Monday, June 28, 2004

whew, what a weekend. It looks as though housing in Kingston is a go... Jon and I went up to the old Kingston on Friday and survived a gruelling, 2.5 hour interrogation from our soon-to-be-new-landlady pending intense-application-scrutiny. The lease we will potentially sign is (nearly literally) unbelievable: clauses include elevator and fridge defrosting procedures... and we won't have an elevator (umm... "Water used to clean the plastic parts of the refrigerator must be no hotter than the hand can bear"? I'm not making this up). However, we are gambling that the DETAIL / LIMITATION / STRICTURE / CONTROL / PARALYSIS format of our slightly over-meticulous lease is merely the straight-up price we are paying for a beautiful, underpriced, comfortable two-level in the perfect location. Here's hoping the 2 landlord, 1 character reference stage goes all right.

Property rights and abuses aside, another thousand klicks under Gramps' tires and I'm in Mississauga, where I commence eating and do not cease for approximately 27 consecutive hours (except for brief Gamecube breaks). Estelle's grandma was having a huge bash for her 80th party (Saturday), and some serious family reunion cooking was on hand. Then on Sunday Estelle's friend Jacrise had her 18th birthday party (passage into womanhood: filipino tradition), which involved more cooking and tons of good people. The programs and sharing were full of sentiment; I ended up missing my own family a lot all weekend. Always good to remember the important things in life :) The Toronto Filipino Baptist Church was also wonderful, and I lucked into a rare, non-English service in Tagalog (general dialect across the islands from what I can tell). Of course, no one under 30 had any idea what was going on, but the worship was everything I've been missing for a while and the sense of family was palpable. Also, true to my tingling Mennonite potluck-sense, I discovered they have communal lunch EVERY SUNDAY! Substitute varied noodle dishes for chili, and you've got the filipino Baptist version of good times. None too shabby.

Anyways, updates aside, July is shaping up to be grand: two extremely extended weekends, including a Montreal Jazz Festival and a gosh darn old time Manitoba wedding. Gramps? You ready for this? I know I am.

Multiple disclaimers and sidenotes: "Gramps" is my car, the previous couple days of poetry is my own work, the best food in the world is a filipino spring roll, and yes, if you want to drive to Manitoba with me leaving July 14th at ~6pm-ish to return for July 18th in the evening sometime (Wednesday night to Sunday), you are most definitely invited.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Arrival in Pompeii

At eight I tunnel through sunflower fields
to fight enchanted sleep. Mosquito spray and
sunscreen mix their tastes on my lip.
I find the hot sun
without spying the long-lost princess,
but I can't be sure:
maybe I just missed her.

Maybe there's a mandrake hidden in the neighbour's flax.


At twelve a poplar tree hunches epic
proportions and windbreak shoulders
a quarter-mile
from my house. My cousin climbs partway; I
make it nearly to the top. I could swear
I'm higher than my house,
higher even than the grain elevator...
she calls up to me, but I can't describe it.
It is
the farthest I've ever seen.

From a submarine, surfaced, a sight to the horizon is unreliable.


At twenty-two I find S.P.Q.R. stamped
prominently on a stiff-necked wall:
guardian of Vatican City.
Its runic numerals erode
angles deep into distant times.
Later, I step
on another S.P.Q.R. stamp, forged
in sewer-grate steel.

Senatus Populusque Romanus: The Senate and the People of Rome.


"In 1508, by Pope Julius II della Rovere's
commission, Michelangelo Buonarroti
begins painting ceilings.
The Cappella Sistina is rectangular in shape and measures
40.93 meters long by 13.41 meters wide:
exact dimensions of the Temple of Solomon
as described
in Old Testament lore."

One million guidebooks burst into confetti as God's finger finally reaches Adam...

At twenty-four I found Pompeii
one-thousand-nine-hundred and thirty-seven years
too late:
my digital camera
running out of batteries in less time
than it took 20,000 people to realize something was
very wrong

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

this blog is a box.

you can open it at any time, but I'm responsible for filling it.

at least, I feel responsible.

maybe only because I'm inside it.