Day to Day Poetry, poetry

#13

Boundless energy
I want to suck it out of her
in sporadic doses of drunken hickeys and forgotten mornings,
comb my fingers through those soft, pure curls of hair
and grab handfuls of it in between my hard, worn fingers
clenched unflinchingly into fists
tearing at her virginal skin,
and scratching with putrid nails
digging out innocence I’ve lost out of her,
dancing with anxiety, the monster I feed
under my bed –
you can have him –
don’t stay with me, darling,
I’ll only drown you
in my intrepid
mistakes.

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Day to Day Poetry, Day to Day Writing, poetry

#12 Ghost conversations

I spend my days writing words you will never read –
I spread myself out in social media for you,
hoping you would come across at least one of them
and read and marvel and wonder why you wasted all this time
not wanting to get to know me –
I am but a click away from baring it all,
my body and words burnt permanently across the internet
silently screaming for you to right-click and save as a keepsake
taking up a megabyte in your terabyte hard drive that
you built in the wooden floor of the apartment we once lived in
which you abandoned so that you can enjoy this new life
I am no longer a part of.

I made it easy for you.
Didn’t scream, didn’t fight; just folded my legs underneath my knees
and kept sitting;
my fingers trembling as I continued painting a canvas
I was mentally un-dedicating for you.
Kept watching Netflix while I listened to you packing your bags in the hallway
hoping for a second of silence to tell me you’re hesitating,
that you’re thinking twice about walking away.
But like everything else in your life, once you decided something,
you stuck to it, and kept going –
not a single pause for the days and nights we spent together
holding each other like we were the only people in the world.

Are you reading me yet?
Am I getting through that stone-cold armour even the apocalypse
can’t break through?
I dig through our memories until it rings white noise in my head,
our image a sea of blurred white dots against an ocean of static –
We are old news; a corrupted save file I can no longer reload,
and yet I keep trying.

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Character Portraits

#10 Mary Sue

Here he sits, the sunlight reflecting off the blonde strands of his hair. He is sipping coffee (very black). He talk, talk, talk, sips, and then talks. He is sitting with a brunette: she is thin and proper. Her lips are red, her legs doesn’t end. He tells her about how a gram of cocaine in Panama will set you back 2 bucks. 2 measly fucking bucks. Can you believe it? About the war in Palestine, missiles in Russia. Hackers called Anonymous. Snowden.

She nods and she listens.

She has very clean fingernails, cut to the proper lengths, they are not chipped nor they are stained. Her legs are crossed, and she doesn’t wear heels. She’s wearing shorts and a white v-cut top: she is showing just enough skin to keep him at the edge of his seat–please note:

She isn’t me, but I imagine her quite well.

On her back is a tattoo of a swan, about to take flight, its wings stretched to the edges of her shoulder blades – if you look close enough, the black ink against her skin can be substituted for her wings.

This tattoo is complete. It’s elegant and well-thought out, not rushed, nor typical. Everyone who sees it stare in bewilderment, and doesn’t use it as an excuse to touch her body. It also goes well with the edelweiss tattoo on his shoulder. On lazy days, they like to lay together in bed and watch each other’s tattoo rise and fall with the rhythm of their breathing.

Her back is straight, her eyes strong: she is listening to every word he is saying, she completely understands, she doesn’t ask questions. She doesn’t know anything about heroin, or cocaine, but she knows a lot about marijuana. She probably likes hash. She probably only smokes purple cush. She can recite all the countries at war in alphabetical order. She has monitored every move Trump has made after winning the election. She participates in rallies and is the head of an anonymous anarchist group. Her favourite band, above all, is Portishead. But she can tolerate The Smashing Pumpkins on a really good day.

She drives. She’s lived in one place her whole life but she can dream about going to Cuba from time to time. Probably to volunteer. She replies to every text he sends, to emails within a day. SHE IS RELIABLE.

She has her own magazine. It’s online and independent but it’s a start. She is on the editorial team of two magazines, a financial journalist for some investor’s blog and an occasional contributor to the Toronto Star. He can call her and she knows the rights words to make him happy – because she believes in every word he says. That’s key, I think. She also tells lies: it keeps him entertained. It keeps them together for four years. It is what she tells him, what he tells her, on nights when they smoke joints on the roof of their university. It is what brings him to her after a shift at Second Cup, his heart boiling with unhappiness and distaste for his co-workers: it is what she sees on his face when he showed up at her door bruised and broken, having just spent a night in jail for sitting in Queen Street with a backpack full of European maps, protesting G20. It is what keeps him hard when he fucks her, it is what gets her to moan and clench a fistful of his skin from his thighs—

It is what’s in the letters, passed back and forth, from Berlin to Toronto: marked by dates and clumsily drawn hearts and I love you’s and I miss you’s and when are you coming back to me?

She isn’t me.

And she sits, her back straight, calm and serene. She sits, confident and aloof, hands on top of her lap.

