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January 19 - January 25, 2004
January 24, 2004
And Here Come the Shakes

Fwoooooooh. That was a good one.

And the best part: if I shamed myself, I don't remember. Good times, indeed. I gotta lie in bed some more.

January 23, 2004
Fucking Done and Done

Haven't been to bed before 2AM for weeks, but the fucking book is done and done and done like fucking done. And it is in the genius hands of Victor de Guerre, and we are on our way to glory, fame and incarceration. My joy and relief cannot be understated.

All I can say is: holy fuck. I gotta get drunk. And so I will. Terrible John's on the hunt this weekend and there're co-worker birthdays and the plan is to start hard and finish badly. It could go two ways.

One. I knock back six beers and the residual exhaustion from the finishing haul gets to me and I fall asleep at the table, like the time I crossed Serbia alone and passed out in an Irish bar in Budapest on St. Patty's in the middle of the dance floor and slept until I was no longer tired.

Two. I knock back six beers, decide that Caesars are the way to go, knock back six of those, decide a couple of shots of absinthe might be just the ticket, toss down a glass of red wine I steal from some loaded blonde chick, rev up a couple of hi-test vodka drinks and finally decide to settle into the rum for the night, because that's always a safe bet. Nine hours later, I am on top of a speaker in the Purple Onion with some chick named Salmon, and sixteen hours later I am waking up on somebody's floor, looking up at the bedspread and wondering if there is anybody in there that I know. The television is on, but there is only static, and there are children crying somewhere and I can see a wig hanging from a mannequin's head. I decide to move, but I realize that I am naked and my body is stuck to the hard wood because somebody spilled a gin and tonic on me when I was passed out, and it has dried. There is no vomit, so that is good, but there is no wallet, so that is bad, and it seems like the house is empty, so that is good, but I'm not quite sure whose house it is, so that is bad.

The question for anyone who finds themselves in this situation: do you steal clothes and money from the house and leave, or do you wait for the owner to come home? If it's somebody you know, stealing their clothes and money is bad, but if it's somebody you don't know, they may not be impressed by a naked intruder, so you might as well take the money and stumble the fuck out to the curb, look at the street address and hope that you're still in the same fucking city you started in.

Two ways. Flip of a fucking coin, at this point.

January 22, 2004
Policy in Effect

Belinda Stronach: 1.
Paul Martin: 0.

Street credit results goes to Belinda's blog, cause Belinda not only posted the Mingus comment, but Belinda also posted a link to Mingus Tourette's web site. I am fifteenth from the bottom.

I shit you not.

I mean, she avoided the question about funding arts and literature, but my question was a little broad. So I asked another one today: "Who are some of your favourite Canadian writers or poets? Reading anybody special? I'm curious what conservative politicians read, and how important they consider a nation's literature to its identity."

By god, let's get the dialogue rolling, Belinda.

In other news.

An interesting Rorschach test ran in the pages of the Daily Mingus over the past couple of days. Two days, two haiku.

One concerned the nature of life, death, love, and the ephemeral nature of human existence. It received zero comments.

The second haiku concerned a ear-splitting fart in the lunchroom and the nature of the taste of colon on bread. It received five comments to date, and over 350 words worth of dialogue.

I'm not judging reader's taste for fart-based haiku over humanity-based haiku, I'm simply noting it for all to consider. It even inspired poetry from one reader.

Like the quiet cricket upon the lotus, the essence of your gaseous release haunts the sensory chamber of my soul. - Marcuse

Truly, beautiful. Let's not stop there. Please, people. Let me know how this has touched you, and feel the liberation to write your own flatulence based haiku.

January 21, 2004
The Crippling Fart - Poetry in the Air

A couple of announcements. Belinda Stronach is officially running for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. More importantly, she is going to blog her way to glory. Do not worry, I have taken the liberty of contacting her and asking for her position on arts and literature funding in Canada. Once we become friendly, I will trade links with her. Like I did with Paul. The internet - great for grass roots support building!

In addition to this, Bush and the US went hat in hand to the UN for help in Iraq. Read this great article. It has lots of links, including one to a rather amusing Bush cartoon.

On to more important things...

Due to the overwhelming response to yesterday's haiku, I would like to press on with this underappreciated art form, and will henceforth be writing every blog using only the technique Basho so eschewed.

Unfortunately, the only worthy event today was the previously mentioned crippling fart I unloosed in the lunchroom today, to devastating effect. I was sitting down to eat my sandwich, when this magnificent fart suddenly leapt forth with the sort of sound I would expect out of a wounded hippo at the moment of its death. People shivered. There was silence, even reverence. I could feel the tender meat of my anus contract, slightly torn. The scent descended almost immediately, and there was chaos, as people leapt over each other to escape, and the horror was evident in their eyes. I sat, mollified, the eye in the storm, the carrier amidst the plague ridden hordes.

This event is not necessarily something that I would normally write in haiku form. I consider myself something of a purist, and I am angered by people that write haiku about their computers or their cats. Still, my future dedication to the haiku sephirot has convinced me that this is, as Buddha once said, the golden path.

Let us review how this has come to pass. Yesterday's haiku, for the unappreciative, reached a level of perfection that I, or anyone, rarely achieve with haiku. I fully expect that if someone were in the proper frame of mind, and spoke the poem aloud, they could reach satori. It was, in all humility, a complete balance between the sense of aloneness that we all feel, coupled with the rare, raw touch of another human being, the all-too important sense and fulfillment of lust, and possibly, even love. It was a shield against the vastness of death. If a reader takes the moment to embrace the work, to speak each line in singularity, they will realize that yesterday's work was haiku in its ultimate form. Consider the complexity.

sound of white noise
One can hear white noise, yet it is the sound of nothingness. It is the absence of music and voice, but it can drown out all other things.

encasing the flesh - black sky
The flesh, referred to only in passing, brings to mind the union between man and woman, defending themselves against an ominous universe. The black sky reminds us of our essential powerlessness, and even hints of the endlessness of the obsidian wall.

thunders with rhythm
This fuses the natural movement of the body's fulfillment of lust with the natural power of a thunderstorm. The people, the lovers in this poem are afraid of the power of the storm to begin with, but they are soon swept up in it, and instead of being consumed by it, they act as shelter to each other. The sheer sweep of the haiku reminds me of another poem by the great 20th century haiku revisionist, Tento Yuriko, which follows the same line of thought:

Old man walking in rain
looking backwards - hoping
for a ride

Both of these haiku can say everything that has ever needed to be said by a person. And though I am intimidated by these perfect works, I must forge on. I must attempt to capture today's moment, as I captured all humanity in the white noise haiku. And so, I humbly give you this, another measure of poetic excellence:

smell of rotting eggs
the taste of colon - on bread
their glares - thick sour shame


January 20, 2004
Tuesday Haiku

sound of white noise
encasing the flesh - black sky
thunders with rhythm

January 19, 2004
The Process of Detachment

This is not finished. I am officially into overage. Soon, the designer will kick my fucking door in, punch me in the face with a rubber bound glove, and pry the final text from these cold, hard fingers. And I will be grateful to him for it.

It is, however, almost complete. Gander showed me the final foreword, which probably reveals more than I feel comfortable with, but what can I say? I'm not writing it. I tried to talk him into writing some kind of egomaniacal, self-centred pap, but he's far too fucking serious about the written word to just toss some shit together. Sort of like me. Which is probably why we get along like we do.

He's got a few minor adjustments left to punch out tonight, and I've got three or four Nuntos to finalize, and that will be fucking that. This book is about as done as it can fucking get. Soon, it will go to print, and in six months or so, people will start to read it, and if it sucks cock and it is hated, so fucking be it, but at least it will be there, in paper, and I can know that I put my scrotum on the table for everyone to take a swing at. And maybe, if I can piss in the faces of enough Papists and Right Wing neo-cons, someone will deem it unsuitable for children of the flock and they'll ban that bitch and I'll be on my way to glory, riches, and ultimately, the ability to write every day. The noble cause. Or, it will be a ruinous failure resulting in the loss of employ, respect, the family name, Chloe, Colette, my friends, my bank account, my passport, my car, and the right to be buried in sanctified ground. It is possible that even the dead will disown me.

But I don't fucking care. Despite my perceived lack of standard morals, I remain a principled person. These principles dictate an unfettered assault on achieving the writer's life, no matter the overwhelming odds of failure. And so it will happen.

Whether it succeeds or not, this book has still had value, on some level. This weekend's final exorcism confirmed that, I think. By laying it all out, by writing down the stories of those years with Nat, and the lunacy of the travelling afterwards, maybe I finally got it out of the fucking system. Who knows. I went through the words repeatedly over the last two days, until the stories, until the words lost their meaning. When they were perfect, when I could add no more, and take nothing away, it seemed as though I could forget what I had said. It was done, and I did not need to hold on to it. And so I could let it go, let her go, and take on some peace. It's a liberating fucking moment, each time one of those poems is finished forever.

Of course, I have a fear of the day she reads it, and shows up on my doorstep unannounced, face full of tears. I might recant all that I have just said, I might hang my head, open the door and throw away everything that she wants me to throw away. There's no way to know. I wish I could say that I trust myself to shut the door at that moment, but I don't.

What can I say. It's too late to think about this anymore.

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