Eating Looking Cape Breton part 2

another of the post from my 2012 visit to Cape Breton


Don’t get the idea that Wentworth Perk is the only cafe in town. There are others. By far the most popular is The Bean Bank on Charlotte Street. I stopped by for coffee – strong & smooth – the place was packed, busy – people on laptops enjoying the wireless. several different spaces for sitting, though all were taken when  I was there – a front patio, an inner patio, and at least two others room as well. I was there around 11:30 & no muffins left – opted for an oat cake. Tasty but, to be honest, I like Tim Ho’s oat cakes better 🙂

Visited the Sydney Historical Society to enjoy an exhibit about the Holy Ghost Ukrainian Church and had a long talk with Megan, one of the guides, about my book. She’s creating a theatre project which, at the moment, has the working title “Steel and…

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Looking Eating #CapeBreton Part 1

another glance back at my last visit to Cape Breton in 2012


Travel often means eating in diners, cafes, restaurants & airports. Even staying, as I did, with my sister here in Sydney, I dined out more than usual. Usually for lunch.  With more Tim Ho’s per capita than doctors, Cape Breton is right on the money for coffee and donuts. What I like about the Tim’s here is that the coffee is stronger than in Toronto and they offer a regional snack – oak cakes – that I love.

My airport dining experience was in Toronto – things done to chicken at a Swiss Chalet – their summer special Greek meal – the tzatziki make a good replacement for the sauce plus the veggies were not over cooked but a bit of feta would have completed the meal.

the lunch room the lunch room

When we went to the Miners’ Museum we ate at the Miners’ Village Restaurant after we went through the exhibits…

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In The Workshop



In The Workshop

I loved to spend time in my Dad’s workshop

in a little shack behind our house

when my bothers went to war

I got to help him

as he repaired the snowmobile

a job that he seemed to do every day

or when he made

little kitchen objects for my mother

his moose-bone-handled tools

were lined up in neat rows of hooks

over the work bench

he would say “spanner seven”

and I would get it for him

his thick fingers held even the heaviest tool

as if it were the most delicate instrument

while he twisted spark plugs

or carved small scenes of robins

into the bowls of pie plates

humming happily

as he concentrated on his work

I would creep into the shed

when he wasn’t there

to sit in the humble stillness

I would brush wood chips

into small piles with my fingers


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#Porn Has Ruined My Sex Life


Porn Has Ruined My Sex Life

he wanted to try


sprawled over the back of a couch

something he’d seen

in a porn movie

when it wasn’t as hot

or as easy as it looked

I had to tell him

porn movies aren’t instructional videos

he looked a bit miffed

as if it was our fault

that neither of us could duplicate

the endurance   flexibility

of those performers

I told him

they don’t do single take session

just like real movies

they stop for snacks

to have their testicular make up adjusted

which is even more important

now with everything in HD

I showed him one sequence

where the stunt dick steps in

to fuck the stunt ass hole

that the two actors

he had been so intense upon

had been replaced

for those all important close ups

unless between camera set ups

one of them grew a…

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Wentworth Perk Perks Up Sydney

another from my last visit to Cape Breton in 2012


shelf life shelf life

Sydney has lived up to my damp, cold memories with rain & clouds the past few days. But I have gotten out and about – took walks down the streets I used to walk to school – past houses that friends I remember lived in at that time. Changes have been minimal on those streets. The downtown main street – Charlotte Street – has suffered from various attempts to revive it – one plan resulted in, what I call, cartoon quaint – in which stores fronts were given this ‘down east’ treatment that reflects nothing of the city’s heritage – fake St. John’s.


Some have had a sad modernity forced on them – that looks clean but has even less character than the ‘cartoon quaint.’ Banalization.

a shred of dignity

A few buildings have managed to maintain their historic dignity.

another shred of dignity

The one shopping…

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One Day in Cape Breton

looking back to 2012 to get ready for my visit to the Cape in August


The hardest part of any trip for me is packing – what to bring – even two days away is a bit of a chore – but 7 is worse. Thanks to the Kindle I don’t have to take heavy, space consuming books with me but the communications revolution means I have to pack cables for keeping things charged: Kindle, iPod, cellphone, & laptop – there isn’t a single cable that’ll do the job, each has to have its own. Not to omit the digital camera upload cable. Forget one cable & you’re screwed.

shelf life

Flight out to Cape Breton was heck – delayed two hours by thunderstorm – means I got to Sydney around 1:30 – but my sister Eileen was waiting for me – thanks to wireless we were able to Facebook chat while I was in Toronto – spent my first night in the ‘gift shop’…

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Suspicious Curtains at the Art Bar


Lauren Carter opened the Art Bar show with new pieces about ‘a family uprooted’ more than once, full of details from her family tree research and strong visuals “buds like tight white purses” – “a wing written into the rock” – she read from her new book ‘Lichen Bright.’ Her work has a strong sense of family, history and rural life. I especially liked “their smiles spread like suspicious curtains” – from Witches.

I miss the miracle

I was up second and the feature went very well, if I do say so myself, though people were a little disappointed that it wasn’t a set of my funny, over-sexed pieces – but every now and then it’s good to change things up. As I always do for a feature, I put together a set with a sense of flow – one that covers a bit of history as well – in…

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Clowning Afound 


Taking photos on my walks keeps me from picking up objects – if it weren’t for my camera I’d be a hoarder – instead I hoard images. Yet sometimes I succumb – usually something not too large or not too far from the end of my walk. I have bought home a few framed photographs, needle points & even oil paintings.

Over the past month or so I’ve been longing for a circus clown polka dot shirt – maybe because I’ve been watching AMH Freakshow. I imagined dots of various colours & sizes on a background of circus yellow – subtle & to me, right.clown01

So on my walk this past Monday (Aug 1, 2016) when I spotted this box of yard sale un-solds I stopped to take a picture of it. One of the ‘objects’ on my list of things to take pics of is stuff in boxes. I…

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What am I worth?


According to my 1977 chap book Distant Music is worth £59.95 !! plus shipping – Even some US sellers. Who knew? I was just checking google/yahoo search engines to see what my name might pull up – mainly to see how high in those lists my blog would appear –

Planning to do a down east set at the Art Bar next month it seemed fitting that I’d get a reminder of the chap book that was published while I was still stranded there. I had attended the University of New Brunswick summer writing workshops a couple of years in a row. I got to workshop with Alden Nowlan, M. Travis Lane, even John Metcalf.  Fred Cogswell enjoyed my work and had Fiddlehead publish the chap book.

stairs to where

I slaved over the manuscript. Those were the days of retyping an entire page if there was one typo – very…

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