Hot Damn! Exit Strategies

pinksnow01The December edition of Hot Damn! at Buddies in Bad Times, didn’t waste time with chimneys or stockings before it got directly down to the naughty and nice with Charlie Petch hosting a slam of writers who were anything but sugar plums – though some were fairies (& damn proud of it). By the end of the night it was Bop Dionne Samuels The Bird of Paradise Paradise who proved to be fairyest of them all 🙂

The Hot Damn!’s December brought fine open mic-ers & eager slammers to the Buddies cabaret stage. First up was Kyle Andrews who read from his piece in the anthology Making Out Like A Virgin. The book collects writing by survivors of childhood sexual abuse – true stories of how they have healed and moved forward. A powerful, but not heavy-handed, collection of hope and purpose everyone should read.pinksnow02

From the first round slam: if there is no such thing as the passage of time, rocks the shape of every one of our disappointments, my voice is running out of steam, I come out to people but it doesn’t get easier, all of the people were white … all the food was banal … mistaking my kindness for interest, I don’t ask those questions back, you can’t promise not to hurt me by accident, teach me the words of my next poem, you expect me to take all the risks, kicking people out will be his first priority, have a moment of silence for that lesbianna … make a sandwich for that lesbianna … she is hungry’

ribbonFeature Thepoet Mona  returning to Toronto from Winnipeg, gave a well-constructed set of personal pieces about relationships, race, politics, family and self-awareness. She was accompanied at time by Daniel (with a fine moustache) on guitar. ‘red wine whispers a planned whisky escape, I am built of exit strategies, seeking penance and permission, it hurts me now but it was right to leave, that’s sounds like a bad idea – what time?, (about Trump) racist America was already her y’all, my skin tone is a narrative I don’t understand, sometimes getting out of bed is a political statement’

snowribbonSomehow my notes for the last set of open stagers & the round 2 of slam disappeared 😦 Someone not wanting to be quoted? So I have no lines from it to share with you. I make notes of lines as I listen, using one side of the page, so maybe someone needed a blank side of a page & mistaking my hen scrawl for scrap paper took it for their own vital work.

Six strong poets performed in the slam. Funny. emotional, challenging and in some cases rambling. A couple of them lost points for going over the slam time limit. As host Charlie Petch reminds us we applaud the poet not the points but when one of the points of slamming is to discipline the imagination to a structure poets suffer for flaunting the rules. Save the full version for your feature 🙂

Hot Damn! will be spreading the queer gospel to Peterborough in January, then Hamilton in February  before returning to Buddies on March 1.

sample I read Venus Selenite’s 12 griefs on the open stage. It’s from her book Trigger. I changed one line in the final iteration of the 12 days to read the chalk outline of a thirteen-year old on my sidewalk. News of the suicide of a Tyrone Unsworth bullied for being gay brought me memories of my troubled thirteen-year self.

While Enjoying A Grape Popsicle

‘it’s the sookie

the gutless wonder – get him’

three pairs of feet rushed me

Dave Parsons, his brother Stinky

and kid sister Mag

with a bruise on her arm

Dave a year older than me

Vic in my class at school

at 12 I knew what helpless meant

there was no way out

sometimes they were suddenly there

shoving and pushing me

‘yah yellow crybaby’

Dave had me in a head lock

handed my Popsicle to Mag

‘can’t even fight a girl’

he pushed me at Mag

she hit me in the face

‘go on – you useless gutless wonder’

she hit me again

I tried to stop her third smack

the others piled on me

‘hit her would you – we’ll teach you’

kicking shoving me to the ground

I tried to stop crying

‘sookie baby you tell

and we’ll say you did that bruise to Mag’

looking back

I can place these kids

in small town unhappy drunken homes

where Dave learned

words like ‘gutless wonder’

booze-hound Dad working mother

older brothers in and out of jail

acting out as they were acted upon

abuse that I didn’t experience in my home

which doesn’t change the fact

I didn’t know how to protect myself

I believed that I was gutless

my useless word against theirs

Dave broke an arm rolling a stolen car

Stinky got busted for dealing

Mag had her first kid at 16

I suppose they suffered for their actions

yet even as I put them

in this sociological context

I still wish I had the power then

to beat them

weeping for me to quit it

as I eat my grape Popsicle

and piss

on their bruised



on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes



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 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblrsnowsho

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