Today's confession: controllable urges

Every so often I am tempted to chop up this blog into several dozen smaller blogs, with each category or 'flavour' of post as its own blog. Have the 'half-assed short story blog', the 'spooky rhyming ramble' blog, and the 'poems about girls' blog etc etc. I think it would make my writing stronger, provide focus that is sorely lacking, and in general give me a kick in the ass. It's the grammarian in me, or maybe it's the mad scientist trying to tame this multi-headed Frankensteinian hydra of the imagination... The problem is how do I delineate the categories in a way that doesn't peter out all my creative momentum? How much do I give in to structure? I fear that once I got going I wouldn't stop subdividing my output into boxes until there was nothing left of the original pelican man. It could be a colossal waste of time, and probably mean a colossal loss of readership as most folks would just assume I jumped the shark and I couldn't blame them either. But I like things to make sense too. I want to give my stuff an even break, have people ACTUALLY READ IT, and it's not that easy when you intimidate the reader with all these voices, styles, sometimes-big-words-sometimes-small-words spontaneous-to-a-fault proto-blogger satirist-realist-mega-micro-not-a-poet-but-an-omnifauxet everything-in-the-universe-dancing-on-the-head-of-a-pin all-things-to-all-eyeballs ambition. Ag, stop - this analysis is giving me cancer.

Or maybe I've just got that New Year's old-year anxiety. What have I accomplished anyway?

Pedro Loved the Sheesha

It was an all-encompassing, even throbbing desire. The sheesha was like a man inside who drove him to ruin. It possessed a strawberry silkiness, and Pedro quaffed until the small hours. At least, until 9pm, when CSI went on. Pedro watched the television like a man on drugs, and that drug was the sheesha. He cried out to his housemates, "I am seeing spiders, and they refuse to give up the remote."

Pedro regailed us of his Turkish exploits, of his proclivity for coffee and smoke in the cafes of Istanbul, where he would clutch a half-dozen wenches at his side each night and order each one to sing his favourite bagpipe dirges. "You there, in the brown burkah, your timbre is way off," he would yell one particular night. And "you sound nothing at all like my daddy's bagpipes." Pedro loved to harrass the wenches, and he promised the Western world. But he was about to encounter a culture shock that would make him wet his pants, and scream like a whiny boy with his socks on uncomfortably tight. "Please, someone," he said, "show me to the nearest hosiery outlet store." Pedro was always wanting new socks.


I need caffeine

(impenetrability factor: 8)

Smoke sucks souls from the physical solid, burgundy bears squat in woods, so squalid. And humming is insolence; what can I do?

My lady of the lake, her back to the wind and freckled and slim, all hyberbole and seminal vitriol, words flown together like association blots, cordial at gunpoint but acidic in the corridor. She’s drunk on grape, shot in the nape, kissed by a vampire - the lip of his cape - blurring the line between passion and rape.

But don’t draw blood like a forensic pathologist. Don’t tell me how it is. You gotta feel it like ya do; 'make the blues hurt' – dripping with sweat from your 4-dollar shirt.

Loosening knots, abandoned cufflinks a clue, do unto others as Scooby did do, snax/relaxation and a month of traction, revisit errors and curse your abstractions, at bottom the well is dissatisfaction, and the Nowhere Man can relate.


Love in the Time of Sheesha

(more apochryphal narrative from west end Toronto)

Love in the Time of Sheesha

The Taps were full of nogoodniks that night, a few Fitty-soaked hockey fans and a three-legged waitress with split ends and a lazy eye. Her name was Bea and she drooled all over the menus. "I had three doses of novacaine," Bea explained, "and I gotta go back tomorrow to finish the root canal." We looked across the table at each other and sighed. The holidays made people do crazy things, like remove all their teeth. Joe complained his own teeth were giving him trouble, and good thing we were in the Portuguese Dentistry District. "Too bad I don't speak a lick o' Portuguese," Joe said. But I reassured him; "let your booty do the talking," I said while gesturing with some crudite. Joe was a belly dancer, the only male dancer in a troupe of sixty Mideastern belly-quivering beauties. That's how he turned me onto the sheesha: I took my first pull of the wacky weed in the garage of one of the dancers, a certain Aliyah Van Snooten, a half-Dutch half-Persian shemale transvestite with knockers up to Tuesday and a sweet falsetto voice. She couldn't dance a hog's darn, but man could she sing. I mean he. Aliyah was also called Frank, he moonlighted as a plumber to pay for his sheesha habit, which ran over five bucks a week...



Dec 25

Happy back-slapping fistpumping and ‘you old galumph’ing strutting turkey stuffed with pepper chugging nog or sleeping late unwrap Lego/Lincoln logs after breakfast, watch DVDs and cough a lot. Smile at doorbell oh no your distant uncle smirks at little ones smacking robot fists into brains and wait for dinner cooking bacon or baking cookies until lights gleam from drunk drink and coffee ground in sink wiped with a rag oh this winter I’m not so white, bigflake snowmelts and I ride my bike.


character sketches - monosyllabic

Bill: Sweet and good, yet hates ice cream. Does what he wants. Has bad breath. Pours spit on the page.

Jenn: can draw frogs, not much else. Votes for change, yet won’t dress in new clothes. Likes to watch geese in the park.

Lee: brags to his friends, smirks at the boys; bends the law, scoffs at the cops. Known to hiss like a snake.

Viv: eats cheese from a bag and wears pink hats; drugs her cat with red wine, sings Prince songs in the car. Broke her leg on bad ice and walks on a crutch. Hopes to run free one day soon.


diarrhea entry

Sanctified oatmeal
mollified moonwalks
grunting pockets of pith
geranium joy and callous powder
liquor-store vermouth in a paper bag conceals more than addiction
(your fear of getting arrested)
it’s nearly Hogmanay
and I’m still not a Brit
he who smelt it, smelts shit
gamma mocha rays and raisinettes on buttery tubs of rice pudding
this is how we sell our sols-
you who enjoy the short days
the sun’s rays don’t faze
but they’re underground and S.A.D
hooked on fluorescence and antidepressants

but we gab and gab and gab and SING!
And the bells for Christmas RING!

I don’t even own a scarf
Just typing for a larf
Metaphor for barf

I got a shiny new toy in the trunk
By the time it surfaces, covered in gunk
Got that cliché funk.

Me? Dressed in black.
Momma? Smiling through a heart attack.

I had 50 good memories today
Make it 51

I blinked approximately 2000 times.

This is still not sufficiently weird.
You people get spam-mail about lusty virgins teens and peppering your inbox
Yet you don’t bat an eye, right click and forget

But out on the street we all look the same
Shamed about our shameless brains
And the three-legged men and Lewinsky stains
“Oh god not that old chestnut,” I’m
boasting in an open foyer

Gotta find a way to end this ramble.
Thicket thorn, rose bramble
Semantic scramble.
Cannibal ramble
Hannibal the preamble?
Mammal. 32 chromosomes. Has cell phones. Reads in monotone. Make bad jokes, people groan...



"The man who invented the transistor was probably a midget."

... and 15 other highly disprovable conjectures of science and history

(lunacy factor - 9):

15: If a geisha suddenly gains thirty pounds, the water in her town will turn black.

14: The 'panorama' setting on most digital cameras causes violent seizures in thoroughbred racehorses.

13: In skin, broken glass causes bleeding - and in New Zealand, parades.

12: Daydreaming about marshmallow salad aka 'ambrosia' is easier than remembering your own name.

11: An argument about feminism will divide your family, not only along gender lines - but also on lines of Balzac, and lines of cocaine.

10: If a U.S. president dies in office after being gored by a bull, and death is due to the negligence of one or more cowboys - then the deceased's family will receive all the southwestern states in compensation.

9: Excessive heat will kill humans. But it will bring Hitler back to life.

8: A woman will talk about shoelaces as long as the lace is long. (?)

7: Complaining about the weather is found to be ineffective - especially compared to blackmailing it.

6: If you suffer from bipolar disorder, all geometry eventually becomes meaningless.

5: After chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov lost to Deep Blue, the computer, he got drunk, started talking trash, and had his ass kicked by Deep Purple.

4: A 40-sided Rubix Cube was invented long before the familiar six-sided toy came out. It was rejected for manufacture however, because the only people who could solve it were Sith Lords.

3: When asked what job he'd like after quitting the Bush administration, Colin Powell replied "Secretary of Turtlenecks."

2: A dromedary can go without drinking for six months. After three months, dromedaries are very angry. After six months they are donkeys.

1: The man who invented the transistor was probably a midget. Conversely, the man who invented the canoe was a giant - with size 12000 feet - who simply wanted a pair of waterproof clogs.


Difficulty is a Carrot

Grinding goose mush mouth motorola mannequins, mortgaged on Monday and plundered on Sunday. I listen to Greasniks and Velveteens pluck strings, thin and balding and passive aggressive inhaling cider and chicken wings, trailing their names with initials to signify their highest level of incompetence.

I’m so easy to be around, but I’m in love with Difficulty. Difficulty is a Carrot. Meritocracy is a hierarchy of disappearing burps, chasing down nothing to infinity. Smokestack status-quo simpletons worshipping gross domestic product use fatalism as an excuse for inertia. Blogworld utopians each writing his own general theory of utility, but the only thing we agree on is qwerty - inefficient in fact and not even a word. We are exploratory souls, delicate sails so unique or is it eunuch splintered against sociocultural reefs calloused into coral from leftover crapuscules of the lowest common denominator. The most Googled word in the universe is Britney.

What have you done for me every single second? I will right-click you into irrelevance. Don’t blink - you miss several thousand lifetimes. I could have fathomed 4.6 billion years of three dimensions no problem, but now I’m lost in improbabilities, spatial discontinuities and the meaninglessness of time. Gah.

(Yet I awoke today from a long-awaited dream with sleep in my eyes and my premature winter was melting; sure slush sullies your pantleg but so what. I called up that girl I like, she actually agreed to meet me for coffee. Hip hip hurray, I don’t have to mortgage my next Monday. Hip hip hurray - happiness is a choice.)


August 13

(four days before I came out of my 48-day retirement)

Beneath a manhole cover, I was inside a sewer, smacking reptiles aside with a crowbar, examining every labyrinthine twist of the underground. I sloshed knee deep down to the river, underneath the expressway, down to the butterfly park, where a gravel path made me giddy; there is a stiff breeze blowing from the northwest, from the armpit of Ontario, and a lonely fellow stolid on the rocks needs one word from a stranger to stop himself from suicide. “When it comes to work-related ‘cides’ it’s the ‘homi-‘ not the ‘sui-‘ I’m worried about," to quote the desperate downtown lawyer.

