Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween memoir

  1. Age five

    I wanted to be Raphael
    (the ninja turtle, not the painter)
    so Mom helped me select green clothes,
    cut eyeholes into a red strip of cloth,
    sewed a round, green pillow for a shell.

    My three-year-old sister wore it the next year,
    the shell nearly as wide as she was tall.
    She looked more turtle than ninja.

  2. Age ten

    Two weeks before Halloween,
    my mom bought little chocolate bars
    to give to trick-or-treaters.
    They were gone three days later, of course.

    Every year after, she bought lollipops
    or candy corn or neapolitan liquorice
    or some other undesirable sugary thing
    that couldn't tempt the weak willed.

  3. Age nineteen

    And so came the age at which Halloween
    required you to buy fake eyelashes
    and wax and shave and pluck elsewhere.

    I went to a university club in Hamilton
    dressed as Sally Bowles from Cabaret.
    Not a single person recognized my costume,
    but it sure did get a lot of compliments.

  4. Age twenty-three

    I shell out for a glow-in-the-dark skeleton,
    a large pumpkin, $40 worth of makeup, fangs
    and black dye to make me Nosferatu/Dracula;
    Somebody's gotta show these Twilight pussies
    what a vampire's supposed to look like.
    Youth of today, put the sparkles away!

    Carving knives in one hand, Jäger in the other,
    we carve intricate pumpkins at my kitchen table.
    Cell phone camera shots document our work
    before the ants can chew away the details.

Almost forgot to mention: My poem "Paper mate" has been accepted for publication in Issue 32.4 of Room Magazine. Yes indeed, I am feeling pretty awesome today.

Pumpkin carving credits: (starting from the leftmost, moving clockwise) Shayla and Andrew, Katie, Mary, Jon and Floris, and Matt.

        What's your favourite or most vivid Halloween memory?


Dorkmaster Flek said...

Doing my birthday party at a haunted farm just north of the city. We got chased out of the barn by a guy with a chainsaw. :) And your pumpkin carving credits are in the wrong order. It should be Shayla and Andrew, Katie, Mary, Jon and Floris, and Matt. :)

Mary said...

Good times on Saturday.. :) My halloween memories are very jumbled. During childhood I went with Tom, and I just have memories of running door to door with him and coming home and sorting the candy into Chocolate Bars, Lollipops, Rockets, Gum, Misc, and then of course all the gross candy (similar to what your mom handed out when she ditched the chocolate haha). My brother and sister would always hound me for some because they were too old to go by that point...

Adelaide said...

The pumpkin credits are now in the correct order -- thanks, Andrew!

Andrea said...

I remember the costume -- you looked AMAZING.


Claudia said...

congrats on the publication! I knew you could do it.
and some of my halloween memories should not be made public. Hahaha :)

bettyl said...

Congrats on your publication! That's so awesome!