Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mount Tremper

Mount Tremper

steadfast steadfast
ye monks of old
steadily steadily
do what your’re told
the mat the cushion the ritual
the ever-blooming victuals
the hall the stairs the hollowed out drum
the breath the breath the thumb touching thumb
the silence the sounds the birds in the trees
the planks decaying at the top of the hill
the planks decaying…

feed the world with your gorgeous decay
this hungry world
my hungry world

sit behind all things
within all things
as all things
it is good
to know you are here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

When the Dream is Over, Turn on the Light: Part 1 Fundamental Misjudgement

When the Dream is Over, Turn on the Light
Part 1: Fundamental Misjudgement

I had a dream. I would write a novel called Waking Up Pink. It would be based on experiences I had in a strange but wonderful commune back in the early 1980’s. There, in my mid twenties, I struggled to become a man. There, under the most romantic of circumstances, I met and fell in love with the woman who would become my wife and mother to our two children. There I encountered what it was like to be in the Buddhafield of an enlightened master. There I was involved, in however minor a role, in a grand social experiment that ended up going rather hideously wrong.

I worked hard to make that dream come true. I knew that though, along with the vast majority of all sentient beings in the universe, ‘I have always wanted to be a writer’, my writing chops needed serious work. I spent years on writing sites, making poetry, short stories and even writing a haiku-a-day for an entire year. Throughout I wrestled with what kind of novel I wanted to write. Memoir, even fictionalized memoir, was definitely out. Too boring. I was determined not to write another serious, angst-filled Canadian novel. I wanted to entertain. I wanted to share with the reader something of the absurd, transcendent bliss of bliss of being in an anything-can-happen Buddhafield.

A Buddhafied is, as far as I know, a term coined by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (currently known as Osho) back in the seventies. It refers to the felt aura of bliss that surrounds an enlightened being. When that being attracts other beings (disciples or sannyasins) who also strive for enlightenment, then the effect of the Buddhafield is compounded. Hearts resonate with each other on an energetic level creating a feeling state of endless possibility. It is somewhat akin to a crowd being lifted in spirit by a the performance of great musicians, or even an athletic event where people rejoice mutually in the home team's victory. Hearts are buoyed by the experience of something greater, something transcendent that would not be experienced on one's own.

Then novel called Waking Up Pink was completed back in early 2010. Thanks to feedback, most importantly from Brenda L. Baker www.Bren on and from Kirkus Indies (Brenda charged far far far less for her insights, and more on Kirkus later), I tossed Waking Up Pink in the recycle bin and after more than a year of re-structuring and re-writing, transmogrified it into Waking Up Gilligan. I felt like I had finally succeeded, in a skewed and satiric way, in re-creating the Buddhafield. Feedback from many readers (check out the reviews page in this blog) have convinced me that this feeling is correct. However, in the grander scheme of marketing the book, I've apparently made a fundamental misjudgement, one that depresses the crap out me to the extent that I'm going to address it here at some length.

To be continued...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A note from Louise Lukianchuk

Review of J.R.'s Waking Up Gilligan

An absolutely delightful book! It has everything: humour, suspense, drama, romance, mystery, and social commentary. The dialogue is natural, funny and believable; the plot multi-faceted, and the characters clearly drawn. I miss them.

Not my genre, not a subject I have ever enjoyed delving into, and yet, there I was- enchanted. Thanks J.R.

Blogger's note: Louise is my friend and fellow Canadian Author's Association member. She is the author of The Trail and I Talk to the Animals. She is a senior and not on the internet- yet. She is, as she somewhat mentioned, the antithesis of someone who would run off and join a commune. Yet she told me reading WUG made her wish that she could have been there in Oregon way back when. I'm mentioning this because it is germane to what has been a surprising dichotomy in the response to this book- one that has been gratifying on the one hand and disappointing on the other to the extent that I'm going to reflect on it at some length in upcoming postings.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A note from Cathy Niergarth

Hi J.R.

    Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book. I have often thought that a writer is a rather lonely performer that doesn't get to see or hear how his or her audience is reacting. Well, if you could have heard me this week as I read your book you would have heard a lot of laughter. You obviously have a great sense of the ridiculous and an ability to convey it to the reader. Your eye for detail and your use of imagery really create vivid scenes, some of which I know I'll never forget. I had a lot of fun going on this adventure with Gilligan whom I got quite involved with. I was really relieved he came to a happy end. I think you have a gift as a writer and a humourist. Thank-you for writing this book and I look forward to reading your next!

      Cathy Niergarth

Cathy: Thank-you so much. As much as I enjoyed writing it, it was a very lonely and quixotic endeavor. It is very gratifying and inspiring that you would take the time to write me such a kind and sincere note.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Journey to Fort William Part 2: Oiseau Rock

Journey to Fort William Part 2
Oiseau Rock

If you journey upstream on the Ottawa River from the Factor's House in Pat's circa 1985 motorboat (and almost certainly in any other boat) you will see on the leftern shore Camp Petawawa, a bastion and training ground for the Canadian military. There, for the most part, beach gives way to forest which is demarcated by white signs strung as evenly as pearls along its entire length up to the Chalk River Nuclear power facility, also known as Iso-dope Central. The signs, I'm given to believe, read something along the lines of HALT OR WE WILL BLAST YOU INTO THE NEXT CENTURY YOU MISERABLE TERRORIST.  Within sight of the Chalk River facility, kitty corner to each other as it were, on a great bend of the river, is the Oiseau Rock.

This motherfrakker of sheer rock-face rises well over three hundred feet straight up from the river's edge. Naturally aboriginals, couriers de bois, lumbermen and contemporary goofballs have done their best to mark it up with one form of graffitti or another. Fortunately, no matter what century one is in, one can only reach/climb so high on a sheer rock wall so the vast majority is untouched. The other bonus is that there is a bay around the corner from Oiseau Rock where one can dock one's boat and climb hundreds of feet up to a lookout and a small, sacred lake. As we approached said bay we found an array of expensive, high-hulled boats, anchored bow-out in a line of damn-near military precision. On the shore, beach umbrellas were also neatly deployed. Under these, a polyglot assortment of (dare we call them?) Boat People were not-so-neatly sprawled, splayed and displayed in sundry positions of repose. None showed the slightest inclination to visit, let alone assail, the ascending trail that was our objective. Apparently climbing out of and into those big boats and pouring a few Labour Day cocktails was enough exercise for those worthies. With mild sniffs of contempt through one nostril and envy through the other, led by the Sharonator and her two artificial hips, we began our kilometre-long climb.

