Saturday, March 31, 2007


Lines of force through my house manhandled me for a month. It's kind of a true story, if only I could get through what I mean by that. I got to see the worst that fashionable Toronto had to offer, sitting in rapt attention drinking my tea watching reain trail off the firetrucks passing by, then returning home to find yelling in the attic until all goddamn hours of the night. These people: I never had this feeling before. They were judging me. I wasn't passing muster. The thrift store clothes they wore were uncomfortable; they had obviously spent three hours applying the "starving artist" makeup--or whatever. I wasn't passing muster beacuse my thrift store clothes were actually comfortable and out of style. My "it" band was a few weeks out of date, and you should have seen their expressions when I expressed an appreciation for some music written over a year(!) ago. (What would they think of my new-found appreciation for Bach. Is he so unhip that he's wrapped around to hip again? And how many times has he done that?)

What's worse: there's no content to what these people were saying. It was actually an exercise in social grooming as they preen and fucking posture. "Look at how tight my jeans are!", "I saved three dollars on this cauliflower", "I love your leggings", and so on, yelled out ad nauseam, walking the streets up and down our block dissipating energy. That's all. Fucking energy dissipation. I understand the need for that, but you shoudl find a way to do it yourself. What's the point of coordinating hordes of similarly-dressed people to jump in dank rooms all hours of the night? Oh, I forgot about the ether-guffing and various other ways to kill off your prefrontal cortex. Godd job!

You use your freedom for this? Fuck your libertine lifestyle. And don't get me wrong: I sympathize with libertinage. But executive libertinage, none of this almost-Freudan-it's-so-obviously-to-get-back-at-your-father shit. I thought your hordes were low-quality friends, but they turned out to be strangers. My tolerance for strangers is about two per day, not fifteen per day. Fuck. It was back to high school, back against locker, condescending eyes, threat of violence, male posturing, female posturing with honeyed tones--the honeyed tones I can't fucking stand.

You think everyione assumes you're sweet and innocent. I've seen your fucking fangs. Bitch.

(If I can't get along with people my age and similar socioeconomic background, what awaits me after graduation?)

Consider: "Religion don't mean a damn thing / It's just another way to be right wing."

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Urban Soup (Part XVII)

I. College & Huron

Leaving the enclosures of
Bay windows is
Tough: I end up
Beside flat windows—
Flat windows
In libraries
Where bubbling lines of
Text march across my skin as
I shake off the ink and
Write up
An imagistic ditty:
Trees so brown—going on
Grey and—squirrels
Going on branches that
Meld into graffiti;
Walls held so high above
A fire escape—in
The distance tremors &
Moloch’s towers—a throwback
To the past—where
Every shimmering drunk
Was holy haloed & the
Terror thru the wall
Shook the drywall to dust,
But back
To tests & the
Analyzable: to
Theses &
Hearing the homeless man
Throw up: “Sir, you can’t
Sleep in here”…
And children
Learning Chinese glyphs
Like arabesques pierced
With French accents-la-grave
Getting spun & oscillated—
Sectioned into 50 um slices—
And raised on nails by
Librarians whose stockings
Are descriptors—grey & runny—
Of brain matter underlying
The subconscious—not id!—nothing
That stupid…
…and coughs come—the
Occasional “motherfucker!” from
The intersection in front
Of the
Flat window
Just enough to scramble
The children’s Chinese glyphs
Into inky text that stays
On your hand for days—
Days, which should pass as
30 repisodes & the specifics
Are blurry and Gestalt—
And this terrifies me… that
I am unable; or unwilling, that
We have unhinged the conscious
Trailer but the motor is still
Shot to shit—
So good!

II. (Obligatory Haikus)

Soft pink ray from cloud,
Lights up spinning barber pole,
Frozen leaves skitter.

The window's caked in mud,
Brown splotches decorate gray sky;
Lightpost shimmers orange.

Rear wheel frozen in:
The mound of snow collapses.
The spokes have been bent.

III. The Thawing Park

Kings don’t parade down these cul-de-sacs
Petition papers get stuck in mud
Whose stickiness we could never appreciate

The oaks that grew there could:
They managed to plow the earth
Getting the people of the valley
Their core samples

And the oaks get ground and processed
And become petitions or the skeletons of elections
Which we lose—
And lose the girl

The ballot that we taped
As a poster on the windows—
As a totem for the peyote shamans down the block
Who only talk about cacti,
Leaving oaks to spin freely on the grinder.

Consider: "In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite."

