Archive for the ‘Open Mic’ Category

Blue Hawaii

March 28, 2019

And Paris without you.

God damn it.

I’m still pissed at you.

Granted I have my own self to blame for that.

I should not have gone on social media.

I had you blocked.

Not because I was worried about you seeing me, no.

I didn’t want to be looking at your photos.

And I did it anyway.

I looked last night.

I know you’re in Hawaii and I knew you were going to be there and I had to look.





It doesn’t help that I want to go to Hawaii with you and that the trip I have tentatively planned for July has your name written all over it.

Or that I have thoughts about you in the ocean, swimming, your eyes wet and blue.

I’m so angry still and I’m still so damn sad.

Not as much.

Not every day.

And so, of course, the person to be angry with is me, I know better than to go onto social and look up your photos.

It hurts.

No more of that.

Although, why?

I can’t figure it out, a photo of us pops up every day, every day on my computer despite closing the photo app.

Every day your blue, blue, bluest eyes stare out at me as I see us on the red leather couch in the Air BnB we rented in D.C.  My eyes are closed, I’m kissing the side of your face and you have your arm wrapped around me.

Sometimes the photo makes me jump.

Sometimes I forget it’s there.

I have shut down the computer, restarted the computer, closed the app, and it just randomly pops back up.

Can’t get away from it and I use my computer all the time.

I mean.


I am working on a PhD I drag the damn thing around like it’s a security blanket.

And there you are, sweet face and dreamy and I know that we were in front of a fire and the color of your eyes and the shape of my face, and my hair tumbled down around my shoulders.


It hurts.

Not as bad.

I will admit that.

Things haven’t hurt so awful in the day-to-day.

Get me in my therapy sessions and I’m a fucking mess, but hey, that’s therapy and I leave it there in the wet balls of crumpled tissues streaked with mascara.

I joked with my therapist this past session that my tears must be some kind of napalm right now as I have tried three different kinds of waterproof mascara and the shit just slides off my eyelashes when I cry.

I yelled at you tonight.

In the car.

On the way home.

Thinking about you on an island and me here and then I’ll be going to Paris and well, fuck, you’re supposed to be in Paris with me.

Damn it.

We were supposed to do Paris.

You know it.

I know it.




Paris, baby.

You were supposed to go to Paris with me.

I hella splurged too.

I mean.

I got a place to stay, cute, bohemian, arty, obviously someone who was an avid flea market shopper, and I got a great deal, super cheap, $1,000 less than most of the other places I was looking at.

So I booked it.

And alas.

The woman got back to me and said she wasn’t able to let me rent it as she was going to be in Paris for Christmas.

Oh well.

I went back and looked some more and I looked at hotels and I really had to think about where I wanted to stay and why.

I wanted to make sure I was in the Marais, my best friend lives there and it’s my favorite part of the city and very central.

Hotels were not cheap and I went back to looking at Air BnB.

This one place kept calling me back and it was more than I wanted to spend, but then again, I knew I had the money in savings to cover it, I’d have nine months to save up more, I deserve to stay somewhere nice, the last two times I stayed in Paris I stayed with friends and didn’t pay for accommodations and the time before that I stayed in a hella cheap place and regretted it almost immediately.

I kept going back to this listing and then I said, fuck it.

I’m booking it.

It’s where I’m supposed to be and I’m going to let myself stay there.

Gorgeous tapestry wall paper.


Full kitchen.

Dining area.

Plus red velvet chairs.

Couch with a red velvet throw.

Separate bedroom up this sweet curving stair case.

Big huge bed under the eaves.

Gigantic bathtub in the room!

Bathtubs are a rarity in French apartments, so to get one and it’s big, huge luxury.

It’s super pretty and I’m super grateful I booked it and I paid for the whole thing up front.

Done and done.

I was so excited when I booked it the night before last.

And then.


I wasn’t.

I was hurt and angry and thinking about you and your vacation pictures and I just yelled at you in the car, how we’re supposed to be in Paris together, walking the streets, eating all the food, cheese, chacuterie, drinking all the coffee, snuggling on the red velvet couch, having sex on the red velvet couch, the bed, the floor in front of the fire-place, the bathtub, meeting fellows in church basements, seeing all the sites, making out in public, holding hands.

I wanted to take you to the one cafe I know about in the 11th that’s super good and order food for you in French and then happy and replete I would walk you along the Seine to look at the Eiffel Tower when it lights up with glitter lights.

Damn it.

We were supposed to do Paris together.

I know that the sting will wear off, I mean, my trip is not until December, but right now, I feel hurt and sad and yes, angry at you.

Oh God.

The places I wanted to take you.

A walk in Pere LaChaise cemetary.

And the L’ile des Cygnetes, Island of the Swans, in the middle of the Seine, that has one of Statue of Liberty models on it that the artist did as he worked on the scale for the one sent to Americar.


And all the outdoor markets, buying cheese and fruit and bread for you.

I wanted to take you to the amazing restaurant in Belleville that my friend took me to last summer and then go to Le Chat Noir and do the Paris Open Mic and recite you poems I have written about you.

But I won’t.

I won’t be doing any of those things.

I’ll be taking a bath under the eaves of a mansion on Rue de Parc Royale.

A bath with bubbles.

And I will sit in front of the fire and fingers crossed, not be sad to be alone, again, in Paris, without you.


I’m Not Tech Savvy

July 24, 2016


I am listening to music that my dearest friend put together as a playlist for me.

French music.

From a Parisian.

I feel so special.


I love me some French music.

Perhaps because it is an easier way for me to understand the language, lyrics tend to be repetitive, simpler than every day conversation and lyrical, which makes it easier for me to access.

And there is just something to it.

I want to couples dance with someone in a cafe with ceramic black and white tiles.

The smell of tobacco smoke drifting in as the door opens.

The smell of coffee in the air.

The low light, the ambiance, maybe I need a French cafe in my home, whenever I get it.

Either that or just frequent trips back to Paris and this time to also experience the night life a bit more, the cafe music life, I got into the spoken word a tiny bit with my excursions to Le Chat Noir for Paris Spoken Word events and had a tiny taste.

But to be there with a Parisian and be let into that exclusive view.


It’s sexy and sensual and worldly.

All things I aspire to.

I got to record with Adriana Marchione today for a podcast she’ll be posting along side  her ongoing project “The Creative High” .

I was really honored to be thought of and it was a great experience, and I have to say, I felt my voice, I was in my voice and it felt really powerful.


There’s something to be said to having an artist, an auteur, and a teacher, interested in my work.


How she described me.


I’ll leave you in a little suspense, but it was quite flattering.

The podcast will go up in about a week and will be on her website.

I got to share a part of my story, a bit about my process, my experience with writing, blogging, poetry, the little bit of spoken word I have done, my best friend passing nine years ago and how that prompted me to Burning Man, my other best friend and how she was the person to whom I went to for help when things all came crashing down.

It was a great experience and I didn’t prep for it other than run through a small set list of poetry pieces of my own that are memorized.


That’s it.

I have three of my works memorized.

But they please me and it’s nice to share them once in a while with someone.

I shared about the patron last year from Burning Man and doing the collaboration with him.

I talked about my memoir(s) and how I still don’t know what to do with them, or how to go about getting them together, but also, how much that striving has pushed me towards places and experiences that I was just not expecting.

At all.

It also gave me another taste of recording.

And I have to say, I liked it.

“Are you going to do something for the talent show,” I was asked by the amazing MC last night before it was about to start, “you sing right?”

I told her I didn’t.

“You look like a singer,” she said.

Now there’s a compliment.

I admitted that I do some spoken word.

But frankly, it didn’t feel appropriate to recite one of my pieces to the fabulous birthday girl, they weren’t quite in the spirit of what was happening, and they also weren’t pieces that would have been celebratory of her and her experience.

And that was important to acknowledge.

There was a moment, I thought, well, there’s that one piece that might be fun, but really, it would have been to garner my own attention and I wanted to just sit back a little and be a wall flower and watch the main act and really enjoy that I got to have the privilege of being asked and then showing up to celebrate someone’s life and the gifts that she brings into her circle of friends.

It was a great honor.

And fun.

Although I had to bail “early.”


Though I was slightly shorted on my sleep, I came home and unwound and blogged and watched part of Stranger Things.


Side fucking bar.


So good.

I mean, I really can’t recommend it enough, except.



I’m susceptible to the scary.

And I did have a moment last night when I was curled up in my bed with my hands literally over my ears, because I did not want to hear the soundtrack and I was preparing myself for the scary, that I thought.


Maybe I should’t watch this right before I go to bed.


It’s good.


Check it out.

End side bar.

I can’t just get right into bed, even on a late night, so, not so much sleep was gotten.



