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.