To be moved to the letter M

When I figure out how to do it. Meantime it will be properly posted as a page in VICIPEDIA.


Breathe. Deeply, hold it for three beats, exhale. Repeat. Three times.

Breathing we all learned in choir, and when I was taking trumpet lessons, I was told how to stand properly and draw my breath from my balls. He was a Canadian Forces band leader. Our Mennonite choir director had more acceptable words for the always co-ed choirs. But breathe. I do.

There. That’s better. A character in a Christopher Durang play is asked What’s the Secret of Life? Always breathe, is the wise answer. I do the Jon Kabat-Zinn Body Scan Mindfulness meditation every day. He says that as long as you are breathing there is more right with you than wrong with you. I give you the secret of life. Always breathe. Many days I feel this is too low a criteria, “setting the bar too low” I gesture with my hands at my ankles. One of which is unreal. 


There will always be someone who suffers more deeply, more righteously, more rigorously, more appropriately with higher levels of pain, with higher levels of accomplishment achievement than me; like the amputee running a super marathon across the Sahara desert. Good for you. Good for God!

Me how do I tell you about my puny sorrows, and even those have been commandeered by someone suffering more successfully than me and even yet from jahnt siede. Believe me, believe my pain, No matter. I agree Somebody has it worse. Sure. But believe you me when I tell you how much it hurts!

You share the story about the boy who used an axe to chop up the radiator hose his dad beat him with. Pat commented on his father’s fury grown by his church and by extension, then at least, his God as he wielded the strap.

I may have been strapped half dozen times, a practise that stopped when I was 13 and we moved to Winnipeg. Only twice did my father strap me black and blue. Both before I was sexually assaulted.

After we moved to Winnipeg in September of 1968 my parents would not believe my pain which had started earlier in the summer, they accepted our rotund and jolly GP’s word that nothing was wrong.

Maybe I was having trouble adjusting to the move, the new school, was the missed diagnosis. No need for a specialist or a psychiatrist either, for sure.

Then one simple test 2 months later, and the GP knew what was wrong, I could not touch my left heel to my left buttock! later confirmed by an X-ray, he had been wrong,


As the pain stopped in my hip it grew in my heart and in my mind.
My parents and I were through.

My parents are dead now. I have artificial hips now. (Pause). There is no saviour or science you need to believe that will help me with my pain, believe you me.

Believe I have tried every single remedy you want to offer; life-style choice; resistance training, ice or ozone therapy, hormone therapy, pain medication, acupuncture, psych meds, micro dosing psychedelics, eating kale, giving up milk, magnetization, meditation, and masturbation, (they say it increases your good endorphins)!

Always people want to help, you don’t want to feel helpless when you look at me. Fellow humans! Don’t even lift a finger. Believe! That’s is all. Please look me in the eye, please Believe me! Look, I show you my pain. My hero Leonard
sang “Please Don’t Pass me by,” I want you to look me in the eye, see and believe my pain.


My desire drives me to work everyday. It’s on the bus, it’s in the bus, it’s in my head. Desire creates all.

I want to write something. I want to read something. I want
to make something. The Need for Wanting Always is the name Gertrude Story gave to a short story collection. Her desire was returned by the way of a muser who dictated the stories to her long hand.

“I want…I want… I want,” says Henderson the Rain King, brought to life by Saul Bellow. Bellow has been ashed, like a cigarette I crave, but don’t want.

It’s not the wanting that’s so much the problem I’ve heard. It’s becoming attached so you can’t let go. Makes sense to me like this…I want…I write a poem…as good as I can…then I let it go. Desire is not the same as attachment, said the man with three ex-wives.

I advised an artist to give up on despair, not on making. Get back to riding desire right to creation. You are god, the creator, the maker, you’ll never find a better job.

Imagine, you make something using everything your desire gives you, to create. You put into the world something that didn’t exist before your wanting then thinking then making. Without desire your imagination withers. Argue if you like but I believe desire creates all.

Herbert Marcuse in Eros and Civilization says, that making civilization is Eros sublimated, Thanatos thwarted. Otherwise like the Kills sing in “Black Rooster”
“You just want to fuck and fight (down in the basement).”
Argue if you like, but I think making is the ticket to civilization.

Without desire I will die, or want to die. I know while I am making, writing especially something new that didn’t exist just minutes before, I am most alive in the sway of my free-ranging senses making, creating something new that didn’t exist until I brought it to light.

I do not fear death or dying, I fear pain, in all its forms. Desire puts pain back on their heels, but when pain becomes relentless I lose fair control. I can not make love or work.

“If that last thing left you can do is to keep creating, creation will sustain you…. creation is life-sustaining.” I get this, put succinctly by Tom Allen on CBC speaking about Mahler at the end of his life. I hope my family and friends do too.


There is a rumour I am a force of nature. Emphasis on the word force. I was introduced at a conference, by someone who felt I was relentless in my pursuit of more is more to benefit Manitoba writers. A force of nature, she said; “Like hurricanes, tsunami, volcanos, earthquakes, prairie blizzards, tornados. You get the picture.”

Psychiatrists figure my persistence is a symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), that once I have an idea I won’t let it go. I am compelled to complete whatever it is I turn my mind to. My mind gives me a lot to choose from, and there are many false starts. Unless people know me well others doubt my disability.

I project people:
see high functioning
see achievements
see blank face a with Blistexed smile

see willingness to take chances as courage
see high expectations
see leading as bullying
people see a lack of humility, unseemly in a defective

And so, others decide I must be well and malingering to get the benefits of disability. And so, others decide I must be well and malingering to benefit from my disability, like parking at the casino. They should walk a mile in my legs, braces, and shoes.

I project:

People don’t see how broke and broken I am until they cross the street, not to be seen with such an old defective, stumbling behind my walker.
Doctors tire of my anxiety. Doctors see mental illness on my chart and assume whatever it is, it’s all in my head. My last scan is a brain scan today July 4th, 2023
to resolve my anxieties of being short of oxygen after being poisoned a year ago and I spend six days in a medically induced coma. 

People, including doctors don’t want to see how opioids reduce my pain to a level in which I can still function and contribute to my community. Opioids allow me to work and to love. My psychiatrists get it, I seek “fair control,” the diagnoses from my new psychiatrist here in Kelkowna.  I will always be in pain, and many others suffer more greatly (see SUFFER). Please allow me the fair control opioids provide.

I crawl from this wreckage, get up and stand again. I persist, pound for pound
I am a heavyweight who tries to turn anger into energy.
I don’t get mad. (Bullshit, says the poet.) (Don’t show it says the patient, says the writer.)
I don’t even get even. I persist to get what I want,
because my wanting is desire. And desire creates all. Remember to breathe.


I am not God, Jesus, or the Holy Ghost. So, love is the last of these manifestos.
I thought perhaps “be kind” would be enough, but then I looked at my one word list of manifestos and I wanted, you know, an action word, one word, a verb no less and settled on love, all be it with Be Kind as a subtitle.

Lyle Lovett pretty much sums it up for me when he sings,
“I love everybody but most of all you!” Yes you, reader too,
as you make this book your book, as every reader does with every book. There is pleasure in the text says Barthes, and who am I to disagree.
Let me make love to you with words, desire begets all creation.

I love everybody including old girlfriends and ex-wives, all still living, and rumour has it, happy without me. At last we’ve done something right. My sister is ten years older than me, riddled with arthritis and pain. She has a room with a view of the sea, and she reads. Great bookclub meeting she told me today on the phone.
 My sister says “I can’t do much, but I can be kind.”  We love each other, as I do my wife, my brother, my kids and grandkids.

“Only connect,” said E.M. Forester. Reading, writing, making, ways in and out
of this world with desire. Reader let me make love to you. And breathe.

These are all part of the Look exhibition in 2023 which featured 12 artists, and will metamorphose those expressions responding to my writing as pain in space. 

These manifestos are an attempt to articulate how I wish to live as a humanist. Yes, it is harder to believe in people, but that’s all there is. Each other. 



Free by Subscription

“I am abject, that is mortal and speaking”

 Powers of Horror,  An essay on Abjection,  Julia Kristeva, Columbia University Press, New York, 198


“I am abject, that is mortal and speaking”[1]
 I actually met Julia Kristeva in Toronto the day the Blue Jays won the world series. Her texts, translated in to English, (I know no French), provide the basis for most of my thinking and writing about language and desire, abjection and depression. Here let me show you.

Lights dim

  SCREEN ABJECT A (Short Cut) The first 2 minutes I thought


         Ah. Open wide. Aha. Ada. Da.

 Abasement:  For her gaze, for her touch, I will do anything.
She treats me like shit. She loves me. She loves me not.
My mouth is full of it, hard as it is
to get my tongue around it.


            is for amulet, is for ankle, a is for amputation

            Cast off cast off, donated for a prosection, (see also percentages under P)

I call the new surgeon to replace my ankle with a titanium joint, reach only an answering machine, Wait is the answer; six to nine months, wait for ever – a lesson my father left me in his dying. He read his Bible.  I read Beckett. We reached the same conclusion though I’m not finished yet. See also V .

