Haunted Hotel

Is my hotel room haunted? A little after I had fallen asleep my first night here I heard movement in the room. At first I thought was the sheets, or someone in the hall but as I woke it was clearly someone walking around my room! I remained still in the bed things, it’s about time I met a ghost. It was quiet for a moment then started again – footsteps around the bed. I sat & squinted but saw nothing 😦 I turned on the light & I was the only one visible in the room. I laid back and it started again. I realized then it was the room above me – I’m on the 7th floor & yes there an 8th floor.

I fell asleep quickly after that and slept pretty soundly. I’m not used to sleeping in such a dark room – only light being the little green specs of various electronics. I always cover the numbers on the clock radio – too bright. If I could black out the light from the hall around the door it would be even darker.

After hitting a meeting at the Dupont Circle Club my Thursday goal was Dumbarton – I did find it but failed to find the cemetery. The museum was boring. The Gardens weren’t open until 2. Such is life. I hiked around Dumbarton park, took lots of pics. Didn’t see any signs directing to cemetery. Did see a deer though. No ghosts.

Got a bit lost getting back to the hotel – which allows me to explore other parts of the city. My may indicated that Q street would lead me to where I wanted to be. I grabbed a bagel to give me sustenance. It was good but the clerk would have been better 🙂 Got stopped a few times because of my Canada luggage tag. So I wonder if I should remove it for now?

Got back to hotel a little after 1 – walking since 9 – so I needed to get my shoes off to rest, meditated. showered & shaved my head. Some text chat with an interested fella I’ve been emailing with for a couple of months. I have low expectations so I was a bit surprised & then quite pleased when he showed up. We’ll leave it at – let’s just say I am learning the lay of the land first hand 🙂 He had to be up for work at 4 a.m. !! Which gave me time to finally hit the Triangle Club – the lgbtq Alano Club – which doesn’t open until 6. I took in the ‘Out Side The Lines’ meeting in which they look at literature that relates to recovery but isn’t necessarily AA published. It was interesting & I wasn’t at all stressed by their use of outside literature.

Another full day in which I was much too busy to real eat more than my healthy breakfast, a bagel & a pizza slice. Maybe I’ll lose enough weight to come back to TO as a ghost of my former self 🙂 The real fun starts tomorrow night so I’ll try to file up with a real meal before the Fire ignites.

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Past Washington posts http://wp.me/P1RtxU-1e3

Jet Bag Lag

As is often the case getting to the airport takes longer than the flight – sometimes just getting to plane takes longer than the flight. Traffic slowed the drive to airport so I had just an hour to get from the car to the departure gate. Finding the right Air Canada aisle was the first hurdle, checking my luggage, getting though US border guards – no problem there – but – somehow I mis-tagged my suitcase 😦 10 minute delay to sort that out. Would it arrive in DC when I did? 

Then finding a washroom, the right boarding gate, getting seat assigned – well it all worked thanks to some deep breathing & the serenity prayer. The express flight was packed. My Kindle book was diverting enough. The flight was trouble free &, because of the delay with the suitcase it was one of the first to hit the baggage carousel.

Caught a cab into the city – I used to take SuperShuttle but found out cab costs the & it’s door to door, not door to this hotel, that hotel & finally your hotel. Yes, I know I could do public transit but even my emotional baggage is too much for that 🙂

Room not ready at hotel so did some walking around – *bucks for a bit of energy & to sit to catch my breath. Long walk in which I got lost – a great way to see new parts of the city – I knew if I kept in the right general direction I’d get back to the hotel. Room ready. Unpacked. relaxed on bed a bit, changed my shoes & out again. Took in meeting at DuPont Circle club then made my way to Mulebone on 14th street. Didn’t get lost this time.

Great meal at Mulebone – ate too much which is a good thing to do for a body that’s been stressed by travel. Hit a Safeways on the way back to the hotel for my morning foods & late night snacks. Final unpacking & seeing what I forgot this year! Checked my email & also what hot guys might want a private lesson in spoken word 🙂 I’ll sleep well tonight with dreams of hot Safeway clerks dancing in my head.

Past Washington posts http://wp.me/P1RtxU-1e3

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Baycrest Brain Rental

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve participated an interesting brain/auditory/memory study at Baycrest, Rotman Research Institute. The official, & very catchy name of the project is: “Individual differences in working memory processing in young and older adults indicated by neuromagnetic oscillations” It was spread over three sessions and proved to be one of the more intriguing studies I’ve done.

It was one that called on more of my brain. Usually the ‘memory’ studies I do involve remembering lists of words, numbers, replicating images. This is one of few that also involved hearing. One portion involved recording my brain signals with a magnetoencephalograph (MEG) while I was doing the task. While doing the task I had ear buds that were playing a variety of tones, pitches & different loudness levels.

The other portion involved hearing tests and testing understanding of speech in noise. I was to repeat a phrase (a different one each time) said against background of people talking. Sometime I get to practice at poetry readings where people not interested in the performance see fit to talk as loud as they can to drown out the performer (this happens more often than you’d expect.)

Doing this studies is a way for me give something back via research. Even when I was doing the pharmaceutical research I was aware that my tiny participation could save lives. I also felt it was important that, even though this information isn’t germane to the study, there be gay males included in the pool. And sometimes the money was decent. I’ve had more MRI’s cat scans, eegs, & MEGs than the average person too.

The most challenging part of the study was getting to Baycrest in the morning 🙂 I general transit to Lawrence Station & walk the rest of the way. I know where the Starbucks are. For this study I opted to go one stop further to York Mills & walk from there along Wilson. Turns out this route is faster. I like the opportunity to see other parts of the city & sample Starbucks. Plus I’m always eager for photo ops. If you’re interesting be a part of such research gave Baycrest a call. http://www.baycrest.org/participate/participate-in-research/

More North York pics: http://topoet.tumblr.com/post/160819331013/

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

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

TOpoet

TOpoet.ca is blushing

The Adventures of Danger Girl

Unlike most of the people, in the Toronto, spoken word scene, I don’t love poetry. I especially, don’t love poetry written post 70’s, with the very rare exception of maybe a handful of poets. Duncan Armstrong aka TOpoet is one of them.

It doesn’t take long, maybe just a line or two to realize that this is someone who really invests in everything he experiences. Whether he is writing about the roles we are cast in by others, ex lovers, the state/lack of civilization, or a father wearing shoes that once belonged to his dead son, like he does in “Breaking In Grief” from his new chapbook, “After The Falling”, you are not just reading a series of beautifully strung words, you are feeling what it is like to be there, and remembering the feel of shoes that didn’t belong on your own feet.

He is also incredibly funny. It’s…

View original post 190 more words

Colloquium 2017

This year’s SpecFic spread its tentacles in a new location – 918 Bathurst Street. As long as it is within walking distance of both a subway station & a Starbucks I’m happy.

In her opening remarks for this years SpecFic Sandra Kasturi mentioned that the one complaint the consistently she gets is that there are too many ideas to deal with let alone process. Truer words are rarely spoken as the day’s presenters flooded 918 Bathurst with endless visions of the future & ideas about the present.

First presenter was Julie Czerneda: “It’s a Wrap, Folks” a talk about the writing process itself. How to end a story. She talked about some the traps: i.e. the wrap-up-every-thread ending. Some things can force an ending like word count, submission deadlines. A resolution is not necessarily the ending. Ending shouldn’t be a new plot point unless it is leading to a sequel. If you are having ending issue – ramp up the tension to force one.

She was followed by Robert Boyczuk: “Why You (Still) Can’t Teach Writing” a talk on the usefulness or uselessness of creative writing courses & workshops. One can learn structure & how to have a sharper critical eye but not how to be more creative. He feels sometimes writers spend more time in, looking for, or talking about workshops than they spend writing. My personal experience is often writers judge work by who you’ve studied with than the actual quality of the writing itself. The presentation turned into a discussion about editors & copy writers (maybe something for next year).

The morning sessions wrapped with Jason Taniguchi: “Long Ago and Far, Far Away: Falling Hard for Fictional Worlds” a talk about the lure of alien worlds. This was a great talk about what it takes to do successful world building – something that all writers need to know not just specfic writers. His list of elements included things like ‘it is spilling over with unique specific details’ ‘it has a sense of its own history.’ The importance of representation in world building is becoming more important – what races, genders are in your world? He felt things like Harry Potter or Hunger Games were markedly white & heterosexual.

Unfortunately the day was too damp cold & gloomy for patio lunching. Was glad to get some fresh air with a quick walk to the nearest Starbucks to reap the rewards of my bonus stars – stars it seems one earns merely by walking past a Starbucks – by the time I got back my microwaved sandwich was cool enough to eat.

After the lunch break Sandra read Madeline Ashby: “Abandon All Hope, Eh?: Lessons Learned from the Company Town Tour” – it raised questions such as ‘how can you impose borders on stolen land? utopian for who? the world you are happiest in may ‘not be the best possible world’ What is the future? M feels that to transform Canada we need to move away from resource based economy. We have a skewed sense of what progress really means – is it faster internet connection or being able to live without the internet? Madeline fell ill & couldn’t even Skype – now that’s ill.

This was followed by Vicki Clough: “Alternate Realities in Art” a look at how fine arts are creating a space for epic story telling. I say fine arts – i.e. painting, sculpture as opposed to illustrated novels. She used the work of Kent Monkman & Saya Woolfalk to explore how this is done. Kent reinterprets classic paintings by interjecting his alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle into them; Saya tells the story of a species that switches between animal & plant. Kent’s inventiveness made me wonder if writers might be able to do the same thing – could I rewrite say David Copperfield & find a way to insert my p.o.v to add a layer of observational commentary: it was the best of TOpoet.ca and the worse of TOpoet.ca?
17554424_10210246166523198_864376003505417264_n

The day wrapped with keynote speaker Cory Doctorow “I Can’t Let You Do That Dave” a, for me, overly tech talk about the dangers of DRM coding that allows makers to control how their devices get used but which also comprises personal privacy & safety. Devices can be hijacked to attack their owners – car computers, thanks to DRM (I think) are vulnerable to 3rd party steering. He spoke directly & passionately about our right to control our data. Check out OpenMedia.ca for how to get involved in protecting our rights.

By the end of the day I was exhausted from sitting, listening & at times, even thinking. 918 was a good venue for the colloquium even though it didn’t appear to be at all accessible. Didn’t spot a wheelchair ramp, washrooms were down flights of stairs. Looking forward next years.

ps: in my loot bag: Playground of Lost Toys: ed Anderson/Pflug; Year’s Best Weird Fiction: ed Barron/Kelly; Buffalo Soldier: Broaddus; The Society of Experience: Cahill; Winter Tide: Emrys; Quaternity: Hoover; Proof of Concept: Jones; Those Who Make Us: ed Morris/Trembly; Dead Americans: Peek; Broken Baloons: Prussky; Lifeblood: Showalter; Dead Girls Don’t: Story; Blood & Water: Trenholm 🙂

Past Colloquium posts:

2014: Colloquium in the Round http://wp.me/p1RtxU-EW

2015: Up SpecFic Alleys: http://wp.me/p1RtxU-173

2016: Ghost in the Twitter Feed http://wp.me/p1RtxU-1F6

rough draft sample

Spoilers

boy gets girl

dog lives

monster vanquished

boy buys right girl

man repents

eviler spirits arise

escape succeeds

money isn’t enough

love conquers all

she feels complete in marriage

success isn’t everything

family is reunited

all is forgiven

things are never the same again

she knows better

he finds a purpose in self sacrifice

boy gets boy

dog learns a lesson

man rescued from loneliness by child

greed is punished

being pretty isn’t fulfilling

he didn’t really want her

the lame horse wins a race

he dies saving others

the truth remains hidden

it was all a dream

the boy was once a girl

there is no escaping

they were ghosts

drugs were a bad choice

bad guy repents

she was a princess all along

the villain was his father

the castle blows up

the space ship blows up

the race is won

marriage means more than career

he is a genius

the plants were evil

Satan is foiled

he walks again

she forgives her rapist

he sees the errors of his ways

his heart is ten times bigger

everyone is dead

Chapbooks available: http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

meandchap

kiss314257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_oon going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm start – Featuring Queen Sheba. Slam winner gets trip to Capturing Fire & maybe coffee with me in DC.games

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

June 9-10-11: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already

fec17-header

https://www.facebook.com/events/526940540845331/

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winner

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

Lazarus Kiss.04

Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.

May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others

and a love within recall that alters you.

kiss

Lazarus Kiss.04

“I don’t know. That was so weird, you know. She’d look at me as if she had never met me before. After awhile I got the message.”

“Yeah sure you got the message but you weren’t actually listening either. You raved about her as if it was the first time you got laid in years. I could never figure it out. Laura was okay looking but still pretty much run of the mill too.”

“To you, not to me.” His downed his cocktail. “I gotta get out of here. Some of us work for a living.”

As Harris left Story he relived that night with Laura. Meeting her and how taken he was by her very presence. That first kiss. No woman had made him feel that way since.

“ ‘Scuse me.” It was the busboy. “ This’ll sound totally off th’wall but …. ya see I have a girl an’ all  but there’s sometin’ about ya. Ya know never thought I might be bi but ….”

Harris stepped back. “Ah … well … thanks but …. I’m not really interested. No offense.” A flash of heartburn made it hard for him to breathe.

“Yeah, but dis is so fucked, like I said, I saw ya sit down and couldn’t take my eyes off ya, ya know. I’m Alex Tzorvas. My number.” He held a napkin out to Harris.

Alex had the body of one of those Ultimate Fighter goons, sounded as stupid as one too. Harris took the napkin and stuffed it into his back pocket.

Harris was stunned when Alex kissed him. Tongue and all. Another man’s tongue in his mouth! He wanted Alex to go to his knees and suck his cock. He could feel his hands on those buldging shoulders. He pushed Alex away.

“Look Alex. I’ll drop by in a few days and if you still feel the same way we’ll talk.” His breathing became easier.

If what his Dad told him was true, the guy wouldn’t remember him at all. An ideal test case, plus he wouldn’t have to worry now who was going to hit on him for the rest of the night. He threw the napkin into a subway trash bin.

On his way home from the subway he noticed posters on the street light poles.

R E W A R D

Missing – Frances Green – age 23  

5’4” – red hair – green eyes 

wearing a dark blue sweater and Guess jeans 

carrying a large blue leather purse

last seen on Saturday night

exiting the Greendale subway station

on her way to Saint Anne’s Community Hall

anyone with any information is asked to contact either the police or call 

And there were numbers to call –

He studied the photo. The image was slightly fuzzy. The face didn’t register except as pretty. Who had he talked to about St. Anne’s recently? It wasn’t too far from there he knew.  He was tempted to call to give the posterer a few tips on cleaning up the image.

*5*

Alex was flirting with a couple of hot looking babes in the front patio when he saw the fat guy arrive. He thought guys with ponytails were losers, especially when they were wearing baggy shorts, grubby hoodie and a childish tee-shirt. Who the heck was Morbius? The fat guy joked with his sister Cally.

“Hey you taking our order or what?” one of the cute girls touched his calf.

“Ah … got distracted.” he mumbled.

He’d been working at Story for a month and was still on probation. Not that his sister would fire him but he needed to make a good impression. He was sore that he had to start at the bottom there. After all he had three years at MacBrick. The fact that he’d kept his temper in check there was a miracle. Other than that time when the gay soccer league showed up. Well, not that he always kept in check but the fact that he got away with it that long.

So here he was busing tables, cleaning washrooms, mopping up vomit and occasionally flirting with hot babes. Hot babes made a difference after the rough and tumble MacBrick regulars. Story attracted a younger, hipper crowd that wasn’t out merely to get drunk and pick fights.

He didn’t mind the Story uniform – male staff in dark cranberry red shirts with the Story logo over the left pocket. Female staff in similar shirts only in a more plum shade. He couldn’t tell the difference between cranberry and plum. Black aprons with the same Story logo on the bottom right corner had pockets for a table rag, tips, change and order pad. Story supplied and cleaned the shirts and aprons. Staff supplied their own pants, shoes and attitude.

Alex was glad that the shirt was stretched across arms and biceps. He dug his body and liked to have it noticed by hot babes.

“I’ll send sommun out to take your order. I’m a table rag t’night.” He gave them a playful frown and ran his towel over the table. “Clean ‘nough t’be eaten out on.”

He went back in. His eyes kept going to table were the fat guy and his pal had sat. They looked like good friends. Must be nice. Alex had never gotten along with other guys. Women yes. He knew what pleased them and how to have them please him. Men were competition inside and outside the ring.

The fat guy certainly enjoyed his food. Alex avoided fatty fried stuff. Had to to stay trim and hard. He watched as the guy ate the sweet-potato fries. Dipping them and pushing them into his mouth then licking his fingers. Alex could feel the guy licking his own fingers with the same pleasure as they went into his mouth. He could see the guy’s eager expression as Alex forced his head under the apron to eat his hot sweaty waiter ….. What the fuck. Where’d that thought come from? Alex shook his head as he went to clear another couple of tables.

“Can you take this to those guys?” Cally nodded to the order of double burgers that were for the fat guy’s table.

“Sure.” He took the food and while he was there cleared off empty plates and bottles. “Anyt’in else gents?”

He stood at the fat guy’s shoulder. Eye contact was made. His dick strained for more than eye contact. For once he was grateful that the apron covered his package.

“No, we’re fine for now.” the Afro haired guy said.

When he saw that they had finished their burgers he went back to the table.

“Excuse me.” He took the empties and wiped down the table. “ Anyt’in else?”

“Time for onion rings.” Harris leaned back and the busboy took his empty plate. “Forget ’em?”

He brought the onions rings and went back to bussing duties. He kept his eye on the guys. A quick glance at Cally’s running tab for the table told him that the heavy guy’s name was Harris Stevens.

He wrote his name and phone number on a napkin and watched for a chance to give it to Harris.

When he saw him alone in front he approached him.

“ ‘Scuse me. This’ll sound totally off th’wall but …. ya see I have a girl an’ all  but there’s sometin’ about ya. Ya know never thought I might be bi but ….”

Harris stepped back. “Ah … well … thanks but …. I’m not really interested. No offense.”

“Yeah, dis is so fucked, like I said, I saw ya sit down and couldn’t take my eyes off ya, ya know. I’m Alex Tzorvas. My number.”

Harris took and napkin and stuffed it into his back pocket.

Once he gave his number to Harris he leaned forward and kissed him. Pushed his tongue into the other man’s mouth. Beery fried food. He visualized Harris going to his knees, lifting the apron and licking the sweat off him the way he had licked the salt off his fingers when he was eating.

He pulled Harris’s tongue into his mouth. Only for a few seconds. A man’s tongue in his mouth! Tongue only. No other body parts.

 

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblrsnowpicnic

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winner

http://nanowrimo.org/

This work is licensed under a

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

#Representation

20-redmugs01One of the things Andrew Gurza discusses frequently on his Disability After Dark podcast is ‘representation’ – not only in media, sitcoms & the like, but across the board in all events. It’s only been in the past few years that disabled actors get cast as characters whose disability matches theirs. This is akin to casting Asians as characters that were originally Asian.

20-redfender04Stratford can get away with colour-blind casting but I doubt if we’ll ever see Tom Hanks star in the Louis Armstrong Story. If Mr. Moto or Fu Manchu ever get revived I’m sure actual Asians will be cast in the lead. But I digress :-). Andrew zeros in on the lack of diversity in main-stream gay porn: I say ‘main-stream’ as there are fetish niches that thrive thanks to the WWW.

I’ve blogged about this before – there were no openly queer men or women on TV when I was growing up. I found out much later about Raymond Burr, Tab Hunter, Troy Donahue. In literature homosexuality could only be used as a plot device not as character development – unless their queerness was relevant to the plot it was not to be mentioned; unlike hetero characters who could have girlfriends who weren’t relevant. There was no such thing as a causal gay character.

20-redtoys03This has changed a little. But it still seems every gay or bi or other sexuality character must have a back story explaining this – straight characters rarely require that much context.

The one TV show that dared to have a tres gay character was the now classic British sit-com: Are You Being Served? Mr Humphrey’s is the icon-o-classic mincer with the sharp line. Not exactly role model material.

