Canadian nuances, Rantings, Uncategorized

Canadian nuances – Part 6: Wading through sludge

I spent my New Year’s Eve in an empty house. The warm kiss of sherry coating my lungs, and the gentle sigh of a dog narrating my thoughts. It was lonely, but perfect. Quiet moments give us time to reflect. On everything, really.

I babbled to a few people on Facebook, my thumbs thundering against the glass face of my phone. I checked the time 23:34…shit, time to leave. I threw on my headphones, slung my bottle of sherry back into my bag, began my ascent through the ice and sludge. The succulent anger of Slipknot thundering threw me.

I approach the SkyTrain. Reach for my wallet. Seconds after my hand collides with its porous body, my eyes dart to the sticker adjacent to the turnstiles Free Ride on New Year’s Eve. 8 P.M. until 5 A.M. A smile creeps over me. “Thank you Canada,” I mutter to myself.

I get off at my station. A few of my heavy metal anthems are now slithering across my playlist. I start headbanging and beating drums like invisible ghosts in the air. Somehow this doesn’t seem like enough. I kick up a bit of snow and do an Irish jig in the middle of the street. (It’s like a version of Riverdance you should never watch. Trust me.) A thought came to me this morning as I began etching out the events of last night. I think I’ve fallen in love with this country. Or perhaps it’s fallen in love with me? I don’t care which way you slice it.

During the summer of 2016 I had a romance with a beautiful Japanese girl. I see an interesting parallel between loving a person and loving an environment. There’s the initial awe of something new coupled with anxiety of being able juggle the complexity of it all. Maybe one has an angry parent buzzing in their head saying “You’re in a new country / relationship now. Don’t fuck it up!”

Initially being in Canada felt like wading through sludge. There’s so many details, -isms, directions, slang and faces thrown your way, all that’s left to do is slowly wade through it. The sludge. Now that I’m two and a bit years into being “settled”, there’s less sludge. I can still see parts of it, others haven’t found me yet.

Where am I going with all this? Well, you remember the earlier analogy about the lover? A tipping point comes in any relationship. It is when you let your guard down. You express yourself, and run with it. It feels like flying. It tastes like freedom. That was exactly how I felt a few hours ago, churning up snow and dancing like dyslexic spaghetti.

Yeah…I may have looked like a fool, but I’m cool with that. Man must frolic, and so should you!



he arrives at the station. coins spill out of his pockets in the same way his spaghetti did last night. well, it was writhing in the pot like angry Medusa.

today the Lego’s in his head slipped away. it happened to be the important bricks that were missing.

he wishes for the days when he’d lie under the autumn trees with his army of friends. they read poetry until it soaks into their throats and sunlight digs through clouds of marijuana, it hangs in the air like dough. her could still smell Jennifer, see her laughter and feel her wild tattoos spilling over him. t-shirts were an array of metal bands. 21st century postage stamps, if you had heard the sweet ferocity you’d understand their journey. but that’s not what they spoke about…

beer cans spread in between the jokes they injected and gestures narrating the wind. while getting jostled with the cattle on the bus, he closed his eyes just for a second, and could feel himself there again. he could feel laughter tickle his feet and see the bronze ghost dancing in the bottle of brandy.

memories are the elixir of life. they remind us that there is something more to this muddy mayhem we collect under our shoes. if you behind to close your eyes long enough, you will learn to listen to the strumming of your story. its buried somewhere in your head. its like finding that creased letter you’ve lost for years. you scan the words and the image gets etched in your head.

…then there was that woman the other day she showed me a smile she had tucked away from the rain. it was just for 5 seconds,that was all i needed.


Odin (Manowar song)

Odin – Manowar

In the hall of the slain
Valkyries and heroes attend me
Ravens and wolves at my side
Forever they did befriend me

I paid an eye for a drink of mead
And was given wisdom supreme
Granted to me the secrets
Of magic, of life and death

Ah.. Speared hung upside down
Nine days and nights no food nor mead
The will to be a sacrifice
Of myself unto myself

Wisdom and rhyme
Sorcery, death living inside me
Of life and death I am king
For both do I bring by sword and spear and ring

Raise thy weapons on this day
Ye shall not die alone

Fight and die let Valkyries fly
For they shall take thee home

I promise thee that on this night
Ye shall be by my side

Asgard’s halls await with hero’s
Brothers that have died

For thee we wait at Asgard’s gates
Come join us by our side

Valhalla waits so choose thy fate
For all of us must die!

