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Note from the Editors

Is not our intention to tell you the history of Alias, but we think it is important to explain the reasons and purpose of this publication.

Alias is produced by and for members of the community who use the services of Fred Victor Centre, and as such, follow the principles and the Mission Statement of this organization.

In the last year, important events have affected and changed our magazine. We regret the loss of Cliff Kennedy and his invaluable participation, writing, and direction. As a consequence of this loss, the Alias Collective started to think of the steps we needed to take to cope with and respond to these significant changes. One of these steps was to initiate a "Community Consultation"to find out what vision the community has for the future of Alias.

After the community consultation we started a long journey which is far from over. We started having meetings as a team and this initiated a different dynamic, an inclusive one, that allowed everybody to be part of the work, a dynamic which allows us to be proud of our selves and our publication. We think that the magazine is the means and not our final goal. Our real target is the people, the ones who start to take ownership of Alias.

The Alias editor's team would like to use this opportunity to thank all of our readers and contributors from all over the world. We appreciate your help and suggestions as we continue the process of rethinking and making improvement to our work

Thanks again

Alias Collective

It Is Not All Roses On Vines

by Cherie-Lynn

It is not all white picket fences

You know

In this grave new world of ours,

I worry about him

He worries about me

And there is a war

Where we live.

It is not all roses on vines

Or on bushes

And the aphids

Seem like kin instead of foe, and

I worry about him

He worries about me

And there is a war

Where we live.

The blooms are certainly the same

So far

As the last buds of the year unfold.

But the bloom from our cheeks

Paled this year

And there is a war

Where we live.

I have never seen such a beautiful rose

Hold me

Hold me very close

Winter is coming

and we must dream of spring

And there is a war

Where we live.

More quotations from myself

by Nick Gur

273. To be a wolf, a predator is repugnant to me, but to be a sheep, a prey is simply demeaning and humiliating. Of course, there is another alternative - to be a shepherd, a protector. But is he really a protector when in one, but most crucial sense, a shepherd is not that different from a wolf, for they both live off the sheep, only shepherd does it in a more "civilized" manner. And even of this I'm simply incapable. So, what else can I be?

274. The clarity of thoughts and expressions should not be confused with simplicity, especially with its most negative connotation - "simplistic". For while the simple, by definition, is always clear, the clear is not necessarily has to be simple, since what is complicated, could and should, nevertheless, be made clear if understanding is the goal.

275. The simplification of a more or less complex idea (provided, of course, its essence is not distorted in the process) is in itself no more than an expedient in making this idea accessible to more than a narrow circle of the initiated.

As such, the simplification of an idea (again, if its substance remains intact) is intrinsically neither bad nor good, but rather neutral. And though the simplification as a device undoubtedly possesses a great enhancing power, it is what is being simplified, the idea itself, that matters.

The good idea ( as for example the Judeo-Christian idea of the universal brotherhood) made simple so that it can be embraced by many will, if materialized, bring the greatest good. By the same token, the bad idea (as for example the idea of the Aryan superiority over other races proclaimed by the German Nazis) made simple so it also can be accepted by many will, if implemented, bring the greatest evil.

276. The mundane is both a burden and a support of the everyday existence.

277. Democratization of the arts, as manifested by the ever increasing (almost exponentially) number of writers, painters, musicians, actors, etc., what is it going to do to the art in general? Will it destroy it by lowering the artistic standards to the lowest common denominator or, which is even worse, by abolishing the very idea of need for any standard in order to include anyone who proclaims to be an artist?

Or will it cause the unprecedented flourishing of the arts by widening enormously the range from which the best can be chosen?

278. Surprisingly, those who would probably benefit the most by following a good advice not only seldom heed it but, quite often, do not even want to listen to anybody "telling them what to do".

On the contrary, people who are "doing just fine" by themselves are usually much more open and receptive to the suggestions of the others.

This apparent difference in the behaviour of just described two types of people could be explained on the one hand by the psychological insecurity of the first (caused and continuously reinforced by many failures) and, on the other hand, by relative self-confidence of the second (as the result of leading more or less successful, from their point of view, life).

And so, in general, those who are in need of advice do not listen and those who listen are not in need. Which renders any advice, however good it is, essentially useless.

