Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day

Christmas is over. Why wait for the weekend? It's a new year already and I have 50 dollars in my savings account (the first non-zero balance in over two years). We are making plans, reorganizing, hoping. I have a new journal. I worked today for double time and a half. I've decided to lose another ten pounds. My nightstand holds two new books on writing, the collected poems of Wislawa Szymborska (from my Dad, who gives better presents and books than anyone), French Women Don't Get Fat, and A Brief History of Time. My hair is longer than ever. The presents I slaved over were received with joy, and I would like to make more things--now, not on a deadline. I work again tomorrow. It's hard, but good: I want to save a year's tuition and learn to wring my time for all it's worth. I want to learn to apply mascara and nailpolish (properly!). I want to write thank you notes for all the wonderful gifts. I want to read A Winter's Tale.

And what do you want?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

felt books

The felt books are finished. Nine good poems - not all of my autumn's work, but the work that came out of the rest of the work. Fifteen copies are already in the mail and in friends' hands--I'm surprised I have to make more so soon.

It is marvelous to have these printed up. They are a semester's final project, something to show. I am still a writer.

geese recipient

comment #4: resolute twig!

Christmas tree

Tim taught me how to fold paper stars,

we folded and I threaded,

then I cleaned the leaves on the fig tree,

and Laura and I folded some cranes.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cat Fucks

Cat, far removed
from whims
and outside loyalties,
nevertheless found
she kept pace
with the progress
of reason
in the days
when the progression
was exhilerating
and most had
abandoned the march.
to sleep with her,
he did not
find himself
falling off the face
of the earth
and into a trailer park,
but he found
he had recovered
for his cause
some definition
of intimate,
the word and act,
and he no longer
of exterminating her race.

Friday, December 16, 2011

a giveaway

Would you like some angry geese?

Would you like to forgive my tardiness and stash them away for next Christmas (Hanukkah, Solstice, general Yuletide)?

Would you like to put words in their beaks?

Would you like to show off a little Canadiana?

Very good. I would like to send you a parcel. Anywhere in the world. As promptly as I can.

If you would like ten of these cards (which are blank inside, come with envelopes, and are decked with wool bows in blue, red, white, or green), please leave a comment! I will draw the winner on December 20.

December 16

I'm suffering one of my least favourite types of doldrums today.

I've planned to stay home for the day in order to make things and read and write, but I feel like a "housewife". I feel unintelligent, lazy, frivolous, and obscure.

"Do I have nothing better to do than knit Hogwarts scarves, bake cookies, read A Brief History of Time and write poetry? How disgustingly female."

Let me spend fifteen minutes fixing up my hair and applying mascara, and I'll feel even worse.

Let me wash even one dish and I might just collapse into a puddle of daytime television. (Except that we don't own a TV, and I've never had any desire to watch even ten minutes of a soap opera.)

But I'm fighting it. I'm about to go off and put on makeup before washing a whole sink full of dishes. Because life goes on. Because Tim and I eat three times a day, and he washed up yesterday.

Because I'd rather spend hours working on homemade presents than extra hours at a minimum-wage job paying for store-bought presents.

Because a clean space is good for the body and soul.

Because ceremonies and holidays are significant for our species, and because pfeffernusse constitutes about half of "Christmas" in my memories.

Because I love to invent and create, because I love to be alone, because you must not feel guilty simply for being alive.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"another country - Gondor"

Cat's Attempt

When Cat announced
He was an Atheist,
They wouldn't let him.

When Cat said
'I'm right because
Me and Darwin would be pals'

They didn't argue.
They asked him why
He would try to hurt his mother.

When Cat protested,
Asked for evidence
And welcomed a debate

They pointed to his
Kitten cousins and said
He was selfish.

When Cat hollered 'I'm right
Because I don't believe
In the Flying Spaghetti Monster'

They told him once
He'd had a taste of life
He would embrace the mystery of religion.

Friday, December 9, 2011


(An early present from Grace.)

I feel like a factory. I have things to show you. (I am making presents, but also: I can finally put my hair up in a top knot). I am thinking of doing a giveaway for one of the felt books - do you think there's any interest?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cat as Athlete Philosopher

Cat kept up
his ideas as a gymnast
might keep up his body.
It was a terrible relief
to stretch himself every morning
to begin work.

Cat trained.
He practiced for fits
of flawless action,
for impossible stunts
and tumbles
and a tight finish.

winter victuals

My appetite changed as soon as it snowed. There it was, skipping along from yogurt to grapes to black beans to salsa . . . as soon as it snowed it spun right around. Now I've craving cocoa, gingerbread, dried fruit, soup, potatoes, oatmeal, beer.

(This is what I ate while writing on the couch a few mornings ago.)

(Tim painted my nails iridescent silver last night, while we were at his family's trimming the tree and eating soup, cider and cheese.)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Cat spent a month

Cat spent a month
trying to sleep himself
into a koala because
he couldn't sleep himself
into a cat

because he was never alone
while munching eucalyptus
his stomach burbled
strangely like the primeval soup
and he felt invaded

while ruthless genes
battled in his organs
because he was never
created Cat

the tufts on his ears
were looking too large
he could only sleep himself
into a koala


Thank you Glynis! I squealed when I saw her. My burlap mouse is very glad to have a friend. Or maybe lover? Implications are tricky when one lives on a couple's bed.

Regardless, mail will soon be on its way to you in New Zealand.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1

I handed in my final paper last night, went to my last class and bought myself a bottle of oatmeal stout to celebrate. I walked the 70 minutes home slightly off-kilter (if you didn't know, I am the lightweight of lightweights--still, I like a manly beer). Tim and I played Nintendo. We gorged on raisin soda bread and hot chocolate from a mix.

Now it's three in the morning. The house is a post-major-paper mess, and I have a hangover (I'm saying that it's more from the simple sugar than the alcohol). I can't wait to get started on Christmas vacation. I'm going to hop in the bath in a minute, and then, quietly, by myself, begin nudging our apartment back to rights, and preparing for an Advent season of books and music and hopefully much good work.

I have a list of things to do today that includes painting my fingernails, baking cornbread, walking in the snow, and starting A Brief History of Time. (Sometimes life is so, so sweet.)