Archive for creative

Turn of the Tide

Posted in Poetry, Social Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2017 by beautifulimposter

There is rust upon the tongue, flakes of grit
The taste of metallic decay, bitter silences
Poisoning all thought, each stillness the longer echoing
Of all the words trapped beneath cowardice
Or strangling themselves stillborn,
Infinite infant corpses dangling faux tears
Strung grisly ornamental from spiny, crusted lashes.

Something rotten indeed
Cloying, unlovely, limping mockery
Nuzzling lascivious leaving viscous fingerprints
Stains beneath the flesh, the marks of remembrance
Bruises and cuts clawed desperate fingers digging
Oh, to remove the cancer bequeathed
Undressing bare to the bone not ever clean enough.

Bouquets of fear in full bloom thorn tearing
Wrung hands raw, wounds upon wounds
Every day, over and over and over
One moment, one touch, one word, or look, or any other abuse
The wreaths hung choking in lungs buried beneath
Crushing weights, pinned butterfly beneath the thumb of oceans
Gasping in the dark alone and alone and alone…

…when of a sudden, a match is struck,
Timid flickering, more shadow than orange burning
But warmth where there was cold, a point
Fixed, a spar to cling, then another upon another
Till there is a torrent of pricks in the night
A blaze, one into one into many and there is a raging blossom
Strong and terrible and righteous.



Posted in Poetry, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2016 by beautifulimposter

The bitter knives of winter
Are grinding their flinty edges
Hidden discreetly in the folds
Clever and cunning
Finding all the cracks and crannies
Stabbing cold and deep
Into the scurrying masses.

Everyone becomes a dragon,
Smoking breath rising into blooms
Of flaming leaves rattling above
Crackling orange and yellow
Autumn dripping ashes and embers
Flicked from the fag end of November
In swirling arabesques.

The sidewalks look picked clean,
Bare boned, save for rags and scraps
Fugitives all bow-headed, meek
Beneath the lash of winter’s stirring tongue
Furtive dashing from one haven
Of warmth and light to another,
Near numbed fingers desperately clutching
Venti peppermint mochas.

I like to imagine the stories that chase them
Like mongrel dogs tipping at their heels
As I watch, cocooned in glass and steel
Adrift upon the early morning streets
Yet temporarily marooned,
Waiting for the next summons,
Listening to my mind weaving tall tales
To and audience of me.

Burnt Offerings

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2015 by beautifulimposter

I am ten thousand cigarettes
Burnt offerings and rusty hinges
Yonge Street at twilight
Endless paper cups of last sip coffee
The breath of winter over Lake Nipissing
A fistful of crumpled ticket stubs
Eighteen withered rose petals
Occasionally headstones in the moonlight
Rarely writhing fingers white knuckle clenched
Sharp white teeth under Snow White’s blood red lips
A collection of ragged wounds in various stages
Of closure, decorous, almost bejeweled
Personal stigmata worn as war medals
Or the ribbons a magpie would use
To adorn its nest
Thirty five spent candles
A new taper almost spent 
Lingering traces of whisky and smoke
The bitterness of myrrh on the tongue
Feeling of ashes and honey upon the skin
Clinging like new fresh death
All of the thoughts you can’t find the words for
Cannot express save in listless sighs
A susurrus of autumn leaves
The presence you feel when you enter an empty room
But mostly,
Just the ten thousand spent cigarettes. 


What You Don’t Know

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2015 by beautifulimposter

How many people who may have shared

This exact moment with you

Right now

From all the befores until all the afters

Until the end.

How many wear your fingerprints

Clothed in your touch

Invisible, subtle markings

Indelible and only yours to make

Or leave.

All of the stories

Each name may bear

Every letter bending beneath weight of tales

Unable to be uttered or told

Even if every breath could be spent

In thief saying.

The true meaning of pain

Every edge and point of it

No one can compass

In flesh

All of the agonies there are

So we can only understand our own

And at best half of other’s.

How many hearts

Gave worked their way

Into the hallways of yours

To surprise you with their sudden presence

As you round the corner

Stumbling into the lingering

Of even the briefest passage.

The same of all the hearts

You now dwell within

Secretly stealing through the cracks

Building nests of a glimpse, or smile,

Or touch

To be stumbled on in turn.

The name you will leave

On the lips of lovers

Or acquaintances

Only the ones you hope

You may leave

Praying them to be sweet

Rather than bitter upon the tongues of time.

At last, among all that we may never know

Is the end of the story

Other than the certainty that it will end

For our part in the telling and knowing

Will have stopped long before

So really, it is best

To just tell a good a tale

As heart and lips and limbs

May weave

Before our time before the hearth is up

And we rise to take our leave.


The Girl Who Saw

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2015 by beautifulimposter

This is the beginning of something. I’m not sure what it is yet, but I am going to keep chipping away at it to see where it wants to go, where it takes me. I know it’s not likely that many here will read this, the longer pieces often get overlooked, but I would really like some feedback on this. It’s the first piece I have ever really written from a woman’s point of view and I would really appreciate any feedback on it, how it sounds. I always feel so un-authentic when I write women and it would help to know if this works. Any and all thoughts will be welcomed.

