Saturday, August 06, 2005

"GET YOUR BEAK OUT OF MY BUSINESS" is a fast fiction that finds its inspiration in a piece of art from Brazil. I'm moving around the world linguistically, you see. Over the past two days I've had Portuguese artists providing the visual inspiration for this here blog thang but today I've got art from Eduardo Recife, a freelance artist with his own homemade fonts that go by the names of Horse Puke, Disgusting Behavior and Memory Lapses. His art is equally amazing.
Eduardo's from an interesting part of Brazil called Belo Horizonte. Yes read about it U. S. of America !! Learn about geography !! Make use of this fucking technology !!! (I'm sorry I'm being a total asshole here. It's the fumes from the soapbox that are seeping up into my head. I realize that you who are reading this are probably already on the side of all things good. I just can't erase any of this as my delete button is on the fritz.)



Gunner's carrier pidgeon endeavors to give him the latest updates on what's going on in the world. The carrier pidgeon swoops down on newstands in the neighbourhood, claws into the front page and flies it back home in a crumpled windswept ball.

Sometimes, Knowlton Nash - the name Gunner's father or mother has given the bird - flies over the events and arrives home beckoning Gunner in the direction of the fray.

"Tweat, tweat, tweat," he articulates with fluttery fluency.

But Gunner doesn't want anything to do with the troubles of the world. He wants to enjoy everything from the comfort of his easy chair. From his castle.

Let the miracles go fuck themselves, Gunner tells himself. "Go home miracle bird," he curses at Knowlton Nash.

Same as it always was.

Friday, August 05, 2005

"BOXING, DANGLING AND WINGS" is another fast fiction based on inspiration from art coming from Portugal. What do we know about Portugal ?

Not enough.

One thing I've always liked about Portugal is that the west coast resembles a face looking out at the Atlantic Ocean with a confidence as if to say, You wanna go ?!? You wanna fuckin' go ?!? I'll take you on. And they did it through an entire age of exploration. The geography personifies their history. Sweet.

Adriana de Barros is a very talented woman whom I respect highly as she is the epicenter of an arts site called scene360 ,an amazing spot where inspiration hangs out on a daily basis.



His fingertips spin the sign from open to closed when a shadow appears in the door-jam.

"Sorry man we're closing," he says through a beard which he drags through the world like a fisherman drags his net. Hopefully.

"I just need a..." The stranger pulls a black gun from inside his jean jacket. A whiff of perspiration fills the front of the shop.

The street plays dead behind him, stretched out empty for as far as the eye can see.

The stranger holds him at an awkward angle of gunpoint while he is forced to give him a tattoo of a baby on a crucifix. A print of the image is held up in the robber's free hand but even at gunpoint his hand is steady. His concentration fills the silence.

Hours afterwards he tells the police of the three images that the tattoo has left in his mind. The baby with his arms held up like a boxer and other arms limp behind him followed by angel wings. All on a crucifix.

He shaves off his beard to purify himself. To start again. He got into the business because he thought he was in dealing in something that could not be stolen.

He spends the rest of his life quietly contemplating the meaning of the tattoo. Remaking it onto the flesh of others as his beard grows into old age.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

"SLIPPING ON POETIC PROSE AS THOUGH IT WERE A BANANA" is a fast fiction based on an illustration sent to me by Antonio Jorge Goncalves. His site consists of 300 strangers that he sketched on the subways of ten different metropolises around the world.

Now sometimes in these fast fictions I aim for the skeletal structure of a skit, an idea that would work as sketch comedy if handled with the right amount of irreverence but today I'm in the mood for something a little more sombre. I want to handle Goncalves' sketches with care. (He's sent me four in total which will appear over the next couple of weeks.) For me there's something almost sacred to public transit; so many people in a communal ritual of movement from morning to night. So many stories being lived out in a space that moves from place to place. There something amazing about the sub-way life project.I hope this fast fiction does some justice to that.



Try to transcribe your loneliness into pauses hovering over the paper. Your looks of contemplation are behind a paper thin wall that keeps the world outside when in fact there is nothing to hide for you are in an inner chamber of solitude inside your insides.

A child trips over himself with abandon while clinging to a mother's arm like a simian swinging from a branch as the train lurches into the progress of movement. If you peered outside of yourself you would recognize the stumblings of your own childhood. A smile would lighten your face.

"Stand upright you little fart," the mother mothers.

The child farts in response and while everyone chuckles you pass by another opportunity to laugh like a deadpan man named Ali passes gas past a gas station in deadpan alley.

Mirrored mirrors trailing the punchline off into infinity.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

"WHAT HAVE FEET EVER DONE FOR US ?!?!" is a fast fiction that was last clocked at 170 km/h. Speedy Gonzalez with two pens strapped to his feet. Fast.

It takes as its springboard a rant that has been building within me over the past couple of years. Recently, Bush unveiled his national energy policy which gives a huge amount of money to oil companies that are already making copious amount of cash. A friend was telling me about this as we were walking our way through the evening around the very beautiful False Creek in Vancouver. The conversation turned to the topic of walking and how there's unfortunately no economic incentive for anyone to be an advocate of walking or a lobbyist for the feet. I started to get worked up over how there are no real spokespeople for this very simple solution to environmental problems. I mean Christ what better way to tread lightly on the planet than the simple act of treading lightly on the planet !!!

This story is hopefully a successful step in the right direction.

And I think this image from Robert Crumb nicely sums up the will to walk.



He screams out of a clunky mega-phone affixed to the door of his car. An old-fashioned drive-in speaker reversed with a cone on top. A patchwork of machinery thrown together to spread the good word.

"The next step in God's overall plan for us isn't even a step at all !! We must abandon feet. God has given us minds and hands which have created technologies that have made our feet obsolete," he blares out at mostly empty sidewalks.