I took a nap today.

I am so proud of myself.

I never nap.

And it was just begging to happen.

I mean, only getting five hours of sleep will catch up with me, sometimes it’s not so bad and I can have an extra cup of coffee, but I didn’t want to blow my vocal cords out and be dehydrated from drinking coffee today, so I skipped my usual Saturday morning large coffee with my person today at Tart to Tart.

Then went straight to the podcast, after that to Scooter Centre, then to Scuderia, since Scooter Centre was unexpectedly closed, aired up the tires, scooted home, ate a late lunch, caught up with a girl friend on the phone, and then I looked at the time.

I can nap for one hour before going to my new Saturday night commitment.

I folded up my laundry, nothing says sexy like knowing I’ll get to slip into fresh washed sheets tonight, and grabbed a pillow.

I lay down at an angle on the bed, on my back, head propped up on a small throw pillow and closed my eyes.

It was just a touch chilly.

Afghan, the one I got in the mail from my grandmother.

I reached for it.

It had been sitting folded on the end of my chaise lounge in the sun.


It was like being wrapped up in warm soft sunshine.

Best nap ever.

Covered in the love of my grandmother.

Warmed by the sun.

After getting to do some art and be available to my friend.

It was glorious.

I almost didn’t get up.

In fact.

Had I not had that commitment, I would have gone back to sleep.

Grateful I didn’t, I don’t need to muck with my sleep schedule.


Boy howdy.

That might have been one of the best naps I have ever had.


It was good to connect with my people.

To see and be seen.

To not let myself be isolated.

A sweet, simple, glorious little day.

Full of light and warmth and art.




I mean.


My life is fucking awesome.


It is.






Open The Door To Opportunity

January 23, 2014

“I mean,” she said, with a pause and a knowing look, “you could meet people in your studio, but the odds are pretty slim.”


She’s right, but sometimes it is hard to get out of a routine to find ways to open that door and walk through it, to try something different, to make space for a new interest, be it person or thing.

“Why don’t you try the Moth.” She added, then, paused, “you know about the Moth don’t you?”

I do now.

I have been looking at the format on and off for a few weeks since she made that suggestion.

It’s a storytelling affair.

Started in New York, and has meandered its way across the USA to San Francisco.

Oh, I simplify, honestly, I don’t know jack about it.

However, I just signed up to go to the one that is at Public Works this upcoming Tuesday, January 28th.

There was a slam recently, the 13th of this month, at The Rickshaw Stop, but apparently it is no longer being hosted there.

I was just on Public Works website to find out what the deal was.

I really should go back to the site and buy a ticket as well.

I just signed up to go, I didn’t actually purchase the ticket.

Suddenly shy.

Suddenly at a loss for stories.

I have a million stories.


When did I get nerves?

If I can do spoken word in Paris I can show the hell up and tell a five-minute story at Public Works.

Excuse me, what?

They are not selling tickets for it on Public Works website, so I am uncertain if I just show up and throw my hat in the ring or what.

But I will find out.

I am actually going to Public Works on Friday evening.

A dear friend had a birthday a little while back and was unable to celebrate as she was down for the count with the awful flu that made its vicious rounds recently throughout the city.

She is making up for it by going dancing on Friday.

Plus, it’s a Heart Deco event, and I love me some Heart Deco–Burning Man–dancing.  There will be loads of friendly faces there and good music and I will get my groove the fuck on.

I will also find out what the deal is with the Moth.

I booked it into my calendar and although it’s on a school night, I figure, come on, you have to do it.

I have to continue expanding my creative base.

Not because I expect to get anything from it either.

I just want to the experience of doing it.

I also feel like I am a good story-teller.

Not the greatest, but not too bad, and I think I can handle my own for five minutes.

What I like about the format, although it makes a girl nervous, is that you don’t get any props, no notes, no cues, just you and a microphone.

And it has to be a true story and it has to be about you.

The theme for this show is “Beginnings”.

I have no clue what I will tell a story about.

I searched my blog archives with that term and turned up a few, all about Paris, and I suppose I could come up with something to tell about that.

I have until Tuesday to figure it out and practice.

I suppose I may even write a new piece.

I certainly would have to re-draft a blog if I used one, the blogs are not really written from the standpoint of being told as a story, although the narrative is all my, and only mine, I don’t write with the idea of performing my blog.

I am a performance all on my fucking own.

