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October 11th - Nov 7th, 2004
November 5th, 2004
My Favourite Interview Headline

Still sorting through unanswered email, phone calls and unread articles, and just got around to reading an interview that ran in Calgary's Gauntlet last week. To start with, I was quite pleased with the headline, which read "Sodomy is The New Poetry". It reminded me of the good old days of Sweaty Charles and our Love Song to God - long before the busts, the bankruptcy, the drugs, the arrests, the strange Russian men asking about 'tax collection'. The article is heavily sex-oriented, and fun. I recommend it.

Another interesting review came out in The New Haven Advocate. The part I found interesting was the opening line which described Nunt as "Mingus Tourette's postmodern novel". After realizing how excruciating it is to sell poetry, I wonder if I shouldn't have taken this approach in describing it. I mean, the book has a narrative, it has a foreword by Marvin, which is essentially a short story / essay, and the poetics are quite prose-oriented, in some opinions. Any thoughts on this from any book readers? Nunt: straight poetry collection or postmodern novel? And if you haven't read it yet, we highly recommend getting your order in before the Christmas rush.
Not sure? Critics say, "Nunt is ... as hard to put down as a glass of whiskey spiked with acid. " - New Haven Advocate. Yeah!!!

Or, for those still zinging with excitement after this week's election debacle, I highly recommend Matthew Good's site for some angry reading. Good times, and here's to getting drunk on high test rum!

November 4th, 2004
And The World Chokes on its Breath When Everything it Feared Most Comes True


And all the rage and all the work and all the intelligent arguments and feature films and books and documentaries and music videos and famous actors and singers and magazine covers, and still.


The Project for a New American Century remains apace.

To me, this re-election of George W. Bush says a number of things. And I'm pretty fucking angry, so this won't be entirely clean headed.

1 . Humans are simple animals that can be easily trained with rewards and discipline. And fear. This shouldn't be a shock to anyone who watches the affects of religion from the outside, but Christ, fifty-nine million people?

2. Moral values are entirely subjective. Why are American moral values most closely associated with gun ownership, a hatred for same-sex marriage, abortion and stem-cell research?

3. 'Cause the Lord told 'em so. The United States is essentially a theocracy.

4 . The majority of the United States' populace endorses everything that has been done in the past four years, including invading sovereign nations for fabricated reasons, killing over a hundred thousand civilians, torture, murder, etc. Therefore, the distinction between administration and populace can no longer be drawn. In the past, I've railed against the Bush administration. Now, I'll have to simply rail against America as a whole. Or at least, the GOP America.

5 . The Democrats must feel like prisoners in their own country. They are unable to properly compete with the GOP propaganda machine, even with a huge number of popular culture icons on their sides. They will be bitter, and they will lick their wounds for a few months, but after that, they will probably fight harder than ever. Or they will leave the country in droves.

6 . This frustration and the division between Democrat and Republican has to manifest at some point, either as newborn Timothy McVeighs or hard-targeted impeachment attempts. Or both. More snipers, more truck bombs, more fear.

7 . Bush has a chance to heal and unite. But given his actions after the mother of all chances to heal and unite - the 9/11, I'm sure it's that furthest thing from his mind.

8 . The artistic works from this coming era should be quite memorable.

9 . After endorsing Bush, the United States deserves whatever it gets.

November 3rd, 2004
And The World Continues to Hold Its Breath

This space was reserved for indepth discussion of the election results, but, as is becoming an American tradition, there is no clear winner declared at the end of November 2nd. However, things don't look particularly good for our boy Kerry.

And we all look down at our navels and contemplate the results of living north of an empire with Dick Cheney and Donny Rumsfeld at the helm for another four years and try not to panic.

Come on, ohio, you bastards. Remember Neil Young.

November 2nd, 2004
And The World Holds Its Breath

Read with Minister Faust and Paul Anderson last night. Another one of those readings where everything seems set for disaster - quiet room, a majority of listeners waiting to see the headliner, and me with a book full of horror and filth and nothing to do but stand up and hit it. Reminded me of the Kingston reading in the art gallery - a silent room full of older patrons, poet's mothers, and Jordan Fry kicking it all off with his newly reinvented masturbation poem. Listening to the sound of popping audience synapses after they contemplate killing Cambodian children with hand grenades and finding myself fearlessly screaming BUGALOO, BABY, BUGALOO while standing next to a wax head covered entirely in plastic albino ears.

In both cases, the listeners I thought I'd horrified the most approached me afterwards and intimated how much they enjoyed it. And in both cases, we moved about half a dozen books and this time around, Minister Faust stood up and said it was the best reading he'd ever heard, which blew my mind, and then he dropped some supercool fanboy scifi shit and Paul Anderson got up and did this mesmerizing read with some music and vids, and it was a very strange mix, the three of us, but I really liked the combination and there was a moment afterwards where it was just the three of us bullshitting about what it was like to write and to not know anyone else who wrote.