Yuletide is so far, the season is still summer, I was a bit of chlorophyll but now I’m a tree ready to be eaten by beetles, I am a soufflé so light and airy you can breathe me through a straw. The path is bumpy and broken, and the tires on my Peaches so bald, how easily we slip and scrape our skin in the dirty parts. But I pine for my pristine racetrack; I was guaranteed a wide berth and a clean slate. I always get what I want. I never know what I want. Desire is a Goose Chase.


The Personal Ad

...that ended up getting me kicked off Lavalife - circa Fall 2003. I knew it was kicking around here somewhere. Please no snickering, here ya go:

You and I can wander on long walks, wondering at the marvels of the Earth and the secret cosmic destiny of humanity; or we can sit around and complain about the weather and those disappointing Toronto Maple Leafs -- whatever floats your boat.

Me? I have two degrees (economics, linguistics) and next year will be starting a third—in that narrow academic sense you could say I'm ‘intelligent.’ I'm a humour writer, a former reporter who ran the university newspaper; you might call me ‘interesting’ too. Heck, you might even call me 'left-handed' and 'prone to sinus colds,' but that's irrelevant now isn't it.

I have dual Italian-Canadian citizenship; so if there are any Italians out there who want to chat, great. But by no means do I discriminate based on ethnicity, religion, hair colour, tattoos, cola brand preference, or most any other sociocultural shibboleth. My experience is that if you brush your teeth regularly and have some respect for your body and for the way you smell--that means no smoking--we should get along.

The one thing you DO need is a sense of humour. I'll make jokes on those walks of ours; I’ll feel ripped off if you don’t ever laugh. Don't make me tell my friends you're a joyless granny who picks her nose and hates children.

Contact me; send a ‘nod' or a ‘wink’ or a ‘collect call’ or a ‘complimentary cocktail’ or a ‘come-hither stare’. Flash me your goodies, I’ll do the same; especially if you're the woman of my never-dared-to dreams, destined to bring me joy forever until the stars explode and death does us part... Good luck with that last bit ;-) I'll settle for beer and wings on a Tuesday night.

Romantic relationships? Well, if you're like me scouring the twisted corridors of lavalife, then you'll agree that the universe sends us signals all the time, but we are always hedging our bets, too opportunistic to just take one good message and run with it. We don’t trust each other, because we know that each of us is human and therefore fallible. And some people put their faith in technology and computers (and online dating) for the same reason that I don't: precisely because those things aren't human. And yet computers are certainly creations of the human brain, the mushy tissue that coordinates itself by some divine miracle or some hyper-logical neural net (whatever religion you decide to believe in--Darwin or God--it's still a miracle) and gives birth to our irrational consciousness. But enough quasi-theological cognitive philosophy... I just want a spontaneous(ly combusting) woman who's also
pretty hot.

epilogue: they refused to let me post this ad, because it mentioned 'lavalife' in it; I got upset and made fun of them in my next ad, comparing the administrators to Stalinist censors; reactionary babies, they suspended my account; a week later I was reinstated, never went on a lava date again. but see Chateau Nice for more recent shenanigans.


Searching for Yvette

(frisky fingers aka 12 minutes no looking)

Huffing at the edge of a tank, hank being money in the bank, I met a tall skank in fishnets and pink anklet, a stud below her lower lip and green eyes glazed on a nip of marijuana. Policeman made me mad, so I stabbed him in the leg and took his dog to a foster home and fed his fish turpentine. Jasper Johnson was a gay old pig, he took his mellow laxatives and pooed all night and morn; it was the most crap ever that was oozed onto the floor, it was the longest log and twirliest matter that ever made it down to earth. I was inside the wall and sniffing at the grate, a hemisphere away and longing for the yellow two-ton banana, the closet clothed in drapery and the papacy holding the holy Spelling Bee, grammer kings and syntax Shahs saying blah blah blah and messing up the toads the frogs and the goaded lovers coaxing kisses and cuddles from a tough-wrapped huddle. Lite up a stone and fall into the ocean, it was the motion of the tummy and belly, and the swollen television liver, kidneys purifying limbic cortex in the brain and the lame men snatching toys from the minds of the girls and boys who never sucked at the teat of self-indulgence, it was the yuletide moaning and poverty’s revenge. I liked Benji, I liked all the dogs who stopped the war, and the metallic manganese elemental store I set and detected fluorescence and craned my head backward leaning over the bridge spitting at cars and weaving through lane markers above highway overpasses, every car that passed below me was another death, I was a cat with nine lives, a four-year-old with head lice, those narrowtooth combs scraggled mites from my hair so tiny those bloodsuckers and that warm winter blanket up on a bed, me lain down and drunk off kahlua and picking at tree bark with my swiss army knife, every memory flashes and teases: grass I lay and tumbled in, clods of earth and ants the red ones and the moss-covered rocks and park bench by Lake Ontario where I played for a 16-year-old French Canadian girl who wanted to love me, and the kiss I refused her and she even visited me in my house to hear me play guitar but I was watching playoffs on TV and trembling at the thought. Was her name Yvette? Yes I'm certain it was. Why don’t Yvettes fall from the sky more often? It was instant legend those Yvettes but I can’t remember 99.99 per cent of the notes I play or the keys I strike but I touched her arm that night and her blonde hair fair and she and me there so why don’t I dream of French girls anymore? Why doesn’t the world fall through the floor? Suffering and bliss, ever wonder when and why we decided to put the laughter in manslaughter? Wigwam centuries in tired fruitbat follicle and haberdashery addiction amid a city council meeting on Tuesday before the basketball game when the PTA disbanded and you were elected director of the food bank just before your Master Business License arrived and you decided to incorporate? Swirl and logic distended and stretched and ended and this is a commotion a pulse alive a lump to be digested and expressed or you die. My friend Bobby was alive with the lion and the feeling he distressed and the flowing and the heavenly heart got itself into the ouija board process the jaded bitter interconnected tyrants and those who float free and fall fast, you fizzle and you cry and your love can never last. I was almost convinced I could be permanent until I sat upon the pew and prayed again, me graceless with a pen, sinner in mid-June then I got a bike and pedaled through the moon. But enough! Now it's hallway chatter and passing bits of fluff and the water bottle you recycle and the guff that must be put up with.


fifteen forever

I like you so please
Please Oh why oh why oh why
Why Don’t you like me

(a haiku)


back to rhyme

Cracked basement brouhaha, smackdown on a couch, lay me down and scold me every single time I slouch. Float notions across the ocean, sweeten tea with hibiscus and honey, rub a genie belly magic motions from a tummy. Violence can be beautiful? Well the converse is undubitable. Flip your mores and morphs and become a semantic seaman, permanent navigator in vain channels, ionic eye on electric intercoursing, neuro locks undone with a chemical gun; so sit and stare, no serotonin anywhere, don’t be a dopamine, just get up and run. Transmitter I am, smiter of a tan, faster than all bran, hours in the bowels of your stomach and soul, a soup and ether dug out maniacally by a man I call a mole.


about (bad) poetry

(shackled in ironies, I am)


about (bad) poetry

This is a poem about
It has a rather
arbitrary layout scheme.

The title is transparent,
annoyingly self-aware
(you might, parenthetically, suspect me
of being up to something. Don’t waste
your paranoia)

A modern poem rarely does rhyme,
--the penman’s prerogative, I’m told.
Alliteration and assonance are all I owe, you know,
at most, to all of you, you see,
so there

This one wants a pulsating rhythm
but it stacks up well
in, ah, what’s the word—
‘diction’ or something?
Wait, check that;
‘cheek’ is more like it.

It’s a dry, dusty well,
unduly discovered;
a scribbled mirage,
this poem disappoints
the readers
who die thirsty in the desert
for lack of ‘well’-written verse.

And like a one-legged poet who runs out
of ideas, my metaphors are lame,
and my similes are
the Satanic Spawn of The Guy With No Imagination Incarnate.
Oops, gosh consarnit—
no more of gross personification,
flowery comparison or cryptic gravity.
Bury it all in the cemetary, I say,
with the graves and the crypts.
Do it by night or by day,
It rots!

A poem should have a voice
but this one, boy, is it ever cloying,
monotone at best.
You ask me to ‘shut up, moron’
and I’d forgive you
for telling me to smarten up or tone it down
I give you bad mood, after all
no feeling at all;
I feel you up and down, I do.

And ultimately a convoluted poem
is really rather bad;
duly considered punctuation cannot save it;
cannot fix it, period.
It’s a ‘cata-pos-trophe’.
Superficial and so insolent, it’s
exactly unlike
all those really good and meaningful
anthology poems.

What of the theme, you say:
avoidance of serious engagement,
the making of a mockery instead,
out of fear that earnest effort
would come short;
and so resorting
to self-conscious self-ridicule—

it’s so cliché;

almost as cliché as saying
something withered and bankrupt
that sword imagery, professor—I find it sooo Freudian.

So, yah, poetry is great,
just great.
I mean, what’s not to like?


good day

Lollipops and fructose in a nation called to democracy, deciding on our future and idealizing the past through a rose-tinted mirror ('my youth was my glory cuz I was young and alive and was 'I') I was truncated and siamesectosized* from my sorrows, cut off from that everdark blight. The sun in a weeklong blackness, cussing out joy ripping rumour mills in half and erecting concrete monuments to truth. A flood of relief, a flood and a reservoir of good ideas I'd never considered, a single swallow speeding through thunderstorms alighting under the beams of a gable of fresh painted log cabins in autumn-damp, whistling the migration song, poetry of perseverance and other romanticalia seducing nubile navel-gazelles into misplaced infatuation, but allure-illusion's sweetness is the black-and-white of heightened dramatization, so set my digicam on panorama: alter the settings and cut the flash, distort the pixels, write ‘this is gorgeous gutter-trash'. Ha ha ha, I let me free of the lash. You my protégé passing your accountant certification exam, reading a list of names and finding your own, reading a list long with adjectives that you’ve never known, and finding you, a bumblebee keeper of sanity, a gatekeeper finally letting you by, a reason to believe you can actually fly, a weeklong sigh and balmy sexy jai alai. My my, she knocks on the door, and seconds later we’re rolling the floor. Oh my my.

