Flesh for Idol Fantasy

MTV/MuchMusic made stars given the right product. One of those photogenic products was Billy Idol. Carefully packaged, he was a sensation who almost became a superstar. He carefully curated image wasn’t enough for him to rise beyond charts of the times. I admit that I was drawn to him for those great videos – White Wedding, Flesh For Fantasy, Catch My Fall: and also by his willingness to exploit his body. Flesh for Idol Fantasy 🙂

His cover-song hits (Mony Mony) had a sort of a Punk Monkees feel to them – safe songs with a sneeringly dangerous look. Catch My Fall was a gay porn dream that kept its pants on. White Wedding was Meatloaf reheated with a hot spice thanks to Billy. Even his name is a call back to those teen boy, one hit stars of the Brit 60’s. Idol managed more than one hit though.

 

I have stand-alone Rebel Yell; and in mp3 collection the hits: Vital Idol. Thanks to the amazing guitar work of Steve Stevens, Rebel Yell transcends the standard pop sound. His work on Flesh is sublime. Idol’s singing is solid but lacks, for me, emotional depth – he’s mostly loud but never really sexy, angry, introspective. But he is a good song writer as he co-wrote all the songs on Rebel Yell. 

 

Sadly he never became the superstar he hoped. I’m not sure what actually happened: drugs, ego, booze, fame undermined him. I have heard his work after his initial star burst & it lacks the drive of his MTV era work. He never re-invented himself as Madonna (another of those MTV video stars) continues to do. I hope he isn’t stuck in some Pittsburg Holiday Inn lounge singing for his supper. 

Trust

‘What do you think?’ the clerk sprayed some cologne on a small card and handed it to me.

‘Pleasant.’ I didn’t really like the smell of wet cardboard but it was easier to feign pleasure than become a grump.

‘It’s the latest thing from Loginfield. Trust.’

The smoked glass bottle had a golden tinge. It was completely round, a ball with a small atomizer on the top. It came with a special stand to keep it from rolling around through one’s make-up.

‘Perhaps sir would like to see how it smells on him?’

‘Trust me I wouldn’t you.’

The clerk’s face wrinkled slightly as if I had imposed on her valuable time.

‘But thank you for the offer.’ I stepped away.

‘We have another you might like. ‘Patience?’

Patience had a sharp floral cardboard smell on the card she sprayed it on.

‘No, thank you. I’m not in the market for any of these. Today.’

I resisted pushing her aside so I could keep on my way.

‘We have a special on ‘Don’t Hesitate.’’ She stepped towards me. ‘There’s also a bonus with the ‘I Forgive’ line. This limited edition umbrella.’

‘No. No. I’m sure they are all quite nice but …’

‘Sounds more like you want the ‘Not Sure.’ It has become one of our best seller.’ She reached for a clear glass bell shaped bottle. There was a hazy green liquid in it. ‘One whiff and I’m sure …’

‘Look.’ I stopped and faced her. ‘I am not interested. Leave me alone. If there was a way into the store that allowed me in without passing the perfume counter I would sure take but there isn’t.’

‘Ohh, I know your type. You want ‘No Escape.’ Too bad you missed last week’s special on that but I think I may have one left somewhere. The cutest little key chain.’

‘Yes. Why don’t you see if  you can get that special for me? I might be interested.’

‘Really?’ Her face lit up. ‘I know exactly where it is.’

She ducked behind the counter and I high-tailed it to my original destination – the bedding department. I checked behind me to make sure she wasn’t following me. Though, now that I was in the store, I had to find away out without being seen my her or any of the others. Perhaps if I bought a couple of pillows and carried them so my face couldn’t be seen. That might work.

I examined a duvet. There was a tap at my shoulder. It was perfume counter clerk.

‘Perhaps you might prefer this. It just came in. We call it ‘Trapped.’

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


http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday 2019


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

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton 

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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The Social Godzilla

 

This mp3 collection runs at over 7 hours of mainly amazing soundtrack music. Starting with The Best of Godzilla: 1954-1975; 1984-1995 w: Jack Nitzsche: The Reprise Recordings; The Social Network: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross; Contagion: Cliff Martinez; Traditional Japanese Kodo: Satomi Saeki; and ending with Looper: Nathan Johnson.

 

 

The Best of Godzilla are both double cd editions that covers music from not only Godzilla but Mothra, Hedora, Gigan & others. They cover such classics as Godzilla Vs. Megalon; Godzilla Vs, Spacegodzilla. John Williams has been clearly influenced by these soundtracks with their military marches, sweeping moments of victory. Often some faint traditional sounds filter through. I am particularly fond of Mothra’s Song. Music by ‘The Peanuts’ who sing it is hard to find though.

I have searched out more by some of the Japanese composers of these various soundtracks & have enjoyed exploring their modern classical work. Which how the Koto music was added to this collection – to balance the Godzilla with the real 🙂

Jack Nitzsche is a Hollywood tragedy – he worked with people like Neil Young; created memorable soundtracks for films like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; but thanks to drugs never became a ‘star.’ The Reprise set is some of his unused film music, instrumentals & a few songs. Sweet music made sad by his inability to survive the entertainment industry.

These are more modern soundtracks: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross: The Social Network; Contagion: Cliff Martinez; and ending with Looper: Nathan Johnson. I’ve seen all three movies & enjoyed them. I downloaded Contagion after seeing the movie on TV; I had the Social Network soundtrack well before seeing the movie; Looper came after watching the dvdd that included a short on the making of there soundtrack. Network & Contagion are electronic & interchangeable 🙂 Contagion has perhaps a but more tension. Looper is soundscapes contracted from various percussions & found sound. All three work independent of the movies. All make great soundtracks for daily life, sweet for sex too.

Love

The TV was off. Jimmy stared at the screen. What colour was it. Black. Grey. Charcoal. A non-colour what ever it was. Blank empty but ready to leap into colour at the touch of a button. Why was that? Why was there no colour now. Just the dust that could never be wiped off for more than five minutes.

The TV was off.

The room was silent. Very silent. Muffled with dust it seemed to Jimmy. Was dust settling on me. Am I covered with dust? No, with microbes. I saw that on the TV. Flesh is covered with billions of live mites all scurrying around in worlds of their own. Do they see the TV? Are they aware of the change from light to dark, from colour to no colour?

Should he get up? Yes, that would be a good thing. To move. To wade through the air around him. The air was full of things too. Dust motes, skin flakes floating to the ground; shedded, shredded bits of him, of everyone who had even been in that room. The room crawled with them. 

The past has no real colour only dust. 

It wasn’t late. He could watch some more TV. That would be nice but what was the point. It bored him. Even the image of his flesh crawling with worlds he couldn’t see bored him. The dust bored him. Bored him more than anything because he could never escape the dust. He could leave the TV behind but there would always be that dust. It would trail him his whole life. He might re-arrange it but never ever be rid of it.

So he stood. Into the dark of the room. Time to change that light-bulb. It’s been a week now since it burnt out. Funny he hasn’t really felt the need for it. One less thing to clutter his life. There’s enough light from this lamp in the hall. Yeah. Now what. He’s up and moving. Kitchen. Food. 

Food bored him.

So this is what it’s like to be in love. Everything is boring. All the things that I once was fascinated by now bore me. They seem so lifeless. So immobile and dull, dusty. Dust will never settle on my love. Never. Where was she? She’d be home soon. A few minutes, half-an-hour.

He would get food ready for her if he could reach anything. He’d change that light too if he could only reach something. Anything. But why bother. She could reach those things easily. Enjoyed doing it too for some reason. Liked to reach & stretch.

Yes stretch, that is a good idea. Time to stretch. maybe go back into the living-room. No too dusty. Needed a room with less dust. 

Water. Yeah water would be good right about now. Was there any. He could hear a tap drip. Can’t reach that.

Some in his bowl though. There had to be some there. Yes, there was. Just the right temperature and no dust on it. That’s nice for a change.

She would be home soon. Fresh water.

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


http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday 2019


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

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton 

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

 

Prometheus at Hot Damn

Hot Damn! started 2019 with a packed room workshop at Glad Day and a SRO house at Buddies in Bad Times – both driven by feature Regie Cabico. The participants at the workshop wrote & shared some excellent work on the spot – the level of trust among people who had never met before was encouraging, as was the diversity of the participants.

When I got to Buddies to help Charlie set up there were people already clambering to get in 🙂 so the house opened fifteen minutes earlier than usual, I did front of house & it was full enough to start the show a little after 8 (nearly on time for a poetry show). Standing room only by 8:15. Also a full sign-up sheet for slammers – 11 – a Hot Damn! record.

After some opener stagers the first round got underway with a series of politically & emotionally pieces that held nothing back on gender, indigenous, & local political issues. Round two had fewer slammers (lowest scores didn’t get to move forward) and the tone of the pieces became more reflective, personal but equally as direct and powerful.

Lines from the first part of the show: my tongue was not enough’ ‘the swish of sari silk’ ‘I could taste blood’ ‘I fell in love with a crack dealer’ ‘you are the art work of past lives’ ‘our medicine made illegal’ ‘give up your cottages and give us back our land’ ‘what he really should have admitted to you before you married’ ‘I only knew how to see you as a moving disaster’ ‘nobody giving me room to make mistakes in’ ‘betrayal tastes like fennel and sage’ ‘my neighbourhood becomes a trigger warning’ ‘you ask me if I’ll forgive you’ ‘I pray you get your forgiveness but it will never come from me’ ‘I say to them – it’s not your table’ ‘you still here with me like a cloud in my mind’ ‘as if money could regenerate our roots’ ‘I’m not sure how to tell your dad that you’re gay’

Feature Regie Cabico did a strong set drawing from his recent chapbook ‘Sticky Stars & Sheets.’ Funny, deeply personal, very sensual & inspiring. ‘jack-off in the name of leukaemia research’ ‘the warehouses are lit by flames of vodka’ ‘you will not pluck my pancreas like Prometheus’ ‘you hold me like an oar directing my past’ ‘we run like suitcases on wheels’ ‘two lonely Tony’s from West Side Story’ ‘his calf … stretched out before me like Florida’

This is not my first review of Regie though: Spoonful of Beautiful https://wp.me/p1RtxU-d2. We’ve enjoyed each other’s performances in the past so I may not be impartial – but the audience was so enthused so my review isn’t exaggerating his set. 

After a much needed break the show resumed with a few more open stagers & the final round of the slam; ‘I need a place to sit to get perspective’ ‘they’re asking me if I have a gender identity’ ‘never more than genetic coding’ ‘baby shoes take me back to memory like a phantom limb’ ‘too many of us seeking help’ ‘this body is not a temple you are invited to’ ‘my mess you speak to’ ‘oozo ozone’ ‘even my now voice is too heavy to raise’ ‘confuse tenderness with love’ ‘saying gay people should die while getting off on lesbian porn’ ‘it just isn’t about sex anymore’ ‘hidden by ink and time’ ‘the space between fingertips & footsteps.’

Scores were tabulated, prizes were given. Yes, there was a winner, who gets to compete in April for the grand prize: the trip to participate in Capturing Fire (dates tba, soon) but the real winner was the audience. Next Toronto Hot Damn! is March 7. 

(above blog pics are of construction by Buddies)

the piece I wrote at the workshop – rough draft –

Resume

Henry texted me

he was told to stay home

he’s afraid

he’ll lose his job

Henry is one of my lovers

we have been seeing other

every week or so

for over three years

 

I want him to feel

cared for

but I have no solution

for his situation

other than acknowledging his stress

 

I like Henry

but I do not love him

he wants job security

not love

 

it is hard to breathe 

in the workshop

so many perfumes

I’m glad I have no

environment allergies

 

the tenderness of

Henry’s slow kisses

is what I love

 

the tentative tongue start

draws us

into each other’s bodies

 

I love his tongue

but can’t pronounce his last name

Mwawasi

unless it is in front of me

 

in Cape Breton this summer

I will visit

my parents graves

I wasn’t there when they died

they won’t be here

when I die

they will never see my grave

 

Henry texts

he is going to bed

I hope he sleeps well

that he dreams of our kisses

not of rewriting his resume 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Buffy Season 5

Spoiler alert – I will be revealing crucial plot points so if you haven’t seen season 5 be warned. Of course that fact that there are two more seasons spoils the finale, in which Buffy dies, anyway. The season presents, to me, the best Buffy villain yet with Clare Kramer as Glory. The actor is great & her scenes with Buffy crackle with great energy. She was like Cordelia with super evil powers.  

The season starts with Buffy vs. Dracula – one of those about time episodes it also introduced Buffy’s younger “sister”, Dawn, played by Michelle Trachtenberg. Talk about confusing. It did the writers a chance to work with easy family cliches as opposed to the Slayer mythos. The big reveal was well planned & well written to. The departure of Riley, Marc Blucas, was welcome as that ‘relationship’ was tedious & distracting. He was great eye candy but I never felt invested in him as a character.

It was a season of duality – many characters were two people, emotionally or literally – Zander get a double; Dawn is a sister & the Key; Glory is a god & Ben a mortal; Buffy is a Slayer & a parent, Spike is a  mess of emotions. Multilayered characters that drew me in & who never disappointed.

The death of Buffy’s mother, Joyce, was not unexpected & unlike many characters – she dies of natural causes. The emotions felt real and the emotional quandary for Buffy was well written & Sarah gives an amazing (& underrated) performance.

I loved the robot episodes, Zander’s double was great. Any appearance by Glory was satisfying. The morning of her dual nature was great fx & the flip between both of her/his halves int he finale episodes was very effective. I was sorry to see them go. I loved Joel Grey’s arc & I was sad to see that he doesn’t return in season 6.

I can’t say this is the best season but after the mess of season 4 it was a great return to form. 

