Loose Cannons & Landmines

The Hot Damn! last chance slam filled the Supermarket to SRO! As the show persists (we’re queer, we’re here & we’re not going away) the range of work has become wider & the writing/performances stronger. The pieces tackled rape, physical abuse, racial expectations, pan sexuality, binary constrictions, family disfunction & food. Despite the complex emotional issues presented Cathy Petch kept the mood from descending into a pity slam with her positive and fun introductions, with the wild assortment of prizes. Who isn’t cheered up by ceramic poodles?5pink1A flurry of lines from the first open stagers & slammers: more glimpsed than looked at – it’s just a compliment – whistle while you work-out – harassment is not a compliment – when she looks at me all she sees is him – the way to be heard is to be lighter (skinned) – how do you fix someone who doesn’t know they’re broken – bodies we didn’t want to be, lying beside each other – try to hide the fact they were ever broken – neither wants our hands to turn into his hands – moans that taste like wine – the tender of my lover’s nakedness – I am more than what you see – I am not a doctor, I am amused.5pink2Main feature ‘The Ragdolls’ did an emotionally compelling, relaxed and well thought-out set that flowed from stark confrontational to warm supportive political commentary. Starting with patty-cake handclap game rhythm they traded the spot light with each other & shared it too. I particularly enjoyed the Toronto Pride piece that ruthless & humorously laid bare the corporate assimilation of queer identity.5pink3A dash of lines from the Ragdolls: Ken & Barbie scraped clean – dried blood on the swing set – revlon porcupine – trauma isn’t our only history – alcohol is a thumb that blurs all the lines in your head – can’t excuse the facts while I’m still filling in the blanks – grindr is a safe place for racists – gay flags in banks that ask for gender verification – do we want justice or want same sex couples in McDonalds ads – I have to remind myself why others do this – trying to get you to let me off with a warning again – you are a loose cannon & I am a landmine – pre-bred to please adults – the white I was raised to be to the brown I grow up to be – we spend more time with therapists than with friends. (This post’s title is from a piece by Londzo Drury)5tanA flurry of lines from the second set of open stagers & slammers: midnight texts that said ‘You wanted this’ – students you added to your kill list – if your pussy is intact so is your consent – a cold dark shadow that consumes me – we were were the only ones who could figure out who we were – a candle above your grave so you could find your way while I lost mine – studying history hoping that learning the past would change mine – basing my happiness on others’ presentations – putting the pan in pan sexual – polyamory creates culinary masterpieces – still a war raging inside – lover is just another scar I have to disguise – a man who has to break me just to get me is not worth me – are you lactose intolerant because you can’t handle all this chocolate – loath your fingers for calling him after he’s gone – more his daughter than your sister – bruises like a favourite sweater than can’t keep you warm.5eagleA winner was declared. Who? Well, you’ll have check out the Hot Damn! page for that info 🙂 The season 2 finale, at Buddies in Bad Times, on April 19 will feature Siaara Freeman and T. Miller. The winner of this slam gets (amongst other things) a trip to Washington DC to compete at Capturing Fire in June.samples

Different Men

one day in grade school

sunshine on the blackboard

reflected rosy on

Graham’s sudden bare belly

scratched absent minded

before my wide eyes

he pulls up his striped t-shirt

rubs that belly

firm round more pink than white

more flesh than boy

more glimpsed than looked at

 

erasers chalk dust clapped clouds

furnace rooms boilers

pieces of jumbled recollection

the heavy books of knowledge

that were better to sit on than to read

easier to refer to than to study

that didn’t show much

that wasn’t to be seen

their images of the future

30’s stream lined

50’s under lined

60’s dismissed

we never did get cars that fly

anti-gravity boots

I never got to see more of Graham

than that scratch of belly one day

while we waited for Mrs Melinosh

to handed out tests

she reminded me

to pay attention young man

yes ma’am

 

I was certainly paying attention

but I didn’t understand what that attention was

what was it that belly told me then

[between the shadows falls the foreskin?]

 

that school was at the bottom of the hill

too steep to climb in winter

too icy

my Dad would be there sometimes

to drive me home

 

happy to have him

pick me and take me home

up that hard slippery slope

that my memory is quick to slide down

I would rattle on about things

I told about arithmetic spelling

my lack of attention

but not about that belly

still seeing that t-shirt ride up

that freckle face smile

red haired boy

 

the drive was because we had moved

a new school was to start soon

closer

with newer problems for me

lack of attention

my eyes would wander out the window

at the squeak of chalk

my mind would get fuzzy

as division got longer and longer

the days got colder and colder

the boys got meaner and meaner

 

I find myself now decades later

still as unsure of those lessons

but positive about the image

the belly’s inexpressible tease

I knew wasn’t for my Dad’s ears

that told me for the first time

my Dad and I were different men

soon1

April 19: judging: Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Season 2 finale: 8 p.m. : Buddies In Bad Times Theatre – 12 Alexander St., Toronto, Ontario

hot

Hot Damn!

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

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

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

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

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

loy16

I’ve already registered

https://www.facebook.com/events/1511340829175762/

loyalistfocus.com

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

dolls

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Swinging Sallie

Sallie Blair

brown01

To accommodate a recent addition I’m stepping back to the ‘b’s with an mp3 collection filed under Sallie Blair: Sexy, Intimate & Swinging. Hers is a set of 36 tracks of prime mid 60’s cocktail jazz. Working with, amongst others Neal Hefty – Sallie is a rare, for the time, young black torch singer – sultry & safe she does great work with classics like Fever, Witchcraft etc. brown02

On this I uploaded 2 cds by Amai Kuda that I was given at Xmas – this is what happens now to cds for me – to save shelf space & to allow me to regift without losing the gift. The music is percussion driven, affectionate, world music. Bouncy & sternly social. Similar is L.E.J. – a PQ girl group with alt leanings – cello & percussion based with sweet off kilter harmonies & great energy.brown03

I fell in love with a song: Lonely Street – when a version of it by Pearl Woods turned up on Tumblr. No collections of her were on iTunes but random tracks in random collections were found so I put together my own mini playlist. Excellent. I did the same with a selection of Wanda Jackson.brown04Freakwater: Scheherazade – came recommended by a FB buddy. Folk country – sweet harmonies, complex lyrics. This spurred me to add Sylvia Tyson’s River Road to round out the cd. It kicks off with Woman’s World & is a worth while addition. I have other Ian & Sylvia lps. I’m still hoping to find Full Circle on Cd.

sample

Sound Effects part 2

I stopped the tape. I knew the rest and didn’t relish that scream so early in the day.

I felt like was taking a sick child in for a check up when I took Barnaby into the HearHere Warehouse during my lunch break. Joe, their electronic whiz, listened to my problem but didn’t know hat he could do beyond checking it over. He’d never heard anything of the sort before. I played the tape for him.

“We’ll exorcize this for ya,” he chuckled, taking it from me as if I was trying to put something over on him. “Drop by after work and it’ll be as good as new.”

But after work there was nothing he could add except, “No charge.”

To thank him I bought four new tapes. Putting in the new Surface Tension, I headed for the subway. The supper rush was one of the reason I’d invested in sonic armour in the first place. Sometime Barnaby filtered out enough of the babble around me, but a Friday night crowd like this needed more that armour.

Pushing my way though the crowd, I was shoved into a guy talking heated to a girl.

“Sorry,” I said, half turning.

“What ya lookin’ at faggot?” he snarled.

“Don’t start up, Rick,” the girl piped up, putting her hand on his shoulder.

“See somethin’ ya like?” He snickered cupping his crotch.

I wanted to run. I tired to move away, but the crowd was too thick.

“Give it a rest, Rick,” the girl snapped.

“Stop tellin’ me what t’do, bitch!” He slapped her.

I backed away. I knew what was coming.

