Archives for the month of: September, 2013

Plasticine celebrated its 60th or is it its 70th anniversary. Seventy years of bringing vibrant spoke word to the community is hard work & this show had an amazing line up that raised the roof at Paupers. After a flash round of open stagers, first up was Farzana Doctor. Her strongly emotional personal pieces drew us into her life ‘I was recognized as my mother’s daughter,’ ‘I learned how to fish on YouTube’ ‘I stay two hours before kissing her good-bye’ – simple & direct language with a warm and invested delivery.

flats out of it

flats out of it

Up next was Jacob Scheier – (disclaimer: I have taken his workshop) – read from his recent book ‘Letter from Brooklyn.’ Much like Farzana his strongly emotional personal pieces drew us into his life or lives he had observed. Telling details, a grey sweater, slender legs filled, his poems. ‘I often wanted to be kept,’ ‘freedom is no one caring what you look like,’ ‘her slender legs are momentary sundials.’

Walked A Millon Miles

Walked A Millon Miles

The second set was opened by Mari-Lou Rowley. The scientific language that peppered her poetry didn’t detract from the humour, the humanness of her finely structured pieces. ‘the ellipse is nice but not to anyone attached to perfection,’ in high-school ‘buddies and anti-buddies becoming unstable.’ She is  the girl ‘outside the church, with a quiet voice & a knife.’

Please Remove Shoes Before Entering The Down Spout

Please Remove Shoes Before Entering The Down Spout

The final feature was Robin Richardson with a great set of personal and observational work – a nurse with ‘skin sheened in sanitizer,’ ‘doors as wide as stake knives.’ There was fun sonic play in her images as well ‘God clouds’ that ‘o’ resonance, the ‘wh’ in ‘whiffs of what we were.’

Congratulations to Michael & Cathy for a continuing series that brings us such a range of poetic & fiction voices.

soon02

October 11-13 – attending – Gratitude Roundup

life is a cabaret NOIR, bitch

life is a cabaret NOIR, bitch

October 13 – Sunday – attending – Cabaret Noir

launch

October 15 – Tuesday – attending – “L – - -” launch

October 20 – Friday – attending – Racket at the Rocket

large

October 31 – Thursday – attending – The Beautiful and The Damned

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

One of the pieces I read at Plasticine

samples

L’amour domestique

 

my fridge made a pass at me

the other day

I was in my usual hurry to get the milk

when the door caressed my cheek

pushed me into its cool welcoming heart

now I’m not into sex with inanimate objects

if I was I would probably pick

my coffee maker

something small and easy to satisfy

the fridge is never filled

always has demands that

make me feel inadequate

while the coffee machine

fills to brim so quickly

yes give me hot and perky

to big and cold – any day

but it was one of those days

 

the kitchen chairs were

plucking at my pant legs

like over excited little dogs humping a foot

it made eating almost impossible

I wasn’t sure what to do with the left overs

the fridge was glaring me petulant

at being snubbed

in favor of the coffee maker

 

in the bathroom the face cloth

competed with the tooth brush

to get in my mouth

until the towels pulled them aside

to shove me into the shower

they needed all my body wet

for the satisfaction they craved

I didn’t have the moral strength

to deny them anything

they rubbed and dried every square inch

the sofa was anxious for me to

snuggle in front of the TV

I had to watch home decorating shows

about getting cute little throws

hints from the sofa of what would make

our family complete

in bed the pillows tenderly cradled my head

as the sheets twined around me

hungry for dreams about coffee makers

sepstatsI’m thrilled to be getting hits from Russia, Korea!!, even South Africa :-o

The Beautiful and The Damned kicked off their residency at The Central with a packed house and a dynamic line up hosted by the incomparable Duncan Armstrong (modesty is not his middle name :-) )

airy bottom

airy bottom

First feature Brock Hessel blasted the room with an in-your-face, take-no-prisoners piece that trampled several Canadian cultural icons underfoot – from Jack Layton to Don Cherry no one was spared at the hands of his palm-reader/masseuse Joannne, who will earn your votes ‘one had job at a time.’ His other pieces were filled with hard-earned understandings ‘dancing alone in front of the mirror you used to take selfies,’ ‘you bookmarked the box you used to box me in.’

