The Shrine of Saint Elizabeth

David Bateman, always a fun & generous host (digging deep into his own book collection for trivia question prizes) put together a great line up of features for the April show at the Secret Handshake Gallery – at last I can say I did a feature in Kensington Market. It was a bright warm afternoon that gave me the opportunity to play dogem with strollers, cars, people on various devices, and photographers while enjoying a great bagel from NuBagel.


blue frames

First up was Lizzie Violet who cooled us down with some of her eerie pieces about zombies, gypsies & serial killers. ‘well worn cards of the future … choosing your lover of today,’ ‘trails of entrails,’ ‘how did I fall from grace into a chaotic blood vortex.’ Blood Vortex – a latte I’d order. Lizzie’s pics of the event:


snow bound chairs

Next up was Philip Cairns with his animated, invested and glittering verse. His pieces abound with diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds. ‘a closet full of art and no buyers,’ ‘powder blue jag crashing into a red brick wall,’ ‘ashes to ashes dust bin to dust bin.’ At The Shrine of Saint Elizabeth we found ourselves resonantly om-ing ‘Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth Taylor.’

After the break Dan Curtis Thompson did a section from “Consonance: A Stand Up Dramedy.” Although I’ve heard this piece before it remains fresh, emotional true and involving. ‘all I needed was a girl who likes the same video games as me to believe it’s real love.’ It’s always good to see a musician who doesn’t spend ten minutes tuning up. Check out his story telling series  Mountains and Molehills!


danger ahead

I closed the show with my Born To Be Blown blast. It was a fun, energetic set of pieces to perform, pieces I’ve blogging about here on Wednesday this past month so look’em up. Heads were nodding to the rock, shoulders where jiving to the disco beat and by the end everyone wanted to ‘get head out on the highway.’


a piece that didn’t make the final cut for the Born To Be Blown set:


Saint Jim


Pere Lachaise

section six section seize

‘seize the moment in section six

you have to seize the moment

saiser l’instant’

Jim starts a new song

‘you have to seize the moment

in section six’

I can hear him shout

through stage fog strobe lights

teeny bopper girls rush the stage

police push them away

as he taunts flaunts teases pleases

scowler prowler

hurt lost shouting shaman


like those silly teeny boppers

I lust after that idol

I wonder what they saw

that day in Miami

if he did flash the iconic cock


I make my way though a light rain

everything is a line in a Saint Jim song

‘making my way

through cemetery rain’

I know he‘s here somewhere

I see mystic marks sprayed

mementos of worship

‘the blue bus stops near here’

the rain stops

and I am there


no monument

only a flat grey space

with a tombstone

his name wrong

James isn’t Jim

beneath my feet his bones

unless they’ve been stolen

relics in sacred altars

for those who think


they can petition this saint

a bunch of faded flowers

some used condom lizard skins

‘lizard skins drying in the sun

show we have seized the moment’


I hear birds

then dozens of people

hiss of cameras

posers smile lean over the tombstone

stoke his name then gone


left alone

I seize my moment


flash my cock

the only gesture of his I can duplicate


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Hot Damn!

As a member of an esteemed panel of judges – Lizzie Violet, David Bateman, Cate McKim & random audience members, I finally got to try out my best JLo frowns at Hot Damn! It’s a Queer Slam, Wednesday night at Supermarket in Kensington. Whew, now that’s a long sentence.

All too often I find myself the only gay guy at a poetry event. There are some trans, queer women who I see around but the guys are rare. I’ve blogged about this before so won’t go it it again. At Hot Damn! there were other queer men in the room & I wasn’t the only one over 50. Sweet.

toys love the Disney dildo and other colourful sex toys

The event is hosted by the potty-mouthed Cathy Petch (who would rather be pussy-mouthed, if you get her drift). Free of her pervious host duties she was more free-wheeling and out there than ever & was clearly happy to have the chance to just be herself with a like minded audience. She and Brock Hessel are the organizers of this much needed slam.

Hot Damn! is sponsored by LBGTOut and Get Screened, both of whom made brief presentations. LBGTOut reminded us about World AIDS day. David Bateman read a portion of his piece about being diagnosed ‘How Does it Feel’ – ‘it’s like getting a whole new lease of life, but a very short term’ – funny, emotional and surreal.

blackhat head shot

The slammers were excellent, all very different in approach to queer, bi themes. It’s hard to make notes & score at the same time but some lines I caught ‘we are close/single bed close,’ ‘the rough draft of my body,’ ‘I alway fall for straight women,’ ‘my body is not scared, but its not a ruin either.’ Sorry if I didn’t get exact wording (drop me a note & I’ll correct.)

I’ve heard Regie Cabico a few times and his ease on stage is a joy to watch. He’s funny, emotionally real, direct, surreal and compelling plus is a hot Philippine stud. ‘Harriet Tubman was my slam coach,’ ‘I was never Asian enough for the roles I was auditioning for,’ ‘your fucking is foreshadowing,’ ‘Trojan as heavenly host.’ He’s made me seriously consider going to Catching Fire – not the movie but the international gathering of queer slam poets this June in Washington (maybe I’ll crowd fund my trip there.)

doors try door number 3

Check out 🙂 A vibrant night of energetic, emotionally connected & connecting poetry that I’ll make a regular monthly (when it is in Toronto) show not to be missed.

lifewithmorecowbell on the same show, with pics:



December 14 – special guest spot – Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noirnoirmas


I  hit the open stage with this, Moonbelly & Last Will & Testament

Art Abstracted

what do you do when art stops working

when the frame is the attraction

the word becomes conclusion

even when there is no way back

you wouldn’t go back even if you could

memory can’t be changed

filtered scribbled over tattered torn

art gives it less than it needs

without the image

would there be reason to look

if the TV was a black blank

that didn’t reflect our fevered faces

as we peer into it scrying for an answer

when the answer isn’t art but industry

when the artist becomes the freak

the curio that uses a pencil paper

how pretentious it is to dip a brush

use actual language

instead of breaking things into relics

that at the right distance

form an impression of misty bitterness

at not being as famous an artist as …

well I can’t name a famous artist

because it takes one to know one

which is what happens when

art doesn’t work anymore

if a starlet falls in a club

and there are no cameras present

did she make a noise

that sort of glib patina of cynical flash

is the art that works today

shoots off at the lip

in an attempt to distract

long enough for something real to happen

fast for a moment blur then gone

as we don’t want it to be remembered

history is for dead people

death is art that has stopped working

snowpurses purses in the snow

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

Noir One Year On

Lizzie’s Cabaret Noir celebrated it’s one year in style – a packed house was treated to massive talent & wild raffle prizes. Doing the front-of-house I was glad to see many generous people dropping more than a fiver in the pwyc.

glove (g)love in the leaves

The show kicked off with a slate of dynamic usual faces starting with Nelson Sobral (soon to replace all of the Rolling Stones), Brenda Clews with a saucy piece, Cate & Dee with a great a cappella duet, Jeff Cottrill telling us why Halle Berry is better than you, me (because I did the first open stage a year ago). closing with Matt Gerber: aka Mr. Furious.

hockeydiscarded dreams

Feature Philip Cairns with Peter Lynch performed a short new play, What Ida Said, written by Philip with David Bateman A sharp comic piece that played with the slippery gender roles, aging, insest & conformity. ‘I don’t remember about sex? What is it?’ Peter was the perfect foil with his dry offhand delivery against Philip’s more emotionally sloppy character. After the short play Philip did a great job on Dory Previn’s Mr. Whisper, then Peter did a monologue as, I think, Tony of the Soprano’s mother.

blanket bundle of dirt

After the break more things where raffled off – I restrained myself from buying tickets as I have enough ‘things’ already :-). Next feature was the sensational The Rando Bando. I manned the iPod for their music & managed to get my cues right. The songs were sharp, sexy, bawdy, funny lyrics to well known (at least to me) melodies. You Don’t Know Me – became the stalkers lament: ‘You don’t see me – I’m watching from the heating duct’  The set had great flow that took us from from saucy to flat out vulgar. Loved it.

