Once Upon

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.


foot selfie

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.

Dan’s photos of the event


Besides Adam in the Morning http://wp.me/p1RtxU-146 I read L’Amour Domestique.


I’m amazed

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

when you

seeped out of my life

when you slipped through my fingers

when we found each other at

opposite ends

of dream


to dream

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

different pieces

new moments

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

a 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


all that

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



loyalist sunset13

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


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