28 December 2009


a color drawing
Winnipeg from a plane
Homage to Michel de Broin
A piece by Damien Ortega

all of this technology (notes for a new song)

Waiting for the GPS to triangulate, I don't know where I'm headed and I need to give myself place.
All this technology that I have really can't help me. All these systems that I have can really slow me down.

Left the number on my cellphone, and now the cell is dead. Same song on the radio won't get out of my head. All these technologies that I have can't save me. All these systems can get you down, you know what to do.

27 December 2009

Mistakes in love

I couldn't tell
the mistakes
I've made

A twitch
and a leg of stone
vanished and whispering
of mistakes

She'll let you into
her mouth
tasting the blood
and the flesh

Raging words
of what I remember
in the mistakes
I've made

There are eyes on every shadow
and lashings of truth
in the mistakes
I've made
I made


After absorbing our limit of sun we 've travelled north into Ecuador. Into the Andes lies the capitol Quito. Nestled within the surrounding emerald mountains. City of contrasts, ancient narrow streets and massive colonial churches, tiny wrinkled leprechaun people carrying heavy loads, mini-malls, skyscrapers, businessmen with slicked back hair. Very dangerous beautiful city. First day climbed up to the virgen angel you see in the picture labrynthian staircase flocks of baby chickens goats old men. On our way down I notice a group of miscreants spider sense tingling. One fellow pulls something from his pocket and hides it in his jacket and comes towards us. I reverse position and use the Hapkido noise defense he lunges but we re already backpeddling down another path. That was a close one. More carefull next time
Ecuador has a socialist government allied with chavez in Venuzuela, Cuba, Iran, Russia, China. The leader of this country is a former socialist terrorist. They are still suffering from economic downturn. I commented that Canada is already coming out of the slump and the fellow I was talking to told me that Canada does not have a very good name in his country because many Canadian companies in particular Canadian Uranium Mining companies are the ones who are destroying the natural resources. What do you think about that?
For Christmas we explored the old churches and monasteries. Many differnt types of nuns and monks have set up shop here to convert the pagans since the 1500s. Crazy huge buildings with tons of really gory artwork depicting self'flaggelation and bloody Jesus. Im not sure if the Spanish are particularily keen on this side of the faith or not. Must have been a hard sell to the natives who were worshipping the pancha mama (mother Nature) in all her glorious, lush, green, natural splendor.
Part of the reason I came here was to meet up with a wizard that I had met way back in India 4 years ago. Sure enough he s just as crazy and wize as I remember him. He must be some sort of guardian angel uncle to me. Yesterday we spent the day in his tiny hutch apartement filled with idols, icons, and i-chings. He spoke and spoke telling me my future and offering me advice. He gave us contact numbers for ayawaska and san pedro shamans in the jungle and that will be our next stop.
Now before you go dismissing this thinking 'oh there goes Goldstar again, taking drugs, trying to escape reality, messing up his mind, rebelling against society by frying his brain' allow me to give you a bit of a primer regarding ayawaska. To the people of the Amazon, the ayawaska vine is their connection to the spiritual world. That's why when the missionaries came its the first thing that was outlawed. The people of the amazon consume ayawaska all the time like almost every day and everyone in the community consumes it. Children drink their first cup at 6 years old. The drink has no harmful effects on the body it is purely medicine. Once consumed it reveals the spiritual world. There's no other way to describe it. The seperation between the soul and the body is made obvious. Apparently it opens up communcation with 'the spirit people'. Obviously Ill elaborate about this more once Ive done more experimentation with it. But I anticipate coming back to explain to you the scientific validity of leprechauns, fairies, and angls. Will you beleive me?
Here's the science; the active chemical in ayawaska is DMT. DMT is naturally occuring in the human body. The human body produces this compound in the pineal gland or third eye. DMT is released only at special times; at birth, at death, and in the deepest levels of REM sleep. Clinical studies injecting high doses of DMT into humans causes instantaneous phsychedelic phenomenon including interaction with angelic beings, and the feeling of approachin a light at the end of the tunnel as in near death experiences. Based on these trials, the cheif scientist in charge of the study put forth the proposition that this chemical regulates the movement of the soul in and out of the body. It's the control valve of the soul.
What do you think about that?

