Mary Prankster


Mary Prankster
2005-04-05— Posted by: allegra

John came home night before last from his eastern rambles, bearing (among other things) a CD with a couple of tunes by Mary Prankster. If Nancy White woke up with a potty mouth, a penchant for casual sex and a punkass band, she’d sound exactly like Mary Prankster. The first time I heard “The World is Full of Bastards” my jaw dropped open and by the second verse I was laughing helplessly. I can’t even post the title of the second song, but I was laughing even harder. As soon as Katie got home last night I sat her down and said, “OMG ya GOTTA listen to this.” Katie laughed! She thought it was funny. Well, now I have to go and get a holter monitor. My arrhythmias are going to go from legend to fact, or so I hope, and if you can frikkin believe it I got a cardiologist consult in less than a week, so it’s pretty bif bam boom in terms of timing. Still haven’t thrashed out the details of the representation agreement (living will) with Paul, but that will be today after I get back – and I’ve printed out the checklist. Thank God I am not yet so hirsute in the chest that I will have to be shaved for the holter monitor. The joys of growing older! The politician who wrote me back said, “Good luck getting any more responses, I get 400 emails a day.” This is a paraphrase, but true to the spirit of what he wrote. I had a somewhat better night’s sleep, but that might have been the beer. Still don’t understand why drinking beer makes my heart work better…. it all seems pretty strange to me. Okay, back to the dishes. Okay, not quite yet. Paul washed the comforter off the bed and hung it to dry in what appears to be the only good weather we’ll get this week, so the bed smells “line dried clean” right now. Ah. Domestic bliss.

first response
2005-04-05— Posted by: allegra

I got an intelligent and grammatical response to my letter already, actually written by the elected official – who isn’t even from my riding. I am thrilled. I responded and thanked him profusely. Since I don’t intend to make fun of him, I will include him at the end of this process and prior to the election as one of the angels, so that if you are so inclined, you may let it influence your vote.

Insufficient rest

nowhere close to enough sleep
2005-04-04— Posted by: allegra

I had a great time last night feeding the folks and playing Munchkin (I got whupped, and Keith drew the Divine Intervention Card so Liz won). Holy cow, sleep was evasive to say the least. I also had a couple of really weird dreams… I dreamed I was lying away and I could hear music in one ear, and I said to Paul “Can you hear the music?” before I realized both of us were asleep. And a horse tried to run me down.

Pimp My Ride is branching out into Pimp My Airplane. I’m not sure whether to file this under “Sign of the Apocalypse” or “The last gasp of the Oil Culture.”

Pic was taken from Fark… I thought it was cute, in an odd way.

Paul is all happy because having company made us clean the house.

letters and thoughts

letters to politicians
2005-04-03— Posted by: allegra

I have now forwarded the letter shown previously to the editors of the Sun and Province, and to 20 MLA’s including my own local one. I will be judicious about posting any responses; I am trying to establish dialogue, not demonstrate something about politicians and newspaper editors that most of us already knew.

Oh, by the way…. if any of the constituency office staff delegated to deal with my letter are smart enough to find this website (which is not easy to find because nobody can spell my name and I don’t do the live link thing) be advised that I only get 3K hits a month to this site, so you can cheerfully ignore me – media wise, I don’t even rate as a drunken heckler. And besides. I’m not left wing, I’m actually an anarchist or I CALL myself an anarchist, so I’m even lamer, politically, than those NDP warhorses you’re so bored with. I must state publicly, however, that my religious beliefs prevent me from being personally violent unless you actually hit me first. That means, essentially, that I don’t care about your spoken politics. I care a lot more about what you do. (It also means that other people who call themselves anarchists disown me, because I don’t have the chops to perform direct action. Give me a break kids, I’m 46 and my hip hurts! But I’ll hide you while the cops are looking for you, so I have my uses.) And I will cut immense amounts of slack for a politician, any politician, no matter his or her party, who gives me a response in a human voice, as per the Cluetrain Manifesto, quoted earlier in this blog. So dear constituency assistant, congratulations! I send you a big hug and hope you’re giggling to yourself, now that you’ve found my belated Easter Egg.

I light a candle for John Paul II. I really wish he’d been a little easier on the birth control issue (and I would have forgiven him, teeth gnashing, on both the ordination of women and homosexuality had he lightened up about population control) but he made a good death, and I have to grant him that.

