some other things i made.
- the rain and its bows were the shades of a stone
- the blood of my teeth was an uncracked code
- I never learned to brace before the tender wave crested
- expected tenderness
- always strayed too far from the sidewalk
- a human-sized game of marbles
- or sorry
- not sorry
- there were no statutes
- just monuments to the impossible luck of us
- when we wed to the erupting cumulus
- never settling
- the fog was always a surprise birthday party
- not a lifting veil revealing ruptures in the crust of us
- no words for it then
- tongue kisses were a given
- nothing was a given
- I had it figured
- the field was fixed
gender neutral bathroom signs for Edmonton eatery Sugarbowl
a radio show about a daring escape
album for babyjey.bandcamp.com
(I did the layout, design, and illustrations for this Vancouver magazine)
I miss my Vancouver improv troupe (National Anthem -- they'd make fun of me for calling it a troupe). This was a poster for our weekly show :)
A collection of writing I designed and illustrated:
me as BituMan. Speech written by Chloe Speakman <3
A chapbook of my poems and drawings. Contact me if you'd like a copy! So far no one has!
my mom's album design (front cover photo) by sarahstonehocker.com)
A magazine I designed with Vicky Wiercinski
a layout example from my work as designer of The Gateway, the U of Alberta's student newspaper
With one hand on the wheel
some future version of you or me
will turn on the CBC just in time
to hear Peter Mansbridge say
"we've run out of alternatives."
Said the tipping point was this time yesterday,
pegged that the place from which there was officially no going back
and the gap between despair and indifference
is a difference even Mansbridge can't bridge tonight
because tonight he trips on the words: no going back.
It's a phrase that starts soft but ends with a crack,
sounds sorry at first but in the end
lacks the kind of shame that lays wreaths
on the graves of those we fail to save,
considering that when we're underground
our grandchildren won't be the only ones we could have considered.
Reality cross-check: mentality is plunder now
before we're six feet underground and we wonder how it got to this.
And another part of us doesn't. Another part of us knows
that it was our foot on the gas too, and that this is not an "issue"
but a promise within a threat hanging by a tissue paper thread
tread light cause it is bound to tear.
No strength can beat the same stress forever.
We were born to endeavour
and we were born to expire.
And it doesn't require some giant leap
for mankind to remind ourselves
that we walked on the fucking moon
to win a race.
Our pace has passed its terminal velocity
and honestly, I wonder how bad it'll have to get,
how much atrocity we'll have to commit
before we can't omit our destructive tendencies
anymore. Admit that we, too,
had a hand in the score
and the other on the wheel
steered straight toward that brink
while we pretended to think
I don’t write poems about you because
I'm afraid of doing some injustice to the memory.
Like each time I fail to see your face in my reflection,
I'm afraid that every release of your name
means letting you go a little bit more.
I know that in some part of my brain or my bones
that there is no good memory that can't be undone
like the knots of a back,
relaxed from having passed away,
the marks of every sacred year
revealed upon the vertebrae.
Our bodies are collection plates
emptied at the altar,
spines etched like sunbleached totem poles
bent like willow boughs ever reaching for that water.
When I have nothing to do I try recalling your face
and for as I long as I can pin it there,
this memory of a memory of a picture of you
in a turtleneck at Oma and Opa’s house at Christmas in the 90s,
every angle and misremembered gesture
re-etches itself into my grey matter,
and through the distorting lens of memory
I study the surface of it
like a topographical map
for all the ways it foreshadowed mine
but time is a lock confining the gone
to photographs and journal entries.
Whole irises reduced to oily dots
on a laser-printed page soaked in sepia drying
reminders of the years in between us,
my eyes writing your memoir each time
the mirror asks my DNA what it remembers.
I'm still tethered to this hope that
despite my best efforts at faith
maybe I'm wrong. Maybe heaven
has been there all along
and maybe no one remembered is ever really gone
but it all ends up sounding like a Sarah McLaughlin song
to say I'm finally learning to let go
because I don’t fucking know what that means
and one of the only things I think I know
is that as far as living goes
none of us really knows what we’re doing.
We are the descendants of ghosts
locked in a past so far and remote
that most of our best memories don't go
back beyond a couple generations ago
and patience may be a virtue but I need it right now,
because it’s hard to wait when the patchwork
of your half-remembered face
tells me life is already short enough.
And there's a good chance that yours and mine will end sooner
than any one of us would have liked or expected
so through the limitations of these short-lived words and minutes
let us spend it connected.
We are descendants of ghosts
and it may be that the only heaven we're destined for
is the one we can carve out for ourselves
from each bright blessed day and dark sacred night
as I think to myself how lucky a life
and how a wonderful world it was already been
and I smile at myself
and I see you again.
Campaign posters from the 2012 University of Alberta's students' union election. (I lost.)
Ode to a Cardboard Box
gentle bearer of fragilities,
ensheathing what wonders
you could have contained,
were your will ever considered.
Asleep beneath a crucifix of packing tape,
your ungaped mouth
frames the shape of simplicity.
And then, at mid-age,
your corners fray
their confidence, lips
curling from the hairlets
ripped from sleep,
depositing soft traces
of topsoil on any that wish to cling.
Creases like riverbeds
deepening your surface,
revealing the wearing
waged by decades of hands
and the soft violence they play
on your drying paper membrane.