Gods of War (Album artwork)

Gods of War (Album artwork)


This recorded live on the Gods of War album. I haven’t really been a Power Metal fan, but this album with surely turn me into a Manowar follower…if I don’t plug more Death Metal into my ears soon. This also reminds me it’s about time I research Norse Mythology a little more.




A Metalhead Anthem (Devildriver)

Hey Bloggers

For those who have been following my blog for quite sometime, you may have seen a few heavy metal songs interspersed in my posts. Well…this morning while I was doing my beach run I had this Cover Song running around my head. Perhaps, I also identify with this because I do have ADD and there’s a mention of it in the lyrics. Here’s the cover song by Devildriver who I think make the song waaaay better.

I realize that heavy metal is an acquired taste and it may burn the ears off some of my readers. If this is the case, just scroll down the read the lyrics instead 😉



(from “Megalithic Symphony” album)


This is how I show my love
I made it in my mind because
I blame it on my A.D.D. baby

This is how an angel dies
I blame it on my own supply
Blame it on my A.D.D. baby


Maybe I should cry for help
Maybe I should kill myself (myself)
Blame it on my A.D.D. baby

Maybe I’m a different breed
Maybe I’m not listening
So blame it on my A.D.D. baby


La la la la la
La la la la la oh!
La la la la la,
La la la la la oh!
La la la la la,
La la la la la,


Sail with me into the dark
Sail with me into the dark
Sail with me into the dark
Sail with me


God is Dead?

Recently I’ve been getting my lyrical fingers into Black Sabbath’s latest album titled 13. If you enjoy rock or even hard rock, I suggest you give Black Sabbath a listen. Their lyrics and sound is dark and gloomy, and although you won’t hear the screaming vocals you find in heavy metal. (However, Ozzy Osbourne can do a helluva howl when need be.) Many claim that Sabbath invented the whole metal genre, with their gloomy lyrics, stage presence and persona. For the rest see the lyrics below…or scroll to the bottom and click on the video.

On the other hand, if you’re a die-hard metalhead (much like myself), then this album should be compulsory listening. It’s really impressive, and it very much reflects the very feel of the first Sabbath albums. In fact I was reading up about it, and one of the very first things the director (Rick Rubin) did was sit down all the band members and make them listen to their first album. I found that interesting. He purposely wanted them to “return to their roots”, and I think he achieved just that.


God Is Dead? – Black Sabbath


Lost in the darkness I fade from the light
Faith of my father, my brother, my maker and Saviour
Help me make it through the night

Blood on my conscience
And murder in mind
Out of the gloom
I rise up from my tomb
Into impending doom
Now my body is my shrine

The blood runs free
The rain turns red
Give me the wine you keep the bread
The voices echo in my head
Is god alive or is god dead?
Is god dead?

Rivers of evil
Run through dying land
Swimming in sorrow
They kill steal and borrow there is no tomorrow
For the sinners will be damned
Ashes to ashes you cannot exhume my soul

Who do you trust
When corruption and lust
Creed of all the unjust leaves you empty and unwhole
When will this nightmare be over?
Tell me when can I empty my head?
Will someone tell me the answer
Is god really dead?

To safeguard my philosophy
Until my dying breath
I transfer from reality
Into a living dead
I empathise with enemies until the time is right
When god and Satan at my side from darkness will come light

I watch the rain as it turns red
Give me more wine, I don’t need bread
These riddles that live in my head
I don’t believe that god is dead
God is dead


Nowhere to run
Nowhere to hide…
Wondering if we will meet again on the other side
Do you believe a word
What the good book said?
Or is it just a holy fairy tale and god is dead?
God is dead
God is dead


But still the voices in my head are telling me that god is dead
The blood pours down the rain turns red
I don’t believe that god is dead
God is dead
God is dead



Those living on the fringe

If you know me well, you may be aware that I listen to a hefty amount of heavy metal. Despite the sensitive poet I can be at times, if you were to catch a glimpse of me in the early morning. You may notice me prancing around the house like a hairy Barbarian.

