Dying Symphony traces the moving death of my mother over a period of seven weeks - she died in February 2010. The poems are in chronological order and reflect both the tenderness and the pain of the experience for the whole family.
Neon Dust Storm and Semaphore
two books of selected poems.
Neon Dust Storm is a selection of my poems from 1979-1999. There’s a wad of love poems, some documentary pieces from a downtown street, Al Capone and Elvis and Chagall poems, poetical philosophizings, and even have a section called ‘Pathology’ – ah, that must be the more personal ones. This selection reveals the depth and breadth of those years.
Semaphore is a selection of my poems from 1999-2009. The five sections are:
Creedo Libido – poems of sex and love
Day-to-day Mind – my obsessions and trivialities
Politico Ratio – if I ruled the world
The Hospital – about my father being in hospital
Bugs, Birds and Land – subject matter from our cabin in the bush.
Larsen-B Goes Splash
Larsen-B Goes Splash refers to the Larsen-B Ice Shelf which disintegrated in 2002 in Antarctica, marking an astounding and horrific decimation of natural wealth. This was a tipping point for the awareness of the degradation we are causing through global warming. This play is a satire meant to inspire us to action. In it, Goddess has replaced God, and is determined to open our denying, uncaring eyes.
Love Assassin takes place in the mind of assassin James Earl Ray as he is confronted by the spirit of MLK. The iconic story of MLK’s martyrdom is played out through the warped view Ray has of the world. To call it a love story would give the wrong impression. Let’s just say it’s an unlove story about the possibilities of love.
No Flies has no flies because that’s what suburbia says it must have, but underneath there is always the beast. A man and a woman are confronted in their brand new house, by old habits, present fears, ecstatic possibilities, and ultimately, that which cannot be named though still is, was, and shall be.
Rat is a response to rats being under-rat-ed. A rat is a symbol of the city, its underbelly, the secret world of decadence and danger. Therefore, we need rat catchers, to catch these demons and save our sorry souls. However, a catcher cannot help but see the noble animal beneath our human distortion. A meditation on the urban experience.
Tunnel. Two men. Caught in a tunnel. Both wear tuxedos. They are one person. Sometimes. Or not. But are caught, in the tunnel, deciding to go this way or that – they are lost. One has explosives wrapped around his middle. He is trying to find the door where he is to go. But all he comes across is his past. The other follows.
Whitewash details the 1995 murder of Native Dudley George by the Ontario Provincial Police at Ipperwash, and the subsequent public inquiry in 2007. The Harris government, the police, the Native activists, and the Ontario judiciary all played crucial roles in this travesty of lies, incompetence, and racism.
The Birth of the Beginning of Death
The following four short stories, written in the last few years, represent a return to writing in this genre after a hiatus of almost thirty years. The renewed interest is because I am doing less theatre and therefore have more time to dip into the mystery and promise short stories hold for me. Sometimes I think of short stories as plays, and vice versa.
The Birth of the Beginning of Death emerged on a hot Cuban beach as I lay listening to the waves. It felt like a dream and it still does. The title actually makes more sense if you read it backwards after you have read the story.
Next came from standing in the line waiting for food and witnessing the fry incident – then I added some ‘tude to the server’s part, some choice ignorance to the eater’s part, and a tad of blood thirst to my part. All appetite is honoured when you are waiting in line for your chance at the fries.
It’s Time is one of those moody pieces that starts from imagining explorers leaving home to travel the oceans unknown. There, see, I just said it so now I have this image of whipping over darks seas at night with the moon beaming us along…and then what happens…you get the point.
Change, well, if you’ve ever been in a car with someone who isn’t driving according to your standards, you will understand that it is not just about direction and preference, agenda and lifestyle, conscience and consciousness, that motivates human behaviour, but is about an acceptance of the possibility that you might be wrong.