Week Four of the Artist’s Way presented a few challenges. In particular reading deprivation on top of social isolation & distancing. Is editing chapters of Picture Perfect for the blog reading? What about daily meditation books? So I did a bit of a compromise – blog work isn’t reading. Editing isn’t reading. No reading in the bathroom, no reading in transit, no podcasts. No twitter or ‘tooling’ around until evening. I finished chapters in the books I was reading & stopped there. 

Some of these were time frittering at best. I have more time as a result. Some of these may become new habits. Eliminating the superfluous is freeing. When I stopped carting my iPod everywhere I felt less encumbered, one less worry. A much as I liked creating playlists etc not to have t keep refilling it is freeing. I only use it for guided mediations & podcasts. Walking without it has been a small adjustment but I feel more open to what is round me without a constant soundtrack in my head colouring everything. Plus it gives me an extra coat pocket 🙂

The chapter give lists of things to do as an alternative to reading – many of these things are showing up as suggestions for folks frustrated by social isolation. My days go by quickly enough with my routines without resorting to new activities. One of the blessings of being an introvert. I enjoy my own company. 

Thanks to social distancing artist dates have become more a spin than an actual event. I did three mornings of yard work (without iPod soundtrack). Those were 3 artist dates. I shared some selfies with my fans. Being where things grow was good in the face of the mounting covid toll. Things grow regardless of much of what is going on around me. Nature can recover quickly given the chance. The better air quality means better sun which means better plants. 

Boss of Me

John’s theory is that

our leaders are all puppets 

figure heads

who have bought 

into the illusion of power

they are unaware

that they are hollow images

taking the heat 

for the real powers

that hidden consortium 

of non-public figures

who make the real decisions

who exert the right squeeze

and our little leaders 

slump or pop up

to do what has to be done

take the blame for what has gone wrong

because leaders are just frail men

with no power to wield

no clout to get the job done 

often not even attractive to look at

thus even more believable


John tells me that politics 

are another form of entrainment

media fodder

to keep us diverted

from the real holders of power

so that we are amused  numbed

by the constant barrage of sound bites

cell cam videos

of presidents getting blow jobs

when they should be getting us out of wars

wherever the hell they are

because even where they are

isn’t the the real war 

it is a more elaborate movie set

with real lives being lost

to keep our attention from

what is really going on


John isn’t sure what is really going on

he is confident it isn’t what we see

it isn’t what accept as the truth

because there is no truth 

only monetized divertion statics

the struggle for freedom

from Tibet to Kensington market 

is upscale name branding

he is sure of that


sometimes I believe John

sometimes I don’t care

where do we place our faith

what is worth the energy to change

if it can be changed 

because revolution

has been copyrighted by 

estee lauder

the latest scent 

a mix of blood oil jasmine

with woody undertone


John is convinced 

that if it isn’t making someone money 

it isn’t going to happen

war happens because it is big business

pandemics are even bigger business

even as the population dwindles

going green isn’t happening 

because the profit margins 

are too low

some people can’t afford 

to save the planet

& that he finds is sad

I don’t disagree

when I do it starts another litany

of who runs what

who really holds the power

or if there is any power

stronger than futility

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Something’s Different

March of this year in March I decided to up-grade my glasses – new frames, new prescription. Not a big deal, or so I thought, until I got a few compliments from strangers. By now they are old, to me, yet this past week someone, whom I have known long enough & also whom I have seen several times since the up-grade said ‘something’s different. are those new glasses?’ I replied, ‘they’re the same ones I had on the last time we talked.’

That’s the kind of change I like – one that is subtle. The drama of the big change – I’ll shave my head – no longer appeals to me. When I first shaved my head it was a startling change alright, nothing gradual about it. People started to treat me differently – I had become butch overnight 🙂

I prefer the gradual change. I’ve blogged about some of this before – getting up earlier by setting my alarm 2 minutes earlier every couple of months so I now have an extra 14 minutes to avoid writing every day. Besides if nothing changes nothing changes. So the past few months I’ve been reducing distractions. Most are harmless except that they are distractions.

Some have been hard to do though. Cutting way back on the podcasts I listen to for one. As much as I enjoy them I decided I don’t need the information & subscribing merely to be supportive isn’t enough for me. Why support people who don’t really support me? One podcast was as much about what the hosts were drinking as what they were supposedly talking about. No thanks. Plus less energy goes into downloading & then uploading to my iPod to listen o them. 