279. There is yet another and, probably even worse indignity that can be inflicted on the dead horse besides beating upon it. And that is trying to ride the poor animal.

280. A peaceful, dare we say harmonious, coexistence of different racial and ethnic groups in any society requires the good will and the degree of self-confidence, objectivity and intellectual sophistication the ordinary men, always a majority, are simply incapable of.

281. If people are to be judged not by what they say but by what they do, then hardly anything is more revealing about a woman than the kind of men she likes, or more telling about a man than the type of women he chooses.

282. The rich and the poor do not only differ economically and socially (which is obvious) but psychologically as well.

For the rich, in general, are pretty much certain about what they want and, what is the most crucial, always seem to know how to get it.

Whereas the poor , also in general, are seldom clear as far as their goals and aspirations are concerned, and when, on rare occasions they are, never seem to be able to find the proper means to achieve them.

283. The inexorable law of life is that what benefits us now will harm later, and what helps us to survive and to succeed today will eventually be the cause of our downfall and destruction tomorrow.

284. Through our lives we all, without exception, are continuously getting hurt by the words and actions of others. The difference, therefore, between us is not so much in the amount and degree of suffering (though admittedly it could be quite substantial) but in the individual perception of it and especially in the ways each one chooses to react to the wrongs done to him.

For one always has a choice: either to do to others what had been done to him, in an act of mostly indiscriminate revenge, or, remembering his own pain, to commiserate with other people and, consequently, to try to avoid inflicting the same pain on them.

And one's choice depends primarily on whether one holds those others as somehow collectively responsible for his suffering and views them as the potential enemies who could injure him again, or as his fellow-sufferers, having the same miserable life as he has.

Yet, the choice isn't an easy one to make, for in reality they are both - the villains and the victims.

285. Sometimes, witnessing a discussion when the opponents propound seemingly contrary ideas, I find myself in a rather peculiar state of being in agreement with whoever speaks at the moment (provided, of course, that both sides sound reasonably informed and appear to be intellectually honest).

One possible solution to this somewhat discomforting and unsettling paradox lies in accepting the view that different opinions on the same subject are not always mutually exclusive but quite often compliment each other and thus help to draw a more comprehensive picture.

Unfortunately, the spirit of contradiction and competition which evidently inherent in any discussion too often prevents both parties from seeing this otherwise simple and obvious fact.


by Allen Sutterfield

Ah, Daylight!

So thick is the cloud

Even daylight is late, this morning.

The rain, however,

falls as it will,

water drops tap each awning

in dark or light.

The concrete floors of the rising building

glisten wetly:

at present open to the sky

they will soon be ceilinged

never again to receive the rain

until the roofs are destroyed.

In ancient Chengdu

floors of new buildings

also felt the rain,

and construction was delayed

by the same gathered clouds.

There! the first clang

of dropped metal,

like a bell announcing:

the work day begins.

Voices quickly follow

unseen below

and Friday, wet Friday

takes its place in the work week.

7:30 a.m.!

"I don't like Naturism"

by, Casper Little

After trying naturism, some people tell me that they don't like it. Since naturism isn't really an activity, I'm always puzzled by the response. After all, there are so many activities that can be performed without clothes that a "blanket" response makes no sense.

All naturists know there is no logical reason for a bathing suit. It doesn't keep you warm, keep you dry, protect you from anything, or really hide anything. Everyone knows almost entirely what a person would look like nude once they see them in a bathing suit. So why would anyone prefer to wear one?

If someone didn't like swimming nude but was okay with bowling nude, I would understand. If I was told that they didn't like canoeing nude but enjoyed being at a resort nude, I would understand. However, just saying that they don't like being nude suggests a deeper problem, perhaps even a phobia.

Phobias are defined by the National Mental Health Association in the USA as "persistent, irrational fears of certain objects or situations. Phobias occur in several forms; the fear associated with a phobia can focus on a particular object (specific phobia) or be a fear of embarrassment in a public setting (social phobia)."

In fact, fear of nudity even has an official name: gymnophobia. It is defined by a prominent medical dictionary (at <>) as follows:

Gymnophobia. An abnormal and persistent fear of nudity. Sufferers of this phobia experience undue anxiety even though they realize their fear is irrational. They may worry about seeing other naked or being seen naked, or both. Their fear may stem from anxiety about sexuality in general, from a fear that their bodies are physically inferior, or from a fear their nakedness leaves their bodies - and their personalities - exposed and unprotected.

