ADD-inspired analysis of the hip’s latest

For those in the know, for those outside the know, everyone should know this: In Between Evolution is the best album to come out of the The Tragically Hip's music factory in over a decade.

Here’s my self-indulgent, moronic take on what it all means--song by miraculous song:

1. ‘Heaven is a Better Place Today’, which laments the fleeting public sympathy over the tragic death of a hockey player, a reminder that suffering is not a cliché, is a ripping, singalong show-starter… 2. ‘Summer’s Killing Us,’ is perhaps a potshot at the band’s summertime concert crowds—those notorious mapleleaf-waving morons (I'll be one of the crowd, but I won't wave a flag)--who the Hip rub elbows with like clocklock every two summers when ‘the Kingston 5’ tour to promote their wicked-ass releases… 3. ‘Gus, the Polar Bear from Central Park,’ is a grinding yarn about what happens when people no longer fear their monsters because they're caged up by civilization (stupid move, poindexter--that bear’s gonna mow on your ass!) … 4. ‘Vaccination Scar’ is a loud discordant angst-dirge that sounds very angsty and dirgelike… 5. ‘It Can’t be Nashville Every Night’-–the second of three tunes with americana in the title (perhaps this disc is meant to appeal directly to Americans—a marked change from their last 9 efforts)--is a sweet funny punchy morsel about Nashville that breathes a crazy mood I can only describe as ‘Crazy-Nashy-Crashville’… 6. ‘New Orleans is Beat’—no, the Big Easy is no longer ‘sinking’ (hahaha) but perhaps it's a bit weary--is the symbolic ‘end of side one’, the kind of lovely piece that Das Hip like sticking at the midway point of an album (‘Long Time Running’, ‘Flamenco’, ‘So Hard Done by’ anyone?)… 7. ‘You are Everywhere’: yes, friends, you are everywhere--and the Hip is out to get you. This is a scary-assed mofo of a song; when Gord Downie screams ‘when I reel my Irish in/ when I sleep on the train’ like a man possessed, then no matter where you are—here there, everywhere--or whether you’re Irish in any way, you’re going to feel it’s GAME OVER, man, cuz you just got hooked--line and sinker--on the wicked tunes! This song discusses what it’s like to be stuck in a wicked-ass, uncompromising five-piece Kingston blues-rock band for the rest of your life while also trying to begin a solo career, as Gordy has obviously done--it's difficult to escape being typecast... 8. ‘As Makeshift as we are’ is another song about writing/performing and what it’s like to have to depend on your own creations to feed you, and one day discovering that you could never live any other way--or wait, maybe that's just me… 9. ‘Mean Streak’ is probably about, I dunno, the meanness of streaking, while 10. ‘The Heart of the Melt’ sounds like an explosion of guffaws and grunts which signify the heart of inspiration, which melts the soul as often as it melts your heart (yeah, um, that's it)… 11. ‘One Night in Copenhagen’ is about a night of debauched narcotics-cum-nihilism that ends up melting all the snow in Copenhagen—heart of the ‘melt’ indeed! … 12. ‘Are we Family’ is a love letter from Gord to the rest of the band—yes they are a family, and no, families aren’t always about milk and cookies. They’re messy… 13. ‘Goodnight Josephine’ is the final track, and that’s why the word ‘goodnight’ is in the title... Boy what an album!

In conclusion: Canada’s out, America is in—the hip have declared themselves no longer Canada’s band. With titles like ‘Central Park Gus,’ ‘Nashville is Sinking’ and ‘New Orleans is Beautiful—we know which audience they’re sucking up to here. And good on ’em I say—they may finally strike the big fat yankee gold mine, and the whole world will be embiggened by their genius.

Five stars!

big dumb kahuna

you buy those metal pins from deaf guys
I swear honour to this mic
I drove five hundred miles
asking what you meant by ‘like’
I was taking in your curves
you had me on a hook
you smile through every meeting
like there’s nothing to your look;
I was fishing in the sewers
you were piling up the boat
I swore off meat and cheeses while
you sacrificed the goat;
I looked up—something beautiful—
it was everything she wrote
(you dragged me back up
through the waterfall;
you taught me how to float.)

deus ex machines

(this one's great! :-) )

The Appliance Wars (gods rise up from machines)

Once there was a large oven turned up high on 'broil' in an appliance warehouse, and there were several microwaves sitting beside it on a shelf. And one of the micros said to the oven, “Turn off your burners and give yourself over to the technological sweep of progress, Señor O-O,” which was a basic insult to the oven's whole way of life.

The latter was enraged. “I could pick you out of a lineup pretty soon," the oven said, "because your temerity is downright criminal!” and things were all hot. And the microwaves were cocky. The other appliances on the wall started bleeping after their respective fashions, with their dials and diodes all flashing and so forth--all which made a lot of people nervous, because appliances are supposed to serve mankind not fight these internecine battles and cause a fuss. A lack of trust was what it was rooted in, which led to a lack of oatmeal (yes, oatmeal) and it was quite a bit of stupidity that made everything go haywire.

So for several long minutes the mayor pondered the matter. “How are we to allow these silly appliances to fight these wars, Bronson” he said to his chief advisor, called Bronson, “it’s sheer impudence and malignancy!’

But Bronson was just back from his facial massage in the centre of town, and he was quite relaxed and in no mood to become all tensed up over a few microwaves, so he shrugged, saying “I know boss, but what can you do? It’s the fiscal new year.”

“Fiscal new year?” said the mayor, “I think we better head to the Cayman Islands then.”

The was a big bank in the Caymans where all the mayor’s tax bills were, but more important there was sunshine and carefree reclusiveness.

So while the mayor and Bronson were sitting on a beach, the appliances in his house were acting up unfettered. There were hot coils never extinguished, there was the setting on broil which melted all peacefulness, and there was the threat of blown fuses and tripped breaker switches.

The chief of the microwaves, MicroUno, wheeled over to the nearby lodge and said, “Lodgemaster Tomassicchio,” which was the lodgemaster’s name (and, indeed, there was a lodge nearby), “we have a bit of a problem: there is trouble at the mayor’s appliance warehouse; please arrive with a few cartfuls of your famous solution. Time is essence!”

So the lodgemaster hopped in his pickup truck and carried his solution with him, which did not fit all in a regular cart so that’s why he placed the solution in back of a truck. And lucky thing he had a truck. He sped away to save the day in that truck, and truly, time was essential.

MicroUna, the wife of MicroUno, was satisfied with this ruse, and she greeted her husband when he arrived back home with much satisfied love. “Well done, my love, I am satisfied; it is time you shut your door and cook these carrots though,” she said. “For remember we are a couple of microwaves, and cooking things is what we ought to do.” So they cooked the carrots, which were floating in water in a plastic casserole dish; all the while the microwaves harboured a keen loathing for the recalcitrant oven and his entire upstart oven-family--there was still a lot of negativity.

Just then however Lodgemaster Tomassicchio opened the door to the mayor’s warehouse (before he did so he knocked, for he was polite), and he dragged his solution inside.

“I have the solution,” he exhaled, weary from his solutioneering, “and it’s called deus ex machina;” he posed and flexed in front of a warehouse mirror like that great lodgemaster-mannequin, Diophantes of the Fundamental Diophantine equations (for let it not be said lodgemasters are not also a bit vain).

And Lodgemaster Tomassicchio poured his solution all over the warehouse, and the microwaves had their wish, because the oven which had so vexed them suddenly acquiesced in all matters that heretofore had caused consternation among the appliances; now all was made right by the lodgemaster’s deus ex machina. And the microwaves exulted, whereas the oven, previously all hot, had ceased to realize there had even been a problem!

Then a phone rang in the warehouse. It was the mayor.

“Hello, good Mr. Lodgemaster,” said the mayor, “things are fine down here in the Caymans; how are things in my appliance warehouse?”

“Why, fine, Mr. Mayor,” said Tomassicchio, “we were just thinking about you. You know what, you should stay down there—we manage fine by ourselves.”

“All right,” said the mayor, “fine by me and Bronson,” he was cheerful in tone. “After all, it is the fiscal new year,” he said, “and I’m nothing if not a diligent economizer.”

And in the warehouse a microwave bell dinged, and somebody in the Cayman Islands popped a cork. The carrots were done cooking, and it was time to party.



the vicious cycle

(experience doesn’t teach, it deforms)


the vicious cycle

the first mouth I ever kissed
turned out to be
a slut’s—

I was just a
flower to pluck,
another two-lipped notch
it was
school-yard learning or some-such
it was
rough stuff
a sucker shot
kick to the crotch
you put me through; so

now I’ve learned to
pull punch too, I
may never
learn to
forgive you, for
making Me like


Hair slick on my forehead from sweat, it's tuesday aft and I got nothing, though not for lack of thought. Today we wandered to the Lake, skipping stones, extinguishing our mobile phones, all alone we were; I clambered onto the jutting, broken-bottle danger-stones, waving my arm in a 180 arc, promising everything along the waterline: 'One day, this will all be yours.' Over beyond oceans I'm typing, turquoise tulips for her hair. 'Stay out of the sun, my dear bikini Betty--angels remain pale for a reason...'

Cover up, stay inside and wait, weeks and months for me? I really can't ask you to do that now can I.


spookfest 2004

(on the spookiness scale, this is a 7)

You asked friends what books you should read; they said 'all of them'--but lucky thing you decided against omniscience.

Crackle-leafy and dry like a Tuscany bread loaf, I munched silently on the underwear on top of my armpits. I likened onion buns to the leftover disciples of the modern age, and the reactionary drivel was no good; the total despicable mess I was in. I was destroyed in so many ways today; I was torn apart from the insides, it was an elision of aesthetics into a heterogeneous paragraph.

I hemmed and hurried through the porticoed city, and the cheese-shop owners were up at 5 am mounting wares on wicker tables just sprayed down by illegal immigrants toting bottles of disinfectant, annulling bacteriological threats of rotting wood and rendering the flesh safe and sound and in compliance with all the proper federal health regulations recently enacted under state by-laws.

Yellow to the core, a coward at the base, the evil shirking he performed, passing weapons of mistrust on the way to heaven. I flew to New Zealand just to shake hands with my saviour. I flew all the way to the outlands to hear what he had to say. I stepped out of the plane into the windswept balm of New South Wales.

You were toasted, left to die inside an oven, a boy burned to a crisp for no reason except hate. But hate is good enough reason for many; it is part of what makes us human, and sad you can’t eradicate hatred as surely as you cannot defeat love.

Evanescent and delighting in truth about words we speak, he sounded forth like hosanna, the choir resounding on the balcony above. The architecture of his mind was a masterpiece but the tall women, lacking in joy and full of a cold beauty, they surrounded, despised and shamed him into obedience.

Haranguing the masses at the edge of the cliff, tipping the cow despite its lowing, as the figure eight is fit for showing. Lords and ladies trip over wires, explode in time, undress along the Thames; the latin poet of the great first-century BC passion, he spoke of love and hate with breathtaking parsimony.

Cutting the ribbon at a suburban mall, we call Saint Paul over to bless the sidewalk; he comes down from the Lord’s right hand, and we claim heaven sends angel-men to better the ends of humanity. In certainty we exult, quelling revolts that threaten the agri cult. In the distant eaves of a locust tree there are men who clamber and cut out the thrown river of sin and the women, swimming out there in a cesspool of duress. We are the cancer we cannot cure.

Every day is an ocean of uncharted depths. Every whisper is the untold story of the hidden people. Speak we in a soft tone. Cast into darkness for impiety, we lack homogeneity and are derided by experts at every changing of the season. But we speak in a soft tone.


Not in one of my wonderful web polls, but in today's Canada federal election.

If you are a Canadian citizen and haven't yet voted, then stop reading this, turn your computer off and get to the polling station, dumbass.

Especially if you're part of the 18-34 'I-love-apathy-and-dictatorships' demographic whose average turnout rate is lower than whale poo (and THAT'S at the bottom of Hudson Bay)--believe it or not, your ballot matters today. Don't let a bunch of 65+ 'election sluts' (turnout rate for seniors: close to 85%) decide your future!

Click here for voting stuff.



graffiti on the sidewalk

(it says, leave my city alone)

You weren’t born here, that’s why you don’t care
You’ve come to make your money
Laugh to relatives back in Nepean,
Antigonish, Victoria, about dirty old Hogtown
Suck us dry, you south-of-Bloor daytrippers
Short-lived big smokers
your tax-farming parents enjoy their $9-billion Xmas present?
Please, ride our subway day and night—we built it just for you
So you shouldn’t bring a car
No you’re afraid of the traffic,
Drive on the 401?— barbaric
Study, play, dream on the College St. scene, it’s ok
You post-grad potheads don’t pay taxes anyway
Go, end up somewhere in Brampton, or Pickering, nowhere
Feed the bedroom ant colonies with
your upper-middle downtown jobs
—like those 905 leeches—
You’ll drive an SUV by then, you
won’t mind clogging the DVP and Gardiner
on your way to Bay St. then
But you’ll flip at the prospect of road tolls
And won’t vote in our elections
Don’t go to town hall, hell
you don’t go north of Dupont (Jane and Wilson? No way, I’ll get shot!)
You bastard Canadians, fair-weather urbanites, it’s YOU with the identity crisis, you
hypocritical shits, your naked envy makes me blue in the face
Condescending visits to our ‘ethnic’ neighbourhoods
Giddy and nervous in a city so off-white
Oh it’s so exotic on Queen Street
Oh, Toronto is home to all kinds

But the pierced pale-skin young folk, getting tattooed on West Queen West? that’s YOU
from Sudbury, St. John’s and the Soo—
escaping those empty shitholes
’cause this is the only place would tolerate freaks like that
But I am sick of it; sick of you hick transplants and your bigoted provincial parents
You’re why we got 5,000 homeless—so your uncle’s pig farm doesn’t go under;
why we can’t extend the goddamned subway tunnels,
Why we got crumbling sidewalks; while your cousins drink subsidized Molsons on the back forty
So go head back to Sarnia and Red Deer and Moncton and Kelowna for the holidays
And hear mom and dad bitch, how big fat and ugly Toronto is
And crap on the Maple Leafs, and piss in our Lake poisoned with acid rain
…But don’t forget to make phone reservations
for Mirvish’s ‘Mama Mia’—the Mother’s Day, matinee showing—
and you’ll wander on after to Eaton Centre food court for
maybe some spring rolls and a raspberry smoothie, and
maybe we’ll take the rickshaws dad, you’ll say, but only
if the smog’s not too bad,
and so
the hobos won’t assault
you with their cap-rattling guilt trips

(does anyone pay attention to graffiti?)


Subversion in a can

My head's splitting and there’s too much glare; there’s a grand total of two trees in front of me--not exactly a forest. Unfettered goulash is creeping toward a yellow-eyed uncouth tourniquet-factory janitor, so we decide upon fallacy as the most-expressive mode; one day this logicidal mania will subside, a nice change from the underwear-drawer of doubt that plagues us otherwise. Algorithms are pointless, logarithms are willowy and intense, but so what, I never remember those calculus jokes after they’re told. Maybe you’re a vampire bat with eleven ears? Maybe not. Maybe you’re a gangster, cement-shoeing wiseguys off a pier; I don’t know but I know this, there’s never enough mustard when you really need it, demonstrating Cinespherically the unblinking car-crash nightmare that underscores your East-end inferiority complex. There’s testosterone on the table-top, but I never chew close enough to the bone; we are solemn, alone, and groaning. You are no vibraphone, you are no Skydome-clone; you are the one-of-a-kind grey tuckered-out Aswan-High-Dam inspector, born in a clutch of juniper bushes at the whim of a naturalist who ransacked the maternity ward the day before you were born—what an unlucky coup against respectable science that was! But alas, clinging, difficult buttnuts exasperate your bowel movements with the kind of dew-loving Gascoigne-style melancholy that is its wont, and yard-raking stick men are the worst kind of dodgeball fiends—so hard to strike, they’re so thin—so this is the velour pastiche I get on sale from the Designer Fabrics store, fluffy material acquired at a Queen St urban landmark to shame all others in the literary-textile business. I have gilded ninety-nine narcissists to my front-porch knockers, and now my friends smack face on wood to announce arrivals at the door. Jealous regents rule so precarious, diminishing dissension with poker-faced insinuations, yes-men shouting down pacifists--but at least the polar ice-cap shields us from the searing sun, and though the queer district bursts into a rainbow flag like magnesium strips frothing on contact with water, the poinsettia freaks still flit charisma into focus-group total-recall sessions in bids to end degeneracy in public schools, but the ragamuffinery that gels so secretly in the ketchup drawer is quite inert and feckless compared to any one of those frozen-tongued igloo-lickers. Listen—hear the holistic and harmoniously hospitable moonwalk recorder, flute-like blowing in the windstorm? Its ululations make you ornery, and if this is survival of the fittest and the wittiest, the most insidious, and of the British—those hardcore arbiters of Quidditch--then I am a 24-inch corset. Politics is a bloodsport of oaths, polling drones and broken bones, so don’t go home with a metronome: its tick’ll time you temporarily to your doom, but we’re here swooning on a broom, flown over moons with Hansel & Gretel, Ethel and Mistress Mabel June, the naked spooning croon-loon. This is a Styxian symphony of tickles coerced from the depths of the demonic dictionary, those left-justified text-boxes containing all science and life? Pish tosh! Here in the manic midnight there are two choices: deviancy, defiance or otherwise, so pick sides and gather nerve; dive into pastry bowls to be eaten up by a clever fat gardener who pilfers apple pie from windowsills and in every other way riles rhythmic riddles senselessly, and maybe you'll find--undoubtedly--that every wayward blowhard goatherd really gets your goat… right, square in the goat-nads!

