Then Things Changed

Then Things Changed 

yes

that was me

then

those were my words

then

I believed what I said

things change

I change

stop trying to pour me of today

into the image of me

then

 

people tell me I’ve lost weight

when I was never aware

that they were aware

of what I weighed

that what I look liked mattered

then

I didn’t know or care

yet now that I’ve changed

physically in their eyes

they still see me

as the same person

but not so fat

they never said I was fat

then

mind you

but that I’ve lost weight since

then

 

I don’t say what I once said

my world view has changed

become broader

& more refined at the same time

my body gets narrow

my vision get clearer

in ways people notice

people I hadn’t set out

to be noticed by

then

now knowing

they’ve been looking

that they are capable of comparing

the old me

then

with the new me

 

I still don’t give a shit

but

thanks for noticing

One of the things that ‘bugs’ me about the the way media spins our reality has been demonstrated in the recent press about sexual predators. The press will report on a event that took place, say 20 years ago with pictures of the victim as they were 20 years ago but of the perpetrator as they appear today – creating the impression that this, say, 60 year old molested this 20 year old – when in fact the perpetrator was 30 at the time.

I know that at 20 I said things that I admit where foolish, stupid, racist, sexist – spouting things I I would disagree with today. I’ve learned better & recognize that thinking can change. So when he press digs up some foolish thing a 20 year old did to smear them at 50 I think, of the ‘digger’ – where you a saint all your life? Give people credit for growing up & changing.

In this piece I use weight as an example of how we change, of how people remember us & perceive us based on that memory. It’s also about the back-handed compliment – too have never thought of oneself of being over-weight & then being told you look better after losing weight clearly mean that some once thought you were fat fat fat.

There’s also sense of how, in my case at any rate, one loses appearance/body consciousness – how others actual see us as opposed to what we see in the mirror – how it easy to think no one actually notices us at all or that they care how we look enough to compare today with the past.

This is the last of the 48 laws. Hurrah! I certainly enjoyed the challenge of using them as prompts. I did find them more manipulative than anything else – how to give the right image, how to use people for one’s benefit as opposed to how to be a better person. In the new year I’ll collect all of them &n my comments together for a possible eBook.

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Lazarus Kiss.50

Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.

May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others

and a love within recall that alters you.

kiss

Lazarus Kiss.50

“In Resurface my character accepted that he’d never see himself clearly again in any mirror but that the reward was that he’d never be trapped by one again either. That way I could start to free the others.  By the end I didn’t exist to myself except as this blur in the mirror. I lost all sense of my body though others saw me. Usually shirtless for some reason. It’s a fantasy movie not a how to documentary on breaking a spell.”

A dark blue SUV pulled up and honked.

“That’s for me.” He opened the door and beckoned for his mother to come in to the house.

The window wound down and her head briefly appeared shaking no.

“Guess not today. I tried.” He pulled Harris out to the front steps. “Look dude I don’t want to seem so flash about meeting you. I’ve had one Da all these years. I’m not looking to replace him but well, you and I, we’re connected. We have to build on that.”

“Beside keeping it from the press you mean?” Harris didn’t want to joke but he didn’t know what to say. “I’ve only been a father for the past hour or so. You have my number?” He gave Marshall his dE.tail business card. “Call me before you leave town if you have a chance, son.”

Marshall tucked the card into his pocket and dashed to the SUV.

The word ‘son’ made Harris weak in the knees. Weaker than when he realized he did have feelings for Alex even though he didn’t know what those feelings were or if he could ever express them.

In the house he glanced at himself in the hallway full length mirror. He was big. Funny when he didn’t see his reflection he forgot all about his body. About his size. He was more like Marshall’s Mirror Mind character than he’d expected. A man with no sense of self except as some sort of reflection.

That old Who song came into his head. ‘Can you see the real me. Can you?’ Only for him the lyric was Can I see the real me? Can I? or was the actual question do I want to see the real me? Is there a real me to see? If there’s a real me do I want to see it?

*43 Sunday afternoon*

When Harris got home from his folks he found the Mirror Mind dvds still the bag his mother had given him a few weeks earlier. They could be more compelling now that he had met Marshall. He put Mirror Mind 1: Mist Shapen into his dvd player and watched it.

It was pretty much as he remembered. Sullen and generically attractive actors mumbling about their sense of self, purpose and unhappiness to fluttery songs by tentative but tearful male or female vocalists that forced more emotion into the morose dialogue than was there. What he didn’t notice before was how much flesh was on display. He supposed that’s what really sold the movies – safe male flesh for young females to imagine rescuing with their pure love from nicely back lit sadness.

It was unsettling to see Marshall, who for reason’s known to marketing, only wore a towel in several scenes, wrestle with another nearly naked actor. It was like seeing his Dad naked. He wanted to turn away.

