Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cats and Sunny Corridor (and sunny Christ)

Maisonneuve, looking west

Walton Ford. A Self-Portrait

Filmed at Walton Ford's Studio in The Berkshires. TASCHEN 2007 (

Change, etc.

"We die to each other daily. What we know of other people is only our memory of the moments during which we knew them. And they have changed since then. To pretend that they and we are the same is a useful and convenient social convention, which must sometimes be broken. We must also remember that at every meeting we are meeting a stranger."

--from The Cocktail Party, by T.S. Eliot

New Work by David Hockney

He paints these large canvas panels outside on custom made eisles. Interesting...especially if you're familiar with his older work.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Morning Glory

morning_glory, originally uploaded by babajiwotan.

Move over Nutmeg and meet the new psychoactive plant ally in town: Morning Glory. The seeds of many species of morning glory contain ergot alkaloids such as the hallucinogenic ergonovine and ergine. Yesterday we had a big blizzard so I popped down to the local hardware store and picked up some seeds. Emptied the seeds into a blender.

Sure enough...


Tremendous increase in physical and spiritual production. I ripped myself open a few new muscles unloading on the punching bag, cleansed the lodge and temple, intensified focus work on two new large scale painting works, washed all my laundry, made some new freinds through enlightened debate, improved my space combat ability playing x-box, laboured on the still in progress new Prince Astral album, played with the dog, etc.

side effects were: unwillingness to stop production, inability to slowdown activity, loss of apetite for unhealthy food.

In other news, everyone should download a movie from the internet called zeitgeist. It's free. I highly reccomend that everyone watch it. I would like your opinions about it.

Wide open

Wild eyes on the road
this is my bread, my butter,
the wide open spaces; jam

deep in the ice caves
the new gods are astir
"release me" rumbles the lake

Ask the wind where
we are all going, ask Orion,
who marches west

See the tracks in the pure white snow
No one has been here before

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Phantom

You guys are maybe a lil' too young for this. But this guy made me sleep with the lights on for 3 years.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Death of General Wolfe(boy)

Yes, that's right folks, M. Wolfe(boy) is now working a real, office-type job, teaching ESL to French-speaking employees of SunLife, the National Bank, and a few other big ugly corps.

Don't let the half-smile fool you--his spirit has truly been broken by all these clothes, and walls, and schedules. :)

In the top pic, the shorter building on the left is one of the buildings I work in. In the bottom pic (taken right across the street), the old building in the foreground, with the big pillars, is another. The green domes behind it are part of Marie, Reine du Monde where I am now a semi-regular church-goer.

Excellent Carving

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Pack of Wolves, 1999

Odysseus in Montreal

I could tell you
things but I don't have
to anymore it's too
late or something,

i don't imagine you're
far away,
endlessly knitting and
unknitting a shawl to
keep away the suitors until I
return for you,

it's too late now,
too long at sea,

to think of
rain like grey-yellow sound
on a bedroom window
blue-golden mornings of
coffee and toast and things
we had thought of during
the night to talk about
it was too
much for either of us so

i don't think of these
things anymore
i cleaned all the rooms
every square inch
the day after you left and it was
like you'd never
been there,
no eyes like
a child's crayon drawing,
no sparrow's voice,
no soft shoulders or
dangerous curves--

i'm at sea now,
i'm tied to the mast
as I'd requested,
your siren's song is
lost on me

or it may drive me
for a minute or two
but there's no
choice except to
keep sailing and you
can stop knitting your shawl
(if you'd ever started)
because I'm not coming back.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Ode to a Lunar Eclipse

Staring up at the portent moon
as it turns into a crimson orb
shadowed by the earth.
Separate heavenly bodies
have aligned like two lovers
creating a whole new possibility.
So strange and powerful
the forces we think we understand
until we encounter them like this.
Eons ago dinosaurs looked up to see
this very same thing
cosmic time coming into line.

Bye, Toronto (and thanks for the socks-- I still wear them sometimes)

why do you
look to me now
like a city designed
under a bad Communist government?

Where are your memories,
where are your ghosts?

Did you forget it all
at the corner of King and Bay,
the centre of your Moloch heart?

There is no throb of life
in your skyscrapers and
wires, Toronto,
there never was,
there are
only those who
breathe within you
briefly. (They pushed me
out the door and
onto an early train today,
Toronto, all red-eyed
with morning.)

