Friday, June 09, 2006

like the bird that flew

"he tells me that you have an odd hobby" nathan wrote. hobby is a much better word than say fixation, and it's true - every day i look at places for rent. if i drive past a "for rent" sign on someone's lawn, pasted to their fence, staring through their front window, it is likley i will stop, or at least circle the block a few times. partly, it's because i've an ever present grass-is-greener voice when it comes to living spaces. partly it's because i have, historically, moved a lot and it's become a force of habit. that, and i have a very strong nest-y urge. but that urge resets itself every so often, manifesting in wanting to tear down and rebuild elsewhere. the frequency is unrealistic, surely. partly, it's voyeuristic, wanting to know the insides of things.

in truth, we do need more space. but the decision was to wait until next year to move, making my daily routine of home hunting excessive in terms of preliminary research. so when the above note arrived as a request to help look for a place, i devoured the task with fervor. there was an actual purpose to my perusing! i honestly enjoyed it, and i wonder if that is unusual. perhaps my inner real estate agent needs some love and attention...

the marvel now is that, with all my outside looking and circling of blocks, a suite became unexpectedly available in our happy co-op. and it is perfect. it was down to me and one other applicant, and in anticipation of the verdict i wrote and drew on the august 1st page in my black book, imagining opening new curtains (new nest = new curtains, non?) on those side windows and letting all the morning sunshine that i know floods that side of the building in. into our new bedroom and our new home...

and it is our new home! or will be, as we are moving! the biggest wonder of it all, is that my hobby has ended. no minutes of my day, since finding out the place is our's, has been spent on looking at places for rent. no rent signs have lured my foot to the break, the urge has up and moved on itself, as it were.

this is new. will it return? is this the place that won't have me longing for another? will those new curtains frame a lasting home? we'll see. in the meantime, i've got to start packing.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

traffic jams

mid-may, and practically summer, insofar as the sun is out and the days are hot.

driving home last week, in the backwash of rush hour, i paced a cyclist from main street to clark. i would pass him, come to a red light, and before turning green, he would pull up next to me again. pass, red light, reunite. he was strong and fast and barely slowed for the steep hill of great northern way that my car jerks up. he also wasn't wearing a helmet. i liked our checkpoints, and was sure he didn't notice our pairing as i did.

the next morning, late for work, at the top of the hill about to descend, he pulled up on his bicycle next to me again and we started down the hill together. he got to main street before me.

yesterday, at a red light in front of the science world skytrain, i watched a woman with a head of permed blonde hair cross the street. 40's. her outfit very well coordinated, in itself and to the season, and it made me smile.

today, a few blocks from there, after a walk to pick up lunch (oh moss cafe, how i adore you) the same woman stepped out of the all brown brick windowless building on 5th. she kept glancing at me as i walked by and i wonder if she was noticing my clothes too. perhaps she was just eyeing my smoothie.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

canmore hotel

the scripts i write are never realized
'cause you show up and you improvise
and i'm left here recovering
from things not going
accoring to plan - you know the best laid
as the characters weakened and the plot strayed
in this stage play, called everyday

not this is not how it was meant to be
not what i was counting on
and i was counting on 1, 2, 3.
this is not how it was meant to be
not was i was planning exactly
and i was planning from A to Z
i'm sorry
can i forgive me

Thursday, February 16, 2006


end of february and buds and blossoms have already arrived in vancouver, early ambassadors of spring.

spring. a season. the axil tilt of the earth is leaning toward the sun, as daylight hours grow and stretch and increase. i notice it already - it's not light out when i leave work, but there is a stripe of light blue along the horizon. "The hemisphere begins to warm significantly, causing new plant growth to spring forth, giving the season its name."

spring. an object used to store mechanical energy.

spring. a natural source of water.

spring. a town in texas.

mostly i am considering the first. seeds planted and the winter thaw revealing new life in unexpected or forgtotten places. i welcome it.

