#FanExpoCanada 2015

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CN Tower from Convention Centre

Over the years I’ve learned to ‘negotiate’ FanExpo for maximum enjoyment. Last year I opted not to bother with the Thursday morning line up by 1. picking up my wristband & pass the day before; 2. arriving after 2 pm on Thursday, by which time the Premium pass lineup has already made its way in. Easy & fast.

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follow the Off White Queen

Picking up my pass the day before also gets me ready for the hell of Union Station – due to renovation work Union has been a maze the past few years. It wasn’t so bad this year – the Skywalk was readily accessible – though the fast-food places on the GO level were all closed for on-going work – no Tim Ho’s for snaps of cosplayers gulping down Tim Bits. But lot of cosplayers hefting axes, bow & arrows on their way to hopefully being swarmed by photographers. At least on the Skywalk I was able avoid being whacked or tripped by their props.

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tee shirts of the damned

Day one I get a sense of what I want, go though the program for possible events but as I get older I’m not longer chomping at the bit for a Hogwarts reunion or a q&a with the cast of Teen Wolf (maybe, no, definitely with Tyler Posey in private). I did pick up a Dario Argento DVD set: Cat O’Nine Tails, Deep Red & Inferno. I also kept an eye open for some old school horror tee’s – too bad I’m not that into Walking Dead, Star Wars or Star Trek as there was lot of that to be bought. Where was Bride of Frankenstein? Hey look, there’s Mike Tyson.

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ready for her close-up

Day two was more of the same – I got off at St Andrews to avoid Union & also to hit the Starbucks near there – bonus stars cashed in – easy entry starting with the North hall & more of the horror stuff. Nothing cracked my wallet open though. Though the gladiator clad men were fetching I resisted being one of the 200 cameras pointed at them. Over to the South hall & found American Vampire volumes 4, 6, 7 that I don’t have. I resisted Volume 1 of the collected Sandman – weighed too much & cost too much: $175.00! even with the free bag that was a bit much for me. I guess the gold edging was real gold. Hey look, there Rupert Grint.

After a few hours I was ready to leave. Spotted a few celebs, gotten tripped and/or swathed by one too many cosplay props as I tried to avoid baby carriages & no where to actually sit down either. The Premium lounge is great in theory but not inviting enough. But I did find the old school monster tee I was looking for – spotted one at the tiptop of one of the tee-shirt retailer walls – of course they hire just for the event & so staff doesn’t know stock & it took twenty minutes to find one, male cut, in my size. What did I get? You’ll have to wait till I get my pic taken at a future Cabaret Noir to know. Or send me $5 via paypal for an early peek 🙂 paypal.me/TOpoet

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clearly not going commando

Skipped Saturday, & Sunday was, as expected, mayhem, thanks to: Hey look! Gillian Anderson. Next year I’ll stick to Thursday & Friday, unless they bring in the cast of American Horror Story. There’s a photo op many would line up for – Jessica hold the whip a little higher.

sample

Life of An Unknown Poet

I was handing my credit card

to the Winners clerk

when my camera crew got into shoving match

with her camera crew

 

I didn’t see how out of hand things were

till I watched a podcast of

The Making of The Life of An Unknown Poet

by the crew following my camera crew

 

my head camera man was asked

how did the poet feel

when he was accosted

he pointed his camera at me

as I walked out of the store

I looked back

glad I was still the one on camera

 

I was tempted to go back

but didn’t want to interrupt

the entertainment food chain

I had my own life to lead

and what he thought I thought

about the shoving match

wasn’t all that vital to me

the world knew how shallow I was

for a poet

 

except for this show

I remained unknown

even after six seasons

my books sales hadn’t increased

I wasn’t getting reviews

and this pissed me off

in fact my viewers

would like to see me pissing too

but I had to draw the line somewhere

they could watch me flush

but couldn’t see me take a leak

I have some pride

 

later there was a news report

of the shoving match

someone was injured

not one of my crew or my crew’s crew

it struck me how futile it was

that no matter what one did

someone was bound to suffer

that even allowing my personal angst

to be the fodder of millions

it didn’t stop the circle of suffering

my camera crew applauded me

as I wrote those lines about suffering

which made it all worth while once again

I can go living giving all to my life

even if there is no bump in book sales

or any chance of sex

 

unless that camera man

from the clerk’s camera crew is available

he looked kind of hot

in the podcast of the shoving match

he needs a shave

but his bloody nose gave this unknown poet

a spark of known reality

 

 

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo
nano15

http://nanowrimo.org/

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Star Trek Subtext

samples

Star Trek Subtext

an all day Star Trek marathon

the original series on DVD

weird space plants

funky 60’s retro-futurist sets

Kirk Spock Bones Sulu

(Sulu who knew you were

the real queen of outer space)

 

we had nachos salsa

bags of sea salt-n-pepper chips

Hawaiian pizza fried chicken

diet coke real dr pepper

a 90 inch plasma TV

to see Trek in all its never to fade glory

 

to make it more fun

as each episode started

we did a soprano unearthly dance

every time Scotty said

‘I’m giving it everything we got captain’

we’d eat chips as fast as we could

when Uhura said

‘we are experiencing interference’

we saw who could burp the loudest

every time Shat took off or tore his shirt

we removed an article of our own

(Strip Trek)

 

every time the fate of a culture

was decided by a kiss from Shat

we made moony eyes at each other

until someone said ‘phasers on stun’

each time human emotions

were a puzzle

we asked deep personal questions like

‘who has the bigger dick

Checkov or that guy

with his face painted black and white?’