Paul’s off at church. Good on him! I’m going to finish up here and start cooking for Rob and Liz.

FDR quotes
2005-04-03— Posted by: allegra

Dear (politician, newspaper editor, religious leader, business leader):

The world is running out of cheap oil, and this will trigger events that require a measured response, rather than whining or partisan posturing. What are you, personally and politically, doing about the end of cheap oil?

Sincerely, me.

You know, I was thinking I should write a goddamned diatribe, but I can’t. The facts are now plain. I’m leaving out climate change and environmental destruction and all the other things I could throw into a letter, as that would just be me touching myself inappropriately in the hope of getting off (so to speak) some gonzo shots. It’s the oil that is going to break us… the question is, how badly, and at one point are the politicians gonna think about Franklin Roosevelt and Mike Pearson instead of Jeb Bush and Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Which reminds me. Somehow – books are like this – I inherited a history book called Pageant of Europe and I bought, at the amazing Renaissance Books, one of the best used book stores in the known universe, a book called Light from Many Lamps. Let me excerpt in large part from these books

These, quoted from Lillian Eichler Watson’s Light from Many Lamps, are the last words FDR wrote for public utterance. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage the next day. Think ye o readers of a day when men were elected President who actually *could* think and write like this.

“Let me assure you that my hand is the steadier for the work that is to be done, that I move more firmly into the task, knowing that you – millions and millions of you – are joined with me in the resolve to make this work endure.

The work, my friends, is peace; more than an end to this war – an end to the beginnings of all wars; yes, an end, forever, to this impractical, unrealistic settlement of the differences between governments by the mass killings of peoples.

Today as we move against the terrible scourge of war, as we go forward toward the greatest contribution that any generation of human beings can make in this world – the contribution of lasting peace – I ask you to keep up your faith. I measure the sound, solid achievement that can be made at this time by the straight edge of your own confidence and your resolve. And to you, and to all Americans who dedicate themselves with us to the making of an abiding peace, I say:

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.”

The passage in quotes is taken from Pageant of Europe. After asking Congress to agree to send munitions and material to the democracies fighting Hitler, on January 6, 1941, this is part of what FDR said, “In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in (his) own way everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear – which, translated into world terms, means a world wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbour – anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.”

Setting aside the terrible irony inherent in some of his words, doesn’t it sound wonderful? You’d think he had actually read the Constitution and the Bible and decided to try to apply them in real life! <*?Anyway, I’m off to fax this letter to the unsuspecting opinion makers and politicians of the GVRD. May Cthulhu have mercy on all of us.

Thunder of God
2005-04-03— Posted by: allegra

It was very strange but fitting that the Pope died the same day I went to Chor Leoni’s Thunder of God concert. The Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring that they sang was dedicated to his memory. The organ at Christchurch Cathedral is awesome but new, and so a little ‘buggy’. But it was still a great concert. I kept thinking that both of my parents would have enjoyed it tremendously.

Calling Emperor Norton
2005-04-03— Posted by: allegra

By virtue of the power invested in me, with the assistance of the moon and a bad tempered mule, I issue a Proclamation Of Things That Shall Cease To Exist.

Ordnance larger than 50 calibre.

Disney retail stores.

Bill Gates, except as a legend to scare children with.

My arrhythmias.

People who spam indiscriminately.

Bedside clocks with alarms.

Bad Shakespearean ecktors.

People who think they are as witty as John Cleese, but aren’t.


Starving children.

Big hair. I mean ARTIFICIAL big hair.

Duly witnessed by a dust mote exhaled by Caesar as he expired, I remain Dowager Empress Allegra, channeling my spiritual ancestor, Emperor Norton.

fact finding mission

Global dog food sales in 1998 amounted to 9.237 million tonnes and cat food to 5.424 million tonnes, totalling 14.661 million tonnes.


Recommendation: with respect to consumption of resources, specifically meat, either start feeding your animal raw food, put it down, or don’t replace it when it dies. If you don’t already have a pet, don’t get one.

With the total value for the C&T market reaching new heights of US$228.9 billion in 2004, the list of products that fall under the personal care category are like wise incrementing in sales and variety. Brand developers are continuously launching new products that treat and pamper the consumer’s every real or perceived need.

