Psychic Plasticine

Went to Plasticine Poetry Sunday night where the witty, beautiful, and unequaled Cathy Petch was not master of ceremonies. Much to everyone’s disappointment she was not well and I got to do the hosting duties. Luckily I had worn a clean, but not focusing grabbing, tee-shirt and was ready for action.

on stage Damned @The Central Sept13
on stage Damned @The Central Sept13.13

I started things with a piece from my upcoming Art Bar feature. I didn’t realize it then but it sort of set the theme of evening – one of things I’ve noticed about Plasticine is that a psychic vibe often connects all the features and even the open stagers. This month Father’s Day came early.

Leslie Shimotakahara featured first with section from her memoir The Reading List: Literature, Love and Back Again. When she explained that this section was about her retuning into teach at a backwater Nova Scotia university I couldn’t wait. The book read was Atwood’s Surfacing – which presented a great counterpoint to Leslie’s re-submerging into university life. Enjoyed the observation ‘few men like Margaret Atwood and those that do are usually CanLit majors.’ Part of the chapter also dealt with her relationship with her ailing father.

Sue Chenette was up next reading from her new book The Bones of His Being, which dealt with her father and his passing away. Her pieces were emotionally direct without becoming maudlin or abstract. Strong images: ‘a bird as light as happiness that had flown away’ and ‘the day loosening in low light and bird song’ connected well with me. I especially like the poem about her Dad reading Huckleberry Finn aloud to her.

Final feature Susan Glickman read from her new book The Smooth Yarrow. Picking up on the Dad theme she had pieces that combined the vibe of hospitals and sharing literature with one’s father. The work was emotionally direct without being overly sentimental. I enjoyed ‘the lost sparrow in the rafter at Loblaw’s.’ Plus referencing Jens Lekman effectively.


The evening ended with a great line up of open stagers which I started off with this revised version of ‘Whooie’


it was difficult enough

teaching me how to ride a bike

so my dad never gave me that talk

about the birds and the bees

about how the man sticks

his whooie into a woman’s wowie

I guess he expected me learn about sex

the way he did

from an older brother

too bad I didn’t have one

or maybe it was from his wwII army buddies

I never had army buddies

never fought in a war

we never had that sex talk

about whooie’s and wowie’s

the basics came from school yard smut talk

technical information from playboy penthouse

a book hidden in a drawer

color plates as informative as terrain maps

I don’t recall any man-to-man talks with dad

where he explained how life works

about getting a job  making a family

by the time I had the information needed to breed

I was more interest in whooie’s that wowie’s

my dad never talked to me about sex

what might he have known about queers

when I came out

there was no conversation beyond

am I happy

he had no tips on increasing sexual pleasure

we never spoke about the emotional dance

between men and women

let alone between men

all that I learned from the joy of gay sex

the timid porn of the time

yet I was a quick learner

given the chance to explore

it was easier than learning to ride a bike

more toys in the snow
more toys in the snow


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