The Doors

The Doors – or rather Jim Morrison – gave me wet dreams as a teenager growing up in Cape Breton. I can remember drooling over the cover of the first lp as I got caught up in the music. Brilliantly engineered it was impossible to resist. The lyrics were ‘poetry’ & Jim’s voice as so sexually insinuating even my straight friends dug him – not that I was out but I wanted Morrison’s body. To top it off there was Mother I want to …

As stand alone’s I have the First; Strange Days; Live Matrix 1967 2 cds; Waiting For The Sun; The Soft Parade; Morrison Hotel; New York Jan70 – 6 cd; Boston Concerts 1970: 3 cd; LA Woman; An American Prayer. Absolutely Live is part of an mp3 collection with lps of Grateful Dead/ Cat Stevens/Bob Marley/ The Hollies/ Otis Redding/ Bowie/ Pink Floyd.

The first three lps I loved so much – ‘music is your only friend’ caught the angst of being a queer teen with only album covers to turn to for comfort & fantasy. The pressure of fame took its toll on Morrison & he never came to terms with it. I’ve read several bios – some of which refer to his bisexuality & I wonder if that need to keep that hidden contributed to his mental difficulties – he certainly wouldn’t be the first man who dealt with his sexuality by numbing it drugs & booze until it killed him.

The later lps Morrison Hotel, LA Woman are good, more adult in a way. I can tell his lyrics from those of the other members of the band. Let’s face it ‘Love Street’ is insipid pap. American Prayer is sweet & sad. He never got to be the poet thanks to being a rock god.

I was happy when the live material was pulled out of the vaults. Of the sets I love love the Live Matrix 1967 the most – this was a show after they had recorded their first lp, but it hadn’t been released yet & they were working on material for the 2nd lp already. This is The Doors before they became a household word. It sounds like an audience of ten applauding too. Man I wish I had been there for that show even more than for the one where he supposedly flashed his iconic cockDance On Fire

Picture

‘Keep still.’

‘I can’t. June keeps sticking her shoe into me.’

‘June stop that.’

‘I am not sticking my shoe anywhere. Tell Jeff to move his big fat bee-hind out of my way.’

‘Jeff sit over here. June you stand beside him like that. How’s that?’

No one was in anyone’s way for the moment. Why were birthdays always like this? Could they be any other way? Sixteen children, eight parents and at least two grandparents. Why did I do these things? Why? And where where those goddamn clowns?

‘How long do we have to sit still?’

‘Till I get this picture. Okay.’

‘Okay Dad.’

I had to get these pictures taken before the real crush started. Hard enough with my two here and now what was I thinking asking all those others?

‘Where Tommy?’

‘He’s gone to the airport to pick up Gran French.’

‘Gran French! Gran French! You didn’t tell us she would be here.’

‘Now you know. Sit and we’ll get this picture.’

They sat finally. June in her favourite coveralls and t-shirt. Jeff in the same. Different colours. Twins were handful.

I snapped several quick pictures. ‘There I’m done. Now …’

‘Yea. Gran French Gran French is going to be here.’ They sang.

‘When will she get here?’

‘In time for the party.’

Twins at eleven. Why had I let Tom go to the airport and leave me alone with these two? This whole party was his idea. To celebrate the final year before they became teenage runaways. I’d give them the money if I thought would get them out of the house any faster.

‘Thanks Dad. Now you sit here.’

Jeff pushed me to the couch.

‘What? What?’

‘It’s time for your picture. Now sit still. June stand, no you sit on his lap. Don’t make faces either of you. I said sit. Sit still.’

The camera motor clicked.

‘You’ve been such a good Dad you deserve a little treat.’

June hopped off my lap and rushed upstairs. Jeff on her heels. They were back down tumbling over each other.

‘Here.’

‘Here.’

Each of them thrust a card at me. I could see more of Tom’s work behind this.

‘Open mine first.’

‘No mine.’

‘Let’s see if I can open them both at the same time.’

The door bell rang.

‘Gran French! Gran French!’  The two of them rushed to the door.

I knew it wasn’t Gran French as Tom could let himself into the house.

‘’Who is it?’ I called.

Two polka dotted clowns rushed into the room.

‘Clowns!’ June shrieked.

