11/28/14

Gavin Tomson


Montreal-based publishing entity Metatron is guest editing Everyday Genius this month. We'll be featuring excerpts from our new fall catalog as well as Canadian writers we like. Today's author is boy genius Gavin Tomson.

Destroying Pull

“Temporal horizon.”  

I overheard an Australian man use that expression today at a Best Buy in Montreal - where I bought a blank CD and Mars Bar. A few nights ago, I finally finished editing my first EP, Pull, which I’d recorded while dating my – what should I call him now, my ex-boyfriend? My ex-partner? My ex-lov-ah?  And after uploading the songs to my iTunes, I transferred them to a CD and promptly threw it into my mother’s fireplace.

From what I gathered, the Australian had just been hired by an oil research organization in Norway. He’d used that expression, “Temporal horizon,” to refer to the day his contract would expire. Kneeling beside the man and feigning interest in a product outside my price range - a home cinema with “Built-In Massage Chairs” - I imagined him piercing through the sky as though through a colossal blue jellyfish and emerging in a dark abyss like the one Kierkegaard imagines in The Concept of Anxiety. Oh, Kierkegaard! I wrote my thesis on The Concept of Anxiety but I never knew until recently that a depressed mind moves too slowly to generate images of the future, that imagery of abysses and nothingness may be generated by brain-chemicals.

Anyway, I should mention that, a few days before destroying my EP, Montreal was hit by a record heat wave and my ex, a writer named Jordan Lin, left me for someone else. The Other Man is also a writer, or a grad student, or an artist. I didn’t listen to that part. I arrived home to a note on my pillow that read: “Call me. We need to talk.” Economical and to the point. I guess he knew I’d like that. 

I don’t want to sound like I’m whining. The truth is that I don’t know how I should feel, so I don’t know how I sound. Although I tried to suppress the anger, I had secretly hoped for a while that Jordan and I would break up. Our relationship had reached what traffic monitors call “a standstill" - for most of our ride together, we cruised along winding, freshly paved roads like a couple in a Mazda commercial, watching the land pass by, feeling the wind in our hair, listening to the soundtrack of Drive. But the further we drove, the straighter the road became, until one day, we got so bored, we stopped. I wanted to ask Jordan, “Wait, where are we driving to?” And, “Why did we even get in this car?” But the words were too heavy. They were a medicine ball in my stomach. Jordan and I had driven so far already, these questions were too anticlimactic to ask.

But back to events. A few days before Jordan left the note on my pillow – a few days before the “Why won’t you see mess?” and the “How could you?” and  the “But you know mess!”— we made plans to see Clay People in 3D. 

Also, I bought a bottle of Pernod, to sneak into the theatre. Pernod was Jordan's favorite and I was trying to like it too. From what I gathered, Clay People is coincidentally about a heat wave. All the weather experts say the heat will soon subside, so draw the shades and drink plenty of water. But the weather experts are all idiots, or liars, because the heat keeps rising, and after sweaty, grunting, prelinguistic masculine heroics, everybody, or almost everybody, dies. I say “almost everybody” because – and this is the twist of the plot – it turns out that for hundreds of years a colony of human-like creatures has been living beneath the city. They’re a bit like the Ninja Turtles, just earthier, more organic. They don’t eat pizza, for one thing, and they live in an underground civilization made of clay. “The Clay People,” they call themselves. After the heat wave subsides, The Clay People climb out of the ground to find an abandoned city, a world ready to be rebuilt and reimagined, and that’s when, well, that’s what I’d wanted to find out. 

I phoned around to see if anyone else would go to the movie with me. Zoe, a friend of mine since undergrad, now a PhD student in Shakespeare Studies, happily obliged. Her boyfriend, the second guy named Dick she’d been with - a man I thus called Richard the Second - had been hanging around her too much, becoming too domestic. So it would be “a good idea” to get away from him and spend some time with popcorn, Pernod and maybe even me! But when she arrived at my apartment, she sat on the living room floor and we remained there to talk.

“So, how are you?” she asked eventually, after rambling about Solange, Cruel Optimism, and the benefits of vitamin D. I pretended not to hear. Then she asked again.

“Wow,” she said. “That must have been painful.”

“Yes,” I said. “It was.”       

Then she said, “You know, I thought they were just friends, maybe from undergrad, friends who’d known each other for a while.”

 “Who?”

 “The two of them.”

 “The writer?”

“What? No, he’s a curator, and his name’s Danny, Daniel Mayfield.”

“I don’t understand.”

