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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!


In the angel’s mind there are no angels that stop

12/05/2022

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My mother was a grandmother too

08/05/2022


My mum was a hottie


IMPOSSIBLE!

07/05/2022

Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed
as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

–  Alice in Wonderland.

One too many legs. Photo by Greg Giesbrecht.

Six impossible things to believe before breakfast

Coffee will be made for me as perfect as paradise
Clifford Brown does not die in a mid-century car crash
but plays on as perfect as paradise in Paris, France.

My physical and mental health, restored perfect as paradise.
Leonard Cohen, having conquered pain, returns from the dead
to sing AVALANCHE at the LOOK show, as perfect as paradise.

There are orgasms in heaven, as perfect as paradise, (of course)
My anxiety closet will be cleared by a stuffy cat, leaping
a new life on my chest, purring as perfect as paradise.

I’m good to go.

– Victor Enns

April 27, 2022

 

 


Z

02/05/2022

Z IS FOR ZERO

Poor old gumboots boy.
Ghost of hollow-heart.
My dear old zero. Kiss me,
I’m yours, you’re my loss.

 


THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING DRESSED IN THE M0RNING

28/04/2022

Getting out of bed

Drop the bed rail, up because I flail
incontinence currently not an issue
issue, get it, hah. Many decisions all in a row
to get up, now the bedrail is down
cross the fence, leaving paddock
nightmares to roam
no dancing on the ceiling
sure that up was down
vertiginous falling in a heap
me in my white winding sheet
crying softly  but that was not last
night, no, that was two nights ago.

Last night you came
to fetch me  from the toilet
where I was fast asleep and slow
to get up to drop down
into my wheelchair, ronly for me,
you have your own

I refused the rigidizer firmly
when I first met my wheeled chair
it was my seat I was worried
about not the chair’s, ever;
odds where the seat of the chair
would last longer than me,
no matter the weight and gravity
my tender buttocks pressed
into the taut slung seat.

Between the lines I can hear
the specialist not listening
“I know better than you
you with a mental illness
on record, you may no longer
get to make many decisions
even at home all in a row.”

2. Getting dressed/jumping into the fire[1]

On with the pants, wait a minute I need underpants. Assemble
assemble the parts to. put on. I gather my undergarments
certain age define different words to describe
what’s the first layer across my weight increases.
Thesse are underpants, boxers unsuitable for the non-violent,
nor are my undershirts wife-beaters they are vests, shoulders to hold
suspenders I can see out of the corner of my eye. 

Next step is falling in step I need to get a leg on. I put a shoe on the other foot.
through the pant legs, wait I need to dress the leg first, pull the pant leg over
the peg leg push both legs through, then stop to get the suspenders right,
then uppy puppy the dog offers help, a scratch behind the ear, off he goes I’ve saved

my white cotton shirt because I like to dress like the writer I feel that is inside me
the writer that is inside me wears a white shirt, 100% cotton.
I realize the weight of the world is just my suspenders holding my pants up.

Hear Grace Slick sing “you’re only as pretty as you feel inside.”
I read the piece in “notes to myself” or whatever column it was
that most writers have a few rituals a few things that they like
to wear when they are working so I’m wearing a white shirt

when I jump into the fire, wearing a fake leg and one matching sock
ha, get it. I cannot help but think of my father in his white shirt and calm
grey suit for his sermons. He preferred to use a belt. 

[1] Harry Nilsson


BOUNDARY CREEK BOUNCE

25/04/2022

A ONE ANA TWO ANA NOIR

It’s Saturday afternoon and I cry at the black and white picture tv like I learned
to watch Lawrence Welk from North Dakota, just across the line, only white people
me more related to the Germans even then lensing this show in a Dusseldorf club
with hardly hardly a light Wynton Kelley plays  his soul on the chords
his every wish in the piano solo bringing tears to bassist Paul Chambers
behind him and me in front of my computer screen.

Drummer Jimmy Cobb knocks it out of the room, I can’t catch rhythm
no matter how steady.  This is the music  the music I can’t play
by ear or by wish but I can hear, dancing in my power chair like a psychedelic pony
at a Santana concert, when I listen real  hard jazz music brings me risk,
a thrill ride, a trip with the best blues, be and hard bop, with Old Dutch
potato chips and Coca Cola, my treat from Pete’s across the street.

 Got no whisky, got no cigarettes, I got no rhythm, but one last rhyme
’cause a I got a bucket of bebop, lifting me into bath night one more time.  

 


OUTTA SIGHT!

21/04/2022

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

– F.Scott Fitzgerald

I sat on my glasses for the last time yesterday. They broke. Glasses have been a part of my life since I was four years old. I have been to the optometrist and had my checkup and ordered new glasses which will take two weeks just like in the old days. My mother realized there was something wrong with my eyes when she couldn’t teach me how to read. Thankfully she didn’t waste too much time in having them checked and glasses ordered from James Shane in Winnipeg at the Bay, which was my family’s beachhead in Winnipeg. Reading became a snap and an important part of my life.

I’ve been closing my eyes a lot lately, without really knowing why. I’ve been looking for a psychiatrist in Kelowna, but I’ve had the good fortune to find a psychologist in the meantime and I had a session this morning. Towards the end of the session I talked about closing my eyes all the time. And trying to connect it to some thing.

