Summer of Love Poetry I

Over the summer months I’ve read powerful poetry collections by writers I’ve meet through Hot Damn! and Capturing Fire. It’s one thing to hear them perform & another to actually see them as page poets. All of the poets deal with the struggle for identity & acceptance either in their own sense of self or in how others perceive them. Each struggles against culture definitions of normal, being a drunk is normal, being a black cis-male is normal, having a clear gender is normal. In these mini-reviews I’ve maintained cover spelling & capitalizations, & gender pronouns as indicated in the writers’ bios.09redcup03I first heard Vita E at Capturing Fire 2015 & her writing, performance energy & fearless political stance we’re amazing. A fierce, unapologetic trans woman she is unusually fond of sky blue lipstick 🙂 Her first chapbook Dedications captures a sense of her anger, focus & energy. Too much territory gets covered in this book to quote it fairly. About black hair she says “… stronger than the ropes we used to hang from.”

The layout of the poems – all with centre justification, for me, was distracting. It may convey Vita’s rapid fire delivery of the work but forces line breaks that make the flow choppy instead of smooth, that in some cases weakens the power of the work.09redleaves02Another writer I met at Capturing Fire 2015 is Dane Figueroa Edidi. Glamorous is putting it mildly 🙂 wickedly funny, fearless & romantic she has stage presence even when not on stage 🙂 At Fire 2016 I bought her Remains: A Gathering of Bones – a diverse collection of recent work about race, politics, romance & trans life. It is clearly written, emotionally accessible & even has some humour. I enjoyed the use of mix myths, the power of ancestry & the sensual pain of loss. “Sometime through my kiss the revolution has already been won.”09redbed01I first heard kay kassirer when they hit the mic at Hot Damn! The chap book ‘Confessions of a Queer’ brings a playful use of language to strong pieces about gender, sexuality & growing up a ‘postcard borderline kid.’ The writing is fresh, imaginative & inviting. ‘you asked me when I knew I was trans … like my gender is something I picked up in a thrift shop.’ 09redflags04Angelique Palmer’s The Chambermaid’s Style Guide is one of the funniest, touching & relatable collections I’ve read about recovery. She pulls no punches, is unsparing about the risks, humiliations & losses she experienced as a result of being a drunk; about the difficulties of dealing with past trauma sober – how do you forgive your rapist? ‘When suicide was still an option/I drank a lot.’

Part 2 next Friday 🙂 Search these writers out – you might find your worldview enriched in unexpected ways.

Vita E

Dane Figueroa Edidi

kay kassirer

Angelique Palmer

coming next week:

Slipform: Moon Salt

venus selenite:

Francisco-Luis White


Merrily Roll Along

it didn’t feel right to stay

a personal appearance

is long enough

say hello to everyone

give a few choice words

then get out of there

that’s my policy

be there long enough

to make the right impression be noticed

then get out of there

before people get too bored

always be the one they want more of

not the one the’ve had enough of


so I never say much

just enough to show I’m aware

silence is the birth of wisdom

I can do that

give them something to talk about

when I’m not there

I like to get the ball rolling

then get out of the way

if things go well

I get the praise the respect

if they go wrong

no one holds me at fault

in fact

they apologize

for not fulfilling expectations

of themselves

not of me

I’m never there long enough

once I get the praise

I’m out of there

getting another ball rolling

somewhere elsesoon02



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

October  6 – Thursday Toronto, 7:30 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.hotoct

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo


December – Thursday Dec 1st – Toronto, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.divine


Early 2017:

my first local feature in over a year: location date TBA

it came in

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –


check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015:


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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblrwindow

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