It’s been a busy past few days – but also very cool.  Geri and I attended two poetry events.  The first was a Daniel Thompson memorial reading at the Barking Spider Tavern on Tuesday 8 July.

The gig was emceed by Ray McNiece and his Tongue-in-Groove band.  Geri and I arrived about a half hour late, thanks in part to severe thunderstorms that blew our patio furniture into the yard as we were about to leave home (chasing our big umbrella made me feel like Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain). 

Sprinkled throughout Ray’s performance were readings and reflections by several other artists, including Tim Joyce (formerly of Cleveland, now of Cape Cod), Barry Zucker, Dianne Borsenik, Jennie Cheeks, and Gail & Eric Buchbinder (creators of the Daniel Thompson film documentary Famous in the Neighborhood).  The night was of course dedicated to Daniel, Cuyahoga County’s Poet Laureate, who died in 2004.  I had planned to read my “Rapists” poem, followed by Daniel’s “We Are All Gunmen” – but there was not enough time.  It was appropriate, though, that the folks who knew him best were the ones who got to read.

In addition to being a great poet, Daniel Thompson was a fearless civil rights activist, a tireless advocate for the homeless and other disadvantaged folks, and much more.  But to really appreciate the man and artist, I recommend you visit these two sites: 
(part of Steven B. Smith’s agentofchaos site featuring dozens of Daniel’s poems and other goodies) 
(a 2004 biographical tribute to Daniel by Cool Cleveland).

Here are a few photos I took at the Spider.  But silly me, I forgot until halfway through the event that I had my camera in my bookbag, so I failed to get decent pictures of Tim and Gail.  Heck, I didn’t even photograph Geri or myself.  So you know I wasn’t totally with it… lol.

Buddy Ray




Ray’s eyes blazing with poetry

Discover more Daniel Thompson in these books available through my Amazon store:


Stay tuned… I will be blogging soon about our second poetry event of the week, where we encountered the legendary Smith and Lady at Mac’s Backs on Wednesday.  But I have to run and tend to a few other important matters first.

Tonight (Thursday), from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., we will be at the Literary Cafe in Cleveland – and it’s going to be a quadruple treat.  We’ll see Smith and Lady again, and hopefully hear them read during the open mic part of the night.  We’ll also see featured readers David Smith and T.M. Göttl.  David is one of my favorite MySpace writers (under his nom de blog Handsome Duke Deal) – and since he lives in California, this will be my first time meeting him in person.  I have, on the other hand, had the privilege of seeing T.M. read a couple of times – and in addition to being a fine poet, she is one of the most passionate and captivating performers on the scene.  I’ve never been to the Lit before, but several great poets who’ve read far and wide tell me it’s one of their favorite venues anywhere.  We’ll see….

For more on the Literary Cafe, please check out their site: