Tag Archives: love


We’re airborne, baby

through the words, sharp corners around pylon teeth.

Round that nervous bend in your brow.

Airborne baby, that’s where we are.

Highways are made of dust and colour.

Speed faster, babe,

blur the signs together.

Speed past burning trees,

miss the turn-off.

On the highway

On the highway

This is  higher than we’ve ever been.

We’d never get paid for this;

Talk is cheap

Paper is expensive.

Down the highway,

Down the highway, baby,

we’re flying.

If you fall I won’t catch you.

Love isn’t real unless your ass hits the ground.

Fall for me baby,

fall for me.

We got matches

and water.

And our heads.

We’re airborne baby, its where we are.

Not where we’ll stay.

Poetry recasts words too dangerous to write. Omissions know the truth.

I get cranky before I write. Like everything has to be perfect, like I have to burn the right amount of incense, like I have to avoid the right amount of words said to anyone, like I have to place the right amount of folded blanket under my knees and play the right Chopin Nocturne. And have the right level of pain – that pushes me, makes me a bit anxious, but not enough to distract me. Its my inspiration. She’s my inspiration. Those eyes with the impossibly long lashes, the webs of truth and age-old knowledge spun in the blue-green stare that says I love you and I will always love you, and we’ll probably never be together in all senses of the word.

We’re together as she tugs at my bones, winding and twisting, nagging at me to move, to stay still, to be in water, to get out already, to worship her, to ignore her. I can’t ignore her. We’re together as we travel from town to smile past box stores and sky-covered fields. Stay with me she hints, never saying it but with her eyes. Leave before I get busy so I can mourn your departure one more time. We know it won’t be the last.

Her name is whispered on the lips of local carnivores, licked and yearned after. Desired and reviled. I can’t do more than reflect on the right to remain silent and love in a time of punishment. Offer my hand when she is near and my ear when I am not. What we have is lasting



Cars, mothers, dental work and drowsiness-inducing painkillers: on mutual self-care

The thing about being in a car-centric place is that you can’t take your mum to a doctor’s appointment if you don’t drive, and she will insist on driving. If you were in your natural habitat, you would hail a cab, and take it home. There would be no option for her to drive after being put under, operated on, and having three different types of painkillers. We had gotten up early, rushed to this hotel on the south side of Edmonton to catch the Red Arrow bus to Calgary. She was having dental surgery there. And then we got back on the Red Arrow bus back to Edmonton, that same day. And she insisted on driving home after we got off the bus. It was a lot.

She’s always telling me: just take a cab, if your knee’s hurting just take a cab, its not worth it. And that’s what I’m learning to do, not push myself, not do a marathon worth of activity after a surgery, or even on a regular day. I’m learning to take care of myself. Always, not just when I have time or can afford it. I have the luxury, when I can’t afford it, of a credit card. I am not forced to work a job that disables me. I felt frustrated that she wouldn’t let me help her, not even carry my own backpack, let alone carry her bag. To me self care is about accepting help when you need it and giving help when someone needs it more, if you can. But she wouldn’t, she said, “birdie I’m fine. Tell you what if you notice anything unsafe after one block I’ll pull over and call a cab.”

The sticker on the anti-inflammatory she just took flashes in front of my eyes: may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Merde I thought, I’m going to rip her face off. So I stormed into the hotel the bus dropped us off at, that her car was parked at, and looked for the bathroom. I only found the men’s and didn’t want to walk farther cause I didn’t have my cane and my leg was hurting so I went and spoke to myself in the mirror of the men’s. Gender is silly anyways. I wanted to hold my ground but didn’t want to force her out of her car, motor running, bags packed in and all. I wanted her to accept that I might have a reasonable point, along with all the nurses we spoke to who said, no driving or anything strenuous. But she was ok, she was fine. She is a bull-headed, sweet spoken lion woman, and will not back down from her belief that she can and will do everything all at once. Won’t take T3s, won’t ask a friend for a ride, won’t stay the night in Calgary, won’t even let me walk her to the bathroom. Because that would mean… what? That she, along with everyone else in the world, needs support and help sometimes? That her self-image and the image she puts out in the world will be degraded? Does she see needing help as a degradation of her self image, her pride, her confidence? Does she see it as fine for others to need help but not herself? How does that make me feel, when I am openly working on accepting help when I need it. And why does she only accept help when she is at the complete end of the possibility of doing something herself? Am I talking about my mother or myself at this point?

Its a sensitive subject for me cause I’m trying so hard to not be ableist towards myself. And I forget that when I come home, after being away and changing my perspectives, that I can’t expect others to receive that perspective through some transmissive process as soon as my plane lands and walker wheels hit the dry Edmonton ground. I can’t get mad at someone for operating how she always does, frustrated that she’s more concerned with my arthritis pain than the two incisions in her own mouth. I can try and make her see that its important to take of herself too, and that means resting sometimes. I can try and lead by example, by explanation, by sharing my experiences with coming home and putting a heat pad on my legs, or leaving my house messy or not pushing myself in the pool even though I want to swim soo fast and forever. But I can’t just get mad and slam doors. Damn I said to the mirror in the men’s hotel washroom with the potpourri and urinal scent, how stubborn and bull-headed was I this summer when she was helping me heal my broken leg?image