lots on my mind

  1. much of it isn’t my story, so I sit by the side of the road
  2. Housefilk has been moved up to today. I wish I could stop feeling this bleak – Jeff got me CHEESE SCONES and COFFEE and both are excellent.
  3. weather remains fine
  4. The Russians keep providing the Ukrainians with proof of war crimes and the fact nobody on the Russian side seems to care indicates that they don’t actually believe any international justice apparatus will still be standing when they’re done.
  5. At this point I think we’ve got about 6 months left of ‘normal’ so it’s time to batten down. Start keeping more cash on hand, among other things.
  6. Anne Heche died of her injuries. Addiction is a terrible thing. I hope her kids have people they can trust with them and aren’t exposed to too much vileness.
  7. preparations for camping trip have commenced – I need to find Jim’s old camping list. Suzanne has already told me to expect to do as much driving as I can stand because ‘she wants to look at the view’ and I am HERE for that.
  8. off to Victoria soon for a flying visit more deets later
  9. I am hoping for a breakthrough on totally boned so I guess I’ve got a date with some 3×5 cards current count is 1663
  10. allegra sloman 13/8/2022 ‘Doing it badly’

Does the dog die

  1. that is the name of a website. People are sensitive about animal loss. I told a bunch of people on reddit that the dog DOESN’T die in the new Predator series movie, “Prey” and my inbox this morning is full of thanks and praise for saying so.
  2. Time to brush my teeth and have a shower.
  3. Burnaby is going to have a festival of glowing pumpkins, 6000 of the hand carved suckers. Once we hit August it’s all Halloween all the time around here.
  4. Somebody must have put one of my stories on a list; one particular fanfic is getting all the attention these days. It’s an okay story, it’s got pacing issues.
  5. Still no joy on Part II of current story. Some extension of a fanfic.
  6. We’ve now blown through 1000 cases of MPX in Canada. It was 957 on the 5th August, what do you think?
  7. Can’t raise Mike, his phone doesn’t seem to be working.
  8. Lovely walk with Jeff in the morning, it wasn’t TOO hot. Actually walked up the hill with some speed instead of puffing and blowing and pausing the entire way.
  9. Hexavalent chromium spill into the Huron River, which would impact the drinking water of millions of people, is getting zero airplay / pixels / print space in the media. Hexavalent chromium, necessary (they say) for many industrial processes, is the single most toxic form of chromium. Staring at my Toronto friends hey you might want to move before it’s in the drinking water of Toronto in Lake Ontario.
  10. Made Jeff peppermint tea and smoked salmon green salad wrap for brekkie.
  11. The Russians have mined the Ukrainian nuclear plant they took over a couple of months back. It is apparently their intention to destroy it.
  12. I have Reddit Cute Animal disease, every time I see a video of a cute critter on Reddit I want to run out and buy it. Today’s heart-eyes – hognosed snake.
  13. Did not practice yesterday, but at least all the instruments are in the same room again.
  14. “Reddit Double Shot” – THERAPY and BREAKUPS all ’round. (AITA posts only)
  15. I got the wordle in three tries this morning. However I used a solve site on line to help me once I got to word two.
  16. That doesn’t always work, depends on how common the consonants are.
  17. I am thinking of the time I did the Grouse Grind. It took me 2.5 hours and a single human being lapped me three times; he was wearing nothing but pale metallic blue booty shorts and athletic shoes and carrying a water bottle.
  18. Doug Ford is still an asshole who took four billion dollars from the Feds to fight the pandemic and as far as anyone can tell is obscuring where it’s being spent as fast as his bean counters can hide it.
  19. I have had a poem written for me?!!! Colour me blushy.
  20. And now I shall cease with my morning raving, knowing that my fOlks don’t have internet right now so there’s no point getting this posted before six.
  21. reconnecting with an ex on social media (facebook, I believe I mentioned that I left instagram and climbed back up on facebook) is always fraught with hazard (he was my first bf from around the time the planet cooled) but so far all we’re doing is sighing heavily over what a fucking idiot Roger Waters (OF PINK FLOYD) (he’s FUCKING CAPING FOR THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA SAYING TAIWAN BE OWNED BY THEM WHICH IS A BIG SURPRISE TO THE PEOPLE WHO FUCKING LIVE THERE) is, and posting youtube memories of songs gone by. Weird to see him all old and bearded though.
  22. and as a visual codaImage

Art for Alex

the map is decades old
some maps are old and valuable
this one isn’t

it’s a paperback atlas
that centres the US
(—for which a unique Indigenous designation
(—does not exist.
(—The United States of America does not exist
(—in law; it was founded on theft and genocide.
with a map of each state.
(—The states come closer to having
(—Indigenous names – every last one pronounced wrong –
(— and the borders often respect rivers.

this page I tore out has Montréal
(—Kanien’kehá:ka Territory
(—Ga-niyen-ge-HAA-ga
(—People of the Flint Territory
in the bottom left corner

I pulled out a piece of plastic I’ve used for forty years

(I was going to say owned but
I’m getting skittish of the word owned)

and using that stencil I, in varying colours,

(bright blue, teal, bright orange, bright green
and lots of greyblack ballpoint pen. It’s hideous.
It’s supposed to be hideous. It’s a wretch’s howl
at cruel fate, not just my death but his. I could
have prevented his death. I could have never
given day to his mother.)

inscribed:

28/7/22
DEAR ALEX:
WHEN YOU ARE
GROWN, THIS MAP
WILL BE OUT-OF-DATE.

I drew an arrow to Dorval
which is just a speck on this map
and printed

This is where your mother used to live

I asked his mother if it was ‘too much’
and she said
He’ll appreciate it when he’s older.

I made this to acknowledge
that his world will burn and drown
and know such anger, and such kindness
wonder and terror
that I won’t know.

accomplished a few things

Keith has his money. There was a little interest in there. I ran in, gave him the money, wrassled a teensy smile out of Ryker (Alex is in summer camp), and said hi to Katie who was about to toss some food down the baby.

Other errands accomplished. Shaw tried to talk us into getting another DVR box (or something like) and after a chat with the technician we tapped the table.

Fraser Foreshore was absolutely wonderful. In full sun, it was noticeably hot yesterday, but in the shade, by the river, the air was, in Paul’s words, ambrosial. The male of the nesting pair of herons whom we see with almost every trip WOULD NOT SHUT UP. I have heard herons make a range of noises but this one sat on the end of the log boom and HONKED LIKE A GOOSE at the crows. I’m not joking, and I have a witness. Every time the crows moved, he’d honk like a goose in irritation. In ten minutes, that heron made more noise than any heron not in a breeding colony that I’ve ever heard of. We got some Vietnamese food after.

This morning we’re going to do a schlep.

Buster is up and whining at my door. Me: “Wait for Daddy! No door! Daddy will open the door when he gets up!” He refused treats, skritches ALL HE WANTS IS DOOR DOOR NOW DOOR NOW DOOR NAAAAOW

542 words.

Lovely phone call with Dave yesterday but I am a BAD FRIEND because when he started to groan about punctuation in his in-the-process-of-being-edited poetry book I started laughing and unfortunately could not stop. I mean, it’s a lovely problem to have AND I COMPLETELY SUPPORT HIS COMMENTS REGARDING SPACES AROUND ELLIPSES, N-DASHES AND M–DASHES. He is correct. HOWEVER it looks like his publisher has a house recipe. Also, he’s now supposed to do a 3-5 minute VIDEO about his book. This is like asking the Groke to give a three to five minute speech about existentialism while juggling lit blowtorches. I have a number of suggestions, which I made to him, and here are more woven in with them.

MALICIOUS COMPLIANCE. Do everything they ask, but in such a way that it can’t be used.

MALICIOUS COMPLIANCE V. 2 Do everything they ask, but get someone else to do it.

MALICIOUS COMPLIANCE V 3. Do everything they ask while wearing a V for Vendetta mask.

MALICIOUS COMPLIANCE V.4 Do everything they ask but be reading a newspaper while the voice over provides the information.

MALICIOUS COMPLIANCE V.5 Do everything they ask – and let them edit it.

MALICIOUS COMPLIANCE V.6 Do everything they ask – for other books in their catalog

E For Effort v.1 Take videos of his cats and provide a voice over indicating that it would be of societal net benefit if you made a cat video rather than a commercial for your book, which you ‘will just have to take my word is a thoughtfully crafted work of contemporary poetry in English’.

E for Effort v.2. Take Jeff’s videos of the rats scurrying up and down the alley at dawn and intersperse them with a reading from the book (one of the things they wish in the video)

He’s got to the beginning of September.

Image

Extracurricular Incoherence (new poem)

Perhaps this is the ‘now’ I have attended. Dreams mean nothing when the machine that can record them has settled into rust only imagination and the sun and X-rays can reassemble. I can’t remember my dreams because I am a brkn mchn. Sliver of mercurial glass! slide into my foot! assert yourself, the cold remains of another broken miracle. As a species we taught water and glass and steel to lie flat, hold still and do our will. When mirrors break it always feels like a failure.   The mirror is inseparable from the eye.   Parasite or epiphyte, the half-mirrored child appeared at a whim, then hardened into quotidian slots AND LONGER, hard seats in the ER smoking outside in the snow as far away as you can so’s not to bother the person you got a smoke from, standing someplace you won’t make shittier by weeping. There was nothing ambiguous about that moment, when I started to loathe flowers. Pretty flowers, death shorn and hacked is what you are – I see you in your unobjectionable patterned paper. What discipline will bring us flowers in the future; where will barley grow for beer? Everything good and decent is far apart and kept that way as fear and boot heels force their alarms into the collective breath. Carbon dioxide ratchets up, with it anxiety; it wasn’t in the syllabus; we’re conspiring in the dragon’s exhalation now – this is a vapour fit to kill.