In the distance a shoeless pedestrian sticks out a red thumb. With books in his other arm, he resembles a beatnik statue of liberty.

"You sir, are a hippie. A failed experiment in free love and drugs. I will not give you a lift because you need to get a job so that you can buy a car and contribute to the economy. You have done nothing for the economy and therefore nothing for me. I will in turn do nothing for you," he screams out of the mega-phone, even as his car stops to idle right next to the hitch-hiker.

"I might as well walk anyway." He shrugs his shoulders and drops his thumb in effortless resignation. He steps off the sidewalk into an empty lot overgrown with weeds.

"Walk ?? Don't walk !! That is worse." The door of the car flies open and he flies out on a gas powered segway. He will follow him through treacherous terrain. To convert.

To convert to the gospel of gasoline.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

"THE BONG BUSH" digs deep into politics and even deeper into the mind of George W. Bush.

Just joking, there are no depths to be dug in that man's mind.

I rarely write fiction based on anything political but the recent events of Marc Emery's arrest in Canada on behalf of the American Drug Enforcement Agency are cause for alarm. I suppose Dubya's War on Terrorism is doing so abysmally that he's decided to strike on another front: the War on Drugs.

Marc Emery sold seeds over the internet for individuals so that they can grow their own pot. While he has made a pretty penny from this, he is not connected to organized crime. In fact, his service allows individuals to become self-sufficient so they don't have to buy pot through the Hell's Angels and other forms of organized crime. In Canada it is not a crime to grow, possess or smoke marijuana for your own purposes and the potential criminality of selling seeds over the internet which allows so many people that freedom is something for Canadian courts to decide given the fact that Marc Emery is Canadian.

End of story.

This image comes courtesy of the Portland Independent Media Center. And I should add that while I've had the pleasure of being inspired by so many extremely talented Americans, I must say, "Christ, your government pisses us off sometimes."

As always, enjoy...


"So what if the Bush and Marc Emery were to play a round of Jeopary ? 'I'll take American foreign policy for two hundred Alex'. You know the best man wins and all that," Sam coughs and laughs and coughs again.

"No, you have to pass some skill testing questions before they let you on. Wouldn't work for the Bush," Troy replies. Troy's eyes have flattened out to narrow slits of bliss.

They stretch their white bodies out across a giant beach blanket coated in an image of George W. Bush smoking out of a bong. Other sun-bathers chuckle as they pass the pair.

"Well if they're gonna get all extradighty on us, we might as well extradite some Americans that are breaking our gun laws. You know, to keep it fair. Or maybe we could just make a really stupid law like 'it's illegal to knowingly use an American one dollar bill in the purchase of anything'. Extradite the lot of them." Troy turns himself over to sun an equally white front.

Finding all possible ways to get baked above the shallow shadow of the bong bush.

Monday, August 01, 2005

"Hidden Behind the Powers of the Blue Ring" is a fast fiction based on visual inspiration which has come to me courtesy of Joey Drechsler-Martell.
joey dmRing (Blue) Enjoy..


"Oh. My. God ! I haven't seen you in ages !! How have you been ?!" Tommy's mom stretched her braceletted arms out to embrace his cousin. The two women shook squeaking sounds out of each other as their bodies teetered back and forth in giddy excitement. All around them other relatives got caught up on love and work, lost and found. The newlyweds - the apparent centerpiece of the occasion - had gone off to get post-ceremony photos taken and were all but forgotten.

Tommy held his hands up to his face in shame.

"Have. I. Ever. Missed. You ! What have you been doing ?" Tommy's mom shrieked through a mouth gaping open with pristine white molars.

Tommy stayed frozen behind his hands and a blue ring which was an investment of hope against horror. He had bought it in an antiques shop under a spell of belief that it had the potential for magic and would transport him into another world. He just needed to supply the power. He needed to believe another reality into place.

"You. Look. So. Great ! Wow, we've got so much catching up to do," she continued to giggle.

I. Must. Believe. Tommy thought to himself.

"It. Has. Been. A. Blast !! I guess I'll see you you at the next family function," his mom said, concluding a conversation she had repeated countless times that afternoon.

I. Must. Believe. Tommy thought to himself, repeating his well worn mantra, dreaming into his magical blue ring of a family where people talked about something that mattered.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

"Space Fruit" is a literary morceaux based on an image sent to me by Lauri Combest. She stumbled across my site, she sent me an image, I wrote a story in twelve minutes and the world is now laughing and crying in all the right places at the (space) fruit of our collaborate labours. Simple. Be like Lauri. Send me something.

I bullshit a lot but today I'm going to tell the truth momentarily: the classic videogame pac-man is based on a Japanese mythic character paku-paku taberu. This basically means "voracious eatter". This may figure prominently in the fast fiction you are about to read.


Hundreds of moments of misery were plastered into the whites of his eyes. He stared out into his world with white eyes wide with black yolks lonely in the middle. His problem was that he lived on a planet of orange Pacus. He was green. Like the sky.

Once a year the green sky rained orange fruit. Most Pacus took offence to this offering from the sky as the fruit resembled legless versions of themselves. The Pacus knew who they were and they didn't need the know-nothing sky to produce likenesses of themselves.

"Oh look Pacu-Pacu Taberu is opening his mouth wide, waiting for the sky to shit out its annual offerings of banality," one of the Tabus shouted as he closed his eyes to wait for the horrid event to run its miserable course.

Pacu-Pacu Taberu opened his mouth and hoped in his heart that the orange fruit from above would coat his mouth and head and legs orange and he would end up looking just like everyone else.

Once again he made a spectacle of himself in his obsession to be normal.

Once again he wasn't invited to play Pac-Man with all the other Pacus the next week.