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a digital anthology

BOUT THAT LIFE was a four-week workshop that explored “life writing:” the textures of a life lived; the ethics of how a life might ought to be lived; and what the aesthetic supplement of “writing” (broadly construed) casts back upon that life. Each week, we read and discussed a variety of texts, then composed ourselves through practices of watching, listening, moving, sensing.


We imagined the structure of this series as an hourglass, a (curved, bodily) channel in which the totality of “life material” flows from its widest opening to its most narrow, emptying again at its generous base. It was through this shape that we tracked the movement of vitality from the universal and cosmic down to the singular and subtle. 


Some questions we explored together: 


Do we dare turn away from that which exhausts our vitality when it promises so much reward under a capitalist aegis? What can we learn from following an ethics of life in Daoist terms (particularly in the writings of Zhuangzi¹), over Western ideals of happiness or knowledge-seeking? What about the role of chance,² divination,³ materiality,⁴ place, family, nourishment and immanence? How does the body “extend into space well beyond the skin?”  What kinds of compositional processes attend to, in Akilah Oliver’s words, “my memory of my body as a life?”¹⁰


This digital anthology, featuring some of the work composed during these four weeks, offers answers– and new refinements to those questions. 

- Zoe Imani Sharpe & Fan Wu, June - July 2023


¹ Zhuangzi: The Complete Writings (trans. Brook Ziporyn)

² On Nietzsche (trans. Bruce Boone); Georges Bataille

³ The Choice; Denise Ferreira da Silva & Valentina Desideri

​⁴ or, on being the other woman; Simone White

⁵ In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country; Etel Adnan

⁶ Maigre Dog; Donna James

⁷ Vital Nourishment; François Jullien

⁸ Hello, The Roses; Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

 No Archive Will Restore You; Julietta Singh

¹⁰ The Putterer’s Notebook; Akilah Oliver

Zoe Imani Sharpe is a poet and editor. Her practice blends poetry, essay and collaborative projects. You can find her recent writing in YYZ Artists' Outlet, Writers’ Trust of Canada and Best Canadian Poetry 2021. Her collaborative work includes Poetry/Race/Form (with Fan Wu), WhAt She SaId: Promiscuous References & Disobedient Care (with Cason Sharpe and Yaniya Lee) and Power, Baby! (with Claire Freeman-Fawcett). 

Mina Wang Zhou is a poet and essayist foraging for softness in autumn’s fold. Find her nestled in a word stream, day dream, sun beam agleam at, or on Instagram as @minawangzhou.

Jessica Félicité Kasiama is a Congolese writer, bookseller, and DJ, currently living in Toronto. Her work focuses on the primacy of love, futurity, and spiritual experience. She has been published in Public Parking, Silverfish Magazine, C Magazine, and other publications. You can email her at

Sahara MacDonald is a singer/songwriter and yoga teacher, she has been writing poetry since childhood. She is currently working on a project which infuses music of public domain with her poetry. She is grateful for her time with TPW and its workshop facilitators, Zoe and Fan.

Fan Wu (BOUT THAT LIFE facilitator) is a poet and performer who wants to touch the ten thousand things without dependency. His current work pulls a constellation of figures together -- including Zhuangzi, Bataille, Tsai Ming-liang, and Leslie Scalapino -- to forge a poethics of immanence that favours process over productivity, mystical suspension over knowledge attainment, and life as it's lived over empty abstract transcendentals. You can read his work online in MICE Magazine, The Ex-Puritan, Capilano Review, C Magazine, and Pleasure Dome.

Larissa Diakiw grew up in Treaty 6 Territory in amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) and the lower Kootenays, has been published in Brick, Hazlitt, the Walrus, Guts Magazine, and other places. She won a National Magazine Award for her essay Secrets Are a Captive Country. She writes/ illustrates comics as Frankie No One.

Nahomi Amberber writes and plays with her trusted communities in tkaronto, "the place in the water where the trees are standing".

