I Can't Hear You, Future Me, I'm Too Busy Drinkin'!

Dear Present Travis,

When you were younger and felt like you'd missed out on everything you really hadn't even begun to be alive.
I know you felt like you were constantly missing out on these extraordinary chances and squandering every gift ever given to you, but I can promise you it just seemed that way at the time.
You're a teenager and you're stupid; maybe not as stupid as most teenagers but still unquestionably stupid. However, you know even now that you aren't capable of really fucking it all up.
Stop worrying that you're ruining your life, in the end that's what makes you miss the most important opportunities.
Stop being so pretentious and stop hiding behind that weird veneer of intellectualism.
You misspelled pretentious three times just now and you're somehow going to survive.

Stop being an Idiot,
Future Travis

p.s. This isn't an excuse for you to not write your fucking letter of intent. Stop being an idiot.



with the hot iron of association
everywhere I sit feels stiff and folded
but with depth
like picnic blankets on the beach,
hot towels crunching with the rhythms of our jaws,
and how when there was nothing left to say,
we would fill our mouths with sand


Everytime I Think I Know Who I Am Someone Tells Me I've Changed

I still haven't written my letter of intent because I still don't know what my intentions are.

However, I'm working on a solution. I've decided that before I'm able to decide what it is I intend to be, I need to understand who I am now and who I've been. I need to re-evaluate where I am right now, where I want to be and where I've come from.

In short, I've decided that rather than sitting down to write my letter of intent I need to procrastinate in a manner which allows me to still feel as though I'm spending my time productively; though clearly I'm aware that I'm not.

Stay Tuned for: Where I've Been


Wearing Thin, Breaking Up

Suddenly he found himself
hungry and less certain,
two undone legs gone toothpick
gone shaky and knock-kneed
easily alarmed and suddenly
thin, wearing
all of these our finest clothes
but still prone to buckling
still unused to buckles.
"We used to be better than this."


Sleep till Noon, Wring Hands All Along the Night

Today all I've been thinking about is school and the fact that I still don't know what I want out of it.
Actually I slept all day today, so what I mean to say is that for the last couple hours I've been thinking about school and what I want out of it (and have come to no conclusion.)

Right now the two schools I'm seriously considering are Concordia and UNBC, both for their Creative Writing program (though UNBC's is actually a joint degree in Fine Arts and Creative Writing.) It might seem like it doesn't make sense for me to travel across the country to enroll in a program that's offered in the city I'm in, but it didn't really make sense for me to travel across the country to not enroll in said program either. Clearly sensibility is not a factor in this decision.

Something that regrettably has been a factor though is the November 24 2008 Issue of Maclean's, in which they ranked all of Canada's universities. It's not that I put a lot of faith in rankings like these, it's just that I can't stop myself from consider them. For example, now that I know Concordia rarely ranks in the top ten in most categories I can't help but consider the stupid weight of public opinion when measuring how I feel about the two universities. Seeing UNBC consistently ranked highly throughout the issue, for everything from class sizes to student satisfaction, does make the university more appealing to me, even though I know these things don't accurately reflect what I'm looking for in a university.

The fact that I don't know what I want out of university is probably the biggest problem in deciding where I want to go. Do I want to go to a smaller, less-prestigious university? Do I want to enroll in one of the big names that dominate the top ten lists? Will it bother me that when I tell people what university I went to they'll smile and nod even though they've never heard the name in their lives?

Naturally all of this hand-wringing is pointless. No matter where I go I'm going to come out with either a BA or BFA that will do me little good in the post-apocalyptic wastes of the Economic Recession.


2008: My Word Against Me

I meant to say something, to say anything really
but between having nothing to say and not knowing how to say it
my words got lost

No, my words got choked
my words got beaten and thrown against
every wall I could find

They were all I had
and so they were all I had to lose
and loose

They came out wrong, all blind and deformed
hideous baby words we keep locked in the attic
and we called the lot of them idiots

And when their prince comes we let down words
stumbling and gagging down the stairs
hopping two or three at a time just to meet someone new

An attic is a terrible place, you see
one somehow so inhospitable that words rush out of it
filling the exchange with their barking laughs

Idiot words telling horrible tales
horrible things about me and my home
which might I add is exquisite

That's why I have to keep on running
town to town, in search of any ear untainted
anyone who doesn't know already who I am

Soon this poem too will be another awful breed of mongrel
yipping about something I'd swear I've never felt
but what does it matter, who will you trust

The Idiot or that which Made Him?
that which Made Him or The Idiot?

Who choked who?



Shifting from the quiet night by the fury of an alarm clock used up by the summer months it slowly simmered away with , the morning buzzes of schedules, humidity , waiting, and reminiscing.

Sometimes luck finds us in indelible pricks to the skin, surfacing for masochists gouging deep into themselves, into months,
receiving returns to often familiar endorphin rushes,
luck's lysed like the bursting of boxcars from our dicey rolls we shook in anticipation
like I shivered on the couch and rattle awkwardly in an open set of arms.

and each morning is as loaded with luck
as the amount of ammunition we keep close ready to fling ourselves into
when we're loaded with our insecurities and self hatred
as if we're meant to be flammable

but I would never hurt myself here,
here where I keep the blankets damp after the dryer's failed attempts
I can't toss you into being something warm, like I can't keep summer close,
but I keep the blankets humid like a reminder
and roll the dice anyway,

like maybe somethings can't be forced, but others can be mimicked,
and these false feelings of unfulfillable goals,
are as meek and powerless as the hope we throw away into fountains when it gets too hot for change to sit idle in our pockets.


2008- A Lengthy Essay on The Breaking Point of a Lifelong Oddyssey

- Writing Exercise: write about something you never talk about AND 2008 Life Exercise: deal with something you've always avoided-

When I was of grade school age, I used to have nights where I locked myself in my room, holding either my family cat Lassie or my stuffed toy Babar close to my chest, and sit atop my bed either in a silence or in long sobs between breaths that stayed equally as close to me as the objects I would have been holding. Sometimes my sister would be there alongside me, sometimes it was just me.

Back then I never told anyone that my parents yelled a lot. I told my friends about a reoccurring nightmare I used to have where I was a bride to be, driving a vehicle in the rain in my wedding dress, while the revolting voice of my groom yelled at me from the windshield wipers as they squeeked back and forth. It never made any concrete sense, the way that dreams never make any real sense. But later in the dream I would find myself sitting down at the kitchen table with all five of my family members seated around near to me. In front of us were disgusting amounts of beef piled in stacks on the table. Everyone was yelling. The words never made sense, but it was tense , it was sickening, and it was scary. This dream stopped happening around the age of ten, but I doubt I'll ever be able to forget it, not that it haunts me or anything. I just kept the dream alive by telling people I knew about it. My friends never completely understood how or why it was a nightmare, and I never completely understood why it was important enough to tell other people.All I knew is that it existed, and it was frightening. It was a fear too big for me to understand.
When I got older I'd always defend my parents and family dynamics from the scrutiny of my older siblings. Everything was fine if I saw it as fine, and if we stir the pot it will get worse. I learned this, too. At about age eight I had tried to fix things by yelling back. I told my parents that they should shutup because yelling wouldn't make anything better. But, I was told it was none of my business. I stayed out of it.

I stayed out of it later, too. I liked hanging out with my Dad when Mom was not around. We went on hikes, we watched movies, we listened to music, and I learned lots about pop culture and rock. I also learned what .5% alcoholic beer was, and for whatever reason, I liked to point this out to my friends when I was a kid. "My Dad doesn't drink". Mom on the other hand, was always angry at me. She made me do chores and yelled at me when I didn't. She forced me to get involved in things I wanted nothing to do with.She embarrassed me when she tried to be cool or my friend. Mom was never my friend. She pushed me to be things that I always ended up feeling stuck being ....a tap dancer, a classical guitarist, a sailor. Mom never let me relax. I couldn't let Mom down without feeling shamed. Mom had so many expectations.

In Junior highschool my dad began working in different cities. He'd come home on weekends and that's all I'd ever see of him. I was never around at that time anyway. I spent all my time at the barn with the horses. It was a haven there. I could escape school pressure, I could escape my family, and all the while I could be doing exactly what I had always been wanting to do in life since I was about 5 years old: Ride Horses. Of course, this added some further complication to my life. I didn't know my parents at all. I avoided being at home. Mom would be angry and sad that I was never home. Tensions raised in my family and I was never there to want to know what was going on or find out what was going on. I knew one of my sisters hated me for some reason,the other two didn't seem to have the time for me, and if I ever made it home for dinner fights would have always been on the menu.
Even when hanging out with my friends it was never at home. Hang outs at my house ended when at one point my friends and I were watching a movie and the phone rang and I didn't pick it up. My Dad stormed in the room , yelling , and called me a fucking moron. It scared the shit out of me at the time, but it isn't a memory that ever surfaced much afterward. I figured he was drunk, so it was okay. He didn't really mean it. He was drunk.
About four years ago, my Father retired from working his job in a different city. After he had been gone so long I didn't feel like I had much to say to him. He gave me rides to the barn. That's all the time I gave him, and it was all the time he gave me. He watched TV a lot and said offensive things the rest of the time. I noticed he didn't respect my Mom much, and she didn't respect herself much. I didn't respect either of them much, but I began feeling sorry for Mom. I tried to make her happy, but she was still always stressed out and I didn't have anything real to say to her. I virtually lacked a relationship with either of my parents.
And one night the absence of feelings for my Father turned to something near hatred when I witnessed him calling my sister a bitch. Straight-up verbal abuse like this was never common in my house, and so it left me scared and frightened when it did happen.
I talked about it with my sister. We walked to the watertower and I think maybe we both cried. I could see for the first time what was so wrong with my family. Those Nightmares were finally beginning to make some sense.

I sometimes tell people I don't have secrets. Usually, I don't think I ever do. Children of alcoholics learn to carry shame,emotion, and knowledge much differently than other kids. Everything always comes down to feeling like my fault, and it's not worth talking about because that would make people feel worse. I would make people feel worse. Sure, insight on situations is present, but you don't learn it until it is absolutely unavoidable.

I came home from University in 2008. I was feeling heartbroken, I was lonely, I felt like a failure (to Mom and myself) because I had wussed out on treeplanting and ended up back in Comox. The last thing I needed was more loneliness out in a forest. I couldn't make friends, I had done well at University but didn't feel like any of the knowledge I had acquired would stay with me. And everything I was happy to be home for just made me feel ashamed. I was happy to ride again, I was happy to see Mom, I was happy to no longer have to be courageous and strong. I could live in Comox. It could be easy.

Mom and I drove from Prince George to Comox in one day. I was glad to see Mom. We could talk. Things were seeming like maybe they would be lovely.
At home I ignored Dad (which at this point in my life was a pretty usual thing), I kept my resent quiet, and we kept to ourselves anyway. It seemed like Mom and him got along better than usual too. They went places and did things together. I didn't notice him drinking much. It remained at a pretty level status quo and that was good enough for me.
In the spring I broke my hand and began having to make several weekly trips to Campbell River with my mom that involved lots of waiting around in cars and in doctor's offices. We spent a lot of time together and it reminded me of when I was a younger teenager and we'd drive to and from victoria or campbell river to guitar lessons.
During this time I noticed my Dad had started drinking more again, and Mom would fight with him more again. I started to hide more in my room again.
One day over lunch Mom said she was worried about Dad "he is acting pretty depressed". The subject made me fearful of facing mom about my feelings toward Dad "Maybe he should just get a hobby or a job" I said. I knew it was a stupid thing to say. I just didn't know what else to say.

One morning after a trip back from Nanaimo that mom and I had been on because my Dad had hurt his back and couldn't come, Mom noticed my hand (that had a pin sticking out of it because of surgery) looked very infected. Instead of first going home we went to the walk in clinic and then the hospital to get me some very strong antibotics.
What we came home to however , was much worse.