“I told you never to treat me like that, you prick!” She replied shrilly, shoving him toward me. Even through the sound of the train pulling in, I knew I’d hear each word.

“I’ll treat you any way I choose.” He got ready to swing again.

“Take a hike, asshole.” She shoved him in mid-swing, and losing his balance he staggered, stumbled off the platform into the path of the train.

Thrashing frantically, he grabbed Barnaby, and in trying to yank himself forward, began pulling me over with him. He screamed. The train didn’t have time to stop. The walkman neck strap broke. I fell back into the crowd.

Something splashed on my face. The crowed surged back. I could feel the girl, hanging on to my arm, her body shaking, but I couldn’t tell if she was laughing or crying.

I took off my headphones to hear more clearly. There was no sound. It was a silence I’d never experienced before.

soon

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

hotdamn

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

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

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

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

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

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

loy16

I’ve already registered

https://www.facebook.com/events/1511340829175762/

loyalistfocus.com

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

browncushion

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

Corner Store

lament

Corner Store

why does a group of teens scare me

I walk past the corner store

where they hang around

shoving each other

smoking butts and swearing

on cell phones

fuck you timber bone

what the hell is timber bone

I’m so far from street talk

to know if that is even street talk

I try not to walk too fast

try not to look too long at anyone of them

my eyes flick quickly

from hooded shrouded faces

pants so baggy they need to be held up by hand

girls with pale lips arched eyebrows

look at the boys with that mix

of love distance and boredom

 

what makes me anxious

is it the mix of blacks asians

am I fearful of violence

that one of them might feel

the flick of my eyes

and confront me

“what you lookin’ at faggot”

why do some wear fir trimmed parkas

on mild spring days

what are they hiding under those hoodies

a generation gap never to be crossed

 

I know the closer they get

the unsafer I feel

I wish that corner store wasn’t so close

wish I didn’t get that ripple of worry

wish I could lose the memory

of me at that age

never one to have guys

to hang around with

wish I could forget being

the brunt of their dumb shoves

of their sneering exclusion

pipe01

Here in the east end I live near a subway station that is the main departure point for four or five schools. The next stop serves another two or three other schools. Lots of teens & little diners, pizza places to serve them lunches. Some of the corner stores have signs that say – only 2 student at a time. At least two of the cafes close for lunch when school is not open during the summer.pipe02

This piece is based on real events, real feelings of mine as I pass through or near groups of them. So many congregate at the nearest Tim Horton’s I no longer go in at lunch time. Some of the guys have more facial hair than I ever saw in high schools when I was growing up. Seems wearing pj bottoms to school never goes out of fashion, even in winter.

guitar01I try not to look too closely or too long. I have never been confronted though, or even heard queer slurs when I walk past. But because of my own high school experiences that tingle of fear is there. I’m always glad when summer comes & there are fewer students on the sidewalks.

guitar02

The memory if my own high school bullying remains fresh because of them. It never escalated beyond the a few incidents of shoving, name calling but I don’t want to minimize it either. I may never have been beaten up, harassed constantly but it left its mark on me.

soon

March 12, Saturday: attending:

spec2016

Toronto-SpecFic-Colloquium

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

hotdamn

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

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

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

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

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

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

loy16

I’ve already registered

https://www.facebook.com/events/1511340829175762/

loyalistfocus.com

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

wrestwk2

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

store02

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

Time Has Come Today

Chambers Brothers

I remember hearing the Chambers Brothers’ Time Has Come Today on the radio, when music was mixed to be heard on the radio. It jumped out from the usual pop music of the time. I had the single, a friend had The Time Has Come lp with the longer version – very trippy but the rest of the music was more r’n’b than trippy. I picked up the cd back in 2003 for the memory & my taste has grown & I love all of it.brownchair01When we upgraded to higher speed I download a couple of their others lps which are on an mp3 collection: Unbonded, New Generation: both fine but they never had another hit as big as Time. Solid musicians with a strong sense of social reality. Being solid musicians wasn’t enough make them memorable beyond their big hit. greencarpetThe search for more by the Chamber Brothers lead to S.O.B’s Shades of Brown (1970). A looser funkier version on the Chambers. Someone had posted the lp cover on Tumblr – half-naked men always get my attention. On the Cadet label this is beautifully recorded & the music is fun, sexy & political. brownchair02Also in this mp3 collection are Robert Crumb’s Heroes of Blues; Mound City Blue Blowers – the first the CD to accompany a book of the same name: I love these historic recording that remind me what we hear now isn’t so new after all. Dock Boggs anyone.  the 2nd one of the bands that could have appeared on the first – great 20’s-30’s non-Big Band stuff & great fun. stairsAs I like collections that span history so I’ve added KC & the Sunshine Band: Hits – full of disco memories. The same is true for Lipps Inc. Funky Town is a great song even if there was no actual band outside of the studio. Finally there are The Darcys: a TO band who released, for free, their cover version of Steely Dan’s Aja – these are great songs given perhaps a too tidy rendering – I was hoping for more remakes rather than duplicates but still worth downloading at the price 🙂sample

This is such an old story I’m hoping readers will know what a Walkman is – several had been my constant companions & banes since the 70’s. I always dread the way they would unexpectedly chew up my favourite music.

Sound Effects part 1

“You call your Walkman, Barnaby?” The coat-check guy at the bar asked when he saw the name hand stitched into the flap of my Walkman’s leather carry holster.

“It’s not just a disk drive for my brain, you know. It’s like a pet, my seeing-eye dog. I take it for walks. It protects me from dangerous thoughts when I feed it regularly.” I joked, putting in a tape. “Nothing to clean up after.”

“A pet? It’s turned your brain to mush.”

“Too late!” I laughed, adjusting the headphones over my ears still ringing from the sound-barrier-breaking volume the DJ at Matthews has resorted to, to somehow fill the disco with enough music to make up for the lack of bodies.

“Have a good night … with Barnaby.” The coat-check jock grinned.

“Sure beats going home alone.”

Outside I turned on the Talking Heads to drive out the brain damage of disco. Once home I’d heal my blistered ears with a helping of Bach partitias. For some reason there just wasn’t enough sound in classical music to survive the subway system.

As I got down to the subway platform, I was turning Barnaby up a notch for one of my favourite synaesthesia inducing breaks when a heart-stopping shriek cut through. Turning him down to zero, I spun around. Both platforms were empty. Another scream started then ended abruptly with a harsh gasp.

I dashed upstairs but there was just the ticket taker sleepily leafing through a newspaper. I rewound the tape on the way down. The train was just pulling in and I got on, pushing the play button, thankful for the comfortable familiarity of the Head. I adjusted the volume and settled in for the trip home. Directly behind me I heard arguing voices.

“I’ll treat you any way I choose,” some guy barked.

“Take a hike then, asshole,” an angry female replied.

I heard a shove and turned, half expecting some drunk to fall on me. There was no one, just some post-Madonna girl several seats behind me. I turned back, the screaming started again. I then realized that it was on the tape.

I pulled the headphones off, but could only hear the underground sounds. I slipped them back on in time to hear the gasp that followed the scream. I rewound and played it back again. The angry conversation was actually there.

Some joker must have tampered with my tape. But why? Well, the next time I was at Matthews I’d let them know how funny Barnaby and I found their little joke.

The next morning, I breakfasted with Anita O’Day’s Hits. Just as the egg-timer was ringing, I heard:

“What you lookin’ at, faggot?” snarled in the midst of her singing Skylark.

“Don’t start up, Rick,” cut in a slightly tipsy female.

Shit! You must be picking up some TV broadcast, I thought, looking accusingly at Barnaby.

“See somethin’ ya like?”

Well, that’s not local TV.

“Give it a rest, Rick.”

“Stop tellin’ me what to do, bitch!” Slap.

We were tapping into some private, little scene. But where was it coming from?

