The King Kinks and the KLF

The Kinks were part of the first great British invasion that followed on the heels of the Beatles. Tight, punchy pop songs like You Really Got Me established them as a cut above many of the other invaders but they never achieved the popularity of more commercial groups like the Dave Clarke Five. I have their first lp (with bonus tracks) tucked away in an mp3 collection. 

The lp I owned when I lived in Cape Breton was Face to Face. This remains my favourite. The production  was influenced by Sgt. Pepper. The songs have sound effects & other studio tricks, all of which work. Like all their material they are sardonically romanic, socially sharp & flower power trippy. Chipper with touches of English Music hall. My favourite track ‘Rainy Day In June.’

I never did become a fan though. I did love ‘Lola’as one of the first pop songs that was about sexual diversity. I had the cassette of ‘Lola Verses Powerman’ but the sound quality was iffy – the song cycle is about the music industry & has sharp comments, that remains are today. I finally upgraded it to a stand-alone CD & guess what the iffy sound quality remains 😦 I guess it was engineered that way.

I also have 2cd set Kinks Kronikles which is a sort of hits compilation which satisfied my need for their later work. I enjoy the Kinks when they come up in my play rotation. The Face to Face cd has a slew of bonus tracks. 

On the shelf near the Kinks is movie soundtrack of The King & I. This was one of my mother’s favourites & remains one of mine too. Brenner does his own singing, Marnie Nixon dubbed Kerr. I love all of these songs. This cd has the re-constructed Uncle Tom ballet which was not on the lp. Sweet.

Finally on this bit of the shelf is The KLF: Justified & Ancient featuring Miss Tammy Wynette – an ep of different versions. I love this when it hit the discos & takes me back to the early 90’s in a good way. One of the most surreal mash-ups of country & dance music ever & it works.

Killer Joy

Devon squinted his eyes, dropped his voice to a growl. 

“Not, Hey Mark do you want to be killed, strangled, mutilated and left butt naked in the back seat of a ’58 Plymouth.”

“Nothing like that.” 

My cell phone rang and rang.

“Aren’t you going to answer it.”

“It can go to voice mail.’

“You are really afraid.” Devon sort of laughed.

“You aren’t taking this seriously are you. Or do you know more than you are letting on. You do, don’t you, you fucking asshole.”

Devon’s smile got bigger as he back away from me. 

“No! No! Honest. It’s weird to see you sort of panic like this. You are usually so calm.”

“If this is some set up I’ll never speak to you again. This isn’t funny.”

Devon tried to keep a straight face.

I checked my voice mail. 

“It’s Dave. He wants to know what’s keeping us.” I called Dave back.

“Hey Dave we’re on our way … A little delay getting the car parked.  Yeah Devon is with me. we should be there in about five minutes.” I shut the cell phone.

“Was it him?” Devon asked.

“Him what?”

“That called you. Did the voice sound like Dave’s?”

Devon’s cell rang. He answered it. He dropped it the ground.

“What!” I asked.

“He said – Mark wants to kill you.”

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

January

Thursday 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

March
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

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

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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

Therapy

 

True story – Several years ago I started to see a guy & there was good chemistry between us. When he found out I had never been to therapy it ended because he couldn’t relate to someone who had never been to therapy. I thought – such is life. He made me think of people who say ‘I don’t trust someone who won’t drink (alcohol) with me.’

 

A recent Gayish podcast (119) was about the role of therapy in lgbtq+ lives. One of the hosts conclusions was that everyone needs therapy – by which they mean one-on-one work with a therapist. I have never engaged in one-on-one work with a therapist. (Please don’t revoke my gay card 🙂 ) The closest I’ve come to therapy, I guess, is decades of 12 Step meetings – group therapy of sorts – in fact the that modem of group self-help is the model for group therapy. But 12 Step doesn’t involve professionals to facilitate such groups. https://gayishpodcast.podbean.com

I’ve written extensively about growing up gay which has worked out much of the ptsd I experienced as a child & teen – the ptsd I’ve experienced from the gay ‘community’ is another story 🙂 What is worse – being bullied & belittled by the straight community for being queer or being bullied & belittled by the gay community for not being handsome, young, hung or buff enough to be acceptable? 

