The Name Game

The Name Game

this is not my real name

in fact

I use my given name so infrequently

no one is sure what it is

I’m not sure of what it is

 

I won’t tell you what you want to know

not that it’s a secret

there is no deep shame

that I am hiding

 

names that I use

change from time to time

location to location

in fact

we may have met before

when I was someone else

that’s why I sometimes

seem so familiar

 

I don’t go out of the way

to disguise myself

to cover my trail

only who I might be

so that when you say

you understand me

I know 

you don’t even know who are talking to

 

everything you know

is about another person

someone with a name you know

that’s not my name

it wasn’t then

and it never will be again

I’ve met guys on line who. for privacy, I guess, have more than one name. In fact nearly all people on line do – a handle, a nickname, an email address that doesn’t reveal who they are. On dating sites guys have names like Toppugood43 or flexlexy – that may hint on what they want to do. Some have given one name in chat, then another one shows up as part of their email response & when they text another name & when we meet maybe their real name.

 

Some never give a name at all, really. ‘Hi it’s Toppu.’ Or not even that much, as if their phone number will tell me who it is. Names are one of the way we define people, so I can accept people needing to self-define by choosing their own name & using it as a sort of mask. Would John Wayne have made it big with his birth name Marion Morrison?

One of the reasons for ‘branding’ myself as TOpoet, was to remove immediate information about myself. All I want you to know is there – where I am located & what I do. No gender, sexuality, race or even age is alluded to. The only preconceived notion one may have is about poets, not about me as a person – unless it is to conclude that anyone labeling themselves as a poet is a pretentious fop. Guilty.

So this piece is about the ambiguity of names, of what we think we know about people & how insubstantial image is. It is easy to be someone else on line. I’m never sure if who I may be chatting with for the first time is actually the person in the picture (if they have a picture). I don’t know until I meet them face to face & it is the face in their photos. I don’t even fully believe what they’ve said in our chats, or in their profile. It is easy to flirt, overstate interests in text. Meeting moves things to the next level of negotiation. Which may require proof of identity 🙂 


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Coal Dusters – Chapter pending

Coal Dusters: Book 1 is now available as as PDF – this covers the first 35 chapters – 65540 words – send $1.99 to  paypal.me/TOpoet

Coal Dusters

Chapter pending

No chapter this week. As I work through this draft I’ve come across sections that were not fully developed in the first Nanowrimo on rush. The aftermath of the mine cave-in is one of those sections. I merely sketched in a few things for Lillian as she deals with the disaster & the possible death of Steven.

I left her in chapter LV trying on wedding veils when the alarm for the cave-in was heard in Sydney. The following chapters are about Birk climbing to the surface & they essentially wrote themselves & the rest of his story arc was clear in my mind & needs no bridging. Lillian’s narrative was clear to me as well but I hadn’t developed enough of a bridge for her after the disaster,

I love this part of revision but this is a major addition that I don’t want to rush through. The 800 words I originally wrote about her immediate response to the disaster are good but she’ll need maybe another 2200 to carry her to what happens next in her story arc.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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Sober Sex 2

An experience that shows up frequently in recovery circles – gay or straight, male or female – is being trapped in a using relationship – using because one’s partner uses & expects them to do the same – fear of losing that ‘lover’ keeps them using out of what is essentially, to me, people pleasing. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a relationship – even casual hook ups can have the same ‘people pleasing’ context.

Saying no to booze or drugs offered by a possible hook up often means that door closes. Booze & drugs lower some inhibitions which supposedly leads to wilder & better sex. But Shakespeare says something to the effect – it enflames the desire but cools the ability. Often booze or drugs become the focus of, not the lubricant for, fun. I’ve had men decline play with me because I didn’t have poppers.

When I first got sober declining social offers of a drink, or a toke, wasn’t easy – I wanted to fit in, to be accepted – saying ‘no’ might hurt someone’s feelings – looking back, my sense of self-acceptance was based on conforming. The example of guys in recovery helped me get over some of that & over time it was easier.

The first few times I had sex sober were interesting. I was also coming out & being held by another man was nearly a spiritual experience. (It still is). Being held by another man who can’t wait to get his next drink, toke, line isn’t all that satisfying. I wanted sex partners not drinking partners. When the guy on Disability After Dark said he’d never had sex sober I totally identified with him. Substances can lower our inhibitions but also impair the ability to give consent & also kicks the shit out of the immune system.

