King Kooba and Friends

For a time, at the turn of the century, I was picking up British music magazines that had cd samplers. It was a great way of finding new music. This was where I first heard Coldplay before they exploded. The problem was, then, that finding this music beyond the sampler was nearly impossible. Things change. I can use YouTube to check out new stuff. Or use iTunes to sample. 

 

One magazine I like was Revolution. On their Dec. 2000 sampler was a track by King Kooba that I loved but finding the cd was impossible. I went into HMV, Sams etc & asked & no one ever heard of the band, whatever. Now, thanks to iTunes I have King Kooba’s Nufoundfunk, Indian Summer as part of an mp3 collection. Kooba is an electronica DJ duo from UK – the tracks are samples plus ‘new’ music. Often full of yearning & always emotive & transporting. Check them out.

 

Also in this collection are Giorgio Moroder’s Knights in White Satin, From Here To Eternity – old school disco by a grandmaster engineer, writer. Knights is a bit cheesy but fun, Eternity is great background sex music. The retro vibe in this collection continues with Bjork’s Debut – Venus as a Boy is a great song. I enjoy the lp but I’ve never become a Bjork fan. Also retro is OMC (Otara Millionaires Club): How Bizarre. Out of New Zealand this is a band I’d never heard of before until someone posted OMC video in my tumblr feed. Fun dance music.

A bit more modern is St. Vincent. I kept reading about her, so downloaded: David Byrne & St. Vincent: Love This Giant – modern Talking Heads & interesting. Also her self titled St. Vincent. Both are solid pop lps but nothing really grabbed me. I do enjoy them when I hear them. I can hear OMG’s hit in my head but nothing by St. Vincent comes to mind.

Also modern is Blood Orange (aka Devonté Hynes) out of the UK: Cupid Deluxe. Fine r’n’b with some electronica touch with a strong Steve Wonder feel. Finally in this collection, as a complete departure, is Toronto’s I Hate Todd: The Moves Pt. 1 which includes Zombie Love. This is one of the many bands with Nelson Sobral on guitar with & thus is excellent. Search them out too.

Apartment Living

“Have you lived here long?” Juan snuggled beside me on the sofa.

“You mean this apartment or …”

“We can start there.”

“Why this interest in how long I’ve been here.”

“It’s called making conversation.”

Juan wasn’t making conversation, I knew, but looking for context connection something more than the physical flash that drew us together.  I enjoyed being with him and wouldn’t mind having it go on indefinitely but at the same time didn’t really want an emotional mire to get in the way of that.

“I was born here. Grew up in the east end.”

“A native! That’s a rare beast in a city where everyone is from somewhere else.”

“I know. I do try to keep a low profile about that so as not scare the newcomers. And you?”

“An Alberta prairie boy. Not quite fresh of a farm but pretty close to it. Couldn’t wait to get from there to here. Been here about five years now.”

“Cordoso is certainly a prairie name.”

“Third generation. My grandparents immigrated from Peru.”

“To Alberta?”

“Alberta needed doctors.”

“I see.”

“You’ve been in this apartment quite a while to accumulate  all these things. My place is a bed and a computer, not even a dining nook. No time yet to really move in. I didn’t take the place expecting to be there this long, so keep putting off settling in.’

“That why we always end up here to hang out?”

“Always? Three dates so far. Hard to call that always. If you like prison cells we can go to my place. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. Functional furniture only a bed …”

“The computer on a TV tray? Yeah, I know. Not even an xbox?”

“Not for me. I sleep, I wash, I get out of there.”

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

January

Thursday 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

March
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies andBbad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Garland Jeffreys

I can’t remember when I first heard Garland Jeffreys. One of my friends in Sydney had picked up an lp or maybe I’d bought one on spec at Woolworth’s in their rack of deleted lps. Or I might have even read a review in Rolling Stone. But he is a memory from my Cape Breton life. I have now in an mp3 collection Guts for Love; Rock & Roll Adult; Don’t Call Me Buckwheat.

