thousandword ramble (unedited)

I am going to explain by the thousandth word:




‘It’s been a while’

He is home, and there is no Christmas in February. Moto moto motot motot

Leave me alone and everywhere it is such as that we receive and the only thing I ever tied to the back of the bus was the ribbon that said I was alive. So che guarirei. Non dire no non dire no. Non dire no. nonoreree
I have the best of me locked up inside your rapid glance. Don’t do that to me with your smile. Don’t take me apart when walking through the room. Mi basta il tempo di morire. I need to get the backdoor open, to expunge the last thing I ever wanted

why do we get so, y’now? Where does it go? Why not stop and ring the bell. And why not discover what is there inside you. Fearful and twitching inside the only thing ever thrown to the bone the dogs unknowing. It is a heartless city. A city that has nothing of permanence, Come in, make your money, get out, drive to Oakville with your SUV. You don’t even know how to throw a party. WE are desperate to get out. WE are desperate to leave the last the only the withered bankrupt condominium. The truth in advertising was the last thing ever expected to throw the knockout cops below. I will be cynical and you will trash the hotel room. cYNICAL overused and oversued developed and renovated and into thrown rugs it is the last of the overran citizens denizens of the complete utter unfinished symphony of the mind the regal cutlass in the open field strip mine, strip tease the collar for the fleas, in ceasing the pleases from ecclesiastical heritage. I need to accept the room I need to expect nothing more than less than zero. I need the last open rung on the ladder of living livery the liver that purifies the blood or maybe that is kidneys. I need the bile it is the while over miles and miles of thoughtless trials and the beacon outer inner the threat of Acadian simianism. Devised and rethought impossible to excise, I renege the violin in the thighs open to closure the last big whining cloak was cut to ribbons with an elementary school pair of plastic scissors. Hey little woman I can’t see you in the rain, I can’t eat through the cord, my how the ropes are thick and you try to escape, well you will have to use your own teeth to bite through the rope. I am the last and loneliest oven dweller, the cave Osama hides in to gives the lessons to mainstream Islam. She is so young she is so old, and we look around the house with the alarm ringing to wake you up before dawn to get to catch the subway and the flu on the way to work. I enjoy the soy bean sandwiches, the healthy snacks proferred by the overweight receptionist in a bid to save face, how disingenuous and the word it is new and unlooked up in the dictionary. The diction fairy visits to offer advice on a quatrain and the .. you you the man of fire in a room of chalk and the men of Saturdays ponder the latest example of utter Lysol-like insincerity. Don’t don’t don’t we walk away we want to stay but we don’t. WE hold on to this we want to kiss and we will always fear the bliss we could have had. Yodel the open fodder to roadkill the latest desired women to walk on the catwalk eager for the media embrace the chase of the latest the lace translucent and beckoning to the hairy snatch between you and her face. The flu derived from the toxic bug that hides sweptunder the epidemiological rug the sluggish start to the winter disimbues the red wagon the walter cronkite news network, that show that starts you at seven and continues past ten. Legal illegal beagles excrete theological blather the baiter in the cage defies description the transcription ellipsis the theological nexus of thought the unblocked un thought stomach rotting polyglottic truth can’t be bought, not even in a pawn shop. Jasper woods is good with his hands, the only supple sweet hands to touch the flute and finger the holes through which wind blown breath pipes and shows musical metronomic sensitivity. More words to go to finish the thousandth word the indicator of an accomplishment the four pages per diem necessary to meet the quota you set on yourself the decision to stick to a regimented attitude toward art. And after all this time we continue to sing to john and Paul and George et alii. Is it the classics that conspire to keep us infants to keep from growing to stop to hinder to hand the world to our parents and their totalitarian nostalgia? The Beowulf pushers in their first year lectures, don’t worry if you don’t get it, just copy notes off a mate and then copulate years hence in a bid to make good the friendship that just didn’t suffice the thin ice we walk on the chance never taken because of the law of statistical averages that dictates that all relationships end in either breakup or marriage. Ack the pessimism of life the half glass empty the truth about mortality so we write write write miles before we die. We maek a make mark we need to piss on the trees around us to keep away the dogs, Cerberus I see your red eyes, stay away from my house and home. I’ll throw you a bone if you let me pop these pills to stay awake for a few more years, to stave off Acheron the crossing with Charon at my side laughing and reassuring and adding another notch to his grim ledger. Five more words to go.