Today I lead an active sex life. Sober. Dick is my drug of choice.

heart of hearing

one from the hard

my hard was in my throat

the hard of darkness

a hard attack

I left my hard in San Francisco

hard of the dark continent

open hard surgery

I hard NY

talking hard to hard

places in the hard

don’t keep breaking my hard

hard harded hanna

the hard of the hard of the country

hard healthy

change of hard

hards of fire

open your hard

wearing my hard on my sleeve

deep in my hard

the hard foundation

I gave you my hard

when hards collide

my secret hard

the hard of the matter

like a stake through the hard

a little piece of my hard

tore the hard right of his chest

gotta hide my hard away

take it to hard

the bleeding hard

my hard skipped a beat

queen of hards was baking some tarts

hard on a platter

you gotta have hard

falling hard first in love

cross my hard

hard in my hand

the hard is a lonely hunter

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every Tuesday 2019

July

Stratford Festival – Nathan The Wise

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

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One Day in Cape Breton

looking back to 2012 to get ready for my visit to the Cape in August

TOpoet

The hardest part of any trip for me is packing – what to bring – even two days away is a bit of a chore – but 7 is worse. Thanks to the Kindle I don’t have to take heavy, space consuming books with me but the communications revolution means I have to pack cables for keeping things charged: Kindle, iPod, cellphone, & laptop – there isn’t a single cable that’ll do the job, each has to have its own. Not to omit the digital camera upload cable. Forget one cable & you’re screwed.

shelf life

Flight out to Cape Breton was heck – delayed two hours by thunderstorm – means I got to Sydney around 1:30 – but my sister Eileen was waiting for me – thanks to wireless we were able to Facebook chat while I was in Toronto – spent my first night in the ‘gift shop’…

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Jane, Jellyfish, Jem, Jet, and Dracula

Music styles come & go in a retro flow of rediscovery & reinvention. way back in the early 90’s there was a resurgence of sixties psychedelic pop. One band was  Jellyfish with mix of Hollies, Beatles & Procol Harum. I have stand-alone Bellybutton, & Spilt Milk in an mp3 collection. Smart songs, romantic, acerbic & beautifully engineered. If you miss them then search them out now.

Another retro sound band from the early 2000’s is Australian band Jet. I have stand alone Get Born with its Revolveresque cover it is clear where their retro roots are. More punky that Beatles though with a strong Kinks feel they are high energy sweetness.

Sticking to ‘j’ is an mp3 collection that includes jem: finally woken/Down To Earth. The Swingle Singers sample that grounds the title track of her first lp delighted me. I had this as a stand alone then downloaded Down To Earth to start off this collection. All the tracks are fun, her voice is appealing, the samples are consistently surprising. Similar to Dido but less depressing 🙂

To round out this mp3 cd I added some very eclectic stuff starting with the Mike Vickers soundtrack to the film Dracula A.D. 1972. His music for this is serious electronica that is much better than the movie, set in decadent, swinging Carnaby Street. In the film is also music from White Noise, whose album An Electric Storm, I tracked down to add to this collection.

Featured in the film is a rock band whose lead singer’s voice I recognized instantly. Sal Valentino formerly of the Beau Brummels. Here he fronts the band Stoneground. So I added their self titled lp & its follow up, Family Album. He has one of the best voices in rock of that era. 

Wait there’s more. Another helping of electronica with Edwin Morris’s The Sun Sets. Then Maryem and Ernie Tollar: Cairo To Toronto – I hear Maryem do a music set at a spoken word show & enjoyed this fusion world music.

Finally – to make this cd even more eclectic is Jane Morgan: The Big Hits From Broadway. Jane was a major 50’s, early 60’s, nightclub chanteuse with a strong crisp voice. She recorded extensively & I enjoy the retro quality of the arrangements of these fun show tunes.

 

Nice Rolls

‘You know, this is one of those days when I really can’t think of a thing – of a way to start what needs to be started.’ Jim looked up from the table.

‘Would you like a few more minutes to think it over.’ The waiter stepped back.

‘No, no. I don’t have all day & I know neither do you. But what would you suggest?’

‘The daily specials are always fast. The cannelloni looks good.’

