“art is life – not an imitation”

 

Breaking In Grief 

he wore

his dead son’s sneakers

bought a month before

the son’s step off into oblivion

new shoes a sign of hope

of a future planned for

not of a life too soon to be ended

 

they found the sneakers

still in their box

in the cupboard

worn once to try them on

designer expensive

too nice to toss or donate

so he’s wearing them now

it gives me the creeps

practicality in the face of catastrophe

 

I visited home

the summer after my father died

his death was sudden

it was the body that gave out

he didn’t go out of his way

to find that oblivion

I went through his clothes

to help my sister winnow out

throw out donate

to share some memories

I end up keeping a a couple of jackets

that actually fit me

with enough style to suit me

 

the shirt and pants

were easy to part with

most of the shoes too

my Dad was all business

when it came to shoes

his idea of comfort were

hard onyx red oxfords

there was box with a new pair

only worn to try them on

they sort of fit me

very stuff and inflexible

never being broken in

expensive

I take them

 

I wear them a few times

then drop them in a clothing box

they don’t fit

right size but wrong shape

maybe that’s why my Dad never

wore them either

the life my Dad hoped I would fit into

was also the right size

but the wrong shape

I was unwilling to do the work

that would break me in

so it would be a comfortable fit

 

I meet my friend one day

he’s sporting his son’s

wildly neon runners

it’s been a year after the death

he finally feels okay to to walk in grief

a grief he’ll never leave

but ready

to walk forward with it

This is a piece that wrote itself. A close friend of mine in recovery had recently had his son step off a balcony to his death. Helping his daughter-in-law in going through the son’s possession they found the running shoes. He did opt to keep them. These details are facts. The neon is my poetic liberty. It was the this reversal of the cliche that struck me – usually its the son filling his father’s shoes.

Which lead me to me filling my Dad’s shoes. Once again the facts are true – me helping my sister – this was back in 2002 (I think). I still havre those jackets & ear one of them frequently enough. The other is saved for special occasions. The only oxfords are real too though my father preferred more comfortable shoes for ordinary wear.

I did try them a couple of times before donating them. To fill tour father’s shoes also means to take on the life he lead, to fulfill those expectations of fitting into the normative culture – something I never did. I’m not even sure how hard I tried because it was clear I’d never do it – it would never fit.

My friend dealt with, is still dealing with, his tragedy. He spoke about his pain & struggle openly. I’ve performed this piece frequently & it has undergone a fair bit of tweaking to get the tenses right, the flow of information smooth. It is the last piece in my recent chapbook – though this edit is different yet again.

When I performed it at the chapbook launch earlier this year, I wore one of my Dad’s jackets. My friend came to hear me & he was wearing his son’s sneakers. Sometimes art is life – not an imitation.

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Lazarus Kiss.38

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

*41*

It was 9:50 when Alex arrived at Story. Enough time to put on his official wait staff shirt and apron.

“Replaced Linda that fast.” Cally smirked.

“Whaddya mean.” Did he smell any different after being with Harris? Box breath was one thing but man sweat was another.

“You have look in your eyes that you get when you’ve just fucked some girl’s brains out.”

“First off I don’t dig ‘girls’ I prefer women. Adult women, preferably with jobs. And second it’s none of your business and you can tell Linda that too.”

Saturday was one of the live music nights at Story. Tonight was a regular band – Plusher an Usher cover band. Slinky, but loud, soul which Alex found easier to take than Meatillica, a Metallica tribute band that was merely loud and distorted. Plusher brought in women whereas Meatillica brought in over-the-hill guys in their forties who thought they were still in their teens. The women smelled better, tipped better and the men didn’t annoy the female staff by trying to get lucky.

Loud music always meant lots of leaning closer than usual to tables to hear orders. Sweet smelling women were always more enjoyable than guys who hadn’t showered and hoped their aftershave would do the job.

His duties were to clear, pass orders on to wait staff and sometimes deliver them. He got his usual share of women flirting with him and at least two inappropriate touches. He’d learned never to shave before going to work on Plusher nights. The women couldn’t resist feeling his stubble. One went further and actually rode her hand under his apron to get a good feel of his equipment.

He stopped her. “Ma’am. The zipper is always up.”

She laughed. “That’s not what I heard. I’m a friend of Gemma. You know from last week. She recommends your special back alley service very highly.”

“Thank her for me.” he disengaged her hand. Her heavily jewelled bracelet sparked in the light. Is that what real diamonds look like? “Tonight is strictly table service.” He stepped away. Her musky rose perfume seemed to cling to his apron as he smoothed it down.

