Noir Magick Finale

A chilly October night was made even chillier by Cabaret Noir’s Halloween show. At least we weren’t knocking the snow off our boots. A full house, some in costume, ‘enjoyed’ an evening of zombies, witches, vampires & Bela Lugosi. Lizzie Violet, with lips artful sown shut, started the show with a piece of her own: ‘I could still hear it breathing.’ Philip Cairns brought the Ghosts of the Past – a piece sparked by a film shoot in a place he had lived as a child – there’s a movie plot is that – apparently he’s still haunted by Annette Funicello’s breasts. He was followed by Shawn Sosnowski who did a fine acapella take on Bright Eye’s ‘You Will.’


First feature D. S. Campbell hit the stage with his inner child literally exploding out of his head. He read from his Zombie Manifesto. First a scene on an airport tarmac: ‘just enough breathing room, to consider the weather,’ ‘I saw them shuffle … eating as they themselves were dying.’ Tension was palpable & characters were sharply drawn. The other section was the nano-technological rational of the zombies – for once it makes sense but you’ll have to read the book to find out what it is.


After a break Saraah October did a vampire piece: ‘She said I could come in, but I wasn’t sure.’ I followed with my much anticipated set – anticipated mainly by me 🙂 I’ve never read one of my short stories so I wasn’t sure if I had the energy, for one thing, or that the audience would follow & not get antsy after five minutes. Yes I had the energy & no they didn’t get antsy. Sex Magick cast its spell over them.


After a break Conflicting Plaid hit the stage – bass, lead & drummer in various zombie makeup – or were they just scary than usual mimes? As always their punk drive delivered a pile-driver set of propulsive fun. They added a few seasonal songs: ‘pieces of you keep turning up’ ‘she loves me for my brraains’ ‘you cut off my hand & shoved it up my ass.’ Great originals plus some covers include a great take on Bela Lugosi’s Dead. A set that left us both called & warmed up.pinkdoll

Sadly, & unknown at the time, this was the final of Cabaret Noir. The Central just isn’t making enough $ on sweet potato fries – most poets, performers don’t have enough cash to keep that show commercially viable enough. Rest assured this isn’t the end of Lizzie Violet.


For my set I read Sex Magical Quarterly – a stolen magazine has unexpected results on the thief – this is a excerpt from the story:

When Hogsy got home he stashed his magazines in a box under his bed. All through supper he itched to read whatever it was the Sex Magick had to say.

As Hogsy ate, he felt the witch’s eyes burning into him. They seemed to be everywhere he looked.


Back in his room, Hogsy propped open his history text. The Sex Magick pull-out fit perfectly under it so he could read it and hide it fast if someone came into his room

The witch’s glittering eyes danced on and off the page. They seemed to be in 3D. He held the cover at eye level and tilted it this way and that to see what sort of printing technique they had used. It had to be some sort of laser print. The eyes darted in a way that made him open the insert.

The first page was an introduction to the use of the spell. He skimmed it; the print got smaller toward the bottom of the page. It was stuff about getting the right implements, taking take to clear one’s mind. Stuff he didn’t care about.

The weird font and odd use of language made it difficult for him to understand what was being said. Then it became another language all together.

“Nam drim incagto Hogsy fridamo.” He was amazed to see his name right there in the spell. He looked away, rubbed his eyes and looked back. Yep, it said Hogsy all right!

There was whole paragraph which he felt compelled to say out loud. The words felt odd as he stumbled through them, but when he read it a second time, it flowed and he felt he actually understood what it said. His name only appeared in that one place. After the third time, his eyes became heavy and he fell asleep at his desk.

He woke out of a wild sex dream. He was with the witch on the cover making out in a huge, endless bed. The bed was like the beach. She kept touching his cock and balls with her tongue while talking to him. She was speaking in the same language as the spell. He was forced awake by the need to piss.

When he woke he was in bed. He didn’t remember leaving his desk. His cock throbbed with pee pressure, and he rushed to the bathroom.

He struggled with his fly on the way to the bathroom to get his cock out before he pissed his pants. It felt like his underwear had gotten twisted around and all bunched up around his nut sack.

He kicked the bathroom door shut behind him and pushed his jeans down. He couldn’t believe what he saw. His cock was big. He was dizzy looking at the size of it. He began to piss and the stream was dark yellow and he was missing the toilet. Pee was splashing off the rim, on to the floor and walls.

He was afraid to touch his cock, but had to keep it aimed. How could it grow that much overnight? What took one hand to aim now took two. Yesterday he could get his hand around the shaft; now it was like trying to get his hands around a … a football.


