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relocation, relocation, relocation.

~ ~
New home: http://mot-juste.tumblr.com/

Come say hello.

woman in that coat.

~ ~
There is no self-diagnosis for empty. Because hollow and quaking are not symptoms.
Questions pushed aside, not denied but hesitantly unasked.
She stayed still, usually. Unable to disturb, unwilling to interrupt.
Her fingertips bent, folded and danced against her life line. Tucked like her opinions, woven into something and from nothing at once.
She wasn't clueless. Far from.
Not misunderstood, but under-heard. Not quite lonely, but not quite in the light.
Aimless yet not missing. Lost beyond the comprehension of a map. No key to spell out the details that may not be grasped.
At the volume of a drowning gasp, whispered from unconvinced lips.
Her life was a dimmer switch. Stuck before it realized bright.

To market, to market.

~ ~
He felt like a Mr. Potatohead with all his parts pulled out. Gouged and strewn about his little blue plastic sneakers. He couldn’t figure out which way was up, drowning in the sudden onslaught of confusion. He could breathe- but only just so, and only if he kept his eyes closed as though he could only keep track of one sense at a time. He felt as though every nerve in his body was reacting at once, each organ rallying for secession, threatening to tear him apart. As far as Alex was concerned, whoever determined the common reaction to horrific incidents was numbness, was decidedly an idiot.
Images of fish, their bellies slit in a smooth, bloody arc, flooded his mind suddenly. Their cold staring eyes pressing into his eyelids, challenging them to rise.
Hot sweat prickled under his arms as the hairs rose on the back of his neck. He clenched his fists tightly, willing his lungs to re-fill with air so that his thoughts would stop ricocheting off the lump of dread that had formed in the one place where gray matters.
What seemed like hours later, his lungs unclenched, pocket-by-pocket, until his lips could feel his breath again. His eyes blinked open and he looked down at weak, shaking fists with knuckles that resembled snow-capped mountains.
Now that his breathing had returned his nostrils were filled with the smell of fish- raw and salty with a hint of the metallic scent of blood. He closed his eyes again briefly, and shook his head, hoping the misplaced assault on his nasal passage would waft away. As soon as his vision darkened the fish came back.


“Alex, don’t touch that.”
His father’s voice was distant, the warning uttered half-heartedly, but the six-year-old retracted the hand that was poised over a small basket of mackerel in ice even though he was overwhelmed by the excitement of his very first visit to the fish market. It was normally a trip his father made solo, but because his mother had a last minute hair appointment to dash off to, Alex and his older brother Alfie has been carted along with their disgruntled father.
From the moment the boys stepped into the market their senses had been on the attack. It was loud, smelled awful and strange sights seemed to loom from every corner. Their father kept a firm hold on each of their shoulders, only letting go now and then to prod a fish or answer his cell phone. Alex stayed close to his side while Alfie chose to bound ahead every so often before scurrying back when their father’s voice boomed after him.
Alfie was two years older and, as it seemed to Alex, that much braver as well. He was often in trouble but had more stories to share on the playground than any other kid in school as a result. Alex was very much in his shadow there was no denying it, both because of his more diminutive stature and his lack of any semblance of a spine.


