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the oyster

you’re asking me to slow down
but then the scenery starts to come into focus
and you’ll catch glimpses of things
hiding behind the treeline

the strange animals
with strange spots
grazing in the pastures of my past
and things are quiet

when i’m not trumpeting
and shouting exclamations of
romance and throwing confetti and streamers
of theatrical celebration

the plates begin to drop
and the unicycle turns over
as i hesitate and consider
the deceleration

the oyster around my heart
shut tight


a winnipeg summer

grinding along the gritty winnipeg streets
eating dust and chewing pipes
the bricks are turning to sand
and my skin’s cracked in half

the sky’s mouth sucks us in
towards the farthest point of deepest blue
no shadow or shade to hold on to
stark florescent glaring white

we’re all shades of grey in this light
veins quiver and shake under our skin
memories of frost and wind
not yet distant

our mouths hang open
and we swallow the heat whole
catching the flies and moths
that batter themselves dead against our teeth

en route to albert


Why does my own heart begin to sabotage
The bliss and sweetness of new
Questions and darkens and anxiety obsessed
Have you noticed the panic in my voice?

I thought I knew how to swim and tread
But the currents in this water are unfamiliar
Struggling to control my feet but they’re
Gone from under me

Stinging from the weightier cold
My heart, stop treading stop swimming
Float again and grab the sunlight
Shay shay across the warm luminescent surface

And learn to trust again

in step

our shyness holds the words in our mouths
longer maybe that’s why they grow
but they start tumbling out of yours
given a few days warming

full of “rambly responses” you are
slowly some secrets fall out
and we’re becoming closer than our bodies
can press

pressing our heads together
when our words are finished
resting against each other
like people should

your cheeks take on a pink
that i can’t see in the dark
but warm mine
and we breathe together
in step so our hands don’t break

until the birds are singing

you turn around and press restart
takes me a second but i press play
and go along
with you through the orange-lit cobblestone

through a, b, c and d
we shuck off layers off layers
and then smile through, up to the half moon

at your hands
that belong on someone taller
strong but sweet for my knees
or the next by mistake

until the birds are singing
i can’t stop or leave
weaving in the knots of arms
and sleep

4 in “Series of 7s”

Scene 4
Length: 7 minutes
Location: Residential back alley
Lighting: Cloudy, mid-afternoon
Initial Camera Shot: Wide shot from behind
Sound: Mostly quiet

He’s walking the cat on a harness. The cat is resisting for the most part, and he’s just watching, tugging slightly. Unconciously persistant. They make slow progress down the alleyway. Eventually, he leans face-forward into a wall and presses himself against it.

He bursts into a run and chases the cat from behind. Then slows down to a slow walk and lights a cigarette.

Scene 3
Length: 7 minutes
Location: Bathroom – slightly scummy and very small
Lighting: Harsh fluorescents
Initial Camera Shot: Above the bathtub
Sound: Water running.

Steam obstructs most of the shot. He lays nude in the tub, arms, feet and face covered in flour. Water is pouring in from the shower head and abruptly cuts off after 1 minute. He foot plops back into the water and his breathing is slow. Eyes are wide open and staring at the showerhead. He rolls over to his side, away from the camera, face 2/3s in the water. Crumples into the fetal position. Lumps of flour begin to open up in the water.

Camera focuses on his spine moving w/ his breathing.
Phone vibrates in the background.

Scene 2
Length: 7 minutes
Location: Apartment Room – very minimal and basic, bare walls
Lighting: Natural light from the windows, stage right
Initial Camera Shot: Wide view of his living room
Sound: The furnace hissing or coffee percolating

He walks around in blue briefs and a white undershirt. He pours flour across his dark hardwood floor. Moves it in piles and lines and sifts through it with his hands.

Close Up: His arms pushing the flour across the floor. Rubs it across his cheeks. It catches slightly on the tear streaks from earlier.
Wide shot catches him sitting, side/back profile on the floor of his apartment.
Aerial shot shows an abstract pattern across his floor.
A cat enters the camera shot and moves around him and the flour. Natural light changes to a deeper blue.

Scene 1
Length: 7 minutes
Location: Urban centre, downtown
Lighting: Heavy clouds at about mid-afternoon
Camera Shot: From the hood of a car, looking into the windshield of a ’94 sedan, navy blue. Man in late 20’s, early 30s driving behind the wheel.
Piano Instrumental: i.e. a 7 minute version of Yann Tiersen’s Le Matin

He is wearing a heavy tweed coat. Leaning close to his steering wheel, held with both hands at 10 and 2:00. His eyes and his body are alert to the traffic, but his mind is wandering elsewhere. About 3 minutes into the music, tears begin to fall. The next four minutes sees various suggestions of emotions across his face.