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‘pleasure in the school yard after Noir’

Lizzie Violet hosted the September Cabaret Noir at the Central to a a packed house of people eager to escape the tedium of Tiff red carpet events. A quick round of open-stagers got the show off to  great start. Sarrah October with a sneaky snaky piece about not fitting in: she grew up feeling it was ‘normal to excluded because kids are assholes,’ ‘… accept words at face because you don’t have  a choice.’  Wayne Neon did a fun song ‘She’s the girl in the transparent dress.’ I hit the stage with some creepy pieces to hint at my October set (which may include a lost Twilight Zone episode.)


steps to the school yard?

First feature was the ultra sparkly Melissa Nicole Mather: with some poems about love, family & growth through loss: ’I want to paint you a plane,’ ‘if only I had the courage to make a scene to prevent the obscene,’ ‘the fish felt the floor for pins,’ ‘if it weren’t for you (leaving me) I never would have found myself.’ She ended with a bouncy dream pop synth song that reminded me a lot of Book of Love.

After a break Dan Curtis Thompson with James King gave us a hint of their upcoming production of Scooter Thomas – this glimpse was of two 13-yr-old boys bragging about making sexual discoveries ‘they weren’t made of rubber they were real tits’ ‘you can stop crying & come out of the bushes’


school yard at noon

Next was feature Beth Murch – winner of the the 2015 HotDamn slam ( with a seemly effortless set of emotional, funny, articulate pieces about body conformity, religion, sex & city life. ‘you would be my friend if I were fit (not fat)’, ‘F.A.T. Fucking Amazing Tits,’ my body is more than a Wonderland, it’s a Bouncy Castle,’ ‘do I belive in God? do I believe in swimming lessons?’ ‘salvation is the last piece of cake & that’s given to my sister instead,’ ‘the halls smelt like bic pens & ammonia’ ‘he said he’d never leave – he was right because I still find bits of his lies around,’ ‘a language older that words,’ ‘I will give you oral pleasure in the school yard after dark.’ A perfectly structured set that left all wanting more.


school yard at night

After a another quick break for drinks, chapbook sales & smoke ceremonies the last open-stagers started the last set. Arlene Paculan with a new song: ‘you’re deep inside my fantasy.’ James King with a ballad of longing ‘I never knew I could love you – I guess there are some surprises left.’


school yard later at night

Then Myke Mazzei hit the stage. I have heard Myke many times over the years & his stage presence never fails to invite us into his gentle worldview. His deceptively simple guitar playing supports his strong singing. Some of the songs remind of the best of America or Poco. ‘here I am rambling in the dark again,’ ‘like a bruise you can cover it up but can’t take it back, ‘I was wrong to make you cry.’


besides Memory I also read Confirmation (


have you forgotten me

black bones in the cluttered attic

satin shoes in the dry basement

the tufts of red hair in the eucalyptus tree

fragments of me to be moved   assembled

each lift of the stain spotted blanket

each a dream in it’s fresh grave

a pinch of thou shalt remember

this bone dust sonata

gives shape each time it is deconstructed

rafters   sugar laces   broken diaries

scopes we scrape together

fleshless ginger ciliate coverings

teach each time we redecorate the dungeon’s view

of a Norwegian countryside cemetery

comfortless in warm midnight allure



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November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo

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A fine sunny Sunday, a great Noir line up, great food & drinks -what more could you ask – well a running transit system for one thing 😦 Not that I fault the TTC for the track level incident that resulted in shutting down the east/west line from Pape to St. George – but having to face nearly an hour of travel time waiting for, getting on & off  shuttle busses can be discouraging. Welcome to city life.

So the house was a bit smaller than usual as a result but that didn’t diminish our enthusiasm but did cut down on the number of opens stagers: just two of us. Cate McKim with a perfectly performed, emotionally stirring take on Come To My Window. I did a couple of pieces & had time to explain a bit about the writing of the Skipping Songs. Let’s face it no one ever says – there weren’t enough open stagers.


water wheel

First feature June Morrow ( – is a story teller – had a story about sexual shaming & bullying in mid 80’s high school. When a boy who broke off with her because ‘she was too good for him,’ starts a ‘slut’ calling campaign – having his friends call her ‘slut’ in front of others – she plots revenge. As an adult she looks back wondering ‘was he trying to say that sex is bad … that is is bad to enjoy sex.’  A powerful, well-constructed and performed piece about the nature of bulling and how it can result in forcing the ‘slut’ to think thing though in ways the bully never does. I never enjoyed being called faggot in high school but I did force me to examine the nature of sexuality in way that many men never do.


wheels in the air

Next up was Dan Curtis Thompson with a story of recovering from a tough break up & getting back into the dating game. He gets caught between a booty call or time with a woman he really longs for. Should he follow his dick or his heart? Funny, emotionally true and performed with self-deprecating sweetness he showed us another side of talk to the hand.


under my wheels, anyone

After a brief break the delightful duo The Vaudevillian (Brendan J Stephens and Willow Walker) hit the stage for an energetic set of old-time music. Excellent guitar work, simple washboard (with bells) rhythms gave us a set that was like being on a seaside boardwalk in the 20’s. I loved being taken to another time by their effortless performances that let the natural humour & emotion of the music carry us with them.

Lizzie Violet put together yet another cabaret of great talent. I can’t wait till the next one.



I read some of these when I hit the opened stage:

Children’s Skipping and Play Songs of Isle St Nuit

mama kentu

she makes a list

mama kentu

she makes a list

makes a list

she holds tight

in her fist

in her fist


mama kentu

she makes a list

she take it to

the snake skin man

the snake skin man

and on the list

she writes

salt and pepper

salt and pepper

on the paper

salt and pepper

give me a candy

and all will fall

into the list

mama kentu

she makes a list


three little babies

left out in the rain

one had six legs

the other had pain

the third

was shed

to become the skin

of the next of kin

three little babies

left out in the rain


call me quick

call me trick

and the leaves will leave

and the rain will fall

take the time

to bring back my ball

we see the world

all in all

I will go to France

you will go home

because you  wet your pants

I will to heaven

and you will go to hell


you have no secrets to tell


1   2

we march and we flew

3   4

we found the key to open the door

5   6

the snake in the stick

7  8

he made us wait and wait

and when got back again

it was time for

9 and 10

9 and 10

fingers and toes

one to touch the sky

the other to touch his nose


father father

call us to your church

father father

let us learn to sing

mother mother

we know the Mary mild

we have the reach

we have the perch

high in the trees

where the dead children chirp

we know the way

we know the day

father father

call us to church


I have seen

we have seen

your mama and your papa

with the mambo snake

he was green

and he was slithery

and we were busy

in the kitchen

so he would go

to your house

eat you all up

faster than a mouse


the forest is wet

and we are pretty

we have no place to set

our feet

that isn’t dirty


the three red boys

bring the snake his joys

the little green bird

swings and sings

this the pail

and this is the brook

we all know the  skin

and we all feel the grin

as the joy goes up

and boys go down


skip a rope

find a slope

bring a stone

and start alone

jump and weave

time to leave

for the next to jump in



what list did she bring

salt pepper

salt pepper

fast slow

and away we go


snake jala

snake jala

didn’t finish her dinner

come out come out

we want to see

if you got thinner

snake jala

snake jala

don’t be shy

we won’t make you cry

just finish your dinner

slip and slip

we are ready

to see to play

come out now before the crack of day


he hides and waits

slake and fakes

hunts and kills

so get you home

before the sun

slides behind the hills

sleep tight

sleep at night

and all will be better in the morning.

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n0ir n0ir 7

Icy sidewalks (can we talk about the city’s war on pedestrians), subzero weather, storm warnings & even the Grammies didn’t keep people away from the February Noir. I’ve seen bigger houses for the show but regardless of size of the audience the talent on stage is always large.


After a round of dynamic open stagers – Philip Cairns (missing Anita Ekberg), Tracy Hamilton (romantic memory), myself (bitter/sweet romantic memories), Josh Goldstein (fast flow fever dreamer) – David Bateman gave us a fine set from his recent books, & also a lesson that being published isn’t the road to riches.

His monologue on the death of a lover starts ‘am I ready to write about you/two decades later’ – there is no time limit to grief – ‘you and someone like you dying inside me.’ The set was sprinkled with haiku ‘if there’s a kind of hush/all over the world/why can’t you shut up.’


A brief intermission was followed by Toronto’s Unexpected Bite: Regina Dentata as she explores the various forms of burlesque. To a great 007 theme remix she was captivating in an emerald green glitter gown that would have been perfect for the Grammies red carpet. Slinking through the audiences she drew a few lucky guys into her routine, doing a glove peel around the neck of one man (he may never wash that neck again:-) ). A sweet reveal and some dangerous derriere tease that made twerking look tame.

Special guest Dan Curtis Thompson took to the stage, indulging in banter with Regina as she changed behind the backstage curtain: ‘it’s not sex if it’s your brother.’ He did funny, romantic story telling (as opposed to stand-up) structured around irrational fears – balloons & falling in love – both of which are unavoidable – the need to tell someone you love them becomes literally like a balloon filling and about to burst.


