Thursday, December 30, 2004


You don't fit in. Well, let’s face it, you don't – and it bothers you. No matter how hard you try to convince yourself that you don’t care, no matter how many times you tell yourself that you don’t need to conform - that you’re unique, that you’re one of a kind, that you’re an individual - it still hurts you to know that others look at you differently.

You try to push those feelings aside, but they creep up on you. They bubble up from the depths of your unconscious, oozing out through cracks in the thin skin of your seeming. Infected, you scratch and scratch, but the rash of insecurity spreads. It’s in your walk, your talk, the way you part your hair. You are unsure of yourself – and it shows.

You wonder if anybody else can tell, and I wonder that you even have to ask. Of course they can – they feel it, too. That self-doubt, that dubiety. High-powered businesswoman that she is, even your neighbour feels it. It lives in those feelings of apprehension she has when she wears a new suit for the first time – all day long she thinks about her ass, and whether or not it looks big in black. Your doctor queries his decision to wear his new shoes - he’s distracted all day as he wonders if they make him walk funny. The cable guy is embarrassed by the stain on his shirt, the priest feels that his robes might be a little too short, and the dentist doesn’t like her complexion under fluorescent lighting.

No, you don’t fit in - it’s true. But none of us do, really. And fancy yourself to be unique all you like, but you’re really just like every other person on earth: chockfull of self-doubt, brimming with insecurity, overflowing with uncertainty.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

rat race

The crystalline skyline of a city is what defines it. It’s what draws a person in or pushes them away. Makes them stay or makes them go. Inspires or impedes. It grows slowly, almost unnoticeably, like a mould, a fungus - a cancer, certainly. The buildings awaken and push themselves out of the earth. They stand around in groups gossiping for centuries, telling each other secrets and spreading rumours, which trickle down to the masses and mutate, turning into folk tales and urban myths. The skyscrapers rise out of the ground to become glass monuments, our tributes to wealth, to greed, intemperance, and hedonism. They’re mysterious places - places the poor will never enter, and the rich will never leave.

More teeming than populated. More crawling than teeming. More infested than crawling. Yes, the cities are truly infested with life forms. Millions of humans inhabit these cities, from the destitute poor who inhabit the streets to the better off poor living in the projects. From the more adventurous students living in the bohemian downtown neighbourhoods to the homogenous middle class contentedly tucked away in their safe suburbs. From the rich secured in gated communities to the superrich encased high up in their glass towers. They’re all there. Somewhere.

Feral cats fight with rats for control over a pile of stuffed garbage bags in Chinatown. One pack of rabid dogs squares off against another in an age-old contest of dominance – at one time it was over a certain glade known to be the primo spot for scavenging; now it’s an alley known for the same. It’s ravens against crows, gulls against pigeons. The black squirrels versus the brown. Everyone trying to get ahead. Or at least stay afloat. Somewhere in the city, a neon Coke sign blinks out and in its place a Pepsi sign flashes to life. Not even the more civilised humans can resist the eternal struggle.

The corporations desperately guard their secrets with layer upon layer of bureaucracy. There are forms to fill out forms, charts to explain charts, procedures on the proper way to describe procedures, and spreadsheets to keep all of this in order. Rules, regulations, and guidelines ensure smooth boardroom meetings. Customs, manners, and etiquette ensure smooth lunchroom lunches. Workers are hidden away within a labyrinth of drywall and drop-ceilings, decaying slowly under row upon row of fluorescent lights. Cameras are everywhere, watching, unblinking.

When she leaves at the end of the day, the typical worker scans her hand to log herself out of the system and record her hours. Then she uses her pre-programmed pass-card to exit the building. Her security clearance allows her to open certain doors, and prevents her from entering certain others. Not that she’d even try, though – she knows better than to try to break the rules. She uses her pass-card to take the elevator to the company exit in the basement, and the door opens, revealing the subway platform. Everything has been designed for ease of use, for convenience, and for safety.

No longer are the Haves required to venture outdoors in the city and interact with the Have-nots. No longer are the Haves required to venture outdoors in the city and risk becoming a statistic. No longer are the Haves required to venture outdoors. Everything a Have could want is inside. She just follows the skywalk, crossing from her building to the one beside it for some lunch. She can simply walk through the corridors beneath the towers to get from corporation A to corporation F – that is, if her security clearance enables her to do so. The typical worker rides the train out to her suburb, gets into her automobile, and drives the remaining five minutes to her house. Then she watches some television, sleeps, wakes up, and has the same day all over again. Her life has been designed for ease of use, for convenience, and for safety.

She’s protected from the Have-nots: the Asian gangs fighting over drugs in the downtown core, the Russian gangs fighting over guns down by the harbour, assorted black gangs fighting over territory in the projects, and French, Irish, Italian, and Greek gangs trying to get a foot in the door. She’s protected from the pimps, hookers, and johns perpetuating their symbiotic relationship in the only way they know how, the junkies and pushers dancing their everlasting rhumba, and the homeless trying to keep ahead in an increasingly cutthroat industry. She’s protected from the club-kids and ravers, drunken pub-crawling students, and boozy suburban tourists out for a night on the town. She’s protected from murderers and rapists, muggers and pickpockets, burglars and carjackers, and other assorted rapscallions and vagabonds.

Most importantly, she’s protected from herself.

Thursday, December 23, 2004


How does it all end? This epic, this saga, this poem in three canticles - this simple story - how does it end?

You see two selves - one who spends her days chasing fantasies, pursuing these chimaera through dark and light, never quite catching them. Glimpsing, every now and then, these spectral beasts - whom she accepts as truth - she goes off running, chasing them again and again, only to find herself forever reaching a dead end. She ends her days cynical and alone.

The other self spends her days acquiring pieces of the puzzle. She's educated, she's got a job which challenges her, a husband who loves her, a home which comforts her, and a child who worships her. She accomplished all of this by letting go of those chimaera. Those fantasies, those spectres, those dreams. She turned her back on childhood fancies, on goals which any fool could have told her were unattainable. She settled, and she, too, ends her days cynical and alone.

So, what then?

In an entry from Leon Trotsky's Diary in Exile, dated April 3, 1935, Trotsky had this to say:

"Life is not an easy matter... You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness."

Of course, great ideas can't stop a Soviet agent from plunging an ice pick into the base of your skull (which is precisely what happened to Trotsky just five years after his writing this), but having a great idea, a passion, can certainly give your life substance.

Yes, it all comes back to passions, and it's funny that the idea of passions (or lack thereof) is now brought to my mind, just as it was nearly one year ago today. On Monday, December 29, 2003, I wrote of my envy for passionate people:
Impassioned people fascinate me. Even if they're passionate about something that the rest of the world finds dreadfully dull, it's the very state of impassionment [which] intrigues.

Today, a year later, I can add to it, this: An impassioned person is easily envied because her life certainly has meaning and substance thus significance. Her passion provides a focus, and gives hope that there is more to her story than her self.

And this is all one really needs.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The cool breeze

The cool breeze blows on him, too. That writer you love - that whatshisname - he walks down a street similar to yours, the cool breeze chilling him, freezing his lungs, his breath. The cold tightens his aging hands, those same hands which type those words, those beautiful words - those words which you love. He's muttering to himself, firming up a new dialogue. The words hang in the air, frozen, each a perfect cloud of vapour.

He tucks his chin into his scarf, much like you do, pulls his hat down over his ears, and tightens his coat around his frail failing body. He fantasises of Tuscan beaches, of lying in the sand, of too blue skies and emerald waters. He's struggling to keep afloat in the deep end of a Canadian winter.

Stopping by his favourite pub, the writer - whom you love so much - orders up a pint of beer and some inspiration for lunch. He tips the familiar waitress, raises that pint to his lips, and looks out the window, watching the wind carry huge snowflakes by. The very same snowflakes you watched whip by your apartment window just moments earlier.

Ah, beautiful melancholy - not to be experienced alone. Yes, the cool breeze blows on him, too. That writer you love - that whatshisname.

Friday, December 17, 2004


She followed me there, to that small spot between close and closer. We didn’t have to go far, then – just a lot of words, really, to say we hugged. More embraced than hugged, I suppose - hugging being something the experts do, and something neither of us has ever been good at. But we try, don’t we? For now, though, we’ll call it an embrace.

It’s like this that you find us, then, all maladroitly wrapped up in each other’s arms; an arm under when it’s supposed to be over, hips mashed awkwardly together at uncomfortable angles, each face trying to look at the other but the controlling shoulders to tense to allow this action to take place comfortably.

“You are an extraordinarily good hugger,” I lie, hoping to put a quick end to this absurd feat.

Instead, I’m pulled closer.

“I’ve never really understood that word – extraordinary. Two words, really, extra and ordinary. Doesn’t that mean I’m a particularly ordinary hugger?”

“No.” The word is almost squeezed out of me, and I’m thinking this might, in fact, be the never-ending embrace. “It comes from the Latin extraordinarius. From extra, meaning outside, and ordo, or ordin, meaning order. So, really, your hug is outside of order - or ordinary.

Tighter. I can no longer breathe.

You’re bored of this conversation, this embrace, and as you walk away I’m vowing never to do this again. This hugging, this embracing, this clasping, grasping, squeezing. This clinching.

Freer than you or I,
Snow flies beyond the glass-
She’s not letting go.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Sunday morning thoughts, pre-coffee.


I talk trash; be my compactor.

I think about you, you know. I'm like Kylie Minogue, in that I just can't get you out of my head. Like Dead or Alive, you spin me right 'round, baby. But, like Duran Duran, I don't want your love.

You are the books I've loved and lost.

My first edition of Anne Rice's, Interview with the Vampire - lent to a girlfriend in high school and never returned.

Chuck Palahniuk's, Lullaby - I still have the spot open on my shelf where you'll go when you find your way home.

And perhaps the hardest loss of all, Berkeley's, Three Dialogues - I hardly knew ye.

A beam of sunlight
Falls on the spot where you were-
All that time ago.

Thursday, December 9, 2004


More bottomless than deep. More fathomless than bottomless. More abyssal than fathomless. Yes, abyssal – the lake was abyssal beneath our raft.

It was night then, and our guide paddled quietly, his handcrafted oar gliding, almost whispering, through the water. The lake’s placid waters flawlessly reflected the moonlight, easily doubling our vision in those dark early hours of the morning - 2:36am according to my watch. But I knew my watch to be suspect, as I had forgotten to which time zone it was set. It mattered little anyhow.