Lois the muse

(more with experiments... this one moronic/sexist)


I sang to you once
on the sidewalk;
you smiled, no one's ever sung me a song

I still can’t believe that--
why, Lois, your legs alone
could inspire
an entire album or
a folk-

my favourite dr. seuss excerpt

from the all-time greatest seuss book, fox in socks:

When tweetle beetles fight,
it's called
a tweetle beetle battle.

and when they
battle in a puddle,
it's a tweetle
beetle puddle battle.

AND when tweetle beetles
battle with paddles in a puddle
they call it a tweetle
beetle puddle paddle battle.
When beetles battle beetles
in a puddle paddle battle
and the beetle battle puddle
is a puddle in a bottle...

...they call this
a tweetle beetle
bottle puddle
paddle battle muddle.
When beetles
fight these battles
in a bottle
with their paddles
and the bottle's
on a poodle
and the poodle's
eating noodles...
...they call this
a muddle puddle
tweetle poodle
beetle noodle
bottle paddle battle...

(and so on. and so forth)


girl with the green jacket

(aka a dozen ways to begin the unfinished poem I’m writing about you)

you rejected my moonlight melodrama
and asked for
something substantial
—because like
when buying candy from the machine
your decisions are based “a great deal
on grammage”

like lightning
in a desert
(and subtle too)
was how you electrified me;
after one week of
the knowledge that you
I was upside down

and you were too
leaving for Australia, or some rot like that
I knocked on your door
but it was locked and
I was on the bottom of the world so
I wrote you
the sweetest letter you ever received in your life
but you waited too long
to let me know that;

because on the seventh day
after making a fool of
I did something even stupider
I shacked up with
the first siren who looked at me twice
—that’s what rejection does to you
and man does it ever
rot your gut—
but I guess things
happen that way

and when you reappeared in fall
I wanted to jump over the railing
to show you
what I was all about

—but seconds later
I was sipping coffee
and reading my books
so for years I
wrote drivel
packaged it as
but you didn’t bite
you funny fish.

I wish you had seen me that day with my cap and gown
I wanted you to be proud of me
for just a minute, just once
though we are basically

I wish my dad owned a library too
then I could've read up
on what makes you tick

but like that moonlight hello on
my doorstep
this poem of ours never happened—

it's nobody's fault but
it never got
for that at least
I'll take the blame

underhanded, upside-down Aussies!

you heard it here first: there's a massive civil-engineering project down in Australia, working to make mountains of out of molehills. hot damn... I mean, what's next, paving the road to hell?
Don’t quote me on that

unless you know
what I said
unless you know
what I mean
unless you repeat
syllable just
as equally


yo yo yo

Sonnets with your name on it? Sarah H so tragic, pale, and anti-ecstatic. I will send you flowers in the mail, I will eat your fingers in the jail. We're so tired of self pity (quoting Sarah), and we want the maximum viscosity in the big city. We want everyone to bow down to us, and we'll clutch thunder between our thumbs and someone will make the joke that now it is thumbder. And nobody will laugh (dumb and dumberer), and someone will try to run over a pigeon, and a man holding door open for a fellow trailing burdened with parcels will let go of handle too soon and man with parcels will get smacked in the face—I have seen it happen to others, I have seen it happen on tv.


The Mad Scientist

(I once was married to a hypothesis, but we could never get down to any concrete lovin’. she was just so damn… theoretical. maybe that’s my problem?)

The Mad Scientist

I’m throwing all my potions
into this fire, consuming
each and every recipe
I'm putting up these signs for hire:
'help wanted--alchemy';
let’s try something new or
try me on for size,
I’m your huckleberry baby so
rub my rhubarb with your
I’m a mathematical and
magical guy, and
I don’t know
what else to do.

I am the electric-spoon inventor
the obscene-neural-feedback progenitor
I’m the marvellous mirthful mystical mentor
also: landlord of Jiminy-Cricket Manor,
I’m a recently graduated
dripping liquid-lovin’ from the skies
my bunsen burner’s firing high,
but my helium voice is wheezy
give me credit, pass debentures
argh! there be photons up my pirate-sleeve—
my honey-coated protons and
bananarama neutrons
have never failed to please;

let’s stop telling each other what to do
let’s start by sayng hi

see me, Babe Ruth,
I don’t give a sweet fancy fig for couth
well I’m no moron, and I don’t sniff glue
and not to mention
the competition’s poo:
Benny Broom, ph.D, is really such a snot
(a known philosophizer)
Ms. Weathers teaches tying knots
s'no wonder she’s no flyer,
and Frederick Fallacy can't count for beans
he calculates by rote,
(he’s on a list and riding high
of enemies I wrote);

but I’d never have an honest chat
with any one of them—
I’m a hay-wire-spinning
spider-web Daedalus,
and so I’m
stuck here
mashing tragic scat into
a pair of waxen wings.


writing secret #4583: words derived from Latin or Greek are weak, left-brained (ie abstract rather than evocative) and therefore highly replaceable. Stick with English (Germanic) roots for best results.


Who, or what, is a 'plonker'?

(latest addition to the OED...)

Other definitions welcome!

Tom and Desdemona’s 'digital' word-play

(a disgustingly useless anecdote about getting things done)

Tom and Desdemona were lacking in fingers; together they were missing seven or eight out of the usual twenty digits that two people, combined, would ordinarily possess (as each person would usually possess ten fingers). So one Saturday afternoon in June they went shopping for some extra fingers, in the Superfluous Finger District, which in Toronto is located between Gerrard and Dundas along River St—so basically we’re talking Regent Park, aka ‘the projects.’

Now it seems quite fitting that Tom and Desdemona went to ‘the projects’ to find some spare fingers for their hands; this was a Saturday afternoon, and finding a good fingers-to-hand match was a rather time-consuming ‘project’ indeed. And so noting this ghetto-nickname/digit-retrieval-task verbal-relation appropriateness, Tom waxed comedically on the aforementioned phenomenon, remarking, “It’s a good thing we’re here in the Regent Park projects, Dez, because trying to find and attach our missing fingers is quite ‘the project’ indeed…” and he looked at Desdemona for a response, raising his eyebrows and remarking “ha ha ha”--but Desdemona just groaned: “Groan,” she groaned quite groaningly. However she was not groaning because she was, for example, pregnant with Tom’s baby and going into labour (in fact Desdemona was born, quite tragically, without a uterus; she would eventually adopt her children instead of birthing them, although not for a few years would she adopt, since it wasn’t feasible to raise a son or daughter on her scant hairdresser’s income; she would have to do some saving first)—no, not because she was about to go into labour did she groan, since she was (it must be emphasized repeatedly) not busting out with Tom’s baby right there on the sidewalk, nor breaking water, nor spilling a bunch of placenta from her person and thus dramatically increasing the ‘sidewalk-placenta’ quotient of that stretch of River St—but rather Desdemona groaned at Tom because he had made a rather lousy joke.

And it took all afternoon, but they did find their fingers that day on River St in Regent Park; it was indeed ‘quite a project’.

