In 1999 I made the decision to get back to my poetry. Not that I had stopped writing but I sure did lots to avoid it – studied dance, ran a theatre company, wrote a novel. So I started really writing daily, joined a queer writer’s group at 519 and after a year of that wanted to get the word off the page.
I found out that the Renaissance Cafe had a monthly event: Cryptic Chatter. In 2000 I started back on stage there, doing the open mike. That’s where I first met Nik Beat. I think he was in the house for that show and did a feature the next month. My first impression was of a washed-out, rock-a-billy, Brian Ferry wanna be.
I quickly learned he was integral part of the indie spoken scene, a man with his own radio show, his own spoken series, books, chap books, cds, exhibits of art work – a quiet dynamo.
Over the years I’ve co-featured with him, been on HOWL a few times, featured & did open mikes at his various spoken shows at the Renaissance Cafe, that dessert shop on Queen East, Q Space on College. I’ve had him feature, with Rahul Gupta (That Brown Bastard) for A Night of Killer ‘B’s: at a series I ran at Paddy’s Playhouse on Gerrard.
Warm, supportive & generous he was always a welcome face at any spoken event. His writing was mystical, funny, sometimes a bit too pop culture driven but he was an entertainer who wrote poetry well and was willing to give people what they would enjoy.
We never became more that mutual fans. I admired his dedication and willingness to support and promote spoken word & indie music in Toronto. He was an example to me of persistence for the creative cause as opposed persistence to gain acclaim or fame.
no one can fill these shoes
He always arrived in a bit of a rush, a bit breathless, harried & looked as if he had just woken up in the back of a limo with a couple groupies, whom he left waiting impatiently in that back seat while he came in to perform.
Nik Beat – 1956-2014. He’ll be missed.
Nik’s service: http://wp.me/p1RtxU-TA
This is a piece of mine Nik liked a lot. He even requested I read it at one of his many open stage events.
A Perfect Match
the first time
I was really with a woman
I ran my fingers through her dark hair
as she touched mine
you have such fine hair she told me
she kissed me lips gentle
opened her mouth a little
my hand under her sweater
searched along her bra
we continue to kiss on the bed
I held her soft breasts
solid light yet with weight substance
circled blissful raspberry nipples
with my thumbs
I had read Penthouse Playboy
I knew the mechanics of peach fuzzed mounds
she pulled off my pants
more kissing touching
you’re a sweet kisser she told me
she moved my hand to her thatch
splayed the fingers
pushed them in one by one
that feels good she whispered
the folds were sticky
she guided my cock
I rocked my hips in out
it was warm moist frictionless
she clenched with her leg muscles
breathed heavily into my ear
then we rolled apart
I didn’t come wasn’t even close
she smiled kissed me some more
I couldn’t wait to wash my hands
the first time
I was really with a man
never read what to do
I knew exactly what to do
we yanked at each others’ clothes
tongues raced pulse pounding
so much friction
like a match being struck