Then I remembered these lines from a piece called OUTTA SIGHT!

” What I’m trying to say is I don’t want to be seen like this.  I know, anybody I know doesn’t really want to know how much it hurts on a scale of 1-2-10.  My pain is only original to me. So I take my pain alone like so many others not being a burden making do, getting by and closing my eyes because I don’t want to see me like this either.”

Part of this story relates to my son Theo who, when he was three, covered his eyes and said you can’t see me. He became invisible because he covered his eyes. So the whole business of seeing and looking into somebody by looking into their eyes is of interest to my thinking.

So on the one hand I’m self-conscious about my disability, particularly my weight, and during my ‘cognitive variances.”  I’d prefer people not see me when I’m not at my best. This has been happening more often since I’ve become physically disabled. Covid has come just at the right time where it looks like I’m just doing what everybody else is doing instead of withdrawing from the people-y world. I’ve been fortunate again in finding a partner who also has a disability and also rather  be at home than out and about, who commented on losing service 0f our body and mind at the same time, “When your mind and your body both give out at the same time – total quitsville!”

I’ve just got this big Canada Council for the Arts grant which is essentially an extravaganza of showing myself and asking people to look, or more formally, let’s say it’s about identity, self-portraiture through the lens of pain, suffering and disability.

These are the two opposing ideas that I’m starting off with. On the one hand I’m closing my eyes a lot. On the other hand I’m writing stories from my life and I’m asking 12 different artists to interpret aspects of my life from my writing including my body parts and pieces of my mind and the pieces it’s in. I am delighted that I have found artists that will work with me and my conceptions of myself; or as I sometimes think, my several different selves.

For me it’s important for other people to look and see and hear different narratives of the disabled experience. There are as many stories and variations of living as a disabled person as there are disabled people. “If you’ve met one autistic person, you’ve met one autistic person” is a common saying,  because for Christ sake we’re all different!  That should be a basic understanding but it means people have to tolerate difference. In fact tolerate isn’t even a good enough word we should be able to do better than that,  be kind is getting there, be fair. Better or worse!

But in this instance, my story told using theatre, films, music, writing, videos and sculptures all showcase different parts of my life and my living. I have a cartoon that Murray Toews drew for me. I had a dream in which the doctors were pointing to the base of my spine,  where I have spondylolisthesis and said “see that’s where the hubris is coming in.”

 I try to remind myself to be cautious about my expectations either of myself, the other artists that are working on the show, and the people that come and see the show. One thing I can say about this though, it won’t be boring. The conflict between not wanting to be seen, to hide deformity, disability, my different body that people really have trouble looking at, which I’ve been writing about since 1979 actually, “all the picture people look the other way” (Jimmy Bang) and my desire for people to accept my differences so I am not ashamed will be dramatic.

For me the energy comes from creation. One of my favourite sayings is simply that desire creates all. And wanting to do something,  making some thing is the forge that I need to get dressed in the morning.


TODAY’S BIO for the Journal of Mennonite Writing

20/04/2022

Victor Enns was the publisher of Rhubarb magazine, including anthologies of Mennonite fiction, poetry, and literary criticism. Finding clarity in 2005 he published Lucky Man, boy (2012) Afghanistan confessions (2014) with Hagios Press, and most recently Love & Surgery (Radiant Press) in 2019. He has been published in Rattle magazine and most recently in Grain, and the disability journal word gathering (Syracuse)  During his time with Rhubarb Victor worked with visual artist Murray Toews.  They now collaborate producing short videos based on Enns’ writing and Murray’s skills in drawing and multi-media. They are producing a major disability art installation called LOOK, in  Winnipeg beginning September 29th, with 12 Manitoba artists, including Toews, responding to Enns’s texst on abjection and disability, with support from the Canada Council of the Arts. He is completing a manuscript called Always Breathe from which the poems in  this issue are taken, and Listen Hear. An amputee, donating his body to medical science one limb at a time, he lives in Kelowna with his wife, disability activitst and Disability Studies Ph.D. candidate Michelle Hewitt and their Bernese  Mountain Dog.


CURRIED  BUTTERNUT SQUASH CARROT GINGER SOUP

07/04/2022

INGREDIENTS

1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 peeled then diced or grated piece of ginger
1 medium butternut squash
4 to 6 carrots
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 to 1 cup milk depending on texture
Ground Coriander (no seeds in this one)
2 table spoons powdered curry
1 teasepon red Thai Curry
Dash of Cumin
Dash of Turmeric

 

METHOD

Saute onion, garlic, and ginger
Cut squash in half take out seeds
Bake squash to soften enough to peel and cut up easily
Peel and cut carrots
Add carrots and squash to onions, ginger and garlic
add curry, cumin, turmeric, cayenne (to taste)
(too much) cayenne and Thai red curry causes mouth on fire
Add broth, stir  bring to a boil and imagine consistency when blended
Add milk accordingly … can be coconut milk, but I always use 2 or 3 % cow’s milk

BLEND in blender

Serve plain, with naan or bread
Or dress it up with with a touch of cream or/sour-cream/or yoghurt/or cilantro/or parsley

 


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