Not quite sure what C&T stands for; I think it means cosmetics and therapy, source

The amount quoted is interesting to me for several reasons. I don’t wear makeup largely because my mother doesn’t, and it didn’t stop her from ‘landing a good man’ and ‘having babies’, which after all, is all that women really want from life. I am being sarcastic, but anybody who really knows me, knows that I am not being VERY sarcastic, unless you’re gay, in which case I’m being an idiot stuck up on my heterosexist privilege, for which I humbly apologize; however, I am given to making broad sweeping statements, and this is just another one. Okay, I’m being more acidulous than vitriolic, if you want precision. And if I come on too strong about makeup, every tranny from here to NYC is going to threaten to kick my sorry ass.

ahem… where wuz I. It’s also interesting to me because the yearly aggregate dollar amount traded in the global cosmetics and pet food industries could put a) clean water in the mouth of every child on earth b) put birth control into the hands of every man and woman who wanted it and c) immunize every child on the planet against measles mumps pertussis and tetanus, with a side of fries.

Now since my dad makes Malthus look like a Dallas Cheerleader on crystal meth and he’s already going yeah, but, I have to interject at this point that YES I know that throwing money to third world countries on development projects is a mug’s game, we’ve all seen that on our TVs. I would add that small scale development projects controlled by locals using local resources work really well; unfortunately these are scarce and unevenly applied. The planet just doesn’t have a human distribution system that works without raping and killing the biosphere in the process of delivering goods and services. So supposing, just supposing that I DON’T want to throw up my hands and go, ya know, this problem is too big for one person. What would I do?

Well the first and most obvious thing is to sell the car. Paul and I are looking at our options about that, because the Soob, in every other respect a fabulous vehicle, is a complete frikkin gas hog. The next most obvious thing is to stop eating meat. The third most obvious thing is to support land and nature conservancy efforts, at least the ones that appear to be working. The fourth thing is to start growing as much of our own food as possible. Then there are a whole bunch of things that flow out of these things, but they are all really little. The big ones are gas and meat. Now I know that my consumption reductions, such as they have been, mean nothing. And I’m angry that private aviation and drag racing and muscle cars are going away, which means that I’m not really very grownup about all the changes that are facing us. But at least I’m past the point of feeling inert. I’m going to go around and be my true self. I’m going to be an unpleasant cow, and I will post the results here. Up next; letters to local politicians.

2005-04-02— Posted by: allegra

W, after work, on a Friday, in the golf course club house where we repair to suck back beer (and tequila shots) and eat nachos (and drink wine) means, not el Presidente, but work. Work this week has had a surreal, Gonzo quality that is hard to exactly describe. I just went back and read the terms of my employment, and with that sobering document seared into my cerebellum, I deleted the next two sentences. It’s not bad, it’s just… impolitic.

Tonight was amazing on So Many Counts. First, 3/4’s of the original lunch bunch, from the old days, reunited. Our 4th, the wonderful man, is currently in India wandering around by himself having epiphanies. I didn’t even think to raise a glass on his account, but that’s okay. Next count… I took my bra off without taking off my shirt. I love doing that. It’s so much easier to be that kind of extremophile than pay for tattoos – if you’re going to be extreme and bizarre. Count off the next thing…the twins were there. They aren’t twins, but they are dynamite together. And Jim drove me down and Jerome took me home. I FINALLY HAVE his nephew’s name, it’s Julian. All the Dunnett fans will snicker behind their hands, if they don’t pull a face, but before I knew about the House of Niccolo series, I thought Julian was a great name and I’m happy with it. And found out that Jim is thinking of girls’ names like Madeleine (or however he and his lady wife Carol wish to spell it).

Brief aside; I don’t think I ever explained, ma, what I mean by “your lady wife”. When I say that, in conversation or in print, I mean three very specific, linked things. I am saying “I respect your marriage”; I am saying “your wife/s.o./partner is worthy of respect” and I am saying “it appears to me that you treat her well”. So I am compressing many positive opinions into three words… but if I don’t explain what I mean by that, it’s hard to appreciate why I say it and why I never say it sarcastically, although I may say it with asperity. Ma, I know how you are about winkling the last shreds of meaning from the shell of every word, so I thought I’d be discursive.

What else was wonderful. The waitress. What a doll.

