It’s been some years since I was last at The Free Times Cafe, which I used get to regularly for Yehuda Fisher’s Word Jam. So I was eager to see a new spoke word show launch there – not there isn’t enough of them there as it is. This was the first edition of Mountains and Molehills, a show dedicated to story telling, hosted by Dan Curtis Thompson.
By story telling I don’t mean once upon a time, though I suspect that would be acceptable – it’s more raconteur. At times tender, reflective, comic and sexy we were entrained by some fine, skilled story tellers.
Unlike stand up, where the focus is on punchlines, or slam, where the focus is on strong to the point, emotional punches – story telling allows the presenter to ramble some, to make their time and give time for a story to expand, maybe even digress, before returning the story line. With a time limit none went on like an annoying drunk repeating the same two minutes tory for forty minutes.
did you hear the one about the drunken bear
After a round of open stagers Iain Lacourt, Farhang Ghajar and myself first feature James R. King told about the things done just to be cool. A school bus memory about what to be one of the cool kids who sat in the back of bus (dancing ponies and social acceptance) which ultimately involves an egg sandwich tossed out the bus window. Filled with visceral detail it was delivered easily and with great flow.
Next up was Tracy Hamilton with a look at her ‘annoyingly suburban’ growing up and her best friend Jason and the games children play: cops & robbers, house. Not brother & sister they played at being brother & sister until a falling out that last a couple years. I identified with the use of games in school for socializing when one didn’t play well or even want to play. Playing doctor never came up though, maybe that’s a generation thing?
into the trees
Last feature Ariel Kagan, brought us one of his worst weeks and a look at being a horny nineteen year old in South Africa. Losing a girlfriend to someone who is supposedly your friend, getting drunk and waking up in hospital with a broken heart & a ruptured testicle. Nothing like problems with guy parts to hold an audience.
Dan told a few stories of his own, you don’t have to a straight, or a guy to look someone up on FB ‘just to be mean to myself.’ All the story tellers were in good form – the stories were adult, sexually knowing but not bitter and satisfying to hear. It was also good to hear spokenword in which the story was the focus, not clever use of language or the dash to some sort of profundity or laugh line.
BTW the food at The Free Times is a good as I remembered.
Besides Adam in the Morning http://wp.me/p1RtxU-146 I read L’Amour Domestique.
a small square of paper
holds the weight of our history
the glowing moment
of the two of us together
smiling so wide
it bursts out of the picture
by the harsh light of the flash
I am amazed
the anger you held
remained hidden from the camera
while it didn’t remain hidden to me
I could feel it under my hand
the one around you
my fingers over your heart
the photo holds it all
holds us forever unchanging
each time I looked at it
does the picture fade
so imperceptibly that I can’t notice
like I was unable to notice
seeped out of my life
when you slipped through my fingers
when we found each other at
empty and vacant
till we stopped finding each other
when humble acceptance
turned into the frustration
of things changing
everything put together sooner or later
gets put together again
and new photos
photos I want you to be in
but your frozen anger
melted so quickly that
my hands couldn’t contain it
couldn’t hold the fragments
when I need to remember you
I take out the photo
where we smile together
looking at each other
and at the same time
to the rosy future
we felt was within the frame
I long for that golden little fraction
when someone caught us
in our living room
hugging and grinning
but not for what happened
here in the palm of my hand
on this thin paper
a memory so fragile
it will burn
if I put it to the flame
March 7 – Saturday – attending – 2015 Toronto SpecFic Colloquium – Round Venue, 152A Augusta Ave., Toronto
April 26 – Sunday – 2-5 – Featuring – The Secret Handshake Gallery – 170 Baldwin Ave., 2nd floor, Toronto.
June 5-7 – attending – Capturing Fire – Washington DC
(2015 registration posted but details not posted yet. I’ve registered already 🙂 )
June 21-26 – attending – Rosemary Aubert’s Workshop – Loyalist – Belleville
Loyalist Workshop is the real deal
(further info & links: TBA)
September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo
October 18, Sunday – feature: Cabaret Noir: Deep Burlesque Hallowe’en
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