Archives for the month of: October, 2013

I’ve been digging into my extensive backlog of writing. By backlog I mean looking at pieces I wrote as far back as 2007, where I did my mindless spew and then left to gather hard-drive dust. Frequently I do go back much sooner, even jumping on things I wrote in the morning to perform that very night.

salt of the earth

salt of the earth

Backlog is one of the good results of writing nearly everyday. Making time to refine that ore/edit is another thing.‘Cow’ was one of those out of the dust pieces. ‘Uncut Ropes’ is another.

Uncut sort of harps on one of my favourite quibbles – the invisibility of ‘queer’ in my formative years. One of the great things I have from my pre-teens & teens  are many of the books I read – saved by my folks. A raft of Buddy, Tom Swift Jr., Hardy Bros., plus some British y.a. (Kemlo anyone?) – that by today’s standards are squeaky clean.

warm tree

warm tree

Re-reading them as an adult allowed me to question the stereotypes they perpetuated. Other races were rarely present, if they were it was evil German saboteurs, Asian spies. Blacks were non-existent, Natives were wise – etc. Women where supportive moms, aunt or girlfriends who fretted and made sandwiches for picnics on the bluffs.

loose legs

loose legs

In ‘Uncut’ I look at, in a way, my envy of their adventurous lives, their spunk, good-looks and the security in their sense of self. Never did they question their direction in life, their sense of purpose or their sexuality. Even when I was first reading the Hardys I poured over the illustrations & covers for any sense they had a clue for me in their pants. They didn’t.

coming

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

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November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo

2013-Participant-Facebook-Profile

November 3 – Sunday – attending – Lydia Lunch Live

logo

November 10 – Sunday – attending – Cabaret Noir

November 17 – Sunday – attending – Plasticine Poetry

Dec 15 – Sunday – attending – The Bazaar of the Bizarre: Frost Bite 2013

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June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

samples

Case of the Uncut

in one of those boys books

Tom Swift   Hardy Brothers

there were mysterious lights up the cliff

or from a strange shape in the ocean

distant and diffuse  indistinct   threatening

tough guys skulk around the town

slouched around the ranch    the railway yards

up to do no good

with something in their sports coat pockets

that might be a gun

a magnetic radio pulsator

that would incapacitate

one or all of our heroes

who would come to somewhere tied up

and worry about missing a date

with their girl friend

they always had girl friends

women peripheral to the story but in place

so we young male readers

wouldn’t get a whiff of anything more unsavoury

than those unshaved goons

the spunky boys always had

the right female company

they were the ideal role models

ripe with heterosexual pubescent tension

that was pushing them to figure out

how to cut those ropes

how to make the sonar capacitator

turn the hydrogen to oxogen

so they could breathe again

float to the surface

drive off    fly off

with the adoring faces of their girls friends

soft and worshipful

red haired teens with freckle faces

none of them shaving yet

jumping into their roadsters

worrying about their kidnapped fathers

deciphering cryptograms

punching each other joyfully in the arm

as each hurdle was accomplished

as each bruise cleared up

always ready to face the next opportunity

never doubting what they could do

never questioning who they really where

what did this all mean

they never had to face peer pressure

boys who where boys becoming men

growing up slowly

testing the water

always gaining parental acceptance and approval

amazing their pals

yet not letting it go to their heads

square jawed rugged individualists

each chapter of their lives written for them

lives they never figured out

how to cut the ropes and escape

clue in the cover

clue in the cover

I heard Koom Kankesan read a section of the story Celluloid Visions recently at Racket at the Rocket. After reading my review of his reading Koom asked me if I wanted to do review of the book itself & then sent me pdf copy of it.

blue grid

blue grid

Let me first say my politics consists of one-liners as opposed to thoughtful opinions. Thank to media politics is mostly another well edited reality show – the world’s next top leader or worse ass-hole – which could be won by the same person depending on the spin.

Koom’s book is a cynical, no holds barred, set of stories about the Rajapaksa family junta that rules Sir Lanka – beyond that it is about the racial battle between the Tamils and the Singhalese – the sort of tribal warfare that has driven many cultures.

black horizontals

black horizontals

I loved the relentlessness of Koom’s ironic tone and vision of this family. One is dismayed, appalled but sometime sympathetic toward them and their foibles – from their fascination with American hop-hop gangstas to bathing in the blood of virgins.