24 December 2009

Tangential ontologies

Society is a collection of individuals. Mitigated against each other when the aim is to survive within the picture and the cave.

People interact with each other to fulfill their aims, but this is not a simple utilitarianism, or a world of additive utilities.

People are dependent in such a way as to not allow a release from responsibility, something to which they contribute.

It is responsibility that defines us first, responsibility stands prior to rights.

There is a social corpus that stands prior to the individual.

The individual is completely dependent in that they cannot be released from the vital accompaniment, neither of themselves nor of the group in which they share and inhabit.

In a fully relational environment, to define the individual as the complete totality is folly.

So it is not individual rights that are explanatory of how we should act socially. Socially, it is better to consider the group, which means a discourse on responsibilities, of individuals to the other individuals to which they relate.

This is radical, as it situates questions of how we should act in questions of how I should act.

While we can only imagine how society functions at a greater level of stratification, this does not disavow us of responsibilities, since from observation we can tell that it is changeable, for the better, and for the worse.

So as you are not released of yourself from your very life, as you are your life, nothing else, so it is that you are not released of your presence in relation to others.

This set of relations, through shared idea, leads to the ontology of the social. And I say this with intuition in a time of myth.

In one sense, one is always functioning blind, one is living a myth, their myth.

And this is why responsibility is so important, or attention to that which allows individuals equal access to the corpus, to potential.

In moving so far to individualism, we are damaging the world, the corpus, and today is the best example of what this looks like.

23 December 2009


the hopers, the lovers, and the dreamers
wrapped in silk chord's
warm fire embraces

watching as leaves turn over
chapter by chapter
mapped in flames
we've travelled
flush with the slow burn
of the past
packed in shoe boxes
silver embers
ask for forgiveness.

22 December 2009

Poem #4 (two found after the farewell poetry party)

"Who says it was heresy?"
two storeys up in the warehouse
watered down risk
on the table
"pass the whiskey, goddamit", she said
in the blink of her eye
the name on
the lips
that lack
of calling his name.

I've passed the
risk on to you
lacking the
angelic host we
are lost
my lips are
heresy to
your love.

21 December 2009

Le Morte Darthur

"The Accolade" (1901), by Edmund Blair Leighton, 1853-1922.

Generally considered to be one of the most important medieval texts, and one of the most important recountings of the Arthurian legend, Sir Thomas Malory's work, written in prison in the 1470's, was published in 1485 under the middle French spelling of "Le Morte Darthur".

In Book VII of our adventure, things are heating up.

Book VII opens with Lancelot and Guinevere having a secret meeting in her bedroom, its true meaning unclear, though adultery had been strongly suggested (even referred to directly, in one brief sentence) in earlier books.

King Arthur, however, seems to have bigger fish to fry, such as the holding together of a fragile alliance of squabbling knights and a kingdom that is constantly fraying at the edges. Since, as Malory tells us "love was not then as it is now", and since their marriage is seldom discussed on any level in Malory's work, we can make assumptions about the relationship that existed, if any, between Arthur and Guinevere.

In any case, Modred and Agravaine, two knights of the Round Table who have long been trying to force Arthur's hand into some kind of action on the Guinevere/Lancelot front, trap the two "lovers" in Guinevere's bedroom. Lancelot, weaponless and without armour, nevertheless obtains a sword and kills several of the knights, escaping the trap and fleeing from Arthur's court.

He offers to take Guinevere with him, but she states that she will stay and face Arthur's wrath, because to leave with Lancelot would be treasonous on both their parts. Lancelot leaves, but promises to rescue her if Arthur orders her to be burned at the stake.


Surprise, surprise, here's our lady tied to a big pile of wood and surrounded by disguised Round Table knights. Looks like her goose is cooked, so to speak.

Suddenly, however, Lancelot arrives on the scene, this time armed to the teeth, and in a bloodbath reminiscent of the wedding scene in "Holy Grail", kills pretty much anyone who gets in his way.

Among those he kills, unbeknownst to him, are several close friends, including Gareth and Gaheris, brothers to Sir Gawain, who is one of the most valiant knights and a lifelong ally of Lancelot.

