Mother tongue

Is a language I’ve learned out of necessity
Some might say it’s a success story, to have the second son of working immigrants become his high school’s highest scoring English student
To be chosen valedictorian by his peers based on his speech-writing ability
To get seven scholarships into university for a joint major in English,
And journalism,
Which is basically glorified analytical English
Yes, some might say it’s a success story but for me,
All I see is that I’ve nearly lost the most sacred thing connecting me to my ancestry
See, in the mountains of China, near the lakes and the rocks and the forest of trees, where the sun shimmers down on the ocean of seas
There are villages
Hundreds of villages, where the sheep herders eat and the men do tai chi and the women, they sing as they bring up their seed
And these villages?  They all speak
A different form of Chinese.
See the field villages, where rice farmers toil the fertile soil
While speaking in hakka, and toisan, and more
See fishermen cities, their markets all busy
With gwang dong wah and gwok yeu and now do you see what I’m speaking for?
Imagine if Ottawa, spoke a different language than Oshawa, and Toronto different than St. Johns, and Calgary different from Yukon, but not the same as Edmonton, all different from Chicoutimi, a different dialect from BC, now imagine just how dope that’d be.
But they don't
and it's not
That's why this language
It's a joke to me.


Midas touch

Anything the man formerly known as Marcus Jameel sets his mind and creative spirit to, will always turn to gold.  This is too good.


This is why spoken word continues to draw me in. Story-telling and world-changing on the daily.


Things learned on June 19, 2012

Life is an assortment of blessings. If there is indeed beauty in the broken, if we are truly to believe that all experiences, whether pleasant or painful, are meant to shape and grow us as beings, then everything is a blessing. Give thanks.


Bon Iver doin work

The amount of excellence in this video is unbelievable.


grown for juice

bred for milk

oranges and cows

late night musings when you're on the road


new poem.

Sometimes I lie awake at night
Seeing dreams in 3D playing on the stucco ceiling above me
See when you spend your days running around in a craze like some dazed up, glazed over mice in a maze,
You tend to find time only slows down enough for you to catch a breath
when you’re sleeping.
So instead of sleeping, I lie awake.
Cause it’s the only chance I ever get to think

Life moves pretty fast, fact, and furiously, too
Fairytales shown to us when we were kids of slow-down Sunday evening strolls and sit down dinners with the folks are simply fiction
Truth is, we’ve given into the addiction, eyeballs twitching, schedule-switching, pitching last-ditch missions
to cure the itching to get rich
in coin or in culture

But too often we forget that it’s time, not money, that heals all wounds
This human race that we run is far too often mistaken as a sprint,
and not a marathon
instead, every being bursting forward straining for the invisible finish line
grasping for straw wreaths to hide our baldheads


But what we fail to admit is that the human race is also a relay
and lately the baton’s not being passed around nearly enough
While you high-step your way down the sidewalk from business meeting to lecture seating, from hurried greeting to TV dinner eating

you missed the man crouched halfway over on the sidewalk, hat in hand, asking for a little less money and a little more change

you missed the three-pieced suited Wall Street kings, helplessly staring hopeless at their life stories stitched out in numbers on the New York Stock Exchange

you missed the quiet classmate who sits next to you in math class, practicing boyscout knots on necktie nooses in preparation for what’s to come

and you missed the young girl, so starved for affection that she sits, carving rejection into her arm like an amateur tattoo artist

you missed the boy, who faces up to his father’s fists with all the fearlessness of a fighter pilot, who realizes that his father’s need to be violent stems from a father who was always too silent

you missed the mother, carefully packing white-bread and love sandwiches for her kids cause that’s all she can afford

you missed the grandfather, rocked with Alzheimers yet still clutching his playing cards so he can remember what it feels like to hold a hand

and the ex-con, released from prison into a world waiting to beat him back into submission

you missed the war vet, returning home from Iraq to find his baby girl’s now grown up into a 13-year-old drama queen
The type of girl who loves to be mean to 13-year-old Mary Jean
Who might be a little underdeveloped and a little overweight
Who might be scared to relate because she’s never had a real friend outside of facebook and blind dates
See, Daddy never had time to see her
Working hard chasing that American dream
that never quite seemed to turn out as advertised
open your eyes
see your family and friends waving at you in the rearview mirror
Being left behind because you couldn’t take a moment to just (inhale)
breathe for a second

This life is not meant for chasers, faces and names getting caught up in places and games, no.
This life is meant for everyday everybodies who find life unashamed in something as simple as stopping to smell the sweet scent of rain on a sultry summer’s day

Find solace in stillness
Peace in the quiet

Forget your deadlines
and landmine achievements
Instead, grab a loved one,
pack a lunch
and go eat it on the banks of the mainstream
Because sometimes
It’s ok,
to just be.


perks of stipend
driving for the sake of driving
$0.70 upgrade to sweet potato fries
hotel beds with renewable sheets
so it don't matter when old war wounds bleed
because the maids, they got mouths to feed and besides
it's not they
but the company
who pays



Go West, young man.

Not the biggest fan of the song, but the videography is stunning.  Let's go home sometime.


This is a city carved from the block of the Canadian tundra
of whitebread, blue collar rednecks
and filipino immigrants
abolished originals drunk off their ass while white collar city workers crowd the bar at River City to watch the new look Jets get demolished in the same old way
skateboarders and basketballers caged like birds
the only ones who haven't flown south for the winter
this city is barren

yet I feel a faint pulse beating its way stronger through the heart of the city
buried deep beneath forked skating rinks and abandoned dreams
a prairie queen being beaten into submission by years of misunderstanding
quiet pride, threadless but hanging on


Hope smells like ocean air, sifting in from between the seams of slave ship planks.

Hope sounds like scrabbling earth, dull shovel strikes into the soil ceiling above your head.

Hope tastes like dried sweat, salt taping your tongue to the roof of your mouth while the prize draws closer.

Hope feels like push-ups,

and it looks like rain.


Things learned on January 5, 2012

"Everything people see from Africa doesn't matter.  And everything that matters from Africa, people don't get to see."