For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command or faith a dictum. I am my own God.
We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state and our educational system.
We are here to drink beer.
We are here to kill war.
We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.
Today, I am seeing ghosts.
Waking to the blurred face of a man I can’t quite recognize.
Hearing footsteps and a long breath behind me as I walk down Scarth st.
But, turning to see no one.
Then every ageing downtown crazy holding doors open for me this morning.
I am struck by that feeling of proximity.
Ache heavy like the weight of a warm body heavy on my chest.
I’m thinking that the hologram of a man watching me wake had a beard like one my dad grew once, when I was around 6, right after he broke his hip.
I’m remembering the sound of his scowl in the wind, the sound of his sigh.
And with them, come memories of his smokers laugh, his story telling voice,
his groan when interupted from the newspaper, a ramble, or a nap.
As I heard the wind sighing this morning on Scarth I was about to say,
“Hi dad. I can hear you.”
But instead just smiled silently the way I have been for two days thinking,
“So I guess you heard!? I got into to art school!”
I think of how he was always so adament about university because he’d never gone.
I think of him at my age, of the life he lived before I met him.
I think of his friends telling me he would be so proud.
I think of 35 year old gossip and when C said,
“Your dad was a pretty big deal, wasn’t he?”
While we drank tea on my couch this Tuesday,
and I wasn’t exactly sure what he meant by it.
Shrugging and saying only,
“Yeah, I guess so. Mr. Charisma, my father.”
meant sort of as a joke but also an impulse.
(now hoping he wouldn’t be insulted by this comment, he was a “big deal” based on tallent and kindness and important work in the arts, as well as charm)
C didn’t respond so I continued on a little jokingly about what I know of his love life before my mother, about the woman he was dating when he met her.
Then saying that sometimes C reminds me of him,
just in little snapshots like the back of his head, his shoulders in that jean shirt,
his scowls and sighs and story telling voice.
But, most do after all.
Thinking that if I added up all of the men I love, then picked and chose, I could compile the personality traits and physical feautures of my father:
From my friends the charming up-and-comers,
to the unshaven slender men wearing hand me downs that haunt bus stops,
to every dirty artist I’ve wanted for a minute or a year.
And then, sometimes everything can remind me of him.
Little bits and pieces spark up from everyday life.
From the sound of a drum circle or the smell of pot.
From making snow forts and spagetti and pancakes shaped like cats,
to every one of his many friends, to anyone with a kind hand and a passion for cooking, music, art, gardening, performing and/or people,
they are all him to me.
Today, I am seeing ghosts, but only slightly more than usual.
Hi dad, I can hear you.
I love you, thanks for the visit.
kissing older boys in cold cars.
the pigeons are falling and the sky closely follows.
these unfinished stories.
anniversary of awkward.
season of spilling.
get me more wine.
holidays are for encounters.
our breath in all the hair.
butter, coffee, chocolate, sugar, salt.
how it tastes to be twenty.
“she knows lost.”
wine and laundry.
the summer of lost boys.
spin gold from this.
“please wait in line and take a number.”
riding the train of circumstance.
“who is that creature?”
the way his glasses match his underwear.
teach me your ways of disconnect.
radiance derived from absence.
daily grind erodding heart.
I have been known to love you.
kissing, biting, breathing, humping.
“I heard you giggling in the morning.”
knowing exactly where my fingers go.
almost, almost everytime.
like children playing house.
this is called flirting.
film to finger, four eyes to mine.
blood wine drank.
The shape of his face.
all forbidden all the time.
why be jealous boy.
intellectuals just give better head.
feeling like a deep breath, so full.
this home swaying.
painting ceilings gold.
noticing the patterns of mornings.
antique mall mondays.
Slow and small and soft.
the sounds that adults make.
Lip biting. Neck biting. Hair biting.
first kisses only after fondles.
adolescent pile up.
the habit of anticipation.
cascading in consequence.
conversations smart like sparks but needing foundations.
soon lost in imagery.
“you look like a painting” she said. colorful and coloring.
I don’t know how to dress.
dreamt of silicone statues and tafeta.
dreaming of handfulls filled with skin.
– I entered a poetry slam for the first time at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival! After at first feeling terribly self conscious and in no way intending to participate, I was thankfully convinced otherwise and wrote this piece called, ‘Hearts Need a Place’.
-These are my business cards! Each one is individually kissed by myself or someone I’ve kissed, ahah. I was of course doing this at some early am hour the night/day of the festival street fair so I enlisted the help of my friends Jera and Martin, to get them all done in time.
Thank you to Shawn Fulton for these photos of my friend Eric and I “working” (playing photoshoot) at the booth/store/homebase. This next photo is off a friend named Imari who’s only 6, but can play the violin like you would not believe. He was kind of like the highlight of the festival, shhhhhhhhh don’t tell the other artists, and also, his outfit! common.
– Also at the festival, was the launch of an arts publication, put together by my very good friend Katherine Boyer, called ‘The Crop‘. K-boy, as we call her, an artist and just total jem who specializes in printmaking, conceived the concept with Michelle Brownridge and Ian Jestadt, then collected the artwork and printed it herself (wonder woman anyone?).
And, in the (loveliest) of Crops, I had a piece published called, ‘Hello, My Name Is, I’ve Missed you’ which is a painting done in india ink, based on a photograph of my father when he was younger (like, early thirties) and the feeling that I have of constantly meeting (and loving) these younger, different variations of men who remind me of him.
Lately to be continued…
mead in coffee mugs while watching rabbits flirt at midnight.
“you look older than twenty, take that however you like.”
character study of Barbie practiced in studio and at the pub(on dancefloor).
the best performance I’ve seen in ages, Shane Koyczan at the Artesian.
collecting souvenirs of maps and of songs missed.
boys who do the best Adele telling us we made his night.
moonlight matching skin tones kissing beneath telephone poles.
pretending bikes are horses, galloping towards coffee and eggs through sunlight.
complimentary chocolate covered chemically grown strawberries.
getting paid for my pen on paper.
seeing “My Weekend with Marilyn” loving Monroe mostly only.
costumes looking natural and wine like fountains.
friends at my door, waking me for church (brunch).
feminist theory on the highway.
dinner party conversation booming and rippling while I eat everything.
Poets write poetry.
But why shouldn’t a computer also.
Or at least, help to inspire and cultivate more poetry within poets.
If I’m a poet and I give said computer/program the tools that it needs to create spontaneous, beautiful and interesting poetry, what makes it any less valid than the words themselves I first wrote. Where is the line drawn between words jumbled until they just happen to arrange in a way which is beautiful and the way jumbled words spill from my own brain?
If our minds are the worlds most engenious computers than how can my mac book be any less than a kick-ass side-kick?
If the paintings I make by creating the proper conditions, choosing colours, canvas, tape, water and pressure, and then leaving the result up to chance, be considered art; then why not/would my words wrung through a melting pot, re-served to me in new forms and then re-aranged again by me, be themselves foolish, or laugh worthy?
How can you distribute worth to one series of words and not the other?
Especially if they’re equal or greater than, in substance.
When do words become poems and images become art?
Sound become music?
Moving become dancing?
Clothing become style?
If you stick a film camera on your cats collar,
and then let it roam freely, can you still call it art?
**Written in response to friends disregarding (and laughing at) a poetry project which is ironically still in the works.