"It's about words, and words are all I have…"



This morning’s plumber said:  I can tell by your eyes  as I

groped for analogies between plumbing+psychotherapy

His company is called HTO  because H2O was taken   I

suggested he change it to  HOT  But then he got the wrong

idea  +suggested a beach holiday in Playa del Carmen


I demurred saying Baja is more my speed  He made out the bill

for $516.94   For you I added the heavy duty putty   Listen buddy

I am heavy duty enough  laid waste by the trenches of humanity  He

became garrulous  Your voice too  There’s just something about you

I seem to have this effect on plumbers   Car salesman too


The two I bought recent cars from  attempted moves so brazen +corny

it was a total turn on   That juxtaposition of ballsy  +thick as a brick   As

plumber +I traded wet dreams +moist chitchat   he burst into tears  Water

dripping onto my ankle  wrapped around the leg of his chair  But what future

is there?


He scurried back to his sink holes  mould  snaking pipes +the like   And I

back to the business of wrenching souls from holes  some of their own

making  others the kind where fate has taken them kicking+screaming

To which they return again +again   Pipe dreams of escape are free   Not

so  psychotherapy


In the midst of this reverie  water exploded out of my new Moen faucet

(For you only $333.00)   I realized there+then  HOT plumber was the man for

me   Upon his return we exchanged choked pleasantries as I packed quickly

I left a note for husband #3:


Playa del Carmen beach with Poseidon of my dreams  I told you there would

be consequences for cunting in the fields instead of fixing the leak –



*(cunting in the fields.. stolen from Griffin Poetry Prize winner  2017..

$75,000 awarded for said mouthful)




Summer  2018



The very rotund man from the adjacent fire escape just

walked by fully clothed    We generally confront each other

half naked from across a parking lot  between our homes  He

is found each morning outside on a rickety metal stairway to

nowheresville  Whereas I am enshrined in my 4th floor bathroom

also fast tracking  to nowhere


As I spend inordinate amounts of time applying one or another

of some 96 shades of MAC lipstick with names like: Pucker Up

Handsome  + I Am A Juicy Predator   It was Virginia Woolf who

said that most women spend as much time making-up as it would

take to learn Greek   Brilliant Virginia  who walked into the river Ouse

at 59  with stones in her pockets


And Virginia is one of the authors we will read in: Post-Humanism +

Modern Fiction  come Fall at U of T   There we will ponder artificial

entities i.e..,  A.I.  + animals too  who have subjectivities  interiority +

might have self-determination  but for humans  The post-humanists

posit a human free future   Encouraging us to embrace our coming

demise +not freeze human evolution at the  puny  human level


The newest  it girl  of modern fiction  Ottessa Moshfegh  encourages

writers in an essay entitled  How To Shit:  to go where you are least

comfortable  which she has her latest protagonist do   Describing her

alcoholic mother’s body after death by suicide:  She’d be a stiff husk

like the sloughed off exoskeleton of a huge insect  I took the liberty of

running this through the A.I. App now clonining Grimm’s Fairytales


I conflated  Virginia Woolf’s death  +the as yet unwritten death of my own

mother  And here is what the A.I. App came up with:  She is lifted up by 13

angels covered in feathers+honey  to Leonard + Lee  respectively   They 

atop white stallions riding like there is no tomorrow  toward the Ouse  + up 

Bathurst St.  where the Jewish community has numerous cemeteries  


Leonard + Lee  see their human wives as more than exoskeletal husks  They

pull them close +dance the tarantella  neat+perfect  The air rank sweet with

their smell    It has been reported this week too that A.I. will soon be able to

produce  deepfakes   bogus videos of faces  invasions  mass shootings

terrorist attacks  to name a few   So whether you vote for a human free future

or not   A.I. as a form of post-human immortality  is upon us already  Our dead

the  deepfakes  of heaven



We have entered a brave new world  where it is going to be difficult to

know how to believe what we see.  A.I. knows no borders. It’s impact

will ripple around the globe.    (Globe+Mail July 2018)



Summer 2018

JULY 11  1987  5 billionth human born on Earth..

When the UN reported this it sent a shiver down

the spines of scientists + citizens alike   A reminder

of the planet’s finite ability to support human life..





Few want to admit this  Unless you are lucky

enough to find a black hole up there into which

you might jettison your dead self   Ditto  that

resurrection is a pipe dream  This line of thinking

held at bay most days in a secular age


Cancer patients have more crucial things to consider

As in: Should I have another round of chemotherapy

or succumb? Suck on freezies or kiss the sky?  I am

familiar with this predicament as I accompanied a

friend many a Friday to a hospital named for a brook


Where a needle shot chemicals into the portal in her

chest   And the metal taste was erased  by freezies

After her final treatment we made out on the couch

as her husband readied champagne in the kitchen


Her gift for my ministrations was a giant silver heart

shot through with many babbling arrows  We haven’t

seen each other for over a decade now   The heart

turning black from a lack of polish   But I hear that

she is still alive



For miles on miles the high country rolled lightless and

uninhabited, the road ferruling through dark forests of

owl trees, bat caverns, witch covens.

(Cormac McCarthy  ..on heaven.. The Orchard Keeper 1965)






Summer  2018




I’m going to tell you some things that will bring you down  +some

that will lift you up   There have been 195 mass shootings in the U.S.

since January 1st  roughly 32.5 monthly  1.07 daily   10 people have

been shot in Toronto this month alone  with some fatalities  2 sisters

who survived  were under 10 yrs. of age


And should we travel back to Europe in the 1940’s  individuals who

escaped from concentration camps +were found  were executed  +

propped at the gates with a sign: Here I am again   There remains no

question that we are a blood thirsting tribe with a tendency toward

genocide   We love our guns  our gas  our weapons of mass destruction


Yet just this week  there has been a stark juxtaposition of good+evil  Giving

the world hope that the human depravity gene may be in a period of slow

mutation   This as we inch along  rolling our dung balls up hill


In Thailand a team from:  Australia   the U.S.   Britain   China   Japan

Laos  +Myanmar  are teaching 12 schoolboys on the Wild Boar soccer

team to swim+dive   The emaciated boys trapped for almost 2 wks in

underwater caves will be brought out one at a time   This may take up to

4 months  as the caves fill with water   Monsoon rains start in mere days


Who is ready first can go first  said Governor Osottanakorn   Closer to

home the mayor of Toronto is not promising to eradicate  racism  poverty

+ inadequate housing  in our lifetime   When the first shall be last  and the

last shall be first


We will never be the same without her. We are crushed, we are shocked 

we are broken. Broken.  (sister of 24 yr. old shooting victim  Toronto June 2018)



Summer Of The Gun 2.0



Jack White  the one who got away  has a lyric that goes:

I cut like a buffalo  This could have many meanings  though

I doubt the majority of you have pondered this into the wee

hours   However  the buffalo remains an animal dear to me

My rodeorake of a Dad had me on one at 3   And I fell hard

for The Rifleman’s son Mark  at 5   Daddy bequeathed me to

him for a small tithe


The term  cut  is often used by boys  I grew up in a pack  which

for a glam fashionista is akin to being raised with wolves   One

bro in particular  a wolf in sheep’s clothing  continues to howl at

the moon  at odd intervals  on Yom Kippur  The holidays of Judaism

being synched to the lunar calendar   Hence lunacy blooms


But I digress   Cut  refers to the puerile fascination with passing gas

And I bring this up  as I will cut like a cow  every time I don the $2,000

silver cowskin jacket made by a sassy Havergal grad  who sold me the

reeking piece of flesh   An ill sewn  overblown testament to the size of

her girlballs   Sadly the pink silk lining is sagging   The lining of a cow’s

intestines being a shetl delicacy  called  kishka


And my kishkas are what this design poseur took from me  along with

$2,000 dollars flushed down the porcelain hole  Same place I flushed my

limpid tadpoles at 10  when a friend of rakish Dad’s  a gangster from the

‘track in Buffalo (!) said: Set them free little cowgirl  Set them free   And you

know how that story ends  Tadpoles not swimming to virgin tide pools in B.C.


Perhaps I should flush the unholy silver cowhide  +free my shetl soul from its

lifelong attachment to bourgeois finery   The bovine girls I grew up with had

parents far more nouveau riche than we  +teased me mercilessly for my lack of

closets stuffed full of dresses   Still at night  my chandelier dreams  often give

way to scenes on the Great Plains  where I  cut  like a buffalo  +ride like there’s

no tomorrow


Cut /verb – make a speedy + sudden departure from people + places + everyday

eviscerations of the soul



Summer 2018

..though I cannot promise anything  I will likely not be as bitter come -17..



