Winter Night Light

Night shots taken December 2020 when I was out taking photos of Christmas lighting. All east end Toronto.

corner of my street one snowy night
streetlight obscured by tree
my front sidewalk
behind Chester Station
the lonely street lamp
back of Jackman Ave. Public School
container classrooms at Jackman Ave. Public School
grounds at Earl Beatty school


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Hoople The Hunter

Mott The Hoople

There’s a moment in the film Alice Doesn’t Live here Anymore where the son is spread out of the floor with his head between his stereo speakers blasting out All The Way From Memphis. That’s the moment when Mott The Hopple were superstars. The song was a sensation for a group that had an glam-art-rock reputation. They took their name from the novel by Willard Manus. 

They started as an average British rock band then fell under the guidance of David Bowie who produced their All The Young Dudes 1972. He wrote the title song for them. The album has some interesting Bowie atmospherics & is clearly Bowie. He added the sparkle of glam rock but with Mott 1973, (with All The Way From Memphis), they became a hard rock group. Mainly original material & sharper guitar & less atmosphere. Their final studio album was The Hoople 1974. The recent reissues include live tracks etc.

After The Hopple Ian Hunter went solo. His work without the band is merely as extension of his work with the band. So he didn’t leave to pursue a vision that was stifled by the band.  I have Ian Hunter 1975, All American Alien Boy 1976, You’re Never Alone With A Schizophrenic 1977 ( with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band). All are solid rock lps with some strong tracks & good listening but none had/have the bite of Mott from 73.

Ian Hunter has one of those distinctive rock voices, sort of a gravelly Bryan Ferry, that never loses its tinge of blasé detachment. His lyrics are typical love, life on the road stuff that never become overly political, & sometimes veer on sentimental romanticism. Clever with a touch of Noel Coward word play I enjoy these lps when they come up in rotation but rarely feel compelled to dig them out to listen to. If you are unfamiliar start with Mott it’ll take you all the way to Memphis.

this is the final section of

Down The Drain

4

He lifted my feet for me to pull my jeans away. Quickly sliding his hands up the backs of my legs he forced me closer to his kneeling body. My cock was in his mouth. Despite the numbness I felt in my head, my other nerves were as functional as always.

Without the strength to push him way, I fell back onto the bed, twisted to one side to pull him away but I couldn’t. Every time I managed to get my cock out of his mouth he would quickly have it back in again. We wrestled back & forth until I couldn’t focus my energy enough to resist.

Moaning he slowed to take the easy rhythm he knew worked best on me. Only this time it wasn’t working. I stopped struggling & put my hand on his head as if to encourage him.

“You like that don’t you.” I said.

“You aren’t into it. You’re not getting hard.” He leaned back from me.

“Must be the blood I lost, asshole.” I put my feet on his shoulders & pushed away, hard.

“What the fuck.” He tumbled to his back.

He started to get up & I stood & pushed him back down.

“Don’t waste that pained look on me Jim. I’m the victim here.”

I tugged on a pair of sweat pants & went the the living room. I pulled his jacket out of the closet, found my apartment key on his key ring & removed it.

“What are you doing?” He asked from behind me.

“Here’s your coat.” I handed it to him. I opened the door. 

He stared at me. “You can’t be serious. We can sort this out.”

“Take care.”

“I said I was sorry.” He put his coat on.

“I accept your apology. End of conversation. Good night. Take care.”

I grabbed the front of his coat & guided him out the door. Shut it. Locked it.

His knocking stopped while I watched my blood go down the drain in the shower. 

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Running Out

Running Out

I was running out of excuses

no – not excuses 

I was running out of lies

it’s not easy being a nice guy

really

<>

it’s a conundrum

when you have great sex

with a guy who isn’t your type

who says he had a great time

wants to see you again

while you aren’t that into him

if the sex were boring

it wouldn’t be so complicated 

that’s when the lies start

busy with laundry

editing

sister visiting

sore throat

<>

why can’t he take a hint

why can’t I just say

I’m not that interested

there isn’t enough chemistry 

between us for me

it’s nothing personal

well I guess it is pretty personal

it is him you are saying no to

<>

even after the second time

when I had run out of excuses

the sex was good

but good isn’t enough for me

I want to feel 

not necessarily an emotional connection

but something 

more than the panic

of running out of excuses

The 227 Rules for Monks is an exhaustive list that is often variations on the same idea – things like – not to touch touch your nose as you sit down, followed by, not to touch your chin as you sit down. As a result of what they lead to for me are variations on a theme as well, some some of these pieces are so like that – I wonder as I edit – ‘didn’t I edit this one two months ago’ & check back to find it – no I didn’t. Like peeling of layers with each version to find out what hides underneath.

On one level it deals with sexual civility, on another is it about the cunning nature of co-dependency – the way people get stuck in relationships, situations that aren’t working simple so they don’t hurt someone’s feelings. The Canadian border remained a covid sieve because out government was unwilling to offend other countries by staying – stay out. Looks here that got us. But that’s a rant for another post.

The short of list excuses are ones I’ve actually used to decline meeting up with someone – not just sex dates but often I just want to feed my addiction to isolation 🙂 Thanks to covid I have been telling some guys that I’m not opening my social bubble period. One was rather insistent about the possibility of sex with masks but I said no. Masks are okay for walking around, shopping but don’t handle gasping, deep breathing very well.

He mocked me for being paranoid & unrealistic about the level of threat. Wrong tactics for sure. I said ‘I’ve seen the #s go up & I’m not going down.’ I was afraid the next thing he’d be telling me condoms are part of a homophobic conspiracy. Did he take it personally? Maybe. Did I care – no. 


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Picture Perfect 66

“I’ve been contacted by Tyson Associates on behalf of John Kilpatrick.” Dr. Grey said.

“Oh!”

“They wanted copies of the X-rays & ultrasounds they did at the emerg of your eyes.”

“I see.” Dan thought a moment. “You can give them your expert opinion but that’s all. No X-rays, or medical reports. I’ll let the prosecutor know & they can get any further information from that office.”

“They hinted that also want their own expert ophthalmologist to examine you.”

“Again up to the prosecutor. Next you’ll tell he wants to to sue for breaking his nose.”

Dan hailed a taxi outside the medical clinic. His father had always maintained that doctors were alarmists more dedicated to their time share condos in Orlando than they were to their patients. To Dan this hour in the dark with an eye mask sounded more like alarmism than cure. Maybe he could manage ten minutes but an hour. His vision hadn’t diminished at all since the fight. So what the issue?

He went into Carafe first to talk with Jill Haverly.

“What’s this hear about you closing shop?” He asked her.

“Don’t I at least an hello or a lobster to cook?” Jill said.

“Hello. Is it me ….” he sang. “Is it true?”

“I’m seriously considering it. Cuppa’s is a determined competitor.”

“If a Tim Ho’s can last in the face of Starbucks, & I mean that literally, because I’ve seen them side by side or on opposite corners. Both busy.”

“You saying I’m the Tim’s to their Starbucks?

“No, they are the Tim’s, and you are beyond any Starbucks.”

“My pockets aren’t that deep. Dan I appreciate what you are trying to say. Words won’t pay the bills.”

“Then charge double!”

“What are you crazy. Cuppa’s is giving free coffee. Last week they were giving free travel mugs. Good travel mugs at that.” She went to the counter and brought him one.

“Genuine Thermos! They’ll be out of business in a month if they keep up.”

“This week they’ve started a Cuppa’s Camera Club. Bring them any receipt for camera equipment over a hundred dollars and you get a twenty dollar gift card.”

“We certainly didn’t authorize anything like that.”

“I know or they’d mention the Depot by name.”

“Fuckers.” he said. “Two can play at that.”

“I can’t afford to give away gift cards.”

“You won’t have to. I’ll talk with Sandy and we’ll get back to you. Now that we’ve done the hello, trashed your competitors, where’s my coffee?”

“Coming right up.”

“I have to confess this was the main reason I came back for the weekend. No decent coffee on the east coast.”

“No indecent redheads either.” Jill said.

The Depot was busy with a ‘boss is away sale’ so Dan went behind the counter and waited on the next customer in line.

“Good to have you back boss.” Ushio said.

“Doesn’t feel like I’ve been gone at all.”

The store was momentarily empty of customers.

“Put the ‘back in 15’ timer in the window.” Dan said.

The staff gathered around him.

“I’m not in TO for long but everything is going fine here. I see the …”

“Yeah, we know,” Ushio said. “You watch us all the time.” He pointed up at the security cameras.

“If I had that much spare time I’d find better things to watch. Sales have gone up a bit.”

‘You aren’t here to scare them away.” Sandy grinned. “They could feel you glowering up in your den.”

“I want you to think of some promo …”

They groaned.

“Hear me out. You know about the Cuppa Camera Club.”

“Some have asked me who bought out who?” Sandy said. “Like Timmie’s and Shoppers.”

“I checked it out.” Ushio said. “They don’t mention us in promotion in any way.”

“I think we need one of our own. Something that involves the Carafe and the Silver Gallery.”

“Silver’s is closed for the month. He’s on an acquisitions tour of Chile.”

“Okay. Anyone have any ideas.”

“We could do the reverse.” Sandy said. “For every hundred someone spends at the Carafe they get a twenty dollar discount here.”

“No one is going to buy fifty coffees at one time.” Ushio said.

“It’s a good idea though. Needs work.”

The fifteen minute timer dinged.

“I have things to do upstairs. I’ll stop back before I head out.”

Sandy stopped him before he went. “Did you hear anything about that Lifend man?”

“Shit! I forgot all about that. No, I haven’t heard back from them. At least I don’t think I did. I haven’t been that alert to my emails. I’ll check that out first thing when I get to my office.

He opened the door and peeked in, he half expected Cameron to be there to record his entering. There were several magazines, flyers and some letters on his desk. He flipped through them quickly. 

In the third floor lab he checked the company computer to see what email had come in for him there. He could have done that while he was away but after checking the daily receipts for both locations, inventory control data, he‘d had enough of business matters. Sandy filled him in on anything important in their video conferences. There as nothing there from Lifend. Maybe Linda had heard something?

He sent the scan file of the family photos to his cloud account. It included the scans of his Dad’s travel notes for all of 1985. This way he could double check dates & locations when he compared them to the abductions. 

He did a search for east coast Catholic diocese. There was too much information for him began to look at. But that information was there. He sent the link to the Quintex research department & mentioned the possible connection to Father Phineas. He also asked them to find out if there was any connection between Father Phineas and Inspector Mackillop.

He did a search for the Maritime Circus Museum then for Winston Chamberlain in particular. He hadn’t expected there to be so many Winston Chamberlains around the world. He narrowed it to Canada and all the ones for the correct Winston were in association with the Museum.

He sat back in the desk chair and let it revolve slowly away from the computer. The get-away from the show wasn’t relaxing at all. It would another three weeks after this that he would be back so he had piled in too much to do in this one visit. 

He went down the back stairs and stopped on the balcony. The laneway needed to be swept. It would be snowed in soon enough. A drunk staggered in. Dan pulled away from the rail. The drunk looked around, leaned against the wall, zipped his fly down and pissed with an audible “Ahh.” Must that been holding that for a while. Dan couldn’t make out the guy’s cock but the puddle of urine flowed between his legs. The drunk made an effort to avoid it as he did up his fly.

His cell beeped. It was Linda. He went inside and sat in the dark of the stairway.

Picture Perfect 66

#Toronto #nanowrimo #forensics #amwriting #gayromance #photography #NovaScotia  #ophthalmologist #Wordpress #Stellerton #RCMP #investigator #lgbtq #novel #serialization #Ontario

“I’ve been contacted by Tyson Associates on behalf of John Kilpatrick.” Dr. Grey said.

“Oh!”

“They wanted copies of the X-rays & ultrasounds they did at the emerg of your eyes.”

“I see.” Dan thought a moment. “You can give them your expert opinion but that’s all. No X-rays, or medical reports. I’ll let the prosecutor know & they can get any further information from that office.”

“They hinted that also want their own expert ophthalmologist to examine you.”

“Again up to the prosecutor. Next you’ll tell he wants to to sue for breaking his nose.”

Dan hailed a taxi outside the medical clinic. His father had always maintained that doctors were alarmists more dedicated to their time share condos in Orlando than they were to their patients. To Dan this hour in the dark with an eye mask sounded more like alarmism than cure. Maybe he could manage ten minutes but an hour. His vision hadn’t diminished at all since the fight. So what the issue?

He went into Carafe first to talk with Jill Haverly.

“What’s this hear about you closing shop?” He asked her.

“Don’t I at least an hello or a lobster to cook?” Jill said.

“Hello. Is it me ….” he sang. “Is it true?”

“I’m seriously considering it. Cuppa’s is a determined competitor.”

“If a Tim Ho’s can last in the face of Starbucks, & I mean that literally, because I’ve seen them side by side or on opposite corners. Both busy.”

“You saying I’m the Tim’s to their Starbucks?

“No, they are the Tim’s, and you are beyond any Starbucks.”

“My pockets aren’t that deep. Dan I appreciate what you are trying to say. Words won’t pay the bills.”

“Then charge double!”

“What are you crazy. Cuppa’s is giving free coffee. Last week they were giving free travel mugs. Good travel mugs at that.” She went to the counter and brought him one.

“Genuine Thermos! They’ll be out of business in a month if they keep up.”

“This week they’ve started a Cuppa’s Camera Club. Bring them any receipt for camera equipment over a hundred dollars and you get a twenty dollar gift card.”

“We certainly didn’t authorize anything like that.”

“I know or they’d mention the Depot by name.”

“Fuckers.” he said. “Two can play at that.”

“I can’t afford to give away gift cards.”

“You won’t have to. I’ll talk with Sandy and we’ll get back to you. Now that we’ve done the hello, trashed your competitors, where’s my coffee?”

“Coming right up.”

“I have to confess this was the main reason I came back for the weekend. No decent coffee on the east coast.”

“No indecent redheads either.” Jill said.

The Depot was busy with a ‘boss is away sale’ so Dan went behind the counter and waited on the next customer in line.

“Good to have you back boss.” Ushio said.

“Doesn’t feel like I’ve been gone at all.”

The store was momentarily empty of customers.

“Put the ‘back in 15’ timer in the window.” Dan said.

The staff gathered around him.

“I’m not in TO for long but everything is going fine here. I see the …”

“Yeah, we know,” Ushio said. “You watch us all the time.” He pointed up at the security cameras.

“If I had that much spare time I’d find better things to watch. Sales have gone up a bit.”

‘You aren’t here to scare them away.” Sandy grinned. “They could feel you glowering up in your den.”

“I want you to think of some promo …”

They groaned.

“Hear me out. You know about the Cuppa Camera Club.”

“Some have asked me who bought out who?” Sandy said. “Like Timmie’s and Shoppers.”

“I checked it out.” Ushio said. “They don’t mention us in promotion in any way.”

“I think we need one of our own. Something that involves the Carafe and the Silver Gallery.”

“Silver’s is closed for the month. He’s on an acquisitions tour of Chile.”

“Okay. Anyone have any ideas.”

“We could do the reverse.” Sandy said. “For every hundred someone spends at the Carafe they get a twenty dollar discount here.”

“No one is going to buy fifty coffees at one time.” Ushio said.

“It’s a good idea though. Needs work.”

The fifteen minute timer dinged.

“I have things to do upstairs. I’ll stop back before I head out.”

Sandy stopped him before he went. “Did you hear anything about that Lifend man?”

“Shit! I forgot all about that. No, I haven’t heard back from them. At least I don’t think I did. I haven’t been that alert to my emails. I’ll check that out first thing when I get to my office.

He opened the door and peeked in, he half expected Cameron to be there to record his entering. There were several magazines, flyers and some letters on his desk. He flipped through them quickly. 

In the third floor lab he checked the company computer to see what email had come in for him there. He could have done that while he was away but after checking the daily receipts for both locations, inventory control data, he‘d had enough of business matters. Sandy filled him in on anything important in their video conferences. There as nothing there from Lifend. Maybe Linda had heard something?

He sent the scan file of the family photos to his cloud account. It included the scans of his Dad’s travel notes for all of 1985. This way he could double check dates & locations when he compared them to the abductions. 

He did a search for east coast Catholic diocese. There was too much information for him began to look at. But that information was there. He sent the link to the Quintex research department & mentioned the possible connection to Father Phineas. He also asked them to find out if there was any connection between Father Phineas and Inspector Mackillop.