Despite the feeble attempts of the air conditioner sweat was rolling down Abby’s brow, plastering her hair to her forehead as she moved between the tables. The place was crowded even for a Thursday evening, they were short staffed and the heat from outside kept stealing in through the nearly constant open door all of which just seemed to be piling on to an already shit day.
“five!!” Abby growled under her breath, slamming down her tray onto the counter and swiping at the sweat dripping into her eyes, the flush on her cheeks more from anger than the heat. “if he doesn’t learn to keep his fucking hands to himself…” her words trailed off in impotent frustration as she glared at Maggie behind the counter, surrounded in her usual cloud of steam as she worked the espresso machine. Maggie glanced over, giving Abby a commiserating look in between furiously filling cups and passing them down the line.
“You know, instead of just keeping a running count you should just tell Charlie, you know he’d back you up and fire the perv’s ass.” Abby just rolled her eyes. Yeah, as far as bosses went, Charlie was pretty good, but he was the owner and wasn’t around much. Not like it had made a whole bunch of difference the last time she had brought up Jacob’s habit of grabbing her ass. He had said he would talk to him and he probably had, but bottom line Jacob was a good manager and kept the customer’s and the cash flowing. If she made too much of a thing about it she knew it would always be easier to replace her than him.
“Never mind, I just need three large coffees, two espresso, a cap, three mocha lattes and one Earl Grey tea.” Maggie just nodded. You could see the little mental list just scrolling behind her eyes, ticking over almost like a computer as she whirled behind the counter, filling, tamping, steaming. Abby was always just a little impressed watching this little engine of a woman and couldn’t help but smile just a bit. There was no room in there for anything but the work and Abby kind of envied that. She somehow knew that Maggie never kept any of this place with her, none of the abusive customers, the bullshit, it was all just one order then the next until she hung up her apron at close. Abby always wished she could put things away that easy.
While she waited for her order, she turned back to the main room of the cafe, leaning back against the counter, her hands rising to her face, rubbing over her forehead and temples, smoothing back her hair, taking a deep breath and stretching. Her gaze wandered around the crowd, couples, groups huddled around their tables, the room filled with the chaos of mingled conversation, the complex interplays of social interaction. She always felt outside of it, moving among it all but never really a part of it, a near invisible cog that helped it all work. Sometimes she felt a little bitter about that, but most of the time she cherished the anonymity, the obscurity of being one more apron and smile with a pen. Her eyes marked her tables, making little mental ticks, coffees at three, espresso and cap at five, two lattes on one, the last latte to the guy sitting on the sofa in the corner and the tea…where was the tea guy?
“Fuck, another one!” Abby growled again, thinking she’d had another walkout. Not quite as bad as being stiffed on the bill, but if one more impatient asshole left because she didn’t instantly pull his drink out of her ass and then decided to leave a comment it could be her ass.
“Another what babe?” Maggie didn’t even look up as she was stacking the drinks onto Abby’s tray, somehow knowing automatically the order Abby would need to serve them and placing them just the right way.
“Nothing Mags” Abby carefully picked up her try and headed back out into the fray. Coffees, espressos, both without a hitch. Lattes, a lot of snark about how long it took, usual bullshit “did you have to like, grow the beans yourself” that had Abby’s hands itching to bash the posh cunt’s sneering face in, just a little shy smile from Mr. Single Latte and she was on, fixing the smile to her face as she tucked the tray under her arm, whipped out her pad and took the next round of orders. Polite chit chat, hi, how are ya hun, best sunny disposition, ignore the useless blather, get the details then back to the counter, taking the long way so she didn’t have to pass by Jacob and his lear and his fucking hands.
“Two more javas, one unleaded, two caps, one strawberry smoothy, three iced mochas Mags” the words just rattled out of her brain, it wasn’t even like thinking any more, her brain just dropped the words onto her tongue. She turned again, once more in that little island of calm, braced against the counter, feet aching, her top clinging clammy against her back. “fuck this place” she muttered under her breath as her eyes again did their little scan. Coffee couple, looking happy and disgustingly cute together, suits for the caps, workout bro with the smoothy, the kids at four with the ices, high school girls all giggles, bright and fresh. Her eyes lingered on them for a bit, thinking it hadn’t really been that long ago that that was her, right? When homework and boys had been the biggest worries. Only that wasn’t true either, not really. Abbey couldn’t remember a time when the fear and doubt hadn’t gnawed her insides, a hungry animal clawing it’s way through her. Her eyes slunk away from the girls, now almost ashamed she had even thought she had ever been one of them.
Then there was latte guy, nursing his coffee, notebook on his knee, wanting to write but just doodling. She knew his writing face and this wasn’t it. She also knew he fancied her more than a bit and that’s why he would spend her shift tucked away, trying to make his coffee last the night, stealing glances at her over his thick wire rim glasses. She kind of liked it, the quiet attention. She knew he would probably never say anything and that was fine, he wasn’t her type and besides, relationships were foreign, horrible things. No, this was safe and Abby liked safe and distance. At least his eyes didn’t cling to her the way so many others did, like they already had their clammy, sticky fingers all over her. She closed her eyes for a moment, letting the shudder roll through her, her breath stuttering, catching for a moment before going back to its regular rhythm. Her eyes opened again, and there he was.
It was like her eyes just drew him there as her lids flickered upward, a lean, dark figure leaning forward in a chair just beside latte guy, elbows resting on his knees, fingers steepled, all sharp angles. His black hair fell in loose waves around a narrow face and…and…and it was like something was willing her not to see more. Details kept coming into focus then sliding away, she could feel an ache building just behind her eyes as she tried to hold on to him, but the more she did, the less she saw. She could almost hear a voice whispering in her ear “look away, you aren’t looking at anything, see, it’s just an empty chair, maybe someone left their coat on it, it’s nothing, look away”. Then it hit her, enough to take her breath away and she staggered a little. Waves of aloneness crashed into her, this sense of tremendous distance and of being utterly and totally alone…not lonely, just alone, something close to complete and total desolation. She trembled, was almost in tears when his eyes found hers. His expression seemed surprised, almost alarmed and then…and then…
“On a break or something?” the voice poured like dirty oil over her and Abby kick started back to reality. Jacob was in front of her, hungry, coyote smile pinning his lips to his cheeks, breath reeking of smoke and cherry lifesavers. “We aren’t paying you just to look pretty here” The smile never met his eyes, they were always dead fish grey.
“I-I-I know Jacob, I just…I just needed a moment” Abby grabbed her now full tray and shouldered past him before he could make a grab, or say something that would make her want to rip his balls off…given half a chance she would too, had to bite near through her lip as he cat called “keep it shaking out there” his chuckle yapping at her heels.
“Fuck this place, and fuck you too” she pressed the words out through gritted teeth and spent the rest of the night seething, trying to push it all away, Jacob, the customers, everything. The strangeness of a moment before was already fading fast, just a melting shadow, nothing of it lingering, except for a pair of eyes and even these hid themselves carefully in the back of her mind.


A Room and A Chair

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2015 by beautifulimposter

There is no conceivable measurement
Of the distance between where I am
From where I saw myself
A gulf of time and regret
Bad decisions and inaction
Old ghosts and fading memories
A scattering of busted toys
Tumbled about my feet, littering the floor
Around my chair.

Music plays faint and scratchy
Popping and hissing through the dusty silence
Voices that never fade out
Crackling reminders spinning out and on
Needle cutting tracks out of my fingerprints
Smudging bloody over skin
Smears of bright color across sepia
Twisting smokey though amber whiskey lense
Choking down fire to bitter ashes
We all do fall down…don’t we?

Rags and feathers
These instruments of faith and sex and God
Right, isn’t that how the line goes?
I was beautiful in my brokeness
But you twist yourself into those shapes of damage
And it sticks, limbs twisted
Into driftwood gnarled water carvings
Bones have memory and are hard to untangle
Too brittle, snapping under the weight of scrutiny.

Time passes like a razor
Slicing paper thin, peeling a rind
Of blank tape, spooling out
In meaningless ribbons just waiting
For a random spark
Something hungry to move from me to nothing
Faintly flickering orange greedy tongues
Leaving an empty chair
In a dusty room
With a scattering of busted toys at its feet.


The Song Remains the Same

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2015 by beautifulimposter

Mumbling song lyrics like prayers
Ten “mercy seats”, ten “mr. jones”
Counting starlings on power line rosary
Taking wing into slate blue sky
Subtle chord changes lingering sustain
Accelerator pedal distortion
Echoing click heel working girl rhythm
Metronome hips keep strict time.

Sting quartet stringy hacking cough
Medallion hacks huddling around the cab stand
Grubby blue collar blues whine
Back broken, heart broken
Recepticals of midnight confessions
Shabby scarf surplices muffling
All the lonely heart hymnals
Saint Harry never got to write.

Night hawks flying the ragged edge of dawn
To roost in sweaty low rent flats
Neon angry buzzing lullabies
Johnny Walker harmonizing with Johnny Cash
Tears that taste like amber, or maybe Alison
The aim can still be true if a bit unsteady
One hand full of longing, the other spanking the monkey
Spirit and seed both spilled useless
On sheets of music crumpled in desperate fists.

Low down and dirty grumble
Thick tongued, tied up tightly twisted
Every golgotha tenement tower of song
Spilling Babel chaos harmonics
Babies crying mother’s hush
Lover’s legs play slow waltzing violin
Rising up into the purple bruise metropolitain sky
Choir seven million strong
Belting out the hooks buried deep in the flesh.

Everyone knows the words to this one
Singing along as soon as lungs met air
Making up the bits not known by heart
Maybe finding the harmonies, or maybe not
From cave mouths to cathedrals
Rushlit halls to smokey beer light gin joints
For all the changes, minor falls, major lift
The song remains the same.