Dear Younger Me: Relax, you’ll turn out OK

youngerself

What would you say to your younger self?

Dear Younger Me … A letter to myself
Sunday, Nov. 6, 2-3:30 p.m.
Latitude 53, 10242 106 St, Edmonton

Six area writers have been invited to pen letters to their younger selves, whether as children or as young adults, and share these aloud with the audience, followed by a Q & A session. The event includes a silent auction, cash bar, and desserts from Cafe Reinette donated by The Writers’ Union of Canada. Proceeds go to our kids camps and sponsoring youth in financial need from Edmonton and rural Alberta to attend.

Marilyn Dumont, Minister Faust, Mieko Ouchi, Thomas Trofimuk, Thomas Wharton and Laurie MacFayden are the featured literati letter writers and presenters. They’ll have copies of their books available for purchase.

Tickets are available at the door for $25.

things that make me crazy

first crazy

snow.
snow in april.
snow in may.
snow that gets in my eyes, on my eyelashes,
in my boots
and under my skin
snow that gets into my heart
and refuses to melt
mosquitoes.
dampness.
toffee when it sticks to my teeth.
magpies yapping.
chickadees mourning.
crows cackling.
dog hair on the rug.
white dog hair on black pants.
people who talk on their cellphones while driving.
cellphones.
people.
people who take up two seats on the bus
and grunt when asked to make room for someone standing
buses that are late
buses that are so early you miss them
(rare but it does happen)
forgetting.
forgetting how i made a certain paint colour.
forgetting the names of people whose names i swore i’d never forget.
forgetting keys in doors
forgetting to lock doors.
family.
feeding the cat.
the cat.
the cat’s indifference.
when there’s no milk for the coffee.
racism. sexism. homophobia.
anti-feminist assholes.
modern jazz that feels metallic and disharmonic and headache-inducing
and i know the reason it makes me crazy is because i don’t understand it
and i hate that.
not understanding makes me crazy. not getting it.
not being connected.
being too connected.
the internet
the computer
the cable company
the system
the election
the spammers
the spam
the starbucks baristas who ask if i want room for cream in my coffee
and then don’t leave any room.
(yes i once made one cry)
the chaos in the tupperware cupboard.
anything loud.
anything digital.
turnips.

things that make me crazy in a good way:

chickadees
crows
magpies
cats and dogs
that perfect shade of blue, trying to re-create it
water
poems by just about everybody
email
‘the artistic temperament’
potato chips
coffee rings
coffee culture
coffee
sunrise. sunny days.
don draper.
ipod photo apps.
breakfast burritos.
road trips.

(warmup write, sometime in 2013)

i dreamed this gorgeous thing

gorgeous3

i dreamed this gorgeous thing
assumed it was you
but maybe it was just a sunflower
masquerading as a star

maybe it was another black bird
with metallic purple highlights
and a nest of shiny spoons

maybe it was someone from the other side,
an aunt or a gifted grandmother
pushing across waves of candyfloss love
with a hint of lily of the valley

maybe it was space creatures picking at my brain,
pretending to be a healing stone
and faking the gorgeous feeling
maybe it was the brandy nightcap,
colouring the gorgeous with a slow amber burn
and balloon lifting

maybe this gorgeous thing was my own heart,
singing its own gorgeous song
the one it sings when it thinks everyone has gone away

maybe this gorgeous dreaming thing
was a dream within a gorgeous dream
and edith piaf was floating above my pillow
crooning in my ear about regrets and her gorgeous lover
maybe piaf was trying to tell me
it’s time to paint the sparrows

maybe the gorgeous thing was all about the waking
maybe we are all gorgeous, gleaming souls
and need to be reminded of this
maybe the soft air
maybe the cats on the end of the bed
maybe the creaking roof, the kitchen sprites

maybe my gorgeous dream thing
was a big clue with regard
to the rest of my big gorgeous life
maybe it was the collective unconscious
feeling the need to inflict
a playful nudge nudge, wink wink
maybe it was god or someone of that ilk
sprinkling a smattering of divine glitter
onto my flannel sheets
so i would think all is right with the world
even as the dream’s frozen edges
revealed themselves to be grey and sombre blue

maybe that gorgeous dream
was not meant to be analysed to death.
maybe just accept its gorgeous fleeting presence
and move on.

maybe put away the butterfly net
maybe sleep will come again
and i will dream another gorgeous thing before i die.

 

march 24, 2012
prompt: i dreamed this gorgeous thing: franz wright

_______________________________

Below The Line:

Gorgeous is not something you can hold in your hand

Daughters

The daughters wore saddle shoes.
The daughters read Nancy Drew and Freddy the Pig.
The daughers played with jumpropes and hulahoops.
The daughters got glitter paint sets and beads for their birthdays.
The daughters watched All In The Family and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
The daughters listened to transistor radios under the covers and bought Beatles 45s.
The daughters hung out in Keenans’ music store and didn’t tell their mothers
they’d bought Son Of A Preacher Man because they just knew there was
something about Dusty Springfield that would meet with disapproval.

The daughters rode around with boys in cars and listened to 8-tracks
and bought cokes and chips in the Woolworth’s cafeteria.
The daughters smoked Rothman’s behind the Mac’s Milk store
when they were supposed to be at the library.
The daughters rode 10-speeds to the private beach
and pretended their fathers were members of the club.
The daughters convinced their mothers to let them wear bikinis.

The daughters were told they could be whatever they wanted to be.
The daughters were encouraged to go to law school and Paris.
The daughters read Livesay and Atwood
and took Polaroids of their friends.
The daughters snuck into the bar with fake IDs
and got their family doctors to promise not to tell their parents
they were on The Pill.

Feb. 12, 2011