Monthly Archives: October 2017

I Thought I Told You Twice: Bike Thiefs’ “Lean Into It”

If you’ve been seeking a band that supports dogs with anxiety and demurs at the consumerist principle of destination weddings, you probably need to meet Bike Thiefs.

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Fundamentally, I insist that you need to have your bike stolen to really understand life–fortunately, this three piece out of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada isn’t so dire. Conversational, yes. Sardonic, sure. Sincere, probably.

“Just last week my sister went out and bought a new Dyson.

About goddamn time I felt some excitement…”

Their latest album Lean Into It, shows the band growing into some new sonic textures. Punk is a vast ethos that is limited to the safety pin aesthetic for most people. Bike Thiefs already proved with their last records, These Things Happen All The Time and Bloated, that you didn’t need three chords or a mohawk for punk to work. With this record, their sound is crisper–less screaming and more jeering. But still, as my tattoo artist told me, close enough for punk rock.

Which is good. From the punchy ‘Destination Wedding’–complete with the music video’s most honest portrayal of a Monopoly game–to the twang-ish swing of ‘Melatonin’, there’s a lot in the record’s seventeen minutes.

“You know me so well.

How low is your bottom?

And I tried all my best

to be transparent, militant, eye contact, intimate…”

They claim their new approach is conversational, but I find it almost literary. When I Google ‘literary music’ though, there are more references to existing literature & poetry appearing in music. Which I find strange, because that’s just gilding the lily. That’s not being literary–that’s just using literature.

Bob Dylan obviously won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Tokyo Police Club is a modern contender for me. Other than that, the bands I’ve been listening to most these days work with sound best…their vocals act as just another instrument. I guess I’m making myself out to have an unreliable opinion in the matter (and I certainly do, as with most things) (My wife informs me that my penis ensures I can hold unqualified opinions; I don’t understand why she rolls her eyes when she says it).

Thankfully, the music speaks for itself. My favourite song, ‘Cosmetic Damages’, is a poignant story of a minor fender bender with an asshole:

“Can’t you see I’ve got places to be?

I’ve got goals, man…

My Hyundai Sonata, my high blood pressure,

my left turn…

Now and I see

that your wife

is shaken and crying.

It’s my god-given right

to stay here and fight

and I fight good.

 

I’ve had nothing to drink.”

I don’t want to spend more  time explaining why you should listen than it would take you to listen. It’s been like…two to five minutes. You could be up to a third done by now.

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The Plaza Paper (A True Story)

I found it half-hidden in the seam of a decorative pillar.

A standard white 8.5″ x 11″, filled with printed text on one-side. The font is size 11 Calibri, Microsoft Word’s most recent default. The first thing I can tell is that someone opened the program and started typing before firing it off to the printer. This was a passion plea.

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Olympic Plaza is Calgary’s inner-city monument to the 1988 winter games. It’s now well-lit, to keep away the junkies who found the grass and water fountain soothing. They go nine blocks west now, to Century Gardens. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what the police do to them–their own dealers are serving up fentanyl/carfentanil-laced powders. That’s a different story than now. Or maybe not. I can’t really say, I guess.

There were two police vans parked on an open pedestrian cobblestone path. One van passed me slowly as I approached. I didn’t think anything of it.

I made a roundabout around the fountains, where a man asked me for a cigertte, then hounded me when I refused. He even dropped the hockey bag he was carrying and stomped towards me from behind. That might have been bravery, but I saw how shallow it was when I spun around and stomped toward shim one step. Mahatma Gandhi could beat me in a boxing match, but I know that most people are scared shitless when you call them on their bullshit.

After that mess, I stopped at the commemorative larger-than-life sculptures of Canada’s Famous Five–suffragists who helped Canada realize that woman were in fact persons in 1919.

I was even reading each of the pillars. The French side first, for practice.

At the third pillar from the left, I saw the thin hint of a paper.

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A recreation of the original discovery. I wasn’t seff-conscious enough to take a pic before I unfolded the letter.

I’m a writer. I check out edges of pages like frat boys lose themselves in cleavage. When I saw the full block of text I felt a flutter in my chest.

My first guess was that it was one of those Artificial Intelligence experiments. You know, random computer-generated words strung together through iterative algorithms. Some kid thought it would be brilliant if some unknowing idiot picked it up.

I read the first line. Then I remembered the police vans. I stashed the letter in my coat pocket and started for my hotel room.

Before I even undressed, I pulled up a chair under a lamp, rested my elbows on my knees, and read everything through before moving:

[Verbatim & sic. Some private contact information has been obfuscated with Xs.]

Sep17th2017.Csis in Calgary are hounding me24-7,Zerzetsen,Zersetsung,Gang stalking/mi6 and csis stops my mail calls emails to my family in Plymouth England since I was deported to Canada by mi6 in 2002/Auntie Pamela X Abbotsbury way lowerham Plymouth Devon pl22hs. Tel XXX5X-5XX5XX/csis had Richard Kovac try to frame me up ask lee walklin about the hand guns ,csis blackmailed kovac to do this as he had sunk his boat in Vancouver Bc for the insurance, lees a witness-X Patna place north road west Plymouth Devon pl15ay uk-telXXXX-66X6XX,lee was fooled by kovac/csis try to break your will so you comply to them as a slave would to his master pure torture (Sound device) covertly done and hard to prove but not the hand guns, Brain numb, poor vision, slurred speech,headaches,teeth,penis,lungs hard to breath,ears,skin,feet,joints,eyes,Ass,hard too walk,spine lower back all painful, sleep deprivation for years here in the (TRUE NORTH).People who know what csis is doing help csis cover this up-David Eby was Bc civil liberties shouted at me while I had no sleep for days at his office and refused to help me which is my right as a Canadian citizen, he is a MLA now in Vancouver ask him 6XX-66XXXXX/Gail Davidson Human rights lawyer lied to me on her doorstep for csis, she told me she only helped People in war she works for lawyers watch ask her XXX-XXX-XXXX,just before I talked with her 2 female Agents walked past me and said hello to me one was British/Don Wright of Amnesty international lied to me ,he told me he had phoned my Auntie Pamela McCormac and spoke with her which is Bullshit when I returned to talk with him at his new office he told me he would get the police on to me if I returned, he knows that I know he lied to me for csis/ Wally oppal helped csis, wally told me that he had not got a note from me that I had handed him at a bookstore in Vancouver so I gave him another note and csis were standing right beside him snarling at me ,again I had no sleep for days, ask him TEL 6XX-6XX-6XXX – XXXXXXXX@XXXXXXXXLAW.COM I ALSO WENT TO HIS OFFICE/Kent hehr MP lied to me and put on a good act for csis and told me he was sorry which he will be when this goes to court, he has 4 notes that I handed him in persion-4XX-X44-XXXX/Joan crockat MP lie to me at her office on 17th Ave Calgary, she told me csis had more important things to do then hound me and did nothing/Mayor of Calgary Naheed Nanshi has a Note that I handed him in person at the library Ask Naheed -XXX-XXX-XXXX- if he can help me or csis .office of Mayor City of Calgary PO Box 2100 station M Calgary,AB T2P2M5/Csis had RCMP in Vancouver coerced me sign blank forms for a mock crime while I had no sleep for days and had me go to the police station for finger printing yet I was witness ?(2018- Bent Female cop)more Bent csis cops 5329-2511-who have used their power for csis/RCMP here in Calgary have helped csis they covered their numbers they would wake me up 2 AM when I lived outside in the snow and say hello Sammy are you cold or Turn on their lamp into my eyes or tell me to get going/Peoples commission network–csis watch–know about csis but not me Emails stopped and mail/Csis had Retard agent offer me $200-000 Bucks to work for them and a house and even a girlfriend, I told the Dumbass to stick it where the sun never shines/At first csis befriends you then they frame you up to blackmail you to be a (human labrat)/I have come across others like me one in a food line years ago in Vancouver he did not know his mates were csis till I told him so which pissed csis off, more torture (SOUND LOW FREQUENCY)/BRAIN LOCKS ON/Agent bumps into me for a week to piss me off then just walks past me the next day hoping i will attack, there is a camera above my head recording if I do the police have Evidence/Agent dressed like me in every way walks about shouting at people on the street, police are called they stop me/Remanded for attacking Agent who I never attacked, KIM ROSS my so called lawyer said he would not talk about my penis in court nor did he talk about csis either case thrown out Agent did not turn up at court ask Kim XXX-XXXXXXX,he talked to csis/ please contact Journalist to go to address( NOT YOUR OWN COMPUTER OK –TRACE )csis will not let me leave Canada to go home I stay at the DI staff helps csis, Agents live at DI.ME SAMMYMCLOUGHLIN,SINS–NE505944B-725514236.thank you. Stops me working, no welfare.

When I was finished, the phone in the hotel room rang. I didn’t answer it. I copied the letter before tearing it into tiny pieces and tossing it out the suicide-proof window. The pieces fluttered down like confetti onto the rail tracks the downtown hotel backed onto.

The phone rang again. I waited until it was clear it wasn’t an accident. Then I answered it.

“Mr. Caseros?”

“Hmm.”

“Your pizza is in the lobby.”

It occurred to me that I had gone for the walk to wait out the forty-five minute pizza delivery. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast. I told the front desk I would be down shortly.

I put on my sweater, coat & toque before I left the room. The delivery guy met me in the lobby, and didn’t know what to do when I followed him out.

From the hotel, it was only a couple blocks back to Olympic Plaza. I roamed around with my pizza. After long enough that I could feel the warmth from the box fading, I found a group of men with long beards. They had big backpacks and carried bags of empties. They were settling down for a smoke in the shadows beyond the well-lit fountain.

 

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“There is a river flowing beneath us”

 

With pizza box under my arm, I strolled up to them–straight-on and with a smile–and when they saw me I held out the pizza and asked if they were hungry.

Of course they were, they told me. I sat down and cracked open the box.

“Alright…”  I said as they rested back on their elbows eating folded slices of pizza. “Tell me, what do you guys know about Sammy McCloughlin?”

When They Said Kill Your Darlings…

When they said

kill your darlings

they didn’t explain

how they would only ask about the rabbits

 

so I said

ok, maybe

we can just stay here

for a while

 

so I stretched

& scratched my head

& bled

& waited

 

waited until they said

“look what you made us do

we sat just around

all afternoon”

 

didn’t understand

what else they were supposed to do

couldn’t soak in

those few moments

 

before I’m through

& through

& through

& the rabbits burrow away for the winter