Friday, November 28, 2003

Haiku for today.

Leaning across the table
An old drunk's ranting-
Selling ideas

Wednesday, November 26, 2003


Last night I was wandering down Queen Street feeling somewhat paranoid. I'm not sure if it was the medication, or possibly the eerie atmosphere - the ice crystals in the frigid air, the skyscrapers shrouded in fog, the heavily bundled human-like figures - but I was feeling paranoid. Like I was going to be set up. Like I was going to pass the yawning mouth of an alley, and some mysterious shadow was going to push a rifle and some polaroids into my arms while slipping a copy of The Catcher in the Rye into my coat pocket.

I was reminded of a dream at this time, a dream that caused me great concern while I slept, but was forgotten upon waking. I was being chased down a darkened alley, (which in and of itself is not unusual), but this time I got caught. A powerful man grabbed at me about the shoulders and, struggling, I was turned around to face him. I don't remember the details of his person, but he thrust a large roll of paper into my hands.

"I think this might be yours," he said, and turned on his heel before walking away.

Hungrily unrolling the scroll, I found it to be a blueprint for my life. Somehow I wasn't surprised, and thought to myself, I suppose all things created must have plans.

The plans were for what appeared to be a large manor house, and I soon realised that it was a house designed without doors - only windows. Displeased, I looked to the corner of the sheet and found the architect's stamp there. I immediately set out to phone him, using the contact information provided.

After listening to my complaint, the architect replied, "Yes, well, it's all the rage in design these days - no way in, no way out. Perfection."

After this, the call was disconnected. Slamming down the receiver, I only succeeded in waking myself up.

Haiku for today.

One beer turned to five-
Tuned my E string to E flat
Collecting empties

Kim's Shiny New Haiku.

Each day she jogs-
Purple pants in the morning
Breath freezing in air

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Sitcom Blues

On screen you come across as perfection - a dream.
I schedule my time around you,
An admirer unseen.
Static couldn't keep us apart,
I'd wait for you in our half-hour slot
- On screen.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Haiku for today.

One more year older
Or so I'm told anyhow
Still feel the same

Monday, November 17, 2003

Haiku for today.

Seen this autumn day
Blurry through my clouds of breath-
Flashing blue and red

Saturday, November 15, 2003


I'm adrift on a makeshift raft.
The sky is completely black
But for the tiny pin-pricks of stars.
The deep green sea
Is illuminated from beneath.
(Like I'm floating on liquid emerald.)

Haiku for today.

On this cold fall night
The moon appears in a hole
Torn through the dark clouds

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Haiku for today.

Popped from my toaster
On this less than perfect day
A half-cooked waffle

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Haiku for today.

One bird, then two more
Land at my feet and look up
Waiting for the crumbs

Monday, November 10, 2003

Haiku for today.

In the dark of night
The words of Wordsworth and Keats
Cannot help me sleep

Thursday, November 6, 2003

Ether Here or There

I can't sleep. I just lie here, awake, thinking and drawing up plans. Crazy plans. Plans to build a ladder in my garden up into the sky. This ladder will have a rung for each name of each person who ever walked this planet, for each person in the present, and each person who will exist in the future.

I'll carve each rung myself, see, out of the best possible wood my finances will afford me, fashioning them all with great care to be of equal circumference and length. Finally, I'll ink each rung with a name before placing them, in no particular order, onto the structure. And I'll climb. Each day, I'll climb higher and higher. My idea of space travel.

There's a phone ringing somewhere. As usual, I try to ignore it, but the caller is persistent. Frustrated, I grab up the receiver.

Me: Hello?

Voice: Hi.

Me: Oh, it's you.

Voice: Expecting someone else?

Me: Well, no, but there's hope.

Voice: I see. So, having trouble sleeping?

Me: Uh huh. Especially now.

Voice: So what thoughts are consuming you tonight?

Me: I can work it out on my own.

Voice: Now let's be honest with each other-

Me: Can we be another way?

Voice: Ha! That's good. Right, so let's start...