the day the words were hijacked

(a rare FIAC 'protest' poem)

the day the words were hijacked

by a filthy investment banker
wolf's at the door
carting cool hundred-mill
finally come full circle
another sign of the apocalypse

when wall street’s welcomed with open arms
and establishment is art
beauty is a tired pony, so
sell it to the knackers, or let it sniff my fart

hack hack is there no voice of dissent?
hack hack hack you must not, though poor, relent.


Friday night at Dino's Dine-N-Dance

(a glimpse)

The hot-plate magician sending meals out the door, the mango juice to sluck on as we're sliding on the floor. I talked to Esmerelda - she can mix me something smooth - my metabolism’s cranking and my legs are in a groove. We polished off our pizzas, asked Betsy for some toffee; the service here is lousy but ‘man, they make some coffee!’ The corn muffins steaming and the speakers screaming Hootie, dancing in a riot of clutch-and-grab booty, hey I don't get dressed up often but tonight I'm tutti-frutti!


Edwin McScaley's poisonous rhetoric

(written in exactly 6 minutes and 25 seconds)

The cobra was 11 years old and nearing retirement; he was sick of biting people on the ankles and having to wait 15 hours for them to die. He wanted a quicker way to enjoy his meals, so this cobra, whose name was Edwin McScaley, called up his mechanic cousin Deena on the phone and said, “hey Deens, can’t you provide me the name of anyone in the garage where you work who’s been working on a faster way to have the venom I project in my bite to get out there into the bloodstream and paralyse my patient so I can eat them for dinner?’ And Deena hung up and called the police, because Edwin was nutso. And so Edward McScaley went to prison, but since he was a snake he was able to sneak through the bars and return to society almost right away (these snakes were not the most proficient jailors of their own kind). And he went to the garage where Deena worked and said “where is my cousin the turncoat?’ and Deena appeared in the reception room and said “Cousin Eduardo, why have you come—you should be making license plates!” And this did not please the former who had just been apprehended by the authorities and so Edwin decided to use his rhetoric. But before he used rhetoric (which for snakes, who are immune to venom, is a much more deadly tactic than plain old reptile poison) he warned his cousin Deena, “I will use my rhetoric on you, thou scales-faced moronicus!” And Deena hissed (which snakes do all the time, so it was not unusual) and she then did something quite unusual—she made a flying leap onto cousin Eddie-poo and said “I will not tolerate this!” And Edwin was surprised at the display of fortitude, since this was not the Deena he had come to know who was easily intimidated, and also snakes don’t fly, and so he queried—‘what is up with this total backbone you’re showing this afternoon, my dear sweetums?” And Deena pulled out a signed receipt from a self-help class she had attended the night before—’12 tips on being more assertive,’ offered by the Incorrigible Silus Sluck, who was a well-known snake in that district. And so Deena said—‘you see here, my cousin Edoonicus, I have indeed attended a night course for those easily afflicted with intimidations, and so it is easy for me to flout your vaunted rhetoric.’ And Silus Sluck, who at that moment happened to be in the garage getting his car fixed, wandered into the argument and encouraged his snakey pupil Deena, saying ‘that is the way, my star pupil, apply the methods I have instilled in thee, and so onward toward your glory!” And Silus Sluck was late for his swimming lessons so he slithered out the door toward his destiny. Deena was sad to see him go, and for a moment she ceased to be invulnerable to rhetoric, at which point the venomous McScaley decided to employ a vicious syllogism to the back of Deena’s occipital lobe, which is to say he rocked her socks off in the arena of competition.