All’s Well Bellicose

it’s not me it’s them

its a war zone out there

no safe haven 

to stop and breathe in

who wants to breathe 

the air out there

standing in what sort of shit

no place to rest 

to put down the gun 

for even a minute

random bullets materialize in the air

when you are walking down the street

looking for a burger joint

for a corner to piss in

and bang

 

if the bullets don’t get you

the burgers will

you’re all out to get me

people everywhere cough sneeze

wipe damp hands 

on door handles I have to touch

grimacing at me

at my gun

over their newspapers

cranking up their mp3 players

so I can’t hear mine

daring me to shoot 

as they light up a cigarette

as they push ahead of me 

to get their death burger faster

fast food being too slow for them

tearing off price tags

ripping books to shreds

pushing their way 

down crowded stairs ways

jumping at me with atomizers

when I enter a department store

try this sir

what’s your favourite blood 

I like the smell of 

cosmetic salespersons blood

do you have anything like that

or something that smells 

like fast food counter help

that empty fried fresh aroma

that tingles the taste buds

something that makes people hungry 

when they smell me

 

it’s not me it’s them

I set out peaceful almost serene

avoid the unscooped spots on the sidewalk

even manage a smile at the barista

who would smile back

if she weren’t afraid it slow her down

and the swish my coffee enough

to make sure the lumps of milk 

and sweetener have dissolved

and I’m happy for the first sip

until the lid pops off 

and I have to watch 

the slick scum cling 

to the sides of my cup

as I sip sip sip to the last drop

 

I am now ready for anything and everything 

that is out to get me

I won’t fight back too much today

I want to be a power of calm

in all this mindless 

staggering 

stumbling 

hurry around me

to step out of the way

resist saying have a nice day

resist saying fuck you too

resist kicking cars 

that stop in the crosswalk

as if they owned the damn streets

 

to know that even if this a war zone

all is well with the world

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

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


http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday 2019


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

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton 

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

 

MRF I Monster

Next is an mp3 collection of over 7 hours is an assemblage of current electronica & pop. I sometimes get this urge for this decades cultural & this is the result: I Monster: Neveroddoreven, A Dense Swarm of Ancient Stars; MRF: Elevator Music, Mob Music; Mark Ronson: Uptown Special, Version; Black Rivers; Kate Pierson: Guitars and Microphones; Flight Facilities: Down To Earth; Jimmy Somerville: Homage.

 

Someone on my Tumblr feed posted a couple of tracks by I Monster – electronica with some dance components, some experimental. Unsettling sonic landscapes, along with pretty, nearly new age moments plus a sense of humour. Good engaging music for Moby, Lemon Jelly fans.

I found MRF thanks to Facebook. The band responded to one of my music reviews a few years ago but sending me a link to a free mp3. Jazz, pop, emotional – sax centric music. A step above lounge with great covers, strong regional material. Lead by Mike Flanagan who is a very hot, gay, bearded talent on sax and keyboards – MRF is easy on the ears & worth downloading.

Mark Ronson is a consistent top 10 pop performer, – is he a remixer, a dj? These sets are mainly collaborations with the likes of Bruno Mars, Mystical, Santo Gold etc. Nicely structured songs, bouncy, a dash of rap, some electronica that is well produced & serves up those hits than become golden oldies. Music you can dance to at weddings.

Black Rivers is a side project by members of Doves – more of their dark, emotionally intense adult pop worth listening to. Flight Facilities is a pop-electronic group similar to Chicaine that I discovered via the Red Rocket Coffee FB page. Nice background music for sex.

Not all new music is made by ‘unknowns’ 🙂 Kate Pierson is/was a member of the B-52’s who has finally done her solo lp. Solid music but kind of faceless at the same time. I was hoping for a bit of the B52’s retro energy. Jimmy Summerville (of Bronski Beat ) pays Homage to the day of disco glitter with this fine, fun set. His voice is in good form & the songs are romantic, openly queer & here to stay.

Heart of the Morning

She could smell it. Fresh and sweet. Not to far away either. More than one.

‘Mmmm.’ She hummed to herself. Each breath made her pulse  beat a little faster. ‘Smells  so good.’

The morning mist over the park began to dissipate as the sun broke through the clouds. Reds, yellows, pinks infused the grey air around her.

‘Looks to be a good day.’ she said to no one in particular. ‘A good day indeed.’

She stretched, flexing her calves and ankles after the six laps around the park. Sweat soaked her T-shirt. She held her hand out and saw the sweat rise in a mist from herself. ‘Smokin’. I’m smokin’ today.’

She took several more deep breathes. ‘Mmmmm.’

She could smell it. Fresh and getting closer. Not what she had expected, at least not so early in the day.

Four children scampered into the park. Chasing each other and screaming. An adult followed close behind.

‘Hey.’

‘Hey.’

‘Hey.’

‘Hey.’

Their shouts scattered the pigeons from the underpass. She breathed deep in their direction.

‘Ah, so it is them. Young too. Easier to handle.’

The adult with them was a man, one of their fathers? No, an older brother.

‘Morning.’ She spoke to the brother. ‘Good day to be up and out so early.’

‘Yep. Hey Greg slow down.’

‘Kids.’

‘Yeah.’ the brother flashed an amazing white smile. Dark black hair.

‘Enjoy.’ She wanted to follow them, follow the smell of their youth. Fresh and sweet. Blood that would taste so fresh if she could only get it. Just one heart would do. Didn’t matter which one, did it? The smell wasn’t as strong on the brother as it had been on the youngsters.

The sun was out full now. She pulled her hood up and did a couple of knee bends and started to trot off in the opposite direction. Or at least she thought it was the opposite direction.

‘I must be going in circles.’

She found herself round a corner and into the path of the galloping children. Two girls, two boys with the old brother not too far behind.

She lowered her hood and stopped to allow them to rush past her. Didn’t want to bump into one, not yet. What time was it? Did they make this take this route everyday? She’d have to come back here tomorrow morning. Get them comfortable with her. Time to feast and the gods were bringing the right sustenance at last. Fresh and sweet. Not ripe, not tired of anything and ready to leap into life.

Ready for her to reach out and scoop out their hearts. Mmmm breakfast of champions.

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

January 10, Thursday: 8 p.m. Hot Damn! Its’ a Queer Slam – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre: feature Regie Cabico

http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday 2019


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

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

 

I Was A Teenage Coward

My sense of masculinity growing up was never up to the rough-and-tumble masculinity that was expected of me. I never lived up to those unquestioned imperatives. Some of this was because we moved east from Manitoba for a couple years making it difficult for me to establish ‘buddy’ friendships with other boys. When we did settle in Sydney, Cape Breton we changed neighbour hoods at least two times before settling in a third.

I did many ‘boy’ things mind you – rode my bicycle everywhere, played backyard baseball with a bunch of kids near by. But was never a fighter. I got into a couple of fistfights but it was easier to avoid them. So I never establish a position of respect amongst boys (or as I felt, with my father.)

Because I was never a fighter I was called ‘yellow,’ ‘coward’ long before I was called ‘gearbox,’ ‘queer.’ Being queer was to be less than a man, to be feminine – a girly-boy who would never be considered masculine & thus to be derided, ridiculed etc. There was no support system for ‘otherness’ other than becoming a butch fisted boxer to eat the shit out them – which wasn’t going to happen. I’m glad that I didn’t get the help that I needed then because sexually confused teens were given chemical castration, lobotomies to make them non-threats the fabric of wholesomeness.

That feeling of being a coward has never fully left me but I’ve just finished reading Mad Blood Stirring: The Inner Lives of Violent Men by Daemon Fairless. The book addresses the nature of violence as a means of defining masculinity. A definition that is culturally approved. The drag queen that beats the crap out of homophobes is respected, the one that minces away to avoid conformation is not respected.

Mad Blood Stirring is an excellent book, part case study, part interviews with ‘violent’ men, part the author’s own journey to discover the roots of his own violent nature. He recreates incidents of violent confrontations so vividly that I could feel the emotional rush that pushed him over the edge. As I said this is an excellent book well worth reading even if one isn’t a man or violent. 

That fact that I didn’t take the bait of confrontation wasn’t because I was a coward but because I was already stepping out the cultural imperative that manhood is only in the fist. Or maybe I had a testosterone imbalance 🙂

(one again WP does weird things to lines breaks)

The Killer In The Morning 

with a harsh shout 

the killer awoke from a dream
someone smothering him
a pillow over his face 

when heʼd killed 

he never used a pillow
or anything that hid the face

the best part of the kill
was in the eyes
that I canʼt believe you are doing this 

combined with the actual pain
as his hands crushed 

the wind pipe squeezing
hollow bones in his strong hands

he could crush an apple
the hardest granny smith
heʼd hold it up so juice 

splashed his face 

like a warm summer shower

cleaned and ready 

the killer sat at his kitchen table 

looked out at the sunny day
at people on their way to death 

death at his hands 

maybe not right now 

but soon sooner than they expect
at least one of them would die today

he knew that
the knowledge armed him
gave him power
gave him a reason to live
to be there amongst them
each of them ripe for his desires 

the headlines no longer cowed them 

they had little fear
a killing a day
the papers screamed 

who will be next 

the tv clatter box went on and on 

flashed from his latest victim 

to breakfast cereals
that would help you lose weight

ha he laughed to himself
I have a program
thatʼll give you a permanent weight loss 

donʼt bother calling
Iʼll find you today
it is a good day to die

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

January 10, Thursday: 8 p.m. Hot Damn! Its’ a Queer Slam – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre: feature Regie Cabico

http://www.queerslam.com

every Tuesday


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

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton 

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

 

Ibibio and Beyond

Filed under Ibibio Sound Machine is an mp3 collection that included: Ibibio Sound Machine, Uyai; Lorez Alexandria: The Ultimate Collection; Anita Ward: Ring My Bell; Laura Mvula: The Dreaming Room (Special Edition); King: We Are King. Work that spans generations & genres. On random it makes for great driving music – though one has to deal with varying sound levels.

Starting with Lorez Alexandria: The Ultimate Collection – over 50 tracks mostly from her late 50’s & 60’s recordings. She is similar to Carmen McRae. Her voice is appealing, the material is standards with a torch leaning. I love her work on songs like You Stepped Out of A Dream, Good Morning Heartache. Underrated. 

Anita Ward is disco but not a disco diva. Her one big hit Ring My Bell brings back good memories for me. The rest of the songs on this lp are okay, romantic fodder nicely produced but not as catchy. Download her hit. More modern is King – a fine harmony group with dance underpinnings & some gospel thrown in. Easy on the ears with songs about relationships, & some social commentary. Amazing harmonies, ethereal then earthy. 

Which is also true of Laura Mvula’s The Dreaming Room (Special Edition). Part Kate Bush, Enya mixed with Beyonce sass: emotionally inviting, sweet and comforting – excellent production – though I find the vocal a little too buried in the mix – you have to listen harder 🙂 I found Mvula thanks to a Capturing Fire poet raving about this album.

Ibibio Sound Machine combines1980s afrobeat and 90s drum-and-bass into a fresh 2018 world music sound. I have their 1st self title release and Uyai. The horns remind me of Osibisa & also Aster Aweke. The music bubbles with rubbery electronica, Singer Eno Williams is sweet and emotional when needed. I read a rave review in Entrainment Weekly & downloaded the lps & am happy I did.

The Polishing of the Magi

The Armature Theatre Guild has been forced to cancel this year’s presentation of “The Polishing of the Magi” – I understand this will come as a disappointment to many of you – especially those of you whose children had been fortunate enough to be chosen to play the parts of the shepherds, lambs, sacrifices, dervishes and of course, the ultra blessed couple themselves.

Rehearsals had been going better than ever, according to Hank Grebly. It was the first time someone other than a member of the McGinch clan had been given the opportunity to direct the production and Hank was making the most of this opportunity.

But alas, as things often do, it all went to the apple press in a hand cart when it was clear that the McGinch’s weren’t willing to allow things to progress smoothly. Not that this comes as much of a surprise either, mind you. We all pay for our indulgence of this family and its anti-social actions.

But not to give up all hope, as it seems Hank and some of the cast will be presenting a childless, clown version of the same story. It may not have the same impact, but the show must go on. We will be spared the often bitter competition over whose baby gets to play the pivotal role of the fulcrum of all religions. That alone almost makes up for not having a full scale production, doesn’t it?

On a lighter note the Visitor’s Mall will be hosting their annual Midnight Madness sale, for those us who have time and need for yet more shopping. As the Mall says ‘Shopping is in the true spirit of the season, and if we don’t spend, we just aren’t pious.’

I pray their prayers are answered.

Please note that the Left-Handicraft Fair slated for the Pumpkin County Area has been cancelled. It was to be a fund raiser for the production of the “Polishing of the Magi” & seeing as that has been cancelled, there seemed little reason to have the craft fair.

Those who had planned to pick up some of Sylvia’s Jams and Moose Tarts can find a display of them at Bea Petratica’s Bridalle Shoppe and at Meg’s Cafe. Get there early as these delicious treats don’t last long.

Sylvia has introduced two new jams this year that I, for one, can’t wait to try. The Orange & Maple Ashes with Nutmage and Quince with Ginger & Bark. I have no idea what bark she has used,  but I’m sure it will be a savoury delight to perk up those you who are disappointed by the cancellation of the “Polishing of the Magi.

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January 10, Thursday: 8 p.m. Hot Damn! Its’ a Queer Slam – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre: feature Regie Cabico

http://www.queerslam.com

returning every Tuesday 2019


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

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

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Ian and Sylvia

I have more Ian & Sylvia than one might expect. I am a big fan of two of their mid-period recordings: Nashville and Full Circle but am sort of indifferent to their other work. There was a moment when they were to be Canada’s Sonny & Cher but Ian Tyson & Sylvia Fricker were musicians first & never became pop personalities.

They started as a sweet tradition folk duo on albums such as Four Strong Winds 64; Early Morning Rain 65. These consist of songs like Nancy Whisky, The Greenwood Sidie – given good but standard performances elevated by their harmonies. Their success inspired many folk groups in Cape Breton. On Lovin’ Sound 67 – they step into a slightly more pop sound & some original material – even some Dylan covers. They were stepping out of the narrow folk scene.

On Nashville 67 & Full Circle 68 they come into their own as writers & vocalists. I can hear some of these songs without having to listen to them 🙂 Ian’s voice is vulnerable, passionate and emotional on songs like Ballad of the Ugly Man, The Renegade, I Learned From Leah. Sylvia is amazing on Women’s World, London Life.

 

These two albums, to me, are underrated & forgotten masterpieces. The harmonies are sometimes slightly off-kilter in the best way. The work is labelled country-rock ,like the Byrds Sweetheart of the Rodeo, but they are not as slick, smooth or commercial. If you aren’t familiar with them, Four Strong Winds is a good intro to their early traditional work. Nashville is stunning. Full Circle is nearly as good & so either of them are worth hearing & owning.

The Blessing of Presents

The other event on the week-end that I had the great pleasure in attending was the Blessing of Presents at St. Sufferer’s Cathedral. That Blessing combined with the Lighting of the Trees is a sure sign that the festive season has broken loose upon us full force.

The most reverend Vicar Father Frank started the sacrament with a sermon on the Exulting Power of Wrap – he explained how the wrap of the gift is often more important than the gift it self, and that no matter how lowly a gift may be, it can be elevated by the wrapping.

There’s a lesson I wish I could bring into my own life – on those days when I, yes even I, your willing reporter, feels like the proverbial bed of broken pigs, she finds it hard to even raise her head from the pillow let alone wrap herself in a joyful raiment that would disguise the inner emotionlessness and despair she feels.

The Vicar went on to say that we shouldn’t allow the wrap to keep us from the gift, and that he finds many are so enamoured of that wrap they never get to the true treasure inside. He sort of lost me there, but that didn’t diminish my pleasure at the vast array of beautiful gifts that were brought up, one at a time to receive the sacramental dash of pine needles and moose ashes.

Like the gifts brought on that first Noel, we were brought into the constant and endless circle of presents that was started on that wondrous night.

The ribbon of history reached out and twined its tinselled ends around the hearts & necks of each us, as the children’s stuttering choir of St. Sufferer’s sang several holiday favourites. “Oh Burning Tree,” “The Ribbon and the Manger,”  “The Tinsel and the Camel” – to name just a few.

After the ceremony I was privileged to take a ride through the snowy wood with Hank Grebly in the parade of midnight runners. Skiers, families in sleds and even some on elephants were seen tracking through the wooded glens around our small town. Lanterns aloft and bearing gifts for neighbours. The true savour of the season was felt.

By the time I returned home I was too exhausted to even remove my boots (thanks Hank) and slept as soundly as I have ever slept. Disjointed dreams of a clown’s childhood danced through my head till I woke in the morning. The windows were covered in reddish swirls of frost and the fresh jar of ashes on my mantle sweetened my dreams.

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January 10, Thursday: 8 p.m. Hot Damn! Its’ a Queer Slam – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre: feature Regie Cabico

http://www.queerslam.com

returning every Tuesday 2019


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

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton 

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

 

Janis Ian

I have a fairly extensive Janis Ian collection as mp3’s one includes the early work: Society’s Child; A Song For All the Seasons of Your Mind; The Secret Life of J. Eddy Fink; Who Really Cares? The other includes her later works: Stars; Between The Lines; Aftertones; Night Rains. After her initial hit ‘Society’s Child’ written when she was 14! She disappeared to resurface decades later with the stunning Stars. 

Why did she fade so abruptly? Part of the answer comes from Wikipedia: “At the age of 16, Ian met comedian Bill Cosby backstage at a Smothers Brothers show where she was promoting Society’s Child. Since she was underage, she was accompanied by a chaperone while touring. After her set, Ian had been sleeping with her head on her chaperone’s lap (an older female family friend). According to Ian in a 2015 interview, she was told by her then manager that Cosby had interpreted their interaction as “lesbian” and as a result “had made it his business” to warn other television shows that Ian wasn’t “suitable family entertainment” and “shouldn’t be on television” because of her sexuality, thus attempting to blacklist her.” 

Re-read that & let it sink in. This story sums up the plight of many female singer/songwriters who did not roll over and play fem.

