foxtongue: (beseech)
a principle source of gravity

The bus travels over the Lion's Gate Bridge and I think, unbidden, of last year, a trip up a mountain, falling down in snow, the beginnings of what turned out to be love. Inside the suddenly knotted fist in my chest, I feel a spike of cold, hateful self betrayal, and my throat pointlessly closes up. "Limbic system," I recite in my head, "amygdala, the hippocampal neurons that are associated with emotions and memory. Stress response. Low order post-trauma. Fight, flight or engage. Possibly vestigial dopamine, triggering a surge of adrenaline and noradrenaline into the bloodstream." The words are clinical, chosen for distance, for a way to codify and distract my complicated grief. I want this banished, but the only person that can break the spell keeps me bound. They hide. They give nothing. "A bodily state of anxiety", I think. "The deadly effects of adrenaline during emotional suffering may be due to a direct attack of adrenaline on the heart."

it hits me

Nov. 18th, 2011 06:27 pm
foxtongue: (canadian)
Christina's World, (1948), by Andrew Wyeth

When I say that I miss you, I mean that I saved the flowers from the wedding that were worn in my hair, dried, delicate, fragile things that they are, so that some day I might give them to you. When I say that I think of you, I mean that your absence fills a hollow the size of the sky, that it took me six months before I could say your name, that your ghost is my shadow and that my shadow is your ghost, senseless, perpetual. I lean into it like the wind, like a sunrise dismantled, diffused throughout the air. I have not yet been anywhere that I did not wish you there too, have not seen anything beautiful I did not wish to share. You were my first photograph of the year, wrapped in a towel, frowning at breakfast as if trying to fathom the secrets of the universe. It shows every time I sit down to work, a burning reminder of your affection, once the essential electricity that let my heart beat, and the words you spoke at midnight, the words that carved into me as deep as the marrow of my bones.

The painting in the picture above is Christine's World, by Andrew Wyeth. I like it so much that a postcard facsimile of the image was the only thing I brought home from MOMA, where it is a part of their permanent collection. The woman in the painting is Christina Olson, who suffered from polio.
foxtongue: (Default)
Today's best telescopes could see the amount of light produced by Tokyo from as far away as the Kuiper Belt.

I put the idea down, feeling like a fool as I walked down the path, dismissed from the large green house, and stepped under the arch of the overgrown hedge, a thick, living wall as solid as any made of stone. From the street, the house is hidden by its branches, as invisible as the steady burst of static that clouds my brain every time I approach it or even pass it, as I usually do, a solid block away. Something deep in my chest thudded as I walked under its shadow, wounded, let down by my own betrayal, that I had even approached that door. Why do I do these things? Why do I try? I was an echo of the spring, drained of everything worthwhile, too tired with myelf to even be angry. All that was left was to walk away.

Seattle was nice to visit. I rearranged all the furniture in Aleks' apartment while he was at work and made a bed out of pillows in front of the fire. I enjoyed the concert, then the after concert concert, and two different movies, all of them good in distinct and lovely ways. I introduced friends to friends, met new friends of friends, spent some time chatting with Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaimen, who were gracious and sweet, had a cup of drinking chocolate while I wandered Pike Place Market, and Tony bought me a steak. It was like a teeny, tiny vacation. I no longer have any comforting intimacy there, nothing deep, it's not my home, I still couldn't sleep, but it was enough to feel okay on the surface, just to navigate a handful of days without any struggle.
foxtongue: (Default)

Poussière from Poussiere LeFilm via COILHOUSE.

