Saturday, December 31, 2005

bus stop at the end of the universe

hanging on the hinge between one year and the next. waiting for rita to pick me up. we're on our way to ashok's place to celebrate the arrival of the new year. spent the day with my folks, shopping for a teapot for my new place, scoping potential apartments for them to live should they choose to move here. lunch at alleluia. sorry jeff and leonard, a different spelling. yook see chow mein and yit lai cha, my new favorite lunch. yum. they drove me back to the little east side house afterwards. we drank the last bottle of wine from my summer in france five years ago, which i'd been saving for them. sad watching them trudge towards the bus stop in the late afternoon rain.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

settling in

much help from my dad yesterday, assembling desk and storage units. my mother packed me a bunch of groceries. it's been great having their help and hanging out with them. i'm looking forward to having a normal leg soon though. this healing business takes forever.

ashok breezed into town yesterday too. met him for a drink at stella's, a belgian beer and tapas place on the corner where santo's used to be years ago. it's odd being back on the drive and experiencing it as a stranger. there are neighbourhood stories attached to these locations-- about workers getting sexually assaulted at santo's, about two women getting kicked out of joe's cafe across the street for kissing... haven't thought about these things for years. a few of the old businesses are still there, but a lot has changed. and yet the street feels the same. me and my robot leg went to sweet cherubim this morning in search of breakfast. they have the cereal i like, that kind that comes in the green eco-friendly bag. but not the kind of tea i wanted, the good old newfoundland orange pekoe kind that you drink with canned milk.

reading for sunburst, thinking about projects for the residency. it's grey and dark out. i feel sleepy.

Monday, December 26, 2005

the usual suspects in an unusual location

chris, sandy and jordan a few days ago. not at the kp. at steamworks in vancouver. it's a myth that vancouver stands at sea level. it's well below, and we are underwater breathing.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

joy, light

late xmas night, hanging with my sis.

i spent xmas eve with roy, slav, their daughter elise and niece danielle, eating sushi and drinking wine. long talk with slav about soul work and true paths. she belongs to a metaphysical church and has a very different way of knowing the world than i do. but conversations with her always move and change things for me in ways that are never predictable but always productive. after supper we pulled runes inscribed on strips of paper and tied with red yarn from a basket she'd prepared. excerpt from mine:

joy, light 12
"... your term of travail has ended and you have come to understand yourself in some regard...the shift that was due in your life has occurred... it is time to take your earned lightness and joy and enrich the life of others..."

bodes well, yes?

i fell asleep in the new house to the sound of rain on the rooftop. woke this morning and had a bath in my new deep tub. breakfast at a miraculously open cafe on the drive. my mom and sister picked me up and we went to see the picasso exhibit at the vag. supper with the whole family. the gastronomic adventure continues-- peking duck, salt and pepper crab, scallops and snow peas, jellyfish, pork hock. port and dutch girl chocolates at home afterwards. yum.

opened the box of sunburst books this morning. it was very full. i've started reading. wish i could talk about it, but it's all confidential until the award is announced.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

new old old new

all my worldly, or at least, the portion of it that i chose to pack, arrived yesterday at the new house off victoria drive. the new roommates were around, and seem chill and nice. aimee, the doula, attended a birth a few days ago and was telling me about it. she seems like a woman whose life is full of magical moments.

yay for minimove, recommended to me by janet neigh, who never gets these kinds of things wrong. everything arrived dry and intact. there are a lot of books to unpack, decisions to be made about my archive, and many many novels to read for the sunburst award, which i am jurying this year. i'm too tired to be worried about it, but the box of eligible books is big, and there are apparently two more coming. ok, i'm a little worried about it.

the movers were late, but they called to let me know. my family and i went to pondok, this amazing indonesian restaurant on commercial drive that belongs to the family of my friend nancy pang (whom i haven't seen in years. are you out there, nancy?) the nasi goreng and laksa ayam were amazing. afterwards we went to the santa barbara market and wandered down to dutch girl chocolates in the piss pouring rain. old haunts in a wet haunted city. it was nice to share it all with my family, even if they were disgruntled by the traffic and the sog. people stared at my robot leg, but i don't care.

