Sunday, July 26, 2015

Same old story

You know the one where the mirror needs cleaning and it’s too hot to do anything else so you grab a rag and take a swipe and WTF! Who the hell are you and why are you wearing my cap?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I woke up in my car the other night in the mountains west of Rocky Mountain House. I was in transit along that route between the Edmonton area and the okanagan that I'd driven yearly since my parents and sisters started living out there (or, as I say from the coffee shop in the Mission district of Kelowna, here) in the 70s. I'd decided to try sleeping in my Matrix with the seats folded down and a mattress laid out. It was darkest night, brightest stars, when I woke up the other night. I'll claim face-to-face, me and the Dipper, one the mask of the other. We opened at each other, no words. 
No words but I've told the story a couple of times now--camping at Two O'Clock Creek as I used to do, opening my eyes to the stars there.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What was that?

I’m trying my hardest not to stare at the neighbour while he rebuilds his retaining wall, but his chainsaw is making some weird pulsing noise and I’m a bit concerned.  It sounds like he’s repeatedly sticking the tip into an electrical outlet. Because why not! Seriously though, I'd get that thing checked. That or my ears. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015


I thought I'd bike east and did, so far east I looked at people as ways out. Until then we'd all seen each other but hadn't said or nodded much. I'd asked one guy if he had bike trouble. 
I stopped to consult the compass on my phone and a map. I was heading the right away but had turned onto the fairy-tale path through a development. Once I found the road past the cemetery, I was home.
I report one other public incident:
So far east, I'd spotted a couple of boats east of the bridge, where they weren't supposed to go. By the time I got back to that bridge, two or three hours later, the boats were passing beneath me. I hollered down something about reading the sign. They just looked at me.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Just a little gore

It's bizarre how bugs bite your face and leave you bleeding and you’re clueless until someone looks at you and their eyes bug out. I posted this, or something like this, on social media this afternoon and it fell flat, not that I let it stand long. I know better. Bloody posts are a bit too vampire for a Wednesday, especially in July, the newsfeed full of castles and gondolas, cottages and terriers, and GIFS of cats filing their nails, not to mention the CanLit crowd ‘arguing’ over the so-called death of CanLit yet again like they do every spring and fall, visions of ARCs dancing on their desks perhaps, or something like that, but who can blame them, and, let’s face it, it’s pretty entertaining, much like my face at the moment. The bites might be a bit ugly, but, like always, the swelling will go down.   

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Death in the afternoon

Where did death come from? I meant to say blues, blues in the afternoon, the title of a new painting by Anne McElroy facing me, just hung. I'd seen it at the Station Arts Centre in Rosthern where Lloyd and I and Lynda shared a reading last month. We'd stood in the gallery space chatting with the women who run the place about our event that evening. I began to notice the paintings; the paintings began to rise into me. I chose one, lightly.
It had been in Fes, Morocco, that I found Hemingway's Death in the Afternoon in a bookshop run by the only guy to give me good directions to my hotel that day. It was Death in the Afternoon that led me to the bullring in Seville three weeks later. The bullring was closed for the season but later I sat under the head of Inclusero, the bull, adrift in the afternoon.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The scapes

 A little olive oil, medium grill. Those were the instructions. I had no hand in the preparation, however. My only part was a clean snip in midafternoon so the wound would have a chance to begin healing before nightfall. I learned how thanks to a video on YouTube. And the snips were indeed clean. I know all about scissors. I harvested only four scapes, handing them over as the wind picked up and the smoke thickened, then I went my own way. The rest of the afternoon passed in a haze. At some point the scapes appeared before me. All I know is they slid down and I experienced the divine. I left the tips for they were as burnt as I’d imagined and seeing them lying on the plate after I was finished brought a measure of relief. At least I know enough to trust my visions.