Friday, October 31, 2003


I've figured out what I need to do to become one of the world's great artists. It's easy. I need to get into more trouble. My life needs some more excitement. I need to be like Jackson Pollock and get into more alcohol-fueled bar fights. I need to get myself stabbed by a pimp like Sam Beckett. I need to get shot by a feminist a la Warhol. Or I could just cut off my ear and ship it to... Oh never mind.

Haiku for today. [barely]

Dude, seriously
When's the last time you really
Noticed the sun set?

-And somewhere, Basho Matsuo rolls over in his grave...

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Haiku for today.

Black Converse high-tops
Why do you hurt my feet so?
Still too new to wear


I've been doing it for years now - really living on the edge. It's getting so that no-one can beat me. I'm at the top of my game - a real hotshot on the underground riding lawnmower racing circuit. My ride of choice is a super-modified Toro Wheel Horse, of the Classic 300 series. With a freshly souped-up engine, she's able to rocket me down the boardwalk at a whopping 35 km/h, more or less forcing me to beat my opponents time and time again. Wrapped in candy-coloured peach paint, tripped out with purple pimp-lights, and fitted with a custom-made, red leatherette bucket seat, there isn't a prettier machine out there.

We meet every third Thursday of every third month down by the lake. Under the light of the moon, we draw in the sand a racing schedule for the night. At this stage in the game, everyone is equal; previous wins mean as little as previous losses. Tonight I find myself paired with a young out-of-towner who calls herself Prima Donna. I've heard of her. Relentless, they say. A perfect record. I find the pairing suspicious, but personal ethics do not allow me to complain. I have to be strong. I am unafraid. I am a champion.

Later, as I lurch up to the starting line, I size up Prima's ride - a gutted, heavily modded, John Deere SX85. The thing looks sleek as all hell. Cranking the throttle, her beast lets out a deafening shriek, and she lifts the visor of her helmet. I swallow my anxiety. Put on a brave face. She yells something over to me, but I can't make it out above the din. Judging by the look on her face, however, I decide that it was not words of encouragement. I turn to look straight ahead at the makeshift starting lights. Red - relax my grip on the wheel. Red - in that certain place. Orange - say a quick prayer. Orange - rev the engine. Green - hit the gas.

She cannot win.

Dream: Part Five

As I ran, splashing through the puddles of freshly fallen rain, I heard the cacophonous sound of the carnival once more coming closer as it rounded the block. I broke out into the street just in time to catch a glimpse of the young girl's head beyond a sea of citizens, when a menagerie of mimes enveloped me. I found myself lost in the midst of a swirling mass of white faces; their thin expressionless lips shone red, with their sad eyes, painted black. Slipping and sliding across the mud-slicked cobblestones, I frenetically pushed myself through the gang of mimes, past the crowd of spectators, and ran down the adjacent alleyway, only to find that the young girl had disappeared. At that point, I began to swoon, collapsing face first into the dirt.

I regained consciousness cocooned in the warmth of a down duvet with my head resting in a nest of feather pillows. A warm breeze blew in through the open window, bringing with it the light cotton curtains, and the homely scent of baking bread. Turning my head slightly, looking out the window, I noticed the sky a perfect shade of blue; light clouds drifted carelessly by in the distance. I turned back and found my uncle leaning in the doorway. Noticing my newly awakened state, he walked into the room taking a seat on a little straight-backed chair beside the bed.

He and my aunt were away for awhile, he said, and went on to explain how they discovered my suitcase sitting on their front step, and how they found me, lying soaked and filthy in an alley a block away. I was babbling about girls, carnivals, mimes, skeletons, and an assortment of other nonsensical things. I was sick, he said, and with my temperature hovering around dangerous levels for almost three days, I drifted in and out of consciousness sporadically.

After a large meal that evening, I thanked them profusely for everything, and told them I was turning in early. I slipped out early the next morning with the air still cool, and the sidewalk slick with the morning dew. My head was full of strange memories, and I felt an intense, unexplainable, urge to get out of town.

So, I woke up.

Haiku for today.

Misplaced aggression
Another car bomb explodes
Killing innocence

Tuesday, October 28, 2003


Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, this is your author speaking. From my crew, and myself, I'd like to welcome you aboard Enigma Airways flight 023. We are currently flying at an altitude of immeasurable height above Mare Confusio, and are cruising at the speed of thought.

If you were to look out the starboard side of the aircraft on a clear day, you might be able to see the ancient cities of Love and Conflict below you. Out of the windows on the port side, you might see Plot and Character Development. As it is, flying over the thick cloud cover we’re experiencing today, you’ll be lucky to catch a glimpse of Perfect Confusion.

So, on behalf of Enigma Airways, I'd like to wish you an enjoyable stay at your final destination. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight.

Haiku for today.

No haiku for you
You are all undeserving
Of my fancy prose

Monday, October 27, 2003

Dream: Part Four

As he rounded a tight corner, the stilted skeleton produced a bottle from beneath his heavy black greatcoat. He tossed his head back, taking a swig from the bottle, and then blew the liquid across the flame of his bundled torches producing a tremendous blaze which lit up evening sky. The young girl raised a hand to shield her face from the intense heat, and as she did so the towering skeleton somehow leaned down to within a foot of her, and a giant toothy grin spread across his sallow face. I could almost feel her heart leap, myself, as I watched her dark, almond shaped eyes dance with fear. The skeleton rose up to full height again, laughing maniacally toward the churning blanket of tumultuous grey clouds.

The carnival disappeared around a corner and the crowd closed in behind it, swallowing it up. The smaller children laughed and cheered as they trailed behind the older ones, running as fast as their little legs could carry them, splashing through the puddles of mud. I listened carefully as the music and laughter died away, as music and laughter are want to do, fading out as the carnival moved on. As I looked back to the young girl, she popped her head out into the rain, glanced to her right and left down the street, and ran across, disappearing down a darkened alleyway. I called out for her so stop, but she didn’t.

She needs help, I thought as I chased after her, reaching the yawning mouth of the alley just in time to see her slight silhouette disappearing around the opposite corner. I called her name again, to find my cry answered only with the sound of her fast-fading footsteps. A white moon peeked out from behind the clouds, flying with me overhead, as I bolted down the alley after the young girl, my footsteps echoing in my ears and my heart beating in my chest.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Haiku for today.

Snowstorm receding
Fine weather is on the way
Clearing reception

Dream: Part Three

Despite the weather, the narrow streets were dense with people, on the ground huddled beneath umbrellas, sitting up in trees, and leaning over the tiny, wrought iron balconies of the plaster-walled townhouses lining the street. I leapt up, banging furiously on my uncles door, and was dismayed when he still didn't answer. Picking myself up off the stairs, I decided that I would wander off in search of alternate lodgings.

As I fumbled slowly through the masses of cheering people, lightning would periodically flash, followed by a thunderclap crashing through the air, which would temporarily drown out the horn section of the band, leaving only the deep, reverberating sound of the drum pulsing hypnotically through the electrified air. I pushed past a group of people to find myself in a clearing amongst the crowd, and, looking over, was struck by the sight of a sad young girl.

She crouched gloomily in a darkened doorway, staring with a peculiar nervousness at the passing carnival as she attempted to shelter herself from the heavy rain. She was already soaked to the bone however; the rain plastered her lengthy black hair down about her slender face, and her thin, flowered sundress clung to her willowy frame. Her feet were naked and covered in mud up past her ankles and she shivered as she leaned against the crumbling plaster wall, fingering a string of turquoise beads. She crossed her breast in prayer and muttered something unintelligible beneath her breath.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Dream: Part Two

Sometime later as we pulled up to the address, one of a long row of aged townhouses in the old neighbourhood, I dropped a few bills into the driver's hand, retrieved my suitcase, and was left standing, unsteadily, in the narrow cobblestone street. I caught the scent of oranges as I shielded my eyes against the sun and the too-bright sky, yelling up to an open second-story window, "Uncle!" My voice echoed through the unpopulated lane. There was no answer so I called out again, with the same result.

I walked up to the door and, finding no buzzer, took hold of the brass knocker and rapped frantically. There was still no answer. Flipping aside the cover of the wrought iron spy-hole, I peered through to the interior of the sparsely decorated house, and called out again. Nothing. Suddenly feeling faint, I sat down on the stairs and lost consciousness, with citrus on my mind.