By the end of the Mist Shapen he’d seen enough for one day. Mirror Mind 2: Shatter Day could wait for another day.

*44 – Monday*

When he went to the subway the next morning the first thing he spotted was his picture on the front of both the free newspapers.

“Mind star meets family.” Was the headline over a picture of him and Marshall on the front porch of his folks house. On both was the same picture of him and Marshall looking almost directly at the camera. Harris didn’t notice any press hanging around unless they were hidden the bushes across the street.

The pictures were the same but cropped differently for each front page. But in each of them there was enough of his body for him to contrast it with Marshall’s. He was fat. Why had it taken him this long to see that. Mist on the mirror.

As he rode to work he read the article.

“Marshall Caldwell took a break from shooting the fourth instalment of the box office smash series Mirror Mind in Vancouver to visit his family here in Toronto. He told reporters that the shoot is going well and that he was happy to be Toronto for gala premiere of Mirror Mind 3: Silver Resurfaces for the FACE Foundation fundraiser tonight at the Pantages Theatre.

“The FACE Foundation is dedicated to providing free facial reconstructive surgery to underprivileged children.”

When he got to work Detective Alverez was waiting for him.

“I have a message I think you better listen to. Any place private we can use?”

“I’ll see if the consult room is free.”

The consult room was to the left of the dE.tail supply storage room. It was rarely used as nearly all their clients were online and if they needed face to face would use Skype. He glanced in. It was empty of people but cluttered with samples.

“Yeah we can use this room.” he pushed boxes of SofSkinX aside to make enough room on the conference table.

“Before we start I should tell you that Frances, now Kate, Green got in touch with us.”

“And?”

“She has no more memory of meeting you that you do have of meeting her.”

Detective Alverez took her laptop out, plugged a memory stick into it.

“The sound quality isn’t great but you’ll hear it well enough.” She clicked open a file.

“If ya think that fat fuck rescued that bitch from ME ya are sadly mistaken. Just ask the asshole you nabbed …” Det Alverez stopped the recording. “He tells us details about the assaults that we’ve never released to the public.”

“This guy is still out there? Who did I interrupt the other night?” Harris picked at a catchup spill on his Ghostbusters tee-shirt. He had thought it was clean he put it on in the morning.

“Domestic assault. It was her ex. We didn’t say anything to the press to give us time to continue our investigations with less public pressure.”

She advanced the recording. “I’m skipping right to the end.” She let it play. “And warn that fat faggot that the next time he won’t be so lucky. If he thinks he’s going to get face time for my sweat he’s going to sorry. He could be the next. You stupid cops can’t do anything about it.”

“Is that a real voice?” Harris asked. “It sounds electronic.”

“Who ever this is has used one of those kiddie voice modulators. You can pick them up at dollar stores now.” She took one out of her briefcase and spoke into it. “He could be the next.”

“You sound exactly like the caller.”

“You noticed.” Detective Alverez frowned. “Voice recog doesn’t help either. With such distortion there is no voice pattern we can isolate. Can’t discern if its male or female.”

“You suspect the stalker could be female?”

“No. You’re as bad the media when it comes to jumping to conclusions. We weren’t decided if we should inform you. We aren’t letting the media know we have right wrong guy. The guy we caught was the right one for the assault we caught him for but he’s not the subway stalker. He was just a shlub who drank too much and was trying to scare his girlfriend back into his pants.”

“The stalker is going to go after me?” Great, that’s all he needed on top of everything else that was going on. He was paranoid enough when strangers approached him thanks to the curse.

“No, but it was fair to tell he was still out there.”

“Thanks, I guess.”

The morning was thankfully undemanding. Even Tavi’s texts were minimal other than to thank everyone for being on top of things there was little to do but that they’d better enjoy this lull. Plus there were new skin care samples in the consult room. Why couldn’t get a decent colocate account? All he had to do was look after a few details on the Sport Spot to adjust.

Without the usual keyboard pounding Harris wasn’t sure all his co-workers where there. It seems like hours before he heard the call of the Horned Owl. But once it started it peeped out rapidly for the next hour or so.

He went down to the deli in the office building. Ordered his usual deluxe mini-pizza but couldn’t eat it all. He saw each bite reflected in a mirror or swelling him in a newspaper photo.

When Harris got back to work there was an envelope propped against his monitor. Inside were invites to the FACE Foundation red carpet fundraiser gala for Mirror Mind 3 that night. Tickets for himself and a friend. A full press kit that included the soundtrack cd. Along with a note from Marshall.

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Franz – Franklin

Franz Ferdinand is one of those fun pop bands. The music is catchy & forgettable. I have, as stand-alones their First, So Much Better, Blood remixes, & Tonight. You might think I’m a fan but I’m not – a fan of the genre of bouncy fun pop but I cannot name a song from any of these cds. Blindfolded I might not even be able to tell you which cd which song came from. I picked them all up on the cheap at HMV. The sort of band I enjoyed in my teen years – many of whom I cannot name either.

But my teen years & beyond were filled with that sort of music. Aretha Franklin was around then too but I never really got into her or that sound. Today I realize it’s partly because soul music was too earthy, too adult, too sexually knowing in a serious way. In my collection I now have: I Never Loved A Man; Young, Gifted & Black; Hits 80-94; Who’s Zoomin’ Who; Sings the Great Divas. At one time I had a cassette of a church performance – it fell apart & I’ve never found it since.

Her continuing amazing career started in gospel, then into soul, r’n’b, slipping into adult contemporary at times. Then the disco revival with Zoomin’. Given the opportunity she is a force of nature that can breath life into almost any song she tackles. On Aretha Sings The Divas, her most recent release, she does hits recorded by Adele, The Supremes, Streisand, etc. Interesting but a little too tame for my liking. Her Rolling In The Deep is excellent but too tasteful. I wish she had been more adventurous in the song selection too – say covering Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream.

Hits & Divas is on an 8 hour mp3 collection that also includes recent work by male & female singers she’s influenced, & who may not even know they’ve been influenced. One Ton: Abnormal Pleasures; Troye Sivan eps: June Haverly, TRXYE; Kiesza: Sound Of A Woman; Tove Lo: Queen of the Clouds; Moko: eps – Gold, Black; Ben Kreader: eps – Heat From The Day, Oceans I Could Drown; SBTRKT: Wonder Where We Land.

These all fall on the techno, dance side of things. Kreader is queer emotional. Moko is modern soul; Sivan is tender; Ton & SBT are more on the dance floor. Kiesza has great pipes & her Hideaway has a permeant spot on my iPod. All worth tracking down.

Footage

‘Let’s check the tape now.’

‘Look, it’s nearly 3 a.m. Let’s get some sleep and we’ll check the footage in the morning.’

Frank was already plugging the cable connector from the camera into the back of the TV. ‘Tom this is what we came here for. We’ve been doing that jungle walk for two weeks and now we finally have something.’

The screen came to life. Murky movements jumped back and forth.

‘Worse than the Blair Witch.’

‘You try holding the camera sometime then.’ Tom snapped back.

‘Sorry I was just …’

The picture came into focus. The sound was muffled, distant.

‘Shit!’ Tom hit the top of the TV.

‘That’s not going to do much.’ Frank laughed. ‘Turn it up.’

‘Why bother with that.’ Tom pulled the cables from the TV. ‘Let’s use this.’ He opened his lap top. ‘I have a program in here that will refine things considerably.’

It took the tape several minutes to be downloaded into the computer.

‘Couldn’t you get anything faster.’

‘You making a crack about the size of my hard drive?’

‘You said it not me.’

The program flashed that it was ready. The sounds were still muddied but with some audio editing Tom played them back clearly:

The voices changed ‘We call the time to change. We call the time to change.’

‘That’s not what that kid said.’

‘No that’s what we heard first though. Remember. I thought it might be the wind in the trees.’

‘We call the time to change?’ Frank repeated. ‘Wonder that that can mean. We call the time to change.’

The lights in the room dimmed and the computer screen blinked on and off and on again.

‘Whoa! Better not say that too many times.’ Tom pulled the curtains shut.

‘You don’t think …’

‘You know what I think. I told you we would be playing with …’

‘We are not playing here Tom. This is serious research.’

‘Right and these are serious results.’

‘Okay. Let’s see what else we have there then . ‘We call…’

Tom put his hand over Frank’s mouth. ‘Enough with that. We have to be careful when we don’t fully understand.’

‘But it’s just words Tom.’

‘You know that isn’t so.’

The teenage boy appeared on the screen. His lips moving.

‘What! I can’t hear him.’

‘There’s no audio here.’ Tom punched at the keyboard moving back and forth along the audio indicator.

‘Silence.’

‘When did the sound cut out?’

Tom did more in putting.

‘Seems to have cut out when he appeared and comes back when he disappears.’

‘Mambo? What did they say he was called? Cha Cha?’

kiss3

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2018

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June – dates t.b.a – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C.


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Out Out Damn …

On a recent Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza interviews his mother about his coming out. It is a rich episode, one that anyone who has come out will find lots to identify with – plus the story of his birth is incredible – though knowing what US medical care costs I wonder if his family is still paying it off.

One thing that gets overlooked is that gay people are always coming out – we don’t just come out once to our family & friends. We practically come out every time we meet someone who assumed the default setting that the world is cis-hetero. Even if sexuality isn’t relevant it becomes an issue if we hold back that information & the other finds out. “I want this wedding cake but with two men on the top.”

