School For #sfScandal

Took in Antoni Cimolino’s production of R.B. Sheridan’s School For Scandal, our final Stratford production of the year at the Festival Theatre, on Tuesday. As per usual we left Toronto around 9:15 for to drive leisurely – 401 to Cambridge where we always stop at a Tim Ho’s for a washroom break & a coffee, then a welcome stop at the Shakespeare pie shop  http://www.shakespearepies.net  for meat pies. We would arrive in Stratford by noon for lunch, usually at Features. 

The weather was perfect for the drive. Sunny but not overly warm. Traffic on 401 was fine the first hour then bam! to snail crawl – three lanes of it moving nowhere slowly. Why? We find out when we get the Guelph Line where traffic was reduced to a single lane & detoured along the Line 😦 We had to make a washroom stop along with way at a Country Time. Skipped lunch, didn’t get back to 401 for an hour or so & finally got parked in Stratford at 2:15. Needless to say we missed the curtain going up on the show – the detour was the real scandal. But we didn’t give up on the show. All we missed was the first scene. I can read that if I need to.

Once my racing brain had settled in somewhat I was quickly immersed in the production. The text is essentially nasty one liners & comic retorts. Characters are created with names: i.e. Lord Backbite. The performances were lively, arch, sincere & delicious. Costumes were great, wigs were perfect. It was clear that the cast really enjoyed their roles & the dialogue they were given to perform.

The nature of gossip, truth & alternate facts were very clear & a great comment on our modern day life in which being malicious is often the point – it doesn’t matter who the object of the maliciousness is. Being clever & nasty that is the point. Name calling only counts if the name you are calling is witty enough.

A superb production that I’d recommend except this was the last performance. It almost made the hell drive okay but …. at least the pie shop was open on the way home & I got an amazing maple pecan butter tart to sooth my weariness.

Reviews of the other shows I’ve seen this season at Stratford & Shaw:

‘in the key of green’ Bakkhai http://wp.me/p1RtxU-2r0

A #Changeling For the Better http://wp.me/p1RtxU-2tg

A Bloodless #Dracula http://wp.me/p1RtxU-2uU

Tartuffe: The Dance Remix http://wp.me/p1RtxU-2w6

Me and My Lamp Post http://wp.me/p1RtxU-2xN

 

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Circles Within Circles

The past week I engaged in a couple of the social sides of Toronto’s poetry world. Monday I attended a TSP workshop lead by Ebony Stewart. Tuesday I was one of three features at the Art Bar show. Two very different groups of writers & performers. Although I felt quite comfortable in both it was also clear that I was an anomaly. I only have a place at these tables because I make myself take a place at these tables.

At one time I was the only out queer male in the poetry room – thankfully that has changed but the issues of gender, race & age haven’t really changed that much. One of the exercises at the workshop was circles within circles, with self in the middle circle, then each circle out one put names of people starting with the friend(s) one would go to for support in crisis, then working out.

This was challenging because thanks to AA I have many people I might easily go to for emotional support but they aren’t necessarily that close to me. Who do I talk to that listens to me? My partner of over 30 years? My friends in recovery? In the writing world? I’ve found most people, even those who are closest to me, aren’t such good listeners. So my inner circle was pretty empty.

At the Art Bar there was many familiar faces from my Renaissance Conspiracy days. Yet I had more conversation with one of the co-features than I did with the familiar faces. In the break after each feature to performer had several people eager to chat with them. After my set it was as if people were more interested in avoiding me – really. I guess my set was pretty bad & lacked the poetic gravitas of the real poets who went before me. 🙂

This is more observation than complaint. You know I really don’t give a shit. I write because it is what I do. Over the years I’ve become more politic & less in your face sexual. I’m not looking for approval or gushy flattery. I may not have a place in this milieu but, honey, I’m taking one anyway.

