Another night of incredible poetry, spoken word and music at the September edition of The Beautiful and the Damned on Thursday night, in its new home upstairs at Glad Day Bookshop.
Host DM Moore got our brains cooking on trivia questions (for prizes!) on this month’ s dead celeb, Gore Vidal, during three amazing sets of artistry, while event co-founder Duncan Armstrong worked the beverage service/merch table. As usual, so I can get everyone included in the post, I like to free associate on this event…
Marcie Rogers told a devilishly fun, sexy and visceral fairytale of a demon in disguise, on the prowl for an angel.
Felicia Guy Lynch served up some rap rhythm words and got the audience in on it – “You Should Know.”
Jeff Cottril made me laugh so much, I almost forgot to take his picture. Hysterical, ironic and real poem “Apology” – and I think I’m dubbing him as the stand-up poet.
Feature artist, poet Jacob Scheier, read some beautifully crafted pieces from his collection More To Keep Us Warm – at times intense, grotesque, grim, angst-ridden and funny, as well as reminiscences of his NYC Jewish family roots, a three-part Occupy Wall Street piece, and images of Constantine and The Seagull. This spring, ECW press is launching his next volume, Letter from Broadway. http://www.jacobscheier.com/
Alec Butler read a selection from his novella, sharing struggles of coming out as queer and trans, family abuse, recalling the vandalism of the Pieta, navigating queer politics as a trans person – “I’m still confusing people – and people don’t like to be confused.” Candid, brave and good-humoured.
Brandon Pitts performed a piece from his collection The Pressure to Sing – biblical, political, raw and rhythmic.
Duncan Armstrong read his poem “You and Whose Army?” – hilarious, political, one-upsmanshipping, making fun of homophobes and slut shamers, biting, irreverent and sexy.
Feature performer David Bateman gave us a haiku about a beautiful but vacuous man, the laugh-out-loud funny “Crocodile Cock” (an ode to hemipenes), cats names changed from Tabby and Puss to Caspian and Euphrates in a darkly funny break-up poem, a remembrance of mother’s china cabinet, a shout out to Marshall McLuhan – with a decidedly unusual and sexy alternate use for a vacuum cleaner “You are screwing a vacuum cleaner. You have no conscience.” – and an ode to Canadian Tire.
Sam Kay offered up a lyrical, romantic folk ballad, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar – song from his dad “Rachael’s Song.”
Lucille Barker read a poem about the life of the 99% as seen through the eyes of a six-year-old witnessing day-to-day family hardship, bright young eyes still able to see past the negative.
Kenn Chaplin, author of the blog My Journey with AIDS, gave us images of crisp, cool colours, a snapshot of a cottage on Lake Simcoe, then recalling the final moments of a dear friend’s life – the everyday becoming a surreal montage as those who survive continue their lives. http://myjourneywithaids.wordpress.com/
Alanna Cook – sweet and saucy haikus and a short poem, smart and sexy.
Final feature of the night, singer/songwriter Jessica Speziale, dubbed a “pop rock poet” by a Bracebridge newspaper, gave us a sweet, soulful, at times driving, acoustic guitar/vocal set – selections from her EP Dear Reverie, including my personal fave, the award-winning “Turn Me On.” A delight to watch, as well as inspiring – she recently recorded “How To Be A Man” for We Are One, a compilation of artists supporting Nellie’s and Amnesty Canada. http://www.jessicaspeziale.com/