Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 summary

And 2007 was like that last great haul of a Marlboro affair, and with a plume it vanished.

I spent the morning holding an end-of-year Gilmore Girls marathon with a bowl of tofu salad and dusty cats as company. The night before was reserved for plastering problem child flicks and teen suicide tricks up and onto the projector screen of my dad’s home-furnished movie theatre, thereof including anything and everything to do with Evelyn Rachel Wood.

The physics death march was like an aubade for those last few weeks of December, with Chopin lurching in throughout the examination gym. I was starlit and spangled on stage for a moment that month, Etienne as an ex-pianist with broken finger bones, fermenting those noisy drinking bouts, the pleadings of whores being taught a lesson, the back-alley brawls, into a vindictive wine that eventually had his father capsized. The semester was a great heave across the Champlain parking lot, an Exodus where zebra mussels scurried behind car tires and wisps of snow slithered their weaving ways like snakes. Otherwise, I think the summer was for Utopik trysts, organic beer, cherry-mouthed kissing in Berri Park, then number punching into an Excel spreadsheet, a Mont Tremblant breach into the nether-world, and a slew of gay clubs. Let’s not even mention the second semester, and that moon-walking from April to May. The 2006 permeation into the nonce was spent cleaving my then-girlfriend with this Creating-pumping bros from Vermont, in this dank club remix of vacuum cleaner and blow-dryer, which resonated throughout the year, I think. The only time for quiet was that one night beyond the city borders of my dad’s tundra village, where the moon and clouds were like lace fringing the sky and peels of lightning volts and bolts plugged themselves into the circuit board of the planet. And I was skimming the ridge of a mid-field canal, and hemming themselves onto its slope was the electric circus of thousands of fireflies, winking themselves into the night.

Now I am here, I light incense and careen into the anxiety of having failed my aptitude test. There are still moments to wait, to catch up on current affairs and find out who Arafat whoever was so I can get into Concordia journalism. Or McGill biology, then I can finally wow fellow mountain trekkers by knowing the remedial benefits and ecological origins of a field berry, or seven neat ways to use owl pellets. Or I could think about a degree in etymology, and discuss nonce-words and that ilk and hold circle-jerks to Miriam's and Webster's bareback tussles, without getting a paper cut.

Friday, December 28, 2007


Fishermen from New Brunswick sail out into open-ocean with heaps of tuna cans bought at the Portuguese market, which are emptied out into nets so they can spend their time jiving to Much Music Super Dance Party Mix 1996 and return to harbour with what seems like a catch.


Elephants are the only animals with four knees.


We were on the ridge of that soup bowl called the Mexican Gulf, one of those geriatric wards called a vacation getaway. The skyline was marked with the sun now like an egg yolk for the sea, and lined with bopping, fleshy bald heads, slicked back with sunscreen and raw like pimples ready to pop. Chefs slapped cheesy spread and salsa onto nacho treats, old women sucked on daiquiris as if sucking sap through a straw. This is where the old close their mouths in on death, the homily of sun hats and palms as tattered alms; licking their bracken fingertips like shrimp dipped in hot sauce.


There is in fact but a single penguin in the back studio of the largest Hollywood lot in the States. His name is “Hubert,” and is for the most part made of synthetic polyester, cotton stuffing, has marble eyes, and a mechanical apparatus stretching throughout his forearms, neck and torso, which is powered by ethanol. Other misleading undertakings include the seeming separateness of Kevin Bacon and Bon Jovi; they are in fact the same person.

windowsill ridge.

I wear a lampshade as a night gown
You catch earwigs between your teeth
I take Polaroids of sheep and count them in bed
You clip your nails with pencil sharpeners
I am a bough being bent into a twig
You are a chapped lip

I skip the introductions to my novels
You see peeing as being of public interest
I laugh as if water were thrown onto me at a parade
You kiss as if sewing a button onto a jacket
I see the likeness that is the thing
You are a pliant leaf

I know almost everything there is to know about giraffes
You scratch the wall with your shoulder when walking down corridors
I trawl the ceiling boards for trout when I wake
You are as walleyed as benched older men waiting for the bat
I shake hands with dogs when I meet them
You hate soppy salads as much as mismatched socks

I am one rathe tongue, one mismatched liver
You navigate u-turns as nascar derbie drivers
I twill ink into a page, tie notes with vowels and hums with fleece
You are my first BIC lighter, sought after by riff raff and teenagers
I am your first yawn, a sunflower in your mouth
You are but a shawl on my shoulders
I am but the sea cleaving the wall


one day i'll write a book titled "how i came to shave off my pubic hair"

blind men with binoculars are not convincing.

i want to go to the village and look for the least-convincing gay man

yesterday, a plastic bag followed me home

people who suffer from anxiety dissorders should not hold suprise birthday parties, or wait to suprise people in general

i think one of my greatest anxieties is never knowing when to use a hyphen.

and that`s when i realized i was a gay vegetarian

Bryan Schutmaat


by Tung-Hui Hu
They chew on flowers to bring color
back to their faces. Inside the rows of
bougainvillea they eat the purple and the
ochre that climb up the walls, and I want
to say I too know the solitude that divides
blood into bright cell and plasma
that leaves a fluid pale as the eye of a partridge.
I too know no cure for it except to keep eating.

At dawn sunlight stains the city the blush
of onion-skin and the muezzin’s voice
rings out over the rooftops. He is the foghorn
that pierces the heart before morning,
rising from the ocean’s octaves to burn off
the clouds, and yet it terrifies me, to think
early some day you will wake up to see me

standing by the balcony as if I and my legs
and my robe were part of the railing,
you will put your arms around me and ask
why I stand there and I will have no answer.
You do not stir, but I know you have seen
men tumble out of the sky, and with
every ululation your body trembles in sleep.
Though we lie next to each other we are
in different countries, one with water,
one without.



old men.

It’s three in the afternoon; the sky is overcast and whitewashed as water steeped in old paint. The dog barks as if he were taking a meat cleaver to the walls, and the house writhes, then settles, then the dog woops and my father takes a fist to his jaw. We live in a two-floor flat overlooking the Lachine Canal, where in the summer swarms of French Canadians slip and skid along the bike paths as a creel of eels navigating a coral reef. Every once in a while, a dawdler in stale cleft boots, one of those red-nosed, trench-coat-sporting older men, would climb onto a picnic table and lie there for hours, inhaling the thick river wind. A young girl would catch a bee beneath a bell jar, women would lounge on the unfolding grass as if it were a beach, cars would purr as hardihood boys would fetch treats and sunscreen from trunks, and beyond the slope shouldering into the canal, squeegee punks would loll and let their manes unfurl.

Now it is December, where the maples sketch with charcoal across padded snow and crows silhouette the sky. I am twenty-four, to me the clustering sparrows that gather on tree branches seem like bushels of grapes; I wait for that moment when the tide of my life will eddy inside my mind as a quantum flux inside a letter box, apart from the chirp of noisome birds. Now there is time to spend, moments to listen and watch. Walleyed old men don`t stoop or stand in reverence of the day, as I would peer out from my window sill in July. They sway as steeple towers, harbouring in place of church bells an old radio frequencies on loop. The sound channels those once coffeehouse chats, echoing off the laden stone wall of that shaft, reverberating into marriage parades and the whimpering of past lovers, synthesising into a single note of their lives.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


We kept at it though, this idle preoccupation of filling those lapses between explanation and breath with the clout of our words; a thick fistful of B-flat compliances. Between it, I noticed her nimble twiddle of forefinger readjusting her ring as if it were a cog, and if unloosened the entire mechanism of her countenance and petty smiles would become undone. So I grabbed at her hand and saw how the flush of her belated husband rose within her as white dahlias are dipped in stained water, watching as the color permeated through a single petal at a time from its stem. And her eyes quavered, and breath rolled off her as brume licking her chest, then waist and thighs smoothened as acid carves limestone. And for that moment, I saw it, a twirl of ivy unfurl itself from the cusp of her lip, and I clasped onto it with my teeth and hedged her any sense of social-repose, where she once could careen into words that fluttered as airily as her frilling ankle socks. Now I groped onto her as heavily as dark umber pulls on broth, so that inside the polite clamber of partisans and politicians we were as a ladle thick with soup, clumsily spilling onto the lampshade and Venetian carpets.
Grass along the coastline
seemed dusky.
I stood as stern
as the frame of a kite
and when
that lick and loop
of brume came billowing
up and along
the cliff

it sifted
through my thin garb and I
nearly took to the air.

Instead I fell backwards,
without bending my legs or engaging my arms to catch my fall but fell,
with palms facing skywards
as if in alms.

(I was no longer a child of the seaside cliff
but was of that tangle and tinge of tawny yellows
now weaving themselves into the earth.
And the wind would grasp my chin
and I would feel two earthen hands
pulling me from behind the jut
and my arms would drag behind me
and my shirt haul up past my ears
and sod would growl beneath me
and steer into the wakes of my spine.

And soon I was ensky,

the two sinewy hands had flicked me into
and past the slope
where gravity cajoles
shoelaces and lets them unfold
as if a willow’s

And I was of that soupy umber now.
Now I was blushing into the sky,
that incarnadine melding into the horizon now.

And bellow
was the heaving of a wave,
now a sigh,
now a susurrus
as a simper pleated across my face)

and I acquiesced to the dawn.