Jimmy Bang Poems, “The Early Years,” will post poems originally published by Turnstone Press in 1979. Then I will present y 60 to 70 new poems under the headings “Conversations with George” (as in George A. Ballentine  Whisky) and finally the “Jimmy Bang Blues Project.” These are imaginative, rough, gritty, and dark urban poems about drinking, depression, disgust, disability and suicide. I am not Jimmy Bang, but know him better than I like. The poems are mostly invented, and a caution to readers not to confuse representing a thing or an action with the actual action or thing itself.

I thank Ted Dyck for reading the very first poems in 1978, and reading the more recent poems from the “Blues Project,” publishing several of them in Transition magazine as editor. Published by the Saskatchewan branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Transition accepts writing and art by those with lived experience of mental illness, directly or as caregivers, family and friends. The entire manuscript is called The Complete Jimmy Bang Poems, which I submitted to Turnstone a year ago,  in hopes of a fortieth anniversary celebration. Still waiting for an answer. But surely I can begin the project here with the initial Jimmy Bang Poems.


The Making Of Jimmy Bang

They fucked
for a girl is what
mum said.

They fucked
for Charlotte but
called me James.

The two
old farts planned

for comfort
got me instead.

Jimmy Bang Plays with His Pets

Had a cat
I set on fire
tied his tail
to an electric wire.

Lost dog Spot
in Vancouver
rubbed him out
with spot remover.

My brown hamster
couldn’t hide
filled his cage
with monoxide.I tried
rabbits for awhile
hung them all
in single file.

Hooked frogs
with bacon fat
smashed them hard
with a baseball bat.
I shot robins
come to feed
or fed them
all LSD.

Insects didn’t stand
a chance
stomped on spiders
pulled legs off ants.

But my favourite
pet of all
was my baby
brother Paul 


Jimmy Bang Plays with the Maid

The curved butcher
blade in my five year old hands
I chased you
crying my eyes out.

You were old without
any teeth backing away
your hands out in
front of you.

I wanted to
cut them off
like chicken feet

and pill out
your stomach
like chicken guts.



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