I awoke, drenched, in the early evening beneath a dark canopy of thunderclouds, surprised to find a carnival making its way past me through the narrow, winding maze of cobblestone streets. Relentless, the rain poured down on the spectators and participants alike, drenching the floats, soaking musicians, and turning the ground to a sea of mud, causing the clowns and mimes to slip and slide their way through their routines. A two-story, fire-juggling, stilted skeleton weaved and wobbled with tremendous difficulty, navigating its way between the clowns, with his head among the thick, gloomy clouds.

Haiku for today.

Johnny Walker Red
Pull a squat glass from the shelf
Fill with cubes of ice

Personal Space

Him: Can I help you with something?

Me: Probably not.


Him: Are you sure? Because...

Me: Whatever do you mean?

Him: There's plenty of other seats...

Me: No, there are plenty of other seats.

Him: What?

Me: Oh, nothing.

Him: On the train I mean - the train's empty.

Me: You're right.

Him: Yes, and you sat right here. Beside me.

Me: Right again.

Him: Well, why not somewhere else?

Me: I sat here so I could correct your grammar.

Him: What?

Me: Forget it. Anyway, what's so wrong with sitting here?

Him: There's a hundred other seats!

Me: But this one's made for two...


Him: Never mind - I'll move.

Me: Suit yourself.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Dream: Part One

I was already feeling feverish as the small, stuffy plane taxied to a rather shaky stop on the heavily-trafficked tarmac. As I deplaned beneath the blazing sun, I unenthusiastically waved goodbye to my three flight-mates - a septuagenarian couple and their yappy Chihuahua.

After excavating my well-traveled suitcase from the shade of the plane's belly, I retreated, squinting under the bright sun, to the comfort of the airport. I knew I'd be able to wile away at least a couple of hours in the air-conditioning, as I picked my way through the maze of bureaucracies, and labyrinths of red tape, seemingly reserved just for me.

Four hours later I was sitting, extremely ill and mentally drained, in the backseat of a taxicab on route to my uncle's house. I realized only then that it was at least ten years since I even talked to him last and there was no telling if he would recognize me in my sickened state. Things only became more ominous as I then remembered that I had forgotten to telephone him, warning him of my arrival.

The pallid condition of my face shocked me as I caught a glimpse of my ghastly reflection in the rear-view mirror. We were stuck in rush hour traffic, and the sun was literally cooking me alive inside the car. I rolled down my window, seeking some sort of breeze, some refuge from the cramped air of the interior, but succeeded only in letting in a barrage of even hotter air combined with honking and car exhaust. I immediately leaned out the window and vomited on the pavement below.

random 2

Man, now I'm feeling all motivated and stuff.

Today I'm gonna teach cars to act more like trucks, trolleys to behave as well as subways do. I'm feeling so lucky to be alive, that I'm finally going to get around to peeing on the third rail just to see if it electrocutes me. And surviving that, I'll take it as a sign that I should build a bigger, better grilled-cheese sandwich. Also, there's a grey squirrel down my street who looks as though he could use some counseling; word has it, that the red squirrels have been hassling him about the colour of his hair, and the black squirrels have been pestering his kids.

Today I will fix all of these things.

I will make my neighbourhood whole again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003


I'm sitting here beneath the moon on a rock facing the lake, watching the waves with a pad of paper turned to a blank page on which I might record my thoughts. The moonlight skips gingerly across the water and I look around as soft snowflakes the size of silver dollars flutter down around me out of the inky black sky. From my earphones, Will Oldham
croons something about idle hands into my ears.

Suddenly, a deafening crash comes from two train cars connecting at the station behind me and my peaceful reverie is broken. My mind refuses to draw any crafty metaphors on life from either the waves or the trains, so my page remains blank. My mind however is now active.

And I am dreaming.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003


"It's a beautiful piece."

"It could be."

"You're a gifted writer."

"Who says I'm a writer?"

"Well, you wrote this."

"I suppose."

"You must be an avid reader."

"That's rather presumptuous, don't you think?"

"Surely if you write, you must read."

"One would think. Perhaps you should try it."

"What, read?"


"I see you're a poet of a rather cryptic nature."

"Is there another kind?"

"I suppose not."

"Then you know, now, the type of man who stands before you."


"Go. Run along. I see you've become uncomfortable."

"Well, it's been a real treat talking to you."

"Didn't you drop an h?"


"Never mind. I just thought one of your words was lacking something."



Monday, October 13, 2003

The Mindful Thief.

Mmm, hey, I was dozing off at work last night, and I kept having this same little dream. It was kind of like series of a short movies, with a repeating cast of characters, acting out the same scene over and over again. (I think to infinity, but it's so hard to tell in dreams, you know?)

A man was fleeing from the police down the rain-soaked coast of British Columbia in a stolen Lincoln Continental. The moon wrung its heady light onto the windshield and it streamed up the glass in a hundred tiny rivers as the long car sped down the murky highway. All at once, it skidded to a stop beneath a dark canopy of trees, which stood wringing the contents of their luscious leaves upon its steaming hood. The man vaulted from the car, covering his head with his jacket, and squelched through the mud between the clusters of big rigs; he was making his way toward an inviting truck stop in the distance. Once inside, shivering and sodden, the man collected a coffee, black, from the obese waitress and settled into a booth with his back against the wall. Nothing to do but wait, he thought, I just don't feel safe driving in this weather.

Thursday, October 9, 2003

So, the dream:

I'm driving across the flatlands of southern Alberta in a big gold convertible beneath the blazing sun. It's over ninety degrees, and dusty as hell. I'm dreaming, I think. In the back seat reclines a kooky girl in a brightly printed sundress; her slender legs - dancer's legs - are kicked up over the headrest of the passenger seat, distracting me. Glancing at her feet, I realize I'm driving with only one shoe on and I turn to the girl saying, "We'll talk about this in the next town." She just throws her head back and laughs maniacally, tossing her tousled hair in the wind. It's true; I know that we might never get there. Instead we'll drive, endlessly, across this wasteland of the mind.

Like all dreams, I have no idea what this means.


I had this dream. I won't say that it was a strange dream, because something about that sounds redundant to me, but it was a dream nonetheless.

First of all, I was having the worst trouble getting to sleep. The word "it's" was really starting to bother me. It just kind of popped into my head and I realized that "it's" is a contraction for two different sets of words, "it is" and "it has". It momentarily blew my mind that I had not thought of this before, and I wanted answers damn it!

After thinking about it some, I found that I would never use "it's" for "it has" in any of my writing, but I use it freely in speech.

[NOTE: If this is putting you to sleep, get out now and don't look back. This is exactly the kind of boring crap that I think about, and that, apparently, keeps me awake at night.]

Playing around with it in my head, I found that "it's" for "it has" is not as versatile as "it's" for "it is". For instance you could not use "it's" in the following sentence: "It has eight legs." So, "it's" as a contraction for "it has" is only acceptable when the "has" is part of a verb. Interesting.

Then, playing around with it some more, I discovered that it can be even more versatile in other ways - you can use the contraction for other pronouns as well, as in "she's a really good friend."

The plot was thickening. I immediately jumped out of bed to pursue some answers.

I checked, first, the Oxford English Dictionary to make sure that both uses were acceptable. Turns out that they are indeed.

"it's contraction of

- it is: it's my fault.
- it has: it's been a hot day"

Couldn't really find much else with a standard Google search, but just knowing that the good ol' OED was on my side, helped me rest easier.

But, I decided that I still won't use said contraction for "it has" in any of my writing. And, as an aside, for formal writing it's best to expand all contractions, then there's no worries.

Wow, that turned out to be longer than expected. I think I'll save the dream for another post.

Wednesday, October 8, 2003


I never thought I'd do it. In fact, I swore that I never would. But, alas, I was inspired by my friend, Joel. So, I've started a blog.

Now, I thought for sure that all blogs were tacky, trite, and angst-ridden - in fact, I thought that it was a requirement - but lately I've been proven wrong. They have their uses.

I suppose.

So here it is - everything that I care to show you.