Back to Hochelaga (Poem)

She prowled the alleys
Of the grocery store
Knowing exactly
What to get
From the bottom
Shelves
And the bargain bins
The end of row
Skids

With the certainty
Of someone
Who had to budget
Her hunger
A few times
Too many

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I Was Done Fucking (Poem)

I Was Done Fucking (Poem)

 

I knew everything

I needed to know about sex.

All of it

I knew how to charm,

I knew how to please.

I knew how to make them cum

But I had forgotten

What it was like to be loved.

To simply be held

And at peace

 

And that’s what I needed right now.

 

The bodies moved

And it was good

While it lasted

Plenty of sex

And flesh

And orgasms

But then she wrapped up her shit

And went home

Every time

 

The door

Closing

Behind her

Left a silence

I didn’t miss

So

I lay in bed

Again

Listening

To Billie Holiday

Again

Wondering

Where my heart was

What it deserved

What it needed

 

It certainly

Wanted more

Than three

Used condoms

And an empty

Bed.

The Last Wolf of Womankind (Poem)

There was that stare in her eyes.
I used to know it very well.
And I had suspected.
It had gone instinct.
I had suspected
It had vanished.
Under occupation
After occupation
Riot squads
Overwork
And daily struggles
Like paying the rent
And food
And mistakes

There was that fire in her eyes.
From the days of riots.
Not so long ago.
(Six years at most.)

As the last time
The youth took
To the street.
Against infamy.
Idiocy
And common
Simple
Stupidity
Against
A world gone mad.
On hatred
Debt
And amphetamines

It all has gone silent now
The streets are quiet
But I remembered
When I looked at her
Of my own days
As an anarchist.

There was a fire in her eyes.
Only matched
By her beauty.
It’s true.
There have been many
Gorgeous women
Who walked the earth.
But rarely with that
Fire of hers.

It was not
A hateful
Rage
But a caring
Rage.
The rarest of
Rages.
The best of
Rage.
I’ve known it once.
For a good decade
I’d say
The purest of
Rage

Mine had grown
Deeper.
Deeper.
But silent.

I was ready

For the aftermath
She was still
Fighting it.
So,
I stared at my ceiling
And wondered if
I was a romantic
Or a coward
An idiot
Or a simple
(Ageing)
Realist

There was beauty in her
Beauty

It was true

Beauty I could not explain.
Let alone grasp.
I don’t know
If any men
Ever will.
I looked at her
And almost saw Spain
Barcelona

The red and black

Days of 36

I know I took my chips
Off the table
Simple as that
I folded

Without even a shot

She was most definitely a wolf
I was most definitely not.

To the Fool Who Had Stopped Looking (Poem)

“Does he know he’s in trouble?” I asked her.
“What do you mean?”
Was her answer.

“You got new boots,
New hair,
New beanie,
Eyeliner and
you’re fucking
dressed to kill.”

She hadn’t even noticed.

Or maybe she had
And it was just nice
To have someone
Tell you
To have someone
See you
Again

She smiled
And for a second
There was happiness in her eyes

I hadn’t seen that
In a while
And it was good

“But it’s not even that,” I continued
“What is it?” she insisted

“There’s that glare in your eye
Like you’re tired
Of being invisible
To someone
Who’s taking you
For granted
And
And being taken
For granted
Is a terrible
Terrible
Thing to feel
Like

So you decided
You had enough
And decided
You deserve
To exist
Again
Fuck him.
You gave enough
And you’re right.”

She smiled
And laughed
That single burst
That just comes out
When you haven’t
Laughed in too long
And it was good

I looked at where
He might
Or might
Not be
Out by the front door
Or drowning in the river
It didn’t matter much right now.

“If he doesn’t notice he’s losing you,” I said.
He’s a fucking idiot.”

And he was a fucking idiot.

The Forgotten Ways of Love and Sex (poem)

It seemed to me ,
Dawned upon me
Really,
That is was as if
An entire generation
Had forgotten
How to fuck.

The smell of it
The taste of it
The sweat of it
How to make the body prance
And the legs shiver
Into glorious
Oblivion

It seemed to me
That an entire generation
Was lulled into
the boredom
Of porn
And fake fetishism

Fooled,
Tricked,
Conned,
(really)
That any of it
Had to do
With the physical
At all.

