My final scheduled show and feature of the year brought me back to Hot-Sauced words at The Black Swan. It’s been over a year since I’ve gotten out to Hot-Sauced. I find taking in one show every ten days enough – two in less than that and the second one usually palls for me. A change from when I jumped into the spoken scene a decade ago when I did my first open stage at the Renaissance Cafe (RIP). I was getting to five or six shows a month. Now two a month is more than enough.
The Swan had undergone renovations – gone are the stinking carpets, slick and stained with a history spilled beer, stubbed out cigarettes and other slimy substances. Comfy barrel chairs around tables change the aura considerably. Plus a new sound system. sweet.
The Anti-Christmas Pageant had a full house, raised over $300 for food drive – if only audiences were that generous for starving poets :-). It was good to reconnect with writers I haven’t seen for some time too. Not that I’m Mr Social mind you. One asked what I was working on then proceeded to tell me what he was working on before I could finish my answer.
The show structure was a stripped-down version of the usual H-S – some open stagers, two short features, a set by Kirsten Sandwich, break, then the other two features & a final Sandwich set.
By short features I mean maybe six minutes each. We all managed to be seasonal but not festive. Sue Reynolds, first featurette, did a couple of sweet cover poems and one original. Loved ‘the black dog of sleeplessness gnawing the rind of daybreak.’ She was followed by Kate Marshall Flaherty – her pieces were aromatic (garlic, cheese, wine), about the kindness of strangers, birth in ‘sweet hay and warm cow smells.’ Her final piece called for audience participation as we made chilly wind sounds as he performed a fun piece about Cold Air.
Sandwich’s first set opened with an obscure Latin carol that gave me chills – love those harmonies. This was their serious piece. They did a carol as written by Leonard Cohen ‘Santa smells of whisky and despair.’ They showed how the lyrics to Gilligan’s Island could be sung to nearly any carol followed by the reverse – how those carol lyrics could be sung to the melody of Gilligan’s Island.
After the break I started the final set. Shopping Trippy still works it’s linguistic magic. Snow Global Warming has just the right touch of queer raunch – I skipped my slutty Santa piece & closed with my Grinch List. I skipped my real raunch to allow Cathy (now in 2021: Charlie) Petch the opportunity to shine in that department -which she did in her set that followed mine, ‘finger banged next to the snapple machine.’ Her ‘Don’t They Know’ re/de construction is getting tighter: ‘Who doesn’t want what North America has?’ – but I think she’s holding back a little 🙂 The smugness behind those lyrics calls for more.
By this point in the night it was 10:15. Reluctantly I shrugged into my layers and left as Sandwich was starting their final set. I like to be home and to bed by 11. Gone are the days of disco dancing till 1:30 a.m. and taking the night bus home. And to all a good night.
Snow Global Warming
his eyes were the color of sky
a sky on the verge of snow
snow that is eagerly awaited
so that we have a white christmas
not a lot of snow mind you
a dusting of it
enough to turn the world
into a Christmas card of trees and houses
houses with warm lights in windows
as snow falls tossed in a snow globe
us naked in front of that fireplace
a blizzard of affection blankets us together
under thick waves of heat
hearth logs crackling
our stockings well hung
a vision of sugar plums
between his legs
the wind howling around the house
we tumble around each other
toasted tossed in a snow globe
of swiftly changing lusts emotions
spinning transient melting
breathless and mumbling
naughty nice naughty nice
mostly unwrapped and crumpled
eager for another shake of the snow globe