Saturday, July 09, 2005

"UPSIDE, DOWNSIDE, INSIDE OUT" is all about the strange directions we'll take for the sake of love. You know, like joining a barbershop grunge quartet and letting her dress you up in a "Kurt Cobain costume".

This story is based on another image sent to me by my long time collaborator
Marieta Tsenova.
Once again thanks so much for sending me these images, Marieta.



"I'm sorry I just came out of a very dark place." She stands with a clan of the cavebear style boot propped up on the window sill. She stares off into the distance, perhaps dreaming up new methods of destruction.

"We were just laughing," he continues to chuckle out a few remaining chuckles.

"We were laughing and then I thought about all of the starving children in the world with no arms or legs." She stands in the middle of the ruins of what was once his home.

He considers the wisdom of allowing her to redecorate his place with a sledge hammer. He considers the wisdom of allowing her into his heart with her sledge hammer of a personality.

"Let's dance," she screams.

Friday, July 08, 2005

"FLASHERS BEWARE" is a tiny tale about getting naked before them, before they get naked before you. I'm writing this story naked just to get into character. I hope you read this naked.

2 isis
But please do not send me naked pictures of you and your rugby team celebrating summer solstice. That's just weird.



John was having difficulties bonding with his new wife Sarah's unruly daughter. The two women had lived together without the presence of any men in their lives for ten years. As a high school guidance counsellor John recognized the high wire balancing act he needed to perform between a sensitivity towards their powerfully cemented relationship and his own need to be a special part of Sarah and Elizabeth's lives.

John stood in front of the full length mirror, practicing his speech for the upcoming grade 12 graduation ceremony. "You are about to embark upon a future of great uncertainty. Increasing fear, hatred and violence might mar your dreams but it's important that you look on the bright side. Are you going to mope around the house all day staring at the stump of your used to be limb that you sawed off to get out of the forest or will you choose to join the military and use whatever intelligence you have to protect this great nation ? Put another way: will you be the hero in the story of your life ?"

Elizabeth hurried through the living room.

"Hey there. Where are you off to ? Are you going to see the new Batman movie ? Batman Begins, what a great title. I hear that it's a very deep look into the pyche of our masked hero. I'm actually considering taking my grad 12 psychology class to go see it. You could see me in action with all my students. You can see who's the bigger hero Batman or me !! I know you're a little older than my students but would you like to come with ? !" he asked with a puppy-dog look of hope on his face.

That's when Elizabeth let him have it: "I'm out every night on the streets trying to fight crime on my very own. I stalk flashers and the filth of this city. I try to find all the weirdos that are running around the streets. And when I find them, I let them see for themselves with these mirrors that are perfectly aligned with my chakras what walking poles of perversion they are." She opened her trenchcoat to reveal nothing but underwear and a string of mirrors.

That's when John started reconsidering the wisdom of getting to know his new daughter-in-law.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

"WE'D SEE SEA-WEED" is a droplet of a story (a storylet ?) based on the seventh photo sent to me by Marieta Tsenova.
Thanks so much for sending me these images Marieta.



"There's no point in doing anything if you don't put aside some time to celebrate, right ?" With his hands held up at his sides in overmitts and a "Where's the Beef ?" apron, he looks like a crucified chef. "It is finished," he says gesturing his head to the cake in the oven. His major is religious studies and he loves to quote the Bible, expecially when he finds himself in a Jesus Christ pose.

After a second's contemplation, she lets go of her stress. "Getting all Biblical on my ass again ?" she says, sliding her head smoothly side to side.

She puts her grad-project down on the edge of the kitchen table. To an untrained eye, it might resemble a heap of sea-weed. To a trained eye, it represents the sea-weed which floats about between Pacific Rim countries which have had "profoundly nourishing" influences on each other.

"Okay five minutes and then we've gotta run."

They sit down to eat dessert.

"There's no sea-weed in the Bible, you know," he says to her, trying to muster up fascinating conversation.

"Do me a favour and stick to quoting the scriptures," she responds, putting a spoonful of cake and ice-cream into her mouth.