Alfie had called him that once. The boys had been throwing a rubber ball around the house and inevitably wound up breaking one of their mother’s Rose vases. Alfie had insisted they keep it quiet- deny it to the death, no matter the punishment. Alex had agreed, but promptly dissolved into tears and truths when their father had been called in to mediate. He’d fallen some in Alfie’s eyes that night and knew he’d spend the better part of their childhood trying to make up for it.
Forcing the memory from his thoughts, Alex chose instead to refocus on his surroundings. He gazed over at the displays of lined up fish corpses with their mouths hanging slightly open, as though in surprise. ‘I was caught?’ A particularly upset looking fish seemed to ask, incredulously.
Alex pursed his lips as he stared down at it. He tried to picture it swimming in the ocean, flexing its fins and relishing in its freedom, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t see past its questioning eyes. It was as though it had been lying there a long time waiting for someone to come by and answer its queries. Alex paused. Could the dead be curious?
“Dad? Can fish think?” The question was out of his mouth before he could stop it.
“What? No. They have virtually no attention span.”
Alex must have looked confused because he continued. “They’re dumb.” He brought his thumb and forefinger a millimeter apart. “Tiny brains.”
“Like yours,” Alfie whispered hotly in his ear, low enough so that their father couldn’t hear.
Choosing to ignore his brother, Alex turned his attention back to the fish he’d been looking at and was alarmed to find it slickly resting in his father’s palms.
“What’re you doing?” Alex demanded, his voice rising in pitch and concern.
“Checking its gills.”
“For what?”
His father paused his prodding and regarded his youngest. “Red. The redder the gills the fresher the fish.” He pried Alex’s fish’s gills open and held it out for his sons to take a peek.
“Looks red to me,” Alfie said, sounding bored.
Alex pondered this new fact with interest, thinking the reddest gills should be a crayon colour. He decided next that ‘Fresh Gills Red’ would be the sheen of his first car.
“So, you dare me?”
Alex was snapped out of his thoughts by the excited voice of his brother. Alfie was holding something in his fingertips smiling his gap-toothed smile at the man behind the counter as their father looked on, amused.
“Go on.”
Alex soon realized the thing his brother was holding was actually a fish eye. The eye Alex had been looking into earlier to be exact, as the fish his father held now had another gaping hole to match the questioning mouth. Before he could utter a sound, Alfie tossed the eye into his mouth and bit down hard. There was a squishy ‘pop’ sound and a viscous liquid splattered on the front of Alex’s shirt, one of Alfie’s old baseball jerseys that Alex had coveted for months.
Alfie, their father and the fish salesman burst out laughing at once and Alfie made a show of chewing up the eye, swallowing it and then sticking his tongue out. Alex fought the urge to punch him under the chin hard so it was completely severed.
Their father seemed to lighten up after Alfie’s little show and let the boys wander through the stalls as he picked out fish. Alfie led the way as usual and they zipped around the aisles peeking at the various creatures of the sea. Alex soon forgot about his shirt when they stopped in front of a large metal door that was propped open with a chunk of grimy wood. Alfie wandered up to it and peeked inside, his eyes lighting up.
“Sharks!” He whispered in awe.
Alex felt a shiver go up his spine as he approached the door feeling a mixture of excitement and apprehension.
“Real ones?” He asked, mimicking his brother’s tone.
“See for yourself.”
Alfie moved from the doorway, pushed it open a little wider and moved back for his brother to look. Alex took a deep breath before stepping into the doorway. He could feel cold air and guessed the room was some sort of freezer. He peered inside and was disappointed to find that Alfie had been exaggerating. Hanging from large hooks in the center of the room were large fish, no, enormous fish, but they certainly were not sharks.
“These aren’t sh-“
Before the accusation was out of his mouth Alex felt pressure on his shoulder blades and found himself falling hard on his knees on icy floor. Before he could turn around, he heard the door close with a thump and a sickening 'click' sound filled his ears. Alex sprung to his feet and whirled towards the closed door.
“Alfie!” He yelled banging his fists against it.
He heard his brother’s strangled laughter through the door and felt the anger bubble up inside him. He shouted his name again noticing his breath form a cloud in the cold air. He closed his eyes, trying to calm himself down. He yelled his brother’s name again, hot tears forming in the corners of his eyes.
Alex clenched his fists and turned around trying to find another mode of escape. The room was darkened without the light from the market and the hanging fish cast long shadows against the walls. The longer Alex stood there looking, the more furious he grew, fueled now by fear.
“This isn’t funny!”
More laughter.
Something inside Alex snapped. He spun on the hanging fish, arms flailing so his fists connected with their cold, hardened bodies. He lost control of the sounds that left his mouth, dissolving into a loud keening borne of white-hot frustration. As he struck them, Alex wondered if he was hurting the fish. He could feel the sting of their scales cutting his skin but he couldn’t seem to still his fists.
Eventually, he door was pried open and he saw the stern form of his father in the light through the doorway. He quickly wiped at his tear-stained cheeks knowing it would satisfy Alfie to no end. His heart rose some, thinking of the reprimand his brother would soon face once his father heard about what he had done. Alex strode towards them with all the confidence he could muster, eager and ready.
When he looked up at his father ready to spill his guts, his tongue curled back nearly choking him when he saw his father’s expression. Confusion coloured Alex’s features immediately. The man did not look angered. Not concerned, nor upset. Instead his features were hardened, his lips thin, his eyes dull. Alex knew that look.
Disappointment shadowed the caves of his father’s lower eyelids, as cavernous as the gaping hole where the fish’s eye once rested. Immediately, Alex’s small balled fists released along with the hopeful breath in his chest.
His father’s voice was curt, abrasive. “Come on.”


“Come on, Alex.” He muttered aloud, looking down at the mess. His mess. He was always making messes. Acting before thinking, behaving before conceiving.
The body at his feet was still, completely unmoving from head to toe.
“Fuck.” He repeated. He couldn’t quite remember the events leading up to this moment. The exact seconds that blurred together to create a situation he felt wholly and completely removed from. He did remember the anger- the heat behind his eyelids and the pain in the knuckles of his right hand when it first connected to smooth skin and bone.
He closed his eyes again and inhaled deeply. His always was a different kind of anger. Anger that snaps like fish bones, leaving only fish gill red.

