The Chef’s Surprise

The Chef’s Surprise

the food looked delicious

smelled as good as it looked

I wanted to eat it

longed for a taste

had my fork in my hand

the waiter was watching

eager for my reaction

I wanted to be pleased

I hesitated

it wasn’t what I had expected


maybe this is how it was prepared 

in this restaurant

or maybe I had ordered the wrong thing

or my order had been misunderstood

something wasn’t right


why make a fuss

why not accept the choice of the universe

rather than be so set 

in getting my way

this was an adventure

an opportunity

to break out of my lock step pattern

take a little chance

but it wasn’t what I ordered

what if it was meant for someone else

could I be charged for it

as well as for what I ordered

what would they say

if I sent it back


I had eaten there before

had been served what I ordered

I sipped my water

hoping the waiter would realize

I’d been given the wrong meal

meant for another table

but he was smiling

I ate

Has this every happened to you? Ordered at a restaurant & been given the wrong order? Been given something that didn’t look the way you expected & thought it was the wrong order? Been given the wrong order then blamed by the waiter who is sure it is what you ordered? Asked for no fries & had it served with fries? All of the above had happened to me – not all at the same time, mind you, or in the same restaurant 🙂


I expect somethings to look pretty much the same when I order them anywhere: hamburgers, bacon & eggs, but other things have proved to be quite different. Cornish game hen can come like a little trussed chicken or like one that looks like it has been flattened by a steam roller. Hand cut fries that are chunky & unpeeled, or thin & almost potato chips.


I am not an overly picky eater but I do have some expectations when ordering food. I also know people in the food service industry & have heard enough about their end of things to know it can be a hassle when food get returned – for one thing the food has to be tossed out & sometimes the wait staff has to pay for it.

Being one of those polite Canadians I’m not into making a fuss over little things – I have a friend who would send a salad back if the lettuce looked at all wilted, I stopped lunching with him. Too much fuss is not a side dish that adds to my dining pleasure. But am capable of saying – I ask for this without … & let it go at that. It is easy enough to leave an unwanted hamburger bun, or fries on the plate. Particularly when the waiter smiles sweetly.


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Finished Week Three of The Artist’s Way. Julia sure loves lists. Looking into the past to clear the vision for the future didn’t turn up anything new from my pre-Toronto east coast growing up. The only real memory of negativity was the reaction of Malcom Ross – then head of the English Department at Dalhousie University – to my first attempt at a novel – it was about a character coming out & he felt the subject matter wasn’t suitable.

Looking back I’m not sure if it was because of his personal moral stance or because the writing itself wasn’t as strong as my poetry at the time. he had been very supportive of me as a poet. I still have that novel somewhere in my paper archives so I may dig it out to see how it stands up as juvenilia 🙂

My worse critic is often self-talk & not what others have said or written about my work directly. When I was involved in a crit group I felt supported up to a point but rarely got as much feedback as the others – was it because my work was fine or because they didn’t think it was worth bothering with? At least with the Loyalist workshops I got lots of excellent input. Plus some of the fiends I made at Loyalist are still people I’m in contact with – but the poetry work-shoppers have drifted away; I only hear from them when they send out bulk invites to shows.

Thanks to covid19 closings artist dates have become photo excursions. The pictures here are from my walk Thursday (Mar 25). I took TTC to Wellesley Station & walked home from there. Part of the walk crosses the Rosedale Valley Overpass then the Prince Edward Viaduct. The pictures are all from the south side – some looking as down as I could lean over the rail. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Don River so clear 🙂


if his resistance 

has been any smaller

it would have taken 

an ant to measure it

but as it was 

it was big enough 

to change me 

on a molecular level 

each time he was near

my atomic structure 

began to revolve around him


heads would turn to see  

where that unseen vibe 

was coming from

eyes would linger on his lips

his smile

his teeth

each hair on his head

would mesmerize 

drawing power

from the love light 

in their eyes

charging him up

for more powerful emanations


and that was me

sitting by his side

who noticed me

did it matter

as long as he noticed me

as long as he was in me

as long as I was the one

who held the key to the shield

that protected him


they all wanted 

the part of him that was only mine

the shadow of his power 

protects me

while keeping me 

from the full expression of my own

the difference between us 

was less than than 

the thickness of a spark 

jumping from lip to lip

the nano-storm flash

of realization from eye to eye 


we were merged

separate unified individual


shaping the universe

for all to follow

living in that gap between 

want and want even more

giving and losing

taking and reflecting

the bridge

between life and death

we were on the breeze 

on the disappearing species list 


nothing was safe

cataclysmic explanations 

elemental tables were upset

we didn’t sit with them

they resented the

absolute the power we held

when our hands 

were merely reaching

for one another

? – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – date to be announce thanks to COVID19


June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C. 


