I am almost a lot of things. I am almost laughing and I am almost crying and I am almost certain-but not quite. I almost missed that train the other day and I almost missed that writing on your shoe. We were seated across from each other and I had that book in my hands and you had those papers on your lap and I held my pen in my hand and you held yours behind your ear. It was almost love at first sight. It was love-after-a-few-glimpses. You wrote, ‘Dear Kelly, I’ve been thinking a lot about’ and then your hand stopped. I think a lot about what you could have possibly been thinking a lot about. “What’s the next stop?” (Goodbye) “Burlington.”
It was the summer of
salt water and
You were picking thorns
from your palms
was coughing up words
by a spider’s thread.
we listened to
Spanish guitar and
watched the stars.
I asked you
why the sky was littered
I asked you
if your God was a jeweler.
Where I live,
the streets are littered
The people are littered
and God is a bee keeper.
- Lana Maric, Evening Primrose
The life of a sentimentalist is a life of fine detail. It’s a life of splinters in fences and shirts missing a single button. If you want a safe life, be an optimist or a pessimist. Stick to easy emotions that have corresponding emoticons. Cry at sad movies and laugh at funny ones. Be simple because it’s easy and because it’ll save you from breaking your heart into more pieces than you thought it had.
There is a violence
your cigarette butts away
I see your burned edges
littering the sidewalks
and they remind me
I don’t say anything.
I bite my lip.
I bite it
until it bleeds.
I can taste the world’s pocket change.
I think of the quiet wars we wage
and I wonder if that’s real violence.
It has to be.
I think of your hips
and I think violence.
I think of the night sky
and I think violence.
I think of time
and I think violence.
The stars we’re looking at
Nature is violent.
Flowers are violent
in beauty and colour.
Violence most don’t notice,
I’ll cry violent tears for.
A caterpillar’s cocoon
is a war of change.
Sunsets are a war
between day and night.
How come we don’t have funerals
for the death of every day?
that has escaped your mouth
and fallen off the cliff of your lips?
I think of violent by-the-ways
that cut through silence.
I think of how funny it is that
I bite my lip.
- Lana Maric, What An Ashtray And The Night Sky Have In Common
Google maps says that it takes me 14 minutes to walk from my house to the intersection but I know that’s not true.
Computers don’t consider weather, or season, or mood. Computers don’t consider your walking partner or how weak your umbrella may be.
Days when my boots are heavy, it may take me a full 25 minutes to get there but computers don’t know that because computers don’t know what loneliness is.
I could type ‘loneliness’ in Google and I may get a dictionary definition or a psychological theory. I could type ‘I feel lonely’ and receive a dot-jotted list of effects. I could erase the ‘I’ and the ‘lonely,’ only leaving the meek ‘feel’, and get information about ‘touch’ but only literal touch because the internet is a place where only literal things matter and that’s what makes my boots heavy.
How To Fall In Love With A Stranger Part I
There is always too much to say or nothing at all and there’s never an in between. That’s what you and August have taught me over espresso and sea sounds. I’ve woven fairytales out of hellos and bibles out of peering at you from behind a Marquez novel. You, the religion of you, the belief of you makes my bones rattle. You plucked the Oleander out of my hair and replaced it with limonium. You said it made me look less dangerous and more approachable. I hated you for that.
Your hands will never be able to touch me the way the moon does,
Nostalgia is my hometown.
Passion has a strong appetite and here I am again, reading books about stars.
I stopped writing in a journal two years ago because people kept telling me that I needed to stop keeping things to myself and also because they were worried that I was doing too much writing and not enough living.
I lived but I wrote so I wouldn’t forget. That’s why it was so easy to burn 7 of my past journals. Now I can’t remember those times in detail and that’s a good thing.
I stopped writing in a journal two years ago because people kept telling me that I needed to stop keeping things to myself and also because they were worried that I was doing too much writing and not enough living and so to save myself some more time to put towards living, I filtered beautiful moments, songs, people, into two books titled ‘happy’ and ‘sad’-not ‘good’ and ‘bad’- which are paradoxes because most beautiful things are both happy and sad because life works in positives and negatives especially in sciences and math which I know nothing about.
Here are some examples of ‘happy’:
- I am a different person with every language that I speak (sad: Because I am limited in words and phrases)
- Sunsets that make the sky look like it’s on fire (sad: Will the end of the world be as beautiful?)
