Nothing I Know

John Newlove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An insult to the brain;
sun’s injury, this waking
before noon,
beneath the browed indifference
of Time, adventurer of our lives.

Who can tell that will? Each
whore and man
must dine amid swill and swallow
all: drown until
one rises where another fell.

Run, dark horse,
follow the body’s teachings:
how children have accomplished this,
turned back once, and turned into us:
nothing matters, now but results.

Dean J. Baker

-excerpt from The Lost Canadian, Vol.1, 112 pages, $14.99

*JOHN NEWLOVE

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Is it true that Toronto – and thus as a representative city, Canada – has turned into poo? or, Why Has Society Turned Into A Bunch Of Spastics On Fire

Are You A Citizen? Do You Feel You’re An Artist? Could You Possibly Be A Writer Of Poo-etry? –
Read this, or Remain A Tool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) Well, it’s true you need a shitload of money if you are going to live in Toronto.
2) You also need not mind the aggressive behavior of self-entitled screaming morons who mimic other morons elsewhere in the world protesting this, protesting that – everything except what needs protesting: the protesters, aka whiners.
3) You also have to not mind being assaulted, maybe beaten and robbed, because hey, the cops will do what they can about it: nothing. You’ve been beaten and assaulted… the cops only look after the fact, after the facts: got to keep their jobs, you know.

You also have to not mind that you don’t matter. High taxes, high prices, house prices fit for millionaires, no ability to defend yourself (it is actually against the Law, the law working out to: don’t hurt the criminal, they might charge you), common sense over-ruled by the numbers of multi-ethnicity guaranteeing that catering Liberals and their high-minded, low ethic standard will eclipse actual real life benefits to the most people.
As to #1:
1) Fuck the poor, those lazy bastards. This is governmental reasoning. ‘We work, and slave, and attempt for years to bump up their quality of life, and all they do is complain.’
2) Let us not understand that such attempts are inadequate due to the nature of bureaucracy being slow and behind the times (the necessities which they pretend to address) and thus have a built-in failure: guaranteeing further governmental bureaucracy and consistently disappointed poor.
3) The benefits: politicians. They have a lifelong job of establishing themselves as necessary without ever establishing a system that fixes what they pretend to fix, but instead simply maintain thus ensuring system of nameless victims and a roster of valiant attempts and heraldic icons of authentic politicians. Not only are their pensions mandated but thus so are the problems.
4) $15 an hour? A full time slave working 40 hrs per week might be able to accomplish a hobo’s hideout of an apartment if they pay everything for rent. Houses costing over $1 million, which were under $400k less than a decade ago? – thank you government of the rich for the unregulated rich. Rents equaling a portion of housing values: thank you government… Government bitching about a behind-the times-wage hike? You noticed? You didn’t drink the kool-aid.
5) Result: poo.

As to #2:
1) Protesters are important. More so than you. You are a wrench in their machinery if you question their integrity, sources, and sources of funds while they demand openness from everyone else.
2) If you are not wildly supportive, you are perceived as traitorous and thus open for the many varieties of indignities which they mistakenly term free expression…. unless it is done to them to express a sense of outrage that bellowing belligerents constitute anything more than an insult to intelligence, fact gathering, and a mature understanding.
3) Liberals, i.e. politicians, believe protesters have a valid right to protest. Each confuses this with enshrining the lowest common denominator as a measure of valid and balanced civil disobedience, with the politicians licensing the protesters who make the news which outrages people who complain to the politicians who promise change.[see #3 above for results]
4) Result: poo.

Now imagine this broken system replicating itself throughout everyday life and attitudes engendered by the turd chewing media feeding the herd.
Think of it spreading through academia, university campuses, the arts, music, the practitioners of poetry, grocery clerk geniuses, neuro-linguistically challenged moms {the last three categories being practically inseparable}, spastics on fire who insist they deserve Canada Council and Ontario Arts’ grants for interpretative dance.
Along with venal attempts by the same people to guarantee their jobs by granting money and thus legitimacy to publishing houses of craven wankers too cowardly who with subtlety and nuance establish a tradition of greater and suspect quality by their support for original and independent artists (i.e. schizophrenics without a trade except academia) or as they are known in the vernacular of The League For Flatulents: Tools For Schools.

i.e. Young Werther wishes to become a poet. He/She is told ‘see them? that’s how.’ Werther is your ordinary candidate for the ‘Special Arts.’ She/He imitates and achieves the distinction of being recognized by the Canada Council as One Who Writes Poetry Which No One Else Does Unless We Say So. He/She is thus a Poo-et. This is known as the Ren-And-Stimpy effect, aka The Beavis-And-Butthead College Of Non-Existent Truths: other Poo-ets say so.

