Archives for category: Photographs

One of the pieces I read on Monday night I first included in a blog post here: Brain Rental http://wp.me/p1RtxU-Hj. It has been edited several times as I’ve performed it a few times. Someone asked me how my editing process works. So I’ll try to explain some of it here. The most recent version is after My Coming Attractions.

two Practicality to be supreme. Choices to be made.

Bradbury – (this was working title, taken from what I thought the Viral prompt was. When I first wrote it, by hand, I made a note to add some Spanish & when I did that the new title presented itself)

 

he held

the palm of my hand open

traced a line

with his untattooed index finger (untattooed gives a sense that the rest of the body may be tattooed. This is a reference to Bradbury’s ‘Illustrated Man’ – in which each tattoo tells a story to the people looking at them.)

his touch light

tickled

my fingers began to curl

as did my toes

the hair stood up on the back of neck

as if he had caressed me there (‘there’ cut as we know where)

 

he pushed my fingers back

looked me in the eye

you have a wet life line

wet is good

you live in a world of rain (a reference to one of the stories in The Illustrated Man)

puedes verlo

he slipped into his native tongue

can you see it (no Spanish in the very first draft – picked some very simple phrases – Why Spanish? Ask mi tesoro if you ever get to meet him :-) )

 

his eyes held mine

they were the blue of a seaside sky

over a lawn being mowed (changed these lines to make them more surreal, romanic & also truer to mi tesoro – who had told me how much he enjoyed swimming at sunset as a child)

he leaned closer

his lips brushing mine

he smelled of

a freshly sanded maple toy box

and New year’s Day (tweaked these some from written version to add a more surreal dream feeling)

I like this wetness I witness

quieres saber más

do you want to know more (thanks to Google translate for my okay Spanish)

 

he leaned back

raised the palm of my hand

to his mouth  his lips (changed to logical sequence)

he bit the flesh below my thumb

then looked to me

what do you see

joker the spirit in search of experience

I see rain

I walk naked in its warmth

the ground is rough

the grass is green (changes here for consistency – brought the image back to the sunset beach)

 

yes yes he said

I want to be in you

in your wet

he folded my hand

and let rest on the table (fixed grammar here)

you like your future

Le gusta su futuro

 

seems to me

you read your own future

in the palm of my hand

 

he smiled wide

then showered me

with his happy laughter

five sexo en grupo

The poem is a mix of many moments – some from a dream – some from actual things mi tesoro has said to me – he has never read my palm, nor, as far as I know, reads the future either. The Spanish is also a nod to one of my dead muses – Lorca.

soon02

April 27, Sunday – attending – Julie Czerneda Workshop http://chiseries.ticketleap.com/chiseriesworkshop-julie-czerneda/ 

judy Julie Czerneda

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

bw

June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont https://www.facebook.com/events/589522924455695/

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com

samples

Native Tongue

 

he held

the palm of my hand open

traced a line

with his untattooed index finger

his touch light

tickled

my fingers began to curl

as did my toes

the hair stood up on the back of neck

as if he had caressed me

 

he pushed my fingers back

looked me in the eye

you have a wet life line

wet is good

you live in a world of rain

puedes verlo

he slipped into his native tongue

can you see it

 

his eyes held mine

they were the shadow brown

of a seaside sunset

he leaned closer

his lips brushing mine

he smelled of

a freshly sanded maple toy box

and New Year’s Day

I like this wetness I witness

quieres saber más

do you want to know more

 

he leaned back

raised the palm of my hand

to his lips  his mouth

bit the flesh below my thumb

then looked to me

what do you see

 

  I see rain

  I walk naked in its warmth

  the sand is smooth

 

yes yes he said

I want to be in you

in your wet

he folded my hand

and let it rest on the table

you like your future

Le gusta su futuro

 

  seems to me

  you read your own future

  in the palm of my hand

 

he smiled wide

then showered me

with his happy laughter

3501211-mirror-ball Le gusta su futuro

How do I review myself without being subjective, objective or egotistical. Or does that even matter? Poets either idealize or objectify in one way or the other, and sometimes we are capable of a certain cynical detachment that passes for brave honesty.

