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

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

if only unedited meant raw - how do you feel about parentheses?

it doesn't really, mostly it means rough in a few choice spots, in need of a little attention which i don't have time to provide it with at the moment...and for the record, i like them. i like them a lot.

build the walls, brick by brick and stop to contemplate the ceiling

the sky is black like a milne watercolour in a gallery
too small for its city but well-intentioned like the rest of us,
tired and trying like the rest of us in the stormy epilogues
of sunlight our kings and our men (jokers all of them)
invading some warmer plane with brighter lights
and properly thought out plans of attack in some more
radiant place with raked sand and sparkling children
(captains all of them) sensitive and blessed with grand
brush strokes (lilies)—left with impressions the rest of us,
thinner coats of paint and earmuffs packed away like the dirty
ghosts of sound from the last great conversation
which begs to be repeated beneath a lighter expanse
beneath a brighter expanse and those city signs will not trick us,
will not have us believe that we’ve arrived, we know better,
the rest of us, having been deprived, having tried
the honest costume and having been discovered in the most
painful circumstance (bare) we will afford the rest of them
no grace and no advance we will orchestrate this war from
beneath our black sky (violins) and we will be victorious
we will die victorious with the blood of our slaughtered
borrowed futures testifying to our glory, testifying to a breed
of success so twisted that only the trampled spirits
of our generation will know its celebration will know
the walls that we have built in these afterthought years, bound
and blistered by modernity (and what should follow) only they
will know the brick to lay, the pride and secret, the dry
dust-filled breath and only they will know that we’ve kept
at bay the demons of our black skies for one day, more
fighting with the cruel vigor of orphaned warriors,
the sparkle of our unborn babes sharpening our dirty blades

Saturday, February 25, 2006

the qualities of a good local bar

you’re talking like you’ve got cab fare home
says jack, although he’d prefer we call him drummond
working steadily on his fourth pint his tar-stained
fingers quietly tapping on the bar drum drum drum
his daughter was steven tyler’s main squeeze
and his son went to harvard, he says. honours.
he’s got that james dean cool about him, some
kind of swagger he picked up flying twin-engine airplanes
in nearly three major wars and several wives later
he’s got the grit down to a science. let me buy you
a beer, sweetface, he says with cataract confidence
and a satisfied smile. there’s nothing sweet about it,
i reply, but i’ll drink your beer, jack, and smoke your
stories so long as you stop that tappity tap tap
and keep your hands where i can see them, jack.

david milne @ the AGO

my favourite from the milne exhibit - King, Queen, and Jokers V: It's a Democratic Age 1943-44

saturday style and the birth of a blogger

i like to think i'm one of those people who reads the newspaper: wakes up saturday morning while it's still morning, walks across the hardwood in an oversized t-shirt and setlles in the sunny seat at the kitchen table with the weekend edition of the globe and mail beaming at them from between my knife and fork. i like turning the awkwardly sized pages and assigning to each article an ex-boyfriend or past lover. i select, for my own consumption, short and fluffy write-ups which require little investment.

truth be told, i read barely a tenth of the weekend paper alternating between the lighter stuff of the front section and the colourful dreamworld of stlye. the law student with whom i shared my mornings a few years ago introduced me to the ritual. and it's the ritual that i like, not the paper. i recognize the occaisional columnist, mostly because i've made a point of remembering them, having been embarassed in some previous conversation. leah mclaren is one of those. the law student and his partners in crime loved to hate her. leah mclaren this, leah mclaren that. she's such a bitch, i recall one of them saying. i've since had tried, not all that successfully, to nurture an interest in her column. i love a good bitch.

this morning, after having stumbled quite inelegantly into the red room with my current love interest and my copy of the weekend edition, i was particularly excited about getting to the mclaren column. i delayed a bit, occupying myself with a story about a recently canadian child who's spelling talent was worthy of the cover and cursing the french public school system for having deprived me of spelling bees. after a few minutes of slightly offputting jealousy and a brief forray into the world of cross-border organ transplants it was time for style. i was a bit disappointed, at first, to see that i was going to be subjected to talk of blogs and bloggers, since i find those words to be spectacularly irritating. but after a few paragraphs, my reluctance gave way. i'd never really given much thought to the "blogosphere", so to speak. never really properly appreciated the fact that paul wells' postings, among others, were the stuff of "blogs."

i like to think i'm the kind of person who reads the newspaper. however, as previously confessed, i'm mostly around for the coffee and the sun. the article i read this morning over grease at college and spadina didn't encourage blogging as a passtime, quite the opposite actually. but having read it and having contemplated the prospect on a crowded spadina streetcar, i was happy to realized that i'd gone beyond the ritual a little. somewhere between the eggs and the hashbrowns i'd taken in a little content and changed my afternoon plans. believe it or not, and think less of me for it, it was a bit of a first.

maybe mclaren would be mortified to know that her article contributed in some way to the expansion of the ego-filled quiltwork of mediocre, diary-style essays that is the blogosphere. or more likely she wouldn't care. either way, i thought it was fun, that in the midst of coffee i listened to leah and felt like a legitimate reader. maybe i'll graduate to things more substantial next time saturday rolls around. or maybe not.