The freshest.

Because 140 chrctrs just isn't enough

~ ~
Dear Old Spice Guy,

Everything about your ads- nay, your video sonnets- is both awe-inspiring and regular inspiring. While I am not your immediate target audience and do not wish to smell like a man, I do appreciate the humour and wit you use to tickle the interwebs into a quivering mass of giggles and catch-phrases. I also noticed you've been singling out fans (and random observers) to turn each soliloquy into more of a duet. Consider me engaged to be crowd-sourced.

And, as an aspiring copywriter, I tip my invisible-yet-wonderous hat in admiration of the person(s) behind your words. You of course deliver them laced in the kind of perfection only your Old Spice scented face-area can, but to them my hat is now askew.

Pass on my message of gratitude with the sheer brilliance of a thousand-swans-a-diving.

You have my best,


p.s. I'm on a blog.

on bent knee.

~ ~

Plan B 'Prayin' - Director: Daniel Wolfe from Tom Lindsay on Vimeo.

Prayin'- Plan B

Director Daniel Wolfe nails it again, bringing yet another one of Plan B's songs to life. Pay close attention to the choreography. It's Shawshank Redemption meets So You Think You Can Dance.

brilliant happiness

~ ~

'Upular' graciously created by Pogo (see first vid here for more genius)

xo's for the xx.

~ ~
straight from south west London to a hot, sweaty corner in Toronto and my heart.

Click here for the original version of the song.

when i say trip, you say hop.

~ ~
They're back. Massively.

drop, dot.

~ ~
There is something about an unfinished love song that makes her want to hate him.
By putting pen to paper, like kisses awash with the blackened out pour of emotion, he would use his left hand to write while the right scratched at his chin, then his knee before resting on an earlobe. Olivia used to watch his thumb on the skin there, once rendered speechless by each stroking strum. Now she thinks it oedipal and tried to literally shake it from her mind as she waited, releasing wet drops from her hair to her cheekbones, her nose. She stood half in the rain, beneath a stoop that was too small for even her huddled shoulders. He was late again. She knows this and yet she waited. Again.
The first time she was kept waiting, she was greeted with breathless kisses that tasted of tobacco with a hint of honey from the lozenges he used to cover up his smoke. Even then the deceptive part of his person was shouting at her, throwing flushed, spittle-laced tantrums- and she only smiled. It was a smile that lasted minutes, or months, depending on how you looked at it. But that was then. When birds and butterflies were more fairy than food chain and she more grounded than splayed.

She practices what she will say. For if he is musician, I am poet. She thought, chagrin her armor. But I will not speak of seasons and change, I don't care about the leaves turning over, or the sighing of trees. The rain, neither. I despise the rain.

A woman passes by, dressed head-to-toe in running gear, the sound of her lycra-encased thighs swishing by attracted Olivia’s attention. The woman held a sodden magazine, not over her head to shield herself from the rain, but less than an inch away from her face, as though she was trying to walk right into it. Olivia looked down at her wristwatch and decided with pursed lips that she would give him four more minutes. Just as a slow minute dragged by and she found herself distracted by other street-related minutiae, she saw him finally. Leaning against the sheets of rain, head lowered and palms pressed inside pockets. His walk more a lope than his usual gait.

The song was changing him.

He sidles up to her, his mouth habitually finding hers. Her heart falls when she notes that his Benson & Hedges kiss wasn’t laced with honey. He no longer feared her disapproval.

Their greetings were synchronous and he wrapped her shoulders with his denim-clad arm as they started up the three short blocks to the restaurant. He had no apology for being late, and instead was quiet at first, his footsteps muffling her racing heart. They talked sparingly as they walked, heads bowed, not together but against the rain. Her mind was running and he was distracted, the telltale sign was the thumb he drummed gently on her collar bone. While she felt comfort in the small- almost non-descript- intimate gesture, she knew he was probably thinking about rhythms. For the song.

She had gotten a hubristic high when he had asked her out all those months ago, convinced she was about to tame a god. She peered over at him peripherally. Droplets were caught in his lashes making his eyes seem brighter, more focused on the sidewalk ahead. He was indeed a body of myths and she was always his pedestal, and now, though cracked, she was not crumbling.