After the break DM Moore made an impassioned appeal for Tarek & John – two Canadians caught up in Egypt. Then Heather Babcock captivated the crowd with a polished image that suited her polished work. her first piece. ‘Where did my face go’ was delightfully self-aware & funny piece that acknowledge the power of looks while wondering on looking into the mirror where her face was gone ‘perhaps my nose is rolled up in a forgotten sock.’ Her fiction pieces were as direct, ‘as if layoffs were contagious and could be spread by eye-contact,’ ‘looking for a place in her bones called shelter.’

popping up all over the city

popping up all over the city

Music feature Nelson ‘SoHot’ Sobral, despite suffering from a sore throat, did a high-energy  set that left us wanting more (but we had to clear the stage for another show at 9:30). With his propulsive, crisp acoustic guitar he gave us a set of emotional, direct to and from the heart songs. ‘I’ll always be by your side, even when I’m on the floor.’ He harkens back to Fred Neil & Joe Walsh and is so hot he popped my cork.

red on red

red on red

The cork was on the bottle of champaign that The Central honored us with for the launch of the Damned. The staff was great, kept sound levels perfect, and kept our thirsty audience happy. Looks like the Damned has found a beautiful new home. Join us next month, October 31 for a scary scary night hosted by Lizzie Violet.

coming

tombstone

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

samples

one of the peices I read at the Damned:

Square Root

 I wished him dead

every time I sat in his class

I wished he were dead

buried

not someone I had to face every day

I would only have to glance up at him

writing formulas on the black board

the drone of his voice and wish him dead

he would always call on me

to read out what he had written

I picture his brain exploding

bloody cosines gush from his nose

all over his spotless white shirt

I wanted a sharp steel edge on my protractor

to cut out his heart

save the class from algebra trig calculus

his stories of sailing

how he figured directions with his slide rule

die die die

so we can figure out the angle

to bury you

so your rotting corpse

will slump into your penny loafers

bones a jumble of secants and underpants

the formula on the board

meant nothing to me

it could have been written in flame

blah blah squared equals something degrees

my feet burning by the time I sat down

he would pat me on the shoulder

say you seem to be catching on

when I was really catching on fire

his abacus belt buckle at eye level

I’d stare at the rubble on my page

hope his hand would stay a bit longer

hope some of his knowledge could rub off

what was the angle of the dangle behind that zipper

if he were to die I wouldn’t have to wonder

about where to look when he stood so close

I leave his class

can’t remember a formula or anything

all I could see was that glint of belt buckle

and that wouldn’t be on the exam

on stage Damned @The Central Sept13

on stage Damned @The Central Sept13

In an recent online chat with someone he asked, after seeing some of my youtube clips if I made a living as a poet. I told him no and he asked why I bother. I told him writing is what keeps me living – simple as that. He sort of understood & then asked what I did do for a living & told him that was none of his business. If my dick was only delicious because I had a ‘real’ job I wasn’t interested.

magenta

magenta

At a reading series not too long ago a young poet asked me about being published – more, why I wasn’t so pressured about getting into print. Basically I’m too lazy, I was always too lazy. Even when I was eager for print – getting that first book published by Fiddlehead was a rush – I quickly discovered that the ladder to continued to literary success was beset, and in some ways besot, by academic achievement. BA MA PhD in fine arts, creative writing major, or some such.

green

green

The notion that the quality of my writing was going to be measured mainly by where I got a diploma with honors & who I studied with, as opposed to the actual writing didn’t appeal to me.

I’ve had conversations end when I tell people I’ve have no university background. Not that I haven’t done various workshops now and then, here and there, with accomplished, awarded and well-respected writers but name dropping for respect isn’t for me.

silver

silver

The canto below is from my Dante cycle – I read each canto one day and the next day dashed off what it had stirred up in me. I had to dig into my archive to find the set of these & am still looking – files that I go back so long ago Pages no longer recognizes the old Appleworks formatting. I guess I should have taken pics of the cave walls when I first glyphed these pieces :-)

