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July 25th -August 21st, 2005
August 17th, 2005
Wheat Kings Ho

I'm heading down to Brandon, Manitoba to give a three hour workshop called "The Art of the Big Fat Lie".

Seriously. I'm one of four presenters who will be covering workshops on poetry, obsession and writing. I'm leaving tonight and I'll be gone until Sunday.

Or, maybe I'm just spinning another duster to cover up the fact that I'm driving down to America to watch them blow Hunter Thompson's ashes out of a cannon this Saturday night.

Remember to pay yer respects wherever you are, ya bastards.

August 16th, 2005
Beneath Solid Wilkie

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of interviewing the irascible playwright and thespian, Trent Wilkie, about his upcoming Fringe Play, Beneath Solid Ground. We chatted amiably while pounding Sangria on the gondola over the Continental Divide and playing a game of penny-whist. It was a fine old time until one of the ski-bunnies complained about our nudity. During that short journey over the Rockies, Trent pontificated about writing the Citizen Kane of sketch comedies, or at the very least - the Citizen Ruth of sketch comedies.

What follows is a transcription of the tape recording I found the day after the interview. I woke up that morning in a mountain penthouse suite with 'DIE BEN DIE' written on the wall in blood. A decapitated marmot was discovered near by, and Mr. Wilkie was nowhere to be found. Not that he was necessarily to blame.

Mingus Tourette: (garbled) But Trent, what the fuck is it about?

Trent Wilkie: Here's the fucking synopsis, Tourette. Boy is bored, boy meets a hole in the ground, boy leaves hole in the ground, other boy meets hole in the ground, boy falls in and tries to drag everyone down with him. It's like drawing a picture of someone drawing a picture of you naked while you are drawing a picture of god drawing a picture of two unicorns making out hard.

MT: Is this post-modern or avante garde?

TW: Most definitely avant garde. This is the first re-write I've ever done for someone else and it was done within a week's time. It could be wonderful or it could be wonderfully bad. Both or either would be considered an success in my books.

MT: No shit. Does it delve into globalization?

TW: Literally, no. Metaphorically, no. In a society based upon finding other things to do besides survive, yes. So, no.

MT: Of course. Does it apply to World of Warcraft?

TW: In many ways the characters in the play go on wonderous journeys and are sometimes in need of "Power Boots of The Falcon" with +3 Stamina and +3 Agility. Since there isn't "Cool Boots of Radness" with +3 Elongated Metaphor Protection...I would say it applies but only if you have a strong enough group with at least two warlocks and a healer.

MT: Sure. That makes sense. Hey, top me up there will you? (pause, sound of ice cubes in glass) There's a good tit on that one. Why do you hate Steve Jobs?

TW: Well, after he left mom and me, we were sorta on our own you know? It was tough times and our dog kept getting pregnant so we couldn't really show our face
in town as much. I mean, who would want to grocery shop when you know that everyone is talking about how much of a slutty bitch your dog is? Other than that,
I would say hate is a pretty strong word. I can honestly say this though, his choice in ties makes me think that at one point in his life he was severely concussed.

MT: If you could punch one person in the face, who would it be?

TW: Ben Mulroney. With his own fist. A lot.

MT: Ah fuck, I don't know why I even asked that one. Of course! Now, we know that sketch comedy is art. Is this more art?

TW: This is more "theatre" but would I say it is more art? I could say that but then I could also say that I can fly but that wouldn't make it true. I mean, I've thought about flying and art but still, those are just abstract ideas. I know that it is entertaining, I
know that it is thought provoking, I know that there are parts that are funny. Now, you can't milk a cow without touching it's private parts so there will be moments of yeah, it's art.

MT: And puppies. Still, eh? What's with the puppies? If you keep this up, I will have to call you the John Irving of puppies! (sound of glass shattering)

TW: I won them in a bake sale. They keep the ghosts away. I bet you didn't know that ghosts are scared of puppies eh? Not so smart are you now eh Tourette? I bet that cloud city you are living in doesn't come across as being so shit hot anymore eh? PUPPIES 4EVA! No ghosts allowed! What?

(distant crashing sound, following by screaming and Mingus Tourette vaguely muttering "Oh fuck, here comes the cavalry.")


Beneath Solid Ground starts this Friday, August 19th, at Midnight. If ever there was a show to attend on a Friday night while heavily intoxicated, this is it. As a man who has honestly sat on stage and loudly heckled Mr. Wilkie while vigourously drunk, I highly recommend it. It is good fun. And, if you are a pussy, there are even some afternoon shows. MORE DETAILS!!!!

August 15th, 2005
The Finish Line

This is the card I handed my Ma on the weekend. She finished her cancer treatment on Friday. It's been nine months since the diagnosis, and she's gone through surgery, chemo and radiation. She doesn't have her official clean bill of health yet, but things look good. And she's growing some hair back. Soon, she'll have more than me. And she's getting stronger.

