She said I looked like an author on the back of a romance novel she’d read in grade six
As we watched the planes colliding in a beautiful ballet up above
My mother would have said: That one looks like Baryshnikov
If she hadn’t been strangled by a velvet rope, tied to four Australian Draught Horses
Let’s pretend we’re just silhouettes when the French bellboy brings our live octopus
He used to be Jean-Paul Belmondo in À bout de souffle
Don’t leave a tip, I never liked that film; even after I watched it underwater
Her heart was an old dog, me standing in the rain with my bouquet of new tricks
My horoscope said your lips tasted like cinnamon, cardamom and
The feeling of being crushed beneath the Indian Kutralam Falls
After I received the call that my unborn twins had been arrested by Sultan Kamel
For smoking opium and pretending they were the Queen’s Nightingale cages
We pictured ourselves on a meat boat on the Tigris, picking water lilies
Opening them up to release their aroma demons
Having been artificially implanted by Ted Danson’s personal attendants
I am now entwined in a secret love octagon with the airport security cavity searchman,
A single soft boiled egg pickled in placenta, and an out-of-tune violin
The night was flippant, laissez faire as if the sunset was ancient history
We lindy-hopped wearing only kielbasa sausages
To String Quartet No. 1 in A-Flat composed by John Joubert but arranged
By the killer John Joubert played by invisible crickets
Beauty so enchantingly banal that we were suddenly whipped into a salmon mousse
And fed to a one-legged jazz pianist on his birthday.



Freelance Writer?

My response to a Craigslist ad for a freelance writer:


I came across your ad on Craigslist, and it caught my interest. Only 20 500-word articles, up to $1000+ a month? It seems too good to be true. From the name "Byte Advertising," I'm led to assume that the articles should be about technology, however the subject was not mentioned in your ad.

To give you a brief bio, I was born in a small town in Western Quebec to a pair of beatnik hippies who, shortly after my birth, abandoned their counter-cultural ways in favour of the big city lifestyle. However, they did not acheive this in the end. They made it to Ottawa and settled, as we all do, ending up in Ottawa. I suppose the biggest flaw I inherited from them was an overuse of commas, a propensity for snapping both hands in lieu of clapping, refusing to give standing ovations and a sensitivity towards animals.

My areas of specialty (read: possibly imagined) include:
Capoeira (Brazilian dance-fighting)
The Arts (primarily theatre and music)
Creative writing (bad fiction, mal-formed poetry)
Running for various political offices
The Apocolypse; and
How Humanity is Ruining the World.

I realize that you're horribly impressed by quasi-resume, and rest-assured, I'm up to the challenge. If possible, please format your reply in a series of haikus, to let me know that you're serious.

Best Regards and Many Happy Returns,

Daniel Monoogian"


The first thing I noticed

The first thing I noticed
When I walked in the door
Was that something had changed:
There wasn’t a pile of dirty dishes in the sink
There weren’t dirty socks and sweaters and scarves
Discarded and thrown about
I thought “This is odd”
But I couldn’t pinpoint the cause
All this in a few moments, a few moments passed
When I couldn’t hear the blare of the television
Or smell the pungent odor of Marlboros
I knew something was awry.
“Perhaps a cool refreshing drink
Will help me to sort this out.”
I said aloud
Upon opening the cupboard I was astonished
Not a cup, mug, stein or glass to be found
No microwave, no toaster, that old eccentric pair
No cutlery, no pots and pans, no plates or gravy boat
My mind began floating, reeling, a touch of vertigo
I ran outside to check the numbers on the door:
1457 Apartment 4
I ran down the block, to check the street sign
Sure enough, Cherry Lane
Had I gone mad? Was I dreaming?
My mind now restless, I became a man possessed
Running back inside the flat, breathless
I called the cat: “Peanut! Peanut! Dinnertime!”
No response, no excited mewl, no clomping footsteps
In fact, checking the pantry, there was no cat food
No kibbles, no meat, no vittles, no treats.
I went exploring through the house
I found each room bare
Except for the last few squares of toilet paper on the roll,
And the radio was there.
It finally sunk in, that I’d been wrong
I hadn’t gone mad, this wasn’t a dream
The simple fact was

You were gone.

So sudden this departure
Leaving not a trace
Not one fashion magazine
Not one long blond curly hair
In the bathtub or the sink
No trace of your perfume
Not one stick of that gum you liked to chew
No bobby pin, no shower cap
Nothing at all to remind me of you
The photo albums we’d filled up
With smiles and tears and trying times
Had also vanished in thin air
So rapidly did you abscond
A magician with a disappearing act
For goodness sake
I’d only gone to corner store
For skim milk and a pack
If I hadn’t tarried
And stopped to read the paper
Talked with Mr. Popagus
The local grocer man
Sat a moment at the café
With an expresso or two
To watch the girls pass by
In their summer gear
Maybe you’d still be here

I turned on the radio
(as it was the only thing I had left)
Found it tuned to your favorite station
I heard the following dedication:
“This next one
Goes out to Dear Old John
On our anniversary.
Sorry I couldn’t stick around
But like the tide so I must one day go
Swim back out to the sea”