At points laugh-out-loud funny and sometimes unexpectedly poetic, the stories held me with their easy and clear sense of place, character, and motivations. I particularly enjoy the subtext of the search for identity though popular America movies. I loved the male Singhalese Rajapaksa pretending, on a dating site, to be a female Tamil fashion model – these layers of sexual, tribal confusion are deliciously drawn and the results hilarious.

green spiral

green spiral

Of course Rajapaksa ends up in Toronto meeting with our own bombastic autocratic Rob Ford in the final story that goes out with sweet intergalactic swirl of Moonraker, the Scottish play & reincarnation (of a sorts). The Rajapaksa Stories are highly recommended. http://koomkankesan.webs.com http://www.amazon.ca/The-Rajapaksa-Stories-Koom-Kankesan/dp/1897275757

soon02

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

hold all calls until December 01

hold all calls until December 01

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo

logo

November 3 – Sunday – attending – Lydia Lunch Live

November 10 – Sunday – attending – Cabaret Noir

November 17 – Sunday – attending – Plasticine Poetry

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December 15 – Sunday – attending – The Bazaar of the Bizarre: Frost Bite 2013

tombstone

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

samples

Cow

My brother wanted to get out of the car. He’d never seen a cow before. Neither had I but I had no interest in seeing a cow. We were on one of my Dad’s Sunday adventure drives. He’d hop in the car with us kids – me, the oldest, my brother then our two little sister. Then drive without a goal.

There were some places we’d see at least once a month. Places our Dad knew we’d like. But at least once a month we’d have no idea where he was taking us. This time he’d suddenly turned off the highway – nice smooth and paved and onto a dirt road. Gravel pecking at the underside of the car.

Empty fields then forest clumps more empty fields. Up hills then down. A puddle from recent rain at the bottom of this last one where we made the biggest splash I’d ever seen.

My sisters screamed with glee and fear as my brother shouted “We’re going down down down. We’re going to drown drown drown.”

We didn’t drown but the bottom of the car scraped something with an ugly grind. At the level end of this lane Dad got out to look underneath.

“Looks fine. Nothing leaking.”

That’s when the cows came over. Only four of them. Not in a hurry but slowly they came over to the fence as our Dad got back in the car. He started off again and the cows seemed to follow us along the fence as my Dad drove slowly. My bother wanted to stop.

So we stopped. Me and my brother got out and stepped over to the cows. Their gigantic headed drooling as they nodded to us. The smell of cow shit was over powering. “They stink.” my brother laughed. “They smell worse that you girls.”

My sisters got out of the car. Eyes bigger than cow eyes. Each of them had half an apple that our mother had cut for a snack later.

One held it up to the nearest cow. Big pink tongue licked out for the slice and both my sisters screamed and ran back to the car.

We boys got back in.

“What did you think was going to happen.” I asked. “They don’t have hands to take food from you.”

My sister was wiping her hand on a towel. Smelling it and wiping it some more.

“Now you know where milk comes from.” My Dad said, as we eased back on the road.

“Milk?” My sister turned pale. She was never fond of milk after that.

a growing up green

a growing up green

My NaNoWriMo fever is getting to the point where I’ll be breaking out in hot word flashes by the end of next week. I’ve been exploring Binaural Beats. I’ve downloaded a some from iTunes with ‘inductions’ as opposed to ‘guided mediations’ – I don’t know what the difference is but if it works does it matter? Being told ‘Do not drive a vehicle while listening’ always relaxes me :-)

sky bridge

sky bridge

I’ve rotated through these inductions – one a day every day this month. On my walks I’ve been listening a different one of the buried or subliminal binaural beat tracks. I’ve learned that for some things to work they need to be given a determined & persistent trial. Which is what I’m doing.

sky high

sky high

I also sent for the NaNo “No Plot? No Problem! The Kit!” (no longer in stock) – which has some fun stickers, a set of daily inspiration cards & a booklet of suggestions; one of which was that peppermint has been shown by Nasa to improve concentration by 30%.

