we said “at least
it’s over”, talking about the move,
or the ten centimeter
snowfall in my new city
or the edge of the end
of a week, a quick fuck in
the back of a truck
between friends, a dream
you’ve been having since you
were eighteen and we met,
or talking about your
new now-ex girlfriend, or the
tension between you
or you thanks to us
that we are sure isn’t there
or splitting the cost
of our drinks
it’s been a very long time since i’ve posted any writing on here, but i plan to do that again soon. i’ve been working on a chapbook to be coming out this fall so i haven’t really had a lot of time to write anything that isn’t going to be in the book.
but those poems are now written and i’m starting to edit, so i’ll have some stuff up on my site in a while. i never post any poems here that i actually intend on publishing or that i have a strong connection with. i haven’t been doing a lot of “aimless” writing these past few months. but obviously that won’t always be the case.
plus i never write a lot in the summer. plus i’ve been looking for a house to rent and that’s been taking all my free time. plus i’ve been drinking a lot, a lot, lovely wonderful summer beers. so that’s what’s happening with that.
the disconnection is refreshing.
i feel better, but i still feel worse than ever. at least it’s summer, and i have cigarettes & lucky beers.
when i was eight, nine, ten years old i had terrible nightmares that you would die in various train accidents. there were no trains in our quiet village; the trains ran below, in dundas, along the sculpted ridge of the niagara escarpment.
and now you actually are dead.
how can that be true.
my best childhood friend died on christmas day. he was a boy, but he was my best friend. my family went to the visitation back home, but i couldn’t be there. i loved him deeply, very strangely, and first. sometimes i even thought that when we grew up, when we were older, in high school maybe, we’d date. i remember a time when he was the most important person in my world. by high school we’d drifted apart of course, and barely spoke.
still. his death has broken me in a way i can’t describe to my family, or friends, or boyfriend, or anyone. only he would know the things we shared as kids that we promised would stay important forever. the things that didn’t.
i miss his existence.
that’s really the most i can say.
i set my blog to private for a few days while i sorted out some concerns i’ve been having about it. i’ve been writing on the internet since i was 14 (1999? 2000?), since before blogging was blogging, since geocities, since ICQ, since britney spears, since forever. i write on the internet because i refuse to write elsewhere, because i hold myself back. this time i came dangerously close to not renewing the .com, but then i was brutally honest with myself and here we are.
one day, should i ever start publishing, it might stop. but still, i know it will just come back again. i’ve done it for 12 years and can’t picture myself not doing it. i would rather write here than risk having to speak, i would rather write here than risk having to write something i’d want to hear read aloud. and besides that, these pieces i have are just pieces, memories, poignant flashes like the visions of last night’s horrible dream. they’re never what i really want to say.
i have not stopped recalling
a february you, a lit
face by candles and dim desk
lamps in your pale bedroom
power hungry, and yet a
spooked horse, a man of little
knowledge and impossible
timing, dashing through torn
fields of grass and thistle
because you thought it would
repel me, propel me harshly
from your back
outside city hall we
rolled a basketball back
and forth between our weathered heels
i pretended, walking on the
curb, to be a model
we pretended that no one
had accidentally pierced anyone’s
foot with a needle last night
you pretended to not
see me fidget, let the ball drag it
self to the gutter
you said i really could be a model
if my eyes were more blue
and less grey, if i had
eleven more inches
somehow im going fucking camping next weekend.
i don’t have any money, as per usual. i can’t afford to buy a bottle of water to drink in the car a week from now. i keep justifying it by saying that i pay all my bills and i have my own apartment and i’m never truly starving, but then i buy another pack of cigarettes and all the justification turns into guilt. but on the other hand, i don’t need a bottle of water. i don’t need anything at all. so fucking whatever, right.
last summer was easy. i was even poorer than i am now, but it was still easy. i didn’t have to feel bad about not having food in my fridge. i didn’t bring my own food or camping supplies or tent when i went camping, i just brought myself and there was no pressure. there was no pressure the whole summer, really. there was just me and justin and leah’s back porch and ordering beer in the afternoon and playing board games in the living room and sleeping alone on the picnic table in my backyard under the stars. getting locked out of my apartment and having nowhere to go and not caring. getting trapped in storms and walking the canal alone for hours. i’d go to hamilton for the cheap lunches, cigarettes, beers, car rides, pizzas, late nights with my friends.
i don’t own anything.
this isn’t as easy, but it’s definitely better.
my apartment is generally stifling and on the main floor of a house somewhere downtown. i think about how one day its walls will be a memory and how descriptions of them will speckle stories about strangers from my past, casual friends who evaporate into memories. i think about how comfortable it is, even in its heat, and how it is when i’m alone in it, and i fear not always living here. i think about how the fridge is home only to rotating brands of beer and empty pizza boxes, bottles of gin. about things i have not let go of and the things i never even brought. i think of the pain it would bring about, for everyone involved, to move the fish again.
there are very few bugs in this house but the sink doesn’t properly drain, there are pros and there are cons but if things truly bothered me i’m sure i would fix them. not just the drain. i’m handier than i let on. i am a lot of things i never let on.
we watch the daylight come and go and we meander from the workday morning to the sunday afternoon to the drunken midnight stumble somehow seamlessly. i smoke and do essentially nothing else, i cross off days on the calendar or study patterns on the ceiling but i am never bored. i write and hide the evidence, i apply for my passport, i read and toast bagels and eat them slowly with fresh fruit and wait for the coffee maker when i am alone.
i never do anything productive when it’s summer and i don’t care to.
it’s storming out and he’s sick in my bed, sleeping, so close i could touch him. and i could, i might, i will when i’m done. every now & then lightning flashes and it fills my apartment. it doesn’t disturb us. i can write by the light of the aquarium.
all of a sudden sensitivity, to the sounds of some other body, alert to each subtle change between breaths, each lift of a chest. neighbours come home & concern me. i fear sound from their steps in the hall. if i had nothing to worry about it would keep me up all night. i drink coffee too late. i also take breaths.
actually, the room is dark and empty. just me and two goldfish. it isn’t storming or even raining. there is nothing close enough to touch, and i might be sleeping.
an afternoon with you
is a maniac with a hammer
i don’t understand television or
so we don’t
and you don’t believe
the better parts of my dead
skin land in your hands
because there is
no place else.
but every place that there is
we have been to,
tearing the celings with
fingers and nails, chipping
the bricks and forcing our arms
through the beams