‘word leapt from the body’

Hosting boosts the immune system – at least that’s my theory – so when I was asked to host the march Plasticine Poetry I was happy to accept to fight off a cold. I ended up co-hosting with the poised Susie Berg – it takes two to sub for usual host Cathy Petch. We split the duties with me looking after the first set of open-stagers.

yellow spring is just around the corner

Susie introduced first feature Suzanne Alyssa Andrew. She opened with a lyric ‘ever felt something look over your shoulder,’ ‘your fear fuels his power.’ The she read a well-chosen excerpt from her soon to be published novel ‘Circle of Stones.’ A scene set in bed of two lovers teasing and playing. Tarot cards come out ‘the cards smell like the inside of her dance bag – feet, sweaty tights and rosin.’ A real sense of the people was drawn with precise images and realistic dialogue.

As I had taken a UofT Master Poetry class with Niki Koulouris, I was happy to introduce her. She read from her recently-launched book ‘The sea with no one in it.’ Her pieces dealt in one way or the other with the sea & with painters: Philip Guston, Jasper Johns, Anselm Kiefer. The poems flow with strong images ‘rosewater that smells or sardines,’ ‘watching the rain is like watching a foreign movie’ ‘as many stars as there are targets.’

glory morning glory tells a story

Susie conducted the next parade of open stagers to start the second set. Then I introduced Sheila Stewart, who, in green, brought more than the flavour of St. Patrick’s Day to the stage. Her engaging poetry took us directly to the twisty roads of Ireland and then to High Park. A strong sense of place kept us from being lost even when we ‘emerged on a road you thought was elsewhere.’ Many of her vivid turns of phrase ‘word leapt from the body and never returned,’ ‘alone for the weekend I forgot to put my skin on’ resonated with me.

purple how much longer

Michael took a rare step on stage to introduce Molly Peacock. She easily lived up to his effusive words with a simple set with a couple of sections for her forthcoming book Alpabetique (sp?) – in which each letter has it’s own life. In P we appreciate the ‘the smell before rain,’ in B with feel the struggle to be B in the fractious world of fonts. Her poem ‘The Flaw’ reminded us that ‘though the flaw I am alive.’

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/

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/

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

samples

Force

how did I turn out

the way I turned out

no one held a gun to my head

said

you do this

you become that

unless the force of peer pressure

can be called that gun

what force is it that makes

one of us heterosexual

and another homosexual

who would chose either

considering

the drawbacks

better to be nonsexual

to avoid all the pressures

of meeting mating so-called morality

working out

raising children

avoid stds

doesn’t seem

that either side

of the life style equation

really gets such good press

the sexual grilling of congressmen

the boredom of those who

never seem to stray

the envy for those who do

the energy wasted on judgment

who would chose either

yet there is some force

beyond the ken

of the mind heart peer pressure

the dna string spinning around in our blood

a force that makes

all the variations flux and flow

those people caught up in it

are trying to find

some way to make sense of it

that allows

for a space for each

well, not all people

as some have this dna string

that doesn’t allow for any variation

where any variation

must be destroyed

shunned

that very fact

makes me wonder

what force brings anyone into

the fold of the shunned

something happens

that pushes against the tide

of the commercial world around us

breaks them free

of the rigid accepted standard

it happens

like sun spots

and like any invisible force

it becomes easier

to go with the tide

that to fight against it

the greater the resistance

the greater the pain

the hidden becomes less hidden

when the pain of hiding is too great

what was once such a scandal

doesn’t seem to have the weight

it once had

no force behind the fear

to sustain that pressure as it once did

it stopped being seen as revolution

and was accepted as a part of evolution

we can’t draw a line

that keeps the races apart

when hearts are involved

the sky is the same over all heads

the earth is the same beneath all feet

the feet of the judgmental strike with the same force

are held by the same gravity

as the feet of those who are judged

as the feet of those

who know nothing about anything

the messy melting pot

that gives all the opportunity

to be

none has the right to deny

that right to another

and even though some don’t

they find themselves

eventually drowned

in the ever rising tide of the past

of history

and the rest of us

make our way as best we can

not looking to disrupt anything

but merely to be

city02street without snow!! 

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