Most people battle to understand the genre at all, and simply label it as evil. The reason I’m drawn to it, is it attracts that seemingly small group of people living on the fringe of society. I love that. I’m fascinated by extremes that are around us and the “freaks” it gives birth to. I’m the type of person that lives in my head, I can sit for hours on end sometimes watching a couple or a group of kids interact. The novelist in me, will then try and build up a storyline based solely on their appearance.

So my history with heavy metal is a fairly short and succinct one. I once remarked to a friend, “The only reason I like this music, is I wanted to piss off my parents as a teenager. A started listening to this music, and then it started growing on me.” Despite my wry comment, there’s more to it than just projecting your anger on to others.

In my short time with the genre. Metalheads:

  • feel the need to be different.
  • love the arts.
  • are highly creative.
  • have the tendency to be heavy drinkers and/or drug users.
  • are misunderstood.
  • are highly talented musicians, or close friends with them.
  • piss off the general public (although once you get to know them they’re probably more loyal to you than your own dog.)

All the above is true for a number of reasons. I’ll leave you to do the thinking, instead let me debunk a few misguided opinions.

Why all the screaming? What’s the point of listening to music if you can’t hear all the words?

If you listen to music only for the words then you don’t really understand music. I think the reason most people point out the fact that the words aren’t recognizable, is because it’s one the first thing that jars a first-time listener. When your favorite song comes on the radio, you sing along to the chorus (i.e. the most catchy part of the song). The actual meaning behind the words, or the storyline isn’t apparent to you (unless you’ve really done your homework).

What makes metalheads unique is the fact that most of us study the lyrics. We spend hours reading them, and often when we go to gigs we’ll be singing along to the lyrics while they are performed. If you fail to believe me…go ask any seasoned metalhead about songs like Iron Maiden – Number of the Beast, Slayer – Raining Blood, Metallica – Master of Puppets. They might not know the entire song, but they’ll belch out a damn fine chorus.

That music is Satanic. Anyone that uses a pentagram worships the Devil.

Let’s face it, most of us metalheads listen to it for an outward reaction, initially. If you were to do some research, and pool all us headbangers together…only about 3% of us (if that) are “worshipping Lucifer” in our free time. Those who are really serious about it, won’t let you know either. My father spent some time counseling hardcore Satanists as a school teacher…and his remark was that the plain clothes people are the serious concerns to society.

If you’ve ever worn your favorite soccer shirt on the eve of a big game, that same feeling is what metalheads promote. I was in a queue in MacDonald’s the other day (dressed in work uniform), and the metalhead who was served after me saw my pentagram ring and said to me “I see we’re part of the same tribe.”

If I start listening to metal, I’ll end up dirty, badly-dressed, an alcoholic and a drug user.

The media is never a great guide when following popular culture. Journalists thrive on bad news, simply because fear sells papers better than warm feelings. It’s a sad truth. There are those who choose to ‘loose themselves’ in chemicals, but perhaps they need to start journeying into themselves, and learning the patterns in their own psyche?

Calling all metalheads alcoholics, is the same as saying that every guitarist will end up like Kurt Cobain. It’s that fair? I highly doubt it.

Metalheads are angry and pissed off with life. What’s the matter with being happy?

Pissed off and angry is one way of looking at it. We’re honest about the dark side. Most people are afraid to journey there. If I didn’t have metal with me, while I was a depressed teenager perhaps I would’ve committed suicide. If anything a large part of the culture has a never-say-die attitude about it. There’s a freedom to persevere and continue on.

Musicians who have committed suicide, want the easy way out. Living life and surviving, is far more difficult than ending it all. If you’re taking the easy road, you’re not learning anything. Like I mentioned earlier, the image and anger is just an exterior…once you know us we’re your friend for life!


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