There is no imagination
in your long souless suburbs your
endless BMW lots,

nor in your scrub hills of Don Valley,
your forgotten moxie,
your hollow dark-eyed beauty
that you pulled me in with
so long ago,
your vaginal wall-art, Toronto,
is all just a front--

I see that now.

I left something of me
inside you, Toronto and
I may never
get it back (and, no,
I'm not just talking about my ipod),

but you forgot yourself, too,
chased nothing for so long that you
finally overtook it.

But still, even now,
when I walk through your
great grey streets
dragging memory behind me
like a suitcase full of concrete,
I talk to you, explain the
nuances of things as if
you're listening still, as if
you ever were.

Anyway, I'm sorry, Toronto,
but I've fallen in
love with someone else,
she's dangerous and aloof
and speaks a dozen languages
(most of which are strange to me),
she's already been making plans to leave,
and yet she
lets me feel at home
in the meantime.

You're so empty to me now, Toronto,
a glittering hollow shell,
and maybe someday I'll remember
that first golden rush of
when (and why) I loved you,

but for now
I can only wonder
if most of your soul,

lies somewhere else,
in those
who dreamed beside you,

maudit hiver

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I reformatted my blog, click
to check it out

Monday, February 18, 2008

Unfinished Business

what should the hand be holding?

That Way

Sunday, February 17, 2008

La boussole de Gaboury

Babes in the Wood by Randolph Caledecott

This book was one of my favourites as a kid. It is pretty macabre though, so I wouldn't suggest it for the very young.

"But Is It Art"?

The eternal question again...

This image was created by Michael Field:

"All of my art work is based on ideas rooted in dynamical systems, chaotic dynamics and invariant measures (part of my field of research). I developed all the software, algorithms and coloring used for these images. I also built the computers used to generate the images and printed these inages myself. My interest primarily lies in the ways in which one can achieve certain desired artistic effects using a "mathematical palette" (as opposed to using images toilluminate the mathematics)."

More art here from the Joint Mathematics Meeting held in San Diego last month...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Toronto, Land of Decomposing Animal Corpses in the Windows of restuarants. OR: Armless beggars at the Gates

Whoa. Huge. Place. Me. It. The. Gha. Carlos, Dave, Meat, Burlesque, Girls, Boys. More when it all settles.

Home at Night

Thursday, February 14, 2008

You Cannot Deny The Majesty

OK you all should check out the site belonging to Kathryn Beaton, she has quite the collection of historical (and largely Canadian) comics going!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008



i feel better now.

just needed to get that off my chest.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

You guys should hop on!

Sour Grapes?

The lead letter in today's WFP criticizes the current exhibit at the WAG, Subconscious City, calling it "yet another round of pretentious soul searching." The letter is by Winnipeg photographer Maurice Jay Bruneau who opposes the idea that his pictures of Winnipeg be viewed as historical or self-examining. He says art should be pure aesthetic and should not demure to a concept of "communal esteem-building," going on to say that these sorts of themes are myopic and better suited for totalitarian states.

I think Mr. Bruneau has got a case of sour grapes. A theme like this one undoubtedly panders to the patrons of the WAG (who doesn't enjoy a bit of navel gazing from time to time), but this does not necessarily mean the work in question is bereft of universality and "greatness" as he contends. Although I have not seen the exhibit it strikes me as a perfectly valid topic, and furthermore, any artist who believes his work can be completely divorced from the time and place s/he created it is either an absolute abstractionist or a fool. Anyway, I'm not an artist, and some of you are, so I'm posting this and inviting any comments (non-artists too!) about what you think.

I chose to paraphrase the letter because I don't want to infringe on the Free Press' intellectual property in any way, however you can read it online by going to their editorial section, it's entitled: Too Much Soul Searching.

In Mice, We Trust

Little did the magic care
That the flames were tired and cold
But I will turn away from you
When you have no knives to share
And something to say

Burn into the end of my dreams
Watching the witch burn down
Here come all the imps again
Watching the thief hang wound

Majesties of the loyal
Hunted the dust and the lost
And the angels were high and all alone
And we all just walked away

But the celebrities
Of the remedial cults
Will forgive what’s hung and gone
Yet we still all have symptoms
We still wonder why
The dog bites the child
Holding it’s tail like a rubber band

But the mice hold no truth
They just scurry past our feet,
They tear us under our own heads
For we need to follow them back in the cupboards
Where our dishes are chewed and leeched
In mice, we trust

-----> Perhaps there is nothing else to what has been said, perhaps there is nothing but more.

Simulacra of a Canadian Flag in the Wind

Last night in Peg-town

My sister Tracey, my neice Maya, nephew Donovan, moi, and nephew Justin.

