Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Turning Thirty

Turning Thirty,
In my kitchen, peering out at the snow,
Watching the snowbanks grow.
In thirty years,
What have I learned?

I peer over at the dog my grandpa left behind
His last legacy
Lying on her side
She looks as though she’s waiting to die. (Don’t all geriatrics?)

She’s the dog I lovingly call “the fudge-snacker”
Oh, you find that offensive?
Well, she eats her own shit.
I find that offensive.
She whines, she wobbles, with arthritic hobbles,
Then she vomits up the turds that she gobbles.
The piles look a bit like hamburger
And smell like death.

And as I walk the old bitch,
Still those mouth-breathers say
“Give me a kiss.” (She licks the man’s face.)
“I love dogs.”
“For a boxer, she sure is pretty.”
She’s pretty ugly, and pretty stupid.
And awfully smelly, whoa Nellie, I tell ye,
She’s ancient
And she grows older still.

The end of life is horrible.
The beginning is pretty bad too.
But that doesn’t stop us from making it a little worse anyway.
(Why not, right? Preparation for the REAL world. But what is the real world? I mean, aside from mindless cowards victimizing the weak? Or is that all we can aspire to?)
Who is the sick fuck that dreamed up circumcision?
I want a name.
So I can piss on his grave,
With my incomplete dick.
I hope he’s rotting in hell now,
With a circumcised face.

I suppose I should be grateful.
I suppose my circumcision was my first birthday present.
And it lasts a lifetime.
Chocolate orange, eat your heart out.
No way I’m doing that to my son.
No way.

Traditions are just like any other life.
They die.
I’m going to watch this one die.
I’m going to make it die.

We all do that, don’t we?
We come up with ways to do a better job than our parents.
Because no matter how hard they tried,
We can do better.
We think we’re so goddamn smart, don’t we?

A mother screams at her eight-year-old son
because he doesn’t know McLeod is pronounced “Muh-Clowd”
She says I didn’t read enough
But you have to learn something before you know it,
And you can’t read sounds.

Year after year, she sent me to camp,
And year after year, I kept telling her not to.
But, as she told me,
“Camp is not a punishment, it’s a privilege.”
Well you could have fooled me.
She tells me about the fun she had at that same camp, thirty years earlier,
And I realize she simply didn’t have the mental capacity
to distinguish between my childhood
and her own.

The kids made fun of my pale skin.
Even the counsellors did.
They said I didn’t tan enough.
But it’s something I could never change.
Believe me, I would have if I could have.
Even my mother made fun.
Something about burning out her retinas when I took off my shirt.
Yeah, right.
I wish.

Now it’s my thirtieth birthday,
And they ask me,
What do you want for your birthday?
And I tell them I just don’t care anymore.

As I look up now at the grey sky,
As the snow descends, forming mounds of cold crap we have to move every day,
But we tell ourselves to keep fighting the good fight,
So we grab our coats, and our shovels
And we trudge outwards
The drudgery
It’s the drudgery that really gets me.

And the dog farts again.
Just no more shit-barf, okay?

Turning Thirty,
And all I’ve got to show for it,
Is this shitty poem.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mendicant’s Lament

You were right, Shadowthorne, and you too, “best bud”! Why should I be bothering trying to help other people’s relationship when I can’t seem to do anything right in my own? Maybe it’s easier to give advice than to take it. Then again, the advice I gave the Mendicant last night was the same advice I would follow, assuming I’m ever even in a relationship situation again.

Mendicant called me up and asked me if I had spoken to Wolverine.

“No, man. I’ve seriously not had the time. Like I said, though, I can make a point of speaking to her now, just to see how she is, but I don’t see her online now.”

“Thanks, man. I’m really torn up about her.”

“I know.”

“Just tell her I really want to talk to her.”

“Doesn’t she already know that?”

“Yeah, but she won’t talk to me. I tried telling her I wanted to talk to her, and she said it was a trap, that I’m stringing her along with some secret that I won’t share unless I see her. She says if all I want is closure, she’s not interested.”

“And you don’t just want closure, right?”

“No, man. I just have so much I want to say to her.”

“Yeah, like what?”

“I don’t know. Lots of things, man.”

“Name one.”

“I don’t now. I miss her.”

“You want her back?”

“Yeah, I do. I love her, man.”

“So tell her that.”

“I can’t just say that.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well if you can’t tell her how you feel, what can you do?”

“I don’t know. I just want to talk to her.”

“All right, listen. Here’s what I think you should do. Tell her you want to say some things to her, and promise that, once you’re done, you’ll stop calling. Write out a list of all these things you want to say to her, so that you don’t feel like you forgot anything. Make your list, check it twice, just like Santa, and then have it in front of you when you speak to her.”

“But it’s not even her I get when I call, it’s her parents.”

“Oh. Well that is problem. Okay, well, send her an e-mail then.”

“I don’t have internet right now.”

“Then write her a letter, put it on a disk, and take it to an internet café, or somewhere else with internet. Or hell, do it the old fashioned way and send her an actual letter. Just find a way to get your words to her.”


I don’t want to interfere any more than that, but I am a little curious as to why she dumped him. I mean, the guy’s like her dog. She kicked him. Hard, apparently. And like a dog, he’s trying to come back, saying he’s sorry.

I do not like Wolverine at all anymore. I can see why so many people get swept up by her antics. She’s pretty, and she’s reasonably intelligent, and she certainly has the capacity to be civil, but that woman has deep sociological issues.

What bothers me is how like each of them I am. Do I sound like him when I’m pining over a love interest, like he did? Did I run from a perfectly good, perfectly loyal lover, like she did? Well, I think so, but I’m learning.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Playing Cupid

Now that I’ve just finished exams, and am looking to start some new projects to occupy the next two and a half weeks, some odd ones dropped into my lap. Namely, a guy friend and a girl friend of mine are both smitten with someone, and they want my help.

The first is the Mendicant. Remember the Mendicant? Wolverine moved in with him a short while ago, and last I had heard, everything was fine with them. The Mendicant called me up on the week-end though to ask if I’d heard from her, since I’m their only mutual friend. I told him I’d not seen her online, and so he asked if I could give her a call and see how she is. They had a fight apparently, and the result was that Wolverine moved back in with her parents, and now she refuses to take calls from him. Unfortunately, there was drinking involved, so he’s fuzzy on the details. So for this mission, I’ll have to start from scratch. I told the Mendicant I’d make a point of speaking with her after my exam, if he wants, and he said he’d think about it, and call me first to confirm. (I missed his call yesterday, unfortunately, but it’s on my to-do list.)

The second is a girl from my critical theory class. She’s an ethnic mix, a devout Christian, and she fervently believe that a thousand years from now everyone will look like her. (Brown – I think that was the extent of her argument. I don’t totally agree, but then again, I usually don’t argue to fiercely with people who believe in invisible men.) Anyway, I’m calling her Manifest Destiny. He’s Slavic, and he’s into martial arts and UFC, so I’m calling him the Slugging Slavic Secret Weapon. Maybe I’ll call him Triple S. I met with both after our exam at a pub on campus. We spent 7 hours at the bar overall. I don’t know where the time went. My cell didn’t get a signal in there, and that, paired with a glass of beer that keeps getting “topped up,” it is impossible to keep track of time. We got into which girls and guys in the class were hot. I piped up immediately, admitting that, at least in the summertime, I had a big crush on Parasite Eve. (I also told them both I only had eyes for Scrapbook Girl. I didn’t actually tell them who she was – just that I liked her, and that she knows. I don’t want to embarrass her.) Anyway, Destiny said that she liked our prof. I know, typical, right? He is a good-looking guy. But anyway, when Triple S left to use the washroom, Destiny admitted to me that she liked Triple S. So I made a mental note of it, and when she left, I asked Triple S what he thought of her. Specifically, I asked her if he was interested in her. He said he might be, but that, given enough time, he’d probably forget her. I found that a little discouraging, but workable. After all, if you want to get technical, everyone can be forgotten. Then next time I got her alone, I said I thought he probably would be interested in her. After all, she’s really pretty, and she was actually one of the smartest girls in the class. She told me she didn’t feel pretty enough to be with him. She pictured him to belong with Bright Eyes. (Remember Bright Eyes? Apparently I’m not the only one who noticed her.) I found her lack of confidence in her own worth disheartening, but, I took into account that she said she’d only feel right if her made the first move, and really seemed interested. I suppose, she, like most of us, didn’t want to be embarrassed, or rejected. So finally, the next time I got him alone, I asked him again. I didn’t tell him why, but I told him he should go for it. Ask her out. Frankly, I don’t know he could do better, because I don’t think there IS better, no matter how inferior she feels to Bright Eyes. She’s just as intelligent and just as pretty, though admittedly, Bright Eyes has cooler bangs. (She’s sort of known for her bangs the same way I’m known for my mutton chops. Oddly enough, Destiny told me *I* should go dressed as Wolverine for Halloween, because of the sideburns. And who am I to argue with destiny. Oh man, there are way too many puns inherent in the names I chose.) Anyway, when it got late, Triple S politely asked me to take a hike so he could get some alone time with Destiny. I was happy enough to oblige.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Love is a Poem

Sorry for not blogging in awhile. Lately I’ve been very reclusive. Not that I’m much of a socialite anyway, but, well, some of you may recall my ranting about dating. I’m sick of dating. I hate dating. And yet, Scarlet the Spy suggested I turn it into a segment for Apt613 – and I wanted to, I really did, even if it was just fictionalized, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it. I’ve been too preoccupied.

