Noir Smoke Shed

Costumes galore added to the gore fest at the Halloween edition of Cabaret Noir; plus a scary line up of features & frenzied open stagers & baked goodies by Kayla Forrest all made for a satisfying night.

door01 the door to hell?

After a round of chilling open stagers I kicked off the show with my Pinebow set, which, if I do say so myself, went like a clockwork pendulum as each of my ‘campers’ was dispatched. The flow was just right with the gore splattering when needed, the audience trap was sprung again, the camp fire songs were a surprising success – I’ve never actually sung on stage but knowing that these didn’t have to be well performed allowed me to give it a try & the audience was eager to join in. By the end of the set I wanted more 🙂

door02 portal to hades?

I’ve workshopped, featured with, hosted, reviewed,  & even enjoyed Stratford with Clara Blackwood – so my comments will not be without bias. Costumed as Officer Vice she presented an arrestingly fine figure as she read some new pieces as well as poems from her recent collection ‘Forecasts.’ Her work delved into the scary area of relationships, apartment life ‘balconies bleeding blue,’ ‘he lives over a haunted nightclub,’ and her travels ‘we wait by the graveyard’s black gates.’ Sweetly eerie & deeply personal her pieces were the opposite of mine. (

manga vs Officer Vice

Final feature was Dan Thompson who I heard & reviewed in April of this year ( at Makin’ a Racket at the Rocket. Costumed as a CEO he did more of his one-man show. Funny, emotional & confident  the piece has progressed since I saw parts of it at the Rocket. ‘a sad snail on a locomotive running out of coal’ ,’I had drunk just enough to make my move that was 10 years in the making.’ A clear-eyed look at the terror of breaking up, making up and writing songs about it. (

door03 entrance to damnation

It seems clear that many people find relationships to be more haunting and scary than any mythical creature in a lake. 🙂

My tee-shirt: managa02 My hoodie:


sample one of the new Pinebow pieces

Smoke Shed

there’s a door in the floor of the old smoke shed

one you never better open

even if you hear someone a’ knockin’

or whimpering and scraping

even if the whimper is your name

and sounds like your mother or brother

don’t open that portal

one night you might wake up

to find yourself

outside the smoke shed

something calls in your sleep

and your feet obey

without your mind knowing

what is going on when you wake up

do not go in

do not let the hunger for sausage draw you in

the maple smoke will not satisfy

there’s a door in the floor

we keep it under plies of bricks

to ensure it never opens

that it never lures you any further

there is nothing down

there just endless stairs

that lead beneath the lake

the tunnel is wet and muddy

the mud is sticky like maple syrup

but much sweeter

thanks to the sugar of fear

frozen by shock unfrozen

by the endlessly seeking hunger

of the Denizen

it will pull down down down

so do not go into the smoke shed

do not let dreams of hunger

fool you

there is nothing there

but emptiness and despair

do not open that door

you will get enough emptiness and despair

when you open the doors to adulthood

bdoor the blue door to adulthood

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2 thoughts on “Noir Smoke Shed

  1. Hi Duncan,

    A terrific evening if a bit scary to do open mike for the first time amid such true talent. Thank you so much for everything! I absolutely loved your Pinebow sequence – and your shirt(s). Blown away, too, by both Clara and Dan. Lizzie is wonderfully supportive of artists – looking forward to attending many more cabarets. (Enjoying the loot bag goodies muchly BTW).

    Good luck on the NaNoWriMo. Both your ideas were gripping!

    Looking forward to lunch again,

    Best Madeleine

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