The Gayish episode is an excellent guide to types of therapy based on the hosts personal experience. The statistics on mental health & addiction issues in the lgbtq+ community are dismaying but not surprising. As we see greater visibility for queers in our culture I hope many of the emotional, mental issues that come from isolation, fear, internalized homophobia, will lessen. Gayish is one of the ways in which such changes continue.

Lucky

when I tell people 

I’m lucky to alive today

they act as if I’m overreacting

because in many ways

my life has been a breeze

I didn’t suffer any physical 

sexual abuse growing up

never went hungry

my parents never divorced

so what do I have to complain about

 

it’s not that I’m complaining 

just making a statement of fact

I’m lucky to alive

maybe they don’t know

that there as a time

when gay teens were put into 

mental institutions to be cured

given shock treatments

lobotomies

behaviour modification

chemical castration

so they would be obedient 

normal boys and girls

 

role models were nonexistent 

until Elton John came along 

(oh, why couldn’t it have been 

Bruce Springsteen)

 

what saved my life 

was music & writing

not writing how

‘fear was too great’ 

but writing about anything 

music never judged me

never waited outside school to beat me up

didn’t tell on you

didn’t turn away

when I searched album covers

for inspiration in words

in Jim Morrison’s tight pants 

mooning over sturdy arms 

of drummer Keith Moon

never knowing anything about their lives

 

maybe if I had known 

Jim Morrison 

was a real back door man

Moon was a bi guy

their fame allowed them freedom

but not freedom of the press

careers would have been ruined

 

yeah I’m lucky to be alive

because the help I could have used

then

would have killed me

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

every Tuesday 2019

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

 

A Little Bent for Bentley Little

When I am asked who my favourite horror writer is I always say ‘Bentley Little’ & they go ‘Huh?’ For a writer who has produced nearly a novel year since his first published book in 1990, plus short story collections, his profile hasn’t skyrocketed. I first discovered him thanks to Stephen King who in some interview I read years ago said that Little was one of his favourite horror authors.

Like King Little’s writing style is conversational, rarely high-flown, or peppered with pseudo-scientific jargon. He plays on myth, legends & even reaches into American history – a ghost train constructed of & by the bones of the Chinese who built the railway – but always starts in the common place & makes the eerier & foreboding.

I have read dozens of Little’s books. I became, as I ma wont to do, a bit obsessed with hunting them all down, scouring 2nd hand bookstores for old ones & watching for new releases. The books are high on suspense, thrills & horror. He finds horror in ordinary things – that new box box store has sales that are to die for – literally.

I’ve kept two, so far, of them on my shelf: The Policy and His Father’s Son. In Son our hero discovers a society of letter-to-the-editor writers whose letters lead to change. It is one of the few novels about writers writing that catches the power of the word, what it means to the writer & then sends that concept into an amazing direction.

 

All the novels are highly cinematic but so far none aha been made into films. I suspect Little has resisted that thanks to what has happened to King film adaptations that have watered down the story to make it more commercial appealing. Bentley can be gory, funny & always scary. He catches human fears & paranoia & makes them into realities; what if the gates to your gated community are the gates to hell?  If you aren’t a fan, yet, I’d recommend The Policy as an excellent starter for this addictive writer.

Dead or Alive

one is already dead

one we don’t know

who knows this child

does anyone recognize 

his running shoes his hands his face

 

is he dead is he alive

we warned you 

not to go near the lake

late at night

first Brad now Jeff

each off on an adventure

 

is he dead

is he alive

what would have possessed him

we told him about the Denizen

we made sure

none of the boys

would go near the smoke shed

they never listen

they never listen

if only they were

content with the pancakes

flap jacks

waffles

maple syrup

we can’t seem to keep them 

sated in food stupors

they have to slip off

looking for adventure

don’t say boys will be boys

 

