Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Our House

My house shakes
like my cat used to
right before she started to purr
before we put her to sleep
for puking blood all over everything

My house has ferns growing out of the roof
squirrels living in the walls
and single pane windows

Last month a giant back-hoe
knocked down the house across the street
my roommates and I watched from our porch
shouting like it was a football game

the landlord will probably do the same
when the back-hoe comes for this house.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Murder Ballad

After I pried the mice’s not quite dead bodies from the traps, I made myself eggs, and tried not to think about how the sounds were haunting me. I didn’t grow up on a farm. I never had to shoot my dog after it contracted rabies. So destroying something that was cute, was not easy. Thinking of all the food that had been spoiled by their dirty paws, and all the shit they left along the floor-boards of my kitchen didn’t help me get over those sounds. It may have just been the air escaping from their tiny lungs as the grip of the tongs crushed their ribs, but in my head those squeaks were pleas for their lives. But I was in no mood for bargaining, and we were not about to share our kitchen with those unwanted tenants. So I ate my eggs and tried my best not to think of it anymore. On my walk to school, I couldn't help but hum the Mickey Mouse song, which for some reason had taken a melancholy-Appalachian-murder-ballad-type quality to it.


We lose our sunglasses every year. Tear apart our rooms looking for them the first sunny day in May. Drug store sun-glasses are no big loss. But for those outdoorsy types who ask for REI gift certificates for Christmas, and drive Subaru’s—200 dollar Oakley’s vanishing into a bottomless thicket of dirty laundry is frustrating. And no amount of screaming, frantic digging, and forced recollecting will resurrect them from their grave. But so goes the underused and half-forgotten prizes of summer.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Cohen is eight months old. His mother informs me he’s tall for his age. I don’t think he’s that big. I doubt he even comes up to my knee.

We’re in a Mexican restaurant. The signs by the door claim that it’s the best in Sacramento. I’ve never been to a better place in this city, but I live in British Columbia.

Cohen is making faces at the waiter while I try and decide between chicken and beef.
I go with chicken.

While we wait I play games with Cohen: he drops his plastic keys, like a drunk, and I pick them up. His interest in this game outlasts mine.

I tell him that his name in Hebrew means priest. This seems to have an impact on him. He makes a contemplative face, like I’ve just revealed part of his destiny. His mom looks at him and tells me he’s gasy today.

His t-shirt has a lion and a giraffe on it and says “best friends.” I explain why his shirt makes no sense, that lions eat giraffes’s when they can, and that he should not expect mortal enemies to be best friends.

After reflection on this thought he challenges me to a staring contest. I win. I always do.