DAVID BURKE: ‘From Portland I went to Ashland, where I set up my poster on a tree and began to recite Shakespeare’

Published March 5, 2010 by goyodelarosa

Not so fast.

After the trip to Saskatchewan I was staying with my mother, who was starting to wonder about all the trips I was taking…

The acid trip was Andrew’s idea.

The scene was his sister Biff’s cottage in Saanich.

At the time Andrew and Biff came closest to understanding what was happening, but the acid was a good idea only when they were there and we were destined to go our separate ways.

I had done L.S.D. twice before.

There was a knot of excitement in the pit of my stomach as Andrew produced the tiny pieces of paper that could prove so deadly.

The cottage was secure in the midst of fields of grass, it was a beautiful summer’s night and I had the whole of the rest of my life stretching in front of me.

Conversation was lively, as there were five of us all told.

My thoughts started to blend together and become fishlike in their shape, connected at mouth and tail and swirling up away above the house.

We went out into the fields, accompanied by barking dogs and prowling cats.

Biff had her camera.

The air was fresh.

Biff started clicking off shots and the sound of the shutter echoed across the Universe.


Can’t keep up that pace forever.

Raining today, cat climbing on the table.

Trapped by the tyranny of prose I inch toward my poetic sources…

The acid trip did something crucial to my brain.

I resolved that all the big cities along the West Coast were actually the same place, the sets being changed in the twinkling of an eye by the grey-suited gnomes.

I had to go south to see for myself.

I packed all my slides, films, photographs and artwork into a small suitcase.

I flew from Vancouver to Portland.

From Portland I went to Ashland, where I set up my poster on a tree and began to recite Shakespeare.

A female cop told me to move on.

I hope this sticks in your craw, I said, swinging away along the main street in my red jacket and trousers…

DAVID BURKE: davidjure@shaw.ca

White Lies and Black Magic

Pages 32 – 33

– Transcribed with some new editing from the book

Originally typeset by Wordworks

by ‘Goyo de la Rosa’



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