backspin 1

welcome to backs’spin.

backspin will do. this is where I see if I can get back on the horse we call writing.
which is so much better than getting back on the drug we call horse.

don’t you think?

…I’ve never actually been into to horses, or ‘horse’ for that matter but as I understand the rules, ‘creative licence’ allows for that sort of thing.

perhaps I will be forced to hang an ‘N’ plate on my laptop for being so reckless(that would be an ‘L’ plate for you aussies). would I have to have someone more responsible sitting next to me?
would I be permitted to write at night?
for now I will press on in the hopes that I don’t get pulled over.

I was thinking about making this a sort of current affairs column. you know, watch the news, read the papers – whatever – and put my ‘spin’ on it.

hence the title.

it occurred to me that in order to do that I would have to watch the news- read the papers.


so today, as with any day, I’m just going to write about whatever.

whatever captures my attention and eludes my attempts to fully understand it.
whatever pops in to whatever is left of my mind.
whatever my fingers, my brain and my laptop can agree on.

I imagine I’ll write about trivial things like smoking or sports. I may even choose to combine the two and give my spin on the tobacco company sponsorship of sport.
I’ll probably touch on the sorts of things that touch us in our daily lives…friendships, families, the effect a bad cup of coffee can have on ones ‘being’.

sometimes I will have no choice but discuss grief, or joy, or even heaven or hell…


I’ll poke fun at whatever moves and complain about it if it moves too quickly for me to catch it.

but whatever I write about I hope to entertain you, challenge you, even piss you off – if that’s what it takes to get the laugh, the tear, or whatever it is my muse is looking for.


so long as I get to put a little backs’spin on it.


so it’s wednesday…apparently it’s the 10th of july already and I don’t seem to recall more than a month or two going past so far this year.
what’s that about?

I’ve opened a take out cappuccino bar. we’re into day 4. who knows if it will work? we’ve already re-couped 1/5th of our initial investment. of course that adds up to about 65 bucks (they don’t call me economical ian for nothing)

it’s kinda cool and cozy but the whole getting up early thing doesn’t quite gel with my night owl status.

quel domage.

our house used to have a garage under the living room. the big door was removed and a wall with a couple of windows and a door replaced it. by all accounts the garage enjoyed the change.

that was well before we bought it. according to those in the know, it’s had multiple personalities over the years.

then we put our on spin on it.

it was a workshop, an office – then 2, then back to 1 office with a fooseball table in it. we got the pool table in there and it became the games room …pool tables have a tendency to take over the consciousness of any room and this one seems to be particularly vulnerable to suggestion.

so when the cappuccino machine showed up to visit (a sort of baby sitting thing for a friend) the room was easily convinced to turn pro.

and now it’s ‘the bean counter’.

caps, lattes, biscotti etc…shit we even do decaf, soy, iced cappuccinos – if that is what you want.
personally I’m wary of anything with too many commas in it’s name.

we’ve been open 3 hours so far today and we’ve had 2 customers…both before 7 am.

but I got to play some backgammon, a little fooseball, a couple of hands of solitaire.

I get to write and if you’re anywhere near pratt rd, in gibsons bc (home of the old and the new beachcombers) you get to come on in for a coffee

the first coffee is on me but be careful what you say…

I don’t want this room getting any ideas.


so I feel this ‘need’ to write. not like the last few times, when I wrote because I could…this is physical, tangible and not as much fun.
at least not yet anyway.

I woke up grumpy. not unusual by most standards really. particularly mine. there was this underlying thing, you know, when this no longer tiny voice shouts at you to ‘find a place where there won’t be any interruptions and get it done!’

I tend to listen when my life talks to me that way.
a lesson I learned from my mum…of course my wife helped the lesson stick.

in this case. for today. I decided to believe that the voice was referring to writing.

I put it off…got a few other things done…had an argument or two…you know?

now. I am on the deck of my mum’s illegal café, looking for a quiet place to write.

normally I would have found that here but nothing about this week, this month, this year… has been remotely normal.

yeah, yeah…all you hippies and punks will say ‘what’s normal?’
and so have i.
a long time ago, a 6 old (who would be about 25 now) said ‘normal is whatever you are’
I believe that…live that. it gets me thru all the turmoil of being different to other people and more importantly…it helps me deal with people who are different to me.

but when I showed up there were a bunch of ferals twirling stuff , playing hacky sac and dancing to that stuff ‘those people’ call music.

my mum hosting raves?

I mean, she’s always been the coolest mum on the block, in spite of her non-drug taking lifestyle. she reads the right stuff. listens to the right music. talks the talk.

but rave parties?

but I’m not here to rave about raves.
or to rant about rants, for that matter.
though I will say that joe’s rant about being Canadian is a-1 stuff.

I think I’m here to write about the s.c.r.d., or grief, or relationships.

or maybe I am here to write about ferals.

for one thing…I’m not sure anyone on the sunshine coast knows what I’m talking about when I refer to someone as a ‘feral’. not the b.c. sunshine coast anyway. the sunshine coast of queensland(Australia) on the other hand…it’s rife with ferals and those who are up with the vernacular.

interesting planet. particularly the ‘long pig’ that roams it’s surface claiming it as it’s own.
I refer, of course, to the white fellas among us.
or more accurately, the white fellas that came before us.

the fact that these ‘long pigs’, or white fellas, came so often, in so many different places with so many different faces, has enabled this wonderful planet of ours to dilute the white fellas seed to the point where we might just get through this thing we call evolution with our sanity intact.

what’s the point of evolving if you still end up in the rubber room?

but back to the task at hand.

it’d be nice to get the thought and – boom! – there it is on paper.
the best I can hope for is that I blurt it out…someone else writes it down as I do.
and later, who knows?
right now, I have to do the work and hope it pays off…knowing full well that most other times I’ve done the work my best case scenario has been that it didn’t ‘actually’ cost me.

ahh life! extreme sport at it’s best.

risk. I’ll have to use that as a search term and see what windows pop up.

I’ve had about 2/3 bottle of vino and bogarted a couple of joints since I started this.
I don’t have much left and there have been a lot of distractions. then there’s the need to be home at some point relatively soon…so many reasons not to write.

what is that??

what is it that I sat down, needing to write about?

maybe I just needed to write for the sake of writing?






so the cappuccino bar…
another time, perhaps.

it’s poetry time

those last few hauls on a smoke
like the last kiss
before we go off to war
against the inner monster
that tells us to light up

or maybe it’s a different sort of beast

maybe the voice that we think is saying
light up!
is really saying
lighten up!



the pressure of writing because I think it’s the only way left for me to make money…the only way to evolve with my sanity intact…well…that’s a bit much.

especially given that the money I need. I needed yesterday…the day before.
how long till I write well enough -enough!- to actually make money?
shit. I don’t know the first thing about selling written arts.

where do I go?
what do I bring?
how do I know they aren’t going to rip me off, yank my chain, or worse…reject me?
ok, I can be pretty sure of the rejection.

but seriously…I don’t even know I’m not going to get shit for the time I’m spending, not earning, doing this now.

the wine’s not going to help my case.

and what if no one wants to read it?

…yesterday, someone I was with…a bass player – stand up guy – stepped away from the table for a few seconds. I noticed, in my periphery, that he was blowing his nose. I commented that it was nice to know that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t like to blow my nose in public. the other person at the table remarked that she too, disliked the whole public blowing of the nose thing. I was heartened by that revelation. about 15 years ago I wrote that while I didn’t like to evacuate my sinuses in public, I didn’t mind emitting gasses while I was out and about.
I wrote in a different style, without the deference to less inured sensibilities but it means pretty well the same thing today except now, I don’t feel so different, so …different.

part way through this exercise, I searched some discs for some stuff I’d planned on piecing together a first draft out of.

the floppy labeled ‘ian’s writing’ contained a prototype of a flash movie I made for someone’s website.

not even the finished product…a prototype.

I just reformatted my hard drive so I’m kinda hoping that somewhere…accessible by me…there are copies of the work I’d hoped to find.

I reckon there are enough pieces…if I can get my segways working.. to make a whole story.

let’s hope I have enough horses and men to put this particular egg together.

in the interim…let’s look at a different story…a different time.


ok, lets look at a different story…a different time. I feel it fair to warn you. however, that this isn’t necessarily a nice story. I don’t think it’d be rated ‘R’ or anything…probably pg though.

it would’ve been the ’80… ’81.
Kensington market.

my whole life had some how taken me to that place and time but because I’d forget which story I’m trying to tell long before I could finish the prologue, I won’t bore you with those details.

we’re having a garage sale. it’s a sunday, so the folks at Kensington silver studios say we can have it there front yard, since they weren’t going to be open anyway.

we get up early…like real early given the types of nights we had…smoke some oil, sort through a bunch of stuff and cart everything down to the bottom of Kensington ave to set up shop.
actually, a lot more sorting took place once we were down the street, cos’ I remember finding these little hand-held baggie scales that I’d never seen before…they didn’t sell so I shoved them into my pockets at the end of the day.

ahh yes, the day…so ½ hour after we’re done setting up and we aren’t sure if we’re stoned or sleeping, until a friend happens along with some speed.

ok, so we’re stoned.

the next several hours are filled with gratuitous sex and drug use, with a sound track of the dead kennedy’s and free enterprise at it’s finest.

when it’s over…we go out to party after a hard day in the retail industry.

we start easy, at the tropical paradise on augusta. backpack with a cooler full of beer…one of those big cold drink ones with the spigot on the front, like you can get from mcdonalds for community event. canvas backpack had a little hole that the spigot fit through…we’d each order 1…refills on demand.

this place was living up to it’s name…it was heatwave in t.o…sitting out in the sun, sucking them back.. at that time you got a little slice of everything at the tropical paradise. punks, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Jamaicans, painters, poets, actors and panhandlers.

but we were coming into week three of the heatwave and even if we didn’t realize it yet, it was all about to boil over.

sun’s almost ready to set…we’re thinking it’s all good and then some bozos, in a passing van, yell some stuff that contributed to the ‘pg’ rating.
I mean, the stuff they said to, and about, the women we were with, offended the sensibilities of most of the people sitting there.

I didn’t respond well. shit no one did. I responded quickly – just not…well.

I handed off my beer, to the person nearest me and launched my self over the rail at the vanfull of bozos. with cars ahead of them on augusta, they could only drive so fast…I guess they hadn’t thought it through…I kicked the right side of the van a half dozen times before they got a clear run.

as I turned to walk back to my beer, and the cheers of all who shared my outrage…a car swerved toward me and more impolite words echoed in my ears.

only this time, before I’m even aware of what’s happening, a punk on a bike rides up to the car and starts thumping it with a heavy chain. the car tears up the street toward college with the punk on the bike right behind him, I head left on oxford in case they double back.

they do.

suddenly I’m sliding backwards down the street with the front end of a moving car in my hands.

up over the curb, they stop when they hit the no parking sign. I jump up from where I’d been dumped on my ass and run round to the drivers door…windows open about a 6 inch gap…I reached in and grabbed his jacket and his hair and whatever else I could grab with my left hand, and with my right hand pulling at the window…I yanked him out of his car and proceeded to give him ‘death by lecture’

I don’t remember how long it went on…I was pretty pissed off so it probably a while..
any way.. so this crowd starts to gather…a few people from the t.p…neighbourhood folks…a couple of the moonies were peering out the window of the reverends Toronto hangout… I keep on lecturing till someone hits me from behind.

I didn’t respond very well to that either.

it turns out that while I was doing the lecture circuit, a portugeuse wedding party was just vacating the hall around the corner and some of these fellas knew those fellas and well, again with the ‘pg’rating

I’m remembering that this isn’t a particularly nice story, I know, I mention that but you know what…I’d rather write a poem or smoke a joint than finish that story right now. there’s a little more violence yet to come and …well..i’m just not in the mood.
I’ll get back to that story, honest I will…it doesn’t end there, or even up the street with sue handing out sticks as we ran into the apartment to even the odds(about 15 to 1 before we got sticks)
it didn’t even end when the cops had kicked me a few times after I snorted 2 bennies in my cell.
or when we …

seriously…I’d rather write a bad poem than tell any more stories of violence…besides this story is visual…how do I tell this visual…surreal story with just words??

I have this whiskey and this laptop and damn it! I want to write something that feels like it’s working. as I was writing that other stuff I kept thinking of olivers response when I told it to him…his distaste for it.

second guessing my reasons for telling it made it difficult to tell as much as I did.

and here I am, pushin’ 40
pushin 40
there’s a poem to write!
what did I learn in my day
that’ll get me through my night?

pushin’ 40
pushin’ 40
they say that’s when it starts
of course I don’t know who ‘they’ are
and ‘they ‘ didn’t tell my heart

and dare I say again?
I’m pushin’ 40
and I still feel like a kid
more worried about what I’m gonna do
instead of what I did.


sometimes all the whiskey in the world
can’t bring out the words ye seek
sometimes all the bad stuff
happens in one week

and sometimes if I try real hard
I can forget how sad I am
but all the counseling in the world
can’t make anchovies taste like jam