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About Varied / Artist Member Joe GirardMale/Canada Recent Activity
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There is a world
Where everyone cares
Because no one cares

When love stepped down
From the weary throne
To the dirty ground

It had held up the world
When all else
Fell sick off

But its pointed face
Was so hard
To stare at

In its reflections
It seemed to show
Every important thing

But really
Just five
Maybe four

Pleasure lost its chancellery
Duty and honour their fiefdoms
And finally innocence

It was still fun
Back in the world
Of wider circles freedoms

But the face of love
Grew flatter
Relaxing like a steam bath

Til finally
You saw me
I saw you

And it was okay
And it took strength
And I felt my heart
Breaking the Spell of Love
I'm really trying to write, lately, from a less cerebral place. Emotionally, intuitively. The last two years were almost unbearably difficult for me, due to life stresses which include my family's disintegration, my relationship's severe testing, the possible death of someone very close to me, quitting my government job to move across the entire country for my wife's schooling, the terms of which were changed after we arrived, robbing us of all our savings, and leaving us virtually destitute, if not for the loving support of friends and family back home. 

Most days, it's all I can do to encounter one true feeling, while balancing that sensation with the sane maintenance of two lives. Around this time last year I was diagnosed with PTSD, caused by childhood trauma, and the shoe does indeed seem to fit. It's hard to write about with any deft, carefree insight. Most times I feel like its all I write about, despite never mentioning it. Facing your worst problems is, as every hero's journey has suggested, the hardest thing you'll do.

But life doesn't unfold in three acts. Every worst challenge, and I've seen my share, suggests a low point that may never again be reached, but like a diver turning back when the oxygen gets low, there's at least some knowledge of a deeper, blacker place. I never ever want to find it, if it exists for me, after I recover from all this madness. I honestly don't know if I can take it. I seem to be rising in earnest now, hoisting up from the pit, by some mechanism, internal or external.

All I know is...I'm so grateful to the love I have, that it held up the world for so long. That it carried me through to this next safety. It's really time I reintroduced myself to life.
there was nothing left
to do with the peak
conquered all that came after
was a shallow petty thing life
gone from bees trees
now wrappings fill the earth
with air the drunk oil invents
an atmosphere of hollow costs

what price momentarily
perfect lost perception
of a generation fogbound
at the water’s edge splashing
to make the best reflection
even better telling ourselves
what our minds can’t see beyond
the other children our children beyond
the other lives our lives beyond
the other realities our lies
important beyond doom

the lone jammer tries
to focus wifi scrambles
thoughts passing through you
like neutrinos can’t take it
with you isn’t logic
stopping anyone from trying

suicide was sitting there
staring like a mirror
you don’t see porn
to thieve experience as
fleeting as a compliment
you imagined wealth
unknown all around but on what
Narcissus did you spend
your value
The Beautiful Suicide of Narcissus
My spouse, Simone, loves to read my work over my shoulder, as I read it to her. For some reason, probably having to do with my love of acting, I hate doing that. I want to know she's getting what I'm trying to say through my demeanor, as well as my words.

So, that's a big part of why I'm trying to write in a way where you get as much out of both approaches. Or, to put it another way, hearing it and seeing it at the same time no doubt enhances the experience of jaggedily-staged pieces like this. Once again, Simone makes my life better, ;). But, yeah, there's supposed to be at least part of each line embedded in the folling or previous line, except at the stanza's end.

I seriously debated the use of punctuation in this one. 

Here's another one I could go on and on about, but I'll let you make of it what you will. Though I just want to mention it was inspired by the Douglas Coupland art exhibit Everywhere is Anywhere and Anything is Everything. Particularly the room-sized model of the modern city.

Well, okay, it was inspired a lot by my realization recently that our culture's narcissistic trends are doomed to suicide. That's kind of the nature of narcissus, right?
you’re told to cut off
a piece of yourself
any piece any
piece you can live without

what can you live without
the game is loss
the winner is nothing
but what is essential

we never follow the winner
back into the world
where you can still find waiting
that total absence

of story
Reality TV
Since its inception, I've avoided reality TV. Last year saw a marked change in that trend, after I discovered RuPaul's Drag Race and Face Off. I've watched the entirety of RuPaul, with my wife, probably ten times in the last fifteen months. And Face Off two or three times. RuPaul appeals to my love of gender norms being questioned, gay culture, and some frankly talented individuals of every stripe and creed (besides heterosexuality and homophobia, I guess). Face Off appeals to my love of film and the visual artist trade. 