“Marco!”  I hollered out to a friend I saw standing on the corner of La Playa and Judah.

“Polo!” Some wise ass called out, as my friend looked around bewildered.

“Marco!”  I yelled and waved.

“Polo!” Three more people chimed in.

Oh, I give up, as my friend turned confused on his phone trying to pinpoint where I was hailing from.

It reminded me of being outside a cafe in Noe Valley with my friend Shadrach on the phone and he kept asking my email, which is my full name and thus sometimes a bit of a nuisance getting it to folks over the phone who tend to misspell my last name, and shouting, I mean shouting at the top of my lungs, my name.

“What was that, say it slower,” he chuckled abruptly.

“You fucker!” I said, turning bright red.

I had been shouting my full name, middle and all, for over three minutes in front of Martha’s Coffee and had many a person turn and stare at me.



I can make a scene without even meaning to.

I can tell a story.

I can stand up in front of a room full of people and tell my story.

I have done that quite a few times.

Although, only infrequently in five minutes.

Though, I have done that as well.

I could wing the whole god damn thing too.

I just got an idea.


I don’t know if I want to do it, but I do have an idea of a beginning.

Shit, I should, I just celebrate the 9th year of that said beginning.

I wonder how I could craft that into something without blowing my.


I can’t say, now can I?



There’s fodder there.

There’s fodder everywhere.

“I don’t usually enjoy stream of conscious writing,” an old acquaintance said to me today as we met for coffee (hey, look at me, doing something outside of my schedule!  See I can take suggestions, pardon me while I preen over here), “but there’s something about the way you write, it’s really unaffected.”


It’s just me.

And a lot of the time I just open up the blank page and go for it.

There it is too.

Every time I blog.

A new beginning.

A new way of shaping myself and my story.

A new way of seeing.

I guess I just gave myself something to work on while I stand in line at 850 Bryant on Friday waiting to contest my “traffic” infraction.

Maybe I will practise on the judge.


“Dear Carmen”

May 31, 2013

We like your writing very much.

Holy shit.

I am getting published.

I knew it was happening, or I should say, I had some suspicions it might.

The magazine contacted me while I was still in Paris and asked me for an author’s bio and a different file format for my submission.

I had forgotten about it.

and would like to publish “The Button Boy”

Wait, did yo say you would like to publish The Button Boy?

You did not.


You did!

Jumpin’ Jesus on a pogo stick.

I cannot believe that my first publishing credit (ok, I am going to clarify that, it sounds like I have not been published and I have, The Peacock, also in Paris, published a piece I wrote, but it is a student magazine and I was not a student there, I knew the editor and she needed something in a pinch and I tossed out a little epistolary to accompany some photographs in the magazine, so technically I do have publication credits.  And there is this, my blog, which is published every night, but neither were submitted publications) is a short story.

Not only a short story, but a science fiction short story.

“May I make a suggestion,” my room mate said as I was laying my weary head down on the table top at 36 Rue Bellefond.  I was either beating myself up for not doing enough work, or I was castigating myself around my edits to my book, or I was dying of fatigue from having crammed in a full day of walking the cold, wet, mean streets of Paris, taking photographs and trying to live the idea, the fantasy, of the kind of life I was supposed to live in Paris as a struggling writer.

Where is my tiny violin playing for me right now?

“NO, I don’t want your suggestions,” is what I thought, “sure,” is what I said.

“Well, when you are tired of all this work that you are doing, and I know that it is work, you are putting in a lot of time, doing things in Paris, writing, taking pictures and stuff, why don’t you write something fun for you.”  He said unfurling the scarf from around his neck.

“You know, just write something completely out there, something that has nothing to do with what you’re working on.” He said and stepped toward the stairs, turning on the overhead light.

“Hmm, I hear you, you may be right,” I said.

I was being flippant.

But something dinged in my head.

Something said, he’s got a point.

Do you want to be happy or do you want to be write.

I mean “right”.

“I do have an idea for something, now that you mention it,” I said and he paused foot suspended in mid air.  “I saw something on the Metro the other day that I could not figure out what it was and I suddenly got a line, a sentence, and it’s been stuck in my head now for a week or so.”

“There ya go, buddy, write about that,” then he trundled up the steps and I sighed and went back to editing the photographs I had taken that day, a job in and of itself that took anywhere from an hour to two hours depending on how many I had taken during my walk about Paris.

in the next issue of The Bastille.

“You should come check it out!” She said to me one afternoon as I was rinsing out a tea cup in the kitchen of the Scots Kirk Church, “I go every Monday, it’s a lot of fun, and yeah, there’s some drinking, but most people are pretty chill and there’s some good stuff and I love going.”

I knew what she was talking about, I had seen the flyer for it in the window at Shakespeare & Company on one of my first visits to the famous book store across the river from Notre Dame.

Paris Spoken Word Open Mic.

I googled the event.

I made plans to go.

I did not go.

I had a baby sitting gig.

I got a case of nerves.

I was tired.

I was full of excuses.

I don’t have anything to say.

“Hey, I’m going to go this Monday,” Hannah said to me as we hugged outside 65 Quai D’Orsay.  “You should come, you don’t have to perform, I just like to watch actually, we can just hang out.”

“Ok,” I said, I had begun to see, with the help of someone wiser and more experienced and oh, I don’t know, not me, that I have limited perspective and that I often make fear based decisions and that I need to practice saying yes instead of no.

And fellowshipping is good.

So go.

I went.

I performed.

I got high from the adrenalin of getting on stage.

The lights bright, the faces rapt, I felt caught, captured, held, and I recited “While You Were Sleeping”.

I had them in the palm of my hand and I knew it.

Then, I was hooked.

I went back, I did more poems, I did “Cry Baby” and I did “Into the Pink”.  I read a long free verse poem called “Fevered”  I read an old poem about an old lover that I wrote on a break in between a double at Hawthorne Lane while having coffee at a cafe on Market Street in San Francisco back in 2002.

At one of the Open Mics the MC mentioned that The Bastille was closing down it’s next round of submissions, if you want to submit then go to blah, blah, blah.

I wanted to submit.

I had a feeling that I would get in.

I was feeling cocky and high from the performing.

I did not always nail it, but when I did.

I really did.

“So, I just wanted to let you know, I took your suggestion,” I told my room mate one evening.

“Which one,” he said without breaking a beat.

He had given me a lot of suggestions.

“The one about writing something fun,” I said.

“Oh!  Awesome, good on you,” he replied, settling down at the chair kitty corner from me at the table.  “What did you write about?”

“I actually wrote a short story, a science fiction short story at that, I have never written science fiction before, either,” I said.  “I was at Odette & Aime and I did not feel like I was done yet, but I was finished editing, I did a full chapter, and I read for an hour and I was just suddenly poked to take out my notebook and write something completely different.”

“Good for you!” My room mate exhorted again, then he told me about his day and I zoned out a little thinking about how I wanted to write more of these short stories, how good it felt to write.

We’ll be in touch to let you know when it will come out and to get a free copy to you.

I’ll send them “While You Were Sleeping,” “Cry Baby,” and something else, I thought as I looked over the submissions page.

A little voice said, send “The Button Boy”.

I had put it, the short, up on my blog and my friend had given me a really detailed and lovely response of his reaction to the story just a few days prior.

I never expected that they would choose it.

I never thought, boy, when I get my first piece published it will be for a magazine in Paris and it will be a science fiction short story.


Not a poem, not an essay, not one of my blogs.

A science fiction piece that I was inspired to write because I saw something on a little boys’ head that did not make sense to me, I made up a story to explain the unknown.

This is how Gods are created and constellations and mythologies, personal mythologies, my history.

I can still see that little boy and the gigantic plastic button, which I learned later is a hearing aid, on the back of his skull with a little wire running into the black nest of his short cropped hair.

I can see the car I am in on the Metro and I know where I am going.

And now I know what piece I need to work on next.

But just for this moment, just for today, I get to celebrate this little victory.

I get to bask.

Then back to work.

But for now, the basking.




All the best,
David & the rest of the editorial team DSCF5360

Mixed Signals

March 18, 2013

I don’t want to tell the Universe what to do.

Yes I do, who the fuck am I kidding?

I want to stay here and I am putting it out there, keep me here, will ya?

Of course, I don’t know how, and I am willing to do what needs be done.

The question is, what needs be done?

I don’t know.

John Ater told me last night, we had a successful Skype session, that I was never going to know, knowing is not a part of the story, never was, never was going to be.

He told me a story about surrender and it resonated with me.

I gave up on Friday.

I had a lovely relaxed day on Saturday.

I took the bit back in my mouth yesterday, tried to figure it out, banged myself around a bit, gave up again, said, what ever, and went to bed early.

I got up today went the way I had to go to get the crazies out of the tree branches and had nine people say, “stay” and one person say, “go.”

The stays are winning it for me, of course, but how?

I am not arguing for my limitations, which John helpfully pointed out I was doing and I got a few interesting e-mails today.  One from the English department at the American University.  The gentleman in question said staying in the country is not too hard, go to London and get your passport stamped.

Been there, done that.

Working papers, that is another thing entirely.

However, he invited me to swing by for office hours and I am going to do that next week.

I also went out and did a little open mic action at Le Chat Noir tonight, taking it upon myself to continue carving out a life for myself here.  I also believe it is good practice for me to go, as I find myself more prone to working on my poetry and that is important to me.

It may not be important to anyone else, but as a poet before I was a memoirist or a blogger, it is my first love.

Tonight the thematic was “navigation”.

My poems were on the navigation of Eros.

“Well played,” she said leaning into me as I sat back down, shaky, and hot-headed.

“Thanks,” I said, and leaned into the wall.

I was the last performer of the first round, I actually got there before all the spots were filled in.  I also realized that depending on who you are and what you want from the open mic, the people performing ask to be put into certain rounds.

My first time there I was late, busy getting lost, and I was the second to last person to perform.

Last week, I was late again, babysitting gig in Asniers-Sur-Seine, third to last person this go round.

“Are you performing tonight,” the girl with the blonde bob asked me as I passed her in the bar of Le Chat Noir.

“Yes, I am,” I said, “Helen?”

“Yes!  You remembered my name, you are amazing, I missed you last week, I had to go, it was too late.”

“I will be the last person in the first round,” I said.

“Good, I look forward to hearing you,” she smiled and pushed up to the bar.

I went down the wood stair case into the basement and stuck myself in the corner.  I was better prepared tonight as well, I brought my own bottle of Badoit.  Not going to drop 3.50 Euro on a small bottle of Perrier when I can get a bottle of bubbles at Carrefour for less than half that.

My voice felt good.

I felt nervous, but I always feel nervous.

The poems were well received, or so it felt, and I remembered to breathe, pause, slow down when I wanted to go fast, to say the words, to alter the pace, to emphasize the click clack of alliteration.  I like to alliterate and do internal rhyme scheme.

Just my schtick.

I filled up another notebook this morning and realized I have a small journal that is full as well, which makes four full up journals since my arrival.

I just remembered, I must get myself a glue stick, one of the ways I remember is to paste little items in my notebooks of my journeys.  The notebook I finished this morning has the ticket stub from the Dali Museum, my backstage bracelet to the Social Club from Friday nights club outing, a walking guide of the Jardin des Plantes, a Carmen Miranda sticker (my girl Jennifer sent me a sheet of Carmen Miranda stickers from Flax in San Francisco), the top of the Lauderee tea canister–mint green paper with a gold leaf cupid on it–I pulled off the label, and the open mic flyer from last weeks performance.

I can open any of those journals and not only re-read what my experiences where during the time I was doing the writing, but I can just look at my scrapbook souvenirs and see it just as well.

I don’t know how many more notebooks I will get to fill.

But, hey Universe, I would love to fill a few more.

I do surrender to not knowing.

I do.

I also surrender to the fact that I want what I want.

I may not get it, the longing for the fantasy has been greatly offset by the realities of living here.  The reality of living here is that it is hard.

Hard,hard, hard, but I don’t have a regret.

Not a one.

I won.

I am winning.

The Paris experiment.

The Paris experience.

This is a win/win.

I get to see it all about me, in the words I write, in the poems I speak, in the wet pavements I slide on down on my way to the Metro, in the photographs I take, stopping in the rain to juggle my glasses and umbrella and messenger bag.

Door Way

Door Way

Metro Couronnes

Couronnes Metro

“Stay,” he said, busking my cheeks with kisses.

I would like to.

What do you say, Universe?

I await your direction.


Open Mic

March 12, 2013

I want Stephen King to write an essay on open mics.

It would be similar to what he wrote for “On Writing.”

It would encompass these things:

1. Do not read from your personal journal

2. Do not read from your personal journal

3. Please do not read from your personal journal

4. Don’t perform Shakespearean plays.

5. Caveat to above, unless your Al Pacino–then go to town, but if you’re not and you do decide that you are going to perform a monologue, don’t tell the audience what it is about before you perform it.

Just fucking do the monologue.

6. If you have to explain it to me, you’ve already lost me.

7. Breathe

8. He’s not that cute, the bartender, and your hair extension is showing.

9. Turn off your phone

10. Yes, you are brave to get up in front of a group of strangers, so acknowledged, now stop reading from your personal journal, “you know” “like” “um” “what I am saying”.

Other random thoughts after tonight’s performance.  Some people have it and some don’t.

The guy I was laughing about last week, who I thought was doing a schtick, was, oh jesus, not doing a schtick, the slumped shoulder, cardigan, ascot, and wrinkled pants with the book clutched to chest is not an act.

Just because you are cute does not mean I want to listen to you.

I will fall down in intoxicated awe at your feet if you give me a good performance.  I don’t care what you look like, the tall, quiet, moon face Swedish girl knitting all night long in the shadowy corner of the cafe, you blew me away in your head rag and red-painted crimson lips, despite the circle scarlet framing the crooked, tobacco stained teeth, the sounds that issued forth from your mouth made me swoon.

Again please.

The rules of the open mic are such that you are always going to hear some one who sucks, some one who is nervous, some one who has no talent, but loads of charisma and chutzpah–so you actually pay attention to their clowning and find it amusing if slightly boorish–and the top hat does not hurt either, the quiet girl with the hound straddling a bench in the corner is amazing, don’t leave before you hear her do her own version of French hip hop improv rap, always different, always new–she takes French words from the audience and rhymes on command.


There are bad acts, good acts, then there’s you.

Practicing your poems in front of a two-year old and a four-year old in Asniers Sur Seine–I got a last minute baby sitting gig tonight before heading out to the open mic.

The back ground music is not the tinkle of ivories plunked out by a gangly French man with long hair and thin fingers, or the accordion shunting you up and down the stairs of the Metro.


It is the Micky Mouse Club House in French.

But if you can get the sounds of mouse out of the house in your head, you are golden.

I shared with a friend this evening who met me at the cafe, Le Chat Noir, 76 Rue Jean Pierre Timbaud, that I did not have a printer with me, I hand wrote it out in a journal (felt so old school), the majority of my work is in computer files, a lot here as well tucked into odd corners of my blog, white flagged by the category “poetry”.

Just in case you care to skip.

I know not everyone’s cup of tea is a sonnet.

However, I did get good response to my sonnet.

And the girl with the hair extensions and the ski slope plastic surgery nose, raved me up.

To the point that I almost felt bad for thinking trashy thoughts about the blonde synthetic hair pulling away from her scalp line.

But not enough to tell you that the bartender tells that to all the girls.

Note to boy at the end of the bar, hipsters don’t drink Long Island Ice Teas.

Douche bags do.


Did I say that?

I actually did let something slip, for which I will be putting that into my debit column tonight-I did say, out loud, “no, we don’t want to hear the end,” after another long personal journal entry with so many clichés I did not have enough sticks to shake at them.

I did cry tonight though.

Brought to sudden tears by a line that Alice Notley wrote.

She was the featured speaker tonight and it was really quite amazing to hear her and see a poetic legend read.  I cannot even tell you what the line was, but I can taste it and see it and it looks like the white light that shatters in the core of marbles that Rodin used to sculpt the head of John the Baptist.

It was a love poem that was not a love poem that was the first political poem I could stand to listen to the whole thing, a thing from another planet of time when the Kerouac’s, it’s his birthday today, happy birthday Jack, and the Ginsberg’s, the Alan Kaufman’s, the New York School whipped the world along in song and debauchery, politics and the licence to live as free and wanton as possible whilst searching to pull down the walls of the machine.

It felt like a poem from another age and I could hear the poet’s own struggles to show me, maybe just me, how to continue forward and how to not bend and how to be true to that voice that pushes out from me.

To also acknowledge I am good.

I am a performer, not the best, but I will not be falsely humble either, I have a good voice and I am a good reader.  And when I have a good breath in me, I can hold an audience.

I also write about sex, that said in the right tone of voice will keep attention on you.

I write about the politics of eros and negotiating my own way through it.

I have fun being breathy and just a little American tawdry with a wink of burlesque.

Just a little spanking of fun for you.

I will go back, to perform again, raise the welter of poems off my body and breathe out into the universe, or a small grotto cave of a cafe, my substantiate self for as long as I can.

Or the five-minute bell rings my time ended.

Whichever comes first, in Paris.

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