BAWLING IS A THING I DO
after James Schuyler’s ‘Tears, Oily Tears’
Don’t worry; sous-cheffing brings it on, dirty air, too little shut-eye, too much screen time, caged creatures, border guards, those signs that say the bus will take you all the way home, if only you’d ask, burly men singing Solidarity Forever on patchy picket lines, children singing anything, brain chemicals capsizing, people dying without permission, the story someone posted on facebook where the neighbours of a woman who had been unfairly evicted by an unscrupulous landlord formed a human chain around her house and the just-married couple from across the street fed everyone their wedding cake (my eyeballs go veined and shiny and my nose blotches and swells), tear-proof mascara, cats
Canadian writer Heather Birrell is the author of two story collections, Mad Hope (one of the Globe and Mail‘s top 23 fiction picks for 2012) and I know you are but what am I?. The Toronto Review of Books called Mad Hope “completely enthralling, and profoundly grounded in an empathy for the traumas and moments of relief of simply being human“. Her work has been honoured with the Journey Prize for short fiction and the Edna Staebler Award for creative non-fiction and has been shortlisted for both National and Western Magazine Awards. She lives in Toronto with her family.