RuPaul works because it never takes itself as seriously as a Survivor or a Big Brother (lol, that name...), and it cops to its own stagecraft. Face Off works because art is, and always has been, and always will be, cool. Honestly, I think visual artists could profit from simply installing CCTV in their studios and live-feeding the internet (though, seriously, don't do that).

But I still don't quite get why people are watching other people cook (when they could be watching, and talking to(!), someone they know cooking (and then actually eating something slow-cooked afterward, seriously). And I don't get why it's fun to watch others sell used scrap, besides maybe some subconscious desire to gain further insight into the collapse of mineral-depleting, consumerist-slave-driven, not-so-secretly-oligarchical capitalism. And the fun of delineating someone's sweet singing against someone else's sweet singing completely eludes me.

We've long known that the ultimate fun of reality TV is in how it grants the viewer the chance to indulge in the sensation that their judgments and opinions matter. Whether that's a literal opportunity, like voting online for your favourite dancer(s). Or a figurative opportunity, like demonizing and lionizing certain judges on the show, depending on how closely their opinions align with your own; you even get to judge the judges!

And let's not forget the vicarious, voyeuristic thrill of invented celebrity.

But while that may have become the dominant understanding of reality TV, my first impression of the format, some fifteen years ago, was that it was a danger to human perception.

The importance of drama being drama is in that it's essence lets you know: this isn't real; you can use it to augment your real life, but it's a fiction. Well, children often believe it's real. So, reality TV is kind of like a way for adults to be children again. To make the fictitious non-fiction again. I have to worry about the effect this will have on human behaviour. 

Though I wasn't crazy about Argo from an entertainment aspect, the point it makes about story and reality is an important one. Reality needs stories to save it from chaos, but stories can cloud history, which is just as important for understanding how to improve life on earth. If we can't meet history clear-eyed, we'll never understand where we've been and where we're going. Hence the significance of ritual in early civilization.

But if we confuse history with story, there's a danger there: it cheapens both. Like a religious text that wants you to believe that impossible things happened and happen might become inspired to strive for something impossible yourself, like a world dependent on fossil fuels, or you might adhere to logic that made sense at one point in history, but no longer makes any sense, like screwing your own daughter, because you're afraid that otherwise your family name will die out, or maybe you need a few more farmhands around to survive, or whatever. (And you might create beautiful art or donate to charity or run a food bank, to be fair.)

The only thing that used to bug me about my own avoidance and dismissal of reality TV was in that I'd never watched any, so how could I really have an opinion? Well, now I've watched it, and it's given me this impression: we must strive to perfect ourselves. All the contestants and judges, on a psychological level, represent ourselves. A well-produced show knows to stagger the talents of both the contestants and the judges; part of ourselves has power and part of ourselves doesn't. Our conscious self and our instinctive self. It's telling of our times that our 'conscience' is held supreme over our 'instincts'

This subtle condemnation of our instinctive nature is important.  How many times have you looked back on a sequence of actions and said to yourself, 'I knew as it was happening that I shouldn't have been doing that, but I couldn't seem to stop.' The advertising world wants you to think that instinct is defined by cravings. Give in to your primal, cave-person urges, some ads suggest. Be wild and act with abandon. The insinuation being that you're innately bad at best, and amoral at worst. There's even a glamourization of this invented perception of instinct as abandon. But, sorry, I'm getting off track.

In reality TV instinct is the subject (the contestants) and the conscience is the object (the judges). And the relationship is a bit like Job and God. Hence my poem.

These shows encourage a narcissistic culture, because, in the end, only the winner is important/remembered/rewarded. The Hunger Games is a great example of why this does and doesn't make sense. Katniss must eventually choose to use her winner-ness to undo her own celebrity (I've only seen the movies so far, no spoilers, please), because she comes from a more collectivist culture, where people are forced by economic hardship to depend on each other. She's a paradox. She's the noose the capitalist sells you to hang them with. 

The cure for this problem may be equilibrium. Instinct and conscience are equally important tools for life. To place them at odds may be to forget ourselves, and our world, and the important exchange taking place there, constant as a raging river.
You might forget me,
Past, but I can’t
shake this labyrinth of

‘What if?’ I become
past, but I can’t  
revive; my being haunted.