He was more a cult favourite than a big pop star. More of a Warren Zevon than a Jackson Browne – who were also making ripples at this time. Jefferys’ sound was somewhat different though. More soulful, dash of reggae  Tough songs about love, politics & race. A direct influence on Lenny Kravtiz. Rock & Roll Adult is an amazing live album. Cool Down Boy about his physically abusive father is powerful.

Like many of my mp3 collections this one spans time & genres. So it also has Frank Ocean’s Channel ORANGE. Hop-hop artist with a queer vibes that is sonically dense but none of the songs really grabbed me. Same with Bruno Mars: Unorthodox Jukebox – radio friendly pop. I enjoy this sort of disposable music from the likes of Mars or even the Jonas brothers. Romanic, r’n’b lite. 

Here as well is a Toronto indie band Melting Pot: Cancel Everything. Grounded by the guitar of Nelson Sobral this is solid rock that is well produced, engineered & fun. Finally another throw back with a sort best of collection of The Left Banke: There’s Gonna Be A Storm. A brilliant 60’s group that didn’t hop the psychedelic bandwagon & produced some great songs. Their mix of strings, harpsichord & rock is refreshing, clearly a precursor to the chamber pop of Antony and the Johnsons.

Pain

‘Is there pain after death?’ Tom looked over to Frank. ‘That’s what we’re here to find out, isn’t it?’

‘Not entirely. But that’s a good notion to work with. I doubt if there is pain after death, with no attachment to the nerve endings, no corporal presence to to be connected to, there is nothing to feel the pain.’

‘Physical pain but what about emotional pain, spiritual pain?’

‘Spiritual pain? Have you ever felt spiritual pain?’

‘Yeah. It’s a restless emptiness that can’t be filled with people, places or things. When I use them to sooth that pain, it only gets worse. The spiritual remedy is the only one that has helped.’

‘Well, we are certainly in a philosophical frame of mind this morning.’

‘Must be my Season of Change. ‘What has been started, continues in each of us, even if we don’t know it.’ ’

‘That’s from Dr Melburton’s book?’

‘I think so. It what made me come with you. To find out what there was to find out here.’

‘So you believe there is a power here.’

‘Here, there and everywhere. Hiding. Always hidden.’

‘Only we don’t know what we might find.’

‘We know what we hope to find. That’s a start isn’t it.’

‘And we hope to find out if there’s pain after death?’

‘Something like that. I’ve felt something around me since we heard that chant. You have too haven’t you Frank?’

‘I suppose. Seems the air is more humid today.’

‘Rainy season is creeping up.’

‘The dead are just hiding and we are seeking them.’

‘What?’

‘Something my Dad once told me. He said they have passed beyond mortal sight.’

‘As if life were hide and seek … I kind of like that image. They’ve merely hidden and we may never find them.’

‘Oh, we’ll find them. The harder we seek the sooner we’ll find them.’

‘Then perhaps we’d better stop looking so hard.’ Tom laughed uneasily. ‘I don’t think I’m ready to …’

A flash of lightening was followed by a nearby clap of thunder. The drinking glasses on the bathroom sink rattled.

‘Very close.’

‘I have come to protect you?’

They turned and the leader of the boys they had seen two nights ago stood on the balcony of their room. His body streaked with raw, red paint, daubed with splotches of red, white and yellow. He was naked.

There was another ground shaking crash of thunder. The rain started. Heavy. Thick rain that darkened the room.

The boy stepped into the room and collapsed on the bed.

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

every Tuesday 2019

July

Stratford Festival – Nathan The Wise

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 

September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

 

Being For the Benefit of Mr. K

kyposter

A packed, generous house at Glad Day Books made for a night of spirit lifting & reassurance for my friend Kyle Andrews & his dog Duke, after the destruction of their apartment by fire. Everyone was effected by this show of support by strangers for strangers, as it was the first time some of the performers had met Kyle, as well being the first time I’d met some of the performers.

coat hairy coat

I kept the talent lineup simple, even turning down some who had volunteered to perform. Too many performers makes for a less focused show, I thought. I’d rather four great songs by a great band than four great songs by four different performers. Plus less time getting people on & off stage.