Because of you, it seems, I do not exist. I only want to wear gray or white or black, blanched of colour like a uniform, an armband of mourning, but from head to toe, as in anticipation of a funeral or an ill concieved joke. I think of zippers, how their brassy teeth unlatched, your damp palm on my shoulder, the sunset painting the room gold and red. The scarlet zipper sewn onto my dress, the new one you've never seen. How that haven't makes you a liar, "I would never". And yet you did. You said, yet I remain waiting. Shattered. The worst evolutionary consequence of love. It is a thing. It is a situation. Already it has been longer than we were together. Still, I cannot sleep.
foxtongue: (Default)

“We are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.”
— Anaïs Nin

Part of me knew I would never stay, that every moment should be crystallized in amber, trapped like the genetic blueprint of actual happiness, ready to be cloned by some mysterious future tinker, lamps for sale, the escapist cry under the window, rub the brass to recall a broken sugar landscape, an electric vision of what it was like to be young and finally glad of life. Every atom shining. Quotations and fabricated salvation, the canned replies of pop song poetry, always and forever, forever and always, roses are red, except when they're dead, the way our footsteps matched in time, the way our voices rose together, the silliest song, that tricky bit with the bridge. In the back of things, back on the beach, my body still lay crumpled in a street, left where it had been dropped, a life abandoned like an unwanted chore. At the core, even as I found a place to walk forward, it remained the death of my joy.

Prelude, fast forward, in fine literature they refer to it as foreshadowing, (three times before, midnight gypsies knocking at the door), a trivial divergence blossoming into the most expensive explosion, blinding as a blow to the skull. Divergence, silence, a rough handed, hard, concrete truth I had tried so hard to ignore, that trust, at the base, is a wretched and foolish game. No matter how far I go, it will still be towards the funeral of my dearest friends. Every tomorrow will come, but the sun will be no more. I have been amputated. My heart no longer alive as a vessel for golden light.
foxtongue: (misery)

Milwaukee at dawn.

They were unprepared for the squalling, sniffles, small screams, the bundled misery. (Parents didn't know she needed to pop her ears). I reached over, fixed the child, but still didn't sleep, mind furnished with too many crooked curiosities, matching floral sets of regrets limned in the light of painful neglect. I wrote out a letter before I left, but didn't receive even the barest politesse, an acknowledgment back. So self ethereal, my gestures made so pointless, so invisible to archaologists, history-less, the plane felt like a casket and myself a misfit, unwanted ghost, passing by the country at heights too rarified to survive. Landing was the last thing I thought about. Landing or getting to the other side.
foxtongue: (femme)

Love is Like Life but Longer from Poppy de Villeneuve.


From Portuguese - Saudade. According to Wikipedia:
"...a feeling of nostalgic longing for something or someone that one was fond of and which is lost. It often carries a fatalist tone and a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might really never return."
Photographs of you make my heart hurt, as if I miss you the way I'd miss my second self lost in an accident, as if my heart is no longer a gift, but only a muscle slowly closing and unclosing with a strength too small to taste, too unhappy to sing, a shout in a room that will never be heard. This is a funeral, a year as hungry as an empty highway, a broken radio, days numbered, months stretching into false dusty infinity. Every morning I wake up the same way, watching for reality, waiting to be. I was there, where were you?

She opens her bitten, rose-petal mouth and rain drops spill out. She opens her cloud blinded eyes, now the colour of steel locks, and the sound of torn paper falls from the air. (Your city is still carved in the nape of her neck.) Walking out of sunshine, a stolen, wilted flower in her hair, into life the texture of bone, there was something about his smile, eyes always as bright as unexpected lightning, something about his body standing cynically by the side of a road, that was held sharply enough to slice through glass.

There are certain roads I hesitate to step foot on, the same way I try not to look down your street, as waves of pain constrict my soul, as I resent your vacancy, your undeserved intrusion into my life. Memories float to the surface, all wax on water, like bruises swollen with a tender, fierce regret. Should I have come out swinging? It was unnatural how fast you turned, changling child, honey tongued fairy fire, a shape-shifter in the clothes of a friend. You were faithless, even as I relied on you, a star that burned a dirty hole in my trust, the deep-language reason my laughter started to feel so much like lying.
foxtongue: (femme)
double-rainbow panorama
Sixteen stitched together shots of a fox-rain double rainbow, taken from the park across the street from my apartment.
foxtongue: (Default)
On the middle finger of my right hand is a small lump, a callous right up by the first knuckle that used to be known as a writer's bump, prominent and round, worn into my flesh by countless pens, yet, oddly, I have discovered that my hand is no longer familiar with writing.

The crux of this discovery lay in a love letter I wrote last night, (bittersweet black ink on treasured boutique paper, short yet hopefully sweet), when I found it curious how naturally I remembered my cursive, (how deplorable my style has become!), and my kerning, even as I marveled at how very long it took to manually scribe all the words. I have become more accustomed to tapping at keyboards, whipping down thoughts at 75 words per minute, and the gentle, profound flexibility of word processors that allow me to shift chunks of text up and down a page, than the slow, steady pace of scribbling with ink, although it used to be the activity I did most in a day. Still, I appreciated the process, even as I railed against the pace. It is comforting to fashion an object, to have made something more tangible than my usual twist of digital light.

I have, myself, a small untidy box of such things, collected from friends, ex-lovers, and one amazing, mysterious stranger, that I can never quite bring myself to throw away, no matter how irrelevant their messages have become. They are charmed things, each page representing a strangely intimate glimpse into a slice of past life, time that I would otherwise forget captured as solid state memory spun from stationery, as telling as the rings of the dead trees that made the paper pulp. Riffling through them exposes layers upon layers of emotional archeology, the rise and fall of small relationship empires, describing arcs of meaning all the way from the brief glory before an emotional disaster to someone's gleaming desire inexpertly pinned to prose like a shoddy taxidermy specimen mounted on sagging cardboard, all broken clauses and imprisoned nouns trapped in a dirty laundry of terrible poetry and too many verbs.

So even if the practice feels antique, even as my hand cramps at the now unfamiliar act of proper writing, even as it consumes resources probably better left for others, I will defend the act forever. Love letters, even as a mad, sometimes callow contrivance of adulation, hypocorism, and art, are how I shall keep my heart.
foxtongue: (Default)
  • An interview with Richard Pell, Director of the Center for PostNatural History.
  • Ugly Truth of Space Junk: Orbital Debris Problem to Triple by 2030

    It is terrible how I ache to lean into him. Terrible, giant and baroque, this need, covering ground with great footsteps, to reach forward and touch his hair, leagues, miles, to press against him and taste his naked fingertips, every one, unmistakable, each drop of memory an ocean to drown in. The last time I wore this dress was New Year's Eve, when our pinstripes matched and I took out his cuff-links to put in my own. We kissed, then, at midnight, caught in each other's laps under confetti and flashing strobes, surrounded by strangers and glitter and chaos, and then, quietly, with a sincerity that shocked to my center, he met my eyes and said a toast to us, perfect, heart-felt. I wanted to stop time to stay in that moment. I felt like I would be transformed forever, a happier person from then until death. The champagne was bitter, the entertainment spotty, and I limped back to his place half ruined, my twisted ankle a broken thing, but what stayed with me was that moment, that untouchable, pristine moment that filled me with stunned silence, that poured through me with light.

    It is terrible that I am wearing this dress. Terrible, obvious and provocative, this dress, covering nothing, a candid sheath of longing to be undressed by him, shouting from rooftops, through megaphones, to feel his hands cradle my hips like a cup, so loud is my desire, this catalogue of cravings, deafening, vulnerable, terrified. The first time we were at this restaurant we asked if it was a date. We decided, then, that it wasn't, even in the face of all evidence, yet grinned, conspiring, maybe lying, while offering our histories, shyly admitting our shames, building a shelter together, every beam of the structure a story, a narrative link. This will be love, I thought to myself, surprised, this will be love like I've forgotten how. I wanted to go back in time to hurry this moment. I felt like I was braving a dragon's lair, safe with the knowledge of the hole above its heart. I had been isolated, a furtive species too rare to breed, spectacularly ill equipped for such good luck, but what stayed with me was the trust, that pure, mysterious conviction, that maybe for the first time, everything would be alright.
  • foxtongue: (moi?)
    nadia nadia

    Pictures of my friend Nadia in the park across the street from my house.


    I come across your picture and my consumed heart shakes, a little quiver of reminder, the smallest of chemical starts, as if every time I am inspired, it carries your name.

