Monday, 30 April 2012

My mind is like a teenager’s dirty bedroom.

My mind is like a teenager’s dirty bedroom.                                                     

Ideas are clothes,
tried on seven times without being worn
or lived in for three consecutive days
then left in filthy bunches on the floor,

Memories line my mind
like posters of a favorite band,
plastered over every inch of wall,
being constantly covered
with something better.

Dreams are love letters
secretly stored in shoe boxes
hidden deep beneath the un-made bed,
dusted off once in a while
just to make sure they’re still there.

My worries are dirty socks
under piles of magazines on the nightstand
or surrounding unfinished homework
scattered across the floor.
They pop up where they are least expected,
and always after you’ve thrown away its mate.

It doesn’t matter how many times
the sweaters are folded,
or the shoe box is pulled out.
It doesn’t matter how many socks
are reunited in landfills.
My mind is constantly cluttered.

and in that chaos
I am the most comfortable.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Birth as I see it... a list of the pros and cons.


Over the past year and a half, many people, well women, in my life have given birth. My brother’s wife delivered their second child, my second niece Sophie on Easter Monday of 2009. A healthy, slime coated baby girl. Her head was all scrapped up from her exit and oddly shaped like a peanut. After seeing pictures of her, freshly birthed, on that cold, hygienic scale, I comprised a list of the pros and cons of childbirth. Actually, it begins before the physical birth, before the pregnancy altogether. It begins at that defining moment of am I pregnant. Luckily, my persistent fear of labour has for the most part guarded me from this experience, but as a woman the thoughts of pregnancy still from time to time plague me. If my menstrual cycle is late for example, regardless of whether or not I’m sexually active at the time, that thought pops up like a prom night pimple. Who knows, maybe I’m the Mary of the twenty first century. That moment of realization, as far fetched as it may be, that your life as a single, selfish woman could be coming to a close, is the first on the list.  Con.
            I suppose, once you’ve established that you are in fact with child, the Lord’s or otherwise, and have accepted that in nine short months you will be a mother, the pregnancy can be quite interesting. Ultrasounds, hearing the heart beat, feeling it wriggle around inside you are all, for the most part, unique to pregnancy. A cousin of mine once described the movement of her unborn son, as having swallowed one too many goldfish. Who doesn’t wonder what it would be like to suck down a few live fish and have them scoot around in their belly, swimming into their kidneys or pressing into their rib cage? Con.
            I think its time for a pro, which for obvious reasons, comes in the form of shopping. Due to the massive bump that one acquires from being knocked up, a new wardrobe is required. I’m happy to announce as well, that because of the recent surge in celebrity infants, the overall style and selection of maternity clothing has significantly improved. No more are the pregnant doomed to a final trimester of overalls and baggy denim dresses. All of the top celebrity moms have established their own high end fashion lines of pregnant pants and tops for all seasons. If all else fails, you can always buy a new handbag that in the future will double as diaper bag. Now for the con, unless you plan on having multiple babies, those clothes are useless after birth. 
            It’s hard for me to fully understand what it is like to give birth, but from the experiences of others, I’ve derived several important items that make up the bulk of my con list.  The birthing process seems to start slow, a pain every few minutes, but intense labour is where the real cons make their appearance. A women’s pelvis expands ten inches wider then it was day before. That’s roughly the size of the average man’s foot. From that pelvis come the head, shoulders and body of a sometimes ten pound baby.  I often watch “A Baby Story” on TLC. This program is filled with women who, during labour, are sweaty, messy, unpredictable versions of themselves surrounded by supportive moms and husbands rubbing their backs and reminding them of how well their doing. Meanwhile, these ladies are about to bare down and push a child out of their uteruses. In my opinion, now is the time to pump them up with hockey playing, goal scoring, testosterone and just let them grunt it out. Combinations of these factors, along with the often uncontrollable bowel movements while pushing, are only two of the intense labour cons.
            After the birth comes the after birth. Did you know that once the baby comes out, you have to birth the placenta? A fact that was new to me until late this summer when a friend, in detail, described both her inability to birth her placenta and the offer by her doctor to let her take some home. I have never seen a placenta, but I can imagine the green slimly ball of mess and that is enough for me to capitalize the next word: CON.  Another procedure after labour is the possible need for stitches. Now, for this con I want to first of all ask you to keep in mind where these stitches are going and after what special event. Apparently, not only fully licensed doctors can stitch you up either; med students are also given the honors of reconstructing the new mother’s vagina after she’s given birth to her new little bundle of joy.  One student described the experience as a total shot in the dark as well, stating that its somewhat like trying to sew together a piƱata after its been busted open by several children with a stick. Con.
            Labour is over. The bun is out of the over. This is the part where I get to list all the positive things about being a new mother. This is where the pro list, the turtle of race, slowly takes the lead. I guess this could be the case, providing your hormones are in check and that you don’t hate your baby. Then you have all the time in the world to cuddle it, change it, wipe its snotty nose, and feed it at all hours of the night. Con.  But don’t worry though; you’ve got those adorable blue eyes and that cute little smile to keep you going, right? Today, right now, it’s easy for me to think about the twenty hours a week that I spend with kids, and know that when my shift is over, they go home, away from me, to moms and dads who tickle their feet and tuck them. Mothers who have rubbed the same little back through every cold over the past five years for the simple gratification of knowing that they can make babies and raise them too. When I give the little hooligans a sticker and send them out the door, I am reminded even though I’m not ready to let my body become a baby factory just yet, at least I have the tools and the space for production in the future, as gross as it may be.

**Honourable mentions for the con list include: swollen ankles, morning sickness, strange and uncontrollable cravings and possibly having to deal with your partners pathetic sympathy pains during both the pregnancy and labour.

For my niece...

Olivia and the Sun
Olivia Faye was the toughest girl in her second grade class and maybe even her entire school. She could run faster than all the third graders and hang for longer on the monkey bars than any fourth grader, but when it came to dealing with nasty teachers, Olivia didn’t know what to do. So when Olivia climbed out of bed just as the sun rose on the last weekend before school began she knew it was going to be a very busy few days. Olivia combed her short brown hair and brushed her teeth until they sparkled. She had only three days to catch the sun.
“There,” Olivia said happily as she buttoned the last button on her blue summer jacket. “Now it’s time to get started.” Olivia had been thinking about catching the sun ever since she learned that Mrs. Skiffington would be her third grade teacher.
There were rumours that Mrs. Skiffington was the meanest, cruellest teacher in the entire city. Some kids said she had fangs like a vampire and that spiders lived in her long blonde braid. Other kids said that she cast spells on the children who misbehaved, even if they only misbehaved a little bit. Olivia would do anything to stop school from starting, and catching the sun meant that summer couldn’t end. If summer couldn’t end, then fall couldn’t start and neither could school.
 “I’ll use my fishing rod to catch the sun,” Olivia decided. “But what can I use as bait? Fish like worms, would the sun like those?” Olivia thought for a long time and decided that the sun was famous for drying up even the deepest puddles. “I’ll use puddle water,” she said. Olivia gathered up her fishing rod and a cup of puddle water and climbed to the highest part of her roof. “If this works,” she thought as she tied the cup tightly to the end of her fishing line. “I’ll never have to meet Mrs. Skiffington.” She cast the line as far as she could into the sky. The cup flew waaay up and then fell right back down with a splat. Olivia got some more puddle water and tried again. She cast as hard as she could, but it was no use. The cup flew waaaaaaay up and then fell right back down with a SPLAT!  Olivia started to think again. “Sometimes when my kite gets stuck in a tree, I use rocks to knock it free; maybe I can knock the sun from the sky.”
Olivia gathered up all different kinds of rocks: big ones, small ones, light ones and heavy ones. Olivia found brown rocks, black ones, white ones and even a reddish-green one. She piled all the rocks into her backpack and climbed to the highest part of her roof once again. Olivia decided to throw the lightest rock first. She gripped it tightly in her hand and heaved it as high as she could into the sky. The rock soared up almost out of sight, then fell right back down with a smash. Next Olivia tried the heaviest rock. She gripped it tightly in her hand and heaved it as high as she could into the sky. Again the rock soared up into the sky and then fell right back down with a SMASH! Finally Olivia tried the extra special reddish-green rock. She gave it a kiss for luck. “You could be the rock that saves me from nasty Mrs. Skiffingtion,” she said and heaved it into the sky with all her might. The reddish-green rock came down with the hardest SMAAASSSH of all. “Hmmmm,” Olivia thought as she climbed down from the roof. “When a cowboy wants to catch his cow, he uses a lasso. Maybe I can use a lasso to catch the sun.” But where was Olivia going to find a lasso wide enough to fit around the sun, and long enough to reach the sun? And how was she going to find it before school starts?