Me: Argh. You really irk me, you know that? I'm thinking about the Universe. Okay? And I'm trying to wrap my mind around infinity.

Voice: And have you come up with any Earth shattering revelations?

Me: Not exactly. The best I can tell is that there must be multiple Universes. I just can't explain it though. How can there be more than one Universe? Isn't the universe everything?

Voice: No, but I know that it's easy for somebody to think that way, that is, until you train yourself to think otherwise.

Me: What do you mean?

Voice: Ever since William Whewell coined the word scientist-

Me: Argh, I'm not sure I have the time for this, I'm so tired-

Voice: Just here me out. Ever since William Whewell coined the word scientist in 1836, the power has been taken away from the thinker, the philosopher, and given to these humans called scientists with their imperfect math, and lengthy equations with answers that we - the ordinary people - are expected to, and often do, take at face value. This is wrong and, in fact, dangerous. It was mere thinkers, after all, who gave us some of the most important discoveries of our time. It was Newton who deduced his laws of gravity from Kepler's laws - laws that Kepler himself admitted to having guessed at! This being said, I'll try to put my humble ideas about the Universe(s) into words for you.

Me: (groans) All right, shoot.

Voice: Space is, in my mind, a formless and shapeless body, both immeasurably large and immeasurably small. It has no beginning or end, and yet it has both. Space is everything and yet it is less than nothing. The problem with this, and the reason why you are scratching your head right now, is that the human mind is simply not capable of understanding the quintessence of nothing; as it is less than nothing, laws of physics, which all of us, on some level, understand and live by on Earth, are not really the same in space. The first question that may come to mind may be: How can two opposites be true? Namely, how can Space be both everything and less than nothing? The best example I can give for this would be that of a boat sailing on the ocean from Europe to North America; is it not sailing both uphill and downhill at the same time?

Me: So, space is a big sphere filled with nothing?

Voice: Yes and no.

Me: Of course.

Voice: Nothing is something too.

Me: I see. Anyway, I need sleep. If space is infinite, then surely its centre is the bed on which I now lie.

Voice: Now you're thinking! Just allow me to finish my thought first. Seemingly empty space would be absolutely perfect if it were not for the cancers that we call Universes. Space is not empty at all but instead filled with unimaginably small (but not infinitely small) particles all precisely the same size and shape, moving in a precisely choreographed fashion, the whole of which we call ether, the fifth element. You can think of it in terms of Space being the 'body' and these particles as being the cells of which the body is comprised. Left in this state, space would be perfect. The trouble arises when one of these particles, an imperfect particle (because nothing can be perfect), mutates and multiplies in much the same way as cancer in a living being, only much more quickly. Now, this said, I will also add that this may not be the only cancer (see: Universe) growing in the vastness of space and, indeed, there are most likely others; others of different shapes and sizes, others of different ages, just others. Universes within universes? Why not?

Me: Now, I know you enjoy passing ambiguity and obscurity off as intelligence and wit, but you have to know that it doesn't work on me...

Voice: I don't have any idea what you're on about.

Me: Hmm...

Voice: Well, I can't have answers for everything. I'm doing my best.

Me: So how many Universes are there you figure? An infinite number?

Voice: The number is impossible to calculate, but if you were to-

Me: Umm...

Voice: Yes?

Me: I'm going to resume trying to sleep.

Voice: Well, erm, alright, tomorrow I'll let you in on my current calcula-

I hang up the phone, and fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.

Tuesday, November 4, 2003

Ray of Sunshine

"What do you suppose happens during the unremembered portions of dreams?" an unidentified voice asks - hesitantly, slightly waveringly - from somewhere in a small, dimly lit psychiatrist's office. A ray of sunlight filters in from between the curtains, through the dust hanging in the air, and finds its way to a cluttered desk.

We look around the room and see all the typical trappings of a middle-aged doctor; a wall of bookshelves, crammed full, certificates on the wall, a pipe resting on the desk - a curl of smoke reaching out and up. There's a definite air of ordered disorder in the room.

