Category Archives: Uncategorized

Editorial ≈ Gun Control: Some Simple Math




The current rate of gun homicides per 100,000 US citizens per year is 2.97 persons. This equals the combined total of gun homicides per 100,000 in nine developed countries:

The current rate of gun homicides per 100,000 per year is: Italy .71, Canada .51, Ireland .48 Sweden .41, Northern Ireland .28, Greece .26, Germany .19, England .07, France.06

If you take 100,000 people from each of these nine states you have 900,000 people of whom there will be .71 dead Italians, .51 dead Canadians, .48 dead swedes and so on for a total of 2.97 homicides.
In other words it takes about nine times as many Europeans and Canadians to produce the number of gun homicides that occur in America at the current rate.

If you live in the US your chances of being killed by a gun are almost 6 times higher than in Canada, almost 11 times higher than in Northern Ireland and about 45 times higher than in England or France.




Volker M ≈ Purchanse To Dream




it has bin sed that one dreams only when one is asleep & yet i dream
at times with my ‘i’s wide open shut…

& tho sleep may be a reward for sum of us, for others it is a

ah yes, to sleep, as has also bin sed & perchance to dream – done wud
thimk this was the krem de la krem of existenz -but then again, as i
was taught, don’t believe everything u ‘here’…

konjekture is part & parsel of the kommerse of kommunal kommonality
that all of us share, all of us, all of us, all of us, ad nauseum from
‘hear’ to kingdumb kome…

isadore dukasse’s Maldoror puts a piese of wood between his ‘eye-lids’
to keep awake & protekt himself from ‘god’s spying – dreams which in
their ‘seaming’ illogikality kan be unravelled, interpreted & used as
evidense against the dreamer slipping freudianesquely into the far
reaches of space where he (the dreamer) is bombarded insessently by
weird unkontrolled images that skratch the skreen of konsciousness in
‘his’ ever loving ‘mined’…

when i dream, i am not free in the same way that i am not free when i
sit in a theatre, watching bemusedly or in a state of terror as images
overwhelm the ‘eye’ that ‘i’ imagine my self to be though neither of
those ‘i’s is truly me bekause ultimately i rejekt the passivity of me
a lone, here in the 12th row, after everybody else has gone & the
lights turned low & the last usheress turning off her hand held lamp
to kollapse into a seat two rows from the projektion rhume where the
projektionist, with his hand on the small of a woman’s back, klicks
the door into its jamb while the woman nuzzles his ear so that he
doesn’t hear the whimpering in the silent dome…

Letter From Gaza ≈ forwarded by Rob Foster

From: “Heather Spears” <>
Date: November 13, 2012 11:31:54 PM PST (CA)
To: “Jim & Eva Manly” <>
Subject: Fw: one child in Gaza
Dear Jim and Eva,

I am adding this to my mails right now: a letter Nov. 11 from Gaza. A father tells what his youngest daughter said – I attach her picture with her little brother.
Please, if you can, make this letter known to more people, it seems to me it should go round the world

How are you today?
Things over her  is very tense ,for the last 24hrs more than 6 been killed
and 40  been wounded 5 are very serious .
Amrea was saying would IDF Stops shelling if I gave them my toys ,or gave
them one Nis, or if they will not agree for that I will gave them 1 kiss ,
especially  last night the kids could not sleep since all kinds of airplanes
and tanks shelling go on all the time.
This this life.


Kootenay Lit Comp News



2012 KLC & KYCWC Judges Announced

We’re thrilled to announce our line-up of judges for this year’s competition.


Fred Wah – KLC  Adult Poetry

Fred Wah was born in Swift Current, Saskatchewan but grew up in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia. He studied music and English literature at the University of British Columbia in the early 1960’s where he was one of the founding editors of the poetry newsletter TISH. After graduate work in literature and linguistics at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and the State University of New York at Buffalo, he returned to the Kootenays in the late 1960’s where he taught at Selkirk College and was the founding coordinator of the writing program at David Thompson University Centre. After teaching poetry and poetics at the University of Calgary for many years, he now lives in Vancouver and is Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2012-13). 