Olivia gathered together all the skipping ropes, shoe laces, and bits of ribbon she could find and tied them all together to make the biggest lasso in the world. “This ought to be big enough,” Olivia said as she climbed back up onto the roof for the third time. Olivia gripped her gigantic lasso tightly in both hands and started to spin. She pulled and twisted and tugged, but it was no use. It was too heavy. Olivia sat down with her legs crossed in the perfect thinking position and thought hard until she came up with the perfect idea. “I’ll get birds,” she said. “They can help me swing my lasso up over the sun.” With a loud CHIRP CHIRP and a few little whistles, Olivia called over every bird she knew. Owls, ravens, pigeons, crows, and one bright pink flamingo fluttered down. The roof was covered from side to side with birds. “Grab on,” Olivia hollered at her friends. “I’m trying to catch the sun.” And without a peep every bird grabbed a piece of the lasso and started off.
Thousands of birds flapped together towards the sun. “Spin,” Olivia yelled. “Swing.” The lasso started to turn and take the shape of a giant circle. Olivia squinted to see the tiny speck of birds closing in on the sun.  Soon they were out of sight. All Olivia could do was hold her end of the rope and wait. Olivia waited until lunch pasted and dinner. She waited until the sun started to come down. “They’ve got it.” Olivia cheered. “They’ve captured the sun! No Mrs. Skiffington!”  Olivia cheered as she started to tug hard on the lasso, she leaned back as far as she could and pulled, but the sun kept falling without getting any closer.
 Soon all the birds started to fly back, but the sun was not behind them. “Where is my sun?” Olivia called. The birds looked sad. When they landed on the roof Olivia noticed that the lasso had been burned to a crisp. “Was it hot up there?” she asked. The birds gave a tweet, yes.  Olivia looked at the birds and the black lasso, she looked at the smashed rocks and splattered water, and she listened to her tummy grumble. The weekend was almost over and she still hadn’t caught the sun. What could she do? Tomorrow she would have to face Mrs. Skiffington.
Olivia was scared on the first day of school. Mrs. Skiffington led all her students into their new classroom with a smile. Olivia was assigned a seat in the very front row. Mrs. Skiffington wrote her name on the board in nice curvy letters.  Olivia watched carefully for the spiders in her braid and made sure to keep her eyes down to avoid out going spells. She waited for the fangs to appear, but nothing happened. At the end of the day, as Olivia packed her thing away, Mrs. Skiffington pointed a long skinny finger at her. “Olivia,’ she said. Olivia froze.  She had never been put under a spell before, is this how it felt? “Olivia.”
“Your pencil,” Mrs. Skiffington said as she bent over to pick it up. Olivia reached slowly for the pencil. “Have a good day.” Her new teacher said with a twinkle in her eye. Olivia couldn't  tell if it was a spell or just a nice twinkle, but she smiled back.
“Thanks,” she said.