As to #3:
You can no longer either walk anywhere or drive with impunity at any time of the day or night. There will always be some Paleolithic non-entity objecting to your existence, as if they owned the streets and the times.
1) Consider that you won’t be assaulted by dignified, mature people who have an understanding of the Golden Rule before its perversion into Piss On You. You will be spit on, kicked, punched, stabbed, shot, etc., by the Liberals’ Golems: those wandering sawdust filled Chuckies who ensure a need for law and order, and thus the politicians to fulfill the details.
2) Should you attempt to defend yourself by disabling the attackers (like political cowards and protesters they come in crowds), the cops can charge you. With what? With being at liberty, having self-respect, deciding to keep your integrity as a person, etc. (p.s. Make sure your taxes are paid up)
3) Result: poo.

This wasn’t written by me. It was dictated by a spirit entity known as ……… (words are inadequate to make such a distinction). I plead innocent as the transcriber in this instance of literary poolitics.

Yours,

Self

 

© Dean J. Baker

poems are posted to share, be shared, and entice those who love the work to owning the books from which they are excerpts –  https://www.amazon.com/Dean-J.-Baker/e/B00IC6PGQM

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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

Review of DARK EARTH by Dean J. Baker


Posted by Craig Hickman in Book Reviews, poetry

“I keep walking, making calls which few recognize, eventually sure that one day when I have passed that way, suddenly a porch light will shine in the evening and another timelessness reign.”

Dark Earth, Dean J. Baker

Been reading Dean J. Baker’s latest offering of poems of late, Dark Earth. Of course Dean is an author, composer, and performer who was born in Toronto, Canada, to a Ukrainian/Polish father and an Irish/Scottish mother. Attended the University of Guelph, and later won book awards from them, along with several unsolicited Ontario Arts Council awards, best poems published in a year in literary journals, and The T.S. Eliot Society of Miami’s Calendar Poet award. He has several other works out: Baker’s Bad Boys, Silence Louder Than A Train, The Mythologies Of Love, and The Lost Neighborhood each of which can also be found on his amazon.com page.

What struck me intensely about Dean’s poetry is this sense of earthiness and despair tinged with a dark humor that I so love. An ongoing walk through these dark times is an underlying expectation, an almost uncanny movement toward hope; yet, not hope itself, rather it’s a sort of orientation to the future or forward looking gaze that can almost see between barbed wired clouds on the darkest horizon something strange almost shining through only to be sealed off immediately by the Reality Police who trap us in this bleak corner of the universe. Now by this I don’t mean that Dean is some kind of blipping optimist, no he’s a pessimist or realist like most of us. No that would make things a little to easy and rosy, and Dean is more of a bleak and transgressive churning below the muddy waters. He lives down where the alligators and moccasins move in those black ponds, waiting, harboring nothing but deadly thoughts. Dean’s world is to poetry what David Goodis in Street of No Return is to noir. In that bleak book the main character loses the girl, kills the villain, returns to skid row with a bottle under his arm for the boys in the cold wet sunless streets, where life is nothing but this hollow gesture, a desperateness toward the last dark weave of things: where losers sit in some dark alley passing the bottle around, and nothing could touch them nothing at all.

But then again what does touch us is Dean’s poetry, and it touches us hard and quick like some dark message out of hell; but this is no metaphysical charade – it is our hell, our lives in this god forsaken universe where the thought of salvation isn’t some dream of transcendence, but is rather a movement toward another order of indifference, another and hopeful purgatory across some bleak landscape beyond the lies and deceit of this one.

Do you not see how
they drive:
to meet the grinning, opened mouth.

In Dean’s Widows he challenges our sense of propriety, brings us two death’s: the death of child, and the death of something else. Even the use of the plural – Widows, as if one may suspect some murderous collusion amongst “black widows”; or, rather the natural order of some dip into Shakespeare’s widowed “witches” from Macbeth; or, more likely just three old mean women out of some southern gothic world who, as the interlocutor tells us – as if it were some dark and sinister story, to be hushed up in polite society – a memory of another child: “the unlovely child you always knew too much about”. And, the interlocutor continues with a double refrain, one that tells us these dark widows are “carrying themselves” and “carrying themselves / with taunts of Spring”. The interlocutor will not say what cannot be said, what it is that these widows have done, or what secrets they hold to their black hearts. But he knows, and for him there is a bittersweet revenge in knowing that what they are moving toward as “they drive” is a meeting with that “grinning, opened mouth” – a death at once comical and grotesque that will undo these murderous widows and their secrets in ways beyond telling.

