On a recent Disability After Dark podcast Andrew Gurza talks with his new research assistant Rae. Both of them talk candidly about the layers of ‘outsider’ they have & still do experience as a result of many factors involving their disabilities. Having spent the first ten years of my life on the move as my Dad’s job took us from Manitoba to the east coast & ultimately to Sydney in Cape Breton, I certainly experienced being an ‘outsider.’

Even in Sydney there was three moves before we settled into a house we called home (which is still in the family). On top of which my mother returned to Wales regularly in the summer to visit with her family taking me with her. I was never like other kids wherever I was.

I put a lot of energy into being normal enough to get along with adults, kids, teachers & never felt I was succeeding. Not that I knew what success was supposed to be. Good marks? Lots of playmates? A girlfriend? Being invisible seemed like a good option. I am not disabled in the clear way Andrew is but I can sense the complexity of his need to be accepted for who he is but not knowing who to do that in the lgbtq+ world, let alone the world outside that. 

Albert Camus says in The Stranger: “Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.” I didn’t realize how much energy I put into being seen as normal until I said ‘Fuck it” – I’ve done all I can & it hasn’t happened yet. I certainly tried all the things that to make me attractive, desirable, acceptable and I was usually left disappointed & even a little bitter. 

Things like free-weights, good hair products, name-brand jeans with the perfect tee-shirt for bar appeal. When I stopped doing that for others but for myself I felt free. Not that I don’t work out enough, or enjoying looking presentable but the fact is I’ll be that hot gay guy I was sure everyone wanted. I became comfortable in my own skin.

But I don’t have to face the same struggles for even accessibility that Andrew does. I can walk up the stairs to get to the dance floor. 

Oogie Inferno 

if you’re thinkin’ I’m too old to boogie

boy oh boy have I got news for you

I love the sweaty potential of the dance floor 

the solid mass of men mobile   shifting

eagerly crammed    crowded by the bass line

the righteous revival fever of a contralto

everybody here tonight must boogie


let me tell ya

I was no exception to the rule

the heat was on (burnin’) rising to the top, huh!

eyes closed   hands open

shirtless strutters in sweat soaked satin shorts

muscles    bloated bellies   

a man spinning his wheelchair in circles

no one cares

as flesh wound around  pulled by the driving

boogie oogie oogie


an endless moment of contact high

thigh to thigh contact

the heat was on, rising to the top

where the keyboard was underfoot

put your feet to the beat

peak after peak of solid state sweat

turn this beat around

no voice heard that wasn’t amplified

no time to waste, let’s get this show on the road

listen to the music and let our bodies flow

yowsa yowsa yowsa    dance dance dance

shame shame shame  ga ga ooh la la

we were shimmering glittering

ready to take on the future    beep beep toot toot


I love the moment of stepping into the mass

the sooner I begin 

the longer I’ve got to groove

listen to the music and let bodies move

make a space for myself

get approving once overs

then not care who’s lookin’

but when my spark got hot

I heard somebody say

burn baby burnin’ the house down

gonna boogie oogie oogie

till you just can’t boogie no more


I love the blur as I am transported 

out the body   out of the mind

satisfaction (uhu huh huh) in the chain reaction

released from all sense of self

except for the one caught     immersed 

push push in the bush bush

lost for hours

boogie oogie oogie


taking a breather wet glistening

asked what are you on

my nothing being disbelieved

as if the music and testosterone  

aren’t enough for me to

burn that cocksucker down

because have I got news for you

this could be the last dance

last chance for a bad romance

everybody here tonight must 

boogie oogie oogie



every Tuesday

September or October but to be confirmed – feature – The Art Bar, Free Times Cafe


June 8/9 – Capturing Fire 2019 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked) capfireslam.org 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2018’s capfireslam.org – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr



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