Please note: this is not journalism (exactly true per se), but rather a prose poem that I performed some in Boulder, Colorado in 1994-95…and then published in a magazine at Harvard University .
Things To Do In Jamaica Plain
Connie painted that mural on the wall of the fish market. The one with the big happy multicultural family in JP. Everyone buys her cards and T shirts and thinks they’re lucky to have such a great local artist. She hates me.
These lesbians I forget their names want to be known as The Lesbians of JP. They have synthesizers, televisions and cartons of cigarettes in their apartment. They inhale with their noses and mouths and talk about art like it’s a board game written in Portuguese. They pretend to be characters from a Tarot deck and all I can do is cough from the smoke. Therese slept with them all then moved to Cambridge.
Jane’s at the Art Mart. She says,” I painted all the platforms red and now everyone’s coming in. And I made new labels: the Our Lady of Lourdes Bath Salts, the San José love potions, the dog chains. I swept the floor. I even washed the damned windows.”
C. Shafton lives up to his name. He’s a lawyer and everyone’s a victim except for the women who rent an apartment from him. He once screamed Continue reading “Things To Do In Jamaica Plain – a reprieve”
The first time I heard the phrase “mind like a steel trap” was when my father, PigPen, had a quiet sit-down with my siblings. My mother was elsewhere. Likely still asleep in her bed.
“Mom’s been sick in the mornings lately. You’ve noticed, I’m sure,” he began.
We had only one bathroom back at the tiny house that had what my mother described as “cardboard walls”. We nodded to PigPen, yes.
“So it’s only in the mornings. And her appetite is weird. And she’s gaining weight. Sensitive about all that. Which means…” He waited.
“She’s pregnant,” I answered.
He pointed to me like I was a contestant on the Price is Right. “Mind like a steel trap,” he said. Continue reading “How to Have a Baby”
The art of cooking a squash begins with the right kind of information
We go to the Jean-Talon, the premier outdoor market in Montreal, to fondle produce before driving back home.
It’s no longer summer, that message made loud and clear by the decrease in foot traffic. The chill. The ease in parking. The brick and mortar shops surrounding the market sporting snow tents for their doors. It doesn’t feel like a party any more.
We hop out and head towards the vast indoors, the weather being about 12 Celcius, but I stop at an outdoor offering, staring at a gaggle of asparagus and thinking about the color of urine. What could I make to go with it? Continue reading “The art of winter, or how to cook a squash”
After the election, the Director said, “Canada doesn’t have anything like the KKK. What is it exactly?”
I sent the Director out for a photo shoot, impromptu to capture a different kind of Quebec man.
We were at the bank, about to get some cash when I spied a pick-up truck with a confederate flag on the back window. His truck had Quebec tags. A curious thing. I squinted harder at the old man in the cab. Was he American? Why was he taking such a hard stand way up North, past yankee territory to something much worse?
“Go and get a photo of the flag on that guy’s truck,” I pointed.
She looked ahead and emitted an I don’t want to noise. “Why?” Continue reading “Confederacy in Quebec”
…it’s more an Alpha male dog the size of my foot.
The dog I inherited is a complete asshole to everyone but the German, the Director, and me — to whom he’s most devoted. He was my mom’s dog for a brief respite between shelters. She worried about what would happen to him when if she died. I’ll take him, the German told her. She breathed a sigh of relief with what little breath she had left.
Continue reading “Inheritance isn’t a bitch…”
People used their words at the last Democratic candidates’ debate, umpteen days ago. And while the way they used them, the words, might have changed, since the last debate (old news), they’re still part of their permanent record. We might as well see what they look like.
A reminder: I copied and pasted the transcript and pasted each speaker into wordle.
Continue reading “Using their words: the Democratic debate”
My sister breezed through my pretty word clouds in the last post and didn’t know what to think of them because, in her words,
“What’s the big deal? It’s just a bunch of words in a design.”
Continue reading “My Sister, Her Head in the (Word) Clouds”
Since I missed all of last night’s Republican Debate, as well as all of the previous debates I said to myself, “why not let a professional tell me what happened?” I didn’t use to be this way, but it’s no fun watching debates by myself since I mostly hang out with Canadians and most of them don’t want to watch American politics.
So I read a live-slog through last night’s performances with the Stranger Election Control Board doing the deed. At the 8:02 part of the debate, they said this:
Continue reading “Republicans debate war using words and clouds”
We found a farmer’s market in the next town, the hippie town, to us, and, of course, we deride hippies in general, the royal We, but really they have this town hopping. Everyone wants to go and hang out there when farmer’s market is open on Saturdays. So the royal We bought a box of reject tomatoes for $8 and then brought them home and washed them. And then I put them on the table where I usually sit for meals and let them dry. And now I won’t let Angelique move them, Continue reading “Death by Tomato”