May 22, 2018

The Day All The Minds Went Blank

Filed under: Uncategorized — oversion @ 2:50 pm

Many thoughts Sunday, and then today, blank.

Forged out on the long western front bike ride
a real bone tester, heavy traffic endless tight navigation
amid quest to get to Humber Bay down below Etobicoke.
It’s about 10 miles and 500,000 people and cars between here and there

Quite an intense sport, long stretches of tangles of people
and slow bikes and then an opening, submarine 40k an hour
suddenly and then use all the momentum to veer through
Toronto’s tentupled waterfront population.

Shoulders like grenades now. Knees were in shock.
Bike perfect. People alright, but dull.
The way there there was sunshine
but after it clouded over people looked bleak.

And it was the suburbs. Etobicoke’s moody populace!
Smell of election in the air..
Worst bicycle etiquette I have ever seen in my life,
out in Ford Bros country, though he doesn’t do as well
closer to the water. “Bicyclists for” the Liberals or NDP
should team up and stream through, handing out water..

But me, nothing. It was like a long, periodically interesting
Walt Whitman poem. People moving about unaware of each other.

Overcome by sleep once home. Woke without a thought in head.
Left shoulder strapped the steel forge
Everything’s like first time everything.
Mind emptied right out. Bled out. Nothing. Oblivion.

And then June 7, my dental day, the election.
One of those hideous elections where you think
NDP will take the cake and all sorts of shit will be ours.
Liberals seem tangled in the weeds
and NDP doin a fine job so far.
and the Cons are a mess,
the most bogus leadership and nominations processes
a party being taken over by god knows what and who the fuck ever
but biking the waterfront out west ward way
with my 4d hearing. “the mood of the times”
one can just sense that awful feeling of ugliness
“Doug Ford Majority” like some grotesque mockery of our times
chaos as his unsturdy sails and hodgepodge of toronto sun thoughts
barbituate the Province’s management and jurisprudence

Later wrote a poem about all this.


more of the future, the inevitable forces, the inevitable forces of alienation, defining everything – Anything from “couple that will appear to be closest ever who will hate each other 3 scorching years later – and, people who if got too close would go off like firecrackers, people who couldn’t possibly deal with each other’s complications, – a sucking vacuum of relateability. Wide and encompassing ranges of mutual unrelateability. Hence we live in Michaux land. Dwarves working all night. It’s not even close in most cases. I couldn’t possibly relate to this person.. And one realizes half the people who are in your life are antagonists. Not because of me, but they just are – antagonists. That’s how they get through life. Antagonizing. And they have the pedal to the medal to both depress the likes of us, and drill down like evil male dentists on electing dead Rob Ford’s graceless and ignorant brother, he’s ignorant, that’s why he attacks elites, because they claim to know things. Good bye intelligent colony. Apollinaire bikes away, Henri Michaux gives him a wave, Artaud sees it from his asylum window, – resist Breton that’s all I’m saying.

And may the candy store beyond the el be always open


April 18, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — oversion @ 2:08 pm

Waters high in Downsview. It’s a wonderland.
Monday even the 3 foot high snowbanks were rock hard
with perfect round ice, insane to walk on.
Frozen rained on snowplow slush snowed on then rained
then snowed on again. The most difficult getting to my job ever.
Then this morning continued precipitation and
vague interplays of melting and freezing.

It’s all the Nestles water returning to Canada as fast as it can.
In the future, who won’t test positive for steroids and every other drug?
Fish are already mutating. The blending of all things in water,
the natural element we have the most in common with.

There comes a time of knowing too much.

A charming unidentified bird alights at the edge of the massively expanded brook, and tilts forward for a drink.

I think of it more as sabotaged weather than this or that.
Unseasonal cold spell of gargantuan proportions of late, unbelievable,
but there’s times it’s cold and raining here and heat waves
everywhere else, from the North Pole to Antarctica
parched desert-like conditions, while all cold and water
are in a little bubble here. And plentifully so.

Meanwhile the birds, the seasonal migrators, adjusting to a
quixotic new reality. All arriving, and scampering around in weather they avoid. April 17 and a second winter.

Birds adjust amazingly. Whatever it is the sparrows do about it, they emerge with few losses from any circumstance.

Robins seem to be holding up despite the snow. I think they’re finding food in the trees.

The Gulls likewise. Watching them slide 4 feet when they landed on the everywhere ice was hilarious, like watching someone try to walk up the down escalator.

And many with nothing on their minds but sex anyway.


The cardinal poses on a branch in a blizzard singing out its mating calls.

The cardinal poses on a branch in a blizzard singing out its mating calls.

