You start a literary magazine and one day you wake up and 10 years have gone by. When you tell people, they say things like “Wow!” and “10 years?” as if turning 10 is a real accomplishment that no one, least of all yourself, ever thought would be achieved. This is because literary magazine years are different than people years—they are more like dog years. Read more →
Three young women embark on a road trip from Montreal to Manitoulin Island for the annual summer powwow. On the way, they encounter wild animals, sacred sites, and Tim Hortons [More…]
I often use humour as a mechanism to encourage the reader to keep reading, but humour is like Sriracha for me, it has a very strong taste. If you’re not careful, it can drown everything else out. I want humour to be just one mechanism inside a bigger thing, like, it’s funny but it’s not only funny.
Montréal, my ice queen, with each passing year you must have had a good laugh into your sleeve, every time you saw me trudge through your hiver de force, your cold breaking my skin, slicing my lips, stinging my eyes, when I was fourteen, on Parthenais and Ontario, in front of Pierre-Dupuy Tech, my school full of nutjobs, I would wait for the Papineau bus, heading back home for lunch at full throttle, my too-thin jacket and my second-hand boots pierced by the icy wind and little bits of snow
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Dustin had just graduated collage. We’d been at a party at an upscale bar and grill with a number of other proud parents and graduating students. Witnesses stated that they observed Ilene having only a single drink, while both Dustin and I were four sheets to the wind. This is why, as Dorothy explained, Ilene, who always hated to drive in the dark, and almost never did so, ended up being the one behind the wheel that night when we left for home at 2:00AM.
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Something was wrong—I could see that right off. A peculiar fatigue showed around the edges of her appearance, prominent without dominating. Pink eyes, hair fixed but frayed, as if she’d been driving with the windows down, details of that sort.
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Happy Birthday, Mr. President. I really want to play along—but a cocksure president?— I just couldn’t pull it off. I do worry about her. True enough, I’ve seen her reel before, stagger in her high heels, so drunk she could barely stand up straight, but she never used to be alone.
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We were driving in the capital of then Southern Sudan, a city that in the next few years would explode with paving and hotels, a city that in the next few years would become a capital of its own country. For now these things are whispers in the distance, for now we are in a rural city, heading out for an evening meal at one of the favourite ex-pat restaurants, for now the sand of the road billows around our slow moving vehicle. I was watching these languid waves; the way the setting sun made the red earth glow, how each swell of sand from the tires settled and rose again. I saw the dust dance before I saw the man.Read more →
I walk through a small wooden archway to get to the labyrinth. On one of the posts the word “peace” is stamped in black letters. The labyrinth is intricate, carefully made, the pathways formed of irregularly shaped paving stones, the surfaces indented in places with what look to be the splayed imprints of a child’s fingers. Because the surface is uneven, I have to pay attention to the way my feet land so I don’t roll onto an ankle. I find this distracting. I want to stride along in my usual way, thoughtlessly, unconcerned by ankles or balance and briefly wonder if it’s common for labyrinth designers to make the earth unsettling.Read more →
You won’t get anywhere. Float,
learn space between you and the road:
one foot falling, then the other.
Catch up with yourself.