When I was actively involved as a lab rat for medical research – often one of a group of up to 40 others – guys would be talking about girlfriends, wives, children etc. I’d often be asked if I had any children, or how my wife/girlfriend felt about me doing this sort of work. Conversations to pass the tedious time that I avoided as much as possible.

Andrew’s mother was non-pulsed, & much like my parents, were more concerned about the social ramifications of being out. Back in the day, before I came out, same-sex sex was illegal, secretive, evil, dirty. I didn’t come out fully to my parents until after I had moved to Toronto. By then some of the laws had changed, but let’s face it, you can’t legislate thought. Even today’s laws haven’t reduced the amount of violence directed at the gay community.

I never had the sort of in depth discussion with my family about coming out as Andrew did with his. Then again I never had any discussion about sex period. I learned it all from Playboy & Penthouse; & when I found a source from gay porn novels & magazines. I can’t even remember if I ever had a discussion with anyone about what it felt like to come out while I was coming out. Gay guys I met then were more interested in dick size, top, bottom, than how do you emotionally feel about being who you are. But I eventually met a perfect match.

A Perfect Match

the first time

I was really with a woman

I ran my fingers

through her dark hair

as she touched mine

you have such fine hair she told me

she kissed me   lips gentle

opened her mouth a little

my hand under her sweater

searched along her bra

 

we continue to kiss on the bed

I held her soft breasts

solid    light yet with weight    substance

circled blissful raspberry nipples

with my thumbs

I had read Penthouse    Playboy

I knew the mechanics

of peach fuzzed mounds

 

she pulled off my pants

more kissing touching

you’re a sweet kisser she told me

she moved my hand to her thatch

splayed my fingers

pushed them in one by one

that feels good she whispered

 

the folds were sticky

she guided my cock

I rocked my hips in   out

it was warm moist frictionless

she clenched with her leg muscles

breathed heavily into my ear

then we rolled apart

I didn’t come    wasn’t even close

she smiled kissed me some more

 

I couldn’t wait to wash my hands

 

the first time

I was really with a man

never read what to do

I knew exactly what to do

we yanked at each others’ clothes

tongues raced pulse pounding

so much friction

I came

like a match being struck

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kiss3

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

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2018

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June – dates t.b.a – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C.


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Good Enough Is Never Enough

samprules2

Started a new set of prompts – I love lists of things – this one will prove to be endlessly productive for another couple of years – 227 Rules For Monks. Who knew the simple life could be so complex. This is number 27  from the 30 nissaggiyas

Good Enough Is Never Enough

 

after two minutes

I knew this conversation

wasn’t going anywhere

it had started off so promising

with an ‘I can’t wait to meet you

I’ve heard so much about you’

so we meet

we start to talk

and after a minute

their eyes look around

at others

for others

for escape

we nod at the right times

chuckle at the right times

but aren’t looking at each other

eyes rove one another’s shoulders

looking for some someone better

the attention intention

interest we showed in each other

abruptly comprised

by the alluring promise

of others around us

of faces and smiles

of someone else to talk to

all of them at least as interesting

all of who would only hold

our eager attention for a moment

because like the one

who was so eager to meet them

our eyes would be darting

looking someone else

with bigger promise

bigger reputation

to be seen talking too

to be seen walking away from

to a better opportunity

because there is always a better opportunity

even when the one

in front of you is good enough

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Sleeping With Losers

Sleeping With Losers

no I do not want

to sleep with your sons

or your daughters

for that matter

at least I don’t want to sleep with them

as a result winning this battle

in fact

if we hadn’t engaged in this conflict

I might well have desired them

but that was not the object

I don’t want to burn your crops

destroy your cities

I only want to win

I want you to acknowledge my superiority

in battle

that’s it

my superiority in bed

is another matter

one that I don’t need to prove to anyone one

my tanks are the biggest

the best

what I am in bed

isn’t relevant

I won’t want your wives

your homes

won’t loot

your ancient treasures

I’m not going to change

your government

that’s up to you

because clearly

you were capable

of taking care of yourselves

you are conquered

not rescued

you have to save yourselves

so instead of offering me

sexual solace

in hopes that I’ll do

what you have to do for yourselves

get busy

but

if your sons

are so sexually attracted

by the power of my determination

I might be willing to give them a tumble

The Laws prompts forced me to look at things I don’t ordinary think about & to think about them in a different way. I’ve written more politically charged material than ever before & also some anti-war pieces. But to say war is bad or war greases the wheels of the economy with the blood of the disenfranchised seems simplistic.

One of the tools of cultural genocide is sexual morality – when the Spanish discovered South America they were indignant that natives lived unmarried & didn’t mate for life. So they proceeded to force Christianity on them while using the female population for their sexual pleasures. Mass insemination of conquered women still continues.

