Screamin Jay Hawkins

March 30, 2013

I was introduced to this guy by a college friend, John Madigan. Screamin’ Jay is one of those wonders of the planet. There is no one quite like him. I don’t know how you sit down and write a song like this.


Almost overwhelming

March 30, 2013

Josephine of Loyola2Finally spring has come. You can feel a joy in the air. The birds sound a little gitty. And the old men like myself seem to walk more erect. Little more bounce in our step. Our DNA must be preconditioned to feel this joy. The cliche ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ must refer to spring. And remember, this is spring in the city. In the country, in the woods, it must be almost overwhelming.

In Christianity we celebrate the torture, brutal murder of a gentle man, and then out of this darkness, his ascension. Is this history or a marvelous tale about life itself.

Voodoo Chile

March 29, 2013

This is such a wonderful version of a Jimi Hendrix tune….

96 Tears

March 29, 2013

One of the worst songs in the 70s. But it is catchy. Especially with pizza.

like the artist Ed Kuris

March 27, 2013

“a truly great English novel, one that explores the intersection of individual psychology and wider politics. With a vast array of characters, and richly overflowing with incident, it peels back history to show us Tudor England as a half-made society, moulding itself with great passion and suffering and courage.”

I read this on the blurb of a new novel. (It doesn’t matter what novel except to the author and his publisher.) There’s something wrong here. Close to fantasy. A novel never peels back history. As if history were an orange. And societies are not half-made. Society is a term in a sociology textbook. It does not exist like the artist Ed Kuris.

We are the victims of metaphors. (I suppose victim is a metaphor.) We do not just use them, we believe them. They become the jargon of saying something important when we aren’t saying anything at all.

girl and couch


too busy making money

March 27, 2013

There is no time for romance. So in Japan (maybe it was China, I’ll get someone to check that out for me)  people are hired to find one’s spouse. Like wedding planners except they arrange the couple. You might want to call them pimps. But that would be unkind. They are hired by people who are too busy making money to find mates.

I’m not sure that they’ll find the time to actually get married. You could have stand-ins. You could photoshop the bride and groom in later. You can get people to do that.

Would they have time to have a honeymoon? Well, people could be hired for that too. And why not get a substitute for your bride as well. Tell the couple to have a good time and report back later. I’m sure you could find someone to do that for you.

And children? You could do that in a lab. Think of the money you’d save on expensive dinners.

Larry had it all

I don’t read

March 25, 2013

I don’t read. Fiction. Haven’t for decades. When I was in my teens I read everything I could find. In my 20s and 30s, I read a lot of genre fiction, science fiction and detective novels. When I was at college I read an assortment of books. Lot of South American writers who I loved, and some American Literature which I did not.

Joyce Carol Oates, a small bird of a woman, taught at our school. I regret not having taken a course with her. Friends told me she was interesting. Rumors about her at the school were not flattering. One was that she was paranoid. Never sat near the window in her office. (Snipers) Once a pizza was sent to her as a gift from one of her students. She sent it down to the science labs to be tested for poison.

I read Them. It was very well received by critics and readers. I hated it. My impression: she doesn’t have the faintest clue. She lived the 60s in her office.

I’m reading the NY Times Book Review. An introduction of some younger writers. I realized that my time has passed. Actually my time never existed. Outside of Kurt Vonnegut, there is not an American author since Hemingway I’d want to be associated with.


people who have more

March 24, 2013

In Sunday’s Toronto Star there is a feature on Paul Godfrey, ex city councillor, CEO, etc. I have grown up with Paul Godfrey. He’s been a headliner. A nose for the front pages. Always leading with his chin.

Mr. Godfrey says that he has always admired ‘risk takers’. (Like Rockefeller, Al Capone, Lenin.) You hear this from people in business. Mr. Godrey does not mean risk takers in the arts. (My kid could draw that.) No. He means risk takers in business. People with vision, as he calls it.

Its a lie. What Mr. Godfrey means is that he admires people who are successful. People do not admire risk takers who fail. But to say that they admire risk takers who succeed is a mirage as well. What they admire is people who have more.





