My Renaissance Teapot

I was walking along the Danforth on a sunny Saturday recently and as I passed the Renaissance Cafe I noticed that the doors were wide open with Randy in the midst of a sell-off of the old cafe’s stuff – cutlery, china, menus – even the tables & chairs.

renpot01

Renaissance Teapot: 400 ml

The Ren was where I made my way into the spoken scene in Toronto thanks to the Cafe’s dedication to local musicians and writers. Even the staff were performers. I remember hitting the Cryptic Chatter stage way back in 2000 & how badly I had to pee the minute I stood behind the mic. By the end of the year I did my first feature there.

renpot02

Renaissance Teapot/ my morning tea mug 750 ml

I have so many vivid memories of people I met, heard and even still know today. Valentino Assenza, Kevin Fortnum, Jeff Cottrill, Cathy Petch, Cynthia Gould, Mike Bryant, Paisley Rae – to name a few – plus musicians Blue Venus, Arthur Renwick, Shawn Sage (he was the waiter the first time I stopped there for lunch), John Layton, Big Blue Sky. I have cd’s I bought there & always enjoy. Plus this where I first met Nik Beat, Norman Cristofoli – where the Renaissance Conspiracy was first hatched.

renpot03

Renaissance Teapot flashing its basket

I wrote lots of material that was first performed here. I came out as a loud mouth queer poet here. So it was a little heartbreaking several years ago when Randy had to close the cafe – poetry isn’t a money making proposition for either the poets or the venus that sell them their bottomless cup of coffee. I looked through the goods on sale and picked up one of the single serving tea pots. My Renaissance Teapot – it still had the the loose tea basket intact and even some loose tea leaves in the pot. I took it home, cleaned it up and polished it for a prime spot to remind me of good times.

sample

a piece inspired by & written & eventually first performed at the Ren – published by Norman Cristofoli in his literary journal Labour of Love:

Rimes of Ancient Drunks

got time to listen to an old drunk

well, not so old and not drunk enough

but you’ll listen won’t you

buy me a beer

and I’ll tell you your future

not that you deserve to know your future

because its the same future for all of us

listen

you won’t want to miss this

I’ll tell you  what you really need to know

that stuff in books

isn’t going to get you anywhere

words aren’t the answer

you think you know it all

well all you know is shit

are you listening

you understand that much don’t you

all that thinking and writing

isn’t going to get you any where

you know that don’t you

there isn’t any way out of this

even what I say isn’t going to mean shit

in the long run

it’s just a pointless chase

after something that isn’t even running

something that can never be caught

you following me – catching my drift

I see through the likes of you

come on buy me another beer

you gotta have something to share

I’ve more to say than you’ll ever think

no matter how broke you are

the morning always comes

a body needs a drink

a way out for a few hours

that’s all we really want

you getting this down

do I make you uncomfortable

can’t be bothered looking at me

is that the problem

you wanted a little quiet

to doodle useless words about

the way of  the misery in your world

that some gal is not giving you enough

some guy playing the same game

no way out of it, is there

not that I give a shit

you know that don’t you

that’s half the problem

no one gives a shit

they just want suffering to stop

so they don’t have to see it on TV

that’s the way of the world

you know that don’t you

and you

you think you have some notion

of a better way to live

yet don’t have the decency

to buy a guy a drink

well that’s the way of the world

that’s why I say what I gotta say

something you won’t ever hear

because something more important

is waiting for you

buy me a beer

maybe I’ll change your life

because you know buddy

it’s time for a change

 

 

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3 thoughts on “My Renaissance Teapot

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