Some of you may have recall that I’ve been gushing about this woman that I’m enamoured with. Someone whom I adore so much that it hurts – and I mean “hurts.” It got to the point that I thought I’d have a panic attack if I didn’t find the words to tell her how I feel. So I took some time to write her a poem, and yesterday I read it to her, and now she knows.

When I finished the poem, she didn’t know what to say. I expected that – for the past two months I’ve been careful to guard these very feelings from her. Why was I torturing myself? I guess I didn’t want to come on too strong. But, of course, with the crush getting bigger and bigger each day, it became unbearable. I even found myself unwillingly dreaming about her. One night she told me she was really ill, and I had nightmares about it.

I told her I didn’t expect her to say anything. I just want to see her more. She said “we’ll work on it.” So I gave her the two pages I read her. She said she’d read it over. She said “thank you” and gave me a hug. It felt very good to hold her. You know, before this moment we’d never actually touched? Anyway, she was very sweet about the whole thing. I had hoped she would be.

I have not spoken to her since last night. I don’t want to pressure her. I want to give her time and space to think about it. I’m just glad she didn’t hate me for putting her on the spot like that, and for listening. It felt so good to get that off my chest. Now I feel lighter than air.

I don’t know what will happen, but I will say that if things don’t work out, I’ll probably always be her biggest fan. She is probably one of the most talented writers I know, and I feel lucky to even have met her at all.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


In the darkroom,
Gazing through the dim red glow,
I make your picture perfect face out nice and slow,
In peace and quiet.
I hear the music in my head,
And I think about the life we might have led.

In a dark gloom,
As my mind goes to and fro,
Like a cancer, this love continues to grow.
I can’t deny it.
I remember how you bled,
How I cut you with those careless words that I said.

In my dark tomb,
See your pictures row on row,
See my life pass by without your loving glow,
Forever quiet.
I think it’s time I cut the thread
And accept my place among the living dead.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dead Poet Sobriety

Where are you taking me, Allen Ginsberg?
How much have we had to drink to-night?
Are you trying to get into my head?
Or my pants?
Either way, I’m too far gone to fight.

And so we wander the solitary streets,
With the pale, yellow, bulbous lights
You thought it would be funny to pee into
That Starbucks cup we found in the street.

Tomorrow someone will find it.
Still yellow, foamy, or perhaps
Brown, salty, dried-up in the sun.
Maybe that’s why it’s so funny.
You’re thinking about the future.


So we sit in a circle,
Beating off with twenty-nine generations of poets.
Thirty if you count mine.
Do you?

Frost doesn’t.
We read our poems to each other, and all he can say is:

“You might want to check your meter.”
Check this, you pretentious cunt.

But now I can’t take my eyes off Emily Dickinson.
She fingers herself in the full-moonlight
She howls.
Look at her go.
She would not stop even for Death.

Coated in starlit, murky, love-syrup.
We are as one now.
Children of the night.

Wordsworth agrees.
“We are thirty.”
We are all dead.
Yet we all live.

Each night, we raise the dead
With our poetry,
And we read to one another
Deaf and bland.

Remember, Remember, the blog of November

This past week-end, I saw Wolverine and the Mendicant again. They live together now. I’m over Wolverine, and this visit proved it. The only reason I went we to get my jacket back. There were five of us this time, and throughout the night, I couldn’t help but notice how maladjusted we all were. The Mendicant and Wolverine tried to molest me again while I more or less did defence. Amazingly, having a hot girl try to grab your ass over and over gets old pretty fast. Twice as fast when there’s an ugly, oily, hairy fat dude trying to grab the other cheek. He also tried to molest Thor, which was a mistake. He’s rather homophobic – having just moved to the city from Hicktown, Ontario. Thor spent much of the evening talking about how tough he was, and how he’d never hit a girl, and how the Mendicant had better not do whatever gross-ass thing he did again. There was also a girl with us who told us a lot of stories about how she and her 39-year-old cop-boyfriend got drunk and got into these really brutal fights with coke heads, and then went drinking with hookers. I won’t bother giving her a name, because I don’t plan on spending much time with her. We went to an old pool hall, and then to an old bar, where aging punks with ugly-ass Mohawks still hang out, even though some of them must be pushing fifty. And Nasty Nick was there. Apparently he’s always there. I learned from the Mendicant that when Wolverine tried to break up with him, he locked her in a room for a little while. I’d say that warrants an ass-kicking, but that isn’t my problem. Maybe some time she can sick Thor on him. Seedy bar culture gets old very quickly. I’m sure it would be cooler if we had vampires like in the Sookie Stackhouse novels, but we don’t. We do occasionally have cross-dressers, but they don’t have fangs. Anyway, this concludes my series on Wolverine.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Not Quite a Match

Mostly, I’d say that we’re not quite a match.
But I can’t deny that you’d be a great catch.

It’s the way that you smile,
Or get others to smile.
It’s a pleasure to watch your keen social style.

I could stare at your face for hours and hours.
Such insight! Such prowess! Such inspiring powers!
You’re queen of the ball,
Yet not proud at all,
You’re genuine, open,
An inviting call.

Mostly, I’d say that we’re not quite a match.
But I see a slightly torn heart I might patch.

Perhaps it is yours.
Perhaps it’s my own.
Perhaps an addiction, to which we’re both prone…

Perhaps I am wrong; the attraction too base.
Maybe I’m just in love with your face.
Your perfect, beaming, smart little face
I pray that naught ever dare mar that face.
No rashes, No more pimples
I’ll allow a few dimples.
The principal purpose put proudly in place.

O Time! You need no more things to defile!
All I want to do is make that face smile.

Mostly, I’d say that we’re not quite a match.
But I’d have to be stupid, not to try anyway,
Even if it doesn’t quite fit.
Because I can’t think about you and not smile.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Blind Date

I went on that blind date yesterday. It took her and I a few tried to find each other, as we didn’t actually know what the other looked like. We had our cell phones though, so we were able to do it. When I finally saw her, I thought to myself, “fuck, she’s WAY too pretty.”

“The Polish ones always are,” says my mother. “Even those who aren’t know how to make themselves look pretty.

She’s certainly deserving of a name, so I’m going to call her Polski Lalkę.

We both made a point of making the date extra casual. I think I did most of the talking though. Here’s what I gathered about her though – she’s a masters student of international business, and she has her doubts about it. She’s a Catholic, but she has her doubts about that too. She’s an only child and still lives with her parents. Both her parents are from Poland. So is she, but she grew up here, and has no accent. She likes to exercise and stalk people on facebook. Who doesn’t? So I told her we could stalk each other and see where things go from there.

I also told her I keep a blog, and even my theory that this kills my chance with every woman who reads it. I told her about Nurse Betty, and Scarlet the Spy. I’m praying now that I’m wrong though. I did not give Polski Lalkę this blog address. That’s where I’m stopping short. Yet she’s not the one who’s on my mind today.

She was gorgeous. Actually, she just added me on facebook. She’s stupidly gorgeous, and she’s easy to talk to too. So why am I thinking about someone else? I was thinking about her on my way to meet Polski Lalkę too.

I suppose if Polski Lalkę is actually interested in me, I should give her a chance. I would have to be stupid not to. I can’t help but want who I want, though. This other girl doesn’t even know I like her, and I don’t know how I’m ever going to find the courage to tell her. But invariably, I seem to find that courage, don’t I?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wet, Wet Poetry

I went to a poetry reading last night, by Daphne Marlatt. Her poetry seems to revolve around the town of Steveston, which was once a prosperous fishing town. Now that the world has changed, it has become a bedroom community for Vancouver. I gathered that this depressed her, and that this is where all her poetry was coming from. I couldn’t help but think “get over it.” There are worse things happing in the world than the decline of a fishing town.

