From Oscar of Between, Part 19A

Betsy Warland

– 1 –

December and New Year holidays having just exhausted themselves. Oscar and her son are taking a stroll in their neighbourhood. It’s a monochromatic afternoon – Commercial Drive oddly quiet – idling between holiday and back to work. A rash of handmade 81/2 x 11″ posters affixed on windows, walls, poles draws Oscar’s attention.

gold hoodie
November 18th , 2011

white and blue checkered
dress shirt
Friday, December 16th, 2011

One after another, Oscar is unable to ignore each set of eyes looking at the intimate who took the photo before …

brown eyes (has been known
to wear coloured contacts)
May, 2011

For blocks and blocks they are everywhere. All are duplicates except one that only appears once. Her thirteen-year old son remains thankfully oblivious.

black polo shoes
with white trim
August 18th, 2011

The angst of the intimates who made these posters, affixed them everywhere deposits itself in Oscar.

navy t-shirt
January 17th, 2011

Oscar’s chest tightens with the jolt of how suddenly a life is reduced to descriptions of personal effects, details of body, location of last seen. The descriptive texts are so formulaic they quickly become a litany.

The relief of closing a door.

Oscar makes his favourite lunch of butter pasta but feels her shoulders cinch as another door opens — memories of how he almost disappeared during the first month of his life in intensive care. After dishes, Oscar makes up an excuse that she forgot to buy rapini. Tells him she’ll be back in twenty minutes. Writes down her mobile number by the phone. Reminds him not to answer the door.

Takes her smart phone. And notepad.

– 2 –

20 year old African Canadian

25 year old

28 year old Quatsino First Nations

19 year old Filipino

34 year old Caucasian

– 3 –

gold hoodie
grey baseball cap
with white & red “OBEY” logo

white and blue checkered
dress shirt
Athletic Build

brown eyes (has been known
to wear coloured contacts)
long brown hair
(has been known to dye hair)

polo shoes with white trim
Height: 5’10”,
Weight: 160-170 lbs

navy t-shirt
no tattoos or piercing

– 4 –

gold hoodie
last seen at his home

white and blue checkered
dress shirt
last seen at 11:30pm
on Water and Abbot

brown eyes (has been known
to wear coloured contacts)
last seen
in North Vancouver

black polo shoes
with white trim
last seen between
at crosswalk
at Park Royal Mall
West Vancouver

navy t-shirt
last seen by friends at
Garfinkel’s Nightclub…
spoke on the phone
at 5am

– 5 –

gold hoodie
known to take hikes or… or
long urban walks … unusual
not to return home

white and blue
dress shirt
disappearance is entirely
out of character and
complete mystery

brown eyes (has been known
to wear coloured contacts)
tips regarding … if you
wish to remain anonymous …

black polo shoes with
white trim
was not wearing his

navy t-shirt
hasn’t been seen
or heard of


Missing persons

Missing persons compilation image. Source: Unknown



Guest Writer: Nicole Brossard

Montreal, QC
Nicole Brossard at Coach House Books

A TILT IN THE WONDERING is an excerpt from the Vallum Chapbook Series 2013



my best buy of the year is an alarming creativity
a new concept for management so business becomes
a cute gentle occupation
almost a must for you and me to be creative so
everyone takes part in the nyou wealth

I left the office I left the bar with non-written words
just excitement sur le voile du palais
I wanted you not in fiction as art money love and war
where was my lexicon where were my written vowels
I left the office I left the bar not creative


le verbe être allait dans toutes les directions
moving fast ignorant of etymology
but familiar with lemon or tulips or
such a blue sky this morning lavish thoughts
or so many slashes in meaning
dazzling jumps in connotation


where the verb stands
authentic I have to be faster than
spontaneous explanations
like continents and planets
I need to move in time
au figuré de l’intime


VISUAL LEXICON 2saw only 5 seconds of the kneeled woman about
to be throat cut by a male, saw a line of blood
from left to right on the neck
did not want to find out if it was true.
Suspect it was true. Could not watch. Would with one touch
of the finger on the screen not see IF IT WAS real if it was not REAL
had time to not see though time expanded in my eyes
and nerves neutralizing all at the same time fear anger
and what’s the w?ord? sadness gloom murk obscurity
what’s the word uckingmademenreligion
what’s the word if not repetition what’s the word
uck uck uckf uck what’s the word decapitated capitulating
capitals of blood what was that image again it was


Nicole Brossard installation

“Cascade d’ubiquité”, projet réalisé avec la galerie Dare-Dare, coin Saint-Laurent et boulevard Maisonneuve, Montréal, automne 2013.
“Ubiquity Cascade” project with the Dare-Dare Gallery, corner of Saint-Laurent and Maisonneuve Boulevard, Montreal, autumn 2013.


Nicole with the Mercury of "Mauve Désert" Photo credit: Simon Dumas

Nicole with the Mercury of “Mauve Désert
Photo credit: Simon Dumas

Photo credit: Unknown


Featured Reader:
Deanna Radford

Montreal, QC
Deanna on Twitter

I read Oscar’s Salon becauseIt is resonant.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to participate in a workshop on writing the between with Betsy. When she writes, “For me it’s about an approach to writing as a quest…” I am reminded of the workshop experience and my own functioning quest for deepened connection to the page.

ProfileI’m developing my craft as poet – I have designed and published one chapbook, Building Ground. I write about sound art and books for publications like Musicworks, Herizons, the Montreal Review of Books, and others. I come to poetry with music, sound, art, and photography as my primary muses. Conversations about writing within the two writing groups I belong to in Montreal are an invaluable part of my apprenticeship. I spend my days as Membership Services and Communications Coordinator at the Quebec Writers’ Federation.

Work With Betsy


Long Manuscript Consult

Short Manuscript Consult


Get In Touch

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This