Utterly Random, Chapter 4

Cutest House Ever

Landscape (Courtesy of M.F. Stevens)

Landscape 2 (Courtesy of M.F. Stevens)






Nik Beat

Light Circular Scrap Metal

From the Docks












The Long Goodbye

In my teens, if someone were to ask me whether or not I believe in God, my response would have been: “Jesus Christ is my Saviour”. I kid you not. I was one of those evangelical, Christian-retreat-going, proselytizing youths. If any of you have seen the documentary “Jesus Camp”, I was a mellower, Canadian version of some of those kids. Not that I walked the streets trying to convert people, but I was tempted from time to time to do so.

By the end of my twenties, I had read enough of the Good Book to realize that the God of the Old Testament was a little too vengeful and insecure for my taste and Jesus of the New Testament wasn’t nearly as nice as the church ministers and Christmas TV specials portrayed him. (What’s the point of condemning a fig tree to death?) That I didn’t start reading the Bible myself until my twenties is unsettling to me now, considering that the age which I reached my height of belief (my teens), the Bible had mostly been something that was read to me, not by me, for the most part. By my late twenties, I had also dated enough non-Christians to figure out that my own religion is just one of several competing for elbow room in the Greater Toronto Area. That’s the thing about living in T.O., almost every neighbourhood has its own pathway to paradise. All in all, at this point of my life, if you were to ask me whether or not I believe in god, my answer would have been: “I believe in a god, though not the god of any Bible.”

I’m well into my thirties now, and the answer to that age old question has become: “I believe in a collective consciousness.” The sentient galactic overseer has been diluted to something on the level of The Force. But even this response smacks of a cop-out. I know the answer. It has been there at the back of my mind, even when I had Church ministers praying for the Holy Spirit to touch me as a teen. The devout would call it doubt, and they would be wrong. I have faith, faith in people to do good, most of the time. I’d call it a nagging sense of reality. Jacob and Goliath, Moses parting the Red Sea, Jonah and the Whale, stories that I took for truth as a child and teen, now fit so naturally into the category of myth, right up there with Zeus on Mount Olympus.

So, if I believe the Bible to be myth, than logically God should be about a real to me a Zeus. Right? Meaning there is no God, then. And no afterlife. Meaning, once we die, that’s it. End of story. No bright light. No pearly gates. Nothing.

Well, I’m not there yet. Though I have long since dismissed the concept of Heaven and Hell, a small part of me is clinging to this collective consciousness idea, wanting to believe that some of me will continue on, in some form of consciousness or another, after I kick the bucket. I’m simply not prepared to face the possibility of oblivion just yet, though some of its implications I find increasingly alluring.

For example, the idea that, if this life is not a dress rehearsal, than this brief time is all we have, and that we should make the most of it. Imagining life without an afterlife, in this respect, the world around me sometimes becomes a little more pure, a little more distilled. But that only happens sometimes. For the most part, pondering oblivion often evokes in me a mild feeling of vertigo, something a tightrope walker might feeling when he or she realizes that someone has removed the safety net.

This isn’t about me proving that God, or a god, doesn’t exist. This is simply about me slowly coming to terms not only with my own rationality, with what I can honestly allow myself to believe. It’s very ironic that while the Bible states “the truth shall set you free”, it is precisely the faith, the belief demanded from the Bible that I’m trying to liberate myself from.

I’m not there yet. Still, the scared little kid hangs on. But I can see where I’m headed, and in my forties, if you were to ask me this question, my response will be an honest, firm “No”.

A Perfect Match

by Duncan Armstrong


the first time
I was really with a woman
I ran my fingers through her dark hair
as she touched mine
you have such fine hair she told me
she kissed me her lips were soft
opened her mouth a little
I put my hand under her sweater
felt along her bra
we continue to kiss on my bed
she slipped out her top
I held her soft breasts
solid light but with weight substance
I circled the nipples with my thumbs
I had read Penthouse Playboy
I knew the mechanics
she pulled off my pants
more kissing touching
you’re a sweet kisser she told me
I put an hand on her leg
she moved it to her thatch
splayed my fingers
pushed them in one by one
that feels good she whispered
the folds were sticky
she held my cock
guided it in
I moved my hips in out
it was warm moist frictionless
she clenched with her leg muscles
breathed heavily into my ear
then we rolled apart
I didn’t come wasn’t even close
she smiled kissed me some more
touched me some more
I couldn’t wait to wash my hands

the first time
I was really with a man
never had read what to do
I knew exactly what to do
we tore each others clothes off
barely touching
my heart racing pulse pounding
so much friction I came
like a match being struck



Duncan Armstrong has pointed out to me that this is the first of many drafts that he plans for this poem.


I haven’t shaved in a week,
and I haven’t showered for half that time,
but that’s OK,
because salt water is good for the skin,
and all I’ve worn in the last two days
is a pair of boxer briefs
sufficing as swim trunks, and God
I’ve got dried sand
in my eyebrows
and sunburns where Lisa’s fingers
couldn’t reach in time
before I’m off
swimming in the surf,
bringing back dead jellyfish and seashells
to drop at her feet
so she’ll tend to my cuts
and bruises with clicks of her tongue
before I’m off again,
promising not to get sand in the bed tonight
and to be back before dinner, and if I’m late
it’s the currents, and if am early
it’s because I am hungry, either way
she’ll be there
in dark sunglasses
hips folded like a book
on her beach towel, wondering
who is this grubby boy
playing in the surf
and how much ransom
will she need
to get her man back.



copyright 2005 Rocco de Giacomo

As appeared in magma poetry, 39, Winter 2007/2008,
and the collection Leaning into the Mountain (Fooliar Press, Toronto)