There were three of us crowded onto the raft: the guide – a local I had borrowed from a local village, myself, and a visiting professor called Frum, Frumb, or Frumm. My notes for that day provide little in the way of certainty, as I have him noted as all three on those pages. It was a trying time.

As I peered ahead to the canopy of trees near which we were to land, Professor Frum (I refer to him as such simply because it is one less letter) leaned closer to me and whispered, “The stars,” and he gestured skyward, “the stars are amazing.”

I caught a look from the guide, who had warned us at the beginning of the trip to be completely silent, and I followed the Professor’s finger skyward. The stars were indeed gorgeous, as they always are were at this latitude; huge and bright - twinkling. I turned and smiled at Frum, noting the excitement on his face. I knew, then, that it was his first here.

And I couldn’t help but feel a little sad for him, then.

Tuesday, December 7, 2004


We had this thing about prophecies. More dreams than prophecies. More visions than dreams. Yes, visions - we had this thing about visions.

An old raft rocking on the ocean, nothing but the sound of waves lapping in our ears. The smell of salt in our noses – its taste burned on our tongues. The feelings of hunger, thirst, and the too hot sun turning our hides a brilliant pink, then brown. We don’t make it.

Now, a tunnel and the smell of earth and rot. Darkness, and the weighty feeling of inescapability. We scramble around frantically, hoping to find a way out, all the while accusing one another of getting us lost. Fingertips raw and bloody. We don’t make it.

We’re falling, but we don’t know from where. Having reached terminal velocity, we’re plummeting side by side, still arguing. Someone must take the blame. We’re both waiting to hit the ground. Talking, falling, talking, falling. We don’t m

Friday, December 3, 2004



A snowstorm in the mountains-
Thin winding roads
In a truck with no heat.


Batteries need alternators.
No mechanic
Needs to tell me that.


A long flat drive,
But no complaints from me
Since it was uneventful.


The trip is almost done.
Six days on the road-
Only three hours left.

Monday, November 22, 2004


There's a greatness, a certain prodigiousness, that radiates from all genius. It's in their eyes - a liveliness, a type of burning, which, once witnessed, is never forgotten.

It's been said that women could not resist Picasso's stare, that his gaze bored into others with thunderous intensity.

Before the syphilis made him crazy, there was a volcanic glow which burned behind Nietzsche's eyes.

Dr. Henry Abrams, Einstein's opthamologist, has been quoted as saying of the physicist: "When you look into his eyes, you're looking into the beauties and mysteries of the world." In fact, he liked them so much that he removed Einstein's eyes during the autopsy in 1955.

I feel like I could expand on this idea further, but, after a weekend of excesses, my brain is not functioning to capacity.

Went to our going away party on Saturday - had way too much fun. My sleep that night/day was riddled with dreams of this wasteland, of sorts. I was looking at my brain as this large windswept prairie: sand dunes with tufts of brown grass sprouting from the top, telephone lines are broken and billowing from decaying wooden poles, tumbleweeds blow by. But for the wind, it's all silent. Occasionally, I get the sense that a giant plug is being pulled somewhere, power is lost, synapses being widened.

There are areas of deadness. Somewhere, something has been destroyed.

I'm in a dilapidated mansion now, and I'm terribly afraid that the whole world will soon be powerless. As I run from room to room, the lights are being shut down all around me. I'm frantic. I'm chasing the last bit of electricity. I see myself lying in bed now, and I can both feel and see the muscles twitching in my body.

I wake up at this point and my mouth is so dry I can not swallow. I reach for the real glass of water beside my bed and lift it, trembling, to my lips.

I'm weak. I have been running all night.

Friday, November 19, 2004


So today you're officially old - in your eyes anyway, the only eyes that really matter. 29. Jesus, you can't even lie and say you're in your mid-twenties anymore. No, 29 is for sure late-twenties.

And when I say late-twenties I mean old.

You're uncomfortable with being this age. When did adulthood start, anyway? Did you miss it? Was it 18? 21? Now, at 29, you still don't consider yourself an adult. And it's not one of those lame things where you intentionally avoid labeling yourself an adult for the sake of hanging onto your long-spent youth. No, you honestly still think yourself to be a kid.

Your banker, the guy who tells you what to buy and when, he's an adult. He's got a few nice suits, he leaves his home in the suburbs each morning, and drives to work in his new Lexus. He's got a plan for your life because you clearly don't. He's 24.

A friend of yours is dating a new guy. He's really great, she says, he's a graphic designer, owns a condo downtown. He's divorced, he's got a kid - he's 29. Almost thirty, you say, unable to hide your disbelief, you're dating a guy who's almost thirty!? You mock, but you've forgotten that you, too, are almost 30. One year away.

But you can't possibly be an adult, right? Sure, you're married and that's all fine and good, but adults have adult trappings - things like careers, kids, and property. A spacious house with a nice lawn, cutlery that's all from the same set, drinking glasses that you didn't steal from a bar. Important things. Real things?

So, 29 - not even a milestone year. A nothing year. A year that only brings you closer to the Final Mystery.

But not at all closer to being an adult.

Thursday, November 18, 2004


What do 500 books look like? Well, when you're moving they look like fourteen cardboard boxes. Fourteen heavy cardboard boxes that you have to walk down three flights of stairs. Fourteen heavy cardboard boxes that you have to load into a cube van (properly, to prevent shifting). Fourteen heavy cardboard boxes that you have to drive across the country (destroying any hope of getting even decent mileage). Fourteen heavy cardboard boxes that you then have to unload, carry into your new place, unpack, and put on the shelves (in a very particular order because you're such a giant freak).

Why do you keep them? Jerry asked this exact question in an episode of Seinfeld titled "The Ex-Girlfriend" back in 1991:

"What is this obsession people have with books? They put them in their houses like they're trophies. What do you need it for after you read it?"

So why can't you part with them? You've read them all, were inspired by them or not, made your notes when you felt the need, and put them on shelves (in a very particular order because you're such a giant freak). Approximately 80% of the books are never looked at again, so why not get rid of them? Give them to someone who will read them, who will put them on his shelf (in a very particular order because he's such a giant freak), who will never look at them again.

Perhaps you keep that set of Piers Anthony's Xanth novels to remind you of your awkward early teens. Maybe that motley assortment of occult books reminds you of your late teens, of a time when life still held mysteries. It was Fitzgerald who inspired you in your early twenties, and maybe that's why you keep a dozen of his books around. Your mid-twenties were filled with the works of Canadian authors, authors like Mordecai Richler, Timothy Findley, and Margaret Atwood - this might explain the large collection of Canadiana. And now, now into your late twenties? You're amassing a new assortment of books. Books written by authors with one name: Borges, Kafka, Beckett, Calvino, Yourgrau, Ballard.

And the books pile up. Perhaps next time you move you'll have twenty boxes. Thirty? Your wife tells you to quit buying books, that you're obsessed. You tell her you can't stop, and ask her why should you. You read them all, right? You pass a used-book shop and you can not resist the urge to stop in. Have a look around. They might have that book you've been looking everywhere for, that last Yourgrau book to complete your collection. It really has been elusive. You stop in, start in the Y section, and find that you're out of luck.

You do, however, find that Berkeley book you've been thinking about - for only three dollars! And you couldn't possibly pass up those two Robert Anton Wilson books - where would you ever find them again at that price?

You go home and, because you're moving, put them in a box.

The box serves a dual purpose:

1. It will carry these books to your new location.
2. It will temporarily hide your sickness from your wife.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Haiku for today.

The clatter of pigeons' feet
on a rusty roof.
So it is, your voice.


To: Conscious
From: Unconscious
Date: 16.11.04
Re: Organizational Changes

Dear _____,

You can never be an artist, but only attempt to become one. To live a life of arts is to live life in a state of perpetual becoming, akin to walking an endless road, but more like falling forever.

Take a look at the following three incidents:

1. At an opening last year, you met the famous artist, OH. While he shook your hand, OH leaned in close and said: I have seen your work - beautiful. You are very talented. The way you handle a knife - the way you can turn mountains into perfect geometrical shapes (and such clean lines!) with the blade - that is where your talent lies. It is your thing. He smiled, you smiled, and you released hands. The next day you obsessed over what he said. But what of my brushwork?, you asked yourself repeatedly, he didn't mention my brushwork! And from that point forward, you almost quit the knife, using it instead as a tool, and only when necessary. You can't be happy being great at something. No, you have to try to be great at everything. Your lines are not so clean anymore.

2. A colleague, a friend, once said of your writing: You have this way of writing the sick, the depressed, the lonely, that makes me really believe them. While reading your work I feel disconnected, detached, almost completely separated from my own emotions. I become a character in your story, lost and alone, too. You wouldn't speak to this friend for months. You couldn't. You blocked her on MSN, you couldn't return her calls, you left her email unanswered. You were working on a story filled with happiness. You'd show her - next time you spoke you'd have something really sunny for her to read. The characters wouldn't have addictions, wouldn't live alone - they would live contented lives filled with purpose and meaning. You wrote the story, but never showed it to the friend. And I just have to tell you - it stinks, don't show it to anyone.

3. While a passenger in a friend's car one day, one of your songs came on the stereo. You groaned and tried to change it, but he blocked all attempts. You were forced to listen. You turned your head, and watched through the window as the fields zipped by, and all the while your head was filled with anger and criticism. criticism for something you created. Something you were satisfied with enough to record. To make eternal. The mixing is all wrong, you thought, the vocals not loud enough, the drums sound like shit, the rhythm guitar is way too loud. Your little internal tantrum was interrupted by the end of the song, and your friend saying: I still find it hard to believe that's you. I mean, I heard it a few times before without even making the connexion. You're just usually so quiet, you know? It's really good! Catchy! At this, the little dictionary in your head started working. Good. Better than average. Well, that's just not good enough for you.

No, you will never be satisfied. You live in a world where compliments are something to be feared. You reject them. To create a work that everybody likes means that you are reaching an end. The pinnacle of your talent. And you fear that. It is far easier to hear criticism. It means you still have further to go. But you don't know that this road has no end.

You are falling, but there is nothing to break the fall.




Friday, November 12, 2004


Come on over. We'll pretend you never met those others, you never moved away, we never got older. We'll listen to Left and Leaving, put that first song on repeat - we'll hear it like we used to. I'll bring you a beer. Remember when we used to drink right out of the bottle?

You've become too metropolitan for that now.

