On The Animals’ Twain

Almost at the end of my extensive Animals collection – The Twain Shall Meet. Twain is one of those recordings in the wake of Sgt. Pepper – the Stones did “Satanic Majesties” – groups scrambling to show off mystical leanings along with sound engineering. The Animals didn’t have George Martin at the helm and it showed.

mirror broken reflections

This was one of my favourite Animals recordings, with its sometimes cheesy lyrics ‘orange & red beams’ and the forced philosophical depth garnered from the Maharishi. Sky Pilot is a staggering anti-war song even with it weird wash of effects – bagpipes, machine guns.

redcoat plum tuckered out

Side one opens with Monterey – about the pop festival & flower power pervades the rest of the side. Spinal Tap skewers this stuff mercilessly. Side two is a sort of suite of three longish cuts that flow seamlessly into each other and fades out in a haze of patchouli incense. Eric became disenchanted with the Maharishi by the time he recorded Year of The Guru.

My music pals at the time hated this Lp, felt it was a shallow sell out no better than something the Monkees would have recorded but it stuck to me. My Cd is a reissue by One Way Records – no bonus material plus they get the name of one of the cuts wrong – Orange & Red Beams becomes Orange & Red Beans.

plates picnic sans basket

The other Animals Cds on the shelf are hits collection: Best Of: (before LSD( & Greatest Hits, (after LSD). More about Eric in another post, because as I’ve written about about the band I’m understanding what appealed to me and why they still do. That’ll be my Friday post.





Lazy grey waltz

Show me the steps

Glide across the floor

A feather

In the fiddler’s sleeve.


Shadow creased vision

Hushed distance of recall

Layers webs flickering

Smokey images crumbling


How did I ever get this away

So far, far away

From the hoedown moon?


A sorrow tugs at my sleeve

Timid but persistence,

When the river flows

It’s easy top wash it away;

The sun dried me so quick

Here it is back again

A tear to keep me in check,


Why did I turn around

When I heard night

Sweep the webs away


Against my will to know

That it was time to rosin up the bow.




Languid hazel waltz

Watch my steps

Skip over the lawn

A thorn

In the fiddler’s shoe.


My life is the mist

Hovering around the moon

Cutting golden across the floor

Through the open windows

Of the haystack ballrooms

Where here comes that waltz


Slow and close, almost in tears

Slightly futile, music echoes

You are far away and I dance alone


Out into a starless night.


Smooth white waltz

Follow my steps

Carefree through harvest fields

A gleam

In the fiddler’s eye.


my Loyalist seat

‘I forgot how to speak’

Birthday girl Sandra Cardinal gifted us with a stellar line up for the April Makin’ a Racket. A full house appreciated the features (as well a slew of tasty birthday muffins gratis from the chefs at The Red Rocket Cafe).


they grow like weeds

Dan Curtis Thomson was first up with a nice section of his one man show about breaking up. Structured around music he did a sweet, almost plaintive song (very Don McLean with its fluttering, falling  notes) ‘falling falling falling out of love.’ He explained that the song ended with a C major 7th chord, an unresolved chord, much like this ended relationship which leaves him unresolved. A nice hint of the larger piece. Dan has a warm stage presence I enjoyed.

Next up was Vanessa McGowan who clearly has no unresolved emotions. Fresh from a poetry intensive in Banff she had some new pieces & old pieces. ‘wear you like a wind blanket’ ‘when my body became my voice I forgot now to speak.’ I’ve reviewed her many times – search will pull up those reviews.

mac McLitter

Then Niki Koulouris read some section from ‘the sea with no one in it’ her recent book. ‘once it had been half man, half sea.’ I recently reviewed her – search will pull up that review.

After the cup-cake break Myna Wallin (whom I have reviewed before), on crutches after an ankle & wrist break, read some new pieces about her recuperation: ‘a lethal dose of ‘this too shall pass.’ ’ Then a tasty chapter from Confession of a Wounded Reluctant Cougar that reminded us that sex without guilt isn’t really bad sex.

oldpink out-grown

She was followed by Sage Tyrtle (whom I have reviewed before), with a rich, funny & romantic story about internet dating back in the early days when people counted on chat rooms, facing the fears of the unknown & actually, for this story, having a happy ending (in which she wasn’t murdered & buried in basement). Sage is a gifted story teller slipping between characters and situations with great ease.

