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Victor Enns is a writer with disabilities who lives in Kelowna with his wife Michelle Hewitt, a disability rights advocate. Enns writes extensively on the theme of abjection as presented through his embodied differences. He has published five books (four since 2005); his work also appears in Grain, Cv2, Prairie Fire, Scrivener, Rattle, Wordgathering, and elsewhere. Enns’ writing, recent live performances, and video-casts speak of his lived experience as a disabled man with chronic physical and mental illnesses. Calling Love & Surgery, his 2019 collection, a “bitch and moan about love, loss, and amputation,” he says, “I’m donating my body to science one limb at a time.” Victor’s most recent project, Look, is an exhibition of art, language, and sound, and is subtitled “my mind in pieces/my body in parts.” Enns’ website—including the first six letters of this mad Phoenician’s exploration of “The Abject Alphabet”—is



This is a cross over piece for the Look show, Jimmy Bang Blues Project, and Listen Here.

I find it hard to breathe (I tell you)
I find it hard to breathe
I find it hard to breathe (Lord lord)
why is it so hard to breathe
The words come heavy
My words come hard say say
My words come heavy
with what little breath I breathe
I find it hard to breathe
don’tcha look at me
I’m sucking I tell you
I find it hard to breathe
My wife and my children
My brother and my sister
You are the finest family
to love me and true me
my friends, my family
I should listen to you
you all bring me oxygen
one more time, singing
singing our sweet oxygen
oxygen  blues singing we all sing
we all sing
the sweet oxygen blues.


This is the official Look show reading. But not the book the book comes after, hope burns.

This is St. Augustine confessing he once threw pears in fronrt of swine, with a bunch of rowdy Manicheans.

Name calling has already begun in my brain. Pompus piloty pig. No This is the official reading for the Look show! Sounds better already doesn’t it.

That’s another show I’m on about it’s called Listen Here which is formally interesting employing correct and incorrect forms of the ghazal, though preferring the contemporary full Persian with stands by advice, that’s also crying the blues, because the Jimmy Bang Blues Project is not suitable for the tenor of our times. Fix your own jokes, the ingredients are on the table.

I am not crying. An advantage when reading so your listeners aren’t swayed by books they’ve read. Putting that over. Used to be the phrase, eh. Barkers, comedians, ministers of the cloth. Thinking about minister of the cloth at a nudist colony. Galloping Galoshes Galumphries, now there’s a name you can walk home with.

That went over well, and no crying emotion echos goodbye. Sit down!

Hold my nose stuff, such crap and the kid won’t stop spraying Mr Clean the idea

Dawns there might be a connection between spraying chemicals in the air and my headaches.

No this is the official reading for Look show, I am no actor. There will never be an official  reading …imagine a man dressed in a brown wool uniform and big military style very Russian style Official official official official hat my father marched One May Day parade before escaping Moscow after escaping Moscow he never would wear a uniform never go back it is not kind to remember your father strapping (let’s be specific he never hit you, did he)you, that would be me.

How about my father remembering how he was strapped by his father, just like me, for not being where he’s supposed to be – at home.Long after he’s dead and made amends I want crying towels. I am not crying now. My blood hammers my skull screaming to leave above my right hear

I m not crying.

Even in this massive outburst of pain I am happier now than before. Because I am making something of it I’m on a tear, but no tears. I am not
Crying. Fuck That is too bad to keep just a fall back lazy move, peckerhead

There you go with the names again!




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I listen to music, read, write poetry and prose, and make videocasts, usually in collaboration with visual and media artist Murray Toews. I am a writer with disabilities, or a disabled writer, or a neurodivergent crip writer. You choose the point of entry for your reading;  there are no border guards.  The welcome mat is out. Stomp your feet and leave your shoes on. 

Love & Surgery (Radiant 2019) is my most recent collection of words about love and loss, including my below-the-left- knee amputation, my most visible disability. "Lousy cartilage genetics,"  the surgeon's note. Lucky for me no phantom leg pain. Disappearing cartilage makes for severe osteoarthritis. Real pain is now an everyday companion, but usually held back enough with meds and meditation, to allow for making poems, stories, jokes, aphorisms all true enough, remembering narrators are unreliable and writers make shit up. 

Afghanistan Confessions, poems in the voice of Canadian soldiers, was published in 2014, boy in 2012. Lucky Man (2005) was nominated for the McNally Robinson Manitoba Book of the Year award.