Reading legacy

On the phone my cousin asked me “What are you reading?” and I was stunned into momentary silence because this isn’t a question I’m often asked. Knowing his reading is as vast as the prairies I was afraid to answer “short stories” for the only form less appealing to the reading world is poetry.

“Truth is like poetry and most people fucking hate poetry.” – from The Big Short

I’m also reading poetry but I didn’t tell him that.  Continue reading


Litter alley

When dead hot, make your own shade.

It was already hot as I walked the dog at 9:30 this morning along one of our customary routes on a wooded path that follows a creek. Not Bermuda-in-July hot, but hot enough that the little beast began to pant by the time we reached the end of the front walkway. Hot enough that the birds had already taken shelter deep in the musty interior of cedar hedges.  Hot enough that I grew a sweat moustache. But not Bermuda-in-July hot.

Our destination was a loop around a small duck pond, perhaps a distance of ½ a kilometre (about 1/3 of a mile for the non-metric ). In that short distance I could have filled a kitchen sized garbage bag with pop cans and bottles, Styrofoam fast food containers, take-out coffee cups, cigarette butts and empty packages, plastic grocery bags, and water bottles, a pink cardigan, a toddler’s sandal, a bathing suit, a baseball hat, and a bicycle tire inner tube. Continue reading

Fluff, coyotes, and ducklings

pathThe front deck had just been newly coated with water seal this morning, then wouldn’t you know, the spring gods decided to let fly fluffy organic matter from seeding trees. It is the curse of this part of the world that every season generates stuff that floats through the air. The spring fluff is accumulating on the deck and sticking which is more than I can say for my thoughts. Continue reading

The gathering of the fam

Shoe lasts, Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada

For once I thanked my feeble gut as I leaned on the powder room door, playing with five tiny light switches lined up like boxed lozenges, each one serene in their sole purpose to illuminate the sink, toilet, mirror, or room. I was avoiding the long dinner table outside – where my ears had been plugged with memories lost on me – eager to elongate time alone.

Outside the door the clan had gathered, a blend of Irish-Italian sugo. Mangia meets slàinte and it was loud. The bathroom was quiet except for the sound of clicking buttons. Continue reading

Black creek

The snow glows as it falls. Today it’s soft and thick but sometimes it’s thin and pointy and dry like a skinny man with wispy hair and a trying argument that swirls in circles, stinging me. My dog twirls in circles just before he poops and he clusters all four paws together as though he’s balancing on a ball. Around and around until it comes out. The snow keeps coming, covering it all. Continue reading

Shame is a mask

A glowering cedar mask – maybe Haida in origin – hung in my father’s den, the colours vibrant even after decades spent outside. Its hollow interior was rough with hair-like fibres that scraped me when I tried to heft and hold it in front of my face. I thought if I could get inside it, I could hide from the empty eyes that followed me everywhere. My mother yelled at me to put it down. I think it scared her when I disappeared inside the over-sized features, my eyes blinking through the holes, like a peeping Tom. Continue reading