(And so, you see, when the talking's over, that’s how things actually get done.)


things that rhyme with 'own'

Rhenal Tony and the baloney cronies drone on about loans--ah yes, it was Tony and Mahoney Jones flown in from the land of the gnomes, and it is home-grown lodestone and keystone accents to the ‘Mony Mony’--that well-known, etched-in-stone Billy Idol epitaph; it’s yo-yo Jabroni and mercurial zoning-clones and the ocean of ET-phone-home tomes that roam bookshelves and moan unknown, all alone and bony; it is coney-island macaroni and Jereboam Solomon-y phoniness, so well-honed and toned, Polonius-like and foamy.

(And, not surprisingly, a lot of it makes me puke.)
the three bitches (no end in sight)

‘What was he called again? Jamie Oliver?’
‘My husband is no masseuse that’s for sure’
‘I’m on my way to the [zeitgeist] therapist—’

sorry, but I have to pack up and leave. NOW.

(when sitting in coffee shops, you have little control over who sits beside you)

Pizza man Ron's thimble-polish pickle

Ron the pizza man was uncomfortable when customers offered to pay him in thimble-polish instead of actual money. It’s true he was an avid sewing enthusiast, and many customers in the neighbourhood--who regularly ordered pizza from Pizzaman Paolini’s Pies (PPP's)--would ask Ron the pizza man for tips and advice on all manner of cross-stiching, crochet and needlework. And it’s true Ron relished this attention and the admiration of his customers, and the chance to pontificate about his hobby. But when some of them started to offer payment in thimble-polish for the pizzas instead of cash, Ron would hesitate nervously; his boss Rocco had threatened to fire him from PPP’s if he ever showed up at the end of his shift with no money but just a fistful of thimble-polish. Ron loved cross-stitching more than his job--and thimble-polish was a great thing to receive--but he couldn’t afford to get thrown out of work. So you can understand the pickle he was in.



At the corner of Yonge and Fairlawn

(aka a reckless abuse of context)

At the corner of Yonge and Fairlawn potato farmers are crying about their khakis, and the Globe is the best paper to read at the coffeeshop. Heheheh, and my recycled napkins are so damn water-absorbent, they can mop the floor with this pathetic afternoon drizzle; this is the land of banana men, pineapple ladies and the checkered technicolour umbrella; it’s the movement of vans up around the block, splashing, exacerbating telephone-booth dampness in a thundershower, the tepid puddles of rainwater that nourish baby crows, and most importantly my lady: she’s tall and Semitic and she plucks at bangs and wears dark glasses—and this is Thursday at its most pointless. And female waist-hems are creeping ever downward, toward crotch-and-ass-crack territory, so we’re better off discussing the hubcap thief who ruined my Toyota Tercel—I’d like to meet him on adjacent barstools, I’d arm-wrestle him for my honour and smash my remaining wheels over his face. The yellow hydrant takes the piss out of passing dogs; it’s parked within 15 metres of the the corner, breaking the by-laws as it puts out fires, and this unnecessary juxtaposition isn’t my fault: I didn’t design a city where telephone poles lean so haphazard, where newspaper boxes are a gang of teenagers gathering at the sidewalk and wrought-iron patio railings are the first to start rusting, and the chubby lady making me peppermint tea has a braid like a loaf of challah bread, but she’s a babealicious bouncy blonde with a French nose and there are flowers in the plastic pots dangling above the street beneath the lamp-posts and they're still smiling colours—flowers getting water free from rainclouds—but who’s gonna take them down when they shrivel up in winter? The taxpayers will take it in the ass again I bet, but Green-P parking is just around the corner, which is nice, something to look forward to below a Second-Empire mixed-use commercial-residential block that could use a decent scrub, to restore a tired century of beauty. The metal garbage-eaters are wheezing onto Fairlawn Ave and crunching up the unnecessary debris we leave on lawns; I make a mental note to hide what you’re writing from that big orange bastard because the pavement’s so slick and the Sony TV shop is a radio-service lab, so if you need experiments done then take your radio there, which proves my point that shop-sign sellers should take courses in How Not To Be Stupid, because stupid signs—everywhere signs—are cluttering me making me stupid and the problem’s making sense in straight lines when the universe is really multiversal but you’ll notice this only if restless and overeducated but—whatever—this is still a poignantly useless theory of everything and right beside the Subway is the Scholars’ Education Centre and I wonder, how many university professors walk by thinking, “Why not—I could use a little brush-up myself,” but too-few credentializing mofos stoop to admit deficiency, I mean, why would they when Caz’s Restaurant has Great Fish—come in, we’re open—and I put the perfect Finishing Touches on this little ditty beside The Coop’s casual clothing store for men, but everything falls apart and what happens to the centre then? It does not hold; do not hold onto me, please let me go, I’m an important man. We tie everything up with neat strings in our entropy-battling mental-bulimia-bored?-let’s-go-for-a-walk-binges. And yesterday I was breaking out in a sweaty run; my shin-splints were killing me as I stopped smelling roses, soaking up windfalls from the whimsy of the rain, and that’s precisely why random acts of kindness make me cry: the automobiles get bigger and bolder but the streetscape shrinks steadily from view, there’s a big fat tractor riding atop a truck-bed and suddenly—finally—I’m thinking of you.

(And the rain clears up, and it’s a quarter past two.)

calm and storm II

(misplaced priorities?)

calm and storm II

burned by acid rain

sizzling patches on his jacket

he decided to complain

to Dupont chemical,

and the voice at the desk

said ‘it’s probably just as well,’

‘we’ll pay for a new coat,’

‘go, take the money,

and forget about the holes

in the rest of your life’


weird weird weird...

Do not spit too loudly on one of the most disturbing sites you'll ever visit.

On another more insane and saddening note, the benevolent geniuses over in the North Korean government have just informed their 22 million famine-starved citizens that eating pine needles is good for you (see June 16, "Efficacious Pine Needle Foodstuff"). Ah, so they're resorting to delicious pine soup--the selection there must be in those DPRK supermarkets. Yet another one to file under "what... me worry?" (sigh.)

caro cugino (dear cousin),

we never did discover
the meaning of life, but
I did discover you
and that’s a fine second best.
my blood’s in your
we think the same
thoughts in two different languages
it's this rock we live
our lives on
thicker than the atlantic
that keeps us apart--it’s
called family, brings us
any day of the year
I can walk in and
lay my head
on your couch.


Tony the Tiger

(The following was written in October; it's one of the favourite things I've written, although it is unforgivably lengthy. As always with this blog, read out loud for maximum effect.)

Tony the Tiger

Pucks and sticks and pickup bricks. Licks and phones and caked-on bones, but drains swill lever curtly. Round tree vagabonds and the night of friable onions. Lost in the day’s ending, away from the time of men, wheezing and sneezing causes pollution of the mind soul body and loins; verbosity and pomposity go hand in hand. Here we dance and away we tuck the little tykes and the bed phones mothers use to check on their infants, those are out of batteries I’m afraid. Can the drinking continue? Can the weather change for the better? Will the waste come back to kill him? The negative and lovely positive, flower grass and sails, half-mast, blow down wind, cut away at the galley.

The cutlass and the sabre, rattle in the naval, the harbour, men born with no navels, the ocean that time forgot… and so it goes unto nigh, never-ending and always bending, lectures of Aristotelian nomenclature, and getting to know the properties of things. And speaking of knaves, Plato’s in his cave, and Socrates is drunk again—time to drag out the vote, the fool Athens gadfly. Though to Delphi he’s wise, it’s the council has spoken, and he really must die. Executed. Tis a shame: he’s a good chap deep down, in spite of his lies.

Oh my brain, with its plasticine furrows and squirreling burrows. A rat and a mouse tucked away in my house, so we talked of our lives in the four-legged joust. Rodents digging and chewing and hiding, from trouble brewing and the pouncing--of the cat in the maze who had seen better days. A dog on the fence pants; blowin’ in the wind is a papyrus bone, artifact of Egypt or a mummified tome. So he chases his tail, befriends a few snails, in cavernous jails out under a rock, unaware of the clock and the one woollen sock. The dog did advise him ‘beware of the salt and the kids with their shoes.’ But he boozes, confuses; he tries but he loses. A snail that’s crushed—it’s sticky and oozes, texture of mucus, it resembles what glue is. And though I love symphony I’m a mango off a fruit tree. A fool who jabbers. A nation that clobbers, a toddler who stammers will one day become a failed young writer, a typing machine, a reporter with dreams. Take down good notes, I’m afraid you’ll elope; we try not to touch, we are frogs and we croak.

Wither spoons, and where are the forks? Annoying the clown is a kid with a cork. Have you unstopped the wine? It goes rancid and sweet, drunk by the elite; municipal taxpayers vote with their feet. A cold cup of beer and a dog can’t be beat. I flavour my soup with red pepper jelly, an anonymous tip-toe to town hall and Eddies—that’s Shack and the Eagle, hockey game beagles. (The currents of power with toasts of the town. Whether mayo or mustard, the sandwich goes down.) Afar and beyond the men with their togas, or an Indian’s claim about yogurt and yogas. A rose from the butler would never debase you, I said to the receptionist crossing the stairs. She swore and she chuckled, and she pulled out her hair.

A dragonfly gnome can toss around foam, but so can mechanics with urethane blends, or a sweet song from Sloan—The Lines We Amend. A chased shooter with lime, stuffed cupboards of thyme. Unpack the washcloths and figure a rhyme. Eaten and tasted, arrive all thin-waisted, you’re drained from your travel in a nation lambasted. Inundation, props and paper, or a woman from Gander, a political snitch and a fresh gerrymander. Have you ever observed so many wrong curves, faulty strokes of the palette, this fog dressed as Zen? Derivative drivel and a pantry of shelves, will the gnome and his foam ever sleep with the elves? Or even with men? A racial divide or elision collides. Eyes of a squid, a giant with lids—the size of a legion, it’s his left carotid. The French coast off the Atlantic or an even derision. I tried to outswim him but he hates long division, so I fed the remainder to math books and wolves. The victims burn incense, the stench will melt roads. Decisions, delays, false sonnets and odes. Crumble and tumble, infrastructure erodes.

Power blockage angers the electorate. Tone down the rhetoric and try not to fake it. McGuinty and Eves, they watch from the trees, flip-flopping again like the wind and the leaves. Don’t stain your clothes from the dying of colours. Voters aren’t stupid—they’re not like your brother. Frowning’s a lion, some frugal inveterate, a rabbi of Zion, a bully for temperance. A zealot can block the Quebecois talk, but smoke’s not enough for the walkers in chalk. Laboratory assistants are shaving their whiskers (and now rumour has it they don’t clean their beakers); outsourcing to minions, the chemistry majors, alone with their burners, zinc-sniffing with neighbours. Jim Henson’s a muppet, it’s true he ain’t swift. Jonathan or Gulliver—down by the station, a string quartet nation, all up in elation ‘bout this B.C. conflagration—it’s a clear indication: we all need a lift.

Flaubert and the Madame, the changing of seasons. Feminism unleashed with a thousand good reasons. But now ladies—you believe this?—they most miss their manners, confounding the alders, the right-thinking town planners. A new bathroom was devised, with equity in mind and tradition revised—but the women are reneging the teeth they excised. And all around here there is lust in the air; the young ones walk naked and their mothers don’t care. Beatify Mary, an immaculate virgin; fish for disciples in a lake full of sturgeon. Go ahead, I don’t care, I’m a roundabout Charlie; there’s just one way to skin me or ride on my Harley. Call up and ask for the lazy tromboner, or the urbanite poet on the path toward stoner. Call me, I’ll answer, I got the afternoon off. Stick your thumb down my throat; I promise I’ll cough.


Moses Drecksnider, aka King of Cutlery

(easily among the top 1000 most foolish things ever written)

Moses Drecksnider was known as the King of Cutlery. At least, that’s what they called him in high school, when he worked in the cafeteria kitchen and had to deal with and clean up after all manner of spoon and pot. His sensibility for time, place, and Tupperware was deft, and there was never anyone more adroit with a missing teaspoon, or more fearless with a renegade colander than Moses. Indeed, one time he happened upon a copper colander in the microwave, and though it was shiny and displayed no evidence of grime or gunk, he had to toss the thing in the dishwasher straightaway. Because copper just doesn’t belong in the microwave, Moses muttered to himself.

Most proud of Moses was old Stlethonius, aka the Arbiter of Ketchup, Moses’ employer and mentor in all matters of kitchenware. Stlethonius was a gap-toothed balderdasher, full of pith and merriment--he constantly egged on Moses in matters of life and love--but the old man ruled his kitchen with wisdom and fairness. Stlethonius was called the Arbiter of Ketchup because he once settled a public dispute over a giant tin drum of ketchup, which was hotly contested between rival purchasing factions at a suburban Costco outlet. (As always, Stlethonius’ solution to the fiasco was fluid and salient—like the condiment itself—and the two sides parted ways in tranquility.) Wise as King Solomon was Stlethonius, and the younger man Moses venerated him like a household demi-god— especially after that ketchup dispute at the Costco.

But one rainy afternoon in autumn Stlethonius had to leave work early for a dentist appointment, and Moses was by himself cleaning up the kitchen, wiping down the counters with a moistened rag. He was singing his favourite rock songs and pondering the slick perfection of a plastic soup ladle dangling from a hook. Moses was in his glory in that cooking-space; all alone he was...

Or so he thought! For, unbeknownst to the lad, buried underneath a porcelain pyramid, awaiting Moses in silence, was one Cyrus Flanagan--who was an eggbeater.

Now Cyrus Flanagan was an upstart cooking implement--yes, he was an eggbeater--a hand-held piece of steel-cum-aluminum, rather feared and unloved by the other kitchen utenstils; they more or less left him alone to his cookie-dough-churning devices, upstart rabble-rouser that he was. Ordinarily, Flanagan kept himself stacked in the porcelain cylinder on the counter-top, but this afternoon was different, and that porcelain cylinder was now empty; Cyrus Flanagan was nowhere in sight. He was lurking instead near the bottom of the sink, buried under a pile of dirty dishes and glassware, plotting his fiendishness. You see, Flanagan had long been envious of Moses’ kitchenwide status--his rise to prominence under the mentorship of Stlethonius--and the eggbeater longed for a confrontation; he reckoned the sink as good a place as any to hatch some piece of boldness. And so, when clearing out the basin to begin the final wash-up, the King of Cutlery suddenly felt the sharp sting of churning aluminum--

Whrrr, whrrr whrr—

“Yowzah!” cried Moses—“Sweet KitchenAid Christ!” He was struck with pain, neuronal flashes shocking his brainstem. Moses looked down in disbelief: there was Cyrus Flanagan, chomping at the fingers of his right hand like some kind of stainless-steel snapping turtle; the little metal tool was headlong intent upon finger-pain. This is sink-spawned temerity, thought Moses, it’s a vicious unprovoked egg-beating. Indeed it was pure unabashed mischief—Flanagan-style.

“What madness is this?” screeched Moses, pulling his hand back as though singed by a blistering incandescent lamp. The rabid eggbeater clattered to the floor, landing in the corner beside an orange plastic salad spinner named Percy Romaine. Moses grabbed a four-pronged Ikea fork from the dish rack with his other, unmolested hand--the fork wasn't quite dry, but Moses felt its use most urgent—and prodded the air with a defensive gesture, all his instincts on high alert. Over in the corner was Flanagan, jarred by the landing and re-gathering himself; for his part Moses loomed cautiously, awaiting the eggbeater's next move or perhaps some trenchant remark. Meanwhile Flanagan rose up on his single axle, his glinting blades betraying a battery of nicks and dents--and he whirred aloud at Moses:

You numbskull! You just don’t get it!” And he whirred he even louder, “You’ve never been spun around for years and years, in one steaming tub of goo after another--wasting your days as an implement, a pawn to be handled by indifferent cooks and negligent pastry chefs!”

“No, you don’t understand at all,” said Flanagan, adding, “you bastard. Stlethonius can't save you now!”

Cowering beside the renegade eggbeater was Percy Romaine the salad shooter; she was spinning counter-clockwise—she was very anxious and frenetic. And the whole congregation of kitchenware looked on at the scene with dread.

