Saturday, December 13, 2008

Who Holds a Hummingbird in Their Hands?


so basically, I'm going to do a pre-sale of my chapbook, "Who Holds a Hummingbird in Their Hands?", to one] pay for the printing and two] know about how many copies the first run should be.

now, I'm not going to request any kind of monies for the book until the files are IN the hands [email?] of the printer so that I know this is a sure thing. ALSO! I'm putting someone else in charge of mailing them! [hahaha]

the book will be around 28 pages long, with a cardstock-type cover and contains around 25 pieces. some are full length poems, some are shorter, & there's also a few pieces of prose. it also includes the poem 'canada.' that was published in the June issue of the Chronogram. It also will include art by my good friend, Erin Loughran. Also, all copies will be hand-numbered.

here are a few of the poems that will be in it:

"the carrion
of us
too much
fit in
carry on
it'll hold
i try

"I know so many of the parts of you

the emo girl
with dashboard confessionals
providing a soundtrack,
while we chase the ghosts
of all the good things.

the soul queen
living in theory
with scarves in her hair
like jill scott and lauryn hill

the hood
playing that awful
john legend song
that no one understands
why I can't get more
than 30 seconds into it.."

"of you"

"larry has been 15 for one month
and he's looking down the barrel of a gun
he's got a crush on a peer
and now that peer says "run"
because it's deadly
to love differently

they say gay means happy
well then happy isn't any fun.."
"happy isn't any fun"


for this pre-sale, they're $12/ea with $2 shipping/handling and they'll include a card with the story of how the title came about. they'll also be autographed and personalized to your liking.

I'm hoping to sell at least 10 to cover all the printing costs, but all pre-sale books will still include the card, gift, autograph, and personalization.

if you're interested in acquiring a pre-sale book, email me at and I'll send you info on where to send your payment.

I accept personal checks or money orders [but if you have a problem with one of those, let me know in your email].

now, if you just want to be kept up on how the book is going and aren't going to purchase right now, I suggest you also email me at to get on the mailing list [don't note here, because they get lost in the shuffle].

and I want to thank everyone for making this possible through your encouragement, your belief in my writing, and of course, if you're buying a book. :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Title of the Book

so this is the official announcement of the title of my chapbook.. I've been holding onto it because I didn't want it to leak to my mum yet [it's a surprise for her] and because I wasn't sure it was going to stick AND because.. well.. I don't know.

it's going to be called "Who Holds a Hummingbird in Their Hands?" and if you wanna know why.. stay tuned!

[just please don't tell my mother!!]

Saturday, October 18, 2008


she makes me want to pluck the sun out of the sky
have it gift wrapped
with a big frilly bow
and left on her doorstep
in honor
in hope that she'll love me back.

she makes me think
I should climb a mountain
and I could
and would
just to get her a drink
of the clearest water
she's ever had
touch her lips

yeah it's that bad.

it's because she makes me soar
on the days
[especially the days]
when my heart,
and head
can't take anymore.

it's because she can finish a sentence
I haven't even started yet.

it's because even when we
shudder and quake
shiver and break
when we've taken all we can take,
our hearts and minds
rip up dictionaries,
throw the pieces to the floor,
and roll around
until the right words stick
and just as quickly as we shattered,
all the things that mattered in the first place
are back in their place
and we are whole
and holy.

and what do I do when a girl
who makes me this happy
falls into my lap and says

and suddenly makes me see.

for the first time, I see.

I see the beauty of sun rays
pouring through my window, like a gift.
curtains there to block out the sun,
but still the light finds little places
to slip through
and I'm amazed
at how the patterns undo

I see the
bluest blue sky
and it reminds me of the times
when she held me
with words
like security blankets
until I made it through
to the other side
where she was waiting
with her whole heart
held out
mine for the taking..

and I see that we can never be
except during all the hours, days, weeks,
when we are.
who knew arms could reach this far
because if you ask me,
I'll tell you

I feel her skin against mine
our heartbeats beating
not in time
but in harmony.
filling in the spots where the other gets weak
because it's a love that doesn't speak
but sings
and reminds you of your favourite song
when you were seven

the one that gets into
the empty parts of your soul
and makes you want to dance
how you dance
when no one is watching..

Sunday, August 10, 2008

we are still here.

tears and blood flow
in the same current
from our brothers & sisters
our brothersisters
our sisterbrothers
our in between &
our all encompassing.

we fight with blindfolds
over our eyes
tape over our mouths
arms & legs shackled.

but we are still here.

we grew too old too soon.

we've seen death;
we've seen birth.

we've marched down streets
& hidden in the dark.

we've built walls to protect ourselves
& we've broken down walls
to join communities together.

we are still here.

we've felt sticks & stones
& names,
we've felt bats.

we've felt misguided eyes
judging from afar,
we've been judged in our own homes.

we've been told we don't know what we want
we've been told that we love wrong.

yet we march & cry out
& sing songs
of victory.

& we mourn
& hide in our homes
& lick our wounds.

& when the dust dies down,
when our fallen are counted
& their names whispered into the night
from the choked up throats of
mothers and fathers
lovers & friends
strangers & cousins..

when the clouds clear,
we are still here.

Monday, July 14, 2008


maybe she cut her hair and it was the most free she ever felt
every step a bounce
every sidewalk crack
a story to tell


I wanna hear one fashion designer say

instead we get:
"more cushion
for the pushin!"
isn't that

ignorance is bliss
little girls in
sunday best
skipping down
the wheelchair ramp
at the
funeral home.

queer girls
running around
trying to make their situations
into ani difranco songs


she has the walk
of a drag queen
on top of her game
on top of the stage
and in the hearts
of all the

can we be beautiful again?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

what is, was, and can never be.

you're dirty.

fingers caked with
fish and worm guts
pizza flour
pot and tobacco
dust from
the dozens of rocks
we crushed

etched out
with fingertips

smeared across
my legs

around your throat
while your eyes
burn green
or are they blue?

wrapped around the fallen trunk
while I run my fingers
through the impossible
of your mohawk.

2 years later and I still can't resist
the memories
my fingertips ache to make

we negotiate and dance
around what was
what is
what isn't
and it's all

you do splits in my kitchen
you put ink under the top layer of my skin
[to replace yourself]
we watch diving birds
you know that even if there isn't
a hair
or bug
on my back,
to rub my skin anyway
because sometimes it can't be seen.

we flow like the river
we rise like the tide
you promise to take the doors
off the jeep
because you know I like to ride
with my feet outside
air the only thing I don't mind
touching my feet.

the faerytale, ended.
the revolution begun
I can still taste
the smell of you
on my

I'm not on fire
but the ashes come anyway
and I'm reborn
as the river washes them away
along with the rock dust we
left behind

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


the carrion
of us
too much

fit in
carry on

it'll hold
i try

Thursday, June 5, 2008

of you

I know so many of the parts of you

the emo girl
with dashboard confessionals
providing a soundtrack,
while we chase the ghosts
of all the good things.

the soul queen
living in theory
with scarves in her hair
like jill scott and lauryn hill

the hood
playing that awful
john legend song
that no one understands
why I can't get more
than 30 seconds into it

the saboteur
taking our hearts,
which have been sponges
that spent 3 years collecting
and squeezing out
every last drop.

the girl
by the way
actually is.

the leo
to your face
no apologies
no regrets

the bohemian
"no day but today!"
and living
during the breaths
between lines
of songs.

the girl with a guitar
a fast car
and a pen
that continues
to scrawl graffiti
on my body
and my heart
all through
the longest of decembers.

the artist
canvases of
and tomorrow.

the muse
hearts to
take flight.

the little bird
who lets
me in
and lets
me hold her,
gently yet firmly
cupped in my hands,
while her wings heal
after she's fallen
from the
next empty nest.

the unspoken love
with her
hand in mine
and our lives
tied with string,
severed and
later picked back up
tied with every knot
and reinforced
with the rope
found in the backroom
of the thrift store of
our hearts
as they start
to beat as one again.

all of these things I know.
all of these things I hold.
all of these things are sacred.
all of these things are us.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Let’s just quit our lives.
I’ll send you
a slip of paper
with coordinates
by carrier pigeon,
meet me there
and we’ll make art
we’ll make love
and throw it across
a canvas
we’ll make types of
never seen
and people will
flock like pigeons
to see the loves we’ve made
and we’ll
live on the
of their
hearts opening.

Just don’t forget
to eat the paper.

[poet's note: this was recently published in the june issue of the chronogram!]

Sunday, May 11, 2008

happy isn't any fun

larry has been 15 for one month
and he's looking down the barrel of a gun
he's got a crush on a peer
and now that peer says "run"
because it's deadly
to love differently

they say gay means happy
well then happy isn't any fun..

across the nation girls are kissing girls
and boys are kissing boys
and it's never that simple

and it is.

love is never that simple.

and it is.

love is like oxygen
breathe it in

they're denying us oxygen
they point their fingers
and they call our love

we're not fighting for our right to party
we're fighting for our right to marry
we're fighting to carry on traditions
like our forefathers
had before us

we're your doctors
and teachers
and lawyers
we're constructive members
of society
even though society continues
to shun us
and tell us that we're done
as they sign another bill
that denies us equal rights.

and still we
still we
and even still we

we are not second-class citizens
we won't just go where you
we demand equality
and we won't settle for anything less.

we're told they've done the best that they can
that their hands are tied
but it's all smoke and mirrors
and lies
because they don't want to try
for us.
but they expect us
to do what they want.

we're second class citizens
still you take our taxes
still you want us to vote
even still you want us
to abide by your laws.

so instead of face to face,
hand in hand,
we stand back to back..

it's a draw.

count to 10
and shoot on nine
it'll be just fine
you can rest your head again
they're just second class citizens

you teach your children hate
now look at what your lessons
can create.

why do lives exist
if you're just going to let them drown?
abide by our rules
and then
the man down

larry has been 15 for one month
and he's staring down the barrel of a gun.

they say gay means happy
well then happy isn't any fun..

when will this be done?

Friday, February 29, 2008

how it falls..

it's bathtime
and my best friend and roomie's
little girl's
2 & 3 years old
are looking up from their spot in the tub
and the way the water rolls down
their face is beauty

the way their faces light up
when we run a cup
of soap under the faucet
and bubbles pour out
accompanied by pearls of laughter

the way the smallest
grabs my hand in the hall
and says something
about ribbons
and I later learn that she was validating
all that I am
'it's ok to love women'

acceptance from the mouths of babes

and the way these words just fit
in my mind

she said the beauty of the rain is how it falls
but instead our teenage girls are concerned with shopping malls
and how the words of their peers
determine their 'true' beauty
so they starve themselves
of culture
and ideas
and cry because they're not a size zero

I'm not a size zero

but I am mind
and spirit
I am curves
that don't quit
I am breasts and hips
I refuse
to give
into their shit

I refuse to let anyone tell me
that every inch of me isn't beautiful.
that I'm not a goddess in mortal form
that somehow a model's 80lb form
makes her superior

I will not declare myself inferior
because I will love my body
shoulders to hands
head to toes
breasts and belly
and the beautiful
places that only
few others get to know

I've got continents of beauty
that reside inside
and outside
of the skeleton that is me
but you won't see that skeleton pushing
through my skin


so I'm sending a message
to the ear of every girl
who is or isn't a size zero

aren't you wondering
who's your little girl's hero?
strung out former child stars?
displaying the symptoms of withdrawal
on reality tv
because they have nothing left to lose
like the best poet you've ever read
losing her muse.

who is igniting a fire in their hearts?
is there a part of them that just wants to say stop?
but they just smile and nod and hide the tears
drying on their cheeks
with layers of liquid coverup
and sticking their fingers down their throat
behind a napkin to be polite

some how it's ok
to throw up
and throw out
every nutritional source
of what you are

I want to show them the beauty of the clouds that make shapes that send
preschoolers into frenzies of wonder:
'that one looks like a truck!'
'that one looks like a flower!'

the beauty of a dozen ladybugs
crawling up the side of a building
every last one of them good luck
if they choose you to land on.

ladybugs don't care about
the size of your thighs

when did we stop worrying about spilled milk, broken crayons, and

when did she forget that you're only supposed to stop being best friends
until after naptime?

when did loving become a crime?

when did guns replace hugs in the schoolyard?

when did hate become okay and have you made a difference in a child's
life today?

we've got to get back to the beauty. holding up a mirror to the world's
beat up face and saying 'you are beautiful'.

no matter the size, colour, shape. no matter the accent, homeland, or

a stranger told me yesterday
that I was beautiful
and instead of bowing my head
and getting down on my knees
and acting as if
it was the only compliment
I'd ever received,
I held my head high
looked the stranger straight in the eyes
and said 'I know
and thank you
and you are beautiful, too'

I will not bow down
to societal norms
I will not cry
because I can't fit into the size
twos that you adorn
I will hold my head high
because it's the only way to be

and when you see me
you'll see
that beauty is me.