The Cutest Beatle

Who is the cutest Beatle? Who is the most talented? Did Yoko break up the best band in the world? None of these questions will be answered here 🙂 All I can say for sure is that John Lennon was the uncut Beatle. Yes, that’s right I’m looking at my John Lennon music collection – not the shirts.

A few years ago I downloaded a bit set of what purports to be all his solo work (though Yoko appears frequently enough.) So I have, as mp3, on 2 cds: Unfinished Music: Two Virgins; Wedding Album; Live Peace in Toronto 1969; Plastic Ono Band; Imagine; Some Time in NYC; Live in NYC; Mind Games; Walls & Bridges; Shaved Fish; Rock’n’Roll; Double Fantasy; Milk & Honey. Of these the only one I had as lp was Walls & Bridges. 

Of the Beatles I would say John was the most adventurous (yes I know McCartney did some electronica) & at one point was avant-garde thanks to Yoko & their early sound collage work. Though I suspect Virgins/Wedding work more of a fuck you to the pop music industry – similar to Lou Reed’s Metal Music. These aren’t lps I feel drawn back to more than every ten years.

I enjoy much of his studio work once he got over his collage mood. The albums all have tracks I enjoy, tracks that have become classics. He was the most directly political of the Beatles & never really followed pop trends. The only one of his lps that I actually bought, when it was first released, was Walls & Bridges. Probably his most Beatlesque work.

To round out the mp3 cds I added The Beatles: Live at the Hollywood Bowl 1965 – the Beatles sing against a backdrop of ceaseless screaming. George Harrison w Bob Dylan: New Morning Sessions; self-titled. The Dylan sessions are sweet but probably more interesting to real fans. The ‘self-titled’ flows with his mystic explorations & love songs. Julian Lennon: Valotte – solid pop from the son of John who looks & sounds like his dad. Finally Paul McCartney’s Band On The Run – I love this album. Paul has real pop smarts & this of all his recordings is the best. I’ve listened to much of his other work & well, who cares.

Magazine Machismo 

I am walking down the street across from the park. Fall. Leaves swirling around me. I spot a few colourful magazine pages caught in a wrought iron fence. As I get closer I discern faces, bodies on the pages. I pull them off. They are pictures of naked men. Full color but not fully naked. These men have on panties, stockings, their dicks can be seen through the sheer fabric. Faces pouting. 

I look around alarmed, afraid someone might see me looking at this that I just happened to pick up. There is no one around. 

I turn the pages over and more of the same photos only  in black & white. There were no other pages swirling in the wind. Where had they come from? I had never seen anything like this before. I guess I was 14 15 at time time. I’d had my own dreams about naked men but never ones that included this sort of fantasy.

I was astounded, alarmed and puzzled all at the same time. I didn’t have any sort of role model to follow and these pictures seemed almost logical – gay men wanted to be women in some way. But I didn’t want to be a woman in anyway, so maybe I wasn’t a really queer after all.

I looked at the pictures a few more times in a street light. Again making sure there was no one around to see me looking. Had someone planted them to be found and where they watching from some window to see who would take them, linger over them.  Where had they flown from to be caught in the wind, tossed around with the leaves like this.

I shoved them in the first garbage bin I came across. I felt free without them, without those faces, cocks, garters, daring me to consider things I didn’t how to consider.

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales

Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

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

July

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

Jacksoul to Jamiroquai

There was a time whenMuchMusic actually showed music videos!! One of the Canada bands that shone was Jacksoul lead by the talented Haydain Neale. I have their ABsolute, sleepless, Resurrected as stand alones. The sound is radio & music video friendly sweet soul with jazz touches. The songs are plaintive, romantic, & smooth to the ear. Neale has/had a very appealing voice. Very John Legend. Sadly he died some years ago.

 

Next on the shelf are a couple of Mp3 collections that feature Jamiroquai: a funk/acid jazz group lead by singer Jay Kay. On one cd is Emergency on Planet Earth; Travelling Without Moving; A Funk Odyssey; Synkronized; on the other is Rock Dust Light Star, Dynamite. Jay’s voice is very Stevie Wonder. There have been some radio hits, dance floor hits too. Music with an ecological message that you can dance to. The album sound changes over time as they flirt with then embrace old school disco: strings, congas. Sexy, enjoyable & never challenging.

