Archives for the month of: December, 2012

My final scheduled show and feature of the year brought me back to Hot-Sauced words at The Black Swan. It’s been over a year since I’ve gotten out to Hot-Sauced. I find taking in one show every ten days enough – two in less than that and the second one usually palls for me. A change from when I jumped into the spoken scene a decade ago when I did my first open stage at the Renaissance Cafe (RIP). I was getting to five or six shows a month. Now two a month is more than enough.

festive balls

festive balls

The Swan had undergone renovations – gone are the stinking carpets, slick and stained with a history spilled beer, stubbed out cigarettes and other slimy substances. Comfy barrel chairs around tables change the aura considerably. Plus a new sound system. sweet.

The Anti-Christmas Pageant had a full house, raised over $300 for food drive – if only audiences were that generous for starving poets :-). It was good to reconnect with writers I haven’t seen for some time too. Not that I’m Mr Social mind you. One asked what I was working on then proceeded to tell me what he was working on before I could finish my answer.

more festive balls

more festive balls

The show structure was a stripped-down version of the usual H-S – some open stagers, two short features, a set by Kirsten Sandwich, break, then the other two features & a final Sandwich set.

By short features I mean maybe six minutes each. We all managed to be seasonal but not festive. Sue Reynolds, first featurette, did a couple of sweet cover poems and one original. Loved ‘the black dog of sleeplessness gnawing the rind of daybreak.’ She was followed by Kate Marshall Flaherty - her pieces were aromatic (garlic, cheese, wine), about the kindness of strangers, birth in ‘sweet hay and warm cow smells.’ Her final piece called for audience participation as we made chilly wind sounds as he performed a fun piece about Cold Air.

festive red balls

festive red balls

Sandwich’s first set opened with an obscure Latin carol that gave me chills – love those harmonies. This was their serious piece. They did a carol as written by Leonard Cohen ‘Santa smells of whisky and despair.’ They showed how the lyrics to Gilligan’s Island could be sung to nearly any carol followed by the reverse – how those carol lyrics could be sung to the melody of Gilligan’s Island.

After the break I started the final set. Shopping Trippy still works it’s linguistic magic. Snow Global Warming has just the right touch of queer raunch – I skipped my slutty Santa piece & closed with my Grinch List. I skipped my real raunch to allow Cathy Petch the opportunity to shine in that department -which she did in her set that followed mine, ‘finger banged next to the snapple machine.’ Her ‘Don’t They Know’ re/de construction is getting tighter: ‘Who doesn’t want what North America has?’ – but I think she’s holding back a little :-) The smugness behind those lyrics calls for more.

By this point in the night it was 10:15. Reluctantly I shrugged into my layers and left as Sandwich was starting their final set. I like to be home and to bed by 11. Gone are the days of disco dancing till 1:30 a.m. and taking the night bus home. And to all a good night.


February 24, 2013 – Sunday – feature – Secret Handshake Gallery

a little writing sample

a little writing sample

Snow Global Warming

his eyes were the color of sky

a sky on the verge of snow

snow that is eagerly awaited

so that we have a white christmas

not a lot of snow mind you

a dusting of it

enough to turn the world

into a Christmas card of trees and houses

houses with warm lights in windows

fireplace blazing

as snow falls   tossed in a snow globe

us naked in front of that fireplace

a blizzard of affection blankets us together

under thick waves of heat

hearth logs crackling

and our stockings well hung

a vision of sugar plums

between his legs

the wind howling around the house

we tumble around each other

toasted   tossed in a snow globe

of swiftly changing lusts emotions

spinning transient melting

breathless and mumbling

naughty nice naughty nice

mostly unwrapped and crumpled

eager for another shake of the snow globe

golden balls

golden balls

Got out to Plasticine Poetry Sunday night. I haven’t been to the series for two months now – busy with NaNoWriMo – so I was eager to get back there. Even more eager because of the dynamic line up. As usual I made sure I got onto the open stage in the first set. It’s always easier for me to listen when I get my own piece out of the way.

By 6:25 there was full house, I had a tasty chicken wrap and …. I get asked to host the show. Let’s be honest give me a street light over head & two drunks watching me from across the street and I’m ready to do some spokenword. I was happy to step up and rake on the task. But I did insist on keep my open stage spot all the same. I read a brand new piece (see below) which recent events in the USA made even more poignant.

killer smile

Lisa killer smile

Lisa De Nikolits read from passages from her novels in which the characters either read or write poems – the poetry captures the nature of the p.o.v. strongly and reflects the character and not the author trying to be poetic: ‘I may be a loser/but I’ve always dreamed of someone to hold’ ‘dance on the morals of doctors and madman.’ After a too brief set she was brought back to read more – this time a prose section of West of WaWa – which pulled her in emotionally as she read and pulled us in at the same time.

Lizzie - serial killer

Lizzie – serial killer

Next up was Lizzie Violet – she started with ironic pieces about relationship: “I cannot confirm or deny my feelings for you” “I speak the truth/ you speak innuendoes.” She did some horror/zombie pieces – I got so caught up in her vampire poem I couldn’t make note. A strong set.

During the break Michael served us cake to celebrate the season. Let them eat cake, if they don’t like the features :-)

Cathy - slam killer

Cathy – slam killer

Second set opened with Cathy Petch who gave us a zit-popping good time. Romantic in ‘I whisper I love you as softly as pollen.’ Imagist in “holds cigarettes as if they might float away.” Tender and tough in her piece about Myke Tyson “when you give up on language your dreams narrow.” She closed with a fearless deconstruction (with some  help from her saw) of “Do They Know It’s Christmas.”

David - Cereal Killer

David – Cereal Killer

Final feature was David Clink. He gave us hilarious sections of his recent book “Hidden Emu.” Then led us in a sing-a-long of christmas song parodies “Santa Claus is Tapping Your Phone,” “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Wino” and too all a good night.

I usually don’t include show pics but here are some from life with more cowbell.

After the show I walked along Bloor W to Spadina station to check out the tinsel installations someone had told me about. They are some sort of kissing stations – streetlights trimmed in tinsel with mistletoe in the middle. Odd notion that perhaps invites, even encourages inappropriate behavior with strangers. The rapist’s defense – “the lights gave me permission.”


December 20 – Thursday – feature – Hot-Sauced Words

February 24, 2013 – Sunday – feature – Secret Handshake Gallery

writing sample

writing sample


Panic in the Streets

I left the house once

without my water bottle

how would I save

the dwindling environment

could I use my hands

to cup water from some grundy washroom tap

would I dehydrate within blocks

the city spread out around me

parched and dusty

I left the house once

without my credit cards my atm card

what would I do

if I had to buy a cup of coffee

a bottle of water

what would I do

if I had to prove to that I was of some value

without proof of my credit-ability

I left the house once

without my cell phone

out of touch with reality

who would think I was worth

talking to without it

what would I do

if I had to tell the time

would you believe me

if I told you I missed your call

because I left my cell at home

would you forgive me

I left the house once

without my digital camera

I didn’t know where to look

my eyes had to see things as they were

not as compositions to be captured

what if I saw the defining moment

of the collapse of our civilization

or a cat sneezing

I might as well be blind

I left the house once

without my gun

I didn’t feel safe

there was a threat in every glance

how could I defend myself

how could I define myself

without at a spray of bullets

to protect  project me

I felt naked vulnerable defeated

killer host

killer host

Fountain of light 2004

Fountain of light 2004

It felt good to be back on stage hosting the recent BuDa show at Glad Day. A warm and receptive audience enjoyed great open stagers, excellent feature and a musical surprise. And we wrapped by 9:30 too.

To keep the showing running at about 2 hours the committee decided to made a few simple cuts – only six open stagers instead of 9 – that reduced the running time by at least 20 minutes. I also cut the trivia questions down to six as well – saving at least another five minutes.

blue diamond

blue diamond

First feature, Melissa Benner, despite fighting off a cold, did a confident, warm and emotional set. She open with a piece about growing up queer in a small town – something many of us identified with – wanting to ‘beat it out of town, before the town beat it out of them’ – one line mentioned a wish for a gay pride parade down the main street. On a recent visit to my small town: Sydney, Cape Breton – I watch a gay pride parade down the main street! Only a couple of vintage cars and some marchers mind you – some guys twirling batons & even a bag pipers (supply your own puns).

Small town life has changed over the years – but gay teens are still being bullied into suicide.

Her work is full clear images: ‘the sickle of your anger,’ ‘pull of sunsets in your tree line,’ ‘grass-stained and waiting for me to show up.’ Her love of the farm, the land never fell into the stock Canadian nature trap. A fine set. Read more about the show at cowbell!!


slip me some tongue

slip me some tongue

Rocco de Giacomo presented an engaging, emotional and humorous set. Starting with a ‘slightly opened door is a question’ he shared pieces about aging (since when is hitting 40 aging?), fatherhood and manhood – ‘good men sleep deeply and never dream.’ I enjoyed his Toronto poem – was it an ode? – ‘Toronto is the realm of the half-asleep’ ‘Toronto is the way a vinyl record feels.’