So, her poetry wasn’t great. It was actually kinda flat, 2-dimensional, but she the reading actually was. She’s got a good reading voice, but what made the reading memorable was the inclusion of two experimental musicians playing water-phones, saws with violin bows, and even a water-filled turkey baster for ambient aquatic sounds. It was like listening to poetry under water, without getting wet.

Afterwards, while I waited at the bus stop in the rain with Scrapbook Girl, she brought up the fact that her poetry prof was the one who organized this, and that she has a very closed mind when it comes to poetry. Marlatt is important to her prof because she defended her thesis on her, and from what I gather, Marlatt is kind of a big deal when it comes to feminism, at least in this city, in the 70s. The problem with Marlatt’s poetry is that it hyper-focuses on the decay of Steveston, which, if you haven’t been there, doesn’t really impress anything upon you. She brought up a writer who condemns poets who write all their poetry about one particular place that is significant to them. It’s fine if the poetry is just for you, but if you want others to relate, you might try aiming for themes that are a little more universal. Otherwise, you’re just another Wordsworth, and I don’t care how close to nature you think you are when you’re near Tintern Abbey.

It’s funny though. As depressing and hopeless, if not a little spaced-out as Marlatt’s poetry was, I left the university feeling uplifted. I walked home, whistling some cheery tune I made up, in the rain. Apparently I seemed so happy a few strangers couldn’t help but start talking to me. Something put me in a good mood. Maybe I like Marlatt’s poetry after all. Or maybe I just like walking in the rain.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Kill. Unless it’s Homos. Or Anybody Working on the Wrong Day.

Yesterday, a friend posted a link on facebook with the quotation: “There's a schism in the world of atheism. New atheists — led by Richard Dawkins — insist that religion is stupid and dangerous. The old guard may not believe in God but are willing to work with religious liberals on shared goals.”

This spawned a debate, which of course, rapidly regressed into an idiotic comparison between Moses and Hitler. Godwin’s Law. I started to respond, but then I decided, with the amount of work I was putting into this, that I might as well make it a bona fide blog entry. So here goes:

I usually like to note that there is a difference between atheism and anti-theism. Atheism is just not theism, just like asexual is not sexual, or asymmetrical is not symmetrical. You don't see amoebae protesting sex, and you don't see oddly-shaped polygons boycotting squares. Not often anyway.

Dawkins’ brand of atheism seems to be anti-theism. I will never understand why any sane atheist would bother engaging in a head-on debate with a theist, or a creationist. It’s like telling a dog to stop thinking about food. That dog is going to go on thinking about food as if it’s somehow going to get food as a reward for staring at you until you get blue in the face, and give up talking. Believers in “the good book” don’t hear logic, just like most dog don’t hear most English. Their minds don’t work that way.

I’m with the school of atheism that sees theism as a mental illness that will sort itself out over time. Sooner or later, people are just going to give up on religion entirely. Because the truth is, it is stupid. It doesn’t take very long to figure out that you can’t depend on the bible for anything. Its argument collapses because of its own incoherence and inconsistency. Allow me to illustrate:

Exodus 20:13 says: don’t kill. Leviticus 20:13 says: kill homos. There. Bible debunked. What? You’re not satisfied? Very well…

According to bible scholar Dr. Reuben Alcalay, the exact Hebrew wording of Exodus 20:13 is lo tirtzack, which actually translates to "no killing of any kind of whatsoever." In other words, forget about that rule about only killing kosher, or not eating pork – you can’t kill anything. You can’t swat flies. Now that we know about microscopic germs, we can’t scratch either.

Exodus 31:15 says: kill people who work on the Sabbath. The Sabbath, by the way, is Friday for Muslims, Saturday for Jews, and Sunday for Christians. Guess what? If we were to put just this rule to the test, there would be no one left. (Unless, of course, we advocate a 3-day week-end, which frankly, would be kinda cool.)

Of course, you’ll astutely notice that this really only attacks the Torah, or the “old testament,” which Christians love to excuse with the junk expression: “Well, that’s the old testament. When Jesus came along, he absolved us of that.” Did he really? Where in the bible, pray tell, does it say that? They don’t have an answer for this of course, because they’re full of shit, and they’re obviously making it up as they go along.

Okay, I’ll be fair. After much scouring, there may be something in Acts 13:39. I’m not convinced this means that Christians no longer have to obey the laws of Moses, particularly the Ten Commandments. That seems counterintuitive.

It’s late, and I think I’ve strayed from my original point – so I’m actually going to end this rant on that weak note. Consider it an invitation to perhaps enlighten me as to how none of the logic issues I’ve raised are a problem. I doubt it, but you’re welcome to try.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Going in Blind

I’m going on a blind date on Thursday. It will be my first truly blind date in five years. Okay, I don’t mean that one of us is literally blind, but I mean it in the sense that neither of us has seen the other’s face before. I know nothing about her. I don’t even know how I know her. She’s a friend of a friend of a friend of my grandmother Depressia. So naturally, this is some kind of Polish networking thing. Anyway, I called her this morning, and she seems bright, and has a cute voice. About all I know aside from that is that she moved her from Poland when she was ten. I guess I’ll tell you more when I know more.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Driving Me Crazy

I can’t help but wonder today about where my life is headed. Every time I utter that I want to be a teacher, or a prof, I believe it a little bit less. As an English major, language is important to me, but somehow, whenever I try to put what I want into words, it just seems to dissolve. And the words that do come out, can’t possibly be true. I want to make a difference – this much I know, but I don’t know how, or where.

I also want my god damn license, so I can start thinking about applying for all those job I would supposedly need one for. But I can’t because of the steelworkers union strike.

There are 550 members across Ontario striking. I booked a test back in August, but they’ve been stroking ever since. I wondered what could possibly warrant their striking this long, so did a bit of reading, which is a little difficult, because when strikes so on too long, it tends to drop out of the sight of the media.

Apparently they want better job security. Many of them work more in the summer and often get laid off in the winter. I suppose this is an understandable concern, but I’m increasingly taking the frame of mind that unions take these things too far.

Yes, their job security sucks. Whose doesn’t these days? Meanwhile there are hundreds of thousands of people who are in limbo who can’t get jobs at all, let alone security, because of the 550 shit-heads whining about their own job security.

I’ve said it before, I’m sure, and I’ll say it again. “We have the right to strike” does not make a strong case for you. You should not have that right. I believe that people should absolutely be paid well for their work, and treated with respect, despite the fact that I myself have had several jobs where I had low and no pay, and little or no respect. I never got to join a union, and in one case I got stiffed for three solid months of labor. I don’t hold this against unions, but they’re taking it too far. Unions should be used to protect workers from abuse, but not to allow them to cause it.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Recently I got an invitation to do a segment for a sister blog called Apartment 613. The invitation came from none other than Scarlet the Spy herself. At first I was thrilled by the idea, but then many doubts cam to the surface.

I met with a few of the other editors and contributors a few weeks back. We all went to a pub and shared a few drinks, and talked about our ideas. They seemed good at the time. Scarlet was not there, disappointingly, but she still appears to be my chief contact with the group.

The idea is roughly this – each month, I write an exposé on my romantic exploits, or more accurately, the failures. I seem to be spectacularly good at confessing failures. On might even think I’m proud of them. Some of you may have noticed I have spent a lot of time swooning over one girl in the past, or going on random dates with women I meet on the internet that I have scarcely nothing in common with. But lately I’ve been trying to change. I haven’t even logged onto a dating site in longer than I can remember. I’m just tired of it. I wasn’t kidding when I poured my heart out about it to Wolverine. She said that I was describing her. And I think she was right – I think I symbolically gave her the load on my mind from all the women that have wasted my time. I haven’t really thought about her since that night. I’ve either been too busy, or I just don’t give a good god damn anymore.

Also, the more I think about it, the more I don’t ever want to feel like I’m exploiting anyone other than myself. I’m okay with self-deprecation, but it is another thing entirely to mock someone who trusted me. By the way, Nurse Betty, if you ever check back here, I’m still sorry. Not just for what I said, but for everything. Even the stuff I wasn’t involved with. That was the only thing I really wanted to impress upon you all along anyway. I hope things are better for you now.

