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Archive for the month “July, 2018”



(The Orchard Keeper  Cormac McCarthy)

Except  the people who have had chemo   Genuflect +

near delirious with almost    94 yr. old mother  Nothing

hurts today!   Miraculous news for 60something daughter

with a visage hoary + peregrine  (everything hurts..)   68 yr.

old by-passed father   By-passed into oblivion  (they’ll cut me

from stem to stern..)


The Bedsloe great grandmother  +her daughter’s 2 children

5+7  Died in the fire  Redding CA  yesterday   Decidedly not the

orange liar  who doesn’t believe in global warming  fidelity  morality

or condom wear   Recent article in national newspaper  says he is

teaching world leaders how to lie  except Putin  hero of disinformation


Not all heroes are human   Take the 3  little reds  for example:  fuzzy ginger

buffalo calves  1st to be born in the wild   in 140 yrs.   When Europeans

arrived there were 40 million  Hunting them to near extinction took a mere

2 centuries


Sisters of the 2  gunned down in Toronto  on the Danforth last week   +the

girls themselves  18  +10  she in front of her family   Ice cream blood splattered

Father shot too    Maybe all heroes  except for the most evil?


We who arrive gesticulant +screaming  wade through the 10,000 things  until only

1 remains   The body  mostly treated like a donkey   Only the heroes know: this matter

a roughhewn casement for the poor apparitional bastard who fell into your path  as

you flew from the Gods   +the forceps   +the rabbi collecting foreskins  Inextricably

enfleshed until your last breath    Did you dream him  or did he dream you?



..the dead sheathed in the earth’s crust, at peace with eclipse, asteroid, the dusty

novae. At one with Tut, Agamemnon, with the seed and the unborn.  

(The Orchard Keeper  Cormac McCarthy  1965)




More Summer of the Gun  2018  ..let my people go..



He is not just kicking the bear  He is fucking the bear

Or is the bear fucking him?  Helsinki headlines: TRUMP 0

PUTIN 1  which is another way of putting it   But any way

you cut it  Trump  in addition to not being up on history  or

the geopolitical strategy of his country for at least a century

has never watched  The Americans


Wherein a Russian family of spies  the kids too  infiltrate

suburbia   A modern day Jetsons  with all the James Bond

bells+whistles thrown in   Meet Donald Trump  dicktator

Meet Melania Trump  dicktator’s mail order bride   Has orange

Donald been poisoned perhaps?  Was it the urine back in the



You know  back in the hotel room  where golden showers were

de rigueur  (please see explicit CIA dossier)  Is this the real reason

he genuflects at the tiny bear’s feet?  Since his return from Helsinki

he has given new meaning to the word: doublespeak   But then he’s

the guy who has not yet grasped the concept of: No means no   And

we can only hope that when in London  he left the Royal Pussy  alone



..a tremendous paunch slung in a gray and ragged undershirt drooped

pendulously over the waist of his trousers like a sacked hog carcass. Out

of a meaty face , jowled and white stubbled with beard, two porcine eyes

regarded them, blinking. 

(Cormac McCarthy  describing Trump’s doppelgänger

in the mountains of Tennessee..  The Orchard Keeper 1965)




Summer  2018



She is covered in red freckles  from head to toe  this

human Dalmation from high school  some 45 yrs. ago

Not walking all that well   One leg doubtful   Same smile

+curly red hair   Sweet Cheryl  something ??  She’s seen

the last of carefree


Now visiting a frail mother   Wrapped in recrimination  +guilt

Said mother eyes her warily  +bites her wrist hard  as she tries

to exit   I watch from the sidelines where I sit with my old mother

who has not tried to bite me  yet




Summer 2018




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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