Sunday, November 23, 2014


The attic of 
my mind is a 

habitually storing
things away, 
I pack 

sepia photos of memories 
little vials of unresolved emotions
every word I (n)ever said
into cardboard boxes 
that crinkle and
fold at the edges,
in the corners
they collect dust 

piled and
teetering ever so slightly 
on the verge of 

And although 
the floorboards creak 
under the weight and 
many of the boxes spilling
contents in their rot 
I cannot get myself 
to pick up the broom and 
sweep them out

and so the things are 
left as they are 
to weigh down on me 
and decay.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Crook of the Neck

In the crook of my 
neck right above 
the collarbones 
where women dab their perfume 
and lovers' kisses are placed 
lies a spot
where the skin is 

(so easily bruised)

and if I sat there quietly, 
you would be able to 
see the vein 

(delicately just so)

or perhaps you'll feel it 
accelerate beneath 
the brush of fingertips
in a wave of 


Tuesday, November 11, 2014


My teacher told me,
"Everyone has a plot of land, 
and you can find out a lot about them 
by seeing how they tend to it." 
I wonder what 
you'd learn if you 
saw the garden I tend to: 

a small wooden gate 
swings easily open 
(don't worry about the latch, 
it's never closed);

small paths of
earth well-traveled
wind around patches of 
greenery into which
towering dahlias 
and carnations paired 
with the soft brush of 
wildflowers grow 

in the center of it all 
stands a single rowan tree 
holding onto its 
ruby berries, 
two benches planted 
at its roots
(you're welcome to sit and stay).

But maybe your eyes will travel
to the locked gate behind the
rowan that leads to a shaded
thicket and a trickling stream that you
can hear but can't see; 

covered in vines 
and old with rust, 
towering over the heads of those 
that approach it, 
most are content in the 
primness of the flowers and have 
never seeked a way in.

If I gave you the key, 
would you explore it
and try to find me there?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

"This is a Photograph of Me" Version 2

This is an edited and expanded version of the memoir I posted a couple of weeks ago (this is the version of it that I actually got marked on in class).

There’s something about being above the rest of the world that makes my heart rush. Sitting in the trundling and rocking cable car and feeling the wind blowing through my hair felt freeing; I was away from the screeches of 7-year olds too hyped up on cotton candy and neon vortexes, away from the smell of boiling oil mixed with cloying sugar, away from the pull and push of the couples and families that clogged the streets below. The glare of yellow lights was now below my feet, balanced out by the night sky.
As I sat up there, I glanced over at my cousin Ariana snapping photos of the fireworks sparkling above the stadium. I remembered her telling me about the newest photo trend she had found on the internet.
"It's pretty cool," she said, chomping down on her poutine, "people take photos of their feet from where they're standing, post it on Instagram, and tag it #fromwhereIstand."
Out of all of the photo projects my cousin told me about, this one fascinated me: the idea of people leaving behind their marks in moments they deemed important or beautiful enough to commemorate in a single photo was foreign to me. In all of my photographs, I always leave myself out of the photos.
"How could I leave a permanent mark on a scene that looked so much better untouched by my presence?" I asked myself. I don't pluck the delicate purple and white flowers that litter the Brickwork trails; instead, I take photos of them rustling under the weight of butterflies. I don't leave behind footprints on the beach; instead, I take photos of the waves washing the traces of other people away. I don't join the group photos at school dances; instead, I take photos of everyone smiling and laughing. I am only the observer, not the participator.
And yet, as I peered down at the CNE, there was a sudden blind rush as I was driven to fumble for my camera to snap a photo of where I "stood." There was nothing special about the park for me; it was just a tourist beacon. But at that moment, there was a temporary magic that felt unshakably beautiful and important. I leaned back carefully, stuck out both of my feet, and snapped a quick shot. The lift wobbled as I leaned back forward, and for one panicky moment before I grabbed the safety bar, I thought I was going to pitch forward.
I settled back into my seat and clicked the camera to playback mode. As I glanced at my camera screen, I was surprised to see how well the photo had turned out. There was the greyscale darkness of the night sky and my feet against the bright warm tones of the CNE. The bar that obstructed the lower part of the photo was more than just that: it was the safe barrier of being an outside perspective that I reached beyond to make an imprint. It was a captured moment of chiaroscuro that I couldn’t have imagined composing.
It’s always about the chiaroscuro: finding the balance between dark and light, between observation and participation, between suspension and falling. And it’s when I find that balance that I can leave my own marks behind.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pristine Condition

My heart isn't in pristine condition,

tiny stitches runs up its
walls where it took 
two pieces and made them 
(somewhat) whole again,

bruised from the 
times it has proven itself 
(again and again) that it's too big 
for my ribcage to hold,

fluttering with any
anticipation and the ensuing 
anxiety of rushing
(terrifying) feelings that fill it to the brim.

My heart isn't in pristine condition,
it's been hurt so many times
but it aches in want at 
the slight brush of 
your fingertips,

and if you'll take it 
with its stitches and bruises and
humming of aches 
I'd gladly surrender it to you.