Day to Day Poetry

Day to Day Poetry #43

Talking to you is as easy as breathing,
a drink of fresh water on a hot summer day,
the undeniable comfort of Zeppelin and Blind Melon floating in our ear drums
translated through our keyboards
magnified across our screens
talking to each other through microphones
across Toronto
sitting in separate prisons,
in isolated dark rooms.

We travel hand in hand through Wraeclast,
the land of the damned,
defeating Hillock and The Deep Dweller across the Flooded Depths,
to the Fetid pool –
while talking about how males always look gorgeous in tuxedos,
and females end up looking comical.

I led zombie hordes away from your door, my dear,
sacrificed lives upon lives to keep you safe,
and you gave me corn in return.
“Hungry? Here, eat,” you’d say,
while I laughed and replied, “So sweet. My hero.”

That cozy afternoon we walked down small alleyways
and passed joints,
and fumbled back through 401 games
eating chocolate and giggling
at nothing in particular.

The night you walked me to Osgoode station,
wrapped in your over-sized sweater,
and I put my head in your shoulder
and wept.

The nightly conversations
that keeps us both awake until 3 am,
the truths you bring out in me,
truths I find so horrid,
truths you pick apart and dissect until
it becomes beautiful –
even to me,
and the way you pause automatically
every time I start to say something,
those greenish-blue eyes that light up
when turned towards my way –

There’s no secret I can’t tell you,
no fear nor anxiety while with you.
It’s so easy to love you, my dear,
you make everything so easy.

Day to Day Poetry, Day to Day Writing

Day to Day Poetry #34

It crawls into my skin
like little parasites
that dig under my veins
and settles into the crevices of my chest
and pounds and pounds —
until the only thing that can stop
my sporadic bursts of breath
is the pain that electrifies my nerves
whenever I clench my fists
to dig my nails into my palms,
tiny cuts of red
that grounds me back to reality.

Because loving you was a decision
I set heavily in stone
with as much relentless and vehemence
as a naive 10-year-old would –
taking every minuscule sign as proof of your love,
justifying your hesitations and radio silence
biting back my lip to prevent my heart from breaking
sitting alone on a thirty-minute cab ride
refusing to cry.

Because you are thunder, the tiniest of all tempests
The persuasion and conviction of my soul
Within forty-two hours you owned me
And rendered me speechless in prisms of crimson and catatonic ecstasy
As you swing me back and forth in an euphoria induced coma
Until the sunlight of the early morning doesn’t scare me anymore
For we have, gathered in our hands,
The laughter that will keep us calm even in the break of sobriety
The serotonin that will keep us sane and going
And the stories that will tide us over until the next bitter year.

Yesterday, my love, you held me on Danforth avenue,
Tonight, dear stranger, I stand alone.

Day to Day Writing, Uncategorized

Day to Day Writing # 32

Hello honey.

I caught you in the train the other day, did you notice me? Isn’t it funny how an ordinary, mediocre commute with a world full of strangers can suddenly feel so estranged, so serendipitous, all because of a single, familiar curved back and that gait of yours I used to know so well? Gait. That distinctive walk unique to each person, that becomes so telling of personality — a word I learned from you; I learned so many things from you.

Immediately Toronto felt too small, and the places we visited on that one winter we spent together suddenly became vivid – suddenly took form and collapsed into one another until this city became only the places we have been together – in the short time we spent together – oh what a tiny city Toronto became in that second, in that moment I realized it was you walking up the stairs in front of me.

Each step closer brought me back to the past we shared together. That time you sneaked away from our friends and smoked a cigarette in the cold, and I followed you, like a devout fan, like the fiercely loyal lover that showed too much, too fast. That empty wine glass squeezed in between the cushions of your couch, the one my back was pressed against, as you leaned in close, suffocating me with a kiss. That leather chair you swiveled in while writing, as you watched your late night shows. That blue blanket I wrapped myself in, forming an enclosed, tight space of comfort and familiarity, because I had the same blanket back at my place, because I thought it brought us closer together. Seemingly ordinary things that now hold so much meaning, markers of our relationship of our time together, which probably holds more meaning and significance than it ever did in yours.

I’ve written about you a thousand times. And to think that I all I ever wanted from you was to be your muse, the one you wrote about in metaphors and alliterations, the one you immortalized in poetry and prose — so that I wouldn’t have to live in the harsh reality of my own world, so that I could escape in the most romantic of ways, so that someone else could somehow write me out of existence.

Even if this quick reconnaissance of each other’s bodies didn’t mean much to you as it did to me, I’ll be brave for once and tell you this: this event spurred a string of decisions and choices that are beyond your control. You made your mark as I did mine, and whether or not you plan to bury this in denial or be the foundation for all the lovers you experience since, is for you, and only you, to decide.

