Posts Tagged ‘CanLit’

Kleenex
Q-Tips
Coffee (the good kind if it’s on sale)
Razors
Bleach wipes
Paper towels
Conditioner
Windex
Toilet bowl cleaner
Sponges
Hot sauce

Bag of rice
Laundry detergent
Baking soda
Shout
Scouring pad
Black beans (for soaking)
Vodka (on the way home)

Tomorrow

Pick up the boys at daycare after work.
Don’t forget lunch at Mom’s the next day.
Boys go back to Stacey’s on Friday this time, not Thursday (don’t ask them about Stacey but be alert).
Blake might need new boots.
It’s supposed to get cold tomorrow, Mom might have stuff to use.
Make plans for the summer and tell the boys, maybe tell them about the lake,
it’s possible you could go this year maybe, tell them about you and Stacey maybe,
they know so little about you and Stacey, what do they know even, do they even remember?
Tell them something.
Will’s been liking the library, maybe go to the library.

 

 

Casey Plett is the author of the novel Little Fish, the story collection A Safe Girl to Love, and co-editor of Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers. She lives in Windsor, Ontario.

 

 

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“Late at night when all personal failings are discussed openly inside the head; in the shower after dark nights, trying to wash away the hangover and regrets; rare moments when some dumb thing reminded Mags of the simplicity of her uni years, like the smell of someone eating Ramen in the lunch room.”

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s  not your fault. You  couldn’t control what they did with your tree of origin, the log it became, what they finally turned you into. You are neither spoon nor stick — there is no name for you, except for the phony one they branded you with, umlaut and all, when the language they were trying to imitate doesn’t even have an umlaut in it. You will never be part of a roll-top desk, to be cherished for years, loved all the more for the character scratches.  Instead they chose to make you tiny and disposable and relegate you to a five-minute, strictly utilitarian life. Not that I’m an expert, but I think your own acquired imperfections, chocolate splotches on your surface, will only work to your disadvantage by making you non-recyclable. Clearly, they don’t care. They have tossed you carelessly onto blue flagstone with no regard for your immediate future or afterlife. All that lies ahead for you is delivery to the landfill, where you will be seen as part of the problem. You don’t deserve that fate. May I pick you up, rinse you off, take you to my home? You can become the wee weeder for my house plants — peace lilies, amaryllis and more. If you’re okay with that, stay where you are. I will find you.

 

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Rona Altrows writes fiction, essays, and plays. Her most recent book, At This Juncture, is made up of fictional letters, and she has two earlier books of short fiction, A Run on Hose and Key in Lock. The chapbook The River Throws a Tantrum gives voice to a child’s experience of a natural disaster. Rona has co-edited two theme-based anthologies, Waiting (with Julie Sedivy), released in Fall, 2018, and Shy (with Naomi K. Lewis). She can be found at http://www.ronaaltrows.com

 

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“Vodka (on the way home)”

 

It’s true, it happened on my birthday. June 6th, known to most as D-Day, but known to me as my B-Day.  Hmmm. Well, actually, it’s obvious that it happened on my birthday – ‘It’s my Birthday!’ is written right on the pink plastic bone. Duh!

And that’s why this whole fiasco happened, ok?

I’m a male dog. MALE. Jack Russell Terrier blessed with some very healthy JRT testicles. And I am sorry if I am being very politically incorrect, what with all the gender stereotype busting going on and all, but give me a break – there is NO WAY I would ever show that silly pink bone to any of my K9 pals.

So yeah, there I was, all pumped up for my B-Day celebration, and what does my human pull out of her pocket? Yup – that damn pink doggie bone. So I lost it. I am a Jack Russell Terrier, after all. So I grabbed that pink monstrosity and bit it with all my strength, with the hopes that I’d shred it to bits. Turns out I need to eat more vitamins or something, because all I was able to do was nip off the one end. Burning with rage and plenty of doggie disgust, I flung the birthday blunder into the neighbour’s backyard.

I thought ‘I’ had a crazy temper, but hoo-boy! You shoulda seen my human after that! I don’t have a full grasp of the English language, but I am pretty sure some of the words coming out of her mouth were not pretty.