Rita Moir – KLC Adult Creative Non-fiction

Rita Moir moved to Vallican in the Slocan Valley at age 23. She has worked as a reporter and playwright, produced radio documentaries, and written four books of creative non-fiction, including Survival Gear (Polestar, 1994), Buffalo Jump (Coteau, 1999), The Windshift Line (Greystone, 2005), and in 2011, from Sono Nis Press in Winlaw, The Third Crop, about the Slocan Valley. The Third Crop is one of the three selections for the 2012 One Book One Kootenay celebration. Rita has lived and/or worked in Prince Rupert, Vancouver, Lethbridge, Edmonton, Sudbury, Minneapolis, Brandon, Freeport and Fargo.


Sioux Browning – KLC Adult Fiction

Sioux Browning is a screenwriter, story editor, poet and teacher of creative writing for UBC. Her produced screenplays have appeared on five Canadian television networks. Her literary work has been published in a number of journals and anthologies and has been short-listed for a Western Magazine Award for travel writing. She lives in an old house near the Rockies with her Sweetpea and some fuzzy quadrupeds.


Cyndi Sand-Eveland – KYCWC Gr 7-9 and Gr 10-12

Cyndi Sand-Eveland is the author to two novels. Her first novel, Dear Toni, was awarded the 2010 Silver Birch Express Award and nominated for numerous reader’s choice awards across Canada.  Dear Toni, was also selected by the Banks Street College of Education in NY as one of the Best Children’s Books of 2009 and by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre as one of the best books for children and teens. 

Her second novel, A Tinfoil Sky, was released in January of 2012 and has been widely re-viewed. She has worked with elementary aged children for many years as a teaching assistant and led storytelling and journal writing workshops. Cyndi has also worked as a freelance storyteller, children’s library assistant and sign language interpreter. When possible she takes the opportunity to travel throughout Can-ada visiting schools and libraries to read from her work. She cur-rently lives on a small farm near Nelson BC. Visit her website at: 


“There’s a tremendous amount of writing going on in classrooms throughout the West Kootenays, and I am both honoured and ex-cited to be part of this event.” 

Reminder: This year’s competition deadline is 5pm, Nov. 10th
All entries and payments are online at 

Doug Wilton ≈ The Almost Occasional Xcerpt



A Perfect Childhood

The Compound was not only a residence for the Collector and his visitors; it was also a retreat centre for people from NovAngeles and other places who wanted to unwind in a contemplative setting. Some of them were members of the Organarium who considered themselves above the laws that limited the discourse of ordinary citizens. Scientists and politicians who were (or thought they were) indispensable and therefore immune to censorship and intellectual confinement. One of them had invited Kasia so she asked Mirar to take some time off from her daycare and come with her. The retreat was advertised as a seminar on Being Human, a topic with which Mirar was obsessed. Kasia thought it might help her overcome her addiction to reading illegal books.

    Before breakfast the entire group would assemble to sit in silence for a while and any members of AutoPress who happened to be around were welcome to join the circle. They sat on cushions, or low chairs for those with sensitive knees, and tried to simply observe their own physical and mental processes, travelling thru the labyrinth of the mind without letting go of the simple thread of the breathing body. “We come back to the body by noticing each breath, the instructor said. Each time we breathe out we bring our attention back to observe the state of the body as it expels the dead air and we observe the space around the body as it reinflates.”

    Mirar smiled at the idea of the body as a kind of balloon but then she remembered to come back to the inbreath and observe her own balloon exhausting oxygen. Anthrobots, like plants, breathed in carbon-dioxide and breathed out oxygen. We bots are like walking trees she thought, supplying our human neighbours with oxygen while they supply us with CO2. Sometimes when they kissed she and Kasia would simply exchange gases. “But what is the point of this practice?” she asked. By watching her robotic consciousness she might learn more about being a bot but how would that help her to learn about being human?