‘By the Moose of Moses’ http://wp.me/p1RtxU-1gg

‘by the enflamed dick of the moose of Moses’

my Dad was shouting

we knew he was really really angry

the more words he used

when he stared to swear

the angrier he was

none of wanted to know why he was angry

 

my mother would bundle the clothes

and head down to the river

my sisters would go to their rooms

to start preparing for their shifts at the strip bars

my brothers

if they were around

would be suddenly very very busy

with the gutting of moose

helping one another bloody their hair

 

I was often the only one left

for him to vent his wrath upon

that wrath was always words

never directed at me

but someone had to bare witness to his anger

or it got worse and worse

till one of the neighbours would come over

eyes darting around fearfully

to see what the commotion was

 

‘by the scraped udders of mother moose’

my Dad kicked at the bench in his workshop

I peeped around the corner

‘come in here now you little smelt fornicator’

‘yes Dad.’

I would inch into the room

‘have you been in here?’

‘no Dad’

 

I hunched my shoulders to hide my guilt

because I had been there

enjoying the play of sunlight on his tools

that hung in neat rows on the wall

or playing with boys

in the bone dust on the floor

 

‘why’

‘just take a look around’

I couldn’t see anything amiss

the skidoo he was rebuilding stood

where it had for years

except on the two days

when it was working properly

the outboard motor he had salvaged swung overhead

 

‘i … i don’t see anything’

‘then open your eyes boy’

 

night had fallen

it was now so dark

I could barely make out his eyes

 

‘when I find out who did

this there’ll be hell to pay’

 

he struck match

in that brief flare of light I was aghast

he had dared to break the prohibition

even a glimpse of light

after nightfall was punishable

I knew whatever this was it was serious

 

‘you sure you weren’t in here’

 

‘no dad. i swear it wasn’t me’

taking my first step

to becoming

a guilt ridden adult

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November 1-30

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G  Whizzes

Henryk Gorecki is a composer caught in the ‘big hit’ category thanks to his powerful Symphony No. 3. Dawn Upshaw’s performance in the Cantabile section sent this piece to the top of the classical charts for decades. I love the deep lulling emotional resonance of this symphony – yet have not felt the need to seek out more by Gorecki. A must have for any classical fan or anyone who enjoys those emotionally compelling musical moments in motion picture funerals.

Louis Moreau Gottschalk: A Night in the Tropics. Here we have the opposite of Gorecki – a nearly forgotten AfroAmerican classical composer. Part of my personal mandate to widen my musical worldview to seek out what is rarely represented to the view of the world I get. This is rich, playful & pleasant program music. Impressionist with w strong Creole flavour. A clear inspiration for Scott Joplin.

So this wider world view moves from Polish, to AfroAmerican to Spanish with 3 cds of Enrique Granados’s piano music: Goyscas/Folk Songs; Piano Music 7; Piano Music 8. I first heard Segoiva playing guitar transcriptions & was fully expecting Granados to have written only for guitar & was amazed that in fact piano was his focus. The music is full of great for melody, subtle Spanish sadness & joy. Goyescas are his impressions of the famous & sometimes disturbing etchings of Goya.

 

Impressionistic, romantic at times to the point of florid this is classical music that welcomes new ears to the world of non-pop in a way that isn’t intimidating or emotionally dry. His Andaluza (Spanish dance no.5) may be one of the most popular & recognizable pieces of Spanish music you didn’t know he had written.

Bounders

Daphne shook the parchment over the candle flame. Small burn marks appeared but she moved it so no more than a slight smoulder was seen. As she moved the paper I let a few splashes of the albino newt’s blood fall from the glass dropper. They simmered a moment as the heat drew them into the paper.

‘We’ll know in a moment, Syc, if …. ‘

The parchment burst into flame. Daphne let go and the blackened flakes drifted to the floor where I stepped on them to prevent singe marks on the carpet.

‘That’s a sure a sign as any.’ She brushed her hands clean.

‘It is?’

‘Oh yes. No sign is as powerful as any sign. It means you aren’t to know. That you are diverting valuable energy from where it needs to go to pursue this avenue of thought.’

‘It can’t be.’

‘That attitude won’t get you very far here. Anything can be.’

‘But … that’s why I am here. To learn to see, foretell. If I can’t see how well my studies will go what’s the point.’

‘The point is …’ came from the doorway behind us. We both spun around. ‘… until your studies have begun there is nothing to foretell.’

‘Cal how long have you been there.’

‘Long enough Daph. Long enough.’

He came into the room with Lear.

‘Did a good job on that PA system today. Why does it take two of you?’

‘It doesn’t.’ Lear sat on the edge of the window. ‘But it looks better when two of us do it. Makes it look harder than it is, so that on those rare times one of us does it alone people are even more impressed.’

‘Always something with you two.’

‘Yeah.’ Caliban looked at Lear and they laughed.

‘I know you aren’t here to line us up for a double date.’

‘And pray tell Daph why would you say that?’

‘Look guys, I may be new here but I’ve been around. You two are …’ she stopped.

‘Are what?’ I asked. ‘Are brothers?’

‘Sort of.’

‘Oh. Bounders?’

‘Amongst other things yes. Bonded is the word we chose though. Goes a step beyond Bounders. United in more than blood and bone.’

‘You mean,’ it sunk in. So much for my erotic fantasy about Caliban and those sturdy legs of his. ‘How long?’

‘About four years now.’

 

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Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

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Art Bar Set Building

I was a bit surprised to be asked to feature at the Art Bar, more that they willing to let me decline the initial August date offered. Surprised because I stepped back from the reading circuit some time ago – mainly because I was tired of the pressure to sell drinks on behalf of a restaurant/bar that wasn’t even paying me to be there. Being a non-drinker I wasn’t bringing enough to the table to merit being there.

I have featured at the a previous incarnation of the Art Bar in 2009 when it was at Clinton’s but not since. I may still have my set list from that show. It was the one where @soulfistikato collaborated with me on a couple of pieces. Man that was such fun. If you read this @soulfistikato – let’s do it again. https://souljahrasproductions.bandcamp.com/album/the-head-nod

I usually have my set ready a few weeks in advance of a show but this time I have nothing much planned yet, other than Arrgh Godzilla – which the universe told me to do with the death of Haruo Nakajima, the actor who occupied that suit for the first few Godzilla movies. The sort of sign I can’t deny. It’s a piece I love to perform so I may do another couple of pieces I love to perform.

But I want to focus on recent work, in particular the ones that have sprung from the 227 Rules for Monks that I have been using for prompts. Like the 48 Laws these have pushed me into thinking & writing about different things or looking at the same old things in a fresh way.

 

Some of the new ones might be those that I’ve posted here & have gotten good feedback about (if I received truly negative feedback I’d be even more inclined to perform them.) If anyone has any requests of pieces of mine they’d like to hear – let me know asap. So the set will probably be a mix of the very old, the more recent & some so fresh out of the oven they may be half-baked. Plus I have an amazing new shirt to debut.

Shroove Smelt http://wp.me/p1RtxU-QI

in the weeks leading up to Shroove

we village children would dress as smelt

and run through the streets

squeaking and calling for the adults

to come out to confess their sins

because it was due to those sins

that the smelt stocks were depleted

it was due to their disrespect for the scared pole

that the moose were in decline

the adult men would follow us children

moaning and beating their foreheads till they bled

we would lead them to the strip bars

to make the first of their confessions

where they wailed so loud

the loose saxes couldn’t be heard

as the women danced in the dark

 

on the final day of Shrove

we children would swarm up and down

the 10001 steps of the cathedral

forming dioramas from the Biblia Coochineal

to instruct the men in the ways of righteousness

the bishop would smash

a florescent lightbulb

once each diorama was complete

then we would quickly form the next one

till the story of the moose was told

till the men were longing to escape

the searing glare of our child eyes

they knew they were to blame

we boys dreaded becoming guilt ridden adults

we hoped to avoid the responsibilities

the village would assign us

when we were old enough

to shoulder the shame of being human

 

after the dioramas

we children would swarm the Whistling Woods

in random groups of four or five

to chase out the hungry hidden men

there was no avoiding the smart of guilt

we would find them

we would hound them

till they came barefooted

hair caked with moose blood

to the cathedral to present themselves to the bishop

to listen the choir

sing hymns of renunciation and accusation

‘vile adults in the eyes of the creator’

‘the moose has spoken’

 

the days after Shroove were ones of rest

we were all exhausted from the running

our smelt costumes were repaired

then stored carefully in airtight rubber bins

till next years

when the cycle of fertility and recrimination

would begin all over again

 

chapbooks for sale http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

kiss3

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

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Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

http://www.artbar.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

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No Sale

samprules2

Started a new set of prompts – I love lists of things – this one will prove to be endlessly productive for another couple of years – 227 Rules For Monks. Who knew the simple life could be so complex. These are from the 30 nissaggiyas. This is where 18 Not to accept money. took me.

No Sale

He wanted to buy me

chocolates

did I like black magic

did I prefer kinder eggs

he want to buy me

a bottle wine

I told him

I don’t drink

I didn’t tell him

I don’t want him to buy me

anything

 

it was too soon

we’d met once

this was the second time

and he wanted to buy me

things

to take me for a weekend in the country

I told him no thanks

I let him pay for a hot chocolate

he wanted to see me again

wanted to take me to dinner

I said no thank you

because I didn’t want him

not even as a friend

he was too demanding

in this need to please

besides he wasn’t my type

too tall too thin too smooth

 

I met him the first time

to step out of my comfort zone

he was sweet enough

we made out

it wasn’t unpleasant

until he flooded my inbox

asking to see me again

asking if he could buy me

chocolates

so I saw him again

we made out

it wasn’t fun it was duty

there was no chemistry

other than his need to buy me

chocolates

and that wasn’t enough for me

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#this and #that

#this

 

#mylifematters

I was going to go with

#thislifematters

but #this was too impersonal

too ambiguous

it wasn’t the fact of life that matters

but that my life in particular matters

 

what am I trying to do

co-opt a bigger   more important movement

coattail on the buzz

it has built

capitalize on their suffering & hard work

just to gain some pitiful attention

 

am I hoping to create controversy

with this spin

on an already over spun trend

with some snide spin of my own

because I think #myspinmatters

when its clear that it doesn’t

mean shit to a tree

I’m just another privileged guy

whose life

whose opinion

doesn’t matter

who doesn’t have a hope in hell

of stirring up anything

outside of his own little pond

 

so I guess

until I have something profound to say

and the money to back it up

#mylifedoesn’tmatter

My take on Law 39 was directly inspired by the use of # to create waves. It was a fast way to direct attention to important issues but then became more annoying than productive. People were responding more to the use of it than the actual issue. Some added the current # to posts that had nothing to do with the issue.

It was suggested, at one time, one add the most popular words or names to their posts simply to attract attention & get them listed in search engines.  Anything to get hits. The theory being the more hits the great the exposure – but it’s too easy to die of over-exposure or by # crying wolf. Even when my blog posts touch on certain hot topics I have resisted that # simply because I’m more interested in saying something than coat-tailing. When I first posted this piece I did not use the reference #BLM just to get attention.

It’s also a comment on the reactions to the use of ‘matters’ to suppress or diminish the importance of the issue – once again diverting attention from one thing with a defensive action that doesn’t address anything except an unwillingness to work for real change. It also became too easy to # than to take action anyway.

 

The use of # to stir up interest has now being too over used. I’ve did a recent check on # for the Texas floods & man the number of rabid anti-lgbtq sites using it to get attention for their political stance & not for anything to assist the victims is #disgusting.

 

 

 

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

Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

http://www.artbar.org

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Lazarus Kiss.37

Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.

May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others

and a love within recall that alters you.

kiss

Alex’s hands moved quickly all over Harris’s body. Touching his cock, balls, awkwardly washing his feet. He started on Harris’s ass and stopped.

“I can’t go there.” He spit water. “I thought I could but I can’t” He stepped out of the shower.

Harris followed.