And there was other stuff – crikey, I missed the new gal, who is an engineer. She seems really nice, but a bit overwhelmed by how we are. I mean, all this talk about dancing with Lashkar, nautch style, and then having my bra explode – this is the best part of ten years ago now, and I’m by no means as wild as I useta be – and it didn’t really explode, it kinda disassembled itself – is enough to put a nice girl off. And she’s a woman, OF COURSE, when I call her a girl it’s a backhanded way of saying I feel super old. But right now, I’m thinking good thoughts about good people, and we hardly talked about W at all. And I’m thinking about watching one coworker creep up the stairs to fart in another’s sleeping face. Actually, his boss’s sleeping face. That happened at the first party with coworkers at this company that I ever attended, almost 8 years ago now. They were both sitting across from me tonight, and they still know how to laugh.

The man who saved the world and other matters

Stanislav Petrov was minding his own business in a missile silo in Russia in 1983. The radar screen popped up five incoming missiles from the US, and the protocol was that he now had to hit the button sending some back.

A lot went through his mind, but, like Dietrich von Choltitz, the German army general who assumed personal responsibility for defying Hitler’s direct order when he refused to level Paris, he thought that he didn’t particularly want to be the guy who went down in history (such as it would be in the smoking rubble) as the man who escalated world war III. He figured it was a mistake; also, he’d been to a damned good military school, and it just didn’t make sense from a military perspective. The five missiles, displayed so convincingly on his screens, didn’t exist.

The next time somebody asks you to do something that’s just plain wrong, strap on your balls and think about Stanislav.

2005-04-01— Posted by: allegra

sorrowing stepmom of tongues
bastard of a dying despot
black hole of linguistics
mount of a chipped jewel
leper of lepers
bardic twang of fools
belchèd wretchedness of drivel;
that is my living English
my home, my clod of dirt
my web & tendril, thing most dear

Yeah, well, anyway, I get home and call Peggy to see if she wants to go swimmin’ and she sounds like she’s expiring from a cold, except that her usual good humour hasn’t leaked away, so it was a brief but cheery conversation and I’m still sitting here instead of exercising. Then called my mother but kinda had to get off the phone in a hurry because pOp was working. So I kicked around the kitchen and ate a sandwich, and then thought I’ll look around my computer desk for that poem I was going to post, and there it is.

Keith is off to karate and Katie I think has found something to watch. I’ve got a hankering to watch one of the Mind’s Eye tapes. But I probably won’t. I’m still in mourning because the TV went downstairs. I didn’t mind having it upstairs, but Paul is really really adamant about it going downstairs. I miss us all being gathered to watch something. It reminded me of when I was growing up, and we’d all collapse around the phosphor dot shrine and gawk for a spell. The package arrived, mom.

Anyway, some of you may be irritated by all the poetry, but I do a lot of different stuff with words, and if you prefer the prose, I won’t kvetch.

Last night I was having palpitations again, in bed (and not in a nice way I hasten to add), and Paul and were facing each other, which is unusual because we’re normally in spoon configuration or back to back. The palpitations slowed and then stopped and I asked Paul very quietly if he’d been throwing healing energy at me and he said yes and I told him it was working. I could feel what I visualize as a column of golden warmth and light between his heart and mine. A very nice feeling – and I promptly fell asleep. I’m telling you, I’ll never be bored as long as I’m living with Paul, he never ceases to challenge and startle and delight and annoy me.

I light a candle to the memory of Terry Schiavo, may her life be a beacon in the darkness. Paul and I are off to the lawyers next week for living wills, which are actually called something else in BC. I think Paul will breathe a big sigh of relief once we do that, and after all this hoo ha it is a good and proper thing to grow something beautiful from soil richly fertilized by the bs that’s been spread so generously by the media. The lunch bunch and I had quite the discussion about it today at work. To cling to life when you have a fighting chance is an amazing thing. To be forced to cling to life against your will is a horror none of us wished to face. I have a simple dividing line. If I can still be of some use in raising my kids, keep me alive. Otherwise, kweccch (finger across the throat gesture).

I’ve been really down on the universe lately, so some good news for a change.

I just love the notion of a purple carrot. I’ve had purple potatoes, and they were yummy.

Katie’s wall
2005-04-01— Posted by: allegra

This is something Katie has hanging on her wall. The wings and dress are adult size, so it’s quite the installation.



