Now Serving...

So I've missed a few days of my challenge. But I'm not giving up. I'll admit that I'm struggling to feel inspired. However, I'm going to continue to press on.


Like an old black & white family photo
Like an over-used ink cartridge
Like a high school t-shirt
Like a well worn favourite vinyl record
Like a 2nd hand Barney video cassette
Like acid washed jeans from the 80's
Like the last scene of an epic movie
Like using a tea bag the second time
Like the hood of an old forgotten Chevy
Like a black shirt after 50 washes
Like a Michael Jordan jump shot
Like prayers after September 11th
Like the faith of most my friends
Like remembering a dream the next day

...it is fading.


Stupid is stupid does

Bike thief get 30 months

So this morning I was browsing through Google News and came across this article in the Toronto Star. Apparently this man, possibly one of Toronto's most notorious bike thiefs, was charged and got 30 months. However, there are a number of finer points that make me wanna scream WTF???

This man paid people money or crack cocaine to steal bikes for him. So he created (or at least encourage) other criminal elements into society other than his own.

Over 3,000 bicycles, believed to have been stolen, were found in his possesion. Owners have claimed almost 600 of them. However, he was only charged with 58 to keep the case manageable and only wound up pleading guilty to 10 counts of possession of stolen property under $5,000.

I'm sorry, but that's pathetic. He should have been charged with conspiracy and then charged with theft as well as possesion.

Ha... Possession. That's another funny one. Along with the thousands of bikes found in his possession police also found 7 Kg of marijuana and several ounces of cocaine. You may not be aware of this but that is a FAR cry from "personal use". He SHOULD have been charged with possession with the intent to sell.

All this and the man is (to quote his lawyer) "understandably frustrated by how long the process has taken" for charges that were laid in July 2008. 1 1/2 years? In Canada? That's a FAST trial.

I think the REAL kicker is the fact that this man isn't even a Canadian citizen. According to his lawyer, this fact was taken into consideration during sentencing. Only one problem, it was taken into consideration so as NOT to affect his immigration status.

WHAT ?!?!?! So the system bends over backwards for a criminal who isn't even a Canadian citizen while others who have lived here their whole lives get racked over the coals?

I'll admit that I'm in favour stronger and harsher punishments for criminals. And that was what initially got under my skin about this article. But what caused to blog about it was that on top of being a gross miscarriage of justice, this sentence essentially rewards criminals from other countries. We're basically telling criminals to come Canada and we will let you off easy AND let you stay just because you're NOT Canadian.

It's like Forrest Gump said "Stupid is stupid does". And the Canadian legal system in this case has plain done stupid.


Another Monday Missed

Although my thoughts
Blend together, I'm able to
Concentrate on the
Dialogue written on the page.
Each rhyme is
Frozen in time.
Giving rise to the
Hope that when finally
It's my turn, I'll
Just let the mic burn.
Killing all the
Lame MC's with flames.
Making sure that
Never before
Or ever again you
Put the emphasis on
Quality over quantity.
Rather, you
Should reveal the
Truth of the matter and
Unfurl your
Verbs from nouns.
When will you end those
Xenophobic ways?
Your zen is
Zeal of yore.


December 11th

In Gaelic my name means little king. Though I am ANYTHING but little I was once a king. For a few short years I had my very own kingdom. I was the lord of the night.

I'd like to think I was a good and righteous king. Probably because I didn't feel like royalty at the time. I felt more like a wandering vagabond on a spiritual pilgrimage to a place I hadn't yet found. So for a time I remained.

My favourite part of being king was to tour the land. I would aimlessly visit every acre and wood, every hamlet and rampart, every port and bridge.

Each evening I would stroll by trees and homes. In the silence of the night I could the heart of the land speak to me. It would speak lovingly of how it spent the day. How children ran and played among its fields. How farmers would sing praises of the earth while they tended to their fields as long as the sun shone. How most people went about their daily business unaware of the beauty that surrounded them.

These stories weaved their way into the pattern of my heart. Into my heart where I now keep those memories safe. It was those stories that made me love my kingdom and truly desire the best for it.

There can be great peace found in quiet reflective solitude. For some it's meditation upon enlightenment. For others it's prayer to the divine. For others it means journaling the journey of their spirit, heart, and soul manafested in a physical life. For me it was the silent reflection found during strolls through the park alone at night. The time when, myself and all of creation, were quiet enough to hear the soft gentle whisper of the creator.

I may no longer be a king, but I still feel royal. I may not always have God's voice in my ear, but I will forever know what it sounds like. I may no longer be able to enjoy the quite stillness of midnight treks through the park, but the power of their memory lives on.


