Lofgrin Makes Me Smile


I have a nice collections of lps by Nils Lofgrin – some are lp to cd transfers & others downloaded. In the 70s he made some of the sweetest pop/rock around but never hit superstardom – perhaps by choice. I have Nils; Cry Tough; I Came To Dance; No Mercy; Night Fades Away; The Loner. Rounding out one of the mp3 collections is Al Kooper: I Stand Alone; Steve Miller Band: Your Saving Grace, The Joker; Johnny Winter: Second Winter; Matt Hryhorsky: Hardest Last Name.

Nils has a pleasant voice, great song writing & a likeable springing bouncy guitar style that makes me want to dance. This is happy music without being corny or cloying. He’s played with Neil Young, he was a Bruce Springsteen Band member for decades too. The lps are full of great originals & lots of sweet covers of unexpected songs. The Loner are all covers of Neil Young songs. If you are unfamiliar start with I Came To Dance.

 

Al Kooper’s I Stand Alone is his first lp after leaving Blood, Sweat & Tears. It could be an extension of that lp in fact – similar experimental sound less horns. It was a disappointment at the time as fans expected it to duplicate BS&T. Steve Miller Band: Your Saving Grace, The Joker – lps from different decades of the band. Grace is more soulful while Joker is out & out commercial brilliance. Miller’s guitar work drives both but on Grace has more laidback context.

Now for some local CanCon Matt Hryhorsky: Hardest Last Name. This is an ep I bought years ago at some place like The Central of the Supermarket when Matt featured at an event. The sound quality is excellent, the songs are good & his guitar playing is superb. Finally here is the amazing Johnny Winter’s Second Winter – I remember think – three sides! when this lp was first released. Winter is a guitar genius blues & rock with a touch of soul. This is a stunning set that is merciless in energy & attack. If you haven’t heard it do so asap.

The Bill

Joe was feeling pretty good. Better than he had felt in several weeks. Better than he had felt when he finally broke off with the guy he’d met on line who turned out to be a physically abusive drunk. Better no love than a bruise he had to explain.

Today he felt specially good because he had gotten through to his cable provider on the first phone call. No waiting and waiting and even better the service representative spoke without an accent. Not that he was racist but sometimes side had to know what was exactly being said. Joe felt good about that and also because the cable provider upgraded his cell phone for free with no activation charge just to get him to renew his contract. It was always good to know who to ask for someone in customer retention. So simple.

Yes, Joe was feeling very good as he entered his favorite restaurant. His favorite booth was free – one of the few that only sat two people. He had a book he was enjoying and he couldn’t wait to tell his favorite waiter about his success with the cable company.

Joe sat at the booth. Ken came over and put a bill on the table and walked away.

Joe looked at the bill. It was over two hundred dollars with several entrees. He figured Ken had made a mistake.

“Ken!” he waved the waiter over. “This isn’t my bill. I haven’t even ordered anything yet.”

“Are you refusing to pay?” Ken glared him.

“This isn’t my bill.” Loe’s heart began to beat faster. “I just got here. I haven’t had time to order anything. See the table is clear.”

Ken glanced at the table. “The table looks clean to me. Even if it wasn’t that’s no reason not to pay your bill. We get enough assholes in here.”

“But … but …”

“Young man,” an older lady at a nearby table glared at him. “Don’t give the waiter such a hard time. Pay him so we can get some service too.”

“But I haven’t ordered anything. I certainly didn’t order all this or have time to order it. Fried chicken, roast beef dinner,’ He began to read the items off the bill.

“Let me see that,” the maître d’ snapped the bill out of his hand. “What seems to be the problem Ken.”

“This guy refused to pay his bill.”

“This isn’t my bill.” Joe took a deep breath and kept his hands relaxed. 

The maître d’ glanced at the bill. “Of course if sir is contesting the total, we will add it up again.”

“I am not contesting the total …”

“He said his table wasn’t clean enough so he’s not paying it.’ Someone from another table added their two cents worth. “The tables here are always spotless.”

“Oh, we get your type in here far too often. Order a meal eat it then find some petty thing to complain about.” The maître d’ sneered.

“I have been coming in here for year and have never complained about anything.” Joe’s voice rose.

“No need to shout, sir.” The owner came from behind the front counter. “This is a respectable family restaurant. We can’t have that kind of language.”

“Here! Here!” Cheered the old lady from the nearby table. “Let me eat in peace.”

“But I didn’t say anything offensive.”

“Then just pay up like a good guy.” The owner patted Joe on the shoulder.

“But this isn’t my bill. I didn’t order any of this. I didn’t have any of these drinks. Apple screwdriver. Kafka flip. What ever that is.”

