memories

Less Than Forward Slash Three

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I find it amazing
That you cannot actually see
Out of the corners of your eyes
Your brain
Instead of seeing the blackness that actually exists there
Fills in images
Of what it thinks is there
So, everytime you see something out of the corner of your eye
Not just the small movements
Of a nervous subconcious but
Your most peripheral vision
It’s because your brain is assuming it’s there
It’s an assumption
An educated guess
Based on the images you see when you look around

That’s why I see you

I see you in the corners of my eyes because
Even my unconscious, rational mind
Cannot understand why
You’re not there

Author’s Note: This poem seems incomplete but this also feels like an excellent place to stop. I have another poem that’s a work-in-progress that may fit nicely tacked onto the end of this one; however I promised poetry, and for once I shall deliver. The accuracy of the science is debatable as I am not a doctor, just a graduate of high school biology.

On Jealousy

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I spent a lot of time in my younger years being jealous of other people’s talents rather than focusing on my own. I wasted a lot of time wishing. I wished for things other than what I had and did things I wasn’t good at for the sake of being like those people. Like, I tried out of a musical recently. I’m a good singer, a decent actor, and have absolutely no passion for the craft. I used to once, but when I thought about getting cast, all I thought of was all the work, not the pleasure. I was in a pipe and drum band for five years. When I came to Ottawa, I thought about joining one up here but they are all Grade 4 and 5 bands (that’s the highest). Just like the musical, all I could think of was the work. It’s almost ridiculous how much time I have wasted wanting instead of enjoying.

I wish I could say those times are over but I still spend a lot of time wishing instead enjoying, being jealous instead of being satisfied. My jealousy is more focused now, at least. Now I realise I don’t want to be the musical theatre girl or the pipe and drummer anymore. Those were periods in my life I loved. I loved performing but the key to that sentence is that it is past tense. I know what I want now and that is to be a writer.

Part of being a writer is that you read a lot and in reading a lot, I have a lot of opportunities to be jealous. Inwardly, I realise that someone else’s talents cannot diminish my own. Outwardly, I panic at every word I write and think “this person did this already” or “that person could say this so much better”. When I read something that I think is amazing, I can’t help but grumble a little. When I read something I didn’t like, I can’t help but feel a little superior. Instead I should be enjoying the written word for what it is, whether it’s great or not, whether I think it’s better than mine or not.

I hope I’m not the only person that feels this way. It’s something that I want to work on in the future. I want to be able to just enjoy reading. I know I’m not going to be the next J.K. Rowling or have the staying power of Charles Dickens. I’m not expecting that. I guess my point is that we should put down the measuring stick and enjoy the ride, for better or worse.

Writing Prompt #5

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A storm destroys your uncle’s shed and kills his six-year old son. Describe the colour of the sky right before the storm hit.

The day he died, the sky was like any other sky, but bluer. The clouds were the white, fluffy kind where they shape shift into anything you can imagine. When the first drops of rain began to fall, the sky turned ominous. The sky became a blanket of grey, just like the wool of the blanket he slept in as a that time he had scarlet fever. The clouds flashed and banged. I used to tell him that thunder and lightning were just the angels bowling. We spent storms guessing the score: The big ones were strikes, and the smaller ones just knocked down pins. Two close together were spares. But that night, it was a strike that killed him.

What did you think? Would you be interested in hearing the end?

Light Breaks

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The light floating in
From the open window
In the old, dark basement
Plays with your features
Light and shadow morphing your face
Perfect in my memory
Broken in the light

The light from the open back door
Blocks out the hunger in his face
As if I’d seen it, I’d have known
That he was stealing
My hard-earned innocence
One greedy grasp at a time

Trigger warnings
Movie monsters and men in black
The dark and the broken
Play hide and seek in my head

Coloured light breaks through coloured glass
A reminder of my place in the world
Dust flies through the beams
On my way to the ceiling
Flat on my back

Come and get me

The Importance of Encouragement

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Get ready. I’m going personal for a second. I had this as private for months, but I want to share it now.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. For a long time, this dream was dashed because of two people. One is my first psychiatrist. He told me I’d never make anything out of myself and at first I believed him. He stopped me briefly, but only briefly.

The person who was first to really shatter me was my teacher in grade 7/8. I would have been 12 or 13. Grade school was not good to me. I had no friends, I was tormented by the kids because I was hovering close to 6 foot by then, and I held a lot of “Catholic guilt” being at a religious school. The worst part was that the adults were equally cruel to me. I don’t know what I ever did to any of them, and it’s stupid that the question still comes to my mind. I was a child, they were adults, nothing I could have done would have made me deserve any of it. It happened anyway.

I’m not going into the specifics about how each adult wronged me, how the priest made me hate religion, or how no one was ever reproached for the well known poor treatment. No. I’m just going to talk about Mr. D, and how for years afterwards, I never wrote a word.

It was a tiny thing, but I was already so fragile. I was staying inside for recess because I had no friends outside. This was a huge thing and I don’t remember how I managed to stay inside. Nearly every day, I was forced outside to the reminders of how worthless I was there. I was writing a story (one I remember as, but probably wasn’t, really great). It was very LOTR-esque, and I remember it had “chaos” in the title. I can’t stress enough how excited I was about this. I gave it to Mr. D to read, tell me what he thought. (I guess it’s important to mention here that despite everything, I was a really big fan of Mr. D.)

He handed it back to me after merely glancing at the first page, said to me, “the title is spelled wrong”, and refused to read it further. It was such a tiny thing but I remember being utterly crushed.

I didn’t write again until high school, when it was like I couldn’t hold it in anymore, and never showed a soul. At one point, I let my friend Allison read something. She loved it so much I continued.

I needed a lifeline more than anything at that grade school. It was a miracle I made it out alive, though more broken than when I went in. I don’t have one good memory there. I wish it would get torn down. I’m sure Mr. D is still there, or somewhere, tearing up dreams without even realising it.

I would go to my old hometown just to watch the place crumble. I’d gleefully spit on its ashes, dance in the rubble. I’ve never hated a place before, or even a person for that matter, but I will happily hate that place for the rest of my life.

Untitled Flash Fiction #2

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I could feel the wind in my hair as I stood on the railing of the bridge. There were passers-by, I could see them move from the side of the right eye and then to the side of my left. I guess they didn’t notice the girl standing on the side of the bridge, one foot already off the side, ready to make the icy waters her frozen grave. Maybe this was an everyday thing; women too cowardly to deal with life the hard way. I stood on the railing for a long time. I don’t know what I was waiting for. Perhaps that film of your life that’s supposed to flash before your eyes just as you are to meet your demise. I pondered this thought until I felt a strong arm around my waist tackling me to the side walk.

“Don’t be an idiot,” were his only words to me as my head and tailbone screamed at my brain for attention at the same time. He walked off. I rubbed my throbbing head while I lay on the sidewalk for a while. I heard a dollar coin flung in my general direction. I got up off the sidewalk, brushed myself off, and took my hard-earned dollar but I didn’t climb back up onto the railing.

Palindrome

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When he kissed her
He tasted all of her mistakes
He tasted the source of her destruction
But he said she tasted like coffee
And kissed her again

He drew constellations on her cheeks
Joining her imperfections
To make perfect geometric patterns
With her eyes as Orion’s belt
Her mouth the North Star
He used it to steer him home

She was built like a hand grenade
He handled her softly, deliberately
He tried not to hurt himself, but he did
Still, he saved her from herself

He was built like an oak tree on a summer day
She handled him coarsely, too hard
She tried not to hurt herself, but she did
Still, somehow, she made him happy

She traced his lips with her fingertips
Making his simple perfection
Imperfect in the light
His eyes were distant planets
His lips magnetic North
She wanted them to guide her home

When she kissed him
She tasted all the sweet things
She tasted the place she belonged
But she told him he tasted like her downfall
And kissed him again