Lancelot, full of grief, leaves with Guinevere, but sends word to Gawain that he had no idea the men he killed were his brothers, since they were in disguise. Your brothers and I have saved each other many times in battle, Lancelot says, and offers to build chapels in their honour, as an act of pennance.

Gawain responds by saying: You can build whatever you want. It means nothing to me, because I am going to hunt you down, find you, and I'm going to kill you.

end part 1 of our adventure...

18 December 2009


We are Eternal and let us sing these songs.
Songs of Realization. Melchidadek is our freind.
We are Masters of transformation.
This is a Riddle Catalyst.
Even though I walk through the shadow of death I fear no evil for you are with me. I pray that My faith is not a counterfeit. Ghost Buddy Come. Run children Run join with the Angelic Host. Let´s evangalize about the holy lord of clowns and jesters offering a special spectacle of mythic proporttions for you and all your freinds. Then we can understand that When we become prideful in our positions is when we fall. We must Follow your will with percerverance. We are the Clowns and Jesters of Lord Nrshimha the Lion headed. The passage of time is not absolute nor univeral, but is instead relative to the place and motion of the observer. TheTsunami comes like the mythc bird. As a reflection of your faith you should express yourself. Crop cirlces. Dancing in a fairy ring. Going from absolute Zero to most humble Hero. Im troubled that the idieas I am putting forward are so much at variance with ordinary assumptions and the solutions I offer are so remote, that there is a gap between what actually is and what according to me, might be, that my audience cannot take me seriously. Dmt Ayawaska. I am the taste of water. Kropotkin I will take you to the other shore where exists a mental technology devised for jumping bewteen worlds. There is a fixed mechanism at work in this dance. A mechanism that may indeed be supernatural, generating uncanny forces at the intersection of Worlds. Im drinking the sweat of the Smoky Tiger. The evolution of speices who are all doomed to die. Consiousness which is eternal. Atheist denies the beuaty and sweetness of love. Strategy. Leberation theology; a Socialist interpretation of Jesus. Highest bird is a hybrd.Great Warrior King. This is a war waged by the forces of civilization against those of barbarism. In the begginning the earth was seperated from the sky. Jeztr´s exile. The heavens from the firmannet, creating a world of perpetual impermanacne and the gateway god stepped through. Spirit of the mountaints. Harmony. Follow your own will with obediance and percerverance. It will guide you to the other shore. Devotion to jah wont allow you to fall. Allowing the music to instill in you higher knowledge of the planetary spheres. Harmonic destiny. King of Seers. Cosmic Preisthood. Multi dimensional beings. Horoscope salesmen. Demi Gods wear A body of energy. The Astrologer Enoch is your navigator. Dreams have a tangible reality. Utopia lives. Dechiper the story behind the story. See the gravities and influences. Euhcharist of the stars and planets. Fatherless and motherless like Mechizadek. Shiva, Osiris, fate imprinted on my consiuousness like constellations. Alienzodiac from the energetic zone orchestrating the evolution of the soul. This body has been resynthezized since antiquity Hieroglyphic thought forms. Reveal The heretical truth that we can spark our own divinity from within. Do not overlook the wisdom traditions of the devine mother. Manifest grace like thor the lightning God and wade through the river nile. This way brings showers of glory to you and your house. Venus wears the higher garment of ascension. Thinking in technicolor hearing the music of the spheres. Mars wears the crown chakra the helmet of salvation with which you put on a new mind. You can be a communicator of the higher mind like a Stoneage rocket. Alpha and Omega. Piles of Rubble Mummies. Historically certain figures sometimes emerge from stagnant despairing or disentigrating cultures to reinterpret old symbols and beleifs and invest them with new meaning. An individual´s decision to play such a role may be purely unconsious but it can sometimes evolve into an acute awareness that he may indeed have the gift-burden of prochecy. This realization may be followed by the public declaration on the part of such a person that he is merely the instrument of a new source of knowledge a new direction and a new order.

Children of the Rainbow

here's a drawing of a live performance I did at the West End Cultural Centre. The performance, called Sparkle, is a recording for a Christmas special in 2010 featuring some of Canada's top Metis performers.

