Woman on the Verge of a Meltdown

Four Savannah Kittens at Play. Photo: Michael Broad https://www.flickr.com/photos/michael-broad/

I’m a woman on the verge because two seven-year-old cats rule my home, Paco, the half-Siamese below, and Teika in the second photo. In addition, my assertive move to combat this fiasco was to add four kittens to shift the power balance, to infuse some clear thinking on the subject. More cats will shift the impasse when the house votes on its grocery list each month. Less power to the presiding queens! I’m a woman on the verge because I’m going to let that feline six-pack thread its way through my whole world. I will spend much of my day…

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Sitting Quietly

    While I was sitting quietly, I thought about our discussion of Blaise Pascale on Roadmap this week. I ran across the name ‘Blais’ once. It was an ex-employer’s surname and the ‘s’ was silent, so you pronounced it as if you were spitting a bit of lint off your tongue. It didn’t have the command or sophistication of so many French words and names. To me, it was like calling your son ‘Milieu’. While I was sitting quietly, I startled myself with a cough and realized that I was getting sick, again. Then I remembered the husky-voiced star…

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How Do You Change When You Are Writing?

How do I change when I am writing? With great difficulty. It depends on three vital points. Where am I writing? While on the Skytrain with hundreds of bodies—a few religiously unwashed–pressing against me, cutting off my air. Do I sit between a staunchly stoic older couple in a tiny Aquabus, which heaves against the water en route to Granville Island? Perhaps I am in a meeting in the matchbox-sized grey Quaker church opposite my place. How am I writing? The options are my phone, laptop, a pen, or using my best friend’s phone with the voice activated android assistant….

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Cafe Paranoia – Terry Gibson

What do you want? What is it you want? As your amethyst eyes Slither over my face Paw my neckline Denting my nonchalance My demeanour so cool – You’d swear I drank milk. What do you want? What is it you want? Do you assume me Your answer, so easily? Nanny, lost sister, Your ‘other half’ gone missing So vital but unnoticed Till you’re about forty-three. What do you want? I must know what you want! As you approach me with gall, Crossing unspeakable lines– At last the secret spills From a so-kissable mouth What is it you want? Aw,…

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“You Take My Hand” – Margaret Atwood

You take my hand and I’m suddenly in a bad movie, it goes on and on and why am I fascinated We waltz in slow motion through an air stale with aphorisms we meet behind endless potted palms you climb through the wrong windows Other people are leaving but I always stay till the end I paid my money, I want to see what happens. In chance bathtubs I have to peel you off me in the form of smoke and melted celluloid. Have to face it I’m finally an addict, the smell of popcorn and worn plush lingers for…

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The Landlady – P.K. Page

Through sepia air the boarders come and go, impersonal as trains. Pass silently the craving silence swallowing her speech; click doors like shutters on her camera eye.   Because of her their lives become exact: their entrances and exits are designed; phone calls are cryptic. Oh, her ticklish ears advance and fall back stunned.   Nothing is unprepared. They hold the walls about them as they weep or laugh. Each face is dialled to zero publicly. She peers stippled with curious flesh;   pads on the patient landing like a pulse, unlocks their keyholes with the wire of sight, searches…

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Paranoia

What do you want? What is it you want? As your amethyst eyes Slither over my face Paw my neckline Denting my nonchalance My demeanour so cool — You’d swear I drank milk. What do you want? What is it you want? Do you assume me Your answer, so easily? Wet nurse, lost sister Your other half gone missing So vital but unnoticed Till you’re about forty-three. What do you want? I must know what you want! As you approach me with gall– Crossing unspeakable lines. At last the secret spills … From a sooo-kissable mouth What is it you…

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Warning

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me, And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells And run my stick along the public railings And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens And learn to…

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On Humour and Mental Health

Status Update By Terry Gibson Just had to say: I use humour a lot. Mostly self-deprecating. Today — as someone who has been in therapy for over two decades — I joked about therapeutic issues. I mean no disrespect to therapists or anyone living with a mental illness. I have dealt with depression all of my life and understand more than someone might think. If I ever upset you, write me. Kindly and respectfully. I’ll gladly listen and give you a heartfelt apology. Finally, given my background, therapists have taken me from a selectively mute, self-hating and destructive child to…

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