My car is a slug as it drives through the thick tension that separates me from my mom’s house. I haven’t been there for three months and she calls me out of the blue to come over and visit. I was positive that I hadn’t given her my new number, but apparently I had. I’m drinking vodka out of an old Dr. Pepper bottle as I drive. I always choose vodka before I go to my mom’s. A tribute to my rigid Russian upbringing I suppose. The streets are bare. Wind is blowing snow lazily across them and up around the tall thin trunks of the rickety pines.  The Xanax has travelled its way through my tired body and is exiting through the sweat collecting readily on my top lip. It’s too soon. The booze has yet to take effect. I can feel my shoulders tense as I turn on my signal to make that final left onto my Mom’s street. There are cars lined up in the driveway but the lights are low.

I park two houses down. My drink no longer stings its way into my stomach but slides down smooth and slow like molasses. It coats my throat, takes my shakes away. In the back window of the car in front of me lies a long stuffed poodle. Its ears are flopped over its face as if it’s embarrassed by my fascination with it. Aunt Wendy has a dog like that. I follow the back of the car down to the licence plate. Alberta. I suppose my mom called to have me come and visit my Aunt Wendy. The lights in the front room are off, though. Maybe they’re cooking. My mother won’t notice I’m drunk, but Wendy is a hound and will smell the booze before I’m even in the house. I push the car door silently open and shut it far enough for the interior light to fade. Hunched low with short quick steps I make my way to the looming shadow along the side of the house. The kitchen window sends shards of light through the gaps in the blinds and I creep into it letting the lines fall over me like the bars of a prison cell. My entire family is in there cradling warm cups of decaf and whispering in their tightly woven circle.

 The metal blinds snap back into place as I pull my hand away. I should have known she would be late. I’ve dimmed the lights too early, confining the guests to my kitchen. “What time is she supposed to arrive?” Wendy asks as she pulls something from the fridge. Her bangles clink against its door.

“I told her 7:30, but you know her.” I say following her voice back into the kitchen.  It took me forever to get the printing on the cake right. I haven’t made one since she was a kid and even then I was useless at it. No matter how I tried to hold my hand it wobbled, squiggling the letters along the top of the perfectly smooth chocolate surface leaving me to scrape them off and try again. This cake was unlike those though. The letters curved steadily with their ends curling around each other.

“Well, she’d better get here soon. The lasagna is ready,” Wendy says. I’m not even sure she is going to come. She says she is, but she’s changed her number again and I had to call around to several of her friends just to get a hold of her.

“I think I’m busy that night,” she said and her end went silent.

“Could you try? I need to talk to you.” My voice cut in and out, like a poorly tuned radio when I spoke. I could hear her spark a lighter and exhale.

“I guess I can change my plans.”

“Seven-thirty then?”

“Yeah, fine,” and she hung up. It’s quarter to eight. The guests are sick of hiding in the kitchen.

“Why a surprise party anyways?” Merle asks as he pours too much sugar into his cup. “And you know she’s not a little girl anymore. You could have gotten a little wine, huh?” The heat from the oven strokes the back of my thighs as Wendy peers into it.

“I know she’s not, but wine isn’t a good idea.” I’m pushed aside as Wendy reaches for her lasagna.

“She’s a drunk, just like her father. My lasagna is overdone.”

“Oh Wendy, I’m sure she’s not that bad.” Merle wipes sugar from the sleeve his sweater. “She’s young still, probably just having fun.”

“She’s changed a lot in the past few years. You’ll see, if she ever gets here.”

An intervention? Is that what they’re planning? I slide back into the driver’s seat. I can’t go in there now. I turn the car back on and crank the heat. The frost that has started to gather on my windshield cowers, cracking and creeping to the window’s edge. My phone is buzzing in my pocket. It tingles all the way down to my ankle. I ignore it. How could she do this to me? They’re all there, my aunts and uncles, waiting to confront me about my growing drug problem and send me off to get the help that I don’t need. I light a smoke.
I take my phone from my pocket and dial. “Jake, it’s me. I’m outside my mom’s.” He’ll know what to do. “I know when I was supposed to be there. They’ve planned an intervention.” Jake says nothing. “I’m not going in there. Meet me at Duke’s.” He’s busy. “Fuck, what am I supposed to do?” I can’t believe this. My bottle is almost empty and I’m still sober. I have three pills in my pocket, two uppers and a downer. I reach in and swallow the first one that sticks to my finger. It’s a mystery how I’ll feel when it hits my system. “What do you mean I should go in? Go to rehab?” My heart is hanging in my chest like a broken yoyo. “You’re fucking crazy.”

