Monday, December 22, 2014

Fleetingly Festive

So, as you may have noticed, we're not really here right now. Or at least, less so than usual.

Jon is capturing light, somewhere in the world - I'm never really sure where he is but I'm pretty close to getting some kind of electronic bell that goes around his neck and periodically texts me the words, "Hello, I am alive and I am at these coordinates, please do not tell the government."

And I am finishing (reading and writing) books, at home in Cape Town, a place you should visit if you ever get the chance. I have family visiting so I have an excuse to do the things that tourists do and even though I've lived here on and off since 1999, I am always amazed at how blisteringly beautiful it is and how lucky I am. I hope you occasionally find yourself surrounded by beautiful things.

If poetry teaches us anything, it's that finding a muse is not nearly as important as losing one. Every year around this time, I lose you all and there's a kind of comfortable silence we all must live in, while we acknowledge the fact that the giant spaceship has one again successfully navigated a course around the ball of fire in the sky that gives us all life. I hope it's been a good journey for you.

We walk the dogs and we are amazed that there are owls in the park and the dogs are amazed that there are squirrels and certain members of the older generation of my family are amazed at apple TV and aren't quite sure how hard to press the buttons on the remote. I hope you find things to be amazed by.

Someone once told me that it always rains somewhere pretty this time of year. I hope wherever you are at this time of year, the sky does something pretty for you.

My best,


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Strange Things That Break Your Heart

A wall broke my heart. A wet field of grass broke my heart. A child hugging his parents legs in an airport broke my heart. Water in a bath has broken my heart. A tattoo has broken my heart. A photograph on the internet broke my heart. A watch broke my heart. Holding my breath underwater broke my heart.

You have your unique fractures along your heart, and I have mine. And maybe there is nothing, anywhere, that doesn't break someone's heart.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Splinter Of Light

I know that love is both an emotion and an action, like light is both a particle and a wave. So I love you like light moves through glass. As if sunlight could shatter windows and shine on the shadows, in my heart.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Heart Ends Its Own Pain

Anyone made of pure love would live forever. But you are taught to hate. And hate is what kills you. It kills you because love made you. It kills you with lines on your face and hurt in your heart. It makes you old and it makes you dead.

It's so simple to live long. Love makes babies but hate kills us all.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Illusion Of Things Never Changing

You think, “This is life, this is just how it is and how it’ll always be.” But you are living through something. And while, logically, you must know that there was a time before now, when things were different, and that there will be a time after now, and things will change, it’s so hard to remember right now: Everything will change. 

You are alive in a memory. 

You, are once upon a time. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Tension Between Who You Are

You want to be so many things. I always thought you would settle down one day and be ok with just being who you are. And what kind of monster would I be, to ask you to want to be less?
Maybe wanting to be so many things, is just who you are.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Design Of A Sickness

It only starts to hurt when you leave.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Sad Sea Waves

When I look at you, I can see the person you used to be drowning in the person you are. And it makes me nostalgic and sad because I know when you look at me, you must see the same thing.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Place I Stopped Briefly

I know because I've seen your footsteps, sometimes the road gets so dark, you forget what light was like.

I know, it's easy to forget that it's just the end of the day, not the end of you.

And if you'd let me walk with you, I'd tell you that it doesn't matter who you walk with, as long as you walk this road, well.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Twin Engines

I love you to create a kind of medical emergency, to make sure that as our bodies grow older, our hearts can grow younger.

My heart was old as oak when I was born.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Contradictions Make Me

Poetry is a way to take pictures of things you can't take pictures of.

Pictures are a way to say things you can't say.

This is a way for me to do things that I can not do.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Glassy Reflection

If I'm loud, it's because I'm above the wave and if you can't hear me, it's because I'm under it. And I never want you to worry because the nature of a wave, is to pass. I'm not being quiet. I'm just under this wave.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Final Boarding Call

I will be on and off planes for the next few days - but I will be back next week. Thanks you for reading and I'll see you on the other side of this. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Time At Which None Of It Will Matter

One day when I'm finished, I will look at you and say, "Here are all the things you said I couldn't do."