"It is easier for a whale's penis to enter the vagina of a mouse, then it is for a snarky person to enter the kingdom of heaven," he says.

She starts to choke on the ring that he's hidden in the ice-cream.

In emergency, while dreaming of how her grad project would've looked on the model on the runway, she looks up to see the most handsome man she's ever seen in her life.

Three weeks later, she'll dump her Bible-quoting boyfriend and go out on a date with her doctor.

"You don't read the Bible, do you ?" she'll ask.

"No, why ?" he'll respond.

"Just asking."

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

"INSIDES" is some quick-lit that can be read in under a minute, allowing you more free time to do things like watch t.v. and eat potato chips. What other writer can promise as much ? Inspiration came from Tom Benitez , a photographer whose work I came across at Cloud King

Thanks so much for the use of your work, Tom.



"Sometimes I image animals as clear plastic bag type things with the processed meat version of themselves vacu-sealed and suspended right in the center of their animal shaped plastic bag body." He takes a big breath and puts a dirty little plastic bag into his large black plastic bag.

"That's weird," she responds. Annoyed.

He hopes to impress her. He hopes to find a funny way into her heart.

They are cleaning up after the storm. Doing volunteer work. The mosquitoes appreciate their sweaty clean up. They sky remains unimpressed. They've known each other for three hours.

I wonder what was once inside this building, she thinks to herself. Or better yet, what's inside a hello.


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

"KISSING IN OBLIVION" is a tiny little splattering of a tale based on the following photo sent to me by one of the many unique talents in Vancouver. Charles Zuckermann is not only a working actor in "Hollywood North" but he has also been a driving force behind some of the most innovative theater and independent film in Vancouver.

Heather And Charles Kissing


They go to the play that she suggests.  They are fighting again but it's not serious. "There will  always be tension between two living people.  My last boyfriend claimed to be alive but I knew better.  What a dud.  We never fought.  We have to fight if we want to stay alive," she tells her mom on her trinket-coated cellphone, while her boyfriend drives their little blue Honda through curtains of rain and great splashes of traffic.  He keeps his eyes on the road and his white knuckles on the steering wheel.

He says nothing.

They arrive at the theater just in time.  "People are almost late all the time and that is nothing to fight about.  There is no use in me getting ticked off with you for driving like a grandmother on a Sunday afternoon."

He stops dead in his tracks and stares at her. The volunteer who has just sold them their tickets stands with his mouth open, searching for the proper words to hurry them in.

"We are fighting. It is natural for me to get a little underhanded," she explains.

He doesn't move.

The volunteer is still composing his thoughts with his mouth wide open.

"I'm sorry that was petty," she says and then gives him a peck on the cheek. "I haven't forgiven you for what you said earlier but I am truly sorry for bitching about being late."

They walk past the volunteer who lets out a sigh of relief through his still open mouth.

They scootch past half a dozen people to get to the two remaining spots in the theater of one hundred uncomfortable wooden seats.

After the lights go down, a bright spotlight reveals two people on stage kissing.  There is silence.  Those who have no idea what's to follow adjust uncomfortably in their  uncomfortable seats fearing the worst.

For one hour the two people on stage kiss while different characters come and go commenting on their display of public affection. Not much else happens.

"It's experimental but nothing blows up. You've got to risk blowing something up if it's a real experiment," she says to him in a loud voice immediately after the actors have taken a bow.

He remains silent.

That evening while they fuck he will grunt out all of his grievances in articulate stutters. He will have his say and then seal it with a gentle kiss.

Monday, July 04, 2005

"SOMETHING TO WRITE HOME ABOUT" is a tiny little tale about a man, a proposed marriage proposal and a giant desk and table.

Once again this story is based on a photograph sent to me by the lovely and talented Marieta Tsenova This is the sixth male portrait that I've based my "fictions" on and six female portraits are to follow.

Stay tuned but most of all enjoy...


It was a mix up, pure and simple. One of the purist, simplest, most fucked up mix ups that has ever happened to anyone on this planet.

