Thursday, April 30, 2009


I had told you that she would be difficult and that it would be better this way. So you pretended to be my brother. We waited at the bottom of the stone three story walk up. She answered the door, big blond hair, large body brimming over a pencil dress. She let us in a dark entrance and showed us the stairs up to our room. He was lying in his underpants in the foyer, post coital. We walked around him. Once in our room we closed the door and I got to work; these are the things we will need I said in a hushed voice to you. You watched me as I dug out a newspaper insert and began to cut each page into quarters. I had other things but for now had to go to the bathroom. You followed me to the door, leaned against it and we locked our eyes together as I peed. Movement from behind your head I saw her coming into the room much like in one of the last scenes of Psycho, when deceased Mother is tied to a swivel chair in the basement and Norman Bates comes crashing through the door with a knife in his hand wearing the blond wig. I screamed watch out just as she whipped you around and pushed you to the window on the other side of the bathroom. You yelled. I sat motionless on the toilet unable to move. Frozen in the moment of need. Unable to help you. A weight on my chest. In fact, this is how I awoke; struggling for breath in the middle of the night, in my bed, the size of an ocean. I thought of my mother immediately. Ashamed.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I close my eyes. And look straight ahead. It’s not black but multi muted in darks with redish hue. Sometimes I can see patterns that unfold themselves against mahogany. A pattern in yellow ice cascading to rust shoots from a corner of one of my eyes. My left eyelid is normally where stories begin. Is this because I am left handed or because I have learnt to read starting from the left side? How much of what I see is in relation to my experience, both individual and under the hospices of the great collective unconscious? Do eyelid images extrapolate from our social indoctrination too? What are my eyes doing, what are they really seeing? It’s just the insides of my eyelids, some flappy tender foreskin for the iris that helps keep the glass lubricated. I know that science can explain it. Science can explain how the brain tells the neurons what to do. How the brain invents the I. The brain is my favourite spongy matter. For it is credit to my brain that I have an I.

Or is it? The I the brain, the eye; one without the others? The images that I see are perhaps just a conglomeration of memes that have found a good home in this dusted blue grey with highlights of pink. This spongy mass is what the I calls home. Does it matter that I am nothing if I am something to me? Even if me doesn’t exist it exists in my I as long as I am alive. There is at least continuity. Maybe my I is not real but at least it makes sense when it tells a story. My nothing is something to me. My I can figure out from a to be to g to z even if it isn’t real even if I am nothing I still have feelings even if I am nothing my I still needs to love, be loved, search love, make love. .

No matter if there is not really an I, that I don’t really exist, even while not existing I can still close my eyes and look at the patterns on my eyelids. Nobody can stop me from seeing things from within. Not even your I. Sure, sponges come from the sea but the I too, lives in sponge and this sponge lives inside of me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

quantifying worth

My second summer in the garden of my present home was a magnificent one. I turned a neglected weedy mud patch into an inner city oasis. I removed the unlevelled cheap industrial cement slabs, dug a trench, and re-laid them vertically to make a short cement wall. I turned the earth, enriched it with manure, added my first year of compost, dropped some seeds and watered and waited, watered and waited. Looking at the wet sludge, doubting that anything would sprout. After a good week, it happened. Like voodoo magic, from below the earth’s film, these ruptured seeds sprouted. And they grew. It was a wonder that a relative neophyte such as myself could help make this wild and thriving space in the confines of a dilapidated five by twelve plot. For my additional joy, the sunflowers seduced a family of goldfinches to hang out for the summer. As one yielding colour pulled another into this tiny urban pocket, I mused over how a few insignificant seeds could have done so much.

One morning as I got up from bed, I almost stepped on one of these goldfinch beauties, on the floor splayed and beheaded. To my horror I understood that my favourite kitty cat had done me this honour. I felt terrible for the finch. This was a beautiful unusual bird for my northern dirty city neighbourhood and had felt that a great misdemeanour had taken place. And as I sat at the edge of my bed, lamenting the tragedy of the situation I asked myself this; what made the killing of the goldfinch any more or less transgressive than the killing of a sparrow? What is the value of life; it’s beauty, performance, endurance? What makes one life more vital than another? What is my life over yours? How do we measure validity? And even if we got it right, that is to say; righteousness over patina, who are we to judge and deem the more worthy. We may read in the news of a victim of circumstance. We shake our heads and say, but she was such a nice person. He was so kind. And if she were ornery rather than nice, if he was not kind but sourly and mean; would their unfair victim hood fair more acceptance in the drop of their fall?

This is what I thought of as I stared at the dead bird.

Two weeks ago, my sister found a baby rat scurrying behind my parent’s fridge. A rat! We thought in horror, must get it out! I brought my young cat over to take care of matters. I caught glimpse of the rat and it’s trail the other day and realized it was just a mouse. Relief set in for everyone: After all, it was just a mouse.

Just over an hour ago the phone rings. I am informed that the cat found the mouse and is parading it up and down the hallway with its squirming body in its mouth. From Finch to sparrow to rat to mouse, it’s all about value, isn't it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

nothing but some underbrush

Perhaps my hesitation or at times rejection of classification stems directly from how I want to be perceived. I imagine fitting in is a comfort, a place to believe: I vigorously insist on modifying this term for it’s counterpart; placation. A soother of sorts, knowing what type of person you are: A smother it can also be. I am not a number I am a human being . . I am all for the anomaly. I am for the wonder of complex minute systems that have their integral role and drum to the beat of a sometimes very quiet drummer: One that makes it necessary to stop and listen hard.

Monday, April 6, 2009