She’s forty-five minutes late. I might as well let everyone out of the kitchen. They funnel through the door into the living room, settling into the mismatched furniture. “At least I got to see my sister’s again,” Merle says placing his arms loosely around Wendy. “Even you.” He’s balder than he was the last time I saw him. The skin above his eyes is starting to sag and he’ll have to get it removed before it really starts to affect his sight. He taps his thumbs on his thighs and whistles through his teeth. If personality could decide his age, he’d still be forty. Wendy would be dead. I stay back in the kitchen and wait. Should I call her? Food covers my countertops but the steam has long ago escaped from it. The last time I saw her, she was so thin. Her cheeks were beginning to sink into her face they way her father’s did.
“You’re so slim.” I told her.
“I hadn’t noticed,” she said wrapping her jacket tightly around her waist. “I’ve been really busy with my new job.”
“Still working at that bar?”
“The strip club, yeah, but don’t look at me like that. You know I’m not dancing.” I couldn’t believe her and besides she still had to dress like a hooker. A skin tight top with holes cut in all the wrong places, exposing a red beaded bra and red panties that allowed half her bottom to hang out. She was so thin and I knew she was drinking a lot more than she used to. Her bloodshot eyes suggested that it was an everyday thing now.
“Your hair is getting long. Are you going to keep growing it?”
“I don’t know,” she said. She used to have the most beautiful hair and she hated it. Red hair was for losers.
“Are you sick?” I asked her.
“No.” She zipped her jacket. “Why do you always have to do this? I’m fine. I’m not dad.” She was angry and comparing herself to a man that she couldn’t even remember. Maybe it was my fault she was like this. The only side of her father she knew was the side I painted for her. Always sucking back whiskey and smoking pot in his worn out lazy boy. Living off what money my dead mother left me and then leaving when it was gone. I’m the reason she ended up being so much like the bad side of him.

Okay, I’ve got to go in. I’m here. I’ll just say no. I’ll thank them for coming, caring, and I’ll decline. She’s going to cry, but that’s all right. She’s got it coming for assuming that I can’t handle my own problems. Or I could go. At least it would get me away from this for a few months. A warm bed, people paid to care. I bet it’s like a hospital in rehab. White walls will keep us in and try to make white lives for all of our bloody souls. My mom knows better than anyone that people like me can’t be saved. I stain everything I touch. I’m a red pen in the washing machine or a greasy finger on a silk dress, forgotten until I damage something beautiful. I’m a weed in my mom’s garden and once I’ve been plucked from it everyone will crowd around her again and comment on how beautiful she looks.
I reach into my pocket and take the remaining two pills. I pull open the console that separates me from my potential passengers and pull out a small packet of weed. I smoke a bowl and finish my vodka. Now I recline my seat and let things mingle in my veins.

“I just wanted to tell her that I miss her.”
“She knows. She’s just stubborn. She gets that from you.” Merle pushes a teacup into my hands. It’s hot. I grip it tighter and let it turn my palms red.
“Let’s eat. She’s clearly not coming.” Wendy says. “I’ll reheat something.” I’m not hungry. She’s twenty-five tomorrow and I’m not sure if I should be relieved that she’s made it this far, or if I should be preparing her funeral. When I was six, our house caught fire. It was an old farm house and my sister and I shared a room in the attic. The smoke slowly seeped through the crack in the door curling up around my ankles. I just sat neatly on my bed letting it fill the room. I knew that this was a problem, I could hear Wendy yelling but I just sat there and waited for her to lift me off my bed and carry me down through the burning hallway. She pushed me into my father’s arms and we stood together in the middle of the dusty road and watched the flashing light of the fire trucks paint the prairie sky red as they stormed the road to our house. If she had left me, I would have burned to death cross legged on my bed. I hoped that this party could carry my daughter out of her burning house. The only thing is, I’m not sure if it’s even on fire.  