He did a search for the Maritime Circus Museum then for Winston Chamberlain in particular. He hadn’t expected there to be so many Winston Chamberlains around the world. He narrowed it to Canada and all the ones for the correct Winston were in association with the Museum.

He sat back in the desk chair and let it revolve slowly away from the computer. The get-away from the show wasn’t relaxing at all. It would another three weeks after this that he would be back so he had piled in too much to do in this one visit. 

He went down the back stairs and stopped on the balcony. The laneway needed to be swept. It would be snowed in soon enough. A drunk staggered in. Dan pulled away from the rail. The drunk looked around, leaned against the wall, zipped his fly down and pissed with an audible “Ahh.” Must that been holding that for a while. Dan couldn’t make out the guy’s cock but the puddle of urine flowed between his legs. The drunk made an effort to avoid it as he did up his fly.

His cell beeped. It was Linda. He went inside and sat in the dark of the stairway.

Picture Perfect 66

#Toronto #nanowrimo #forensics #amwriting #gayromance #photography #NovaScotia  #ophthalmologist #Wordpress #Stellerton #RCMP #investigator #lgbtq #novel #serialization #Ontario

“I’ve been contacted by Tyson Associates on behalf of John Kilpatrick.” Dr. Grey said.

“Oh!”

“They wanted copies of the X-rays & ultrasounds they did at the emerg of your eyes.”

“I see.” Dan thought a moment. “You can give them your expert opinion but that’s all. No X-rays, or medical reports. I’ll let the prosecutor know & they can get any further information from that office.”

“They hinted that also want their own expert ophthalmologist to examine you.”

“Again up to the prosecutor. Next you’ll tell he wants to to sue for breaking his nose.”

Dan hailed a taxi outside the medical clinic. His father had always maintained that doctors were alarmists more dedicated to their time share condos in Orlando than they were to their patients. To Dan this hour in the dark with an eye mask sounded more like alarmism than cure. Maybe he could manage ten minutes but an hour. His vision hadn’t diminished at all since the fight. So what the issue?

He went into Carafe first to talk with Jill Haverly.

“What’s this hear about you closing shop?” He asked her.

“Don’t I at least an hello or a lobster to cook?” Jill said.

“Hello. Is it me ….” he sang. “Is it true?”

“I’m seriously considering it. Cuppa’s is a determined competitor.”

“If a Tim Ho’s can last in the face of Starbucks, & I mean that literally, because I’ve seen them side by side or on opposite corners. Both busy.”

“You saying I’m the Tim’s to their Starbucks?

“No, they are the Tim’s, and you are beyond any Starbucks.”

“My pockets aren’t that deep. Dan I appreciate what you are trying to say. Words won’t pay the bills.”

“Then charge double!”

“What are you crazy. Cuppa’s is giving free coffee. Last week they were giving free travel mugs. Good travel mugs at that.” She went to the counter and brought him one.

“Genuine Thermos! They’ll be out of business in a month if they keep up.”

“This week they’ve started a Cuppa’s Camera Club. Bring them any receipt for camera equipment over a hundred dollars and you get a twenty dollar gift card.”

“We certainly didn’t authorize anything like that.”

“I know or they’d mention the Depot by name.”

“Fuckers.” he said. “Two can play at that.”

“I can’t afford to give away gift cards.”

“You won’t have to. I’ll talk with Sandy and we’ll get back to you. Now that we’ve done the hello, trashed your competitors, where’s my coffee?”

“Coming right up.”

“I have to confess this was the main reason I came back for the weekend. No decent coffee on the east coast.”

“No indecent redheads either.” Jill said.

The Depot was busy with a ‘boss is away sale’ so Dan went behind the counter and waited on the next customer in line.

“Good to have you back boss.” Ushio said.

“Doesn’t feel like I’ve been gone at all.”

The store was momentarily empty of customers.

“Put the ‘back in 15’ timer in the window.” Dan said.

The staff gathered around him.

“I’m not in TO for long but everything is going fine here. I see the …”

“Yeah, we know,” Ushio said. “You watch us all the time.” He pointed up at the security cameras.

“If I had that much spare time I’d find better things to watch. Sales have gone up a bit.”

‘You aren’t here to scare them away.” Sandy grinned. “They could feel you glowering up in your den.”

“I want you to think of some promo …”

They groaned.

“Hear me out. You know about the Cuppa Camera Club.”

“Some have asked me who bought out who?” Sandy said. “Like Timmie’s and Shoppers.”

“I checked it out.” Ushio said. “They don’t mention us in promotion in any way.”

“I think we need one of our own. Something that involves the Carafe and the Silver Gallery.”

“Silver’s is closed for the month. He’s on an acquisitions tour of Chile.”

“Okay. Anyone have any ideas.”

“We could do the reverse.” Sandy said. “For every hundred someone spends at the Carafe they get a twenty dollar discount here.”

“No one is going to buy fifty coffees at one time.” Ushio said.

“It’s a good idea though. Needs work.”

The fifteen minute timer dinged.

“I have things to do upstairs. I’ll stop back before I head out.”

Sandy stopped him before he went. “Did you hear anything about that Lifend man?”

“Shit! I forgot all about that. No, I haven’t heard back from them. At least I don’t think I did. I haven’t been that alert to my emails. I’ll check that out first thing when I get to my office.

He opened the door and peeked in, he half expected Cameron to be there to record his entering. There were several magazines, flyers and some letters on his desk. He flipped through them quickly. 