Friday, February 10, 2006

further from the point

here i am again
the same predicament
i was in not long ago
and we're all just walking spirals
from the inside out
further from the point
less certainty more doubt

in that boat again
but saying we're smooth sailing 'cause we're afraid to swim
as we're all just doing laps
getting closer to the edge
where we find out that we're trapped
and this is all there is

the same decisions to be made
the same outcomes to be weighed
we're just trying to stay on track
and carry what we can
without breaking our backs
or breaking what began

you won't get to heaven
if you don't let this one in

yes we're all just walking spirals
from the inside out
further from the point
less certainty more doubt

Friday, January 27, 2006

"Who knows how to make love stay?"

"Tell love you are going to the Junior's Deli on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn to pick up a cheesecake, and if love stays, it can have half. It will stay.

Tell love you want a momento of it and obtain a lock of its hair. Burn the hair in a dime-store incense burner with yin/yang symbols on three sides. Face southwest. Talk fast over the burning hair in a convincingly exotic language. Remove the ashes of the burnt hair and use them to paint a mustache on your face. Find love. Tell it you are someone new. It will stay.

Wake love up in the middle of the night. Tell it the world is on fire. Dash to the bedroom window and pee out of it. Casually return to bed and assure love that everything is going to be all right. Fall asleep. Love will be there in the morning.”
- Tom Robbins

i love him.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

more small words for it

happy new year! happiest yet, i hope.

indeed, mine has started off joyfully. love and music flourish, and other resolutions and requirements (health! work! rest! discipline!) are, if not being entirely met thus far, not yet entirely abandoned, at least, in heart.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

new year's notice

co·hab·it [ kō hábbit ]
(past and past participle co·hab·it·ed, present participle co·hab·it·ing, 3rd person present singular co·hab·its)

intransitive verb

1. live together: to live together, especially without being formally married
2. coexist: to coexist with somebody or something else

Etymology: Late Latin cohabitare, from Latin co- + habitare to inhabit, from frequentative of habEre to have

"Several common reasons for couples to decide to live together include wanting to test compatibility before marrying, living with someone before marriage as a good way to avoid divorce, and/or seeing little difference between the commitment to live together and the commitment to marriage. But the three most important positive consequences and reasons commonly cited by cohabiting couples are: companionship, sexual gratification, and economic gain." - wikipedia

"i've never seen blue like the blues he drives, in and around and through me again" - tori amos

it's true. he's moving in. or more accurately, his things are moving in, as, it seems, he has been in for some time already. but now laundry is freely mixed, there is no longer any confusion around the whereabouts of "home" when it's referred to, and conversations on how to move furniture, and make room, come up sporatically and move slowly to conclusion. this there, that gone, this away, this kept, and i am seeing my home, which is full of many of my things, as malleable and breathing and happy for the new company. happy! what a small word for it.

hap·py - adj. hap·pi·er, hap·pi·est
2. Enjoying, showing, or marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy.
3. Being especially well-adapted; felicitous: a happy turn of phrase.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

snowflakes strung by sweetheart

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

"it's like sparring"

he says, of negotiating and navigating through relationships. "they want you to be them, and you want them to be you, and it's a matter of figuring out what you're both willing to accept, or give up." having just ended a long relationship, i wondered about his experience; i have been wondering about how things begin, how they sustain, how they change, and if there is a common experience.

"collecting i love yous" i called it and phoned all the happy couples i knew and asked them to tell me the story of "the first time i/he/she said i love you to him/her/me". everyone took their time and smiled and described and glowed through their voice - it's a moment, it seems, that no one forgets.

i won't forget.

i will, however, continue to redraw this map, as i find my way through the labyrinth. this vulnerability, this confusion, this distance and closeness, this desire... tonight, these have me, cartographer, tired.


good night.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

your footsteps from subwaystation

i love typos, and when language is new. says an ad for a flat to sublet in paris. i often spend time clicking through craigslist, only listings with photos, to imagine myself in these foreign places, and among the varied decor. and yesterday, driving down knight street a for rent sign almost had me stop and turn around. why? i don't need to move. i just moved in may and i like my apartment. but i'm so attracted to newness and change, and always feel like there's somethig better, happier. also, i find it hard to hold things, needing to keep leaving before i can ever get left, and when my skin feels like it's not fitting, my foolish inclination is to change my environment, before looking at tailoring myself. is that part of my apartment hunting hobby? escape? perhaps there's nothing behind it at all, merely an interest in interior design and a slight voyeuristic bent, but my hangover this morning reminds me that there are a lot of demons pushing to get out of my head, and they need a place to live.

