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September 20th - 26th, 2004
September 24, 2004
The Pink Ambulance

Yes, that was a pink ambulance that ate Graham Neil last night on television. But we did let him out eventually. And yes, the Startled Night was startling. And a good time. I'm telling ya, poetry as an evening is a hell of a good time. Especially when you add in half a dozen pints of lager and some good friends.

The important thing to focus on today, is that the Write The Nation Tour kicks off on Monday, and if you miss it, you're a fool.

Don't know what I'm talking about? Hit and explore it in great detail. Hell, there's even pictures of me looking sexy.

September 23, 2004
Startled Night

Still late, still spinning plates from the sickness drugs, still excited about the Startled Night reading tonight, still worried that my voice will give out in the middle of it. Still able to shock myself when reading out loud, especially the line-up for this evening. It's an evening of subversive verse, so I picked out all the poems about fighting and killing and read them back to back and shook my head. It is a rather violent book at times.

Publisher passed on a couple of excellent reviews of the book, specifically, the Manitoban and Brandon Manitoba's The Quill. He's afraid to pass on the reviews that slam the work, maybe thinking that I'll be out hunting for blood. He's probably right. I don't respond all that well to criticism.

September 22, 2004
Mingus is Illin'

There's no better time to get sick than two days before a major reading, and five days before one's first real book launch. But so it is.

This is why I wish God did exist. So I could curse his name in sixteen languages, burn some bibles, and grind their ashes into some Vaporub before smearing it all over my chest.

Bound to happen, I suppose, with the steady diet of caffeine, four hours of sleep, and MacDick breakfasts every day. If I was my mother, I would shake my head. Maybe this will help me lay off on the smoking and the drinking. But I wouldn't count on it.

So, for all you sacks of crap who haven't booked off next Monday night for the book launch of a fucking lifetime, here's the real fucking deal. If you can't drink on a Monday night, you might as well put the barrel in your mouth right now, 'cause it is over.

Buck up. You're old, not dead.

And this opportunity will not come around again for a long time cause it will be at least two years before I have another book ready to go and can afford to drive an ambulance across the country. That is, if this thing doesn't completely ruin me financially, physically, mentally, and sexually.

So, this Monday, September 27th, everyone better show up at the Backroom Vodka Bar. Imagine it like this: show up early, get a ride in the freshly minted Pink Ambulance. Step out, after a fine tour around the block, walk up the stairs to be greeted by a hot nun, and enter the bar as the strains of Bach's masses play in the background. Smile as a man with a Scottish accent named Glenn hands you a free Bloody Mingus, and drink it, knowing you are witnessing a one of a kind event. And then, get Mingus to sign your ass in blood.

Or, as my publisher likes to say:

For Immediate Release

On Monday, October September 27th, Mingus Tourette and a volatile band of poets and writers kick off a four-week, cross-country book tour in a pink, fully-functional 1986 Chevy C-30 One Ton Ambulance.

Zygote Publishing is proud to announce the launch of Mingus Tourette's explosive new book, Nunt, (Zygote Publishing, September 2004) which tells the shocking story of a man who walks out on his wife and embarks on a ferocious two year odyssey of womanizing and alcohol-fuelled violence. Tourette roars across a barbaric America in this savage tale of murderous fist fights and Molotov cocktails, doing battle with malevolent priests, falling in love with obsessed prostitutes, and desperately trying to exorcise the ghosts of his failed marriage.

In an attempt to re-institute the poet as a figure of cultural and political importance, Mingus Tourette's WRITE THE NATION TOUR will be loudly stopping in: Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary, Lethbridge, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, St. Catharines, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

Please join us Monday, September 27th at The Backroom Vodka Bar (10324 - 82 Avenue) at 8.00 pm to help celebrate these events. Don't miss your chance to be among the first to experience the ranting, free drinks, and beautiful people that are sure to surround this historical tour. Book launch attendees will be greeted by a nun and treated to FREE Bloody Marys, Freedom Fries, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Vatican-style door prizes and other exotic American foodstuffs. Early arrivals (7pm) will be entitled to a ride in Mr. Tourette's tour vehicle, the pink 1986 C-30 Chevrolet Ambulance.

