Any little outburst.

It was only to be expected that after a year or two Flinksy would have saved enough to buy some new clothes, and the natural consequence of being in style, or at least not altogether drab and shabby, was that she should start going out in the evening a little more. This was the period during which she was given the name Flinksy (“Wild One”), as pathetically undeserved a nickname as ever a sober-minded young puritan female was saddled with; but in our fiercely critical and self-righteous family, any little outburst of sociability or romance was always pounced on and rudely labelled by one or other of us as a major fault of character. (64-65)

From Janes, Percy. House of Hate. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1970. Print.

Grief they loved.

Grief they loved, wore it in white lace over cotton and starched collars with bow ties, mauve dresses smoothed over regal behinds and Chantilly hats tipped to the side over ironed hair, black serge over six-foot legs and close-cut brilliantined hair under black number-six headband hats. They loved grief and spent every penny on it and thought it made them holy, they had each a parched well inside their chests, sacred and hungry, they went to funerals of people they did not know, they stood at grave sides looking into the despair of the mourners, their eyes became ashy with passion. They expected peril, listened for it at the window on nights without lamp oil, sat at the open door in the seven o’ clock dust and tried to make out its figure loitering or coming, affirming “hmm hmmmm” when it moved towards them; they beckoned it, sure that it was lurking, looked for it over their shoulder, their eyes only opened to see it, they stroked it, they prepared for it, laid a place for it at table. They were so vigilant they helped it by making laws they themselves could not live by; they scanned the unformed scars on their cocoa-picking, seine-pulling, cane-cutting, rum-drinking hands; they scanned the scarless flesh of their new born and wrote peril there because peril was all they were familiar with. (124)

From Brand, Dionne. In Another Place, Not Here. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 1997. Print.

Catfood [self-promotion].

My story “Catfood” (another Twin Phantoms excerpt) appears in the first issue of Understorey Magazine. Many thanks to editor Katherine J. Barrett, who approached me for a submission after my WFNS Mentorship reading.

Mum was up smoking at the window. Tapping ashes into the sink. Nini’s dead, I told her. I put her last bottle of blueberry jam on the table.

Mum took straight off past me with her cigarette. Cross the gravel in bare feet like God said it, not me. So I set about making toast on the stove and took mum’s spot at the window, watched her circle ’round to Aunt Nini’s porch door. Bout twelve when I found her. Nancy was her right name.

From Gilroy, Corinne. “Catfood.” Understorey Mag. 1.1 (2013): n. pag. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.

Dark grass [self-promotion].

A poem I wrote on impulse has been anthologized. Somebody pinch me.

traps out there traps that curl open
stretch bored tingling limbs across
black grass hours ahead of dew (28-30)

From Gilroy, Corinne. “Dark Grass.” Writing the Common: Being An Anthology of Poetry Commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the Halifax Common. Kentville, NS: Gaspereau. 40-42. Print.

Just beyond.

Squid hang like prayer flags on the horizon,
pale arms flickering in the wind. Peaks of sheds,
an upturned bucket, a jet gone just beyond the
paper’s edge, forever roaring into the future. (1-4)

From Kidd, Monica. “Remains: Conception Bay, 1981.” Handfuls of Bone. Kentville, NS: Gaspereau, 2012. 1. Print.

Exempt from ideology.

We talk about ideology, but very few of us have any. You may not perceive that, but we look at a case by first reading and knowing the facts and the reading the briefs, and then we make up our minds.

Former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Claire L’Heureux-Dube, qtd. in Macfarlane, Emmett. Governing From the Bench: the Supreme Court of Canada and the Judicial Role. Vancouver: UBC, 2013. Print.

No girls.

An audience member approached me after my reading last week to recommend The Mountain and the Valley by Ernest Buckler. The narrator’s perspective jumps around at a frustrating pace (Whose head am I in? Whose head am I in now?), but Buckler’s prose is glorious and wise.

“A girl couldn’t go way back there, Anna,” he said. Then it came to him how awful it was when the others said something reasonable like that to him, and Anna helpless to argue even, as he did. (26)

From Buckler, Ernest. The Mountain and the Valley. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1961. Print.

The middle path to accountability.

“We tend to think right away about resignation, and falling on your sword, and doing the humble thing,” said Mr. Lee Crowley. “I think that’s terribly important and we don’t do enough of it, but I think there’s an intermediate step, which is the apology. I think we’ve completely lost the art of the apology.” One reason, he said, is a “macho” distaste for the perceived weakness of contrition, and so instead the electorate gets what […] Crowley calls “weasel” apologies, in which the audience is blamed for taking offence.

From: Brean, Joseph. “Considering the scandals plaguing multiple levels of government, it seems accountability as a virtue is on the wane.” National Post. Postmedia Network Inc., 24 May 2013. Web. 25 May 2013.