Tag Archives: Love

Two hundred yen


On Friday night we had dinner
at our little Italian place,
the restaurant where everyone knows us.

We saw some students
on a date
so we slid quickly into our booth
keeping a low teacher-profile.

Stealthy. Like spies.

In Japan, it is common
to pay at the front counter
even in lovely restaurants
so despite our sneakiness
we found ourselves
behind those students
in line to pay.

The boy reached for his wallet
and handed some bills to the cashier.
Then he patted his pockets.

“Oh no. He doesn’t have enough money.”

“How do you know?” said Damien.

“I just know.”

The cashier looked at the wall
while the boy turned his pockets
inside out and the girl
opened her wallet.

“Can we help?,” we asked.

On Monday the girl brought me
perfect plastic bag
with two 100 Yen coins.
Two dollars.

“Thank you so much.”

That girl is going to love me forever.

Chiffon dreams

love in the rain

A serious young woman
studying literature
at university,
I was
to discover
the similarities
between love poems
regardless of
the lover
or the beloved.

Overlapping words
planes circling the same city of light
as if they’d all been written by the same poet.

This made me believe in love
not the hard, sharp thing itself
but the suggestion of love,
an idea that assembles itself
each night as a shared
chiffon dream
and we are all
the dreamers.

Japanese slang for lovey-dovey


Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 4.43.49 AM

We had lunch with a friend
who had just spent some time
with a lovely couple we know.

He is amazed by them.

Perhaps you know
{or are in}
a relationship
like this.

When they look
at each other
a shy sweetness
something golden
and fills all the spaces
between them.

Their love
does not exclude.
It’s big.
It wraps its arms around us.

Magical campfire gazing.
Shadows of purple-orange flames
transform faces
known forever
into Queens,
slayers of dragons.

It’s love-love.

They say it in Japanese too. Love-love.
{Young people mostly.}

To hear these words
pronounced in Japanese
makes my heart
as soft
as buffalo mozzarella.


The Orange Backpack


“When you talked earlier about after a few years how a couple would begin to hate each other by anticipating their reactions or getting tired of their mannerisms ~ I think it would be the opposite for me. I think I can really fall in love when I know everything about someone ~ the way he’s going to part his hair, which shirt he’s going to wear that day, knowing the exact story he’d tell in a given situation. I’m sure that’s when I know I’m really in love.”

~ Celine to Jesse, from the film Before Sunrise


The Sunday Reader: Monkeys that sneak into your circus

book {Photograph: Damien Pitter}

I’ve started this new thing. It’s a newsletter called The Sunday Reader. [Yup. I send it on Sundays. Every second week.}

Here’s an excerpt from this week’s Reader:

The Colombians I encountered in Cali were, generally speaking, very happy people. RHEs. Radical Happiness Experts. They were relaxed and welcoming and loved to sing and dance. My flatmate and I joked that two Colombians + a radio = a party. The list of things that they were NOT includes (but is not limited to) the following: organized, punctual, adept at forming lines and being silent (ever). The truly troubling thing for me was that they did not give a rat’s ass about how we do things in Canada. We’re talking about an extreme level of indifference. If not caring about efficiency methods employed by the citizens of other countries were an Olympic sport, I can tell you right now that The Colombians would win Gold. Every single year.

You would think that I would have learned my lesson quickly. Oh! I’m in South America. They do things differently here. Colombians view the world differently. Please begin adapting now.

You would think.

{I just read that last part to DP and he said perhaps that’s what they are saying over the PA system as you arrive at the Cali airport. “Please begin adapting now.” But you don’t know because it’s in Spanish.}


So far, the writing in The Reader is more personal and intimate than most of my posts. If this sounds interesting + you’d like to read the rest of this week’s Reader, subscribe at the bottom of this post or over here.