twist home

Sometimes on the days
that precede
anniversary dates
of things that happened to me,
or i happened to,
i am noticeably twinged,
unmistakably lonely,
for what?

I know

today, i realize,
was the ten-year anniversary
of flying home from Vancouver,
the first time,
hat in hand.
And when I picked up the phone nobody answered it,
and it took me
ten years to get from there to here.

I won’t dismiss
or forsake,
speak lowly of,
or speak at all.
I have no answers and wish for many;
I still consider that
to having some
and refusing more.



I like
when you remember specific dates of a time that you had,
of a moment you’ve chosen to
remember in time
I like
a bright red sky at night that disappears in an instant
but before there’s a chance
to come to peace with the night
I like
driving on the highway when you’re not in a hurry
when there’s any stop stoppable
and any path clear
I like
sitting silently rummaging through ruins to remember
How to think things you think
and remembering how to feel

IV. Blank.

Ah, dude, I was out shopping for a new phone. My old one was clinging to the edge. I’ve had my eye on an Android since the first time i ran into one a couple years ago, I just couldn’t justify it, you know? Finally, I decided it was time. I strolled myself in there, texted C. and was like “Fuck it, Android shopping” and then later I got one and signed the contract and whatever and told him the model i got and he was like “[You guys] have those. Well, you had.”, you know, and I knew exactly what he meant. he said you loved it. I’m still in the process of figuring it out, but I think I love it too.

I’m gonna get out there one more time before the hostel is locked up for the winter. I wish you’d been home this summer. You would have loved sitting around the long-ass table in the dining room shooting the shit. We still love it. For ya.

In July they said the third tap was for your buddies who are gone.

III. Vacated

Taking the main road through Trinity East as it bends and drops down to the water, you cut up across a hill to where a small rectangular house sits, just above and a stone’s throw from the Atlantic. It is made of weathered old pine, cut lengthwise and stacked, the timber turned grey from relentless season after relentless season. Salt breeze up to high winds, Nor’Easters, lack of cover. The door of the house pushes wide open, and you walk into what is left of what it used to be.

The owners just walked away from it one day and never came back. It happens out here. Space is cheap and there’s lots of it. The door leads directly into the kitchen, the combined efforts of time and lack of maintenance evident immediately. The wind blows through holes in the walls just below the roof. The ceiling is caved in in some places, parts of walls missing, wires stripped. The soaking, blackened carpet that still covers some floorspace squishes under your feet. You shiver. It’s been wet and cold this season, even for around here, even for this province. Hurricane Igor crashed through here last September and likely blew a few extra leaks into the place, took care of some damage that the onslaught of the seasons and the people looting wire hadn’t managed yet. The furniture in what used to be the living room still resides inside, but is all askew and toppled over, long past any hope of being sat on again. On the wall of what once was a bedroom, a picture of Christina Aguilera, at least a decade old, torn out of a magazine and still tacked to the wall next to where a filthy mattress slumps on the floor at a number of odd angles. On another wall, Britney Spears, on another, a photo of somebody you have never heard of named Cheryl Brake. A couple of photos of antiquated cars. A name written on a wall over a doorway.

There is torn-out insulation and pieces of walls and various other garbage of now-uncertain vintage strewn about the place. A fire may possibly have been set in the living room at one point. An uprooted toilet in surprisingly good shape sits across from the door. In the kitchen beside the sink, an empty flask of Golden Wedding. An empty beer bottle next to it, Molson Canadian. An empty tub of Belvedere rolling tobacco, on its side on a table. Legos strewn all over the floor, perhaps incongruously, perhaps not.

Today it’s just a filthy broken-down monument to lives that used to be lived between these walls. Somebody sat on those couches, slept on those mattresses once. They argued over what to watch on TV. There was a child here. But they’re gone, long gone. St. John’s? Alberta? Wherever. Not here anymore. Gone.

They are long gone, and being here, stepping gingerly across the filthy, soaked floors, and taking in what remains feels like a small violation. Violating the long-gone inhabitants, being here visually sifting through what is left, trying to guage their circumstances from nothing but rubble, and leftover pieces with no puzzle? All there is to go on is what is left long after they took what they wanted, and long after others have been through taking anything they might want as well. All that’s left now is the worst of them, I suppose. That which there was no use for. That which was once theirs but wasn’t valuable enough to keep. Leave only what can be forgotten. Forget what you cannot take with you. Go.

Eventually, standing in the once-home becomes eerie, and you step out of the house and back down the hill. You look for walls that still house life inside them.

You still get to choose what to leave behind and what to keep in life, at least until the day where life chooses you to leave behind absolutely everything.

II. Rumination

The Sunday I got the news, man, I was lying in bed just fuckin’ brutally hungover. I talked to C. and I didn’t know what to say at all. There was this angry old westerly wind blowing through. You know the one-enough to blow over all your patio furniture. I sat there in bad and rolled one after another and wondered if there was a little piece of you blowing through from Calgary on the coattails of that wind. I wondered what you would have said. Remember when we lived at Purple Lights, and you got home from school and asked me if I had a smoke, and was like ‘Shit, no man, I’m fuckin’ broke, I was hoping you’d have one…’ and we sat on the couch and talked about how shit being broke was and we dumped out the ashtray and rolled up the butts. Then you said something that’s stuck with me ever since–you said ‘There’s no shame in rolling butts, man. There’s no shame in having to roll butts every once in a while. You gotta do what you gotta do.’

But anyways, like I said, there was this angry old wind…Fuck man, you know, I would have loved the chance to say goodbye.

We all just kind of found ourselves sitting there like fuckin’ idiots, knowing it meant something, but not knowing what it was.

I. One in the morning, Trinity Bight.

Past midnight in Trinity East, the main road is almost completely black in places on nights without stars. Of these nights there are many. It is not difficult to wander off the road and find yourself suddenly inches away from smacking into a tree placed conveniently right at the spot where the gravel shoulder meets the land. It is dark, dark, dark–A dark you don’t know when you’re accustomed to the city. A dark that is hard forget once you’ve spent time in it. Until you find yourself walking around alone in the deepest hours of the morning. If you’re home and expecting someone, you leave a light on.

This dark is quiet. Often the trudge of your shoes on the ground is the only thing that echoes through it. A softly closing door. the flick of a lighter. Nocturnal wildlife. The occasional vehicle, audible from a great distance, direction easily placed with plenty of time to meander to the side of the road before they approach you. Nocturnal people. Close to the water, the splash of the waves, barely at all some evenings, other evenings a sound far rougher at it’s edges.

Nothing at all. A fog horn. Whatever is inside your head.