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Smugness Of A Punchline

Maybe the world knows a joke that you don't. Or maybe the world's just pretending to know it, just like everyone else.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Thing That'll Kill You Is Being Afraid

Never leaving your house, will kill you. Staying where you are and being afraid, will kill you. Pecking at the new notifications icon on your social media platforms of choice, cycling through them like a series of surreal fridge doors that might contain something better since you last looked, this is what will kill you second by second until you realise you have none left. You are far more likely to die from fear and apathy, from not having lived and fulfilled the multitude of promises that you make yourself each night before you fall asleep, than anything else.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Noise And The Colour

When you make eye contact, break it immediately. Check the time repeatedly. Because it's easiest to be alone in a crowd. And I am more alone in a crowd, than I ever am on my own. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The World Of Your Own

How sad it is to be somewhere else, when you're here.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Map Of Imperfections

I am a record of things I was born with.

These scars are my documentation of the mistakes I've made in trying to overcome them.

I am both the things I've done to myself and the things done to me.

Along these nerve endings, you will find a history of me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Shapes I Hold Sometimes Fit

I made me. You'll find no borrowed bricks in me. And even if the world knocks parts of me over, it's me who decides how I'm put back together. I made me. Every single day, I make me.

Thank You.

Thank you to every single person I've met on my very brief stops in North America.

Thank you for making this real.

I will never be able to describe the infinite joy of seeing somebody from the other side of a screen, on the other side of a table, shaking my hand, asking for a hug, or a picture.

I am forever humbled by the kindness and generosity of spirit that inhabits so many of the people who read the things I write under the pictures Jon takes.

Thank you to the book stores, particularly Barnes & Noble, for allowing us the space and time to connect with each other.

Thank you to my publisher, Michelle, who, with very little prior experience, arranged all of this and made it happen.

Thank you for the things you've said, for listening to me read, for the questions you asked.

I am completely and utterly aware of the fact that very few people in the world are lucky enough to do what they enjoy for a living. I will not squander the opportunities you, my readers, have given me.

I am, forever, in your debt.  

With every fibre of my being,

Thank you.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Sky Warps The Sun

I'll take care of you, when your world bends, when the buildings break and I'll find you straight lines that hold you steady.

Because you'll need to take care of me, when my world does the same.


PS. See you on October 10 in LA. Please, share this and tell your friends.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Things I Make When I'm Alone

Every beautiful thing I've ever made, I made when I was alone. But every beautiful thing I've ever made, I made for you. Because you make me feel less alone.

PS. Please don't forget to come and see me on the 10th of October in L.A. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

San Francisco

San Francisco! See you tomorrow morning, 11am at Barnes & Noble in Hillsdale!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014

I read things out aloud in Vancouver. I will also read things out aloud in San Francisco and LA.

There's this kind of electronic day dream that I know I fall victim to, where I switch between twitter, facebook and reddit or something else, continuously, eating the world in tiny bite sized chunks of information and if you are in that kind of electronic day dream now, here are the important things, you can then return to the vicious cycle of gifs, updates, pictures and dramatic news:


The reading in Vancouver went very well and I met a bunch of people on the other side of this screen, briefly, but there was enough time to sit down and talk about what different things meant to each of us, and that felt good to me.


The venues and dates for the San Francisco and LA readings have been confirmed and you can indicate your willingness to join me at those readings on facebook. 

If you hate facebook, here are those details.

Sunday September 14 -- 11am-3pm
Barnes & Noble, Hillsdale
Hillsdale Shopping Center
11 West Hillsdale Blvd
San Mateo, CA

Friday October 10 - 7pm until they throw us out
Bookstar, Barnes & Noble Book Sellers
12136 Ventura Blvd
Studio City
Los Angeles, CA


Tomorrow (roughly 23 hours or so from now), I will be doing a where you'll be able to ask me questions and I will have to answer them.


