmother's kitchen: several bowls, a few good mixing spoons, a cake mold and two muffin tins. my grandfather, the venerable thomas loudon leadbeater, always puttered about the garden while i was cooking. do you see the cement circles leading to the back? i used to leap from each to each. as i got older and my legs got longer i could skip every other stone and later i only needed every third to make it back to the house. the bush on the left grew raspberries and behind the white gate was the alley. it gave out on to 148th street. i think.

my words are cheap

his are not

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

six reasons i won't leave the house

(1) my clear pastic mouse flashes in red, epileptic fury and it is alive, requires attention (2) the futon remembers the shape of my laziness and the smell of my anxiety (3) i cannot bite my nails in public they way i'd like to: i would be embarassed (4) there is no soundtrack to my life outside these walls (5) the doorframes know my height and respect it (6) i am comfortable here

culprit 'coons

i left my kitchen window open last night, when i went out. it gives on to a fire escape and i came home to find little dirty animal prints on the floor, the garbage can open and my unfinished breakfast lying victim on the floor. those furry bastards. i thought i could hear them all day, ruffling in the closets, although i'm almost certain they must've come and gone late last night. they've done this before, those criminal creatures, last time it was to rob our cat (now departed, see i miss this cat) of his few worldly possessions: half a bowl of whiskies and a plate of dry kibble dinner. i will remember to close the kitchen window. i will remember to close the kitchen window.

Monday, June 19, 2006

microsoft paint says, "pride is coming!"

come hither, super

living alone and working from home is getting to me. the toilet's been leaking for months and all of a sudden i decided to call bill, my super, to come and fix it. he showed up and i offered him a beer, a glass of water. "tell me about your day, bill. how're things in the building?" he was anxious to get home and didn't take me up on any of my offers. the toilet got fixed, though. and he talked to me briefly, enough to get me through the day.

it's too hot to walk to the mail box

and so here, with sincere apologies, is my letter:

monsieur benjamin,

ça va? je suis contente de savoir que tes tableaux vont bien. je suis certaine que tu réussiras tes examens. est-ce qu'il fait chaud dans ton coin du monde? 31 degrés ici aujourd'hui. je crois avoir déja (je n'arrive pas a trouver l'accent grave) mentionné que mon apart n'est pas climatisé. je n'ai pas dormi hier soir, même qu'il y avait un peu de pluie. en plus, il commence a être difficile a respirer. l'air est très épaisse a toronto durant l'été. la job va bien, par contre.

c'est drôle, j'avais sincèrement l'intention de t'écrire une vraie lettre en blogue, mais je n'y arrive pas. il me faut une plume et un papier.

a bientôt. bises.


i really hope it's pms

because i'm crying a lot these days, not sure why. not even a combination of bobby darin and pasta salad is fixing me. apples with peanut butter either. i guess there's always wine and cigarettes but that doesn't really fix, it just blinds. maybe blind is better.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

a list of my favourite candy

i know i've said that i don't like sweet things, but that's not entirely true. i mean, i don't like them now, but i used to. despite my parents' best efforts, i lived almost exclusively on a diet of sugar and citric acid for the better part of my pre-teen years.
  • nerds (the tiny coloured ones in complicated boxes)
  • hershey's cookies and cream bars
  • the haribo candies that looked kind of like jube-jubes but had poppy-seedish thingys on them
  • red skittles
  • sour watermellons and grapefruits
  • worms of all kinds
  • some french sucking candy
  • wunderbars

i miss this cat

as though he were my child. professor puffy pants. mister flashlight eyes. major hijinx. mister love store. are you open for business? he's in new west minster now, with his grandma. my former roommate's mother. and by the way, he is eating tulips. he loves flowers. almost as much as i love him.

can't let go of ani difranco

it's terrible, i know. so nineteen ninety-five. but there's something about her music that makes me comfortable, keeps me coming back. i'm listening to fire door. here's a poem that i wrote when i was nineteen. not so long ago, i know. but long enough that you're not allowed to judge me on it. the punctuation's all wrong. thanks in advance for looking the other way.

