Nyro Redux

I first heard a Laura Nyro (1947–1997) song without knowing it was hers. That was Stoned Soul Picnic performed by The Fifth Dimension – then When I Die by Blood Sweat & Tears. These were songs that stood out from the other work by these groups. In Cape Breton her lps weren’t easy find as she had no hits beyond these cover versions. I think my first lps of hers was Smile & Nested – amazing comforting music not as melodramatic as her earlier works.

I have either as mp3 or strand alone: The First Songs 1967, Eli & The 13th Confession 1968, New York Tendaberry 1969, Christmas & The Beads of Sweat 1970, Gonna Take A Miracle 1971, Smile 1976, Season of Lights live 1977, Nested 1978, Mother’s Spiritual 1984, Angel in the Dark 94-95, Essential 2000, Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro 2014.

She started as a powerhouse hits writer, but by her 1970 she was running out of stream & also wanted to move her music is more introspective direction. So there was five year break where she retrench, married, had children, divorced, moved out of New York city & returned to the studio for two of my favourites Smile & Nested – sweet gentle warm music that didn’t sell well. She lost interest in the music business. Settled down with the love of her life, another woman. I’ve blogged about Laura before & she was a music genius the music business couldn’t dictate to & like some others from the them (Janis Ian) she followed her own muse. The Essentials is a great place to start – or get the Fifth Dimensions Hit 🙂

The mp 3 collection also contains: Burl Ives: 20th Century Masters including – Ghost Riders In The Sky – a favourite of my Dad’s which I had to have. A couple by Ian & Sylvia: Nashville – Ballad of an Ugly Man, Full Circle – Women’s World. I loved these when I had them at vinyl. Two of the best Canadian lps you’ll ever have.

More Canadiana with Gordon Lightfoot’s first that included Ribbon of Darkness. Just for fun Donovan: The EP Collection. The Ep format was very popular in Europe – 4 to 6 songs on a small sized 33.3 – some never released on lips & some with different mixes. Finally Myke Mazzei’s Live At Amsterdam Bicycle Club, includes Nobody’s Saviour. This goes back some 10 years ago & it a sweet set by a talented Toronto singer/songwriter. 

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Essex Excess

On two cds of mp3s I have David Essex’s Rock On; Essex; All The Fun Of The Fair (these three I had at one time as lps); Imperial Wizard; Out On The Street; Gold & Ivory; Hot Love. Those first three were played & played. I was totally into this British pop sound, engineering was pristine, writing was inventive, sexy and his voice was great, plus he was sort of cute.

There was a sense of progression in those first three lps & the arraignments become more complex, the lyrics darker. Sadly though he never broke through into the US market – big in Europe he never mad eit big here after his first hit Rock On. I’m not even sure his later lps were released in North American because after All The Fun of the Fair he disappeared. He did have a film & stage career but that didn’t even ripple across the Atlantic.

So when I did the upgrades from lp, to mp3, I did a search to hear what else he had done & frankly, the later releases are competent but not as adventurous. I’m happy to hear them but they are for real fans. Those first three are worth seeking out those.

To round out these cds I’ve added some Canadian pop with Bachman–Turner Overdrive’s II, Not Fragile: fun heteronormative rock by some good old boys. Kiki Dee: best of – good voice, fine songs but not enough personality to break into the US market. Lemurian Congress: experimental electonica by a great Ontario band. Myke Mazzei: Septembering – a great collection by an criminally overlooked Toronto folk rocker – worth searching out.


Mike wasn’t accustomed to this sort of fuss. When he had attended gala film openings with Jack the attention was not on him or even Jack for that matter. He rather enjoyed it.

Each time the waiter came to the table it was under the watchful eye of the owner. The waiter would ask and then the owner would ask. He half expected the cook to be brought out at anytime.

‘You are enjoying this?’ Robert squeezed his hand under the table. ‘They like to please you.’ Robert dropped his voice to a murmur. ‘Almost as much as I like to please you.’

‘Am I blushing?’

‘One cannot tell in the candle light. If you are it suits you. You glow with happiness.’

