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Sunday, February 5th, 2017
2:29 pm - Keeping it old school

I'm happy this exists. I remember deleting old Livejournals and Deadjournals and Diary.nu or whatever it was called. It was how I dealt with shit, how I controlled my image to the outer world. What a fucked up thing - to be a teen at the dawn of the internet. To know that you have an audience. To rely on comments and feedback. I'm glad Lymph Nodes is still alive, but I'm sad Feeding Frenzy is gone. I could really use some memories right now as fodder to write some sort of memoir text I have swirling around in my head. If I have the courage, maybe I'll dig through my old paper journals and notebooks.

This is the sad thing about minimalism. Memories can often disappear along with our quest to simplify and declutter. My mom is a pack rat, and I have a tendency towards that too, though I mostly find it's cathartic getting rid of shit. I've had to force myself into a minimalist corner because I think stuff can hold us back. But in times of creative drought, being a packrat is a gift. We should not look down on those who collect our memories for us. We should not shame ourselves for hanging on to things for too long. We should not have to Marie Kondo our lives with such urgency and without foresight.

I was looking through old entries from university on this journal, and thought I wrote way better back then. I'm old and stiff now, cautious. I've seen some shit. I've done some shit. Nothing is new the way it used to be. Every feeling, every person, every movie, every day - everything was new. Things didn't have to make sense - you could just feel based on the voice I had back then. I could feel how stubborn and self-important I was, like most teens, I suppose.

Yesterday I was sad about it - how I had such a cool, fresh voice - because today I feel like a different person so far removed from that time in my life. But maybe it's not the worst to develop over the years. It would be way worse to stay stuck. I yearn to understand my youthhood better. I yearn to write more, way more, like I used to. I relied on writing as if it was my lifeblood, even if it was a drab journal entry starting with the words, "Today, I..."


Monday, January 23rd, 2017
4:30 pm - I remember
I remember riding buses and suburban ashphalt.

I remember, at age 9, visiting my dad in San Diego as he worked on a naval engineer contract. My first taste of California: Disney, cacti, the Zoo, and the presence of palm trees. The strip malls my mom and I would shop at, the cheap choices that revealed themselves, unavailable in Canada.

I remember when my dad learned to swim. He received colour-coded patches for every level accomplished. Yellow, orange and maybe maroon. We later moved to a house with a pool, but he never swam.

I remember the way the yellow light hit the walls of our first house in Mississauga, the way it radiated in all its angularity, reflecting off the television's surface, creating a glare in the midst of my cartoon mornings.

I remember the television that taught me everything, the one that enriched my vocabulary and inner cultural reference data base - the ones I had collected by the age of 12, the Simpsons quotes, anime hairstyles and all.

I remember Pogs and Devil Sticks.

I remember learning cursive, and the importance of quotation marks.

I remember my mom's sewing room, a marked place that showed me her ability to earn a living by doing something creative, on top of her day job as a dental assistant, of course.

I remember Pogo sticks and Flinstones vitamins.

I remember the glass door that backed out from the sewing room onto a fenceless green lawn, the door that separated nature from home, leading to a slope with a treed top, perfect for tobogganing in winter and hiding in summer.

I remember one particular green summer, playing in the trees alone. I found a pair of keys and thought I was part of some mystery game. It felt like the keys were placed in the soil for me to find. Confused, I threw them in a deep dirt hole.

I remember telling my mom about the dirt hole, and seeing her disappointment in me, how I had caused an inconvenience for the key holder. That's when I learned something about morals and empathy and responsibility and guilt.

I remember playing with boys in the school yard, one of my friends stomping on a bumble bee. In my dog-printed shorts and backwards cap, I deemed it bad luck, sympathetic towards the bee, curious about its feelings. We went on to talk about video game magazines, which I had inside knowledge of, thanks to my older brother.

I remember daily library visits and eating McDonald's on the carpet every Tuesday.

I remember the colour of the earth in November, every November, the first snowfall before my birthday. I remember the discerning adult voices as they dropped off my friends at the birthday party, cake arranged on the table, donkey's taped to the wall.

I remember my neighbour from India, a friendly girl whose mom told me I looked like a guinea pig, as I inhaled the scent of incense and pretended not to notice.

I remember hating posing for photos, especially in large groups.


