This short film, based on Bukowski's poem The Man With the Beautiful Eyes, won the BAFTA for best animated short in 2000. Directed by Jonathan Hodgson and Jonny Hannah, using cel animation techniques with paint on paper.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Saturday, March 21, 2015
May your spirit live on brother!
Morden, Nova Scotia- Bob, Heather, Bruce
Photo circa 1956 Oxford Park- Bobby, Gidge, Shirl
To respect Bob's wishes and that of his family, there will be no funeral service. At a later date, there will be a memorial service at Bob's school in Montreal where he worked as a P.E. teacher for more than 39 years. Click on the message below to enlarge:
View Bob’s Montreal Gazette obituary:
Saturday, March 14, 2015
These are gritty, colloquial blue collar poems reeking of the sweat of hard physical labour and also of the fear & dangers of being on the job. The cover photograph is by the poet RD Armstrong & upon close examination reveals a parody of a circuit board. As the title of the chapbook suggests, the traditional manufacturing 'tools of the trade' which have built post war America have now largely been lost and have been replaced by a global technological market- which we know has suppressed wages & has seriously compromised job security.
The chapbook contains eleven poems, including ‘Post Hole Digger’ which was the winner of the 2014 Joe Hill Poetry Award. As is explained on the publishing details page, Joe Hill was a radical labor activist who was executed by firing squad in Utah in 1915 after copping a suspect murder conviction. The award is presented each year at the Great Labor Arts Exchange by The Heritage Foundation.
‘Post Hole Digger’ is broken into three parts and is interspersed with the other poems in the collection. In the opening stanza of Part 1, the speaker, presumably Armstrong, clearly establishes his working class creds by listing some of the tough, physically demanding work he has slaved at for over three decades & the many injuries he has sustained:
I’ve dug a few holes in my day
I’ve sunk hundreds of postholes
Run thousands of feet of fencing
Laid thousands of feet of decking
Built, repaired, remodelled, demolished,
painted, hauled, moved and
refinished furniture, doors, mouldings.
Gotten a score of splinters
Gouged and scraped my limbs
smashed fingers and thumbs
taken the tips off fingers
using table saws and belt sanders
Inhaled enough solvent to stay
high for several lifetimes.
Part 1 is a kind of anthem to working class ideals- keep it simple: work hard, don’t expect great financial rewards and the notion that we cannot know where our chosen path will lead us. In contrast, Part 2 expresses a disillusionment with blue collar work and explicitly cautions the reader in the last stanza:
But, friend, unless you have
a fondness for the low road,
I suggest you leave now while
you can do it gracefully and
don’t trip on that bucket of
tools on your way out.
In Part 3, the speaker realises the limitations of his work and desires a way out to connect more fully to his creative side:
I knew then that I
didn’t want to die with
a hammer in my hand that I
wanted more that I
desired the creative path
that led beyond
my immediate locale.
As Armstrong mentions in his Afterward, 'Post Hole Digger' doesn’t fully represent Armstrong’s working life but it provides us with a clue as to why he established his small publishing company more than twenty years ago. As he writes in Part 3, he is still firmly committed to his literary journey:
Ten years later I am
nearer to but not
close enough to cease
The focus of many of the other poems in this chap is on the occupational hazards- both physical & psychological faced by low paid, manual labourers. In ‘Slice of Life’ the speaker graphically explores the lethal trajectory of a spinning blade, “without a cool precision/ fate punishes distraction.” In ‘Tank Farm’ a spark ignites a vapour which blows Lou, a fellow worker, in half. In ‘The Bastards Are Waiting’ a paranoid worker rightly fears that everyone out there is trying to deprive him of his job. In ‘Building Blocks’ the speaker's obsessive preoccupation with his job intrudes into his daily life to the extent that it deadens his imaginative thought & desire.
Armstrong isn’t making this shit up. As he says in the Afterward, “ I spent thirty plus years doing the manual labor dance. I had to stop eventually but I always figured it would be from DUI or heart attack or something cataclysmic…something terminal. But it wasn’t that at all, the damn body wore out but didn’t take the mind.”
Tools of the Trade...Lost is a short, solid collection well worth the read. Buy the chapbook here: http://www.kylelaws.com/33101.html
The sequence of poems in this chapbook first appeared in RD Armstrong’s Fire and Rain, Vols. 1
& 2 Lummox Press, 2008 and 2009 which can be purchased here: http://www.lummoxpress.com/lc/books-by-rd-armstrong/
For a recent list of writers published by Lummox Press books find it here: http://www.lummoxpress.com/lc/
Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/rdarmstrong
Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/rdarmstrong
Some Authors of books published by Lummox Press
Authors are from USA unless otherwise noted
Billy Jones (Australia)
Glenn Cooper (Australia)
Henry Denander (Sweden)
Leonard J. Cirino
William Taylor, Jr.
These are just a few of the 100+ books, chapbooks, anthologies and zines Lummox has published in the last 21 years.
A Bird’s Gift
A big red
the back yard
and landed on
a 2 foot high
the scrubs and
on the lawn
and then flew
out over the
It was the most
thing I’ve seen
Flashback: Moonshine Blues
in front of
in Phil’s old
Pall Malls &
we all got out
of the car
by a foot
I swung &
we got back
in the car
(except for Jim) &
Big Mama Thorton
( & Jim crying )
as we drank more
waited for the
Over At Facebook
are all over at
snuggling up and
of their kids and pets,
and juicy tidbits
Which goes to
prove that even the
among us, have not
lost the basic need
Give it to the black sun
of Harry Crosby.
Give it to the Nomads of Niger
dancing in jagged pairs.
Give it to the hollow dead eyes
Give it to the dust blowing westward
constantly in the
Give it to the blind watch maker laughing
insanely on 43rd street.
I don’t care. I don’t give a shit any more. Give
it to Kerouac’s last
fucking death binge.
A writer, working with a
well known booking agency,
emailed me from the Bay
area with a friendly invitation
to come and read, along with
several other poets. Writers
and poets from all over the
country were showing up. A real
big shindig, he said. He made
mention of the booking agency at
least 3 times in his short note.
I wondered about the other writers,
coming from all over the country,
paying their own expenses to get
to California to read their poesy
for 10 or 15 minutes, tops, for no pay.
How could these writers afford to do that?
I’m sure some of them had jobs,
and families like me. And a booking
agency? There had to be some kind
of liquid money flow, otherwise a booking
agency wouldn’t bother getting involved. So,
I emailed him back telling him the
truth, that I just couldn’t afford the trip.
But, I asked, if there was any extra cash in the
booking agency’s kitty, for a motel for my
wife, my dog, and myself - along with
some gas money - then we could take
care of the eating expenses ourselves.
When I didn’t hear back from him after a month,
I felt like writing him again to say that I was
only kidding around about the money, just fucking
with him. But that would have been a lie,
because I was as serious as a hard attack.
She said she had
my number. But
I told her
my number was still
and a large
Vegas odds makers.
In other words,
the beads were still
flying up and down
at incredible speeds.
and moved in
closer, her hand
rubbing my dick
through my jeans.
and tongue on my neck,
“You know what number
I’m talkin’ about.”
Earth Is A Drunken Cyclops
Earth exists in a spiritual squalor;
it is a drunken Cyclops,
perpetually a monster, sea sick with
a single purpose :
a tunnel vision,
to murder us all.
Constantly on the turbulent waves
of ordinary and catastrophic
sailing through the profusely bleeding
eye of human madness
eating rotten Spam
paint and write
what you think
is there. Not
The world is
mangy old dog
They Are Slaughtered Still
Older hookers on 44th Street
Still proclaim that he was just
A kinky, foul mouthed john
From the baby killing Pentagon
They laugh about him now
That his money is going to the
Escort services suggested to him
By a well known congressman
And the slaughter of babies still goes on
They are slaughtered still
As the prices of the call girls grows higher
Without a thought he fucks his girls, and kills
Those babies, his hand in the cookie jar in the kitchen
Of his mansion, his wife chattering on
About her tedious day talking to the PTA
One son is home from Princeton eating
Breakfast at the kitchen table, another
Son is just coming down the stairway
As the babies keep on being slaughtered
They are slaughtered still
As he prepares to go to bed that night
After a long day in the War Room at the Pentagon
He sees decomposing bodies in the mirror but
None of them appear to be his own, so he takes
Two sleeping pills, climbs into bed next his
Snoozing wife and falls fast to sleep like a baby
As real babies are slaughtered still
Pete’s stab wounds
were a badge of honor.
Pulling his beer stained
Dodger t-shirt up,
a 5 inch scar
across his huge
That’s something, man,
He jumped up from his stool,
turned around and
with both hands
pulled his t-shirt
up to the back of his neck,
revealing a large, embedded,
nasty looking gush
in the middle of his back
clear down to
the cheeks of his fat ass.
He turned around with a goofy,
drunken smile on his face,
pulling his shirt down, “The x done
that, with a broken beer bottle,
night she left and went to Tucson.
They say I lost 4 pints of blood.”
That’s something, man,
I said again and bought him a
beer for that one.
Doug Draime emerged as a presence in the literary ‘underground’
in Los Angeles in the late 1960’s. Most recent full-length collection
of poetry is More Than The Alley, released in 2012 by Interior Noise
Press. Also, available are five chapbooks: In Back of Madam Wong’s
(Tree Killer/Epic Rites Press), Dusk With Carol (Kendra Steiner Editions),
Los Angeles Terminal: Poems 1971-1980 (Covert Press), Rock ’n Roll
Jizz (Propaganda Press), and Speed of Light, an online chapbook from
Right Hand Pointing. He currently lives and writes in the foothills of the
Cascade mountain range in southern Oregon.