Rotary Park 

I have fond memories of Rotary Park  when growing up in Sydney. It was just far enough to make it a trek but not so far one couldn’t get there by bike. It was the city reservoir & locals would picnic out there & swim. Needless to say it has become more urban wild than woodsy wild – with actual gravel trails – we only had beaten paths in the olde days 🙂

Entrance – Greenlink refers to trails

spray pledged forever love

shale & aspen

Greenlink map – note no Tim Horton’s !

the lake/pond?

water over the dam

teens hanging out at the top of the dam

wild blueberries – yes I ate some –

we would come here as kids to fill buckets with them

more water over the dam

https://wp.me/s1RtxU-diop

Give Me An ‘L’

Adam Lambert almost won some TV singing contest a few years ago. The show traded on the fact that he was an out gay guy who sang pop rock, not disco or emotionally tender, sensitive romantic ballads. Sort of a male version of Pink. I have stand-alone: For Your Entertainment, which I bought at HMV for the track ‘Whataya Want From Me’ which is a perfect pop song. As mp3 I have The Original High (Deluxe Version), solid music but to be honest I can’t recall a song from it.

He was packaged as a gay glam-rock icon – mascara & such but that ran out of steam fast. It felt like his label didn’t know what to do with him & he resisted attempts to re-fashion him as anything but a rocker. He apparently refused to do an lp of disco covers just to capitalize on his ‘fame.’ He has stepped into Freddie Mercury’s sequins perform with Queen. Plus he can sing.

 

Keeping with the queers I have stand-alone k.d. lang and The Reclines: absolute torch & twang. I found this in a box of cast off cds a few years ago. I selected several from the box including this oen. I’ve always loved ‘pullin’ back the reins’ for her emotional openness. A transitional cd as she moved more to pop from country. What ever happened to her?

 

 

Another stand-alone Bettye LaVette’s Interpretations – The British Rock Songbook. I kept reading raves about this ‘come back’ lp & after listening (via YouTube) to her amazing take on The Who’s ‘Love Reign O’er Me’ picked it up at HMV. She has a fine emotive voice & the covers are reverential but she makes them her own as well. I also loved this ‘songbook’ concept as many of the songs she covers are classic 60’s/70’s pop.

another very rough draft from the, so far, unfinished Isle St. Nuit

The return to Halifax wasn’t as jarring as he’d expected. In fact the routine allowed him quickly to forget Montreal. The events there become more like one of the movies he would have seen at the festival. Dreamlike memory replaced his real experiences. That couldn’t have been him on his knees in a store door way sucking a cock while people walked past only a few feet away. That wasn’t something he would ever do. 

Who would want to do that with someone who looked like he did, anyway. There was a sense of something gone, though part of him knew there wouldn’t be any more phone calls, emails from Kevin, no more flying off to rendezvous in various places around the country for furtive hotel sex between screenings, he would miss that. But even that Mike became less and less like him as well.

His past was turning into a dull film with random spots of uncomfortable porn. Kevin must have felt sorry for him to let it go so long. 

Mike couldn’t recall if Kevin every really seemed to enjoy their sex as much he had been with his new partner that day in the woods. Had Kevin ever shivered like that, even taken him with such relish, pumped his ass so joyously. 

Mike once again found himself feeling that men only allowed him to touch them for their own gratification. They probably weren’t even queer, just needing to get off, get taken care of and any one would do, in the dark. Yes, in the very dark dark.

Well Mike wouldn’t have to worry about that anymore. It was time to go back to being celibate. that wouldn’t be so hard. Kevin was his only sex contact since they first met. One was all he needed. All he deserved; not that he even deserved that. An opportunity given and then taken away. Never to be offered again, by anyone.

Xavier was more dream not meant to last. Those few days were a blur. The empty hotel room. On his hands and knees with Pierre scouring the fibres of the carpet like a queer CSI team. 

What a scene that would make  in some comedy. the Bumbling homos hunting down the man who ate and ran. Such a tried pattern. Yet he fell for it.

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

January
Thursday 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – featuring ‘Yes The Poet’ https://www.facebook.com/events/577900226377507/ 

March
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

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

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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

Have It

You Can’t Have It

you can have it

it isn’t mine to give

but you can have it

I don’t know who it belongs to

so take it

 

the land rights

aren’t really protected

well enough

to balance the profits you offer

what is good for the most

is more important

than what is sacred for a few

you can have it

 

there’s no need for consultation

what do they know

about business anyway

superstitious paganism

is always pointless

in the face of cultural expediency

they only want to preserve their comforts

by denying us ours

so take it

 

do what you have to get it

just because it is theirs

doesn’t mean anything

to anybody

expect the press gawkers 

twitter won’t save anyone

you don’t have a reputation

worth protecting anyway

so take it

 

it’s not mine to give

but not theirs to keep either

yet they are keeping it 

no matter what the cost

to you


Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee at Capturing Fire 2020- sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Bye Bye 2019

Over the past year my TOpoet.ca following blog grew from 298 to 363! That’s 65 new followers without me going out of my way beyond blogging regularly. The only stat WP doesn’t give is where the followers are located but WP map does show my hits have come from 91 countries around the world. That India tops the list is interest but that Bangladesh & Kenya are in the top 10 is a surprise. Kazakhstan! Kuwait!

My Tumblr is at 255. I no longer post there as regularly after the ‘porn’ crack down that had my pictures of random toys, or lost shoes, red flagged as being possibly against community standards. I didn’t have the energy keep asking for a review of the flag. Twitter 217 followers. Yes – my account was un-suspended after my appeal. Seems my hashtags were inappropriate for some reason. #Whatever.

2019 has been a pretty good year for me. Health has been good. Finances have been stable. Finished the edit & blogging of Coal Dusters. I hate to bring it to an end as I really loved these characters – but their stories had been told. Response was good for the novel. There’ll probably be another revision if I get back to again. Next up is Picture Perfect.

The other highlight of the year was my visit to Cape Breton where I had a great time with my sister – she loves to drive – with some old friends & also just on my own. Revisited old schools, churches of my past, took lots of photos & lost weight!! I also took my favorite photo of 2019 while at Fort Petrie.

Saw great shows at the Stratford Festival (my fav Nathan The Wise) & disappointing show at the Shaw (Mae West’s Sex was given a frenetic but poorly performed production.) Already have some shows booked for the 2020 Stratford season.

The big event for 2020 will be the 10th Anniversary of Capturing Fire in Washington DC. I do hope to get there, if I can afford it & before the Trump implosion closes the borders to the unemployed sneaking in to steal jobs. paypal.me/TOpoet I’ll be booking my trip once the dates are confirmed. 

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

January
Thursday 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – featuring ‘Yes The Poet’ https://www.facebook.com/events/577900226377507/ 

March
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

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

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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

A Christmas Porch

If the festive lighting isn’t enough, you get a huge holiday hug when you step into the front porch. A hug from this bookcase that I cover with fabric & Christmas stockings. One year I realized people coming in saw this bookcase  littered with curios & objects d’art & such, so opted for seasonal by wrapping like a gift with a Christmas print. Over the years I’ve added real stocking & many  from Yves Roche – they commonly do a new edition very year. 

On top of the cabinet is my Nutcracker collection – the blue was a gift a few years ago, the middle is the one I’ve had the longest & dates from when we moved into the house, the third is a broken one I found at the curb – he stands tall for me. The clown is another found object (see: Clowning Afround ). Godzilla was picked up at Fan Expo a few years ago. St. Elvis was bought at yard sale for $5. These three are permanent guardians, the nutcrackers only come out for Christmas.