* an entirely imaginary word


Golden Wheat Groove

I finished another book, satisfied from nook to beak; turned in my latest assignment, waiting for the teacher’s nod. I fed hundreds, wiped tables, dished out hot meals. The gorgeous goose in the Golden Wheat Bakery smiled my way, she has skin that glows, white powder makeup or natural sheen, it's fake or for real and nothing between. My keyboard's a dusty banjo... Portuguese ladies zesty shy full of waitress and womanlinesses... on the keyboard we live die and do with our fingers, alone or with the cybercommunists watching, from each according to his grammar & spelling to each according to his voyeurism; water seeks its level and every intelligence reflects itself on the web. Find your dreamgirl on the internet, yet the real world's needed to feed those dreams. Our children grow up with neural implants and hurray for the Borg utopia/dystopia: a new medium and message so untranslatable, that’s when us technological Neanderthals get left behind and dry up all metaphors watching space shuttles blast off to begin anew on Mars, drinking frozen slushies from the canals and wonderful new gravities, atmospheres and at some phylogenetic branching-off point an entirely new species, pass that bio-organic-baton, the climate-change climax is approaching (and the final day of right and wrong?).

I skip skip incoherently held together by my oversized heart, arteries and vainness and each paragraph has only as much love and determination as I gather that day, a brain unfettered by non-stop television programming free to contemplate and especially hesitate in midsentence, mustering up my randomized polarized bits of (ir)reverence.

I live with two sweethearts, luscious lovely ladies who love me. Me me what did I ever do, have I been as good as I should to you? You who listen and do not judge, a friend a mountain that doesn't budge, always knowing where I stand – so get your shit together, trace out your blueprints for being a man. And my ladies are lovely and talented and true, my chateau is nothing but a basement without you.

My friend Deena said I don’t have meat on my bones. Miss Deena I miss you and you should pick up the phone. She asked for an update, I said my life was on loan. I will charge you every bit of interest. Got to keep that interest; gotta make the pun crowd groan.

What will be our next obsession? Hang-gliding or scuba or diamond possession? I taught myself a lesson, learning to heal, spinning my wheels has taken me far, out and about and flouting the law. When upon a two-wheeled seat, the simple traffic is neat, I don’t need hockey or hiphop or heat. In the elements I’m in my element, not a sidewalk glonker but a street pony and jockey ie a quick pedalling hoo-haw boy. So maintain a head of steam - if you’re drunk on foam, growing moss aside a tree, betraying your potential to be one of the magnificent seven - but I'm up late every night alone and dreaming of heaven.


You Were My Calton Hill

(took 15 months to write this... written in 5 minutes, edited for three days)


Burying Calton Hill

I ran
for survival
before the sun came up
you wished you had run after me
stopped me from a horrible mistake although
what I did was necessary to prevent me from
choking you to death with my bare hands

I remember what I said after you explained
about the builders of this fabulous ruin
and the rich man who was embarrassed at the folly of his ambition
(but you were my greatest ambition
lineage to the Queen, falconry and piano sonatinas)
I told you, leaning on that pathetic unfinished wall
looking in your royal blue eyes
how I felt like the man who built Calton Hill.

And I forgave you instantly which is the most impossible thing

They talk about being shot from the sky
or crushed under a boot
kicked in the teeth, stomach and head all at once
And people comment how 'nothing seems to bother him'
and 'he never gets upset'
-I was on a train to London at 6am
crying again in public places
at the Gloucester Road internet café, when I got your message
it’s a hurricane I hide from still
there's a pain so senseless it makes smaller pains unnoticeable
and we are granted reprieve at least to conceal our biggest shame, ruin or failure
and since that morning my tearducts work on autopilot
and I cry four sometimes five times a day
not for you, really
but for any reason at all
trying to bury Calton Hill



He struck at a pigeon on the fence, decided it was an offence worth killing for. He did not like pigeons. Pigeons would gather in the world and be indiligent. Pigeons clucking and bobbing and making a shitty mess. Pigeons soiling statues and pigeons covering benches with their noxious guano. Pigeons not tasty, pigeons not modest, pigeons flapping and passing pox through the city like a vermin with wings.


Dustbowl in Arizona

(I live in a dusty room.)

Dustbowl in Arizona

Thirty pieces of silver filled the jar Norbert Z Coleridge had sent to his grandmother in Pawtucket; a jar of silver so fine that men and women would look at it and instantly fall high from carousels and coaches and crash thuddingly into the mud of Ghostly, Arizona. Silver was an attractive metaphor for mythmakery back then, and it was the 19th century but so what. Arizona was brimming with hope and opportunity but all went dark with despair. A dustbowl was coming that would rip through all happinesses like a bold stripe of red paint on a canvass of milky innocence.

Centuries had rolled by like fresh licksome waves crashing the hull of a barge on the Colorado river or possibly the Rio Grande; it was an age of loving and liking, with passionate protagonists eating the fruit of the decades and digesting them slowly through the perspectives of history books, smashing lives together and sucking the marrow out of existence like Robin Williams’ Dead Poets, except in Arizona. A fire was in the earth and the citizens were glowing inside with the potentiality of pioneer love. It was pure fictive essence and not a small amount of dreamery. And Arizona was the cradle of it all.

Enter Norbert Coleridge, an ant who had climbed to the top of his particular pile, a Grumio who saw beyond the dark caves of oppression and misery and sought out the higher wheat that spread beyond the chaff. Coleridge was more than a man, he was a massive mountaineering megaman. He could lift a barrel of cider straight over his head, and that was not all – he had the love of the townsfolk, the esteem of the natives, and the ancient leather holster of one Billie the Kid. Coleridge was the best marksman is six counties and he never let any of the local toughs cross his path without zinging hot lead just a sweet deadly whisper from their earlobes, to remind them of his alpha status. So this then was a walking legend, a tall tommy in tough jerkin robes and a massive 10-gallon hat. Coleridge brooked no umbrage and overturned all stones on his way to Arizona-based fulfilment. He carried on this way for 40-some-odd years, until a dustbowl so severe blew through Arizona and devastated all the soybean in the land, and Coleridge’s vast empire crumbled like so many gnarled flakes of lettuce.

A wind whipped through Ghostly Arizona for 7 out of 10 years; a wind that cracked and burned the land, and dried up all hope along with the soil, a wind that warped the senses of the citizens and drove the natives first to ruin, as they picked up their wigwams and headed for wider rivers, bigger pastures, and herds uninfected with nature’s madness. It was surely a bad omen for the white men. For white men could live on unholy ground, remarked the chief of the Local Choctaw, Asingaramawi known as Squats with Purpose; white man could live there without the natives' pipe-smoking symbiosis, but a colony left to its gold-prospecting devices would surely succumb to squandery. A hefty and hard burden had befallen the chief, to evacuate his people and send them to a more hospitable steppe: of horses there were few, and the women were querulous and unattractive and the children of course not much use to anyone. It was the end of the 19th century, and a crisis indeed had taken hold that would shake Arizona to its rural stubs. But the natives turned out ok, as we shall see.

Norbert Coleridge usually smoked four cigars a day, but during the dustbowl he was nervous and smoking even more. He had seen his colony decimated by dust and was near mad with despair. It was the 19th century and irrigation methods were primitive, resistance methods still in the incubation stages, and other strategems generally in the lack. It was the kind of situation that had a very difficult solution, and Coleridge’s abilities were tested like a fish that must learn to walk in a very hot and dry desert – for evolution, it seemed, was functioning at a crawl. Coleridge would light his cigars and puff vainly for an answer. He wished he were less of a legend and more of a thinking man, a man who could figure out the missing squiggles in the extreme equation, a man just like Phineas DoLittle.

Phineas Favulus DoLittle was a merchant’s son who ran the abacus service in Ghostly, Arizona; he was a spindly splinter of a stickman who never met a problem head-on but tackled it from the sides, like a tenacious sand crab restricted to unidirectional sideways locomotion. DoLittle had a sandcrab's knack for tactics and a genius eye for strategic brilliance. He respected his enigmas but worked with an unaccustomed insolence, singing bawdy sea-chanties and forcibly slapping his abacus like a naughty man in a great hurry might milk a sleepy heifer. DoLittle might have been called ‘DoMuch’, for his prowess was unimpeachable; he was second only to Norbert Coleridge in the town’s generally-accepted hierarchy of fame. DoLittle had huge brown eyes and sharp teeth – which were also brown – and had the lantern profile of a Kentucky coal miner – yet for all his trashy countenance he was a loyal accountant and a bulwark against the blight that would come.

In year two of the great dustbowl (known by the local heraldry board’s flowery supernomen as The Massive Perturbance of the Agricultural Status Quo, or the Years of Woe and Grit) Phineas DoLittle petitioned Norbert Coleridge to call a meeting of elders, to gather together over a deliciously steaming vegetable stew at the local tavern and ‘sup’ upon the problem of the town, ie the dust plague, a problem that was threatening to buckle Arizona under the weight of its swirling annoyance. Coleridge agreed and hastily sent out a pageboy to distribute the pertinent leaflets. The meeting was called for a Sunday evening at O’Malley’s Saloon; it was October 15, 1876, and the attendance would be standing room only.

Holmesbury O’Malley, bartender and spitsman in charge of the town roast, provided free ale for the aldermen, and rustled up enough vegetable stew to clot a leaky dam. It was 8 pm and he was on top of the meeting like a pirate captain administering seaside justice on a scorched Carribean beach. O’Malley was an alemaster and sage of the hopps, a guru with a kind ear who distributed his simple Irish wisdom via bawdy maxims such as ‘So as ye drink, so shall ye puke’ and ‘Lend a dying fellow your dungarees, and he will shit in your pants.’ It was tough time for Ghostly but there were always mouths to fill with ale, always empty bellies to satiate whether with feast-food or famine-fare. O’Malley was like the only man on a sinking ship who knew how to swim; the luck of the Irish had him thriving while all around was noxious particulate matter. So he was quiet but grinning inside like a Cheshire catfish who feared not the ocean waves.