In the third floor lab he checked the company computer to see what email had come in for him there. He could have done that while he was away but after checking the daily receipts for both locations, inventory control data, he‘d had enough of business matters. Sandy filled him in on anything important in their video conferences. There as nothing there from Lifend. Maybe Linda had heard something?

He sent the scan file of the family photos to his cloud account. It included the scans of his Dad’s travel notes for all of 1985. This way he could double check dates & locations when he compared them to the abductions. 

He did a search for east coast Catholic diocese. There was too much information for him began to look at. But that information was there. He sent the link to the Quintex research department & mentioned the possible connection to Father Phineas. He also asked them to find out if there was any connection between Father Phineas and Inspector Mackillop.

He did a search for the Maritime Circus Museum then for Winston Chamberlain in particular. He hadn’t expected there to be so many Winston Chamberlains around the world. He narrowed it to Canada and all the ones for the correct Winston were in association with the Museum.

He sat back in the desk chair and let it revolve slowly away from the computer. The get-away from the show wasn’t relaxing at all. It would another three weeks after this that he would be back so he had piled in too much to do in this one visit. 

He went down the back stairs and stopped on the balcony. The laneway needed to be swept. It would be snowed in soon enough. A drunk staggered in. Dan pulled away from the rail. The drunk looked around, leaned against the wall, zipped his fly down and pissed with an audible “Ahh.” Must that been holding that for a while. Dan couldn’t make out the guy’s cock but the puddle of urine flowed between his legs. The drunk made an effort to avoid it as he did up his fly.

His cell beeped. It was Linda. He went inside and sat in the dark of the stairway to take the call.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees  sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Recap April 2021

Over the past month by TOpoet.ca following blog grew to 471! My hits have come from countries around the world. That India nearly tops the list is amazing considering the rampant pandemic. Bangladesh is joined in the top 10 by Ghana. Finland! Malawi! Most popular posts were Publishing Successes (x https://topoet.ca/2021/04/12/publishing-successes/); He Said (* https://topoet.ca/2021/04/26/he-said/). 

My Tumblr is at 327 followers. Twitter up to 231 followers. Both not bad for someone who doesn’t post porn or political rants or cute animal pics 🙂 Picture Perfect is up to 65 sections, over 95,000 words posted so far with approx 90,000 more to be edited then posted.

Other than the rollercoaster of Ontario lockdown measures it has been a fairly routine month. Clearly the logic behind this bumpy ride has been political, not practical or ultimately sensible. But that’s another post, right. 

Weather has been mild enough for some work in my garden but nights have been too cold for planting or much repotting. Apparently travel restrictions (to those who feel such restrictions apply to them) will result in travel money going into gardens & home improvements. Waking up at your office because you are working at home has made many tired of seeing the same furniture 24 hours a day. I’ve seen a bounty of desks, sofas, dining room tables dragged to the curb.

Watched some movies. Andrei Rublev directed by Andrei Tarkovsky – a two disc set with both versions of the film & a slew of extras that were twice as long as the film. The movie itself is fascinating, frustrating & drowns in symbolism/political commentary one needs to know a historical context to fully understand. Visually stunning at points with amazing panoramic scenes with action in the foreground, middle ground & background. 

Episodic as it follows our hero on his travels, no real story line just events. The pagan ceremony section is symbolically dense & eerie & captivating. The final episode about the Bell does have a tradition plot though. If you see it try to watch the extras first – no spoilers in them but background material that makes the movie more accessible. As I result we ordered Stalker – which I have also seen before thanks to TCM but wanted the extras 🙂 

From TCM we watched a fun Czech film: Pearls of the Deep from the mid-sixties. Five short stories by Bohumil Hrabal each filmed by a different Czech director. Quirky stories that are sometime laugh out loud funny, others are ‘what is this about’ perplexing but all enjoyable & worth watching. 

Also watched a 1930 Japanese silent film ‘Walk Cheerfully’ directed by Yasujirō Ozu. Yes, Japan had a major silent film period! A parody of US gangster films this is a charming time capsule of Japan in the late 1920’s. Fashion & street scenes that take us out of the usual sense of Japan as all paper panelled houses. Will our modern hard-boiled hoodlum go straight for the love of an old fashioned woman or will his old gang keep their fur trimmed hold on him? Only drawback is the busy, intrusive piano score.

Inputs from hard copies of old poetry & short stories continues. At times it feels endless but also reflects that I wrote constantly for many many years. I did have many of these backed up on disks but none of those disks are readable any more. I did try a few years back, before tossing them all, & found that even if I could up load the word processing programs couldn’t be read to even translated, as it were. 

I’ve been posting the stories on Thursdays along with talk my music collection. Some of the poetry will be blogged over the summer on Wednesdays with my comments & memories of writing them. All are from between 1972-77. Wallowing in the past? Not me.

From The Archives

Easter

without a doubt

the slimmest hope

is held on to longest

that ghost of a chance 

that finds a ledge

to balance on

awaiting the opportunity

to dash into view 

when all the chips are down

can’t you just hear

his heavy footfall

up the stairs

or tripping over a chair

with a drink in one hand

resurrection in the other

1975

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Miscellaneous

Here are lps that I been used on mp3 collections to fill things up & add variety. These were tucked in with either Van Morrison or the Mothers. I’m listing them alphabetically.