All the performers respected my request not to do cover versions of Disco Inferno, Light my Fire, Burning Down The House, You Started a Fire, Ashes to Ashes or any songs by Arcade Fire.

whitesink that sinkless feeling

Allen Rex started & ended the show with his rocking, folk, queer and energetic songs. Duke made his stage debut with tricks only dog can do, then Kyle read some poetry about recovering from the fire. Renee’s rewriting of pop songs was hilarious, sharp & well sung, too. NorthStar were sweet, emotive in their two sets. Their take on Sugar Sugar gave me chills (you know who can pour his sweetness all over me anytime 🙂 ) Arelen Paculan wowed us with a couple of great songs but had to scoot to another gig, leaving us wanting more.

Cate McKim kicked off the second set with her direct from the heart a cappella songs – After the Gold Rush gave us all chills.  NorthStar did another couple of excellent songs. Paul Bellini arrived to do Yoko proud. Allen Rex wrapped the show on a high note. Many left wishing they were ‘skinny white boys.’

Spoken word performances were good too: Lizzie Violet give a different kind of chill, as did DS Campbell with a section of his twitter feed zombie novel. I reached into the raunchy bag to some of my pieces to make sure there wasn’t a dry seat in the house.

clothes

cleaning out sale

The raffles were a great success. Letting people pick the prizes they were interested in meant that the six-packs of gay porn went to good homes. It was curious to note that the ‘mature man’ porn pack had a handful of tickets whereas the six-pack of twink porn had the most number of tickets. Gift cards for Fresh Burger, Cara Foods, Glad Day all proved to be popular.

Money was raised but more importantly sprits were raised. It was powerful to see diverse strangers come together to support someone in their struggle, and do so gladly and happily. Pics of the event Fun at out of the fire

one of the pieces I read – WP sometimes does weird things to line breaks 😦

What I Did For Sex

let him think I was falling in love
brought flowers
pretended to be drunk
said I’ve never done anything like this before

walked endless blocks at 3 a.m. in pouring rain

flew from one coast to the other

said yes when I meant to say maybe
said maybe when I meant to say no
said no till the first kiss
didn’t shower for three days as requested

lied about my age

agreed to let him take pictures

pretended to be straight
watched a direct to dvd Steven Segal comedy

‘wading pool paratroopers 2’

pretended to believe he was straight l

istened to music I hated – Diana Krall

wore knee high athletic socks

apologized when it wasn’t my fault

watched hetero porn with him –

‘The Breastler’

spoke tres mauvais French

let him take my socks off with his teeth

ignored the kitty litter underfoot
put my feet in his face
took showers together

exclaimed it’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen

let the dog stay in the room
stood in smokey bars for endless hours
let him think I wasn’t falling in love

nelboots these boots were made for rocking’ someone’s world 🙂

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

“Frisky The Snowman”

After a frustratingly delayed start up, Lizzie Violet co-hosted with Romeo Satin the December Cabaret year end show & it was a full-house fundraiser for The Street Store! The night was warehouse of Christmas crackers going off for three hours with brief stops for raffles.

The started with a line up of open stagers including great music from Cate McKim (a blessing we call count) & Supertash – her love’s gonna get ya. First feature was Teige Reid channelling Rory MacFadden: a rowdy drunken Scot whose poetic rant roved from ‘shagging the widow at the wake’ to ‘decomposing from the inside out because Jesus Christ didn’t believe in replaceable parts.’ His energy and timing was perfect as he kept the packed house laughing and stomping. Loved his definitions: politics: ‘poly’ means many, ‘tics’ are blooding sucking pests.

bugs

east end wild life

Next up was NorthStar with a 4 song set (hey, perfect length for a live ep). Shikha and Nelson are a June Carter & Johnny Cash for this decade. The songs were fresh takes on love, loss – ready to become classics. ‘I’m struggling every day to put out the fire’ ‘we put ourselves together piece by piece.’ Sweet emotive and performed with conviction. NorthStar is: Nelson Sobral (Melting Pot & The Celebration Army) and Shikha Sehgal (Shikha) Get their single https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/troubadour-single/id942739611

scales tipping the scales

After a brief break Dottie Dangerfield did a room warming traditional striptease tribute to Gypsy Rose Lee, even doing her own singing to ‘Let Me Entertain You.’ Red hair, red goves and an animal print gown she gave us traditional with a hot flare. Unfortunately for the audience I was up next with some of my less revealing Dolly Dinty pieces. Which allowed the audience to cool down & catch their breath for the final feature.

net

the net effect

Rando Bando did a raunchy, seasonal and energetic set. Rando looking supper club dapper in tux and bow tie, his backup singers play too big a role to be called backup singers: Bianca Boom Boom & Sassy Rae – were in sparkling festive gowns that appeared to be sprayed on. Frosty became Frisky the Snowman to the Ventures take on the tune – ‘he’ll give you free snow cone from his pants’ ‘talk about blowing snow.’ They were the perfect end to a great night.

For event pics see https://www.facebook.com/events/743240899058830/ & https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.403073426518171&type=3&l=2181a24ea7

sample

one of the Dolly Dinty pieces is here: http://wp.me/p1RtxU-Z5

one of the Dolly Dinty pieces I didn’t read at Noir:

Arts und Krafts

Kind readers one thing that I neglected to mention in my wee report yesterday was the Arts und Krafts display at St. Sufferer’s Cathedral’s Fun Fair. Like many of you I have seen my share of knitted booties for rifle stocks and candle holders made out of elephant dung but there were some very fine pieces from the near by College of Arts and Reconstructionist Designers of Palmixalitato County.

I am well aware of the rivalry that has been going on between the students in that county and our own but remember we did trounce them the last three years in the Provincial Open Court Peach Pit Curling Play Off. So we can afford to allow them to excel at something and excel they did at the Fun Fair.

There were many charming crystallized bones pieces from the Anatomy of Design classes there. I was particularly taken by the crystallized moose bone reproductions of the Departments of the Cross that one Leslie Ann Marie Betty McDellon had created.

I can’t imagine what sort of skill it takes to do such fine work but I can certainty respect the work that it took.

Also many were charmed by the spiderwood furniture Gregh O’Treple has wrought there. A sturdy rocking chair with a fine webbed seat and back was very comfortable to sit in for long periods of time. He hopes to follow in the family footsteps and may be opening his own furniture and restraints shoppe right here in Crab Apple Corners. He will surely be missed in Palmixalitato County. But their mystery is always our gain.

Another feature of the Fun Fair that cannot be neglected was the food pavilion. Over 20,000 were seated at one time for a fine feeding of Trish Creamly’s delicious sprung bark toffee pie. Trish you have out done yourself this year. Just save that recipe for my wedding reception. I know if you keep your hands on the crust you’ll keep them off my man – just kidding folks.

The children at the Fun Fair were also treated to a production by the local Armature Theatre Guild. They performed tragic scenes from various plays. The beheading of John the Baptist brought the crowd to their feet and kudos must go to Hank Grebly who did a fine job in the title role of that piece.

snowman

feeling frisky?

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

How The Damned End

The Beautiful and the Damned had a good run starting at Zelda’s, then Glad Day Books, Q Space & finally The Central. Over its few short years the series brought a rich variety of spoken-word & music to the stage. From James Ince to Spencer Butts to Marcia Rogers, to name-drop but a few. Musically diverse it introduced musicians from Kat Leonard to Rex Baunset to Nelson Sobral to spoken-word audiences.

fog03 mist in the Whispering Woods?

