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March 28th - April 3rd, 2005
April 1st, 2005

Today is April Fool's Day. You're supposed to make a joke with your website, or tell a whopper to someone you know.

Of course, I lie through my teeth every day, so I thought I'd leave today for the amateurs to have some fun. But that doesn't mean I can't post photos of chicks in gas masks.

The female, incidentally, is Morrie's daughter. She emailed me immediately after the dinner, and we chatted online last night until the wee hours, at which point she came over and we did some naughty, naughty things involving fruits, vegetables and a vacuum cleaner. In the morning, we were listening to Wagner, so I made her put on the gasmask, and I took her picture for all of you to enjoy. She looks pretty happy wearing my t-shirt! Then I shipped her off to English class. She needs those credits, or she won't graduate from high school this year. And we wouldn't want that.

Have a great weekend, everyone. I'm off to Brandon, Manitoba.

March 31st, 2005
Morrie Resurfaces

Because he knows that award announcement season is directly around the corner, Morrie took me for supper. He seems to think that the book will make a short list somewhere and that will vault me into minor-league fame with a big enough glow to give our co-produced script, Roast Kraken, credit somewhere.

Morrie's logic is heavily flawed in three ways.

First, poetry holds no weight with film producers or screenwriting agents. In fact, most producers would refuse to read a script by a poet, because they would assume it would be written on napkins in iambic pentameter. Plus, they know most poets don't think about 'franchise merchandising' possibilities when working on their next 'property'.

Second, there is the long-standing Mingus Tourette Rule of Fourth™ . It states that if there are three winners (or shortlisters), Tourette will invariably be fourth, unless he is dead fucking last. Which is often the case. If there are six winners, Tourette will be seventh. It should actually be referred to as the N + 1 Losing Formula, but I like the idea of almost touching the bronze medal, but failing. I didn't bother to tell Morrie about the rule because I wanted a free hamburger. He will find out soon enough. And I will have my hamburger to console me.

Third, the treatment for Roast Kraken is an irredeemable piece of shit that I wrote while blacked out on crumbled tar hashish and gin. I briefly considered rewriting the treatment, but realized that any time spent on a project called Roast Kraken would be better spent masturbating. Anybody interested in optioning the script should be shot.

Besides the local film gossip, there was one interesting twist to the meal. Morrie's daughter, Marcy, showed up with her Polynesian friend to bum some money out of the old man. She was loud and checked her phone continuously, but I liked the way her pants rode up her ass. I hadn't met her before, but when we shook hands, she stumbled a bit with her words and looked me in the eye nervously. Morrie introduced me as 'his writer', which crinkled my gonads a bit, but she seemed to get some thrill out of it. He mentioned that she wrote poetry, and suggested that she send some my way. He said, "Her poems are really good, and you might like them". I stared at him dumbstruck.

Her poems will be shit. I won't like them. I don't like poems written on cell phones that use number/letter combos, like 2U 4ever.

Besides that, who hooks up his nymphet daughter with a filthy rotten poet who's best known for his work in the 'sodomy haiku' sub-genre?

There are reasons this man hasn't made a film since 1992.

With that, I remind all Brandon residents to show up for the Sundog Reading Series on Saturday. It's going to be a corker. And, for those who hunger for Bernard's interview / rebuttal, we're hoping to get it out of him / her next week, after the fem-theory papers subside.

March 30th, 2005

If you like reading clean, gutwrenching poems, I highly suggest getting yourself a copy of Tanis Rideout's Velocity, published by Cubicle Press. As a part of a new, semi-regular feature, in which we present the work of a hot new poet, we are pleased to present a poem from her book.

by Tanis Rideout

after months of your silence
i slept three nights in your apartment
in the company of catcalls
from late night boys leaning on cars
across princess street
aged and angular in fluorescent light
of pizza joints

your bedroom door closed
firm on your absence

                                                mornings i’d wake
                                                stand in front of your closet
                                                finger each outfit hung together
                                                two dimensional pictures of you
                                                empty as photographs
                                                unable to claim what’s mine
                                                this room a fossil
                                                of your leaving

crumble flakes
to feed your goldfish
slow skim of their dead bodies
from the surface
my finger breaks
skin of water beads
on your empty desk

after four nights i dreamed you again
the weight of death on my pillow
filling my lungs like a lover’s scent

To read more from Velocity, and learn a bit about this up and coming young poet / novelist, visit Tanis Rideout's site. You will be happy you did.

March 29th, 2005
Media Poem
The Numerology of Grief

Gander and I had a discussion about Poet Laureates the other day, and their function. He was intent on writing an article about them, and questioning why Alberta didn't have one, especially on her 100th birthday. Seems like folks in this province just can't get it together to get themselves a poet laureate.

Of course, if there was a poet laureate, what would he do? I told Gander that a Laureate should be promoting poetry like hell, and trying like a motherfucker to write poems everyday. He thought they should be at the public's service, and they should write about day-to-day things. He figured the poems should be available for use and consumption by anyone, and they should provide a regular sparkpoint for conversation and debate. I agreed, and something kicked over about the way I used to write too much media summary, or media commentary, especially about the Iraq war. So, I said that if I were the poet laureate, I would try like hell to regularly write news poems, or media poems. I would use them to spark debate, to fuse a different lexicon to the lips of politicians, journalists and the public. I would try to succinctly point out the hypocrisies of this fine era, for I am tired of hearing the same regurgitated speaking points that come off the press releases and go directly to our opinions.

Of course, I am the poet laureate of exactly nothing, but more and more I give less and less a fuck about anything, so why the fuck shouldn't I call myself a poet laureate of nowhere and write a media poem whenever I damn well feel like it? It seems to be a more valuable thing to do than just rebark the issues. 'Cause sometimes, nothing cuts through the shit like a poem, especially when you're mad as fuck about something.

So here it is, the first media poem by Mingus Tourette, poet laureate of nowhere.

Go ahead, get pissed off.

The Numerology of Grief

why is it
that two weeks ago
a fifteen year old kid shot up a school
in the States

ended up with nine dead, plus himself
and I don't know the name of the school
or the name of the gunman

yet, six years ago
two sixteen-year olds shot thirteen of their schoolmates
and they got their own feature film
which I saw, and I remember was about bowling

in 2003
50 000 Iranians died in an earthquake

but I don't remember anyone donating to relief
like it was a tsunami

which, admittedly killed about 200 000 poor folk
plus at least a thousand westerners
and even some white people

those kids in that unnamed school in the States
I think they lived on a reservation

must have been red on the outside

I guess, what's the point of thinking about them
of mourning that loss

when we got a brain dead white girl in Florida
who might finally slip into the Void

after fifteen years
on her self-induced deathbed

now that's worth midnight legislation

March 28th, 2005
The E-Ville Invasion

We came, we saw, we got real drunk and read a shitload of poems to an impressive C-Ville audience. It was great fucking reading. In the past, I've done my share of shitting on Cowtown, but the people were a lot of fun, and great hosts. The evening was pumped full of everything that makes a classic - good music, hot poetry, interesting artists, and writers with new stories and hard inked tattoos. It didn't hurt that they sold out the standard ten book box, and had to restock. And yes, Nunto Two went over quite well.

In conclusion, I had a great fucking time. Perhaps a little too great. I got on the beer pretty hard, which always makes me extra loud. And extra stupid. And usually leads to some elite shitheadery. Like it did this time. With such highlights as:

a. Ripping off my shirt in the middle of the room with no real provocation. Or warning.

b. Drinking gin directly from the bottle like I was Charlton Heston.

c . Yelling offers of sexual favours across the room at Calgary literati, targetted at one fellow trying to get out the door with his lady while I screamed 'DO YOU NEED ANY HELP WITH THAT???'

d . Attempting to kick down the door of a local pub at three in the morning because it had the audacity to be closed when I wasn't finished drinking.

(Fortunately, K. pulled me off that before the police showed up.)

e . Waking up on K.'s floor, face down on a sleeping mat that I hadn't bothered to inflate, wondering why my tongue tasted like carpet. And not in a good way.

In conclusion - the Single Onion crushes ass. If you live in Calgary, you should attend, or you are foolish. Also - if you want an amusing shitshow, feed Mingus Tourette fifteen beer and watch ensuing mayhem.

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