not so much left

februarie 8, 2012

The Word

 Down near the bottom
 of the crossed-out list
 of things you have to do today,

 between „green thread”
 and „broccoli” you find
 that you have penciled „sunlight.”

 Resting on the page, the word
 is as beautiful, it touches you
 as if you had a friend

 and sunlight were a present
 he had sent you from some place distant
 as this morning – to cheer you up,

 and to remind you that,
 among your duties, pleasure
 is a thing,

 that also needs accomplishing
 Do you remember?
 that time and light are kinds

 of love, and love
 is no less practical
 than a coffee grinder

 or a safe spare tire?
 Tomorrow you may be utterly
 without a clue

 but today you get a telegram,
 from the heart in exile
 proclaiming that the kingdom

 still exists,
 the king and queen alive,
 still speaking to their children,

 – to any one among them
 who can find the time,
 to sit out in the sun and listen.

– Tony Hoagland<a

Reclame

the year of living.

februarie 2, 2012

WHAT THE LIVING DO
by Marie Howe

Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.
And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up

waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we spoke of.
It’s winter again: the sky’s a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through

the open living-room windows because the heat’s on too high in here and I can’t turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,

I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,

I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.

What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss–we want more and more and then more of it.

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep

for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless:
I am living. I remember you.


songs (winter 2011)

decembrie 16, 2011

h/t to: yael, the hairpin, captain awkward, rookie

1. feist – graveyard

2. mazzy star – happy

3. rilo kiley – breakin’ up

4. st vincent – these days

5. the kinks – village green

6. coma cinema – desolation’s plan

7. camera obscura – other towns and cities

„and if i go too long/without hearing your voice, everything goes/ all/ wrong”


end-of-year days

decembrie 11, 2011

Antilamentation
(Dorianne Laux)

Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook.
Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication.
Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punchline, the door, or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don’t regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the livingroom couch,
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You’ve walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You’ve traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs
window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied
of expectation. Relax. Don’t bother remembering
any of it. Let’s stop here, under the lit sign
on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.

Postcard from the Party
(Wynn Cooper)

You have to be invited, and there’s nothing
you can do to be asked. Headlines and bloodlines
don’t help. It’s a long way from home but I’m
here, the view much better than I’m used to.
How did this happen? Dumb but good luck,
right place and time, the planets aligned.
No contract, no deadline, no risk. And what
did I do to deserve this? Slept with all
the wrong people, gambled too much on friends
of friends with light bulbs over their heads.
Wrote every day no matter what.

h/t captain awkward


dear people

noiembrie 26, 2011

it’s been so long again that i want to just get re-introductions over with. i have ACHED to update for this whole past month. it may not look like it, but this blog, as personal (in the bad way) and bullshitty as it’s been lately, does feel like a concrete gesture i’m making toward staying connected. not letting my slippery life slipper away etc.

bottom-line: things have somewhat changed again. new job (i work for the Forum of Montreal in a veery qualified janitorial position, more on which later. hopefully.), new weird learning habits (i’m doing russian biweekly if possible, lately over luscious (can i say that??) soy lattes in the concordia ghetto. i am writing essay drafts on my room-daily schedule-describing my family -my city – shopping dialogues on my dinner breaks at tim hortons. i have late breakfasts in bed and have read a string of interesting books. new…new things: i am volunteering to teach english to immigrants at House of Friendship, which is the nicest place of its sort in the nicest nice possible area in Mtl (duluth and coloniale, anyone? yes, being posh here.) I am trying to write again because it ITCHES. so far it’s been shuffling and whining, but we’ll see.

we’ll see about everything, won’t we? in the end. i sense the winter pre-depression panic creeping and i shrug and watch it creep. it snowed once so far, but it hasn’t been supercold, and cold is just one of the variables anyway. the state of my potential anecdote supply is very very promising, and the future as uncertain as ever. and my butterflies are from the same old sources. and you, my dear people, the thought of you is a rough thick blanket that i have to discipline myself to drag and set in place: but it’s here, with me, warming. i’m thankful for this and for you.


spa!!

septembrie 18, 2011

To: [our landlords]

 

Hello. Here’s the email I promised to write you regarding your proposal that we move to apartment #2, 2155 St Joseph E.