cloudy sky

cloudy sky

To give that a try I picked up some oil of peppermint capsules and a body lotion. The lotion isn’t overpowering but I can feel the ‘cool’ of it when I put it on. Because there is so much evidence that men are controlled by two brains, one between their ears & the other between their legs, I’ll be using it on both my thinking zones. For November I am guaranteed to be minty fresh.

coming

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

smbu

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo

2013-Participant-Facebook-Profile

November 3 – Sunday – attending – Lydia Lunch Live

logo

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

samples

another of the pieces I read at Noir:

Hannibal Hoarder

I’m sure that body is around here somewhere

like it’s not as if

I’ve stashed away so many corpses

that I lose track of them

even if it looks that way

I’ve always been systematic

good memory is important in this game

you know

I wouldn’t want to stalk and kill

the same person twice

that hasn’t happened yet

so I’m sure the body is around here somewhere

did you check under the kitchen sink

yes I know

its time I cleaned up a little around here

but I can’t find it in me

to toss anything anymore

you never know when you’ll need it

there has to a use for all those newspapers

besides insulating the house

I’ve lost count of the number of take out containers

in the kitchen   in the front hall

it’s been years since

I could get over the pizza boxes

to get up those stairs

so I doubt if the body is up there

at least not the one you’re asking about

no   it’s not in the basement

that’s where I keep the road kill

someone has to honor

the run over squirrels raccoons cats birds

as you can see each one is tagged with date and location

there’s no human remains down here

I’m keen on being organized

so its odd that I can’t remember

where that cadaver is

it didn’t get up and walk out of here

I made sure it was dead

no   I don’t cut them into little pieces

they have to be intact

that’s why all those manikins

are in one piece

who would want a room of torsos

one of arms one of legs

they are happy in the living room

yes there a thousand and twelve of them

and more manikins in the back yard

along with the dozens of washing machines    refrigerators

I’ve salvaged

no  there’s no bodies out there

I’m sure it’s around here somewhere

just give me a minute will ya

I’m sure I can find it

why don’t we check the back room

sorry the light doesn’t work

keep on dancing

keep on dancing

Strong Enough is one of the new pieces at read at the recent Noir. Part of the idea came from one of the most frequent errors, over-sights, I see in films, TV & even in books I read. The notion that hurting someone is so physically easy. If people punched as hard as they appear to do in films they would be breaking bones in their hands, noses would be bloodied & not stop bleeding so quickly. The hand strength it takes to choke someone is considerable.

the better way

the better way

Almost every gun has a recoil, one that if you’re not used to, can knock you flat & even when you are used to it there has to be foot stability. Myth Busters has done episodes exposing the myths of gun play. It is nearly impossible to shoot while jumping horizontally through the air.

dark at the top of the stairs

dark at the top of the stairs

As for the knife – human’s aren’t as penetrable as a bowl of jello. Skin has more resistance than butter. Surface wounding is simple enough but deeper requires effort. To get through the ribs to the heart take surgical skill and aim.

fly me to the room

fly me to the room

So with all that in mind I started in on Strong Enough – taking on the amiable persona of this slightly ‘dark’ character – the sort of person, who if they were a burglar might sue you if he fell down your stairs while breaking into your house. I try to maintain a tone of innocence – nearly playful – in which the reader/listener has sympathy for ‘I’ – then catch them off guard with a quick twist of the knife.

soon02

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

smbu

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo

2013-Participant-Facebook-Profile

November 3 – Sunday – attending – Lydia Lunch Live

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

samples Strong Enough

I have to work on my upper body strength

or find a better way of

killing

movies make stabbing look so easy

poke the knife

in the general direct of your victim

and voila they are dead

a mere quick chop to the stomach

kills in sword and sandal movies

a gentle lunge with the rapier

and you run it through the rib cage

for an instant death blow

but fuck

it takes more upper body strength than I expected

I don’t want to aggravate my carpal tunnel syndrome

I need a keener edge

something that’ll slip through the ribs

direct to the heart

because I hate ragged gasp of air

when a throat is slashed

even that takes more strength

than slitting open an envelope

all the skin and cartilage

too much resistance

I see why guns became so popular

because the machete is so heavy

you can dislocate a shoulder

if you don’t wield it properly

same with the axe    the meat cleaver

if they too light weight or cheap

the handle snaps off

what a bummer

to have it stuck in your skull

and now not have the strength to pull it out

yeah I’m going to have to get back to the gym

clearly too gay for the Russian Olympics

clearly too gay for the Russian Olympics

The October edition of Noir started on a tres noir foot with feature Monica S. Kuebler who read a chapter from bleeder, her online serial vampire novel. The chapter dealt with the emotional bond between feeder & captive – an emotional bond deepened as the feeder develops a blood bond with his captive so that the power dynamic shifts and confuses both parties. A complex emotional scene that was scary, gory and compelling. How do we repair the damage we do to those would damage us?