Friday, March 09, 2007

Union of Apposites (Part I)

There are schools of yoga that suppress desire for a given object by overexposing the person to it. I achieved that today in a small way. I put on some Thelonious Monk, and before the album was finished, I had devoured all you had written. I had peered once again into the great white electric void and ran some equivalent of my fingers along your world-space lines. They undulated, they repeated themselves, your turns of phrase, your humors, your subject matters, your beliefs and un-beliefs, your jumps, cuts, screetches to halts. I had read all that, but more importantly this time I read between these lines; I knew you this time, this time I realized what you had brought to bear every time you were angry, every push from a chair, every verbal sparring, every night of push-pull-push-break-guilt-get-push-git-frustrate-KFC, etc. I also understood that you weren't toying with this. You were living it, where I was a tourist; you writhed in agony while I thought you were dancing. What I thought was interest in your eyes was more often a happy glaze. We went through the tree stages of the alchemical process, or so I thought. You might have remained at ther first in diguise. Or maybe I stayed at the first: ego fallen to pieces and still splayed out from here to Montreal. This time I also understood your cryptic signals, those I had never understood before. And they riled me up to write this post so I will remember what I failed to see. I failed to see a lot. I keep harping on this theme for a reason. Psychologists would call it rumination, but fuck that. I call it a return to defaults. One relationship fails and you are left looking for the last time you felt passion. One thing I'm sorry for is that I can;t be more up front about this. I'd love to trot out traumasfrom childhood, abandonment issues, abuse, something concrete I can hold onto. Aside from split families and wartime, I can't think of anything else. Maybe I've soundly repressed that, although I'm skeptical of repressed memories. I need to get this out. It has cut into my music. It has dried up the fountain from the unconscious, the only fountain I've ever known to be healing. The fountain of youth. Renewal. Vitality. Passion. Call it what you will.

So, let's have one last exploration of what you were to me. You were: the apparition at midnight on a bus where I counted highway lines, a telescoping fish-eye lens I imagined watching my every moment, a distant presence somehow weighing all the rest of my verbiage down, a skeletal fairy who had gone through the eternal city of Dis on a harrowing, the Muse to more than one endeavor that never got off the ground, the distant vessel, the sacred feminine we lose in our parking lots, outtake pipes, the sacred feminine we choke on chain-link fences, which we break on cinderblocks, which we cook on our gas fires, the sacred feminine we brood over following ruts in an ancient table; you also were: hovering over funderals of the rodent we had lost, the impetus to drink, to stop drinking, to smoke, the impetus to nihilism or optimism, depending on how you felt, the redeeemer or the jail guard, the halo or the spotlight, the book of wisdom or the book of sophistry, depending on how you felt; you were: a subterranean force pushing up from the most Cthonic dregs of my side-mind, the suggestive pentatonic phrase, the life rich, the spirit blowing the reeds of a weeping willow, a character from an unwritten, stillborn opera.

In my mind. Only in my mind. But mind is body is mind and body is mind is body. What were you in real life? What are you? My responsibility for that ends now.

The story begins here.

Consider: "Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"

Monday, March 05, 2007


I climbed out the office window to admire the sheets of ice stuck ot the sides of mega-buildings. They're melting, coming off the walls and crushing cars, predestrians, pets, roads, traffic lights and dumpsters. But this isn't the point. The point it: fuck dissipation. I'll tell you what I got from a day of muscle aches and twirling, twirling vestibular system. I got the desire to say, "again!, again!". If I could live out the exact same goddamn reasonably eventful but painful, wasted, dissipated day, I'd do it. I want to wrestle with a piece of paper that didn't define its terms. I want to fold over from bladder pain at too much caffeine, shout at eternity, observe the light from the cathedral windows at the JCR tranlucently penetrating glasses, half-seen, unseen, undreamed of. Put on some Aeroplane, canonical as that is, drift away, lament, meditate, still system 2 for fourteen minutes--islands of "the pure joy of being", islands of thrilling responses to melody, islands of finally figuring out the fingerpicking-Dixie-walk-it-down part. Crowded pub rooms where the singer and trupeter and bartender are all the same person, a socialist bald 1930s Swami. Renounce. Didn't you know? And I find I can't. It was eight months ago: get over it, but I cannot. I won't. It's too productive. Only when I'm shattered does my writing make me flow. Only then can I take all these things beyond my control, mash them up at will, centered on me: the causal nexus, the locus, the object of power for the one fleeting moment of sacrifice on the altar of Eternal Creation. I've considered love. I'm reconsidering materialism. I'm reconsidering ritual. I'm reconsidering God. I'm reconsidering the cost of living in hip urban areas. All because eight months ago I dissiapted. It was a silent dissipation, passing for fatigue; an iron bar was wedged in my brain. I couldn't write. The interesting things were now out there--I told them I was hardcore. I tasted what most people probably live: the amazement with new cars, the basking in status, the longing for youth: nostalgia suppressed, working my way up to partner, shuffling papers po-faced, hardcore, hardcore. Ten hour days. I want it. I want to please. I want the sugary-voiced porcelain doll of a woman to bring me my goddamn tea or things'll happen cause I'm a mover and shaker. Didn't you know? Didn't you know my scores? My goddamn scores? What'd you get on the last test? I got arrogance. Fuck sleep cycles. Twelve hours a day. Do I want it more or do I want it more because I wanted it more than the previous guy and because I wanted it more than I did last year? Fuck eight months. Self-overcoming. Singleness with a twist (I replace the wooden beam as I leave the basement hole in the wall). That fertile sycamore smell. Only when I've been emptied does my writing make me flow. Only dead eyes--shallow pools, endless muck. When I was a boy I saw a tank of water and it scared the shit out of me. Freud says: repressing mother's amniotic fluid. Jung says: the depths of the collective unconscious--where's your anima? Fuck Freud&Jung. I'll eat the tree of whatever goddamn fruit I want; I'll rage, rage against the dying pf the light. My eyes will click like cameras, irises dilating when I saw her naked shins. That's all I ever saw and that was enough. I maintain the picture in my head. It's enough to ruminate. You don't understaind: black hair (choice number two after blue hair; fuck I have a weakness for blue hair), dark, ancient, proud, intelligent, versatile, silly, serious, drunk, afraid, bored, wistful, frightened, wet, idealistic, bitter, calculating, cynical. She was all these things to me. Does anyone remember the taxicabs of Absolute Reality? I'll siphon the gas from their tanks to bring her back. I'll travel and travail again. I'll scan every crowd (I already do); every drunk time, every drunk dial, every stumbling glory hole, every time the walls bead with perspiration and my ears perk up, goosebumped from hearing the buzzing of ancient neon. Fuck lamenting. But the only time I flow is when I'm lamenting. I'm not yet ready for truth.

Consider: "Fuck off with your sofa units and strine green stripe patterns, I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let... let's evolve, let the chips fall where they may."

Friday, March 02, 2007


Bust this: it's pentatonic. It has voices. Two voices right now: the drunk major riding with his cavalry brigade in Changkangshan, rolling grasslands lolling past, hiccupping soldiers, tossing jokes across horses, mockery of the peasants in the muud ruts by the side of the road. his tune is urgent. Staccato. All black keys; tonic is F#; trines all over the place. Bu-Dum rhytming. Ten minutes development, and bring it back suddenly. Hold the tonic until the audience is squirming in their chairs. I'll call it "The Stallions of Changkangshan". Or, better yet, cross fade ino the song of the maiden. And what does the song contain: soft, supple, loght touch, liberal use of pedal: major and minor thirds in harmony, but the harmony develops over on top of the introduction of the melody: sweet, lilting. She is drying sheets on a hilltop, singing old folk songs. There is a pot in the kitchen she is preparing for her old, sick father. Song changes to melancholy. Occassional minor seventh thrown in for effect; her family is poor, but they get along. And thne the thunder comes, emerging slowly, pianissimo in the bass, at first shadowing the melody, then deviating from it. Eventually, the melody is stopped, startled, preoccupied, transposed an octave down. Legato gives way to marcato, then staccato. Lots of fifths, paralleling up and down. New progression. Suhc is "Billowing Sheet on Mountaintop". The maiden makes her way homem, but from a distance she is espied by a dashing cavalry officer coming up the road. She checks her modesty, for the hills of the village are the domain of the women, where clothes may flap in the breeze of the highlands, where cherries and blueberries are eaten injudiciously, juice dripping down chins, where dirty jokes are told and China-doll expressions are sloughed off, heavy wooden masks thrown to the ground, straps limp, the wicked spirit within now powerless. The major hoots and hollers, his blood boils in lust. Before he has seen the face of the maiden he has guessed her countenance. He has already focused all his energy to planning how to unstrap her bodice. Little does he know that at precisely that time, the maiden was checking her bodice and gave out an involuntary shudder. He sings: a brusque, militaristic number. "The Gallantry of the Galloper". Many triplets, many of which are unearned. Little melodic development. Quck, four-measure phrases. New instrumentation: brutal electrical organ subtle in the higher register. Booming male voice, the picture of health, haleness, unaddressed lust for weeks on end...

Consider: "It requires twenty years for a man to rise from the vegetable state in which he is within his mother's womb, and from the pure animal state which is the lot of his early childhood, to the state when the maturity of reason begins to appear. It has required thirty centuries to learn a little about his structure. It would need eternity to learn something about his soul. It takes an instant to kill him."