Friday, June 30, 2006

Fridge poem

The Poetry Foundation has these little fridge poems printed up and downloadable. A poem for your fridge, how not kitcheny. Perfect companions for eggs benedict. So I decided to borrow from the foundation--make my own fridge poem, a segment of a longer piece recently published by fhole. If anyone out there would like the complete poem, contact dfb (if he has any left).

And, finally thought of a title for it: 123
Download it here.

I watched my favorite movie last night. Again.
My little cat Haley is 16 this year. Due to her aging, this injustice of time, she's having more and more difficulty grooming herself. So this year I decided to help her out and trimmed her long gorgeous coat of many shades of auburn, blonde, and seal brown. For the first few days she'd squeeze into the bedroom through the cracked open door and jump at the sensation of door to exposed skin. It was terribly sad, but one of those sads that make a person smile, sympathetically. Haley's doing much better now. Her hair is at least a couple of millimeters longer, and she doesn't shun company anymore.

She still loves the orange chair.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Fiction Segment...

The PhD specialist who tries not to look like she’s boring holes into my head or eyes and seems pulled back a little, distanced-like, asks me to respond. What was the question, I asked. Does it still hurt? What kind of a stupid fuck question is that does it still hurt of course it still hurts what the hell do you have to ask me that for you can see it on my face. Does what still hurt? Oh. Oh, yeah, I say. Sure. Wouldn’t it hurt you? There is something of a grimace or a frown, but I can’t place the look with any one word because although she’s got lots of books behind her chair I’m not sure she’s read any of them lately so it may just be confusion. I bought a packet of suckers yesterday. I cough. This seems to please her. Her pen starts scratching away. In the time it takes her to write down suckers I could have ripped off the cash in her wallet poking out of her lunch box purse about 6 steps away. A long reach maybe. The couch is sticking to the undersides of my legs. I think she asked another question but I’m too fuckin distracted by the fake fuckin leather thing my ass is stuck to. It reminds me that I’m supposed to be sitting down for this. It reminds me how clammy I can be. I don’t answer her question straight away. I move my legs around a bit first. I make sure to look pissed about the peach plastic stuck to my rear. I know what she’s thinking she’s thinking I shouldn’t wear shorts this short and I bet she thinks this is why bad shit happens to people like me. I bet she uses the term people like me a lot maybe to her husband or her kids when they’re being bad. I wonder if she has a couch like this at home and sticks them on it to think about things. Maybe I’m being punished. If so I’m not answering any more fuckin questions I’m just not. Yes, I say. It still hurts.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

These posed sheets, before they thin to nothing,
Speak in sign language of a lost otherworld,
A world we lose by merely waking up.

Sylvia Plath, The Ghost's Leavetaking

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Contemporary existence

Just finished writing an essay on (to simplify) aspects of the postmodern world, as it relates to Poor Things. (Title, if you care to know: The Emancipated Self-Sufficient: Postmodern Indifference and Disconnection in Alasdair Gray’s Poor Things)

I pose a question:
Is there no artistic coherence in a fragmented world?

Or are we only to fall prey to absurdity, meaningless confusion, flippant indifference?

Or perhaps we are only succumbing to mimetic ploys to create spaces that comfort and reassure us...

It could be this very thing that is keeping me from my writing this year. I need a month in the country. Some comfort would be grand. (I have all this perfume and no one to indulge in it). Right now I would trade all the electricity in my future for it. And it's damn hot today.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


The Lexicon Jury series is coming to an end. One last reading coming up this week--wish I could have made it out. In my stead, I send along this poem. Considering I'd not had the opportunity to attend even one of the readings, I envision an evening's content,

I imagine

a hold, a time, a holding and a line
in the word words workings and the wording
a cumulative rejoice

the spaces the open the wide wide open the in between
little territories
little movements
a landslide
a laugh

a falling. a picking up.

