New Monthly Series: Soul of a Poet

Last week, I hosted some poetry and music in the backyard of Goodbye Blue Monday. It went so well, that I’m going to do it as a monthly series called Soul of a Poet. We’re going to invite one poet and a handful of musicians to do 10 to 15 minute sets. If you’re in a band, and would like to have a chance to perform some acoustic tunes that are a little too quiet for your regular setlist, then I hope you’ll get in touch. Meanwhile, I want to share some photos and MP3s of the show from last week.


Rocco de Giacomo was our featured poet. He’s got a great way of expressing a sharp, resigned humor at our world and his place in it. Here he is reading one of his twitter poems, a collection of tweets from the Huffington Post.

Rocco: Tweets from HuffPo

Rocco Poetry 6

Shayne Bovell from Imaginary Friends was one of our performers. It was a great chance to hear some of his spoken word, along with some songs. Here’s a sample.

Shayne Pixie Dust

Shayne 1

Brer Brian even stopped by and played a couple of songs with us. I was delighted to hear his tune It’s Like Buddha, Baby. That is a really great song.

Basically, it was an awesome, inspiring night. Everybody listened and enjoyed, drank buckets of beer afterward and I gave everyone tarot readings after the bar closed. Thanks as always to Goodbye Blue Monday for hosting.

Rocco de Giacomo and Friends at Goodbye Blue Monday June 27

Here’s an update on our superfun backyard show coming up this Thursday.

Backyard of Goodbye Blue Monday

1083 Broadway

J train to Myrtle or Kosciuszko (it’s in between the 2 stops)

Featuring Toronto poet Rocco de Giacomo

Also featuring the music of Aron Blue, Buffie Roseanne, and James Telfer, and the music and poetry of Shayne Bovell (from Imaginary Friends)

Drink specials and snacks.


Rocco de Giacomo is a widely published poet whose work has appeared in literary journals in Canada, Australia, England, Hong Kong and the US. His work has most recently appeared in The Malahat Review. Rocco’s poetry has also been featured on the CBC. He is the author of numerous chapbooks including, in 2008, Catching Dawn’s Breath. In 2009, his first full-length poetry collection, Ten Thousand Miles Between Us, was launched through Quattro Books. In 2010, Ten Thousand Miles was longlisted for the ReLit Poetry Award. In 2011, it was selected for Poetry NOW’s 3rd Annual Battle of the Bards. Rocco lives in Toronto where he writes and participates on the council for the Art Bar Poetry Series.

Jacob Scheier and friends at Goodbye Blue Monday June 27

I’m hosting my buddy Jacob Scheier this month for a reading/performance night at Goodbye Blue Monday. Here’s the details!

Thursday, June 27 at 7PM

Backyard of Goodbye Blue Monday

1083 Broadway

J train to Myrtle or Kosciuszko (it’s in between the 2 stops)

Featuring Jacob Scheier, reading from his new book Letter from Brooklyn

Also featuring Rocco, another awesome Toronto poet

Also featuring me and Telfer. Shayne, too.

More musical guests to come! And probably some snacks and drink specials too, because that’s always fun.


Jacob Scheier is a Toronto born poet, essayist and journalist, who has also lived in Istanbul, New York City and Brandon, Manitoba. He was the winner of the 2008 Governor General’s Award for poetry (More to Keep us Warm, ECW Press) and co-winner of a 2009 New York Independent Media Alliance award for best feature article: “The Anti-Bloomberg: Can I Get an Amen?.” Co-written with John Tarleton. The Indypendent 14 August 2009: 6-7. Jacob’s second full length collection of poems, Letter from Brooklyn was published with ECW Press this Spring 2013. His poems have also appeared in journals and magazines across North America, including RattleDescant and Geist, been aired on CBC radio and inspired a contemporary dance performance at the En Wave Theatre in Toronto.

He articles and essays have also been widely published in such publications as Toronto’s NOW Magazine and New York City’s The Indypendent. He is the former co-editor-in-chief of York University’s literary journal, existere.

The Internet is a Potemkin Village

I went to see Earth Girls Are Easy the other night. It was a special Bust-magazine-sponsored showing at Videology in Williamsburg, which they’ve really turned into a sweet bar and viewing room, by the way. Kudos.

Now I love this movie. I can recite quotes from this movie like other people do with Rocky Horror.

“If you wanted to have meaningless sex, why couldn’t you have meaningless sex with me?!”

So I was excited. I dragged two of my friends along (one: bemused, one: slightly pleased). A third couldn’t come because of holiday scheduling stuff.

We were the only people there!!!

Except for one other girl. And the fancy pantsy lady who was running the show. And her friend. Fancy pantsy is an editor for Salon and wrote a twee little book about the pains of middle class househunting in NYC. No links because I’m not trying to be that way (much), I’m just telling a little story.

She proceeded to stand up in the dark, with us all alone there (6 total people), and give this whole speech about the movie, and how much it meant to her, and how our money was going to a good cause (which it was), and then she talked about the cause for a minute, and suggested that maybe we could donate even more money, and me and my two friends were like, umm, please just start the movie because you’re making us really uncomfortable. I just felt bad because she couldn’t let her hair down even for a minute in a situation where she obviously needed to interact in a slightly different way than if she was speaking to 30 people.

And yet, on the internet, to quote a rather old song by my buddies Ninjasonik, she’s fuckin’ famous.

I like Meowtain. And Bezoar.

Me and Shayne listened to the whole cassette of Meowtain last night. I bought it from Lizzie La Fey at the Foxygen show at Webster Hall, because she sings with Foxygen and also was selling cassettes for her band. I was probably the only person to be like, the side project of the opening band? On cassette? Let me buy some of that. But that is how I roll.

Then we biked to Grand Victory and watched Bezoar, who tag themselves on bandcamp with experimental metal prog psychedelic Brooklyn. That sounds about right. Their sound is huge, you could really hear and differentiate the instruments.  Too many bands go loud and get muddy, but they were pristine. It kind of rounded out the evening.

We’re doing t-shirts for Imaginary Friends, which is exciting, working on the second video, and trying to find the perfect venue for our record release party. If I don’t have a date nailed down in a week or so, my head is going to explode. Explode! Like a watermelon being shot by an assassin’s rifle while he’s practicing for Charles De Gaulle.