on this dog day this day of cloudless reeling where you send me without map or compass letters into the red water of your mescaline beauty where it is enough to sit next to it & feel the foolish tide, the safety of your animal slumber this is fumbling is fear is your bending by is too close to touch straight on this is shadow boxing your jaw with my eyes this is the blind movement towards you this is when i forget what my hands are for this is when i have the dream about your perfect teeth is slaughter is when i need the rules most lest i forget which game we are playing
Write a list of your obsessions, whether they be pancakes, betrayal or albinos. Familiarize yourself with what preoccupies and concerns your curiosity and think about these themes. These are the topics you will be exploring for the rest of your writing life.
There is an honesty to this impulse, which is what made me fall in love with Cass at the start, makes him one of the best writers I know. But at the same time other people have to clean up Cass’s messes and sentences and, for a long time, that person was me.
Maybe I believe that by putting together the pieces of Cass I can show him that entropy is failure: death is inevitable but a failure. But Cass has always liked it best this way, rushing toward it. The music so loud you can’t hear the words; the velvet cake I spent three hours making from scratch smeared like feces on his palms and fingers as he shoves handfuls of it into his mouth; teeth sore and clanging against the bottom of an empty glass; sex slow and deliberate, and especially best in the morning, best when you wake and don’t know who you are yet.
Maybe Cass is right: entropy, dying, is truth, after all, the only certain one; without the broken fragments there is no unity.
Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 7. Purchase the book to read the full piece.
Over 3 weeks in April 2010, we had our event ‘Friday Nights with Diaspora Dialogues’ in Palmerston Library, Toronto. This fantastic series was part of Keep Toronto Reading—Toronto Public Library’s celebration of all the books we love. Ibi Kaslik was one of our fantastic writers who read.
Videographer: Matthew Hallis Manuge