“Too bad.” the woman made a playful yet disappointed face. “Here, hot stuff, this’ll change your mind.”

She a handed him a twenty folded around a tin-foil twist. He knew it was coke.

“Thanks.” He took the twist out and pocketed the twenty.

“As you can see there is more than one of us tonight who have heard about the great service here.” She nodded to the two women who were with her.

In this light they all appeared to be in their late 20’s. Not the sort who’d have to resort to this, but what they wanted was control, the sense of power that came from buying what they wanted when they wanted. He understood that.

“There’s more where that came from especially if you can get him …” she eye-balled Dezum, one of the bartenders. “ … to join in. After work of course.”

“I’m flattered but I could lose my job.”

“Didn’t seem to bother you and Gemma, did it?”

He cleared their table and went over to Dezum, gave him the twist. “A tip from the gals at 12. They asked for your black ass in partic’lar.”

Dex looked over and women waved to him.

“Tempting.” Dezum chuckled.

“Fend for yourself.”

Alex took a tray of drinks to another table. He saw Dezum go over to thank the ladies personally and could hear his deep laugh as he joked with him.

Normally this was an offer he’d accept but tonight it was more amusing than appealing.

The head of his cock twitched as he recalled it sliding along Harris stomach. The seemingly endless smoothness of it. Like a pussy without lips but friction. To fuck that flesh without a safe. To know he could shoot off and not have to worry if it was too soon or if some broad had an orgasm herself. Not to have to prove his manliness by pleasing her. To shoot off and not worry about getting her knocked up.

Then there was the feel of Harris’s legs clamped around his. Strong muscular legs that Alex wasn’t afraid of bruising or breaking as he humped harder than he’d humped before. Without needing to be delicate here, hard there. One solid endless thrust.

If that was gay sex then he dug it. Sex without penetration. How fucked was that. He was glad his apron covered the boner he had developed.

The night went quickly. Twice he gently but firmly declined the party and play offer from the women who had made the generous offer. At the end of the night he assured them they be well pleased with Dezum and Hassler the two barman who had agreed to ‘see them home safely.’

Riding his bike home he replayed his tumble with Harris. Harris never surrendered but didn’t resist all that much either. The pulse of his coming was clear in his mind. The thrill of it building, his rearing up to give it room to explode, the feel of Harris’s cock as it bumped against his balls. The panic when he felt it touching his butt threatening to go up his ass. No way that was in the picture. No way.

His cock up Harris’s big round ass, maybe, but never the other way around.

Yet that panic, the fear of the pain of being fucked in the ass give his orgasm an endless thrust that he had shot off twice. Twice! Who knew men could have multiple orgasms.

He was hard when he stored his bike between the houses.

As vivid as his memory of his orgasm was and how clear the feel of his cock against Harris’s stomach was, he couldn’t recall what Harris’s cock looked like. Had he seen it? Sure he had played with it through the barrier of clothing but he hadn’t handled it. The accidental brush of it against his asshole didn’t count as touching.

If he hadn’t touched a cock, or had his handled by a man, he couldn’t be queer. He was another oversexed guy who didn’t care how he got off. Right?

*42*

The last time his mother called to say she had a surprise it was that his folks were going to Florida for the winter.

“What would Sunday brunch be without a surprise of my own.” He gave her a selection of the face cream samples that SofSknX had sent to dE.tail. They had sent enough for a staff of twenty.

“Thank you Harris.”

“Morning Dad.” He and his Dad exchanged quick shoulder hugs. “I’ve read the Tobias pages a few times. He fell under the spell but never knew it.”

“I know. I know. But we do have a surprise for you.”

“I’m all ears.”

“It’s upstairs. In your room.” His Dad grinned.

They followed him as he went up the stairs.

“You mean you’ve finally remodelled it? About time.”

He opened the door and crossed legged on the floor was a young man reading one of Harris comic books, with dozens of them strewn all around him. Harris felt he had stepped through a time warp and walked in on himself twenty years ago.

“Hi. Cool collection.” The young man stood quickly, careful not to step on any of the comic books. “You must be Harris. I’m Marshall Caldwell.”

They looked one another up and down. Harris was wishing he had worn less comfortable clothes. Their eyes met.

“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.”

