Saturday, October 13, 2012

automatic writing: send in the clowns

care to test my limits? unhinge the breaths and scribbled works that comes with the day? you won’t like it. it's like rotten apples sitting stagnant in an open cupboard that stinks of cheese (the owners will never let us back in). the strings pluck arteries and veins sans fer, lungs itch into throat yet breathing isn’t difficult. no pain no gain. but there’s a blockage, obstruction, arret and it hurts in some part of you. crescendo of sirens and reversing salt trucks, the snow sticks to my hair even when I’m outside. rush in and the neighbour’s granddaughter trudges home from school. lavender jacket, lilac striped toque and a GREEN backpack, the strap over her chest holding the colours together. stompstomp shuffle click slam. a story over, closed by a door like the man walking a dog who never smiles at you, as though he resents his friend’s tenants. just go to sleep and it’ll be over – a butterfly pinch away from parked cars under blinking street lights. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

a. ayers

almost flipped over this while ripping out blank pages in an old notebook. i think written after watching the movie Closer.

She would’ve liked to give anything to be alice ayers. Rather she would have kept nothing to be alice. Plain jane jones with her jeans and sweatshirt, desiring in the finest thread of her mind a thrift coat and worn boots. Only possessions carried on your back are necessary because the rest will tie you down to this place you never meant to be, this artifice you never meant to become. I don’t need things.

There’s a frame she meant to stay in, of a mind she held to keep. She wore the same clothes to leave in which she came as if to leave behind not only artifacts but any changes to her person. None of it was necessary. Just the strength to be alone, but still reveal enough to attract the company you seek.

My name is alice – alice ayers – an identity I never meant to keep.


Monday, May 21, 2012

night time musings

I hear a drunken interlude of chorus and song. and melody. the wind carries most of it away (on the back of a storm which whispers of a downpour in the early hours of the morning)

it sounds broken, choppy. a man's voice after one too many shots of tequila, though lacking in a trio of background singers. it sounds like he is perhaps not as intoxicated as the usual crowd mulling the streets, yelling or cursing or laughing obscenely.

a textbook sits open in front of me while I try to simultaneously absorb a theory of capability and the song playing in my backyard - an open space of town-houses and parking lots and hidden drive ways concealed from the main road by a patch of trees

canvas bags and post-its and empty cups litter my floor. an ikea pillow sits in my lap. I discard the text for a moment, listening to his voice hit higher notes in a rough voice, then slow down some measures to a languid and lulling rhythm. like a poem in a song. like a poem in my head.

it stops like it began, slowly drifting, and pulled away by rustling leaves. lights scatter the windows of apartment buildings and houses, and I wonder where he went: retreating from a backyard after a private performance or from a quiet spot on the pavement?

the numbers click and tok to its consecutive partner, the night drawing to its peak. the house moves as it does at midnight - the hum of the fridge, the shuffles of the neighbour below, the slow spins of the ceiling fan. familiarity rests over my body like a blanket and I close my eyes.

Friday, July 22, 2011


The worst is something I’ve seen from beyond an unopened window. Outside I can see the dirt that’s carried along by the wind, and the seaweed covering the surface of the dark water moon. There are footsteps in the sand.

Leaves crumble and crunch beneath my bare feet, but the night hears this as little but the imaginations of summer, little but the voices haunting autumn’s dreams. Stay in the house little girl: I have not.

Eventually a cherry tree planted somewhere far away becomes my home. I carry it with me as I walk the road, in the wet soil beneath my fingernails and at the tips of my hair. Staying far from the sea keeps me facing forward. Keeping my head bent from the reflection of the moon saves the fool from his past: a state of mind blotted out with the white paint of an immaculate, unintended youth. Tiny red pinpricks imprinted just under the skin hide beneath the shadows of tree trunks. I feel nothing encased in the cotton pillows. Let me Out for I am sewn by your gaze and moved by your fingertips.

The worst is something which comes from outside, from beyond an unopened window. I see someone’s footsteps in the sand. I hear leaves crumble and crunch, little but summer’s imagination, little but the voices which haunt in autumn.