    I've been pleasantly busy with photography work lately, taking pictures for expecting friends in Seattle, Shane's band here, and Duncan's before-the-charity-hair-cut series. Soon, too, headshots for Joshua's new website, publicity and documentation for the upcoming Vancouver SlutWalk, and bridal pictures for David's sister's wedding.
    foxtongue: (Default)
    Rise Up Fallen Angel, an imaginary exploitation poster

    Rise Up Fallen Angel, an imaginary exploitation film poster.

    Yesterday was a good day. It started fraught with computer problems, the stupid sort that feel like steel wool endlessly scrubbing against the back of your eyes, but ended on a high note, with a visit to A. that left me feeling better than I have in weeks, to the point where I caught myself beaming at strangers all the way home, waving a broken stick of flowers I picked up off the ground. Oh dopamine, how I have missed you. It's left me feeling super productive and significantly less like I've been crushed by steel plates. Not quite myself again, but a step in the right direction. I got up at eight and have been working on neglected tasks ever since, answering e-mail, putting away laundry, calling people, making plans, and continuing to tackle the broken hard-drives of idiotic doom*.

    *First I could see the hard-drive, but not interact with it, then after Joshua worked on it an hour, it was discovered that the case was too old to be supported by Win7. Then, after the case was swapped, the drive, ostensibly a terabyte, refused to show up as anything but 1Gb, while the SeaGate software specifically meant to fix such errors has refused to run. Kill it with fire.

    There's been other good news, too. Tony's going to be in town this weekend, up for a visit with me and Tamea, and staying here on Friday, the better for dancing and Saturday breakfast together. Apparently I'm being paid for my gig with The Short Story Long this weekend and my antique bureau should be selling soon, too, (see all my listings), which should go a distance towards clearing away my credit card bill and getting me down to Seattle for my NYC trip.

    Unemployment has left me financially devastated this past year, so it will be especially delicious to finally shoot down some debts. To wit: EI sends me monthly letters, asking me to pay them back over a grand. ICBC calls every three weeks, reminding me to pay off $100 in fare evasion tickets someone put in my name while I was in Montreal. My credit card's maxed out, a slow death that one, used up on groceries. I finally did all my taxes, dating back ten years, (minus 2010 and 2011), but through the magic of interest, late fees, and general tax evils, even after living below the poverty line for a decade, I still owe them $70. It seems like the worst part of being poor is that the system is set up to keep you there.

    But back to the good stuff! David was just promoted to manager of the Yaletown Book Warehouse! Not only will he be finally making a living wage, soon he'll be able to start saving to go back to school to be a primatologist. Related to books, but more personally, I got to meet Zsuzsi Gartner, one of my favourite authors, at her book launch for Better Living Through Plastic Explosives. She's going to be doing a reading at the VPL main branch on May 11th that I've decided I cannot miss. Also, the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret is hosting a pay-what-you-can, tickets-only-at-the-door show at the Roundhouse on Sunday, 2 pm. Would anyone like to come with?
    foxtongue: (femme)
    "What should we get? Do you like ice-cream?"
    "Always. Ice-cream is my only true love that never leaves me."

    Today I finished my image for my mother's New York art show, Rise Up Fallen Angel. The more I thought about the theme of the show, the more I was found myself attracted to old grindhouse exploitation films, faded Russ Meyer style prints of unhappy women, a girl named Angel in need of revenge. Now that it's sent, I vaguely wish I'd done more, but one afternoon slathered in black facepaint, screaming my frustration in an empty apartment, eyes clenched shut trying not to cry, is enough for now.

    I saw A. earlier this week, on Monday afternoon, during the beautiful warm. The first time since he broke off the relationship. I was jittery, approaching his house with a very frayed heart, almost too scared to go on, but pitting the starkly intimidating possibility that he might actually answer his door against my near overwhelming desire to see him, with no idea what one says to a person who's left you sobbing in the street, breathless from pain and sorrow. It was an extremely short visit, held close, but reassuring. He missed me too. He is sorry he's been unfair. I haven't had a nightmare since.
    foxtongue: (Default)
    Given that my recent job interviews have all fizzled, my relationship has horrifically dissolved, and my birthday is fast approaching, I have decided it's finally perfect timing to use up my plane ticket to visit Van Sise in New York city*.

    I fly out of SeaTac to NYC on May 20th and return June 2nd.

    I am going to miss Rafael's Folklife and a few other things, (my original birthday plan was to set up a Whole Beast Feast, hit up the 40th Annual Folklife for a day, then hitch-hike with some strangers to the 10th Annual Sasquatch Festival for the rest of the long weekend), but given my present circumstances as a connoisseur of sad situations, it just seems like a better idea to be gone. Every night my dreams ache, my body wrenches with unhappiness, yet in the morning, I can't seem to find reasons to be awake. I lie there motionless, wrapped up in nothingness, unable to conjure any appetite for life, any thread of grace, any desire at all for my bland, banal hopes or disembodied future. If I had a job or were in school, I'm sure it would be different, I would feel that my life was moving forward instead of slipping away, but as it currently is, a lonely narrative of inevitable failure after inevitable failure, all I want is to be away from here, all I want is escape.

    *Originally we were going to wander around the southern states, visiting Atlanta and New Orleans, rounding off the trip, if we were lucky and it was delayed, with the last Space Shuttle Launch. Instead his work got in the way and the already-purchased plane ticket was cashed in for credit and put aside for a visit with him later.
    foxtongue: (beseech)
    Portal 2: Exile Vilify, a hidden song by The National

    Monday: It was just after midnight when he opened the door. In the interest of brevity, I will leave out the next three hours, excepting my desire to be wanted, kicked in like a knife, a piercing pain that has yet to fade. Suffice to say, A. has gone away. Like in the old stories, antique, anonymous and trying, everyone a letter instead of a name, places expressed as an initial and an em dash. Off to the sanitarium, he cried!

    After: I sat crumpled in the street where I had been dropped, left salty eyed blind and exhausted, my glasses on the hood of a stranger's cold truck, too tired to stand, even as the the night evaporated as thoroughly as the warmth on my body where his hands had apologized and cradled me goodbye.

    So that, for now, is that. After a multitude of absences and various failure situations, he has decided that he is not currently capable of being responsible in regards to my un/happiness and has withdrawn from my life. I do not know when he will return or in what state, but it is my hope, however small, however sad, that he will come home to me when he can.
    foxtongue: (beseech)
    When I have said "I love you" I have said
    Nothing at all to tell you; I cannot find
    Any speech in any country of the mind
    Which might inform you whither I have fled.
    In saying "I love you" I have gone so far
    Away from you, into so strange a land;
    You may not find me, may not understand
    How I am exiled, driven to a star

    Till now deserted. Here I stand about,
    Eat, sleep, bewail, feel lonely and explore,
    Remember how I loved the world, before,
    Tremble in case that memory lets me out.
    Islanded here, I wait for you to come --
    Waiting the day that exiles you to home.

    by Valentine Ackland
    Tonight is the first night of Passover.

    I am meant to be taking photos today for an art exhibition in New York. I am meant to be doing laundry, looking for work, applying to be an enforcer, editing my belongings, putting more of them for sale, and processing pictures from Seattle and yesterday's shoot with Shane's band at the Cultch. I am meant to be showered and dressed and fed. Together, sharp, useful, active. Defined. There are things to do, tasks to conquer, opportunities waiting. Instead it is as if the air itself has thickened until even breathing is an effort. I am suffocating, a captive unhappily complicit with my aching inactivity.

    It has been a week of silence. Out of respect for my love, for his dismissal, his vanishing outburst, I did not call for days, even when the wet beauty of thunder and lightning was too much to bear, when it cracked me as open as it did the sky. Even when I felt that all I could possibly desire was his voice kindly speaking my name. Instead I bruised my fingers knocking at his door. Small gifts in my pockets, a snub nosed bottle of imported ginger ale, a tiny square of rich, hard to find chocolate, my hand raised once more to the wood, knuckles swollen into a pale rainbow of purple and blue from repetition, (less painful than the quiet), but to no answer, even when his vehicle was parked in the drive. At home the phone would ring in a quick, beautiful burst, but the numbers were wrong - the wrong people, the wrong names. Outside would be footsteps, car doors slamming, false hope leaping up in my heart like flames. Every night, sleep became farther away.

