“but which cannot be held never be held and is no flower but is swift and a huntress and the wind itself is in terror of it and the world cannot lose it.”

He squatted over the wolf miniature schnauzer and touched her fur. He
touched the cold and perfect teeth. The eye turned to the fire gave back no light and he closed it with his thumb and sat by her and put his hand upon her bloodied forehead and closed his own eyes that he could see her running in the mountains, running in the starlight where the grass was wet and the sun’s coming as yet had not undone the rich matrix of creatures passed in the night before her. Deer and bare and dove and groundvole all richly empaneled on the air for her delight, all nations of the possible world ordained by God of which she was one among and not separate from. Where she ran the cries of the coyotes clapped shut as if a door had closed upon them and all was fear and marvel. He took up her stiff head out of the leaves and held it or he reached to hold what cannot be held, what already ran among the mountains at once terrible and of a great beauty, like flowers that feed on flesh. What blood and bone are made of but can themselves not make on any altar nor by any wound of war. What we may well believe has power to cut and shape and hollow out the dark form of the world surely if wind can, if rain can. But which cannot be held never be held and is no flower but is swift and a huntress and the wind itself is in terror of it and the world cannot lose it.


—from Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing


dour dexter snubs sister!

the curmudgeonly canine turns his back on his sweet sibling & baby sister addie

promotion, friendship, black dogs: personal crap to be mulled over later

the pain never stops… 
and thank god, otherwise i might never know i am alive


received a promotion at work and sizeable raise — it seems i pass from strength to strength in the working world, even though I am basically sleepwalking through my life (see any novel by hermann broch for more on this theme — better yet, his journals). 

and it seems pointless… i don’t care about the money. my foremost thought is that i’m running out of time.

however, my boss did make an effort to burn my nose hairs with a lighter after i deliberately — and perhaps too obviously — feigned ignorance of basic company policy, so any further accolades may now be delayed.

every once in a while sarcasm exacts its price.


the other day I saw someone who i once considered a very BFF… quickly averted my eyes and changed course lest angry fireworks be directed my way.

anyway, one day a year or so ago my former friend simply ended our friendship (begging the question of whether it was in fact a friendship or just a way to kill time. 

very weird and sad to suddenly feel once again the… the what? the sting? the sorrow?… the sense of loss, i suppose, occasioned by this highly intelligent and artistic person simply ceasing contact with me for reasons i could never discover.

now i wonder if my interpretation of this person’s actions as deliberate cruelty was a misinterpretation; maybe it was something else, a need to be left alone for a while. conversely maybe former BFF thought the same of my actions, when i was in actuality only trying to find out why the friendship seemed to be on hold, if not over.  

but in trying to force the issue i wound up forcing the person, as it were.  

it was certainly a very bad time for me and my ill feelings may have been directed outward (one shouldn’t drink to excess when ones doctor is changing one’s medications).

weird, too, that something like this only happened to me once before, and since I was a young child i probably forgot all about it in a few weeks. sadly, given my obsession-compulsive tendencies, i will probably ruminate on these issues for years to come, until:

time’s arrow one day hits me dead on the heart, as every wasted chance and lost opportunity come back upon me and i’m too busy looking backwards.

at least i won’t see it coming.

never far from my mind: time and time’s very own BFF, loss, (in the form of lost opportunities & missed chances accumulating behind me, and an ever-narrowing set of options in front of me). would need the pen used by proust on his deathbed to write this down properly — or maybe it’s not proust’s pen but faulkner’s whiskey bottle.

and yet as an adult married male the idea of friendship is typically not something that occupies my mind very often. i have my wife, and I always make friends in the work place with like-minded individuals, but i hadn’t met anyone like this person in years, a genuinely independent-minded person with very real artistic talents — and also capable of sophisticated abstract thought: a combination not found very often in north america.

after this near-encounter i am left with the unpleasant residue of something worthwhile having ended badly and wrongly, through a series of misunderstandings and miscommunications… left with a vast oceanic feeling of deep regret and an even deeper wish that the friendship hadn’t ended. 

on black dogs (mine, not churchill’s)

 it must now be said: Addie (full name Adele Pray Webb-McLachlin , from the book Addie Pray and film Paper Moon) may be the worst dog ever allowed to live.

now ANYONE in my neighbourhood walking a dog will cross the street or run back to their house if they see me and addie coming towards them. 11-pounds of miniature schnauzer! 

