A blog by Shawn Katz

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I had a talk with Toronto

Whiplash pangs tonight, stopmotion gags, and this heart’s not getting enough oxygen.

But now I had a long and hard talk with Toronto. Said sorry for most days spent scaling and skirting the surface too clenched to permit the plunge, but now I sat him down, I sat him right down right in front of me, face to face like a friend, I had a talk with Toronto. I went for a walk. Felt up the contours of my corner topography, a heartfelt stroke up and down its hot sides. Hey there red CN, so happy to see me.

I’m not sure I’m ready to return the favour.

education, for humans.

It’s okay, they tell us, to hand in a paper that’s also (or instead) a work of art. “Just get the message across, any medium.”

Go.

telling stories.

It’s liquid expressionism that runs through his veins, but his small body’s saturated and can’t hold it all in. It’s all the same substance anyway, it’s all atoms alike, there’s no in versus out, or fears of out looking on. Now he’s standing in the corner gesturing wide to the walls and I’m crouched at the opposite end watching mountains dissolve. As he conjures and conducts his life keeps pumping all out and he’s liberally splashing the room around with every jerk and pivot. He can burst, keep on bursting, he can never deplete and not a single shred of shrapnel could ever tarnish his airy flesh.

This scene is the archetype of contact. A force flows from his eyes to touch every cell inside me and I see his skin’s just a part of the décor. There’s nothing between his soul and the world,

and I can’t seem to keep from merging.

His unhalting breath is now bending all physics and the act of his being bewilders, enthralls. how can he walk the earth with all the suits and cynics? how is he made of anything else but glass and wire?

In the corner, a writer sits plucking out steel hairs of the mundane. His flights of fancy are slowly filling up the page.

Next stop.

“Riiver street. Riiiver!” wails the driver. There’s no one near enough to hear him, or care to listen. On he goes though, soldiering on as in the days of old, before the electronic woman in the speaker pried this little pleasure from his grasp. He doesn’t hear her, it seems, can’t quite make out the crystal echo shadowing his every boisterous mumbling with such automatized grace. Like a ghost conductor on the night shift shepherding all the lost souls. Back, forth.

The honour of the craft. The nobility of it all.

“Viiictoooria. Victoria Street next.”

I got down off the streetcar and made my way up to class.

of illness and atrophied hearts.

Modern Man set out to conquer the body like everything else, suppress it like a sin, tame the beast under mind’s foot. The Victorians have finally gotten hold of the world.

Work, efficiency, progress, pay.

No time for sleep, meals are quaint vestiges of old, wank off dear child and the devil will have at you. Because we’re all floating cerebra in a jar atop the shelf. The body – immoral, mortal – well, we’ll leave that to the apes.

Yet at the end of the day we all stand bewildered, aghast when the body doubles back to betray us. A species felled by diseases of anxiety and bemoaning, of blindness towards all the simple beauties; a species that’s forgotten to feel.

The brain starved of blood which the heart stopped sending up,

just a jar lying in shards underfoot, twitching contents amongst all the rotting wood.

it’s like,

nimble fingers flinging soundwaves right through you, playing your nerve endings like a harp. Its chords are your stringy bundles of muscle, tickled, like someone blowing the hair on your arm. Push you, pull you, marionette.

six feet over

Balance is the best, nope noo excess, at least when it doesn’t thrill me. But I’ll keep some of this sin, and thank you,

the zealots always miss the point.

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