King Cole Edits

The edits continue on Dusters. I’m doing a language edit first, with the help of search, dealing with my lazy writing. By lazy I mean the frequent use of words that don’t add to but merely delay the action. These words include ‘like’ ‘really’ ‘seems’ ‘feels’ ‘just’ ‘so’ – often they come clumped together – so it really feels like I’m just getting nowhere.

In my research I read books written & publishing in the 20’s to get a feel for the language that was used. It sounds a little stuffy mainly because they weren’t using the lazy short hand we use today with words such as ‘like’ ‘really’ ‘seems’ ‘feels’ slipping in without a thought. For some I have my own rules i.e ‘feel’ can only be used to convey touch and not emotions. Our referring to emotions as feelings is a more contemporary use of the word. “Did you have feelings for her?” or “Did you like her?” becomes “Did you fancy her?”

As result conversations have become more direct, while is some spots taken more words to convey what ‘like’ was short-hand for. It was good practice & the opportunity to use ‘fancy’ etc was sweet.

My fiction readings of the times also reminded me of the use of chapter titles. So I’ve been breaking the manuscript into chapters with titles. It is a way of introducing a character by full name even if that full name rarely gets used. It is also a fun way of fore shadowing event or even misleading the reader.

Another piece from Brown Betty

Man With A Past

I am from a cup of King Cole black tea

steeping in a brown betty pot

flat fried scones

burned pancakes on Sunday mornings

born in Manitoba

moved to Cape Breton before I was ten

the Cape is an island of cousins aunts uncles

I had none

only good parents who couldn’t protect me

from a context they wanted to fit

I am from the rusted rain

seeded by steel plant exhaust

black pearl gritted snow

that fell in layers of grey white grey white

my mother a Welsh war bride

a family of eleven brothers and sisters

lots of cousins aunts uncles in-laws

oceans too far away

to coax me into this island world

told that not fitting in was my fault

why didn’t I try harder   be more like other kids

so I hid   but that’s not the point

because we all hide

I am from an east coast pollution pulsation

I still call home

where paying the rent and feeding the kids

was worth the cold damp steel poison price

while the blast furnace

spewed the air

to pepper the food we ate

at night no one saw it

flood our dreams

I am from Swedes who changed

the last name of their first born to Armstrong

a name I could never live up to

never defend in school yard brawls

would come home

with a bloodied nose   bruises

that disappointed my dad

who didn’t understand

why I couldn’t stand up for myself

stranded on the molehill of

growing up queer

no role models to offer hope

in a culture of judgement and fear

so I hid   but that’s not the point

because we all hide

I am diverted from

the history I have

by a history that is denied to me

when researchers into

the lives of gay men and women

in WWII fighting forces

are asked why sully the memory

of our brave men and women

I am from an unrecorded past

where there was no name

till what I am became labelled

by incomprehensible fear

the point is – I survived what past I had

by creating a self out of the fear and shame

hidden in my past

but today

no longer hiding from it

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

HotDamn! It’s A Queer Slam

April 03 – every Tuesday

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

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr


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