Poetry Corner – Finding a Way To Love Everyone

Finding a Way
to love everyone

*Inspired by a homeless man's cardboard box sign with the quote, "Finding a way to love everyone" written on it

 Finding a Way to Love Everyone

 Finding a way to love Everyone, but alas I'm here on the street
 Finding a way to love Everyone, and I'm feeling exhausted and beat
 Finding a way to love Everyone, but I'm starving and in need of food
 Finding a way to love Everyone, acknowledge me no need to be rude 
 Finding a way to love Everyone, but I have no shoes on my feet
 Finding a way to love Everyone, man I really need something to eat
 Finding a way to love Everyone, but it's cold and it's starting to rain
 Finding a way to love Everyone, my heart beats and shivers in pain 
 Finding a way to love Everyone, but everyone just disappoints
 Finding a way to love Everyone, I'm trying but think what's the point?
 Finding a way to love everyone, but I'm tired and hungry as fuck
 Finding a way to love Everyone, could you spare some change, just a buck
 Finding a way to love Everyone, would you put something in my hat? 
 Finding a way to love Everyone, it'd be great if you'd stop to chat
 Finding a way to love Everyone, but not sure if I'll be here or how 
 Finding a way to love Everyone, there is no tomorrow, only now
 Finding a way to love Everyone, but I'm coughing and constantly sick 
 Finding a way to love Everyone, homeless or dead, take your pick
 Finding a way to love Everyone, but soon I'll be dead and gone 
 Finding a way to love Everyone, sadly realize life will go on

 ....

 I'm still trying to love Everyone.


Cameron is a writer living in Toronto and a volunteer with a local homeless outreach program. He is still "finding a way to love everyone."

Poetry Corner – Normal

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Normal

He had the quintessential face; I didn't like it. It fit in too much. I could already picture his voice - friendly and a little too high - and picture his life: hard working, dull, not extraordinary. This man represented everything I hated, everything I never wanted to become.. I won't fit into this eternally recycled and worn-out mold. I felt violent all of a sudden. I'm normally peaceful, calm - but right now I could just flail out at him and whack him right in the face. 
To teach him a lesson: stop being so normal.

His normal wife. His normal hair. His normal job. His normal... Normal. I needed drugs to hit his normal. He probably used to be a cool guy, or hip back in his day, and he too never thought he'd become Normal. His life is over. His kids will continue on the tradition of Normal, and so on. But if you don't become normal, you're ostracized, alienated, abandoned, forgotten, to be dealt with the hands of the law. But I'd still rather not be normal. I'd rather be dead; I'd rather be me.

Poetry Corner – Connection by Virginia Kyriakopoulos

Connection
by Virginia Kyriakopoulos
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Is it the will of a lion that fortifies us with bravery?

Or do humans infuse the animal with heart?

I have peered into his center, an adventurer with a penchant for poetics,

peeling layers, shedding skins, existing in the of, 

novelty: lustrous & rich

with shifts in perspective & prospect,

his eyes speak out melodies;

of dreams transcending body;

contained by the knowledge in sensuality, mind leans toward,

a vivid endorsement for connection

Upfront Reviews: Showcase – JE Art@SAVVY.TO

Upfront Reviews: Showcase
JE Art@SAVVY.TO
by Cameron Brtnik
13217445_1118920584815893_1421022272287190095_oArtist Jason Ebrahimi
 
