seventy bucks (bag check)

so here’s the thing-i like to spend money. i’ve been debt-free for over two years now, always pay off my monthly balance, and earn an honest living. i also support artists, make donations to the library and worthy causes, and generally share liberally.

that being said, i’m sure that i could’ve spent some of my retail therapy on therapy therapy, but everyone self-medicates, right?

i worked a weird split shift today so that i wouldn’t have to go in on my day off tomorrow, and in between, i went up to nations. i wasn’t ready for the sensory overload, but how does one get ready for that?

i completely zoned out and rolled my cart through the aisles, grabbing ingredients to make every vietnamese dessert i know how to make.

here’s what $70 got me from nations:

-one sachet of dried guyabano
-one sachet of green tapioca pearls
-one sachet of dried phillippine mangoes
-one sleeve of glutinous rice pastry
-one pack of mung bean vermicelli
-one large chunk of pumpkin
-one generous bag of pea tips
-5 pack of sesame instant noodles
-one japanese matcha cake
-one bag of persimmons
-three purple sweet potatoes
-one sleeve of duck egg and lotus pastry
-one pack of frozen durian
-one pack of rice paper rolls
-one rum raisin and hazelnut ritter sport chocolate bar
-one bottle hoisin sauce
-one bottle of sesame oil
-one pack of bamboo shoots
-one can of bananas in syrup
-one can of grass jelly
-one can of nata de coco
-one can of palm seed

a few weeks ago, i blinked at sephora at sherway gardens and spent $70 on 8 mini lipsticks by kat von d.

i am living my best life, y’all.

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a question and answer for kendrick

dear kung fu kenny,

a) why do you want biyombo to sit down? we could really use him on our team still

b) the answer to your question “how many ni**a$ get mistaken for clitoris in a day?” is none, nada, zip, zero, goose egg, just nope.

the clitoris exists merely for our pleasure.
nobody in their right mind would ever mistake a man for that.

thank you and you’re welcome,
flossy.

“new ideas need old buildings”-tile at dufferin station

i’ve already been reprimanded this week for spoiling the nba playoffs, so let me not do this to a woman’s show.

but belladonna the blest or dm st. bernard‘s sound of the beast is everything, and then eleven more everythings. do yourself a favour and go see it. please. if one of the city’s finest (the finest imo) poets can roll through (and i think he even bought a ticket because he’s not a personal friend of the inspiration’s), you can too.

ok-psa over, do what you want.

i’ve been feeling the feels since i was in montreal for a week and a half, doing everything and nothing, and with the birth of babies all around and work never ending (and still not beginning), i know it’s not an accident that i ended up in the same room as these two that i run into so randomly it’s become specific. the fact that there was a stage and words and so many ideas layered and folded into ideas that if a mille-feuille crepe cake could be a thing that could be witnessed and absorbed and spoken and felt, this would be that thing.

i’m largely not a fan of the tiles at dufferin station, especially of the two that are close together near the main entrance, one reading “blah blah blah new immigrants” and the other “occasion to turn around”, like wtf?! but i never noticed this one before, or perhaps due to its proximity to the aforementioned as well as the “lemonade living” (and i paraphrase all these tiles, except for the one that i board the train at every day on my way to work which reads “something happens here”, because, well, who has time to footnote tiles, or remember them properly and such?) i’m too busy getting to the punchline of 3/5s when it’s so meta and brilliant, when accountability happens and its calling for is further justified when the perpetrator responds by throwing her kids under the bus. when a discussion about whose lives matter is brought about without the use of those slogans so familiar that have lost their lustre, but is named nonetheless, and stories are woven so beautifully that you forget for a moment that they’re tragic but flower petals are still gentle, whether or not they’re unbreakable, and you decide, we decide-but things are complicated, and we do what we can….