“M–A–Y–F–I–E—”

“Are you angry at me?”

“What?”

“Look,” I said, “I’m sorry I didn’t invite you to my last Brady Brunch.”

“I was just snooping around,” Zoe was saying, “I was curious. There’s even a picture of them on Facebook. They’re smiling, very happy, very couply.”

“Did you know that my mother’s started bird watching?”

Zoe stared at me like I’d admitted to mounting the heads of housecats. “Wait,” she said, “you mean you really didn’t know?”

“Really really.”

“Oh wow,” Zoe said. “I guess if you press your face too close to the page, you can no longer read the words.”

“What?”

“Or maybe I’m just reading too much into things, like usual. I mean, maybe what I’m saying isn’t even all that true. I think it's Touchstone, the jester in As You Like It, who says, ‘We that are true lovers run into strange capers; but as all is mortal…”

I nodded along, but stopped listening at “mortal". Instead I introspected on the state of my inner self.
In 14th century Germany, there were a group of monks who believed they’d transformed their inner selves into passageways through which God passed continuously. “Hey Zoe,” I said, taking a sip of Pernod straight from the bottle because what the hell, I could like it if I wanted to, “maybe I should become a monk or something.”

This all took place, as I said, while editing Pull, my first EP. All I had left to do was put the tracks through a slight compressor. My intention behind the EP, if it matters, had been to capture something fundamental about Jordan. Jordan had not been perfect, obviously. But something glowed inside him. It was an inner light, fueled by anxiety, and since I myself felt something similar, this light made me trust him. It pulled me, he pulled me, towards him, and it was as though I had always been pulled towards him, even before I met him, when I felt I was pulled toward other people, it had been him, always him.

Before I met Jordan, I hadn’t even considered making an EP; music was a secret desire I pursued when drunk or overly emotional. After meeting him, though – and I know this is kind of clichéd but whatever – the songs just started coming out of me, one by one, as though I myself were an instrument, like a woodwind, like an oboe, and Jordan was playing me. I didn’t tell anyone about the EP, not even Jordan. The EP was going to surprise everyone. It was going to prove, against expectations, that I was an Artist. It was going to prove that I Felt A Lot. Sir Feelz-A-Lot.
I was opening my MacBook to compress the tracks when my mother called.  My mother, as I said, recently started bird watching, and she was often calling to say yellow bellied this, ruby-throated that and I didn't expect much. 

 “Hello mother,” I said

 “Hello son,” said mother. “You’re drinking plenty of water, I hope?”

 “By the gallon.”

  “The radio man said that tomorrow it’s going to reach a record. He said we haven’t seen a day like this since August ’72.”

  “All the lights are turned off,” I lied, “and the windows are open. I’m just spread out on my bed, conserving energy, like a dehydrated starfish.”

  “Good for you. So listen, something’s come up. I need you to take care of Kernel tomorrow.”

  “You didn’t hire a sitter?”

  “Long story.”

 “Why though?”

“Something to do with the wind and the sea. I don't want to jinx it. The birds will be titillated. It's the avian equivalent of an aurealis borealis. Lenticular clouds. Snow donuts. Just  let me know if it’s all right.”

“Seems I don’t really have a choice. “

“Jordan won’t mind?”

“Jordan’s visiting his parents in Scarborough," I lied again.

“OK. Well, thank you.”

“It’s nothing.”

“All right.”

 “All right.”

 “Buh-bye.”

My mother is so mysterious, so elusive. She dangles secrets above me, like she’s a fisherwoman, and I a curious fish, mouth agape. Actually, I think she's a mystic. Years before she picked up bird watching, when I was but a wee lad, she led me to “a special place” in the British Columbian forest, where a circle of trees surrounded an ancient stump. She lifted me onto the stump and told me to close my eyes and drop my arms and breath in deeply. Then she told me to wait until “nature’s pull” happened. She said it had happened to her, once, some time ago, and that she wanted to share it with me now.  “The trees,” she said, “will pull your arms up for you, if you let them. Just close your eyes, breathe in deeply, and wait."

The next morning, I bussed to mother’s apartment in Westmount, and took Kernel Mustard II for a W.A.L.K. When I got too sweaty for public, Kernel and I stopped at a café and sat like good boys on the patio. I ordered water for him and an Americano for me. A pleasure of mine that may appear masochistic and maybe is, I don’t know, is to drink hot black coffee under the sun on the hottest summer days. First my skin feels pinched by clothespins, and for a moment I feel nauseous, but then the sweat stars pouring and my thoughts get vague and disjointed, and I think of all sorts of strange, otherworldly-type things.

Anyway, because I don’t believe in suspense, or at least because engaging in it feels grimey, I’ll say, right off, that while sweating spiritually with Kernel Mustard II below the table, I saw someone whom I thought was Jordan, but turned out to be an uglier doppelgänger. Uglier Jordan walked passed the café and crossed the street and Kernel and I followed. We followed Uglier Jordan (whom I still thought was Jordan) all the way to the nearest metro stop. I’d never taken the metro with a dog before. People stared at the dog instead of me, which was nice. I stared at the back of Uglier Jordan’s head. I felt flushed, possibly dehydrated. Uglier Jordan seemed far away from me, and not just physically. Also, he seemed to glow a new inner light, which I didn’t trust, and which made me feel threatened, small. I felt the little self that was me shrink into a tiny slimy nugget, like a snail who’s lost its shell. (Is the shell my ego? Probably?)

Soon enough, though, Uglier Jordan stood up to exit the train, and I saw that he was not Jordan. Uglier Jordan had a bigger nose, fatter thighs, thinner hair. I watched Uglier Jordan eclipse the actual Jordan like a freakish, imposter moon eclipsing the actual moon, or something like that, but I stayed on the metro anyway. I’m not sure why. Maybe to prove a point I wasn’t aware of. Maybe to wait until something important happened to me. I felt like something more was destined to happen, a sense of closure, maybe, maybe to see the actual Jordan, maybe for Uglier Jordan to get back on the train and apologize for not being my ex. I expected something dramatic to happen. I expected some type of proof that my breakup was not some regular occurrence, but a Major Event, a Really Big Deal.

I just kept waiting, though, on the screeching, stop-and-go metro. And all around me, underground, it was dark.

Gavin Tomson is a writer living in Toronto. His fiction has appeared in The Dalhousie Review and Joyland and his non-fiction has appeared in Maisonneuve, Full Stop, and The Awl. He's the winner of The Dalhousie Review's inaugural short story contest and a Copy Editor for The Puritan.

11/27/14

Nat Hero


Montreal-based publishing entity Metatron is guest editing Everyday Genius this month. We'll be featuring excerpts from our new fall catalog as well as Canadian writers we like. Today's author is funny depressed person Nat Hero.

A selection of tweets from Nat Hero's account

Nov 22
call for submissions: compliments to make me feel better

Nov 12
so anxious all day felt like my heart was jerking off

Nov 9
eye contact more like bye contact

Oct 30
just declared to a coworker 'i like myself best when i'm on lunch'

Oct 23
my heart is a dinner party guest that nobody fucking likes

Oct 19
girl at lush was literally like 'yeah, i bet your hair looks super nice when you wash it'

Oct 18
put epsom salts in your bath so that the water tastes like real tears

Oct 16
when dudes call me 'baby' it's like, yeah, i do cry all day and have trouble sleeping through the night

Oct 13
[bond villain cackle] i'm not gonna shower

Oct 8
a helpful thing is to picture 'mood swing', 'downward spiral' and 'panic attack' as cool amusement park rides

Oct 7
my own heart rolling its eyes at me on a daily basis

Oct 6
my emotions are on caps lock

Oct 5
my favorite drug is telling people i'm fine

Sep 25
sexual fantasy: i watch cartoons while u do all my dishes forever

Sep 19
do panic attacks burn calories

Sep 18
my brain is menstruating positive vibes and creative energy today, the world is my diva cup

Sep 4
i have the larry david of uteruses

Aug 23
my sadness bursting into my apartment like kramer to thunderous applause

Nat Hero lives in Montreal. She tweets at @supernasst.

11/26/14

Frankie Barnet


Montreal-based publishing entity Metatron is guest editing Everyday Genius this month. We'll be featuring excerpts from our new fall catalog as well as Canadian writers we like. Today's author is chill person Frankie Barnet.

Gay For Her

You meet her at a potluck, that girl from the party. Kara’s house? Yeah that girl with the nachos. Or maybe you meet her in the eighth grade. She remembers you vaguely from high school, mistaking you for someone named Bethany but no hard feelings it’s all super chill.

She isn’t as pretty as you or maybe she is much, much prettier than you and you ask your friends,do you think she’s pretty? They tell you that she looks kinda like Scarlett Johansson but that’s only from certain angles and from certain other angles she looks like Al Pacino. 

It’s your 337th time drinking alcohol, it’s your fifth time smoking weed today. It’s her DJ night and maybe it’s the night you sleep with Brian, the person that of all people you sleep with in your so-far life you regret sleeping with the most. You sit across the table from her, she’s wearing velour. Never in your life have you heard anyone talk so explicitly about masturbating with the bathroom faucet, you think, I’m going to add her on Facebook. This very tall girl. 

Find out she is also a vegetarian. She’ll tell you she hates vegetarians. Type back, “lol me too.” Skip the assigned readings for class, hang out just the two of you and go for Chinese. Hang out just the two of you and get totally wasted. “Borrow” a sweater. You have the same first name. 

Weird she’s had sex with so many more people than you have. Weird that you’ve had sex with so many more people than she has. Weird that you’ve slept with exactly the same amount of people, what a funny coincidence. The both of you in stitches over Brian’s penis. You’ve been called a “fuck puppet,” she’s been called a “cum bucket.” Refer to her with other people and her last name is dropped, simply Lisa, simply Jess, simply Marianna. 

You tell her something about your mother that applies directly to how she feels about her mother and then she tells you something about her ex boyfriend that applies directly to how you feel about your family’s late Bichon. See her cry for the first time. She sees you cry, like, every day. You have completely different names. 

You write in your diary, “I love her but I am not in love with her.”

You look at her and wonder how you never noticed before that she is insanely pretty. It’s in the curve of her nose, or it’s in between her nose and her mouth and it’s her ears and toes and the way she just gets you. She’s so pretty, and she’s your best friend, of course she is, who else in the world would be your best friend? You promise always to be friends, even when you are older, you promise to always smoke weed. 

There’s free cake in the Women’s Study department to celebrate Simone de Beauvoir’s birthday. You sneak in and talk about how hard you are falling in love with Brian. She tells you it’s in the stars, she says she’d kill for your stars. 

You promise you are not mad she didn’t make it Friday and you promise you will make it Tuesday. You are late for her birthday dinner. You are late for her birthday party. But you’re right there at her vernissage when she spends the whole night talking to her art friends, the ones with weird hair who never talk to you, so you hang out near the back and drink the cheap wine alone. 

Google Simone de Beauvoir when you get home, feeling guilty over pizza. Oh well i’m prettier than that! measuring your thighs with your hands cupped together.

You’ve been feeling uneasy lately with the way you feel in the mornings after smoking weed, so you decide to take a little break, just until you feel more balanced again. It’s the year she decides to get real about her pottery. She moves to St Henri and says she wants to be a lawyer. She moves to Calgary to learn massage. She’s always bragging about her art friends and what blogs they run. She’s always bragging about her boyfriend and the time his parents met Obama. She’s great at school and she’s great at the drums. She looks like Kim Kardashian, she looks like Sky Ferreira and she looks like Kourtney Kardashian. She’s great at dressing herself, she rules at sucking dick, and she just inherited 10 000 dollars from her grandfather. She is so much better than you at everything. It is like she is your younger brother, whom your parents have always liked better, and then she goes out to the bar and she sucks your younger brother’s dick. 

You’re really so smart. You’re really so nice, so unappreciated, really. You sleep with her ex boyfriend. The night you sleep with her sociology professor. The night she doesn't even text you back. So lame. She is so lame, you can do better. You sleep with that guy who works at the Chinese place but do not tell her or anyone about it ever because you find out after he is 17.

She starts acting like she can do better than you, and you in turn become certain you can do better than her, because what kind of person would think they can do better than their best friend? Only a sad and miserable person with a sad and miserable life would ever want to implement hierarchies like that. Who does she think she is, to tell you that you have a drinking problem? Even if she was the one who introduced you to Brian.

Play out fantasies in your head where you’re finally honest about how pathetic she’s become. Fantasies where you gently let her know how hopeless her dreams are. You start to make jokes with other friends, jokes about her improv and her weird dad. 

“There is a new sense of freedom in my life, I can feel it,” you write in your diary when you’re barely even thinking about her. You meet new people and talk about new things, better things. smarter things, cooler things, things that have more to do with music and Palestine. You run into her one day at a party and nod from across the room, then artfully avoid each other, like she’s just some guy you once fucked in a bathroom somewhere.

One day remember that time when you went with your friend to the Women’s Studies department and ate that free cake. You sat on the couch and she explained to you who Simone De Beauvoir was. You think, she really was very smart. 

