Open Secret Feature Performance

An audio recording of my August 3, 2016 Open Secret feature performance at Le Bistrot des Artistes in Paris…


The original recording was very hard to hear. Many thanks to master sound engineer Paul Priest for getting this track in decent shape!


Open Secret

What a great time I had featuring with Didier Cornelian at last Wednesday’s Open Secret. The event was held at the Bistrot des Artistes in the 5th arrondissement (the Latin Quarter) in Paris. A brief version of the invite can be found on the Spoken Word Paris website.

A longer draft from Open Secret promoter David Leo Sirois’s Facebook invite follows…


Open Secret! Wednesdays @ Le Bistrot des Artistes, 6 rue des Anglais (a passageway that passionately kisses Boulevard Saint Germain & rue Lagrange) 75005 Paris. 8:30 open mic sign-up, 9pm show. Métro Maubert-Mutualité (line 10) or Saint-Michel (line 4). Experiments in writing, song, comedy, performance art, theater, & dance, eeeeeven – whatever you got cookin’!

’Sup? David Leo Screw-Up Idealist Blew Up His To-Do List Threw Up Both Hands While Dancin’ Sirois reporting…’Member the time when the Open Secret theme was “Freedom is dancing with both hands in the air?” Well, that holy badass 😉 Buddha said that – just as radical as Jesus or Madame Blavatsky or Lao-Tzu or Amma, the “hugging saint,” who gave me an electric embrace I’ll never forget)…yet sometimes in the exercise of my freewill I make more than a few blunders, & muddle up either my own life or tread on the toes of others.

I was always taught that we are free to do whatever we choose, as long as it doesn’t infringe upon others’ freedom. Thusly, in honor of Wednesday’s special guest artist James Berg’s brilliant song, “Trouble,” this week’s theme shall forthwith be: “I’m in trubble now!” Has a parent ever called out to you by your full, long & complicated name? What did that mean? 😉 Have you ever felt like everyone was mad at you? What did that feel like? Well, “I’m in trubble now!”

We actually have a double feature this Wednesday (for a double-date @ the drive-in movie): James Berg has been charming & moving & grooving audiences on both sides of the Atlantic for years (hear his SoundCloud here:…but we will also have the great good fortune to witness Didier Cornevin’s reinvention of radical (not just for its time) French verse into vibrant song: the works of Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Verlaine – as well as his strong original songs & dramatic recitations. Wowie Kazowie!

James’ bio:
Dividing his time between the United States and France, James Berg performs as a poet, storyteller and musician. Often collaborative, his songwriting has been performed and recorded by American folk/rock musicians and was included on Old Shoe’s CD, Family, named by WXRT as best Chicago album of 2013. James’s poetry was most recently published last month in While You Were Waiting by Poems While You Wait in Chicago. His past and upcoming poetry, essays and short fiction are available in Paris at Shakespeare & Company bookshop through Spoken Word Paris and Paris Lit Up publications. Visit for more info.

See ya @ the Bistrot for our Wednesday soirée!!

In Muddy Water

I noticed a contest announcement through Rose Metal Press and used this as motivation to complete a collection of 1000-word flash fiction stories which I submitted on December 1st.

The manuscript is titled In Muddy Water. I had the title first and then chose pieces that seemed to fit thematically, looking through stuff from the past few years but especially from work I’ve done during the last couple months.

The chapbook hopefully strikes the right balance between humor and darkness. It has a smattering of sex and drugs. Space travel. A detective story. A fable. Some family stories.

Last sping, I blurbed a colleague’s book (In Lieu of Flowers by Rachel Slotnik) with this title, In Muddy Water, associated with my name. It left me with a challenge. I had a different book with the title in mind, but I discovered that it will take much longer for that to be ready. So I really wanted to complete SOMETHING called In Muddy Water, and I’m pleased to have realized this goal. Now I have a collection that I can add to, take from, revise, tweak, etc. – assuming it isn’t selected for the contest as is.

Here’s a screenshot of my blurb from the back cover of In Lieu of Flowers

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