For more information on the tour, please visit . For more information on Nunt, please visit


That's right, fuckers. If you haven't been there yet, allow me to announce it. The Write the Nation Tour website is up and running. Dates and times are still filtering in, but the majority of the deal is there. The tour kicks off next week. And after that, lock up your daughters, hide your gin, seal off your convents and stick an apple up your ass.

Mingus is coming. And hell's coming with him. Yup. Just like it said in Revelations.

"And he rode a pale horse pink ambulance, and hell followed with him. And hell followed with him..."

September 21st, 2004
One Chair Nobody Sits In
There was a time when Merle didn't fight. Not because he couldn't, but because when he did, he couldn't stop, and the RCs, they would have to go into the bar, six at a time to take him down. His arms were that long, and he was strong enough to lift a deep-freeze by himself and when he got into the rye, he was simply immune to pain.

Merle was a friend of Tento's. I know this, because I was going through Tento's journals again, and there was a small, yellow envelope, unopened, tucked into a copy of an American haiku collection. On the envelope was written 'Requiem for Merle'.

I opened it. I don't know who the envelope was supposed to reach, or why Tento never sent it, but he never did. I imagine it was supposed to be passed onto someone Merle knew after Merle's pickup hit a spruce tree in a snowstorm at about 110 kilometres an hour. Inside the envelope was a slip of notepaper from a cheap, small town hotel.

It seems like something to share, one dead man's requiem for another. On the paper was written, in small, pencilled letters:

there is one chair
nobody sits in
the table is not set
the window is open

in the distance
the crows argue

September 20th, 2004
Got a call last week from my publisher, whose voice was typically frazzled. We're trying to set up this cross-country tour and some of it is working spectacularly, and some is still ethereal, so I was preparing to talk him down about that, cause it's in pretty good shape. I was also prepared to discuss the fact that internet sales have remained steady since the launch of our e-commerce system - meaning, zero. However, that's not what he was panicking about.

He was worried about the launch.

He has a venue booked, but the date is a mere week away. And he doesn't quite know what to serve, what to present, what to offer as door prizes, etc. So I told him to sit down, have a cigarette and let Mingus attend to business. And I cooked up what I thought should be at a Mingus Tourette / Write the Nation Tour launch. As far as I understand it, a book/tour launch consists of some food, some drinks, an introduction and a reading. So, I applied the theme of Catholics and America, two of my favourite targets in the book, and went from there. As I see it, we should have:

Nuns serving drinks.
A free 'Bloody Mary' for the first 40 attendees.
Communion Wine
Authentic Catholic Hymns playing in the background.
Freedom Fries
Buffalo Wings
Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Kentucky Fried Chicken
New York Bagels
An introduction by a man in Habitual drag.
Marvin Gander reading the foreword.
Mingus Tourette reading a bit of each of the four books, plus a news analysis of what is occuring today in Iraq.
Pointed questions from the audience and a debate about misogyny.
Not to mention books getting signed.

And of course, much conversation, drinking, and arriving in a pink ambulance. And maybe a door prize that looks something like this.

I mean, really, what else is there? I'd love a boxing ring and maybe some dogs fighting and women mudwrestling, but I don't think we can round that up in a week. So we'll see what we get. The official announcement, and tour site launch, is imminent.

So all you local shitheads - Monday, September 27th, BackRoom Vodka Bar. Book it off and get ready to be there, or hide your face in shame and prepare to lie about your mother's operation the next time I see you.

In the meantime, get some hot fucking poetry this Thursday at the Startled Night event at Remedy. Starring Mark Kozub, Mingus Tourette, Corey Hamilton and Mike Gravel. If you've never seen E-Ville poetry before, this is the time to get your knees dirty. I swear - four major poetry events in the next two weeks - this is the time to be young and filthy and full of vitriol to spit, sort of like a Ukranian wedding gone horribly wrong.

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