    When Friday slid into Saturday, still without word, it became obvious that the relationship had been abandoned, released into the wild without even the courtesy of goodbye.
    foxtongue: (beseech)
    Staying up impossibly late, waiting for a step at the door, trying to demonstrate faith, a burst of forced optimism trying to erase pain. I am shut out while shut in, unwelcome, made to walk home in the rain, every step on glass, echoes of years ago, chest hollow, hair wet, the blood of love on my hands, refused, pushed off an edge from a great height, broken, breaking. Morning brings panic, an irrational jolt wondering what could have happened to keep him away, before I fully engage and instead hate.
    foxtongue: (moi?)
    Today, for April's Fools, I sent A. a note saying I'd been looking for ideas for when we get married, and "what do you think about this as an inspiration page?" In reply he said, "That's actually kind of scary. And it makes my news a little ill timed.", and then proceeded to explain that he was moving back to England for a job opportunity.

    I'm not sure how it happened so perfectly, but I think we just exemplified a rather amusing gender bias. Why yes, we do regularly mock stereotypical hetero-normative behaviour, even while embracing it, why do you ask?
    foxtongue: (Default)
    Shane Koyczan
    Promotional photo for Shane Koyczan.
  • ChatRoulette Love Song: speed dating done right.

    Arron took me on a driving lesson the other day, all the way from Home Depot to Metrotown, the farthest I've ever gone in a car. I suspect he found it vaguely terrifying, but given my lack of experience, I think I did rather well. No one died, nothing got wrecked, and I finally found myself okay with driving at more than 30 km/hour. I had been vaguely concerned that driving his truck would be somehow scarier than the little car I had been learning in with Young Drivers of Canada, (bigger equals more dangerous), but instead I discovered that though I disliked the hugeness of the thing, (the amount of space it takes up is slightly ridiculous), my years of living in a truck have apparently made me significantly more comfortable sitting higher up. It feels more natural being able to look down at other vehicles, rather than up at them. I blame my mother and her addiction to vans. Also, not dealing with a clutch meant that I stopped mixing up the pedals, so that was a victory, too. The best one, probably. Notes: remembering to check blind spots, figuring out how much space is actually required to change lanes. (Hint: significantly less than I think).

  • Little Wheel: a sweet, beautiful art game involving robots.

    I had a try-out day of work with Agentic yesterday, the web development company I've been interviewing with that I rather like. It was a very relaxed time, some easy work in a nice environment, surrounded by quiet, friendly people, not stressful at all. I was mostly left to myself, just me and a desk and a small pile of simple tasks. It was only after, during my gentle walk home, that I started feeling worried I wouldn't get the job, as if my body had saved up all my concerns for later, tucked away in a bottom drawer of my heart until it was deemed safe to let them out. Silly, in a way, as it is out of my hands now. Everything left to do is on their side - talking to my references, deciding which candidate to hire, then calling us with the decision. (I was told they'll let me know no later than Monday.) In the meantime, all I can do is wait and cross my fingers that I am what they need. It would be great to work in a positive environment again. I'm tired of spending time in offices where you can tell that everyone there wishes they weren't.

  • Mills & Boon: self-portraits that mimic the covers of romance novels.

    My others news: Lung and I are finally starting a photography business together, Fox-Rain Wedding Photos. We've been talking about it for years, but the timing was never quite right. This time, however, I've already kludged together a solid rough draft of our website that I plan to take live in the next few days, before he leaves for California next week, and hope to get some sort of quick logo nailed down by the end of today, the better to toss on business cards asap. Neither one of us is particularly flush at the moment, so start-up money is tight, but I've done my research and I'm not only certain we can do this on the cheap, I'm absolutely confident we'll succeed. If we can get everything together quick enough, things could even be up and running by the end of the month. Expect us at a tacky wedding fair near you, soon! We'll be the people who don't suck.
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