Lindsey King is an editor, critic, and creative writer currently working for Appetite, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada. In 2023, she was shortlisted for the Robert Weaver Award for Editorial Excellence and she is an active member of Editors Canada. Lindsey's poetic practice is fully consumed by death and grief, but day-to-day Lindsey comes off as cheerful and jocular. Her forthcoming collection, which these poems are a part of, will be published by someone, eventually. Lindsey lives in Toronto with her kind partner. 

Amy Ching-Yan Lam is an artist and writer. Her debut collection of poetry Baby Book, published by Brick Books, is out now. Also available is Looty Goes to Heaven, published in 2022 by Eastside Projects.

eva [yves] chang is a writer of mostly short stories, pursuing cinema studies and art history in university. they're interested in the thematic implications of rigorous institutions; possession, obsession, desire; and human bodies.

lo bil is a cross-disciplinary artist working with intuitive felt research through moving-thinkings, spontaneous utterance, impulse-based scores, object manipulation, unexpected humour and inter-relational proposals with audience.

Cindy Adhiambo Ochieng is a curious person interested in the liminal spaces that emerge through her practices; including but not limited to, writing, visual art, disc jockeying and medicine. She was born and raised in so called Canada; she and her known ancestors are Joluo. She currently resides on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. 

BOUT THAT LIFE Digital Anthology is part of Zoe Imani Sharpe's  Poet-in-Residence.

Design by EJ Kneifel

for me i finally know that worlds exist within this body

Mina Wang Zhou 

 一。in t i am in a city that is both here and there, two feet dipping in simultaneous waters without fastening to the root my branch has always wished for me to be. when a and i were still sleeping in our first shells we would try on places that were too big for our bodies and tongues, real words real dreams like c______ and ___ b____ ___ and we should really do a tour of t_____ sometime, i hear i_______ is beautiful. it is true that i have now lost count of the homes i have shed, but through them all i have remembered to carry my urgency in going to i(...), where it feels close to the bone. in the streetside boutiques i spot my own beloved b in the black and white price blocks neatly lined along bags and shoes and shirts, the mannequins painted with the sort of eyeliner that always pairs with plastic coiffed hairstyles in my cerebral realm. there are cats everywhere; fat cats in k waiting for ribbons of kebap and dozing in trees, lean cats in n napping on terrace tables, spotted cats in bus stops who look like they are home, and black cats slouched by riverside lampposts masquerading as anthropoid ferry-goers waiting so that they, too, may return home. 

二。i am here in this city which floats both here and there, labouring to live within the frequencies everyone has found in a new tongue called therapy-speak. this language asks me to build houses out of phrases which move to undulations of listen to my body and hold myself in the present without worrying over imaginations future-past. i am trying to untangle how to live rhizomatically; how to live widely while still holding myself close to this heart which is my only. i am trying to learn how to live grounded within myself without being bound by hands which do not allow my lungs to reach my belly, which is to say that trying and learning are two different verbs which sometimes but often do not mean the same thing, but always occupy a lifetime of effort. 

三。my body remains here whilst my life advances there in a city i have always wanted as here instead of there, fingers sifting through tarnished gold and muddled voices in the sunday bazaar. i am trying to find protection from monsters and ghouls, trying to embalm myself from the hauntings within, trying to find grace in my terror. in the rests between earrings gouged by missing jewels and clocks which have stopped, i am trying to learn beauty in the incomplete, trying to see resolution in the fragmentations and erosions which may represent wholeness in their silences and pauses. i am practicing holding myself like the round moonstone cupped in devotion between two palms which comes to me as a gift to be worn over the sternum, practicing holding myself so that here is not there. i am practicing how to live while waiting for a’s package to arrive in an otherwise t, while waiting to ship myself to another a, which is to say that one must be able to hold two horizons in a single frame, which is to then say that gods in heaven and humans on earth exist in the same three-four time all while an entire kingdom continues to burble in rubato to its own rhythm, under the sea. my parents named me so that i could be permitted entry in two realms at once, but they did not account for tertiary worlds which plod along unbothered by the follies of star and soil. in chinese i am named after a river nymph before metamorphosis, but various kindnesses i encounter tell me that mina also means lapis lazuli, means love, means small flower, means to undergo and to find, means steadfast, means march. i want to write about big things like the detailing of beautiful domes which have endured

through celestial realignments and earthly shakings, but i feel like my life is more accurately summed in the plump brown and black cat i see with her sleeping paws outstretched in the grandiose shadow of the mosque, a life (- the life -) which prevails as its little own while the 

different greatnesses of the worlds turn in their individual frames, the big and the small folding without rush in their coinciding cycles. 

四。the lowest dip is thirty-seven degrees, you must remember that. no animals in the sea here: too much salt and everything dead dead dead. dead heat dead on dead right dead last. dead quiet dead certain drop dead gorgeous drop dead right now. stew her unbearable stomach. boil until the lid flies off, i promise you will be able to find me there then. lord of strife erupting within, eye watching on avian wings overhead, old god of scythes and curvilinearity.


五。a correction: even in the sea named after death, algae has found a way to live. life-carrying; life carrying on. 

六。vermillion everywhere in w___ r__, a terrain that feels cosmologically there rather than anything terrestrially here. i want to say i could paint its entire expanse in blue and orange, but the truth is there is still green here; there will always be spring somewhere, even in the dearth of summer.


七。in a i land within an invitation which i did not think would come. coming, going - what really is the difference? my body knows only that here is another place whose vowels i sounded on my palate, the closest i thought my teeth would ever be to holding such a space. am__n. the tongue curled tight inwards at the end, a cobra recoiling from its strike. there are no snakes for me in j other than the ones which lie in my throat, but there are many cats here, too; more of them than one had imagined, though fewer than one letter ago. there will always be cats everywhere, whether one sees them or not. i am in a reading etel adnan write about b, which is to say i am still there while i am here, or here when i should be there. i am trying to reconjure the superpower of carrying two pools in one temporality, to have one foot in a and the other in e and cross b knowing i am still in the same c. it seems apt that i have spent my whole life learning how to fist two tectonic plates into the same frame just so that i could train my pupil on the mountains i have been trying to escape. 

八。back in the t which does not have an i but only three os all different ooo, a snail moves between the human and vegetal. o/o/o. between here, then between there. between here and there. if i asked you to show me how you care, would you take me there? i want a garden full of bearberry, bee balm, catnip. would you give my world to me? zucchini greens, asparagus, mixed berries. if you use what i find straight away, will there still be something left for me later? here, i am here. reverberating. can you hear it? in an orchard in may i see you bloom. can you see me? here, hear, their, there. monstrous beauty, monstrous atrocity. the circle is continuous. the moth that i mistake for a small dog. i am not afraid. i do not fear. maybe i am an open ocean. after all, entire worlds exist within me. 

(after etel adnan’s in the heart of the heart of another country)

Only in Writing

Nahomi Amberber

Reflection with a line from the workshop reading "The Putterer's Notebook" by Akilah Oliver:


“This body,


Who we are when we are not love has always caused us shame” 



I’m waiting for my body to learn a lot of things, maybe too many at once. But I can’t remember change without urgency and urgency without shame, so if time is a bitch then I am one too. At the darkness between seconds and decades I scream: soon!; scream: first,


I said I would love. Loudly, and if not that then only in writing. I scribble love poems on her hands, their lips, my left thigh. Forego metaphor in favor of proof. Gather the new receipts with the old and say: I want more; say: then,


I want to forgive. I swear. It’s harder to than it was yesterday. In the meantime I practice forgetfulness which means I erase who I am often and I ask my body to do the same. Maybe I am easier to love this way. Maybe this is what I have learned.


Jessica Félicité Kasiama

I arrive at the page and think: what should I write about? 

I sabotage myself by considering arrival. 

The question feels pointless. Like my favorite authors and artists, I am writing the same story over and over again. I write about my work. I write about my body. I write about my books. I write about language. And yet, even in writing, these things do not belong to me. M̶y̶ ̶ work, m̶y̶ ̶ body, m̶y̶ ̶ books, and m̶y̶ ̶ language. They land on the page. I choreograph them into different shapes and patterns but they have their own rules. Their own systems of being. They protrude. They spill. They contain. I borrow them to compose an image of a life. I borrow the debris of the world, to feel solid within myself. 

In my writing, I look for words that will hold the debris of the day. 

Words that graze the residue left on my skin. 

When I write, I am usually asking: What remains of the morning, the afternoon, and the evening? 

I ask myself this so that I can take it back to my dreams. 

The moments that I am particularly fond of are the ones that feel so liminal and fleeting. For example, on my walk home from work, I often cut through a parking lot of a sci-fi-themed bar. It is a long, nervous walk through the lot. I keep my head down and listen to my music, pretending the bodies around me are ghosts. And then suddenly, I emerge on a quiet, residential street. I look up to the trees hanging over me, like guardian angels, greeting me after a hard day. Tiny pink flowers float down, landing on the concrete. Inside of myself, I feel as though I have entered into the palace of springtime. The beauty stays with me, leaving me in a daze until I arrive home. 

Moments like this are ripe. I harvest them for the page. This is what I would like to write about today.

Conversations with an ancestor

Cindy Adhiambo Ochieng


How would you like to be known?



The desire to be known 

It slips through my thoughts

And trickles out of my mouth carelessly, habitually 

Unearned trust

In the colonized word

To comprehend

To recognize

To perceive


I grew up eventually accepting my name as my own

But it didn’t happen immediately

Why I didn’t, feels obvious

My immersion in a world that didn’t claim me

Had me imagining who I could be

But my imagination wasn’t mine to begin with


I don’t want to be known

I’m learning to swallow my words

I want to be felt



Wach en gi teko. Can you feel us, me?



The capability to feel has never left me

It never did, it never will

Even when it contracts to that distant place 

In my vastness 

Uncertainty now immobilizing me 

Dark thoughts do reroute sensory functions 

Recollections of unwanted touch

Flicker through my chest

For a moment

Certainty isn’t always a pleasurable sensation


In my rise and fall of my laugh

In the curve of my smile

In the fleshly sensations of life’s euphoria

I feel you


A: And you too are felt. 

You are felt 


the limited understandings of space and time 

One day you sleep on this side,

The next you sleep on the other

The relation is eternal

Ikkyu Echoes

Fan Wu

clementine pinches into hurled form blue 

horizon understates a caught throat a wind 

shake tree to let fall mull 

berry into open mouth cheek stained with missed 

lost duck in simple soup the highland clicks as if to speak wind's speed's gnashing 




nasturtium low to the ground cinnamon 

in rows raked as Fire Over Lake

missing him aghast at blood on 

tongue take narciscissor to meatloaf 




justification-free in a sleepaway inner sense fruit

that rots before it ripens 

suspended by thirst or brighter dirt 

this summer of love walks out the door 

wing explains why I fold 

the last sheet in the bed of love


Larissa Diakiw

it’s october for three more days, out the window:

a frame of dead leaves, no tulips 


scream on my bedside table 

with tarred open mouths, reminders 


that violence can be buried in acts of love.


i’m not sick. would it be easier if i was? 

the aperture of night just stopped closing like it’s supposed to 


and you stayed awake.


let me try to explain: i am a moth throwing my body at the walls 

of someone else’s house, like you, forced to re-enact other lives, 


to smell my hair burn as i embrace the lightbulb, 

even after retreating to the cupboard, where larvae wait 


in unsealed bags of rice, we return, always, 

to the killing edge of luminescence.


october splinters, three days or three years?

