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One of the many curiosities you'll find on this site. I may post and every new post may be on the front page. But I'm trying to move all that shit to a blog named blog, which is I guess more like a journal but then it would be under J and I'd probably overshare. V Stands for vulnerability. Hard shell, soft centre, and free provided your subscribe!


BUTTERFLIES IN MY HEART

22/06/2022

 

monarch butterfly


I just saws a monarch butterfly, and it’s not the only one I am likely to see this week. I’ve gone whole summers without seeing a monarch butterfly. This sighting reminded me of a poem inspired by an old friend who has just retired, Grace Paley for a reason I have forgotten at the moment, Chrisse Hynde from  the Pretenders watching the clothes go around,  and Les and Jane who must be the kindest Laundromat owners in the East Interlake.  

 

MY SLIGHTLY DEFECTIVE HEART
for Peter Dueck, Grace Paley,
Les and Jane and Chrissie Hynde

My heart is irregular and incompetent, still it keeps beating
all the time. Arrhythmia is what it’s called, that flutter, 
that irregularity. My friend said “just imagine,
you’re a lucky man, you have a butterfly heart.”

I’m sure his job doesn’t let him use enough metaphors, 
and I enjoy the thought, lightening up. Oh 
so much better to have a butterfly fluttering in my chest.
My heart’s incompetence is the incompetence of my aortic valve.

I swish I swash, my heart sounds like an old washing machine.
Listening, my general practitioner heard the sluice back
using his stethescope. Yes, sir, confirmed the ultrasound. 
Cradling my heart in my hands I urge all this blood

to keep circulating, a deep breath, my life assured
Astride a chair at the East Interlake Klean-All Laundromat. 
I swish, I swash, watchin the clothes go ’round,
beat that.

 


PRESCRIPTION FOR HUMILIATION

A Dispatch from the Pain Room

Right now, Tuesday, June  21st, I don’t have a family doctor in general practise assigned to keep track and treat a variety of ailments including polynueropathies, Stage Four Flat Right Foot with a screw loose, an amputation below the left knee, lousy cartilage genetics resulting in severe osteoarthritis, with chronic pain and chronic depression.

I did have a GP and all was well until she returned to Alberta. I thought Prime Medical, where she worked, would allow other Prime Medical doctors to treat me until a new one came into the company, they also have a walk-in clinic; and because they have all my medical files, going back to Gimli and Winnipeg.

My work, my writing one and the same are essential to my good health. I cannot work with too much pain. I have been prescribed Oxycodone in one form or another for over three years, and a very very very low dose, without any signs of abuse or asking for increases. Thirty milligrams, 30 mgs, 15 in the morning 15 at supper. I was able to work on 20 mgs for two years during which time Love & Surgery was published, but by 2021 I needed more, and here’s the difficulty.

“Studies show,” people who use oxy become addicted and use increasing amounts and they OD. That’s the official line but far from the whole truth. Consider for a moment that as I age, the severity of my multiple conditions cause me more pain, and dosage increases could be expected and reasonable needed to maintain established pain levels that are acceptable so I can still keep working. And another thing “studies show,” pain sucks serotonin so depression starts or increases.

I also use other pain management tools and strategies (attached) that help keep my oxy dose as low as possible. I am never pain free, and I will never be pain free again. Big hairy deal, happens to everyone, shut up already is what I project I hear from the unexperienced.

Spit it out. Any prescriptions for oxycodene or similar pain meds require follow-up. Follow-ups can only be ensured if you have a family doctor. Walk-in clinics can’t perscribe oxy for that reason, nor can Urgent Care Centres, Emergency rooms, actually just about NOBODY.

This morning I met with a very nice fellow at the Aurora Community Clinic, not a regular doctor he explained but an “addictionist” charged with writing oxy prescriptions for up to two months when the patient is switched to methadone. I’m not afraid of methadone, but I am tired and afraid of stigma, the humilation of being treated as an addict to be treated for my pain. The methadone prescription pads, only duplicates instead of the triplicates oxy requires, are more readily available. The tick boxes allow FOR PAIN and FOR ADDICTION.

The writer’s appreciation I have for learning new things, seeing and hearing different people, is smashed to bits by the look of the pharmacist and assistants when I show up with my oxy script and my methodone follow-up story. We do those weekly, or bi-weekly. Just a minute, even if the pad says “for pain,” well that hardly ever happens. UPDATE: The pharmacists are coming round, most friendly people, and my first delivery was by Valerie, good person and neighbour from across the street. 

I have several spots in my website and my life indicated that I am different and I am atypical, and la de dah kiss my fancy ass. Believe you me the downsides always outweigh the romantaic notions of difference.

My oxy dosage is 30 mgs, I said that already. Usually addicts are up to 150 or 180 mgs (the max allowable) before they are made to switch. So this is a joke right, because I can’t land a GP within a year of arriving here I have to get my prescription written by an addictionist.

This rips the scab off of not being believed when I told my parents and my doctor of my hip pain when I was 14. This was repeated with the disbelief of my pain when my ankle fusion failed. My doctor could not believe that after only two failures, I would be his third failure out of 300 ankle fusions. If your foot surgeon says you are healing and blah blah blah, and you know he is wrong; but your partner and much of the family believe him, shit happens.

By the time the surgeon had taken a closer look at the CT scans (having relied on X-rays so far)he realized, hmm…yeah I guess you might be right, fusion is only maybe 25%. WEll FUCK! I try not to waste a lot of time and energy being angry, because my cognitive clock seems to be running fast. Now discussions about pain meds changed a bit and a year after my 2019 tour my dr and pharmacist cooled their jets.

For my part I tried CBT oil and THC combinations, which did exactly nothing for me. I was already taking Gabapentin and then my psych meds, two of them the same since 2000. But yes, I will keep trying alternate therapies because I need a clear head to write and to love, and my pain thanks to lousy cartilage genetics and gravity will always get worse. I write against pain with a scream!  

I project my medical files carryt a  great big Red P in a circle for being a “problem” patient. A doctor caught himself once and switched quickly to “complex” after getting as far as prob.

I grew up with the admonish always “to be good for the doctor.” I always thought presenting too well to please the docgtor ran contrary to the whole point of seeing her. I’m sick, I’m not good. What I need is another good doctor like the one that left, and I’m fine if they work for Prime. I was hoping to talk for a bit about the Pain Clinic and my great new hearing aids from Expert Hearing, but I am out of time. I need meds, I need Michelle! I need to get this off my chest for now.

 

 

 


PAIN EATS MY BRAIN

18/06/2022

I forget 

all the comfort
I brought to you last night
when your body turned
senseless

i forget the other night 
all the shudders  
blood rushing
to my fingers

~really? is all you need
to ask
this morning
overcast, pain

taking my hand, me
glad compassion
is my kind auto-pilot

when I cannot hold
onto my memory
even love escapes

pain
unfortunately
pours in.

 


VISUALIZE A POSITIVE OUTCOME

15/06/2022

A nod to the Sherbrook Pool, my favourite swimming hole; and a nod to Mick Burrs’s collection Blue Pools Of Paradise by Coteau Press back in the day when there was a Coteau Press and a Mick Burrs. Title from a meme and screen display I often saw in my psychiatrists office. Water Photo not at Sherbrook Pool. by Lynn Chalmers.
Accidental skin photo by Victor Enns.

 

Pain erases thinking, you don’t need to suffer I’m told
just notice your pain and it will become a blue colour,
like an infinity pool, your crippled body looks to find zero
gravity such a bastard to your body, your discs descending,
cartilage missing in action, pity the poor nerves being squeezed 
for everything they’ve got, you are the body electric as you struggle
to the Hoyer, lifeguard at the ready to lift you out
of your blue pool of paradise
on Sherbrook Avenue. You change. Outside
the ramp red lights you up. Pain erases thinking,
Pain doesn’t need thinking, Pain rolls you up
wrings you like a wet towel, don’t cry little man. Visualize!
See, spontaneous combustion does the trick. Ashes finalize.  

 

 


DO ME

14/06/2022

SOME NEAR IMPOSSIBLE THING

Never been heard or seen
before I see it. Awe shucks,
almost heard it, but I’m not wearing
my hearing aids. Nearly caught
a glimpse but I’m not wearing
my looking glasses, so lie to me instead.
I’ll believe you.

Victor Enns

May 2022


LOOK OUT

BEAUTY

the extra 5 milligrams with my bread and butter 
Allow my eyes to see the beauty of the afternoon
Early in June, green leaves are all here latest
brightest summer breeze drop seeds from the trees

Photosynthesis will go on life will go on, but the extra 5 milligrams
Is not enough to take me outside into the near summer air
my shoulders my hands unwilling to turn my wheels, I can see
I can know there is beauty without moving or getting high.

Behind the double-glazed glass, I look at all that beauty;
Beauty beauty all around (and none I can transcend),
see, look out the window like I do, the world
clusterfucks the sun too bright for a photograph

now look down, in my lap I clip beauty in the image,
beauty releasing my pain, my fear, my rage.

Clip Dart 1

IMG_0468


LOOKSHOW ARTIST ~ NICOLE SHIMONEK

30/05/2022

Nicole Shimonek

Nicole is a visual and multi-media artist. Her work is interdisciplinary, using drawing, installation, media, and sculpture to express concepts that are connected to the human experience through an artistic language that features the female body. She is an MFA graduate from the Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London and BFA Honours from the University of Manitoba. She exhibits and makes work through artist residencies, and curated and self-initiated projects. Artist residencies include the Banff Centre for the Arts, L’AiR international (Paris), Bow Arts Trust (London), Brompton Design District (London) and Artscape Gibraltar Point (Toronto).