Maybe that was a part of why the night was quickly fantastic - the instant connection I've made with other writers on the tour, when we all know how many fucking hours we all spend alone, staring at blank walls with our sixteen voices and our lies and the books on the shelf and it is relieving to meet other people who do the same thing and never talk about it. Or maybe, with both guys, I could relate immediately to their obsessions. Faust and I lapsed into esoteric comic book art talk that we knew would be understood, even though the link between Kubert and Art Adams and Bill Sienkiwicz shouldn't make sense to anyone except a few dead Marvel Kabbalists. I ran into a similar conversation with a Toronto writer two weeks ago as we argued over what really happened in Uncanny X-Men issues #249 and #266 and revelled in that at the time. How many people understand this shit?

And maybe this is why the connection happens so fast. We are finally speaking with people who talk the same cant, whether the nouns are the Quinte Hotel, or the first appearance of Gambit, or the difference between Alyosha and Raskolnikoff, or just the simple words of people who spend too much time talking to themselves. By looking at Anderson's 1400 page book hinged on a long-dead Spanish poet, I knew he was a man who understood obsession. And maybe understood it better than I, or maybe not, for it has been ten years since Nat and I started breaking each other on the wheel and I am still writing about her, but it was soothing, even briefly, to meet another monomaniac. As it has been to meet the other neurotics and obsessives and poets over the last month, to know that I'm not the only one in the circus, and maybe to let them know that they're not completely alone in their own fucked around manias. As it was in Kingston.

And now, all you Yanks. Go vote. Though really - who believes the Americans will have an uncontested president-elect by the end of the day? I'm wondering where the first riots will kick off.

November 1st, 2004
Why Real Artists Should Vote for George W Bush 43

If you are a real artist, you will vote for George Bush in the American election tomorrow.

"In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love; they had five hundred years of democracy and peace and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."
-- Orson Welles (1915-85), American filmmaker, actor, director, "Citizen Kane"

So far, George Bush has provided some wonderful oppression, intensive fear, multi-layered propaganda, some great wars, an Orwellian 'HomeLand Security' department, new information czars, corporation rule, and of course, a high level of 'warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed'.

Similar conditions during the Spanish civil war and the Nazi's invasion of Europe provided fodder for great works of art by masters like Picasso, Camus and even Orwell himself. Could Orwell have created Animal Farm without witnessing Stalin's brutality? Would Camus have written the metaphorical The Plague without the desire to demonstrate how fascism was ruining his continent? And would Picasso have created his famous Guernica without this kind of event, reminiscent of so many American military operations over the last year?

On April 27th, 1937, unprecedented atrocities are perpetrated on behalf of Franco against the civilian population of a little Basque village in northern Spain. Chosen for bombing practice by Hitler's burgeoning war machine, the hamlet is pounded with high-explosive and incendiary bombs for over three hours. Townspeople are cut down as they run from the crumbling buildings. Guernica burns for three days. Sixteen hundred civilians are killed or wounded.

By May 1st, news of the massacre at Guernica reaches Paris, where more than a million protesters flood the streets to voice their outrage in the largest May Day demonstration the city has ever seen. Eyewitness reports fill the front pages of Paris papers. Picasso is stunned by the stark black and white photographs. Appalled and enraged, Picasso rushes through the crowded streets to his studio, where he quickly sketches the first images for the mural he will call Guernica.

It is obvious that the intense level of hatred, warfare and bloodshed that GWB has created will subside if Kerry is elected, and it will be difficult to create artistic masterpieces deriding a president that would seem to have peace, intelligent government and evenhandedness about him. So please, if you care about great art, vote for Bush. Though he does not know it, he is the greatest patron of the arts.

October 31st, 2004

forgot to mention that I have an official reading tomorrow night at Greenwoods Book Shoppe with some big name authors: Minister Faust and Paul Anderson.

As the store copy says:

Monday, November 1, 7:00 p.m.: An evening on the edge: Paul Anderson with his book Hunger's Bride's, along with Minister Faust, author of Coyote Kings Of The Space Age Bachelor Pad, and Mingus Tourette, author of Nunt, will take over the store for a night of fun and literature.

So if you missed the many opportunities to see Mingus read, or you're not sick of all the bullshit by now, come on down. 7925 - 104 Street.

October 29th, 2004
a couple of days before...

less than a week before the united states declares war on itself, it's time to settle in to discover which paradigm the Americans embrace.

a. bush
b. kerry
c. civil war

Maybe not civil war, but there's gotta be at least a few riots on Tuesday night if the vote is as close as it will be and the poor are blocked from voting again.