I imagine the hard backed chair
hard backed talk
and softer leanings

leaning in leaning over leaning out of and around
the realism, the portrait,
the disguise

there was meaning
there was meant
and open, again
(it was space that was open)

a navigation
a there, then,

a language I had never been to

Montreal is still operating at level intimidation right now, or I'd very much like to begin an affectionate embrace of a series bending lines and cornering expectation and possibility. Maybe one day that strength will arrive.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Molly Bloom's Soliloquy

The part of her soliloquy I read from tonight. Couldn't really get a handle on the exegesis of the selection itself--when I arrived it turned out someone else had been scheduled to read the same last bit of the novel, so I peeked around inside the masterpiece looking for another tasty part, which of course I found quite easily. Her penchant for priests! What fun Joyce is. Love the stream of consciousness. But I cheated a little... added the occasional period, comma. Had to really, tricky to perform otherwise.

why cant you kiss a man without going and marrying him first you sometimes love to wildly when you feel that way so nice all over you you cant help yourself I wish some man or other would take me sometime when hes there and kiss me in his arms theres nothing like a kiss long and hot down to your soul almost paralyses you then I hate that confession when I used to go to Father Corrigan he touched me father and what harm if he did where and I said on the canal bank like a fool but whereabouts on your person my child on the leg behind high up was it yes rather high up was it where you sit down yes O Lord couldnt he say bottom right out and have done with it what has that got to do with it and did you whatever way he put it I forget no father and I always think of the real father what did he want to know for when I already confessed it to God he had a nice fat hand the palm moist always I wouldnt mind feeling it neither would he Id say by the bullneck in his horsecollar I wonder did he know me in the box I could see his face he couldnt see mine of course hed never turn or let on still his eyes were red when his father died theyre lost for a woman of course must be terrible when a man cries let alone them Id like to be embraced by one in his vestments and the smell of incense off him like the pope besides theres no danger with a priest if youre married hes too careful about himself then give something to H H the pope for a penance I wonder was he satisfied with me one thing I didnt like his slapping me behind going away so familiarly in the hall though I laughed Im not a horse or an ass am I I suppose he was thinking of his father I wonder is he awake thinking of me or dreaming am I in it who gave him that flower he said he bought he smelt of some kind of drink not whisky or stout or perhaps the sweety kind of paste they stick their bills up with some liquor Id like to sip those richlooking green and yellow expensive drinks those stagedoor johnnies drink with the opera hats I tasted one with my finger dipped out of that American that had the squirrel talking stamps with father he had all he could do to keep himself from falling asleep after the last time we took the port and potted meat it had a fine salty taste yes because I felt lovely and tired myself and fell asleep as sound as a top the moment I popped straight into bed till that thunder woke me up as if the world was coming to an end God be merciful to us I thought the heavens were coming down about us to punish when I blessed myself and said a Hail Mary like those awful thunderbolts in Gibraltar and they come and tell you theres no God what could you do if it was running and rushing about nothing only make an act of contrition the candle I lit that evening in Whitefriars street chapel for the month of May see it brought its luck though hed scoff if he heard because he never goes to church mass or meeting he says your soul you have no soul inside only grey matter because he doesnt know what it is to have one yes when I lit the lamp yes because he must have come 3 or 4 times with that tremendous big red brute of a thing he has I thought the vein or whatever the dickens they call it was going to burst though his nose is not so big after I took off all my things with the blinds down after my hours dressing and perfuming and combing it like iron or some kind of a thick crowbar standing all the time he must have eaten oysters I think a few dozen he was in great singing voice no I never in all my life felt anyone had one the size of that to make you feel full up he must have eaten a whole sheep after whats the idea making us like that with a big hole in the middle of us like a Stallion driving it up into you because thats all they want out of you with that determined vicious look in his eye I had to halfshut my eyes still he hasnt such a tremendous amount of spunk in him when I made him pull it out and do it on me considering how big it is so much the better in case any of it wasnt washed out properly the last time I let him finish it in me nice invention they made for women for him to get all the pleasure but if someone gave them a touch of it themselves theyd know what I went through with Milly

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bloomsday: Joycer's Unite

I'll be performing a (short) piece of drama from the last part of Ulysses, Molly Bloom's soliloquy, this Friday at O'Regan's Irish Pub in Montreal (June 16th) at 6:00pm. Similar to the one I performed at the Irish Embassy in Ottawa three years ago, if some of you reading this were there. For those of you who don't know, I used to be an actor and VP with the Ottawa Irish theatre The Tara Players, so I suppose this is my attempt to insert myself into the Montreal community.

The evening will be "betted by a gang of James Joyce afficionados in the guise of Joyce, with a hearty stew of readings, songs, music, anecdotes, and items with a historical twist focused on the great Irish writer." There will even be someone exploring the "Joyce - Beckett connection, in this centenary of Beckett."

