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Video Pool

April 29th

First Friday in the Exchange May 5th with live music

LOOK encourages viewers to witness pain and suffering. It offers an alternative story, the space to open minds to difference and disability, from my infancy right up to my fourth marriage. It examines the roles of victor and victim, whether locked in a pain room or dissociating to find a reality comfortable enough to breathe until tomorrow.

Collaborator, visual, graphic and media artist Murray Toews (who made the “paradox’s image above)  joins me to illuminate pain, tears, shame, rage, broken bodies and minds. Visual artist Grace Nickel will return to make a sconce in two, and Ken Gregory is making a sculpture of a man’s spine and vertebrae distorted by disk degenerative disease. Michelle Hewitt, my wife, collaborates with me, through her work as a disability advocate.

Murray Toews and I have been making 15-minute videos as sponsored by the Abject Alphabet, for over a year. LOOK is an extension of this work.

Meantime you can see Abject Alphabet so far on the Earth Mutant Network
Victor Enns, January 2022


  1. ONE MORE PARANOIA (Prospecting)  Dec 4, 2019 (in Gimli)

My van wouldn’t start on Tuesday. A turn of the key created a click followed by a fluttering sound. I wasn’t certain it was the right dead battery sound. I had an appointment, or thought I did with a my General Practitioner at 10:40. Turns out when I showed up I was a day early. I had walked over without any mobility aids and was happy to get back again, but ignored the situation with the van until Wednesday morning when I called CAA. Responding to my call, Jeremy remembered me from the summer when I was beside myself because I could not find my keys. He figured they might still be in the vicinity of my parking space, possibly my van. I had a food …good look so said I. Moments later he pointed at the junction of the wind-shield and the dashboard and there they were. I was so relieved having developed many catastrophic scenarios in the hour I had looked for them.

How to test a car batteryWednesday, by time the CAA responded and Jeremy appeared a half hour later I was convinced someone had stolen my battery… It had been replaced just over a year ago, and the sound was different than I remember as the sound of a dead battery. So I imagined what I turned…heard at the turn of the key was no battery. I left the van door unlocked so was punished by the loss of my battery. 

After my CAA call in I was hoping to open the hood. I’ve never had a problem, having figured out how to pull the lever in the van under the dash to loose the hood. The hood made the appropriate, “I have been released,” sound. But I could not open the hood. Clearly the hood and its latch had been broken to steal the battery. I was not in full panic mood, only a bit agitated, but ready to exclaim, Oh My God, someone stole my battery, when Jeremy from CCA lifted the hood. I was winding up, and stopped myself,  all the same Jeremy figured my “Oh My God! (hesitation) There’s the battery!” a little excessive. A boost was all I needed. I thanked him again and he seemed almost as pleased as I was.

I couldn’t leave the van, and best to be driving so I cruised Gimli, my morning meds completely forgotten. My appointment was at 10:40, and we’ll leave that story for another time. 





by Victor Enns


 They chase me down like a Thurber cartoon
Some so simple as “you stink” as I sniff and sniff
And can’t tell the difference since yesterday. There’s the one
“you think you’re so smart,” all frown and sneer
“you and your big words, who do you think you are,”
lobbed like a frozen horse turd, as I turn my head +
start to run. “Hah, you’re so fat, look at you!!!
I have my own jeering section, “yeah, that!!”

My heart thumps me a good one, changing my direction
maybe maybe maybe baby this is the big one you’ve
all been waiting for, and me too even more than you
My bum ticker stops, I dream my father’s benediction.

My dreams haunt my bedroom, angrier than Saul
throwing spears at David, shake me awake as I gorge
on fruit and bread as Jimmy Bang foretold. I do
believe in good health, now, but it is too late,
yes yes we all die, but I will only fear my own
death butterflies my heart, a pump that heeds
only iron, and smells like perdition. “Don’t start
 just don’t.  Look at yourself, it’s because you are fat.”

“Bring it on,” says that part of me that talks back.
Jack kneels behind me, Alex pushes me over
for my insolence I am always punished.
My body is weak, all my paranoias attack
kicking dust in my face. My father straps
me righteously for being late. Do unto
others what they did to you, remembering
spittle caught in his father’s mighty 
moustache, with each exhausting breath.


The cat’s out of the bag, my spirit flags
it’s really the brain, it’s plain, that sets me back.


Time slips away, while I think too much
paranoias, the eviction notice is being prepared
the whispers in the lobby a sure sign I’m not
welcome here or anywhere. “I ain’t got no home”
sings Richard Manuel, braiding the noose,
“Oh, look at his,” a suicidal paranoia sucks
the time out of me, but leaves me alive
only one leg left to kick against the pricks.


My thinking will get me
arrested, if I dare write it down
confusing my friends, wanting
it seems, a simpler elocution
to label what I am, and they’re all
wrong, leaving the table with a frown.

“It’s not the subject matter, far from it.
But imagine all the repression no wonder
your character does what he does!”

Resemblance noted, but I’m not
the face I make you
believe, I’m a poor mind
reader, behind my mask.

to be continued 



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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.