Monday, November 28, 2005

pudgey birds and snowflakes hanging

there is a substantial gathering of small pudgey birds on the patio this morning. they must know gilbert's window is closed. even better, he is asleep in the open drawer of my dresser (he likes the sweaters), rather than threatening them through the glass, affording them this worry free frolic. or perhaps they are conducting a meeting, comparing my patio to my neighbors'.

one bounced down, step by step, the black metal thing (left stadning in the dirt by the last tenant - presumably it is there for the benefit of climbing plants. i would like to plant sweet peas in the spring, in fact) and onto the heads of the silver love chickens/wannabe lawn art from ikea. it was adorable.

i dreamed last night that when i woke up this morning and walked into the living room/office/dining area from which i am currently writing to you, the curtains from the ceiling were gone, the baker's table was gone, and all surfaces were clear of their usual clutter and activity. it was still dark, but as my eyes adjusted, i saw paper snowflakes had been hung all over the room and knew them to be strung by my sweetheart, who'd long since gone to work for the day. some had a bit of a blue glisten to them that the growing light struck. it was so lovely, and reminded me of the season that is beginning.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

wing night at the drake

in canmore. the place was packed - for grrrls with guitars? ah, for the 29 cent wings (5pm - while supplies last). the room was smoky and each of us covered our mouths while scanning the menu for a vegetarian option. by the time we took the stage, the wing fans were loud, drunk and getting drunker. so we tagged along, getting louder and drunker too. despite the lads whistling cat calls from "girl power!" to "man haters!" and trying to battle their volume, it was a fun gig. so different from the cozy listening crowd in ashcroft (the opera house was a splended night) but interesting to drop into a new town each night and figure out what parts of ourselves will suit the audience du jour. coquettish, we skipped the sad songs and ordered another round. at the end of it, coco and i went for a walk with brandon and noel, along couger creek, our feet crunching the brightly moon and star lit snow. floodlights they seemed, and we'd been in the city too long to not be amazed at the visibility of the natural night. the crisp air got too cold and we climbed back into their truck (me banging my knee gracefully while doing so). back at the drake, we learned they want us to play two nights next time we're in town. i guess the wing men liked the man haters after all.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

en route to ashcroft

Friday, November 11, 2005

tour, day 2

waiting in merritt, at the tim horton's now
waiting for the smoke from my van to die down
waiting for the girls to come get me
and for the reality of this breakdown to hit me

i cross the street to the gas station, ford fiests pulls up, parks, driver gets out, asks the attendant for directions and they are given - full of landmarks. left at the, right at the, drive past - and i'm imagining the stories in the answer to the question asked

like the weeping willow on the main street
of this small town
must be as firmly planted
as you are
in my ground

so much that i could give directions by you
and those directions by you would start with how i love you
and continue with "i think he loves me too"
followed by an escape route
not that i would ever leave, it's just hard to receive
and sometimes it's good to know if you have to, how to go

though the weeping willow
on the main street
of this small town
is as firmly planted
as you are
in my ground

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

an excerise

in shifting perspective.

ruth loves to tell me, over the phone (it's been left on voice mail too), "when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."


obviously i can't really complain - i'm going on tour! my album is coming out! but i've been such a stress case - how will i finish sewing cd cases! when will i do laundry and pack! i need to approve proofs! the colour is wrong on the cd face! don't forget to pick up the prescription!

this morning, when the sewing machine grunted and grinded to a halt, and gilbert had my hand locked between his teeth (it is red striped and swolen now), i called nick tired and teary to hear some form of "it will all work out. it will all be okay". he, of course, provided calm rather sweetly and i recovered even further by playing piano for a spell. now at work, i am tilting my head to see these differently, ideally as delightful opportunities, not big bad walls of hardship! i can, at least, at this point in the afternoon (home and dinner will surely get me closer to blissful acceptance) be glad to have these worries. i am.

i think, though, regardless of being so glad to have such troubles as the release of my album, that when something is important to you, a little anxiety is to be expected, surely.

sigh. the things you look at change - i know ruth! i'm working on it.

