Straight up, this is probably going to the most private thing I have ever written here. But I think these words are far too important to keep solely in the private pages of my journal. I wouldn’t say I learnt this the easy way, but I think things up in my misty mind finally did click for me. So here goes:
You know I used to think that power was everything in any relationship. And this power rested solely in the hands of the person who loved less, who was consequently given more, pandered to, and could walk away with nary a scratch if the relationship did end.
I succeeded in holding this power, through all the relationships I was in, romantic or platonic. I almost always had to have the last word; I was always the one they fought over; I was the one ready with all the cynicism in the world for one more bastard in history (mine or the girls’); I was the one with the strength and the mojo, so to speak.
This is what I have come to learn. Power doesn’t bring you happiness. Holding the knowledge that you love someone less isn’t going to make you wake up with the knowledge that you don’t want anyone else in the world sleeping beside you, but him. Loving less isn’t going to make all the little things count; loving less isn’t going to take you all the way to 49 or 94 together; loving less isn’t going to build an us, and it most certainly isn’t going to build a you.
He made me realize this. For the first time I didn’t care if he liked me more or I him. For the first time it didn’t matter if I was going to have the last word in a bout of verbal sparring. For the first time I didn’t need to fight to put my defences up and ensure I had an exit route that would leave me unscathed. I didn’t need to; he was more than enough even if he didn’t mean to be.
But you should know upfront, this is not a love story.
My fingers touched something tonight;
it wasn’t air, no no.
A candy heart wrapped in a tangle of my
Everything turned to gold,
the day I had my say,
six years ago with April running into May.
Makes sugar taste like stone.
Makes a feather a ball of hail.
Makes my bones turn into rods
that spear your eyes and make you cry.
Cry for me.
I see everything,
The everything that was nothing in my eyes before;
marshmellows in pastel pink dresses, blocks of chocolate for the family,
balls from the gum machine.
Sticky fingers from long liquorice laces,
As long as the hair that fell out and never came back,
As long as my hollow face would greet Mom,
As long as the silence at the dinner table,
As long as the line of mascara tears; both mine and yours;
As long as the
stretched shadows that tug at my feet each night and tell me it’s okay to
(Image via Josephine Bradley Scott)
(Something I wrote in August this year)
It may just be tonight.
One night where I know I cannot breathe.
The unbearable screech of silence bounding off
is what it is.
That bridge, the water, the old winding street –
I begged you to take me before it got too dark.
I had to take a picture.
We got there too late.
Nobody could tell if it was Lombard Street, or just some
straight avenue in the parade blueprint.
We got there and it was dark.
I won’t go north after Thanksgiving.
It gets too cold and then life takes over.
I have letters to write,
white envelopes to open. And seal. Open. And seal.
I hear my grandma’s sleeping on my bed now.
I can only sigh with relief.
That it’s not time yet. Because I can’t let go.
Anywhere but here.
One day geography will wash my lifeless body up the shore.
tonight is one of many nights where
I cannot breathe.
CTV front page! PLEASED AS PUNCH!
See the McGill MBA crew give a little love here.
As surely as you leave me breathless
– you make me speechless too.
Cunning thief you are;
stealing the words right off the curl of my tongue.
I asked you why;
you said you didn’t know.
I asked you how;
you laughed and told a joke.
I stopped laughing
nine moons ago.
Je ne sais quoi?
Perhaps it would have served
to have had your first words fall on deaf ears
and my last word inked naught on skin.
Perhaps we were, you
a fait accompli of
I kept waiting
for your moment to arrive.
For the chugging train to announce
its next stop.
But it goes on,
blowing proud grey smoke into the wind.
Il vaut mieux faire que dire.
you could never be,
and I would never know.
Je ne sais quoi.
The African Tulip whispers
a strange windy song.
Wild grasses stand tall,
like willowy grand dames with
Autumn leaves simmered in red gold
crumple and fall from
Dancing princesses in gossamer gowns
run like streams of cold air;
when the dawn breaks.
but they float.
but they stride.
but they stop.
but they drop.
I have no windy packages,
nor have I hollow stalks.
I seek not aged greens
nor obedient royalty.
I am made
Of Sterner Stuff.
The Endless –
it creeps. Down the alley, down the hallway, down the curve of my back.
It speaks not
of the weakness of my heart.
Yet it knows; more than I could
It holds my hand,
and beckons me to hide while I can.
The blankets, the sheets, the starched curtains, the everywhere.
This desperation could not be
the work of a mere passing night.
The point of no return, it knows.
I could not reach it on my own.
I feel this cold twist in my stomach –
the knotted art of calmed rage.
And so The Endless –
it stands. At the foot of my bed, caressing me with the softest lullaby.
The song of rest says
I should not confess.
Be with me.
Be with me.
I have been surreptitiously inspired. In a Harry’s-wand-goes-tap-tap-with-a-gaggle-of-magic-words way.
I think I’ve been waiting a long time for this to hit me again. The urgent, pleading need to write.
I haven’t been writing poetry for a long time; even worse are prose or the short stories which have not flowed on paper for the better part of three years. I suppose if you consider the fact that I only write poetry when I’m tragically down in the pits, this has been a good thing. But I’m ready to write again, ready to put ink on paper for purposes other than crafting dramatic and contrived press releases for good money.
I’ve added a tab at the top (Catastrofree Writes) to share some of the things I’ve written over the years and more importantly, to share some of the things I will write from hereon. Let’s hope this little collection keeps growing, shall we?
Thank you stranger. For reminding me that the gift of the pen does not have to be given only when life’s a bitch.