“That’s okay.” He patted Alex’s shoulders dry. “It felt nicer than I expected. Reminded me of when I was a kid and having my dad wash me in the tub.”

“Yeah but …”

“We’ve gone far enough.” Harris handed him the towel.

“Could be, but this tells me otherwise.” Alex was erect.

“That’s not what I’m hearing though.” Harris wasn’t erect. “I don’ know what to tell you or what to do.” He continued to dry himself.

“Let’s lie on the bed. We don’t have to do much. Snuggle. Oh fuck! I hate that word. Snuggle. Linda always wanted a snuggle. Said it was the best part of making out.”

The bedroom was dark and cool. Alex pulled the shade down and made it darker.

“Okay.” Harris lay on the bed. He shut his eyes.

Alex stretched out next to him. Head propped on one arm. The other gently stroked Harris from shoulder to stomach as far as his pubes and back. He could feel the heat from Alex’s cock pressed against his hip.

“Your skin is pretty soft.” Alex said. “Not that I’ve touched many men but lots of women. Not as soft as a woman. But soft. Smooth too. Those guys in the porn were hairy everywhere except … ” He gave a little laugh.

“Where?”

“Their asses. They must have to get their asses waxed for porn.” He began to giggle.

Harris laughed too. “That’s way fucked. Where would go to get that done? Smooth Asses Are Us?”

He rolled to face Alex. Alex’s hard cock pressed against his stomach.

“What makes this strange is that I’m not like those guys. They aren’t as buff as you but I’m …. ”

“Chunky?”

“Let’s be honest, fat.”

“Feels fine to me.” Alex pulled them closer and rubbed his cock against Harris’s stomach. “Soft. Fat’s not hard ta get rid of ya know. I could help ya. Come to the gym.” His thrusting increased. Harris was pushed to his back with Alex straddling him. Their legs intertwined. His cock got hard again. He could feel it between Alex’s legs grinding against Alex’s balls.

Alex’s thrusts sped up. He was hugging harder. So hard it was hard for Harris to breathe.

“Ouch.” Pain shot through his ribs.

“What?”

“I cracked my ribs a week ago.”

“How’s this.” Alex proped himself on his elbows to not be so heavy on Harris.

“Fine.”

There faced each other. Harris closed his eyes as Alex continued to rub against him.  The weight of a man on him made Harris feel grounded, not aroused. Alex enjoyed this much more than he did.

“Oh God. Oh God.” Alex leaned up. “Pinch my nipples.”

Harris tired to get a grip on them but Alex was sweating too much. He had to use a thumbnail to get a good hold. Harris felt the tip of his cock touching Alex’s asshole.

“Yeah. Pinch’em harder.” His come spewed over Harris’s stomach and splashed his chin.

As Alex came Harris felt the asshole spasm with each ejaculation. If he pushed up half-an-inch he could enter Alex. But he didn’t want to. Alex gasped raggedly as he came again.

Alex fell off him. “Man oh man. That was something. I nearly blacked out. Can’t remember the last time that happened. Spooged you good.”

Harris got off the bed. He couldn’t wait to get out of there.

A timer went off in the living room.

“Shit I gotta get going.” Alex jump off the bed and wiped himself off with his polo shirt. He handed it to harris. “I hafta get to Story. Doin’ a split shift for Steve.”

Harris wiped the come off his belly with Alex’s shirt and got dressed.

“I’d walk to the subway with you but I don’t want to be late. Again.” Alex dragged a bike from between the houses. “That was certainly not what I expected but it was great.” He quickly kissed Harris and sped off.

Harris had never kissed anyone on their way to work. It felt okay. His nipples tingled as his tee-shirt rubbed them as he walked to the subway.

Home he could still feel the pressure, the shape of Alex’s cock on his belly, feel the spasm pucker of Alex’s asshole almost like a tight mouth inviting Harris dick to slide in.

He enjoyed what happened. No woman had showed him that much attention. Not that he could recall that many of them, thanks to the curse. That was the problem. If he could remember any of them he’d have an experience to compare Alex to.

Becky the other week was good. Fun and seemed to enjoy her time with him. Plus she remembered him the next day too even if she wasn’t that interested. Not at all. She made that very clear.

He got a call from his mother reminding him about brunch the next day and to tell him she had a special surprise for him so don’t be late.

10 o’clock on a Saturday night and he had nothing to do. Ordinarily he’d drop into Story to see if Trev was there for a few beers but he’d had enough of Alex for one night.

He tidied up his apartment. Tossed in a load of laundry. The instruction book for Andy was where he had left it on the kitchen counter.

Harris moved Andy out of his corner and opened the computer link for the voice ware.

“Play time.” he said.

Andy’s eyes opened. “Thank you for turning me on Harris.”

‘You can now program Andy to respond to other simple voice activations commands such as ‘pinch,’ ‘lift,’ ‘harder,’ ‘faster’ or ‘record’ without having to touch him to start these functions.’

Harris flipped to the section on record.

‘Andy is equipped with a fully function camera with 2.8-inch vari-angle PureColor system LCD, and RAW + JPEG image modes and 720p HD video with stereo sound to get crystal clear footage capabilities – can easily take still pictures or record scenes of up to twenty minutes in length. His eyes have follow focus lenses that allow him to discern and follow the action. The sockets will move within their limited radius. His neck is articulated to add more visual range.

To physically start the record function you need only touch him between the eyes.’

That’s what Becky did when she got him going. Was that why she thought he was looking at us when I was making out with her the other night.

‘For more on the wireless playback see the record module.’

Harris scrolled through the online function menu and opened the record module. Sure enough Andy had stored several recordings.

He hit the playback button. The first was of him and Becky on the couch as she rode him. The others were merely of him going in and out of the apartment.

He went back to the manual.

‘The motion sensitive setting is a default setting. Andy will automatically start recording which makes him the ideal security monitor for the nursery.’

Yeah and his dick the ideal pacifier.

‘Andy has many uses beyond merely being playful. We hope you enjoy discovering and utilizing all joy that he is capable of bringing into your life.’

Harris deleted the shots of him exiting the apartment. Next changed the default motion sensitive setting to off. That done he went back to the clip of him and Becky.

The picture quality was good, the sound was clear. Becky’s eagerness and energy aroused him. It was very disorienting though to see himself in a porn. The lighting wasn’t as good as the one that Alex had made him watch. It was dim enough that he didn’t have to see how fat he was either. If he did this again he’d have to remember the importance of lighting.

Becky making such a fuss over Andy then him worked on him the way Alex didn’t. So that’s what his cock looked like going into a chick’s mouth. It appeared larger on the screen than it did in his hand.

He jacked off in time to her rocking her hips on him as they inched to the edge of the couch. He felt again the penetration that position had given him. How big and fat her clenching cunt had made his cock feel. There were glimpses of her rising and settling where he could see his own cock as it when in and out of her. His legs quivered as he shot off on to his virtual stomach.

The recording ended about minute after they left couch.

Yeah that was a good time. It was as good as he remembered it too.

He downloaded the scene to his hard drive and cleared Andy’s memory.

 

Can’t wait to read the whole thing? order the PDF for $5.00 – paypal.me/TOpoet – say you want Kiss

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Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald! On an mp3 collection I have: Sings Gershwin; with Louis Armstrong; Rogers & Hart Songbooks. Plus a cassette of 30 by Benny Carter (so far unreleased in any other format). What can one say about this timeless singer. Adventurous and yet classic jazz at the same time. Her recordings with Louise Armstrong are amazing – their voice trade off so well – romantic, sexy & humorous. Their take on Porgy & Bess is wonderful.

She seems to have recorded non-stop, even her sleep, as she worked through song books of the great Broadway composers. Shows that she never would have been cast yet & she makes each song her own.

On this cd I’ve included work by her contemporaries: Rosemary Clooney: Ring Around Rosie with the Hi-Lows: this is an amazing set, the Hi-Lows’ arrangements are so campy at time I’m left breathless & one hears where groups like Manhattan Transfer got their best ideas. The song are energetic & fun. Her voice is clear as a bell.