tracks field of cold dreams

This was my first (& possibly last) time at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club. It is big room – more upscale & corporate than the name implies. Plush banquettes, ornate stained-glass, imposing bar – it has more of a night club feel than I’m used to, say, from the Central or Paupers. Lots of good sight line, good kitchen (loved the Italian sausage & spaghetti.) Good acoustics, too.

cupboard the cupboard is bare

The show started with a range of open-stagers. Lizzie Violet herself kicking things off with poems to resurrect spring; Supertash, with a copy of the SCUM manifesto (I want it) reminding us that everyone is fucked (up); Same Difference: noted slam man, ‘listened to the weather/ not on the radio/ but to the sound of it on his body’; Myke Mazzei did a couple of sweet songs (he also recorded my set); Cate McKim offered note from her notebook: ‘the human race is unsafe at any speed’ & a fine Noel Coward song; Jeff Cottrill did some fun comic monologues; ending with the Crow with some sharp urban street poems.

I hit the stage after a short break. I started with Godzilla – a piece that gets my energy up quick &, I hope, pulls the audience in faster, too. I did a mix of pieces from my last two sets plus some very new things. More romantic than usual but also as out as I am usually without getting too ‘balls in your face’ about it. Ended with two of the more high energy pieces Identity & Born to be Blown.

ruined yet another couch ruined

There was good response to all the pieces, some snaps here & there, laughs where expected. Thank God for the Kindle to keep things moving forward, though I did skip one piece. Nice bit of $ tossed in the pwyc bin. Even sold a couple of chap books. So I actually have a profit (of about $5.) to show once I deduct transportation, meal & paying my sound guy.

coming

April 27, Sunday – attending – Julie Czerndea Workshop http://chiseries.ticketleap.com/chiseriesworkshop-julie-czerneda/ 

judy

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

bw

June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont https://www.facebook.com/events/589522924455695/

hardcore hard core work at Loyalist

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com

samples

One of the new pieces from my set

 

Couch

 

he wanted to try

fucking

sprawled over the back of a couch

something he’d seen

in a porn movie

when it wasn’t as hot

or as easy as it looked

I had to tell him

porn movies aren’t instructional videos

he looked a bit miffed

as if it was our fault

that neither of us could duplicate

the endurance   flexibility

of those performers

I told him

they don’t do single take session

just like real movies

they stop for snacks

to have their testicular make up adjusted

which is even more important

now with everything in HD

I showed him one sequence

where the stunt dick steps in

to fuck the stunt ass hole

that the two actors

he had been so intense upon

had been replaced

for those all important close ups

unless between camera set ups

one of them grew a foreskin

and the other had his ass shaved

he wasn’t assuaged

by these revelations

and once again

porn has ruined my sex life

and my couch

shovel the couch couldn’t take it

Cannonball Adderley is one of those sax players who made a name in the 50’s playing with his own groups or with his brother plus had an active recording career as side man to many others at that time & through the 60’s, including Miles Davis. A solid if not adventurous player but held his own when giving the challenge.

cheese big cheese

I have Sophisticated Swing a double cd set of his quintet sessions. A sweet set of originals and some standards: A Foggy Day, What’s New? – engaging and timeless. I picked it up at HMV in February 1999, probably on sale. The set includes in the foldouts all the original cover, which hasn’t dared that much either. These could be new recordings by a new quintet & sound & look as fresh.

nook cozy nook at Loyalist

The reason I have Cannonball is because he did a session with John Coltrane in Feb 1959. In 1959 35 minutes was considered a full Lp, now it’s a ep. I have to play it twice to feel I heard enough of it. Coltrane was coming into his own & had extensive work on his own. I picked it up in 1998 when I was on my Coltrane completest mission.

glory spring is around the corner?

It’s a mix of originals & covers. All are solid but not overly challenging. A much as I love Coltrane – I’ve blogged about him a couple of times – my favourite cut on this CD (& one of my all-time favourite jazz cuts) is one Coltrane doesn’t play on. Adderley does a ravishing job on ‘Stars Fell On Alabama’ – that took my breath away the first (& every time) I heard it. Warm, evocative and soaring this is why I love jazz. Some performances are a blessing & with this one Adderley blesses us all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Sceg-vTV_4 

soon02

April 21, Monday – featuring – Lizzie Violet’s Poetry Open Mic at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club – 7:30 – doors and open mic sign up, 8:00 – start – 54 The Esplanade, Toronto https://www.facebook.com/events/1379693865637955/

amflyerjpg copy

April 27, Sunday – attending – Julie Czerndea Workshop http://chiseries.ticketleap.com/chiseriesworkshop-julie-czerneda/ 

judy Julie Czerndea

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

bw

June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont https://www.facebook.com/events/589522924455695/

nomarching keeping the order on campus at Loyalist

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com

samples

another of the Viral prompts – ‘swimming’ – cannonball is jumping off a diving board in a tight ball to splash everyone – which doesn’t happen in this -

Blue Towel Blues

I don’t swim

don’t ask me

that’s a song reference

I don’t dance

don’t ask me

I do dance though

not as much as I once did

it gets boring dancing alone

but even with the buddy system

I never got into swimming

I did try to learn

as a kid I was enrolled

at the YMCA

one of those standard issue

‘things done to make young men

into healthy sporty go-getters’

to train them for manhood

I learned

I hated the dusty smell of wood floors

the rough sweaty feel of the hemp rope

that I couldn’t climb

the cold of wet shower floors

gave me chills in summer

and I was terrified

of someone seeing

my skinny pale nakedness

I didn’t have any ideas of queerness then

though I knew

what otherness meant

because I was not a fitter in

the YMCA was a way

my folks hoped I would learn

to play well like others boys

what I did learn

was that boys who wore their towels

around their waists

coming or going to the shower

were called maid marian

we had to shower before and after

the swim lessons

we weren’t allowed to arrive

then depart with bathing suits on

or under our clothes

showers were mandatory

I can’t remember a face

or a hairy leg

only the feeling of that cold wet tile underfoot

the struggle to clasp that blue towel

around my shivering waist

being called maid marian

when trying to keep it

from being pulled off me

I wasn’t the only one teased this way

which didn’t help me learn to swim

funny though

I did end up going to Y Camp

two summers in a row

having a crush on one of the counsellors

tipping my canoe to get his attention

but never learning to swim

I don’t swim

don’t ask me

but you don’t need permission

to pull off my towel

avon not suitable for swimming

 

Birthday girl Sandra Cardinal gifted us with a stellar line up for the April Makin’ a Racket. A full house appreciated the features (as well a slew of tasty birthday muffins gratis from the chefs at The Red Rocket Cafe).

soxk

they grow like weeds

Dan Curtis Thomson was first up with a nice section of his one man show about breaking up. Structured around music he did a sweet, almost plaintive song (very Don McLean with its fluttering, falling  notes) ‘falling falling falling out of love.’ He explained that the song ended with a C major 7th chord, an unresolved chord, much like this ended relationship which leaves him unresolved. A nice hint of the larger piece. Dan has a warm stage presence I enjoyed.

Next up was Vanessa McGowan who clearly has no unresolved emotions. Fresh from a poetry intensive in Banff she had some new pieces & old pieces. ‘wear you like a wind blanket’ ‘when my body became my voice I forgot now to speak.’ I’ve reviewed her many times – search will pull up those reviews.

mac McLitter

Then Niki Koulouris read some section from ‘the sea with no one in it’ her recent book. ‘once it had been half man, half sea.’ I recently reviewed her – search will pull up that review.

After the cup-cake break Myna Wallin (whom I have reviewed before), on crutches after an ankle & wrist break, read some new pieces about her recuperation: ‘a lethal dose of ‘this too shall pass.’ ’ Then a tasty chapter from Confession of a Wounded Reluctant Cougar that reminded us that sex without guilt isn’t really bad sex.

oldpink out-grown

She was followed by Sage Tyrtle (whom I have reviewed before), with a rich, funny & romantic story about internet dating back in the early days when people counted on chat rooms, facing the fears of the unknown & actually, for this story, having a happy ending (in which she wasn’t murdered & buried in basement). Sage is a gifted story teller slipping between characters and situations with great ease.

