Malo Zouk and More

Malo dominates this mp3 collection of world music. I was a big Santana fan (still am) & thanks to that developed a liking for latino music. Malo is a Spanish group out of San Francisco . I have Uno, Dos, Evolution, Ascención, & Celebracion (singles). The first two I had when they were first released. The others added much later when it was time upgrade from lp to mp3.

Not as ‘acid’ guitar driven as Santana & with horns I love this band. More traditional & laid back they were a good introduction to world music. The lps progressed but never deviated far from their roots. Sometimes political but mostly romantic & always interesting. If you aren’t familiar start with Uno.

In this collection are The Boyoyo Boys: Back In Town (1982). The Boys are a four-piece band from Soweto, South Africa. Their sound is Mbaqanga music which  blends jazz and African musical traditions. Think bouncy & energetic. Similar is found on Hurricane Zouk: 1992 Zouk is a musical movement in the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. I don’t recall how I come across Boyoyo but I found Zouk on the $1.00 shelf as the 2nd hand record/book store that used to be around the corner from the Greenwood Subway station. 

Joan Manuel Serrat is a Catalan musician. here is his 1992 Utopia. I was introduced to his music when I was manager at the Lab On Britain St. (now gone). A theatre collective of guys from Mexico, Argentina & Brazil used ‘real’ latin music before their shows. The guys were sweet & the music was wonderful. Serrat is more mellow but enjoyable. Less mellow is Vox Dei (Argentina). A prog-rock band & here I have their concept lp La Bible (original version). When we get to ‘V’ you’ll hear more about them.

Finally on this cd is Homeland: Black South African Music. A fun collection that is a mix of tribal, pop & jazz. I found this first at the library & love dit enough to eventually down load a copy for myself. It is a great collection & also a fine introduction to African world music. I often wonder if American pop is considered world music in South Africa or Brazil?

Their Dreams Unfulfilled

I went back up to my room. Parents can be so weird at times, even though I had changed, they had left it pretty much what it had been like when I was in high-school. Maybe that was when they were happiest with me. When I was still the boy who would grow up to eagerly fulfill their dreams of the perfect heterosexual son.

I had taken much of my furniture with me when I finally left home for university in Toronto. They merely dragged back what had been stashed in the basement – the desk I sat at when I slaved over my homework, my old narrow single bed.  What a fight we had when I wanted to get rid of it for a larger one. Mom was sure a bigger bed would take up too much of the limited space in the room. She was right but at the time I wasn’t giving in an inch. 

The oak frame had a new mattress on it though. The old frame had been sanded lightly but some of my carving still remained as reminders of time frittered away. Initials of girls I now don’t remember, in little hearts, with mine. Maybe some boys though, as then I didn’t know better, or maybe couldn’t admit what I sort of suspected.

DM had to be Darla Matheson. The only reason I remember her or even went out with Darla was because her older bother, Mitchell, mesmerized me with his smile. I could still see his face so clearly while her’s a blur in a yearbook.

“We’re shutting the water off.” My Dad called up to me.

“Okay.” 

I’d arrived a two days ago. After driving non-stop for almost 24 hours I’d slept most of the next days and I wanted a day of vegging in the old homestead before taking on the city but this was pushing me out sooner than I’d planned. 

Outside I looked over the house, the garden. It had been over five years since I’d been home last. Trees were bigger.

“You want a lift anywhere?” My Dad opened the car door.

“No. thanks. I’ve had enough driving for awhile. Think I’ll just take a stroll.”

“Enjoy. Some of us have to work you know.” He laughed.

I watched from front steps as he drove away.

I walked to the corner and stood for a minute to look in each direction. One way was the walk to my grade school, another direction to my high-school and a third, the direction towards downtown. Which set of unfulfilled dreams did I want to tackle first?


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees. Thanks paypal.me/TOpoet 

Mompou and Revueltas

I find music in unexpected places. A few years ago I watched the excellent Spanish movie Cría Cuervos (Ana Torrent and Geraldine Chaplin). In it Chaplin is a pianist & she plays an etude over and over. The credits listed Frederico Mompou as the composer. I did a search & easily found the etude in a collection of his complete piano works, played by the composer himself. I also found the pop song by Jeanette that is featured in the film.

Mompou’s piano music is charming, playful, at times a little sentimental. Some reminds me of Gershwin’s etudes, a touch of Satie. There is, as one would expect, a distinct Spanish flavour to much of it with pieces that are variations on folksongs, dances, Chopin. I was happy to discover classical world music.

To this mp3 collection I added some work by Mexican modern composer Silvestre Revueltas – Music de Feria: a set of his string quartets & Troka: various orchestra compositions. I came across ‘Feria’ as 2nd hand cd at a store that was once around the corner from me on the Danforth. I enjoy string quartets & this intrigued me. Troka is a download when I wanted more of his work.

 

Both collections reflect rather than replicate his Mexican heritage. Energetic in some pieces, mellow in others. Clearly modern but not atonal. Rich harmonies, sweet melodies, & appealing. It is refreshing to find, in both cases, Latino composers who aren’t mariachi homages. There is an amazing range of excellent classical music outside of standard repertoire – these are two great composers to widen your horizons.

Plotless Outline

When I was turning twenty-three life was a lost treasure that I no map for, futility seemed a nice, kind way of looking at it – why bother – but I was driven at the same time to bother. A Doors song was my theme ‘music is your only friend’ and I believed that – I was a little town queer who felt isolated and threatened.

Lucky I wrote a lot – driven to expresses something. Though I never knew exactly what is was I wanted to say – I kept trying to say it. I had some booze buddies, musicians and poets. Smoked a few joints with them and hung out in my family’s basement. I had a room there decorated with Beatles posters, my paintings – art getting the inner out some how.

Drunken, near blackout fits of sex. Oops, what did we do last night, sort of stuff. Seeking and not connecting with anything other than the shame of being what I was with no one to share that with.

I became more eccentric as years went on but the patterns were really set then. The things that I held closest to me: music, books, paintings all around me. My writing and some friends who were more extensions of my fears & wants than companions.

Got a job at Famous Players thanks to the mother of my best friend Howard. Flo was box-office there & that was to be my position, it quickly became assistant manager & candy boy. Made lots of pop corn.

Gave me a steady income and some sense of being functional. Added at the same time to my sense of not fitting in. I think that was a big thing for me then, wanting to be like the others yet not wanting to be like the others. Wanting acceptance without wanting to conform to some pattern.

The year before I got the job hadn’t been that bad or good, aimless and pretending I was looking for some job to steady my Dad’s need to see me working and out of the house.

The folks were never that approving of my writing or painting – like many, they figured that stuff was only good if it made one lots and lots of money. Sex wasn’t discussed at all and I didn’t know how to go about telling them I was queer. It wasn’t till I was ready to leave the Cape many years later that I told them. Not that it was such a shock mind you.

Looking back I really didn’t know how to establish myself as a man, as an adult. Booze was one of those adult things but I felt I had to hide how much I drank & how often. Sad, but true. All those secret nooks and crannies.

Most of which had no real outlet then and there. Little was I to know what the journey of my future was to hold. But I survived wanting to wake up dead, wanting to end the confusion and pain and made it past 23 and even past 24 and finally here I am.

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6


http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday 2019


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

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2019’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

 

Clowning Afound 

Taking photos on my walks keeps me from picking up objects – if it weren’t for my camera I’d be a hoarder – instead I hoard images. Yet sometimes I succumb – usually something not too large or not too far from the end of my walk. I have bought home a few framed photographs, needle points & even oil paintings.

Over the past month or so I’ve been longing for a circus clown polka dot shirt – maybe because I’ve been watching AMH Freakshow. I imagined dots of various colours & sizes on a background of circus yellow – subtle & to me, right.clown01

So on my walk this past Monday (Aug 1, 2016) when I spotted this box of yard sale un-solds I stopped to take a picture of it. One of the ‘objects’ on my list of things to take pics of is stuff in boxes. I picked the clown for a close up & continued on my way. Then I was drawn back to take the clown. I don’t have any clown memorabilia cluttering my shelves. Plus the colour were spot (or is that dot) on.clown02

Like some of the other pieces in the box it turned out to be a piggy bank. It looked ceramic but was actually paper mache. It had coins in it! I did not check any of the other banks. This was the one that spoke to me. I didn’t take time to shake the money out until I got home.clown03

Seven Mexican $1 coins: 1982, 1993, 1994 (2), 1995, 1997 (2). I make note of the dates because they are all pre-2000. There is a story here. I don’t know if they are still legal currency.clown04This is how the universe often responds to my random longings – not with the direct fulfillment of me finding that clown fabric shirt in a store window at a price I can afford – to be honest $ wouldn’t enter into that equation – but it responds with a sideways opportunity that brings something in my creative life that I wasn’t really looking for – the layers of fun of discovery.clown05

It now sits in my front porch happy at the shoulder of my ultimate creative spirit totem.samp02

a circus memory

Wee Willie 

money

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

Mi alcance de todo el mundo

WPFeb

My reach around the world – more precisely my WordPress reach around the world. One of the great features of WP is this Top Views by Country, where I can tell what countries have looked at my posts going right back to when I first started it. That the USA & Canada top the most frequent list comes as no surprise. But that Brazil has claimed the 3rd spot for the last year has been unexpected.

wires

the wired corner

What the stats don’t tell me is who has looked, only where they are from, or perhaps where their server is from? That isn’t totally clear to me nor do I really care. I do wish I knew how some of these readers found the blog in the first place.

But to have so many readers from Spanish/Portuguese speaking areas pleases me: Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Costa Rica. Mexico, Columbia, Chile, Guatemala – hola. Drop me a line – google translate will tell me what you say 🙂

blackfile

the cold case files

What always surprises, almost shocks me, is getting hits from China (with how controlled the Internet is there). Russia is 5th on the list for February – with queer life so suppressed, repressed there I am amazed anyone would take the risk to look at my blog. Places where you can be jailed for writing poetry, let alone having same sex sex. Those brave Africans in Zimbabwe, South Africa – wow!

sky

the unwired sky

To get the map graphic I do a screen picture, trim it down some, cut & paste the info to take up less space. Also edit out the number of hits – where is more important that how many, right. But the darker the colour the more hits from that place. I’d love to see more places the color of Brazil & love to see Brazil as red as Canada.

Maybe when I win the lottery I can line up lunch dates with these total strangers & find out what keeps bringing them back to my postings.

samples

The Scope of Things

Dave got a telescope

for his thirteenth birthday

it needed a tripod to hold it up

if the screws weren’t tight enough

the heavy head would drift down

he showed me how to focus on stars

the faces of the moon

people’s roofs living rooms

to see what they were watching on TV

prying spying was sneaky fun

 

when we looked at the Milky Way

I would hum the Star Trek theme

we made notes of constellations nebulas

when we came to Earth

we had no guides for these creatures

observed from our ufo

as it hovered unseen

peering into their windows

as they shuffled from living room to kitchen

sat on the floor to eat chocolate ice cream

directly from the carton

scratched their private parts

which was about as exciting

as those dull humanoids ever got

never found an open bedroom curtain

or some flash of undressed flesh

 

for my thirteenth birthday

I got a microscope

to prepare me for science in school

Dave and I took turns looking at trapped squiggles

water had uncountable live darters

snot was creepy

our shit swarmed with so many  things

I had to wash and wash afterward

I had to do my sperm

in secret

again

I had to wash and wash afterward

 

we tried the microscope

through the telescope

puzzled by things so far

we couldn’t touch them

so small we couldn’t feel them

wondering where did we fit in

soon1

March 7 – Saturday – attending – 2015 Toronto SpecFic Colloquium – Round Venue, 152A Augusta Ave., Toronto

specfic

http://chiseries.ticketleap.com

March 26 – Thursday 8 pm – Judging – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam – Supermarket – 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto

hot

April 26, 2015 – Sunday – 2-5 – Featuring – The Secret Handshake Gallery – 170 Baldwin Ave., 2nd floor, Toronto.

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

loylab

Loyalist Workshop is the real deal

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

noiroc15

 

foggy

foggy wires

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

thanks