April 10, 2018

War’s Eve Poems, on the eve of war

Filed under: Uncategorized — oversion @ 2:20 pm

CNN Sunrises

even as we speak America Britain Israel and France
may be stepping in on the war with Syria Iran Hezbollah and Russia

“We meet again”


and then Hungary sides with Russia but hates Syrians
so we ask ‘What are we fighting for?’

“Turkey? Whose side are you on?”

Suddenly the vast forces of the West have about 30 fronts
and choices and decisions abound

“Who gets sacrificed?”

What are the chances cooler heads will have prevailed
by morning when the doves will float into the shipping yard

Vainglorious Global Failure

It’s obtuse the “Assad must go” (and run out the clock) approach
Trump’s half-hearted opinion even as he says it

The whole thing looks different when you estimate the alliance
against the old usa britain france aussie canada fighting team
is that it can be Syria Iran Hezbollah Russia Hungary Turkey North Korea China
with no time for America’s prima donna world leadership
Japan and South Korea reel to their west to defend themselves
and much of the world continues on disastrously, desertification one life at a time

It feels like one of those War’s Eve kind of times,
going all the way back, Cuban Missile Crisis when I was an infant
Presaging perpetual anticipation of nuclear strikes
(the cold war turned out to be cold but didn’t always feel cool)

the invasions and CIA takeovers of hundreds of countries followed
with russia throwing a lifeline to any that would resist
but creepy as fuck in its own right

There’s no doubt but that England and France want in
on any attack. I hope Canada and Australia stay out of it at this stage. Mali?

Syria Iran Russia Hezbollah Turkey vs Syria US and Lebanon US and Israel
the Kurds and England and France. Will Macedonia be more aligned
with Serbia or Canada? Which way Yemen?
And when does Russia pull back from the smoking pile.
Where Chechnya, How Kurdistan,

wolves on chains, a really well managed planet

Vainglorious Global Failure


Late Codicil add to this

When the planet turns into a vortex of magnificently destructive evil
critics bring it to the door of ‘western liberals’ or progressive culture
like the failure resides there. Liberals and progressives aren’t the ones doing this
How not see the difference?

February 5, 2018

2018 TTC

Filed under: Uncategorized — oversion @ 3:23 pm

Needs to be a lot calmer environ.

Myself what people can’t see is that my left leg doesn’t bend or fold.
It’s a really TTC injury, relevant no place else,
but I can’t be jammed vertical into one of those no=knee=room seats at all,
it’s physically impossible, and I take up a lot more space if airborne.
Rather die in a ditch in the country than do the sardine can.
Zen, but I’d say no if asked going in.
I’d say no. Not going to die that way.
Identify with birds. My legs are like luggage.
Like pianos. And my coat and back pack
it’s like sending an antelope north

The system overloads if there’s any problem at all is the issue

but many weeks it all goes fine

December 10, 2017

Barlow wins Pulitzer for long email to friend, and other news

Filed under: Uncategorized — oversion @ 5:09 pm

Needless to say, I was glad to win the Pulitzper Prize for any reason
but was doubly impressed that what I won for was this email to one other person.
Talking on the phone is only good for light things. It takes a long email
to get everything and I do mean everything out there and dealt with on that
first go, and only then can you begin to think about it in the contexts required
toward how the world actually proceeds, and not just reflection and refraction.
Inevitably true science requires that level. Correspondence whole.

Had to decline the Pulitzer though. Totally private correspondence,
si cela ne vous dérange pas ~ Pulitzer pshaw ~ such bullshit
Nobel Peace Price, hey, put it away ~ making sure progress is at a
1/999th rate, just in case progress needs to be even slower fucking hypocrites
all the other prize awarders feed the starving save the animals keep lakes alive
get the plastic out of the ocean preserve water;. Such a badly run world.
And let’s just see
how this global warming thing turns out and stirring up conflict everywhere.
A man and a political party with no conscience of any kind
making America self-destruct with the dying fucktwad President
causing endless harm everywhere, not even wanting to do anything good, only evil
hoping for the rapture, but importantly, complete idiots
the most backward people in America, crass, craven, manipulated fuckups


November 26, 2017

Jazz of Lost Sunsets

Filed under: Uncategorized — oversion @ 2:10 pm

It was maddening. We’d readied the skid hours before and called it in.
It was to be a rare this year day, I’d actually leave early.
The last coworker took off at three, or a few minutes before. (*Molly)
And I really had no worries. They’re so reliable. We’d told them 3.

I went out back and found the world transformed. It was like the
greatest spiritual event ever in my lifetime were happening, due west.
The entire sky was aglow, was amazing,

…And all I needed was for the truck to come take the skid
and I was in the perfect area to chase down that sunset

4:30pm as per protocol I call to confirm all’s well with the pickup
“They’ll be there by 5” “Not until 5?”
“They will be there before 5.”
“I can’t leave until they come. If it’s before 5, fine.”
Call back at 5:10. “half an hour away”

Meanwhile the sky has done every imaginable thing in the meantime
but I’ll never know why. What was going on beyond the building?

