Logophilic rumination

March 9, 2018

What is it to be wordsmith?
To use symbols to try and make sense?
Or dwell in the absurd, if one can find the right word
The task can sometimes seem immense.

And writing in rhyme can sometimes consume
Leaving oneself without much space or room
To explore beyond parameters set in their way
Though I could do couplets all goddamn day

But it’s more about expansion, growth and the new
Learning things daily is important too
Stuck in the same ruts
Can make one a bit nuts
It’s a good thing to eschew

Okay, enough of that for now. Here’s the thing about words. They are universal as math and music, though the language, the dialect shifts from place to place. Sometimes they take the form of pictures, gestures, body language, scent, a gaze, but these are all symbols used to communicate.

I read someone say once that they don’t believe in synonyms, which is a notion that appeals greatly to me. I love the idea of each word having its own perfect application. It’s the reason why I have my clock device set to 24 hour time, I like the idea that every hour gets its own number, rather than having to share. I know that not everyone shares my love of the written word (more than spoken, though a well spoken word can certainly have an affect…) and that’s okay. I don’t share an affection for some stuff other people might like. But the thing that words do, the place that they occupy in my world is so intrinsic. I love being in bookstores, in libraries, because I am surrounded by them. I feel sane, and safe.

The best way to get me is with words.
To find a word and present it, as a gift for my consumption.
You can be the best looking dude on the beach, but if you can’t speak like Shakespeare, it’s only going to get you so far. And I’m not talking thine and forsooth, it’s not about the era, the age of the language, even the poetry of it. It’s how they’re used, their depth and breadth. Their girth, if you will.

I want to be filled up by the words,
to feel stretched as my body,
my being,
my mind expands,
reconfigures itself to encompass the meaning,
the weight those words bring to me.

I want to feel the characters, those black etched indicators of intent.
I want to feel the loops and swirls
of words like loops and swirls
curl around my shoulders like a cape,
to feel twine wind itself around strands of hair
and braid itself there.
To know that anchor is keeping my feet steady
While feather is keeping them light.
That fire finds home in my smile
And laughter makes my eyes bright.
I want to encompass language
and become good friends with truth,
feel consternation in the furrow of brows
And yea, occasionally use even forsooth.

Whether words inspire revelation
Or struggle to describe the banal,
they’re imprinted within me, every last syllable.
I’m madly in love with them all.




Accepting what is.

March 6, 2018

I have always envied those who knew exactly what they want from life. And take the steps to get there. Who see the trajectory clearly, with regard to marriage, family, travel, career, what to have for dinner, whatever.

I’ve always wanted to write. I think.
I have a pretty good memory, but I know that there is much about memory that blurs over time. Remembering how something actually happened can be difficult at times, unless there are touchstones that can expand that memory into truth. Conversations with my grandmother while we were standing in her front yard, smelling the yellow roses that grew there are perfectly clear to me because I have more than one piece of information to draw from. I remember the too hot to touch in summer black gloss of the thin railing going up the stairs, the spindly stems of the rosebush that seemed to have grown there forever, the chipped red paint of the cement stairs.
I remember the way June felt, the lackadaisical nature of it, how it felt separate from the school year because it was too close to summer to be included. I remember the bittersweet flavour of the heat in August, because September followed fast on it’s heels.
I remember how the weave of the library carpet felt, how I’d idly pick at the tiny loops while curled up on the floor surrounded by the books I would be taking home this week, how satisfying it was to stack them according to size, to pile them in the order I planned to read them in. How I would pore through the table of contents in the short story collections and determine what was the shortest story to the longest because that was sequence I preferred to read them in.
These are sensations, smells, pockets of time captured and recalled when triggered by both external and internal stimuli.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” My answer seemed to change daily. Along with my name some days. I was constantly shifting, considering and reconsidering my options. I’ve tried on many hats, will try on plenty more I’m sure. But the writing, the stories, they stayed. Though I never really did anything with them because somewhere along the way I’d been told (not by my mum, she would never discourage me, which is amazing and I’m grateful to her for it) that writing wasn’t a practical endeavour. It could make a good hobby, but a career as a writer? Impractical, unfeasible, a waste of time. My grade 8, 9 and 10 english teachers (that’s only 2 different people) both suggested it might work out for me, but I was quite cynical at that point and didn’t put much stock in anything adults said. At least, not the ones I knew. It took me years to even admit that there might be talent here. I guess I’m just a late bloomer.