‘Then that’s what I’ll have. Thanks.’ Jim was always relieved when he could get someone else to make a decision for him. The less he had to think the better. The more other people decided the more he could blame them when things weren’t that good. Cannelloni? What was that anyway? He’d soon find out.

A child started to cry in the restaurant.

‘Just you stop that.’ a mother whispered.

The child began to cry louder. A dish broke.

Why had he come here? This was a mistake. He’d never been here before. Rarely dined out alone, to begin with. But there was that thing from the newspaper, framed in the window that said … what did it say? … good food. Did he even read it or had he just glanced at it and assumed it was a good review. After all, restaurants rarely posted unkind remarks about them in the window.

‘I said, be still.’ the mother’s voice rose to match the squeals of her child.

‘I will not. Won’t.’ The child banged on the table.

Jim wanted to look, to turn around and see just what the ruckus was, but couldn’t. He didn’t to be seen as one of those types who had to take  gander at everyone else’s misfortune.

There was a smack. Sobs. Silence.

Well that settles that. He wouldn’t be back to this place in the near future.

‘Here you are, sir.’ the waiter put a covered bread basket on the table. ‘Your cannelloni with be here shortly. Enjoy.’

Jim lifted the linen off the bread basket. Heavy, expensive linen that impressed him. Three kinds of rolls inside, and all warm. Soft butter! That was certainly worth suffering through the slap of a child for. He broke open a roll. Warm, rich smell of rosemary came out of it. The butter spread and melted into the bread. 

‘I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.’ the child erupted.

Jim chewed his bread slowly, savouring it.

‘I wish I had never been born. I wish …’

‘Please keep your voice down Cody. You are bothering the other people here.’

‘I don’t care. I hate this place. Stinking hell hole. That’s what it is.’

Stinking hell hole – where did a child hear something like that? Such a cute turn of phrase though. Yes, nice rolls, very nice rolls. He’d have to tell his friends.

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every Tuesday 2019

July

Stratford Festival – Nathan The Wise

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

 

Fault Finding

Fault Finding

what I let you to believe

isn’t necessarily true

you allow yourself be lead on

by your willingness 

to fill in the blanks 

with your own expectations

 

that resulted in this

misunderstanding

sure I could have pointed that out sooner

but you were so sure of yourself

contradicting you

seemed pointless

 

you can’t blame me

for you making it so easy

to lead you on

once I started

I couldn’t stop

you made no pause for me to stop

you took the wrong hint

ran with it

before I could stop you

and when I did

you were dumbfounded

refused to listen

you thought I was joking


now you know

I wasn’t to blame 

even if it was my fault


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

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The Right Entrance

The Right Entrance

the girls

had their own school

a Catholic separate school

we’re talking 60’s – 70’s

Cape Breton

 

I don’t know if there was one

for Catholic boys

but the girls had their own

to protect them 

from the unruly attentions of boys

 

schools I went to were mixed

but there was

boys’ manual training

girls’ domestic science

separate entrances for boys for girls

mixed classes

but boys’ gym

girls’ gym

 

the best way to control

those masculine urges

was segregation

guys who got laid were men

girls who got laid were easy

girls who didn’t were teases

guys who didn’t 

bragged about doing it

or salivated endless about pussy

boobs

because they were men

 

never once

never

was there a sense

that the guys were in the wrong

it was only the girls 

who need to be protected

guys weren’t taught

to think differently

in fact

we were encouraged

to get a little

get laid

get into her panties

 

find’em

feel’em

fuck’em

forget’em

 

this was masculine prerogative

entitlement

a natural urge

that resented any attempt

to curb it

do you want your sons

to grow up to be fags

yeah sure

free and easy access

to pussy

is the cure for queer

 

yet I grew up

gay queer a fag

full of fear

yet sure of who I was

& who I wanted to have sex with

 

I tried dating

getting a little

getting a little wasn’t enough

to cure me of anything

so I forgot’em 

but I did learn 

which entrance

was right for me

This piece is a documentary. All of it is my high-school experience though some of the facts go back even further in my history. When my family moved to Cape Breton I was enrolled in a nearby school with a mixed gender & to a degree religious population. Entirely white as well I might add. Protestant with a scattering of Jewish students – who we knew were Jewish because of the many holidays they had.

It wasn’t until I got to high-school that I realized there was a separate school system for Catholics, particularly girls. Rather it was a high-school run by a teaching order of Catholic nuns. It wasn’t limited to Catholic’s as I think one of my sisters went there because it offered better secretarial training. A class that was never offered to boys – we did get an introduction to basic accounting though.

