Tag Archives: Literature

Merriweather

sexuality
allows violence we
don’t trust girls.
exist and get released to the public, it’s
enough.

a camera is presenting
ways to justify our interest in
whoever is committing these atrocities
even with that kind of truth.
Even in the face of truth.

she’s
a title bestowed by
flamboyant outfits, yells
she’s had a change of heart
she said to come
and make a lot of money

Ask her about violence and it’s complicated.
However, it is times like this when I’m
faced with my opinion I
need help. Violence is childhood.
That’s something that was done overnight.
It’s sad because she’s a victim, but he’s
a victim too.

selective focus photography of black rotary phone

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Throwing up until I bled
felt good. (I had to get you
off my chest.)
A cry and a can of Coke
dilutes
the acid
which fastens my throat; scratched
from fingernails
that left behind
fine
red
lines;
soaked by the lemon
you kept in the back of your fridge.
(If lemons don’t go bad, why did it
turn brown?)

I want to know
I want to know
because I’m a bastard now.

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As I catch up with a dear friend from home and I tell her about the funeral I attended last week and the marriage proposal I received the week before that, she begins to laugh. ‘You always do things in such extremes Anna!’ I hadn’t, admittedly, thought about this. Although, as I was leaving the funeral service it did occur to me that this was not how I expected to spend any of my year abroad. Indeed, living in Canada has gone as smoothly as I expected it would, which is to say, not very smooth at all.

Though I have lived here for two entire months now, there are still a great deal of things I have yet to get my head around. Cars, in particular. My partner still takes sincere amusement every time I accidentally attempt to get into his car from the driver’s side, for example! Sometimes he strategically lures me by heading towards the passenger’s side, knowing it’ll throw me off. It always does. For the first few weeks I would oftentimes glance at cars on the road and immediate shock would fill my being as it appeared a ghost was occupying the vehicle. Of course, a quick glance to the left and I would remember that the driver was at the other side. The ‘wrong’ side, as I am still adamant. Roads are also a cesspool of confusion and eternal frustration. What English people would describe fondly as ‘zebra crossings’ are everywhere, although- as I have almost killed myself finding out- not all of them mean you can cross the road at your leisure. Some crossings are painted pink… I have no idea what this means. All I know is that I must annoy the shit out of drivers who can probably smell the wreak of me not knowing what the hell I am supposed to be doing. Bloody foreigners!

Living in Canada also feels like you are in some kind of permanent petting zoo; only, where petting may lead to a few bite marks. Oftentimes when I sit outside my residence, skunks will scurry over to me. They are adorable but I am told that I only think this because I have yet to discover the capabilities of their anal scent glands. (A Canadian said to me that it smells like urine and marijuana… so it is possible that a whiff would be more liable to remind me of my hometown than anything else!). I have learned that if you want to suss out foreigners, place a skunk near a group of people. The Canadians will run the other way and the rest of us will run towards it with a naive excitement over its cuteness. I also saw four raccoons one evening, a little family rooting around some bins. Again, my cotton-wool instincts were to run over and pet them as though they were stray kittens. ‘They’ll scratch your nose off, Anna!’ 

Although, even despite the array of exotic menageries, I often find myself feeling rather alone here. Sometimes I miss walking into bars and seeing faces I recognise. Sometimes I miss people that know me beyond the realm of ‘girl from England’. I also miss Yorkshire puddings.

I will end this post on a conversation I had in the first week of my arrival in Canada-

Anna: [Upon seeing a building called Norfolk Manor] oooh! We should go there sometime!

Chad: Err…*laughing*  that’s an old folk’s home.

Ooops.

21743370_10159138899640198_7436508114541544966_nAfter the university’s pep rally. 


He’s old -middle aged-
and he sits on a plastic white
garden chair, at the end of your street.
You’ll see him with a cigarette-
most hours. But the man has
no legs.

Half-limbed, semi skimmed
his stumps raise red as he stubs
his cigarette. And you wonder
why he chooses the flames on his
lips, the power – to turn the tables-
lights to his fingers
-he holds on longer than he has to.

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I will leave it up to you to decide whether or not this particular room contained only myself and the teacher who spoke these particularly warming words to me, indeed, at a moment I was desperate for any shadow of confidence in preparation for both exams and the rest of my life!

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These words have haunted me for perhaps too long now, but are only painful when I think of the 18 year old me who did not make the nicest of acquaintances nor meet with the most fortunate of situations.  Yet, I have chosen these words because they annihilated all my denials, for indeed I wasn’t the person who I wanted to be, or felt like I was.

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It was my first month at university and I was still very much a tiny fish in a rather large, foreign and sticky pool. Soon my homesickness was to spread into actual sickness and never had I felt so alone. Yet, a recently made friend offered to make me soup and it remains as one of the kindest gestures anyone has done for me, at a time when I didn’t think I had anyone  close enough to even sneeze on.

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It was nighttime in York when a stranger walked passed me and declared me ‘stunning’. Although I don’t doubt the darkness compromised his judgement, it wasn’t something I had ever been told quite so earnestly and it made me happy enough to remember it still.

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My class had just finished when the teacher told me to stay behind. She sat in the chair opposite me and whilst I was surveying all the possible reasons I might be in due of a telling off she began what I remember as the words above.I can only think she could tell that I was quite unhappy and though she was under no obligation, she took her time to tell me some exquisite words of encouragement and simultaneously allowed me to believe I wasn’t alone.

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The primary school I went to, when I was 8 years old,  used ‘privilege cards’ as a way of awarding good behaviour. If a child did something nice they would receive a signature on their card and depending on how many signatures you had at the end of the term you could watch a film. One particular term I had all but one signature required for this exclusive prize and my teacher at the time found out, most likely by my mother who also worked at the school and knew of my shortcomings and desperation to join the other children in the hall. My teacher took me out of class one morning and told me to open the door for him. I was quite perplexed at this peculiar request but did so, nonetheless. It was to my happy surprise that opening this door for the teacher, despite how he had no intention of leaving the building, enabled me to receive my crucial signature! Another beautifully sweet gesture that still makes me smile.

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These words made me realise that it’s okay not to enjoy the best experiences of your life. It was during my trek in Iceland, each day the porridge become more repulsive that the last and I’m quite sure I’d never been so entirely exhausted. The early mornings and long days were painful and I found myself hating more of it than I thought I should. That was until a fellow trekker said these words. I wasn’t alone and it is mostly certainly an accurate statement, if ever there was one!


The  single-sided handkerchief,
damp and crisp.
Folding,
against the white
of my skin,
and think- just think-
of bliss.

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Cry me a pigeon
And spread your filthy wings.
I heard the others whispering
When the proud dove sings.
Oh, in the sky,
What a sight!
When the filthy birds shadow
Twelve arrows of white.

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