(i’m writing a new piece called “poets talk in circles”….but then again, that’s been the ongoing story of life itself)

place is a thing. theatre passe-muraille is a place. it’s been one of the most reliable places that i have crossed paths with dmsb over the years, and toronto is a place-also one of the most reliable locales. it’s an old building that’s housed almost 50 seasons of new ideas, and even though it’s been fixed, i still just can’t push that door…and i’m glad that i didn’t stay away when the latest ad joined-even when she was the first person to fire me from a job at a little theatre that we both worked at in mtl-what are the chances, right?

but there are no accidents, and (the) space (between our ears) is the real place.

we gotta work on that time-bending piece, but then again-we’ve been working on that project our whole lives.

this is why i scheduled a volunteer shift on my first day back to work after a long vacation of doing everything and nothing, horny as hell but great-full for the life choices i’ve made not to have kids and a dog (though i really, really love dogs and kids). it’s nice to be able to walk in and out of that for a week, because if it was real life, i woulda had to work all day and then go home to single-mother kids and a dog.

this is why.

i live for this and i am ever great-full to this woman for reminding me to do it by doing it.

shoutout to maddie bautista-we may have only met tonight (in this life) but it’s far from over.

pour garder un homme pour toujours

peindre les yeux
avec un oeil ouvert
allonger tes cils
avec une ancienne brosse noire
pour avoir l’air d’une minette
toute coquette

il est simple
et il juge rapidement
d’un seul et premier coup
qui declenche tous ceux qui suivront
si tu le vois
trop honnetement
il aura peur
si tu le vois
tel qu’il est
il se mettra en colere
mais si tu veux vraiment le voir
juste le regarder simplement
attirer visuellement son attention
et puis le laisser passer
le defigurer est le faux-pas le plus grave
parce qu’il a besoin de se sentir libre
et pour proteger sa liberte
il va mentir

il ment avec ses yeux
il ment avec ses complices en geste et en mots
et s’il ment en corps,
il ment encore
il ment en coeur
il ment en courant
actuellement
et quand tu ne le veux plus,
il est a toi.

going through my filing cabinet today, i found the snoopy book that i mourned because i kept it here along, and this piece that i wrote in 2007 in french class.

um, i’m fucking niiice en francais aussi.

shit.

30/30

during one of my recent home inventories, i came across the following list of my 30 goals/promises for my 30th year of life. that was the year that i moved to toronto, and seven years later, let’s check it out:

1) NO LONG DISTANCE anything
2) at least 30 performances
3) 30 poems
4) all work writing related
5) learn to drive
6) only nice sleepwear
7) be in contact with (six strong women “mother” figures) on a regular basis
8) don’t gossip or complain
9) deal with student loan
10) pay at least $100 on debt/month
11) cook 75% of my meals
12) make a weekly reading day (at a different library)
13) keep my DREAM FUND
14) look into US visas
15) have a poetry anthology/tour
16) meditate twice daily
17) skip rope/skate/play squash
20) donate $30/month to organizations
21) learn how to use my computer more efficiently
22) dedicate and mail “30 things I love about you” every day of my year
24) learn haka
25) see raptors play
26) live on my own by 31
27) write the freakin’ smut (starting with Bust’s one-handed read)
28) animal crackers-perspective pieces
29) confessions of a hair bitch
30) hip hop sex column

observations:

-i missed entire numbers-18, 19, and 23 are completely not there so this is really 27 goals for 30, and that’s interesting (and i’m sure non-coincidental)
-the ones that are done/integrated into my life are: 9, 10, 11, 13, 14 (both in the sense that i did that and i’m done with that), 22 (even though i limited that to just 30 people overall), 25, 26 and 30 (and that’s 9 so once again…no coincidence there)
-the ones that i’ve moved on from: 29, 28 (i’m not really even sure what this means anymore), 6, 4, and 7-all of those women, i think, are exactly like my mother and thus are hard to keep relationships with

and so that leaves the rest, which i’m in some degree of intention with-either i’m doing it, but not regularly, i’ve started some kind of related project but i haven’t followed through, or i’ve momentarily forgotten that i want to do it (maybe not in the exact way).

here’s to reminders, especially since the beginning of the new year is just around the corner, and a new organizer is nigh.

since we’re here, here is this year’s dream list:

-make a workout calendar a la danette’s flossing one
-figure out a savings plan
-go to pacific mall
– read through holds lists and home books
– finish/start interviews
– contact every woman in the anthology
– cunty carols mixtape
– smut
– get fitted for sunglasses
– buy no more pens! or journals!
– apply for al purdy retreat or banff 2017
– plan mexico trip
– play the piano (hart house, carlton cinema, oakwood library, parkdale library, daniel’s spectrum)
– maybe switch out all jeans for yoga jeans
– high waisted underwear
– tap dancing/ASL

i don’t know why tap dancing and ASL is the same thought, because it would be very hard to do at the same time, but this shows that there is something behind writing things down and mind controlling ourselves….and it’s just reminders to intentions that we’ve already had.