 

In the first MP3 collection are several indie eps I picked up at local poetry shows. A couple by DanJahRus: 2019, Sunrise. Hip-Hop rap with Dan’s mixing skills equal to his writing. DRP: Clever Title – son of a friend of mine had a sort of metal bar band & recorded some tracks in a basement. Youthful fun.

BC’s CJ Leon: Booty Music for Zombie Swingers; Street Corner Gothic – folk punk sexual anarchy with zombies. good sound quality. Toronto’s: Examples. Rex is a folk punk queer Japanese protest singer. We need more of this. Archie & The Bunkers is an organ based trio full to the brim with sweet, cheese surf music fun. Three Beards: bearded men writing & singing about their feelings.

Also some non-indie powerhouse albums. I became obsessed with the song Lonely Street & found a decent version on Mick Hucknall’s American Soul. Mick was lead singer for Simply Red. This was a come-back attempt with covers. Easy listening pleasant. Bob Dylan’s Tempest. A recent release I picked up more for nostalgia. He still writes well & sings well in a Tom Waits way. The same with Paul Simon’s So Beautiful or So What. Paul Simon never wrote a bad song & his voice is still intact, as is his sense of political irony. Finally: Debbie Gravitte – Defying Gravity – this a great Lp of Broadway songs, some obscure, some well-known. I love her version of that title track, from Wicked.

Stroke of Genius

‘Mambo?’ Ted gave Jim a playful shove. ‘Where did you get that name from?’

‘Just came to me.’ Jim snapped his fingers. ‘A stroke of genius.’

‘Yeah along with ‘dat acc’nt mon’?’

‘Well, those guys had it coming. Snooping around here every night. Had to give them something they could enjoy.’ Jim began to wipe the green make up off his chin. ‘Did you see his face. Boy, looked like he was about to crap his pants.’

‘Yeah, but ‘Mambo.’ Good thing you didn’t give any of the others names.’

‘Good idea. You can be ChaCha. Phil can be Tango.’

‘I don’t feel right about it though. What if they … ’

‘What? Tell on us? I can see them now at the Militia Office. These boys with red and green faces told us they would protect us from evil. That’d go over big around here.’

‘You did pick the red and green. Afraid of the blue and white.’

‘Ted this is for fun. I know enough not to cross the line. That would have been begging for trouble.’

‘Since when did that bother you?’

‘It doesn’t. Fear is an emotion I choose not to fear. But that doesn’t mean I’m an idiot either. Bad enough we used the right markings.’ He continued to rub at the make up around his eyes. ‘Is it all off?’

‘Sort of but I think you rubbed too hard.’

‘You too.’ He gave another playful hip shove that sent Jim sprawling. ‘You think the other guys got home okay.’ Jim stood.

‘Don’t they always.’ 

‘I don’t think …’

‘Then stop thinking. Let me worry about that. We’d have more fun if  you’d stop all that thinking. It’s not as if we are robbing the tourists, just putting a little of local fear into them. Get their imaginations going.’

‘It’s not all imagination and you know it.’

‘Yeah! So. It’s no fun to play in safe places. So this had a little more edge than the rag doll and pins routine. Gives them more for their dollar.’

‘I know. I spooks me. That’s all. Mama Gre’loo says we have to be careful with the forest spirits. This is the Season of Change and all things that start a change now must follow where it leads.’

‘You gotta stop listening to that foolishness. You sound like one of those tourists. You know?’

‘I know. Come on, let’s get that stuff washed off so we can get home.’

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

every Tuesday 2019

May

Stratford Festival – Henry VIII

July

Stratford Festival – Nathan The Wise

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

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

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

 

Try to Shine 1971

In going through a box of papers I came a cross a pile of old old poems written in late 60’s, early 70’s. So having no shame I’m resurrecting them with minimal editing. I was using a cheaper, yellow copy for many of these – the paper hasn’t yellowed with age. Enjoy 🙂

Try to Shine 1971

father of lights

father of lights

we try to shine as lights in the world

but what good can we do

with your every greater light

outshining us as every dawn

must we wait till your dusk

before we can shine at all

& if we wait what will we do

as it gets nearer the dawn

nearer the dawn

 

the fever shook the country

sometime in December I think

or seem to recall

things were pretty hectic

my back against the wall

the fever took quite a few

I felt it too

it ripped up & down my spine

tore my life to pieces

but for some reason

didn’t take me with the rest

I’m still here

keeping the record of the dead

of the fever followers

who will never return

perhaps the next fever will be mine

 

spring comes in promises

silver nuggets here & there

in first forest clover

but well

it seems so distant anyway

xmas & all

a few little glances

a smile & a call

never getting further than before

never getting nearer than the dawn

 

words of warning or warming

written for a few you’s

who stayed till dawn

nearer than before

in other summer days

we’ve lied & tried

& yet no dawn comes

to reflect the snow snuggled ground

 

it seems so strange at times

to be relating to a voice as a mouth

on the other end of the telephone

rather than the whole of you

it seems so strange at times

to be relating to thoughts as eyes

at the receiving end of a letter

rather than the whole of you

 

it’s not the empty morning that I’m afraid of

I can sleep

or read fortunes with oil on water

swirling sticks & liquorice

I’m afraid of loving

only to find trick of time

did remove me

into some other ticking type of clock

that chimes in disharmony

though perhaps there is another way

for me to wind up

 

I was hoping to meet

in the street by chance

meet you & free myself

of the longing to remember who you were

when I met you last

meet you & free myself 

of longing to meet you once again

in the street

only in the street

for in the street we both have room to escape

& no need to really be there

for longer than a smile & light

& maybe plan for some later meeting

which if happens will

make us even further apart than ever

 

nights after nights

& days after days of words

wandering on & on

not looking really

just wandering

fitting a few & losing a few

wandering closer & further from

hoping & despairing 

the eventuality of time

when I will have to stop

& say which is which

for both can only exist if I intend to

wander on & on forever alone

forever alone

 

father of lights

tell me a fantasy

tell me a meaning

let’s plan a meeting someday soon

each time it becomes harder to find

reasons why

but easier to find ways how

soon perhaps

it can happen

with no reasons at all

 

another start

where the same endings

never seem in sight

Bob Dylan’s New Morning ended with the song Father of Night. In the song he repeated ‘Father of   ….’ with variations of what the father was father of. The religious reference was toyed with ins ouch way that it lead me to write this piece. Direct religious references in my writing are rare but there are subtle ones that pop up frequently.

There’s a bit of story in this piece. ‘the fever’ refers  to the decisions of ‘you’s’ friends of mine to get out of the ghost town & move on with education, employment & even relationships. I felt stranded in Sydney writing letters & making long-distant calls – which reduced us to voices & eyes. 

One of closest string friends was un university & sometimes visited his parents or his girlfriend unexpectedly but didn’t always get in touch with me when he did. It drove me crazy. Such is closeted life.


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

George Harrison

I have to confess I was never a huge George Harrison fan. One of my least favourite big hits of the Beatles is  Something & if I never hear it again I’ll be happy. But I admired & respected his outlook on life & his willingness to trade on his fame to help. He also opened the door to music that I may never have discovered.

I had the Wonderwall soundtrack on lp, replaced eventually by mp3. I have never seen the movie though, has anyone? 🙂 It certainly wasn’t pop music. I also had All Things Must Pass on lp. Eventually replaced by mp3. His spiritual leanings weren’t as interesting to me as his reflections of life eon the road as a Beatle – Apple Scruffs. 

But after Pass I took a pass. I heard bits of other things, Bangladesh but never felt drawn to having anything else by him. His guitar work, to me, was good but unexceptional, same for his voice & his lyrics. 

In the past few years I added the New Morning Sessions: his work with Bob Dylan which is of interest as a curiosity; George: another solo lp that I can’t recall a track of. In fact most of his writing, except for Pass, hasn’t drawn me into it. I searched out other stuff via YouTube & found it unexceptional.

I have the 30th Anniversary edition of All Things Must Pass – the bonus material is endless but worth hearing. It is on an mp3 collection along with Shankar & Friends – a nice set of instrumentals & song with Ravi Shanker that sparkles. On this particular is also Paul & Paula: Best of  – Hey! what can I say Harrison needed a historic context 🙂 Here too is the Electric Prunes: Release of an Oath: a rock group infusing music with spiritual searching. The Best of the Troggs: Beatles compatriots. Harrison did collaborations so I found Pay Pack & Follow John Phillips collaboration with Keith Richards! It’s a bit of a mess mind you but fun.

Wait there’s more on this cd: Paul Butterfield Band’s Sometimes I Just Feel Like Smilin’ – great fun blues work Finally Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert – where Harrison appears uncredited due to some weird contract, record label conflict. An interesting concert that also features Steve Winwood, Pete Townsend & others. Sound quality is good.