pink2 pink parking

By the time they were done it was 10 pm, and time for me to head home (I like to be abed by 11 most nights) so I missed Arlene Paculan’s set – maybe another time Arlene. A great show & a great night.

great Noir photo set:


June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont

100_0495 writing blocks broken at Loyalist

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada

pineoct at The Central


Laid Plans

so things didn’t go as planned

no one took into account

the end of the world

getting in the way of important things

why did it have to come to an end

before our plans could come to fruition

all those hopes and dreams

dashed turned into a dusty waste of time

time that could have been spent relaxing

enjoying the flow of things

we squandered those precious moments

on worries constructing news ways

of controlling to suit our wants

now all for nothing

the world has come to an end

almost laughing in our faces

as the tremor shook us up from its core

rending the sky

while we were busy getting our way

making things safe secure perfect

if only we had at least time to get naked

enjoy one last fuck   one last embrace

but the end came sudden fast relentless remorseless

crushing without pleasure

leaving this desolation in its wake

where there was once a planet there is debris

debris without even a residue

of karmic happiness left in the air

because we were so busy

we didn’t have time to leave a warm glow behind

didn’t even have sense enough to enjoy

the end of the world

saxophone daydream saxophone daydream of trombone love

‘I’ll enter your heart like a breeze’

Michael Fraser puts together great line-ups for Plasticine Poetry and once again there was wild variety. Even the open stagers ranged from first-timers, covers of Victor Hugo, Lou Reed and fresh funny dating advice. Hosted by David Bateman, the audience loved his wry ‘romantic’ and ‘warm’ family comments.

books03old snow face

First up was Dominique Russell – who opened her set with an ee cummings cover, followed that with a series of short, numbered pieces inspired by Sylvia Plath. Her pieces were full of strong images: ‘my landscape in a hand,’ ‘there’s no getting up to it with the words we know.’ Emotional without being overwrought the audience was drawn into her Toronto.

books01ya can’t give’m away

Next up was me – as usual my set was changed even as I read, pieces & lines cut for clairity. The full house responded the identity pieces, drinks were spit through noses as a few points as well – Born to Blown is this year’s signature piece. During the break I was told the set was dynamic and one never knew what would come next. I hope it was dynamic enough to get me a feature in April – I’ve never featured during poetry month.

books02after the party

After the break Allan Briesmaster started the second set with pieces from his recent book ‘Against The Flight Of Spring’ and some newer writing. Invoking his muse ‘Open, oh pen, open’ he presented a set of image strong nature poems: ‘who can hear a single note sung by a stone.’ Of trees lost in the ice storm ‘we thought they’d outlive us.’ He stepped a bit out of comfort zone with a sexy sports piece.

Final feature was Ann Shin, who read from her book ‘Family China.’ The text has hyper-text links to definitions that are in themselves poems. Emotionally compelling I was too intent listening to make notes, one good line was pushed aside by another, ‘our velocity defines our most precious commodity’ and perhaps one of the most romanic lines I’ve heard in some time ‘I’ll enter your heart like a breeze’


February 21, Friday – featuring – Racket at the Rocket: 7 p.m., Red Rocket Cafe, 1364 Danforth Ave.

smrkt March 1, Saturday – attending – Toronto SpecFic Colloquium


June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada


one of pieces I read:

what passes in silence

recently I mentioned to a guy

that I was going to a queer event

he was surprised

after knowing me for several months

he was unaware that I was queer

I’ve been out so long

I forgot what it feels like to come out

to someone like this

you can’t see who I am

just by looking at me

unless I go out of my way

to make you hear

it’s like a black passing for white

you don’t look Jewish at all

what there is most fundamental about me

passes in silence

and many want it to remain that way

tolerance of the silent is much easier

than acceptance of the real

the visual means of definition

aren’t close to who I am

because I could wear lipstick a wig perhaps

oh that guy’s a faggot for sure

or a leather harness to the beach

I could grab those clear cut symbolizers

tee-shirts that call for gay rights

rainbow tattoo on the back of my neck

a bear paw on the back of my hand

but I’m too lazy to make

what I think is obvious clearer

or maybe what I am

has become so irrelevant

in today’s world

it’s time I got over myself

and got on with life

bookslost poetry 

Dildettes Finger-Bangers Delight

The Dildettes played to a packed-to-the-rafters crowd at Buddies. It’s been a few years since I last had the opportunity to hit the stage at Buddies and when this opportunity presented itself I was quick to take it. Plus the Dildettes requested raunch – a stretch for me I know but I did pull something out of my pants to satisfy the audience.

