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Category Archives: True Life

A white truck, delivering expensive gardens, swings
around the corner of the house where
two twenty-something year old females glowing
from foreign backgrounds, kneel over
spoiled soil.
They pull over-grown weeds from dry
The sound
feels like a good scrub
One of the glowing ethnic empresses
pricks her thumb on something sharp
and goes inside to wash it off
as I watch it all, sitting
in the soon-to-be
garden of

Britta B.

I have no control
I made myself let go
because I learned I never had it

And the beat goes on, the beat
goes on

She had angelic eyes
and the Devil’s lips
She made me feel like a burn victim
was swimming in my throat

I was shy
to say the least

And the beat goes on, the beat goes on
The beat goes on
The beat goes on

And now she’s looking right at me
I feel so holy tonight
and I’m losing my religion
in the darkest parts of this
dimmed-down room

She’s taking me from my man

I know, there’s nothing I can do
I’m just as confused
as you are too

And the beat goes on, the beat goes on

Oh, you simple girl
you impress me

Your simple-ness
is interesting

And it takes me away
from my man

And the beat goes on, the beat goes
The beat goes on
The beat goes on

Britta B.

I recently realized that my parents got married
during the week of the year that holds the record for highest
rates of suicide and depression.

Isn’t that lovely?



How often is a foreshadow supposed to fly over your head?

They got married that week to cure their desperation –they eloped. Therefore,
my life was fixed; I was born into fear, naivety
I was raised by two children who never grew up because they were raised by
children too
and never got to feel mature love
even when it wasn’t deserved

They needed each other;
they were still at the stage where they had to hold hands to
cross the road
because they were too afraid of losing control of each other

(Maybe that’s why I’m still sitting here on a curb
waiting for someone who is never coming to get me)

…I think about how my Ma text me today saying she was
in a ‘grumpy mood’
and couldn’t grasp a clue as to why. I staple the facts
that they separated a year and a half ago and their 23rd anniversary
is technically this week to a memo-memory
and put it in the
“Re: the worst week of the year” files of my mind

I come across about a hundred more weeks living at home 
tucked into the folder…
It’s sad to see they missed the clues

It’s sad to see I miss them too, together
And now

Never again.
               Even if it’s for the better
it’s still the ‘Never’ that taunts you.

Everyone wants their parents to be the ones to prove
that people in this world
can keep a promise

Because when your parents get a divorce

                                you start to believe

that there’s a possibility
somebody could stop loving you.

Britta B.

I feel dangerously gentle and usually,
my heart’s hard to soften
I don’t feel like being on my best behaviour tonight
So, let me get right to it:

I want to wrap my tongue around your head like a scarf…

It ain’t a bad thing baby, if it makes you feel good

C’mere and listen to what I say
when I stop talking
to you

Look at where I run off to the moment it gets quiet
and let me take my time coming back
to you

Rub your temperature all over me
C’mon baby, light my fire

your cries into the backside
of my temples,
and be as sentimental as you like
Just don’t –
don’t tell me your name

It’ll fuck up my hindsight

It’ll let me get too use to getting to where I am
just to look back –some things don’t know how to heal

I’d rather be
hurt physically than mentally because
you can’t put band-aids on memories.
You can’t just get stitches
every time somebody wants to leave you.

These things don’t know how to heal

But now that we’re here, it’d be a real shame
not to –
to not touch you
It’d be a shame to not amaze you

Everybody’s got some hidden need for approval
You want me to want you, don’t you?

Come here,
I got something for you

All you have to do is survive our first kiss.

*This is just a story
about a little black spider I noticed clinging to the corner of my bedroom wall
the moment I thought I was all alone
I imagined what the little black spider would have to say
if she could say anything at all
(I imagined we’d have a lot in common)

Britta B.

Clean teeth sink into
opened, wet
and drag colour across a pale canvas leaned against the wall

There is no other feeling quite like the first stroke.

is always leading up to the first interaction of two separate beings
A gentle collision of fixed ideas, experiences, and acceptance
bound by two separate perceptions of time

The first tic of time together is often overlooked, unnoticed

Until we retrace our steps, certain we lost something along the way

We never show up at the same place at the same time but we came together
And I want to feel it again
But there will be no other moment
no photocopy, no replay, no imitation
to capture the precise amount of chemistry released in that instant of friction

I would have to live my whole life again

You would, too
Without changing a thing; there are so many people we didn’t have the courage
to give this feeling to before we came together.
That’s what makes it so special.

That’s what makes you so unique.

You have a piece of me, I can’t give to anyone else the same.

Britta B.

It’s hard for me
to remember the last time I smiled at myself
because you occupy my mind-
I tell myself that that could be a good thing or a very good thing
Either way, I’m doomed

I hate the way
I have to love you from afar
because being together physically
will never do

“Time prevents everything from happening all at once”
I think that’s what someone said
while failing to mention that love prevents the existence of time

How could you ever know how much I think of you?
Unless, of course, you recognize my smile
in the dark of your blinks
in the crease of your palms
in the bends of your knees and arms
in the light, gentle way your tongue clings to the roof
of your mouth when you think you’re not thinking of anything at all

I want to bring you to the place
where so much is understood
without anything ever being said to one another
but it wouldn’t be logical

It would be so illogical to follow our hearts

Britta B.

Britta B. performing “The Girl I Wanted To Be” for the 1st time at Trane Studio,
downtown Toronto on Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Today I had the leisure of going on a nice autumn adventure to my neighbourhood’s Value Village. For those of you who don’t know, Value Village (or the double Vee) is a very popular second-hand thrift shop here in Canada. I managed to pick up a few new vinyls to add to my collection of one, all from Canadian artists/bands that I never heard of before.

At first, I was hoping to find a few artists that I actually enjoyed listening  to, but then I decided to indulge based solely off the ones I thought had the most interesting album artwork. I came across a group called “General Public” and liked the way they had all of these interpretations of what a “hand to mouth” (their album title) looks like.

When I came home, I searched for their music on YouTube and found a video for “Too much or nothing”. The video was ridculously too long (intended perhaps?) but I still like the theme of this song.

What do you think? Does everything really come down to being either ‘too much or nothing’ or is there an in between?

Britta B.

1. The lack of security cameras in the mailroom of the apartment building I lived in when I was in sixth grade. I would open tenants’ out-going mail during Christmas time, throw the cards signed ‘with love’ in the trash and keep the money that was inside.
My dad, the Superintendant of the building worried, “Somebody’s breaking into the mailroom again.” 

Since then, I’ve learned that getting caught is nothing compared to guilt.  

2. Getting cut from the volleyball team in seventh grade. That’s how I learned who my real friends were. Funny how a little competition can make you do that, huh?

3. The four courses I failed in university: EC120, SP202, BI396F, and PS270. Well, clearly I didn’t learn anything from that experience. But look at that pretty face on the cover of Laurier’s 2008 view-book!

4. Basketball. Playing, coaching, refereeing, watching, filling water bottles –it was all worth it. I learned the importance of teamwork and that the pre-party is on Fir St. NOT First Street.

5. My high school English teacher making a mockery of my poetry with that stupid red pen.
“This is an essay assignment. Please re-write and follow the instructions.”

6. The day my dad took me to a talent agency and the man standing behind the counter looked at me and asked, “What did you do? Pluck your eyebrows with a pair of pliers?” It hurt at the time but I can laugh now.

Life is good at planting little treasures for you to cherish at a later time. At first, the digging may cause a bit of discomfort but once the scar tissue heals, you’ll find youself better for it.

7. The cities, towns, and communities I have visited. I think I listen better on the road. I have learned a lot about the world through my travels and have gained a greater sense of freedom.

8. For you. Whether we’ve shared a bag of chippies together, just met, brushed shoulders, or slept under the same sky, you mean something to me. You inspire, reconsider and create who I am. Thank you.  

Britta B.

Nine years ago today, I was sitting at home with my first boyfriend, Nesta. My parents were separated at the time but they were both out together at my brother’s basketball practice. I was never allowed to have a boyfriend, let alone have any friends come over to hang at my house. If my parents ever agreed on anything, it was their grand idea to keep me locked up in my bedroom until I turned 30.

Surprised to hear voices, I sprinted from my room like a Candace Bergen phone-line commercial to the back door and realized who was home. I remember telling Nesta to find a place to hide before I left my room but as soon as I saw my father’s face I knew we were both done for. It must have been those militant instincts that kicked into high gear because he didn’t even acknowledge the fact that he nearly knocked me down as he B-lined to my room. Ma started shouting, “Who’s upstairs?!” but I didn’t even get a chance to respond because before I knew it, my dad was dragging Nesta by the neck of his shirt down the stairway. Dad demanded us to join him in the living room for what seemed like hours of interrogation, but not even an hour later, Nesta slipped out the door as dad boldly exclaimed, “Get out. I better not see you again.”

That night, my father filed a restraining order against the only person that told me they loved me up to that point, when I couldn’t think of a single reason to love myself. The next three years were very difficult for me. My parents solemnly neglected to pay attention to me unless it was to remind me how much of a whore or slut I was for having a boyfriend behind their back. I remember spending most of my class time in the Guidance Counsellor’s office crying over how embarrassed, lonely, and unloved I felt and can distinctly remember expressing concern for my ability to ever be optimistic about my life again.

A lot has changed since that time… plenty remains the same. My brother now plays for his university’s varsity basketball team and just this past weekend, both my parents were in attendance. Ma couldn’t make it through the game without crying over the fact that my father brought his new girlfriend to the game when they ain’t even divorced yet. Luckily, I live comfortably in a bigger city that’s a safe distance away from the hole in the wall I’m supposed to call ‘home’. I’ve grown up a lot since then; I love myself more and forgive myself for everything that once was. I could go on about my accomplishments but I’m most proud of the fact that I don’t have to ask anyone for anything, save for a compliment every now and again (wink). Point is, the struggle made me stronger.

Nesta spent the next three years writing to me every day in a couple of black journals that I now keep next to my own. He has inspired a lot of my writing and I owe him a lot for the woman I’ve become.

Nesta, I hope all is fair in love n’ ball.

Britta B.