You walk into a small, brightly lit gallery – small, cozy, inviting. And the first thing you see is a large scale portrait of Frank Sinatra with an ear-to-ear grin in a top hat simply entitled, “Sinatra.” It vibrates with colour, almost as vivid as an lsd trip. I discover that this art style is what Jason likes to call “Abstro-Realism,” or abstract realism, and it is what he is using to create his latest works. “I got into Abstro-Realism because this medium allows me to paint what I see..in a more colourful, layered and abstract way. My admirers really like these paintings.” A quick glance to the left side of the room reveals two more Abstro-Realism pieces, although of an entirely different nature: two large, gay nudes dominate this wall. When asked if these are self portraits Jason replies with a laugh, “They’re just from my imagination…perhaps too vivid for some tastes.”
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     After what seemed minutes imagining it was me in the nude portrait entitled, “Take Me Now”: rock solid eight pack, bulging muscles, and impressive fully flaccid member. I then move on to the next section – a sharp contrast to the bright and vibrant pieces I’ve seen so far – and there is a vast and impressive canvas of three wolves entitled, “The Great Outdoors.” These wolves are intimidating at first; as they’re facing the viewer, it seems as though they’re scouring the arctic tundra looking for their next meal, and that you’re it, and you get the overwhelming sensation that one of their snowy paws could reach out and slash at you if you get too close. I really like this piece – it probably heralds back to the days I used to (or I was forced to) wear the iconic “Wolf Howling at The Moon” sweaters (which by the way have made a comeback among the more “hip” members of the hipster movement).
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    Soon after we’re greeted by the friendly gallery owner, Duane Shuttleworth, who takes great pride in displaying Jason’s pieces. When asked how the two of them met he explains, “My niece contacted him online and commissioned him to do a piece, a portrait of a lion head, and he did a fantastic job. I was impressed so my niece put me in touch with Jason. I was delighted to discover he had many more pieces in his portfolio…too many to showcase in my small gallery! I can’t wait to work with Jason again on future exhibitions.” After chatting to Duane about his background that includes an impressive mix of Ojibway, Dakota, British, French and Scottish heritage, I ask him if he has any other projects on the go outside of the gallery. “I’d like to get the Learning Centre component of the business operating.
    SAVVY.TO will offer the public awareness training on the topics of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada and Lateral Violence. By engaging people in active learning, pushing their emotional buttons, we begin to give our awareness and energy to a seed of hidden knowledge.” Duane explains, “This kind of training includes an introduction to the traditional sweat lodge ceremonies, a place for healing, learning and affirmation. After spending years with the Elders, they have given me permission to build a lodge and share what I have learned with others.” After ensuring Duane that I’d like to take part in one such aforementioned ceremony (I hear that one can experience vivid hallucinations), I imagine a viewing of Jason’s work under the influence of the sacred peyote plant and make a mental note to come back. Duane then directs us to a mouthwatering buffet supplied by Alternative Cafe. I quickly down my fair share of the scrumptious heirloom tomato and goat cheese tarts, and move on.
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Alternative Cafe  443 Richmond St W, Toronto
    The final pieces are all of landscapes, particularly in wooded areas. There is one entitled, “Early Dawn,” where the sky is so realistic it’s hard to tell it’s a painting. It’s that twilight sky, the kind that can only be experienced in the moment – or through an artist’s eye. “When I look at a photograph of a place, or building, or cityscape…if I get inspired I can just zone out and focus. And I can bring what I see to life on canvas.” This work reminds me of one of my favourite childhood painters Bob Ross, and all of a sudden I get the urge to paint some “happy little trees.” I think Bob Ross would be proud; Jason’s trees have made me feel happy.
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    I finally ask Jason an important question: Which of all your paintings would you have the hardest time parting with? (I’ve already made my guess.) His answer shocks me: “The one with the cabin.” Entitled, “Isolation,” it is a small 24×18 painting of a single cabin in the woods. Nothing special, I think, among all his work. “There’s just something about it, something that draws me in…” I understand what he means. Staring at this solitary cabin in the woods something calls out to me too, and suddenly I want to be there, isolated, away from all the chaos of the city, away from my computer and my smartphone and to reconnect to nature. Perhaps one of Duane’s sweat lodge ceremonies just might do the trick.”
Jason Ebrahimi’s work will be on display at SAVVY.TO from March 1 – April 30 2018. You can view more of his work here: https://jaso81.wixsite.com/jeart
SAVVY.TO Gallery
114 Sherbourne St, Toronto
Open Mon-Fri 9-5pm, Sat-Sun 10-7pm
  
Cameron Brtnik is a freelance writer based in Toronto. You can find some of his work here: cambrtnik.wordpress.com
***For your very own “UpFront Review” just send me an email at cbrtnik@gmail.com or via Instagram @instacam81

CopyWrite© Crypto Coach

CopyWrite© Crypto Coach

by Cameron Brtnik

This biography was written for my good friend, the financially talented and prolific investor Michael Stevenson

CryptoCoach

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Michael Stevenson, CryptoCoach

    The proprietor of CryptoCoach Academy, Michael Stevenson, became interested in Bitcoin because of the evolution of cryptocurrency, what he believes to be the future of currency. As a youngster, Michael started investing in a stock called Puma Minerals. “It didn’t go anywhere,” but he says learned a valuable lesson: To always diversify your portfolio. “I believe cryptocurrencies and blockchain are the way of the future, so it’s important to be knowledgeable and to have a portion of your portfolio exposed to this growing industry.”

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     Michael began his interest in investing while working as a professional bartender at the prestigious Fairmont Royal York, meeting customers from all walks of life and gaining valuable information. “I learned a lot about how to invest from some of my more successful customers who drink at my bar, especially after a few too many,” he laughs. “If there was a hot stock tip, or some new emerging industry, I made sure to follow up and research its potential value. Working as a bartender certainly complimented my day job as an investor!”

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      Michael eventually transitioned into real estate and crypto investing. Michael got in at the beginning, and says he’s been through the highs and lows in the so-far volatile market. “By offering this class, I get to share the knowledge I’ve learned through trial and error, and spread the word about a subject I’m very passionate about (cryptocurrency).” And he has a message for beginners: “Don’t feel daunted. It only takes one class to understand what Bitcoin is, the value of trading and investing in cryptocurrencies, and hopefully feel comfortable starting your own crypto portfolio.” Michael is currently booking classes now.