Last up was Eufemia Fantetti (whom I have never reviewed before) reading a portion of her personal essay Alphabet Autobiographia. A look at language, particularly Italian & the role it’s played in her family history. She explains how applying Italian pronunciation to English words can have hilarious repercussions – i.e. traipsing becomes trapezing.

A handful of great open stagers, many of whom were past features where scattered throughout the show. Mike Sauve’s piece about orange juice was excellent – also had a great talk with him about double-sided nature of politically correctness (for a later blog I think). A great spring show that even with 6 features was wrapped by 9:30.

coming

April 21, Monday – featuring – Lizzie Violet’s Poetry Open Mic at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club – 7:30 – doors and open mic sign up, 8:00 – start – 54 The Esplanade, Toronto https://www.facebook.com/events/1379693865637955/

amflyerjpg copy

April 27, Sunday – attending – Julie Czerndea Workshop http://chiseries.ticketleap.com/chiseriesworkshop-julie-czerneda/ 

judy Julie Czerndea

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

bw

June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont https://www.facebook.com/events/589522924455695/

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com

 

samples

from a Viral prompt – this is one of the piece read on the Racket open stage

Daddy’s Boy

I have this photo of my dad

when he was a boy of

about fourteen

shown it to friends   lovers

who said that I was handsome

even as a boy

used it as my profile pic once

a photo of my dad

that looks so much like me

at his age

we could be twins

yet there were years

when I was sure I was adopted

I’d go through the papers

in his desk

seeking that document

I felt so not a part of that family

of this species

I was sure there was some legal proof

of that fact

I never found that evidence

when I first saw that pic of my Dad

I thought it was me

his genetic string so strong

I am tied to it without a doubt

last time I visited my home town

a stranger stopped me in the street

to ask if was his son

one was a bit shaken

it was as if my Dad’s ghost has appeared

he’d been dead for five or six years by then

so perhaps their memory

had played some tricks on them

but

I am my father’s son

I’m proud to say

there’s no denying that now

cake cake left out in the rain

 

This was posted on twitter recently: “I’ve got a question for my compatriots in the #LGBT community: What’s the most difficult challenge you’ve faced in life so far?”

Over the years I have dealt with coming out, getting clean & sober, falling in & out love, and far too many HIV deaths. But the most difficult challenge hasn’t been so dramatic. It’s the wrestle with body image. Yeah that sounds pretty mundane.

driedup dried up and useless old plants

But in a culture where youth is the coin of opportunity, where an undercurrent of conformity closes way too many opportunities.

One area that exemplifies this is ageism. Sometime I glance at Craig’s list, I am on a couple of cruising sites too. All too often I see posting by men over 50 that say – only ages between 25-35 need apply. Funny for a time when I was in that target group the idea of sex with a man over 50 seemed unattractive but I quickly got over that.

crack are you hung enough to fill my crack

The reverse is also pretty blatant – guys under 40 who say, in effect, ‘no one old enough to be my dad, unless you’re super hung.’ So now sizeism enters the picture.

oldshoes useless old shoes

Being a gay guy over 50, average dick size, who is clean and sober is a constant challenge to one’s sense of attractiveness – which I see as a body image issue. I’m pretty happy with my self, mind you, but every now & then someone comes along, on line, when I decline their invite (mainly becuase I’m not inot what they are into), with something like – ‘at your age you should be grateful, anyone wants you, granddad.’

I hope they realize they too will get older.

soon02April 21, Monday – featuring – Lizzie Violet’s Poetry Open Mic at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club – 7:30 – doors and open mic sign up, 8:00 – start – 54 The Esplanade, Toronto https://www.facebook.com/events/1379693865637955/

amflyerjpg copy

April 27, Sunday – attending – Julie Czerndea Workshop http://chiseries.ticketleap.com/chiseriesworkshop-julie-czerneda/

judy Julie Czerndea

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

bw

June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont https://www.facebook.com/events/589522924455695/

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com

samples

Taking it Personal

 

I try not to take the personals personally

what they want

is a little sliver of perfection to control

to hold in an unalterable limbo

where the moment

there is a disagreement over anything

out you go

betrayal takes hold   bitterness sets in

so they become

more precise in what they want

those parameters get smaller

the pool of possibility gets shallower

and they aren’t looking for anyone shallow

you must be complex

have a sense of humour a job

go to a gym

or at least have a big dick

even the most sincere let that magic wand

wave away the deeply needed

personal attributes they are seeking

I know when they are talking long term

they mean only as long

as you are obedient

as long as you fulfill certain

fantasy requirements

until someone with more $

or a bigger dick comes along

 

I try not to take the personals personally

often they don’t want to take you personally

they just want some attention

when I meet someone

and they are none of the things they are looking for

I wonder if they read the ad they wrote

wonder if they know what they want

because even when I am

exactly what they are looking for

I’m not

 

I try not to take the personals personally

and so far have succeeded

never met the wrong guy that way

not looking for perfection

certainly opens the field

though I don’t waste my time

with those looking for perfection

I know they are only seeking

the safety of the impossible

with a big dick

carte time for a change a la carte

Here’s the piece I wrote when misunderstanding one of the Viral prompts, which I had assumed was about packing, where as it as really about travel. There is travel element in this mind you but not strong enough to count.

I do move from Cape Breton to Toronto in it and my thoughts do move through my the history of my growing up queer to a willingness to let go of the tangible remains of those memories.

tear ragged bottom

This is how I like to deal with those coming out years, with more nostalgia than anger. In fact I’m glad that I was never offered much adult guidance – too often gay teens where forced into aversion therapy, shock treatment or prayed for under the healing hands of their church till Satan was driven out. I suppose that would make for a more dramatic poem.

cherry cherry chair

There are elements of truth in this piece – moving here, the feelings about my dad’s disappointment, making yogurt, even having an unopened box but that box was of cup and saucers packed away when we moved to this house & stuck on a basement shelf. It was finally opened & donated to Goodwill.

As for papers in my old desk – some that has been tossed but I still have notebooks of poetry, even novels, I wrote in high-school, college and before my move to Toronto.

shovel chair tossed

I revisit some of it every four or five years just to remind myself what handwriting looks like. It’s aways a bit of shock to see my drunken scrawl as I struggle to write myself out the truth I was trapped by. That handwriting is better than aversion therapy for keeping me honest to who I am.

coming

April 21, Monday – featuring – Lizzie Violet’s Poetry Open Mic at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club – 7:30 – doors and open mic sign up, 8:00 – start – 54 The Esplanade, Toronto https://www.facebook.com/events/1379693865637955/

amflyerjpg copy

April 27, Sunday – attending – Julie Czerndea Workshop http://chiseries.ticketleap.com/chiseriesworkshop-julie-czerneda/ 

judy Julie Czerndea

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

bw

June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont https://www.facebook.com/events/589522924455695/

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com

samples

Basement Boxx

 

I came across this cardboard box

sitting on a basement shelf

my handwriting on the side

‘desk papers’

the box had been there for so long

I don’t remember putting it there

when we moved into the house

over thirty years ago

I wiped the collected dust off the top

‘what desk’ I wondered

the box had once held a yogurt maker

I recognized the illustration of it

on the side of the box

I’d gotten rid of that maker twenty years ago

it had been a gift from my dad

when I moved from the family home

to my first apartment

man I felt like my life was in motion then

my first place

a place where I could drink

without being observed by my parents

where I could entertain whenever I wanted

 

the booze helped me pack away

the stuff in my life

I didn’t know how to deal with

and at the same time

give me the courage to unpack it

to drop my pants

to hide my fear & uncertainty

the frustration of never being the son

I thought I was supposed to

a son who make the basketball team

not yogurt

a time when no parent

wanted their eldest

to become a queer

frustrations that lead me

to leave that Cape Breton town

for the bigger one of Toronto

this was one of those boxes

from that move

now I know what desk

 

