Incendium Amoris

"But I haven't lost the demons' craft and cunning: I've inherited
from them some useful things, but they won't be used for their benefit!"

--Robert de Boron, Merlin

Location: Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I am taking a hiatus from blogging, until after I move out at the end of this month. Have to start packing up my stuff as I'm moving either to Toronto, or Hamilton temporarily, depending on if and when the apartment in Toronto is ready. Uncertain if and when I'll have Internet access--depends if there is another free wireless signal in the area...

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Weekend Grind

The Easter weekend is nearly over and, as I try to reflect upon the significant events of this weekend, I realize that my life is messed up. Consider:

(1) My landlord kicked out a fellow boarder for smoking pot in his room, and eating out other people's food from the refridgerator and then,
(2) She asked me to help clean out his room, and I discover a few articles of my clothing (two shirts, a ragged pair of jeans, and a suit jacket that I stupidly didn't realize were missing) in his closet as well as stuffed underneath his mattress.
(3) Among his articles, a court notice of a failure to appear in criminal court for multiple charges of petty theft (under $5000) and other valuables, such as a passport, which
(4) The landlord gathers together, including much of what is taken for clothes stolen from stores, and calls a friend to hold these things ransom, until she can get the said tenant to pay back the $1000 of rent money and a $250 cell phone she believes he stole from her.

(1) Wake up early, unable to sleep, seized with excruciating pain in my left leg and
(2) Head over to an independent coffee shop around 10 in the morning for breakfast, and to kill an hour before
(3) Taking my car in to the shop to change the transmission fluid, which takes an hour to finish and
(4) When I am finished, I make my way over to the International Centre for the All About Pets Show alone, instead of going to church
(5) I wander alone for two full hours, looking at, trying to figure out and eliminating what specific breed of dog I want to own, asking about prices, breed temperaments, training, nutrition, compatibility with cats, recommendations for first-time owners, and watched a show about neighbourhood-friendly dog training, as well as a flyball competition.
(6) Went over to fiancée's for afternoon dinner, and watched the fateful Leaf game.

(1) Wake up promptly, after dozing off early last night, and still have the lingering pain of yesterday,
(2) And try to kill the pain by talking with my chatty landlord, while having a morning coffee and half an egg-salad sandwich before
(3) I decide to kill time (boredom, loneliness, and the pain) by heading to see movie, yet again, alone, in this case, Grindhouse, since it seemed the longest, original and most entertaining of movies out this weekend, and I get to the movie theatre as the previews begin,
(4) And I watch the movie, though half way into the movie the pain in my left leg grows unbearable at points that I bite my lip, wimper and almost cry, but I'm sitting at the very top above all other few movie-goers, then
(5) I head over to my fiancée's place for dinner, as well as the fateful Islanders game, and find some alleviation in the company of family, food, and pain-relieving creams and narcotics like Tylenol and Lakota, though the pain remains strenuous, but
(6) Upon arriving back at my abode, I am happy to find the house empty and this euphoria relieves some of the ache in my left leg before
(7) I receive a text message from my fiancée, and a back-and-forth text conversation, to my elation, ensues until recently.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Weak in the Knee

Yesterday, after looking at apartments over a four day weekday stretch, I had the leisure of sleeping in. Waking up for early morning appointments to look at one- and two-bedroom apartments at times when I am usually asleep, to travel to undiscovered parts of Toronto and evaluate each one with a criteria known and occult expected by my absentee fiancée, to call and arrange with landlords times to see an apartment and then show up the next day to discover that they lied over the phone about availability, can be tiring. I was exhausted, especially, after looking at apartments that were still occupied, and having to remain steadfast against the presence of their disgruntled occupants and their cranky tirades about my transgression upon their everyday lives, and having to look expediently around the structure and interior of an apartment under the Evil Eye of these occupants. Questioning landlords about prices, availability, underground parking, proximity to subway, pets allowed or not, utilities included, and lease terms, was as frustrating in person as well as over the phone due to their sometimes duplicity as explaining poetry to a class of first-year university students.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Off My Feet

A trip to the doctor's office this past Thursday has confirmed I have aggravated some latent infirmity in my left knee, a fracture or tear. The daily, growing strain placed on my left leg's muscles is causing a slight limp in my walk now. As a result, my doctor sent me to have several X-Rays taken of the region of my left knee to identify the precise problem. Next Thursday I return to have the results revealed to me, and a medical solution to the problem offered by my doctor. I hope this won't affect my ability to work.