“Oh so your are saying this isn’t your bill. Is that what you are saying.” One of the cooks had come out of the kitchen and picked up the bill.”

“Yes that’s what I’m saying.”

“He’s right. Ken this isn’t this man’s bill. He is at table 12 the bill is for table 21.”

They all looked over to table 21 and a large gentleman grinned and waved at them. “I say, can we pay up and get out of here. I’m in a frightful hurry.”

Nils, Lofgrin, Al Kooper, Steve Miller Band, Johnny Winter, Matt Hryhorsky

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

April
– April 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales – online

https://www.facebook.com/events/529712257592790/

June

travel restrictions means no 😦

Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
 capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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March 2020 Recap

Over the past month TOpoet.ca my following grew to 386! Maybe I’ll hit 400 by the end of year, if the end of the world doesn’t come first. The only stat WP doesn’t give is where which followers are located but WP map does show most my hits have come Canada, USA second & in fourth place Italy!! I guess social isolation made them seek entertainment. Bangladesh & Kenya remain in the top 10, both above India! with Romania making an unexpected climb to ninth place! My Tumblr flowing is at 263. It would more but I block hetero porn & also gay shooting up drugs porn. Twitter is at 221 followers.

Otherwise March has been a fairly quiet month, except of course for the pandemic that spells the end of the complacent as we know it. What caught everyone off guard was how quickly it went from annoyance over there to threat at our front doors. A threat we don’t want to let in to wash its hands at our sink. It looks like my DC getaway for capturing Fire will have to wait until next year 😦 

 

March has been productive. Picture Perfect is being gradually blogged & I’ve been sufficient looks to keep it going. The Rules for Monks continues to produce great prompts. I’m at a set of food rules that are timely for the pandemic shopping panic. Artist’s Way is progressing slowly but surely. not rushing it makes a difference.

For the summer I’ll be looking at Distant Music, my Fiddlehead chap book, on Wednesdays & Thursdays – giving Rules a summer break. Currently I’m inputting the text & it is interesting to be pulled back into my creative east coast past. Some pieces I have fairly strong memory of, others are surreal mysteries. Coming soon on July 1. 

That’s the only real coming soon I can offer as a sneak peek. Stratford, Shaw seasons are up in the air though I wouldn’t be surprised to see them both canceled thanks to covid19. Same for the Hot Damn! finale – which will end up as a zoom slam, that can be viewed around the world. I hope my Romanian fans zoom in.

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Picture Perfect 13

Without looking at any of the other pictures he gathered them together and put them back in the envelope. Now where to put them? 

No! He couldn’t put them away until he saw what else was there. He took them out and quickly sorted through them. There were twelve from the whip shoot. In the last picture the man’s boxers were around his ankles and the whip marks on his ass were clearly bleeding. By that last shot the woman’s hair had become dishevelled, her nylons where loosened from the garter buttons.

He had sat on the chair in the pictures many times. His Dad used it when taking portraits of families. There was no doubt in his mind about where these were taken. The backdrop was the scrim he mother had ordered from a photo supplier in Montreal. It reflected the light just right and didn’t call attention to itself.

Time to put on my forensic hat. Had his Dad taken these or merely developed them and kept copies? Dan got one of the studio pictures he knew his Dad had taken of him and Linda. There they were by chair, each with a foot on the seat and grinning at the camera. The chair has the same smudge on the back left leg. He turned the paper over and it had the same subtle watermark as the whip pictures. They were taken by the same camera. 

He could see the camera set up on its tripod in the studio. He taken lot of pictures with it himself. Climbing up on that very chair to look through the view finder. Playing with the focus. His Dad didn’t want anyone to tamper with the tripod.

There were no colour pictures in the hidden envelope. Black and white could be easily developed by his Dad. Colour was possible but more expensive and had to sent away for developing. Racy stuff like this would probably be reported to the police if one of the reputable developers had gotten a hold of it.

That’s all what it was though. Racy. Nothing was really exposed. No genitalia, no faces. Just that big bare ass. Was this considered porn at one time? 

He took the photos over to the scanner and fed them in. He watched on the monitor as each was converted. He played them back as a slide show to which made him think of the gif program he’d tweaked so he transferred a copy of the file to that, instructed the program to do fill in – it would take what photos it had and create new versions that continued in an action. It worked best if the action in the originals was fairly similar from shot to shot. The program informed him it would an hour to complete the task.

He went back to the stills for one last close look. Something in them caught his attention but he wasn’t sure what that was as he flipped from one to the other. Then he noticed that the woman was wearing  a simple bracelet in the first four pictures but as the flogging proceeded it was gone. Did the clasp break? Or did fly off as she worked that guy’s ass over?