What if I become
nothing…if they don’t
revive my being? Haunted

victor grants the victim
nothing (if they don’t
strike back). To the

victor grants the victim
all thought—that missing
strike. Back to the

vault of shame, where
all thought that missing
child would learn to

vault. Of shame—where
a ghost hopes that
child would learn to

shake this labyrinth of
a ghost—hope’s that
you might forget me.
The Oubliette of Past: A Pantoum
Here's another labyrinth of words for all you pantoum lovers out there. 

I've been dwelling on the past lately, but more and more I'm realizing just how much my present life has been soupifying as a result. I used to be way more in the present. Longing to return to the present has become something of an occupation. A few weeks ago I realized it felt a pit like prison, but not one anyone really put me in. Or, not deliberately. I've been obsessing over a past few others remember. I'm cursed with a great memory, and a tendency toward depression. Depression flavours the past, memory. But the ease with which I sometimes blast out of my depression, rocketing back into the now, perhaps speaks to the closeness between depression and acceptance on Kubler-Ross's (dubious) five stages of grieving scale. 

I sort of realized the other day, thinking of all the high school Facebook contacts I have, but never interact with, just how bizarre it is that the past that lives on in my head is probably the only library left of certain events. It's often the case that friends and family depend on me to provide definitive answers to clear up certain stories. Not that everyone always agrees with my version, and while I trust myself to a certain extend, my mind may be a library, but it's not a computer. Like a library, certain stories end up with second or third or fourth editions that may not exactly resemble the first edition, to everyone's satisfaction. As the oracle in the Matrix says, "Some parts you keep, some parts you lose."

But watching so many people who probably don't really remember the old me, and certainly don't know the present me, for someone with a memory like mine, it makes you feel a bit schizoid. It puts you in the oubliette of past. 

This is another poem dealing with my victimhood, and at the end, the ghost is the self that the oubliette has killed, creating this waking death I've gone through. On a parallel, since escaping that victimhood of old, I've undergone a sort of second childhood, with my partner, Simone, who's been a brilliant shepherd, facilitating my rebirth. But it still kind of sucks to want that old part of myself to die. I've struggled with changing my self, and memory is a big part of self, or at least my self. 

And, yeah, like most westerners of my generation, I heard about oubliettes from the movie Labyrinth, which some have said is a perfect presentation of someone dealing with a narcissist in their life. More on that to come.
We possessed the book of nothing that would matter
To those with magazines on the same matter.

The protester who faces the dark cannon
can't imagine what it means: his sprayed gray matter.

We emerge, clean as a chef's clean dishes,
Steaming, hot, sanitized against certain matter.

The scope could be infinite. But for now
It's built to scrutinize the dark matter.

Mother, only ever meant for decomposition,
Had worms make an entirely different matter.

Even the victim can't help asking
The voice in her head, "What's the matter?"

"It changes to survive," said the philospher,
"When it's done changing, it's the death of the matter."
Modern Morality: A Ghazal
(I think this poem takes the Cleverest Poem with the Least Cleverest Title award, excluding works not written by me.)

There's an expression, "A poem is never finished, only abandoned." This seems particularly true of the ghazal, a Persian form from the 10th century (…, and by the way, check that link, to save me a ton of reiteration.

While the expected number of refrains is between five and fifteen, and the average is seven, there's really no end to how many you could do. I actually stumbled on a random ghazal series today, after writing this piece, if you can believe that, in Di Brandt's collection, Now You See Me, that spanned dozens of refrains. She broke it up with a numbering system, but the nature of the ghazal is inherently scattered, each line encouraged to be a departure from the nature of the preceding line. So, really, you could ghazal forever. Generally you don't, I think, because, as the great poet/editor Allen Briesmaster once told me, ghazals suck (I'm paraphrasing). But you can imagine why lovers of free verse would find something off-putting about seeming randomness (despite their popularity in free-verse-loving India, where ghazals have maintained popularity through the musicals).

I've wanted to write one since I learned of their existence, but had a hard time understanding how strict/easy the various rules were. That link above really helped me see through my past attempts to understand, and it suddenly felt like something I could do with the abandon of Di Brandt.

I'd been out walking, this frosty Vancouver night and had this idea to write a poem about a book in which nothing in it really meant anything to reality (which is a dichotomy I ponder often: art that means nothing vs. art that means something). It didn't take long for my atheist brain to turn that into a modern day existentialist analysis, and here we are.