sing wet bones

late at night
not every night thank god
I can hear my bones singing
If I thought they could hear me over the din
I’d ask them why they think that it’s okay
to flap themselves so, like my tinnitus needs drowning
and as soon as I pose the question
the bones have formed a Wunderkammer
and wish to impose their wet vibrations on a wider audience
they grind in a basso and say
you don’t move us enough
and now you will pay

existential crises have I one

I will have none whenever I’m done
pleasantly cynical isn’t the style
so I’ll
resurrect a ‘childhood horror’

Nobody knows but me
It isn’t your burden to bear
Nobody knows but me
And, fuck it all, I’m gonna share

in the first years of my teenhood
abysmally utterly greenhood
I lie each night and the bedbugs that bite
are mushroom clouds and Auschwitz crowds
that aren’t just a sigh in a closet
history runs we can’t pause it
but I do not want to be in it
not even for one single minute

If it’s like that

_______________________________________________________

and it’s like that again

If Putin is blowing up dreams in Europe
I now have three questions to ask
when did I notice and when did I act
Is history now Putin’s tale to redact
I for one think that the world’s on the brink
while reliving my childhood terror

unattached to the foregoing::
during the writing of this poem my daughter called me laughing and joking with Alex, they’re doing spelling homework and using it as an opportunity to work the spelling words into song parodies (‘scale’ into “Sail” for example, and to register the Allegra contextual impact you have to know that this song was part of our morning warmup tape when we had the shop). . .and I couldn’t respond properly. In addition to this on going mood I’m in, I have a 24 hour blood pressure cuff on and it KEEPS TURNING ITSELF OFF which is not assisting my apocawyptic bwoodings. I’m migraining as well, horrific multicoloured jagged swirls mostly in the left side of my visual field.

 

This is a poem called the nap

The resonant horn blowing up from Sto:lo tells the city to rejoice in the sun
There’s fog downslope, lain across the last few metres of ground, and tugs avoiding
Each other.

The river is still high. You can sense the irritation of the animals set to breed.
All stark the colours and straight the lines, urgent business.
You want to get out of the woods.

Crows are nesting already. They trim the dogwood, their accustomed favourite
For all its benefits. How it, springing new under their depredations seems to
Visibly laugh as it blooms, and blooms, and most years blooms again,
To mock the crows, even as it roosts them,
an excellent host this morning against a muted sky.

For once the neighbours across the alley aren’t building things. Their silence
Unnerving and unexpected. I myself have been wailing. I fancy myself
Quite expert on the kazoo. If I flatter myself, I’m not asking anyone else to.
All of that’s a relief. I keep trying to attend to things but I see myself
Eating and sleeping a lot, and maybe that’s okay. If I stay awake I’ll be
Angry at the world or angry at myself, and those choices seem so bleak
Asleep is what I’ll be. It will be another beautiful day,
And I’ll sleep through it.

——-

er… this poem is a mood, it’s not real, I have plans for today and I’ve already run the dishes… I have strange ideas in my head again, I want to go back to a previously energized project. I have to fight this sloth – it’s a very big, very claw-y Ground Sloth, and the fact it’s extinct does not appear to be impairing its efforts to impede me! Have at you sir! Ow! I can’t continue to pretend I’m blogging, if that indeed is the best description of this onanistic activity, when I’m being assailed by a Ground Sloth the size of a mini bus and fucksticks did I mention his claws already because that really should be close to the top of the in box if you know what I mean, okay, bailing now, hope this fucker doesn’t show up in your reality because he went through a custom door frame like it was fucking balsa wood and fucker left two wheelbarrows of shit wish I was kidding in the house already. Being in confined spaces makes him shit, okay great I feel like Chuck Darwin now.

er… I’m not actually floridly psychotic now I was just riffing on how easy it is for a person with ADD to be seduced by another project. Why, what did you think I was doing?

I’m wearing Loki’s rune after all

This popped up this morning, evidence that I don’t need much inspiration for a poem:

From the yew-grove to the valley of the fallen
I shall travel with my bow, my knife, my faithful dog
Under the light of the ancestors, bright now,
Dancing the heavens, I shall walk with my thoughts
And my shadow, cast green along the snow,
Until the tale of all my deeds is told
And Freya gathers me into her field at last

So, there isn’t just Valhalla. There are two other places the dead go. Freya has a field called folkvangr (pronounced folkwongs, just to mess you up) where she gathers half the dead. The Allfather gets the other half of the noble dead in Valhalla.

 

BISCOTTI HAS OCCURRED

Today Jeff will help me move it to where it’s supposed to be, Peggy’s place, not my greedikum gullet.

Off to the dentist today to see if I need repairs for a molar chip.

Still puttering along on the fanfics. Submitted a poem for publication yesterday. I doubt it will be published but I had a lot of fun writing it and there’s some vivid language in it.

Omicron doubles in 2 days. Apparently the highest testing area in Canada is Vancouver Island right now and Keith’s off to the grands shortly to visit them so I hope he stays in his car for the ferry ride. He is currently employed, and I couldn’t be more pleased, although he sounded bagged the last time we spoke.

Christmas gathering this year will be a) takeout b) at Katie’s c) after Christmas Day and d) just immediate family.

Earthquake this morning off the coast, a leedle one. I woke up IMMEDIATELY after the posted time so it’s possible that’s what woke me, but I doubt it; Jeff knows I slept through when a raccoon dragged the plastic container full of cat food to the stairs and launched it gravity-wards so I probably did sleep throught it.

The only hospital left in Afghanistan that can treat covid just ran out of oxygen.

 

 

Tom in hospital

pale green
pale grey
mushroom beige
one can wake to a drowse, just a tiny bit
of consciousness
and know you’re in hospital

He breathes in six to ten second gouts
and I watch
family & friends    the doc     the nurse    the housekeeper
come and go

Sometimes we sound him
for how he’s doing
& sometimes he replies and squirms like a sleepy toddler

in a bed too small for him
he shrinks
and next to him
just there
on the other side of the window

another place for people to go to die
and get better
and fight death to a draw
is rising
under the watchful eyes of the crows

while his son speaks softly and rubs his back

the time that passes is modelling clay
the time that passes is silent pictures taken of a dying man
as he rests in the arms of his son

the writer is always a fantasist

The writer is always a fantasist, because words are not the things they describe.

One can wander in the far lands of the extraction of etymology, but nothing gives the picture like the exploded view.

Therefore one must diagram, and in making a diagram, you fall in love with the diagram, you make excuses for the state of the diagram, you tell people that this diagram is the best, you have nightmares that this diagram is the worst, but nothing can prepare you for how little the diagram is like the processes and states of matter which exist in real time.

One makes maps.

This map tells me distances inside the ‘lower mainland’. This map helps me gauge how many kCal to pedal a bicycle up that hill. This map tells me what geology I will encounter when I dig. This map tells me about the snaking tubes of metal and concrete, plastic and glass, that run under the surface. This map tells me what mammals are common to this part of the world. This map tells me what the odds are that my home will experience earthquake damage. This map tells me about the airspace above my home. This map tells me what stars are above my dwelling place and how far they are from me. This map shows me where the highway traffic cams are. This map shows the arrangement of the planets and major bodies in the solar system. This map shows what languages were and are spoken on this land. This map shows a picture of every house on every street, but not the alleyways. This map shows every street including the alleyways. This map shows the tallest trees by species. This map shows the strangest architecture. This map shows the location of an abandoned cemetery. This map shows the heron rookeries. This map shows all the known external locations for the CW show Supernatural. This map shows buried treasure but the raccoons already dug it up and ate it so imagine the nine year old coming back and seeing a hole in the ground where the candy was. All of these maps beg you to imagine. And there are thousands of people for whom a map is an affront, for nothing in their brain works that way. None of these maps are connected except in my mind. They never will be connected. They will never be overlaid. They exist together, floating one on top of another, only in this poem; for a moment you too can hold them up there in your mind, having been given this sketch. Then the paragraph finishes and this time tomorrow you will not remember that it happened.

One writes because it’s in your head and has to come out. One writes because there is something breathing in your ear; there is no control, between the impetus and the page, merely a hint of directionality. One writes because the variation between the imagined and the real is a big play-space and most of it has not been explored yet. One writes because one wants to rid English of its colonialisms and make it the one true argot of freedom, breaking its chains, filling in its scandalously tiny trove of words for relations. One writes because how else is one to demonstrate how vastly different one is from everyone else; and simultaneously how dragged-through-drains dirty and boring and pedestrian one is, although if one is hosed down and buffed up and stood under a certain light one might pass muster at a public gathering. One writes because it’s always personal. One writes because it’s always political. One writes because there is a special someone waiting for your words, if your words survive. One writes because the past made you do it. One writes because the future is begging. One writes because no matter how grey and recondite the subject, the words are not the things, and even that most noble academic is a fantasist, though her choice of words is not lightly made, is not an accident.