Beyond this religious segregation there was a gender divide in the rest of the school system for sports, non-academic vocational options – boys got manual training & shop; girls got domestic science & shopping. Most of the academic classes were mixed but there was separate entrances for grades & genders. 

Sydney did have a sizeable black community, as well as a large Native community – but we only saw them if our teams were playing against them. As best as I can remember there was no racial mix in my high school except for one, lone Japanese girl.

 

The four f’s ‘find’em’ was a real mantra usually used by ‘guys who didn’t but bragged about doing it’ The piece also reflects how gender doesn’t equate sexuality – that even though I had all this male behaviour example I turned out queer, having no queer male behaviour example to lure me into the unnatural side. 

The ‘entrance’ that was right for me? I’ll leave that to your imagination 🙂


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

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Chapter LVII – Birk Sees the Light

Coal Dusters: Book 1 is now available as as PDF – this covers the first 35 chapters – 65540 words – send $1.99 to  paypal.me/TOpoet

Coal Dusters – Chapter LVII

Birk

Sees

the Light

He smelled his sweat. His fear. He swung the blade of the shovel at the metal grid of the trap and the sound echoed in the shaft.

He wiped the sweat from his face and peered at the underside of the floor. There were holes in the grid work, drains to keep the cage clear of water. He worked the fingers of his left hand into the furthest holes he could reach and pulled himself forward toward the catch. The belts held him back so that he couldn’t quite reach. His neck was twisted as he was pulled tighter to the cage.

With his right hand he undid the belt that was holding him back. His left arm now had barely enough give so he could reach the catch and unscrew the bolt that held it. The nut cut into his fingers. His sweat made it slippery but using all his strength he was able to turn it. He pushed the bolt up but the trap didn’t budge. He’d expected it to swing down as it opened. He paused and recollected that he had to slide the brace out of the way before the trap would open. His right hand ached holding so much of his weight. He jammed his right fingers into other drain holes closer to the trap. 

He wriggled his left hand free, wiggled his fingers to bring some feeling back into the hand. The fingers were slick with his blood. He reached up and the brace bar slid out with a loud squeal.

“God get me through this.” He whispered. “I’ve been as good as I can be. You know that. This isn’t the way any man wants to die.”

He got a fresh grip with his left hand and with a burst of speed swung his feet up at the trap. It popped up a couple of inches under the blow.

“Goddamn,” he nearly laughed. “It’s goes up not down.”

With another kick he got it to open about a foot but it was blocked. Debris fell through it.

He undid the other belt that was anchoring him to the cage. Fully free his right arm could reach the lip of the trap. Gripping it best as he could he he let go his left hand’s grip and grabbed at the lip of the opening with it, missed but on the second try got a solid grip. He inched along and with a hand on either side of the door pulled himself part way through the narrow opening he had managed to create.

There was lumber and more rock debris in the car. He got his shoulder and chest firmly on the floor and pushed desperately at the debris. The cage shuddered and jolted down an inch or so sending the cage door down on his back. His feet thrashed to get a grip in the empty air beneath him.

He lay there a moment to catch his breath. He knew he wasn’t going to fall into the shaft and needed to breath while he figured out what to do next.

“Hello! Hello!” came from below him. “You okay? Birk hello!”

He recognized Sandy’s voice.

“Nearly there!” He called back as loudly as he could.

“Okay.”

“Lost Red though.” He began to weep.

“Wasn’t sure if it was one or two of ya that fell.”

Birk heaved his shoulders, pushed up and got the trap back to the point where he’d opened it before. He reached out and grabbed onto the wall grid and pulled himself through until he was entirely in the cage. He felt the edge of the door tear his shirt as it scraped along his spine. The trapdoor had been held down by a coil of the wire cable that was used to pull the cage up and down.

If that was broken it meant they wouldn’t be able to use the cage for any rescue attempt. The hoist cable would have to be replaced before the cage could be pulled to the surface.

He sat for a minute, his knees pulled up to his chest. He shoulders ached more than they ever had before. There was a sharp pain all along his right side. He ran his hands over his face and the fingers on his right hand stung with the salt. He licked at the fingers and tasted blood.

His Dad’s advice came to him. 

