Lauren Carter opened the Art Bar show with new pieces about ‘a family uprooted’ more than once, full of details from her family tree research and strong visuals “buds like tight white purses” – “a wing written into the rock” – she read from her new book ‘Lichen Bright.’ Her work has a strong sense of family, history and rural life. I especially liked “their smiles spread like suspicious curtains” – from Witches.
I was up second and the feature went very well, if I do say so myself, though people were a little disappointed that it wasn’t a set of my funny, over-sexed pieces – but every now and then it’s good to change things up. As I always do for a feature, I put together a set with a sense of flow – one that covers a bit of history as well – in this case east-coast life from moving there, local industry in motion, some growing up stuff, touch down in high school, early 70’s sexual fumblings, a quick trip underground & finally an echo of the first piece. Sold lots of chapette books & even a few PDF’s.
During the break I was approached by one local small press to get in touch. Another small press asked if I was ready to do a full length book of poetry. Plus one of my Bloody Words pals talked about a consortium of several writers pooling to create an ePub venture. On top of which I did a little pitch to do a feature in the new year at one of the shows I haven’t performed at for some year. So a better experience for publishing opportunities than Bloody Words & I even got paid quite well for being there.
Final feature was Ian Hanna whom I met Hot-Sauced a few years ago during the pre-show writing. He almost had to be forced to read a bit of what he had written but now look at him! His set was funny, tender, comfortable and even romantic. Many of his pieces were short, almost punch line – “in the past they used antiques for everything.” “I wandered forth days and nights and came home lost”
Alana Cook hosted with warmth and efficiently so the evening moved along pretty quickly. The open stagers were a great mix – with as many woman as men. Pauper’s a/c was working a bit too well – if I had know I would have worn a sweater and not just a t-shirt. So I hope those you took notice of my perky nips realized it was the chill and nothing else.
I do have a few chapette books left – $3.00. Also a PDF version suitable for eReaders for a buck. For Pride I’ll be doing a couple of dance pieces. My Plasticine set will be totally different from my Art Bar set – possibly giving the people what they want – hot, sexy & funny.
Here’s one of the pieces from my set –
as a kid
I would go through the pockets
of my Dad’s suit coats sport jackets
as they hung in the closet
I would find quarters which I’d take
sometimes fifty-cent pieces which I’d leave
I’d slip the over-sized jackets
off their hangers
wear them in the dark of the closet
in the smell of his things
his shoes miles too big for me
trying to steal into adulthood
I’d skulk out
from my secret foray
a little daring thief
fearful of being found out
when he’d miss the pocket change
I’d be confronted
say too quick I don’t know what he meant
blurt out I didn’t do that
which he never believed
if only I’d hung those coats back the right way
he’d let me go with warning
that I never heeded
I’d be back there in a week or so
go through those pockets
try on those sport jackets
grow much too slow into adulthood
much too quick into guilt
TOpoet.ca fills the gap between form and content where he strives to give an objective presence to imaginary constructions of bourgeois or radical psychology. He embraces the realm of the ‘superficial’ as a refusal of ‘substance,’ which is culturally inscribed in heteronormative terms. TOpoet is a poet, short-story writer & novelist who has hit stages from Sydney, Nova Scotia to San Francisco, California - in Toronto he has performed at HOWL, Cryptic Chatter, Hot-Sauced Words, Poetic Justice, Word Jam, The Art Bar, Word on the Street, Pride, Queer West Fest, Plasticine Poetry & The Beautiful and the Damned.