MY LEFT FOOT

09/09/2021

 

Make no bones about it; my left foot carried its final edition
in my genes since the day I was born. My left ankle’s collapse
a birth defect; its ankle fusion fix a failure, confirmed too late

by a CT scan for anyone to believe
my foot’s pain was 9 on a scale of 1 to 10.
There is bigger and better suffering everywhere,

this close to the end times, pictures of fire and famine eclipse
the sagging memory of my ragged metatarsal,
bone giving way, under the operating theatre lights.

 

by Victor Enns

from LOVE & SURGERY, Radiant Press, 2019


OUR WEDDING CEREMONY AUGUST 27, 2021

27/08/2021

Engagement photo

OUR WEDDING CEREMONY

August 27, 2021

Shannon Wilson Marriage Commissioner

Victor Enns and Michelle Hewitt

We are gathered here to share this special occasion with Michelle Hewitt and Victor Enns,
as they exchange the vows that will join them in marriage.

Love is a unity of mind, body, and spirit. Love is created and sustained by friendship, understanding and a complete trust in each other. As you pledge your vows to each other, do so in all seriousness, and yet with a deep sense of joy, with the conviction you are committing yourselves to a dynamic growing relationship of trust, mutual support, and caring love.

Through your commitment to each other, may you grow and nurture a love that has room for laughter and music, desire and creation. May your love instill a passion for living that provides you with energy and patience to face the responsibilities of life.

May you support each other in times of great stress and pain, meeting your challenges of body and mind with understanding, courage, affection, and good humour. You have learned from your own experience, and from each other, suffering is unavoidable, real and to be believed, and know to offer each other succour and consolation when tears fall, and times are hard. Encourage each other to dream big and small, and to persevere to realize them.

You believe you are “better together,” and still marvel at having found each other at this point in your lives. One of the earliest revelations, you’ve said, was how you each felt “happy, safe, and well loved,” in your relationship soon after meeting, and ever since, usually supplanting those occasions when “work-in-progress” seems more apt. You are learning that blame and anger waste time you have together, and you desire to live your days fully in acceptance and love. May you also remember that no-one is perfect, and that you are both, by nature, human.

Vows

I will now ask each of you to please reply with “I do” to the following legal statement.

Victor do you solemnly declare that you do not know of any lawful impediment why you may not be joined in matrimony to Michell Hewitt?

Michelle, do you solemnly declare that you do not know of any lawful impediment why you may not be joined in matrimony to Victor Enns?

M/C: I invite you to face each other and to join hands. The hand offered by each of you is an extension of yourself just as it is your mutual love.

Victor, will you repeat after me please:

M/C and Victor: I call on those present to witness that I, Victor Enns take Michelle Hewitt to be my lawful wedded wife, life partner, and best friend to love, trust, honour, and respect.
I commit my life to you, embracing all joys and sorrows, all triumphs, and hardships. I make this commitment in love and live it in joy.

M/C Michelle, will you repeat after me please:

M/C and Michelle: I call on those present to witness that I, Michelle Hewitt take Victor Enns to be my lawful wedded husband, lifelong partner, and best friend to love, trust, honour and respect. I commit my life to you, embracing all joys and sorrows, all triumphs and hardships. I make this commitment in love and live it in joy.

M/C: The rings please

The ring, unbroken never-ending circle, is a symbol of committed unending love.

M/C Michelle as you place the ring on the third finger of Victor’s left hand,will you repeat after me:

M/C and Michelle: From this day forward, I will love and cherish you. I will look with joy
down the path of our tomorrows and find peace and happiness knowing we will walk it together side by side and hand in hand.

M/C Victor: As you place the ring on the third finger of Michelle’s left hand, will you repeat after me:

M/C and Victor: From this day forward, I will love and cherish you. I will look with joy down the path of our tomorrows and find peace and happiness knowing we will walk it together side by side and hand in hand.

You have exchanged these rings as the pledge of your love and have joined your hands to accept one another. We will now take a few minutes to sign the marriage register.

Victor and Michelle, now that you have consented in legal marriage and have declared your sincere intention before these witnesses and have exchanged your rings as the pledge of your vows to each other, upon the authority vested in me by the province of British Columbia, I pronounce you husband and wife, you may seal the ceremony with a kiss.

<SMOOCH!>

 

 


TRIAGE

16/08/2021

I am in an angry and sad place right now. I’m sad that R Murray Schafer has died. He was 88 and has done a lot of good work so it’s a tempered sadness as I work on gazhals prompted by his string quartets. I am sad that Dave Barber has died. He is my age and has done a lot of good work so I am sad on a personal scale for having lost him as a friend and colleague when at work for the Winnipeg Film Group, and for the loss of his programming expertise for Cinematheque.

Image by Allan Harding MacKay.

Mostly I am angry and sad about what’s happening in Afghanistan. This could easily have been and probably was predicted by advisers to Dis United States administration. I agree with the general sentiment that it’s time that the USA stopped being the policeman of the world, or building empires. I am however sad that the United Nations has not come back into the country when Dis United States departed leaving the country to the Taliban.

The Taliban took Afghanistan so quickly it could only have been agreed to before hand with many of the local population tired of the corruption common in this so called attempt to bring democracy to Afghanistan. It’s a law and order government that’ll happen, it will subjugate women almost certainly.

At the moment there is a promise that women will be able to educate women just like midwives are women and are allowed to touch women in childbirth but male doctors are not which still means that there is more death in childbirth and high infant mortality rates higher then in many or most countries. Wait and see.

I know I know killing to support  human rights doesn’t make any logical sense. “But if I had a rocket launcher…” Or life is unfair and we should just accept it as such. I am a lucky man. This is where I run into my problem. Under the Taliban the rights of women to free speech, freedom of movement, freedom to be educated will be wiped out within months.

Yes I know I know that was already happening. I think the best suggestion I heard about this was to arm the women. And see what happens, it can’t be any worse. Teaching them to grow food has not stopped the collapse of human rights, which could never ever even be mentioned when I was there in 2008.

And that’s the essential conundrum in Afghanistan explained to me. It’s a choice between bad and worse. It’s not a choice between good and bad it’s a choice between bad and worse. At the time when I was in Afghanistan in 2008 that meant the occupation was bad, but the Taliban is worse. Yes that’s now present tense, but we’re told this is Taliban 2.0. speaking Urdu not Pashto. Educated, and from Pakistan who will be the new occupiers. Pakistan? Likely they’ve negotiated an end to drone strikes there as well.

So Prime Minister how will you bring 20,000 vulnerable Afghans to Canada now, in the middle of an election, a pandemic and wildfires? Triage.

I can’t watch; and start thinking how to raise money to help educate girls and women wherever in the world they are not treated as human equal to men. This means in our Canada too, where Indigenous girls and boys too often do not have equal opportunities for clean water, housing or an education.

Today I do not feel up to the challenge, happy the lives of my granddaughters will be better than my mother’s, and better than the girls’ in Afghanistan. I am sad and angry about racism in our Canada, about the need of clean water, housing and education for Indigenous peoples. In Canada I can see a bit of hope now and then, there has been some movement towards improvement, however slow. In Afghanistan life will fall back,  likely moored in teaching of the uncleanliness of women, and the superiority of men.

So we teach our Canadian children human rights and reading,  and support others risking their lives to teach girls and women around the world, teachers under threat of death and dismemberment. Triage.

My manual wheelchair disintegrated under  my butt, and our handicapped equipped van broke down likely for the last time. The left channel on my amplifier is gone and there are too many passwords keeping me from my work as a writer and as a consumer. My puny sorrows. I am a lucky man.

Covid-19 infections are way up in our valley as wildfires torch the surrounding forests. Hurrah for the front line workers, the firefighters, the paramedics!  Our house is safe and insured. Triage.

And then there are the ruins of capitalism observed in tin cocoons by billionaires circling the earth life is good they say life is good. Triage.


Research for “Love, Death, and the Letter F”

19/07/2021

Definition of felo-de-se

1 : a person who commits suicide or who dies from the effects of having committed an unlawful malicious act

2 : an act of deliberate self-destruction 

First Known Use of felo-de-se

1607, in the meaning defined

History and Etymology for felo-de-se

Medieval Latin felo de se, fello de se, literally, evildoer in respect to oneself


Acute Memories & Promises to Children

18/06/2021

Excerpt from the Memoirs of Frank F Enns

Black and white photo of a young boy playing an accordion

This is not Frank F Enns

When children have acute memories for promises made to them by adults what may seem a minor triviality to an older person, may appear as a thing of greatest importance to a child. But a child expects that a promise made by an adult must most certainly be kept. Uncle Abram Dürksen, who I’m supposed to resemble quite a bit, had an accordion. He played it well and soon I wanted to make music too. He put me off with the promise that he would give it to me when I was big enough to go to school. Uncle did this to get rid of me and because he did not expect a child to remember it until the next day.

But I remembered because I had taken him seriously and waited longingly for the time when I would go to school and become the owner of the deeply desired instrument. When I entered school at Memrik, I still thought of that promise and occasionally asked someone going to Molochna to bring “my” accordion back. But it never came.


Quote of today

28/05/2021

Grace Paley writes:

My father had decided to teach me how to grow old. I said O.K. My children didn’t think it was such a great idea. If I knew how, they thought, I might do so too easily. No, no, I said, it’s for later, years from now. And besides, if I get it right it might be helpful to you kids in time to come.

They said, Really?

My father wanted to begin as soon as possible.

[…]

Please sit down, he said. Be patient. The main thing is this — when you get up in the morning you must take your heart in your two hands. You must do this every morning.

That’s a metaphor, right?

Metaphor? No, no, you can do this. In the morning, do a few little exercises for the joints, not too much. Then put your hands like a cup over and under the heart. Under the breast. He said tactfully. It’s probably easier for a man. Then talk softly, don’t yell. Under your ribs, push a little. When you wake up, you must do this massage. I mean pat, stroke a little, don’t be ashamed. Very likely no one will be watching. Then you must talk to your heart.