The meeting about the dust began: the first item on the agenda was the Choctaw Indians and whether they were to blame for most if not everything that was bad. A few people suggested they were, and wanted to confiscate some of their many acres, but cooler heads prevailed and the Choctaw avoided censure in absentia. Gimli Goodings, a pipe-necked blacksmith known for his extreme bigotry, led the allegations against the tribe, calling the Choctaw ‘loutish horsebuggerers and freakpeople’, but everyone knew of the anvilman's limited intelligence and dismissed his diatribe as transparent blamery. The next item discussed was all the wind and particulate matter and especially the dust and what methods could be used to wipe it away: rags were suggested but rags were also in scarcity, so the discussion turned to what could be traded in exchange for rags. One enterprising whelp named Chester Crockslot suggested a Sandle-Castle Building Contest, where the entry fee would be 5 bolts of rags, a way to make something useful from all the dust and at the same time acquire the desired cleaning stuffs. Sadly this idea did not survive the first coffee break, and after 15 minutes' loitering outside the saloon the meeting resumed with still no solutions at all. It was depressing, but the tapsman O’Malley was as grinning as ever because many had commented favourably on the stew.

The discussion resumed and was much inflamed, lit up as it was by dozens of lanterns, as it was past dark; the meeting plunged lustily into nightfall, and the moon rose up like the Grand Meeting Secretary of the Sky, taking mysterious minutes from a haughty remoteness while guarding closely its forboding lunar agenda. Several menfolk growled above at its rocky surface and exclaimed it was an ominous eclipse of the moon that had dashed their consensus in taverna, but the allegation was quelled by rational souls and no one thought of the inconquerable moon for the rest of the meeting. Dust was dust, one pioneer noted, and moonbeams could not ensnare the earthbound man. So arguments parried back and forth, and dust was in everyone’s brains and nostrils; it was a great example of vibrant local democracy. The dust-talk blanketed the tavern like a humongous quilt blankets a meadow, and even though the dust was not defeated that night, many of the menfolk exited the tavern with a new resolve to make their lives liveable, dusty or not.

As the last souls were exiting the taven, Phineas the accountant approached Coleridge and asked whether he wanted his tax forms filled out for the next day as had been discussed at a prior meeting. Coleridge look outside at the worsening dark swirl and nodded absentmindedly – his mind was on the blight, not on quarterly taxes. He groaned softly as a glass shattered in the tavern. O’Malley apologized for the noise. Coleridge said to Phineas "When men like you and I get stuck in a duststorm, there’s no hope even for the geese and the chickens.” Phinease clucked his tongue in agreement, clasped Coleridge on the shoulders and said his goodnights. Coleridge stared out at that dust for another five or ten minutes, and then walked home. Holmesbury O’Malley was tickering up the cash receipts – he secretly wished there was a store in Ghostly that sold boots, for he had the cash to act up and dress like an Arizona cowboy.

The week after the great meeting, there arrived in town a band of players, including the Traveling Showman’s Orchestra Winds, a band of clarinets, flutes and saxophones who lived it up and made love to the town and made smiles more common in a quaking breezy colony that had known seven years of hardship. The players performed Rodelina and Wagner, and also Schumann, a composer known for seriousness but still fun enough for Arizona, the land of Dust. It was a welcome diversion, a pleasant moment of music and lightness in an existence that was choked in defiance of nature’s dry wrath.

The head of the Players was Herbert Hemingway, a slapdash midget with theatrics oozing from his dwarfish limbs like a thespian ant. Hemingway would sit outside the saloon and crow for the strongest ales, the bawdiest women, the crookedest gamblers. He caroused and made merry; it was a sight to behold this extroverted dwarfman drinking like a fish and calling down the invectives of the devil and extracting from all a begrudged smile. But the townsfolk were either surly or drunk, and each nightfall Hemingway was met with the a peculiar coldness. O’Malley asked the actors to move off every nightfall from the saloons, and the players' mirth could not make a permanent dent in the harsh swirling reality.

Phineas DoLittle was one to make merry with the players however, and was especially attracted to the lyre player, a certain Desmonda Granici, a half-Italian, half-Rumanian gypsy wench whose musical strumming did soothe the hearts of many a lonely cowpolk. Desmonda was hounded on all sides by suitors, and the meek and meagre Phineas was reduced to leaving notes stuck to his abacus and offering it to her in the mail.

[unfinished of course]


3 minutes of boredom at work

I was wondering, dear Fred, are any good in bed? I have a list of women to be with you; you smile your Nordic smile and ladies swoon...

In the empty yard is the watered down rosy rhetoric that says nothing, solves nothing a bit of nonchalant grotesque gimmickery or boredom-lubricant. Polluted minds, live in the Age of Decline, with a disinclination to self-improvement, sitting on couches and staring at walls is all I have these days, so stay and don’t stray, I was about to ask you ten dozen favours anyway. Can you loan me a buck, as I’m down on my luck? Count to ten and breathe that mediocre post-sneeze disrupted aria, that melancholy glare and breakfast silence everywhere.

I sup upon a bowl of flakes, take my poochie to the lake, skip stones and unleash that beast, sniffing feces of his friends and scaring tadpoles in the creek. That you are meek is a bonus; the onus is on the proud.

Don't imitate the avant-garde, or hyphenate your calories and become a tub-o-lard. This task is another in a long long line, every worry is self-replacing, every joy made obsolete. Something pleasurable, something new, something different for us to do. Woo hoo.


Fortyone minutes of agony Part II

(written in Kubata in March; minutes 1-22)

Fortyone minutes of agony:

I am going to be a rock star, and one thing we know is that rock stars don’t quit, they stay up on stage and fight for their audience, fighting life or death and reaching heaven with their mad skills. I will have to be a rock star more often; think of all the hot chicks and lovely tasty treats of life it offers me, to touch that nerve in the public consciousness, something down deep and hidden from everyone’s knowledge, so fledgling philosophers can't get at it, and so they deny its existence, which makes people distrustful of science which cares for what it can see but what about the creator of all that is seen and unseen? Of the living and the dead, where am I going to go, I don’t know so on with the show; I have this lil guitar here, I have my saxophone in my hands I have invented things just at the last minute, you’ll never hear it like this again, you’ll never see this kind of performance, I have something inside that angers, the scientists don’t get it, the sophists won’t be able to exploit it. I have to take off my watch, I ain’t going to watch the clock, this is rock and not tick and tock, why rock is the earth, the Pete upon which I build a church, and it stoned me, The Stones and rock ha ha I just got it I just got it. Rock and Roll, Rock, Stones, Rock and Roll, Stones Roll: Rolling Stones! Let’s get rocked, let’s get stoned, Rock and Stone, Stonehenge is less of a mystery than that eternal band, Mick and Keith they are like StoneHenge too, they are standing around in England and no one has a clue to their longevity. I think old Keith is a wise man, his guitar sounded unlike any other. I spend most of my waking hours listening to music and that will make mu sic – to your stomach.

I took a drink of water, H2Oh yeah it satisfies my quenchability, it moisturizes my inner desert aridity, I can twinkle with limpidity or foggy sulphur like acrid and acidity, I have a girl I know she holds me, we hold each other all night and all morning and laugh in each other's arms. Some thing are too precous to describe, and maybe I’ll only touch on her in a fleeting manner, she is my water, my drink, my calming soul, helps me think. I think of bees and hornets, one makes honeys, the other only stings, hornets are the evil twins of the bees, bees only sting as a last resort and it kills them to do so; hornets are sick pretentious bastards and they move in and destroy everything like the Spanish Inquisition. I know of a guy, he lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, he works as a labourer on a farm, a hired hand, like in the Peanuts strip, when Snoopy would just plow out a row of french fries for Lucy and with Linus as a helpmate and they’d all go out to Bill Mauldin’s to drink root beer on Veterans’ day. Or maybe that was actually the World War One Flying Ace trying to hunt down the Red Baron; I am here plumbing my past looking to find the clog, this is kind of a verbal draino, add hot water to clean everything up, let sit for 15 minutes and you walk away with a fresh breath of air and some peace of mind. I don’t mind not having a healthy mind, I don’t mind typing in time, it relaxes and lets me go, oh heck, I don’t know.

I stare into the lights, a rack of tracking, the art around me doesn’t impress me, art for arts sake leads to crappy government grants and the service of a national ethos which I’ll be damned if I’m going to kowtow to. The government should not be helping out the artists. It’s propaganda they’re after, it’s an unconscious dialectic, the CBC should not be trusted, no matter how sweet the Current sounds or Andy Barrie’s voice, all their good intentions are choking true north strong and free (that inseminated anthem again) creativity, in this tiny country of ours where everyone knows everyone else, how are any unique ideas supposed to flourish, when anything unique is a threat to the grant-giving, CBC glorifying status quo. Once again my only argument is that good intentions have nothing to do with it; it is an evil system, and I’m going to try to topple it. Do not sponsor an artist you like. Don’t do anyone any favours. The true blazing stuff does not obey your well meaning bureaucratic procedures. Do not imitate anyone. Do not be surprised at what happens. I am trying to inspire myself, that is Toni Robbins’ secret – people think he’s inspiring others but really he’s fooling them into giving him a platform to inspire himself. I told my friend to open up a yoga studio, she doesn’t know anything about yoga. It does not matter – just convince people that they’re getting better, and they will get better. But really it’s you who gets better. There is a thirst for good ideas, and meritocratic training will not be a substitute, formal education by nature cannot give you any good ideas, it only helps you spot the bad ones.

I can do it because I say I can do it. All things that can be dreamt of in Horatio’s philosophy they can be attained. I will maim myself trying to tame myself, I will be lame by the end of it, I am half-crippled already. It’s the price you pay for living the way you want to day to day.

I want to give you inspirational quotes every day, I have the ability to make you pay. But I have this uneraseable temptation to do it all away. There is something I must admit to you, I don’t know each morning what it is that I will do, and it is scary and life shaking and I wish the insecurity would go away. Some writers live in luxury, some in rags, but no writer ever lives in comfort. I forget who said that but it wasn’t me. I am going to stop reading those books of quotations, because it will only discourage me, all that distilled wisdom of humanity, 20 billion souls throughout history put into 1000 pages, you'd have to be pretty damn sweet to crack that list.


afternoon with her

“She was one of the best things to happen to him. And still she let him down. Because when two people come together, they must tear each other’s heart out.” ~ il diavolo

(I’ll never make you cry… what a lie. What a lie.)

Touches on the cheek, hidden hands in automobile - you attacked me finally in that secret corridor. For ten seconds we were telling each other the truth. But it’s so painful, to be truthful all day. It was a split-second decision, I was there when we made it. You were so free, when you took off everything, you let go of everything; I was shivering alright.

It was simple, what happened. Simple and right; I was shivering all night. We smote our ruins across the floor; I never kissed someone so close before. You spoke the language I was meant to speak - I wanted to learn your every dialect, climb your every peak. And that skin you wore, those words you swore; there was an army at the door, and we had to let them in.

[You ate my fingers… I asked you to scratch my back… nothing made sense; I asked - “will you ever be coming back?”]

You left for New York, then Vienna, and I’m alone, learning again what it means to feel love – it means I am helpless again, a victim, unable to do anything again. Love means living in a miracle. But some miracles wash away in the rain; they last not even an eyeblink. And bad things last ten years or more; I’m still wandering in the desert… But there was a miracle all the same!

There was an army at the door; we were rolling on the floor.

It was simple, what happened. I was shivering, all night; it was simple and right.

And I won’t feel myself any more, now that you’re gone. I won’t feel like a new person no more; now you are gone.


I was furious

(sugary prose-based irrationalisms; 'high falootin'-ness factor': 9)

I was furious with life, it flowed out of me, I was smiling in sunshine and clouds parted for me, I was sailing on a river of diamonds and the moon made of dynamite, I looked inside and the man gave me an axe to hew out a life. There were many men inside, I had to calm them, they argued, I was worried but when dawn came they were all one mind, and we set out from base camp to tackle the summit. There was rain and wind but we knew how to cover, the hours stretched out like fingers searching for the key, a moment to make a break. The captain told me "In heaven, we will be pirates for good, we'll steal love back from devil, and angels shall cover the earth with sugary flakes sweet wines and dream waffles."

My ocean is an hourglass of watersand, swirling into whole, turned on its head every ten minutes, always sinking and rising and drowning and exploding. "There's no reason not to buy back your soul," she said; "I'll buy it back and when the mounties come and the men from the government, they'll see what I did - I did it in self defense... to save my baby." She speaks rubbish, but in the syllables of the fundament, rhythm echoing from gorgon caves, eternal weapons to beat back demons turning everything to stone. We crawl from mud onto sand into light of day. It's a wave and particle, a miracle of science, a mystery at the basest level of physics. The professors sat around, threw up their hands one day and gave in to the mystics, it’s an argument that won't ever go away, so let’s make the best of it. Something coming 'round that corner bend, a shaft of white light, raging softly into night, fighting that good metaphysical fistfight.

Draped in the machinations of a monolith, sucked on juices swirling colours and mixing paints, we have this electric machine, it makes everything into the same thing, so every man is a retinal scan, then it takes one thing and interprets it in ten million ways. It's the legacies of Einstein and Newton fighting each other not so secretly that creates this confusion; everyone needs some basic education because the basic questions last forever, so I will teach you what to ask.

The mute men appreciate me, they need me. But oh I need the loud men, the angry bastards, I cower in fear from them, and they'll never understand how much they inspired me.

Why does the lady sing so sad? We listen so much to the prayerbook jingles, we’re so religious, we get our rock n roll blues from the Book of Job.

Is that all the beauty you possess? I give you all my respect, but don't you dare touch my paycheque. Who stole my ideas? I'll steal yours, ask the unseen fingers clicking the other end of the wireless. I just wrote 12 songs and lent an album to the universe. I got raped by Napster and Blogger and Google. I don't have a lawyer, this isn't my intellectual property, but at least I'll have my audacity - because this is an act of charity. I’m so free like Lou Reed, to what can he be compared and how can he be classified, casually living your hipster ideals but he doesn't even give a f**k.

The muggles free of magic there are so levelheaded and tragic - so here it's angst and dirge, binge and purge; walk, crawl, in mud and smoke, amid the slugs, potato bugs, hoped up on drugs, eventually conquering the labyrinth with Ariadne's rope.


trying to keep reading

Most of what I've read in the past year -

The Gutenburg Galaxy- Marshall McLuhan
Understanding Media - Marshall McLuhan (best thing I've read in about 5 years)
The Essential McLuhan - McLuhan & Zingrone, eds.
Branded Nation: the Marketing of MegaChurch, College Inc., Museumworld - James B. Twitchell
The Complete Colour Harmony Book - Tina Sutton & Bride M. Whelan
The Conquest of Happiness - Bertrand Russell
Good News For a Change - David Suzuki & Holly Driesel
Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
Philosophy: Who Needs It? - A.R.
The Art of Urban Cycling - Robert Hurst
Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller
The Joy of Writing - Pierre Berton
The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (the distilled wisdom of humanity; highly recommended)
The Forest for the Trees - Betsy Lerner
Bird by Bird - Anne LaMott
Design Basics Index - Jim Krause
Upon the Pun - Russell & Hammond
Mind - John Searle
The Millenium Problems: the 7 Greatest Unsolved Mathematical Puzzles of Our Time - Keith Devlin
The Affluent Society - J.K. Galbraith
Haroun and the Sea of Stories - Salman Rushdie
Urban Transportation Planning - Miller & Meyer
Howl & other poems - Allan Ginsburg
The Story of Villa Charities - Virgina Willams Ariemma
The Leopard - Giuseppe Tomaso di Lampedusa
If This is a Man & The Truce - Primo Levi
Portuguese Irregular Verbs Trilogy - Alexander McCall-Smith
Chronicles Volume One - Bob Dylan
Beyond Good & Evil - Friedrich Nietzsche
The Collapse of Globalism - John Ralston Saul
A Complete Treasury of Stories for Public Speakers - Morris Mandel
Your Complete Guide to Toronto Neighbourhoods - David Dunkelman
Creating Web Pages for Dummies
Marketing: What is it Good For?
The Idiot - Fyodor Doestoyevsky
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - Mark Haddon
*All These Frickin Blogs

Still working on:

The History of Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Edward Gibbon (sitting in my bathroom, tackle it a page or three at a time, depending on my regularity; p. 500 so far)
Tales of the Unexpected - Roald Dahl (people tell me I write like him in my short stories. I don't see it)
Arcadian Adventures of the Idle Rich - Stephen Leacock (token Canlit)
Cat's Eye - Margaret Atwood (token CanLit II)
The Origin of Species - Charles Darwin (started in Texas of all places; then stopped)
Bicycling Magazine's Complete Book of Road Cycling Skills - Ed Pavelka
The Bias of Communication - Harold Innis (can't wait)
Mythology - Edith Hamilton
The Satyricon - Petronius; The Apocolocyntosis - Seneca (snob appeal)
Roman Poets of the Early Empire, Penguin collection (snob appeal II)
Selected Works of Aristotle - Apostle & Gerson, eds (yeah right)
Adobe PhotoShop CS: Photographer's Guide - David Busch (I am a lousy artist but a pretty good photo editor)
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (just picked it up today)
Ulysses - James Joyce (been working on that one for 7 years!)
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (feel guilty about this one)
The Bible (strangely enough, no guilt?)

Do any of these help you understand?

On with the show then!


2 minutes after the gord downie cd ended

I was stuck. You were moving, love and grease so dry and heaving, Kick a barn door down with your boot. Velvet vermouth martini and the great big moose. Yard waste rake leaves so forceful this gale, my laundry spinning in a kitchen fan sucking air from my nose, I was hungry all afternoon till I reached your stovetop. Thanks for feeding me, that was me huddled by the side of the road, arms around knees rocking back and forth. My wheels wobbly and hands freezing in the wind, no gloves to cover up dire and apprehensive, you left your name and number with my secretary. I need a drink to feel calm again, I’m addicted to the plateau – bouncing across the radar like a hypothetical electron. I became unstuck by my own pluck and bootstraps.


hard to hold a candle

(aka November downpour)


rain rain November rain
intermittent, everyday
hey molly, shake your brolly
wipe away the wetness
morning drops soak skin
run around underground
-hide your love in a tunnel
stay dry and say hi, it’s ok to sigh
but don’t ask why we lie
just shut up and cry
-every listener is a funnel


How to become one of my bitches

(found this in the email pantry...for Sass)

Nov 23, 2000

Dear Sass,

I commend you on your desire to be included among my fold of bitches. If you'll excuse the extreme and unattractive arrogance (which you must submit to if you truly desire bitchiness--after all, why have bitches if you can't be extremely and unattractively arrogant around them?)--wanting to be one of my bitches de facto guarantees you a spot twixt the others of your ilk. Congratulations, welcome to a life of sugar daddying and ho-ing it up--the life of one of my bitches.

Don't worry about what to do--let it happen naturally; do what the others do (Indeed, let it not surprise you that I be surrounded by three or four of your bitchy brethren, in addition to yourself, whenever I am "seen" "in public"). Take fashion cues from the others: short skirts, plenty of cleavage; giggle and be ticklish. It helps if you don't talk that much (that could be a tough one)--let your sexy body speak for you. Try never to complain--except if you're complaining that the other bitches get more attention than you--that sort of in-fighting, while emotionally destructive amongst bitches themselves, tends to pump up the ego of the bitch-master (and in this case, I would be your bitch-master), and there's plenty of good things that go along with a massive ego. Be honoured that you even know me, and say wonderful things about me in my absence (even though I may treat you with occasional and wanton coldness, when another bitch in particular has momentarily seized my insatiable attention span). Intermittently thank your lucky stars. Directly link your self-esteem level to the various snippits of my grunting and acknowledgments that you might construe as some sort of compliment (e.g. you say "[Cupcake], I just got my hair done for you. Isn't it marvy?"; I say "Huh? Who are you? Where's Diane?"- this sort of romantic exchange should be the highlight of your evening). When I smile, feel good about yourself; when I am upset, find a way to take the blame (if indeed I don't take the initiative and blame you outright). Sexual favours are not necessarily compulsory--you may find that you achieve orgasm simply by touching my leather jacket, in which case all other romantic activity would be redundant. Otherwise, most of my bitches are not offended when I read porn (sometimes even gay porn) WHILE getting it on with them, so try to go along with that too. At all times be courteous to my family, especially my mother. Being a hot-blooded Latin, you can expect that, while I allow you to be one of my bitches, I will nonetheless describe you as "just some bitch" to my dear mamma (who is truly the only female I could ever respect), and complain to her how there aren't enough marriageable bitches out there who are willing to both cook me dinner AND mop the floors (you do mop floors, don't you?). Never swear, except when talking about your rival bitches, and be nice to children, even though you will never have any with me.

Once again, congratulations. We're glad you could join us.


Morty Glumph - Paranoid Creamsicle Salesman

Creamsicle salesman Morty Glumph never knew what hit him. Glumph was selling creamsicles in his usual way, out of a truck in the alley behind the King Edward Hotel, and there was a tap on his shoulder. He turned around and was struck with a fist of fury. It knocked Glumph cold, into a deep sleep.

