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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

poetinside

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
🐻 (at Musée Des Beaux-Arts De Montreal)

🐻 (at Musée Des Beaux-Arts De Montreal)

writing advice from a liar

"All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

I have not been writing truthfully. There are things I have not allowed myself to admit. I must tell the truth because that is where the juice is. The good writing is in the truth. The real truth. And the truth about the real truth is that it is mostly about lies. Truth is deception. All of the ways we are deceiving and being deceived. Deceiving ourselves. If we write about things we can easily admit to those we love or to ourselves then we are not writing truthfully. Good writing is about writing truthfully about deception. And fear.

Good writing is always the scariest to write. You are scared of hurting people, of isolating them, losing them. Scared of the places your mind goes to. Scared of your own proclivities. Scared of admitting what you really want. Scared of being weak. Scared of needing someone. Scared of realizing you do not really need anyone at all. The truth is scary and that is why we do not and why we should write about it. Write about the real truth, the deceitful truth. 

Once you have done that you can lie again. Bury the truth in a web of deceit. Exaggerate flaws, consolidate personalities, change universes, centuries, genders. If, at the heart of it all, you have told the real truth, the scary truth, the secret, squirm in the gut at the thought of anyone knowing it truth, then people will know it as the truth, and those embellishments will only make it better. Sometimes lying about the details of the truth just makes the truth more honest. And more interesting. The opposite of truth is not deception, it’s silence. It’s fear.

Be true. Be scared.

Write good. 

slice.

poetinside:


I sliced open my thumb on the serrated edge of a bread knife two days ago. The skin gaped red and flapping like the mouth of a reptile, bleeding profusely. Now little more than a thin red line remains and, if I’m patient, I can almost see my flesh close in on itself, mending. 

You told me once, while you were sweating in our living room, surrounded by opened boxes and bubble wrap, while I sat drinking coffee and occasionally questioning your methods, that you enjoy putting together Ikea furniture. You said it reminds you of playing Legos as a kid. I have no patience for instructions and sometimes I feel like my life is a box of odd ends with all the important bits missing. Sometimes I feel like I will never make anything useful out of all of this mess. 

Last week I hit rock bottom and the landing was softer than I imagined it would be. I lay on the ocean floor for thousands of years, until my flesh was consumed and my bones were left to witness a billion birthdays and a billion deaths. I saw hunger and murder and survival at the depths of the sea and when I awoke and swam towards the sun, my skeletal fingers breaking the surface, I knew more about life than I had ever learned from the living. 

I wipe a blue rag over the same clean counter top again, and again and again for fear of being caught “not looking busy”. I think about how we vilify a body at rest. Especially women’s bodies. Especially our own bodies. A woman’s body at rest is seen as a wasted thing. Our bodies are to be used and worn out. A woman’s body at rest is a body that thinks, a body that heals. A woman’s body at rest is a book read, a journey embarked upon, a skill acquired, a decision made in the service of no one but herself. A woman’s body at rest is a dangerous thing.

Another reification of the same movie, based on the book, based on the fable, based on the myth ad infinitum. Always the same story, the mutant, the alien, the god. The immortal creature with the power to heal itself, to live forever. I sliced open my thumb on the serrated edge of a bread knife two days ago. Now little more than a red line remains. My body at rest is a powerful thing.

3 weeks ago - 181

There is a tempest under the balls of my feet. I want to run. Two steps to the door. Three flights of stairs. Eight blocks. Home. I could make it in ten minutes. Instead I pad silently across the carpet to the bed where he sleeps, face-up and open, like a well-fed cat. I stand for a moment and marvel at how normal he looks. His nose is large and pointed slightly to the left. A hockey injury. His chin is angular. His eyes, which are hidden behind veiny, fluttering lids, are brown and unremarkable. I search for any sign, anything that I may have missed. I stared at this face for almost a year. I picked at ingrown hairs and popped zits. I kissed eyelids and cheeks and earlobes. I know its creases, its crevices. I held it between my sweating palms as he hovered above me, felt his jaw roll like a ping pong ball beneath my fingers. I was so aware of every twitching lip and furrowed brow. I bobbed restlessly around him like a doting kite. And yet I never saw this coming. I feel like the understudy for an unwritten role. I glance once more at the door. Eight blocks to home. Eight blocks to a life untethered. I imagine myself floating then, no longer a kite, but a balloon. I am stretched thin, cheap plastic and overwrought well wishes. I escape a lazy fist and for a moment I am all air and light, then I disappear quickly and unceremoniously behind a tall building. Free but forgotten. Instead I pull back the sheets and ease in next to him, my knees finding the curve of his knees. Better the storm I know, I say, than directionless winds. Tomorrow, I say, I will run.

When I say come don’t stop to ask where 
Just put on comfortable shoes 
                                                I want to drain oceans, lasso horizons
                                                Swallow the moon, bring the distant near
When I say jump don’t say how high
Just forget that there ever was a ceiling
                                                I am imaginary time, I am impossible
                                                I am every raging storm in every distant sky
When I say let go don’t hold on tightly
Just remember the fall is all there is
                                                Life is weightless, we are raging bulls
                                                I am here and I do not tread lightly

virgins at noon.

Summer seethes outside, a bloated temptation
A needle drops on an anachronistic record
She always did love her antiquated affectations
Sepia filters, old cigarette tins, we’re bored

"It’s like watching water boil", she whines
Which I never really minded, I can depend
On the slow inevitability of heat plus time 
Water always boils, summer always ends

But this is waiting without expectation, we
Paint red our ripened lips
A couple of concupiscent peonies
Just aching to be picked

Modern devices remain hopelessly mum
In cloudless skies rises unimpeded the sun
Our tedium drones undisputedly on 
"Fuck it," she cries. "We’ll make our own fun."

