On the drive to work Thursday darling husband said “I’m going to get a hold of a grade 9 calculus text book.”
“I think I can master it at last.” This he based on his Tuesday experience supply teaching a math class at his old high school. Note: His subject area before retirement was English.
“Wow. Good for you. I’ll stick to trying to master life.”
“I think calculus is probably easier.”
“Smart calculation,” I thought.
Spring run-off – Rideau River, Ottawa, ON
The New Quarterly contained a story with a line that made me hurl the magazine across the living room. However it also had a short story I didn’t see on first pass because it was on the page facing the cursed line. The cursed line said this: “Old-woman smell infiltrated the house, perfume and powder.” Who are these snotty scentless people who write so disparagingly of their elders? Never mind. The editors redeemed themselves as I shall explain. Continue reading
A personal essay in the Toronto Globe and Mail. The above was my title but I’m not going to quibble. They ran it!
All the dun coloured birds
one consonant short
tossed clods against
eye blue sky
for a moment –
Daily prompt: Invisible
Apropos of nothing
Susanne Fletcher is a yellow-toothed, grey-haired old woman whose ancestors include a bald-headed bullshitter, an apple pie scented soothsayer, an itinerant ukulele teacher and a lips-sucked-in recriminator. She holds degrees buried in wrinkle canyons carved around her mouth and eyes. When not napping or showering to minimize old lady smell or reading grocery store fliers and clipping coupons, she reads literary journal contributor pages and writes mocking bios that exceed the 50 word limit.
Now its your turn. What would your 50 word (more or less) bio say?
Suzy-Q doughnuts of Ottawa – Top left – The Roughrider; Top right – Carrot cake doughnut; bottom – chocolate truffle doughnut.
The glasscutter call of a chickadee breaks
open the day with continuous song
while I gulp coffee and serious list-make. Continue reading
Chocolate quinoa cake
The first piece of chocolate quinoa cake I ate was at a fancy restaurant where main course portions were the size of Canada’s largest coins – loonies and toonies. Lunch arrived prettily set on a silent white plate with scribbles of coulis of some sort. You know the stuff – pureed parsnip essence or a reduction of Brussels sprout hearts and maybe a shake of smoked paprika. Way off on the northern hemisphere of the plate a single perfect candied walnut emerged from its shell, like a sailor adrift in the arctic ocean, considering his options as the icy sea begins to crush his vessel. Because food tells a story and the chef wants you to listen to what the food has to say. That kind of place. Continue reading
Oaken and frozen
You don’t hear his command,
so he delivers a bitter reprimand
and takes you down with a hard smack.
He teaches you a lesson with a whack
to the knee, a stab in your low back. Continue reading
When I shared my impressions of childhood living with an alcoholic father with a friend – memories of a five year old – he said that my memories predated a cognitive understanding of my father’s behaviour. I bristled. It was as though my memories were irrelevant because I lacked dates, context, and the cognitive ability to connect the dots.
Did you do “dot to dot” puzzles as a child? I remember doing them as far back as kindergarten. Teachers used them as a way to teach numbers. The easiest ones were from 1-10 and the resulting pictures were simple. There were no details in the final image, just a big shape, like a ball, or an outline of a cat’s head or a house. But its spare lines still told everything you needed to know. The same way kids know when something is off kilter without understanding why. Continue reading