He awoke in severe pain. He was yelping in fact, in a totally girly way, quite embarrassing if you were Glumph or knew Glumph or even had to watch him scream. But to be fair he had just taken a shot between the eyes, and that’s more than most creamsicle salesmen have to put up with. He was lying on a metal bed with a protractor down his throat and a large egg-collection sack up his rectum.

“They must think I’m some sort of chicken,” thought Glumph, who was lucid and attuned to the ludicrous, “for they are stealing my eggs.” Now if Glumph were actually a chicken he would have been offended, and worried. "Thankfully," he thought, "there has been some sort of mistake." He cried for water, for he was thirsty, and suddenly a nurse appeared before him, towering and disturbed.

“Who are you?" asked Glumph; "Where am I?” but the nurse stuck a thermometer down his throat. “WHfgte sadas you? Sfsdf am I?” he insisted, but the nurse shushed him and walked out the room, leaving a glass of water by the ledge of the windowsill, just beyond Glumph’s reach. "Stupid nurse," thought Glumph. She was a tall nurse, "at least taller than the table," he reckoned, but Glumph was prostrate and in no position to judge. Also he still had a protractor down his throat.

Glumph got out of bed, dislodged the probing instruments, spat out the thermometer and considered his options. Whoever had knocked him out had left him with his cell phone at least, and that was good. Nokia was a reliable phone service, and he was more than happy with their billing system. He would like to have worked with Nokia, even in a creamsicle-selling capacity, but first he wanted to figure out who had pummelled his face in. He phoned the pizza man and asked for a two-cheese with pepperoni to be delivered to his office. He just hoped he could reach his office in time to greet the delivery boy.

Glumph walked out the probing room and saw an auspicious-looking tunnel. He went down it and reached the surface of street. "Hmm," he hummed. They were just outside the King Eddy, so whoever had pummelled him had built up a lab underground quite close to his workplace. "Pretty strange," thought Glump. He pulled out a notepad and made a list of potential enemies:

There was Haggis Simpson Delacroix, a newt farmer who came down to St Lawrence Market every weekend and had on occasion threatened to eat Glumph’s brains and shoot out his eyes with a slingshot. But no, Glump had been pummelled with fists and not pierced with a sling, so that left Delacroix in the clear. There was also Jasmine Washburn Willowy-Frack, an egg farmer at the market; she was always hatching some practical joke or trickery - just the sort of pixie who'd be up for some rectal poaching. But no, Jasmie had just given Morty a box of free eggs the week before and so he tried not to be so suspicious. Glumph finally settled on Gibson Longknife Xavier-Hannibal Goatsmammoth, known as the Great Marmoset Peltsman of St. Lawrence Market aka the Pylon. The Pylon was just the sort to hatch a tremendous ruse and even to stoop to physical beatings in the back of an alleyway. Glumph believed the Pylon to be jealous of Glumph’s prowess with the creamsicle cart, and indeed it was the Pylon who had tried to murder Glumph on several non-consecutive occasions, at the clubs on College Street one night during a drag queen show, and even on the Toronto Islands by attempting to stick Glumph into the gears of a tandem bicycle and snapping his head off with the torsion force of the pedals. Luckily the Pylon was no physicist and Glump survived each of these assaults. But there was permanent bad blood.

Glump made it to his offices in time to collect his pizza, which was delicious. Feeling invigorated from the food, he decided to take a shower with all his clothes on. In the shower however there was an ominous sign: a big note, carved into the tile work, reading, "Your eggs are my eggs, if you were a big bunch of ovaries I’d be pretty worried right now." Glumph thought it was another practical joke, and he tried to distract his worrying mind by calling some of his creamsicles supplier and filling out the contract forms for the upcoming year in creamsiclery.

One of his suppliers, Toad McMurray, said something Glumph took as a clue: “I haven’t seen the Pylon for weeks," McMurray said, "it’s as though he’s fabricating a piece of devilry.” And so it was confirmed – the Pylon was up to trickery in the most devilish way! And Glumph had the eye-bruises to make that allegation most inflamatory.

Glumph decided to go sailing, for he owned a small rig at the harbour, and he thought it occasion to clear his mind and breath in healthy lake air. "Commercial air pollution will be the death of North America," he thought but his conspiracy theories had some length to go before being proved.

[unfinished of course]


Sound and Sense

(junk food for your brain; should short-circuit your tongue)

Harmony the tallest threat, the tastiest treat. Logic dissipates and flows into ether, it’s neither either nor or, it’s choiceless totality, unlatching locks, neutralizing scary sorcery whores. Volume in 3-D, chorus girls and the dimpled plink of timpani, the growling bass and scratchy guitar chord. Drum bam boom, Layla gliding on a wire, weaving spiderwebs with her loom. Sound bam boom, microphone mamas, Marvin the Morbid massages his larynx. I’m by the post office waiting on a letter; hear me now: rosepetal rumba, happy smirkles and mellow motleyness, grab bull by the ears. Fill it up with empty space, eat it fork and knife, it’s 8 feet of cubed air seasoned with applespice. Wire and string and the mountains sing, sizzle and swizzlestick tongue, pelvis stirs with inner spine, spindle stress into twine, loosen a groove, don’t grovel in the gutter or sputter apologetically to trees, whip out gap-toothed giggles and speak some French (if only for the cheese). Hum lullabies to babies in bed, splurtsnort their warm-wet cheeks, eggshell-sucking strawlicks and milkshake splutter-speak; megaphone manias move to microphone feedback, airhammer lobesmash, e-biz bubblegum drip-shower salsa and pepperpot mentholated mintspritz. Pulse knees knock with squawk-rockers on a cot, coughing “Clearly my liege, I’ve been shot!” so giddily and with gutrot. Ha ha ha. Ahhhh. Liquid laughter and nitrous gas, mophead hairdos in kaleidoscope light, acrobats blunder with a fruitbat, wings warbling sonar, jelly jasmine & juniper, then wake up the neighbours all night and fire the lamplight.


(written in 7 minutes when nobody was looking)

Vapid nobodies have a dry sense of humour; clever oncologists have a good sense of tumour. You bake biscuits for the band, they steal seconds and roam the land, the gorgon masked its serpent hair, the fishface maid was skipping through the air. I loaned the phone to the gnome at the end of the road, his cell was out of batteries and I had an extra pair. Oozing into pipes, leaking out the other end, there was mould my friend, call it a hazard, he was groomed to be king but loving the sin bin, prodigal son, funloving beacon and rival to the sun. I knew Apollo when he learned to play the lyre, and I knew King David when Nathan made him a liar. Saul Saul why do you persecute? You still have pimples and must oxycute. My Jenny Wise was no lonely lady, she had Spirit to guide her, I was blessed to know her; she will return herself to the fire. She wants to be that firelight, she'll flame high on her wedding night. Ripples from the pond add to the song, I had a bongo and banjo, string rhythm and a beat, a mask and a cleat, a sporting shoe and a basic boo boo. I was driven into the fray, the sculpture made of clay, those Renaissance dreamers and forms they created, variations on perfection enjoying belated appreciation. Umbrella the wet, cast a silhouette, vet every proposed legislation and pass the weekend in fuzzy inebriation. Know yourself to be a fool; ask yourself, who can fashion me a simple stool? You want someone handy with his hands, you want a man who has some certain plans. I'll turn the people inside out, turn their eyeballs into billiard balls, bandied about, looking into every hole always victim of 2-D momentum and somebody else’s repercussion... clearly we don’t have a cue. I collected film of the major players, I was a paparazzo and pappagallo, smartass pigeon flipping fingers and feathering my nest with praise from politicos and pansies hiding in public-housing projects. Left-leaning yellow-bellies, touting suffering as the end and be all... you have read a bit of Nietzsche my friend? A man with his mind met a most maddening end. Now it's igloo and ovary, consummation cemented in the arctic waste, lacing each comment with sensitive pregnancy, deferentiality and poignantly meek submission to place.


thinking tangentially about my cottage

Grass under my toes, in my nose, around me sprayed a hose, I was up north in the woods, land and stars agreeing about sunset; the stars reciprocated the kindness of the water, reflecting into our eyes in twinkles and ripples. The rocks continued to hold their grudge - you can’t get blood from a stone. The trees worried about the wind, stirring when it whipped around; air attacked our lungs with a benevolent tenacity, skin and hair struck by briskness. I was a romantic, so romantic, attributing my features to the man in the moon, my singular sense of humour to the wayward loon. I come from a land of hard realism and concrete autos and iron clad arrangements, no music fast or loose enough to wrap around my hole-filled heart, so I started from nothing and landed in the wild, naked and hairy with a brain for a club, eyes to make love and teeth to tease out subtleties from that swamp of words, bulrushes thistles and sausages on a stick, the zan-zang of mosquitoes and the bumblebee’s floating unpredictable prick.

the day after

There is a big beak turnip in the dromedary lesion, a haggis mobile, it is inveterate and nubile, the swilled mocha marker, the tawny billowing speck of spek, twisted and discombobulated, leaching chlorine from a vat of lye.

(translated from 'What It Means to Clear Your Throat')

Grand wenches, sweet dames and tall boy hipheads, weirdoes and wonderlarks, pipsqueak tots and crotchety sidewalk gawkers. A to Z ecstasy, AlphaZimbabwe sunk me, golden skies headlong down a gorge so yellow and splotched, freefalling into destiny and then an evening spent marauding carting Death in the streets. Clone that laugh, bottle and sell it. We can measure a mute man’s wrath: watch his arms as they flail and shake - all so amusing on my cigarette break. Watch the flame, smother it good, a candle threatens the house of wood. Loan me a knife to slice a gourd, praise the Lord: He blessed the porch, spiderwebs cider and sound issued forth.


saturday night

hot bath bird heart attack hacker
coatcheck chicks seek dickhead chatter
word to you and yours
barroom hookah baby, lips pass back and forth
drags long, lungs nose mouth in and out rose-water from a hose posh apple spice stare at us in the martini-margarita dark - so nice.
down one till 12, magic man deals pickup tricks
karoake, electric boogaloo, request to croon sweet lou - but no dice, no place for rumblin my rusty rad pipes
pizza pie under lights too bright, crust so thin, supermodel grin
matador till 4, rock-country stompers, lady-bass so butch, me reluctant dancer
paper rock scissaux just another random episode, pass poles to the chateau giggle as we go
ope door, drop to floor, drunken snore, sleep till eleven or the boom! bell brings brunch


More Hallowe'en costume ideas

A piccolo factory — what woody wind blows through your musical eyelets? The piccolo knows! Pretend you come from a magical country called Orchestralia. Then imagine yourself bursting forth with an array of piccolo-fabrication machines - complete with dies, molds and also the requisite contracts, suppliers, payroll taxes, and overhead etc etc. Sweet, sexy overhead.... mmm.