chairass chilling casino

The Dildettes Cathy Petch, David Bateman and Regie Cabico offered comedy sketches, puppetry, poetry, singing, bad dancing, drag, musical saw and flashy costumes. The show opened with a the diary of a dildo in its owner dresser drawer (made me glad I resisted writing something from the dill’s pov) followed by modern dance poetry or perhaps poetry vogueing? The stars moving to music, striking a pose to recite a short piece.

crackdildo this crack

They took the stage separately, using the space fully – coming down the stairs, moving through the audience. Too many strong moments to list, harder to pick out a favourite: “I love unicorns because they have dildos built into their heads,” “the sexual tension between his cock and his brassiere,” “shoving sex toys up my ass till it felt like an Ikea project.”

redIkea red

Great lighting, music, costume changes elevated the poetry making strong work even more powerful. We saw Tina Turner, Elvis, Snow White channelled on stage at different points. Loved the zit popping tango, I want a casino rant and the truth behind emoticons :-O. There wasn’t a dry seat in the house by the time the show was over.



I opened the show with my guest spot & started it with this to set the tone for the rest of the show:


I like to watch

I like to see my cock going into a mouth

I like to have the lights on

to look them in the eye

as my cock goes into a mouth

though I have never seen the reverse

a cock going into my mouth

I tried a few times with a mirror

but it took too much attention

too much focus from the action

I wanted to be in the action

not observing it

as if I was watching porn

though the cocks I suck aren’t porn cocks

neither is mine

but when I see it going into a mouth

a hand holding the root

the mouth happily eagerly

working a tongue around the the head

my dick looks like a porn dick

I fuck that mouth

hold that head

or grasp those biceps

as he going down to the root

gagging for a second

happy to gag

eager to gag

I like to watch

I also did Born to Be Blown and The Future of Sex (both in recent blogs)

not getting into my drawers

get into my drawers

Winter’s No Ball

Philip Cairns put together an eclectic group of wild-card performers for the poetry salon at the urban gallery, as part of Brenda Clews’ exhibition. As hard as it was to compete with the amazing art on the walls, the line up did the best it could. Luckily we had a packed house to egg us on.


Philip kicked things off with Bed Bug Blues: ‘I’ve fallen into a Cronenburg movie.’ Next up was Brock Hessel with a fun, ironic set of sharply-honed queer social context pieces. Following him David Bateman, read from his Palindrome chapbook. I too like tanned men in white bathing suits. Then Lizzie Violet with Thirteen Nails In The Coffin – ‘Tomorrow is the day I die.’ The first set concluded with a compelling modern dance by wheel-chair dancer Frank Hull – he is more agile and emotional than many of us without wheels. With his effortlessly, evocotive movement his wheelchair was an extension of his body not merely a way to move.


Second set opened with DM Moore, her deeply emotional pieces reached us all: ‘Drunk myself to sleep, or something like it.’  She was followed by me,, with a set of all new pieces that ranged from the paradox of identity to in-your-pants raunch that got laughs & also touched a few. Next up was Alec Butler with hot sex in a snowbank with Pussy Boy. Then Vanessa McGowan with a set of her raw and emotionally complex pieces ‘it took us thirty-five years to learn forgiveness.’ The evening wrapped with Allen Shugar with sweet song of yearning ‘take the sky, fly away, there’s nothing to hold me here.’


