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June 6th - 12th, 2005
June 10th, 2005
RK Prelude

I haven't written much about Morrie recently, or Roast Kraken, or the situation with Sierra, or cross developments with a young poet named Nadia. Frankly, I've avoided it all because it seems fucked to me, and I am trying to put it into perspective.

In some cases, when I am writing in my own journal, I have started referring to the entire situation in the third person, thinking that might give me some distance from it. I don't know if it is working or not. I know that I have started writing out character profiles for living people, for all three of them. And myself.

Before these developments, I was beginning to write out the story of the ambulance as a travelogue / novel / poetry anthology. My publisher had ideas, Marvin was interested in helping out, and it looked like an interesting project taking shape. However, there were some complications, and in short, I ended up taking on the Roast Kraken script in a serious, contracted fashion.

Since that began, I have been taking notes on the process, and I am thinking of trying to write it out as a serialized novel-length story, even though the events are still ongoing. The major issue is: I don't know how this little saga will end, so there would have to be serious revisions if the story ever went to print. One thing I do know: I'm not supposed to keep referring to the script as Roast Kraken. Morrie prefers Untitled: Attack of the Giant Squid Project. Seriously.

Of course, I can guess how it will end - the script is a cocksucking mess unlike anything I have ever seen. Morrie and Sierra and I have polarized ideas about it, and we will never hit the same frequency. I know the script is supposed to be finished by the end of the summer. Morrie is working with some Toronto producers on grant applications in September, so everything will have to be done by that point. I'm not sure what will happen to Sierra and I. She writes litchick genre fiction, and hates poetry, but that hasn't stopped us from having sex.

At the same time, I have got myself into a strange and heated affair with this poet Nadia, who writes me short letters on postcards every other day - even though she lives in the city. She doesn't like email or computers, and though she owns a phone - she hates using it. So I find postcards in my mailslot when I get home. Some are homemade, some are marketing freebies and some have been stolen from exotic locations all over the world. They must have been stolen, though I don't know how she ever had the money to travel anywhere in the first place.

The messages on the postcards vary. Sometimes they have her poems written on them. Sometimes they are requests for dinner or a fuck on the weekend. Sometimes she likes to pretend she is writing from the beach in Jamaica. Or Brazil. And sometimes, she likes to write poems as though she were Mingus Tourette, or as though she were Nat. At first, I found that to be sacrilegious and I was angry. But now, since Nat and I don't talk, and sometimes I wish we did, I am interested in these poems. This one arrived last night. I don't know if it's supposed to be from me to Nat, or from Nat to me, or just from Nadia to Mingus.

the soiled mattress
with its yellow flowers
behind the family grocery store
springs hanging from the dumpster

the broken hubcap
freshly abandoned
leaning on the curb

and You and I
somewhere in this city

There will be more of this, I'm sure.

June 9th, 2005

On the advice of the poet who once met Al Purdy, I started reading Canadian poet John Newlove. This poem is from his first collection, Black Night Window, which is unfortunately out of print. I read it soon after the tour ended last year, and it reminded me of the journey. The book was fantastic - thought I'd share a bit:

The Hitchhiker

On that black highway,
where are you going?-

it is in Alberta
among the trees

where the road sweeps
left and right

in great concrete arcs
at the famous resort -

there you stood on
the road in the wind

the cold wind going
through you and you

going through the country
to no end, only

to turn again at one sea
and begin it again,

feeling safe with strangers
in a moving car.

Newlove Biography
| Newlove Poems

June 8th, 2005
Jury Notes

Even though I didn't win, I would now like to thank the jury for the WGA's 2005 Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. The other day, I received the jury notes from the competition (they're a matter of public record), and was sincerely touched. It really was quite an honour just to be on table and to be a part of the process - especially with a book like nunt, which has been loved by some and absolutely hated - and eviscerated - by others. So - thanks to the three jurors for the finalist nod. It is much appreciated and remembered. Here's what they had to say about it all:

"Run for cover. Shrapnel everywhere! No party for the weak hearted. Tourette messes with language like a maniac, manic magician messes with your head. These are poems that blow up the consciousness."
- Lillian Allen

"Whether real or fictitious, the tour-de-force narrator of nunt pursues his hell-angel through a self-digesting tract of speakeasy detritus, known as 21st century urban decay. With weary swagger and poddy-mouth, our gumshoe plays his cards out with chilling intensity and self-gratifying gusto. nunt is a Rabelaisian delicacy. It strips meat off the naked, verging on misogeny for comic relief... but this document of fury will be remembered. "What's the best way to wake up on a morning like this? / semen on the hands / or / semen on the face?" the author writes. nunt defines itself on its own terms... then explodes even these wide boundaries. Again and again."
- Weyman Chan

"A bitter chronicle of extended exile, nunt's protagonist is awash in bodily fluids and tentative attempts at redemption. Mingus Tourette's blunt nuntos make Eminem look like Rumi, and will get under your skin, whether you want them to or not. Audacious and brave, nunt is sure to be talked about for some time."
- Ali Riley

"If you haven't bought a copy of nunt yet, you are a fool, and should be slaughtered like the fascist pig you are. Do it now, or suffer innumerable sorrows. "
- Doktor Ruin

June 7th, 2005
The Application

This week, the artisans and mayors at City Hall will decide on Edmonton's first Poet Laureate.

