Ew on Film

On recent Disability After Dark, “Me Before Ew,” Andrew Gurza dissects – no, he vivisects, the film “Me Before You” – disclaimer I have not seen this movie & after his comments have interest in seeing it. I love his relentless no-holds-barred evisceration of this supposedly feel-good movie. It falls into the category of the noble self-sacrificing (fill in the blank: disabled person, homosexual, manic depressive) who opts for death rather than burden the one they love with having to deal with life with a hopeless (fill in the blank).

This trope shows up time & time again in film, tv & literature. I’ve been watching the boxset ‘Pioneers of African-American Cinema’ & so far at least two of the films the plot turns on the darker of the love-birds leaving their true love because they don’t want to burden them with the shame of having such a black partner. The noble self-sacrifice.

Andrew felt that the emotional or physical nature of disability wasn’t accurately explored. It sounded to me that in was merely a device to allow, in this case, the female to demonstrate that maternal loving sees beyond all limits – in particular when the object is rich & good-looking. Making them attractive, but not pretty, allowed it all to be palatable for audiences.

The podcast led me to think of how disability has been depicted or exploited by film & literature. One that comes to mind is A Christmas Carol & the manipulative use of Tiny Tim to break our hearts. There is nothing in the story, or any of the film versions, that gives a real look at Victorian attitudes to ‘mobility issues’ other than what a pity & how brave Tim is. The streets of London were littered with men disabled in wars who were reduced to abject poverty, locked up so the ‘good’ folks wouldn’t have to actually see them. The other Dickens character that come to mind in the hideous dwarf hunchback Mr. Quilp in The Old Curiosity Shop.

(A side note: the major Victoria manufacturer of artificial limbs was the railway because so many trains men lost limbs in their work.)

Speaking of hunchbacks there is Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame. Much of the novel deals with the street life of the disabled in Paris that provided for many of them a safe haven where there weren’t ridiculed or shunned. At least some of these characters are given a context other than being the mere plot device that Tiny Tim is.

I had originally intended to call this ‘Crips on Film’ & Andrew gave me his seal of approval to do so but … as much as I want to see the word reclaimed I think it’s best for me to leave that to Andrew who is doing  an amazing  job on that score without my help.

To be continued – coming next week Baby Jane.

Adam in the Morning

o that I were Adam each morning

given the privilege of naming

finding a word for each of the ways

I discover to love


o that I were Adam with no memory

no libraries describing things beyond

this moment’s opportunity to experience

a man with no past

with only the future of love to anticipate

to surrender to

to roll in the sweet earth of

looking for another rib

looking a new object to utter

to pretend word equals understanding

when it’s only bare comprehension


o that I were Adam

with no mate only himself

only his own body to discover

to give name to each of the sensations

from head to toe

with no name for head or toe

only the awe and delight

in reaching out to touch to savour

to sing those words

with no merciless weight of taboo or totem

no referential wink and nod to the wise


o that I were Adam

given the privilege of creating love

discovering your body for the first time

each time we meet

having only the sensation of fingers

no time to speak

enraptured by the invention of next

by the tremble of how long will this last

before we are flooded by names


o that we were Adam

speechless thoughtless

merely aware


in a blinding morning haze

at the dawn of an unnamable world


HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam


April 03 – every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked)

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Ask Me Anything


Working through the  227 Rules For Monks. Who knew the simple life could be so complex. This another of the 92 pācittiyas.

Ask Me Anything

why you are asking me

are you trying to make a fool of me

which by the way

isn’t that hard to do


so you didn’t have to put so much thought

into asking me anything

but I still need to know

why ask me


right – that isn’t answering your question

so try someone else

or say what you mean

because you don’t want an answer do you


it doesn’t matter

what answer I give does it

you are trying establish

that I’m not as smart as I think I am


while I am willing to admit

I have no answer for you

for any question you might ask

so ask away


I’m listening

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it is clear

that I misunderstood

your intentions

read something into your intonation

when you said

‘they don’t deserve to live

the Bible tells me so

my right as a normal male

means I am not bound

by any man-made law

that goes against

my authentic self’


I didn’t realize

you were joking

that when I repeated what you said

by taking it out of context

I had made you appear

to be a racist sexist bigot

some of my best friends are racists

I may not approve their life style

but they have every right to be who they are

just as you do

I didn’t judge

your statements

it’s not my intention

to cast them in a negative light

I merely reposted them

to make others aware of them

that others

took umbrage

is a consequence beyond my ability

to contain

defend or reverse


I understand

you were iterating

the well founded grounded logic

appropriately permitted

tenets of those around you

you have the printed parchment proof

and besides

you really didn’t say that

the dash board cam was faulty

the TV crew was manipulating you

the statement you published

wasn’t written by you

so it is my fault

for relating it verbatim

it wasn’t meant for the general public

who were watching the national broadcast

only for those already in agreement with you

accept my apology

for misrepresenting your statements

by repeating them


There is no such thing as unbiased news. We get sensationalized reports of select current events. News is entertainment & as real as The Simpsons. I watched a documentary about Elián González (he grew up to be quite a hottie btw). When he was returned to Cuba, & grown up enough to have a voice of his own, in which he embraced the Cuban political system, his Miami relatives said he was brain washed. Clearly his rejection of the American dream they wanted him to embrace made him brain washed. Perhaps his American dream didn’t include getting shot in an high school massacre.

But I digress – this piece is another take on my jaded  opinion of the news. I was thinking of the Rodney King trial in which that video of his ‘take down’ by the police was played in the slowest possible way to be interpreted properly. Each twitch of pain as he was being beaten was actually him resisting arrest. You know, on first glance I did not see that.

Now the president of the USA makes statements in press conferences that the next day he denies ever having said. Or, as many a political does, says that wasn’t what he meant, that he mis-spoke, that he is now being misquoted. We’re taking it the wrong way so the fault is clearly ours & making him culpable for his remarks or actions is envy. We are haters who resent his power.

There is also an echo here of how Scripture is used to justify anything. To question that is to be anti-religion & unwilling to listen to reason. I’m no biblical scholar so if someone can point out the sections that refer to school massacres as the actions of the righteous I’ll be pleased to give it further study.

As you might gather I no longer read newspapers, no longer watch TV news to keep up on current events. I’m one of those who opts not to chose sides when both sides are clearly right. No, that’s a lie. I have taken a side & do what I can to be supportive to what is relevant to my insular life. I avoid high schools.

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The Colliery

The editing of Cold Dusters is taking longer than I anticipated thanks to demands on my time with various research studies, people who need to talk with me & of course those phone callers who don’t think to say – can you talk – but launch into their important issues. Or if they ask & I say I’m editing – they then launch into their important issues. Writing or editing = doing nothing.

But it has been getting done & I hope to have the first 100 or so pages finished by the end of the month. I’ve made at least one name change. Two of my characters had far too similar last names: McDonnell vs O’Dowell. For readers this can be more confusing than a Russian novel in which characters have real names, nick names & proper names. So one of them became Nelson. Find & replace did the job. Naming is crucial for me & gives a sense of the person & in Dusters also a sense of the times.

I researched popular women names in the early 1900. There’ll be no Tiffanys in the book. Men’s names were easier though I did make up one ‘Birk’ for my hero. His pal ‘Clancy’ – that’s one of those names that has a clear sense of person behind it. Last names I took from lists of miners the were working in the mines in the 1920’s.

The same holds true for place names. The town were the story takes place is imaginary though the layout is real to small towns of the location & time. I tried not to place it too specifically but near the real places there. New Waterford, North Sydney & Sydney – real places that I did have to make sure I used actual street names for.

