Night Music: If I Needed Someone

March 16, 2020

The Virus Strikes The Drive

March 16, 2020

This weekend I received a useful email from Fet’s Whiskey Kitchen at 12340 Commercial Drive reminding me of the extra safety regime they had put in place at the restaurant to protect customers.

Today, in another email, they announce they have decided to close indefinitely as a precaution.

“In light of the clear and strict recommendations of Canadian and provincial health officials for social distancing, we were compelled to act swiftly and decisively to help combat the spread of COVID-19. Along with the collective governmental and societal efforts to contain this pandemic, we hope that this decision contributes to bringing us closer to putting this behind us, getting our people back to work, and once again fully enjoying the relationships that we’ve nourished over the years. Aside from public safety our highest priority is to ensure employees are looked after. As we await details on emergency government relief funding, we will be making every effort to properly assist our employees through this crisis.”

I didn’t hear anything about restaurant closures in the BC Health Officer’s press conference this morning, so this action by Fet’s is purely voluntary, and I applaud their community spirit.


March 16, 2020

I have always loved writing, words, languages. It is one of the great joys of my life that the final chapter of my working life was as a professional writer.

I remember with the clarity of the senile the day in 1960 I first discovered Roget’s Thesaurus. It was a moment of sheer ecstasy for a 10-year old boy with undiagnosed OCD and an over-developed love for words. Pages of words. Lists of words. Lists of words in clever categories. Words referring back to other words. I spent several months reading it from front to back. To hell with God, this was heaven.

This nostalgic torrent was unleashed through the agency of Jonathan Yardley’s review of Joshua Kendall’s biography of Peter Mark Roget. From the review I was fascinated to learn that the Thesaurus for Roget was a form of therapy for depression.

“As a boy, he stumbled upon a remarkable discovery — that compiling lists of words could provide solace, no matter what misfortunes might befall him. He was particularly fond of cataloguing the objects, both animate and inanimate, in his environment. As an adult, he kept returning to the classification of words and concepts. Immersion in the nuances of language could invariably both energize him and keep his persistent anxiety at bay.”

I’m sure I know exactly how he felt.

Grandview 16th March 1920

March 16, 2020

“Province”, 19200316, p.7

Poem: Southern Comfort

March 16, 2020


It was a slam bam thank you ma’am kind of night.

“It’s alright,” she said with a slight frisson of uncertainty perhaps

as she unwraps and taps the money-box on the dresser.

He pays to caress her, to possess her as she bumps and grinds

and too quickly finds the kind of passion paid for.

He wants more before he’ll leave: sixteen and still hard.

But she’s on guard, body barred against free love.

Push came to shove.  Above his pleas she screamed and screamed

until the apartment teemed with neighbours and passers-by

who wondered why this nigger came by and by to be in a white girl’s room.


It’s a warm, hormone-rushing, mosquito-swarming kind of night.

Fox-fire bright, passions tightly wound and sprung.

No brass bells are rung, no masses sung, but masses gather to enjoy

the black boy toy with the last of his time on a slippery slope

as the hempen rope grips and gropes for his hopeless neck.