Focus On The Advil Side

Little things like a cup of hot, strong tea, a sweet kiss on the cheek, a touch on the hand; they let me focus on what’s going on around me, all the good that’s around me.

Especially now, when my uterus is using my lower back as a punching bag (those near and dear to me have heard various similar metaphors, along with the utterance “my uterus is a treacherous bitch“) and I’m living Advil to Advil.

I just, I hate acting a stereotype. I love everyone around me, even when I’m angry. It’s just that these distinctly unpregnant pangs emanating from my lower abdomen can get a little aggravating. And if I snark at you, it’s just the moon-lady talking.

That, or you’re being unforgivably irritating.

© Emily Bragg 2013


Many Ways

there are many ways
to speak to me, if you want;
write me a letter?


I’m looking out the window and it’s raining
And I’m wishing I was out there with you
With life running down our cheeks;
Happiness increasing with each drop tracing across
And under our skin, setting our eyes afire with the knowledge
That I’ll never tire of your touch.

I want to stand on your toes, and step where you step
I want to arrange a time and place for your lips to meet mine
Over coffee, and maybe after they could take a walk.
I want to know you behind your smile.

I want to throw myself across the space between us and hold you,
Like there’s a time limit for the idea of us
But we’re slowing down the clock so that each second
Seems like an hour.

And every hour I spend with you is like
An injection of peace
And every second I spend away from you
Is like a lease, like a debt I can’t repay, like time is a bank vault
Locking each moment of aching loneliness away.

And I know sometimes I get worried,
Worried that I’ve said too much and you’ll start avoiding me
Worried that I’ve drowned your affection in my own;
Too late for resuscitation or a loan of
Breath from my lungs.

But it’s a transient state of disquiet that evaporates
Like the steam on the bathroom mirror in which I traced the words
‘I love you’.
We might end. But I hope to skies of spirits
That it isn’t soon.

Because this ancient emotion feels like a revelation,
And I’m reevaluating my diction into the words that lovers use.

And this sensation confuses me, because I’m not used to
This carved out hole in the side of me
That marks your absence;
I’m not accustomed to finding want in solitude;
But I could exist with you for days and days and find myself missing you
If you left for an hour.

And this overpowering awareness of the space where you could be
Is like trying to ignore an addiction, it’s a contradiction
To all that’s glorious and free.

Over time, I’ve learned cynicism to be the best ism to follow when falling in love,
But my surety is slowly eroding away, the cracks filled by fidelity
And the solemnity of ascending to something higher
And sweeter than anything I would have ever known to dream of
Before you.

I want to thank you
For making me feel like a live wire cut from a telephone pole when you’re around me,
For making each brush of your lips a story,
For making each page of each story full of suspense, without
Common sense or inhibitions,
Without definition of boundaries or conditions
Each intermission filled with reverence
And only the position of hands on the clock can bring us back to reality.

There are times when I wish I could plot each point
Charting a voyage from your thoughts to mine
Running a ruler across a map of cerebral connections
Just to find out what you’re thinking.

But I know that silence can be beautiful,
Because silence with you is often unusual,
Crystalline in its perfection
Every moment a reflection of quieted passion rippling from our bodies,
Breathing in harmony with understanding
Falling in tandem into something deeper than expected.

And I know alone is okay,
But somehow alone is just an echo
Of being with you.

I wrote this ages ago, during the first few months of my now-almost-two-year relationship with my love. Everything was such an incredible revelation, I can still conjure up the intense feelings that I tried so hard to put into words. This is meant to be spoken; whisper it to yourself. If you have this, rejoice. If you don’t, wait; it will come to you.

© Emily Bragg 2013

Apology Epoch

I’ve found myself apologizing to people a lot lately.

I’m not certain if it’s because I’ve been more offensive
Or I’ve just noticed my actions
And the way I can sometimes be both a slap and a distraction
To people.

The attraction of risking others’ emotions is
The Attention, the resultant direction of
Eyes towards my antics, my words.
I’m the first to admit it.

And too often
I don’t look at what I’ve said
Until the later hours, when someone says
That really hit me hard.”

And then I apologize
Because at that point there’s no other words
To make it less stinging, less hard;
Even “I’m sorry” really won’t heal that much
Of the scar.

I say scars, but only ’cause it rhymes;
Maybe there’s been a few times
Where I’ve been so unkind that it cuts so deep
The surrounding tissue puckers and heals awry,
But mostly they’re bumps and bruises,
A few paper cuts.

Don’t think I don’t care, I’m
Scared of what I do when I’m not looking
To the people
I care about.

I know the best solution to my apology condition (my
blatant inattention) would be to
Tone down my actions.
I’ve never really done that.
I don’t know how to backtrack or which
Words lack the stinging smack of
Unintended harassment.

The only solution,
The only viable battle plan is to listen
Instead of speaking
And try to swing it so I don’t seem sullen, don’t attract
Attention with my silence.

Some of my favourite people
Are completely understated.
The ones who say the funniest things
In the quietest voices.

It’s not in my blood to be that way.
But I could quiet what I do,
Save the energy for emergencies and
Say better things.

Draw out this marrow and
Replace it with
Liquid quiet
So I
An endless internal supply.
Replicating cells of
Quieter quiet. It grows

I grow

© Emily Bragg 2013

On The Haiku

haikus are simple
fun little bite-sized poems
for all occasions

the finger sandwich
of poetry, not hearty
but rather perfect.

I like haikus ’cause
they are like small word boxes,
ribbons optional.

just sufficient space
for a single sentiment
with just the right words.

© Emily Bragg 2013

Radio Famous!

Well, not famous, but my radio virginity has been taken. Co-op Radio Vancouver asked some of the students from the Vision to Voice project to come read their poems on the radio, and I blithely volunteered my Tuesday evening, thinking I’d just be one in a long succession of students reading poems on air. Nerve-wracking enough, I say. But soft! When we arrived, it was unveiled that they had a whole interview session set up for us. Questions, answers, songs, laughter, the whole nine yards. I nearly fled.

Despite my fear of making an utter fool of myself, it went well. The volunteers that run this radio station are without a doubt some of the nicest, most genuine people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, and I can say confidently that I won’t have the fight-or-flight reaction if there is a radio in the future.

The show is called World Poetry Café – El Mundo de la Poesia, and is a bilingual show (Spanish/English) that explores poetry from various different areas. You can listen to/download the show here, and I would highly recommend checking out future (and past) Co-op Radio shows, because they are truly a stand-up community figure for minority cultures and societies; their “About” page calls it a “voice for the voiceless”. A really unique, golden idea.

All in all, despite muddling through Tuesday on a pithy ration of sleep and offending exactly one friend (that I know of, could be more; heaven knows I’m not at my most tactful on >3 hours of sleep), it’s been a really fantastic day. Oh, and I’d like to

thank you followers,
you commenters and likers
for lifting my day.

© Emily Bragg 2013