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July 19th - 25th, 2004
July 23, 2004
The E-Ville Accord

In the tradition of Churchill and Roosevelt, we have decided to hold a summit this weekend to decide a few things about distribution (see below) and also, the fall tour.

Discussion surrounding the tour has sparked in recent days as we examine the different possibilities for the tour vehicle. Choices range from a 1981 5.6 L propane-fuelled GMC Boogie Van to a'77 Lincoln Continental, or the former RCMP Crown Vic with a big motherfucking V8 at the helm.

Cop brakes. Cop engine. Cop everything.

Much of our decision rests on the number of poets who sign up to rip from coast to coast. We are hoping to load up on similarly minded writers to help make the tour an EVENT, but we have failed thus far to entice anyone to join us. If we had three or four other writers on board, we would go with the boogie van. If it's just going to be me and 1000 books and Zygote's CTO, we might just get the cop car and weld a gun rack on top. Still, one stream of logic says, fuck it, get the van, cause if it's there, people will get on board. Build it and they will come. Frankly, I don't know why people wouldn't want to get into a dark, smoking van, drive 10 000 km in fourteen days with a lecherous, unknown writer and his chief welder, heading for destinations unknown. If anyone DOES know a poet who might want to hop on board, let me know.

Maybe we just need to work on our pitch. How about:

This fall, Mingus Tourette and a volatile band of writers will embark on a two week cross-country book tour unlike any in the history of Canadian letters. There will be no plane tickets, no flights, no busses, and no headlining gigs at important festivals. Instead, there will be a bright pink vehicle loaded down with writers, books, alcohol and gasmasks, all grinning for the camera as they tear their way through the open mics and independent bookstores of this fine nation. There will be one-night poetry brawls at small town gin joints, there will be screaming matches in the rum-fuelled salons of the big cities, and yes, there will be cameras rolling every time a writer steps on stage, falls off of it or gets hauled away in a police car. And there will be great scads of publicity, ‘cause nobody in Canada has dared to promote writing in such an unrepentant way for a very long time. This place needs a blitzkrieg.

The tour starts in Edmonton, in late September / early October. It heads west, blows its way into Vancouver, dips a toe in the Pacific, and starts the long burn towards the East. Details will be added as they flesh themselves out, but the essential stops will be:

Edmonton (launch)
Regina / Saskatoon

Once we check out of Montreal, we will head back to the boiler room, stopping where we can, checking on the smoldering ruins of the barns we set alight and dropping off the respective players where they came from.

And all we need now, is a tour name. Check these potential brands, and tell me which one is YOUR favourite. OR, make up your own!

Poetry Tour de Force
Great Canadian Poetry bLITzkrieg
The Shirtless Roadshow
HellBent Poetry Tour
Bughatch Writer’s Burn
Great Canadian Poetry Burn
Fear Up Harsh Express
Boiler Room Caravan
Nunt Cream Tour
The Holy Gasmask Express
Razorblade Writing Tour
Full Velocity Poetry Tour
Poetry bLITzkrieg
consumption tour
Godless Drunkards Writing Tour

Weigh in with your opinion, now!!! No title too stupid!!! We are out of time, so don't do it tomorrow!!! Now!!!

July 22, 2004
Bloody Thursday

Thanks to all who offered consolations on our impending distribution clusterfuck, and even more to those who did some research for us. As far as I can tell at this point, it will not be on the big three (amazon/chapters/bn) until we have a distributor. But don't let that bother you, because no matter what, it will be available here for purchase via credit card / paypal, cheque or panty barter. And we will get it up and available for pre-order in the next couple of weeks. And you'll want to pre-order, cause you definitely want to be the first on the block to get ahold of this bitch. 'Cause when the publicity hits and we go into second printing, there will be some lag time after ordering.

There. Much more positive. Sort of like the Polish cavalry discussing how the German tanks aren't THAT well armoured.

In any case, we'll get it all sorted around soon enough. I'm sure there will be great debate this weekend about price margins, distribution, American rights, and a bunch of other crap I'll try to be interested in.

Course, what I'm really interested in is buying me a cop car or a boogie van and starting to paint that fucker good and pink for the fall bLITzkrieg and trying to figure out how to mount speakers to it so we can play 'Ride of the Valkries' as we roll into town.That, and looking at our first entry for the Tournament of MegaEvil and grinning. It's a very nice. You'll see.

July 21, 2004
The Further Ramifications

One step forward.

My publisher phoned last night. He sounded ill. We had recently been quite excited because of some initial press interest, but that was gone from his voice. I asked him what his problem was.

"Do you remember," he said,"when I told you about six months ago that I had a great memo on how to get onto and Amazon and the rest of the online stores? And it should all be very easy, and we were going to take over the world, online?"

"Yeah," I said. "Why?"

"And do you remember when I said last month that we didn't have a distributor and we figured that wasn't a big deal, because we could do it ourselves?" he said.

"Yeah," I said. " Why?"

"I read through the memo last night," he said. " I was expecting to hook us up in a few hours and get the book ready for selling on the big sites. But the further I looked into it, the more it appears there is no way to get on the big sites without having a distributor. And not just an agented distributor, but a real, hard and fast, big-name distributor."

"And we don't have that."

"We do not."

"So we're not going to be on Amazon?"

"Nope. No Amazon, no Chapters, no Nothing. We will be at And I don't know, maybe we can get onto, but..."

"It's no fucking Amazon, is it."


It was a long, ugly silence, as we sat there yet again, pinned down by the big, black reek of looming failure. It was not the first time we'd been stuck under it, and so far, one of us had always been able to pull us out from underneath. Or the company's designer or shipping / receiving guy would get us up and moving again. But this one was tough to shake off. We were supposed to be on Amazon. Zygote was a fresh new company, and online availability was key to the book's success. And yet, for all of our technical media prowess and mastery of the digital form, the detail had been missed. Another mast on our already floundering ship was gone.

"I'm sorry, Mingus."

"It's ok," I said. "Shit happens. Maybe we can still get a distributor. And if not, we'll sell it off your site."

Except that it wasn't ok. Because nobody goes to to buy books. It's not an established brand. We can sell it there, but most of it will have to be sold here. The book is nunt. The site has to be And nobody comes here to buy books. They come here to read about a man making love to McDonald's employees after drinking twenty ounces of gin. And he knew it wasn't ok, and the silence was thick and both of us sat and thought, again, whether we wanted to or not, about burning a thousand books together in the northern muskeg next spring.

I fucking hate that dream.

And so I thought about the time after that, when all this foolishness is done. I have already shaved my head. Perhaps it will be time to wander the world. And maybe I'll take my publisher with me, 'cause he won't have much left in him. No, I imagine he'll be pretty much splintered by then. And maybe we'll take the Buddha. And I'll write a book about our travels. And I'll finish it. And when I do, I'll have it tattooed on Buddha's pregnant belly, and that will be it. It will never see paper. Only flesh. And it will only be read by Buddha, the son, the broken man and the great wandering fool.

Ah, what can you do, I suppose? Nothing but dust off your pants, and get ready for another kick in the balls. At times like this, I wish I believed in God so I could curse his motherfucking name.

July 20, 2004

I am thinking about quitting smoking. An American president is thinking about quitting invading sovereign nations.

Iran. Iraq. What's the difference?

The amusing bit of the whole situation would be IF Iran had nuclear weapons (which it may be working on), IF it had something to do with the 9/11 attacks and IF it meant harm to the United States. 'Cause IF so, the US would have invaded the wrong sovereign nation and would find it almost impossible, after doing so, to invade ANOTHER sovereign nation, given the American and World political opinion.

Sure George, they got weapons of mass destruction. And they had something to do with 9/11. And they were trying to buy yellowcake uranium in Nigeria. Sure George. The world is a safer place, because of you.

Ironically, George Bush has almost destroyed his nation's political ability to launch pre-emptive strikes at real threats to his nation's safety.

In children's books, this is the boy that cried wolf.

In real life, this is blowing your balls off with a shotgun and spending five years in prison for doing so.

July 19, 2004
The 9th Floor

in the elevator
a young woman's perfume
and an old couple
drift in the mid-summer heat

silence, as we descend
until she examines his shirt
tugs at it, near the belt
and asks

is it hot?

yes, he answers
but it covers my arms

she returns to waiting for the door
and so does he
but he smiles a bit
bemused as ever
by her unconscious concern

--- --- ---

PS. The contest is officially open. Start your engines. Go.

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