we were standing in a bathroom doorway
when you asked, smiling cagily if
i’d ever been gay and if
it had been (here, you winced)
in that ani difranco way
i heard
footsteps creaking closer and i think
you did, too because you smiled
and closed your eyes the way

you do sometimes and i was deseperate to say
that no pop culture reference could ever

convey my sincerity, sarah
but i faltered, tripped over my own words
and somebody else’s footsteps
fell to the pavement with a thud
and barely managed to mutter

that i didn’t think so
not in that way, i mean

the country game

it doesn't necessarily have to be about countries -- it could be capital cities, or animal names or, well, a lot of things. if you're ultracool you could use indie band names. point is, whatever you choose to use, it's a handy distraction when waiting in line somewhere with friends. each person has to offer a word that begins with the last letter of the previous word. as in:

A: canada
B: argentina
C: armenia
D: does every damn country name end in A?
A: no, dumbass
D: um...hint anyone?
A: think sand. the war against terror.
D: iraq?
C: it has to start with A, moron
D: oh, right. um...
A: afghanistan. let's get on with it. nigeria
B: not fair. is this line getting any shorter?

seriously, it's fun. especially if you prepare ahead of time.

tuna pasta salad = yummy in my tummy

take (a) half a big bag of pasta -- the shell kind, you know, the ones that get stuck inside eachother, spooning (b) a couple of green onions, a.k.a. scallions (c) a few stalks of celery (d) more mayo than i'd care to think about (e) two cans of tuna --> don't get the skipjack, come on kids, splurge! (f) half a yellow pepper, chopped because the red ones were sold out (g) s & p (h) a table spoon of dijon (i) tender loving care and two hours in the served with beer, and lots of it!

the world's biggest spreadsheet

for those of you (like me) who spend hour upon hour agonizing over excel, i thought you might enjoy this, even though it's a tad ancient:

the jcb song

Saturday, June 17, 2006

our summer project

i like sitting naked in my apartment when it's hot. my body sticks to the cotton-blend case of my three year old futon. the wooden frame creaks when i adjust myself. my legs are smooth today, men in suspenders were giving away razors on the street. but my feet are dirty, as always. i walked to the laundromat wearing sandals. my mother called when i arrived home, told me she'd found a novel at the library that'd been written by a mother and daughter team. they made a killing, she said. new york times bestseller. she's asked me to draft an outline and email it to her. it'll be our summer project, she said.

Friday, June 16, 2006

tricky blue: a poem to the sound of mozart's requiem - XIII

the place is dark, carpeted with latex,
walls painted red with blood. enter to
staircases and ominous hallways
which widen and narrow like the
hot, fleshy throat of a swallowing beast.

there is an escape from the smell of sticky
love consumption - the swimming pool. it is out
of doors: a severe concrete rectangle filled with tepid,
tricky water which appears blue but isn't. women
are collapsed supinely on wobbly plastic chairs.
folds of them inhabit gloriously temporary furniture.

they splash about in the infancy of their freedom:
breasts are on display, creases and folds of skin
barely towelled press them for exposure.

and there is music. a decided beat eminating
from behind half-closed doors finds silhouettes
dancing to a different rhythm. and what

could i say to her? she smiles with her entire
face, this one. white skin taught around her soft
stomach, she walks like a boy. has a serious jaw bone.
swim trunks and beautiful breasts above them.
i see her dip beneath the water's surface and watch
as she shakes her hair free of tricky blue water.
she is no boy. and as she swims toward another
body i notice that's it's no boy she's kissing, either.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

i don't look myself

when i'm fucked up

i can't feel
words, can't
them. they
look all wrong,
all of them.

beethoven, my lover

i have a tear running down my cheek, it's in my mouth now and i can taste it. salty water. moonlight sonata is on repeat. i'm smoking. i wiped my face, cleared the tears and am still breathing. but barely. each note is so deliberate, so perfect. there is nothing more satisfying than brilliant, sparkling music. the method is calming, linear. i can see him now, playing, touching, laying a finger on a ivory key. a black one. beethoven, my lover. my long lost lover.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

christ, he's going to harvard

and here i am eating mr. noodles out of styrofoam, drinking instant coffee and pretending to know about trunk groups and clli codes in my patch-painted village apartment which, by the way, has mice. i discovered them (their droppings, to be precise) yesterday. they are not my friends.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

medicate me, someone

my mother recommends bathing with gershwin, light
some smelly thing and soak, she says. breathe. my eyes
dart about the room without permission. they like
the crown molding, the piles of dust cowering at the feet
of objects, the stain on the side of my antique refridgerator.
it's intricate. ice cream, i think. i haven't the attention span

for this.

not nearly as funny as moo-shoe pork, but funny nonetheless...

list of my favourite movies

  • chariots of fire (1981)
  • searching for bobby fischer (1993)
  • show me love (1998)
  • dirty rotten scoundrels (1988)
  • sabrina (1954)
  • the secret garden (1993)
  • a little princess (1995)
  • reach for the sky (1991)
  • the cutting edge (1992)

sound familiar?


Passive-aggressive personality disorder is a chronic condition in which a person seems to passively comply with the desires and needs of others, but actually passively resists them, becoming increasingly hostile and angry.

Psychiatrists no longer recognize this condition as an official diagnosis. However, the symptoms are problematic to many people and may be helped by professional attention, so we include it here.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The causes are unknown, but, like most personality disorders, a combination of genetic and environmental factors are probably responsible.

Signs and tests

Personality disorders are diagnosed by psychological evaluation and a careful history of the extent and time course of the symptoms. Some of the common signs of passive-aggressive personality disorder include:

  • Procrastination
  • Intentional inefficiency
  • Avoiding responsibility by claiming forgetfulness
  • Complaining
  • Blaming others
  • Resentment
  • Sullenness
  • Fear of authority
  • Resistance to suggestions from others
  • Unexpressed anger or hostility


Counseling may be of value in helping the person identify and change the behavior.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outcome can be good with treatment.


  • Stunted career development despite good intelligence
  • Alcohol abuse or other drug abuse or dependence

Monday, June 12, 2006

450TeL Communications Inc.

Friday, June 09, 2006


“But as long as the hot clouds do not reach us, we won't go,” said Supriatun by mobile phone from Indonesia. The hot clouds wouldn't reach you in Sudbury. Everything here is slowly cold. Residents smile the graduation of a season, only to greet the next, to burn leaves, to be cold again. Lives soothed by scheduled cups of Tim Hortons coffee, measured in pay periods, in rounds of bar-born unprotected sex. The landscape's rough: rocky, I'd say.

There is a very tall smokestack in the West part.
I used to have a plan to paint it pink with flowers. Yellow ones, I think, the big symmetrical hippie kind. My parents thought it was adorable. The stack's a symbol, I'd say. It looks like a penis, a cigarette...The postcards prefer the nickel. The giant nickel.

Things are lonely here, I'd say. The pick-up truck engines, the mosquitoes, the beat-up kids, their dirty hands and pocket change make lonely noises. So do the bingo halls and the bowling alleys. The strip malls by twilight, that's where you'll find love. Those dirty hands fondling the young parts of cleaner bodies in the Silver City parking lot. Or behind the Subway restaurant. They call them restaurants here.

googler interrupted

i've been having a serious amount of trouble with google's beta apps recently: gtalk is blinking, gmail is blinking, blogger is practically blind...the desktop app, though cool, has been unreliable and a monster drain on my poor comp's day to day. then, as though the frustration of trial software weren't enough, someone close to me introduced the possibility that google isn't the innocent novelty i would have it be. stuff about caches, metabots, world domination. as it turns out they're keeping everything on a server somewhere, so that when i search google, i'm really searching google's stash of info, not the web. i must've been living under a rock because everyone seems to know this but me. sitting on my father's 1973 corduroy ikea sofa (which miraculously still holds its shape) i experiment with the idea that google is god. it knows everything about my life, is everpresent, omnipowerful, mysterious. it will most definitely outlive me. maybe i should start praying to google. maybe i should ask it for a job.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

poetry in public

i read tonight. i stood up in front of a microphone and a room full of people and managed three or four hundred syllables. it was at the victory cafe, second floor: art bar. i was trembling and darted off stage, once it was over, to the sound of hearty applause. encouraged in large part by my admission that i'd never done it before, i'm sure. they like first timers, some kind of pretense of community or something. anyway, you're not allowed to read two weeks in a row but i think i'd like to make a repeat appearance. what do you think? are you proud? you know me enough for that.

Monday, June 05, 2006

my sister needed help (that's her)

with some highschool creative writing though six verses in iambic pentameter actually mattered to the canadian canon...she's much wittier than i was at her age, i think. lazier and more inhibited, though. a bottle of wine later, i proposed something. i think i'm a glass away from correct rhythm and real aid:

My days are long and hard and filled with heat
They stick and stink and hurt with no relief
Laughter seems to blind me through the night
So that I might maintain or feign good sight

Their trays and ways find me wanting a break
As though that were enough to stay awake
I’d like to think that work means more than this
Although right now I’d do much more for bliss

Red stains, blue stains, green stains and work tonight
I thought I’d once had soul to make a fight
But truth be told I’m too damn tired for that
And dream I’d quit right now but for that rat

He makes me think I’ve got no good to me
Makes me want to change the things I see
Makes me want to do something much more
Much more like a good thing and even more

The night is dark when I am done as though
Things were so great so bright without a row!
As though this weren’t the only thing there is
As though I had much more to bring than this

But truth be told it’s just words now are left
And words we know aren’t much but lower cleff
Versions of the thing we’d rather say
And what better to do on this bright day

something i was supposed to do earlier

after i'd read a random blog promising that the following meme (As defined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976): "a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation." "Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperms or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation.) was propagating itself through the blogosphere: (1) find the book closest to you (2) flip to page 161 (3) find the fifth sentence and publish it, complete with these instructions. the book closest to me at the time was a thick telecommunications binder which didn't have page numbers just some weird section, sub-section way of seperating sentences. the next closest thing (several hours later) was "mots de passe" by pierre desruisseaux, a collection of poetry i picked up in grade 12 when i still wanted to like words but didn't really. i've read it since. the next book, the important one, the one that passed the 161 test was john key's "sowing the wind," given to me by my grandfather after he'd read it. the inscription reads:

Ex Libris: Ven. T. L. Leadbeater D. D.

To Kate

From Grandma & Grandpa
Spring 2004

I haven't read it. I'll sleep with guilt tonight. Here's 161, sentence 5: "But Philby rightly declared that for Iraq this was not a happy introduction to the democratic process."

if i had to ask...

each of my boys a question, navigating the space between rhetoric and wondering, without worrying about form (punctuation demands response):

ben -- how far away are you...exactly
re -- what happened to you
marc s -- what next
marc r -- was i imagining
joel -- did you know
scott -- how did you invite me
nat -- are you happier
graeme t -- what if
andrew -- what would satisfy you
graeme j -- is it perennial

rambling -- i've run out of titles

i am reading lynn crosbie's poetry on a patio tonight, it is light enough still. she uses oxford commas and sounds like a poet. her words are like breathing as though i'm not reading (rhyme) but tasting her last meal instead. or various meals, particularly the ones after big events. they are exactly like breathing, don't you agree? : : : try writing in a very small notebook sometime, it'll keep you honest. curbs adjective use, apparently. : : : i read the blog of a harvard girl who was torontonian and liked palestrina. found her on facebook. i think we're in the same chapter with a few pages of beer and experience between us. loads of books she would say, i think. important ones. : : : i wonder how much poets lie. the good stuff is inebriating and i don't often bother to ask because i'd rather smoke in that state. (you understand). really though, it must be thick with lies. love is never so desperate, colours so vibrant, scenes so perfect, men so angry. dogs don't curl up in corners, they collapse. everyone collapses. you, poet! writing life in cursive while the rest of us are lazy, uninspired, (oxford comma) and faster at typing. : : : i blame the public school system for my need to list, to alliterate, to tie up loose ends. i've to blame someone. what's with the chip, you ask. get over it, kate. it's gotta be the divorce, the drugs, the circumstance. anything but me. (you understand).

if i were a proper animal...

tired but not sleeping

jonathan doubled me on his bike. i'm used to the handlebars, but he preferred peddling standing up. we rode up church street and were waived at, i felt like a float. COMMA SPLICE. we have plans for martinis on tuesday and he's promised to lend me a russian novel starring the devil. best book ever, apparently. sounds right up my ally. i'm stressed about money. relieved to know, however, that most music is still free. say i am you by the weepies.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

beer and commas: in the interest of encouraging the appropriate use of both

the oxford comma: an optional comma used before the word "and" at the end of a list, in case you were wondering...

i like to drink white beer, blonde beer, red beer, and dark beer. all beer, really.

the comma splice: a punctuation error in which a comma with no conjuction is used to join two independent clauses. i'm a big fan.

it's nearly ten to nine, we won't reach the beer store before close.

for those of you who know me

these last few days

have been worse than most. there is a nice song playing on the cbc, called "take it from me." i am quite tired and wish the song would've lasted longer. they're talking about a terrorist plot now. my cell phone is in the process of exploding: the screen is a mess of colours. i blame the terrorists. you should try blaming the terrorists, too. i want to throw something breakable across the room and watch it shatter. like a sideplate or a vase or something. i hope the week improves. i'm not doing well. really not.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

major anxiety

should be a cat's name. not mine. cats, cats, cats, people. cats, cats, cats, crazies. crazy cat people. crazy me. crazy, crazy, crazy.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

moo-shoe pork!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

things to do in toronto for fifty cents

-buy 3 tim horton's tim bits
-go 0.3 kilometres in a taxi
-make a panhandler do entertaining things
-pay a one day late fee for an old movie at the local store
-buy two poppies on or before remembrance day
-pay gst and pst on an item which is priced at $3.34
-buy four sticks of incense
-buy one very discounted mango in kensington market
-buy one can of juice from concentrate at no frills
-buy a terrible postcard of toronto with the cn tower blurred and obscured
-make the united way a little more successful
-buy a can of discounted tuna and give it to the food bank
-pay for the electricity it costs to blow-dry your hair two or three times
-barter with someone on queen street for a dozen bobby pins
-dry one load of laundry for 14 minutes at the laundromat
-buy three cups of lemonade from the blonde girls down the street
-make two phone calls from bell payphones
-buy a used comic book
-buy a pack of kleenex from a twenty-four hour convenience store
-buy a can of no name pop from the dufferin street mall
-buy a jumbo freezie from any self-respecting convenience store
-get as many free bookmarks as you'd like from the public library
-buy a pack of lettuce seeds from the garden centre of your local grocer
-buy three high quality screws from the local hardware store
-pay for fifteen minutes of internet at a net cafe on yonge
-speaking of yonge street -- buy a dirty girly mag
-watch twelve minutes of porno
-smoke as many cigarettes as there are smokers

my feet are extremely dirty

from spending the evening on the rooftop, going on prentensiously about colours and semi-colons. blue and terracotta. black and white. yale and harvard. the brick chimney sits at the same angle as the beer bottles because the tar surface is uneven. my hands hurt when i wake up to the sound of the cbc. pay cheque, coffee, yogurt, anxiety, lorazepam. a one hour biography about ellen degeneres on the star network. my superintendent has taken our ladder, our means of access. we're trapped on the third floor now, unable to get proper breeze, proper sun, a proper view. my hands are beginning to tremble, my palms red and rough from my adventures. i'm going to do something now - eat maybe, or lie down. i feel restless, unsatisfied. waiting is the worst.