The Origin Of Names in Certain Russian Characters: Vlad Pootin’

How Vlad the Tooter became Vlad Pootin who now is Vladimir Pootin’

Coming from some deep Russian, Ukrainian, Polish ancestry on one side of my family, I can vouch for the necessity of name change.
Superstition, bureaucracy feeding on its people, a sense of privacy required, and the freedom to begin without the weight of idiots’ prejudice.
Thus we come to the status of world leader Vladimir Pootin’ – and the origins of his patronomic.

As might be guessed, and divined from great Russian Literature, as well as the tiny bit of knowledge of the real world that gets through which the media fails to block, Vladimir is the Russian leader who is ex-KGB, strong, authoritative and prone to eliminating enemies, perceived and real.
He’s kind that way. He does not relegate them to government jobs by which they might snipe at him via malicious gossip. Smart to do so.

His ancestors were likely peasants grubbing the land, ducking whenever Stalin the Sentimental Butcher came a-roving. Of necessity they ate potatoes, beets, roots, and cabbages.
Thus we come to the origins of his familial name.

The family knew – because he told them – when Vlad was young that he’d be a leader, making sure to gather food for them. That sold them on his career; his neighbors helped, and the word spread: support young Vlad and eat well.
However, most people wanted proof so when young Vlad was not stretched back grazing on the family’s jewels: taters, beets, cabbages – he was sent forth on walking trips to spread the proof.

Given that the government wanted to eliminate any challenge whatsoever, a method was devised whereby he could assure the peasants, and keep his name secret.
His many cousins would arrive at each town and set up a table, with a big chair toppled backwards on which young Vlad would make his ‘speech.’

Upon secretly arriving, Vlad would climb the chair, facing away from the audience; who would be greeted with only the aspect of his arse presenting itself for their perusal.
His cousins would charge the audience with statements such as, ‘Who wants to always eat!’ and ‘Trust the one who gives you food!’ and ‘What is the surest faith?!Proof!’
With one more statement, young Vlad would be prompted to begin his convocation of confidence: ‘And in Russia, what is the greatest proof of constant food, since we dine on potatoes, and cabbages?! – nasty farts!’

At this point Vlad would start his toot-worthy attempt to make known the Russian anthem in support of patriotism.
The crowds were swayed. A few fools everywhere though demanded proof that he was not a government plant, and asked him how could they know he was dining on cabbages, and that these were from their areas.
His politician’s brain went to work.
‘You know how there are certain dialects for many areas, variations on a common ground of language? Well just so with vegetables, and their after effects in specific scents!
Come closer and smell the proof!’
At this time, anyone looking at the many spectacles taking place with each meeting in the small towns would be greeted with the sight of a line of small children, old women and bent–over men lining up as if to kiss an anonymous ass, then walking away with smiles of satisfaction. Claude Lévi-Strauss would have been stupefied in his attempts to detect the origins of such a habit.

Thus Vlad’s fame and authenticity passed.. so to speak. His anonymity was guaranteed. This did present a problem of how he might gain electoral office if he wasn’t known, yet his identity disguised.
A clever peasant, Bilary Clintoniak, was who employed to snatch the fleeting will-knots off Vlad’s butt – lest they harm the townsfolk – came up with the minor disguise of changing the last name Pooting to Pootin’.
She fully expected to assume the throne, as well, although rumor has it she merely got hit by a stray will-knot as she attempted to snatch a few and market them as gems later.

Thus in their efforts to disguise this great pretender to the Russian throne, a certain essential and inescapable reality was missed.
Vlad had named himself after his activity. The media had translated his name with a ‘u’ rather than the more common ‘oo’ after the P.
The fact that it was not his name at all had been lost.
Small clues began to emerge when ‘Vlad’ was heard muttering ‘Just watch me,’ and ‘Fuckez vous’ and ‘ Le Pierre, c’est moi’ (although to be fair this was mistakenly heard and translated as ‘I am your peer.’*), despite the fact that many English speaking people will swear that he said, ‘I shit in your ear.’

And so began the myth of old dead bloodsuckers being dug up and assuming office, pooting their way through the land and the people as some complained, some exclaimed, and all were unable to smell the trees because of the breeze.

©Dean J. Baker

*Disclaimer: this is not Pierre Elliot Trudeau, former Prime Minister of Canada, who is verifiably, and really and truly, dead as can be attested to by the long lines of Ontario residents que’d up to take a dump on his grave at $100 a ‘shot’.
Far be it for the editors to imply that they have heard rumors that the governors of La Belle Province have been heard to be thinking about turning the incurring piles into apartment buildings for ‘ce foutu anglais, le maudit anglais’ in a misguided attempt to erect a shrine to their former leader.

When poet Dean Baker was asked his opinion, he said, ‘A shrine to Turdeau? made of vacationers’ dumps? I like it. It has a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’, but let me not repeat myself.. so to speak.’

It is not recommended that you purchase the following:

Baker's Bad Boysch1ch2_tm2<–and most certainly not

BIOGRAPHY

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The Monsters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The monsters always arrive
when least expected; they
may give warning, though usually not:
you ought to love them for themselves.
They will tear your heart out, anyway.
Of course, by then you may find
there is nothing worth fighting for this time.

These monsters have minds full of smoke,
heads shaped like ashtrays; eyes
with miles of barbed-wire trapped inside:
capturing memory or desire, which hides
within the moment of avoidance or denial.

They will replace your heart with longing,
your mind with temptation. Once
the operation is over
only the arrangement remains.

Everything else forever temporary,
your love held for safe-keeping, didn’t
you guess whose heart
I am finally speaking of?
Whose treasure is missing?
The monsters are healthy and well-fed.

©Dean J. Baker

BIOGRAPHY

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Irving Layton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The thing could barely stand. Yet taken
from his mother and the barn smells
he still impressed with his pride,
with the promise of sovereignity in the way
his head moved to take us in.
The fierce sunlight tugging the maize from the ground
liked at his shapely flanks.
He was too young for all that pride.
I thought of the deposed Richard II.

“No money in bull calves,” Freeman had said.
The visiting clergyman rubbed the nostrils
now snuffing pathetically at the windless day.
“A pity,” he sighed.
My gaze slipped off his hat toward the empty sky
that circled over the black knot of men,
over us and the calf waiting for the first blow.

Struck,
the bull calf drew in his thin forelegs
as if gathering strength for a mad rush…
tottered…raised his darkening eyes to us,
and I saw we were at the far end
of his frightened look, growing smaller and smaller
till we were only the ponderous mallet
that flicked his bleeding ear
and pushed him over on his side, stiffly,
like a block of wood.

Below the hill’s crest
the river snuffled on the improvised beach.
We dug a deep pit and threw the dead calf into it.
It made a wet sound, a sepulchral gurgle,
as the warm sides bulged and flattened.
Settled, the bull calf lay as if asleep,
one foreleg over the other,
bereft of pride and so beautiful now,
without movement, perfectly still in the cool pit,
I turned away and wept.

©Irving Layton

The economy of language, the spirit of truth; sociology, philosophy: the distillation of experiences reflected, and altered, in one brief poem – that’s the magic of poetry, and a great poet.
Irving Layton is a poet everyone should read, and hear reading his own work.  http://irvinglayton.ca/Recordings/index.html

Irving Layton was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, twice. He was friend and mentor to Leonard Cohen. Leonard called him “Canada’s greatest poet.”

Looked up to by Allen Ginsberg, Williams Carlos WilliamsMichael Hamburger, and many other fine and great writers for decades.

Disclosure: Irving was my friend for decades. He once said of my very early writing, ” Dean is a combination of thought and torment that has made him write more than a baker’s dozen of fine poems.. he might produce a collection that could astound us all.” And he did not play favourites.

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Everywhere I Go – John Newlove

jnewlove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are people talking about. Everywhere I go they whisper.

They stick their eyes at me, right at the base of the breastbone,
when I’m not looking.

The breastbone seems flat, pointed like a dagger to the top
of my stomach.

O, my stomach, my stomach… when the knife rips you open
it will find coffee and four strips of bacon, pieces of chewed
beard and a handwritten note saying I have left town forever
again.

©John Newlove
– excerpt from his brilliant work, Lies, jnewlovelies1972 and from A Long Continual Argument, The Selected Poems of John Newlove

John was a friend of mine – yet I had only said hello back him when I heard him read this live one time at York University. I’d been searching for the room in which the reading was to be held, and came around a corner to come face-to-face with him, and Joe Rosenblatt.

https://deanjbaker.wordpress.com/links-to-my-books-in-print//

The mothership: http://deanjbaker.wordpress.com

©Dean J. Baker

Dark Earth


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two weeks without you; not
in, nor anywhere but about,
is a long
lie: which may contain the truth,
or let it out again.

I have kept on waiting, simply
impatient; relishing the pain of
separation:
though like two twigs we wind
into one another, bind the common root.

 

© Dean J. Baker

“Having read Dark Earth by Dean J Baker my first reaction is WOW. This was written for me. His poetry speaks to me deep down in my soul. The style of writing then the naming of the poems is so on target. A must read for poetry lovers AND all who just love to read.”

Dark Earth is a thought provoking collection of poems..”

Rabelais and Hieronymus Bosch look out of dark chinks in these poems…”

Here’s the link where you can buy my books, in ebook or print format. http://www.amazon.com/Dean-J.-Baker/e/B00IC6PGQM/

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Supposed Science Fiction – J.G. Ballard, ‘the poet of desolate landscapes’

‘the poet of desolate landscapes’

 

 

 

 

Fortunately for me I read some early Ballard in the ‘70’s before all the hype and surrounding mess over his work Crash, turned into a movie by Cronenberg.
He was called the ‘poet of desolate landscapes’ for a reason.
(http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/books/review/Lethem-t.html)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._G._Ballard

One of my favorite science fiction writers, along with Thomas Disch (particularly Camp Concentration), Philip K. Dick, and other individual books, such as A Canticle For Leibowitz. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Canticle_for_Leibowitz

Most people will recognize what Spielberg did with his quite wonderful autobiographical work, Empire Of The Sun. Excellent movie, wonderful book.

However, a book of interviews with Ballard is more than interesting and shows a prophet of the future now in his words.
Extreme Metaphors is a great compilation of the author in talks that are always interesting, and often revelatory.

Take this passage, from 1974 – (the year, not any particular book), in an interview conducted by Carol Orr, with the influence of Judith Merrill, whom I was fortunate to meet. (Along with Marian Engel, who wrote the great (and supposedly feminist) novel, Bear amongst other works, introduced by poet Gwendolyn MacEwen, to my surprise when I was first meeting Gwen, who introduced me by saying, “This is the poet I’ve been telling you about,” and having Marian interject, “Well, say something brilliant then, poet” to which I apparently satisfactorily replied since both Judith and Marian gave an approving, and raised eyebrows, nod to Gwen afterwards. *biography

“Threats to the quality of life that everyone is so concerned about will come much more, say, from the widespread application of computers to every aspect of our lives where all sort of science fiction fantasies will come true, where bank balances will be constantly monitored and at almost any given time all the information that exists about ourselves will be on file somewhere – where all sorts of agencies, commercial, political and governmental, will have access to that information.”
– Pg.58, Extreme Metaphors, How To Face Doomsday without Really Trying.
Reason enough to start to reading his books, let alone that book.

http://www.ballardian.com/extreme-metaphors-on-sale

©Dean J. Baker

These poems are advertisements for the BOOKS – get uplifted, buy one

Biography

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<–Check this out: Poetry & How It Gets That Way updated!

also posted – https://ohcanaduh.wordpress.com/2017/01/29/the-herald-2/

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Alden Nowlan – Greatness in Poetry

nowlan_

 

 

 

 

 

Alden Nowlan is one of those poets whom I never got to meet, and always wish I’d been able to do so.

I first saw one of his poems when I was in high school. And as with that poem, his other poems: they always evoke, a ‘yes!,’ about honesty and the truth of things. Always memorable. You’ll find them repeating themselves at the least expected moments.
The poem that first struck me was his ‘Aunt Jane.’

Aunt Jane

Aunt Jane, of whom I dreamed the nights it
thundered,
was dead at ninety, buried at a hundred.
We kept her corpse a decade, hid upstairs,
where it ate porridge, slept and said its prayers.

And every night before I went to bed
they took me in to worship with the dead.
Christ Lord, if I should die before I wake,
I pray thee Lord my body take.

 

©Alden Nowlan

Just to be sitting in your own world and to have 8 lines smack you awake out of the blue, away from your concerns and take you to revelation so quickly, so easily, and with such delight – amazing.

But Alden has many, many poems of the kind that do so – surprising in their humility, strength and understanding. His are the works you could carry in a small book with you and find sustaining every time you looked.
He covers history, patriotism, and more all in a beautiful way.

One other:

Canadian January Night

Ice storm: the hill
a pyramid of black crystal
down which the cars
slide like phosphorescent beetles
while I, walking backwards in obedience
to the wind, am possessed
of the fearful knowledge
my compatriots share
but almost never utter:
this is a country
where a man can die
simply from being
caught outside.

©Alden Nowlan

 

Brilliant work.

And from Alden Nowlan, Selected Poems

A Poem About Miracles

Why don’t records go blank
the instant the singer dies?
Oh, I know there are explanations,
but they don’t convince me.
I’m still surprised
when I hear the dead singing.
As for orchestras,
I expect the instruments
to fall silent one by one
as the musicians succumb
to cancer and heart disease
so that toward the end
I turn on a disc
labelled Götterdämmerung
and all that comes out
is the sound of one sick old man
scraping a shaky bow
across and out-of-tune fiddle.

 

©Alden Nowlan

These poems of Alden’s are a few of the good, and representative of his best. You need the book to even begin to get an awareness of his greatness.
Robert Frost may be more well known, but for me Alden wins the laurels.

© Dean J. Baker

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These Dogs

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The only things wrong with dogs are people.
We have a contract where they desire only
us: our company and their bliss the same.

These mutts, or pure-breds, are our spirits,
civilized for a moment, otherwise our low
and high freedom to do as we would and please.

We send them off to roam the world, we
eagerly await their return: our ambassadors
soliciting praise and pleasure from others.

You do not own your spirit, you create this
from rags and bones, from balls thrown high:
the sense grown to a great sophistication.

What you abandon, beat and strangle, often
torture and eventually murder is a repeat:
you have not overcome that terrible nature.

Off the leash as we are all, you become more,
canine or human creature: these dogs you call
to your home are all you need to love and know.

©Dean J. Baker

-* all the above pictured dogs have shared their lives with me

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go ahead and discover a book of mine…

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Patrick Lane, a great Canadian poet – and his poem, Legacies

patrick-lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patrick Lane, a great Canadian poet. In the tradition of Al Purdy, and Charles Bukowski for those who are unfamiliar with great Poetry. The designation I use – the Canadian part, anyway – to specify country of origin.

Of course as to great and to a degree greatly unremarked poets except or even including within the country of their origins I would have to also mention Kenneth Patchen, whose book The Journal Of Albion Moonlight is not strictly poetry yet is poetry at the core. Something along the lines of Louis Ferdinand Celine‘s Journey To The End Of The Night, or his great Death On The Installment Plan. A few books, along with Djuna Barne‘s Nightwood and a few of Anais Nin‘s, with Blaise Cendrar’s ought to be de rigeur reading ( especially so his Moravagine).

Now of course these have nothing directly to do with Patrick Lane, but they are indicative of what greatness inspires in the fact of a joyful association and the discoveries made along the way.

One of his poems from The Collected Poems of Patrick Lane

Legacies

I’m smoking one of his cigars tonight
after this one
there’s only one left
a pack of cigars
Remington shaver
swagger-stick from the First War
and nothing else
legacies from the old man.

Once in all his eighty years
I saw him – father of my father,
forbear
passing my father to me
in one sudden moment
of a prairie night
begat
begat

and I sit here and smoke his cigar tonight
while I clean his earthly hairs
from the razor
sit and smoked
sit and consume legacies

© Patrick Lane

  • and that is just the first page…

Aslo, you might take note of his memoir – What The Stones Remember: A Life Rediscovered of which a few comments are:

“To read this book is to enter a state of enchantment.”—Alice Munro

“Patrick Lane has written a memoir of heartbreaking struggle that manages to be beautiful and encouraging, finding anchorage in what was once called Creation, the natural world and its unstinting promise of renewal.”—Thomas McGuane

“A tough, lovely book.”—Margaret Atwood

So do look for his work, and enjoy a great Canadian poet. Patrick Lane. Take note that there is even a book where 55 poets celebrate his work: https://www.amazon.com/Because-You-Loved-Being-Stranger/dp/1550171011

https://deanjbaker.wordpress.com/links-to-my-books-in-print/

©Dean J. Baker

The Herald

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing more than abstract ornament,
explanations and discussions
keeping us to ourselves; we were
too petty for anything else. God
and Spirit, man and God again: no
insight into the common denominators.

Stupidity categorized the crews
taking over. In Canada, one was
reduced to waiting; at best,
you sent yourself notes (not poems)
hoping they would stay closed, or
fall open revealing all upon arrival.

You are lost either way. Death
enters your life: a troubadour
strolling through the provincial town.
Each gesture of government singing
the unwanted guest to bed, who is
finishing the last bite of food.

One brought no plans for conversation,
issuing invitations in the dark
he slips from his clothes. The livery
stark amusement, leaving only the arc
of a streetlamp which constellates:
the hard vistas of distant expectation.

©Dean J. Baker

  • first published in Jewish Dialog
  • I wrote this and sent the first copy to John Newlove, a fine Canadian poet, who phoned me with what amounted to a surprise and wonder at the poem that I fully could not appreciate til much later. Joe Rosenblatt later opted to publish it in Jewish Dialog, which he was editing then. (Later I would edit two of Rosenblatt’s books – Tommy Fry and The Ant Colony, and Loosely-Tied Hands.)

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