Fortunately, as part of my rigorous training for Old Boys Basketball, I had been rising early and pushing myself for up to seven or eight minutes on our treadmill, walking at speeds that were threatening to approach briskness. Therefore I was able to handle the first fifty or sixty feet with aplomb. The other three thousand were somewhat more of a challenge. However, as the Sharonator is half bionic woman and Pat is ancient enough to remember the ice house back at 'The Fort' where chunks of ice cut from the river and insulated by hay would provide summer cooling for the kitchen 'icebox', lagging behind was not an option. Instead I would forge ahead and when ready to spit up a lung, pretend to wait so the others could catch their breaths.

We arrived at the summit and there, as advertised, was a small, pristine lake, as still and as unspoiled as it must have been in the ancient times when the Algonkians came to worship this meeting of sky, earth and water. Then again, the Algonkians probably didn't have to deal with the fact that there was only one picnic table which had already been commandeered by a group consisting of four or five children, several women, and an indeterminate number of heavily muscled and tattooed men drinking Coors Lite beer. This is not to mention their pet, the drooling, slack jawed, slobbering Bull Mastiff hound that made all manner of obscene noises as he swam snuffling the water's surface while chasing thrown sticks.

Half dead from heat prostration and exhaustion and overwhelmed by the solemnity of our location,  there was only one thing to be done: we went and jumped in the lake. The Sharonator and I swam far out, away from the gabbling throng, and imagined the Oiseau, the great winged spirit of the place lived somewhere crystalline, deep beneath the placid, reflective surface of the water. One day he would rise up, wings spread, like some kind of Lochness dragon and redeem all things with ferocious compassion. Then we went ashore and ate some fruit strips and chocolate pretzels. Fish, (how did they get way up here we wondered) some laden with eggs in their tails, lined up in front the shore where Marina sat. The Mastiff dispersed them before they had a chance to roll out their yoga mats. When we made our descent to the beach a young boy, still in diapers and running on delighted toes, dipped his tiny hands in the river to wash them. They wriggled on his wrists like fish as he ran back to his mother to eat his lunch. We returned to the Factor's House to eat ours.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Journey to Fort William

Journey to Fort William

I am here on the porch of The Factor's House, built in 1846 by The Hudson's Bay Company as a trading post. We are some one hundred miles north of Ottawa (known in those days as Bytown), on an accessible point of the splendid Ottawa River. Here the river appears to be about a mile wide. Only the gentle downstream march of the wavelets crinkling its surface tells one that we are not on the shore of an expansive freshwater lake. It is easy to imagine a flotilla of canoes, laden with furs appearing from behind one of the islands. Their birch bark hulls would scrape onto the sandy beach less than a stone's throw from where I sit. Teepees would be pitched on the grounds behind me. Whiskey, traded for furs would be imbibed. Perhaps the drumming and dancing and bonfires would continue long into the night.

The Sharonator, Marina and Charlie are now down on the Rock beside the beach where the canoes (I imagine) landed. They are drinking coffee (except for Charlie who is a cat, a surprising cat but not one who as far as I know has a cuppa morning java) and yakking and giggling as women will after a hard night of fur trading and firelight whiskey. The Sharonator, along with Pat her husband, are our very dear friends who have been enticing us to make the three and one half hour journey up here for quite some time. Time well spent it turns out as I enjoy a modest hangover, the plashing wavelets and the hummingbirds which dart and hover around the feeders hanging behind the screens to my immediate left. Beyond them, amidst the pine, spruce and birch trees spaced out along the river blue jays raucously go about their morning business. Now Marina is doing Qi Gong by the river and the blue jays go quiet as she is joined by Sharon and Charlie too.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Downtown Boathouse Evening

Downtown Boathouse Evening

A Newfy, broad side-burned
in a goofy yellow shirt
squeezes reels and jigs
from a hollow musical snake.
His companion
sumptuous, earthy and beautiful
plucks a triangular banjo.

The setting sun
warms the boathouse boards
as I share the heron's stillness.
Water bugs leap like gazelles
from placid savannah grasses
winking flashes of silver.
Ducks churn purposefully,
bill-sniff side to side
dimpling the water's skin.

It is dinner time and the heron
intent on the island rock
steps once and twice into the shallow edge
retracts his beak like a cocked harpoon
and deepens his hungry stillness
as my toes, warmed by sun and music
keep the Newfy's beat.

A small crowd gathers behind the music makers:
a bicyclist or two, someone in a wheeled walker.
In the distance runners cross the railway bridge
young strides wide against blue sky.
The heron rips savagely, comically through his dignified stillness-
belly flops into the water, emerges ungainly with flopping
prey tweezered in his beak. It is duly pincered and gobbled.
Then proud stance resumed, a delicate sip or two of post-meal
river water, tea-time with pinky extended.

I rise from the warm boards; dinner waits nearby
at an elegant restaurant, itself doubtless no less a stage
for absurd and inelegant graspings.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Yet another poem:


Her Ford Fairmont was precisely positioned
to prevent my right-hand turn.
She could move up a few feet
violating the crosswalk, true-
but pedestrians were non-existent.
She was, out of ignorance
lack of consideration
holding me and my important business up.

Her body was slumped
her empty skull nestled
between the headrest and open window
fingers like whitened leeches
dangled unmoving from a slackened arm
down the side of her door. 

She was a slug
barely conscious
needing to be galvanized by my horn.
My car radio reports a death
a young hockey player, big contract,
suffering from depression, police
do not suspect foul play.


Maybe my slug is depressed;
maybe it took a massive effort
just to get into her car.
Happy people don't 
slump like that.
Maybe she lost someone close.
Maybe she was harried for years
by people rushing her
and she shut down inside.
Maybe I should just take my hand
away from the horn and stop
slugging her with my thoughts.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


This is from a dream, first poem in a while. A self-reminder that writing chops can deteriorate with lack of use. I mean it was tough to spit this one out.


A chain-mailed Knight serves as the Blowsnake's eyes.
Together they patrol the crenellated circumference
of the tower; its massive squared stones, sealed by weight alone,
are a polished curved wall seamed as by a glass cutter's diamond.
The Blowsnake's retracted tongue bloats his collar,
flaring the skin in coils that step back from his head
like successive Triceratops' shields. They flow him forward
on pulsing waves which are words yet to be born.

