October Recap

In October TOpoet.ca  had many days with over 60 hits. India tops the list with Canada at the top of the hit list, 2nd place is USA, with India regaining 3rd. Increases seen from Mauritius & Kenya coming on strong. The blog now has 359 followers (up from 298 at the start of the year). 246 Tumblr followers. Steady increase is best. Finally down to the end of Coal Dusters one more short chapter to wrap things up in November 🙂 It’ll come in at just under 138,000 words.

My Twitter account was suspended without warning or explanation other than I had broken their rules but they refused to tell me which ones: hate speech? spamming? using copyright materials? When I pressed for an answer I was told not to bother them & that they would not reply again to my requests for explanations. So my twitter following is down to 0. It was a time waster & did nothing to enhance my productivity.

The only event, so far, in November is the Hot Damn! show on November 7 at Buddies in Bad Times. Season 5 winner Wes Ryan will be the feature. I’m giving NaNoWriMo a rest this year. Though I managed good work last year it had become a chore rather than a challenge. I may focus on organizing Picture Perfect which I hope to start blogging in 2020. Not sure what Tuesdays will bring – maybe another photo blog similar to Sunday’s.

Other blog days will remain the same. Pictures may become even more random than they are now 🙂 Friday will see lps covers & such that I’ve come across on my walks. People throw away the oddest things :-). Taking pictures is more practical, for me, than taking objects. 

TV pleasures include American Horror Story; 1984 – so far one of the best arcs of the series. Past seasons have felt stretched out by plot tangents. This one has been tight, taught & bloody good fun. The new season of Castle Rock has started & the Misery/Salem’s Lot mash up is off to a good start. Hopefully Space won’t screw up the running times as badly as they did last season. I also hope they broadcast it same time same day, instead of moving it around without notice.

Currently I’m reading: I Am Providence – a biography of HP Lovecraft by S. T. Joshi – fascinating not only for  his life but for the literary context of the time – letters-to-the-editor often became like twitter wars – with strangers taking potshots at each via the anonymity of these letters. Also a critical study by David Kalat of Toho’s Godzilla movies putting them into a cultural context. As well as the final piece in the Works of John Addington Symonds – his biography of Michelangelo.

Rant In A Tea Cup

the weather report isn’t good

no matter how nice 

the meteorologist says it is

it’s a lie 

a spin

to keep me from worrying 

about how bad it really is

no matter how perfect the days looks

it is bad

getting worse

each day less air to breath

more burning rays to avoid

 

the spin doesn’t fool me

more days when 

you can’t let seniors out till after dark

can’t let children play in the park

 

the prognoses isn’t promising

umbrellas aren‘t enough 

parkas aren’t enough

there is no protecting ourselves 

from this air we breath

from the constant crumble of the real world

 

the weather isn’t good

no matter what

America’s next top politician says

there is no roll back for the ecology

next top politician is like 

America’s next top model

they are only spokespersons

to give that hopeful spin

that change is going to come

sure it will 

but it isn’t going to a change for the better

not a change for the ordinary folk

unless that change

means big bucks for someone

the climate doesn’t have 

the right corporate sponsor

it needs a better spokesperson

 

the sunny day is a fraud

a taste of emptiness fills my mouth

when I breath what remains of our air

wondering which microscopic mote

is the one that gives me cancer

as it turns my skin to lumpy melanoma 

drooping sagging leather

rain snow sunshine highs lows

with chill uv factors

smog alerts

economic forecast grim

auto sectors need a bail out 

oil is raking in billions of profits

why not let oil bail out auto

not the highs and lows we want to see

 

so many clouds 

in the fog wrapping

around our brains 

our willingness stifled 

by the powerlessness imposed 

by powerless people in control of

spokesmodels

for hidden puppeteers

who we never will know 

because everyone is on someone 

else’s weather radar map

no one is free

no one can leave the house

without first checking 

to see what the weather is like 

the sky isn’t telling us the truth

no one is 

so take your umbrella

because a smile

isn’t enough protection any more 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Herbie Hancock

By Herbie Hancock I have, in a couple of mp3 collections: Maiden Voyage 1965/ Blow Up 1966 / Jazz Africa 1986/ Village Life 1985/ Round Midnight 1986/ VSOP 1977/ Sextant 1973/ Thrust 1974/Future Shock 1983/ Sound System 1984. As stand-alones I have: Head Hunters 1973, In Concert with Chick Corea 1978, Dis is Da Drum 1994, The New Standards 1996, 1+1 with Wayne Shorter 1997, Directions in Music 2002, The Joni Letters 2007.

So I am a bit of fan but not as compulsive as I was about Coltrane. Hancock’s career spans decades (from the 50’s to now), genres, styles & fads. The early work is impeccable, tasteful acoustic jazz piano in various groupings. His early solo work is inventive, melodic & not overly aggressive. His work with Miles Davis is equally as strong, even when he solos with Davis he is in the background. He was never a keyboard show-off.

Then came fusion which was pretty much launched by Miles Davis’s monumental Bitch’s Brew. Hancock played with Davis but does not appear on the Brew recordings. Brew resulted in a jazz/rock fusion explosion with amazing work by John Mclaughlin, Larry Coryell, Chick Corea, Weather Report & of course Hancock. While the bulk of these musicians stuck to their jazz roots Hancock went further & further & ended up deep in electronica – some of his lps were called sound effects by reviewers at the time. This is when I started listening to him 🙂 The first might have been Sextant, which I still find hypnotic.

Unlike some of the other fusioniers he never got caught up in eastern mysticism instead he went back to his African roots for some excellent lps. His pop MTV break through was Rockit where he explored, the then state of the art dj scratching & other hip-hop recording techniques – programmed beats & the like. This lead to This Is The Drum with experiments in sampling, mixed with his funky jazz which were, to my ear, highly successful.

He didn’t abandon ‘pure’ jazz & released great work with V.O.S.P & duets with Chick Corea. Playful & worth tracking down. He then returned to a more traditional sound with The New Standards, & 1+1 with Wayne Shorter. Sweet evocative & kind of sexy. The most recent piece I have, a gift from a friend, is The Joni Letters – this is a tasteful & intense set of  jazz explorations of Joni Mitchell. A remarkable album by a musician who was always unafraid of exploration & challenging himself.

Sunday Drive

“You aren’t the boss of me.” How many times did I yell that at my stupid brother before he smacked me?

“I may not be the boss of you, but my hands are. So shut the fuck up, or we won’t go the beach again.”

I sat in the back seat of the car, pulled myself into a corner and glared at him.

“And if you are thinking of telling Dad – think again – because I know what you did.”

“I didn’t do anything.”

“Prove it.” My brother smiled over his shoulder.

“Just because you are two years older than me & can drive the car, doesn’t give you …”

“I said shut the fuck up. Or I’ll … lock you in the cabin for the day. At least I’m taking you out to the beach. What more do you want.”

“When did Dad say you could take the car?”

“He said I could drive it as long as I stick to the private road to the lake. I’ll do that.” He stopped to turn around to swing at me again. “If you just shut the fuck up.”

I yanked the car door open and ran down the dirt road.

“Where do you think you’re going? There’s no where to run to you little twerp.”

It didn’t take him long to catch me. Him the sixteen year old football hero. Me the runty little brother. Sometimes people didn’t believe we were brothers, we were so different. Him big bulky. Me small pale. I’d rather read but was always forced to go with him even when he didn’t want to take me. Going to the beach was his idea.

He had me in a head lock and was dragging me back to the car.

“You fucking little shit head. I’m not going to put up with this all weekend. I told Dad not to send you up here, but no he though it would you good to get out of the house for awhile. You little prick. Now if you don’t behave I’ll have to … tie you up & lock you in the trunk.”

I wriggled out of his sweaty arms. “You aren’t the boss of me. Just leave me here. I can find my way back to the cabin. I don’t want to go the beach while you mope around with those ugly girls from Peter’s Point anyway.”

“Good. I’ll leave you here.”

He got back in the car and drove down the lane. He stuck his head out the window. “By the way the cabin is locked. Have fun. Fuck head.” 

He drove away. I squeezed the spare key to the cabin in my pocket.

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

every Tuesday 2019

October

15 – Stratford Festival – The Crucible

November

7 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

December

The Secret Handshake Gallery – feature – date TBA

January

23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

March

March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April

April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies andBbad Times Theatre

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Burton & Piazzolla

mirror01

I’ve written about Gary Burton before: https://topoet.ca/2015/06/08/gary-burton/ so won’t repeat much of that – a fascinating career arc that has produced a range of amazing music. His work with Piazzola is superb.

mirror02His work with Chick Corea includes Crystal Silence: a meditative, soothing, healing and sometimes playful set of duets I play twice in a row to get the most out of it. The holds true for his duets with guitarist Ralph Towner on Matchbook. The pieces on both set the mind drifting. Sound quality is superb as well.mirror03

The mp3 collection has some of this work with Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Ralph Towner, & Astor Piazzolla. Each quite different – playful & delicate with Corea; jazzier with Metheny; dreamy & relaxing with Towner; sultry & latino tangos with Piazzolla. Burton was always a fine supporting play & a tasteful lead – he never out shone those he dueted with.nowgreen

Also in the mp3 collection is work by Lito Vital: romantic latino; Gismomti: superb guitar & fun latino; Gerry Mulligan playing with Piazzolla is a delight. Finally as a contrast Weather Report: Mysterious Traveller: one of my top 100 jazz lps of all time.sample

Sound Stone

‘No thanks,’ I mumbled.

A gradual silence rippled out from around me till the whole room was quieted. Even the harsh hip hop crackling from the broken sound system seemed to drop in volume.

‘No thanks?’ Mary turned and shouted the rest people in the room. ‘Anti-stone alert!’

This was greeted by  guffaws. The room babble slowly returned to it’s former pitch.

‘What?’ I asked. ‘Can’t I be here without getting high with you?’

‘Oh yeah sure honey.’ Mary purred as she leaned toward me, ‘I don’t give a shit.’ She stepped to the centre of the room. ‘But I’ll have to see what the others think.’

‘That is if they can think.’

‘Ooh temper temper. Sarcasm is the dullard’s defence.’ she chided me.

‘You use it so well.’

‘Not as well as you do,’ someone laughed from behind me.

‘Child either you are with us or you are aren’t. It is pretty simple. This is the Brotherhood …’

‘ … and Sisterhood,’ a female slurred out from another dark corner.

The stereo cut out. Through the broken window I could hear rain, cars, sirens, barking dogs. Was this pulse the next cut starting up?

‘Yeah … and Sisterhood of the Stone. No one sits here at this time of night without being a part of it. A complete part of it. Dig. Or do you want to become one of those conformists out there? Safe. Secure. Clean. Tight assed conformists.’

Someone handed her the tube and a lighter. She held one end of the tube close to my ear.  As she flicked the flame under it the resin in the end of it popped sharply. She drew deep breath in the other end. She handed the tube to the next person.

‘Conformity?’ I mused. ‘Conform with the pathetic rat race out there or conform with the people in here. Some choice.’

‘Babe,’ Mary exhaled the bitter smoke, her fingers toying with my zipper. ‘Do you know what you are turning down.’

‘Do you know what you are turning down?’ I kissed her and then pushed her away.

The electronic blip exploded into a shattered jumble of tones. I headed for the door. ‘Maybe there is no lesser of two evils.’

http://nanowrimo.org/

money

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

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mirror

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Airto Moreira

Airto Moreira first came to my attention thanks to Chick Corea’s Light As A Feather. Airto was everywhere at one time: from Miles Davis, Bitches Brew, to work with Weather Report, John McLaughin & Keith Jarrett. I have lots of his work with these jazz icons. In fact he is one of those icons himself.

trunk03 who saw you?

He’s recorded extensively with his wife Flora Purim and also has many releases under his own name. On one of my mp3 compilations I have Virgin Land, In Concert w/Deodato, Fingers & Identity. All dupes from Lp or direct downloads. I can remember buying the original Lps, some from Cheapies on Yonge Street.

trunk01 how old am I?

Brazilian rhythms ground his music which runs from almost traditional folk to jazz fusion to pure jazz. His tracks on the Deodato concert are amazing (too bad Deodato is such a snooze).

trunk02

stumped again

Also on this cd is Chico Hamilton: The Dealer – which features more Latin rhythms with the amazing Gabor Szabo on guitar. Al Hirt: Music To Watch Girls By – a sixties radio throwback; Jimmy Smith: Peter & The Wolf – yes, this a jazz version of the classical suite – fun & funky; Joe Pass: The Stones Jazz – yes, instrumental versions of the Rolling Stones – some of which work; Tough Young Tenors: Alone Together – more contemporary than the rest of the compilation – great hot playing by a handful of excellent, young sax players. You know they must have amazing tongue control 🙂

sample

Unfolding The Map

As the last of Jill’s clothes fell to the carpet Jack felt he finally stood on the border of manhood. The blue-pink light from the television in the corner of the hotel room rippled on the wall, danced on Jill’s bare skin.

‘Like what you see?’ she stepped towards him and undid the top button of his shirt.

He didn’t know how to convey the confusion of this moment, to tell her that he wanted to look, to stare but to have a real woman there made him feel embarrassed, ashamed of his need to look.

‘Uh … yes.’ He wished that the news announcer would tell him just what to do next, that the weather map would show which highs and lows his hands were to reach for first.

His skin was cool and then warm once his shirt had dropped to the ground. He resisted the temptation to pick it up, to fold it neatly on a chair. Jill’s breasts were hot against him. His arms moved around her of their own volition.

‘Mmmm.’ Jill’s mouth opened to his.

He’d imagined many times what this would be like, he’d watched enough adult videos to know what was supposed to happen, but now that it was happening to him, he was unsure, unscripted. He felt watched by the news announcer, now the sports announcer, soon to be a talk show host telling jokes.

Should he turn off the TV? No. The light was fine but perhaps he should turn it down.

The Leafs had scored, a race was run, he moved towards the bed with Jill. It seemed she was doing as much of the lean to the bed as he was.

‘There. There,’ she moaned as his hands moved slowly along her sides. ‘Why don’t you get out of … ’ she gave his belt buckle a gentle tug.

‘Yes yes.’ He sat and pulled at his shoes laces, knotting one of them. He stood to slide his jeans off, the shadow of his erection sprung across the wall.

My what a big shadow you cast, he though.

‘Come on Jack. We don’t have all night you know.’ Jill patted the bed beside her.

He turned to her. The pink-blue flicker made strange dark areas across her stomach, between her legs. He wanted more light so he could really see, to explore. He knew this wasn’t the body of his favorite adult actress. He’d know that body anywhere; that body never looked back at him, didn’t blush to avoid his gaze to make him feel dirty for looking.

‘What are you looking at?’ she giggled.

He closed his eyes to kiss her. As he stretched beside Jill he regretted that he wouldn’t be able to rewind to inspect and savour each moment of discovery.

As his passion was accepted, responded to, he wondered if his memory could ever be as crisp, as accurate in it’s replay, as those favorite video moments he was about to recreate for real.

map map to summer

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