This cherry tree is my home and my fingertips are wet with its soil, my hair caked with it. Keeping my head bent from the moons reflection saves me, the fool, from the past: a state of mind printed in white paint and immaculate, unintended youth. Keep me In. Because I can feel nothing beneath the cotton pillows. There are tiny red pinpricks under my skin, and fingertips under my scars. I am sewn to your gaze, moved only by the pull of your knuckles.

The worst comes from outside. Dirt carried in the wind, seaweed in the moons reflection. Whose questionable footsteps in the sand?

Crumble up the leaves – they are nothing. Figments of your imagination, voices from your nightmares.

Stay, little girl.

Those who look in the mirror are fooled, blotted out with the white paint of youth and shrouded in cotton pillows.

The pinpricks of your fingers. I am sewn to you.

The worst is always inside.


a long way home
a long road down
a convincing poet's regaling gestures
for an opportunity of apathetic indifference;
to pretend, to lie, to rip apart his words, to
the bring of insanity or
just don't


down the twisted undergrowth
out of spiteful justification and
the longing for a way out
there are three daunting tasks and
polished landscapes and
a brick road
down a maze of maple green


underground caverns tell us our history
violent, tempestuous - the necessity of
evolving from red paint to red pen
(or is it vermilion)
and still
mistakes are still


"right is the way of the gods" is the conclusion
no human spell nor
animalistic instinct can inspire this forgiveness
a natural response, the right response
right down a grassy hill
in a red toboggan

Monday, April 11, 2011

miscellaneous items

there’s a hint of moisture that blows in with the wind through my window. the trees are still bare and the neighbourhood is old but elegant, a captured part of time in the comfortable grip of the nineteen hundreds with orange bricks and green porches, balconies washed in white –

– but the past storm and its lingering smell of rain and the promise of a satisfying summer, after being dragged viciously behind february’s dark clouds and high snow banks for months, is enough for the time being.

(though it’s fleeting at best
and the sky is still covered gray)

even as I’m surrounded by dirty dishes and expensive texts and vitamins.

Friday, March 18, 2011

conversation with a stranger

The room was packed with people.

The coffee in my system had since left my body and I couldn’t recognize many of the faces around me. Vision blurred, I slumped into the nearest chair, clutching a small, worn book in my hand. There was man in the front of the room, speaking in an authoritative tone and with monotonous intonation – automatically, I struggled to pay attention.

“… importance … hours … three hundred and fifty … but only …”

Someone tapped me on my shoulder, holding the destroyed book.

“You dropped this.”

“Right,” I attempt to nod.

There is a flurry of papers and shifting positions. I pull out the pen attached to the paperback and start writing.


It ends with forty five minutes left on the clock and I stumble into the afternoon sunlight. There’s a bench nearby which I fumble to reach. I don’t care about people and their damn dogs, so I lay out passing into unconsciousness as soon as my head hits the wood.


(a small street, bicycles whipping up past me, hair in mouth – I try to find mine – rolling on two wheels next to a stranger)


I blink. I’m awake.

I feel something heavy on my shoulders. I sit up suddenly, disoriented, confused – what time was it?

Two hands steady me.


“Whoa. It’s okay.” The hands are still on my shoulders. I end up looking into brown eyes and relax into the offered embrace.

“How was it?”

“H’was what?” I say rubbing my face, shrinking away from the sunlight. There’s a scoffing laugh.

“You’ve been talking about this since you were – “

“ – shut up. I know.”

I sit up, my back against the wooden panels, feet planted to the ground. I stare parallel to the plane beneath my feet, watching a poodle scamper around its owner’s feet.

“I – I don’t know.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

I sigh, running my hand through my hair.

“It means, “ I struggle, “that I wrote it. And that’s it. Blank slate.”

My companion merely looks at me, or so I assume – my eyes are still focused on the scampering poodle.

“I don’t remember okay?” I say quickly getting up. “Thanks,” I mumble returning the jacket.

“Hold on a second –“

“I’ll talk to you later, okay?” I say, grabbing my book. My pen has disappeared, its remnants on my palms and fingertips.

“Seriously? You just –“ was the reply to my admittedly ambiguous statement. I started walking away. Fast. I could hear my name being called loudly … louder. I picked up my pace and ran. Ran, ran, ran.