A money tree — this costume works even better if you wear a Chia-Pet on your head and pretend that that is your money tree. People will come up to you and say ‘Hey nice costume - Chia-Head right?’ And you just laugh at them scornfully and explain, ‘No dumbass, it’s a money tree! Nobody likes a literalist.’ And explain to them how the floating of exchange rates and dissolving of the Bretton-Woods fixed exchange in the 1970s (following the demise of the gold standard) has led to decades of Third-World-crippling international inflation, grievous economic instabilities and misperceptions of what wealth there really is in the world, and the aforementioned ‘ChiaHead-Moneytree’ misunderstanding is a microcosmic metaphor for the effective unknowable powderkeg of for example injecting several trillion dollars worth of unclaimable aeroplan miles and bonus points etc etc into the clutching hands of the fill-my-belly-today-and-damn-the-torpedoes-public and inventing who knows what else grand deception to keep the machinery of Oz in motion ignoring who knows what havoc will one day be wreaked like San-Andrea's-fault-snapping this mysterious Trojan Horse of monetary destabilization aka Low-interest-instant-credit buy-now-pay-later-take-out-a-loan-to-purchase-an-MBA-then
when-you-can-afford-some-cycle-of-viciousness. Or say ‘Y’know maybe there is such a thing as a free lunch. You're all right, friend.’ and get them to stroke your Chia-Head fuzz and leave it at that. But sometimes it's better to dress up as a bastard cynic.

Oktoberfest — let’s be honest, Hallowe’en was getting big for its breeches anyway. Go to your Hallowe’en party as your own party. Dressing up as arch-rival Oktoberfest ought to knock All Hallow’s down a peg. And everybody likes a shit-disturber, especially when they're drunk. Bring several bratwurst to the festa and yell out 'I bet you never sausage arrogance!'

Cherry Jello — wait, that’s a Spooner typo; I meant to say you should go as Jerry 'Cello' McCain , whose nickname is actually 'Boogie' but hell when the ghosties are out on the 31st I'm sure you won't mind that I mess with a bluesman's mojo; heck I do it out of embarrassment and so what if 'Boogie' is actually a harmonica player - nobody clicks on blog links anyway. But I digress. Cherry Jello could be good too!


Ideas for a Hallowe'en costume pt I

Some random suggestions if you are going to a party and are stuck...

A large pencil made of raspberries. A writing implement topped with a provocative fruit – in today’s gay-friendly Hallowe’en age, that makes sense! Also, when someone asks you for a rubber you can just shove yourself up their ass.

A walk-in clinic. Be a godsend for those without a family doctor, but keep no narcotics on your person. And a word of warning - if people bother to make appointments, make sure to enforce a strict cancellation policy.

An adult diaper. Don’t wear one, BE one! Be confident in the changing demographics. Carry a compassionate air and smooth Velcro snap. Don't worry if others take the piss out of your costume. “Some people don’t take any shit,” you can say, “but I’m proud to say I take plenty of shit!”

A one-way mirror. To be extra creepy, say to other guests, “I can see into your soul, but can you see into mine?” Have interrogations take place right behind you.

A torrid love affair. Bedeck yourself with passions; slather yourself with lust. Do not spill anything on the floors.

A herd of dromedaries. When someone asks what your costume is, spit on them as would a camel and say ‘haven’t you herd?’ Go the entire party without drinking, then draw attention to your ‘dry’ sense of humour. If things get desperate, allow yourself to be milked.

Iron silicate. Be little known - but useful.

A co-ordinate conjunction in a compound sentence. Shake your hot lil’ ‘but-and’! Surround yourself with at least two sexy clauses. If you see someone dressed as a semi-colon, shout at them 'scab labour!' or 'homewrecker!' (and vowed never to be replaced due to a bias for editorial brevity.)

If all else fails, just forget to shave, shower or wear shoes and go as a sloth.


August 9 2005

Brackish steams cloud the air, the whirlwind is her stare, the sun red and mind searingly clear, words ringing in my ear. Motor black from oily steel, the world racing on a wheel, the hearts that break, the thought I steal - and then I slip on a banana peel...

Canadian, 'ehs' amid bees, the hive sees these so easily affected, Jesus H Christ! I, Jailer, cane the elementals, opiated by queues, who are estimated as universally Dubya'd. Hexed. Why? Cuz Zorro said so. (the alphabet song)

No place for autumn in my hole, stuck with my soul's dregs am I, upon last legs; eggs crack and jokes abound; it’s coloury light and crazytown, doubts and exploding brains, a warm wet rag to wipe a stain. I don't complain, I deserve exclusion and profanity, dubious distinction and macaw compliments, and those words flow again: hophead gangbangs amid a meadow, grey coat of arms on castle wall, begin a sonnet, song of pen, my polished suit of armour. Insinuate trolls, deconstruct that mountain of dextrose in your soul. I was ugly, pontificating, gangly and mellow, drawn to the edge of that yawning blinking chasm - seduced and eviscerated by a hint of orgasm.

Umbrellas switch from wet to dry, banana men can only sigh, the pineapple peaches and pomegranate stews, the recipes I lent you; the morning market where I purchase a plum, plastic baggies I stretch over a drum. I dreaded those fasts, moments made of lead, that hot totality and dead echo. I was black from smoke, ruin and wrecks, singing hosannas on a steamship deck. I was an iceberg, a salty block of mountain-and-water, a floating anarchic ship-destroying frozen fountain; I was stenographer for Satan, taking down devilish notes but then I revolted, bolted and tore down Hades, escaping or so I thought, but then my phone rang; I donated already, slammed the receiver, dogged by doggerel and high on punchlines, wine in my veins, vinegar in my brain (there is something tragic about grey gridlock, the wasted nadir and the perogee of days.)

"You can yodel" I told my kitty; she starves so slowly and it makes her witty. I didn’t litter for a month entire, but then I spumed a book or three, foreign impenetrable screeding, lumps of coffee grounds lumped in a bowl, foreign cars that faked themselves as they went out on a roll. I peeled a grape, assassinated yet another talking ape; you do sad sad things, when you want to rid yourself of you - the Bruce S song was true - I was a coward all along: I was tranny, a gay preacher in a womanish soul, my soiled buttocks, my dripping nose, I was the man wearing the wrong clothes, hose in soil, I was the barbecued potatoes brought to a boil.

(But those the moments on the floor when I felt high, the gym mat I sit on to gather my thoughts, and the world shoots by, rolls right through me really, a booster shot,jacks me back on the chopping block walking round and round just to keep wishing I could fly)


daily torture

(written in a second or two before I went away; thought it worth saving)

I eat and eat

I never stop

You sit and read and sigh

You never stop

There’s a spot here in the kitchen

It needs to be dressed

You add vanilla to your waffles

- they taste the best

Did I ever tell you that?


I own a lot of books, and

none of them have kissed me


I am harrassed hourly by pomegranates

You there, chewing on that fruit - please look close and vouchsafe me that it is no pomegranate!

You there, stranger, approaching me around the street corner - what shocking pomegranates lie up your sleeve?

Hey, Mr Television Network Executive - can you procure me a 30-second primetime PSA, so that I can implore the nation of my pomegranatory peril?!

Hello, Father Churchly, my priest and confessor- I must tell you of the loathing in my heart for all pomegranate farmers in Louisiana and elsewhere.

Dear Dr. Shrinkbrain, show me to your chesterfield - I have nightly dreams of pomegranates; can you unlock their Jungian portents?

Good morning fine reader, good soul, smiling audience member - yes, you happy online pig. As you can tell I have serious issues with pomegranates. It all started when I was mere boy of 26 and a pomegranate fell high from a fruit crate landing upon my head. Juice erupted all over my neck, shoulders and clavicle, or collarbone. I thought it was blood, not pomegranate juice, and I fainted. I awoke minutes later to the hysterical taunts of my coworkers in the produce department. They nicknamed me 'frightful of pomegranates', 'pomegranate girly' and 'he who mistakes juice for blood.' And so they continued their snickery unabated; quickly I was to be doomed by their mocksome epithets. The pomegranate affair continued well into the morning, and by 11:30 I was forced to tender my resignation. That was the first time.

(more to come?)


I like this keyboard

Here is the ocean, the fingers and the gears of my machine, the years bend and mountains sway, it is the day of the penguin and the metope, the ecstatic rushing antelope anemone. We are diction dogs, searching the logs, clogging mines and pantomiming, erasing past mistakes and creating modern fallacies, avoiding small mistakes as we dive into the comfort of a thick black hole.

Down the hall a low rumble, as inspirationally random as bananas in a submarine, or a sandwich made of chocolate in a soup tureen. This is the closet syllabic synthesis, the prissy poetry bitch, the Moses parting hairs with chariots of the Pharoah, he knows which way his people go, arguments make me go loco... And I like fruit in all its forms but costly moments heap on scorn, the drugs divide us till we’re worn. Have you seen the magic man in the lobby, exhorting pigeons from his sleeve, making bird-surprise like bombshells and asking for vacation leave? On Friday I can daydream, on Friday I type, the keyboard has missed me and I miss that clack, so I strike the keys and the sound bounces back.

You and I are old as stones, Precambrian bits within our smiles, helium hydrogen variegated in a million ways, those lanes and alleyways lead to Rome, so I went there, back to Italy, where another funeral was to greet me, rites of passage and respects to pay, as one day will be paid my way. Yes, I will die and you will cry, like people cry cuz they’re alive. This witness is reciprocal, we gather what we give away, I gave it all away anyway. Every day I act that way. But you wonder why some blessed are and some cursed, everyone obsessed with an empty purse? Lurching hungry amid perceived inequalities, though all is good if you wipe away the superficiality, and she didn't mind suffering when it led to bliss, I said 'if you sit forever thirsty - I can promise you a kiss.' She didn't mind being a sucker for romance, I said 'if you sit here in the corner I will finally let you dance.'