Gymnophobia is derived from the Greek gymnos (naked) and phobos (panic fear).

The Mayo Clinic defines the symptoms of phobias to be:

Persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation. Immediate response of anxiety when exposed to the object of fear. Compelling desire to avoid what you fear. Impaired ability to function at normal tasks because of the fear.

Sound familiar? Just insert the word nudity into the above symptoms, and you've described the average non-naturist. This description is enough to allow us to conclude that most North Americans suffer from gymnophobia.

People will argue vehemently that their discomfort with nudity is not a phobia. It may seem "normal" because so many people in our society suffer from it. In fact, it has become institutionalized. We design our buildings to compensate for this phobia, with separate change rooms, shower cubicles, and dressing rooms in stores.

We create a culture and whole set of rituals around it. We teach our children about "respecting people's privacy" and treat nudity as "dirty" in order to justify the phobia. We talk about nudity being a "personal thing" to be kept for those intimate moments with our partners. All these traditions are well constructed to justify the phobia and to avoid having to deal with it.

If we take the example of a better recognized phobia, claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces), and compare it to gymnophobia, we see the similarities. For example, a person might say "I'm not comfortable being in elevators; I prefer to take the stairs." Most people would recognize that as being an irrational fear. However, if the same person says "I'm not comfortable swimming naked; I prefer to wear a bathing suit," it seems a normal reaction. However, naturists know it is not logical. Phobias may be treated. Of course, before you seek treatment, you must acknowledge a problem. The American Psychiatric Association says "a phobia that interferes with daily living can create extreme disability and should be treated." Since most of the world accepts gymnophobia as normal, it doesn't seem to interfere in daily life. Thus very few acknowledge that it needs treatment.

People have suggested that I'm obsessed with being naked, as if I have some sort of psychological problem. That's strange, since I spend most of time wearing clothes. I'm very comfortable dressed, just as I'm very comfortable nude. It's the textile world that's obsessed with wearing clothes, since the people in it are unable to be nude in public. They are the ones with the psychological problem of gymnophobia.

Leave it up to the cows to explain society's -isms

Socialism: You have two cows. Give one cow to your neighbour.

Communism: You have two cows. Give both to the government, and they may give you some of the milk.

Fascism: You have two cows. You give all of the milk to the government, and the government sells it.

Nazism: You have two cows. The government shoots you and takes both cows.

Anarchism: You have two cows. You keep both of the cows, shoot the government agent and steal another cow.

Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one cow and buy a bull.

Surrealism: You have two giraffes. The government makes you take harmonica lessons.

Christmas Eve, 2001

by Jo-al

In memory of 'Don Denucci'

I remember when he'd see me. His eyes lit up.

His coarse, yet animated raspy voice could

scare a seasoned nun to death.


He'd bellow out ,"Where's my picture?''

Will you draw me again?"

There he'd be slanting his plastic flask of

Sherry from his inside pocket. "C' mere", he

Said, "Sit down and have a sip O' dis! It's

Sherry ! Sherry quite contrary! C'mon John

Johnny, tell me a joke…if not i' ll tell YOU one.

I remember once, we even ad-libbed a

Joke between each others' drunken state at

ten in the morning. The joke was about how we

must've had the same doctor for when we

were born .Or, maybe the same mother.

You know how doctors slap the' new-born 's

On the tush to wake them up into this new


Well, our doctors must've slapped our

Mothers instead for having US !ha ..ha ..ha

Hic..burp ! SALUTE !

Those were good spotty episodes under

The darkened cloudy times overhead.

He was a stroll away from the empty

"Mies van de Rohe-istic", faceless, greyish

grids that show off their successful empires

like Seagrams' one man's success is another

man's misery…on Bay st.

He was only a shout away from the

Warmth and care, denied by the short-staffed

Hospital whose name starts with the word,

'Saint'.A Harris tribute.

There Mr.DeNucci layed over the

Cold asphalt and 'icy' neglects…tempered

by a meaningless blanket and blanketed faces

passing by.I 'll bow and salute you Mr. DON'

I'll let a drop of my tears drip onto mother

Earth…to the dead and the prisoners…VIVA !


The Game

by Sasha Moore

He"ll meet you and sweep you off your feet;

he's nice, he's funny, so cute, and so sweet.

Surprisingly he likes the same things as you,

he does all the things that you like to do.

He's the perfect guy, the one of your dreams,

you belong together or so it seems.

He looks in your eyes, he plays with your hair,

he tells you he'll always be right there.

His touch is so soft, he holds you so tight,

his words are so soothing, his kiss is just right.

You ditch all your friends for your new obsession,

you don't realize your future is full of depression.

You think that you love him, you give him your heart,

little do you know he'll tear it apart.

You do what he wants, you know it's no good,

you told him to slow down, and thought he understood.

You let it slide by, you think he's having fun,

you learn to like it as time goes on.

He takes your heart and locks it away,

and you see him with another girl the next day.

You cry and you grieve, but then you forgive,

he says he won't do it again for as long as he lives.

At this point you've fallen into his trap,

he has all control when you're in his lap.

You believe he's sorry, you're together again,

you give him a chance, he's your only friend.

You're right where he wants you, he molds you like clay

and you see him with girl #3 the next day.

He got what he wanted, accomplished his goal he's still got your heart which he evilly stole.

He's taken your purity, you still can't believe,

you feel hurt, you feel cheap, and extremely naive.

If only your hair was so blonde and so straight,

if only you looked like you had lost some weight.

If only your clothes were a little bit tighter,

if only your teeth were a little bit whiter.

You cry and you grieve about the qualities you lack,

you know he's an ass, but you still want him back.

All you wanted was to have some fun,

now you wish it all hadn't begun.

You wish that someday you'll see him cry,

that one day he'll know how he killed you inside.

But you know he won't because he's numb to pain,

He'll be with some girl while you cry and complain.

Beware of the players, they'll steal your heart,

and give it back when it's all torn apart.

Don't let them suck you into their game,

Because once you lose, you're never the same.


by Helen Posno

Understanding has it's limits: acceptance knows no


Eat from the planet's hands.


by Helen Posno

The mallard flies across the dawning winter sky, his heart as wild as I,

His cries they say the color of red snow, they say, the color of red snow.

The opening sky behind him sings: the grey sea echoes a winter sting; but the sun shall follow with the ends of his wings with gold say I - with gold.

The mallard flies dark green dark blue and never

my soul so quiet brings, his heart the wildest sigh - my love - his heart as wild as I.


by Helen Posno

May you be blessed throughout 2002 in all the love that flows through you.


by Joan Hall

With visions of sugar plums, danced in their heads.

Falling leaves light up the snow, Prints and paths, shoe steps and treads.

October Fly

by Audrey Cowan

Winter is over, spring is here.

Summer awaits in the wings.

Sudden October soon to fly,

time for a wardrobe change.

Glorious colors, crimson and gold.

Fit for a royal tour.

Emerald and maize, umbrella of blue.

And shoes with the wings of the morning.

All is well, your house is ready,

and god has made you to fly.


by Litsa

We can't even escape the evil ringing on the TTC where we once only had to listen to human noise and annoying traffic. By human noise, I mean those beloved stomach growls, endlessly blowing noses, and loud and hurting gas pains that have now become part of our cherished recent memories. Sometimes people become reacquainted on the TTC, which is touching, and it can be comical when someone eats a Stuffed Green Pita while they read their latest novella. The annoying traffic can be amusing when you see an argument or a stressed out driver cursing another stressed out driver because they don't know

how to drive. Click

These 'pleasant' noises, which we have become accustomed to have been replaced by mechanical rings, which can be custom made to each owner's musical taste. Now we are subjected to the ringing of cell phones and the boring conversation that ensues. Yes, I know that they are convenient and that for those that are too busy to be at home long enough to have a 5-minute conversation, they help us stay in touch. The problem is that cell phones are multiplying and uncontrollable! I thought a cheap handy purse had a unique cigarette compartment on the side and then my smokes didn't fit in. It was there for my mandatory