I hear from others the sort of person you've become: hiding behind mod glasses and camouflaged in argyle, collecting obscure bands, wielding witty quotations like combat knives, ready to strike at the slightest provocation. What type of life is this? Good God, I hear you actually have a cardigan with elbow patches.

You're destined to live out the rest of life in the cluttered aisles of nearly-new record stores, between the towering shelves of used-book shops, and amid the disorganised racks of sweater-vests in second-hand clothing outlets.

More collecting than gathering. More amassing than collecting. More hoarding than amassing. Yes, hoarding, you're hoarding possessions. Other people's possessions, other people's belongings, other people's lives.

Accouterments signaling a distinct lack of self-knowledge.

You're wearing another's clothes. Listening to another's music. Speaking another's words. Thinking another's thoughts.

But it's not too late.

Come on over. We'll watch terrible movies, not films, but movies like Animal House and Spaceballs. We'll wear our shoes in the house, just like we used to, and put them right up on the coffee table. We'll eat chips out of the bag - remember when we used to eat chips right out the bag? - and we'll read Archie Comics because we don't care about impressing anyone with our intellect. No one.

And you'll leave that stupid sweater at the door.

The one with those pretentious elbow patches.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004


It's Ali vs. Clay
Both pummeling away
A champ always fights themself


More aloof than remote. More detached than aloof. More steely than detached. Yes, steely, he's steely. The man has a steely manner about him. New gunmetal-grey suit of a rather severe cut, no hint of pin-striping which might imply some sense of originality; cold steel-framed glasses hover in front of an expressionless face: emotionless.

He's rigid in his chair, an office chair of a startlingly austere style, sitting directly across from me, waiting, waiting, waiting for me to answer the first question. The atmosphere in the office is static - my silence is barely being tolerated.

The windowless office, incommodious space as it is, seems to exist for the sole purpose of exaggerating my opponent's sterile nature. Nothing adorns its white, white walls, but a single solitary clock, directly behind me, or, depending on how you choose to look at things, directly in front of him. Nothing sits upon the plain stainless steel desk but an ancient black rotary telephone. Nothing is in the wastepaper basket.

Soon Suspension, Anticipation, Expectation, and Impatience all crowd into the room with us, jostling, bumping, nudging, shouldering. It's cramped. A bead of sweat breaks out on my forehead - makes a run for my chin via the side of my face.

The man waits, silently he waits. I have forgotten the question.

We sit like this, arrested, until I wake up.

Monday, November 8, 2004


He's leaving his silhouette behind - from this point forward it is all you will have to know. He's retreating deeper into that echoing cavern - his intellect, his self - and he's shrinking back from the infected touch of his fellow man.

The subway is death.
Too many people-
Advertising overdose.

Something in him, however, prevents him from disappearing completely - he chooses to leave a window open. The window is open so that you may look in, but you are only to see what he chooses. He busies himself with erecting elaborate sets, staging plays, getting the lighting just right. You're seeing a fiction of sorts. A show. And you are the audience.

How much do you know?
He hides best when in full view,
Wearing someone else.

Does it matter if you never know what is real? Who he really is? Some words come to mind: impostor, deceiver, liar, cheat. Actor. What if he no longer knows? What if something, someone, is so carefully counterfeited, forged - no, simulated - that it, he, is indistinguishable from the original? The integrity of the archetype is totally undermined. He's fooled himself. What, then?

He's slipping away
To the other side of here,
Never to be found.

Climb through that window. Slap him around a bit. Tell him that he's full of shit, that he's not fooling anybody but himself. Knock down the set, rip up the stage, and smash out those lights. In the darkness all is revealed.

No silhouette.

Saturday, November 6, 2004

Haiku for today.

A schoolgirl sits,
Leaves falling at her feet-
The park bench will outlast her.

Thursday, November 4, 2004

a day

3 hours, 15 minutes ago:

I pull myself out of bed, wash my face, and feel sorry for myself as I realise that upon waking I'm still bothered by cat allergies. Toothbrush in mouth, I reach down to pet said cat and he punches my hand away; he's not being incredibly nice to me lately, and I'm thinking: is this worth it?

3 hours, 5 minutes ago:

I'm making breakfast - a Monterey Jack omelet, side of bacon, and coffee. I have never eaten an omelet as good as mine. When it comes to omelets there is no room for modesty. Mine rule. All others pale in comparison.

2 hours, 45 minutes ago:

I'm lounging in the brown leather armchair within reach of my bookshelves. I have Dostoevsky's The Idiot open in my lap. I've read it before, so I'm not truly into it - more daydreaming instead. It's raining outside, and there's a TV on somewhere in my flat. Regis and Kelly. I can make out Regis' voice from here.

1 hour, 55 minutes ago:

I'm sitting in the sun room drinking a coffee and watching the rain through the window. The odd car drives by, but nobody is on the street. I'm thinking about getting older. I turn 29 this month. Things change as you age. Your coffee gets blacker, your steak get rarer, and you sit in the back of taxis rather than in the front.

40 minutes ago:

I'm sitting at the computer looking at the news. There is talk that Arafat might be dead. From another room, the TV tells me that George Bush is holding a press conference about something else. I can make out Bush's voice from here.


I'm still sitting at my computer; I'm procrastinating. I have a lot to do, but am finding other things to do instead. Things like thinking about old commercials. Where's the beef! a wise woman once exclaimed. And, indeed, where is the beef? Baudrillard says that it no longer exists. Berkeley says that it never did. And Derrida - well Derrida says that it exists only in that sentence and nowhere else.

Where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction, George?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


You're doing what I want to be doing. You're living my life, driving my car, writing my blog. You're content with the illusion of freedom; I've fallen and I can't get up.

To exist today is to be lost. You know this.

You are too free. Part of an entire generation of apathetic, do-nothing twentysomethings. Things were better when you had no choice - even just fifty years previous. If your father was a doctor, you became a doctor. If your mother was a midwife, you became a midwife. If they wanted you to do something else, your parents put you through school and told you what you'd become. Now, you can be whatever you choose. So you choose to be nothing.

This is where you are. You've chosen to pursue a life of, what, sentences? Words? Letters? What if all that's left at the end of your life is a body of unfinished work? A collection of half-finished novels, a number of roughed-out stories, a couple pages of disjointed dialogues? Will you have accomplished anything? Will it all have been for nothing?

That fear that lives inside you: that you will never have an idea. That you're playing the wrong slot machine. That someone won big on this very machine right before you sat down, and as soon as you're gone someone will win big again. That there are no ideas waiting for you; that it's simply not your time.

That you will expire long before the idea machine pays out.

Can you ever know if you make the right choices in life, if you live your life properly? Will you know in that last second, right before everything fades to black?

You do not believe life could be so cruel.

And by you I mean I.

Saturday, October 23, 2004


Today stalks and kills Yesterday. Tomorrow, perhaps even more vicious, will dispense of Today in the same cruel manner. Time is an assassin, a murderer, a butcher.

By typing this out I am, in a sense, slipping into the role of butcher, myself. I have destroyed an idea. An idea that should have, perhaps, remained in my head, pure and unsullied. Now, put into type, it is corrupt, contaminated, distorted. What choice did I have though? Should I allow all ideas to remain in my head where they are susceptible to the vicious undoings of Time, allowing them to unravel, deteriorate, and decay as the days, weeks, months, and years slip by?

If only you could have seen her there - my idea, flawless and unclouded, frolicking in the sanctuary of my imagination. She was beautiful, then.

It's a chilly moonlit night, just before the witching hour, and you stand at one end of a crumbling stone bridge. You see two cloaked figures near the other side; one of the figures is walking briskly up behind the other. There's something menacing in his body language. You want to call out a warning, but the water rushing below you, filling your ears, also sweeps away your words.

There's a silvery flash as a blade is drawn from Tomorrow's cloak.

There's a silvery flash as a blade is quickly plunged into the back of Today.

There's a silvery flash as a blade is tossed into the river below.

Moira tosses in her sleep. Tonight she dreams of nothing.

Thursday, October 21, 2004


It's Tuesday, March 30, 1993 - The last day the Canadian dollar peaks above the psychologically important level of US80 cents, until eleven years later on Wednesday, October 20, 2004.

I'm seventeen years old, still living with my folks (until I turn 18 in November), and am about to graduate high school. I won't go to my graduation ceremonies, though, because I do not give a shit. I've got chin-length blonde hair, which I tend to keep tucked behind my ears. Like everybody else in the known universe, I wear flannel shirts, ripped jeans, and Converse High Tops. I drink Big Bear beer ($3.20 for 1.14 litres of %8 alcohol goodness) because it's all I can afford; I don't have a job, because I'm just that cool. I have a curfew of midnight on weekdays, and 1:00am on weekends. The curfew matters little though, as I sneak out of my bedroom window nightly as soon as I enter the house. I'll find out some years later that my parents are well aware of this habit, and that I am not nearly as sneaky as I think I am.

My favourite book is The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. Other important books read this year will include The Anarchist Cookbook, Crime and Punishment, and Bright Lights, Big City.

Nirvana's In Utero has yet to be released, so Bleach, Nevermind, and Incesticide are still regulars on my stereo. Also played are Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Pennywise, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, and Porno for Pyros. At the 1993 American Music Awards, Pearl Jam beats out TLC and Arrested Development for the Favorite Pop/Rock New Artist award. They also beat out Mr. Big and Ugly Kid Joe for the Favorite New Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Artist award. The Favorite New Rap/Hip-Hop Artist award goes to *shudder* Kris Kross.

In the news, on March 1, federal agents besieged the Texas Branch Davidian religious cult. Fifty-one days later, on April 19, the F.B.I. will ambush the compound; the resulting fires will kill Koresh and about 80 of his followers. On March 29, just yesterday, five were arrested for the February bombing of the World Trade Center. Eight years later, in 2001, "they" will succeed in bringing the towers down.

All around it's a decent year for movies, with Dazed and Confused, The Nightmare Before Christmas, So I Married an Axe Murderer, Falling Down, and Groundhog Day being my favourites. In 1994, Tom Hanks will pick up the Best Actor Oscar for Philadelphia, Holly Hunter will take the Best Actress Oscar for The Piano, and Spielberg will take Best Director and Best Picture awards for Schindler's List.

Entry from my journal:

Back from Calgary.

Broke up with XXXXXXXX last night. Well, I suppose "broke up with" might not be the right collection of words - I kind of just left town for the weekend without telling her. My disappearance made her angry enough to initiate a fight with me on my return, which enabled me to present her with the option of a split. She was more than happy to accept, and now I'm free of that nutter. How is it that you can chase a person for years, only to find out when you catch them that they're not right for you at all? It hardly seems fair. I need to learn how to properly break up, that's all. Am I a bad person?

Missed school yesterday, but it really could not be avoided. Sunday night is Cheap Drink Night at the Republic, and lucky for me they don't seem big on the whole IDing thing.

Instead of going to math today, I took a long lunch and went downtown to walk around and drink coffee. Who are the people you pass on the street? Do they all have destinations? Are any of them as lost and lonely as you?

Think I'll call XXXXXXX tonight and see what she's up to. Haven't seen her around for awhile.

XXXX is sick again.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


A romantic's idea: that life is exciting, an adventure, that each day brings something new. And each day does, in fact, bring something new doesn't it? Just as a supermarket restocks its shelves each and every day, filling in bare spots, making all the boxes and cans line up nicely, tidying up the pyramids of oranges and tomatoes, so, too, does life. Sure everything is different - but it's also the same.

Take that half-hour subway trip to work every weekday morning; it may be a different train, but it's an exact replica of all the others you've travelled on. What about your fellow passengers? Different people, to be sure, but do you even notice? Does their uniqueness matter? Think of that tomato pyramid in the supermarket; different tomatoes every day. Same pyramid.

You get to work, (after stopping to pick up a medium coffee, one cream, one sugar, and a muffin. You change things up and get the chocolate chip instead of the bran, and this just might be the most exciting [and, indeed, most important] decision you make today), and you take your place in the sea of cubicles. On your first day of work you were excited to see your cubicle - your own little area! Almost an office! You decided you would personalise it by bringing in pictures of family and pets. You put up a wacky Dilbert calendar. A few motivational posters make their way onto the half-walls. You have a joke coffee mug. Your cubicle has become so very unique that it looks just like all the others.

After work you go out for drinks with some co-workers. You order a beer, a premium beer, in fact, but you order the same beer every day. Sorry, scratch that - different beer, different mug, but it looks and tastes the same as every other beer you've ordered. You don't know it, but the waitress is pouring your drinks as your group walks up the sidewalk. (Between 5:35 and 5:45 each evening.) After a few pints, your group likes to argue politics. You have the same debate every day, and nobody seems to wonder why nothing is ever solved. Nobody ever wins or loses. And nobody cares.

You go home later and eat something prefabricated and showered in microwaves. Then you waste time until you sleep. By wasting time I mean you surf the net, you play computer games, you read books of questionable intellectual value, you watch reality television, and you sit out on your balcony drinking and watching people lead far more interesting lives than you. Sometimes you sit on the couch and do nothing at all.

Ah yes, life is an adventure isn't it? Lately you've been cluing in though; the monotony is finally getting to you. You decide you're going to do something different this year - you're going to the Bahamas. You're getting a package deal. It's just better that way; you don't have to worry about booking your own flight, you don't have to concern yourself with picking out a hotel, and hell, you don't even have to worry about buying your own food or drinks.

A prefab getaway for a prefab person living a prefab life.

That is, until you meet your prefab end.

When you die, your loved ones will order you the #7 funeral special; a nice white-lacquered coffin, (made by the thousand-lot in someplace in the Midwest), and their choice of either the #46, the #33, or the #17 flower arrangements. Of course they'll get to look through some catalogues first to make sure the flower colours complement your box.

Then it's off to your prefab afterlife. Enjoy, sucker!

Monday, October 11, 2004


t's getting late and I'm floating in the nothingness of space somewhere in the 8.5 minutes between the moon and the earth. I can somehow breath yet I'm in a vacuum. Looking at the blue planet from this crazy ether armchair, I'd say I'm looking down, but, as anyone knows, such terms do not apply out here. I'm watching as our planet is being turned inside out. It's like a rotten apple lying beneath a tree, infested with bugs and being eaten from the inside out. For the first time ever, I see it like this. Our bloody planet is rotten - the decomposition being hastened by too many grotesque insects. Too much rock being brought to the surface. Too much oil. Too many fish pulled from the oceans. They're killing everything. A volcano erupts.

I start to panic. I think consciousness will comfort me. Forcing my eyes to open, I immediately take in the deep quiet darkness of the hotel room. There is no comfort here. As I lie awake in bed, three thoughts romp around my mind:

1. I haven't heard a decent song since Johnny Cash died.

2. I haven't had a decent meal since Julia Child died.

3. I haven't had a decent thought since Jacques Derrida died.

Three important Js.

Haiku for today.

Two Pizza Pops and
A bottle of Steam Whistle:
Thanksgiving dinner.

Sunday, October 3, 2004

Haiku for today.

Down a leaf-lined autumn street,
A hung-over stroll.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Haiku for today.

Carefully scripted,
The presidential debates
Accomplish little.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Their Indefinite Substance

Andrea saw the stars as infinity reflected in the inky blackness of her coffee on a moonlit patio. Marcus saw the stars as blurry fabrications - any meaning lost as their light strains through our atmosphere. Both wondered: What colour are the stars when gleaming in the eyes of a lover? But they were not lovers - nor would they ever be.

Lost and alone in the desert a long time ago, Mary de Jesús, Andrea's great-great-grandmother, found the stars at once incredibly useful and painfully not. Out of their indefinite substance she was able to fashion herself shelter, clothing, even companionship. She found though that their light could not provide sustenance. Her body lay beneath the stars barely half a day before becoming buried in the indifferent sand while the stars watched, unfeeling.

Antonio Luis Cardella, Marcus’ great-great-grandfather, was the designer of exquisite hourglasses. He could speak all day of the process he went through to craft his breathtaking creations, telling all who would listen everything down to the last detail. But the one thing he would not tell was where he procured the sand to fill the glasses, and he swore on the stars in the heavens above that he would take this secret with him to his grave. Antonio was an honest man, and stuck by his word.

No, Andrea and Marcus were not lovers – nor would they ever be. Nor could they ever be. Andrea saw the stars as everything - Marcus, nothing.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Anywhere, Buthere -

All cities are all cities. Take that sentence, dear reader, take it and do whatever you want with it. To your hearts content, you can bounce it around inside that imperfect sphere-like chunk of bone you call a skull. For all I care you can throw it in a blender, hit purée, pour it into a squat glass, and suck it through a Donald Duck straw. Go out right now and purchase the best meat grinder your funds will allow, feed through it that very line of words, and throw it on the barbeque. (Use a tangy sauce and season to taste - invite the neighbours!) You can hot-blend it, can it, and spread it on your toast next spring. Fold it up really small, tuck it inside that useless little pocket (you know, the pocket inside the other pocket) in your designer jeans, forget it there, and send those jeans through the washer. Cut it up, burn it, and bury it in the backyard. Feed it to the dog! Do any of these things, and that sentence will hold meaning, will still ring true. All cities are all cities. A sentence; a collection of common letters turned rare. Live by it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Mifbon, Talornek -

They said they wouldn't hurt us and I had no reason not to believe them. But the trip between there and here was an awkward one (to say the least). It always is.

Now, trapped in this dreaded room, I have time to think. Perhaps too much time. One thought pervades my mind:

Hotel walls are thin.

Try as you might, you can not ignore the words on the other side, muffled at first, then clearing as your ear gets closer and closer to the wall.

I like a man who can keep chaos in check.

Who doesn't, you think, as you press your ear flush. Stories, so many stories, are told and untold on either side of a wall.

How did you end up here, here with me?

Some stories, my dear, are greater than even you.

You are cruel.

I am.

You haven't told me your familial name, only your first.

They called me Freddy Rimbault.

Frederick Rimbault - like the author?

Not like - the very same.

Mr Rimbault died a few years back.

You are correct.

They say he was very secretive, mysterious, ambiguous.

You know, now, the nature of the man you share your bed with.

I have his book in my library, you know. Your book.

His book.

He wrote beautifully. If you are indeed he, could you not write something as beautiful? Something for me, right now?

I can not.

Tell me your story, from the very beginning.

Every second is a beginning.

Tell me your story, I need to know.

My story is complex - perhaps even a little unbelievable.

I'm gullible.

Well, as I said, each second is a separate beginning, so I hardly know where to start.

What are you thinking about right now?


Go on.

We stayed in an upstairs room in London, overlooking the rooftops of the stores in the old marketplace below. I had not much money at the time, and just as the rats on the store rooftops scrounged for food, so did we. It was a simple life, but a happy one. We had each other. We were in love.

You said your story was unbelievable. There is nothing so unbelievable about love.

Ah, you have never been in love then.

Wednesday, September 8, 2004

When I Was a Security Guard

Once upon a time, due in large part to a nasty virus that was threatening to overtake my city (snicker) and destroy the industry in which I worked, I couldn't get a job. Nearly six months later, desperate, and almost at the end of my government-funded vacation, I did what any other able-bodied, hopelessly unemployed person would do: I became a security guard.

Sounds flip, I know. Like I just sort of became one. In truth, it was just that easy. One day I'm playing Doom in my pajamas, guzzling coffee, and eating boxes of saltine crackers, and the next day I'm being issued a maglight, notebook, ill-fitting blazer, and, most importantly, a clip-on tie.

A couple of days later, after some token training sessions, I was put out into the wacky world of corporate security. (The incredibly useful training sessions came complete with American training videos from the 80s, with all the stereotypes you could ask for: the tough, white, mustachioed, hulk-like security guards in their neatly pressed uniforms - epauletts glistening. The slight, black, too-fly B-boys, recklessly hanging around a mall with their crazy, crazy rhymes. The flashy, Mexican pimp with his hoe-slappin' hand at the ready, getting all rowdy-like in a clinic waiting room. With those characters crammed into my head, along with all of the completely surreal situations they found themselves in, how could I go wrong?)

So prepared was I, that soon after this most enlightening experience I was dispatched to guard a multi-billion dollar piece of property - all one million square feet of it - housing two of Canada's largest companies and one obscenely large American financial company. Well, so it wasn't like I was alone or anything - there was another guy there too. That's only what, 500,000 square feet apiece?

Was I overwhelmed? No. Funnily enough I wasn't. To be overwhelmed, one would have to take the situation seriously. One would have to feel that there were consequences for one's actions. One would have to actually be a security guard, heart and soul.

I wasn't - I was the night shift.

