Last Night I Dreamed I Was Two-Faced


Last night I dreamed I was a reluctant lieutenant  in the Russian Army in Moscow in WW2. I was a two sided personality, a toady that always seemed to comply with every order to give me latitude to steal the art works that were being “saved” from cities under siege. Nobody really knew what I was doing there, me either, but said ”building supplies,” as I bustled about.

I never left the large crumbling Soviet building mixed with the Tower of Babble, that I had been looking at before bed. The one on the dusk jacket of the A.S. Byatt novel I like. Also was listening to Prokofiev’s Violin Sonata at bed time, and now Prokofiev: Lieutenant Kije Suite, Symphony No. 5.

Always the distant thud of shelling, but rarely anything reached us. I had word if I could get to the Volga, without getting killed, a boat would take a few passengers if properly compensated. The war ended during my journey to Italy.

I was sad to give up the Kadinsky that I had purloined from his mother, but happy to be in another crumbling building though in Italy, likely the one in the book I’m reading that I can’t remember. 




Published in Transition 2009

like a wet dahlia in the rain
like the trace of a purple felt marker
like hammers hitting the strings of a badly tuned piano
like the echo of boots stomping downstairs
as if it mattered

like a no account derelict with an open hand
like the scent of a rotted tuber
like a bed unchanged
like a faulty clause in a long sentence
as if it mattered

like a cat vomiting its breakfast
like a dog licking it up
like a bird on the ground
as if it mattered

like a misanthrope at a party
like an arrest gone bad
like an accident that didn’t wait to happen
as if it mattered

like the taste of thick milk
like the back of a leaving lover
as if it mattered

like the roughness of braided rope
like the reek of dead chickens in the hen house
as if it mattered

like heavily callused feet
like having nowhere to go
as if it mattered

like the book with just one line
as if it mattered
as if

it mattered




A forgettable day, except for knocking my coffee flying. Unrelated. Probably need to purge my cache.Unrelated. My kitchen smells like a kitchen back in the day; pork chops, potatoes, carrots. Related. A pear for desert, the exception. Unrelated. No soup today. Listening to Holger Peterson CBC Blues show. Related. The blues I write are too sad to sing.



losing time

I look for a pattern in the dead. There may be an answer
in the spent ammunition. Time, yes, it’s gone
ejected like a casing emptied of lead.

From Afghanistan Confessions

Marked manuscript available under Archives – A.

Armies and empires come and go, War constant.



I have completed acceptable first two draft ghazals inspired by String Quartets 1 & 2 by R.Murray Schaffer, cognizant of what I’m learning from Ravishing DisuUities and Hungry Listening. I enjoy composing in modern ghazal forms, and have plenty to learn. The rhyme scheme is more comfortable with every outing, and the disunity between couplets is a strength in my work. The rhythm of line and couplet  is proving to be the hardest to learn. I took a week or two between ghazals to collect my uncollected poems  called Spontaneous Combustion, for now. My whereabouts for now, will be largely spawned by my imagination, but the physical me be staying right here, in Gimli, writing in place.



Today I could smash five clocks, more if I could afford them.  Instead why not look at my first video-cast IN THE TIME ZONE with Victor Enns on my website under MLIP (My Life in Pieces) and then because B comes after A, the second episode called “Some Assembly Required” featuring a heart-breaking story of my sexual assault (the only one)and an outro featuring me putting my leg on to the blues of Rick Fowler singing “Back on my Good Foot Again.”

Thanks to Murray Toews!

The video-cast below “Clothes Get on My Nerves.” brought to you by the letter C, is the last in the first season. More episodes are planned for 2021 and I will be raising funds to pay for graphics, animated graphics, filmmakers, sound recordists, editors, and the folks who put it on m y website.I can just manage on $2,000 an episode, and there are 23 to go. I will work on these in batches of three, with d, e and f planned for spring and g,h and i for next fall. You can also help by subscribing to my blog or any of the categories posted with Patreon options.


Clothes Get on My Nerves











“the condition” by Charles Bukowski from WAR ALL THE TIME Poems 1981- 1984, read by Victor Enns

“suggestion for an arrangement” by Charles Bukowski,  from his collection WAR ALL THE TIME – Poems 1981-1984 read by Victor Enns




Pain & Death on Sunday


“Stay safe and stay positive.” So I’ve heard.

Just take a look around; let’s just be, be breathing and be in any moment we choose. Tell you what. I’ll bring the darkness, you bring the candle to light. These two short poems are by Charles Bukowski. Check out my first annotation (getting its own page)here.

“the condition” by Charles Bukowski from WAR ALL THE TIME Poems 1981- 1984, read by Victor Enns

“suggestions for an arrangement” by Charles Bukowski WAR ALL THE TIME Poems 1981-1984 read by Victor Enns.



My Internal Combustion

It’s been an exhilarating week. I was reminded by one of my selves about stand-alone poems. It had been nearly a year since a conversation with Stuart Ross about his work with Anvil Press and my work. I described a few projects and he with great clarity said I don’t do “project” books. I took that to heart, but it it didn’t beat on the door of opportunity until last week. I cut my teeth on stand-alone poems, Alden Nowlan the first, then Irving Layton, Dorothy Livesay, Leonard Cohen. I booked the University of Manitoba Canadian Writers’ Series for two years, and was able to bring and hear Pat Lane and Lorna Crozier, Milton Acorn, and Al Purdy who spent a winter as the U of M Writer-in-Residence. He looked at me rather skeptically when I ordered whisky at the pub, because “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t drink beer.” So I had a beer chaser.

The thing is I never stopped writing singular poems. So I spent the last week looking for them and checking out all my iPad notes, with few exceptions all written since I moved to Gimli. The ninety-five page manuscript, with about 105 poems is now with some of my first readers as I start fishing for a publisher and editor. There are many revisions ahead, but it feels good.





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