By the time they reached the Japanese restaurant their light coats were soaked through and the hostess immediately whisked them off their shoulders before depositing them on a nearby metal coat rack. She admonished them in broken English for not bringing along umbrellas, looking pointedly at him as she led them to their usual corner window table. She spoke to them with familiarity, knew to bring one menu for them to pore over together and hovered nearby since they almost always ordered the same thing- a sashimi starter, two spicy tuna rolls and an avocado roll at the end to soothe their singed taste buds. They both liked the restaurant’s green tea, but only stirred around the soup. He would pour soy sauce into their tiny dishes as she opened and sharpened their chopsticks. Every motion was done without a word. They were eerily in-step and it made Olivia uncomfortable. A relationship that moved in autopilot was never what she wanted, especially since her co-pilot had long since fastened on his parachute and tip-toed his way over to the nearest emergency exit.

“Your forehead is bleeding.” It was the first thing he had ever said to her. She was waiting on a street side bench for her bus to come along, when she’d looked over her shoulder for the source of the voice. Tall and unassuming, he was smoking outside a small convenience store, leaning flamingo-style with one foot pressed against a wall. In his left hand he carried a blue-and-white striped plastic bag, the contents of which she wondered about to this day.


He continued to look over at her curiously before speaking, took another drag from his cigarette and gestured to his own head. “Your forehead. There’s like, blood on it.”

Olivia blinked and brought her hand to her head and saw when she pulled it away again, a distinctly red smudge.

“Oh,” She said absently. She tried to remember knicking her forehead on something that day and wondered why she didn’t feel any pain. She touched her forehead again and realized it was decidedly not the colour of blood. “Paint.”


She started, realizing he was still there, standing slightly behind her. “Oh, it’s just paint. Red paint.” She began furiously rubbing her forehead until it felt raw and she was satisfied that it was gone. “I passed my landlord painting a door frame early this afternoon. It’ must’ve splattered.” He had put out his cigarette by then and come around to stand beside the bench so he was towering over her right. He watched her for a moment, his head cocked a little to one side.

“It looked a little like a Bindi actually,” He said finally. “You know, those little dots some Hindu women wear?”

Olivia had just blinked at this. “I’m not Hindu.” It was an inane response, but he laughed, a deep, throaty chuckle that snagged her heart instantly.

She chewed slowly and deliberately, knowing that the added mastication was stopping the words from escaping her lips. Words that couldn’t burn more than if they were dipped in wasabi. She swallowed hard, readied now to say her piece. To finally rid herself of the uncertainty that was being with him. A feeling that had struck a chord with her the moment he announced he was writing again while swiping a Pledge-soaked rag along his acoustic with excitement. Weeks of unspoken resentment churned in her stomach and she willed her eyes open again so she could say them, not realizing that they had been closed.

“Matt?” She stared solidly at the ginger coils on her plate unable yet to look him in the eye as she did it.

“Hmmn?” His mouth was full and it made her lip curl, easing the rising words right to the tip of her tongue.

“Everything is O.K. here?”

The hostess’ voice seared through Olivia’s resolve and made her eyes snap up. She looked at him now, as he smiled and reassured the hostess. Her gaze flickered up between his eyebrows where a single rain drop that had worked it’s way from his hairline lay nestled in the crinkle she had once loved to kiss. A little drop, dot.

Olivia quickly murmured her satisfaction with the meal so that the hostess would leave and picked up her chopsticks again to steal the last avocado piece from the plate they shared. She would be content with a little drop, dot of what they once were for now. And when the song was finished, when the very last note was hummed, she knew she would not hear it. The song already belonged to someone else.


~ ~
With whimsy. With upside downs, inside outs, tantrums, curls, slip ups, mishaps and baubles. With cakes and ices, creams and salves. With picture drawings, drawing boards, board games and game nights. With words.

"Soon her eye fell on a little glass box that was lying under the table: she opened it, and found in it a very small cake, on which the words 'EAT ME' were beautifully marked in currants. 'Well, I'll eat it,' said Alice"
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Carrol

Burton baby, don't let me me down, down, down.

Old, spicy, hilarious.

~ ~

Do I even need words here?

Badu. Be, do.

~ ~

If awesomesauce was a drug, Erykah would be the Badu-est dealer in the 'hood. Thirty seconds into her newest, and utterly psychedelic video and I had heart palpitations and cotton-mouth. I was even able to forgive the Lil'Wayne cameo (there are a milli' reasons why I think he should here on out be known as 'ft. Lil' Wayne'), because while I love vintage Erykah, (two of my fave vids after the jump)the woman sure as hell knows how to make a comeback.

The new track is called 'Jump up in the air and stay there' (not actually from EB's much anticipated LP) and features the pair swirling, twirling and tripping through a kaleidoscope.*

You can peep the vid on her site!

