‘told I am too loud’

If Hot Damn’s first 2020 show is any indication the series has successful created a welcome space for the many intensely creative people who don’t choose to conform with cultural constructs of gender, sexuality or race yet have to contend with issues of body image, language Diaspora & employment. If you don’t want your complacency challenged this show is not for you.

some lines from the first round of open stagers & slammers: we all want to get home – it’s my hand on the pen – this is where I get to tell my side of the story – O felt every time I fell in love I’d become someone new – binary craft calculators – when gender & genetics collide it’s a battle – your past will follow in your footsteps -more suitcase than body – if I stop having kids so I stop being beautiful – I don’t know how to say love in my language – afternoons spent in the belly of the beast I didn’t know had consumed me – am I now an artist or a seance – I will not be validating your feelings – you are so brave – I still carry dry petal in my pockets – one days I can’t take care of myself I look after the garden, shame is a limb that isn’t mine – I am named after the blood in my mother’s mouth

Feature Yes The Poet – started their set with a uke cover of the Rolling Stone’s Beast of Burden that gave the song a authenticness I’ve never heard in it before. It became a folkways dustbowl recording from the early 20’s. Yes’s Cuban heritage started the spoken part of set with a heartfelt prayer of thanks (in Spanish) to grandmothers that added another spiritual context to Hot Damn.

some lines from the set: joy is having something to leave behind – some nights my sex us the predator – let me be soft & not a girl at the same time -only seeing their homeland in the background off Becky’s instagram feed – shrink to fit the paper work – I’m told I am too loud by people who aha never been told to be quiet – nobody liked me but because I told jokes they left alone – 

some lines from the second round of open-stagers & slammers: to write a poem you must bust a window – tinted in all the right places – I find myself melting on an angel’s tongue – promise to live you in sickness & in sickness – they grey with the colours dancing inside – not smiling for the first time in my life – I sit & watch the feet as they go by – tricks the eyes of your heart – my gender is a rabbit pulled out of a hat every morning – sex is my disappearing act – relearning of conversation mechanics – don’t think I don’t remember you – a lumberyard of silence – Pluto did it make you feel less empty to be recognized – as if changing a costume would change the body in it – threes no shame in fear – words in a language that doesn’t belong to either of us – my skin comes with a history – pathologizing my no.

Someone asked why I don’t name who performed, other than the feature. One of the things often chanted at slams – it’s the poem not the points. So this is about the poetry not the particular poets. A winner was declared, bug happy prizes were given. A good time as had by all.

I did this piece from my Shanty Tramp set

Old School Walk

guys in high school

knew things about me

that I didn’t know

or rather didn’t fully understand

I was a small blond boy

with very fine hair

I let grow longer

like pop stars of the time

long hair that got me teased

or was that bullied

with name calling



gear box

in the days before

faggot or queer were used

I knew they meant

that I wasn’t manly enough

not that I was fem

but I was not like them

nor did I try to be

I never knew

what it was that tipped them off

until one day a guy I knew

suggested I should walk

more like man

walk like a man

I had no awareness then

of how I walked

or how men were supposed to walk

in fact

I had no body awareness

beyond my awareness

of the bodies of the boys

in the locker room

this guy

gave me some lessons

in how to walk like a man

lessons I didn’t understand

it wasn’t as if 

I was deliberately

walking any one way

it was something 

I couldn’t consciously change

the right walk

wasn’t going to cure me of anything

any more than dating girls

having sex with them

cured me of being a fairy



Sunday –  January 26 – 1:30 – feature: The Secret Handshake Gallery, 170A Baldwin (Kensington Market) – 1:30https://www.facebook.com/events/498405247456842/

March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre


Richard III – Stratford Festival


Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 


All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee

at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

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