Thursday, October 30, 2008

Our love

Everlasting girly-girl,
Alicia asks, “What’s the most romantic thing
He’s ever done for you?”
And I flinch,
Thinking back to last week
When I linked my arm in his,
Smiling starry-eyed,
And begged him to send flowers to my office
This Valentine’s Day.
He asked, “Will it be expensive?”
And I said probably,
But it would make me happy.
After all, I’ve never had an office before.

Our love is not one
Of romantic fantasy and chick-flick clichés,
No sloppy-fingered guitar, voice-cracking compositions,
No fighting in the rain,
No fancy French restaurant wines
Or virginal, white-lace love-making.

We’ve learned to side step
The expectations laid out for us
By unmarried (or unhappily married) daydreamers
Who think they know what love is
Because they saw it on TV.

His face is too honest for surprises,
Let alone secrets and lies,
But he gets my jokes,
Lets me be the man sometimes,
Holds my hand inside his on cold days.

Our love is friendship first, always,
With no room for guesswork,
Because we have what we want
Because we ask for what we want
Because we know what we want.

So thank you in advance, Andrew,
For the beautiful flowers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Art clash

This poem has been taken down for submission to a publication. Appologies for the inconvenience.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A friend on the bus

Patrick and I take the same bus
three days a week
but sit apart.

The first time, I was excited to see him.
Unexpected eye contact,
flash of recognition,
familiar smile,
take the seat beside him,
the usual, cliche questions:
"What are you doing now?"
"How's your family?"
listening with genuine interest
that grows between long-time schoolmates
who have taken different paths.

Subsequent meetings turn challenging,
work hard to keep conversation going,
comments on the weather,
awkward silences,
remembering, unspokenly,
that we were never that close.

The excuses start:
He's busy with school work,
I'm braindead and grumpy in the morning,
and now we sit apart,
avoiding eye contact,
pretending we don't see each other,
reading our books.

But when he holds the door for me
I smile at him
a real smile.
I like you more than ever, Patrick,
now that mutual understanding
has replaced the small-talk.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Knit one, purl two

From what cob-webbed domestic shelf of my heart
Has the desire to knit unexpectedly sprung forth?
Certainly, I have no predisposition to it.

Clumsy, scab-knuckled fingers contorting
Slowly, awkwardly
Knitting needles frequently poking
The standoffish woman in the seat beside me
I knit one, purl two
All the way form Spadina to Kennedy Station
Final product: a knotted mess of wool
Much like the matted clumps
The would result in my childhood hair
From climbing sappy trees.

In spite of this discouragement
I continue to weave my tangled eyesore
Content just to watch my fingers move
Concentrating on the present task
Breathing easily
Free from the weight of my expectations.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I want a window

This poem has been taken down for submission to a publication. Appologies for the inconvenience.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dual Octobers

This poem has been taken down for submission to a publication. Appologies for the inconvenience.

Missing Steve

This poem has been taken down for submission to a publication. Appologies for the inconvenience.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Thing about Honesty

The expression, "It's not what you say,
it's how you say it,"
only goes so far.
Sometimes I end up torturing you,
telling you unnecessary, inevitable truths
that would crush weaker men.

Complete honesty
is poison to the listener
but sweet, sweet ecstasy to the speaker.

Rush Hour

The little old lady at St. George Station
stands off to the side of the crowded stairs.
Kind girls with shy smiles
and gentlemen in expensive suits
offer to let her into
the platform-bound cattle stream.
One after another
she politely refuses,
motions to her cane,

Old age has stolen the quickness from her pace
but she has all the time in the world.

The Happiness Ceiling

Even after all the good times past,
All the exciting future plans,
Similar interests we held as children,
the laughter,
great sex,
your way of making me feel good about myself
when others make me feel incompetent,
the random acts of fate that keep pushing us together,
the ring on my finger,
yes, the love,
and all other irrefutable evidence
that you and I are perfect for each other,
I still sometimes lose your face in fantasies
and lust after lesser ideals.

How easily we forget our blessings.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


My sister, who never does housework,
lets it slip to my mom that she's been raking leaves
at her boyfriend's house.
My mother sees this as betrayal in the first degree.

Mom looks away coldly,
Struggling to control emotion,
Makes analogies
to try to inspire
an apology
a desire to clean the house.

She asks, "Why do you care more about his house than ours?"
and my Judas-sister makes lame excuses
about convenience and situation
but we daughters both know
the real reason why we prefer cleaning others' houses above our own.
We won't come out and say it to Mom,
There are limits to our betrayal.

Truth is, we gave up on our house long ago,
Run down,
Full of slobs,
There's no hope for any kind of progress.

Cleaning her boyfriend's house is building a structure out of Lego,
Cleaning ours is playing a game of Jenga.

I'm moving out in six months
and it feels like I'm graduating from high school again:
Can't bear another minute of the circumstance
but I sure will miss the people.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mona the Witch

This poem has been taken down for submission to a publication. Appologies for the inconvenience.

Button shop

This poem has been taken down for submission to a publication. Appologies for the inconvenience.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Poet on Adelaide West

I've been trying to write a book since I was thirteen years old
and it's always the same old story:
about forty pages written,
then I tear it apart, editing it to death
before it takes its second step

Maybe bad intentions are slowing me down
I don't want to sit and write the story
I just want to be something more than the sum of my
pathetic pay stubs
lousy job title
relationship status
parents' pride

I take great gulps of distraction
sips of denial
casually watching the drama of my own destiny:
Will I be an author on the Danforth
or stay a poet on Adelaide West?