i'll have christmas eve supper tonight with roy and slav, their daughter elise and niece danni.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

parking lot on the edge of enlightenment

the whole city is one big traffic jam, but i am allowed to practice yoga again and i am oh so zen. stuffing my face like a happy little piglet with all manner of west coast delicacies-- fish cake from mui garden, bagels and rugulas (sp?) from solly's, shredded pork chow mein from the halleluyah (a cafe that very nearly almost beats jeff buckley's rendition of the leonard cohen song). it was a comedy of errors trying to pick my sister up from the airport, but she is here now. different family members have been taking turns playing chauffeur. my car purchase earlier this year has achieved high approval ratings. movers arrive tomorrow. i'm looking forward to sleeping in my new room in my new house, where i will live with a boy, a girl, a dog and a cat. i'm scared of the cat, but as long as it stays downstairs i'm sure all will be well. several much loved members of the calgary community have also recently arrived to smooth the landing. calls from old vancouver/constantly-in-transit friends bode well for entry into this new episode of my west coast life.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

groovin' in the couv

photo just outside vancouver earlier this afternoon. man, it is ever dark in this neck of the woods. have now arrived in the couv, and dropped a load of stuff at my new place in the charming commercial drive area. haven't lived in that neighbourhood since the early nineties. i have a lovely loft room in a shared house, but won't sleep there 'til the movers bring my bed, hopefully before xmas. late supper with the parental units-- congee, duck, fresh shitakes, a bottle of delicious sake courtesy of nikki and natalee.

made it out of town. here's the approach to roger's pass yesterday afternoon, with a car full of books. i thank the stars, or whoever is responsible, for the arrival of my dad, who helped me through the trials of packing and drove the whole way across. can't wait 'til i'm allowed to drive again.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

like a bad cold that never quite goes away

i'm still in calgary. much diminished social function, devolving to a reptilian state in which the slightest body movements require the greatest of efforts. the movers come today, thank goodness. after that, i'll do a second round of packing for the car. my dad is with me. it's making a huge difference having his help. we're going to road trip. must clean up to make the place habitable for my good friend sandy lam, who will sublet from me for the next six months.

there was series of books about trains that talk. i used to read them when i was a child. "i think i can, i think i can..." said some little train. if only i could do this by thinking, i'd have been in vancouver a long time ago.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

tarot readings at ming with jill, paul and nikki (and all the kids from school) the day before yesterday. my car was impounded (another sordid episode of my one-legged adventures, even though i now have a tentative two.) nikki and paul helped me rescue it. afterwards, paul went to get jill, and some beer. we ordered from singapore sam's and ate on my living room floor. then we shuffled down the street...

the other ending

was all about doctrine. said the right did the the left. it's not about you. it is about you but now that you're gone we'll say anything and it won't be pretty. ideological imagination smashes systems runs petty antics you thought you left taped inside your locker. if it doesn't come back is it because we've sold out? we don't know or don't say it. don't act on it, it might be a bomb. if it does come back we're all casualties. i'm much too tired. walking hounded up the stairs down the stairs almost there you can taste taste. but you know what that's about. the grip of an older handshake. we all know what quality is. then we encounter skin and all its marks. i'm glad i don't have to go back. is it safe in here? up there? physical breakage, that's the tower. mr e pulls 2 cups. p says the anxiety is pointless, but that's not the point. another pint proof against imbalance and nutritious too.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

a send off

threshold of the year, exit pass from childhood's second helping, can't let go. paper tugs, that's easy, and not, when you can't control it. lochie bounces tigger. he'll be much longer the next time you see him. moments when you just know, past hallmarks sentiment, here's a connect. this is what you need. sometimes it's a miss, but that's a connect too, miss you, miss the boat, fresh off the. miss lam, miss lamp, missile defence. miss mr, michael thinks all babies are ecstatic, lights wonder in wide wide pupils. i dangle from the magical mystery tower, weakness in one hand, smart remark in the other, waiting for the explosion. carm's content, her settled. j weeping in the doorway. time catches its latch, translation loses limbs. the pieces keep falling in and out of place.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

tale of a cast away

i am in a state of wonder. i have seen my leg and it is good. have i mentioned yet that i love my leg? it has at last been released from its exile in fibreglassia and i am decorating it with ribbons and medals.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

