Purple Toothed Grin

Month: August, 2014

A Still Life in the Dark

Back and forth I rock
but it oscillates no more,
blowing cold air directly
in my face, click click
click clicking in place –
a metronome for lullabies
as I cradle my nursing child.

The fan is stuck and so am I,
keeping time as time creeps by.

Sad songs

We sing sad songs as lullabies
to soften all our babies’ cries
so they may close their little eyes
but also so they’ll realize,
with each melancholy reprise,
that behind dark clouds
are more blue skies.

Come see mummy! Come see mummy! YAY!!

Will I never learn that
she who films the video
has the loudest voice?

Stop the presses!

Why did no one tell me that the double space after a period is horribly passé and has been so for ages. Did I miss some tightly worded memo? Did I forget to update my address with the grammar gods when I moved and moved and moved again? Did I not check in with the Officer of Syntactical Command? You guys, where did I do wrong?

Ever since I found out I’ve been writing with a stutter and I double-spacebar-backspace after every sentence, every thought. All my brain power is seeping into these lost spaces; my words, casualties in all of this, plummet into these portals and I double-spacebar-backspace them closed and they are gone. Just gone. I find some solace in the fact that they may pop out in some alternate dimension where I am blonde and drive a car and speak well but write badly but in the here and now I’m all jammed up. Should I rebel and keep up my archaic habits? Should I conform and squeeze my words onto the page all cramped and busy, racing to get to my point, inhaling with no time to exhale, turning blue with urgency. Does everything I write have to be a city with copypaste condos popping up in every nook and cranny? I want my words to meander, to stop and pick a blackberry or two, to go off-roading in the mud and get the seat of their pants dirty.

Can’t we all just agree that this world can use a little more space? A little room to breathe? Pauses long enough to hear an opposing theory, to learn a new word, to catch up with our own minds and the minds of others? To give our fingers a little break and let our thumbs do some work?

Two spaces, or not two spaces: that is the question.

Trying to hug the Intangible

a blank self-portrait
a mirror in a dark room
my chin in my hand

I dove down deeper
to find what I was missing
and came up empty

my first mistake was
looking for what isn’t there –
self-fulfilling prophecy

Before the blackout blinds

Daylight enters in spite of
the quick-fix fitted sheet
hanging in your window;
the elastic corners
stubbornly pull upwards
letting blue sky and gilded rays
colour outside the lines of your
black-and-white dreams.

But gone are the days of ten minute showers and candlelit baths that would go on for hours

Singing in the shower was a solo affair
the only accompaniment the squeaks of clean hair.
Oh, and the jazzy percussion as a pink Bic blade
skittered around the tub.
Ok, ok, and I guess the crash bang boom of slippery soap
when I overzealously scrubbed.
Annnnnnd the hum of the fan as it swallowed hot air
but by solo I mean I was the only one there.

Now, thanks to a harmonious duet by Ovulation and Fertilization,
each shower is a performance and an exercise in prioritization
I belt out all the nursery rhymes I know with soap suds
up my nose
but I get the hook before the soap ever meets my elbows
or my toes.
I receive no standing ovation for my fresh cleaned noise pollution
but, honestly, I count myself lucky just for the standing ablutions.

NB

Safely home from the land of white rolls, potato-chip-side-salads and grandma’s black-and-white frosted cake that insists that you try both colours and so you oblige and eat two big pieces instead of just one; where the streets have no sidewalks so you drive when you really should have walked and the scenery is seen through rolled up windows, sea air blowing cold at your feet (a sensation not unlike accidentally buying your favourite potato chip in reduced salt) and the Tidal Bore living up to its name with excited tourists sitting on cement bleachers waiting for the main event and you without the heart to tell them that it just trickled by right under their noses; the majestic river a dried up chocolate fountain; the famous Crystal Palace dimming and set to darken permanently (front page news); and it was the perfect vacation: introducing new family to old, grabbing for those bright blue cans of beer from the vegetable crisper and listening to old stories in the kitchen until grandma turned out the light.

I am

I am not
done; never
undone;
eternal, enduring;
permanent.
Unfinished.

**Note: This was an exercise in constraint-based poetry, the constraint being a ten word poem with each word one letter longer than the last.