Sunday, July 14, 2019

Ellen Chang-Richardson : Word

It begins shortly past 12:15am with a small can of craft beer.
Godspeed Brewery wins Brewery of The Year: according to My Palate.

I sit at kitchen island counters, black and purple scribbles taking over iPhone-sized notebook pages as I pluck out soul-scratching lines. From memories, politics, art history, philosophy.

Then it’s time to go to sleep.

11:00am and my eyes blink open to The Beatles. Hair thrown up in a low messy ponytail, I shuttle my ass across the street to the Grapefruit Moon. They greet me like an old friend; mug of coffee and milk straight out of its carton - slapped on the hightop like sweet, cash tips - as I unwrap my writer’s pack:  computer.  notebook.     charger. pen.  phone.

The next six hours are spent right here. Shooting the shit with the bartender, owner, cook and, counter-top neighbour. Breaks between writing/editing/submission shifts. 
Tenor laughs mix with alto and soprano tones. Mainstream radio, idle chatter, all turned down low. Cups of coffee shift into tofu+veg+cheese scrambles, chick-pea burgers and pints of craft cider. For some reason, I’m a vegetarian when I write.

11:55pm. I kick off my three-point-nine inch heels and log on to my computer to scan my inbox with hope on my lips. I export my words all over the world, you see. Some day, I know some thing will stick.

For now, it’s double negatives and crickets. I distract myself with admin and other business. After all, a pocketbook reminder - this beats spending your life chasing someone else’s dream.

Midnight ticks.

         I hit repeat.

Ellen Chang-Richardson is an emerging Canadian poet of Taiwanese/Cambodian-Chinese descent and the founder of Little Birds, a workshop series based in Toronto & Ottawa ( Since writing this piece, her work has appeared in Ricepaper Magazine. Ellen holds an Hon.BFA in Fine Art History & Visual Studies from the University of Toronto and certificates from the Gemological Institute of America, and the Node Center for Curatorial Studies, Berlin. When she is not writing or chasing adventure, Ellen is the Assistant Curator at Barbara Edwards Contemporary.

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