I threw my name into the hat, as did Mr. Gravel. We can only pray that at least one of us gets into office. Or at least - that one of us wins the vice-laureate position, in case Douglas Barbour gets sick.

It would be lovely to be the first E-Ville Poet Laureate. In addition to all the good I would do for the poets and children of this fine city, I would also look forward to:

- buying a tightly-tailored salmon-coloured Dutch-sharkskin suit for official functions
- to go with my thirty-mink / sixty-chinchilla fur coat

- immediately designing a new logo and website for the E-Ville Poet Laureate position
- registering another six domain names that might somehow vaguely apply
- starting a Sean John-style clothing line focussed on parkas and jumpsuits

- building Tento his long deserved memorial
- shooting Premier Ralph Klein out of a cannon
- hiring a body guard who played the cello and could teach me more about shuriken

- creating an official ring for the office of the laureate
- or rather, two four-finger gold rings that spell out FUCK AROO

- getting that custom-made full-body gold-velour jumpsuit that I've always wanted
- starting a microbrewery that put the tequila directly into the beer

- writing the official poems that properly communicate the feelings of our fair city:

Dear Ralph
Quit sucking off your old business buddies

there's enough oil in cowtown
for those grease balls
to lube up
and get themselves off

How bout a little love for us roughnecks
up north

be nice
and maybe we'll vote
in a Tory next time

- resurfacing the ambulance with a new logo and colour scheme
- probably gold - wif ma name on da dash
- installing a serious bass-heavy stereo system for my nightly rounds of the city

- getting rid of "The City of Champions" moniker and rebranding the place as follows:

"The City of E-Ville: Big Poems. Big Women. Big Trucks. Big Dicks. Big Drinking."


"The Boiler Room: We're Cooking in Here!"

- Or, just cashing the check and throwing myself a 96 hour no-holds-barred ether-induced mating dance at the Vegas Bunny Ranch and later moving to New Orleans with my new wife, whom I would name Meredith.

Either way, I'm sure it would be the taxpayer's most entertaining bang for the buck.

June 6th, 2005
Bathing Techniques
After tense negotiations involving a pitchfork and a bottle of cayenne pepper, we are proud to present Doktor Ruin's story The Golden (Bathing Technique) of Buddha. The good Doktor assures us that the story is excerpted from Penthouse Forum, Nov 1973. Of course, that would leave me in the awkward position of plagiarizing it. As all overrun copies of Penthouse forum 1971 - 1975 were lost in a Brooklyn warehouse fire in 1982, there is no way to ascertain the publication of this story. As well, anyone who worked for the magazine during that period is long dead. Many of those people mysteriously disappeared. In some cases, even their children are dead.

As someone who is always questing after The Truth, I thought I would post this immediately and allow the reader to decide which came first - the Golden Seduction or the Golden Bathing Technique. What is certain is: if A Collection of Urotica by Doktor Ruin DOES exist, we will attempt to publish more of it right here. And now...

The Golden (Bathing Technique) of Buddha
from A Collection of Urotica by Doktor Ruin

I never thought I'd be writing an august publication like the Forum, but I felt I had to share a recent experience with your other readers.

I am the leader of a small Latvian country and have power and wealth undrempt of by lesser mortals. Wearying of dominating my groveling subjects, I decided to travel to America incognito to seek determine the best way to crush this upstart superpower beneath my boot-heel.

Washington was much larger and rainier than I had expected, so I decided to continue northward to the British colony of Columbia.

As I sat in the Holiday Inn lounge, I couldn't help noticing that I had attracted the attention and coy smirks of a couple of college-age teenagers.

Each had 38 inch busts, but Sally had blond hair and Wilmena was a redhead. I was surprised when they approached me, thinking that my ermine cloak would disguise my broad macho figure and regal bearing.

"Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals", she intoned, quoting the Buddha.

"Oh, you think you know Buddha? I fucked 'im!"

The colour drained from their faces as the each regarded me with wonder. As the bar was empty, I professed my love of watersports and suggested we retire to the lavatory.

The next three hours we engaged in what could only be described as 'enlightened' intercourse. It culminated in me thrusting into Wilma's makeup bag while Sally cleaned my nostrils from behind.

I awoke the next day under the urinal, spent but happy. I hope to return to Columbia soon!

- Doktor Ruin

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