remix on h.

2016 h.

this love is a villain
stealing everything I owe
siphoning it out the back
I hardly notice but
I’m light headed.
I’m losing something.

this love comes quiet
it’s fingers are slender and they creep close
striking like silky matches against the skin behind my ear.
these fingers pluck the old stories tangled in my hair,
greasy snarled up worries
sharp boned rehearsals of disaster
pulling them slowly like burrs
sliding them smoothly off each strand
this love fills it’s dark pockets
one tender terror at a time

this love is preening me, I realize that
I can feel it’s hot breath too close to my neck but
it is ferocious kindness really
this love gets it’s hands dirty

this love is a villain that just might be fighting for the good guys.
and me I’m good at being suspicious.
my purse pulled in tighter
keys between my fisted fingers
I’m hiding my passwords.
I’m setting alarms and feasting
on any kind of insurance
anyone will sell me.
over protection like salt cracked
over everything
over everything

Tell me I’m going to be okay.
Tell me that when Love takes everything, I will be laughing
Tell me something I don’t already know

2016 ih.

tell me that when love takes everything, i will be laughing.
see the full picture and its beauty like salt cracked over everything
like over-salting for protection
plan to set the table
love is a villain that just might be
fighting for the good guys
i peek from the depths of defense
this love gets its hands dirty
bleeding by example
striking like silky matches against
my skin behind my ear
these fingers pluck the old stories tangled in my hair
i’ve got all the inheritance that i need
this love is a villain siphoning everything i owe
stealing everything i know

and today’s inspiration from h.

silky suspicious matches
strike fear in the heart of curiosity
stealing my greasy hair
the password is tender terror

this one was submitted by a fabulous writing workshop leader/colouring book designer/podcaster with whom i once organized all of the missing animal posters at the humane society with so that all the pets were visible. she has a great smile.

remix on s.


I ask you why I am afraid, and you say fear has no roots,
its leaves and its shoots
grow upon it like cancer,

That which led our grandparents to the grave.
Could we be saved
from a fate like theirs? Death, that is, while we are alive; We don’t notice the fallen leaves beneath our \
we only grieve the loss when a sheet
of ice makes us slip and fall

And spring, and summer, and winter once more,
“What is it for?”
we wonder together, as the clock refuses to tick back
To the night we spent awake, counting the hours to sunrise, Your eyes
fixed upon me like we just met.
Yet I have known you as long
as Sadie the terrier
Spent with the Rosens until a truck came along
One winter morning.

2016’s is.

no roots
leaves, shoots, seeds
survive to grieve
trust and slip up
wonder muscle
stand and refuse to tick back
time fixed sharp

today’s inspiration from s.

fall into some cancer
leave your eyes away
fix your roots
and save the terrier
from the sunrise

this one is from one of my current best friends, creator of the puppet show that we’re on hiatus from filming. we’ve come a long way in the past three years, but we’ve always been weird. here is the message that i sent with the reveal/remix:

“I had a strange dream about you that involved not being able to park a car and crying about it in a convenience store. We were wearing bandanas.”

(this actually sounds like something that almost happened to us on the way to collaborate on a garage sale in markham)

remix on t.

first, t.

Eagles Minus Seven

Kids root root root

for the home team;

Gamblers root not

for the who,

but the how much.

The faithful huddle

in Vegas pews

Betting slips for rosary beads

Nails chewed down to memories

All eyes on Jesus,

Philadelphia cornerback #23

Up on the big screen

Lord of the secondary.

Eagles up six.

Seven is the number to beat.

Time ticks away.

In the waning seconds–

A desperation pass

Intercepted by Jesus

Returned for a touchdown

In a holy blur of Philly green.

Eagles up 13.

Game over.

The faithful roar

Brethren grasped

A shared faith rewarded.

Coming up next–

Cincinnati minus three.

