McFee's Musings

July 28, 2012

The Golden Age Is In Us

Filed under: Poet's Pot Pouri — dwightmcfee @ 11:29 pm

“If men have always been concerned with only one task—how to create a society fit to live in—the forces which inspired our distant ancestors are also present in us. Nothing is settled; everything can still be altered. What was done but turned out wrong, can be done again. The Golden Age, which blind superstition had placed behind [or ahead of] us, is in us.”

The Golden Age Is In Us, a line from the anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss.

June 18, 2012


Filed under: Poet's Pot Pouri — dwightmcfee @ 12:36 am

Secrets can be the best of times and the worst of times. Secrets are intimacy. Secrets are thrilling. Secrets are generous. Secrets can be deadly.

Our secret, Cayle and Dwight. Keeping Cancer Secret.

On the stage as I held Cayle in To Distraction where she is killed in a car accident. I see the audience tearing and they don’t know, only feel the energy from us both, maybe. No one knows screams my brain with the need to holler out the truth! And yet at the same time my heart fills with intimacy as we ALL, knowing or unknowing, come to terms with the FEELINGS of loss and tragedy. Art and life, life and art. To finish a performance with my mate in love and death and art and life paradoxically leaves us in awe at the magnificence and sorrow of being alive.

In mid October, a week into shooting Back Down The Road, Cayle calls from set somewhat in a panic, ( the shoot had been pushed a month and Cayle was pretty thin, people where worried) telling me that physicals were going to be tomorrow. We plotted all night how to bribe, cajole and hoodwink the physician. Cayle had a Trenckoff catheter to drain the fluids that she expertly disguised. We showed up the next morning full of trepidation. All day. But it didn’t happen. He didn’t come. Sometimes secrets are generous!

And then the secret is out. We have to go to palliative care. We can’t do it anymore. We lay in each other’s arms all weekend, hold hands and seek visceral contact with kisses of kindness, kisses of fear, kisses of closeness that only we know. A different kind of secret. Inevitability.

June 17, 2012

In Memorium

Filed under: Poet's Pot Pouri — dwightmcfee @ 1:46 am

It has been a long, almost two years since McFee’s Musings last post. I place it in the Poet’s corner because it is personal and deeply painful. My wonderful wife Cayle Chernin passed away Feb. 18, 2011 from cancer.

Many, many family and friends came to the rescue, once we announced it, having to keep it a secret for several months so Cayle could complete the sequel to the 1970 Canadian seminal film, Going Down The Road: Back Down The Road. This is the only film I am aware of that has 3 of the 4 original cast in a film fourty years later about the same people. Cayle and I were in rehearsals for the play To Distraction in Toronto when dealt the mortal blow.

Over the next months I will attempt, intermittently, to tell the story of those many months as Cayle and I kept a secret. The story of a woman of strength, wisdom and creativity. And fierce. Forged in the imagination of an artist. So much so that friends and family had a large celebration which raised a fair amount of money to support The Cayle Chernin Award,
This award is a project grant of $1000.00, awarded to an emerging or transitioning female artist’s project.

An overview of Cayle’s artistic life and blog can be found at

I was a very lucky man. I’m eternally grateful for our time together. I love you.

To all friends and family: thank you so very much!

January 14, 2010

channel 13, the curtains, and me by Columpa Bobb

Filed under: Poet's Pot Pouri — dwightmcfee @ 6:15 am

This is a good friend, actress, teacher, activist’s latest which we hear at the blog found a full cup of anguish, anger, love and searing searching. Columpa Bobb take it away…


channel 13, the curtains, and me

The wind throws up inebriated air like a poetically pathetic barfly on a tear
licking though the pain at the dirty drapes hanging bare,
the tempests howl and the black box pyre’s remotely flared
with an unwanted undaunted haunted beam
and the T.V. blue rages on, selling bleaching creme,
an innocent dreamand youth in a tube
while a lude-n-crude-tattooed-n-rude dude
is Tony Hawking shoes on a sk8bored man
and o-m-G IC u rrsp-n about mebehind that Rockwell
Warhol Hollywood tin man brand name whore red soup can
gonna sell me the spotlight as a bling bling ding-a-ling hollow yes man
It’s almost enough to drown out my Kah-ranial-does-it-grey-matter
It’s almost enough to radiate my heart in HDTVR I P-p-pretty people pixel smatter
and the plastique a/v deep-lied KFC money grabbing montage batters me,
until the only things left alive are the loose legged curtains
and a High def’ning ssssssscheme
And me, I wish I could forget how to breathe as my heels click
and I flick-flick-flick through the tiny green screen,
trying like hell not to kill my own damn scream

Columpa C. Bobb

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