We were all grateful for Brenda for the salon opportunity and to perform against backdrop of her eye-catching & pleasing poem paintings. The exhibit is up till March 1 – so get down to the urban gallery, 400 Queen E., Toronto to enjoy it.


here’s one of the new pieces I did at the Snow Ball


you aren’t you

she shouted pointing at me

I don’t know who you are 

you aren’t you

he’s you

she went on

pointing to a heavy set black man

who smiled and waved at me


great, I thought,

I’ll finally know what it feels

like to have a thick black cock


how long did you think 

you could get away with it

she stepped closer

pretending to be yourself

some one you clearly are not


thanks, I finally got a word in edge wise,

now that I can stop being me

I can be who I really am


that’s not how it works

she glared at me

you can’t just become anyone else

because you aren’t you


what about me

the black guy came over

to shake my hand

pleased to meet me


he’s not you

she pushed us apart

neither of you are each other either

you are both not

who you are

can’t you get it through your heads

she was nearly screaming


but I’ve always wanted to a white dude

the black guy said

if I’m him

I’m not this big black guy anymore


no no no the woman was scornful

it’s not that simple

stop thinking you are who you think you are

because you aren’t you

he’s you

identity is in the eye of the beholder

don’t you get it 

she was exasperated

as if we were children

how can I make it any simpler

you can’t change what you are


well, I tried to calm her,

I’m not you, for starters

are you you


of course I am she snapped

but trust me I know you aren’t you

he is you

and don’t you forget it


okay okay I get the picture

I tried to calm her down

it felt good not to be me

to let go of all that identity crap

I was finally free

I looked at the self

I was just introduced to

let’s get out of here

I said

it’s time I learned how to 

play with myself

meurbanon stage for winter snow ball

Raised by Noir Wolves

Cabaret Noir started the new year off in fine style with dynamic sets from Brock Hessel, David Bateman & music by Cap & Kev. Kevin, at the Central, with zydeco then French Pop 60’s playlists created a great mood for the show.


I’d seen Brock perform recently and was eager to hear what new material he had. His first piece about a bathhouse Betty introduced us to his relentlessly pointed observations of gay and pop culture, politics and the mental health system. ‘Someone called me an asshole – how can a part of me represent the whole?’ He closed with Joanne’s Hands or is Johanda’s Hands – a no-holds-bars milking of Canadian cultural icons from Layton to Lightfoot.


  Next up was David Bateman. I’ve heard David several times and each time he’s had strong new pieces, so I was looking forward to his latest observations, stories and maybe a haiku or two. No haiku’s but a fine long memory piece: ‘I kissed her husband ten times, deeply,’ ‘raised by wolves in a badly furnished den,’ ‘now that I’m too old to die young.’ The piece was rich with cultural references: KFC, Dairy Queen, trailer parks and assassinations.


This is the first time I’ve heard musical feature Cap & Kev, as Cap & Kev – as members of I Hate Todd – I’ve heard them in various combinations with other circle of jerkers. A violin & acoustic guitar duo they treated us to a great set of mid-tempo, adult, folksy material. The violin added warm, Celtic accents that took me back to my coffee house days in Cape Breton. They mixed original material with some great covers of John Prine, The Pretenders (!!) & Death Cab. When they started Brass in The Pocket I was slightly dismayed but Cap seized that song & turned it into her own with a dynamic performance. Loved their hockey song as well – not sure what it was called but it scored.

A Noir full house made for a great start for 2014 (plus an all too brief lap dance for me from Nelson Sobral.)




Jess looked down at the knife. It was in her hand. She held it. Clutched it would be more accurate. It was embedded in her grip and the sight of the silver blade gripped her.

She held it at arm’s length to keep it as far from her face as possible.

“Is this a dagger before me?” She breathed the words into the cold air, her breath a cloud of frost before her. A cloud that for a brief moment hid the knife from her.

The moon reflected from the beads of her breath as they formed a frost pattern on the blade. Cold hard steel that would liberate her, free her people, if she wielded it properly.

“The Word will come to pass.” Jess held the blade over head, the tip of it grazing the low branch of the oak tree above her. Where it grazed a thin spark of blue appeared and vanished.

“The Tower of the east will no longer have the power to possess.” She turned to the east with the tip of the dagger aimed in that direction.

