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May 16th - 22nd, 2005
May 20th, 2005
The Unclean - Tonight

Do I really have to say:

If you do nothing else with your life, you should go and see this art show tonight and listen to some hot hot poetry. Hot.

And, it would also be smart to think of some questions to ask the artist (and even the poet) so that when she is standing up at the front, we are not hit with a wall of silence that threatens to consume the world, much like at the last art gallery reading.

This is a basement gallery with a cement floor. You will be drinking plentiful free big bear. Enjoy yerself. Hob that nob. And remember to say something very insightful and complimentary to the artist, Shelley Rothenburger. Her boyfriend is best described as a heavily-bearded, ill-tempered Croatian who has no time for fools who don't appreciate good art. The last thing you will see if you irritate him is a rustling beard and his four-finger gold ring.

The Unclean. Poetry Reading and Art Show tonight at the Fringe Gallery on Whyte. Big Bear starts around 6.30. Poetry reading at 7.00. Q & A at 7.15. Schmoozy till 8.00, and then go to the Commercial for some fine blues and better beer. The Gallery is located at 10516 Whyte Avenue. The Gallery is right beside The Paint Spot on Whyte, just down from Chapters.

And yes, it's all completely free, you cheap cunts. Get your standing room early.

May 19th, 2005
New Novel Version 17

There are some nights.

Thinking of moving forward with the next project. So I fire up all the machines and take a look over some of the old work to see what I was working on before all this poetry book bullshit.

And I flip through hundreds of pieces of writing from over a dozen different 'projects' that were in progress, many that I have completely forgotten about. Fifty page travelogues. Character profiles for eight different characters for a hundred page screenplay that has been read by exactly one person. The third draft of a 200 page novel I 'put on hold' in 1998 and briefly resurrected two years ago. Ten page love letters. Ten page hate letters. Eighteen pages of research on Zombies and the origin of the Vodun religion. Forty-two pages of notes on computer theory. Entire media kits for a tv pilot and a feature film that have been in 'post-production' for two and five years, respectively. Plot and character notes on sequels to movies that were never finished in the first place. The scattered names of beloved characters and books that feel like tattoos; Tectonic, Van Diemen's Land, Divinity, Ascension, Consumption, Vladimir. Most of them best known for being unfinished.

And even though I already have at least a dozen projects in the works , and as costly as these things are; to relationships and the pocketbook, I am obsessing about what new project to start? I am thinking about how quickly I can write a first draft of Roast Kraken and the Write the Nation Tour retrospective? Not to mention Chrome Rigby, The Book of Enoch, a screenplay version of nunt, and the online community for writers with the co-branded website for the Koboko school of writers?

Good lord, this would be laughable if I wasn't so fucking serious about it all. I mean, why in god's name would anybody consider writing a hundred page screen adaptation for a BOOK OF POETRY? And even though I know how ridiculous that sounds, EVEN AS I WRITE IT, why am I still considering it? Why don't I just look myself in the mirror and say, "No. That is fucking retarded. Go watch some television, or masturbate. Or play some video games. Just STOP BEING SO FUCKING OBSESSIVE". And even though I am telling myself to walk over to the mirror and say those things, why am I starting a new folder and making a spot for character profiles and placing the template in there? And renaming the template. And opening it. And putting my own name in there.

Sometimes I wonder how this would look from the outside.

May 18th, 2005
Official Press Release: RickStag 2005


May 12, 2005 – EDMONTON: Renowned shitheads, Mingus Tourette, Rendrag, Nordic Fury and the Minister of Misinformation have set down their Viking helmets and taken a break from drinking blood, skewering things on their spears and pillaging Future Shop outlets, to proudly bring you this news release.

To take part in an out-of-control, leave-the-wounded-where-they lie, no-holds-barred, [insert hyperbole here] celebration of RickStag 2005, please proceed to The Globe (downtown) on 109 Street, May 28, at 8pm.

“If you leave your house only once this entire year, buy some groceries and shampoo,” advised the Minister of Misinformation.

“But if you leave your house twice, go to RickStag 2005,” interjected Rendrag.

RickStag 2005 honours the impending marriage of Rick. Does Rick really exist? Well, he does now, and don’t you forget it. More importantly, are you even worthy of attending such an auspicious occasion? Well, yes you are, even if you are a woman. “Even if you are just a girl,” interjected Nordic Fury, touching the glistening horn of his Viking helmet.

“Enough of these fucking interjections,” said Mingus Tourette. “This is a fucking news release. The primary purpose of a news release is to impart information.”

“Ah, but take note,” interjected the Minister. “As you will observe, this release was written in the inverted pyramid style, as recommended by the Canadian Press, which means that all the most important information was loaded at the top. That makes the rest of this bit down here filler.”

“Filler!” yelled Tourette, picking up a burning torch and wielding it dangerously. “It’s not filler that all RickStag 2005 participants must get wise to the RULES of this stag: namely, the GREAT LYING and the RICKSTAG OMERTA!”

Tourette advanced upon the Minister’s apartment.

“There’s no need to torch my apartment, Mingus,” said the Minister. “Look… After the main body of the news release, we can tell people to visit the website and read all the VERY IMPORTANT information contained therein.”

“Can we tell them that if they break the CODE OF SILENCE they will be punched in the face?” asked Tourette.

“Punched in the face!” laughed Rendrag.

“Yes, we can even tell them that,” concluded the Minister.

For more very important information go to


This release brought to you by Shithead 07823P, The Minister of Misinformation.

May 17th, 2005
RickStag 2005

Now that I can officially abandon the possibility of critical literary success, I can return to doing what I do best, namely alcohol-fuelled mayhem and wanton shitheadery.

For those who still haven't firmly committed to showing up at this Friday's art and pony show, allow me to ask you this: have you ever drunk yourself into a ramshackle oglefuck on malt liquor? If not, what have you done with your life?

At least when it's my time to meet the Big Dump At the End of The Trail, I'll be able to say that I threw up in the Louvre instead of seeing the Mona Lisa with a bunch of tourists. You may never reach that level of debauchery, but if you show up on Friday, MAYBE you'll be able to say that you once got drunk on Big Bear and got kicked in the balls by a rabidly intoxicated poet who was SCREAMING ABOUT throwing up in Louvre. Hell yeah. Think of it as a warm up for Rick's Stag.

Speaking of kicking people in the balls and drinking heavily, it's time to unleash the Ridgebacks of Hell and give up the big official kickoff to RickStag 2005. The unofficialy press release will be posted tomorrow.

If you don't know what the fuck I'm talking about, please visit And remember - the first rule of the fake stag is that THERE IS NO FAKE STAG. The second rule is rather complicated and involves getting punched in the face for breaking rule number one. And yes, that is a whole new website. No one takes their alcohol-fuelled mayhem and shitheadery as seriously as I do. Enjoy it, my cruel viking hordes.

Soon, the rivers will run red with beer and blood and urine.

May 16th, 2005

The winner of this year's Stephan J. Stephansson Award for Poetry was described as being: warm, full of whimsy, and a 'fittingly wonderful book for the province of Alberta on her hundredth birthday'.

You do the math.

However, I did take away the booby prize for best matched ensemble; including the pink tie, pink ambulance and pink dress on my date, a Russian deaf-mute named Camille. Also, I was the drunkest. It was, as they say, an honour just to be on the table. Hats off to Walter Hildebrandt, for the winner, and to Thomas Wharton, for buying me a drink. And the awards announcer, for introducing the book as 'noont'. That made me chuckle.


If you like poetry, don't forget to book off this Friday evening for The Unclean. Meet the artist, the poet and enjoy some free big bear in champagne glasses. It's going to be a zinger.

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