on my desk, drinks. some empty, some half.

today is not the day to ponder half what. today is not the day to ponder emptiness in any capacity. today is a day to put away laundry and watch television and eat pasta and have a coffee from tim horton's at an appropriate hour of the day.

today is not the day to ponder how bizarre life is or what cell phone plan you need to have in order to complete fulfilledness.

today is not the day to comment on the existence of fullfilledness as a word or not.

my dog needs a bath and the salt grinder needs to be refilled.


there were a lot of misplaced commas. there always were. in fact i am not really sure how he even made it out of freshman english…but he did and there he was, sitting in my class, defiant as hell and practically daring me to fail him. or flirting with me. was he flirting with me? it had been so long since anyone had that i wasn’t sure if that glint in his eye was academically or sexually aggressive.

as time wore on i became less and less sure of what to make of him and more and more sure that what i saw in his eyes was in fact desire and not just for an A. i caught him once looking at my knees. i’d begun to show them off again and i was glad that he’d noticed. i might have been a little too glad as i felt my cheeks stain with embarrassment. or was it arousal?

later, a while later, but i couldn’t say how long he stayed after class. i was sitting at my desk pretending i didn’t know he was there, feigning surprise at his sudden presence across the hard wood top.

“call you explain a comma splice to me?” he said, laying his hand on top of mine.

i choked a little. sputtered out a flustered, “yes…” and tumbled through an vague and incoherent explanation. he didn’t care. i felt his eyes on my knees the whole time. staring at them, desiring them.

“may i?” he said. and before i could answer he knelt down and kissed my knee cap. i waited for more, for a hand or his lips and inch higher and then higher again but they didn’t come. he kissed my knee cap once and stood up.

“thank you” he said and left.

he was in class the next day, and every day after that until the semester was over. he never misplaced a comma again.

(thoughtful limbs) #8

inspired by a funny poetic suggestion from my friend rob!

“thoughtful limbs”

i look over at you, asleep, your thoughtful limbs delicately wrapped around each other. this is the usual- you not touching me. instead your forearms grasp each other in prayer, your elbows lose themselves in deep debate and your knees whisper secrets i’ll never know. when you do touch me it is never as thoughtful or as reverential as when you touch yourself. there is a roughness to the way you touch me-a hardness that seems weighed down by an inexplicable capacity for indelicacy. or something…

…maybe it’s because the dog is always watching.


I didn’t want you to see what I was doing. I was making something for you. I bought a book and learned how to make a birdhouse. I’d never used a knife or a saw or whatever and I’d never bought wood or cut it or knew what happened when the saw hit a knot. It terrified me. I screeched and jumped across the room in the opposite direction of the wood. I was horrified of losing an eye or a tooth. It seemed to fly hard and fast enough to actually knock out my two front teeth. How would I work then? Imagine. I mean, what is the end result of losing my teeth? I don’t even want to think about it.

So I made a secret birdhouse. And it wasn’t very good. It really wasn’t. It was lopsided and the opening wasn’t big enough for a bird to go in. I guess maybe a baby bird could have gone in but he probably would be afraid to do it alone without its mother anyways. I mean, really… baby birds are sorta chicken shit.

So I made a secret birdhouse and I didn’t want you to see it. I also painted it very badly. The colour was a mess. Mustard yellow and purple and a weird teal colour. It was all I had. Paint isn’t easy to come by when you’re me. I don’t know why.

I just wanted to make you a present and hope that baby birds might want to get born there or that at least you might pretend to like it and hang it up in a tree where none of the neighbours would see it.

You laughed when I gave it to you because while I was making it you were in the garage making a doghouse that a dog could actually fit in.

(a bit romantic) #1

She sat on the fence-she made her living as a fence sitter. It wasn’t a choice by any stretch of the imagination, it just sort of happened. As a toddler she just never made a decision; and maybe at the end of her life they will say,

She decided once never to decide.

And she never did.

Once she looked at apartments in Paris and someone else decided.

The first time it happened was when she was about 17 months old. It was a Tuesday. She spoke very well already and her mother asked her if she would like chicken or turkey for dinner-both were strained and both looked (and tasted) exactly the same-and instead of choosing she simply said,

Either or.

And it went that way for years.

Paper or plastic?

You chose.

She voted but she always voted for all the candidates and never expressed any real political opinion.

They are all the same anyway,

She was often heard to say.  And it didn’t matter, people spoiled ballots all the time.

One day she met a man. He was a very powerful man who made decisions with every breath. He was boisterous in his decision-making.



He could be heard making decisions late into the night. His neighbours felt safe knowing that he would always be able to tell them just what they should do.

Should I buy this car?


Should I marry this woman?


Persimmons or dates at brunch?


No question was too much. He knew the answers and he was always right.

One day this man and this woman met. They were in the produce aisle and she wasn’t deciding between honeydew and cantaloupe. He picked up a honeydew and placed in gently in her cart. Their eyes met then too. They looked into each other and felt an odd tilting of the scales.

He knew what to do and she was sitting on the fence so they went for dinner and he ordered her the chicken rather than the salmon.

After some time they loved each other. She didn’t decide to love him or not to love him; she just did, like the way she just woke up in the morning. She just did. He didn’t decide either. He just did the way he did when he brushed his teeth in the morning.

One morning he came from the bathroom to find her sleeping in the bed. He had a question and for her.

He lay in bed.

He whispered in her ear,

Will you marry me?

She whispered back from her spot between asleep and awake.