enter to win

original artwork by ian gamache

& the debut dirty beat cd

draw date: sept 20, 2024


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Quarters available at the following locations:


Sound Heritage (Nanaimo, BC)

Prairie Flint (Swift Current, SK)

Amazing Stories (Saskatoon, SK)

X-Disc-C Music (Kitchener, ON)

Brian's Record Option (Kingston, ON)

Obsolete Records (Halifax, NS)


Vancouver, BC

Spartacus Books

Regional Assembly of Text

Prince George, BC

Books and Company

Whitehorse, YT

Road Dogs Music

Edmonton, AB

Listen Records

Winnipeg, MB

Into the Music

Strange Things Emporium

Prairie Sky Books

London, ON

Grooves Records

Toronto, ON

Sonic Boom Records

Art Metropole

Ottawa, ON

Vertigo Records

Montreal, QC

Cheap Thrills

Le Vacarme

Atom Heart

Librairie Bertrand

Fredericton, NB

The Cap

Moncton, NB

Spin-It Records

Halifax, NS

Taz Records

Anchor Archive


I am lazy

And afraid

I have squandered many treasures

I have a treasure meant to bring to the king

I have a hammer with which to mold the world

Lying beside me in rust and ruin and rot

My body is in decline

But I have yet to stand up & begin my journey

My dreams grow stale, and tired of waiting

Despite the many excuses

I wear as a crown of thorns, proudly

The truth is:

I am skinless


Unremarkably adrift & dreadfully plain

I awaken to find myself in a great hourglass

Flipped at birth

The sand pours down around and upon me

Rising without pause or concern

In a panic, I try to catch it in my hands

To slow the tide, buy some time

But there is too much, too fast

It overflows my grasp

I tire from wasteful pacing

Running out of time

Running out of reasons

I awaken a mere mile past the station

Many years ago now, I missed the train I was meant to catch

I ran hard as I might to catch it

But it was too fast, and I was too slow

Too hesitant and diluted of purpose

Up until this day it was still within sight

Though growing ever smaller, ever closer to the horizon

Ever further ‘round the bend gathering it from sight

And there was always still hope

A foolish, panicked hope

But hope nonetheless

Hope I could still catch it

Convincing myself:

Everyone has their time

My time may be yet

There is still time

Just push a little harder, run a little faster

Yet as I plod past trees & towns that once were a blur

Cramps ripening into chronic conditions

All I see now is the rear light of the train

The clatter of wheels & the vibrating steel

No longer drive my feet so much

And I see now that my time has passed

I see too that many other trains have since come & gone

Trains I could have caught & made new time

All long gone now

And I am in the woods,

It is dark, I am cold

Hypothermic warmth beckons

How wonderful to sleep

How wonderful not to care

How wonderful not to matter

I pray for the dirt

I am ready for heaven

I did not tend my garden

And the weeds have long overgrown the fruit

My history lies in fragments

Bridges burned, cords severed

I am a ghost, a spirit already crossing

With no body to row the boat

What can be done?

The sun is setting, and I am in decline

Yet the journey still awaits, I have a mission to fulfill

I have goods to deliver

Though the goods have long begun to spoil

I have a story to tell

Though the world has long grown tired of such stories

And such stories, tired of their telling

What can be done?

I am a coward

And this is my confession.

A first peek above the trench

Neck stuck out but an inch.

I fear mockery, assault & rejection

But worse yet, silence & disregard.

There is no glamour in this flailing.

* * *


I work up the nerve, groveling I come

To confess, in abject supplication

I confess, my sins my failings my fears my void

I have nothing, I am all poured out

Begging for love, for acceptance in your eyes

Please hold me, hold me together before I shatter

But in a sudden you erupt, in spittle and fury

Horrified at the words I speak and the who I am

Your banishment is instant and absolute

Not one shred of grace to spare

No, you will not accept me, nor seek to understand

You will not concede some common thread between us

Disgusted at the sight of me

You cannot bear my stench.

Revulsed at the stink of my repentance, you ready your whip

To ceaselessly flay me ‘til I cease to exist.

“I hate you! I cannot bear that you are here, on this earth

I cannot bear the sight of you, groveling before me

Have you no shame? Or is shame all that you have and all that you are?

“You are utterly distasteful, with your pulsing flesh and oozing pus

If I could vomit you from existence, I would."

Please no, please do not abandon me

Please don’t turn on me, don’t turn away from me

Please don’t leave me shivering alone

So small beneath your wrath

I am already so small

So small beneath the world, all its furies and fears

So small beneath the weight of my own condemnations

Can you not stay beside me?