Friday, November 04, 2005

bridge (replacing old with new. perhaps...)

you say we can't truly promise
that we won't take all of this back
but this is the closest
i have come
to even wanting to promise that
and i don't mind to try
without a net

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Granny Lalla's Letters to the Lovelorn

once again, joe dolce's newsletter has brigthened by day. this week, lalla, who he says of:

Lalla Arifa, born in 1335 AD, is still a controversial figure. The Hindus regard her as the reincarnate, whereas the Muslims, a perfect mystic saint. Lalla Arifa was lost in spiritual wonderment; walked about naked; fought against her self; and renounced the world. She was a poet and sang of spiritual and divine bliss. Both Kashmiri Hindus AND Muslims affectionately call her "Mother Lalla" or "Granny Lalla".

his latest weekly has her poetry throughout. he opens with:

I didn't trust it for a moment,
but I drank it anyway,
the wine of my own poetry.

It gave me the daring to take hold
of the darkness and tear it down
and cut it into little pieces.

also: Naked Song of Lalla 7

Unconscious people read the scriptures
like parrots saying Ram, Ram
in their cages

It's all pretend-knowledge.
Read rather, with me, every
living moment as prophecy

Monday, October 24, 2005

lil country song (piano tinkered)

i'm filled with poison
and it's seeping out
from time to time in these lines
and i can offer plenty of reason
for my seething,
but there's never the time

but if you're willing
pull up a chair
i'll put on the kettle
and join you there
and we'll start at the top and work our way down
till we reach solid ground

i know the best medicine
is an honest conversation
and i'm willing to trade
a fair exchange
for your candour in kind
surely you are just as hard
and heartbroken as i am
the elements take no rest
and make no exceptions

but if you're willing
pull up a chair
i'll put on the kettle
and join you there
and we'll start at the top and work our way down
till we reach solid ground

Sunday, October 09, 2005

gilbert has fleas

Thursday, October 06, 2005

dear jennifer

the most important story is that i am in love (see below). it's very new and shiny still, and so i bite my tongue often, worried i am rash. but.

he reminds me of you sometimes - the writers he references, the way he talks, his pauses and lookings out the window. i can't decide which i like more - the talking for hours (with no thought fully explored or point made, an eyes closed to drop a finger on a map, head in that direction, but being distracted on the way, never reaching any destination on one endless incredible roadtrip through all new territory kind of talking) or the kissing (etc) for hours (i shan't betray anything further in parenthesis).

he is beautiful.
oh my.

it's immensely exciting. but i'm shy of it too, and cautious, and analytical. that said, i'm also trying not to be, because sometimes, you want to just leave things whole, and not dissect. i'm not sure i want to know how this works.

do we ever stop being scared?

what else. i'm unemployed. which is nice. other than the financial doom. i have an immense cold, which is dreadful, and eating away at my unemployed bliss, or rather filling it with snot, sneezes, coughs, naps, and a general big head haze.

i miss you.

susan gives me updates, which i both devour hungrily and savour slowly, somehow, trying to slyly ask more questions each time. but you tell me - tell me tell me tell me things.

i know i just said it, but again, and still, i miss you.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

simple equation

look at us
coming to conclusions
with not much
gathered, but
maybe it's a simple equation
and merely the
to each other
is enough
to add it up
so let's not bother
with any other math

and don't bother
to question
how long this will last
nothing good has
ever come to
anyone who asked that

we agree
we both want to
fuck up the least
we ever have
and to fuck up the least
for at least awhile
as long as we both want to
as long as we both can
and too bad
we're both frightened
by the past
and what happened
after that
but it's no matter
how we traveled
just that we landed

how mistaken i've been
but to know him is to love him
and to love him
is to begin again

don't bother
to question
how long this will last
nothing good has
ever come to
anyone who asked that