sink sunk

sink sunk

Second feature Marcus Walker was subbing for the originally scheduled feature caught up in family crisis. I’ve heard him before & was happy to enjoy his fine singing & guitar playing. He reminds me of both Cat Stevens & Ben Harper with songs that deal with love, yearning & life. He has a sweet evocative voice that easily hits the right emotional notes without hitting you over the head at the same time. His interplay with the other guitarist was great – too bad I didn’t catch that guy’s name.

shoes shooed

shoes shooed

Last feature was Supertash – I only stayed for her first two numbers – my make-up was making me sick – but they are strong, fresh and fun. Loving a serial killer isn’t all it cracked up to be but song writers will try a relationship with anyone if they think they’ll get a decent song out of it :-)

lamp lumped

lamp lumped

My Day of the Dead rainbow look was certainly eye-catching – people taking cell pics on the TTC is something I might get used to. At the venue many didn’t recognize me. But after having it on for over five hours my skin wanted to be clean & what bits of it had gotten into my stomach as I ate & drank made me queasy. The smell of the grease paint ain’t so bad but not to be taken internally. Paddy did a great job but next time I may try body paint instead.

rainbow day of the dead

rainbow day of the dead

soon02

October 22 – Tuesday – maybe attending – Exquisite Corpse

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

smbu

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo

2013-Participant-Facebook-Profile

November 3 – Sunday – attending – Lydia Lunch Live

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

samples

One of the new pieces I read:

Something Zombie This Way Comes

1.  When zombies come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.

2.  What zombie from yonder window breaks

3.  Let me embrace thee, zombie, for wise men say it is the wisest course.

4.  Is this a zombie before me

5.  Some are born zombies, some achieve zombiness, and some have zombies thrust upon them

6. To zombie or not to zombie

7.  Vampires die many times before their deaths; the zombie never taste of death but once.

8.  A zombie – my kingdom for a zombie

9.  If zombies be the food of love bite on

10. All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely zombies

tub

The October Racket at the Rocket was another fine line-up of diverse writers hosted by Sandra Cardinal. The Rocket was decked out in spooky cobwebs, skulls & rats. The pumpkin bar was excellent. Try one while there are on the menu. Also happy to see that management have built a small portable stage for the many music, comedy & spoken event that they are playing host to.

chrome skeleton at night

chrome skeleton at night

First feature was Jerry Levy who read a piece of one of the stories in his collection Urban Legend. He prefaced the section with a look at the Golem legend in literature. Although the story involved recreating the hero’s deceased fiancee the language was simple, direct & effectively drew us into the story without using, what I call the language of the eerie. Even in the short section he presented it was clear clinging to the past is responsibility not a solace.

day chairs

day chairs

Next up was Koom Kankesan with a section of one of his Rajapaksa Stories. A funny, sardonic take on the politics of Sri Lanka from someone who experienced it first-hand. The section showed how consumerism is gradually dominating culture – with a protagonist caught up in Chinese technology and fascinated with American ‘classic’ films. He made great use of the rat squeeze toys & had fun with the ‘you fucked my wife’ scene from Raging Bull.

flashed chrome skeleton at night

flashed chrome skeleton at night

After the break we heard poet Jean-Paul Bedard – he opened with a piece dealing with the bombing at Boston marathon he had run in. About the bombers he says ‘grasping out in desperation for the American Dream’. His rhymed pieces were filled with sharp observations: denizens of a coffee shop ‘they were broken in familiar places,’ after summer ‘all tanned and bruised.’ He successfully rhymed Toronto with desperado.

