pondering. sentences.

I’ve finally managed to begin the process of breaching the great-yawning-chasm-of-a-gap between me not-writing and me-writing again. I found myself notably paralysed and though to turn to some of my favourite reading materials for inspiration.

One of my favourite books is a collection of various bits (short stories of sorts, exercises in narrative and form as well as suggestions for exercises for writers, essays on writing, word drawings) by innovative writer and writing theorist Johanna Rodgers called Sentences. I love Ms. Rodger’s writing, her concerns, her sentences, her subject matter and her experimentation. The excerpt below is taken from an essay in the book called “On Writing (1998-2005)”.

“As always, the writing. How is the writing? How is the writing? How is the writing? So much concern for something that is barely there. The writing happens, it never is, so the question doesn’t make a lot of sense. Rain, money, taxes, spring. But it is the writing, of course, that matters, like vanilla in a cake or a bit of salt in bread. It’s just time, after all, words on a page, marks on the wall, money – important to remember that they are all the same thing: invisible time dressed in different costumes”.

The next step for me is to brave reading my novella that has tormented me so.  I haven’t read the thing in many moons. At least 600 and something would be my guess. Eventually the plan is to rework the whole thing, but the scope of the revision is daunting, and I believe some stretching, some proper warming-up is essential. I may add to my under-5-minute-fruit/food-exercise series, or tackle any of the other  ideas I’ve had sitting around collecting dust for months, years.

impatience and pale shelter

I am immensely impatient when all there is is pale shelter.

I give too little and expect too much. Too soon.

And this knowledge does nothing for me. Gets me nowhere. Like so much knowledge that comes and goes and comes around again.

Thinking of Yourcodenameis:Milo doing an all Tears For Fears cover night and me having not been there just about kills me. Feeling excited about a retro night this weekend just turns to anxiety. Like all possibly good things are destined to. Like almost all past retro nights have.

Impatience and anxiety breeds disappointment. Time and time again. We tell ourselves the knowledge we didn’t grow up in a cage should be enough to remind us to be grateful, but it all falls away so easily forgotten.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTn4o2Z-vZU

cyclical. like alberta clippers…

cy·clic  (sklk, sklk) or cy·cli·cal (skl-kl, skl-kl)

adj.

1.

a. Of, relating to, or characterized by cycles: a cyclic pattern of weather changes.
b. Recurring or moving in cycles: cyclical history.
2. Chemistry Of or relating to compounds having atoms arranged in a ring or closed-chain structure.
3. Botany

a. Having parts arranged in a whorl.
b. Forming a whorl.
4. Linguistics Of, relating to, or characterized by the cycle: a cyclic application of a rule.

You didn’t actually know how cyclical Alberta clippers were. The phenomena entirely new to you an evening before it was due to hit Taranta. And while you scoffed, turns out the warnings were true. Turns out the things you were to and always or never knew, were unpredictable.  If enough of history hadn’t taught you that. You criticize the people who only hours earlier had proclaimed their love of “winter”. You questioned your own past love of all things “Canadian” – winters included. And while as the first few centimetres of messiness fell, you smirked in an “I’m-Canadian– This-is-nothing–I-can-take-this-small-potatoes-shit” kinda way, the smirk diminished by 5pm the next day.

aclipper

Yet again, your dreams of being a meteorologist smack you in the face. What a wonder it would be to have an even somewhat-science mind. To have an even theoretically theoretical-math brain.

An evening that forces you to stay in is often welcome but still fucks things up. Even with more time on your hands, weekends are never to be wasted. Sure there’s cleaning and order-making-of-mess to be done, but it’s not like one aspires to actually do such things.

Unexpected girly movies move you to tears when they are well done. Ending one of the greatest weeks you’ve had in a long time, though you didn’t realize it at the time. Typical.

5 days and 3 weeps. Only one of which as the result of laughter. The absurdity of the cause difficult to reconcile.

Then the Milo moves you to tears once more.  Just because you can’t handle anything you really like. Really. Cause you to make the wrong move, say the wrong thing. Things like that make you almost vomit.  Or cause you to picture yourself doing so, at any rate. In such a creepy way. No control of the subconscious and the associations it makes. After panic attacks on packed subways with broken doors. After the most painful walk you can remember in aeons through slippery, deep, unforgiving snow that makes one want to give up. But there is no place to do so. No way out. The pervasive wet-coldness of it all.

You can’t remember the last time you vomited but think it was about a year and a half ago.  There is something faintly romantic about the idea of your body expelling demons. Of purging. Of seeing the muck one has contained.

Excitement and anxiety get mixed up and jumbled up. Yearning for days when it was less obvious, less quick a transition. When the ‘fun’ of excitement lasted longer. When the expectations you had were always met. By Brit pop men on stages and their sexy, young, bisexual fans making out in queues.  A word you can never spell without spellcheck. A reminder, perhaps again, that either English is entirely nonsensical, or the time, effort, money and toil of Master’s degrees truly meaningless.

a brief history of…

Sociopaths.

Some less dangerous than others. Some dangerous in more obvious, more definition-of-danger worthy ways. The others much worse in the long run. Those charismatic, handsome fucks that really are no more than the latter. That really have no more worth than, the latter. That manage to climb you like an (albeit rather short) ladder. And what does it say about you that you fall under his charms? That you seek so hard to believe the feigned aspects of interest. Though they leave you under duress?

Those days are over, you say. Those lessons, this time, have been learned. Easy to say this time, in retrospect. In hindsight vision is 20/20 so the cliche says. Meanwhile your new glasses, that you can’t adjust well to your face, somehow leave you motion sick constantly. Though because they are grey, you will never EVER give them up. No not ever.

But you will – return to insurance. Leave the job that looks good ‘on paper’ so to speak. Take a pay cut. Fear a walk around some foreign countryside. Get back to the words. Leave the waste of mind space behind. Monotony and less salary exchanged for sanity. And whenever you have to make such a big decision, at a crucial point, your knees quake. Body aches. Because you are not stable like a crab. Your joints are not reinforced. Like the wood crustacean brought from cuba. That looks at you with sparkly pink eyes. That some poor child, no doubt, created.

You can’t be trusted. But it’s quite contrary to the ways a sociopath is not to be trusted. But your recent encounters with more than one makes you fear for your own superficiality. The cruciality. Of progressing for once, in both thought and deed. While these deranged men work on compulsion, you wish to formulate a difficult, but stick-to worthy plan.

Think about Shoegaze. Think about the many lost days. Your so-many rather lost ways. Think about think about driving yourself mad. Think about your newer of  friends (the others just fed up) telling you they feel so sorry for you, the way you exhaust yourself . Spinning yourself in circles in your head. Think about overtime. Think about doing time. Think about. The ways by which things can be and can’t be. Mine. My  Bloody Valentine (how fitting their best album is called Loveless – a highlight being the circus-whirl of “When you sleep” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9-NOIalUYU ) and gazing at shoes. That one is never happy with. Too tight against the baby toe corn. Too tight in a way that shows age. The age that no one else can detect. Those bruises and stretch marks, sagging and bagging. I was young. and now it hurts. That youth gone. Those decisions lost never to be found.

And the utmost frustration, that as your nose changes and you grow to be your mom, who has grown to be your grandmother, everyone still thinks you are 19. Can’t be taken seriously. Or hit on random men your age in public. Because while men allegedly want someone younger, it is still not socially acceptable to approach them. Is it acceptable to approach anything? You really don’t have the heart for it anyway. Nauseate.

Can you wait your whole life waiting to be approached by the right thing when you are so very picky? Picking at all the things you were told not to 17 years ago? 17 years ago. You were full of little scabs to pick at, and nothing more. Things were simple. You were the closest to happy you’d ever been. Even as the ugliest you’d ever been. You were, the leader of the pack. The slightly sought after one. Most sought after of those hardly sought after at all. A confidence you’ve never known since.

Sunday nights. Fear of invisible bugs. Dread of waking to Mondays. Low on sleep. But be happy. It’s what you asked for. It’s what we all live for.

And gazing. Ever. At shoes. Shoes you are perpetually displeased with. Shoes. Bras. Pants. That will never fit. But you will buy more anyway. It’s the one thing you can’t give up on. It will be long before. You get up on. Anything worth noting again. The sky will cave in. Snow will terrify, more than mesmerize, you. As it falls from the sky too  plentiful. Too chaotic. Tom Cruise will remind you of so many men you meet. You never guessed it would be this way. You never guessed. But you didn’t have to guess it was all a game you’d never wanted to play. A game that strained you. That you were forced to play.  A game that you never had time to train for. That never had time to train you. That would betray you, slay you, time and time again.

Delude (le deluge)

Recently I discovered the multi-vitamins I touted on here and was so fond of and have been investing in for 6 months, are virtually useless. I also found the dreamboat of sorts I was somewhat investing in for 6 weeks, was also useless. We delude ourselves. We can’t help it. Even though these things we invest in, grow hopeful of for their ease, for our fondness, for the excitement, always let us down. Nothing can be trusted. But we fall into hope and trust, especially with regards to love, time and time again.

It’s not the 90s. Music sucks and projected sexuality isn’t ‘new’, genuine, avante garde, or empowering, it’s grown tiresome, nasty, phony. We are not in 0ur early 20s. We take it a day at a time, but it’s not the best strategy really, though it’s all we can do for our sanity. No progress is made.

We used to think it was the situation – the city we chose to go to university in. The one that so conveniently allowed excuses for why we had simple jobs. Jobs that required no commitment. That made us no money. But even when we pulled, painfully tore ourselves apart from that existence finally, as the thing we HAD to do, though not regrettable, things didn’t change much. The loss of friends. Loss of love. The challenge of commuting 4 hours daily for a job that is more frustrating than we ever could have imagined. That pays more than any previously, but still somehow, leaves us broker than ever.

Christmas comes and we wish it wouldn’t. Wish we could freeze time Save By The Bell style. Wishing our hair was so full, the way it once was. They way we’d wished it wasn’t. The way we regret having taken for granted.

The holidays cause us to cringe. Want to burrow and hide away like the fattening groundhogs we are at this time of year. Families shrunken by deaths as members age and feuds that ensued in the wake of the loss. Terrified at how quickly a year flew by. A year where many terrible things happened, yet ultimately, hardly anything of consequence. A series of distractions. A series of failed, careless attractions. The latest of which may have left consequences for the rest of one’s life. The kind of thing that would have been excusable in one’s early 20’s, not on the cusp of 30.

 
Things have miraculously always had a way of working out. But luck is something that must essentially run out. Life tries to teach us lessons only so many times. I don’t believe in much, let alone kooky stuff. But I do somehow believe in the ghosts of loved ones. Of things happening for a reason. But if anyone related to me that has passed away could see the whole picture, the big vile thing, and was looking at the way I live my life presently, I imagine they’d feel the need to do something rash, something that would wake me up and force me to get it together.

But I’m not sure what ‘it’ is or how on earth to put it together. I was never good at building. At fixing. Problem solving. Progress. Coping. Save for by destructive mechanisms. Flawed things. When someone perceived to be promising draws near, my less than endearing crazy scares them away. I am a great lover, but there is a price to pay. And pursuing love, costs me much along the way. I am eternally the crab moving sideways. Moving backwards. Snapping claws. Retreating into shell. And when I can’t because my schedule won’t allow for such things, that shell weakens, grows cracks. Erroneous flawed thing that spirals so close to the very bottom. Of a cold sea while snow fails to fall on the Toronto Beaches. Because snow doesn’t fall here. Doesn’t stall here. Refuses to freeze things the way we’d sometimes like them to be. The way Montreal did for nearly a decade. And it’s not that we crave to freeze time because the situation is ideal, by any means. But just to pause for a moment, and stop all the uncontrollable chaos. To let us pretend, for once, there is no impending, disastrous, end. Like the Nada Surf lyric from one of my all-time favourite songs of their’s, called “Amateur” off their fantastic, timeless album The Proximity Effect, that used to strike such a chord with me 10 years ago when my life seemed to be a constant stream of endings –  “Every day is new year’s eve. Every time is the last time.”

maybe (a name can’t be put to it)

coworkers have nightmares about proofing pages. one poor, sweet guy unable to fall asleep proofing pages that don’t exist. even the ones that do are thrown in the trash moments after, often before, their purpose is served. we care too much. we say we won’t let ourselves but we do (though me least of all. delinquent. slacker. burnout in the sociology textbooks i wrote a paper defending. and i am. so burnt out.) and our team at work. we sell our souls and scratch our arms and pull out hairs. greying faster than they should. we gain wrinkles. down drinks. smoke smokes instead of staving off cancer. we do all this to pay the bills. to support the habits that help us get through it all.

we all initially put our feet down on weekend work. but slowly they cave. not i, said the me. i will keep my weekend open for the possibility of a tall dreamy thing. that stresses me. that i am torn between being the likely strange-seeming, open, honest thing that is ‘me’ and the playing-it-cool-thing dating requires of me.

i have nightmares about shopping. before and after two coats in 30 minutes flat. the void that can never be filled. $200 a week. a visa that won’t quit. loans that won’t be paid. all because of man that hasn’t been found. that will protect us from old creeps next door. that we’re too polite to not tell our apartment number to. like an idiot. proof once again an education says nothing about one’s smarts. even those of us that pride ourselves on our street smarts. maybe all it’s been is a matter of luck nothing bad has happened to us stalker-wise.

and i digress further than what i thought was the last point of digression – 19. a decade ago. i end up somewhere more innocent, where i was when i was 14. the emo and pop punk that i thought i’d cringe at if revisted, instead i listen to it nightly. and feel bad for keeping the old lady neighbors up with it. lonely. all of us. the curse of being on a floor with all single ladies. i blame the floor. i always look for something to blame. it’s the only way i get by, in truth. it always has been. it was the bad friends. it was the illicit drugs. it was the legit drugs i took in lew of the drugs. i thought i was someone else, but when all that falls away, i’m still the same person today.

what the 14-yd old vice is i can’t even bear to blog about it, and i tried. but deleted it. even though no one would see it…


this should be embarrassing, but is nothing compared to that: wanting a guy like paul mullen in this photo. the same way i would have wanted him when i was 14. 19. 24. and i had versions of him along the way. but none of them stuck. the newest ones no different, though we pretend the stray gray hairs, the 3 instead of 2 at the start of the age, might make them. maybe none of them will stick. so smooth to slide across. hairless and boyish. flawed being constructed internally as perfect. maybe it is always superficial. though addictive. enthralling. (at times, worth it). there is no solution. we are attracted to what we are attracted to.  seek solace in the things that soothe us, even while stressing us.

arts degrees should be illegal. everyone i know left helpless in the ‘working world’. i hate companies, yet i want to work for one. a good one. a big one. just to be comfortable. just to have an easy job and pay my bills. and feel appreciated. in some small way. maybe the smallest of ways.

i can’t remember the last time i read a book because my relationship with writing has grown so fraught. antag.onistic. the writer i wanted to be. the writer i never had the heart to be. the writer that wasted many years and many moneys on trying to one day be the writer i’ll never be. everyone can write. it’s not even a skill. the prerequisite for the only even remotely well-paid ‘writer’ jobs require a business degree today attests to this fact. i could have been a secretary out of high school. with a house and a husband and no debt. making $70 000 a year.

and if i sound somewhat emo (and i most certainly do) maybe it’s that which i fill my ears with. prevent tears with. maybe it’s the time of the year. the time of the month. the situational state. the lack of food on my plate. the surplus of booze in my belly. the loneliness i do what i can to deal with and tell myself i don’t really feel. but my phone as my appendage speaks volumes. these rants that warrant a new section on the blog, speak excessive decibels. at least the title of this post would make an excellent title for a book. a collection of words. that is surely to never be. and oh there i go sounding like morrissey. or wilde.

maybe it’s definitely maybe. maybe that was a great album title and wasted on a band like oasis.maybe it’s all of that. maybe it’s none of that. maybe it doesn’t matter. and maybe, that’s not a maybe at all.

maybe. the word of the day (of the century, of the lifetime, for me – skipping ahead with possibilities, convincing myself of the worst possible ones) is. maybe.

Lust. Back pocket flowers. And lost innocence.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxLFav1Z9EY

Who doesn’t love a lanky man with flowers hanging out of the back of his pants?