We sip spiked juice out of Mason jars (of course)
Sweat drips down my inner thigh
My eyes dance eagerly across the sea of short
Shorts and bare skin. Montreal, my

City is bottled sex, eager, barefoot and heady
I am baiting, turned on like an electric coil
Tightly wound, hot to touch, scared but ready
Just waiting for the water to boil

He is a bad boy
A generation raised by old
Jamaican and Bajan women
Hunched over stovetops
Their backs to the door
The radio on loud enough
To drown out the sounds of 
Things they do not want to hear
Too tired from raising angry sons
To raise angry grandsons

A peck on the cheek
A dismissive hug
You worry too much, gran
I won’t be home late
What’s for dinner?

He picks me up
In her pink Suzuki
Dented on all sides
Cigarette smoke stains
The grey fabric interior
Dancehall threatens to
Blow the tinny speakers
Rosary beads hang
From the rearview
In the glove compartment
A Bible

We have to be home by seven
To get her to church on time
It is six thirty-two
The windows are fogged
My hands are braced
On the dash
We will be late

She will have to walk
It is eight blocks
Twelve Our Fathers
Six Hail Marys
She prays for his soul
Sweating through her
Sunday best

Her friends will say
That boy needs a piece of
Bamboo across his backside
No, no he’s a good boy
She says, Lord knows
He’s a good boy

Today I saw a woman eating a hot dog and she put all the ketchup and other toppings on the bun first, under the sausage, so she could eat it with no mess. My life hasn’t been the same since.

☀️ (at Mile End, Montreal, Qc)

☀️ (at Mile End, Montreal, Qc)

Prayers in Transit

Blessed be that yellow line 
That unfurls before me
That hurls me forward that
Seems to churn endlessly
On and on and on 
Towards my 
Home
Or wherever it is
I’m going.

Blessed be that yellow line
That is near behind me 
That tears me to pieces that
Seems to disappear always
Gone and gone and gone 
Away from my
Home
Or wherever it is
I’m leaving.

Blessed be that yellow line
That is here beneath me
That cares not where I go that
Seems to burn and whisper 
Come and come and come 
You are already
Home
Wherever I am.

My best friend on email attachments.

My best friend on email attachments.

I’ll Take Care of You

That’s a lie.

I will be just another girl who
Cracks you open and scoops out
All the good bits and
Plays with them like shiny toys
Exposes your every nerve
Ending and makes you think
That possibly something 
Could be worth it after all
I will be just another girl who
Thinks she loves you but
Changes her mind and 
Leaves you in a crumbling mess
Unlike anything you have
Ever felt before because
You don’t break open this easily
And so when you do
It is like the shattering of marble
Eventually you will put
Yourself back together with
Gaping cracks and mismatched stone
But you will be harder now and
When she comes along she
Won’t get in
The worst part is that
She won’t be anything like me
She needs you because
She has been hurt too
But she didn’t harden she
Melted and became more 
Pliable such that every man
She loves now is sand that
Falls between her fingers and
So she holds on tighter trying
Not to lose another one and
The more you push her away
The more she stretches
But you can never love her
Because you left your love
On my bedroom floor 
And she will love you too much
Because she needs to
Prove to herself that she can

I won’t take care of you. 

slice.

I sliced open my thumb on the serrated edge of a bread knife two days ago. The skin gaped red and flapping like the mouth of a reptile, bleeding profusely. Now little more than a thin red line remains and, if I’m patient, I can almost see my flesh close in on itself, mending. 

You told me once, while you were sweating in our living room, surrounded by opened boxes and bubble wrap, while I sat drinking coffee and occasionally questioning your methods, that you enjoy putting together Ikea furniture. You said it reminds you of playing Legos as a kid. I have no patience for instructions and sometimes I feel like my life is a box of odd ends with all the important bits missing. Sometimes I feel like I will never make anything useful out of all of this mess. 

Last week I hit rock bottom and the landing was softer than I imagined it would be. I lay on the ocean floor for thousands of years, until my flesh was consumed and my bones were left to witness a billion birthdays and a billion deaths. I saw hunger and murder and survival at the depths of the sea and when I awoke and swam towards the sun, my skeletal fingers breaking the surface, I knew more about life than I had ever learned from the living. 

I wipe a blue rag over the same clean counter top again, and again and again for fear of being caught “not looking busy”. I think about how we vilify a body at rest. Especially women’s bodies. Especially our own bodies. A woman’s body at rest is seen as a wasted thing. Our bodies are to be used and worn out. A woman’s body at rest is a body that thinks, a body that heals. A woman’s body at rest is a book read, a journey embarked upon, a skill acquired, a decision made in the service of no one but herself. A woman’s body at rest is a dangerous thing.

Another reification of the same movie, based on the book, based on the fable, based on the myth ad infinitum. Always the same story, the mutant, the alien, the god. The immortal creature with the power to heal itself, to live forever. I sliced open my thumb on the serrated edge of a bread knife two days ago. Now little more than a red line remains. My body at rest is a powerful thing.

Daisies chez nous.

Daisies chez nous.

poetinside:

Our days are all closed blinds and creaking floorboards
Fitted bed sheets that come undone during
Afternoons spent not napping. We are all saturation
And high contrast, overripe bananas and other fruits
That drip between fingers and down to elbows. 
Our nights are all sweaty discomfort and searching fingers.
Sleep won’t come before I do.
Three a.m is insatiable. We are all out of focus
And overexposed, held hostage by a yen that buzzes like
Snowy televisions and hungry mosquitos in our ears.