 

samples

canto 1 

is this the dark wood

not really lost but in the thick of something

not looking for a way in or out

wandering

the scrabble of day to day

unaware and purposeless

patterns followed

the chopping and hewing is

the illusion that toil

can produce more meaning

than wandering the dark wood

it is not the bleak night of the soul

but a time of exploration

of discovery without seeking

no decisions need to be made

decision have claws

to rend the light and dark

to tear out the heart of the matter

and leave

the wanderer wounded

wondering

finally feels the full

pain of being alone

the endless pattern of days of the week

times to eat sleep

not a flow but a strict routine

one tick after the other

caught in the cogs of the universal clock

that turns and grinds

bones into rust

faces into smears of apprehension

the wanderer now has knowledge

the carefree sense of exploration

has been replaced with expectation

with dreams pumped out by

the race against the next sunrise

who will reach the pack the first

the swirl of accomplishments

erases all traces of the past

the future looms an impossible

impassable series of expectations

and forced moves

if I don’t do this I am doomed

damned to repeat unfavorable

unprofitable routines

forced to experience and re-experience

disappointments and spiritual vacuums

the dark wood appears in a flash

I turn a corner and

am thrust into it

not even seeking to wander

one is cast adrift to wander

to experience fear

the fear takes over

becomes the new sun

the new air

all I can breath is this fever of uncertainly

apprehension

no trees can be seen

in the foggiest notions of hope

from the mist

Verlaine appears

a stunning fraction of clarity

who must be followed

before the dark thicket

crushes me

once and for all.

into the woods

into the woods

With open stagers from Brighton to Buenos Aires Racket at the Rocket’s September kick-off was an international occasion. Sandra Cardinal hosted a great show that included not only these globe spanning readers but some ‘virgin’ open stagers reading for the very first time – and we were gentle.

prospects of publishing

prospects of publishing

First up was Kelli Deeth who read a section of her short story ‘Airy’ and then talked about her writing process. The section involved a sunny day conversation between a couple on a beach – ‘voices carried and words lost their shape.’ Even in this short piece I got the feeling that communication between this couple would lead to words losing their shape. Kelli explained that she started with the image of the couple arriving at the beach and then details and events wrote the story – as a writer she likes to be surprised.

Next up was Pat Connors, whom I last heard in March, with some pieces from his recent book ‘Scarborough Songs.’ His writing, much like him, is affable, direct and real. Approachable, understandable pieces about love, loss, depression and faith. ‘sorrow will surely lead to temptation,’ ‘lesser boundaries, better bounties.’

future of books

future of books

After the break, Bill Zaget read from a work-in-process: ‘The Lighting Rod’ – a fish-out-of-water novel of self-discovery when a jaded art critic escapes to cottage country and meets Rodney – a local guy struck by lightning so many times he’s turned blue. His wondering ‘who am I going to call on to look after me in my dotage – Ghostbusters?’ is a question that many single gay men confront as they age.

Last up was Jeff Cottrill. I’ve heard Jeff too many times to count, even co-featured with him several times, so my reaction to his work is stained (lol). He opened with one of his big hits ‘Review of This Piece’ which had the audience laughing out loud from the get go. His recent pieces deal with the difficulties of being politically correct when people are eager to take offense. How does one pay a complement without seeming insensitive or self-seeking? I never thought of a dog sniffing at you as sexual harassment.

future of the printed word

future of the printed word

I hit the open stage with one of the works of mercy – one that was merciful short and, even better, caught people off guard and got a few laughs. The house was packed for event. The decaf was fresh and the lemon cheesecake was sublime. Kudos to the Red Rocket for hosting the event and offering the community more than excellent baked goods and fine coffee.

 

samples

The Mercy I inflicted at the Rocket:

