Monday, 31 October 2011

Occupy With a Van Slant



the encampment

has been moved

to a junior college

and though while still alive

they are gasping.


O’VAN sends a note

and a number.


a 69 year old

x marketing fellow

is talking politics


the site

as to be expected

in front of the art gallery

is like a movie set

with tents instead of trailers

a catering section

with a separate

beverage facility 

a production center

a lounge

and plenty of (yawn)

stimulating conversation.


I am not up to  date

as i continue to believe

many well intentioned


are doing their best


infrastructure is key


public media perception

must be played


the spirit of the place is to help

not show off.


happy halloween!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Occupy Sunday Oct 30th 2011

I slept til 5pm and went to Safeway, bought a big sandwich, tomatoes, yogurt, a Greek salad, oranges and a starbucks coffee for 40 bucks.

Cigarettes another 10 and obviously i am not poor                                                    but still i do not qualify as the 1 per cent.


As we all know world economic theory and a Tobin tax                                     are not even in the vocabulary of the financially challenged.


(Is yet another populist movement

who’s very back bone is the  disenfranchised

the homeless the poor and the downtrodden

to be co-opted by neo liberal foundations

who’s very aim is to reform?)

When i hear that word i think of prison.


In Vancouver

the special interest groups

continue to diminish

the food tent has a new piece of art,

the mayor is learning how to share

the poet has a new blank book

the leaky hose has been tightened

regular hours are being established

the library has a five year old chess champion

and the Tent City Kitties lost 3-0

to the Cedar Grove Lions

with one eye netting the hat rick.

here comes the winter…          

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Two Weeks Down


In Canada the right to political protest

is well protected under the


Charter of Rights and Freedoms (get a copy)


And in 14 quick days we have accomplished much


-the medic tent is an oasis

-the food tent continues to inspire

-the library is full of intellectual debate

-the impromptu music is getting better

               -the coffee and thought provoking documentaries

                   are stewarded and well looked after

-the peace keepers are keeping the peace.

-infrastructure is improving

-the info. tent is clean

-the GA’s are regular

              and community is happening  


At a civic level we have a candidate in the race

real estate prices in Cedar Grove are rising

and Tent City is building roads.   


At a provincial level the healing continues with Ricky leading the charge.

At the federal Level our freedoms continue to be eroded with the current regime giving themselves permission to wire tap computers without warrants i.e. they do not need to justify themselves and have given themselves monitoring capabilities by insisting the service companies comply and even allow testing which is how Home-and security rolls

for obvious reasons be careful with the internet

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Day 12 Recap


Legally our position is secure

we are on provincial land

in the middle of the city.


The rain is soothing and gentle

and Emily Carr is in the house

(library First Nation Section).


The general assemblies are difficult

but through listening and consideration

we are learning to persevere.


The kitchen continues to rock

and the coffee, tea refreshment house

has a new floor and is awesome.


If you see garbage            pick it up

if you see a dangerous situation              make it safe

if you see someone in need                 lend a hand


even on a wacky Wednesday night

there are only a few minor altercations

and nothing as a group we can’t handle

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Occupy Day 9

Numbers good

and support tents



freedom of expression

allows us stay


as long as we are able


and not in the way

of the public good… 


the land is owned

by the province

which is also relevant


UBC is on side

as are the city workers


special interest groups are dwindling


The leaves are turning color

the smell of winter is in the air. 

Monday, 24 October 2011

Occupy Vancouver Day 8

The mayor is peaceful

and deep down wants us to stay.


The weekend move

is different than

the work week.


It is Monday and we start again.


Many students took time off school

workers will be going back to their time off work

They will be going back to their regular lives.


We cannot have infinite growth on a  finite planet.


In BC we want to end poverty as Norway has done.


People  with disabilities should be able to live with economic dignity.

The working man should be free of  financial hardship.

Even the most disenfranchised should be given a home.


These are simple requests.


I know you say it cannot be done


yet we are being reasonable and

demanding the impossible…


why not?   