calgary launches shift and switch

i must have been excited because i didn't take a single photograph. completely forgot about my camera. all the kids were there. jason and derek were charming hosts. jason did most of the talking. derek stood there, as he promised, and looked pretty. it was also the night before db's birthday-- many happy returns young man! great readings from ryan fitzpatrick, jay gamble, jill hartman and julia williams. oh yeah, and yours truly. a significant number of us ate the chorizo pasta at the mcnally robinson cafe, with varying degrees of appreciation. jason didn't like the red peppers. some lost sheep returned to the fold-- i was especially happy to see erin and glen bodner. afterwards we all trooped down to the bear and kilt, where kids will do what kids will do. in attempt to reach the spirit of rachel, a few of us went to my house afterwards and watched bladerunner, with a little metropolis interlude, to observe how ridley scott ripped fritz lang off. bladerunner is still the best movie of the 20th century.

lest you think all i do is party, it isn't so. i spent most of a quite lovely day with nikki sheppy clearing the detritus of four and a half years of calgary living out of my apartment. big batch of books back to the library, some old clothes and odds and ends to women in need, a couple of bags of stuff to the consignment store, a visit to the handy recycle bins behind the 11th ave sw safeway, and a futile stop at london drugs attempting to get a promised rebate on a printer cartridge. i was explicitly told by the salesman i could come in and claim it, only to have that claim vetoed by the manager when i actually brought it in. grrr. afterwards nikki and i drank a pot of taiwanese tea and contemplated the headspace of transition. i'm learning to surrender to the turning of the wheel. it ain't easy.

Monday, December 05, 2005

winter reckoning

if it's spiritual does it hurt less?
i shred paper for hecate, the receipts of expenditures past call up burnt out love, moments money polished but couldn't hold. tax returns dear a kind of diary, my own clinging disgusts me, i clutch the official out of fear, a messy, resentful grasp, darling gilles interred. that is, encrypted, your exemption stands in for the experience of spending, the contract is social. agree to the state and all its paper. i'd buy a shredder but i can't bear another object. i'd burn it, but even ghosts want paint slash ingots, not these ugly calculations. what if they're wrong, and i've torn them up before the auditor general has a chance to come for me? here's a plane ticket to hong kong in 1993. why is a photograph or a cheongsam any better? what's mutual about these funds? my middle classes horror, but you can't even give it away.

ben tsui at saturday's opening of koi, a new cafe on 1st st. sw

Sunday, December 04, 2005

on second thought

why modernist mourn? all text is practice. it's nice here. i do love you. say what you want. robots keep it tidy.

sunday blog beats weekend paper

who needs the weekend paper when you can blog? narcissus swims between the look and the look back, lovely "me" and death by drowning.gossip hungers for other's initimate details. blogs open more promises than people magazine, nearly there, hating the fact of representation. we're thin cats at the door. we want hunter's litter. we want the truth of punctuation. photographs grasp at souls, reproduction's idiotic limits. fifteen minutes byte less for all social occasions. we're clever. it feels real. we want love. community holds our precious moment, solidifying as it passes. i get something. what is it? i still show up. it's easier on the body than -30, too much drink, long waits for taxicabs. you can edit. more certainly than talking.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

birthday girl sandra dametto showing off her new ring at the well this evening. it's -28 C out there. impossible to catch a cab. there must be a lot of dead engines in driveways today. i've had a long though productive day. visited michele gunderson's second year english class at the university of calgary to talk about salt fish girl. students bright and engaged. they crowded me afterwards to get books signed. always flattering.

candy monkey clangs for lovely tattoo lady at yesterday's launch of nod, edited by colin martin, at the lazy loaf and kettle. great readings, especially by jonathan ball and jordan nail. james dangerous's song about a cat in heat is rude, but hilarious. suzette mayr shares a bite of her sour cherry pie. i am gifted with many pretty things including ryan fitzpatrick's hounds of love/loss leaders, a new chapbook put out by nopress; and call/response, a collaborative concrete poem by jonathan ball and derek beaulieu. it is one of those magical calgary evenings with nothing can go wrong except the arrival of morning.