Sunday, July 19, 2015

Leaps of faith

At 51 I leapt. The occasion was the first washing of a new dress, a first-day-of-classes dress, a dress whose iron gray midweight cotton weave would announce “I’m dead serious” but whose polka dots and neck bow would say “this could be fun.” Hope against hope, the bow came fucking undone in the wash. Enter this diagram. Step 5 was where I leapt, the step at which what’s depicted as an inviting loop really has become a hanging sweat-creased string. (Yeah, you try it). But if you believe it’s a loop, bingo, you get a bow. Next step, finding Jesus.

Image: Frills, Fluff and Trucks.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Looking for the new moon

The east side of the park is lit by the hard white
glare on the tennis courts, neon balls smashing
past, and through the bushes that mask the semi-
rich people’s houses, light glints off their swimming
pool and Mick Jagger pounds on about how this
lady said she’d cover him in roses.

On the west side of the park the air is soft
with smudges of a contemplative joint. The
watery emeralds of the distant tower lights
turn meekly pink, the only flickering star
might be a firefly. I’d come out looking
for the newborn moon. Hush, no, not yet.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Turquoise Bowl

A comfort food of my childhood was rice with cheese. The rice used to be, well, rice. Today it’s Freekeh, a pretentiously-roasted green wheat – I read the package – with rosemary thrown in. The cheese used to be Samso, an über-bland Danish cheese even plainer than mozzarella. Today it’s a 3-year old cheddar, the kind that disturbed my father. “Can’t you finish it before you go back to Toronto,” he’d fret, “it makes a mess, it’s so crumbly.” But the grater I’m using was once my mother’s, and I’m still eating from the same stripey bowl as when I was six.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Purple Prose

Purple was her favourite colour — a sophisticated mix of cool and warm shades, she explained to the unrefined — the colour of royalty. Behr’s Mulberry vibrated on her living room walls. In fact, she filled her house with purple: indigo, lavender, lilac, mauve, plum and lots and lots of wine. Everywhere you looked: an extravaganza of purple — hard on the eyes like purple prose on the ears. Perhaps, we mused, she’s trying to match the three-day bruises on her arms. Perhaps we should have said something  — reported him. They buried her in a long-sleeved dress the colour of puce.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Purple Like Me

Not long after Rob Ford was elected mayor, my first small act of protest was to buy a Bike-Riding Pinko button from the bookstore up the street. When Olivia Chow ran against him four years later, our ward was one of only three to give Toronto a bright spot of purple among a sea of disappointment. Which was no surprise, really, since we’d been voting NDP provincially and federally long before the Orange Crush of 2011. Oh, and the leader of Ontario’s Green Party lives right around the corner. So yeah, I guess you could say it’s a colourful neighbourhood.

Map by blogTO. Glass by GraphicsFuel.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Something Old, Something Blue

Federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau today stepped aside in favour of former leader Jean Chretien. The move follows the return of Gilles Duceppe to lead the Bloc Quebecois after polls showed voter ambivalence towards Whatsizname. Mr. Chretien did not comment on his campaign platform or what he hopes to accomplish if elected. “I just want to kick some ass,” he told reporters before wrestling a separatist to the ground.
     In other news, Chumbawamba launched its much-anticipated summer tour, the Colorado Avalanche announced the club’s return to Quebec City, and Microsoft announced it was re-rebooting its popular operating system, Windows 95.

Image: CBC

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Rime of the Ancient Hipster

So Kathy and I saw that lammy peacock on a rooftop just next to the bank. Was its presence here a feathered talisman for our neighbourhood? A haut-gammed albatross guiding us along our daily routines of foraging for organic asparagus and cheese made from Quebecois ungulates? And what would have happened if someone, say from Newmarket, saw it and shot it dead? Would he wear it around his neck too? Would our luck have turned? Would we have our very survival tested by devalued semis and unilingual children? Would my skinny brown hand never again hoist an ironic craft beer?
Photo by Hazel Smith.

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