i think of your hand inside me only a week ago


after you left to (what felt like) safety, i saw you in a lake/ at night/ 

your swimmer’s body dissolving/ the water digesting 

you/ also you/ eating/ cannibalizing/ chewing/ you swam to shore 

choking/ on a lung packed with algae/ the world 

rejected you/ it does that/ you were the same person/ i thought/ 

no/ the water/ you were a miracle like a dress woven from the golden 

threads of a spider’s bursting asshole/ holding your head 

in those bulimic hands of yours/ the world didn’t 

want you after what you did/ still yourself, though/ 

i thought/ no/ the water/ were you?/ no – 


does it feel like watching someone have a seizure? O asks on the phone,

does the person who watches live in constant fear?


it is april, out the window: neon ruptures the skin of trees.

i think of nothing, there is nothing to think of


have you eaten? O asks on the phone, 

spaghetti and butter in her mouth, a foamy pull of cigarette smoke, 


i hear a fork scratch at a plate, she isn't well she says, 

i hear a door open,he is here, she has to go,


it is june, writing makes my stomach cramp, the sickly smell 

of mock orange, words make a world away from what i mean 


i write that i want you to watch me dance in PVC-clear-plastic 

mile-high-heels, to be so aroused you drip puddles in your jeans


i want what can only be alchemical, 

but fantasies empty the future rather than predict it.  


a year coils, nests, builds, not like an organ 

but like a layer of imperceptible dust on everything, 


one year was narratives of escape, the next a silo,

one year was a space with no open holes, or tables where apology-white 

lilies could scream, no roses, no gilded iris throats with teeth, no peonies, 

no acts of love, no care, no blood-brown tulips, no flowers, 

the third year was a cave. 


maybe i was wrong about the moths, or wanted there to be a reason 

we had been together at all, something we shared, maybe 

i am the only moth in this equation, 


i saw myself in the same lake i saw you in/ at night/ 

thankfully i floated/ suspended/ always always sound is muffled/ 

i float/ so alone it feels free/ nothing happens/ so

whether i am myself or not doesn’t matter/ the way it mattered for you/ 

chains of green algae/ minnows/ undercurrents/ fishing 

lures sparkle in the mucky bottom/ tar pooling/ 

so seafoam/ so artichoke/ so lime/ rainbows 

of gas from leaky motorboats/ the mirror/ always a window/ to clouds in oil/

 no/ the moon in oil/ my floating body in oil/ 

somehow wash to shore/ somehow still a person/ no


i cut goldenrod from the ditch, fill a jar with water, 

rip the leaves off the stems, 

place the flowers in the jar, place the jar on a table.


i am told having a seizure is like a radio frequency interrupted 

by another frequency,

Chapter 2 Zhuangzi

Amy Ching-Yan Lam

The wind scrapes against everything and every scraping makes a different sound. 

The wind rubs on all the curves. 

Oh ohh.  



Without the wind, would the crust be heard? 

Crust and wind alone are silent. 

The friction is the singing,

it forces out all the songs.

Exhibition statement at the door.

lo bil

I have a proposal. When you enter the gallery, you will see object collections. I want to let you know that you have the agency to change things. And if you don’t change anything then you are not really in the artwork you are outside of the artwork. But always know that you are welcome to be in the artwork just by virtue of the fact that you have arrived at this threshold and that you have the agency to change things in this particular exhibition.


You might ask, “But on what basis would I change things? I have come to see what the artist thinks.” So I am telling you that the artist thinks you have the agency to change things. Again, you may yell more loudly into the incomplete room: On what basis would I want to change things?! 


And I can tell you that only you can decide that. That is up to you. Perhaps it is for pleasure or for the urgency of global migrations due to climate change. Perhaps you will wait for hours for an answer and that’s okay. If you are late for work as a consequence that’s a problem so know your limits. But whatever time you take will be meaningful even if no answers come.


When you have an “impulse” to change things, it might not even be a reason - then you have the choice to translate that awareness into an action to actually change things and what that looks like nobody knows yet, even though this is an exhibition in the visual arts.


But the good thing is, once you have changed something, you have begun something, a new strand of possibility. Now there is something for the artist or another viewer to respond to. You are no longer in the void of the quiet room or an art exhibition that does not matter to you, you are in conversation with an art work you are in.