cell? Click

When cell users answer their telephone, they should really say the digital Cell-o instead. This would be to distinguish 'hello', the real greeting from the cell or its artificial salutation. Digital cookware has clocks on the handles that will tell the time-battling owner when their meal is cooked to flawlessness. This is much like a cell which will tell you when somebody has called and from which number and also if you have an e-mail… to exactness. Surely, many could care less if their loved one needs to know how to make a perfect dinner with their 'perfect' saucepans via cell communication. They are both unnecessary and expensive tools, which are intrusive and imposing to our lives. Cells are also making people lazy and inconsiderate of their neighbors on the TTC. Looking both ways within a streetcar to make sure nobody would be bothered by your cell is

just one alternative. Click

Cells give some people another way they can be reached for business, arguments or for those obsessively jealous ones to find out, from their loved one, which intersection they are close to. I never could figure out why it matters to somebody on the other end where you are at exactly! I adore the cell user who speaks low or whispers so that they don't interrupt others on the streetcar. Those considerate ones who also anticipate calls and answer on the first ring are great as well. This minority may even enjoy keeping a private life in a public place and they don't abuse others who are riding on the same car. Some cell users speak extra loudly to show that they have passion in their life. Others pace back and forth as they conduct business nervously and use body gestures. As if the other person can feel touched by that somebody! What about those people who get the same person calling them every five minutes to ask, "what's

up now?" Click

The ideal situation would be for cells to be prohibited on the TTC. This should be automatic, as part of good manners and being good to one's neighbours. Unfortunately, many are too accepting of such an irritation. There can be no exceptions to outlawing cell phones, as for an emergency, as enforcement would become even more difficult. I get a desperate feeling when I hear another fake ring going off during my commute. I actually do enjoy the sounds of the city or the sounds of its man-made nature such as the sirens, busses, garbage collection, snow removal, construction and cars. I find these to be far superior to hearing human gibberish to invisible people on the TTC. The TTC, which was a place where I formerly relaxed before reaching my destination, has lost its wonder. Sometimes I'm on a short TTC ride and I foolishly believe that not a single cell will go off. Then of course they all ring at once and the lovely silence is over. Click

This selfish piece was truly liberating to write as it is a silly and unattainable goal, and gave me a chance to just express annoyance between cell conversations. Click

"The Squat" on Radio

by Bonnie Briggs

Wolf, Ben, Jessie, and Josh have had their debut on the airwaves. My husband, Kerre, and I were interviewed on CIUT 89.5 FM on Friday, January 18/2002 about our book, The Squat. The show was called Speaking Out and was hosted by Judy Koch. This was our first media interview regarding our book.

The Squat is a semi-fiction about a fictional squat in Parkdale in the West End of Toronto and the four street people who live there. The book details how they meet and what they go through during their daily struggle on the streets.

Judy had read the book prior to our interview and asked us to tell her listeners about the book. We said that it was about how and why Wolf, Ben, Jessie and Josh come to Toronto and what they do for money. We tried not to reveal too much about the story so that people would be encouraged to read our book.

Here are a few words from Kerre.

Overall, it was pretty good. I only wish it could have been longer. We could have said more that needed to be said. Neither of us was really nervous. I clarified why we'd written this book and what it was all about. I also made sure I debunked a few myths about homeless people.

Hi, I'm back. Ok, I was a little bit nervous. When Judy asked me for the e-mail address for The Squat, I got it totally wrong. The books we have now are all spoken for. But we are considering doing a second printing. So, if you are interested in getting a copy of our book, just e-mail us at

Now, I have to get back to The Squat. Wolf and the others are waiting for me. See ya.


BLACK HISTORY: Why wait till February?

by Andrew D. Davis

So concludes another black history month or what its now commonly called; African Liberation Month. The month of February is used in the attempts to highlight the otherwise neglected historical achievements of Black people all over the world since Antiquity past.

It originally began in the US near the mid-twenty first century as Black history week by renowned historian, authour and educator Carter G. Woodson. In 1979 it evolved to Black History Month and by 1983 was eventually introduced to the consciousness of Black Torontonians by the Black Historical Society of Ontario.

Since then it grew to include all of Ontario and in 1995 it became recognized all across Canada. With all considered, Black History, though minuscule in its putrid attempts to scope our vast and endless history, still holds validity bringing to light some of the rich and illustrious Heritage of the Africans.

