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?


AN ABJECT ALPHABET

10/04/2021

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.Thanks to donors I’ve been able to contract the services of Murray Toews, Jim Van Duesen (additional voices)and Kevin Cockle (original music.)Each episode costs $2000 or more to make and we’re in this until we get to Z. You can help by donating to the GoFundMe campaign here.

Donors get thanked on the closing credits, and a first look at each episode or trailker. Murray has just finished a stunning self-contained animated short for the Letter E that I wrote called “LOOK,” voiced by Jim Van Duesen. Any donor this month gets a free view in advance, and it’s worth every penny you can part with. (Victor says, believe you me!)

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

EACH 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 emails and letters.

IMAGINARY CONVERSATION

23/03/2021

 

 

Bruise

You see this bruise?
The one on your leg?

Yeah that’s the one just underneath my birthmark.
What about it?

I got that skiing downhill at Innsbruck.
You’ve never been to Innsbruck! You don’t even know how to ski.

You try to convince my bruise of that!
Where else do you think I could’ve got it?

 

 

 

 


A NEW TO ME SOUP I MADE YESTERDAY

10/01/2021

ROASTED RED PEPPER TOMATO SOUP

This is a soup I have been wanting to make for years, ever since Hermano’s in Winnipeg was out of reach. Sometimes Safeway/Sobey’s had one, but but yes, time to make my own.

STEPS TO TOMATO SOUP ECSTACY 

Halve 3 perfect bright to darkening red red bell peppers, take out seeds and pith.  Halve the halves again. Put parchment paper (foil might be faster, bright side up)into a full sized cookie sheet. I used a little olive oil, though not entirely necessary I gather. Peppers go on the sheet inside down.

Roast 3 Prepped peppers starting at 425, and leaving them there, for 25to  30 minutes or down to 400 depending on your stove. Charring is necessary, and in frustration I ended up using broil with the rack still in the middle. Watch carefully!

Peel 3 quartered roasted peppers when cooled, set aside.

Saute small onion and 3 crushed garlic cloves with butter and olive oil in your soup pot, add one finely chopped carrot (means you can skip any sugar you see in recipes,though peppers should bring enough sweetness anyway) and celery stalk.

Chop the red pepper pieces, (this is all going into a blender) and add to the pot.
Season with dry oregano, fresh and/or dry basil, fresh ground black pepper, a dry chili pepper and/or pepper flakes to taste. I was lucky (Thanks brother!)to use a dried “heritage” chili pepper, seeds from Ukraine. I don’t add salt. Keep an eye on anything you put into the soup that already has salt in it. You can season to taste at the end.

Add 28 oz. diced tomatoes, and a whole
6 oz can(!) of tomato paste. (Finally a recipe that uses it all!)

Prepare vegetable stock (from bullion will do, but don’t use those containers of made broth) have milk ready, can be coconut milk, but I used cow milk)

Add some stock

Add some milk

This is where the alchemy happens. You will have your own desired chili pepper heat, and desired texture. This soup is not about the chili peppers, onions or garlic. It’s about the red peppers and tomatoes, basil is the flavour forward, but the roasted red peppers take this soup to another and very tasty level.

Cook, on the stove thirty minutes or less… carrots are cooked for sure.

BLEND: (MORE ALCHEMY) have milk and stock beside blender. Ladle no more than 2 cups of soup at a time depending on your blender (I have an old Oster I love). Press Blend low, Press Blend High using milk and or stock judiciously to achieve the desired texture.
Pour into serving bowl. Garnish with basil leaves

ENJOY! Serve yourself. Croutons instead of biscuits if you must. I made sure I had a fresh basil leaf and a dab of Plain Balkan Yogurt.

I’ve heard it freezes well, but won’t know this time around.


Telling It Like It Is (some nights)

05/01/2021

BEDTIME ACCOMMODATIONS

Shrink sock on my stump
glasses on the night table
gauntlets on my wrists and forearms
mouth open meds riding
the water slide of my throat
mouth-guard so I don’t grind all night.

Richard Hines Photo

There I said said, a diaper around my bottom
like the cartoon of a New Year’s baby (just kidding)
my body a perfect vertical lie on the horizontal
line, music quiet and classical
temperature just past the click
parking lot lights on the ceiling
filtered by my apartment’s vertical blinds.

There is no you just me taking up
as much space as I can muster
your used to be pillow carries
your scent in the memory foam
while the clock counts down
the minutes needed to pass
over time before I can die.

written June 2020 revised Jan.5 2021


ROUTINES by Tom Wayman

04/01/2021

ROUTINES by Tom Wayman, read by Victor Enns, with permission

 


STARTING AGAIN by Tom Wayman

03/01/2021

By Tom Wayman, with permission
read by Victor Enns

Tom Wayman

Photo Credit: Jeremy Addington
 Canadian Poetry Online

 


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