My girlfriend loves to write letters to loved ones. She writes and writes and writes and writes for hours on end. Everyday she'll sit down at her desk and compose her feelings with her beautiful words. She's gifted that way.

Me on the other hand, I've got a gift for royally fucking things up.

I had it all worked out: a specially made desk and chair which would be delivered to a meadow in the country that we sometimes go to for walks. It's just past the black abattoir on route 13 but it's still a beautiful place.

I wanted to express just how big my love was for her I figured the size of the landscape would get that across. I wanted to get her a writing desk that was perfect for her. I wanted to give her something to write home about. I joke with that expression all the time with her. Everything is something to write home about with her, but I really wanted to give her something that she could write home volumes about.

Her parents live halfway around the planet. They're the home that she's writing to all the time.

So a couple weeks ago this guy at a furniture shop takes all of my specifications down over the phone but there was a lot of static through most of the conversation. I kept saying how big the setting was and how wonderful it would be. I guess he figured I was a lunatic. I didn't catch the total price and I gave him my visa number and everything. I suppose I am a lunatic.

When we drove up to the monster chair and table I was completely floored. Denise started crying and then screaming and oh god it was like we were at a drive in and Godzilla was stepping out from the screen and into our world to crush us.
"I feel like a rodent. This is how rats must feel at the bottom of tables," she screamed.

The sun was eclipsed by the table top and it was a little chilly in the shade. The view of the sky was blocked.

Denise has this phobia of big things. I once suggested a photography trip across Canada to document large sized items across the country. You know, the largest hockey stick, the biggest easter egg, the tallest building, etc. To this day I have never seen such a look of horror on someone's face. She just really hates big things.

What a fuck-up !!

I wanted to propose to her and then suggest that she write home about it. I wanted to have her sit on my lap as she wrote a letter to her parents that we were tying the knot. I had it all planned out perfectly. The most fucked up plans of mice and men.

I got out of the car because I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. That's when she jumped into the driver's seat and took off.

Fuck, what the hell do I do now ?

Sunday, July 03, 2005

"THE MAN WITH TWO HEADS BRINGS UP THE SUBJECT OF A SEX CHANGE" is a short-short story that won't win any Pulitzer Prizes or anything but hopefully it will win your heart.



On one of the silent televisions, hockey players zip around the ice for control of a puck that is barely visible on the screen. On the other equally silent television, insouciant models dressed in glittery rags stroll the catwalk.

The man with two heads sits on his beige chesterfield with headphones buzzing away like mosquitos. Larry, the left head, holds a remote in their right hand while Rick, the right head, holds a remote in their left hand. (Their parents wanted them to grow up with a sense of humour and decided from the get go that their names would be a good place to start.)

"Rick, I think we should talk," Larry says in a loud voice, taking off his headphones with their right hand.

"Huh ?" Rick says, distracted by the interference of the arm.

"I don't think I can live like this anymore."

"Okay we'll get you a bigger t.v.," Rick says, taking off his headphones but maintaining a watchful eye on two players locked in a "hockey hug", steadying each other with their left hands while punching each other with their right fists. These fights always remind Rick of his childhood.

"No, no. I'm not talking about that. I don't think I can live another day... as a man. It's just not who I am !!" Larry starts to cry.

"Hey that's cool. I mean it's hard right. We've had it hard," Rick responds while keeping his eyes glued to the fight and his heart stuck on memories of the past.

"I know. I just can't wake up and face myself in the mirror. I'm living a lie. This is not what I am. This is not who I am."

"You can say that again." Rick continues to watch the television.

"And for all those reasons I was wondering if you would agree with... an operation. It would be a huge sacrifice I know but I would take care of everything. I know a doctor who would be willing to do it. We'd go in and he would be very sensitive and we'd come out a new... person." Larry's eyes widen with hope.

"Sure whatever you need to be happy," Rick replies, eyes watching the fighters spin in their slow rage.

"Thank you so much, this is the happiest day of my life !" Larry laughs.

Rick has money riding on this hockey game and hopes to hell the Leafs pull ahead. This is his major concern right now.

They put their headphones back on and resume their separate universes.