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March 21st - 27th, 2005
March 24th, 2005
Come Out Swinging

Things just keep getting more interesting. Looks like the Pink Ambulance will be making a quick stop in Ponoka today to pick up the now-legendary ct staples before the reading. For those who remember the Write The Nation Tour, ct was the poet who tried hitch-hiking from San Diego to meet me in Vancouver, but took a wrong turn somewhere around Santa Cruz and couldn't make the trip. Five months later, he's finally riding shotgun.

For those of you who thought that I MADE CT STAPLES UP just to get other poets to join the tour, I’ll get some photographic evidence to prove that he does exist. I mean, the only thing better than telling a fantastic lie is telling a story so outlandish that no one believes it, and proving it true.

So, that makes four mad poets burning down the highway towards certain ruin later on today, under a malevolent wall of snow. Which brings me to the question I always face whenever I stand in front of an unknown audience: should I read Nunto Two?

The success or failure of any reading seems to hinge on my answer to this question. It's either a huge crowd pleaser, or I make it to the part about Americans killing Muslims, and everybody goes red-faced and stares at their shoes. I have seen it go both ways - winning the first half of a Vancouver slam to wild applause, as well as watching a fellow poet stand in the back of the room at a different reading and giggle because EVERYONE ELSE WAS HORRIFIED. Maybe it was the twenty-one uses of the word FUCK. Or the gregarious abuse of Shakespeare. But it's one of those things, like jumping off a skyscraper, that you can't stop half way through. No matter how much you want to.

The poem is generally known as 'The Cursing Competition', and features Mingus Tourette trading obscenities with a shit-sniffing redneck who calls himself the southern bard. I now introduce it by dedicating it to Mike Gravel with a line about gunfire and sodomy. I can usually tell at that point whether or not it's gonna fly. People who laugh about gunfire and sodomy laugh when I tell them:

why don't you fuck the fuck off before I sodomize your poodle
shave your mullet
diddle your little sister
steal your combine

Of course, there are times when I know in advance that it has to be read, no matter what. Because poetry is not meant to be easily digested, to wash over an audience like television. Sometimes, most times, you just can't let people off easy. Because they don't want it easy. So we'll see. But whatever happens, it should be a fuck of a good time. So don't miss it, or else me and Gravel and ct and Martin and old K might just up end a bottle of whiskey, break into your trailer at six in the morning with baseball bats and four gallons of kerosene, and when you stand up to say what the fuck is going on and reach for your nine iron you find you never get it up cause I saw that shit happening and came out swinging.

March 23rd, 2005
Rice And Rhetoric

For those following the saga of our Master's candidate and lesbian in training, Bernard Hurley, I have some sad news. He is too busy to interview this week. Apparently, he has a big paper due on Kathy Acker's importance to feminist theory or some bullshit. He thinks she's brilliant, the way she reshapes modern narratives. I think she's plainly unreadable. Frankly, I would rather eat soiled condom wrappers than read another one of her books. Next week, he'll respond to the various charges against his neo-feminist paradigm, and the importance of Freud.

In the meantime, I have to mention an article I read at IHT. The article is about the nuclear weapons dispute between the States and North Korea. It is interesting, but what I found hilarious was a passage that showed the striking gap between righteous rhetoric and reality.

Earlier Sunday, Rice extolled the virtues of free and open societies at a news conference with Internet journalists, after security guards wrestled a man to ground as he loudly called for American intervention to free the communist North.

‘‘Miss Rice, the North Korean people are dying and they are crying for your help,’’ yelled the activist, German physician and former aid worker Norbert Vollertsen. He held up a poster that read, ‘‘Freedom for North Korea: 50 Years Overdue,’’ until an embassy employee ripped it in half.

As Rice took her seat for the conference, security officers were literally muffling Vollertsen as they wrestled him to the floor. He had talked his way into the media gathering before Rice arrived, but an embassy public affairs officer recognized him at the last moment and demanded he be removed.

Speaking to that group, Rice described true democracy as the ability to ‘‘say what you wish, worship as you please and educate your children.’’

In contrast to the closed society of North Korea, Rice said, ‘‘you can come here and think what you want and ask me anything — the United States secretary of state — and what a wonderful thing that is.’’ - IHT

IHT rules. This week - articles on possible US lies about North Korea exporting Nuclear Material to Libya (remember the Nigerian Yellowcake!), and the beginning of the Iraqi civil war. Good times. You won't find this shit on CNN.

March 22nd, 2005

city lies under
a fine layer of floating ash
this morning

fresh snow spurting from the axles
of garbage trucks
and other oversized machines

driven by men
who no longer mind steering blind

the rest of us
tentative as old lovers
after many years

polite, even
under the veil of possible violence

No. You first. You turn, first.
You, step into the bath, first.


while young devils prance in Cocytus
making snowballs
to throw at the mothers
who carry their schoolbags, unseeing

March 21st, 2005
For Those in the Cheap Seats

Item One:

To anyone who may have missed it: The Edmonton Invasion of Calgary's Single Onion #35 is about to light up the night skies THIS THURSDAY, March 24th.

If you are in Calgary, you must attend, or you will never forgive yourself for missing this watershed poetry event. Doors at 7pm. Reading begins at 8pm. Three hot readers, music and magical MC action. In a city with a greasy steer for a soul, this kind of thing is important.

WHERE: Stanton Studio, Calgary
#102, 1215 - 13 St SE (three blocks south of Henri's Pub in the Woodstone Studios)


MORE INFO: .Single Onion's web site is at:

Item Two:

As if that weren't enough, it has been confirmed that I'll be flying out to Brandon, MB on April 2nd to help kick off National Poetry Month at the amazing SunDog Reading Series.

The reading is Alice in Wonderland / Through the Looking Glass themed, and everyone will be in character. I believe we will all be reading something written from our character's perspective, and I'll be standing in for the mighty Jabberwocky. More details on this as it's made available. There will be lots of interesting readers, writing circles, and a whole bunch of other freaky creative shit. So, if you live in Brandon or surrounding area (cough) mark it on your calendars.

Item Three:

For those who gave feedback on Bernard's essay, thank you. Rest assured, he would like to have a few words with certain people questioning his take on the whole Freudian paper thing. I'm going to try to 'interview' him again about what he thought, and present it here for more boundary-snapping (and bra-busting) discussion.

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