by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


"NOAH AND THE SNOW", by Jeff Miller, originally appeared in the magazine Fish Piss in 2004. It has recently been republished as part of Ghost Pine: All Stories True, an anthology of Miller's zine work over the past decade-plus. Jeff is a friend, but I was smitten with this piece, completely, at its four last words, and I wanted to share it. More on Ghost Pine (and a song from Jeff) below.


"So I was walking down St. Laurent last night and I did something I don't usually do," Noah said.
     "What's that?"
     "Well, I guess I tried to pick a fight with somebody."
     "Well yeah, this big ape of a dude with a fancy leather jacket, Tommy Hilfiger jeans and gelled up hair was talking on a cell phone and as he was crossing the street he bumped into me."
     "Uh huh."
     "So I guess I said 'Why don't you go shove that cell phone up your ass.' We were walking at the same pace on either side of the street yelling insults back and forth for about five minutes, until he says to the person he's talking to, 'I'm going across the street to see what this motherfucker wants.'
     "So he comes across the street at me and says 'Why don't you tell my brother what you were calling me' and hands me the phone, but it's dead. There's no one on the other end. So I hand it back to him and he says into it, 'Yeah, this guy thinks he's funny but really he just has nice eyes.'"
     "Was he trying to hit on you?"
     "No. Then he asks me if I have any smokes, and I do because someone left these Japanese cigarettes at my house, but neither one of us has a light. So we start walking north again, next to each other but not really together, you know. Then we see this really angry kid, couldn't be older than fourteen, walking down the street punching the wall.
     "We ask him if he has a light, and he says 'I have fire for you, if you got a smoke for me.' So we're all standing around smoking Japanese cigarettes on the sidewalk together. And then it began to snow. The first snow of the year.
     "When he finished his butt the kid took off. But me and the cell phone guy stood and talked, only for a minute, but it was a real quality conversation. You know?"
     "I guess you should try to pick fights more often."
     "Yeah, I guess." Noah sipped his tea.

Okara - "Red Tide"

The song I chose is "Red Tide" by Okara from their first self-titled seven inch released in 1995. Okara were the first band I saw play at Ottawa hardcore venue 5 Arlington and they completely opened by mind to what music and art could be; engaging, mysterious, accomplished, and uncompromisingly unique. Ottawa hardcore was the soundtrack to the first years of my zine. - Jeff Miller

Sean again: I didn't read Ghost Pine, the zine Jeff Miller has maintained since the late 90s. That is, I've only ever read one issue - a small square pamphlet I picked up last year. But now I have read Ghost Pine: All Stories True, the beautiful book newly issued by Invisible Publishing (buy). This anthology collects dozens and dozens of stories like the one above, short short short, arranged for skip and jump, that ratatat off the page. It is compulsive reading - these bittersweet morsels, disconnected from time. Bike rides, love affairs, road-trips, high-school triumphs. Like all the best personal writing, it is at once private and universal. I love that Miller has left in some of the earliest stuff: tales coloured by his youth, as clumsily honest as the things that dwell in this site's archives. I love how he writes about Montreal, evangelizing as only an emigre can. (Like me, Miller moved from Ottawa at the beginning of the 21st century.) I love too how he writes about my hometown - painting a different city than the one I knew.

I love his descriptions of the tiny victories and defeats that shape & make us, but that go unwritten, and I love the way names flit in and out of his life, the same way the names of my life have. I love the twists of Jeff's dialogue, too; the way things end. -- And so, again, I say: buy it, this fumbling and truthful folio. And also visit his website.

Posted by Sean at May 12, 2010 2:17 AM
about said the gramophone
This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

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Said the Gramophone launched in March 2003, and added songs in November of that year. It was one of the world's first mp3blogs.

If you would like to say hello, find out our mailing addresses or invite us to shows, please get in touch:
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Montreal, Canada: Mitz

Please don't send us emails with tons of huge attachments; if emailing a bunch of mp3s etc, send us a link to download them. We are not interested in streaming widgets like soundcloud: Said the Gramophone posts are always accompanied by MP3s.

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"And I shall watch the ferry-boats / and they'll get high on a bluer ocean / against tomorrow's sky / and I will never grow so old again."
about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

Jeff Miller is a Montreal-based writer and zinemaker. He is the author of Ghost Pine: All Stories True and a bunch of other stories. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Say hello on Twitter or email.

Mitz Takahashi is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here.

Site design and header typography by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet. The header graphic is randomized: this one is by Neale McDavitt-Van Fleet.
Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
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our favourite blogs
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my love for you is a stampede of horses
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things we like in Montreal
st-viateur bagel
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le pick up
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chez boris
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drawn + quarterly
+ bottines &c

casa + sala + the hotel
blue skies turn black
montreal improv theatre
passovah productions
le cagibi
cinema du parc
pop pmontreal
yoga teacher Thea Metcalfe

Cult Montreal
The Believer
The Morning News
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