Comments Posted By Danielle1

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conflict

I wouldn’t go back, but it hirts to move forward. I think back to that time. There wasn’t any harm meant There was nothing but hope, there was longing. It felt like a page had turned. Life seemed exciting with my future boyfriend, future husband, soon-to-be-ex husband. I look at things now and wonder how we erred against those younger versions of ourselves. We only wanted what was best, for the future and certainly for ourselves .
The first night we met he walked me home. He was a cyclist, I was a walker. I lived down Broadway, west of the city. He lived east, near Burnaby. We’d met at a cafe on the Drive and it was a 5 kilometre walk to my apartment. He pushed his bike as he walked alongside me and his bike lock, fastened through the strap of his messenger bag, banged against his back. Thud, thud, thud. Small impacts that over the course of the walk created enough rub to cause a wound on his lower back that he only noticed later. An ugly contusion with a rubbed-raw, red open spot. I’m not sure if he felt it or noticed it as it was happening. It was so gradual. He pointed out the time capsule in the shape of a rocketship by the new Cambie street Skytrain station. We both liked about each other that we could walk and walk, without complaining. I am exhausted now thinking back to that day. The hope that would build, the happiness would come. The plans and the efforts. I wonder what we did wrong. I know I did wrong, somewhere. I go over everything, grief in my throat as I recall good times and bad. The slanted sunlight of that autumn, the sunny Christmas that came, the bikes and clutter, the way I’d see him Fridays when we both were off, how the weekend automatically became important, and I’d look forward to his face all week.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 03.06.2018 @ 6:24 pm

I never went on a holiday before. I never really knew what it was like to feel warm in the winter. It was so hot, in fact, it was hard to wear a full outfit. Just a dress and slip-on shoes. I couldn’t imagine living life as the people who lived here live life: getting up, going to work, shadeless streets by 8 in the morning. Another thing I experienced was a chronic headache, just in the crease of brow above my eyes. From squinting, even with sunglasses on. The glare was always there, as we were right in the middle of the rainy season. The grassfires as people burned off the bracken and weeds on their land made my throat tickle, and the alcohol was nothing cleansing to speak of. It was of a weak percentage, but tasted horrible besides, like gasoline with Splenda in it. I was in conflict as all my life I had dreamed of a tropical holiday, but it turned out to be days spent in a hot country where people laboured and lived under a sun so high it cast no shadows.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 03.06.2018 @ 2:56 pm

lighters

There’s been a shadow on my life for a long time. I have forgotten the joy of the mind.Instead, I push against resistance in the exterior world, a world where I feel too heavy, like gravity is different here.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 02.09.2018 @ 4:27 pm

hospital

so this is how i die. i know how,
i choose it, every day – my world
is a hospital
waiting to happen
bloated belly, dead veins
organs abandoning the ship after years of
loyal service. no more.
the sharpest horizons shrink dull, like a butterknife edge
the brightest colours have a web of grey overlaid
like a veil of mourning dipping over the eye.
False sunsets narrowing
the perimeters
how far ahead you can plan
peripheral escapes
is shrinking

» Posted By Danielle1 On 02.05.2018 @ 10:43 pm

wheels

I read about dead girls, the way old starlets died. I do this to quell this anxiety that creeps in every day that I am mandated to leave the house. It may or may not help. I worry about my home when I am not in it…that an electrical outlet will burst into flame, or that I forgot to turn the stove top coffee pot off.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 07.05.2017 @ 7:40 pm

rival

The little weeds and unidentifiable lacy things that curl from the ground are the rivals. The plants you put in with your own hands, the things you paid for, are the ones you want to win. You want the tomatoes to grow, you want your flowers to not just bloom but take over. If you had your way the horizon would be blotted out with tall spikes of snap dragons and delphiniums, curlicues of sweet peas, beans, and sugar peas, and for witchy luck the nodding heads of foxglove. You would have your own secret garden of things good to look at, good to smell, and good to eat. But the rivals have something going for them – the universe favors them. Their root systems are superior, their vines muscle in, they flourish without regard to their own usefulness. They thrive on acidity, on drought. You almost feel bad as you weed them away, like you are a eugenicist. You are yourself the equivalent of a bindweed or a dandelion. But the obsession to groom the ground is strong. You love to tear out the garbage plants, knowing they are taking nutrients from the ones that can give something back to you.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 06.20.2017 @ 5:21 am

orb

The missing eye made me realize how beautiful eyes are.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 06.03.2017 @ 3:36 pm

Life isn’t something to just choke down and get through.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 06.03.2017 @ 12:24 am

empty

I wrote something on my hand to remember. That is the extent of my writing these days. It hurts to even press a pen to paper. It hurts to be alone with my thoughts, and the wild spiralling they take. I see things now that remind me of what could have been. Children, animals, gardens. There is no one to tell. I can’t tell him. We are sentenced to mourn separately. Indifferently, apart. Yet surely thinking of another despite ourselves.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 05.06.2017 @ 10:16 pm

parents

You can’t blame your parents, the logical side of your brain says, but then you go ahead and do. If we could not target our parents for their shortcomings, their lapses, the 1,000,000 ways they fail then we would spend our whole lives searching for just such a perfect enemy.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 04.23.2017 @ 1:26 pm

circular

Even the songs of birds hurts. They are so innocent, they reach so high with their voices. It is a circular damage that occurs when you run from even the good feelings. When you hide your ears to the pure things. Goodness throws dirt into relief.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 04.19.2017 @ 8:38 pm

butterfly

Used as an example of beauty and fragility, one quality enhancing the other.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 04.10.2017 @ 9:53 pm

essence

Going through the motions of the day can begin to feel like the reward in itself. I didn’t fuck up too badly, I helped a few, I diverted my mind in ways already forgotten, I managed to put in my time and now here is the bed again.
But just putting in the hours means you lose sight of the essence. What was accomplished? What will you look back on? Do your days contain threads, something forming a beautiful weave over time, or is your time spent in small anxious scratches, blocks of forgetfulness. I catch myself feeling as though my days are like a bout of coughing, I am caught up in letting the latest paroxysm pass. Then what? This race has the same finish line for all, but people spend their hours so much differently.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 04.08.2017 @ 6:16 pm

religious

I am sick to death of liquor stores. That is what i think when I am surrounded by the familiar glinting bottles, reaching for a full version of one of the many dead soldiers rinsed and bagged under my sink. It is like Groundhog Day, reaching for this bottle of nothing, I have bought this exact same bottle before. This reaching goes back, back, back for more too many days and too much money to contemplate.
I am sick of the liquor store and people buying a bottle of wine for dinner, they come in here sane and thoughtless. It is just something nice for them. I notice, with tension, the men buying singles of beer, paying in coins they push toward the clerk with dirty fingers. I hate it all. I hate the rich gleam of liquids nearly as poisonous as gasoline, and more costly. I am exhausted. I have been done with drinking for a long time, but I still compulsively buy something every day. It is a comfort to have it in the house, and the first drink is still golden. The first drink fills me with resignation, knowing all the successive drinks that will follow, knowing all the “first” drinks that precede it, knowing that the levels of liquid in the glass will become careless. The first glass fills me with hope. I feel like I am getting away from something, or getting away with something. I am not religious but I wish I was, so that I had something other than me to lean on for strength against this compulsion.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 04.04.2017 @ 10:11 pm

nonfiction

I grew up poor and I hate charity. When the Christmas hamper arrived, delivered by the mother of a bully classmate, I was so ashamed. Because I was made to feel ashamed, I was also furious.

They came to the door of our house; they could see inside the residence that I kept so hidden from my classmates, even getting off the school bus blocks away from whatever shithole we were staying, so no one would know about my life. But when the church people appeared I realised I was not keeping the secret at all. I could be found; my story was known, I was not keeping my secret at all! As a poor person, I was public property.

At the door, the eyes of strangers pecked around eagerly, collecting data to make them content in their charity. Oh you should see how they live. Oh it is a good deed we have done.

Yes I was hungry but not for lardy peanut butter in a styrofoam container, noodles, cheap meat (when I was young I didn’t eat meat but was told to be thankful and eat it). I didn’t want brands of food I had no idea where they came from. I was hungry for a normal life, normal parents, hungry for pride and hungry to have something interesting to do. I would rather starve than eat food that was shameful because it was disgusting. No one normal would eat disgusting food. No one could make a meal of canned corn and rice. These foods that said I was cheap and basic, and that’s the same thing I could put into my body.

Presumably I had to live to one day make them fast food dinners or hem their clothing, babysit their children. Presumably I had to live because letting the poor live (if not thrive) is a charity act that benefits the giver.

Nowadays, I still hate “charity.” Because so often charity means giving just enough for the giver to feel good, that something has been accomplished. Or worse yet, they walk away happier because of all they have in comparison. I am also against parents dragging their kids to homeless shelters on Thanksgiving or other holidays. First year film students also appear on skid row, to capture the shortcut “grittiness” for a class project, immediate auteurs. It’s not a zoo. You do nothing, so go the fuck away and stay gone.