There are incredibly limited number of singed copies of I Wrote This For You available from my publisher, you can email her at michelle at centralavenuepublishing dot com.


You may now return to the previously mentioned vicious cycle, waiting slowly for the next interesting thing to happen.

If on the other hand, you have some time, here's some more things that have fallen out of my head.

I've been traveling from Vancouver, slowly, down what I consider the sensual neck of America, towards Southern California. If I could freeze the light falling down on the old cars scattered across the farmland we passed and bottle it, I would keep it to myself. Pictures never do a place justice. No one ever parked their cars on the side of a lake and set out a picnic to look at pictures of fireworks. There are fireworks in the giant Redwood forests, explosions of green and brown, all happening in slow motion, over hundreds and thousands of years, and they make me feel so small and so big at the same time.

I hate to say it, and never use this as an excuse not to travel, but I understand why you wouldn't travel - there are different worlds here, hidden in small towns and under benches in big cities (Although the chain stores do start to make the different cities look like everyone's playing Sim City and everyone has the same building blocks, just in a different order).

Let me talk about Vancouver.

I met Michelle, our publisher, for the first time. She's wonderful and kind and everything else the years of working together with her have suggested she is. We met at a Tim Hortons the day we were leaving Vancouver, on the side of a freeway, and we sat down amongst truckers and people on their way to work and I signed a whole bunch of books, very quickly. Someone out there will get my real signature, not my author signature, because I was signing things so quickly I wasn't thinking. The real one is just a circle. The author one kind of looks like my name.

The people at Y's Book Shop in Vancouver were amazing, both the people listening to me read and the people who own the store. It stopped being a reading at some point and just started being a giant conversation. Every reading I've ever done has been different and I love that. This was really intimate and relaxed and real.

Someone asked me who I'd love to listen to, if I can hear them read, I said:

David Foster Wallace
Kurt Vonnegut
Joey Comeau
Walt Witman
Charles Bukowski

After thinking about it, I'd also add:

Pablo Neruda
Richard Siken

Only two of these people are alive. I explained that the problem with writers is that quite often, we want to fight each other, physically, because we don't believe that anyone else can do what we do, or that they've paid whatever we paid to be able to do it and it's only after they're dead that we can really admire each other, because we no longer pose a threat. I went on to explain that if Shakespear had a blog today, his sales would probably be better.

Someone asked me what the most useful emotion was, I said:

Sadness is the most productive emotion but happiness and contentment is where you find the best work.

I said a lot more than that but now I have the luxury of writing things down and making myself sound far more perfect than I ever really am. I also want to have to something to talk about when I'm in front of people later this month.

If you'd like to hear me in all my un-retouched glory, without the benefit of a delete key, I hope I see you in San Francisco or LA, and we can tell each other about the different things that make us feel afraid, or alive.

Thank you, we'll speak soon,


Friday, August 29, 2014

San Francisco & Los Angeles

Dear you, 

I'm traveling and posting is difficult. In case you missed it, I'll be reading in San Francisco and Los Angeles over the next two months. Join me on facebook for all the details. 

I hope I see you there, 


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Differences Between Us Are The Same

If you're like me, then I know you're trying. And I want you to know that if I ever stop, I'd want you to carry on.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Light Behind Your Eyelids

In your darkest moments, there are bright hands reaching for you and a voice whispering, "Please just open your eyes and see me."

Even now, I whisper.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The World Is Not As Dark As It Seems

If you ever wake up, and think that no one needs you, I need you.

If you ever wake up, and think that there's no love, I will always love you.

If you ever wake up, and can't find your purpose, I will hold a candle and help you find it.

If you ever wake up, and don't know who or why you are, I can tell you.

If you ever wake up, and don't know why you bothered, I will remind you.

Please remember me, and let me give you reasons.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Best I Could With What I Had In The Time I Was Given

What would you do to a heart, given the heartbeats over an entire lifetime, to do it in?

I'd write it all down, so neither you nor I could forget. Maybe I'll think it's all silly one day, but I want the chance to think it's all silly.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Cage Holds A Rare Blue Sun

If you find them, tell them all you have said and heard before you found them.

Tell them what rules you invented for yourself along the way. Explain how you could never do certain things and how jealous you are of them, for being able to do them.

Tell them how happy you are that now, you can do those things, because they're there.

Tell them about the first thing that made you smile and the last thing that made you cry.

If you find them, tell them everything.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The River Floats On Soil

If at the end all this, we discover ourselves again and again, then you cannot look at me and say that any moment was wasted, that any teardrop didn't matter.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Space That Remains

Your heart can leave you.
It can be taken or you can send it on its way. In both cases, it will be bigger when it returns.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Alchemy Machine

If you can take the sadness and despair the world gives you and breathe it back out as love and hope, breathe some back to me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Water In A Glass

If you blame everyone else for who you are when you fail, I hope you remember to credit them when you succeed.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Gap Between Who You Are And Who You Want To Be

Nothing can be beautiful.

Not all the spaces inside you need to be filled.

Who you still have the chance to be, lives in the spaces you give yourself.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Empty Clothes Lying On The Platform

I like to think that one day, you became more than what the rest of the world gets to see.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The City That Sleeps Where They Fell

I know you move your fingers when you sleep because I have felt them move and I know I must do the same.

And I must wonder how many times we have unconsciously, in dreams or nightmares, reached for each other's hands and never even known.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Leaves As Ashes

I used to think that when you got old, you envied the young. But now I see that you only ever envy yourself and who you used to be. You only ever look at young people and wonder how you survived all that.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Wretches And Beggars

If life drove a fancy car, you can bet I'd be tapping at the windows when it stopped at red lights saying,
"Sir, someone's got to take the weight out of your pockets, why shouldn't it be me."

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Things I Could Do

At some point in winter, you'll tell yourself a lie.
You'll say that you aren't as good at anything as you once were.
And even though you know it's a lie, it's hard not to believe yourself, when the only thing you've gotten better at, is telling the time between then and now.

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Things That Matter Tonight

You're so young when you're born, when you're taught that nothing matters.

And that's the first thing people will take from you, because what else hurts more than what matters?

And we need to hurt each other when we're young to find out if we're made of anything besides flesh and bone, if we're made of anything that really matters.

And failure becomes unimportant, when you approach it all, as something that doesn't matter.

But everything is unimportant, when nothing matters.

And I hope one day you find something that still matters.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Silver Lump In My Throat

I hope you know how long it takes me to learn to talk again, whenever you make me forget.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Descent Into Light

If you're not afraid, there is no end, only an imminent bliss. So burn like love and love like fire.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The World Changed, Not Me

You think I'm unreasonable.

But in an unreasonable world, that's just how I look.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Quiet Rebellion

Challenge the world that gives you the chance to live longer but asks you to do small things with that longer life.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Light Of Hidden Tragedies

Sometimes you'll find it hard to find, the difference between diamonds in your hand and broken glass on the freeway.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Reflection In Shop Windows

If you live in your head for too long, you run the risk of becoming your own secret.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Dreams On The Line

I chased my dreams until I caught them.

I chased my thoughts until I stopped thinking.

And I chased my heart until I found you.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Last Part Of This Sentence Is Still Yours

You still take things from me in the most beautiful way.

You are still the only way I can sleep, when I wake up to tell you, I cannot sleep.

You still make sense in a way that only birds know when they leave winter.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Future Of Anger Management

One day they'll tell you that you aren't allowed to be angry anymore and when you tell them how angry that makes you, they'll arrest you.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Fate Of Those Born In Dirt

When I end, I will end as a tree ends: as a fire, bleeding out the sunlight from every summer it lived.

So do not judge me yet.

You have only seen, how I begin.