Serial Killers @RedRocketCoffee

On a frosty Friday night Dan Curtis Thompson took over as host at Makin’ A Racket at the Rocket while regular host Sandra Cardinal enjoyed an escape to southern climes. Staff at the Rocket made sure we were well warmed up with hot chocolate and their great sweet treats.


snuggle up

Norman Allan lead off the open stage set with some pieces based his art (which he showed us): ‘sharing turns our pain to love.’ He was followed by Cate McKim with a standup set about drive-ins and this years Oscar swag bag. I closed the set with the last of this month’s bitter/sweet/sweaty love poems.


hunker down

Two of the features: Tracy Hamilton and Ariel Kagan I’ve seen (& reviewed) recently at the story telling show at The Free Times: (Once Upon: I may have to do a google search for that rare music niche: South African metal bands to fill in Ariel’s history. Tracy’s recollections of recess games made me miss my days of mumblety-peg. (

The other feature Lizzie Violet, is also a story storyteller but her stories are about zombies, serial killers and other sunny moments. I’ve heard & reviewed Lizzie many times (use the WordPress search feature). Her sets are always strong, thoughtfully constructed, and tingle with ‘bodies hitting the ground before the blood leaves the veins.’


crouched couch

Thanks to Dan I realize that cancer is not an STD. As I left I enjoyed the way the icy patterns on Rocket’s frost-swirled windows reflected, nearly dripped I might say, with blood red.


besides Star Trek Subtext ( I read this:

The Big Hurt

he said

someone must have hurt you real bad

was that a line

or a real observation

was he hinting he was sensitive

that he saw more in me

than others did

or was that a stab in the dark

because we all carry some past hurt

that makes us defensive


when we meet new opportunities for fresh hurts

I didn’t want to tell him

he was wrong

I’ve never been hurt so bad

that I carry any scars with me now

not that I’ve been shallow in love

but kept my expectations in reality

I haven’t counted on someone’s love

to make me whole



unlike all those movies

where the right someone

comes along to rescue you

with great lighting

and that special song

so when he said

someone must have hurt you real bad

at first I’m at a loss for words

pushing him away

will confirm to him he’s right

pulling him in

will let him think

I’ve given in to his ruse

but because two can play

this game I reply

not as badly as someone hurt you

and if it’s not a game

may be we can get past square none


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


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


(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


Loyalist Workshop is the real deal

page 23 for details next page down for registration info

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


September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo


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


front yard violinist
front yard violinist

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I Buy Drugs

Rumor has it that Nik Beat is a vampire. Easy to believe, as in the decade or so that I’ve know him he hasn’t aged visibly, and he talks about Poe as if he had just left Edgar having a few at Grossman’s. He turned the reins over to guest host, Jennifer Hosein, who did a great job with the April live HOWL show. Her job made easier by a dynamic line-up.

side yard Inukshuk
side yard Inukshuk

First feature Stedmond Pardy performed pieces from his chapbook ‘Drugs’ (I bought a copy, first time I’ve bought Drugs outside of a pharmacy in decades). His pieces are long cascades of pop, religious, and class images that convey the harried lives we live in with tenderness and frustration. ‘there is no chosen race in nature’ ‘the air reeked of a dolphin stampede.’ Moving and literate work that held us wanting more.

Windsor harbour Inukshuk
Windsor harbour Inukshuk

Next up was Nik Beat himself. He read pieces from ‘Amazing Secret Dreams.’ These are emotional, well-crafted crafty pieces that take you where you least expect with sonic puns and association: The World Is A Page starts ‘we are the pliers that twist and shape it.’ In Hurt Co-Pain he tells us ‘I mistook this mirror for me/ I mistook that girl for love.’ Strong stuff.

front yard Inukshuk
front yard Inukshuk

After the break was Laura L’Rock. I co-featured with Laura L’Rock last October and was eager to hear her again. With Nik on guitar she did a set that was barely contained by the Q Space stage, some of the songs are arena rockers scaled down to intimate size. She has a strong, direct voice that is emotionally sincere without resorting to big moment notes. Her lyrics are sharp, sweet and true ‘why lie when the truth is so much easier,’ ‘attract what you wanna be, not what you are.’

Final feature was the equally ageless Norman Allan, who put his sketch pad down long enough to treat us to his thoughtful writing. ‘Just because you think it so/ don’t make it true.’ He ended his set with Nik once again on guitar ‘you don’t bow down to love/ you just open your heart.’ Norman organizes the Renaissance Revival poetry workshop at Q Space on the 2nd Monday of the month.

o superman
o superman