Archive | June, 2009

Eve of Departure III

30 Jun


Feeling refreshed and recharged. Ready to take a giant bite out of the big apple tonight. I gotta get up for it, cuz I know the city will want to wipe that silly little smirk right off my face. I’ll have to practice my grimey face.

Nice little break here, much needed. The visit in Toronto cracked me open like an egg. I was feeling raw, emotional, and my seratonin was at an all time low by last night. What goes up must come down eh?

Let me explain. Last week was the best week of my life, and I wanted to hold on to that feeling. It was magical, and beautiful, and something out of Amelie, Bridges of Madison County and those Before Sunrise/Before Sunset movies by Linklater.

too much. So forgive me if i got a little emotional. More than anything it was a good indication of the kind of women I want in my life. Had I been more positive I would have enjoyed it for what it was and not lamented too much on having to leave. took me until yesterday to snap out of it.

But it was perfect, and that’s all I’m going to say about it. I left it all on the field and I have no regrets about that.

Ithaca was/is beautiful. A real palette cleanser. waterfallsand greenery as far as the eye can see. Peaceful, a real charming town in the vein of Athens, Eugene, and Lawrence. Nice people, my host has been real cool.

I had a bit of problems getting back for sure. Sunday morning I wondered if it was wise even to come. My friend T____ convinced me it was time and I’m glad she did.

Its been exactly what I needed, although there was a bit of madness with the bus situation.

Apparently the greyhound website has a few glitches, showing times that really aren’t there.
So imagine my surprise when I got there and they said I’d have to wait til 12:30 to catch a ride, no worries.

We’ll just get breakfast. but when i crossed the border there were problems. Got to Buffalo to find out there wasn’t a bus going to Ithaca. Freak out!!!! for sure, especially when the news hit me the same time as i was geting bitched out by the ex-gf about my Toronto affairs.

So i hung up and went to the ticket counter and serendipitously met a Canadian who was meeting ehr sister in Syracuse and was going from there to Ithaca, a guy from Montreal tagged along and fittingly enough i’m riding in a van full of Canucks back into Vonnegut’s old stomping grounds. Was it a coincidence that as soon as i hung up with the ex that good things happened? Who knows, who cares?

the point is I’m still meeting with the crazy loon Howling Mime and his pack of dogs and his beautiful wife for lunch here. Catching a ride back to Syracuse and will be brushing my shoulders off in Brooklyn, New York by nightfall. Ain’t that sumpthing?

perhaps the beautiful Robin Kay will be available tonight to get drinks, or maybe I’ll end up in some bar with the old gang from Denton, Texas. a lot of us out there in NYC.

I’m just excited to see old friends in new places, and tell new lies, and old truths.

30% chance you’ll make to see this world from sperm to conception to being born to being raised to being an adult. You’d think people would seem more happy to be alive. Life is a miracle and magical if you make the right decisions. People in places like Toronto, San Francisco, even Portland at times are so even keel, so cool that they forget just how awesome the places they inhabit are.

That is why its important for travelers like us to remind them that it could be a lot worse. No matter where you are the chain of events have unfolded already to eventually lead to death. Might as well enjoy the trip.

If there is something you need to say say it. If there is something you need to do, then do it. You only live once, unless of course you’re a Buddhist, but i’m not ready to take that gamble either.



Smelling the screams ofa half eaten hot dog trapped within my stomach lining

26 Jun

Every where you go you hear “Thriller” being played on the radio.

I remember a young Irish-Italian hottie putting it on at her place(this was in college) and I was dubious but then I listened and couldn’t believe all the hits on it.

It made me feel sad about Michael, not him dying, but the way his life was.

“If you knew his Daddy you know he never had a chance.”
thats from Chris Rock’s what happened to just being crazy bit.

Maybe he was molested and he passed that on and became a pederast himself. Maybe the family covered up Latoya’s allegations to keep the family looking good. Why would you pay if you were innocent? Opens up the doors for so many allegations and doubts.

Maybe he died when he heard about Farrah, or maybe he died to upstage her, just when she was finally getting her last spot in the limelight. R.I.P. Micahel and Farrah. Just proves fame doesn’t protect you from life’s pitfalls

Congratulations Toronto, you wanted it so badly and now you’ve got it.