I give it a little shake

I hear papers

loose paperclips, pens

I start to put it back

then decide to toss it

unopened

to recycle

finding it has unpacked

enough of my past

for one day

SAM_1218 brokeback snow bank

 

Noir’s spring show was a veritable shower of talent that was barely contained by the Central stage – in fact at points it wasn’t. Feature Regina Dentata, did three teasing burlesque routines at 3 different points during the evening – making sure the audience temperature stayed high. The first two were in her modern dance style – sinuous and expansive – pulling us in with opened-eyed teasing, exiting through the audience on the first. The second had black ribbons magically appear to add a hint of bondage. Her finale was a traditional reveal – cape, stunning gold gown, a laced up corset that had to be unlaced to be removed. The traditional reveal could have gone a little longer for my liking.

bag punching bag out cold

Next was Jezebel Beelzebub Bells, a persona piece by Adam Abbas. Bells is the archetypical beat poet with sunglasses, beret & mock black turtle next, all that was missing was someone on bongos. Adam captures the pretentiousness & arrogance of a self-satisfied poet who knows how to dis better than he can write. Though Adam is too good a poet to write verse as bad as he thinks Bells would write. It was a fun Andy Kauffmanesque performance piece.

looted Unlooted mitten

Last up was Nelson Sobral aka Melting Pot. I’ve seen & reviewed him many time before. A member of too many bands to list, he always gives an emotionally appealing performance. In fact he didn’t wait – singing & playing off stage during the breaks. A true spot-light slut he a sweet stage presence. His crisp quitar playing is deceptively simple and his vocals are strong, direct while never over-singing to sell a song. Loved his cover of Little Feat’s Roll’em Easy.

barrel snow crystal ball

There was a stellar set of open stagers through out the show. Great sound assistance from the Central staff. Next month’s Noir features Nik Beat, Giraffe & Vicki Laufer. Photos of the show: fb.me/38Tg3Q1eu

coming

April 21, Monday – featuring – Lizzie Violet’s Poetry Open Mic at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club – 7:30 – doors and open mic sign up, 8:00 – start – 54 The Esplanade, Toronto https://www.facebook.com/events/1379693865637955/

amflyerjpg copy

April 27, Sunday – attending – Julie Czerndea Workshop http://chiseries.ticketleap.com/chiseriesworkshop-julie-czerneda/ 

judy Julie Czerndea

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

bw

June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont https://www.facebook.com/events/589522924455695/

room bed of dreams at Loyalist

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com

samples

from the Make Spoken Word Go Viral prompt -  ‘a favourite quote.’

‘the brawl of the kiss’

Dylan Thomas

I can’t say what I mean

because if I say what I mean

 you might not understand it

because said and understood

are two different things

I might say

I want to see you

you might hear

I want to own you

or I think of you sometimes

means

why don’t you think me all the time

our language is at odds with our intents

I want to talk you

into telling me what I want to hear

in a way that is totally clear

unalterable and fulfilling

so when we are together

I can’t say what I mean

because all I want

is the brawl of the kiss

to end this fight of the mind

which it always does

I let my fears surrender

to the delight of the body

out bodies

as they struggle to reach through

the fight of the mind

to embrace each other

we wrestle each other

in the cauldron of his bed

where we understand exactly

what each other means needs wants

out of this brawl of the kiss

river02 Belleville reflections

Next on the pop shelf is another of of my mp3 collections – 102 songs in 6 hr 6 min of the Animals (8 lps) with a dash of Joe Cocker (Little Help) and pinch of Grand Funk (Inside Looking Out). Most early lps: The Animals, The Animals on Tour (US), Animal Tracks (UK), Animalism (UK), Animalization, Eric is Here, The Animals With Sonny Boy Williamson and one later career: Every One Of Us.

bread casting bread on the bushes

The Animals are one of those British bands that never garnered the reputation of groups like The Kinks or Pink Floyd. Sure they had some monumental early hits, Rising Sun, Misunderstood, Away From This Place – but never seemed to transcend being more than a better than average bar band. Eric Burdon has a great bluesy voice but their material too often fell in good blues, r’n’b & rock.

soul sole under ice

Alan Price is a fine keyboard player, and never forget that their bass player Chas Chandler created the Jimi Hendrix Experience. The Animals had a fascinating personal & direction change when Eric did LSD (more about those lp’s soon). Everyone One of Us is one those post-LSD recordings with White Houses & Year of The Guru leading them back to their blues roots.