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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Take The Ferry

I have a fair bit of Bryan Ferry in my collection. On a mp3 cd I have These Foolish Things; Boys and Girls; Bete Noire. Tucked away on another couple mo3 collections are Another Time; Dylanesque; Ultimate Collection. Not to mention Roxy Must (but that’ll wait until I get to R) So I guess I am a fan.

His non-Roxy work was an opportunity for him to explore a less progressive sound. There was always that longer lizard singer quality to his voice which he clearly relishes and make sure of in the many cover songs that are scattered over these lps. In fact Dylanesque is all, as you might expect, Bob Dylan material.

Sometimes the covers work: It’s My Party is fun; Walk a Mile in My Shoes sounds like Holiday Inn bar singer. He clearly enjoyed breaking free from the creative demands of Roxy Music. If you aren’t familiar with his non-Roxy work any of these is a good starter.

On the mp3 collection I also added – Cabaret Voltaire: Micro-Phonies. I have a cassette dupe of this lp given to me by a friend. It was my introduction to the group which I loved. More artsy rock with goth underpinnings. Also Ultravox’s Quartet – a band more in the Bowie fold – with sweeping emotionality & art rock leanings. I had this as a cassette before upgrading to a Deluxe release of this lps & love having it.

Orientation

‘For the purposes of this orientation session we will divide into groups of seven.’ The dean smiled as he looked from face to face. ‘This way you will have smaller groups to meet. Each group will have fifty minutes for exchange of whatever they choose to exchange. Then new groups will be formed, of seven different people. Any questions?’

‘What if there is an odd man or woman out. Like there may not be an exact multiple of seven?’ I didn’t want to ask any questions but this one was so glaring I knew someone had to ask it.

‘Sycorax? Is that your name? The group will be rounded off to the seventh by one or two of the seniors. To make this easier each of you has been assigned a number which the Randomizer will flash. When your number is up go to the senior holding that number.’

This certainly wasn’t as simple as it sounded. The confusion that resulted took more time to sort out that it seemed to be worth to me. But at last my first group congregated by the Midwich Clock Tower. We sat on the steps.  Lear was the leader.

‘Okay,’ Lear cracked his knuckles. Small sparks flew in the air. ‘Oops. A bad habit of mine. Now this is the acquainting no one ever enjoys, so I’m going to make it as hard as possible. I want you each to tell something about yourself that no one here probably knows. We’ll start with you …. Griffin?’

‘Why me.‘ Griffin pushed the bangs of his oversized Afro away from his ritually scarred face. ‘Well. I’m …. I’m …. black.’

We all laughed.

‘Seriously though. I suppose whatcha all might not know about me is that when I was twelve I killed two men. I didn’t mean to but …’

‘That’s enough for now. Justification is a later stage.’

 

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kiss3

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Me and My Lamp Post

The Shaw Festival production of Me and My Girl: Directed by Ashlie Corcoran was a sheer delight. Well-paced, effectively staged it held my attention from beginning to end – even through the repeated curtain calls. Great songs helped – though only a few of them are that well-known: The Lambeth Walk & Leaning on a Lamp Post – thanks to my English heritage they had some resonance.

A cracker-jack ensemble dances, sings, moves sets with clockwork precision. Lead Michael Therriault as Bill Snibson brings a great sense of fun plus a Tommy Steele glint to his role of the commoner who gets turned into a Lord. As Sally, his girl friend  Kristi Frank is fresh, fun & believable. Élodie Gillett’s Jacquie Carstone is sexy, predatory & sweet at the same time. Jay Turvey’s Parchester with his very Gilbert & Sullivan-esque theme song “The Family Solicitor” managed to steal the scene every time it was used.

Parker Esse’s choreography was also scene-stealing thanks to an amazing ensemble who shifted from energetic Broadway hoofing to tap with ease. I loved the Lamp Post dream ballet. It was clear that everyone was enjoying the show. They loved to dance, to sing, to entertain & the audience was drawn in to the show & kept captivated to final bow. Highly recommended.

 

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Flash Porn

On a recent Disability After Dark Andrew Gurza (aka Flash Wellington) talks about his longing to do porn. Part of that longing comes from his push for representation – there are no visibly disabled porn ‘stars’ that he knows of. He also discusses the logistics of his performing in porn: personal care assistants, physical limitations etc. Very logical thinking. Would I watch such gay porn? Probably but mainly because I follow Andrew’s podcast.

It would also depend on the main drawing power of porn, for most men, which is the size of the dick. As for representation anything outside of the hairless white twink is considered fetish or niche – wait, it has now become – the hairless, but tattooed, white twink, with a sizeable dick. It seems that though the camera adds pounds, it does not add inches.

Without boring anyone with my own personal preferences I will admit that I have over the years explored porn options. Of course what is now available thanks to the Internet was often unheard of when I was first seeking any sort of gay stimulation. Most of it was illegal in Canada in the day & those rules changed from province to province as well. At one time what was legal in Quebec could get you jailed in Ontario. Friends smuggled porn in spare tires when they returned from trips to the USA. The Internet changed that. In the days of limited access, representation wasn’t an issue.

Andrew already has his porn actor name ‘Flash Wellington.’ A good start on his career 🙂 I’d certainly throw some $ into a patreon call for support to get him into porn. But he’s in for a somewhat rude awakening as to his fantasy of the camaraderie. The social context is as workplace as technical as a hospital & sometimes as clinical.

Nordstrom http://wp.me/p1RtxU-1fO 

one of the great feast days in our village

was Founders Day

when we would be forced to recite

the saga of Mikke Nordstrom

the first human to set foot on this land

from where he had come remains unknown

all we have is the birch bark

on which he wrote in moose blood

‘I Mikke Nordstrom do hereby establish

a village on this spot’

he built the first trading post strip joint

from that quickly sprouted

what we know as our village today

 

to celebrate there would be reenactments

of his writing the proclamation

every one of the villagers

had to write it out a hundred times

then bring it to the bishop for certification

we couldn’t start the celebration

till this had been done

after that

would be the cleansing of the pudding

followed by the washing

of the 10,001 steps of the cathedral

this washing had to be done in silence

the only sound was the brush of moose hide

as the steps were polished by the village virgins

 

once they reached the top

the combined choir would sing

‘our moose in thee we are strong’

‘smelts be praise to God’

my mother always cried at this point

as she stood up to survey the streets

filled with proud citizens

 

after the silence was broken by our jubilant songs

there would be green apple pies to be eaten

cats to be annoyed

boys would be sent to the Whistling Woods

to lead the lost men

back to the village square

to be washed and have their wounds tended

sometimes these reclaimed men

would return to their families

some would slink back to the Woods

preferring the cold shelter of moose bones

to being a part of society

 

in the evening the fathers would gather

to tell us of the great wars

of how our village

had helped change the course of reality

once night was fully upon us

we would fumble through the dark streets

to the strip joints to relax

as the women danced on the unlit stage

 

in the morning there would be gifts

tokens of our village’s proud heritage

usually small aluminum amulets

with the face of Mikke Nordstrom

embossed on one side

and the village motto

colpejar als pobres ‘beat up the poor’

inscribed on the other

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Poor Me

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. These are from the 30 nissaggiyas. This is where  19 Not to use money  took me.

Poor Me

his look

calculated my worth

the cost of my shoes

was the measure

of his interest

his respect would be gauged

by the tailoring of my shirt

by the cut of my jeans

how professionally distressed they were

by what he could see

and what he saw

wasn’t up to his standards

which were clearly

the only standards that mattered

not that he was superficial

by any stretch of the imagination

he could discuss Hegel

he knew the Chinese poets

but would discuss them

with those whose status

was equal to his

my shoes just weren’t up to it

even though they were new shoes

even though my clothes

were recent    fresh

they just didn’t have

the right thread count

to support my point of view

as far as he was concerned

 

once again

being poor pays off

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Cost of Free

Cost of Free

saying no

to what I don’t need

hasn’t gotten easier

not that I’m not tempted

by things I want

when the price is right

 

even if there is no point

in having them

it is harder to say no

 

there is no such thing as enough

of having too much

as much as the next fellow

I long to have too much

but I have no place to put it

I can’t afford the cost of free

it piles up and up

so when I get what I need

I don’t have room for it

 

I’ve been filled to the brim

with what I was taught to want

by this culture of more is better than enough

especially when the price is right

when the price is

you have always pay a little every day

not all at once

take your time

but keep on paying

because if you don’t need it now

you will eventually

down the road you’ll be glad

to be suffocating in the free for all

It is said there is no such thing as a free lunch – nothing comes without some sort of cost, even that is an emotional cost. I even feel a twinge of guilt in throwing out those ‘free’ chards & not pads that come from charities begging for money. I wonder how much of my charity $, if I sent them any, goes to the printers of these calendars as opposed to going the cause they are raising $ for?

Free often comes with the condition than you are now on their email list, or that you will enjoy the first taste enough to keep on buying more & more. We have to keep the wheels of commerce going, don’t you know, so that when the economy fails it is our fault for not spending enough. Add though that when the economy fails its the ones with the least already that suffer the most. Sears gives big bonuses to the execs who declared bankrupt while the worked get sent packing without barely a thank you & their pension funds vanished. There’ll be no government bail out for me.

Anyway I digress. This piece isn’t all that subtle in its look at those hidden strings & costs to the free. ‘Dinner is on me, but you better come across.’ ‘I’ll treat but you’ll have to listen to every detail about my latest trip to Glace Bay’ Everything comes with some expectation.

Also part of this commercial culture is disposability. The auto industry was built on the need to replace as opposed to sustain. A new car every year. How many pairs of shoes does one need anyway? I am as guilty of the need for more as the next guy. But I have made a pact with myself that when new comes in something old goes out.

One of the hidden costs of having a house is this need to fill it with stuff, to fill storage space with old stuff to make room for the new. I have magazines from the 60’s that I can’t discard. Guests are always stunned to see the quantity stuff here – dads books cds. It’s a good thing they never see what is out of sight. One feel sorry for the man with one pair of socks. I met a guy once who only had two plates, two knives, forks etc. Less to wash. I wish I could make my life that simple.

 

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Lazarus Kiss.36

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.36

“First grade bullies ata new school pushed me ‘round. I went nuts. Beat the crap out o’one of ‘em. Broke his nose ‘fore they broke us up. I was small. When I got goin’ nothin’d stop me. I got angry easy. M’ma figured I should get a way to … direct that anger.”

“Won’um high-school.” Alex took the trophy. “Meant to get rid of ‘em but never could.”

“I wasn’t into sports.” Harris patted his belly. “This is enough weight for me to lift.”

Harris looked at the framed photos of Alex along the wall  by the door.

“From when I was on the pro circuit.”

One of them showed Alex shaking hands with a man in a business suit who presented him an ornate belt.

“Won m’ division that year. Called it quits soon after though.” Alex sipped his beer.

“Looks like a lot of work.”
“I enjoyed it. It was a way to channel m’energy. A polite way of sayin’ I had anger management issues. Never saw a fight I could resist even if I didn’t start it. Linda said I had somethin’ to prove. I never reckon what.”

“That you were the toughest?”

“Maybe somethin’ like that.”

“So why did you stop?”

“Funny t’ing was, the more I fought, the angrier I got, ya know. Got me more pumped up. I got bored of trash talk before and after the bouts. Huffin’ an’ puffin’. Too much worry about what to say, when I wanted to be poundin’.”

“What was your fight name?”

“Fuck.” Alex laughed. “ ‘Ats professional wrestling. No masks or capes for us. This was nothin’ like that. Bareknuckles an’ brute strent. I fought as m’self. Sometimes I’d be called the Axeman. That’s A X E not Ass. Alex ‘the Axeman’ S. People liked them ‘x’s.” Alex became more animated as he spoke.

“Sounds like you miss it.”

“Yeah. It felt good t’ sweat. T’ bleed and win. Th’ other crap took too much space in m’ head. Always havin’ t’ be huffin’ and puffin’ t’ get people t’ notice ya. Bad as pro wrestling. Then …” he finished his beer. “Another?”

“No. I’m still working on this one. Then what?”

“We sometime did this run t’Detroit. Had to be careful. It was under cover exhibition matches. Not sanctioned. Plus we couldn’t fight and get paid in the states. I never understood that part of it but this time a guy got hurt. Bad. By me. I just lost it. Hurt him real bad.” Alex stopped. “Something came over me while we were going at it. Testoserone or I don’t know what.”

“By bad you mean … ”

“He died. Doc said something his brain popped. That it coulda anytime but picked while I was poundin’ him in the face. That was when I tore m’ back. I used that … ya know to get out of d’ game. Back shit they understood. Killing a guy was suppose t be good for a rep. That wasn’t the rep I wanted.”

Harris wasn’t sure what to say. Knowing more about Alex didn’t ease the longing the curse had forced upon him instead he was more emotionally drawn to him.

“It shook me up. I could’t get back in the ring. Tried a few times but it made me sick. I did this’n’that. Bartending. Ya know the stuff ya do when ya got no skills.  Bartending. Waiting table.”

“My life hasn’t been that exciting. I was one of those nerdy guys. Dirty thoughts and little action. My biggest thrill was to get to the comic book store. This curse thing has pushed me out of my comfort zone a lot too. I didn’t know I was in such a …. a rut. Made a few changes. Finally cut my hair.”

“I remember guys like you when I was in school. Sorry to say, loved shoving you around. To prove how tough I was, so no one else would shove me around.”

“How ironic … no … paradoxical that we’d end up pushed together like this. The bully and the bullied.” Harris wanted to make Alex not feel bad about his past. “We all get caught up in …. doing things without knowing what we were doing at the time. Like how this curse has put us together. Neither of us planned it, plotted it or thought about it while it was happening.”

“We gotta to live with it.” Alex put his hand on Harris’s inner thigh.

“I have to get going.” Harris finished his beer. “I have a date. Glad I could help with your spooge residue.” That was true, if he met up with Becky, it sounded like a total lie once he said it.

They both stood at the same time.

“You’re as scared as I am aren’t you.” Alex faced him. “I don’t know much, this family curse of your or whatever it is, but it is tearing me up inside. We can’t keep avoid where it’s pushing us. We can’t.”

The beer bottle Alex clutched cracked in his grip.

“Shit!” he dropped it. Beer sloshed on to Harris feet.

“You okay?”

“I reckon so.” Alex turned his hand,  palm up. “Didn’t cut m’self. My hide is tough from wiping all those tables.”

He ran his hand along Harris’s arm.

“Does it feel rough to you?”

“No.” Harris took a deep breath and stepped into Alex’s arms.

They embraced.  Alex’s forehead was at Harris chin hight. He looked up and bit Harris lightly on the jaw, continued biting as Harris lowered his head so they could kiss. This time Alex wasn’t as forceful as he had been at his apartment the night of the rain storm. His tongue tasted of beer.

“That wasn’t all that bad.” Alex stepped back. “Sit. This’ll make it easier for ya. Like I told ya this man on man, was a shocker to me. I couldn’t shake it, I figured if I watched what it was all about it would enough. Ya know get rid of these … urges. I watched this porno. I can’t tell ya how many I gave up on after five seconds. I got computer feed hooked into the TV.”

The porn started. It was called Learning to Pitch For The Other Team. It was two guys meeting on a street. They were guys Harris saw everyday on the subway or walking down the street. Average Joe’s with decent figures. Not gym buff at all.

While he watched, Alex got them another couple of beers.

The guys in the porno were suddenly in a living room. On the wall over the couch were a pair of baseball pennants. They talked about a ball game they were going to later that day. The taller of the two went to the kitchen and brought back a couple of beers.

They continued to talk. Sat closer.

Alex sat closer to Harris. As one of the guys on the screen put his arm around the other Alex did the same to Harris. The other guy put his hand on tall guy’s thigh. Harris did that. The guys in the porn talked but Harris couldn’t hear them. All he could sense was Alex close to him, his own hand moving along Alex’s thigh, to his crotch. Alex’s legs opened wider.

“Yeah. You wanna touch that, don’t you.” Alex breathed into his ear. “Go on.”

Harris didn’t want to touch. It was like adjusting a graphic image only he could actually feel it.

Alex kissed him. His stubble rubbed Harris’s face. He pushed Alex away.

“No, Alex! This is way too much.”

“Slowly. We can take it slow.” Alex pulled Harris tee-shirt off. Ran his tongue from his collar bone and down to his nipples. He bit gently, than harder.

Harris began to push him away but it felt okay. The slight pain was pleasant enough. The warm tongue mixed the with the scrape of stubble, the solid bite of teeth. Plus it was being done to him. He merely had to let it happen.

Alex moved to the other nipple and while he bit, his hand massaged Harris’s cock. Harris was surprised that he got hard. It didn’t make sense to him but curse or not, if this good looking guy wanted to suck his dick, such is life.

Alex stopped biting his nipples to kiss him again. “This isn’t too much for you is it.”

“I guess not.” He kissed back. Their tongues moving together. He let Alex guide his hand back on his cock as he continued to caress Harris’s.

“Why don’t we get out of these.” Alex stood, pulled off his polo shirt at the same time. He hauled Harris to his feet. With bare belly to bare belly he unbuckled, then pushed Harris’s jeans down, wriggled out of his sweat pants.

“Let’s … take a shower?” Harris suggested. “I’ve been at work all day, you know. I may not be my freshest.” He laughed. Anything to delay the inevitable.

“Sure. It’s this way.”

