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.