This print was, at one time, the mantle covering, but I wanted something brighter for inside, so this more tradition print ended up in the porch. The fabric gets stapled to the book case at various points, as do the stockings. I may invest in something new for next year or swap things around once again. Change is good.

Covering the front bay window is this net – which many visitors assume, because of my east coast background, to be a fishing net but it is actually a hammock. The balls are my partners & date back to before we met. I decided not to use any balls on the tree & now they all get hung out here along with other sparkly bits & garlands. The Santa belonged to a friend who since moved back to the east coast. I think my favorite is Robin swinging on the side there.

The Merry Christmas & some of the ornaments were gifts from my partner’s aunt. She knitted covers for used restaurant milk creamers to repurpose them as bells. Christmas is more about the memories that people have brought into my house than the gifts (well the gifts are fun too) 🙂

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

January
Thursday – January 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – 7:30 – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – featuring ‘Yes The Poet’ https://www.facebook.com/events/577900226377507/ 

March
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

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

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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

Frosty Invaders

I love these old school blow mold Christmas decorations. 

broom wielding Frosty

broom wielding Frosty that’s had it’s eyes done

candy cane wielding Frosty

shovel wielding Frosty in the rose hips

broom wielding Frostys in a tree

broom wielding Frosty aglow

broom wielding Frosty in the candy cane orchard

broom wielding Frosty

https://wp.me/s1RtxU-diop

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy more Christmas kitch– sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

Swami Hart and Beyond

One Christmas many years ago a friend gave me Antonio Hart’s (alto saxophonist) Don’t You Know I Care that he had picked up at a yard sale. It was just the cd – no jewel case. Pleasant & non-challenging jazz – solid playing, sweet arraignments & great starter for someone new to jazz. I created an mp3 version for a fun collections of jazz (& other) classics.

Some of these musicians I knew by reputation, others I searched out after seeing lp covers posted by an lp cover Tumblr one halloween 🙂 So here is Horace Silver (piano): Horace-Scope, Song For My Father – swinging, exploratory & emotional work that I enjoy more each time I hear it. Horace-Scope was the spooky cover & I added Father to hear more. It was Archie Shepp’s (saxophonist) The Magic of Ju-Ju cover that lead owing loading it. I add his The Way Ahead as well. This too is solid, swinging at times, challenging & occasionally dissonant but worth having. Shepp’s work with Abby Lincoln is worth searching out too.

The title of dummer Philly Joe Jones Sextet’s Blues For Dracula is reason enough to add this one. Propulsive & aggressive there is nothing scary here except the quality of playing. Not easy listening by any means & great for writing. The same is true for Jackie McLean’s  (saxophone) Demon’s Dance – it lives up to the cover & the title. Restless music for restless creative minds.

Also here is Steve Marcus’s  (saxophone) Tomorrow Never Knows – this is an excellent jazz exploration of 60’s psychedelic pop. One track has the sax riff that propels Gerry Rafferty’s Beaker Street. This is a lost classic lp that deserves a resurgence. Be warned this is not an instrumental walk-though of 60’s pop – the group peoples these pieces inot our bop & it is well worth the listen. Unlike Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass: Best Of – which are nostalgic & safe for family listening.

To lighten the mood of this collection & also Ron Goodwin’s soundtrack music for Miss Marple, Lancelot, Force 10 – the Marple is jolly fun, the other two are heroic action music. Finally is  Swami Jr. (Brazillian acoustic guitar player (7-string)) Mundos e Fundos – Jr is an amazing guitarist I found out via … well, I’m not sure how found him but the name made him worth checking out. I have a few lps by him each is romantic & satisfying He’s worth checking out.

more of the very rough draft from Isle St. Nuit

Mike hated airports. Too many people going to places he’d never go to. Too many announcements. he checked his ticket print out with the constantly flickering board of arrivals and departures to double check he was heading in the right way, to be sure they hadn’t changed the gate, the flight number gate. 