I was just one of three who worked those hours. (By choice even. You see I thought that I'd be able to get a lot of writing done at work. I didn't take into account just how uninspiring being a security guard would be.) There's something different about night shift security guards: they do not care. Remember that. Think that tired-looking guy sitting at the desk in the lobby of your apartment building cares about your well-being? He doesn't; he's just there because he couldn't find a job in his field. Does that jaundiced guy who sits in the booth in the underground parking garage all night make you feel safe? He shouldn't; he's just there for the pay-cheque.

I know what you're thinking: But that guy who sits at the desk in the lobby of my office building sure looks like he cares about his job. When I leave late at night, positively aglow with the magic of Cubical-land, I even see him patrolling the outside of the building! Now, I hate to disappoint, but that guy is most likely either (a) trying to stay awake (and you should thank him for even making the effort), or (b) it's his turn to get the coffee. In fact, I'm willing to guarantee that if there is a fire in your building, that guy is not going to waste his time trying to remember the procedures for properly evactuating certain floors in a way that best minimizes property damage. No, not that guy. You'll be lucky if that guy stops to put the building into general alarm before becoming the first one out the door.

As my good fortune would have it, I wasn't sitting at a desk in my office building. No, I had the luxury of working in an enclosed room we called the Control Centre. It's a place kind of like the room on that Las Vegas TV show. Only without all the action. And the good-looking people. And the fun. None of that stuff, no - just a bank of computer monitors, out-dated CCTV monitors (all the radiation we could ask for!), and a few panels filled with lights for alarms that we were supposed to understand. But we never really did understand. Or care.

Most nights were spent in conversation with my partner, usually plotting against the day shift, laughing about hypothetical situations, and otherwise shirking our responsibilities. If we weren't engaged in idle chat (which rule #131, in section 2.7 of the Standing Orders forbids. Which reminds me - I'm not even going to get into the outrageous, Kafkaesque bureaucracy of that job. Let me just say, though: forms for filling out forms. Oh yes) we were sleeping, or hacking the satellite to watch movies. Yes, it was quite the job. And what's worse is that I did it for almost a year.

All of that ended about 5 months ago when I took this job, and it's taken this long for me to even write about it. And while my current set-up is mind-blowingly boring, and I should seriously look into whether or not Worker's Compensation covers you if your job triggers a mental illness, the pay is markedly better, and, most importantly I can say: At least I'm not a security guard.


My current gig is up next month and I'll be unemployed once again. Who knows where I'll end up.

Friday, September 3, 2004

Lux Motel, Ibiza, Spain 2 -

An open letter to the lady at the coffee shop

How does your coffee suck? Let me count the ways.

First I'd like you to explain the process by which you make your coffee so very flavourless. From what I understand, coffee is produced by a very simple process of percolating H2O through ground coffee beans. I also understand that coffee beans are, by their very nature, a rather pungent bean. This leads one to the very natural conclusion that all coffee should, in the very least, have some modicum of flavour. In this, you have proven me wrong. So wrong. So flavourless is your coffee, Coffee Shop Lady, that I am, at times, able to convince myself that I am drinking water. Dish water, that is.

This leads me to the subject of the very interesting colour of your coffee. For a liquid so devoid of flavour, one would expect that it would also be utterly devoid of colour. But this is not the case. No, your coffee does not possess the typical rich brown hues commonly associated with coffee. Maybe you found that particular colour to be unpleasant, unappealing, unattractive. Maybe you found the mundane brown colour so unsatisfactory that you set out to invent a new colour for coffee. Thus, you somehow found a way to lend a rather unique yellow colour to your blend of coffee. A yellow colour that, when mixed with cream, becomes an interesting malarial off-white colour. (Rather pretty, I must say. Inspiring, even. I might, in fact, paint the walls of my home that very colour - should I ever have a home again.)

And the texture. Texture? Yes, texture. How is it that I manage to consistantly find grounds in my cup? And not even just at the bottom - which would be almost forgivable - but somehow floating throughout, as though defying the very laws of physics by which most of us have to live. Yes, you've somehow managed to instill the curious quality of neutral buoyancy in your coffee, and for this you do deserve some reluctant applause.

There are many other things I'd like you to explain to me, Coffee Shop Lady - the dirty cups your foul beverage is served in, the displeasing temperature at which you choose to serve it, and, indeed, the deplorable conditions of your establishment in general - but these will have to wait for another time.

You see, I have something to do right now; I'm really craving a coffee. And, due to my rather lackadaisical approach to dealing with such pressing matters as these, you'll be seeing me in about three minutes. You are, after all, the closest coffee-selling outlet to my current residence. Yes, in about three minutes I'll walk through the door of your repulsive establishment, I'll smile and ask for an extra large double double to go, and in thirty seconds more you'll slide a big cup of that disgusting brew across the counter to me. I'll pay you, thank you, even, and raise that paper cup to my lips in joy, taking a sip. Sating my addiction.

Thank you, Coffee Shop Lady. From the very bottom of my nauseous guts.

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Lux Motel, Ibiza, Spain -

Our subject wears so well the role of a writer – the worn cardigan sweaters, the brown-checked loden coat complete with leather elbow patches, the almost-expired Oxfords – that he is, at times, almost able to convince himself that he is one. But he isn’t. No, not this guy. To be a writer you would have to actually write something first.

Okay, that’s unfair, and might even be a little misleading. Allow me to clarify; it’s not that our subject never writes. No, he does, in fact, write – just not often or very well.

But look, we’re in luck! he’s writing right now, all hunched over his laptop computer, bathed in its soft blue glow, a pile of dishevelled wavy black hair spilling forward over his horn-rimmed glasses. Ah, yes, a writer, indeed. Watch how he first types furiously, then stops to think, stroking his stubbled chin, pondering, contemplating, ruminating, before resuming his work at a maddening pace.

If we were to look over his shoulder – which we won’t because it would be the epitome of rudeness to disturb a writer at work – we would find that he’s filled the entire screen with writing. Not bad! we would think. But upon further inspection we would find that the writing is not so good – correction - is bad, even. One might even call it the worst writing one has ever read - if one were wont to be so honest.

But wait! the subject appears agitated. Let’s give him some room, shall we?

All of a sudden the writer highlights all the words on the screen and lets his finger hover over the delete button momentarily before bringing it down with a satisfying click.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

On the road between El-Azhr and Al-Ybi -

Tonight, as I make my way to my next destination, supper consists soley of a 250 gram bag of Smokey Bacon Lays Potato Chips procured from a shop in a dark corner of Old El-Azhr's bazaar.

I’m swaddled in traditional peasant robes, and hunkered down in a wagon buried beneath sacks of waste cloth. It’s night, and peering out from my hiding spot, I glimpse a shot of the moon in the navy sky as the clip-clopping of horse's hooves fill my ears and the stench from the beasts invades my nose. I’m wondering if this is the best way I could have found to travel. I briefly consider jumping out and walking the rest of the distance.

Then I come to my senses.

To wile away the time I decide that I should puruse the nutritional facts on the back of the chip bag. At first I'm dismayed to find that by eating the entire bag, (five times more than the suggested 50 gram serving), I've already consumed 125% of my suggested daily fat intake.

Moving down the list, however, my spirits are lifted as I find that I've also consumed 20% of the suggested daily intakes for Vitamin A, Niacin, and Iron - and a whopping 75% of the Vitamin C. And this at a cost of only 45% of my daily carbohydrate intake!

Upon discovery of this information I immediately resolve to eat more Lays potato chips.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Bazaar in El-Azhr -

I purchased a replica crystal ball so that I might see replica futures. As real futures hold no interest for me, I thought this only sensible. Tomorrow evening we leave for Al-Ybi. My heart sinks to think of this.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Vondervotteimittis 2 -

Sick of meeting ghosts in alleyways, I decided long ago to stick to well-lit streets when traveling abroad. Things are just better that way, really. And meeting the undead isn't even the worst thing that can happen to a traveller down little used lanes.

"...a traveller's life is one that includes much pain amidst its enjoyments." (M. Shelley, 1818)

I write things down only to remind myself that I, one day, will remember no more. A life reduced to a box of scribbles and a stack of cluttered hard drives.

I sleep late in the day only to remind myself that I, one day, shall sleep forever. And what a luxury it is to be able to get up at all - even late.

Naked as a Johnny Cash lyric,
Asleep atop my covers,
Solid and liquid,
I dream of this.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Vondervotteimittis -

I suspected the chauffeur was a little too drunk to drive, but the drag queen said he was fine. Bordering on convinced, I piled into the backseat with the others and we sped off towards the hotel. Let me think - there was the drag queen and myself, the Norwegian heavy metal band we had picked up back in Valhalla, a septuagenarian couple and their annoying chihuahua, and one very talkative mime named Jake.

"Keep that stuff hidden, man. There're cops everywhere."

Jake was also annoyingly paranoid. The stuff he was referring to were the three dozen quaaludes I had secreted away in the lining of my coat, and the big bag of posh I had sitting in my lap.

"Seriously, man. Put that stuff away."

As the light turned green we took off, and the chauffeur's eyes met mine in the rearview mirror.

"Say, traveller," he said, his English rough, but better than some, "it's a very different time we're living in, right?"

I nodded my agreement.

"It used to be that the first letter to become worn out on a computer's keyboard was the E." He let out a wet chuckle. "And now it's the W. Crazy times, boy, crazy times."

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Just east of Antillia -

There was something about the way things ended last night that reminded me of how I've crept out of way to many backdoors in my short lifetime. Always trying to get away. Always trying to escape unnoticed. But how does one escape from a boat? How does one escape when you're out at sea?

We laid out on the deck for what seemed like hours, watching the Northern Lights trip across the sky, a chimerical curtain of phantom green fluttering, crackling, whispering.

The sound that a smile makes when it's wrapped in plastic and stolen from a ghost.

I must have said these words out loud, allowing them to slip out of my mouth, up her forearm, and into her ears. No, in fact, I know for certain they took this very route because I felt the tiny hairs on her arms stand on end as each word passed.

Where do words go when they're spoken, when they're brought into creation? Do they age and ultimately die like everything else?

She must have said these words out loud, for I felt them infiltrate my ear, stealing past the pinna, slipping down the canal, and rap, rap, rapping on the drum, causing my hammer, anvil, and stirrup to sit up and take notice. The cochlea then passed these vibrations along to my brain which, in turn, decoded the message, and passed the communiqué onto me.

But I didn't have an answer, so instead feigned sleep.