So, thanks to all the folks who've asked after her over the past year, and said encouraging things. It is much appreciated.

August 11th, 2005

near the red-bricked armoury
a mottled band of pigeons
pick at the morning's meal

sharing a drunk's
pancake of vomit

nattering at each other
over the best chunks

August 10th, 2005
The Black and the White

This past weekend, Morrie, Sierra and I spat at each other through a four hour script meeting. We discussed the current headknock we're having about the giant squid movie. I continued to push it in the direction of terror and horror. Sierra, as usual, continued to take the middle ground. In essence, she wants to rewrite Jaws 2 with a giant squid. Morrie shifted between his classical neo-Spielberg sensibility to the worst Bruckheimer excesses one could possibly conjure. He continues to leave the bit about the nuclear submarine, the REALLY BIG GIANT SQUID and the Empire State Building in his version of the script.

At one point, after Sierra and I vehemently disagreed about the protagonist's origin, Morrie busted out the idea of making the whole thing more 'film noir'. If I'd been drinking doubles, I would have punched him in the throat.

I've seen a number of film noir, but I'm no expert. Anyone got a pile of movie suggestions I can shove up Morrie's ass?

August 8th, 2005
Hot Summer Poetry Smash Up

Are you ready to have your face ripped off? Are you ready to rock like a hurricane? Are you ready to burn down poetry and build a beautiful swallow-thronged loft in its stead? Are you ready to flail around like half an octopus on a beach of tiny sentences? We sure hope so FOR THE FOLLOWING IMPORTANT REASON:

THE poetry event of the summer is ONE mere day away. You BETTER be ready to read poems and listen hard to them, my friends. And now, the Raving Poets Summer Blowout Poetry Party promotes itself with the following concrete details!!!

Raving Poets Summer Blowjob Poetry Party
Tuesday, August 9, 2005
The Iron Horse Pub
81 Avenue, 103 Street
Twenty reader open mic event
with live improvisational music
courtesy of the Raving Poets Band.

Bring your verse and as many non-poets as possible. This one’s gonna be a barn burner*. More info at

*That is, if they forget about the last time Mingus Tourette was there, and they deign to let him back in the place. Whoop!

August 3rd, 2005

Apparently, my lovely essay entitled 'Fuck the Blogosphere Part Two' has coincided with the Blogathon. So, I'm supposed to say that you should support a nerd who is supporting some inane charity. Or, just blow it on cheap gin this weekend and wake up face down in the grass at your favourite festival, your body naked and picked over by carnies. Remember, it's not humiliating if you're not spotted by anyone in your immediate family.

In other news, a couple of bon mots from our old friend George:

"We are defeating the terrorists in a place like Iraq so we don't have to face them here at home..." - NY Times

And finally, Mingus Tourette reports on his reading in Bragg Creek. I would post it here, but it is much more amusing on the WGA site. Especially when compared with the other reports from the road. Man, I'm such a self-aggrandizing jackass sometimes.

After reading to drunk hippies at the South Country Fair, I drove my pink ambulance to Bragg Creek ... MORE

August 3rd, 2005
Fuck the Blogosphere Part Two

Here's the thing about blogs.

Sometimes they can be excellent. Most of the time, they are not. This is because most people don't lead lives that are exciting enough to make the blog more than ephemeral. Even if the writer's life is exciting, there is no story arc that the writer can foresee, which removes a load of storytelling techniques. It's an intrinsic difficulty with the 'art form', and has been kicking around ever since writers started publishing their diaries. Certainly, Anais Nin and Samuel Johnson were famous diarists with some good stories, but I don't know anyone who has plowed through their life's work. I'm guessing it's loaded with pages of the mundane. Simply enough, Anais couldn't have fucked all day, every day, and written beautifully about it. I know she spent a lot of time obsessing about printing and typography, and that might have been slightly interesting, but nothing like sucking off Henry Miller near the Seine. If Anne Frank had lived in Boston and grown up with a crush on a local car maker instead of living in a ceiling and dying in the concentration camp, nobody would give a shit who she was, or her diary. So why would I care about someone who lives in Boston today and has a crush on a car maker? Mostly, I don't.

I do read some blogs regularly. But I don't know that they'll ever have the same emotional and artistic power that a novel or a film will. There is one good reason for this: to really be able to gut a reader, you have to be completely honest. And when you're really honest on a daily basis in a public forum IT CAN REALLY FUCK UP YOUR LIFE. Even when you lie as much as I do, and you tell people that nothing is true, they still remember that you really did get thrown out of the Commercial after chugging malt liquor at your own art and poetry show, so EVERYTHING ELSE MUST BE TRUE AS WELL. That means the story about banging an Iranian prostitute in a dumpster must be true and the one about getting high on seven year old mushrooms while watching Straw Dogs is true, and also the one about stealing your sick mother's wig for a Pepsi commercial audition - that is also true, and you are one deranged fucko.