Even things like greed have causes – i.e. the need for wealth to bolster a sense of worth. The need to win to prove who has the biggest … tank. Power for the sake of power not for the sake of improving anyone’s lot but for proving one has power. Most political or religious war has some petty emotional underlying cause. It’s a matter of principle.

Another ‘thing’ about war is that it is portrayed as a cismale heterosexual field of combat. Trump’s attempt to force trans people out of the US services was, in part, his attempt to maintain that macho, tough US facade. Never mind the fact that the US medical system is so skewed the only way for many trans can afford to get the medical attention they need is to enlist. You don’t have to bake wedding cakes for queers etc.

The title is new. It was called ‘Your Sons’ but as I was re-reading it this now one came to me. Much groovier. It was fun to create this narrative voice – so reasonable a victor who presents this ambiguous, almost passive-aggressive, stance. All he wants is to win. And emasculate your nation by having sex with your sons.

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Lazarus Kiss.49

Sis amplexibus Amor alios mututa memini et amoris in mutationes memini.

May you be embraced by a love beyond recall that alters others

and a love within recall that alters you.

kiss

Lazarus Kiss.49

“You are my father!”

“Oh yeah. I’m your father Luke.” He laughed. Without seeing paternity results Harris knew in his bones that this was his son. Son! He sat on the bed.

“We’ll leave you two to get acquainted. Come on Tom you can help in the kitchen. If you promise to stay out of the way.” His mother pushed his Dad out of the room and shut the door.

“How long … when did you find … cripes I don’t know what to say or where to begin. There are loads of questions in my head. Like how old are you? I’m trying to do the math here.”

“Thirty-three. You’re …”

“Nineteen in a month. which made you ….

“Almost fourteen.” Harris shrugged. How much did Marshall know about the curse?

“Wow. You were hitting it pretty young.”

“I guess. Not that I have much memory of it.” He began to put the Black Boxer Boys set back into their protective plastic sleeves.

“You too? Must run in the family.” He handed Harris the Slap Shott he had been reading.

Harris flipped through it. He loved the big double finish of it where Shott hit the mind eraser into the open-mouth-like spaceship bay of the aliens who had sent it to Earth while saying ‘Return to sender.’ On the next page was the aliens’ space craft blowing up.

“What do you mean?”

“My mother calls it acting out. I’d been caught with my pants down more than few times at school. Incorrigible is what the teachers called it. But I never could remember what I had done. What’s up with that? She sent me to a shrink.”

Harris glanced around for his shoulder bag with the Tobias pages in it. He’d left it downstairs.

“Dr. Findlay suggested I was trying to express a need for female attention that I wasn’t getting at home.  Rather than take meds for my need for attention I got into acting where I could lots of attention. My mom figured instead of acting out for free I could channel that into act out for money.”

“Did that help?”

“Sort of. I’m pretty sure it was my looks, not my acting ability, that got me cast in Mirror Mind. Good thing it’s a five book series. I usually have handlers with me now when I’m in public so no one gets close enough for me to say no.”

“I think I might be able to explain some of this.”

“This?”

“The fatal attraction we Steven’s have had for generations.”

“You mean its genetic?”

“Not exactly. Let’s go down and talk to my Dad. Where’s your Mom by the way?”

“At a coffee shop awaiting my call. She didn’t want to come with me. Said something about unhappy history. Dropped me off at the door and drove off with Blake. Oh, Blake’s my manager, body-guard and no-sayer. Single handedly keeps me from acting out.”

They pounded down the stairs and into the kitchen.

“There’s nothing like sound of happy feet on the stairway.” His mother had the table set for brunch. “Brought back memories of Harris coming and going. Except he did trip over his feet more than once with his nose in a comic book.”

“That’s sure a lot food Mrs Stevens.” Marshall sat and grabbed for plate of waffles. “Best to get these while they are hot, right? It’s a good thing my Mum isn’t here. She’d never let me eat half of this and I am going to try everything.”

Besides waffles there were plates of sausages, bacon, ham, french toast, plain toast, scrambled eggs and fresh baked croissants. Between those plates were jars of marmalade, jam, and peanut butter.

“Now you can see why I’ve never lost my baby fat.” Harris joked.

“You were going to explain about our fatal attraction.”

“You told him?” Harris’s Dad stopped spreading his toast.

“No. He doesn’t know yet. He’s had the same things happen as have happened to me. Like with Aunt Clara not remembering. ”

“You too Mr. S?” Marshall looked up at Harris’s dad.

“Yes. But not for many years.”

“So what is it?”

Harris’s Dad went to the living room and came back with a folder.

“These are photocopies of journal kept by Tobias Stevens. Late 1700’s.” Harris’s Dad quickly explained the history of the curse.

“That’s fucked. Sorry Mrs. S.”

“That’s what I thought, too, Marshall.” Harris pushed his chair away from the table. “But once I knew, became aware. It happened. I’ve seen the evidence.” He told them about seeing the security footage of him and Frances meeting. That Frances didn’t remember it either.

“Now that’d make a great movie.”

“Sure Marshall but this is our real life. We know how it came into the family. I wonder if there’s way of breaking it.” Harris wiped his face with a napkin.

“Why would you want to break it? You could harness it somehow. That’s what I’ve done. Making movies.”

They went into the living room.

“Could be.” Harris’s father nodded. “But you can’t control your fans, can you? You need handlers, body guards in public. Sounds like the curse has harnessed you and not the other way around.”

“So that’s why Mum didn’t want to come in.” He snapped his fingers. “She’d be caught in the aura of three cursed men. I wonder what that would do to her.”

“Look, I know what one of us can do to one person. That’s enough for me.” Harris laughed.

Marshall’s cell rang.

“Blake checking in to make sure I’m okay.” he answered it. “Hi Blake …. Yes they’re pretty cool people … no …. no problems … yes I know I have that interview in an hour …. yeah come and get me in twenty …. put Mum on …. hey Mum you gotta come in this time say Hello …. whatever …. see you in twenty.” He shut the phone. “You don’t mind. She’d like to say hello and …”

“See if by gones are by gones?” Harris’s Mom wiped away some tears. “I think we’re all ready.”

“How do we break the … spell?” Marshall asked.

“I don’t know if we can.” Harris thought  moment. “I’ve seen an … expert … she says this isn’t meant to be a curse but a blessing. To bring love into life isn’t such a bad thing, is it?”

“Yeah, but this is invasive … acting on us instead of with or even for us. What about the other people; the ones who fall for us.” Marshall paced the room.

“He’s right there Harris. It certainly didn’t do your Aunt Clara any favours. Pulled us apart.” His mother said.

“Then again maybe to break the spell isn’t the solution. You know like what happened in the end of Shatter Mirror Mind 2. You have seen it haven’t you?”

“It’s been awhile.” Harris saw it when it was released two years ago but hadn’t bothered to watch the copies his mother had given him. “You’re releasing Spectrum Mirror Mind 4 this week. That’s a lot to remember.”

“Right. In the end of Shatter, Calopae breaks the mirror, anticipating that’ll free us all of its hold on us.”
“Right, I remember now. But it doesn’t work.”

“It half works but when I go to a mirror.”

“You cast no reflection?” Harris’s mother suggested.

“Not exactly Mom. He’s there but he’s not there. We see his shape but there’s no features, no substance.”

“Right. I only had a physical self when reflect by the right mirror.”

“You’re saying that the Harris curse is what give us a sense of who we are. That it defined us without knowing about it?”

“An interesting theory. How will breaking it affect me? Your Dad? Will your parents fall out of love?”

“I don’t know. I’m … tired of dealing with all this. I’d be as happy to forget it as get rid of it.”

“Knowing is as bad as the curse itself?”

“I guess so Dad. Tobias did pretty well for himself without knowing about it didn’t he.”

“He moved from town to town.”

“What did you do in part three?” Harris asked Marshall.

“In Resurface I accepted that I’d never see myself clearly again in any mirror but that the reward was that I’d never be trapped by one again either. That way I could start to free the others.  By the end I didn’t exist to myself except as this blur in the mirror. I lost all sense of my body though others saw me. Usually shirtless for some reason. It’s a fantasy movie not a how to documentary on breaking a spell.”

Can’t wait to read the whole thing? order the PDF for $5.00 – paypal.me/TOpoet – say you want Kiss

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Hands Up for #Handel

Hands up, what did Handel write besides the Messiah? Who has heard more than the Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah or more than the highlights? Oh, yes, there’s The Water Music – those were the days, when one would commission a composer to write music for your collection of water fountains, or for your private fireworks display.

Being the music compulsive I tend to be I came across his Masterworks at a good price – over 36 hours! Spread over 5 cds it includes 01: Water Music/Solomon/Organ Concertos 4 5 6 7/Dixit Dominus/Trio Sonatas/Salve Regina. 02: Concerto Grosso/ Hercules/ Organ Concertos 8 9 20 11 12/ Concerto Due Cori/ Dittingen/ Flute Sonatas/ Nisi Dominus/ Trio Sonata. 03: Organ Concerto 13 14 15 16/ Messiah/ Trio Sonta/ Sontata for 2 Violins/ Israel in Egypt/ St Cecilia’s Day. 04: Concerto Grosso/ Judas Maccabaeus. 05: Royal Fireworks/ Organ Concerto 1 2 3/ Giulio Cesare/ Coronation Anthems/Flute Sonata. Whew 🙂

He deserves his reputation as one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era. I used ‘includes’ to describe this collection, as it doesn’t represent everything he wrote. When did he sleep? He once stated that he had no time for marriage. Was he ‘gay’? Well, he did start out as church organist. He was never involved romantically with women. Personal papers are non-existent.