 

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

meandchap

kiss314257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_oon going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

featuring: Tuesday, March 21: 7:30 p.m. Hot-Sauced Words –http://www.hotsaucedwords.ca/

https://www.facebook.com/events

attending: Saturday, March 25: 9 a.m. 2017 TORONTO SPECFIC COLLOQUIUM

spec

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm start – Featuring Queen Sheba. Slam winner gets trip to Capturing Fire & maybe coffee with me in DC.games

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

June 9-10-11: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 – flight & hotel booked already

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from  Capturing Fire 2015 & 2016

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

fec17-header

https://www.facebook.com/events/526940540845331/

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

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money

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España

10-snowlightNext on my classical shelf (well not next to each other as I’m skipping over Chopin for another post) – close to each other are cds of works by Chabrier; Cimarosa MHS; & Corelli MHS. All cd to lps transfers that I’m happy to keep as transfers. 10-snowgolfThe Chabrier is Espana: works for solo piano that includes his biggest hit España – his music derives from folk melodies, lush, romanic & energetic. Some is more familiar to us that you think – España is almost a cliche of what Spanish classical music is – almost as pervasive as Carmen. The influence of Debussy is subtle & appealing in these impressionistic pieces. Easy listening classical that isn’t dull.10-snowyardThe Cimarosa is a set of his harpsichord sonatas transferred from an MHS recording. Played on original instruments the sound is sweet, almost too sweet in fact. I can only take a couple of these at a time. It fills my need for solo harpsichord 🙂 Mostly face tempo, rippling & light. 10-snowgolfThe Corelli is another of my MHS transfers – a double lp of violin & continuo sonatas on two cds round out with a Mozart Piano Trio. These are pleasant Renaissance duets – easy listening, relaxing & sometimes sprightly. An easy starter composer for anyone who wants to explore beyond Vivaldi.sample

Medicine

Glimpse Into the History of Medicine in the Age of Falfa

submitted by Br’thr Singa (Records)

The lack of records before the Age of Falfa has made research into the history of medicine and disease difficult. We do know of simple diseases such as cold, flues, cancer but beyond that there is nothing substantial.

Even these ailments no longer trouble us. We do have several type of rash to cope with but these are most amendable to the medications at hand.

The general complaints of muscle ache and over-all fatigue can be dealt with easily by the application of a poultice made from Temperate seeds. These, when chewed, will also invigorate the body to overcome momentary fatigue, though long term use of them is not recommended.

Seed pod casing can be soaked in rainwater and, when soft, applied directly to cuts or bruises. These will clear in minutes.

The casing can also be ground in to a fine dust, the finer the better, and this sprinkled upon lesions and deeper cuts to ensure prompt and scarless healing.

Spectrum Analysis of the casing has shown that the microbes it traps remain intact no matter how finely ground. It is this microorganism that causes the healing process. So far our scientists have been unable to extract these microbes from the falfa. They vanish without the plant protein to maintain them.

Falfa that has had its microbes removed suffers greatly as well. The seeds produced are not fully formed, plants from these seeds are weak, pale and sterile. Once exposed to the proper nutrients they do flourish.

Research is now being carried out on those who do not tend the falfa to see if they suffer as a consequence. To tend the falfa is a sacred calling, a scared calling that requires the tender to tend not only the falfa but all mankind.

As much as we are here to serve the falfa the f falfa is here to serve us.

The products made from falfa are distributed widely and freely to all who require it. So far nothing has been discovered by the dr’trs that does not respond completely to the healing power of falfa. Recently a br’ther who had suffered severe burns was healed within hours after immersion in a falfa oil bath.soon

 

14257567_1162384753819933_3271661288579707843_o
on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Disability after Dark  iTunes

 

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nano_odwv0rd0j91s3yvqto2_540

http://nanowrimo.org/

December – Thursday Dec 1st – Toronto, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.divine

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

6DC0301

Early 2017:

my first local feature in over a year: location date TBA

it came in

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

newcap

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg

money

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

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before coffee

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Aw Shucks

samp

Aw Shucks

it wasn’t as if I did it on purpose

I wasn’t looking to out do anyone

except perhaps myself

what’s the point being accomplished

if you have to always be mindful

of those who hold power over you

who become so defensive

that anyone else’s accomplishments

are threats

it wasn’t as if I did it on purpose

I just didn’t know well enough

to to keep that to myself

I should have said

‘aw shucks

I’m still catching up to you’

or

‘I owe it all to others –

gifted teachers

result in good students’

nope I had to say

‘thanks

I’m amazed at myself too’

I didn’t reflect light back on them

my bad

them resentful

wielding their influence

to keep me in my place

to teach me a lesson

that no matter how good I think I am

how good they say I am

I am nothing

until they say so

and they never say

I outshine them21blackchair02This first prompt took three tries before I felt I’d dealt with it sufficiently. Because it was the first one I also wanted to get used to applying these business concepts to non-business. I don’t think any of the three is a great success because I don’t mind outshining if that should or even happens.21blackchair01So the semi-apologetic stance in each of them lacks conviction. That stance comes from the need to appear humble – for some reason to appear confidence, self-assured & aware comes cross to many as arrogance & egotism. Humble is seen as being more authentic than confidence is.21woodchair03In reading this attempt it also reflects my impatience with TV ‘reality’ competition shows in which the contestants are always striving to make their families proud, competing for their spouses – rarely does anyone say I want to win because I am the best. Winning for the sake of winning just isn’t humble – it has to be for the memory of your dad who recently died of cancer.21woodchair04There’s also a sense of how much credit do you give others – as in using these Laws as prompts – I’m sure grateful for Green for putting this list together – do I have to reach back to acknowledge Machiavelli too? Because these owe a lot to that history  – where does Shakespeare come in for his bow (that is if he’s responsible for his works). Everything comes from somewhere – this is my take (or mis-take) on things & ultimately can be credited only to my brain cells firing at a given time & place.  Ah shucks t’wern’t nothin’.soon