(Voice recorder) Somewhere above Atlantis -

She's down there somewhere. Right beneath me. I can feel her.

I close my weary eyes against the pitch-blackness of the ship’s cargo hold, feeling the aged floorboards stir beneath me, as the massive hull of the elderly vessel squeals and groans with each tired roll through the ocean’s waves. A balled up moth-eaten sweater atop my battered briefcase serves as a makeshift pillow beneath my head, and my loden coat, a blanket.

Uncomfortable, I attempt in vain to adjust my bedding, and then flop over heavily, exhaustedly, onto my other side only making matters worse. I shake my head to clear it of the ghosts robbing me of sleep, but I can not blind my mind’s eye. With the rolling waves my dreams come and go. More often, the latter.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

El Dorado -

After the most unfortunate incineration of my automobile at a truckstop just outside of Timbuktu, I thought it best to simply leave the vehicle's burned-out husk on the side of the dirt road after removing what was left of the licence plate and scratching off the serial number. Subsequently, this changed my travel plans somewhat, as I found I had no choice but to resort to hitchhiking - something I said I'd never do after that most ill-fated encounter in Xanadu.

In case I forgot to mention it, I thought it best to quit my job after a rather unpleasant/pleasant incident off the coast of Dougherty Island involving the foreman's yacht, a gaggle of Coors Light girls, and an obscenely large bottle of booze. I spent the past month in some kind of transient haze, wandering here and there, not really knowing which was which - in fact, barely knowing whether I was alive or dead. (Though the two are really so close, it's hard to differentiate between them at the best of times.) To be certain, all I know is this: I can never go home again.

Because one never can.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

About You.

I got a sunburn waiting for you to land.

Squinting into the sun, I try to make out its precise colour. Yellow? No, orange turning red. I look away and close my eyes, tight, watching a red ghost sun dance in the darkness.

Standing on the dry, cracked asphalt of the tarmac, I wonder how it could be that the sky didn’t try to keep you forever. How could it let you land?

I notice that big chunk of metal glinting in the sunlight while it’s still miles away. You’re on there somewhere.

After your little white plane taxis to a halt, I wait anxiously until I see you step onto the stairs. You smile and wave in my direction.

You don’t know how crazy I am.

About you.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Inaction breeds inaction.

There's this peculiar way the sky meets lake, melding one blue into another, that makes me think of you. Two blues. Too blue. I think back to that time in your mother's living room. You were the prettiest girl I ever knew. I'd have stuck around if I thought I could treat you any good.

I sit alone, surrounded by all this shit I've collected over the years. Slipping on an old Floyd record, there's something in the hissing and popping that reminds me of you. I think back to the day of your first wedding - the one your groom didn't show up to. You were the prettiest bride I ever knew. I'd have stuck around if I thought I could treat you any good.

Thin walls, apartment walls, and a building full of ghosts. The discord always translates into memories of you - the day I met your lovely children. You were the prettiest mother I ever knew. I'd have stuck around if I thought I could treat you any good.

Anymore, my phone doesn't ring much. And to be honest, since that call ten years ago I haven't liked the sound of a ringing phone too much. I was on the next plane, you know. You cried and I listened. You were the prettiest widow I ever knew. I'd have stuck around if I thought I could treat you any good.

There's this peculiar way the sky meets lake, melding one blue into another, that makes me think of you. Two blues. Too blue. There's this line between them so thin I can't wrap my mind around it.

And now it's too late for sticking around.

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

It’s absurd.

I’m on a train riding from one unknown location to another, watching a beautiful mountainous snowscape slip by me on my way to somewhere new. Sharing my compartment, slouching across from me, is a young traveller who reminds me a lot of myself when I was his age. If I were in a better state, I’d know that’s exactly who it is. I can tell that I’ve perhaps drank a little too much, and I can’t shake the feeling that I’m running from something. And I know he is too, but we don’t speak. I watch as he fixes his sleepy eyes on the window, and I know that’s precisely what he’s seeing: the glass of the window – nothing beyond.

Sometime later, we’re walking down a narrow city street, in an old part of town. I’m enjoying the sights, and the safe feeling of the weighty, unfamiliar buildings surrounding us. My fellow traveller has been irritable since our arrival.

He: You see how they do things here? It’s absurd.

I look around to see what he’s talking about, and find him stopped outside of an adult sex shop, its front window papered in pornography.

Me: What?

He: Any child on the street could walk right by and see this!

Me: So?

He: It’s disgusting! I wouldn’t want my kids seeing that stuff.

Me: Why not?

He: They just shouldn’t have such easy access to those kinds of images.

Me: I really don’t have a problem with it - I mean, it’s not like they’re allowed into the actual store, right? Meanwhile, the same child turned away from this store can walk right into the next internet café and actually simulate murdering other people with machine guns and rocket launchers-

He: -well, I’m not talking about that.

[I think we went on to argue about some other stuff, and maybe even travel somewhere else, but my memories get pretty fuzzy right around here. Woke up with a big headache. Just need some coffee, I think.]

Thursday, April 1, 2004

Nytol dreams.

Diving into blue ice water, I take the path of least resistance and swim down, further and further, until I reach the bottom. There, I come across a girl with long flowing hair; her off-blonde locks swim about her head as she opens her mouth to speak.

She tells me lies.

She tells me of her home - a sphere of rock and water circling a gaseous, giant planet which, in turn, orbits a star much like my Sun. I call her bluff, but my words are trapped in air bubbles that scurry up to the surface of the lake. She tells me that I'm silly to think that life can exist only as I know it: breathing air, walking the earth, flying the skies, swimming the water. I tell her she's crazy - again, the air bubbles.

Smiling, she asks: "have you forgotten where you are?"

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Everything goes all crazy.

“Do you know why I wear my collar like this?”

I didn’t.

The man sitting in front of me on the trolley proceeded to straighten his jacket collar, which stood up, Fonzi-esque. Due to the style of jacket, and the style of man, it looked extra silly.

“Because there’re these men, see, they follow you around and they kind of come up behind you and—“ he made a slicing gesture at the back of his head “—they cut into you, almost right to the bone, you know?”

Turning around, leaning on the back of his seat, he almost looked straight into my eyes before his crazy glance fleeted away.

“Then they kind of sprinkle something over it, like a dust or something,” he said, while making a sprinkle motion with one hand, and rubbing at the back of his head with the other. “When they’re done, they’ve put a device in you.”

I’m sure I couldn’t help looking a little surprised.

“With the device implanted they can listen to you, and they can talk to you as well. And when they talk, it’s like – you know what TV static is? It looks like that in your head. Everything goes all crazy. And the headaches—”

At this, the man closed his eyes tightly, wincing. He looked to be in pain.

I was speechless.

The man turned around fully, looking up at me, kind of staring over my shoulder and said, “Forty years I’ve been dealing with this. I don’t think I can take it anymore.”

Without saying another word, he stood up and exited the trolley.


Note: I'm becoming really bored with crazy people.

Friday, March 19, 2004


"I like your style," I overheard one hair dye junkie say to another.

It was at that moment that I realised vanity is a sucker's game, a game for two, and it makes you sink so low. Being next in line, I approached the customer service girl.

"This is gonna hurt like hell," I said.

She stared at me in mute confusion.

"I have to return this sweater," I explained, placing a blue sweater on the counter between us.

A shared laugh, an unseen spark.

Little did she know, within a week we'd be sharing a bed, and within two, our break-up would not be pleasant.

Some people have said that I have a way with words; I just think that I don't make any sense and that's why girls dig me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Volti Subito.

We had a keen interest in bank robbery, not just on our own planet, in our own galaxy, but others as well.


All my memories of you are counted
Sorted and stashed away
In that old shoe box

Beneath my bed.


She: Do you have to find the prize in everything?
He: What else is there?


This all starts with one letter.


Confined to a southern jail cell for a few lonely weeks on obscure, trumped-up charges, I decided to see the bright side of things - at last, a chance to think.


You: Will I see you again?
Me: Probably not.



Saturday, March 13, 2004

Uneven legs.

1. Which of the following do you think is most likely to exist?


2. Have you ever had a religious vision?

I'm not sure how I answered either of these questions, as I was sleeping at the time and my post-sleep memory isn't that great, but apparently I answered them wrong. I know there were more questions before these, but I didn't remember them upon waking. After answering the last question, I was bounced from this dusty old mansion, where the test was being given, to this kind of classroom. I was only there for a split second before being forced awake, but I remember the classroom was kind of like my high school classroom where nothing was really ever new or in good shape; ancient, chalk-stained blackboards, peeling orange- and yellow-tiled floor, crummy desks with uneven legs. Wish I could have stayed there a little longer and looked around - might have found that old graphing calculator I lost.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

World's Best Sleeper.

Reaching up to take the cone from you, I fumble as I accidentally grasp your hand instead. Trying not to acknowledge my awkwardness, you smile. I know I'm dreaming because there's no way a girl like you would ever smile at me like that. Now I'm in my bedroom alone - my childhood bedroom - and I'm inspecting the shelf where my tiny collection of trophies is kept - some boxing trophies and one for Student of the Week. I'm reminded again that I'm dreaming because there's no way I'd ever get to be Student of the Week. I find a spot on the shelf, alongside this sad collection, that is empty. Like there should be something else there. I wake up at this point and, after some quick math, I figure out that I've slept a whole eight hours. Non-stop! And I'm thinking I deserve a trophy. A trophy to fill that gap on the dream-shelf.

Sunday, March 7, 2004

Postcards From There

You send me postcards from there.
More pictures than postcards, really.
Pictures you take yourself-
Captured moments
With writing on the back.

You tell me 'hi',
That you miss me,
That you're having the time of your life.

My tired eyes wander
Through the scenes
Seeking some semblance of familiarity.

Everything is out of place.

That half-empty bottle of whiskey
On the bedside table
Isn't your brand.

That's not the balcony
On which we first

That's not the skyline
That acted as the backdrop
For our epic romance.

You send me postcards from there.
More pictures than postcards, really.
You're having the time of you're life.

I'm right here.

Thursday, March 4, 2004

Mouth to mouth.

Jonathan Richman, sans his Modern Lovers, is sitting in my childhood living room giving my adult self a private performance of a few of his songs. Then he breaks into 'Girlfriend' to close the show:

"If I were to walk through the Museum of fine arts in Boston..."

At this point, my dad's dog - a silly little chihuahua with some aggression issues - starts having a heart attack. It doesn't take long before he's on his back with his legs straight up in the air.

"Well first I'd go to the room where they keep the Cezanne..."

In a panic, I find myself on the floor pumping his tiny chest, giving him CPR.

"But if I had by my side a girlfriend..."

I check again for breathing and a pulse, but he's still unresponsive. Ignoring the dog breath, I proceed to give him mouth to mouth.

"then I could look through the paintings..."

This does the trick, and soon enough the little mutt is coughing and struggling to his little stick-legs. We then just sit and enjoy the rest of the show.

"I could look right through them."

I've had two days in a row with eight-hour sleeps!


Monday, March 1, 2004

..underlit and red...

I'm walking down this crazy hall, all underlit and red like some seventies porno movie, and I'm walking past all of these doors, colourful doors - red, blue, yellow, green; doors behind which I know are hookers. [inaudible] carpet everywhere - red shag - on the ceiling even - but the walls between the doors are paneled with thick dark wood. I cough and most of the sound is instantly absorbed. Coming to a brown door, almost camouflaged with the wall, I swing it open, knowing that it leads somewhere else. Somewhere away from here. For some reason or another I'm not at all alarmed when I find Carl Jung sitting on a bed and cutting up a big line of posh atop the bedside table. He just turns to me, peering through his thick, hazy, spectacles. "You've got a lot of work to do," he says, pointing a rolled-up bill at me. I demand to know just what the hell he's on about, but he just sits there shaking his head and watching me with an unreadable expression. I slam the door and when I turn out into the hall I find myself in darkness - [and I awake in somewhat of a terror, whereupon I record this].

Tuesday, February 17, 2004


Somewhere, there is a city whose citizens entertain not with the quantity of their talk, but with the quality. A city that at least tries to be witty. Somewhere, there is a city whose politicians at least pretend to care. Who cover up their biases. A city that poses more questions than answers. A city that makes you think. Somewhere, there's a city that is beautiful after dark, under the moon. A city where you're not afraid of what the shadows hold, but, instead, you relish the darkness for it's potential. There's a city measured not by the height of it's buildings, but by the height a young lover must climb to reach the balcony of his Love. Somewhere, there is a city that cherishes creativity, and rejects the mundane. A city where time spent on a restaurant patio is considered far more valuable than time spent in a cubicle. Somewhere, there is a city. A city with at least one of these things. A city that is always somewhere else.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Platitudinous musings.

Trolleys sitting on barren streets. Windows frozen over, white with frost. Tough love from a man selling monkeys. Long black cars drifting effortlessly around city street corners. Telephones ringing in abandoned offices. The one floorboard that squeaks when you're up alone at night. An old woman yelling at the sky. A pack of wild dogs scavenging in an alley. On the other side of town, a gang of alley cats prowling down a shadowy lane way. A dilapidated house sitting atop a mangy hill, it's contents disused for decades. Dusty. All.

Haiku for today.

Frosty sheet of ice
Ruthlessly crunched beneath shoes
-What a way to go

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

One day, three sleeps.

I spent much (17.5 hours) of the last 24 hours sleeping. No real reason - just because.


I'm running down these halls, dimly lit as always. At one point I stop when I realise that I don't know why I'm running or what/who I'm running from. After some thought on the matter I figure out that I'm not actually running from anyone, but that I'm trapped. There's no way out of here. No doors, no windows, no nothing - just all of this weird half-light. Exhausted, I stop, and when I do a booming voice breaks the silence. "Leaving so soon? And where'll you go that's better than here?"

"Hey are you asleep?"


"Just letting you know that it's seven - supper'll be done soon."


I'm lying in bed, sleeping. An abnormally giant keg of beer separates Mrs. Remark and myself. I have to admit - it looks kind of cute in those little pajamas. I'm dreaming of sleeping and I know it. It's a very weird feeling. I also know how very real that giant keg of beer is. I hear Mrs. Remark, on the other side of the keg, tossing and turning, incredibly uncomfortable sleeping next to this behemoth. I attempt to drape an arm over it, cuddling it close. A headache is building in my noggin, and I want to continue sleeping. But I can't.

"Huh? Where are you going? Are you getting up?"



"I'm not tired."

"That's crazy."



Right now my cat, Sydney, is scared of me. I can feel his presence at the foot of my bed. He's been there all morning. I've probably been kicking him. I'm thinking of all these things to say to him, but I can't because I'm sleeping. Why lay at my feet? Why not come up here where I'm not going to kick you? I'll change your litter later. The headache still lingers and I'm wondering if I may just have it for the rest of my life. I slip into a dream's dream. It is but a flash, but it seems to last 25 years. I'm flying through the solar system. Not in a spaceship or anything fancy like that, but I'm just flying, free. I'm visiting all of the planets, looking for life. I'm not find any. All of our planets, and their moons, are sterile. I get to the end, just past Pluto, and I'm having trouble breathing. On my way back to Earth I make plans to go out again and search a different system.



"Hey, it's me. Just letting you know that I'll be a little longer."

"All right."

"So, what are you doing?"


"Really? Still!? Why?"

"Something to do. I'm thinking of getting up now though."

Monday, February 9, 2004

Napping at work, I discovered

Love and hate cohabit in this long half-lit hallway - true love lingering far off in one end, and true hate skulking in the other. But this is no ordinary hallway, long and straight. This hallway gradually curves so that it's ends eventually meet, separated by an impenetrable glass wall. When you're in the middle of this hallway, farthest away from both ends, you can see neither love nor hate. When you move closer to one side, however, both become more clear. When you walk to one end and reach true love, for example, you're faced, also, with true hate through that glass wall. The wall is impenetrable, so the hate can't reach you, yet you're influenced by it being so close. It works the other way around too.

I woke up when I spilled coffee on my crotch, so I was unable to explore further.

Monday, February 2, 2004

Ignis Fatuus

The kick from my revolver threw me hard onto my back in the marshy clearing, and I stared, horrified, skyward, as the spectral cloud seemed to cluster, forming opalescent shapes hanging frighteningly close overhead. Increasingly light-headed, my heart was thumping in my throat and I screamed in terror and rage as I emptied my gun, firing at the sky, choking in that ghastly air. Beaten, I curled up, sobbing with my head in my arms thinking: man there are a lot of commas in this paragraph.

Thursday, January 22, 2004


I was over at a friend's parents house for supper. We were sitting at this long table. I was wearing a dress. A nice dress I suppose, but a dress nonetheless. For appetizers the host brought out this carton - kind of like a chocolate box - and passed it around. Everyone was passing on the offer except for one large gentleman at the other end of the table who scooped up a serving and shovelled it into his mouth with glee. When the carton got around to me I opened it up and found it to be filled with tiny puppies, each in an individual slot. Revolted, I quickly tried closing the lid, but this one frisky puppy kept trying to escape. Over and over I tried closing the lid but the puppy kept squirming about trying to get out. Finally I managed to slip a finger under the lid to hold the little guy in place while I slipped the lid shut. I, being at the last person offered the box, put it on the serving table. The dinner went well and the food was fantastic, but I was worried the whole time about soiling my dress. After dinner when all the guests had retired to the sitting room, I stayed to help clean up the dishes. Spying the carton of puppies I decided to open it up and have a peek. Doing so I found all the puppies lifeless - dead. Worried that maybe I had killed them, I closed the lid once more and kind of gave them a little shake to settle them neatly back into their respective slots. I set the carton down and joined the others in the sitting room, but could not take my mind off the puppies.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Kafka, the idiot.

"Keep pushing!"

It's nighttime, and I'm down by the docks with the Hell's Angels for some reason. We're trying to push this little rowboat away from shore, but it seems to be stuck on something. It's raining and I'm getting water in my eyes - both rainwater and lake water. The lake water laps up against my legs and the side of the boat. I'm thinking about pollutions and poisons. I'm yelling at some idiot called Kafka.

"Hey Kafka, I said push not pull!"

The idiot keeps pulling anyway, and all his cohorts are just standing on the nearby dock looking like giant leather-clad morons. I call over to them.

"You idiots want to help out?!"

They all start looking at each other and shifting around. I'm thinking about cattle. I backhand Kafka and he reels back, falling into the water.

Working alone, I manage to push the boat out. I jump in and find it packed with paper-wrapped boxes. Grabbing up the paddles, I begin rowing out into the black water.

I look back and see Kafka struggling to shore to meet up with his fellow idiots. The city skyline sits queerly in the background, ablaze with gauzy lights.

I'm glad to be getting away.

Row away from shore
Under the cloak of midnight-
No sound but the waves


No sound but the waves.

Monday, January 19, 2004

A Shift Unfolds on CCTV (The Berlin Defense)


The bars have let out. I'm watching a couple on the benches along the planters. A slight young girl sits, crying, on the bench with her boyfriend's arm around her. He looks immature, unsure – maybe even scared. I wish to admire the girl's beauty more closely, and zoom in just in time to catch a tear shimmering in the moonlight, sliding down her rosy cheek from a pale blue eye. A hand enters the screen to brush it away. Going wide, I discover it to be the boyfriend's. His lips brush her ear. A whisper. A smile breaks on the girl's perfect lips. A laugh, shared. I pull back further. The boy awkwardly pulls her atop him, and she obliges, straddling, her jeans pulled taught over her slender thighs. Embarrassed, I pan away.

King-knight to king-two.

Expected as much.

So, I didn't now you had a brother...

Used to. Musician - was halfway through recording his first album when he drowned in the lake.

Wow, sorry, must've been really tough.

Yeah, he was a good swimmer even, but the lake still took 'im. Was hardest on our dad. He sat on the couch for days just crying and reading his bible.

...Man, what could've been.


I have the camera facing south toward the old courthouse. I'm looking beyond the geometrically challenged planters with their dead plants and fake 'holiday trees' which are really nothing more that multicoloured bulbs in a conical formation. My attention is caught by a hooker sauntering down the street, her walk sad with no-one watching. A high-heeled shoe slides on the frost-slicked sidewalk. I zoom in. As she reaches down to fix the strap on her shoe, her already too short skirt is hiked up further exposing more thigh. I imagine goose-bumps. With a flip of her chocolate hair, I catch a splash of red red lips before she disappears down the street.

Bishop takes bishop.


Thanks, so you were saying ya don't party so much anymore...

Naw, I came to a lot of realisations while in Montréal one summer. I was pretty big into the booze and coke back then.

Blow eh?

Yes, that most glamorous of drugs. I thought about quitting when I found myself hunched over a toilet tank in a gay bar early one morning snorting a fat line up one nostril and bleeding out the other.