Monday, September 26, 2005

she was cold lying on his bedroom floor
the autumn window open, the air marching to frozen
but other than her skin she was warm
'cause the boy that lay beside her his light was burning golden

he is happiest when things are stable and unchanged
most content with calm and small
whereas she is a circus of unusual and strange
and even if she wants to can't hold on to anything at all

along those lines of thinking his ship was sinking
after a five year sail
all the while she was starting and stopping
box car hopping to no avail

and it seems her sad story could be over on this page
if she takes this writer for a lover, her story will change
so she puts the pen in his hand, leans in to him, says
"write me a kiss, then write me a kiss again"

the path for him and the path for her
up to this moment builds the overture for a symphony
that they're composing on the cold floor
the sounds of surprise and delight and falling fill the city

for a girl so lost and saddened
how fast it happened that she gained
a sense of feeling worthy
of such beauty as he contains

and it seems her sad story could be over on this page
if she takes this painter for a lover then her story will change
so she puts the brush in his hand, leans in to him, says
"paint me a kiss, paint me a kiss again and again and again"

she was cold lying on his bedroom floor
the autumn window open, the air marching to frozen
but other than her skin she was warm
'cause the boy that lay beside her his light was burning golden

Saturday, August 06, 2005

last night

for one, i took not being the designated driver for once a little too seriously. for two, what lovely gigness! to shane, who ran all the way there just in time for the last song, you warmed my heart to no end. to see blondie, for the first time in 8 years, all like i high school remember her but all grown up just the same, was also fantastic. pippa's home, al, don, jess, truly thank you thank you.

above all, damn it was good to play with liston for the first time. how can this boy be leaving? i just found him! it may very well signal the end of my budding career as i refuse to play with any other bassist. i think i will stage a protest.

michael-owen: we love you. you've brought out so much in so many.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

these flowers

i can't stop listening to martha

i wanna be like that
i wanna be like that

last night met up with jess and mike (lovely as ever, as mentioned below) at zesty's for the unsweetened (and unspoken) open mic. ms spelt featured and we folded paper and napkins into lilies and roses. michael regaled the most excellent time t.o.f.u. had and made in dawson - it is not surprising at all that those boys were the best thing there. too tired for it, i went to the brickhouse anyway afterwards (afterwards anyway?) and then drove them all home. it was a week ago i dropped off michael matthew at the same place, in front of the park on prior, pulled over in my little 'orange blast' rental car. and in this week i have both day dreamed and wondered about timing, choices, and the lessons people teach us. monday i cried about all of those things at denise's little round table - she kept getting up to get a kleenex, and eventually just brought the box over. how do we heal? by digging up roots she tells me. i'd like to just chop down the tree and leave the roots buried underground. i don't think we always have to know where things come from. and i don't think there is one great love, i think there are many - it's just that we choose one, and keep choosing the same one, ideally. but with choice, there is sometimes loss. and so i wonder.

i helped diederik buy his one-way ticket to holland yesterday. he leaves in 4 weeks. it's so real now. i can't think about it much yet. dear august 24th - please take your time. i'm in no hurry to greet you.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

don't call me brave yet, i'm still in the thick of it

i know why this is where i'm at
i asked for this - i remember that
i know that i don't get to blame you
though i'd like to
i want to scream and cry
"you were so unfair, you were so unkind"
but the truth is all that shit was mine

nothing's changed -
i'll just push you away and then complain
i will make my bed with these dirty sheets
and then damn you for not laying with me

let's have a laugh at me
and my bad poetry
buy the first song - the rest are free
even then i could make you a deal
give it all up for something real
none of this late night low light pondering anonymity
i'd give it all up for a garden blossoming propinquity

nothing's changed

what i saw in you was you seeing me
we can't have that, now can we
and what i saw in you was you leaving me
'cause of course you will, someday, eventually
every good thing must come to an end
and every strong thing bends
let's just hope we mend

nothing's changed
i'll just push you away and then complain
i will make my bed with these dirty sheets
and then damn you for not laying with me
damn you

Friday, July 22, 2005

every time

i'm standing on the sidewalk
clutching chalk in my hand
and i'm throwing these boys
on to my game of hopscotch
which ones will i jump off
and where will i land