I could be dead tomorrow my mother used to say to invite a visit, but and there I was next to her as she lay dying. I wrote The Dead Mother, after Barthelme’s The Dead Father, in the fall’s Labour Day Three Day Novel Writing Classic years ago. The Dead Mother was buried first. I was unprepared for the weight of the casket and stumbled, straightening up hearing her say from inside the casket “straighten up!” [2]
My depression lifted after her coffin was laid in her concrete vault. I was the only person at graveside to catch the typo on the lid of the vault being lowered into place by the backhoe. ENNF not ENNS.  I joke when asked to spell my last name that it is spelled E double N S,  but the E is silent.

The  poem “The Walnut Cupboard” about my mother’s passing (one poem in the sequence, ‘Further on up the Road,” nails it.).  “My Father’s Garden” about his dying and death was also included in the book “Lucky Man,” published in 2005. My father died in 2006. 


is for Annihilation


To begin again with a clean white
sheet no skid-marks, no siree!

The cleaner and his moustache are steam cleaning
the floor in the hallway, clean clean I tell you.

God is in his closet with his vacuum suction
a blow hard, in reverse. Bye by canary.

My eye-sight is hindered by scratches on my glasses
witch em up for a singled focus to eyeball my computer

brilliantly flashing shrapnel of my last Freudian visit
hoorah hoorah for psychotherapy for day to day it will do

Psychoanalysis, like God and my mother, have been laid
to rest in the riverbank, or is that too easy, what if

the score of y/our life was written on musical staves
with repeats (divorces say) codas, solos and encores
                                                                 make my throat sore

Too full for emptying my thinking lets loose a scream
not heard in nature, weeding out the bad words
                                                                   right to the first ever

turd on the run[1]

Anal ysis
Well GeeZ, there is no Jesus;

shot out of a canon[2]


E is for Enns

A river in Austria I’ve never seen like the twin babies left on its banks. Castoff. One died the other his finders named Abraham von der Enns;  foundling founder of my family. My father’s first name was Frank,  F.  His second, denoting he was the son of

ee could be for the poet comings, but no, I doubt that any pieces of me come from ee comings. That’s a mistake? cummings, Siri are you sure? I preferred those pieces I found in Emily Dickinson in the parlour of the group home. The opposite may also be true.

“Capturing a hybrid is harder then naming one of my characters Henry Harder who lives on a hill. I did. Last time I looked he was still there.” On my failure to complete an anonymous contest entry.

[1] Powers of Horror , An essay on Abjection,  Julia Kristeva, Columbia University Press, New York, 1982

[2] This Jim has recorded in some previous work you’ve/we’ve done, but not with this text. Susann told Frank to straighten up for years. He made an effort. I make poems.

high lilly hi low.


This is me as the mad Phoenician, collaborating with Murray Toews the urbanstickman premiering F  In The Time Zone  on Saturday March 20, on the Earth Mutant Network. A to F will be available for the viewing pleasure of all subscribers, as we work on the next series.


IN THE TIME ZONE began its life as a coalescing container for several different writing and media arts projects, moving all forward in time. As someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder I have long been driven by the alphabet. I had written an initial “Abject Alphabet” in the 80s, with many letters of the alphabet published in magazines like Grain and Prairie Fire, but the work didn’t seem to be going anywhere. IN THE TIME ZONE now exists as 10 minute digital media episodes of readings of my poetry animated with graphics.

Follow the links below to see each episode on YouTube:

LETTER A – Beat The Clock

LETTER B – Some Assembly Required

LETTER C – Clothes Get On My Nerves

LETTER D – In The Time Zone

LETTER E – More from In The Time Zone


  • THE ABJECT ALPHABET introduces each episode, 
  • Pieces of my mind/my body in parts for this series….will become a memoir for publication called My Life in Pieces in 2024. 
  • Dead Mennonites (title shortened for videocast) a.k.a the Mennonite Book of the Dead Read by Jim Van Duesen 
  • And He Was (plays off Talking Heads, and injects some levity)read by Jim Van Dusen. 
  • Dispatches from the Pain Room; vivid testimony of how much it hurts, will morph into an art show called WITNESS in a Winnipeg Gallery rented to open in November 2022. 
  • Jimmy Bang Blues Project – cover song poems, blues, misplaced lyrics – about drinking depression and suicidal ideation
  • Shrapnel(from an unruly mind) Not yet fully developed, but includes scrambled passages from tens of thousands of emails and letters.


  • Blog Subscription

    To receive notification of new articles.