O'Regan's is at 1224 Bishop, Montreal, (514) 866-8464.
i got poemed last night dear mother
i got poemed the night before
and if you'll forgive me mother
i'll never get poemed anymore


Monday, June 12, 2006

all this love to burn
land to burn

it is hidden among your apple trees
or are they figs
those cries heard through the night
two stories from your sleeping voice

I hear them in the garden now
the wind may help them whisper
but who helps them yell
screaming things in their own
soft voices
a last night to holler
with morning comes the threat of

on this blocked cement
a measuring cup, a spoon to scoop
laid out on the plank board table
found wood
one sharp knife
to slice the ripe

we never peel anymore
it takes too long

Saturday, June 10, 2006

To sleep or to learn

I had a most interesting experience during the night. A first time experience while I slept. My unconscious mind created a space for itself--in fact, pushed straight through piles of other dream vignettes. At one point in the variety of dream sequences I happened upon a person I seemed to have a number of questions for. The answers were not answers--not solutions--I myself would typically think up. So it strikes me that I have within me reasonings and directions and solutions to the very things that plague my waking and sleeping mind resting somewhere on the dusty edge of a step of Freud's unconscious staircase. Although it also strikes me that my unconscious may seem unlike Freud's deepening abyss spiral (the helix of the mind). Rather, it appears layered, yes, but not dark. If it is deep, it is not fear, as fear is deep. So it is not a staircase. It must be then an alternate consciousness. One that is at par with my own level of thinking, as the dream is one that I own, one that I crafted, consciously or not. So that the waking thought and the sleeping thought are one, albeit not aware of each other.

So if the unconscious does not serve the purpose to promote fear--but encourage (highly suggest?) a union of the two consciousnesses, or minds--and the conscious is seeming too hyper-aware of the waking world and the person its waking mind knows, how does one allow the others wisdom to merge with the conscious one? Or is that a dangerous proposition?

I've thought for some time that there are no "stupid" people (on the level of intellect, not free will/choice/poor upbringing or education). Merely thinkers that exist on various plains. If I were to draw a picture of this playing field, it would look like a uniformly coloured dune of sand, the ripples representing the various plains of thought at work. Of course the world expects intellect to wear certain pants and skirts, but I know better.

Now author Richard Bach once wrote about an awfully strange experience he had had repeatedly with his wife, in a book called One. He writes a lot of airplane books, but this was a departure (although he penned a couple of books on the same theme). You'll all remember Bach writing Jonathan Livingston Seagull. He also wrote a book that encouraged me to rethink my world when I was in a desparate search for answers a few years ago, and for that I am forever greatful to him. The book is called "Illusions". I must say while I'm on the topic that Hesse's "Siddhartha" held a parallel experience for me.

Anyway, the experience was that while sleeping he and his wife would both recall (once awake) their dual "flying" during the night, both somehow tied to each other by some invisible string that held them together (Bach is/was a firm believer in soulmates). Now I don't really buy the whole flying thing, but it's interesting that the unconscious mind can discover/uncover a parallel world if it's conscious mind so desires one.

That said, I had been thinking yesterday about some questions to which I had no great (or even simple--which is usually what's most helpful) answers, and to which I had been becoming increasingly bereft. Was my unconscious involvement while I slept a necessary mechanism inserted to alleviate such low physical responses to my low mood of yesterday? Perhaps the body is protecting itself (I have been experiencing increasingly more of the heart murmur these past months). Perhaps there are mechanisms in place that are there all along and can arrive at a moment's notice with no prior knowledge of them.

Or maybe I just got lucky and some greater thing beyond my consciousness--God maybe, sizemic shifts in the earth--was alerted.

I did have a terrifying experience the other day (directly related to my trauma filled childhood--animal abuse is akin to child abuse, and makes me raging mad, and entirely terrified. It's a horrid combination to live and constantly deal with. I end up locking myself away for a couple days after such an encounter). I witnessed two dogs being brutally abused on Ste. Catherine street. I won't even get into the details, it invokes such fear in me, but I did call the police, wait until they arrived, and pointed them in the dog owner's direction. When I walked away I was left feeling empty, scared. Did my interference guarantee that those dogs would be more well taken care of? The police seemed slightly concerned, but I'm sure their mandate is more to care for and protect the human animal. (Must take a minute here and mention two things. When I called 911, the woman on the phone immediately asked me if the abuser was a black man. Wow. After the call, I was advised by the kind restauranteur who's phone I'd borrowed to go to end of street to find cop car quicker. In the car I found there were two men who said I'd best wait for the car that was called. Then one of them winked at me. A very improper action toward someone who was obviously shaken. (I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I was a different looking person--if I'd get taken more seriously), and when the cop car I'd called did arrive it had a woman cop and an asian male cop, who were both very nice actually. Much more compassionate than previous cop car guys. But did they send a woman and a compassionate man for the animal call? Was that intentional?)). What a week I've had. Car insurance cancelled (had to pay it in full. It'll be a miracle if I find rent for July), broken glasses had to get sent to Ottawa (and what horrible service at the eyeglasses store. Another wink from manager guy, maybe to abate my frustration? geez.), car insurance guy asking if I had a boyfriend to pay my bills for me, and horrific animal abuse.