I’ve resisted sticking to historical facts or even how coal mining was done at the time. This isn’t a documentary but I have made things plausible. There were a couple of bitter strikes between the wars but I decided to import events from one into the other. As one of my writing friends says – never let history get in the way of a good story 🙂

I also am not letting the lack of history get in the way of a good story either. Did coal miners fall in love with one another? That history doesn’t exist.

here’s the piece of mine that was the inspiration for Coal Dusters. It’s my Brown Betty chap book. (line spacing forced on me by WP

The Colliery

while white sun simmers ocean’s edge

we enter the colliery

follow the guide

metal basket jostles us down down

smell coal seeping ocean

light becomes dark    then black

thin beams from helmet lamps
graze without illuminating faces   arms
fire fly flash of teeth   tongue
as the guide’s words roll out over echoless drips

a silence that stifles our breathing
the chilled walls absorb everything
wooden struts hold the earth from us
coal buffering the echo of our shuffle
as we crouch lower to fit
tiny lamp light glances off rock surfaces
jagged caroms of cold flashes
was that a face   an arm
embedded between strata of earth
a zig-zag white trace
slipping in the endless squeeze

from above below

the passage narrowing even more
as we scrabble along hunched crabs
feel the ground   hope for traction

ache to stand but can’t

air thicker presses on all sides
can these wooden splints keep us safe

a pressure in the lungs
the scatter of the fear

s this the way I want to go
squished in a tremble of tectonic plates
hugged by the earth’s crust
we turn a corner catch our breath
the guide filling in gaps
stunned that so many men
spent their lives down here
ate slept shivered exited eventually
to return day after day
did they dare seek comfort

in one another’s arms

we shiver from black

to dark

to light
brought to the surface   to life    to summer

where heavy clouds have formed
lightning races the horizon
rumble of thick thunder
blanket of rain falls
to wash us clean of the abyss
we never have to return to

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

April 6, Friday – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Slam Season 4 finals: 8 pm Buddies In Bad Times Theatre

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Ferry Across Summertime

When I think of Gerry & The Pacemakers the first that comes to mind is Ferry Cross The Mersey but the song of theirs that has become my favourite is Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying. They followed in the wake of the Beatles but never built the sort of career the mop tops did. Yet I don’t think many of the other groups, including the Beatles, wrote songs as emotionally compelling as Ferry or Catch You.

I picked up a cd of their A’s B’s & EP’s some ten years ago when I started to reclaim my memories. I had a couple of their hits on a compilation of the era. The bad is solid, they do standard cover versions (Maybellene) along with originals. Sometime a little too musical hall for me or overly sprightly I do enjoy hearing them. They rarely manage that emotional tug that Ferry or Catch You give me though.

Next we come to George Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess film soundtrack. I have several recordings of this with Cleo Lane & Ray Charles, another with Fitzgerald & Armstrong taking on the score. Not to forget some jazz workings by Miles Davis, Herbie Mann. I may still have an operatic version too.

The music is fine but the actual books & lyrics are ‘problematic.’ Issue of cultural appropriation, race depiction all come in to play. I don’t know a great deal about the performance history of the piece but dread the though of black-face versions due to lack of black performers to do it. Opera itself has an odd relationship to cultural appropriation – Madam Butterfly being a prime example.

The film was directed by Otto Preminger. The score adapted by Andre Previn. A fine black cast. Wikipedia: “Although Dorothy Dandridge and Diahanna Carroll were singers, their voices were not considered operatic enough. Sammy Davis Jr., Brock Peters and Pearl Bailey (who played Sportin’ Life, Crown and Maria) were the only principals who provided their own singing.”

I greatly prefer the more Broadway take on Porgy & Bess – classically trained voices are distancing & unreal. The film versions are great fun, a bit stuffy perhaps but still good. Summertime has become such a classic in & of itself the list of covers of it are endless. Janis Joplin’s being one my person favourites. One can feel the summer heat as she sings it. Weather is -15C with windchill as I write this so that summer heat is welcome.

They Stayed

Tracy ducked behind the holly thicket at the corner of the stone steps. She held her breath as the two dark figures dragged and pushed her sister Monica up those stairs. The cold scrape of their heavy shoes rattled her shoulders, her spine. She wanted to jump out and confront them but knew that at this point that would just be a useless gesture.

