We have all been insulted some time or other in our life. And it is important that one learns to take insults well if we are to retain any measure of self-respect. When someone says to you, “Why don’t you go fuck yourself?” How can you most handily respond to that?

Act interested . Go, “Why don’t I go fuck myself, indeed?” Have your  fingertip at your lip, your head cocked at an upturned angle while you say this.  It is possible, though unlikely, that the big-mouth will join you in attempting to answer their own question,  Or you could choose to remind them it is none of their business. Your insult to them. But the better course is to stay on the high road and not play tit for tat.  It is possible that the person decides to up the ante with a more direct “Fuck you” or “Fuck off.”

Now you must clarify matters. Explain to the frustrated soul that you don’t wish to do either. Be firm but kind. Remind them that we live in a democracy, that they are neither your guardian nor your stockbroker (if in fact it is the case)  and that you don’t wish to take their advice. Or, contrarily, that you may just do what they have suggested. Thank them for their tough-love manner and wish them well in their day.

If this leads to a physical threat, raise your hand and take on a stance of “Brother, you know not what you do!”  in the style  of Harvey Keitel, admonishing his flock in Martin Scorcese’s old movie, The Last Temptation of Christ.  It is always useful to have a model in mind when you make a magnanimous gesture. It may even get uglier. If so, employ one of Ghandi’s tactics and sit on the ground. Do not allow yourself to be hurt, but don’t resist either.  Do the right thing, a la the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Hopefully, a crowd will encircle you that includes a burly off-duty policeman. If that doesn’t happen, play dead, or convince the person that it is time for your nap. It is always amazing what people will accept at face value. The important thing is to keep them guessing and preferably under the impression that you cannot be bullied, or that you are mentally unbalanced and capable of untold destruction if pushed to it.

The best alternative, however, may still be the flight reaction. But usually it does not come to that. What is the worst that can happen? You die. There are worse things than death,( which I won’t get into at this juncture.) Suffice it say that even if you did die, you would know (how, I have no idea!) that you did the right thing. You did not insult back.  You did not steep to their level. You acted with dignity, forbearance, a smattering of intelligence, bluff. You danced well. You went out in style (whatever that means) Could they say the same? It is more than likely that they will at some point regret what they said or did to you, or they may even become born-again and go on to years of meetings in dank basements with badly dressed overweight people .

You will have changed the person. they might never insult another person again, or at least in the same manner.  You have made a difference!




Jian Ghomeshi Jian Ghomeshi

He looks like a sweet little immigrant,

a Pakistani boy wading through dirty water.

He smiles a lot on walls and soothes

with his ingratiating manner.

He is said to be charming to breathless women

he meets at natural food counters and less than charming to his underlings.

Known as a pop culture icon, a go-getter, or almost something.

while inside he is:

all emptiness and fury.

He must have hated his mother a lot.

Did she turn the wrong screw?

We can always trace things back to her.

Blaming the woman is the name of the game we love.

Women as punching bags is always a hoot.

She could not be one hundred percent available, perhaps.

She is, after all, the Remote One, the Castratrix.

And this is never agreeable.

Thus she must be remade, beaten into another shape.

Everyone knows that,

Everyone sees that,

Everyone always has.



Sketch the sky
Describe a winter sadness
Your body has fallen to laziness
The air is not your friend
Shut out thoughts that irk the mind
About whatever could have been
That fell  thru the cracks of the past
Never to be seen again
Bring rancour up to your face
Look at it squarely in the eye
Watch it steam and have its way
Then spin off to another sky
You are really none of the above
Whether meat or scraps of history
You may be just a dream or a punch line                                                                          In someone else’s  memory.


MY PSYCHIATRIST, Doctor Ishbin Starke

When I told my psychiatrist “ I can’t stand it anymore. I want to jump in the river and drown.”  He advised me to have a good meal an hour before I do.

 I told him my life is a blank page. So he handed me a copy of War and Peace.

I don’t know if my psychiatrist is cruel or kind. At my last session I said, “Doctor. Tell me the truth. Will I ever feel any better?” He helped me to the door.

I quoted Hamlet to my shrink “  I said to him with tears in my eyes “Oh, to sleep. Oh! Perchance  to dream.”  “Perchance?” he said. “Perchance you’ll pay your bill on time.”

Doctor Starke says that anal sex  shtinks.

I am not totally convinced of Dr. Starke’s credentials.  Rather than his diplomas on his wall he has pictures of funny  bunnies.

I said, Doctor. Come off it. Don’t you think calling me an egotistical, narcissistic asshole pushing it. What have I ever done to you? He said, you came to see me, didn’t you?

I am having second thoughts about Doctor Starke’s ethical standards after he asked me what I thought would work best to erase someone: poison or a bullet to the back of the head?

I must admit I always feel a tad nervous whenever Doctor Starke says to me: “Can we try this experiment?”

I don’t mind Doctor Starke chewing gum while I am telling him about my anxieties and fears but I only wish he would stop blowing bubbles.

Doctor Starke has some very firm views about child–rearing.  He believes disobedient children should not be seen… or heard from… again.

Doctor Starke always calls a spade a spade. He also calls them “darkies” and  “lapsed white people.”

I am finding out that Doctor Starke has a sensitive side as well. He breaks down in tears every time he sees a movie in which a Nazis is snubbed.

Doctor Starke does not just sit on his big comfortable chair all day. He is an activist and has started a movement called ‘ War Criminals Of The World Unite.’

Doctor Starke thinks the Holocaust was a cruel lie meant to blemish Aryan superiority.

Doctor Starke thinks that the statement made by the president of Iran, Achmaminijad, who said that “Israel is a stinking corpse that should be wiped from the face of the earth,” was taken out of context.

I asked my shrink, the ex-Gestapo member, Doctor Ishbin Starke. I said, “Doctor. I can’t control my emotions. What must you think of me?  He said, “I try not to think of you.”



Dreams never end well.

They leave with a dread at the centre of them

Or grief or insecurity as the main theme.

In the sunlight

dreams are a source of Inspiration

a wild sea

you in the boat

Heroically sailing toward the horizon

The future white and inviting.

In the landscape of  snow

Anything is possible.

The dots lay in many directions.

The human print has not yet been


Destiny ,why have you

Let me down?

me and millions like me

Who wake each day to say’ is this all there is?’

Did we not dream loudly enough?

Or vividly

Or are dreams meant to end in shambles

You being playful again?

You are cruellest to those

To whom you grant their wishes.


In the end

They realize its paltriness,

the opposite of gold.

It is perhaps impossible not to dream

But what to tell the young about you?


Certainly, nothing.


Write about it.

Write about what?

Find an” it” and write about it.

This is it.

Then what can we say about it?

That it’s here


Right here.

I can’t see. It’s too dark.

That’s it.

The darkness?


What can we say about the darkness?

It’s dark.

Yes,… and?

And you don’t know where anything is.

Go on.

And It’s on my shoulder now.

Yes  It’s heavy, isn’t it

It’s gone now.

A little light, then?

Yes but it’s still hard to see.

Maybe you need glasses.

It’s possible.

Which it is it now?

There is only one it.



Everything is possible in darkness.

Is it?

It is.

I see.

It’s too dark to see.

I know.

That’s it.




I’m  getting old.These days  it feels better to sneeze than to masturbate.

I know I’m getting old. I don’t have the energy I used  to have. It’s become a big effort for me to  complete a yawn.

Why do they call it “growing old?”  Everything about you shrinks.

You get older. Inevitably there are problems.  Erection problems.  It’s sad.  But thank God there are now  pills available. I used to have to pay to have sex with other people. Now I even have to pay to have sex with myself.

I’m  getting old.These days  it feels better to sneeze than to masturbate.

I know I’m getting old. I don’t have the energy I used  to have. It’s become a big effort for me to  complete a yawn.

I know I’m getting old. I used to like to play with myself. But now I forget the rules.

When I think about dying soon, I feel sad about all the soft food I’ll miss.

I know I’m getting old. My idea of excitement is humping a comfortable quilt.

I know I’m getting old. My idea of getting ahead is lying down before bedtime.

I feel so tired at times. I must be lacking something:  Youth.

I know I could set the world on fire again if I only had the energy to pick up the matches.

 When I see a pretty girl go by I still think of doing something with her. Like sharing a cup of strong tea.

My idea of “doing the nasty” is picking my nose in public.

I must be getting mixed up. I invited a woman to my place for a drink the other night. Well, she had a couple. Then she crosses her legs and says to me. “I’m hungry for something.” So I brought her some cabbage soup.

I must be getting old. My idea of a hot date is to go out with warm shoes.

When I saw this girl go by today, I was thinking about drilling her, and it shut off my pacemaker.

You always hear that we need to control our gas emissions. It’s not that easy. I wish I could control my own gas emissions.

When we’re young we have dreams. Of power, glory, adventure.  The future is open. We either reach them or we don’t. Whatever. What kind of dreams can you have when you get old? There ain’t a hell of a lot to look forward to. But you do plan anyway, like what suit you should choose for the Big Snooze.  Some people think about their funeral and how all their friends will come and pay respect to them.  Everyone will be sad, of course. That’s important.  Their family will hold hands and weep.  But I just can’t imagine myself being put into a box and lowered into the ground. Even if I am dead. Maybe I’ll still know it’s happening and want to get out, and it will be like a dream when you want to scream and can’t. I wonder how claustrophobic people feel about that. I mean there is no way out, like being stuck in a small elevator for eternity. With pretty lousy company . It is no wonder then that religion gives you a way out. Your spirit ain’t going down.  Your spirit will leave your lifeless body and rise up up up to… Some Better Place.” But how does that work? And what is a spirit? Nobody has ever seen one. Except possibly ghost hunters.



He is so stupid he can’t even answer the question, “How stupid are you?”

How dumb is she?  Scientists plan to keep her brain on file to research amoeba.

He is so stupid he can’t spell the word “I”.

She is so stupid. The first word she uttered  as a baby was “duhduh” instead of “dada.”

How stupid are they? Let’s say they could be outsmarted by dinosaurs. By the way, they think dino saurs are Italian blisters.

