Some Lies Mostly Truths

November 1, 2017

I am listening to the Modern Love podcast while editing my latest in my steadily growing tropical fruit series and came across what I wrote for Modern Love's 13-year anniversary. They asked readers to submit their love stories in only 13 words. Here's mine:

It ended where it began: railways. So much still there; everything left unspoken.

 

While my excerpt did not get published, this was a good exercise for me. Writing this was also very integral to my healing.

I am reminded of where I was half a year ago, and even two and a half years ago. A lot sure has changed. I am very much changed.

Valentine

I had grand plans for some major self-care stuff today. I bought some new modifiers and was going to do a new self-portrait. I was going to pick up a pint of White Chocolate & Pistachio ice cream and buy myself flowers. I was even thinking about dragging one of my best friends out to get a burger and a strawberry milkshake. And then finish the day off with Netflix and some chocolate.

But here I currently am, holed up in my ridiculously tiny apartment sick as a dog, wishing someone would deliver me some spicy soup. It would seem winter has finally caught up with me, and after evading this bug for so long, it has me in its horrible reins, and I could not be more miserable.

I was in denial when I woke up with a headache, stuffy sinuses, and a raw nose; 'thought I could somehow shoot my way through this darned sick feeling. I set up my lights, set up my props, and shot away, but gave up halfway through my studio hour feeling mighty dizzy (and FREEZING). I did manage to get a couple of shots, one with anthuriums (you can find that image here), and one with these beautiful pink proteas I snuck through the border from my most recent trip to Seattle. I got to fulfill one of my self-care tasks today, at least: I got to make art. My self-portrait will have to wait.

I am having a terribly tough time outside of this bug. It's that same nagging feeling of having these very loose roots but not having enough financial freedom to get myself rooted somewhere that feels like home. Something has to change. I don't know what yet. I am not entirely sure an uprooting will change what I am feeling here... but it sure will help in a big way... I think.

I am delirious right now so I should end it here. Time to hunt through my fridge for something that will resemble Self-Assuredness, Certainty, and Home. Perhaps all are there; I just can't seem to see them in my horizon yet.

IMG_3117.jpg

Ghost Stories

I am very pleased to announce a book that has taken ten years to complete. 'Ghost Stories' is a collection of fragmented narratives and photographs (mostly film, some digital) taken between 2007 and 2017.

I started the layout of the book in April, and though some of the images have yet to be fully realized, it is a little more than halfway finished.

It will be self-published by me and its projected release date will be in the late autumn/early winter of this year. 

And now, a sneak peek:

It will feel good to finally put this out there in the universe, after keeping most of it secret for so long.

Cruising Altitude

Cruising Altitude

I have slept with thousands of strangers
over the course of my life:
an act devoid of any meaningful human connection
save, perhaps, for the brush of legs against knees
en route to the lavatory.

Loneliness reaches absurd heights
when one becomes
hyper-aware
of these brief flashes of -

                                let’s face it -

                                n     o     t     h     i     n     g     n     e     s     s

masquerading as
legitimate intimacy

some thirty thousand feet in the air.

(IM, 01.18.2017)

James

Breathing Light

Couples
coupling
in sets of Threes
and I
the odd
One
walking ‘mongst them:

Sometimes I wear
Solitude
like a sore thumb
it’s easy enough to pretend it’s not there
but it makes itself painfully aware

                                   it is                            there

The space that holds us
shifts and pulsates with
colours of indeterminable origin
taken largely from nature, perhaps
though this all seems supernatural to me.
It’s like a glimpse into the                         afterlife
                                                                   I walked into
                                                                   many moons ago
                                                                   moments before
                                                                   voices pulled me away.

A sudden
bright
white
light
             where no edges live
              like standing in the midst of infinity.

I have seen water break.
‘Felt it carve lines down my face,                   (should, shoulder            worn-down boulders)
                    getting to the root of me.

Here, Solitude wears me with grace, now:
I know what it is to breathe light.

Blankets and Bedsprings

Thread Count

You wove for me a tapestry
three decades in the making
painting a striking picture
more complex than I could have ever imagined.

My own undoing begins
when I pick apart those threads.

It takes a village to hold me back from my self.

I stand back, then,
to let the truth wash over me
like ocean water - freezing and saline:
painting my lips blue
piercing my lungs until
all breath is taken from me.

I can never be washed completely clean, still
wrap your tapestry over my naked body
                                               as I come
                                               of age and wisdom borne
                                               by our great unravelling.

Dupont

Ellipsis

It was a night filled with shattered glasses.

You threw open these drawers
and poured out their contents:
                  you held out mirrors from
                  compartments I fashioned with
                  these broken hands and heart and
                  eyes that saw past what is there.

What has always been there
never really fit anywhere.

I tried to store them somewhere but I couldn’t.
Beauty, like Pain, cannot be contained for long.

 

I looked at these scattered pieces like I was witnessing
                       
                      the
                       unfurling
                       of petals in slow-motion
                       sped countless-fold:

                       poppies - goldenrod and red - springing forth like wildfire:
                       unstoppable.

                                              There's a first.

My love, you see,
you are already in bloom
where I am being re-born.

Origin

Make Up

i wear my father's face when i am contemplative
and my mother's when i smile.

this face bears both their joys:
however rare and fleeting,
and their unbridled internal turmoil:
                                              their singular constant.

                                              my earliest memory is a lashing-out
                                              in the form of a wrist slap
                                              for failing to colour inside the lines


knowing this, then, would you take it back?
i do not take the word 'beautiful' lightly
when you use it to describe me.

you ought to know where i come from:
this beauty stems
from as much dark as there is light,

                                               i am both water and well.

i can no longer be married to your memory

(i. flesh)
honey and spice poured forth
where my broken pieces lie:
liquid white
and gold

honey and spice poured forth
through these billion shards -
all mine:
all
ancient, old, and new

how can one whole break
into pieces so minuscule?

ground so fine

they are stardust:
beautifully irreparable

(ii. entropy)
amorphous to
the crystalline to
the imperceptible
and back:

shadows of old selves emerge with the new.

the constant is in the breaking.

(iii. salt)
we have always been two islands
set apart by huge bodies of water.

in my fervent want to get to yours,
i drowned in my attempt to swim.