We have lowered
Ourselves
Stooped
And
Bowed
To cheap tricks
Meant for adrenaline junkies
Nothing more
And nothing less
(And no one else)

A jolt to the body
But a stab to the soul.
The sadness of it
Made me wander
For months

How did we forget.
That the power
That the fire
That the path
To love
And sex
Rested in her eyes.
And
That

Every shiver
Of the body
Every curve
And
Every time
The lips came to
Her breast
And thighs
Her hips
And
Heart
And lips

Was meant as a message
To the gods
That we are well
And alive
Here on earth

Bodies crave
And then bodies cave
As we breathe ourselves
Into each other’s skins
‘Till nothing exists
But her and I
Laying there
In the purest
Of silence
And nothingness

There is nothing
Like
Nothingness

The Pursuit (Poem)

I am sitting

Again

In a café

At the corner of my world

Sipping on the bitter drink

As I am listening

Again

To mogwai

While looking at the way

The wind pushes snow

Into the sheltered faces

Of people passing

By my window

 

I am thinking

Of the word

Of women

Of the world

I am thinking of passion

And projects

As I seem

To be out of a struggle

Right now

 

There’s a part of me

That started looking for a mess

Another one

A day or two ago

Something

To stick my feet in

And see if there’s something there

Something

Worth digging in for

Something

Worth writing for

Something

Worth living for

But most of all

(and yes, it’s true)

Something worth

Loving for

 

It’s out there

That is a certainty

There’s no shortage

Of anything

And everything

Going on in the world

And I am ready to find it

 

Just about now

On Climbing

Gravity doesn’t give a fuck about who you think you are.

That’s the real beauty of climbing.

I hadn’t expected to find the same kind of emotional satisfaction from climbing as I get from writing or painting. It really took over lately and it’s not a career plan in any way which is also part of its appeal. It simply is only a fight against yourself and there is absolutely no purpose behind it.

It is the way I used to write and then the way I used to paint and maybe that’s why I enjoy it so much. There’s no contract attached to it. I don’t need to answer to a potential client or (non-existent) public.

It’s taken me away from the focus of novels for over a year now and I am powerless against it.

I am especially fond of the bloc. I like the falling part of it. I like how you can’t cheat it and rest on the rope. I like how you have to complete all of it in a single set and it’s impossible to do it otherwise. It’s downhill if you slip and I hit the wall, twist, turn, do everything I can to keep at it but again : gravity doesn’t give a fuck who you think you are.

It pushes me to my most visceral self at times. It really works on the nerves, and I mean physiological nerves. My body is lean as could be, my muscles are stiff. My muscular capacity can hold my weight just fine. The muscles could take it but it’s driven by sheer will power to hold at this point till the pain is too much for you to even move. It hits you in the nerves when it’s too much. I do it to exhaustion and then crash on a pad and life is a bliss for a couple minutes.

There are muscles on my body I didn’t know existed and I can’t lie, I like it.

I like the very moment when I take on a very small crimp. I like the very instant when I shake my hand, place the phalanges of my fingers exactly where they need to go. A millimeter more and I would slip and fall. I like the moment when I tense up and get ready to put all of my weight on exactly two square inches on my own skin and pull.

I like to look at the path, the way, and see the space underneath it. I like to get a feel for the angles. I like how I have to listen to my body, the weight of it, the placement of it. I like how I can only force it so far and have to listen to what the path requires instead of trying to power my way through it. And then I like to break that rule down and prove to myself there was a second way to get to the top, a third way to get to the top, that a moment of arrogance and strength can be enough to overcome the problem and see it through.

I like to nail a 4 or a 5 only to see someone else in there fly through a 6 or a 7. It humbles you to see what the human body can do. If you look at it with passion, you start to see the person’s foot placement, hand position, the way they shifted their body, that little heel hook that keeps everything in place for two seconds in a transition.

I often use climbing as a metaphor for my entire life now.

Snowboarding had a similar feel when I was younger. I wonder if it would still have it. The freedom of not having a purpose in life for a minute except than to live for yourself and yourself alone, see if you still got it in you to make it through.

In the end, I guess it comes down to three lines I keep writing over and over again.

Climbing

Boarding

Writing

Painting:

Pick a line,

Stick to it

Don’t fuck up.

Another Gifted Suicide In the News (and a solution)

I read about another “gifted suicide” this week in the news. I read she was given every label they could find to slap on her except the one she needed to make it out of the system alive: gifted.

She wasn’t bipolar, she wasn’t depressive. Something tells me she became depressive because she felt all those labels she was given were wrong. I am sure she felt it in her entire body that everything they were telling her about herself was wrong. I am sure she knew instinctively it wasn’t what was going on. I am sure it wrecked her, the same way it wrecked me, to have the deepest conviction that she was right, but then if she was, how come everyone in the world was telling her she was wrong.

I truly believe that receiving an improper diagnosis breaks down your own self-image (and sense of worth) in a visceral way that is hard to exist. Then comes the argument of authority: a trained professional’ opinion is always worth more to everyone around than the self-image of a teenage girl (or grown adult in my case). It’s hard to fight the rest of the world when you’re the only one who believes your own truth.

It’s a lot of pressure to live with. Especially if you’re hypersensitive. Especially if you are gifted, especially if you’re a teenager. I can tell you these things because I feel that’s what I went through only a few months ago.

I had amazing social capital when I was having a hard time. It was, somehow, a phrase a friend of mine told me years ago that stopped me from going through with it. Everything in my body was telling me she was right and it came down to « I don’t have the right. » when the moment came. I took the blade away and shook it of for a few minutes. Too close for comfort is an understatement.