Whenever I read Patti Smith, it makes me want to write. And not just, ‘geez she’s a good writer, I should practice more so I can get as good as her.’ No, I mean, I’ll be reading her and suddenly put the book down, pick up my pen and get lost in the sudden flow of my own thoughts. It’s absolutely glorious. Any time I’ve ever written a fairy godmother/guardian/sage aunt who doesn’t say much but spits truth with more grace than a ballerina on top of her game, it’s her I’m thinking of. I owe much of my artistic development of late to her.
There is a passage in Just Kids, a book she wrote about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, where she recounts the moment both she and he (well before they’d ever met) decide they they are artists. And that is how it is.

I’ve never really had that level of clarity before. But I’m starting to get it. I tend to get lost in what the thing should/could be. As though, if I choose one medium, one genre, one format, then I’m trapped there. I’ve only recently started answering that perennial question, “What do you do?” with the response “I’m a writer”. That’s not my “job” necessarily, it’s not how I earn my living, which I know is what most people are asking. But it’s the most accurate response. What do I do? I write. Incessantly. Constantly. Even when there is no pen in my hand, no laptop within reach, I am writing.
When I found two hair pins outside a locked storage room at the end of the hall, my mind automatically started concocting a bluebeard type scenario, trying to imagine who’d been using those bobby pins to pick the lock and see if there were dead bodies behind that door, and what had happened when they’d been discovered doing so, the only evidence being the pins they’d left behind as a clue.
Perhaps everyone does that every moment of the day. I don’t know, I can only speak for me.

The hardest part about coming to this place, accepting myself as artist, as writer, as exploration expressionist, metaphorical meanderer, dark place poet, shadowdreamer, wordsmith sensualist, is that there is no end to it. I’ve so long dwelt within the when I have.. then I can.. narrative that stepping away from it is daunting at best, terrifying at second best and so many adjectives to describe the ever incrementally scary horror show that is doing the thing that makes you happiest because you’ve finally accepted that you deserve such things.
If one goes to school to learn a skill, there is a syllabus, which is a far less interesting thing than I think that word should describe. There is a set course to follow, by the end of which you will be certified to call yourself a such and such. But anyone who has ever done a thing knows that there is rarely a moment when one can say, yes! I am a skilled professional who has learned everything there is to learn here and I am done. I have arrived at the place where the thing I set out to do has been completed.

If I know that’s true, why should I find the tenuousness of art so much more disconcerting than any other passion? I have so many friends who aren’t afraid to admit they are artists, musicians, writers, poets, painters. I honestly don’t know why it’s so difficult for me. Accountability? If I admit to it, do I then have a responsibility to imbue the world with creations that improve the quality of existence? That sounds like a silly notion, and yet another argument my brain has crafted for not doing the thing.

Perhaps the best thing to do is to let my brain continue on it’s quest to find ways to keep me from accepting what is, and while it’s all crazy busy and occupied with that, I’ll just quietly sit over here and write some stories or something.

Because it’s just what I do.


March 4, 2018

So, I did the thing I do,
With my tendency to get intoxicated,
I got so drunk on you.
Until my vision blurs and all those traits that should make me crosseyed
get a pass.
I overlook, and then I overstep,
having lost my ability to think critically
And intrinsically know where my feet should go.
I forget to breathe,
breath held in anticipation of anything you might need,
hopeful that at some point the thing you need
will be me.
As though I’d like to be a place your pendulum can come to rest
Some kind of happy medium
Away from the frantic swing
Of push and pull.
A middle distance,
somewhere you might stare into,
A spot on the horizon, a future you might end up in
Without the consideration that it’s a place many look at
But not everyone sees.

And so I rally, I rail
I expose myself readily.
I want you to see me,
really see me,
But is that really possible?

I appear to the world as fragments,
lines of poetry tied with ribbons of red hair
and laughter
looping long legs that love to dance,
though sometimes they trip.
There is plenty of stumble and grumble in these pieces of me.
Much furrowed brow and what the fuck is happening now,
Mixed with general confusion and malaise for days.

And so which of me, do I desire you see?
Brave face facsimile presented in snapshots and single line status updates?
Broken bits of metaphor wrapped in an evolutionary fabric of time that’s softened my sharp edges to a dull roar?

A dreamer,
A schemer of plans to be better
If not more,
Certainly not less.
A girl who finds a way to fit comfortably in all of her places,
her nooks and crannies,
tumultuous spaces,
With a summer storm smile sincere without guile
Poetry that spills
from the curve of her lips
From the light in her eyes,
In the sway of her hips.
A wordsmith who knows sometimes,
just what to say
But forgets to get out
of her own way.


When sadness strikes

February 27, 2018

I’ve been busy. Very busy. Working seven days a week (but really really not complaining, grateful for the hours) and falling into a bath at the end of the day and bed shortly after that busy.
Today is a rare day. I don’t have to be anywhere in particular, though there are things that need doing (bring in wood, dig out van, path to propane tank, laundry, spend time with dog and cat friends, write write write). I slept in a bit but fired out of bed, made tea and breakfast, fired up the stove, got dressed and ready to conquer. And then realized it had been a minute since I’d just let myself feel stuff. So that’s what I’m doing.

I mean, of course I feel stuff over the course of a day, even a busy one. But those moments are fleeting and get pushed aside to make room for the pressing needs of the day. As grateful as I am for the way working so much helps pay for things and gives me stuff to do, it also gives me permission to avoid focusing on things too.

My friend John died recently. Before Christmas. I’ve had friends go, but for some reason this one is really really hard. Maybe it’s just the years of hurt I’ve been carrying around, finally coming close enough to the surface to force me into feeling something. Maybe it’s because he was such a consistent fixture in a world of summers filled with music and magic, friendship and family and no one will ever call me Trishly Delishly the way he did, ever again. No one will exasperate me and make me laugh and denounce me for insisting he eat this fucking sandwich and drink this goddamn smoothie and then thank me as angrily and affectionately as he would. It didn’t matter how much time had gone by between visits, our connection was such that I’m devastated to know there won’t be another. He could be a stubborn fucking asshole and he was one of my dearest friends.

I’ve not even really connected with his family beyond a tear soaked voicemail that was probably incoherent at best. It’s one of those scenarios where, if you don’t face it, it might not be true. And besides, I’ve been busy. So busy. Life moves on, he’d understand. He might even hate that I’m writing this about him.
That’s not to say that I didn’t spend any free time I had over christmas ugly crying in front of my fire, but those were brief moments that I would tuck away so that I could drag them out later and say, ‘see? I’m mourning and dealing and it’s okay that I’m not calling and connecting because they’ve got enough to think about and life moves on, just keeps going, and suddenly it’s february and now it’s almost march and look at all the things you have to distract yourself… and… and…’

And today I have a day where I don’t have to be anywhere. So I’ve decided to be as here as much as possible. Doing little things for myself that remind myself I’m still here, I’m still worthy of the good efforts, the sane habits.

I’m tired of starting new 30 day fitness challenges and falling down after day three and so quitting. Instead, I do as many pushups as I can when I think about it and have a moment. On the floor, against a wall, wherever. Or have a five minute dance party between laundry loads. Or go swimming for 15 minutes before work. Or tango dancing after.
I’m exhausted from all of the emails I get from various ‘so you wanna be a writer, here are prompts for you’ entities. So I’ve unsubscribed from the majority and instead will just write when I have a minute. In a book, on my laptop, on this blog or the secret one that no one knows about (because it’s filled with dirty dirty stories) or a napkin or a notepad in a room that I’m cleaning or wherever.
And I’m sad from losing people I love and from investing my time in caring about people who are too scared to care back and from watching people I love killing themselves slowly in real time while we all watch and dance around it and pretend it’s not happening because it would be impolite to say Janice, I’m scared that you’re going to drink yourself to death and after you’re gone I won’t be surprised like I wasn’t surprised when I heard that Paul died because I watched him flail all summer and I never said a word because it would be impolite to care enough about someone to say, What the fuck are you doing? Because you know that their response will be, I’m okay. I’m fine. I’m allowed to do what I want. Mind your own fucking business. I didn’t ask you to care about me.

Is it cowardly of me to say things like this from behind a screen instead of to your face? Maybe. But I don’t think you hear it when I say it. And it breaks me that you don’t see the person I do. The one who deserves to have friends who care enough about them to say, What the fuck are you doing?
So, my other option is apathy. To let go completely of any care I might have for your health and well being. If that’s really what you want, okay. I don’t believe it is, but if you insist, it’s your life, to live as you choose.

Just like this is mine. And today I’m choosing to be sad, because I miss my friend.


Scary things – a drabble hat trick

February 20, 2018

“What’s the worst that could happen? Seriously.”
“I could live a comfortable and fulfilling life.”
“I’m being serious.”
“So am I. I think I’m addicted to the struggle. It’s not worth it if I don’t have to work hard for it.”
“What if you’re working hard to keep from having it? So trapped within the narrative that you don’t deserve it that you expend all this energy to keep it at an arm’s length? What if it’s not that hard, but you putting up obstacles make it seem so?”
“Telling myself I deserve happiness isn’t the same as believing it.”