My arms are sinking down through my legs, through the seat. The orange numbers of the radio are winking at me. Light shines off the white snow illuminating every crystal, raising up until they kisses the sky. My jacket clings to me and I can feel every fibre of it pressing into my hot skin. 9:15pm burns my eyes. I’ve got to go in. I grip the handle and inch it towards me. I lean on the door and fall out of my car. No need to close it. The snow crunches under me and its sound wobbles into my ears like a violent clap of thunder. I push my hot face into the snowy pavement and rub my cheek on it until it burns. My hair is swallowing me. I pull myself up onto my hands and knees. I’m a lioness. The houses that line the streets lean back as far away from me as they can get. They stretch out their drive ways to protect themselves from the reach of my exposed claws.

“I guess we should clean up then.” I feel like a mother turtle that has just buried her eggs a mile from the ocean’s edge and abandoned them. I’m not sure if my girl is going to make it to the shore. I’ve given her the best chance at life that I know how to give and somehow I feel like this was my last chance to stop her before a swooping bird of prey carried her off to her death. My face is hot.

“You didn’t do anything wrong you know.” Wendy puts a hand on my lower back and guides me the rest of the way into the kitchen. Merle is scraping lasagna into plastic containers. “It was a nice party,” Wendy said. “She’s just young.”

“You were right before. She’s a drunk. I just thought if I showed her that I still love her then she’d want to get healthy again.”

“You know that doesn’t work.” Wendy is putting dishes into the sink while she speaks. “She has to want to stop is all.”

“I was hoping I could help her before she gets too bad.”

The snow is digging in under my fingernails. My jeans are wet and my feet drag behind me like anchors. The roots of the pines are reaching out to me. They are begging me to climb into them so they can rock me to sleep. I’m not stopping. Bits of rock are digging into the palms of my hands leaving spots of blood in the white snow as I make my way to the end of my driveway. The porch light is on. My old bedroom light is on. Maybe I could spend the night before I’m whisked away.

I let her choose the colours for her bedroom when she was young, mostly because I couldn’t decide on my own. The walls in this room used to be blue and red, with handprints. We did it together and all of her tiny prints were so full of paint that they left a long drip to slide down the wall until each one started to run together making a rich purple colour. It took me three coats of primer and two of the blue to hide their remains. Blank walls comfort me now as a turn down the sheet for my guests.

My legs are stiff under my body as I lie in the middle of the driveway. If someone were to step on my hands right now my fingers would shatter under their pressure. I sat right here the day my dad left. He stumbled out of the house in his brown cowboy boots with his shirt unbuttoned. “Your mother finally kicked your old man out,” he slurred. “Fuck ‘er.” I looked up from my sidewalk chalk drawing of a yellow sun and he tossed an empty beer can at me. It bounced on the pavement and hit my foot.

I’m not sure if my eyes are open or closed. I’m using my elbows to pull me up the driveway like a soldier dragging himself through the trenches. The stairs are salted. I can taste it. It gets in the scrapes on my cheeks, the cuts in my palms. Salt soaks through my jeans and stings my bloody knees. My lips stick to the ice on the welcome mat. My finger traces the ‘W’. The cold sucks the air from my lungs and they deflate like a plastic bag under water.

When I called her friends to get her new number, most of them said they hadn’t talk to her in a while and directed me to another friend. It took me three days and six different numbers until I had her number written on the back of that old gas bill. No one questioned why I, as her mother, didn’t have it in the first place. I wonder how many calls I’m going to have to make the next time I want to throw her a surprise party. It’s nearly eleven. I guess I’d better turn the porch light off. 

