Leftovers presents selections from Hughes’ published and unpublished writings, chosen by the author, and with commentaries supplied by Hughes regarding their composition, intent, and relevance (or lack of such). The nonfiction ranges from Hughes’ most current work, the science-based Ydentitysm, to pieces which though now outdated (after 40 years of studying religion, Hughes concludes that religious perspectives have outlived their usefulness) nevertheless contain telling points for those interested in human identity, psychology, and meaning. Hughes’ fictional excerpts include the humorous, the satirical, the absurd, and the eerie. Almost an entire long story, The Viper with the Human Tongue, is included in the pulp fiction genre. An absurdist play on Tom Thomson that is reminiscent of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot is presented in its entirety. And Hughes’ poetry ranges from the Fluxus-inspired to Canadian landscape.
About not about. Is what I won’t say is ,,, what. An automemnoir. Why noir ? I blacked out wyl riting it. “What ?” “What what ?” “What ‘it’ ?” “WHAT ?” It ,, this ,, watever it is. Wat iz it ? It starts off ,,, then it doesn’t yes it does it doesn’t yes it it it goes OFF.
So it does. Yup. Yes. Uh-huh.
So wat hav yu lerned so far ? … O.K. I’l tel yu a STORY. Turtle waded ashore Lake Ontario ,,, gazed about ,,, declared, “My name is LIGHTNING !” No one was ,, or heard ,, so / not so / yet no not so / next Turtle dug. Turtle dug a drum. Turtle banged, “Ba – BaBa – Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba !” Wow it wuz wow-WOW-wow.
And this iz how I tell my self. (story not a story). I AM NOT A STORY !! Uh-uh.
The unConsciousness Manifesto
A declaration of the neuroscientific human. Who are we? How does the brain produce our identity? Written in plain words for non-specialists, The unConsciousness Manifesto describes what it means to be human according to contemporary scientific findings. In no-nonsense terms, this brief pamphlet concisely and forthrightly overturns centuries of speculation regarding human identity, pointing to the biological basis of decision-making and invention.
An asteroid obliterates Earthkind except for a single human named Cluk who time-travels 60 million years to a future-Earth in order to repopulate it, only to discover the planet re-civilized by kartaahs, a new species … A MESSENGER from GASBAG visits Earth from millions of light years distant, but has forgotten the message … Cluk learns recreational grating, probing, and crack-crawling … Kartaahs climb down, into brains … All this in language that is “a bit off”. In 1/f2 noiz, Zhizham texts, emails, ootubes, and tweets us in a nonstop racket of malapropisms, irony, and hyperbata. Prepare to have both nose and leg pulled out of joint, tongue and ear twisted, and brain fart.
Written on the centenary of Canadian painter Tom Thomson’s mysterious death, this book consists of reflections upon twenty-two of Thomson’s paintings. Each reflection stands on its own as a two-page word-image, imitating the concise intensity of Thomson’s famous 22 by 27 cm sketches, examining creativity, authenticity, and identity in life. A further twenty-two vignettes flesh out the genderless alter ego that Hughes names TT, an irreverent nonconformist following a free-spirited way of life only very loosely based on Thomson. As the book progresses, TT takes on mythic proportions, and Hughes’ language becomes more poetically challenging for the task at hand.
Meticulously researched by the author for accurate detail, Hughes also has 40 years of intimate familiarity with the lakes and hills where Thomson lived. In TT, a Canadian figure emerges along the lines of Gary Snyder and Henry David Thoreau.
Towards a Unified Theory of Awareness
A scripture for the scientific view of existence which, surprisingly, discovers both free will and purposefulness in a material universe. Beginning with basic awareness, Hughes traces how individuality exists even in a universe of unbroken continuity and how representation distorts our perceptions of ‘things’, including ourselves. By describing the process of decision-making according to contemporary neuroscience, Hughes finds that we do not act probabilistically, deterministically, or randomly, but rather creatively. Terms are carefully defined in a series of Questions modelled on (of all things) Aquinas’ Summa. As the book proceeds, the argument for our creative individuality becomes clarified, based upon two insights: Freedom is not an ability to choose, but a response-ability that chooses; and whatever can be said of humans can be said of the universe.
Two centuries before Blackbeard or Morgan, the Caribbean is an unknown factor to Europeans. On the eve of the Conquistador invasion, only a few runaway slaves and castaways share the lands with the native inhabitants. Amongst these is Sin, reaver, plunderer, wanderer, seeking adventures and resisting her implacable enemy, the expanding Astorian Empire. This book chronicles her emergence as a youth to become the direst warrior of her epoch. Raised in a lustful, swaggering, violent world, Sin’s tale is both arousing and repulsive, ghastly, grueling, and exhilarating. Daunted neither by torture nor demonic perdition, Sin defies what no other woman (or man) dare confront, pitting her courage against all challenges, prepared to fall in battle or to rise triumphant.
Cord-Reading, A Bodying Practice
Cord-Reading is the most ancient of all arts, its practice stretching back to the very origins of Homo sapiens. Part game, part divination, part art, the cord has fascinated societies around the globe. In this manual, Hughes updates the practice for the modern reader, describing how cord-reading can connect us with the creativity of our unconscious brain. Providing a step-by-step guide with illustrations, charts, and explanations, Hughes gives a thorough grounding for anyone interested in pursuing this art. As with yoga and ting jing, cord-reading calms consciousness, gradually allowing the whole person to enter into awareness. Hughes writes, “Creativity is not necessarily accurate. It is adaptive. Its answers require testing. If they prove ineffective, what other recourse does a person have other than to give up or to create again?” Cord-reading is thus not offered as a panacea, but rather as a creative discipline that can enrich one’s self-understanding.
A homeless body on Toronto’s streets lives in mythic ruminations, passes through death, and resurrects fully here, now – there being nowhere else to BE. Hughes’ writing is poetically rich, literary, replete with allusion, and mysteriously elusive. The title Faces refers to false faces, our terrifying mask which we deny, and yet which when acknowledged, unexpectedly heals and makes us whole. Faces submerges us into an epic Jungian journey in an everyday world transformed unrecognizably by artistic appreciation.