After all this time it is still narrowed to the North American epics of how we were slaves of white people. Today we cry out in anguish at the plight of our youth that have gone wayward in their display of self destructive behavior. Somehow we never cease to utter from our mouths the phrase "a people without knowledge of self, is like a tree without roots". I think it is time we start realizing the reality of what we preach.

However, it is fair to say if one is given a thousand years to live, it would be impossible to chronicle such a dynamic Heritage belonging to the oldest people on earth. Yet, the shortest month on the calender is assigned to acknowledge who we are as a people.

"Therefore, it is strictly incumbent upon a people to delve into the fountain of their archives to revive their pride and self-worth, thus, carving their own path to be distinguished in the scheme of life." Based on a healthy knowledge of self can we resurrect, unite and develop our communities and lay the foundation so our children may have a future on which to build.

Case and point, it is really no fault of anyone except those who history represents to exercise their God given freedom and decide when they are truly interested in themselves. Then and only then, will they grow beyond mere ethnicity and enjoin with the rest of the world holding the reigns of power.

Let us continue to study and grow together.

Until next February, happy Black History Month.

By Andrew D. Davis


We are here to exist matter what ...we still

survive under the heaviest rainfall...under the lightest

blue sky

we still persist...we knock on the grimmest cloud

we try to fly like the bird..the flower will spring

in march ...and by the time we know it ,summer has

arrived ...the boats will zig-zag across the lake

and the sky-scrapers will stab onto the night. the

people will flock around side-walks, the lights turn

from red to brown.

this is the city-life which shrouds.

it deceives our very nature...our natural wonderment.

the dizziness of the Disneying world has got

our crippling children inside a 'jesters' box.

we now do not know , who is the Ronald in McDonald nor the shareholders and their intentions: big broowns the show; world-wide, there is nothing you can the lasers are now the 'iris'; soon the sky is not blue no more f

the friends will last for a commercial, and then it's zombie 'til the next rehearsal.1984 has finally etched itself into the reality of a continuous war.

If N. Korea  is not perfect it is evil, beware

of the 'animal that believes he's sanctified.

For God (nature) has asked not to judge others

but the contradiction persists...Bush is not more or

less evil just by ignoring the fact that he has bombed innocent Afghans.

The united states of america have been allowed, since its' existence, to destroy complete tribes. The U.S. still has itself to explain the barbarism and pay-back to the aboriginals of N.Amerca: their land, their culture, dignity, ohhhh !

the Govt. and the collusion with their corporations

have a lot to respond to turn around and try ,at least

to be humanitarians and shake off their greed.

There is not much time: nature will   react to your greed and selfishness. Need not worry about the terrorists blowing up sky-scrapers, the ice will melt and drown our sorrows.

The u. ass has confiscated Hawaii, divided Panama & Colombia, infiltrated (via)the Pinochet Nazi govt.(BUSH) Never mind the injustices they've

scored on the rights of the Afro-Americans, Natives

stolen lands and fake treaties,...the DOLE banana

republics will have to day.

The carnage in Vietnam, secret missions in Cambodia the intrusions in the Philippines' Marcos

Bush style, remember the Alamo, the lands that they've stolen out of very poor farmers and Mexico.

The casinos and hotels of Havana, Cuba. Will you ever see that for every finger you add to the pie you will create more problems,"10 FOLD", than you can answer to...

By the time you find water in Mars, and have spent trillions and zillions of money and energy...the ignored children of Africa, Asia, Europe and homeless of the Coke & Burger generations will die the slow death of hopelessness, the daily

grind of human-kind.

The land of Jerusalem will still exist under

a blue sky, no matter what religion. You say tomatoes I say toMAtoes. We still need to eat in accordance. The food is on the ground, behind the bushes, on the trees, milk the cow or a lamb. If we cannot do this it's because there are humans who believe, of themselves to be a superior race. A disease of thought and denial of human emotions.

Conrad shame the humankind



Ahh...distrust...the ambassador

of ill will and bad faith.

To distrust can be the fool

of self-defense.

If distrust looked  itself in the mirror...

It could not afford to believe in itself.

It would swerve and twist its' uprooted issues

into the entrails of a 'chaotic' typhoon.

Ahhh... the distrust..."to clean up house..."

The maids with the broom, have cleaned up the room.

The faithless supervisor still investigates...

seeking to find, to discover, the specks of dust and dirt

of which he can't get

off his shoulders.