I think I’ll take the week-end off. Maybe I just need some peace, which is why this week-end it’s just as well that I’m going to Ema’s place to look after his cats while I’m gone. It’s gonna be nice to have a place all to myself – quiet. No people. Maybe I’ll watch as many of his shitty movies as I can while I’m there. Ema collects the worst movies, that it takes a special kind of sick mind to love.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Real Epidemic is Stupidity

Hey everyone. Sorry about my absence. It took a break for Canadian Thanksgiving, and on top of that, I had to prepare for a big presentation yesterday with Parasite Eve and this other girl, who as it turns out, lives four doors from my house. Small world. Our presentation was awesome, by the way, because we did our reading, and I’m a charismatic genius, but I didn’t sign in today to brag about that.

I’m writing this because a witch hunt is going on right now. I don’t know what’s going on in the rest of the world, but here in the national capital, we’re talking about H1N1. It was on the front page of the news today, it’s been on the radio for months, and I’ve been getting really sick of the way people keep talking about it like it’s the next cold war, the next communist-witch-hunt. All people talked about during the break of my second class yesterday was how they’re going to find time to get their H1N1 shot, and who’s going to pay for it. Everyone seems to be missing, or perhaps ignoring the obvious. Do we have no bigger stories than this? Do we not have poverty on our streets? Do we not have an economy which could perhaps use a little more maintenance? Do we not already have under-funded, overcrowded healthcare facilities?

Did I miss something? What the hell is going on here? Everything about this screams of wasted money, and wasted time. Do we not have bigger issues to deal with that H1N1? Even saying the new name for it is a waste of time. We changed it from “swine flu” because the farmers complained that the pigs would be offended – or something like that. Okay, that’s a small joke, but the idea was that they worried that people would associate pigs with illness. I’m surprise the farmers didn’t also take a swing at the Jewish community while they were at it. Jews, as you may well know, have been not eating pigs for a long time. So even this name change seems like a gross, bureaucratic waste of time.

But it gets so much better. Swine flu, as an epidemic, or a pandemic, is a joke. It kills far fewer people than regular flu. Sure, it kills people, and that’s a bad thing, but the flu kills over three times as many. Why isn’t that on the front page? The front page today says our national death toll is 79. Out of 33.2 million people, that’s nothing. Heck, if it was only 79 people in Ottawa, people would hardly notice. Not compared to the amount of rape, cancer, murder and traffic accidents we get. If it were 79 students at my school, then maybe people would start to notice. Then again, the school is pretty overcrowded, and some students are awfully stupid, so it might be a blessing. Particularly if one of them is me.

So, I’ve written this rant here, because I get the sense that something is very wrong here, but I don’t know what. Someone wanted this to be a big sensation. Someone is trying to distract us, manipulate us. I just don’t feel I know enough to figure out who, why, or from what.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

One-Armed Time-Bandit

Life is like a slot machine.
You pull the arm.
Sometimes you win.
Sometimes you lose.
In the end, you always lose.
You end up broke.

No one can stop the slot machine of life.
No one can remain in the one moment they love.
Time will urge them to pull the lever.
Just one more time.

If I could, I would cash out.
I would find you.
I would run to you.
I would say, “I’m sorry.”
I would hold you, and I would not let you go.
I would cash out.

Minute Man

I took a minute
to take this Polaroid
of a sketch
of the man
I used to be.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Mirrors of Life and Death

Do you ever just discover someone, and then you feel like you’re looking into a mirror? Well tonight, that happened twice.

In the year 1989, Frank Cole crossed the Sahara Dessert alone on camel back. In the year 2000, he attempted a second journey, but was murdered 60 km from Timbuktu. Tonight, I attended a documentary retrospective on his life at the National Archives. Everyone was there. His father, his brother, his ex-lover, his best friend, (a writer who teaches at my university), and the filmmaker who never met him, but became his biographer. They each spoke of the mystery surrounding his obsession with death.

Cole did not grow up here; he grew up all over the world. His father was a Canadian diplomat. He did go to the same post-secondary schools as me, possibly at the exact same time as my parents. When I told my father I was going this evening, he asked me to get him a copy of the book, Life Without Death.

Early in life, Cole had said that he planned on committing suicide at age 30, but while studying filmmaking at Algonquin College, and making a documentary about the his grandmother’s battle with cancer, something changed him. He developed a new idea about prolonging his life, as long as possible – even if only an additional 20 years, out of say, 100, it made all the difference. He developed a rigorous diet in the name of slowing the aging process.

He was one of those people you either adored or detested. He drew in numerous lovers with his passion and drive, and lost them again to those same obsessions. They were always second. He would oust them from his life if they got too comfortable. Nothing mattered but his film. But what was he trying to say?

I remember that my ex, Karma Chameleon, once said to me, “I realize that I will always be second, and I accept it.” I am sorry, KC. We were too young, and we never understood each other. I always loved you though.

I wondered what Cole was looking for out there in the Sahara Desert. Then I recalled he said something about a feeling he had out there. He said to his father that he felt more alive out in the desert than anywhere surrounded by people. He felt most alive when he was most isolated. He felt most alive when taking that one gulp of water when he was nearly dying from thirst. It was a euphoric feeling beyond the stresses of our senseless “Western” busy-work life. It was pure survival. I looked at the images of vast desert, and I tried to place myself in his weathered shoes and torn jeans. In the desert, you can see nothing but more desert in all directions. And I thought – that’s it. That’s why he liked it. You can see in all directions, and never get any sense of an end. It would seem an eternity of walking in a desolate wilderness. He would never die, and he could walk the desert forever. When he did finally get home, he was already planning to get back to the desert.

In the end, it was in the desert that he found what he feared most: death. He was murdered by bandits and left to decay in the desert for two weeks. When they finally found him, all that remained was his skeleton. But, as per his final request, they cryogenically froze him anyway, I suppose in the hope that they someday find a cure.

He is like me, and yet he is nothing like me, just as I am like you, yet I am nothing like you. When you read my blog, you see some of yourself in me, and when I saw his film, I saw some of myself in him. What I saw was a man away from everything most people cling to. In a moment of weakness I ran from my life with N/A in Toronto. Yet we can never escape who we are, no matter where we go. She will always be part of me, and I will never be able to forget. Cole is part of me now too. And I am part of you.

The second person I “discovered” tonight was my co-president from ELS. You recall I did not feel ready to give any of them names yet? Well, now that I’ve had time to get to know her a little, I feel she deserves one, and I’m calling her Scrapbook Girl, because she keeps the most adorable little scrapbook, with poems, notes, ideas, and thoughts. It’s a very oldschool writerly habit. I love it! Though I hadn’t spoken to her much before the meeting last week, I have noticed her for quite some time. She really does love to talk; we probably didn’t have one moment of silence all night. She’s brilliant, really. Her mind must move at a hundred miles an hour. I found it inspiring. She told me at one point that she’d been on a hermitage for three months in her little apartment. She just wanted to get away from people, and their petty little opinions and idiotic beliefs. Well okay, those are my words, not hers, but still, I felt like I was looking into the mirror. She writes poetry and has a blog too – and it occurs to me that she may be getting a link to this soon, so I should probably watch what I say, lest I offend her like I did Nurse Betty. Then again, what can I say against her? I’m actually quite fond of Scrapbook Girl, and I am glad to have made a new friend. I owe tonight to her, too. Had she not invited me out tonight, I would not have looked into either mirror.

Friday, September 25, 2009

President Blackheart

Yesterday, I went to the first ELS (English Literature Society) meeting for students in my program. It turns out I’m the president.

Actually, there are three of us. The way this all transpired is this; one of the first orders of business was to select a president to help organize events, motivate students and spread the word. You’re probably thinking, “great; three things Blackheart is bad at.” Well, when one of the two organizing profs asked who would be interested, there was silence. I waited for someone else to put their hand up, because I didn’t want to do it by myself. So a fellow student I’ve been in class with since I start English put her hand up, and then I was glad to.

At the exact same time I threw my hand up, another girl put her up as well. We hadn’t seen one another until this point, and I was pretty much overjoyed to see that it was this really brilliant (and admittedly gorgeous) young woman I’d met at some functions before.

We were given the option of working together or going head-to-head in an election, but I would be crazy to turn down the opportunity to work with them. Both my co-presidents are beautiful, in mind and body, so I’m happy. I love the male-to-female ratio in this department!

After the other thirty or so students left, we three “presidents” sat with the two teacher-advisors to discuss the coming year. I won’t give anyone names just yet, but one of the two profs is Professor Mom, which also makes me happy. We’re trying to come up with some fun literary or non-literary themed events, as well as maybe establish a blog. One event coming up is the PEN Canada recite-a-thon, which is the event at which I read “I Like Cheddar, I Like Brie” last year.