“I told you to never treat me that way.” Shove.

“I’ll treat you any way …”

I stopped the tape. I knew the rest and didn’t relish that scream so early in the day.

soon

March 12, Saturday: attending:

spec2016

Toronto-SpecFic-Colloquium

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

hotdamn

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

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

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

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

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

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

loy16

I’ve already registered

https://www.facebook.com/events/1511340829175762/

loyalistfocus.com

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

rug

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

Lʼamour domestique

lament

Lʼamour domestique 

my fridge made a pass at me

the other day

I was in my usual hurry

to get the milk

when

the door caressed my cheek

pushed me into its cool

welcoming heart

 

now Iʼm not into sex

with inanimate objects if I was

I would probably pick

my coffee maker

something small and easy to satisfy

the fridge is never filled

always has demands that

make me feel inadequate

while the coffee machine

fills to brim so quickly

yes give me hot and perky

to big and cold – any day

 

but it was one of those days

the kitchen chairs were

plucking at my pant legs

like over excited little dogs

humping a foot

it made eating almost impossible

I wasnʼt sure

what to do with the left overs

the fridge was glaring me

petulant

at being snubbed

in favour of the coffee maker

 

in the bathroom

the face cloth competed

with the tooth brush

to get in my mouth

until the towels

pulled them aside

to push me into the shower

they needed all my body wet

for the satisfaction they craved

I didnʼt have the moral strength

to deny them anything

they rubbed and dried

every square inch

 

the sofa was anxious for me to

snuggle in front of the TV

I had to watch

home decorating shows

about getting cute little throws

hints from the sofa

of what would make

our family complete

in bed the pillows

tenderly cradled my head

as the sheets twined around me

hungry for dreams

about coffee makers

whitestore01

For the next several weeks I’m taking a look at my ‘Lament for Anna Nicole’ chap book. In putting together a chapbook flow is important both creatively & visually. I do the formatting myself & that makes it easier for me to deal with orphan lines, to adjust margins etc. I also insure that a poem doesn’t require turning a page to read the whole thing.

Laments opens with L’amour domestique – one of my ‘hits.’ I love performing this piece & audiences always respond to the sexuality involved. The images make it an adult x-rated cartoon. Sort of the Little Toaster taken to another level.whitedoor

When I read that opening line I always get a vision of William “The Refrigerator” Perry a football player. It also references the affection people can have for eating.and how objects replace humans in our affections.whitecloth

The coffee machine verse always gets a knowing laugh as listeners realize the implications of size – the nature of quantity – bigger is better & many men fear they have big enough dicks to satisfy.

I then let the cartoon take over fully and as I read this I see a Silly Symphony of these objects alive and acting out as described. The brooms in Sorcerers Apprentice marching and marching. The piece is almost like a story board for a full length cartoon feature. Rivalry between the fridge & the coffee pot would be enlarged of course. I love the idea of the couch wanting children – of how in real relationships  children or pets are seen as completions.snowgarden

The piece invites the reader into a fantasy world and I hope it makes that world real enough to keep them there and satisfy them, like a coffee pot.soon

 

March 12, Saturday: attending:

spec2016

Toronto-SpecFic-Colloquium

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

hotdamn

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

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

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

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

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

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

loy16

I’ve already registered

https://www.facebook.com/events/1511340829175762/

loyalistfocus.com

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

wrestwk1

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

doors

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

Freedom Together

Jackie Byard

rainbow

Jackie Byard’s Freedom Together was one of the first ‘real’ jazz albums I bought way back in the 70’s. Today it still stand out to me – though that could be thanks to it’s firstness. The upright bass here is the epitome of what late night smoky nightclub jazz is – this isn’t the easy swing of Ellington, or even the accessible hipness of Miles Davis.snow01This starts off an mp3 collection that pulls together an assortment of jazz greats. some are lp to cd transfers. I added Byard’s ‘Parisian Solos’ as a fresh upload. Freedom was the only work of his that I owned, so I searched for more. The solos are excellent. He was more obscure than I imagined though.selfie