The final show of the series was hosted by Brenda Clews, with fun Poe trivia supplied by John Oughton. Spoken feature was the urbane, comic & tres gay J.P. Larocque. He did two powerful, insightful, funny & in your face queer pieces. Both combined explicit sex with the ironic counter-point of the mundaneness of daily life – in one piece he explores the mutual negianegationstions of a couple at a bathhouse – wanting to be sexually adventuresome while at the same time preoccupied with financial planning. ‘I am no longer the youngest one at the orgy’

His second piece took us to the under-lit confines of washroom sex – ‘… more hopeless that a men’s washroom on Friday afternoon.’ Again he easily mixes the erotic amidadmistst the ordinary. Sharp writing, that reminded me of Conner Habib’s clear eyed take on queerness.

fog02 what lies beneath the surface?

Music feature Amoeba Starfish has graced the Damned stage before & also featured with them at Pride a few years ago. Elegant, trippy, thoughful zen jazz that works effortlessly with spoken-word performers and stands equally engaging on its own. I might be biased as I do I have several of their recordings in my collection.

fog01 red eyes of the besat?

Although I’m saddened to see the Damned come to an end I’m not sorry to have it out of the Central – the wrong spot for a spoken-word show – at times it felt like listening to the performances while trapped in an MRI machine with earplugs on – loud house music, louder band downstairs – as volume was upped for readers, volume was upped else where to compete.

soon

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com

expo hair

why so sad? No Buffy reunion panel at FanExpo 2014

October 19 – feature – Cabaret Noir – Pinebow pine2https://www.facebook.com/events/1651892755035275/

samples

I hit the open stage with another glimpse of my October set:

Pinebow 2

has anyone seen Brad?

he was here last night

remember how he screamed

when we told tales

around the campfire

last night

has anyone seen Brad

he shouted with fear and delight

said he wouldn’t be able to sleep without a light

has anyone seen him

I saw him go down to the lake

he took a canoe

rowed into the mist

now Jeff are you sure

that’s what you saw

because all the canoes are there now

not one’s missing

has anyone seen Brad

he has a talent for hiding

that’s for sure

he went missing last week

for two whole days

till we found him then

sleeping in the crook of an oak tree

as tidy and warm

as could be

up so high and deep

in the Whispering Woods

out near Pine Point

perhaps we should look

for him there

he could be pulling another of his stunts

just to teach us a lesson

to make sure we don’t scare with such tales

as you told last night

I saw him go to the smoke shed

he wanted a sausage 

he felt so hungry and weak

he needed a snack before he went to bed

now Olaf that can’t be so

we don’t use the smoke shed

for the summer

that’s for the fall

as you well know

or in the spring

when we run the maple syrup off

perhaps he’s gone there

looking for what is left 

there’s always some dribs and drabs

of that sweet sugar to be found

if you look hard enough

if you scrape under the ground

the black sweet blood of the earth

you don’t say

that’s news to the counsellors and I

so let’s go to the smoke shed

perhaps we’ll find what

we need to find there

as they approached

they saw a strange trail

footprints

small and dainty

hollow and round

with a smudge mark deep

between them

like a long sharp tail

we can’t go in there

the boys shouted as one

we can’t go in there

the Denizen is there

that’s what’s happened to Brad

the Denizen has gotten him

eaten him up

smoked with maple syrup

we know

we can tell

you warned us

the smell of death is in the air

they stood silent

in a circle around the smoke shed

none willing to to take a step forward

the door swung a little in the breeze

they all jumped back

a bell rang

six rapid clangs

ah there breakfast ready boys

we’ll leave this till later

Brad is bound to show up

he’s hoping to give us

another merry chase

another merry chase

which we won’t give into

as a whole

they rushed to the mess hall

hot steaming plates of food were ready

rice crispy squares

scrambled eggs

crisp bacon

pancakes

French toast

home made sausages

cornflakes

poached eggs

Belgian waffles

fresh milk

yellow butter

and ladles of maple syrup

syrup to wash everything down

to make the boys

fat and pump and round

as plump and fat and round

as Brad

river01 river of syrup?

wpjl14

‘the brawl of the kiss’