‘Happiness and wine. I mean the wi-ar-jhra.’

‘Ah yes let there be more wiarjhra.’ Robert nodded to the waiter and another bottle of the thick red wiarjhra was brought to the table. ‘It is very good.’


The restaurant floated around Mike in an amber mist. The pressure of Robert’s hand under the table kept him from floating away. Was he drifting on waves of love, lust or this heady drink.

‘What is made of again?’ his tongue was thick. Was he speaking? Or thinking?


‘I see – mango to make a man go mad.’ Mike laughed at his own joke.

The waiter stood beside him, reached over to take his empty plate. He put his hand gently on Mike’s shoulder. Mike shuddered. He had a vision of the waiter flung across the room violently. Blood everywhere. Parts of his head crushed. More blood.

Mike stood. “I … I …. must …’

He stared at the waiter.

‘The messurs is  this way.’

The waiter pointed to the patio door. ‘If you would follow me.’

Mike walked, steadied by his vision. The effects of the wiarjhra cleared from his head and now were to be cleared from his bladder.

Chapbooks available: http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6



check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

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Spin Around The Editors

I have a stand alone by Editors: An End Has A Start. This is adult pop, I guess, but to tell the truth I cannot remember a single song on it. Another of those sincere, sensitive bands that got great reviews and press that I picked up for $4.99 at HMV. I’ve played it a few times and found them easy enough but clearly forgettable. Next listen & I’ll decide if its toss or keep.

Near it on the shelf is an mp3 collection filed under Edwin. It starts with his Another Spin Around the Sun. A Canadian popster with a pleasant voice, good writing & nicely produced & he even had a hit or two but I never followed beyond this release. On this cd is the cute & forgettable Joe Jonas: Fast Life heterocentric dance sensitive teen pop: every collection needs a dash of hot young thing, right? Another hot young thing, at least hot on the Canadian charts, is Feist. In this set is Metals. Consistent with her work – easy to listen to & sensitive – she’s the hipster Celine Dion. More about her when I get to F. To expand the range on this cd is Tom Waits – Bad As Me: you can’t go wrong with Tom. More about him when I get to W.

Jonas was a nod to modern, as is Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday – energetic, in-your-face, inventive and aggressive. I can’t say I’m a fan but it is good to have. The sound is a bit muddy at points – just too much going on in the mix. The polar opposite is Toronto folk-rocker Myke Mazzei – Fields is a great set of his fine work. Easy on the ear and easy on the eye too. Warm & inviting. Rounding things out is Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto – inoffensive, easy listening. As they went from warmly sensitive to calculated arena rock something was lost in the process – creativity? Not a bad lp but treading water.


His shoes and socks were set out at the foot of the bed, underwear and tee-shirt on the chair. The locations never altered though the exact colour & style of the objects might vary.

Sometimes the shoes were sneakers, other times oxfords, the socks would range in colours as would the tee-shirts and underwear. Within those surfaces changes the usage of the items never changed.

The shoes, for example, would never be worn as gloves. Their use was singular, confined, as it were, to their structure. Though at one time he did attempt to hammer a tack with the hard heel of an oxford.

There, too, were occasions when the tee-shirts would be used to clean up sudden bedroom spills. The nearest dry rag would be grabbed to dab, to cover, to smear away the sticky wickets.

So each object did have multiple uses beyond its designated purpose but, as at this occasion, when there were in these positions their function was unalterable.

Socks, shoes for feet, tee-shirt and underwear for torso covering.

Having these in place for the start of the day made the remainder of the day easier to face. No search in the morning for the right shoes, the clean underwear. Simple. Set out to give less work for the brain.

This routine, this placements of objects for morning use was carried forward into other rooms of the house. Breakfast items were set out before bed. Cereal in bowl, banana ready for cutting, knife and cutting board set on the counter for this duty.

Each little pre-set item to allow for less pressure, for less frantic worry in the morning. No need then to decide what to eat, what to wear, what dish to use. All that had been taken care the night before when the brain was awake, feverish from the day and racing with the countless tasks of preparation for the morning.

The alarm went off. He reached across to the exact point where it was, and turned it off. Ah, the breathing start of the morning ritual. Toe flex point flex point.

Blankets folded off (folded not tossed). They would be left open for the day, to allow the air of night to dispel.

The socks right at the feet as they touch the ground. The underwear within grasp. No stretch.

The bathroom cool and bright, seat up for the first sacrifice to the day. The held-in, sacred night waters to be splashed out into the brilliant white font. Such blessed relief.


Chapbooks available: http://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6


kiss3on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes


June 9-10: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already


check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

August 31-Sept.3 – I have my ticket already



November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



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‘pleasure in the school yard after Noir’

Lizzie Violet hosted the September Cabaret Noir at the Central to a a packed house of people eager to escape the tedium of Tiff red carpet events. A quick round of open-stagers got the show off to  great start. Sarrah October with a sneaky snaky piece about not fitting in: she grew up feeling it was ‘normal to excluded because kids are assholes,’ ‘… accept words at face because you don’t have  a choice.’  Wayne Neon did a fun song ‘She’s the girl in the transparent dress.’ I hit the stage with some creepy pieces to hint at my October set (which may include a lost Twilight Zone episode.)


steps to the school yard?

First feature was the ultra sparkly Melissa Nicole Mather: with some poems about love, family & growth through loss: ’I want to paint you a plane,’ ‘if only I had the courage to make a scene to prevent the obscene,’ ‘the fish felt the floor for pins,’ ‘if it weren’t for you (leaving me) I never would have found myself.’ She ended with a bouncy dream pop synth song that reminded me a lot of Book of Love.

After a break Dan Curtis Thompson with James King gave us a hint of their upcoming production of Scooter Thomas – this glimpse was of two 13-yr-old boys bragging about making sexual discoveries ‘they weren’t made of rubber they were real tits’ ‘you can stop crying & come out of the bushes’


school yard at noon

Next was feature Beth Murch – winner of the the 2015 HotDamn slam (https://www.facebook.com/queerslam?fref=ts) with a seemly effortless set of emotional, funny, articulate pieces about body conformity, religion, sex & city life. ‘you would be my friend if I were fit (not fat)’, ‘F.A.T. Fucking Amazing Tits,’ my body is more than a Wonderland, it’s a Bouncy Castle,’ ‘do I belive in God? do I believe in swimming lessons?’ ‘salvation is the last piece of cake & that’s given to my sister instead,’ ‘the halls smelt like bic pens & ammonia’ ‘he said he’d never leave – he was right because I still find bits of his lies around,’ ‘a language older that words,’ ‘I will give you oral pleasure in the school yard after dark.’ A perfectly structured set that left all wanting more.


school yard at night

After a another quick break for drinks, chapbook sales & smoke ceremonies the last open-stagers started the last set. Arlene Paculan with a new song: ‘you’re deep inside my fantasy.’ James King with a ballad of longing ‘I never knew I could love you – I guess there are some surprises left.’


school yard later at night

Then Myke Mazzei hit the stage. I have heard Myke many times over the years & his stage presence never fails to invite us into his gentle worldview. His deceptively simple guitar playing supports his strong singing. Some of the songs remind of the best of America or Poco. ‘here I am rambling in the dark again,’ ‘like a bruise you can cover it up but can’t take it back, ‘I was wrong to make you cry.’


besides Memory I also read Confirmation (http://wp.me/p1RtxU-1le)


have you forgotten me

black bones in the cluttered attic

satin shoes in the dry basement

the tufts of red hair in the eucalyptus tree

fragments of me to be moved   assembled

each lift of the stain spotted blanket

each a dream in it’s fresh grave

a pinch of thou shalt remember

this bone dust sonata

gives shape each time it is deconstructed

rafters   sugar laces   broken diaries

scopes we scrape together

fleshless ginger ciliate coverings

teach each time we redecorate the dungeon’s view

of a Norwegian countryside cemetery

comfortless in warm midnight allure



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November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo


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Porn Has Ruined My Sex Life

How do I review myself without being subjective, objective or egotistical. Or does that even matter? Poets either idealize or objectify in one way or the other, and sometimes we are capable of a certain cynical detachment that passes for brave honesty.

tracks field of cold dreams

This was my first (& possibly last) time at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club. It is big room – more upscale & corporate than the name implies. Plush banquettes, ornate stained-glass, imposing bar – it has more of a night club feel than I’m used to, say, from the Central or Paupers. Lots of good sight line, good kitchen (loved the Italian sausage & spaghetti.) Good acoustics, too.

cupboard the cupboard is bare

The show started with a range of open-stagers. Lizzie Violet herself kicking things off with poems to resurrect spring; Supertash, with a copy of the SCUM manifesto (I want it) reminding us that everyone is fucked (up); Same Difference: noted slam man, ‘listened to the weather/ not on the radio/ but to the sound of it on his body’; Myke Mazzei did a couple of sweet songs (he also recorded my set); Cate McKim offered note from her notebook: ‘the human race is unsafe at any speed’ & a fine Noel Coward song; Jeff Cottrill did some fun comic monologues; ending with the Crow with some sharp urban street poems.

I hit the stage after a short break. I started with Godzilla – a piece that gets my energy up quick &, I hope, pulls the audience in faster, too. I did a mix of pieces from my last two sets plus some very new things. More romantic than usual but also as out as I am usually without getting too ‘balls in your face’ about it. Ended with two of the more high energy pieces Identity & Born to be Blown.

ruined yet another couch ruined

There was good response to all the pieces, some snaps here & there, laughs where expected. Thank God for the Kindle to keep things moving forward, though I did skip one piece. Nice bit of $ tossed in the pwyc bin. Even sold a couple of chap books. So I actually have a profit (of about $5.) to show once I deduct transportation, meal & paying my sound guy.


One of the new pieces from my set




he wanted to try


sprawled over the back of a couch

something he’d seen

in a porn movie

when it wasn’t as hot

or as easy as it looked

I had to tell him

porn movies aren’t instructional videos

he looked a bit miffed

as if it was our fault

that neither of us could duplicate

the endurance   flexibility

of those performers

I told him

they don’t do single take session

just like real movies

they stop for snacks

to have their testicular make up adjusted

which is even more important

now with everything in HD

I showed him one sequence

where the stunt dick steps in

to fuck the stunt ass hole

that the two actors

he had been so intense upon

had been replaced

for those all important close ups

unless between camera set ups

one of them grew a foreskin

and the other had his ass shaved

he wasn’t assuaged

by these revelations

and once again

porn has ruined my sex life

and my couch

shovel the couch couldn’t take it

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Beware Lake Pinebow


I’ve been presented with online summaries of the highlights of my 2013 by Facebook and WordPress that have missed the mark completely. WordPress gave me statistics and my numbers are so overwhelming for me to even bother reblogging, as they suggested. But I am satisfied with the slowly steady spread of my posts around the world. Facebook splashed lots of pics but missed the big moments as well.

trunksbeware of Cathy Petch

Some of those moments weren’t captured on line but a couple of them where. I did great features at Secret Handshake and Cabaret Noir but my performance highlight has to be Boogie Inferno at Lizzie Violet’s open stage birthday – with Nelson Sobral backing me I tore the roof off the Central and made people see me in a different light as a poet. Sometimes pulling your clothes off is a good thing.

lanewaybeware of speed bump

Getting my day of the dead look on for Cabaret Noir’s Hallowe’en show as also a game changer. Another opportunity to force people to see me in a different way.

bakyardbeware of falling branches

I also heard/saw some great performers and saw them differently now that I am reviewing and really paying attention. I was happy to meet and enjoy Nelson Sobral in his many band personas; also fine things out of Myke Mazzei – plus both of them are easy on the eye. Too many good poets to start picking & choosing though – it was a delight to hear Vanessa McGowen often, Tomy Bewick, Koom Kankesan, Cathy Petch sawing her way into our hearts, and … better stop here or I’ll miss someone in my name-checking.

 soon02June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada


Lake Pinebow 1

come gather around the fire

gather close and snuggle

come gather around the fire

for here we’ll be safe

from the flicker of things in the night

come gather around the fire

I’ll tell you a tale

that you may not believe

but you’ll never forget

perhaps you’ve heard

of the Denizen of Pinebow Lake

you haven’t

we’ll, guess you haven’t been

in these parts before

or if you have

maybe no one had the courage

to tell such a tale

to some as young as you

cause you know it isn’t fair

to place that sort fear

in someone whose

mind hasn’t grown enough

to listen and learn

to know

when the truth

grabs you by the throat

squeezes the very life out of you

so does everyone have their hot cocoa

any one else want another hot dog

the fire will last a little while longer

so I want to tell you the tale

before it goes out

while the warm embers

keep the chill of night

away from your tender young bones

so how many have been

to the shores of Pinebow Lake?

water wasn’t too cold was it

often is this time of year

it never seems to warm up

no matter how hot the summer

this has been a pretty warm one

even I have to admit that

but still the lake stays cool

gather round the fire

for the tale is about to be told

you want a tale don’t you

one that may cool you

as much as the fire warms you

it happened one summer

many years ago

when we became aware of

the Denizen of the lake

not that any have actually seen the Denizen

we sensed it

you know

the way you can

feel something in room

when there isn’t supposed to be anything there

or the way

a face is seen at the window

of an empty house

and is gone before

you can focus on it

that’s what the Denizen is like

we just have the sense

the feeling of it being there

sometimes there is powerful smell

like a log

pulled out from the bottom of  a deep well

that black brackish decay smell

that makes it hard

to smell anything else

for the next day or so

when that smell comes up

from the lake

we know

the Denizen is on the prowl

we’ll hear a gasp

in the middle of night

a calf bawling for its mother

but the calf is never seen

lost a few myself that way

bones sometime sound

on the shore

over by Pine Point

litter along the rocks there

a few small wee bones

bleached white

and we know

it was one of the feasts

of the Denizen

we know

grind the bones

scatter them in the field

to warn the cattle

of what happens

if they feel too safe

now the Denizen has never been seen

foot prints are sometimes found

small and dainty they seem

but with a smudge mark

deep and long

between them

like a long sharp tail

or maybe its the long sharp tooth

that is uses to takes its repasts

so if  you see that mark beware

skybeware Lake Pinebow

How To Become A Damned Beautiful Writer

Host DM Moore’s great trivia questions brought Jane Johnston Schoolcraft to life to make us aware that there we have a rich history of Canadian poetry that pre-dates Atwood and Cohen at the November Damned.

moonmoon at noon

First feature Shawn Syms presented two finely-tuned pieces. His first ‘Deep Inside Rob Ford’ suggested that if Rob Ford would ‘spread his cheeks it might help him to spread his wings.’ Political commentary & no-holes-barred satire – ‘taking it up the asshole isn’t as bad as being an asshole.’ Reminding us all the ‘change starts from within.’ He also read from a short-story of the modern family: gay father, pansexual daughter & a basement boarder with a baby fetish. Delightful.

chairsopen air office

Next up was Mark Martyre. He falls into that unnamable style that is acoustic but not pop, blues, folk or jazz. Sharp lyrics ‘away from the sound of photocopied music,’ ‘all that’s left of my heart in this song.’ Vocally he reminded me of Leon Redbone, Tom Waits & even, if your memory goes that far back, Barry McGuire. His was accompanied on a few songs by the polished guitar playing of Myke Mazzie.

curbcurb appeal

Last up was Lillian Allen with a great set. She brings a great history of spoken word with her and remains as contemporary as any poet today.‘Billie’s lips give color and sound to my own,’ ‘the boy is broken on the sidewalk/ the side walk is broken.’ Her How To Become A Writer is funny, to the point and encouraging: ‘you take care of the quantity/ God takes care of the quality,’ ‘write for yourself/ edit for your reader.’



final NaNo rough draft sample for this year:

Birk hid in a shadow and his eyes adjusted to the dark. He saw Clancy stop to peer around for him. He skirted behind two houses till he was at his own. Peeking out from around the corner he gave a little whistle to let Clancy know where he was.