The bathroom was tiny. The shower stall was barely large enough for two people to stand up but not to wash. They had to slip and slide around each other to get under the shower head.

“I’ll just help you soap up and rinse down.”

Alex’s hands moved quickly all over Harris’s body. Touching his cock, balls, awkwardly washing his feet. He started on Harris’s ass and stopped.

“I can’t go there.” He spit water. “I thought I could but I can’t” He stepped out of the shower.

Harris followed.

#Toronto #amwriting #dating #lgbtq #nanowrimo #novel

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G  Whizzes

Henryk Gorecki is a composer caught in the ‘big hit’ category thanks to his powerful Symphony No. 3. Dawn Upshaw’s performance in the Cantabile section sent this piece to the top of the classical charts for decades. I love the deep lulling emotional resonance of this symphony – yet have not felt the need to seek out more by Gorecki. A must have for any classical fan or anyone who enjoys those emotionally compelling musical moments in motion picture funerals.

Louis Moreau Gottschalk: A Night in the Tropics. Here we have the opposite of Gorecki – a nearly forgotten AfroAmerican classical composer. Part of my personal mandate to widen my musical worldview to seek out what is rarely represented to the view of the world I get. This is rich, playful & pleasant program music. Impressionist with w strong Creole flavour. A clear inspiration for Scott Joplin.

So this wider world view moves from Polish, to AfroAmerican to Spanish with 3 cds of Enrique Granados’s piano music: Goyscas/Folk Songs; Piano Music 7; Piano Music 8. I first heard Segoiva playing guitar transcriptions & was fully expecting Granados to have written only for guitar & was amazed that in fact piano was his focus. The music is full of great for melody, subtle Spanish sadness & joy. Goyescas are his impressions of the famous & sometimes disturbing etchings of Goya.

 

Impressionistic, romantic at times to the point of florid this is classical music that welcomes new ears to the world of non-pop in a way that isn’t intimidating or emotionally dry. His Andaluza (Spanish dance no.5) may be one of the most popular & recognizable pieces of Spanish music you didn’t know he had written.

Bounders

Daphne shook the parchment over the candle flame. Small burn marks appeared but she moved it so no more than a slight smoulder was seen. As she moved the paper I let a few splashes of the albino newt’s blood fall from the glass dropper. They simmered a moment as the heat drew them into the paper.

‘We’ll know in a moment, Syc, if …. ‘

The parchment burst into flame. Daphne let go and the blackened flakes drifted to the floor where I stepped on them to prevent singe marks on the carpet.

‘That’s a sure a sign as any.’ She brushed her hands clean.

‘It is?’

‘Oh yes. No sign is as powerful as any sign. It means you aren’t to know. That you are diverting valuable energy from where it needs to go to pursue this avenue of thought.’

‘It can’t be.’

‘That attitude won’t get you very far here. Anything can be.’

‘But … that’s why I am here. To learn to see, foretell. If I can’t see how well my studies will go what’s the point.’

‘The point is …’ came from the doorway behind us. We both spun around. ‘… until your studies have begun there is nothing to foretell.’

‘Cal how long have you been there.’

‘Long enough Daph. Long enough.’

He came into the room with Lear.

‘Did a good job on that PA system today. Why does it take two of you?’

‘It doesn’t.’ Lear sat on the edge of the window. ‘But it looks better when two of us do it. Makes it look harder than it is, so that on those rare times one of us does it alone people are even more impressed.’

‘Always something with you two.’

‘Yeah.’ Caliban looked at Lear and they laughed.

‘I know you aren’t here to line us up for a double date.’

‘And pray tell Daph why would you say that?’

‘Look guys, I may be new here but I’ve been around. You two are …’ she stopped.

‘Are what?’ I asked. ‘Are brothers?’

‘Sort of.’

‘Oh. Bounders?’

‘Amongst other things yes. Bonded is the word we chose though. Goes a step beyond Bounders. United in more than blood and bone.’

‘You mean,’ it sunk in. So much for my erotic fantasy about Caliban and those sturdy legs of his. ‘How long?’

‘About four years now.’

 

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Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

http://www.artbar.org

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‘silence is manslaughter’

Hot Damn! launched it’s 4th season (may the 4th be with you) at  Buddies In Bad Times Theatre Thursday night with rainbow-high-energy, out-to-win slammers, fearless open stagers & a wildly enthusiastic full house. Charlie Petch was in fine form keeping things flowing & the energy somewhere over the rainbow.

First set of open stagers & slammers: by the time you are able to read this, you may not remember me – I was told I could pave the way for women, why can’t I pave the way for all mankind – teens decomposing their own songs – this place smell of chance & lost dreams – less that nothing is still something – if it all means nothing, why not have fun – I dream of things I never want to see again – I wake to fear walking above ground – pour smoke over my heart – Wendy’s pigtails never fit the little boy that worse the – you wanna say best & breast comes out – I say I’m sorry more than I say I love you.

Andre Prefontaine’s feature set was amazing – emotionally resonant, overflowing with rich images, vibrant precise anger, & sassy theatricality. Honey, he was tougher than any nail they used to stab you – my Dad uses your homosexuality like a pair of scissors that cuts you out of his picture – worry about the future is a tragic waste of your imagination – I’m so calm it’s almost like disassociating – don’t you know how difficult it is to blow someone and do origami at the same time – hold the bible like brass knuckles – silence is manslaughter – people killing people for killing people.

After a much needed break – during which I got to hand out flyers for my feature (see below) – I picked up a couple of copies of Andre Prefontaine’s new chap book & got caught up with Vanessa McGowan. (when is her Hot Damn! feature?) I started out the second set of open stagers with my hair piece (see below).

From the rest of the night: that little crack makes you so human – I’ve never been struck by lightning – my body tells the truth when it shows the scars that anchor me to the reality of what happened – biting is cool, bite marks are not – we can’t use my name as a safety word – you left tiny blades my throat where you name used to be – the art of drowning in perfect make up – the rest of you is still living – never explain lost battles for your recovery – somehow your pain is never about you – being gay is more than whatever gender you choose – anatomy trump compassion – that word holds a power I cannot overcome – do you know where you are – chill of frosting in my bones – I smell like a Wes Craven movie –

Scores were added up & an array of prizes were handed out. Teddy Syrette took the Queirdo Prize for funnest bingo poem. Ezra Stewart took first spot in a tight race for a chance to win the big big prize: a trip to Washington DC (if Canadians are still allowed into the USA next summer) to attend Capturing Fire.

Next Hot Damn! is Gueph! Sept 30th. Hot Damn! returns to Toronto at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre on November 30.

Don’t Touch (My Hair)

she was a stranger

who felt no compunction

in reaching out to touch my hair

I must have been in my mid-twenties

at the time

my hair was freshly washed

shoulder length

‘it’s like baby hair,’ she said

I was a natural blond

even blonder

after a month of summer sun

‘I would kill to have hair like yours’

she smiled

‘thanks’ I replied

not adding

that I hate my hair

I hate it being so smooth

hate being asked

are you a boy or are you girl

being called fruit

by guys because of my hair

not that I was mr masculine

to begin with

shortly after that

I dyed my hair for the first time

I wanted a change

I bought a home kit

to make it permanent jet black

the look was striking

my mother said

‘what were you thinking’

I went to work

raised a few eye brows

but no comments

the black faded after the first wash

so much for permanent

in a week it was ash

in three weeks

back to baby fine blond

my hair

was like my sexuality

something I couldn’t disguise

no matter what women

I flirted with

no matter what I tried to call it

bi questioning pan

no matter what I drank to blot it out

it would always be

like my hair

something I was powerless over

something I hadn’t constructed

something I had to live with

I remember my first perm

a head of tight blond curls

they bounced in the light

it was my face

but a different me

the stylist conferred with a colourist

both agreed

that my hair was too fine

to hold colour for long

that it would be a shame

to tamper with it anyway

the permanent curls

would flatten within a week

I wasn’t willing

to go to bed with hairpins

so I’d get that perm

every month or so

I loved my hair for the first week

then a week of doing what I could

to keep the curl in

it was too much work

too much time checking in mirrors

I had a friend who was

what he referred to as a hair burner

he touched my freshly washed

uncurled hair one day

‘you have baby hair

I have clients

who would kill to have hair like that’

I said

‘I hate my hair

it’s too much work’

he said

‘do you trust me’

I let him do what he wanted

it took a couple of hours

that first time

to cut it short short short

then incise with electric razor

patterns into the hair

sometimes a maze

other times circle or triangles

always different

then he died

murdered by HIV meds

I shaved my head for his funeral

no one would ever touch my hair

again

catch me on stage: Tuesday – September 19 – feature – Art Bar Poetry series – 8 p.m., Free Times Cafe, #20 College At., Toronto – $5.00http://It’s No Accident

http://www.artbar.org

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