“There’s been a mixup. You’re  not supposed to be here, living this life, at this moment. We apologize, you must be perfectly miserable.”
“I’m not sure what you’re on about, but I don’t see the issue. I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I’m perfectly content.”
“Erm, according to my records, no, you are not.”
“I don’t see how that’s possible, as I’m here, living this life and it’s good enough for me.”
“Yes, that’s exactly the issue. You don’t see. The worst part? You’ve blinded yourself. Time to wake up. You’ve been asleep far too long.”


Her sewing skills weren’t terribly impressive, but they were perfunctory enough for what she needed.
Clearing a space on the table, she set down everything she needed. With a very sharp and very clean knife, she sliced a hole in her chest, making a slit just wide enough for her fingers. Gently probing inside, she pulled out her heart, and set it in a pie plate.
She wrapped it carefully in velvety soft red fabric, creating a pocket which she sewed closed and reinserted the organ into her chest.

Now her heart could break without a single piece being lost.



Love affairs – a trifecta of drabbles

February 20, 2018

His eyes were sad and dreamed of a poetry he thought lost to him.
He told himself that he’d searched for it in the familiar curves of his wife’s body, that she hid from him, leaving him no choice but to look elsewhere.

He spotted it in the golden eyes of a girl with a whiskey smile that promised the kind of forgetting he craved. Her eyebrow arched very pointedly at his ring finger.

“Touch her the way you would me.”

He recalled the words she’d whispered under the music as he reached for his wife in their darkened bed.


“This isn’t forever.”
“I know.”
“Do you?”
“Nothing lasts forever.”
“Do you think you’ll die?”
“Of course I’ll die, everyone dies.”
“I didn’t ask if you’ll die, I asked if you think you’ll die. There is a difference.”
“I see. Well, to be honest it’s easy to think of other people dying, they do it all the time. But I rarely do, so perhaps on some level I’m not convinced I will.
“So how can you say you know this isn’t forever if you don’t think you’ll die?”
“Because nothing lasts forever, and darlin, this is most certainly not nothing.”

He’d spent his lifetime meticulously pasting photographs into albums, labelling the heavy dark green paper with dates written in the special silver inked pen he kept in its own small drawer in the roll top desk.
Every page carried the weight of years, incrementally, giving the passage of time a tangible heft, as though it were something he could jingle in his pocket as he walked. He often wandered from past to present, his memory rich with timeless moments.

Though none of those came close to the way he felt, even now, when she smiled at him, in that way.


Day 6. Clarity.

February 9, 2018

It’s not about what’s happening right now. I mean, it is. It always is. But not always. Does that make sense?

Writing is the thing that keeps me sane. If I’m doing it on a regular basis, all other aspects of my life seems to make sense. I imagine other people have that with other things, but honestly I’m not sure because (here’s that caveat again), I can only, truly, honestly, speak for me and my world.

But here’s the thing. When I write about something heartfelt, really and truly heartfelt, you have to imagine that it’s like spy tech. As in, it’s existed for some time now, it’s not new. Savvy?

This may or may not be true, I don’t know, I’m not a spy. (Though if I were, I would probably insist that I wasn’t because that’s how spies work.) However, it is my belief that when some new awesome tech becomes available for the every day human, whether it be fingerprint recognition scanning devices (my fucking phone has one! I’ve not used it) or chip technology or hoverboards or cars that drive themselves or sentient robots that make us coffee and remind us we have a dentist appointment (I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords), I have to imagine that tech has become available because the secret actual-in-charge of the world guys have already had it for at least 10 if not 20 years.

That was a convoluted way of saying, if you’re reading something on my blog that is intense and heartfelt and seems raw and painful, chances are I’ve been dealing and processing it for some time and have only now reached a point where I can express how I feel about it coherently and with clarity.
I mention it because I’ve had more than a couple of folks express concern that I might be going through something, as a result of recent posts I’ve made. When something happens, if it’s something that is powerful enough that I need to take a couple of steps back, that will most likely happen on paper.
I will bleed ink from every pore in an attempt to carve sense out of whatever might be happening for me, because that’s how my brain rids itself of infection. It’s like when a cut hasn’t been cleaned properly, the best thing to do is to open it up and let it flow freely until the poison is gone and there is only healthy red blood welling to the surface.

And then, once I’ve gained some perspective, I’ll probably share it here, if only to be completely candid and accountable about my evolution in real time. And not just for those who might be curious about what’s going on for me, but for myself. Having a chronicle of one’s existence is an incredible resource. I’m consistently delighted by the forward motion of my perspective most days.
Now, that’s not to say that I’m not well enamoured of the friends that check in, and please don’t ever stop doing so because I really do appreciate it but know that if you’re reading it here, it’s doubly good because a) it means I’m writing and b) it means that I’ve processed it enough to get to a good enough place to have made peace with whatever might have needed dealing with.


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