 

when any alien said

‘what is this thing you earth people call kissing’

we gave each other alien tongue baths

every time Spock said ‘illogical’

we did the Vulcan grind meld

 

by the time the marathon was over

it didn’t matter

that neither of us really liked Star Trek

we’ll never forget this Star Date One

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trees in the morning mist

This is a rare, for me, piece about popular culture. I set out deliberately to write something that was relatable, funny, sexy and fun to perform. This sort of pop culture poetry cut through gender and sexuality at the same time. I love performing it – attempting various voices for the characters.

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trans memorial tree in the lobby at 519

The structure is based on drinking games I’ve heard some people play for various TV shows – take a shot when so-and-so does one of their trade mark repeated actions. Repeated actions that one loses awareness of until you actually take real note of. Must save the writers time – what do we do now – take off his shirt? Star Trek has lots of these sorts of consistent moments.

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tree felled by wind

I made the drinking game not an eating game, that eventually becomes more than eating food. One of the keys, to me, was to get the right flow of events, sot hat things built up to actions that were increasingly fun and sexual without become explicit.

Alien tongue bath anyone?

foggy

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Star Trek Subtext

Got out to Plasticine Poetry Sunday night. I haven’t been to a reading event for nearly two months. Not since I hosted Plasticine in December. I guess that’s part of the aging process – my unwillingness to bundle up warm and then drag myself out on cold wet nights to spots where there is barely room to sit at a table, let alone have a place to pile winter clothes. Paupers offers a bit of space for that in their booths so one doesn’t have to sit the entire night wearing the parka that you don’t want to throw on the floor.memole15

No mic cord for the first set of open stagers & feature. But the room was good for hearing without microphone – though first feature Lynn McClory did have to move to centre of the room. Her set was, for me, a bit dry. I’ve never been a fan of poetry about language – her works captures emotional distancing with abstractions, language play and broken phrases.  As much as I like phrases such as ‘deftly indifferent to the photographs’ I’m not sure how one is deftly indifferent. I did enjoy the irony of her closing piece about the Silent Majority.

During the break I connected with Adam Abbas – he did a great pean to Cathy Petch when he hit the open stage later. Also enjoyed running into and then sharing my booth with one of the Toronto Erotica guys. Thanks also to the organizers for cake to celebrate the recent launch of Cathy Petch’s book “Late Night Knife Fights” – which is already into it’s second printing.PC070014.JPG

Jim Nason started the second set – he read from his recent book “Narcissus Unfolding.” The pieces had a strong sense of place – the ocean, a back alley – that felt grounded and were emotionally inviting to me. Images like ‘the terrible flame of your father’s hand’ made sure I bought a copy of his book.

Final feature was Beatriz Hausner. When I featured with her at Plasticine a few years ago she read several surreal pieces about sewing the perfect man & that book  – “Sew Him Up” – is now in print, so I bought it. The pieces she read from it were infused with a warm Latino sensuality the reminded me of my favorites Lorca and Arenas. She read some pieces from ‘Raccoon’ that were rich with magic realism balanced with powerful emotional response to the life and death of Amy Winehouse – a book I can’t wait to get.

I managed to get into the first round of open stagers – read a couple of comfortable older pieces. As usual the open stagers run the gamut of pure Canadiana nature poetry to closing with a Serge Gainsbourgh song.

samples

Here’s one of the pieces I read:

Star Trek Subtext

an all day Star Trek marathon

the original series on Blue Ray

weird space plants

funky 60’s retro-futurist sets

Kirk Spock Bones Sulu

(Sulu who knew you were

the real queen of outer space)

we had nachos   salsa

bags of sea salt-n-pepper chips

Hawaiian pizza   fried chicken

diet coke   real dr pepper

a 90 inch plasma TV

Trek in all its never to fade glory

as each episode started

we did a soprano unearthly dance

every time Scotty said

‘I’m giving it everything we got captain’

we’d eat chips as fast as we could

when Uhura said

‘we are experiencing interference’

we saw who could burp the loudest

every time Kirk took off or tore his shirt

we removed an article of clothing

(Strip Trek)

every time the fate of a culture

was decided by a kiss from Kirk

we made moony eyes at each other

until someone said ‘phasers on stun’

each time human emotions

were a puzzle

we asked deep personal questions like

‘who has the bigger dick

Chekov or that guy

with his face painted black and white?’

when any alien said

‘what is this thing you earth people call kissing’

we gave each other alien tongue baths

every time Spock said ‘illogical’

we did the Vulcan grind meld

by the time the marathon was over

it didn’t matter

that neither of us really liked Star Trek

we’ll never forget this Star Date One

…..

When I got home there was Sulu – George Takei – on Celebrity Apprentice – though I don’t think I’d want of these contestants to make me a sandwich.

dish