Garbage Motorcycle Trailer in China

17 December 2009

The Lady of Shalott

image: The Lady of Shalott, by John William Waterhouse (1888)

(excerpts from) The Lady of Shalott (1842)
Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Part I
1On either side the river lie
2Long fields of barley and of rye,
3That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
4And thro' the field the road runs by
5 To many-tower'd Camelot;
6And up and down the people go,
7Gazing where the lilies blow
8Round an island there below,
9 The island of Shalott.

24But who hath seen her wave her hand?
25Or at the casement seen her stand?
26Or is she known in all the land,
27 The Lady of Shalott?

28Only reapers, reaping early
29In among the bearded barley,
30Hear a song that echoes cheerly
31From the river winding clearly,
32 Down to tower'd Camelot:
33And by the moon the reaper weary,
34Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
35Listening, whispers " 'Tis the fairy
36 Lady of Shalott."

Part II
37There she weaves by night and day
38A magic web with colours gay.
39She has heard a whisper say,
40A curse is on her if she stay
41 To look down to Camelot.
42She knows not what the curse may be,
43And so she weaveth steadily,
44And little other care hath she,
45 The Lady of Shalott.

46And moving thro' a mirror clear
47That hangs before her all the year,
48Shadows of the world appear.
49There she sees the highway near
50 Winding down to Camelot:

60And sometimes thro' the mirror blue
61The knights come riding two and two:
62She hath no loyal knight and true,
63 The Lady of Shalott.

64But in her web she still delights
65To weave the mirror's magic sights,
66For often thro' the silent nights
67A funeral, with plumes and lights
68 And music, went to Camelot:

69Or when the moon was overhead,
70Came two young lovers lately wed:
71"I am half sick of shadows," said
72 The Lady of Shalott.

Part III
73A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
74He rode between the barley-sheaves,
75The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,
76And flamed upon the brazen greaves
77 Of bold Sir Lancelot.
78A red-cross knight for ever kneel'd
79To a lady in his shield,
80That sparkled on the yellow field,
81 Beside remote Shalott.

104 As he rode down to Camelot
105From the bank and from the river
106He flash'd into the crystal mirror,
107"Tirra lirra," by the river
108 Sang Sir Lancelot.

109 She left the web, she left the loom,
110 She made three paces thro' the room,
111 She saw the water-lily bloom,
112 She saw the helmet and the plume,
113 She look'd down to Camelot.
114 Out flew the web and floated wide;
115 The mirror crack'd from side to side;
116 "The curse is come upon me," cried
117 The Lady of Shalott.

123 So down she came and found a boat
124Beneath a willow left afloat,
125And round about the prow she wrote
126 "The Lady of Shalott."

127And down the river's dim expanse
128Like some bold seër in a trance,
129Seeing all his own mischance--
130With a glassy countenance
131 Did she look to Camelot.
132And at the closing of the day
133She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
134The broad stream bore her far away,
135 The Lady of Shalott.

141And as the boat-head wound along
142The willowy hills and fields among,
143They heard her singing her last song,
144 The Lady of Shalott.

145Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
146Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
147Till her blood was frozen slowly,
148And her eyes were darken'd wholly,
149 Turn'd to tower'd Camelot.
150For ere she reach'd upon the tide
151The first house by the water-side,
152Singing in her song she died,
153 The Lady of Shalott.

163Who is this? and what is here?
164And in the lighted palace near
165Died the sound of royal cheer;
166And they cross'd themselves for fear,
167 All the knights at Camelot:
168But Lancelot mused a little space;
169He said, "She has a lovely face;
170God in his mercy lend her grace,
171 The Lady of Shalott."