October 3, 2017

Pass their message on

Filed under: Uncategorized — oversion @ 12:50 pm

Pretty much bouncing around in the agro of having more
sickening spectacles rain down on life
with the world’s pronounced habit of doing so these days.
It’s painful think of at all, it’s so constant, all the time,
you cannot let it devour reality. Focus on it and stress
or embrace the rest of life and breathe and prevail.

My Saturday night writing oddly prescient to the vibe of this
coming, an interesting diversion in my “Italian Cinema” poem:

“Suddenly in scene after scene
the one or two humans present
were riddled with bullets
from a sizeable handheld automatic weapon
(weapons with no other purpose but crime and overkill
which are legally sold for some reason –
the taxes the government share on violence)”

I can forward the whole piece over.
Primarily it had been the write up of a film
that veers around, and that one bend
was an interesting moment, not in the original plan,
more like the little finger in the shining squeeking redrum redrum

It’s demented, all of it is, every scratchy paranoic thought out there
and the lunatics to put their guns where their minds are.

That said, I figure I road it out well, not watching CNN at all
on Sunday nights or Monday mornings, hence my fb update
about the exploding guinness can commencing my birthday week last night
and celebration of the blizzard in Calgary this morning
almost come off as prescribed.

I will not be bullied into endless Walking Dead scenarios. Fuck the gunmens’ reality

Amid grieving and pain the living are bright shadows
absorbing all the love of their lost loved ones in their shadows.

And it was interesting how the birds reacted to the news
of such a relentlessly gratuitous mass shooting
like a tall tree filled with starlings and crows
who had heard the shots from this faraway this morning
looking at me who will never aim a gun and wouldn’t dream of shooting them
as if I were a hunter.

September 15, 2017

A Magical Day of Sky

Filed under: Uncategorized — oversion @ 1:00 pm

It became a wildly industrious workday,
but it was the profound depth of sky art
intervening at end of it all strolling to the bus.
As epic as a great movie.
Enjoying Lord of the Rings these evenings and it interconnects
through these cloud manouvers today, definitely messaging.

A thought struck me earlier.
People write of the stretch of time
after major life losses
being so stressful and rushed
and not “being able to grieve properly”

The thought that occured to me was that the feeling of it
of all the grievings not grieved properly
All of the deaths and heard of deaths
and periods of life and periods of time

All of them forever future and past

and the mass deaths
and the terrible prolonged centuries of oppression
the group deaths from which people try to rise
and the extinctions, in such a marvelous world

Past oppressions and ongoing oppressions
future deaths and past deaths and ways around dying
as in Tolkein “dwarves doors are invisible when closed’

There must be immense magic in the world
for things to be as powerful as they are
when it comes to love and loss. Something that powerful
in itself, instead of only as a surprise
when falling in love or grieving death.

August 16, 2017

Oversion on Charlottesville

Filed under: Uncategorized — oversion @ 1:23 pm


Well, I am still riding the initial wave of incredulity,
a sense of the impossibility of large masses of ku klux
fucking klan and nazis proudly defiantly marching,
and a President kissing their asses because
they’re his base.

It’s just something that can’t be the case.

And then you have the dialogue about ‘both sides’ being violent
when the only thing that makes sense is, as in world war two
for instance, you go to war with it. But there it is,
advocating self-defense equals advocating violence?
It’s a tight call. I wouldn’t want to do 25 to life
on account of these ignorant maggots.

It’s too much for civilians to undertake of course,
literally killing nazis and kkk.
It’s the public’s responsibility to make it clear it’s unacceptable
to hate on and terrify billions of other people.

It’s the government’s responsibility to deal with such sick menace.
KKK and Nazis espouse criminal intent, arm themselves,
and set forth on the night.
Who else is allowed to do this?
No one.

The other tall hurdle to discussing it is the whole business is so offensive
to so many people, you just cringe. As if there’s something you can say
to account for that. Ripping open old wounds really doesn’t help anyone.

But as to whether there’s been progress, the progress is massive.

The extra decade the older saw don’t easily translate
to the mixed medley of cultural developments by the end of the 80s.
The main stream today that is outraged and appalled and sternly reacting,
from CEOs to gentrifiers to Walmart workers and angered children,
as of the 70s would have been living in homogenized communities
with families divided and fighting about the issue,
if there were any anti-racists present at all.