And then a gong sounded and the lights in the garage went out, so everyone made peace and went for pork—that is to say, they ate an entire pig, and it took 17 days to fully digest that pig, after which time Deena and McScaley forget why they even had a disagreement and went partners into the auto-shop business, where McScaley specialized in making and repairing license plates.
The End

(The moral is: don’t escape from prison too early--you may miss out on some key business skills)


Tritium Tribulations

(beginning of a story I wrote last June; like most others, it goes absolutely nowhere, but you gotta keep feeding the dragon...)

Ethan and Dwayne's Tritium Tribulations

Ethan and Dwayne were trundling along the path that led to the merry-go-round, trying to get to the park before the last of the tritium in their blood ceased flowing, causing a paucity of ionic flux which usually made them collapse in a fit of epileptic writhing; a disturbing sight to be sure. Their tritium was injected every morning, by a local apothecary named Thompson, a dwarfish crow of a man who fixed up all the locals with the more cutting edge herbs and spices. The problem this particular morning was that the local bus line was on strike—collective bargaining over job security and dismissal protocol, or some issue like that—and so they were walking instead of riding to the carnival park, where Thompson the crow had his lab and kept his supplies of tritium and even (some said) balderine, a more potent concoction than the former.

Ethan Ghentz didn’t like being dependent on tritium, any more than a cobra likes being eaten by a komodo dragon, but he took the injections ever since he was a kid. One day the bullies in the schoolyard thrashed him within an inch, and he lost so much blood that tritium was the only way to save him. It was either the tritium or the cemetery, his mom would joke later on, whenever Ethan grimaced as the syringe was filling his veins with the harmful, lifesaving drug. Ethan didn’t laugh at his mom’s jokes, because they weren’t very funny.

Dwayne Burrows was a tagalong, a bit of a pukemonger actually, always searching for the ugly things about others that he could note and later spin to his advantage...

(and then I looked up from the keyboard, made a face at the screen, and moved on)



(written in the Curzon House hotel, after a tough day of travel; unedited)

London (first impression)

Town of soot
and snoot
Tubed up and tied up, traffic-wise
You are grand
But also a slap in the face to
good sense pricing
I enjoy your architecture
But your women are skanks
a bit snaggly-toothed;
Your men are the worst
I wish they were all hospitalized with
chest pains
Oh London you are an island
Of garbage
In a sea of snotty mucus
That is Britain
Which is also an island

yet there’s glory on every corner
And the British Museum is prĂȘt-ty fancy
And the tall waiters in the cafes, they earn
Their 5 quid an hour with dignity

Ah, London! Town of cobblestones
Awash in Boroughs, swimming with shortbread, and fudge
imported from Scotland
Ah! I have eaten at one too many
Persian restaurants which you ward over;
You who play host and
Salon-keeper to the World,
the grand world! yet, per capita
It’s only one tenth or so as grand as thee

Oh London, it’s a rough test
Whether to stay or go when
Faced with your ridiculous
Double-deckered buses.
Which is Wherefore, Oh Londinium of Roman times
I bid thee, despite the row we
Have oft suffered, I bid thee, yes, thank you!
For London is Lloyd’s and Life, and Leisure
And repressed emotionless laughter

Simply put: you people
make me retch.

(ps things were a lot better after that first day ... really ;-) )


five titles for upcoming FIAC short stories

(to provide the inspiration for actually composing them)

1) "Sebastian Pinker, the Land-Surveying Meat-Masher" (aka the Civic Butchery Blues)
2) "Dromedarius R. Drudgewobble's Peanutty Paranoia" (tales in anaphylactic psychosis)
3) "House and Holmes: when Sherlock tried to Decorate" (and the pratfalls that ensue)
4) "The Incredible Shrinking Donut" (from black holes to dough holes)
5) "Gladys and Quigley Stormwater's Gruesome Encounter with a Dangling Participle Inside a Refractory Glass Prism" (self-explanatory, I think)

Now get writing!


The Three Big Pigs

(a timeless tale of mud, intolerance and avante-garde cubism)

The Three Big Pigs

Three big pigs walked into a hotel dining room. It was 7:00pm on a fall evening. The pigs had just taken a shower and were very hungry. It was the Saturday Night Feast, which doesn't happen every day. Indeed, on this evening these three big pigs were more than anxious to eat.

Unfortunately the hotel dining room was covered wall-to-wall in a horrible, stinky Muck!

Now the biggest—and sweatiest—of the three pigs was called Henry; he was a real porker. The other two pigs were called Percy and Paulson, and they followed Henry everywhere. Paulson and Percy called Henry ‘The Primo Pig’ because Henry was a boffo, primo leader.

The Primo Pig was of ill temper, however, since as has been mentioned the dining room was covered in a gooey muck. The muck was slimy and grey. Henry was livid; such muck would not do. “This muck is intractable, impossible” he whinnied (he had horselike pretensions); “my brothers, fetch hither the concierge.”

Percy and Paulson went to summon the concierge; that is, they went out to kidnap him, for interrogation. Alone in the dining room, Henry ruminated. He drew a muck design on one of the walls. Now the design was cubist. It was shocking, and it was daring. It portrayed a great black pig in the midst of its birth and death throes. But suddenly Henry ruminated some more. “Hmm,” he murmured, “I shan’t allow Percy and Paulson to see this muck drawing. For it will radically disrupt their worldview.” So he grabbed a soup ladle from the tabletop and with it he covered up his original drawing—daring, shocking as it was—with even more muck.

“This is for the best,” he said to himself, “art must take a back seat to life.” And he squealed desultorily.

Percy and Paulson returned with a concierge, carried by Percy on his back. Now Paulson, the weakest of the three pigs but possessor of a keen visuo-spatial sense, gave Percy the directions to the dining room: “To the left a bit, now to the right. That’s right, there’s The Primo Pig now—I can see him.” And Paulson was anticipatory; “Wait till he realizes what quality of concierge we have kidnapped!”
Percy followed Paulson’s directions to the wall where Henry was muck-drawing. Because for all his piggy stoutness, Percy was quite blind, and unable to direct himself.

Percy and Paulson escorted the concierge into the dining room. The concierge, an employee named Jenkins, was 6 feet tall and could run the 40-yard dash in just over 5 seconds, which is quite good. Jenkins was also a formidable concierge. His prowess was unquestionable, his manner impeachable, his knickers clean and perfectly unsoiled. His quality was beyond question; what was questionable, however, was the muck the pigs found in the dining room, and Henry the Pig therefore questioned him to that end:

“Dear Mr. Jenkins,” the pig addressed the man, “please justify this muck. Else we three fine-dining swine shall ‘pig up’ and take our ‘pigness’ elsewhere.” And he squealed expectantly.

But Jenkins sidestepped the puns. “What muck?” he asked, “what Matter do you mean?” Looking around the dining room—with his eyes closed—he exclaimed “I can see neither Muck nor Man!”

“Open your eyes, O Jenkins, Ignorer of Muck—it’s everywhere; all across the ceiling, even." Now, Henry's was a swinish wrath. "Play not the jester, I counsel you.”

Jenkins opened his lids; still he could not see. “Have you fellows neglected to notice that I, too, am blind?” And Jenkins showed his eyes to them. Paulson and Henry could only see two feckless black dots. “Besides,” Jenkins added, “I thought a swell bunch of porkers like you would be happy to dine in muck.” And the three brother-hogs harrumphed; “but," the man continued, "it seems you prissy pigs are impossible to please,” and by the end of that sentence Jenkins was spitting all over the room.

“Say it, Mr. Jenkins,” Henry commanded; “don’t spray it.”

Percy, who was also blind, burst into tears: “I can’t believe I participated in the kidnapping of a fellow blindfolk,” he wailed guiltily, “this is more ironic than the time I kid-napped that baby goat.” But the others ignored his wordplay, and Percy sobbed. Paulson, who was good at not much else beside directing his load-bearing, vision-bereft brother-hog, sat in the muck and sighed. Henry dissolved the awkwardness, saying, “Oh, all right, Mr. Jenkins, you win this round: I suppose it bad form to haggle with a blind concierge.” And he harrumphed, “It just won’t do. Leave your muck as is. Our ‘pigness’ will remain." And then he sputtered. "But don’t think for a minute you are dealing with three mere blind mice, or three weakling little piggies,” and he bared a menacing enamel tusk: “We are big nasty pigs, we three—and we will stomp your throat into the sidewalk if you piss us off again!”.

Jenkins nodded, “Yes, yes, of course, next time things’ll be ‘pig-ture perfect’,” and he left the room quickly and obsequiously, but not before banging his shins into a chair: “Man, it sucks being blind,” he cried, adding, “Ouch!” And when he heard Jenkins say this, Percy burst into tears. “I feel your pain, Jenkins, though I cannot apprehend it with my useless porcine eyes.” The blind pig extended his forehoof in commiseration, but the concierge had already left the room, and was banging his shins about the hallway. Henry squealed in resignation, and resumed etching his cubist figures onto the walls. Dinner was served 20 minutes later and, despite the mucky dining surroundings, it wasn’t half bad.


(Now, Barabbas was a bandit.)


requisite rhymes

(been a bit short on whimsy of late...)

Leather and denim at half past eleven, the stroller on a roll. The box full on mind pox, the tree and the million bees. The concrete beneath your feet. The sign buzzing in electric whine, the way I wondered, the big bang, hills I climb. The atom the last little the only bit, the mostly empty space, the biosphere, the carbo-chlorophyllic interface. The short attention span.

The way we crumple (a tragic-empathy poem)

"when you realized what you did to me, it sounded something like this:"


The way we crumple

I could feel you twitching;

how you were shivering

as we held onto us

after the police left us

sirens dead

I felt you shatter in fifty places

a lifetime unrestrained

the crack and howl

for the first time

screaming helpless again

You couldn’t feel anything

guilty for me

for my whispered idea

my empty threat

my box of pills

You never meant to touch me

when you touched me

and the resonance—it was me, pounding you

I made you crumple—

Oh my dear,

I saw you crumble.

And so naturally

you never

touched anyone



300th post!

a poem about lifestyle choices:

the big split (pick your poison)

analyst bobbie has no life
he works, he spends, he sleeps
artsy brentino can't find a wife
cuz he lives on the cheap
yet brentino knows the sexy sets
he's hipster till he squeals
bobbie tends to pick up cheques
(don't ask him how he feels)
bobbie knows brentino well
they schooled together once
two boys living half a life;
economically it's one but it really
adds to


thinking back on the past week...

'my pain is sinusoidal' said the manic mathematician, 'these symptoms tetrazoidal so please call me a physician.' the harbord street cafe is where the dandelions wave, the fall almost rising ending summertime surmising; seriously gleaming this adventive world cup of meaning (hockey players striking means a life, this labour strife, more quality time with the wife, cuz we pigpen men spend too much on dereliction, concrete riverbed injection--like those constructionists in japan; these modern miracles they have some potent side effects, man). but heck, sun shines, golden spinning hay collects, it's harvest end of days, we lie on grass, forget debts, sip guava juice and play, you call me sugar ray or cassius clay, but I'm lonely on this friday, so I fingerpunch my life away...


the not-quite-downtowner

here's another fat guy sitting at stair's edge, smoking one more cigarello, dusting rails with lemon pledge.

another shoeless drunk, wide-eyed at the moon, stuffing pants with dumpster rags, wearing parkas in mid-June.

a thin-waisted teen, blowing bubbles in obnox, talking on her cell phone, wobbling heels around the block.

stuffy-nosed prof, coughing on his books, avoids others' eyes on streetcars, afraid of being shook.

(ah the city is a toilet)



Remember the Eglinton subway blog I promised, way back in July? The proposed subway along Eglinton Ave in Toronto that was begun but never was completed--remember that, huh? No, of course not. You don't remember. Because, dear reader, you have the attention span of a tree frog.

Churlishness aside, I did actually inaugurate said 'proposed subway blog' in early August but I forgot to tell you about it since (sheepish grin here) it's not much to look at so far. Heheheh. But now school has begun and, if you pea-brains know me at all, you know by now that I'll be right into that urban-rail-punditry groove. So hell, get your fix of transit-related outrage at www.eglintonsubway.blogspot.com. September has arrived, and with it unfolds the first ever EglinTemberFest, a month-long bonanza of discussion and debate about Toronto's favourite hypothetical subterranean civil engineering project. What's that, EglinTemberFest? Yeah that's right pea-brain, I said EglinTemberFest.