That night or a week later get black out drunk and think about how unhappy with your life you are. How tired you are of so many of the things you’ve chosen to define yourself by. Why on earth did you cut your bangs like that? Girls like you are becoming lawyers, girls like you have at least been to Europe. All you have is your stupid fucking haircut. If you only could just lose 1 million pounds or maybe you should have never broken up with Brian.

Sit at your computer or in front of a piece of paper, maybe even the back side of a list you wrote of ways to get in shape. Remember that time you got drunk in the park with your friend and made fun of all the dogs. When she peed the bed in New York City. She removed your plantar warts on the day after halloween while watching Maid in Manhattan. Will you ever have a friend like that again? And you do not fully understand what happened between the two of you. Maybe you can see how the way you acted towards her could have been misconstrued to make her think you didn't really care about or love her, but you only meant it that way because you were angry, or jealous, or insecure, or actually a muddled confusion of all of these things and more, which you never expected to get so out of hand. “Why were you so hard on me?” You ask her. “I don’t know why I was so hard on you,” you tell her. You tell her, “I miss you.” You tell her about how lonely you feel, now that she is not your friend anymore. 

Wake up in the morning, already late for work. Wake up in the afternoon and puke for the rest of the day. Remember vaguely drawing a picture? Remember typing something up but when you check your computer there isn't anything there because half way through you realize how uncool it all sounded, like you’re gay for her or something and plus she’s the one who should be doing the apologizing. Wake up in the morning and don’t remember it at all. There you are in the bathroom, over the toilet, struggling to believe something as neon as bile could come from inside of your body. 

You do not remember anything, you do not say anything, until the next time you get black out drunk, tomorrow or a week later, when you write, do not send and then delete another email about your feelings towards her, but you don’t remember that either so it is like you do not feel anything.

Frankie Barnet is a writer currently living in Montreal, Quebec. Her work has appeared in publications like The Void MagazineSoliloquies Anthology and Dragnet Magazine. 



11/25/14

Blare Coughlin


Montreal-based publishing entity Metatron is guest editing Everyday Genius this month. We'll be featuring excerpts from our new fall catalog as well as Canadian writers we like. Today's author is writer, artist and renewable source of energy Blare Coughlin.

Two poems and a drawing by Blare Coughlin

do people still write about sex
am i writing about sex

sure i guess i am
okay

one time i had sex with a guy who said he was extremely good at tetris and later showed me

one time i had sex with a girl who had cat decals on her walls and was an anthropology student

one time i had sex with two guys who owned two cats that looked like twins

one time i had sex with a dude i know and then in the morning bled on his bed and puked on his tshirt

one time i had sex with a person while i was tied to a swing and a few other people watched

shared experiences shape communities

there is no common thread 

twenty five people have seen me naked in an intimate setting and twenty five people have let me see them in a vulnerable state

twenty five people are sitting at a dinner table eating duck confit on a saturday night in an expensive french restaurant

***

self aware/carried through ohio

ur dnd alignment is either neutral good or chaotic good
u are a big peach in the world
i will bring you quiche in bed and then i will bring you cherry tomatoes and we will eat them together
the pulp of the cherry tomatoes will ooze out inside our mouths

u are a stone that is skipping over the ocean and has been skipping for many years
u are twelve small pastries
u are the seagull that steals my french fries when i am at sylvan lake and i am 5 or 6 years old

when i think of you i want to cook huge banquets of vegetarian food 
and i want to learn how to rollerblade
when i think of you i feel like im being pulled in by a tractor beam into a planet of pavement covers you are singing to me over the internet
when i think of you i want to high five everybody

this is a love poem made of abstract concepts but you are not abstract at all
and some days i lie in bed and think about holding your hand
in your car
listening to some songs i like but have never heard before
and the dead grey trees of ohio pass outside
and the dead grey clouds of ohio pass outside
but inside your car holding your hand i feel like i am radiating light like the sun


***



blare coughlin is a writer and artist living in montreal. they do posters for music shows and custom drawings for cheap. blare's art can be seen on tumblr here.



11/24/14

Sophia Katz


Montreal-based publishing entity Metatron is guest editing Everyday Genius this month. We'll be featuring excerpts from our new fall catalog as well as Canadian writers we like. Today's author is Toronto-based cool person Sophia Katz.

A selection of tweets from Sophia Katz's account

Nov 17
don't ever read my poetry

Nov 12
hallucinated a toy poodle acting as a teller at my bank

Nov 5
art students love to interrupt each other

Oct 31 
i would get my period on halloween

Oct 29
the bottom half of me is caffeinated and the top half is sedated

Oct 24
only male fireflies can cry

Oct 21
we all just need to accept that lana del rey knows something we don't

Oct 14
iphone literally heating up while sexting

Oct 13
is changing brain chemistry for the better still considered brain damage?

Sep 29
winning is for losers

Sep 27
our love is strong like ciara's jawline

Sep 26
can't wait to be elderly on the internet

Sep 22
i genuinely thought everyone in pink floyd was named floyd

Sep 17
this gas station bathroom is the nicest bathroom i've ever seen

Sep 13
a lot of dudes with insane head shapes on tinder

Sep 12
once time i did lsd with a guy who spent the whole day talking to foucault

Sep 10
siri just told me i have arrived but i'm not so sure

Sep 5
chakras are too open, better close those up

Sep 1
maybe i won't always be sure but right now i think i am sure

Aug 30
steadily 'whatever'ing my way through life

Aug 26
at peace with the internet

Aug 17
this thunderstorm is churning out some sick beats

Aug 16
commenting on my instagram posts with a heart emoji means nothing to me in here bb

Sophia Katz is a writer and musician who lives in Toronto, Ontario. Her first book, The Title Of This Book Is An Inside Joke, will be published in 2015. She tweets at @sophia_katz.

11/21/14

Jasper Baydala


Montreal-based publishing entity Metatron is guest editing Everyday Genius this month. We'll be featuring excerpts from our new fall catalog as well as Canadian writers we like. Today's author is the surreal Jasper Baydala.

Limes (an excerpt)

poverty creeps in with every bud before them, suspicion flashes at the margins of all we do, heft of mountains leer, fear like belief, a house or an acorn mashed into the ground as silent descends the snow, sky grieves as our fancies take shape and hearts confess, despair revealed, I sift snow and pines groan, my pillow as I sleep in the blast, needle green snakes, thorn surrounding this briar, vines I grasp to taste some sour sharp, havoc where I dig, brailed, I grasp to suck where they breath, let the bale loose, have your meal, your winding road, mist lifts, how hard the road rises, how distant, on I go to the shore where new stars show a temple pillared with flame, city gleaming like a jewel in a country a curtain enshrouds, highlands melting, water hems a beach with bridges and belfries, light- houses lit by stars, floating gardens and pavilions in avenues of woof, a flame on a peak among the trees, a house with sunfire windows, clothes on hangers and dishes in the sink, day bright and songless, forest watchful, clouds like bread, swirls in oilcloth and flawed glass, flares where sun hits a bridge waggling across the torrent, swallows swoop under, sweet sweet, meet me in space, wings like vapors, talons loosing, upward again, the news, spring and fall, foot passengers, lotus pools with petals in the water, silk as I take my ease, pine as river slips under, joy after pain, love like the river, love goes by and the past remains, I step in and 

Jasper Baydala was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and currently lives in London, England. He has published music as Kool Music and has made record sleeves for artists like Mac DeMarco and Grimes. Limes (Metatron, 2014) was composed in Bogota, Ecuador and Peru.

11/20/14

Olivia Wood


Montreal-based publishing entity Metatron is guest editing Everyday Genius this month. We'll be featuring excerpts from our new fall catalog as well as Canadian writers we like. Today's author is honorary Canadian (and Portland, Maine's finest) Olivia Wood.

Perdu

We enter the city from the body.
Does it map so easily onto sex?
We over-perform if we need to.

City sprinting on alone in Jarry—
The beam opens and I lose you.
She shifts. I lose you. There is

a splitting and I lose you.
Black currant, hot ash in the brown river.
Slip against the firmament and cut out on this

entirely. There is an ambulance that
will not wait for me, there are strangers touching
our lover and we want to kill them, we want

to lay down with their families.
I wanted to say this happened
without my consent, but the throat of this is impossible.

Blessing that in death her cock is burned along with the rest of it.

At night the backyard swells.
And I call you from New Castle.
From Ellsworth, MDI, Arlington, Mobile

And I eject the complete pain of movement.
And I am driving through Oklahoma City at night
Flanked by dead and gone, dead and not gone, gone but not dead, gone not,

dead and
if I were a better researcher—
Can we locate the pain of separation? I am tethered to this stupor.

There are women straining to listen.
To the mysterious knot of muscle sunk.
Behind the heart, plucked and stuffed full of itself.

Swelling dangerously with rot.
The absence of sensation
in the arms at panic. 

Olivia Wood lives in Montreal and is the poetry editor of The Void Magazine. A Work No One Told You About (Metatron, 2014) is her first collection of poems.

11/19/14

Marie Darsigny


Montreal-based publishing entity Metatron is guest editing Everyday Genius this month. We'll be featuring excerpts from our new fall catalog as well as Canadian writers we like. Today's author is bilingual writer and feelings expert Marie Darsigny.

Interlude (Mia)

It happened to me, I dated Mia and I wrote about it
on the internet. She was not happy, but Jane Pratt was.
It happened to me, I dated Mia and she always wore
the same black pants and the same white blouse
that never got stained despite the fact that she
had no washing machine, because she didn’t live anywhere.
It happened to me, I dated Mia who knew every line of
every French movie and it made me want to eat her brain
in the hopes of absorbing her knowledge. It happened to me,
I dated Mia and strangers would come see me at parties saying,
“Hey I love your bathroom, the pink toilet is so lovely”
and I would think, “When the fuck were these people at my house?”
It happened to me, I dated Mia and she invited her friends
over at my house while I was working. I kept crying
and thinking, “Holy shit I think I'm dating an escort.”
It happened to me I dated Mia and I found weird chat logs
on my computer. She used Firefox while I used Safari.
I sent my friends messages that said, “I'll see you next weekend, xo”
while she send her friends messages that said, “I miss your hands, xo.”
It happened to me, I dated Mia and it ended at Saphir,
with my friends throwing vodka-sodas at her over their shoulders.
It happened to me, I dated Mia and she disappeared only to reappear
much later and tell me, “I'm sorry I was such an asshole,”
to which I replied, “Yep you were.” It happened to me,
I dated Mia and when I talk about it to people, it turns out that
half of Montreal has dated Mia. It happened to me,
I dated Mia and five years later I still don't understand
what the fuck exactly happened to me.

Marie Darsigny is a bilingual writer who lives in Montreal, Quebec. Her work has appeared in both English and French in xoJane, xoVain, Urbania, Nightlife Magazine, Ton Petit Look, Girls Get Busy and The Void. A Little Death Around The Heart (Metatron, 2014) is her first collection of poems.

11/18/14

Julian Flavin


Montreal-based publishing entity Metatron is guest editing Everyday Genius this month. We'll be featuring excerpts from our new fall catalog as well as Canadian writers we like. Today's author is the playful Julian Flavin.

You, You Are A Mango

I'm tired, I wish this chair had armrests. My mouth tastes like I was just sucking on a cereal box ..... but you,,,,,, you are a mango, suspended in the air, 10 meters above the corner store where I first learned that Doritos were no longer "my thing". And I see you up there and I start to break down a bit, and its night time obviously and I really feel at that moment that I know time is really passing, that I'm flickering like the lights that take a second to turn on fully. And I hope all sorts of things but I'm afraid of letting go of myself, I'm not scared of heights I'm scared of depths. And you are high up, way up there, and that's OK with me. So I glide, wipe the extra-runny snot from my nose with my sweater's sleeve, and smile at you. It's a quick smile but I know you see it and I know I've done it and I know I have to enter the corner store and I know once I do, that's it. And when I smile, my teeth glow with your light. And I open the door, put my head down, lilt my shoulders and, dissolve. I become the beer in their cases, and the 5 cent candies and the Doritos, and my heart aches, but its ok. You are up there, and I am also sour candy, and I think about how similar
we are,

my love,

how different,
how endless,,,,,

Julian Flavin is a young artist who lives in Montreal Canada, and going through life like everyone else, realizing many of the same things, whether ecstatic or disheartening. Something Happened To Me (Metatron, 2014) is his first collection of poems.

11/17/14

Jason Harvey


Montreal-based publishing entity Metatron is guest editing Everyday Genius this month. We'll be featuring excerpts from our new fall catalog as well as Canadian writers we like. Today's author is sensual young man Jason Harvey.

Sometimes

i feel like it is crazy that the people i know and see everyday
have lives when I am not around
or can’t see them
what are you guys doing? are you thinking about me
how can i be sure anything exists if i cannot look at it

Jason Harvey is an alternative artist and video director working in new media. Human Toilet (Metatron, 2014) is his first collection of poems. He is based in Berlin and Montreal.

11/14/14

Jess Taylor


Montreal-based publishing entity Metatron is guest editing Everyday Genius this month. We'll be featuring excerpts from our new fall catalog as well as Canadian writers we like. Today's author is award-winning Toronto-based writer Jess Taylor.

Never Stop (excerpt)
I had a nightmare and it was dark and moved
thousands of split atoms
silkscreened
on tricolour maps

I was outside my body and looked
different, nothing belonged to me
I swallowed my privilege
white Russians though milk is disgusting

I had a nightmare so I signed
a petition, didn’t even need to be
handwritten, was asked to sign thousands
more but deleted the emails from my inbox

I knelt beside my bed and prayed:

“Tactile tactile tactile let me be
reveal life through touch
my hands don’t work
and someone’s caught my words”
                        ***

I imagined that everyone I ever knew
was incredibly tall and had roots
that penetrated the earth’s core
and the roots were constantly on fire

          Don’t you think we’re all on fire too?

It was Mat that taught me about gaps
                                                              and I was learning
how to create white noise with sound
and he said, “poetry too”

           Caught in a nightmare loop, I couldn’t break
through to lucid dreaming
                                               sometimes I get sick
of being attacked and then still living

Is this the worst part?

                                   and it was Kenny
who rescued me from that apartment at the top of a staircase

             I imagined everyone I ever knew –
part of an immaculate robotic sculpture
and we weren’t allowed to move

This is like that part of the Kanye song
where he yells then pants with fear

Learn how to breathe because friends will teach you
by touching

Does it get easier with practice?

I imagined that
                                   when I closed my eyes

there was a room
                   and in that room
was another room
             and in that room
                       was another room
and in that room
           was another room
Jess Taylor's work has appeared in Little Brother Magazine, Little Fiction, Great Lakes Review and many more. She is the founder of the Emerging Writers Reading Series and was awarded the Gold National Magazine Award in Fiction in 2013. Her chapbook Never Stop was just published by Anstruther Press and her debut short story collection, Pauls, will be released by BookThug next year. She lives in Toronto.    

11/13/14

David McGimpsey


Montreal-based publishing entity Metatron is guest editing Everyday Genius this month. We'll be featuring excerpts from our new fall catalog as well as Canadian writers we like. Today's author is one of our favourite poets, David McGimpsey.

A selection of tweets from David McGimpsey's account

Nov 8
According to a Google analysis of titles, the best name for a poetry book would be "A Paucity of Soul-Perching Butterflies".

Nov 4
"The scientists stood up, held hands and started singing 'God Bless America'" is how I imagine the invention of Count Chocula cereal.

Nov 2
6 hours now. This is the longest I have gone without listening to Taylor Swift's 1989 since it was released.

Nov 2
In Canada, because of the metric system, instead of saying "a ton of fun" we say "kilos of unsolicited advice."

Nov 2
No doubt that life today is better than it was before but it's almost entirely because of Taylor Swift and Beyonce. Otherwise, garbage time.

Oct 30
The important lesson in poetry is that when rich people look at things they get sad in a special way.

Oct 22
One day, we'll all look back on the time Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" spent at #1 as the days when life seemed most worth living.

Oct 21
No two skills compliment each other better than the ability to read an artist's statement and the ability to wish you were dead.

Oct 19
Just watched a bunch of "Canadian accent" tutorials and laughed at how practically each one started with "You have to speak really slow".

Oct 20
“Built with honor. Forged with pride. Guts. Glory. A Gathering of Sparrows.”  - If poetry books were marketed like Dodge trucks.

Oct 16
Unless I hear "Imagine a potato who's put a lot of money on a pair of 6's in a poker tournament" I know you're not talking about me.

Oct 12 
The best way to tell the difference between me and a state fair potato is you won't see any ribbons on me.

Oct 8
If emotional eating works, I should be set for the next decade or so.

Oct 8
When you gain the wisdom that comes with perspective, you accept nobody will know you as well as you know ankle pain.

Oct 6
A poet complaining about "the one percent" is like a koala complaining about the taste of eucalyptus.

Oct 6
Why do you have to "copsplain" how I'm not supposed to sleep in a pile of sweaters at Sears?

Oct 4
If a job interviewer asks "If this company was TLC, who do you see yourself as?" the right answer is Kelly Rowland. #jobsearch

Oct 4
I'm looking at pictures of me at the reading last night and marvelling at how much I look like an old horse.

Sep 24
Rich or poor, poetry gives everybody a chance to celebrate the timeless beauty of elitism.

Sep 24
Don't despair, just remember all the beautiful names poets give their horses.


David McGimpsey was born and raised in Montreal. He is the author of several volumes of poetry, including the collection of sonnets Li'l Bastard (Coach House Books, 2011), which was a finalist for Canada's Governor General's Award. He teaches creative writing at Concordia University and tweets at @DaveMcgimpsey.