Hot Damn! & the Siamese Twin Werewolves


I had just finished watching 21 Centimetres before I headed out to Hot Damn’s! spectacular second season finale. 21 is a Spanish musical extravaganza about the harsh realities of trans life in 2004 – things haven’t changed much. So I was in the right frame of mind for judging the glittering array of slammers & features at Hot Damn!

Praise only goes to Cathy Petch’s head, so I’ll merely say she did an excellent job hosting the event & shepherding the performers & name checking the sponsors, prizes and pushing Capturing Fire (the big prize trip).22dc01

The slammers (Ziy Sah, Andre Prefontaine [thanks to Andre for the twins image in the title of this post], Kathleen Driscoll, Vanessa McGowan, Kay Kassirer, Transient) covered immigration, family violence, pan sexuality, poverty shaming, gay parenting, sexual healing, and of course broken/twisted relationships. A powerful demonstration that our concerns transcend gender, sexuality, body parts & which washroom to use.

Lines from the first round: ‘immigration is a frame of mind, is my home – what happened then doesn’t have to happen now – over-grown child soldier forced into a war he doesn’t understand – I just laid eyes on you at the hardware store – your firm solid bottom that evenly distributes heat – above all I can’t talk about it – covering up for poverty is exhausting -do you know how they make this cereal – why did Parker say boys can’t wear dresses – mama what’s binary – bodies we did not want to be living in beside each other – neither of us wanted our hands to turn into his hands – did we ever fall in love so fast – Siamese werewolves tearing at each other.’22dc02

Carolina Drown did an emotionally evocative set with dancer Xica “Dadiva” Ducharme. The audience was happily pulled into her well modulated reverb heavy guitar work, wordless chanting, and the resonant ‘I almost killed myself on Sunday … I’m glad I’m here to see you once again.’ At times Xica’s dancing was an ectoplasmic manifestation of Carolina’s voice. It brought to mind Japanese Butoh dance. 22dc03

After a break we were enthralled by a sample of Natasha “T” Miller, and Siaara Freeman’s Good Grief Tour with pieces about death, murder and relationship break ups (is there a difference?). Funny, politically sharp, emotionally open, the two poets played off each other with great affection and energy.  ‘No, I’m not bitter … I wish you bars that serve everything but what you want … strap-ons that won’t stay strapped on’  ‘they say a drug dealer died not who … they say say the drug dealer’s funeral is next week … they don’t say his name’ ‘I put on my father’s chalk outline’ ‘you only go before your time if you’ve never loved unconditionally’ ‘admitted my addiction to stalking’ ‘you know what you should wear for Halloween? Honesty – no one will recognize you’ ‘urban girl gets spoken down to … urban girl was asking for it – gets jumped more times than rope.’

With no time to catch our breath the final round of the slam took off. ‘my body hurts all the time especially when someone touches me – constantly cannibalizing your self-esteem – hands become crippled proxies – played his wrists like a violin – I text my friends to let them know I’m alive – to be fully touched you need 71 lovers – always asking if you like this – you’re not disabled enough – at least you’re not in a wheel chair – if the sight of my fatness makes you comfortable – GOOD’ ‘he thinks as he’s Adam … made from his rib give him the right to break hers – knife blades at my throat like a favourite perfume.’22dc04

The performances were tearful, funny and vulnerable in a space that allowed for full & fearless self-expression. Scores were added up, time deductions factored in and Kay Kassirer was the big winner this year. I hope Capturing Fire is ready for them 🙂


The Outshining

what’s the point being accomplished

if you have to always be mindful

of those who hold power over you

who become so defensive

that anyone else’s accomplishments

are threats

I didn’t know well enough

to to keep that to myself

I could have said

‘aw shucks

I’m still catching up to you’


‘I owe it all to you

gifted teachers

result in good students’

nope I had to say


I’m amazed at myself too’

I didn’t reflect light back on them

my bad

them resentful

wielding their influence

to keep me in my place

to teach

that no matter how good I am

I am nothing

until they say so

they’ll never say

I outshine them


cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016


check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015:

June 11 – attending: The Toronto Poetry Talks – 10 AM – Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C6


September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



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

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