Her sweater snagged on the black spiny branches of the bush, scratched through to her arms. She held her breath till she heard the doors clang shut. Tufts of the sweater clung to the bush as she pulled away from it. The harder she pulled the more other branches reached out to pull her back.

Was this a trap or a warning? Was the bush trying to protect her or trap her? Either way she had to be free or Monica would suffer. She stopped struggling. She took two slow deep breathes. The bush fell away. She was free.

At the foot of the steps one of them stood. Tall, thin. As colourless in the night as they were by day. What were they? She didn’t know but when one neared her flesh tingled. Male? Female? She didn’t know. No one did. Or if they did, no one had made that public.

Not much was known about them. No name for them. They appeared to be human. Faces – bland, blank, slightly different but impassive and immobile.

They had arrived in Maple Groove at the end of one summer. After a violent storm that had knocked out most of the tri-state area’s power. More rain fell in a day that had fallen in the past five years combined. Mud slides had damaged several farms, and a flood had swept away a season’s crops before harvesting. They arrived the day after the disaster.

At first folks had thought these were relief workers sent in by the government. They helped with sand bagging, clean-up, tending the ill. But they never left. They stayed. Silent and stationary.

Some would be stationed at street lights. Just standing there as cars whizzed by. Some stood at the doorways of schools, churches, in malls, at coffee shops. They never spoke, never bought anything. Crime disappeared. The next year’s crops where the best in several years.

That was almost ten years ago.


HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam


April 03 – every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked)

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We Need to Have Another Chat, Publishing: Why the 2017 Recs List is Late

Michael Matheson | A Dark and Terrible Beauty

I’ve been trying to put together my 2017 Recommended Reading List since early to mid-February when I finished reading for it. I’d originally intended to use it to help people find fiction to look at for the Nebulas and the Hugos, as I do. Then just the Hugos. I will not be making that latter deadline either.

The blog post sits, unfinished, in my Drafts folder. I open it occasionally, when I have time, and sit down to finish discussing the magazines I looked at (57 this time round, with 40 I’m talking about in brief, because I wanted to cover only free online mags and projects from 2017 — it’s an experiment, go with it), and talk about the state of the online field of speculative fiction publishing.

Every single time I sit down to work on that state of the field section I am incensed. This because I…

View original post 3,366 more words

Cleaning Up

On a recent Disability After Dark mini-podcast Andrew Gurza talked about the embarrassment of not being able to clean up properly after jacking off. In fact self-pleasure was something he (& his letter guest) found complex to even negotiate. As teen I had the ability to make this exploration in private. I didn’t have to find some code word to let my parents or anyone else know what I was up to. The need to keep it a secret was paramount in fact.

I was able to clean up myself but there was that crusty evidence. My mother once asked me what had happened to my socks? Oh, I … uh … stepped into some goo? Where, not in this house? I had no idea what to tell here. She said something like – Stay away from such dirty- disgusting habits.” This was one of the things that eventually pushed me into doing my own laundry.

I found out about jacking off from some guys that I casually knew – not even friends of mine. They were talking about growing pubic hair & then about ‘pulling themselves.’ They asked me if I had ever pulled myself & I hated to admit that I didn’t know what they meant.

All the sex talk I’d heard/had up to that point growing up in Cape Breton – I guess I was around 14 at the time – was about making out with girls, feeling them up, fingering them but nothing about playing with oneself. So one of them told what it was – how to do to & what result to expect. I tried it but nothing happened the first few times then I got the knack of it.

Did in the bathroom for a time but that lacked real privacy – hurry up, what are you dong in there – so the bed became the spot, though I did do it outside a few times where clean up of my surroundings wasn’t the issue issue – cleaning myself up was though. It was also the main reason I never shared my bedroom with my brother. I was fairly clear on that without giving a reason.