‘Look Birk I think it’s time you came back to the boilers with me. You were picking up on them pretty good. Once you take that test you’ll have your papers and can work bout anywhere they need boilers.’

He’d replied, ‘You know my writing’s not good enough … maybe it is now. Miss McTavish’s been helping the girls and me out with that stuff. Maybe I could manage it. I guess I can try to read it.’

‘That’s what I’ve been wanting to hear from you boy. I can bring the manuals home and we can start to go over them. Harder than reading the paper but once you learn those new words you’ll always know them.’

Doing that test couldn’t be any worse than hanging here for dear life.

“Hello Birk Nelson! Hello!” These voices sounded more distant.

“Shel Malone is that you?” He called back.

“Right lad. We’re on the level below yours. How’s it looking?”

“Cage jammed tight. Cable broken.”

“Broken?”

“Snapped like a boot lace.”

“Jeff Harney and Frankie are on their way up.” Shel called up from his level.

For moment he thought to tell them not to send Frankie. Frankie was the biggest of the lot. He wasn’t sure how much more weight the cage could hold. He didn’t have the strength to keep shouting. He stood slowly. His knees weak but held him. He pulled what he could off the trap door and propped a chunk of lumber under it in hopes that that would keep it open.

He fished in his pockets and found a chunk of the bread he’d been eating when the collapse started. He put that in his mouth wishing he’d stuck his tea bottle in there instead.

“I’m going to keep going up.” He shouted down.

Stepping on debris he was able to get to the top edge of the cage. The scaffold hand holds were easy to find. Hand over hand he pulled himself higher. When his feet found the rungs to support him he worked his way up. Some of them were missing and some had come loose in the collapse.

He wondered why no one had started down. The rescue teams were always prompt in an emergency. Although he had no way to keep track of the time he was sure it had only been a couple of hours since the collapse had happened. He also wondered why the shaft was still so dark. There was little to block the light. He swung onto the next level.

“Hello! Anyone here?” He peered into the dark. There was answer. He reached for the nearest pit wall and walked a few steps into the seam. “Hello! It’s Birk Nelson we were on level 8.”

No reply. These miners must have already been evacuated. His foot kicked something. He reached with his hand and found a lunch pail. He flipped open hoping there was a tea can in it. It was empty except for a few sweet drops that wet his tongue.

He turned around and made his way back. Fingers brushing the wall to keep him moving in the right direction. The change in air told him he was at the shaft leading up. 

He found the rungs. He kept his mind focused on what his body was doing. Hand up, find hold, up, up. There had to be a song in that for Clancy “This is the hand, this is the hold, this is the hand that finds the coal, this is the hand that finds the hold.”

Birk lost track of his progress. He’d expected to hear someone, hear something on his way up. As he got nearer to surface sounds began to become clearer. He climbed out of the shaft and onto the slanted walk that lead down to it. The coal tram cars had been pulled out of the ramp.

The daylight blinded him as he exited the entrance. He couldn’t stand. He dropped to his knees looking up at the sun.

“It’s Birk Nelson.” Someone shouted and ran down to him.

“He was on level eight.”

“How’s it down there?” Someone else asked.

Hands helped him and guided him forward to the wooden benches in the wash house. He was handed a mug of tea which he eagerly drank. 

“It’s bad.” He gasped at the fresh air. “I had to climb up two levels to the cage. It’s some stuck. I climbed up from there.”

“Yeah we know that. How many hurt?”

“Can’t speak to that. Some dead on level seven. One injured that I knows of.” He had to stop to catch his breath. He wiped his eyes with his free hand and saw the blood on his fingers. The mug he held was slimy with his blood.

“Shame this had to happen as we were reopening.” Someone muttered. “Damned fool reds.”

“What?” Birk didn’t understand what he was hearing.

“Nothing b’y. Not your worry. You think you fit enough to let the medics get you cleaned up?”

“Yeah. Here’s …” he reached into his coverall pocket and pulled out his brass chit. “You can take this to Fergus he’ll know I’m up and out for the day.”

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip this summer to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Sober Sex 1

 

On a recent Disability After Dark one of the men Andrew interviews admits that he has never had sex sober. That was the story of my sex life until I got into recovery. I needed more than a few drinks in me to engage in sex with men (or, in one case a woman). The guys I drank with in Cape Breton were ‘straight’ & after drinks, many drinks things could happen. Booze was ‘excuse juice.’

 

 

I can’t speak to their story but I know for me the fear of being out was enough to keep me in – trapped in crushing crushes on some of the guys I drank with, most of whom had girlfriends, wives. None of them talked about being bi or gay. But I wasn’t so deep in my closet that they didn’t know of my interest.

Those opportunities were rare. I knew things were going to happen when one of them would show up with a case of beer or bottle of scotch. There was no real affection involved beyond ‘that feels great.’ I figured that was what sex was supposed to be. Get drunk and mess around.

Being a drunk was part of the downward spiral of being queer, a compulsive, liar, thief, depressed, misunderstood etc. At the time I’d read a psychology book that outlined various mental issues – homosexuality was then classified as a psychosis, a disease. It also talked about alcohol as a depressive drug – I knew the book was wrong on both counts as booze was the only thing that made me happy – yet I was suicidal by the time I left Cape Breton.

When I arrived in Toronto in the late 70’s getting sober was not part of the plan, but it was one of things that happened. Here I was a sober kid in the boozy candy shop of gay discos. Sex without booze was a terrifying concept. How would I build up the nerve to even approach someone? 

Luckily for me there was a solid gay/lesbian presence in recovery so I had examples of that possibility but even they complained of how hard it was to find a good man. I saw the connection between my depression & alcohol. A connection that wasn’t made in the Disability After Dark conversation. 

Andrew, if you read this, think about doing an episode dealing with addictions & disability.

Male – White – 27

Charge – Public Urination

our plan was to have a last draft

but when one of my buds made a joke

about the country-western song just ending

I started to cover my laugh 

with the hand

that was bringing the glass 

to my eager lips

the jerking 

jolt flung the sweet amber suds

into a perfect arc over my shoulder

the sweat slippery glass darted

from my loose grip

 

Oh for a photo of that glorious 

go-for-the-gold momentum

beer escaping with glass chasing after it

me turning in my seat

eyes agog   mouth agape 

stunned amazement 

at 

the 

slow 

motion 

ballet

I didn’t realized how much energy 

I had in my arm 

to lift with such ballistic force 

that the joke was so freaking funny

to give an extra dash of dynamic energy

 

the beer flew    spread    lost perfection 

splattered wetly on the table behind us 

splashed on food    faces

there was a dismayed shriek

anger   fucking assholes

the glass came tumbling after

hitting someone on the shoulder

bouncing  smashing on the table 

 

I was no longer laughing

no one was laughing

 

my chair tipped as I stood

it fell in the path of 

the bearded biker guy whose girlfriend

got the beer wave in her food

his furious fists punched empty air 

as he stumbled over the chair

 

next thing I knew 

my buds and I were outside

in a bitter ten-below-zero wind

I was pissing a steaming amber arc

on a car door handle

while one of my buds was up chucking

a police cruiser pulled over

I turned to get out of the way

slipped in vomit

spun in an imperfect circle 

tumbled ass-over-tea-kettle

landed on my back

in a snow bank under a street lamp

fly down   limp dick chillin’

boys in blue hauled me to my feet

 

and that’s one of the many many reasons 

I now chose not to drink

https://wp.me/P1RtxU-2f6

every Tuesday 2019

July

Stratford Festival – Nathan The Wise

August 2-13: getting back to my roots in Cape Breton
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee on my trip to Cape Breton – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

September

Shaw Festival – Sex (Mae West)

Stratford Festival – Little Shop Of Horrors

June  – Capturing Fire 2020 – Washington D.C.  capfireslam.org 

Hey! Or you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington at 2020’s capfireslam.org – sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

 

Suspicious Curtains at the Art Bar

TOpoet

Lauren Carter opened the Art Bar show with new pieces about ‘a family uprooted’ more than once, full of details from her family tree research and strong visuals “buds like tight white purses” – “a wing written into the rock” – she read from her new book ‘Lichen Bright.’ Her work has a strong sense of family, history and rural life. I especially liked “their smiles spread like suspicious curtains” – from Witches.

I miss the miracle

I was up second and the feature went very well, if I do say so myself, though people were a little disappointed that it wasn’t a set of my funny, over-sexed pieces – but every now and then it’s good to change things up. As I always do for a feature, I put together a set with a sense of flow – one that covers a bit of history as well – in…

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