So no doggie treats for me, no doggie park, and no trip to the pet groomer. Sigh.

Next year, I’m hoping for a bungee ball.

With my luck, I’ll get a pet kitten.

 

Patricia Storms  is an illustrator/author of humour and children’s books. She loves to draw, paint, write, sing, dance, play the ukulele, and dream. Among her illustrated work are 13 Ghosts of Halloween, The Ghosts Go Spooking, If You’re Thankful And You Know It and By The Time You Read This. She also enjoys writing stories… and has written and illustrated The Pirate and the Penguin and the much-loved Never Let You Go. Her newest, Moon Wishes, co-written with her husband Guy Storms, comes out March 2019. She lives in Toronto with her husband and a very needy cat.

 

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“You will never be part of a rolltop desk, to be cherished for years.”

 

 

 

spare key spare tire spare change spare bedroom spare kidney spare time spare ribs spare part

spare style

spare me a moment, spare the details, spare yourself, spare my life

knock down ten pins with two balls

 

Kim Echlin is the author of Under the Visible Life, Inanna, The Disappeared, and Elephant Winter.

 

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I’m a male dog. MALE. Jack Russell Terrier blessed with some very healthy JRT testicles. And I am sorry if I am being very politically incorrect…

 

It’s complicated. We’ve been in a love/hate relationship since I was sixteen. We try it on. It works for a while. Then. Well. You know. It feels like it’s over. A few months later, we’re back at it again. Two or three weeks pass. We’re doing it every morning and I’m starting to feel obligated. I find myself staring at my reflection in the mirror, questioning my sanity.

Hay fever season comes along. I can tell we’re heading for another breakup. I’m rubbing my eyes all the time and Maybelline tells me I look like a raccoon. I say, I’d like a little time to think. I go home by myself. It might be permanent this time.

But I dream weird dreams of Maybelline: Experts say: replace every two months. Two months! Aren’t these the sexiest eight dollars you’ve ever spent? I don’t think so. Are You Dreaming of Bold! Sensational! The False-Lashes Effect? Um. No. Do you understand the latest technique: sweep from the root to tip with a rotational or zig-zag motion? WTF. Rotational?

That’s the tipping point. Like it never happened, I know it’s over. Forever.

Only it’s not. Maybelline is omnipresent. I see that pink and green outfit everywhere. At the beach. In the café. Rolling down Yonge Street at two in the morning. That Maybelline is going to be around for another thousand years.

 

 

Christine Higdon  is the author of The Very Marrow of Our Bones. She lives in Mimico, Ontario, and is working on a collection of short stories and another novel. She has been shortlisted for the CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize and her short stories have been published in The New Quarterly and Plenitude: Your Queer Literary Magazine.

 

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“Spare yourself”

nexus

Posted: October 20, 2018 in iona whishaw
Tags: , , , ,

A connection linking two or more things
like one empire to another, until there is a palimpsest of empires
laid one upon one upon one,
cultures lathered like paint, higgledy piggeldy, on a practice canvas

Romans with their Caesars and their Latin language,
spreading like a stain across the known world,
gobbling tuna from Sicily,
celery from Asia Minor, (itself a long mislaid empire)
then, by tea-time
muffins from a press-ganged England.

But not for long.

England has its own eye on the boons of empire—
spices, sugar, sun 24/7, Ireland brought to heel,
English nosing out
other languages in the Roman manner,
like the big kid who comes from the city,
and knows everything.

Then, suddenly, the dissolution of it all,
til, in the end, people even stop believing in empires,
and the only thing left
are Jamaican patties and a few good memories.

 

 

Iona Whishaw was born in BC and spent her childhood in the Kootenays and in Mexico. After twenty years working with disadvantaged adolescents she became a high school teacher and then a Principal, and retired in 2014 to write. The inspiration for her work comes from a bouquet of influences including the outsized personality of her mother and family, a year in Eastern Europe during the Communist era, and the people she absolutely adored in the tiny lakeside community of her early childhood. And Nancy drew, obviously… (the beginning of her love for reading). She has a passion for history and people’s stories and lives with her husband in Vancouver.

 

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“Two or three weeks pass. We’re doing it every morning and I’m starting to feel obligated. I find myself staring at my reflection in the mirror, questioning my sanity.”

 

 

the doll

Posted: September 10, 2018 in kim fu
Tags: , , , ,

 

The Mullins had lived on a corner lot, and it was easy to hop the fence between their backyard and the quiet street, taking turns boosting each other over. The shortest of us went first, and the tallest—tall enough to scramble over on her own—went last. Gathered again on the other side, the ambient music of summer insects seemed heightened, their conductor raising his arms in crescendo. The weeds along the three-sided fence had spread inward and upward: dandelions and tall grasses starting to seed, scalloped and jagged broadleafs that belonged on a jungle floor. A bush of nettles and trumpet-shaped purple flowers towered regally over the rest. The lowered blinds and creeping mold in the window corners made the house seem abandoned longer than the two months since it had gone up for sale.

It was August. Katie Mullins’ parents were gone to parts unknown, and our parents had stopped murmuring such a tragedy, can’t imagine every time they crossed paths. The dead baby had fascinated us all summer, blending in our minds with the cherubs painted on our Sunday school wall. We imagined little Katie Mullins sprouting angel wings and a full head of golden ringlets, her baby blanket twisted modestly around her waist, downcast eyes and a playful smile. One of us had read that victims of carbon monoxide poisoning sometimes look healthy and alive, because the end product of the gas turns blood vessels bright red, a rosy glow lighting up their skin from within.

We gravitated towards the toys scattered in the singed grass near the back door, moving in a group, giggling. An underinflated soccer ball yielded to our poking fingers. A basket of beach and pool toys were netted together by spider webs, still gritty with sand from some distant place.

We paused beside a toy stroller, two hammocks of pink fabric in a pink plastic frame, a baby doll nestled inside. The doll was turned onto its side, the arms and legs drawn up, a realistic sleeping pose despite her painted, forever-open eyes. Her felt pajamas had been bleached by the sun, the pink stripes faded to nearly the same shade as the white ones. Someone had tucked a patterned burp cloth over her lap as a blanket.

One of us lifted the doll out of the shade of her stroller, adjusted her articulated shoulders and neck so she was reaching out to be held. Her fingers and feet were molded in a curled shape, loose fists and tucked-under toes. We took turns cradling her in our arms, positioning her sitting upright in our laps, cooing, burping her, saying, “Oh, she’s crying,” though her face remained locked in its sleepy pout. The sunlight reflected off the pink nightcap and gown, giving the doll a faint blush upon its plastic cheeks. Some of us had the exact same doll at home.

When we agreed that the doll had settled, that her fussing had stopped, we swaddled her in the burp cloth and headed to a shaded corner of the yard, where the Mullins’ dog used to dig holes to sit in on hot days, the earth still churned up and soft. We cut into the ground with Katie’s beach toys, lifting out neat heaps and setting them aside until we’d dug an ovoid hole—a deep, cool resting place the Mullins’ dog would have loved.

We lowered the doll into the hole. Her blank, contented face was turned up to the sky. We sang songs over her, lullabies and folk songs that had been sung to us. We smeared our dresses and shoes with dirt to make them darker, more fitting for the occasion. We held hands and wailed. We decapitated flowering weeds around the yard and laid them over the doll, dandelions that still had their canary-blond hair, the purple trumpets, tiny white chickweed buds.

We filled the hole back in with our plastic buckets, shovels, forks, sifters, and spades, patting over the mound it left. We climbed back over the fence and scattered home with various excuses or no excuse at all for being so filthy. We sat in our bathtubs, at our dinner tables. We whispered to our dolls, still aboveground, still in our beds, still falling into the crack between the wall and the radiator, still getting their hair cut and their outfits stripped to reveal their stark stitched anatomy, still getting mashed against our faces at night. We told them to be grateful.

 

 

Kim Fu is the author of the novels The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore and For Today I Am a Boy, as well as the poetry collection How Festive the Ambulance. Find her online at kim-fu.com.

 

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“Cultures lathered like paint, higgledy piggeldy, on a practice canvas…”