To instruct the ignorant: Take One

 yes   I can show you how

to tie a knot

but not how to make

a pair of shoes

I can show you how to bait a hook

but not how to clean a fish

yes it is possible to fish here

but I can’t promise you’ll catch any

I can’t guarantee how long those shoes will last

forever if you don’t wear them

I may seem to know everything

and I’m not going to disabuse you

to instruct you allows me to stay

in a position of control

while telling you

that I’m not in control of the fish

the shoe makers

I can adjust the flow of information

to a sufficient trickle

so we both feel we are making progress

yes I know were are making progress

but I can’t tell you to where

no one knows

that’s what prayer is about

sure I’ll show you how to pray

but not who to pray to

so put on your shoes

it’s time to go fishing

To instruct the ignorant: Take Two

 how could you do that

don’t you know any better

you’re not a farmyard animal

don’t try to explain

you’ve got to do better than that

is that the best you can manage

whatever possessed you

where’s your head at

you have to be kidding me

you idiot

you stupid ass

only a fool would do that

you didn’t expect to get away with that

didn’t you learn anything at school

what sort of dummy would act like that

you have to be crazy

why don’t you listen to anyone

why can’t you try harder

just sit there and do nothing

don’t say a word

I’m not gong to tell you again

don’t make me go over there

that’s not how its spelled

don’t say something like that

what’s so hard to understand

yes I’m talking to you

how many more times do I have to tell you

it’s not that difficult

read the directions then follow them

if you don’t know now you never will

get out of my sight

be grateful someone knows what they’re doing

there’s no going back

ruined is ruined

I’ve had it with you

keep on dancing

keep on dancing

Guys and Dolls was our one Shaw Festival production for the season. For some reason seeing an actual Shaw play holds little appeal to me so I was glad there was at least one production at the Festival I wanted to see. I was not disappointed.

boots

boots

We drove down Wednesday – a perfect day for travel – sunny & not hot. Traffic reasonable. With a Tim Ho’s at the right place for a pit stop. We found a shady parking spot at N-Lake, also a nice bonus.

Lunch was at Yianni’s – great cajun crab cakes, fine house burger but inedible fries. A few new cafes have opened on that little strip of gift shops, fudge shops, gift shops, & we may try of them the next time. Picked up a couple of movies at Silver Screen -including a Tarzan serial from the 30’s. Oddly there is no book store in N-Lake.

branch

branch

G&D was at the main theatre. We had excellent balcony seats. The production was well-paced and well-performed. From the opening trio I was hooked and taken for a fun, melodic ride. When an ensemble and cast enjoys performing a show as much as these did it’s impossible not to enjoy it. The orchestra was great.

bench

bench

I would have liked more of the Hot Box Girls (by more I mean another number or two) and less of the gamblers but such is life. The text is very much of the time though some things haven’t changed as much as we’d like to think. At one point the women sing ‘marry him today, change him tomorrow’ – a song I hear many people still singing. The problem with fixer-uppers is that they turn into money pits :-)

soon02

September 20 – Friday – attending – Racket at the Rocket

September 25 – Wednesday – attending – Measure For Measure

buda

September 26 – Thursday – hosting – The Beautiful and The Damned

September 29 – Sunday – attending – Plasticine Poetry

October 1 – Tuesday – attending – School Night!

1098331_10151840653391096_1470959427_n

October 11-13 – attending – Gratitude Roundup

life is a cabaret NOIR, bitch

life is a cabaret NOIR, bitch

October 13 – Sunday – attending – Cabaret Noir

01.Nano-Winner-Certificate1.2

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

samples

For the Heart of Hearing

one from the hard

my hard was in my throat

the hard of darkness

a hard attack

I left my hard in San Francisco

hard of the dark continent

open hard surgery

I hard NY

talking hard to hard

places in the hard

don’t keep breaking my hard

hard harded hanna

the hard of the hard of the country

hard healthy

change of hard

hards of fire

open your hard

wearing my hard on my sleeve

deep in my hard

the hard foundation

I gave you my hard

when hards collide

my secret hard

the hard of the matter

like a stake through the hard

take a little piece of my hard

tore the hard right out of his chest

gotta hide my hard away

take it to hard

the bleeding hard

my hard skipped a beat

queen of hards was baking some tarts

hard on a platter

you gotta have hard

falling hard first in love

cross my hard

hard in my hand

the hard is a lonely hunter

a growing up green

a growing up green

Now that I’ve done, for now, the Corporal, I’ve started into the Spiritual Works of Mercy as writing prompts. The first one being ‘To instruct the ignorant.’ As I found for the corporal works the prompt gives me more than one train of thought. In this case both tracks worked out well enough to keep working on them.

c-hair-teripllar

c-hair-teripllar

My first take spun off that old saw ‘teach a man to fish …’ It then moved off into it’s own direction – the smugness of thinking we can teach anything, the limits of what we teach, our expectations of what we are taught etc. Then after a spiritual nod wraps up with echoes of the opening images.

lost paws

lost paws

I let that sit for a day and the notion of ‘ignorant’ opened up more to me from the angle of smugness – of the things we say when trying to teach someone a lesson or when we feel someone is ignorant and point it out – as if merely pointing it out is enough to teach them to change. If it teaches anyone anything it’s that being asked ‘how could you that’ is more about shame than guidance.