I know I am a hateful distasteful loathsome yuck

Of course you can be ashamed of me and so you ought

Just please don’t step away and point

Please don’t point me out to the others

The crowd gathers

Standing judging retching mocking

I shrink in size, but unfortunately not so small that I disappear

Still so stripped and indisposed

But you have yours too, don’t you?

Confessions you could make?

Are you not human, with even one drop of shit?

Or like me, a bucket, full to overflowing?

“No, I will neither sit nor side with you

No compassion, no companion

You filth.

I abhor your tender wound, I will not acknowledge the mirror of your flesh.

“You stand accused of abandoning yourself.

And so shall your punishment be further and total abandonment.

It matters not whether all others have stood by you or have forsaken you.

For it is you alone who has turned your face

Fear no hell, for you have already become it.

You Are Hell.

“You stand accused of diminishing yourself to nothing.

You have dug the ground from under your feet.

Who told you to do such a thing? And why did you listen?

You have betrayed yourself to the whims of the others

And in so doing become a black hole with nothing to offer

A vacuum of relentless need.

Peddling yourself at rock-bottom prices to nobody's looking

Begging while coins fester and clank in your pocket

Then wondering why you can’t face the mirror.

“For diminishing and abandoning yourself

You shall be set up before the throng

To be diminished and abandoned by all.

“We denounce you!

You do not belong to the human family.

You have no place in this world.

You have no spine, no skin.

No skin in the game.

You follow and break all the wrong rules

And with no internal compass you can’t be trusted.

“So your punishment is absolute Loneliness.

All you have left to comfort you is your fear, your hatred, and your shame.

You shall be hollowed out, dug out with a spoon all that remains of you.

And soon you will have no sense of self, no other half.

You will no longer have a self to hate.

And so you shall become the embodiment of Hate, and of Spite.

The Ultimate Unnatural.

An Abomination.

Bad Seed.

What say you?”

* * *


I confessed, the judge berated and railed against me

It’s true, I am guilty of all those things

I have made a mockery of my life

I have chosen, always, the lesser path

The path that avoids whether the prison or the prize

But you see, I have this boil

Swelling, throbbing

Worsening by the day

And I am hoping your whip may be just the thing to pierce it

For though I bleat and brood and bray

I still bank on not lifting a finger

You see, there is this boil

Its seed germed long ago

When pellets pierced the natal skin

And burrowed down deep within

Where doctors cannot ply and nurses cannot tend

Shot through with holes

Carpet crawl

Hobble late

Run never

The wound clots


And scars

The clock stops

Time flies

A new year, a new knife

Paper cuts

Heavy meddles

Anvils dropping from the sky

Ankle-snapping holes

Birdshot buckshot bloodshot I

Pus matures

Ferments to wine bitters

Bottled up, corked in private

Backdrain to the bloodstream

Disease begets disease, the boil ripens

Growing to fruition

It bulges, engorged and distended

Pressure mounting

Patience thinning

Skin taut

Infection spreading

I've kept this all inside

Done best to stem the tide

Played whack-a-mole thumb on hide

But years pass and cyst grows

I cannot keep regurging and chewing this old cud

Suckling my abominations with hate and adoration

While the world is flailing and requiring attention.


This boil

This festering, pestering boil

A culmination, congestion

A growing concern

Built up over time.

Meal upon meal crammed in the belly without digestion time

One too many head-spinning shots poured down the gullet

Musty, sentimental clothes hogging the closet

The constipated weight of it all.

Overwhelmed and overloaded

Make it stop make it stop.

Youth lost

Slow, dull, aching

Without wisdom gained and gains made to take its place.

The change

The constant, relentless change

The world is unhinged, cartwheeling through chaos

The guiding mountains have crumbled

The gauging markers moved

What was once supposed safe quarter is now a most treacherous place.

The entire world is smashed glass: sharp, senseless, unreliable.

Habits, engrained rivulets in stone.

Brain firing faults on autopilot

Defenses and excuses backlogged, expired and boring.

An elaborate bureaucracy of wilful cowardice and avoidance.

Indeed, it is the journey not the destination:

So long in the desert, avoiding the goal and its requisite trip.

Friendships flowered into ghosts and foes

Digs and slights drag slits in thin skin

Off the list for jumping ship

Stuffed on excuses and blame

Not enough arrows for all the targets aimed

Swamped with hate, isolation and shame

Serving only to serve more of the same

The bottomless weep

All so dramatic and silly

Child games played with hands all feeble and wilty.

All filled up.

Pressure cooker now.

Boil either erupts or goes septic.

grateful for the following support past & present: