November 2020 Recap

Over the month my TOpoet.ca blog following grew to 410! The December WP map show my hits have come from around the world. That the USA tops the list is a sign of election fatigue :-). Bangladesh (একটি উষ্ণ স্বাগত) & Italy (Un caldo benvenuto) are now in the top 10! My Tumblr is at 294. Twitter is at 229 followers.

Picture Perfect: 43 sections, about 66,000 words posted so far with 120,000 approx remaining to be edited then posted. I got a little tripped up in sequence & had to double back, as it were, to get the flow back in order. My rough drafts aren’t all done in chronological sequence so when I started this draft I put the individual drafts in order but messed up a bit. Such is life.

everyone’s a critic

TV viewing: Brave New World & War of the Worlds both came to an end. Brave certainly had the look with, for the men, smart costume design – I could believe those futurist business suits & overcoats; but the women suffered from standard illogical, uncomfortable, super-tight dreck. The plot was a bit of a mess & it’s too bad they based it so loosely on its source material. Final episode was clearly open for a season two (which isn’t going to happen.)

At least the Brave wasn’t saddled with the trite backstory family-turmoil that War of the Worlds drowned in. Again very loosely based on the source material but I am enjoying the diversity of the cast, the diversity of locations. Apparently it has been renewed for a second season which I’ll probably keep an eye out for, despite the disappointing reveal in the last minutes. 

Watched an amazing movie: Madeinusa – Spanish, set in Peru. A stranger is stranded in a small mountain village in the midst of one of their religious festivals. The festival reflects the Latino mash up of their ancient beliefs & Catholicism & is stunning. The ritual cutting of the neckties took my breath away. Exceptional & worth searching out.

November was relatively uneventful. Lockdown reduced my outside social distancing even more. The only ripple was an unexpected flare of psoriases – of which I have no previous experience. One morning a trip to emerg to get a rash looked at- they told me what it wasn’t but did know what it was. Referral to dermatology clinic that I went to the next day. The Dr. there took one look & knew what it was. Whew, I guess. It appears as spots not flakes. Anyone want to rub lotion on my back?

Nothing

nothing tastes as good as 

being thin feels

the first glance of anticipation

the sweetest kisses

all lose flavour

in favour of the cling tight snuggle 

skin shrink-wrapped around 

cheeks hipbones

smooth taut as drum

counting ribs more fun

than pulling the petals off a flower

he loves me   thin

<>

the skinny love 

slips between the sheets

cool and light  sheer as linen

that carves the shape of me

pale in the heavy thick night

I waver 

a glimpse of smoke

reach out to stroke

the breathing body beside me

corpulent sighs of pleasure’s resignation

the ghost of a glance come to roost 

for a few chancing movements

not heavy enough to dent the bed

perfection

<>

the weight of sunlight

makes it hard to walk

even buoyed by the adoring glances

of those who envy 

the soundless touch of these feet

on the mass of the earth

my blessed opportunity

to dust dance on mother earth

to float shadowless under father sky 

leave no carbon footprint

<>

my clothes weigh more than I do

wearing next to nothing

next to nothing

who could ask for more

boniness is next to adoration

now to get rid of these bones

become shapeless formless

<>

oh to be free of the body

the encumbrance of personality 

that is invested in this skin

deep in bone density

to lose the self

become the nothing

that tastes better than thin

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Rossini Sarasate

Gioachino Rossini’s (1792 – 1868) William Tell Overture has been seared into my memory thanks to the Lone Ranger & Bugs Bunny. Of course little of music in that overture actually appears in the opera. Imagine some soprano galloping to the galloping bit 🙂 I have that tucked away somewhere. 

On an mp3 collection I have his String Sonatas, various Overtures, Piano Music, Barber of Seville Highlights, La Boutique Fantastique, Matinees & Soirees Musical & the Stabat Mater. At one time I wanted to hear behind the big hit so I added these to broaden my knowledge base. This is all pleasant orchestral, the paint music is romantic, I love the Stabat Mater. But the string sonatas are my particular favourite.

The version here is my lp to mp3 transfer from an MHS edition which I really loved loved loved. This is sweet, playful, happy music. Music I loved so much that I have two other versions of it as stand-alone double cds. All three are different but the same, different tempos, sound quality but great. I’d say by whom but that doesn’t matter. These sonatas would be fine by any string quartet. Get them.

Near Rossini on the shelf is Spain’s Pablo de Sarasate (1844 – 1908). I have two stand-alones of his Spanish Dances on violin one & the other on piano. The dances are fiery, romantic & energizing. Some of them are immediately recognizable even if you don’t know who the composer is. I have various versions of some of them on classical guitar, by string quartets, orchestras, harp, mariachi bands, worked into progrock noodling, jazz guitar, flute, sax. Music for the ages.

Daily Delay

“The delay at the Bloor-Yonge station is static stacic static.”

Jan pulled her ear buds out to hear the announcement. Another delay! Oh, well, there never was a good time for the daily delay. Just what she needed. Keeping the subway running, people happy and people safe were a constant battle. Keeping them safe sometimes meant they would be unhappy. Delays made them very unhappy. 

She wondered what was it this time. Hopefully not another jumper. No, the delay wasn’t long enough for that. She listened closely to the dispatch numbers. They weren’t calling for the track clean up crew. 

The train started up. As it passed through bloor she saw police gathered around the men’s room door. Not worth getting off for. Crime on the subway wasn’t her beat. It wasn’t anybody’s beat. 

There was this code of silence around so much public petty crime. If they reported it all, the paper would be twice a large and there weren’t enough advertisers to pay for the rainforest it would take to keep up on all the pick-pockets, purse snatching that went on.

They saved that valuable resource for real crime. Murder or assault. Stealing candy bars from the Gateway wasn’t real enough, anymore. Plus the more of that petty stuff that made the press the less people felt safe. Everyone wants to feel safe in a city this size. Especially when they were crammed together on public transit. 

Though she never understood how some people found these things were so startling. It wasn’t as if assault was just invented. That this was the first time someone had been robbed.

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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. 

Plumbers 

“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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