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the law of the letter

this is an odd bit that i wrote a little while ago. i think i meant to add more to it, but i never got around to that and, reading it, i do think that it functions fairly well as is.

*

Funny now, I thought I heard you, heard those footsteps in the snow,
heard the light click-click of heels along the winter's last ice
that's grown slick with the inexorable thaw, the sweet retreat of the east wind,
the toothless roar of March's latest tantrum sounding out the rite of Spring for all of us
is how it's been these last weeks.
And yes, it does seem strange without you, so perhaps it was just to give myself some comfort
that I imagined I heard your spider-like steps.
Perhaps I wanted to think you'd come back to get me.
Perhaps I thought you were back, wet and frozen and angry
ember-eyes glowing like Chinese lanterns inside that bony cage of a skull;
you always needed some meat on your bones.
But that's my foolishness, finding devils in the air when I exhale
and it wasn't you come back to hunt me down, but just some dead branch
flinging itself, exhausted against the road.
It still gave me a start, alone as I was, up late as I often am.
They tell me I should take something for all these complaints I've developed, these mundane cramps
and bursts of pain that swell in every pocket and dimple from my throat to my feet.
I think it's this that makes me old.
And when I think that, I'm surprised, because it doesn't seem that long ago that I
had energy for everything, a long walk through the feral forest,
a stroll by the creek to hear the ancient footbridge sigh beneath our weight.
You gave me the vitality I needed.
Now, I'm told I need bitters for my liver, more zinc, more iron, more copper, until I think I need to start a mine to meet my needs just to stumble, bored and bitter, through another day.
But we know that's not it, you and I.
I could douse the surly flames in my gut with milk and gold, but I would not be myself again.
For that, I need you, in all your terrifying glory
rising from the dead light at the end of the dark season.
I sit and wait for that, imagining your footsteps to bolster hope.

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as long as you're here, why not read more?

the world at war?

in my semi-smug but genuinely curious way, i posted a question on my facebook page earlier: how much of the world has to be at war before it counts as world war iii?



the first response i got raised the very legitimate point that this is the sort of question that gets answered by historians, once the haze of the present has faded. the other important factor is that people don't just declare war on each other the way that they used to. major powers entered both the of the world wars with the blessings of their own parliaments, whereas conflicts since world war ii have happened in coded language, sometimes circumventing the political process in the interests of expediency. president reagan never declared war on the nicaraguan government in the eighties, for example, but the united states was clearly in a state of armed conflict, even if most of the arms were being carried by their proxies, the contras.

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jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

diet diary, part 2

so the battle with the bulge continues. i'm actually becoming used to the pace, although for some reason my stomach still seems to think it needs far more food than it actually does.

week days, when eating is more of a functional than a festive activity, are fairly easy to cope with. weekends are a challenge, especially living in a city that has as many good restaurants as toronto. i'm not restricting myself to the home, but i am finding that i have to pay careul attention when i go out. last night, i overindulged on injera atthe ethiopian house. injera (the soft, moist, spongy bread that serves as food and cutlery in ethiopian cuisine) makes food fun by forcing you to eat with your fingers. it's hard to exercise restraint in such conditions.

when i first moved to toronto, i was expecting to find it much as i remembered it from years ago- with a dearth of good eating places. apparently, things have changed. there are great places to eat just about every kind of food you&…