how the flighty have fallen

how the flighty have fallen

So many of these shaming questions floated up from my school days, from things I’ve heard said to children on the street last week, even things I sometimes think when I see how people behave (but which I never utter). How could I even think that? Guess I’m human after all :-)

coming September 18 – Wednesday – attending – Guys and Dolls

inner space flight

inner space flight

September 20 – Friday – attending – Racket at the Rocket

September 25 – Wednesday – attending – Measure For Measure

buda

September 26 – Thursday – hosting – The Beautiful and The Damned

September 29 – Sunday – attending – Plasticine Poetry

1098331_10151840653391096_1470959427_n

October 1 – Tuesday – attending – School Night!

October 11-13 – attending – Gratitude Roundup

life is a cabaret NOIR, bitch

life is a cabaret NOIR, bitch

October 13 – Sunday – attending – Cabaret Noir

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

samples

Spiritual: To instruct the ignorant: Take One

You Can Do That

yes   I can show you how

to tie a knot

but not how to make

a pair of shoes

I can show you how to bait a hook

but not how to clean a fish

yes it is possible to fish here

but I can’t promise you’ll catch any

I can’t guarantee how long those shoes will last

forever if you don’t wear them

I may seem to know everything

and I’m not going to disabuse you

to instruct you allows me to stay

in a position of control

while telling you

that I’m not in control of the fish

the shoe makers

I can adjust the flow of information

to a sufficient trickle

so we both feel we are making progress

yes I know were are making progress

but I can’t tell you to where

no one knows

that’s what prayer is about

sure I’ll show you how to pray

but not who to pray to

so put on your shoes

it’s time to go fishing

To instruct the ignorant: Take Two

 How Could You Do That?

how could you do that

don’t you know any better

you’re not a farmyard animal

don’t try to explain

you’ve got to do better than that

is that the best you can manage

whatever possessed you

where’s your head at

you have to be kidding me

you idiot

you stupid ass

only a fool would do that

you didn’t expect to get away with that

didn’t you learn anything at school

what sort of dummy would act like that

you have to be crazy

why don’t you listen to anyone

why can’t you try harder

just sit there and do nothing

don’t say a word

I’m not gong to tell you again

don’t make me go over there

that’s not how its spelled

don’t say something like that

what’s so hard to understand

yes I’m talking to you

how many more times do I have to tell you

it’s not that difficult

read the directions then follow them

if you don’t know now you never will

get out of my sight

be grateful someone knows what they’re doing

there’s no going back

ruined is ruined

I’ve had it with you

shameless oogie on stage July 28, 2013

shameless oogie
on stage July 28, 2013

Now that it’s been confirmed that Liberace was in fact gay I wonder if the Daily Mirror can claim back the money it lost when he sued them for libel? When I recently wrote about Mishima as an artistic role model one of things about his life was there seemed no doubt that he enjoyed men sexually. It was no secret, though some viewed it as a tragic flaw, as opposed to a creative gift.

dropped at the curb

dropped at the curb

I’ve also blogged about the lack of positive gay (or even bi) role models I had growing up. Those who were alive & out were Paul Lynde snarkers. Exaggerated & clownish. A few pop stars were fashionably bi but I don’t ever remember seeing, say Bowie, in the company of male companion – always fashion models.

That has changed in some ways but those changes are too late for me, as it were. I stumble over forgotten gay icons like Johnny Ray, Raymond Burr, Billy Strayhorn or Troy Donahue – as adult, not as a teen boy needing to know he isn’t the only one in the world.

kicked to the curb

kicked to the curb

Reading Keith Richard’s Life & am stunned to read that Billy Preston, was an openly gay man and dealing with that fact while working with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones. I would never have guessed Billy was gay.

I wonder market forces kept him, as far as I can find, mum about his sexuality? He wasn’t, say a Jim Morrison, who had an image to protect. Being out certainly did no harm to Long John Baldry – but perhaps Billy didn’t the think the US pop market was ready for a hot black gay bear.

escape from the curb

escape from the curb

I remember when he surfaced with the Beatles, even bought an Lp of his then, but wasn’t that impressed with him musically. Since reading about him in Life I have bought a collection of his hits. Solid, pleasant but unexceptional stuff. But now I listen between the lines – the person he is missing isn’t a woman after all. Plus his album ‘The Wildest Organ In Town’ takes on a whole new meaning. Here’s a great live show.

His Wiki bio ends with ‘Preston was an openly gay man but did not speak publicly about his sexuality.’ I wonder how open he was. Now there’s a life story I’d love to see on the screen.

samples

Boyfriend

I’m so excited

I have a new boy friend

he’s barely fifteen

:-)

years younger than me

did that pause catch you off guard

were you sure I was going to say

he was only fifteen years old

was it hard enough to think of a man

having a boyfriend at all

then add to it the shudder that it was

an innocent emotionally underdeveloped

fifteen year old child

though I can remember me at fifteen

jacking off to visions of rock star cock

Jimi Hendrix    Bruce Springsteen

that I wished there in my bed

telling you too much

get used to it

I’ve heard enough straight poets go on

sparing no intimate details

about blissful raspberry nipples

moist peach fuzzed mounds

so I’ll talk about man on man

even if it makes some of you restless

a bit bored     a bit threatened

girl on girl

would make you more comfortable

I usually try to make the nestling

of men’s bodies into each other

sound sort of sweet and tender

pulling myself away

from the gasp   grasp of sweat    pubic hair

so I’m excited

about my new boyfriend

though I hate boyfriend

boy carries that too young taint

man friend isn’t close

lover is more complex than it is

bed buddy     yeah I like that

I have a new bed buddy

he’s nearly fifteen

years younger than me

keep on dancing

keep on dancing

I like long walks in the morning, usually heading around 9:30 – walk for about an hour at least. I have several directions I go in with some small variations day to day – some days north and west, others north & east, other south and either east or west. All the pictures I post are taken on these walks. Funny how, one day, for the first time in months, I’ll a door against a telephone pole and then the following weeks I see cast off doors every where.

Taxi!!

Taxi!!

Most days I listen to podcasts – the three I’ve stuck to are: The Round Table, Disinfo, and Writing Excuses. All three have extensive archives on iTunes. The hosts are enthusiastic, informed and fun. Whether hunting for literary gold, figuring how to write yourself out of (or into) a corner or digging for truth in the USA these podcasts are ideal & inspiring.

ski don'ts

ski don’ts

I also think when walking – sometimes things like ‘I’d do him,’ or ‘Ditch the bitch, I’m the one you need.’ Often: ‘Why stop with your pram at the narrowest point, between the patio and planter, to have a conversation with your pram pushing pals?’ Or working out what to say about a spoken-word show or a poem or short story in my head. Current story idea that came to me on a walk is someone time travel technology to prove Shakespeare didn’t write his plays.

used, abused & cast off by Chucky

used, abused & cast off by Chucky

Someone asked me why I don’t feature that often and my reply was why don’t you ask the hosts why they don’t ask me more often.

my coming attractions

my coming attractions

September 18 – Wednesday – attending – Guys and Dolls

inner space flight

inner space flight

September 20 – Friday – attending – Racket at the Rocket

September 25 – Wednesday – attending – Measure For Measure

buda

September 26 – Thursday – hosting – The Beautiful and The Damned

September 29 – Sunday – attending – Plasticine Poetry

1098331_10151840653391096_1470959427_n

October 1 – Tuesday – attending – School Night!

October 11-13 – attending – Gratitude Roundup

life is a cabaret noir, bitch

life is a cabaret noir, bitch

October 13 – Sunday – attending – Cabaret Noir

hold all calls until December 01

hold all calls until December 01

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

writing sample

writing sample

this piece was fished out of my archive – from January 2009 – do you think I have grounds to sue Stephen King

 