"Well, I suppose anything or nothing at all could be happening." An English accent, a wizened voice comes from beneath the grey handlebar moustache of Dr Carl Steven Irish Sinclair - just Irish to his friends. We see him now, encased in a white linen suit, lounging behind his great, ebony-topped desk - his elbows resting on the arms of an immense leather padded chair, his fingertips pressed into a steeple before him.

Twitch of the moustache. "So, tell me, have your, erm, dreams improved since our last rendezvous."


"Dreams," the tired, anonymous voice floats into the air joining the dust particles in hovering around the small room, "always running - running - chasing someone - something?" Fragments of speech broken from a thought not quite understood.

A sigh.

Dr Sinclair stirs in his seat. "And these dreams, they’re still troubling you?"

Dead silence. We can almost hear particles of dust floating, bumping into one another as they dance, spiralling through the air.

"I - I hate sleeping."

Monday, November 3, 2003

Haiku for today.

Autumn taxi-cab
Painted yellow, orange and brown
Crunches to my curb

Rat Guy

Every day, I walk by him - Rat Guy. You've probably seen him. Oily olive trenchcoat, thick spectacles, long greasy hair, matted beard. He wiles away the days, months, and years on a rickety lawn chair on the corner by city hall. He reads a lot - sci-fi mostly. Every day, I walk by and read his sign: OUT OF HOME AND WORK. He's been in the same spot for at least two years. Isn't that home? He nods to me each morning, his eyes darting from his novel to me, then back again to his book. My MP3 player acts as a ward against conversation, and I pass on by, sneaking a look into his change box. As far as I can tell, he makes out quite well. Isn't that work? Sort of?

This morning I've got no music - dead batteries. As I approach Rat Guy, we both start evaluating the situation. He notices that I have no music, that my ears are free. I notice that he's yakking on a cell phone. I find this odd considering that he's also feeding a family of rats. There's about six of them. Multi-coloured dependents. They sit obediently on his arm in a line. I toss him a quick smile, and as I'm about to pass, he puts his dirty palm over the mouthpiece of his phone and asks, "spare any change, sir?"

I don't even think, I just stop right there on the sidewalk, flabbergasted. "What! You're talking on a cell phone," I exclaim, "I don't even have a cell phone, how can you possibly afford one?"

He just gazes at me through grimy lenses. He pulls the phone further away from his mouth. "Hey man," he says to me, "as long as my rats are kept fed, what business is it of yours how I spend my money?"

And there's so much wrong with that statement, that I can't be bothered to even respond. I just shake my head and carry on my way. For sure I'm going to purchase some batteries.

Sunday, November 2, 2003

Haiku for today.

Young raindrops run down
Dying leaves of yellow-brown
Knowing not their fate

Conversation: avec du fromage

ALISTAIR: I need something - something to take away from all of this. This can't all be for nothing.
NIKOLETTE: Damn it, Alistair! Do you have to find the prize in everything?
ALISTAIR: What else is there?
-Nikolette stands in silence, her arms crossed over her chest, staring out across the ocean.
ALISTAIR (CONT'D): I just know we'll never see each other again...
NIKOLETTE (turning to Alistair): And how could we, Alistair? Considering everything-
ALISTAIR: Exactly. So say my name.
NIKOLETTE (in disbelief): What?
ALISTAIR: Just once more, say my name.
NIKOLETTE: I - I don't understand.
ALISTAIR: I know that our love was short-lived, but I want you to leave with my name on your lips.
ALISTAIR: The way your image haunts my mind when you leave a room, the way your scent clings to my clothes when you're far away, the way your taste lingers on my tongue when you pull your mouth from mine, so it is that I want my name to rest on your lips when you say goodbye.
NIKOLETTE (looking away): I can't.
ALISTAIR: You can. It is but a simple word, a meaningless sound, invisible waves that flow from your mouth-
ALISTAIR: -to my waiting ears.
NIKOLETTE: Good bye, Alistair.
-And with that, she walks off down the boardwalk, not looking back.
-Alistair makes no attempt to stop her, but, instead, smiles as he watches the darkness envelope her.