On the other workshop computer he isolated the bracelet and enlarged it and enhanced the image at the same time. He recognized it. He’d given it to his mother for mother’s day!

He pushed away from the computer. His mother? That couldn’t be his mother in those pictures! 

He dropped a proportions grid on the first of the pictures. He typed in the approximate dimensions of the chair and calculated the woman’s hight based on that. Even in heels his mother wouldn’t have been that tall. But to make sure he found a beach picture of the his mother from the time and had the Proportions program compare the two them. It concluded that they were not the same person.

Then why was the woman wearing his mother’s bracelet? 

He’d bought it at the Kmart that had opened recently in Sydney. They might have sold hundred of them, well at least dozens of them. He’d gotten the notion to buy it from one of the other boys in his class who had bought one for his mother.

He stood, stretched and walked to the window over looking the street. What did he know now? Other than the fact that his past was being seriously re-appraised, he was no further ahead in the finding out what had happened that summer. Right! He had forgotten to check his Dad’s travel records for that summer.

A quick search and he found them where he expected them to be. No secret symbols appeared in the notes for that summer. 

His notes for the abducted children said that Timmy was reported missing on Tuesday of that week. The family departed Stellerton Friday of the same week. That’s why the departure was so rushed. They left within days of the disappearance. The photos of him and Timmy were dated on the back for the Sunday before they left. These were probably the last pictures taken of Timmy.

He stared into Timmy’s wide open eyes. Timmy was looking directly at the camera while he was looking directly at Timmy. Both were ginning like they had secrets. Good secrets.

Dan wiped away a tear. He’d lost a] his best friend at the time and didn’t even know it till now. Not only that but now felt his own past slipping away.

 

 

Friday was Dan’s least favourite day of the week. I was the day he worked at the FairVista location. It was his own fault for insisting that he be there at least once a week to run a ‘camera clinic.’

“Ms James isn’t here again today Dan. She called to say she might in by lunch time.” David O’Neill, her assistant manager apologized.

“Figures.” Dan shook his head. Since the Cuppa visit he’d been unable to make contact with Linda. He’d left messages, texts but so far no response. Not that he was surprised after the stunt she pulled to get him out of the way. But even this avoidance was bit much for her.

“Did she tell you anything?” Dan asked as he watched people arrive in the store.

“Just that Anne was feeling much better.”

“Anne?” Anne was the oldest of Linda’s children.

“Oh! I thought you knew. Anne is in Sick Kids. Fell off her bike. Hit her head. They were afraid there might be a concussion so she’s been at Sick Kids the last couple of days for observation.”

How convenient, Dan thought.

He had arrived at the FairVista shop that morning looking forward to finally confronting Linda about the Cuppa deal. 

He googled the Sick Kids number, called the patient inquiry number and asked for Anne Tanaka’s room. He was patched through and Linda answered.

“Hi Linda. It’s Dan. I’m at the shop and was surprised not to find you here.”

“Let me tell you, I’d rather be there.”

“How’s Anne.”

“Good. Very scared but as it turns out nothing to worry about. No concussion.”

“Is it Daddy?” He could hear Anne in the back ground.

“No, baby, it’s Uncle Dan calling to see how you are.”

“Hi, Uncle Dan.”

“Hi, Tiny. You gave us all a scare.” He didn’t want to let on this was all news to him.

“Me too. I loss consciousness for five minutes. Five whole minutes. I was just riding along on my bike when this dog dashed out in front me and I swerved to not to hit him and ran right into a car that I didn’t even know was there. Good thing the car was parked and I flipped off the bike and landed and hit my head and the dog was licking my face when I came to and he was so cute. And …”

He let her ramble on for a minute or so.

“I gotta go, Tiny. Tell your mother I’ll see her later.”

He looked around the store to see who might be there for the ‘camera clinic.’ If there was enough people he would show them the latest in technology, how to integrate it with what systems they already had. Each week they’d showcase a different camera. Ten people took the seats provided for his demonstration.

The presentation did sell a few items, some software. They often became Q&A with people wanting to know what the fuck to do with the cell phones and tablets that kept sharing information they didn’t want shared. He did his best to keep them focused on what he knew, not what they wanted him to know.

Friday was also the Lyphend ‘by appointment’ day where he discussed their line with prospective buyers. These he enjoyed greatly, as many people thought it was like buying a car. They would try to negotiate but there was no such thing as discounts even if they wanted fewer features. Lyphend did have a line of cameras for the public, along with other household electronics made to their exacting specifications. Not cheap by any means, but all designed to out-live their owners.

The morning session made Dan aware, once again, that too many people found it challenging enough to turn the flash off on their digital cameras that explaining how set fStops was almost a pointless digression. He did show them how easy it was to do on most makes but couldn’t answer questions such as ‘why don’t they make a digital that does all that for you,’ when he had, in fact explained how the auto setting did that.

The best he could do was say some camera can become intuitive about the most frequent users needs, none were mind readers. A camera still had to be pointed somehow to take a picture.

After the session was over he worked the floor. Stopping to chat with customers, answer questions. He aimed to make at least two sales whenever he was at FairVista to demonstrate to Linda he wanted the location to succeed. Plus he liked the rush of selling, especially when he could encourage the customer to upscale what they wanted. 

Selling $750.00 cameras was easy enough but getting them up to $1750.00 was rewarding. He also knew Linda liked to see their extended warranties sold.  These were usually pure profit.

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Measure Up

Measure Up

I concede 

I’m not that competitive

whether you are the better

isn’t that important to me

I want to be judged

on my merits alone

not on how much 

better or worse I may be

compared with anyone

better is relative

 

who is the winner

the one who comes in first 

or the one who finishes the race

on their own terms

 

I grew up

in a school system

where I learned 

I would never measure up

because I wasn’t smart enough

to memorize the times table

smart enough

to regurgitate passages of text books

when I wrote exams

even when I was right

I was given no credit

because my spelling was so wrong

 

coming out

I learned I would never measure

I was never young enough

buff enough

hung enough

to be desirable enough

in the eyes of those

who I wanted to measure up to

without realizing

I was trying to measure up



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Virility

The Best

‘you will be my third today’

he was proud of his virility

‘I save the best for last’

I wasn’t interested in being his best

‘you have a nice ass’

 

not that I thought he was

anything more than a fun fuck

but to hear of his conquests

wasn’t arousing me

 

we’d met on line

he was a 30 something

whose nickname was blktop4u

blk meaning black

it started with him messaging me

I had glanced at his profile 

even though there was no pic

it laid out the facts honestly

the first time we hooked up

I didn’t expect him to show

but he did

he was as he claimed to be

though his profile 

didn’t say he needed to fuck

three times a day

 

that fact didn’t come out for a year

we’d meet every month or so

I’d hear about his background 

but he was so fearful of identity theft 

we could only make contact

via the dating site

no cell phone

no email

 

sometimes longish text chats

on the site

then he’d show up

as arranged 

until one day he didn’t 

he contacted me two days later

to explain

he’d had a better offer

in a deluxe condo

 

so my interest changed

next time we chatted

he was so keen to play

I declined

I declined another two times

then said sure come on over

but if you’re a no show

it’s a no go ever again

 

I began to discount 

everything he told me

there was no truth

in the shifting life of a man

who wouldn’t even tell me his name

things were okay until he told me

‘you will be my third today

I save the best for last’

 

I declined to be part of his body count

said no

he asked why

I replied

you can’t always get what you want

then blocked him

because he wasn’t the best

A poet friend of mine recently started a little discussion about pieces we’ve written but that we have chosen not to share for various reasons – such as – didn’t want to tigger listeners/readers, too emotionally revealing, too blunt & judgemental. For me this is one that I am tempted to hide away – or put in an envelope ‘to be opened twenty years after my death.’ Hidden because of the the racial content & also because of what it reveals about my sex life.

 

 

It’s also a piece about a backhanded compliment. When ‘he’ said I was the best I’m sure he didn’t realize what he was saying wasn’t heard as a compliment. For the most part this is a factual real life adventure. I’ve omitted a few details that didn’t add enough to the story. The dialogue is verbatim.

 

 

Because of his secrecy I was never interested in letting our interaction become more than physical. As time passed I became more ‘illusive’ as well. It takes more than sex to keep me interested. But he never asked for more than sex, either. never needed transit money etc. 

 

Then he made the mistake of telling me about his sex life. Now, I didn’t think he was a one man man nor did I expect him to be. I’m a realist. I didn’t trust all of what he told me most of the time but when he casually mentioned ‘my third today’ I believed him. I didn’t challenge him, what was the point after all we were merely FB with no strings. My reply is also verbatim. 

 

I have heard from him since – I guess that’s one of the rewards of being ‘the best.’ No thanks.