Last up was Eufemia Fantetti (whom I have never reviewed before) reading a portion of her personal essay Alphabet Autobiographia. A look at language, particularly Italian & the role it’s played in her family history. She explains how applying Italian pronunciation to English words can have hilarious repercussions – i.e. traipsing becomes trapezing.

A handful of great open stagers, many of whom were past features where scattered throughout the show. Mike Sauve’s piece about orange juice was excellent – also had a great talk with him about double-sided nature of politically correctness (for a later blog I think). A great spring show that even with 6 features was wrapped by 9:30.


from a Viral prompt – this is one of the piece read on the Racket open stage

Daddy’s Boy

I have this photo of my dad

when he was a boy of

about fourteen

shown it to friends   lovers

who said that I was handsome

even as a boy

used it as my profile pic once

a photo of my dad

that looks so much like me

at his age

we could be twins

yet there were years

when I was sure I was adopted

I’d go through the papers

in his desk

seeking that document

I felt so not a part of that family

of this species

I was sure there was some legal proof

of that fact

I never found that evidence

when I first saw that pic of my Dad

I thought it was me

his genetic string so strong

I am tied to it without a doubt

last time I visited my home town

a stranger stopped me in the street

to ask if was his son

one was a bit shaken

it was as if my Dad’s ghost has appeared

he’d been dead for five or six years by then

so perhaps their memory

had played some tricks on them


I am my father’s son

I’m proud to say

there’s no denying that now

cake cake left out in the rain


‘a bar room floor’

Digging into my archives I found Linger, a piece from sometime in 2000. I pulled it up last week to include with my Music Monday blog as it seemed a good companion piece with the Allman Brothers. But the more I thought about it the more I realized wanted to say more about it. (more about those archives: https://topoet.ca/2013/12/13/resurrection/ )

shelf icy shelves

It sprung from the prompt Linger. Like many of my pieces it rattles off a series of images, these, in some bar. Fragments of conversations, of expectations, of the bar itself – so it is a list poem that has a thread of a story, a story that is told as the list unfolds.

menu icy specials

Some of it reflects my own boozing days – something I haven’t written much about as it holds little or no glamour for me. At readings if you want the crowd to be ‘with you’ sing the praises of booze or grass and you are sure to be a success. I haven’t written much about recovery either, mind you, mainly because nearly everything I’ve heard sounds belaboured.

dizzy I see upside down (get me another drink)

Linger manages not to be overly sour about things while not making the drinker’s life seem all that engaging or satisfying either. We all get caught up in something that seems productive but ends up being a distraction. Even sober people get caught in the chase for relationships as a way to avoid loneliness and never question if what they are chasing is the solution to what they fear.


April 21, Monday – featuring – Lizzie Violet’s Poetry Open Mic at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club – 7:30 – doors and open mic sign up, 8:00 – start – 54 The Esplanade, Toronto https://www.facebook.com/events/1379693865637955/

amflyerjpg copy

April 27, Sunday – attending – Julie Czerndea Workshop http://chiseries.ticketleap.com/chiseriesworkshop-julie-czerneda/

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words


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

the power of attaction

the power of attraction

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



a bar room floor

unswept reflections

broken glass

discarded cigarette butts

casual meetings

momentary exchanges

the flutter of hearts

hopes ice cubes


glass fragments

shards embedded sparkling

the overhead light

candle wax drips

shoes scuffed gum stuck to the rail

the juke box

moans glows cackles in a corner

toilets nearly flush

eyes nearly meet

expectations almost lived up to

the next drink will do the trick

amber bubbly

glasses dingy from so many washings

expectations dimmed by so many opportunities


TV flickers

the slow revolve

as the body turns from the bar

towards a door

towards something   to someone

a smile

then nothing

not even silence

as the sizzle of sports

takes up the excess

slips between

so there are no awkward pauses

till the bartender

looks for last call

looks for tips to overflow

his shallow bowl

finds peanuts

crushed pretzels

heels rub sore calves

small rips in the upholstery

frequent faces

the linger of come hither

the laugh of ‘who you looking at’

the times we find

ourselves walk by

get drawn in   spit out

choke with the smoke

rock in the chair

find the bitter talk

just the thing

to rub the edge off life

rub the gleam off the moon

dull the stars

in the daylight

the windows are still dark


washed polished rubbed clear

the dust floats in the air

never settles

never moves just hovers

frames the idle hands

as they finger the empty pack

as they draw a heart in the sweat of the bottle

in the sweat of the moment

in the evaporation

of a pay check next month’s rent

in the twinkle of an eye

piss away that promise

forget who it was

where was who sitting with who

did someone promise

to be there

to met someone

to sleep with so and so

or with so and such

how could you do that

did you know

got an ounce of the best

the cheap asshole

how could he do that

how could he let him get away with that

broke his jaw ha ha he was just asking for it

he didn’t deserve him anyway

lost his job

lost his life

found dead in the alley

went back to the east coast

made a killing

went to jail

got lost on the way

found no way out but here

faces the morning

but couldn’t face the day

without seeing the face

my face any face

an unswept reflection

in the sawdust on this floor

medec13twitter @TorPoet

‘a dream’s first kiss’

Racket’s March show kicked winter in the butt with a fine set of features & open-stagers. Sandra Cardinal, back in the hosting spotlight, put together another great line up of spoken performers. Starting with playwright Nina Kaye, who mixed some of her poetry in with some strong, well-performed monologues. Teen-age girls who relish the fact that ‘cab drivers will do anything if your flash them your tits’; a male hustler who admits that ‘it just feels good to know someone wants you.’ Her piece about teen-age infatuation perfectly captured that cloying adolescent idealism ‘seeing his face was like seeing the sun after a long winter.’

moon moon at noon

Next up was Rob Ellis with a fun set of poems of political bite and rhyme – ‘Welcome to the Hotel North Korea’ ‘I asked Obama how can this be/he said, we haven’t a conflict since 1953.’ Of work life he says, ‘now employees are associates,’ ‘when things go bad as always it’s the staff that pays.’

dresser get into my loose drawers

After the break Norm Cristofoli delivered a well-structured. polished set of spiritually grounded, at the same time sensually seeking, poems. Of religions he say, ‘the greatest mistake mankind made/ was to turn the messengers into the message.’ His homage to film noir offered us ‘a liquid jewel to help me forget’ ‘sixes in his eyes, sevens on his tongue.’ Of love ‘you move me like a dream’s first kiss.’ A great set that was over too soon.

chairget out from under my legs

Too many open-stagers to name but new-to-the-scene Matthew Carmichael is gaining in confidence. Susan Helwig did a brief monolgue about visiting an artist’s studio that brought the house down -‘Why are all the men in your paintings asleep?’

As always The Red Rocket Cafe is a great spot for an intimate night of spoken-word. Good coffee, great desserts and a staff that enjoys the artists as much as they enjoy the tips. In some spots it seems the staff only puts up with ‘art’ as long as they are getting tips.


April 21, Monday – featuring – Lizzie Violet’s Poetry Open Mic at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club – 7:30 – doors and open mic sign up, 8:00 – start – 54 The Esplanade, Toronto https://www.facebook.com/events/1379693865637955/

amflyerjpg copy

April 27, Sunday – attending – Julie Czerndea Workshop http://chiseries.ticketleap.com/chiseriesworkshop-julie-czerneda/

June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

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

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



when it was over

it was over

that part was pretty simple

fairly painless

the grief was in the waiting

looking for a right moment

to admit to one another

that over was over

that we didn’t need

to spend any more time

in trying to make things work

in looking for some

little thing to do or say

that would make things new

that would return us to

what we had at the start

even if we could

I was never sure

if either of us would

have set the way back machine

to reclaim those early months

of frisky free falling fun

even now

if we are clear headed

that free fall

wasn’t all peaches and cream

but it was good

wasn’t it?


it’s hard to learn

to avoid the rough patch

that comes before

it’s over

that patch

is what seems to cause the most pain

the ending is nearly always a relief

when we both admit

it’s time for a change

thanks for the memories

except that patch

why do we get so caught

in that patch

it sticks to the feet

slows us down

makes us both blind & super sensitive

at the same time

makes us both wander aimless

afraid of saying the wrong thing

or the right thing

that will bring the inevitable to light

to reveal to the other

that over has to be soon

that over is better than this

whatever this is

that hovers over our heads

the fear of being alone

the rest of our lives

isn’t as bad as being together

admitting that isn’t what love is all about

isn’t what we wanted

out of this relationship


why do we let it fester so long

so long there is no clear break

just more fester

and fester can’t hold a couple together

any better that come does

so what gain is there in that patch

because I’ve known people

who spend more time in the patch

than they did in loving one another

that patch

begins the moment one or the other says

we have to work on this relationship

if we expect it to work


what sort of work

hammer and nails

I know enough not to give up

when the first hormone blush has faded

but I also know

that work isn’t the solution

making me or him change

isn’t going to lead to any real affection

that merely allows one another

to trot our little  power games

that please appease for a short time

but rarely improve

we end up improving one another

for the next relationship

for the better one

that hovers in a cloud

in a dream around the corner

the one we weren’t ready for when we met each other

but the one that will truly last

the one that will be a longer

free fall fondle

though the gates of paradise

up the stairs

of the local gym

to pack on or take off

to shape   reshape

to avoid and dangle

to take us into the next one

it gives us no respite

for no matter how happy

a couple seems

at any given moment

one of them is

looking for the one that will do

when over is over

gull uncaged

gull uncaged


Rocket Scientist of Love

It’s like you are two different poets! someone said to me after my recent Racket at the Rocket (RR) show – someone who had seen my feature the previous week at Plasticine Poetry (PP) and was eager for more.

bunnythe rabbit’s vigil

Looking back over the two sets I can see what the differences, besides all different pieces & shirts, were. Both sets were themed, with the same number of pieces in each. Paced pretty much the same too. Started with something inviting – no dropping of the pants in the first piece. The built to more explicit things.

doorvigil outside the purple door

PP was focused on identity – a sort of abstract concept that I tried to make real with various personas that showed various ways we define outs elves: Hannibal Hoarder: how we keep what we keep defines us; Godzilla: how movies lead us to self definition. So the material was more clearly theatrical and pushed me to a more theatrical reading. boots

discorporation: the vigil’s reward

The RR set was romantic, emotional in a different way. The difference between the persona of each piece was much more subtle that the PP set and not as theatrical. I also opted not to perform any of many bitter break-up pieces, some of which were in the chap book, and stayed on the sweeter side of love, just to prove I could be mellow, that I could be sexy without overt queer sexuality. The other things about the set was that I read a piece I had written that week about a man I’m seeing, who happened to be in the audience for the show. Something I’ve never experienced before. Not that I have to work hard on authentic emotion when I read but this time I didn’t even have to work at all. soon02

October 19 – feature – Cabaret Noir – Pinebownewpine https://www.facebook.com/events/1651892755035275/

samples one of newer pieces I read at RR a few weeks ago Rocket Scientist of Love I don’t claim to be a rocket scientist of love I’m more practiced at one-man missions where I can control the countdown to blast off but when I have to plot the course for more passengers than one I’m never sure where the booster rockets have to go when to push the buttons that will set them off how much fuel I’m going to need what sort of pay load is expected of me to bring them to the various stages of thrust sure I can get them buckled in well enough the fumbling can be sort of fun but after that I can get a bit lost when my solid mass converter gets ready to let loose its charge while theirs is still picking up speed I’m not a rocket scientist of love any more than I am the masters & johnsons of sex but I’m willing to learn if anyone’s willing to teach

gardening garden store aches for spring

Me encantan tus manos

Sharing the stage at Makin’ a Racket at the Rocket with Alexandra Innes and Mike Sauve was a perfect February night. Guest host Norman Cristofoli brought back memories of the late great Renaissance Cafe, where I first featured. Having Randal Clark, Catherine Penny & Jeff Cottrill there as well, it was almost like the Coffehouse Cabaret.  http://labouroflovemagazine.com/

throneice throne

After some enthusiastic open stagers, first up was Mike Sauve who read ‘Another Big Mistake’ – a funny, fun short story about getting sober while living with a drunk, looking for escape via the personals. Sharply drawn characters, a good eye for telling details & an acidic sense of pop culture made for a great reading. http://www.thisispinball.com/mike-sauve.html

 orangeorange on ice

After a brief break and a few more open stagers I was up. My romantic & less sexual set worked well. It felt good to tone down the energy a little (at Plasticine lest week it was on 9, here it was more like 7.5). I know what a room can handle & this was perfect for the crowd. Lots knowing nods for my piece about what happens when you get into a relationship with a poet, laughs for the list of reasons why relationships didn’t work. Plus sold enough chap books to pay for the printing costs of same.

hotubice tub

Alexandra Innes ended the evening with a well-paced set of short pieces – so short I didn’t get to jot down many of the great times – pieces about relationships – ‘she said ‘no’ but kept ‘perhaps’ in her back pocket’ ‘what is not knowing what to do.’ Her final & longest piece was a deeply-felt experience of sexual abuse that emotionally resonated with many of us.  http://www.yummy-quotes.com


one of the new pieces I read at Racket

Me encantan tus manos

I took a photo of you

standing in your apartment

merely standing there

sort of shy  flattered

and asking

why I was taking a picture of you

don’t I have enough of you already


I have access to your FB pics

even a few selfies you sent to me

of your radiant smile

of your excited hardness

but I wanted one I took

one that only I would ever see

that would never be posted anywhere

you may never see it either

or if you do

it won’t be in a form

you can save to post anywhere

I may get a print of it

This is my picture of you


as I took this picture of you

you asked how I would be sure it was you

not of someone I think you are

the moment I took the picture

you were someone

I wanted from head to toe

I needed an image that included your hands

parts of you that aren’t seen

when we’re close together

I can feel them on me just by looking at them


you took a picture of me

I’m on stage in front of a crowd

and feel myself change

in your eyes as you see me there

from the man you hold alone

to the man held by many

so the image you capture

isn’t as clear

as defined the picture I took of you


regardless of how crisp or fuzzy

those pictures are

none we ever take

will every capture what beats

beneath the surface

a hum that is only sensed

when our hands are on each other

romantic sunset meeting

 ready for heavy work at Loyalist

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


Ball of Confusion

I picked up a fine Temptations collection: Psychedelic Soul – some of which I have but wanted fresh pressings, as it were. I wanted Ball of Confusion in particular: ‘where the world’s heading nobody knows.’ (A superb collection)


I’ve been catching more news that usual via friends with families & friends in Venezuela, Kiev, Arizona USA, Africa. Places where the news isn’t good, where even the Internet is suppressed (is that possible?) My friend from Venezuela has been told by his family not to come back because he is safer here – it gives them one less worry and some hope at the same time. http://caracaschronicles.com/2014/02/19/19f/


My news comes from the people I know who are directly connected, not from the media – media spins so much one never knows which sponsor is being served, but it certainly isn’t the public. As I say in my post ‘The News Is An Unreliable Narrator.’

treeDundas Sq tree

It’s as if there was a reality show ‘next top (fill the the PC political term)’ The news jumps from riots in the not so golden streets to gold medals to I’ll buy your gold. It’s a ball of confusion & all I can offer is compassion and when possible hugs and kisses.

sqwhat time does the band come on?

After a reading recently someone said my writing is too insular, that it doesn’t deal with a world picture outside of my own. Didn’t I care about issues like war etc. I thought for a moment & said: there is no poem that will end war but there is a poem that might end someone’s war with themselves and that is enough for me. I’m just a poet not a redeemer. (No, I didn’t say that last sentence but I wish I had.)


February 21, Friday – featuring – Racket at the Rocket: 7 p.m., Red Rocket Cafe, 1364 Danforth Ave. https://www.facebook.com/events/818441091515505/


March 1, Saturday – attending – Toronto SpecFic Colloquium


June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

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

wallliving Loyalist wall

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada



this is the torrent

where for a set time

I throw things against the wall

to see what sticks

to see what drips

what shapes form

as the threads fly flail

fingers find a rapid pulse

to follow

to try and not make sense

to flicker

for little scrap of information

other people’s wonderings

what do men want

love that goatee

why can’t things last

how long will we be trapped by our dream

why do expectations keep us

from seeing what is actually there

when often

what is actually there

surpasses our limited objectives

our self-serving demands

for comfort on demand

for obedience and the willingness to think for oneself

how long how often

and each time

the torrent starts

the same things come up

the same darting furtive


where something equals something

but what that something is

isn’t as clear as we hoped

it leads to the realization

that despite the torrent

the water doesn’t change

the water will always be water

the river flows

and we are all in it

not many outside that envelope

off that page

the human humdrumness

of thrashing around at times

floating serenely at others

slipping over the waterfall

with grace

going over screaming one’s tits off

in desperate fear

hoping somehow

to swallow the river whole

and be safe dry and never ever to get that wet again

which of course isn’t the point of life

isn’t the way of the world

we never get out of the river alive

and we each make our own way down it

the same rocks buffet us all

the worries about the future

what is around that bend


another waterfall

a calm lagoon

why so shallow here

and abruptly so deep there

learning the strokes

the rhythm

and accepting

that each turn is a turn for the better

that each opportunity

to go against some current

makes the stroke stronger

makes the journey a little longer

sharing a stretch

going it alone on others

taking to the weather like ducks

taking to the air like geese

never straying far from the water

from the river

from the oceans lakes

pools ponds streams rios rills

life the river

the tried trite image

dipped in the river for purification

merging with the river

for eternity

wearing the river like a loose wet garment

feeling the flow between the toes

around the calves

around the balls

around our chins

nose just above the water

letting go

letting flow

under the water

the reflection of a millions points of sun

darting and dancing

dangerous and eternal

unavoidable and joyful

take me to the river

lead me to the water

float my briar on the Ganges

dip my heels in the Nile

bring me reeds from the Amazon

link each tributary

back to my heart

where all it started to pump

the little endless blue lines

the river is my blood

the veins the threads

that get pulled apart and

then woven together

the thread of worries and comforts

the wondering of

what do men want from each other

why do people act this way

why can’t they all strip

to the bare essentials and jump

back into the river


jump frolic and forgive

jump in all at once

so the water overflows the banks

to wash the world clean

dishspoon battery

Pre-Boarding Dust @RedRocketcafe

Getting my pieces ready for my feature at Makin’ A Racket next week. It is so much easier to plan twenty minutes where flow becomes more important than hitting an open stage, where you need a single piece, or two if you are lucky, that has to grab an audience restless for the real features to come on. Flow allows for build up – not just that American Idol emotional note.

catcool cat

This will be another set in which I step back, a bit, from the in-your-pants raunch, for a more romantic, less bitter-sweet, set of pieces. Because it’s a week after Valentine’s I’m going to do more of lovey stuff than I usually present. Yeah, I may like sex but I’m not impervious to romance – I just don’t let one get in the way of the other or confuse one for the other either.

pollypolly’s c-c-cool

I’m going way back into my archives and pulling a piece from my 1978 Distant Music chapbook. Where it all began. I do have even older pieces but the roof of the cave collapsed closing off that part of the library 🙂 http://wp.me/p1RtxU-3P

glovercool hand Lucy

I resisted editing Dust too much. Clearly pop influenced in the rhythm and repeated phrases – echoes of Paul Simon and Donovan are clear to me plus Dylan Thomas. I’m not sure if there was an actually ‘you’ who was the object of my affections – not that I didn’t have suppressed crushes but there was no one I hoped to impress with this soppy imagery. Who cares about the GG award, I just want to write a poem that will get me laid.


February 21, Friday – featuring – Racket at the Rocket: 7 p.m., Red Rocket Cafe, 1364 Danforth Ave. https://www.facebook.com/events/818441091515505/


March 1, Saturday – attending – Toronto SpecFic Colloquium


June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

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

the power of attaction

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada



when I turn to diamonds

will you wear me in your hair

on your finger

or in your dusky ears

like stars in a black night

fondled forever my many eyes

wondering who your diamonds were

before they became diamonds for you

when I turn to night

will you bring me daybreak

bring me stars

or the moonlight

with its ever-greedy motion

across your endless eyes

wondering where this night was

become it became my dawn

when i=I turn to dust

will you blow me away

gather me in your hands

or a in a black onyx box

with your eyes the seal

its sides your tears

as you wonder who I was

to turn to dust for you

I ask, for you see

I shall become

dust fragile

night invisible

diamond clear

and I have to know

before I turn

before I turn

before I turn to your eyes

sinkfont blanc 

‘I’ll enter your heart like a breeze’

Michael Fraser puts together great line-ups for Plasticine Poetry and once again there was wild variety. Even the open stagers ranged from first-timers, covers of Victor Hugo, Lou Reed and fresh funny dating advice. Hosted by David Bateman, the audience loved his wry ‘romantic’ and ‘warm’ family comments.

books03old snow face

First up was Dominique Russell – who opened her set with an ee cummings cover, followed that with a series of short, numbered pieces inspired by Sylvia Plath. Her pieces were full of strong images: ‘my landscape in a hand,’ ‘there’s no getting up to it with the words we know.’ Emotional without being overwrought the audience was drawn into her Toronto. https://www.facebook.com/dominique.russell

books01ya can’t give’m away

Next up was me – as usual my set was changed even as I read, pieces & lines cut for clairity. The full house responded the identity pieces, drinks were spit through noses as a few points as well – Born to Blown is this year’s signature piece. During the break I was told the set was dynamic and one never knew what would come next. I hope it was dynamic enough to get me a feature in April – I’ve never featured during poetry month.

books02after the party

After the break Allan Briesmaster started the second set with pieces from his recent book ‘Against The Flight Of Spring’ and some newer writing. Invoking his muse ‘Open, oh pen, open’ he presented a set of image strong nature poems: ‘who can hear a single note sung by a stone.’ Of trees lost in the ice storm ‘we thought they’d outlive us.’ He stepped a bit out of comfort zone with a sexy sports piece. http://www.quattrobooks.ca/books/against-the-flight-of-spring/

Final feature was Ann Shin, who read from her book ‘Family China.’ The text has hyper-text links to definitions that are in themselves poems. Emotionally compelling I was too intent listening to make notes, one good line was pushed aside by another, ‘our velocity defines our most precious commodity’ and perhaps one of the most romanic lines I’ve heard in some time ‘I’ll enter your heart like a breeze’ https://www.facebook.com/ann.shin


February 21, Friday – featuring – Racket at the Rocket: 7 p.m., Red Rocket Cafe, 1364 Danforth Ave. https://www.facebook.com/events/818441091515505/

smrkt March 1, Saturday – attending – Toronto SpecFic Colloquium


June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

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

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada


one of pieces I read:

what passes in silence

recently I mentioned to a guy

that I was going to a queer event

he was surprised

after knowing me for several months

he was unaware that I was queer

I’ve been out so long

I forgot what it feels like to come out

to someone like this

you can’t see who I am

just by looking at me

unless I go out of my way

to make you hear

it’s like a black passing for white

you don’t look Jewish at all

what there is most fundamental about me

passes in silence

and many want it to remain that way

tolerance of the silent is much easier

than acceptance of the real

the visual means of definition

aren’t close to who I am

because I could wear lipstick a wig perhaps

oh that guy’s a faggot for sure

or a leather harness to the beach

I could grab those clear cut symbolizers

tee-shirts that call for gay rights

rainbow tattoo on the back of my neck

a bear paw on the back of my hand

but I’m too lazy to make

what I think is obvious clearer

or maybe what I am

has become so irrelevant

in today’s world

it’s time I got over myself

and got on with life

bookslost poetry 

Abercrombie (no Finch)

Moving along to my jazz section – what I’ll do on Music Mondays will be two in a row looking at my pop collection alternating with a Monday of classical or jazz – at that rate I should get through my collection (if it doesn’t grow) in about seventy years 🙂

pinkpretty flamingo

First on the shelf is Gateway, a 1975 ECM release: John Abercrombie, with Dave Holland & Jack DeJohnette is a very tight mellow trio setting. Each have recorded extensively with EMC. In fact EMC had a large rotating stable of musicians who recorded in various combinations.

maskthe masquerade is over

This one, in many ways, is no different for much of the catalogue – intense, intellectual, meditative music for the ear, mind and soul as opposed to rock your body. This was EMC’s focus. In a sense Chamber Jazz but not as tight laced as chamber music.

cakesomeone left a cake out in the rain

Abercrombie’s guitar is sharp, fluid and draws me in easily. The sound is similar to Wes Montgomery in its fluidness but never as mellow as Wes. Good writing music but perhaps too busy for background music.


February 21, Friday – featuring – Racket at the Rocket: 7 p.m., Red Rocket Cafe, 1364 Danforth Ave. https://www.facebook.com/events/818441091515505/


March 1, Saturday – attending – Toronto SpecFic Colloquium


June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

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

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada



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