Twice he’d been startled by the appearance of large black men who were the shape and size of Xavier. His heart raced till he got a good look at the face. As if this would be how it would continue – him running into Xavier at the airport on his way to somewhere.

What would he do it if that had happened. Throw his arms around him. What if Xavier acted as if he’d never seen him, which was most likely what woud happen. Yet he hoped even that would happen. Just  for one more look.

They would glance, Xavier would nod to the washroom and Mike would follow eagerly. Put his bag down t to be taken away by the ever alert airport security. 

Mike would follow Xavier into the handicapped stall – one big enough for two men. Xavier would already be there. Unzipped. Hard. Mike would drop to his knees and ….

“Flight 560 for Halifax now boarding at gate 9. Flight 560 for Halifax now boarding at gate 9. All passengers needing assistance should report to the gate now. thank you. Le vol 560 pour Halifax embarque maintenant à la porte 9. Le vol 560 pour Halifax embarque maintenant à la porte 9. Tous les passagers ayant besoin d’aide doivent se présenter à la porte maintenant. Merci.” 

Mike hunched his shoulder, pulled his shoulder bag closer to him. Finished his coffee and walked through the door to gate 9. 

In the plane he kept his eyes on his magazine. He didn’t want to look out the window. Didn’t want to see the city disappear with so much of himself still there.

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

January

Thursday 23 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre – featuring ‘Yes The Poet’ https://www.facebook.com/events/577900226377507/ 

March
March 5 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

April
April 3 – Hot Damn! It’s Queer Slam – Season 6 finales Buddies and Bad Times Theatre

May

Richard III – Stratford Festival

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

July

All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival

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

Prize Wise

Prize Wise

I knew

just knew in my bones

Karen was getting the prize

that should be mine

because the teacher 

didn’t like me

just because Karen’s mother was sick

the whole class had voted

to give her the prize

not because she deserved it

but they felt sorry for her

 

I was eight or nine at the time

and decades later

I still feel that resentment

that became the message

‘no matter how well you do

someone else always deserves

the prize more

so why bother’

 

this message resonates

when I think

only the damaged

write with an authentic voice

only the disenfranchised

have a right to attention

only the six-pack seniors

have a right to sex

I should feel lucky

grateful for what I  get



Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee at Capturing Fire 2020- sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet 

Gift Exchange

Gift Exchange

I like the gift with no giver

the left behind book on the subway

the twenty dollar bill in a parking lot puddle

a gift with no sense of obligation

not even a sense of 

should I find out who lost this

who are you going ask

when there’s no one around to ask 

 

a gift that doesn’t demand response

for a return

where you have to match the value

where there isn’t a hidden agenda

where gratitude is in accepting and using

not in words and forced forgiveness

This is not part of the 227 Rules For Monks. It comes from my archive of rough draft dating, in this case, back to December 2008. If I never write another poem again I have a backlog of rough drafts to keep me busy for years to come.

This is the season of gifts – many given out of a sense of obligation to one’s building super etc. We bribe them for another year of considerate treatment – rarely do we gifts for no reason. At one time, at this time of year I do leave things on the subway, if I do use it – things like a toque or gloves – in hopes that someone might find them useful. Then a friend of mine, who works for the TTC, told me that those things usual went the lost & found or clearers took them home. So much for random altruism 🙂

Over the years I’ve become easy around gifts – giving & accepting. I’m as happy receiving home made cookies as I am with a paypal donation. (paypal.me/TOpoetI also hav become a good regifter as well. I have enough socks & often gifted socks go to someone else, or donated to a clothing box. I no longer give gifts out of a sense of obligation.

Forgiveness has become more a mode of victimizing victims than something emotionally freeing. There is this subtext these days that if you don’t forgive someone who had harmed you you are being unreasonable & are as bad as the the person who harmed you. It’s as if not letting someone who has apologized, face the consequences of their action now makes the victim a victimizer. We may be God’s children but only one was chosen. 

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy more Christmas kitch– sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet