Adam's Beanstalk

A daily adventure-bag of insights and old bones from an unknown poet in Manitoba's south. Caveat: Not everything is to be taken literally. Things are often shaded with poetic crayons; be the owl. Also, not all these bones are collected from different fields. Find themes that run througout each post and the journal as a whole; the most insignificant event may be part of an ear.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Did God Will the Death of Mr. Fish?

Today is Monday,
Today is Monday,
Monday wash day,
All you hungry brothers,
We wish the same to you.

Wash Day - I washed a saucepan. Then I put spaghetti in the saucepan. Then we debated whether or not I should add more spaghetti. Then we ate the spaghetti. Then I had to wash the saucepan again.

Hungry Day - our big ideas & paper bag discussion today was on the topic of Free Will/Fatalism. Though nobody was persuaded to change their beliefs, we did manage to prove that the monkey on the chair was indeed a real monkey. Our differences seemed to hinge on whether bad things are God-willed. Nota Bene: it turns out our example was false because Travis did not kill me five minutes from when it was suggested.

Brothers Day - I went to watch Ben Clarkson play at the Academy Bar & Eatery. On a stool, with a guitar, a mic, and a Mr. Fish setlist Mr. Clarkson took to the stage. He did not tell his questionable land mine joke ('How do you appreciate a mine?'), but captured the audience with a humility that encapuslated the difficult choices it takes to make a setlist. Some songs which were planned were dropped on the spot. Others the audience had to encourage him to play. This gave the sense of a wildly interactive show. I was expecting a man in a king suit to emerge from the crowd at any minute. Ben played some of his long time favorites, including two by Weezer and one he stole from a friend. Do you know what impressed me? I never saw Ben Clarkson tune during his whole performance. Amazing considering the mad hammering on his strings. His guitar playing stole the show, with several fascinating runs that appeared out of the great musical ether. I give the show an A-! Congratulations, Ben (I am a tough marker.) You can visit the website for Ben Clarkson at
Ben was followed by a group of preppy looking scrappers called "The Playing Cards". Wow and Smokes! This motley crew of fourteen year olds put the audience in a full nelson with their complicated arrangements and catchy melodies. Who cannot love a girl dressed in Western attire who haunts the keyboard like an abandoned organ? What about playing table hockey to the sweet refrain of "Mother, I wished we lived in the woods"! Or what say you when three cowbells play at once?! Sha-freaking-zam! You can find out more about this prodogy-stew by going to

Who is on the Mexican Train?

Sunday, Sunday, what's a-happening?! 7:45 seems so early on a Sunday morning, yet normal the rest of the week. Why is this? Do you know who I saw after I woke up? Somebody had turned the channel to the service at the Church of the Rock, where the preacher with the flat hair was wearing a colorful striped sweater. And do you know who he was talking about? Satan, the prince of Darkness himself! Imagine that - talking about Satan while wearing a striped sweater! Foolhardy! He said that many people don't believe in Satan, but he plays an important role - if he didn't exist all our natural disasters would be God's fault. Well, now, Mr. Stripes, I think we are getting into that popular fallacy of 'if it's bad, look for the devil'. I'm not so sure that God gave Satan free control over the weather machine, and even if He did, we would still want to know why. Now I'm not about banishing the devil to myth - I do believe the dark forces can work on a human psyche - but let's just say the biblical Satan didn't ride on a thundercloud. Is it not demeaning to attribute to the Devil one of God's most awesome tools?
I am playing the role of Satan in one of the plays on our youth group's "Spring Tour" where we take a charter bus across western Canada performing skits and music. It is in the classic play, "The Fence" where several people walk along a hypothetical fence trying to decide whether they want the perks offered by God, on one side, or myself on the other. It ends with the ba-ba-ba epiphany, "The fence belongs to Satan". Have you read the Robert Frost piece about fences. I read it once in a little anthology of Pocket Verse. I remember good things about it.
Today was a good day for bonding with the brothers. In the afternoon I went to watch Jimi play hockey in the new Morris Arena (trust me, it's not like the MTS Centre), where they smacked the Morris team 13-3. Also, in the evening, I let my other brother Chase cut my hair, as he has some interest in the art, and I was in need of a trim. Sometimes telling people of a haircut before you see them is like ruining a surprise birthday party, so I apologize to all readers. I think he did a pretty good job.
After witnessing a round of Mexican Train dominoes and having a great feast at the Loewen grandparents, renewing our Sunday tradition after they returned, I watched some of the Olympics closing ceremony. My goodness - watching clowns with drumsets dance to 'YMCA' may be the creepiest thing ever. And what was with that guy dressed up like the Burger King mascot? And whos bright idea was it to give the athlete's red clown noses to put on? Geez, make the best sportsmen in the world look like fools. I'm sure the ancient greeks would approve. Not! (Yes, I pulled out the 'Not!' Hate me!) But then, after the circus stopped and the athletes sat down, who comes out onto the stage but our new friend Satan, who plays a giant dragon-harp that shoots fire! This to the strange chorus of children dressed up as angels and demons and then men with wheels of fire on their backs and I get a feeling like Ezekiel's vision and I see the seraphs with their wings covering there eyes and they say Holy Holy Holy but the dragon is still spewing fire even though it is a harp and a harp should be praising and not all children are saints or are even saved for some are demons and what do we do with that how does that fit in to our orthodoxy but this is not our orthodoxy this is Italy.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Fun Things to Do With Your Big Toe

From Then to Now:

I have celebrated my birthday, with family. Got a darling homemade card from young cousin Carla, and a wonderful antique portable stove from the K. Grandparents. The other Grandparents had been working in Texas for a month, but made sure to arrive back exactly on my birthday, with lots of great clothes and a football slow cooker. From the parents I got some great fishing gear and a pile of postcard sized photo paper.

I have watched the olympics, with friends. By this I am referring in especial to the (markedly disheartening) Men's Hockey team match with Russia - a group of us sitting on high bar stools before the big screen TV in IQ's. The experience is enhanced by
a)the bleeps of Dance Dance revolution (from the room where we stole the stools)
b)the head of the tall man in the middle of the screen (we did eventually move)
c)the freezing arctic air coming from the ceiling vent(where we moved to)
d)the "OOOH's" of the hockey fans sitting on the couches and floor as if, I must reiterate, they were in a tippy canoe.

I have seen a man reading Dostoyevski while walking down the sidewalk. There must be a great meaning to this, but I have yet to discover it. If you have any ideas, please leave a comment.

I have received a blood blister on my big toe from playing soccer in socks (believe!). By soccer I mean a plush ball in ministick hockey nets on a rug floor. I remembered that I am a terrible soccer player, even in this miniature state.

I have poked my big toe with a sewing needle and watched the blood pour out in little squirts, like when coffee falls into the pot.

I have pokered my big blind in an online tournament.

I have managed to go an entire week without paying for parking.

I have written a great deal. Thanks for editing the poem, Trav. Yet though my work on the ski trip was entirely devoted to prep for the creative writing class, I realized that come Tuesday's class, I had not completed half of the assignments!

I have ordered in pizza and called before knowing my order, in an attempt to make a better decision through dialogue. And our fridge is probably still filled.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

From Day 6 to the Home: Though the Looking Glass is Frosted

Are you buckled in? Good. It's time to ride.

Left from our hamlet of Harvey Heights early in the morning. Blew like burning tumble weeds down the road until we got to Calgary where we hit the morning traffic. Our good Leader-Van-Trailer got lost somewhere in the pack; however, one of our vehicles took no notice of this. Thus: we hit the outskirts of Calgary doing 150 clicks trying to catch this truck, who in turn speed up even more thinking Leader-Van-Trailer is miles ahead of them (perhaps waiting for hours at a small gas station in Medicine Hat helplessly being battered by the flirtations of desperate female truckers). HIGH SPEED CHASE! I have never driven this fast in a van before, and I think it may even be icy, oh! and lets add that there are oil slicks and thick fog - no, even better, thick smoke from the flaming walls of a forest fire! So we're going so fast the g-force makes it impossible to lean forward, but as we pull up beside them I manage to raise my arm with a Herculean effort and motion for them to stop. Roll Credits.
The rest of the trip is like being a coccoon in a hammock ~ I rest, only to burst forth from time to time to take the wheel again. When the day winds down our sweetest moment: reading from anthologies or reciting from memory our favorite poems. Here and there falls a Shakespearean monologue or the soft patter of Plath. Our faces illuminated like at a campfire, only from the small reading lights of the van, we form beatiful imaginary worlds: vases that are crafted then shattered. By the time we reach Portage there are shards all over the floor.
I am surprised to find that my car starts, after having rested outside for the whole trip in the coldest weather of our winter. I drive back to Riverside, my car an iceburg on a flat and frozen sea.
The next days are so cold I think trees are sculptures. I say inside, warm and telling stories about the trip: often expressing my entusiasm in vain. Hoodoos? Oh, that's nice. We've seen some before. Boris' soup? What are you talking about? Such is always the death of euphoria after returning home. And eventually we are kneaded back into the dough of the day to day.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Trip Day 5 (Green Runs and Lettuce)

And so this is the day that I went skiing. How did this come about? First of all I am ever gracious to Gabriella for letting me use her lift ticket. And to this may I add ski pants (which were probably more blue than purple). And then I rented some skis at the hill. Check. And then Karen waited for me so I wouldn't have to ride in the gondola alone, that was nice. Oh, and after the first few runs I needed Chad's neckwarmer - which certainly saved me from frostbite. Hey, and during the last run I used Joseph's goggles which made the world look like it was splashed with soya sauce. So thank you all, I couldn't have done it without you. If I forgot somebody, please leave a comment. It turns out I really loved skiing in the mountains. Much better than at La Riviere where getting off the ski lift is a black diamond in itself. Here there were some sweet runs where mucho speedo could be built up. One time I was following Karen through a gap in the trees but failed to realise that there was quite a large jump, followed by a small dip. I must have been going just a little slow so I hit the last part of the dip, causing one ski to sail off. But I just kept going with my one good ski with nary a problem, even bringing myself to a sliding stop. Another good story is when we were going to meet up with Paul Gregoire and company at the bottom of a run. Unfortunately, when Karen and I got to the bottom of the run, we didn't see them anywhere. "Maybe they are a little further down the hill!", thought us, and so we kept going. Well, we kept going, and kept going, until we realised that we were at the parking lot at the bottom of the hill. And then we had to take the 20 minute gondola ride back up again.
So after our day at the hill was done we headed into Banff once again for some sweet Korean food (see pictures on Chelsea's blog). This was meat cooked in trays on our very table, which we placed on a leaf of lettuce adding rice and sauce. Then the leaf was rolled over like a burrito and eating commenced, repeated twentyfold. And then some of us went to the English pub downstairs, which was cozy and surreal, and there were English soccer jerseys on the wall and Joel Braun was wearing soccer pajama pants which some of the girls in the pub liked. And there I learned that you cannot order some drinks in pitchers, but you can play early 90's dance music anywhere.

Trip Day 4 (The Brown Walls of Valentines Day)

Better get this trip retelling over with soon. Day 4, which was Tuesday, Feb. 14th, Valentines Day, was my relaxing/working day (indeed they can be one and the same). I sat around in the hotel room writing mad stories. This on Valentines Day! What an idiot am I! I should have baked heart shaped cookies or made sweet little cards, but here I was writing stories! And do you know what I did later that evening ~ I played poker with the guys (even for a little money) - a table full of men! But my goodness, that was the best Valentines evening ever (am I sarcastic? you'll have to ask me!). And Armin won again in a heated head to head match with Francesco, even after he angered the poker gods. But yes, and no! That was it, and now I'll give you an excerpt from the short story "The Brown Walls of Potter's Street" It's still in first draft, so excuse...

Judas Lee has just moved in upstairs. He has hair like a lampshade, and all the girls adore. But he doesn’t care for them, he tells me. One dry summer evening, our backs to the brown brick wall, he says, *girls are just yellow-tinted windows*. The salty strains of the tired blues sound come sliding down the alleyway, and those men who hurry by on the streets seem to carry it with them on their backs. And when they pass, the moth cluttered light of the corner lamps pulls their features into strange black beaks, and we realise that there is something hidden in each one of them. *Where do you think the music comes from?* he asks me after a long silence. I take a deep breath from the narghile we share between us, and let the fluttering cloud mix with the tones of the light before answering. “The shadows”, I say. *No* Judas replies, *the shadows are too thin. It’s gotta be deeper*.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Trip Day 3

Rather than feed you with another crappy poem, I shall give you the glory of Day three in living photographs! And then I may talk a bit like cousin Ethel when she shows her slides in church. Enjoy!

Here is our Great Van Group (pretend it's a name). Back left is Jesse, then Joseph, in the front Karen then Gabriella. Swell times, team!

Somewhere in Saskatchewan...

"The family" in front of the lodge sign early Monday morning. Melissa had some problems scaling the wall.

The family in a classic sepia picture of Lake Louise. The postcard blue water was covered by a layer of ice and snow, except in the thin ice zones which made us a little nervous when walking onto the lake.

Myself with arms outstretched through the doorway of the ice castle on Lake Louise. We also viewed the fantastic ice sculptures and toured the ritzy hotel.

The stylin' George Roy (aka. dad) in front of the hoodoos that overlook the city of Canmore, AB. Though they are a worthy tourist attraction, the path leading down to them was steeper than some of the ski runs at Sunshine!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Trip Day 2

So we arrived late in the evening last night and got settled in. The hotel is in the hamlet of Harvey Heights just outside of Canmore, AB. There is a small path running between the grass and staircases lead to the rooms which look at each other. A hottub waits by the main lobby. I drive a van to the ski hill, then leave to check out Banff in search of a book for creative writing class. I instead find shops, many identical souvenier stores and my favorite called Quest, which sells fossils and spectacular Canadian Inuit art. After waiting until the library opened at 11, I realized that it was Sunday, not Saturday, and that the library only opened at 1. So I headed back to the hotel to do some writing, including this piece composed out on the deck, while wearing a T-shirt in the plus-7 weather.

Just Outside in Banff [Feb 12, 2006]

The mountains;
my staff,
and I
just outside in a wooden chair
A train rolls by;
an avalanche
of logs, tarred and cut
for American

Trip Day 1

Well, we indeed left early on the trip, but it was a beautiful day. We were greeted with moonbeams coming down from the clouds like a beanstalk (I suppose) while listening to 'The Boxer' by S & G. Our van had the best music - thanks Karen & Gabriella! After this there was a great pink sunrise (which I sometimes call sunset). We stopped for supper at Peter's Drive In in Calgary, to which I coughed up this quick poem with a swell beat:

Peter’s Drive In

All the hottest cars
come to Peter’s Drive In
For their greasy double fries
all the ladies beg their men

All the cutest girls
are eating at the Drive In
And on the picnic tables
carve their names inside a heart

All the greasy guys
Are scoping out the Drive In
In their ‘57 rides
While at home they’ve left their wives.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Seeing the sheep jump over the moon, from my little pea green boat

9:35 PM. Almost ready to get to sleep, for the sweet sounds of Simon and Garfunkel are about to play in less than six hours, and we will embark on our trip into the Rockies. Yes, I am going, but not really to ski. Why? You ask? For good times with friends, for good school work in a nice location. I don't know. So before I go I'll give you a recap on the last two days. Wednesday evening Jason came over and we went to find a place to have coffee. Oh, let's go visit Gabriella at the Fyxx! We get there shortly after 10 and walk in. The place is hopping. We see her there and chat for a bit, but what's this? The place is closed? How then could we be here? This is similar to the time last year when somebody told me I was dead. (This didn't really happen, but try to imagine how you would feel. You would be a little scared, and a little embarrassed). So I put my name into a draw to win a portrait with the family and we left. We ended up at the Park Theatre near our place on Osbourne. We had a good chat about Yerba Mate with the man behind the desk and we ordered caramel coffee things. Really good. And then more talk about homemade board games and Celine Dion. Say hi to Jordan Bissonnette and soak up the classic theatre feel.
Thursday I meet my parents for lunch and a bit of shopping. In the evening I go to Dolly's for house church to see the fruits of our last week's labour. The place is looking great, Dolly! And she treated us to some wonderful rice and chicken and curry, and so many laughs about the degree at U of W and maybe Jeremy Epp's reduced facial hair.
Friday I have class from nine thirty to two thirty. Start off the day with a presentation on Kendall Walton's "Fiction and Nonfiction", quite a bizarre essay, but good, which talks about tree stumps turning into bears, etc. Then we had a small class for critical theory, which felt like trying to get something planned at a slumber party. Speaking of slumber party's, Jeremy Kroeker is over at the house tonight due to our early morning departure. We had a pretty long game of chess which eventually ended in stalemate. Also this afternoon I got to play bass in a band practice setting again - really refreshing! Well, let the moon pull down the blinds, I'm ready for bed!