By all means, body sovereignty to be respected, you can stay outside of the artwork, maybe you don’t like participatory art. The only risk is that if you are still outside of the artwork because you decide to not change anything, we will only ever know what the artwork is without you in it.



Question: How do I know what I see in the exhibition is what the artist wanted, unfettered by the audience’s influence? 


Artist: Know that the artist has the agency to change or leave other peoples’ changes. But also know that exhibitions are always changed by audiences, this exhibition just makes that layer visible.

Question: Why is the artist trying to please everyone by letting them change the art works?

Artist: I don’t know what would please anyone. But I take pleasure in seeing what other people do. Seeing the work deconstructed creates as much interest and pleasure as seeing the work build, only it feels different. I like to see the art moving. It also helps me question my own choices. But even in a deconstructed state there is still the seed of what existed to begin with.

Question: That painting is too busy. Can I change that?


Artist: No…! I like it the way I made it. 

Yes… I will definitely feel a loss if you change it. But a loss can be as valuable as a gain. 


By no means is it easy to see others destroy my work or want to change my work. But still, it’s important to accept chance… I mean change.  Your choices might feel like chance to me. But really, we are in a never-have-we-met conversation across time and space and objects. It makes me feel immersed in that unseen distance to feel the impact of the public. These are experiences that help me understand why I make art.


Maybe I won’t like your change, but I invite it. I am setting the conditions for an exchange. My art is more in the feeling of the change rather than in what you see or in what the ordering of objects looks like. 


I am sensitive. Everything hurts. Art gives me life and then takes it away because there is an element of fantasy that can never be met. But I can propose and attempt and design a speculative engagement based on wanting to keep changing my positionality to my own art works.


What is real is digestion. I may or may not be able to metabolize what I consume, eg. your actions on my art proposal. And yet, “everyone needs to eat.” 


Maybe your change will change me in 10 years. There are all these simultaneous durations underway.


In the meantime of your arrival, through this writing I am trying to generate an energy wave in the body, in the absence of your visual or physical presence. All this for a feeling. 


Please understand this work is full of contradictions and that’s what I desire after all these years of trying to clarify, it has suddenly become apparent through this work that I prefer the contradictions. 


Question: But is it art?

Artist: If art is a visceral force, then yes. 


Question: I take that as a yes?

Artist: Agreement. 


Question: Why can’t you just draw or paint or make NFTs?


Artist: I find spaces, people, and feelings so moving. I just couldn’t be anything other than in direct communication with the future. Why not ask for the possibility of what you desire? And then draw and paint and make NFTs that come from a place of unsettled feelings in conversation with unsettled feelings we have never met. But, oh. 

cognitive behavioral therapy

eva chang

learning outcomes. student driven; instruction guided. 


won't you believe it... you're in high school again. 


my libido:


pussy eaten out before watching the lighthouse (2019) dir. robert eggers while having leftovers. 

a grind on a bauhaus building staircase; a kiss, chapped lips, static and crackle.


love in hollowed out architecture, stretch slowly. 

stretch both sides. 


one last fuck, baby, and i promise we’re all over.


pierce. strike. the care of my knots, bends, hitches, splices; 

forecasting the occurrence of grief is likely to be interesting for those of us who are mechanically minded.

Year of the Father

Lindsey Robyn King


We both thought Pompeii was boring 

but at least I still had the energy to pretend. 

I looked at Vesuvius and accused 

it — how could you? — but in truth 

it is never the fault of the quiet

volcano; it was you 

and your affair with extinction

that you treated like a hobby, collecting 

misery from all around the world.

We didn’t take one picture, which is sad

because while you can’t take your life into 

death, you certainly can take death with you in life.

You can load all of your pockets and drawers

with the stuff. Even your body can hold so much 

death you no longer float. 

And when you, dismayed, said everything 

in Pomeii looked the same, and at sunset 

you sat on jagged rocks staring down 

the Tyrranean Sea refusing to swim

we mourned you, too. 

