Ashes of Our Pasts

Ashes is one of the new pieces I read at the recent Winter Snow Ball. It is mildly sexy, mildly political, slightly personal and a whole lot of tactile stimulus.

glove01lonely glove

One of things that I realize about ‘kids’ today is that most of them have lived in a world in which being queer isn’t quite as fraught as it once was – I say ‘quite’ because teens are still being bullied into suicide for ‘otherness’ – but there is a certain tolerance as result of queer presence on TV, in pop music too, so it isn’t suppressed as it was when I was growing up, coming out.

glove02in the pink

Yet there are nation where things as bad as they ever were here in North America. So this piece addresses that in a direct way. I try to avoid political rhetoric while making whatever point I may be making. It also looks at the nature of freedom and of what holds us, even after years.

glove03the (g)love(less) lottery

I infused the piece with color, smell, feel, sound without overloading it. Also I wanted to allude to race issues without exoticizing race. Men are men.


February 21, Friday – featuring – Racket at the Rocket: 7 p.m., Red Rocket Cafe, 1364 Danforth Ave.


March 1, Saturday – attending – Toronto SpecFic Colloquium


June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words

June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville

August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada



he smells of coal

I know its a conditioner

an after shower lotion

to keep his skin from drying

into ashy patches

he smells of coal

but has never been in a mine

has probably never burned coal

the smell takes me back

to my childhood

growing up in a coal town

sorting a freshly delivered load

in the basement bin

picking though for rocks

that would pop in the furnace

scare my mother

when we moved out of that house

to one with oil heating

I never missed the smell of coal

until I met him

a tar dark skinned man

who held me with a cautious tenderness

he’d come from a country

were men of his sort

were stoned in the street

where women who loved women

could be raped with impunity

here he was still unsure

he didn’t quite believe he was safe

he couldn’t free himself

of the fear he grew up with

I cannot free myself

from the smell of coal

I grew up with the same fears

as he did

so when we meet

we taste the ashes of our pasts

my power spot

my Loyalist power spot

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.