Cocker’s Little Help From My Friends was a smash hit. His gravel voice was irresistible, the arraignments tight and the band even tighter. More blues than pop – Cocker did travel into pop in later years.

dogs the dogs of winter

byw Eric Burdon is still alive, performing & recording & released a fine cd last year ’Til Your River Runs Dry. The voice is intact. Listening to it was like meeting a old friend you haven’t seen in decades.

drunkpants

April 21, Monday – featuring – Lizzie Violet’s Poetry Open Mic at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club – 7:30 – doors and open mic sign up, 8:00 – start – 54 The Esplanade, Toronto https://www.facebook.com/events/1379693865637955/

amflyerjpg copy

April 27, Sunday – attending – Julie Czerndea Workshop http://chiseries.ticketleap.com/chiseriesworkshop-julie-czerneda/ 

judy Julie Czerndea

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

bw

June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont https://www.facebook.com/events/589522924455695/

nomarching Loyalist control issues

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com

samples

New New New

 

I don’t know how this happened

honestly

but at some point

certain things lost their

importance

their purpose in the scheme of life

in the daily need

to get through what was to be gotten through

so there would be another day

and in that grind

some things

lost their importance

what can I say

I’m certainly not going to apologize

for that fact

but there it is it

I’m proud to say

this shirt has lasted several years

soon to been on the antiques road show

along with my shoes

the overcoat is years old

not looking to bad for wear

not the same buttons

it would be nice

if the buttons matched

but there you are

I found one of them on the street

‘find a button and never come undone’

was one of my mother’s mottos

so I’m always looking buttons

found a lamp tossed it out

looks like new   works

so why look a gift horse in the mouth

unless you want to clean its teeth

right

 

I was once like so many

eager for the new sofa

for the new spring line

anxious for the smell of new clothes

now there are more important things

things that make me feel

I’m not part of that use  waste set

not that I wouldn’t like to be

that if i won that big jack pot

if I’d be right back there

buying  adding

new new new

upgrading my stove

new hard drive

I admit it might be nice

not to go through the thrift shop

but at the same time

there’s nothing like finding

what you need

at a price you can’t believe

that never happens at Holt’s now does it

so no

I think

if those ships came in

I wouldn’t change my wardrobe that much

no new watches or expensive shoes

those things

only those who can also afford them

would recognize the price of

nearly said the value of

but they end up

worth the same

when you throw them out

when they lose that glimmer

that glisten

that satisfaction

when I find them at Goodwill

they get a new life

I imagine

it must come as a bit of a shock

for you

to see me wearing

those things you cast off

almost like

finding out I was really your son

and worse yet

I’ll be happy with them for years

while they only lasted a few months

till you were ready to move on

and thanks

 

yeah that takes on a new importance for me

gratitude

for what I have

for making things last

for really getting the most out of them

not just a few appearances

then into a closet because

everyone has seen them

if you get tired of seeing me

in the same old things

tough  get used to it

or start emptying more closets

there must be scads of stuff

you bought & never got around to wearing

sales items you couldn’t resist

that t-shirt you bought on vacation

but can’t bare to look at now

what were you thinking

 

so spring is about sprung

empty your closet

throw out the old

so the new new new can flow in

100_2919 Loyalist willow not weeping for me

 

 

April, besides being the cruelest month, is also International Poetry month, even though the USA likes to call it National Poetry Month – implying that only Americans write poetry. Make Spoken Word Go Viral on FB has been posting a daily prompt and I have managed to get at some of them. April is the busiest month.

bear cold care bear

The problem with the prompts for me is that sometimes I miss the actual post & read some the pieces posted inspired by the prompt. Then I assume what the prompt is from the poems. Cathy’s poem about packing & unpacking led me to conclude the prompt had been about packing suitcases, in fact it was, I think, about travel. I ended up with one about unpacking a box that has sat on my basement shelf unopened for the thirty years since I put it there.