It was up to reality TV to normalize gay men, in particular Project Runway – it never shied away from sexuality – the ‘private’ lives of all the designers were open books to the viewers. The same can be said of Top Chef. On both I’ve seen men (& sometimes women) who make great role models – a bit late for me mind you, but they are positive active and fun examples of what queer can be. Top Model has had trans, lesbian & gay male competitors too. The one thing reality TV does is actually reflect the diversity of reality, unlike most other show.

20-redme02I’ve watched some recent TV mini-series: Falling Water, Candle Cove: guess what – bad stuff only happens to straight people – these are worlds in which there are absolutely no queers. Much like The Martian: in which it appears only heterosexuals get sent to outer space or even work in the space program.

So the representation Andrew seeks is even scarcer. No #bearinachair in space. In fact I haven’t seen mobility challenged contestants on the reality shows I do watch. Don’t people with walkers ever cook for themselves? I’m sure the deaf can sew.

samp01

Spoilers

boy gets girl

dog lives

monster vanquished

boy buys right girl

man repents

eviler spirits arise

escape succeeds

money isn’t enough

love conquers all

she feels compete in marriage

success isn’t everything

he was a she

family is reunited

all is forgiven

things are never the same again

she knows better

he finds a purpose in self sacrifice

boy gets boy

dog learns a lesson

man rescued from loneliness by child

greed is punished

being pretty isn’t fulfilling

he didn’t really want her

the lame horse wins a race

he dies saving others

the truth remains hidden

it was all a dream

there is no escaping

they were ghosts

drugs were a bad choice

bad guy repents

she was a princess all along

the villain was his father

the castle blows up

the space ship blows up

the race is won

marriage means more than career

he is a genius

the plants were evil

Satan is foiled

he walks again

she forgives her rapist

he sees the errors of his ways

his heart is ten times bigger

everyone is dead

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr02redme02

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

Lights Delight 2016

I can’t say this luge lunge to Christmas is my favourite time of the year. One cannot avoid the season though. Sad events become even sadder in the face of the festive. Cynical grips about commercialism won’t stop that from happening. Humbugging is pointless. One can’t stop the this sleigh ride but I can chose how to respond to it.lights

My favourite part of the season is lighting. People do things to their homes that would make a drag queen blush. I take extra walks at night to enjoy what people have done to their homes. The lights are, to me, the true spirit of giving.03-snowlight

They are there for anyone who takes the time to look. A free gift to me, I’m not the one paying their power bill. They get put up with the main thought being seen. Some people go overboard. TV has managed to turn it into a game show but most people don’t truly compete, they merely want to sparkle & share.

The lights are offered without judgments about who the seers are going to be. I doubt if the homeowners stand by the window making note of who looks, or stand ready to shut them off if that jerk up the street dares to even glance at them. There is no electronic sensor that turns them off in a Muslim looks.10-snowlight

When I do my light tours I don’t judge – I like it all. Overdone, under done, doesn’t matter; not done – well not everyone gets into it, without the dark there is no contrast – such is life.31-treelights My lighting isn’t all that spectacular – windows and such but it satisfies me to see it when I get home at night. My favourite lights here are the ones on our back porch – not for public viewing to the same degree as the ones out front. But I love looking at them at night & early in the morning. I’m sure the people in the houses along our laneway enjoy them too. Plus a few have started to do their own back porch lighting.

Lights delight.

16redlights01

From a series of Dolly Dinty About Town

The Grinding

Festive readers, I am pleased to bring you a wrap up of the week-end’s events.  The highlight of which has to be the annual Lighting of the Trees. Held in several locations in the hills about Crab Apple Corners the horizon is illuminated by the first official rite of the season.

I choose to attend the ceremony at Hijil’s Farm – they had obtained two of the remaining stand of ancient red wood sycamores and had them flown in for the occasion. Trees so large they needed two helicopters to carry each of them.

The first flame was applied to them by our local Miss Pig Driver, Tanis-Lotus Flatly. The trees did us the great honour of being slow to ignite, but once they had been engulfed in flames the look of joy in the faces of the children was worth the wait.

