The Notched Wing

Helen Tara Hughes – Poetry, Fiction, Film, Phantasms

June 21, 2012
by smallboy

Man, Woman, Streetfight

This just happened on my quiet street. I am reading in the cool air by the window, three stories up:

I hear a woman screaming. “Don’t touch me! Get off me! Let me go!”
I look down and an SUV parked below my window is rocking. I can see her struggling against a man. What do I do? Do I run downstairs?
The door pops open and she breaks free, runs. He jumps out, chases.
She runs back to the passenger side, gets in, tries to shut the door.
Continue Reading →

December 6, 2010
by smallboy

Demerol and Desire

The one time I was administered Demerol by IV,
The Doctor stayed by my side, just looking at me.

And when it hit, the last thing I remember
is saying to his big brown eyes, ever so sweetly,

“You ever see the wind bend a field of wheat
as it moves across a field? This feels like that
to me. You are the wind, I am the wheat.
You are the wind, I am the wheat…”

That’s the only pretty part of that event.
It’s the only part I’ll repeat.

But some people make me feel that way.
To this very day.

November 7, 2010
by smallboy

I am the Emotional Storm

On Friday, I realized that I am in my last days at my current job.

Once it was good for me, a means to keep my producing chops and paperwork skills sharp, a source of money to make this film happen (accountants, graphic designers and lawyers all cost money). In the past year at this company I’ve done my most accomplished work in an office environment. Some of it creative, too. I was asked on the spot to describe my background in the admin world on an Executive conference call in September, and I didn’t think – I responded like a good actor, leaped in and reeled it off. And, in the speaking, I became aware of everything I have done and can do.

Then I was hit with more responsibility. Continue Reading →

November 1, 2010
by smallboy


I am in the place I was this evening,
surrounded by my friends,
but it is not the place it was.

The bright lighting is gone
and it is no longer a mezzanine.
It is a warehouse strip club
in an alley at the end of the world.

Continue Reading →

August 23, 2010
by smallboy

The Fury

I’m leaving a dinner party with dear friends and I hear a short sentence about me uttered just as I close the door. This comes from a recent arrival and relative stranger – their neighbor – someone with whom, for their sake, I really don’t want to have words.

It is a slight against my intelligence. Over a comment about the game, Crib. Spoken by a guy who had met me only 20 minutes earlier.

Buddy, I think, stepping down the last stair, if I wanted to wipe your ass with the crib board I could, but that game bores me interminably. Continue Reading →

August 22, 2010
by smallboy

Rainy Days

Rainy days always made the girl feel as it time had stopped. She felt ageless.
She had not been so strapped for cash, so alone, and yet, so at peace, in years.

She had no need to eat, no need to sleep; the restless sound of the rain pulled her soul out and up into the wet air through her bedroom window.
Silting through the leaves which hung dripping in the air, past the robins and squirrels leaping like faeries from limb to limb, she soared above the peaceful street in her mind.

Continue Reading →

July 17, 2010
by smallboy

Tara writes for Back of the Book.

I was asked to write a wee piece about working downtown before the G20 weekend, for the new online magazine, Back of the Book.

Above the yellow zone: the secretary’s diaries.

My life is changing radically, and the day on which this piece was due was one of the most personally difficult days in recent memory.

Reassuring to know that I can still write when things are going wrong.

hope you like it…


September 1, 2007
by smallboy

The Seven Stages of Bike Theft Grief

The last weekend of summer in Toronto, and the trees are beginning to turn in the balmy air.
Not too hot, not too cool. Becalmed.
The whir of bikes in the quiet street.

A remix of Nina Simone’s “See-line Woman” playing in the background, and wild Ontario blueberries in a jam jar with cream. They taste like the colour blue, somehow – warm on the tongue, lasting in their flavour.

A fine remedy against the bike thieves who have stolen our means of transportation in the last two days Continue Reading →

Click here to see an amazing tv commercial – there was no CGI used in the making of this advert.

Watch the extended version (at the bottom right of the page) and look for the dog.

Thanks to Adam Emsley in Japan for the link!

April 7, 2007
by smallboy

Paper Art

Check out the latest from “Stumble Upon” – I keep taking a break from my taxes to disappear into the Black Hole of this search engine.

Peter Callesen. The paper guy.

The things this artist makes, each from a single sheet of paper, are artworks of the sort I would dream to have in my some-day Californian style long flat home.

Minimalistic, spare, & mathematically complex, these paper cut-outs are exquisitely beautiful works of art .

How can paper cut-outs gently comment on or expose our assumptions and fears about the natural world?

Better go check out Peter Callesen’s work and let me know what you think.

April 7, 2007
by smallboy

Stumble Upon

If you use “Firefox” to surf the internet, you have access to this amazing way of Channel Surfing the internet.

Use “Stumble Upon”. You will find the most interesting sites. Once you install/activate the “Stumble Upon” browser in ‘Firefox’, just click on the button which says “Stumble” in the top left corner, and it will take you to a random site. If you like it, click the ‘Thumbs up’ button – if you don’t click the ‘Thumbs down’ button – and the browser will find you more of what you like, and less of what you don’t like.

It is sooo boring to be broke, so this “Stumble Upon” is a welcome bit of fun. Thanks to Shevon & Andrew for finding it and sharing it.

January 2, 2007
by smallboy

Naked Neighbor

We have an exhibitionist neighbor.

On New Year’s Day, we are on our computers (‘Drew in the picture window, me on the couch) doing stuff, talkin’, playing show’n tell… and when I went over to his computer to see his artwork, I see the neighbor in her window across the alley. Boobs on display.

Continue Reading →

September 12, 2006
by smallboy

NYC Journal – July 2006

Ever since I started acting 10 years ago, I have longed to visit NYC. This summer my friend and mentor Vern was staying in NYC for 6 weeks to see shows and visit friends -the perfect holiday for a Creative. Vern made my long-awaited wish come true -he brought me to NYC as a birthday gift. This is a brief chronicle of our adventures, the genesis of my love affair with New York City.

Wednesday July 12, 2006

Delayed, and delayed again. I get to Newark airport very late, take a cab into the Bus Terminal. Vern is standing on the street in the rain, in his linens and his white Panama Hat. He is smoking a Marlboro and looking the very picture of a writer in NYC in 1956. Vern is a very driven creative and from the back seat of my cab as it pulls up to the curb, he looks like the archetypal New York author. Continue Reading →

July 7, 2006
by smallboy

Vince Chura in Vancouver gave me the head’s up that my documentary for CBC Radio ‘s program “Outfront” will be aired again in September.

If you missed it the first time, you can catch it again on CBC Radio One

September 5th, 2006

at 8:43 pm local time….

my Gran’s pastry recipe is still posted on the CBC site too!

March 16, 2006
by smallboy

Dorothy Parker

A friend reminded me of this quote from Dorothy Parker today.

“What fresh hell is this?”

She used to say that when answering the phone. She was groovy, strong and wild, beneath her skin.

I’ve posted some favorites for my friend who has never read Ms. Parker.
Symptom Recital
I do not like my state of mind;
I’m bitter, querulous, unkind.
Continue Reading →