December 10th - #8

Image by Jennifer Lauck

Tonight I'm gonna kill the devil. That's right. You heard me. I'm
going to cut him down where he stands.

No more of this cat & mouse game of running around in circles.

But if I'm really going to do it it's going to mean some sacrifice.
It's going to cost me. BIG

You see, I need to give up everything. No more doing what I want to
do just because I want to. Whenever I want to.

It's all or nothing. It's victory by all means necessary.

So I'd suggest you take some serious cover.

Cuz it's war


December 9th - Oops

So I missed my first day of the challenge yesterday. The today I found myself in the crunch again. So, today is Haiku day.

Haiku #3

Excavating bones
Like finding lifes purpose means
Digging for the truth

Haiku #4

One's gone forever
The other is yet to come
So start living now


#5 - Love Professed

A sea is storming inside of me.

Rather than the flutter of butterfly wings,
My stomach is more like a cacophony of seagulls.

My heart is pounding against my chest
With the irregular beat
Of wings upon wings,
Of birds upon birds,
Endlessly buffeting against each other.

The waves are crashing all around me.

You see I had a plan
And before that plan I had a plan.
Plans with specific steps to take,
Critical decisions to make,
And a map with markings to follow.

I had a plan a and a plan b,
But now I see they're pointless.
Like trying to nail jello to the wall
They fall apart.

I'm surrounded by an endless range
Of white capped mountainous waves.

My attempts to control a world with you in it are brushed aside,
As if to fate my plans, my master blueprints, were mere dust in the wind.
So I embrace it.

I open my sails to the full force gale winds of the perfect storm.
The precious cargo of my love MUST reach it's destination at port.
So I risk it.

The deafening roar
Of crashing waves,
Pouring rain,
And creaking wood
Fill my ears.

Like a brilliant diamond in the sand
Hope shines through the darkness.


A lighthouse.
OUR lighthouse.
Warning me of the rocky beaches that surround you.
Yet calling me, beckoning me, to your safe harbour.

With the calming lap of the water against my hull to steady my heart,
With the solid shore beneath my feet to steady my soul,
I have the resolve

To pull out the ring,
Get down on one knee,
And offer you my love.


Number... I lost count already?

No eyes... no mouth... no face...
Yet it mocks me, taunts me, to do my worst.
So why am I gripped by fear by the mere presence of this faceless monster?
It's not as if one mistake will forever be marked in stone.
But it's blank emotionless stare wears me down.

After an eternity of seconds I reach for my sword.
Mercilessly I swing full force at my foe.
I stand back for a moment to admire the damage I had dealt.
But just a moment, nothing more.

I dare not give the fear a foothold. So I twirl about in a mad dance. A blurry flurry of slashes, parries, and thrusts. Each time the blade finding its mark. With the enemy mortally wounded I finish him with one final stab.

Slowly I take in the marvel of my work. The madness of my movements seems to have had a greater plan. The slices in his flesh seem to form runes of strange design and his blood, black as ink, spells out the words of...

a poem.


December Poem #3 - Respect Due

I'm first again? huh... wuhtevea man.

I'm always coming in first because I refuse to be last.
Respecting who came before by giving daps to the past.

But nowadays seems every time I throw down on the stage,
Some new sucka steps up to read rhymes off the page.

I ain't hating though, cuz I do that too.
But I can tell from his swagger this kid is a fool.

Talkin 'bout how he's got a new style. You know what you sound like?
KRS Cool J Biggie Tupac One. Yelling on the mic like your name is Run.

You talk a big game bout being a hardcore rhymer,
But can't quote the teacher or the philosopher.

You might think very deeply of yourself, but I think not.
Remedial class is in session because you missed a spot.

Now here's a little story I got to tell,
About 3 bad brothers you need to know well.

It all started with sucker mc's trying to walk this way.
But this Run's house son, not Kid 'N Plays.

Ladies love this next brother who claims to be hard,
See you gotta be bigger & deffer on Farmers Boulevard.

Now, last but not least, this man ain't no joke.
Rakim is paid in full with rhymes that smoke.

Now you ain't gotta like me. I don't like you.
But one thing is for sure:
Respect due.


It's that time again. When the cold bites at my fingers and toes. I get nothing but blank stares as I light a smoke to at least fill my breath with some warmth. I'll make it.

In a few months though, I'll be cursing my own name. Why didn't I take the road South? Or why did I leave it all behind? These and a million other doubt will keep my company under the highway as I wrap the blanket of bourbon around my body snugly. I'll make it.

Ten years now these streets have been my home. Day in and day out they are all the same: struggling to hustle some dough. But eventually even an old soldier like me find himself struggling to keep up the fight. Don't worry about me. I'll make it.