You’re just like New York. Your city stinks to high heaven.

Just give them their sick days and be through with it. You’re better than NYC. Behave like it. You should realize how lucky you are. No need to be jealous of New Yorkers. They don’t have it that great.

Now get out there and clean up that fucking garbage.



Eve of Departure IV

25 Jun

She certainly
made it hard
to leave.

Without a
she was

a great set
of legs,

and warm
wet lips.

The kind of girl
you want
to follow
around with
an 8mm
film camera
and make home
in the backyard.

It tore me
I had
to leave
how much
I’d cried
last time
I’d left

This was
that it didn’t
to do the
right thing.

But I
had to
be true
to myself.

As much
as I loved
the city
and really
dug her

I wasn’t quite
ready to settle
to be
things to

and the
country air.

She’d be
another name
a long
of girls
to get me
to stay.

Same old

Another city
another poem
another disappointed

And me
like a

Edward Austin Robertson

Leave the Forest

25 Jun

I chickened out. I couldn’t do it. I heard her voice on the phone and I melted. She was curious as to why I was so nervous, I’m sure I sounded unsettled.

But I knew then i couldn’t leave, even the thought upset me.

So I went and had lunch with her on the roof and we talked about making dinner and watching Law and Order, and i was strangely okay with that. Sometimes you just gotta let things play out the way they should.

I rearranged some things but it really was no biggie. Except the meet up with Howling Mime, but that wasn’t exactly a guarantee either…

However I never told her my thoughts and so imagine her surprise when she looked on yesterday’s blog and saw what was written. I’m not sure what my reaction would’ve been had i been her….

so I’m here an extra couple of days

and it turned out to be the best thing for me.

I got a gig at the Spirits showcase on Church street and had one of the better sets of my career there. Great room, supportive crowd and supportive comics, attentive, music to follow you up on stage. it felt like a show at one of the Improvs in Texas, (except my material went over better here).

I finally realized why I don’t Montreal as much as I should, and its my inability to get on well with French people. I met this guy from Montreal last night, and he just kept busting my balls the whole time we talked, I was too inebriated to do anything other than be cool, and its not like it bothered me.

But walking home it made me think of the French dudes I’d met at University and how we just couldn’t get along. It made me feel a lot better about not liking Montreal.

I’m definitely moving here, now it’s matter of when and not if. It will be a while though, the trip to Oregon this fall will determine how soon I go stay up there…and of course Alaska calls as well……….it’s such an expensive city in T.O. that i want all my ducks in a row before making that call.

Much like getting married, i want to be sure i have all the crazy stuff out of my system before i settle down. Right now I’m much too selfish

As it is i’ll be disappearing for a while. I’m questioning the merit of being so honest on this thing, as much as i want to be forthcoming, I can’t give away too much.

I promise to take good notes while I’m upstate amidst the trees and waterfalls. I’ll brief you on things when i get to NYC, until then here’s this.

Eve of Departure pt. II

24 Jun
Does this look like the face of someone ready to leave?

Does this look like the face of someone ready to leave?

“What is this, are you some kind of hypnotist?” ~Flaming Lips

“When love comes to town I’m gonna catch that train, when love comes to town I’m gonna catch that plane.” ~U2 and B.B. King

Life is quite strange, and memory even stranger. When I think of how strongly I felt for the red head I dated in college and how I ached and pined for her love, I’m almost embarrassed at the lack of feeling I have when her image arises in my consciousness.

On the flip side, how does a person go from being a complete stranger, waiting in the line at the bar to someone you’re sitting at a park on a beautiful evening, talking and looking at the stars on a park bench?

Yesterday i went to her job and we sat on the roof of the office building, where I could see all of Toronto’s downtown, the museums and baseball park, and beyond.

interesting side note here, they have this green roof where they plant a lot of wildflowers and stuff to sop up the extra rain water from the sky. It soaks it up and in the summer and winter it provides insulation and cooling. Toronto is progressive like that, which is why i was surprised that no one is talking about the no flush urinal, rumored to save over 40,000 gallons of water a year.