Also on the cd is Zoot Sims ‘Warm Tenor’ I had a cassette dupe of this from a friend’s collection. The title tells you all – sweet sexy music. Woody Herman: ‘Giant Steps’ love his take on the Coltrane & he does some nice work with Chick Corea’s La Fesita. Don Ellis: ‘How Time Passes’ modern Elligntonesque. Sam Jone & Neils Pederson: ‘Double Bass’ two superb bass players in duets & I love this.snow02

Finally Don Pullen: New Beginnings. Another fine pianist & composer who is hard to slot into a jazz style. Influenced by Cecil Taylor he developed his own vision often deeply spiritual, sometimes overly intellectual (to me) but I don’t mind being challenged. Silence=Death on this is an amazing piece of work.sample

Pie Part 5

‘According to Willie you did. She told him her maiden name was …’

‘Stop!’ Miss Griffs briefly held her hands to her ears. ‘It was Griffs. She was my sister. She took Eric, the one man I ever loved. You know after two years she left Eric to die a drunk and married again. When that one was dead she came back here to look for another.

‘I knew what she was really like. Playing so goody-goody with those pies and all that. I played along too, as if I forgave her. Then just like I knew she would, she started to carry on. With Dave. I saw them.

‘I wanted to surprise her and I certainly did. When she sent him packing with his roses I came to get my pies as if I’d seen nothing. Just walked in. The door was open to cool the pies. While she put them in my basket I grabbed the pipe that held the door open and let her have it.’ Miss Griffs began to cry.

‘I don’t know where I got the strength from. I don’t know. She fell. I put the pipe in my basket and I ran out of the house. I didn’t know what to do and when I saw Margaret I had to make her think I was innocent.’

Carl led her off.

‘How did you figure that out?’ I asked the Inspector.

‘We haven’t moved anything.’

I looked into the kitchen through the back door and the body was still there.

‘No way anyone could see a body through that window. Only the killer could know it was there.’

‘But … the roses.’ Margaret’s heart raced as the pieces fell into place. ‘You must have gone out the front door while we breaking down the back door. Right Dave?’

‘What are you going on about Margaret? You can’t listen to this girl.’ Dave turned nervously to the Inspector.

‘‘Sent him packing with his roses.’ Isn’t that what Miss Griffs just said? Did you put them down while you finished Cassie off?’ I pointed the roses on the floor beside Cassie’s body.

‘Talk to my lawyer.’ Dave spat his gum out as two officers led him away.

‘Clever. Miss Griffs was ready to take the blame for him. Clever for you to figure it out. I have just one more thing for you to clear up, Margaret.’ The Inspector smiled.

‘What?’

‘When are you and Carl going to set a date?’

the end

soon

March 12, Saturday: attending:

spec2016

Toronto-SpecFic-Colloquium

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

hotdamn

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

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

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

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

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

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

loy16

I’ve already registered

https://www.facebook.com/events/1511340829175762/

loyalistfocus.com

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

ice muffin fishin'

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

#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.

samp01

Strength

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

soon02

March 12, Saturday: attending:

spec2016

Toronto-SpecFic-Colloquium

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

hotdamn

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

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

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

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

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

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

loy16

check 2016 Summer arts: loyalistfocus.com

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

glass

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

Le Jour du Dernier Jour

Next on the ‘c’ shelf I have a pair of store bought cds by Cesar et les Romans. Fifty-tracks of amazing, glorious, Quebecois 60’s pop. Garage band at its best with lots of wild French covers of my 60’s favourites plus great originals. I picked these up way back in 1996 when I used to spend a week or two in Montreal several summers in a row. Driving there with friends.mousesnow

The music was part of my attempt to improve my French but also to expand my music knowledge. I have several hits collections by PQ bands. It’s a huge piece of Canada’s pop history from the 60’s that often gets ignored. My French remains so-so.chair06

The PQ radio play required not only a % of Canadian content but also a requirement for a major % of French language content. The result was local bands would do French covers of English pop so those songs could get radio play.chair07

There was a recording industry built around this. Some bands only did covers & some managed to produce original material. Often the ‘cover’ versions used only the music of the original with new lyrics when the English didn’t translate at all. Whiter Shade of Pale becomes ‘le jour du denier jour.’ The % laws gradually changed to allow more English & these bands faded away. There is still a thriving pop scene in Quebecchair08

Cesar is sweet eclectic fun covering Procol Harum, The Beatles, Jimmy Buffet, The Grass Roots & the like. The band is simple, basic & nicely recorded. They stick to that basic rock style, some bands delved into psychedelic with delightfully odd results. Every time I hear these I am transported to good times in Montreal & also to my own 60’s.

sample

Pie Part 4

‘So who found the body?’ the other officer asked.

‘Margaret did,’ Miss Griffs answered.

‘We sort of found it together. I was doing my rounds. I was at the front of the house when Miss Griffs came out from back here to get me. We broke the door down.’

‘And just why were you here Miss Griffs?’ Carl asked.

‘I had come by to get my pies.` But Cassie didn’t answer the door and I knew she knew I was coming by so I thought to check the back door and it was locked and I was going to leave. When I came out front and there was Margaret.’ She dabbed her eyes again and sat back on the bench.

‘And Willie?’ The other officer stepped out of the house.

‘He jumped out at me when Margaret went to call the police. He was going to murder me too, just like he killed Cassie.’

‘And you Dave? After that complaint Missus Crofts lodged last week I didn’t expect you to …’

‘Just a misunderstanding, Carl. I was watching that comet shower from the back yard and she thought I was spying on her.’

‘As have other women in the neighbourhood. It might be time to join an amateur astronomy club if you want to save your reputation.’ The other officer laughed.

Another pair of officers arrived. Carl stepped into the kitchen with them. The back yard filled up with what I assumed was the murder squad. Carl came back out and had us go to the front yard for more questioning.

A different officer was assigned to each of us. I got permission to finish the rest of my route. People here get used to things at a certain time, and with this delay many of them wouldn’t be pleased.

About an hour later I had just finished when Carl pulled up in a police car.

‘A few more questions and we’ll have this settled.’ He opened the door for me.

‘What’ll people think? Their trusty mailman being picked up by the police.’

‘Then let’s really give them something to talk about.’ He kissed me.

‘You’re a tough questioner. By now you should know I’m not hiding anything.’

Back at the house I saw that Willie was in the back of one of the police cars. Carl took me into the back yard.

‘Chief Inspector?’ Carl tapped a tall man peering though the window on the shoulder.

‘Now Margaret, we have to confirm some details. Corroborate some of Miss Griffs’ facts. Show us as best as you remember how you looked through the window.’

I stood on the bench. Tiptoed to crane my head to see over and around the plants in the window.

‘You see the table?’ the Inspector asked.

‘Yes. The sandwiches are still there.’

‘They’re what is called pinwheels?’

‘I suppose. I really can’t see them that well.’ I stepped down.

‘Good, good. Now show us where Miss Griffs was when she spotted the body.’

I hesitated a moment.

‘Oh don’t worry. The body has been moved,’ he reassured me.

I peered through the far edge of the window and moved my head up and down. There was onÙe break in the geraniums that allowed me a direct view of the kitchen floor.

‘Here?’

‘And what do you see?’

‘A bit of the floor, the tile.’ I stepped off the bench.

‘Bring Miss Griffs around,’ He asked Carl. ‘We have to check everything carefully.’

Miss Griffs was more red-eyed than before. Carl carried her basket and handed it with care to the Inspector. The Inspector put on a pair of rubber gloves, lifted the cloth cover and took out one pie and then another.

‘But she didn’t get her pies.’ I was astonished.

Miss Griffs blanched and leapt for the basket. ‘You have no right …’

‘And what do we have here.’ The Inspector took out a bloodied length of pipe.

‘That … that… tramp! He must have put that there when I left my basket on the counter.’ She clutched her hanky to her mouth. ‘I saw her with that Dave next door. I saw him with those roses.’

‘We’d had words about the property line and I said some things I regretted. I came back later to apologize with some roses.’ Dave explained. ‘I already told that to the police.’

‘She was casting her net over you. I know. She’s always been …’

‘Miss Griffs, how well did you know Mrs. Crofts before she moved here?’

‘Not at all Inspector. I didn’t know her at all.’ Miss Griffs blurted out. ‘I didn’t.’

‘According to Willie you did. She told him her maiden name was …’

soon

March 12, Saturday: attending:

spec2016

Toronto-SpecFic-Colloquium

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

hotdamn

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

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

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

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

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

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

loy16

check 2016 Summer arts: loyalistfocus.com

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

chairs

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

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.

Faith

my proof of spirit

I say spirit

because to say God

summons a set of structured restrictions

controls

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

experience

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

receive

 

I have nothing to prove

to anyone

not even myself

 

soon02March 12, Saturday: attending:

spec2016

Toronto-SpecFic-Colloquium

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

hotdamn

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

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

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

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

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

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

loy16

check 2016 Summer arts: loyalistfocus.com

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

sofa

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

Wee Willie

circusboy

I Still Dream of Wee Willie

Wee Willie stomped

the ground in his pen

agitated bellowing

I dashed to see what was going on

my mother reached to hold me back

I eluded her easily

Wee Willie reared on his hind legs

was all the glimpse I got

before my mother’s shawl

covered my head

 

the rose patterned shawl

was the one she used

to cover her crystal ball

the future was to be veiled at all times

so she told her customers

only the hand of spirit

and $10 could move it

 

but in that glimpse I saw

what she was afraid I’d see

was not my future

but Wee Willie pawing the air

with lumbering legs

as he teetered toward Daisy Blue

 

I pushed the shawl away

I had to see if they were fighting

then I saw for the first time

Wee Willie erect

his elephant cock in gory glory

it was huge   enormous

bigger even than that of Herculo

the muscle man

 

Wee Willie clambered

onto the back of Daisy Blue

she was docile  big ears flickered

as she moved her head side to side

his humungous cock got bigger  harder

his weight upon her back

 

I fainted

 

I woke in our trailer

my shoulders ached

under the weight of my dreams

elephant

One of my favourite shows as a child was Circus Boy. The show centred on Toby Tyler and the child actor was cute and even wore his hair like mine at the time. His character was based on a book Toby Tyler which I read & reread longing of that adventure. ‘I Dream’ is my fantasy based on that longing.

This is one of four or five pieces in which I explore being a child growing up in a circus. I’m did world building as I went along and initially it was also a poem of discovery even for me as characters became clearer.

greenpole

The name Wee Willie came to me first and the scene of the agitated, aroused elephant quickly followed. I needed action to get the ball rolling. Mother as fortune teller is a bit of a cliche but I needed the shawl, trapeze artists didn’t usually wear their capes when working around the grounds. The hiding with the shawl is also a way to indicate the age of my hero. If he were in his teens I don’t think the mother would have bothered.

I also like the way I veil the eyes of the reader with it so that they don’t see what is going on until my hero sees it. I also tried to create a sense of real emotional connection between my hero and Wee Willie so the reader could feel his concern. Daisy Blue is another of those names that came easily.

Then the ‘big’ reveal.

weeds01

We do enter the realm of truth here – I have seen, thanks to TV of course – an elephant’s erection: impressive but not pretty. The mention of Herculo is to give my hero a sense of the reality of living in a circus where things are seen as a part of what is around as opposed to as objects of desire.weeds02

The faint leads into the real nature of this memory, of how things we see as children work into our subconscious in unexpected way, that they can reveal to us what we may not even have a name for but feel the weight of all the same.

soon

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

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

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

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

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

wrestwk3

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

elephant

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