I decided to quit for sure when I woke up in bed the next day with Louis Riel.


I don't think we did anything though.


There’s movement inside the coffee shop. Sitting beneath a single light, a woman – the owner I think – is hunched over a table writing. If I manipulate the camera just so, I'm able to look through the glass and read over her shoulder. Closer. Closer. Numbers. She's putting numbers into columns. Pausing, she rests her chin in her hand and looks out the window, troubled it seems, and shakes her head slightly. Next, she takes a sip of coffee, before burying her face in her hands, her shoulders quaking. I pull back.

Knight takes bishop.

Ya got me in four moves.

I know.

So, ya ever think you'd be doing this job?



Yeah, I think a lot of things.

Aw, turn it up - I love this song! Man, Johnny Cash was a genius.

I love Johnny, but he was no genius.

Ya don't think?

No, I think the word genius is overused. Johnny was a con artist – a master in marketing – but he was no genius.


Thing is, you are whatever you can convince people you are. You want to be smart? Con everyone into thinking you are. You want to be mysterious? Con. Want to be sexy? Con.


And it's even easier if you con yourself first.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Twinge (Nostalgia)

I've discovered the place in the universe where anticipation is felt most acute - an empty train station.

Remember that night in Winnipeg with the pre-op transexual?

Yeah. Listen, you didn't tell anybody did you?

No, of course not, we're friends.

Right. She was really pretty, huh?

Yes, he was actually, quite.

I've discovered the most uninspiring place in the universe - it happens to be my office.

Remember that gas station in Burnaby - the cash drawer?

Yeah. No-one else knows about that, right?

No, of course not, we're friends.

Right. Man, we even split the loot on the back steps of that church.

I didn't even expect you to give me anything but you kept insisting-

Well, we're friends aren't we?

I've discovered the loneliest place in the universe - right here.

Remember that time with the underage girl in Halifax?

...Dude, I don't think that was with me.

...Oh, well she told me she was sixteen.

Do tell.

Well it all started when she brought out this huge cube of hash. Me and - hey, you're not going to tell anybody about this, right?

No, of course not, we're friends.
Disgorged by: Trite R, 11:07 AM | link | 0 comments
Saturday, January 17, 2004
Haiku for today.

I saw your blanket lying there
So empty-
It made me think of you
Disgorged by: Trite R, 10:27 PM | link | 0 comments
Haiku for today.

Black birds in a winter sky
Bring me happiness
When you're not around
Disgorged by: Trite R, 11:24 AM | link | 0 comments
Friday, January 16, 2004

It wouldn't make any sense. It wouldn't make any sense to just tell it, that is. Like - just explain it. I could say that I was in this dark little room. I think I was thinking about things. There was a little cot. I was on it. Word on the ceiling - WATCH. A little TV comes on in the middle of the wall with snowy reception. A monitor. A monitor? [Hazard of the job. I wake up at this point in a sort of panic, but curious about what's onscreen, I go back to sleep.] Lying on the cot. There's someone outside the door - I can tell. I'm dreaming though, so I'm not worried. Another monitor comes on from elsewhere in the room. I jump up to look at a screen, and a few more jump to life behind me. The room is becoming brighter. [I wake up again at this point, and, again, make myself go back to sleep.] I'm trying to make out what's on the screen, but I can't quite tell. More monitors are clicking on, as others are in different states of clearing reception. There's movement on the screen. People. Strange familiarity. About half the monitors are on - they seem to completely fill the walls. Then I come to the realization that it's me on the monitors. Me and people I know. Friends, family, and such. Most of the monitors are on now and the room is horribly bright. Looking over at the cot, I find it to be a washed out pale colour. There's deep lines etched into the ceiling and I notice more graffiti. [Should have read more of it!] I think about how hard it would be to sleep with all this light. I'm racing around looking at all these screens, and I'm realizing that they're showing scenes from my life. I'm trying to look at them all - maybe I'm looking for something in particular? I look over just in time to catch the last monitor clicking on. The light becomes too intense and there's some kind of horrible noise that has been building unnoticed. [I wake up, fast. I scrawl this on bedside notebook:

I've managed to keep down the poison
Things always turn out this way
I lay on the ground in the darkness
Sick, with my head buried in my arms

Further attempts at reconnecting to this dream fail, and, instead, I fall into a dead dreamless coma for a couple hours.]

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Haiku for today.

I saw your blanket lying there
So empty-
It made me think of you

Haiku for today.

Black birds in a winter sky
Bring me happiness
When you're not around

Friday, January 16, 2004


It wouldn't make any sense. It wouldn't make any sense to just tell it, that is. Like - just explain it. I could say that I was in this dark little room. I think I was thinking about things. There was a little cot. I was on it. Word on the ceiling - WATCH. A little TV comes on in the middle of the wall with snowy reception. A monitor. A monitor? [Hazard of the job. I wake up at this point in a sort of panic, but curious about what's onscreen, I go back to sleep.] Lying on the cot. There's someone outside the door - I can tell. I'm dreaming though, so I'm not worried. Another monitor comes on from elsewhere in the room. I jump up to look at a screen, and a few more jump to life behind me. The room is becoming brighter. [I wake up again at this point, and, again, make myself go back to sleep.] I'm trying to make out what's on the screen, but I can't quite tell. More monitors are clicking on, as others are in different states of clearing reception. There's movement on the screen. People. Strange familiarity. About half the monitors are on - they seem to completely fill the walls. Then I come to the realization that it's me on the monitors. Me and people I know. Friends, family, and such. Most of the monitors are on now and the room is horribly bright. Looking over at the cot, I find it to be a washed out pale colour. There's deep lines etched into the ceiling and I notice more graffiti. [Should have read more of it!] I think about how hard it would be to sleep with all this light. I'm racing around looking at all these screens, and I'm realizing that they're showing scenes from my life. I'm trying to look at them all - maybe I'm looking for something in particular? I look over just in time to catch the last monitor clicking on. The light becomes too intense and there's some kind of horrible noise that has been building unnoticed. [I wake up, fast. I scrawl this on bedside notebook:

I've managed to keep down the poison
Things always turn out this way
I lay on the ground in the darkness
Sick, with my head buried in my arms

Further attempts at reconnecting to this dream fail, and, instead, I fall into a dead dreamless coma for a couple hours.]

Haiku for today.

Plastic container
In my refrigerator-
Lunch for tomorrow

Friday, January 9, 2004


Dr Whitman reclines, sinking comfortably into his leather chair behind his massive mahogany desk. Resting on one elbow, he plays with his pen, clicking it in his free hand. He’s watching his patient, and waiting for her to settle into the leather chaise longue across the room. Satisfied that she’s achieved comfort, he stands and approaches.

“It’s nice to see you again, Ms Sinclair.” He sits himself down on a little stool along side the couch. “You seem rather melancholic today – is there something you wish to discuss with me?”

Ms Sinclair doesn’t even stir when the doctor approaches, but lays still, relaxed, with one arm draped over her eyes. After considering his question for a moment, she responds, lazily. “Indeed, Doctor, but I’m going to suggest we do away with all the distractions first.”

Bemused, Dr Whitman smiles. “Pardon me?”

“It’s easy doctor, I’ll just ask that you first clear your mind – focus...”

The doctor flips open his notebook, puts his pen to paper, ready to take notes. “Now, just one minute, Ms Sinclair; what is it you're you talking about?

Sinclair: Focus...

Whitman: My word! You can be silly sometimes.

Sinclair: But isn’t this better? No more fluff?

Whitman: If you say, Ms Sinclair, if you say. Now, what is it you wish to tell me?

Sinclair: You are not actually here, Doctor.

Whitman: Please, Ms Sinclair, not this tired issue again.

Sinclair: The same but different. I’ve been doing some thinking. There’s a twist.

Whitman: Oh? How so?

Sinclair: I am not actually here either.

Whitman: Ah...

Sinclair: Oh, tell me you’ve never considered the possibility.

Whitman: Well, sure I have, but then I came to the conclusion that the possibility is absurd.

Sinclair: And what makes you so smart?

Whitman: You.

Sinclair: Ah! He jests! The man has a sense of humour!

Whitman: Ms Sinclair, please...

Sinclair: Just consider it. We’re not here, we’re-

Whitman: Ms-

Sinclair: No! I will not stop talking. What if we’re not here, doctor? You say you’ve considered it – everyone has. What if it’s true?

Whitman: Something like Chuang Tzu and his butterfly dream.

Sinclair: Right - sort of. Chuang Tzu could not tell if he was dreaming he was the butterfly, or if the butterfly was dreaming she was he. What I’m proposing is that they were dreaming of each other.

Whitman: Hmm, interesting.

Sinclair: Right? It could be true that neither existed. Or maybe they both did but were someone – something – else...

Whitman: Go on, Ms Sinclair, you have my ear.

Sinclair: What if we’re not who we think we are? What if we’re not real, or are real and are someone else? We could be two egos haggling over the price of a nickel-plated Kalashnikov in a weapons bazaar in the bordertown of El-Azhr. We’re both clutching the weapon across the table, feeling its cold metal in our hands, and spitting harsh words at one another. And we imagine, together, that we’re actually a doctor and patient. Even if for a spit-second our thoughts and imaginings coincide, our other selves are brought into a different reality – a different universe. Tell me, doctor, have you ever held a gun in your hands?

Whitman: Yes, I hunt quail.

Sinclair: So you can tell me how a gun smells, how your hands smell after you’ve held one?

Whitman: Like, like metal – metallic, and something else. Sort of...oily.

Sinclair: Right. And you’re smelling it now.

Whitman: I am, yes.

Sinclair: We might even be two lovers on a beach, lying side by side in the sand, our hands stretched out toward one another, my fingertips gently brush yours. We’re not even talking; only thinking-

Whitman: Ms Sinclair, enough, I understand-

Sinclair: You can even be the girl if you want. Maybe you are; it doesn’t matter. Can you tell me what the beach smells like, doctor? What you smell right now?

Whitman: The smell of seaweed is carried in off the ocean in the brackish air. If you stay long enough the salt lines your nose, the mucous membrane, and you start to taste it. You smell the sand, too. It’s fresh and earthy. It smells new, yet it’s so old.

Sinclair: Have you ever been to the beach, doctor?

Whitman: No, I have not.

Sinclair: But you’re right, that’s exactly how it smells. You only know that because you’re there right now. You’re there right now with me.