Thursday, July 21, 2005

connect the dots

friday night at the folk fest, pippa, liv and i missed t.o.f.u. we were most disheartened. we were busy having the best grilled chesse san and our choice of soup at burgoo - and i mean best ever. not that it was worth it, because truly those boys are beauty in so many ways and how magnificent they must have been on the mainstage. but, happily, i caught them the next day with geoff berner and fruit, though pip and liv will have to wait until next time.

tardy arrival aside, elephant ear in hand, we sat on the fancy blanket and listened to buck 65 kick ass and feist slowly warm the audience to a simmer. before her performance, she backed away from us on the yellow plywood path and advised "just connect the dots, be where you heart tells you to be". these sage and vague words became the weekend's response to, and reason for, almost everything, as we found it most amusing.

saturday started early. i stepped out under the grey with blanket over one arm, coffee mug in hand, and big bag of sunscreen, raincoat, change of shoes and shirt over the other arm to discover my van alske had been stolen. again. i am going to leave a note on my window - if you need a ride, just tap on the window, i'd be happy to take you. why bother busting the lock and cutting the steering wheel? we could both save time... sigh... alske has since been found, without my sunglasses and favourite beach blanket. at least this time they did not take my handicap parking thing. people. honestly.

once the report was filed, i put away thoughts of theft and looked ahead to the sun smothered weekend of the festival. which was delicious. and the saturday and sunday parties both were highly enjoyable. mike mcgee is my new favourite person, and jess hill only gets more lovely and likeable as time goes on. sometimes i feel like an imposter - they are so talented, they are so busy, and i'm reminded that i need to practice guitar more. jess' mom drove us home, circuitous down broadway and through downtown before heading east, swinging through wendy's for salty fries which were quickly devoured in the backseat. jess drunk, me drunk, mike between us, i was dropped off at home for 3 hours of sleep before heading to work. i was in rough shape, but with a happy post fest glow.

it's wednesday now and i think i'm just starting to catch up on sleep. how quickly it's lost, how slowy it's recovered...

Friday, July 15, 2005


since to my last post, i've had aaron english songs firmly rooted in my brain and tripping out of my mouth. "oooooooooooooh woman what can iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii do". so good. that is mixed (oh dj) with lines from one of diederilk's songs. poor lad, how i butcher his lyrics, skipping from one verse to the next and back...

thanks to joe dolce's newsletter, yesterday i read this. incredible to imagine these creatures are disintigrating below the sea and here i sit typing under a skylight. what a world.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

the edge of the world music festival

it felt like i'd been gone for days. this is due, perhaps, to the modes of travel. van to the airport, the small plane to masset, the bus down to tlell, all of us musicians pulling our gear in the the pouring rain. by the evening walk on the beach, it was hard to imagine i lived in a city, or even had ever seen one much less been in vancouver that morning. a transporting experience.

the festival was fantastic. big barrels of gratitude to frank, jason, and everyone who put it together, kept me dry and warm, fed, and musically satiated. the hightlight, truly, was the aaron english band. the music and the lovely people who make up the band - big big love friends, big big love. patrick - let me know when you've built your commune, i will come plant potatoes.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

from mosaic park to brittania

stop - we can't be walking counter clockwise
we're just ticking hours off our shrinking lives
i'm looking down at my fingers grass tied
you say don't apologize, don't apologize

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

post T.O.F.U

i am listening to you play
it's all i can do not to run up and kiss you
i'm easy that way
it's something you better get used to
so put down your guitar
come over here
play the songs that you love on my arm
and move up, move down...
my skin will sound as sweet as your melody and your poetry
so come over here and play me

i know it's no easy to give it all up for a room full of strangers nightly
waiting for one of them to be kind
and say 'i know what you mean'
but i know what you mean, so play me

i am listening to you play
i am word washed and warm
in all that you say
in every last little sentence you form
i am watching your fingertips touch the strings
i am watching your lips as you sing
the beautiful shapes that your mouth makes
i could move into them
i could move like you move me
and you move me like a waterfall
i fall into yours every time
so come over here and fall into mine

i know it's not easy...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

to begin... she asked us, do you have love in your heart? and so we answer...