    “Remember,” said the instructor, “ that you were built by human beings who were trying to construct a machine with something like a human mind, so the better you understand your own mind, the better you will understand their vision of the human mind. To understand your mind you should read the technical explanations of course but you also need to observe the nearest and always available example which is your very own mind.”

    Mirar was a perfect meditator because she never missed an outbreath but between outbreaths she noticed that her mind was constantly replaying and rehearsing scenes of interaction between herself and Kasia or herself and other people or kasia and other people. ‘This is how I learn,’ she thought, ‘this must be how humans learn.’ After the session she compared notes with Kasia who confirmed that her experience was quite similar but also very different.

    “I find it really hard to bring my attention back to the outbreath,” she said. I keep getting sucked into those relational fantasies. I don’t just replay them—I relive them. I keep thinking about fucking or food and refight old battles, stuff from my childhood.”

    Mirar gazed at her with perfect equanimity. Even though she had never been a child, she had been blessed with a perfect childhood. It had been downloaded into her memory before she left the factory.

Helen Esther Blum ≈ Two Poems





Take the squash for instance; hard green skin,
orange meat within, butternut shape,
yellow landscape. Squash all piled together
taken in before the weather freezes,
green boulders, pattern lines, acorn ridges,
born to be stuffed with mushrooms, wild rice, spice.
Take the squash, slice it,
hollow it, remove the seeds to roast, the gut to toast,
or blend squash soup for the group trouping over
for Thanksgiving dinner, the abundance, the dance
of the fruit, the piles of walnuts, pods left to blacken,
the crop of beets pulled from the earth.
Take the plums picked,
the apples cored, pick
the trees until the leaves fall
and the house is full
of harvest food for a feast,
enough to store like the squirrels
not in holes, but in freezers,
boxes, root cellars.
The jeweled jars you canned line the shelves
like candy, the pies you baked.
Take the pumpkin, scoop it and make soup.
Carve the shell into a skeleton,
trick or treat, enough pies to eat for weeks.
But is it enough to last till spring
or will we fast on the last turnips
until we see the green
sprouting from the starved earth
after a dearth of anything to eat
worth praise.
It takes the squash, the bevy of butternut,
the acres of acorn, the great hills of gold and green
to save us in the cold, mean season.





If time is a machine
who do you call when it malfunctions,
repeating to infinity
the glass shard moments,
the pain that won’t change
from brass to gold
the green grass that doesn’t grow back
because it lacks the proper
nourishment to flourish?
Who do you call when the wall
Of forgetfulness presses into
your scull making time disappear?
It’s memory and the loss of it
that snags time’s works.
It is how we create meaning from the
seconds and hours of our life
that is the magic trick,
that transmutes our straw existence
into a golden story
where pain is the fodder for inspiration
and despair is only a veil away
from illumination.
We have the power to turn blight
into light, into the flight of
migrating birds, into delight.



Robert Banks Foster ≈ FLOW




for Brent Bukowski


It gets things done.

Cross banding

twisted to spring

cracked glass portals

flowers orange red yellow

incandescent light

metal sheets

spiral coiled springs

nowhere to nowhere

connecting nowhere else.

Dropping Dynamo Nucleic Acid

too clever for itself

paddle to the sea with

monstrous aluminum

rectangular paddles

no salmon, no salmon runs

Damn with the dam Similkemen

BC governance genetically modified lice

to kill off indigenous salmon people before THEM.


Clayton McCann ≈ Army Of Joy



We work too hard
we’re too tired
to fall in love.
Therefore we must
overthrow the government.
We work too hard
we’re too tired
to overthrow the government.
Therefore we must
fall in love.
– Rod Smith


Dear (so-and-so): the
Valley looks cold
to me. How will
you make a life
For your lady, yourself, the
baby? Should this poem be
more positive? I can’t get my
head around the prob
Lem, this dream of hope and
happiness. I write to
fight, because poems are
bullets are nurses are
Soldiers in the war, this
war against (what shall we
name it?) against the sin of wages
against monstrous
Greed, against our own
sorrow. Dear (your lover’s name):
winter’s coming I can
feel it in my bones. People can’t eat

The dread of want, no matter
how much wood they cut. Days
are shorter now—already cold
way up where

We built the zombie-proof
box. My dear (Prime Minister) we
sense your headless machine tonight, that
which our joyous forces

Must wrestle blind on the razor
rim of history. This thing you’ve
made: screams stillborn, rich white
rage at our resolve. We smell your robot

Fear, this brute, scaled torso of
isolation—and we’re holding this
thing by the ears. But, sooth, my child’s
up in the loft, sick and

Hungry. I can hardly see to write the

Words: “Dear Me: the Valley
seems dark tonight, go ask the
obviously-extant, extinct Sinixt—”
lay lines shifting…  You say there’s

The harvest, twenty days in the
hills (I’m not allowed to name them), but
will it get you through? Will the grower make
advances? And will you really risk

Prison? Won’t the rippers get
it first? Aren’t there deer on the
road? By the singular beam of your
headlamp! And Conversation Officers

Everywhere?! Oh, the Arnica, Emergen-C, knee-
brace, tree-planter tape, the tensor, mole-
skin, propolis—sing a song of aging
labour. Are you not, in point of

Fact, selling your body piece-
meal? Plantar fasciitis, your lower
back spins a tail of disaster—‘cause
when it goes, it be gone: no

Worker’s comp, nor re-
training: “Name?”
“Pot grower.”
“Oh… you look much
Older.” And what justice would you
find, in a province where every-
one’s complicit in the good
times; but the cops hunt YOU
Down. And you’re just a
worker, a hiker, a trimmer, the
driver who’ll never get rich—I ask it
THROUGH? These words seem to be typing
Me. Dearest Mother; I’m back in
school and what a con. The walls are grey
and featureless, so too the lectures, but
just below the surface, the ancient
Insects stir, inchoate, jealous
over bits of rusted chain. The academy
is sick and dying. By (your god here), the
Valley looks good just now. As a
Joke, I want to start burning Business
books, Economics texts, journals of
Commerce, ‘cause they’re not
worth the trees they cut down to
Print such obscenities upon. As a lark I want
to offer a course called Anthropology of the
Murderous Rich 100 or may
be Oral Traditions of Technocrat Doublespeak (TBA).
And there’s Art for Bigots, Art for Pervs (seminar
only). I think I’ll die in this paper
mine and no one will ever
know. Dear (Milton Friedman): your economy

In tatters is like war coming down, dog-men
are gathering (I see guns in their eyes), America
is broken forever and Canada’s not far
behind: a few breaths from collapse and I guess
We’re to eat the dead? I can’t walk to Pass
more with a sucking chest-
wound, And I wish I’d listened
harder to my grand-folks who survived
The Great Depression. But I do re-
call my Granny and her final,
asthmatic skies: The Valley looks warm to
me, the Valley looks warm and
Bright. Dear (everyone): Maybe you’ll
Make it. This poem wants you to
be happy. We’ve seen others survive and they
don’t work at Kaleshnikov’s they don’t go
Off to the tar sands. You only ask
For a winter cabin, to make art, a muffler
for your shit-box, a big bag of rice—perhaps
there’s green enough? The
Mountain looks smart to me, like a
victorious insurgency: a Chiapas of
the mind, a Confederacy
of the forest, Resistance piney-scented,
Florets of illicit statehood. And the
Valley looks righteous tonight.