By now the hands on the clock were pushing past 10 & it was time for me to head for home (thirty minutes via TTC) so I missed the bulk of Shikha Sehgal’s set – what I heard was, not surprisingly, excellent. Next month is Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir’s 100th anniversary show – get there early if you expect a decent seat.


besides ‘a crown of #kisses’ I read




you owe me sixteen dollars

for that time

you forgot your wallet again

when you were taking me out to lunch –

you owe me for all those boring

comic Jim Carey movies

I had to see to keep you happy

while you refused to see anything

that I might have actually enjoyed –


you owe for the times

I’ve skipped seeing my friends

so I could be with you –

seeing lousy movies

you owe me

for never skipping your friends

to be with me –


you owe me for

never telling me that you loved me –

you owe me for the three weeks

I had the crabs

and had to wash every sheet in my house

and then had to wash all your sheets

you owe me

for the time I spent sorting your laundry

and folding it

and putting away

while you were too sick to do anything –


you owe me for the two trips to Montreal,

for the week-end in Niagara Falls –

you owe me for the the cd’s I lent

you to get burned

but which vaporized somewhere along the line –

you owe me for the computer virus

you though was so cute

but which ate not only my hard drive

but also my cat

and the house plant you bought me –

you owe me for the times you got off and I didn’t –

you owe me for the the five bounced checks –

you owe me for taking me for granted –


you owe me

for the free rental of my thoughts

and worries

when I could have been worrying

about things

that deserved my worry –

like the holes in the ozone

you made with oven cleaner –

you owe me for the starving children

in wherever the hell they are

because you made me look a that commercial

and send them money

and now I get photos

of even sicker kids every week –


you owe me

you owe me

for the broken ankle you got

falling down the stairs drunk –

you owe me for death of your parents –

you owe me for the bad season of the Walking Dead –

you me for updating your FB status

to ‘in a relationship’

and five minutes later

when you were supposed to be taking a shower

I saw you on Grindr

looking for NSA


you owe me for

the shitty attitude that waiters give me

when I go out to lunch on my own –

you owe me for the now lumpy mattress

I have to sleep on –

you owe me

for the time I found out

that you weren’t even human –

you don’t remember that do you –

well I do and you owe me for that

you inhuman prick –


you owe me big time

and will always owe me big time

and now it’s payback time

so get our your wallet

I mean cash

no more bounced checks


March 7 -Saturday – attending – 2015 Toronto SpecFic Colloquium – Round Venue, 152A Augusta Ave., Toronto


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


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


(2015 registration posted but details not posted yet. I’ve registered already 🙂 )

June 21-26 – attending – Rosemary Aubert’s Workshop – Loyalist – Belleville


Loyalist Workshop is the real deal

(further info & links: TBA)

September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo


October 18, Sunday – feature: Cabaret Noir: Deep Burlesque Hallowe’en




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Nasty Naughty Noir

Cabaret Noir blasts the chill away with laughs, burlesque and propulsive punk with its first show of 2015. After a set of great open stagers: Brenda Clews with winter reflections; D S Campbell with a snippet of his Twitter novel @ZombieManifesto; Josh Goldstein with a fine poetic flow: & TOpoet plugging the Sunday benefit show; Heather Macdonald (Twitter: @heather_mariko) hit the stage.


nasty dirty snowballs

Heather did a wide ranging set of stand-up comedy that went from warning signs that make he want to do what she’d never think of doing, Asian Flush (she’s part Asian so gets the flush half the time); Mennonite horse and buggies with modern car bucket seats and the kids in back playing Farmville on their iPhone6’s.


a shot of Whiskey crumbled this snowman

A sultry slinky Whiskey Winter did a temperature raising turn to Christina Aguilera’s Nasty Naughty Boy. Entering through the audience she treated the packed house to a polished tradition burlesque, flapping fringes, the tasty glove peel, glorious ass tease (is there a technical dance term for that move: pas du derrière?) – all of which left us wanting more.

Final feature Conflicting Plaid lounge punk – were loud, fast, fun and energetic. Propelled by spot on jittery slippery guitar and bass, grounded by an excellent drummer lead singer Zed Dulac trampled through a batch of fun, short songs & some raucous covers. Sounding at times like early Elvis Costello, Eddie & the Hot Rods – the songs were moments of hot sex – those moments when you get in, get it done, get out before you wear out your welcome & everyone is satisifed. Glory would fit in on any Pansy Division cd. (the rest of the band: Ian Đaly Sean Macnab David Reichert)

snowfort (s)no(w) fort

With Nelson Sobral keeping the sound balanced it was a great set. By the end of the night the windows of the Central were so steamed up one couldn’t see in or out.



I did ‘pillow’ on the open stage:

another drop 

the float of cups   spoons
moons   leaves
wet midnights broken by laugher
left to reflect on the puddles
red sticky slicks that caress the stage
invite the applause of over-hanging gaspers
soon to be disgraced with apologies
wondering not aloud

what if this isn’t the moment

to leap up once and for all get it over with
no beginnings only ends
only a bar counter to wipe ready
for weary prisoners to stop rest gripe
about the fairness of their sentence
how they deserve what they want
and they want it now piping hot
heaped dishes of freshly chopped
branches of moon strung stings
to replace the end of things
we all know that end is looming

than that pole-dancer’s ass that hovers
over your out-stretched glass
another drop pretty pretty please
please squeeze harder

we know you can do it
before the song changes
it has to be on that note
the universal choir
chasing clouds of notes around
looking for car keys put down in a hurry
your car running in the garage
who is in the back seat drifting
as the red slick sends
reflection of spoons to the moon
each prisoner barely turning
in their stools

are we up to guessing what comes next


snow what

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Noir Smoke Shed

Costumes galore added to the gore fest at the Halloween edition of Cabaret Noir; plus a scary line up of features & frenzied open stagers & baked goodies by Kayla Forrest all made for a satisfying night.

door01 the door to hell?

After a round of chilling open stagers I kicked off the show with my Pinebow set, which, if I do say so myself, went like a clockwork pendulum as each of my ‘campers’ was dispatched. The flow was just right with the gore splattering when needed, the audience trap was sprung again, the camp fire songs were a surprising success – I’ve never actually sung on stage but knowing that these didn’t have to be well performed allowed me to give it a try & the audience was eager to join in. By the end of the set I wanted more 🙂

door02 portal to hades?

I’ve workshopped, featured with, hosted, reviewed,  & even enjoyed Stratford with Clara Blackwood – so my comments will not be without bias. Costumed as Officer Vice she presented an arrestingly fine figure as she read some new pieces as well as poems from her recent collection ‘Forecasts.’ Her work delved into the scary area of relationships, apartment life ‘balconies bleeding blue,’ ‘he lives over a haunted nightclub,’ and her travels ‘we wait by the graveyard’s black gates.’ Sweetly eerie & deeply personal her pieces were the opposite of mine. (

manga vs Officer Vice

Final feature was Dan Thompson who I heard & reviewed in April of this year ( at Makin’ a Racket at the Rocket. Costumed as a CEO he did more of his one-man show. Funny, emotional & confident  the piece has progressed since I saw parts of it at the Rocket. ‘a sad snail on a locomotive running out of coal’ ,’I had drunk just enough to make my move that was 10 years in the making.’ A clear-eyed look at the terror of breaking up, making up and writing songs about it. (

door03 entrance to damnation

It seems clear that many people find relationships to be more haunting and scary than any mythical creature in a lake. 🙂

My tee-shirt: managa02 My hoodie:


sample one of the new Pinebow pieces

Smoke Shed

there’s a door in the floor of the old smoke shed

one you never better open

even if you hear someone a’ knockin’

or whimpering and scraping

even if the whimper is your name

and sounds like your mother or brother

don’t open that portal

one night you might wake up

to find yourself

outside the smoke shed

something calls in your sleep

and your feet obey

without your mind knowing

what is going on when you wake up

do not go in

do not let the hunger for sausage draw you in

the maple smoke will not satisfy

there’s a door in the floor

we keep it under plies of bricks

to ensure it never opens

that it never lures you any further

there is nothing down

there just endless stairs

that lead beneath the lake

the tunnel is wet and muddy

the mud is sticky like maple syrup

but much sweeter

thanks to the sugar of fear

frozen by shock unfrozen

by the endlessly seeking hunger

of the Denizen

it will pull down down down

so do not go into the smoke shed

do not let dreams of hunger

fool you

there is nothing there

but emptiness and despair

do not open that door

you will get enough emptiness and despair

when you open the doors to adulthood

bdoor the blue door to adulthood

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Noir leaves us lipstick smudged

Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir continues to run the bar staff at The Central ragged – even on a hot August night the space is crammed beyond capacity and with an audience reluctant to leave when the show is over.

snake this really makes want to get my hair done here

After a quick round of open stagers (including myself plugging Pinebow) spoken feature Heather Babcock read several emotional pieces. Her new short story ‘The Dancing Bear’ was full of sensory detail: ‘the sidewalk grey box of my apartment,’ ‘had a shot of whisky as I ordered another beer,’ ‘lipstick smudged straw of her vodka cranberry’ as well as clear emotions ‘it’s as if I’d stolen all of tomorrow’s pain.’ Sexually explicit as well the temperature rose as she read. (

dolls I’d like to thank all the little people

Regina Dentata actually preceded Heather, then kicked off the second set as well. I’ve seen Regina a few times now, enjoying her more & more (at least as much as a confirmed gay guy can). Sensuous and focused she knows how to dance well even in the limited confines of The Central. Her second number was a more tradition strip-tease: glove peel, tassels. She does what SYTYCD does – takes traditional form and merges them with ultra-contemporary music – SYT will pair ballroom fox trot with Basement Jaxx. I’m hoping she treats us with some tassel twirling one of these times. (

Music feature Lacey Wilson was slightly hampered by sound system issues for her keyboard player. I first must declare that as an east coast guy I do have a bias for east coast performers, especially from Nova Scotia. She could have easily done the set without keyboards. She has a sweet, strong stage presence, a fine voice and strong lyrical writing. Her rambling rhymns and wistful longing brought Dory Previn to mind. Add a countryfied dash of Carol King in the mix as well. ‘alone in your bed at night,’ ‘you got my number/ but I ain’t got no phone.’  (

snowday that cold day in the park

The Pinebow peek I read was already slated for posting here Wednesday – so come back tomorrow for that. A word of warning about the piece I am posting. I’ve been working on prompts taken from the 108 Buddhist mayas – this one was ‘cursing’ – so the language is relentlessly vulgar, clearly blasphemous & possibly offensive to many – so don’t read it with any fluids in your mouth.


Nuncle John

‘by the quivering tits

of the unfucked mother of christ’

I’ll never forget Nuncle John

he was a friend of my Dad’s

not an uncle

so we called him Nuncle

but no nun he

he would remind us kids

‘not by the quivering all-smooth nut-sack

of the unsucked dick of Jesus’

I never knew if people

were more shocked

than amused by Nuncle John

when he’d launch into a stream of cursing

he would often be muttering

‘fucking fairy’

‘useless bitch’

‘dumb cunt’

‘call that driving you fart fucker’

when he drove

glaring at other drivers

‘you using that stick shift on your pussy lady’

my mother would leave the room

the house

if he was coming over

his wife Mildred

would look simpering and apologetic

when Nuncle John

got caught up in a tirade

usually about ‘the stunned cunt Leafs’

or some ‘asshole licking mayor’

he swore without thought

it rolled off his tongue

as easily as good morning

ask him how he was doing

he’d reply ‘better than a hand job’

not that I knew, as a kid,

what half the stuff meant

but it lead me on my own voyage of discovery

‘there’s no such thing

as useless cock sucker’

he once said

‘if you’re horny enough’

I did figure out

the mother of christ

and the virgin birth

what complex vulgar blasphemy

it was a useless bit of knowledge

but his lesson on the use of cocksuckers

has proved itself to be very true

so even if he was ‘a pussy munching

unwiped asshole of a jerk off’

he did lead me to

more than few colorful turns of phrase

SAM_1101 airy condos

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‘a swarm of humming birds’

A packed house on a hot hot July night! Lizzie Violet’s Cabaret Noir is doing something very right. The Central’s bartenders were happy to be rushed of their feet keeping up with the thirsty crowd (which is always good for the cash register.) Sadly Marcy Rogers, noted dyke about town, was not well enough to bring her wicked chops to Noir. So the open stagers had to work harder to fill her gap (in time, I mean).

bunny night of the lupin

I opted to do a glimpse of Pinebow on the open stage. The first time any of it has been aired aloud in public. This is the best way for me to get a sense of timing, of where it loses my attention. I found it too long, so cuts will be made.

First feature Brandon Pitts is an emotionally invested performer who makes his images come alive on stage. Too many fine turns of phrase to list: ‘legba presides over the cycle of reason,’ ‘it was dropping hail when I came to the crossroads of my life,’ ‘mouth marked by a swarm of humming birds.’ His pieces are rich with spiritual, Biblical and cultural resonances; often so rich one loses the context of the image as the image demands to be savoured.

lost look for the fatted cat

After the break the Four Winds Collective hits the stage. A female CSN&Y they are a songstorm of musical forces intertwined for the greater good. The diverse creative forces involved are: Arlene Paculan:  soulful jazzy pop; Heather Hill piano pop rock; Kat Leonard feisty comedic pop; & Meghan Morrison Celtic groove music.

skater elegy to a rodent

With a smart range of covers and original material each performer gets to show off their ‘brand’ while supporting each other. Emotional, comic, sexy and just plain good times – they fill the room without over-volume or forced emotionality. Maybe because I’m still experiencing this for a certain someone, I found Arleen’s lyric ‘my body is still craving for you’ particularly memorable. (mi cuerpo todavía está anhelando para usted 😦 )


Here’s an edited version of what I read on the open mike. No major changes but lightened line & some sections moved to where they made more logical sense of the flow of the story.