Oldy, but goodys:

The Ode to Hip Hop-

Erykah Badu ft. Common - Love of My Life

The Ode to love-

The Roots ft: Erykah Badu- You Got Me

* Thanks to Pitchfork for the heads up.

blood is rushing.

~ ~

A modern-day Neneh, with a Badu twist.

young stranger* (a short short)

~ ~
"He did not understand space. Not personal space, anyway.

Even as a young boy he would climb into the laps of strangers fingering earrings and mustaches as though they were there solely to have their tangibility tested. He loved to listen to heartbeats, pressing his head close until systole and diastole became a murmur, a private whispery conversation only he could hear. The general public was a large puzzle that he always wanted to figure out. Smells aroused his curiosity the most, whether it was the musk of the unbathed or the heady scent of an expensive perfume. He often sat too close, leaned in too far and listened too intently.

Uncomfortable was a word he often heard- it was sometimes bellowed if his proximity was deemed invasive- but never quite grasped. He loved people, he would remark by way of explaining his oddities. Police officers were often sympathetic at first, assuming he must be weighed down by an unfit mental state, but were quick to anger when he caressed the fronds of their tethered caps or inhaled their stale caffeinated breath.

Pervert, was a word loosely thrown around in his presence, and he would still look around searching for the person to which the term was being directed."

*inspired by a curious, yet solemn, subway patron

henry and the moustaches

~ ~

My word accompaniment:

Henry did not understand what the fuss was about. All the talk about stepping stones and milestones. He'd learned to talk when he had to. To tie his shoes when he needed to. To use deodorant when he was asked to. He tried wine coolers, a pipe, posed for a driver's license photo and volunteered to bring meals to the elderly. His appendix was removed. He quit smoking and started again. He broke hearts, and nursed his own. He tasted the salt of the ocean and his own tears.

He did things. Without fussing, he grew up.

* Image, "the moustaches chased him zealously", borrowed from the talented Marc Johns.

In Short (working title)- excerpts

~ ~
He wore a red hooded sweatshirt made of a cotton-wool poly blend that made the skin on his forearms and around his neck itch. He had an attachment to it, in all its holed and tattered glory, and wore it every single day.
Most of his life was a routine.
He woke up, went to work and ate dinner like most normal people. Dull. He was far from spectacular and spent every waking moment running that thought through his mind. While at work, he would watch the drones (masked as actual people) milling around, shuffling papers and pretending to engage in riveting office gossip about the ins-and-outs of some random executive’s personal life. They rarely spoke to him, and he kept to himself liking nothing more than to do the bare minimum and leave as soon as the alarm on his Timex beeped 5 p.m. He had attempted to be social once a few months ago leading up to the company holiday party thinking it might be nice to meet a few people before the mandatory awkward fest that was to follow a week before Christmas Eve. He had wandered innocently over to the water cooler where a few suits were standing, talking, and filled a paper cone with water. He had only just begun to swivel it around, taking a few cardboard tasting sips and catching part of their conversation about so-and-so’s eleven-year-old who was caught with marijuana when he heard:
“Are the files for the Emerson case all set?”
He immediately tossed the cup, water-filled and dripping, into the nearby bin upon hearing his supervisor’s voice and made his way back to his cubicle with a slight nod in her direction.


He was soon able to appreciate the simpler things in life. Multi-colored bottle caps, French graphic novels and old puzzles littered the floor of his bedroom and living area as he moved from task to task aimlessly and restlessly. He watched game shows, ate pretzels and made paper hats out of newspapers. He was in the middle of his latest simple fascination, an origami crane, when he decided he had had enough.

"too much symbolism"

~ ~
Why I like Simon Evans (not-the-writer):

happy feet.

~ ~

I've always had a soft spot for Chucks. So much so that my current pair of originally white CT's have long passed egg-shell and off-white and now teeter perilously on the beige side. Unlike the current pair, if these Koh lovelies grace my anticipating feet, I swear that I won't wear them on an impromptu desert trip.

amplified design.

~ ~

Not since my (albeit delayed) discovery of the wonder of the Tenori-on have I been so taken aback by technology. Ladies/Gents, what you see above is not modern art, well at least that is not its sole purpose. It's a fan. A freaking fan that has been zealously dubbed, 'Air Multiplier'. Apparently with the way technology is progressing we no longer need prehistoric blades churning in the air if we want to beat the heat. Instead, we now have the option of splaying ourselves before this space-age looking device and waiting for "accelerated air" to smoothly soothe us against high temperatures and low art.

Cool has officially been redesigned.