“The Fires of the south will no longer have the warmth to boil the life out of our souls.” She muttered as she moved the point of the dagger to the south.

“The Watch of the west will lose all grip on reality, on the word she thinks holds her intact.” The blade vibrated for a moment as it locked into true west. “You can resist but only for this moment.”

“The Desert of the north will blow across the land only one more time.” She brought the blade point to north. “We will allow it only one last time to cover all the land with the healing power of dryness. Then life will spring anew.”

She directed the blade at the rocky ground beneath her and with all her force drove the point into stone. The stone shattered and separated beneath her feet. The very planet shook for an instant.

“Earth has been moved for this moment. As has been written the Spirit of Life has been set free again. All elements will be bound together for ever.”

Jess tugged the dagger. It was solid in the stone. With all her might she pulled but it resisted. This was not the way it was to be. If all was done right the dagger would slide out easily from the stone to reach once more past the moon and to the sun as it rose.

If she did not raise the dagger high she didn’t know what the consequence might it. It would not be good.

She stopped tugging a moment and held the handle gently in her hand.

“You take what you need from the earth.” She wiped her brow and gently slid the dagger out. The silver blade was now black, with no reflection. She couldn’t tell where the blade ended and the night began.


Return of The Creature From the Porn Lagoon

Took a NaNo breather to perform at the Queer Ontario  Fundraiser & Milestone Birthday Bash for Chairperson Nick Mulé. Not a total breather as I did manage to push my NaNo count to 51000. Sadly I couldn’t resist talking about NaNo to one of my fellow poets at the event. Sadder, I think, is the total lack of interest my fellow writers there took in my progress.


The Vic Public house was a good location for the event, though that second floor room was chilly. Great drinks and snacks helped warm things up, a bit.

Hosted by Alana Boltwood the birthday event included raffles, silent auction (one item was a dinner date with Nick – I was easily outbid), & a trailer for their upcoming documentary ‘Queer Edge.’ Plus some fine eye-candy made it a nice night out.


The spoken line up was a fine selection of Damned  performers. David Bateman started off with a Tampex recollection; DM Moore with her emotionally charged AIDS piece; a great non-spoken turn by drag star Serenity; then Philip Cairns with a bitter cold piece about the snow and David Bowie; followed by Vanessa McGowan’s heartfelt piece about her dad & one about being a lesbian. All rounded out by my brand of in-your-pants raunch that puts the sex back in homosexual.


A fun night and it was great to be included in a queer event that wasn’t Pride 🙂 It often feels like I’m the token queer poet at many readings I get to, so it was good to be one amongst many.

writing sample
writing sample


whisps of chin hair

glasses a la skater punk nerd

he laughed about starbuck’s coffee

even tossed out a latin phrase

which wasn’t what I wanted

tripping from his tongue

a frisky feel in the dark corner of the bar

made it clear he was packing more

than his uber baggy jeans reveled

when we got back to his place

he dropped his pants to release

the creature from the porn lagoon

thicker than the accents

of an entire Brazilian water polo team


emu eggs in the palms of my hands


was cozy tattooed flannel

his tongue

a whispering clock

tasted of unripe apples

his teeth

warm endlessly round ice crystals

melted drooling draining

each step of the ten thousand to the temple

his nipples

express train rush pressure

immersion into the gutteral swamp of gasps

arm pits

salt seasoned

licorice tampura teasing

stomach muscle


sahara but not parched for long

as we shifted camel humps

burdened with a growing growling treasure

an oasis of pubic eden cillia

savory basil black fresh crushed rushed

the creature from the porn lagoon

an already oozing fountain

watermelon baby power

his trembling tip lip touch

tumble choices chances escaping grasps

pushing back for more torrent torment

his laugh now clinking unfinished

coffee cups of memory

crows over cornfield
crows over cornfield

#CabaretNoir: Sweeney Todd vs. Miss Clairol

A full, appreciative house was on hand for the launch of Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir. The show started well before the figurative curtain went up with Mullet the Zombie clown going table to table to warm up (or was that alarm) people coming to see the show.

mapplethorpe moment
mapplethorpe moment

Fate would have that I was the first performer for this first show – I started off the open stage with a couple of mythic pieces about growing in Cape Breton. a few more open stagers and then Jean-Paul Mullet did his zombie walk to the stage. Mullet is the whole package – excellent make-up right down to red contacts. More a story teller than a physical stick performer, Mullet held us spellbound with his eerie canoe tale – we could hear the ‘wings of a raven over head.’