Not that I won't continue the subway blog past the end of September, mind you; I just needed to tack on some ridiculous notions of cupcakey foolishness in order for this otherwise straightforward announcement to qualify as fitting FIAC-ish fodder. So I invented "EglinTemberFest" out of the blue because, see, it's a such a silly name (now I'm giving away all my secrets!).

So when I say "EglinTemberFest" what do you say?

You say "boo-yah!"

Damn straight. EglinTemberFest? Boo-yah. That's it. Kick ass.

ps So that URL again: eglintonsubway.blogspot.com--saddle up, you ninnies, and let's ride.


the crotch-block blues

(as requested by and for JLo)

the crotch-block blues

man i hate it when big fat australians
who smoke their cigarettes
arrive between me and my lady
and breathe their aussie breath

"hey now bruce" i want to snarl
"you're messin' with my action;
my lady here is from new zealand
--screw you and your 'outback-jack'-tion!"

brucie farts, he snorts, he kills the mood
--crotch block in full effect--
he talks pointlessly 'bout his travel plans
till i'm all "shit yo, what the heck!"

my zealand lady's cooling off:
she yawns and shrugs and sighs
i curse the world, my luck--and bruce
who snatched our passion from the skies

it's salt in the wounds, my dear dear friends
this crotch-block in cold blood
cupid all year has not been kind
and I'm stuck in a loveless mud

'cause a crotch-block at church, at work or in my parent's house
doesn't really get me down
but there's no nastier block than in a euro youth hostel
where free love should abound!


(any other requests?)



I am a humane human, a self-hewed man breathing gravity, and this is calamity, that we are spinning preening mundanity, you call it insanity, lonesome till we drop, wielding in secret our wondergunk. Too long we avoid the under thought the polyphonic rot, the humper bunk, the magnificent, the tall the tender, the blunderating treasure junk.

So set the stage the scene: the sanifying unclean dream, the seething wrinkled Emperor--they call him Palpatine--threatening rebels in bunkers; we hunker down, sing to clowns in the eastern end of Chinatown. You frown, drowning, its surround-sound mourning, and in mid-colouriflowericarbonation and zesty spraycan solutionizing we interject medievalisms like 'zounds gods'wounds and gadzooks;' the marvelous mountain looms and beckons, we yodel, we sing singly, we highly-evolved gorilla beasts, urn-hopping, luck-larking and featherdusting, we hophead telestrators boasting diamonds and bandonwagon-smashed thunderbusting in a postmodern police-state closed-circuit cameraland which can't even prevent the stealing of the Scream. The oil-slick mavericks, the gunswinging whisky-swilling pill-popping jaw-dropping bossanova banditry slithers querulously and circumnavigates the globe exaggerating our spy-novel-prompted paranoia, swelling uncertainty spreads to extremities, in the end you give up scoffing 'for five hundred dollars, there better be some damn good amenities.' Yes yes here in the Hysteria Hotel we mop our hair with petro-gel, awaiting the subtle click, the telling tick, and it's caught in the quick--the millimetre-thick guitar pick forensics cops trace turquoise tulips around, those criminal chalk lines shivering timbers up to Nunavut and halfway round to Igloolik.

(pass me now a brown paper sack--I'm thinking that I might be sick)

12 minutes to kill in Robarts library

'I wish I were Ghanaian' said my friend Tlomi from Djibouti
I said 'Tlomi dear, I respect your wish but can
you shake the Ghana booty?'
he looked at me and said 'tutti frutti, Patty--u r a cutie and I M N luv!'

purple poltergeists come and go
they shake their bangs out to and fro
they clang a lot, learn tai bo
you say 'that is sooo five years ago'

my favourite priest is made of chocolate
I call him Father Cocoa
he melted in the microwave
a holy sticky mess
while languishing in a puddle
he cried 'I am languishing in a puddle'
'I need to get that off my chest!'

(don't even try to guess)