Sticking It To The Man


once again stuck with WP forced line breaks

Sticking It To The Man

I was waiting on the subway
when some guy lit up
thatʼs right took out a cigarette –

lit up a rebel in our midst
someone told him to butt out
yet another rebel in our midst

speaking up for our rights
the smoker sneered
ʻwhy donʼt you just fuck off
youʼre all fucking sheep
letting the man tell you
what to do and where to do it.ʼ

suddenly two of those TTC constables

showed up to confront the guy
he started shouting
ʻdonʼt let them push you around
itʼs time to stick it to the manʼ

I wondered who was the man
the TTC
people who didnʼt appreciate second hand smoke

the multinational tobacco company
who made his cigarettes
I caught one last glimpse
of the rebelʼs Fubu jacket and Kappas
as he was walked up the stairs
then I got on the train

later having a coffee at Tim Hoʼs

looking through Entertainment Weekly

listening to my iPod

a song about how we were all victims

of corporate logos
trying to name brand ourselves

ending up as enslaved clones
it was time to break away
from being commodified by the man
I turned the page of the magazine

and there was that very singer
in an ad sporting her own
self-named kissable gloss
oh yeah lip-sticking to the man

as I was flipping through the channels

I stopped to watch

one of those disenfranchised hip-hoppers
rhyme his respect and spiritual love

of writhing oiled women

his slippery muscular body

tattooed and stripped to waist
I thought
finally the man Iʼd like to stick it to11.sofa09

This piece is based on a real life event. The facts are as stated but it’s not about those events, is it? It is a reflection on the nature of rebellion in an era in which it is nearly impossible to be a cultural revolutionary. Seeking societal disapproval is more often bid for attention than the desire push for change.

There is a reluctance to accommodate the comfort of others if the cost is curtailing our own comforts. This whole no-smoking areas fuss was about this cost. Has the bar/restaurant industry suffered that much as a result? I haven’t seen those stats but I’m grateful not to have to deal with smoke when I go for lunch anywhere. No more spots where the carpeting is a delightful pattern of cigarette burns.11.sofa08

Once I started the piece the direction became pretty clear – who was ‘the man’ this rebel complaining about. How much had he himself stepped away from this controlling culture that he was feeling unfairly confined by – it becomes easy to be more reactive than to see a context or how one actually fits into that context. The brand names were, at that time, hip-hop hipster labels.11.sofa01

Next I indulge in my own wallow in brand naming. Populist comforts I willingly participate in while hearing music. The song I mention is one that I’ve only heard, watched the video for, but do not own. But I did see this ad – the timing is poetic licence. I didn’t go into how this signer also spoke up for the right of women to not care about how men perceive her femininity, yet here she was shilling for a cosmetics company. Cosmetics only exist for men to perceive femininity.

The final image is a combination of several of hip-hop videos from a time when I was watching that much random TV. All too often they featured booty shaking, buxom women. fish-eye lensed into unreal proportions while being leered at remorseless – even when they had nothing to do with the lyrics. I usually watched with mute on anyway.11.sofa011

The man I wanted to stick it to was D’Angleo, from the video with his torso naked but camera shot ending at pubic bone, so we never see the goods just his look at something going on down there. Though he could stick it to me anytime 🙂


cover170x170-1on going 🙂 when new podcast are posted:  Deliciously iTunes

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


check out these poets from Capturing Fire 2015:

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


June 12, Sunday – participating: Michael Matheson – The Axe and the Scalpel – Editing Your Own Work 1:00 pm – Bakka-Phoenix Books – 84 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2H7construction vert

tickets here

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


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


2 thoughts on “Sticking It To The Man

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