On the east coast I only used my iPod for meditation & relaxation in flight or in my hotel room. You know I didn’t miss it on my daily walks. I get to hear where I am without a soundtrack. One less thing to carry too 🙂

Same with twitter, tumblr, even wordpress. Less time spent skipping over things I’m not even looking at anyway. All those product mailing lists I needed up, some of whom send me daily notices of warehouse clearance sales, unsubscribed from so they aren’t cutting up even my trash folder. The less clutter the better the focus.

Focus and productivity are my fall intents. The less clutter the better the focus. 

Not Dead Already

I expected to be dead by 30

which seems to be one of those ages

that many never thought they’d live past

if not dead 

then so deep into fame fortune relationships

that they’d have everything to live for

though I’ve meet people

who had those things at 30

who wished they were we dead

or felt they were dead

they’d lost a part of themselves

to get the dreams fulfilled

dreams they expected 

would make them complete


I expected to be dead at 30 

35 at the latest

so when I eased 

past those tiresome ages

I was caught short 

time to grow up

figure out what I wanted to be 

now that I was alive

body fully matured

I’d say now that I was adult

but that really hadn’t happened

I was still a teen trapped 

in a old man’s body

yeah I know 35 isn’t old man

but try to tell that to a 20 year old

40 is ancient

I’m at the age where I’m a relic

adult enough to know 

I can’t turn back the hands of time

& glad those hands have been kind 

to my face

if not to my bank account


I never expected to see the year 2001 

let alone this year

figured if I hadn’t bought the farm by then

the world would have imploded exploded 

of its own accord

but like me it is doing

this slow smother

drowned in plastic 

& the need for more

even if I wear all natural fibres 

I’m not helping

to keep the planet breathing


so here I am

some sort of adult

looking around

still no surer of where life is going 

than I was when I was 16

then I was sure in knew where I was going

to my funeral at 30

a date fate saw to it that I never kept

I witness what is going on around me

some good some bad

some hopelessly futile

some valiantly optimistic

each time I put another word on paper

I am making waves for the future

ripples that will continue

even if there is not such thing s paper

even if no one can afford to live

there will be repercussion

for living past 30

the consequence of not dying 

young and pretty 

is getting old and sort of handsome 

in the right light


being an example

for the struggling striving generations

who just wish we relics 

would shut the fuck up

and die already

every Tuesday 2019


17 – Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

22 – Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

Tuesday 24 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre


15 – Stratford Festival – The Crucible


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


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 andBbad 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?

#Vintage #iMac

It’s been a year of upgrades. When I replaced my cell phone last year I knew it was ‘old’ dating back to 2006. The fact that it lasted so long amazed the young Bell clerk. He’d never seen one of that vintage. I was happy to up-grade to a cheaper plan with more benefits – a tip calculator at last 🙂iMac01

But when our iMac, purchase in 2007, was deemed ‘vintage’ I was taken aback. It began with start up problems in November 2015. I’d get a ? instead of the apple, or get the apple apple but with no status bar. With a few calls to Apple care (excellent btw) I developed a few work arounds: i.e. nothing open on the desk top on shut down; not putting it to sleep when not in use during the day; but after awhile nothing was effective.iMac02

Apple care suggested we take the iMac in for a hard-drive stress test. So over to Riverdale Mac it went – luckily I have my AirMac for use to keep on top of my rigorous on-line life 🙂 A week alter the verdict is hard-derive is the issue, replacing it not recommended because, as they informed me, it is ‘vintage’  & Apple aren’t making any parts for it! They could replace the hard drive but not guarantee the at it would work etc. So we opted for fresh from the factory new, which I suspect is already vintage.iMac03

Migrating info from the old iMac was pretty simple thanks to time machine back up. All smooth expect for some Photo confusion that I had to call Apple care to get sorted out. Pics are the dismantling of the vintage iMac to remove the hard drive. Instructions via Internet.iMac04

Like the many ‘improvements’ Apple makes the products now come with more & more abilities that I will never use. I looked into upgrading my iPod Classic & they no longer make them this basic. The latest are more like iPhones with wifi connectivity. So I’m holding on to my classic as long as possible.