Plus some Peggy Lee: Beauty & the Beat with George Shearing, Fever: a ‘hits’ collection. The Shearing is a live nightclub performance & listening to it one is right there sipping an extra dry martini. Fever is a selection of her 50’s work & leaves no doubt as to why she was revered. Very different from Fitzgerald or Clooney, she does some of the same songs but man, they are different songs in her hands.

Finally Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown & Beige featuring Mahalia Jackson. Two versions of it – the studio recording & a live take. Jackson has another of those monumental voices but she rarely sang ‘pop’, even her work here is more gospel & her reputation comes from her gospel recordings. A force of nature that draws even a cynic like me into the glory of the word.

A Mazed

‘How do like your room?’

‘It’s fine. Nice view of the Eldritch Enclosure.’

‘Ah yes. That north side is worth the extra steps.’

‘Extra steps?’

I hurried to keep up with Caliban. For a short guy he walked faster than my long legs could carry me.

‘Oh yeah. Didn’t you notice? That side of the dorm is about half a floor higher. Thanks to the Corner System.’

‘Oh great. Now I have to watch out for the corners’ too?’

‘Bright girl like you should have no trouble.’

‘Thanks. I guess.’

‘Sure. Well, here we are …’

We stopped at the edge of the Griswill Quad. Several students walked in large and small circles in front of us. I look at Caliban.

‘Maze meditations, Sycorax. There’s a new maze laid down in the grass every other week. Gives us a chance to focus and move. Very relaxing.’

‘I’m sure.’

‘Oh no, you’re not. No one is sure till they’ve tried it.’

‘Can’t be any worse than the Celtiric Labyrinth at Black Rock.’

‘You’ve been there?’

‘Last summer. The folks thought it was time to see what latent ability I had.’

‘How long did it take you.’

‘Just under an hour.’ I wasn’t going to tell him it took me nearly twelve hours. Not yet.

‘Really?’

He was as impressed as I knew he would be.

‘Then you’ll find this one child’s play. Start here.’

‘What?’

‘First day here everyone has to go through at least one of the five mazes. I’ll wait for you at the other side.’

I swallowed hard and looked at the gentle pattern in the folded grass. Once I stepped on to it I felt the slight breeze of the Form rustle my hair. The Form meant that I could not step back, step off, or step over. I would have to follow through to the end.

I moved ahead quick. I knew hesitation would change the pattern. As long as I kept turning to the left whenever I could I’d be fine. As long as I remember which way was left. Small curves in the grass spun me around and I found myself passing the start point more than once. I took a breath and stopped.

chapbooks for sale http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

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Thursday – September 7 at 7:30 PM – 11 PM – HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

https://www.facebook.com/events/110567226312109/

Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

http://www.artbar.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

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Tartuffe: The Dance Remix

A EuroDance remix of Francoise Hardy’s VIP filled the Festival Theatre as the house opened for seating. This was, in many ways, the perfect invitation to this production of Tartuffe. VIP an older French pop hit being remixed for a modern audience just as Ranjit Bolt’s translation remixed Molière for a modern audience.

After the rather bland attempt to add modern touches to the Changeling I was leery of the same happening again but this remix worked wonderfully. The modern set, the flourish of social media savvy by the characters gave us a production, a play that could have been written now.

 

The basic premise of one ordinary man’s blindness to the machinations of another is today’s news. To anyone who attempts to besmirch his idol our ordinary man even refuses to accept eye-witness accounts – these accounts are fake news by envious haters.

Graham Abbey, Tom Roone, Anusree Royby & Maev Beaty are excellent. Abby & Roone superlative at both physic comedy & tricky language play. Deadpan double-takes rule. Roone & Beaty attacked the ‘drumming’ for attention that leads to the big confrontation with a sense of actorly joy. In fact one could sense that all the cast enjoyed themselves.

The finale with the rapturous use of Trump memes brought the house down & to it’s feet for a sanding ovation when the show ended. Sets, costumes, lighting all at the very high Stratford level didn’t disappoint. But I have to compliment the consistent music choices that really created a sense of time & place. I don’t know who credit for that goes to director Chris Abraham, or sound designer Thomas Ryder Payne. I wish the program notes listed the pieces used. Smart choices for a smart production I recommend to anyone looking for a great contemporary comedy.

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

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Little Town Flirt

On a recent Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza talks about flirting – which is a sexually loaded conversation that relies on innuendo as opposed to the direct ‘let’s get it on’. In gay male culture there is often no grey area in which one has to be furtive in finding out if the other person is sexually interested in you but sadly if that person isn’t sexually interested then there is no further interaction.

 

I realize this disconnect isn’t only in gay circles. I’ve meet too many straight male poets who find it impossible to interact with female poets they don’t find physically attractive & who can get very bitter when the female won’t come across after all the time they spent them helping to edit a piece of writing. Piece of writing has to lead to piece of ass. But I digress.
Flirting is so treacherous – it’s at the point where if one is nice it has to mean one in interested. I’ve pretty much stopped initiating conversations with strangers, gay or straight, male or female, outside of recovery lest my agreeableness be seen as coming on. If I come across as aloof or cold that’s better than being sued for sexual harassment.

I’m not one of those guy who feel entitled to pay strangers a compliment & except it to be reciprocated with anything more than a nod or even acknowledged. I’m always stunned by men who think some woman they never met before should be flattered when told how good looking they are & then be deserve to be thanked for their male gaze. But I digress again.

On line this is a different. At least on gay male hook up sites – one can say nice pics, or nice cock shot expecting it to lead somewhere. It’s not as much pick up line as opening the door. Of course guys who get rejected after that direct approach can get rather rude when turned down. It’s easy to first when you know the other party is in another hemisphere. I’m careful never to lead someone on or get overly reactive when there is no interest. Such is life.

In gay face-to-face situations I can carry a conversation but only get flirtatious if I mean it. But I’m at the age where men rarely flirt with me anyway. At Capturing Fire I have felt a bit of interest in me but have resisted fanning that flame with flirting. I’ve found that if I ignore it an cool itself down. It is a bit odd politically though – telling a trans you like them, but not in that way – is a challenge – but that’s a post for another week. Just because I say you look marvellous doesn’t mean I want to have sex with you.

The Amazing Sheridan LeFanFanoo

http://wp.me/p1RtxU-PE

 

The Amazing Sheridan LeFanFanoo

came to our village

with his astounding magic act

he would read minds   lips   give ski tips

hypnotize people to yodel

as they skied down the slopes

in an Alpine Adventure

in single word his accent

would schloss from Swiss to Austrian

his little moustache would dance

along with the yodellers

 

under his spell you would yodel

or cockle-doodle-do or hiss

whatever he wanted you to do

then he would whisper something

only those under his power could hear

over the following days

villagers would stop in their tracks

to yodel or cluck or hiss

 

I snuck backstage

to catch a glimpse of

the Amazing Sheridan LeFanFanoo

I peeked between the trunks

that held his tricks

I saw him slap his pretty assistant

he called her a lazy bitch

she nodded and left him in the dim backstage light

he patted his forehead with a small handkerchief

then began to change into his next outfit

while his assistant yodelled on stage

I glimpsed his naked body

sparse black hair on his chest thin legs

at that moment his eyes caught mine

“who’s there” he asked fearfully

I scampered off

 

for the next few weeks we kids played

at being the Amazing Sheridan LeFanFanoo

boys and girls

with little mascara moustaches

tried to hypnotize one another

talked about the Whistling Wood

as if it was some exotic ski location

and trying out French German accents

at choir practice I tried my yodel

no one was impressed

 

once

while my mother

whacked the clothes clean on the rocks

I called her a lazy bitch

she gave me a tired smile and hissed

“you sound just like your father”

chapbooks for sale http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

kiss3

Thursday – September 7 at 7:30 PM – 11 PM – HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

https://www.facebook.com/events/110567226312109/

Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

http://www.artbar.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