tilt-a-whirl owie


Protecting my soul, I close my eyes in the face of new pain centers,
strip naked, press my back into the bed of nails wincing never mind,
just know this, every-time I get up, God pulls another Jenga block, head nuns study me wobbling. My feet cobbled with more nails
than Jesus’s on the cross. It’s true you hate to watch, cross the street
rather than be seen walking with this cripple. Honesty is important
you said, but you lied anyway, I imagine, to save my feelings. In my feet honestly dearie, I have none. But thanks for the gelato.

I close my eyes protecting my soul, keep my blinds drawn to black,
nothing there either, static, flashes of neuropathic pain they warn you about
if you have amputation. I have the pain already, maybe the surgeon
could make it disappear like my left foot, all I want is a prosthetic.
“I can walk!” I want to shout, now that would be a game for a healer’s visit
to the city, throwing away my crutch. But for now, the circus, the freak-show
+ the strongman slamming the sledgehammer on the lever of the high-striker
the steel puck rippling up every vertebrae before ringing the bell in my brain.

“Life is a carnival
believe it or not
life is a carnival;
two bits a shot.”
– Robbie Robertson



[1] A red herring this, it refers as much to Bahktin’s theory of the Carnivelesque, which refers back to Dionysius, and a lot of stuff  I can’t remember. 

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THE DAY I TAUGHT STARLINGS SOME MOVES TO MURMUR I HAD BEEN TAKING WHITE FLAPPING SHEETS DOWN FROM THE LINE AND I RACED IN THE UNFENCED MEADOW ALFALFA JUST STARTED TO HEAD OUT IF THAT’S WHAT IT IS WHEN IT SMELLS UNEARTHLY LIKE SOME FEET ABOVE THE STARLINGS TURN ON THE WING NOW THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF BOTH SWIRLING ABOVE THE ALFALFA GRASS I SHOWED THEM SOME MOVES WITH MY BRILLIANT FLAPPING SHEETS GRASPED SO TIGHTLY IN EACH FIST I COULD PULL THE SHEET                                              I HAD PUT THE REPEATING RIFLE BUT FUCK THE DRAMATISTSTHAT SAY IF YOU INTRODUCE A GUN IT MUST DO SOMETHIHNG LIKE SHOOT BEFORE THE PLAY IS FINISHED THE RIFLE STAYS STILL LEANED AGAINST THE INSIDE OF A BARN LIKE A SORE TOOTH THAT DOESN’T GET PULLED BEFORE MORE MURMURMURMURMURMURMUR MURMURMURMURMURmurmurmurmurmur MURMURMURMURMUR4MMUR MURMUR now let’s play theBaezBaptism record hushmurmurhushmurmurhushmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurI’ve taught starlings sitting in an open patio of the hospital safer no shoes but my feet aren’t feet without my legs and shoes to move the rest of me in any direction you can think of listening that’s what I am writing about without I mads I ams I Iams or Iambs but the starlings how came they over a field with trees behind them now I remember now I remember their rhythm fast under their wings what was brushing over their feathers murmurmurmurrumourmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmumrmurmermurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurthecatcurlsupmurmurmurmurmurmummurmurmurmurmurmuremurmurmurmutrmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmumurmurmrumur shshshshshsh shshshshshshshshshshshshshshmurmurmurmurmurmuremurmurmurmutrmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurthecatcurlsupmurmurmurmurmurmurmmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmuremurmurmurmutrmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmumurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmutmumutmutmutmutmutmutmurmnobody asked for the t to come as quick quite quiet tumour brain your brain my brain whatever the tumour slips in transfer charges our future I am in recovery like you might see in a movie but not real life let me say I am folding linen sheets for therapy as I learn some words back again a rum tum tum or murmurmurmurmurmurm ur more double or nothingsh shsh shshshshshshshshshshshshshmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmurmutmutmurnoisescaresmestillshsshshshshshsh



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Note: This is my mother. The last line made me think the photo suitable. I am recovering from a difficult cold subdued by a bottle of Benylin, but it ain’t over yet  baby blue.  I came to understand that my mother’s second “n” on Susann was conjured in the 60s, though a Susan with one n she could live with. Honestly,  I suspect she saw the aesthetic balance of Susann with Enns, and another grip on her own self. I’ll put her naming story up on Mother’s Day.


a song for spring somewhere warm

So we’ll wait for the next day. for tomorrow let’s pretend

all will be better when my hands do not bleed, a bit of cheek

caught when my hands are flapping and I can’t keep control

of my own blood tied up in twine. I want to be naked

but my skin is itchy, and my urine, does it still drip

watch my watchfors snags trolling the deeps, meta

fucking fours my cat has my skin in its claws nothin

fancy about that, hey! I take it away as a take a way

who grooms you baby not right now maybe soon

Chrissie Hynde reaches to pat my cat I substitute my hat

you can touch my hat, but you can’t touch my cat.