The Window

 

there was only the window

no room

only the view out no view in

nothing to see in

nothing to see out

but the window drew all eyes to the nothing outside

drew all eyes

so none cared that there was nothing inside to see

nothing to keep us there

only the need to look to see

to be visually stimulated

all look nothing to touch

nothing to see

but we kept looking hoping

something would appear

something would drift across the endless expanse

outside the window

what we needed had to be out there

waiting longing to be seen

to be discovered by these eager greedy eyes

that no longer could look inward

that void was pitiless endless hopeless

while the window offered a change a respite from that

soon it would appear

the alarming glass shattering sight would appear

our senses would be gratified

the window felt like nothing

the glass was a surface we couldn’t penetrate

it didn’t give when pressed

didn’t smear when touched

steady unblinking window

open to the world outside us

open to potential

resistant to all attempts to smash it

nothing could break its wavering openness

the surface wouldn’t ripple shudder quiver

bombs flames indifference

nothing had an effect on it

nothing made it more or less open than it was

even worship didn’t speed

the realization of hopes

it remained open

even when we closed our eyes

when we slept it remained

dreams couldn’t penetrate to the other side

there was no room

there was just this window

between us and the world

couldn’t tell if it was glass

air solidified

it cast no reflection

had no taste texture sound

all that passed through it was light

eyes strained painful

red rimmed eyes seeking sight

seeking a sign any sign

a heron flying in a dim morning light

anything

but the expanse remained

unaltered all these years

soon something would appear

soon

and we would be there

faces pressed

ready at last for the first sight

of something outside of ourselves

 

clearly too gay for the Russian Olympics

clearly too gay for the Russian Olympics

caution: no white after labour day

caution: no white after labour day

Here’s another of the Corporal Works of Mercy – # 5: to visit the sick. Much like the others this took a few runs at it to get something I felt worked. I have let myself work through literal attempts to get into the prompt – in this case reflections on hospital or home visits to someone. To be frank I’m sort of tied of that kind of ‘confessional’ writing.

community chest dump

community chest dump

Someone visiting a parent, child, lover who is clearly dying & learning some heart-felt lesson about the fragility of life and the importance of loving people while they are with us even when they seem to go out of their way to not to be loved or not want to heal old wounds or etc etc. I’m sure those experience are authentic and satisfying but I’m too much of cynic to keep reading them with fresh eyes.

caution: no white after labour day

caution: no white after labour day

So I opted to change my pov, my tone of voice and create a memory piece, one with a title ‘Playing Doctor,’ already loaded with enough baggage of it’s own it nearly writes a piece in your head before read the piece I’ve actually written. This is one of my favorite pov as well. The young boy learning about life, the child discovering the sweet and, in this case the cruel, yet still remaining innocent. Let me know what you think.

my coming attractions

my coming attractions

September 18 – Wednesday – attending – Guys and Dolls

September 20 – Friday – attending – Racket at the Rocket

inner space flight

inner space flight

September 25 – Wednesday – attending – Measure For Measure

September 26 – Thursday – hosting – The Beautiful and The Damned

buda

September 29 – Sunday – attending – Plasticine Poetry

October 1 – Tuesday – attending – School Night!

1098331_10151840653391096_1470959427_n

October 11-13 – attending – Gratitude Roundup

October 13 – Sunday – attending – Cabaret Noir

life is a cabaret noir, bitch

life is a cabaret noir, bitch

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo

hold all calls until December 01

hold all calls until December 01

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

writing sample

writing sample

Playing Doctor

playing doctor

was always a contest to see

who would be the patient

the one that got all the looking after

ouch I broke my … shinterite bone

I can’t walk doctor

I can’t see nurse

the first one with a complaint

loudest and most dramatic

got to be the patient

while the others

were forced to be nurse  doctor  family

no one wanted me to be the doctor though

because I was always eager to operate

ohh Jimmy

we’re going to have to open you up

and take out your letheralix

you’ve got no pulse

oh nurse we’ve lost another one

yes my patients never got to suffer long

because I made sure they died

sometimes or Jimmy or Sally

would jump up before I could operate

oh I’m feeling much better now

which disappointed me to no end

if they got better

before I could even pull tee shirts up

or pants down

when there were enough of us

I’d get to tell his family that we’d lost Jimmy

or   yes it’s a boy

things we’d learned from tv

if I was lucky enough to be the patient

and Jimmy was the doctor

I’d whisper

so he’d have to lean close to hear me’

say things like

put your hand on my heart doctor

is it still beating

listen with your ear

is it beating faster

take my temperature

with your tongue dr Jimmy please

oh that’s nice

I’m feeling better

if the girls got to be doctor

they would never take my temperature that way[

but Jimmy would

he seemed to enjoy it

that’s not how it’s done Sally would say

and I’d say

back off I may be contagious

or

you’re looking pale Sally

dr Jimmy better operate on you

because I’m feeling better now

and you are about to die

yeah! tilt-a-whirl

yeah! tilt-a-whirl

Cabaret Noir kicked off its residency at its new location The Central with a take-no-prisoner’s line up that shows Lizzie Violet means business. As much as I like The Central, enjoy the great food & service I don’t understand why they insist on playing the house music so loud one has to shout to carry on a conversation – the louder people talked the louder the music became. At least one member of the audience put in ear plugs till the show started.