Due to missed communication with the, as it turns out not booked, music feature we enjoyed an impromptu set by Rex Baunsit and Carlin Belof. Without guitars, piano or music to hide behind we had a rare opportunity to enjoy them raw and more vulnerable than usual.


Here’s a link a free download of my favorite recording of A Christmas Carol. There are so many screen, TV versions but this is the entire text beautifully read.


December 16 – Sunday – attending – Plasticine Poetry

December 20 – Thursday – feature – Hot-Sauced Words


February 24, 2013 – Sunday – feature – Secret Handshake Gallery


Sir Alec?

Sir Alec?

Here are the Sir Alec trivia questions:

1 Sir Alec  won an Academy Award for: a: Bridge Over the River Kwai; b: The Lavender Hill Mob; c: The Horse’s Mouth

2 In The Bridge over the River Kwai Alec gets to blow: a: out candles on a surprise birthday cake; b: the second set director; c: up the Bridge on the River Kwai

3 In Star Wars his character was named: a: Obehave; b: Obendover; c: Obi-Wan Kenobi

4 In Star Wars he says: a: Hans you’re hung like a horse!; b: You can get batteries for light sabers at the Source; c: May The Force be with you

5 In Kind Hearts and Coronets he plays: a: Ascoyne D’Ascoyne; b: Lady Agatha D’Ascoyne; c: Reverend D’Ascoyne

6 In Star Wars he is killed by: a: Han’s Solo’s horse cock; b: Princess Leia’s dildo; c: Darth Vader’s lightsaber


By the final day of NaNo for 2012 I had rattled away for just over 57,000 words – not including various notes, character sketches or outline of what remains to be written. There’s at least another 60,000 words to go before the story arc gets on paper.

serious root canal work

serious root canal work

I did a few different things this year, all of which helped push things along. One was the creating the 30 different files one for each day, each one with an event suggestion. I only got to use about 10 of the event suggestions.

ear lugs are all the rage

ear lugs are all the rage

I also got out of the house to write by hosting a NaNo writing session at the Red Rocket on the Danforth around the corner from me. The two hours, once a week, on Friday afternoons were very productive for me. There was always a couple of NaNo-ties showing up. They usually stayed longer than I did and they all sailed past the 50,000 mark.

boo the the bra

boo the the brr

I did get some male-on-male sex happening, no penetration though – I’m holding back on that till part 2 – sex in books of the time was usually written in such a way one wondered if it happened. I attempted to stick to the literary tropes of the era. Sex in my writing has always been explicit so this was a good opportunity for to try something else. As was writing about male-on-male with men who don’t have the awareness that what they are doing is out of the ordinary.


Here’s a link a free download of my favorite recording of A Christmas Carol. There are so many screen, TV versions but this is the entire text beautifully read.


December 13 – Thursday – hosting – The Beautiful and the Damned

December 16 – Sunday – attending – Plasticine Poetry

December 20 – Thursday – feature – Hot-Sauced Words

February 24, 2013 – Sunday – feature – Secret Handshake

NaNo sample

NaNo sample

(Brik and Clancy are fishing at a secluded lake/cove)

Clancy went back to  he rocks and peeled off his pants and under drawers and put them to dry in the sun. Birk did the same. They lay back on the sun warmed rocks using their dry shirts as pillows.

“This is the life.” Birk sighed. “Can’ remember having a day away from the mines like this.”

“Think I’d rather be spending it with that priest’s niece though.” Clancy said.

“You got that gal stuck in your brain. You never seen a pretty gal before or what?”
“Sure but there’s something about her. I can’t say what though. She goes from my brain to down here.”

Birk glanced over and saw that Clancy was handling his manhood.

“Stop that.” He said. “Self pollution’s a sin. It’ll do you a great harm.”
“Such as?” Clancy laughed.

“The Reverend says it leads to depletion of one’s spirit. He called it the essence of all life or something like that. And you can go blind.”
“Then most o’ the men in the world would be blind. So you saying you never did this.” Clancy pushed the his hand up and down his manhood. “Played with your cock.”

Clancy’s member was longer than Birk’s but not as thick. It didn’t have much skin around the head either.

“No. I …” Birk wanted to say cock but couldn’t. “I was taught to respect my … manhood.”

“Never had an emission in the night?”

“Yeh,” Clancy chuckled. “Woke up with white gunk on your clothes.”
“A couple of times.”
“What about Geo. He never?”
“No.” Birk thought. He’d never seen Geo do what Clancy was doing.

“Try it.”
“No. Self pollution isn’t proper. Ma’d kill me.”
“How would she know?”
“Ma knows. Don’t know how but she always knows when I’ve been doing something I shouldn’t be doing.”

“What if I do it to you.? You can do it to me. Then it wouldn’t be the sin of self pollution would it?”
“I suppose not but no …” He pushed Clancy’s hand away from his member.

“Yer little fella isn’t so little anymore. That can’t be the first time he’s stood at attention.”
“No. But I never do anything when that happens. I think of God and the goodness he wants in the world and it goes away.”

“Birk I find that difficult to believe. You know what that is for don’t you?”
“For? What do you mean. It’s for God to remind me to stay pure. To punish me for angry thoughts.”

“You know how children are made don’t you?”

“Ma says I’ll learn that when I need to know it. It isn’t fit knowledge for a clean man.”

“By the time you find out it may be too late.”
“Too late?”
“Yeh the wrong gal will show you but she won’t be the one you want.”
“I heard about that. Ma says that’s this how some gals trap men. Takes vantage of men don’t know. Another reason to stay clear of them till I’m ready to know.”

“Here’s what happens. A man places his member in the woman.”
“In? How’s that.”
“Between her legs. She ain’t built like us down there, you see. There’s a place where your cock fits into her. You push into there and when you spend yourself into her she gets with child.”

“Yeah. Look, try it.”
“Roll on top of me.” Clancy pulled Birk on top of him and pushed their members so they were side by side. He moved hip hips to rub. “Try it.”
“Like this.” Birk began to grind into Clancy. He turned his head so he didn’t have to see Clancy’s face. His vision became oddly clear. The stone he was looking at was all he wanted to see. The black rock had small flecks of white in it. There was bits of grit in small indents.

“Oh Oh.” Clancy gasped.

Birk felt a hot smooth gush around the head of his manhood. Then he shuddered as his member throbbed and spurt out three times. The rock he was focused on disappeared for a moment. He sagged heavily on top of Clancy.

Clancy took a deep breath and pushed him off and back to where he had been laying.

They lay there silent for a few minutes.

“What are you thinking?” Clancy asked.

“I dunno.” Birk replied. “Never had something like happen to me before. Feels like for gals?”

“I don’t know.”
“Messy.” He pinched at the white slime on his stomach. “Guess that’s why gals don’t want to be pestered with it, eh?”
“Could be.” Clancy pushed himself up and dove back into the lake. Birk followed suit. They got their socks and used them to scrub off the white slime.

Birk peeled the skin back on the his member. “You don’t have as much of this as I do?”
“Must make it easy fer you keep clean. I used to get the bad itch till we started to wash up at Mrs. Franklin’s.”

“Smellin’ better isn’t the only benefit of being clear.” Clancy laughed.

“You ever … rub off like that before?” Birk asked.

“Nah. I sometimes do it with m’ bed though. Never felt like this.”

“Ya asked about Geo a while back. You know that must a been what he was doing many nights. I just thought he trying to get comfortable. He’d be restless. It would drive me crazy him moving around till he’d lie on his belly and grind the mattress. Then he’d get quiet and fall asleep.”

“Could be that’s what he was doing.”
“You never move much in the bed. How’s that?”
“It’s not something I feel the need to do that often. Only when some gal gets stuck in my brain.”

“Guess a bed’s better place to do it though.” His elbows and knees were raw from the rock.

“My back isn’t much better.” He turned so Birk could see where he too had been rubbed raw.
“We better head back.” Birk put on his clothes. The sun had dried them. What they had done felt strange to him. Yet seemed so natural. Why bother some frail woman with that sort of thing. Not something a Godly man would want to do. This was a better way of getting release.
He cleaned and boned the trout. That was one thing his Ma hated to do. She didn’t like the smell of them on her hands, the guts on them either. They’d sometime bury the bones for the garden but she didn’t like the stink of fish that close her house.

“Clancy,” Birk said as they were nearing town.

“Yeh, lad.”

“We won’t say anything about this will we?”
“What the fishin?”
“You know the … rub.” Although he had enjoyed it Birk felt shame at the pleasure of it.

“Who am I going to be talking to about a thing like that?” he laughed.

“We always hears some guy at wash up goin’ on about the gals he give loving too or they’d like to give lovin’ to.”
“You sure they always talking about some gal?” he joked. “Least now you knows what the pleasure is they are bragging about.”



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