Right after the break.

today’s remix on t.

all eyes on jesus
bet on 7, up 13
game over, 3.
nails chewed down to memories

and 2016’s ita.

root root no seeds
nails chewed down to memories
all the inheritance that i need
the faith-full huddle
roots for the home team
survival of the witless
intercepted by Jesus
trust is a muscle
in Vegas pews
shattered broken is so pretty
a waning desperation passes-
game over.

and itb.

bleeding by example
root not for breeding
how much seeding survives
witness from Vegas pews
defense pessimisms slip into
all eyes on the mosaic of Jesus
Lord of the secondary
we continue to lose
seven is the number so
much more than its parts
a returned holy blur
the faithful shattered
broken roar
stand back-
rewards up next
right close.

this was a lot of fun, and the poet did all the steps, along with taking the picture. i don’t know what i told people about anonymity, but this guy was instrumental in setting up my writing in this city a decade ago, and is still going strong. his writing hustle is hella-inspiring.

i can see the sun in late december

duolingo stats: 455 day streak, 13,474 lingots, amethyst league, 627,917 xp, language learned: korean

this changes all the games. every single one. jeeeeez. my religion is now lena waithe. i’m a waithiest.

i almost hibernated my way out of the beginning of this month. i’ve been seeing the beauty in the dreamsnooze lately, and putt-putting, especially when i woke up in a hailstorm. but the upside is that skating is open now!

i have been getting massages, and that means that work is paying for me to take naps again, though i’m not falling asleep on the table, which means that i’m seeing first-year students, or i’m just more well-rested in general. but it’s nice to have some coverage and double-stamps before the s-c school of massage moves to the science centre.

this just in-i learned that lumpia wrappers and wonton wrappers are not the same. i made some dumplings and tried to cook them in mushroom broth, and the lumpia wrappers just dissolved. it still tasted good, just looked questionable because the brown soup took over, and now i know, and knowing is half the battle.

i have touched a lamb lung, and it feels amazing. like a cool marshmallow. don’t turn down the opportunity if ever presented with it. also, my coworker came up with “i’m not a sous-vide savant” on the spot. that’s the excellence i work with.

i have many less entries-i have been writing more…

i had the loveliest little no pressure christmas ever, and have the pleasure of having a doggy into the new year/decade. what a time to be alive.

1)maid-stephanie land (audiobook read by the author) i started to listen to this to lull myself to sleep and when i was making soup on the day that i was sick. i think i got the idea here, on the feminist texican read‘s blog. i usually listen to famous peoples’ audiobooks, and this is the first time i chose a “regular” person. although she’s a bit extraordinary-in a world where “domestic” work is done by undocumented women, she qualifies and benefits from more than five kinds of government support, and that sustains her to this point of a book deal. she has pretty terrible taste in men, but i guess i can’t fault her for that. the insight that she brings on how much people let the cleaners see of their houses is a new kind of intimacy, but one that is only there if they render themselves invisible. her admission of loneliness is real and brave, and a big deal. i’m glad for the kindness that has found her, and sorry for the ignorance that she has experienced-at the very least, it’s always more moving when a white person shows how terrible white people are. and, quality of life is a thing. i joked with a friend recently that i was living really well at the poverty line, but it turns out, i have been living really well $2000 over the poverty line, so there. i did listen to a lot of this audiobook from my bed and also do appreciate that i’ve always managed to make the little places that i’ve had home, and this is the biggest place i’ve ever had, so, there’s that. in the same discussion, i was asked if i would like more space, and while i don’t, i would appreciate a different layout. but this place has been good to me, even though it seems to get cluttered every other day. funny that she mentions dusting a bell biv devoe cassette, because surely, hootie mack (indeed an underrated album) was in that collection. single parenthood is a real struggle, and i count my blessings that i am not with an 11-year-old at this moment-i can only imagine the continued flashes of ptsd that would be.

2)jane the virgin-season four i watched this show so long ago that i don’t remember what i’ve seen, but so far-it all seems new, if familiar, and it’s nice to be back. matteo is a total brat, but is that supposed to be indicative of the crazy home lives that he is living? there’s a lot more exploration of the impact on the children that dating and co-parenting has, and we’ll see if i’m here for it. lots of big appearances this season-isabel allende, rosario dawson, and iyanla vanzaant, brooke shields, er, river fields and the whole cast of “the talk”. and dianne guerrero got me kardashian wondering-is that surgery or contouring?! lots of betrayals, flip-flopping, and big drama, just like a telenovela! i don’t think i remember xio being this deep into cancer, or the return of michael, so once again-i am on the brink of a show that will take the library a minute to catch up on the dvd release. at least there is “borrowing history” to help me with this now.

