Giddy Up Redux

For the summer I’m going back to the series of pieces mythologizing my growing up in Cape Breton. The first of these appeared in my Camp Pinebow series, which is an extension of the Village Stories set in a summer camp. This was rewritten somewhat to fit into Camp Pinebow – for a previous version & discussion see 

Giddy Up

a mainland business consortium

wanted our village 

to invest in a moose riding academy

where young ladies of a certain pedigree

would learn to ride to the hounds on moose


these men had elaborate blue prints

detailed architectural models

all they needed were investors

it would take a lot of our money

to make money

so we wouldn’t be so dependent 

on the fission plant or the strip bars

to put food on the table

when the villagers were reluctant 

to part with their hard-earned cash

these men became derisive 

of our close-minded 

small-town mentality

of our inability to see this great opportunity

we offered to invest if they could

show us how to ride a moose


my Dad 

took them to the moose breeding ground

we followed to witness this spectacle

much to everyone’s surprise 

these city men were able 

to get a saddle on a smaller one

when one of them climbed on it 

the moose wouldn’t move

it barely looked up at him 

as the man dug his heels into its sides

saying “giddy up – get a move on”

the moose’s dung-caked tail 

swatted the back of the man’s head


when Brandi Toffee

their buxom spokesmodel

arrived to sit on the saddled moose

it went berserk

sexually aroused by the female legs

clamped to its back

the sight of the moose’s erection

caused the city men to fall into a swoon

which gave us no end of mirth

the spokesmodel lost her hair extensions

as they got snagged on maple branches 

while she fled though the woods

the aroused moose bellowed pitifully 

when it trapped her in her SUV

when we went to the SUV 

to rescue Brandi

she was gone


the doors were ripped off 

crumpled like paper cups

the windshield covered with marks

small dainty hoof marks

hundreds of them

round hollow

Brandi Toffee was never seen



the moose riding academy never opened

and we villagers kept 

our hard-earned money


One of my Facebook feeds is news from Cape Breton & often the ‘news’ is of yet another small business opening there to boost the economy. Now with the legalization of marijuana there is a flood of hemp-centric businesses looking tax breaks to settle on the Island. The moose riding academy may sound far fetch but there have been equally as absurd proposals.


The piece also reinforces the presence & power of the moose. There are some in Cape Breton, there are more deer than moose to be found but the moose is a much more ‘amusing’ creature that deserves to be mythologized beyond that painting of the Queen riding a moose. She’s side-saddle, of course.


Most of this is fabricated, though I recall one time when a car plant (that eventually folded) had some starlet brought in for the opening ceremony. I don’t think they had celebrities for the closing. But they didn’t slink away in the night the way a few of these enterprises did. I recall one that built a new building, hired staff, then never opened. The pockets just weren’t deep enough.

In Pinebow this is one of the campfire stories. To fit it in I added a few scary details that are classic horror movie cliches. I enjoy the way it takes the moose mythos into darker dimension. 


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s – sweet,eh?

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

Noir Set Building

Set building is one of my favourite parts of getting ready to do a feature – next to designing flyers, deciding what shirt to wear. I already a small series about a summer camp – 5 pieces – that I’d written a few years ago, then posted here earlier this year. The response to the sections I posted was good so I decided to present them at Noir.

structure01 into the set murkily

Lizzie had an open spot in October, which was perfect for the dark of these pieces. Bad things happen at the summer camp but are they are treated with a curious detachment by all. I enjoy that ironic paradox as the story unfolds. The sections are linked by images and, what I hope, is a sense of foreboding and threat – that the reader feels for the boys but which the boys don’t really feel.

Each section takes a different narrative approach as well, one includes campfire songs, another is a nod to the ballad form: “mother mother what did you do.”

structure02 vert

building set connections

To add to the piece I decided to put in a few of the ghost stories told around the campfire. These I’ve picked from another series My Village, which I blogged about here on Wednesdays during the summer. I am reading the Decameron – in which the pilgrims tell stories each night that are vaguely related to their personal growth as their pilgrimage goes on.

I’m not aiming quite so high with Pinebow but one of the things I’ve discovered is that connecting random pieces often creates a through line for the reader, listener, that the writer is unaware of. I am not unaware though so I making them stitch together more cohesively. I’ve written a couple of brand new scary pieces that expand my mythology of the moose.


set ready for props

In rewriting the Pinebow sections I also made them creepier, more related to the mythology of My Village and added some hints of Lovecraft. See if you can find them. The winner gets a visit from the ancient ones.


October 19 – feature – Cabaret Noir – Pinebow


November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo 2014 –




a piece that didn’t make into this set


Pushed To The Wall


I don’t think I could kill

not even in self defence

maybe those survival endorphins

would kick in

if I was pushed to the wall

but the emotional aftermath

is something I don’t I want to deal with

I’d rather be the spirit

that haunts someone

than have one haunt me

I have enough ghosts already

without adding to them

with someone I deliberately

invited into the picture

by killing them


I trust people I know

who have killed

in war

by accident


they tell me

the act of taking a life

changes the mind

even the psychotic

the serial killer

has that change

after they get away with the first one

life looses it value

for them

except in the game their mind is playing


for others

they often wake up

from a dream of those last moments

eyes of the dying

the gasps for a bit more life

they spend their life atoning

for drunk driving swerves

for killing for their country

they are never at peace


no I don’t think I could kill

so don’t push me to the wall

or my will to live

might teach us otherwise

buried vert is that a human ear

#Sex On Demand

Sex on demand is not what a relationship is all about – regardless of the genders involved. Yet all too often that, next to money, seems to be the basis of most relationship stress. I’m pretty sure money wouldn’t matter if there was a more relaxed attitude about sex.


gimme more tongue action

I am, around sexual issues, a fairly amoral guy though. I find the idea of sexual fidelity as being the sole proof of one’s love to be counterproductive. He can smack me around but the sex is great. She can run me into debt but the sex is great. Not that’s not it – it’s more like: He can smack me around but sometimes the sex is okay.


petal paved road

I sometimes suspect that sexual infidelity is an excuse to get out of a relationship one is tired of – then get rewarded for it (i.e. Tiger Woods ex-wife). Now this slips into the history of marriage & that legal attempt to control nature sexual yearnings.


does not copy

One can legislate behaviour, some what, but you can’t pass laws that change how people think. Spousal abuse is criminal, but do you think that law stops people who do it or even makes them think differently. Sure we have gay marriage, but that’s no solution to homophobic thinking.

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo 2017nano


he’s your boyfriend?

he never mentioned anyone else

yes I see how this is upsetting you

it’s not as if I picked him up

oh is that what he said


what was I thinking?

I was thinking it would be a good time

nsa as they say no strings attached

I assumed he had no strings on him

plus it wasn’t strings that were pulled


sorry didn’t mean to take you so lightly

why you are surprised and hurt

after all men are horn dogs

or is it the fact that he was sleeping

with a guy

that’s got you so upset


look I told you

I didn’t know that he was engaged

that you have two kids already

I didn’t set out to steal your man

he was just some sort of cute guy

I ran into at Timothy’s

simple as that

I was looking at Xtra

and he sat down to look at it too


one thing lead to another and another

we didn’t get into history just into bed

and if you want to know the truth

if he was getting what needed from you

maybe he wouldn’t have bothered with me

 bedsimple as that