In the fourth volume of Writer’s Corner, we present work by Garvin LeBlanc. Garvin is a third year Bachelor of Fine Arts student majoring in Visual Arts. Born in The Commonwealth of Dominica, Garvin’s work offers an inherently unique perspective to UBC’s Okanagan campus. When asked where his inspiration comes from, he insists, “I’m inspired by everything around me… a sound, a word, a phrase, an image”
It is through these external influences that Garvin is able to draw his attention inwards, “to explore myself, my emotions, my memories.” He explains that his writing is like “journaling with rhythm” and it’s a way for him to “grow more comfortable with sharing who [he] is and the way [he] thinks.” Ultimately, he hopes this will inspire others to do the same.
An accent says “this is how I say the things I want”
It’s not just a way to speak, it’s a way of expressing oneself
It’s a way of saying “I’ve carried with me a different way of saying things from the
places I’ve been”
One’s vocabulary is a scrapbook of phrases that one has collected along the way
Syntax is as chaotic as the message one wants to send
It’s okay to keep an accent
It’s like the passport was stamped on your vocal chords
Like the air makes them vibrate at a different frequency
Like the journey was worth preserving through the way you speak.
I remember it, yes
Late nights arriving in the mountains. Long before they redid the highway. The one
they named after us.
It would be a bumpy ride at some points. And too much swerves in the road. I
remember the music my dad would play. Lusophone zouk.
The white SUV.
I’d normally be in the back, clad with blankets and pillows. And I’d sleep, naturally.
My siblings on the back seat and the old man driving us up to the house on the
I remember the scenes when we’d arrive. Turn off onto the secondary road.
One lane traffic, if you’re not a local.
The bright yellow lights from the headlamps hit the tall grassy soldiers who make
the guard of honor on the way up to the house.
The volume of the music decreases.
I can hear the engine play rhythm to the ambience of the night. The sounds of
insects singing in the night’s breeze is but another breath from the lungs of the
The engine hums and the tires roll against the surface of the road and all the small
stones on it.
We encroach the house and disturb the night. But not the house, no. Not at all.
They’ve been expecting us.
We unload the vehicle and we walk up the hill. Our feet hit the ground and the
steps crunch the surface.
I had a vision for a utopia
Free of scrutiny
Free of disrespect
And it drove me mad
I wanted the space around me to be free
And I was the oppressor for the way people expressed their freedom
I need to set boundaries
And it’s okay if you and people don’t see eye to eye
It’s okay if they don’t agree
It’s okay if you’re chastised out loud
The things I let into my space will carry me through
I wanted to be free of drama
I wanted to see less of the things I felt would make me laugh at
I let them judge me without even knowing me
And even if they judge me, I won’t fail
I need to run away from judgement
Follow Garvin on instagram at @jaltwa and @thewhitewineguy. If you’d like to have your work published on The Phoenix, send an email to our Arts Editor, Jayme (firstname.lastname@example.org), with short written pieces that you would like us to feature.