It does not mean change. It doesn’t mean justice or an easing of the barriers. I never give canned food to food banks. I hate food banks. I hate that people have to line up for rations, be marked and punished for their poverty. I want justice in the form of social programs. We can all fall, so fast and so deep. We can’t stand alone…let’s discuss national childcare, back to work programs that don’t immediately threaten welfare status for people who are precarious and must be transitioned slowly to independence. Let’s bring back jobs we can be proud of, that provide for us. Lets abolish slave labour that is kept just out of sight. This will raise the pride and dignity of all. Clothing ourselves and appointing our homes with comforts should never mean somebody elsewhere as suffered for you.

I want more money for the poor who are unemployable. I want more detox facilities.

I grew up poor, so I will always want more & more. Not for me but for everyone, the basics assigned fairly and without punishment and contempt.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 03.24.2017 @ 11:00 am

This is non-fiction. It will exceed one minute.

I grew up poor and I hate charity. When the Christmas hamper arrived, delivered by the mother of a bully classmate, I was so ashamed. Because I was made to feel ashamed, I was furious.

They came to the door of our house; they could see inside the residence that I kept so hidden from my classmates, even getting off the school bus blocks away from whatever shithole we were staying, so no one would know about my life. But when the church people appeared I realised I was not keeping the secret at all. I could be found; my story was known, I was not keeping my secret at all! As a poor person, I was public property.

At the door, the eyes of strangers pecked around eagerly, collecting data to make them content in their charity. Oh you should see how they live. Oh it is a good deed we have done.

Yes I was hungry but not for lardy peanut butter in a styrofoam container, noodles, cheap brands of food I had no idea where they came from. I was hungry for a normal life, normal parents, hungry for pride and hungry to have something interesting to do. I would rather starve than eat food that was shameful because it was disgusting. No one normal would eat disgusting food. No one could make a meal of canned corn and rice. These foods that said I was cheap and basic, and that’s the same thing I could put into my body.

Presumably I had to live to one day make them fast food dinners or hem their clothing, babysit their children. Presumably I had to live because letting the poor live (if not thrive) is a charity act that benefits the giver.

Nowadays, I still hate “charity.” Because so often charity means giving just enough for the giver to feel good, that something has been accomplished. Or worse yet, they walk away happier because of all they have in comparison. I am also against parents dragging their kids to homeless shelters on Thanksgiving or other holidays. First year film students also appear on skid row, to capture the shortcut “grittiness” for a class project, immediate auteurs. It’s not a zoo. You do nothing, so go the fuck away and stay gone.

It does not mean change. It doesn’t mean justice or an easing of the barriers. I never give canned food to food banks. I hate food banks. I hate that people have to line up for rations, be marked and punished for their poverty. I want justice in the form of social programs. We can all fall, so fast and so deep. We can’t stand alone…let’s discuss national childcare, back to work programs that don’t immediately threaten welfare status for people who are precarious and must be transitioned slowly to independence. Let’s bring back jobs we can be proud of, that provide for us. Lets abolish slave labour that is kept just out of sight. This will raise the pride and dignity of all. Clothing ourselves and appointing our homes with comforts should never mean somebody elsewhere as suffered for you.

I want more money for the poor who are unemployable. I want more detox facilities.

I grew up poor, so I will always want more & more. Not for me but for everyone, the basics assigned fairly and without punishment and contempt.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 03.24.2017 @ 10:57 am

Artfully arranged lies; at best, wishful thinking.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 03.23.2017 @ 12:15 pm

influence

Ants live in my bathroom. I don’t understand why, or where they are coming from. The bathroom is a far cry from nature. It is tiled all across the floors and up the walls, a brittle landscape compared to the twiggish and dirty environs I think ants should prefer. The bathroom ants are not like ants in nature. I see them alone, never following each other, never working together. When I sit on the toilet I watch them; they stare into the corners, their antennae twitching like they are talking with ghosts. They trek up and down the walls and walk over my feet when I am in the shower. I take too long in the shower, every time, and they grow used to me. The water doesn’t scare them. If the tile hasn’t put them off, and the lack of food, then maybe it is a comfort for them to taste soap, or the dirt and salt being washed off.