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

October  6 – Thursday Toronto, 7:30 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.hotoct

https://www.facebook.com/events/1047981975249926/

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

December – Thursday Dec 1st – Toronto, 8 pm, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.divine

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

6DC0301

Early 2017:

my first local feature in over a year: location date TBA

it came in

April season 3 FINALS – Friday April 15th Buddies in Bad Times – early show – 7pm startgames

http://www.queerslam.com/season-3-dates.html

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

newcap

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblrchair

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Dragging Lake Costello

There was a time when it seemed Elvis Costello was single handedly going to save pop music. The first handful of lps were sensations – critics loved him, he sold well; the writing, playing & recording were top-notch. High energy, fierce lyrics spit out in an almost unstoppable flood. Too many songs to name check. Short, punchy, ironic, romantic, bitter with strong melodies. 18jul01I bought the lps, loved them, gradually replaced them with with mp3’s to save shelf space 🙂 On two collections I have: Elvis Costello, My Aim Is True, This Year’s Model, Human Forces, Bloody Marys, Good Bye Cruel World, Punch The Clock, Brutal Youth. King of America is tucked away in a Springsteen collection & a stand-alone The Very Best Of.18jul02His retro Buddy Holly look was hard to resist. His energy seemed to be unflagging. Perhaps one of the most prolific pop writers of the time he must have been writing in his sleep – though every song was fully alive. He gradually allowed the sound to mature, the emotional impact of his lyrics never faltered as he moved from relationships to cultural insights. I can’t pick a favourite release. 18jul03Then he slowed down, branched out & became less edgy, more middle-of-the-road, his own TV chat show & for a time – over-exposed. He was in a position to try big band, c/w, even string quartets without losing his creativity integrity. Those first dozen lps though are a body of work few others have rivalled.18jul04Rounding out the mp3 cds are works by Big Pig – a fun, underrated Brit band; Prince: Batman: I love this & he is one of the few who can equal Costello for creativity & consistent output. Duran Duran: Greatest Hits – sweet fun that owes a lot to Costello; Split Enz: another band that owes a lot to Costello but never reached his level of fame; Flying Pickets: hey, everyone loves harmonies & their material was off the wall.sample

Religious

‘In this course we will be looking at the various religious practices around the world. Some will be new to you, some may, in fact, shock you but all involve the human need for belief – for without belief culture crumbles and as we have seen from the past …..’

Dave’s look drifted over the heads of the others in the class. He had found a seat in the next to last row in the lecture theatre. He wasn’t enrolled in this module but had one elective left to pick up and had sat in on two others to see which might be the right one for him.

Rows of hair rippled around him. Blond, black, colors that didn’t exist in nature. Oh God! Afros were making a come back! James Draviner the lecturer had a reputation for fairness and a bent for the unexpected.

Last year Dave had heard one of the class assignments had been to discover religion in ordinary, daily things. The result had been the Church of the DQ – Dairy Queen as the ultimate being, ice cream the sacrament and so on. That was just the sort of thing he felt drawn to.

Worship me you fools, he beamed his thought control message over the rows of hair. None turned. Damn, I must have forgot to turn on the thought control machine. Oh well. I’ll have to listen and learn once more.

‘How many of you have a formal belief system. Such a Catholic, Baptist.’

Many hands went up. People looked around to see whose hands were up.

Faces. No I don’t want to see these faces. Dave looked into his note pad to avoid those faces.

‘How many of you are followers of Baal, Isis, H’matta. Any vodun priests or priestesses in the room. No? So a fairly orthodox class.’

Ah good, Dave drew a smiley face on the back of his hand, then my work will be cut out for me here. Easy pickings these orthodox sheep. They will be my followers before the term is over.

‘The worship of self, sir?’ David stood up. All eyes were upon him.

‘You must be looking for Intro to Self-Realization. That is in Lecture hall 4B.’

The class laugh. Dave’s flesh burned as they laughed.

‘You’ll regret this.’