Rap / pop powerhouse Eminem drops a big fat anti-Bush, pro-voting video this week. It's called Mosh. If you're heavily influenced by motion graphics, phat beats and the words of hiphop royalty, I advise you to check it out.

And if you're an American reading this site, you probably don't have a lot of republican leanings, so please remember to get out and vote down Bush on Tuesday. Do not sit on your fat ass, but walk down to the polling station and make your x. I would love to have that citizenship, just for a day, so I could cast my stone at that deserving asshole. If he's voted back in, America sanctions all that Bush has done, all that he stands for, and no longer deserves a hell of a lot of compassion the next time somebody drives a 767 into a beloved monument.

October 28th, 2004
the aging of the mingus

slept for twelve hours last night. didn't intend to. intended to sleep for a couple, get up and get back to work, despite my noble intentions to lay my monomania to rest. but, the body is having none of that bullshit. funny, twelve hours is more than I got from Monday to Friday of the first week of the eastern leg. obviously, i'm behind in replying to anyone who wrote me. but after a good drunk and some carrot cake, i should be right back on track, ready to rail at the gods that don't exist next week when the americans implode on election day.

this sleep thing reminded me of a line from the book, which is funny, because after that much poetry and sleep deprivation and coffee and cigarettes, everything is reminding me of poems. i got a letter from colette the other day to say happy birthday and that her wedding was postponed yet again until the spring and the same line kept running through my head. it was from Kate MacNeill's poem that I heard several nights, and maybe it's not quite quoted right, but i was reading Colette's note and kept thinking, 'what good is a life if no one's touching it?'. And wondering why she is telling me this, and knowing why she is telling me this and wondering what will happen when she tells me about it face to face.

and thinking to myself after all this, that i

really need to detoxify
get off the nod and stop burning the oil

That is - after a good drunk with old friends and new friends and like-minded bastards who rue the day they wake up and kiss their twenties good-bye. Like I do today. I suppose I could panic and rush into a gen-x midlife crisis, but what could i do that would be more ridiculous than driving a pink ambulance across the country?

Thirty. Who cares. Of course I'm afraid of death, but I've lived all I can at this point.

October 27th, 2004

over a semi-congratulatory scotch, an old friend of mine asks the question - did you kick the country's ass, or did it kick yours? the correct answer, i think, is both. all i know is that I had one scotch and woke up hungover. my body is unhappy with me.

but words still aren't working for me yet to describe the whole situation

maybe some math, in place

13442 miles (final odometer reading)
5813 miles (initial odometer reading)
7629 miles (total)

And, for our Canadian / European / anywhere non-American readers

7629 miles
12 222 km (total)

Not bad for three weeks. Now you realize why I worship the pink ambulance. It should be melted down and reshaped into the figure of a golden calf so I can give it the respect it properly deserves.

The only other math that is working for me now is the adding of dates and times, and so I realize that tomorrow I somehow turn another year older, and as such, should have a massive celebratory drunk. This Friday, I think, at the Elephant & Castle on Whyte. I will be dressed up. Because Halloween is close enough, and I won't get this old again any time soon.

October 26th, 2004
The news is, Mingus is alive and has made it home. Mostly in one piece. I have stopped hallucinating, which is good, because as intriguing as it might sound, was a terrifying experience in Northern Ontario.

There is much to say, but it will have to be said after a bit of sleep, because the words aren't working properly. Except to say; the ambulance is a beautiful machine, worthy of idolatry. And so are the poets.

October 18th, 2004
Wall of Oncoming Light
Because Canada is just too fucking big to drive across, check email, eat
dinner with men who've met Al Purdy, get stuck in snowstorms in Nipigon,
ontario, stare down bunny rabbits on the highway, screech tires to avoid
killing deer with the grille, drive through the night every night to get
to the next location, meet new poets and new compatriots talk for fifteen
hours about the essence of the perfect lie and xmen comics and
superpowers. get lost in thunder bay again and again and sigh, after the
reading falls through and admire the organizer for setting up a new
reading with only hours notice. backing into a pole and ripping off part
of the amulance and shrugging cause unkle pat is a welder.

canada is pockets of people. is that an identity?

avoiding alcohol for the first time in my life. drinking five times as
much coffee as i ever have. finding that to be it's own high, it's own
dissociation from reality, if there enough deprivation to go with it. got
ten hours of sleep between monday and friday, and on thursday / friday,
had exactly one hour of sleep before getting up dropping much caffeine,
holding off on railing speed, cause gonna need that boost on the long burn

and tonight, in toronto, under the watchful eyes of the iridescent
illuminati, we break some the gladstone. karaoke to
if there's one show to hit, it's this one.

cause by the time the final show in brandon rolls around, i should be a
gibbering, black-eyed answering machine. lying on my back, the candle
flickering, listening to beautiful voices.

learning much. wishing for more time.