Feedback from class:
- Green summer - dirt hole - playing with boys = story is linked. Can you write this, is it a starting point for a bigger story? Eventually, turn one of these into a narrative.
- Songlike, mesmerizing, Bob Dylanesque.
- Feels like a lonely and singular childhood experience.


Wednesday, December 28th, 2016
11:53 am - Death & Celebrity
It's strange to feel grief when celebrities die. We feel like we know them, but in reality, we really don't have a clue. And they obviously don't even know we exist - as a group, yes, but as individuals, rarely.

Needless to say, a lot of bad shit went down in 2016, and part of that shitiness included the death of many beloved icons. David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Bill Cunningham and Carrie Fisher were the most heartbreaking for me. In short, L.Co was influential to my writing and understanding of poetry, David Bowie to my understanding of fashion, art (V&A exhibit) and music. Total Aquarius rising. Bill Cunningham died in his late 80s and lived his life up until the very end, shooting photographs of the most stylish people in New York. He traveled by bicycle often in his little blue jacket, heart full of spirit.

I only recently learned how badass Carrie Fisher was, when I was rewatching the original Star Wars movies last year around this time to re-educate myself before seeing the new ones. What a feminist icon she was, how she spoke her mind, truly, how she told us about her bipolarism. She didn't give a fuck what people thought of her. I love that and aspire to be like that. I often get caught up in wanting to be more graceful, which I find important, but it's very unnatural for me to be graceful, poised and tactful. My natural inclination is to rebel the way Carrie Fisher always did. I side with the shit disturbers in the cafe over the floating cashmere ballerinas. But, if I could do that while still accessing that "effortless fashion blogger" which I imagine wistfully flowing in the wind, inspired and aspiring (weird) then that would be cool, too.

Like many people in the EST timezone, I discovered George Michael died in the middle of Christmas dinner. I immediately texted Daina, who is a huge fan of him and introduced me to his work (as well as Cohen, might I say). Then we - my family and friends who gathered for dinner that night - listened to Last Christmas through my iPhone speaker. What a tragedy.

I can't remember where I was because I have the memory of a stoned fruit fly, but earlier this year I was out by myself, probably miserable and lonely, when I heard a group of people standing in a lineup somewhere sing the sax part of Careless Whisper by George Michael. Yes, not even the lyrics, just the iconic sexy sax melody that eveyone knows so well. It instantly made me feel better. Thank you, George, for making music that makes people feel really happy, flamboyant and gay.

RIP Prince. Muhammad Ali. Sharon Jones. Glenn Frey. Ursula Franklin. John Glenn. Harper Lee. Phife Dawg. And especially: Murphy. Nancy's mom. So many personal deaths. Not to mention, the Death of America - Trump & Co., I'm looking at you.

Interesting, politically divided deaths (though never speak ill of the dead): Rob Ford. Fidel Castro.

The Oscars and Grammys are gonna be real long next year :(


Wednesday, November 30th, 2016
3:55 pm - the aftermath
the trauma after choking
on your lungs
from drinking water

a useless, unnecessary trauma
one minute you sip, the next
you're coughing up water
onto your book, clothes, couch,
table, rug
drips down your lips

cursed water
clogging up my airways like that
liquid lodged in my scratched throat

simply irritating

after i've wiped the floor
with my ragged sleeve
i notice water stains on nearby textiles

water crept onto my socks
and into my bra
and i'm still coughing
unable to speak
so i keep drinking water
hoping that things clear up


11:14 am - Rough notes
Overheard on the bus:
"If you are in transition, you are really living"

To ask someone a question
instead of googling it
is a rebellious act

If you cast your eyes down
long enough at your phone
they'll permanently stay that way


Thursday, November 24th, 2016
11:10 am - una pregunta
when you quit your corporate job
does it mean that you've "left the corporate world"
even when you never really belonged there in the first place?

can you quit something you don't belong to?
and never believed in?
can you quit something you never wanted?
something you're not attached to?
but grips you tightly anyways?