Noir’s spring show was a veritable shower of talent that was barely contained by the Central stage – in fact at points it wasn’t. Feature Regina Dentata, did three teasing burlesque routines at 3 different points during the evening – making sure the audience temperature stayed high. The first two were in her modern dance style – sinuous and expansive – pulling us in with opened-eyed teasing, exiting through the audience on the first. The second had black ribbons magically appear to add a hint of bondage. Her finale was a traditional reveal – cape, stunning gold gown, a laced up corset that had to be unlaced to be removed. The traditional reveal could have gone a little longer for my liking.

bag punching bag out cold

Next was Jezebel Beelzebub Bells, a persona piece by Adam Abbas. Bells is the archetypical beat poet with sunglasses, beret & mock black turtle next, all that was missing was someone on bongos. Adam captures the pretentiousness & arrogance of a self-satisfied poet who knows how to dis better than he can write. Though Adam is too good a poet to write verse as bad as he thinks Bells would write. It was a fun Andy Kauffmanesque performance piece.

looted Unlooted mitten

Last up was Nelson Sobral aka Melting Pot. I’ve seen & reviewed him many time before. A member of too many bands to list, he always gives an emotionally appealing performance. In fact he didn’t wait – singing & playing off stage during the breaks. A true spot-light slut he a sweet stage presence. His crisp quitar playing is deceptively simple and his vocals are strong, direct while never over-singing to sell a song. Loved his cover of Little Feat’s Roll’em Easy.

barrel snow crystal ball

There was a stellar set of open stagers through out the show. Great sound assistance from the Central staff. Next month’s Noir features Nik Beat, Giraffe & Vicki Laufer. Photos of the show: fb.me/38Tg3Q1eu

coming

June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont https://www.facebook.com/events/589522924455695/

room bed of dreams at Loyalist

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com

pineoct

samples

from the Make Spoken Word Go Viral prompt –  ‘a favourite quote.’

‘the brawl of the kiss’

Dylan Thomas

I can’t say what I mean

because if I say what I mean

 you might not understand it

because said and understood

are two different things

I might say

I want to see you

you might hear

I want to own you

or I think of you sometimes

means

why don’t you think me all the time

our language is at odds with our intents

I want to talk you

into telling me what I want to hear

in a way that is totally clear

unalterable and fulfilling

so when we are together

I can’t say what I mean

because all I want

is the brawl of the kiss

to end this fight of the mind

which it always does

I let my fears surrender

to the delight of the body

out bodies

as they struggle to reach through

the fight of the mind

to embrace each other

we wrestle each other

in the cauldron of his bed

where we understand exactly

what each other means needs wants

out of this brawl of the kiss

river02 Belleville reflections

Noir One Year On

Lizzie’s Cabaret Noir celebrated it’s one year in style – a packed house was treated to massive talent & wild raffle prizes. Doing the front-of-house I was glad to see many generous people dropping more than a fiver in the pwyc.

glove (g)love in the leaves

The show kicked off with a slate of dynamic usual faces starting with Nelson Sobral (soon to replace all of the Rolling Stones), Brenda Clews with a saucy piece, Cate & Dee with a great a cappella duet, Jeff Cottrill telling us why Halle Berry is better than you, me (because I did the first open stage a year ago). closing with Matt Gerber: aka Mr. Furious.

hockeydiscarded dreams

Feature Philip Cairns with Peter Lynch performed a short new play, What Ida Said, written by Philip with David Bateman A sharp comic piece that played with the slippery gender roles, aging, insest & conformity. ‘I don’t remember about sex? What is it?’ Peter was the perfect foil with his dry offhand delivery against Philip’s more emotionally sloppy character. After the short play Philip did a great job on Dory Previn’s Mr. Whisper, then Peter did a monologue as, I think, Tony of the Soprano’s mother. www.philipcairns.com

blanket bundle of dirt

After the break more things where raffled off – I restrained myself from buying tickets as I have enough ‘things’ already :-). Next feature was the sensational The Rando Bando. I manned the iPod for their music & managed to get my cues right. The songs were sharp, sexy, bawdy, funny lyrics to well known (at least to me) melodies. You Don’t Know Me – became the stalkers lament: ‘You don’t see me – I’m watching from the heating duct’  The set had great flow that took us from from saucy to flat out vulgar. Loved it.  www.floatingdeskinternational.com

pink2 pink parking

By the time they were done it was 10 pm, and time for me to head home (I like to be abed by 11 most nights) so I missed Arlene Paculan’s set – maybe another time Arlene. A great show & a great night. www.arlenepaculan.com

great Noir photo set:  https://www.facebook.com/anna.l.romeo.9/media_set?set=a.10151999723547129.1073741909.523022128&type=1

coming

June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville, Ont https://www.facebook.com/events/589522924455695/

100_0495 writing blocks broken at Loyalist

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada http://www.fanexpocanada.com

pineoct at The Central

samples

Laid Plans

so things didn’t go as planned

no one took into account

the end of the world

getting in the way of important things

why did it have to come to an end

before our plans could come to fruition

all those hopes and dreams

dashed turned into a dusty waste of time

time that could have been spent relaxing

enjoying the flow of things

we squandered those precious moments

on worries constructing news ways

of controlling to suit our wants

now all for nothing

the world has come to an end

almost laughing in our faces

as the tremor shook us up from its core

rending the sky

while we were busy getting our way

making things safe secure perfect

if only we had at least time to get naked

enjoy one last fuck   one last embrace

but the end came sudden fast relentless remorseless

crushing without pleasure

leaving this desolation in its wake

where there was once a planet there is debris

debris without even a residue

of karmic happiness left in the air

because we were so busy

we didn’t have time to leave a warm glow behind

didn’t even have sense enough to enjoy

the end of the world

saxophone daydream saxophone daydream of trombone love

Beware Lake Pinebow

wo01

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

samples

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

#secants and #underpants

The Beautiful and The Damned kicked off their residency at The Central with a packed house and a dynamic line up hosted by the incomparable Duncan Armstrong (modesty is not his middle name 🙂 )

airy bottom

First feature Brock Hessel blasted the room with an in-your-face, take-no-prisoners piece that trampled several Canadian cultural icons underfoot – from Jack Layton to Don Cherry no one was spared at the hands of his palm-reader/masseuse Joannne, who will earn your votes ‘one had job at a time.’ His other pieces were filled with hard-earned understandings ‘dancing alone in front of the mirror you used to take selfies,’ ‘you bookmarked the box you used to box me in.’

After the break DM Moore made an impassioned appeal for Tarek & John – two Canadians caught up in Egypt. Then Heather Babcock captivated the crowd with a polished image that suited her polished work. her first piece. ‘Where did my face go’ was delightfully self-aware & funny piece that acknowledge the power of looks while wondering on looking into the mirror where her face was gone ‘perhaps my nose is rolled up in a forgotten sock.’ Her fiction pieces were as direct, ‘as if layoffs were contagious and could be spread by eye-contact,’ ‘looking for a place in her bones called shelter.’

popping up all over the city

Music feature Nelson ‘SoHot’ Sobral, despite suffering from a sore throat, did a high-energy  set that left us wanting more (but we had to clear the stage for another show at 9:30). With his propulsive, crisp acoustic guitar he gave us a set of emotional, direct to and from the heart songs. ‘I’ll always be by your side, even when I’m on the floor.’ He harkens back to Fred Neil & Joe Walsh and is so hot he popped my cork.

red on red

The cork was on the bottle of champaign that The Central honored us with for the launch of the Damned. The staff was great, kept sound levels perfect, and kept our thirsty audience happy. Looks like the Damned has found a beautiful new home. Join us next month, October 31 for a scary scary night hosted by Lizzie Violet.

