BY Joel

09/01 Direct Link
So I thought I'd write one more batch here before I move on. A baker's dozen feels about right to me and I couldn't stand to leave my contribution the way it stands now. No way. I don't know who wrote those previous twelve batches but it sure wasn't this guy. It's amazing what a month of clearheadedness can do to one's perspectives on life and love. I've been such an asshole and I'm really sorry if my assholism negatively affected anyone who read my writing. I mean, it wasn't all bad, but there are certainly some loose fucking ends.
09/02 Direct Link
I think I was trying to convince myself of some things with my January batch. I wanted to believe it was a fairy tale ending for David and me, to deny the fact that our relationship was unhealthy, codependent, mismatched, fucked up, etc. I wanted to prove that all of my anxieties about environmental issues and promiscuity and diabetes were justified, that I could function and even flourish while maintaining a chronic drug habit. I realize now that my anxieties were in truth born of my my chronic drug habit. So again, I'm sorrying for subjecting readers to my neuroses.
09/03 Direct Link
I really believe that the creative release I experienced this winter and the overwhelming support I received from kind strangers over the Internet helped me to find the courage to change my situation. I was so misguided and so convinced that I had all the answers. I need to thank everyone who stood up for themselves and their beliefs, their more steady viewpoints, and everyone who was able to see past my insanity and failure and offer encouragement when I was balanced and successful You know who you are. I consider you friends for life and I sincerely thank you.
09/04 Direct Link
My life has changed so much in the past month. I'm now living back in Regina after nine years away, close to my mother and sister and my three wonderful nephews. I got a job serving at a mid-range Italian restaurant, where I wear a little black apron that has an advertisement for a popular brand of beer embroidered on it. The tips are wonderful. Once I pay off my credit card (moving province, starting over is expensive) I'm going to start saving for my teaching diploma. I plan on studying French all winter and applying in the spring.
09/05 Direct Link
Of course, I'm single now and I have so much freedom and free time it's ridiculous. I feel so at ease, as if I know the peace I only dreamed of before. I was taking antidepressants for a while there but I have weaned myself off of them responsibly. It really was the situation that was depressing me, not some chemical imbalance that appeared spontaneously. I'm content to be alone, reading, writing, texting, collecting feathers and bark... I want to make a bunch of pysanky this winter. I miss the dog and even David sometimes but it's for the best.
09/06 Direct Link
So far this batch reads like a letter to my grandmother and it was November, not January. It doesn't matter. There are things that matter, but not this. How can I get my words back into that magical, lyrical flow? I don't want to write about sadness anymore, as if I were some incontinent old fool at 27, sobbing because I pee my pants and peeing my pants because I sob. No, there is a new kind of peace in me having less but having lost nothing, as it was never mine to begin with. Diaper crinkling loudly? Whistling works.
09/07 Direct Link
I've been away for so long that I kind of feel like a stranger in my hometown. I'm a tourist of Regina, biking, wandering around carefree, enjoying her in ways I never ventured to enjoy her when I was a youth. The other day I walked into the Ukrainian Co-op and was overcome with emotion and the smell of garlic sausage. I marvelled at their variety of beautiful egg holders. They have a dapper black and brown embroidered tunic that is just waiting for me to afford it... I will be a part of the city's vibrant, growing multiculture.
09/08 Direct Link
The children at the party are squealing, running, overjoyed to have their faces painted. All except my oldest nephew who's at the back fence, turned, kneeling, head hung low. As I approach I hear him crying. "What's the matter, bud?" I ask, patting him on the shoulder. He raises his dragon face and I see the tears fighting the flames that fly out his mouth onto his scaly green cheek. "J-Jasmine said I look s-stupid. She h-hurt my feelings." I look over my shoulder and see Jasmine skipping innocently around the lawn, her face a colourful butterfly.
09/09 Direct Link
At first I'm not sure what to say that will console his broken heart, so I offer a trite "Well, that wasn't very nice, now was it?" but he is still weeping.

I've been catching glimpses of the interactions of these two seven year olds throughout the afternoon and I've been delighted by their tiny developing courtship. To learn of this juvenile scorning only adds to the fantasy that I am as madly romantic and glamourous as Anne Bancroft in the 1998 adaptation of Great Expectations.

I lean over to him, and whisper conspiratorially, "Girls are mean." And he laughs.
09/10 Direct Link
Then I tackled and tickled him on the grass, eyes wide, shouting wildly, "Don't worry about it! Don't worry about it!" He laughed and laughed and I felt good for being able to cheer him up.

But soon I began to experience a kind of child rearing paranoia, worrying that I was only teaching him to mask his pain with humour, so later, while I was giving him a piggy back around the yard I told him that I'd thought about it and I'd decided that girls just don't understand things like dragons, that they're more into flowers and butterflies.
09/11 Direct Link
Of course, I know less and less about love and the sexes as the days go on, and I'm no fan of gender stereotypes, but it seemed like the thing to say to bring the traumatic episode to conclusion. My nephews will still have lots of time to learn about butterfly boys and dragon dames and everyone in between, and I will certainly be here to answer all of their questions.

It's a pretty good thing I don't have kids.

May I never have children.
May I be well.
May I be peaceful and at ease.
May I be childless.
09/12 Direct Link
It's tough to know, what to do with my sexuality now that I'm single. Sex without love isn't as spiritually satisfying as sex with love, and for me, passion makes the experience far more pleasurable, too. I'm definitely not ready to enter another relationship anytime soon. It seems like celibacy is what I need at the moment I asked a good friend what to do about loneliness and she said that for her, it's all about building meaningful friendships and community, meditating, and protecting her loneliness as if it were a little bird given to her by God. So refreshing.
09/13 Direct Link
don't mean that i won't be in the only gay bar in town gettin' my dance on cause Lord knows i've got years of catching up to do and hoo yeah we look cute out on the floor but if you're lookin' for more you're wasting your time cause i'm making love to every guy here with my smile every girl with my style and oh no she didn't just walk on stage in a dress made of feathers and pinecones oh yes i did excuse me rainbow loves to make you happy and she loves to shake her booty...
09/14 Direct Link
Or wouldn't it just be nice to not have to prove anything to anyone, to not have to explain or educate, illuminate, persuade, coerce, to not believe that I am somehow special or superior in any way? To not have to meticulously create the world's most hideous garment out of pinecones and feathers, to not cut grievously into my Lonely Silent Tears Masturbation Time? Besides, I went dancing last weekend and the weekend before that and I need to pay off my credit card, not waste my tips on spin gin. I'm sleeping on an air mattress for God's sake.
09/15 Direct Link
The thing that must be understood about us queens is that once we've learned to accept and embrace our sexualities, we begin allowing ourselves to experience the world from the Two Spirit point of view. We allow ourselves to be inspired by powerful feminine energy. We walk the earth, our souls imbued by the strength and wisdom of so many divas - Spektor, Feist, Lauryn, Dolly, Imani, Dillard, Lennox, Cher, Christina, Oprah, Munro, Jodi, Judi, Joni, Janet, Harmer, Norah, Beyonce, Makeba, Ru, Maya, Whoopi, Meryl, Thompson, Teresa, Crow, Madonna, Gaga, Morrison, Margaret, Stefani, Adele, Nina, Billie, Ella, Hilary, Vandana, Rosie, Ellen...
09/16 Direct Link
...I could go on. I could go on and on...

Ah, I suddenly feel so sentimental on this cool Sunday morning, lying here, looking up through the window at the brightening sky. Looks like it will clear up for the mustard festival this afternoon - all you can eat mustard-inspired cuisine for ten dollars. :o I'm going with a couple of girlfriends from high school. I imagine a trio of tongues stained bright yellow, flapping happily in the golden fall sunshine like flags of Saskatchewan. This is the Land of the Living Skies. David, I really wish you were here.
09/17 Direct Link
Do you remember that week we spent in Paris, how on our last day we decided to have a picnic at La fontaine Medicis so that we might see more enfants joyously floating their wooden boats in the pond, so that sitting under that exquisite living canopy we could watch the September leaves fall two by two onto the backs of the ducks below, how while I ate my pain au chocolate, in the presence of those lovers frozen in time, you looked me in the eye and asked me to marry you?

Will we ever know such romance again?
09/18 Direct Link
Remember the week that followed in Copenhagen, how I booked our hotel room for the right day but the wrong month, so we had to overstay our welcome in the bride and groom's apartment with all the beautiful international friends you'd made in Japan? Remember how we didn't get to see the mermaid because they'd flown her to Shanghai for some kind of exhibition, and yet there she was on postcards displayed all along those cobblestoned, bicycle-teeming streets, so petite and wistful? Why so sullen, little mergirl? There are plenty of fish in that sea. Cheer up. Tuborg time.
09/19 Direct Link
And can you recall that third and final week in Europe, in Rome, how we wandered those ancient streets together full of the most delicious pizza and as much suppli as our bodies would allow, how we regretted and laughed about not doing research beforehand aside from watching the seasons of that brief HBO series? Remember how in love with the world I felt after viewing the breathtakingly delicate and detailed Bernini interpretation of Apollo and Daphne that graces the cover of my third year text Penguin edition Ovid? O Gods, what would it feel like to be so chased?
09/20 Direct Link
I don't expect you to move here, I told you on the phone the other day. I'd been somehow inspired to not overthink things, to just call and tell you how I was feeling. But then you told me that our relationship problems stemmed from more than just substance abuse - what about our differing values and your inability to view the world from the spiritual angle? And I became angry at myself for so easily forgetting these major details so I said I was sorry I called and you cried and wtf do you think fell from your eyes? Equations?
09/21 Direct Link
It's that simple. The spirit is feeling. I learned this from a sorceress disguised as a Professor of Literature, who learned it from Shakespeare, who learned it from... Sure, there's a bit of science involved, but what is that undetectable, immeasurable catalyst for feeling?

What if we all allowed ourselves to nourish that part of our being, if we didn't so constantly numb and distract ourselves? The compassion we'd cultivate would rid the world of war, poverty, and pollution.

Take a moment each morning to listen. God, in all its permutations will be with mind and body throughout the day.
09/22 Direct Link
So I wish you the best, my love. I hope that you find the beauty of your soul not for my sake but for yours. Here's a tip: it will look nothing and everything like mine. I do not regret a moment spent with you and I will honour our love in my morning prayers for the rest of my life. Imagine a feather sweeping sweet smoke over an egg mandala full of basket and sunflower, David design and Rudy motif, the perfect arc of the shell resting in the hollow of a silver ring. I love you so much.
09/23 Direct Link
"Oooh YEEE Gods! What would it feel like to be sho CHASTE?!? AHAHAHAHA...!"

"Brad, seriously, please get off the bale. You're going to fall."

"Buh can't you shee I'm a beautiful MeRmAiD?! I'm a MERmaiden here on my rock - and this fiel uh wheat is my ocean! Thah barn over there's a ShIp! A ship sailed by a shailor whoos coming to shave ME!"

"Okay, Brad. Lovely pose. You're a sexy mermaid. Now swim down here - carefully - and come back to the party."

"But you haven't heard my siren song!" and she began to strum her leg like a banjo.
09/24 Direct Link
I've been working on a song for this merman to sing but it's going to take a few days to polish it up. It probably won't be great anyway, but no matter. There are things that matter but not this.

Who knew that the word 'sorcery' had such evil connotations? Not me. Whatever. I don't believe in dark art. The opposites of good magic and love are not black magic and hate but rather ignorance and fear.

Education: a healing thing. Should be a universally free thing. Come on governments, tax the Hell out of the 1%. It's that simple.
09/25 Direct Link
I had coffee with a new friend the other day. (I think he likes me but it will still be a while before my heart is anything more than a impenetrable stone.) He's a permanent resident of Canada from China. He spent three years working in cruise ship kitchens so that he'd have the skills to be allowed into the country. I asked him what he used to do in China and he told me he worked in a rail yard for the equivalent of 200USD per month. He's 36 and he'd never been to a cafe before moving here.
09/26 Direct Link
No single person is to blame for the world's all too obvious imbalances. We are all innocent so long as we are ignorant, but once educated it is our responsibility to act in accordance with the knowledge we have acquired. We will never achieve peace or sustainability so long as there are outdated laws and systems in place that keep certain groups oppressed. Changes are possible if we can find the courage to make them. We will falter and fail along the way but we must always strive for the global ideal if we are to honour the Human Spirit.
09/27 Direct Link
do it i shout from below jump already and hearing this you realize you are really alone in this world and so you step off the edge and it's just like they say your life flashes before your eyes all that pain and injustice and just as you say goodbye haha heehee i have set up a trampoline at the bottom and for that brief moment that hangs in the balance you are suspended swaddled in the tight woven fabric of my love and you are not alone you are flying anew like a katy perry firework like a bird
09/28 Direct Link
Song of the Harmless Siren (A fishy queen. May it spread your wings.)

Oh, sing me a song of my soulmate,
The one who'll help build a nest,
A best friend in flight from morning to night,
The one who considers me best.

Maybe his name will be FengFeng Xun,
And he'll teach me tai chi chuan:
"To grasp the tail of the sparrow,
Each morning we must rise before dawn!"

Or perhaps M. Amitola Rayonvert,
And we'll share a passion for trees,
"Let's glide through the trails,
Over hills and through vales -
Have picnics of fish and berries!"
09/29 Direct Link

Would you say he goes by Chaim Cohen?
And will he tell me stories of the Ziz?
How I'll revel in all his airy curls,
And cherish each and every beaky kiss.

Or perchance I'll find Siobhan near the heather,
Tracing love knots in the sky,
"Miss O'Keeffe, you dropped this feather."
And I'll give her downy cheeks a try.


Oh, the raven eyes of Raheem Ayotunde!
His name alone beats like a drum.
"I'd like you to meet a special lady,
Her name is Yemoja - she's my mom!"

(nine words left and no lyrics to fill them! :D)
09/30 Direct Link
Or will his name be Gulzar Attar,
And will he whisper secrets to the stars,
And sing ghazals up to the moon?
Or where is he, my midnight loon?

Oh, if true love and magic do exist,
And if a share of them is meant for me,
Then tell me about his name, her words,
For I know we're most beautiful when
Paired off, like birds.

(I'm fortunate to have been introduced to this site. I believe it helps writers to develop skills, people to discover their dreams and who they are. For the tip jar: Peace and love. -B.)