The music is as Baroque should be. Fussy at times, emotional at others. He could write anything expect a drunken barroom ditty. His oratories are marvellous, the chamber music a delight – often quite soothing. The organ music sonorous. If you are unfamiliar with him skip the big hits & try some of his charming Concerto Grosso or any of his many trio sonatas.

We Protect

From were he stood on the crest of a small hill Tom could only hear fragmentary phrases. A group of voices chanting in the night. The wind broke up the chant, as did the trees between him and the sounds. The voices rose and fell almost with the rise and fall of the waves that crashed at the base of the cliffs. The timing had to deliberate yet how could it be?

‘What are you listening to?’ Steve asked.

‘Can’t you hear it?’

‘Sounds like the wind in the trees.’

‘No. It’s more than that. Voices.’ Tom said

‘More like some drunken kids howling at the moon.’

The wind dropped suddenly. There was a cool stillness around them. A figure stepped out ten feet in front of them A teenage boy with a sloppy smile and even sloppier clothes.

‘Yo, watcha gawkin’ man. Take a good look while you can. There’ll be nothing other than the moon and you between the snake and its skin soon soon.’

Several other teens stepped out around them. Each repeating the same phrases.

‘We seem to have …’

‘Yo, man, no say anything. We protect. You be needin’ protection.’

The circle of teens pressed closer. All boys, about fifteen or sixteen years old.

‘We should be getting back to our hotel.’ Steve said.

‘You be stain’ at Casa Trib’mana?’

‘Yes.’ Tom flexed his hands, ready.

‘Not to worry, man, we’ll not harm you. Others would be doing that, but we aren’t like that. We protect. Protect the foolish likes of you.’

In the dim light Tom couldn’t make out the faces of these teens clearly, but as they came closer, he saw streaks of scarlet had been drawn around the eyes, several short dashes of green along the chin.

‘You look at our whiskers.’ the first teen said. ‘We make our selves fit the world. You see this world.’

The boys spread out and vanished except for the first boy.

‘You better be head, back. A night like this isn’t one for strangers. You know my meaning. Not for strangers who have no idea where the world is headin’. You need help ask for Rumba. I be Rumba.’

‘Thanks.’ Frank turned around. They headed back up the path.

‘Did you get all that?’ he asked Tom.

‘I think so.’ he tapped the bag that held the video camera. ‘That was best we’ve gotten so far.’

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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

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2018

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June – dates t.b.a – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C.


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“gun shots in the night”

Hot Damn!  continues to evolve and now with a grant from Toronto Arts Council it will evolve even more and widen its performance potential and creative reach. The November edition at Buddies in Bad Times with dynamic feature Kai Cheng Thom brought many new faces to the stage. Some reading on the open mic for the first time and presenting challenging and emotionally raw work. It is a powerful reassurance that Hot Damn! proves a safe and welcoming space for writers to be so vulnerable and honest.

Charlie C Petch started the show off by honouring the stolen land we thrive on and with the Hot Damn! anthem, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, played on the musical saw.

Some moments from the first open stagers and slammers: ‘queer smokers unite,’ ‘my sister wouldn’t sell me a broken phone’ ‘I feel scared to be happy’ ‘happiness is the breath between anxiety attacks’ ‘this is so much more than friendship’ ‘happy is a farm house’ ‘in happy I have a life where I want to get out of bed’ ‘maybe I’m scared of seeing your face’

‘my body is a vessel – like the Millennium Falcon?’ ‘my body is not missing anything’ ‘the greatest gift is not to have a child’ ‘something I made when I had feelings’ ‘like that hope I used to save for Christianity’ ‘my parents really screwed up’ ‘nothing but gossip is truly sacred’ ‘I might have come out sooner if my sister hadn’t come out Christian’

Feature Kai Cheng Thom was vibrant, confident, laugh-out-loud funny, politically blunt & emotionally vulnerable. ‘donate my body to art not science’ ‘the dead are free to go where they want’ ‘you were a good child because you were silent’ ‘gun shots in the night that weren’t meant for you’ ‘it is really hard for you, I know, I took a workshop’ ‘seeing salvation in the blue of the flame’ ‘are you keeping me safe or keeping me trapped’

I loved the piece about the revolutionary leader’s lover that took me back to those 60’s icons of change who spouted about tearing down the corporate structure while counting on wives to do their cooking & laundry. Also really identified with the piece about being with a guy having sex with you who kept checking to see that his girlfriend was okay.

