Another bio


Victor Enns is a writer with disabilities who lives in Kelowna with his wife Michelle Hewitt, a disability rights advocate. Enns writes extensively on the theme of abjection as presented through his embodied differences. He has published five books (four since 2005); his work also appears in Grain, Cv2, Prairie Fire, Scrivener, Rattle, Wordgathering, and elsewhere. Enns’ writing, recent live performances, and video-casts speak of his lived experience as a disabled man with chronic physical and mental illnesses. Calling Love & Surgery, his 2019 collection, a “bitch and moan about love, loss, and amputation,” he says, “I’m donating my body to science one limb at a time.” Victor’s most recent project, Look, is an exhibition of art, language, and sound, and is subtitled “my mind in pieces/my body in parts.” Enns’ website—including the first six letters of this mad Phoenician’s exploration of “The Abject Alphabet”—is


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This is a cross over piece for the Look show, Jimmy Bang Blues Project, and Listen Here.

I find it hard to breathe (I tell you)
I find it hard to breathe
I find it hard to breathe (Lord lord)
why is it so hard to breathe
The words come heavy
My words come hard say say
My words come heavy
with what little breath I breathe
I find it hard to breathe
don’tcha look at me
I’m sucking I tell you
I find it hard to breathe
My wife and my children
My brother and my sister
You are the finest family
to love me and true me
my friends, my family
I should listen to you
you all bring me oxygen
one more time, singing
singing our sweet oxygen
oxygen  blues singing we all sing
we all sing
the sweet oxygen blues.

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This is the official Look show reading. But not the book the book comes after, hope burns.

This is St. Augustine confessing he once threw pears in fronrt of swine, with a bunch of rowdy Manicheans.

Name calling has already begun in my brain. Pompus piloty pig. No This is the official reading for the Look show! Sounds better already doesn’t it.

That’s another show I’m on about it’s called Listen Here which is formally interesting employing correct and incorrect forms of the ghazal, though preferring the contemporary full Persian with stands by advice, that’s also crying the blues, because the Jimmy Bang Blues Project is not suitable for the tenor of our times. Fix your own jokes, the ingredients are on the table.

I am not crying. An advantage when reading so your listeners aren’t swayed by books they’ve read. Putting that over. Used to be the phrase, eh. Barkers, comedians, ministers of the cloth. Thinking about minister of the cloth at a nudist colony. Galloping Galoshes Galumphries, now there’s a name you can walk home with.

That went over well, and no crying emotion echos goodbye. Sit down!

Hold my nose stuff, such crap and the kid won’t stop spraying Mr Clean the idea

Dawns there might be a connection between spraying chemicals in the air and my headaches.

No this is the official reading for Look show, I am no actor. There will never be an official  reading …imagine a man dressed in a brown wool uniform and big military style very Russian style Official official official official hat my father marched One May Day parade before escaping Moscow after escaping Moscow he never would wear a uniform never go back it is not kind to remember your father strapping (let’s be specific he never hit you, did he)you, that would be me.

How about my father remembering how he was strapped by his father, just like me, for not being where he’s supposed to be – at home.Long after he’s dead and made amends I want crying towels. I am not crying now. My blood hammers my skull screaming to leave above my right hear

I m not crying.

Even in this massive outburst of pain I am happier now than before. Because I am making something of it I’m on a tear, but no tears. I am not
Crying. Fuck That is too bad to keep just a fall back lazy move, peckerhead

There you go with the names again!


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Video Director and Camera by Jayden Ryga

Written and Produced by Victor (I’m # U) Enns



My stomach hurts, usually where I put my finger in this picture. The internal bleeding has stopped. I suspect a small bleeding ulcer developed by my anxieties preparing for the opening of the LOOK show. We can see some developments and preparations on the web page.


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Being and Nonbeing

I am, he thought, putting down his pen.

His son brought him his pants hanging by their suspenders on a peg by the door.
_Wear these, Poppa. You’ll be less conspicuous. His underpants were red, his over pants were the colour of the sky in May, gray. It was raining.

_Never mind, he said closing the door. I couldn’t hear the rain again.

_Could you help me find my slippers. Have you seen my turpentine? I have some brushes could stand some cleaning.

_You’re a writer, not? Dad, We’ve locked up the turpentine. Which slippers do you want?

_ The ones from Eatons.
_They’ve gone out of business. Do you own a pair of slippers?

_I guess. I’m wearing a pair that will do. See how neatly they fit the prosthesis? Larry signed them for me, so I could always remember the pair I liked.

_Larry signed your slippers?

_No, no, let’s try  a little harder. He signed my metal leg, my peg, the part my stump fits into. You see how nicely they fit?
_You just have one.
_Right, right. My left leg to keep it straight. He signed the socket.
Here let me show you.
_It’s OK Poppa, you’ve showed me before. I was just checking in. Have you got your hearing aids? I know how much you enjoy breathing!” 

They both laugh, inside joke. He had nearly died a year ago. His time in hospital had marked him. He was certain they bungled more than one or two things. His lips were crooked, which they had not been BEFORE he nearly died. He put on his pants, his son offered him his arm to keep him from tumbling. 

_Well I better go. His Dad had forgotten they had planned a trip to the barber’s but he didn’t have enough hair for the visit to be more than social. 

_Sure thing! I’ve got some writing to do. Give me some warning I’ll be wearing my pants,  so you can bring the kids next time. 

Richard was beginning to think it might be time to read to his father. Or cause his father to be read to. Nah, he could still do it, at least until his Dad got that old man odour, he picked up in the hallways.  Levi Lodge, what a name. Leviticus, Leviathan, jeans. He’d have to look that up, he  thought, after his hybrid began to hum. 










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When I think
I’m dying
buying a new book
is a commitment,
only half-hearted since
I downloaded it instantly
for my e-reader and not

for my own library shelf
waiting for a diagnosis
waiting for a prognosis
sounds like (tug your ear)
punch in the proboscis

bury me not with any Bibles
no family plot or churchyard
still being kept for skeptics
no hole deep enough
to catch the dark paragraphs
sedimental they said it was
pshah blood in the bowl
but if you turn to look
how dark your show
make sure you hold fast
to your book and your pants.






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‘The moment you tell someone you are sick,
an element of doubt enters the conversation.” Source?


Nowhere does it say, “He almost died.” Let me
fill that in for you.”I nearly died.”Ask anyone in ICU
at 4 in the morning on Pandosy Street, and hour privileged
by poets most famously by Canadian Leonard Cohen.

I did not go clear, I survived being
tied to my bed to limit
my chances of choking to death
on my vomit like many a rock star.
Now I know how easy it is I’m afraid to sleep
on my back for the first time since my first hip surgery in 1969.

Sputter was a word invented for the struggle for air more needy than a baby’s once the huge rubber tube has been removed
from your throat.

No where does it say “He almost died.” Let me
fill that in for you. “At four in the morning,
we filled a Shop Vac with undigested food
lumpy with vegtables.”

The ER Nurse stopped for this teachable moment,
“If your husband makes it through this, tell him
tell him from me to CHEW YOUR FOOD!! Disgusting
he was full up to the back of his throat!”

You see I sleep flat because my disks
are all such a mess, and keeping my spine
as flat as a prairie railway track
manages my pain, manages my pain.

Did you hear, “He almost died.”
Jim Maclean could use my name
in his shout “Dead You Say?!
Dead! Almost, what, Almost?

So did he die or not. Is he
buried, so dead and gone
he will not drawth breath again
Not much of a story if he made it out

Alive! You say?! See what I mean,
DEAD Y0U SAY, has a much stronger
punch to it, This is how rumours get started
too many people just staying alive!

THIS IS a piece of work I found “prospecting” as I start ensuring anything worth saving can be saved. Ephemera anyone?