This is the key to Dean’s art, the subtle narration of certain moments that are never revealed in the full natural disclosure of facts, but are rather revealed more subtly in the voicing of certain affective relations between memory and mind in this ongoing inquisition with the sordidness of our unlived lives. It’s as if in each poem we are seeing slices of a pain, a snapshot of horrors, a visitation of certain indelible blood-lettings that continue to keep the wound of life open to the world. For isn’t that truly all that remains? How many of your memories are of joy? Oh I don’t mean the picture memories you can snap out, I mean the affective memories that stick in the crawl of your thick mind like a bad taste in the mouth. How many?

Dean is a true comic poet as well, full of those sly interventions and evasions, slights of self, incriminations and elisions: “It is you, who have ruined / your life, / with the comparisons … elegies outworn: / embarrassing”. And, even the muse is a fickle mistress a tormentor “the muse still torments me every now and then”, and yet she’s a comical waif as well:

She thinks a psychiatrist / may do the trick: forgetting / she had a hand in the mess.

What I admire is Dean’s pulling out all the stops, no sublime romanticist here; no, instead he’s taken notes from the underbelly of those masters of the macabre and grotesque. All those little oddball peculiarities of the absurd, bizarre, macabre, depraved, degenerate, perverse that are the hallmark of the best of that dark haunting literature, both humorous and earthy, grotesque – can be found here. As Philip Thomson tells us of the grotesque in literature and visual culture: he calls it ‘the unresolved clash of incompatibles in work and response’ and, he continues, ‘it is significant that this clash is paralleled by the ambivalent nature of the abnormal as present in the grotesque’. I like to go back to Baudelaire who perfected this mode after his careful perusal and translations of that master, Edgar Allen Poe. For Baudelaire it was to know that one was dammed in this life from the beginning; but it wasn’t a religious knowledge, no it was a secular knowing that this world, not some future abode of despair already harbored enough hate and crime to fill ten thousands hells. Maybe this is why even Sartre would seek in Baudelaire a brother of that darker existential pain that is existence with others, and go on to see “hell is other people”.

One of my favorites of this mode from Dean’s work, and the last one I’ll quote (I want you to cherish a first reading of the rest for yourself) is “Queen St. East”

The jaw slacks, with the weight
of the body’s loss,
to an inexorable acknowledgement

The brain is unfettered
in its jug; spilling over
with the nostalgia of alcohol

Flat on their backs, near Moss
Park, curled fetus-like, the
inhabitants whirl in a static frenzy of

Enfeeblement, any amusement here
sublingual: the posthumous twitching
of cynics en masse

That, my friends, in one succinct movement is the Grotesque Sublime: “the posthumous twitching / of cynics en masse”. It is also the dark knowing of a grotesque humor named “Dean J. Baker”. Rabelais and Hieronymus Bosch look out of dark chinks in these poems… instead of Emerson’s “Whim” above Dean’s lintel we might assume “Melancholy” resides here… that dark brooding that laughs below, and rises through the bones to jerk you awake from your too lazy sleep of existence.

Please visit Dean J. Baker’s wordpress.com site: https://deanjbaker.wordpress.com/
and his poetry can be found: http://www.amazon.com/Dean-J.-Baker/e/B00IC6PGQM and https://deanjbaker.wordpress.com/awards/all-print-books-links/

1. Edwards, Justin; Graulund, Rune (2013-05-29). Grotesque (The New Critical Idiom) (p. 3). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.

http://darkecologies.com/2014/07/28/dark-earth-poetry-of-dean-j-baker/

now posting here – https://socialecologies.wordpress.com/

Dark Earth, is available here –> https://www.createspace.com/4904836 and http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Earth-Dean-J-Baker/dp/150052591X

from review quotes of Dark Earth: “Dean is a true comic poet as well, full of those sly interventions and evasions, slights of self, incriminations and elisions.. He’s the kind of poet that gets under your skin and stays there like a song in some dark noir alley that sings to you of love and death suckled on good old home grown truth.”

https://deanjbaker.wordpress.com/awards/reviews/

https://deanjbaker.wordpress.com/awards/a-reason-why-you-need-to-own-dark-earth/