Her early work is at times folksy, at times jazzy but she never stepped into the traditional pop female mold. Her writing covered social issues, romantic ups & downs & self-discovery. J. Eddy Fink is an amazing album with expansive jazz arrangements & tender romantic observations. It didn’t fit the commercial categories like Laura Nyro; nor the hippy category like Joni Mitchell.


She changed labels for her return with Stars. These later albums are more deeply emotional, some social commentary & sweet unfulfilled romantic longing. They music is more what I call chamber pop – elegant with jazz & semi-classical touches. Sweet harmonies & understated performances. In fact some of it is a little depressing. On Night Rains she works with, of all people, Giorgio Moroder! 

Ian is a survivor who came out, got married, started her own record label for full creative control. She may have been slowed down by that ‘blacklist’ but remains an amazing writer. If you are unfamiliar I’d recommend The Secret Life of J. Eddy Fink as good starting point. Aftertones is emotionally discomforting – though any of these are excellent lps.

The Wings Of St. Martinia

Last night Hank Grebly did me the great honour & pleasure of taking me to the Maple Valley Rialto Cinema – it is a shame that this fine building is now only opened on weekends for our film going pleasures.

I can remember a time when it would be busy seven days a week, offering us the finest in Hollywood films and fresh roasted peaches or tasty caramel bark corn.

Every time I enter the Rialto I am taken back to a distant era – the mirror balls in the ceiling reflect the many spot lights around the floor. The zig-zag carpeting & lame seat coverings make me long for simpler times.

The film Hank took me to was “The Wings Of St. Martinia.” Many of you are familiar with the local tales of St. Martinia & the font at St. Sufferer’s. Those are her blood spattered wings holding the baptismal tub in the centre of the nave. Not her actual wings, but representations. Not many angels would have had five sets of wings.

Like the Rialto this film is also a relic of another time. Recently discovered in the vaults at College of Arts and Reconstructionist Designers, we were first treated to a lecture by Rudgar Quartz, the Professor of Cinema Studies there, who gave the history of both the film, St, Martinia and the Rialto itself. A very educational evening, leavened by the delightful film itself.

The story is a simple one of suffering and repentance through suffering. Martinia, born out of wed-lock to the daughter of silver smith and troupe of travelling carnival workers, had to face the disgrace of her family and neighbours all through her life.

She saved her fellow orphans from the rain of comets in 1879 by waking each and every child, and leading them to safety. Sadly she wasn’t able to get back to rescue any of her teachers. She comforted the children, as they heard the screams of the staff, who had been trapped in locked rooms in the upper quarters of the orphanage.

In leading the children through the swamps to safety she also rescued Button, a Labrador retriever and her recent litter of puppies. This is why the suckling Labrador retriever has become the representation for St Martinia. When they say, she of the many teats, they are referring to Button and not to St Martinia.

A fact that I was not aware of either.

The movie follows her travails in the garment trade, being abducted by pirates and finally her mission to Mongolia where she single handedly brought the word of good to those unhappy and dirty mountain people. Her attempts to show them the joys of washing brought tears of joy to my eyes.

If you have a chance to, get in to see this delightful movie. Tell them Dolly sent you, and you may get an extra dash of moose mustard on your red hots. 

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

http://www.queerslam.com

returning every Tuesday 2019


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

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton 

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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

 

Gismonti Glaspar

A pair of opposites sit side-by-side on my jazz shelf – first is Egberto Gismonti – I have a cassette of  Works; stand alone cds: In Montreal; Infancia. Plus he appears on many many EMC records as a sideman. He is a sublime, imaginative Latin jazz acoustic guitarist – similar to Ralph Towner but with a more emotional style.

Works is a sampling of his other ECM recordings; on Live in Montreal he plays with bassist Charlie Haden. Tasty but never dull duets that push each player to greater creativity. Infancia is a group recording with synthesizers & cello in the mix. Experimental without being jarring, meditative without being boring. Superb music.
Beside him is Robert Glaspar: with his Trio: Canvas; with others is Double Booked; and his Miles Davis repurposed (as MP3) is Everything’s Beautiful. This is cutting edge jazz piano. Propulsive, sometimes dissonant & always inventive. The cds are mostly originals with some fun covers: i.e. Herbie Hancock’s Butterfly.

 

Everything’s Beautiful is a mix of re-mixing, sampling, a dash of hip-hop, rap in his reimagining of Miles Davis; Davis was so experimental & still remains modern, that it at first seemed pointless to update him, as it were. I enjoy what Glaspar does but I find him too deconstructive as opposed to revelatory. Davis may have inspired some of these pieces but the samples & inspiration become lost in the mix. Check it out on youtube before you splurge 🙂

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 moose 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 eight legged 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 misery 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.

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

http://www.queerslam.com

returning every Tuesday 2019


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

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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