Sometime in August

 

Writing by hand by the glow of a monitor like it’s Christmas morning—sitting in darkness, shoulders hunched and leaning forward, comforted by the effort to draw heat from a feeble, single light source.

Sweetly, softly stoned, my monitor is my holiday now. That and the music, a beautiful distraction from lumps in throats and hearts in pieces.

One song, one song on rotation, the obsessive’s quest for healing. Continue reading “Sometime in August”

You Can’t Take Me With You When You Go

Earth or fire. The result of time or happenstance.

It does not matter how we die. Or how we’re disposed of.

Not the particulars, anyway.

 

Natural, unnatural, good, bad, painful, fair, unjust, horrible. No, it does not matter at all.

Our hearts scream out differently; my heart doth protest, and hard. And it protests daily. Continue reading “You Can’t Take Me With You When You Go”

Vipers and Vixens

I do not hate you, though I’m sometimes appalled by the kind of fangs you bring to bear.

But we all have our own bite you know.

You’re building an army of girls; ignorant girls, lost girls, weak girls. Girls who know no better because they have never counted the teeth of a crocodile (directly of course—some of these girls have counted the likenesses embedded in their arms). They are on the right side of that jawline now, and can only tut-tut as the river runs red with their former comrade’s blood. Continue reading “Vipers and Vixens”

Our History is Shit (And Gord Downie is Going to Die)

Looking back is a dangerous thing.

Our history is shit, you know.

Yet I survived it, as have you. Seeing how you’re reading this and all.

My head has remained intact, above my shoulders, despite riding in the back of trucks. Without cabs. Sometimes even with boys. Sometimes even with grown-ass men who tucked suspiciously tinted thermoses of water between their legs; men who never looked back long enough to reckon what us children were doing.

That’s not a brag, just a fact.

I have survived strong licks of sugar salting my tongue, skimmed from the lid of a cake—vanilla probably, but only on the outside, like so many of us back home.

Sarah Lee cake

Kool-aid

Mr. Freezies

Dogs licking our faces

Sucking on pennies

Sucking on much, much worse

Unanchored swingsets and waterfalls and white water currents

Batteries on my tongue

Stitches on my tongue

My lip

My chin

The corner of my eye

Packing a bag and running away to the city, any fucking city

I survived without a helmet, tracking device, or cell phone. And later, without a mother too.

Running away to another country when that country had borders as porous as nothing else I am familiar with. Running away to mint julep and crocodiles and a stinking bayou that might have been the death of me.

Might still be.

This was my world, and I learned to navigate it. I cannot tell where home ended and the glamour began.

I still suck the icing off spoons and put wrong things in my mouth.

And it is shit you know, all of it. Because then isn’t now, and now takes precedence over all, just as it always has. Just as it always will.

So why tell you this?

Why bother reminiscing?

Because, the world was my wilderness before it was our prison.

Because the world was my wilderness even as it was being paved over with good-bad ideas and political correctness and helicopter parents and dumb-ass safety warnings too dumb to save the bottom feeders and the headed-for-extinction-anyway…

Is Darwin still relevant or is he too a sinner of a different century, a dinosaur rendered irrelevant and shameful with time?

Fuck you all anyway. I don’t mean YOU personally, I mean the people who shit on Darwin, and Tolkien, and even on poor old Arvo Pärt. I mean the people who shit on running through the forest at night (too dangerous), hitching rides with rednecks to get where you need to go (too dangerous), laughing out loud at something that’s not being transmitted through a cell phone (exceedingly suspect, especially whilst solo.)

Yeah, not everyone survived. But not everyone is surviving now.

There are no good old days, either. Everything costs. Everything. Yesterday cost and tomorrow will cost too. I’m just aware of counting for inflation now.

Maybe it isn’t the criticism that gets to me but the snark. I am guilty, you are guilty, fuck the word guilty. No really, fuck it. Scratch that word from my life because public shaming is the ass-end of the wagging tongue called sanctimony, and right now the only things that is sacred is the ‘authentic self.’

