Monday, April 20, 2009

Wigged out prof ploughing the vinyard



A token male (let alone Ukrainian) in Seneca's College's English department, I was eventually cashiered, stripped of epaulets, moustache and medals and sent out into the desert of Main Street Newmarket like a badly behaved Legionnaire.

Ten years of teaching gives you an authoritarian complex, you've got to lecture, compare, explain.

Having no one to lecture to (my wife had had enough and had moved out) I went out to the park here known as Fairy Lake there to lecture to ducks, geese and assorted raccoons.

I went to Wilkinson's Photograhic Studios here as a PR rep , and not having much to do but write some radio copy here and there, I lectured to anybody who'd listen until even Bruce Wilkinson got tired of it, and decided I might make a pretty good tripod for his cameras, albeit a little noisy.

What to do when you're a fallen professional?

I got into politics and they burned my house down.

Homeless, I went back to lecturing ducks. Some would shuffle notes around the grass. Others would look up with some interest, but would stop paying attention once they realized that I had eaten all the bread in my bag.

I went out to milllionaire Frank Stronach's farm to lecture horses, but these were an elite breed, holding their tinted cigarettes between hooves and pasterns, adjusting their Sixties-style blinkers and commenting on my lectures with loud whinnies and horselaughs.

"Go back to ducks," seemed the message.

Unpublished horses and unskilled bongo players really piss me off.
I had to work now to eat.

Eventually I got a job in an auto parts department, upon which time my girlfriend at the time complained that my lovemaking had become somewhat mechanical.

Nevertheless, I soldiered on

The reception wasn't too bad. They all seemed to know me at Shanahan Ford around these uh, parts, but after seeing me for the third time, head and feet sticking out from a load of mufflers and exhaust pipes, the thrill was gone. The same thing at 400 Auto Wreckers when I decided to take an asthma fit right outside the office because of leaks in my ancient delivery vehicle. Feeling Not so much like a gassed Kurd, but more like something of a turd, I soldiered on after the wreckers brought me to.

There is a line out of old Beverley Hillbillies that goes like: You're an artist, you have to suffer. Boy, are you going to suffer when you find out that the construction crew screwed up and dumped cement not at your poolside, but all over your new BMW.

Story of my life.

Just like MAD's version of "Prince Violent", I somehow always manage to "pick up bow, drop quiver, pick up quiver, drop chainmail pants."

Eventually I got a freelance writing job at the Georgina Advocate.

Ah dues, dues, how long does one pay one's dues?

This morning, a funny thing happened to me at the food bank.
They gave me a popcorn making kit, but I had no mircrowave.
Heh. I do recall my wife observing that in temperament that I seemed a lot like Sylvia Plath, along with some tendencies, and "Ivan, you got your head in the oven again?"

Ah well. The poem. The poem.

Was it all worth it?

Well, let's see:


LOVE POEM
He saw the teardrop on the rose
And again, he saw the teardrop on a rose
And he knew he could never melt the teardrop
And he knew this was already the end

So he kissed the face of the evening wife
As he had kissed it before, in all its varying forms
And again said hello to a precipice of silence
A precipice of silence
For his eighteen months of loving

The Queen of Swords is crossed over
And all the king's horses and all the king's men
Are trying to get her together again
like me
To no avail.

Gigolo and Gigolet
This side of the lake of mutilation
Strike a match
And the hotel burns

There is only
this path of silence
As we dump our gods
And become like them


##

17 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I prefer to lecture the trees. Their disapproval is keen, but it develops so slowly. One is already finished lecturing and gone before they nod off to sleep.


Liked the poem.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Thanks, Charles.

Ah, to write a poem like Trees!

Anonymous said...

ya know,it's true...someone really did leave the cake out in the rain...

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

I am famous Korean general Lee Mac Arthur Park.
in love's hot, fevered iron
like a striped pair of pants.
Got pants dirty.
Became press writer.
I press pants. Try to.

Anonymous said...

checkers more fun...too much press pants make you dinky dao...poetry good release from press,grasshopper...bend with wind...ducks soon return...bake new cake...

ivan@c reativewriting.ca said...

Damn your eyes, Master Po.

...Whoops. Looks like somebody already did!

Midnight said...

Caption for picture? :

'Relax Honey, they're only rice paddies.'

Midnight said...

BTW, Ivan, the way you describe your life is hilarious, and often brilliant!

Midnight said...

Alternate caption :

'You are SO screwed, when it's my turn to be dominant, Sir.'

Midnight said...

Alternate caption :

'You white Chicks will do anything, won't ya?'

Alternate caption :

'Don't blame me, Bitch, YOU ate the cow!'

the walking man said...

...and you're asking is it time to give up? What grand adventures you would have missed out on had you not walked this road.

No matter what is being grown in the field and no matter how intractable the ground before the plow is, there is yet benefit in being the one pulling the plow.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Midnight,
Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mark,

Thnx.

Anonymous said...

Today, I fear the capital will fall to the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Can I tell you how many decades I've been waiting to say that Ivan? I've always had revolution envy. You have revolution cred coming out the yingyang - us suburban reared fucksticks got none. How am I to bed Catherine Deneuve?

If for nothing else we need you for this reason. You drink stuff - have you ever drank anything as intoxicating as revolution?

http;//www.creativewritig.ca said...

Whoops. I think I've picked up another Anonymous this time.

The other, I believe, was Tony.

Yep, anonymous. People would see me going down the street and say, "There goes a radical. Fuckin' subversive."
Don't know how many student strikes I'd led at Ryerson. Ran for reform mayor in Newmarket ON. No stranger to works of Kropotkin and Bakunin. Hated the life of an exurban yuppie, though it was my radicalism that somehow got me all the straight jobs. Even The Star...But the Toronto Star had always been sort of left, ukntil it sold out.
And then one day zapped like MAD's Melvin Mole, a man out of control.
Ah we are such crazy Don Quixotes when young.

Anonymous said...

drinking...a revolutionary new social skill...to the hills...to the stills...Ivanski,y'all keep tipping them thar furrows...even old Champlain's astrolabe owes its life to a farmer and his plough...and when the hell is that Canadian novel breaking thru' northern ice?...

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Anonymous,

Granting structure allows you to only be angry at the politically correct things. Support women and gays. Love Al Gore. Cute baby seals. Even Gene Simmons.
Say nothing about Canadian third rail politics.
Ya gotta carry yourself. Be Jon Stewart. Now there was a cat who knew how it was done.
But here, who the hell is going to pay you? You gotta go to Ottawa if you're a Canadian writer. And then, and then...