no longer a doorable

no longer a doorable

But that didn’t keep me from enjoying first feature Andrea Thompson who gave us what she called an ‘estrogen set.’ ‘Speaking in tongues of her own making’ she gave a juicy set of uplifting, self-affirming work that used ‘word possibilities that teased our lips like raspberries.’ Clever, funny, deeply emotional. Who hasn’t dealt with ‘guys with ex-girlfriends who still do their laundry.’

you look so a doorable in blue

you look so a doorable in blue

Frenchie Fatale, who graced Noir in June, was back by popular demand. She did a sensational fan routine to Perhaps (this is not the version Frenchie used but wow! what a version). She was followed by some open-stagers – including Supertash debuting her new, soon to be, hit single Tight Buns.

not a doorable either

not a doorable either

The show wrapped with a fine set by Hugh Wilson of strongly structured, emotionally compelling songs about relationships (‘there is no love without fear’), the longing for safety & friendship. Dancing after Midnight had a propulsive chorus that called for a larger space to fully expand but drew us all in and had the crowd adding hand-claps without prompting.

Check out Lizzie’s photos.

 

my coming attractions

my coming attractions

September 18 – Wednesday – attending – Guys and Dolls

September 20 – Friday – attending – Racket at the Rocket

September 25 – Wednesday – attending – Measure For Measure

September 26 – Thursday – hosting – The Beautiful and The Damned

1173730_10153150493410725_1713339363_n

September 29 – Sunday – attending – Plasticine Poetry

October 1 – Tuesday – attending – School Night!

October 11-13 – attending – Gratitude Roundup

October 13 – Sunday – attending – Cabaret Noir

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

 

writing sample

writing sample

The piece I read at Noir, another of the #Mercy series

To clothe the naked

1

there was this guy

naked

on the subway platform

shoes and socks

and a shoulder bag

shoulder rubbed red by the strap

‘nice shoes’ I said.

he glanced down ‘oh my god! I’m naked!’

apparently he wasn’t aware

of leaving his place with nothing on

but his shoes and socks

 

‘sorry’ I said. ‘didn’t mean to alarm you’

he covered his cock with his ereader

‘this is a dream?” he asked

‘not mine.” I replied. ‘did you have an exam this morning’

“what’ he asked.

‘naked dreams are often caused by stress

you know

getting to school for an important exam

and realizing you have no pants on’

‘no no. I was fully clothed when I left my place.’

‘ahh’

 

I glanced to see if anyone noticed

I saw a naked woman

adjusting her baby in a stroller

her round ass poised in the air

 

2

I got on the subway car

there were more nearly naked people there

men women various ages and sizes

I wasn’t sure where took

they glared back at me

sneering at my clothing

as if I was the one doing something untoward

 

3

when I wished for more nudity

this isn’t what I had in mind

I only wanted certainly people

naked

certainly no one over sixty

to see that future is to awful to contemplate

there ought to be a law

so that public nudity is limited

only to those who are buff enough

not to be an offense to the eye

 

4

how could anyone think

that being seen in public dressed like that

says anything positive about themselves

yeah

it gives a slightly dangerous

but

by now totally dull vibe

of I don’t give a fuck

what anyone thinks about me

while at the same time it says

I don’t care about myself either

 

when wearing what brings attention

why get pissed

people bother with you

because of their shallow

response to the surface of what you wear

why get pissed because that surface judgment

makes them take you for something you aren’t

 

you don’t want to be part of a culture

that judges so much by the cover

well honey

that’s how it is

if you don’t like attracting that type of attention

stop dressing to attract it

 

5

please

don’t get undressed on my account

I’m sure you are more appealing naked

or is that just another way

of objectifying you

 

how do we remove the personality from the body

ah, that’s what the internet is for

thanks for the dick pics

keep on dancing

keep on dancing

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