Let’s just hang that one on the cross as well, shall we? Just do away with it all together so we are free if the burden of ranking the lifestyles of others, wholesale.

Let’s just put down our pointers and run through the forest together, at night, and laugh ourselves silly one last time.

Because shit has gotten dark and it’s only getting darker. My hipster neighbours leaned over the fence to discourse on bug-out bags and guns.

That would have been amusing a couple of years ago. Now I just answer their questions.

Fuck this shit. I want to return to the forest, to the rednecks, to mint julep on suspiciously rotting porches, when I could stand by the side of the road, thumb cocked, too young to drive, and get where I needed to go.

Alive.

And no, not everyone was so lucky—I watch Discovery ID, sure I do. And Lieutenant Kenda is still looking all kinds of fine, IMHO.

I don’t want the world to go backwards; I am sentimental some days, not fucking stupid.

We aren’t going back again because there is no going back again. But sometimes I look out the window of the train we’re all riding and have battle my urge to jump.

And why the FUCK does Gord Downie have to die? Yeah I get it smartasses of the world—we’re all going to die, but maybe not at 52 years of age, and almost certainly not after creating some of the most astonishing music made.

You either get it, or you don’t.

And if you don’t get it, well, my apologies but it’s something that I just can’t fucking explain…

Of Necks, Newspapers, and Death

I’ve had enough of good-byes—I’m switching to see ya laters.

The older I get the more appealing this leave-taking becomes. There are fine lines bracketing my smile, and my hands and throat are somehow growing old without me. Especially my throat; everything is slowly sliding south. It appears to be a convention of ageism to which the rest of me has not been invited. Continue reading “Of Necks, Newspapers, and Death”

Shadow People

We all have them. We all know them. We are them.

Shadows.

What of them? What of ‘A dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface.’ (Google); what of ‘The dark part of a picture, especially as representing the absence of illumination (dictionary.com).

Either way something (or someone) is a pediment to our source of light. Either way a corner of life has grown dim or been revealed as a shadow of self or intention. Either way we stand the chance of freezing to death or surpassing the humiliation of desire to pursue that which we believe will keep us warm and light us up forever. Continue reading “Shadow People”

The Angle of You

I drove past the street where you lived. I had to pull over to think of you, of the way you bent and moved. Of the way you found a street that duplicated the trajectory of your thoughts.

It is crooked still. It begins or ends as an acute angle jutting from the boulevard and wends its way westward (or east, depending which end of it you are standing on). Being crooked alone is insufficient, however; it also detours around a dent, a furrow, a sleepy depression that is no longer visible save to the grass that still grows beneath the concrete. Continue reading “The Angle of You”

Guess That’s What Doorknobs Are For…

“You leave your door wide open; anything, anyone, can walk right through.”

Fitting, I suppose, as I’ve been kicking down doors my entire life. And leaving them ajar afterwards. I have been previously unburdened by my lack of forethought, concern, or restraint. I just kick it down or throw it wide—an indiscriminate invitation to whatever randomness is in position to capitalize on my behaviour. Continue reading “Guess That’s What Doorknobs Are For…”

About Last Week…

“Writer, predator; what’s the difference?”

Words hurled at me in response to words hurled at another. I did not mean to hurl them; I meant to lob them gently in honour of a woman who inspired me to reflect on the consequences of our inclinations, and it backfired.

Guess you can’t dip your fingers in someone else’s honey without them asking you to wash your hands both before and after. Fair enough, I suppose. Continue reading “About Last Week…”

Last Minute People

This is all about you, my familiar semi-stranger. The way you work.  The way you function. The way I feel after being in your space.

Notice the absence of the word we, for there is no we in either theory or action.

You are the slippage that accidently-on-purpose happens after one too many drinks; you are the prayer immediately following, the Hail-Mary petition to lower the price of such momentary carelessness. Continue reading “Last Minute People”