Final feature was Vanessa McGowan – who proved that great hair and cure shoes don’t detract from her emotionally compelling writing and performing. I’ve reviewed her several times now & am always happy to hear her again. Hard hitting lines: ‘you’re not disabled enough,’ a mother who ‘cut you so deep with her eyes,’ ‘the silence of sober made you feel small,’ & ‘ not in our family, playing like a loop,’ helped the audience acknowledging that she is ‘the miracle left to tell the story.’

coming October 20 – Sunday – attending – Cabaret Noir

life is a cabaret NOIR, bitch

life is a cabaret NOIR, bitch

October 22 – Tuesday – maybe attending – Exquisite Corpse

October 27 – Sunday – attending – ChiSeries Workshop with Julie Czerneda

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

smbu

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo

hold all calls until December 01

hold all calls until December 01

November 3 – Sunday – attending – Lydia Lunch Live

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

samples

On the open stage I read ‘Petition,’ ‘How Do I Fear Thee’ and

Harvest Moon

people told us

the Macintosh Manson

on Mapleview Road

was haunted

we kids didn’t believe them

so we went in there

to prove them wrong

at midnight on the harvest moon

and

were never seen again

…..

looks like I’ll be featuring at the Racket in February 2014.

plushie?

plushie?

catch you later

NaNoWriMo kicks off officially in two weeks – yeah & shudder both at the same time. I’ve kept the decks clear for November – declined a feature opportunity to maintain focus focus focus. I’ve done a bit of warm up writing with some non-story line character development. As this is to be the conclusion of the project I started with last year’s NaNo I do have a solid set of characters to work with, plus I didn’t get to the two, or maybe three, major scenes in the story.

One thing I always have difficulty with is when to let go on a time-line to jump forward a month or two, to get time to pass. Because I am including some historic events I’m sort of anchored to those time points but I also figure that I’m writing fiction so I might be able to play around with that as well. For me emotional truth is more vital than historic accuracy.

my goal's beyond

my goal’s beyond

I’ll possibly go back over what I have written to see what more I need for the secondary plot lines. But I do have huge set pieces to work with -the miners’ protest march that ended up with military intervention in which many were injured and at least one miner killed; a coal mine cave in – one can’t write about a coal mine without a cave in; also the discovery by my antagonist of the friendship between the man she has set her sights on & his best friend.

Mary Mary

Mary Mary

There’s at least another 60,000 words in all that – I’m totally looking forward to the reversal of, or perhaps the deepening of, sympathies for my female lead – who goes from victim to revenge seeker to bully as her revenge unravels in the most unexpected way.

soon02

October 18 – Friday – attending – Racket at the Rocket

October 20 – Sunday – attending – Cabaret Noir

life is a cabaret NOIR, bitch

life is a cabaret NOIR, bitch

October 22 – Tuesday – maybe attending – Exquisite Corpse

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

smbu

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo

2013-Participant-Facebook-Profile

November 3 – Sunday – attending – Lydia Lunch Live

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

samples

A little something to get you in the mood for Halloween:

My Eyes

what colour are my eyes

I’ve been told so many things

legends merged with facts

conclusions were at odds with reality

the myths weren’t meant to be believed

were they

they were lessons

but do they apply to today

if the mirror should reflect or not reflect

is it relevant to the moment

to my desires

I have no hunger for anything more

than that reflection

I don’t long for fabled conquest

I’m not driven by rumored blood-lust

but the desire to see

what I look like in the mirror

I can see my body

others could see this body

but I’ve never seen my face

I don’t know the shape of my mouth

the colour of my own eyes

large

sunset

sunset

I spent Tuesday editing new pieces for Noir & the Damned. As I blogged in My Dark Side I spewed up a batch of semi-digested rough drafts. How rough you might ask? Here’s the very first take of the start of one of them: ‘we had been wandering the wilderness/ with only popcron and jombo colas/ from the canfections concessions/ to give us sustenace and strentgh/ day two of trek through the mutiplex’ Some of them are even rougher – typos are my best friends.

solo singer

solo singer

A basic clean up results in: ‘we had been wandering the wilderness/ with only popcorn and jumbo colas/ from the confections concessions/ to give us sustenance and strength/ on day two of our trek through the multiplex.’ No spoilers as I’m still working on it. The next level of edit is for sequence of events, then shaving or adding the right words, then reading it aloud a few times for pacing, then it might be ready for an audience.

