Hot Damn! Hep Cats

Dominic Berry opened his set by calling the audience ‘cats’ as in the 50’s beat  term – because ‘cat’ is gender free but still sensual. The cats at Hot Damn this month at the Supermarket frolicked through a show of strong open-stagers, strong slammers – including two new tabbies to the Hot Damn! stage.


Cathy Petch set the tone with her saw rending of the gay national anthem (What is it? You’ll have to attend a show to find out.) I hit the open stage with three pieces inducing the one below.


Some lines from the artist slam round: ‘on some chunks of this world I deserve to die’ ‘my breath claws for freedom’ ‘too fucked to fuck’ ‘people ask me when I knew I was trans, I ask them hen they one they were straight’ ‘my name is silence’ ‘Vanessa’s not my name – it doesn’t fit.’ 

I met feature Dominic Berry ( at Capturing Fire in Washington DC. He wowed there with his energetic, funny & at times deeply touching poetry. It’s always good to see a poet do a set that isn’t under the influence of the pressure for judges’ points. Dominic stretches out, takes his time to make his piece breath fully as they come alive and draw us in.

His first piece capture the cadence and physicality of a deeply troubled man ‘silence sits so clammy beside me’ ‘my confidence is getting hungry’ ‘at night it feels like that day is getting further away.’ In his Coming Out Vegan’ he is loud & proud about being a ‘celery munching queen’ who ‘ravishes radishes.’

His series of gaming poems, set to funky music, was full of fun rhymes ‘splatter me with flattery’. It made me think of a gay The Streets. Even though I don’t know the gaming world I certainly understand sexual desire for unreal men 🙂

A dynamic set performed with theatrical gusto and verbal inventiveness that I enjoyed. If you missed him here you can catch him at Capturing Fire this June. (photos in this post are all from Washington DC)


After the break we were treated a fine singing cat -who didn’t sing memories. The energy was raised for the final slam round. Some lines: ‘a rumour mill of revolution’ ‘a one way ticket that’s not even in my name’ ‘post card from a high functioning borderline kid’ ‘our knees touching under the table of the diner’ ‘going from playing dress up to putting something resembling armour’ ‘I don’t need you to like me.’


Oodles of prizes (including poodles) were give. Kay Kessirer won the evening’s round & is now in the running for the trip to DC in June. The next TO Hot Damn! will be at the Supermarket March 16 and the second season grand finale will be at Buddies in Bad Times on April 21. All the hep cats will be there.


Moment of F**king Silence

a moment of silence

to respect

those who have been silenced

to offer a dignity

a solemnity

all that’s missing

is the hashtag

a #moment of #silence

that’s better

showing support

without doing #anything

because those who have been silenced

and by silence

I don’t mean marginalized

I don’t mean neutralized

I mean murdered

killed by others

by their own hand

by neglect

by #silence by the face of shame

where is the moment of retaliation

oh no we can’t do that

because doing that

will sink us down to their level

getting even isn’t justice

it doesn’t get good press


gets all the good press

a moment of violence

of striking back is tut tut not adult

we must have silence

so the healing can begin

why not a moment of vanity

in which we all pull out a mirror

to contemplate our own faces

to see where we fit in

to see what healing means

while the screaming is still going on

to figure out why

forgiveness is more fulfilling

that taking the victimizers to task

for their behaviour

where was their forgiveness

so I don’t forgive

that’s my flaw

I’m called out for being bitter

not understanding enough

unwilling to make a social context

that rationalizes actions

that spring from a troubled childhood

from a drug addled brain

from a books of words holy pages

that approves

making victims of others

in the name of righteousness

a moment of silence

to prove that I am emotionally more mature

I can take it

I can rise above

the blood soaked streets

an angel of mercy

fuck that

fuck fuck fuck that

I don’t care about

perpetrators’ apologies

how they feel remorse

I don’t want revenge

I want it to stop

I want an eon of silence

not a moment of silence



Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee – sweet,eh?


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