Speaking of waste, this city wide strike is an interesting thing to observe. It makes you really cognizant of everybody’s individual waste. Crazy seeing the receptacles taped up, overflowing, I can’t even tell you what the demands are……maybe they are just fed up.

Kid Dracula was a failure. You could sense what was on everyone’s mind when people were leaving when it ended. i wanted my money back.I always wondered what gave this old man the idea to link these two things up, the Kid A part worked, although they may have been 2 seconds off, but the Ok Computer did not work. Too distracting from the movie.

Although I must say that Kid A has survived the years better than OK in my opinion. I can’t bring myself to listen to OK Computer all the way through anymore, or even the Bends (unless I’m feeling particularly heartsick). But Kid A sounded even better than the first time I heard it. I wasn’t even sure i liked it the first time I heard it. maybe that is the mark of brilliance?

Anyway this cineforum thing was innaresting….he bought this house, put a movie theater in the parlor and we sat with 3-D glasses and watched 3 stooges until the main movies, for which he then asked for them back……(maybe they wouldn’t have worked for Nosferatu).

It did give me an idea for a movie, although I’d have to get a thumbs up from the JCC about it, called Nos Fairy JEw. Watching some of those scenes was comical and made me wonder how I could make this movie without being called racist and homophobic…….come on…. Vampires???? Lots of sexual innuendo eh?

So the question remains, what would Jerry do? What would Jay-Z do? What would Leonard Cohen do?

Jerry: “Don’t you let that deal go down.”

Thanks Jerry

Jay-Z “I’ve got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t mine.”

yeah you’re right money over bitches, but she ain’t a bitch, she’s actually really sweet and thoughtful, and besides you married Beyonce…… nuff said.

Leonard: “Stay the weekend, don’t leave Canada and write a song about the experience.” Trust me.

As tempting as that is, there is still the woman who may or may not be my girlfriend back home. I don’t want to eff things up with that, and if I stay with this girl, that will definitely come up, because sex would come up sooner or later this weekend.

As much I do want to stay and get to know this young lady, I don’t like making it a habit to rearrange my life around a woman. It doesn’t work. yeah i stayed an extra couple of days, but i was going to do that anyway.

But if I stay a full week, that throws everything off. My quality time with Howling Mime and my buddy in Brooklyn, and not to mention all the hiking i want to do in upstate NY.

But you’ll always wonder what if. Don’t you want to know how it’d turn out? Ithaca will always be there

Hell no. What if I do decide to chuck the rest of the trip and just stay, then what? Not a good idea, she could very well be a siren, put there to lure you off course. More things to see than buildings and food.

Besides if this thing will be over the minute I leave town then perhaps the connection really isn’t that strong. Distance shouldn’t affect the gravity of true love. And my long distant friends can tell you that no matter how much time passes, the minute we are within ear shot of each other, time goes out the window.

So. Now i must ride across town and drop her bike at her house, stop by her job and then say an awkward and abrupt goodbye to her. I’ve already said a tearful goodbye to the city (again) then I’ll hit the road later tonight under the upstate NY stars.

two transfers and then I’ll roll into Ithaca in the morning for a different kind of adventure.

the noise and energy of the city is starting to wear on me it’ll be nice to be away from all the power lines, moving vehicles, and metropolitan people.

I know I’m doing the right thing, but it doesn’t mean I feel good about it. Wish me luck.



23 Jun

Cake in the city?

No strike in the city!!!! garbage strike, piles of bags steeped on the curb, as Toronto suddenly doesn’t seem so clean now eh?

Well whatever, if you drink enough, you can’t smell a thing I’m sure. And I’ve been drinking plenty….that Steamwhistle is delicious and had me tripping balls last night at the open mic.

It was the best open mic I’d been to since my university days at what used to be the Brickhaus on Oak street
lots of talented cats in and out of that place, lots of talented, and funny performers at last night’s affair.

I took a nap beforehand and felt nice and fresh and started in on the beer. Before I got on, I was already thrown a bit, but I was well received. Everyone was extremely hospitable, and friendly and supportive of each other, it was a lot of fun.