Mary?

Mary?

Some of the fresh pieces don’t have titles or endings so as I do the typo edits I look for some sort of repeated image, phrase, than might be worked into a suitable conclusion. Working my dark materials means I don’t have to rely on logic, but also want to resist the obvious twists too. The example will probably end up called ‘Movie Night.’ How does it end? You’ll have to get out to Noir and the Damned because I don’t know which one I’ll perform it at.

soon02

October 18 – Friday – attending – Racket at the Rocket

October 20 – Sunday – attending – Cabaret Noir

life is a cabaret NOIR, bitch

life is a cabaret NOIR, bitch

October 22 – Tuesday – maybe attending – Exquisite Corpse

1069429_691830030836736_2141627938_n

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

large

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo

2013-Participant-Facebook-Profile

November 3 – Sunday – attending – Lydia Lunch Live

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

samples

This not one of the new pieces but is still a little something to get you in the mood for Halloween:

How Do Thee Scare Me

love is like

hearing my name

whispered

in an empty room

no    it’s more like

hearing my name

in the middle of night

while I’m asleep

alone

in an empty house

love is like

a voice I don’t recognize

on the phone

talking to me about things

we did together yesterday

when I was shopping by myself

or like

getting an envelope in the mail

containing pictures of the two of us

framed by the car window

they were taken from

with me wearing clothing

that I never owned

my hair a slightly different colour

but that could be just the lens

do I really look that old

that can’t be me

love is like

finding my high-school year book

the year I was class president

every picture of me

has been mutilated

the eyes crossed out with black marker

or the arms cut off

and it’s a high-school I never went to

loving you

is exactly like that

San Francisco

San Francisco

Catching my breath after a busy, for me, week. My friend JCD visiting from New York had me walking around downtown & neighborhoods I rarely spend much time it. He was staying at the Courtyard just north of College. His first day here we had a banal lunch at the ‘market’ cafe in College Park (never again). Supper that night at Swiss Chalet. Love the ribs. I hadn’t realized that 7/11 & Starbucks had made such inroads south of College along Yonge.

San Francisco

San Francisco

The next day we had a great lunch at Flo’s Diner. A reliable kitchen, smooth coffee with great staff.  I lunch there every other month or so & am never disappointed. The following day we got over to Kensington market after getting off the street car at Bathurst – I loved the reclaimed cargo container food shops – nothing tempted me though. Did a good look through Kensington stores. Checked out the wood burning bagel place (I’ll hit there another day) but I really had to try The Grilled Cheese on Nassau St – simple menu & good, thick, oozing delicious cheese sandwiches served with ripple chips (you can’t have everything.) Simple fare but the best grilled cheese I’ve had in ages. The place had a sweet 60’s vibe interior & the cub waiter was hot hot hot. I’ll eat there again.

New York

New York

That night we supped at Sambucas on Church St. Good pasta & more excellent service. I lunch here occasionally & have always been impressed by the inventive menu, reliable kitchen & the friendly staff. Our final dining experience was Lunch Saturday at Como en Casa on Yonge. When it says authentic I have to believe because I have nothing to compare it too – I had a perfectly spicy beef stew with rice, beans & a big corn chip. I’ll certainly lunch here again too.

Toronto

Toronto

As reluctant as I was to see my friend off to the airport Saturday I was eager to get back to my routine, cut out the carbs, spend a day doing s.f.a & not wondering how much to tip or if the washroom has something to dry your hands on – hmm that’s an idea – maybe I should do restaurant bathroom reviews?

coming

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

October 18 – Friday – attending – Racket at the Rocket

October 20 – Sunday – attending – Cabaret Noir

life is a cabaret NOIR, bitch

life is a cabaret NOIR, bitch

October 22 – Tuesday – maybe attending – Exquisite Corpse

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

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo

01.Nano-Winner-Certificate1.2

November 3 – Sunday – attending – Lydia Lunch Live

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

a little something to get you in the mood for halloween:

samples

Your Eyes

what color are your eyes

really

you know that’s my favorite color

honestly

well not really

I guess my favorite color is

a sort of cerise

you know the red of sherry

when you spill it on an eagle-white rug

just as it soaks in a little

I love that red

can’t get enough of it

though I do really like the impact

of a sudden spurt of blood

on newly fallen snow

blood warm enough to melt   sink

clotted crimson in a thin gleam of ice

that is a sweet color too

or the tinge of a bruise after the third day

when the blue-black is ebbing out

to that green blush along the edges

until finally it becomes as faint

as a finger print on a knife point

or a the kiss of a rose

trodden underfoot in a muddy field

after the police have searched for days

looking for clues

the dark deep brown of fresh dug earth

or ground recently patted down

to a sort of smooth quality

like skin untouched for a year or so

dried in the corner of a basement

who knew Aunt Sally was down there

we thought she had gone back to Mapleview

I love the color of her eyes

what was left of them anyway

a beige blackened

with whites jellied dried pink rose petals

so I love the color of your eyes

yes that has to be nearly

my favorite color in the whole wide world

floating alley art

floating alley art

I recent finished reading Charles Jackson’s The Lost Weekend. I’m nearing the end of a fascinating biography of Jackson as well. Weekend was pretty much an autobiography. Like many whose first novel was a runaway best seller he never really recovered from having to live up to the expectations he was under.

future meals

future meals

What drew me to him and Lost was many things: memories of the movie, which I’ve also recently watched; being a writer in recovery; being a gay writer & looking at how that has been handled by writers.  Jackson was closeted and out at the same time – he did get sober but didn’t stay sober & I think part of the reason he couldn’t stay sober was homophobic attitudes of the time (that in some ways still exist).

I can remember in my late teen’s, early twenties, coming in to contact with various university literature department profs who were eager to look at my poetry and prose, who were dismayed to see me attempting to grapple with my own gay sexuality with my writing. More than one told me it wasn’t suitable material. Write what you know but don’t write about what you are? They left me confused and unsure. And made up mind that university clearly wasn’t the route for me.

future of libraries

future of libraries

Jackson had some of the same stumbling blocks – his second novel, The Fall Of Valor dealt with a closet case and it was considered a brave failure. Even in rough draft his publisher wanted the homosexual stuff to be muted & not to be expressed physically or to be enjoyed.

yard sale with no future

yard sale with no future

Weekend is an uneven read. Our hero’s university queer misunderstanding fuels his drinking & his one hope is a woman (whose addiction to his suffering deserves a book of its own). The film sticks to the book, but excises any gay over or under tones, shifts some scenes around, invents a few things whole cloth, and gives us a hopeful ending. The book ends with our hero reaching for another drink.

soon02

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

launch

October 18 – Friday – attending - Racket at the Rocket

inner space flight

inner space flight

October 20 – Sunday – attending – Cabaret Noir

life is a cabaret NOIR, bitch

life is a cabaret NOIR, bitch

October 22 – Tuesday – maybe attending – Exquisite Corpse

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

large

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo

01.Nano-Winner-Certificate1.2

November 3 – Sunday – attending – Lydia Lunch Live

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words

samples

Washed

after the flood

everything was dirty muddy wet

slimy with gooey growth

the world was not washed clean

there was debris everywhere

soggy sofas warped pianos

electronics with no where to plug them

battery operated crap sparked and smoked

nothing worked

there was warm winds

stirring up smells and rot

there was no safe place to stand let alone sit

the ground layered with viscous silt

that seems to suck feet down

as if the earth wanted to absorb us

suck mankind back into its decayed flesh

houses were roofless

windows blown out

glass glittering becoming

reefs of coffee urns

land bound corals of stoves and fridges

the water ceded and left everything in its wake

all damaged destroyed ruined

we didn’t know where to start

some didn’t know why to start

crying was easier

we had to be careful of getting dehydrated

there was no safe water to drink

the shallow pools were piss yellow in the sun

the rivers were brown

there was no still water

there was no shady spot

we couldn’t cling to one another

there was no trust

only blame  shame

tattered garments stinking as they dried out

nothing clean to wear could be found

there we were

the pitiful remains of a happy race

unwashed and unwashable

lost and aimless

after the flood

all we had left was mud

three thousand bags full

three thousand bags full

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