Arctic Monkeys: Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino – a modern band make a successful departure from their hard rock into a more electronica sound. The best Bowie album Bowie never made. Arthur Brown & Jimmy Carl Black: Brown Black & Blue – yes hit sits the Crazy World Arthur Brown, working with one of the Mothers. A nice collection of blues, rock done well & with a bit of humour too, 

Cazwell: Watch My Mouth – who doesn’t love a white, gay, rapper with great samples, danceable beats & sometimes funny lyrics. His song about Beyonce Is fun & his ice cream video is hot. Phil Collins: No Jacket Required – he was so successful he became a punch line to music snobs but at least he never gets as sappy as Sting, Louise Cordet: Don’t Make Me Over – you want at 60’s collection of pop music covers done by an obscure French chanteuse this is one is for you. Supposedly ‘Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying’ was written about her.

Ruben Juarez: La cancion de Buenos Aires. Classic Argentinian tango from 1977 – a track showed up in my Tumblr feed & I enjoyed it enough to get more. Without diversity music narrows. Hank Locklin: Country Gold – classic 50’s c&w – Send Me The Pillow You Dream On. Sweet tenor & innocent love with steel guitars in the background .  Shawn Philips: Collaboration – classic 60’s hippy dippy fun – Jesus Was a Spaceman.

More recent is Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Swing – fine blues, great energy & emotionally raw. Back to the 60’s is Native American rockers Redbone: The Essential – their hits & more, a great compilation. Ryan Shaw: This Is Ryan Shaw, Real Love – I kept running across the video for Do The 45 & tucked him down. Amazing throwback r’n’b – think Wilson Pickett – great voice, good-looking too & excellent horn work. A must have.  

Underworld & Iggy Pop: Teatime Dub Encounters – this is a fun ep combining generations, genres & music style to great effect. Two my faves who I never expected would/could collaborate so successful. Who knows maybe there’ll be a Britney Spears/Patty Smith duets album soon. Muddy Waters: Fathers & Sons 1969 father Waters with sons Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield. This was hit with my blues loving friends when I was on the east coast but I never really got into it but in now I’m old enough to enjoy it. A nice mix of studio & live tracks. 

Finally Bruce Willis: The  Return of Bruno – I find it odd that the Blues Brothers – two comedians do okay versions of r’n’b standards got great respect, while Willis successful actor got mocked for his music which was equally as good. A fun album with great songs, production value & one I always enjoy when it comes up in play rotation.

This is a piece I wrote in the early 80’s. It was unfinished so the ending is ‘new.’ This is part 3 of 4.

Down The Drain

3

“I am sorry,” he says.

“So am I.”

“Do you want me to go?”

“Will that solve this?” I let my hand squeeze his arm.

“It’ll never happen again.”

I laugh, wincing. “Tell me about it.”

“I was afraid. You’ve been out for almost twenty minutes. I … Shit. I don’t know what to tell you.” He sat on the bed. “I care for you Don. That frightens me.” One of his hands moves aimlessly over my stomach. “Like, I feel this need to make a real commitment to someone & at the same time I don’t want to. I don’t know how to deal with this kind of confusion. I don’t know how to tell you …” He walked over to the window. “Fuck! It all gets me so fucking angry.”

“Angry? Angry that you have feelings. Angry that erogenous zones can affect emotional responses. Jim I’ve come to care for you, much more than I …” Much more than I can let myself admit. “We have fun together. In & out of bed. What more do you want?” Even I know ‘what more’ there can be, but I’m as afraid of that as he is.

“Don, we never talk. You know. I realized it the other day. All we ever really talk about is where will we go? What will we eat? What did we watch on TV this week? I know what disco dreck excites your feet but I really don’t know how to feel about fucking disco music.” Jim was shouting. “So you care for me. Big fucking deal. Just what do you mean? You like being with me. Am I just a pleasant object in your life? You like my dick & my attention … Fuck, sometime I feel I could be any one with you. I’m just a convenient man-about-the-house so you don’t have to worry about getting someone to fuck. Any hole’ll do, any dick’ll do.”

“Jim,” I blurted, to stop him. He was right in many ways but I didn’t want to admit that to him. “I really don’t know what to tell you. Some of what you say is true.” A surge of futility overcame me. “What can we do? What should I say? You want pathos, you want truth or do you just want … I don’t know. I really don’t know after this.” I touched any face. “I don’t know how I feel about you. About us.”

“Do you want me in your life at all?” He sat back on the bed, taking one of my hands into both of his. “It’s this vulnerability that confuses me. I accept men physically wanting me but this emotional energy hurts me. It’s been haunting me for weeks. Guilts about being gay that I thought I’d dealt with years ago, are back again because of wanting you. I’ve been happy before with other men who didn’t want more than the good times. With you … Maybe I’m getting old …”

I leaned forward to kiss him lightly. “Maybe you worry too much.” The semi-dry blood on my tshirt pulled stickily away from my skin. “Help me off with these bloody clothes. I need a shower.”

This was a new fear for me. His sudden transformation from cuddly, attentive plaything into a vulnerable, needy but violent person was someone I didn’t know. I was shaken by this emotional openness. I wanted to respond, trade him some of my own pain as a reward for his.

Tenderly his hands pulled my tshirt away but his fingers brushed my face. The bleeding started again. I pushed him away, my own anger overtook my shock. I wanted revenge, a punishment but couldn’t direct my thoughts on to one concept of hurt long enough to overcome the physical pain I was in.

the big finish next week –

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He Said

He Said

he said

rules didn’t apply to him

though one wasn’t sure

if he understood the rules

he would nod

smile

when anyone was explaining them

then never follow them

he said his lack of respect

was your problem

that it was no big deal

when he did what he wanted

regardless of how disruptive

it might be

he said

politically correct is bullshit

he’d speak his mind

without apology

he’d talk wherever and whenever 

he wanted to 

to hear what others said

wasn’t his problem

shushing him at a play

was pointless

he’s take a phone call 

at the movies

turning his cellphone down

wasn’t going to happen

he said

he was a free man

and would never let you

hung-up tight-ass bastards

forget it

your thought control wasn’t for him

you could take

your control issues

and fuck right off

no one was paying attention 

any more

Freedom of choice – the rights of an individual to be an individual regardless of their impact on others. The scale of nonconformity often tips in favour of what makes us least uncomfortable – the wearing of masks is a hot button issue for so many who feel no one can tell them what do do & then back it up with conspiracy theories & screams at the authorities to do the right thing to stop this pandemic. They don’t offer what that right thing might be.

Masks are the current prime example but this indifference to others has smaller roots – people chatting on cellphones at the movie, people at live events who are forced to take even louder over the performers – asking them tone it down, or take it outside escalates into a disruption that becomes your fault for wanting to enjoy the movie.

I experienced this indifference to surroundings more than a couple of times. The worst was during a performance at Stratford when a member of the audience pulled out their android during the show to send a text – I guess they were really enjoying the play. It lit up their face & the light spilled over their shoulders for a minutes then the cell was put away only be pulled out five minute later when they got a reply to their text & began to text back. Some behind them said ‘put that away’ & the texter throned & snapped back something to the affect of ‘fuck off & watch the play’ At least that cell was on mute.

At a workshop not too long ago we were asked at the start to mute all phones. An hour into things, you know it, a phone went off & the owner gave that ‘sorry’ face & ignored it. It rang at least ten times. stopped. The leader was explaining something when it started to ring again. The phone was fished out the bottom of a backpack & the owner answered it & launched into a conversation talking over the leader. When told to go outside to continue their conversation the reply was ‘But this is an important call.’

The leader decided it was time for an early lunch break rather than confront this focus-pulling attention-seeker. I skipped the rest of the workshop. I had people to text, in private, about what had just happened.

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Picture Perfect 65

Picture Perfect 65

“What do you make of Father Phineas.” Dan asked Jennifer as he merged the car into the traffic flow.

“You mean, do I think he’s a suspect?”

“Yes. We’d thought of the various people who would move around the province into the rural areas.”

“A priest is someone the children would probably trust. If they were Catholic.” She said.

“They always gave me the … willies. The cassocks I suppose. I had nightmares when we’d have to go to Antigonish.”

“Were any of the other families Catholic?” she asked.

“I don’t know. Should be easy enough to check on though. Stephanie will be thrilled to add new suspects to the list. Mackillop? Is that a common last name?”

“Not as common as McDonald or Tremblay.” Jennifer said.

“I see. A Mackillop is heading the task force.”

“It’s so sad, isn’t it.” she said. “The way we both made that leap. Man of the cloth, missing children.”

“I suppose it wasn’t that obvious then. Families still trusted the clergy.”

“I take it you weren’t Catholic.” Jennifer said.

“No. Not really anything. I knew enough about religion to know that my kind was not acceptable.”

“Same with my kind. The church doesn’t deal with gifted children well. We’re either healing saints or instruments of Satan. Witches.”

“Speaking of which, I’ll be dropping you off at the motel and going directly on to Halifax to catch my flight.”

“I didn’t think you were leaving until morning.”

“That’s what I told Baxter. I didn’t want him screwing around with my reservations to keep me here.”

She glanced in the back seat. “You didn’t bring a suitcase.”

“I’m going home to clothes.” Dan laughed. “This interview attire been supplied by Quintex looks good on camera. I have all the important stuff right here.” He tapped his shoulder bag. “And all of it is backed up somewhere in the worldwide web.”

“I should think of some sort of a back up but there’s too much up here,” She tapped her forehead, “to download. Sometimes I can’t even process it myself even with a word processor.”

He pulled into the Comfort Motor Inn parking lot.

“Thanks. That’s my car over there.”

“Oh! Not staying with the cast & crew?”

“Why, when I live ten minutes away? Thanks for the lift though. It gave me a chance …”

“To get a better read on me? I know.”

He left the Motor Inn he turned onto the Trans-Canada and drove directly to Halifax. He arrived at the airport, turned the car over to the rental agency there and had just enough time to go to the washroom before boarding his flight.

As the plane taxied he close this eyes. After being on camera nearly every waking hour he felt a sense of freedom knowing he wasn’t being recorded for some future editing session for the next three days. He woke as the plane was landing.

Exiting to the arrivals area he scanned the lobby until he saw Peter. Peter was wearing a chauffeur’s cap and holding a sign that said “Limo for Mr. James.”

He walked directly to him and kissed him. Peter responded and the sign slipped from his hands as he reached around to pull Dan tighter to him.

“That that I call chauffeur service.” Someone said as they unclenched.”

“No luggage, sir?” Peter asked.

“Disappointed?” Dan asked as they went to the parking garage.

“I hope I know what level we’re on.” he said. “That kiss fucked up my short term memory.”

“The memory is just a start.” When Peter kissed him he realized how much he had been repressing. He’d known to get this job done it was vital to put aside distractions. Kissing Peter was him finally responding to Larry Clarke after that bumpy ride over the Moose Trail.

Peter negotiated the maze of the airport parking garage. “So, is it true about absence making the heart grow fonder?” He reached over to stroke Dan’s groin.

“That’s not my heart.”

“I know but it sure is growing, sir.” He tried to pull down the zipper.

“Keep your mind on the road.” Dan slapped his hand away.

“Yes, sir.”

As they drove into the city he filled Peter in on some of what had happened.

“Larry sounds like a hottie. How did you keep your hands off him.”

“Six-three, least. Size 12 and probably e e e e e wide but a smoker. ”

“Paul Bunyan smoked a pipe.” Peter parked in the garage. “It’s good to have you back home, sir.”

“I wish I could say it good to be back but there’s so much to do. It feels like I’ve been gone for a month not less than ten days.”

He looked around the living room. It was bare without Sanjay’s wall hangings and sculptures.

“I rearranged the furniture as you asked me to.”

“So I see.” The couch was now against the wall instead of creating a separation between the living-room and the dining room. “I’d forgotten how large this space was.” He sat on the couch and stretched his legs out as far as he could. “Feels good. Too much time in cars and airplane seats.”

Peter knelt and took Dan’s shoes and socks off. He bit then sucked Dan’s big toe.

“Freak.” Dan sighed. “How did one so young as you learn so fast.”

“It’s called the Internet, sir.” He bit along the arch of Dan’s foot.

“Ahh … that’s feels weird. Don’t stop.”

“I won’t, sir.”

“That was some load, sir.” Peter wiped come off Dan’s stomach and chest with one of Dan’s socks.

“This is the right spot for the couch.” Dan leaned to kiss Peter.

Peter stopped him. “There’s …” he dabbed Dan’s chin with his own underwear. “Some of me on your face, sir.”

“A shower should clear that up.” Dan yawned. “I’ll sleep well tonight.”

His first appointment was with Dr. Grey. The ophthalmologist studied the retinal scans of Dan’s eyes.

“Have you been experiencing any headaches.” he asked.

“No.”

“Let me go through the list and if there is a “yes” stop me. Dizziness. double vision. trouble focusing. squinting. nausea. eye lid twitch. excess tearing. excess Ocular smegma. eye lash itch”

“No to all.” Dan said. “Though I have been using these more than usual.” He took his loupe case out his bag. “Some of the photos we’ve come across have needed closer examination.”

“Could you have done without it?”

“If I weren’t in the field I would have relied on digital enhancement to confirm what I saw with the … naked eye. But these did show me more than my naked eye was picking up. It also looks good on camera.”

“You haven’t been using the drops I prescribed have you?”

“I did a few times but not as regularly as prescribed. There often wasn’t time. The hour wait after they went in. I wasn’t to use them before bedtime.”

“Excuses won’t heal the damage to your eye, Mr. James.”

“It can’t be that bad.”

“It is. There hasn’t been further degeneration around the damaged area since you were last here but there has been no regeneration either. Without regeneration scar tissue will form and that will lead to loss of vision.”

“Loss?” Dan said. “How quickly? How much?”

“It can differ from case to case. The fact that you don’t smoke is in our favour. You are fit, active. But those things will only slow it down. It can be avoided. The drops are a part of that.”

“How long would I have to take them. A month? A year? Forever?”

“Start taking them regularly and we can see how rapidly it works. Six months at least. An hour a day with your eyes covered.”

“I suppose I could meditate then.” Dan tried to imagine himself on motel bed doing nothing for an hour with the shooting schedule app flashing on his phone blinking on the side table. 

“As long as you remain awake.” The doctor jotted something a prescription pad & handed it to Dan.

“More salve?” Dan sighed.

“No.” The doctor laughed. “A sleep mask.”

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Covid Pandemic Confusion

I’m dismayed at the eagerness of people to seize on any excuse to avoid covid vaccines but I do understand it to a degree. One of them is safe in some countries but ‘banned’ for use in others. Risk statistics are presented without any comparative information – i.e. are the side effects any worse than those for the regular flu shot? Which is worse – covid or any of said side effects?

In the States some religious factions refuse the shots as being against God’s will, protecting ourselves & others is seen as us playing God to decide who lives or dies. We cannot interfere with His plan as laid out in the scriptures – fundamentalists take it for granted that His plan also included conflicting translations of those scriptures. But if they chose to go unprotected I’ll keep my mask on while I wave a socially distant bye-bye at their funerals.

Here in Ontario the blame game has made people dizzy with constantly shifting lockdown rules, a vaccine supply chain that appears to be broke, vaccines that aren’t used before their expiry dates because there aren’t people in certain age brackets registered to get them – the mess goes on to provide fodder for excuses & finger pointing. Non-essentials are cordoned off in big box stores – but who decided what those non-essentials are? Thank God Tim Horton’s is still open, as are all the pot dispensaries.

I’ve had my first shot, I wear my mask on public transit & in stores. What more can I do? I’ve reduced my social bubble. I don’t look at airplanes that fly overhead just in case the vapour trail is spreading variants flown into the country by international flights. Maybe all this confusion has led to exhaustion & any excuse to remain isolated in my social bubble.

rough draft sample

from Ap2008 archive

Dreamland

there is something underlying everything

that I can sense 

but can’t figure out

I didn’t want to slip into

some paranoid fear

that whatever this is 

it’s against me 

but it clearly is not for me

I’m at harm’s length 

no matter close I get

there’s no way in for me

not matter how present

or how persistent I am was

I am edged away from the centre

the uncomfortable outsider

I can do without you anyway

but just keep coming around

to remind you I am here 

and remind myself 

not to slip though 

as an accepted part 

of things

I’m not hungry enough

age does that

it dulls the appetite

for certain thing

sharpens it for others

comfort becomes more important 

than information

sleep is more important

than another two hours 

of waiting around 

for something that hasn’t happened yet

dreams are more fulfilling than reality

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