And I am, that is true. But I do lie a lot, and people know this, and it still gets me into trouble on occasion. So sometimes, I say nothing, even when there is some really interesting shit going on. It's funny. I realize there are things I could never say here that I could certainly write about in a longer form book sometime later. Maybe because it would all be past, and there would be fewer repercussions or I could cover it with a sheen of 'fiction', and everyone would be happy. Certainly, I couldn't have written out the story of Nat and I, or the aftermath, while it was happening. She would have killed me with a kitchen knife one drunken night. I'm sure of that. So that's the advantage of a memoir or an autobiography - truth and hindsight. And editing.

So I wonder why I am spending so much of my time on this blog.

I mean, it is brilliant to be able to experiment and I find I write a lot of poetry in this form and the work definitely gets honed when you know that somebody will be reading it in an hour. So it hardens the writing. And I like that. But it isn't finishing any great narratives.

I've talked about this before, but I guess I hadn't really reached a point where I thought about shutting it down. Or changing it seriously. Like I am now.

To me, the best blogs are specialized. They have a niche. Matt Good does fantastic political commentary. Jessa Crispin kicks the shit out of American Literature news. Gravel does poetry and the city, Ron Silliman does poetics, Marcuse does ennui, Afrochic tells the honest stories of men and nudie bars, Raymi does crazy surreal life, Dooce does the psychotic motherhood and Jacquelyn is probably the best natural short form writer I've read on the web, turning nothingness into beautiful shit on a daily basis. At the best, this site turns in tales from the drunken choir and other tragic "ALL BALLS NO GLORY" mementos. But I don't know what comes out of it. Can these things become books? Can they become essays and dissertations? Or do they need to be? Is the blog simply ephemeral, and should we just appreciate it as such? And, if an artist is hell bent on building paeans of his ideas and thoughts and loves and characters, would he be better off putting his efforts elsewhere?

In the past, I've mentioned changing the focus of this site - using the regular posting nature to work through more of the long form material. I like that idea, but I imagine that I'd have to update less frequently. Anything posted on the site would be liable to be changed drastically in its final form, which might fuck with some people's heads. And, if I start posting things like character sketches and so on, could that ruin a finished book for a reader?

And, if it's a completely different book - about Roast Krakens or Enoch Lucius or Chrome Rigby or the Write the Nation tour, should it be at

Maybe this thing just needs a new place to live. Like moving to a new city. Originally, I put everything at, because I wanted the book to be the focus. But the focus is moving off of that. There is still life in it, and if Chapters picks it up, there could be WAY more life in it, but if they don't, its time as a current work will be done. Quite often, I have thought of moving the blog over to something like or, pulling the forty best posts out of the archives and making something sensible out of it all. But I have also been talking with other writers about collaboration sites - maybe between myself and Marvin and a few others in the Koboko School of Writing. Or maybe between myself and like-minded writers from across the country. There are many possibilities. Maybe becomes a summary about the book, and the rest of it moves. And when I write online, it goes to a different site, and even the nature of that that changes. Or maybe I just go on hiatus, and come back to the site when I am ready to return, and I have a new book or something to talk about. Or maybe I just turn off the machines for awhile and see if I ever want to turn them back on. Those are a few of the ideas.

So, there are possibilities for evolution and movement and exit. Originally, I would have just done whatever the exact fuck I felt like doing. But it's funny - somewhere along the way, there were a few people who started reading this site and a little community sprang up and I started to give a shit about what it thought. With the exception of rex logger. Who is a real dumb fuck, though we love him anyway. So. If you have any smart thoughts on this site and its future, it would be good to hear about them. - MT

August 2nd, 2005
The Sod Layers

the fellahs
laying turf
are pissed off
at last night's rain
and those fuck knobs
from construction
who didn't leave the ground level

the foreman
who is hungover
looks up at the rolls of sod on the flatbed truck
and says

that fucking cocksucker
in the bobcat
what the fuck was he thinking?

that fucking knobgobbler
look at those fucking ruts

we're going to have to
fucking fill those
fuckers in with fucking shovels
before we hit the fucking rakes

he spits on one of the shovels
the brown sputum trailing down the handle
to the dirt

two girls in short shorts
walk by
smelling like blooming flowers
after a downpour

the fellahs go quiet and stare at the mud
and the sod
and the sky

and once the girls pass
the fellahs stare at those long brown legs
and they sigh

well, says the man from the West Indies
who is undoing the straps on the flatbed
where the fuck we gonna start?

the foreman
stoops and surveys the slight rise in the earth
and stares out at the green valley beyond it

coughs - spits again

wherever she's fucking driest
he says
wherever she's fucking dry

July 28th, 2005
Death of the Jabberwock

a sour chattering of skin

the ring of imaginary gunshots
and tambourines on the street

Indian food
eaten out of discarded styrofoam
by indians

like rivets
on the tongue

shadow of the jabberwocky
his apartment empty
the old gait stilled - and his son
gone galumphing back

July 27th, 2005
Doktor Ruin: Initiation

We are once again proud to present a strange tale of Doktor Ruin. This time, the good Doktor remembers summer camp.


I suppose I should start this story with a description of my urethra.

As a tot swimming in the Amazon, I had a painful experience with a barbed minnow which lodged itself in my urinary tract. Local medicine being primitive at that time, the village elder simply grasped the wriggling tail protruding from my glans and pulled mightily. This has left irregular, meaty sections of the walls of my sacred canal to twist and 'flap' during any flow within. While incredibly painful, during my teenage years I came to anticipate this greedily.

In the summer of my thirteenth year my penance for degrading a junior at military academy was to perform camp counsellor duties for the summer. I suffered mightily, as the extreme heat caused me to sweat profusely, and regardless of the volume of liquids consumed, I had not egested in many days.

My swollen kidneys ached. Pounded. Throbbed.

One of the mewling brats we minded at the camp had been ostracized from his peers. Pale, meek, and feminine, the other counsellors pitied this sissy, but I tolerate no weakness. Imagine my disgust when told to take this boy fishing to "raise his spirits" after a particularily cruel taunting.

Having not enjoyed my regular urinary irritation in many days, I was in a foul mood. As I sat in the canoe, the humidity made me lightheaded and the pulsing in my kidneys spread to a sickly heat in my loins and testicles.

The others pitied him, but I tried to scheme a punishment for his frailty.

The boy, having silently endured an hour of my hateful stare, was starting to tremble slightly. When the fishing pole jerked in my hands, he twitched and stifled a terrified squeal.

My gaze never left his as I reeled in my catch. Soon I had the slimy wiggler gripped in both hands, cradling it in my lap. And I thought of a way to make a man of this boy.

"Kneel at my feet, son."

His eyes opened wide. Clearly he knew that some new torture was devised, but was powerless when presented with authority.

"I said kneel!" I shouted, and my scream echoed off the empty lake. At this he hurried forward, kneeling between my legs even as he started quietly sobbing. Sweat moistened his lips; he offered his hands when commanded.

And then a curious thing happened.

I had not noticed the idling outboard vibrating against my back, but it had a hysteric effect on my inflamed kidneys. A seizure shot down my spine as the flesh on my arms and neck contracted forcefully. The fish sensed my loosening grip and wriggled violently, squirting past the boy and to the open water.

I could feel a dry, greenish brown paste scraping the meaty tendrils of my urethral walls. I whimpered as six days of accumulated effluent oozed through my ermine swimwear. It was a triumphant moment.

As an adult, the kid somehow became famous with an autobiography. I was clearly going to make him assertive and masculine by making him kill the fish, just as my fathers tempered me by having me eat my brother when I was six. His purple prose turned this beautiful experience into some sort of lurid sex tale, and American tabloid mentality ate it up. Just goes to show that people love reading perverted garbage.

Postscript: Don't bother returning to the Amazon, they've done something wimpy to the water.

Contributed by Doktor Ruin

July 25th, 2005
Back on the SaddleHorn

The funniest moment of the tour came while watching Tippy Agogo as he MC-ed the Saturday night main stage. The roadies were rushing about with instruments and cables, and he had a couple thousand drunk hippies to entertain between bands. So he put on a Carnival mask and did a little dance, and said, "Guess what I am?". He ran over to the middle of the stage and did a big leg-split shumka leap, touching his feet with his fingers. He screamed, "I'm a Ukranian mime!". The crowd cheered wildly. So he said, "You want to see it again?". And the crowd cheered louder.

So he repeated the big Ukranian dance jump, touching his fingers to his toes in mid-air, but he must have overdone it, because this time, his pants exploded. They ripped right up the ass, all the way down to his right knee. He handled it beautifully, though. He inspected the damage, looked up and screamed, "Who wants my pants?". He emptied his pockets, pulled the pants off to reveal his long white underwear, swung the shredded trophy around his head and threw it into the audience. They went nuts, fighting over his torn khakhis. He introduced the band in his long underwear.

I was sitting backstage with a beer in my hand, and I had to clap, and yell bravo as he walked off. He was laughing hard and swore it was unrehearsed, and then briefly lamented the loss of another three dollar pair of pants. I empathized. It is tough to find a good pair of pants for less than five bucks. But it was a beautiful festival moment.

Yeah, I made it home. And I got to say, I feel like I got my legs back.

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