At the Knight's trumpet blast the tongue disgorges
from the Blowsnake's body, slides between crenellations
and insinuates itself into the ocean-fed moat below.
There it tastes of the dried sap in the hulls of invading ships.
From the splashes made by their furrowing prows
the tongue whispers to the sailors of leafy boughs, and long roots
in the warm earth back home. They feel the folly
of risking the sharpened edges of the granite reef
which lays barely submerged, dead ahead.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The iPod Miracle

The iPod Miracle

 About a year ago my iPod Touch died. Maybe died isn’t the correct term. More went into a coma. A coma where all the lights went out but you knew that somewhere deep down intelligence still lived. One knew this because though the screen was blank, the thing still worked. If I put on my reading glasses and shone a bright light at just the right angle, I could even turn it on and make it play music. But basically, unless you are the kind of nutcase who listens to the same music (Sinatra, Ella, Leonard Cohen) and/or the same audiobook (The Power of Now) over and over, the unit was a write-off. It was too much of an eyestrain to get it to do anything. Fortunately I am just that kind of nutcase. It remained on my docking station month after month, delivering the words of Eckhart Tolle that ushered me to sleep night after night.

Why didn’t I get it fixed? Because we don’t fix things, especially electronic things any more. We throw them away and get the next generation device. Fixing it under partial warranty would cost only $50 or so less than getting a brand new one with HD video recorder. I didn’t need an HD recorder. I didn’t want to spend $200 get it repaired under Apple’s less-than-ideal warranty. I didn’t want to be without Eckhart for the weeks it would be sent away. In short, ever stoic, ever lazy, ever frugal, I left things as they were.

I still had my laptop. I still had my Kindle. I still had my ancient cellphone which can’t even shoot video. Then my Kindle went into a coma. The Hercules screen saver got ripped across his midriff, leaving him leglessly battling a serpent. In the bottom half, under the tear, the Kindle worked perfectly. Above it Hercules remained, gradually disintegrating into a morass of vertical lines as the days went by. I called Amazon. They sent me a brand new one. God bless them; they want me to download more books. The Kindle episode was an omen. A precursor of good things to come. A harbinger of the iPod miracle.

The other morning it happened. The iPod screen plinked to life. Great sound, that plink by the way. Some of the sounds in Microsoft, like in Publisher when the red X comes and something is disallowed, are horrible. Like being whacked over the head by a bent aluminum gong. But I digress. The screen came on, informing me that after a year on the charging dock, my battery was fully charged. Yay. And that the date was July 21. As it was August, I suspect it meant July 21, 2010, perhaps the day of the coma’s onset. No matter. I began to play with it. The light screen was on but the touch function was dead. No matter how many times I slid the glowing bar nothing happened. Still suffering paroxysms of hope I pawed at the screen, turned the unit off and on, pawed some more. Somehow, incredibly, the date and time became up to the minute correct. I felt like Dr. Frankestein must have on seeing the Monster’s finger twitch. There was only one thing to do. I plugged it into the laptop and let it figure things out. Somehow, between me, the laptop, the iPod and the Internet, healing began. Settings were restored. New software, new iTunes were downloaded. Ultimately and gloriously the thing began to work! As I whooped joyously around the house I did not pause to reflect on how all that meditation, all that Eckhart, had failed to detach me from identification with possessions. Who cared about that crap when a miracle had occurred? My iPod had been healed.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Journey to Wordsworth

Journey to Wordsworth

No. Not that Wordsworth. Not the Lake District guy who co-wrote Lyrical Ballads with Coleridge way back in 1798. We're talking the Wordsworth Bookstore in Kitchener, Ontario. The one my sister, the former schoolteacher, gave me directions to in an effort to promote my literary career. See, Wordsworth (the bookstore) is associated with the One Book One Community endeavor in Waterloo region. While I was in Kitchener on my yearly visit to my sister (we'll call her Betty though Muddy Betty might be more appropriate) we noticed that the One Book One Community was asking for suggestions for writers to take part in their reading series for 2012. Perfect! I'm a writer. I've got a book! I can come to Kitchener, stay with Muddy Betty and do all kinds of readings.  But what would be really smart would be to drop by the Wordsworth Bookstore on my way to Peterborough, introduce myself and maybe leave a couple copies of Waking Up Gilligan on consignment. That way the powers that be could peruse the narrative and become wildly excited about its entertainment value for next year's readings. All I needed to know was how to get there. No problem. Muddy Betty to the rescue. She whipped out her teacher's retirement gift (an ipad) and briskly informed me that the bookstore was located on 100 King St. Two rights and a left and I would be on my way. 

Let me set the scene for the unmitigated disaster we all know is coming: It is Tuesday after the August long weekend. Scorching hot day. We played golf earlier on a course best described as a few fairways cut through steaming tropical swampland. At least a dozen of my most prized golf balls are currently incubating in the fetid ecological mush where no human is allowed to set his or her foot. It is about 4 PM, still achingly hot. My van has zero air conditioning. Heat mirages rise from the hot asphalt. Along with Kitchener's rush hour traffic, assorted young people wander the sidewalks, lost and searching for meaning in their lives. I now realize that these were Muddy Betty's former students, the ones she had given directions to over the years.

 I watch the street addresses carefully through the steaming haze. I pass 200, see a parking spot. I grab it. One hundred can't be far away and who knows if I'd find another one. Gripping two copies of WUG (each one weighs almost exactly one pound) I trek past Goodlife, past a parking garage, past where number one hundred should be. But there is no one hundred! Mystified, I stop. I feel the perspiration from my fingers insinuating itself into the paper fibers of the WUGs they grip. Soon my deathless prose will be dripping down into a charcoal gray smudge on the sidewalk. There can only be one possibility. Number 100 must be on the eastern side of whatever street is zero. It can't be far. It is away from my car but it can't be far. Besides, a little more walking probably won't kill me. I'll see a little more of the town. 

Inspired by this oh so positive self-talk, I resume my trek. I soon realize that I was delusional. In this heat, it is far. Very far. And guess what?  "Well, I'll be," I say to myself (I actually said something else but Muddy Betty's and mine mother taught us not to swear), "no one hundred again."  There is, however a bookstore a few feet away, called the Casablanca. I go in. The girl behind the counter looks a bit like a charmingly tattooed Ingrid Bergman. She looks up. Our eyes meet. "Of all the bin joints in all the towns in the world..." she begins. "Save it Sister!" I say brusquely. "What have you done with the Wordsworth Bookstore?" One look in those eyes and I knew she was the type that would level with me.
"Oh," she says. "That's in Waterloo. You've got to go another twelve blocks further. You're on the right side of the street, though."