I wonder if you will ever sit down on that chair of yours, and think about the nights we talked ‘till 4 in the morning, and realize we were both deluding ourselves into thinking we found the perfect means of escape within each other. I wonder if you will indeed leave this country and go back to your homeland, and continue writing about that blonde bombshell who won awards for her essay writing and so couldn’t spend time with you. I wonder if you will ever deny that you are the subject of this story, if someone managed to piece the clues together and find out it was you.

I wonder if you ever did feel sorry, or miserable when you walked away.

Not that it matters now.

Character Portraits, Day to Day Writing, Epiphanies, Flash Fiction, Short Fiction

Day to Day Writing #19

My doctor, my executioner.

The Khan sits in front of me. His eyes are two portals across  his face that reflected not the person sitting across from him, but the glaring computer screen beside him. He has knobby, stubby little fingers that dance across his keyboard every time I talk, like a symphony of mental disorders and behaviour.

I am arguing with him. He asks, “Do you really think I’m here for my own benefit? Or am I here for you?”

He doesn’t look at me when he says, “I do care about your recovery. Otherwise, why am I here?”

I imagine him waking up in the morning. He won’t kiss his wife before he leaves. He will probably cuddle his newborn baby goodbye, to gain reassurance about the why, to strengthen the how – how he’s going to keep paying the mortgage on his house, how he’s going to pay for his baby’s care, how he’s going to keep up his and his wife’s lifestyle.

Because once you get intertwined with the why, it gets ugly. It gets subjective. It gets to that feeling of pointlessness and hopelessness creeping in.

Because it’s the how that keeps his hands on his steering wheel, as he drives through the rush hour traffic, his morning coffee burning in his Pink Floyd mug, on his every day route to the mental hospital.

“You can justify it in your head any way you want,” he tells me, “but all people are, are their actions. Everything else is construction.”

“So,” I begin, a tirade of what dug deep into my heart: “how about this story – of a girl confined here last autumn. You gave her permission to spend the day with her family for her 26th birthday. She made reservations at a restaurant and told everyone in the ward about it and got everyone excited for her. Then, they told me — she had an argument with you the morning of her birthday. And as she was entering the elevator with her parents, you threw the form at her as the elevators were closing in.”

I pause for effect. He shows no emotion. Just flagrantly blank. Fingers forever composing that symphony on his keyboard.

An eyebrow raises. “And so?”

I fall for the trap – lured, bait and hooked. “You formed a patient on her 26th birthday. On her birthday! How is that anything but a blatant misuse of your authority? How is it that you allowed her to have day passes and as soon as she disobeyed you – you trapped her? In here?” I throw up my arms to show him the place we were in – his office, my prison.

“I am not at liberty to talk about other patients here. And you know better than to bring another person up when you’re supposed to be here for your recovery.” He stops typing and sits back, cocking his head a little to side to indicate that he is now observing me. “Nevertheless, I’ll satisfy your curiosity. I’ll satiate your need for a conclusion. I don’t do things without a reason – you’ll just have to trust me that she displayed such emotional fragility that made me believe she wouldn’t be safe outside of the hospital.”

What a professional answer.

“Did I answer your questions?” He asks, challenging me. “Have I reassured you of my good intentions?”

I will carry this conversation with me, long after my discharge date. Another patient, a 40 year old superwoman, would smile at me and tell me she recognized the Khan’s humanity after seeing his Pink Floyd mug. I will be sitting next to a manic-depressive woman, cowering under her covers as music plays from her laptop, and begs me to stop being friends with somebody she hated. I will be in bed, listening to a story about one drunken night, when she comes home trying to comfort him, and then tries to go to bed with him. I will be listening to promises of being helped when I’m down, of being loved when I needed it, all the while realizing that people’s actions, never reflected the things say.

But I won’t know this until a few years later. I won’t know this until I am in the centre of distress and disappointment. I won’t know this until the moment I have to force myself to open my eyes, to move my arms, to sit, straight up – and face another day, no matter how broken.

And so I say, “Yes,” because I don’t know any better. I say, “because it’s your actions that define you. Everything else is construction,” because I can only repeat what he had just told me, imitating in vain to compensate for the fact that I lack the luxury of experience.

Day to Day Poetry, poetry

Day to Day Poetry #18

For the first time ever
I told someone new the truth about myself
Unedited, raw, Gonzo
and the blatant honesty that came out of my lips
pleasantly surprised me,
as it didn’t occur to me until that moment
how hard it was for me to admit the truth —
which is why as much as I hate liars,
I can’t help but realize that all they are,
are cowards –
and it’s much harder to hate a coward,
than it is to hate a liar.

But last night I was brave,
Last night, I was brave.