is he dead is he alive

Jeff Jeff speak to us

wake up 

the grey cold damp

isn’t holding you that strong

spit the cold grey lake water

out of your lungs

tell us did you find Brad

have you seen Olaf

which of you

went to the smoke shed

who stole the sausages

who wasn’t heeding 

the warning we posted

the tales we told

to keep you alive

 

is he dead is he alive

is he Jeff

feel for a pulse

feel for breath

is there a sign

anything

no this isn’t Jeff

it’s some other boy 

another lured to Pinebow Lake

another taken from us

 

if this isn’t Jeff

where is Jeff

where is Brad

where is little Olaf

all the good boys

the brightest and best

have taken their leave

or are they just hiding

peaking around the trees

to giggle and smirk

in some game of hide and seek

where the finders

stay with the hiders

till there is only one looker left

and that will be me

because I won’t go near the lake

late at night

I won’t slip out of my bunk

to look for sausages

I’d rather be hungry and found

 

we must continue our search

beat the bushes

leave no stone unturned

we must look till we find

we must discover

why boys will be boys

we must see if there are foot prints

we have to follow the scent

the deep decay 

of blackened tree stumps

 

something floats 

to the surface of the lake

a glistening slick

like oil red blood

it is moving to follow the moon

it is time for us to light the fires

to gather around

to be told again the warning signs

the things to do

to make sure we all remain here

 

who has seen Tim

he was here a moment ago

he had the matches for the fire

who has seen Garth

he had the marshmallows

come out come out

this game has gone to far

 

is he the next warning sign

the fourth sign

of what is to come

the gradual shift

that takes us each from the camp

to home

 

yes that must be it

the others have gone home

run back to their mommies

scared of the lake

scared of the dark

and never go to get their fill

of the good cook’s works

we can end the search

except to find out

who this boy is 

spewed upon the shore

who

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

October scary poetry every Wednesday & Thursday

November 15: Hot Damn! It’s a Queer Slam – 8p.m. – Buddies In Bad Time Theatre, Toronto
http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday


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

 

Davis Day Etting

19-door01Moving along the ‘d’ shelf I have this stand alone of Betty Davis: This Is It – a compilation from her lps. I also have in an MP3 collection self titled, Nasty Gal. Her look is space age vixen, her songs amazing raunchy blues and funky. I found an Lp on sale at Zeller’s in Sydney & was so happy with songs like He Was A Big Freak (I hit him with a turquoise chain). None of pals got her but I did – they preferred their funky to be tamer i.e. Aretha.

19-door02

 

Near her on the shelf is Doris Day: a stand alone -Que Sera, Sera; & an MP3 collection of 100 Hits to which I added Ruth Etting – Doris played Ruth in a biopic. Hits was an iTunes bargain. Did someone say middle-of-the-road? Yes I have to agree but some of thse songs are classics she handles well: Secret Love, But Not For Me. Her voice, in small doses, is pure and clear as a bell.

 

19-door03Ruth Etting is the real deal – I have a set 10 cents A dance from 1926/30 – Body & Soul aches. Another collection Glad Rag Doll with more classics – too many to list. Sound quality is good, her singing is sweet with a touch of heart-ache. Very much worth seeking her out of you don’t have any already.

19-door04

 

A little further on the shelf is a true stylist: Blossom Dearie. I have stand alone Jazz Master & tucked away in an MP3 collection A Summertime and Cafe Apres-Midi. Blossom is a cabaret singer who does things with show tunes that will astonish you. Her voice is light as air – Fiest owes her a debt of gratitude. She sings with energy, commitment & with a very applying sense of humour but never mocks her material. I love Blossom. Another one worth checking out.

sample

Common

The common feature found in these ruined cities is the total re-use of all available materials. Often though the inhabitants have no information as to what many of these objects once may have been. The use of vids has been more accidental that deliberate. Slow but sure the treasures of the past have been revived but many find them incomprehensible and useless.

The dedication of the remaining craftsmen to the repair and then the discover the purpose of these objects is inspiring. It is a testimony to the all enduring power of St V’ths that humans persist in pushing ahead even in the information darkness that surrounds them.

The tall towers that line the streets of the city outside Gate 67 have been carefully and gradually stripped of all contents. Glass has been removed, what still that can be reclaimed is taken though little use for it remains. Pl’tc is more sought after. So little of this poly-based substance remains. The process by which it was made has been undiscovered or if it is known no one has the capability of actually putting it to use.

We continue in the persistent and steady reclamation process. Minerals, substances and objects are being forged into purpose. We recognize that frequently this purpose may not have been what these objects were originally intended for.

With the Gl’nth Sect overseeing the the falfa we do have a steady and consistent source of sustenance. No other organism has been found the replicates itself as does the falfa. It is the only naturally growing organism on the planet.

Just as we have found purpose for the remnants of our past culture so have the Gl’nth Sect found and created uses for all facets of the falfa – from food, to fabric, to healing balms. We all must expresses our gratitude for this gift from V’ths.

It is believed that once the mystery of our history has been solved our race will once again forge ahead into the stars as did our ancestors.

 

money

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23door03

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Clapton, Twitch & If …

12-door01This a Britpop mp3 collection with two Lps by Dave Dee, Dozy, Mick & Twitch – If No One Sang, and Together. Along with some If and Eric Clapton. All of whom represent different aspects of Britpop. Other than Clapton they are also somewhat obscure – this is where my archivist leanings come into full play.

12-door02Dave Dee etc had a few ‘hits’ Zabadak, Xanadu, I had Lp If No One Sang that I replaced with MP3 & then Together (with dozens of bonus tracks). There are several of these Kinks-like psychedelic bands: Status Quo being another – arty, social commentary, vapidly romantic but with excellent engineering that produced endearing and engaging, if not memorable or commanding music in the 60’s.

If … on the other hand is a memorable but over-looked. Sort of a art-rock version of Blood, Sweat & tears they never hit a commercial stride in USA but did produce some excellent music. I love their first self-titled which I had as a cassette that I found at Radio Shack on the east coast. Brilliant horn work, superber guitar & songs I’ll always rememberer: Dockland so evocative. If 2 & Stockholm 1972 are also here. I have a stand alone of ‘hits’ What’s In The Box Jack, as well. Intelligent emotionally resonant music worth seeking out.12-door03

The Clapton is the self-named that include Slunky, as well as sections of Derek: Complete Studio sessions. To be honest I’m not a Clapton die-hard – so much of his work, to me, became middle-of-the-road. His guitar playing is superb & some consider him God but I’m not convinced. Good yes but emotionally he doesn’t move me.

12-door04

 

The Slunky set is solid bluesy, r’n’b & I enjoy it a lot, the Derek selections are outtakes & alternate versions that I like as well but don’t find them compelling. Maybe its the great technique combined with a lack of energy that leaves me wanting more. His singing is fine, the engineering is superb. I suppose I’m revealing  how superficial I am 🙂

sampleThe Glass Bead Game

The vids offered many games.

To make a selection the user would open the file marked with the game icon. This icon would change from vid to vid, from user to user and so the discovery of the correct icon was the first game.

The icon would vary from something as innocuous as a round yellow dot with eyes and smile or as elaborate as a swaying field of falfa. The user would have only three guesses at this stage.

If he got it on his first guess the number of games he would then have an opportunity to experience would be very large. With the second guess that range of games would be more limited, the third even less.

If he did not guess on this third try only one game would be made available. This would be a random selection. This one game option was instituted to keep users from becoming so discouraged that they would give up.

Of course the range of game options for a correct icon on the first attempt was so great no user could play all the games anyway. Over time it was decided that certain games would only be available on that first tier, that these games would not show up in the random dispensation for those who never found the illusive icon.

Some games rarely got played as a result. When this was the case it would be those games that got relegated to the fourth tier. These games were difficult to win, difficult to follow and but the rewards for winning were exceptional.

The least popular game was ‘Glass Bead.’ Often those who were allotted it were the ones would who log off without even playing it.