I laugh when I look back at my last entry. You’d think I was bipolar. And you might be right.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One of Those “Moods”

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel totally worthless? Well for me, that’s every day. On most days I am okay with it. Today, not so much. That’s right. Today is going to be another one of my rants, so if you offend easily, please, PLEASE, keep reading. I’m glad if it can make you laugh, but I’ll enjoy it all the more it offends your shabby sensibilities.

I’m in one of those “moods” that women get to pretend is PMS. Not that I’m jealous of ACTUAL PMS.

I’m sitting in the university library, just after a 3 hour lecture on Renaissance Drama. I’m not going home because it’s pouring rain, so I set up in the library foyer. I have another class in three hours time anyway, in Victorian Literature.

I keep thinking, “What’s the point of all this work I’m doing? Why can’t I just find a decent job and move out of my parents’ house? Why does the government only hire mindless assholes?” But I’m the one with no value. No economic value, anyway.

I suppose I could just level with you all and admit that this “mood” probably started last night, just before I went to sleep.

I was chatting with Wolverine online, ranting about women, specifically my weariness of trying to date them – really it’s the same as with looking for work. It’s too much work, with no payoff. Women on the site can get hundreds of messages with no effort, and in fact, no picture. So I didn’t really feel like she understood. Anyway, I think I may have offended her, because she said, I probably shouldn’t say that to women I’m interested in. So I told her that I normally don’t, but in her case, I saw no reason to hide. She either already liked me or she didn’t. So, in short, she said “not that way” and I said “good to know” and then neither of us said anything. So it goes.

It struck me as odd, though, because all the evidence suggested otherwise, but then again, maybe I was only seeing what I choose to see. So it goes. Maybe I should stop stealing Vonnegut’s mantra. Bah, he’s dead, he doesn’t need it.

I keep trying to tell myself “who cares? You can’t have been serious anyway.” There are so many other signs against too. All those scars, the creepy ex-boyfriend, her fickle treatment of my own friend. She thinks circumcision is a good idea. She has no female friends. She barely has ANY friends. Just suitors. And anyone can tell you that male suitors are cheaper by the dozen. I keep trying to tell myself, “Malice Blackheart, you’re too good for her.” But still, I’m bothered.

I feel like I’m trapped as one of those guys who just gets ignored, and nobody has the heart to tell him he should just give up and accept that you’re out of the gene pool. I feel like I was never really in it to being with. They say, “Don’t worry; you’ll find love. You just have to stop looking.” Right. I stop looking, and I stop dating. Then I’m just doing nothing. They say “There are plenty of fish in the sea,” and I say, “Have you seen how many God-damned hooks there are in the sea too? There’s six of the motherfuckers sticking out of Wolverine over here!” They say “you just have to lower your standards.” Right. Look at the women I’m dating now! They’re mostly civil servants, for Christ’s sake! The scum of the earth! If my standards get any lower, I’ll be fucking slugs in my back yard!

Speaking of civil servants, there’s this girl in my renaissance drama class who asked me to be in her performance group. This was yesterday. So this morning, after class, she says to me that she’s going to go “print out all the plays on government money.” That irked me a bit, but I asked “what do you do there?” She said, oh, nothing. It’s the department of Justice, so nobody there does anything.” Right. You’re one of the deadweight people in my father’s department who doesn’t do any work so that he has to do extra.

She’s in another one of my classes too. She’s yet another estrogen-powered wonder in my increasingly over-estrogenated Literary theory class. I swear to God, I feel like I’m about to sprout a pair of ovaries! She’s the sack of sour eggs who sits behind me and talks about how much she hates the other stupid people in our class. At first, I thought it was cute, but now I just find it annoying.

Now all I can think is, “you fat, ugly, self-loving sack of liposuction extract. How dare you profane my classes your presence?” Lazy bitch probably gets paid more than my prof to do nothing. I’m in such a fowl mood today that I’ve decided I hate her and I’d rather work alone.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Paradise… Found?

Hey, did I mention that Parasite Eve is in one of my classes this term? Well, she’s in my Literary Theory class, the same class as Bright Eyes. Truth be told, that class is full of beautiful, bright young students. The female-to-male ratio is probably something like 5-to-1, no exaggeration. The same is true of my class with Professor Mom. Anyway, apparently Parasite Eve saw my name on the presentations sign-up sheet, so she came up to me after class and says will be working together I’m excited. She didn’t even know what we signed up for, but I guess she chose to trust my judgment. So I told her we’d be presenting on Roland Barthes. She asked if he was any good and I was honest with her, I told her I couldn’t remember. But his name kept coming up in Film Studies, so I should probably make a point of reading him. There is another girl in our group, but neither of us knows her yet.

Also, apparently Wolverine put the Mendicant back on her friends list on facebook, so I guess this means we can all be friends again.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cutting Ties

Later on, yesterday, I got an IM from the Mendicant saying that he caught Wolverine sneaking out of his apartment. Apparently she told him she never wanted to see him again, and has already removed herself from his facebook friends list. He wanted to know if I could remember what she might have been upset with him about, and I told him that they both had seemed in high spirits when we parted ways at 2:30 in the morning. Evidently something happened between then and the time she snuck out of his apartment for the early morning bus home.

So I spent a bit of time chatting with Wolverine yesterday, never touching the subject of the Mendicant, but getting to know one another a little better. I asked her if she perhaps wanted to hang out sometime minus the other guys, to which she responded.

“Right. You say that, and then you never actually do anything with me.”

And then I remembered saying that night that this happens all the time. Every day I run into somebody I haven’t seen in years, and we say “we should totally do something,” and then we both immediately forget. But neither of us cares enough to make it happen. So I assured her that my offer was genuine.

Ema came over today and we chatted a bit about what’s been going on. Apparently he foresaw an event like just like this happening, almost to a T. Knowing that the Mendicant and I have similar taste in women (i.e. the sexy and dangerous ones, the femme-fatales, though I think the actual word he used was “crazy”), Ema predicted that the two of us would fall for the same girl, and hang out more. Lo and behold, this has come to pass.

Ema warned me that the Mendicant will probably start asking me what’s happening with Wolverine, and I suppose that’s when I’ll decide what to tell him. But who knows? I may never see her again. But if she wants to see me, it will happen.

Ema suggests that what happened was, the Mendicants worst fears came true. Wolverine likes me better, and that’s why she won’t scratch me. The Mendicant wanted a relationship from her, but she reacted by saying that wasn’t part of the deal, and pulling out. Now he has nothing left to remember her by, but the scars. I also noticed that she brought him back all of his bondage gear. I thought it was odd that she would bring that stuff, given that she planned on sleeping on his couch that night, but evidently she planned on returning it so he wouldn’t have an excuse to come looking for it.

I cannot say for sure whether this is the case, but that does seem to be the case from my angle as well. It’s just been such a long time since anyone has wanted my badly enough to ditch who they’re already with. In fact, this has happened once before, in high school, and a year later she would dump me for the next hot guy she wanted – our tae kwon do instructor I think, but at this point who can be sure? And who cares? I did, however, get the sense that Wolverine resented the Mendicant for being there, trying to touch her, when she wanted me to move in. I think she feared that he was ruining her chances with me, and I think my leaving them abruptly that night confirmed that fear. So she immediately cut ties with him. It’s the only story I can think of that fits.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hangover Hang-ups

It is amazing how much an altered state of mind can bring new perspective. I drank more last night than I have in years, and it took me to a dark, dark place, thinking and feeling in ways I thought I no longer could. I wonder how much brain damage one has to receive before worshiping invisible assholes seems like a good idea.

My brief explanation for the preceding poem is that it was inspired by a trip to synagogue with the family. I did not want to go, but I did so to humor my mother. Natural the three wasted hours I spent there reminded me of why I never want to go. It was three hours of prayer, all in Hebrew, but essentially the same prayer said over and over again, saying that God is eternal, and we are not, and that we will die. This morbid fascination with death is a waste of life. And this solace in an eternal god who will live after us is a delusion we don’t actually need. I also gather that worshipping an invisible guy who never helps you is supposed to be a bonding experience, but there is nothing more alienating than sitting in a room surrounded by people who are told not to question ideas that obviously don’t hold together. That was Yesterday morning.

Last night, I went out to play pool with The Mendicant, Wolverine, her two friends, Mohawk, (who has a Mohawk), and Thor, (a stout, bearded, powerful fellow, who looks like a thunder god aught to), and three other male friends who will remain nameless, because before long, those three bonded, and left together. It was what guys like to colloquially call a “sausage fest,” which is always fine by Wolverine, who revels in being the only girl.

Now, I had said two weeks ago that I was worried I might be a little jealous of The Mendicant. Well, after that night I had pretty much forgotten my crush on her, but in the two weeks to follow both she and The Mendicant kept reminding me about a big pool night coming up, and I decided that I like the game, so I was interested in going.

Early in the night, before we had left the pool hall to go on our drinking binge, Thor, Wolverine’s oldest friend caught his buddy Mohawk ogling Wolverine, so he said to him, “don’t hit that.” He’s a man of few words. Actually, they both are, but anyway, I overheard this, and I knew what he meant. He knows, and I know that she has a history as a man-eater. The Mendicant has the scars to prove it – for the most part, they’re healed now, but the scars are there to say. If you’ve seen Rambo, his scars look just like that. And I think it’s only now setting in what he has really done to himself. At this point, Mohawk muttered something noncommittal, but I took Thor’s warning to heart, as well as the others who have warned me against her – such as, The Mendicant, Ema, and her ex-boyfriend, Nasty Nick. On a side note, Wolverine told me that after my run-in two weeks ago with Nasty Nick at “the Dom,” he sent her a long e-mail detailing why she should take him back. I can see why he would miss her, though, and why The Mendicant would be so gaga over her, and why she gets so much other male attention. She is what men like to call “a 10,” she has a body that is total poison to a heterosexual man’s better judgment. And she knows it.

The Mendicant spent the night trying to find excuses to touch her, and she kept finding excuses to touch me. At least that’s how it seemed. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m not the touchy-feely type, even when I’ve been drinking, but there was a lot of that going on. She flirted with me a lot throughout the night, and I won’t lie, I liked the attention. The Mendicant and Wolverine both seemed to have an agenda for me last night. At first, I thought it was only to get me drunk, but I later gathered it was more, at least for Wolverine. Actually, I believe only she wanted to get me drunk, but he wanted to get her drunk. Why not do both?

The eight of us staggered through the streets for awhile, before we came to our next pub. That’s when the three amigos who bonded took off, leaving our numbers at five. Come to think of it, those three probably gave up on Wolverine’s party to go find some girls they might have a chance with. Well, that’s what I’d like to believe, but they probably just went home.

We went to a pub called “The Highlander” – a place from which she had apparently been banned sometime ago – I didn’t really get that full story, sorry. But since the waiters there don’t last long, it didn’t matter. We had a few more drinks, and The Mendicant and Wolverine sat me between them. They had jokingly decided they each had ownership of one side of me for humping purposes. Apparently I did no get a say in the matter. The Mendicant complained that he still hadn’t recovered from Wolverine’s tearing at his flesh. He asked me to feel his back, which felt pretty bumpy. Wolvering said that he had healed by then, so to contest, this is when he showed the rest of us his back. That’s when I said he looked like Rambo. I thought that’s the nicest way I could put it.

I do not remember at what point in the night I said this, but it would make sense for it to have been here. I said to her, “You may absolutely not scratch me like that, ever.” And she said, “I would never do that. I like you.” And then she touched my arm in a really gentle way. I wasn’t sure what to make of that. But I got the sense that The Mendicant felt like he was losing. But he still smiled and tried to play along.

At the Dom, (which is perhaps an ironic name for the pub, given this particular context), the nails came out again. She had cut them, and they weren’t the vicious claws they were two weeks ago. Still, she could scratch, and so she did. This time, Thor was in on it. He’s a bit of a macho man, which I’m in no position to judge; a man of his build can certainly make it work. He held out his arm and told her to give it her best shot. So she drew blood, and his arm looked pretty hellish. Then Mohawk, starved for attention I suppose, insisted that she do him as well. This made no sense to me. She asked him first if he had a girlfriend. I remarked that this was a sign that she was mindful of such things – she said she would be furious is some strange woman left marks on her own boy. (Toy?) Then again, she immediately proceeded to tear the living hell out of his arm, as soon as he assured her that he had no better half.

As we prepared to head home, all of us very tipsy, The Mendicant and I went to use the bathroom, and he said to me,

“I really like her, man.”

“I know,” I told him. “Everyone knows.”

“Mal, be straight with me. Do you like her?”

“I don’t know,” I lied, after a paused. Maybe it wasn’t completely a lie, but the truth would have been too difficult to explain, and he is an open book, who cannot keep a secret. If she’s going to learn that I like her, she’s going to learn it from me.

The truth is, I had not been thinking about her. For the past two weeks, I have been crushing after another woman I met at a friend’s party. In the end, I suppose you always know who you really want, by who is on your mind. Alas, I don’t even know if she’s single, or if she is really interested in me, but her actions and words seem to suggest that she is. I won’t be able to find out until she confirms a date that we can go have pho and talk. If she does not give me the opportunity soon, then I suppose I will have my answer.

But after all we’d been through last night, and seeing how good she looked that night, my resolve to hold out for the other girl was wavering. And I saw something else in Wolverine too – something I hadn’t seen the last time, and something the other guys seemed to miss, or at least seemed not to acknowledge. She seemed to be more than just… a woman who scratches. Perhaps she felt ashamed, or perhaps she was smitten with someone. Perhaps it was me. Perhaps it was nothing.

Afterwards, Wolverine came out and got into an argument with The Mendicant. I overheard my name, and the word “threesome,” and I gathered that it’s something she wanted, and something he did not. Again, I apparently had no say in the matter.

But I did. As soon as we parted ways with Thor and Mohawk, I made an excuse about it being late, and I left. If The Mendicant had felt he was losing, this was me resigning before things got ugly. I knew they had issues to work though, and I had my own too, and I just wanted to go home.

When I got home, I cried. Not over Wolverine, or the other girl – who I still wish to give a fair recount of, but for now she’ll remain nameless. I thought about N/A, and though I haven’t cried in years, or seen her in years, I cried. This is what the bottom of a bottle gets me – my worst fear, which came true, because I made it so. If this is what alcohol gets me, then I’m through drinking. I never want to feel that way again.

A Hymn to God, Who is, Well, Just So Much Better than Us Wretches, And I Thought He’d Like Even More Shameless Groveling.

O God,
Compared to you, I’m so lame.
I don’t feel worthy to utter your name.
I’m just very sucky, and you’re just so very great!
I feel so very lucky I can call you my mate!

Compared to you I’m small,
Smaller than a fly,
Smaller than a kitty to a six-foot guy.

Compared to me you’re big.
Bigger than house!
Bigger than a lion to a really small mouse!

Compared to me you’re cool.
Cooler than can be,
Cooler than ice, or iced tea.

Compared to you I suck,
Like a little leech.
I suck like sand-in-the-eye sucks, at the beach.

O Lord, we thank you,
For allowing our people to continue to grovel in your presence,
And kill one another in your name,
For thousands of years,
And for thousands more,
Our actions being their own reward,
As it is written.

You are a wise god.
And we all suck.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Year Four, Day Four, Class Four

Yesterday was my first day of Canadian Literature, with the same prof I had for Can Lit last year. She’s pregnant now, and expecting in early January. It’s like she’s timed it perfectly to go on leave for the second term. I’m very excited for her. She’s gonna be a cool mom. Know what? That’s what I’m going to call her. “Professor Mom.”

The focus of Professor Mom’s class is “Loss and Mourning.” Sounds like a real up-beat class, huh? It’s a pretty small class – only 15 students I think, so we’ll have more time to present. Each of us has to teach the class for 20 minutes, either on one of the five books we’re reading, or on one of the supplemental readings. We were allowed to choose our own dates, so I took the very first one. I met as well get it over with, right? So in two weeks, I’m presenting on The Disappeared by Kim Echlin. This means I should probably buy it and read it ASAP.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fourth Year, Day Three

Yesterday was the third day of school, though I didn’t have any classes. So instead I went to buy books and go to a poetry reading hosted by the English Literature Society. I can’t say whether it was bad or good, because I didn’t understand it. It was a Nigerian poet describing his experiences in new places, like Germany and Toronto. Now, I used to live in Toronto, so I recognized the landmarks, but that was about it. For the most part, I was glassy-eyed, and trying to stay awake. I only went to this meeting because a cute classmate of mine said she was going too. And two of my profs were there too, so that was cool.

At what point in our foojed-up history did poetry become about alienating your audience completely? I swear, this poet reminded me of Joseph Conrad.

At one level, I understand there’s a desire to generate and read a text that is densely packed with layers and symbols, to be decoded and interpreted in a variety of ways. But when it gets to the point where anything could mean literally anything, and it takes ten times as long to make sense of the poem than it did for the poet to actually write it, then it begins to remind me of two things: religion, and bullshit. Yes, despite their similarities, I’m keeping those two things separate today. I have enough to rant about.

I just believe that things should make sense as you read them. It’s all well and good that it can make MORE sense later, after much cogitation and reflection, but for the love of Jebus, and all that is Boly, it should make SOME sense when you first read it. But no – it’s about that feeling you get when you hear the words. The sights matching the sounds, and the sounds matching the sense and all that. Those associations you may, or may not have. In my case I almost never have them. I’m all for the sound matching the sense, but my question is: Where did the sense go?

I think, in the end, I did find his poetry inspiring, (as seen in the poem published a half hour ago, but perhaps only in spite of it. Actually, there is one thing in his poem that I liked. He compared the 9/11 terrorist attack on the twin towers to the circumcision of a baby’s penis. That’s right. Osama circumcised New York!

I Found an Angel by the Bookstore

Last night,
The rain came suddenly heavy.
I had no umbrella, no coat, no warning.
Though myself I was silently scorning.

The rain fell, erratically stalling,
Sometimes stopping, sparsely falling.
Sometimes heavy, heavy, heavy, cold.
I stood where student’s books are sold.

I found an angel standing there,
On her cell, to borrow a car.
She was a vision, to be sure.
Her eyes blue as the sky,
Her hair gold as the sun,
I asked of her a favor, and in a word it was done.

I knew her through a friend.
He left her late last year.
Why he did this, I don’t know.
Her complexion’s white as snow.
Her smile is always full of cheer.
It drives me ‘round the bend.

When he gave her the keys,
And made a joke at her expense.
I thought of the girl I left,
And could not recompense.

Now that his money is his own to spend.
He shows off his new game controller.
It’s childish, and stupid.
But I understood.
Baffling, laughing.
Crafty packaging.
We left him to his devices.

There we sat, driving home,
Sheltered from the rain.
She says was glad she caught me.
I was glad of many things,
But saddened by them too.

I wanted to say something nice.
I wanted to know what happened.
I wanted to ask her about it.
But I did not.
I know well enough not to open old wounds.
Especially when they’re my own.

But last night,
With beauty like Helen of Troy,
She became my angel on four wheels.

“Helen Wheels”?

Monday, September 14, 2009

She Says

She says, “Can I walk home with you?
I want some time alone with you,”
She says.

She says I’m meant for such great things.
She loves my witty ramblings,
She says.

She says that I waste too much time.
To waste my talents is a crime,
She says.

She says, “Don’t make me wait too long,
‘Cause I’m not feeling very strong,”
She says.

She says she hates my ramblings.
“You laugh at very stupid things,”
She says.

She says she’s sleeping with my friends.
She feels she need not make amends,
She says.

She says I can’t just leave it there.
She says she’s sick of my inaction.
She says she needs to know I care.
She says she just wants some reaction.

She says “How dare you look amused?”
She says I make her so confused.
She says she wants to be refused.
She says she wants to be abused.

She says “I’m so in love with you.
“The problem is I hate you too,”
She says.

Waiting for the Big Cripple

We amass scars.
Big and small,
Physical and emotional,
Ugly and uglier,
We amass scars that remind us of how stupid we were.
Forever, they remind us, as if we could forget.
They remind us that one day, the big one is coming,
The life-shattering one,
The big cripple.
And when that day finally comes,
We’ll say, “I told you so.”
And we won’t cry,
Even though we’ll want to.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Blackheart of Darkness

Today was the second day of school, and the second of my five fall term classes. I didn’t even know I had registered for Post-Colonial African Literature until I got to class today, which was a little embarrassing, since it’s a fourth-year-seminar, and our prof asked us all to introduce ourselves, explain what African texts we were already familiar with, and tell him what induced us to take the class. I chalked it up to a night of heavy drinking and a torrid fling with a hooker from Botswana. Okay, no I didn’t.

To be honest, I had only stuck this course in a place-holder, hoping to get into first year history, just to see if I want to do a minor, but now I’m thinking of sticking with this class.

Our prof, I believe, is originally from Ghana, and then got his degree in the US. He seemed to be very excited to be in Canada, and particularly praising the fantastic libraries we have in our two major universities. (Those in this city, that is. Canada has more than two universities. This may come as no shock to you. We also don’t all live in igloos. Unless absolutely necessary.) He smiles a lot and seems to really enjoy books and literature, and wanted to impress upon us that he doesn’t want a master-slave relationship with us (his words), but rather to be the oldest student. (And the one who gets paid.)

So he suggested some supplementary readings to give some background for the books we’ll be reading, Joyce Cary’s Mister Johnson, Graham Greene’s The Heart of the Matter, and, (ugh), Joseph Conrad‘s Heart of Darkness. (It seems like I just can’t escape that bloody book!) The three African authors we’ll be reading, in case any of you care, are Chinua Achebe, Ayi Kwei Armah, and Ngugi wa Thiong’o.

Apparently in 1975, Achebe called Conrad a bloody racist, which caused quite a bit of controversy. Now, I don’t know about Conrad being a racist – I took HOD to be an anti-Imperialist text, but really, I don’t much care for Conrad’s writing either. He wrote Heart of Darkness in this weird fairy-language that he invented himself, and fits nowhere in history. And I don’t necessarily mean that as a gay joke. I just mean it belongs with the fairies, wherever fairies live.

“Some people say that the novel originated in Africa, others disagree. I say it does not matter. What matters is, does African literature bring anything to the form? We are all interconnected, into the same cultural stream. No culture is free from the influence of other cultures. Achebe was a student of Joyce Cary, and he wanted to write about Africa with his own voice. Do you think Things Fall Apart is an honest text?”

Anyway, there was one major point he wanted to leave us with, or perhaps more of a key term: “Narrative.”

“We all have a narrative,” he said, “or a story if you will. But who tells your story? If you let other people tell your story, they will tell it to their advantage. And they will destroy you.”

Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Day of Fourth Year

If was my first day back at school today. It doesn’t really feel like I was gone, cuz I was there all summer. My strategy is working though. I’ve jumped from first year to fourth in only one semester.

I haven’t heard back from Rose in awhile, and I suppose of sort of forgotten about her, but not completely. I’m wondering why the hell she hasn’t called me back since she genuinely seemed to want to. I’m really mad at her for this, because she was either stringing me along, (which I suppose should seem obvious to me), or worse, she is interested in me, and she’s just incompetent.

Anyway, in my first class today, literary theory, (I know, - *puke* - but I have to take it to complete my requirements), who should arrive and come sit next me, but Bright Eyes. She was looking well as ever. She still hasn’t finalized her courses, so I recommended her my favorite prof for Victorian literature. Our prof divided us up into groups at the end, to discuss what our most hated book was. It didn’t take Bright Eyes and me, and the rest of the ladies in our group long to single out Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. There’s something about the language that is used – nobody talks like that. Every third word is some strange word no one need ever use, much less know. It was like a Ukrainian with a thesaurus gone wild. Also, his use excessive of ellipses makes the book frustratingly…

My hero though, was the girl who presented the bible as her all-time most hated book. I’ve thought of her as a bit of a hero ever since she made an ass out of a student rep who came to speak in our class last year, a woman who was totally asking for it. Basically my hero pointed out that she was drinking bottled water, which directly conflicted with the issue at hand. Oddly, I forget what the issue itself was – I think it was having water fountains on campus. Anyway, she made me laugh out loud, and I had to shake her hand then and there. Well anyway, she did it again with the bible. I immediately wanted to change my answer, but I had already gone. There has never been a book quite so popular, and so badly written, that has done so much damage as the bible. None. Not even Harry Potter, though according to yet another group in our class, it comes close.

Anyway, there are a number of my old favorite classmates back for this class, so I’m looking forward to the coming term.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Two Dates in One Day

Sometimes I think if I give myself enough time to think and make sense of it all, all will become clear. Sometimes the more clearly I think, the less sense it all makes. This will turn out to be a long one, but it’s juicy.

I went out on two dates on Saturday. Neither of them were exactly date-dates, but rather hang-outs. I met both of these women online.

The first woman, 34, I met for scrabble in the park. I’m going to call her “Ugly Betty,” not because she was ugly, but because she looked like Ugly Betty. We hung out in the park for perhaps two hour. She told me about how much she hated her boring government job but how much she loved having the benefits and pension and everything. She wants to leave after she has her mortgage paid off, but she likes the pension too. “They call them golden handcuffs for a reason,” she said. Civil servants make me sick. I’ve probably mentioned that before. Perhaps I’m just jealous. Anyway, I kicked her ass at scrabble a couple of times and then took off. Actually, she did have one interesting story – apparently another date showed up with a gift for her – a loot bag that said “congratulations on the baby.” Whether this was re-gifting, or symbolic of a brand-new relationship, I cannot say, and anyway, I’ve since lost interest.

The second woman, 22, I’m going to call “Wolverine,” not because she’s ugly, nor because she bears any resemblance to Wolverine, but because of the following story. I had actually already named her Cue-T in my last post, but I hadn’t met her yet, so this is a much better name. We met at a pool hall that evening, along with an old friend of mine. Let’s call him The Mendicant, because, he is a bit like a mendicant. Sometimes. Anyway, I met the two of them at a pool hall, along with two other friends of hers, and I got to know her better. We played a few rounds of pool, all of which I won, despite not having played pool in five years, and despite how wickedly-good everyone else purported her to be. I might get the feeling she was letting me win, but then again, I think my ego prefers to think of it as prowess. Likelier still: it was just dumb luck, but I digress.

Almost as soon as I arrived, I noticed some rather nasty scratches on The Mendicant’s arm. When I asked him what happened, he responded that he nodded toward Wolverine, who was engages in another game, hinting that “she did.” I told him it looked like he had come in second in a fight with Wolverine, and he said that wasn’t far from the truth. So I followed him outside as he went for a smoke, and got some more details. He told that he and Wolverine are into the same “scene.” He asked if I knew much about it, and I told him, not in detail, that yes, I was, and once dated a professional domme. He told me then: “I’m playing with fire, my friend, and I think I like it.”

We went out to a favorite pub of his, we three, (the other two friends dispersed), we shared a few pitchers and got ourselves nicely buzzed. As the night progressed, I had a thumb war with each of them, at the same time, I guess as an excuse to touch her hand. She dug her nails into my hand, and as I said something about how sharp her nails were, The Mendicant doffed his shirt, revealing an entire torso of scabbed-over scratch marks. He looked like he’d been tortured, and everyone at the bar noticed. I’m pretty sure those marks will be permanent, though they’ll fade over time. I looked at my hand again, and picked off the bits of skin she’d loosened, and then I grabbed her hand to inspect her nails. She actually sharpens them. I had never seen anything like it, save one kung-fu partner I once had, who was perhaps a little nuts. But that’s a different story.

The two of them got up to go to the bathroom, so I got up to speak to another friend of mine that I recognized, who shares my love of chess and Final Fantasy Tactics, among other things. With him was a plump guy with an unkempt beard wearing an Evil Dead T-shirt. You know the type, I’m sure. Great big B-movie nerd. So I struck up a conversation with him about crappy movies, as I have a soft spot for them myself. I asked him if he has seen a movie called Die You Zombie Bastards!, which had come by the recommendation of Wolverine perhaps a week or two prior. Well, he’d seen it, and he proceeded to ask me about the woman I was with.

I’m going to call him Nasty Nick, because I found him rather nasty, and his name was Nick. You’ll have to forgive me if my creative juices are running a little low. Nasty Nick did what I like to call a psychopath move. Perhaps several. At first said he vaguely recognized the girl I was with, and ask me her name. When I told him, he added the last name and asked if it was her. When I confirmed, he laughed and told me they had dated. I found it odd that he would give the pretense of not recognizing her, and I can’t remember if I called him on it or not. Anyway, he decided to tell me that “since things don’t seem to be going so well for [me] tonight,” that he’d tell me it was just as well. This is the second person that night telling me she was a dangerous girl. When my friends came back, they both got me away from him. When I tried to talk about him, Wolverine asked me not to. I gathered she wasn’t proud of having dated Nasty Nick, and I can’t say I blame her.

After that we three went back to The Mendicant’s place. They both dry humped me along the way, and also when I got there. I wasn’t exactly sure if I was being molested or mocked. I suppose I didn’t care.

My grandmother Depressia just called me to remind me to eat breakfast. Or I’ll get swine flu. Even though it’s night time – I can put a box of cereal out to remind myself in the morning to eat. Because otherwise I’d forget, right? *shakes his head*

Throughout the night I felt like Wolverine was speaking to my dark side, and I was probably also speaking to hers. What really weirds me out is that The Mendicant seems to be goading her on to do this, when I would expect he would want her for himself. Perhaps that’s because *I* want her for myself. He had told me days before that he liked her, and I’m painfully aware that he’s already far more familiar to her and intimate with her than I’d be willing to get this soon. Then again, I did sleep with that pole dancer the very same night I met her. God, I hope my mom isn’t reading all this. Also, he kept trying to make out with her that night, and she kept pushing him away. I got the impression it was just about scening, and not necessarily dating.

What I really want is not to be jealous. Anyway, as for what will happen next, I’ll have to see. I know that The Mendicant wants her too, and at this point, I’m inclined to say that his antics have earned her. The Mendicant slept over at her place last night, and was still sleeping behind her as I spoke to her on msn this morning. I decided to outright ask her: “So, are you two an item, or do you just need a scratching post?” She replied smartly that she supposed she needed a scratching post, and that The Mendicant, in turn, needed to be one. Poor boy.

Anyway, that’s enough for now. Well, one last thing. I met *another* woman at a party a few days back – a culinary student, who is studying with a few other Chinatown friends of mine. She doesn’t speak to my dark side, but she does speak to my humorous side. When I went on my usual tangents of making silly conversations even more silly, she played a long. She just seemed to get me. And she seemed very maternal – it’s difficult to explain without sounding cheesy, so I won’t bother. Let me just say that I’ve just asked her out, and I’m hoping she doesn’t have a boyfriend and/or freak out on me like Nurse Betty, or Makeup Girl, or Lilith, or whoever else thought a simple “no” wasn’t good enough.

Later, voyeurs! (You know I love you.)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

There Stood Stanly, Staring Down

There stood Stanly, staring down.
Stopping, sounding,
Heartbeat pounding.

How long will it take to drown?
Bubbles troubling,
Doubt is doubling.

Life abound with mounds of sound.
Lost and tossed, and never found.
Gowned and bound, put underground.
That’s the future he has found.

Grooming gloomy groveling knaves,
Gathering gravely for their graves,
Pointless prayer never saves.
But there’s peace beneath the waves.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Four Hot Women

It’s time for another update methinks. Just to let my two and a half readers know what I’m up to. I’m wise enough to know you’re not here for my shitty poetry. You’re here for the juicy stuff. So here it is. You sluts.

I’ve just finished summer school. I took British and American literature. This is how I spent my summer, reading books, playing PSP, going to lectures, chasing hot girls, and most importantly, not finding work. I’m exceedingly good at not finding work. It’s a shame it’s a skill that isn’t in high demand.

Right now there are 4 women I’m interested it. In no particular order, they are: Rose, Cue-T, Buffy and Orchid. (I sense a flower theme today.) Rose, I’ve mentioned before. She SO hot, and such a sweetheart, but she’s VERY elusive. Since I last mentioned her, we actually went on a date and it was GREAT fun! We just wandered around the market, and parliament, and made fun of the soldiers on parade. I suppose if I had to pick a favorite, it would be her, but she’s terrible at calling me back. She’s said again and again that she wants to see me again though, so I’m inclined to believe her.

The other three I accumulated over the summer. I met all of them on a dating site, and we’ve been chatting off and on. Cue-T likes to play pool. She’s also quite cute, hence the name. We actually have a mutual friend already, which is bound to happen, even in a capital city such as this. Buffy likes the show of the same name. We may go see the movie together on Monday. She also kinda looks like Buffy. Orchid arranges flowers, and is an ethnic mix that reminds me of several of my exes. People used to make fun that I seem to like ethnic mixes the most, particularly when they’re half-Asian. I won’t confirm or deny that, but it certainly looks to be the case, at least in hindsight. They’re all equally attractive and intelligent in my books, so it isn’t like there’s a clear victor. If one of them turns out to be a vampire, then maybe she’ll win the contest. Hell, she’ll probably eat the competition. I’m going to make an effort to meet them all in the next week and a half

I’m finally ready to go for my drive test, to get my license, but now the lazy wankers are striking. What could they possibly be dissatisfied with? They get to sit in a car all day intimidating new drivers, failing them if they’re having a bad day. I don’t see what the fuss is about. Small minds love to abuse small amounts of power. They have small minds, and they have their small amount of power. I always think of Selma (or is it Patty) from the Simpsons when I think of drive testers. Jesus Christ, give me 60 grand a year, so I can grow a fat ass to sit in a car and tell people they suck at driving; I’ve been on the road; I know how much fully-licensed people suck at driving.

You know I’m not making fun of fat people, right?

Anyway, I said I’d give you an update. Well, there it is. Now – back to the shitty poetry...