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Hawkins, Monk and more Sax

Over 2 cd mp3 compilations I have Coleman Hawkins: Body & Soul, Bean Bags, Genius of, Night Hawk, Duke Ellington Meets CH. Along with lps by Stan Getz & João Gilberto: Getz & Gilberto, Jazz Samba w/Charlie Byrd, Anniversary!; Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section; Jerry Mulligan: Lonesome Boulevard; Jan Garbarek: Dansere; Thelonious Monk: The Complete Prestige Recordings. Yes, that’s a lot of sax with some jazz piano in the mix.

 

Hawkins has a fun, sometimes funky, thick sax sounds. The tracks have a friendly feeling to them like a boozy nightclub – unlike say Coltrane – whose sound is more ‘intellectual’  & controlled (not that Coltrane didn’t play fine free jazz too). I can see myself dirty dancing to Hawkins, Coltrane is more ballet 🙂 Ornette Coleman is modern experimental 🙂

He also appears in one session on Thelonious Monk: The Complete Prestige Recordings. Monk can be challenging but is worth the demands. He was a jazz revolutionary, wrote too many standards to list. The Prestige work is all excellent, sometimes a bit dissonant but never to the point when it alienates the listener. Rhythmically adventurous & as a group leader he encouraged his sideman to shine.

Stan Getz & João Gilberto: Getz & Gilberto, Jazz Samba w/Charlie Byrd, Anniversary!. Stan Getz has a smoother, almost cocktail, sound. One of the foremost samba-Latin musicians he popularized many now jazz standards. Charlie Byrd is an amazing acoustic guitarist. Any of these are a excellent introductions to Latin jazz. Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section. Pepper, as his name indicates, is a more restless sax player. Nice tone & energizing. Jerry Mulligan’s Lonesome Boulevard is a great comfortable set with a bluesy feeling. Mulligan replaced Paul Desmond in the Dave Brubeck Quartet.

Finally & totally different from all the others is Jan Garbarek’s Dansere. His sax sound is much sharper, his playing more sculptural & the material on this lps verges on classical in his lyrical approach. Elegant as opposed to funky.

Aunt Neddes was coming to visit. I was excited. Her real name was Nelly but somehow we started caller her Neddes. Though my Dad referred to her as that old prude. Another thing I never really understood. Though she was old, at least to my nine year old self, forty seemed pretty old. I know she was forty because her birthday fell while she was staying with us.

My mother was having a baby soon. That was why Neddes was coming to stay with us for a while to help around the house. My Dad called her a prude because she didn’t smoke or drink but was lots of fun all the same. 

We went to the airport to meet her. I had met her a few years earlier so I sort of had an idea of what she looked like but when my mother started waving at this tall woman in a long green coat I didn’t recognize her. I was bowled over by the coat but also by the emerald green hat she was wearing. Tight on her head like a toque only made out of feathers with little clusters of glittery stuff on it. 

‘Can I try on your hat.’ I exclaimed even before I said hello to her. ‘Can I. Can I.’

‘Now Jim boys don’t wear things like this.’ Neddes laughed. She hugged my Mother and shook hands with my Dad.

I tried not to cry.

‘But I do have something for you in my suitcase. You can try it on when we get home.’ She took me by the hand as we walked to the car. My Dad dragged one of her suitcases.

‘What you got in here anyway. A body!’

‘There, there Dan. A woman has to be ready for everything. Especially here in the frontier.’ she laughed. ‘Why my sister let you drag here to this ….’

‘Enough.’ My mother gave her a sharp look. ‘Let’s get you home and settled in then we can discuss the lay of this land.’


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Haunted

samprules2

Working through the  227 Rules For Monks.

Who knew the simple life could be so complex.

Haunted 

there is this theory

that it is unfinished business

that keeps spirits on earth

but we had no unfinished business

so I don’t know why

I’m haunting him

 

it wasn’t my intention

to haunt anybody

when death fit me like a glove

I thought

this is it

I can take it easy

let myself relax

let this new dimension

can give me whatever shape I need

 

I don’t have to think

of who I am

what to do

I can just be nothing

I welcomed this loss of self

 

only to discover

him

he was holding 

onto more than a memory of me

as far as I knew

we were sexually familiar with each other

affectionate but not emotionally invested

at least not the point

where I would be

hovering behind him

in a shower steamed mirror

gone before he could turn around

 

I don’t want to be here

he’s not the one

I’d pick to haunt

 

it would be you

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Don’t Go

Please Don’t Go

why are we here

there’s not a house in sight

not a car

not even a convenience store

not even a star in the sky

when I said

I think we should be alone now

this isn’t what I had in mind

nothing to sit on

no wall to lean against

no trees

nothing

 

everyone knows

this is nowhere

when I said

I would be nowhere without you

I didn’t expect to be here

I expected to be alone with you

not nowhere without you

don’t go

how do I get out of here

how

which way is up

don’t go

 

please

don’t go

This piece starts as dream like movie moment – the narrator is lost, looking around & asking their lover where they are. No explanation of how they got there except that the lover is responsible. Tension is created as the narrator begins to set conditions – a place to ie sit. One starts to realize this guy probably on the demanding side, needy & expectant of the lover to fulfill without being so literal.

A Neil Young quote is always welcome & give the piece more of an actual context. This flips that ‘this is nowhere’ a bit ‘nowhere without you’ – one of those romantic cliches like I would be lost without your love (which is implied by the piece). I like to literalize those cliches – i.e. nowhere without you – let’s put the speaker in a place that is nowhere & see how they feel about it. Like the Monkey’s Paw in which the wish is granted literally, as opposed to the way the wisher fantasizes it will be fulfilled.

I enjoy the shift as my narrator becomes more ‘needy’ as a result of this wish fulfillment. I’ve resisted the temptation to expand the piece to make motivations clearer or cause clearer. Who granted this wish? Why? Even genders are removed. It’s like one of Beckett’s short plays only here we don’t even get actual voices to tell us anything about the character. The reader is left in the same physical void as the narrator.

In the end it isn’t even clear who the narrator is speaking to – is the reader ‘you?’


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We Insist!

A link to a YouTube video of We Insist! an amazing 1961 jazz lp by Max Roach that featured wife Abbey Lincoln lead me to download that lp along with a couple of other lps by Abbey: That’s Him; Golden Lady. We Insist! is a powerful black rights statement backed with dynamic music & vocals. When I think of 60’s protest music sweet folk songs like Blowin’ In The Wind comes to mind but We Insist! is not folk music – the sense of struggle & urgency dominates & propels the music in a way that most protest music of the time never managed. Lincoln’s voice is strong. Him & Lady are not as ‘revolutionary’ but are great introductions to anyone stepping into jazz vocalists for the first time.

On this mp3 collection there is a mix of female vocalists – all different styles, eras, fames & countries. Staring with Mireille Mathieu’s Les Grandes  Chansons Francaises. Mireille has a wonderful resonant emotional voice. As the title suggests this is a set of ultra-famous French songs i.e. ‘Non je ne regrette rien’. Her version of La mer is astonishing – search it out on YouTube. I want her version of ‘Ne me quite pas’ played as people leave my memorial service.

The totally unknown folk singer Michele is here with her Saturn Rings. A pleasant voice, some unexpectedly psychedelic accompaniment for a set of love songs, pleas for Mother Earth that got lost in the shuffle of the likes of Joan Baez & Judy Collins. Another lost in the shuffle is Barbara & Ernie’s Prelude To. This is a gentle, relaxing but sexy r’n’b duo making good massage music.

 

Finally I added Laura Nyro’s New York Tendaberry to this compilation. I love Laura Nyro & have nearly everything so I won’t say much more than this a great lp by her, not one of her strongest – but even at her weakest she is worth hearing. More about her when I get to ’n.’

The Circle of Strife

John sneered at Betty. Betty flipped Jasmine the bird. Jasmine gave Frank a dirty look.Frank didn’t leave a tip for Gwen. Gwen short changed Bill. Bill called Abdul a terrorist shit head. Abdul told Fatima to shut the fuck up. Fatima pinched Ryan. Ryan shoved Rachel getting on the subway. Rachel went home and smacked the baby Patrick. Patrick cried and cried and woke up Ted. Ted kicked his dog Rover. Rover chewed up Barbara’s favorite shoes. Barbara didn’t feel Gary’s work was up to snuff and told him. Gary spilled his coffee at lunch at Maria’s del

Maria shouted for Paco to clean up that mess. Paco wanted to kill Delorosa his mother. Delorosa didn’t wait for Greg. Greg was rushed and slammed the car door on Tina’s coat. Tina didn’t show up for her date with Mike. Mike waited and waited and bought drugs from Carla. Carla needed more money from Jeff. Jeff took an extra twenty from Deb’s purse.  Deb didn’t have enough to pay the bar bill . Larry felt she was playing him

Larry barked at Gina. Gina went crying to her boyfriend Philip. Philip punched Marg the bartender in the face. Marg pulled out a knife and cut Phil’s brother Brian. Brian pulled out his gun and shot Sgt Tracy O’Brian, one of the cops who came to quiet things down. John sneered at Betty for being afraid of guns.

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

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June

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

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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Picture Perfect 10

As Warszawa and Clarke drove away, Dan rubbed his fingers against the palm of his hand. What was that look all about? Was Warszawa showing some sort of interest him. 

His cell phone rang. Sanjay’s face lit up on the screen as his incoming caller.

“Sanjay! I was just thinking about you.” He said.

“Me too. I mean I was also thinking about you not about me. Will you be home at the usual time? It seems like weeks since we had a meal together.”

This was the main stress on their relationship. Finding and making time to be together for more than a few hours.

“I’ll make sure I’m there. You do the same.”

“Agreed.”

“Even if Sylvan offers you triple-time.”

“Yes, of course. If I am delayed you can triple-time my Gulab Jamuns.”

“Not so much rosewater this time. Your balls taste fine without it.”

 

After a busy morning James was enjoying a routine afternoon at the shop until Kevin McLeod arrived, he had Mario Delucia and another man with him.

“Kevin,” they hugged. “It’s been ages since I’ve seen you. Mario,” he shook Mario’s hand, ‘You’re looking well. And this is …”

“Stewart O’Connor.” Stewart was a little taller than both Mario and Kevin. His full beard made him look older as well.

“So you are getting married?” Dan said, glancing between Kevin and Mario. 

“Not that I have a choice.” Kevin kissed Stewart.

Dan was puzzled. He’d expected Mario to be the other groom.

“Well, actually I did have a choice. We each pulled name out of a hat and Stewart and I were the winning combination.”

“Combination?” Dan asked.

“It could have just easily been Stewart and Mario. But it does make more sense that it’s me with either of them.”

“Oh?” Dan was more puzzled.

“We’re a …” Mario stopped to find the right word.

“Triad.” Stewart supplied. “Not all that unusual in ichthyology.”

“Stewart is a marine biologist.” Mario explained. 

“I see.” Dan had heard of polyamory but this was the first time he’d actual met a triad. 

“Mario will be best man.”

“Very best.” Stewart joked. 

“Okay.” Dan said. “It’s been some years since I shot a wedding. What did you have in mind?”

“It’ll be a simple three ring ceremony.” Kevin began.

“At Pride.” Mario added.

“In front of a hundred thousand people.” Stewart shook his head.

“Pride because that’s where I really came out.”

“You had too much talent to keep in any closet.” Stewart said.

“So you’ll want the shoot there?” Dan was already thinking of the logistics. In the past ten years Kevin had become a major international pop star. Canada’s answer to Elton John.

“Of course.” Kevin said. “But I really want something more subtle for actual wedding. The parade and all that comes after the fact.

“It’s not as if you need the exposure.” Daniel said.

“True.” Mario explained. “But after the success of Kevin’s pro-marriage song we figured it was a good idea.”

“Just cause I can’t have your baby

don’t mean I’ll take your maybe

if you want it

you’ll knot it

cause I’m drivin’ you crazy’’ Kevin sang the chorus.

“So we’re talking the end of June, right. Gives us more than a few months to prepare.” Dan said. “How much of a budget do have for this?”

“How much did Beyonce spend on her wedding?” Kevin asked Mario.

“Look Kevin.” name said sternly. “You promised this wasn’t going to too over-the-top. It’s a three ring ceremony, not a three-ring circus.”

“Trust me it won’t be.” Dan said. “Not if I can help it. If that’s what you want, and I wouldn’t blame you, but I’m the photographer for you.”

“Okay.” Kevin said. “There’s be an official engagement party next week. Can you be there?”
“As guest or photographer? I come free as a guest but if you want pictures I don’t come free.” He’d learned to draw that line years ago after being asked to bring his camera along to various friends’ function.

“I get you Dan. Sometimes I’d like to go to party where I’m not expected to perform. Guest. My friend. Guest.”

“Okay.”

“Bring Sanjay, too.”

“He’s such a big fan there’s no way I could stop him.”

“We’re doing a circus motif for the engagement party.” Stewart added.

“His daughter’s idea.” Marco said. “She never got a real birthday so thinks we have to make it up to her this way.”

“I see.” Dan said even though he didn’t quite get it. “As long as I don’t have to wear clown white.”

“No.” Kevin said. “We’re leaving costumes to the professionals.”

“Time to get to the studio Kevin.” Mario said.

“Okay okay. We’re working on a follow up to the hit. Knot Got Me Caught.”

“Catchy.” Dan said as they left the shop.

The place was very quiet as he, Sandy and Ushio looked at each other in stunned amazement.

 

 

“And then Kevin McLeod walks in with his two husbands.” Dan was going through the events of his day for Sanjay.

“What!” Sanjay turned away from the sink where he had been doing the dishes. “Two?”

“You heard me. Only one of them will be the legal husband. The rewards of being young and famous and rich.”

