‘Rewriting the ten commandments’

Once again Sandra Cardinal has put together an excellent, eclectic ensemble of features for Racket at the Rocket. After a couple of open stagers she kicked off the show with true story filled with tasty details ‘roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, & trifle for dessert’ that was a reflection on her childhood & recently reconnecting with her Australian cousins. Family ‘secrets’ kept the sides so apart she didn’t even know she had an Australia branch until the death of her grandfather. Seems one of the family secrets was how ‘I love you,’ never got spoken.



All the ‘e’s’ in my opening is a nod to first feature Adam Abbas, whose work makes ample use of alliteration, sprung rhyme, & assonance to propel it along. His new pieces are fine ‘I can’t save you/if you have more problems than me.’ I have heard his older pieces from his book A State A Statue A Statute, but much like a Brugel painting reveals new moments, the rush of Adam’s images allow each listening to find new connections and meanings to keep them sounding fresh.

Next feature Merle Amodeo read from her book ‘After Love’ – a look at the various stages of love from the first rush ‘because of you/I asked my hairdresser/for copper highlights’; to uncertainty: ‘sorry about the call I made late last night.’ to misery & separation: ‘everything is disposable.’


double curves a head

She was followed by Norman Cristofoli who started his set as he walked through the audience to the stage. His writing is simple, direct, personal yet highly relatable. Vivid images abound ‘rewriting the ten commandments,’ ‘every snake leaves something behind,’ ‘drinking the tears of an ancient sorrow.’ He is clearly not someone who ‘fears the potential of his ideas.’


curve on ice

Final feature Vanessa Salazar brought us into the present day with her strong pieces about gender politics, images and age. ‘how to write a bio on a gender neutral page.’ The struggle against being judged solely based on one facet of your person: age, race, gender is one she articulated well.

Needless to say the Red Rocket Cafe is a great spot for this series – great carrot cake, great service & a freshly shorn John always add to the show.


Besides The Basement Tapes (http://wp.me/p1RtxU-18Y) I read this:


if I say what I mean

will you hear what I say

or what you want to hear me say

even I don’t say it

if you hear what I say

will it be what I want you to understand

or will you merely understand

what you want to understand

can I be so clear

there is no doubt about my intention

can you comprehend my intent

while you wonder when I’ll be done

so you can take that piss you’ve been

putting off   where is that waitress

who is that hottie over there

are they looking at you

why do I care if you listen  understand

I don’t even listen to myself

I wonder what’s going to be on TV

is my cell phone on off on vibrate

do I care that you don’t care

do I want to be understood

or are you going over your piece

so that all you care about

is me getting out of your way

so you can do what I didn’t do so well

hold the audience in the palm of your hand

for a few slippery minutes

or are you

inspired by what I said

about not wanting to be understood

a chain of images in your head

that you have to write down

mine flowing over your knuckles

as you search out something deeper that I missed

about the tautological connection

between want need getting forgetting

getting to the washroom

to find out some jack ass

has pissed all over the seat

now what do you do

you can’t blame me

when that happened I was up here

trying to hold your attention for a few slippery minutes

give you a glimpse of things

that I don’t quite grasp myself

because I’m not sure if I mean it

or merely want to say it


Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr



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