Words made Song: another collaboration

Canadian composer Mari Alice Conrad’s latest piece, The Peculiar Dances of Shifting Minds, inspired in part by this poem of mine which honours my late mother. Also on the program, new works by composers Athena Loredo and Alice Ping Yee Ho; all performed by Vancouver’s Allegra Chamber Orchestra, under the leadership of Janna Sailor. Congratulations…

Day 27: when day and night is a short story

To define a nameless haunting: what would you call the feeling of loss, on finding out only now, a grandpa’s span later, about ‘a skeleton of my granny’? To learn a thing that, as a child of the seventies, passed by: how people wanted rock and roll so much, that lacking vinyl platters, they recorded…

Day 7: Secret Recipe

What makes a good secret? Purity of ingredients, you say and freshness: Paul is stale his dead or alive status moot. For better secrets, rely on imperishable things: old Bigfoot holds its flavour. Loves unspoken, too can last, if you remember: open the jar freely, and inhale. Exactitude matters, though when using Area: 49? 52?…

Day 5: unmarked

a brag, a middle finger at those ghost moments that, when she was dying burned again through her mind so many years, her birthday a crucible enduring, unpopular outcast youth; beauty seeking wings, and made cruel she sang at Carnegie Hall with grit built in backwoods honed in bully-yards defiant in second hand clothes we…

Day 2: San Antonio Tlayacapán, In the Pocket

In this pocket weighing in pebble by pebble mountains of consequence my passport in that pocket of expat artifice American dollars translate to big houses high walls with shanties built into their pockets poverty that never knocks at carved doors, iron gates shoulder pushed against shoulder on cobbled streets in the same slight tide as…

In the 80s

Back in the 80s, we were going to die of nuclear war, whether instant or over-wintered, in a flash or frozen slowly.   In the 80s, we danced to big-hair music genderbending stars with cocaine voices synthesizing freedom, formulaic fun.   80s, and rumours from New York and San Francisco disco drugs and a mysterious…

By Heart: A Celebration in 10 Languages, speaking and singing words we hold dear

My tenure at MacEwan University as Writer-in-Residence has offered opportunities to connect with a vibrant, multi-faceted community. Most wonderfully, the very day I introduced myself to the English department faculty, I was approached by Dr. Svitlana Krys, the Kule Chair in Ukrainian Studies, who offered to make at least one of my dreams come true….

Tell Me a Story, with Metropolitan Orchestra!

One of my professional goals is to work with orchestras. Friday, I get my first chance. tellmeastory_poster_v2_final_10-17-19 I’m guesting with Metropolitan Orchestra, performing a poetic piece composed to weave along with Legend #1. What’s my text about? A certain time traveling lapine makes use of the moon in order to visit a composer in Bohemia,…

When The Way Seems Long

When the way seems long, or any burden heavy, we have songs Witness how love and courage lift and reweave the broken strands     Ue O Muite Arukou, by Kyu Sakamoto, was a huge hit in 1961, and the English version – ridiculously titled ‘Sukiyaki,’ which is a bit like translating, for example, Unchained…

One: sort of a review of Stewart Copeland’s Ben Hur, but really a run on, excitable meditation on music, fandom, family; a cacophonous riot, wherein complexity matters, but never overrules the sheer bombastic roar…

I bought Zenyatta Mondatta with my own money, back when I was a kid, and albums were at thing,  and we were that family – openly ‘halfbreed’ and forever under suspicion, building salt enough to resist the constant grinding. I had to have it. It was weird. It fit. I was embarrassed by these guys,…

Free – Graffiti6: Song Review, Years Later

Free running that bass up my spine while Jamie sings, heart in throat and the bells pulling i believe, falling, i believe “…hard to breathe when you’re not near” every one you ever loved walks streets and alleys full of young people seeking something inarticulate “I can’t live, oh, without you” and the city and the…