Pinebow Exposed

Lake Pinebow is a series of five pieces (so far) that harken back to my own dreary summer camp days – nothing this exciting ever happened to any of us. Each piece take a slightly different tack on the story as it develops with a string of various points of view.

snow02snow person in the snow

Writing it as verse allowed me to fracture the story into images and fragments that allows the reader put the story together as it unfolds. Poetry also eliminated the need for in-depth character development and I could let a line of dialogue develop a person without the distracting details of gender, race, age, height, etc. There is enough detail that, I hope, you can tell the ‘adults’ from the ‘campers.’

snow03magic carpet of snow ride

I also was experimenting with how much narrative is needed to tell a story. Much like the horror trope that what you don’t see is scarier I’m trusting that what I don’t tell you makes what you do know more complex and fulfilling.

snow01snow person in the snow

I also resisted sexualizing – my dreary summer camp days did have a few damp crushes that almost made the experience worth while. I aimed for a tone of detached innocence as well. I particularly enjoyed writing the camp fire songs that will show up in part 4 on Friday.

(in future my coming attractions will only list features or conferences but not reading events I’m merely attending)

January 22, Wednesday – featuring – Winter Snow Ball, 7 p.m. – urban gallery, 400 Queen East


January 30, Thursday – The Dildettes, 8 p.m., Buddies in Bad Times, 12 Alexander Street.

February 21, Friday – featuring – Racket at the Rocket: 7 p.m., Red Rocket Cafe, 1364 Danforth Ave.

March 1, Saturday – attending – Toronto SpecFic Colloquium

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada


Lake Pinebow 3

is he dead

is he alive

we warned you not to go near the lake

late at night

first Brad now Jeff

each off on an adventure

now they pay the price

is he dead

is he alive

what would have possessed him

he knew the dangers

we told him about the Denizen

we made sure

none of the boys

would go near the smoke shed

they never listen

they never listen

if only they were

content with the pan cakes

flap jacks


maple syrup

but no

they have to slip off

looking for adventure

we can’t seem to keep them all

sated in food stupors

they have to wonder off for some reason

don’t say boys will be boys

because when that happens

every one has regrets

is he dead

is he alive

Jeff Jeff speak to us

wake up

the grey cold damp

isn’t holding you that strong

spit the cold grey lake water

out of your lungs

tell us did you find Brad

have you seen Olaf

which of you

went to the smoke shed

who stole the sausages

who wasn’t heeding

the warning we posted

the tales we told

to chill you

to keep you alive

feel for a pulse

feel for breath

is there a sign


is he dead

is he alive

is he Jeff

no this isn’t Jeff

it’s some other little boy

some other victim of the Denizen

another lad lured to Pinebow Lake

another taken from us

we have to find a solution

a way to let all know of this danger

but if this isn’t Jeff

where is Jeff

where is Brad

where is little Olaf

all the good boys

the brightest and best

have taken their leave

or are they just hiding

peaking around the tress

to giggle and smirk

is some game of hide and seek

where the finders

stay with the hiders

till there is only one looker left

and that will be me

because I won’t go near the lake

late at night

I won’t slip out of my bunk

to look for sausages

I’d rather be hungry and found

not me

I won’t

we must continue our search

beat the bushes

leave no stone unturned

we must look till we find

we must discover

why boys will be boys

we must see if there are foot prints

we have to follow the scent

you smell that scent

the deep decay of blackened tree stumps

something floats to the surface of the lake

a glistening slick

like oil red blood

it is moving to follow the moon

it is time for us to light the fires

to gather around

to be told again the warning signs

the things to do

to make sure we all remain here

who has seen Tim

he was here a moment ago

he had the matches for the fire

who has seen Garth

he had the marshmallows

you boys are going to be the death of me some day

come out come out

this game has gone to far

one is already dead

one we don’t know

who knows this child

does anyone recognize his running shoes

his face

his hands

where has he come from

the bottom of the lake

is he the next warning sign

the fourth sign

of what is to come

the gradual shift

that takes us each from the camp

to home

yes that must be it

the others have gone home

we must telephone

that’s where they are

safe and secure

run back to their mommies

scared of the lake

scared of the dark

and never go to get their fill

of the good cook’s works

we can end the search

once we find out

who this boy is

who has been spewed upon the shore


jccoolchwist it’s c-c-cold

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.