Then Terry died

March 24, 2013

I was almost a beat poet. Liked the whole idea of sitting around and listening to the chatter of voices. the patter of spoons in coffee cups. the bongos. and the almost endless and vaguely mystical poetry that filled the air. like sweat in a locker room. but then Terry died. Though I wouldn’t find out for twenty years. And rising up to read I realized that I was afraid of heights. And immediately began falling.

The poem here is from a book called The Baltimore Catechism. The book is free but if you hurry you can get it for half price.

SMALLremembering freedomSMALL




through the cracks in th

e wall i can hear the small talk rambling

on in the hall;

shelley looked so frightful

when her bronze boy lover left.

he left slamming the front door

but the house was mute and deaf.

i was smoking a cigarette

that put me on a wing – torn curtains drool upon the

streetlight shadows

an old oak drooping bent

over a hollow like’\

an old man begging for care and

then forgetting

why he’s there.


i tried to sketch your portrait

but you stole my rock.


a roman circus passes my way

eight days after friday;


unknown voices

soar to flame

so i go dreaming down the street





the grass is smoke

upon the factory’s heat.

all the walls flee

you’re not impressed by their rout.


breeze caresses the flame.


rubber careemed off the street

black shivering beds

sighing with the roll and scortch

magic dawn flushes,

the fury of the night stalls.


laces of my boots cry

that its someone to pray to.

toothless sun laughing at me.

walls are closing floor rising up.

i want to go up and touch your face.

dust drained from his skull.

the caution signs r blind

perfume swallows the air.


silence bleeds.


TIMBRE yells the vet

before he mends the old hookers

falling crotch. lovers separate

& crawl into marble rabbit holes.

i saw the hardwood melt

down upon your face.


against a bus stop he leans

with his guns in his eyes.


kissed a girl who didn’t want to be touched

manufacture some hate

aren’t you getting kinda stout?


don’t you realize yr a self

conceited egg tonight i met

jesus with a bottle of zing in his hand.

a lonely elephant asked me today


i was as mirror of discontent.


we should all wear pink

and be forced to carry around portable sinks.


drenching darkness empress

coca cola clown

onion blood baby

blow me. let me follow it down your throat.

i have sat inside my room

placed my fingers inside your wounds

touch’d things smoother than moonlight,

seen you hide from the cruel dancers.


a spider weaves suicide across the moon

t hide the memory of a king

who hung himself one afternoon

one sticky afternoon in the seaweed

beneath big blackman’s beach.


spring lingers on

sleeping under the snow.


moses kissd all the virgins with rain,

gave them passports,

put them on the cattle train.


one must please the customer.










my bride stood before me in yellow

she was scrawny


& sour. a tinge of resentment on her breath.

get outta here

i mean would you please leave the room

i wonna think about the love you gave me

but i don’t want to think about you.



i can hear my daddy’s poetry

building stand naked

& faceless

sounds of groaning uncles

& their voices.

i met a child in the back of the back room.

she came wearing a badge.

i lifted her latch

burnt her on my minute steak.


i announced i was running for god

& everybody gathered around to ask why.

don’t get too close

i couldn’t handle an overdose.


close your eyes. you’ll never go blind.

watch the seagulls fly in their cage

broken beer bottles in the grass awaiting a victim.

lonely romeo trapped in her canyon

a wooden waste basket full of crawling hands

a crowd of a thousand breathing

a skinned woman

desks and silver spoons choking

her visions of you have kept her

up through the night.

she weeps like a tyrant.


through the cracks in the wall. i

can hear the rambling on

of small talk in the hall.

look at michael trying to apolo

gize with his jokes and his cur

ls and his gift of pea

rls and his lost wor

lds. antiques will replace old ladies.

my grudges she warms like white coals.

– i’m losing the beat.


what about the year of 56

when men breathed fire

and men threw sticks.

A country for old men

March 23, 2013

Guelph is a middle-sized city about an hours drive west of Toronto. There is a major university there but no major industries that I am aware of. The city is filled with old men. Lonely old men. I mean men over 50 years of age with no lonely old woman. There are more lonely old men than there are university students. There are more lonely old men than there are STOP signs. There are many churches in Guelph. It is known for its churches. And standing in front of those churches every Sunday are hordes of lonely old men. They seldom go inside. Almost 47% of the population of Guelph is men over 50. And they are lonely.


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