Did I mention I'm trying to write an essay and read two novels for my summer class in all this...

This is turning more into my waking life than my sleeping. The sleeping being the more logical, or reduced in feeling. I wish I could remember more of what was talked about in the dream. It was so helpful. Perhaps that's the point. It was helpful while I slept, and for a little while, alleviated some stress. Which my body and mind absolutely required.

I realize I really should be writing this in a private journal. But I'm none so good at journalling. But I guess that's what I'm doing in a way.

One more thing. Just noticing that the beginning of the post focused on the helpful associations of the unconscious mind, was structured (in a way) and more or less logically straightforward. The remainder seemed to flit between emotion and memory. So this is what happens. It seems the two can not exist together. Logic and feeling not the perfect dancing partners. It's such a shame. For I am absolutely both sides of the coin. Could explain why I am always at odds. What a strange creature the mind is.

Going to make some toast and tea now. Think some more about staircases, and hopefully my essay.

Friday, June 09, 2006

This is now on my wall

In front of my reading chair.

You're living in an imaginary world. The world doesn't need anymore poems. The world needs bread and butter.
Henry Miller

Of course I love this. And it's even cooler because he goes on to talk about how great poetry is. Necessary and unnecessary. Like all things.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Hot or Bothered

"Hello world". This is the first line a programmer learns how to code. I thought it was dumb then. Still do.

I'm sick. If I could fix my Super Nintendo (it's missing a connector thingy) I'd be playing Super Mario Bros. all night. My younger brother and I used to play it for hours. So, I'm not going to class. I'm eating watermelon. I don't think it's really the best thing for a sick stomach. I will have to stop soon. You're not here but if you were you would have just heard me groan. Since I started this post, I should finish it. But now I'm dizzy-like.

If I could imagine what my sickness looks like, it would be something like this (can't believe I found this picture): a leprechaun hard-riding a hedgehog with a mouse digging into its back. Holding a snail. All smiles, of course. My sicknesses are happy sicknesses.

I feel like my face has turned on itself and now approaches its view both frontways and sideways.

I had two cabbage patch kids when I was young. I find them creepy. Like a sickness.

If it was raining and the pandas were taking over the world and there was a parade, I sure wouldn't be looking them in the eye.

The crow is one of my favorite birds. I also love all seagulls. Especially Richard Bach's Jonathan. What a crafty little bird he was.

I bounced my car insurance payment. It sure sucks being poor. So my car insurance will be cancelled (that's what they told me). Hopefully someone else will insure me. I hope that works out. If not, I will likely have to sell my car. And I can't tell you how sad that makes me. Sad because I worked very hard all on my own to get it in the first place, then some guy rammed into my lovely purple Jetta and completely destroyed it, and the insurance gave me only enough money to buy a golf 2-door. It's an okay car, but I want my purple car back. The one I paid 12K for. Fucking insurance. Fucking 18 year old driver. And, thanks to him, my back's messed up for life. Grumble grumble.

I need a rich uncle. I need a rich uncle who'll give me money, that is.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

New Reading Space

I got a new chair to read in. It's great. Comfy all around. But I can't seem to book in the time to use it. Turns out there's a waiting list.

Reading James Kelman's "How Late it is, How Late". Really neat book--complete stream of consciousness that flips between narrator and main guy character. No chapters. 350+ pages. Crazy to read some continual story without breaks or pauses. No 'finishing this chapter before bed' scenario. So far, it's a cool book. Starts out really interesting. Hints of developments in the background, which always inspires me to read on. Hate those books people tell me doesn't get interesting until the middle or something. What's the point? Shouldn't a book entice a person from the get-go?
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