October 14th, 2004
Snow Fields
Saskatchewan - a freaking hotbed of poetry action. Who knew? A couple of really good shows, particularly the Regina show, held in an arts co-op. One of those zen nights when every poet seems to crush ass.

Mike Gravel headed back to the city of E-Ville this morning, I was up bright and early to pick up Kate MacNeill in Brandon. Made it to Winnipeg. Had a hell of a lot of fun so far driving up and down the streets with the PA blasting, flipping heads, scaring young children. Tara Solheim, from Regina seemed to have a real affinity for stopping people in their tracks.

Finally got a shower today around noon - cause there was certainly no shower on Wednesday morning when Mike and I woke up in the middle of a farmer's field somewhere between Saskatoon and Regina. We had the luminous idea of getting on the road after the Saskatoon show, got tired after about an hour, pulled off onto a range road, and drove a bit to get away from the traffic and laid out the foamies and let the heat run for a bit before turning it off and watching the northern lights before crashing. And woke up in the bitter fucking cold frost on the inside of the glass. Sun glittering off the shorn wheat fields.

Punk fucking rock indeed.

October 12th, 2004
First, We Take Saskatoon...

The tour kicks off its eastern leg this morning, as Mike Gravel and I head out of E-Ville and into the rising sun. We'll be meeting up with some amazing poets this evening - looking forward to that, and to really kicking out some hard-ass poetry, and to ripping up and down the streets of Saskatoon with the PA blaring.

Took a couple of days to re-organize, got the ambulance fixed back up, and so on and so forth. For those who don't know when or where the ambulance is going, here is the full list, so there's no confusion. For full information, go to

WRITE THE NATION TOUR - Show Dates, Times & Locations

SASKATOON, SK - Tuesday, October 12th, 2004– 8pm
Amigos Cantina - 632 10th St.E (Just off of Broadway Ave)
Thistledown Press Poets

REGINA, SK - Wednesday, October 13th - 8pm
Ghetto Lounge
1651 11th Ave.

WINNIPEG, MB – Thursday, October 14th - 8pm
Winnipeg Poetry House - Dreg's Cafe 167 Osborne Street

THUNDER BAY, ON - Friday, October 15th
Lakehead University - Spirit of the North Conference

ST. CATHARINES, ON - Sunday, October 17th - 7.30 pm
Fine Print Reading Series (kickoff to the series)
Sheehan's Irish Pub
101 St.Paul St.
Tel: 905-687-7329 email Jordan

TORONTO, ON - Monday, October 18th - 7.30 pm
The Gladstone Hotel - A Full FEATURE Evening of WTN Poets
1214 Queen Street West |

TORONTO, ON - Tuesday, October 19th - 8pm
Syntactic Sunday open mic w/ feature readers bill bissett and Ellen Jaffe
Free Times Cafe
320 College St.

KINGSTON, ON - Wednesday, October 20th - 8pm
Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre
21A Queen St.
tel: 613 548 4883 |

OTTAWA, ON - Thursday, October 21st, 2004 - 8pm
Café Nostalgica
603 Cumberland St.
613-562-5800 ext. 3014

MONTREAL, QC - Friday, October 22nd, 2004 - 7 pm
Cafe Esperanza w/ hosts YALLAzine (zine launch)
5490 St. Laurent @ St. Viateur

BRANDON, MB - Sunday October 24th, 2004
Second Troy
107-7th Street 2nd floor, end of the hall
204 724 5257

So show up, keep your head down, start buying drinks early and get ready for poetry like you've never understood it before.

October 5, 2004
Slamming in Vancouver
Hit my first real slam last night, signed myself up, and even rocked some
faces. A helluva a lot better than the night before.

A pretty intense way to read poetry - for those who have never seen a
slam, the poet has three minutes to read / perform, and then five random
people in the audience who are acting as judges will actually rate the
poem / performance on a scale of 1 - 10. There's even decimal points.
This is a huge thing in Vancouver, home of some of the continents most
famous slam poets.

I asked one of the founders about it, and he said it's great for keeping
one humble. Which is true. And great for finding out which poems are
truly crowd pleasers (ie. Nunto Two).

Book sales remain slow. But I am going to try to get arrested downtown
today. Should help. Some sad news - sounds like ct staples has taken a
wrong turn near Santa Cruz and may not be able to make it. But one can
always hope.

But What Happened Last Week? By God, Find Out Here!