My new friend T_______ (from Alberta, the Texas of Canada) met me up there and she showed me more of the city that i hadn’t seen. We sat and looked at the stars and just talked. It was a very nice, cool night. She let me borrow her bike and I rode around the city, looking at all the lights and buildings and just digging it ya know?

Think I’m going to Yuk Yuk’s tonight, if I get a spot on tonight’s show I’m going, otherwise I’m heading to the Cineforum to see Kid Dracula, the Nosferatu vampire film synched up with OK Computer and Kid A. Tonight and tomorrow are my two last days here.

My friend Terris wants me to stay longer, and as much as I love it here, there’s more to see, more places to go to. My friend and publisher Howling Mime is going to be in upstate New York, and I’d like to meet him, but only after seeing the waterfalls and beauty of Ithaca.

So I have to go…..just a matter of when and making it happen…..but it’ll be tough, everyone has been so great and hospitable and its such a hip place, with hip women……..but how could a guy possibly have a girlfriend living here? TOO MANY CHOICES:

“So is that the girl you were dancing with to Neil Young in the candlelit apartment?”

me shaking my head, smiling guiltily, slightly embarrassed, “Ummm no she isn’t”

“You’re a dog.”

That was a conversation with Robyn Kay, this Jewish beauty, a native Torontonian who just moved back from NYC. She is going to be down there around the same time I will be. More on those adventures later, she’s a funny funny gal, and a great singer. I hope we can kick it while I’m down there.

Speaking of kicking it, my buddy and host Oleg is extremely hospitable. I’d thought I had hit the jackpot before with my last two surfs, but this guy is super cool. He’s not into jazz or hoops, but we got a beer on Sunday and watched Brazil beat Italy in this Italian restaurant(we barely made it out alive).

We have had a lot of good conversations and he’s looked out for me, it’s like I’ve been visiting an old friend or something. Just laid back and easy.

WE did get off to rough start though on Saturday night. We did separate things for the evening and i’d gotten so smashed before and after that when i got home from the bar, I’d realized that I forgot to look behind me and see what the apartment number was.

I’d just walked up to the elevators when it hit me. So I tried my luck. The problem is that all the floors look the same in this high rise apartment.

it was weird almost like The Shining. I almost freaked out, somehow I got it together and decided the best way to attack this was to go back outside and look at the balconies and check the vantage point i had when I was in the apartment.

Turns out I was in the wrong apartment building!!! His was next door.

So then I ran next door went up the elevator and tried the 5th and 2nd floors looking for that familiar corner where the magic door was. He was leaving it unlocked, I just had to walk right in.

Floor five door 512, nope. Locked (and despite what Michael Moore says Canadians don’t leave their doors unlocked–at least not in Toronto–London maybe).

Floor number 206 nope. good gawd. WHat if they were watching this on camera? WHat if i stumbled into the wrong door and got shot (something that would definitely happen in the states)? What if I opened the door to someone’s house and walked in on people having sex like in House Party? Nope run to the exit, hit the stairs and get up the floor before someone gets freaked out from hearing their door handle move, and come out with a knife or a shotgun, or a potted plant.

Ran up to floor three and calmly strolled around the corner. Holy Shit!!! There is that bike that was in the hall earlier, fucking A this could be the place. Door opens and i see my soggy sneakers lying on the floor, lock the door and fall asleep, completely forgetting about it…………until now.


Straight out of a poem I’d written before

22 Jun

We’d met
at the
I’d seen her
at the coffee shop
across the
street from the pub
I was drinking

I’d noticed
with her
blue top,
white dress
and deliciously
thick thighs.

When I saw her
on the
the fruit

I knew
i had
to her,
even if
was only
for a


in her candlelit
with her
peace incense
and her
my forehead.

Sitting on her

in her new

underneath the
my first
day back

to mind
I’d picked up my
last old lady
in a weirdly

and I saw that
it was possible
to still
and best
of all
young ladies
who’d find me

and funny.

It was nice to know
I still had it.

Edward Austin Robertson

stimulant (continued)

22 Jun

sent a really good post and fucked it up and ended up losing it so no jokes just straight info:

spliff+ politics = stimulating conversations.