Love It Up Iya!

by Oswald Phillips 2002

Ba boom. Ba boom. Ba boom. Here comes Jeff with his big boots. He clutching his

bassoon case. He's big. He's black. He's from Jamaica, or at least his parents

were. He was born in Hamilton, Ontario. On a farm of all places. Pigs. Oink.

Ducks. Quack quack. Ostriches too.  His mother gave birth to him on that

ram shackled old farm as she was heading to Toronto leaving his father, a

furious, abrasive, half-crazy man. Moses. Moses the mechanic. Could take a car

apart and put it back together blindfold! Ya, man. Yeah, right. Jeff had a big

nest of a beard just like Moses. Jeff is super strong and has exema on his

forearms, its this white ash that is always falling off. When he takes his

sweater off there's this cloud of dry skin. He's got that stuff on his big belly

too. It flares up every now and them. Stress. He's been seeing the doctor about

it, but so far it has defeated every treatment. Sometimes Jeff thinks that if he

was born in Jamaica, he wouldn't have this condition. He's of Jamaican descent.

A decent Jamaican. Know what I mean. As they say. Exema. Cha. But when he bursts

into the room at the Music Conservatory where he teaches kids music there's a

big smile on his face. He booms from the depths of his big bird nest of a

prophet Moses beard: Outtamahway! Big Daddy's here!

The kids go wild. They squeal with their little pink white faces upturned, their

colorful clothing fluttering, their milky teeth showing, their little legs in a

flurry. They swarm him. Aw man, they love him.

February 19/02    2:11 a.m.

Dedicated to Mike H.


"I am Sandy"


I am Sandy

And I love who I love

I deserve respect

Because I love unselfishly

I deserve compassion

Because I have normal feelings

I deserve honour

Because I put others before myself

I have integrity

Because I tell the truth

I need your love

Because I have invested in you

I am Sandy

Don't ignore me in public

While you flatter someone else

Give me eye contact

In front of your friends

For if you lose my sight

You will have lost me

I am Sandy

A true friend

I will always say

I need you

When you say you need me too

You love who you love

Don't try to take on the world

You are just one man

You fill up my senses

I am Sandy

Pick me

Enclosed please find a poem I am submitting for publication in your Magazine.


"Lying in bed tonight"


I don't know where you are

Lying in bed tonight

But I miss you

I'm beginning to see

How much a simple kiss

Can mean to me

And I miss yours

My biggest teddy bear

Is all I have to hold

As I don't want to poison

My memories of you

I hope you understand

I'm finding it very

Difficult to sleep

With you so heavily

On my mind

And in my heart

I physically hurt

Without your arms

Around me

Touching me gently

And consoling me

When I tremble

It's a pain

I've never felt


I can't stand the thought of another man

Taking your place

Or another woman taking mine

I guess you've got control of me

The spirit is willing

But the flesh is weak

You make me weak

I know I'd make an excellent girlfriend

Hey, I make an excellent girlfriend now

Only trouble is you're not in on it

Give your head a shake

And maybe you'll figure it out

Some guys are not too bright

At first

Hopefully you'll catch on



Dedicated to Mike H.

 Sandra Ann Humphreys

c 2002

Not Crazy

by Susan Morritt

She appeared in fragmented pieces

A face haphazardly reconstructed

So perilous, so brittle.

And didn't I prove my mettle

As a coward (who was cornered)

When I hid behind my smiling fear

And swallowed hard?

I saw her fragmented person

Incandescent as an opal in the sun

Glued back together

Now she's weathered

Round One.

"I'm not CRAZY...

Not as bad as everyone says-"

She leaned through the window

And I felt her pain flow

Beyond the brilliant March sunshine

To alight on my dashboard

Like winged defiance.


By Ginninia Magdalette

"We all make mistakes from time to time but we are not mistakes. It's part of life to make mistakes: that's how we learn, by making mistakes; but it's how you change things or react to them that makes the difference. Don't you ever forget you have the power and strength - and you have the right - to change your mind. Don't let anybody tell you different."


by Joan Hall

With visions of sugar plums, danced in their heads.

Falling leaves light up the snow, Prints and paths, shoe steps and treads.

Cliff Kennedy Special Alias Memorial Edition
Alias Magazine #50
Alias Magazine #51