Tanya Cheex- NGR Toronto. “For The Love Of Mother!”

Mothers, everybody’s got one and some come a lot of baggage. My mother issues are minimum. If we’re talking father issues that’s a long complication edition. I have great respect for my mom, supporting a family of five and that includes dad!

From the get go, I wanted to read “Mommy Dearest”, the Joan Crawford shockography by her daughter Christina. Years ago, when I worked in a second hand bookstore you couldn’t give that book away, there were that many copies! An online search and scoring numerous Toronto bookstores , new and used indicated it was out of print! What no more wire hangers?!! The second book Honey B. Hind and I both wanted was the Carrie Fisher/ Debbie Reynolds memoir “Postcards From The Edge”-also out of print! I “settled” for “Gypsy” by Gypsy Rose Lee cause you know Mama Rose was the proverbial stage mom.

We decided to start the evening with Sauci Calla Horra reading from her grandmother’s 1940’s Good House Keeping cookbook with it’s entertaining for children section. The recipes were littered with the word “gay”as in “gay desserts”, which provoked much laughter from our audience. We did a group reading from “The Gallery Of Regretable Food ” which included a 1950’s lurid Jello mold picture show.

When i got to my piece from “Gypsy”, I realized I had a bit too much to read. I used to have a stammer in the first grades and it started to resurface! This became excruciatingly painful me. I broke out into a sweat! Girls, you must realize the reading aloud bit is far more difficult than than the naked part! I think I far better reading shorter passages and include my own banter. This might change as I get better at it. I probably wouldn’t pass the NGR video audition sent to myself ! Too bad, cause I’m running this ship!

I managed to redeem myself in the next set with my recitation of the lyrics of Glen Danzig’s “Mother”

Our guest readers this session included St.Stella reading Kurt Vonnegut Jr.”s “Harrison Bergeron and Boylesque T.O’.’s Balonia Wry who read “Magda Mandela” by Hari Kunzru, whose protagonist truly reminded me of a senior version of her!

We finished the evening up with a group reading of “I Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. This truly is a creepy story if you re-read it as an adult. The mother comes off totally stalkers! Recently, author Munsch revealed that he’s been diagnosed as obsessive-compulsive and manic-depressive, and that he is a recovering cocaine addict and alcoholic!
I really enjoyed compiling the MOM playllist for the evening and gave my mom a copy for Mother’s Day. I omitted such gems as “I Saw Your Mommy, And Your Mommy’s Dead” by Suicidal Tendencies but I left “Mommy’s Little Monster” by Social Distortion, because I knew that would remind her of me in my punkrock o’ youth. My Mom could handle my hair coloured a shade of blue and that’s one of the many reasons I love her!

NGR TIP #1 Keep your legs closed while reading!

Next Session: Queer Lit June 27th with Trixie and Beever.

Sauci Calla Horra -Treats for Children from Good Housekeeping Cookbook (1955); preface and excerpt from The Gallery of Regrettable Food by James Lileks; poetry of Anne Sexton
Group read – Excerpts from The Gallery of Regrettable Food and I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
St. Stella – Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut
Honey B. Hind – Pee is for Party by Sarah Silverman
Tanya Cheex – Excerpt from Gypsy; “Mother” by Danzig
Mena Von Fleisch- Reflections on Mother
Bolognia Wry – Magda Mandela by Hari Kunzru (from The Book of Other People edited by Zadie Smith)

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