- Baby shoes (sad: are grown out of far too soon)
- That night where I lost my voice and we communicated by writing messages on our skin (sad: I will never be able to re-live that moment)
- That night where I woke up at 3am only to find you humming to that Sinatra song playing on the radio and baking grandpa’s favourite pastries because you love him (sad: I will never be able to re-live that moment)
- That night where the sky looked velvet and the stars looked like diamonds and where we danced and you said that you got shivers every time you twirled me and my skirt brushed against your legs (sad: I will never be able to re-live that moment)
The paradox frustrated me so I started writing in a book labeled ‘beautiful things’ and it makes me feel both happy and sad as most beautiful things do.
(Like my father who brags about me reading Proust and being in The University of Toronto’s class-of-2000-and-whatever even though it disappoints him that I want to study English and Linguistics and Art and History and Philosophy and Languages that aren’t spoken anymore and Languages that are still being spoken and dust-but not literal dust- and gems-but not literal gems- and everything else that’s honest.
“Why not Business?” ”Because I don’t like money.” ”It’s paper-you like paper.” “Only when it’s telling a story.” “Think of all the hands that money has been in and the things that have been bought. Isn’t that a story?”
I’ll sigh because It’s hard telling my father that I want to work in a large space with things that have lasted a long time and people that care about things that should be cared about but are often over-looked.
Dad, sometimes you’re right and sometimes you’re wrong but that’s the beautiful thing about you so I’m slipping you between pages like a pressed flower because, like that flower, I want you to last.)
I’m doing all this because I don’t want to forget the lyrics of that Smiths song or that man with the bouquet of flowers that were half frozen, half wet from the rain he was walking in or the colour of the Adriatic sea or what goodbye tastes like.
I’m doing all this because I’m a sentimentalist and because I don’t want to forget you and because writing about certain nights is the closest I’ll ever get to re-living them.
I want to talk to you, but you don’t know that. You don’t know that I’ve been pacing my thoughts of you, that you devour my sleep and my mind like an animal. You don’t know these things and I would never tell you. I’m not sad. I’m not sad. I’m not sad. I’m just a girl that’s so happy that she’s almost sad. I have nerves that stretch farther than my limbs- you know that, so can we please brush it off with that eyelash on your cheek? Stop reminding me that I’m a girl whose heart weighs more than her body, that I’m just this little mess of asymmetrical vows and promises. I miss you, but you don’t know that. And I would never, ever, tell you.
I have piano hands but I don’t play the piano. Right now I’m listening to a song called ‘Full Moon’ by a band whose name means ‘love letter’ in English and it’s reminding me of that parking garage we used to climb to the roof of to watch the fireworks, to risk our lives, to be caught, to be hidden to be etc. It’s where we meet. It’s the beginning and the end of our mazes of days- our labyrinths of events. It’s where we can be lonely with each other. Searching for constellations within the night sky and our pasts. Friends, let’s race to the top floor. Let’s forget what our names are. Let’s just remember that we are capable of feeling and do that. Let’s race to the top floor where we’ll wonder if we’re in a beautiful part of the galaxy, where we’ll find out if love travels faster than light. Perhaps the reason why we like big empty spaces is because we like to hear our laughter echo. We want long lasting.
Questions I ask my grandparents:
What were your first thoughts when you heard that man walked on the moon? Where did you see a television for the first time? Will you tell me what Moscow was like in the 1960’s? Paris? New York? Grandpa, Will you tell me about your parents? Who was the first person you know to start wearing denim? At what age did you start drinking coffee? etc.
I am a sliver of wood cut from the olive tree that grows down by the sea. I am an eighth of the speed of light and I’ve been jogging to catch up ever since that first bolt struck. I am the dust under your carpet and the dust on your shelves and I will be there and be there and be there until somebody notices. I am a muse’s smile when she sees herself on paper and I am the paper on which her soul is drawn. I am a star made out of aluminium foil and hung above your bed to remind you what the night sky looks like. I am the Etc. after a long list of words to describe your hands. I am a list. I am an apostrophe. I am a comma. I am the apologetic word after I left without a word. I am not sorry.
Fall means falling leaves but also falling hearts and falling fors.