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“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.


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