After a much need break Charlie got things rolling once again with more open stagers and the final round of the slam. ‘I ache for a sense of belonging’ ‘I cut deeper – when did this become a competition’ ‘I have a dance with death looking in the mirror’ ‘the murdered were all around my age, they died a violent death’ ‘the weight of my backpack still haunts me’ ‘I wear my red dress for you, sisters’ ‘my wrists tells my story better than my mouth’ ‘my gender in a party crasher’ ‘that information should be saved for the wedding’ ‘in my very own bedroom, in my very own house’ ‘what is indigenous pain without a white man’s honour’

Prizes were given, including the $50 cash prize for first place. Hugs, with consent, where exchanged and a good time was had by all. Next couple of Hot Damn! will be in Peterborough, then Hamilton, returning to Buddies on March 8. The Season Four  finale will be in April 6 when we see which winner will represent Hot Damn! at Capturing Fire in June.

On the open stage I read this newly edited version of one of my recent October poems:

The Tingler

as a kid

I couldn’t tell the truth

if my life depended on it

not that I was a compulsive liar

or even lied that often

but under any sort of questioning

I was guilty

regardless of being innocent

Did you do that?

no – which was the truth

Go to your room

Until you are ready to tell the truth

but

No buts. Now go, you lying loser

 

to avoid that banishment

I’d have to tell a lie

but I was even a worse liar

thanks to a movie I saw

where a sort of centipede

would materialize

around the spine

when you were scared

lying scared me

as much as telling the truth

I would feel those

million sharp legs

sinking into my back

my skin would tingle

The Tingler!

that’s what that movie was called

 

a lie would kill me

it would crush my heart

burst out of my nose

brain spattering everywhere

insect legs would dig out from my eyes

 

so I was afraid to lie

the punishment for telling the truth

was bad enough

not be be believed

not to be trusted was confusing

it was better to leave the room

let them think what they wanted

because the clearly truth

made no fucking difference

 

at that age

they made sure

I knew I was a lying loser

a useless dishonest kid

which I know now

was their lie

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Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me

Not only is “Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me” the title of a Cure song but also the subject of a recent Disability After Dark by Andrew Gurza, in which he talks about, of all things, kissing. He explores both the emotional and the physical aspects of of kissing. I could help but think of some old Star Trek episode in which Kirk is asked ‘What is this thing you humans call kissing?’

Movies usually make kissing seem so simple – that is if the actors actual kiss at all or if they are even kissing one another when that close up happens. Faces meet, lips meet – suddenly two actors of radically different heights are the same height when those lips meet. Rarely do their noses, glasses, shoulder bags, purses, knapsacks, hat brims or, in some cases, body bulges (stomach, torpedo breasts) present  a problem. Clearly everyone’s breath is minty fresh as well.

For Andrew there is rarely the impulse kiss – he has to navigate his body into the best position in his wheelchair for anything more than a quick kiss. At least he likes being kissed 🙂 Which leads me into the emotional impact. I’ve been with men who will do nearly everything except kiss – they don’t like that mushy stuff, They don’t even want small talk about the weather. Opening the door is all the consent they need. It’s as if they are saving the kiss for true love.

 

Of course the nature of the kiss is also a consent. A kiss on the hand may be quite continental but isn’t a round the world passport.

You’re Easy

you can’t see me as you read this

but I am kissing you

it won’t last long

a quick press of lips

maybe if you are bold

a slip of the tongue

 

you may never see me

you may only see these words on the page

it doesn’t matter who wrote this poem

to give you this sweetest of kisses

so relish this moment

of someone kissing you exactly

the way you like to be kissed

 

does it make you uncomfortable

do these words

cause you some sort of sexual anxiety

might they erode your self confidence

as it becomes clear

that I’m the same sex as you

tricking you to engage in this kiss

because when you started to read

this is not what you expected – is it

 

and now I’ve made you uneasy

or maybe merely impatient with

how foolish this piece is to think

it can involve the reader at such a level

 

now my hands move

they aren’t resting casually on your arm

there is a pressure of pleasure

as I feel your body

as you move closer to me

you sense that I’m aroused by you

and you are responding

more than you expected

 

you can stop me by leaving this page

you can change the direction

by changing my sex or yours

perhaps that works for a moment

but you know

we are a same sex couple now

about engage in more than a kiss

 

one of us unbuttons

unzips

the other

does it matter who

you’ve never done anything like this before

or claim to have

never done anything like this before

whereas I have done it many times

when anyone reads this

they have sex with me

I’m easy

 

I make only one demand

that you finish what you start

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HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

http://www.queerslam.com

2018

https://www.facebook.com/events/1895647050666334/

June – dates t.b.a – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C.


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy ice cream in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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