Corner Store


Corner Store

why does a group of teens scare me

I walk past the corner store

where they hang around

shoving each other

smoking butts and swearing

on cell phones

fuck you timber bone

what the hell is timber bone

I’m so far from street talk

to know if that is even street talk

I try not to walk too fast

try not to look too long at anyone of them

my eyes flick quickly

from hooded shrouded faces

pants so baggy they need to be held up by hand

girls with pale lips arched eyebrows

look at the boys with that mix

of love distance and boredom


what makes me anxious

is it the mix of blacks asians

am I fearful of violence

that one of them might feel

the flick of my eyes

and confront me

“what you lookin’ at faggot”

why do some wear fir trimmed parkas

on mild spring days

what are they hiding under those hoodies

a generation gap never to be crossed


I know the closer they get

the unsafer I feel

I wish that corner store wasn’t so close

wish I didn’t get that ripple of worry

wish I could lose the memory

of me at that age

never one to have guys

to hang around with

wish I could forget being

the brunt of their dumb shoves

of their sneering exclusion


Here in the east end I live near a subway station that is the main departure point for four or five schools. The next stop serves another two or three other schools. Lots of teens & little diners, pizza places to serve them lunches. Some of the corner stores have signs that say – only 2 student at a time. At least two of the cafes close for lunch when school is not open during the summer.pipe02

This piece is based on real events, real feelings of mine as I pass through or near groups of them. So many congregate at the nearest Tim Horton’s I no longer go in at lunch time. Some of the guys have more facial hair than I ever saw in high schools when I was growing up. Seems wearing pj bottoms to school never goes out of fashion, even in winter.

guitar01I try not to look too closely or too long. I have never been confronted though, or even heard queer slurs when I walk past. But because of my own high school experiences that tingle of fear is there. I’m always glad when summer comes & there are fewer students on the sidewalks.


The memory if my own high school bullying remains fresh because of them. It never escalated beyond the a few incidents of shoving, name calling but I don’t want to minimize it either. I may never have been beaten up, harassed constantly but it left its mark on me.


March 12, Saturday: attending:



March 16, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring  The Ragdolls Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9


June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC


June 11 – attending: The Toronto Poetry Talks – 10 AM – Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C6


July 4-8: attending: Chasing  your Tale – Loyalist – Belleville


I’ve already registered

September 1-4: attending FanExpo 2016 (I’ve already registered)expo16

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh?


Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


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