I didn’t know Valley Girls had moved to the Northeast.

Toronto is a beautiful city that reminds me of the best things about Portland and San Francisco.

Austin is the most unique city I’ve ever been to and there isn’t a place I’ve visited quite like it.

I regret not seeing Japanther, God made me Funky, and NinjaSonik, they seem like they would’ve been good bands live, haven’t learned how to make myself 4 dimensional quite yet, but I’m working on it.

No matter how beautiful and stunning these women are, these women here will engage you in a conversation, even if you’re wearing cut-off jeans and a t-shirt.

I could see myself living here in the next 2-5 years.

the band Final Flash reminds me of a Canadian Oliver Future. They rocked and the venue the Drake Hotel is a pretty sweet place. In the basement of a real hotel is the venue with red velvet curtains. Classy indeed.

the show was awesome, the rhythm section was on point and the music evoked lots of good bands I’d heard before, James at its best, A French Kings of Leon, and a little Neil Young sprinkled in. The write up in the paper said it was like Dinosaur Jr. Meets Neil Young meets Pink Floyd. Three bands I’m pretty fond of, however overall they really had their own sound.I was very impressed and it was certainly the best show I saw during the festival.

Lots to work on, need to go to and run errands before I visit the Free Times Cafe to read more poetry.

Shout outs to all the fathers out there, including my own who hasn’t really given me anything worth keeping except a big dick–to which I’m very grateful for (and some of the ladies out there as well), because if nothing else it has proven to be the gift that keeps on giving, even if grief happened to be part of the wrapping.

See ya in a couple of days. I’m off to enjoy the city. One last thing. The crosswalk machine that says “walk” is a guy also but he’s walking at angle where it looks like he’ll start bursting into a whistling fit. Its little stuff like this that makes this city so nice.

Don’t get me wrong it has it’s share of squares and douche bags but you can’t escape those kinds of people, unless you live off tha grid alone in a ranch out in the canyons, something I’m not quite ready for yet. But soon, very soon, and there’ll be shotguns and swimming pools.



22 Jun

This city is awesome. Lots of crazy stimulation going, and I’m not talking about the sugar free red bulls I’m drinking every hour on the hour.

Still not much sleep last night was the most I’ve gotten in a few days, I was asleep by 12:45, up by 6:45.

I’ve packed a lot in so little here, neighborhood to neighborhood, eat here, shop there, sleep where??????

When. What Why, and because….

what the hell am I talking about? I’m rambling, my mind’s scrambling and I gotta get something to eat.

I went to this reastaurant the other day over in the Bathhurst area and teh food was amazing. I had this corn soup at this vegetarain restaurant called One LOve, owned by a Carribean famliy, so much love.

Beautiful family, the kids were just beaming, everyone helping out, good tunes, they were like a bizarro version of the Cosby show. It was great to watch, in fact lots of good people watching out here.

I was at Lake Ontario yesterday (I don’t know why they call it a lake, that’s like calling Louie Anderson heavy)
gotta love the power of the understatement.

Anyway there was this couple a built muscular dude who I’m sure makes a lot of money, with this hot curly haired blonde chick.

They barely spoke and looked miserable, like maybe they’d spent the last night of vacation fighting and now were taking the water taxi back from the airport. It was kinda sad. All i kept thinking was “man that poor bastard.” then we landed and I went on to this open mic at the James Joyce, some good performers and nice people. They only had one toilet and two urinals in the men’s room and i couldn’t wait for the guy to get out.

So I went into the ladies bathroom, I was about to finish wiping when a woman came in. So I sat still. I didn’t move because there was a hole where the lock should’ve been and I was second on the open mic list. I didn’t want to get thrown out before my turn so I sat…..

she played with her and then sat down and peed for a looooooooooong time. HAd I known it’d be so long I’d have high tailed it, but as soon as she finished, another gal came in. So now there were two stalls, both taken, me taking a stinky “duece” that I woulda courtesy flushed but once again, there was that hole in the door, and I didn’t want to draw attention to my sneakers because then she’d call me out as i went on stage, “THAT GUY WAS TAKING A SHIT IN THE WOMEN”S RESTROOM!!!!!!”

so I just sat…and the peeing woman left, then the next woman took her turn, wiped, and left as well. Then I pulled up my shorts, flushed, and ran next door to the men’s room to wash my hands. later I read some poetry and then caught the end of the GZA’s free set downtown on Younge/ Dundas square.