I got fired from Wonerland!! (On my last day)

I went to the pension office before work (supposed to be my last day) and the person helping me called my boss asking about the oversized deductions. Coco (my boss) was immediately enraged and said I was fired for skipping work (which I didn't do) . Next she said she would revoke my severance pay since I was fired and deduct it from the tax and pension she owed, evict me from my apartment, as well as cancel my flight!. I spent 7 hours at the human rights department where they told me I didn't have enough time left on my Visa to file a case, but were kind enough to call and try to negotiate with my boss. After a bit of the officers coaxing, she said that she would put the money owed in my account tomorrow (which was 2 million Won {$21oocan} after I realized how much she had deducted for taxes) and said that she hasn't canceled the flight ...yet (but still wants to). I will meet with her tomorrow and find out exactly where I stand. If she deposits my money and doesn't cancel my flight I will be very relieved and excited to return to the great white north, no matter how cold it is. If not, my much anticipated (anticipated by me at least) visit to Toronto may be delayed. More on this ridiculousness as it unfolds. =P

Monday, February 11, 2008

Let's open a store

Screen printing Tees


My street is called Maisonneuve-- "new house". Rather appropriate, yeah?

1--looking northwest from my back balcony. Crazy clouds.

2--a view facing east down Maisonneuve towards downtown. The first sun in many, many days.

3--chez moi-- third floor, top two windows on the right in the middle building.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

La Basilique du Marie, Reine du Monde

Marie, Reine du Monde, Wolfboy, and the Ghost Dance

So, here I sit in La Basilique du Marie, Reine du Monde, a church so beautiful it's almost ridiculous, Latin script lining the cieling around me, statues of the saints looking down blindly, and a woman reading La Lettre du St. Paul a les Romans, about how par la peche d'un seul, la mort est entree la monde, (how, by the sin of one man, death entered the world).

Outside, in the park next door, in the morning shadows of skyscrapers and banks, is the statue of John A. Macdonald that became famous when, in 1964, the FLQ used it as the site of their first public act, spraypainting "JE SUIS SEPERATISTE!" on the base of it. (They blew up a mailbox in the suburbs the next day.)

Since I can't become Jewish in any real or meaningful way (though I'd certainly love to), I've decided that perhaps I shall become French-Catholic, since at least that's a genuine part of my heritage (moreso than the 1/16 Jewish bit, in any case).

The woman sitting a few rows in front of me looks so much like my friend Claire that I keep looking over to make sure it's really not her, and I keep forgetting to think about my sins.

My new roomate Pascale has taken to calling one of my cats "La Reine du Monde"-- the queen of the world. It's sort of like calling her "The Madonna". Pascale's blood boils whenever I mention that good hockey players have played on teams other than Les Canadiens, although she has a soft spot for the Jets.

The Cardinal is sitting up front in his velvet robes, on a giant purple couch. He seems like he's about 90 years old, and possibly falling asleep.

I can't take communion here, since I was never confirmed and am therefore not part of the club (two years of seminary doesn't count). I got my cheeky revenge by listening to Robbie Roberston's "Ghost Dance" on my way to church--exactly the kind of song and dance that this very church would have banned not so long ago.

(p.s. In the end, I took communion anyway, having confessed my sins only to God and Carlos, and not to a priest as I'm supposed to, and I didn't feel badly about it at all. In fact, I felt pretty good, and I suspect that God and Marie, Reine du Monde, were probably happy that I went ahead with it.)


This is the era of biology
Where sin becomes measure
and your genes the song
of your enemy

The science of being
statistically squared
and economically

This is the era of
beauty antipathy
singing thing that
we all are one

Gregarious moments
mean nothing in
simples but listen
to reach you
and levels of

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Friday, February 08, 2008

Extension on poetry homework?

When your feet
are dragging on the pavement
and your rattling kettle
boils over
with hot

Jump on the mole-skin saddle
of your red haired steed
and ride the mother ship west
up to the gossamer sinewy yonder
wheels turning
dinner's burning

Oh please murmur
sweet nothings
to me

Righteous Ike @ The Times Change(d) High and Lonesome Club

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

In Harrow, MB

Poetry Activity:

Here in the farmer’s field just off the highway,
the path of the harrow
is filled with liquid
red as Egypt’s Nile after Moses.

the slave's desire to return has always made sense to me
that story of liberation
laid out
in a dank church basement
filled with little moles and holy lessons
there, where I first
heard the
the low murmurs
of a mother and her children
wincing at the sound of a 1000 feet and the chariot’s wheel
trembling on sea shore.

a lack faith or so sister Vivian said,
as she passed around stale cookies and Tang,
the whole class agreed and
although I nodded, I secretly wanted them to go back .
we played the parting of the sea together later, in front
and used the pavement
as the path that God made.