Otherwise I have been steadily reading Tom Harpur's new book Water Into Wine: An Empowering Vision of the Gospels. My left leg is probably grateful that I am not a strict believer of any Christian orthodox, evangelical or fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible, because I have not been up on my feet in distress.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Insatiate Countess

I'm staying awake over-night with a pot of coffee, and by reading Four Jacobean Sex Tragedies. My fiancée is flying in 6 to 7 hours down to Trinidad for 2 weeks in order to finalise the wedding plans. I'm driving her to the airport in 4 hours.

Yesterday, early in the morning, I finally took my car into a garage to have the oil changed and the drums and shoes of the brakes replaced, so I slept for only 4 hours last night. Some modern Joe mixed with some Renaissance titillation ought to have some dramatic effect on my half-awake, half-asleep brain. I have a choice: William Barkstead and Lewis Machin's The Insatiate Countess, Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher's The Maid's Tragedy, Thomas Middleton's The Maiden's Tragedy and John Fletcher's The Tragedy of Valentinian in this Oxford Volume of English Drama.

A fresh change from Wace's Roman de Brut out of a copy of Arthurian Chronicles, translated by Eugene Mason, that I borrowed from the Library. I considered reading Layamon's Brut afterwards but decided otherwise.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Investment of a Lifetime

As the time draws nigh to the day set for the wedding in July, I am beginning to feel the gravitational pull of this significant occasion - as a groom - against my conscious sense of Life. Things are awry: The work week is fleeting, finances are waning, weekends are transitory, and, to top it off, the guest list is growing. Next week, my fiancée is flying out early on Wednesday morning to Trinidad to secure the final arrangements for our wedding, bring over centre-pieces, and work out any other outstanding things. She is the mastermind of this wedding: I am forever indebted to her industrious labours.

Over the past week, too, I kept busy reading a number of horror novels: Brian Keene's Ghoul, Richard Laymon's Among The Missing, and Graham Masterton's break-out novel The Manitou. The two veteran horror-meisters, Laymon and Masterton's novels were filled with the classic terrifying Spirit of the Weird, while the only disappointment was the dull and unpoetic descriptive writing of rookie Keene. I even tried reading his Bram-Stoker-Award-winning novel The Conqueror Worms but I kept remembering the sceptical words of T.S. Eliot on Shakespeare's Hamlet: "Why he attempted it at all is an insoluble puzzle; under compulsion of what experience he attempted to express the inexpressibly horrible, we cannot ever know." I just can't help but insist that the quality of Keene's stilted writing falls short of his own imaginative ambition--it's especially sad that the back-cover's description of the novel was more exciting than the actual words on the pages themselves. Reading is an imaginative investment. The words of a novel ought to be more profitable than the paper they are printed on, otherwise they're not worth the paper they were printed on.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Inheritors of Visionary Literature

"...horror has to do with the numinous, the uncovering of the terrible truth that is there under the everyday. That is only another articulation of uncovering the transcendent truth under the everyday."

China Miéville
All literature is visionary. It is this human experience of the visionary in literature that encompasses all: writers, characters and readers alike, who participate unwittingly in this literary production of unconsciously held beliefs and assumptions. The picture of this unconscious or visionary world is not to be confused with the economic model of a human assembly or production line. It is a world of imagination that produces an extra-visionary sequence of phases that can widen and/or narrow as the perspective of each individual becomes involved in the process. Howard Philip Lovecraft offers this picture of the reader's involvement in the imaginative production of "weird" literature in his essay Supernatural Horror in Literature:

The appeal of the spectrally macabre is generally narrow because it demands from the reader a certain degree of imagination and a capacity for detachment from everyday life. Relatively few are free enough from the spell of the daily routine to respond to tappings from outside, and tales of ordinary feelings and events, or of common sentimental distortions of such feelings and events, will always take first place in the taste of the majority; rightly, perhaps, since of course these ordinary matters make up the greater part of human experience.

Here: the world envisioned by Lovecraft is a negative or contrasting image of writers, characters and readers. He is appealing to the positive or receptive reader who "sees" or experiences the actual message or prophecy envisioned which underlies his words. The visionary experience widens for those who understand the spiritual meaning behind his written words. Such a type of reader is not only an inheritor of his message, but also an active participant in the cosmos of visionary literature:

But the sensitive are always with us, and sometimes a curious streak of fancy invades an obscure corner of the very hardest head; so that no amount of rationalisation, reform, or Freudian analysis can quite annul the thrill of the chimney-corner whisper or the lonely wood. There is here involved a psychological pattern or tradition as real and as deeply grounded in mental experience as any other pattern or tradition of mankind; coeval with the religious feeling and closely related to many aspects of it, and too much a part of our innermost biological heritage to lose keen potency over a very important, though not numerically great, minority of our species.

The visionary experience of literature is the truest liberty: it excludes only those who are unwilling to open their eyes and see.