“Is that a note of envy in your voice? You’d like two husbands I suppose.”

“Sanj I have barely enough time for one.” He hugged Sanjay from behind pushing his hands though the top of his sweats to play with Sanjay’s foreskin. “I bet neither of them has anything as sweet as this.”

You want it, You gotta knot it first.” Sanjay sang.

“Oh man. Don’t quit your day job.” Dan continued to caress Sanjay as he got hard in his hands. “This is too thick to tie a knot in anyway.”

He remembered the first time he and Sanjay had sex. They’d met on line on a site for bears and their admirers. It turned out that neither of them were bears though but the attraction was there. 

Dan found Sanjay’s wide face and sense of humour enough to make him want more. Sanjay said it was Dan’s smooth skin that turned him on the most when they first met. It took two dates before they actually got to the practical matter of sexual compatibility.

Dan hooked his thumbs around the waist band of Sanjay’s sweats and began to pull them down.

“Hey!” Sanjay slapped at his hand. “At least let me finish the dishes.”

“Yes, master.” Dan nuzzled Sanjay’s ear. “How’s this.”

“Not much better.” Sanjay giggled and reached behind with one hand to fondle’s Dan’s cock. “Good thing you are wearing jeans or I’d be unable to finish my work.”

Dan took his hands out of Sanjay’s sweats, put one over Sanjay’s hand to press it harder on his cock and stroked Sanjay’s erection through the front of his sweats.

“You want to finish these?” Squirmed around to face Dan.

“Nope. I’d rather finish this.” He pushed Sanjay’s sweats down past his ankles and leaned over to suck the head of his cock.

San pumped his hips slightly. “Ah yes, that is a good worker.”

Dan knelt. Hands on Sanjay’s ass he pushed Sanjay deeper into his mouth then let him back out a little. He worked his tongue under the foreskin, tasting pre-come. He gently bit the loose skin.

“Oh. Oh.” Sanjay gasped. “Yes. Yes. Harder. Bite that skin harder.”

Dan bit a little harder. Sanjay rocked his hips a little, pulled his cock out and then came on Dan’s face.

“Let me wipe that off for you.” With a ragged sigh he rubbed his cock in his come on Dan’s chin

As he did that Dan attempted to catch Sanjay’s cock in his mouth again.

“You can’t get enough, can you you cock-sucking slut.” He shoved his still hard cock back into Dan’s mouth then pulled it out. He forced Dan to stand up and kissed him, smearing the come on both their faces.

“You like that.” He grunted between kisses.

“You know I do.”

“Then you are going to like this even more.”

Sanjay stepped out of his sweats and kicked them away. Then he undid Dan’s jeans and forced down to his ankles, pushed him around and bent him over the table. He dropped to his knees and tongued Dan’s ass. He reached around to jack Dan off.

Dan moaned while he reached back to push Sanjay’s face between his ass cheeks. The rub of Sanjay’s whiskers on his ass cheeks made his eyes water with pleasure.

“Oh, baby yes. Eat that fucking ass. Eat it.”

Sanjay did for a few minutes then stood to grab some lube from behind the cookie jar on the kitchen counter.

“You ready for this?” he said as he rubbed lube on his cock and then along Dan’s ass crack and up his hole.

“Oh!” Dan said. “I see you were ready.”

“Yeah. Why wait for dessert before I have dessert. Right? Nothing like some fresh butt pie to make me happy.”

He pressed his cock along Dan’s ass and gently pushed the head in.

“Ow.” Dan steeled himself. “Slowly. It’s been awhile.”

“Don’t I know it.” Sanjay pushed in a little.

“Be still.” Dan said. He held his breath as his ass muscles relaxed enough to allow Sanjay to enter deeper. Then pushed down on the cock to encourage Sanjay to push up at the same time.

“I love to open you up.” He trust deeper. In and out slowly.

“That’s it.” Dan rolled his head back on Sanjay’s shoulders. “Who knew we would turn out to be the perfect height for each other.”

The table began to move as Sanjay fucked Dan harder. They did a quick pivot so Dan could brace himself against the kitchen counter.

“Better?” He asked.

“Perfect, baby, perfect.”

Sanjay held Dan’s hips as he trust faster and deeper. His knees flexed and his last few trusts lifted Dan right off the floor. He stopped abruptly and pulled his cock out.

Dan felt hot come splatter the small of his back.

“Whoa!” Sanjay breathed out. “I’m getting too old for that sort of thing.”

“Didn’t feel that way to me.” Dan wiped the come off his back and used it to lube his dick. As he stoked he guided Sanjay’s hand to his balls. Sanjay squeezed them and kissed him until he came.

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