There be some pushing and shoving, we’re all good with that.

The camera captures our immediate image no-time flat.

Double nns keep moving, bread, blankets, picnic baskets

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I didn’t expect the noise to come
with spring’s open windows.
Winter was such a quiet affair
going door to door. Tight
that was the word, air that enters
called a draft. Rugs and blankets
thrown around everywhere.

Now time to break our nails
we dare to remember windows
can loosen by layers until the screen
reveals itself. Huzzah let’s shout
The air is fresh yowls Gus our cat
let me out I swear there’s that
noisy squiggle sniffing the casement.

I breathe sufficiently fill my lungs
shout Gus be heard never mind
the rhyme or being seen, your purr
comes easy when I stroke your coat
over and over and over again  (to be certain)
there is no illness in your hair
there is no cancer in the air.


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Clean shirt dear writer within, a white shirt with orange and cherry jam stains, but properly buttoned. You weren’t ready for anything this morning. I wasn’t ready for anything this morning, except a thorough sponge bath out of my new basin that overlaps my lap. My new medicine chest (I have many medicines) arrived this morning and will be installed by our carer this afternoon. Time is 2:10. Ten minutes wasted on getting started.

And here’s some time to claim about my pain is pain is pain. is too painful to write down properly. To “claim” about is a significant cognitive variance, as the word complain was the desired word, just not desired enough.

I will die. But surely not today.

“The pleasure of the text is that moment when my body, when it pursues its own ideas — for my body does not have the same ideas as I do.” (17 Pleasures of the Text, Barthes) My prose of the moment is called Pieces of my Mind/My Body in Parts, getting  its kicks in the  head, as R.K.  said. 

My brain pursues fragments with fervor, my body is rarely aware of where it is, reminded when I am wounded, or set on fire.

My anger when I shout out fully loaded with pain at the intellectuals and ani-intellectuals  who laugh at my sentences and misguided secrets deriding my punctuation,  I am reading I am reading but the chagrin remains. My cat rests like this, on the claw sharpening cardboard. Laugh  at my  filing  cabinet if you like,  I use them to  keep my dirty laundry.  

Posted in Abject Alphabet (Fits and starts), ARCHIVES, Blog, Listen Here, My (new) Left Foot, My Daily Fog, pain room blogish, Preachers' Kids, Uncategorized | Leave a comment



Morose ghost evades my grasp.

Tired of looking for something to read I’ve challenged my subconscious, to write a story at the very leash some flash fiction that thrives on made up and pretend stuff you know characters that aren’t like you much and you don’t much like me. So an antagonist then, not a protagonist. Tad and Lilly, which, then is then. Let’s not get caught up in glue or in blue. Tad painted race cars for a living.

So line by line the trick is I just make up a line or a sentence that for instance, resemble making doughnuts on the parking lot with the first snow in the foothills. One he painted you see connects the next paragraph which is n to I repeat not necessary. But one of hs painted cars liked doing parking lot doughnuts. 

We, that is writer 1st person her and  me, sold our house without disclosing the morose ghost with a taste for translated German and Russian novels abounding with failing writers, artists, doctors, clerics, which the original owners who were selling the house had left, having come to terms with the ghost who would have gladly moved with them to East Side New York, right close to the Mennonite Hostel their offer did not mention the presence of mostly vegetarian beatnick peaceniks.

This  was not disclosed by the estate agent who knew Mennonites where mostly harmless though they did sometime break into harmonious hymn singing at important moments when Tad and Polly Ann Sharkey where making love causing Tad to lose his erection, and Polly to lose her patience. They were selling the bed with the apartment just in case the bed itself was hexed. It was already in the guest room and might have suited the ghost. They were keen to buy a new bed from the C’mon Down Cowboy Mattress Discount store. BANG! No gun, no gunshot what just happened

Tad and Lily were rolling merrily along when the hip couple turn into a pair who believe they. can buy a mattress from a mattress clearance centre and actually improve their bedtime on the bed kind of sex. Lilly was more interested in sex in other places, where they were in danger. Tad said we’re married aren’t we? What more danger do we want? HE realized as he said it he should have chosen his words more carefully

He once, note, once; tried dress up as a priest but he didn’t know any Catholic, and Polly didn’t find including a rosary as part of the cosplay erotic. There’s a word his semi-conscious had started to bring forward. Cosplay, erotic not so much. Soon, Amazon would deliver a package of argyle socks. One for him and two for her. This indeed is the day the Lord has made. Tad smiled, he would take it from here.




Definitely not enough of my subconscious, semiconscious, dream conscious in here, silly bit but I am writing. I’ve decided to let things stand. Or lie down, or sit, our hang around, staying alive, though. Breathing, always breathing!


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This is your
guess the next
will be



my body
my wound
so tightly

my brain
ideas like

swing into
every open


Posted in Abject Alphabet (Fits and starts), ARCHIVES, Blog, Envoi, Health, Listening, My Daily Fog, My Life in Pieces, pain room blogish, Poems, Preachers' Kids, Uncategorized | Leave a comment



Gott du hast mir als Kind aus Wagen hoch oft gehoben.
Die Engeln singen alle Mit Trost
und Gedanken, du gibst mir nur eine Sprache zu lernen
lachest du mir auf mein Eisen Baum
so spuck ich in deine Augen! Du bist
Ubu ubu ubu und mein Wieb sagt’s dem Hund Quit it,
Quit it, und er hört nicht zu.



God, you often lifted me out of stupid red wagons
when I was a child. The angels sang in comfort and thought
you only gave me a language to learn.

You laugh at me in my iron tree
I spit in your eyes! You are
Ubu ubu ubu . My wife

tells the dog; Quit it,
Quit it, and he doesn’t



Posted in Abject Alphabet (Fits and starts), ARCHIVES, Blog, Listen Here, My Daily Fog, Pain Room, pain room blogish, Preachers' Kids, Preachers' Kids, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


For now, this poem I wrote today stays here on my website. I’ve no interest in debate, or signalling virtue, though I may change my mind. I admire Duncan Mercredi and others, who do put themselves on Facebook accepting the vulnerability of speaking publicly.
At the end of our family meetings when we were young, and I was a father, we got to say a hope and or a wish, which returned us to a good place as we had started by naming one thing we felt good about what we’d done or shared with someone else. A success story perhaps. I know I’m privileged, and because of my bodies pain now there’s not much I feel I can do.  I can practice being kind and I can make a wish. Oh yeah, there’s always reading, writing and love. 

(Instead of death
instead of explosives)

Image by Allan Hessler, book available from Radiant Press.

dropped love
dropped hope
dropped water
dropped sweets
dropped tea
dropped bread
dropped coffee
dropped licorice
dropped chocolate
dropped peanuts
dropped lollipops
dropped halvah
dropped oranges
an endless list (1)
all allergen free, all sugar free,
gluten free, dairy free (2)
religion free, conspiracy free
free for everyone goodies
for everyone
a goodie bomb, or say
dropping goodie bags
brown bagged
 drifting down (4)
in soft silken
all good things
from all over the world
with one instruction
please enjoy in peace.

[1] Please add something you think children should have in a goodie bag at any time
[2] even every fruit and nut, it’s a magic wish, people.
[3] No sponsors no politics no celebrities just a magic fleet flying kindness,
room to breathe, and stillness to everyone whether they are good or not.
[4] no kites no fighting kites no troopers not drone just a brown bag of respite and peace.


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Michelle and me hire at least two  students every year who work as a team with up to another 2 care aides. We are both full-time wheelchair users Michelle has MS and Diabetes and I have a lot of things, most create pain. I chose to have my left leg  beneath the knee be amputated to eliminate a terrible Stage Four Flat Foot with an ankle fusion that went wrong. The surgeon’s third out of 300. Mercifully,
I am in the 30% of amputees that feel no or very little “phantom pain” after surgery. We are fortunate to have a well rounded support team that allows us to advertise and hire those we wish to do the work we can no longer  do. One of  our favourites, especially once it’s on the table, is making spanakopita. I will feature other specialities by our carers in 2024, 

Jayden, working with my shabby memory and several cookbooks and a quick check in with Jo back in Winnipeg where this was also a Chalmers  family favourite, and never used parsley for this! Dill only please which is delicious in this recipe. So Jayden (yes she is George Ryga’s grand-daughter) has accumulated a lot of sources to make it her way, the way we present it here, 


375 grams Feta Cheese
1 bunch fresh dill
black pepper
1 large white onion
600 grams frozen spinach
200 grams fresh spinach
5 garlic cloves
250 grams ricotta cheese
3 eggs
olive oil
one pack Filo


What to do
→ Heat oil in pan, once hot, add chopped onion and garlic. Once onions have caramelized, add frozen Spinach.
→ Wait 5-10 minutes then add fresh spinach.
→While cooking spinach, mix eggs, feta, ricotta and chopped dill in a separate bowl. Mix together.
→ Begin layering filo in ~ 8×12 inch pan. Add 5-6 single sheets, brushing with olive oil between each layer.
→ Preheat the oven to 350°F.
→ Combine cheese and spinach mixture. Add this mixture to the filo-lined pan
→ Top this pan with 3-4 more sheets of filo. (brushing with olive oil)
→ Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown


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