3) permanent record-mary.h.k.choi another one to thank desus and mero for…way back in the vice days. i liked emergency contact to pay attention to the release of this one. i know new york is really multi-culti, but it’s almost a toronto-level miscegenation of characters, and that’s literally a thing. (spoiler alert on a jerky note-it might be a character thing, but i feel like i’ve literally read “literally” sixty times in the first 138 pages). i do appreciate how she writes relationships, both a stunted one in her first book, and an easy in terms of personality, hard because of circumstances one in this latest. i appreciate the rock paper scissors strategy tip and the reality of NDAs. it never occurred to me that i would want to know the POV of someone in a celebrity relationship, but i’m glad for this. “Families are a trip,” says Lee, “you think you know them so well that you stay wrong about each other.” (145) ain’t that the truth.

4) it’s always sunny-season 12 we are catching up to the present, and it’s official-the gang will live forever. they can do no wrong. no plot too far-fetched, no production budget too big-this is the first season that i’ve clocked zero throwaway episodes. i’m absolutely here for these unapologetically white people. i’m glad they stay in their lane and don’t try to “help”.

5) dear girls-ali wong i don’t think ali wong trims her pubic hair. or maybe she’s one of those people who talks about the thing that she doesn’t do so much that she actually does-the opposite of drake and sex. it’s interesting that her ex-boyfriend, chris garcia, is also showing up on my radar with his new project about tracing his father’s roots, though i definitely have heard his standup making fun of his dad. i feel a bit of a lack as an immigrant person who does standup without an impression of my parents, but maybe this is another american trope to question. i love finding out more about her, especially about her time in viet nam and how she was also harangued as a viet kieu for being fat. unlike me, she drank the still-beating cobra heart liquor (with gusto), and then broke into her paramour’s room and read his diary. it gives some context to why her first special was called cobra baby. i love that her baby daddy also chimed in on the afterword in this letter to their girls. i got a bit verklempt because i never knew a father who ever acknowledged that being my dad was his most important job, but then again-i was never anyone’s princess either. i waited all my life to be able to say what i wanted to my dad-and now he won’t even fight with me, but that’s what taught me that i’m worth fighting for.

6) i hope we choose love-kai cheng thom just, wow. once again, a beauty-full offering of writing, and essays-swoon, a medium after my own heart. i’m so here for this straight talk on queer silence around abuse/rs, call out culture and how it’s not the answer, and how hard it is to choose love. it’s interesting that kai chooses to self-identify as transsexual, because i feel like the debate has been going on for soooo long now. i guess folks just stop at “trans”.

“It is not radical to “support” trans women dying when we are already being murdered regularly. It is not revolutionary to simply accept that society is so terrible that trans girls might as well kill themselves.” (45)

“The problem of intimate and sexual violence is not individual; it is cultural. That is to say, we are responsible for it. All of us. You are.
Me too.” (65)

aaaaaah. i got a chill here-that is what is missing from this movement that was co-opted by white women in the first place. a deeper discussion into broken systems and the ways in which we all benefit from and are complicit in upholding.

“I now recognize this as a skill born of trauma: the ability to ceaselessly and accurately scan the people in one’s environment for a sense of what will please them, and then to enact it, no matter the cost to one’s long-term health.” (85)

and, this one hit very close to home, and gave me the words to express what i was feeling in my heart about a relationship that i knew wasn’t quite right, and the freedom from the proximity of it with the person moving across countries and time zones that gave me the distance that i needed to not participate in it anymore. i’m sad, but i don’t regret choosing myself.

it always comes down to the poetry. poets are special people. poets are seers. and these poems are no exception. read this one, if for nothing else, then for the poems. but really-read it for everything, especially the poems.

7) late night-dir. nisha ganatra “be careful showing who you are, because you can never turn back from that” “you might as well call it catharthsiscism” i shouldn’t be surprised that this was directed by the same person who made chutney popcorn. i was supposed to see this in the summer, when there was all that hoopla here, but i missed it. i think it’s once again a case of good timing, because i think i needed some of what i’m getting out of seeing it now. it’s kind of hollywood in the end because a diversified writer’s room that ultimately helps uphold a white woman’s job seems like the best we can shoot for, even in the movies. it was interesting timing, to set this in the past (and that made me think of a certain web host for a now retired late-night host (who recently showed eight more of the chins on his real face with gabriel union) and its release date coincided so closely with lilly singh‘s late night debut that i thought there would be more made of it. btw-she’s bisexual?! (i guess i missed that in all the other focus on how she presents her identity).

8) queen & slim-dir. melina matsoukas i don’t know what i was thinking-there’s no way i could’ve seen this movie with the person i was envisioning seeing it with-sheesh! so much pressure, in all of the ways. i avoided the read for two weeks because i was avoiding spoilers, but i’m glad i actually listened to the motivations before seeing this. btw-i’ve never been the person who cares about spoilers. i was surprised that it was james frey who brought this idea to lena, and that she took “yea, you can’t write that” all the way, whilst “thanksgiving” was happening (“nipples and toes…amperstand?”)-i mean she always was, but now she forever will be writer goals. i love that her goals of “last say, a fat budget, shoot and release this year, and break a new actress-a brown-skinned one” was executed to the absolute fullest and i gotta give kudos to melina obviously as well-damn. and jodie. and daniel (who had to audition and convince melina that he was going to be slim). the new lauryn track, the re/mixed dilla and pharcyde one-ugh. this is everything-the big love story, the body politic, “i knew i wanted to make her malcolm x and him martin luther king and that they would end up switching places,…but it’s not a film about cops and not all cops are the same”. this is the kind of bittersweet legacy that you wish nobody has to have, and it’s so moving to honour the families of those whose names were never said while they were alive. just, wow.

9) opposite house-helen oyeyemi it’s been a minute since i decided to read through this woman’s catalogue. i feel in-between about this one-not as immediately blown away as her earlier catalogue, and not as “meh” as the latest one-there are definitely gems in here, like this:

“I was seven years old when we came here. I’ve come to think that there’s an age beyond which it is impossible to lift a child from the pervading marinade of an original country, pat them down with a paper napkin and then deep-fry them in another country, another language like hot oil scalding the first language away.” (12)

“This place is more of a home for books than it is for people…” (162)

9) grand union-zadie smith zadie smith is a beast. that being said, i feel like short stories are the hardest. i was really into the first few stories, notably “sentimental education” but admit that i zoned out (more an indictment of my attention span than the author’s talent, obvi). i love her essays, fiction, and even her film reviews, but short stories are hard. here are a few disjointed highlights, though:

“For a man without legs, he talks a lot about dancing.” (Words and Music, 39)

“…the less claim a person has to a thing, the harder they chase it…” (ibid, 40)

“The only people left in England were the ones who couldn’t leave.” (Meet the President, 160)

“I was wrong at twenty, he murmured, and I’m still wrong now. Being wrong is a lifelong occupation.” (For the King, 219)

10) tiffany haddish-black mitzvah/they ready i have to admit, i like the curated series more than the individual special, but you gotta give it up for a woman who actually makes good on the promise to come back and get folx. i love that her crew is diverse because they’re her crew, and not just because it was a benetton ad for the sake of putting one together. everyone held their own, and kept their sets tight.

11) the unbreakable kimmy schmidt-season three and four during a very long stretch of holiday work, this show was everything i needed to decompress and laugh. everyone needs titus in their lives. everyone. i gotta dog and netflix now, and am finishing shows left and right-look at me! i’m so glad that amy sedaris stays weird and working, and i feel like i’ve been making up ridiculous songs because of this access to television.

12) orange is the new black-the last season you’d think after kickball, i’d be over this. but i had to check in and just finish it. it’s not that awful so far, going really the realest i’ve seen it in terms of going into the women’s minds, and they opened the show with actual vietnamese people speaking in the first episode. no matter what, it’s a cornerstone of television history, at least in the last decade, and i gotta give it that. i wonder what the new black will be after this, and it’s interesting that the only “inmates” who are in orange now are the ones detained by ICE, which is also telling. it’s also a thing that they have a nigerian inmate explain/justify casual racism as well as deport nikki’s love interest, but not before she names herself as an egyptian with FGM. i feel like the guards are still too sympathetically portrayed, and piper/alex is too cliche. but all in all-it’s a good wrap to a groundbreaking (and problematic) show. (shoutout to the art cart in polly/larry‘s apartment-i see you, art cart!)

13) inside the dream house-carmen maria machado what does it mean to call something a memoir, and also write it in second person? the last time i considered second person, i couldn’t recall any books written in the form except choose your own adventure books, and that series was paid homage to here (not just for rap albums anymore-jean grae and classified-what up). is it distance from one’s own story, or is it an intimacy so forced that it cannot be denied? either way, this tale of love and abuse points brave fingers at the queer community, and recalls situations and humans that i’ve known in the past but not known what to do with/about. it reads easily, because machado is obviously a strong writer, but leaves a sting because of its truths. i wouldn’t exactly recommend it to anyone, but i understand why it has won awards and accolades.

14) a black lady sketch show-woooow. i was searching the crave for fresh off the boat and could not find it, but found the hbos instead. when i tell you that the timing for this couldn’t have been better-i had just come home with an entire cake to decompress a stress-full post xmas work week to kick off a few days off and binged the entire season. i had seen sketches when it came out on instagram, but the whole collection at once was everything. i’ve been in love with robin thede since “shit black guys say” (an early version of chris, if i do dare to mythologize) and this showing of skits and ensemble cast is everything. it was so hilarious and necessary, and the puppet intro (which i cannot find to save my life) where she smashes up that lemonade stand is so perfect. i also love love love love “eyore in dior” and kind of feel like that’s my whole vibe, except more sunniness, less designer, but hey. this show was worth the hype, and also stands up. i’m here for it.

15) insecure-season two and three-so, i’m catching up visually, as i’m late to the game. i heard about the episodes in real time, with fran and chrissle‘s podcast, but in a lot of ways, i’m glad that i’m seeing this after queen & slim so i can truly appreciate melina‘s work. it’s visually so irresistible and i wanted it to keep going, just to see what people are wearing (much like dear white people) even though their relationships are messy as fuck, and everyone’s kind of wrong. but i’m kind of here for daniel-even though we’re supposed* to cheer for not-prison bae? i watched the first couple episodes with FZV, and who knows, maybe we would’ve been better watching this than we would’ve been at unpacking our own shit-but i like that conversation between lawrence and his dad where he says he wants a woman without baggage, and his dad says that he and his mom both showed up with their own suitcases, and then did the work. i guess that’s what a relationship is all about, because who can be in the world without their own bullshit?

bye, 2019-it’s been a slice.

remix on “j.”

it just occurred to me that i should include the original poems-the reason that i haven’t thus far, honestly, is that most of them have been hellalong, and i don’t exactly have permissions/ability to credit.

surprise! i just remembered the password to the email account, and have the dates that i first re/mixed the poems (with my own) so i will go back and add those, as well as these new ones, which are just working with the poems on their own. confused? probably.


Sometimes I catch you looking at me tenderly
I, pretending not to notice,
Revel privately in the heady gaze
Bask in the summer of your regard
Loving the possibility
That I could be worthy of being so gently held
I hold my breath, freeze my posture
Knowing that in an instant you might blink
Shattering this frail illusion of my perfection
I never get too comfortable there
Not breathing and dreading the moment you see me as human again

i remember reading this initially in a different way, almost as an accusation, but it just goes to show how profoundly we misunderstand each other/think things are about us. i know who did this, but i won’t reveal. as ever though, if you* recognize this and want credit, please reach out. i miss you, and hope we can actually talk before we die.

here is the remix with my own piece, from july 11, 2016:


look, leave, survive
catching tender inheritance by example
pretend, notice, revel close
privately want just bask
beauty, possibility, loving regards
gently stand, gently back
freeze broken picture full of worth
instant sum knowing parts
broken posture pretty breath sharp
a shattering grasp blinks
frail illusions, muscle perfections
comfortable pessimisms too
dreading rest and breathing contributions
seeding example humans again

and this morning’s creation:

with characteristic reptilian strength*
the private possibility
of gentle worth is present
if we hold our breath
we can tenderly pretend
but we might as well breathe
we’re human again

i guess now would be a good time to include my own initial piece:


i’ve got all the inheritance that i need
will not be fertilized with no seeds
bleeding by example
i’ll keep reading
leave the breeding to the rest
survival of the witless
my contribution is witness
peeking from the depths of defense pessimisms
my protection plan is to set the table
so that you’ll invite me to it
trust is a muscle
we continue not to use
so we lose it
connection is a straw we grasp at
wondering how a mosaic is so much more
than the sum of its parts
shattered broken is so pretty
and so sharp
we have to stand so far back
to see the full picture and its beauty
but we just want to be
c l o s e

wow. just, wow. i’m a poet, y’all. and i’m writing every morning. this one is totally a remix of another one of my pieces-perhaps that was my initial thinking as well? who knows? i’ve always thought (and lived) in circles. what matters is that we’re here now.

*thank you, cbc radio one-this phrase flew out of a story about vaping.

remix on “c.”

hi, “c.”-i’m pretty sure i know who submitted this one, and thus equally certain that he will never read this blog and claim it. the note on the back reads that i re/mixed it with my original piece on may 26, 2016. so, there’s that. he’s the only one who full-out withdrew (and submitted a piece) instead of just never answering any emails-i’m not judging-i fully did that on the whole project.

what stands out for me is that i have no idea what is going on, but i was able to pull out some couplets and interesting ideas to build upon.

here is today’s offering:

no, i lied
mountain dusk ushered
touch too soon
shallow, rushed
smothered like hawkers
tongues buckle
push through your thorax
wrenching questions
revenge seeks a pretty bitch

je write, je write!

and i remembered my password, so i am going updating with the ones that preceeded this in the project:

ic. (august 2016)

no bracelet, no need
golden cooling
anything mountain
bedroom thorax
smothered hawker picnic
burning revenge
close connection
pretty bitch seek muscle plan
stand back, witless grasp
apply beauty


Something From the Bride

So I lied: there’s no bracelet I went to look at by the monument. Anyway, were there some golden article, I’d sooner die than buy anything here. I don’t have to touch anyone if I don’t want, even if it is just with money.

Forget it – empty yourself, be an empty vessel too shallow to be used. Remember, you want this, and there is proof: the mountain, a pacific dusk cooling the city, that light that went on in some Montreal bedroom, like I do – remember? Like a burning filament your decision rushed for the corners, while you stepped down the escarpment into your new life. Do you remember that?

But how can anyone think let alone remember in this no place, smothered by hawkers whose babies rattle like snakes, whose tongues buckle all exits and six armed thorax pushes you to the ground, carrying you off like a picnic. They all want something from you; everyone wants something from the bride – even the sierra girding this town begs questions, won’t let me go like some man grabbing my arm after I’ve just said no. Dazzling Morocco, what a wrench – this pretty bitch seeks her revenge. Apply within.

remix on “b.”

trick cheek illusion sleeve fake flame
reflect forgiveness cool mistake

admit mistake open resistance cool fake
costume cheek turn blue burn blue

open illusion fake forgiveness blue trick
open costume burn reflection fake mistake

hey, “b.”-what stood out for me was the repetition of your piece, and i pulled the most prominent words, and did a free association with a pen on paper, then made these format changes in transcription.

as ever-if you recognize the pieces of your piece, hit me up for credit. i’ve got the og remix somewhere…

this is b.


I stare at the open sky

And ask how she got her colour
The cool hue on her face,

My deceived eye’s mistake
I can see the light’s a simple costume for the dark
Blue is an illusion
Blue is an illusion

A flame, at its basis, lies
What looks coldest burns the hottest
I was warned, I admit

But I could not resist
I’ve been burned so much, I was a fool not to believe that
Blue is an illusion
Blue is an illusion

The sky hides and a flame is just as fake
The colour of the sea is just a reflection

As sure as the ocean’s tide
You’ve come back to beg forgiveness
With sapphires on your cheek
And a trick up your sleeve
But I can’t live a life that’s real with someone who is not
Your blue is an illusion
Your blue is an illusion
An illusion
Your blue is an illusion
An illusion
Your blue is an illusion
An illusion
An illusion

this is 2016 ib.

i can’t live a life that’s real with a connection that’s not
the light’s a simple costume for the dark
the sum of its parts
pretty, pretty illusions
what looks coldest burns the hottest
survival of the sharp-witted
blue is the coolest hue

and also bemg, because this was from someone who actually held up her end of the deal:

Squint. Gasp. Rise.
You’ve come back to beg forgiveness.
I dissolve into an overture.

Stand back. Kiss the floor. Kiss the walls.
Swallow the ocean again.
Your blue is an illusion

These songs, they make you good.
These songs, they keep you.

she even did the part where i asked folx to take/make a picture of themselves with their letter, but i won’t post it because it was supposed to be anonymous.