On Tuesdays, my bed is a crib but I can’t call my
mom to sing me back to sleep in it
because I’m twenty years old and
I should know how to dig myself out
of this by now.
Nothing happens here.
Someone is setting off fireworks
outside my window and all I want to
do is catch one in my mouth.
All I want to do is rest.
All I want to do is stop.
Mommy, I think I’m failing.
I can’t get out of bed.
Mommy, I have a fever and I’ve
been throwing up since December.
I don’t want to scare you, but I think
my body hates me.
Mommy, my sadness has a mouth that
won’t stop screaming.
I think I’ll name it Tomorrow. or Evelyn. or Please.
Mommy, I think I’m supposed to be the hero.
I think I’m supposed to surrender to
whatever is broken inside of me and call it brave.
Mommy, I can’t.
I don’t want to be the hero.
I don’t want to be brave.
Saw my all time favourite dress. Great opportunity to shoot some close-ups!
Ducks got such a response, and I am overwhelmed, and heartened. Thank you for your kind words. I think more seriously about a larger work, after this. I’ve read a lot about people’s experiences in Fort McMurray, articles and exposés, and what have you, but not too many matched the things I saw and felt, not many came from people who had been there for any length of time. And it never feels like the time when I am up the task of doing the place justice, like my comics talent has not hit that point yet, but at the same time, I’ll eventually lose the details if I wait too long.
I wondered what to follow that up with, since this blog is a random mix, and will go back to being that. I figure a post about Stan Rogers might be the ticket.
If you’re unfamiliar, Stan Rogers was a Canadian folk musician. What made him great, in my eyes, is the ability to get at the heart of a matter, evoke loss, convey great feeling, without being overly sentimental. He could really paint a picture. And though most of his best known work is heavily Maritimes, he could convince you he came from anywhere in Canada, depending on the song, because he wrote with a powerful understanding of place and identity.
The album here is a greatest hits sort of thing, but I encourage you to look up more if you never have. If I take storytelling cues from anywhere, I hope many of them come from Stan.
oh hello north ave, dodgy epicenter of my existence
Jeffrey Toobin interviews former inmates at a McDonald’s in Baltimore: http://nyr.kr/1eubt5k
“It’s one thing to consult books like Michelle Alexander’s ‘The New Jim Crow’ and read about the mass incarceration of African-Americans in the United States, but it’s another to see former prisoners filling the seats at a fast-food joint.”
Photograph by Stefan Ruiz.
"The ghost of Taira Tomomori", Utagawa Kuniyoshi
Pan statue on the grounds of Chatsworth House, in North Derbyshire, England.
Carel Fabritius. 1654, oil on panel, 35.2 cm. x 22.8 cm.
The bird is fiction though the paint is real —
the paint, that is, of the original.
This one’s a copy pasted in a frame.
Each hour the gold light on his wall’s the same.
He hangs between the cupboard and the fridge
where, day after day, it is his privilege
to see our windowed sunlight come and go,
eavesdrop on music from the stereo,
mark my ditherings or eye my bathrobed wife.
I think he’d trade his stillness for my life,
just as I often envy him his stasis.
O plump brown household god, what most amazes
is how, held in that perfect light from Delft,
chained to a narrow rail, perched on a shelf
in 1654, you look at us —
small finch that might have watched Fabritius
the year flame rendered him to ash. You stare
from a modest trompe l’oeil heaven we don’t share.
Mute bird, they’re finite, as you know, the days.
But sing to us. Sing of the light that stays.