Rolling Rrrs

I’ve paired Carl Reinecke (1824-1910) German with Jean-Baptiste Krumpholz (1742-1790) Czech  for couple of harp concertos that are lp to cd transfers of MHS recordings. Both are charming, relaxing & at the same time playful. Different eras but, for me, they flow into each other nicely. I love harp music – my favourite being Mozart’s Concerto for Harp & Flute. These are delights.

Rolling along the r’s is Italian Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) Fountains/Pines of Rome & other orchestral work. As the titles might indicate these are impressionistic pieces. Some imitate, others suggest things like wind in the pines, birds songs, water splashing. Sections show up on 100 most relaxing classical music compilations. Meditative & relaxing they make good background music.

I was drawn by the cover of the the cd for Silvestre Revueltas (1899-1940) Night of the Mayas. Solid black with the title in white. Tilting it I saw that the black was embossed with a day of the dead figure & I had to have it. Revueltas is considered one of Mexico’s greatest composers – I had never heard of him before – its not as if the western cannon of  classical music is limited to caucasian composers.

I  eventually added to an mp3 collection – Troka (orchestral pieces); & his String Quartets. The music is compelling, not at all what I expected in its lack of sentimentality but it does, at times, have an eeriness I enjoy. Folk melodies are woven in but not forced or patriotic. The work is modern classical so at time a but sonorous. The string quartets are emotional but also without the romantic sentimentality, say of Tchaikovsky. 

If you want a break from the European domination of classical music Revueltas is a good place to start. 


“I always wondered why those guys got off?”

“What guys?” My dad put his paper down.

“You know, Donaldson and Hanson who they arrested for beating Mr. Razov. It was all over the paper than suddenly nothing. Seemed like they got away with it.”

“I guess there wasn’t enough evidence to press charges. Something like that. Its’ all so long ago now anyway.’

‘“Yeah but it just disappeared, you know, nothing in the papers after they were picked up. You’d think there would have a statement about charges being dropped.”

“Probably wasn’t a hot new item anymore.” My mother put some dishes in a wash basin. “Going to have to take these down to the laundry room to wash. How much longer before the new sink is ready?”

The doorbell rang. 

“Should be them now.” My Dad got up and let the plumbers in.

I immediately recognized Jim Donaldson. 

“You remember … what was his name?” 

My mother asked me as the plumbers put their tool boxes down. 

“Victor Hanson.”

“Oh yeah.” Jim reached out to shake my hand. “Keeping well? Heard to get a good job in the big smoke.” He half laughed. “Down home for awhile.”

“Just a a couple of weeks. Sad about Mr. Razov.” I watched his face for some reaction.

“Razov? Oh, yeah. Here let me help you with that.”

Two of workers were bringing the dishwasher through the back door.

“Let’s go into the living room. Leave these guys to their work.” My Dad patted me shoulder. “I’m sure these guys don’t need an audience.”

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Pierné et Greig

Sadder than a one-hit wonder is a no hit wonder:-) Such is the case of Gabriel Pierné (1863 –1937). I have an over 7 hour mp3 collection that includes the ballet – Cydalise et le Chevre-Pied; Impression de Music Hall; Chamber Music; Harp Music. I knew of him from an  MHS completion of 20th century composers which included a movement from Cydalise.

Being a slightly obsessive about obscure (to me) composers I did an iTunes search & downloaded more of his music. Apparently one of choral works in his biggest hit. Cydalise is sweet & pastoral with the usual ballet moments of duets etc. Enjoyable, as are the rest of the works I added to my collection. The chamber music includes works for violin, piano quintet etc. Plus a set of his delightful harp music.

Also in this mp3 collection by Edvard Grieg (1843 –1907) are his Music For Strings, Old Norwegian Romance. Grieg has a higher profile than Pierné. Pierné’s music is more in the modern classical style more playful than lush, harmonic but not overly romantic. Grieg is romantic, lush & often overly emotional (check his piano concert). Romance is built on the heroic ballad melody, ‘Sjugur and the Troll-Bride’ (thanks google). Stirring & at limes brooding I love it.

To round this collection I added two lps to cd transfers of Leonard Bernstein: Favorite Overtures (Hérold, von Suppé, etc); For Young People (Dukas, Strauss, etc).