Live performance of The Lady of Shalott by Loreena McKinnit at the Juno Awards

15 December 2009

Transcendental Guilt on the Beach

Nobody wants saviors now adays because nobody thinks they need to be saved. Everyone feels content in their lives and if they don´t they just learn to accept the way things are thinking that change would be inmpossible so there´s no point in trying. Sometimes it´s hard to describe experiences like this without sounding like a salesman. How can I express this enjoyment with out wanting you to enjoy life in this way also? And yet I don´t want you to feel bad about your life, rather I want exactly the oposite. I want everyone to experience life the way Im experiencing it. Is that selfish? Anyways, we´ve progressed on to the beach in a place called Mancora. Its on the pacific coast side very close to Ecuador. Here is a surfer´s haven. Surfer´s are zen masters. They are taoists seek the way through riding the wave. The waves here roll and roll all day and night. I don´t use the board. I just run out into the wave and let it roll over me. Sometimes the wave is so big that the only thing to do is roll yourself into a ball and just let yourself go spinning under the water. When Im done I come running out of the water to meet my companion and we sit in the sun together. Minds thought free. No need for speculation. Mantras appear naturally to the mind. After two days in this equatorial sun our skins are already dark brown. I even offered the whiteness of my upper thighs to the sun and that sissy skin was scorched since it rarely sees the light of day in my other life back home. I feel like a tiny child and this is what the sun and ocean do. (scientifically I beleive there´s a relationship we don´t fully understand between the colour of our skin and our mindstate, also how much sunshine we allow into our eyes)
Our tent is set up under palm trees and we eat fresh veggies and fruits from the market. Avacados are enormous here like twice the regular size. A week´s worth of food cost about ten dollars. It costs 2 dollars a night for our camp spot. All of the proper urges in terms of healthy living and eating occur naturally. Cravings are illiminated. Booze consumption reduced to healthy level.
At night hanging in a hammock I wonder if I have commited some error. Am I going to have to pay for what Im doing? The Hare Krisjna´s and others have told me that the path of sensual enjoyment is not the way. Can this be true? Am I living here in this dream of paradise at the expense of my freinds and family and everyone else I know who are daily toiling away back home? I hope not.
Im reading a book my dad gave me about Zen. Books are devoured here. I think Zen means going beyond logic and rational discourse in order to seek out enlightment NOW in this body. Sweet. Too bad those Zen guys had to go about it by self-denial. I think beleive times have changed and there´s an easier way to enlightment for everyone for free. Jah, god, jehovah, Allah, Krisnja, Odin, They all want us to go forward and they won't be mad if we turn to look them in the eyes.

14 December 2009


I’ve been here the whole time;
gathering the pieces up as they break off of you.
my small hands
make short work of these shards

my fingers
are (in)visible
on your
shiny new skin.

Monday morning

In the end, I cannot escape the thought that this is all some big thinking thing.

11 December 2009


Salt scoured
in the violet
of twilight's
cool water

motionless moon
shoring up the strength
to turn away from the empty horizon
again today,

she reaches up to gently
adjust the laurel in her hair
and blesses the day
she refused to wait.

Blog: "Your Name Here"

This blog needs a (real) name. Regional and animistic preferably. The Beaver is already taken unfortunately or perhaps fortunately. My first thought was The Black Fly for various reasons. ~m

Moche Culture

On the beach. This whole coast is desert wasteland style beach. Nice but eager to get further north to the pure sunshine and lush jungle. There´s some huge ruins around here. Massive adobe cities covered with sand. Tough to learn about these people since they had no written language. They buried their kings with all their wives and bodyguards. Then they preserved the body with mercury and lime. How did they know how to use Mercury?(mercury is considered by alchemists to be the gateway substance between the material and spiritual) Pretty high tech for people who didnt have the wheel and ate genui pigs. Once in a while they would bring out the dead king´s body for parties and everyone would worship the body. I wouldnt doubt if they had some knowledge about the afterlife that we don´t. The mummifyication process being not some sort of faith driven ritual but actually a scientific technology designed to garuntee one dude´s transcendance. This culture was also heavy into the pschedelic San Pedro Cactus and also the vine ayawaska from the jungle. Here the San Pedro grows everywhere you look and is legal to consume. One of the huge religious complexes the size of the old Winnipeg Arena had layer apon layer of mummy rooms, and deity chambers. Spanish Tomb raiders bore into the walls in the 15nth century and so sand blew in and filled the upper levels. But the crazy thing is that archeologists have never been into the lower and older to levels! That means that there are two levels that are sand free and untouched for the past 700 years. Some of the areas that have been uncovered still have the vibrant paintjobs and complicated images describing weird gods and human sacrifice. Perhaps tonight Ill find some sanpedro, grab my head lamp and shovel and find my way into those lower levels and learn some secrets from those old ghosts. Heck, there´s probably an alien spaceship down there.

10 December 2009

Discussion Topic: colour

Can we change the colour of the blog?
Is it okay to change the colour of the blog without much discussion?

I find the colour a bit dull.