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Cryptocoach: Michael Stevenson, Cryptocoach Academy

Website: www.cryptocoachacademy.org

Phone: (416) 836-5133

Email: cryptocoachacademy@gmail.com

Twitter: @CryptoCurrency01

***For your very own “CopyWrite” just send me an email at cbrtnik@gmail.com or pm on Instagram @instacam81

Poetry Corner – HigH

HigH

A Five Part Dissertation

Wrote this when I was high on the streetcar...crazy thoughts lol 


Innocence 
The feeling that I was slowly moving closer and closer to them.. Or were they getting closer to me? I couldn't tell. I just stared straight ahead and tried not to make eye contact.. But they knew. At least I think they knew. The young daughter kept looking up at me and smiling.. A "knowing smile." But how could she know at such a tender age? Does innocence equal all knowing? Perhaps. I just stared back and smiled.


Melting 
Melting... Into my own neck.. My own body. I've become slumped over with numbness, with no feeling or care for the outside world. Slowly disappearing into myself. Will I ever come out again?


Streetcar 
Voices.. Parents yelling.. Children screaming.. Babies crying.. All melting into one cacophony. People looking down into the abyss of their phones.. Finding nothing.. Reading books.. Reading nothing.. Listening to their headphones.. Drowning out this tired world...


Death
The streetcar making its escape out of the tunnel.. Into the light.. Like a near death experience, leaving one's body and floating above it.. Looking back and seeing nothing but unrecognizable concrete. When can I get high again?


World 
Gasping for air.. Trying to take one last toke of elixir.. Too late though.. THE PEOPLE ARE HERE

CopyWrite© JE Art Gallery

CopyWrite© JE Art Gallery

by Cameron Brtnik

This biography was written for my good friend, the talented and prolific artist Jason Ebrahimi.

JE Art Gallery

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BEHIND THE CREATIVE

    Jason Ebrahimi was born in London, England, was raised in Toronto, and spends his time flying and balancing his brush between France and Toronto (he has his own art studio where he works out of in Nancy, France). “I’ve had quite a diverse upbringing,” he laughs. “I’m constantly traveling, and when I’m not traveling I’m making new paintings.” When asked about his new family, he simply says, “Having a son in this past year has really changed my life. My family have really inspired me and my art.”

From an early age, Jason’s talents were recognized by both his parents and his teachers. He was enrolled in Claude Watson School for the Arts where only gifted students were accepted. “Claude Watson really gave me the right space and tools to explore my creative side. It was an excellent art program.” Jason further developed his passion, and more importantly his technique at Earl Haig Secondary School – a joint art school with the Claude Watson program – and developed a love of visual arts, particularly in drawing portraits.

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Unsure of what direction he wanted to go after high school, he chose a similar artistic endeavour, enrolling in the graphic design program at George Brown College. After graduating as a graphic designer, he started work in an advertising firm. Following this, he started freelancing his design talent, making everything from flyers, to business cards, to logos for his clients. “I enjoyed it…but I couldn’t get enough clients to support myself and I didn’t want to go back to an office environment working a nine-to-five.” After a few years of working on his own, he went back to one of his original passions – painting. “One day I just painted a portrait, a model from a women’s magazine, and it just sparked something inside of me. From then on I haven’t put my brush down, and in my mind I have been very successful.” Jason eventually veered into a form of visual art called Abstract Realism. “What Abstract Realism or “abstro-realism” is is an art movement that is not easily defined…because it is a combination of two contradictory terms, abstract art and realistic art. Abstract art has no reference to real objects. The abstract artist uses lines, shapes, colours, texture and pattern to create a rhythm…it just really connected with my vision.”

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To view a sample of Jason’s abstro-realism work click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_mFt6XGI_U

    Jason has unbelievably painted nearly 500 paintings and has fashioned 16 sculptures – another interest of his. His pieces go anywhere from $200 to $12,000, depending on the size, the materials used, and the time spent making it. “I believe in artistic integrity, but I also believe my clients should get a fair price. I usually meet clients personally to go over what they want – artistic vision, themes, and price point.” And Jason does have a long list of clients, globally. When asked how he finds his clients he simply states, “Word of mouth…and of course advertising via social media sites like Instagram (@jeartgallery).” It seems the positive feedback, and growing list of clients, is a testimony to his unique style and accommodating nature. As for his future plans he says, “My goal is to always create art. I can just sit in my studio and paint all day. When the client is happy with my work, that is the greatest feeling.”

100% HAND-PAINTED ORIGINALS

    Jason has a set of artistic morals he lives by, and one of them is to never reproduce from an original. All paintings are completely hand-painted by Jason himself and is a unique original. What you purchase will be unlike any other art piece in the world! The paintings come with a signed “Proof of Authenticity” so you know you’re getting a real J.E. original. Don’t wait – compliment your space with a J.E painting today!

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Contact Jason to order your very own art piece or to commission his work for your gallery. Don’t wait – compliment your space with a J.E. painting today!

For a sample of Jason’s abstro-realism work click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_mFt6XGI_U

*Great for art aficionados, collectors, galleries, or as a special gift for a loved one!

Contact the artist: Jason Ebrahimi

***For your very own “CopyWrite” just send me an email at cbrtnik@gmail.com or pm on Instagram @instacam81