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“I am more of an existentialist the closer I am to running out of existence.”
HE said. 

Today is Thursday my computer tells me so. My colonoscopy is scheduled for Monday, the day after my wife Michelle has her MRI of her brain and her spine.  Wonder of wonders LOOK show has a few more hours to go. I am working on stuff, writing of some kind, and reading. Meanwhile I am killing time.

I take beating the clock very very serialpoopsy. This piece has been performed live (at x-cues) only once, and filmed in a vacant lot across from DeLuca’s directed by Kevin Nickel, shot by Kevin Nikkel with Caden Nikkel, and edited by Kevin and Caden Nikkel in it’s initial placement in my abject alphabet, and then edited again by Murray Toews for LOOK show. I haven’t seen the film loops yet because I was a dumbass and stayed home when I filled the toilet bowl with the wrong colour of blood. I have pictures. Nope, I will not go so far as to post pictures of my poop. At least not yet.

I am convinced something is wrong. I am convinced it’s more than just haemorrhoids, because I recognise the bright cheery red blood now when it burst. It totally ruined my reading at the only time I was invited to THIN AIR Writers’ Festival. Lorna Crozier commented later to tell me how badly I had been racing. Yeah well I’m dying I thought. But after a trip to an urgent care clinic they laughed and said most likely you just burst a haemorrhoid. This led to my first colonoscopy, and yes of course. I’ve been too embarrassed not to have known that and ruined a good chance I had at tasking my next step forward. 

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There will always be someone who suffers more deeply, more righteously, more rigorously, more appropriately with higher levels of pain;  others with higher levels of accomplishment, achievement than me; like the amputee running a super marathon across the Sahara desert. Good for you. Good for the breath of God and good for fabulous prosthetics.

Me; how do I tell you about my puny sorrows, when even those have been commandeered by someone suffering more successfully than me and even yet from jahnt siede. Believe me, believe my pain, No matter. I agree Somebody has it worse. Sure. But believe you me when I tell you how much it hurts!

You share the story about the boy who used an axe to chop up the radiator hose his father beat him with.  Pat commented on his father’s fury grown by his church and  by extension, then at least, his God as he wielded the strap. Only twice did my father strap me black and blue. Both before I was sexually assaulted on holiday in 1965.

After we moved to Winnipeg in August of 1968 my parents would not believe my pain which had started earlier in summer; they accepted our rotund and jolly GP’s word that nothing was wrong. Initially the mis-diagnosis was “adjustment problems” as I was adjusting to puberty and living in a city.

After three months of suffering without belief, they did a simple test; they tried to bend my left heel to my left buttock. I screamed. I was in Emergency with a weight on my leg in no time flat. Dr Bruiser (that’s right!) pinned my hip with three four inch screws. After 3 months I was walking again, as if nothing had happened. While the pain in my hip subsided, it grew in my heart and my mind. My parents and I were through.

Similar circumstances in my ankle in 2017.  FINALLY the surgeon took a closer look at a CT scan and he had to admit  his attempt at an ankle fusion  failed. I was the third out of 300, given the options  I finally called for an amputation.  But nobody laughed when under heavy sedation and an epidural block I joked;  feeling some tugging, “Hey, you are pulling my leg.” Then it was gone.  The left leg below the knee. My sense of humour grew, without it I would have no sense at all. 

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All I want
is to disappear
suck the disappointments
I have made
down the vortex
never to desire
never to want
never to make

give me pain
give me shame
give me suffering
cry cry cry I have towels
to wipe my cringing face

It’s dark in this hole
but I must be sitting
I find my flashlight
examine what it is
I sit on not a wheelchair
not a chair at all

but a box like in a play
with a lid and my little
light finds a crack
I pry open
the cube which
contains another box

with the word
PERSIST stamped on it
I open another box
stamped with PERSIST

inside that box I find
a heavy rock covered
with eagle shit tagged


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