Assgoblins

J Rosenblatt

The first was a friend, but tried to make a move on my girlfriend of the time, when I happened to be sick. That wasn’t a threat, just hated the dishonesty of it – and it was cumulative.

I helped edit one or two of his books. One officially, with some credit. The other re-writing entire pages.
I was told I’d get editing credit but he wanted to pork this woman at the time so gave her the credit, telling me at the last minute in a coffee shop the night before the book’s release. Saying, ‘well there will be others and you can have the credit for those.’

Wait a minute. You just finished betraying what you’d said before. And the thing was he tried to justify it by saying, ‘well she did look at the manuscript.’ A lie on top of a lie.

I sent him a letter saying how dare ya, after the attempt to grab my girlfriend. He sent back something that said, ‘hey if you can become a better poet by punching me in the loaf, do it. Also, don’t forget who bought you all those cappuccinos.’ Are you fucking kidding? You think you bought me and attempt to turn it around on me without acknowledging your betrayal? Also my threat to ‘punch him in his loaf’ was empty – though that may not have been known. I would never harm someone I admired and cared so much for, no matter what I said.

So, in other words, no acknowledgement of his lies and betrayal. A weak justification that he’d ‘bought’ me by being the generous one with cash in buying drinks, cappuccinos. etc., yet would never have paid me for the actual editing work.

I did him help by: getting him an hour long interview on TV, introduction to Dean of Guelph University, a radio spot, staying at my place when he was out of Toronto, house-sitting his place (feeding cat) when he was on vacation, some minor help building a garage. Guess that got forgotten.

A few years later I go to a reading of his, figuring hey live and let live, just don’t forget. Said hello, and he ignored me.

A few years after that he stole the title for a book that I had said I’d use, one afternoon on the corner of Davenport and Yonge St. The Poetry Hotel. A title I’d used 10 years before as a prose poem. But he did say he’d steal it. And did, and wrote something as if he’d conjured the title Poetry Hotel.
And at a memorial service for Gwen McEwen he was hanging around with a typical weasel: R. Priest., mr.”emotionally honest” who managed to smirk at me at my friend’s memorial service. Thing is Joe is very likeable, or seems to be.

But he’s never acknowledged the error, the title thievery. I’ve even written to him and he’s invited me to his place – 20 yrs ago -, but no comment on books sent to him. Shit. You’d think I’d taken the title, not done the work, unjustly complained he stole my credit when it could have been used to help establish my position in Canadian letters, etc., when instead it all helped him.

My quarrel is that he has never acknowledged the betrayals.

Friend to the goober below. Figures same weaselly kind stick together.

R.Priest

Bought some of my books in a used book store and when he told me about it, laughed and said, “You idiot, why’d you sell them?” First I didn’t punch him out which I would have enjoyed, curbing my temper.
Gave him my phone number on the back of the last page out of my notebook, on the front of which were the lines ’this is a poem instead of a kiss/ for those of you who  … like this…’ etc.
Stole those lines and used them in a song that became a hit, with a slight change of ‘poem’ to ‘song.’
Proof? Just my memory, and the lines.

Didn’t even know what a prose poem was when we first met.

At that time I had severe migraines and would wear sunglasses inside and out. Based on the fact that I bore a slight resemblance to a Mr. Dylan, he mocked me when I opened the door to Grossman’s one winter night by yelling ‘That guy thinks he’s Bob Dylan.” Yuk, yuk, yuk. I’d told him that too many people, including close friends/acquaintances of Dylan’s had mistaken me up close for Dylan and/or remarked on it, and after I got too sick of it, I played with it, always thinking at the time, what a damn wonder that is., how strange.
But that is what he does with a confidence. And based on that I’m certain he’s behaved the same with many.
This while he’s got dyed red permanent hair and is jumping around like he’s Robert Plant, without either the showmanship or any abilities.

My mother had died not too long before all this, so occasionally I’d have a sleeping pill. Dropped one at a friend’s house. He was the only one who knew. I told him.
Next thing I know her entire band of friends ostracize me. Gee, wonder how they knew and why he wore such a smug smile.

None of it was that bothersome, but I found the creepy thing to be his malicious enjoyment of it all;even if there had been cause – which there was not – it was sick, hateful, indicative of someone deeply disturbed with a true psychological problem.

Dr.Poo-etry for real.

Doug St. Aubin

A friend, I thought. Borrowed some 1100.00 from me when I was making the grand sum of 7.50/hr.
Desperate need he said.
Lied every time I asked about the repayment. Gave me checks that bounced. Sued him, but he changed banks several times.
Would see him and he’d promise to repay and I’d just look at him and think, why the hell is he talking.
Liar, and thief. Still not paid back.

Etc.

Ex-wife stole musical line for a song she did, besides her slanders.

Ex-girlfriend stole cash, bounced checks, had bundle of poems stuffed in her luggage when leaving, etc etc.

Spoke of “convocation of morons” to Wiseman one night – line and title from a prose poems I’d written and copywritten years before..just to see… and sure as chit, next week he’s using it in a song
though he did have the presence of mind to be embarrassed when I confronted him though he hated being caught out, promised to remove it. No word about the outright theft though.

 

©Dean J. Baker