Saturday, January 24, 2009


Poster for first performance of The Wal-Martyr

The Wal-Martyr was performed last fall at the launch of issue #10 of the literary journal, Misunderstandings Magazine, which had published my poem Apoetcalypse Now, a cleverly altered (poeticized) version of one of the iconic scenes in Francis Ford Coppolla’s movie masterpiece, Apocalypse Now.

Livewords hosted the event at Cervejaria @ 842 College Street West, Toronto. Livewords is a monthly poetry performance venue run by poet Edward Nixon who emcees with unbridled wit. He, and another compatriot poet, James Dewar, who hosts another monthly poetry venue called Hot-Sauced Words, provide a vital platform for young and emerging poets to cut their teeth.

For the Wal-Martyr performance, I first primed the audience, consisting of poets, poetry lovers, poetry sluts, a couple prose-heads and an out-of-town municipal politician by overdosing on FREE SPEECH pharmaceuticals. With a call of “Do it!” from the audience, their unwitting complicity opened the way for the performance of The Wal-Martyr.

They were poets. By their very nature as inspired wordniks who daily thrash and splash in the sparkling fluids of language, they are naturals for the fruit of FREE SPEECH. Poets are not known to be conformists to the dogma du jour, the orthodox zeitgeist, and especially to the coercive confinements enforced by bureaucraps in the name of The State.

The Wal-Martyr is undeniably offensive. It was composed with that intent. It was designed to be delivered with profound contempt towards every person within hearing range. The script (below) contained words, phrases and expressions that a reasonable person would regard as hateful. The hatred was directed towards an identifiable group – kuffars,

How could it be otherwise? After all, I was portraying a suicide martyr. For a couple years I had immersed myself in the viewing of many snuff videos of beheadings, videos of last will and testaments of actual suicide martyrs, and audio tapes of their immediate supporters.

None of the above had been sourced from Western capitalist-controlled media. They were sourced from the web sites that islamaniacs set up to proudly display their lethal hatreds and as a recruiting magnet for their cause.

It took me several viewings over several weeks to enure myself to eye-witness and ear-witness videos of beheadings. A lifetime of Hollywood prepping in the horror/Tarentino genre had not vaccinated me against the full repulsivemess of the real thing.

The beheadings were not accomplished with a single swipe of a scimitar. There was considerable sawing before the head was detached and held aloft as a proud John-The-Baptist trophy. Invariably the ubiquitous “Allahu Akbar” was called out during the actual butchering.

All of these deathniks reminded me of the nazi brownshirts of Europe, Pinochet’s death squads, Stalin’s smersh agents. Those regimes were driven by a political totalitarian ideology. Similarly, these suicide martyrs are driven by theological totalitarianism. Their enemy is the profoundly hated kuffar.

I performed The Wal-Martyr with that in mind. The audience was full of kuffars. They got the performance they deserved.

Edward Nixon was graciously diplomatic on Livewords website to describe my performance as “controversial.” It would have been more accurate to have described it as an offensive and lurid expression of hate.

It is one thing to perform The Wal-Martyr in the protective context of a poetry reading venue; it is quite another to do it in the public domain, albeit with a broader and more porous context – Nuit Blanche.

Nuit Blanche, September 29-30, 2007, is a dusk to dawn extravaganza of avante garde art displays throughout the downtown core of Toronto. I had spent several evening hours touring many sites, when it occurred to me to go home, dress up in The Wal-Martyr outfit and go out for a stroll down the very crowded Queen Street West.

The Wal-Martyr holds a beaver hostage in Trinity-Bellwoods Park

Needless to say, this spontaneous, unofficial and highly provocative act was a big surprise to me. After all, I was 60 years old for god’s sake, and here I was upstaging some young upstarts. I went in and out of galleries, gathering a small entourage of curious and paparazzi. I was dared to enter Atom Egoyan’s club, Camera, because they were screening a film about the Gaza strip. I entered, walked up to the screen, faced the surprised audience and did a version of the Gaza strip tease.

When I got to the Drake Hotel, a police car rounded the corner. I dropped the faux detonator from my hand and opened each pocket in my suicide vest to reveal that they contained heavy electrical transformers and that all the wires and cables were attached to a ball point pen “detonator.”

There was a bit of radio chatter. The police said they had been receiving reports about me. Once they were assured that I was a poet doing my thing, I wished well and released. On my own I removed the balaclava, walked home, thinking to myself: “How great is this. I was NOT shot. What a great city! What a great country! Poetry is Poetency indeed.”

I later learned that CBC radio had been talking up my little terrorist excursion and NOW magazine did considerable coverage of my free expression, Night of the Living Bankers, written by the talented poet, Robert Priest.

Will The Wal-Martyr be coming to a neighbourhood near you? Only the muse knows.

The script:

general all purpose unbelievers
I am your terrorist for tonight
I am a weapon of Hamas destruction,
a mani-infestation of Mohammadness of the Ku Klux Koran
I am here to blow you away
with the force of my faith

You Children of Crusaders think you’ve got smart bombs
I am a smart bomb
I can loiter, backtrack, choose my moment
Your smart bombs cost millions
I cost the liberation of my soul
You are a stupid people

You Children of Crusaders think you have stealth bombers invisible to radar
I am a stealth bomber,
an invisible minority
I can penetrate your insecurity systems, enter subways, discos, buses,
Your stealth bombers cost billions
I cost the liberation of my soul
You are a stupid people

Norad cannot detect me
even though I am in your schools, your parks, your malls, your burbs
NATO cannot stop me
though it is the world’s greatest gang with its fly-by bombings & inconsequential collateral
You are a stupid people.

You love to live
We love to die
You love your bonds to the temporal
We love our wings to the eternal
You kill to live & make hell on earth
We kill to earn life in heaven
We kill to purify the earth of infidelity,
the AbomiNations of Western wickedmess & Guantanamo Ghettoes
Your democrazies have liberated licentiousmess
the widespread eagled dishonour of women with their gynecological generosities
with the perversonality of homosexual culture
that you want to shove up our culture with the Uniperversal Declaration of Unhuman Rites

I am of the people of the God Squad
who will avenge your idolatries and idollartries.
We will bring down all your Manhatten man hatin' towering boners of banality.

Your sons say,
“Daddy, I want to be pathetically correct when I grow up.”

Our sons say,
“Father, I want to be a Wal-martyr when I blow up”

Your sons say,
“I want to ejaculate.”

Our sons say,
“I want to detonate.”

I am an apostle of the Universal Declaration of God's Rights
I am a weapon of Hamas destruction
I am here to blow you away with the force of my faith
I am the price of your freedom
And I will make you pay
God is the greatest!
Allahu akbar!

1 comment:

Darcey said...

Awesome man - heh heh