“that mean i forgot better shit than you ever thought of” (forever ever)

i can’t find an uncensored version of the song, so i post no video here, but the sentiment is the same.

diamonds are forever.
xo.

the sympathizer-viet thanh nguyen (finale)

“We genuflected, but in actuality we were atheists who had chosen communism over God.” (25)

“My mother called me her love child, but I do not like to dwell on that. In the end, my father had it right. He called me nothing at all.” (20)

“Despair may be thick, but friendship’s thicker. After that, nothing more needed to be said, our camaraderie enough as we heeded the call of the Katyusha rockets, hissing in the distance like librarians demanding silence.” (34)

“He was the only many I had ever met who seemed moved, deeply, not only by love but also the prospect of killing. While he was an expert by necessity, i was a novice by choice, despite having my opportunities.” (95)

“It was, instead, the best kind of truth, the one that meant at least two things.” (116)

“And that’s precisely how she spoke, trimming pronouns and periods, as if punctuation and grammar were wasted on me.” (122)

“…the thickish manila envelope arriving with my name misspelled in a beautifully cursive hand.” (122)

“One could choose between innocence and experience, but one could not have both.” (143)

“The communists hate love songs, said the admiral. They don’t believe in love or romance or entertainment. They believe the people should only love the revolution and the country. But the people love love songs, and we serve the people.” (285)

“What makes us human is that we’re the only creatures on this planet that can fuck ourselves.” (237)

“That’s a good word. Always resent, never relent. Perhaps that should be our motto.” (133)

it wasn’t until i copy/pasted that second passage that i remembered that the protagonist in this story is nameless. unlike the haters, i love that. i love it because often, when we are telling war stories, we forget those who are in certain boats, probably because it would break our hearts to say their names. i love it because this is a story for all of the nameless. that this is an example of how sometimes, the story isn’t written by the victors. or maybe, that the victors didn’t actually win. judging by american cinema, this is point of contention over a war that on the other side, is known as the american war.

once again, i love this book and i’m proud.

prompt: “I can become easily bored, and require constant variety. This is especially true when it comes to sandwiches…”

(sigh). a prompt after my own heart. here goes:

I mean, the bread alone is confounding. This is the base, the foundation, it envelops the rest, it makes for a compelling case to judge by its cover, despite what we’ve always been told. Sturdy, hearty ryes and pumpernickel? Or frivolous, empty-calorie Wonderbread? Middle of the road multigrains with hard crusts and seedy, soft interiors-this is the bread of Goldilocks if she ever moves on from porridge. Sourdough, that curious, delicious option also fitting as a bowl for soup or spinach dip-I’m an equal-opportunity employer. Then there are the non-traditionals-bagels, waffles, pita bread, mini rolls? All of those are charming, none very efficient when it comes to adding a middle layer-odd bread out, the most awkward clubhouse. To toast or not to toast, that is the question. Some get too soggy if you don’t, too hard if you do. Nobody likes bread crumbling within the fingertips-what good is a sandwich too fragile to hold? And neither does anybody need a mouth full of cuts. Scraping the roof dry-the cure? The ultimate sweet sandwich in the sea of savoury-the twisty peanut butter and jelly. Even then, another mere jumpoff of questions-chunky or smooth? Organic or Skippy? Natural is great, but not very practical. No preservatives means it must be stored in the fridge, which brings the natural oils to the the top and endless butter knives are bent hopelessly out of shape before you can even decide whether or not to include a banana. If so, how thinly should you slice? How do you keep those wayward little bastards contained within the bread? Pin ’em down with honey that seeps through the bread to coat your fingers and hold you to the promise not to eat whilst writing, to truly concentrate, but wait-all of this time left to idly reflect illuminates the fact that you really wanted a tuna melt-with havarti…or gouda….or swiss…or cheddar….

maybe all i need in this life is to be commissioned for little writings that allow me to run my fucking brain.

if you want this, get at me.