I’m still here

I’ve buried too many

generations lost to HIV

or trapped in self-destruction

by a culture that devalued them

in ways they couldn’t endure

lost the will to live

when they could’t fulfill

accepted standards of relationship idolatry

of acceptance via compliance


I’m not going away

I’m not going to fulfill

any accepted standards

of even the counter culture

if I have a strength

it comes from knowing

I don’t need permission

to stay the course

I merely have to be present

here I am

this is me

not making a noise

to draw attention to myself

to force anyone to acknowledge

I’m not rebel activist

smouldering   flaming with a rage

that will eventually burn out

or turn into a one note scree

more irritating than effective


I have nothing to prove

nothing to lose

the song says

I will survive

but I want more than that

I will trive

persevere through the indifference

the devaluation

in a culture were tolerance

is mistaken for acceptance

I’d rather be rejected for who I am

than for what I appear to be

because who I am is real

what I appear to be

is a cultural perception

I will never conform to

I’m still here

get used to it


March 12, Saturday: attending:



March 16, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring  The Ragdolls Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9


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


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


July 4-8: maybe attending: Chasing  your Tale – Loyalist – Belleville


check 2016 Summer arts:

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016expo16

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


I Listen 2

Picking up where I left off last week – this is what is on my iPod at any given moment. I have 9 main playlists – French & World: which always has some Brel, usually some PQ 60’s, always some Latino, then German, Japanese & African; Retro: which always has some Doors, Hendrix, lots of 60’s, 70’s but I’m now considering 90’s as retro; British pop: from the Streets to the Beatles – from obscure Dave Dee to Ketty Lester; Jazz: always Davis & Coltrane. Each of these is at least 12 hours long. Plus some Beethoven in each of them.greench01

Then there are 5 on-the-go playlists; each has at least 4 pop, 1 electronica/techno, 2 jazz & 3 classical cds uploaded to it. I often go through collections of artists this way. If, for example, Steppenwolf is currently on on-the-go 4, as I listen to that playlist & deleted it I upload the next release by Steppenwolf for the next time I listen to on-the-go 4.Alternate playlists as well though I do do them in order – on-the-go 1, then retro, then on-the-go 2 etc. There is always Mozart included in each on-the-go.greench02

There is so much classical in every play list I don’t have a separate one for it. Also there is a playlist of beta beats: sonics that stimulate the brain for creativity, focus etc. I use different ones of these brainwashers if I’m working on a project, taking a workshop. Some are calming beats that I use in transit after a show or late at night to get my brain ready for sleep. They work for me.greench03

Always on in one playlist or the other is work by Beethoven, Mozart, Vivaldi, Mendelssohn & Haydn; Coltrane, Miles Davis: frequently: The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Beatles, Stones, Van Morrison, Led Zeppelin, The Who – not many modern artists because none have produced a large enough body of work to choose from.snofa

Though there have been some singles that have stuck so that some playlists always feature them: singles by Metro Station, LMFAO, Capital Cities. I like variety but I also like to hear my favourites at least once a year. Most of my iPod listening is out doors, I don’t like too high volume either so I often end up listening to the same list twice to make sure I’ve heard it properly. If I can’t bear to hear an album a 2nd time it might be time to just cut it from the collection.sample

If this piece seems familiar I posted an earlier version of it a couple of months ago – now I’m ready to revisit & edit & here is the latest result of a piece in progress.


my proof of spirit

I say spirit

because to say God

summons a set of structured restrictions


over what spirit is

of who’s access to it

is the real authentic one

their proof is in force

derision denial punishment

might makes right


I’m not here to prove

I have a deeper understanding


articulation of spirit

I merely want to say

I have a faith in the unprovable

unless my life to this point

stands as evidence


I can’t say what I believe

it is as solid as the colour blue

what shade of blue is irrelevant

the eye perceives

the brain interprets

associations of the past

change the colour of the present


it isn’t even ‘I’

in the centre of the perception

the biological function of the brain

is independent of this ‘I’

it has faith

that I don’t need to be conscious of

I just need remember to breathe



I have nothing to prove

to anyone

not even myself


soon02March 12, Saturday: attending:



March 16, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring  The Ragdolls Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9


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


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


July 4-8: maybe attending: Chasing  your Tale – Loyalist – Belleville


check 2016 Summer arts:

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016expo16

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


Cirque de #NaNoWriMo 2014

Imagine my surprise to find a new, to me, genre of music that turns out to be perfect for my Nano project this year. Part of Picture Perfect take place in a circus museum that I’ve imagined on the east coast. The museum is an attempt by a smallish town to create somewhat of a tourist attraction – as tourism is the prime industry in many parts of the east coast.

rollercoaster rides are in my blood

So I did a search for calliope music to see if that would put me the mood – it put me over the moon – what better invitation to sit down to the computer to write than a great circus march. A little goes along way mind you but the relentless fun of this music is hard to resist as it gets my imagination really flowing and flowering.

ridestea cup rides are so scarrry 

I also grabbed some fresh beta beats (as suggested by nanorimo’s Chris Batty) for my iPod to tune my creative frequencies when I’m out for my morning walk. The walk falls after I’ve done my first couple of pages where I get the scene started. Getting out gives that start time to develop in my subconscious. I may know how things start & where I want them to end up but the thinking often changes how they get there.

clown but not scarrry as clowns

Over the past few months I read the various NaNoWriMo books – ‘no plot no problem’ etc – nothing new to me in them but a nice confirmation that much of my creative (as opposed to structural) approach is a good one to get the job done. One thing I learned in improv is that pushing fast can take you into unexpected and sometimes brilliant directions. Nano is a written improv in which I try transcribe without editing or telling the brain to slow down. When I do that I lose all fear and can find myself on the tight rope without intending to be there.

So I’m stepping into the big ring tomorrow.



there is this circus of flesh

that moves faster

than the blood can pound

that over rides all cautions

lessons learned  go out the window

when that pandemonium opens

cotton candy balls of fun

for the ones who surrender

to take give take give

rise and fall

expectation and delivery

the fierce red flush of ginger hair

that surrounds the heave and heft

of the the timid and free

fleeting and heavy

melt of the stars

into a mouth

into the sudden rise

shape fall

stomach churning moment

when a glance is returned

take this button popping opportunity

slow stroke of zipper

happy slide of pants



shoes socks

fly through the air

merry go around

in the middle of the bed

sheet strewn masses

wrinkled rivers of dim corner

vibrant and frightened

tongue chasing twists

I know the promise

I take this opportunity

to chase the roller coaster

to sharper shocks

higher highs

all dips hips slips

the rock solid rocket

twist and tumble

the grazed knees

the bruised knuckles

the wet dry hot cool

sweat sweet breath to catch

running faster lunge

the weight of one on the other

that pulls each to the earth

accepts shares

separates courses

through the veins

beat pulse

throb shudder

seek the chance to get back on the ride

I know the circus

will pitch another tent

but I am reluctant to leave this one

so sweetly pitched

so well enjoyed

employed spent dreamy sleepy

in this gift of satisfaction

this blank slate surrender

for a few blinding seconds

when we played each other

like a big rolly polly

steam calliope

that never runs out of steam


not porn!!

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#Killdozer vs #ArcadeFire

spoon battery
spoon battery

Recently someone asked me what I was listening to on my iPod. I hesitated to answer because whatever it was they would jump to conclusions about me based on the music I was listening to – if I said The Beatles – I was living the past; if I said Lady Gaga – I was a real fag; if I said Coltrane – I was elitist pretentious; if I said – Chopin – I was was beyond comprehension.

pull yourself together
pull yourself together

There are some musicians or composers, who are always on my iPod. I think I have at least 10 days of listening without repeat on tap at any given time. Once a play list gets heard it gets replaced. Each play list, in general, is a mix of pop, jazz, classical.

spoon battery
spoon battery

Nearly always on one play list or the other is: The Beatles, The Stones, Van Morrison, Jacques Brel, Sinatra, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Chopin, Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Mozart. Frequently: The Animals, Procol Harum, Lou Reed, McCoy Tyner, Gabor Szabo, Bach, Dvorak. There’s one play list of Latino/French,/World Music music that often includes Otto, Osibisa, Santana, Boyo Boys, Piaf, Pizzicato Five.

When I was asked what I was listening, I replied: “Guess.” Because what they thought I was listening would tell me what they thought of me. They said Arcade Fire (am I a hipster?) when the truth was Killdozer.

sad plant
sad plant