Monday, November 21st, 2016
11:29 am - instamessage
dear tiny
chat box,

i've had enough
there's no space to record my dreams
your size is quite obscene

and when people send me messages in teams
or groups, as you say
it drives me loopy insane
like i can't concentrate all day

so many notifications
notices, inhalations
exhales of other people's inclinations
i've lost all inspiration

undersized chat box, i ask you to
please open up your mind
maybe you'll realize
that you must grow larger in size
it'll be quite a surprise
when i can communicate through you
right now it's just controversy
and complacency

change damnit i want you to change
an overflowing waste basket
i demand and i crave
a better way to say
what i need to say



Sunday, November 20th, 2016
10:52 pm - university remix
i am the thirstiest of all thirteen atheists; a raised fist stemming from a weak wrist. and i insist that i'm a solipsist. i'm jam packed fulla hella trucks backed up in orillia waiting for a delivery of manilla paper. so i can write letters in the shape of envelopes to come, and unravel my stomach straight into the sun.

like a crackademic, instead, i'm writing this paper, on genetics and cosmetics and the teeming epidemic of mustard and relish. relinquish those condiments, commodified into packets of ketchup that catch your eye and douse your fries. onion cuts exposing tears, 18 & need to pick a career, drilling hieroglyphics right into my teeth.

university, tormenting me like an orange seed dropped in the amazon rain forest, you-never-see, unabashedly you bash my confidence gracefully, a slam poet who doesn't know it, playing grapefruit basketball in the street. i recommend tangerines, you find it to be quite obscene. i'm non-stop rhyming, lost track of timing and now i've fallen behind & i'm crying. i am obsessed with the words i can possess and my self esteem is flying. out the window. thanks for the help, though.

i pretend i'm in a mockumentary. a sudden urge to compose a symphony of fakeness and tomfoolery. i'm a grown woman. once i used to be unwoven. once was a presentation of cultural celebration, but now i'm a buddhist lost in confusion. elevated on elevators i'm lost in translation.

& then we met. the streets weren't free, i found you on the internet last night at three. mesmerized by a bluescreen reflection that reflected my understanding of human affection. i dislocated my connection, unplugged my digestive system into a state of backwards inhalation. how many liras for this libra, boy? my library fees now must all be destroyed. we bowled on an island where the crows were calling, tarantulas crawling, palm trees falling over holland. no longer a scholar, just a shot caller, store bought history tucked away in a drawer. a impressed empress dressed to suggest, swimming in calming waters.

we would be masterful then, faster than a natural disaster, fresher than an olympic medallion massacre, offshore like madagascar, no more battle scars, only accelerating sports cars. discovering life on the highway, no time to write essays. truck stop moments, breakfast at denny's, giving the waitress all of our pennies. for a price, she delved into our imagination, we imagined a nation run by temptation, it was amazing.


Friday, November 18th, 2016
6:44 pm - Sylvia Plath remix (None of these words are mine)
I live here
The moon is my mother
Clouds flower
I am silver and exact

Mouth stuffed with cotton
A featureless cloud
I walk among them
In love with the formlessness
of the sea

This is the light of the mind
Cold and planetary
Trees black, light blue
The moon is no door
White as a knuckle and terribly

I am not cruel, only truthful
It might be a part of my heart
But it flickers
Funnelling my heat away

No novice in these elaborate rituals
and cabbage roses, snug as a bud
and at home
those that impose on the evening of
a ceremonious April walk

Murderous, I would breathe water
Entering the stomach of indifference
Vague as fog
Farther off than Australia

I have suffered the atrocity of sunsets
The bottom is what you fear
I do not fear it
I have been there


I was seven, I knew nothing
I am lame in the memory and
I am alive only by accident

And then
Years later I encounter the perfected woman
Her body dead
Wearing the smile of accomplishment
Her bare feet seem to be saying
We have come so far
It is over


Friday, November 4th, 2016
6:22 pm - disappointment like
disappointment like
a website that forever buffers
a pinball that never succeeds
a spoon disappearing into a bowl of soup
a basketball that falls away from hoop
murphy's law dictating jam-covered surfaces
layers upon layers of uneven gas prices
a match that never lights
the failing mathematics behind a vending machine
broken eggs - eggshells, eggyolk
a crooked nail hammering
a dart that misses its aim
non-stop floating on-screen logos
dominos that pause halfway
the inherent injustice of carnival games

and anxiety like
paying full price for flights with stopovers
baggage fees (emotional and otherwise)
hitting red lights the whole way
busted pizza pops
leaking waterbottles
feeling the breeze of another person
feeling the eyes of another person
a thin sheet in winter
dried up plants
cutlery placed in different drawers
oddly angled furniture and laundry baskets
white fluorescent lights during night time
singular, glimmering blond hairs stuck to clean cushions


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