“Got you, my slippery one.” Clancy grabbed him from behind. “Two can duck around in the dark you know.”

Birk elbowed Clancy into letting loose his grip. He scrambled to the back of the house and out into the field behind it. He stopped by the tree where he did his thinking.

The sky was clear.

“You out here?” Clancy said quietly.

Birk gave another little whistle. Clancy made his way over to the tree.

“Nice view of things from here.” He sipped from his flask.

“Yeah.” Birk took the flask and took the last swallow it. “There’s that empty.”

They leaned against each other shoulder to shoulder.

“We should go fishin’ again soon.” Clancy slurred. He grabbed Birk in another headlock.


Birk grabbed Clancy around the waist to break free and they fell to the ground. Even when Birk broke free of the headlock neither was willing to let go their hold. They rolled in the grass attempting to get the other to submit.

“Say uncle.” Birk grunted as his pinned Clancy beneath him.

“Not until you do.” Clancy heaved and pushed till he was on top once again.

“You may not want to,” Birk wrapped his leg around Clancy and held him between them. “But it sure feels like your little fella is ready to give up the battle.”

“Yours too.” Clancy muttered.

“Not as much as yours by the feel of things.” Birk stopped squeezing with his legs.

He sagged limply on top of Clancy enjoying the closeness, the feel of their hardness trapped in their pants.

“Quick.” Clancy pushed him off, kicked off his shoes and yanked off his trousers. “Don’t want to muss these up anymore than need be!”

Birk did the same, tossing his overalls and shoes in opposite directions. “Ma’s got enough washing up to do with me adding these to the pile.”

Flesh to flesh. Face to face. Clancy spit on his hand and slicked their members as he pulled Birk to press on him.

In a few moments it was over.

They rolled away from each. Clancy’s hand rested on Birk’s hip.

“What do you think of?” Birk asked

“When? Now?”
“Yeah. When we were … rubbing?”

“Can’t say as I think of anything ‘cept what we’re doing. How good it feels and that I want it to last longer.”

“The … spark at the end you mean? I try to hold off but I just can’t.”

“Not just that but all of it. The wrestling, the holding, the …. the closeness of us. Even when you needs a good wash up I don’t mind.”

“You saying I stink?”

“When was the last time you were in the tubs at Mrs. Baxter’s?”

“Last time we was there.” Birk stared up at the stars. It was as if he could count them individually.

He dozed off till Clancy’s snores woke him. His back ached from where he had fallen asleep in the grass. It was still night. He wiped himself as clean as he could with a handful of grass and put his clothes back on while he watched Clancy sleep on the ground. Clancy’s shirt was open and his nearly naked body seemed to glow in the darkness.

“Clancy?” He whispered then repeated louder. “Clancy.” He gently toed him in the soft of his belly. “Clancy.”

Clancy woke with a start. “Wha!”

“It’s Birk, you drunken fool. Get yer pants on afore it rains and washes your little fella away.”

“You taking advantage of me in my sleep.” Clancy joked as he reached for his clothes.

“No more ‘an you do when I’m awake.”

“Were are m’boots?” Clancy pulled on his pants.

“I think I heard one of them hit the tree over there. Don’t know where t’other one ended up though.”

“You’r ma mind if I kip over tonight.” Clancy put on the shoe he had and hopped over to find the other one by the tree.

“Nah. She’ll be happy to see yer smiling face in the morning.”

The next day Birk and his father went to the poll to cast their ballot.

“You comin’ Ma?” Birk asked his mother.

“No. It’s not fittin’ a woman should cast her vote.”

“But it’s allowed. Mrs McD.” Clancy said.

“What’s allowed and what fitting are two different things Clancy Sinclair. I was not one of those who wants women to be able to do everything and anything a man can do. Politics is no place for a woman. No place.”

“Can’t say as I blame you.” Clancy said. “Sometimes it doesn’t seem to be a fitting place for men either.”

Outside the polling station miners were gathered, smoking and talking about who they were going to vote for.

“Even if I wasn’t going to vote for O’Dowell I sure wouldn’t say so in front of these guys,” Birk said to Clancy.

“You can read which one he is on the ballot?” Clancy joked. “Oh right, his soon-to-be missus must have taught you to read that much.”

Birk and Mac went in and came out ten minutes later.

“Pretty simple Clancy. There I was thinking I’d have to write me name down somewhere at least or even O’Dowell’s but all I had to do was mark an X and out it in the box.”

“Just hope that X makes a difference.” His dad said. “Sometimes out with the old doesn’t mean much if the new broom can’t sweep what the old broom couldn’t sweep.”

The next afternoon word was out that it had been a clean sweep of the old government. Birk hoped the new broom would do some good.

Four days later the new premiere was there, in their riding, facing off with Coal Co.

doorsfour doors down


snow bound bike
snow bound bike

New Flash: Very cold in Toronto!! Who would expect it to be cold in January? Other news flash: people are getting sick. A flu epidemic – gasp. Another reason, for me, to avoid public transit like the plague carrier it is. I did come down with a bit of a head cold but getting through it.

Winter means less evening activity for me. When it takes me as long to get bundled up to go out as it does for me to get where I’m going I ask myself – do I really want to go anywhere? How much time do I want to spend sitting around at a readings in my coats sweaters long-johns, winter boots. Most venues are designed for people who don’t have coats to hang up – so there is nowhere to actually put winter wear.

So I haven’t been to a reading since the Damned earlier this month. Plasticine got postponed, Toronto Erotica got canceled (flu struck down our fearless leader). I am determined to get to Q Space Sunday night.

snow shoes
snow shoes

I started in on Lazarus Kiss edits by going over the notes & suggestions I got on the first 30 pages that I submitted for critique to Bloody Words. I haven’t looked at the comments till now. Lots of commas to drop in. I’m expecting to cut enough that I can then add more to the mythos part of the story. I also have notes from the parts I workshopped at Loyalist in the summer – so I’m not flying solo on some of it. I hope to keep it at about 90,000 words when I’m done.

crystal iced
crystal iced

Gearing up for my feature at the end of February. It’ll be an encore of the Brown Betty set I did at the Art Bar, with a few changes. So many people raved about the pieces I felt it was time to do it again. This time I’ll be having Myke Mazzei do a sound recoding of it, plus I hope to get a video of the set. Time for some new YouTube clips.

ice crystals
ice crystals

Jim Croce (sans porn’stach)

Reluctantly pushed myself away from my NaNo cage match to get out to The Beautiful and The Damned Thursday (Nov10) night at Zelda’s.

Trasharella hosted a great line-up – herself fresh from a police line-up in connection with a recent occupation at Holts. Channeling Odetta and Judy Garland she sang a couple of songs. I didn’t realize that the Don Jail was so good for the vocal cords.

nice hat
nice hat

First feature Heather Woods read from her two books – she captures the frenetic action  of roller derby so well I wanted to dig out my old skates (yeah sure, as if I’ve ever been on roller skates). Sonia Di Placido treated us not only to real cake but some fine samples of her work in ‘Vulva Magic’ and her up coming ‘Cadmium Red.’ She recently unearthed a Remembrance Day piece she wrote at the age of 13.

Music feature Myke Mazzei closed the show with a lively set of originals & covers. I’ve heard Myke a few times now & always enjoy his stage presence, talent & sideburns. On stage he has Jim Croce (sans porn’stach) vibe – open, warm and sense that he enjoys what he’s doing.

I picked up his cd “Fields’ recorded with ‘The Mod Villains’ – which has more of a Neil Yonge feel to it. Good sound quality. Strong material & who knows a Juno might be in his future. Good to have ‘Been Thinkin’ to replay at my leisure. Catch him if you have chance.

the red guitar
the red guitar

I have to confess that I made notes about my NaNo project while waiting for the show & even while performers were on stage. I did hit the open stage and read a short passage from my NaNo project this year.


 deeply seated