dino ice age dinosaur

But, & I hesitate to say, it’s all good. The piece below I think is sprung, I hope, from the actual prompt – ‘for a chat window friend.’ Because I’ve only maintained one of those it was easy to respond to. Not that I don’t engage in i.m. at times via yahoo & FB but I’ve never really gotten into it.

buried cold comfort

Like a lot of my recent shorter pieces this is also caught up in the man (living in Toronto) from Caracas that I’m caught up in and pretty much captures, for me, the frustrations and pleasures of such a tangle while using chat to keep connected when timing keeps people apart.

soon02

April 21, Monday – featuring – Lizzie Violet’s Poetry Open Mic at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club – 7:30 – doors and open mic sign up, 8:00 – start – 54 The Esplanade, Toronto https://www.facebook.com/events/1379693865637955/

amflyerjpg copy April 27, Sunday – attending – Julie Czerndea Workshop http://chiseries.ticketleap.com/chiseriesworkshop-julie-czerneda/

judy Julie Czerndea

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

bw

June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont https://www.facebook.com/events/589522924455695/

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com

samples

For a chat window friend.

we see each other every morning

for a few minutes

you on your mobile

texting on your way home from work

dragging your tired self to bed

me just waking up

looking to the day ahead

both of us happy for connection

for this brief contact

to take us into and out of our solitude

a reminder that there is more

I learn un poco de español

you learn a bit of me

we share affection for each other

that I trust gives you happiness

as it makes me happy to to hear back from you

 

we see each other in the flesh

for a couple of hours

when your days off roll around

and we can roll around on the big bed

framed by your tiny apartment

roll around lost for words

now that we can put actions

to our teasingly short chats

our fingers enter messages

directly on each other

  my keyboard is frozen

This is serious business, don’t you know, building a set that flows but isn’t so smooth it slips by without a ripple, without a sense of scope. Too many queer pieces & you’re too out there, not enough & you are holding back; no gay stuff & people are confused.

sofa cold comfort sofa

For my two last features I did entirely different sets & while I am tempted to do the same for the one on Easter Monday – at the same time I want to record some of the pieces I really enjoyed reading at those two features while tossing in some new stuff, well sort of new.

shoecold case

I’ve been writing a fair amount too & might add some of that. A lot of the recent stuff has been about mi tesoro – the sweet Latino man I’ve been seeing – so it tends to be much more romantic than I usually write. Unlike some poets I write well when I’m at least infatuated.
It’s almost as if what social commentary I may make isn’t relevant with the news spinning things out of shape so fast I’m not sure what to say anyway. Clearly Flight 370 is part of the elitist conspiracy to keep Rob Ford out of the international news.

sneakercold runnings

So getting the set recorded for sound, at least, means I’m going to be more ‘dramatic.’ I plan to start the set with a high energy piece that gets my blood flowing, as opposed the the rather gentle starts I’ve been using.

coming

April 21, Monday – featuring – Lizzie Violet’s Poetry Open Mic at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club – 7:30 – doors and open mic sign up, 8:00 – start – 54 The Esplanade, Toronto https://www.facebook.com/events/1379693865637955/

amflyerjpg copy

April 27, Sunday – attending – Julie Czerndea Workshop http://chiseries.ticketleap.com/chiseriesworkshop-julie-czerneda/

judy Julie Czerndea

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

tombstone
June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont https://www.facebook.com/events/589522924455695/

campI’m already registered
August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com

samples

Mi Admisión

I don’t want to admit
that I think of you all the time
my day is made when you call
when you say
it’s so good to hear your voice
I want to kiss you over the phone
maybe we should take
kiss pics
our lips puckered
so that when we talk
we can see each other
so ready willing needing
to kiss the other
is that romantic
or pathetically over-the-top
not that I care
because that’s how I feel
but please no pictures
of what I can’t have at the moment
it’s frustrating enough
to only hear you
when I want so to hold you
I know you know
how I feel
because I hold so little back
except I don’t to admit
that I think about you all the time

wall living wall at Loyalist

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