I had legitimate issues last year, (out of a divorce and into a difficult breakup, adapting to living alone and the financial strain of being a single parent with the same monthly payments to make.) I decided to ask for help and was immediately labeled as bipolar and/or narcissistic at the emergency room.

I cannot tell you how wrecked I was to hear those things, how wrong they felt to me, how inaccurate it felt to me. I cannot tell you how much doubt it set in my mind and the emotional toil it took on me. I began to relive and re-question every single human interaction I had ever had over and over again. The anxiety that came from that was impossible to live with.

It led to months of going around the system until I could “land somewhere” as one doctor called it.

I took a blade to my wrist during that time. I took a blade to my wrist and I meant it. No one knew I was down there. I didn’t call anyone about it till weeks later. I took a blade to my wrist in the second basement bathroom at work. I took an Olfa knife, sharpest ones on the market, put in a fresh blade in there, sharp as could be. I took it out about three inches long. I held it firmly in my right hand. I locked my left wrist against my knee, pressed my right hand like a wedge against my wrist, blade inwards and down. All I had to do was push my weight down on it and it would have gone in like warm butter. All it took was for me to take a breath and let my body down on it. There would have been nowhere to go and I knew exactly what I was doing.

One deep breath, release, and that was it. I was out in minutes, too late to do anything about it. The thing is, I didn’t feel like I wanted to die. A fourteen years old girl wrote it better than I could. “I don’t feel like I want to die, but I’d rather not be alive.”

The problem with the (public) healthcare system is that they’re not really trained to deal with the gifted mind. I have to say the younger doctors (med students I met) were more open minded to the reality, but the oldest ones were overwhelmingly dismissive of it. (That’s my opinion anyways.)

It took months to finally get a good meeting with three therapist (two students and one professor) that were open minded to that and it was a very constructive, very helpful few hours. I have to recognize that. But a lot could have happened in those few months (and a lot did).

I told them I was going to a private clinic that dealt almost exclusively with gifted people. It seemed rare (if not new) to them. One of them asked for their contact information and I liked that a lot.

The person I found, who was trained to deal with gifted people, didn’t see me as crazy or abnormal. She knew it was possible for someone to feel emotions that viscerally, she knew it was possible for someone to have so many thoughts all at once and to struggle with the moral implications of certain choices (and the underlining level of anxiety that comes with it).

Statistically, people are often considered gifted when their intelligence is in the top 2% of the population. It sounds arrogant to say that but it is what it is: a statistical distribution of certain people in the world that live with faster brain patterns. I know it sounds like a weird problem to complain about (and I am not complaining) but it does come with a lot of difficulties. Sure, I learn faster than almost anyone around, but for some people it comes with paralysing anxiety, others have absolutely no social skills. I personally find if physically exhausting like you wouldn’t imagine and the social isolation can become very, VERY real.

It was a saving grace for me to have someone recognize that and accept that I could feel certain things that deeply, think about other with that level of intensity and I am still alive to this day while that young girl is not.

So where am I going with this now? How do I wrap this up?

Is there a solution?

I think there are some. One of them is actually simple and could be applied immediately.

An adapted school system that screens and recognized different types of intelligences would be a dream, but I don’t see it happening in the short term.

SO!

For now, at least there should be a directive in the public healthcare system to screen people for giftedness way more systematically especially when dealing with hypersensitive people. That test should most definitely be granted BEFORE handing out a definitive diagnosis of any disorder (bipolar, manic, depressive or any other.) Best case scenario, you can guide that kid to the proper care she needs. Worst case scenario, you spent a few hours on a possible diagnosis that came back negative and you can get it out of the way.

It’s a few hours (and maybe 1000$) that could not only save a lot of lives, but most of all, provide accurate care to those of us who live with those issues on a daily basis. It would prevent months (if not years) of “going around the system” (which will be WAY more expensive than the test itself anyways) only to land back at the starting point.

So there,

I found a solution. I don’t know how to get it out there. Posting this online feels like an utter waste of time but it’s what I got right now.

I’ll write this to a handful of people I know who have a foot in psychology departments, probably talk about it at the next Mensa general assembly, someone with some leverage somewhere may hear about it and have the credentials to act on it (because I really I don’t!)

Spread the word and take care?

Ian

The Last Saints of Sainte-Claire (Poem)

As I am saying goodbye
To Sainte-Claire
I realized
There was
a subltle
Kind of poverty here
A silent kind of poverty
An uneventfull kind of poverty

You see it in details
Like the guy next door
Pushing 60
And always drunk
Not mean drunk
But always a little wobbly
Smiling just a bit
You see it in his eyes
As he makes his way
To the corner store
And walks back
With a tall one

I had never seen him sober
Until this morning
5h30 AM
And the bus is full
He’s there
In his blue dickies
Lunch box and all
Sharp as a whistle

I am leaving this town
In a week
This may be the last time
I ever write it.

So let me make a statement

The refineries long dissapeared
But the alcoholics of the past
Have aged

With nowhere else to go.