Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm Rich!!

Dear Sir/Madam,
With due respect, trust and humility, I write this letter to you seeking your help and assistance, Though its difficult since we have not met before, I got your good contact from the network online while browsing through website of business opportunities in your country. I believe that you are capable and reliable in handling this urgent international transaction of this sort.
I am Barrister Matthews George, an attorney at law. This involves a foreign client of mine, by name Mr John Fuller, who here in after shall be referred to as my client, died as a result of heart-related condition . Due to the death of all his family members in the chi-chi earthquake 1999 in Tawain.
But before he died he called me, and showed me a written note concerning a $26.5M funds he deposited in an ESCROW/SUSPENSE ACCOUNT of one of the major bank here with an IRREVOCABLE NON WITHDRAWAL INSURANCE CERTIFICATE ORDER. And that no money will be deducted from the PRINCIPAL SUM until it gets to the account of the beneficiary overseas.
I cannot present my good self as the next of kin because all documents shows that i am his Attorney.
I decided to write you seeking your help for this money to be transferred into your private bank account since you are a foreigner as all arrangements for a hitch-free transfer have will be fully taken care by me . And I want to assure you also that this transaction is 100% risk free, as no other person knows about this deposit apart from me.
As for your reward for your expected assistance i have resolved to go into partnership with you as soon as the money is transferred to your nominated account or bank overseas and you will also receive 35% of the total amount, 5% will be used to offset any expenses that might be incurred in the course of this transaction, while the remaining 60% will be for me and for the investment with you.
If you are willing to help I will then give you the deposit code and i will provide all relevant documents under you name which you will use to put claims to the bank as the beneficiary so that the bank can process the transfer to your account without further delays.
I must use this opportunity to implore you to exercise the utmost indulgence to keep this matter extraordinary confidential, whatever your decision, while I await your prompt response. Please contact me at once to indicate your interest. I will like you to acknowledge the receipt of this e-mail as soon as possible.
Best Regards,
Barrister Matthews George
Principal Attorney

On schedule


Ticks me off
with your show-off
precision timekeeping

Just you wait until
your batteries die

We'll see how quickly
I get around
to putting new ones in.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Detail of "Live"



Parents should not be accompanied without their children...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Traumedy "Boys are Weird"

2:15 pm, Partly cloudy with a high of 25 degrees. The grass hung ominously like scythes.

2:17 pm, A teenage boy decides to experiment with taking a life. The frog soars above the jagged rocks.

Meanwhile in Frogland...
2:15 pm A frog prays: Dear God, I have been a good frog, and lived a long happy frog life, and for that I am grateful. Content with what I've been given, I've never asked for anything for myself. This one time, here on this rock, I am stuck, an old immobile frog. If the universe could be arranged to allow it, please let me jump again, one last time, like I used to. When I was young I could jump as high as the clouds. Amen.

2:17 pm

- unentitled -

Lakeside morning
engage in conversation with the birds
who woke before you but waited patiently.

No, I'm not ready yet
but just another few moments

The picture on the table
reminds me of someone else
but I don't know either of them
and the sound of your voice
reminds me of you -
isn't that funny?
Or maybe I'm just not as funny as I think I am
this early in the morning.

Lakeside morning...
I wish I was at the lake, actually
but I'm here in the city.

City mornings don't bother me
but there's nothing unusual about them
and I do so like the unusual...
except when it comes to my morning coffee.

Coffeeside morning...
day in and day out
and in and out
and day after day
and night after day after month after week
and... what did you say?
just a moment.

Hello, birds.

Where's my coffee?

See you soon, Alan.

This handsome dude you see here is Alan, a tree planting pal of three of us bloggers (myself, Krahn, and Capt Goldstar). As of two days ago, sadly, he is no longer among the living.

Al, who was following his dad's footsteps in becoming a maker of custom acoustic guitars, was kind-hearted, generous, and treated everybody around him with respect. And those glowing eulogies you always hear never quite do justice to a life, I feel, so I'll just say that, from what I knew of him in our brief friendship, Alan was a good man. Period.

Interestingly, (and perhaps a bit symbolically, I thought) when I got the facebook msg informing me that he had died in an accident, I was in the middle of setting the time, on a little clock that he had given me to use in my tent this spring.

So long, Al. See you soon.

Drawing by Andrew Courtnage

९०९ इस ६०६ स्पेल्ट उप्सिदे दोवं?

<909 is 606 spelt upside down>

this is the motherboard from a roland tr-909 rhythm composer from 1984-85. i bought a spare parts kit and EPROM update and a fancy temperature controlled soldering iron and cracked this thing wide open. i figured that since i got myself here i can damn sure get myself out again.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Wake

Last Label Jam

Butterfly Phoenix


An incredible time had by all at the Label 'wake' last night(wicked jams, long winded speeches, spoken word, Doors-esque moments of grandeur, organic-organ music, etc). And me without any images! Thanks so much everyone. That place will truly be missed.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

toggle switch (to be read aloud at a fast tempo)

turn twist flick this
toggle switch
rotate elevate
pedal steer adjust the gear
endear revere persevere
altruism fascism multinationalism
futuristic cannibalistic
downshift brake lift faceless
crowdsurf eat turf quench thirst
bread and water steam and fodder
cannonballs wrong number calls
hangups letdowns smiley face frowns
train of thought to nowhere and back

The Boy in the Box

(*note: no children were harmed in the making of this video)

I come from a long line of cops and freaks. This is my cousin, currently in the Cirque du Soliel's "Delerium"

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I thought this was the destroyer of cupcakes. Ritson @ the Death Show Garrick Theatre Aug. 21/08

horizontally challenged

in the land over the horizon
there lived a catalogue of the human condition
arrayed as if on display for purchase

here you had your mundanity, your profundity
the lowlifes and high society
the lost and the searching
the eminent wise and the unknown prophets
the forsaken, the power-hungry, the oblivious

crushed together in the confines of their world
shoulder upon shoulder, boot to boot
breathing in each other's exhalations
and never able to escape

for you are what you were made to be
and wherever you go you cannot lose yourself

the land over the horizon is never far away
for the horizon is defined
as the furthest point which you can see
from your present position

and if you have ceased moving

then you are dead

Friday, August 22, 2008


PLEASE check this out!!! Very cool...

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Saturday Night!

Hey, big show on Saturday at the Times with Rob Wrigley(right) and yours truly(left, plus a killer band which includes quewhy, momo, and Alf) Starts at 10pm!

I would really like to videotape the proccedings. Can anyone out there man a camera? Even just for the last song, it should be a dooooooooooooosie.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Doctor of Philosophy

I'm done, I conquered you
You were the best thing
that ever happened to me
All the thinking, the weaving
of tales, the forced uprooting
of energy that you demanded
I love you for it, I really do

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Peace means hello (and goodbye) [in Korean]

Wizardry, succumb
to the sound of the drum
to the voodoo that's in your
left handed hitchhiking thumb

miserable heat of the morning sun
turns the fire hotter
you must drink the water
you must teach your daughters
you must learn your sons

concentric circles around your head
do not make halos
you're not yet dead
they mark the point
of thought's origin
where nostalgia and memory
dance with the future
behind closed eyes

Mystery, succumb
to the land of the lungs
to the forest of limbs
to the heaving of tongues

to the fury
and despair
and the peace.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

New Eyes

The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. Marcel Proust

Saturday, August 16, 2008

If you're going to try, go all the way...

So, Cara and I had an interesting discussion about this quote a while back.

This is the last scene from the movie "Factotum", with Matt Dillon playing Charles Bukowski.

Cara and I both had some definite thoughts on this, but I'm curious to hear what others think. Does this work as an "artist's statement"?

p.s. sorry about the video quality-- Youtube blocked the nudity.

Friday, August 15, 2008


i went and saw the exhibit today for the Refus Global (see below).

now, i had seen a few Jean-Paul Riopelle works before, and always thought they were pretty cool, and even understood why people might pay $2 million, or even $4 million for his work, even though i can't say it ever blew me away.

today, i stood in front of a piece that's about 12 feet long and 10 feet high, where he's layered the paint so densely that experts think the layers at the bottom are still not dry, 50 years later.

every single inch of that painting--literally, every inch--is layered with colour, detail, brush and knife work, etc. it gave me a renewed appreciation for why this guy is Canada's (or, Quebec's) most famous art export.

also, i would place kent monkman
among the most "important" (gag), interesting, timely and just all around awesomest artists working in Canada today.

he's a first nations guy--from ontario. his work basically subverts every notion of eurocentricism, noble savagery, etc.

saw a 16 by 10 foot piece today where he replicates giant landscapes of the American Romantics down to the tiniest detail, with the happy addition of homoeroticism-- in one part of the painting, as a cross-dressing native man emerges from the lake like Venus in Boticelli's work, Modigliani swoons in front of his canvas while Jackson Pollock reaches out to steady him.

there's also a few dudes shagging, i believe-- a sort of cowboy and indian homoerotic fantasy.

for you 'peggers, i think he may still be on at the WAG right now. see it if you haven't--he's the real deal.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


acrylic on black velvet
(I may work on this one a little more, but then again, maybe I've done enough!)

Cry! Butterfly Cry!

a.d.d.'s to the pile of random madness

random madness, part 2

"wow," i thought, as i continued to walk. "that's a body there. in the bushes."

and then: "A BODY?"

so i stopped and turned back to see what was happening.

it was a lady, about 45 or so, lying there with some fairly serious wounds, and significant blood loss.

no gory details, but suffice to say the wounds were just that-- fairly serious.

the first people i saw on the sidewalk, a man and a woman, i asked: "do you live here?"

of course, i get uncomprehending stares.

"uh..." one of them, the woman, says.

right. they don't speak english.

i explain, in my not-great french, that a woman is lying over there in the bushes, seriously injured.

they understand. whew. so she dials 911 on her cell, the man runs upstairs to alert the caretaker and grab some towels.

she passes the cell to me.

the operator asks if i want to speak english.

i say yes.

i explain all i know--where she's hurt, her basic condition (which is conscious, speaking, and moving a little). the operator tells me to try to keep her calm, and not to let her move.

i try, in french. it seems to work.

a large dude comes out of the building and tries to grab the phone from me-- he's just arrived on the scene, and wants to play the hero-- says to me, in a loud voice and in french that he'll explain to the operator what's going on.

there's no need, i tell him. we're just waiting for the ambulance now.

he goes back inside.

the injured woman keeps trying to move. she's in shock.

the woman who dialed 911 on her cell comes out, keeps an eye on the injured woman while i stay on the line w/ 911.

the paramedics arrive, and immediately go to work. there's nothing else to do now.

so the woman with the cell phone and i stand off to the side talking to the caretaker. it's starting to rain.

i gotta go to work, i say, and the woman with the cell phone says something nice in french, and then i go down the sidewalk, and it's starting to rain even harder.

i get to the gallery five minutes later. the room is big and spacious, the walls are white, and there are windows everywhere.

i want to drink many shots of tequila in succession, or lie down someplace, or phone somebody.

hi, i say.

i'm here from the mirror, to write about your show.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

random madness, part 1


on my way into St. Henri to go to a gallery for a show I'm writing about, I passed a body lying in the bushes.

part 2 to follow...