I did some comedy last night, lots of open mics in town, only two showcases, but at least there is somewhere to perform and get some work when you need to practice material.

I didn’t want to but I have that gig on the 5th and i can’t get too rusty…..

all in a day’s work…..I’ll post another blog after this and we can recap Friday and Saturday’s events….this one just seems long to me……maybe i just need to get some breakfast. Yea that’s the ticket. To be continued………………………………..

Observations from the seat of a speeding toilet

19 Jun

Tulsa International airport may have some of the friendliest airport staff I’ve ever encountered, makes horrors like Atlanta and Chicago O’ Hare prison.

Something I noticed while taking off my shoes……..advertisements in the bins where you run your things through…. can’t remember what they were advertising…I was just astonished at how genius the idea was……I think it was for some shoe store… no lie……

not down with the automatic changeable toilet guards at O’ Hare airport…looks tacky, don’t trust em…..reminds me of when people in the dorms put saran wrap on the seats…..

this just in……people are freaks…….awkward, insecure, and neurotic… wonder genuinely confident people stand out so much…….

ran into Chris Duhon at the O’ Hare airport. Kicking it in some basketball shorts and a t-shirt. this guy went to Duke, plays for the New York Knicks and is a millionaire (and barely six feet in sneakers). man it must feel good to be him, just roll out of bed, put some mesh shorts on, sneakers and catch a plane to Chicago…….now that my friends is Baller.

This is always a good sign when I run into athletes at the airport. I ran into Jamal Mashburn in Atlanta once, Franco Harris in Pittsburgh airport (home of Mr. Rogers), Brian Grant in PDX, and Frank Thomas in LAX when I was 20.
Working on no sleep from the previous night, and very little from the night before, it was going to be a tough day. Shuttling about like a madman I made it to the airport on time, paid for the 15 dollar checked bag fee (crock of shit) then had to deal with a crazy delay in Chicago because they had too many people or too many bags. They couldn’t figure out if they needed to move bags or bodies so they did neither and the they did both, then finally we moved across the country and I fell asleep, waking up only to hear us touch down.

Then I went through customs, took a dump, got my bags, did a currency exchange, took a shuttle to the subway station, then took a tube to my host’s place on Bathhurst. Where I found him waiting on me (although I had no way of getting a hold of him i forgot to get his number).
Anyway we went down to Sneaky Dee’s and saw Experimental Dental School (from Portland) and then the So SO Glos (from Brooklyn) both raucous (I was seeing hallucinations from lack of sleep and surplus of toxins from the beer).

The drummer from the So SO Glos was a beast, and they threw down. about 6 tunes I really liked, (think the Clash meets, Jimmy Eat World) the funniest moment came when the singer started blabbering and the sound guy said “Less talking, more guitar please).

I laughed. I was also wearing my “Don’t Mess with Texas” sweatshirt.

quickies on Toronto:

Great transportation system, efficient, the city is the cleanest I’ve ver visited.

A ridiculous amount of hot chicks (a grab bag of races too)


great beer

great architecture

and very green (getting a plastic bag with your purchase costs consumers 5 cents more towards your total)

I love it.
I could see myself working for an advertising firm out here, or a major publication, or just kicking it here for a summer.

To wrap it all up, I’m checking into staying an extra day or two so i can see Kid Dracula, Bram Stoker’s Dracula played to KID and OK Computer at this cinema, the last couple of times I’ve missed it so I’m making it a point to see it.

Anyway I may have to stay at a hostel and was looking into bookings for Tuesday….as the clerk told me that I could get in if I wanted, I gave her a fist pound (she was a cutie) and as soon as my hand hit hers the Gap band came on the radio ( big shout outs to Tuuuuuuulsa)

it was meant to be.

It’s gonna be a great trip.