All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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at Ted’s Bulletin in Washington DC

at 2020’s – sweet, eh?

No vs. Low 

How many days? Where does the count start? With patient zero? Or when they realized there was a patient zero? When community centres closed March 13? Yeah, I’ll pick March 13 when the city realized this was a real danger & started to act in proactive way. If it weren’t for time & date on my computer I’d lose track of what actual day it. My routines were hinged around certain weekly meetings that fell on Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday.



Shopping panic was dismaying but not surprising. The disappearance of thing off shelves, & apparently not replaced yet, is more amusing than anything. Gradually Toronto has closed down. What no shoe stores! What only plastic no cash? This does bug me as it is clear banks aren’t going to waive any additional fees they collect as we are forced to use credit or debit cards. Fuckers.

I take my daily morning walks, each day a different direction & with minor variations in routes as well. a couple fo them let me see what is happening along the Danforth from Greenwood to Broadview, of Greenwood To Main. Take-out only signs went up fairly quickly, some of them became pick-up only – you have to order in advance. All Danforth Starbucks closed, most Tim Horton’s closed. Some of them depended on school traffic which is nonexistent.


Personal health worries haven’t taken over my thinking but they can’t be ignored. My partner is in 80’s, with pacemaker – so if he contracts it odds aren’t in his favour. He’s sure they’ll be directing resources to people with longer life expectancy (as they did in Italy). But our exposure risks are very low. But ‘no’ risk is better than ‘low’ risk.

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I’ve seen so many frenzied crowds battling for food & pillaged stores in movies that the covid crisis felt a little unreal. I didn’t expect to see the end of the world – not that I think it’s going to come to a dry coughing end now – but there are endless doomsayers moaning & pointing the finger of blame.

The dystopian future has unexpectedly become a reality. All those irrational actions & reactions in films weren’t just dramatic licence, they were reflecting real human responses – people pulling guns at Costco over toilet paper. Toilet paper! Lining up for the latest game release rather than consider social distancing. Will there be a new iPhone?

I had a lunch plan with a buddy who may cancel because he doesn’t want to take public transit – if we get together it will be take out (as many restaurants, coffee chains, aren’t doing dine in) so we can keep that 6 foot distance between us. It got too complex so we cancelled.

Worry about the transit system running smoothly now becomes will I take transit at all. I’m one of the ‘lucky’ one without a job to deal with. The few things I took transit for have been closed until April 5. Many of the recovery meetings I go to are in community centres or churches – now closed until further notice. So I’m already engaged deeply in social isolation.

I’ve done a few things as a result of the crisis. I’ve bumped up my Vitamin C & spread it out over the day as the body can only aboard so much at a time. I’ve added zinc to my pill intake as it boosts the immune system. I downloaded a set of “Solfeggio Frequencies: Activate Qi Flow and Healing Energy.” I can leave this playing in the background when I’m doing chores around the house. 

What are you doing to prepare for the dry cough end of the world?

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A Christmas Porch

If the festive lighting isn’t enough, you get a huge holiday hug when you step into the front porch. A hug from this bookcase that I cover with fabric & Christmas stockings. One year I realized people coming in saw this bookcase  littered with curios & objects d’art & such, so opted for seasonal by wrapping like a gift with a Christmas print. Over the years I’ve added real stocking & many  from Yves Roche – they commonly do a new edition very year. 

On top of the cabinet is my Nutcracker collection – the blue was a gift a few years ago, the middle is the one I’ve had the longest & dates from when we moved into the house, the third is a broken one I found at the curb – he stands tall for me. The clown is another found object (see: Clowning Afround ). Godzilla was picked up at Fan Expo a few years ago. St. Elvis was bought at yard sale for $5. These three are permanent guardians, the nutcrackers only come out for Christmas.

This print was, at one time, the mantle covering, but I wanted something brighter for inside, so this more tradition print ended up in the porch. The fabric gets stapled to the book case at various points, as do the stockings. I may invest in something new for next year or swap things around once again. Change is good.

Covering the front bay window is this net – which many visitors assume, because of my east coast background, to be a fishing net but it is actually a hammock. The balls are my partners & date back to before we met. I decided not to use any balls on the tree & now they all get hung out here along with other sparkly bits & garlands. The Santa belonged to a friend who since moved back to the east coast. I think my favorite is Robin swinging on the side there.

The Merry Christmas & some of the ornaments were gifts from my partner’s aunt. She knitted covers for used restaurant milk creamers to repurpose them as bells. Christmas is more about the memories that people have brought into my house than the gifts (well the gifts are fun too) 🙂

Thursday – January 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – 7:30 – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – featuring ‘Yes The Poet’ 

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

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C. 


All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s – sweet, eh?

Christmas Tree in a Dumpster

here’s a perfect festive picture in 253 words:

Christmas Tree in a Dumpster

december fifteen

ten days to the big event

I’m enjoying a walk on a cold sunny day

on my way home from 

a brief shopping challenge

in which I stuck to a list

no impulse shopping 

enjoying the almost heat 

of sun on my face


when I spot 

beside an apartment building

in a dumpester

the ass end 

of a Christmas tree sticking up

ornaments tinsel dangling

a stretch of purple silver garland

drooping over the side



after the new years 

I’d not be surprised 

to see such a sight

though tossing a tree 

with ornaments still on 

would be rare 

it was a real tree too

the raw sawed end bravely trust 

at the sun

tinsel shivering 

in the breeze of cars whizzing by


‘Christmas tree in a dumpster’

sound like the start of country song 

yet there it was

after too much cheer too soon

too little gratitude from the kids

teaching someone a lesson

getting rid of it

before the real bad memories took hold


angry break up 

a door slammed

and out with the tree 

hauling it down in the elevator

out to the dumpster

climbing up and shoving it in

tinsel garlands strings of lights

strewn in an angry wake

I can’t imagine it being done 

in calmness and serenity

get the fuck out of here

and take your goddamned tree too

or did they dump it off a balcony


someone is having 

a Christmas to remember 

I’m glad it’s not me

Picture Perfect sample here:

Whip Marks #NaNoWriMo sample05

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Stumbling Around and #NaNoWriMo sample.04


perfect nano sample

(This sample from day 5 falls just past the 10000 word mark. Linda is Daniel’s sister.)

He was telling Sanjay about the ‘offer’, as he called it with air quotation marks, from Quintex, when his phone rang. He unplugged it from the charger to answer.

“Linda.” Photo call display told him who was calling.

“Daniel, we have to talk.”

“You mean you talk and I listen.” He replied holding the receiver away from his ear.

“I’m not in the mood for your wise cracks this early in the day.” Her voice seemed to echo off the kitchen ceiling. “I’ll expect you at the FairVista store by ten.”

He brought the phone to talking distance. “Not unless I teleport. I’ll be there when I get there. Eleven at the earliest.”

“Get your houseboy to drop you off.”

Dan rolled his eyes to Sanjay’s frown. “She’ll never forgive you, will she.”


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#NaNoWriMo Cyrtys sample.03

more Perfect from 2014


perfect nano sample

“Someone was by to see you, bossman.” Sandy handed him an embossed business card.

It said. ‘Cyrtys Baxter – Quintex Canada – Executive Producer’ with a phone number, fax number, email address and web site printed on the back. As the light played on it a man’s face appeared momentarily.

“It’s pronounced Curtis.” Sandy explained. “He says he’s from Canada’s Cold Cases.”

“WTF?” Dan tried to steady the reflection on the card to see the face more clearly.

“Amazing.” Ushio took the card from him. “It’s that new Laser 3-D printing. I have never seen anything like it.”

“Did he say what he wanted?” Dan asked taking back the card.

“Nope. Just that he was returning your call in person.”

“Right. I called them about the show I saw last night.” He quickly told them about the missing children and the photo of him and Timmy Dunlop.

“You sure it…

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#NaNoWriMo Cascade & Sample.02

a look back to 2014


perfect nano

“I’ll be right down.” He glanced at the time on his cell. He wasn’t expecting Warszawa until after lunch. Something must have come up.

Since his first consultation for the RCMP he’d been called in on several cases where documents were concerned. Soft-wear he had developed enabled him to quickly ascertain if a photo had been doctored. In a couple of instances he had been able to remove the the alteration to reveal what was there before. He’d refined that to do the work on the child porn case.

He went down the back stairs to his office. Robert Warszawa was already sitting in front of his desk.

“Could you explain to Ushio (Dan’s assistant) I am not a good sergeant but a dogged Inspector.” he reached out to shake Dan’s hand.

“I’ve tried. He once asked why you don’t wear red.”

“That is what I’d call racial profiling.” Robert…

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