Talk? What?

Say anything, but be respectful. Say — maybe say, Heart, little heart, beat softly but never forget your job, the blood. You can whisper also, Remember, remember.


Happy Mother’s Day – from my mother’s memoir

09/05/2021

This story prompted the poem “Look”, which can be found in the Letter E. My mother told this story about her mother and her brother.

Mother loved to go visiting and she usually did this by horse and buggy. She always had to have a “runner” (pacer) so she could go fast with a good stiff reign in her hands. Dad had bought his first car, the McLaughlan, in 1926 and what a prize it was considered to be!  Of course only men drove cars  those days. The car was only used in summer. Roads were not kept open in winter. The car was then placed on blocks to save the tires. The car had eight cylinders and all leather seats and celluloid flaps for windows.

I remember working hard on the yard at home all day. There was raking, hoeing weeds in the garden, etc., just to get a ride to town. In town we kids were not permitted to get off the car to go into stores unless accompanied by a parent. One trip I remember when Mom and Dad had gone in to shop at the General Store of Mr. Goldberg.  I couldn’t wait so I went into the store in spite of orders to stay put in the car. Low and behold I saw boxes of oranges on the floor and on the counter a box of spectacles which adults tried on to see which pair would fit his or her eyes. Oranges wow – people were picking them up by the dozen – so why couldn’t I have just one? I took it and then went back to sit on the car quite pleased with myself. When Mother finally came, she noticed what I had done.  So back she marched me and made me apologize for what I had done. I had been quite unaware that people took and then paid for them. Well, it was a good lesson and one I never forgot.

Getting back to Mom and her buggy trips, I recall the sound of the horse’s hoofs on the hard dirt road as we went through the village of Chortitz where she had some relatives. What an ambitious lady she was! She was well educated in spite of the fact she had only attended German Private School. Girls did not have to go to school beyond age 10 or 12. There were more important things to be done at home.

I was not born yet, when my older brother drowned at the age of 3–but she knew and attempted to apply artificial respiration. Later my oldest brother, John, had a serious accident when he and his younger brother were plowing with horses. John was swinging his leg  when it caught in the spokes of the large wheel which twisted it around the axle and broke both of the bones (tibia & fibula) and generally mangled the leg terribly. The boys came home on one of the plows, John hanging on to his leg. Mom, though she had no First Aid training, knew that the pant leg had to be cut open to free the leg.

Altona had a doctor who was a veteran from the World War I. He was sent for by horse and buggy.  There were no hospitals near by and an ambulance was unheard of. The kitchen table was turned into an operating table. Mother was the assistant and nurse.

She had to boil the instruments on the kitchen stove as well as look after the administration of the anesthetic – mask with chloroform I assume. The Doctor was ready to amputate but Mother cried and pleaded to save the child’s leg  and he decided to try his best to reattach all the  tendons and ligaments and set the bones as well as he could. The Doctor had done this many times during the war. The leg was put in a splint and mother now had the job of nursing the boy back to health all winter long.  What a chore and with how many prayers must she have gone about this duty!


The very latest in the Abject Alphabet

Follow this link to watch the Letter E!


In The Time Zone with the Abject Alphabet

In the time zone began as a container for a variety of my work in progress, moving all forward in time. As someone with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder I have long been driven by the alphabet. I wrote 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.

The first three episodes were posted in 2020. By the time D came up it was 2021 and we had adopted a different approach going strictly to a text and graphic or animated images provided by Murray Toews now g as the co-director. E is now finish that I will post that in a secondFound there still time to make a donation to the E, though the fundraiser for the F will begin shortly. All of Money raised helps us get it done.Money Raised goes to pay artist fees.

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 – Preview of Opening Titles

EPISODE CONTAINS SELECTIONS FROM THIS LIST OF WORK IN PROGRESS

  • 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 email

SO WHAT?

13/04/2021

INTRODUCTION

Jazz great Miles Davis, Hackensack, New Jersey, photo by Francis Wolff Jazz Artists, Jazz Musicians, Music Artists, Green Miles, Music Icon, My Music, Miles Davis Poster, Francis Wolff, Looks Hip Hop


l listen to a lot of jazz, and some of the listening gets a poem going for me. Miles Davis is a longtime favourite, and there has been a recent call. I’m also working on recording jazz “tweener” set, which can travel. I do hope that I will be able to perform live in a jazz club, remembering the positive response at Hermann’s in Victoria in 2019. So What is a standard from the Kind of Blue Album. Poems about listening are all directed toward my Listen, Here project which includes poems about new music, jazz and blues, and listening outside near water where I live in Gimli and where I find it.

SO WHAT?

Moby Dick
So What?

The Scarlet Letter
So What?

The Wasteland
So What?

East of Eden
So What?

The Sun Also Rises
So What?

Gone with the Wind
So What?

The Great Gatsby
So What?

The Age of Innocence
So What?

An American Tragedy
So What?

On the Road
So What?

Catcher in the Rye
So What

Wise Blood
So What?


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