The way it worked was the nicer people would not be engaging in any of it
but right out in the mainstream, behaving as if everyone agreed,
would be directly racist talk, often baffling:
Ontarians with French last names caustically anti-french,
*I had previously lived in Quebec, and found this one very strange;
people with a native ancestor who talked about “indians”
with cruel nastiness. Little tyrants that would
always have a clique and go around bullying people
and making it an issue if you didn’t say hateful things,
“like you were judging them”
Goaders toward racism just about anywhere you might go,
likewise anti-gay and violently hating on myriad categories of people
while a choir of virulent mysogenists chimed away.
At any level of the society. The rich are the most racist
or the working class is the most racist?

Getting it to be not like that has been truly worth it.
It was dense and more comprehensive than imaginable.
If you befriended somebody on their target list, or were simply nice to them,
or polite to them, you were flagged for a problem.
Amateur gestapo automotons that were prominent in the primary
narrative, and now are not but only candidates for colon cancer
like anyone else

It was an insipid disgusting culture, oppressive within and toxic outward, mean.
It’s buffering base was people lacking such a noxious mental illness themselves
but taking a boys will be boys attitude with it, boys right the way up to grandparents,
with a mix of “oh well, they’re passionate about their family, heritage, home crowd, loyal,”
and “they’re the ones that would be defending us if we were attacked,”
and “they’re all part of who we are”
but also they formed the deepest roster of violent strength
and were generally well connected with police and the local networks
of who decides what. So friendly kind hearted people were under siege all the time
and apt to be threatened.

And it could be hopelessly difficult for minorities to get jobs.
At various points jobs would be scarce in the first place.
But you’d have management viewing it as stress to have to
accomodate a minority employee unless in some highly particular way.
“The front office would all be afraid of him, Jim would have a nervous breakdown
and the secretaries would be throwing up in the toilets all day.
No, we don’t need that,” they’d chuckle, “hell no.”

Today, it’s just commonplace. It’s not some huge effort.
I don’t have to explain why I get along with anyone based on any pressure.
It’s not even a thing one does, it’s just another new coworker in the building
across countless forms of workworld. And in restaurents and bars,
and on sidewalks. We are all the infinite others in the world

There are definitely still nasty people around,
but they’re a bitter writhing rejected contingent,
brewing their deprived narcissism in fringe groups.
Renewed racism isn’t going to fix their lives
or give them back a privileged life.

Nor can you unmulticultural a culture.

Those nazi and kkk have already lost, totally.
They’ve literally in the real world lost.

They’re fucking done.

As if the military will “go back to being” all white,
as if Amazon will suddenly narrow itself, …they’ve lost,
it’s never going back to how it was.
Only these rare few even want it to,
and Trump wanted them to help win his election.
“He’s going to favour Americans”
in a way Trump is what will out them
and hopefully root out the last of it.

And then as sane people we can figure out
how to relate to the rest of the world,
collectively, all of us.
And how to solve problems and fix actual things
and stay out of wars and care for our water and oxygen better.
There’s a saying when many life forms are going extinct:
“If they’re dying we’re dying.” It’s the core of human morality.

It’s true. Humans are a kind of collectivity of all things
because of our mirror minds our uncanny 3d imitation form of learning
and the other side brain’s ability to actually store
instinctually discovered things
and align it with similar data over time
and build superstructure into living,
like Monarchs or golden triangles.

Beautiful multicoloured artworks come to life. Days on this wily planet.

My best to you all,

May 23, 2017

The City Erupts In Gunfire: A Victoria Day Poem

Filed under: Uncategorized — oversion @ 12:07 pm

The city erupts in gunfire in every direction.
Sirens are continuous the whole time I’m in the yard
just after dark on Victoria Day.
The dull roar of a low flying plane slides over the city.
The little black bats are zipping back and forth in the blue dark
right at head level.
After sitting for a while, acclimatizing to it all
I get up to do my stretching.
The grass remains troublingly moist
so standing up.

The standard arms raise hits the backwards jam
in the left shoulder and brings things to a stop.
Much better than it was. Do the long arm dangle
like a broom with a coat hanging from it,
then a clockwise rotation, the left arm pulling up out
of the backwards jam. A rush of oxygen to the heart and
blood to the brain. Huge uptake in energy, suddenly let through
into the mind.
Suddenly refreshed I collect my pint and stroll chuckling indoors
with the fireworks all unknown what else and sirens
laughing insanely along.

Apologies to the escapees from War Zones living here
for this nuthouse means of celebration.
Hopefully it seems carnivalesque.
In fact it’s a coy and silly form of celebration of peace
and that people don’t in fact have armaments, for the most part.
If I thought otherwise, I’d be off on my bike to investigate.

John R Barlow Toronto And Windsor
Victoria Day 2017 C Uptake Press )

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