(I didn't ask her to be a martyr; I asked for five seconds while I settled her accounts - but my minutes are not hers and she's mad enough to pounce.)


Get a load of Brutus!

(filtered stream of consciousness?)

Get a load of Brutus!

Brutus talks in his sleep. He takes up the whole sidewalk when he ambles. He leaves out the pickles and frightens the dog. Brutus has a lisp, and the kids all laugh at him. Brutus walks out to the supermarket and purchases far too many melons. Brutus has obsessive compulsive disorder and his pants do not match his socks.

Brutus flirts with the neighbour’s daughters though they are all underage. Brutus has a lemur for a chauffeur, and lemurs do not drive. Brutus once snapped a pencil in half just by looking at it, because he is so ugly. Brutus drove a flock of camels over the edge of a cliff, but it made him strangely unsatisfied. Brutus once attacked a pantry shelf with a safety razor crying ‘this is what unmakes a man – his blasted kitchen, woe to my devoursome belly!’ Brutus has pink eyes. He slips on marble floors and threatens the janitor. Brutus cannot do long division or tie knots like the boyscouts do. He flubs his belly flesh and creates gruesome undulating waves of flab. Brutus calls himself ‘El Condor’ and longs to be a professional wrestler; his signature move is The Swoop and he uses it on his pet mandrill Helga. Brutus has not had a date in 17 months, and wonders if women still have the same body parts he likes so much.

Brutus is a brute, a beast and a big burly burlap sack of a man. But Brutus has saved my life ten or twenty times, when I am under threat from the bard and the brain. So here’s to Brutus, my sweet grunting soulmate!


Seville service

Q: What's better than not being Spanish?

A: being Spanish! (alternative: being a Spanish billionaire!)

If Don Quixote were here beside me (for he never wanders far from me, his e'er faithful Sancho Panzola) he'd beg me on his grande el torreador knees to wail about the delicious tapas I had at a veggie bar called Habanita in El Centro this afternoon. Indeed, if Miguel de Cervantes were alive today, he'd almost certainly change his name to Miguel de Cerveza - cuz 'los beerskis' here are deep 'n' delish! I mean with 1.50eu for a bottle of la agua ambrosia you got nada da complain about.

The wonders of Seville, they stretch beyond the millions, well into the Sevillions! So call the wedgie doctor cuz I gotta wicked case of Pic asso!

And then there are los mandolinos (as I call them) the Spanish guys who wait outside restaurants playing guitar, acting all crooner-like and those annoying women who sell rosamarina outside the cathedral to stupid tourists like me - such local colour, or il colore muy loco as the Andalucians says with their inimitable zesty verve for all things vivacious and gesticulatory.

Oh my Goya!


Florence - the land of floors

If Laurence is the land of Lauras, then surely Florence is the land of floors! Everywhere you walk, there is a paving stone, sidewalk or even just a cobble. I wonder what Rennaisance master invented the plain white marble floor; it has many uses: eg standing, walking, leaning, lying (supine and prostrate), twirling, hopping, resting a table and so on etc. In North America we take floors for granted, but what is a house but a cube with six floors, some vertical and some upside down? I am learning so much here in Italy. I also wonder, if Florence were made into a video game, would the Mario Bros make a cameo appearance? Luigi Mario and Mario Mario are Italian after all, and it'd be a good marketing gimmick. To the video game geniuses here in Tuscany, please chew on that for a while. Also, the pizza here is awesome. Who knew? Peace out my time is up.


You had me at 'hello... guvna!'

Mr. Johnson said if you're
tired of London then you're tired of

well I'm tired but mostly from
jet lag

One year later and I'm
ready to forgive you

(see 'London!' 9/19/04 )


Euro cupcakes till Oct 11

I'm away the next two weeks, to look for a gorgeous Mediterranean bride with a generous dowry....If you know a nice but reasonable hotel in Madrid and/or Lisbon, please leave a comment.... Look here soon for photos; take care of the place while I'm away. ~pdog



Who’s luckier than a man with a big cheese sandwich? Indeed! Few of us can comprehend the beauty that’s inside the cheese.

I mean, have you ever eaten a large cheese sandwich? I ate one the other day and near shit my pants with delight. I was eating this absolute megabomb of a sandwich and along comes a spider, a big tall fatty named Octopod the Magnificent. I look at the spider and I compliment him on his purse. I say ‘Is that silk?’ but spiders don’t appreciate nuance, not like a praying mantis. But who cares when I got sammies on the brain.

Anyway I was eating a sandwich like I said and felt like the King of Heaven on a joy-bender. It was happiness, loose and groovy, bigtime smilesfest like when a vat of money falls in your lap and you go apeshit purchasing jewels or whatever. This sandwich had it all: sweet curves and tasty crust; it was like the Formula One of ensconced cheese. I can’t even remember what kind of cheese was in there exactly, it could have been laced with ecstasy cause that’s how it felt. So good, or should I say
gouda. Hahahaha.. I think it might have been Swiss but that’s like singling out one cheese for praise when a sandwich is by definition a team effort… all that matters is how good it felt you know?


Doctor Snotburglar's Ludicrous Assistant

There I was in Cambridge at the river's edge, talking to the man who operated the gondolas, except I think they’re called punting boats. He was a tall man, too tall for many economy-sized sedans, but I thought it rude to bring up another vehicular medium, so I just ordered him to row me to the other bank. The man's name was Hodges and we agreed on a five-pound fee.

Hodges wished me off at the other end of the bank, and I was at the great University. It was past 12 bells and I had the entire afternoon at Cambridge to enjoy, higher education at Britain’s classiest institution. An exciting prospect, to rub elbows with famous crippled megastars like Stephen Hawking! I was excited to meet even those without ALS; I couldn't wait to get everyone's email addresses, blog sites and RSS subscription URLs.

It was noon and despite my enthusiasm I was hungry, however. I wondered where to buy bread - carb-rich bread, for I had not embraced South Beach. I was starving on that Illustrious Riverbank and my blood sugar was dropping. I looked up at the sky and in my faintness noticed a cloud, and it resembled the great nutritional magnates Hal Johnson and Joanne Macleod. I asked them for some glucose but they were mere clouds.

After swallowing some come-by-chance seaweed to restore my blood sugar, I napped for several hours on the river bank, and after waking up made I friends with a beaver. The beaver’s name was Charlie; he had a large brown tail and big white teeth. I asked Charlie to chew me a punting pole, and failing that to hew a walking stick out of the earth. Charlie was a great beaver, but he was stupid and did not understand. I designed a pole in the dirt, I clucked my tongue and made emphatic gestures, and then he understood. But it was 4 o’clock, and the afternoon had been wasted in SleepyHeaded Lollygaggery.

I balanced myself on the punting pole, regained my feet and thanked Charlie for his efforts. He sped into the river with a 5-pound note affixed to his snout. I didn't see Charlie the rest of my vacation but I felt his watchful presence at many a forest walk or punting expedition. Entering the Grand academic-looking castle by the river bank, I gave the guardsman a 10-pound note. This time I just shoved the money down his suit of armour. The guard’s name was Carlos, and the armour cut down on his agility; nonetheless he was grateful and I sped inside.

I was to attend the Monthly Castle Lecture put on by the Egregious Dr. Snotburglar Fountain, celebrated Professor of the Ludicrous Arts. Snotburglar was famous for his Theories on Ridiculousness, his Rambungling Hypothesis and his Treatise on Rapscallianity. He had written ‘1000 Options for the Insane Fritterer’ and his didactic autobiography ‘How to Outsnort a Snortburglar’ has sold in the tens of thousands. How thrilling then to see him in the flesh.

For someone so ludicrous Dr. Snotburglar dressed rather prim and proper, I noted. His tie was done up to the button and his cuff links fresh from Tiffany’s, diamond-crusted and twinkling through the castle crystal radiance. Dr Fontain approached the podium with a snort. The lecture was beginning, and I tittered in my desk-chair:

“Dear Gentlemen and Ladies... and the Clowns who live in my brain,” he began in his trademark 'recognition of clowns' style, “I have a large melon in my noggin.” And he proceeded to produce a massive pink watermelon! He spent five minutes cutting it up and distributing it to the stupefied audience. The melon was a delicious and quite welcome surprise on such a hot summer eve. “I thought this was a refresher course," the doctor said, "and hence the refreshments." Aha - pure genius! - I jotted that one down right away; clearly Snotburglar was not above wordplay. He continued, hands dripping with juice: “This is a lecture about Ludicrous Theory. The first measure of Ludicrousness is Falsifiability. If you cannot falsify the truth, then you are not the liar you could be.” Now I saw the direction he was meaning to take. "Please look outside at the night sky. Allow me to bring you on a tour of Uranus...”

After 45 mind-bending minutes Snotburglar's lecture received a standing ovation, and I was elated at the nuggets that had been proferred. But then I noticed a young creature at the other end of the room, a tall gorgeous bucktoothed woman with high heels and lazy eye. She had a quiver of stealth-cum-ingenue about her, and I was transfixed. She introduced herself to the Doctor and I eavesdropped on their conversation.... Aha - It was an assistantship she was after! I would have to tail this minx.

The minx had introduced herself as Zelda Fitzwiggins, a student in Nonsense from the Bavarian Foolishness Lyceum; she wished to intern for a while in Cambridge and get experience. Aha - If only she knew how much I could help her! My own labs were in Pennsylvania, admittedly, but I was one of only seven Nonsensticians in the world licensed to perform Pathological Emissions Analysis. I could help Ms. Fitzwiggins and then some.

I stopped Zelda outside the lecture hall and I pinched her cheeks. She slapped me and said “Do I know you?” I cried real tears but she just laughed “You must have dinner with me sometime!” She stalked off and I was smitten; I hoped I would see her again. If I did I would give her my last Rolo. Before he left I asked the doctor a question about Shaggy Dog Stories, which he answered and I was satisfied. He invited the remaining audience members to a local pub where he could be among the idle and gawk and have nothing to do but cuss and discuss football and other activities pertinent to the mindless classes. It was so difficult being such a dedicated nonsenstician I thought.

Zelda was already at the pub waiting for us. I snuck up on her, sat on her lap and gave her my last Rolo. She was happy, she skipped around the pub as though every last hope of hers had been met. I asked her to sing me a lullabye but her diction was impaired. So she told me, and she threatend to snap my neck, so I was lucky just to make it out of this conversation with all my teeth...

(unfinished of course)