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Saturday, July 6, 2013


Review by Mel Bossa

Mount Royal: There's Nothing Harder Than Love
Basil Papademos
Tightrope Books, 2012

Montreal, late eighties, and Johnny is hooked on junk.
In the "Open city", he struggles to feed his habit alongside a cast of characters which act a bit like a fucked up Greek chorus, and all is pretty tolerable until Tony, their main pusher gets "relieved of his duties" for fronting too many times and coming up short, and good ol' Johnny is handed a pager by The Man and steps into Tony's shoes.

Thus begins a downward spiral for our hero, as he runs from whore, to girlfriend, to potential lover, to mama's boys, to paranoid conspiracy theorist transsexual, to dominatrix, to pretty boy gigolos, trying to keep everybody satisfied and high, and accomplishing this marvelous feet while keeping his own habit on the level.

These adventures of the damned take place in the claustrophobic neighborhood around the Main, in spots like La Cabane, The Bar Fly, The Bifteck, les Foufs, and around old Griffintown and the Milton district. For a Montrealer who still hangs around some of these places, it was simply fantastic to read about these iconic spots in all of their eighties' glory.

The writing is reminiscent of Henry Miller and has all of Burroughs wonderful wit and darkness, but the cool thing about Papademos' narrator, is that he isn't a writer or an artist, and so, there isn't a sense of an outsider looking into the peephole. We are in the room with these people and someone is looking at us. Not the other way around.
Adding to this, is the tone of the novel, which begins with a sort of frenzied despair, and slowly releases into a more melancholic, almost contemplative mood.

The novel ends with the Montreal Massacre, and I loved the way nothing but a few sentences were enough to give me chills.

Now, what about the MountRoyal in all this?
The Mountain is a character is this book. It acts as a temptress, a mother, a sister-in-arms, a vixen, a teacher, and for some, it is the Grim Reaper, come to claim her dues.

The language is sharp, the prose is at times richly poetic, the insights are great and right-on, and there is of course, just enough controversy and sex to quickened the blood.

It depicts a time when Montreal was indeed, an open city, when there was a sense of freedom here...
It really is a snapshot of a time and place worth remembering and this novel should and will take its place in the ranks of those important novels, alongside those books which chronicle the underbelly of cities.

Those books that show us the stained underwear under the million dollar dress.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

at some party in SoCal...

Thanks to Pope for sending this.
My book looks good with the snogging babes in the background...
Thanks, girls.


June 28/13 at The Bureau
Lower East Side...
Thanks to Greg Martin & Donnie Jochum for hosting the eveing...
It was great fun doing a show with Eric Sasson and Simon Jacobs.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


It was a great night, big crowd, and an honor to 
perform at the legendary Nuyorican Cafe

With Miss Alyx at the bar of Nuyorican Cafe
on the night of the Bi Lines Book Awards

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Performing in NYC June 28/13 Strange Loop Gallery


home of the BGSQD bookstore
27 Orchard St., between Canal and Hester
in Chinatown
and wear something great for godsakes...

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Bi Lines VI: A multi-arts celebration of bisexual writing...

JUNE 2/13 at the legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York's Lower East Side...

MOUNT ROYAL: There’s Nothing Harder Than Love by Basil Papademos has been nominated for Bisexual Fiction of the Year by the Bi Writers Association, as part of New York City’s Pride Week.
Basil Papademos has also been nominated as Bi Writer of the Year.

He will be performing at… Bi Lines VI: A multi-Arts Celebration of Bisexual Writing on Sunday June 2, 2013.
The sixth annual event kicks off New York City’s Pride Week at the legendary Nuyorican Poets Café! Doors open at 6:30pm. $10 at the door.

More details coming soon…

Monday, February 11, 2013

A world of Villon...

 Stay on the road. Do whatever's needed to never return to your old handcuffed life. Get involved with wild-ass schemes, weird characters, borrow, beg, steal, scam, whore, pimp, whatever it takes to stay on the road. Time stands still when you're on the road, you remain the same age or even get younger as others age. In fact, all the time you're on the road, others are aging at an accelerated pace. When you briefly pass through your hometown while on the way to somewhere else on the road, everyone will remark how young and vital you seem. They'll want you to stick around, try to drain some of that perfect, fluid road energy that floats off you but pay them no mind. They might be friends, family, old lovers but they are being sucked under the riptide, the quicksand, the mud pit, and you cannot help. They are doomed. Stay on the road...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Not a footprint in sight...

Buddhists say hell is this life, this dimension of the flesh. Well... I'm no Buddhist and I might be dead wrong but being alive - there really is nothing better cuz as far as anyone knows for sure, there is nothing else. This is our heaven and this is our hell and all places in between. Even regrets and disappointments have their place,  if only to allow you to see how good most things are. It all feels like a miracle of confluence and requires zero effort. In fact, the less I try the more seems to happen. Maybe that's all it is; Don't even try. Just go out there and be and do and don't let your "monkey mind" spin everything backward and sideways and all round. What's that old expression? Don't outsmart yourself. Feel with your mind, think with your body and get lost on twisting mountain roads, pass through silent forests to end up here... a hidden, spring fed lagoon deep in the mountains of the Thai-Lao border, and not a footprint in sight...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Of erotic lit, mommy bloggers & shower heads...

I've been checking out some "erotic lit" websites lately. You know, see if I can make a few bucks.
Hm... It would take some serious dumbing down to churn out that type of moronic nonsense. It's like ad copy for the emotionally and sexually retarded. Besides, I'm too undisciplined to write about anything that doesn't interest me. The kind of "stories" published on "erotic lit" sites read like scripts from truly dull porn videos.
Okay, so none of this is exactly big news. But who are the readers? Who is this vast army that makes marketing phenomena out of badly written books about very vanilla bdsm? Well, on the face of it, women mostly. Judging from the comments sections on "erotic lit" sites, many of these women are unrequited, uncherished and unattended: the unromanced. Those who were never made to feel "special", never got swept off their feet and out of their predictable lives.
It's the same idea that's sold trillions of truly awful romance novels. Women often insist on at least a pretension of context in their sexual situations while men usually don't care and just want a "release." The sad irony about this mass-market "erotica" is that it's the furthest thing from it. We're not talking Anaïs Nin or Colette or Jeanette Winterson. 
But now I'm the one who's being romantic. It's a business and it's economics. The vast majority of the largely unpaid digital serfs who produce this dreck are said to be "mommy bloggers"; often women who've lost their jobs and are now reduced to being chained to a laptop in their kitchen and simplifying their fantasies, turning them into "erotic lit" in the hopes of making a few bucks - very few from all the bitching I read on the authors forums.
It's assembly-line smut for the functionally literate. Quick, easy, and most of all, convenient. Combined with advances in shower head technology over the years, perhaps it's all that most readers need. Another box ticked:
Laundry done
Kids off to school
Quick wank
Credit card bills juggled
Yoga class payment deferred
Go to Costco & buy new toy (old one worn out).

Monday, January 7, 2013

Go Fuck Yourself Nicely

They used to say one's addiction was a result of 'choices.' But when the full implications of that word became apparent, the Latest Findings folks decided it might be more manageable to blame brain chemistry, our fucked up receptors - blamed for everything from the most depraved evil to the most banal stupidity. "He posts endless inane bullshit on Facebag because his dopamine receptors are malfunctioning. It can't be helped."

One result is the addict who becomes a 'recovering addict' as an identity. That's like saying, who I am is not a murderer. I don't murder people.
I guess that's a start but "I am not an addict" is not a life. It's not even a vocation or profession. Definitely not a passion or a motive or even a compulsion. I'm not a lot of things. Not being those things doesn't make me something else. It just makes me not those things.

Perhaps addicts are just addicted to themselves. Self-loathing seems to be the big self-flattery gag. "I hate myself so hate me too." (No, thanks. I'll pass.) But that's still a ME thing, ego driven. 
One of the first exhaustive studies of addiction, conducted way back in the '60's and long since forgotten, concluded addicts are fundamentally narcissists, annoyed the rest of the world has never realized how great they truly are and feel hard done by over that. 
If you break it down, the whole addiction and recovery edifice - and the lucrative industry it's become - is a white middle class creation. Until the abuse of drugs and booze made serious inroads among those people, it was just something poverty stricken degenerates and 'artists' did.

I spent many years as an addict and a sort of variegated masochist, in the entire rainbow of that word's meanings. I had a blast a lot of the time but in some ways it was one endlessly dull whine of apology for being alive, for existing, for being around. Now, not so much. Welcome home, Rip Van Winkle.
Seen outside a drug rehab clinic: "Go Fuck Yourself Nicely."
Self-acceptance is the key...