09 December 2009

Kehinde Wiley Portrait of King of Pop

What are we to make of this? Kehinde Wiley, noted for binding his oeuvre together using leitmotifs of heroic and classical themes to portray mostly rap stars in paint, completes this post-humus work of Michael Jackson "just in time" for Art Basel Miami last week. Sadly, Jackson never laid eyes on the (apparently commissioned?) work of his keester alit upon, of all things, a stallion, never sat for the portrait or even a sketch or photo session. It sold for $160,000 USD, not that counts for much, but after people pass judgement on the blogs I'm guessing the price will only go up. Does anyone think this is the real deal or are we just witnessing the progression and evolution of upmarket sofa art (yet again)?

mug shots

Last minute cycle jihad

Equity of structure, equity of process, and equity of outcomes.

"Every Day" poetry project: Day 8.

1. In Station St. Henri

this yesterday's-coffee-grey
day-lack metro hum and
crowd-press while an
iPod struggles for
ceiling-ward past the

along the great
triangle of
gold-yellow tile
scending in
to three-storey
underground at
Place St. Henri is the

rattling off concrete and dream-
glowing your


leaf falls onto
pavement nowhere
else to fall

Serge Gainsborough too
loud in your
ears but not
loud enough never
loud e

the city is a
forest a
jungle it resists ev
effort to
manage it
grows wild at ev
turn every

we push back the
edges but it
sneaks into each
nook every

see, a

red leaf a
falls onto

pigeons peck at crumbs
air a.m.

The city is a
forest i wear
soft moccasins to
make no sound i
paint my face
gather my
meats and herbs with
fixéd eyes while an
ambulance races from
Westmount to
St. Henri and the
river of traffic flows on
past a crisis that
goes other
wise mostly


cats and
chinese paper
laide but sheet-covered couch and a
en that lets you
spy on the
bathroom if you
to and the
mornings by
coffee-boil the
sun-yellow nasturtiums that
began as some seeds a
block up the
street the words to
share in the
heat and in win
ter's com
but it goes mostly

08 December 2009

Tristan Tzara (polemic poem about art)

Proclamation Without Pretension by Tristan Tzara
Art is going to sleep for a new world to be born
"ART"-parrot word-replaced by DADA,
PLESIOSAURUS, or handkerchief

The talent THAT CAN BE LEARNED makes the
poet a druggist TODAY the criticism
of balances no longer challenges with resemblances

Hypertrophic painters hyperaes-
theticized and hypnotized by the hyacinths
of the hypocritical-looking muezzins


Hypodrome of immortal guarantees: there is
no such thing as importance there is no transparence
or appearance

BLIND MEN take the stage

THE SYRINGE is only for my understanding. I write because it is
natural exactly the way I piss the way I'm sick


Art is a PRETENSION warmed by the
TIMIDITY of the urinary basin, the hysteria born

We are in search of
the force that is direct pure sober
UNIQUE we are in search of NOTHING
we affirm the VITALITY of every IN-

the anti-philosophy of spontaneous acrobatics

At this moment I hate the man who whispers
before the intermission-eau de cologne-
sour theatre. THE JOYOUS WIND

If each man says the opposite it is because he is

Get ready for the action of the geyser of our blood
-submarine formation of transchromatic aero-
planes, cellular metals numbered in
the flight of images

above the rules of the
and its control


It is not for the sawed-off imps
who still worship their navel

07 December 2009

Wotan! Wotan!

This is a real treat for me. A Russian mini series (9hours!) of my favourite book ever, bar none: The Master and Margherita!!

I haven't watched the whole thing, not nearly. But I will. If you open the sidebar on youtube it guves a really good synopsis of the plot, characters and major themes of the story. Well Done!

Type this:

the master and margarita (english subtitles). Part 1 (1/5)

04 December 2009

A Symphony in Glass

My first curator show at the Piano Nobile. Lesly Dawyduk and Kathleen Black

New camera and middle-aged trixie

I know, it could have been centered better. But I had to catch this shot quickly as miss trixie was on the move.


The Taj Mahal, from behind

"If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost." - Aristotle

Puerto Inirida, Colombia: Gold miners meet government officials, near the border with Venezuela
Photograph: William Fernando Martinez/AP