Pinebow 1

come gather around the fire

gather close and snuggle

come gather around the fire

where we’ll be safe

from the flicker of things in the night

come gather around the fire

I’ll tell you a tale

you may not believe

but you’ll never forget

perhaps you’ve heard

of the Dark Denizen of Pinebow Lake

you haven’t

we’ll, guess you haven’t been

in these parts before

or if you have

maybe no one had the courage

to tell such a tale

to some as young as you

‘cause you know it isn’t fair

to place that sort fear

in someone whose

mind hasn’t grown enough

to learn when the truth

grabs you by the throat

squeezes the last breath

life out of you

so does everyone have their hot cocoa

any one want another smoked sausage

the fire will last a little while longer

I want to tell you the tale

while the warm embers

keep the chill of night

away from your tender young bones

so how many have been

to the shores of Pinebow

the water is cold isn’t it

it never warms up

no matter how hot the summer

the lake stays cool

gather closer

for the tale is about to be told

you want a tale don’t you

one that may cool you

as much as the fire warms you

it happened one summer

many many years ago

when we became aware of

the Dark Denizen of the lake

not that any have actually seen it

we sensed the Dark

you know

the way you can

feel something in room

when there isn’t supposed to be anything there

the way

a face is seen at the window

of an empty house

and is gone before

you can focus on it

that’s what the Denizen is like

we have the sense

of it being there

only when we aren’t looking

it’s foot prints are sometimes found

small and dainty they are

round and hollow as suction cups

but with a smudge mark

deep and long

between them

like a long sharp tooth

that it uses to takes its repasts

so if  you see that mark beware

first there is powerful smell

like a decayed log

pulled from the bottom of a deep well

that black brackish death smell

that makes it hard

to smell anything else

when that smell comes

from the lake

the Denizen is on the prowl

we’ll hear a calf

bawling for its mother

in the middle of night

the calf is never seen

scattered bones soon found

littered on the shore

over by Pine Point

along the rocks there

a few small wee ribs

bleached white

it was one of the feasts

of the Denizen

we grind the tender young bones

scatter them in the field

to warn the cattle

of what happens

if they feel too safe

me03 pearls in the afternoon

Noir ‘teased our lips like raspberries’

Cabaret Noir kicked off its residency at its new location The Central with a take-no-prisoner’s line up that shows Lizzie Violet means business. As much as I like The Central, enjoy the great food & service I don’t understand why they insist on playing the house music so loud one has to shout to carry on a conversation – the louder people talked the louder the music became. At least one member of the audience put in ear plugs till the show started.

no longer a doorable
no longer a doorable

But that didn’t keep me from enjoying first feature Andrea Thompson who gave us what she called an ‘estrogen set.’ ‘Speaking in tongues of her own making’ she gave a juicy set of uplifting, self-affirming work that used ‘word possibilities that teased our lips like raspberries.’ Clever, funny, deeply emotional. Who hasn’t dealt with ‘guys with ex-girlfriends who still do their laundry.’

you look so a doorable in blue
you look so a doorable in blue

Frenchie Fatale, who graced Noir in June, was back by popular demand. She did a sensational fan routine to Perhaps (this is not the version Frenchie used but wow! what a version). She was followed by some open-stagers – including Supertash debuting her new, soon to be, hit single Tight Buns.

not a doorable either
not a doorable either

The show wrapped with a fine set by Hugh Wilson of strongly structured, emotionally compelling songs about relationships (‘there is no love without fear’), the longing for safety & friendship. Dancing after Midnight had a propulsive chorus that called for a larger space to fully expand but drew us all in and had the crowd adding hand-claps without prompting.

Check out Lizzie’s photos.


my coming attractions
my coming attractions

June 6-8, 2014 – attending – Bloody Words


writing sample
writing sample

The piece I read at Noir, another of the #Mercy series

To clothe the naked


there was this guy


on the subway platform

shoes and socks

and a shoulder bag

shoulder rubbed red by the strap

‘nice shoes’ I said.

he glanced down ‘oh my god! I’m naked!’

apparently he wasn’t aware

of leaving his place with nothing on

but his shoes and socks


‘sorry’ I said. ‘didn’t mean to alarm you’

he covered his cock with his ereader

‘this is a dream?” he asked

‘not mine.” I replied. ‘did you have an exam this morning’

“what’ he asked.

‘naked dreams are often caused by stress

you know

getting to school for an important exam

and realizing you have no pants on’

‘no no. I was fully clothed when I left my place.’



I glanced to see if anyone noticed

I saw a naked woman

adjusting her baby in a stroller

her round ass poised in the air



I got on the subway car

there were more nearly naked people there

men women various ages and sizes

I wasn’t sure where took

they glared back at me

sneering at my clothing

as if I was the one doing something untoward



when I wished for more nudity

this isn’t what I had in mind

I only wanted certainly people


certainly no one over sixty

to see that future is to awful to contemplate

there ought to be a law

so that public nudity is limited

only to those who are buff enough

not to be an offense to the eye



how could anyone think

that being seen in public dressed like that

says anything positive about themselves


it gives a slightly dangerous


by now totally dull vibe

of I don’t give a fuck

what anyone thinks about me

while at the same time it says

I don’t care about myself either


when wearing what brings attention

why get pissed

people bother with you

because of their shallow

response to the surface of what you wear

why get pissed because that surface judgment

makes them take you for something you aren’t


you don’t want to be part of a culture

that judges so much by the cover

well honey

that’s how it is

if you don’t like attracting that type of attention

stop dressing to attract it




don’t get undressed on my account

I’m sure you are more appealing naked

or is that just another way

of objectifying you


how do we remove the personality from the body

ah, that’s what the internet is for

thanks for the dick pics

keep on dancing
keep on dancing

Birthday Inferno

I love it when an event transports me – to a time & place I’ve never been to like when a guy or gal plucking a guitar takes to the Riverboat 1963; or, as happened this past Sunday night at Lizzie Violet’s open-stage birthday bash at the Central. This time I was whisked into my own east coast past to kitchen parties where guitars and fiddles were mixing and melding – including someone with baby rattle maracas.

eBooks in the flesh

The second floor at the Central had a great feeling, even with strangers accidentally wandering in as the fun spilled out into the street. We were treated to great sets by various combinations of the circle of jerks: I Hate Todd, Big Name Actors’ Hugh Wilson, Melting Pot’s Nelson Sobral & non-jerk Natasha Jolly. All kicked off by Cate McKim’s excellent tuxedoed drag king turn.

black dance e vent

Todd did a high energy three-song set that had unexpected elements of Talking Heads mixed into their uplifting songs. With a drummer using a guitar case for percussion (no drums allowed on the Central’s second floor) their sound had, as I said, a great down-east kitchen party feel. Rock violin is way under used, as far as I’m concerned.


I closed the first set with a couple of pieces. People love bitterness, even at a birthday, so I gave that to them as only I can with Mixed Messages. Then, with an assist by Nelson on guitar I tore the house down with Oogie Inferno – I had my tattoo tee on under my shirt & did a big reveal as I started. Nelson supplied hot disco riffs & by the end of the piece we had the room dancing.

on stage July 28, 2013

All of this by 9:30. Sadly, for me, I made my exit after the break. Once was a time I didn’t mind staying to the end of things but these days I find my back  can only take two hours of any club seating.

rough draft sample

Oogie Inferno

if you’re thinkin’ I’m too cool to boogie

boy oh boy have I got news for you

I love the sweaty potential of the dance floor

the solid mass of men mobile   shifting

eagerly crammed    crowded by the bass line

the righteous revival fever of a contralto

everybody here tonight must boogie

let me tell ya’ I was no exception to the rule

the heat was on (burnin’), rising to the top, huh!

eyes closed   hands open

shirtless strutters in sweat soaked satin shorts

muscles    bloated bellies   no one cares

as flesh wound around  pulled by the driving

boogie oogie oogie

an endless moment of contact high

thigh to thigh contact

the heat was on, rising to the top

where the keyboard was underfoot

put your feet to the beat

peak after peak of solid state sweat

turn this beat around

no voice heard that wasn’t amplified

no time to waste, let’s get this show on the road

listen to the music and let our bodies flow

yowsa yowsa yowsa    dance dance dance

shame shame shame

we were shimmering glittering

ready to take on the future    beep beep toot toot

I love the moment of stepping into the mass

the sooner I begin the longer I’ve got to groove

listen to the music and let bodies move

make a space for myself

get approving once overs

then not care who’s lookin’

but when my spark got hot

I heard somebody say

Burn baby burnin’ the house down

gonna boogie oogie oogie

till you just can’t boogie no more

I love the blur as I am transported

out the body   out of the mind

satisfaction (uhu hu hu) in the chain reaction

released from all sense of self

except for the one caught     immersed

push push in the bush bush

lost for hours

boogie oogie oogie

taking a breather wet glistening

asked what are you on

having my answer of nothing disbelieved

as if the music and testosterone

aren’t enough for me to

burn that cocksucker down

because have I got news for you

this could be the last dance

everybody here tonight must

boogie oogie oogie