I'm trying to get away from explaining my poetry in these notes, but I'm not gonna fight the urge this time 'round. I guess I wanna show anyone who thought my poem was a chaotic mess that there was, and can be, an internal logic to a ghazal.


I love the paradox of that first stanza. Taken at face value, I can see how it might not make any sense. But what I was thinking about on my walk was about how religion is essentially a distraction from the void, the void of essential meaninglessness (there's a great speech from Kubrick about how to recover from that realization as an individual). There's the verifiable notion that atheism tends to quiet the general culture of violence of a region or country. Perhaps this is because  when people realize this is all there is, and there's no great reward anywhere down the line, we'd better make what we get, and do control, as good as possible. Now, for the record, I do think that religion actually was an early expression of this same awareness, I think religion and mythology were what we needed in order to endure our pre-science and maybe even (though I shudder to think it) post-science existence (which I fear mineral depletion may bring about). But as much as Richard Dawkins may enjoy contemplating the atom as a way of making peace with the void, that's not gonna cut it, obviously, for most of us. So, as religious fanatics love to point out, those of us who keep our distance from superstition do tend to fill in the space religion leaves with something else, be it pop culture, wealth, or, for some, science. I thought a magazine was a good enough symbol of these things, bite-size bibles in a way. 

Think about the cover of any magazine. Implicit in numerous aspects of that cover (yes, even The New Yorker) is the idea that some ideas for living a better life are contained within, whether that's the more informed life that a Nature or Science will provide, a more capable life, as a Better Homes or Muscle Fitness would provide, or a more enjoyable life, as an Us or a Hello! would provide. And however accurate that may all be, what do magazines do to meaningfully replace the fear you feel about meaninglessness? 

Not much. But it's a good distraction. Like a sacred text.


The second stanza addresses what I am growing to see as one of the great injustices of our time.

Every time I see a photo of a protester getting harassed or clubbed or shot by an "officer of the law" I can't help wondering what kind of person sees a fellow human being, outraged by some usually cataclysmic event in modern capitalism, like a G20 summit, and thinks, "You're gonna fucking get a rubber bullet in the fucking head." There's evidence to show that psychopaths are attracted to law enforcement, but surely they can't all be soulless bullies. 

So the Buddhist in me wants to look at that relationship like the shooter is shooting himself (I thought of writing 'herself', but let's be honest). But the opposite is also true. The protester understands the potential for violence, and protests anyway, in effect, bringing the violence on themselves. So both people, with radically different approaches, are trying to annihilate something wrong about humanity. 

And aren't we all kind of protesters of one sort or another these days? Tea Partiers especially, to give an off-kilter example. But you see it on Facebook, our modern day town square, all the time. People want to change the way we talk about rape and money and information and life. I'm all for it. There's a dark weapon the protester feels they might be facing down, all the time, and I hoped to echo 'canon' with this line: as in, there's a dark body of work, historical work, that the protester has to see in themselves, a dark past, which could be repeated in the differently dark future, like how Germans have strove to erase any taint of Nazism. 

Still, what would it mean to blow the protester's head off? Is it a loss? A victory? 

When you try to find a concrete, objective value in someone's body parts, even your own, what do you find? Nobody wants to hurt or suffer (against their will), but that doesn't mean you "shouldn't" hurt or suffer. As in, life doesn't owe it to you not to hurt you. Obviously, pain is often gain. We know it's not all bad, but we avoid it in ourselves and in others. And in order to avoid it, we ascribe value to our bodies, and, lately, our experiences (as in, people shouldn't be raped). 

So, I guess here I'm challenging the presumed notion that society's forward momentum (as I'm sure you've heard it described) depends upon the elimination of bad experiences and suffering. Like trying to end violence against women. I'm all for ending violence against women. But the day we "end" it, I guarantee you, by hook or by crook, it will be back. 

The protester, or perhaps what I mean to say is the honest protester, doesn't get why they so often get their heads blown off, and what their brains sprayed on the concrete amounts to. Why fight the dark canon/cannon?

Perhaps it's just in our nature to fight for better than whatever we see.

(And just so I don't come off as insensitive, I've been diagnosed with PTSD from past traumas, so I've spent many, many moons turning these issues around in my brain, believe me. And I'm pretty sure I'm not better for it, except that I hope I might one day wonder my way out of my thought-cycles.) 