Though I’ve never thought of it before, I think the first song on The Smiths’ self-titled album is possibly one of my favourites (though with The Smiths, for me, I don’t know that it’s appropriate to even try to deem a list of ‘favourites’. I am afterall, so defined in so many of their songs). The very beginnings of both ‘emo’ and ‘indie’ as we know it today. At least the music I like that falls into these categories can be seen as having originated with the band, whether it knows it or not. There is something so resonant about the subject matter of stolen innocence, and the way it ages one. The desire for lust and the way it braises one. The longing. Desparation. Disappointment. Romance. All conveyed in the simplest of ways only young Morrissey seemed capable of, really.  How Miss. Convolution respects minimalism!

For several of the most emotionally unstable years of my life, I fell asleep listening to a cassette of this album every night. Nothing quite like the serene, sad moan of sensuous Morrissey to ease one into sleep.

The lyrics, as with most Smiths songs are particularly notable, and I’ve quoted them in more than one letter to some undeserving douche or another (particularly the ‘I dreamt about you last night. And I fell out of bed twice. You can pin and mount me. Like a butterfly’ line). Tonight I’m singing along in my Morrissey voice that people get such a kick out of.

But my intentions are far from humorous. On a night I meant to go to bed early. On a night I just brushed my teeth. On a night I will have one more smoke. After a somewhat well-balanced weekend of goodish deeds and being spoiled. But mostly of the latter. “Well-balanced” being a relative, and somewhat foreign term for me….

It’s time the tale were told
Of how you took a child
And you made him old
It’s time the tale were told
Of how you took a child
And you made him old
You made him old
Reel around the fountain
Slap me on the patio
I’ll take it now
Oh …Fifteen minutes with you
Well, I wouldn’t say no
Oh, people said that you were virtually dead
And they were so wrong
Fifteen minutes with you
Oh, well, I wouldn’t say no
Oh, people said that you were easily led
And they were half-right
Oh, they … oh, they were half-right, oh
It’s time the tale were told
Of how you took a child
And you made him old
It’s time that the tale were told
Of how you took a child
And you made him old
You made him old
Oh, reel around the fountain
Slap me on the patio
I’ll take it now
Ah … oh …Fifteen minutes with you
Oh, I wouldn’t say no
Oh, people see no worth in you
Oh, but I do.
Fifteen minutes with you
Oh, I wouldn’t say no
Oh, people see no worth in you
I do.
Oh, I … oh, I do
Oh …
I dreamt about you last night
And I fell out of bed twice
You can pin and mount me like a butterfly
But “take me to the haven of your bed”
Was something that you never said
Two lumps, please
You’re the bee’s knees
But so am IOh, meet me at the fountain
Shove me on the patio
I’ll take it slowly
Oh …Fifteen minutes with you
Oh, I wouldn’t say no
Oh, people see no worth in you
Oh, but I do.
Fifteen minutes with you
Oh, no, I wouldn’t say no
Oh, people see no worth in you
I do.
Oh, I … I do

My favourite picture of the Moz

Oh. But the ultimate. One of my two definitively Smiths songs. And more relevant than ever:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8b3UkqTQNI&feature=fvwrel

I decree today that life
Is simply taking and not giving
England is mine – it owes me a living
But ask me why, and I’ll spit in your eye
Oh, ask me why, and I’ll spit in your eye
But we cannot cling to the old dreams anymore
No, we cannot cling to those dreams
Does the body rule the mind
Or does the mind rule the body ?
I don´t know….Under the iron bridge we kissed
And although I ended up with sore lips
It just wasn’t like the old days anymore
No, it wasn’t like those days
Am I still ill ?
Oh …
Am I still ill ?
Oh …Does the body rule the mind
Or does the mind rule the body ?
I don´t know…Ask me why, and I’ll die
Oh, ask me why, and I’ll die
And if you must, go to work – tomorrow
Well, if I were you I wouldn’t bother
For there are brighter sides to life
And I should know, because I’ve seen them
But not very often …
Under the iron bridge we kissed
And although I ended up with sore lips
It just wasn’t like the old days anymore
No, it wasn’t like those days
Am I still ill ?
Oh …
Oh, am I still ill ?
Oh …
As I recently said to a friend, why can’t there be a young Morrissey out there for me? And herein lies the proof. That special people really are special. You can’t hope to stumble upon a young Morrissey. Seek him out. And even if you did magically manage to find one, he would be likely to be a yet to be aware homosexual who would eventually break your heart anyway. But, it is still nice to dream (well, though I don’t agree entirely, at least that’s what the saying says…)