March ? - 30, 2005

I upended the dictionary
and sat amid the disarray.
That only took a moment.  Then
the words rose up and struck me
one by one, and then in pairs
and couplets
until I was quite insensate 
from the blows

The notion of originality 
quoth the sage, one eye on the headlines
one eye down the gunsight
is vastly overrated in this culture

But the world which we make reference to has changed

I upended the thousand-sided dice
and logged on to the logosphere, a word I invented
before I had my first child, a surface I visit for fun

Thrum of motors . Sound of trains . Never lived where I couldn't hear a train .
never lived where I wasn't loved . all I want is to love . i n d e f i n i t e l y
and take my lickings  too . I even want to love you, you f*ckwit
but you ain't paying attention

The sage is a chameleon with swivelling eyes
The sage is an advertisement for candy
If you look at me, you will think, rosemary, and not sage
Rosemary is blooming at my front door, even this minute
but the paschal lamb it goes with passed me over

Oh Christ
Thou lovest pardon, pardon me
for making fun of the Christians

who could love you, and not be your fool for life
your fool for tender love
but they are trying to kill me, Lord
they hate me and they persecute me

when they spit hate at me, Jesus, at me
and my queerness and my unchurched marriage

for such it truly is

I fear for life

But I have sanctified the house of bones
and borne my love two children
how could a man of hate degrade what you have blessed?

I got home this evening
and my daughter had my dinner ready
Ah yes
the wages of sin seem more than fair
but you are the tyranny of softness, hanged man
God will love me no matter how hard I hate myself
God will cling to me and never let me throw him off
And you love them, just like you love me, don't you, Jesus?

So I will try God I will try
to love myself and them
for the regard in which you hold us
close as close
But I tire of being hated and I thirst for love
a long sweet kiss in front of the Spaced Out Library

I am never going to stop standing under that lamppost
humming something I wrote for you

money honey

Some dude named Mahathir says the US owes $7 trillion US and the dollar’s about to collapse. Don’t you just hate it when people say things like that with no facts to back them up? Then he REALLY shoots himself in the foot and says we need to go back to gold. What a moron. We’re coming to days when a handful of oatmeal will look like a gold bar. You can’t eat gold, dude.

sleep etcetera

enough sleep
2005-03-30— Posted by: allegra

I reviewed the pix taken at the booze up tonite, and only a very very naughty girl would either post them or pretend they had ever been taken. Please rest assured that I will never post them. I may email them to the deserving few, but I will never ever ever post them.

enough sleep
2005-03-30— Posted by: allegra

OH my GODDESS. The CEO showed up at the beerfest goodbye for a coworker. After I had the benefit of two beers I told him I was really happy he showed up, as he completely prevented anybody from talking about work…. And I didn’t have to pay for the beers, may the Green Man be praised. I will likely have to pay for them later… in fact I know I will, but in food, rather than beer. Came through the door and Keith said, all excited-like “I was hit on by a cougar today!” and after I quit laughing I asked him the circumstances and venue, and he said the library, and that she backed up in horror and ran away when he announced his age (18). Keith just said, apropos of remembering more than one thing at once, you know, you really shouldn’t multitask if you can’t remember the first task. All things considered a very fine day for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was my coworkers finally made my palpitations go away, by being Nice and Entertaining. Then my afternoon completely fell apart, until the beer started happening. I love my coworkers, not literally of course. Ha. I am happy right this moment… but it won’t last. Paul made jello and is cutting up a ripe pineapple even as we speak. I saw a great blue heron driving back from the warehouse this morning….. and if you’ve been paying attention, you know what that means. Keith is wanting to play and sing, so we will do that.

enough sleep
2005-03-30— Posted by: allegra

I hear Air Canada won a Delta maintenance contract that is going to keep 300 maintenance workers on the payroll. This is, I believe, good news, at least for the workers. For Air Canada, unless their lawyers have achieved consciousness and located their mojo, it may not be such good news; my understanding is they made no money at all on the Northwest contract a few years back… the Northwest lawyers and negotiators saw Air Canada coming and nickeled and dimed them to death with BS penalties – and this with the boys and girls in Montreal working flat out, seven days straight for the run of the contract. However, that was in the days of Holy Holly, as the boys referred to him. It may be better under Robert “Midnight Express” Milton. At least the work isn’t going to Hong Kong. Despite my snidity, I am happy about this news, I just wish I could see the terms.

nothing of interest

Well, I woke up at 4:30 and got up at 5 after 5, having decided that Paul didn’t deserve to be stuck in the same bed as the meat version of the Tiltawhirl. Yes, I’m having palpitations again, although not to the point that waves of dread and “Should I go to the hospital” thoughts are going through my tiny bean. Promptly made myself a cup of tea. I have no idea why drinking some caffeine would calm my heart down, but it did. Now I’ve read my way through the news – such as it is – why, there wasn’t even anything good on, or, or any of my usual haunts, although the plagiarism link at was worth the scan – and reviewed the pix taken last night at the pub. I have to say that in my entire life, I have never seen work related pix that are quite so disturbing. All of us, with the exception of a gal in Finance, either look demonic, demented or deformed. I’m not exaggerating. It’s truly remarkable. And no, the CEO isn’t in any of the pictures, we have more class than that.

I’m really looking forward to my vacation. But then who isn’t?


A conversation

we glitter
and sink
into silence
evade us
a perfect remark
implicit in
coils from
the book

a time lapse flower

a staircase sprite
lingers like perfume

if we speak
we will abolish
the amazing

the unsaid is everything

Air Writes previously published in interface 13

Air Writes (previously published in interface 13)

insink instinct

hammer bones

intelligence is always hunting for a venue . not just a matter
of a phone call
more like and less like
various slides and throbbing notes, modulated trills
dancing off the scope, the gap exactly right
for a lifetime of performance

into it intuit
sharpen fangs

preparation leaves me bleak
it's never saved me
knowing what comes next
has never saved me

into the evening to return a movie, & at least once a year, a ritual returned to its rightful, my body . the air . why in all this warmth, the sweet grey cloak of dusk, am I not standing naked to the elements

who are, for once
not lining up to kill me, suck the air
out of me, blind and remind me
just how weak I am

spacial special
the boundaries delete
themselves, accompany each other, giggling
about another category concept mistake
excape wile you can
creep & fly

some combination

flow back into your beginnings like bad fx

or into your slide of the future hauling 
my partial lobotomy

o edges
o proportions

hail and gangbuster . I draw the line
& it becomes a snake, a word, a limit
& a runt from another idea's litter
vibrato, the particle that tags the wave
the wag that tells the tale of the dog

so far away

depart from all those lines
live limitless

but on this side of my skin, the joke
that inheres in every limitation rules
bones make rules
fangs take their censuses
air writes

exigent tangent, this
for a handiform critter in profile
enthroned among magazines, haloed
by brittle backwash of sodium light

you sluggard, rise and be done
with words, this is my appeal to you
to silence me

wreathed in apt and mannerly constructions

posit a tacit elixir, present and still corked

put your face against the flower and breathe

unless allergic
histamine blowout
streaming eyes
eruptions, failing bronchi
over - reaction

dance with oncogenes, muddle medullae

whims and strings of arbitrary protein

but rise & borrow the protection of my skin
I can offer this

take shelter 

then do something else.  My skin
is used to absences.

I live in a country between visits to you.  
It doesn't have a name or a physical location.
It is a lost file on a crashed disk.
Maybe one bite is missing.  
Send my teeth and clothes to Forensics 
when you're done.  It is not subject to
examination, but one has to try,

for reasons of honour
or something that sounds just as good.

I live in a room full of your ideas.  Most of them are like
windows.  Some are more like shutters, but that's the way
the analogy stretches.

I live in a skin
completely shed since last you touched it
dust mites breed where perception did

the body of god
this heaven scent flesh a sacrament
a ritual to end uncertainty

who goes there in the dark?


that is all . what will I leave
but protein in a carbon shell?

you in the eerie neon glow of a night light
tame fire, this atavistic prompting
commences stalking closure
here is a new tattoo
it reads, amid scrollwork:

Interpretation Centre for the Numinous

ain't that the luminous truth

you with godhead peering slyly out 
from every pore
distill the essences & know
what they are for

a reconciliation for these warring voices
within and surrounding, bounding
toward concrete

dust and rust . kicked up and blown
into my lungs, up into the Kootenays
to finally exhale

now, air

sniff the city
pernicious afterburn
of stone and metal
whirling with the hydrocarbons
and the odourless horror
of common compounds

(always trying to plant a kiss
(on Truth's mouth, while the creature
(deer-like leaps away

renegade in ruins

long slow cud
of indigestible idea

and drifting spin(e)wise to a new orientation

The sun's begun again.  It never stops but it cycles.

