Mar 5, 2023
The Razor’s Edge with Karl Jirgens Featuring Matt St Amand
Karl Jirgens, Professor Emeritus, former English Department Head and former Chair of the Creative Writing Program (University of Windsor), is author of three books of fiction and two scholarly books (Coach House, Mercury, ECW and The Porcupine’s Quill Presses). He edited two books (on painter Jack Bush, and poet Christopher Dewdney), plus the “Collaborations” issue of Open Letter magazine with Beatriz Hausner. His scholarly and creative works are published globally. Jirgens edited and published Rampike, an international journal of art, writing, and theory from 1979 to 2016, now digitally archived (free) on the University of Windsor Leddy Library scholars’ portal. Rampike contributors have been ground-breaking artists, writers, and theorists, including nominees and winners of awards such as the Booker, Commonwealth, Orange, Pulitzer, Dublin Impac, Giller, Trillium, Writer’s Trust, and Governor General’s Award, among other prizes. Jirgens serves on the Editorial Board of ellipse magazine. He is a long-time practitioner and grand-master (8th Degree Black Belt) of the martial art of Tae Kwon Do. He recently had a chapbook published by Above Ground Press featuring three stories, titled, Eco Blues: A Tale in 3 Parts, and it has recently been announced that his work will be featured in the 2023 edition of Best Canadian Poetry, published by Biblioasis. His short fiction collection, The Razor’s Edge, was recently released by The Porcupine’s Quill Press in 2022. Karl lives in Windsor, Ontario.
About Gas of Tank: A Canadian Law Enforcement Odyssey 1979 – 2019:
Todd Ternovan believed in keeping things simple: Marrying his college sweetheart, studying Early Childhood Education at Ryerson University, spending his professional life as a daycare teacher. It was a tidy plan. Except for one thing: Man plans and the gods laugh.
To fund his life and education in Toronto, Todd worked a part-time job—as a corrections officer at the infamous Don Jail.
Although he spent a few years working with kids, Todd’s experience in corrections propelled him into a 33-year career within Canadian law enforcement.
Small-town policing isn’t just rescuing cats from trees and performing wellness checks. The concession roads and rural routes of southwestern Ontario are home to some incredibly kind, resilient people, and scene to some strange, tragic and heinous events. Todd dealt with them all, from the naked machete-wielding man who claimed to be Jesus Christ, to armed American fugitives, decades-old sexual assaults, harrowing traffic accidents, violent home invasions, and even a year spent “Uncle Charlie” (undercover) investigating drug traffickers.
The title comes from a phrase uttered by a motorcycle gang member who demonstrated his disdain for police by pulling a “wheelie” on his motorcycle following a traffic stop. The biker was charged with stunt driving. In his defense in court, the biker said, in a thick French accent: “It was not possible for me to a pull a ‘wheelie,’ Your Worship. I had a full gas of tank!”
“Gas of Tank” embodies, for Todd, all the surreal, upside-down, unbelievable, description-defying experiences police face daily.
Written by Matt St Amand
Freelance writer: Writer / Videographer. Father and husband with a slowly improving track record. Fan of Ultraman (Hayata series), Aphex Twin and