Fun Beach Day for Everyone

On the shore I hushed out a new consciousness 

Why when the coin flips for me 

does it land tail down on the severed head? The hole covered

in dry roses is singularly my grave to sit in, for others

it’s a home. “Knock this little death practice off”

they howl to their rollicking melpomene. 

Swimming is to bathe my ears, to make no cavity 

for ridicule, as if every wave could store my senselessness

I drag my roots to the water, a root cellar,
cavorting with the surf. But when the towel slips

exposing his changing body, some stumbling 

face full of sand, skin glazed like a candy apple,

more naked than nude; just skin — there is no death at all. 


I just keep taking it
like a neat chair in a south-facing window

dwindling my thread count

thinning my hairs
bleaching my colour away

You pelt down on me

I am so solitary

You so ephemeral

just like the Father you reign

over me

I like matter or Mother

I wait I stay I sustain

casting down on me

always on your watch

clocks have arms

but they don’t hold us

Nothing can change

high noon’s heat

not even my love

can cool it

So I let it beat me down

I sit through it

for love is a service

a seat I provide 

A Seat I Provide

Sahara MacDonald

Click below to listen to the audio score:

Adoration composed by Florence Price, 1951
(arranged by Elaine Fine, performed by Randall Goosby & Zhu Wang): here

00:00 / 03:38

Staring at my Christmas Rose 

Zoe Imani Sharpe 


Recalling all kinds of high decrees 

        from the lowly state of my bedroom 


Utopian ‘festos so totally luminous

        I’ve cause to believe in communal living


Come to the open field it’s all albus 

        all prasinus all lividus x niger 

                and good Latin  


The screed on my window 

        above me while I work:   describe the crimson 

                of Christmas Rose


                O anything for a poultice in a snake crisis


Give that narrative quick 

        for meaning’s floating on the word-magic   

                I watch from below 





 For ten years the arbiters hid my language

 in the cave of spinetwisting beasts

 they gorged on my words while I worked 


When I was strong I swam the wrinkled ocean 

to the floating barrack 


to find my captors poisoned 

by the exuberant elixir

Spoken Trailer 1 (from Trailers)

After Harun Farocki & Akilah Oliver 


Trailers for Poems Never Written 


Trailer for Unwritten Poem 


Trailer for Poem Never Written from Memory


Trailers for Unwritten Poem Drawn From Memory


Memory Unwritten for Trailer of Never Written Poem


What lags behind in me


What lags behind in me 


What lags behind in me


What lags behind in me


What trails What precedes or follows “what lags behind in me” 

in me     seventeen times 

of which we know


We glimpse a notebook    seventeen ticks    seventeen addresses 


movement and the inability to stop moving, ever. The Character, 32, has moved seventeen times, which we know because we glimpse inside her notebook, which has 17 ticks next to seventeen addresses. 


Some of the addresses are highlighted, which the audience can interpret as a sign of what’s to come — her eventual return to these addresses to reconcile, avenge or confront a Secondary Character (in which case, this could easily mirror the established genre of Thriller, erotic or murderous). 


The Character walks through a house made of a skinny, interminable hallway with four rooms that have grown off its main artery. She wears very textured clothing. Her writing is textured as well, slant and looping. [Close-up of the threads of her jacket]. [Line about flesh]. [Question about who the audience imagines when I say, The Character]. [A second question: what is the primary animating quality of your life?]


The rising action happens as expected in an underground club one could mistake for Detroit, Chicago or Toronto; the neighbourhood in which the club resides depends on who is in it. But, of course, for those who know, there is no mistaking. 


The cinematography implies the eve of 2006 or 2007. [One way to know this collapsed state]. 

Yet, inside the club there is no sign of The Character’s body. Wide gaps between words. Instead, the camera pans across the club: people dance to loud, pumping music, known as darkwave, hyperpop or rap. Or, they sway to Abner Jay’s The Reason Young People Do Drugs, injecting “tension” and “humour.” In this compression and contraction, in this anti-elongation and impasse, interspersed are momentary shots of ocean, the folds of silk shirts, tree bark, anything connoting ripple. 

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