Moses remained composed. Though agitated, he spoke, “I see no quarrel with you, Flanagan, and your wrath against me is truly mystifying.” He raised his voice. “Besides, you’re daft, to attack a man in and around his own kitchen sink,” and he gestured at the liquid Palmolive perched behind the main sink faucets—“I have plenty of detergent at my disposal.” The Palmolive was yellow, lemon-scented—a reliable detergent. “I’ll wash your curvy metal teeth out with soap!”

But the eggbeater was all hot: “Are you threatening me with such meagre suds, those mere solvents?” cackled Flanagan, and he was all the more belligerent; “Yes, your Palmolive may wipe away the grease, O Cutlery-King… but it leaves a bitter aftertaste!”

“You would know it best,” replied Moses—his belligerence was swelling to match Flanagan’s own—“Me? I drink nothing but soda-pop and filtered water; I leave the dish soap for those filthy, embittered tongs like you!” And he waved his fork about in a zigzag or figure-eight pattern.

“I’m filthy, yes—filthy as a demon!” Flanagan cried, and he hopped upon spinning Percival Romaine—and the unwitting salad-shooter fired him across the room, straight into Moses’ eye sockets! And Cyrus Flanagan the eggbeater wailed with perverse delight, while Moses Drecksnider the King of Cutlery thundered in grief: “Agh, I am struck!” And there began to rise a purple welt on his face, and it was totally hideous and disgusting.

But then came a rumble outside the kitchen window. Percy the salad-shooter hissed urgently, “Kitchenware items, humans, everyone, listen up: it’s the great Stlethonius, also called Arbiter of Ketchup; he’s returned to the kitchen unexpectedly, to retrieve his house keys!”

And just then a box of toothpicks clattered to the floor

(unfinished of course. what happens next????)

another great name for a garage band:


Idiots with Knives

Can you beat that?

Happy bday!

Today is CJT's 28th birthday.

It is also KJW's 25th birthday.

Happy birthday to these lovely acronyms, and even finer persons.

five ramblings

(written Nov/03--well past the expiry date, but you gotta keep feeding the dragon)

Listen to the rock n roll splitting through the earphones, taking home tomes to read for lack of interesting company, try not to catch the chill of a lifetime as you look out on the street and see a blind empty city.

Fearful as an addict in the middle of February, we talked about whisky and the relative merits of the twisted Timpani sisters; agreeing about sunshine, all in favour of motherhood, a non starter, can we count the number of abstentions? A half-dozen hands up in the air.

Earwigs in the bathhouse scare three-year-old girls. Gorgons tiny turn housewives to stone--little enemies of peace order and good government. Making peace with the insects won’t be easy; tell your toddler to let alone that hornets' nest. (A stray rock can stir the pot.)

And thank heaven sends packets of ketchup to sweeten the mealy burgers cooked too high up on the range, home on the range, burglars without cars laughing at life in the slow lane. We are wry and imply unkindness, we die trying, we strive, work away like slaves for no pay all day and into the ending of night.

Dry out your eyes; here is the last bottle of beer I will ever drink. We wean ourselves off substances, we unlock the vice grip the poor thing has on our yodel yodel jingle bells and all the way to the bank...


mona get out

("behind every beautiful thing..." -Bob Dylan)

mona get out

posing for the portrait
holding so still
waiting for the miracle
brushing by his will

O mona, get out
shake the paint about
we're all here inside
waiting for your shout

leo is gonna ’mortalize you—
he’ll frame you, make
you goddess, steal your soul—
and that’s a bad bad scene so

go mona go
don’t let him trap the smile
(but it’s driving him to drink)
’cause they’ll hang you in the gallery
they’ll curse you for your secret
they’ll stare at you for centuries
they’ll never let you blink.


Framkus and Bollingstoke were kattling their buzz, there was dewstop and nursewell and it was rattling the fuzz (it was simonized turgidity that ghilted the ghuzz). It was crestwurth and kittles that fulmonnoxed the zash: I was tickling a vladstop and I was ululating frenk; it was callymoony squall-shaw with my fingers in the tank...

furniture rhetoric

(apologies to those without Canadian radio--you're missing a real dilly of a mattress ad.)


for my audrey h

(an honour, a privilege; more importantly--a delight. posted with permission)


flowers for the lioness (she lives in a tree)

are the words
delicate and strong
Norse-Irish magic, yes there’s
magic in her treehouse den,
she decorates her walls
with tender traces of
tears and smiles

I can’t decide whether
her hair is brown or blond or red
she’s all kinds of animals
a swan, or deer
—with an aching back

fierce, fiery are the words
I haven’t felt her roar
but I’ve seen her upset
and once I made her sad
I wonder, does she think
I am a clown

she’s a swan, yes
no, a gazelle
(I’ve seen her eat like an elephant!)
but she's royal as a lioness, she's
queen of her jungle

fetch me flowers for the lioness!
she lives up in a tree!

… I’m proud to say
I have held her
in my arms, and
kissed her

because we are two lions and
pride is a good word


A day at the Beach

Please explain more fully?

No no no friends, this is fill in the blanks

(in the coffee shop)
Rocker Boy threatens boycott unless they sell him fair trade; ‘Fair enough,’ is the unfunny barista pun. Blondie's all haggard, has read too many books; Pink Cardigan carries a pair of Gap bags, and Fat Ass struggles with her first-generation inferiority complex. Nice Rack waddles onto Kew Beach Queen East with her boyfriend the Skinhead Mechanic; teeny-tot Markhamites stroll past, put their recycling in the wrong slot. And all of sudden it’s two minutes later.

In the city core speed is not two-dimensional, ie V doesn’t = D/T. It’s 3-D velocity: V depends on density ie V = people-distance/ time.

Conniving women and their two timing and I miss the one who did me no wrong. Where is she?... I miss those Latin mommas, and one in particular, I think she was my third cousin, and dude, she was something else.

Each word I put down is a thousand that I don’t; we invented language to deceive each other, yes, but sure there’s evil among termites and bumblebees and filthy skinks too.

But this is no iceberg:

Walt’s wisdom and Wilde’s wit, twit fiascos and the paschal sacrifice, the bow ties we tie to the balloons for a birthday party in an April afternoon. August shirt sleeves still seem far, and the mad March melting snow is down by law. Tom Petty is movin me honey and the dogs are struttin, it’s the streetcar rumble through the high-class lunch district. Burning love and churning nastiness cusses like a roadkill crow with a slick-edge squishy-squirrel spatula. A box of chiclets and a Zimbabwe autocrat convene at a convenience store purchase in the suburbs of Harare; I’m here firing lines like dragnets, banking on the big one, my fishfaced peculiarities rearing on hind legs like hound-dog pullovers, and the telephone-pole company's going under, under the ground, to fibre-optic sounds--better than all previous technologies combined (!); we're zapping mosquitoes by twilight like so many unwanted Tutsis. And the yellow fox regiment marches east to meet the ninth artillery brigade, and Napoleon didn’t create artillery “he just exploited existing advances in a brilliant fashion” and the real reason he walked over the moon in a swooning seaside swirl was the arrival of the rain in Russia, the utter soaking at the Battle of Borodino. Retreat, oh no, not good--how am I supposed to get home in the rain? But nothing clears the sidewalk like a cloudburst. And ah, there’s the job for me: Painting all the fire engines yellow, dancing in the sprinklers, setting off the alarms.


June 8 (decaf)

The great news is I can sit and wonder into eternity at this façade of depth and the ephemeral consistency of delusion. Contradictorily redundant interchange ability is a staple of your mental diet; confusion, like how laconic lagoon dragons and nostalgic Burlington bog monsters at midways may bloom. MIT has my reservoir of reasons, I was better than the rest; I am the undercoated seasoning, the rust proofing for your four-door automobile in a battle for motomaster chassis survival in Penetanguishene winters.

Al Purdy and his wistful CBC jingoism and pretty Molly Parker and Satyricon banishment of Petronius--your vision of Rome and Versailles wigs and powdered noses. The trumped-up chocolate croissant laced with poison sugar dust. The little boy with red roses, he hypnotizes three thirtysomething spinster bitches with innocently irresistible cherubim insolence.

And the sky is speckled and splotched and it’s raining grey from the ground up on a Tuesday.

Uncle Sam’s ante ups itself; misspelling's more costly than misunderstanding, so get form down and the rest of the panel is content; the hoops jumped through we can continue to listen, not squawk like the hysterical audience we are, waving our roses in a pout and thrashing at visionaries with vanity thorns. Why can’t we get along. Why can’t you just listen. Hear that? The sound of one man crapping.