Bless this blast.  Hallow this scurvy stain.
Instead of skin, this intimation of a fleshly wall.
Charisma rats on Chaos.  Each name has a price.

Count into oblivion, or even farther

Oblivion is just as close or far as any whacking great idea, infinity, the limit, that interesting play on words I left lying in the bushes, around here somewhere.

Here was I rapid forward and shake into your field of vision.  It's all over so fast 
the flavour disappears
mysterious trail, invisible, and dense as Hegel

itinerant iterant

easy to be Tiresias

mendicant hierophant

smile for the ephemera machine

& air writes the epigraph

Monumental Angst

Went to bed really really early, so of course it’s now 2:35 in the morning, when a middle aged woman is subject to many whims and fancies, not the least of which is an inclination to invite the Monumental Angst – which has been mooning around the yard – in for a steaming cup of something with no caffeine in it.

Hey Monumental Angst, how’s by you?

Thanks for having me over, I’ve been wanting a minute of your time.

I think, a Jersey accent, what a surprise, and say aloud, You don’t look so good, kinda pale and blobby and you remind me of something out of my childhood. Remember Harlan Ellison’s I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream? You’re kinda like that, except you have a mouth. And you kinda remind me of Tove Janssen’s the Groke…. she left a trail of frozenness wherever she went, and she didn’t talk much either, just stared at you. I always hated the Groke, never got the point of her. And you kinda remind me of NoFace from Spirited Away, not able to talk, but desperately needing love and rehab.

Monny just stares, with those wide scary eyes. But the body language isn’t threatening.

I’m going to put the water on for tea while I think of a polite way to ask Monny to stand on something easier to clean than the living room carpet.

See, that’s the first thing with charitable instincts, you immediately regret that you did anything, because it makes a mess in your tidy life. And my heart is pounding. Hasn’t done that in a while. Breathe and blink….

I can hear something out in the street and go to the blinds. Zow. There’s a guy behind a camera, with a crew, outside my house. I can hear an argument. When you notice the guy behind the camera, you see that he’s tired of the tight tight focus on the kitchen sink and the marriage bed and the tyranny of the middle class domesticity and wants to pull way way way back, maybe to a place halfway between the earth and the moon, where perspective is not just a fine distinction between being Chinese or Canadian, male or female, young or old. It’s one planet, and we all share its fate. And in the meantime, the sumbitch is hurting the little birch tree I planted last year, in the teeth of my husband’s objections… Haven’t we had ENOUGH problems with tree roots? he says to me.

While we’re waiting for the kettle to boil, Monny addresses me. I’ve been expecting it, but it stings nonetheless.

You and your f*cking schadenfreude, Monny says. I shrug.

You think the end of the world is romantic, or fascinating. You think it’s edutainment. But what are you DOING about it?

I’m reducing my consumption, I respond, and add, Mint, Bengal Spice or Rooibos? Monny looks at me and shakes his head.

Pointedly, he responds, And what kind of tea will be available after you-know-what?

I call it the Correction, I say, and in this part of the world there will be mint tea. Caffeinated beverages will be very expensive trade goods.

And what are you doing about that?

Nothing, I say. Because I’ll tell you something I’ve learned about human life. Every day is Christmas. Every day is the Day of the Dead. Every day is Hiroshima Day. Every day is my birthday. Periodic mass extinctions are a fact of life on this planet. Just because we’re triggering one of those periodic mass extinctions, as a species, doesn’t make it a bad thing. It’s something I don’t want, don’t want to live through, hate the idea of, but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Okay, it’s a bad thing, but I’m trying to have some perspective. If I reduced my consumption to nothing, a nouveau riche butthead somewhere else would eat what I spared in a heartbeat and still not be satisfied; only a Correction will bring the humility that’s required to get us out of this mess. My only regret, and it’s a lingering one, is that my selfishness and my biological programming ganged up on me long enough to drag two children into this world. I knew better, even then, but I allowed fuzzy thinking to overcome certainty. So I am, like many other parents, trying to give my children a golden childhood, so that they will at least have experienced some happiness before the dislocations and woundings that will pursue humanity out of the 20th century and into this, the last brief moment before we descend into barbarism yet again… You think I’m thrilled that my hopes for feminism are dead, not because women are less than men, but because access to birth control, globally, is about to grind to a halt? You think I’m thrilled that millions of people will be moving, all the time, and bringing their guns and diseases and bizarre ideologies with them? You think I don’t know that for every calorie of food I eat, 9 calories of unreplaceable, non renewable energy has been burned, to truck it to me, to fertilize it, to put pesticides on it, to till it?

So grow your own food. Think what they are doing in Havana. They are growing food, organically, in the center of the city.

Thanks, Fidel, I say, tilting my head to one side; I heard that story. And they are growing food organically because they have no choice; but they are still devoting a big chunk of their agricultural land to growing a toxic and addictive plant. I’m sure going to grow a lot of food on *this* yard. And then I have to save seed, which will keep its hybridization for – if I’m lucky – a couple of generations before it reverts back to whatever the hell it was bred from. Or maybe it’s a variety that hardly makes any seed. You know, I’ve actually thought of growing tobacco… but Paul tells me not too. Partly because he only just managed to quit again, and partly because he actually worked tobacco when he was 12, suckering. He says tobacco is the meanest plant in the world. It’s labor intensive as hell, and for what? So you can breathe poisonous smoke? It’s still tempting. No, if I grow anything on this property, it will be something small, trade goods, something that can winter over. Maybe something that kills fungus or bacteria. It’s not like we have many more years of antibiotics left.

Not the mass manufactured kind, Monny agrees. We slurp our tea and look at each other for a while. So how many years do we have left? Monny shrugs, which causes a hideous rippling to go through his (its?) grey form. It depends; of course it depends! It depends, in part, on the extent to which the global powers can maintain control over their military forces. If things shake out the Global Pandemic way, then certain countries will be in better shape than others to maintain something resembling organized culture; much will depend on the time of year, because if the Pandemic comes through during the harvest season in the Northern Hemisphere, we may live to wish we’d died of disease rather than face the prospect of starvation. If things shake out the Global Thermonuclear War way, subsequent to a showdown over oil, then twenty years, tops. You have to maintain those suckers to keep them flyable though… maybe some will be duds. Christ help you if things go bad when you have a nuclear submarine off shore. The guys on board will have nothing to lose holding your town hostage.

You need oil to get and keep troops on the ground, and in the days that are coming, troops will be withdrawn from wherever they are to police back home; if they can’t get home, they’ll form free companies like in the late middle ages or early renaissance and raise hell in whatever country they were abandoned in. If things shake out the Currency Collapse way, barter economies will actually hold up reasonably well; those people have never been anything but poor and agrarian, so they won’t miss much. If things shake out the Local Thugs Grab Power to Fight Disorder way, then you have a thousand civil wars, everywhere, and no clear picture of what the hell is going on, because the global communication network that is now bringing us remakes of Tron, God help us, will now be reduced to a bunch of ham radio operators, who may or may not be free to communicate, and may or may not have a political agenda. Mind you, I can’t help but relish the prospect of television stations all being blown up. Should have happened years ago….

Let’s look on the bright side, Monny says, after a minute. Even Angst has his moments. Sure, I say. Nanotechnology will save us. After a moment, we both burst into hysterical laughter, and then shush ourselves, so we don’t wake up the whole household. I did a shoe count when I got up; Katie’s friend Samantha is here, so we have to keep it down.

Or maybe we’ll all get religion, I say. Monny nods. But what kind of religion? The love thy neighbor kind is pretty thin on the ground these days.

I got up and got myself some ice water; that’s what my doc recommended the last time I had palpitations, and these are getting so bad that I’m having a hard time breathing. As I reach for the ice cubes I realize that Paul bought ice cream on the last shopping trip. I instantly feel much better, and then, of course, I feel guilty.

Monny sucks back the last of his tea and says, Thanks! Anyway, one of your neighbors is lying awake worrying about whether she has cancer. I’ve got at least two more calls to make before dawn.

Feeling like an idiot, I say, so you’ll be dropping by again?

Count on it, he says, and lets himself out the kitchen door. Zeek! comes back in, growling under his breath, his tail like a bottle brush. It’s four o’clock in the morning…. time to go back to bed. All the drips Monny left on the carpet are gone. So is the film crew. I rub my eyes, and wish my hallucinations weren’t quite so vivid. The pic is of the Groke… not exactly what Monny looked like, but you get the general idea.