Have you ever seen a high-end professional kitchen dishwasher? I saw this one once that you turn a wheel and a steel box comes down from above and traps the towering pile of dishes, and blasts it with whatever. It almost seems like a magician's trick, the plates are so clean-looking. 

They're not perfectly clean, but then again, are we? We're coated in bacteria. Nurses are encouraged not to leave any skin exposed lest a sick patient should spread one mote of germ through the air, to land on their skin, and begin its hero's journey toward an open orifice. 

That's all I'll say about that one, but think Aristotle. 


This one, the fourth stanza, is kind of about the mood of generations. Things happen in human history that colour the mindset of an entire people. There are things tea partiers and I would agree on, I'm sure, if only that the sky is blue. 

Whether or not you believe in the moon landing, the 9/11 commission, God, or penis envy, makes a big difference in your life, in ways perhaps imperceptible at times. 

Right now people fret over concerns unknown a hundred years ago, and a hundred years from now, people will face challenges we today can't imagine. 

Literally, the "scope" I'm talking about is a microscope or telescope. And the scope of that magnification is, potentially, infinite. What is the smallest or the largest unit of measure made of? It remains to be seen if there's a multiverse, as some have posited, or if the laws of physics will someday evolve, or if entropy really spells the death of the 'Big Crunch' theory.

But, we can see dark matter. We can prove nothingness. There could be infinite somethings, but there's definitely nothing. Not everything exists on a spectrum that extends indefinitely. Nothing is the full stop absence of something. So, we may someday be nothing. Where the protester has stared into the cannon, the scientist has taken a slightly different route toward dealing with oblivion. She wants to discover it concretely. She wants to give it a name and a dimension. If nothing exists, it can be understood. If it can be understood, maybe it can be dealt with.

But my suspicion is that the grand work of human culture may simply be to come full circle to what we knew before the emergence of intelligence: vanity is everything, instinct is bliss.

I also just want to say I'm reminded of the current, awesomely global obsession with Game of Thrones. You could read my 'dark matter' as if I'm saying that 'modern morality' is obsessed with the darkness in our souls. Look at any big hit drama, actually. 

Dexter, Breaking Bad, Mad Men.


Matter, the repeating word, derives from the words materia and mater, which meant 'mother.' So I wanted to address that. 

I rarely refer to a literal mother, or my own mother, in my poetry. For me, mother is more often earth. So, here I'm kind of looking at the whole ecological panic some people, rightly, feel these days. I think something a lot of environmentalists like myself think about a lot is how, despite all our actions to improve the state of the environment, it's more for the continuation of the species, than out of any real fear about the world ending. The world's never going to end. Not until the sun's had enough. We know this. What was freaky to a bunch of 1950's Christians about a nuclear holocaust seems silly today. If you've ever chuckled at the film The Core or Armageddon, you know just what I'm getting at.

But I'd like to suggest that besides the very real significance and importance of the work of environmentalists and natural scientists, as it pertains to continued human existence, the piety ecoholics like myself feel currently is a bit like the Sigourney Weaver speech at the end of Cabin in the Woods. The old hate the young and envy their youth, so feel they must steal it from them, using aging rituals (literal, like killing the youths outright, or figurative, like a bar mitzvah) as a way of synthesizing unattainable immortality.

But mother, the earth and the person -- we all have both -- was destined to decompose one way or another. But this is a necessary process, so that the next generation, the worms, can make something new out of the old. So composition and decomposition depend on each other, basically. Bad (and good?) news, for revolutionaries.


Again, as a sufferer of PTSD, I can say, even I sometimes don't even see why I'm going through what I'm going through. I know exactly what's wrong with my thinking, objectively, but lack the power or the resource to do anything about it. I'm probably a relatively light case of the disorder, but it's wreaked its havoc on my life, for sure.

I like to think there's a certain relationship between the first and last, the second and second last and the third and third last stanzas in the poem (btw, I wrote them in this order, and while the ghazal's structure makes it easy to ticker with the order of stanzas, I bet 99 times out of a 100 it's better not to).

The other thing I like is the identification of the voice in the head as a separate or distinct entity from the self. While modern psychologists and Alan Watts may fundamentally disagree, it's hard to ignore the fact that that voice isn't always the same voice as always. Sometimes it's your dad's voice, sometimes your teacher's, sometimes the earth spirit (just kidding...or am I?). 