It's being alone in the still of night that seems to take a part of your soul away with the break of each dawn. I might be a shell of what you knew. But at least I'm not wearing a mask like you. I'll make it.

It's getting dark now. I'm tired and ready to sleep. The scars on my arms and feet keep me warm. It as if I was 6 again, falling asleep in front of the fire.

And with that thought I drift off...


December Poem #1

Kreider's Korner Photographs

Freshly fallen.
Freshly fallen snow. It's like the majesty of heaven laid out before us. A carpet of whiteness so pure as if to declare the coming of royalty. But not the vain kings & queens of ages past. Ones who clothed themselves in the richness of burgandy and velvet.

No, this is the Prince of Love. And so, he brings the light of life. So brightly blinding the world it covers seems somehow dim and drab by comparison.

Freshly fallen snow. Like angels on high they fill the sky. Slowly they dance through the black night air with the grace and elegance of little ballarinas.
Each flake a masterpiece of beauty.
Each flake a different story.

Each flake.
Each flake falls.
Each flake falls to the ground. The stories build upon each other into epic adventures of sledding down hills and then hot chocolate with marshamllows. The beauty grows until it seems the angels are making themselves in the snow! Each flake falls to the ground perfectly like each stoke of a master artisans brush across canvas.

All this... in each flake of freshly fallen snow.

December Poetry Challenge

So, a couple of my poet friends (Matthew & Alex) have put forth a challenge: to write something new for EVERY day of December and post it on their blogs.

Knowing it can only help me become a better writer I decided to accept the challenge based upon the proviso that I will be doing weekdays only.

Even that is quite scary. I'm not very good at making time for myself to write. but if my school years taught me anything... I either give up way too early... or the pressure makes me work better.

Please... PLEASE pray it's the latter.


What's The Point

Enough! I've had it! I'm so sick of myself. I'm nothing but another hypocirtical bullshit poser. You think I'm crazy don't ya? Calling myself out like this... out in front of all of you. But I can't do it anymore. I can't pretend to be frustrated and upset when I really don't give a shit.

Kids are starving in Africa? But what are we going to do? What are we REALLY going to do? Let's hold a benefit concert that costs 2/3 of what we raise, give only until our charitable tax benefit maxes out, and buy food to send overseas that is stolen by war lords before it even reaches the people in need. It makes the most optimistic optimist want to stand up and scream What's the FUCKING point?

The points are not the point, poetry is the point.
Then it must be poetic justice how pointless life seems.

Maybe it's money. Will it set me free!
First off, money won't grow on a tree.

There's no such thing as a free lunch, honey.
Even if there was, the time it takes costs money.

What if lightnning strikes twice and you win the lottery?
You get a car and a house, with a yard, and a tree.
But lotto tickets cost a dollar, sometimes even two or three.

Taken from your paycheque is income tax. The cost to make a living.
When you die there's probate tax. That's right, a tax on your giving.

When you live your life just to make money,
I don't see how you can call it "making a living"
When you die it's gone and can't go with you,
All that effort waisted on houses, cars, or bling.

Maybe it's fame?

Sure! Let's get a call back for the pilot of a brand new prime time syndicated sitcom series.
Only to have our surreal life cancelled for low ratings during sweeps.

As we hold on to reality by a string let's wind it up tight and pluck our luck with a pick.
We'll snort coke up our nose to feel like the real thing.
But we can't beat the fact that peppy and positive thinking,
Won't make this next generation what it's cracked up to be.

While driving under the influence of the lies we crash into a wall.
Truth & innocense? There were in the back seat.
But they didn't die on the scene.
No, they died years ago
When you pulled the plug on life support & let it go.

Turn to the drink! Aye that's the rub! Go out for a pint of ale down at the pub.
Or maybe some whiskey? Scotch, Irish, Bourbon or Rye.
But sonner or later the ale will fail, and your kidney will die.

Lasting 40 days in the clinic is your goal,
You check yourself in to rehabilitate your soul.
But it's a revolving door instead of a one way street,
And you can't help but feel beat.

This is just poem. Words made with ink.
But I hope it makes you take time to stop & think...
What's the point?

Prayer For Peace


A traditional Jewish greeting
Which, in Hebrew, means peace or completeness
And for each of you here it's my deepest wish

For Jews use it as a greeting because it is was they want most.
To be free from war. The holy scriptures of Judaism: The Law & the Prophets chronicles a history of war, occupation, and exile.
Whether it was the Roman Empire occupying their homeland, persecution by Christians during the crusades or the genocide of the holocaust... they certainly have reason to desire it. So how do bombs and guns achieve it?

More than a desire or a wish it's a prayer. Prayers for peace ring out around the world but fall on deaf ears. Deafened by greed, ignorance, hate... worst of all.. indifference. Whether it's the war in Afghanistan, civil war in Somalia, the war on drugs, or gang wars.

The world knows little of what it means to live in peace.

Peace be with you

A traditional Christian greeting.
Used by Jesus himself to greet his disciples after raising from the dead.
Once again, more than a trite greeting it was a mission. In a time when professing to be a follower of Jesus meant you could be fed to lions or used as a human torch it would be easy to go on the attack. In a world of hate and jealously (especially amongst the relious elite) we were challenged to be agents of change. Like a lighthouse shining out to warn the ships on the sea Christians are called to be ambassadors of peace. When was the last time you spoke with a so-called Christian and you left with even a semblance of peace?

Whether it's being lonely in a room full of friends, living in poverty in a rich nation like Canada, or abused by the hands of man who should have been protecting you we rarely catch even a glimpse of peace in our lives, let alone experience it.

As-Salamu Alaykum

A traditional Muslim greeting
Which, in Arabic, means "peace be upon you"
We ALL struggle for peace. In fact, Mohammed himself said that the Greater Jihad is the inner struggle we face against ourselves. The fact that we struggle to what is right even when we know what it is.

Couldn't we all use a little more peace?

KRS-One once said that "whether peace by war or peace by peace the reality of peace is scary." I think he was right. Despite being our greatest hope and what we strive to achieve it's the last thing we DO.

Martin Luther King had a dream. The time has come to make it a reality. To put aside our tears and fears. Forgive the debt of vengance owed to you and instead be an ambassador of peace. Experience a little bit of heaven here & now.

So no matter how you say it: Shalom, As-Salamu Alaykum, or whatever... My prayer, for you and for me, is for peace.


I my secret addiction is...

.. watching Big Brother with my wife.

Now, don't judge me! I never used to watch these reality shows. But it's one of her favourite shows and there isn't really much on TV during the summer. So when we first started dating I started watching it. Each season I get more & more into it; guessing who is going to be HoH, who are they going to put up for eviction, who will win the PoV, will they use it, & how will people vote. Then there is all the drama, scheming & double crossing.

2 things are always a constant:
1. The person I want to win always gets backdoored.
2. The person I despise the most makes it to the final 2.

That being said this year is driving me nuts. It's being ran by Jessie/Natalie. They are pulling everybodies strings. And the only person who noticed it was Casey. Next thing you know Casey is gone. It seems like Russell may have been the only one to notice this. So he put Ronnie on the block. Unfortunately this put a wedge between him and the Jessie/Natalie/Chima/Ronnie camp. But really? How long can that crew last before the trust starts to crumble?

Sure Russell is more paranoid than a teenager smoking pot for the 1st time. But he has reason to be. Russell is a competitor and this makes him a target. He also has an explosive personality. He has to know that he has big huge targets on his back. And it's getting to the point in the game where weird stuff starts happening.

Russell made an alliance with Jeff not to put him & Jordan on the block. He kept his word by putting Ronnie & Lydia on the block. This put a bit of a rift between him and the Jessie/Natalie/Chima crew. But it helped him establish trust with the rest of the house guests. During that week Michele was the swing vote in the middle. She had all the power and did the right thing by putting 'sour grapes' Ronnie out of the house.

This week Chima won HoH and put Russell and Lydia up on the block. I think Jessie/Natalie/Chima are going to try to make Russell think he's safe and then backdoor him at the end. If he wins POV they boot off Lydia (who won't win because she doesn't EVER compete). They might not be rid of Russell but they'll have enough voting power that it doesn't matter if he's not on their side.

The awesome part is that Jeff has the Coup D'etat power. This means that right before this weeks vote he can replace 1 or 2 of the people on the block. Kinda like a secret HoH. He laid low this week because it made sense. Everyone wanted Ronnie gone and it weakened the Jessie/Natalie/Chima/Russell/Ronnie group. But he has to realize that without winning any competition puts him & Jordan at risk of going home. His his best allie would be Russell. His biggest threat is Jessie/Natalie/Chima.

Jeff should quietly try to raise support that whoever wins HoH next week put Jessie & Natalie on the block and vote Jessie out. Then when the eviction ceremony happens put them up and say "Let's fast forward a week". He should be able to get Russell without a problem and he has Jordan's support no matter what. So he only needs 1 more vote to get rid of Jessie. Lydia might be an issue because she would want to vote for Natalie. Kevin would play smart though.

With Jessie gone the house will be a level playing field. Natalie & Chima will no longer be able to ride on Jessie's coattails. The real powers will be with the Russell & Jeff (plus Jordan) team. Michele will always be an unknown. She's smart and is a proven PoV winner but she lacks the social skills to form any REAL alliance.

So I'd like to see Jessie & Natalie go up and Jessie go home. After that I like to see it go like this Natalie, Chima, Michele, Kevin, Lydia, Jordan, Jeff, with Russell winning it.

Natalie is weak but she is a schemer. Chima is two faced yet easily believed by most people. Michele being an unknown is too much of a risk. Kevin is a relatively weak player. Lydia seems to have given up her spirit is broken more & more each time she goes on the block. Jordan because she is as dumb as a brick. Jeff because he's a nice guy but not as compatitive as Russell.

Since I want Russell to win and Jessie to be gone then in all likelyhood they will end up at the final 2. I think Jeff's strategy is to lay low. So as much as it pains me to say it, Jeff likely won't use his 'wizard' power. In the end his lay low strategy will be his downfall because people don't think you earned it.


Life, Metered Verse, and Everything

So lately I've been thinking of putting my poetry (both page & stage) into a formal chapbook. I made my first extremely limited chapbook (only 1 issued) a few months ago. Basically I got tired of carrying my poems to poetry slams as a bunch of loose pages in my back pocket. A friend of mine made his own chapbook and it inspired me to do the same. So I made a couple copies of my poetry collection to date and gave it to my mom and wife.

I've been very honoured to actually have people tell me they have a favourite poem. I've even had someone request a piece. The main thing holding me back from making my own actual chapbook (for sale & everything) is that my poetry doesn't really have a theme to it. I can group them a little bit. But not enough for each group to have it's own chapbook.

When I mentioned this on my FaceBook status a few days ago I got some suggestions. But today (out of nowhere) I got inspired. As a fan of Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series I've decided to call my chapbook "Life, Metered Verse, and Everything". I hope to get some help with some graphics. Maybe something to go along with the Green Smiley face on one of the Hitchhiker books.


Google Chrome OS? Why bother?

So accroding to the official Google blog the company is going to be doing what we have all suspected they'd be doing for some time: taking on Microsoft head-to-head. Basically they are going to use a Linux base to run their plethora of cloud computing services.

But my question is "Why bother?". Sure, Google offers LOTS of great products. In fact, I use them regualry and have a personalized iGoogle homepage. I love being able to take my bookmarks, documents, and email with me wherever I go. I can even look up my own web history in case I forgot to bookmark the page.

But many people DON'T like Google. Mainly because they track and monetize user activity. How much will they track with their own OS? Will they track keystrokes? It's getting a little scary if you ask me.

The funny part is there is already an OS that already does this without all the risk: Good OS. Since it's Linux based you don't have to worry about Microsoft and all the viruses, worms, and trojans associated with it. Desktop icons for all of Googles great gadgets are preloaded in a very intuitive manner. Best of all, it runs Firefox instead of Chrome. So it keeps Googles' user activity tracking at more of an arms length.

So keep your money from corporate Microsoft and your data from the prying eyes of big brother Google and get a Good Operating System. because free is ALWAYS good!


Fact or Fiction ???

So I'm sure by now you've at least HEARD of the Angels & Demons movie "based" on the novel by Dan Brown.

I say "based" because it varies from the book GREATLY. As a spoken word poet I understand very well that in making movies books don't always translate well to the screen. So script writers and directors tend to take a bit of artistic license.

But I think they went a little too far. Don't get me wrong. The basic premise is still there: Illuminati threaten to destroy the Roamn Catholic church and Vatican City with an anitmatter explosion. But they departed greatly from the tone of the book.

I'm not what one would call a fan of the Roman Catholic church (that's Catholic with a capital c). I don't agree with much of the doctrine and antiquated traditions. On the flipside I'm not an enemy. They do enough damage to their own image without me or anyone else adding to it. But that's exactly what Ron Howard did.

In the book, the church tried a new strategy: openess & honesty. However, they portrayed them in the same light as the "Da Vinci Code" had created: covering up a conspiracy. What's worse was the subplot in relation to the Cardinal chosen to run conclave. In the book, he would have been one of the preferred if he hadn't been so old. He was portrayed as man who wasn't at ALL concerned with politics. Instead he was determined to serve the church in any way he could. He was authoritative yet very respectful of the carmelengo. The movie painted him more like a power hunger politician.

Now the novel IS a work of fiction. LOL A fact I often remind "Da Vinci Code" conspiricists. That's the truth. It's a fact. So why take the fact and turn it into fiction? It seems the only reason they did it was to sell movies. I mean, that's what made the Da Vinci Code such a big hit wasn't it?

So in conclusion:

- Angels & Demons (book & movie) is a work of fiction
- The book kept you riveted and was inspiring
- The movie tries to capitalize on the Da Vinci Code
- I falls FAR short of the book and the other hit movie


My new word

For the past few weeks this issue has been boiling & festering inside my heart... my mind... my soul. I desperately want to write a poem on it. But I have no idea how to give it voice. I want it to hit hard and strike a nerve. But the idea isn't to offend but shed some light on the issue.

Basically I was at a Slam where a number of the female performers spoke to the issue of abuse. Sure the topic is uncomfortable to listen to, but I imagine enduring it is infinitely MORE uncomfortable. This issue (sorry Truth)... this problem does need a voice. And I commend the women who were brave enough to give it a voice.

However, I felt they were kind of "preaching to the choir" though. Most of the people there were women or (speaking for myself here) men who abhor such actions. Sure it's therapeutic to get things off one's chest. But how has the world changed? Have you inspired change? The speakers were full of passion and on the attack. No doubt hoping to reverse the role their abuser assumed over them while on stage. As one of the few males in the room I couldn't help but feel like they were placing the blame on me as well.

The fact that I internalized their words emotionally is the sign of a great poet. But one poem.... One poet hit me the hardest. She spoke of brother. A brother who wanted to protect her from the hurt in the world. A brother, who in his zeal to protect, became a source of fear. the night finished with a first time poet winning top honours. At the end of her 2nd piece she in effect sounded the call for answer.

Sadly, I don't know how to answer. I'm expected to be the solution while I carry the blame for the problem. It's true I will never truly understand how that cocktail of fear, pain, and hate feels. So how can you expect me to have the antidote?

So let my frustration be expressed in words. I am a Masculinist. I think men need to stand up for their rights. Not to take away what doesn't belong. Rather the right to do right instead of wrong. Not rights for the sake of claiming them. Not claiming them of the sake of nameing them.

Like our right to honour. Not to be honourED but to be honourING. To honour our women.

What are we to do? Our fathers were muted when hedonistic liberalism took centre stage. And now you wonder why rage is all the rage in our present age.

Instead of loud noisey words let me speak to you in the strong but subtleness of silent actions and this white ribbon on my sleeve for the rest of you.


Truth vs truth

Who owns the truth? So often I find people say things like "That might be true for you but it's not true for me?" I'm sorry but truth is truth no matter who percieves it. We can't all be right. Is your truth more true than mine? If my truth is killing you and yours is staying alive then whose truth is.... well.. true?

We can't ALL be right. I mean we all want to be right. But for some reason we try to make believe as if we can all be right, and it's all okay, and we all live happily after.

When the TRUTH is... most of us don't. So this new age hollywood ending that all paths lead to God/Goddess/Paradise/Heaven/or whatever is simply false. We're simply deluding ourselves in hopes to ignore the stalemate we found ourselves at before.

For years, decades, centuries, even millenia we've been at odds (okay war!) over who is right. If we want to be mature about it we must simply agree to disagree.

The problem is people's perceptions. We can't help but be biased by our own opinions and observations. So much so that we stop looking at what is REALLY happening and simply try to force it into our preconceived ideas of the world and fit them into that. Christianity, Islam, Athiests... we've all done it.

We then claim that the conclusions we've come to via our biased perception of the world are the truth. And when we all come together to discuss out conclusions we a re shocked & dismayed that other people don't have the same conclusions. So we play polite and say that it's your truth and this is my truth. And we can both have our own truth without having to totally denounces the others persons perceptions as false... well at least to their face.

Instead of looking at the world through your the lenses of bias perhaps you should take off you glasses and try an unfettered view. Instead of looking for a truth that fits what you believe why not simply decide to believe what is TRUTH.

Truth, REAL truth, is always true. It doens't need me or you to declare it so (or even denounce it as such). So let's NOT all hold hands and sing "Koom-Bye-Yah", let's NOT all agree, let's NOT all be friends. We don't need to get along perse. But come on, we don't need to go to war for it either.


No Pain, No Gain

So recently my wife & I joined a local gym. We're tired of being tired and recognized that we desperately need to shape up our shape. I've worked my way up to 3 times a week 45 mins per visit over 3 weeks. I've mostly just done the treadmill. We went in the pool a couple times to do laps. And once I did a recumbant bike. Mind you I only lasted 10 minutes on it because sitting on it was SOO awkward. It felt like I was going to slide off the seat so I was tense the whole time. Then I had to always keep track of my knees so i didn't bang them on the handles.

Things have been going well so far. I've noticed having a little more energy and my shirts don't feel QUITE so tight. But yesterday we finally did our fitness assessment. OUCH!!! The excercises weren't that bad. But today my chest is so sore from doing the pushups. I guess that's why I signed us up for 6 Personal Trainer Sessions (+2 more for free) because we... sorry... I need the help getting there.

Perhaps the craziest part of this whole deal is the fact that our first session is tonight. I'm sooo going to be hurting. So don't be surprised if I can't lift my arms to type and log into facebook, email, or blog for that matter.

"Feel The Burn !!!!"


My 1st Slam win !!!

So last night I went to the 3rd ever Semantix Guelph Poetry Slam! It's nice having a slam so close to home. It's a little unique from other slams I've been to in a few ways. First, there is no open mic. Normally there are a few slots for people not interested in competing or being scored for their creation and performance of it. Second, there is only 1 round. So there isn't a lot of strategizing. You have to come out the gate swinging if you want to win. Third, there are only 3 judges and all their scores count. So if someones friend is a judge that means you can get a higher score without actually earning it.

It's unique in a good way though. It's a quick & dirty, wham, bam, thank you ma'am way of doing it. There's no messing around it's just down to business! Not to mention that the venue itself is pretty dope.

Getting to win was a good feeling. I'd like to thank Livingston though. Originally I was planning to do another piece, but her comments on Facebook about the poem I performed at the Burlington Slam ("Punctuated Hate For The Man") made me decide to switch poems. Good thing too. All 3 judges gave me a 9.something. So I knew right away that I won. After Dave Silverberg's feature performance (I love the Egg Nog poem even more now) they called on stage to give me the prize... a medium pizza w/ 3 toppings for Toppers Pizza & a book of poetry by Saul Williams called "The Dead Emcee Scrolls". OH.. and Dave gave me a pack of Pop Rocks I'm eating right now!!

Since Guelph tapes all the performances I will be able to share the actual performance with you soon via YouTube. In the meantime you can find me on cloud nine!



How To Win A Poetry Slam

A: Don't care about winning.

Okay, so it's slightly oversimplified. More & more I'm realizing that it's the community that poetry slams such a draw. Last night at the Burlington Slam Project there were only 4 slammers (myself included). So I thought that, despite the fact that both of the pieces were new and going to be read off the page, I might have a slim chance of winning my first slam. The first poem I did was called "Puntuated Hate For The Man". With it I sang in a performance for the first time. I got my first 10 at a slam (mind you it was my wife who gave me the score). The poem I did for the second round is a very new piece called "Why Do I Do What I Do". In this poem I ponder out loud why I try to write & perform poetry. Near the end I get humble by asking not to get a score above 4 before asking for no scores. I close the piece by asking for the audiences heart instead. Because "I Do What I Do" in order to share my heart with them.

In the end my total score was 52.3. I was just .9 points behind the winner, Yogi, who got 53.2 points. Upon reflection I think I should have done one of my more polished pieces (Double Double) and go for a higher score with more performance. But it probably wouldn't have been enough. Yogi had an amazing second round score with a poem about his hands.

All of this, belive it or not, leads me back to my original reason for this post: How To Win A Poetry Slam. Even though I want to win a slam, my original answer does make sense. It's about focus. Slowly but surely my focus is shifting. A little less on winning the slam (& of course the prize money) and a little more on improving my poetry and relationships with other poets.


Slam Nation

So just the other day I finally got my Slam Nation DVD in the mail. I watched it... of course. I thought the filming would have been of a slightly higher calibre.

It was nice to finally see the man behind the name of Marc Smith, the Slam Papi. Despite the fact that he 'said' he was open to slam being an evolving art form he seemed to work hard at remaining at the helm. Although the meetings were democratic in nature it seemed to me like he played his 'founding father' card in order to direct the vote towards his preference.

Don't get it twisted. I don't think I like Taylor Mali's personality. He is WAY too into himself. I DO like his poetry. Moreover, I agree with his strategy. Why can't you switch up who goes when & does what? In a competition it only makes sense to make your best play when the game is on the line.

I think Slam is big enough for both competitors & purists. So why were the purists so seriously confused? It might not be cut throat competition but it IS a competition. Each poem is scored and the highest score wins.

So when Saul Williams, Marc Smith, and others got all in a snit about people being strategic about a competition I found it laughable. Perhaps it's even MORE laughable that he later became the head of PSi (Poetry Slam Inc), the governing body of the National Poetry Slam competition.

I did like Beau Sia (sp?). The guy was intense and funny. I guess my favourite reveals my bias though... the Vancouver team. I've actually had occasion to meet Alexandra Oliver (AKA the home-wrecker).

I guess my question is... why is it that only the slick production of HBO's Def Poetry show does a decent job at capturing great poets perfroming great poems with great video & audio?


Why Do I Do What I Do?

Why is it the more I try to change the more things stay the same?
Why do all the poems I try to write sound so trite and lame?

Please tell me why. Cuz I don't have a clue.
Why, oh why, do I do what I do?


Really? Why do I do what I do? Why do I do everything that I do?

Why is it I can think deeply on a plethora of topics...
Why is it that can love & appreciate the skill and cleverness of dope lyrics...
Why is it I can take your average song & make it better...

But when it comes to writing my own song/rap/poem I struggle to put two lines together?
Why do I always seem to have start off with someone elses idea & flow?
And then I just change the words to "make it" my own. I don't know!

It seems like the only times I write anything worth reading or repeating
Are the rare times the words seem to pour out from within.
It's like a fountain deep within my soul.
I can't even the fathom the fathoms of it's depth.

And then it's GONE !!!

In the blink of an eye...
Quick as a jackrabbit...

...It up and vanishes like a fart in the wind.

I dig deep to again find the source.
But it eludes me like peace in the middle east.

But I keep digging until my body is tired and aches
Exhausted and still finding nothing I collapse.
Was the torrent of a river just a mental mistake?
Was it really real? Or did my grip on reality temporaily lapse?

Why did I have to go so far? Push myself to the brink?
My words stand before me in black & white, paper & ink.
The testify to the truth, that the spring buried deep in my soul,
Won't ever run dry, and the fiery passion can't grow cold.

But it's only when I'm broken that I can be truly made whole.
Liquid lava of love flows out from within to fill the hole.

When the truth DOES come out...
When I share it from a stage...
When I try to get you to measure... my love.

My love for the words
My love for the truth
When you try to measure my love in numbers of course you won't get it.

So don't throw up 10's or 9's the next time pour my soul into a microphone so it doesn't go to my head.
Don't throw up 8's or 7's the next you see my heart beating on the floor because it's not deep enough to hold it.
In fact don't give me any numbers... Instead give me your heart in return.

Why do what I do?
It's not for the numbers,
But so I can share my heart with you.


Loz: Wind Waker

So the weirdest thing happened just before Christmas. I was talking with some of the boys from the junior high group at church near the end of the first service on Sunday morning. I happened to mention that I only had a Nintendo 64 game system. They were of course flabbergasted. Most of them now have Playstation 3's or Xbox 360's while I'm still 2 generations back. In fact, one of the boys said that he has a Nintendo GameCube and a bunch of games for it that isn't going to play anymore because he just got a Playstation 3. In fact his mother had been bugging him to find a friend to give it to or she was going to throw it out in the trash.

Lo & behold, when I came out of the second service there he & his mother stood with a big bag and handed it to me. His mother said "Here you go, have a belated wedding gift" I was elated by this gift. I'm not so sure about my wife though.

Anyways, over the past month or so I've been playing the game Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. It's a pretty cool game. The controls are a little awkward at times. But overall it's a great game. After 2 or 3 plays I was able to quickly get the first 3 orbs and the master sword. I know I'm supposed to go on to the fortress to fight Ganon the 1st time. But right now I'm doing as much exploring, puzzle solving, and trading I can until I can't do anymore.

The hardest process is getting the specifics of each region on the map. I still only have 75% of the board mapped. I'm anxious to play the rest of the Zelda games for GameCube.

Now here is my main beef with gaming systems. I love to play video games. But being an adult who has many interests I can't justify spending hundreds of dollars on a system and then $40 to $60 per game when I really only want to play once every week or so and only 2 or 3 games until the next generation is out. This is what happened with N64 in my years at the end of high school & before college. I bought the system just because I wanted to play Zelda. It turned out to be an awesome game. But that's the only game I had. They only came out with one other Zelda game for 64. And I heard from many people that it wasn't very good. Plus !! I'd have buy a $40 memory expansion slot in order to play it. yeah RIGHT!


Dr. Horrible

Friend's turned me onto Dr Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog a month ago. They played the whole thing for us on the tv from their iPhone. It was awesome. And I'm SOOOOOOOOOOO not a musical kind of guy. But Neil Patrick Harris playing a singing evil mad scientist who posts video blogs about his plots, well what's NOT to love?

Well I finally bought the soundtrack from iTunes a few days ago. It's been on constant rotation in my iPod since. I'm seriously thinking of buying the DVD from Amazon. Apparently it has a whole new set of songs as the commentary audio track.

Be sure to check the linked picture above for the official website. You can buy the full soundtrack or video through iTunes or Amazon. Be sure to check it out! It's awesome... so they say !!