Once these two trees were in flames, burning torches were taken to the sites where other trees were ready for the ceremony. The Great Maple at McCracken’s of Daw Hill was the next to be torched and quickly one could see similar fires all across the country side. Hijil’s Farm perched atop Green Bluffs gave us a splendid view of the various tributes to the season.

Once the first two trees had been burnt to cinders our parish Vicar Father Frank did The Grinding and was quickly joined by the other men who were of age, to participate in this ritual.

I was thrilled to be offered by my one and only Hank Grebly the fruits of his grinding. A jar filled with these delicate ashes and moose fat can sit proudly on any mantle piece. There will be enough here to guarantee me a year of fertility and good weather. After all, it only takes a pinch a day, tossed into the wind to catch the eye of the spirits for protection.

The carolling at St. Sufferer’s Cathedral was once again a thrill, especially now that the bells have almost been tuned. The climax of each verse is a ringing of these bells that echoes though our happy valley and shimmers through the fragrant smoke produced by the Lighting of the Trees.

all the pictures are of my Christmas lighting

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

xmas04
https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

kiss-copy

Darondo and Prince

14-round02

Here we have a very recent addition with an mp3 collection of my favorite kinds of generational & style mixes. It’s filed under D for Darondo with Let My People Go & Listen to My Song. Modern throwback – one would swear this is 80’s Mayfield soul but it is recent. Sweet, sexy & warm. DNCE – Swaay – is current pop, apparently, radio friendly & innocuous.

14-round03Laura Mvula is yearning black vocalist – Sing To The Moon – refreshing to hear a female not in the Beyonce mold. Deep emotional, musically appealing & her voice is captivating. One of my DC poets turned me on to her. Of course to get history in on this I’ve added Price’s Purple Rain. When he died I went through my collection & discovered I no longer had a version of this so downloaded a fresh one. Still holds up though Doves Cry goes on & on.14-round01

 

14-round04

Another modern release is the latest by Pet Shop Boys – Super – recaptures their sound & reinvigorates it at the same time. Finally as a total outside this box is Arthur Russell’s Calling Out Of Context: British obscure art/punk rocker does an eerie sort of dance experimental exploration of his psyche – not quite as fractured at Syd Barrett but in the same ball park. 

sample

Fates

Ques paced the dusty yard outside his forge. It had been several days since it had rained. The black soil had become grey. He pushed through a pile of assorted pla’k for a piece large enough to complete the job on his bench. The pieces of pla’k he had all bore signs of repair work on them. It had been years since he had seen a fresh whole piece of anything.

He found a thin sheet that should do the job and tossed it through the open door. It landed with a soft thud on the floor. Where was that apprentice of his? Bres should have been back hours ago. If he hadn’t had to finish this job he would have gone to the Gates himself to collect provisions for the week.

‘Such was life,’ he sang. ‘Such was life, to put our fates in the hands at the Gate.’

In his work room he placed the pla’k along the crack in the vid he was working on. It was just the right length. The lasarc hummed. Not a good sign. He’d need real st’l to fix that if it broke down. He ran the tiny blue light along the edges of the pla’k  and sealed it to the vid.

‘That should hold you for another sun.’

The gate creaked open and Bres came into the yard.

‘Been waiting too long for this.’ He dumped his bag on the table and began to pull out the content. ‘Here’s bread, some jam and I finally got some of the burn salve. Not much of that mind you but enough for us.’

‘Good man. I was worried.’

‘You? Worried. About me or Slat.’

‘Slat? You heard something of Slat?’

‘The same stories. Seen here and there, here and there.’

‘I pray Saint V’ths is looking after that boy.’

‘So few children these days. What becomes of ‘em. Can’t all be taken up to the …’

‘Do not say. I …’

The vid Ques had repaired came on suddenly.

‘Ah fixed it have you.’

‘Thought so but the start relay needs adjustment. Another day for that another day. We have fresh bread to enjoy first.’

soon

14257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_o
on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nano_odwv0rd0j91s3yvqto2_540

http://nanowrimo.org/

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

14976378_1263645170376130_4297695032579630041_ohttps://www.facebook.com/events/1156455914402108/

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

6DC0301

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

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

newcap

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

bballs01

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet