Start with Simple Pleasures

We who seek charms to push back against necrosis of thought say “no aeronauts without windshield wipers in this house! It’s unsanitary.”

Still, we reap our rewards at the end of a hard day’s treading water.

Old friends encountered bolster us with comments in sensible prose.

And so, we separate mirror language from anamorphist reduplication and aim instead for a productive redoubling in the realm of rock-pairing.

-From the journals of Klaus Kostenbauer, spontaneous overseer and fragment-theoretician of recreational greenspace along the Rideau River.

June 2020.

Old Mall

As old as tomorrow… With untold floors of FRESH exciting MERCHANDISE, exquisite fixturing, a large, easy-to-use PARKADE OF THE DAMNED and a fine staff of ATTENTIVE SALES ENTITIES… It’s OLD MALL! This volume presents the results of parallel surrealist expeditions to “old malls” in two North American cities. Undertaken in early 2020, these “gothic” experiences foreshadowed the closure of commercial zones throughout the world by a matter of weeks. Specials include:

The Mysterious and Somnolent “ZOPI”
The Skeleton in the Green Hat
The Ghost Hunters in the Bathroom
The Death Shroud Puppet Play
“Good Stuff”
The Street of the Unisex Image

And much more! Save or be saved at OLD MALL



Anaerobic Poems – M Forshage

One of the things introduced in our Object Beautician zine was the concept of “anaerobic poetry”. The theory is that withholding the breath while scouring the surrealist voice for interesting offerings might prompt a special urgency or dynamic to whatever short poem could be rattled off in that state.

Our friend M Forshage in Stockholm recently gave it a try, the results of which results we share below.

Seven spells of sausage rhymes
Automatically and intestine-wise
As if barking up a rare willow
One without the right kind of lianas and bare twigs

The insolent popstar
and his crew of battle squirrels
aimlessly through the milky void

Synchronise sadly
the breadcrumbs of inevitability
housing the future of death and other joys

Acclimatise the entire sorority
Make it migrate elsewhere
With several new songs
And whimpering flagpoles
And a dead rodent

Whenever a sad cat opens his trolley and the bad nostrils get their appetite satisfied our hands will keep shaking to salute the onslaught of birdrings

An intimate source of powerful negotiations is the dead strollers negating the countdown

Likewise, never asked you to perform this particular sample, odd as it is

My crossbow at the mercy of a thunderstorm and a bowl of sugar ne/

Defenestrate the essential countdown and make every consonant swallowed count as a feast of swift nests

Excentric into secrecy
the white foam of secrecy
exclusive formed by the moon
and its differences
all its differences

Decadian Cold Moon Game

The  group went into a junk store on the night of the last full moon of the decade, the “cold moon”, in search of a sign. We found:

  • A phoenix-mask with a handle
  • An homunculus-golem-primate toy
  • A little wooden coffin with an ouroboros worm carved onto it

As an impromptu game, the group then went into a pub and each wrote an interpretive text about the objects in question. This resulted in an interesting “synoptic” set of variations on the myth, which, despite being unpremeditated, had striking affinities.


The mask of many colors is the name of illusion. Therefore it is the name of the world. Pippy Longstocking lived alone in the world and wanted a companion. She offered her hair to the earth, which imbued it with illusion. That is, brought it to life. The homunculus named itself Mr. Tree Climb and would berate Pippy day and night: you are alone. Thus her fear of herself was unconscious. She screamed at the world, “take back this accursed demon,” but a new voice answered “Nothing is capable of not existing. Reality and illusion, death, life and the non-state before life are all the same.” Thus the world was enclosed in an enormous globe-coffin bearing an ouroboros. The coffin slammed shut on Pippy and all she could hear was the terrible hissing of time.


The golem-primate emerged from the casket of the ouroboros. Its goal was to drink from the ladle of the phoenix. It was said that any liquid drunk from this chalice would grant an enlargement of the conk, which would allow the golem-primate to achieve its potential and understand all future corn markets. However, the ladle itself was sentient and wouldn’t allow itself to be drunk from without getting a word in edgewise:

“How many carrion birds can calculate the external properties of a coffin maker?”

The golem-primate could only reply:

“Numbers come in salt & pepper shakers, so I’ll order first.”

The ladle was more or less satisfied with the response and allowed the golem to partake in the drinking ritual. Whereupon the primate felt the immediate urge to sleep and returned to the coffin. It began to dream the whole scenario all over again.


The Life Chest

This box is used to place one’s dead childhood after beginning at one’s first full-time post-university job. Offerings of ritz crackers and apple juice are left inside. The ouroboros is actually just a normal self-cannibalizing snake meant to symbolize the self-harm of labor that defines adult life.

The Mask of Truth

Is used once one’s childhood is placed in the box. It is meant to be the Vessel holding the true adult identity. One is only themselves while wearing it. The rest of the time, one is acting. The leaves are spikes impaling one’s dreams in the hope of not losing them forever.

The Brogewalker

Is a protective talisman placed on a windowsill meant to drive away vengeful alternate reality selves bent on destroying you for having ruined the life of their brethren, your true self, which you usurp by living under capitalism. It wears a hair shirt that is made of intertwining nooses to show your assailants you are punished by living.


The coffin of the homunculus monkey transformed him into a powerful encapsulated mask creature. The powers to transpose time and bent realities with the song sung from its chamber. It creeps out on full moons to take the souls for the purpose of its self-preservation. The coffin was made by a Greek architect named Pablo the Woody*, a true craftsman in debt to the monkey for a human republic that he proclaimed from the Greek architecture of souls. The gift was that of a great oak tree to keep the homunculus spirit safe. The mask was made by the wife of Pablo Woody, her name was Maresoda Woody. She used her witchcraft crafting the mask from a piece of oak. Its powers… potent.

*The pub we wrote the texts in was called “The Wood”

-JA, SH, PP, L December 12 1019

Res gestae

In celebration of all the wonderful careerists out there who never fail to take a hot second to promote their accomplishments, it’s the

Res gestae game!

Build a list of deeds, accomplishments, victories, etc. by each contributing one and then folding over. Afterwards, scrutinize the CV and provide a guess at the person being eulogized.

Played by JA, SH, L, PP


I became a creative masseuse by putting chopsticks in the ears of my clients while screeching “Harder? Harder!!!?”

My ears have electrical outlets. The voltage and shape conforms to the Slovenian standard.

I planted a tree at the center at the center of the earth at the center… I can’t remember. Trees…. Why… What did I do? It wasn’t a tree. I have a disease.

I challenged Dracula to a game of rock-paper-scissors and then threw in a cross.

-The Medical Education of Dr. Van Helsing


I tamed the screaming eyelash with a song of passion and flowers.

I used advanced gelatin mould making to form a wormhole into other times, galaxies, dimensions.

I designated the flavour that we associate with the color red.

I gave birth to ten mini-putt goblins who can fly by pooping.

-Deeds of the Galactic Amusement Park Designer


I made a circle with my fingers and squished the faces of my enemies while sitting in the relative safety of a coffee shop.

I was able to train 12 puppies how to dive underwater. The toilet flushed only 10 of them. Two survived.

I proposed a popular theory that overturned the big bang: the slimy lick.

I strangled everyone who’s ever stuttered, bringing sexual delight to many oppressed paraphiliacs.

-Memoirs of a Heroic Deviant


I performed the ritual of transubstantiation on the entire nation in order to get the polity to vote right last election.

I made the world’s most acidic tapioca pudding.

I became lord of the AutoZoids of planet Zearth.

I laughed in the face of a corpulent tuba player.

-Deeds of the Political Alchemist


I gave birth to a tangerine, an event which the press dubbed the “citroyen conception”.

I erased all the foul language from the world’s graffiti with my trusty foetus-cannon.

I asked for change and received a bag full of diamonds and spanish doubloons.

I can regurgitate plutonium spitballs at seagulls. When they eat them they explode chicken finger delights!

-Life of the Lucky Abortionist


I found a warm soft hole to crawl into at night while lolly-pop sucking any object I can find.

I won first place in a mirror punching contest.

I bought turkey dinners for every dog in the world.

I have the most rigid belly fat in all of Michigan.

-Hallelujah! I’m a bum


I have the flappiest foreskin amongst all the shriners.

I can drive a car with one wheel while in bed dreaming of NASCAR.

I made a romantic conquest using only a sockpuppet and my wits.

I produced every possible 10,000 character pamphlet.

-The Shrine-Keeping Shriner


I cured humanity of literacy using advanced computer hacking and social media brainwashing to convince them they were reading and writing.

I dangled my feet into the pond of emergent hilarity.

I became anxious while in a relaxation yoga class. That toad I licked made me see yogi bears on the mats.

I designed a pashmina made from living, enraged right-wing politicians.

-The Silicon Valley Identity Crisis

A Rosicrucian Political Cartoon

Abstractio Game 4.jpg

“The Situation Today”

By PP, L, SH, JA

A game taught to us by our surrealist comrade David Nadeau of Quebec

Wherein a drawing is collectively made using predetermined piles of abstract words provided by each player and randomly selected in turn, in this case the words:


Pacified Soul Reaper





After which the result was deemed to be an esoteric political cartoon of the  fellowship of the rosy cross.

July 4th, 2019.

P.S. We welcome any interpretations of this cartoon, its relationship to the world today etc. in the comments section.

Report from the Jolly Mortuary

The group has been in a fruitful period of “exile” since our favourite spot was closed for repairs earlier this year. Since then we have taken advantage of our rootlessness and have found ourselves in a slew of unfamiliar places, including an underpass, a junk store, a sex shop, and a flooded beach. And on May 17, it was suggested that we meet in the winter garden of the Royal Ottawa Hospital, our local mental health institution. Here we knew through experience and friendships that we would find, despite the disciplinary clinical oversight, and in addition to some interesting artistic creations on display including a few known collaborators,  an atmosphere and community of people far more sympathetic to our games and discussions than is typically met with in public cultural spaces.

In this location we (JA, L, PP, SH) explored a few ideas, starting with a folding game of drawing banal objects. The idea was to invoke a Duchampian irrational enlargement or alienation of everyday objects, the kind of ordinary household things Breton suggested might even on occasion have more poetic power than explicitly contrived surrealist objects. We then took turns with elaboration via captioning them with extravagant titles, hiding the original object, redrawing based on the last visible play and so on. The goal was to create a tapestry of analogical surprises from mundane reality.

Jolly mortuary b&w

Following this we wrote surrealist letters and replies to each other with much black humor and passion. Here is a sample chain that we found especially funny:

Dear Mongoose,

Your insipid storytelling is no longer welcome in our town. I suggest you take your spider-wife & leave before your children are encapsulated in preservative ooze.

Yours in caution,

-Obsolescence MacDonald


After doing this grosse abnormal letter I’ll ingest a bucket of flies and spit them at your feet then my plan of becoming a venus fly-trap will be at hand!!!


Dear madame,

I think that I am in love. Poetry of the grotesque is the most true to the human spirit, and I am inspired by your words to quilt in your honour. Mark my words, your puppy will have a new bed by this Victoria Day.


Dearly beloved,

I know love and all its late orchestral movements. Its requiem. I bought the puppy you speak of and he died to “God Save the Queen”. His tombstone erect as Eros, the epitaph mercurial as semen.

We then played a game of “interrupted speech”, derived from a game described in La civilization surréaliste, where players write automatic texts while another periodically interrupts with a word that must be incorporated by all the players.

Finally a discussion about dreams and quantum physics which (naturally) led to an inquiry by L on the perfect orgy:

L chose a heaping puppy-pile of effeminate ladyboys. When asked how many of himself L the narcissist would consider sufficient for an orgy, infinite was preferable but three would be a minimum. Would they be exact copies? Perhaps not but they would not aim for visual variations and would enjoy wearing the exact same costumes. It occurred later that Gemini season was almost upon us.

SH described a single ideal boy, eyes like spaghetti, a nose like a beehive all percolated, dispensing sugary earl-grey tea which SH laps up periodically, and this figure multiplies itself like a centaur, except instead of a horsebottom it’s more boy,  chained in ever longer repetitions, until the sufficient number is reached for an orgy.

JA chose a highly charged erotic ceremonial mass decoration of a 800 xmas trees with analogical objects until one hits a tantric orgasm. The goal is to extend eroticism beyond the stereotyped parts of the body, beyond the body itself, or rather an extension of the body into poetic objects which can transmit poetic bursts of resonance (psychically) back to the participants. With years of preparation there is no reason this couldn’t be achieved with humanity’s current capabilities.

PP chose a visitation in a cell from an unspecified number of invisible succubuses. Light, and the warmth of five hands on his chest. But also an overdrive of sexuality that prolongs the experience beyond ejaculation and ends with pain.

Looking at these games retroactively we might even interpret them as ridiculous attempts at reconciling ourselves with our homeless state: the idealization of homely nostalgic objects, the bureaucratic correspondence of reality cluttering up the work of those seeking a new path in the rootless world, the interruption of chance events in even the most internal monologizing—a core characteristic of the exile state—and finally the dream of excess and gorging in the future orgy as a revolt against enclosure of actions and feelings.

SH brought up the concept of a terrarium which we then filled with odd objects—thimbles, silhouettes of friends, mollusks, eels. This resonated eerily with the “open glass” architecture of the garden, which definitely felt like a kind of aquarium for the mad. We also looked at the art on display of the patients, including some striking mytho-Egyptological work by Oziput, and some amazing, actually “poetic materialist” photographs interpreting tree parts by the appropriately named Sylvana Beaulieu—including a shot of what looks like a seahorse emerging from a tree stump, and a wizard found in a knot of wood.* So the aqua-terrarium fills itself up.

* It wasn’t easy to get a good picture of these images in the display case and we’re not sure how best to contact the photographer to ask permission, so we’ll refrain from posting them for now…

Infantilism Night

On March 21, 2019 the Ottawa Surrealist Group had its first official “infantilism night”. L, SH, PP and JA convened at a dessert shop, where a whole evening was dedicated to pursuing the spectre of childhood, its irrationalisms, holdovers, dreams, obsessions, and potential mobilization against the banalities of everyday life. All while eating sweets.

infantlilism drawing 5 JA PP L SH

Crayons, children’s books, precious stuffed animals and drawings were ritually arranged and played with in order to invoke regressive mental states.

A surrealist inquiry into childhood and infantile behaviour was held.

Highlights include:

  • Childhood rituals, sacred objects, the blocking out of nocturnal whispers with fingers in ears…
  • Childhood aversions, including aversions to cucumbers, shrimp, African creamed corn, telephones;
  • Childhood worship; maternal gifts of snowglobes, or sacred utopian cities visited by adults on business trips (Edmonton?)
  • The revelation of a childhood identification of one member with spiders, to the point where they would eat flies;
  • The elaboration of several childhood dreams involving nightmarish lights, erectile multifunctions, and of course parental monsters (whether nude, tandem-bicycling over perilous heights, mind-reading, or robotic…)
  • The tick-tock-tick-tocking of the grandparent’s grandfather clock, resonating in the mind…
  • The exploration of childhood obsessions with real and virtual portals, hidden pirate kingdoms, clambering around waterfall edges for secret caves, tornadoes in school bathroom vents, potential that existed in the imagination but pressured real life pursuits…

We created childlike collective windows onto secret worlds…


…found some contemporary children’s dino-art at a junk shop, calling out for dino-surrealist Vittoria Lion, a childhood friend met in adulthood…

Found dino art

…and used some children’s books as a medium for surrealist games, delirium, poetry…

masturbation machinework1
I am gentle.
I am white.
I say “Baa.”
I am a tractor.
I am brave.
I roar.
I have a mane.
I am a bucket.
I am proud.
I can sing.
I have two legs.
I am a tilapia.
eyesproclaiming the rodent king
For those interested in more specific details from the game night, inquiry responses, or to send us thoughts on your own infantile experiences, please contact


What’s on the other side of the forest?


Q: Who built the building?

PP/SH: A Mormon from east-middle school, St. Petersburg, Ohio, who worships consciousness.

Q: Where does the river flow?

SH: Out of a mouthpiece of a giant helmet, which is itself made of water. An ice-helmet.

PP: A wormhole of matter.

Q: What colour is the grass at night?

JA: The colour of a maniac’s wet dream.

SH: It pulses with the iridescent tips of penises.

PP: Midway remnants of the Sun.

Q: What lives under the bridge?

SH/PP: An insane Castilian with a mop who is continuously mopping the river and straining it out into a bucket of emptiness while his wife twirls like a dervish beside him.

Q: Who lives in the castle?

JA/PP: Sa’ad (SH)’s doppelgänger, with chrome teeth and a patch on his eye.

SH: A slippery eel made from the wax of a child’s tears.

Q: If the river is not water, what is it?

PP: A viscous fluid of anthropomorphic immeasurability.

JA: The cotton candy that comes out of processed nightmares.

SH: An out of control gay orgy where the sweat and semen are so sparkling with unfulfilled lust that it turns blue.

Q: Describe the rocks.

SH: The buttocks of ashen maidens sticking out of the water so that sailors can look and say “no thanks.”

JA: Whatever they are, they are hungry.

Q: What’s on the other side of the forest?

PP: A penitentiary for mentally ill children born in the castle and deemed unfathomably radioactive.

SH: A prism made from irises of such unbelievable complexity that all light beams refract inside it in ever newer patterns, and never escape.

Q: Describe the smell of the air.

SH: Like harsh bleach and the howling of disrespective housewives.

JA: Like frequent tigers.

PP: And mist like an elephant’s trumpet.

Q: What happens to this scene at the end of time?

PP: The earth erupts under its foundations.

SH: A man with unbearable OCD is asked a very difficult question and he smooths the whole thing away with his worrying hands.

PP: It turns out he’s an alien, and he had a spaceship in the cellar. He takes off into the sky.

-January 31 2019.