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October 4th - Oct 10th, 2004
October 10th, 2004
the hell with them

thanks for the inspirational words. yer right - i will respect the talent, quit thinking this was going to be easy, get back on the methamphetamines, turn up the Ride of the Valkyries and prepare to cause the kind of panic that only a koboko stampede typically inspires.

hmm. evidence that even the most avid egomaniacal writer can have doubts. if only for a day. but fuck it.

As my fellow Write The Nation poet, mr. Mike Gravel opined:

"Don't let one fuckstick reviewer get you down. Get your ass back in that ambulance and KICK THE FUCKING SHIT OUT OF THE REST OF THE COUNTRY. If you quit now, you're an asshole. Continue with the tour, continue spreading the word. Nothing that is worthwhile in this life is easy or safe. "

October 9th, 2004
the hell with it


after a review like i got today in the herald, i don't know what to say or do.

add in the fact that the tour has sold 12 books in total while gas bills for the pink ambulance have run over $700 and i'm looking deep into the well and trying not to panic. probably doesn't help that i've driven over 3000 km in six days, given readings every night, and am close to mainlining pseudoephedrine because caffeine doesn't work like it should anymore.

my publisher will probably ask me to take this down and put up something more cheery because there have been some great things out of this tour so far, and i've met some wonderful people and maybe spread the word of poetry just a bit and really rocked some mics and small rooms and the eastern leg of the tour really does look like it will be a raving success. i mean, lethbridge and kamloops were really fucking cool and i am very glad that i went. just really good scenes, very cool people.

but for today, with the words jangling about in my head about abysmal writing, typing masquerading as writing, etc., all the old jokes about spectacular failure seem less funny and suddenly, rancourously real and all i want to do is get drunk and pick a fight with some huge bouncer and laugh as he kicks the shit out of me and get up in the morning and throw the machines off the balcony and wish the canadian publishing industry a fine feathered fairwell and burn the books in a pile outside the airport before hitching the first flight i can for japan and marrying the first shinto priestess i find and hope that maybe something somewhere will bring happiness because this follow your dreams bullshit and damn the torpedoes and do something that nobody else would have the balls to do just doesn't make for a hell of a lot of it it and if it doesn't then whats the fucking point.

here's to being a drunk, broke, and critically maligned writer before the age of thirty


October 6th, 2004
Farewell to the Pacific

Spent last night drinking a few glasses of very good red wine with an old South African-born friend of mine I hadn't bullshitted with for far too fucking long. He and his brother in law generously picked up some books and we had a few out loud readings in the living room, listening to Leonard Cohen and trying to understand the various obsessions men delve into - wine, women and pink ambulances. Good times.

The brother-in-law insisted on adding his review of the book to the site:

The best fifteen bucks I ever spent on a book.
-Jeff Scott, Substitute Teacher of the Year, 2002

Spent some time downtown yesterday trying to get people to speak out on
what they knew about Canadian poetry, and it became pretty fucking
apparent that:

a. no one wants to look directly into the eyes of a man with a camera standing beside a pink ambulance
b. the average man on the street still has a strange complex about nuns
beating poetry into them, which is a very odd coincidence.
c. The majority of Canadians think poetry is dull, dry and homework.
d. There are still a lot of people who recoil in horror when they see the
nun in the gasmask and the word, nunt. I notice that it rarely, if ever,
gets mentioned in stories about the tour.

Today, the four hour drive to Kamloops, and the next day, the twelve hour haul to Lethbridge, which will probably start around 4.30 in the morning.

If there is an entry that day, don't expect coherency.

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.

October 4, 2004

Delivered Nunto 35 to about seventy-five shocked faces at the Thundering
Word Heard in Vancouver. Apparently, tales of cow murder are new out

Last night was host T-Paul's birthday, and he invited all his friends.
Watched some really good accordian players, hiphop slam artists, and even
a sixteen year old kid get up on stage. Missed the seven year old kid
telling jokes, cause I was outside smoking and bullshitting with James Sherrett, a novelist who came down w/ his lady, Monique, to check out the show. We traded books. I look forward to reading it.

At the end of the night, I drove an ambulance load of poets home. I was
happy with her performance that day - she ripped along at 100 to 110 km/h
and never gave me no trouble. Which is the good news. The bad news -
she's an absolute gas pig. Not surprising, just pricey. Ah well, I'll
take gas pig over a breakdown prone machine.

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