Festively Damned

Fountain of light 2004
Danforth Fountain of light 2004

It felt good to be back on stage hosting the recent Beautiful & Damned show at Glad Day. A warm and receptive audience enjoyed great open stagers, excellent feature and a musical surprise. And we wrapped by 9:30 too.

To keep the showing running at about 2 hours the committee decided to made a few simple cuts – only six open stagers instead of 9 – that reduced the running time by at least 20 minutes. I also cut the trivia questions down to six as well – saving at least another five minutes.

blue diamond
blue diamond

First feature, Melissa Benner, despite fighting off a cold, did a confident, warm and emotional set. She open with a piece about growing up queer in a small town – something many of us identified with – wanting to ‘beat it out of town, before the town beat it out of them’ – one line mentioned a wish for a gay pride parade down the main street. On a recent visit to my small town: Sydney, Cape Breton – I watch a gay pride parade down the main street! Only a couple of vintage cars and some marchers mind you – some guys twirling batons & even a bag pipers (supply your own puns).

Small town life has changed over the years – but gay teens are still being bullied into suicide. Her work is full clear images: ‘the sickle of your anger,’ ‘pull of sunsets in your tree line,’ ‘grass-stained and waiting for me to show up.’ Her love of the farm, the land never fell into the stock Canadian nature trap. A fine set. Read more about the show at cowbell!!

slip me some tongue
slip me some tongue

Rocco de Giacomo presented an engaging, emotional and humorous set. Starting with a ‘slightly opened door is a question’ he shared pieces about aging (since when is hitting 40 aging?), fatherhood and manhood – ‘good men sleep deeply and never dream.’ I enjoyed his Toronto poem – was it an ode? – ‘Toronto is the realm of the half-asleep’ ‘Toronto is the way a vinyl record feels.’

Due to missed communication with the, as it turns out not booked, music feature we enjoyed an impromptu set by Rex Baunsit and Carlin Belof. Without guitars, piano or music to hide behind we had a rare opportunity to enjoy them raw and more vulnerable than usual.

crystal iced
crystal iced

Here’s a link a free download of my favorite recording of A Christmas Carol. There are so many screen, TV versions but this is the entire text beautifully read.

Here are the Sir Alec trivia questions:

1 Sir Alec  won an Academy Award for: a: Bridge Over the River Kwai; b: The Lavender Hill Mob; c: The Horse’s Mouth

2 In The Bridge over the River Kwai Alec gets to blow: a: out candles on a surprise birthday cake; b: the second set director; c: up the Bridge on the River Kwai

3 In Star Wars his character was named: a: Obehave; b: Obendover; c: Obi-Wan Kenobi

4 In Star Wars he says: a: Hans you’re hung like a horse!; b: You can get batteries for light sabers at the Source; c: May The Force be with you

5 In Kind Hearts and Coronets he plays: a: Ascoyne D’Ascoyne; b: Lady Agatha D’Ascoyne; c: Reverend D’Ascoyne

6 In Star Wars he is killed by: a: Han Solo’s horse cock; b: Princess Leia’s dildo; c: Darth Vader’s lightsaber


Cabaret Noir October 2014 – TOpoet & Officer Vice

Kissing Butt (2012)

Hosting The Beautiful & The Damned is alway a treat especially when celebrating its one year anniversary with a dynamic line up and stellar open stagers. I even debuted a new piece – one that may be part of my Art Bar set, we’ll see.


First up was Gemma Files who read a solid enticing section for the third volume of her hexslinger series – it gave us a real feel for the multilevel ‘magic’ in the books – Mexican mythology mixed with gun-toting cowboys (who happen to be gay). I hope she’s doing the audio versions. She ended her set with a couple of poems again dealing with dark myths but this time in contemporary settings – ways of treating an ex, that is if Loki is your ex.


Feature two was Spencer Butt with a high-energy, stage-thumping performance. He spews vibrant images and unlike many slam poets deals with personal issues with compassion and not anger. Too many great lines and images to keep track of – ‘his memory was drunk/eating popcorn in the balcony’ – ‘he was born in an aviary and died in a place crash’

Here’s a pic, taken by Lizzie Violet, of me kissing Butt –

may 10, 2012

Music feature Carlin Belof wrapped the evening up & wrapped us around her fingers at the same time. Songs about relationship difficulties that were oddly uplifting. Great lyrics and a fine guitar player as well – But as she sings ‘being told you’re talented and are going far may not be the solution – so screw you’.

Cake was served, drinks were enjoyed & good time was had by all. I’ll be hosting BuDa again in December and have already started to line up my festive features.

As I mentioned a few blogs ago I’m working on a series sparked by Montaigne. (Of Quick or Slow Speech [10])  This one was also influenced by a podcast lecture on Robert Lowell that talked about a poem he had written after the death of his father.

Dad’s Pockets

as a kid

I would go through the pockets

of my Dad’s suit jackets sport coats

as they hung in the closet

I would find quarters which I’d take

sometimes fifty-cent pieces which I’d leave


I’d slip the over-sized jackets

off their hangers

wear them in the dark of the closet

in the smell of his things

his shoes miles too big for me

trying to steal into adult hood


I’d skulk out

from my secret foray

a little daring thief

sneaky   guilty

fearful of being found out


when he’d miss the pocket change

I’d be confronted

say too quick I don’t know what he meant

blurt out I didn’t do that

which he never believed

if only I’d hung those coats back the right way

he’d let me go with warning

that I was slow to heed


I’d be back there in a week or so

go through those pockets

try on those shoes

grow much too slow into adulthood

much too quick into guilt