evelyn-lau

English Bay

Again we found our­selves at the shore­line,
among shards of shell and plas­tic,
scrim of sea­weed trap­ping my feet like a net.
Red freighters and the grey Onley mist of the islands.
The seashell gleam of sun on water, her­ring­bone sky.
I was think­ing of a movie where a man was drown­ing
in the mid­dle of the ocean, huge swells soar­ing
all around him like dunes in a desert, and how I’d once said,
That’s what it feels like, grief—
years ago, before any­one had even died.
Who knew how wide the ocean would get,
how high those waves would climb.
Then I went into the water, into that marine world
of kelp and plank­ton. The green that bathed my legs
had trav­elled for miles to reach this bay.
A noose of cloud hung on the gold hori­zon.
Spores, sand in the gritty air. No one I loved was there.

Evelyn Lau

3

This has been one of my favorite midnight films for a few years. Jennifer Tilly’s character is certainly one of the reasons. Something in my strain of displaced poetic for burning the midnight oil. The cast of women is brilliant including Sandra Oh and Darryl Hannah. The film was developed during an improvisational workshop amongst the cast. Having participated in a few improvisational workshops recently it was cool to think of what might come out of it. Plus you get to hear Jennifer Tilly tell a woman "I’m gonna have this baby and my baby is gonna sell drugs to your baby on the playground. Do you know that. You fucking bitch.“ 

Where did feelings go when they disappeared? Did they leave a chemical trace somewhere in our minds, so that if we could look inside ourselves we would see via the patterns of neurons some of the important things that had happened to us in our lifetimes?
—  Evelyn Lau, Inside Out: Reflections on a life so far          
Over the trees, their fall leaves
a flock of orange parrots perched on branches.
Over the chandelier of sunlight broken
on blue waves, over flowers
shaped like teacups or trumpets,
over the jade garden where once I dreamed
—  Evelyn Lau, The Mall
Where did feelings go when they disappeared? Did they leave a chemical trace somewhere in our minds, so that if we could look inside ourselves we would see via the patterns of neurons some of the important things that had happened to us in our lifetimes?
— 

Evelyn Lau

Happy birthday, Evelyn Lau! Her parents pressured her to become a doctor, but the future Vancouver poet laureate had other ideas, publishing her first poem at the age of 12 and her first memoir—of two, so far—at the age of 18.

via Goodreads Quote of the Day (July 2, 2015)

Day 4-

Two recently read books

Fragile Things (Gaiman) which is a collection of creepy(ish) short stories. I really prefer his full length novels but it was still really interesting and I ended up telling Chris a whole bunch of them.

and Runaway (Diary of a Street Kid) by Evelyn Lau. I’ll be honest. I found it difficult to sympathize with this story at times. But I appreciate that she was honest and didn’t exaggerate. I’ve read dozens of memoirs and sometimes find myself questioning the reliability of the narrator, which is not the case in this novel. Worth reading for insight on what it means to be a homeless teen in Canada.

On our last walk along the seawall,

you stopped mid-sentence

to watch a heron pass us in flight.

Isn’t she beautiful, you whispered –

the stone span of her wings, textured like granite –

and I looked, and looked again,

and saw, like those hours in your lamplit office,

the gold light falling all around us.

—  An Excerpt From The Wake by Evelyn Lau
Futile by Evelyn Lau

At the dinner party the conversation
went on and on. Over green mash
of guacamole, shards of tortilla chips,
vegan brownies from the organic market.

Sun and stars winking in the bathroom,
terracotta tile underfoot like red earth,
lumps of rock and shell harvested
from some distant, protected beach.

Everyone had the flu, everyone got better.
No one died, except Flora,
the neighbourhood crank,
who was 92 and a racist, actually.

Laminate plank glowing in the corona
cast by the fire log firelight.
Stainless steel like a silver
second skin. The pornographic protrusions
of drawer pulls. Our dream homes

were swept away by hurricanes, tsunamis,
debt and foreclosure, by too many
trips to the mall and a weakness
for overpriced treats
to get through the day. Meanwhile

that cabin on the beach just floated away.
We make do with the space we have.
The roller shades made me feel rich,
the treaded carpet poor.
The trips to Home Depot made me feel insane.

You said you visited ten tile stores
to find the right flooring, vowed to open
a tile store and call it “Futile”.
We laughed and laughed
and fondled the renovations.

           From Issue 5 of The Rusty Toque