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Lull Them Back to Sleep

The old writers say write from experience:


The mood in the community stationed

at the north side of the old justice building

is festive or as the professor says

“carnivalous ”


yet strangely we are still on message

occupying a bank and hugging a policeman…

which got some good press


Monday back to work

the NPA conservative candidate for mayor is giving us some hate 

But the food is vegan, peace keeping is tight and we are keeping it clean…


Robertson said as long as we are “non-violent”

he will not instruct the police to forcefully evict us…


hey! hey!

let it rain!


but not too much…        

Saturday, 22 October 2011

One Week


We made it!


We have created community

based on dignity and equality


we do not need leaders


we are surrounded by the

the hard cold reality

of corporate capitalism.


We are entrenched,                                                                                           well fortified and                                                                                                      have the support                                                                                                   of the general public                                                                                               for the winter ahead.


                            (Goodness needs no benefits)


We are communicating 

we are keeping it clean

we have a kitchen

a library and a kids area

we compost we recycle

and we are wheel chair friendly


it is about respect

we are getting over ourselves

and thinking of “other”


dig in my brothers and sisters

dig in

dig in

     dig in

Occupy Vancouver Day 6

So far as expected no major problems

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Thoughts on Occupy


Of course occupying Vancouver and playing the stock market

at first does seem to leave one in a contradiction

until one looks at the spectacle.


In Vancouver we do not take revolution seriously

and instead are mostly divided into special interest groups

who do have notions of discontent

which may  or may not be caused

by a  brutal neo liberal Washington consensus program.


The pervasiveness of financialization

demands one behave in accordance

within the guidelines of ‘private property”

or you will not own or even let a home.


terms don’t exist.


Yesterday i spoke with an old associate from high school he was now a sergeant in the Vancouver police force. He was always a good guy

and i told him we wanted to take oppressor hierarchies down

and he said for that to happen we would need more people…

he said on the weekend


i hope it is sunny this weekend.

Which is a different wish

than hoping

a mining company

I invest in

can discover

more natural


so i can


more rich.


prison for the poor

wage slavery

for the rest 


the world

for those

free of financial burden




I write

the phone rings

more commercials.                

Monday, 17 October 2011

Occupy Vancouver Day 2

The crowd is down

from 500o to 500

more tents are in place.

The weather has been mercifully sunny and the mood has been generally good.

The police presence is large and so far there have been no arrests.

The food is being provided by Foods Not Bombs.

In Vancouver we always have water.

In New York they report they are “winning”.

(That terminology is inappropriate but does accurately describe personal experience but again from a neo liberal perspective which is the all consuming narrative). 


Change the way you view the world and you will be a different person says old Che before he died..

This of course takes time and it is still early days.

Hedonistic enlightenment is well entrenched and cameras are everywhere.

As Wade Rathke says

“Who knows if this will develop into a real movement rather than an exciting spurt, but for now if it’s the best we have , let’s keep the fire burning.” 

Conquer abroad oppress at home.          

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Herbert Marcuse The Uni-Dimensional Man

And in the literature, this other dimension is represented not by the religious, spiritual, moral heroes (who often sustain the established order) but rather by such disruptive characters as the artist, the prostitute, the adulteress, the great criminal and outcast, the warrior, the rebel-poet, the devil, the fool – those who don't earn a living, at least not in an orderly and normal way.

To be sure, these characters have not disappeared from the literature of advanced industrial society but they survive essentially transformed. The vamp, the national hero, the beatnik, the neurotic housewife, the gangster, the star, the charismatic tycoon perform a function very different from and even contrary to that of their cultural predecessors.

They are no longer images of another way of life but rather freaks or types
of the same life serving as an affirmation rather than negation of the established order.


The absorbent power of society depletes the artistic dimension by assimilating its antagonistic contents. In the realm of culture, the new totalitarianism manifests itself precisely in a harmonizing pluralism, where the most
contradictory works and truths peacefully Coexist in indifference.

Prior to the advent of this cultural reconciliation, literature and art were essentially alienation, sustaining and protecting the contradiction – the unhappy consciousness of the divided world, the defeated possibilities, the hopes unfulfilled, and the promises betrayed. They were a rational, cognitive
force, revealing a dimension of man and nature which Was repressed and repelled in reality. Their truth was in the illusion evoked, in the insistence on creating a world in which the terror of life was called up and suspended – mastered by recognition. This is the miracle of the chef-d'oeuvre; it is the tragedy, sustained to the last, and the end of tragedy – its impossible solution. To live one's love and hatred, to live that which one is means defeat, resignation, and death. The crimes of society, the hell that man has made
or man become unconquerable cosmic forces.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Occupy Vancouver


I  was almost moved to tears

but the occupy wall street party

is going to be camping

on a museum lawn

and not even the old

Vancouver Stock Exchange 

will be captured…


In Egypt

people were killed in the streets

police brutality was the norm

and young men would hold their chests

open to the red beam of the sniper rifle

death or victory was the cry

in Vancouver the organizers asked

if we were having fun




and neo liberal Washington consensus

politics in particular.

the cuts will only get deeper,

the unions will only get weaker

the media will only get more biased

the military will only expand  

education will get more expensive

medical will get more expensive

more people will spend more time in jail

and the arts will continue to decline

there will be more people and fewer jobs

the environment will be degraded 


on the bright side it will be cheaper

to eat at MacDonald’s than go shopping.   


Technorati Tags:

Friday, 14 October 2011




spiritual?psychological advances like 

the ability to treat “other”

as a human being

with all our hard fought rights

has not moved since the sixties.


As Harold Zinn points out

the seventies was a return to control.

We have been bounced along since then,

now almost completely infantilized.


Atomized, captured and entertained  

we aspire to empty recognition

based on quantity and not depth.




in capitalism less is not more…

How many followers do you have?

Of course in a spiritual life

the teachers teach the opposite.


We cannot claim to be a civilized country

if we continue to support the border cleaning

imperialized agenda in the middle east.


Palestinians resists out of necessity

while we in the west pay for this oppression

surely you have heard of the wall.



We cannot kill our family as easily as we can kill others.

We cannot kill a citizen as easily as we can kill a foreigner.

We cannot kill a believer as easily as we can kill a non believer.

We cannot kill a dog as easily as we can punch a wall.



If humanity is a family

we’re killing

our brothers and sisters


out of site

out of mind


ironically the tar sands rock.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Post Modernism lament

I have very little conviction…

i do not seem to matter

I say with an air

of self importance.


Why get books published?

why try to push civilization along?


q.what is the purpose of life?

a. to shine the brightest.


in a short time

would seem defeatist

do we move out of a love for the planet,

out of a love of life,

a love of nature

or a hatred of white men

who still run rough shod

over the planet…


let’s unwind…


the rich country

allies control

the resources

of the world

and take 70%

let’s say


Instead of feeding

we bomb and write reports

give money we stole

which strengthens



in old fashion math

if you subtract

without adding

eventually you die

but by interfering

with nature we kill

200 species a day

for ever

as in extinct.


the far left cries.     


we all do

hopefully there will

be a few more



in the city

one trusts completely

on global supply chains

which aren’t that secure


if the middle east

is any indication



they drove a tank over people

worse than Tiananmen Square

some pundits argue

this is the end

of the revolution

now it is a coup d’etat

riding a populist wave

to victory.


the problems with governments

is they eventually get filled with people

and people like to hold on to power

and the military is backed by the US


130 countries and

700 military bases


the pirates may break

up supply chains

but half the oil

is used

on running the machine



we’re running down

and this all seems

sped up


as i sit relaxed

with internet wealth

railing against

the machine

I live regally…

out of touch


i believe I’m an


when i’m alone


feudalsim is upon us

as the masses scramble

for what they consider

their daily bread or monthly nut

or must have consumer items


The rich live in mansions


initially i am uptight

and loosen up very little

trauma stays in the body

if unable to express

and as freud writes


and its discontent


We have now come to the place where we no longer believe we are different than the machine…which could change in an instant with a change in attitude instead it is seen as an a priori…or a given…which is the conquering of the world led by the us military/government and unfettered capitalism…only a protection of property rights…those with the property rule most and the military is the final trump card.

It was sad being in Egypt because it did not feel like a country after a revolution should feel. There was none of the chaos, none of the madness, none of the humanness one would expect.

A Parliamentary election was coming up and there was to be a Presidential election in the spring. Now some argue that the Coptic Christian massacre was intended to destabilize the revolutionary forces and retrench the strength of the military who will be seen as the one to provide security…

in a good world

health food education housing a right 

advertising is banned…

which will allow for supply chains

to be distributed

more in terms of need

instead of ability to pay.


From each according to his abilities

to each according to his needs

which can come from many sources


first things first

food security for everyone

regardless of US dollars.


A feeling and a thought accompany every body response, forming a cycle of physical , emotional and intellectual information …we receive with our senses experience with our nervous system and translate information with our brains…we hope these three co-operate…knowing accepting and valuing one another's existence…

how about just knowing and accepting

When people receive mixed messages they feel like they are losing control or that we are stupid. This anxiety is countered by patterns of coping which is being right for some.

We all have thousands of experiences to justify ourselves and there in lies the problem of global poverty. We do not see it yet know it exists.

Psychologically we would rather be secure than rocking the boat.

Has the spiritual work been co-opted by the capitalists to reinforce a consumerist approach to life.    

What is your purpose or are you speaking in tongues again?                   








the operating of a civil society and emotion

which if not balanced with reason would be chaos

which would be a drag on progress

and require a new way of thinking


people are people

deep down

we’re all friends.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


The grey clouds overwhelm      i do not belong there or here

the world is out of sorts…the cruelty of humans is consistent

…and this is what makes a life, a life

many many days of pain

made worse from exaggerating

no one can escape…

as the new country song goes

a 100 years ain’t as long as it use to be…


we have advanced technically

more in the last 100 years

than the rest of time

fueled by capitalism

and competition

which has become unhealthy

for the biodiversity of the planet…

by making the earth safer

we have eliminated

much of her beauty

the thin world of creativity


we are still inexplicably cruel

and are willing

to witness

the impoverished

at their expense

like the

gentry of the old south

talking about freedom of movement

as the black servants scuttle about


we do not need theories about why

we are willing to overlook social justice

but the academics believe

by exposing the problem

then it is possible to solve it…

so they write books

about the “The Occupied Lands” 


superiority issues


and export the problem

of poverty and pollution

while continuing to write books


the current economic system

can only function with a debt

it can never repay…


Bill and Melinda Gates

Foundation is not a charity

but in fact is a

propaganda arm for capitalism

as they team with the

Bankable Frontiers people

to get everyone a

account and credit cards,

mortgages and debt

they believe that everyone

should have identity cards …

we have facebook…

be seen

be counted,

be noticed

be the change you want

to see in the world

are jingoisms

  (of capitalism…)


Sarte said                          at the turn of the century

it is has changed from “others” to “self”

in a barrage of rights cloaked in an

ever improving standard of living

by feasting on the poor




how sad we are

how hungry they are


as in depression,

obesity and incarceration


as in poverty,

pollution and police states            


as in games

more sedentary and more violent


as in bad music

misplaced rhymes and self congratulatory


as in drones


from a high


shooting someone

from a chair in Nevada

does not have the same

visceral experience

as seeing the whites

in their eyes…screens

are not immediate.




the Ticos would call the fat man gorko

because he was fat…no because really

the intellectual liberals will say this

is a case of language…

symbols have become the end of all

we believe spiritual practice and compound interest

are operating from similar principles…


yes a struggle for life…

was against nature

now against man

as his greed

ensures inequality,

violence and depletion


(Why did god allows us to advance rapidly

if he did not know what he was doing?) 


In the long long term the sun explodes and we all die…

what if we live to be 200? same thing just longer

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

What to Do? Herbert Marcuse from a "One Dimensional Man"

The capabilities (intellectual and material)
of contemporary society are immeasurably greater
than ever before -
which means that the scope of society's domination
over the individual is immeasurably greater
than ever before.

Our society distinguishes itself by conquering
the centrifugal social forces with

Technology rather than Terror,

on the dual basis of an overwhelming efficiency
and an increasing standard of living

(Walmart and Holt Renfrew),

the collusion of Business and Labor
within the strong State testify
to the integration of opposites...

as in the Air Canada negotiations where
union leadership and governement/business
are at odds with membership...

The bourgeoisie and the proletariat
in the Capitalist world are still the basic classes.
However, the capitalist development has altered the
structure and function of these two classes in such a way
that they no longer appear to be agents

of historical transformation.

An overriding interest in the preservation and improvement
of the institutional status quo unites
the former antagonists(proletariat/workers))
in the most advanced areas of contemporary society

with the"liberals" (whom we hate).

Forgive them They know not what they do...
their righteousness is wrong.

And to the degree to which technical progress
assures the growth and cohesion of communist society,
the very idea of qualitative change
recedes before the realistic notions
of a non-explosive evolution.

i.e. we don't want a revolution
if that means no coffee with desert

In the absence of demonstrable agents and agencies of social change,
the critique is thus thrown back to a high level of abstraction.

There is no ground on which theory and practice,

thought and action meet.

Here the cynical may rest in nihilism,

The ghost or the invisible (wo)man
may be an agent of change...

that seems proposterous!

Let us then explore no further
and return to the place where
words and actions shall never meet
and where we are all...more comfortable...

the god of consumption forbids sacrifice...

as in

if only you new the hardship of my story...
do you have a minute...let me explain blah blah blah

the outcasts believe they're special
and in fact use this unique status as fuel

"their reason for being"

magnifying the conundrum...
and enforcing the isolation
of a consumersitic society
that is always in first person

as in my children, my job, my feelings,
my facebook, my art my my my privacy

or said better:

The union of growing productivity and growing destruction;
the brinkmanship of annihilation; the surrender of thought,
hope, and fear to the decisions of the powers that be;
the preservation of misery in the face of

unprecedented wealth

constitute the most impartial indictment.

Only by... changing their way of life, of denying the
positive, of refusing...

One-Dimensional Man will vacillate
throughout between two contradictory hypotheses:

(1) that advanced industrial society is capable of containing qualitative change for the foreseeable future;

2) that forces and tendencies exist which may break this containment and explode the society

(but i love society...amazing, awesome, super super super ...yes of course you do...pain is free...and! run! run!)

I do not think that a clear answer can be given.
Both tendencies are there, side by side -
and even the one in the other.

For example the leader of NGO employs
the same techniques as a CEO and in
fact measures success along the same metrics...

of course what else could be the case you exclaim...

The first tendency is dominant, and whatever preconditions
for a reversal may exist are being used to prevent it.

Perhaps an accident may alter the situation,

but unless the recognition of what is being done
and what is being prevented subverts
the consciousness and the behavior of man,

not even a catastrophe
will bring about the change.

and we all knew/know this...

Sunday, 9 October 2011

home is better

Well I am quite beside hope and feel more helpless

the cameras keep everything at a stand

My mind locked in an old place…


mother’s neediness

father’s brutality…


her pull magnetic

but empty…

his pull psychopathic

but greedy…

home is home…

on the move...

away from pain towards pleasure…

are we really as simple as that?…

inward in this way view the world…

first person with an emphasis on first

as a revolutionary

I am not convinced

Capitalism merely needs

to be reformed

very best tolerable

worst a polluted totalitarianism

controlled by a few capitalists…

It is by design I suppose if we can consider it part of our nature…those who abuse others do not believe they are abusing others…in the sense of abuse being punishment…physically or creating an atmosphere of dread…one of oppression…where if one was to step outside the lines which became tighter and tighter mimicking the double bind the perpetrator must find himself in, I the blue eyed blond haired son and then three daughters, surely god is trying to tell us something.

a society of consumption by definition will die from it,

either too much (environmental degradation) or to little (starvation)

strangely the system incorporates revolution quite easily

and the occupy wall street Is not fuelled by the same resentment

of a thirty year military dictator who employed street gangs to keep the order

dissent was met with torture imprisonment death

occupy wall street

though harmless shows a flicker of dissent

a young intelligent adult can see

he has not the mobility of his grandfather

or the choice of dropping out…

like union contracts that don’t include new hires

in the collective bargaining agreement

older generations have sold out younger ones in the interest of self desire

demographically the number is too small too matter

the boomers still in charge and still in control

a concentration of wealth

migrating up the food chain

in deep tracks of globalization

we are unawares

of the damage

and have been caught

in the odiousness

of debt

whom do I owe?

a measure by which

I will be judged

regardless of character

birth and location

the heavy metrics

I have lost track of the time and am off to NY

to check out the protest in my new job

as reporter on revolutions

that are destined to fail

Saturday, 8 October 2011


(poetic license assumed)


Dear Comrades,


am still in shock from what I have seen.

The difference between the life I live here

and the life over there…

is wide and shocking.


I live in the: “to the victors—

go the spoils”

they live in defeat…

(at least on a material basis)


When I see avoidable suffering


the hustlers get my money…

at the airport three surround

hiss “give me money”

and I went quickly

to the front of the line…


i meet a Marxist

who says

“casualty of capitalism”

quite a few times

Friday, 7 October 2011


(I wrote a poem about Palestine

and was asked by a Fringe Performer

if I had ever been.

Mistakenly I wanted to back up the poem

from the future

but apparently the poem can stand alone.

it was not to be…

true to nature I give up easily…

yes! yes! beautiful loser!)


Freedom of Movement

I was scared in Cairo without any of the objects I use to connect to the earth.

I did have a few possessions, slippers and some books, my cloths and my luggage.

I misplaced my visa and would yell stop tormenting me

in the large hostel with twenty foot ceilings.

I couldn’t sleep as the room I took was on a main thorough fare 

cars talking through the night,

The conference was over and the chances of getting into Gaza

seemed slim to non-existent…

so in a fit of insomnia and diarrhea

I changed my ticket 


luxury of choice.

weak from the heat and tired.

young child come home

My attempts to reach Palestine

were a few enquiries.

spoke with an American who worked for the government  

failing with the Bedouin in the Sinai Peninsula.

They had resorted to growing marijuana

which I thought was a good thing.

He said the Carter people were having a long time getting into Gaza 

required three levels of government clearance

and an invitation from the other side.

I had no relevant documentation.

I spoke with Oxfam 

I knew very little about Palestine 


If the intent is to draw attention to the plight of the Palestine people

then what tactic would be best employed?



A young intellectual studying applied linguistics

at the Cairo University said

two if his friends had gone through tunnels

but in seriousness I was not motivated.


A young activist was unsure whether she would visit Palestine

and I had never considered the question…


Until exposed to the patronizing nature of NGO’s

and the strange spectacle of other humans

photographing other humans who don’t have cameras

and are in liberal speak disadvantaged

one assumes privileged position is natural


A super structure of the viewed and the unseen.


The final humiliation

not only do we make them live

in the garbage of imperialism

but we also take images

to remind of us of our sin…

poor gutted peoples unite

against cruel globalization


college kid in jail

for a week or two

quickly ceases

to be an anarchist


a revolutionary in a third world

i know nothing of… 

economically, politically, socially…


to succeed one must follow the logic of capitalism

which is corporations personified…


a third world revolutionary  

wax on romantically…


In a rush the tactile world disappears


The unseen being the poverty tourists

pointing their cameras as guns

exposing the cruelty of their system…

not kind or fair 

compromises humanity

in the best sense.


thwarted but I can continue with my mission (what mission?)


I regressed back into a terror 

nights without sleep

or good nutrition 


the Egyptian vendors were hungry 


Sitting in the room with the teachers union

after the other foreigners had left.

The leaders speak in harsh tones

and the other twenty look on exhausted.

One who speaks English turns to me and says

we do not belong here

referring to the hotel where

the nightly fee is close to their monthly salary.


the vast gap between the rich and the poor

intentionally thwarted by the liberal class

who somehow believe we can muddle

through an evolutionary change

with reports and dialogue


war at this stage of technological advancement 


Unfortunately our way of life depends on their suffering…

as we all know the west takes more than her fair share.


In Amsterdam

Talking it up…gonna solve the Palestine conflict is a delusional thing to say…

but the conversation should be about concrete solutions (niave).

Now the dialogue is about the narrative

and how we need to be patient and long distance runners.


The capitalist are marching and Buffets quip about the elite killing us

may require more than a wait and see attitude…

life has been good in the west for a couple of generations.


At a coffee house I smoke a joint and speak

with two English guys about the goodness in the world…

or at least say David Beckham is overrated

and didn’t make much of a splash in the USA.

He too overshot carrying capacity.


The Conference Kind

of Went as follows:

The Growth of the Cotton Industry

went hand in hand

with the slave trade

in the American south,

that used a “free” wage system


imperialism continues


NYMEX and the IPE insist all oil transactions are in US dollars

which is in turn backed by the military and perversely with oil.


A list to do in Egypt

turn off camera each time

more city life around Egypt

good interview with June and me

take video of other people…include people

shots of Egypt city scene

keep camera still

do video entry every day

check video-organize your self

get some inspiration


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Dis organized

There is no poetry at an organizing conference in Egypt and since i was the only poet i am to blame.

The other attendees were writers in the sense of spending time typing on computers.

They produce blogs, reports, books of a perceived nature.

I my self felt stifled.


I knew not the language or the culture…


a strange mixture of women.

Some a slit for eyes in black,

the irony predictable

when they are wearing glasses


a belly dancer

with stretch marks 

“Give me money”

as i arrive…


a westerner

and though not


i did oblige.


Smoking hash

like a king

fruit plates



and cigarettes

with allah and

the forty thieves


the Egyptian

who spent time

in ottowa

rains pounds* on

the dancers head.


*Egyptian money 


What is demeaning ?


the modern dress of

the new bourgeoisie?


The weary faces of the men in long gowns?


Lenin said, “The wealthy nations will feast on the poor.”


A bus driving union organizers says

“Colonization has gutted this country.”


Individuals sold the people and the land.


money in modern banks


A security guard in Maadi

(a rich area of Cairo)

is paid six hundred

Egyptian pounds 600 

a month with a family

12 hours a day

six days a week


$100 USD

printed away

imagine you

yes you


the printing


Saturday, 1 October 2011

Garbage Dreams

There is a religious group in Egypt called Coptic Christians. In Cairo many of them literally live in what people call a recycling community but what most other people would call a dump.

I am not sure what the inhabitants call it but the lady leading the tour said their belief in an afterlife is critical to their tolerance and resilience in what can be only described as unacceptable conditions .

In the midddle east one is constantly reminded of the luck of location of birth.

These Christians make their living transforming waste into blankets, paper and other things which they sell to the wealthy as far away as New York and to me.

Is this what is meant by the term compassionate capitalsim?

At one time people were paying them extra to save shampoo bottles. These bottles were then filled with counterfiet shampoo and resold. This affected the bottom line of the multi nationals so through a conuslting agency they put a stop to this practice.

We were all relieved to see this co-operation.

When we the western tourists tried to take the Christians photos many of them would wave a finger. Most people in the west would not like peole from the east taking pictures of them going about their daily business.

No one likes to be patronized and dignity is a human right.

This poverty tourism is problematic.

At the top of this community was the largest church in Africa. It was carved into a limestone cliff and needless to say spectacular. One man from Poland has carved images and sayings into the cliff over the last twenty years.

I'm sure if you google "Coptic Christian Cairo" images and information will appear.

After that we went to the "City Of the Dead" which is on a cemetary. It is surprisingly quiet and the squatters stay out of site on Friday which is their Sabbath or the day of rest here.

In order for me to get into Gaza i need three levels of USA clearance and an invitation from the other side so an Americain who works for the government informs me.

The day finshed with dinner on a large boat on the Nile. I had an interesting conversation where the plight of the Palestinians was discussed and how Zionism continues to influence the region in ways that are unimaginable.

Cairo is beautiful, the people are people and all who can, should see it before they die.