Land of the Lost

‘I must say this room has never looked neater.’

‘Thanks.’ Stef wasn’t sure whether this was a compliment or a dig. ‘Every now and then strange things do happen here.’

‘So what brought it on?’

‘Brought what on?” Stef wished her mother would come right out and say things. If she thought Stef was a bad house keeper why not just say it.

‘You know what I mean, dear.’ Her mother smiled and sat at the dining room table. Stef’s ‘office’ was under the window in that room and the dining room table was often an extension of it. It spent much of its time buried under piles of papers, magazines, books and, as much as she hated to admit it, the occasional pizza box.

‘It was time for some tidying up. After all, you’ve told me many many times cluttered house cluttered mind.’

‘Did you find it?’

‘Huh?’

‘I remember the one time your room at home was spotless was the time you had lost … what was it now … some political button a boy had given you.’

‘I did not lose anything.’

‘Just misplaced.’

‘Misfiled. Mother I’d rather say, I misfiled it.’

‘And you never found it.’

‘Not yet, I mean I stopped looking. But …’

‘There there dear. I know you creative types aren’t the best of maids.’

‘You are right there.’ She didn’t want to tell her mother how she had spent the last three days going through nearly every corner of the bungalow looking for the dust cover of the book she was reviewing. Bad enough it even had one but she had put it in a safe place while she lugged the book around on buses, read it in coffee shops. Now she was done.

‘You have no idea how much like you father you are. The same furrow of the brow.’

‘Thanks. I guess.’

‘So how are things. You know when I see the place this neat I worry you aren’t working as much as you should.’

‘Things are good. Better that they were last year.’

‘Getting any work done on your novel?’

‘As much as needs to be done.’ Stef knew she was avoiding that project with all these others. But it was these others that paid the rent, paid the bills, for now.

‘You need to concentrate on one thing at a time. That’s how things get misfiled. Thinking of too much at one time.’

‘Thank you mother. I’ll keep that in mind the next time I’m homeless.’

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6


http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday

October 5/6/7 – Gratitude Round-Up

https://www.facebook.com/TorontoGratitudeRoundup/

September or October but to be confirmed – feature – The Art Bar, Free Times Cafe

June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

 

Outside The Gates of Eden

Poetry influences for us 60’s survivors have to include Bob Dylan, for some he was the only influence. This was the voice of a generation fro sure with his early folk music, protest songs that still resonate & recently that controversial Nobel prize. Along with Paul Simon Dylan was one of my prime high school poetry influences.

In my collection I have as stand-alones: Highway 61 Revisited; Bringing It All Back Home; Blond On Blond; Greatest Hits; John Wesley Harding; New Morning. On mp3 collections: 1 Another Side/Nashville Skyline/ Gospel/ Pat Garrett (with Pete Seeger/ Phil Ochs/ & Leonard Cohen in the mix) 2 Planet Waves/Blood On The Tracks (with: Masked Marauders/ Bob Seger/Maria Muldaur in the mix)

I was more a fan of his lyrics than his music itself or even his vocal ability. It was a voice that grew on me even at it changed over the years. Like A Rolling Stone and Outside the Gates of Eden http://wp.me/p1RtxU-18Y  are the two songs I recall most from high school. His Blowin’ in The Wind was a must for every east coast folkie to sing so I heard it plenty – I was shocked to discover this protest song made him a millionaire – how counter culture is that? In one of the biographies I read he set out to write protest to establish himself & then moved on to what he really wanted to write.

There are too many great songs to name check. The albums where he went ‘electric’ still sound good, his earlier ‘folk’ stuff is good but never really invited me in & even then felt a little too deliberate. He was one of the first re-inventers as well. The changes from rock Blond on Blond to country John Wesley Hardy to jazzy New Morning flowed naturally.

I included Pete Seeger as an influence on Dylan’s folk style; Phil Ochs, Leonard Cohen who followed in his footsteps; The Masked Marauders is a wildly weird pastiche with a fake Dylan, or is it the real one. The Maria Muldaur is her cover album of his songs. Bob Seger’s Best of for fun.

He was the perfect bridge between beatnik and pop – he brought Ginsburg’s joy of imagery, politic & line into the lives of his fans. He also challenged & changed the way the music industry works with his non-teen-idol looks & his resistance to the star making machine.

Calculate 

The instrument panel flexed and shimmered as J’hhon attempted to change the flight settings. The in put buttons became little grey flowers that dazzled his eye nodes as they spun sound around his head.

‘So pretty. So pretty.’

‘Take the second ship mother. We will await you on the distant moon.’ P’rak conversed with apparitions. ‘I have missed you all so much. I didn’t realize that till now.’

J’hhon shook his head and shoulders. He had to focus. He had to do what captains did. He had to find a place to hang these darling darting shapes so he could study them longer. Would they fit in his quarters? He reached for the nearest of them and his hands passed through them.

‘Damn you! I won’t let your lack of corporal reality keep me from making love to you. You want me.’

‘Mother, has father returned with the new shield generators. I promised I’d help him put them up. He’s not used to that frequency is he? Poor old thing. Good thing I got the brains in this, family isn’t it?’

The nav cab shook violently. J’hhon and P’rak were tumbled against each other. The instrument panels dimmed and the ship darkened for a split second.

J’hhon pushed himself up painfully. ‘P’rak how are you?’

‘Nothing damaged, sir.’

‘Looks like we’ve flown right through the cos swirll.’

‘Good things my calculations  couldn’t be effected.’

‘That should prove to be an interesting tape to replay once …. ’

The ship shook again. More violently than before. J’hhon could hear the strain on the bulkwards. The outer pressure signal flashed from yellow to blue.

‘My, my. What have you flown us into P’rak?’

He flipped on the hull camera but saw nothing. The signal continued to flash.

‘There’s nothing there.’

‘The grav meter is registering something sir.’

‘The grav meter? You mean we’re near a planet with gravity?’

‘Yes sir. Some magnetic stress is being applied to us.’

‘Deliberately.’

‘Can’t tell, sir. But we’re being pulled down into its field.’

‘Field? Can the ship take it? It’s never experienced gravity.’

‘Neither have we, sir. Neither have we.’

 

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

meandchap

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

June 9-10: 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

Gary Burton

I’ve had Gary Burton in my jazz collection for decades but didn’t discover he was gay until recently – he’d officially come out in 1994! Not that his music itself says ‘I’m queer’ – the way pop can but to have a major jazz icon out is pretty amazing.

frame

the empty frame

In my collection I have Country Roads/ Turn of the Century/ Crystal Silence/ Reunion/ Matchbook and probably more as he played as sideman with other icons: Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Ralph Towner (& many, many others.) Jarrett & Corea being two of my favourites – both of whom I also had the hots for.

greygrease

after taste of the Danforth

In the late 60’s he was promoted as rock star – the lps have tripy lettering, he appears in leather fringe jackets – the group does covers of Bob Dylan etc. This is when he caught my ear. A fusion pioneer but much closer to traditional jazz than, say, the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

He’s recorded some stunning work with Chick Corea and also Ralph Towner – chamber jazz of great calmness, sweetness and spiritual longing that I’d recommend to anyone. Crystal Silence with Corea is an amazing lp, as is Matchbook with Towner.

transitselfie

transit reflections

Jazz isn’t noted for being overly phobic but the rep of most major players is very hetero. Burton has written about his closeted years, the fears of what being out might do to his career.  So he waited until he was firmly intrenched before being public. Another story of how the closet effected creativity. Another musical figure who might have provided me a role model when I had none.

Not that his reputation needs a boost, but I’d love to hear him work some of modern out pop groups like The Irrepessibles or even an icon like Elton John.

sample

Unrelated Kitchen Scenes

‘Dad that has been there since we moved in five years ago.’

Jim looked down at his father. His father was down on one knee rubbing a small black streak in the tile of the kitchen floor.

‘Then it’s time to start cleaning up around here.’ His Dad’s face gleamed red with the exertion of bending over. ‘Never could …’

‘It’s no use.’ Jim resisted the urge to haul his Dad to his feet. ‘We’ve tired everything. Next step is to replace the tile.’

Steadying himself on the counter top Jim’s Dad pushed himself up right. ‘You got some varisol?’

‘Tried that Dad. Please. just go in the living room and …’

‘What about that Dim Sum stuff on TV. Cleans anything.’

‘Have you cleaned behind your ears?’ Jim knew the only way to get around this was a joke.

‘What …’ his Dad half reached behind his ear and stopped. A grin broke out. ‘Sorry. I guess I want everything to go well. You know how your mother is about stuff being just right.’

‘Dad I know how you are about it and that is more that enough.’

