Trudeau Head 010

A LITTLE EXPLANATION is required, here. Some years ago, I found – in a dumpster outside a government office, of all places – a hollow bronze bust of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Canada’s bratty 15th Prime Minister. To someone who cares nothing for politics – a penny opera for crusty old buggers, I’ve always thought – it’s a wonder I didn’t pitch it right back where it belonged. But something about the bust, cheap and ill-made as it was, struck my fancy, and I wound up taking it home.

For the last 5 years, it’s leered down at me from its perch on top of a bookshelf in my office. I’ve avoided eye contact with the bust as much as possible during that time, to the point that I seldom – that I never – notice it anymore. Strange, then, that I should have a dream about the thing, last night.

In my dream, I was walking into my office, coffee in hand, when I became aware of a voice in the room. I saw no-one, but looking up became aware that it was the bust of Trudeau talking. It was reciting one of my poems – “Ra-Tom Wakes in the Afterlife” (about a mummified cat) – and not in its present, but an early, discarded draft. And I was so horrified to hear the poem with all the warts intact that I began violently screaming, waking in time to hear the echo of that screaming bounding down the hallway, like a rhino, outside my bedroom.

What fun!


JUST RELEASED – The new issue of knowonder!, featuring my story “Twylla and the Tiger” – a cautionary tale about the dangers of feeding children to zoo creatures. The practice has one or two merits, I’m sure – but still .… You can either order a copy, or view it for free online (which would be so like you).



JUST RECEIVED a strongly-worded note from an American children’s magazine editor, declining a poem of mine, “Gruff and Fum-Fudge,” on the following grounds:
1) Today’s children really don’t know what a “sonnet” is.

2) The whole this is obviously a sexual allegory.

This is a little baffling, as the poem – clocking in at 49 lines – is decidedly not a sonnet; and try as I might, I can’t find any trace of allegory, sexual or otherwise, in the quest of two dummkopfs to find a runaway kite.  In the golden days, I suppose, the town dunce grew up to be a trash man, or the mayor.  Now he becomes a magazine editor.






  1. As far as the sonnet goes, I was an INCH away from naming the magazine in question; but considering that, in the meantime, I’ve sold them an 18-line “sonnet,” it seemed bad business sense.

    Now, here’s some good business sense: look for “Charlie” (which can be read here - – and ordered here – in my novel-in-poems MAVOR’S BONES, forthcoming from Vox Humana in the fall of 2010!

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