Big Foot

When Built: Late 1950's or early 1960's. Moved to present location in 1982.
Dimensions: Height: 18 Feet (5.5 Metres) Weight: 3,800 pounds.
Construction Materials: Cement and iron
Location: Trans Canada Highway, in front of a gas station. Reason for Building:
Erected by a gas station and restaurant to entice people to stop.
Additional Information:
As far as the current owners are aware, the statue was made by a man who visited the area. It took him an entire summer to make it.
Surprisingly, even though it is pretty heavy, this monument seems to move around a bit. It was located in the nearby community of Waldhof until 1982, when it was purchased by Liz and Max Lang to place in front of their gas station.
There is a speaker inside the figure with a microphone at the garage so that "Big Foot" can occasionaly talk to people who stop and take their picture in front of it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lake Lanterns

I went out to the Trout Music festival this weekend and did a lantern display on the lake. I started them on the floating dock and then sent them afloat. Jake Chenier took some great photos too, which incorporated the northern lights, so I'll be sure to post them when I get them. It was an interesting experiment. They floated around like an ever changing constellation. The bottom picture is a slightly over exposed photo of them on the dock.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Refus Global-- August 9, 1948

image from this site
(the Nat'l Galleries of Scotland online)

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Refus Global, an artistic declaration created by 16 of the leading artists of 1940's Quebec (including Jean-Paul Riopelle, whose work is shown here, and now sells for millions of dollars).

Here's what Wikipedia has to say:

"It has been said by commentators that from the publication of this manifesto, 'modern French Canada began',[4] while CBC calls it "one of the most important and controversial artistic and social documents in modern Quebec society".[5]
"Along with the publication of Les insolences du Frère Untel (the impertinences of Brother Somebody), the Asbestos miners' strike of 1949, and the Maurice Richard Riot of 1955, Le Refus Global is widely seen to have been one of the fundamental causes of the Quiet Revolution."

And the Quiet Revolution, by the way, was the social, cultural and economic reforms of 1950's and 60's Quebec culture in which emerged the modern, "nationalist" sentiment and in which the power of the Catholic Church and of Anglo-Quebec culture were largely replaced by secular, French Quebecois culture.

In any case, today more or less marks 60 years since the beginning of that cultural upheaval, starting with the Refus Global.

Vive le Quebec Libre.


Vive le Canada.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


These are the lean days
the days of travel and truth
and spicy chicken

These are the days you reminisce
about the future
drifting into it on the warm breeze

Anonymous ears listen to your ravings
with a patience
discouraging in its constancy

Criticize me!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

This is just to say...


(a barely, barely modified version of William Carlos Williams' "This Is Just To Say")


I have drank one of
the boreal blonde beers
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast.

Forgive me
it was delicious
so sweet
and so cold.


Reflections (image recycling)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Lake Winnipeg Waves

Fear No Art

This is a friend of mine, Joe Craven. He is so awesome, words cannot describe his gusto for life and music and art. I just found this on the net and thought I would share it with y'all.

My new blog

This isn't an art thing... I just created a new blog for myself which will be a journal of my work on the thesis I am completing for my M.A. in Linguistics. I'm basically doing it to follow my thought process/progress, and I'm posting about it here to put a little pressure on myself since any of you can now pop over and take a look at it!

Now, back to work for me...

Sketch for Irish/Scottish heritage tattoo

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Mundanity #1

I'm sipping on some Bengel spice tea, lucky me.
My nose is running and so are my fingers, on the keys.
I like to rhyme and hop but I'm no Rhyme-nocerus or Hip-hoppapotamus.
I'm having breakfast with Benwah at 9:30 @ Johnny's on marion t-morrow.
I bumped into mimi @ Traverse Bay, and bought a drink and box of juice (actually 5) and then listened to the dirty dancing soundtrack over and over and over. I just finished watching a movie with Ryan Goslin(sp?) where he dates a mannequin, it might be the best movie I've seen this year.

Lake Winnipeg, the Lads

enormous mosquiito bite

Lake Winnipeg

Lake Winnipeg, Wedding, Sunset