My First Monologue

“Goodbye Dug”

Dug, a caveman stumbles on stage with his club dragging behind him. He is wet from rain and is trying to fix himself up, straightening his mammoth hide coat. He is tall and thick. A matted beard covers half of his face.

DUG: What’s going on I used to have it. Pounding on a bare chest and the females poured into my cave in droves. I could hand pick the one that I wanted and toss the rest aside like the bones I’ve already picked clean. I would tear that loin cloth from her sweating body. I could feel her feeding off of my raw power. Her claws would dig in leaving marks on my forearms. Ug. They used line up for me those women. Babies, that I created, slung over the shoulders of most of them as they roasted meat for me. They fashioned new spears and clubs for hunting. They sat in circles washing my cloths and whispering as I walked past. I loved to catch them glancing at my long powerful strides.

(Loud fits laughter from men and women are heard Dug’s cave from a small cave off side.)

Now I sit alone in my cave twiddling wet stick around with no chance of fire tonight and watch these same women shake their bodies for another man. That twist in their walk is no longer directed at me but at the man that can still lift his canoe over his head. A man who doesn`t hunch next to his fire. Ug. A man that has a fire. He stands tall in his sabre tooth coat, the long fangs falling around his muscular neck. If I tried to stand that tall I am sure I would snap in half at the middle. I have managed to stay standing on top thirty three years and my reward is to watch my women round with the young while I am just round. These fat old fingers could hardly undo the ties of the simplest loin cloth. I am trapped in a skin that is too loose for my frame.
 Maybe I should do as an old dog would do and just go lie in the forest until my time is up. Will anyone notice that I’m gone? It would be more generous of me to give myself to the wolves. Ug. They would have plenty to eat. At least I would be doing them the service of a meal. I’m sure though that no wolf would want to taste this tough, old meat. If I were a real man then I would challenge those who are taking what is rightfully mine. But to pound my chest would only lead to pain before we even began  to battle and who wants to fight the tired man that can’t lift his club above his own knee? If death is my only way out then it might be best to use the river. There will be no mess for the others to take care of and I would rather be eaten gently by soft fish lips, than to be torn apart by yellow rodent teeth. If only my frail old arms were strong enough to hold the boulders long enough to drown before they dropped them and float back up to the surface being forced to breathe. If only there was a way to end it all without having to be soaked again. Ug. The rain is miserable. There must be something.
Dug rummages through his belongings spreading the contents of a bag across the ground and turns around to face the audience with two long strips of leather.)

Why haven’t I thought of this before? I will be removed from this intolerable land without leaving the comforts of my very own cave. I’ll call it, ug, the noose: the first ever in home caveman exterminator. Tired of being the one with the biggest hunch? Need to escape but can’t bear the thought of being eaten by rats? The noose: the greatest little invention since fire on a stick. No man over the age of thirty will ever have to fight for his honour again. An old man is useless, and the noose will set them free.

My attempt at a Sonnet

Used 1981 Heart for Sale
Jacee Ismay

Fuel my angry heart with your true infatuation.
The black haired vixen from your dreams
lips painted red with lust, legs coiled around your waist.
Rev up my strung out heart with a lover from your past.
The high school cheerleader you dated for a week,
blond curls guarding a fragile neck.
Let my desperate heart idle against your chest tonight.
Wrap me up in the comfort of your presence.

When you’re finished with my bleeding heart,
blue eyes fixated on grease stained fingers
fumbling with the collar of a shirt,
turn it off with your cold key of abandonment.
Then sell this dried up heart to someone else
so he can fix it up like new and cherish it again.


We will be the first.
Pioneer Parents
of Phin
the gender neutral child
with same sex,
Lets bring it to Canada
with false pretenses
of love.
Oh Phin!
Our most precious...
You will be denied the rights
to pink or blue,
Saturday morning cartoons,
Barbies and toy guns.
Your lack of gender
so well defined
by your uncut hair
and grey sweat suits
will confuse the world,
but not us.
Because we created you
Dear phin,
we love...
the idea of you.
We are your same sex,