He levelled a finger at the dais. It shook a moment. Damn, he shouldn’t have gotten so drunk last night. He didn’t even have the strength for a simple wood splitting.

soon

cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

August 12 – Friday:13466002_1105599606165115_2825996326656054174_n

http://buddiesinbadtimes.com/event/deliciously-disabled-justify-my-love/

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)

expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

6DC0301

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

newcap

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblrredrag

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Winter Wishy

For the summer I’m going back to the series of pieces mythologizing my growing up in Cape Breton. Check the Village Stories page http://wp.me/P1RtxU-1fT for links previous pieces in this series posted in July/August 2014, July/August 2015

sampvil

Winter Wishy

the winters always seemed too long

my mother called January

the wishy month

we dreamed of warmer sunnier places

as we counted the stars

San Diego Guadalajara Timbuktu

she would name off these places

as if she were once there

she had never set foot outside our village

we kids would sit around the living room

listen and dream with her

imagining places with wonderful names

Odessa Budapest Siberia

places she had never been

yet we could feel the sun

as we lay on the comforting beaches of

Hong Kong Anchorage Thunder Bay

what a big world was out there

I would go up to my bed

with these names stars in my mind

how could I ever get from here to there

I never thought to ask my mother

how she knew of such exotic places

in school I never remembered any of them

to ask our geopsychology teacher

where they were

what were they really like

how to get there

when we were trapped

by ice flows that plugged the harbour

snow turned the Whistling Woods

into white mountains

the men had to tunnel through

to get to the moose

we were captives of this weather

some days no one could be out

for more than an hour

without the risk of losing a nose or an ear

bundling up for school

took as long as it did to get to school

where we could only remove the first few layers

choir practice was conducted

in the mist of our breath

some mornings we couldn’t see

from one side of the church to the other

that mist would be so thick

our voices would tinkle off the icicles

along the rim of the dome

inside the church

we had to be careful lest one of them fell

but no one complained about the cold

there were other things to moan about

how the skidoos only worked once a week

how hard it was to get the clothes clean

stuff like that

how ink froze in our pens at school

things that were annoyances

when it was the coldest

my mother would gather us

to tell us of these wonderful places

Gibraltar Terra del Fuego Nassau

that would warm us a little

that would give us reason to live

06jul01It has been nearly a decade since I’ve read or even edited some of these Village pieces. The ones I posted the past couple of years haven been those that worked the best for performance & that had more of a stand alone strength. 06jul02Wishy starts a change of direction in the series. Its moving into a longing for change, for other places, as out hero gets a sense of a world outside the one he lives in. I pull in a varied list of exotic & not not exotic places – names used as much for their sonics as for their exoticness. Some tossed in for paradox.06jul03As a bit I did long to travel. I had a set of booklets that came one a month each about a different country & there were stickers to glue in on each page. I don’t know what became of them, there was also one of science – supposedly a cunning way to educate children.

I add a thick layer of snow to emphasize the sense of trapped, winter trapped & snow bound, while also bringing in some of the motifs of the mythology – the moose, the Whistling Woods. I resisted drifting into Paul Bunyan – where it was so cold words froze as you spoke them only to be heard in the spring thaw.06jul04There’s a also a nod that that ‘when I was a boy I walked ten miles up a hill, in a snow storm to get to school.’  I worked on extreme but slightly silly images for it was so cold that … the ink in my pen froze. I really love the moment in the church as the choir sings to the accompaniment of icicles on the inside of dome. Everyone needs a reason to live in the dead of winter.soon

cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)

expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

6DC0301

June 2-4: attending: Capturing Fire 2017 –

newcap

https://capfireslam.org

check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx5KD1eDccdjdTdQ28kZRNg

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

Cape Breton church
https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

Freedom Together

Jackie Byard

rainbow

Jackie Byard’s Freedom Together was one of the first ‘real’ jazz albums I bought way back in the 70’s. Today it still stand out to me – though that could be thanks to it’s firstness. The upright bass here is the epitome of what late night smoky nightclub jazz is – this isn’t the easy swing of Ellington, or even the accessible hipness of Miles Davis.snow01This starts off an mp3 collection that pulls together an assortment of jazz greats. some are lp to cd transfers. I added Byard’s ‘Parisian Solos’ as a fresh upload. Freedom was the only work of his that I owned, so I searched for more. The solos are excellent. He was more obscure than I imagined though.selfie

Also on the cd is Zoot Sims ‘Warm Tenor’ I had a cassette dupe of this from a friend’s collection. The title tells you all – sweet sexy music. Woody Herman: ‘Giant Steps’ love his take on the Coltrane & he does some nice work with Chick Corea’s La Fesita. Don Ellis: ‘How Time Passes’ modern Elligntonesque. Sam Jone & Neils Pederson: ‘Double Bass’ two superb bass players in duets & I love this.snow02

Finally Don Pullen: New Beginnings. Another fine pianist & composer who is hard to slot into a jazz style. Influenced by Cecil Taylor he developed his own vision often deeply spiritual, sometimes overly intellectual (to me) but I don’t mind being challenged. Silence=Death on this is an amazing piece of work.sample

Pie Part 5

‘According to Willie you did. She told him her maiden name was …’

‘Stop!’ Miss Griffs briefly held her hands to her ears. ‘It was Griffs. She was my sister. She took Eric, the one man I ever loved. You know after two years she left Eric to die a drunk and married again. When that one was dead she came back here to look for another.

‘I knew what she was really like. Playing so goody-goody with those pies and all that. I played along too, as if I forgave her. Then just like I knew she would, she started to carry on. With Dave. I saw them.

‘I wanted to surprise her and I certainly did. When she sent him packing with his roses I came to get my pies as if I’d seen nothing. Just walked in. The door was open to cool the pies. While she put them in my basket I grabbed the pipe that held the door open and let her have it.’ Miss Griffs began to cry.

‘I don’t know where I got the strength from. I don’t know. She fell. I put the pipe in my basket and I ran out of the house. I didn’t know what to do and when I saw Margaret I had to make her think I was innocent.’

Carl led her off.

‘How did you figure that out?’ I asked the Inspector.

‘We haven’t moved anything.’

I looked into the kitchen through the back door and the body was still there.

‘No way anyone could see a body through that window. Only the killer could know it was there.’

‘But … the roses.’ Margaret’s heart raced as the pieces fell into place. ‘You must have gone out the front door while we breaking down the back door. Right Dave?’

‘What are you going on about Margaret? You can’t listen to this girl.’ Dave turned nervously to the Inspector.

‘‘Sent him packing with his roses.’ Isn’t that what Miss Griffs just said? Did you put them down while you finished Cassie off?’ I pointed the roses on the floor beside Cassie’s body.

‘Talk to my lawyer.’ Dave spat his gum out as two officers led him away.

‘Clever. Miss Griffs was ready to take the blame for him. Clever for you to figure it out. I have just one more thing for you to clear up, Margaret.’ The Inspector smiled.

‘What?’

‘When are you and Carl going to set a date?’

the end

soon

March 12, Saturday: attending:

spec2016

Toronto-SpecFic-Colloquium

March 16, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring  The Ragdolls Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9

hotdamn

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

June 11 – attending: The Toronto Poetry Talks – 10 AM – Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C6

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

July 4-8: maybe attending: Chasing  your Tale – Loyalist – Belleville

loy16

I’ve already registered

https://www.facebook.com/events/1511340829175762/

loyalistfocus.com

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

ice muffin fishin'

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

Le Jour du Dernier Jour

Next on the ‘c’ shelf I have a pair of store bought cds by Cesar et les Romans. Fifty-tracks of amazing, glorious, Quebecois 60’s pop. Garage band at its best with lots of wild French covers of my 60’s favourites plus great originals. I picked these up way back in 1996 when I used to spend a week or two in Montreal several summers in a row. Driving there with friends.mousesnow

The music was part of my attempt to improve my French but also to expand my music knowledge. I have several hits collections by PQ bands. It’s a huge piece of Canada’s pop history from the 60’s that often gets ignored. My French remains so-so.chair06

The PQ radio play required not only a % of Canadian content but also a requirement for a major % of French language content. The result was local bands would do French covers of English pop so those songs could get radio play.chair07

There was a recording industry built around this. Some bands only did covers & some managed to produce original material. Often the ‘cover’ versions used only the music of the original with new lyrics when the English didn’t translate at all. Whiter Shade of Pale becomes ‘le jour du denier jour.’ The % laws gradually changed to allow more English & these bands faded away. There is still a thriving pop scene in Quebecchair08

Cesar is sweet eclectic fun covering Procol Harum, The Beatles, Jimmy Buffet, The Grass Roots & the like. The band is simple, basic & nicely recorded. They stick to that basic rock style, some bands delved into psychedelic with delightfully odd results. Every time I hear these I am transported to good times in Montreal & also to my own 60’s.

sample

Pie Part 4

‘So who found the body?’ the other officer asked.

‘Margaret did,’ Miss Griffs answered.

‘We sort of found it together. I was doing my rounds. I was at the front of the house when Miss Griffs came out from back here to get me. We broke the door down.’

‘And just why were you here Miss Griffs?’ Carl asked.

‘I had come by to get my pies.` But Cassie didn’t answer the door and I knew she knew I was coming by so I thought to check the back door and it was locked and I was going to leave. When I came out front and there was Margaret.’ She dabbed her eyes again and sat back on the bench.

‘And Willie?’ The other officer stepped out of the house.

‘He jumped out at me when Margaret went to call the police. He was going to murder me too, just like he killed Cassie.’

‘And you Dave? After that complaint Missus Crofts lodged last week I didn’t expect you to …’

‘Just a misunderstanding, Carl. I was watching that comet shower from the back yard and she thought I was spying on her.’

‘As have other women in the neighbourhood. It might be time to join an amateur astronomy club if you want to save your reputation.’ The other officer laughed.

Another pair of officers arrived. Carl stepped into the kitchen with them. The back yard filled up with what I assumed was the murder squad. Carl came back out and had us go to the front yard for more questioning.

A different officer was assigned to each of us. I got permission to finish the rest of my route. People here get used to things at a certain time, and with this delay many of them wouldn’t be pleased.

About an hour later I had just finished when Carl pulled up in a police car.