She sits, and she is still, and she does not doubt.

She sits, and she smiles.

She sits, and does not weep.

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Day to Day Writing, Flash Fiction, Short Fiction

#7 Revision

Guilt kept our apartments clean.

It was the monster that pushed me into back-breaking labour; the frenzy that possessed me to keep scrubbing until our little cave reeked of bleach and disinfectant. Our cat yowled scathingly, perched on top of my bookshelf, watching me from afar.

It never calmed my guilt – the routine just buried it. My guilt was insurmountable – a Goliath I could never keep quiet. It walked with me every step I took, and sat on my shoulders until the burden kept me from ever being able to look anybody else in the eye, because I was no longer upright. I forgot how to detach myself from it; it is always inside me, at the forefront, right smack in the middle, centre stage, hidden by layers and layers of masks I’ve learned to put on through the years, until  I’ve forgotten where polyester ends, and my skin begins.

I can pinpoint exact moments in the life we once shared together where we made wrong decisions. We wasted so much of our youth. An entire decade of missteps and dead ends.

That one sunny afternoon when I was curled up beside the dormitory phone, legs tucked underneath me, you said, “This is what you wanted, right? It’s better this way, right?” Your yearning for my approval came through more clearly than your voice fighting static over the phone.

Kneeling over you in the hallway of your mother’s house, while you tied your shoes, and you looked up at me and whispered so your family won’t   hear, “You don’t think I feel bad about this? Don’t you realize how bad this makes me feel?”

Waiting for you in a coffee shop in the frozen tundra that was Mississauga, sipping on on watery, tasteless coffee I spent our last $2 on, and everything we ever owned packed inside a single suitcase I kept beside me, everything depending on this one job interview, and you came into the cafe, with a grin on your face, sat down in front of me and said, “Got it,” and I immediately burst into grateful tears.

Lying down in an empty apartment I was so proud of, dazed and confused, looking at my laptop with ever widening eyes and mumbling, “It was today.” “WHAT,” you jumped in from the kitchen, your pupils as wide as the sun – “It was today,” I repeated, sinking, “I missed it. I fucking missed it.”

Rolling a joint while the television blared, and I looked at you and said accusingly, “You haven’t gone home in days.” And you smiled back and said, “That’s because I live here now.” – “About fucking time you admit it.” – “This is what you wanted, right? It’s better this way, right?” “Yes,” I said, my heart in the palm of your hands, “Much better.”

Clutching each other on a single bed, trapped inside a room for days, and half-teasingly, half-threateningly joking about the landlord that was waiting for us outside the apartment for not having paid rent.

“Don’t be like that,” she said, her hand extended, about to reel me in for an embrace, “I’m your neighbour now. You HAVE to say hi. You can’t avoid me forever you know.”

“Where were you?” I hissed from our room. “Upstairs,” you said, avoiding my deathly glare. “It’s our FUCKING anniversary.” – “I know, I know, but you know how they get – it’s hard to get away”. I threw a pillow your way. You dodged it as smoothly as you held my hand on so many of our lazy afternoons – “If you fucking cared enough, you would have come home!”

Leading me through the frozen lake, our skates ripping on ice, stars never shone as bright as they ever did for us in Port Credit, and you said, “We got it all figured out, you know. This kind of thing doesn’t just happen twice.”

You opened your eyes to my worried face towering over you, shaking, our vicious argument forgotten, and you reached out and held on to my shoulder, like a frightened child and said, your voice trembling, “what happened? Oh god, what happened?”

Sitting across from me in the hospital, cradling hands, smiling awkwardly at each other, and you said, “Things are going to work out. It’s going to change. Things will get better. Promise you won’t give up yet.” – “Okay. I promise.”

Standing by the front door, your hand gripping the doorknob, half-facing me, half-turned away, and  you said, “This is all because of you. Because of a stupid decision you made that changed our lives. We had it good, you know, it wasn’t perfect but it was good! Why couldn’t you have just been happy?” – “You said things would change. You’ve been saying the same shit for 10 years! 10 years! I’m not waiting another 10 years just hoping things would change.”

“Well, I would’ve,” you said, opening the door for the last time, “I would’ve waited forever.”

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Day to Day Poetry, poetry

#6 Exegesis

There’s nothing happening
and no one knows what it is

It’s the divine and the apocalypse
calling out to me

Murder and rapes and suicides – oh my,
trigger me happy, my dear
those words mean nothing
to me.

Despicable, your middle name,
tangled in the viscous consistency
of your
cold
dead
logic.

I’m the joke you like to spread in your bed
on mornings when loneliness becomes
the lump in your throat
you
just
can’t
swallow

Not really sure
what sort of facade
I’m supposed to be
seeing through.

I trust your lies
because you have nothing else
to give.

There’s a gulf of dead stories
I have to cross
to get to you –

..

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