Small mercies. Very small. If thoughts could kill, it is at this moment that my baby sister would be reduced to a mere splotch on the sidewalk.

The Wordsworth Bookstore was eventually reached. Though the charming young lady was helpful, I couldn't leave my WUGs on consignment and a "committee" would decide who next year's readers were. The quest for a reading in Kitchener-Waterloo continues, though one wonders at what cost? What if the locale of the reading is on King St.? Would I be able to maintain my sanity in a city which potentially has not one, not two, not three, but four identical such addresses? On a street that runs both east-west and north-south? And where does the selection "committee" meet? How do they find each other? The mind falters. Kafkaesque vapors overwhelm. Only one thing is stunningly clear: my little sister's name is mud.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Journey to Fergus-2

Journey to Fergus 2

 Christopher K. Miller and I have exchanged first novels and some of the talk in the Goofie Newfie naturally turns to them. What I don't get a chance to ask him is why he called his 'The Bridge (aka The Money Song)'.  Dude, The Money Song all by its lonesome rocks as a title. Surely 'The Bridge' as a novel title is one that one would come across over and over through the years. But 'The Money Song' conjures up all kinds of feel good associations from Pink Floyd to street buskers to Celine Dion. OK, so Celine Dion is more feel weird than feel good. We'll move on.

It turns out that Chris is an expert in encryption, the art of turning data into code that only those in the know can decipher. His novel, if I understood him correctly despite the visual distractions in the Goofie Newfie, is about a guy who works doing encryptions for a financial institution. Having a screw or two loose (or maybe just being greedy, if you can imagine such a thing in this day and age) he decides to use his ability to extract the PIN's of strangers for his own ends. He chooses a certain victim, a gambler who will likely not notice money missing amongst the multitudinous deposits and withdrawals from his account. But the victimizer gradually becomes involved in the victim's life and... I have to read the book to glean the rest. Certainly the premise is interesting enough to get me started.

Chris also let it slip that that he considers himself a good ping pong player, even going so far as to challenge me to a game. Did I mention how gangly he was? With those long arms and his edgy, borderline frenetic energy he would doubtless be a formidable opponent. Little does he know (actually he does know because I told him) that I misspent many hours of my youth playing (read usually being crushed at) ping pong in my basement with former junior squash champion Ian Shaw. Nor that I've since honed my game by watching other drunken tourists play in Cuba. The next Journey to Fergus could be an athletic and literary clash of titanic proportions. Rest assured that a return visit to the Goofie Newfie will certainly part of the action.

Coming Soon: Journey to Minden! Yes on Aug.13, I, along with local literary giant Brenda L. Baker will be traveling to Minden, Ont. to read at the R.H. Lawrence Festival. We currently suspect our readings will be @ 3PM. And on August 20 I will be situated at a desk at our local Chapters Bookstore right here on Landsdowne St. in Peterborough, Ontario, to sign copies of  Waking Up Gilligan. Barb, the Chapters manager, tells me that I'll be just inside the front door. Hopefully between 1-3 pm that afternoon I will be tripped over by some familiar faces.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Journey to Fergus-1

Journey to Fergus-1

It has surely been argued somewhere that our child-like sense of wonder has been ravaged by television. Like soma dripped directly into the brain via the eyeballs, the images of other lives, lives more beautiful, dangerous, and witty than our own, experienced vicariously, have sapped our ability to experience the raw sense of wonder that is our birthright. Could it be possible that the widespread use of the Internet, the Interactivity of that medium are helping us to restore that lost ability?

You see I met my editor over the Internet and it was thanks to him that I found myself traversing a long catwalk far above the tumultuous waters of the Grand River. Where was Christopher K. Miller, this gangly stranger, whom I'd met just minutes before taking me? There was no sign of a destination, just rocky precipices on either side of a fearsome gorge. Across from me a gigantic culvert spewed water and other effluvia from the Fergusian streets down and down to the river-thrashed boulders below. And Christopher, internet legend that he was, spotter of countless tiny errors in spelling and grammar, corrector of logical inconsistencies, was rightfully known for, and personally proud of, his macabre, inventive, and fundamentally twisted turn of mind. Should I be bracing myself for a plummeting plot twist worthy of the Harry Potter movie I had seen the night before? (DH part II was pretty good btw, a worthy, satisfying ending and my first 3d since Avatar was well worth the extra cash.)

But wait. The barren catwalk broadened and became populated. There were tables, pitchers of beer and young people in the evening sun. We were entering a wondrous new world perched high over what is presumably part of the Elora Gorge. We were entering the Goofie Newfie cafe.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Journey to Leacockland 4- Gasparini and Mirolla

Journey to Leacockland 4- Gasparini and Mirolla

The last event of the Leacock Festival I attended was the Guernica Editions Showcase. All the readers were wonderful, but I want to comment particularly on Len Gasparini and Michael Mirolla. These two grizzled veterans, though I am far from young, made me feel like a fuzzy-cheeked toddler splashing around in the wading pool while they cavorted in the deep end of literary accomplishment. Perhaps 'cavorted' is a touch too nubile a word, as these gentlemen did not exude a rosy aura of good health. Gravitas, passion, and humor they did have; all of these in abundance. 

Mr. Mirolla told two stories; one was about bandages; one about a holy man and a sand flea.  The were so well wrought, so impressive- in the truest sense of the word- that I think I could do a fair job of re-telling both of them. They did what good stories do: penetrated my guts and changed me inside in ways difficult to explain. Len Gasparini's work had the same effect. I'll not forget his praying mantis named Goliath, nor the Port Hope woman who chose to end her life high in a tree, shielded by leaves that fell and died in their turn, revealing her scarecrow shell months later. Young writers, all writers, would do well to come and listen to these men if they get a chance. You aren't likely to be dazzled, but you are sure as hell going to learn a thing or two.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Journey to Leacockland 3: On the Tomson Highway

Journey to Leacockland 3- On the Tomson Highway

The morning after the banquet, as I made my left turn from the waterfront bike path onto Mississauga St. (Orillia's main drag of patios, cafes, stores etc.), I breezed by none other than Tomson Highway. The keynote speaker from the previous night's banquet was walking alone towards the lake. I raised my arm, palm forward, elbow akimbo, in greeting. He did likewise. As it was the morning after the night before and I for one had not yet had my coffee, it is a safe bet that neither of us was feeling too chatty. Not a word was said. Yet the thought, spurred by the palm-forward greeting (like something out of the old Lone Ranger show) immediately occurred as I continued past the Legion Hall at the foot of the street: What if I had deepened my voice and said 'How'? Would Mr. Highway have been insulted by my egregious lack of political correctness? Would my liver have been imperiled?

No. Of course not. And I am (as a certain friend often points out) a f***ing idiot for thinking and writing this way. If Tomson Highway's keynote speech is any indicator, it is far more likely that he would double over with laughter rather than take offense. For this is a man who knows (as far too few Canadians truly do) what it is to laugh. To fall down helpless on the ground and laugh. My faux-pas would be nothing for a man who told us his father was born in 'Sasquatchewan' and that the biggest problem with going above the tree line is that there is nowhere to go to the toilet. He also pointed out that there is no laughter in the Bible and that the meaning of the Eden story is that the English are afraid of the garden of pleasure. This is so true that it is, well, laughable. It is this connection to and evocation of the fundamental absurdity in all things- an example he gave is that the government spends fifty-thousand dollars a year to maintain each prisoner, yet only a lucky few artists get a mere twenty-thousand in grants- wherein lies the indispensable value of Mr. Highway to our country's literary life. This is the reason that his speech, though 'narrow-casted' from his own life and concerns, hit a 'key note' in this writer's ongoing creative life.

next- a few thoughts on some grizzled literary warriors.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Journey to Leacockland 2

Journey to Leacockland-2

I'm now in the Brownstone, a small cafe/pub in downtown Orillia. Black and white checkerboard floor, view of the street, very quiet air conditioning. This morning it was breakfast at the Mariposa Marketplace. I sat outside with my strawberry banana muffin and some impertinent sparrows while Orillia's Sunday morning came to life around me. This followed a pleasant waterfront bike ride from the magnificent Bayview Inn into the heart of touristy downtown. I'm not saying the Bayview is lower class, but there are two dogs tied up outside my room and when I left for breakfast there was a very hung-over looking twenty-something sitting and smoking on the balcony opposite mine. When I returned over an hour and half later he was still there, still smoking, as were the dogs- though they were just there, being too busy barking at me to smoke.

But what about the awards and readings you ask? The unquestionable highlight was that Peterborough's own Shelagh D. Grant won the Lela Common Award for Canadian History for her book Polar Imperative. She was also one of the very few who were there to receive the award in person. Which brings me to some general observations.

Firstly, the overall event was enjoyable  and well done. What a great setting! The afternoon CAA readings were in a big white tent. There was a cool breeze on a hot day and seagulls and crows squawked in the background. All this amidst the gardens and grasses of Stephen Leacock's home on the shores of Old Brewery Bay. But, truth be told, there were barely as many or fewer people than at last weeks modest book launches by Brenda Baker (Sisters of the Sari) and Larry Tyldsley (Momentos) back in Peterborough. And at the banquet- which featured delicious food, keynote speaker Tomson Highway and the awards presentation, all for $40 (plus the Harmful Sales Tax) I don't think there could have been more than sixty people. These are national awards. Important honors. The MP and mayor of Orillia were there. I have to admit I don't know much of the history involved, but though Matthew Binn, Anita Purcell and the Leacock Festival did a fine job hosting the event, one is left with the impression that the CAA awards (at one time the organization oversaw the Governor General's Awards) have become over time rather marginalized.

In the afternoon Steve and Donna Thompson and I also watched a presentation of readings by published Penguin authors. This was most interesting in terms of assessing what it takes to be a published author and in appreciated the various degrees of presentation skills the authors displayed. In short, though the audience was, as previously mentioned, sparse, all impressed this listener to the extent that if time and money permitted, he would be interested in checking out their work. Perhaps the most compelling of these was Keith Ross Leckie's "Coppermine" a novel based on a true incident in the early 1900's where two Inuit hunters killed two priests on the northern tundra and ate their livers.

coming next: Impressions of Tomson Highway

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Journey to Leacockland 1

Journey to Leacockland- 1

We've arrived on Orillia and I am being sumptuously chilled by the air conditioning in the not-so-magnificent but nicely functional Bayview Inn. A very short bike ride away is the Leacock Museum, site of this evening's Canadian Author's Association awards. Orillia this far looks like a section of Kingston Rd. at the east end of Toronto has been transplanted between two magnificent lakes. Brewer's Bay, where the Museum is, is remarkably charming and beautiful. To get there one must briefly drive through a modern subdivision which is decidedly not. Charming, that is. At any rate, I must now drag the bicycle from the van and go and absorb Canadian culture, hopefully at a rate that won't prove overwhelming.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Journey to the Lakefield Literary Festival-2

I re-mounted and soon arrived at my friend Brenda's house which is happily located very close to the bicycle trail to Lakefield. Brenda, author of "The Sari Sisters"  "Sisters of the Sari" (her blog is linked to this one) was bummed because the first week sales of her book were only (not to give away any trade secrets) in the low four figure range. Fresh off and downright giddy after doubling my own sales from one to two hard copies, I could only commiserate and do my best to comfort the poor creature. (If you look up Bren's picture in the who's who of Canadian authors you will see the image of a half empty glass- and it is not beer in the other half because she never has any.) This last-mentioned fact was doubtless instrumental in sending me dauntlessly on my way.

As I hit the gravel trail north of Trent University a sign said Lakefield 7 kilometers. The sun was hot. The trail unpaved. Time was running short as I had a dinner date back in Peterborough with certain yogic goddess. My fifty-six year old legs, despite the rigorous conditioning of recent bicycling in Holland were tiring. I asked them what I should do. They told me to turn back and go to Reggie's Hot Grill and get some freedom fries and something cool to drink. I never argue with my legs. It looks too silly.

Reggie's Hot Grill is a chip trailer just south of the university. It is on a dead end street beside the Ottonabee River. The order-taker was a pretty girl with multiple visible piercings and semi-visible tattoos. The cook was curly haired, equally pierced, and remarkably cheerful. I sat at a picnic table thoughtfully set on the angled road bank so I feared my tin of Diet Coke was in danger of toppling. The low angle of the sun caused the shade of its umbrella to cant, so I had to sit at the end of the bench and crane my neck to be even partially out of the still-hot sun. But I was happy there, watching the seagulls, listening to the punky heavy rap metal blaring from Reggie's Grill: You lie when you breathe, you blink when you lie, and you blink when you breathe or some such nonsense over and over and over until my legs and I, in making peace with each other, began to sense a certain profundity in the silence between the verses. And the big seagull panted and stepped daintily on the pavement of the road which, due to the slant of the picnic table was close to eye level, so the seagull and I were damn near seeing eye to eye, or more accurately, eye to tongue. The hot pavement is hurting his feet. Why does he keep walking back and forth?

At that moment the psychic fumes funneling southwards some eight or more kilometers from the Lakefield Literary Festival doubtless mixed with the savory aromas from Reggies' Grill, invaded my nostrils and infected my brain. I imagined the story of a man, a man much like myself, sitting watching the seagulls and their bean sprout tongues panting. Then the largest of the pink-eyed creatures lands hot-footed on the picnic table in front of him. The seagull's tongue, as it lashes out like that of a moth-catching frog and stings the hero directly between the eyes, is forked! The man, forever and disastrously transformed in ways we dare not speak about here, with trembling hand picks up his plastic Reggie's Grill fork and proceeds to feed his feathered brothers and sisters every last remnant of his freedom fries. Then, picking up his plastic Reggie's Grill knife he braces his left pinkie finger flat on the picnic table's surface. The seagull's cry hungrily as one as he begins to saw...

Such inspiration.  I want to produce a book of short stories next. Maybe the seagull one can be in it. I'll tell it in first person, from the protagonists point of view. But get this: there will be no a's q's or z's in the entire story! Brilliant. And I'll owe it all to the seagulls and the Lakefield Literary Festival.

Journey to the Lakefield Literary Festival-1

Journey to the Lakefield Literary Festival- 1

 I didn't know it would end this way: clinging to a scrap of shade, watching a seagull pant. I didn't know seagulls panted. Hell, I didn't even know they had tongues. But the big, white, pink-eyed fellow tip-toeing over the tarmac in front of me with his beak held wide was pointing his, like the living tip of a bean sprout, straight at me. He was trying to tell me something about literature.

It began with a notion. A crazy, inspired notion on a hot, hot Saturday. I would journey on my bicycle to the Lakefield Literary Festival, a mere fifteen or so kilometers away. The people who ran this august event somehow missed my status as a newly minted novelist and failed to invite me. With the generous spirit of the true artist I decided to overlook this blatant snub and go anyway. Writers would be there. And readers. I would go, mingle, have a beer on a patio and leave my author's calling card where the right eyes might find it. At the very least I would absorb the literary vibes from so many finely tuned minds conglomerating in one location. I would prepare myself for that inevitable day when I, J.R. MacLean, will actually be invited to present, read, and be fawned over by the assembled literati at the Lakefield Literary Festival. But first I had to call my mother.

But my phone wouldn't work. OK, not the phone per se, but the computer into which my Magic Jack is plugged. I could go on about the immense satisfaction I had over a year ago giving Ma Bell and Papa Cable the boot and going pure wireless for all our communication/entertainment needs. That progress, however, involved a little regression, something like needing to turn the crank on those old wall phones you see in shows on the Deja Vu channel. Our Magic Jack is plugged into a little-used netbook that has to be booted up so we can make incredibly cheap long distance calls. The netbook wouldn't boot. It wanted to scan first. Fine. It wouldn't boot. It want to scan first. Wouldn't boot. Scan. Fine. Wouldn't. Scan. Crap. Wouldn't. Scan. Half hour wasted. Forty-five minutes. Do I simply use my cell and pay for the charges? Generations of my Scottish forebears forbore that possibility. I got another laptop, booted it up, plugged in the Magic Jack, downloaded the software, made the call, well over an hour wasted. No worries. This way I've missed riding in the strongest heat of the day.

A few copies of WUG safely stashed in my new waterproof saddlebags (just in case) I began my northward journey through the metropolis of Peterborough. It was pleasant riding. Why not make a mild detour and visit the Silver Bean Cafe, an idyllic enclave on the shore of Little Lake in downtown Peterborough? My shaggy-haired friend Lloyd was there at the Boathouse, carving canes and renting out kayaks and canoes. Lloyd bought a WUG, the second hard copy sale ever. We sat and chatted about the weather down east. Ducks bobbed in the water. Waves lapped at the dock. Time slipped away. be continued

Friday, July 15, 2011

First Hard Copy Sale

The first hard copy sale of Waking Up Gilligan, let it be noted and known here for posterity (or for my personal reassurance) was made today to Mr. and Mrs. Ted and Alex Cranfield, very nice people and new clients of mine. I warned them about the profanity and sex in the novel, but that seemed to only make them want it more. Thank-you, and long may you run Ted and Alex of Olympus Dr., Peterborough.

Hard copies

I now possess hard copies of my novel. They come snug in a box between tic tac toe cardboard dividers. I lift them out by their edges, like phonograph records. Just a few. I close the box and tuck it away in my van. It displaces my plumbing tools. They'll be safe there. Freshly pressed and waiting for their readers.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Journey to the land of tulips and windmills 5

I'm in Schipol Airport outside Amsterdam. There is no free internet here, presumably the Dutch will catch up to Pearson International and the Canadians at some point. They lagged behind in anti-smoking laws as well, though progress has been made to the extent that Schipol is finally smoke free. One occasionally wonders how certain people persist in continually translating the prefix 'Euro' as meaning 'progressive' or 'superior'.

I'm near a mournful display encouraging people to avoid buying ivory and so save the elephants. Eminently politically correct and commendable but the background soundtrack of elephant moans or wind between massive, bleached bones (or whatever) is losing some of its toe-tapping cachet. So too, the images of sagging, tusk-less elephant corpses are not aiding the digestion of my travel sandwich of smoked salmon, gouda cheese (so good and so cheap here, now that's progressive) and fresh cucumber which was grown in pots in my mother-in-law's darling little greenhouse. The beer and gouda diet I've been on is incidentally not recommended for those who would like to return less hefty from a vacation than when they departed.

The gong has sounded; the journey to gate G9 begins. Other travelers must take their turn hearing the elephants' mournful songs while we head for a distant cheap flight gate that is hopefully somewhere this side of the Zuider Zee.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

On why the laughing Buddha got it right and why meditation is like a BSG computer virus

  OK. Let us, in the spirit of Zen Paradox- (if you think that a paradox is where you put your two boats, please move on to another blog; this one is going to address abstruse spiritual matters that are going to have you looking at your watch and hoping it will end, though strangely enough, we’re coming to the end now)- so let us, as I was saying, in the spirit of Zen Paradox begin with the ending: Bodai, the belly-laughing Buddha, did indeed get it right. Humour is the flesh on the bones of meditation. There. It’s over. Conclusion reached. If you are now saying to yourself, Wait a minute. I am an incredible meditator. I was with Osho from the beginning and have done sixteen Goenka groups and I find very little to laugh about in myself or in the world, then stop reading; close your eyes; watch your breath or whatever it is you do. There’s more work to be done.

Yeah. Meditation is work. If you’ve tried it, really tried it, you know it is. Oh sure, there can be those special times where you sit, go inside, feel the oneness in all things, the dazzling joy arising out of every molecule in existence and blah, blah, blah. For my part, meditation generally confronts me with my thoughts: my sneering, snivelling, resentful disaster-laden imaginings or guilt-riddled regrets. And if I manage, through years of practice and intense effort to stay present, then I get to go into my feelings: the constrictions, the holdings, the neuroses, the tensions, the anger, the rage, the existential alienation and angst that are the sine qua non of my ego’s existence. That’s Latin! (I warned you this was going to get abstruse: you can google it or check out Season 4 of Battlestar Galactica  for the sin qua non of sin qua non).

So where does humour enter into all this suffering, you ask? I will tell you, but first let me illustrate (in a sly bit of promotion) how the ego-mind can avoid the real work of meditation with a brief excerpt from my novel, Waking Up Gilligan. The protagonist, Swami Satyam Gilligan, has found himself in the political nerve centre of the Divine Bhagwan’s commune with some time on his hands. He decides to meditate:

“Fine. Deela's not here. I'm expected to wait. I'll wait. I'm surrendered, I'm in the flow. But what to do? No TV. No reading material… I’ll meditate! Here in the very heart— the political heart anyway— of the Buddhafield. What a day I'm having! Seeing the Master for the very first time, the assassination attempt, acceptance as a worker in the commune, now summoned to head office. Here, I will sit and hone my awareness, plumb the profound depths and scale the heightened vibes of this very special place.  
  He chooses a spot on the far side of the dining area, beside the vertically-blinded patio door. He peeks between the blinds. No deck, just a drop of six feet to the sun-drenched soil. The door to Chloe's office swings shut. She must be taking another meeting. The muffled sounds of hammering and the roar of one of the old school buses that are the primary means of transportation at the Ranch pulling away in the front of the restaurant reach him through the glass panes. It is pleasantly cool, despite the intense sunshine. From overhead comes the drowsy hum of air conditioners.           
Should I settle into the lotus position, show how adept I am? No. Too painful. Besides, I've never been able to hold even the half lotus for more than a few seconds. Buddhafield or no Buddhafield, I doubt I can do it now.  
 He eases his butt to the floor, uses the paneled wall, cool and faintly redolent of lemon scented cleaner, to support his back. He breathes deeply.

 It's good to be accepted as a summer worker in the greatest socio-spiritual experiment the world has ever seen. Here we will create the New Man, a man who is not ruled by the petty, grasping ego-mind. A man who lives authentically and in the moment. After my nauseatingly comfortable bourgeois upbringing, this is more like it. Meaning. Importance. And chicks. So many chicks. 

He closes his eyes, turns his attention inwards, lets out a self-satisfied sigh. Now which method to use? Vipassana? Humming? The Secret of the Golden Flower? Or should we just do the Lounging meditation, where you hang out with as much awareness as possible? The Master has taught so many. He is still trying to decide, choosing one method and then another, as he drifts off to sleep."

Any number of obstacles to meditation are illustrated by this, especially a core one of sleepiness—our perhaps innate desire to become or remain unconscious. We may laugh at this because we see and have experienced the same foibles in ourselves. But in laughing at our hindrances there is the possibility of gaining new perspective on them. New perspective means awareness which is the opportunity to let go of said hindrances. We see we choose to sleep instead of to wake up. What a joke! Enter the laughter. Enter the role of humour in meditation.

Humour breaks down the firewall to Truth. Meditation is like a computer virus which wants to undermine all those logical and not-so-logical beliefs and psychological/emotional constructs which form the ego-mind and so reach the ‘core processor’ ie. the silent realm of pure being. Humour, especially the type that combines a measure of insight along with a teensy bit of release from suffering, is unquestionably a sign that the meditator is getting just a little bit closer. Keep those grinning pac man meditative efforts chomping away at your Cylon firewalls and it stands to reason that you’ll get there in no-time, with plenty of pain and belly laughs along the way.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Journey to the land of tulips and windmills 4

I've arrived in a certain corner of Holland at a certain brother-in-law's house, both of which shall remain nameless for reasons I'm about to describe. There are those who are seasoned travellers, those who can seamlessly meld into the customs and mores of whatever place they are in. Then there are those like me.

My task was simple, perhaps too simple. Myself and my niece and nephew- whom we'll call Diede (age almost 14) and Rik (12) mounted bicycles (that is the way of the Dutch) and rode into the nearby nameless, albeit charming medieval town (wtf, let's call it Grave) to buy some provisions (let's call them food and beer) for our stay in their domestic territory. In the supermarket, while Diede and Rik scurried around making themselves useful, I wandered the aisles squinting at labels and wondering what they meant. Our cart filled at an alarming rate and, with the foresight of an untrained novelist, I realized that we were buying too much to carry in the saddlebags of our bicycles.

We had twelve bottles of water and twelve bottles of Duvel, an exquisite Belgian beer at less than half the price in Canada. The water was duly chucked. As we stuffed the saddlebags of my brother-in-law's bike- which he kindly gave me the use of- I realized through my jet-lagged fog, that keeping myself and the bike balanced was going to be a challenge. Unfortunately the overloaded contraption chose the moment I was moving my hands from saddlebag to handlebars to topple over. It crashed to the sidewalk, sending something plastic and broken (a flashlight holder?) skittering from the handlebars onto the street. There was only one thing I dreaded more than facing the wrath of my brother-in-law (let's call him Henk): that was seeing a stream of delicious golden Duvel tracking its way into the gutter. Fortunately the latter did not happen. The Duvels survived. It remains to be seen whether I survive the former.

Because there is more, much more of my bumbling tourist act to come, more that will sorely test the patience and hospitality of the brother-in-law we are calling Henk. You see I picked the bike up (including the broken plastic pieces of whatever it was) and in my euphoria at finding the Duvels unscathed, mounted the bi-wheeled machine and attempted to leave. Problem. Bike still locked. Locked with a key the Dutch cleverly build in above the rear tire. No problem. I will unlock it. Problem. Bike won't unlock. No problem. I'll turn the key a bit harder. Problem. The key has snapped off in my hand. The over-loaded bike was still locked. Huge problem.

I'll not bore the reader with the denouement to this problem (let's call it a challenge). We have another nine days of seamless melding to attempt (including the authentic Dutch wedding of my niece) and I, along with my Duvels, intend to enjoy them as fully as possible, though I do see a great deal of walking in my near future.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Journey to the land of tulips and windmills 3

We are in sin city, aka Amsterdam- the funkiest city in the world. We saw Anne Frank’s house, except it has been glassed and steeled in- apparently to preserve it.
Huge line-up outside, including scores of green-shirted kids shrieking with joy at being on a school trip, I suppose.

There’s the power of the written word: without her diary there would be no kids, no line-up, no steel and glass façade. Anne simply would have been taken away and forgotten, along with millions of other children who were denied the right to shriek and misbehave on school trips.

We also saw the Vondelpark, where an old man played the violin under and overpass with stunningly good acoustics. Nearby, young guys sprawled on a lawn smoked formidable looking spliffs. The film institute around the corner features a JACK! Festival: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Easy Rider, The Last Detail etc. I am hoping Jesse will go tonight as he has seen none of them- a yawning chasm in his education to this point.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Journey to the land of tulips and windmills 2

Pearson Airport, Terminal 1: a place that manages to be cavernous and labyrinthine all at once. But free wi-fi thanks to the largesse of Rogers. Trip highlight so far was visiting my brother in law on the way in. He's sixty and from the sixties so, as we are pulling away in my Own-a-Wreck, he yells at my son to pick him up a quarter ounce of hash in Amsterdam. Jesse, the innocent, immediately says "What did he say? He wants me to get him a hat?"

Right Jesse. Size quarter ounce. And stick it in your parent's luggage.

Journey to the land of tulips and windmills

The important thing is to find out when is the perfect time to scarf down a few tabs of melatonin. My son Jesse and I have only one night in Amsterdam (funny how that place-name rhymes with sin, isn't it?) and 'tis best we spend our time there in at least a semi-conscious state.

We watched Unknown last night on Apple TV. Liam Neeson carries that movie effortlessly, though the supporting cast is good, particularly the old guy as the ex-Stasi spy. Liam IS Harrison Ford with a funny name.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kenneth, fondly known as Buster @560 words

Kenneth, fondly known as Buster
By J.R. MacLean

Ah, my love, it is you. I felt your sweet hand on that massive door. But someone trails you. A weight from before.
“Lands sakes, Karen, I don’t know how you can spend half your waking hours in here all these weeks. Just that awful antiseptic smell gives me the heebie-jeebies. Sets off my allergies too. But I suppose part of a mother’s duty is to make her child face reality.”
We flew last night, my love. Do you remember? I showed you the glaciers thundering from Greenland’s tip. Then we soared hand in hand back to Paris. We rustled with the oak leaves in the Jardin du Luxembourg. We hovered, giggling over our old lady’s crepe cart, became butterfly small and road the updrafts from the buttery heat of her griddle. Do you remember the scent of that raspberry jam?
“You know I cared for Kenneth, baby. We all did. He was a very sweet person. A bit—impractical, let’s say. I mean a Poet Handyman? Whoever heard of such a thing? And I said that motorcycle was a mistake from the very beginning. I just give thanks to the Lord every day that you weren’t on it with him.”
We rode the cold slipstream back, tumbling entwined, clinging to the moment while the darkening stars streaked overhead. We came to the mouth of the great river, the St. Lawrence I think, where it spills into the Atlantic. It was pulling me, pulling me towards that vast, gray horizon. You said, “Hey Buster, where do you think you’re going?”—the way you always do—and we put our hands behind our backs and we were warm again and rubbed our noses together. Yes, we floated in the sunshine over green and another color. Red. Red soil. A potato field in Prince Edward Island, that was it! We floated with our hands behind our backs and rubbed noses in the sunlight, over a carpet of potatoes hushed and cool in the red earth beneath us.
“That insurance policy was the one bright move he made. Thank goodness! But honey, you are going to burn it all up by keeping him going here. You’ve heard what the doctor keeps saying? And they need all these tubes and equipment for people who at least have a chance of getting well. Ah ah ah choo! Achoo!  Achoo! Achoo! There they go! Just like Old Faithful. Running like a tap. I’ll be out in the hallway blowing my nose if you need me.”
My love? My love? K—Karen. Karen. Isn’t that funny? For a moment there, I forgot your name. I was feeling you but now, maybe—ah, there you are.
“Mother! Mother! Come here. Quick! Quick!”
“What is it, my darling? Oh my baby, you’re crying. Is he gone? Did you--?”
“No! Come here. Feel his cheek. That’s it. Now feel his nose.”
“Land sakes! His cheek is like touching a corpse, but this, this is warmer than my fingers.”
“Yes! Isn’t it wonderful!”
“That’s just thrilling, honeybun. Achoo! Achoo! I’ll let the nurse know, in case there’s something wrong with the machine.”
Karen tenderly strokes the warm nose of her young husband and brings her lips very close to his cold left ear.
“Only when we’re ready, Buster,” she whispers. “Only when we’re ready.”

Monday, June 27, 2011

abandon your tight-*** ways

abandon your tight-*** ways

a demon infected you
gnarling your fingers

feel his hind claws gouge your bowels
make your splitting tongue be still
so words echo down the caverns of your thighs,
conversant with the ground.

his snarl ripples from your face
the melted mask trampled as
hypnotic hooves unwind their dance.

exultant thoughts caress your spine
broadcasting aliveness
like the first crows of the morning
like the last crows of the evening

as you abandon your tight-ass ways.

Getting this blog together feels like a career in itself. I'm venturing into the blogosphere. I'm a blogosphere rider! Riding my blogosteed through the interweb canyons! Yippeeayeh motherfracker!

June 27,2011

I'm in the Cone of Silence, extemporanizing- is that word? on the new blog. I am going to insert whatever wild, devious thoughts come to me in this space on a regular basis. Experiencing a couple days pre Holland departure, off to partake in a family wedding.  Manana- that's Spanish folks, not Dutch, (though we're missing a squiggly line- manana, morgen, tomorrow is final preparation day and now, now comes the shout for dinner.