Here in this farmer’s field just off the highway
the gossamer threads pull
and I am reminded of the truth about kettles and devils

Monday, February 04, 2008

Nice to meet your Flaccid Acquaintance

Welcome to My Menagerie

Flaccid Aphasia
(Diamond Mirth Mix)

Between the slender locks
Within our eyes
Lashed out so brightly coiled
Craving a quaint drop of translucent milk
The bosom in which they draw from
The bosom in which they blossom

The cerulean waters so clear and lonesome
Cold as the mirror imitates
Mimicking as shadows do
Like a dog without a home or virtue

She holds the same notes
Condemned to play the same melody
Within an elated prism
Like a polyphonic requiem
For she cannot recall or fathom
What else I taught her to execute

I hold the notes dear
As my euphoria resides in the dew
Laid out like a surrendered honeysuckle
On the same placid keys
Coveted like a rhythmic redemption
I seize and swallow it like a supplicant

The skinny tiny dogs devour
The apples left along the path
Of the ever onward trees
Like an incantation of howls and whimpers
They blissfully run to their lush confides

It’s a mere fantastic note to add
To a dry symphony
Immersed in the pools
We have all once drowned within
Pools of oil, water, and fire
Staring at a blank gaze

And still the melody never gets old
It still satisfies our flaccid tongue
With our fingers we easily cast into hell
And the melody has truly
never been heard this well.
------------------------------------------> Spawn of thebluemask


I accept the harrow(ing)
challenge of the
mole of
swimming in her
red gossamer (a
word i'd never
kettle of
liquid like

of poetry and language,
mother of us all,
the meat-wheel turns
slowly, a
murmur of
regret as it
eases us
into the

A Very Light Sleeper

Rolling the gossamer threshold
of waking light and dream

The wheel's blissful murmur
halts with a kettle-scream

What harrows me this evening
while I'm laying in my bed

I turn my gaze upon it
liquid blurred and red

There outside my window
between the pavement and the grass

A mother mole is sitting
and licking her own ass!

The gossamer mole

I am the gossamer mole
pavement and harrow
kettle of the red mother
and liquid wheel
I am the gossamer mole

2nd Person, Singular

Dual typewriter, two holes in a desk
And the liquid that spills down your throat
Alone in a room with sixteen chairs
Like a mole in the pavement fearing the turn of the wheels

Voice on the phone speaking of dreams
Retreats to a murmur and violent scenes
And you wish that you could disappear
For just a moment
But the kettle calls


Haggard and harrowed
And blessed
To be of a mother
To be of this earth
To be among
To have the gossamer, red in your veins

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Kettle Drum

a gossamer of thought

floats on the rythym

of a kettle drum

red liquid stains on the pavement leave

rusted watermarks

on the wheel

a mole of sorrow a harrow hole

in the heart of the mother son

a murmur of life floats away

to the rythym of a kettle drum

Poetry Activity

3 day poetry contest.

You have the next three days to create the best poem you can with the following words

1. harrow 2. mole 3. red 4. gossamer 5. kettle 6. liquid 7. mother 8. wheel
9. murmur 10. pavement

If you accept this challenge please post your poem on February, 6 by midnight.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Upon arrival...

...imagine my surprise to discover everyone spoke French in this city.

Heh. Just kidding.

I'm one hour into Montreal living. My apt is long and skinny, old and quaint in a really neat area (near Barri-UQAM on the map above), and my room needs painting, but i like the place and i like my new roomates. The cats have already begun to adjust--they have a new cat friend here, too, which complicates things a little. I'm expecting the fur to fly at least once.

It's a crazy sleet-blizzard right now, and as of yet I have no idea what Montreal looks like.

I barely slept in the 72 hrs preceding my arrival here--quite literally, I ended up working around the clock, between writing, teaching, and youth sheltering... Not to mention packing and cleaning.

My last 36 hours in Wpg was a coffee-fuelled food and sleep deprivation binge, culminating with a trip to the airport in which I was still packing on my way out the door. I am exhuasted.

I have no phone, but will soon, i expect.

Further dispatches to follow.

p.s. URGENT UPDATE: No sightings of Leonard Cohen to report as of yet.