In ‘Glass Bead’ the rules would scroll down one letter at a time. Few realized that play was to start then. If you read all the rules you would lose automatically but that was not mentioned till the last rule.

Many vids were damaged as a result of this till players learned to shut down when the ‘Glass Bead’ game started. One thing a few users did discover is that if they won the ‘Glass Bead’ game, all other games would be made available to them. The icon would remain the same for each vid access.

soon

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

hot3

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 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3

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

19glassdoor03

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Coldplay

23door01I remember first hearing Coldplay way back in 2000 – Yellow was a track on a British pop magazine sampler compilation CD of ‘hits.’ I don’t remember any of the other songs or performers on the CD but I kept going back to Yellow. Sweet, plaintive emo. 23door05So when Parachutes was finally released in Canada I was excited to pick it up in Feb 2001 & was not disappointed. Little did I know they would become so hugely popular. In my collection I have that and A Rush of Blood, X&Y, Viva LaVida as stand alone’s & Mylo Xyloto as part of an mp3 collection. The first three releases kept drawing me back. The crisp production sound, the guitar work, plus romantic, nearly adult lyrics were hard to resist.23door02The guys in the band were certainly easy on the eyes too. They seemed shy in the spotlight, endearing. The music was always lush, arching & aching. But by Viva they became less compelling to listen to. I enjoy Viva & Mylo but there is nothing distinctive in the lyrics, there are moments of good craftsmanship but no passion. But these first 3 cds are still powerful pretty & emotive.23door03Did success rush to their heads? Reading biographies of bands like the Beatles, The Animals, that track their how the rise to fame influenced their work I was understand how the push for bigger gets in the way of creativity. Coldplay accepted the spotlight & I’ve head them interviewed & being nearly forced into political stances. Of course marrying movie stars didn’t create privacy either. So it’s no surprise they lost their way a little.sample

Good Bones

The skeleton had to take two steps before E’fi believed her spell had worked.

‘Thou shalt do my bidding?’

‘He-yes-ss.’ the broken teeth clattered as the breath of wind struck them in answer. ‘Hi hwill dhooo thy bhidding.’

E’fi stepped back. The skeleton stepped towards her.

‘Stay till I call upon you.’

‘Nho for me to breath I must be near thee.’ a bone arm reached out to her. ‘You have willed me but my time depends on you and only you.’

Oh Gr’dam E’fi gave her work table a kick that rattled the two cauldrons on it. In other words she had conjured a spirit that could function only in her presence. She had hoped for one which would travel, perform its deeds while she waited safe and sound in her lair.

‘He-youu are not pleased?’

‘No this doesn’t suit my purpose.’

Though perhaps she could work with what she had. She didn’t have the elements for another spell or the time t◊o start looking for them.

‘We will manage something.’

‘Ahh ghood for I cannot be banished without doing the task you had in mind.’

Oh no! Now she was stuck with this pile of bones.

‘How near must I be for you to function?’ she stepped back two paces, another two paces.

The air around the skeleton began to scintillate, it’s bones cracked. She inched forward and the scintilla stopped.

‘Half a room. Must I be within sight of you?’

‘He-yes-ss. Do not even close your eyes for a minute.’

That meant no sleep either. Now she had no choice but to follow the path she had laid before her.

‘So be it. Follow me.’

She turned away to the door.  She heard bones cracking behind her.

‘Damnation. You must go first.’

‘True. How quickly we learn who is control of the spirits. Not you. Not I.’

‘The Rule of Spells need to be revived.’

‘Do not blame the rules for your own lack of knowledge Misstreshh.’ The skeleton pushed the door open.soon

cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC – I’m registered 🙂

nufire

https://capfireslam.org

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

June 11, Saturday  – attending: The Toronto Poetry Talks – 10 AM – Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C6

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

June 12, Sunday – participating: Michael Matheson – The Axe and the Scalpel – Editing Your Own Work 1:00 pm – Bakka-Phoenix Books – 84 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2H7construction vert

tickets here

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)

expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

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

doorknob

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