As a victim of several classifications of abuse, I can honestly say, if they are all the same voice inside our minds, presenting in wildly different ways, then abuse is schizophrenia someone gives you. And, yeah, that is typically how schizophrenia emerges. But I still think it's important to differentiate between our thoughts and our perception of our thoughts. Because what is our perception of our thoughts, if not more thoughts? If we have a thought we don't like, or don't agree with, does that mean we always hold onto conflicting viewpoints constantly. I don't think so.

Also, as a victim of abuse who has been called upon to answer for their behaviour innumerably throughout life, I can honestly say that yeah, I've even interrogated myself. It's hard to say if I would've done so had I not been so interrogated and punished by others for my mind under the influence of abuse. Perhaps not. But that's my experience.


Finally, we have one of my favourite passages I've ever written (the first stanza being my second favourite), in which we see this philosopher -- supposedly superseded by the scientist, according to Neil deGrasse Tyson, a hero of mine -- saying this pretty cool thing about the nature of existence. I've found that a lot of my favourite lines in my poems are when I have a symbolic figure make a simple, profound judgement on reality (like the mortician in Dead Skin Deep). 

Personally, I don't think that philosophers are needless. I don't think scientists will ever fill the hole religion leaves. I've even contemplated being a "bad faith believer" (a term I made up just now), except Taoism is the religion (though it's more of a philosophy, admittedly) that doesn't contain one batshit reference to approve acting like a lunatic. I'm too much of a keener to not want to follow all the rules...XD

And the more we denigrate philosophy, the more we leave ourselves open to the Don Drapers of the world, who'd like to control our thoughts in their personal quest to suck capitalism's dick a little harder. But if, like me, you believe in not letting your thoughts be controlled by some jerk or jerks in suits and pantsuits, than you too, like me, can never once set foot in a Wal-Mart, or order anything from Amazon. You can stop eating meat. You can stop driving your car. And so on.

All that was kind of beside the point. I'm very tired.

So, what I like so much about that last line is how on point I think the message is. We know from evolutionary science that species adapt or face extinction. The same is probably true of most things. Just think of Plato's collapsing systems of government model. Seven governmental systems (including democracy, btw), invariably lead round and round in a never-ending cycle of change. That cycle itself is subject to the adapt or die model. But I'm convinced the vast majority of people are unaware of it.

Now, should you look into Plato's alternative to the cycle, the titular republic of Plato's Republic, you may not like what you see, and I would agree with you. But isn't it amazing that mankind has had access to this insight for thousands of years, and we've yet to break free, or create a different cycle, or even one system of governance to defy the cycle. Every anarchist, plutocrat, democrat, dictator, egalitarianist, timocrat, and oligarch seems perfectly happy to just let this cycle revolve and revolve. 

Game of Thrones is a perfect picture of these many processes at war with each other. 

But maybe the take away is that life among humans has a natural tendency toward this cycle. And like the push to make men stop raping, and corporations stop exploiting, and leaders stop lying, if we want to break the cycle, we have to do so actively, consciously. 

But that's a very grand-scale example. Depression works very similarly. Depression changes within your mind with such nimble adaptability, almost like it's trying to survive. There's a line from HBO's Six Feet Under I think about all the time, where a character says about her depression, "Once you realize how boring depression is, it goes away." So, like, once you stop changing along with your depression, it dies. That's what I'm getting at. 

Cancer, incidentally, can be described as beginning with a cell that stops changing. So change is the probably the best battery of life we've ever recognized. What could be more scary to anything that doesn't want to die? Whether that's a selfish gene, a generation, or a love.


So there you have it. If you ever think I don't think about why I write what I write, I hope my sleepless night has helped you to think twice. 

Thanks to anyone who read all this. My stars.

Check out TwilightPoetess and her new title poem, Tell Me What You've Gone and Done Now, a poem comprised entirely of devART poem titles! Pretty swanky, I think you'll agree. A title of mine is in the mix, is one of yours? I guess you'll just have to go see to find out...!
  • Mood: dA Love
  • Listening to: Kavinsky - Nightcall
  • Reading: Doctor Sleep - Stephen King
  • Watching: Meet the Fokkens (Documentary)
  • Playing: Mario Kart Wii and Dungeon Keeper
  • Eating: Falafel
  • Drinking: Sweet sweet water


Joe Girard
Artist | Varied
Here's my interview with PoeticalCondition, after I was elected Poet of the Month: poeticalcondition.deviantart.c…

And here's my feature from when NicBelroque named me Daily Lit Deviant:…

As an actor, I've performed for the queen of England. As a film-maker, I've participated in several film festivals, placing first in the Toronto Art Festival 2006, in the digital film category. As a zen gardener, my designs have appeared in the Absorb art show.

My poems and short stories have been published in journals and magazines across north America, on and offline. On devART I've received one Daily Literature Deviation commendation for the poems:

Self-Made Men (…
The 1998 Housefire At 198 Wentworth Street South (…
Untitled: A Sonnet Told In Titles (…
Piano Armageddon: An Image Poem (…

Daily Deviations were awarded for the poems:

Come Home (…
The Craven (…

And my music has appeared on radio stations and at concert halls in numerous countries across North America and Europe. I've written music for the bands Ben Caplan and the Casual Smokers, Hobo Sapiens, Uvenburd, and my eponymous solo project.

An anthology of short stories, In the Wings: Stories of Forgotten Women, edited by Bernadette Rule, includes my short story The Changeling (unavailable on devART, sorry :3). In the Wings was published by Seraphim Editions and is in its third printing. Other magazines I've been featured by include Switchback, WTF, The Perceptive I,, and In My Bedroom magazine, among others.

Most recently, In My Bedroom magazine published my piece Threesome (… in their Vol 4 Issue 2 release, Menage a Trois.

These are my websites (so far):

Download my album

My CBC Radio profile

If you've enjoyed reading my popular works featured around devART, may I recommend the following others as highlights that had people talking:

The Horse-Fall: A Villanelle (…
Spiritual Sex (…
Big Top (…
Hyoid (…
Spacefeint (…
The River: A Pantoum (…
16-Bit Haiku: First Half (…
16-Bit Haiku: Second Half (…
Watch Your Step (…
Monster Patient (…
Anxiety Attack (…
Weep Western Tears (…
Hard Like a Star's Iron Heart (…
Lick (…

Here's a few more poems that are personal favourites of mine:

Dead Skin Deep (…
The Werewolf Monologue (…
Stitches: A Sonnet (…

Here's a collection of my forty most favourited zen gardens:

The Gates of Moria…
Zenstellation Series: Ursa Major…
Cherry Blossom Modern Art…
Elemental Cycle Pt. 1: Water…
War of the Worlds…
Path Between Two Waterfalls…
8 Colour 4 Bit…
Porch Swing…
Pac Man…
Bag End…
Zenstallaion Series: Taurus…
Year of the Rabbit…
No Face…
Nine Were Given to the Kings…
Totem Pole, Telephone Pole, Tree…

And if you like nature art, here's the one's fans liked best:

Vertical Rath…
Natural Shoji…
PAranoid Schizophrenia…
Big Bang…
Samurai of Slate…
Geodesic Dome…
Origami Mistake…
Satellites Over Toronto…
Born on a Ghost Ship…
Tower of Pebel…
Rock Out…

And here's some highlights from my dabbling in origami:

Eastern Dragon…
Neko Cat…

Current Residence: Ottawa
Favourite genre of music: Percussive
Favourite photographer: Edward Burtynsky, maybe. Gregory Crewdson?
Favourite style of art: Nature Art
Favourite cartoon character: Calvin. Or Homestar Runner.
Personal Quote: Familiarity breeds birth defects.

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Add a Comment:
Berlin-Steglitz Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2014
Thanks for the fave :)
Vielen Dank :)
sandzen Featured By Owner 6 days ago   General Artist
My pleasure. It's an awesome twist on something so many have done. Thanks for the fresh perspective.
SenhArt Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2014  New member
Flowers fella (Love) Thanks a lot for faving!
sandzen Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014   General Artist
No problem. It was subtle, beautiful and really sparked the imagination.
GrimDreamArt Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks so much for :+fav: on "Fantasy Pond"!
sandzen Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014   General Artist
Not at all. There's a stark, grim chill present in your work that feels almost like Dr. Seuss, Edward Gorey and Edgar Allan Poe had a baby. It's all wonderful, really.
JAE462 Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
thanks for the fav
sandzen Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014   General Artist
No problem. A truly sensuous capture.
TheSphinx Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you for faving my [Red Light 2047] :)
sandzen Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014   General Artist
Not a prob. Loved the immersing totality of ambiance.
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