Against me, the water feels good, I know it is the cleanest I will feel all day not just in terms of being washed off but in having clarity. Having five seconds to myself. Alone except for the ants, that walk through water in order to tread over my toes. We are surrounded by an unnatural environment we only tolerate for having been born there.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 03.23.2017 @ 2:37 am

cheated

I see cleaners wherever I go. They are meant to be unobtrusive, part of the background, despite their bright yellow cleaning carts, the glossy black trashbags piled high in trolleys. I used to be a cleaner, now I don;t make my living that way. But I still remember the shifts of service elevators and being a shadow in a scrub uniform, seen but not-seen. I recall stocking the cart, imagining the rag count I would need, pink for scrubbing and blue for polishing. I remember the inevitably stuffy little rooms where supplies were stored, I remember the hot soapy water with squeezes of industrial cleanser scented like Rain Forest or Morning Rain, the way it steamed up into my face as I filled the 5-gallon buckets and I remember smiling because it was as close to a spa facial as I would get. I remember how that water would turn grey and gritty in no time at all, after the mop moved over even the most inoffensive-looking floor because wherever humans go, they bring grime. They leave a floating legacy of skin flakes, strands of hair, body odour, rumpled receipts and loose threads, tracked grit, bloodstains, snot, spit, cigarette ash. I remember sweat building on my lip and in my armpits as I hurried against the clock. I remember the feeling of setting things right but that it was only temporary; cleaning goes on and on and is never noticed unless it is not done or done poorly.

I remember still that people people hate seeing evidence of other people, even though this world is half worn out with people walking all over it.

I don’t clean for a living these days but in any building I am largely aware of what needs to be cleaned. No matter how lush, sterile and effortless the building wants to appear (or how chilled and facility-like) I still remember the 11pm to 7am shifts, the burned taste of coffee drunk in the wee hours, the Windex cloth squeaking against the glass when I extended my arm as far as possible, polishing glass for a clearer view of the city where everyone normal was asleep except the people who kept the show running.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 03.21.2017 @ 3:31 pm

It seems stupid and sad but I’m jealous of my boyfriend’s daughter. I know she’s going to grow up to be a lovely woman. She dances, plays music, studies hard. She already knows how to be beautiful. I think of being 15, living like trash, and no idea how to be a real person. I still feel this anxiety, and I have few talents or skills. I don’t feel valuable in the same way. I am jealous that life can be richer and different depending on the foundation people have. Doubt and anxiety can be bred right out of us, or they can be ingrained to the point where everything in life tastes a little bit off and you are always a little bit nervous, seeing shadows at the edge of your vision. I am happy she is being well-raised, but I see already how we are very different sorts of women. I worry I will always stand in stark contrast to her.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 03.20.2017 @ 4:14 pm

You are beautiful. You smell like plastic. I could watch you forever.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 03.20.2017 @ 3:52 pm

wishful

You walked into the lake because the sun was hot, although it was only April. The spring-time water was so cold it burned. Your pale winter legs were sorrowful things that looked like stems of early white asparagus, flesh that was yours yet disconnected from you, a reflection of feeling wavering in the broken surface of the lake on one of the first warm days that year. It was too early in the season for you to think about actually swimming but wading felt god, it felt like saying hello to the light at the end of the long dark tunnel of winter. The sun’s rays felt like a physical thing, no longer winter thin. Soft silty sand under uncalloused soles. It squished up in clouds between your toes, you walked into the cold water because you have moments where you know you will never be as young again, and you will never be brave. Cold water wading while your friends mock you from the shore may be as brave you are allowed to feel in this sorrowful life.
Then something hard caught the arch of your foot: you winced and withdraw from its loathesome polish. The silt settled and you looked down through the shimmering gray water. It was a skull. A small teacup skull. Stripped bare of flesh and skin. The essential bone remained, a hollow skull. The pointed teeth. It was so disconnected from what it once was. It was no longer alive, it was a shell for shadows. It waited in the silt to sicken and disappoint intruders from the surface world with the brittle frankness of flesh returning to dirt.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 03.19.2017 @ 8:51 pm

ingredients

I don’t want to get better
it got late fast
you have today only to explain yourself
the last time…

arduous ink
silent treatment
dead bloomer
this is the gift that will haunt you

you can never tell them
tombstone technology, last laugh

» Posted By Danielle1 On 03.13.2017 @ 6:13 pm

dodged

I’m a nurse and I do care. You hear bad things about us, though, and one of the things is “nurses don’t care.” Add that to the pile of complaints in these troubled days when the old conventions of respect do not automatically apply. Everyone has had a bad hospital experience. And now entropy is getting to the point where the reasons and the cause for our system’s failures are distant and abstract – you are left to blame the person you see, the frontline person trying their best in a flawed system. I have yet to meet a nurse who doesn’t care. Sure I’m biased. I’m not saying I haven’t met bitchy nurses or rude nurses. But I have yet to meet a colleague who isn’t on top of their job, avidly monitoring, checking labs, in touch with the doctor as needed – hell, just plain worried about people.

But caring is mixed with cynicism, weariness, black humour – emotions that arise when you realize you can’t fix everything. In fact you can barely fix anything. A lot of nursing is ushering – ushering through pain, through nausea, through grief, through death. Pain tablets and bags of ice, oxygen through the nose and needlesticks in the arm.

And the main thing I have learned so far as a nurse is that death is not a single event. Death is a series of events. Natural death is a locomotive in slow motion. I say shit out loud like people are living too long. I say save me from a hospital death, I am pulling the plug myself when I am too old or too ill. But these are words of fear. Everyday reminded that death doesn’t care who it picks, that the world doesn’t care about those lost, the universe doesn’t care about those left behind, and God if he exists has turned a blind eye to the pain and blood of birth & the stuttering gasping pain of death. There are not enough comfort measures. There is not enough empathy. Death is always solitary, a singular event beheld by one, but our systems make it prolonged and impatient. It is frightening. So, here lies the black humour, the cynicism, the irrational hope for a faster end.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 03.04.2017 @ 8:38 am

banter

Adult banter, meaningless, as bland as the milky dregs of coffee in their cups, the crusts of toast on the plates, the smelly brown egg shells cold now & shattered into pieces. The girl heard everything from her small height, and that is the level her attention was at. The world of adult concerns passed overhead, barely droning, like planes so high only the cold streak of their vapour showed they passed at all. The girl saw the yellow grass, the bulging indignant bellies and hammy arms, the faces of other children as lost and carefully set to neutral as her own. It took her half an hour to eat her egg. Outside, the neighbor’s horse would eat dandelions from her hand and that would be her memory of this Sunday. The sermon at church was already old dust.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 02.23.2017 @ 4:39 am

repay

The way you get repaid for your crime is invisible time/Served over and over/No words can absolve you/and no clocks count off the hours/until your life is yours again.
You are never free
Time has never been served
You are never to know what your life could have looked like
Distinct from your errors
Had you looked at the constellations, not the horizon
The stars are also fixed, more or less
But how widely they spin and canterwheel
Distant from this ground that aspires to swallow.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 02.07.2017 @ 12:17 am

cages

The birds in the pet store lived in cages that never grew larger after the people who cooed over them left. To distract themselves, the potential bird owners had work and home and beaches and ski slopes and holidays in tropical places the birds had originated from, but would never see again.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 02.04.2017 @ 10:21 pm

territory

The wind chime clanged hollowly in the evening sea breeze. It had a sorrowful, declamatory sound, like bone on bone. From her bed, where she lay curled and frozen, Ellis thought it was the only sound in the world she wished to hear when she was so sad. It was the only noise that would not enrage her or engage anything of her consciousness. She wished only to sleep, but was unable. This yard, this room, this bed: all were her territory, but she needed to lose herself in hypnosis. The wind chime jangled on and on, soft and implacable as a tide.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 01.31.2017 @ 1:49 am

executives

Leaving the last counselling session.

The air hurts. The sunlight is thin as a blade, and makes the eyes wet. The world around you feels too large. You are both already being lost to each other, while in proximity still: familiar coats brushing, one holding open the door for the other. Feet moving forward, no other direction to go. But neither looking at each other.

Maybe beneath sorrow’s clenched breathing & disbelief you feel a little giddy, like lava under rock. “This is the way things will be, now.” You are still closed tight but the world feels wide open. The future, whatever sense of it you can have when you can barely breathe, veers back and forth from feeling like a precipe, to feeling like a warm field open in front of you.
And your heart’s antennae senses all the streets you may discover now, that you never would have found before. All the strange corners, all the alley ways.
The mind counters with visions of dead-ends and sheer rock cliffs.
The heart says sea. The mind says shrinking ice floe. The hearts says clouds, the mind says grave.
The payment is living with the consequences of your executive decision. There will be nights you look for comfort and can’t find it. There will be days you mourn that other known life, now only running a ghost parallel to the new green one. There will be a new ordinary that you must live with.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 01.28.2017 @ 6:25 pm

atlas

The body on the table reads like an atlas of sorrow – all beauty crushed, all identifying features marred and blurred by trauma. The wounds are roads across a lost world, the eyes are closed forever to the sun, and the mouth poised as if to speak, but that landscape will remain silent until the burning.

» Posted By Danielle1 On 12.16.2016 @ 9:38 pm

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