Government cheese in a van down by the river

One of my favourite Saturday Night Live skits is Chris Farley as Matt Foley, the motivational speaker who lives in a van down by the river.

At 3:03, Chris Farley/Matt asks, “Now, young man, what do you want to do with your life?”

And young David Spade replies, “Actually, Matt, I kinda want to be a writer.”

Here’s a cautionary tale.

Things could be worse for both of us, uh?

Reproduction 3: Cover poll

What jumps out when you look at the cover of Reproduction? Rotate it to be sure.

Some folks at Random House were saying that the cover looks like (b) a clutch purse and now I can’t unsee that!

Read it for fun, buy it for fashion?

My friends Tariq and Aaron, who are constantly punning, would say
(get ready to groan), It’s READy to wear.

Reproduction 2: Launch

Please come to one of these launches if you can, or send your clone, ambassador, proxy, puppet, first born.

Thursday January 24, 6-8 p.m.
Vancouver Film School Café, 390 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
Book dealer, supplier, pusher: Massy Books

With Canisia Lubrin
Tuesday January 29, 2019, 7-9 p.m.
Another Story Bookshop, 315 Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto

Reproduction 1: My kid

Reproduction is the closest thing I have to a kid.

I do have a niece, a nephew, and godchildren I love. But there was no pain on my end involved in their births.

It’s your first time meeting her but she’s actually six years old and ready to start kindergarten. It was hard to let her go but I’m not a home-school kind of dad and I believe that the people who surround her now as she leaves my care will not do her any violence. This is beginning to sound like a prayer.

Say hi to:

Felicia    Edgar    Army

Oliver      Heather      Hendrix  

Riot     Skinnyboywhoflickshairoutofhiseyes     Faye    

More on the Random House site

In my time away from you I’ve become one of those guys who takes selfies in the bathroom mirror

This is me / after 2.5 hours of indoor tennis on a rainy Vancouver Monday.

Check the sweat print.

Ian Williams Heart After Tennis

You see it? That’s never happened.

What is the best reading of the above phenomenon? Circle the correct answer

a. I emit love.

b. God is now sending me emojis.

c. Myself loves me.

d. Someone else loves me.

e. I am in or under love

f. This is the accidental work of millions of years of chest-hair and rib-cage evolution.

g. I’m hot.


As handsome and tall as you

A line from part IV, Death by Water, the tiniest section of Eliot’s The Waste Land, sometimes haunts me. It describes the death of a sailor, Phlebas, and ends with an admonition: “Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.”

Here’s young, talented Chuck Berry (1926-2017) without a whiff of death.


Derek Walcott

Derek WalcottIt’s possible to respect an author’s work and be uncertain about his character.

It’s possible to continue producing while you’re uncertain about your own.

I mean, many of us try to be good people and we fail but we can still be good at what we do. No?

Cure for every disease except death

I’ll confess: I bought this panacea.

It was sold to me by a kid who couldn’t be more than eleven, who was holding down his parents’ store solo. He waived the taxes when I hesitated. So because of the irresistible advertising and my desire to encourage a young entrepreneur, I bit then I tasted (delish) and now I believe / it’ll do me some good.

Isn’t it energizing to choose against one’s cynicism?