Geoff Weston ≈ 2 Flies, 2 Polymorphical Parasites & 1 Flea



 few flies flew

(Two flies feeding on a rotten fish in an alley-way)

hey – take a break. no use gorging yourself


lay off it for a minute. let’s talk

what about?

well – let’s see…what do you think about Nietzche?

what’s that – some kind of cheese?

never mind. well, what about zen?

is that a fly?

zen says ‘oh uncompounded fly, no squashed doom awaits thee’

i like the sound of that. what does it mean?

it more or less means you won’t die because you don’t exist

a fly said that?

a zen fly

what was it on?

it was on a fast

well there you go

what do you think about while you’re flying around in circles all


where to land

and while you’re landed?

when to take off

do you think our brains are big enough?

big enough for what? we couldn’t bear the weight of anything  

   bigger could we?

i mean intelligence

that doesn’t weigh anything does it? anyway we seem to get along

alright with what we’ve got, don’t we? you know, flying around, finding food and all that

ever thought of doing anything different?

what do you mean?

oh i don’t know, instead of just buzzing about making a

   nuisance of yourself

what do you do other than that?

i wrote something this morning

oh – where?

there – on the window

i don’t see anything

it’s invisible writing

what’s the point in that

i don’t want anyone to read it

then why write it?

i was bored

what does it say?

few flies flew

i like that  –  it’s a good title

it’s not a title

i still like it –  it’s a good story

it’s not a story

well, poem

it’s not a poem

what is it then?


have it your way. written anything else today?

on the skylight


fly papers

that’s good – that’s really good. anything else?

on the light bulb

what’s that?

fly undone

oh witty. more?

that other window


in the ointment

that’s a tragedy isn’t it?

it could be

is that all?

on the wall over there


walls have flies

yeah, i get it: walls have ears, walls have flies. nice one. you’re quite the scribbler aren’t you?


you’ve got funny looking eyes

is that so?

yeah, real funny looking. like marbles. were you born like that?

i was in a collision

uh-oh – fly swat?

rolled-up newspaper


as you see

yeah, i noticed that you fly a bit lopsided, – sometimes

upside down, and don’t seem to see where you’re going half the time

i only see half of things

which half is that?

the worst half

you’re a virtual cripple. no wonder you’re into the beer dregs

i hadn’t noticed

you don’t when you’re brain-damaged. what line are you from?

i don’t know. how about yourself?

my father was a horse-fly. my mother, i’m not sure, probably


that accounts for it

accounts for what?

the mean look you have

that’s my nature. you’re pretty small aren’t you?

am i

and skinny


you don’t have much weight to throw around

i don’t want to throw anything around

oh yeah? well, big and beefy with a ferocious voice and things

   know you’re coming and get out of your way?

why want things to get out of your way?

it makes it easier to get what you want

you need to know what you want first

everything knows what it wants. it’s instinct, or something. you

   know what you want – right?

do i?

come on – you know you do

i’ve forgotten my lines

you don’t have any lines

you mean there’s no script?


well what’s the plot?

we don’t know the plot

well what then?

you make it up as you go along

so there’s no real account of anything?

just your own account

how can that be relied upon?

what else is there?

i don’t like the sound of this. remind me of who i am

a common household fly. a carrier of germs

and how long do you think i’ve got?

it could be minutes – it could be less. on the other hand you

might be flying around in a frenzy for a thousand years. – who knows?

what about significance?

well the way i see it is, either everything is significant or

nothing is, – or, some things are, – some of the time


yeah – that’s it. listen, what’s the last thing you want to do

   before you perish?

that’s a hard one –

go on, have a go: fly, feast, fornicate…

i don’t know

have a good laugh? encounter the god of flies?

i’m tongue-tied

ah, get away,  go on, – proceed – proceed undeterred


proceed – undaunted, –  undeciphered, – unhinged, – proceed


buzz off



Dientomeba Fragilis

Bert was telling me about how ill he’s been.  How he’d had parasites in his stomach. It was really interesting.  He said the way you get them is that one of them – usually a male – crawls into an empty cup on the shelf one night and waits, and next morning when you’re drinking your tea it floats down the gullet hanging on to a tea leaf. Once in the stomach it gorges itself, eating round the clock, and in no time it’s the size of a large toad.