Even today that is one thing I rarely hear guys talk about. It’s as if admitting one still jacks off is a sign that no one wants them sexually so they are forced to satisfy themselves with help from porn. It’s become a sort of sad joke, last resort, as opposed to a fulfilling sexual expression.


he was one of those new scraggly clones

wisps of chin hair

glasses verging on skater punk nerd

laughing about venti coffee

even tossed out a latin phrase or two

but that wasn’t what I wanted tripping from his tongue


the frisky feel in the dark corner of the bar

made it clear he was packing more

than his super baggy jeans revealed

that was unless I was fooling myself

maybe he had a loaf of bread in his basket


when we got back to my place

my suspicions of unsliced was confirmed

he dropped his pants to reveal

the creature from the porn lagoon

thicker than the accents

of an entire Brazilian water polo team

his balls

whole worlds in the palm of my hand

his skin was like cozy flannel

his tongue a whispering clock

tasted of unripe apples

his teeth

warm endlessly round ice crystals

melted drooling draining

each step of the ten thousand to the the temple

his nipples express train rush pressure

for immersion into the guttural swamp of gasps

arm pits salt seasoned liquorice tempura teasing

ripple muscle stomach dunes

saharan but not parched for long

as we shifted camel humps

burdened with a growing treasure

an oasis of pubic eden

cilia savoury basil blue freshly crushed

rushed breathing deeply


this creature from the porn lagoon

an already oozing fountain

watermelon and baby power

his trembling tip tongue touch

amazing and transporting

back to back

face to face

tumble of choices chances escaping grasps

pushing back for more of the torment

his laugh now clinking in unfinished

coffee cups in my memory


HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

April 03 – every Tuesday

June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked)

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Joy To Compost


Working through the  227 Rules For Monks. Who knew the simple life could be so complex. This another of the 92 pācittiyas.

Joy To Compost

on the thirteenth day of Christmas

streets are lined with death

discarded red wrapping paper

crushed into snowbanks

silver garlands mashed into ice

green ribbons wind tossed into trees

gold bows under snow tires

unopened gifts jammed

into recycle bins

broken ornaments in gutters

eager excitement drained


on the thirteenth day of Christmas

dead pine trees

sacrificed for someone’s joy

threads of stubborn scarlet tinsel

remainders reminders

that pleasure

like life

is temporary

that death is permanent


on the thirteenth day of Christmas

my true love sent to me

the message of

dust to dust

joy to compost

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Don’t Laugh


Don’t Laugh

don’t laugh

if I say your body

is a temple of love

I’m not saying my whole world

turns around you

or turns around the body

of any man


I’m not seeking confirmation

agreement or even approval

of what I say

about your body

holding it in my arms

as I feel you pull them

closer around you

that touch of flesh

that tentative kiss

are all rituals forms

without them

others I may encounter

aren’t as sacred


don’t laugh

I know how corny

romantic this sounds

the images are as stale as

communion wafer

take and eat

for this is my body


what harm is there

in not being original every time

I say something about your body

your tongue

the ride to satisfaction

each time you arrive

I build this moment

add to this memory

that I can retreat to

when you aren’t here

not to worship

but to reflect upon

Occasionally I write something so romantic it is hard to admit that I am in fact such a romantic. It’s easy for me to share in-your-pants raunch but to write a piece so direct, sexy (without being explicit) &  kind of silly is almost fresh. The saṃghādisesas is about building a monastery so the jump to a temple isn’t such a big one.

Guys I see often have body-image issues to the degree that if I say how much I like their body they are embarrassed or react as if I’m saying nice things to get my way, or to thank them for letting them get their way but as the piece states: I’m not seeking confirmation  agreement   or even approval. I’m just stating a fact so they don’t think there’s only one or two body parts I’m interested in.

The tentative kiss is a reference to an actual person (see The Mindful Kiss https://wp.me/p1RtxU-2Or). I doubt if I would go as far as to tell anyone their ‘body is a temple of love’ because that sort of imagery as compliment has become so trite as to be a joke & not at all sincere. To tell someone you love their body is as far as we usually go. That florid romantic poetry stuff is lost in this age of irony.


I had fun writing this piece & didn’t have to work hard at it either. It wrote itself when I surrendered to the temple of love. A surrender that I have no regret in making, either in this piece, or when I have that actual temple in front of me.

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Lazarus Kiss Finale

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.


Lazarus Kiss.63

He went to his cubical and there was the latest Mac.0Z lap top with a note – “We heard that yours got fried and there’s no way we’ll let you leave home without one.”

Next stop was Plaza Place.

“Mr. Stevens welcome home.” The concierge at Plaza Place went up in the elevator with him. “We’ve had maintenance working twenty-four hours a day to get your place cleaned up. I’m sure it will be to your satisfaction.” He followed Harris into the condo.

This time it smelt of fresh paint.

“Looks like we matched your color pretty well.”

“Not too well I hope. It was time to repaint I think.” He looked around. “It’s fine. Thanks.”

“And this arrived while you were gone.” The concierge left.

It was a large crate from Santa’s Sex Toy Shoppe.. He pulled off the envelope stuck to it.

“Harris – you are my hero – hope this replaces Andy – sorry it’s still male – we’re still working out the difficulties with the female lady parts. Daria”

He wanted the old Andy.

He called Grandest Tours to confirm that his reservations were still valid. They were not. The extension was only good for twenty-four hours and there was nothing they could do a such short notice.

Fuming he called the airline. There was nothing they could do either except make sure he wasn’t charged for the flight he missed, if he sent them supporting police documentation. He bit the bullet and booked the first available flight the next afternoon. Carlos at Casa Della was most happy to shift the dates of his stay. News of his amazing rescue by the sex toy was all the talk of the island and would he consider bringing it with him. Harris promised to only if Casa Della would pay shipping costs.


He next called Alex to meet him at Mug Thuggs cafe.

“Harris, you look okay for a guy who was nearly tossed of his balcony.”

“Thanks, I guess.” He had hoped that shedding the curse would dispel the ambivalent feelings he had about Alex. “You know in a way you helped save me.”


Harris explained about sampling his voice to use it for Andy. “You should have seen his face when you, via Andy said ‘Is that the best you can do. I can take it a lot harder than that.’”

They both laughed. Alex was handsome. There was no denying that but Harris didn’t feel any sexual attraction for him.

“I’m getting out of town, out of the country to recuperate. Aruba.”

“I …. I’ve been considerin’ what went on between us, ya know. That time when we … I … you … we made out at m’ place and I …. ”

“Spooged all over me?”


They both laughed.

“I kinda enjoyed that. Ya didn’ though.”

“I was never into it as much as you were.”

“But how can ya be sure, ya know, if we’re both under this spell.”

“Alex, I don’t know. I don’t want to know.”

“Yeah but I never ever thought of being with a guy. At least not outside of the ring.”

“Look we’re been through this before. The only abs I ever coveted were the Cyclops’s.” Harris said.

“He’s a comic book character. It’s not that I dislike you or anything like that Alex, but there’s nothing between us.”
“Right. That’s what I reckon. It came t’ me the other day. I guess while ya were fightin off that guy. That curse thing of yours is what put us t’gether, right?”

“Exactly. It wasn’t as if we were consciously physically attracted to each other. The curse is broken.”

“Somethin’ has changed. I can look at you, be with you and not feel that crazy itch for you that was driving me the other times.” Alex nodded.

“Right. That sense I had of ‘I don’t want but I have to’ is gone.” Harris resisted reaching over to give Alex’s hand a sympathetic pat. “We’re free of it and each other.”

“So you’re off to Aruba?”
“Oh yeah. Can’t wait. Sun. Fresh air. All that will heal more of me than my skin.”

“Sounds like a relaxing time.”

“One of my thoughts while I was being tasered was that I hope I don’t have to cancel my trip because of this asshole.” He laughed. “But I sure missed that flight. Spent a hour on the phone before I called you to get another one. At three times the cost. It better be worth it.”

“Oh yeah. First flight with a seat was mid-afternoon. At least I don’t have to hustle out in the morning. Casa Della here I come.”

Harris sensed this was the movie moment for a kiss but stuck out his hand. They shook and Alex got on his bike. He watched Alex peddle off. He felt a sadness to see Alex go, to have this part of his life over. It was unresolved but Harris saw no way to resolve it. With the curse broken there was no need to resolve it.


Trevor picked him at Plaza Place the next morning.

“Ma needed her car but Nalisha was happy to let us use hers.’
Harris tossed his bag into the back seat and got in.

“Thanks Nalisha.”

“It is not often I get to help a spiritual warrior.”


“I know the battle you waged. When I came to your house with Trevor your mother told me you had been talking about Lazarus in your delirium. You’re familiar with the story of Lazarus?” Nalisha asked.

“Jesus raised him from dead?” Trevor answered.

“Yes. Jesus had a great love for Lazarus and pleaded with God to let Lazarus live. Lazarus could not die.  At least not in the way humans died. In his wanderings it occurred to him that if he could give his blessing away he might die. He wrote various blessings, sealed them with his blood and gave them to his children to share with people who needed to blessed, as he had needed to be blessed by Christ.

“To a poor man he give the blessing of abundance, to an ugly man he gave the blessing of love and so on. As he gave each blessing he weakened. He had written seven of these but by the time the fourth had been bestowed was dead.”

“What were the seven blessing?” Harris asked.

“No one knows. We only have records of those two in particular. The blessings have more layers than an onion. It goes through many levels of a person’s life, and of human history.

“Like Rowell, who gave the blessing to your family tree. It freed him of the blessing but as a result he had to pay a price for giving it away. His price was his life. To be fully free it was not enough to give it away. One had to give it back to …. Lazarus.”

“That’s what Rowell meant when he said ‘I have gifted the wrong man’ when he was burning at the stake.”

“You see Harris! You are a spiritual warrior. Only such a warrior could make that connection.”

“Yeah, whatever.” He laughed as he got out of the car at the airport. “Just don’t say it’s a blessing to make that sort of connection. I’ll send you a post card.”

The airport had new security checks so was glad he’d kept his luggage very light. The ticket agents were cool and efficient. No problems with his flights. No one with that gleam in their eye as they glanced at him.

He got a coffee and a toasted caraway rye bagel with a lite cream cheese and sat in the waiting area. He relaxed as he blended into a mass of strangers. None of whom would make any demands on him. No one was tailing him, protecting him. He hadn’t been by himself, alone, like this for ages. He could indulge in sweet, simple thoughts about white sand, look at a couple of time-shares. Was this was the time to make that down payment?

The flight boarded on time. The seat next to him was empty after the plane took off. The only ripple was a crying baby.

The stewardess stopped to tell each passenger that infants often reacted to the change in air pressure but once they got used it the child would quiet down.

He declined the planes headphones. He didn’t want to watch movies or keep up with the news. He wanted to start his vacation by leaving all that behind.

As soon as the plane had taken off Harris put in his ear buds, reclined his seat and drifted off to the Song of Venus on Tomita’s Bermuda Triangle. He was woken from his sleep by the stewardess.

“I’m sorry to disturb you sir. But would you mind it if one of the passengers took this empty seat. He’s stuck in the seat by the cranky child.”

“Sure.” He put his earbuds back in and was drawn quickly back into the music.

He kept his eyes closed as he made room for the passenger to get past him. The man smelled strongly of peppermint.

“Thanks.” the man said.

Harris could barely hear him though his earbuds. “No problem” he replied.

“M’ first time to Aruba.” the man spoke a little louder. The voice was familiar.

Harris opened his eyes. Alex was sitting next to him.

“Holy fuck!” he pulled his ear buds out.

“Didn’t reckon ya could get rid of me that easily? Did you?”


Yes! The end of this serialization. But it’s not the end of Lazarus Kiss. I will be doing another, more final draft before publishing the PDF & then hunting down someone to create the mobi version. The next draft will expand the Lazarus mythos itself . What are the other Lazarus Kisses? Will our heroes become Kiss Hunters to rid mankind of these ‘blessings’? Will Harris realize he misses his Kiss & want to get it back? Will he Alex ever go beyond rubbing each other the right way?

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



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

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