First of all, you need to understand that we are not really interested in moving. We would much prefer to keep living in our current place undisturbed. We understand that you need to renovate the building, but it’s not clear to us why you want to start with our apartment, #4, and can’t start with apartment 2, which will be conveniently evacuated beginning of November. We suspect that you are fully aware that apartment #4 is better located and full of light.

However, we agreed to consider (which is not the same thing as accepting) your proposal. The list of things you would have to fix in apartment 2 as condition of our potential move would mandatorily include the following:

–          Repainting the middle room (currently used as bedroom) from dark purple to white

–          Installing a door to the front room so that privacy is insured for the occupant of that room

–          Changing the frames of the windows in both rooms (you should look at those windows and compare them with what we have in #4).

–          Cleaning thoroughly all the spaces in the apartment (including interiors of cupboards, closets, shelving and disinfected too).

This would need to be done 1 week before we move and be approved by us. That said, if we DO agree, then you would:

–          Help us move appliances AND FURNITURE. Practically if we move we would be doing you a favour, and we don’t see why we should be wasting time or energy at all during this move. Your role in this move would best be illustrated by the following image: “You find boxes for us, de-assemble and reassemble our furniture; Carmen and Melanie go to a spa for the whole moving day and come back to see that everything has been moved already to apartment #2. Of course, you will have paid for the entire meticulous cleaning of apartment 2 and also the spa because it is a drastic and stressful change in our very very busy and packed lives.” Need we point out that writing this stressful letter already took most of our night!

There are, unfortunately, a few things that we still don’t like about this idea of moving, in spite of the support and help you’ve promised.

1)      We think apartment 2 is much darker – not because of the bad paint, but because of its position on first floor. The view from the back windows is definitely not as good and our balcony would be exposed to everybody who walks by. As landlords, you may consider that one 3 ½ unit equals another 3 ½ unit, but this is not our experience as tenants. We really can’t see how you can convince us that the two apartments are similar.

2)      The bathroom/kitchen flooding incident this summer was very stressful for us. We think the construction team and you (their supposed supervisors) did not handle it well. You can’t blame us for not wanting to move into a place that would be exposed to the exact same type of situation (renovation going on above, managed by the same landlords). Not to mention the noises from the banging construction that haunted us for weeks, and which will be repeated.

3)We haven’t seen the bathroom yet, and have tried numerous times to see it with no answer from the tenant of #2. Even seeing the rest of the apartment has proved more difficult than expected. Ideally, you, as landlords, should have been present for this viewing so we can compare and discuss face to face the differences between the apartments and the changes to be made. We think this is a precursor to the vibe of our moving – you promise everything will be done well and fast, and in the end it takes much more time and stress than we can afford.

 

All the best,

Carmen and Melanie

 

 

 

 


new relevant information

iulie 30, 2011

To : Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities of Québec

Bonjour, Madame/Monsieur

In response to your email following my application for a Certificate of Selection by Québec, I do have a few new pieces of information concerning my current situation here as temporary resident. I hope they will contribute to a favourable view of my case.

1. My previous roommate left Canada and as such left me in full possesion of various pieces of furniture, kitchen implements, clothing items and a number of house plants, some of which might be said to have attained tree status (see attached photos).

2. My current roommate is designing me as `owner` of our live house pets (fish) – (photo attached)

3. As a new signer of a lease, I opened an account with Hydro Quebec, for which I had to pay 50$ (see copy of receipt).

4. I have entered a form of verbal agreement with the salesman in the shoe shop at Rachel corner St. Denis, that signifies my desire and intention to purchase a pair of black leather winter boots (value 200$, reduced from 350$) upon receiving my next paycheck (I wish I could attach a photo, or transcript of conversation, but, alas.).

As result of above mentioned events, I am becoming increasingly aware of the weight of responsibility I am taking on, as a caretaker for Québec-based live beings and as an investing participant in Québec economy.  I consider that my actions speak clearly of my awareness and acceptance of the high taxes and tough winters so specific to Québec – and, moreover, of a willingness to surround myself with the elements required by a steady, `settled` lifestyle here.  I hope your final decision goes in agreement with my current spendings.

As a sidenote, based on previous personal experiences and lessons learned thereby, I can also promise in all clear conscience to not date anglophones, or at least non-French speakers, ever again for as long as I live here  – consequently, my future children will be at least trilingual, with French their solid daily used second language.

Vive le Quebec!

Yours truly ___