     Then, one day, a wonderful thing happens. A female parasite comes down. Not clinging to a tea leaf but sitting elegantly on a corn flake that’s floating on a stream of fresh milk. And she looks alluring – even if she’s not that attractive – because the male’s been on his own down there, and anyway he’s not the cat’s whiskers himself – kind of an ugly blighter to tell the truth, what with his long tail and everything – so he’s not really expecting a whole lot out of life. So he’s all charm and flattery and says in parasite lingo something like Well hi there cute lips, what brings you to this neck of the woods? And she says something like Hallo there big boy, what’s cooking? And he, hearing a rumbling up above, cops a look up the old gullet and yells (just to frighten her) Lookout – there’s a pile of soup coming down! Jump up here quick. And she sort of hops up onto his knee – well the equivalent of a knee – and sits there looking cute with a You’re my hero look on her face, and they watch the soup come pouring down and it’s beef and barley – his favourite – and he’s in heaven.

     Well now things get serious because it doesn’t take long before she’s almost as big as him, since he’s been letting her get all the choice bits so she can catch up.  And then they start getting things organized and that means sorting food into different categories in separate heaps, because they’re particular creatures and they don’t like everything mixed together like pig’s swill. They make barriers with mashed potatoes and pizza crusts and such like to form holding tanks, and they keep the meat in one and the fish in another and vegetables in a third and liquids in another and that sort of thing.  And with all this work to do they don’t often have time to sit down and have a proper meal together but just gulp stuff down while they’re working. Then the host’s mealtimes are something else – a real hectic time for those below. It all starts coming down, piles of it, big bits, small bits, chewed and unchewed, huge hunks of pizza swallowed whole, streams of soup, great dollops of pudding, sardines that look as if they’re still alive, bacon and bread and pineapple and crabs legs, custard, meat balls and noodles all coming down together like some hellish stew, not in order at intervals, just a whole mess washed down by a tidal wave of gurgling liquid – tomato juice beer coffee wine milk pop – you name it – all mixed together.

     Well the male gets himself in a right state and he’s calling out instructions to his partner, something like:

     What’s that liver doing floating in orange juice? Grab it out of there! Look – the fruit’s got gravy on it! Steer that macaroni cheese over to the side there. We’re going to need another holding tank – here, use that crust of bread to start a wall.

     Things go on like this for some time, then one day the inevitable happens.

     Guess what, she says. And he says: You’re hungry. Guess again, she says. And he says: Err, you had a weird dream last night that you had parasites. No, she says, I’ve got a bun in the oven. He stares at her: You’re not serious, he says. At a time like this! How are we going to cope? Look at the size of you – there’s no room for another one. The size of me, she says, what about you? Don’t change the subject, he says. Well, she says, let’s not start arguing. We’ll just have to move. You know that’s impossible, he says, we’re too big to get out. And she says: Well, we’ll just have to manage somehow – we could go on a diet.

     So they go on a diet but that just makes them depressed and so they drop the diet and start eating more than ever, and before long there are three of them and the little one is eating more than the other two together, and there are squabbles over who gets what and how much.

     And meanwhile poor old Bert is suffering something awful: no energy, always tired, anemic, swollen stomach, cramps, indigestion, dizzy spells, belly aches, and eating, eating, eating, – he’s become a bit like a parasite himself, he just can’t stop eating.

     He does the rounds of the healers, takes all the tests and tries all the cures, but nothing works. The parasites know how to avoid the medicines – they smell the stuff coming down, clear a path and just flush it right through.

     There’s only one way of getting rid of them and that is to go on a fast. They’ve got to be starved into submission, then they waste away, shrink back to the little things they used to be and having become miserable and afraid of starving to death, one day they’ll say Let’s clear out, and leave through the back passage. But Bert won’t even consider it – he’s too fond of his grub – so things simply get worse.

     At last they’ve grown so big that they can’t move in there.