the local pitbull who runs around off-leash with total impunity refuses to go within 15 feet of her. 

the 80-pound chocolate lab reverses direction and drags his owner back home if he sees or scents her from 50 yards.  

the recently-immigrated chinese lady living down the street runs along the edge of the park in her heels until she safely is out of Addie’s sight — a good 300 metre sprint in her stilletos!

all of this simply fuels addie’s already rapidly metastizing ego. she knows exactly what effect she has on dogs and people and she relishes every second of it.  

she is possibly the smartest dog i have ever seen. she is totally without fear, but never lacking in a kind of low animal cunning (like george w.?). 

undiluted, uncontainable purity of canine spirit.  

re spirit: paraphrase hegel on napoleon? — "i have seen the world-historical prancing on four paws with maimed squirrel dying in its mouth."

it is quite possible this wholly amoral and self-serving creature represents the way of the future (thomas homer-dixon and robert kaplan)

or maybe she is a doggy myra breckinridge… she does try to hump her brother dexter from time to time. 

dexter seems resigned to the fact that she is here to stay and apparently has forgiven me for ruining his life by adding her to the family.

addie pray, fictional character, and the inspiration for addie pray webb-mclachlin, black schnauzer and obstinate little girl:

the critter herself, incognito:


a cold sunday in toronto

Late brunch at friends’ house followed by more home renovations and ineffectual disciplining of remorseless carpet-destroying black-coated. black-hearted schnauzer.

"he levered his arm, raising ravaged veins. The winnowing light was just sufficient to reveal the nasty cicatrices littering the crook of his arm. Gingerly his finger prodded for a vein tender and defined enough to drink the shot. Oooh, there we are; hush now, slowly, breath held slooow. . .

Looking back down he saw in the amber lumen a filament of blood, the merest undulant tendril. Sucking air through his teeth, whimpering softly, he adjusted the needle’s depth. Bingo! A mushroom cloud of blood exploded into the barrel, billowing, blooming a crimson orchid. Weeping gently Joe . . . slammed the syringe like a detonator, plunging the flower of forgetfulness into his bloodstream."

—from Seth Morgan, former boyfriend of Janis Joplin and author of the novel Homeboy (1989)


Bookseller Photo

Read so far in 2009:

– larry beinhart, salvation boulevard (2008) — great premise for a crime novel, but badly executed in the extreme
– thomas bernhard, wittgenstein’s nephew (1982) — very pessimistic yet very funny and with a sadness that had me looking out the window and sighing, thinking of days and people now long gone
– tony o’neill, down and out on murder mile (2008) — diverting, quite good in some parts, very bad in others; reads as the work of a minor acolyte of the w.s. burroughs who wrote junky

Now reading:

– the demons by heimito von doderer (took 18 years to locate both volumes!)
– attila bartis’ tranquility
– seth morgan, homeboy

beware—do not pass the black dog, lest you enter that undiscovered country from which no man returns

"…there are ghostly black dogs… generally near gates and stiles, and are of such a forbidding aspect that no one dare venture to pass them, and that it means death to shout at them."


—Reverend Worthington-Smith, Dunstable and Its Surrounds (1910)

natural born killer, or survival of the prettiest?—either way, adorable addie eviscerates squirrel!

Look on Addie’s works, ye mighty, and despair: She is Tennyson’s pitiless and awful “Nature, red in tooth and claw” rendered incarnate… and no species indigenous to the North American continent can stop her now!

addie is cute, composed and curious! but don’t be fooled by her good looks . . .

Given the powerful connotations of dogs and the colour black, it is not surprising that both appear as symbols in early religions. Just as dogs guarded the afterlife, some temples used sacred dogs as guards. Shiva, the Hindu god with great destructive and creative powers, was symbolised as a black dog, while in Egypt, Anubis was the jackal-headed god of the dead. The goddess Artemis (or Diana) was a huntress who led a pack of hounds, though it was Hecate who was the goddess most associated with dogs. She was worshipped in the Middle East in the centuries before Jesus’s birth and also in classical Greece and Rome. Hecate was deified in popular folk religion as the triple goddess of earth, moon and underworld. As the goddess of the underworld, she was thought to hold the keys to the afterlife and was often portrayed as a black dog or in the company of dogs. Sometimes referred to as the ‘black bitch’, Hecate was also the goddess of birth, death, magic, witches, ghosts, demons and cemeteries . . .
From www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/docs/Huet.pdf