He is so stupid he thinks vagina is Regina’s twin-city.

She is so fat her friends call her “Canada.”

She is so fat she is considered her own neighbourhood.

She is so lonely she thinks the mosquitoes are giving her love bites.

She is so ugly (inside and out)  that her poster is mandatory on every abortionist’s wall.

When you say, “I’m crazy about you,”  to someone doesn’t that just cancel out your intention? You are telling the person you like them a lot but that you must be crazy for thinking  that. Better to say , ”I’m sane about you.”



What is a snob? A snob is a person I can feel  superior to.

What is it with women and babies? It makes you want to put on your diapers.

What is wrong with complaining?  If I didn’t have something to complain about my life would be unbearable.

What is it with old people concerned about making more money? What could possibly be going through their minds? “Oh a couple more grand and I could afford that really special box I’ve been eyeing.”

What is it with clothespins? They always look angry. At least the ones I know.

What on earth do they do in heaven?

What is stress? It’s being in one place and wanting to be in another. When you get there you realize that you don’t want to be there either. So you move around until you come to the conclusion that there is nowhere that is really that great, and you relax.

What is it with charity? “Oh, he’s a lovely person, he does charity work.” And it’s always for children. “How  he just gives and gives to the little ones. And he doesn’t have to. He’s a celebrity.” That’s all well and good but aren’t there other people in the world who need help too? What about people on death-row?  Or teachers?

What can we say about the educational system today ? That it’s a system, that is a machine, and that it doesn’t educate, but rather cranks out graduates that are probably worse off than when they began. They may have more information and skills but their minds are weaker. They have lost curiosity and the ability to think for themselves.  They are dispirited  and they are shorn of any meaningful connections to each other and to the world. All their knowledge is chopped up into so-called facts and there is little joy in gaining it. What they have they don’t know what to do with except to go on taking in more facts. There is nothing about what constitutes a valuable life in most schools. Or what life is. Or who they are. They are shown death in life. It is no wonder that many kids hate school. Shame on this society that pretends to be enlightened. Let it shovel its shit somewhere else.


WHY …?


Why do people always say they have “an inferiority complex?” Can’t some people actually be inferior?

Why is life designed to be so hard? Everything is so hard. It’s like you’re failing a course you never even signed up for.

Why do the insane always hear voices that tell them to kill people? Why can’t they hear voices that tell them to do something nice for a change?

Why do days go in a straight line and time goes in a circle?

Why is it that what is written has more credibility than what is spoken? It must mean that if you can spell you can’t possibly tell a lie.

Why do people need to look in the mirror while they are brushing their teeth? Do they want to make sure their teeth are still there?

Why do they call it “growing” old when  everything about you shrinks?



thank my parents. They gave me the gift of life. But is a gift supposed to rip your skin off every day?

I was a sensitive kid. I was confused too. My father was always telling me to be a man. And my mother was always telling me to be a woman.

Do I have any regrets? Maybe one. That my parents had a sex life.

I was a lonely kid, an only child. And I had no friends. And my parents were not much help. When they had people over they locked me in the closet and told me to play. It was years before I could understand why other children didn’t smell like wet rubber.

My parents were cruel. As a kid I didn’t have any friends and they wouldn’t let me make any. So I found an imaginary friend, and they even took him away from me.

I wanted to learn carpentry and build things but my parents thought it would ruin my manicure.

When my mum and dad wanted some quality time together, they gave me a quarter and told me to go out and play.  On the street.  At rush-hour.

My mother was stern. Once I was real sick and she came to my bedside and sat with me. She said to me tenderly, holding my hand. “I want you to know that if you die, I will be disappointed in you.”

My mother was not very maternal. She didn’t breast-feed me. She bought me milkshakes .

I think she wanted a girl. When I asked her what my genitals were for, she said they were a place for me to store my lipstick.

I don’t think my mother loved me as much as she loved the milkman.

My mother was very friendly person. Everyone in the neighbourhood knew her name. And her rates too.

Sometimes as a child you know why you’re not loved. And if I ever forgot, my mom would leave me a little note to remind me.

I am an only child. I was told that I was special. After I was born my mother not only tied her tubes , she also tied her neck.

I used to go out grocery shopping with my mother sometimes when I was a child. I remember she’d pick up a frozen steak and shout out, “You could KILL a man with one of these!”

My mother died when I was very young. I was lonely. I went up to a lady once and said, “Will you be my mummy?” She said “Of course, I will. Do you want a cigarette?”

My father was a cruel but sentimental man. He once told me that the Marquis de Sade was the brother he never had.

My grandfather was romantic. He was also  a scrap-metal dealer.  We would be out looking at a heap of scrap metal and he would say,” You know, you can find love in all kinds of places.”

You know, when you get your first bicycle, you get those two little wheels in the back till you can learn to balance and not fall over and hurt yourself. Well, all of my friends’ parents made sure that they had those little wheels on their kids’ bikes.  Not my folks. They didn’t buy those wheels for me.  In fact they didn’t even buy me a bicycle. They got me a monocycle instead.