Next up was David Bateman who captivated us with several ‘creative nonfiction short stories.’ The pieces contained vivid memories of doing hair styling in which realized he was more Sweeney Todd than Miss Clairol; of being warned not the rake the leaves too soon after a funeral lest one risks blowing their souls away with the dead. ‘Sometimes you just have to be love’ posed, amongst other things, the hope understanding by merely repeating the words.

my legs are cold
my legs are cold

Another break and we were wowed, (wobba wobba, ow ow wowed) by Kat Leonard. With her back up band on her iPod we didn’t have to worry about them getting drunk & falling off stage – though Kat did in fact fall off the stage as part of her song about being drunk and falling off stage. Her love songs were tender, sensuous, funny and emotionally invested. She took ‘the four corners of the world and wrapped it around our hearts like a blanket’ and we liked it.

brokeback snow bank
brokeback snow bank

A good time was had by all. Check out Lizzie’s photos and more pics on More Cowbell. Before the show I got to enjoy a cup of Q Space tea and excellent carrot cake. An expanded menu is being worked on – I can’t wait to give it a taste test. Q has quickly become an excellent spoken-word hot-spot. Good sound system, good sight lines, lots of windows make a great venue.

Another #Damned Show

nice hat
nice hat

The September edition of The Beautiful and The Damned filled the house once again. Great features, great open stagers, DM Moore was a sublime host with great trivia questions, what more could one ask for? I was happy to take up my spot as beverage handler to greet people as they came panting (not pantless) up into the Glad Day third floor space

The first feature was the 2008 Governor General’s Award winner Jacob Sheier. he read from his book, some from his next book & some new pieces. Much of his work has a warm family rambling story telling sensibility, much like Allen Ginsberg. Amusing, tender and insightful. ‘… you just can’t want to die/ you have to live it …’ ‘… the way age comes on like autumn/overnight …’ His occupy wall street pieces were sharp and comic – ‘I took cover under a Starbucks awning’ ‘I’m not going down there/I’m sick of activists’

before coffee

Next up was David Bateman, one of the Damned founders. His material was engaging, funny and took us into the mess that many lives can become: ‘it wasn’t as if I had cheated on him with someone he didn’t know or hadn’t already cheated on me with.’ Often his lines played with well known (at least to me) phrases ‘fortune cookies and man’s eyes’ ‘pity is no a whore’s best friend.’

after coffee

Jessica Speziale wrapped up the night with a strong set of songs. Her warm alto is inviting and her songs are emotional, romanic without resorting to those big ‘Got Talent’ moments. A refreshing sense of Joan Armatrading/Tracy Chapman underscores her writing and guitar playing.

A great range of open stages from Marica Rogers to Alex Butler. I hit the mic during the second set with a couple of new pieces & one that may end up as part of my Go Bump set.

more pics here

writing sample
writing sample

This Man’s Pride

of all my accomplishments

the one of which I am most proud

is being the corrosive element

that frayed the fiber of morality

I’m thrilled to be the insidious vermin

that has gnawed away the righteous

firmament of family values

I am that predatory queer

who makes it unsafe for your young sons

to be seen in public in anything tighter

than a hazmat suit

I am more of a threat than your drunken Uncle

he likes his little nieces to sit on his lap

if he interferes with them

it is their fault for being vixen slut women

they were just asking for it

whereas the male of the species

is defenseless at any age

from any glance from a homosexual

so yes I’m proud

to be an outright affront to their masculinity

and God fearing superiority

to be such a threat to that bastion of machismo

by merely sitting somewhere drinking a coffee

and glancing up

as a father fusses over a baby

crying in a carriage

to think ‘nice butt dad’