ruined

if the house
if you live in the house
or condo
or hut
or tent
or street
(because, we all once
came from the house)


if
the house
burnt down

what would you remember?

what

would keep you on the verge

of
tears

what

would keep you from spilling
and
poring
for answers

what

pile of ash
would be your

           family  portraits
           grandpa's violin
           christmas cards
           head tax receipt

lost belongings.
proof  of  life.
proof  of
belonging.

what would be left
if the A-frame closed in
on itself,
if dad could not save the roof
with a hose

if water
lost

to flame


would
the sidewalk
bare ashen prints
?


or
would
thebroken lot
bear ferns & grass. & seeds.
&vines
&thorns &twigs &trees,

your
ruins &
flowers

2011: A boylouie look through the rearview

This year was incredibly lucky for me. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities and experiences I had:

– met Priscilla Ahn (twice, once on my birthday)
– met Clara Chung (twice), got loveprinted (twice)
– saw Ray LaMontagne in concert
– saw Prince in concert
– completed my last driver’s exam ever
– wrote a few good poems I’m proud of
– read the following books: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Life Itself by Roger Ebert, The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book by Gord Hill, Trauma Farm by Brian Brett, Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain, Know What I Mean? by Michael Eric Dyson, Not Yet by Wayson Choy
– saw the Muppet Movie, which was much awaited ever since hearing Jason Segel was one of the writers. It lives up to the hype.
– saw Hugo, Martin Scorcese’s big 3-D children’s fantasy dream project. I don’t think he’d describe the movie that way, but it’s clear when you watch it that it was his childhood pet.
– made a damn good pasta in red sauce
– ate said pasta
– signed onto a workshop series for youth violence prevention which encompasses a skype meeting with the Byron Hurt (the person who made me realize feminism was cool, real, and possible in me)
– learned these songs on guitar: 1234 by Feist, For the Summer by Ray LaMontagne, Jolene by Ray LaMontagne, Dear Daphne by Clara C, Are We Different by Priscilla Ahn, My Stupid Mouth by John Mayer, If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys
– completed Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
– hiked the Chief (peaks 1 and 2) twice
– saw my cousin in LA get married!
– won the Vancouver-LA dance-off (Part 1) alongside my cousins and dad
– became a TIER B CHAMPION in the Coquitlam Dodgeball League with my lovely team
– co-facilitated an anti-oppression workshop
– ate King crab, Peking duck, and lots of pork belly
– drank the best Merlot ever

Here’s to the hope of another wonderful year. Wish you the best!

Summer has arrived in Vancouver

Today the breeze carries with it the hot sauna winds that only barely remind me of the ocean it came from, more of the desert it goes to. The car is warm and comforting, the air conditioning is cool. There is a wasp in my bathroom who knows just where to fly so I can let her out through the window screen. Car stereos audibly pass by with the windows down, children are dressed in neon colours, a blueberry yogurt bubbletea strikes the tongue ever so gently in the perfect cascade of lemon, blueberry, sour, tart and sweet. Like a long street strung with cherry blossoms, it’s Summer.

There is a certain wave of energy that comes by this town when Summer is truly here. When the schools are out but filled with summer students, when the 7/11 is busier than the gas station, when the indoors are emptier than the city park, despite the A/C. Everyone seems to make use of the outdoors, now injected with the infatuation of beach volleyball, beach soccer, and especially beach parties. Department stores are filled with brightly coloured boogie boards, and ice cream men are expediting fudgsicles, creamsicles, and the legendary rainbow pop. This is the time when barbecues replace all other forms of cooking and where every city block smells a little bit like smoke and a little bit like chow time.

I remember hot summer days when Grandma would give us Watermelon Pops, old time popsicles that were mostly succulent pink with a layer of green frozen concoction to mimic an edible watermelon rind. All throughout the fleshy melting syrup were little pockets of black chocolate cookie seeds that tasted just like dry ice, or to our little mouths: heaven.

No this year in Vancouver, Lady Summer has not forgotten us at all. She’s just taken her sweet time getting here.