Her videos and art have been exhibited nationally and internationally. In 2022 Nicole is an art instructor, mentor, administrator, set and sound designer and artist in residence at Luminous Bodies – the Human Body in Artistic Practice (Toronto). She looks forward to working on these new and exciting projects.

Her practice investigates survival experiences through materials – drawing, sculpture, performance, media and design.


MISSING CONFESSION OF ST AUGUSTINE

27/05/2022

by Murray Toews

It was regrettable, blessing the donations brought by the devil to the church by pirates, whore-masters, slave-traders, and worse. I swear the money was put to good use to feed us, and have hats, garments and distinctive robes made (employing many I would add) so needed for our public appearances, and banquets, now such an important part of our social media strategy. 

 

 


LOOK AT LOOK (SHOW)

26/05/2022

 

DONATE

LOOK encourages viewers to witness pain and suffering. It offers an alternative story, the space to open minds to difference and disability, from my infancy right up to my fourth marriage. It examines the roles of victor and victim, whether locked in a pain room or dissociating to find a reality comfortable enough to breathe until tomorrow.

Collaborator, visual, graphic and media artist Murray Toews joins me to illuminate pain, tears, shame, rage, broken bodies and minds. Visual artist Grace Nickel will return to make a sconce in two, and Ken Gregory is making a sculpture of a man’s spine and vertebrae distorted by disk degenerative disease. There may be angels. Leanne Zacharias will compose an “OVERTURE” for the show.  Michelle Hewitt, my wife, collaborates with me, through her work as a disability advocate.

Murray Toews and me have been making 15 minute videos as sponsored by the Abject Alphabet, for over a year. LOOK is an extension of this work. Meantime you can see Abject Alphabet so far on the Earth Mutant Network beginning in February and concluding with the premiere of letter F in March.

Victor Enns, January 2022

Here is how you can help! DONATE

https://www.gofundme.com/manage/lookshow-pieces-of-my-mindmy-body-in-parts

Face in 3 sections

 

 


AT LARGE AND ON DECK

23/05/2022

Imagination lets you be anyone you want in England or Alice’s restaurant.

I sometimes imagine at least one of Queen Victoria’s voluminous dresses are made by a time traveling Agnetha Dyck and a coterie of bees gone to London to see the queen. I slowed a little today looking for the quote that God was ill and created the world – made something, even if on the shabby side, to recover. Freud, Goethe, Nietzsche maybe?

I am remaking my Always Breathe manuscript opening with manifestos and linking more closely to the Lookshow opening in Winnipeg, as early as September 29. I’m worried that five manifestos may be four too many, but I can’t cut any. Famous last words. The Manifestos;   1. Always Breathe 2. Suffer, 3. Create 4. Persist
5. Love (or be Kind).  

I’m using the May long to pitch the Lookshow fundraiser. I’ve posted on Facebook and Twitter as well as the GoFundMe platform. The 12 artists in the show deserve the best I can do for them.  IN this instance the artist have free access to my website, nothing too private to be locked away. I also send them writing, largely from a memoir taking shape called Pieces of my mind/My Body in Parts.  Murray Toews is responsible for the look of lookshow and artists wrangling. It’s easier because he lives in Winnipeg and knows the OUTPUT venue well. I live in Kelowna. The artists include Ken Gregory, Grace Nickel, Nicole Shimonek, Leigh Konyk, Andrea von Wichert, Lora Van Loewen, Jim van Dusen, Lief Norman. Composer and cellist Leanne Zaccahrias is writing an OVERTURE played live on the opening weekend, and Chris Bauer is preparing a drum/soundscape piece including “ready-made” instruments such as wheelchair wheels and other mobility aids, with graphic projections by Murray Toews. 

We need to raise money to meet our Canada Council for the Arts inspired budget who are well pleased  to see community support in as many different ways as possible. The $5,000 we raise will be for promotion, installation, and keeping the doors of the OUTPUT venue open as much as possible in October, yes, THIS October 2022. Once the show is down we will proceed to produce a “virtual gallery” as legacy and witness. 

My psychiatrist asked why I always wrote so many dark and depressing poems, often about my pain. Wouldn’t that just make my pain worse? I didn’t have an answer for him in that session, but did in our next session.

“Witness,” I said, “that’s why.”  Suffering people can see they are not alone, and the able bodied can see their health is a gift. My work is not all dark. I have gained a sense of humour since I lost my leg,  amputated and used for instruction to med students. I say I am donating my body to science one limb at a time. I’ve been criticized for laughing too much for the pain I claim, and not showing my suffering side. Well Lookshow is the answer. But if I didn’t have a sense of humour I’d have no sense at all. 

I’m not looking for cents, but dollars. Anything you can do is appreciated, and $100 or more gets you the victorenns9 smorgasbord now hidden behind Patreon pay walls. 

I just killed my first mosquito of the season. He was the kind of guy who killed seven mosquitoes with one blow. 🙂 

 

 

 


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