‘A few more questions and we’ll have this settled.’ He opened the door for me.

‘What’ll people think? Their trusty mailman being picked up by the police.’

‘Then let’s really give them something to talk about.’ He kissed me.

‘You’re a tough questioner. By now you should know I’m not hiding anything.’

Back at the house I saw that Willie was in the back of one of the police cars. Carl took me into the back yard.

‘Chief Inspector?’ Carl tapped a tall man peering though the window on the shoulder.

‘Now Margaret, we have to confirm some details. Corroborate some of Miss Griffs’ facts. Show us as best as you remember how you looked through the window.’

I stood on the bench. Tiptoed to crane my head to see over and around the plants in the window.

‘You see the table?’ the Inspector asked.

‘Yes. The sandwiches are still there.’

‘They’re what is called pinwheels?’

‘I suppose. I really can’t see them that well.’ I stepped down.

‘Good, good. Now show us where Miss Griffs was when she spotted the body.’

I hesitated a moment.

‘Oh don’t worry. The body has been moved,’ he reassured me.

I peered through the far edge of the window and moved my head up and down. There was onÙe break in the geraniums that allowed me a direct view of the kitchen floor.

‘Here?’

‘And what do you see?’

‘A bit of the floor, the tile.’ I stepped off the bench.

‘Bring Miss Griffs around,’ He asked Carl. ‘We have to check everything carefully.’

Miss Griffs was more red-eyed than before. Carl carried her basket and handed it with care to the Inspector. The Inspector put on a pair of rubber gloves, lifted the cloth cover and took out one pie and then another.

‘But she didn’t get her pies.’ I was astonished.

Miss Griffs blanched and leapt for the basket. ‘You have no right …’

‘And what do we have here.’ The Inspector took out a bloodied length of pipe.

‘That … that… tramp! He must have put that there when I left my basket on the counter.’ She clutched her hanky to her mouth. ‘I saw her with that Dave next door. I saw him with those roses.’

‘We’d had words about the property line and I said some things I regretted. I came back later to apologize with some roses.’ Dave explained. ‘I already told that to the police.’

‘She was casting her net over you. I know. She’s always been …’

‘Miss Griffs, how well did you know Mrs. Crofts before she moved here?’

‘Not at all Inspector. I didn’t know her at all.’ Miss Griffs blurted out. ‘I didn’t.’

‘According to Willie you did. She told him her maiden name was …’

soon

March 12, Saturday: attending:

spec2016

Toronto-SpecFic-Colloquium

March 16, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring  The Ragdolls Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9

hotdamn

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

June 11 – attending: The Toronto Poetry Talks – 10 AM – Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C6

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

July 4-8: maybe attending: Chasing  your Tale – Loyalist – Belleville

loy16

check 2016 Summer arts: loyalistfocus.com

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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I Listen 2

Picking up where I left off last week – this is what is on my iPod at any given moment. I have 9 main playlists – French & World: which always has some Brel, usually some PQ 60’s, always some Latino, then German, Japanese & African; Retro: which always has some Doors, Hendrix, lots of 60’s, 70’s but I’m now considering 90’s as retro; British pop: from the Streets to the Beatles – from obscure Dave Dee to Ketty Lester; Jazz: always Davis & Coltrane. Each of these is at least 12 hours long. Plus some Beethoven in each of them.greench01

Then there are 5 on-the-go playlists; each has at least 4 pop, 1 electronica/techno, 2 jazz & 3 classical cds uploaded to it. I often go through collections of artists this way. If, for example, Steppenwolf is currently on on-the-go 4, as I listen to that playlist & deleted it I upload the next release by Steppenwolf for the next time I listen to on-the-go 4.Alternate playlists as well though I do do them in order – on-the-go 1, then retro, then on-the-go 2 etc. There is always Mozart included in each on-the-go.greench02

There is so much classical in every play list I don’t have a separate one for it. Also there is a playlist of beta beats: sonics that stimulate the brain for creativity, focus etc. I use different ones of these brainwashers if I’m working on a project, taking a workshop. Some are calming beats that I use in transit after a show or late at night to get my brain ready for sleep. They work for me.greench03

Always on in one playlist or the other is work by Beethoven, Mozart, Vivaldi, Mendelssohn & Haydn; Coltrane, Miles Davis: frequently: The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Beatles, Stones, Van Morrison, Led Zeppelin, The Who – not many modern artists because none have produced a large enough body of work to choose from.snofa

Though there have been some singles that have stuck so that some playlists always feature them: singles by Metro Station, LMFAO, Capital Cities. I like variety but I also like to hear my favourites at least once a year. Most of my iPod listening is out doors, I don’t like too high volume either so I often end up listening to the same list twice to make sure I’ve heard it properly. If I can’t bear to hear an album a 2nd time it might be time to just cut it from the collection.sample

If this piece seems familiar I posted an earlier version of it a couple of months ago – now I’m ready to revisit & edit & here is the latest result of a piece in progress.

Faith

my proof of spirit

I say spirit

because to say God

summons a set of structured restrictions

controls

over what spirit is

of who’s access to it

is the real authentic one

their proof is in force

derision denial punishment

might makes right

 

I’m not here to prove

I have a deeper understanding

experience

articulation of spirit

I merely want to say

I have a faith in the unprovable

unless my life to this point

stands as evidence

 

I can’t say what I believe

it is as solid as the colour blue

what shade of blue is irrelevant

the eye perceives

the brain interprets

associations of the past

change the colour of the present

 

it isn’t even ‘I’

in the centre of the perception

the biological function of the brain

is independent of this ‘I’

it has faith

that I don’t need to be conscious of

I just need remember to breathe

receive

 

I have nothing to prove

to anyone

not even myself

 

soon02March 12, Saturday: attending:

spec2016

Toronto-SpecFic-Colloquium

March 16, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring  The Ragdolls Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9

hotdamn

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC

nufire

https://www.facebook.com/capturingfire/

June 11 – attending: The Toronto Poetry Talks – 10 AM – Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C6

poetrytalk

https://www.facebook.com/events/147955055574679/

July 4-8: maybe attending: Chasing  your Tale – Loyalist – Belleville

loy16

check 2016 Summer arts: loyalistfocus.com

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016expo16

https://www.facebook.com/fanexpocanada/?fref=ts

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

nanobullseye

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

sofa

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

‘this pie has all its fingers in you’

The fact that I’m a gay, white, cismale who may symbolize the patriarchy for many of the poets at Capturing Fire is something I’m willing to live with (& usually ignore) to be present with so many vibrant, political active & articulate performers of all races, genders & countries. I’m also of an age where I don’t feel the cost of getting my money’s worth has to be my health – so I took my time & got to the day’s events when I got there, sometimes later than when things started.

dcbooks01

First up was Cupid Ain’t Shit hosted by J Mase (as a side note if my hair could hold colour I would let it grow). A flock of lines: white supremacy wants it to be nice, hates it when you make people uncomfortable, makes enough space for you not to get ahead – answering your dangerous question – singing & sucking like a bullfrog – this pie has all its fingers in you – cops smell like chlorine clammy whores – I told him I’d be free all week, he said he’d see if he had any time – when I open my mouth is silences you – I was so blind I thought I was being reasonable – resents me behind closed keyboards – the truth will out itself – sometimes sex is better downwind of the dumpster – you were happy & then you blamed me – words stay after the bruises are gone – I used to think coming out would make you better – coming out of the closet implies that I was ever in one – when darkness has so much to say – the Atlantic calls me by name – I don’t need maps of where I went wrong – somewhere between conversation & deconstruction – his tongue a fire, safe – I like to pretend I don’t live alone – they learned to spell by diagnosis – it makes more sense to you to know what lies between my legs than my name – afraid that rejection will lead to aggression – write things into existence – this is for the kid everyone knows but no one knows his name (or gender) – one place made by stealing another – to the tune of the money trail – I am the mother of a verbal revolution.

dcbooks02

There was a ten minute breather before Barbra Erochina’s Wrestling God & Girls – which was not a look at WWF female wrestlers – but at her experiences with religious repression & sexual awakening. A rough draft reading of her one-person show. A breaking of lines: laughter ricochets around the room like bullets off a steel wall – even my toes were curling with God – I am the daughter of secrets at 3 a.m. – our intimacy was scripted by religious pamphlets – I want her to welcome Me into her heart – as we pray for his soul I taste his shame on my tongue – I din’t expect my body to take over but it does – autoimmune disease is part genetics & part trauma. This was an engaging, intimate performance that drew us all in quickly & held us to the end, even if, like me, we had no religious upbringing background. Whether we know it or not we all struggle against the phobia people hide behind religious cant.

dcbooks03

Another breather before sitting in on ‘Adesia’ hosted by Venus-Thomas Hinyard (who had to quit their job to get time to host). Here are some bones scattered from the pieces presented: accused of using our oppression to get free things – Bible verses used to beat our sense of self out of us – I want to keep my hair natural like Eve because Eve didn’t have a comb – I tried to fit my Dad into a poem last night & I think I killed him – if I die before I wake don’t try to resurrect me in a three minute slam poem – our scars come from the same exclusions – we sit between silences – danced agains and again till we remembered who we were – I elected a new Führer – a demiurge with demi urgency – you are the aggressor since you reported it – asks if you got infected on purpose – there never was a ballad as visceral as torch – old songs become new hymns – I hate that education is not free – they adjust the noose & tell us the higher we swing the freer we’ll become – to have access to freedom you have to obey the rules. Powerful, frank & no-holds-barred performances that were inspiring to experience. Plus one of my fave obscure singer Dakota Stanton got name checked in one piece.

books01

There was more to happen but my butt said I’d heard all it could absorb for one day. I went to back to my hotel to rest, planning to get out for the wrap party but drifted off to sleep. Such is the life for an aging, gay, white, cismale who may symbolize the patriarchy (so get over it).

hot

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1504753909765085/

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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books

‘Is #God just another man you can’t get to stay?’

The sun was finally out in Washington – humid with looming thunderstorms that backed off to allow eager tourists to shop without getting their purchases damp. Also to allow Day 2 of Capturing Fire to fully bloom. Now that I know my way to the DCC my walk is so confident people stop me in the street to ask for directions. I only know my way to where I’m going.

I got to the DCC for Optical Illusion workshop with Paul Tran – he/we managed to cover a lot of people & territory in less than two hours. I opted out of the next couple events to relax back at my hotel, get cleaned up & was back for Alchemy hosted by the energetic magnetic Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi – a reading by trans & gender challenging slammers: a river muddied by the way we tortured the sea – a war zone will hold your weapons but not invest in you – a living allegory of the cave – your Mom calls you ladies’ man, neither of which you are – existence does not start with your gender – your flesh means nothing to the truth – a misgendering set of curves – outfitted to match the expectations of our oppressors – a cape washed in the blood of the fallen, which is as close as you (Catlin Jenner) will ever get to them – terrorists don’t deserve booty from you – she was digging in my closet before I knew I had one – my mother likes my name for the body she buried there – the boy in me breaks like a fever – I’ve fucked enough liars to know what they look like – as if hearing my sad story gives you street cred – acts as if being accepted is like being understood.

dcstep01

Spanish steps 1

I barely had time to catch my breath before heading across the street to Busboys & Poets for the Capturing Fire slam. Great food kept me alert for the next four hours – hours that flew past thanks to the 18 slammers in competition. Fewer & fewer made each round until the final two were given five minutes to free write a brand new piece to be crowned this year’s winner.

Round One: I didn’t want pills but my LCF (?) prescribed them – bring her stuff in a river of lost child – we are just trying to find ourselves, who wants go missing – as if he had never fucked in a bedroom full of smoke – black ain’t in nobody’s rainbow – the blackest church on two feet – you’re not disabled enough – I’m in the presence of those who don’t have the privilege to hide – people can’t look past my weight – alines children walk amongst you – I smile like a girl who has never tasted rum – I’m trying to remember that one day there’ll be a day when I can go out – we claim every stall & urinal, easier to dress others than to dress ourselves – when it seems no one will claim us we claim each other – I’m your 2015 nightmare of truth – where’s my Malcolm X – it’s not that different from what we do in bed – being gay is the least interesting thing about me – I’m not a writer I just don’t want to forget things – dial tone after the call for mating – they look him in the eye of the storm – your smile is a war zone – I experience gender like a moth darting between two flames, both of which will burn me – thin line between free wheeling and free falling – gay or faggot are not synonyms for stupid or weak – the immaculate conception is your fantasy – George Taki is not loud enough to drown the white voice out – my friends like to ask me black questions – if you fucking want to know where to get weed, why don’t you ask your Dad – shirts to match my new gender pronouns – my brother reminds me of bugs – I was just trying to communicate with a different kind of hive – I thought I could see so far through me I’d see her – another winter passing away is my memoir.

dcstep02

Spanish steps 2

A sampling of the poets who went on to the next round: see your reflection in my skinhead shine – cruelty needs no excuse – I speak a language too ancient to be be allowed – find something else to do with your hands – the mouth can make the vulgar seem digestible – I have a lot of bad habits like self-silence – the thought of what kind of animal you might be – a night of tear gas & tanks – the open season has become year round – it took us thirty-five years to find forgiveness – a father you met on a hill who’ve your first beer at the age of twelve – I thought I looked like Vin Diesel gum ball – broken & bloodied but whole – it’s like a carnival ride & a crime scene – I’m sick of feeling my trauma defines me – disrobed of trendy junk – high on a hill of deliberate ignorance – I was raised to love your skin – are you trying to become a body of water – is God just another man you can’t get to stay – thought all I had to do was what I was good at to be successful – I become aroused so I thought was going to die –

Round 3 – no memorial stones for people of colour – stop waving your penis around like an SOS – it’s best to hide as there is no way to tomorrow – I don’t think a # can save the world – don’t single me out from the tribe, anything but that – the hand I’ve been dealt is limp – the hospital doesn’t care about you if you don’t speak English – keep our teeth white to colonize our mouths – language has never been a fair fight.

dcstep03

Spanish steps 3

For the flash writing round the final two wrote to the prompt ‘what happens to a dream deferred: it shatters – after this explosion then there was only black smoke – a voice that eats the black away – hear the one about the boy & the bullet, only one of them found the way home  – and the winner was Timothy DuWhite – the first slammer to go up in round one & the last one standing four hours later. The blog title is one of his lines.

hot

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Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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snowsteps

winter steps