‘Nice job. So far.’

‘We’ve been doing what we can.’

‘Too bad about …’

‘It takes time. You should know that by now Dad. Besides there’s no rush to make this a perfect house.’

*

‘It’s big.’

‘I suppose it is.’

‘After that space-saver kitchen I’ve been using for the past seven years this is like moving into an stadium’ Pam took a few steps from the fridge to the sink. ‘There’s actual distance between things. Before I could turn around from the fridge and be right at the sink. Now movement. Now steps.’

‘Yes. think of the weight you’ll lose with all that moving around.’

‘Bitch.’

*

Tim pushed the chair over to the counter. He climbed up & could reach the cabinet over the sink.

‘Just what are you up to young man?’

‘Nothing,’ he turned to face his mother and as he did he slipped off the chair to land with hard bump on the floor.

‘How many times do I have to tell you to keep out of trouble.’

‘I wasn’t getting into trouble I was just getting a glass of water.’ He stood up rubbing his bum.

*

6 cups Royal Cremeshire w/ matching saucers. Hand painted in the Sandy Rose pattern number 145. Small crack on one saucer otherwise in good to excellent condition.

9 soup bowls Royal Cremeshire. Hand painted in the Sandy Rose pattern number 145. Chipping around rim of one with signs of use in all. in fair to good condition.

11 dinner plates Royal Cremeshire. Hand painted in the Sandy Rose pattern number 145. Two with major cracks, one repaired badly, one broken in half. Remaining in excellent condition

5 Egg Coddlers Royal Darby. Hand painted in the Broken Wing pattern number 158. Sterling silver screw tops. All need washing, caked with egg & stained with milk and pepper. As is poor condition.

14 Elephant base salad bowls Royal Darby. Hand painted in the Cranky Bride pattern number 973. Found stacked under sink. Some water damage in top bowl. Large oversized nearly 15 Inches across. Red stains on rim of bottom bowl.

3 sugar bowls Royal Dalton w/ matching tongs. Hand painted in the Bitter Lemon pattern number 432. Covered in ants, some with jam instead of sugar and one with no bottom. Bitter Lemon is the rarest of the patters having been produced only in 1856.

*

‘Burger. Fries.’ Slurred the drive-through speaker.

‘Repeat please.’ Britt leaned closer to hear more clearly.

‘Burger. Fries.’

‘Burger. Fries.’ she called back for confirmation.

‘No! Burger. Fries. Jesus …’

Britt turned to call the order to the kitchen behind her. The thick steam of onion washed over her and she felt queasy. It’s just a job she reminded herself.

‘Britt can you give Ranji a hand with the Big’Uns. He’s getting behind.’ the supervisor snapped at her.

‘Yes sir.’ She hated going into the muggy stainless steel kitchen. After fifty years of marriage and four kids she felt she’d had enough of cooking yet here she was still slogging still.

Last year’s queer music blogs:

June 2 Billy Strayhorn http://wp.me/p1RtxU-L0

June 9 ‘Hangin’ On The Telephone’ http://wp.me/p1RtxU-Ll

June 16 Tea Room Tramps http://wp.me/p1RtxU-Mg

June 23 Ned Rorem http://wp.me/p1RtxU-Mx

 

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

mirror

The Basement Tapes

sample

The Basement Tapes

I’m in the basement with Dylan

creaking out of the stereo

wizened voice

tossing fantastic harsh visions

illusions half mumbled pictures

spin tumble rattle the thin speaker membrane

scratch at the back of the throat

the back of the brain  left side right side

pushing to a realization

that if he can

anyone can

the voice so plain

the words so jumbled

is there a meaning

 

no pretty harmony to hook on to

no lulling chorus to toe-tap

no bridge from one flash to the next

just the tumble rumble of words images

sights sounds to long for

to take me out of this basement

into a fluid flexing world

of Bobby notes croak under missing moons

on angry street corners

refusing to smile for the pretty girls

refusing to bend for the witty men

giving each some quick name

master of whores blaster of boots

so far from the safety of this room

mild haired boys stroking guitars

black cat girls swinging hips

inhaling looking me in the eye

is there something behind

the gates of their smoke screen

not caught in their net stocking

they finding me baited for a different catch

 

the needle hisses from one cut to the next

track after track a verbal attack

howling about a life I’ll never live

farms motor cycles

ironed hair millionaires

giving chase to to rumors of more

the highway up the stairs

past Ed Sullivan TV

into the summer street

trapped and tickled

with no way of getting from here to there

no hitch hiking get away

only the chance to get these early hints

of Ginsburg Thomas Whitman

filtered by this cranky harmonica player

caught like me

outside the gates of Eden

yellowgate

This month I am looking at some of the pieces I may be reading as part of Born To Be Blown. Bob Dylan is a suitable follow up to my Robert Johnson post last week. Early in his career he made use of those tradition blues forms then when he plugged in his career went crazy. ‘Outside’ was written for a tribute night – this one for, of all people, Bob Dylan.

I can’t say I was big fan but his language certainly inspired me – I later discovered what an influence Walt Whitman, Alan Ginsberg (two queers) & Dylan Thomas had been on Bob – but as a teen I found his lyrics as stunning flow of images and emotions.

beans

He seemed so anti everything – later I find out that he was, thanks partly to Blowin’ In The Wind, a multi-millionaire. The rich rebel. I also remember the single of Like a Rolling Stone – such a long long song with the even longer Gates Of Eden on the flip side.

soldier

I’d listen to him in my basement – drinking with friends and soaking up the coffee house vibe & longing for what he represented. So this piece is pretty true my actual memories. No attempt has been made to capture his writing style but more to capture how I felt as a gay teen outside the gates of heterosexual Eden. No one I knew ever thought he was a good singer but man, even if you don’t know what he says, he could write.

soon

June 9-10 – attending – Capturing Fire – Washington DC

https://capfireslam.org

fence02 vert

now that’s a gate

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

redbulge02

red head anyone

Good Vibrations

California surf music was merely top-ten pop fodder in Cape Breton when I was in high-school. The Beach Boys weren’t taken seriously, unlike the Beatles or the Stones who were the ‘real’ thing. So it wasn’t until California Girls that they caught me & to this day the opening bars of this song can transport me. I never did become a big fan so all I have in my collection are hits & smatterings.

tracksnow which way to the beach

I’ve seen the Brian Wilson bio & the story of his musical life is heart breaking but, to me, doesn’t really add anything more than nostalgia for the Boys music. At one time I did have the 45 of Good Vibrations but parted with that box of now priceless wax before I moved to TO. The electronic work on Vibrations is still unmatched. So subtle many people still don’t know its there.

snowsteps steps to the beach

I have two hits collections: a stand alone: 20 Good Vibrations – that has most of the greats: Fun, Fun, Fun etc. Another cd is of lps transfers from Endless Summer, another hits compilation and Surf’s Up. Up has some stunning work on it Long Promised Roads is epic, as is Feel Flows. Recently I downloaded fresh copies of Smiley Smile & Surf’s Up.

snowcoup little ice coupe

Those early hits are infused with a sunny sense of joy and hope, maybe that’s why they never really sunk into me (or the guys I hung out with then) we were moody deep men, don’t you know. It seemed sort of intellectually weak to admit to enjoying the Beach Boys when you had John Mayall or Bob Dylan telling us the real truth.

sample

Ink on Purpose

Greg couldn’t remember when pain became such a pleasure.

Was it when he was six and had fallen backwards off the porch. His head had hit the ground hard, blood oozed freely and his mother was so attentive, so loving. More than she was ever at any other time. Even his Dad showed more concern, though even then, Greg sensed the difference between concern and affection.

But knowing the when certainly wasn’t going to change the now, the moment, this opportunity to savour the sweet balance between pain and pleasure.

As Greg leaned on the padded chest rest at the tattoo parlour he grimaced with the first few pricks of the needle. After those first few he no longer felt the pain only the slow purpose of Zak who was turning Greg’s bare white back into a swirl of  multicoloured Celtic knots.

‘Hurt?’

‘No more than expected.’

‘Too bad.’

‘Yeah, too bad.’

The process was careful, deliberate and slow. It would take two afternoon sessions of about three hours each for Zak to complete this work of art.

Greg had dreamed of this for many years and when he finally had the money for it he didn’t hesitate. He had considered something small first, to see how it felt, to see if he could bear the pin prick process but didn’t want to numb this initial rush in anyway.

As Zak patiently outlined the first links along his shoulders Greg closed his eyes. Once he had this done he would move on to the next step in his transformation. Piercings. Along one side of the tattoo salon was an array of various metal bolts, tiny arrows, rings and small bar-bells that he could have inserted. He just had to decide where.

He had started his tattoo journey with his back as it would be a safe spot. No one at work would see it unless he wanted them too. It would be his new secret identity, his new sense of purpose, one that would never leave him.

west California sans Girls (or Boys)

#TheBand

I have a fairly complete collection of The Band: stand alones: Music From Big Pink; The Band; Stage Fright; Cahoots. On two mp3 collections I have #1: Rock of Ages/Moondog Matinee/ Northern Lights (with: Ian & Sylvia: Lovin’ Sound/Dave Mason: Headkeeper, & Mama Cass) #2: Islands/Moondog Matinee extras/Basement Tapes/ The Last Waltz (with: Levon Helm; Robbie Robertson: Storyville). I’ve heard some of their reunion recordings but opted only to hear them. I’m not a completest, anymore 🙂

pole unlucky pole

The Band were critics darlings thanks to their work with Bob Dylan. The buzz for their Big Pink release was amazing & the record itself was good but, for me, didn’t live up to that hype. I loved it, the harmonies, the Dylan covers. I can’t count the number of local bands who did ‘The Weight’ or even the endless times that got sung by my drunken musician friends.

mushrooms mushroom lawn

The next two records are classics – the Americana of their seconds & the epic sweep of Stage Fright still stun me. Then they sort of lost their way, lost members. Some of the later recordings are fine all the same Northern Lights & Islands are sweet and emotionally resonant.

The live stuff is great. The horns on Rock of Ages rock, Last Waltz is a classic movie & the special guests are a treat. The solo work by Helm & Robertson is superb as well. Both found a voice of their own. Voices that are rich and fulfilling. Helm was that rare breed a singing drummer, plus he was one of the first bearded hotties I dreamed about. More about each when I get to ‘h’ & ‘r’ on the shelves.

sod Ikea lawn

Ian & Sylvia have the same sense of harmonics as The Band  & I suspect were an influence on them. I have several of their recordings scattered in the my collection (more when I get to ‘i’). Dave Mason is fine, rock/folky, & comes from Traffic & that sound is clearly there in these two records, his Mama Cass duet album is a heavy on mystical love.

soon1

October 19 – feature – Cabaret Noir – Pinebow

newpinehttps://www.facebook.com/events/1651892755035275/

November 1-30 – participating – NaNoWriMo 2014 – http://nanowrimo.org

nano 14

sample

The Apple Moon

“Slow down before you …” Becky’s warning was stopped by a sickening thud.

Craig brought the car to a stop. Becky jumped out to see what they had struck. A rabbit trembled in the middle of the lane. Ruby blood oozed around it.

“Come on Becky we haven’t got all day.”

“We can’t just leave it there.”

“Why the hell not. Side of the road, middle of the road doesn’t matter much to it now. Get in the car.” He took her by the upper arm and pulled her to the passenger door.

“But it -”

“Look we can’t save it. We can’t take it to the vet. Even if we had time would couldn’t undo what’s been done.”

He pushed her into her seat and shut the door.

He started the car. Becky couldn’t help but look back at the

helpless creature they had just killed.

“Not a good omen.”

“Pardon me.”

“I said not a good omen, Craig. Not a good omen at all.”

“You and your portents and omens, Becky. The sun rose as expected this morning, did it not? Wasn’t that a good sign. You said it was a good sign that it was cresting along the orchard. The red was ripe.”

“Yes. I know what I said then. The Apple Moon had sent us a red ripe morning.”

“Perhaps to spill blood is also good. Think on it, Becky. A blood sacrifice. It’s been a while since we had one of those here in Pumpkin Corners.”

“Not since -”

“Stop! Don’t say it. I won’t hear it -”

“God’s Vengeance Hall was destroyed.” Becky said softly.

Craig stopped the car. “I asked you not to say that. That was not a blood sacrifice. People did not sign a pact in their own blood at that time. It just a lot of — hooey.”

“Hooey, Craig! Ha ha. That’s a good one. Then what was that red ink on the deed to your father’s farm?”

“It was just ink for Christ’s sake. Just …”

“I don’t think Christ has much to do with this. Though He was another blood sacrifice.”

He started the car again. “Look we are late enough as it is. Let’s just stop all this foolish talk.”

“Christenings always do this to you don’t they?”

“Only when you see them as opportunities to prophesy.”

“A first-born’s christening on an Apple Moon? I didn’t write that prophesy.”

 moongreen Apple Moon