We’ve a few talented wordsmiths kicking around Vancouver. I honestly didn’t know how many until the first party Corrine Lea (of Rio Theatre fame) put on at The Dollhouse years ago called Bedtime Stories. The idea was to combine poetry and burlesque. She brought up a few of the Suicide Kings, spoken word artists from the USA, and it was the first time I met CR Avery. Local poet, East Van heartthrob, and beatboxer. Our torrid professional affair would pick up again years later in 2010 when I appeared in his video for ‘Dungeon Of Love”.
A year later after Bedtime Stories there was Khan Con at the Rio Theatre, and there was a Star Trek poetry slam. For real. Honestly, if I took PCP, was locked in a room with a typewriter and given only mushrooms to eat for a year, I couldn’t conceive of this, or it’s popularity. I believe it was our friend and burlesque patron Duncan Shields who owned it that day. I was painted green, since I was doing an Orion Slave Girl dance. These are the moments that make up the calendar of my life: Star Trek poetry slams and self-painting myself before dancing for a theatre full of fellow geeks. C’est la vie.
So anyways, since then I’ve wised up. There are far more versifier’s prowling Vancouver with their prose. However myself and Sweet Soul burlesque wound up developing a much deeper relationship with Mr.Avery. We have a tendency to do that where we will find another artist we adore and cling to them like limpets and wind our way into each other’s art. So when CR invited Lola Frost, Cherry Ontop and myself to go on a mini tour, we accepted and he each had us perform solos of our own work and also with his band, The Broken Mirrors.
The following is a piece he read while I acted/danced it out with and alongside him. He put together a book called 38 Bar Blues. I was hustling from one job to the next on a showgirl shift down Commercial Drive when I met him at my favourite hole-in-the-wall sushi joint and he gifted a copy to the residents in Haus Of Boudior. He had marked off two poems for Lola and I. Hers she oftentimes recites at shows nude. This one was mine. It’s not actually ‘mine’ but I do feel slightly proprietary about it. Which is just my Scorpio way of saying I was touched.
Quarter Past Eleven (We Have An Understanding)The cat just sat in my lap, and she’s purring like Mae West after a couple bottles of champagne. With her tiny black paws, she pulls out the cigarettes from my winter coat pocket, now tobacco is dangling from her petite jaw, against her sharp teeth. With a swift flash of her manicured claw, she flicks the lighter, careful not to singe her whiskers. She’s blowing smoke rings with euphoric nostalgia of the silent film era, while nudging me with her head to scratch behind her ear, and ashes in my old corduroy hat.
We’ve come a long way in two weeks. The first time I tried to pet her soft white belly, she reacted like a woman being approached late at night on a badly lit suburban street, or a woman being followed into an empty parking garage; the fuckin’ maced me. As I held my burning eyes, keeled over on one knee, cursing like a trucker, I heard her run into the tiled kitchen and the dead bolt go ‘click’.
But now we’re like Frieda and Diego in a Mexican garden full of honeysuckles and zinnias, blessed by papaya and mango trees. In the shadow of giant puppets to be revealed at the carnival of lost souls, we lick salt from empty popcorn bowls and binge on the tequila from half finished glasses found on the kitchen counter after a swingers party.
Soon I’ll be catching her alley mice and inner city birds and she’ll slip me cash. I won’t ask where it came from. I’ll just offer her a smoke and purr.
Photo by David Denofreo for Black Opal Images. From our shoot for Tongue And Cheek at the Rio Theatre last fall in 2011.
Always did have a soft spot for writers. I believe it’s called ‘my heart’ and it will never harden.
Little Miss Risk