My Editing Riot

So I’m editing this old short story, from the mid 80’s, so I can air it here on the blog & I get distracted by this show of force in the US capital. Do I want to see what they do or do I want to correctly punctuate a sentence? As they climb over barricades & breaking windows I’m breaking down paragraphs. Are they protestors or terrorists. A rampage of white entitlement that eventually fizzles out. No one even shit on the podium. Death by stress & no change in the results, the forgone conclusions.

In my story there is a change in names, a clarification of motivations but the same result. The story results as comedic as the clumsy crowd of echos lurching up & down the Capital building stairs, bumping into each other as they attempt to get the perfect backgrounds for selfies of their righteous bravery. Everyone seems disappointed at the lack of blood on the floor, that there isn’t any burning buildings for truly dramatic context to tweet.

Already that narrative is being rewritten so that every side is at fault as they insist they are upholding the fine principles of democracy, capitalism & freedom of selfie speech. My characters don’t have that much freedom, even as I change their size & shape they tell me what they should do in the situation I created for them. I allow them to be frail, vacillating & only threats to themselves. As much as they are under my control I end up surrendering them to spellcheck & word count – or should I say word re-count. Even when the story is finished it is not certifiable 🙂 but part 1 was posted here with my music blog on Thursday. https://topoet.ca/2021/01/06/jonesing-for-joplin/

Satisfied

in movies about a future

with few survivors 

that stumble across an abandoned store

with canned food on the shelves

not much

watching we think

how desperate they feel

how sad

so when i go into a supermarket

today

i think

even if what want isn’t there

there is still lots there

there is enough

<>

at one time

thank you

wasn’t enough

there had to be praise

adulation

thank you

didn’t go far enough

i had to be grateful

that i was even allowed

to say thank you

<>

i didn’t look

when the food was served

i kept my eyes unfocused

as i ate

i didn’t ask what was on the plate

i didn’t look to cut

i trusted

each morsel was what

i was supposed to have

i didn’t question

i ate 

taste was surpressed

pleasure was not the point

the point was to eat

whatever was served

not to judge

or comment

to eat silently

then

get the fuck out

so the next person could

be satisfied 

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee
sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Gratitude in Action

The last Gratitude Round-Up I attended was October 2015 https://wp.me/p1RtxU-1or. That year I stayed at the (semi) Comfort Inn this year I opted to the Holiday Inn on Carlton, where I stayed for the Playground Conference earlier this year. The Round-Up is a five minute walk so I’ll get more exercise 🙂 The room in adequate. WiFi fast enough for my purposes.

The Courtyard, where the round-up was held, has had a renovation since I was there last. Explosive new carpets & corporate paintings, even new couches & armchairs. Change is good. Registration went smooth, a few familiar faces already but lots of fresh ones too. I’m almost anonymous for a change.

The workshops I took in on Saturday were: Perfectionism Over Progress?; In All Our Affairs; Relinquishing Guilt; Life on Life’s Terms. It was hard to choose out of the 20 or so offered. The banquet was good, for hotel food. Seasonal turkey along with nice selection of veggies. Best part, for me, was having my non-program friend Carlos with me. We’ve been seeing other for a few years now so I figured it was time to let him into this part of my life.

The closing Sunday was sweet & a little sad, for many. All the speakers over the weekend were excellent. There was even a glimpse of diversity with some French from the podium. I suggest they make the even more a part of things now that the round-up has celebrated 40 years but including, in even a small way, more French in the readings, perhaps Spanish as well because there some Spanish speaking attendees. Diversity is the future.

In the afternoon I headed over to Chinatown in quest of a new Maneki, or anything else that caught my eye (besides the endless Asian eye-candy men). I saw lots of solar Maneki: the arms wave. But I wanted solid body, as it were, & found one. Took fun photos & made my way back to the hotel to really relax. I was amazed by the amount of construction, everywhere. If it ever gets finished there’s be endless places for new Starbucks.

With the round-up over, I made no plans for Sunday night other than eating. Home in the morning. I do love getting back to my own little bed.