 

samples

one of the pieces I read at the Damned:

Square Root

 I wished him dead

every time I sat in his class

I wished he were dead

buried

not someone I had to face every day

I would only have to glance up at him

writing formulas on the black board

the drone of his voice and wish him dead

he would always call on me

to read out what he had written

I picture his brain exploding

bloody cosines gush from his nose

all over his spotless white shirt

I wanted a sharp steel edge on my protractor

to cut out his heart

save the class from algebra trig calculus

his stories of sailing

how he figured directions with his slide rule

die die die

so we can figure out the angle

to bury you

so your rotting corpse

will slump into your penny loafers

bones a jumble of secants and underpants

the formula on the board

meant nothing to me

it could have been written in flame

blah blah squared equals something degrees

my feet burning by the time I sat down

he would pat me on the shoulder

say you seem to be catching on

when I was really catching on fire

his abacus belt buckle at eye level

I’d stare at the rubble on my page

hope his hand would stay a bit longer

hope some of his knowledge could rub off

what was the angle of the dangle behind that zipper

if he were to die I wouldn’t have to wonder

about where to look when he stood so close

I leave his class

can’t remember a formula or anything

all I could see was that glint of belt buckle

and that wouldn’t be on the exam

on stage Damned @The Central Sept13
on stage Damned @The Central Sept13

Birthday Inferno

I love it when an event transports me – to a time & place I’ve never been to like when a guy or gal plucking a guitar takes to the Riverboat 1963; or, as happened this past Sunday night at Lizzie Violet’s open-stage birthday bash at the Central. This time I was whisked into my own east coast past to kitchen parties where guitars and fiddles were mixing and melding – including someone with baby rattle maracas.

eBooks in the flesh

The second floor at the Central had a great feeling, even with strangers accidentally wandering in as the fun spilled out into the street. We were treated to great sets by various combinations of the circle of jerks: I Hate Todd, Big Name Actors’ Hugh Wilson, Melting Pot’s Nelson Sobral & non-jerk Natasha Jolly. All kicked off by Cate McKim’s excellent tuxedoed drag king turn.

black dance e vent

Todd did a high energy three-song set that had unexpected elements of Talking Heads mixed into their uplifting songs. With a drummer using a guitar case for percussion (no drums allowed on the Central’s second floor) their sound had, as I said, a great down-east kitchen party feel. Rock violin is way under used, as far as I’m concerned.

fallen

I closed the first set with a couple of pieces. People love bitterness, even at a birthday, so I gave that to them as only I can with Mixed Messages. Then, with an assist by Nelson on guitar I tore the house down with Oogie Inferno – I had my tattoo tee on under my shirt & did a big reveal as I started. Nelson supplied hot disco riffs & by the end of the piece we had the room dancing.

on stage July 28, 2013

All of this by 9:30. Sadly, for me, I made my exit after the break. Once was a time I didn’t mind staying to the end of things but these days I find my back  can only take two hours of any club seating.

sample
rough draft sample

Oogie Inferno

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

boy oh boy have I got news for you

I love the sweaty potential of the dance floor

the solid mass of men mobile   shifting

eagerly crammed    crowded by the bass line

the righteous revival fever of a contralto

everybody here tonight must boogie

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

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

eyes closed   hands open

shirtless strutters in sweat soaked satin shorts

muscles    bloated bellies   no one cares

as flesh wound around  pulled by the driving

boogie oogie oogie

an endless moment of contact high

thigh to thigh contact

the heat was on, rising to the top

where the keyboard was underfoot

put your feet to the beat

peak after peak of solid state sweat

turn this beat around

no voice heard that wasn’t amplified

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

listen to the music and let our bodies flow

yowsa yowsa yowsa    dance dance dance

shame shame shame

we were shimmering glittering

ready to take on the future    beep beep toot toot

I love the moment of stepping into the mass

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

listen to the music and let bodies move

make a space for myself

get approving once overs

then not care who’s lookin’

but when my spark got hot

I heard somebody say

Burn baby burnin’ the house down

gonna boogie oogie oogie

till you just can’t boogie no more

I love the blur as I am transported

out the body   out of the mind

satisfaction (uhu hu hu) in the chain reaction

released from all sense of self

except for the one caught     immersed

push push in the bush bush

lost for hours

boogie oogie oogie

taking a breather wet glistening

asked what are you on

having my answer of nothing disbelieved

as if the music and testosterone

aren’t enough for me to

burn that cocksucker down

because have I got news for you

this could be the last dance

everybody here tonight must

boogie oogie oogie