Glass

I can’t say that I’m a Philip Glass fan but I do have several works by him scattered though my collection: Koyaanisqatsi; Mishima as MP3 (along with works by w: Shivkumar Sharma: Call of the Valley; Sanjay Mishra: Blue Incantation; Abhijit Banerjee: Phases; Ravi Shankar: Chants of India; The Art of the Hurdy-Gurdy); as a stand-alone Hydrogen Jukebox; mp3 of his Piano Music; and The Book Of Longing: a collaboration with Leonard Cohen. 

Like many I first heard of him thanks to his soundtrack for Koyaanisqatsi – sweeping strings & choral work that doesn’t need visuals to be effective. Propulsive music that sold millions of soundtrack lps. Unlike, say, Bernard Hermann, he was more than a soundtrack composer he was a ‘serious’ modern composer. Mishima is energetic & shows a greater range of textures.

I find Hydrogen Jukebox (Ginsberg) and The Book Of Longing (Cohen) to be more liturgical than contemporary. As much as I enjoy Jukebox it fails to grasp the energy of Ginsberg’s use of language and becomes turgid and repetitive. His work with Cohen has more life but again moves like molasses. Both are more Gregorian than contemporary. The solo piano music is delightful & more emotionally engaging.

To round out the mp3 collection I added works by Shivkumar Sharma: Call of the Valley; Sanjay Mishra: Blue Incantation; Abhijit Banerjee: Phases; Ravi Shankar: Chants of India; The Art of the Hurdy-Gurdy. Mostly world music, nearly classical in its way, out of India. Some edging into new age & some very traditional. The Hurdy-Gurdy is an lp to mp3 transfer of an MHS lp I found 2nd hand. I plunked here for fun.

 

Theoretical Talk

‘Are there any more questions?’

Dyna surveyed the class. The rows of seats rose in tiers around her. She felt small in the centre of the semi-circular room. Her slide projected behind her seemed so massive. She was happy to see that most of the faces she encountered were still awake. A hand fluttered in the tenth row.

‘Yes. Casey Stelle, isn’t it?’ 

Dyna liked to demonstrate her ability to remember names.

‘Yes. I wanted to know if … well … how could such a crime go undetected for so long.’

‘Casey, you have to put it into its proper cultural context. At that time people didn’t talk about such things. It was a closely guarded secret.’

‘Yes,’ another hand shot up. ‘but it had such a deep resonance at the time. How could it go undetected.’

‘Jeff, that isn’t so strange. The fact that it wasn’t talked about doesn’t mean it was undetected. People knew of it, but out of shame or other cultural conditioning didn’t deal with. They didn’t ignore it but at the same time they turned their back on the events. Went on as if it hadn’t happened.’

She stepped from the podium and looked over the students once more. Books were being closed and backpacks being back-packed. As sure a sign as any that this part of the class had come to an end. As usual a few students descend to talk to her. She turned off the projector was was glad to have the gloom of the room return. The brightness of the slides made her feel on display.

The first to reach her was Jeff.

‘Miss Dark. I didn’t want to get into this in front of the class. Not enough time left anyway as it turns out, but I still don’t quite buy your theory.’

‘It’s not for sale Jeff. I merely presented one of several approaches to the circumstances. After all, wife beating once wasn’t a crime. Women who complained about it were shunned for being unfaithful to their husbands. Today that has reversed Women who don’t complain get shunned.’

‘But this case isn’t at that scale.’

‘Now it’s me who doesn’t buy your theory.’

‘You could at least hear it out.’

‘Okay Jeff I’m listening.’

Their eyes locked. Jeff’s face reddened. Dyna knew she had this power to silence and wasn’t unwilling to use it now.

‘Another time.’ Jeff glared back at her and started up the stairs to exit the classroom. He tripped on the first one and fell.

‘Serves him right.’ Dyna thought with a small laugh.

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every Tuesday 2019


June  – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton
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Winter Whisky – Part Two

Winter Whisky – Part Two

I opened the fridge and behind some A&W take-out bags found the remains of a big bottle of Coke. Enough mix for the first few drinks.

We went back to the living room. I moved a pile of clothes off the saggy sofa to sit down. I recalled helping him drag the sofa he’d found outside someone’s house down the stairs.

“Here, I’ll put them away.” He sniffed them. “These are clean.” He flashed a big smile. “I guess I’m learning. Next comes folding. ” He disappeared into the bedroom.

“Ironing comes before folding.” I called out as I poured us each a couple of fingers of his Scotch.

“Don’t get too far ahead without me.”

He came back. He pushed some newspapers off his favorite chair and reached for his glass. “I’ll save the mix for later.”

He gulped the Scotch. “Nothing like that first bite. Right?”

I wasn’t up for raw yet. It took me a few mixed drinks before I was able to gulp them down the way he did.

“Now, that’s what I call a good drink.” He turned his head and wiped his mouth on the upper sleeve of his tee shirt.

He poured himself another and downed it. “Been keeping okay?”

He leaned back in the armchair.

“No complaints.” I finished my first drink. The flat pop didn’t quite mix with the Scotch. So I didn’t use as much with the next one. I drank it down as fast as Donnie had. It hit the spot.

“So how long has Trish really been gone?”

“About a month. She’s here nearly every other day though, so it’s not like she’s really gone. If she weren’t preggers, I’d tell her just to piss off, you know? But that’s just not in me. She’s a nice one. My Mom tells me not to lose this one.”

“You mean she puts up with your b.s.?”

“Something like that.”

He gave a short harsh laugh.

“Plus, she loves me. At least, she tells me she does. Nice ass, too. Yeah.” Donnie pushed himself up out of his arm chair. “Com’on see what I’m working on.”

We went through the kitchen to the unfinished part of the basement. This was his workshop. I had to stoop a little so I didn’t hit the door sill top that he had no trouble getting through. The workshop was as neat as a pin. This was his domain. His living room would always look like a storm had hit it but his workshop would be in apple pie order. 

It wasn’t often he’d ask me in to see what he might be working on. Often it was some cabinet or a gun rack. His wood work business had taken a few years to get established but he was doing okay, even after the recent housing project closed down. People always needed kitchen cabinets.

The trouble was I never quite got whatever it was he showed off to me. Joints – dados all that stuff. I couldn’t tell a piece of pine from a piece of walnut. 

This time it was a crib.

“Looks great.” I tried to sound enthused.

“Yeah. I found this here old crafts book and sort of copied it from there. Turn of the century. See.” he touched it and it rocked back and forth gently in its frame.

“Very sweet.”

He grinned. It was only when he smiled this wide that I caught a glimpse of his two broken side teeth. In the clear light his redness seemed almost unnatural. Red hair. Red freckled face. A big kid bursting with pride.

“Being a dad may suit you after all.”

“I hope the fuck so. It’s not like we’re getting a dog or something. But as long as there’s a good drink nearby, I guess it won’t be so bad. I’m going to do some carving along on the backboard here. You think deer or rabbits?”

“No legs on a rabbit to deal with.” I laughed a little. 

“I suppose Bambi is good for boys or girls.”

We went back to the living room. I turned the TV while Donnie went to take a shower. I watched the screen without the sound on. My eyes drifted out of focus so all I saw were undefined blobs moving back and forth on the screen. 

“Okay, m’boy I’m as clean as I need to be.” Donnie plopped heavily on the couch beside me. “But I needs one more to mellow me out enough to drive.” He grabbed the bottle of Scotch and gulped down the last of it.

………..

Stoners was near empty when we arrived. Not a good sign for a Saturday night.

“Sheesh. What’s up?” I asked. “Nobody like your Christmas decorations? Maybe it’s time to invest in a new tree.” 

Lazy loops of tinsel garland had been strong along the lights along the back of the bar. The tree leaned in a corner, one of the legs on the base having been bent out of place in a fight two years ago. According to Hector, the bartender, replacing the silver aluminum tree wasn’t possible as they had been discontinued as fire hazards.

“Looks like the snow’s kept most folk in t’night.” Hector poured doubles for each of us without being asked. “Even Scott’s band couldn’t make it.”

We took our usual table near the stage. I always made sure I sat where I couldn’t catch my reflection in any of the mirrors around the room. Even in the dim lights I didn’t like to watch myself when I was drinking. I waved to Scott.

“The driving didn’t seem that bad, did it Donnie?”

“Hard to tell with all that friggin’ snow.”

We laughed.

Scott was alone on the stage. “The rest of the band get caught in the snow up in Meat Cove?” I called up to him. The rest of the band would have been a bass player and a drummer.

“I’m going to close with one of my favourites.” Scott tuned his guitar. 

“Close? What time is it?” I looked at my watch. It was nearly midnight. It had been around nine when I went to Donnie’s. Where had the time gone? We left there around eleven. It was usually a twenty-minute drive from Donnie’s to the bar.

“It’s for someone I loved once. And well . . . still do.” He sang Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne.

The love of his life was a Susan none of us ever got to meet. Depending on his mood, the song would stick to the original lyrics, or if he was a little down in the dumps he’d add verses. Tonight was one of those morose nights as he sang, “Suzanne puts you down, deeper than t…he river, even when you give her all the tea in China.”

“Ooh,” I thought, or at least I thought I thought it, but I must have groaned out loud because Donnie gave me a hard nudge. “Not so loud, eh?”

Jen put a pitcher of draft on the table with three glasses. Again we didn’t have to order. I liked that. What we wanted was ready for us. “Ta, Jen. Busy later?” I asked.

“Who wants to know?” she laughed. “I’ll let you know when I counted up m’tips.”

Every guy who drank there hit on her at some time or the other. Some of them never figured out that her easy going way was primarily for the tips. If a guy didn’t behave she’d just nod to Hector and he’d come over to put him in his place. 

Jan wasn’t a bad looking gal so it was easy to flirt with her because she knew it was just flirting. It allowed me to pass for one of the typical drunken bozos who’d hit on anything in a skirt.

The song went on. ‘Just as you start to kiss her, she tells you she has no love to give you.’

The only light seemed to be the overheads on the stage. I peered around and couldn’t make out much in the gloom around me. Even Scott’s voice slipped into the darkness. Scattered applause around me pulled me back to the room.

Scott put his guitar into its tattered case and sat at the table, poured himself a draft. “So how are things in the chalk mines?”

“Dusty.” The chalk mines referred to the school where I taught drafting to teens who often couldn’t draw straight line with a ruler.

Even though I showed promise in university the competitive drive in my dream field of architecture was more than I wanted, so I settled for something more practical. Teaching. I pushed the pitcher of beer over to him. “How’s things in the grease pits?”

“The pits. Haha. Same old, same old.” Scott downed a double with a quick beer chaser. “Now that’s a good drink.”

Scott worked at Turcott’s Auto, the service station his dad owned, which he would own one day. There was always that smell of oil about him. At six foot something, he was taller than either Donnie or myself. His brownish and sparse facial hair made him seem to scowl. But if scraggly was good enough for Bob Dylan then it was okay for him. I found it hard enough to listen to Dylan let alone look at him.

“Must be nice to have weeks off at Christmas.” He signalled for another pitcher of draft. 

“Would be if I didn’t have papers to worry about. Just because I’m not at the school teaching, doesn’t mean I’m doing nothing. Even during the summer there’s something.” 

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

“Besides, you mechanics make more than we teachers do. Even Donnie makes more than I do.”

“You hinting that I get the next round?” Donnie patted his pockets for his wallet. “Looks like I left my wallet at home.”

“Again.”

I couldn’t resist. Donnie leaving something behind was business as usual. Many’s a time we had to come back to Stoners to get his jacket or hat, once his shoes.

“Smart ass,” Donnie snorted.

“John McAuley’s one of the teachers at your school?”

“Yeah.”

“Well,” Scott’s voiced dropped, “he’s a fucking useless cock-sucker. A gear-box. He was in the garage the other day pawing at Mark, the kid my Dad hired last summer. Seems he was McAuley’s favorite. All over him he was. Made me sick. Isn’t it against the law for queers to teach? If it isn’t, it should be.”

“All over him?” Donnie asked. 

“Practically!” Scott made a limp wrist and lisped. ‘Ooo Mark your jeans are so oily.’ He went back to his usual self . “You could tell he wanted to slip on that oil and into the kid’s jeans. So I told Mark to get to friggin’ work and asked McAuley what he was lookin’ for?”

“Which was?” I poured draft into each of our glasses.

“Not the oil change he was hoping for.” Scott laughed. “He was gettin’ his winter tires.”

“Just in time too.” Donnie looked into his empty glass. 

John taught two grades ahead of me. I had heard whispers at school about him, and so I kept my distance. Mark had been in my class as well. He was repeating a year after getting out of ‘junior detention.’ 

Keeping that distance was a part of my life. Everyone had some secret and this was mine. I was safe as long as I saw to it that no one suspected. Letting go of Cindy was part of that, too. It allowed me to pretend I still had feelings that kept me from pursuing other women.

Cindy was a fun woman to be seen with. Pretty and always all over me in public. But in private there was really nothing. I had learned how to satisfy her sexually, but all the touching and rubbing never did much for me. Sometimes I couldn’t even get hard with her. Had to think of some man I had seen in the street or the drummer from Scott’s band. When she wanted that final commitment, marriage, I had to get out of it. Told her it might be wise if we saw other people for a while.

Winter Whisky – Part One https://wp.me/p1RtxU-39y

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Shame is Glory

18-white02There is a trend of musicians recording at they die; Creating their own farewell, summation and artistic statement. Johnny Cash, Warren Zevon, Levon Helm, and recently David Bowie. All leaving resonant farewells. The most recent is Leonard Cohen.

I wrote blogs about my collection of his music in May of this year here and here. As I say in those posts I enjoyed Cohen but didn’t consider myself a fan the was many people I knew who were die-hard fans. Seeing him in concert never appealed to me. To some of them it was a spiritual life-changing experience to see him live.18-white03

The farewell albums by the musicians above have all been sad and rewarding. It was remarkable to hear them looking back while pushing their music forward. Cohen’s ‘You Want It Darker’ is no exception, except, unlike the other lps it gave me chills.18-white04

The production, by his son Adam, recalls the female chorus of his first album for a feeling of familiarity. This is one of the few direct allusions to his past recordings. The arrangements are subtle – they support without drawing attention away from his voice or his lyrics. Don’t worry I’m not going to do a song by commentary.

I downloaded this when it was released unaware that he was facing any health issues. This reflects how disinterested I am anything that is trending. I read no reviews. On the first listening I drawn in my the gravitias of his voice and as always but the ironic yet romantic stance he takes.

The song Leaving The Table really resonated with me because in my own way I have left some tables in my creative and recovery life. Cutting out nearly all spoken word shows was leaving that table after being at that table for too many years with too little results. (Bartenders making more money in tops than features & shows being ousted for not making enough $ for bartenders. But I digress.)18-white01

When I read that Cohen had died the album was transformed for me. It was a funeral mass he had written for himself and his fans as he literally left the table of life. In the title track he sings: “If thine is the glory/ Then mine must be the shame” I my own life I’ve realized that shame come from cultural judgements that keep us at a table we’re afraid to leave – to leave the table is to experience glory.

His voice is spectral on all the tracks. It is like he is in the room whispering in your ear. Not merely a variation of his past but now a ghost. ‘You want it darker, we put out the flame’

His is one candle that will never go out.

sample

Surrender

just because I’m not with you

doesn’t mean I against you

I’m not taking sides

I’m not standing in your way

my indifference

can’t be built on

but don’t let that deter you

you can build

you can move forward

you don’t need my permission or support

I’m not a viper in your breast

 

that’s me on the sidewalk

the white entitled cismale

who doesn’t even have to count

on those factors

as long as others take them

into consideration

I don’t have to do anything to reenforce

those inherent historic qualities

they are merely there

don’t allow your judgements

of what is merely there

keep you from anything

 

I’m not you

not with you

not against you

no one needs my acknowledgement

my sympathy

any actions of direct support

to make changes

that need to be made

I don’t have the power

the strength

the moral commitment

to either cause or resist

I’ll stand back

and when you are done

maybe we can go for a coffee

14257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_o
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Cohen Son House

I lost interest in Cohen for a few decades. He also took a long sabbatical from recording. Then along came The Future with some stunning songs: Waiting For A Miracle. He became less focused on heteronormative and focused on spiritual searching. Here I also have the more recent Old Ideas; & Popular Problems: solid and soothing work. His voice has aged warmly. The Book of Longing is a wonderful long suite collaboration with Philip Glass. Pop taken the level of art.09.door05Also on this 2nd CD compilation is Son House: The Classic Years – fine compelling rustic city blues. When I first heard some tracks at a coffee shop a friend thought it was Robert Johnson but I knew it wasn’t. Thanks to his phone app he found it was Son House. 09.door02Also Graham Parker’s Alone Alive in America – I had this cassette which was losing tension & was happy to replace it. More fine solo guitar blues & pop – it seemed a natural to go with Son House. It also seems natural to add Big Brother & Janis live at the Carousel Ballroom to this mp3 cd – a fun set recorded at around the time of Cheap Thrills. More about Janis when I get to ‘j’.09.door04I fell in love with a song ‘What Becomes of The Broken Hearted’ – which lead me to Jimmy Ruffin & here I have the 20th Century Masters hits. Great stuff but ‘What Becomes’ is an astonishing lyric & song. I added Brother’s Keeper’ record with his brother David.09.door03Finally, because I like to have the occasional contemporary voice, I included George Ezra’s Wanted On The Voyage. The man has a great, complex baritone voice, sings his ass off & writes sweet, emotional songs. A modern Cohen. If you haven’t heard him check him asap.

sample

Pleasure

‘There ain’t mech call for such as dose des days marm.’

‘Very nice David … That’s your name? … right David.’ The casting director glanced the the 8×10 glossy on the desk in front of him. ‘Let’s just try that again, only now with a bit more pleasure.’

‘Pleasure?’

‘Yes, a sense that you enjoy disappointing people. That you get a secret satisfaction in there not being call for such as those.’

David took a deep breath. ‘There ain’t mech call for such as dose des days marm.’

‘Again.’

‘There ain’t mech call for such as dose des days marm.’

‘Very good. You caught the exact quality. Thank you.’

‘Then I get the role?’

‘I still have another six actors to see today and there are at least 20 tomorrow. But I can tell you that you are going to the top of the list for call backs.’

‘Really?’

‘Yes really.’

David grabbed his backpack and left the audition studio. Best one so far, though there wasn’t much one could do with a single line. He didn’t get to this monologue or even show off his acrobatic skills. He was sure his double back flips would land him a part but no one had yet asked for a demonstration of them. Only his facility with bad text written in worse accents.

‘How did it go?’ the next actor in line asked him.

‘I think I got it. At least I got a call back day after tomorrow.’

‘Oh shit.’

David had also learned the art of psych out. If he could spoil another actor’s chance he would take it.

‘But, good luck.’

‘Yeah, thanks.’

David bounded down the steps to the street. He pulled out his day planner and saw that he another audition in twenty minutes. Shit! If these guys hadn’t taken so long he’d have been there by now.

He stopped to grab a coffee and bagel to keep up his energy.

To his dismay there was a line up of about forty others for this audition call. He hated cattle calls. Forty guys who were all variations of himself. Black jeans, black shoes, white shirts. All set to rush off to their waiter jobs after the audition.

‘Been long?’ he asked the guy at the end of the line.

‘I had a 2 pm call and it’s what … 3:30 now.’

‘Fuck!’

‘If that would get me the part I’d certainly do it. Christ the competition is rough even for this non-paying stuff.’

‘Non-paying?’ David wasn’t interested in non-paying work. He’d done enough of that already and didn’t need another non-pro production of anything on his resume. He needed the paying work. ‘Thanks for warning me.’ He turned to leave.

‘No problem.’

As he left he wonder if the guy had told him the truth. He was sure the notice had said union rates. Fuck he’d been psyched.soon

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A Non-Obscure Canadian

He was Canadian! He had a hit record! It was sort of folk but not Gordon Lightfoot style! What was the world coming to? Yes, I remember when Leonard Cohen’s first album was released. It was on a major label! Not some semi-obscure Canadian label (was there in fact a non-obscure Canadian label?)02door01The album art of the woman in chains and in flames. Those lyrics: ‘the room filled up with mosquitoes when they heard your body was for free.’ He made a big splash & was no teen idol. merely a Jewish intellectual Canadian poet with a hit record that wasn’t rock but was also far from easy listening. The songs were real poetry.

I played that 1st lp grey, replaced it more than once. Was thrilled to hear his songs in McCabe & Mrs. Millar (one of my all time favourite movies). There must have been dozens of covers of Suzanne over the next year. 02door02I don’t think he was prepared for the reception for that first album. His singing style was low key, the music okay but the mood was, for many, impossible to resist. Sort of glum, romantic, ironic and full of Dylan Thomasesque imagery. The first real e.m.o star.

In my collection I have two mp collections: on the first is: Songs, Songs From A Room, Songs of Love & Hate, Death of A Ladies Man, Various Postitions, I’m Your Man, Jennifer Warnes.02door04From a room was more of the same; Love & Hate a live recording. Sweet images jumble from both of these – ‘santa comes forward there’s a razor in his mitt.’ Musically not different from his first lp but those lyrics stuck to me. Then I sort of lost interest because – his producers tried to give him a pop veneer than didn’t grab me. I didn’t follow him until The Future (more about that next week).

When I began to rebuild my past on cd I started to add work I had neglected. Death, Various, Man: which are solid, if musically uninspiring. There are brilliant lyrics though, but he seems to have lost direction. He worked with different producers, including Phil Spector with indifferent results.  Each has stunning songs though: Halleluija; Take This Waltz. The Jennifer Warnes is a sweet set of her covers of Cohen songs.

02door03To round out this first cd I added John Prine’s: Lost Dogs & Mixed Blessings. Another fine singer song writer full of romantic angst, bitter, sharp lyrics but with a totally different musicality from Cohen, so it offers a nice contrast to the rest of the material while fitting in perfectly. There’ll be more about Prine when I get ‘p’.

sample

Common

Fran had left her slippers in the front porch.

‘Where are you going?’ he mother asked.

‘To get my slippers.’

‘Dressed like that?’

‘Like what mother.’

‘In your pj’s. It’s so common. You were brought up better than that.’

‘I suppose I was. Perhaps you’d like to get them for me.’

‘How did they get out there in the first place.’

‘Elves.’

‘Don’t get sassy with me.’

Fran opened the screen door and snatched in her slippers.

‘I don’t think anyone saw me. I was as a fast as a bunny.’

‘What am I going to do with you child? What?’ She brushed Fran’s hair back from her forehead. ‘Such a face too. You’ll break hearts before you get married.’

‘Marriage is too good for the likes me. It is so common too don’t you think.’

‘What are you going on about?’

‘Just that marriage is so common these days. Too bad they don’t last. That Gail Davis next door had a yard sale of her ex’s stuff. ’

‘Fran you are too young to worry about such matters.’

‘Future must be planned. That’s what Dad says and I’m just planning mine. I think I want to join the the Intergalactic Spousal Corps.’

‘No!’

‘Yes. Two of the recruiters where at our school this afternoon. So pretty and excited. It’s adventure and opportunity. “I woman can do what no other can.” ’

‘You mean you would want to leave your family, leave your home, the earth and … and … breed like that?’

‘That’s not what it is at all Mother. It’s an opportunity to explore new worlds, to keep the human race at the forefront of life everywhere.’

‘You sound just like a TV show – go boldly go. You haven’t signed up for anything have you?’

‘No. I wanted to talk to you about it first. To you and Dad but we know who has the final word around here about anything.’

‘Yes. You.’

‘I mean you Mother. Haven’t you ever longed for something more than this. Than kids and Dad and laundry.’

‘I have my work too you know.’

‘Writing isn’t real work Mother.’

‘It isn’t!”

‘You know what I mean.’

‘No, I don’t know what you mean. You think raising alien offspring is any different from raising real kids like you? It’s the same only now you have to worry about real toxic waste. I’ve been researching the inter-species breeding program and it isn’t all a bed of roses.’

soon

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Secret Set Building

Last year I made a promise to myself to do a set that pulled together some of the pieces I’ve written about music and the role it has played in my life. If you’ve been reading my Monday blogs posts you know I‘ve been writing about the cd’s in my collection – a very slow, inside look at the content, when I bought them, and a bit about the emotional history of some of the music.

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sky flying v

I also have pieces which involve music in the setting of my life. Some where written for (the no longer happening) Coffeehouse Cabaret tribute nights run by Norman Cristofoli, at the no longer opened Renaissance Cafe on the Danforth. They did shows were musicians were to do cover versions, writers did reflection on & sometimes read lyrics by.

The range was wide Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, delta blues and more. It spurred me to try things for these nights and rifle through my past in a more deliberate way. I already had many things kicking around but I was fun to generate new pieces.

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crack of sky

So when the Secret Handshake opportunity came I merely had to go through my archive and pick pieces. There are too too many to choose from. I wanted a set that reflected the scope of my tastes and experiences from Mario Lanza to Donna Summer, from delta blues to disco. I’ve also been writing about some of these pieces in my Wednesday poetry blog – this means less talk between pieces when I perform them.

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sky high roof

Each has undergone editing while I also try to get the sequence that flows. Some pieces reflect a mood as opposed to particular piece of music. It may not be chronological or even logical. I know how it’ll open and close – with two pieces that reflect each other in imagery. Ginsburg wrote about the Hydrogen Jukebox, – this will be My Generation Jukebox. Poetry you can dance to.

sample

Oogie Inferno

let’s get this party started

if you’re thinkin’ I’m too cool to boogie

boy oh boy have I got news for you

I love the sweaty potential of the dance floor

the solid mass of men mobile   shifting

eagerly crammed    crowded by the bass line

the righteous revival fever of a contralto

everybody here tonight must boogie

let me tell ya’ I was no exception to the rule

the heat was on (burnin’), rising to the top, huh!

eyes closed   hands open

shirtless strutters in sweat soaked satin shorts

muscles    bloated bellies   no one cares

as flesh wound around  pulled by the driving

boogie oogie oogie

 

an endless moment of contact high

thigh to thigh contact

the heat was on, rising to the top

where the keyboard was underfoot

put your feet to the beat

peak after peak of solid state sweat

turn this beat around

no voice heard that wasn’t amplified

no time to waste, let’s get this show on the road

listen to the music and let our bodies flow

yowsa yowsa yowsa    dance dance dance

shame shame shame  ga ga ooh la la

we were shimmering glittering

ready to take on the future    beep beep toot toot

 

I love the moment of stepping into the mass

the sooner I begin the longer I’ve got to groove

listen to the music and let bodies move

make a space for myself

get approving once overs

then not care who’s lookin’

but when my spark got hot

I heard somebody say

Burn baby burnin’ the house down

gonna boogie oogie oogie

till you just can’t boogie no more

 

I love the blur as I am transported

out the body   out of the mind

satisfaction (uhu hu hu) in the chain reaction

released from all sense of self

except for the one caught     immersed

push push in the bush bush

lost for hours

ga ga ooh la la

boogie oogie oogie

 

taking a breather wet glistening

asked what are you on

as if the music and testosterone

aren’t enough for me to

burn that cocksucker down

because have I got news for you

this could be the last dance

last chance for a bad romance

everybody here tonight must

boogie oogie oogie

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April 26, 2015 – Sunday – 2-5 – Featuring – The Secret Handshake Gallery – 170 Baldwin Ave., 2nd floor, Toronto. https://www.facebook.com/events/913761975313528/

born

May 7 – Thursday – 8 pm – Judging – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Season 1 finals – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre – 12 Alexander St., Toronto –

hdamnfinal

https://www.facebook.com/events/726986450755918/permalink/726987687422461/

June 5-7 – attending – Capturing Fire – Washington DC

fire

http://www.thedccenter.org/capturingfire/

(2015 registration posted but details not posted yet. I’ve registered already 🙂 )

June 21-26 – attending – Rosemary Aubert’s Workshop: The Novelist’s Selfie – Loyalist – Belleville https://www.facebook.com/events/965611026782246/

loyclass

register now while there is room at the table

page 23 for details next page down for registration info

https://www.loyalistbanner.com/ceweb/doc/LoyalistSummerArts2015.pdf

June 27, Saturday – 7:00-  Feature: Hot Summer Nights at Hirut, Hirut Restaurant, 2050 Danforth Ave., Toronto

summer15

September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo

Expo15

http://fanexpocanada.com

October 18, Sunday – feature: Cabaret Noir: Inner Child Sacrifice

partsnoir

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

redshorts

disco daddy