Bagel World Movenpickering and the overcrowding man crisis; immigration is too high and the people are streaming in unchecked, numbers unreckoned. How dare they I say. Blame Ottawa blame Toronto blame Vancouver, and out in the countryside everything is maintained lily white and unblemished, how nice. This is our vast expansive Canada, new country without memory, the hypocrites spaced out just comfortably enough to continue being the shining light for a world out to lunch.

In conclusion, try somebody’s clothes on for size: all I promise is they may or may not fit.

Ms. Apocalypse

(remain calm; what's the worst that could happen?)


Ms. Apocalypse

the world died on a Monday evening

you were drying laundry on the line

AM radio going berserk

why would you notice, smoothing out creases

the power went out at 4:20 p.m.

porch birds picked at toast crumbs

while nuclear submarines set the coast on fire

you found matches, lit the stove, boiled a pot of tea

flesh-eating zombies knocked at your front door

“sorry,” you said, “I don’t have any cash”

they banged their feet, insisted on brains

how very crude—“how bout muffins instead?”

tanks rolled through your living room

you took the car out for a spin

guerrillas had blown up all of the bridges

so you pulled to the shoulder, popped in some jazz

“I’ll be there soon,” Ms. Apocalypse told me

whisper from a payphone, turn the Mustang around

the world had ended; I was hysterical

“Tonight,” she said, “I’m coming for dinner.”


I was wondering...

P’s Nash Envy

We are here together in the sarcastic factory, laughing at every guileless mother and trucker; we are sticking pins into each other. And in the mist of a coffee shop there’s Voodoo Steve Nash himself, four feet tall and so much fatter than on television. But he’s a famous author, so I pay him his due: I heard what you wrote Steve, I told him, I heard it was good, really good. And Steve says, So what? Write something better--I can use it to wipe my ass. His eyes spun like basketballs on his optic nerve; he was pushing my buttons and yanking my crank like I was some ‘losers only’ slot machine. Write something better, he said. Hmm. Well. I promised I’d try, but all I really wanted was to poke out those eyes. And he said, Dear me, my ride’s waiting outside, but I have this one last point to make… Then he picks up his Armani briefcase, walks out the door, steps into the blue sky--and along came a limousine. My ride, he cried. But it ran him over instead. That was sudden, I thought; Christ, he’s done died. And so Steve Nash’s final cry was: “I rest… my [Armani brief-]* case.”

(I’m no great fan of basketball either, but after that episode I’ve had an overwhelming urge to dunk.)

*ed. note

Dear Mr. Norbert MacPhail:

(this one's fun to read out loud)

Please sir, remove your socks from the rail-banister above the 2nd-floor landing of our building--our olfactory nerves have suffered enough.

Sir, of late our apartment building has become a by-word for putridity and for nose-harm. With all due respect, this saddening reputation is due almost entirely to you and your socks. More to the point, Mr. MacPhail, it's due to your utter rankness. You might not realize this sir, but you are a stinky man, and, as noxious consequence of your stink, the socks you peel off after a day's wearing are quite stinky as well. Therefore when placing your socks on the railing outside your apartment--in direct exposure to the stairwell traffic--be aware that you create a poisonous, unbreathable atmosphere!

Surely the city health unit, if availed of this phenomenon, would move fast to declare your sock-pile an egregious biohazard, incubating passersby as it does with its pathogenic skunkery. I implore you, sir, do not court that ignominious label, ie 'Norbert MacPhail, Officially Dangerous Cesspool of Stink,' from our city's health inspectors. Why force the inspectors to declare publicly what, to your co-tenants, is already plain--that you and your socks are an assault upon all nostrils, far and wide? Instead, remove your rancid foot garments from the stairwell with all courtesy and with extreme haste. (What you do with them after is up to you; I personally suggest you burn those wanton bacteria-sleeves, or bury them under ground.)

So for god sakes sir, cease and desist this godawful stink.

With neighbourly concern,



dignity's a long shot

(examples to avoid, follow)

dignity's a long shot

I can’t let that glaring Lack sustain me—

because bitterness is no fuel

madness is not a tool

and libido ceases as reliable credo

pass me the cherry cheetos, my dear glistening and needy Juanita?

no I won’t shine the black light on my freakness

I bet the long shot every Preakness

—my horse is finally on the inside post, and
I wager, will one day rule the earth.


criminal question

You're driving in your car. You brake at a stop sign. Suddenly some wacko crossing the intersection pulls out a gun for no reason at all, and threatens to shoot. Not knowing what else to do, you run the bastard over--killing him with your vehicle.

Should you go to jail?


Why are you so nosy?
Comments (5)
You busy bee!
Comments (3)
What a satisfying post.
Comments (12)
What you gonna say now?

Silius T. Sluck

So, I put a title on this blog entry, but I've decided it (ie the title) will have nothing to do with the actual post. Because, see, this post is untameable, it's like runaway inflation, or a hard-to-spot solar eclipse that burns your face off just thinking about it. You can't put a label on this post, just like you can't put a label on a big yellow space wagon hurtling through the galactosphere, stopping at every intergalactic gas-n-gulp along the way. And so I call this post 'Silius T. Sluck'. Because, see, this post is like the sticky runoff from a jar of strawberry jam; it's the stubborn ooze that coagulates and crusts up around the lid, and so to set it straight you have to hold this post under a hot spray of water, to rinse away the annoying crap, and then you stick the jar in the fridge and you forget all about it, until the next time you make your famous 'heart-attack' strawberry waffles. And so you call upon the strawberry jam. Which is precisely the rationale behind this post.

Now, you may ask (though I doubt you will), 'Who is Silius T. Sluck'--'what kind of degenerate troubadour is he?' 'Does he remember to feed his dog?' 'Does he even have a dog?'

Yes, I assure you, Silius T. indeed does have a dog, and he always remembers to feed the beloved four-legger. And walk him. As it happens, Sluck's dog's name's McSilius, which in Scottish means, 'son of Silius'.

Now, you are no doubt not even thinking, 'What could be sillier than Silius T.?' The answer is: just about everything could be, but it rarely is.

So it turns out this whole post actually is about the title, ie the come-by-chance existence of one Silius T. Sluck. So I lied. Wow. In a way, it's like I just forced you to stare into a mind-numbing solar eclipse of pure stupidity, or something inane like that. I'm quite sorry, but when you (don't even) think about it--what could be sillier than this? The answer is nothing, Silius. I'm so very very sorry.




I’m a raisin-faced rummy in the corner of a room, a vocabulary junkie who’s addicted to the boom; I sit, rhyme, I guarantee: my timing’s fine; my how and why, it’s this and that line of rhythm sublime, abandoned mines, treeless northern climes, it’s the wine from the vine, it's squished and mashed to a superfluous brine; it's the chime and the sigh, the endless nightly whine; it is jai alai cries in the sunny Florida shine, blue-sky divine; it’s my back-and-forth mind, strung out, wound-up in a collection of twine, it’s the knots you find in a neck misaligned; it’s romantic fine-dining-on-a-Saturday-evening ‘just me and the wife’ time—because, can’t you see, it’s mine, all mine, and all good—which is good—because it’s meant to be kind.

another batch...

(take on an empty stomach, every twelve hours... especially if hallucinating)

If you see me in the hallways, then be aware that, no, I do not want or need any 'free stuff'; I would rather do a meticulous study on cow farts than talk to you.
Where should I begin? I was always lousy at beginnings; always much more comfortable with endings, and middles--creamy, dreamy middles.
The turning of the universe around him was something he casually paid respect to, like the need to get out of the way of a fat guy taking up the whole sidewalk...
The best part of chewing on a greasy, sloppy taco rind is the chance to win the lottery.
We basted that turkey for at least twelve hours, before we realized that in fact we were a basting a big brown piece of plastic, and the turkey was still alive, running around the backyard eating the begonias.
Blackout log: first ten hours--darkness mostly. Some light, but only from candles and fireflies. No sign of the sun, yet we remain confident that dawn will come... Much talk of cheeseburgers and how much we miss them.
He deaconed at night with a local parish. He was a damn fine deacon and could have made priest some day had not the Church got in the way. Clark never did agree with any of the Church's teachings, but he always wanted to be some sort of priest. Maybe a backup bishop or a small-time cardinal.
And so what if a bagel cannot possibly be eaten in less than three seconds, even by the hungriest hog in town?

Excerpt from The Wrath of Morty

(an epic film never coming soon to a theatre near you)

The Wrath of Morty [excerpt]

Suddenly, between Morty and his prize, the elusive hundred-footed general known as Pediatrix the Elusive, rose a towering wall of bugs. And it was a massive and sturdy centipede wall, worthy even of the Great Many-Legged Elders, though it swayed with the breeze from the bathroom windowsill. The centipedal masonry swayed, but did not crumble, anchored as it was in the firm defiance of 10 million insects.

And how did Morty respond to this insane manifestation? Did he flee from the centipede wall, sell his house, and buy another one in a neighbourhood less prone to such epic infestation? Did Morty vanish, like the pre-dawn mist; did he chase his friend Bobby out of the bathroom like a whiny boy, and did he curse himself for their impudent centipede-thwarting chicanery?

No; no he did not. For when a man’s bathroom is taken over by centipedes, he has no choice but to hack and slash.

Morty drew his razor and charged; he charged at the frothing billion-limbed mass—he charged like only a man whose bathroom has been absconded by centipedes and is prevented from taking a crap in his own house can. And Morty's flashing warlike blades did vicious, murdering work amid the army of insect-companions, and there was a great drone of death and defiance among the insects, and many a pesticidal slashing of tiny but insidious limbs, and many an invading pest was dealt straightaway to his Insect Maker. There was war in that bathroom, and yes, heroism, and ultimately, destruction. And when all the centipedes had bit the dust, all but one, Morty looked down at the lone remaining defender, who was lying, rage-worn but unbowed, above the sink drain: It was Pediatrix of the Supple Toes, Leader of Bugs, and now, Mourner of Fallen Fellow-Critters...

[what the ^@$*@#@ is this, and what the ^%^**$#* will happen next???]

more good news!

I think I just solved one of the great mysteries of the Iron Age, namely, How did Thorold of Venisonia ever cross the Ptarmigan River with naught but cavalry and a few creaking barques, on his way to lambast the Parthians?

Well, as it turns out, old Thorold didn't even fjord the river! He just waited patiently until it was late afternoon and then crossed the bridge (yes, there must have been a bridge) over the Ptarmigan, when the bridge troll wasn't on duty. So there. QED. Ha ha, this was supposed to be a hard-to-solve Iron Age mystery, but fie fie, I have proven it--now it is inert.

In fact, I have solved at least 12 other Iron Age mysteries in past few days, but I will refrain from annoying you with the simple explanations (lest you begin rating me as overly pedantic). I tell you, these (scoff) oft-lauded Iron Age gurus aren't always so 'iron clad' in the head. So there, QED!

Onward, upward and larchward!

(this post, it's like nutrasweet is what it's like)


wayward lyric

"We're just searching on Google for the next big thing."


(the expressible - language = pointing & grunting)


meta-magna-magic: beyond greater magic


‘there is greater magic at work’ is
what you say when
something feels really really good but
you haven’t waited long enough
to be able to put it
in a box

‘this is meaningless rubbish’ is
what you say when
you can’t be bothered
to track the associations

--good on ya I say;
I mean
who needs a troublemaker?
after all, our
brains are hard-wired for practical things
like humping and

but these poems are in the title
and the *poems* themselves are
the critical analysis.
but those poems, see, aren’t my poems
they are just somebody’s
tools I’m borrowing.

“wait, you mean
is this poetry--
or this is

a box, My kingdom for a box!

I guess
it is,
when you

(…is deformation)

put it that way.

[ps: yah, whatever.]

Disappointment Wears a Llama Mask

(possibly my new favourite. watch out for the crudeness and the crudite)

Disappointment Wears a Llama Mask

Despite all the bittersweet memories, that soft touch on Bonjovia's shoulder was the highlight of her night at the governor’s masked ball. It was the slender hand of Ted Theodorus, a man she had been in love with since her early childhood. Ted’s fingers were like ice picks, and that drove her wild. Picky picky picky. He sent shivers into her cerebellum. She turned at the touch and gasped, “Why, what is that mask you’re wearing ?” she was bewildered, both at the mask-wearer and the mask itself: “It looks like a New Zealand ibex!” But Ted had already disappeared into the crowd. And Bonjovia was mad with rage. “You lied to me about your mask,” she screamed at his vanishing aura. “You lied to me about everything, you fart-hating hypocrite!” He’s probably already tapping some other Mona on the shoulder, she thought. And she swooned.

Ted Theodorus was gone--again--but nonetheless the music told Bonjovia it was time to dance. And so, having swooned over her ibex-faced mystery beau, she plucked up her determination, she clapped her hands together over her head, and as the music swirled she performed her most passionate, bow-legged chicken strut—all by herself she did. And everyone stared at her, and Bonjovia knew that she was finally a ballerina.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Flashback 15 years previous...

Bonjovia della Clarita was a compulsive frequenter of masked balls; ever since she was a little girl she had been in love with Ted Theodorus. He was only 11 and already quite the heart-rending swordsman when he said to Bonjovia one day outside school, “Oh Bonjovia, wait till you see my llama face, at the masked ball. You must be my date!” And he winked and clucked his tongue. “We shall etch that in stone, shall we,” he truly charmed her; “It’s an agreed-upon engagement, then?”

Well Bonjovia was flummoxed and flabberghasted; she was agape and ever so slightly agog: this was Ted Theodorus, a catch beyond all catching, a beast beyond all taming, and now he was asking her to go the masked ball! How nervous it made her. But still, she knew how to reply:

“How can we properly enjoy the enchanted mystique of a masked ball,” she said, “if I already know that you’re going to wear a llama mask? I will know it’s you at once, and then it’s all for naught!” She was only 8 years old and knew nothing at all, but still Bonjovia’s logic was deft; “Must I explain the masked-ball etiquette to you, my dear Ted?” and she spoke like an adult. “Let’s adjourn to the gazebo and I will show you a few pie-charts.” But Ted demurred. He was like an untameable, 11-year-old gazelle.

Suddenly, a fart rang out. It was popcorn snappiness, with a bit of egg stench.

“You’re disgusting,” said Ted, inhaling against his will—but everyone knew Bonjovia was a bit gaseous when excited, and keep in mind she was only 8. For a moment it looked as though Ted would ‘cup one’ himself and throw it in her face for revenge, but instead he just sneezed. He turned to her softly, wiped his nose on an oak leaf, saying, “Whatever, gas-queen--I’ll see you at the masked ball.” Bonjovia’s bowels couldn’t contain the excitement. Pfft, Pt, pt. This time it was popcorn-y, yes, but with a sharp cheese zest. And she inhaled and inhaled, and it was a guilty sensation, but oh, it was alright. And Ted got the hell out of there.

But the night of the Ball, Ted did not show up. Bonjovia was shattered. No trace of Ted’s famous ‘llama mask'. She was only 8, but Bonjovia knew what disappointment meant. So she looked at those faces all night in the ballroom, hoping to catch sight of him, but it was one grotesque visage after another, and nary a spittling llama.

In the corner of the ballroom was a large table covered with freshly chopped carrot sticks. Bonjovia picked up one of the snacks and took a bite; she immediately let go the carrot stick and shrieked, fainting to the floor. Somebody shouted “Doctor!” and the music stopped.

After the commotion had settled and Bonjovia regained consciousness, she sipped a glass of water, and the doctor asked “What gave you such fright, my child?”

She was only 8 years old, but Bonjovia stared at the air, and whispering like a mystic: “That carrot stick, doctor. It tasted...” but she broke off sobbing. There was a renewed general commotion. The doctor pleaded with Bonjovia to snap the hell out of it. “Snap the hell out of it,” he thundered.

And she looked up at him and grimaced, “That carrot stick, doctor--it tasted just like llama meat.”

And she wailed. Everyone dropped their glasses, which shattered on the floor. The music had stopped for good; the band were huddled off in the corner, farting into a tuba.

And Bonjovia couldn’t help but laugh.

That carrot stick, doctor—it tasted just like llama meat.

“Sure, it smells funny,” she cried, as the band broke wind, “but it’s a sweet sweet sound,” she said. “Such sweet and disappointing sound!” And Bonjovia swooned.