"Call Tom, I can't deal with this" Mom told me. I had to call my uncle to get him to come over and convince my Father that he was not sober enough to drive away. Of course, this was after much fighting had gone one. A fight , unlike others, where I had heard every detail of history between my parents. Dad's drinking, how things weren't working out, etc etc. The same old cliches you always hear about people in shitty relationships. I called Tom, and then I hid in my room. I didn't even see Tom. I didn't want to. Dad stayed at home that night and mom forced him to apologize to me the next morning. He barely said anything, and as usual, Mom apologized for him. I could finally see that's what she had always been doing all of my life.

A few weeks later I got up for work, remembering it was Father's day, and I saw my Dad on the computer at 530 in the morning. Not wanting to have much conversation I didn't ask why he was up so early and instead said a quick "happy father's day" before I left for work, and he laughed and said "thanks".

That day he left town and I haven't seen him since.

Of course, this story has not ended there.
You may now be wondering "Holy shit, Dee, you shouldn't write this so publicly." or perhaps, as my insecurities are now telling me , "Holy shit , Dee. This is really none of my business and really long and self-indulgent".
While maybe the latter is true, I don't think the former is. This was the reality of 2008 for me. Dealing with all of this bullshit and the aftermath of it which is still affecting me (and no doubt will continue affecting me for a long long fucking time). I don't know what is to come in 2009, or ever, but I made a resolution to myself which is to not carry so much shame and not be so silent.
There is so much that we need to talk about that gets labeled as taboo or too personal. Topics that are deemed inappropriate for public venues. And it's how communities fall apart.
Now, I know oscillations isn't exactly a community, but in some ways it is. There are a community of people who read this. There are a few of my friends who read everything I write on here, and it's usually just weird poetry. Or things that kind of avoid stating outright what they are...which of course is fine, I guess that's the point of poetry. It's subtely direct. It finds artistic ways of expressing topics. Well, I can't say I've been feeling very artistic this year, and it's shown by my lack of writing poetic things anymore, and I've been thinking a lot about escapism and how this blog is one of the ways in which I escape. Now, I think it's really constructive escapism and I'm glad to have it, but it just hasn't been good enough for me this year. Why? Because life actually really happened. I could not find euphemisms in poetry to express everything I've been feeling. It's been hard to talk to my friends or sisters about. It's been hard to talk to myself about.
So yeah, there . There it is. There , written down for a few people (some strangers) to publicly see is my 2008 oddyssey. And I guess now that it is in 2009, I can only be hopeful that better events will take place.
My Mom successfully had her brain surgery, my dad is currently out my life, I am in montreal, and I am trying to live better and better, and share more and more of myself.
I wish for everyone to try and do the same.

Thanks for giving a shit, and have a wonderfully honest, happy new year.
"May we always carry our histories with us, but never let them bury us."

Wear your heart on your fuckin' sleeve.


Sometimes I worry. No, I worry a lot. I'm a nervous and tightly wound person, most people wouldn't know, until they're present for a moment where I can't hold it in and I explode into a symphony of hyperventilation and tears, often accompanied by stifled screams about how much I hate what I am. I am afraid of being with other people in a bed, alone. I am afraid of men in general. I am afraid of saying no to men when I'm in bed with them, alone. I've spent this year tearing myself apart and being torn apart physically and emotionally trying to find some comfort for the bad things done to me in the summer months of 2007. Instead I feel like all I've done is regress, into old habits, old thoughts, old emotions, and even older coping mechanisms.
I can only spend so much time thinking about throwing myself head first through a window before I actually do it. I think that's still a while yet, and maybe I'll stop thinking about it before then.
I started my new year drunk and pissing blood. Old habits and old coping mechanisms led me there, this time I couldn't even pretend it was fun at first. The fact is that until I suck it up and start actually talking about it, or doing something about it, I'm going to keep putting myself in violently degrading situations, and I'll keep being afraid of men.

p.s. Sorry I suck at posting on a more than biannually basis anymore