Diocletian in Edmonton

This is an account of my days and ways, of my life here in Edmonton.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Extra quick update

Hello all!

Still haven't gotten to those other updates, and am backlogged on mail. I will do soon.

Ach! Things are emotionally very crazy in my life right now. I can't really explain. It's all been very troublesome, but I'll try to do my best to get through it. Right now, the less said in a public format the better, though more judgement on my part in certain areas would have spared me a lot of grief, at least based on the contradictory information that I've been able to get.

Over and out!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Hurried update


There've been a lot of things that I've been meaning to add to my 'blog over the last few weeks, but haven't gotten around to. I'll do that when I can. I always seem to be in the wrong mood when I get to my 'blog.

Anyway, I had the strangest dream Tuesday night. I was promoted to the level of Senior Interviewer at my workplace, a post that I've never really wanted. My friend Kirsten's brother, Evan, was in charge of training me. He does not work for Statscan in real life. He was very officious and goal-based, a real overachiever. He was sort of reaming me out, I think. I then was on the job, but was unhappy -- would I get all my breaks, as a Senior Interviewer? Would my work hours be longer? Then I realized that I wouldn't really have to interview people on the phone, but lo and behold, I was still stuck interviewing people. I think that I took one of my breaks in my dream, but felt uneasy. I was also concerned and surprised at the lack of notice or real training.

Other things... I went for a late lunch with someone I know on Tuesday. It was kind of neat. We talked a lot, wandered a bit down Whyte Avenue, checked out Ten Thousand Villages. I'm a bit worried that I dragged the visit out a bit, as I can sometimes do (this section edited a bit since first posted).

The problem with not writing every day is that it's hard to come back to things several days later.

I'll write more later, when I've got a bit more time!

Monday, July 11, 2005


Hello all.

So, first off, I forgot to note before that the author of the poem below, the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, is T.S. Eliot. It would be horrible if someone who hasn't heard of the poem thought that I was claiming authorship to it! I could write that well in my dreams!

Anyway, I have enjoyed the poem for a long time. The older I get, the more I can see the frustration that the main character experiences, and identify with it. The sense of his being lovelorn appeals to me. I am a washout when it comes to relationships, and I think that most of it is my shyness, my lack of initiative (especially in a physical sense), and my self consciousness and anxiety.

Like Prufrock, I'm overwhelmed by a sense of age (having just passed my thirtieth birthday) and depression about my place in life.

A stifling society that encourages alienation from our lives, as in the poem, certainly does not help!

I hope that, if the person whom I was recently dating reads this, she doesn't think that this is some kind of attack on her, or an implication that she should feel bad. I was pretty sad when I first posted it, modified the introduction a bit later when I was feeling a bit better.

I am going to change some of these behaviours.

Anyway, in other events, I've been distributing resumes to find a temporary job, until either Statscan gets me back to full time hours or until I find a decent job that I can go to full time. I went for a free massage with my friend's wife today -- she's going to massage school, and is looking for practice. Things around the anarchist bookfair are going well. Next year's should be excellent. Kirsten has designed some really wonderful bookmarks for Black Books (my side enterprise). I'm going to a poetry reading with someone tomorrow.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

This has been my favourite poem for a long time. It's also a bit like my life right now, in some ways. I was feeling sorry for myself when I first posted this -- it sounded way more self-pitying than I'd like, and I hope that I didn't alarm or upset anyone. I changed my intro a bit. Anyway, I still want to share the poem.

Lots of things are going good right now, too -- birthday went well, as did my friend Aaron's. Wound up on my back like a poor sea turtle when I wrestled in a sumo suit on Aaron's birthday. I've got to shake myself and get back to a lot of the things which are important to me.

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

S'io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s'i'odo il vero,
Senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question ...
Oh, do not ask, "What is it?"
Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, "Do I dare?" and, "Do I dare?"
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair--
(They will say: "How his hair is growing thin!")
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin--
(They will say: "But how his arms and legs are thin!")
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?
And I have known the eyes already, known them all--
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?
And I have known the arms already, known them all--
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
* * * *
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? ...
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
* * * *
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep ... tired ... or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet--and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.
And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all"--
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: "That is not what I meant at all;
That is not it, at all."
And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the
And this, and so much more?--
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
"That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all."
* * * *
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous--
Almost, at times, the Fool.
I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.