They just lie there wedged together with their mouths wide open taking it in turns to gulp down whatever’s coming through the opening. By this time Bert’s in hospital on the serious list. The doctors decide to slice him open to have a proper look in the stomach. Three parasites as big as rabbits are lying there, mouths open. They drag them out and break their necks. And that’s the end of it.



Rain Brain


Fred’s dead.  Died last week.  A flea got in his ear – bored a hole through to his brain.  That’s how the rain got in.  Water in the brain.  It’s called ‘rain brain’.

Just imagine it – all that water sloshing about in there, it would make you seasick.  Your thoughts start floating around and some of them sink, cause they can’t all swim you know, and the heavy ones go down like lead weights, but even the good swimmers can’t be swimming about forever, can they?  So they cling to the sides waiting for the water to go down, but it don’t.

So you’ve got all these sopping wet thoughts and you’d like to wring them out and hang them up to dry – air your thoughts, you know – but that’s not all, cause in with the rainwater come little germs, and once in the warm old brain they mate with one another – they’re lusty little sods – and before you can say Jack Robinson you’ve got a population of parasites living there, and then a speeded-up evolution happens, and next thing you know there’s teeny-weeny fishes swimming about, and what are they feeding on? You’ve got it – on thoughts.

Yes, they’re eating your thoughts up one by one.  And they’re especially fond of fishy thoughts, so if you have a thought about going fishing or having fish for supper, most likely that thought will no sooner be thought than it’s gobbled up by some hungry, upset little fish, and you never get to go fishing or have that fish supper.

And them fish, they like the fresh thoughts just as we like fresh fish, and they’re not keen on old thoughts, memories and such like.  No, they hang about waiting for new thoughts to come out, and sometimes they’re eating one end of a thought while you’re thinking the other end, and that’s when you get stuck and forget what you were saying, and go “Where the hell was I? – oh never mind, it’ll come back later.” Well, it won’t.

And the new thoughts, they see what’s coming and some of them try to get back where they came from, try to get unthought – so to speak.  Then there’s them that swim for it and try to get into memory before they’re caught.

It’s just awful.  It’s chaos.  The poor old brain doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going.  I tell you it’s a hell of a thing to live with.

And that bleedin’ little flea, the cause of it all, is perched on a dry bit of brain having the time of it’s life, sucking it dry.  Wouldn’t you just love to reach in there and swat it? Course you know how hard it is to kill a flea…you’d have to swat the whole flippin’ brain to get it, and that’s more than likely what old Fred did, and more than likely too the friggin flea saw it coming and slipped out the way it came in, –  ‘cause when they did the autopsy they found the water and the little fishes and drowned thoughts and everything, but no sign of the flea, no sign at all. – Aint that just the worst pits you ever heard of? Eh?



Phil Mader ≈ Poem On The Death of A Friend





A desert sand storm

Yet, not so

It’s a cat dying

With the sand in your eyes

With tears in your eyes

With a dying that billows

Sand all around you

And you lose your way

And you know now

He will never return

Where whence he came

Your quiet safe home

Circled by the brightest love

And the wind whips your face

And puts a weight on your shoulders

But it is nothing like the weight

Of dying

And this stumbling blindly, burdened

Through the storm

Is an old cat’s journey to death.

He is mute but there is nothing to say

Really there isn’t

There is only keeping the tears from flooding

The world

So you wave goodbye with fake good cheer

And the heart has become a heavy packsack

Filled with memories of gold as fine as

Sand , as beautiful as your Moroccan sandals

Now caked on the hard leather.

And it’s hard to breath in a sand storm

It’s hard to believe that perhaps indeed

The end has come.

And an old cat’s eyes do not open in a sand storm

Nor does his hair shine

And if you run to offer water

He will refuse, nor eat the morsels you’ve prepared

For destiny awaits him at a certain clock

Really, there is no time to lose.

So you watch him drag himself another step

Or two

And your waving fingers can hardly be seen.

For a moment his adored adoring eyes open

And softly instruct you

There is no following allowed

And… he disappears.