A Man & His Bed

he’d slept on that bed for years. same mattress. new sheets when needed. always freshly washed. changed once a week. that’s the night he slept the best. the night of the fresh sheets. he loved the bed. the welcome it offered at all times. unquestioning. mattress given a longer life by spinning it in spring. flipping it in the fall. 

the bed was the refuge and support the cradle of dreams. he laughed to himself the cradle of dreams. he was turning into a bad bed poet. he’d move it every now and then from a corner to more central in the room under the window. then opposite from the window. all moves of maybe three feet in any one direction at any time. not enough space in the room for a dance with the frame.

sometimes he shared the bd with others. no more than a night but not often. it was sturdy enough for a sexual romps. play with with willing bodies. but he felt that sleeping in it was something for him and him alone. he didn’t want to share this refuge retreat with anyone for long. he never learned how to sleep with others. didn’t want to. that would certainly be the deciding factor in any long term relationship. live in or other wise. the bed was his domain to be shared briefly but not over night.

sleep was a bargain between him and the bed. unequivocal.

every Tuesday 2019


Thursday 7 – Hot Damn It’s Queer Slam! – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – 7 pm – featuring Wes Ryan.

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA


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

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

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

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C. 

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

Asking Alice

16-grid01Before I get to John Coltrane I come this recent mp3 addition of work by his wife Alice Coltrane: Journey in Satchidanada; Transcendence; Radha-Krisna Nama Sankirtana. Perhaps the titles give away her spiritual direction 🙂 She is a harpist, pianist. She plays piano on later live Coltrane recordings. Coltrane used harp chart exercises as practice on his sax which developed his sheets of sound sound. That he married a harpist comes as no surprise.


Her work here is fluid, somewhat unstructured & for the most part, to me, easy to hear. I’m not sure if she would have had a career based on her talent alone though – I’m not a judge of jazz harp but the niche isn’t that large. I’m happy to have it & Journey is worth seeking out.

Also in this mp3 collection is Bernard Herrmann: Fantasy Film World – harp shows up in Journey to the Centre of the World in this superb set of suites of film music. I was so excited to find this 2nd hand at Cheapie’s & transferred it to cd & then replaced it with ‘fresh’ download version. The Ondes in Forbidden Planet lead me to Jolivet’s Concerto for Ondes Martenot backed by his Concerto for Harp.


You see how connections get made? Scifi music lead me to Kurt Stenzel’s music for Jodorowsky’s Dune: a film that never got made by Jodorowsky, one of the wildest directors. Geiger did design work but Jodorowsky was too crazy for the studios to work with. I looked for the soundtrack to Lynch’s Dune with no luck, but did find Graeme Revell’s Dune TV soundtrack. It is stirring bombast.


To round this collection out is Roque Banos’s chilling soundtrack for The Machinist. The movie is intense, creepy and the music matches the mood perfectly. The Ondes makes an appearance, here as well (or is that a whale?) An amazing film worth seeing, with a haunting soundtrack worth buying that doesn’t need the film to give you nightmares 🙂


“What did you notice?”

“The same things as you did, I guess.”

“No, I want you to tell me just what it is you noticed.”

“What everyone notices. Jezz! Why the third degree?”

“Tell me or … ”

“Or what?”

“Or nothing. What did you notice first.”

“His smile.”

“The smile? You noticed his smile first? You are lying aren’t you? Come on be honest this once.”

“You saying I’m not honest.”

“No. But you often tell me what you think you’d like people to think not what you really think.”

“That doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

“No more sense than saying it was the smile you noticed first.

“Well, it was. You saying it isn’t as nice smile?”

“I couldn’t say. I’ve never really noticed the smile. I guess I’m not a smile person.”

“I see. What kind of a person are you? An ear freak?”

“Ears! Who notices ears. Not even you could describe those ears to me, could you?”

“They were perfection like the smile. Those clear blue eyes.”

“Ah, so you did notice something.”

“The smile first. Always the smile first.”

“You are so full of bs. I saw your eyes go to where everyone’s eyes go to.”

“Except yours. No need to ask what you noticed first. I guess I’m flattered you only had eyes for me.”

“I do not.”

“You just said you watched where my eyes went. You can’t watch two people at the same time.”

“Now you are just avoiding my question.”

“I answered your question. His mouth, That smile. What else is there? You saying there another feature, another part or parts that deserve first attention?”

“You bet your libido I am.”

“So that’s what this is about. No. I did not notice anything other than his smile. Not as sparkling as your I might add.”