Thursday, February 09, 2006


It was probably a magpie;
and not, as I said,
a bluejay.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Purloined Conversations

There's a song in the air: the voices in the upper room are yelling. It's been going on for fifteen minutes. Is this a record? I hear him yelling that 65 million people died in World War 2. What does this mean? I get nervous. He is shouting more facts. 30 year war, 7 million! Spanish Civil War, 3 million! What is he going to do? Surely he can't add to the facts now. Does she need help?
Today was a funny day. I found four giant old dictionaries (1897)at the U of M Libraries book sale, the best book sale on Earth. They even contain a list of the top fifteen diamonds in the world. This is good to know.
This morning I read Jacques Lacan while taking a bath. Is this not interesting? I take a bath from time to time. We have one of those old ones with legs, as if it pretends to be a cow. If baths were cows, where would they drink from?
After this the phone rings. Here is our conversation:
"Allo, may I speak to meester Foombelais?"
"I'm sorry, you have the wrong number!"
"Wait, wait! It is spel-led F-R-I-E-S-E-N"
"No, he's out right now"
"Excuse me, sir. Are you over 18?"
"Of course I am...wait, who is this?"
"You are eligible for our very very special Plateenum Credit Card!"
"Oh, well, you see I don't really..."
"Do not worry, we weell send you this information rright away"
"Alright" [maybe I can get this guy off my back]
"You live at 32B in 377 Brandon Avenue?"
"Good. First name or last name on the card?"
"Last" [they're going to send me the card?!]
"Very good, Mr. Friesen. What do you do?"
"Err...I am a student" [oh no, he thinks I'm travis!]
"What subject do you take?"
"Uh... computer engineering"
"What is your mother's maiden name?"
[Oh no! He's got me trapped] "Loewen...LOEWEN"
"What is your birthday"
"Mmmm, January 15?"
"Very good... you will receive your package in the mail with your new credit card. First I have to get affirmation from you that everything you said was true before we do a background check"
[Oh crap, oh crap - how did it get to this?! Uh...] Click!

Guilt always follows a conversation with a Pakistani man who has trouble with English. You have to help him with words, and he thinks he is your friend. Why did I lie to my new friend? Tell me, what is wrong?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Piano for Sale

So hey, why don't you come over here and listen to this? So we's sitting at the Academy Bar and Eatery (or the Academy B&E, as they call it downtown) sometime after class. The place 's packed, we even need to get Brian [(?) the "tightass"] to go fetch a stool from off of the stage so we can sits in the other room. Who's we? Let me introduce yous. Here's Sue, she tells me she's a biker, and Erin, she's a pastor in North Kildonan. Over there at the table with his lady friend is Ivan. He works in the steel factory. So I orders a pizza and waits. Up on the stage the local poets are coming out and readin' their stuff. Bunch of pussies--those poets dancing around in their flower glades talking about the Winnipeg transit system like it's as universally significant as Macbeth. Pish! Tell those poets to go back to their boxes and leave the bars for us civilised folk. So my pizza finally arrives on a nice white plate--but--pishaw! there's a slice missing! What the 'eck?! How do yous forget a slice? So I looks at the gurl, she's a nice looking girl, 'eh, and she looks back at me and says "I dropped it on da floor". She's a nice girl too, she gave me a free hot chocolate. They make it real good with the whipped topping and some chocolate shavin's. So I listen to the crap onstage until this big ol' black dude comes to the front without any sheet to read from. And he beats us with his words like Roosevelt beat his dog, and wes all crying after he leaves the stage. And then comes my buddy from the other class, and he reads like a news anchor and wes all laugh. And Sue and Erin leave and I's finish off my HC, and it goes down real smooth, but it burns my tongue so I can't go up to the stage and speak. Good thing, because I would have been too lates to sign up anyway.

Distilled Yesterday Juice

Yesterday's talk on God left me
wanting to find a broom
a broom of destruction
and do housework.

Yesterday's talk with people found me
without a needle, but with a pail of thread
of thread with no ends
and no beginnings.

Flying a Kite in Fair Weather

What comes there, old friend?

Saw you there and we sat at the same table.
Are you crazier than I remember, making a comment about fish and then laughing?
Making us realize how much fish have evolved from high school?

Buddy, welcome back.
Looks like things are going to be different now,
A new year, a new town, a new circle of friends
Illegitimate friends not part of our natural world.
Newly formed in nether-vats, we wish they would leave, but they have already

Just heard from somebody else about how you hate this city
Under a foot of surface permafrost
Still the biggest small town in the world.
Think about the times we spent together
In fifth grade, shooting frogs with small bullets--
Necks that bled into the green algae in the Rosenort ditch.

and I am left thinking on all of these things, and how I was less a friend than I could of been, but more than I needed to, and I am left wondering where we will all be when the new generation arrives oh wait--they have already entered.

Song Writing 100: Old MacDonald and Friends

Yeah, it’s much easier to feel God in the music. A story writer steals much more: steals from everyday life. Almost nothing is his own. But music--music comes out of nothing. Sometimes a melody hits you when you’re out working in the forest, in the field. The field is best, you can riff off of the drone of a tractor engine or nearby aerators in the neighbour’s bins. And then you hum, you hum it to yourself, each time changing it a little, polishing up the rough edges. Write some words then, they help you remember the melody until you can record it on paper, on a machine. Words are a problem here. You’ve got a timeline--if you don’t change the words within a week of focussing on the piece, the old one’s are gonna stick, like it or not. It’s very hard to change words, especially those in the chorus, when they have been engraved on the mind’s circle a certain way. Once you’ve got this, a little tune, with some good words, then you can start bending--bring it over to the furnace, heat it up, and then bang the heck out of it on the anvil. You get a generic song if you don’t pound it very much (but sometimes a melody and great lyrics are all a song needs--some songs that are beautiful in their simplest forms can’t take much beating), but if you really take the hammer and start smashing you can get something that keeps the listener constantly surprised. Hey, if you’re feeling ambitious, you can even weld a few of these unique creations together, to get a song that goes through dynamic changes, constantly evolves, never returns to what it was. That’s what I did with "Step Down in the Ground". (Try to find it on the Rustic Poets site). It could have been seven songs, I had that much material. I remember sitting in the backyard in summer, on the old cement cover for the sewer, making a melody for one part of the song, writing some words down, running back to dad’s computer to record it, and then returning to write the next, completely different block. Everything came together in that day, all the scraps that I had been collecting over the course of the year. But you’ve got to be careful that the parts are linked, that there is cohesion running between them. Otherwise it’ll be like listening to a role call in a barnyard, and we all know how that sounds.

Monday, February 06, 2006

On Friday...

Friday is not the name of a reindeer. I sang jingle bells today, although I had no reason. Today is not Friday, it is Monday, but I will tell you about Friday on Monday because I did not on Friday. I went back to Riverside. This is why I do not post on the weekends. Our internet is slow, and the roads are bumpy. So I went back to Riverside and ate supper. Then I went to the church where I got on a bus. Then I went back to the city. We (our youth group, of which I am a responsible sponsor) attended a concert at the Church of the Rock. These were bands I had not seen. First of all a man with a guitar, sounding very much like Dave Matthews. Unfortunately, not the kind of excitement anxious teenagers want to hear to start off a rocking evening. Oh well. Next band: three punks from the States playing a la de da Sum-41 rip off style of music. A lot of guitar twirling, but hard to hear words (sound was terrible most of the evening, with frequent feedback ralph's (ie. puke, to coin a bizzare phrase). Then Seventh Day Slumber, really good melodies, but very typical alternative style. Best part was the lead singer's revealing testimony, followed by an alter call. With eyes closed, he asked audience members to raise hands if they were contemplating suicide, and indicated that at least two dozen had admitted that they were. Indeed. I was stunned at this result, and rejoiced with the over two hundred kids that came up to the front that night. Up next we had the rapper KJ-something or other, who had a good rhythm section (yeah bass!) but there was so much request for the audience to move their arms (first the up and down slow rap bob, then the raise the roof, then the two-hand overhead clap) that it became quite silly. And then his last song was dedicated to Mountain Dew & caffene (for which we substituted 'Kathleen')! Brutal! Oh, well, I took this time to chat with some University friends I saw in the crowd. Last up was Superchic[k], who were fantastic for a pop-punk band. Bengals-esque in some places, but the overlapping melody of two similar female lead vocals created a super doubling effect. They moved through a well planned set of driving beats and cool ballads, all the while having fun and looking stylish. Certainly the best act of the night. And then night it was.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Day of Time

Enter. "Good morning." "Good morning." "You look older." "Oh, do I? I had a rather harrowing experience with some tongs and baking powder as a child." "Yes, that must be it. How have you been?" "Rather well, rather. Well, I did start the morning with a wonderful chocolate chip muffin. And tea. And every time one starts a morning with these things, a good day will follow. Like when a bear with a beanie comes out before the circus, you know the circus will be good." "Indeed." "Right! Do you know then that I read Barthelme's 'Sentence' and Borges' 'Book of Sands'? Fascinating! That first one is all one sentence, and it doesn't even end. Why, you may say the Book of Sands is also infinite." "Do you think that we are infinite?" "One thing I do know is that lasagna is not infinite. Travis said the middle of his tasted funny. And if lasagna is not infinite, all bets are off for mankind." "But don't you think that we are different?" "Different? Maybe. Lasagna cannot write--that's one thing. I went to the University this afternoon." "On a Thursday?" "Yes, to listen to Kent Bruyneel, the editor of Grain magazine." "Is that for farmers?" "No. Not most of them. It's for writers." "Oh, them." "Yes, us writers are a wild brood! I went to buy groceries after the Grain talk." "Oh... wild indeed..." "There was an old lady giving taste tests. When I walked up, there were the typical plastic cups--but they were empty. There was an awkward pause until I asked 'So, what do you have?'" "Not the most poetic thing to say!" "Hey, that's why I'm a writer--they have more time to think." "What is time, and how does it relate to thought?" "Thoughts are like the eggs in a bowl, and time is the whisk that beats them." "I do suppose. Sounds like an eventful day." "There's more--we had house church tonight, but we were supposed to pick up Ricky on the way." "Oh, oh, you said 'but'... what happened?" "Well, we waited at the BK by the bus stop for twenty minutes, and no Ricky. We drove down to Jeremy's and then he calls and says he missed his bus. So Jeremy has to drive all the way back to pick him up." "Shame" "Well, things happen. So we have a great sloppy joe meal and then we get back in the cars and drive to Dolly's new house in the northwest part of the city." "Ah." "The guy that was living in there before was evicted and so he trashed the place. We had to do a lot of clean up and painting and rug removal. I've never seen so much glue used to hold down a carpet! Dolly's shoe actually came off her foot it was stuck so tight to the glue!" "Marvellous! What were they trying to hide?" "We actually uncovered a secret drain below the rug that was full of spider webs." "Ooh, I hate spiders!" "Well, there were some dead spiders on a piece of baseboard from which I was removing nails. When I tried to hammer a nail out a dead spider fell onto my hand causing me to drop the baseboard onto Jeremy's back." "Good times." "Maybe memories are immortal." "Maybe."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I heard a man from the back of the class say he watched a bluejay
clamp a stick with his beak and flew up to his wooden nest
but when he stopped to catch his breath dropped the stick
and to the snow it fell. And here the bird let out a puff
and looked below with teary eyes, a man who watched his favorite vase
toppled by his child. And doesn't know whether to break
the child or himself; but where to get a new vase, a new child...

If I were to Rule the World

You Are The Sun

You represent the best of life - vitality, success, and and truth.
You tend to have a strong, centered, balanced personality.
Inspiration and discovery are your fortes. You are very mentally strong.
A talented mind, you tend to excel at math, philosophy, and music.

Your fortune:

As well as you have done in the past, the future is going to be filled with more success.
A new creative project is coming your way. Feed it, and it will grow into something huge.
Great riches, recognition, prosperity, or happiness is coming your way.
And it's possible that a fantastic vacation, or a new baby, is coming sooner than you think.