Dark clouds cruise the CN tower   Power mongers skitter

at Queen + Bay   It was 40 yrs. ago today  English Professor

Barry James  49  (so perhaps dead?)  said: Ms. Atkins you

are likely too young to fully comprehend the concept of being

trapped in a life not of one’s own making  of what it means to

be a prisoner of fate


But now I do   Luckily ensuing decades saw many Houdinis

Beelines to: a hotel (2nd almost husband 3 a.m.)  the airport

(same bloke)  parent’s spare room (don’t ask)  Once even a

segue to a brother’s attic  where lonely+Rapunzel  I waited

Now a new course of study + Professor beckon   He is young

enough to be a son  so I suspect he has yet to figure out the

dirty truth about Mcfate


I will not give it up to him   No matter how hard he begs during

office hours   Unless it is on bended knee:  Pretty please leather

skinned redhead    He a Lolita scholar  where Mcfate waits in the

person of Humbert Humbert   The pervert + pedophile   The good

news is  that once the whips+scorns of time have had their way –

there is medical marijuana!


If you are still alive Barry James  + reading this poem  I hope you are

on some   This +numerous prescription drugs  whose side effects are

identical to the disease   Now buoyant with false hope  unique to the

new THC  you will care not a whit about the members of the animal +

vegetable kingdoms inhabiting the White House of 2018   Nor that

democracy as we know it is being swept out to sea







Canada Day 2018🍁🍁

..for Justin Trudeau.. who knows more than he is letting on about the new THC..

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(*Lou Reed  Dirty Boulevard)

Registered for a course today: Post-Humanism +Modern Fiction

wherein Professor Rhoda Morgenstern U of T  will walk us through

George Saunders + Cormac McCarthy   Both of whom write about

a time  situated historically  + yet beyond time   The details don’t

much matter  Appalachian serial killers  Brother/sister incest   Border

land sadism on the vast plains  where Trump’s orphans are currently

being scarred for life  emotionally


I posit today  that we are living in a  post-human  time   Our Gods jettisoned

+ soon to be A.I.    Fighting A.I. will require a steely vigilance  should you be

so inclined   Answer all questions with questions   This God is sly


No doubt the death of our Gods has led to suicide gaining steam in the culture

Where the highest stats are for middle class white males  adolescents   and

octogenarians   Untethered from the opiate of the masses  opioids have rushed

in to fill the vacuum   Overdose now competing with death by one’s own hand   Post

humanism is post God   Post soul   Post meaning   All of which takes us back to our

beginnings  To the biological imperative for finding meaning  ie., survival


Now in these fame-whoring days  souls parched and sere  we the huddled masses

skitter  To avoid being stamped extinct  by that namlessfaceless God  inside our lap

tops  +machines  One woman in Jakarta  54  fled into a Reticulated Python  in order

to incubate  +wait it out   The snake with bloated belly  was last seen near her sandals



The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?  

(W.B. Yeats  The Second Coming)





Summer 2018



(*see 1st Lady’s jacket on visit to Trump orphans)

Solstice message from a bad witch  Longest day’s

journey into night well underway  Brutal dicktator  +

(illegal?) immigrant wife  undo thin veneer of civilization

separating us from naked apes  Her clothing choices speak

volumes about character  or lack there of   Style is character

as F. Scott Fitzgerald said


Those long red ties  ill fitting suits  +yellow beehive  small hole

for mouth  Melania dreamed of marrying well  back in Slovenia

+sold her soul for the Trump diamond (..if you want the Plotnick 

diamond..  it comes with Plotnick ..)    + a $39 Zara jacket with

a slogan right out of the: Dumbeddown Handbook of Mindfuck

America    No way is she smart enough for subversion


She who referred to her husband’s perversions as locker room talk

He who has been accused of sexually assaulting umpteen women

But the gilded cage of baroque bad taste where her parents now

hunker  is where the Trumps Snopes’  will return in 7 yrs. (the Snopes:

that ornery  duplicitous  barn-burning family of itinerant farmers

blacksmiths  bigamists  and bank presidents  out of William Faulkner)


When Pyongyang beaches will be filled with crumbling condos  Detritus

of buttonboy’s cock fight   Whose was bigger? (Napolean’s  reportedly 2.5″)

Perhaps the founding fathers we hear so much about  did not go far enough

with checks + balances   Now doing summersaults in graves  As pardons being

readied for bad men  +the number of children torn from parents  creeping into

the thousands


It is said that you cannot make silk purses out of sow’s ears  while the souls

of dictators + their wives  so easily crafted from pig-parts  will turn on spits

in hell  for eternity   A la imagery in Hieronymous Bosch c. 1550: yellow haired

beaked freaks + slovenly wives with spittle on chins  with fire licking fatted





Summer Solstice  2018   ..Lock her up.. Lock her up..




I read this week that a woman in Schenectady had

migraines so piercing  she called 911 regularly  Turns

out she has Lyme’s disease  undetected for 6 yrs.

Muscle spasms in the major muscle groups sent her

to the doctor who found Lyme antibodies


Recently a neurologist prescribed anticonvulsants +

botox injections in head: Your eye may droop  but we

give these to all the artists  (yes she really said this..)

In the 10 minutes  Dr. Cavalier spent with me  she spoke

slowly  perhaps to give the impression of a longish interview

The tactic failed miserably  The botox needles will cost $831.00

every 2 mths.


  • screeching migraines
  • infected ticks (likely from white field mice not deers)
  • heart-lung machines causing brain damage in quadruple bypass
  • 67 stitches for mastectomy


Late life perpetual sadness will soon fade  opening up virgin horizons

Where untrammelled snow + unscreamed screams will melt into rivers

running through arteries  To the sea of HOPE  at base of spine

Kundalini Goddam!  Yesterday a pristine 22 yr. old niece said: Swallows

are birds who always return home  That should be your tattoo   But I

don’t think so


Perhaps a vulture in full regalia  with a crown +more  An inyourfacefuckyou

to the carrion eaters who no longer frighten you   Nor do the pics of

Linda Blair  ie., exorcistporn  a forlorn brother sends regularly   And while

you used to have special readers for his e-mails  now they seem child’s

play   Compared to reality  of which art is not even a reasonable facsimile


This is a good place to get to  The putrefacto of the alchemists   On the

other side of which is a kickass pulled brisket   +bliss     Yes bliss   A place

where the Karma police will never find you


  • invincible
  • unbowed
  • +fresh as a daisy




Summer Solstice  2018




He was 4ft.8   A rotund Milton scholar   He used fuck

as if he’d discovered it in an illuminated manuscript

Who the fuck knows what it means!  It’s a prose poem

It’s enigmatic  re: Cormac Mcarthy’s  Blood Meridian


C’mon head of English Dept. U of T   I want meaning

with my exegesis or what is it good for?  Absolutely

nothing   All of your Milton illusions  +biblical delusions

are not worth a mote in the eye of the Lord:  And God said to

Job  I’m fucking God!  That’s why I can torture you!  

(yes  head of English  said this)


If you cannot grapple with the deeper meaning of McCarthy

the greatest living writer of the 20th century  you are not worth

your substantial weight in salt or your 150K salary   Even my

brother  a legal scholar  at that  had an allusion to John Milton’s

Paradise Lost   It puts your pithy fucks to shame:  (from Animal

House  spoken by Donald Sutherland: * plse.see below)


Back in the day  1978  U of T  my English professors were elegant

men   Musty with bushy eyebrows   I fell hard for one of them   He

spake Chaucer with his golden tongue: Whan that Aprille with his

shoures soote, the droughte of March hath pierced to the roote..   

And yes  he tempted me to his rooms where   But I digress


Now to McCarthy’s text:

Men’s memories are uncertain and the past that was differs little from

the past that was not  (or as my 94 yr. old mother says: what was was)

Cormac adds a new twist to Hassidic wisdom  Not only is the past a was

no matter how hard you try  you cannot unlive your life


And no matter what you do  you will live out the same story  (Mother:

Man makes plans  God laughs)  ie., I’m Fucking God!   Do you really

believe in the sanctity +veracity of what happened 40 yrs. ago?  When

the Boss released Darkness  +you lived with a 24 yr. old husband  What’s

the difference anyway?   Now you live with another husband  64


And in the night your medical marijuana plays tricks   All husbands become

one   Cormac: Did you post witnesses? For where is yesterday?  Numerous

of my witnesses have fled   Some are dead   Those who remain grow foggy

And soon  their mittens will be affixed  with strings



Hear me man, he said. There is room on stage for one beast and one alone.

All others are destined for a night that is eternal and without name. One by

one they will step down into the darkness. Bears that dance, bears that don’t.

(Cormac Mcarthy  Blood Meridian 1985)


(I don’t dance for the honky amusements  Bob Dylan  1965)




SPRING  2018  

..if I could take one moment into my hands..

Bruce Springsteen   The Promised Land  1978

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