“You can’t wheedle out of this that easily.”

“Okay. Okay. It was those feet. His over developed butt, those surging strong pecs – is that what you are after? The well crammed and form hugging shorts that left little to the imagination, the delicate but unmistakable scent of oranges.”

“Whew. That’s much better.”

“And that smile. Without that smile I wouldn’t have looked at the rest.”

“Give me a break. A bod like that would be hard to overlook.”

“For some.”

“Right. I keep forgetting you are above that sort of thing.”

“While you’d like to be under it.  After all I managed to overlook … well, perhaps we’d better let it go at that.”

“No go on. You were going to make some personal crack about me, weren’t you? About my smile perhaps. You never liked my smile did you? Did you?”



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


March 4, Saturday, 8 pm: my first local feature in over two years: Glad Day Books

it came in

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames

June 9-10-11: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already


check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already


November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh?

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Age of Elegance

The first CD on my classical shelf, ‘Music in the Age of Elegance’ is another one cobbled together from lp to cd transfers. It’s several pieces for flute and harp – some chamber music and some concerti.

drainthe elegant drain

‘Age’ features Robert Aitken playing pieces by Bach – Bodinus – Telemann – Quantz. I’m usually a fan of orchestra but I do have some chamber music in my collection – this is what people did before there was anything electronic – they meet in rooms and actually played instruments; or watched others play them. The music is slightly fussy but deft.

cd01Classical Shelf #1

To round out the CD I added some Handel: a Harp Concerto, Flute Concerto & a concerto grosso. I didn’t make notes of who these were performed by but I recall they were from MHS lps. Handle was a prodigious composer.

bootcurb your clothes

I can’t speak to the technical ability of classical musicians – thank God or I would probably enjoy less of it. I had friend, at one time, who was a concert pianist who couldn’t abide much of what he heard because he knew too much. The less I know the more I can enjoy.

I can trace my like of harp/flute back to – you guessed it – The Friendly Giant. Yes I know he play the recorder but that still planted the seed. For a sweet jazz flute/harp combo seek out Herbie Mann: Push Push – more about that when we get to M’s in my jazz collection.


January 30, Thursday – guest spot -The Dildettes, 8 p.m., Buddies in Bad Times, 12 Alexander Street.

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

stsml March 1, Saturday – attending – Toronto SpecFic Colloquium

Email_Header_Image_2014.1aa1067 June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

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

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada



where to begin

before this moment

before the moment before this moment

hard to know as there

is no starting point

no ending point

like the sky the ocean

where does the Atlantic start

where does it become the Pacific

where does Canada

become USA

there is no

molecular structure alterations

when one name merges into the next

when one moment

becomes the next

when one life

becomes the next

hard to know where to begin

how to tell the difference

the subtle element

that pushes one on

to know where to begin

to know why to begin

and then how


there is no where

every where

any where

it becomes all one ocean

all one land

with invisible endless lines


where some government

deemed one thing becomes another

there was no skin to separate

no substance

hard to know where to end

when I run out of words

run out of steam

feel the seed is enough

that the vision

I hold of the seed

come to flower

is as good

as the actual seed come to flower

as seeds do

as flowers do

a cycle

which is the goal

the seed or the flower

the purpose of one

is all for the other

two ends of

the same ocean

casual empty endless calculations

deep within the seed

deep within the flower

deep with each of us

the hunger

the yearning

to flower

to escape being the seed

the body the seed pod

often not there to see the flower

of the seeds we’ve sown

the soul of discretion

that’s the mind of life

perhaps the flower is the

the memory we leave

when we go into the next phase

when we pass beyond the sea

to become the seed

to exit the skin

for the endless flower

ripple out from that point of time

the ripple spreads like petals

into the next sea

the next land mass

the almost unfathomable

escape of our tiny speck

the trial error that leads

to the moment

when we least expect it

we are merged with that one

shucked from the body pod

to go back into the world

there is no final

there is no place to begin

that’s why it’s so hard to know where to begin

with when I first drew a breath

or when my dad first drew his breath

when the sun first struck

the primordial ooze of the planet

to set of the sparks of being

of life of the oceans

all spiral ripple out

from that moment

to this one

an endless linked sequence

I’d call it a progression

but who know if this is really progress

because it so hard to know where to begin


progress has no end


how does your garden grow